Saturday, December 30, 2006

Jenny's top ten for no order of preference.
After a tumultuous start to the year, it began to settle down, and I think that these are the highlights for me.
1. Long Service Leave
Precious time spent on Mondays and Tuesdays gardening and creating things. I am feeling like me again.
2. U2 concert

3. Skiing
A fantastic new experience and holiday with friends.

4. New neighbours
Pam, Alex and Lucas have been next door for a year now. We couldn't ask for better neighbours. Lovely, lovely people!

5. Weddings
Philly & Brad's, and Rachel & Victor's
6. 24 hrs of 'me' time
Thanks Mum & Dad for looking after the kids while Andrew was in PNG. Time to explore Kiama, Jamberoo, Berry and Kangaroo Valley.

7. Lauren began school...
and flourished.
8. Friends
I have had the continued support and love from my friends (you know who you are) this year. Thanks.

9. Melbourne
A girly shopping and sightseeing trip with Kirsten and Lou.
10. Family
I have a wonderful immediate and extended family. I have learnt this year that our family is probably not the norm, but quite unusual in the way we all get along and like each other. I love all of my family.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

A perfect day, with big blue skies, at Corrimal with Jenny's parents, Philly and Brad. Once again a day of eating, but different fare today- BBQ prawns, salads, Thai chicken patties etc eaten on the deck in the sun. And of course there was gift giving.

The kids were given kites and before lunch we went down to the beach to fly them.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day
After we all woke very early Christmas morning (thankyou children!) and opened gifts, we made pancakes and then went to church. Although we have never advocated the whole Santa phenomenon, the girls have taken to it wholeheartedly. There was a worrying moment when Madeleine made the comment that "Santa's gifts", found in the stockings, were wrapped in the same paper as the ones under the tree. The idea that Santa possibly bought his paper at IKEA too was mentioned, and three worried faces relaxed again.
We celebrated with lunch at Andrew's parent's home. Sylvia always cooks a huge, traditional hot lunch, and we were glad that the weather was kind to us this year. We seemed to eat all day in fact, with lunch finishing up about 5pm.
Yes, another video!! I am loving the whole youtube thing. It will be out of my system soon. This is of our niece, Sophie, with Oliver and Lauren. Lauren was aware that she is being filmed, and acted accordingly...the other two are quite oblivious.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The End of Year Concert
The following two video posts are for the grandparents, aunts and uncles who missed the girl's end of year school concert. They are a snippet of the dances they performed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Tree
This year I have made our tree. The branches are made from thin wire twisted around thicker wire. After all the branches were made I wired them onto a curtain rod which I had cemented into an enamel bucket. When this was finished I sprayed the whole tree white. The idea came from a tree I saw in a large chain store and I asked where I could get one. I was told that they could possibly order me one and the cost was approximately $150. After spending hours making one myself I know now that this price is quite cheap, and I fear someone in a less fortunate country will have been paid pittance for making these trees.

Anyway, the lights look so pretty twinkling on the tree I have uploaded my first YouTube video and put it on the blog.

Merry Christmas to you all out there in blog land.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rachel and Victor's WeddingWe have just returned from Port Macquarie where we attended the wedding of our dear friends, Rachel and Victor. It was absolutely wonderful. Victor just beamed all day. Rachel looked beautiful. We are so happy for them.It was great to catch up with friends who we have not seem for awhile... years even. I am posting some more photographs of the day on our other blog site - the link is in the sidebar.While we were in Port Macquarie we had fish & chips on the beach with Philly and Brad, and the kids had fun in the pool of the hotel where we stayed. It was refreshing to leave Sydney behind for the weekend. It is amazing how therapeutic even a view of the ocean can be.
The four and a half hour car trip each way also brought great pleasure (and stresses). We laughed hysterically at many things during the journey - the "stinky" composting toilets found dotted along the roadside where we had to stop occasionally; the girls changing the lyrics to a Sandi Thom song, at first unintentionally, and then with some thought as they realised their mistake; the constant haggling and politics of sharing a packet of lollies; and the many discussions about what would be bought at McDonalds for lunch. Predictably these activities also caused tears and Jenny threatening to "stop the car!" more than once.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Garden in November
One of the wonderful joys of being on long service leave means that I (Jenny) have been able to spend hours in the garden. It is starting to look loved again with all the mulch I have put down and the seedlings I have planted.
My silk tree (yes, I claim ownership of it - we all have our own tree in the garden somewhere) has pretty pink puffs of flowers all over.

And the hydrangeas are displaying beautiful ranges of pinks to blues. A friend of mine claims they are 'granny' flowers - but I don't agree.
Aquilegas are one of my favourite flowers for the garden. They come up again year after year.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A very busy month indeed.

In this photo Noah, Lucas and Oliver are attacking Brendan with their light 'savers' at the Bradshaws. Those of you who know the Bradshaws will note what a brilliant job Richard and Doug have done with the paving/landscaping. Richard has planted pole apple trees, roses and lavender along the first terrace and it looks wonderful. A truly beautiful garden.

Grimace visited us during Oliver's McDonalds party. A definite worry to some children, including Oliver!
We found cicada shells outside on the trees... a sign that Summer is definitely on the way.
Lauren performed in her end of year dance concert. Here she is in her 'tap' costume with Andrew after the first show.

Jenny, Lou & Heather.

Adults relaxing, kids playing.
Dave & Sean.
We had the CCC Ryde staff Christmas party at the Brady's house. A very warm evening, but that didn't stop the children all playing non-stop on the jumping castle. The adults were more content to sit and talk. Richard and Cathie were absent as they have begun their long service leave - after 20 years! Happy holidays to the Greens!
And it was our beautiful sister-in-law's birthday. Happy birthday Bronwynne!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oliver's 4th Birthday
Oliver turns 4 today. We celebrated with our family yesterday at Perkins Street (Grandma and Grandfather's house). He is having a party next weekend with friends.
Oliver with Stephen.
The Pocknalls and Deftys.


Playing with a gift at home.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Last night we joined 80,000 other people (give or take a few) in the stadium at the Olympic site to see U2. It was the long awaited concert that had been postponed back in March, and was worth every cent. Although we were quite a way back the huge 'screen' meant that we were very much visually entertained, as well as hearing fantastic music. Brent brought along a pair of binoculars which was handy too.
U2 opened with 'Vertigo' and went straight into 'City of Blinding Lights', which certainly had us singing along at the top of our voices. All the old favourites were played...'New Year's Day', 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', 'Pride' etc. Jenny's favourite song remains 'Beautiful Day', but thought that 'The Fly' was the winner of the night, and Andrew loved 'Where the Streets Have No Name'.
We have some other photos taken on our little camera, that don't do justice to the spectacular light show and stage, but may give you some idea of the atmosphere...go to more photos of the Pocknalls in the side bar.

Monday, October 16, 2006

October in the Garden
The climbing rose out the front has burst into flower.

The Christmas bush and the bottlebrush are in flower as well. A lot of Australian streets are flanked by bottlebrush, which makes them rather colourful at this time of year. Unfortunately they look a bit sad as the flowers turn brown and fall off.

Tall spires of the Oyster plant are beginning to shoot up throughout the garden.