On the move

June 14, 2011

I may have to type fast before I loose my seat! Once again our life is currently getting packed into boxes! But unlike the previous 4 times, it  is not to move 10km, this time we are heading back to Brisbane.

It has been a hectic few months, the Brisbane job has been on the cards for a few months and involved phone interviews etc. Then we hit a stumbling block in that before they could make a formal offer Clint needed to have a medical, of course he was unable to find a place to do that here. Luckily the new company (BMA) said they would wait and thus while Clint was back in Australia for Ironman he was able to do it. Although with his dodgy hearing it took another couple of weeks and a visit to an ENT guy back here before we got the written offer. Finally after months of knowing we were able to tell and shock all our friends here who thought they would all be first to leave! And hopefully excite all our friends and family back home whom we have missed!

It’s a big move for Clint after 17 years with Thiess- they have been so good to him but he is ready for a change and new challenges. He is really excited about the new job which involves remediation after mining (or something like that- on the plus side I no longer have to visit rubbish tips- I mean Renewable Energy And Waste Management Facilities). It also means spending some time up North, which is where most of his family is based so that is also great… booking his room in now Linda 🙂

 

I should put some photos up from the last month and if I have time I will but for now…

Sunday was Lachie’s (and my) birthday. Although recovering from jet lag (either that or feeling my age), the kids went to school and I had a lovely lunch with a dozen fabulous ladies whom I will miss very much! In the afternoon Lachie had a party at our pool with the compound kids. Nice and easy with pizzas ordered and Clint made a football cake- he excelled himself again getting the 3D football shape! Having watched all the kids grow up together for 3 years they are like cousins and we will miss our compound family, although my liver wont!! We spent the previous week in London (hence the jet lag) with Fi and Steve, It was fantastic- so fun to take the kids to all the places they have learnt about at school and seen in their home readers. They both had a ball, and got lots of time with Fi and Steve who kindly vacated their bedroom for al of us while they slept in the lounge. We will miss all the travel we have been able to do whilst we have been living here.

The packers will spend the next 3 days packing, we then plan to ‘camp’ in our villa (air con and bathrooms- my kind of camping) for a week or so before moving into a self-contained apartment for the last few days while we get power and water clearances and collect deposits etc. The lovely Marie is moving to a friend of ours, which is great as I know she will be well looked after. We will miss her too- not just all the things she does! the kids have 2 and a half weeks of school left, they are still unsure about the move. They want to go back to Australia but will miss here and were not happy when I said we will probably not be visiting! At school they are currently getting ready to move up to the next grade which doesn’t help as they are both not happy about having to go back into grades they have already finished but that life!

We fly out on the 1st (by then I am going to be in serious need of detox from farewell drinks) and will spend a couple of nights in Singapore before arriving in Brisbane. We will stay with Mum and Dad till our stuff arrives then not sure where we will be. The tenants have a lease until January so unless we can manage to negotiate them out early (we are trying) we will rent somewhere for 5 months before we move back into our house. The kids will have time off school as they have just done a whole year, until our stuff arrives mid August, by them I will (in theory) have chosen a school and off they will go!

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Easter and beyond!

May 12, 2011

I have just realized Charlotte’s birthday was the last post, so will now have to test my memory as to what we have been up to recently!

The school held its first annual spring ball on Good Friday, raising money for Cancer reasearch. It was a great night and fun to get all dressed up and go dancing. Being only a week out from Ironman Clint was not drinking and thus did well to stay awake till the early hours of the morning!

Spring Ball

The morning after the ball we took the kids on a much promised trip to Ferrari World. It was a fun day out but to be honest not something I would go back to, nice to tick it off the list though. The kids enjoyed themselves although Charlotte was a little short for some of the rides. Ferrari World

Lachs loved all the race cars

Kids amusing themselves while I lined up for tickets!

La's favorite thing- having balloon butterfly wings made for her 🙂

3D glasses for a 4D ride

Cheeky driver

They may have the world's fastest roller-coaster but this has got to be the world's slowest ride!!

