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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Looking back through 2018

I’m sure everyone says the same thing; that the year seemed to pass in a flash.
DH and I were blessed with 3 more grandchildren this year...all girls! 😍
Carrie was born in January, 

Abby in February...

and Meredith in October. 

One of these little darlings has special needs but she is thriving now after some dark moments which entailed emergency flights using the Care Flight helicopter and the Royal Flying Doctor and hospital stays here in the capital. But throughout family and friends have pulled together and provided amazing support to the little family with their first baby. Obviously there are still many hurdles to deal with but each will be dealt with as it is encountered. Hopefully the NDIS will be a help.

DH and I have stepped up our help with babysitting of the 4 here in Brisbane, quite willingly putting other things on hold to help our children out. 
Anthea helping DH clean his golf clubs...

Helping dig up Grandma’s sweet potato crop...

Helping cook...pikelets for morning tea! 

Sometimes the little ones were sick and unable to go to Daycare...😕

But then there were the trips to the library...

And Holly even came to a K4BN Knit and Natter with me! 

We still had time for some travel including a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and trips to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and a short trip to the Sunshine Coast so DH could play in a golf competition. All the trips within Australia included catch ups with family and friends; always a bonus!

Sadly in September (20th) my beloved cat, Eduardo died 6 weeks after being diagnosed with a cancer under his tongue. 
He knew the end was near and stayed close to me in those last weeks...

He had turned 17 on September 16; a very sad time but I had been really touched when, on Father’s’ Day ( first Sunday in September) all the family came to say their farewells to Eddie...even the ones who don’t really like cats!

He hasn’t been replaced at this stage although I think I might be ready now to perhaps get an older ‘rescue cat’ so we’ll see what the future brings. 
For DH and my birthdays this year, the family clubbed together to pay for a 2 hour session with the lovely photographer who took DsD1’s wedding photos last year. They ( our girls) coordinated everything so all of the family were in Brisbane at the same time and that everyone was wearing similar colours)
And for Christmas they again clubbed together to buy a large print of the whole family... well the whole family in May, Meredith wasn’t born until October 😍. Taken on Shorncliffe Pier

There were a few special birthdays this year too of course; Holly’s first birthday and a few 70th celebrations that we went to in 2018. Next year DH has a special birthday ending in a zero!! 
Happy New Year everyone! Remember Life is what you make it!! 🎉😘

Christmas 2018

Christmas has come and gone once again. This year the decorating was low key and many items stayed in their boxes. 
But the older granddaughters still had fun and loved being able to touch items. The few ‘precious’ items on display were up high so everyone could relax. 
This year I decided to incorporate my 1970s Dickens’ characters Toby jugs in the decorations...up high! Lol
Photo shows the start of decorating the hutch with those little jugs

The bottom shelf had the knitted Nativity which little hands could reach and play with...

And I absentmindedly left my little step ladder there which Miss A quickly took advantage of...of course! 

At night I had some LED lights threaded along the shelves which the girls loved.

And on our recent holiday I had found some reindeer lights which I loved so much that I bought them! 😉😆

And I found some other lights at Big W...little cottages.

Another new addition to my Christmas decor this year was a red sleigh. Our parish Christmas hamper raffle was packaged up in one so I asked the organisers where they had got it. It was from Kmart and $15 and folds flat for storage. It’s made of thick felt like fabric so could be manhandled by the little girls without hurting them or scratching the flooring...

That sleigh got pushed all around the house filled with dolls, teddies and other assorted soft toys. Some wore Santa Hats which were actually hats for dogs that I’d bought from the ‘cheap shop’ last year specifically for dolls. 

The family all gathered on Christmas Eve for a relaxed meal together which was the highlight of Christmas 2018 for DH and I.

I had filled a basket with decorations that the little girls could use to decorate the small tree but Holly preferred to just sit and play with each item...

She had so much fun with them!

And in a little tradition that started with Anthea’s first Christmas, each of the grandies got a little handmade ornament from me. So Anthea now has 3, Holly 2 and the others 1. Next year I think I will make a drawstring bag for each of them to store their ‘grandma decorations ‘. 

And that was Christmas for another year. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

On the road...

After our 6 nights in Melbourne it was time for us to start heading west to the city of Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia. Before we left though I made one last visit to the station across the road to take a photo of one of the destination boards. It had my mum’s name on it; her parents had named her after a town north of Melbourne! Lol

So on Monday morning we picked up our hire car from a rental company just across the road from where we had been staying. 
I thought this part of the rental office decor was interesting...

I was looking after our luggage while DH signed all the rental agreement papers...

