Sunday, January 25, 2015

Feeding Cupcake/Stormageddon the Magpie

Adam does not like avian gastronomic byproducts:

For some reason we've had a juvenile magpie hopping onto our middle balcony and squawking over the last several weeks.  Jewel decided that the magpie wanted feeding, and so, with Elissa's permission started to give it food - mainly grated cheese.

It's now regularly coming back, sometimes twice a day and getting food from Jewel. It's sometimes accompanied by a second magpie as well.

You can see them hanging around, wanting food in some of our other shots, like the photo of the dress Elissa was sewing.

Jewel has decided that the original magpie shall be called Cupcake, and the second magpie shall be called Lily-ann. Seth disagrees and reckons that they should be Stormageddon and Fireageddon.

I don't care what they're called, I just wish that they'd stop pooping all over the balcony, as since they've come, it's started becoming a huge mess of bird droppings. :(

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Viral Pharyngitis with Tonsillitis, Tracheolaryngitis and a Dash of Bronchitis

Adam isn't well:

After getting sick at Christmas, it's pretty much been ongoing sickness in the family since. Jayde and Jewel both picked up minor versions of the virus in the following week, and when Jayde went to FSY she had quite a nasty cough and head cold. Jayde's cold got worse and she ended up at the Doctors with a chest infection.

We had thought that Jayde's sickness was simply mine from Christmas as well, however I then came down sick Friday week ago, with a bad sore throat, headaches and very tired. It would appear that Jayde had  picked up something else which she'd then passed on to me. I went to the walk-in clinic on Sunday night who confirmed a basic viral pharyngitis and mild bronchitis, and a couple of days off of work.

Unfortunately, it wasn't getting better and got to the point on Monday night that I was on painkillers just to sleep through the night - a trip to the Doctor on Tuesday confirmed that tonsillitis had now formed, therefore giving me pharyngotonsillitis. My voice was now affected, and so technically it was also laryngitis. Essentially, I now had a whole list of -itises as a result of this virus.

The upshot was, a course of huge antibiotics and a week of off work during a very important period where I couldn't really afford to be away from work.

Elissa has also come down with the virus now too, although the major discomfort for her has been conjunctivitis. Whilst my eyes have been a bit gritty, it's been the major thing for her. It's funny how the virus appears to have impacted the same areas for all of us - chest, throat, eyes - but has resulted in a different major end effect on each of us - chest for Jayde, tonsils for me and eyes for Elissa.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Giving Away the Dress That Was FINALLY Completed.

Elissa sews....

Many years ago Jayde bought a pattern and material for sewing a dress. She cut it out but never actually sewed it together. Then she grew too large for the pattern. I suggested several years ago I could sew it together for Jewel as a Christmas present - but never did and then Jewel got too big for it as well.

Finally these holidays I got sick of the unfinished pattern and material lying around, so I completed the sewing and put out on Facebook that whoever wanted it could have it. It has found a home with a friend who has tiny petite daughters (unlike Gigantor Jewel)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Seth Gets to Watch The Lord of the Rings

Adam hates fat Hobbitses:

Seth's major obsession has moved from Lego to Dungeons and Dragons over the last year, so he's had quite a healthy fixation with your fantasy type fiction. It's not exactly something new though, noting that he read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit several years ago.

Being the "mean" parents we are though, we wouldn't let him watch the Lord of the Rings movies until he was "older". Fortunately for Seth, we decided that he was now "older" and could watch the movies during this summer school holidays.

I put on the extended version of the The Fellowship of the Ring on for him (2 DVDs and about 3.5 hours long.) After it finished, I asked him what he thought. His reply "I still have one movie to watch." I enjoyed explaining that that was just ONE film - he still had about 7.5-8 hours of LOTR movies left to watch.

He's finally finished watching them all now, and absolutely loves them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Storm Damage - It Must Be Summer

Adam gets wet:

Despite the Bureau of Meteorology claiming it was going to be a warmer, drier summer than normal, it's been another generally wet summer. That's also meant our share of summer storms have come through.

Back on the 4th Jan we had one of these come through. Here's a radar shot showing the intensity of the rainfall that came through on us.

Our house was damaged in one of these intense rainfalls several years ago. I was checking the guttering during this storm, and once again, the heavy rain has pulled the guttering off the wall. Nowhere near as bad as last time, but still, it'll cost us money to get fixed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sewing Mistakes

Elissa stuffs up......

Some people only see my good results from sewing. I am discouraged as my sewing over these holidays have not worked out as well as expected. I wanted to make myself some tops from some material I bought in Cabramatta a while ago. Neither worked well. Both made me look like I was wearing a sack. One I remodeled and I think it is OK now but Adam and the kids don't really like it.

The second had such a wide neckline that I could not wear it. I instead unpicked the sleeves, added elastic to the neckline, made a sash and Jewel had a new skirt.

I also made a dress for Jayde - cut off the dress Jewel wore for her year 5/6 dance. It didn't really suit Jayde and so we tried it on Jewel and fitted her nicely.

Jewel has scored two new things so far.

Jayde also has a Year 10 formal in September so we have started looking at dresses already. She has found one on line she likes - but too short and no back so I am trying to figure out how to make it. My first idea was a lace lined body suit with a skirt over the top. After two tries yesterday with a lace lined body suit (I cannot find a pattern for one with a high neck with no neck join) I have decided to go back to the drawing board and see if I can make it as a whole dress. Glad this was cheap material from Cabramatta (she will not be wearing red) and that I have started this early for making it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rained Out Baseball and the Batmobile - The Trip Back from FSY Sydney

Adam does a long taxi drive:

It was arranged that I would pick up Jayde from FSY in Sydney (and Kai, one of the YM as well..) The only problem was that it was a 7AM pickup on a Saturday morning. I arranged to get off work early on Friday so I could drive up to Sydney, attend a baseball game on the Friday evening, stay overnight in a cheap hotel, and then pickup the kids on the Saturday morning.

