Wednesday, 20 July 2011


We're heading off on our summer roadtrip this weekend.

We're heading to Washington DC first and we hope to hit VA, WV, MD, DE, PA, NJ. Of these, four are new states for us so our tally will be 27 states - over half way!

We've visited DC before of course. Check out the video here and our highlights here, here and here. It is so funny to see Lucy so small. Yet she is exactly the same age as Henry is now. I wonder if he will like babyccinos as much as she did.

See you in August!

Monday, 18 July 2011


This summer we joined a CSA program (community supported agriculture). It probably wasn't the best timing with a new baby and all but it is working out great now and we are enjoying fresh organic vegetables grown at a local farm.

We pick up a box of vegetables from our farmer every week.

Sometimes there are vegetables in the box that we don't know what they are! This year we discovered the joys of kale.

Sometimes there are vegetables in the box that some people in our family don't like (ie eggplant). Last week we discovered a huge eggplant and a mega-huge zucchini in our box.

So I made a roasted eggplant and zucchini lasagne. I didn't tell anyone what kind of lasagne it was (though obviously Andrew knew) and everyone chowed it down. It was delicious!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Weekend summer fun

We are about half way through our summer school break - just another 5 or 6 weeks to go! [And yes I am slowly going crazy with 3 small children and no schedule]

Early last week we had a 105 degree day. Not sure what that is in celsius except to say that is was extremely hot and humid.

Since then it has been 85 degrees every day. It. is. awesome. Repeat. It. is. awesome.

I say this because it is usual for it to be so low! This coming week will see us back to the 95's which is more normal.

So we've been taking advantage of the nice weather by spending lots of time outside playing and eating. We have been hosting a weekly playdate for our mom's group, camping out and barbequing. As well as eating smores, taking family walks and eating ice blocks (popsicles!)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Henry's train birthday party

Henry's party was mostly about the food.

We had wood-fired lamb roast, with gravy and tzatziki. (Sausages for the unadventurous types but there were lots left over so I assume 99% of people ate lamb) Andrew prepared two types of lamb: one with paprika, olive oil, garlic and salt and one with a breadcrumb, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary and salt crust. Both excellent.

This was accompanied by potato salad, apple slaw, green salad and a fruit platter of strawberries, grapes and watermelon.

Followed by the train cake and ice cream.

Although we are in a drought and it has hardly rained this year, the day started out grey and cloudy. It had rained the whole day before. I prayed hard that even if it wasn't sunny that it wouldn't rain during the party. The party started and the sky was grey and threatening. Then during the party the sky cleared and it turned out very hot and sunny. After the party the sky clouded over again and at 4pm it started pouring with rain. Thanks God for the break in the weather for a special little boys party!

Henry enjoyed opening his presents and playing with his new toys especially his new drill.

Thank you to all the families for coming over - Holmes, Vegas, Pennys, Nichols, Walls, and Martins.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Train table

Henry's main birthday present from us (his parents) was a train table. Andrew designed and made it over the past few weeks. [I think Andrew had as much fun making it as Henry does playing with it]

It is very sturdy (heavy) and very elaborate (long). It was made to fit in the kids bedroom along the wall to the closet but it doesn't fit through the door very easily so the table is still in the lounge room.

Henry received lots of train engines on his birthday so he has plenty to play with.

Here's the video of Henry seeing the table for the first time (sorry for my annoying voice!)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Henry's train cake

Henry LOVED his train cake. Once it was made he kept running into the dining room to look at it and couldn't understand why he couldn't eat it straight away.

He spent lots of time practising blowing out his candles! Then on the day he couldn't resist and blew out the '2' candle before everyone finished singing.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Henry turns two

Henry had a very fun birthday!

We had a special breakfast together in the 'Thomas the tank engine' decorated dining room. We enjoyed fruit cups with whipped cream, english muffins and tea.

Henry opened some presents and webcammed with Nanna and Grandpa.

Then Daddy and Henry headed off to the beach for swimming and fun in the sand. They picked up lunch at Sweet & Savory and headed home. (I think they even got doughnuts on the way to the beach)

After lunch and naps Henry woke up to discover his new train table. Then we webcammed with Grandma and Grandad. Then we webcammed with Auntie Kat.

For dinner we had 'meat' (sesame-soy steak) and whilst everyone was going to camp outside, because of the weather and some very tired little people, we cancelled the tent sleeping.

Then it was getting late and the kids ate some cupcakes in the bath while we sang happy birthday to Henry.

It was a busy and fun day. Henry has been talking about the beach ever since!

'that' family

On Sunday we were 'that' family at church.

You know 'that' family.

The one with the 5 year old who won't stand up during the singing and cries because we sat in the 'wrong' row of chairs. She won't talk to anyone.

The one with the 2 year old who squeals because he is not allowed to run around and then tries to poke the baby to wake her up. He won't sit down.

The one with the newborn baby who coos during the singing and then wakes up crying during the sermon.

The family that ends up in the nursery wondering why they headed out of the house in the morning.

Hoping next week works out better!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Independence Day weekend

Wow what an amazing weekend! We joined in with gusto into the 4th of July celebrations. (It is sort of strange for me being both Australian and British to be celebrating but two of my children are American!)

On Sund
ay we headed over to the Wall residence for swimming, hamburgers & hot dogs, and fireworks. The kids had a blast swimming and playing. For dessert we made mini pavlovas decorated in the patriotic red and blue (raspberries and blueberries).

Felicity dressed up in a red, white and blue
onesie with red hair clips and red mary jane socks.

When night fell the guys started th
e firework display. Lucy was ecstatic and shouted 'more fireworks' between each one. Henry on the other hand screamed his lungs out in fear with the first one and ran inside. He refused to watch any more and the poor boys heart was racing for quite some time afterwards. We got home late and put the kids to bed at 10pm.

On Monday we dro
ve an hour west to Lake Waccamaw to celebrate with the McNeill family (our Wilmington neighbour). There were 400 people there! The ceremony on their dock (partly pictured above) included a flag parade (Lucy, Henry and Andrew carried the Australian flag), the Wilmington Police pipe band, prayer, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, the pledge of allegiance and the singing of the Star Spangled banner.

Then there was a 21 gun salute and everyone rushed off the two st
orey dock to the house for a hotdog feast [For my Aussie friends lunch included hotdogs in buns, coleslaw, baked beans, brownies and cake]

I have never seen so many people dressed in red, white and blue Americana in one place! It was amazing. We blended right in with our Aussie apparel until someone read Henry's t shirt and asked why he was wearing an Australian t shirt (which became obvious when we started talking).

Felicity was a star in her own right with many people talking to her and photographing her. She dressed in a gorgeous watermelon dress, just like her big sister, and gave lots of smiles.

After lunch the kids got changed into th
eir swimming costumes/bathing suits and enjoyed the lake. Then they enjoyed long naps in the car on the way home!