Lachs on the starting grid

Lachs driving round the track

Drivers ed training- probably more intense than they give you to go on the actual roads here

La

Lachie driving like a local- turning from the wrong lane causing an accident

Easter was a bit of a non event here. Of course the Easter bunny paid a visit but after a quick egg hunt it was off to school and Clint also flew out to Australia that morning. The Easter bunny cleverly decided to bring the kids only big eggs which stops me eating one every time I open the fridge!

La still half asleep, Lachs already on the hunt

Yum

Clint flew back to Australia for 2 weeks to race the Ironman in Port Macquarie with a group of mates from his old tri club. he had a great race and despite the crazy winds on the bike managed to cut 20mins off his personal best time coming in at 10hrs 48mins. It was very weird to watch him on-line rather than be there, I got up at midnight for the start of the swim and dozed off during part of the bike. Checked on him as the kids got ready for school and then they put it on for me at the gym so I could keep up with his progress. Times it perfectly to be home watching the live stream as he crossed the finishing line… the only question now is where will the next race be!

Each term the school holds an open morning where you can go in and see the school in action. It’s nice to be able to wander through the classrooms and see them in action. the technology and the way it is used at the school constantly amazes me.

Waiting for the day to start

Lachie- writing on whiteboards playing a literacy game against the interactive board.

La- swimming lesson

Hmm my daughter and friends amusing themselves totally ignoring the swimming teacher.

And again distracting others

my busy little man

apparently it is still Spring, however I beg to differ, yesterday when I went to pick Charlotte up from school the car temperature was reading 50 degrees. The kids are in the pool every afternoon which tires them out quite nicely. We took advantage of the weather and headed with all our neighbors to a beach bbq at one of the local hotels.

Kailey and La

The 'big' compound kids

the 3 ratbag five year olds, who cause more trouble then the other 13 kids put together

Claire and Charlotte

Reminds me of a scene from Lord of the Flies. Ethan (10) leading the soon to be 7 years olds

Tanya, Sue, Haley and I

The boys amusing themselves

Lachie has loved playing rugby union this year and was devastated to find out that not only was the season was nearly over, but that Clint would miss the last training session and the end of year gathering due to his trip to Oz. Lachs has grown so much playing this season and it has been great watching his skills develop. he didn’t win the award but was one of the 4 nominated for most improved. He is already looking forward to the next season.

Under 7's

Clint arrived home in the early hours of mother’s day. The kids were both very excited to see him, it has been a long time since he has traveled for that long without us! although I think half of Charlotte’s excitement came from knowing Mama and Papa had sent presents back with him. It was also the day of Charlotte’s school play, so after a lovely morning of brunch at the Shangri-La hotel with lots of other Aussie/American and Kiwi Mums I met Clint at school for FS2 performance of Goldilocks and the 3 bears. It was very cute- quite an effort to have 125 five years olds performing at the one time.

My little star

Mid performance

Claire and Charlotte

Fingers crossed there will be a new post soon with lots of exciting news!!


5 years old!!!

April 18, 2011

It’s hard to believe that my “baby” is 5! She certainly makes our lives interesting; on one hand she loves to entertain, make people laugh and has the most amazing memory and imagination. She loves to cuddle and is apparently going to live with Mummy forever. However we also have the other side of her personality-  a drama queen with dramatic crying on cue who is not phased by any punishment, still unbelievably stubborn and determined and is very ‘street smart’, although the ‘street smart’ aspect keeps her teachers amused and they enjoy telling me daily of her latest exploits and comments in class.

It was back to school yesterday for the first day of final (3rd) term, getting out of bed wasn’t a problem as she knew she had to be ready for school before opening her presents (got to love bribery).

Present opening before school

Loving her new shoes

One happy girl

Opening her present from Lachie

She had a great day at school, one of the boys in her class had his birthday the day before so they spent the last 15mins of school playing party games for La and Simon. After school she had ballet where her new shoes were a hit with all the girls! Then last night we had dinner at home; Fajita’s followed by chocolate chip waffles and ice-cream was the birthday request. Before opening the rest of her presents.

While we were singing happy birthday

The facial expression I seem to see a lot!

Make a wish

Looks like she is inhaling the smoke!

