Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge

Adam get's challenged:

Emma, from Capture the Light challenged me to do the Five Day B&W Challenge on social media. I asked her what the Challenge's rules were, and she said "jut make some up: :)

So, here are the 5 "Black & White" photos I settled on.

Day 1: A Dark and Gloomy Day

Day 2: A Light in the Darkness

Day 3: Starry, Starry Night

Day 4: Against the Wall

Day 5: BBP

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brindabella Park and Mt Ainslie with Minori

Adam takes photos:

I took Minori out last Wednesday night, as the rest of the family were at youth activities (had planned on taking Jewel, but she ended up tagging along to the YW movie night.) I had to drop Seth off at the chapel, so figured that whilst I was out, we'd do a little bit of tourist stuff with Minori.

First off we went out near the airport to Brindabella Park. This is a new development and features lots of unusual architecture. This was to facilitate some photos I was trying to take.

Next, we went up to the lookout at the top of Mount Ainslie, looking out at the city below as the sun set over the Brindabellas.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Teaching Minori to Make Gingerbread Houses

Adam doesn't eat lollies:

With Minori due to head home in just over a week, we thought we'd start some Christmas activities early this year so that she could get a chance to experience them. For Family Home evening last week, we made Gingerbread Houses, something that Minori hadn't done before.

Jayde and Elissa made the Gingerbread over the preceding 24 hours. Elissa then showed/reminded the kids how to construct the basic house itself using the icing as a "cement".

Then it was a matter of letting the kids imaginations run free as they decorated their houses using a variety of lollies.

Jewel's house had pretty much every centimeter covered in lollies of some type. Minori's house ended up being very colorful with her strings of mini M&Ms looking like Christmas lights.

Seth's house featured a lot of bananas and yellow Skittles, whilst Jayde's house was covered in lots of licorice.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 Father Christmas Photo

Adam makes sure the kids arrive:

The Christmas tradition continues, and here we have, the 2014 Photo with Santa. We got it done early this year so that we could include Minori., as this isn't something that's done in Japan.

The extra bonus doing it now was that it's still too early for most people and there were no long lines of kids waiting to see Santa. We were able to do three different sessions and about 10 shots before choosing this one.

A friend commencement that Seth must have been studying the Country Road catalogues. We did point out that he is a published male model ...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2014 Twilight Fair - Snags, Lolly Tree Redux and the Cha Cha Video

Adam cooks snags:

It was the annual Curtin Twilight Fair last Friday, and we of course went along.
Jewel started the evening by playing in the school band.

The kids all had fun with Jewel and Seth both joining their friends on the amusement rides. Jayde and Minori explored and spent time with Jayde's friends.

I spent time on the barbecue, cooking sausages for the sausage sizzle. I only bought 15CDs this year - for a total cost of $2.

Elissa got continually asked about school logistics a lot.

Jewel managed to win a lolly tree again in the raffle ... just like last year.

I didn't take the camera for any photos this year. One of Seth's friends did however decide to record one of their rides on the "Cha Cha" using his phone, so that will be the extent of the vision from this year's fair.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grandma, Stop Luring Pedophiles to Our Blog!

Adam is worried:

I check the statistics on our website every so often. The statistics include things like which cities readers come from, websites that refer to our blog, and search terms used in search engines that have then come to our site. (Oh, and a big hello to our recent regular readers in Victorville, Eagle Mountain, Minato and Shibuya :)

Imagine my horror to recently find that amongst the search terms used to come to our blog were a handful of searches that could reasonably be construed as searches for child pornography. Because our blog talks about our family growing up, it has lots of references to our kids as young girls and a young boy ... but why would a search engine then direct searches for pedophilia to our website. And then I noticed it.

Grandma's comments. Hundreds of comments from Grandma in relation to our kids, with practically every comment of hers ending in "xxx". Now, I'm sure Grandma means that as "kiss, kiss, kiss", however to a search engine and the seedier sides of society, xxx has a very different meaning. Combine several hundred comments from Grandma featuring "xxx" in with all the mentions of our young girls, and you can work out what has happened.


For the tiny handful who might have come here looking for porn, or worse, child pornography, you'll be sadly disappointed that there's nothing like that here. You may be more interested in the Fight The New Drug website though, as it will be of far more value to you than what you're looking for.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Picnic at the Arboretum

Adam suggests a picnic:

I'd suggested that we take the opportunity to go out for a family picnic after Church last Sunday. We hadn't ever been to the Arboretum and thought that might be a nice venue to check out and have a Sunday lunch.

Because we hadn't been there before, we took a drive through the whole area. I had planned on stopping at the Tourism Centre, but it was pay parking there (even on a Sunday), so didn't bother. Instead we went through to Dairy Farmer's Hill. This spot had a lookout over Canberra, and also featured a large metal artwork of an eagle and its nest.

We'd previously seen that sculpture - officially titled Nest III - in its previous home down at The Priory at Bingie on the NSW South Coast. At least I presume it's the same sculpture - it could possibly have even been Nest I or Nest II - the sculptures in the photos below don't look exactly the same, but there are a lot of similarities too. It could just be that the sculpture has aged 5 years since we last saw it and been disassembled and reassembled after a long trip, resulting in some changes.

Nov 2014 - Nest III atop Dairy Farmer's Hill at the National Arboretum in Cnaberra

Flashback to Jan 2009 - A young Seth with Nest III at The Prioriy at Bingie, NSW

We'd decided that we'd head on over to the Himalayan Cedar forest, as the maps showed a designated picnic area near there. When we got there though, we discovered that a lot of other people had a similar idea, and the formal picnic areas were all busy, so we ended up on a rug among the cedars. We enjoyed a nice lunch of Vegemite scrolls, cold meats, and nibblies.

Near the picnic ground is the "Wide Brown Land" sculpture - a large artwork made out of iron featuring the words "wide brown land" ... a tribute to Dorothea Mackellar's patriotic poem about Australia - "My Country". We had fun playing on the sculpture before heading off home.

Wide Brown Land - Three photo panoramic stitch - click to enlarge - ©2014 Adam East

View from the Wide Brown Land - Six photo panoramic stitch - Click to enlarge - ©2014 Adam East