Monday, 19 February 2007

Busted! Nosey Neighbours Caught Spying!

Our lounge room is made of mostly glass along the side which overlooks our backyard. Just after dinner when I was deciding between blogging tonight about Anna Nicole Smith and the continuing saga over her 5 month old daughter, Britney Spears' newly shaved head and erratic behaviour, or closer to home - Sylvester Stallone who was detained for several hours at Sydney Airport yesterday, after officials found 'prohibited items' in his luggage... hmmm, 'which one' I thought....

I was walking through our lounge room contemplating which one when I felt someone watching me. I looked out the window and one of our nosey neighbours was hiding on the otherside of the wire farm fence in amongst the green bushes looking at me. I quickly ran downstairs and grabbed my camera. Slowly and quietly I went out the back sliding door and crept up on my side of the fence to take some photos of the snoops in action. Here is the first culprit:

Ahh, yes, busted! Then as I moved along the fence a bit more there were more, they obviously have no shame:

They quickly turned around and headed off when I started taking their photos, I think they were wondering what I was up to!

Off to gossip about what they had seen over our side of the fence I am sure... I wonder if they think the grass is greener on this side of the fence??

So there you have it, nosey neighbours busted in action! :D

Now you may think that I have totally lost the plot - that's what my husband thinks!

.... Just another day ....

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Early Morning Dew

Gone are the days of being able to sleep in late on the weekends. The girls get up at the crack of dawn and race around full of energy. So after being woken up 3 times already, I decided to get out of bed just before 9am (which is a 'sleep in' in this house anyway!).

It was pretty hot yesterday, but last night when things cooled down it was a good opportunity to open all the doors and windows and cool the house down with the crisp night air. To some of you who live in the city or suburbs, the thought of sleeping with just fly wire doors probably terrifies you, but here where we live we worry more about a snake or goanna coming in the door than a burglar!

It had been quite cool and foggy last night and all the plants had dew drops on them early this morning before the sun warmed up enough to melt them away. When I looked out the kitchen window I saw a spider web dotted with crystal like dew drops. Normally you wouldn't be able to see this spider web, but because of the dew it was quite visible and shining in the sun.

(Click to enlarge)

I found another dew covered spider web over our fish pond

(Click to enlarge)

Everything felt fresh and cool this morning, but the bright warm sun and clear blue sky showed that it was going to be a very warm day.

Although you can't really see in this photo, the farm workers from a neighbouring farm were out early this morning attending the veggie crops before the day warmed up to much. The clear blue sky was just stunning this morning.

(Click to enlarge)

.... Just another day ....

Thursday, 15 February 2007

My Reasons...

After posting yesterdays post that gave just a peek into my late teens, I am sure a few people are wondering how I came to where I am today - wanting to convert to Orthodox Judaism. Rafi G from Life In Israel was a little concerned about asking, but he did ask what made me decide to convert to Judaism. When I thought about it, I guess, after now knowing a little bit of my background you would kind of wonder.

There are so many different aspects of our reasoning, I am sure my husband has his own personal feelings and reasons on this topic and I have mine. There are some reasons that I don't need to explain, such as monotheism - my belief that G-d is one, the ability to daven directly to G-d, G-d created the universe in 6 days, there is no original sin - we choose our own path of good or bad on earth, and I have never really understood the point of Jesus and Mary statues and paintings etc, but then there are the more ingrained reasons, things that have happened over the years to make me come to the realisation that Judaism is for me and my family that need a bit more explanation.

It has almost been 12 months since my husband and I started to learn about Orthodox Judaism and decided we want to convert. I guess we have my husbands Grandmother to thank, she was Jewish. My husband had mentioned to me that she was Jewish and we started to do a bit of research about Judaism, it was then we discovered that we both held similar beliefs as Jews do, infact it was quite strange to make this discovery. After more research, my husband phoned a Rabbi in Sydney and told him that we, as a family of 5 wanted to convert. I think he was pretty shocked, I get the feeling that most people that want to convert do it for love - so they can marry someone who is already Jewish, but here we were, a whole family. I must say, he has been very supportive and very patient, he has already been waiting 12 months for us to move to Sydney to begin our conversion. Since then we have continued to learn more about Judaism and have lived as 'Jewish' as we can considering we live in the 'outback'. We have also made the commitment of making the 400km journey of moving our family back to Sydney to officially begin our conversion in June this year. Why June, why not now? Because we are in a lease that ends in June and we need that time to be able to save enough money to be able to move back to the city.

