Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Time Down Under!

Oddly, there's no days off school or work on the fourth Thursday of November in Australia. ;-) To adjust w/ the lack of official holiday, we decided to create a new fourth-Thursday tradition... meat pies! (or actually, pie of your choice) Here's the family enjoying their yummy pies and drinks brought from home. mmm....


And then, on to the turkey...

Despite the fact that the high for the day was in the 80's, I just had to cook a turkey for our first Thanksgiving in Oz... with all the trimmings. Looking back, that might not have been the brightest idea, but it did make for a memorable day! Thankfully, I was able to find oven bags, just not jumbo turkey sized ones. So a couple adjustments had to be made. But I was able to find some important elements like jellied cranberry sauce and close-enough spinich dip ingredients.

Shawn and Darian took apart the kitchen table to set up a grand dining area in the back room. It felt just like a Sunday dinner at Grams. :-)

Cooking in the kitchen... veggies ready to roast, two crock pots cooking, stuffing and cheesy green beans on the stove... all looking good... but why do I need a flash light??? hmm...

Passing or gathering food....

One end of the kids' table! The kids outnumbered the adults. I'm so thankful that Darian and Brenna had friend that were willing and able to come join us in sharing a bit of our culture. One of D's friends asked how often we did Thanksgiving.

The whole gang... all Aussies except us. And I think it's the first time I've worn a skirt. I'm sure it's the first time I've been so warm.

Brenna and her friends chillin' after dinner... and enjoying a healthy dessert.

Darian and his friends checkin' out some videos on uTube. Ya do what you can when there's no football on. ;-)
And time to play outside... all the kids together. It was a great moment to see!
A tasty end to a great day! The desserts were a hit. Even though pumpkin is ususally cooked as a 'savory' or side dish here (roasted or as a soup), several of our friends tried the pumpkin pie and a few even liked it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Flashback...

flashing way back....

June, 1991
my cousin Jill, me, and my little sis Jane
after my high school graduation ceremony
oh, how i loved that dress!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thrusday

I love holidays! Especially those that bring people together! which means, I really love the American holiday of Thanksgiving! While it's great to remember our roots and the thankfulness of survival, harvest, and the beginning of a country, I love the time with people!

I started cooking the Thanksgiving turkey the first year I was married. (but we didn't eat it together... though that's another story). And have taking over the holiday since then, and gladly. I love having family and friends over, eating together and making memories. Our thanksgivings have been shared w/ friends from Korea and England, planned visitors as well as surprise guests. And it all fills me w/ many warm fuzzies.

I'm sad to be away from all my traditions this year, but thankful for all the memories of the past, all the good times and blessings. And some of me is excited to begin new traditions while cherishing the past.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thrusday

Besides being thankful today, that although I missed Thurs. in Australia, it's still Thursday in the states, of course!
This week I've been thankful for the courage, resiliance, togetherness, and support that my children have shown.

Despite being unable to participate in Surf Life Saving Club and being quite discouraged last week because of an inadequate swim time, Darian has gone to the pool every day this week to improve his swimming (to the best that I can help him) for this week's timed swim. He has not given up or backed down. I am impressed.

Brenna has gone along to the pool and encouraged her brother with his swimming.

This week, Brenna has been nominated to run for school principal (like school president, i think) for next year. She has spent her evenings working on "Vote for Brenna" posters. For being new to the school, that's wonderful! Yesterday, Darian started helping make posters. :-)

May God allow them to continue to be courageous, resiliant, and supportive as He leads them through the paths of life.

These pics are just for fun... 'cuz everyone loves to play in the rain!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a little catch-up

I don't have a very good track record at keeping this updated. Once again, I'll try to do better. (for anyone who might check here now and again, not sure who that might be)

Since my last post...
  • *I had my first-ever suprise party!! I was so surprised, i forgot to take any pics. But it was fabulous. Shawn arranged it and i didn't have a clue. Well done, love!

  • The very next week, Darian was in the hospital unable to eat with a tube down his nose draining his stomach, and awaiting to hear if surgery was needed. Thankfully, his intestines fixed themselves and he was out within a week.

  • As a team, we participated in the Wollongong Relay for Life. Thanks to Shawn for organizing a team and Del for joining us for the event!

  • We experienced our first ever dust storm! Darian woke up to a red/orange sky. It was quite eerie. And dust covered every surface of everything. eek!

  • We enjoyed several visitors from around the state, as well as a few from the US. So glad to see so many loved faces and new friends.

  • We've had some wonderful dinners and gatherings with some dear Aussie friends, both in homes and at community events. They're so dear to me and are always there to offer a friendly explanation. :-)

  • The kids have joined a surf life saving club where they can learn about safety in the ocean and develop water skills and friendships.

  • We've welcomed a new team member, Noah Kai Whaley.

  • We're getting to know our neighbors and people around the communtity (schools, shops, clubs).

  • And we've been granted our visa! We feel like we've been waiting a long time for it. So, now I'm focused on finding a job.

Whew! now you're all caught up (though, i'm sure i've forgotten something). Hope it won't be so long next time. ;-) Maybe you can hear some of my thoughts and insights (or ponderings) soon.