Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our nightly visitor

At our back door is a half cut off gum tree that has a bird feeder attached. Just about every night this possum arrives to polish off whatever the birds have left, plus whatever we leave out for her. She has become very approachable, allowing us to hand feed her (carrots, apples etc) although last year I made the mistake of trying to feed her some sunflower seeds out of the palm of my hand. In a frenzied leap to get to these treats, she latched on to my little finger and let me assure you they do have very sharp teeth! I was quite cross at her for a long time, she seemed to have a look in her eye that said "I have tasted blood and I am ready for more".
Anyway she has reappeared with baby on back (or tucked between mum's legs as in the photo) this month. The baby sends the two youngest children into cries of 'he's soooo cute etc' which I guess he is.
If only they would leave my veges and herbs alone....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Welcome Geordie

Congratulations go to Terri, Dixon and big brother Thomas. The newest (for a very short time) English baby arrived last Tuesday. He was a week late, must take after Dixon...
His name is Geordie, pronounced Jordy not Gordy, don't know why they didn't go the whole way and call him Jordan (just kidding Dix). Great name and although I can see that Geordie looks like his father he is still very adorable.
Henry came home and insisted we should get three more babies, both brothers and sisters for him and then he could get a new, bigger bedroom for himself. Tempting as three more children is, I think we may have to settle for the three we have. Sorry Hen, you'll just have to wait until Matt leaves home to get that bigger room.

Happy birthday Fiona

Fiona's birthday is the same day as Henry's, not hard to remember...
The girls (except for Jo this time) went to the Oaks at Yarralumla for afternoon tea on on beautiful February day (love the kids at school). Spencer was the sole child/male (is the child part redundant?) but as he is definitely a favorite amongst Mums he was more than welcome - such a cutie.
As it was Valentines day when we finally gat around to celebrating Fiona's birthday Ros bought us all chockies (thank you). All in all a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Near one site by the lake Looking....
Found it

When we got our new car it came with a GPS unit. Having already investigated geocaching, (explanation - go to website, pick site near, home enter coordinates into GPS unit and go find the cache or box containing little items that kids especially love) last year we thought this would be a good family thing to do on weekends and holidays. This would have been great if we had any idea as to what we were doing.
Our first foray was near Bruce and it was only the clue that allowed us to find our first cache. The next couple were completely unsuccessful. It was when we mentioned our new pastime to one of Matt's friends that we started having some success. We were putting in the wrong coordinates for our unit (doh!). Next trip 2 out of 2 hooray, Henry and Meaghan love it ('going on safari'), I think Matt likes going with his friends more (can't imagine why). Any excuse to get kids outside works for us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Last word about our trip

Geoff has spent many hours going through our numerous photos and pared them done to a 15 min slide show. if interested go to the following (note: the URL is case sensitive)

- For best viewing, maximise your browser before you start (F11 for Explorer and Firefox).
- If your web connection is a reasonable speed, you can see slightly larger pictures by hitting the "View Slideshow" button to the left of the play buttons. (Geoff's instructions)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Henry's 5th birthday

On the 7th of February our little boy turned 5. He was up at 7 (very early for him) and unwrapped his present from Nanny and Poppy first. I suspect we could of stopped there as it was a bag full of army men, tanks, planes, helicopters, just what he wanted. Henry can spend hours setting them up and he always wants to battle against me (lovely...). Henry somehow always ends up with asll the tanks and all the missiles and all the planes - he generously let me have a troop carrying helicopter - very useful.
He wanted home made pizzas for tea and he helped make them - one for him and a super duper one for mum and dad to share - actually quite yummy.
Traditional chocolate cake to follow and now a party to organise (bad mother had yet to do this). All in all a very good day.

Henry starts Big School

anxiously awaiting the class lists
One bunch of very unsure children

Last Monday Henry and his friends started big school (aka Meaghan's school). Henry did not want to go 'until he was 5' (thursday) as this was Henry's idea of when kids started school. After being late (unusual for us I know) we gathered in the hall and waited for a teacher to claim him. Ms Sochaki (pronounced suh -husky apperently) was the lucky teacher and just about all his friends, except Aneesha, were in the same class.
I picked him up at lunchtime and he had loved it. His teacher said he was ready for school and although mornings are definitley not Henry's best time, he still happily goes off. I haven't missed him too badly yet, time flies during the day- not enough hours already.
Meaghan is in her final primary year and has the same teacher as last year without the awful girls that caused some problems last year. All her friends are in the same class so she should have a great year.
Matt is in year 10 (!!) off to France in April and able to get his licence at some stage this year - eep.
No photos of these two at the start of the year - very hard to pin down.
Should be a good year.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Saving the best until last - Angkor Temples

We flew into Siem Reap (Cambodia) on Christmas eve, the airport is brand new and easily the nicest we came across. Works of art, carvings based on the temples and lovely fountains (as well as exceptionally friendly customs staff).
Christmas days was our first day (of three) at the temples - starting with small ones. even they were amazing. Lots of very steep steps and the kids were hot and tired by lunch time. So we went swimming and geoff kept exploring.
On the second day we managed to get a guide, made a great difference to our understanding, of the roles of the Hindu religion and then the Buddist 'take over' of Cambodian religion. The kids were rapt as we started the morning off with an elephant ride, very unsteady but good fun. There are fabulously intact carvings (all these temples date to around 1000 years old) which managed to escape the destruction of Pol Pot. Nations from around the world, especially those that had looted these sites are currently restoring many of the temples. The large heads are called Banyon heads and face in each direction.
The highlight for us was the temples where Tomb Raider was filmed, a place called Ta Prohm. Not because they filmed there but the temples were covered in these enormous cottonwood trees, very shady, very peaceful and not too many tourists there, (unfortunatly also very destructive and are slowly being removed).
We saved the largest and best known Temple, Angkor Wat, until our final afternoon. We had seen many photos, but the size was a shock to us. It covers such a large area, and the central towers (which were closed to visitors) are enormous. Around the central building is carved an intricate bas relief scene that covers many myths as well as some historic scenes. We only saw less than a quarter of this, too much to take in one sitting.
Henry loved the temples as there was plently of room to run and jump, the other kids were suitably impressed with other aspects (no so much with the myriad of people selling stuff outside the temples).
If you get a chance to go there, grab it (although not in summer, I can't even begin to imagine the heat and humidity then). A wonderful place.