For me personally, my reasons for converting stem back further than 12 months ago. In fact some of the reasons are closely related to my previous post about my past.

I come from a family that wasn't religious at all - although I was Christened as a baby and I came from a Christian family, you would never know it. If someone in our family said they were going to church other family members would probably have looked at the person like they were some kind of alien, not because it was wrong to go to church, but because we just didn't do it.

When I was growing up my Mum was best friends with the lady next door, Sue. Sue was a Christian lady who always went to church. I don't have a problem with Christians at all, and I didn't have a problem with Sue being a Christian or with the fact that she went to church all the time - that was fine, whatever, I didn't really care, each to their own. What I did have a problem with was the fact that she was constantly trying to push my Mum into going to Church with her. My Mum felt that because she was Sue's friend that she should go, she didn't want to be rude and say no. Even though I was about 11 or 12 years old I disagreed and made sure Mum knew it. I felt like she was being bullied into going to Church and that since Sue was being so insistent she was almost trying to recruit my Mum to Christianity. It really bugged me.

So as a teenager, I wasn't to excited when Sue came over to our house, not because I didn't like her, she was a lovely lady, but I hated that she continuously tried to force her beliefs of Jesus down my Mums throat and now that I was older, my throat too, 'Why don't you come to church, it would be really good for you', 'Oh, we just had a prayer meeting, it's a pity you didn't come', 'It would be good for you to have Jesus in your life', blah, blah, blah. It wasn't mentioned just once or twice per visit to our house, it was constant talk - it was all she ever said.
It drove me insane, and I think it is the years of growing up, having the only religion I was ever really exposed to forced down my throat all the time that has really pushed me even further away from it. I was raised to be a leader, not a follower, and I didn't believe in Jesus, so I wasn't going to church! And I certainly don't believe in proselytism!

I have never believed in Jesus, I have never believed Jesus was the son of G-d or the messiah, if other people want to believe that, well that's fine, but for me personally, I can't be part of a religion that I don't believe in or feel any spiritual connection with.
I think my parents also expected me to get married in a church - well that was never going to happen. I always said I would never marry in a church because I would feel like such a hypocrite, it just wouldn't be right, being in a church makes me feel uncomfortable, I can't even begin to imagine getting married in a church.

Even though I was a bit of a rebel growing up, I come from a close-knit family, so family values have always been very important to me. In a sense, I feel that by converting, we are in a way continuing family heritage since my husbands Grandmother was Jewish. I really admire the strong sense of 'family' Jewish families have and I also admire their close community and the fact that everyone is willing to help each other. Besides wanting my girls to have strong Jewish beliefs and structure to their lives, this is the environment I want my girls to grow up in, I want them to have strong family and community values, I want them to be active in the Jewish community - if someone needs help in some sort of way, I want them to be able to stand up and help if they can (that goes for myself and my husband too). We have been amazed at the support we have received from the Jblog community over the past few weeks while Amber has had her surgery, it has made such a huge difference in our lives.

Although I am really excited and looking forward to our conversion, I do hope that when the time comes to go before the Sydney Beth Din that I won't be to nervous to be able to explain my reasons and desire to convert. How do you explain something that just feels so natural and so right in your heart?

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.... Just another day ....

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Never & Forever

As a teenager growing up, I lived in a somewhat troubled area of Melbourne. We moved there when I was 15 which meant starting a new High School in year 10.
Now I would imagine that starting at a new school is hard enough, but I came from a very strict and high achieving high school to a school that was originally a boys technical school and to put it simply it was a dump of a school - loads of trouble.
You have to remember now, that I have not been raised in a Jewish household by a Jewish family, there was nothing out of the ordinary about my family, but I was raised as any other non religious western kid.

The kids I now went to school with at this new school were trouble, for the first few weeks I had about 5 girls that hated me so much they wanted to beat me up - and trust me they often followed through with their threats on other girls who they'd punch and kick until they dropped to the ground where they would then sink their steel capped boots into the poor girl's head.
It was violent and full of drugs and no hopers - most of the boys spent their weekend stealing cars and motorbikes. One girl even got arrested on school grounds for assaulting the principle after she punched him in the face.
I consider myself to be pretty easy going and I had no trouble making new friends to the point that the girls that wanted to beat me up now wanted to be my friends also. Over the next 2 years I spent there, my marks dropped as I was spending to much time on my social life and doing the minimum school work I needed to do to pass. I became a pretty rebellious teenager although I always respected and almost always obeyed my parents, I was still pretty wild.

