Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A home of our very own!

I haven't blogged for a while.  I've been keeping everyone updated via Facebook and forgotten about my poor old blog.

2013 has been a fantastic year – much better than last year.


This year has been a “Year of independence” for the Brown family.

Lauren has become a lot more independent this year. She buys things from the shops on her own, takes the dogs for a walk on her own and has walked up to school on her own without Ashleigh (in preparation for next year when Ashleigh won’t be there).

I got a “part-time” job in May this year working at a company called Fluke. It’s located in Castle Hill so is nice and close to the girl’s school. I started out working school hours but since the end of September my hours have increased to 4pm. Thank goodness Mum has been able to get the girls for me in the afternoon.

But the best news of all …. we bought this:


A home of our own. It’s so exciting. We move in 3 weeks – just before Christmas.

What an amazing Christmas present!

I have so many plans for it but of course this will happen over time and not straight away.

This is going to be difficult for me because I want it all done NOW!

I can’t wait to transform it into our “Forever Home”.

But for now, I have to start packing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ash's B'Day

This week Ash turned 11.  I can't believe it!
She got: a SIM card for her iPhone (pre-paid of course), a necklace with Eiffel Tower pendant, Thomas Sabo bracelet (imitation from Thailand), some more Littlest Pets and underwear.
As you can see by her gifts of choice, she is slowly outgrowing toys.  The highlight was the SIM card for her phone.  I got a $15 credit for her so hopefully she will be responsible and not waste it.
She had a quiet birthday this year.  We had the family over for a BBQ lunch as her birthday fell on a Saturday this year.  It has been raining constantly so I was a little worried it would be raining on her birthday AGAIN!  It rains every year on her birthday!  BUT, this year it was brilliant sunshine!  It was a gorgeous day so we were lucky.  As usual, her birthday landed on the Queens Birthday long weekend so it was extra nice for her!



 She went to her first out of school disco this week.  The dance studio she attends had their yearly disco and she was so excited.  She is growing up so fast. I sent her off with her own mobile phone to call me if there was an emergency. 

We are currently dog sitting a chihuahua (Midget).  She's a gorgeous little thing - a little bit skiddish but only around strangers, kids and other dogs.  She has really become part of our family - we will miss her when it's time for her to go but the girls are well aware that we have to give her back.  The hard thing is we're dogsitting for 6 months which is a really long time - plenty long enough for us to become attached but we'll cross that bridge when it comes!  Here she is fast asleep on my lap:


Aaron's away on a fishing trip this weekend.  He's gone for 4 days - out in the middle of the ocean on really choppy seas!  Glad it's him and not me!  He left on Thursday night and I only just got an email from him today (Saturday).  He hasn't had much mobile phone coverage out in the middle of the ocean (understandable).  He said that the other guys have been "feeding the fish" over the side of the boat!  I'm not surprised I would be too!  I get incredibly sea sick!  Not my cup of tea but he's having a blast!  He said that he can just see land wayyyy off in the distance!  I swear it's his imagination, I can't see anything. 




The girls and I took a drive to Wollongong (in the rain) to visit with Deb and Trev.  One of their chihuahua's had puppies.  Here is Ash holding all 3 puppies:


The girls had a blast playing with these gorgeous little things!  They are so playful and cute!
They also had a Ward Carnival today so we went along to that.  It was such a great day!  The kids had a blast.  Here are some photos:

The hot dog stand and milk bar:

The Can Knockdown:

Target practice with a nerf gun:

And the ping pong ball toss:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

School 2012

The girls went back to school this year pretty much without a hitch!

Of course, Lauren was upset about returning to school - she'd much rather be home with Mummy.
I had the same problem with Ashleigh - in fact, Ash was still crying when I dropped her to school throughout Year 2 so hopefully this will be the last year of tears - fingers crossed!

I was a little disorganised this year so I didn't get around to taking a photo of them until their 2nd week back at school.  And of course they had to clown around!!


We were lucky to have had a visit from Poppy Brown last week.  It was lovely having him stay with us and spending time with the girls.

Lauren Turns 8!

On Saturday our baby turned 8.
I can't believe it!
How time flies.
We will be getting her baptised on 3rd March (hopefully).
She was a little apprehensive about getting baptised in the lead up to her 8th birthday so our bishop suggested we have a "wet run" for her.  So last weekend they filled the font and she went dressed in her swimmers to do a practice run.  They had the font filled for another little boy in Lauren's class, Levi McCormack as he is very sick and has only been given a few weeks to live but he really wanted to get baptised (his birthday is the day before Lauren's) but they had to do a practice run for him as he is very frail.
Lauren did so well.  In fact, she enjoyed it and now can't wait to get baptised!
After the practice she didn't walk back to the stairs to get out - she swam!  I hope she doesn't do that on the day - dressed in her white dress and all!

