Wednesday, October 29, 2014

O Nephi Neko

 Adam sings in Japanese:

I posted before how I made a song up for Nephi - O Nephi Cat - as a bit of a joke. The kids all like it, and it's become a favourite song request during Family Home Evening, even though Elissa refuses to sing it.

It was Minori's turn to do the lesson for Family Home Evening this week. She stood and said "Elissa, I have to apologise ... tonight I'm going to teach you to sing O Nephi Cat in Japanese." She had translated the song into Japanese and written out lyrics for all of us to sing. Some of the timing was a bit tricky, but we all ahd fun, even Elissa, wjho thought it was a great idea, and joined in with the rest of us in praising our gorgeous cat in song.

O Nephi neko  {O Nephi cat]
O Nephi neko
Suwatte Tsubusuna  [ Sit down - Do not crush]
Kawaii neko-chan [cute/adorable cat]
Nezumi janai yo [rat, No, it's not!]
O Nephi neko
O Nephi neko
Minna daisuki Nephi neko   [Everybody loves Nephi cat]

Image originally from
Phonetically, when you sing the song it's pronounced like this:

O Nephi nek
O Nephi nek
Soo-wah-tay soo
Ka-wa-ee ne-ko-chan
Nay-zoo-mee jah-nah-ee yo
O Nephi nek
O Nephi nek
Min-nah dy-skee Nephi nek

Certainly a family home evening lesson we'll never forget :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chocolate Pasta and Ice Cream

Adam explores gastronomically:

Whilst at the Candy Store in Leura, Elissa came across this chocolate pasta and wanted to give it a try, so we bought some and brought it home.

We decided to try it out with the Sister Missionaries (Sister Ilalio and Ssiter Sunday) two Sundays ago. It was cooked up like normal pasta and served hot with ice cream

We tried it, but to be honest, you couldn't really taste the chocolate flavour in the pasta. It was too subtle for my tastebuds - it was just like eating normal pasta with ice cream.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Jewel Starts Competitive Basketball

Adam does the sports dad thing:

Being very tall for her age Jewel gets the inevitable comments about "playing basketball". She hasn't really had much to do with it, but she did participate and enjoy the holiday basketball program 12 months ago.

She had expressed interest in playing and after Elissa did some research, we ended up signing her up for the Tuggeranong Vikings team (the same club she played baseball for). She had her first training session after school resumed on the Monday or term 4, and her first ever competitive game on the Saturday (two weekends ago).

The Vikings have a full roster of 10 girls, and Jewel is one of three "tall" girls. They don't have a starting five for games, but just rotate all of the girls on for equal periods.

Jewel's first game was against an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team. They only had 5 girls on their roster, which meant no rests during the game, and they didn't have any tall girls. By half time, the score was 19-1 in favour of Jewel's team, and we felt bad for the other team.

We needn't have worried though, they came back and outscored Tuggeranong in the second half. Tuggeranong still won, but the final score was 24-13.

The game consisted of four 10 minute quarters. Jewel got a reasonable amount of time on court and loved it. She didn't score, but was involved in some plays. She lacks aggressiveness and an understanding of the game at this time, which is to be expected for her and all of the other girls who are new to playing the game. It was a good opportunity for the coach to see what areas will be good for her to train the girls in.

Elissa and Minori have gone down to the park with Jewel to do some training during the week, helping her get more confident in shooting, rebounding, passing and so on.

Their second game was last weekend and Jewel's team lost 20-16. It was a close game, with Jewel's team being level or leading for much of the game, and they were only 2 points down and in possession in attack with a minute left to play. Despite the loss and a stitch from lots of running, Jewel is still enjoying playing, which is good.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maylianne's Baptism

Elissa meets...

May (Maylianne) is Esther's cousin. Esther was in my primary class last year and came up to YW's a few months ago. She was really shy and quiet but has really become a lot more confident in YW's. Several months ago she asked if she could bring her Cousin may to a YW activity. Of course we said yes. She thought it was a lot of fun. So she kept coming and started coming on Sundays.

We already had finalised the numbers for YW camp so when she heard about it she asked if it was too late. Some last minute changes and running around and we got her in. She was in Adam's car on the way down (the photo with a puppy on her head is May). She loved YW's camp and even bore her Testimony at the Testimony meeting. She had been meeting with the missionaries with her mum and siblings (oldest of 7).

Adam and I got to go one of her discussions with her and were thrilled when she committed to baptism. I was asked to give a talk and I also sourced some white clothes for her (my old temple dress). It was a lovely service and she is a much enjoyed addition to our YW's. Her brother and youngest cousin also got baptised on the same day.

Most of our YW made it to the baptism

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blue Mountains Trip - Day 1b - Wicked in Sydney

Elissa watches.....

For Mothers Day I was given by Jayde two tickets for Wicked in Sydney. I have always wanted to see Wicked, but I wanted to do something different with Wicked than I had ever done with a Musical before.

Every time I have seen a musical I have known all of the music and the storyline. I have purposely never listened to the music of Wicked so when I finally went I could be surprised.

