Sunday, April 29, 2007

Been Caught Lately?

I was just waking up this yesterday morning when Sam walked in to the bedroom fresh out of the shower.

I was a bit like....ok......I'll have me a piece of that........

All going well, warm up was great, just going for the grand finale............

Jessica aged 10, barges in.

We both jumped ten feet in the air and Miss Jessica says:

" Oh I wont be long, just looking for something, you can get back to your personal life in a minute"

OMFG I laughed till I cried.

Needless to say the the grand finale DID NOT happen.

Samantha, Jessica and Netball

We are a bit of a netball family, hardly surprising really is it.

As with most little sisters, they see their older sisters do something and they want to do it too. Or sometimes they do what YOU believe they want to do!

Under 10 selections where held last week, I asked Samantha and Jessica if they wanted to go, Samantha said yes, and Jess said she didnt really care.

I didnt really listen.

Sometimes being the mum of twins is hard work, heck being a mum to five is hard work.

Well the girls went to trials with another 44 girls, the coaches decided to cut the number to 20, we where to find out on Saturday who made the first cut.

I was a bit worried during the week, what if they didn't get in, what if one did get in and the other didn't?

Well Samantha was selected in the top 20 and Jessica wasn't.

I expected her to be upset, sad, jealous................

Ummmmm she said ' MUM, I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT'

Oh....................well you did say that really didn't you? And I didn't really listen did I?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sarah And Netball

Sarah has played netball for the last couple of years and has proved to be a great player having represented the NW of Tassie for U12 and then u13 for all Junior State Wide Carnivals. From Devonport to Scottsdale, to Launnie and Hobart we have been there!

After summer holidays she hit the court a little slow and while selected for Div One on Monday nights it was obvious after a game or two that she was out of her league.

So during our recent trip to Hobart we took her into see the Sports Manager for the Australian Cricket team, ok what has cricket got to do with netball, well it doesn't really matter because as a Sports Manager it is Rick's job to assess each sports persons strengths and weaknesses and design the appropriate program.

Sarah has been carefully following his suggested exercises for the last two weeks and on Monday night she played her first Div One game since Easter break.

Well it was like watching ANOTHER girl play. I am absolutely so impressed with how beneficial the exercises have been for her and how much her confidence has again soared, I have little doubt that she will make U14 selections in two weeks! Fingers crossed anyway!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lawn Bowls..... Yes Really

Last Saturday I played lawn bowls, yes really, I figured hey I am a Nanna I can do this!

Actually I was roped into playing by friends at work, we have put two teams in to the Saturday challenge as a lead up to the Corporate challenge on Wednesday nights in a couple of months.

Let me tell you lawn bowls is NOT for the feint hearted. My newly acquired hat comes of to the ladies and men in white. All that leaning and stretching, my poor knees may never be the same.

I had to stretch and radox and even then it took two days until I felt I could bend my legs. I was amazed at the complaining muscles that emerged after our three hour game.

Bowls is definitely not a game for those lacking in eye/hand co-ordination as I discovered, it leads to your team getting absolutely whipped at 66-9, and the club ringing to promise your team a ten point start for the next Saturday.....................oh the humiliation.............

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hobart - Day Five

No photos today, our last day and we we went to Salamanca Markets

Ohhhhh an absolute haven of yummy food and fantastic stalls.

I managed to find a couple of books while for the rest of the family it was a culinery delight!

There are food stalls every where, specialised burgers to dippy dogs, gourmet sausages, fresh raspberries, mini pancakes......

The final award went to the Olliebollen ohhhhhhhhhhh YUM!

We have decided Olliebollen will be our New Years food! Every New Years I am going to make Olliebollen in the lead up to the magic hour!

We wandered the markets and then drove home, completely and utterly delighted with our week away, in fact, I am planning our very next trip away already!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hobart - Day Four

Well today we headed of to ZOODOO

Sam and I where a little hesitant, just another wildlife park we thought well I am happy to say its NOT! The staff make it much more than just another park!

