Thursday, March 31, 2011

When life give you tomatoes...

...Make Spaghetti Sauce!!!! Hi Friends and Family! How is your day going? It's ALMOST weekend!!! Yippee! I love my Saturday: run at the lake, farmer's market, hanging around with the kids and Matt! So much fun! I can't wait for tomorrow! Here is my adventure in the kitchen yesterday. Boy was it messy! About a bajillion tomatoes from our garden.
simmering with some onion, garlic, and secret spices for at least 2 hours!

whole wheat twisty noodles, a little cheese and it was AMAZING!

Don't forget lovely creation of chocolate chip peanut butter blondies! Yum yum! Matt stole a brownie before I could get a snap shot of it. You ask, did I gain 10 lbs last night? I answer, yes, yes I did! Happily :)
Last night was also date night in this house. I had to pleasure of escorting the gorgeous AddiSue on a date! We went to a park that has just her size play equipment. Her attention span lasted about 10 minutes there and she was ready to go home. We walked home to find we were locked out of the house...with a few ninja like maneuvers we were safe and warm in our house and ready to take Dusty for a walk.

Here is a view of our 'hood'. Please tell me this makes you want to visit us!!! It was a bit cloudy, but I promise the sun does shine a lot!!!

First signs of Autumn. This is the tree in our front yard! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Well, dear friends, it's time to get the little ones up and ready for the day! See you tomorrow!

Enjoy today!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who would have thought?

Good morning, friends!!! How is everything going for you? I hope life is treating you really well!
I bet you all are wondering how I meet people here. Some of you have put your self in a position where you have to meet all new people and make all new friends in your new location. I have found that the most effective way to meet new people here in Australia is to take the girls out on a wagon ride. Nearly everyone we pass says something about our wagon. They don't have big ones like these here. Most people don't even know what to call it! It's been referred to as a "thing", "car", "carriage" and many others!

Yesterday we took the wagon to the park for paint n' play and each of the 50 or so kids took turns having wagon rides! I think I should charge a dollar per ride!

Anyways, to my surprise, it is a fantastic conversation starter and boy am I ever happy we have it!

Yesterday I happened to hear this comedic band from Australia for the second time. I wanted to share a video of theirs on the blog. So I hope you enjoy!

We are off to play group soon! Enjoy today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crazy Dayz

Hi Friends! This week has been such a busy week. Don't get me wrong, I would rather be busy than have nothing to do. However, some weeks are just extra busy. Those types of weeks I call...CRAZY! Yesterday, I accomplished a few things that I want to share with you: (1) Attended a Military Spouses Brunch to promote the Play group that I started for the U.S. Embassy here. (2) While I attended the brunch, I opened my house to all the women to be a drop off point for child care for the brunch (my house became a day care) (3) I got to try a new fantastic place for dinner! I am excited about this one, folks! It's a blue-collar restaurant, located in a hotel. You walk in the door and up to a meat case. Pick out your meat and grill it yourself on a community grill located in the center of the room. So cool! (4) Said our good-byes to one of the families that is leaving here. I find that we consider all U.S. Embassy members as family. The Embassy community here is pretty tight knit and I really enjoy getting to know my "temporary family" in Oz. It's really sad to see parts of that family leaving. A couple of days ago we found some time to play at the park. Here are a couple of cute pictures from our adventure. Before we left, Destiny put a blanket on Dusty dog. so sweet.
Addi said her first 3 word sentence..."push me please". Addi also says "thank you" not only to me, but also to her babysitters yesterday! I love it!

Destiny's favorite hobby: getting dizzy! She's already crazy enough...add dizziness onto it and you have a super crazy child!

We are off to paint and play in the park today! Then hopefully a quiet evening at home!

