Monday, July 26, 2010

... and another month gone .....

Good blimey ..... and another month bites the dust!

It's just crazy how quickly this month is flying by.

Gave my blog a bit of a makeover today ....

Will be back soon to share some pics or our latest happenings & LO's from scrap camp on the weekend.

Stay tuned ....

cheers,
Julie :O)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Before another month is gone .....

A quick post before another month comes to an end.

Normality is returning to our house with Mark back at work and the leg is going well ..... Dad is making progress each week, allbeit tiny steps but going in the right direction which is all that counts ..... is makes me smile to see him winning the battle and a little glimpse of his old self returning.

I am also happy that i have found some time to scrap and have some creations to share ...

Blake's 12th Birthday Laser Skirmish Party at Maitland Goal (i have another large group photo so i think i will do another page to create a double LO for this one).


Some old photos (pre owning a digital camera) from camping at Christmas in 2002


Love these photos of Blake .... taken earlier this year at the Maratime Museum, Darling Harbour.


a typical summer's day living at the lake


My nephew Jacob and his gorgeous blue eyes


The LO above & below are done with the gorgeous new Core Impressions Cardstock which Karen has in stock at SCRAPBOOK'n'BiTS .... a little sanding creates an awesome effect ... i am totally addicted to this stuff!



My niece Jessica .... this LO was accepted for Publicatin with SM but i didn't get around to sending it .... not to worry .... just as happy to share it with my blog friends!


I have also just realised that i haven't taken photos and/or shared the project from my workshop at the SnB Retreat in May ..... will do for next time.

Hope everyone is staying warm as the weather heads into Winter ....

Keep smiling,
JULIE :o)

Monday, June 07, 2010

THIRTEEN YEARS ....

Today is our Wedding Anniversary .... 13 Years !



We were married on the June long weekend 1997 and we eloped .... well sort of .... Mum & Dad came to the ceremony with us .... then we headed off for a few days honeymooning and told all of our relative & friends etc when we got home that the wedding we had planned was off ..... cause we were already married !!

Mark wasn't rostered to work today, i took the day off and we had a lovely day out together .... some more shopping for the house, then out to lunch on the harbour at Newcastle ... we went to Scratchley's (which is actually where we had our little wedding meal/celebration before heading off on our honeymoon travels).

It was lovely to spend a day together ... just us .... remembering, laughing and enjoying our special day ..... hopefully many more to come !!

Friday, June 04, 2010

The end of another week .....

I know we keep saying it but here's another week gone which mean another year rushing by ...

We are back to our normal busy selves .... Mark went back to work this week. His leg is going well. He is still doing hydrotherapy and lots of physio excercises .... basically it is now about continuing this to re-strengthen & stretch etc to get things working as normal.

Blake is finished his half yearly exams and starting to get his results back in drips & drabs .... all very good so far ... very proud of him!

I have been in major "clean out & de-clutter mode" ... we have gotten rid of soooo much stuff that has been shuffled from one nook & cranny in the house to the other ..... sent about 9 garbage bags of clothes to St Vinnies, 3 bags of shoes, shredded and got rid of 3 bags of old paperwork ..... i am about to start on the linen press & then our study/spare room! It is a great feeling and definately makes for a different feel in the house. We have also been doing some re-decorating (which is probably what inspired the clean out) ... our family room is all but finished, we have a new dining setting & now want to start on the front loungeroom ... i love playing and changing things in the house!

Haven't done any scrapping since returning from the retreat but hoping that will start again now that life is a little more normal!
But that doesn't mean i haven't been shopping .... Karen has lots of new yummy things arrived & arriving over at SnB and i'm particularly impressed with the new LeChateau range from Kaiser ... the papers are lovely and little bird cages and embellies are gorgeous .... take a peek HERE

Looks like we are in for a stint of wet weather .... have a great weekend everyone!

Julie x

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Getting back on track ....

It would be an understatement to say that things have been a little hectic of late .... but finally it feels like things are starting to "pan out" a little.

Mark had his plaster off last week (after 6 weeks) and is now flat out with physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and lots of daily excercises etc. etc. to get him "up & going" again. He is walking/hobbling around ok and as of today is only using 1 crutch. Just having him somewhat mobile is great for all of us!

Dad is improving allbeit very slowly and any improvement is a real blessing. Hoping the next week or two will make a big difference and a little bit of normality return for him and mum.

Mother's Day was pretty low key .... i had a lovely morning out & lunch with Blake & Mark then we caught up with my Mum later in the night with a cake for supper ..... along with her Birthday celebrations, we'll put things on hold until Dad is well and all celebrate together.

Last weekend was a welcomed break from the chaos and a wonderful time with a great bunch of ladies at the Scrabook'n'Bits retreat ..... 3 whole days .... bliss!