The year after I left school I formed a grunge band with some guys I met through a close school friend. And although I am a totally different person today I was often compared to an early Courtney Love in my style. I regularly dyed my hair blonde, I had a labret (chin piercing) I had pierced my nose and my lips myself in front of the bathroom mirror on numerous occasions, I wore lots of pale foundation, bright red lipstick, too much eye makeup and very holey stockings and I brought all my clothes from charity stores. And although I now loved where I lived, I was still living in the middle of a hell hole - we even had a serial killer on the loose for a few months.
But the main problems I had to deal with were drugs and crime, many of my friends were on drugs of some sort - and I can now honestly and proudly add that I have never ever taken any kind of drug in my life, which considering where I lived and who my friends were is an absolute miracle. It is not the lack of offers, but I hated seeing what it was doing to my friends so there was no way on this earth I was going to be following in their footsteps. I smoked cigarettes that's it, I only ever got drunk twice - I hated the feeling of being out of control. Still even though I was probably the most drug free person I knew, people assumed because I dressed they way I did, and looked the way I did, and I was in a band that I must be on some kind of drugs... they couldn't have been more wrong.

Anyway, when I was 18 I decided that I wanted to get a daisy chain tattooed around my ankle. I went to one of the many tattoo shops in the local area to ask how much it would cost. He said it would be about $80 and to find a picture of what I wanted and to take it to him to copy. I rushed off to the book shop to find the picture I wanted with my friend, he didn't think it was such a great idea and tried to talk me out of it even though he had tattoos himself. Unfortunately I am quite stubborn and once I decide on something that is it, there is no changing my mind. So we flicked through books in the book shop and my friend started showing me all these picture in a tattoo book of tattoos that had gone horribly wrong. It was gross, people had disgusting infections, horrible scars and diseases... so I quickly chickened out and decided not to get the tattoo (my friends plan had worked!).

Today, I have no piercings, tattoos, heavy makeup or anything like that, I am just pretty normal and I am so thankful that my friend managed to some how convince me that tattoos are not for me. I have 3 little girls and I would hate to have a tattoo now and have my girls grow up thinking that it was normal. I think tattoos are ugly an un feminine and if you change your mind about it you still have to live with it for the rest of your life.

Angelina Jolie has appeared on the red carpet at the Golden Globes showing off some new tattoos and personally I think they are ugly!! From the neck up she appears to be quite an attractive lady, but the tattoos on her arm and back are horrid. As my husband said, it looks like the result of a grisly bear attack!

After reading what you have about me, I think you would realise that I am pretty open minded and if someone wants to have piercings or tattoos well that's great, if that is what they want. But for me, it is not only because I am converting to Judaism that I now don't like them, it is because I have 'grown' out of that stage in my life. I am just so glad that through that period in my life I didn't do anything that affects me or my life permanently.

I know there may be some people who will disagree with my feelings on these topics and also with the things I have spoken about doing as a teenager, but it is apart of me and who I am.

Black & White photos are of me aged about 19 on a rather plain - no make-up winters day, taken by the same friend who stopped me getting a tattoo.

.... Just another day ....

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Jewish Blog Awareness Month

As many of you may or may not know, January is 'Jewish Blog Awareness Month' as decided by Chaim from Life-of-Rubin - what a wonderful idea! So joining in the awareness campaign, I thought I would share a few of my all time favorite JBlogs and a few new JBlogs who have recently started blogging.

Starting with one of my all time favorites - Evan from Planet Israel who made Aliyah only a few months back has been taking his readers on a virtual tour of Israel with him and his trusty camera - I love his photos, have a look, you will be glad you did!

I have recently discovered A Bisele Babka who only started blogging this month and who this week blogged about the missing daughter of one of her fellow congregrants, I hope the girls return safely.

Canadian Salmon is always up to date with Jewish current events - as he puts it Jewish thoughts around the world. Dealing with topics of Religion, Spirituality, War, Israel, Anti Semitism, America, Canada.

Now, I know A Mother In Israel started blogging earlier last year, but I have only recently discovered her blog and for anyone wanting to know more about homemaking and parenting in Israel, you really should check this one out!