We got some photos taken of Lauren in her baptism dress as a momento of the day.
Here are some of the photos:



We had the family over for lunch on Saturday for her birthday and she had such a good time.
She loves it when the family gets together!  Here are some photos:



Of course she had to taste the icing to see if it was OK!!

Happy Birthday my little angel!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Gerringong

A couple of weeks ago we decided to take some time off our usual busy life and go down to Gerringong for the weekend.  A weekend is never long enough, but we managed to enjoy ourselves regardless.

We stayed with friends who have a family holiday home there!  It's a massive house that sleeps around 10 people so there was plenty of room for everyone!

It was great catching up with friends and discussing everything from life to politics and spiritual experiences we've had over the years!  We're so lucky to have such great friends!  The only problem is we've had about 4 different couples say to us "we need to go organise a weekend away" and we can barely get time to do this on our own let alone with everyone else!  It's nice to be loved!  :)

Here are some photos of our weekend away:

The drive down to Gerringong - such a pretty view!

Walking down to the beach:









One of the many rock pools at the beach!  They are full of fish and crabs!

Pelicans sunning themselves

And of course, no trip to Gerringong is complete without a visit to my favourite shop in Berry:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Once again Christmas has snuck up on me this year!
And it doesn't even feel like Christmas!
The weather has been terrible the last few weeks leading upto Christmas.
It has been rainy and cold!  This photo was taken 23rd December:



We had one nice weekend in the second week of December and there quite a few people putting up Christmas lights on their homes but there aren't too many homes decorated this year.  I think it's because the weather has been so miserable!

We managed to get a few outdoor decorations up this year.  I accidentally put outdoor lights on our Christmas tree this year but didn't realise until the tree was completely decorated so we didn't have lights to put up in the conifer trees out the front unfortunately.  I did however manage to buy a rope light tree this year.  I LOVE it - even though Aaron and Ash don't think it matchs the lights on the gutters!

Here's this year's attempt at outdoor decorating:


We kept up the tradition of making a Christmas card tree on our wall.
I much prefer displaying the cards this way!  It doesn't look as cluttered as cards on a table.



Here are some photos of our home at Christmas:




And finally, here's a picture of Lauren's masterpiece.  
I think I'll use it as our Christmas cards next year!


Friday, November 25, 2011

What a Blessing ...

I was driving the girls home from school this afternoon and I went over Ashleigh's line for the Primary Presentation with her which is "The Priesthood is the power of God.  I am blessed by this power when my Father gives me a blessing when I am sick". 

I then took the opportunity to explain to her what this means.
And then at the end I said "That's what happens when Daddy gives you a blessing"

Then a little voice from the back seat said "or Poppy". 
Lauren had obviously remembered when she was really sick with a vomiting bug last year her "Poppy" had come over to give her a blessing as Aaron was away. 

I think of how lucky my kids are to have experienced getting a blessing from their poppy. 
I never had that experience and I am so happy that they got to experience it.

Precious.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've Never Been Down This Road Before...

We've been so busy the last few weeks.
Ashleigh had her dance school concert last week and it has been weeks of extra rehearsals so we didn't seem to have any spare time up our sleeves.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief now as her classes are finished for the year!
Here's a photo of Ash in her acrobatics outfit striking the pose she had to hold at the end of her performance.



She did so well despite her injuries!
Yes, our little Ash has a tendancy to attract bad luck at the worst possible time!
First, she lost her front tooth the day before Aunty Mandy's wedding and she was flower girl so I had to tell her to smile with her mouth shut!
And then at her rehearsals (the day before the concert) she broke her toe.
She was determined to do her part anyway and didn't want to let her team down so she went on stage and performed to the best she could!
She only started halfway through the year so she was 6 months behind the rest of the girls in her class but she did so well and we were so proud of her going on stage - she was so nervous!
Unfortunately her toe was trodden on a couple of times (backstage) before she went on stage so she was in quite a bit of pain and was unable to do her cartwheels as well as she would have liked.

Both the girls have their school end of year performance in a couple of weeks.
Last year Lauren danced in two dances - one for her class (the support unit) and another with the main stream class she was integrated with.
She absolutely loved being up there on stage!  She was a natural!

Aaron's been working long hours lately.  He seems to enjoy the challenge of his new job.  Everyone seems to love him there (as usual).  He's on a bit of a health kick - exercising more and watching what he eats.  He has lost a few kilos in the process which is great.

And me, I've been busy working 4 days a week from home.  I work school hours (at least I'm supposed to) which is good.  My bosses go away for two months on Wednesday so it's going to be a lot quieter and I can't wait!!

Today, on the way home from church, we had to pull into a side street as we realised Lauren's car door was open so we needed to pull into a quiet street so she could open her door and close it  properly.  Ashleigh said "I've never been down this street before" and then Lauren said "Yes you have, you just did".  Duh!

Anyway, here are some photos I took of the girls today.  They are looking so grown up now.