Sunday, August 26, 2012

and Angus is six

Now A. is six. More Skylanders, special books, and special blankets are on the gift list.

The drumstick pencils prove to be versatile, and Ollie patiently tries to get that eraser puzzle back into the cube it started as.

Angus had to prove that the drumstick pencils really do work.

And Ollie and Ella did their research too (although Ollie doesn't look to be too sure about the outcome).

Abi came to the party in a very charming mood but is going through a stage of preferring to stay close to her Mummy when things seem to get too disruptive.

All the big girls in the family are happy to go completely gaga to get one of her light up the world smiles!

I'm amazed at how she will "work the camera" for me already.

This week has been Book Week (Champions Read!).  Unlike most of us who try to take a minimalist approach to the whole Book Week parade phenomenon, Claire went all out this year and created Tashi's Dragon for Ollie's costume.  Angus very kindly modelled it for our whoops of delight. He was happy for the spotlight to be on the dragon - even though his own skeleton pirate costume looked to be a very life like effort too!

Even Ella enjoyed a turn at being the dragon's head.

You can tell Abi is watching everything - thinking I can't wait to see what my Mummy is going to come up with for MY first Book Week costume!!!

Angus's birthday cake was very special this year.  Sparklers were quite an entrancing touch, especially with the lights out!


Happy birthday gorgeous Angus boy - star drummer, dancer and all around music prodigy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On the ropes

In a week of snowfalls (yes in Canberra), a day of solid rain and the coldest day of the year, we were lucky, last Monday to enjoy a sunny afternoon in the garden, playing with the girls.  Abi was feeling very happy to be out in the fresh air, especially when it came to (solids) snack time.  Mashed pumpkin is a favourite at the moment but she is showing signs of wanting a piece of everything on offer at meal times (including yum cha lunch at Dickson today)!

We'd set up a knotted rope from the Golden Ash tree in the back garden and Ella was itching to try it out.  But facing the descent proved to be more daunting than she anticipated.

It took several goes before she got the technique right.

But she persisted..... And then repeated the manoeuvre at least 50 times to make sure she'd got it right.

There were a few near misses so we placed this foam sheet over the leaf pile to make a softer landing if needed. It proved to be a good surface for doing push ups (straight body) in between climbs.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time travel

Helping Mum to sort through all her photos has been a real journey through time for me too. And an opportunity to refresh old memories, confirm long forgotten timelines and reflect how we can see some reminders of our grandchildren in baby pictures of ourselves.

We can see some of (London) Ed's expressions in this cute sepia toned portrait of his Nanny (Maxine) wearing her silk hand smocked "best" baby dress.

Taken around five years later this is a picture of (serious) me with Mum standing in front of the mango tree in our Brisbane front garden. Rob thinks there is something about my eyes that reminds him of some of Ella's expressions. 

The photo below was taken around the same year. It's pretty rare because it includes our Dad. He was usually the photographer. Maxine and I are wearing matching white voile dresses (no doubt made by Mum). None of us can remember why a professional photographer took our photo standing outside this Brisbane church. We must have been attending a wedding?

And then around seven years later, probably to Mum and Dad's initial surprise, Ros arrived.  Doesn't she look gorgeous in this portrait wearing her best flouncy baby dress (pale blue from memory). She hasn't changed much has she?  I can see glimpses of Ed and Ella in Ros's baby pictures (and Liliana Rose??).

I was so pleased to find this gem below. The three of us sitting with Mum on the couch in all our early 1972 glory.  In case you need some help with this that is Mum sitting on the left, then me, then Maxie and Ros (at 13 and 1/2 years old) on the right.

And nearly 40 years later, here is a picture of the four of us again, this time on a very windy day at Coogee Beach (last September). You can see we all spend a lot more at hairdressers these days (despite the wind), and on skincare, but underneath all that we're not that much different to the three sisters on the couch all those years ago.

AND we're off to London together next year, with our lovely men, and anyone else in the family we can persuade to come.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ollie is eight

It's hard to believe Ollie is eight already. He loves reading Harry Potter and all sorts of other books, and is still very interested in all things scientific. He's a super fast skier too and an extremely lovable gentle natured boy in our (unbiased) opinion.

I think his favourite present today was the Skylanders set.  It seems to be connected to a computer game. Although he was very excited about it he was mature enough to be able to hold off playing with them until the very end of our family afternoon tea party this afternoon.

Abi took a great interest in the celebrations - especially in the selection of food available. She looked to be very keen to get into everything - but especially the camembert cheese.

The big kids had fun outside for a while. Claire organised a treasure hunt that proved to be very exciting.

 But after that the kids were happy just playing together on the trampoline...

....and swinging from the claret ash in the corner of the garden - which has grown to be a perfect height off the ground for the kids now.

For all his gentle nature Ollie is still super keen and competitive about his games.  He kept Joshy up to the mark shooting hoops with him...for ages.  Ollie would have been playing to WIN!

Claire produced one of her minimal effort (her words not mine) maximum effect birthday cakes to mark the occasion. Just perfect!

And Abi ended off the afternoon happily (and dribbily) with Grandpa and her chew toy while the big kids were finally allowed to play Skylanders.