Might as well give a fellow Aussie a plug while I am at it, of course I am talking about Aussie Echo . Aussie Echo shares with us his thoughts, ideas and opinions on things Jewish, Australian, Lubavitch and everything else... Another goodie.

Don't forget also that BagelBlogger has started a new carnival 'JPix'... so if you are Jewish, and you've got Photos then JPix is for you! Submit your JPix here! I can't wait to see your photos!

Anyone who knows me knows I like a blogging Mum, I love to read about other Mums, their lives and their families which is why I am so glag I have recently found Crusty Beef!
Speaking of Blogging Mums, if you haven't already you must read EmahS's most recent post '10 questions I ask of the universe'....oh, I can soooo relate!!

Through one of my dearest blogging buddies RaggedyMom, I was introduced to Table Nine another interesting new blog.

Of course if you are looking for a large list of JBloggers to pick and choose from, you can always have a look at JRants or JBlog Central.

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.... Just another day ....

A Drink For The Land

Right now it is the middle of summer here in Australia. It was not that long ago that I posted this article about the drought here in Australia and inparticular the water problems we have been having here where we live. Last month I posted these two photos of the dried up river our house overlooks:

Well, we have had a HUGE amount of rain and storms in the last couple of days, so much so that the river that was almost bone dry now looks like this:

Notice the trees in the riverbed? We have had so much rain that our 'sunroom' is now the 'flood room' since it looks like this when it rains:

Yes, the roof that we have asked to be fixed for 4 years looked like a waterfall right across the room when it rained. I ended up getting 10 buckets of water off the floor by soaking it up with a towel and squeezing it into a bucket.

Between rain, thunder and lightning storms we have had short bursts of sunshine, which looks beautiful shining on the sparkly wet gum leaves:

But the storm clouds were always looming close by:

As you can prpbably see from the photos, we live on the top of a huge hill overlooking the vally below. What strange weather we have had, especially since it is right in the middle of summer here, it is nice to see all the plants and the land getting a nice big drink though.

.... Just another day ....

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Hot Days and Water Worries

Well, there's not a whole lot going on in the world of Baleboosteh at the moment. Besides taking Amber backwards and forwards to the Doctors for blood tests, things have been very quiet... very hot, but still quiet.

We did have one scare though...

It is the middle of summer here right now and we have had a few hot days. I know numerous people from Melbourne, especially some of my family members, were complaining about it being 40 degrees there the other day. As many of you know, I don't live in the city where many of the houses and apartments have air conditioning and are close enough to the coast to get some sort of breeze from the water. We live inland a bit, close to the coast but far too far away to reap any of the benefits of sea breezes. We have a real dry heat here and we certainly don't have an air conditioner, our house isn't even properly insulated, so we might as well be living in a tin shed on hot days. Our house feels like an oven on 26 degree days. We often have days with temperatures in the mid 40's, so to listen to my family whinge about one day of 40 degree heat while they are sitting in their double brick house with the air conditioner on, well, let's just say I couldn't help but roll my eyes.

Since we were in for a few hot days, I decided to fill up our water tank... that's right 'tank'. We live to far away from town to have 'town water' - mains water supply, we live on tank water and mainly rely on rain water from our roof to fill the tank which is a bit of a concern when we are in the middle of one of Australia's biggest droughts on record. So how am I going to fill the tank? Luckily we have a bore down under the river that we overlook and we are able to pump up water when it hasn't rained in a while to top up the tank.

We have lived here at this house for 4 years now, and since we have been here we have never seen the river so dry - it is a huge river, really wide and very long and at the moment we have the smallest little trickle of water running down it. This is a river that we have seen 120ft trees float down in the flow of the water during previous wet seasons. You really wouldn't know it was the same river.

So, I went to turn the bore on to fill up the tank. Sometimes it can be a bit slow, but when it had been on for a few hours and the water level in our tank hadn't changed, I though it was a bit strange. Maybe, considering how little rain we had the bore was a bit low... too low to pump any water up. I decided to try it again 2 days later... still nothing. We reported it to our real estate agent (we rent). After contacting the owner, she told us the bore had run dry and we would probably have to buy water.