Enjoy today!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2.5 days

Hi Everyone! Did you miss me? It is amazing what a person can fit into two and a half days. It was a mad dash to Sydney where we attended the conference at Hillsong Church. 5 ladies in one car and 2 in another. Most of us didn't know what we were getting ourselves into! 3,500 women attended this event (all in one location). 3,500! That's a LOT of estrogen...we even dared to mix it with chocolate on a few occasions! In the morning there was a sign that made me think of a special person that I love to say good morning sunshine to.
After every session, we received something as a little "gift". After the first evening session they served us Magnum Ice cream bars that were fantastic! After the morning session they gave us snack packs that included water, apple, a scone, and chocolate. After the afternoon session we got a box of decadent biscuits. After the evening session they put on a fire works show for us. After the morning session on the last day we received another snack pack only this time it had banana bread in it instead of the scone. They sent us off with a t-shirt and water bottle to boot! crazy! The snack packs are pictured above!
Here is a picture of the location of the event. It's huge! An amazing building!
and they had it decorated so nicely just for us!
They put on shows (better than Vegas shows). It was amazing! The lights, the singing, the dancing. AMAZING!
They even had guys who dressed up in dove costumes and provided a variety act (if you will) for the people who were saving the seats before the show actually started.
A ballerina dancing on a piano...beautiful!

It was quite a spectacular time and reminded me so much to be Thankful in life. I find myself thinking through out my daily chores:

"I am thankful to have laundry to hang"

"I am thankful to have a floor to wash"

"I am thankful to have food to cook"

"I am so lucky to have Destiny and Addi to hug and kiss"

Some of these things I have found myself complaining about:

"Oh, I don't wanna do the laundry"

"Ugh, I don't wanna wash my floor"

"I'm feeling too lazy to cook today let's just go out"

"These kids are driving me nuts"

I am thankful for a new prospective to help me be a more positive person and use my abilities to do great things in not only my life, but other people's lives as well.

Enjoy today!

P.S. On a special note: My dear cousin Cora (originally from Fargo, ND) just had her first baby girl!!! Congrats to Cora and her new little family!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Daddy Day Care

Hello Folks!

Today is the day that I head out on my grand adventure...minus my husband and children and dog to Sydney, Australia! (Sometimes I still can't believe I am in Australia....that is SO awesome!)

7 ladies, 1 vehicle. I envision tons of laughter and womanly wonderfulness! I am so excited!

While I'm gone...this is what's gonna go on at my house:

When Destiny was quite young, she enjoyed watching this movie. All the children and colors really attracted her to it. The storyline is so funny! I hope you enjoy the clip of it that I have included.

Ever since I first met Matt, I have always said that he would be a great daddy some day. And he IS! I feel so blessed to have found a man that is willing to take time off of work to watch the girls so I can go to a conference! How wonderful!

Matt and baby Destiny (SanDiego, Cali.)
Matt and baby Addi (Ocean Shores, WA)

This is where I will be:
At Hillsong convention center in Sydney! woot!

I'll be missing in action for a few days...I highly doubt that there will be any guest posts on the blog by Mr. Mom. haha!
Enjoy today and the weekend! {I know I will!!!!}

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Q & A with my NDC

Howdy! How is every one doing today? This morning, Addi slept in until after 10 AM...that NEVER happens! We skipped paint n' play and are now cleaning up the house. We'll head out to ride bikes in a little bit so we get some outside time, but first I have to tell you about the FANTASTIC MAIL DAY we had on MONDAY!

I am friends with our Post Office on Facebook. Each day they take a moment to post the mail box numbers who have boxes waiting for them. I was SO excited to see our number! Not only did we have a box but also we had: 2 letters from my dear Great Auntie Mona, one letter from my Grandma and one letter from my cousins in ND. The box was from my momma and included a few goodies from my Great Auntie Mona! It was GREAT!

Here is the mail we got...You can see marshmallows (for my friend Cheri, she really wants to make rice crispy treat so I had mom send us those for her) goodies for the girls, yummy treats for all of us! It was so great!
I titled this post Q & A with my NDC meaning: Questions and Answers with my North Dakota Cousins. 3 of my cousins from North Dakota wrote us letters. In the envelope was a special card from my cousin Caelic to sweet baby Addi. Addi loved the card, Caelic!! We also recieved letters from my cousin Josiah and my cousin Jenae. Both of them asked some pretty good questions and I thought I would share the answers to their questions on the BLOG!

