Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Final Memories of Oz

 Hey Friends!  Did you ever think this time would come?  It's time for this boomerang to head back to where it came from (regarding the name of the blog).  What an amazing blessing to be here in Australia for 3 years.  There are so many memories that I hold so dear to me.  I am blessed with so many friends that have become my family away from home.  The above picture is of the group of ladies who attended my goodbye party.  I am truly blessed to know each one of you. xoxo!
 I dug up some more photos of fun memories in Oz.  Here's memory 21 and possibly my favourite memory.  In moving here, I found it hard to find a group of moms to hang out with.  Our neighbourhood playgroup was closed to new members, and I didn't connect with anyone at the playgroup at the park.  I decided to put an add in the Embassy newsletter about getting together with other moms.  I was shocked at the response and had every one over for a play date at my house.  The 5 ladies who attended the first playgroup have become such wonderful friends of mine and through these last 2.5 years, the group has grown so much.  I was so happy to have other moms to look to for advice and to understand me just as I am: A mom.  Thanks, playgroup mommas!  I'm so lucky have known all of you!
 Memory number 22: I love all the indoor play areas here in Canberra.  We have such fun memories of birthday parties and play group meet ups at the play centres.  I will really miss Kid City in particular! 
 Memory number 23: I LOVE that Destiny got to attend a few discos while going to school at Harrison School.  She had so much fun bebopping around on the dance floor with her classmates.  What a fun school activity!
 Memory number 24: Floriade!  The Spring flower festival that really brightens up the whole city of Canberra.  Whether it's just for a walk through the flowers or a picnic with friends, we have enjoyed Floriade each year we have attended.
 Memory number 25: Dusty's best buddy Boomer!  We loved watching Boomer and meeting up with Matt's boss and his wife for doggy walks!  Matt's boss, John and his wife Fran will always be like family to us.  What an amazing blessing to be posted at the same location as them for the last 3 years. 
 Memory number 26: A special camping trip to the beach.  We enjoyed the sun and the sand and all the fun that camping brings! 
 Memory number 27: Thanks to the lovely Burke family, we had a fabulous day at the circus!  The girls enjoyed every second of it!  We also enjoyed a circus when my mom was visiting. 
 Memory number 28: We had a fun-filled family day at our house having 6 families over for a craw fish boil!  We have been so lucky to have amazing friends and co-workers that there is never a dull moment or boring weekend around here.  This was a particularly fun event that we hosted at our hosue.
 Memory Number 29: I know I have mentioned some fun activities for school, but I think an amazing memory for me is just the fact that Destiny went to school here and that she learned some amazing things while in school here.  She now has her little Aussie accent and says things like zed, texta, rubber, and have a go.  She really is quite clever!
Memory number 30: Another fun memory of our time here has been Matt's time spent marching in the Anzac Day Parade with other Americans.  What an honour to display respect to the Australian Defence by marching along with them in memory of troops who have gone before them. 

There are so many other memories that have been amazing, but there is just not enough time in the world to share every fun experience we have had while living here.

With all of the memories comes many tears as we say good bye to amazing friends!  Thank you, Australia, for being an amazing place to live!  We will hold this time in our lives in our hearts forever.  Our time here has helped us define who we are as a family. 

For now, I'm signing off, but plan to fill you in on our next adventure soon.  Our belongings and our sweet Dusty left for America today and we will follow shortly after! 

Enjoy today!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Catching up on memories