Ahhhh, are you serious??? I do between 2 - 5 loads of washing a day, not to mention loads of dishes, showers, toilets, there are after all 5 people living here and with the kids on school holidays we are using even more water than usual. Not only that, we live on top of a ridge, with a very long, steep and very bumpy drive way, I doubt a water tanker could even get up here. Also, not forgetting our landlord has made it crystal clear we are not watering the garden enough. I think them coming over here and watering the garden ALL day long is a clear enough message! So, since I can't stand them hanging around the house all day, I have been watering the garden myself - so they wouldn't have to, but it seems kind of ridiculous considering the rest of our area we live in is on level 4 water restrictions. I have now been doing what they consider the 'right thing' and watering the garden, using all our tank water and now the bore is not working and they are telling us we have to buy water in! HA! Gotta love that!

I was doing a good job at what I do best... getting worked up about it, when the landlord came to have a look at it today. After fiddling around with it for 10 minutes, suddenly it was working again. We now have a full tank of water again! Woo hoo! What a relief. I think what happened is that they had the little tap to the bore open to one of the other tanks on the property while we were away in Sydney and have forgotten to turn it back. Bore water is not very nice, it smells disgusting, it leaves huge red stains in the shower and leaves a thick white build up of calcium on our kettle, but in situations like this, it is better than nothing. Right now every drop is precious.

For the last few days I have been hoping it would rain so the tank would fill with nice fresh rain water... did it? Of course not, but since we now have a full tank of bore water again, guess what?! This afternoon.... it rained...


Above photos were taken from our house during a recent bushfire of the river we overlook, click on the images to view larger. You will see just how dry the river now is - it even has trees growing in it!

.... Just another day ....

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Scary Night Sounds

I have often wondered to myself, am I the only woman who is scared of staying at home alone at night?
For some bizarre reason, I get really scared at home alone at night, I don't know why. I trained really hard a couple of nights a week for 6 years doing karate, I know I am strong for a woman, I was put into the seniors class to train with mainly men as I was the highest graded woman from our dojo. I feel that I could protect myself somewhat if I was attacked - we were taught how to kill a person with our hands if it really came down to it - something I don't know that I could do even put in a serious situation and something upon reflection, I don't know that it should have been taught to us. This was a dojo that did not hand out karate belts to just anyone, we were made to work very hard for them and had to have a certain amount of training to be able to go to the next grading. I myself, after 6 years stopped training after receiving my purple belt as I moved away from the area and never got back into it. (Belt order was white, red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black.)
I don't think I could handle it if my husband had to go away on business trips or spent a lot of time away from home at night for whatever other reason - I can hardly sleep with him in hospital for a few nights! Last night I went to bed late so I would be tired and fall straight to sleep... that part worked pretty well, but I woke up pretty much every hour. Maybe I read to many true crime books?! I don't know what it is, but I know my heart rate is constantly faster than normal and I constantly feel nervous that someone is around - I know it sounds ridiculous.

Well, I suppose I only have a couple of nights to go and he will be back again and I won't feel so insecure! All his test results have come back showing no problems so far, which is very good news!

.... Just another day ....

Australia's Increase In Violent Anti-Semetic Attacks

Sadly, over the past 12 months Australia has had a real increase in anti-semitism. Manny Waks, executive officer of the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation Commission, a national organization that aims to combat anti-semitism and racism has come forward and said the Australian Jewish community is feeling 'vulnerable and threatened' because of the upsurge.

"Schools, institutions and Synagogues have been targeted relentlessly over the past few months. People (in Australia) are used to seeing swastikas here and there, but when it becomes systematic and often, people are concerned. Over the last few months, the Jewish community has felt vulnerable and threatened," he said.

During the 12 month period leading up to September 30 2006, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry received more than 440 reports of , which included a sharp increase in the number of violent attacks against Aussie Jews. Not all cases reported have been included in the 440 incidents due to lack of

In October I posted a story about Melbourne man Menachem Vorchheimer, who was attacked and punched in the face, in front of his two young children by a group of neanderthal footballers from Ocean Grove as he walked to shul on Simchat Torah. The footballers also screamed, "F... off Jews" and "Go Nazis." Still... 3 months later no charges have been laid over the incident even though there were around 50 witnesses and an off-duty police officer was driving the bus the footballers were travelling in!

