Saturday, 28 September 2013

Premiers 2013!!

We are so excited that Hawthorn won the grand final today.   I smiled all day from the texts, messages, emails and comments from people telling me that they don't usually follow the Hawks but were today for me and the boys.  

It was so cool to see photos on Facebook of the Hotchkiss family in California, watching the game.  We have never met, but have become friends since they started reading my blog a while ago.  I'm sure that they had no idea what was going on for most of the game, but it was cool to know that they were barracking for Hawthorn for us, and watching it on the other side of the world at the same time.
Alison came with us to watch it at my Mum and Dad's and I felt sick before it started.  It's crazy to think that I never really cared about the footy that much, and now I know all the players, and feel sick from nerves before a game.  I have no doubt Aaron is influencing me from Heaven and is loving that I'm almost as Hawks obsessed as he was.   At half time we went out on the street for our usual half time kick.  Harri loved remembering when we used to do it with Aaron.  

It was such an intense game and too close for my liking.  I was so worried that we were going to lose it in the last quarter, but with about four minutes to go I knew we were okay and commented that it would be the moment when Aaron would've started crying happy tears.    Harri and Kobe were so excited and were yelling out the theme song at the end!

Harri was so excited and had been filling out his footy record the whole game, except when he would yell 'I'm about to pee my pants!!!' and would run to the loo and pass the record onto my Mum to fill out for him. 

I loved watching the players celebrate at the end, and especially loved when Brian Lake's son ran into his arms at the end.  It was also very cute when the little girl who presented Hodgey with his medal said 'you're a champion!'.  I also loved seeing how happy Josh Gibson was at the end as he 'cried like a sissy' (as he put it).  Harri kept asking if they were 'happy tears'. 
We are so excited that the team are coming to Tassie on Monday and can't wait to see them on stage with the premiership cup.  I wonder if it willl be as big as Mad Monday was in 2008. We were disappointed we weren't able to get tickets to go to watch the grand final, but having them come down to Tassie to show off the cup will be awesome.   We feel so lucky to have them in Tassie so often.  

Friday, 27 September 2013

Footy Colours

I miss Aaron every day, but on weeks like this one I miss him terribly.  I can't stop thinking how excited he would be this week with Hawthorn making the grand final.   I wish he was here having a go at everyone that he comes across about how good his beloved Hawks are.    I wish he was stirring up all our friends who are Bombers fans.   I wish he was wearing every bit of Hawks gear that he has to school.  I wish he was turning footy colours day into footy colours week like he has before.
Footy colours day is a lot more fun when it's your team in the grand final.  Jalen had his school footy colours day last week but I forgot to take a pic.  Yesterday Kobe had his footy colours day and he was so excited to wear his Hawks gear to school.  Because I was doing some work in his Kinder class I wore my footy colours as well.    It was fun stirring up the kids who had other team colours on.  I heard lots of 'go hawks!' or 'boo hawks!' during the day.  
Today was Harri's turn for footy colours day.
Kobe and I went up to the cemetery today to make sure that Aaron and Noah's Hawks scarves were still at their graves.  
We got the footy record yesterday and Harri and Kobe have been reading it flat out.  Kobe is so excited about tomorrow but keeps saying 'remember last year when the Hawks lost and I was crying?'.  I hope it's not going to be the same story tomorrow. 
I was hoping that Noah and Aaron would be able to pull some strings up in Heaven, and that we would be lucky enough to get tickets to the grand final through the ballot, but it wasn't too be.   Unfortunately there are too many Hawthorn members wanting tickets.   

