Monday, 29 November 2010

Photos, Photos, Photos

It's been a very busy week as I have done four photoshoots over eight days. It's been lots of fun, but every single time I do one I get so nervous that I'm not going to get any good shots.

I love working with kids, but teenagers are a lot easier to deal with when it comes to photography. Teenagers will actually sit still (or do whatever you ask them to do).

With kids it's a whole other story - instead of worrying about the light and that the camera is on the right setting, I'm finding that I just have to snap away and hope that I get a decent photo as they are wanting to do their own thing.

As I told Angela, half the time it's the photos of kids just being kids that are the best, rather than just having the posed shots.

Even though I have done four photoshoots this past week, they have all been so different. It was so much fun taking photos of the Woodwards. All of the girls are gorgeous and of course Lisa and Gary were heaps of fun.

It was also lovely taking photos of Kellie who is stunning - even when she is 38+ weeks pregnant. Charlotte is Kobe's little friend at the gym and is the cutest little girl. It was fun getting some photos of them together before their new little one arrives sometime in the next few weeks.

Next year I would love to do some sort of course in photography, so that I actually know what I am doing, but for now it's just fun learning as I go.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Parade

We were really looking forward to this years Christmas parade, as we didn't go last year because it was rained out. Yesterday looked like it was going to rain, but it held off and actually got very muggy.

Harri couldn't actually remember what the parade was even about and kept asking funny questions about it all morning. When we finally got into town and sat on the side of the road waiting, he remembered what was going to happen and was very excited.

This years parade was actually to do with 'wishes' and all the money from entering was donated to Make a Wish, which made it extra special for us.


Noah was awake before it started, but as soon as it started he dozed off.

Kobe on the otherhand was so into it and got very excited about different floats.

He especially loved one by one of the playgroups, which had pictures of the Wiggles all over it.

Jay still loves the parade even though he's getting older. I wonder how long it will be till he thinks he is too old to enjoy it.

Of course the highlight for the boys was actually seeing Santa on the last float. Harri straight away asked if it was the real Santa though, and of course it isn't as everyone knows he is way too busy this time of the year to visit us in Launceston! He was okay with him being 'Santa's helper' though.

After the parade we braved the crowds to have a quick look in town and was lucky enough to run into Santa as he was getting off his sleigh in the mall. He was the loveliest Santa and came straight up to Noah and just stood there taking his time with him, getting down really close and kept rubbing his arms.

He also said hi to the other boys and shook their hands. I was waiting for Kobe to freak out, but he actually really loved him and put his hand up to shake hands with him and all.

It's really starting to feel like Christmas now.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

J Phil

Last year we were very lucky to have Kenneth Cope (a very well known singer in our church from America) come to visit Tasmania. I LOVE Kenneth's music and was so excited to meet him, spend time with him, and hear him sing, and didn't think anything could top it.

This week however was just as exciting with Jenny Phillips coming to Tasmania. She is another amazing singer who I have loved for many years. Aaron asked me how I 'got into her' and it was because I always loved the EFY CDs and without fail if Jenny had a song on one of the CDs they were always my favourite song. Every year she puts out a new CD to go along with the theme for the Youth for that year, so the youth know her music well.

Lisa and I headed out to the Raspberry Farm on Thursday to have lunch with her (anyone was invited to go along and meet her) and I was sooo excited!! When she came in I was star struck and told her I was her 'groupie' and was so excited to meet her. She thought it was very funny. I was so excited to have her sign all my CDs for me.

The night before I had been listening to her latest CD and Aaron was joking around asking me 'are you listening to J Phil!?'. In the morning he had written me a note on our whiteboard in the kitchen saying....