Time for more presents

Hurry up and take the photo

Clint told her to pose and this is what she did 🙂


Charlotte’s party

April 15, 2011

I’m not sure what I was thinking to have Charlotte’s party less than 20 hours after we flew back in from Cyprus! Her birthday is Sunday, which will be the first day back of term so I did want to do it over the holidays. It did mean that Clint only had a few hours to whip the cake up, I baked it and froze it before we left (thanks for the tip Liz). Clint wasn’t as happy with it as he has been with past cakes but for 9pm the night before then finishing off at 6m before work the next day I think it is a great effort.

Its been all about fairies ever since mama gave Charlotte her first "Rainbow Magic" fairy books for Xmas She is addicted to the chapter books and fairies!

Being unsure about the weather (last year it was over 40 degrees on her birthday) I wanted an inside venue, that along with her love of all things chocolate lead me to the Chocolate gallery at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.

The venue

Although some of her friends were still traveling, she had 6 guests plus Lachie and herself and had an absolute ball. After opening her presents they decorated cookies with lots of icing and other chocolate goodies.

Staff setting up for cookie decorating

Waiting to start- the crossed legs of my "little lady" (arent looks deceiving)!

Stephanie, Charlotte and Claire- 3 little ladies

Hard at work

Lots of icing

Busy girls

Leenah (on the end) could get a job here!

Lots of fun

Dont they look delicious! Once the kids were done the cookies were boxed up for them to take home. here are Lalas masterpieces.

While waiting for the next activity, La’s showed how much she takes after Aunty Fi having a very in-depth conversation with her friend about SHOES!

Shoes, shoes, shoes

The conversation continues...

After cookies it was out for party games

running off the sugar

My birthday Princess xxxx

Then it was time for food. They had pizza’s followed by chocolate fondue for dessert.

They were delicious pizzas too

Chocolate fondue

Clean to start with

Chocolate monster

After filling up on chocolate, it was time for a chocolate hunt and more party games

Chocolate Hunt

Not the dress to do a sack (Egyptian cotton pillow case) race in!

Finally time for cake

Las shy face as the staff stared singing happy birthday and bringing out her cake

Birthday wishes

That massive basket next to the cake was a present for Las from the Gallery staff. It was full of chocolate- a ridiculous amount!

Cutting the cake

Having filled the kids with lots of sugar, they all headed home with their iced cookies and lots of chocolate and some prizes from the Gallery. Then it was off to rugby for Clint and Lachs and home for a bath and bed for Charlotte. Only 2 days till she turns 5, will post then!


Cyprus

April 14, 2011

We have just returned from 5 nights in Cyprus, it was the first time Clint and I had been and we had a fabulous time together with the kids. We stayed in an apartment in the little village of Peiga overlooking Coral Bay and not far from Phaphos.

View from the balcony

We spent a morning exploring the Tombs of the Kings. No actual royalty was ever buried there, the name comes from the grandeur of the tombs, it is amazing to me that you can wander around and climb through all the tombs with little restrictions (also amazing to have them bordered by a main road, hotel, ocean and a KFC). It seems there is little being done to save them for future generations, I think they figure they have been around for thousands of years so they are not going anywhere. That said, they are absolutely amazing and were the highlight of the holiday for both Lachie and Charlotte.

The area was covered in wild flowers and hidden tombs that are yet to be excavated

Kids loved climbing and exploring

Down into another tomb

The kids and me

Lots of tunnels in all directions

La in a burial chamber

The kids were unstoppable up and down all the stairs

This was my favourite tomb, its amazing to think they built these without all the modern-day gadgets and can get perfectly even walls

This is the latest tomb to be restored

Off they go again

Bordered by the sea on one side- amazing scenery

Lach and La again

Hanging out in a burial chamber

There are so many archeological sites around Cyprus, we only explored a couple and although the tombs were the definite favourite; Kourin archeological reserve was great as well. In recent years they have built shelters and viewing platforms around the site so you can not walk all over them anymore. The kids were disappointed not being able to run through the columns and buildings but I was glad they are being looked after! They were able to climb through the amphitheatre though!

At the amphitheatre

While lots of British seem to retire and holiday in Cyprus for the weather and the beaches, I have to say the beaches did nothing for me. Lachie and Charlotte enjoyed throwing rocks in the water and it was too cold to swim anyway.

