Sunday, 20 July 2014

Back to School

Our two weeks of school holidays are over, and I start back at work tomorrow.  The boys are lucky to have an extra day of holidays because it is a student free day.    The end of each term is very stressful, wondering if I will get a contract to teach again the following term.  It's hard because sometimes even when you are doing a good job, there is no guarantee of work teaching in Tasmania, until you are a Permanent Replacement Teacher. 

I found out during the last week of last term, that I have another contract for term three teaching EAL (English as an Additional Language).  I'm very excited because I not only get to continue in a job that I absolutely love, and I am getting a new student who has just arrived in Australia.  He is also a refugee like my other students, and speaks the same language as them. I'm nervous about starting back at square one again as he doesn't have any English at all, but I'm also excited and I know that my students will be able to do a lot of interpreting for me which will be great.

We were all looking forward to school holidays because we were very tired from school and work.  This was taken just after we finished school on the last day of term.

As much as I was looking forward to a break, I was also dreading holidays a little because they're often hard as the days are long without Aaron and Noah.  Each holiday though is getting easier though and I couldn't wait for some sleep ins. I'm very lucky that all of my boys now sleep in (give me older kids any day!) and I was happy to be woken up on our first day of holidays by Kobe after 9am!

Every day the boys slept in till at least 8.30 or 9am (or 10.30 if you are Jay!) so it's been a lovely relaxing couple of weeks.   We are going to struggle to get up at our normal times again!

My boys would be more than happy to stay at home all day, every day so I had to make sure I had planned some things like our trip to Guide Falls and Hobart, so they didn't stare at screens all day.  We had some quiet days, but also planned a few things to keep busy.  The boys loved catching up with their cousins.
While my sister Nicki and her family were down my niece Maddi was baptised.  It was lovely to be able to be there for it. 
Milly hasn't known what's hit her with having us home every day.  She is loving all the attention and long walks. 

The boys were excited to find a treat at the door one day, after Aaron's friend Kristy paid up (with interest) for her ongoing bet she had with Aaron whenever Hawks played against Collingwood.  She's paid up a lot of Pepsi since Aaron passed away, and it doesn't look like we will owe her any time soon :)

One day while we were driving to Mum and Dad's we spotted this rainbow and decided to see if we could get to the end of it...hoping of course for the pot of gold at the end.  We didn't feel like a swim to check if the gold was there ;)
It's taken almost three years, but I'm finding that I'm starting to feel like the old me again.  I'm starting to want to do things that I used to do before Aaron and Noah passed away, like playing the piano and playing basketball. 

When a friend at church mentioned that they often need people to fill in on their team, I said that I would be interested in filling in.  They still have my old team name of 'the mollies'.  I haven't played since Kobe was born, so I was very nervous about playing again and thought I was going to vomit from nerves the first night!  I have played every week for the last month or so, and am absolutely loving it. 

The first couple of games I thought the boys were going to end up as orphans because I am so unfit.  Even though I'm only playing once a week I am already feeling fitter and don't feel like I'm going to die anymore - luckily for the boys! 

Harri cracks me up as he loves watching and analysing the game afterwards.  He always tells me how many goals I got, and loves putting the score up on the board during the game.  The boys are surprised that I can actually play okay.  Jay told me I'm 'not bad for an oldie'...cheeky teenager!

Every couple of weeks we have been booking out an indoor pool for an hour with our friends Simone and Simon and Pip and Ben and their kids. It's been a fun thing to do during winter.

We finished off our holidays having tea together last night.  I feel very lucky to have such great friends, who I can just be myself around. 
Today we went to the cemetery after church and put a new solar butterfly at Noah's grave.  Kobe was too sad to get out of the car, and Harri doesn't usually like getting out, but he decided to get out to do it.  His face made me sad as he looked like he had just so much on his young mind.  We laughed that he had Aaron's hawthorn scarf on there, and I said that Dad would've loved seeing him with it on. I had used it at church as a blindfold for something I was doing with the kids, and afterwards Harri didn't want to take it off. 
I hope that Aaron and Noah are both looking down on us, seeing that we are trying hard to continue without them in the best way that we know how. It's never easy, but I can see we are getting stronger every school holidays as we adjust to life without them. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Holiday in Hobart

School holidays are slowly getting easier without Aaron and Noah, but they are still really long if we don't have anything planned.  My boys would actually be quite happy to stay at home all day every day, and would just sit in front of the computer, TV or DS screens if I let them.  I don't mind a couple of days like that over the holidays because we are all tired and need some time to just catch up, but if I have more than a day or two like that I go a bit crazy.   I have to get out and keep busy, or the reality of life right now hits me again, and makes school holidays so much harder.

