13 December 2008

Alvan's boys..

Last night we had our Ward Christmas Party. Alvan is the Faith in God leader for the boys, he has 20 regular attendees. Last night they sang for the ward a song Alvan and his assistant Dean have been teaching them for about a month now. Unfortunately, not all boys were able to be there, but it was still great. P.S. the boy in the bright blue shirt at the front is one of my nephew's Riley, I'm bragging :) Enjoy video

2 December 2008

Smiley night sky

Last night we were treated to a special phenomenon ... Venus, Jupiter and the moon aligned to create a smiley face, pretty cool huh?
The smaller eye is venus, the big one Jupiter and the mouth is the moon.
Another shot just in case this one looks better in close up
And a final one with our street lamp in the bottom corner, and if you look hard enough a plane gong across the sky in the top right corner!!

Thanksgiving 2008

On Sunday 30th November, we had the family over to enjoy our traditional Thanksgiving dinner together....On our newly finished patio!! It was wonderful, 20 people and still heaps of room...the breezes were wonderful and the space is amazing. The company was great too! Here are some of the pics from the night:
Nan & Freyr...he loves me!!
Yustan reading...take a peek at our great view
Rick & his brother Jesse
My girls!! L to R: Whitney, Jaime, Elly & Tara
Funny Faces
Freyr enjoys Perrin's remote control car going between his legs.

23 November 2008

We almost have a complete patio

Yesterday we made some definite progress! Our patio roof was almost complete, until it was discovered that two of the roof panels were damaged during delivery. So we have to wait for another 2 weeks until the supplier can replace the faulty panels, then they will go up followed by all the guttering. So close.. and yet so far!!
The boys are putting up the receiver channel (after the trusses in the roof were reinforced)
Drilling in the receiver channel... Supervising the drilling in of the receiver channel!! A good lengthways shot, shows the green guttering and the black posts.
The posts and beams are up!
Now adding the roof..
The boys are Ammon Taleni and Brent Whittaker (Nathan will remember him as Brent Little)
Enjoying the shady view
Now all we need is furniture to sit on!!
Isn't it lovely? Once the roof is finished, we have to start saving again so we can tile it and then screen it... giving us a lovely indoor/outdoor living area.

End of an Era!?!

Last week I was released as the Ward Choir director and a Relief Society teacher and called as a Primary teacher. Although I have served in Primary and Young Women's at different times, I have served in Relief Society more than any other auxiliary a total of 15 of the last 25 years. I dearly love the Relief Society programs and the sisters I've been privileged to work with. I will miss it so much...very selfish I know. I gave my final lesson last week just after I was sustained to my new calling. I know in a few short months I'll be thoroughly in love with Primary again, but in the meantime, I need all the prayers I can get. Today I gave my first lesson in Primary, I'm teaching a combined class of 3,4 & 5 year olds. It's going to be an interesting and challenging class, but I'm grateful I can already see the sweet spirits, even in the more "boisterous"children. Afterwards I was set apart... it was the most amazing blessing. I'm so grateful for such a loving Heavenly Father, and for his comforting words. I think I'm going to be alright!! P.S. I've been asked to continue on with the Ward Choir on "assignment" until further notice... lucky Christmas is just around the corner.

15 October 2008

Time together and with family

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: For our 25th Anniversary, Alvan and I headed down the Gold Coast for 4 nights. Alvan picked me up from work on Wednesday afternoon and we headed straight to Conrads Jupiters for Wednesday and Thursday night. Just time for ourselves, it was lovely...they had chilled wine and strawberries waiting for us in our room when we checked in. It was a wonderful room... a corner suite with a kingsize bed and beautiful views from our balcony. We saw the "Merchants of Bollywood" show, and enjoyed buffet breakfast both mornings and enjoyed late night hot chocolates and cake both nights. We even checked out the gym, as well as walked alot...but I think we overindulged a little too much....still you only celebrate a silver anniversary once right?
This is the surprise management had waiting for us
These pictures don't do the view justice of course. Although there was construction between us and the beach we could still see the beach easily, and it was beautiful. These of course are photos from daytime, it looked completely different at night too FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Alvan and I headed back home to pick up Whitney after school, and headed to our second destination. Reflection tower two at Coolangatta was our destination. It's a new apartment building that was only opened earlier this year. We stayed on the 18th floor in a 2 bedroom apartment. It had spectacular views. Elly and Tara's family joined us on Saturday, (Jaime ended up too sick to visit, we missed her). We had a wonderful time again, sharing this special anniversary with family was just right...we missed Nathan and his family. But couldn't help check out possible places to stay next Christmas when they visit! We tried a new topping on pizza...prawns and banana, yummy!! We strolled on and near the beach, and through some markets too.
Whitney's the king of the world!
This was the view from our living room
And this is the view from our bedroom
This was our bedroom, the bath was very deep, there was a pop up tv in the foot of the bed as well another one mounted on the wall..Alvan loved that!
Whitney's bedroom Freyr's angel face...he's playing with CeNedra's phone, but butter wouldn't melt in his mouth! Enjoying a leisurely walk along the broadwalk of Cooloongatta beach. This was a very special time, with lots of memories to enjoy for years to come. Happy 25th Anniversary Alvan, I love you.