We had so much fun here and the girls loved it, some memories made that will be talked about again and again for years to come.

First we visited with all the baby animals in the nursery, these are always my favourites, something about holding a soft little cuddly baby animal that just melts you instantly.
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Then of course it was time to visit the out door animals. Emily made friends with a little boy called Edward. The sleepy sleepy koala was just beautiful, we all got to give him a nice pat and he snoozed right through it.
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Then the fun began! The Safari! Out to see the Emus and Ostriches who where VERY eager for there first visitors, and feeding of the day. I haven't laughed that much for a very very long time, they came storming towards the bus and Sarah (Miss 14) started squealing, and laughing hysterically and squealing some more. There was no way she was feeding them, but the tour driver managed to get her feeding them with a bucket!
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They where really quite full on, and the whole bus was just overcome with laughter every time another one popped their head in searching for another bag of goodies.

We got of to see some smaller farm animals and Sarah got surrounded by some ducks and geese, now Sarah has had a bit of a goose phobia since she was three and got pinched on the bum at the park one day!
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My grown up Miss 14 was reduced to a little girl in seconds begging 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' to save her!

The camels and water buffalo where much quieter and definitely politer!
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After all that excitement we thought a break for ice-cream was a must do before.....
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The miniature horse racing! A mini-track and tiny Shetland ponies who ran a great race!
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The girls couldn't miss the opportunity for a picture with this friendly Galah, well except for Sarah she had her fill of all things with feathers for the day!
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We headed back into Richmond and went to a park for some lunch, we where surprised to discover we where lunching next to Australia's Oldest Bridge!
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The girls and I then dropped Sam back at the unit and went to do some shopping, a girly girl afternoon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hobart - Day Three

Today was a visit to the historic Port Arthur. About an hour drive from Hobart we set of at about 10am. The drive there was lovely, you really travel through some beautiful areas, it was a littlewindy for the last 20kms and Sarah who is suffering from a head-cold really felt yucky for most of that 20kms.

Admission for Port Arthur depends on what tours etc you choose to do while you are there. We opted for the $55 family ticket whichgave us entrance, admission to all buildings, a guided walking tour and a harbour cruise.

Port Arthur is a full day trip, no doubt about it, there is so much to see and do, it is completely fascinating.

Here are the girls on the boat cruise
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The Isle of the Dead - where all the convicts where buried
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Next stop? ANTARCTICA - yep sail right on out there
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There are so many buildings in Port Arthur to look at, my favourite was the church which is just behind the governors gardens, it was so peaceful
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One of the walkways
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No trip to Port Arthur would be complete without a moment to reflect on the terrible tragedy that occur ed there on the 28Th April, 1996. The Port Arthur Massacre claimed 35 lives and left 37 people wounded. You can click the link if you want to know more about it. There is a beautiful memorial area in Port Arthur dedicated to not only the people that lost their lives on that day, but also to the injured and those that came to the aid of those needing help in what would have been terrifying circumstances. The memorial is simple yet so utterly perfect in its simplicity it is a touching reminder of something most of us will gratefully never experience or ever truly be able to comprehend.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Hobart - Day Two

Waking up and realising that you have a week stretched out ahead of you that has been bookmarked for just fun is truly blissful!

Today we went to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory for a tour. I am a great lover of Cadbury chocolate so this was a big treat for me. Now I know that not everyone is a fan of Cadburys, but I am yet to discover a chocolate that I like other than Cadburys.

As our visit was so soon after Easter, the girls had written to the Easter Bunny requesting that they only receive an egg or two this year so they where extremely excited to be visiting the factory as well.

If you plan a visit it is essential that you book as they do fill the tours very quickly, believe it or not they manage around 800 YES 800 people a day on their tours! I think they are VERYreasonable in their costs for families, for the six of us it was $31.50 which I thought super cheap considering we where able to eat bucketloads of free samples while waiting for our tour to commence and received
another free sample when leaving, a mini box of chocolate each.