I did actually get a few LO's done and hosted 2 workshops ... i haven't taken photos yet but will share soon.

Well ... it's beginning to feel a lot like Winter .... love the cold weather!

Have a great week everyone.

Keep smiling .....
Julie x

Sunday, May 02, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!

This wonderful amazing caring woman aka my Mum had a birthday this weekend




HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM !!

We had a very low key birthday cake afternoon tea and plan to have a celebration soon when Dad is well enough to join in .... then it will be even more reason to celebrate !



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy time ...

The school hols are nearly over and to us they have past in a blur .... we have done nothing but been sooo busy IYKWIM.

Basically i have run between work, home & doctors/specialists.

Today Mark had his stitches out
(Warning: picture below may a little stomach turning)



This means a small amount of progress as now he can shower without having to wrap his leg in a plastic bag and leave it hanging out the door.

and he can rest it for periods without the plaster on.



Another 2.5 week and the plaster comes off for good, the the physio etc starts .... hopefully walking again in approx 6 weeks!

On the scrapping front ..... i can share a peek at the project i have completed for the workshop at the upcoming SnB Retreat




Had lots of fun with this little creation .... including some papertowel mache .... can't say anymore ....

Have a great weekend,

Julie :O)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Hospital Easter

We had a very busy Easter ... but not doing normal fun Easter things like camping, etc .... we spent it at the hospital!



Mark ruptured his Archilles Tendon ... Surgery was done Saturday night and now approx 8 weeks laid up and then the road to recovery !!

Other than our trip to New Zealand, i just can't believe the dramas and bad luck that have plagued us since the beginning of 2010 ..... i truly hope things turn around from here .... just about ready to tear my hair out [sigh] !!

Friday, March 26, 2010

NEW ZEALAND - Part 2

So where was i .....

After spending a few night in Queenstown we headed across to the east cost to Dunedin where we had booked in to do a tour of the Cadbury Factory.

Sadly, I don't have any pics cause we weren't allowed to take cameras in ... but i can tell you that we had lots of fun, it was all very interesting and we collected lots of treats and did lots of taste testing along the way ... not to mention the shopping spree in the chocolate shop at the end !!

The we headed up the coast and along the way stopped at the Maeraki Boulders ....
it was blowing a gale but down on the beach was very pleasant and all quite interesting. The large boulders have basically eroded over the years into giant stone balls .... the almost look as though someone has just dropped them along the beach !



We spent a night at Oamaru which was simply a stopover making our way back to Christchurch.

The next day on the way to Christchurch we made another treat stop ...



We arrived at Christchurch and settled in at our beautiful accommodation ... this was the only accommodation we had pre-booked from home and were looking forward to our stay. The new Novotel on Cathedral Square which only opened 2 months ago is just beautiful and the view out of our window was awesome ...



In the night we had a bit of a wonder around and took some pics ... the Cathedral of a night is just beautiful (and that is our accommodation you can see standing tall to the left - our room was the end room on the right, second floor from the top).




Then when we got back to our room, the night view was pretty awesome too ...



The following day we jumped on a tram and did a bit of a loop of sightseeing around the city, went to some crafty markets and visited the Cathedral. Everything inside was just beauty on a grand scale ...





Blake wrote a prayer request for the next mass for Pop (my dad who is not well at the moment) and lit a candle.




After a rest in the afternoon we headed out on an evening bus trip to Willow Bank Nature Reserve & KoTane Maori Village.




Our tour guide was walking us through the Maori Village and telling the Maori myth of how their land was formed and about the culture etc when all of a sudden (without knowing) we were part of a Maori re-inactment and a supposed foreign tribe threatening their village and out of bushes came Maori warriors with their weapons and Maori chants .... needless to say it scared the sh** out of us !!



Then they gathered around and out come their Chief (i think that's what he is called ... no disrespect to any NZ'ers if i've got it wrong)




After a bit if a ritual, laying a leaf and touching foreheads/noses it was determined that we came in peace and were invited into their little village for some Haaka entertainment etc.

Before performing their Haaka, Blake was one of the males chosen to learn/perform a Haaka with them ...




Then it was time for the real deal ...



They are so passionate when peforming their Haaka .... and although it was a friendly welcoming thing .... i was almost certain at times they were swearing at us !! LOL !!

It was all well put together and very enjoyable.

After the show we done a twilight guided tour of the nature reserve including a Kiwi Encounter (this was the highlight of Blake's holiday). They really are unusually cute little things. We don't have any photos to share as you are not allowed to use flash photography and whilst i tried without the flash, it was just too dark to get a photo.

The next morning we were up bright and early and on the bus for our 'Grand Tour' of Christchurch.



