Saturday 7 December 2019

Nicholai’s colour blindness also led him to believe that our Christmas tree only has two different colours of lights. The things you find out!

Soren had another win at basketball today – a dramatic, on-the-buzzer-win-by-a-single-point kind of victory. It was nuts. They were losing basically all the way, down by nine points at the worst, and clawed it back to win 27-26 after one kid scored a two point shot in the final twenty seconds. The boys were all so happy and excited it was really cute.

Although I have to say…sports parents can be the worst! I mean for god’s sake, you want them to win and it gets tense when it’s so close and they’re trying so hard, but settle down! It really bothers me when parents are applauding because a kid misses a shot or gives away a free shot or something. It’s an under twelve basketball game – it doesn’t really matter! If your sideline ‘support’ means your ten year old is on the brink of tears because he’s feeling so much pressure to win the game that he’s no longer having fun, then you’re really doing it wrong.

Nothing much else is really going on. Troy and I worked during the week. Nicholai and Emma have finished school so they’re hanging around the house a bit more. Nicholai worked a couple of extra shifts and Emma’s got together with some friends, so they’re keeping themselves relatively well occupied. Jericho is still going to school, although they’re really winding down – he has two days off next week (for a Year 7 next year orientation, and then for a staff day) and that will be it for him. Soren doesn’t finish until the 20th but they are doing a few end of year activities now. They had a movie day on Tuesday and then had their annual walkathon and mini fete on Friday.

He enjoyed the fete, although I had to laugh when he came home and after telling us all about it he lay back on the sofa bed in the office and said that he felt a bit sick. I asked in what way and he said, “Well, it could just be the fete food. I had a can of Sprite and some popcorn and a can of coke…and three ice creams.” I was like…yeah, if you ate that in an hour and a half I’m not surprised that you feel sick.

Monday 2nd December 2019

It might be the second day of summer, but today’s weather was freezing cold. I had to wear my knitted hat to basketball training and break out the portable heater while I was at work.

Troy and I were astonishingly efficient today, and bought all our family Christmas presents online. The kids have written lists of what they wanted, and since they all included helpful online links (we asked them to do this!) it was just a matter of going through them all and discussing which ones we thought would be good. Then we wrote a list of what we decided on so we could combine orders and minimise postage, and then ordered everything and paid by Paypal. As long as everything is delivered on time (and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be, we checked all the postage times), we’re all set. I’ll just have to wrap as things as arrive. This year is not going to be a huge present bonanza at all, but they got a Switch last year and we went on holiday so it is what it is. Hopefully they’ll enjoy what they do get and we’ll have a good day.

We also bought our final Kris Kringle present in the city on Saturday (after buying the others at the Springfest market) so we’re actually finished with all gift buying. How very organised.

Although I learned today that Jericho’s colour blindness also hampers his enjoyment of Christmas lights. We had our tree lights on and they cycle through different kinds of twinkling/ flashing/ colours etc and Jericho commented that he didn’t like it when they were all just the same colour…we were like, um, that doesn’t happen. Turns out the red and yellow lights all look the same to him.

Sunday 1st December 2019

We decorated for Christmas today. It looks lovely – with lights on the Christmas tree, lights on the small twiggy Charlie-Brown type tree that we hang the stockings on, and the illuminated reindeer that used to live in the fireplace but now just stands next to the tree, it’s all rather sparkly.

The kids were pretty good with the decorating, although they were rather mercilessly critical of some of our decorations! They’re all going through that stage where they get their fun out of ripping things to shreds, and I have to say that while I know it’s a joke (and it’s often pretty funny) it occasionally gets a bit wearing. Teenagers are exhausting.

Troy and I went to Big W to pick up Emma’s photo book this afternoon, and took Soren to buy him a new pair of sneakers. I am constantly amazed by how often my children need new shoes. When Soren was trying them on today he told me they were comfortable but didn’t really have much room to grow and I was like, ‘well as if that matters, I’ll be buying you a new pair in six weeks anyway’.

School tomorrow for three of the children. Nicholai has finished, and Emma has Year 11 orientation for the next two days, and then she’ll be done too.

IMG_8875

IMG_8878

IMG_8885

IMG_8900

IMG_8894

IMG_8895

IMG_8902

 

Saturday 30 November 2019

Christmas in the city today!

Soren had basketball, so Troy and I took Jericho with us while we went to that. It was a good game actually – they ended up winning by over twenty points in the end I think, but the other team actually made them work for it for quite a while. Soren scored the first point of the game about thirty seconds in, and also got in a free throw later on so he that was great. We met Nicholai at Stockland afterwards (he was scoring cricket as usual while we were at the basketball, and then he walked to the shopping centre afterwards) and bought some bread products to eat the in car while we drove to Melbourne. We parked at the RACV club and met Jean and Steve and Emma at the bar, and then we all walked down to Myer.