Of course at the end of the tour you can also make purchases from their gift shop, we didn't get a lot, some chocolate for Sam's mum, 3 blocks of family size chocolate wrapped in paper for only $5, some really good bargains to be had!

We couldn't take a camera into the factory, all those chocolate secrets you know, and I forgot to get a picture of the girls at the front of the factory.

Interesting bit of information - Cadburys is NOT Australian, it is actually an English owned company.

We where all impressed with the tour, and the samples and headed back to the unit for some lunch.

After lunch Sam stayed at the unit while I took the girls ice-skating!

Well I havent been on the ice in about 22 years so was a little apprehensive as to how I would go. Sarah, who has only skated once before must be a natural as she glides around everywhere effortlessly. Jessica was skating well after the first half an hour or so and Emily managed after an hour.

Samantha and I , well we took a little longer BUT by the end of the two hour session we managed full circles of the rink without hanging on and even managed to build up some speed!

It was fantastic fun and I am so glad I decided to just get out there and have a go instead of sitting in the observation area with the other parents - they don't know what they missed!

Here's my ice angels:

Sarah 'The Expert Skater' pretending its hard, or copying the expression on my face!
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Samantha just about to fall!
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Jessica with some strange lady - ok ok its me but I really hate this picture.
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After iceskating we went back to the unit and Sarah babysat while Sam and I went over the road to the Beltana Hotel for a couple of quiet drinks and some adult time.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hobart - Day One

After a week of tension leading up to Easter with ratty argumentative children I was surprised to find that we managed to pack, clean up the house and leave at around 9am with little fuss and fanfare.

Its about a four hour trip from where we live to Hobart, so a stop along the way was in order, our first is a regular for us at
Elizabeth Town Bakery

A fantastic Bakery, with the yummiest selection of food, excellent clean amenities and best of all staff that are always happy and enjoying what they are doing.

Ours was a short stop, a coffee to go was all we wanted and it was lovely, I really enjoy a nice Grinders Coffee

The girls where in fact very good for the drive, certainly showing their ages now and with it their ability to manage a road trip. They had some puzzle books, books and each other to keep amused along the way, and all managed a nap or two as well!
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We finally arrived in Hobart and found our apartment with the minimum of fuss, now I had decided on this unit via the Internet with the help of a friend and was absolutely delighted with it. The price was more than reasonable as they have a set family rate ($109/night per family for the deluxe unit) and don't charge that additional $10-15 per child or such silliness which always leaves me feeling quite poor!

The owners where extremely non-intrusive which I really like when I am staying somewhere, the unit and location was just perfect for us and I cant imagine we will stay anywhere else when we are in Hobart again.
Lindisfarne Unit

On arrival Emily and I went for a quick walk to secure some lunch provisions as everyone was starving ~ we left them to unpack. Now just a word of warning if you ever stay here you actually have to turn RIGHT at the end of the street for the short 'stroll' to the shops,don't go LEFT it makes for a rather longer than anticipated walk.

Our afternoon was spent at Putters Mini Golf, now we played mini golf as a family once a few years ago and it was a disaster with the girls losing interest in minutes but this afternoons golfing was a completely different experience. Of course Samantha, Jessica and Emily have had some putting experience of late in their school holiday program but Iwasn't quite aware of just how seriously Samantha and Jessica took the game, it was quite funny.

I have decided that I am not the best putter in the world but it was certainly fun. We only had one calamity at around the ninth hole where Jessica wanted to argue, Sarah wanted to argue and with that I decided I was going home, no way was I spending a week with them fighting! We all recovered quite quickly and moved on to the next hole.

The winner of the afternoon was Samantha, her prize was deciding where we went for dinner!