We visited beautiful parks/gardens



There are lots of beautiful parks/gardens around Christchurch ... in fact, we found along all of our travels their towns, parks etc. are very well maintained and beautifully presented. Hagley Park & Botannic Gardens in Christchurch is huge (apparently the 3rd largest park in the world!)

We enjoyed very relaxing punting along the Avon River ...




We visited lookouts, Lyttelton Harbour,went up in the Gondola and stopped by the seaside at Sumner for lunch.



This photo was taken in front of Cave Rock which was formed from volcano lava.

The following day (the last day of our holiday) we visited the International Antartic Centre.





Along with lots of educational information there was fun things to experience about the Antartic ... including the indoor snow & ice polar room. Every half hour is a simulated antartic storm where the wind reaches peak condition and the chill factor goes to -18 degrees celsius.



As a treat, we arranged a personal behind the scenes tour/encounter with the Little Blue Penguins (basically the same as our Fairy Penguins).



All 25 of these cute little characters have been rescued and have some sort of permanent injury/disablity caused by predators, boat propellers etc. Ranging from missing limbs, broken beaks, paralised flippers and even one special little Penguin named 'Elvis' who is blind.



The next morning we were up at 3am, at the airport for 4am and on the plane at 6am flying home.

We had a great holiday and plan to go back next year and do the North Island as well .... but as the say ..... "there's no place like home" !!


Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
Julie :O)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NEW ZEALAND

We're home from our holiday and madly trying to get unpacked, organised etc. before returning to "real life" of work, school etc.

So whilst i have time and all is still fresh in my brain, i'll share lots (and i mean LOTS) of pics ....

This holiday was originally booked for our family for DH's 40th Birthday ... he changed jobs last year and therefore wasn't able to arrange leave, so, my sister Karen (with my niece & nephew) made arrangements to join us for what was to become our little New Zealand adventure!

So we were up very early on Tues morning and travelled to Sydney to catch the plane. Our flight was brought forward so going through all the airport criteria was rush, rush, rush and then straight onto the plane ...

The flight was good and before we knew it we had landed in Christchurch. Went through all the airport stuff once again then off to pick up our hire car.

Within an hour or so we were on the road .... first stop Lake Tekapo.

Lake Tekapo is just stunning .... picture perfect like a postcard!





The next day we travelled to Mount Cook. Along the way was Lake Phukaki .... once again, just stunning.





We stopped at the little airport on the way out to Mt Cook as this is where we did our scenic helicopter flight from.

Our flight took us up onto Mt Cook where we landed in snow ...






On the way back we had the most gorgeous aerial view of Lake Phukaki ...




At the base of Mount Cook we visited the Edmund Hillary Centre which had lots of museum articles and a 3d theatre, plus a great opportunity for some photos and fun with the kids ...






From Mt Cook we had planned to travel to Wanaka and stay the night; however, our road trip bordered on disaster when we found ourselves stranded in almost the middle of nowhere with the fuel light on and the gauge reading "E" at a little town with one shop that was the local store, post office and everything else including a petrol bowser at the front ..... but they didn't actually have petrol .... [SCREEECH] ... We opted for the shortest distance to the next town which was 32km and rang Roadside Assistance to inform them of our dilemna and arranged that we would continue to drive as far as the car would take us and phone them when we came to a stop. We literally rolled down the hills and watched every km tick over .... and much to our amazement .... i don't know how but yes, we made it .... what a relief. We filled the petrol tank to the brim and worked out that there was possibly 1 litre of fuel left in the tank!! Needless to say, the tank was never below half for the rest of the holiday LOL !

Anyways .... after our little adventure we decided to push on to Queenstown and were all very weary and ready for some R&R upon arrival. Our accommodation (at Rydges) was beautiful and knowing we were staying in one place for a few days was a nice feeling.

We had a lovely outlook from our room ...



Queenstown is a really pretty & happening place .... we checked out lots of the local attractions and activities, and done our fair share of shopping.

We went up on the gondola ...



where you had panoramic views over Queenstown ...



Blake's favourite part was The Luge (he said this was like a cross between riding a bike & taboggan) ...



We all visited the 'Minus 5' bar ....



i had seen this on Getaway a few years ago .... everything is made of ice, the bar, the seats, all ice sculptures around the bar and even the glasses you drink out of (which you smash in a bucket on the way out). The kids thought it was such a treat drinking mocktails (only cocktails for the adults) in an ice bar .... it really was COOL in every sense of the word LOL!

OK .... i'm running out of typing stamina (and you're probably on overload by now) .... so i'll be back in the next day or so to continue with more pics and holiday adventures!

Thanks for stopping by ...

Julie :O)