I told Jenny about Aaron calling her 'J Phil' and she thought it was hilarious. I told her that Aaron had even written 'J Phil' as a logo that he said she was welcome to use on he CD label and Dan was cracking up saying that he he wanted to see it, so I told him I would take a photo of it and bring it that night to church, where Jenny was going to be singing for everyone. That night we went to hear her sing at church and Aaron was having a great time joking around with her using the 'J Phil' logo on her hip hop CD when she releases it. I showed it to them and they thought it was great and Aaron reminded them it was copywrited, so Jenny was joking around saying that would have to give him royalties for it. He even came up with the title for her next CD - 'The Spirit' - then it will say 'J Phil The Spirit'.

Jenny was so lovely and down to earth and it was so fun to talk to them, and hear more about her life and how she started becoming a singer/songwriter. It was amazing to think that they paid their own way to Tasmania, just to come for four days - leaving their children over Thanksgiving. Such lovely people!

She had been to Australia before and we were asking her if she could pull off an Aussie accent. This was her attempt. I have to say though she did do a much better version before I started to video her :)

video

Even though I love her music, I was amazed at her voice live. She sounded even more incredible in real life and maybe even than her CDs. I had considered just going out on my own and leaving the boys at home as I knew it would be a bad time of night as they would be tired, but was so glad that we took them out to hear her.

Jayne was asking me on Thursday night who else I would love to meet, and I said that meeting Kenneth Cope and now Jenny Phillips was pretty much it for me - it couldn't get any better than those two. I do love other LDS singers, but growing up Kenneth and Jenny were always my two favourite singers by far. It's hard to believe that these two amazing singers have come to visit us in Tasmania. It can't get any better than that!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

All Harri wants for Christmas

is his two front teeth...

and a tooth fairy that remembers to come! There were a few tears this morning. Whoops!!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dynamite

Jay and Harri's classes at school are 'book buddy' classes. This means that once a week they get together and each person has a buddy for the year who they spend time with reading or doing other fun activities. They love being book buddy classes as Jay's class is a grade 4/5 so they think the Prep kids are pretty cute.

Today in assembly both classes shared a song they had been practising together. It was very cool - especially when Harri's little friend Joe broke out in some break dancing at the end!

The boys are hard to see but Harri is in the maroon top in the front row in the middle and Jay is in the row behind him, also in a maroon top - two people to the right.

video

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

15 years married to my best friend

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary! How crazy is that!? It's hard to believe that we have been together for so long. I look at this photo and can't believe how young we were when we got married (and how skinny we were!), but I wouldn't change anything.

Last night we were talking with Jalen about being married for 15 years and I jokingly said '15 looooong years Jay' and then to get a laugh he says 'why don't you love Dad as much as he loves you Mum!?'.

He then came over and looked at the wedding photo as I was scanning it (as we WERE married in the dark ages, before digital cameras were around! ;) and said 'you looked so happy Mum, why aren't you anymore!?'. What a silly boy.

Jay loves stirring us, trying to get a laugh. Yesterday we got him to take these photos of us and he was cracking us up as he would say 'put your arm around her Dad', 'okay..now kiss, oh hang on...wait till I come around the back so I can get the sun shining through'.

Life is never perfect but as my Pop used to say 'you either keep holding hands or you will kill each other!' (Pop always had great words of wisdom:).

15 years ago I never could imagine our life now...I especially didn't imagine that we would have four boys. Over 16 years ago Aaron's sense of humor is what I liked about him and made me fall for the guy who my Dad said was 'just a boy', and today it's still one of the things that I love about him the most. Yesterday while we were taking these photos I said 'okay I'll jump on your back' and Aaron starts groaning and I was like 'what!?' and he then says 'well you aren't as light as you used to be!' (knowing he would get a laugh and a hit!).

I'm looking forward to the next 15+ years with my best friend.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Put It Up Early

It seems like every year we start getting into the Christmas season earlier and earlier. Before we would never put our tree up before the 1st of December, but then we decided to put it up on the same Saturday as the Christmas Parade which is always the last Saturday in November. It's going to be a busy day next Saturday with the parade and then I'm doing a very fun photoshoot in the afternoon, so we thought that yesterday would be a good day to get our tree up.