It was really lovely! It was so nice to see Emma again, and she seemed so happy with her work experience week. The windows were based on May Gibbs gumnut babies and were actually really cute and well done – normally I like the more Christmassy themes, but I liked this one. This year we also found lots of funny and cute and amusing ornaments in Myer, much better than the last few years have been for sure. It was actually really hard to decide on a single one, but we’ve come home with a kind of crystal looking lobster…it was pretty funny (and I’m much happier with it than I would have been with the stupid hot dog ornament that I thought I was going to get stuck with!). Once we had our ornaments we went to the basement to look at the Harry Potter shop which was fun (although it did make me want extremely expensive Harry Potter pyjamas – ridiculously overpriced and I don’t even wear pyjamas, but I still wanted them!), then walked back to the car and bought a Slurpee from 7-11 on the way. We got Emma’s bags back from Steve and Jean’s car and said goodbye, and then headed back home. We’d usually decorate afterwards, but by the time we bought fish and chips for tea and ate everyone was pretty tired so we decided to leave it for tomorrow.

IMG_8787

IMG_8791

IMG_8804

IMG_8808

IMG_8842

IMG_8867

IMG_8864

IMG_8854

IMG_8832

IMG_8874

Thursday 28 November 2019

Happy birthday Troy!

To celebrate, why don’t you pay out $1250 to buy textbooks and some stationery for your kids for next year?!?!

I know I say it every year, but I am always amazed by how much it costs to send the kids to school. That amount for the booklists was absolutely the bare minimum we could get away with buying – reusing as many items from this year as we could (which is quite a lot) and no one even needed any expensive calculators or anything. And that amount is just books – we still have to pay fees/ music extras/ VET extras/ uniforms etc…It’s nuts.

However it is also Nicholai’s last year of school –  next time we will only be buying for three so there is that to look forward to.

Anyway, Troy had a very low-key birthday really. I gave him a made-by-Benita macramé keyring and the kids all wrote in a card. He chose pastrami rolls as his birthday dinner, which kind of cracked me up. I mean, we had to go to another band concert for Jericho so we didn’t have time to make anything special, but there was something about “I want bread rolls with pastrami for my birthday” that really made me laugh. As it turns out it was a delicious dinner – we bought good bread rolls and deli meats and had spinach and fancy cheese and a selection of tiny cakes and tarts for dessert and it was great.

Jericho’s band concert went well. He is such a performer though! He lost his place in the song and his saxophone was squeaking when he tried to pick it up again so he gave it up and started dancing.

Soren had his school concert over the past two nights. They have so many kids that they have to do it twice just so that all the parents have a chance to see it. Tuesday night I just dropped him off and picked him up afterwards, and Wednesday Troy left the office a little early so that we could go and watch him. Soren was in the recorder band and played the keyboard in his class music performance, and he seemed to have fun. Some of the acts were a bit weird, but there was some fun music and dancing and honestly I just like seeing kids have a chance to try out that kind of creativity and performance.

Emma’s having fun at work experience. She’s done some housekeeping and conference set up and she was in the kitchen today – I think she was probably quite pleased to be able to use her VET cooking skills. I miss her though. It’s been a busy week, but there’s just a constant, nagging little sense of something missing without her home.

Sunday 24th November 2019

It was Springfest in Ballarat today, so I went to that with Troy, Jericho and Soren. It was basically a giant market that spread the whole way along the path around Lake Wendouree. I hadn’t really anticipated that we’d walk the entire six kilometre loop, but that’s what we ended up doing. Probably just because we were fuelled by market food – between us we ate spiral potatoes on sticks, chips and gravy, hot donut bites with raspberry syrup and cinnamon, and some sorbet so that was a delicious (if expensive) way to spend the day.

We did manage to buy all the family Kris Kringle presents though, and one for work KK so that was good. I have to say that while I always really like the idea of a Kris Kringle gift exchange I always find the actual selection of gifts to be enormously stressful, so I’m just glad that it’s over.

My hip hurts so bad now though. I don’t know, the last two ks were really painful with that and then I fell (unrelated, my ankle just turned over and I didn’t catch myself in time) and scraped up my leg and bruised my palm, so that was less than fun. Also embarrassing, but what can you do.

Saturday 23 November 2019

Basketball again today and Soren’s team continued their reign of victory, crushing today’s team 48-24. If they keep this up they’ll be in the finals.

I took my knitting but forgot to add another ball of yarn to the bag and ran out after only doing three rows, so that was frustrating. I just want to finish this cardigan and move on! I’m so sick of knitting it that even the thought of wearing it isn’t very inspiring (although how much of that is due to the warmer weather we’ve been having…) but I’ve still got about one and a half sleeves and a hood to knit, then the sewing of it all together. It might be ready by next winter I guess.

Nicholai went to the cricket today, as there was a women’s Big Bash game being played in Ballarat. Steve drove up here to go with him, and it was so funny when he arrived at home and Luna saw him  – she jumped at him briefly to say hi and then went berserk running around the house and whimpering hysterically as she looked for Jean, who is her favourite person in the universe. Poor Luna just couldn’t understand why she wasn’t there and kept running to the door like she might just appear!

Steve stayed for tea after the cricket and then took Emma home with him. She’s doing her work experience at a winery conference centre in Dixons Creek over the next week, which should actually be a really good work experience option – they’re going to give her a day in the kitchen, a day in the garden, a day with housekeeping, a day at reception/ office, and then she’s going to help with wedding set up and prep. So lots of variety, and lots of stuff she’s actually interested in learning more about. I hope she has fun, although I will miss her not being at home.