Saturday, 31 October 2009

Early Summer?!

Once the mercury hits above 20 degrees celcius in Tassie everyone gets very excited! Especially after the very long, wet winter we have just had. Today it was 26 degrees and we were all loving it!

It was very warm early in the morning and while we were out today the boys noticed that the outdoor pools and waterslide at the aquatic centre were finally open. They begged us to take them there. Kobe was due for a sleep and it's so hard to take Noah anywhere for too long at the moment as he is usually grumpy and it would've been too cold in the water for him and too hot sitting in the sun. Luckily we had Mum staying with us (as we all went to see the Michael Jackson movie together last night which was great!), so she kindly offered to stay home with Noah and Kobe while we went to the pool. It was nice to have a choice of either the outdoor pools or inside pools.

The boys were SO excited to be able to go on the new waterslide again. At first Harri was saying he was scared and didn't want to go on it, but once he got up to the top he decided it looked like heaps of fun and couldn't wait to get on it.

The slide looks really small and tame but is actually very fast and windey which makes it lots of fun.

Harri was so funny. He screamed the whole way down and on the way back to the top he was yelling 'I was screaming - 'Thriller, thriller night!'. I think he has been listening to a little too much MJ!

The boys had a lot of turns and then begged us for some more turns. Harri was having a ball - he is such a dare devil - nothing like Jalen was at the same age.

Jalen is finally becoming more adventurous and had a few turns off the high diving board.

Aaron had a go too and I think he was just as scared as Jay was! They tell me it looks higher up there than on the ground - I think they were just trying to cover up that they were both freaking out! ;)

It was nice to run into Phebe, Eliza, Lizzie and Emily.

It was a big change hanging out at the pool together, to being at boot camp like last weekend.

The boys had lots of fun playing in the pools outdoors...

and then decided to spend some time back inside in the bucket pool. I love this pic of Lizzie getting water dumped on her by Eliza.

The boys crack me up as they fight like cats and dogs, but they are best mates most of the time.

No trip to the pool is complete without being dumped on by the bucket at least once. I had to join the girls for a turn.

Hopefully this is the start of an early and long summer in Tassie. Can't wait!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Kings goes Pink!

No - not us - Kings Meadows High! Today it is their 'Kings goes Pink' day to raise money for breast cancer. Aaron isn't shy about wearing pink and often wears a pink shirt or tie to work and gets stirred by the students. Today he went all out and even brought breast cancer socks and pink laces to put into his black volleys.

I'm sure he got a few funny looks as he walked to school today - he was looking very feminine! His team of teachers over grade 10 were in charge of supplying morning tea this morning for the staff so Aaron had fun last night finding pink biscuits etc to take for morning tea. It's a lot of fun, and definitely for a good cause.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Cartoon Kings

I knew Makayla was working on something for one of her art projects at school, but wasn't sure what it was as she wanted it to be a surprise. She invited me to come to her art exhibition at school this morning to check out her work. Imagine my surprise when I saw this!!!

She has done such an awesome job. I think everyone looks so much like they do in real life - especially Jalen. It was a very special surprise and we love it! Thanks Makayla - I've never been a cartoon before! It's VERY cool.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Cubby Construction

Back in April, Aaron's school held an 'I wish to be' day for Make a Wish. Aaron spoke in assembly about Make a Wish and the wish they granted Noah and showed them a DVD clip I had made about his wish. It obviously touched a lot of them and the kids in the Building and Construction class decided they wanted to do something to help families like ours and thought about building cubby houses to bring joy to sick kids and their families. The teacher Ben asked Aaron if the boys had a cubby, and when he told them he didn't he asked him if they would like one. Of course the boys were VERY excited about it.

The class decided to build three cubby houses. They knew of two other children who had conditions that meant they were often sick and wanted to bring them some joy as well. The class only meets once a week which meant it has been a slow process as they have been putting the framework together, but today the boys were so excited as they came to construct the rest of the cubby in our backyard.