I was surprised that Aaron agreed, but I think deep down he actually loves putting up the tree just as much as I do! I told the boys yesterday that it was 'Christmas photo day' and they all gave me the big moan and groan...'how many photos are you going to take!?', 'how long is it going to take!?' etc. I told them if they smiled nicely and didn't muck around it would be very quick and it actually was! Here's a sneak peak of one of the photos, but I will save the rest for another time.

I remember Harri being a total pain putting up the tree last year. He was into it for about two minutes, and then got bored and just moaned the whole time. This year he was totally different! He couldn't do enough to help - including rearranging the letters for 'peace' and 'wish' around to how he thought they were spelt.


Noah was awake when we first started, but the Christmas music that Aaron put on quickly put him to sleep.



Kobe was so excited to be putting the tree up. He actually seems to know what it is all about this year.

The boys had lots of fun pulling out different decorations out of the boxes. Every year they get a new decoration each and I write their name on it and the year. Jay was excited to find this one that said 'Our First Christmas', which was given to us almost 15 years ago! Next week is our 15th wedding anniversary! Yikes!

Harri was a great help until the candy canes came out and then it was a competition between him and Kobe, who could eat the most.

I was telling him what a great job he did at helping this year, but only just discovered that he still spelt 'peace' wrong! I didn't even notice when I took this photo.

I can't believe that our tree is up on the 20th of November, but we had to be fast to beat Kylie!

As I told Aaron - we need a good month of the tree up to enjoy it and lengthen out the Christmas season as much as possible.

Take Your Wheels Off!

It's lots of fun having a new brand new house. It's easier to keep clean as there is so much more space and I'm constantly cleaning to make sure it all still stays looking brand new.

One thing I am not enjoying so much is that the landscaping and driveway still isn't done. I'm constantly asking (I won't say yelling because of course I don't yell!!;) the boys to take their shoes off when they come inside, so they don't drag dirt and mud all through the house. Whenever I go out to the clothesline I drag back about a kilo of dirt on the bottom of my shoes (check out the temporary toilet that the builder used when the house wasn't up - he had a door on it and it hooked up to the sewerage tank and all - I think it's quite the feature in the backyard and we may just keep the outdoor dunny!).

We can all take our shoes off, but Noah is another story. Every day there are huge track marks on the floor as well as dirt everywhere after we have brought him inside.

Bring on the driveway!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Charades

The boys love playing charades and when we do Kobe always wants to get involved too. This was his version of charades last month (when we were still living in the old house).

video

Thursday, 18 November 2010

What's for Breakfast!?

Mornings before school are pretty busy as I have to spend the good part of an hour getting Noah ready for school. Luckily Jay and Harri are so independent and Aaron helps out a lot before he leaves for school at 7.30 am, or they would go to school naked and hungry!

Jay is such a great help and runs around doing lots of things for me, so I can concentrate on giving Noah his meds, helping him empty his bladder, into his body splint, dressed, puffers given and into his wheelchair so we can get out the door.

This morning Kobe was in his usual morning mood, and kept grizzling that he wanted a lolly out of the cupboard. I told him he couldn't have a lolly and that it was breakfast time and asked Jay to get him some cereal.

Next thing I know Kobe comes in with the cheekiest grin on his face and some lollies in his hand!!

I went out to the kitchen to investigate how he could actually reach the lolly container and saw this!

What a rat bag!!! If he wasn't so cute I would give him away!! ;)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

School Photos #2

Speaking of the good old school photos I just had to pull out some classics from the old photo albums. How cute was Aaron!? He says it was grade 8 but he looks about the same age as Jalen now! No wonder he looks so young still.

