Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where Has The Time Gone??

I see there is a huge gap in posts on this site.  I'd like to blame it on technical difficulties but the truth is that my life is no longer on hold.  Since we moved into our house I have been very busy.  I take Jenna to and pick her up from school each day.  The trip is approximate 3/4 of a mile.  We either walk or ride bikes.  Did I mention its uphill to get there? Thanks to that topographical issue I have been staying pretty fit.  After I drop Jenna off I either go to the store on my bike with a backpack or ride the big hill back home - weeeee!  Downhill is fast and fun.  Before our stuff arrived I used to walk to the store and used my Granny Cart, or as they say in Australia: Grandmother Trolley and the bus.  Fortunately, everything is conveniently located and I can get all the things I need.  After our stuff arrived I have been busy unpacking boxes and arranging our stuff throughout the house.  We really should have purged more.

Our First Aussie (Ozzy) Barbie (Bobby)

We met the nicest person at the park one day when we were out searching for homes to rent.  Her name is Ros.  She offered her phone number and invited us to call if we needed any help with anything.  She suggested the 'Shire' as a great place to live.  Of course she lives there too.  Sutherland Shire is located quite a ways south of Sydney, but relatively close to the airport where Dave works.  It is considered God's country around here; where the Hobbits live.  Anyway, shortly after talking to her we found the place we are renting now which is only about 5-6 blocks away from her house.  She invited us to her house after we moved in for our first Aussie Baaabie.  She and her husband Brendon and her boys Luke and Bryce plus a good friend of hers and her son all welcomed us for the evening.  We had nibbles (appetizers), leg of lamb (with mint sauce), very traditional, salad, baked potatoes and, of course, plenty of beer and wine.  Beer and wine is a weekend staple around here.  Sunday is family and visiting day.  We just make sure we have plenty of cold drinks in the frig in case we are invited somewhere or someone comes over.
Ros and Brendan above; Bryce is on the very left and Luke is sitting next to Jenna. The other boy, Riley, is the son of one of Ros' friends who also attended the barbie. He goes to the same school as Jenna.

Leg of Lamb, very traditional food in the Land of Oz.

Our Second Aussie Barbie

Our landlords, Paul and Magda, who live next door called one Sunday morning and asked if we wanted to go out on their boat for a look around the bay.  We took the offer and went straight away.  I'm sure Paul would prefer I didn't mention this but we were only a short distance out of our bay (Yowie Bay) when he ran out of gas - bummer.  Anyway, after he resolved the issue we went for a great boat ride.  Below are pictures of the house we are renting from the water.  Paul and Magda live in the little house to the left.  To top off the day Paul and Magda invited us to their house for a barbie. They grilled squid and rock cod. It was delicious. The next day Magda gave birth to their second son.

Paul and Magda in front

This is where we live

The rock next to pontoon is called Turtle Rock. 

First Visitor from the States

Our official first visitor from the states was my sister Kristi. She was nice enough to haul a bunch of stuff we wanted with her when she came. We were so happy to get all this stuff (picture below) - Jenna especially. 
We had a great time while Kris was here. We travelled along the coast south of us to Jervis Bay, shopped, enjoyed general sight-seeing, went to Sydney twice, went to the beach and to the Royal National Forest. On one particularly nice day Kris encouraged us to go swimming in our pool.  This was in October - burrrr. It was hot and sunny that day but it’s almost unheard of to go swimming in October as the pools are not heated and are quite cold - ours was 68 degrees. The real pansies around here don't go in the pool until at least January. Jenna loved it though, she had someone to swim with. Thanks for visiting Kris!

Loot from America

Yum! Lucky Charms...they really are magically delicious.

James Squire's Pub and Eatery at Darling Harbor.  I'm not sure why holding my neck.


Aboriginal Cave in Bundeena

Yes, that is shrimp on the baaabie

One of the many statues at the Nan Tien Temple


Jenna thought Halloween in Australia sucked. The whole US Halloween concept is just starting to catch on here.  Only about every fifth house was participating so you had to walk a long way in the heat to get a small amount of candy.  You go out during daylight which didn't seem very cool to her and it was hot so she went barefoot.  She ended up stepping on some bindies (the Australian version of a thistle) then she tripped on her broomstick and fell in the street.  We only had one group of trick-or-treaters at our house.  About 8 young girls showed up in one fell swoop.  We are located off the beaten track and while we were somewhat surprised that someone came to the door, we were ready with lots of candy. 

Jenna Gets The Gold

Every Thursday at Jenna's school they have an assembly where kids are recognized for doing well for various things.  There are several Merit Awards that go out first, but only one student from each class gets the Gold Award. Jenna received the Gold Award for making significant progress in reading, writing and comprehension.  Way to go Jenna!

So proud


Dave and I are both doing quite well driving here.  Well, Dave is way better than me.  As a reminder, we drive on the left side of the road and the driving mechanism is located on the same side as the passenger seat of American cars. One of the first problems I face when I get in the car is reaching over my left shoulder for the shoulder strap of my seatbelt. The other problem is using the windshield wiper when I want to indicate which way I am going to turn. Annoying, huh Kris? Every time I come to an intersection I have to remind myself which side of the road the traffic is coming from. I like to have Jenna with me so she can confirm that I am driving on the correct side of the road (left-hand side).

10 Years of Marriage

Dave and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary on October 29. We went to Sydney and had lunch at Peter Doyles which is located near the south end of the famous Sydney Bridge and across the water way from the famous Sydney Opera House.

The happy couple

Interesting Tidbits

Self Explanatory

Can you guess what his job is? Answer below.


Have you ever been puffed?  You would be if you had to go uphill to school everyday.  Being puffed is the same as running out of breath from physical excertion.

Did you ever use a rubber at school?  Jenna uses one every day, its an eraser.

Have you ever had heaps of stuff to do?  Everything is heaps when its a lot of something.  Like, I wanted heaps of candy for Halloween and I didn't get it.  Or, it takes heaps of concentration to drive around here.


Kelli, Dave and Jenna

(Answer:  He's our mailman)