And off we set, heading out of Melbourne to get on to The Great Ocean Road. As suggested by the name, the road follows much of the coastline with some amazing scenery and lovely towns. A bit about the road’s history later in the post.
So our first stop was a lookout overlooking Bells Beach. I believe a big surfing competition is held here but it was very quiet the day we were there.

Our next stop was at Anglesea which is on the Anglesea River...

It’s a small world. The lady in the Information Centre mentioned that she came from the town of Mortlake after I mentioned we would be visiting some towns where my mum’s family had lived. I said that we’d had a Rector of our parish whose hometown was Mortlake. ( but years before of course) Yep you’ve guessed it; she asked me for the family name and straight away she said ‘Neville?’ He and her older brother had been best mates since their schooldays! 

Next stop along the coastline was at Aireys Inlet.
And high up on the hill there is a lighthouse. This lighthouse featured in the Australian children’s TV series Round the Twist. The family lived in a lighthouse and it was a zany series that’s for sure! 

As a child I had always dreamed of living in a lighthouse but I think all those stairs could have soon made it a nightmare 😂. 
The rocky outcrop in the collage was like a shorter version of the Twelve Apostles feature which are also a big tourist attraction on the GOR. Read about them here and how there are only 8 left!
Our next stop was the Memorial Arch honouring those soldiers who died in the war ( the First World War) and the building of the road is actually itself a memorial to the fallen in WW1. The road building commenced in 1919 and was completed in 1932. More details can be found here...

There were a number of fellow tourists there when we were there but many of them ignored the signs which asked people not to stand in the middle of the road to take photos of the Arch. It’s a major road with a speed limit of 100 kph! DH and I stood on the raised dais built at the side of the road! 

And our final stop for the day was in the town of Lorne. It was our overnight stop and apparently we were sharing the town with ‘schoolies’, but they weren’t noisy really unlike the ones who go to the Gold Coast. 
A lovely seaside town to walk around...
Even the bins were smart 😉

I just had to stop and check out this picturesque church with its beautiful gardens.

Interestingly it’s a combined Anglican Uniting Church Parish.
The lovely parks that ran down to the beach were very popular. 

We had a bit of an ocean view from our motel room and with twilight we could admire the view well into the evening.

And the next morning we headed off again...but more about that in the next post.

The Sunday Stitchers Christmas Party

Last Sunday we had our Christmas party at Sunday Stitchers. It was a lovely day filled with friendship, lovely gifts and laughter. 
Those of us who arrived early were able to help set the tables. 

Sandi organised some games.
The first game was played in teams if 3 and we had a list of decorations that had to be put on a little tree that each team a certain time! 

We also had to gift wrap a ball; not an easy task. So while one team member took the tree out of its box, another team member took the list of decorations to a big box of items and counted out what we needed. The other team member wrapped and gift tagged the ball. Lots of laughter ensued 😝. 

My team with our decorated tree...

Every team member won a prize! 

Sandi also made the most magnificent photo frame that we could use to have our photos taken. Here’s the three of us who come together in the same car each month. 

We also gave and received a big haul of small gifts from each other...

This is Michelle’s photo which I stole! Lol
I had had plans to make a gift ( ornament) for everyone but ran out of time. So only 3 of the 14 gifts I distributed were handmade, the rest were from Bed Bath and Table! But they were nice. 
As usual we had Secret Santa. This year we each handed over a fat quarter to be redistributed to the person who would be our Secret Santa. Some of us added a list of suggestions of what we’d like made. I received this text fabric with Australian place names on it. 

Eventually I decided to make a bag as suggested by my partner but I was determined to use what was in my stash. 
This is what I came up with...the front,

And the back

The fat quarter I handed in was Christmas fabric with elves. Teresa, my partner made me the most beautiful table runner; to say I was thrilled was an understatement. 

It’s already in use on my dining room table; love it! 
This year, instead of each of us bringing food, we decided to go to the Norfolk Tavern which is in easy walking distance of the community centre where we meet each month. No photos but we all had a lovely meal.
After lunch Sandi had another game for us...

Yes we were all given a cup of popcorn and a tapestry needle threaded with twine...and we were given a few minutes to thread as much popcorn onto the string that we could. Well the popcorn kept shattering so the floor got a bit messy. Three of us ended up in a tie for first; it had been fun! 
Now Alison is the person who organises the rental of the room and brings the tea coffee supplies each month as well as a myriad of other things for the group. So we gave her a presentation to show our appreciation; wine and chocolates 😁

And of course we had December birthdays too

The day had been a lovely celebration to end a wonderful year for our group.