Jayde and I were so excited about it. I was also cautious - what if I didn't like the music? Our tickets were right at the back of the theatre - I don't mind - we have sat there before. We were pleasantly surprised when we walked in and handed over our tickets to be told we had been upgraded. Obviously they had not sold out and there was a lot of room in the next section. So they moved us cheap seats into the next section, which meant they didn't need to clean the back area of the theatre and also created more atmosphere (no vacant sections in site).

Our view was wonderful. We had a lot of school groups around us - this made Jayde excited as she was going to be going again in two weeks with the School's Music class.

We loved it. The story was wonderful - we both had "Ah Ha"moments. It makes you look at The Wizard of Oz so much differently. It shows how much a story can change from a different perspective. The music was wonderful. And I loved the costumes. I kept watching the big dresses and wondering how they were made. I love sewing - but more than just sewing - I love costumes.  We had a wonderful time and I wished I could watch it again - lucky Jayde who gets to watch again soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blue Mountains Trip - Day 1a - Purikura Photos

Adam notes:

Here are some of the photos that the girls did at Pirikura in Sydney on the Wicked / Blue Mountains holiday.
Yes - Jewel appears to have been turned into a bug eyed alien.

And a couple of additional photos of the girls in action:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blue Mountains Trip - Day 3 Afternoon - Jenolan Caves

Adam avoids pancakes:

Day 1 - Sydney, Wicked and Purikura
Day 2 Morning  - Leura Cascades and The Three Sisters
Day 2 Afternoon - Leura, The Red Door and Govett's Leap

Following the fun of climbing over the Katoomba Cascades, we took one last drive around the Cliff Drive out of Katoomba, heading through to Blackheath and Mt Victoria, looking for somewhere to have lunch. We eventually settled on woodfired pizzas down in Hartley, once we'd descended down from Victoria Pass.

Next it was time to drive down to the Jenolan Caves. It was certainly a hair raising trip. The last 8 kms of the road down to the caves is via a narrow, winding road with a cliff face on one side, and a long drop on the other. We passed several cars coming the other way and each time we had to slow to a crawl to pass by each other. Near the end we came across a 12 seater bus, and ended up having to actually back up about 10-15 metres to a spot where there was enough space for us to inch past each other. As the driver, I can say it was very nerve wracking, and not a drive I'd like to do again.

When we got to the caves, we had to drive right through a tunnel around the cave entrances, before coming out to the very pretty Caves House on the other side.

We found a car park, and walking along back to the buildings encountered a large lizard basking on a path. A fellow tourist identified it as a Water Dragon.

The gardens and surrounding hillside were very lush, and in bloom and there were a number of rosellas and other birds about. At one point during the afternoon we saw what we thought was a Lyrebird walking its way through the scrub.

We went down to the ticket office, having planned which of the dozen or so tours we wanted to take, only to discover after a long wait that not all tours were on offer at the same time, and that the next tours were booked out. We had over an hours wait until we could get on a tour, but fortunately it was one of the tours we were interested in - the Chifley Cave.

Our purchase of the Chifley Cave tour also entitled us to do a self guided tour of the Nettle Cave, so we decided to do that in the hour we had to wait for the Chifley tour. A ranger gave us all an electronic device that served as a tour guide.  The idea was to press buttons on the guide at various designated points to hear descriptions about the history and features of the cave.

The tour started out in a large cavern called the Devil's Coach House.

Checkout the walkways we took in the following photo. Mines of Moria anyone? These stairways then took us up high above the cavern to see various rock formations.

Eventually the girls got "over' having to stop and listen to all of the commentary, and they went ahead as Seth & Elissa decided to listen to all of what the guide had to say. I was trying to take photos and kind of loitered in between, not taking as long as Elissa and Seth, but not as quick as the girls.

No, these aren't HR Giger's latest artworks or embryonic Aliens, but rare forms of  Stromatolites.

Looking back down at the early part of the cave tour.

The exit and steps back down the hillside to ground level.

After the tour we waited around for our tour of the Chifley Cave to start. This was guided by a ranger and we were joined by another 12-15 people. This tour was more subterranean than the Nettle cavem with the initial entrance in being a small passage carved out of the rock into the initial chamber.

They showed us one cave that had coloured lighting they used to have installed throughout the caverns.

The rest of the lighting was a bit more subdued ... and very difficult to take decent photos in. I just wish I could have taken a tripod down there and had time to get some decent photos.

On the wall in the picture below is a formation known as the Dragon's Head.

We all really enjoyed the tour, and it was a fitting way to cap off our mini-holiday. As we made our way back to the Caves House and then our car, we were treated to a pair of rosellas, happily eating the wisteria hanging from the verandah roof of the Caves House, that were more than happy for tourists like us to take photos of them eating.

By now, it was getting towards 6PM, and we left out towards Oberon, again through single lane, winding treachorous road (although only 4 kms of the narrow road on the Canberra side of the caves. The drive was through lots of lush green hills and was very picturesque as we drove into the sunset. The rest of the trip home was fairly uneventful apart from an urgent toilet break in a park in Taralga where every child was certain they were about to explode, and later on, a Subway stop for dinner in Goulburn.