I'm trying to look on the bright side, in that we saved a lot of money by not going, but it would be a dream to take the boys to a grand final that Hawthorn are playing in sometime.   Instead we will be watching it on TV and hoping that having two fans cheering them on from Heaven will help the Hawks beat Fremantle like they did when they played at Aurora earlier this year. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Love Make A House A Home

On the weekend my whole family was together to help my Mum and Dad move house.   It was nice to have my brother Christian down from Sydney and sister Nicki from Melbourne. The 'last supper' in the house was fish and chips on the floor.  
It was sad to know that the house that we grew up in, was no longer going to be Mum and Dad's. 
Mum and Dad built the house when I was about thirteen.  Before that we lived in a house just across the paddock which Mum and Dad bought when they got married for the huge price of $1000.  We have a lot of happy and sad memories in both houses.  I loved growing up near my cousins and Nan and Pop.  We all lived within a kilometre of each other and had the best childhood.   My brother Daniel passed away in our first house and although I can't remember a lot about that time as I was only six years old, I remember that day quite clearly and remember sitting in the lounge room with lots of people there.   

While our 'new' house was being built we lived in a shed as for almost a year. 
I remember it being so cold in winter, but it was also lots of fun, living in a shed with cupboards as walls.  It was quite an adventure and it felt like we were just having a huge big sleepover for a year.  Don't worry - there was a door on the shed when we lived there. 

I remember how exciting it was to be building a brand new house.  It's funny the things that I can remember. I clearly remember roller skating around the slab once it was down and then hating it when the walls were put up as I didn't enough room to roller skate.  
The thing I will miss the most is the views.  I don't think we ever took it for granted. 

It was nice that so many people turned up on Saturday to help them move.  Their house was huge and they had a lot of furniture that would be going into a container for the next year or so.

A few things that they use often, went to their unit which they are renting while they wait for their house to be built.  It's a huge change for them to be living in a unit surrounded by houses, as they have lived on the farm their entire married life, but hopefully living close to the beach will make it all worth it.   

The shed was full of lots of old cupboards which ended up on the bonfire. The kids loved the bonfire which kept them occupied all day.
It's been a very hard decision for Mum and Dad to sell the house, but they are happy that a lovely family has bought it and will be moving in on the weekend, and will hopefully love it as much as we all do.  

Kobe started crying as we were drove away for the last time on Saturday. I asked him what was wrong and he said he was feeling really sad because it was our 'last time at Grandma and Grandpa's'.  I agreed that it was really sad but told him that it would be okay, and they would have a nice new house. 

We drove to their new unit and as we pulled up Kobe asked what we were doing.  I told him we were going to see Grandma and Grandpa's new house. He then had a nervous laugh and said 'I thought that was our last time we would be seeing them!'.    Poor Kobe thought we weren't going to see my Mum and Dad ever again! I felt so sad when I realised what he had been thinking.   He has lost so many people lately, that he just assumed that was it - it was the last time we would see Grandpa and Grandma and their house.   He was so happy when he realised that they had a new house and we would be seeing them all the time still, and kept saying 'this house is nicer than your other house!'.

While I was helping to clean the house I stopped to take a photo of this sticker Mum had on the wall.  We are all trying to remember that it's 'just' a house.  Hopefully their unit and new home they will build will feel like home before long.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Streak Is Over

It scares me how much I'm into the footy since Aaron passed away! It's like a huge part of him has become a part of me now.   I knew that Aaron would love getting into the spirit of the finals, so we went up to the cemetery and took up a couple of our Hawks scarfs.

I know Aaron wouldn't be impressed with the '4 year' scarf, but I didn't want to risk leaving his 15 year one at the cemetery.
To say that we are excited that Hawthorn are in the grand final next Saturday is an understatement.   My heart sank when I knew that we would be playing against the Cats in the preliminary final.  Because we haven't beaten them since the 2008 grand final, I knew that we surely had to beat them sometime soon, but wasn't confident that it was going to be last night.

I wanted to believe that it was the Hawks time to win, but I have to admit that at three quarter time I really thought that our year was over.  We watched the game at my Mum and Dad's house as it was their last night there before moving house today. 

I'm pretty sure that we didn't stop screaming the last seven minutes of the game.  I couldn't sit still and kept having to stand up.   Dad kept saying how he couldn't believe how much tbe boys and I are into the footy now and how much Aaron would love it.

This was the moment the siren went and we knew that we had finally beaten the Cats, and were in the grand final.   Harri cracks me up when he says 'that's the moment of my life!!!! The streak is over!!!!'.   It's so nice to see the boys so excited and happy.  I have no doubt that Aaron would've been doing the same thing in Heaven ;) :)

Sorry that the video is so small as it's off my phone.

