December 11, 2012

Sydney Easter Trip April 2010

So last year Easter we all piled in Lani and Cameron's car and headed on a 12 hour road trip to Sydney to visit Chad and Felicity. We love spending time with them and have begged them for years to move up to Brisbane so we could see them more often. And more than a year and a half later, that dream is coming true. After tough competition, Chad was offered an AFP (Australia FBI) position to work up here. We are soooo ecstatic and can't wait to have more time with them!!! But back to 2011 Easter, the next few posts will be from our trip there.

Felicity is super mom who never fails to inspire me. (Click HERE for a link to her blog.) She has organized a daily family spiritual devotional for her children. They read scriptures, and sing and memorize articles of faith and discuss gospel principals. I've since adopted this practice and have been so pleased with the results. It has been so great to see my children, even though young, getting to know the scriptures and the concepts of the gospel that they understand and that will be the foundation of their testimonies. I would recommend it to all parents. It's never too late and kids are never too young to start. Even if it's with small babies, it's getting ourselves into the habit and setting that foundation for our children. By the time they're old enough to be aware of what you're teaching them then they will have developed that routine for themselves and will have a medium to learn values and Christian teachings.


Felicity also has a lot of activities that she planned out for her kids to help them bring the spirit of Easter into their home. We started out taking a trip to the Temple and having a Family Home Evening there.

Lani and Cameron were great to survive such a long road trip traveling with our 15 month old darling and me, who was only 3 weeks away from having a baby.

It was a lovely start to a great Easter weekend. Before I leave this post let me put in a few blooper shots of my boys who could barely manage to keep their eyes open for the photos, and my little niece Lilly who even at a young age was practicing to become a model. Isn't that pose adorable?

September 27, 2012

Happy Pre-Easter!

We had an early Easter Party @ Mike and Shelly's house - our wonderful Uncle and Aunt. Mikey and Joshy hid chocolate easter eggs for Jaren though he did need a little help finding them all. :) He didn't quite get the concept as you can see from below where Josh put one right in front of him. But that also maybe has to do with the fact that we don't let Jaren eat chocolate yet and I don't think he really knew what it was.


We love seeing them and were excited to have a chance to bond. Happy pre-Easter 2011!


September 24, 2012

Tidbits of April 2011


Now that I don't print off every photo I take to add to my giant collection of photo albums, I think of this blog as a place to put all these memories and small moments. So here are a few miscellaneous pictures from last April. One day Jaren was playing by himself in his room and just laughing away so I peaked in to see what was making him so happy and the first picture below is what I saw- him sitting and reading a book to himself. Oh it melted my little teacher heart. Jaren has always really liked books and will sit for ages with me or alone and read story after story. 


So this is a tribute to all husbands out there who for some reason can't seem to manage to pick up their own clothes. I hesitate in posting this in that Varian and I have recently discussed this again and he's doing so much better and putting his clothes in the laundry basket (which usually are in the laundry room). In our Brisbane house our laundry was out in the garage and so we kept our baskets in the bathroom. The first week we were there he joked about how he was almost tempted to leave his clothes on the floor again but how that would probably drive me crazy since the baskets were right there. We had a laugh about it but then after a week or so this is what started to happen. Sigh, old habits are hard to break

And just another photo tribute to laundry I took this picture when Varian went out of town on a little trip with his sister. The caption in my head was, "you can't be lonely when you have all this laundry to keep you company." I had gone through all our bags of stored and donated baby clothes to wash them all in preparation for baby Reid coming, and in general laundry can pile up for me as it is. But while he was away I went through and washed and sorted everything. Getting ready for a baby is hard work! :) 

September 6, 2012

A Work in Progress

Occasionally Varian and/or I would have to drive back up to Ipswich to meet the builders at our house and go through with them, make various decisions..etc. Shortly after the floods one of the inspectors told me that as a father he was telling me not to come in the house again, that it was too contaminated. But after a few months of ripping everything out, sterilizing and rebuilding I too could go back in. Here are some shots of some of the rebuilding process back in April.


One challenge we had was picking out things separately. The builders had 6 tile combinations we could choose from. We really wanted a darker non-peachy floor tile so we went with this one. So we took a picture of it and then weeks later picked out carpet and paint colors we hoped would match.


The white tiles are for the shower, side of the bath, and splash tiles of the bathroom sink and kitchen. The smaller white square is the color of our cupboards, the smaller grey square is the color of our counter tops, the shiny silver bar is the edging of our kitchen splash tiles (nice and modern) and the feature little square tiles are a strip down our shower and down the wall next to the bath tub.


Carpets were sadly not covered by our insurance but luckily we found a nice man giving flood discounts and went with his company. We kept trying to take pictures of everything and hoped to match them from the photos and our memories. We hoped to replace our black furniture and hence the black flip-flop so we could see how the contrast looked. I really do like our carpets and I like the tiles, but my initial impression when they both were finally installed next to each other was that they didn't match. I had picture the tiles as being just a dark charcoal grey and that the carpets would be fine, but the former ended up having a brown tinge to it and the carpets more of a blue cool color tone. Both look great with the wall paint we choose, Frosted Ice (light grey) and our white trim, but when you stand in between the two you notice the discrepancies.

This giant skiff was placed in front of our house for months, ruining our glass and cement edging and filling up again and again with plaster and cupboards and everything else that made up the inside of our home. Meanwhile all our plants were growing wild and unkempt.

We paid extra to have the builders turn our garage into a 4th bedroom and as part of the deal had to go out and find our own bricks to match.

Jaren discovered his love of playing in the front seat (supervised) and it has been an obsession with him ever since. We'll have to drag him out sometimes while he stretches his hands towards the driver's seat and cries, "Car! Car!" Maybe one day he'll be a chauffeur.

August 27, 2012

Varian's Birthday Beach Day (April 2011)

Here's a picture of the two men in my life (Reid, if you'll remember hasn't been born yet) being serious and manly and eating a Man-burger for Varian's birthday. So I mentioned that our birthday tradition has evolved into a 3 day celebration. A nothing day (relaxing, movies, eating, being together) a family party, and an adventure/activity day. For Varian's activity he had us first stop at KFC for the Man-Burger (2 chicken patties, with cheese and bacon in the middle and no bun). I realize the target audience for these were 25 year old males, but I totally want one now and am so bummed that they stopped making them!), we then went to Bribie Island where we had never been before, and had a lovely beach day.


So I loved these photos I got of Varian and Jaren at the beach. 

Varian got these ones of Jaren and I playing in the water.

So they don't look that bad, but it seemed like the waves were a bit rough and windy that day so we moved to the other side of the island where there was supposed to be a more protected beach. It was a bit muddier, but we still had a fun time there. It was a bright beautiful day and I just felt so content and full. Full of life and happiness and love for my wonderful husband, baby boy, and baby on the way.

I sat there feeling the sand and sun and breathing in the day. Varian and Jaren were in a different place on the beach digging away in the sand. I came over to see what they were building and this is what I saw.


Seriously?! What an amazing husband I have. Was it his birthday or mine?! :)


I felt very loved! We had a fun day at the beach and a fun day celebrating. Jaren was in heaven eating sand (he had almost grown out of it at this point but not quite).


Varian tried to stop him but he mostly would just laugh and think it a great joke. All in all it was a great day. And I'll leave you with this image of my 32 year old sweetheart! :)