Going to Hobart during the school holidays seems like our regular thing to do lately.  It's so nice and easy to just jump in the car and drive a couple of hours, to have a couple of nights away from our regular routine.  It's always cheaper in the middle of winter too which is great, because it's still fun to get away in winter. 
As we headed into Hobart I mentioned to the boys how we had been there so many times since Aaron had passed away, and how Aaron had said that he didn't want to go back to Hobart because Noah passed away there.   We did end up going back once after Noah passed away, but Aaron found it very hard.  I asked the boys if they ever feel sad about going to Hobart, but they said they didn't and even though I think about Noah whenever we drive past the hospital, I'm glad that Hobart isn't a sad place for us to be.   I think going back a lot since Noah passed away and having there has really helped. 
We were hoping to see some snow, so we went up Mt Wellington and there was just enough snow to keep the boys happy. 
 Kobe obviously put two fingers in one hole in his glove! :)
Kobe desperately wanted to build a snow man, but we didn't expect it to be so cold.  We were all rugged up, but the wind was so cold that it stung our faces.   Kobe kept yelling 'my chin hurts!!'.  It reminded me so much of when I lived in the USA and how cold it would be as I would walk to school in the snow each day. 

Luckily someone else had already built a snow man, so Kobe was happy with that.  Every man and his dog was getting their photo taken with it. 

We ran into the observation area just to escape the icy wind. 
We were lucky to be up there on a clear day. 

Harri was sure he was going to die from the cold or by being blown off the mountain and kept screaming 'I'm going back to the car!!' and left us out on the mountain while he sat inside the warm car.
We were so excited to hear that one of our favourite missionaries from church - Elder Sargeant had been transferred back to Tasmania.  We have kept in touch with him since he left Tasmania, and he has always been so lovely and has written to the boys.  Harri has especially missed him and was so excited to hear he is now in Hobart. I promised him we would try to see him before he is transferred again, so it was great timing with school holidays to catch up with him.

We arranged to meet at a nice fish and chip place at the wharf, which was close to our hotel.
It was so funny when he got out of the car and saw us.  He yelled 'my family!!!!' and ran over to the boys and gave them huge hugs.
We had a lovely lunch together.  It was fun to hear about his experiences since he left Tasmania last year. He is now the 'zone leader' in Tasmania which means he is in charge of all the missionaries here
He is from New Hampshire but we noticed how much he has lost his American accent, and how he says a lot of things with an Aussie accent now. 
It was sad to say goodbye again, but we know we will see him again before he goes back home to the USA next year.
We had a lovely couple of days, and as usual one of our favourite things was just being able to swim at the pool whenever we felt like it.  Whenever we are there we imagine how lovely it would be to have an indoor pool at your house.
Last week my friend Sarah had put up some photos on Instagram of an awesome long slide in Hobart, so before we came home today, we met up with Sarah and another friend Hannah and their kids at the slide. 
It was a freezing day, but some of the boys insisted they were hot after playing soccer and wanted to just wear T-shirts.

Before we drove home we went to a gourmet restaurant for lunch ;)   It was lovely to catch up with them and it was nice to have some laughs together. 
It was nice to break up the holidays with a couple of fun days away. Kobe has been crying tonight because we are home again and he is 'missing the pool'.  Me too Kobes, me too :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Guide Falls

A while ago my friend Makayla blogged about going to Guide Falls.  I hadn't even heard of Guide Falls before, but I have wanted to go there with the boys ever since seeing her blog about it. 

Last week my sister Nicki and her husband Alex, and their kids came down to Tassie for school holidays, so I suggested going to Guide Falls may be something fun we could do together while they were down.   It's our first week of school holidays in Tassie this week, so we organised for my sister in laws and their kids and my Mum to come along too (all the Dads were at work) and we all followed each other up to Ridgley, which is about 15 km west of Burnie.   We were lucky that it was a mild winter's day.
It was a really short five minute walk along a track from the bottom car park to get to the lower falls which are really pretty.
Just a little futher along are some magnificent falls. 
All of the grandkids were there except for Noah and Lachie who wasn''t feeling well, and stayed home with my brother Eden.
I think all the little kids were jealous that Jay got to go right over near the falls.  He was just a little bit wet when he came back!
How cute is my nephew Ezra?!
There's just a few steps to get to the top of the big falls, where you can look out over the top.  You can also just park at the top to see the big falls.
There was so much spray from the falls, that we thought it was raining at first.
The falls were really beautiful, and it was worth the drive to see themBecause the walk is so short we planned on going to Ulverstone for lunch and a play on the way home, to make a day of it.  My niece Maddi was keen to go there to see her old house and places she used to play.  We had a play at the park, and then headed to the beach for a little bit.
The kids had fun writing in the sand, and finding beach treasures.

My sister in law Steph said that she wishes she had a pause button for Jay, as he's just growing up so fast lately.  He loves that he's finally growing and is almost taller than me.  I'm very lucky that he's such a good boy still.  We joke about him being a horrible teenager, but I've been very lucky so far.
Harri spent ages writing things in the sand for Aaron and Noah and about our family.
I commented tonight that his handwriting actually looks a lot like Aaron's, which he was so happy about.
 It's so nice to have all the cousins together again. 
 The 'now you can pull a silly face' shot :)
We had to get a photo of all us girls.  It's so nice to have my sister Nicki home, for a little while.   It feels like my sister in laws Becky and Steph are my sisters.   I don't know how my brothers got so lucky in getting such lovely wives ;)  I think we were laughing at Becky saying she was pulling a grumpy face.  Newborns can do that to you ;)
Today was a lovely start to our school holidays.
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