Just last week in Melbourne, two 16 year old ultra-orthodox boys, one who was on crutches with a broken leg in a plaster, were waiting for a tram in Chapel Street when a car pulled up and one of its passengers shouted, "You killed our cousins in Lebanon". The boy on crutches was attacked with one of his crutches and the other boy received facial injuries. Both boys were taken to the hospital where they received treatment for their injuries and were later release. What tough guys, they will be able to brag about that to their mates - 'Hey, did you hear how I beat up a Jewish kid on crutches?'... what a hero - talk about picking an easy target. Police are investigating the incident.

Even with the rise in anti-semitism in Australia, Manny Waks said that cases of anti-semitism in the United States and Europe "are much more severe" than that in Australia.

"The Jewish community in Australia has it good and there is no question about it," he said. "But we need to be proactive about these issues."

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.... Just another day ....

Friday, 9 February 2007

Time For A Meme

Well, I finally did it, I have joined the club of those brave enough to change over to the 'new' blogger. Apart from all my paragraphs on my blog turning into big slabs of unformatted text, which I have now fixed, everything seems far.

Since I have absolutly nothing going on worthy of blogging about, I am starting a meme... I'm hearing lots of 'yay's' and lots of 'ohhh nooo's' too! Those tagged are at the bottom.

Anyway, here it is...


Certainly not as easy as you might think! (especially for someone like me who talks waaaaaay too much! Lol!)

1. Where is your cellphone?

2. Your spouse/signifant other?

3. Your hair?

4. Your mother?

5. Your father?

6. Your favorite item?

7. Your dream last night?

8. Your favorite drink?

9. Your dream car?

10. The room you are in?

11. Your ex?

12. Your Fear?

13.What do you want to be in 10 years?

14. Who did you hang out with last night?

15. What you're not?

16. Muffins?

17. One of your wish list items?

18. Time?

19. The last thing you did?

20. What are you wearing?

21. Your favorite weather?

22. Your favorite book?

23. The last thing you ate?

24. Your life?

25. Your mood?

26. Your best friend?

27. What are you thinking about right now?

28. Your car?

29. What are you doing at the moment?

30. Your summer?

31. Your relationship status?

32. What is on your tv?

33. The weather?

34. When is the last time you laughed?

35. Last time you cried?

Phew... that was quite hard. And now I would like to tag Mizellie, RaggedyMom, and Jewish Smörgåsbord... Have fun ladies!

.... Just another day ....

First Edition of JPix Up At BagelBlogger

If you haven't already, you should check out the first edition of JPix which is up today over at BagelBlogger. There are laods of great links to check out and loads of beautiful photos - well done to all those budding JPhotographers.

I really think he has done a great job and look forward to future editions.

Speaking of future editions... would you like to host the next edition of JPix? If you would pop over to BagelBlogger and drop him a line.

Don't forget to get in your submissions for the next JPix carnival. Submissions by 22nd of Feburary, Carnival opening on the 26th.

.... Just another day ....

Monday, 5 February 2007

Jade's 7th Birthday

Aaron is finally home from hospital, although I am not totally sure he is well enough to be home. It turns out he has had a golden staph infection in his leg, it has been pretty nasty. He went into hospital with a leg infection and got the golden staph from the hospital. Anyway he is home and resting and slowly recovering now.

It was Jade's 7th Birthday on Friday. She was very excited of course, but also a bit disappointed that her Dad was still in hospital and wouldn't be home for her Birthday. She opened her presents in the morning before school. Apparently she had a good day at school, but then again when doesn't she?? When she came home we had a big chocolate Birthday cake for her - we lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday to her before Shabbat started.
I took some photos to show Aaron when he came home from hospital but they didn't really come out very well which was a bit disappointing.

It is so quiet at home now with Jade and Amber at school, it is amazing how much work I can get done and how tidy the house now stays.

.... Just another day ....

Thursday, 1 February 2007

A Helping Hand

Some of the things Aaron has missed out on enjoying over the past 2 days while he has been in hospital....

Amber's first day at school. Poor little thing, I think she was quite nervous in the morning until we arrived at school where I hardly even got a goodbye out of her - she was far to busy colouring in with the other kids in her class, which was great to see. She had a good day although she was quite pale and tired when I picked her up from school. Here she is before school yesterday morning:

And here she is with Ruby and Jade:

With 2 of my 3 girls now at school, I had time to bake 40 muffins yesterday with the help of Ruby who thought it was great fun! And since it is Jades 7th Birthday tommorrow, Ruby and I have been making her a chocolate Birthday cake today. Here is Ruby's idea of helping Mum cook...

.... Just another day ....