July 18, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands (Sep 2011)

The young single adults in our ward decided to do a yard work
service project for victims of the flood. They contacted nurseries
and collected donated supplies and they came and asked us what
our yard wish list would be. Then one Saturday they showed up
with lots of helpers and worked for hours making our lawn more
beautiful. Kind acts like these really meant so much to us as we
were trying to get back on our feet.
During the flood clean up all of the furniture and garbage
got piled outside on everyone's lawns. Then a week later
huge tractors and dump trucks came and scraped it all up
and hauled it off, along with the top layer of grass, so new
turf was definitely on our wish list. (Look at that great sun
flare, here are a few more shots with it.) Varian had wanted
to have them tear out our elephant palm tree, but I love it
and couldn't bear to have them do it. It was only a foot or
two tall when we moved in and has grown up so strong
and healthy. I am a sucker for palm trees as well and to
give one up seemed just cruel.  

Here's a golden cane palm tree that we planted years ago
and I don't know if it has even grown at all. Poor thing.
Our soil is pretty terrible here, but one thing that has
taken off is our passion fruit vine. Yum!!!

Back to the main post theme. They brought in bark for
our gardens, and we did a massive weed job, and laid
down newspapers and then bark on top. Then they
planted a fox tail palm tree and some flowers. In our
back yard they built a box garden and filled it with
lovely sod.

They worked so hard and got so much done. We were
so grateful for their generosity!!! Here are a few other
pictures of that day. 

And then before ending here are two last shots of
plants in our garden. We've enjoyed having a bird of
paradise, and I had high hopes for our Scarlett
Bougainvillea before discovering that it grows giant
spiky thorns that make it hard to trim and seems unideal
for a yard with small children. We pulled it up and
planted it in the back fields behind our house where
we hope it will take root and one day be filled with
pretty flowers.

Again a big thank you to these young single adults,
the nurseries and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints for making this happen. We are so so grateful!!!

July 12, 2013

Riverfire (Sep 2011)

Every year we look forward to Riverfire - an enormous firework display held in Brisbane. They light fireworks up and down the river, off barges, the banks, the buildings and the bridges. It is truly spectacular.

We got there a bit early to work through the crowds and see the helicopters- they would fly down close to the river causing huge ripples and spraying the crowd. Lani and Cameron went all out and brought a little camping stove for their dinner.

This must have been Reid's first firework show. He was such a sensitive little boy and any loud noises really frightened him, so you can imagine how he reacted. He might have been okay with me but I let Warren hold him and I don't think he could handle the loud noises and being away from his mommy. Sadly the rest of the night was a bit downhill for him. He wouldn't eat or settle down much till we were heading home. Poor thing. 

But it was a lovely night. They used to have big jets fly by that would release flames behind them. They've also had laser lights off the buildings flashing around with the music. One of our favorite parts is the waterfall looking fireworks that cascade off the bridges into the water. It is a beautiful sight
The first year we were so smashed in with people and I had some sort of heat/claustrophobic reaction and almost fainted/threw up. But I couldn't get past the people so I just hunched down on the ground and put my head between my knees and put all my energy into not throwing up - imagine what a horrible place to do so! Every now and then I would try and look back up to not miss the action before feeling too sick. As soon as the people started to leave and I had room to breathe I was fine. The second year I was pregnant and it was that huge swine flu outbreak so we decided to stay safe and stay home. Year three we watched with Varian's mum from the cliffs of kangaroo point which up there was not nearly so festive. 

This post was year four and we did it in celebration of Warren's birthday. Last year we tried to meet up with our friends but had some family stuff come up and ended up getting there a bit late. But we found a nice spot in some trees (literally Jaren sat up in a tree) and it was pleasant. Maybe this year we'll have to go back to making more of an event out of it. One year we're determined to get my parents here to see it. My mom would be hysterical with euphoria at all these fireworks!

July 8, 2013

Oma and Opa Come to Visit (Sep 2011)

Varian's maternal grandparents are from Germany and even though they've lived here for 50 odd years their accents are still very strong, as are their German personalities. Maybe it will be the same for me (heaven forbid we're still here in 50 odd years) but people always seemed surprised that I still sound so "American." Somethings just are built in I guess.
They have always lived just a few minutes away from us and now and then would drop in for a visit.

Dear Oma, who as you know passed away last year, would love to see our babies and hold them but also that loud German personality would often intimidate them until they got bigger and less sensitive. Here are some cute happy/alarmed faces from that day. Also as a side note this cute owl outfit was a present from them which I was excited that he was wearing it on a day they came to visit. :)

He's starting to quiver here as you can see, and then he looses it. Even though it's a bit blurry, I love this shot below.

And then he just couldn't hold back the tears. But he was due for a feed as well, which always makes babies a little more fussy. I just thought these big lip crying photos were so adorable and so tender to see of Oma and Opa with our kids.

July 6, 2013

I Can't Get Enough So Niether Will You...(Aug '11)


I know we've had lots of posts with baby pictures, and to be fairly warned, this too is one of them. Let me wrap up August 2011 with a few shots of family, but mostly just my two cute sons!

Happy Birthday Beep-Beep and oh my heavens look at this cute face...and look at it again and again. :)

Let me break up some pictures of Reid's adorable face (I promise this is the narrowed down version) with some of Jaren's. :)


More adorable faces of Reid.


This is my sweet friend Karen Tuoy.

A nice day outside in the sun.

I love having trees in my back yard, I love the life - the nature - the beauty of them. I love the shade. I don't so much love how much these gum trees shed (ALL over our lawn) or the potential threat they have of falling over, but I do love them.


Lots of nice slobber from Jaren, not a new thing for anyone who knows him. Below is the result of practicing the piano. Reid snoozed away happily, and Jaren was hysterical at my diverted attention. Hmm...I'm having flashbacks to my violin practicing post (click HERE).


A messy shot and random I know but I like the two cuddling together watching tv.

And just in case you still haven't gotten enough of this adorable face...


And in case you did get enough and wish I had limited this post down even more...

:) Just kidding.