Here are my little putters:

Sarah with her 'whack them hard attitude'
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Samantha looking rather annoyed with me for disturbing her shot.
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Jessica who is concentrating too much to strike a pose
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And Emily who ALWAYS has time for a photo
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Samantha decided to go to Kings all you can eat Buffet for dinner, definitely something for everyone - Chinese, roasts, pasta, seafood, salads, desserts a large selection of food so very easy to keep everyone in the family happy.

The girls where a little food drunk by dessert and tried ice cream on prawn crackers which I am told is simply delicious, I wasn't convinced! After dinner we went back to the unit for a quiet evening, recovering from our too full tummies in preparation for the next days activities!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Of To Hobart

We are heading of to Hobart today for five days, five days of exciting kids entertainment being on top of the list! Wish me luck, Ill be back Saturday with LOTS of photos.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Slowly Crashing

A few year ago I suffered from depression, it took about six months for me to realise that is what it was, and once diagnosed I realised I had certainly had several untreated episodes of depression since childhood.

The Dr I saw said it would be something I would have for the rest of my life, and in all likelihood I would require medication to control it for the rest of my life.

I suffered from depression and mild anxiety attacks, what some would consider normal everyday situations became impossible mountains in front of me that I couldn't work out how to climb. I can remember a day that I couldn't decide what to cook for dinner, I stood at the freezer pondering the thought for what felt like two minutes, I realised after it was more like two hours and I still never figured it out.

My breaking point came one day at the Roadhouse when a delivery didn't arrive. I snapped, lost it, the whole world went black, it was the beginning of the end.

I spent a lot of time sleeping, sleep was a refuge, I suffered from a constant deep aching tiredness. Or I spent hours on the internet, I escaped into a world where I wasn't judged, bought mountains of clothes on Ebay, and surrounded myself with 'easy' things.very
Somehow, rather robotically I suspect, I managed to fulfil every ones basic needs, and what I didn't do Sam managed to.

I spent nearly three years on medication, the medication worked for me within three or four days, YES that quickly. I can remember driving along one day and thinking it was a beautiful day full of sunshine and hope, I had to pull over because I was laughing and crying too much to drive, it had been a long time since I was filled with happiness and hope for the future like that.

Unfortunately during an extremely bad period in our lives a year or so later I wasn't particularly good at taking my medication and self medicated quite a bit searching for a way to feel better. One tablet for ok days, three for the really bad, mixed in with the lifestyle we had running a hotel at the time it wasn't a good combination.

I have come to realise that not everyone, and certainly not everyone with depression, faces the challenges we did that sad and sorry year and the fact that I walked away from what I did in good health and OFF medication speaks volumes for the inner strength I found and the support of my husband.

For quite a while after that year I felt almost justified in the emotional ups and downs and his and lo's I experienced. And probably quite rightly so.

Its has been 2 years and 3 months since 'the year from hell', and I am starting to feel that the ups and downs should begin to be a piece of the past, something left behind that I don't need to worry about but its just not happening like that.

Increasingly over the last few months I have found that my frustration with the silliest little things builds to an alarming level yet I deal with the 'big' issues quite easily. And that worries me.

I am scared to go back to where I was before.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Beautiful Easter Sunday

We went into Burnie Park for 'Fairies In The Park' and I was sooooo upset I didn't take my camera. It was truly magical, the whole park was an absolute wonderland.

Burnie Park is a truly beautiful park, tall trees, rose gardens, leave covered paths, a pond with a bridge, all the backdrop you need to create a perfect fairy paradise.

The whole park was dotted with different people/events and decorated with flamingo's, large floral arrangements made from multi coloured balloons, everywhere you looked there was more colour and captivating events to see.

One area where the Queen of all the Fairies sat, you could make magical wands with her, get your face painted, make a wish in the magical well or simply sit and listen for a while to the magical melody of a harp being played.