Aaron told me that they would be here and the teacher Ben came by yesterday with a few things, but I didn't expect quite so many people here all day! It was quite exciting and also overwhelming to know that they were there doing something so special for the boys.

The class has ten guys and one girl in it. I asked the girl if she liked the class and she said she did and actually wants to get an apprenticeship next year as a builder. Harri stayed outside with them the whole time and loved checking things out. He chatted away to them the whole time and kept telling them how excited he was for the cubby. He even joined in on their pizza lunch!

At one stage I saw him sitting with two guys and heard him say 'and no Mums!', and I asked him what he was talking about and he said 'no Dads and no Mums are allowed in the cubby!'. The guys were cracking up.

Kobe loved being outside too and wanted to keep an eye on what was going on (and play with the power tools!).

The class was here for over three hours - with Harri outside with them the entire time. It was exciting to watch it all come together.

All of the material were donated by local businesses after the class told them what the materials would be used for. The Examiner even ran a story about it a few months back.

We are feeling so overwhelmed, lucky and grateful today for people being so thoughtful and kind. I don't believe that our boys miss on things as we try to do the little things in life with them that they will hopefully remember all their lives, but they do deal with a lot because of Noah's condition. They don't know any different but we are always aware of the things they have to deal with every single day, and are so happy that they are able to have been given something so special.

It was so cute hearing Harri say to one guy as they were leaving 'thank you for my cubby!', and the kid saying 'no problem mate!', back to him.

Jalen was so excited to see the finished project after school today.

It isn't totally finished yet - still waiting on some perspex for the windows, a door and they are even going to build Noah a ramp so he can go straight in as well! We also have to paint the back wall with blackboard paint.

Noah actually seemed to love it in there this afternoon. His eyes lit up and he was so alert and aware and wondering what was going on.

I know the boys are going to love spending many hours out there together.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Boot Camp!

For months Sarah, Toni, Sacha and I have been planning Boot Camp for the Young Women from church. As a part of the Young Women's program they have camp certification which they must complete over the 6 years. Each year has different requirements - kind of similar to the Scout program. They have to learn things such as first aid, safety in the outdoors, building and safety with fires and other life skills. This usually takes place at a yearly camp, but we decided to hold a whole day to catch them up on their certification so we don't have to spend so much time on it during camp in January.

We wanted everyone to look the part for the day so we brought along face paint and had camo head bands for them.

Sacha made some awesome signs to direct them to boot camp at the Porter's farm. The sign is obviously so cool that it was kidnapped by a couple of the YW on the way home and is now held for ransom! You will both pay Makayla and Tayla!!

We started off with Sarah telling the girls they are going to regret that they came as it was going to be a tough day. She then told them that I was once in the army and was known as 'Pit Bull' and I was going to take them through some drills. I then started blowing the whistle flat out and got them to line up and start doing different exercises - the whole time screaming at them to do it faster, harder and better.

The girls were all laughing at me, so I would scream at them 'what are you laughing at !? You are all doing push ups like a bunch of girls!!', and would threaten them with doing more push ups. Poor Zoe ended up having to do an extra 20 push ups for not lifting her knees up high enough as they were running -sorry Zoe!

Sacha also made an awesome YW torch stencil so we could put it on callico bags to each of the YW to store their camp manuals in. The girls will get them to keep after our big camp in January.

It was fantastic having Bonnie come along to teach the girls CPR. She is actually qualified to teach CPR and we were lucky enough to have a mannequin to be able to practice on.

After Bonnie taught CPR we broke the girls into 5 different groups. Each group rotated around different first aid stations. Bonnie took CPR again and all the girls got to have a turn trying it on the mannequin.

Rachael taught how to treat fractures - especially out in the bush.

Jess taught how to treat for shock, hypothermia, frost bite and heat exhaustion.

Angela taught how to deal with bleeding and showed different ways to bandage.

and Sacha taught them how to treat insect and snake bites and also burns.

For lunch Toni showed the girls how to make damper over the fire and we also had a sausage sizzle.