My favorite special treat in the box from my mom (and Great Auntie Mona) dark chocolate peanut m and m. They are nearly gone!

Question one came from Josiah: Do you have a big back yard for the girls to play in?
Answer: Yes, Josiah, we do have a nice back yard. We also have a lovely patio that we can grill on and eat outside. We have the girl's play equipment set up on the patio.

Here is the grassy part of the back yard. Dusty loves this area. The girls like it too. On the far fence is where I hang laundry each morning too! Compared to most of our neighbors, our yard is very large!
Question 2 (also from Josiah): Do you have a garden? If you do, what do you grow in it?
Answer: Yes, we do have a garden. This year, since it was our first year, it was a trial and error process. We planted strawberries, carrots, capsicum (red peppers in the states), cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, rosemary, pumpkin (squash in the states), and tons of tomatoes. It is nearly the end of the growing season here, but we just harvested our first red pepper and are constantly getting in big juicy red tomatoes. Earlier we had TONS of cucumbers!
We found out that carrots, spinach and lettice all were a bit difficult to grow. Also, our strawberries were eaten by other critters before we could get to them!
Our first red pepper!

Here is a picture of my cousins from N.D. Jenae in the blue, Josiah standing in back next to Jenae and Caelic in the front. (this is an older picture, they are much more grown up now :)
Question 3 (also from Josiah): For each of you, what has been your favorite new Australian food?
There are so many new, fun foods to try here. These are just our favorites:
The girls LOVE to snack on "Monster Snacks". They are a bit like Cheetos.

My favorite foods come from the bakeries here. I really love the passion fruit/white chocolate scones.

Matt loves the meat pies here (also from the bakeries)
Some of our favorite snack items are TimTams
And Iced Vovo, they are both considered biscuits and found in the biscuit aisle in the grocery store.
Another fun and new thing that we have been trying is called a "babycino" it's the foam from the espresso machine and they serve it with cocoa powder on top! Destiny calls it her "coffee"!

Jenae also shared some questions with me.
Question 1 from Jenae: How is everyone?
Answer: We are all doing very well. The girls love having time spent with play group friends and they always want to be on the run. Matt is busy with work right now; they have many visitors coming until the end of March. I stay busy with housework and the girls. I have also found some time to be a little artistic lately which is fun! I head out for a conference in Sydney tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that!
Question 2 from Jenae: I am just wondering, but what time (Aussie time) do you usually write your blog?
Answer: I try really really REALLY hard to write the blog before the girls wake up in the morning. This usually means that I have uploaded the pictures the evening before and just have to type in the words in the morning. Life doesn't always work out that way so sometimes I write it during breakfast or at nap time which is around 1 PM.
Question 3 from Jenae: How long did this letter take to get to you?
Answer: The date that you wrote the letter is March 8th, the envelope was post marked March 12th. I received the letter on March 21st which would be March 20th in the States.
A special thank you to all of you who have written to us. We LOVE getting mail! I was over joyed to see our mail box filled to the brim with letters and packages!!!
I am late with my blogging today so I best be off to let the girls outside a bit before lunch time!
Enjoy today!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Man-Eating Kangaroos!

Happy Monday!!! This morning has been PRODUCTIVE! I love these kinds of days. I ran, I cleaned, I fed the monkeys {I mean children}. Now it's time to go to the store! I love shopping Mondays...if the girlies are good, I'll let them play in the play area near Big W (Aussie for Walmart).

Celebrating St. Paddy's Day with Green Play Dough! What fun!