 Memory Number 14: Our 3 trips to the Royal Canberra Show.  The show is kind of like a county fair with food, rides, animals, shows, show bags, etc.  We have enjoyed each year.  We especially loved the first year when they had a VERY large Ferris wheel and we could see the entire city of Canberra from WAY up high!
 Memory Number 15: Fun outings with the Military Spouses.  Within the first year of living here we had a military spouse event every other month.  I really enjoyed our trip to the Vineyard and Winery.  I also loved the time we did a Murder Mystery Dinner.  During my pregnancy and after having Oliver I wasn't able to join in on most of the activities, but for my first year of living here I really enjoyed my time spent with the military spouses.
 Memory Number 16: I had the wonderful opportunity to join a group of ladies from my church at Hillsong Church in Sydney for a HUGE women's conference called Colour Conference.  I loved the amazing lessons I learned and especially loved the humanitarian portion of each conference.  I got to see one of my favourite bible study leaders, Beth Moore!  Each year, I was blessed by this conference!
 Memory Number 17: One of my all time fave places to go in Canberra is Max Brenner Chocolate Bar.  I love it!  I have so many memories from this place. I have experienced fabulous dates with Matt there, kiddie dates with the girlies, Mom's Night Out chit chat time, and I especially love that each time I go there I run into some one I know!  It has been a great place to connect with friends!
 Memory Number 18: Getting up close and personal with the giraffes at Toronga Zoo in Sydney.  That is the closest I have ever been to a giraffe.  It was amazing and the view of Sydney harbour from the zoo is absolutely stunning.  We had a lovely visit to the zoo as a family! 
 Memory Number 19: Each year there is a balloon festival in Canberra called Balloon Spectacular.  We have participated in different ways each year we have lived here.  The first year we attended take off at 6 AM.  It was a beautiful sight!  The next year, we saw the balloons rising as we were taking off on an airplane to Cairns.  This last year, we saw a trapeze act performed hanging from two balloons as a part of the Enlighten Festival here in Canberra.  It was really neat and we have loved seeing the balloons.  Unfortunately we have not gone up in a balloon, but one day I will!
Last memory for today, Memory Number 20:  I have loved getting to know the Aboriginal culture here in Oz.  I love hearing the didgeridoo and seeing dot paintings.  I love watching the people perform dances, eat the native food, and so many other activities.  It's a neat way to experience the people of the land. 

For now, enjoy today!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Aussie Memory 12 and 13

 G'day mates!  Today I have for you my special memories from Oz 12 and 13.  One of my all time fave places to go right here in Canberra is on the top of Mount Ainslie.  We have hiked up it and hiked down it multiple times.  You can see the amazing lay out of Canberra from the top!  I love that you can see Parliament, Old Parliament, Anzac Parade, and the War Memorial all in one shot!
 This particular pic was taken the very first time we went there.  We drove to the top...hiked down it and then hiked back up!  That was a huge mistake with a 1 and 3 year old :)  The hike down was easy, the hike up...not so much!  Nevertheless it is one of my favourite memories of living here.  Hiking Mount Ainslie really helped me learn the layout of Canberra.
 Speaking of learning about Canberra, that is my next special memory!  There are so many amazing and wonderful things to do and explore in Canberra.  We enjoyed checking out Cockington Green, a village of miniature houses.
 The girls LOVE Questacon, the science centre here.
 We've checked out Parliament on a number of occasions.
 The girls enjoyed dressing up at the Old Parliament Museum.
 A picture with Old Parliament and New Parliament in the back ground.
 We've enjoyed trips to the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, National Library, National Museum, Dinosaur Museum, Botanic Gardens, Reptile Centre and Aviary.
Last but not least, we toured the Austrian Institute of Sport. 

Canberra is so full of things to do and see, many of them have free entry too!  We have really enjoyed getting to know this amazing city!  These memories are so dear to our hearts!

Enjoy today!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Aussie Memory Number 10 and 11

 Hey Friends!  I hope you enjoyed the dance video.  Destiny had her dance concert at the Playhouse in Canberra 2 weekends ago!  She was super excited to perform.  One of our greatest memories from Canberra is dance class.  Destiny has had the same teacher since she started as a 3 year old!  Lucky her.  She will truly miss Cassie and Olivia from Play the Dance Agency.  The above pic is of her when she was just starting out at Play!
 Addi had fun dancing too, but suddenly turned a bit shy and might try dance again when we move to Washington.
 Destiny with last year's concert flyer!

 Time to spin!
The final pose!  She did so great and after her concert we enjoyed an amazing dinner at the Pancake Parlour, one of our all time faves in Canberra!
Memory number 11 is swimming!  The girls love swimming.  They love it in our backyard or at the ocean or in a hotel or at their swimming lessons at Aquatots!  They are my little mermaids!
Destiny has been blessed with amazing swim teachers who have taught her so much.  She loves to swim and has learned so many strokes!  I think she's a better swimmer than her mommy :)
Enjoy today!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Aussie Memory Number 9

 It's that time of year to remember the 2 birthday parties the girls have celebrated in Australia so far.  Turning 2 and 4, the girls enjoyed breakfast in bed and then a Disney themed birthday party because we were traveling to Disneyland shortly after their birthdays! 
Turning 3 and 5 we celebrated with a special Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party! 