No camp is complete without smores (an American thing with biscuits with melted marshmallow and chocolate in between) or toasted marshmallows.

Toni had Tommy with her all day and you wouldn't even know he was there - oh - except for the time when he was crying and Toni was jiggling him around to settle him down. Dion asked Toni if it was time for a sleep or a feed and she looked at her watch and realised he was WAY overdue for a feed! Poor Tommy! He survived okay and seemed to have a great day at boot camp with everyone. He was so good all day long.

After lunch Simon came to teach the girls how to tie different knots and when you would use them and how to use a compass. When I knew we were having boot camp I knew he would be the perfect person to come along to help out as he is a policeman and also in Search and Rescue.

He did a fantastic job and was very organised with handouts and all! We were very impressed.

Some of the knots were a little tricky but I think most girls got them in the end.

After taking part in a great orienteering activity that Simon had organised, we then split the girls off back into groups to run through some first aid scenarios to see if they could put into practice what they hard learnt earlier in the day. Our poor mannequin - Arnold (named by Bonnie) had drowned in the river and the girls had to give him CPR.

Tammie had fallen down a cliff and was bleeding (fake blood and all!). The girls had to bandage her up and then throw her a rope down (using a knot that Simon had shown them), to rescue her.

Louise had fallen over and fractured her leg.

and Brystal had been bitten by a snake and was in shock.

It was fun watching them all do the scenarios as there was lots of drama. I think their acting skills were better than their first aid skills! After the scenarios Toni taught the girls about making different types of fires and fire safety. During her very serious talk I felt something on my neck. I thought it was one of the YW being silly and doing the thing where they tickle your neck with a piece of straw. I acted really cool like I didn't notice it but then I heard this awful noise - kind of a buzzing noise. I then thought that it was actually a big bug on my neck and went to flick it away when I realise it was something wet and juicy on my neck!! I quickly flicked it away and as it was so heavy it landed right next to me - onto Bonnie!!! She flicked it and I then realised it was actually a leech!!! I of course being the great leader that I am was very cool and calm and didn't distract the girls from Toni's very important fire talk. Ok - I lie!! I freaked out!!!! I started screaming and all the girls started panicking and jumped up to check themselves when they realised what was going on. I was half laughing and half freaking out when I realised I just had a blood sucking leaech on my neck. Ange killed it with the trusty old salt and then everyone checked my neck to see if I was bleeding. They then noticed the HUGE snail trail up my back where the leach obviously crawled to get to my blood.

After calming down after the leech incident Toni finished off her fire segment by showing the girls how to light a fire using a magnifying glass.

The girls then took part in a very cool 'Survivor Fire Challenge' which Sacha had rigged up. It was awesome as each team had to build a fire and then light it. The challenge was to see which fire could burn through the string the quickest which would then raise their flag.

Tayla and Lizzie were very excited to have won, especially as half their team had to leave at lunch time.

To finish off the day (6 1/2 hours later!) the girls all sat down and wrote a few of their feelings about the day in their camp manual. We then sang the 'Virtue' song together which we have been learning as we visit each ward for their ward conference.

We had a fantastic day together and hopefully the girls learnt lots while having fun together.

Just as we thought the day was over the Deloraine girls broke out a huge water fight. Sarah and I actually hatched the plan together with them and let them know when it would be a good time to do it as we didn't want it to cut out our plans of sitting down together at the end and writing down some thoughts about the day. Because we had talked to them about it we thought we were safe - boy were we wrong! First of all Sarah got drenched. I decided it was time to put the camera away as I didn't want it to get wet. Toni and I were diligently signing the girls camp manuals so I thought I was safe for sure as I had a book in my hand. I was VERY wrong!!! I got soaked and I'm not even sure who did it to me now - either Leia or Makayla. In the end a few of us were very drenched but it was a lot of fun. You actually can't tell how drenched we were in this photo.

Tayla and Makayla will be getting paid back big time at camp in January for getting us despite us working out when the water fight would be happening.

Be ready girls as you are going to regret ever messing with the stake YW presidency!!

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