We registered to go in the ballot to get grand final tickets which would be a dream come true.  I am not holding my breath as I know it's a once in a life time opportunity (unless you pay the big bucks to have membership where you are guaranteed a ticket) but you just never know.  I hate to think about the cost of airfares on grand final weekend, but I'm sure it would be worth it, if we were lucky enough.

Fingers, toes and everything else are crossed... but if we aren't lucky enough to get tickets through the ballot I'm sure it will be just as exciting watching it on our couch, eating party pies and drinking Pepsi for Aaron. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013


You know you're getting old when you start appreciating gardens and want to spend time there.  When we moved house, one of the hardest things was leaving our beautiful garden which had been beautifully and professionaly landscaped for us, after Aaron and Noah passed away.  I especially hated having to leave lots of trees and plants that Aaron had planted himself, and beautiful trees and bushes that people had given us after Noah passed away

There were so many plants and trees that I wished that I could take with us, but there was one in particular. It was a beautiful flowering cherry tree which Aaron planted after Noah passed away, as he wanted to make a special garden for him

I was so happy when the buyer of our old house agreed that we could take a couple of special things including the flowering cherry tree.  My friends Kelvin and Annette were awesome and came and dug up the tree and a couple of plants and herbs and replanted them for me at our new house.  It was a terrible time of the year to be transplanting plants because it was the end of summer, so I knew that there was a chance that they wouldn't survive. 

I watered the tree and plants day and night during summer.  When autumn hit I noticed the leaves changing colour, but actually thought that the tree was dying.  I was so happy when I spring came as I finally knew that the tree had survived the move. 
The tree looks just as healthy as it did at our old house. It's so nice to have it here with us as it reminds me of the love that Aaron had for Noah and how hard he worked to make a special garden for him. 

The herbs which I got cuttings from at our old house, are also doing well. 
Aaron's Hawks gnome sits proudly in the herb garden.  It always makes me smile when I see it as it makes me think about my crazy hawks fanatic, and how excited he was when he got it from some of the teachers he worked with. 

The veggie garden that Kelvin and Annette came and built and planted out for me is also doing well.  I'm looking forward to some yummy summer veggies, and hopefully some raspberries from some raspberry canes which we planted. 
It's nice to finally have my own lemon tree too.
I'm not a gardener at all, so it's nice to have moved to a house where the garden is well established and has so many beautiful flowers coming out now that it's spring.  


As hard as the last two year have been and still are, I feel like I have many blessings in my life right now, and I'm so glad that I made the very hard decision to sell our house and move.   It will never fully feel like home without Aaron and Noah here with us, but it's nice to feel settled here, and to have such a pretty garden to spend time in.  

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I Wish They Were My Brothers

We always have two missionaries that serve in our 'ward' (congregation) at church.    They are often from overseas (usually the USA) but there are also a lot from the mainland who spend two years serving their mission as a volunteer.   We knew the missionaries quite well just before Aaron passed away, as they used to visit us often and spend time with our family. They came to Aaron's funeral and it's nice to be in contact with one of the missionaries on Facebook who is from Canada, as he is now home. 

Since Aaron passed away we haven't spent much time with the missionaries but over the past few months we have gotten to know the two missionaries in our ward really well.  Elder Hosman is from Arkansas and Elder Sargeant is from New Hampshire.   I'm not sure why Elder Hosman has a huge Toblerone :)
 Elder Hosman makes me laugh as he says 'yes Ma'am' when you ask him a question.  It's obviously a southern thing, but makes me feel really old :)
The boys love it when they visit and have been teaching them all about AFL football and cricket.  We think we have convinced them to barrack for Hawthorn, even though they've never seen a game or really know what we are talking about :)  The boys have loved playing sport with them a couple of times.  They split into two teams and play footy - usually one team is 'the Hawks' and the other is 'the Cats'.  