Today we are celebrating the girls with a Disco party at a local kid's play facility.  The girls are so excited to dance their way into ages 4 and 6. 

We have such fond memories of our special Aussie birthdays.  Fairy bread, Hip-hip hoorays, and so much more!  We love our new birthday traditions that have started here in Oz. 

If you see a special six year old today, make sure you wish her a happy birthday!  Can you believe our baby girls is six?!

Enjoy today! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aussie Memory Number 7 and 8

  Hey Friends!  Doing another 2-a-day for the memories!  Aussie memory number 7 is our trip to the beach and getting to literally swim with dolphins!  We enjoyed our time with the dolphins so much that we weren't able to get a great photo, but it's a memory that we will cherish forever! 
 Aussie memory number 8 is all of the wonderful times we had with the three lovely ladies who came to visit us while living here.  My mom came here twice!  We had so many fun outings around Canberra and in Sydney. One of my favourite times was seeing kangaroos and emus at Tidbinbilla with her.  The girls always talk about playing on the beach at Manly with Grandma too!  They were in their winter coats playing in the sand!
 My sister came out for a little trip to Oz.  We spent lots of time shopping at Canberra Centre, DFO and in Sydney.  We also went up into the Eye Of Sydney and saw amazing views of the city!
My bestie cousin Lili came out after Oliver was born.  We spent a bit of time in Canberra and then headed off to Sydney to enjoy some of the nightlife, good food, and shopping! 

It's been a blessing to have some of my loved ones travel this far to see me.  I am lucky to have these amazing memories with these three lovely ladies.

Enjoy today!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Aussie Memory Number 5 and 6

Hello Friends!  My Aussie Memories 5 and 6 are family vacations to both Sydney and Melbourne.  Our family has enjoyed SO many fun times in Sydney.  We have brought everyone who has come to visit us to this great city.  There is so much to love about it!  I love the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Toronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Paddy's Market, The Rocks Market, Starbucks, IKEA and so much more.  This city will always have a special place in my heart! 
 Recently we headed down to Melbourne for Easter.  Seeing Melbourne first hand was amazing.  It's a beautifully artistic city. 
 Even the skyline is colourful. 
This kids especially loved playing with this fun water feature.  Although we visited Sydney more often than Melbourne.  I will hold onto the memories of the Great Ocean Road, Federation Square, Fitzroy, the American-style Diner we ate at, and seeing Koalas just hanging out in trees!

We have been blessed to travel a bit while living here and we certainly enjoyed seeing each of these lovely cities!
Enjoy today!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Aussie Memory Number 4

 Hey Friends!  One of my favourite things about Australia is the wildlife.  I love all of the animals and it has been a blast discovering them in nature parks, zoos, aviaries, and even in the wild!  I will never forget my special experiences with the wildlife here in Oz. 
 Our trip to Cairns brought many opportunities to meet and hold wildlife.  We held a couple of Koalas.  I got awfully close to a wombat. We saw a couple of snake-eating spiders in the rain forest and had a cockatoo greet us with a "hello" at a dinner we went to. 
 We have taken a few trips to a nature park called Tidbinbilla and we have really enjoyed watching the kangaroos, emus, platypus, and a variety of lizards.  Maybe even a snake or two...but I would like to forget about those!
 I love taking the kids to the aviary.  We feed the birds and they land on our shoulders, heads, or anywhere else they can land! 
 Although these photos are taken at the aviary, these birds follow me on my path as I run in the Summer.  With their bright colors, they bring cheer all over Canberra.
 Maybe she's not wild life, but I couldn't imagine Australia without or sweet Dusty girl!  It's unbelievable that she has been with Matt and I for 8 years now!  I love my daily walks with her.
 Feeding kangaroos at the Night Zoo in Cairns.
 Chooks (chickens) at a petting paddock in Batlow.  Destiny loved picking up the chickens there.  The kids have gotten to see so many animals here and I bet they will wonder where all the roos are when we move back to Washington.
This is one of my favourite pictures.  Kissing roos at Weston Park right here in Canberra.  Other animals that we have spotted in Canberra are possums, echidnas, bilbies, goannas, blue tongue lizards and shingle back lizards, spiders of all varieties (most could kill-ya!), pelicans, rabbits that life under our deck, and so much more!

Enjoy today!