Friday ended up being a very wet day. I got up to Sydney with plenty of time, and after dinner in Liverpool, I made it to Blacktown Baseball Stadium an hour before play was meant to start. There was no rain at the stadium, and I thought, great, the opportunity to get a lot of photos. But when I got in, I found the ground covered by a large, water covered, tarpaulin.

The ground staff were waiting on an approaching storm to pass by before removing the covers. It would then be another 45 minutes before play started. I waited, and the storm came. By 8PM it was still raining, with little chance of play starting by 9PM at the earliest. I still had to drive to my hotel and check-in so decided to give up on the baseball, and headed out to Sydney Olympic Park.

Finding my hotel was an issue - Olympic Park was busy. There was a BBL Twenty20 Cricket match on at one of the stadiums, as well as an outdoor theatre and more. The roads were packed and all of the street parking full. Eventually I found the hotel and checked in. It was now after 9PM, and I contemplated trying to get to the cricket game, but knowing that parking would be an issue and seeing that the game was already half finished, I settled on going to find a deli to get a drink and some nibblies. I managed to find one with lots of American junk food, and stocked up on some of my favourite snacks. Mmmm .... Buffalo sauce blue cheese flavoured cheese curls - drool.

It was an early start the next morning and I got out to get the kids by 7AM. Again, parking was at a premium as the parents of 500 kids all rocked up at the same time to grab their offspring. Found the kids, they said their goodbyes, and then we headed into the CBD - Jayde wanted to checkout Chinatown, and we wanted breakfast.

We went into Darling Harbour to our usual car park to discover the road closed and the car park in the process of being demolished. Ok, now what to do? As I sat there with a map book trying to work out what to do, Jayde took a photo of this funky building under construction nearby.

Eventually I found 4hr street parking in Chinatown. We headed into one of the Asian bakeries for breakfast - which was rather underwhelming in choice and quality. It was only 8:30AM by now, and most stores Jayde wanted to check out didn't open til 10AM, so we went for a wander.

We went near World Square and came across the Wings artwork. Unfortunately, Jayde is still too short to get a decent photo with them, so she had to try and jump to the right height.

The weather was very warm and humid, and I was sweating away. We stopped off at a Mexican store where Kai and I were able to have a better breakfast (churros and nachos respectively) whilst Jayde photographed the surrounding pop culture displays.

We thought we'd go to Kinokuniya bookstore, but it too was shut, so there was a quick jaunt through our regular stores that were open - ABC store in the QVB and Kings Comics to check out geek paraphernalia and collectibles,

We knew before coming up that there was a D&D book in Games Paradise that Seth wanted. It was now near 10AM, the opening time for the store, so we went and waited outside ... and waited, and waited. Eventually the store opened up around 10:25AM. Poor Kai. Whenever he comes to Sydney with us he spends ages having to wait around.

I got Seth's book, and then went looking for Jayde's Asian music store ... and we couldn't find it. (We would discover later that it had shut down.). So, whilst she headed off to another store, Kai and I sat down with a Taiwanese dessert of mango, milk and shaved frozen ice to cool us down.

Afterwards was then the drive back to Canberra, with the only points of note being passed by the 1989 movie version of the Batmobile on the freeway, and lunch at Hungry Jacks that was full of South Korean soccer fans on the way to Canberra for the Asian Cup.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jayde's Memories of FSY Sydney - Part 2

Jayde remembers more ....

Day 4 - Thursday
Today was like Sunday, we had to all wear church clothes for the whole day
At Breakfast with Alana
We had our usual morning routine before we broke up into young mens and young womens classes. That took up our whole morning and we had lunch straight after. After lunch was the Variety show. It was heaps of fun, there were lots of really cool peformances. We then had free time, Dinner and the Musical program. The musical program was nice and afterwards we had split into our companies and had a testimony meeting. It was a really nice night and there was lots of crying, I was handing out lots of tissues and eventually ran out. Then it was back to the dorms for bed.

At Gospel Study
Fun Fact: Mitch let Bec wear these glasses for most of FSY

Left to Right; Bec, Joan, Alana, Me, Georgia and in the front Rita
Day 5 - Friday
Friday had the usual routine, for the morning classes we had a For the Strengtrh of Youth activity followed by Lunch.

For Strength of Youth Activity

Alana, Me, Georgia and Bec
Company 7 Girls!

We then had a service activity. Packing hygiene kits for the homeless and writing letters to missionaries from NSW.

Letters to missionaries
Hygiene packs for the homeless
Letters for Missionaries
Letters to Missionaries
Service Activity
Hygiene Packs
It was then free time and Dinner. During free time we got ready for the dance and at 6:00 we met up with our company and went into the dance. It was really fun and went for about 2 hours before we watched the slideshow which documented our time at FSY. I even managed to get a starring role in the last few seconds. We then broke off in to our companies and had a Taking FSY home discussion and said our goodbyes and took photos. It was then back to the dorms for our last fun.

Canberra Stake Girls at the Dance

Company 7 boys after the dance

Company 7

Day 6 - Saturday

We woke up early and brought down all of our luggage, we then joined up with our comapany, and said our last farewells and took our last group photos. It was then goodbye and I left with my \Dad and Kai. I had a great time over FSY meeting lots of new people and doing really fun activities. I made lots of great friends who I really miss.

Gabriel, Rita and Mitch
Double A's!
Company 7 girls
Our awesome counsellors form Company 7!

Doing our cheer for the last time