Move on to the bridge over the lake where hundreds upon hundreds of bubbles drifted up in the air while two giant butterfly people danced along the shore, truly magnificent costumes and again I was quite disappointed I had forgotten my camera.

Lots of fairies where running around, playing and dancing with the children and obligingly getting photos taken. There where some surprise visitors - Shrek and Princess Fiona, Bob The Builder, The Cat in The Hat, Bananas In Pajamas, Alice in Wonderland and of course The Easter Bunny handing out Eggs for all the children.

There was a giant slide down the hill, a relaxing solo singer in the outdoor amphitheatre, the mandatory jumping castle.

Move over a little further in the park and you found a gorgeous castle setting worthy of Prince Arthur's time, and lots of young children dressed in traditional garb having mock fighting displays which was being filmed for a movie of some sort.

Different events could be viewed on the main stage every hour or so, including the incredibly funny strong man, poets, jokers and more.

There where some food vans and an ice cream van, and surprisingly a van selling show bags probably the only thing I really didn't think was required and managed to avoid!

The girls just loved it, we just wandered around and drank in the atmosphere, and it was truly a beautiful atmosphere, so many happy relaxed people just delighting in something a little bit different!

Well done to the organisers, a truly gorgeous family outing which didnt cost us a cent!

Next year I will remember the camera!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Oh my little teendevil

Teenagers are incredible pieces of work, of course I should know I was probably one of the worst of them. Let me tell you that HAS NOT helped me or given me any dramatic insight into my own teenagers. Well maybe a little as I am certainly more open to discussion than my parents where ever to me, really though they only had me for a couple of months of being an official 'teen' so perhaps I judge them too harshly.

Anyone I digress, this is hardly a post about my own parents because I seriously do not have the time or beverages to blog all of that crap tonight, nor is it about Danielle because at nearly 20 she is rapidly moving beyond 'teenage' though youd never guess based on some of her recent antics.

Sarah - oh dear Sarah, where to start with Sarah. Gorgeous, witty, loud, funny and 14.

Sarah is, and has ALWAYS been a door slammer. No amount of 'please don't' has made a difference, all the cajoling and threatening has not made a difference.

Yesterday morning Sarah was sent, as they ALL are sent each Saturday to clean her room and she SLAMMED the door.

Well much to her horror and our utter amusement the door wouldn't open again!!!!!

Absolutely hilarious and karma biting someone on the bum I think.

I did offer to slide some cheese slices under the door if her room wasn't cleaned by lunch.

It actually took about an hour to get the door open without any damage, and there has not been a single door slamming incident in the last 24 hours - fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Milly is my Labrador cross sharpei, poor baby was a guilt gift by my husband!

I used to have a beautiful lab called Molly but we had to leave her behind when we moved, funny we managed to bring his dog though.

So he has been trying to make up for it and Milly was my birthday present last year. So she is one now, as anyone that has a lab would know a one year old lab is the silliest dog you will ever meet and Milly is NO exception to that rule.

I cant hang washing on the back line, for a start you cant get to the line anymore because of the sun baking holes along the way, some of them are booked for deep mining exploration next year she has done a really good job with them.

Should you get to the clothes line you cant hang anything out because Milly will have it whipped of in seconds and line her sun baking holes with your nice clean washing.

The rest of the yard has been reduced to dust, as all good labs must have a racetrack to run back and forth on all day, the dream of grass has long gone.

We have the highest fence in the street now because my lab is also a jumper, yep she jumps the fence to run around to the front door, Id be flattered if I thought it was because she missed me, but the big attraction is getting into the house and out the back again past the cat food! Yep Milly is completely addicted to the delicious dry whiskas cat food.

I spent a lot of time in the last year comparing her to Molly, and I suppose at times wishing I still had Molly, not entirely fair to Milly and something I am going to make a real effort to stop doing!

Tomorrow I will take some photos of her, because you know I have just realised that I don't have a single picture of her - poor Milly.