Okay....I know this one is pretty scary. I'm not sure what is scarier - the hair cut or the poncho! I absolutely LOVED this poncho, and Mum let me wear it to school every day! I remember the teacher and/or the photographer asking me if I wanted to take it off for the photo and I was like 'no way!!' or that is what I was thinking but I was such a good student I would've just said 'that's okay'. I think this was about grade 3.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

School Photos

Aaah - the old school photos! Don't you just love them!? They usually turn out with the boys having some awkward fake smile or in Noah's case - having his eyes half shut and looking really out of it, with about fifty chins. This year I made a decision to not waste anymore money on having Noah's school photo taken as I can take some decent photos of him myself when he's looking alert and awake. The last couple of years I was too embarrassed to even give his photo to anyone as they looked so awful.

I was hanging out to see how the other boys photos turned out, and when they brought them home yesterday I was pretty pleased with them. Jay was cracking up at his fly away hair on the side, but what's a school photo without something to laugh about :) Hard to believe that Jay is going to be in GRADE SIX next year!!!

Harri was trying to work out how old he would be when Kobe starts school. When Kobe starts Kinder Harri will be in grade 3! I can't even imagine it. I wonder what life will be like for us then. Sometimes I just wish things could always stay just how they are right now.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Noah the Sk8er Boi

Some good friends of mine suggested it was time to move on from the spring blog header, and go with a 'mid season' one (thanks girls!). Yesterday I told the boys that we were going to go to the lake to get some photos taken so I could make a new blog header. After Harri refusing and being threatened with time out when we got home, we finally got a few photos that I could work with.

We then hung around the lake for a bit and Noah decided to carve it up at the skate park.


After he started to grind it up, we thought it was time to go before he caused some damage to his chair. Lucky his new one is one the way!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Like a Dream

We still wake up every day in our new house feeling like we are on holiday, or that it's all just a dream. We just don't look at the outside - or else reality hits that there is still a lot to be done :)

There are so many things I love about the new house, but THE best thing is that things are so much easier with Noah. In our old house we rented, to give Noah a bath was a huge effort - especially if you were on your own. He is 36.5 kg but it seems like a lot more because he doesn't hold any of his own weight, so carrying him is getting harder and harder.

In the old house you couldn't hoist him into the bath as there was no way that the hoist could get under the bath. We either had to do a two person lift or carry him on our own. If you had to carry him on your own, by the time you got from the lounge room into the bathroom, he pretty much dropped straight from my arms into the bath as I couldn't hold him any longer.

Even when we had In Home Support we had to be around if we wanted Noah to have a bath, so we could help Di and Alison carry him into the bath. We often had to choose whether we would use the time of having In Home Support to get out and do something without having to drag Noah around with us, or whether we would stay home or cut the time out short, so we could get back and help them get Noah into the bath.

It has been SO good being able to give Noah a shower by myself or knowing that Di and Alison can give him a shower on their own. The hoist has been dusted off and is actually being used (at least a few times a week...I still need to make myself use it more often).

Last Sunday Noah really needed a shower when he woke up (that's a whole other story that isn't that pleasant to talk or think about!), so I got the hoist out and got him into it, put him in the shower and out again on my own and all I could think about was 'HOW GOOD IS THIS!'. It's like a dream knowing that we can do things so much easier and I can do it all by myself when I need to, without worrying about how I am going to carry him to the bath comfortably and safely for both of us.

We finally got our spa installed this week and while Di was here doing In Home Support last night, we thought we'd try hoisting Noah into it to see how it would go. It's so nice knowing that Noah can either have a spa or a shower now without the struggle of trying to get him in. He quite liked lazing around, having the bubbles blowing on him.

The spa is raised up underneath so that the hoist can fit under it. It's great as when you are washing him that you no longer have to bend over and break your back.

Kobe jumped in with Noah and after the initial shock of having the jets blowing on him, he loved it and cried when he had to hop out.

Jalen said 'I'm never ever getting out of here' and Harri wants a spa every night!

We looked for the perfect house for us for so long and could never find one that had things we really needed - space for Noah, accessible for Noah and big enough for all of us, that was in our price range. We had pretty much given up. It's hard to believe that we are now in a house that was everything we needed and more. It's not the location we would love to live in forever, but for now we are just so grateful that life is so much easier.

It really will be a dream when it's totally finished.
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