Silver Anniversary!

This is the amazing ring Alvan got me for our silver anninversary. It was a complete surprise!! Isn't it gorgeous? I'm still in shock...and my knees still get weak when I show it to others. I absolutely love it!! Thanks honey...mwah.

Whitney the cockroach slayer!

Whitney spent last Wednesday and Thursday nights home by herself while Alvan and I took some time away together to celebrate our anniversary. Thursday night was quite the night!! Poor Whitney was traumatised by "the giant cockroach". She had to summon all her courage and finally after it following her all around the house, she killed it with one vicious blow from her pencil case. I know it's not funny....but you've got to smile. I think she became a woman....all hail Whitney, the cockroach slayer. If she can face that fear, she can do anything!!!
This is how I found her pencil case when we got home....she couldn't bring herself to move it.
This is what I found underneath...ewww.

27 September 2008

A chippie off the old block

Last month, when Tara's family came for our regularly monthly saturday morning breakfast, Yustan came prepared to putty up our cracked ceiling. (This "crack" occurred when our insulation was laid in the roof...but that's another story..one that always makes us smile!). Anyway, Yustan is a builder by trade, and it looks like Freyr may want to take after his daddy.. here are the pics to show why.
I know, I know...he's sooo cute right?

Patio update

We have been making progress... our new concrete patio has been laid, and we are currently getting final quotes for the roof. Actually it was finished about 3 weeks ago, we have enjoyed several breakfasts out there already.We hope construction of the roof will be completed by the end of October, fingers crossed council approval will not take too long.
This is the yard all levelled ready for the slab to go down, but we had to add about 60 inches of height to the ground first.
The slab is boxed out, and gravel added for foundation and height
The "Reo" (reinforcing wire thingy) is in place ready for the concrete to be poured
The truck arrives and the pump is put in place (over the top of the garage)
pouring begins
levelling as they go
our fresh new patio slab is in place
I'm pretty sure you could land a small aircraft on it
Whitney tries it out

26 September 2008

Whitney's licence...

Just a few short weeks after coming home, Whitney got her learners licence. She got the book, and studied alot, took lots of practice tests online. And nagged us to take her to get it. She passed with flying colours!! Clever girl. Now she has to wait until she's 17 for her actual driving licence, but in the meantime she'll have fun racking up her 100 hours prerequisite driving!!!

Hong Kong lights

I've got a lot of catching up to do. Our second to final night in Hong Kong was spent celebrating Whitney's 16th Birthday at a wonderful restaurant called R66. A revolving restaurant that takes 66 minutes to go around once. We all enjoyed a fantastic buffet with every kind of food available, the biggest hit of the night was the chocolate fountain...mmmm! They even had the entertainment come to our table and sing happy birthday to Whitney. A wonderful night for everyone. Our final night saw us on the harbour on our way to the airport, we had to see the famous Hong Kong light show. As usual the photos don't do it justice, it was spectacular!
The round thing on the top of building in background is the revolving restaurant we went to for Whitney's 16th birthday the night before.
See the criss-cross on the middle building? That was constantly changing, as were all the colours on all the different buildings.
Looking back from our ferry to the Hong Kong harbour light show

4 August 2008

Ocean Park

Monday 28th was the hottest and most polluted day while we were in Hong Kong; it is also the day we spent at Ocean Park. A great family park, we went on a balloon ride, a sky star (chairlift) ride, walked down three levels of an indoor aquarium (atoll reef) to discover the different sealife that lives at different levels, watched an acrobatic performance by some of Hong Kong's youth, and saw some real life pandas....they were soooo cute!!! After lunch, Carolyn and I headed home to leave the husbands and the kids enjoy the rides...that's when Alvan took the Kung fu photos!!
And the winner is ...
Gotta love a panda eating bamboo
And a cute sitting panda..
And a cute girl with a panda hat!!
Whitney & Rachel at entrance of the park
Action shot
Another action shot...
Rules you don't see until you're too close to the ride to pull out!!
look at all those gondolas
look at the panda pavillion
here we go...up, up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon
look at all those stairs
Kung Fu David
Kung Fu Alvan