We are far too spoilt in Australia to call this a beach!!!

According to the guide books the ‘Baths of Aphrodite” are a must see, while the walk through the botanic garden to see them was scenic, the baths themselves was fairly uninspiring in my humble opinion. Legend has it that if you dip your hand in the water, the next person of the opposite sex to do so will fall madly in lust with you forever, not sure who was after me but judging by the tour group heading in as we left I don’t think I’ll be abandoning Clint anytime soon!

At the baths

The cave on the side was more interesting for the kids

Lachie is still loving the Rugby, he would carry his ball everywhere if I let him! Every spare moment he wants Clint to take him to the park to play, he even scored his first try’s the week before our trip.

Rugby with Dad at Latchi beach

In the middle of Cyprus is the Trodus mountains, we had been told of the scenic drive and cute little villages so we headed up one day. Unless you were there to hike the town of Trodus itself was disappointing but some of the other towns more then made up for it.

At the top (well as close as I was going to let them get)

Homus for lunch! Charlotte was in heaven with the food- homus, olives and feta being 3 of her favourite things

Wandering the markets of Omodos

Lachie loves his sport and was very excited to discover a mini-golf course in Coral Bay, it is actually one thing they don’t have in the U.A.E.

My little garden gnome waiting her turn

A hole in one on this hole- very pleased with himself 🙂

We had seen pictures of this area but actually came across them by accident while driving through Phaphos looking for something else.

Built in the 13th century, the church in the background is still used. The rest of the site is now cordoned off, there are plans to excavate the site.

Another angle

Lachs having a quiet moment

We also took the kids to the city of Nicosia, or Lefkosia as it is called by the locals. It is the only capital city in the world still divided with Greek Cyprus (where we were) on one side and the Turkish occupied Cyprus (since the war in 1974) on the other. as it is still a ‘functioning wall’ with crossings patrolled by the UN you can not take photos. You are able to cross over to the other side but we didn’t have time so just walked to the crossing and looked.

Lunchtime

It was a great holiday despite a few hic-ups; they turned the villages water off for 24 hours and we managed to lock ourselves out- hopefully the first and the last time we do that on holidays! As with every holiday, Lachie didn’t want to come home and is now going to live in Cyprus when he is an adult (until now it has been Germany). Charlotte also didn’t want to leave till we reminded her it was her birthday party the day after we got home- which was today, photos soon!!


Holidays

April 5, 2011

This week the children are on holidays again- 2 school terms down, 1 to go!

In the last week of school both the kids had special days at school. To culminate their topic of “Once Upon a TIme” all 5 year 2 classes did the play of “CInderella and The Hot Air Balloon”. Lachie was a frog who gets turned into the band for the party at Cinderella’s house.

My Frog- yes I had to make the costume!

6 little frogs

Lachie's class singing

The frog band- Cinderella dancing on stage

125+ kids do the Macarena- mostly in time!

Lachie and Princess Hamda as frogs

Lachs and some of the girls in his class

Lachie and his 2 best mates at school

Charlotte’s topic for the second half of the term was ‘expeditions’ and to culminate they had an exploration day. She had such a great day searching for hidden animals in slime and tunnels, hunting for treasure in sand, finding hidden clues around the school to make sentences e.t.c

 

ready to go

 

Charlotte and Lucy

 

Alex, Hannah, La and Lexi

 

Waiting for school to start

We are having this week at home, the kids are enjoying playing and being able to hang around, Charlotte has braved the pool but it is still a little cool for Lachs.  Marie (our lovely maid) is also on holidays and has gone home to the Philippines for 2 weeks- so of course we have had sand storms every day giving me lots of practice at cleaning again 🙂 We are heading to Cyprus on Friday for 5 nights and am looking forward to it… next entry should have photos from there!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ballet- Spring term

March 28, 2011

Waiting for the class to start

Charlotte is still enjoying her weekly ballet lesson, normally the parents sit outside but at the end of each trimester we get to watch. It really is very cute at this age watching a sea of pink twirl around doing their ballet exercises.

Friends

A very pink circle

A spinning circle of giggles- the girls loved this

Waiting her turn to take the floor

La's and Miss Helen

My ballerina

Ribbons