Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011...The Year That Was

Time does fly. This whole year has passed by in a blur much like other years. It was another quiet New Year's Eve for us. I had time for some reflection whilst feeding the children dinner at McDonald's. Malcolm was at work...

We started 2011 at Washington D.C. visiting the Lincoln Memorial. It was the much anticipated Disney trip through the Panama Canal with 21 people. We had the luxury of a few more Disney trips to Hong Kong and later to Anaheim after our tour of the National Parks in the American North West. The annual gaming convention was a big success with a certain someone taking out the championship...Culturally we were on a roll, not only managing to see Dr Zhivago and Mary Poppins, but also seeing The Wiggles live in convert.

The year would not have been complete without the up take of time-consuming and unnecessary past times to distract me from my wifely and motherly duties. They include digital scrapbooking, photography software, sewing and Pinterest just to name a few. I did have time, however, to purchase some new toys. The thermomix, an iPad and an iPhone were warmly welcomed into the household.

2011 wasn't all smooth sailing. In amongst the highlights were the lows of lost wedding and engagement rings, au pair dramas, family illnesses, Malcolm's great grandfather having to go to a nursing home, council woes, as well as that of a lost job.

Through out the year's highs and lows, God is gracious and faithful. We have much to be grateful for. He has lovingly challenged us, guided us, blessed us, comforted us and provided for us. It is apt that I end this post by writing about my preparation for Sunday school tomorrow. The lesson is "Living To Please God". May 2012 be another year full of blessings, a year where we honour His name and glorify Him with our words and actions.

Happy New Year!

Fish Tales

We had an awesome day out on the boat in Sydney Harbour. First stop was the fish markets for some food and bait, followed by lunch and a spot of fishing. All five children caught a fish including little Jonah! Will post more photos once I figure out how and efficient way of blogging the photos from my iphone.

Beautiful Sydney Harbour

Calm spot on Lane Cove River

The little bloke managed to catch a snapper

Happy Birthday Elliot!

The birthday boy turned 9! Posing with his younger brother

Cutting off banana leaves from the neighbour's backyard. A necessity for the barbequed laksa fish!

House if full of family and friends, the cricket is on, and the bulgogi is cooking. What more can you ask for?

My gorgeous niece

A very delicious chocolate hazelnut gelato cake. It didn't last very long!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Joy To The World!

Christmas is always a wonderful time of the year. A time of joy, a time of giving, a time of special memories with family. Despite a night of poor sleep due to Jonah having a mouth full of ulcers, we awoke to a morning filled with excitement as the children rushed to the presents under the Christmas tree. We headed to church eager to hear today's message, eager to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.

We have so much to be thankful for, other than material comforts, a roof over our heads, and family and friends, we have the freedom to worship Jesus. So let us grip that liberty with our fists and let our hearts and mouths sing out with joy as the shepherds did all those years ago. For God has bestowed upon us the most gracious gift, His son, a baby born so that he may die in order to save us from our sins. As much as I hated sounding cliched....Let us remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Kris Kringle

The Albanys do know how to throw parties and have fun. This years Kris Kringle was no exception! Yvette and Patrick were hosts this year and we trekked out to Minto for what was a fun filled day as a family. Their sprawling land was a haven for the children. Chickens, goats, rabbits, trampolines, fruit trees, swimming pool, and lots of space for cricket! Lunch was abundant and delicious, but the highlight had to be Santa. Uncle Phil drew the short straw and his arrival in a blow up Santa suit on a ute was a classic. I think the adults had more fun than the children...

So much to do!

One of the three goats


A magician/comedian/juggler

Entertained children and adults!

Little Otis, the youngest member of the Albany clan

All the children (ignore Malcolm...)

Getting a present from Santa

Even Jonah went up!

Hanging on to his precious egg that he collected from the chook house.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Just what I needed...another addiction.

Before I continue, I do need to perform due diligence and warn you that Pinterest is highly addictive! So keep reading at your own risk! Before you know it, you will end up like me, sitting in front of my ipad for hours feeling creative simply because you've looked at umpteen dozen pins of recipes and craft ideas.

I stumbled upon Pinterest whilst reading a blog. The author kindly invited me into the Pinterest community and from then on, I was a gone. So what is Pinterest you might ask. This is the description that is written on the site itself.

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
It is amazing the things that others out there find on the web! I can't seem to stop myself going back for more. Hubby has somehow been dragged into the Pinterest craze as well. 
I am proud to announce that after days of thinking about recipes that I want to cook, skirts that I want to sew, organisational tips that I want to try and craft that I want to make, I finally got up away from my computer and made something! Ta da!
A T-shirt scarf
I simply followed the instructions from the link in the pin below. It literally took me 2 minutes. I used one of Malcolm's old T-shirts that he was throwing away and put it together with an old flower pin that I was also going to throw away.

So what will you be pinteresting today...

Friday, 16 December 2011

A Wiggly Wiggly Concert

I had the pleasure to take Jonah to his very first concert. We watched The Wiggles! The show was great. The Wiggles were wonderful. The concert was filled with upbeat songs, and there was plenty of space for the children to move and dance. Aunty Sharon even brought roses for Dorothy the Dinosaur.

My only complaint had to be the venue. There was only 1 entry IN to the carpark. This was made worse with ongoing council roadworks surrounding the venue! It was a disaster. We left an hour before the concert was due to start. We got there soon enough but lined up for an hour to enter the carpark. Leaving the carpark was even worse. We moved forward 5m in 45 minutes...Castle Hill Showground, please please please do your homework for future big events. It really was not good enough.

The awesome Wiggles in their Big Red Car! Jeff had a defibrillator inserted a mere 2 months ago!

Jonah took a while to warm up but asked if he could  watch it again after the concert

All the favourites were there including Captain Feathersword

Hurray for Jeff! 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Luna Park

Last Sunday was our very last Luna Park day. Every year at Christmas time, my company organises a family day at Luna Park. Seeing as this will be my last year with the company, we were determined to go rain, hail or shine. Fortunately for us, the miserable rain that had plaqued the city for the whole week magically disappeared! This has happened for us each year that we've been! The last time we went was in 2009 when a 4 year old Lara was unable to say fairy floss (fairy floff). Other than an improvement in linguistic skills and a change in the colour scheme of the function room, much of our day was the same! So I will simply insert some photos and let you read the post from two years ago...

Yay, we're here!

Our air-conditioned function room!

Multicoloured instead of blue and white, but the same room!

Guess who went straight for the free coffee...

Ferris wheel with an amazing view

Hmmm...this photo looks familiar, just insert different child. Elliot was too big to go on!

Jonah had a ball on all the kiddy rides

As did Lara

Elliot in the meantime preferred the big people rides!

Coney Island fun as ever

Jonah wasn't afraid of the big slide!

The lovely ladies from work

Ice-cream time! Free of course...
Woohoo! We are a winner!

From this... this! Storms coming in

One last ride before heading home

Sunday, 4 December 2011

O Christmas Tree

The "real" Christmas trees have finally arrived at the local garage! This year, I had to learn to relinquish control as the children decorated the tree. The tree is up and the house is filled with the wonderful smell of fresh pine. Roll on Dccember 25!

Dragging the tree in, Malcolm bought a small tree this year.

Daddy making sure the lights work. Our Disney Christmas tree skirt

An excited child waiting to get at the tree

Wouldn't be complete without some Disney decorations...

The finished tree...not bad children, not bad at all!