Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas already?

Well, we'd been in the house a grand total of three weeks when we had (early) Christmas dinner here. I know, we're totally crazy but it seemed like a good idea at the time and it went very well considering the number of boxes still lying around and the noticeable lack of air conditioning.

Apart from some mad rummaging through boxes at the last minute to find the right amount of crockery and cutlery, it was a good evening. Mark, Bec and the kids made the hour long trek from their place in south Geraldton (It's really Ellenbrook but it's sooo far away, we have dubbed it south Geraldton); Clare and Richard made their own 45 minute trek from East Vic Park and the Mums came from a little bit closer (only 28km or so). 

We set up three tables in the dining/family rooms and covered with them with the good old faithful (still unhemmed) pieces of green fabric I bought to make pelmets at least two houses ago.

Despite most of the decorations not having been put up this year (couldn't find them!), I made an effort to make the table look a bit festive by putting some battery operated Christmas lights into some big glass vases I've had for years (still trying to work out why I keep them as I never hardly ever get flowers and certainly not bunches big enough to fill these vases).  I then came to the conclusion that they would probably look much better in a much darker room. Oh well, I thought they were pretty and, realistically, that's all that matters .. right?

Mark on the flying fox
After dinner my Mum, ever the motivator, had us all up and out for a walk around the neighbourhood. We headed for the main park as it has some play equipment. I think the adults had more fun playing on the flying fox and 'wobbly plank' than the kids did!  

Clare needing a helping hand
We headed back to the house for some dessert and then Alex brought out the gingerbread house he made in cooking class at school. He had been saving it for when everyone was together so we all had a taste. It was a little bit stale from having sat wrapped in cellophane for over a week but still tasted very good ... to me anyway! Soon after we broke off the first few pieces, Alex and Mark had a bit of a carving contest.

It ended up looking like something you'd find in serial killer's planning room ... knives stuck in everywhere!

All in all, we had a great evening surrounded by family and laughter ... what more could you ask for?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

So proud! (and yet still annoyed!!)

First things first: We're very proud of Alex for receiving an award for the highest mark in Mathematics 2C/2D for the whole school! Good on you son!

(That's his hurry-up-and-take-the-picture-already-cos-you're-embarrassing-me face otherwise known as his I-AM-smiling face! We only just made it to the ceremony in time so I suppose I'm lucky I got the picture at all!)

The boys' school has two Praise and Thanksgiving ceremonies at the end of the year; one for primary during the morning and one in the evening for the secondary students. The students have to wear full winter uniform (including their wool blazers) so not many students are keen to go as it means that they will

  1. have to get dressed in their uniform again

  2. have to go back to school after the end of the last day of school

  3. be hot in their uniforms in the un-airconditioned gym

  4. have to sit still and behave while some 'old people' drone on up at the front ("It's just like being in class and school's finished for the year ... whinge whine")

Bearing all this in mind, I had decided it wasn't worth the battle, once I got home from a hot day's work, of getting them all fed, showered and dressed in their uniforms and back to school, especially as they hadn't even been to school that day due to issues with getting them there from the new house. (I figured it wouldn't hurt to miss the last day as they would only have been cleaning anyway!)

I had planned on a nice quiet evening and all was going well until we had a knock on the door at 4:45pm. It was the postie with a big stack of mail, re-directed from the old house and post office box. Being slightly pre-occupied with other things, I left the stack of mail for an hour before having a quick look through it all.

Amongst the letters from the real estate agents and the bills, was a letter from the school dated two weeks prior informing us that Alex was going to be receiving an award at Secondary Praise and Thanksgiving and to please RSVP by one week prior to enable the school to plan the awards ceremonies. If he was planning on attending, he needed to be there by 6pm (it was now 5:50pm!) in full winter uniform.

After a hurried discussion with Alex, who decided that he would like to go, and his brothers, who decided they were quite comfortable in their pyjamas and didn't want to get dressed and go, he and I jumped in the car and broke some land speed records to get him there (close to) on time. Turned out that I could have taken my time (or at least another ten minutes) as he didn't really need to be there until 6:30pm and that the RSVP wasn't really necessary (thank goodness!)

Long story short, (I know .. too late!) we made it in time, I got to see him get his award, have a couple of free biscuits and then we got in the car and came home for a well deserved rest.

Well done Alex!

Not so well done Australia Post mail re-direction!