Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The Final Hunt

April 24, 2019

The last of the posts on Easter, promise. This was Easter Sunday morning and the Easter Bunny showed up. Dropping small eggs full of tiny surprises all over the garden. Straight after breakfast and the boys were out, buckets in hand again, ready to hunt and gather whatever eggs they could find.

The divide and conquer approach. Cullen went one way, Keane a different way.

This bunny dropped eggs all over the place.

He or she bunny, even left a giant egg with a bigger surprise for each of the boys.

Still more eggs to be found.

The harder to reach eggs, a job for the big brother.

We believe we have found them all.

Time to open each and every one.

Cullen got an egg bomb. An explosive device, with tiny eggs inside.

Keane gets the bomb ready.

Its on the ground and we are all keeping a safe distance.

Boom! The moment it explodes. A video would have captured it better.

Wow! Bonus Easter gift. A shark for Cullen and a dragon for Keane.

Back to the business of opening more eggs.

Happy Easter!

April 22, 2019

Chocolate consumed in abundance. Lots of egg related activities with friends. This Easter weekend has me beat. Not the kids though. All of the chocolate guaranteed them a constant supply of fuel, so they never seemed to run out of energy. Never! As a result I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking in this post. Cos early to bed is where its at for me this evening.

As the weekend approached, the boys got together with our good friend Bryson, for an egg dying project.

Egg dying is a big part of Easter here in the US. I don’t really know why and no one seemed to be able to explain it. It just something they’ve always done. So we did it. We hard boiled 3 dozen eggs and then got to dying.

Bryosn’s feelings about his egg turning pink, instead of red.

Keane’s new favorite color is green.

Cullen’s favorite color is still blue.

A rainbow collection of fabulously dyed eggs.

After school on Friday, we had an egg hunt for the boys and some of their school besties. We also welcomed some tiny new members to the friends crew.

And they’re off!! Cullen was not hanging about.

Hot on his heels, the rest of the hunting pack.

Little Hudson doing his best to keep up.

Bringing up the rear, the 1 year old twins.

This little fella wandered off the beaten track and had to be redirected.

The big kids are hunting machines.

And the youngest of all the hunters was more interested in getting a little shut eye.

Comparing quantities. Everyone always wants more than everyone else.

Henry is chuffed with his gathering.

A curious little peak into a fellow hunters basket.

Keane is double fisting baskets. Not really. He’s been ordered to keep an eye on Cullen’s, so he (Cullen) can pee.

Now the counting and opening of each egg begins.

Post counting and a sugar rush in full effect, its time to play.

When an Easter Egg hunt looks more like a kids version of The Hunger Games. Today the boys participated in the first of who knows how many Easter Egg hunts we’ll partake in over the weekend. And high levels of sugar consumption, guarantees high levels of energy to ensure we have adequate endurance for all of it. Wish us luck.

On your marks! Get set! Hunt! The 2019 Easter Egg Hunger Games are officially open. (Plenty more photos will be along shortly).

The not so easy part of renewing your child’s passport? The PASSPORT PHOTOS! Staying still, looking directly into the camera, no laughing, smile, but not silly smile, can be a major challenge for most kids. Not to mention time. If you take too long to get the photo, then forget it, you’ve lost any chance of cooperation.

Cullen’s passport is currently up for renewal, here’s how his passport capturing photos went.

Field Trip of Dreams

April 14, 2019

It was an experience they will never forget. And a field trip I was so lucky to be apart of. When Keane’s teacher asked if I would be one of the chaperone parents on their “Under The Sea” overnight field trip, I was as excited as my 6 year old. Talk about winning the chaperone lottery.

The trip happened last Thursday night. After school twenty three, 6, 7 & 8 year olds packed their overnight bags, rolled up their sleeping bags and head for the Georgia Aquarium for the experience of a lifetime. Check-in at the aquarium was chaos. Over amped on adrenaline the kids squealed, danced and yelled as the teachers and 2 of us parents tried to repeatedly count heads and make sure every kid stayed focused enough to make sure they had all of their belonging for the night. Once check-in was complete we were swept away for a behind-the-scenes tour of everything that goes into the care of all of the marine animals that reside at the Georgia Aquarium. We saw where the sea creatures food is prepared. Where the marine lab and vet care happens. We saw new baby otters, whales and fish not yet mature enough to go into the display tanks being looked after in the marine nursery. We also got to watch the whale shark and penguin feeding. All of the things you would never get the opportunity to see on a standard day at the aquarium. After the behind-the-scenes tour it was back to the public area. But this time, there was no public. The aquarium was officially closed for the night. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was amazing. Seeing all of the wonderful displays, without having to wait your turn, jostle for a good viewing position, get on tip-toe to see above heads or get swallowed and pushed by an excited crowd, was just glorious.  Then after some nighttime instructions and logistics from our aquarium guides, we were taken to our sleep spot for the night. And let me just saw, it could NOT have been more magical. The kids (teachers & parents too) set up camp in the aquarium’s glass tunnel. There are no words to describe what its like to look up from your sleep spot and see whale sharks, sting rays, mantra rays, sharks of varying varieties, groupers and hundreds and thousands of fish swimming all around you. Its pure magic. I didn’t sleep a wink. With 23 kids, there was always someone who needed to be taken to the bathroom, a drink of water or just a little reassurance and comfort. But not sleeping meant I got to enjoy the underwater view, the entire night. Couldn’t ever complain about that.

6am the next morning was our get up time. Breakfast was had, bags were packed, sleeping bags rolled up and we were back behind-the-scenes to see feeding time for some more ocean creatures. After lunch it was time to load up and return all the kids back to school where a bunch of anxious parents waited to see their precious little ones. Wondering and stressing about how they all did on their first ever overnight field trip. And I have to say, all the kids did amazing. I was so impressed by how well they behaved. How independent and capable they all were at taking care of themselves. Setting up and managing their own sleeping areas. All the logistics of dressing, undressing. The pre-bedtime and post-wake up bathroom drill. Everything. They had been practicing the past couple of weeks, getting competent and comfortable with everything they would need to do, so they wouldn’t have to rely on the teachers or chaperone parents to help them. Watching Keane experience this with all his friends. Seeing him take care of himself (he was told by his teachers that I was not his momma on this trip. He wasn’t allowed to ask for my help with anything), was definitely a proud momma moment. If not a little sad, cos I could see how mature he’s getting and how independent he is. Suddenly I had flashes of the future, of him growing up, moving out and doing his own thing in life. And it stung me right in the heart. I was missing him already.

But until that day when he moves out, here he is, 6 years old. Off on the aquarium adventure of a lifetime.

Left: elevator selfie with some of his classmates. Right: Front row, 2nd from left, Keane. We split up into 2 groups once we got to the aquarium and Keane wasn’t in my group.

The 2 groups did come together for some of the activities. So we did get to see each other.

This! This was our camping spot for the night. Photos don’t do it justice. It was truly amazing. Right: A very happy Keane.

Everyone getting their beds set up. Right: A wobbegong shark swimming past as Keane is making his bed for the night.

All tucked in.

After a very early wake up, we were back exploring more of the aquarium.

Post lunch and its time to get ourselves a memory t-shirt and head back to the school.