The missionaries have strict rules so whenever we spend time with the missionaries we have someone else join us.  Harri always asks why someone else has to be there and I tell him because they might think I'm hot and want to kiss me. He thinks that's a great joke! So do I actually, but I guess they have rules for a reason  - even if I'm sure they would have no interest at all in an almost 40 year old widow :)

The boys beg them to come and visit every week and cry if they aren't able to.  They always come and do something fun with the boys, and then give us a spiritual message. The boys love it as there is often a game of some sort involved.  It's so nice for the boys to have some males around and I can see how much they've missed it.  The missionaries spoil them so much and often bring them lollies when they visit.

They usually only get to stay in the same area for 3-6 months before being transferred to another area in the same mission.   We know that both of them will probably have to leave very soon and we will miss them a lot. Harri is especially sad that they will have to go.  He keeps saying that he wishes that they were his brothers and that they could live here forever.

Tonight he cracked me up as he said 'Mum can you marry one of the missionaries!?'.  I couldn't stop laughing and reminded him that they were young enough to be my sons.  He then looked at me and said 'okay, just marry Hodgey then!' :)

He then said he just wished they could stay and live with us.  I told him that they would miss their families too much, and he said 'no they told me they want to live here!'.    The other night when they were visiting Harri told them once again, that he didn't want them to leave and wishes that they were his brothers.   They both told him that they hope they could come back after their mission to visit again, and Harri said 'why would you want to come to Tasmania!? We have nothing!  You have the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty!'. He made us all laugh.  I joked about all the great things Launceston has like the Gorge, Aurora Stadium and Shiploads. He wasn't amused.

Tonight Harri told me that he loves the missionaries that we have right now 'more than Milly, our house, my bedroom and school'.  It's going to be a very sad day especially for Harri when they are transferred.

Friday, 13 September 2013

My Baby Is 14

Yesterday Jalen woke up the earliest he has in two years.  He came into my bedroom at 6.15 am and was very excited because it was his birthday.  It's so hard to believe that my 'baby' is 14. 

It was so nice to see him so excited and happy as the last couple of years have been harder on him than any of the boys.  It was a freezing cold morning (just as we thought spring had his Tassie, the frosty mornings returned) so we all jumped into my bed while he opened up presents.
He loved all his presents which all had a gaming theme.  I have no idea about gaming, so he gave me a 'wish list' which saved me. Lots of parcels had been arriving from the USA over the past couple of weeks.

I found an awesome card for him.  He thought it was hilarious.
I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said he just wanted to get pizza for tea.  I asked him if he wanted to do something like play mini golf or go bowling, but he said he was happy just 'hanging at home together' and playing his new games.   I didn't mind as he was happy and it was an easy birthday for me.
The lovely Cupcake Fairy Nicole offered to make Jalen's birthday cake again.   I feel very spoilt to not have had to worry about making the boys birthday cakes over the past two years.   Jay decided on a 'triforce' cake which is from the Legend of Zelda video game, which is one of his favourites.  I told Nicole it was probably the easiest cake she would probably ever have to make.     He loved it and it tasted delicious.
Nicole, The Cupcake Fairy not only spoilt Jay with a cake and present, but gave each of us a little pressie.  The boys loved that they came in Hawthorn bags.
Kobe was extra excited about the mints in a Hawthorn tin.    Thanks Nic for making the boys smile.
Before bed Jay talked me into watching Iron Man 3 with him as he got it on Blu Ray for his birthday.  It was nice to just hang out with him on my own, once Harri and Kobe were in bed.  Jay is growing up way too fast but I feel very blessed that he's such a great kid.  All day he kept thanking me for giving him such a nice birthday, even though I really didn't do much.  I know that Aaron would be so proud of him. 

Even though he had such a nice day yesterday,  he is feeling really sad and down today.  He said he has felt really 'depressed' all day today and I told him that it was probably because he had something to look forward to with his birthday coming up, and now it's over and reality has set back in again.  I also told him that some days are just sadder than others and it's okay to have those days too because we can't have really happy days every day.  I just hope that the really sad days continue to get further apart.  I'm glad that he was able to have a break from the sadness even just for a day. 
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