As of March 19, Matt and I have been married 6 years! That seems like SO long! A wedding, one dog, 2 children and a move across the world later...HERE WE ARE! We had big plans to celebrate our anniversary in Sydney, however, our plans quickly changed when we found there was a HUGE celebration going on here in Canberra, celebrating their 98th birthday! So we hung out around home so we could take in the festivities. Our anniversary looked the same as many of our Saturdays look here in Canberra:
A stop off at the farmer's market early in the morn. There was a teen aged boy playing an accordion! Two little ones in red shirts sitting and enjoying the music!

I often talk about the farmer's market in the blog so I thought I would post a picture of how big of a deal it really is. It is jam packed with people. So many vendors selling exciting food!

After the market we went off on our 5K run around the lake. I have created a monster! I always used to beat Matt when we ran, but now he can run a mile nearly a minute faster than I can! It's good for him; we both feel really good and healthy and that's all that matters. Many of you know how competitive I am though....he usually is in the lead the whole way and then lets me "win" the "race" at the end! That's why I love him and that's why we've been together 6 years :)
Our run was a little detoured this time around as they had a couple of stages set up for concerts later in the evening (my next blog will involve more info. on that). We ended up running up and down grassy hills and going WAY off course.

When we got home I took some pics of our farmer's market finds. The usual: eggs, blueberries, beets, bagels, strawberry rhubarb pie and apple cinnamon muffin. The unusual: Macadamia nut oil! We are excited about this one. We have used it twice now and love it! I can't wait to bake with it!

Later in the day we headed out to an outlet mall and I found my Bride's maid dress for my cousin's wedding! It's so much fun shopping for new dresses! I'm not sure if I have shared on the blog, but we are headed back HOME in SEPTEMBER for my cousin's wedding in Oregon! I am SO stoked!!!! We will be traveling all over the states so let us know if you would like us to pop in and see you!
Aussie sign o' the day:
Man-eating kangaroos: next 3 km?
or Kangaroos and Pedestrians next 3 km?
Who knows?
Aussie word o' the day: Hakuna Matata = "no worries"
We were watching Lion King the other night and Pumba and Timon sang "hakuna matata" I got really excited and asked Matt "Is that song Australian...cuz it means "no worries"?" haha! I was totally joking but then it developed into me posting it on the blog as the word o' the there you have it!
It's bath time for the littles ones and then we are off to the grocery store for a few things!
Enjoy today!

Fireworks, just for us! Gee thanks :)

Hi Friends!

Matt and I have joked from the moment we heard there were going to be fireworks on our anniversary, that they were doing such a display just for "us"! haha! We headed out to the park early and found a great parking spot and a great spot to set up or little camp!

The stage was near us, we could see and hear everything!
This picture flipped side ways, but it's the Aussie Flag on Regatta Point.
Me and Matt in the drizzle.
We brought yummy bagels from the farmer's market to eat. The girls loved theirs. However, Destiny was begging for cotton candy by the end of the night (calling it Ice cream because they look like big ice cream cones)
Addi scarfing her bagel down.
The sign displaying the name of the event. (they didn't call it "Matt and Jill's Anniversary show...I was disappointment)
Fireworks. Matt wanted me to name this blog Fireworks and Mullets, because I'm not sure what I saw more of...yikes!
Destiny was so excited because they played her favorite song!
Me and Addi. Addi loved seeing the fireworks! She just watches quietly.

My beautiful flowers from Matt! I love Lillies!!! (and I love Lili, my cousin :) the flowers always make me think of her!
Something I've wanted to post on the blog for a while:

Conversation in American English:

Person 1: Hi, how are you doing?

Person 2: Fine, how are you?

Conversation in Aussie English:

Person 1: G'day, how are you going?

Person 2: Good, how are you?

Conversation in American English:

Person 1: Thank you.

Person 2: You're welcome.

Conversation in Aussie English:

Person 1: Thank youuuuu.

Person 2: That's okay.

**** I find it very difficult to react to people saying "that's okay" instead of "you're welcome". I think that is something I will NEVER get used to.
Well, we are off to a coffee shop to meet up with some other moms and babes!
Enjoy today!