Friday, April 24, 2015

Farewelling Sisters Seve and Percival

Adam sees the Sisters churn:

Six weeks ago we saw Sister Vos head home and and Sister Mauga transferred out, meaning we had two new Sister Missionaries in the ward. We had Sister Seve, from Mildura, who was training a greenie, Sister Percival, a Samoan who has lived all over.

They've been with us for 6 weeks and we learnt last weekend that they were both being transferred out again this coming Sunday night. The Mission President doesn't seem to like having continuity for the sisters in our ward.  Because Elissa will be away down in Melbourne on their last Sunday, we had their "farewell" meal last Sunday, followed by some attempts to take a nice family photo with the Sisters ...

... not always successfully

It was an emotional farewell from the Sisters who said that we had been their "Ward Family" down here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Presents from New Zealand from Munirah

Adam eats chocolate:

Munirah took a 4 day trip over to New Zealand back in March and brought us all back some presents. Elissa and I got some yummy chocolate .... Elissa didn't notice until I pointed out to her that they were made by "Donovans".

She also brought back some small items for the kids - bookmarks, pens, cups, all with a New Zealand bent to them.

Munriah flew out last Sunday back to escort somebody home to Saudi Arabia, and is taking the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks over there as well. She is very generous in always getting us little treats or gifts, so I wonder if we may see something come back from Saudi Arabia with her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'd Like a Crocodile Burger ... And Make It Snappy!

Adam eats:

We had a farewell lunch for a work colleague a little while ago. It was held at Outback Jack's - a restaurant chain that does feature some Aussie bush tucker on the menu. I decided to go with the Crocodile Hamburger.

I think they've learnt that crocodile can be rather bland and had added a number of spices into the crocodile patty. I quite liked it, which makes a change - I've been disappointed with crocodile several times in the past.

I did resist the temptation when I ordered to say "A crocodile burger ... and make it snappy"

Monday, April 20, 2015

Jayde's Favourite Passport Photo

Adam laughs:

Elissa had to take Jayde to get photos for her passport last week. On coming back from the post office with her passport photos, Jayde was intently studying them before declaring that she liked the one in the bottom right hand corner the best.

Elissa did delight in pointing out to Jayde that they were all the same photo ...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Free Ice Cream? Don't Mind If I Do!

Adam waits in line:

Tuesday of last week was Ben and Jerry's annual Free Ice Cream Day.  Yep - that is as good as it sounds. Participating Ben & Jerry's stores would give a small ice cream to anybody who turned up during the day. As you can imagine, it was a popular day.

I only found out about it an hour or so before I was due to pick Jayde up from work in the evening. I asked Jewel and Seth if they wanted to come with me for a free ice cream ... not surprisingly, I then had both kids in tow as we headed down to the store in Woden.

There was a long line outside the door. We were given copies of the menus so we could choose whilst waiting as to what we wanted to have. I decided on Cherry Garcia (Cherry Ice Cream with Cherries and Chocolatey Flakes), Seth chose Mint Chocolate Chunk (Mint Ice Cream made with Peppermint Extract and Chocolatey Chunks) and Jewel went for Phish Food (Chocolate Ice Cream with Gooey Marshmallow, Caramel Swirls & Chocolatey Fish).

It took us about 30 minutes to get served - Jewel and Seth both asked for their ice creams in a cup rather than a cone - they figured they'd get more ice cream that way. Whilst the ice cream wasn't bad, I'm glad we weren't paying for it as it seems incredibly overpriced normally ($6 for a single scoop ice cream!).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All The Guys Have Hair Longer Than Mine ...

Adam listens:

We got out a few videos to possibly let the kids watch over the school holidays. We still have to vet them first. One of the movies was Thor: The Dark World. Jayde picked up the DVD cover and lamented ... "All the Guys Have Hair Longer Than Me ..."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Growing Food When You're Not Even Trying

Adam harvests:

We didn't specifically plant any vegetables during spring this year, but we have reaped the benefits of seeds left over from previous years. Out the front, we have red cherry tomatoes growing.

 In the raised vegetable garden we have a number of small but ripe Queensland Blue pumpkins. Looking forward to having some of those baked with a roast dinner at sometime soon.

Out the back we have two tomato bushes near the clothesline, producing both red cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. Unfortunately, these also happen to be growing on top of a large ant nest that I only discovered following a number of bites whilst picking tomatoes last Saturday.

The apple trees have also been producing, but they're diseased and half eaten by birds and bugs, so nothing really salvageable from them.

There are also rose hips on our rose bush. I've never tried them, but given the warning about the glass like hairs inside the rose hip that need removing before eating, I'm a bit reluctant to try them.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another Trophy For Jewel

Elissa congratulates........

Jewel played Chess at an interschool girls Chess competition a few weeks ago. It was a group competition with 4 girls in each group. There were several groups from our school competing. They arrange the groups in order so girls of similar ability are playing each other. Jewel's team came second overall at the end of the day. Their team lost only 4 games during the whole day. It was a fun day and another chess trophy for her bookcase.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Temple Trip - Fires, Temple Gardens and Skinks

Adam drives:

I took Seth up to the Temple two Saturdays ago. It was a fun drive up with just the two of us. Seth even took a few photos of the colours of the sunrise as we drove.

At the temple itself there were a lot of people. We got there a bit later than most others. They had all of the adults they needed to help out in the baptistery, possibly because the Temple session that's usually on at the same time had been cancelled. That pretty much left me with nothing to do for 1.5-2 hours, so I spent my time in the Temple grounds, exploring and taking photos.

There was a huge fire that we could see driving up in the morning. Apparently it started in an industrial area and they needed over 40 fire engines there to get it under control. You could see the smoke plume in the distance from the temple.

Back to exploring the temple. I had fun exploring places that we're usually too much of a rush to check out.

There were lots of skinks around on the pathways, warming themselves in the sun. It reminded me of being back in Perth, where I have memories of seeing many of these skinks as a kid. Canberra must be too cold for them - you very rarely see them there.

After Seth had finished in the temple, we headed out to check out a new games store that we'd discovered - Games Empire, which had a good selection and was cheaper than the Canberra games stores. Might make a few trips past there in the future.

The drive back had the usual Sizzler's lunch break and lots of fun talking in silly voices telling cars that they were "Eeeeevil" for overtaking us and other minor infractions, and that how they were even more evil than the previous car that had overtaken us ... a continual snowball of absurdity that had us in stitches..

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Elissa's Eleventy First Birthday

Adam arranges stuff:

Elissa doesn't like getting older and gets very unhappy around her birthdays these days. I tried to lighten things up for her by throwing a sort of surprise early birthday party for on the Friday after her work trip to Geelong. We had the Garlands, Koskinens and the Crazy Cat Lady's family over. Munirah ordered a bunch of Lebanese foods for us (wara' enab and kibbeh) which we had along with pizza and nibblies for dinner, after which we all sat around, joking and talking.

On her birthday itself, I arranged for chocolate filled croissants to be served with breakfast in bed for her. Later that day, by request, we had my home made chili for dinner. Elissa's presents from us consisted of two larger items this year. The first was a lamp/magnifying screen that Elissa wanted for her sewing table. It allows her to do fine/detailed work - she says that it's awesome.

The second present hasn't been purchased yet. It will be some type of meet and greet tickets to the cast of the TV show Firefly at Supanova later in the year. We like the show, and Elissa is also a big fan of the actor Nathan Fillion.