Sunday, 2 February 2014

Survived Summer Holidays

Our six weeks of summer holidays have just about come to an end.  When school finished last year I was ready for a break from work, but was really dreading the holidays as the days are always so long when we are out of a routine, because Aaron and Noah aren't here.

I love my boys, but being a single Mum is the hardest job ever.  It's especially hard during school holidays.  When we are together day and night for weeks on end, time can go very slowly.   Being a single Mum reminds me of the days when you have newborns and toddlers at home, and you feel like you're going a little bit crazy being at home all day long, and you can't wait for your husband to walk in the door, so you have an adult to talk to and they can give you a break.  It's just that now there is no respite.  You just have to deal with it the best that you can, and that often means just trying not to shut off too much as I listen to talk about Pokemon, computer games and football all day long, and keeping as busy as I can. 

The first two weeks or so or holidays were really hard.  I was grateful for some sleep ins, but I just didn't know how we were going to cope with six long weeks to fill in.   The boys are actually quite happy to sit at home all day, and are very good at entertaining themselves with playing on the computer and Wii.  Some days were spent like that, but I hate that they would choose that all day long, especially when the weather is beautiful and knew they couldn't do that all summer.
I started to feel quite down as I knew I should've been making the most of the holidays, but just wished that they would hurry up.   Because I had finished my contract at work and wasn't sure if I would have another contract for the new school year, money was tight so we couldn't do anything too exciting, but I told that boys that we needed to just jump in the car every day and go and do something, even if it was finding a new place to go for a walk or a swim, or discovering a new place we hadn't been before.
We went to play mini golf at Grindelwald, and the whole time the boys couldn't stop talking about the last time they were there with Aaron and my brother Chrish.   It was nice to hear all their stories about Aaron, and I was surprised that Kobe could even remember a lot from that day, even though it was almost two years ago to the day.
It was good to get away and stay at my Mum and Dad's new house for a week, and that week definitely went the fastest.
We went back to Mum and Dad's last week and decided to go out at night to see if we could see the penguins coming in.  We did spot a few penguins, and also spotted just as many wallabies but got bitten by a million mozzies (mosquitoes).  It's funny to read comments on Instagram how people overseas aren't sure what 'mozzies' are, and reminds me that we have a bit of a language of our own in Australia.

By the third week I started to love school holidays.   All the boys slept in past nine every morning and even Milly learned to not wake up so early, and would sleep in until the first boy woke up.   She has loved having us home all day, every day, and won't know what's hit her when school goes back.  We loved finding new places to take her.  Having a dog definitely made the holidays a lot more fun.
  These two seriously talked about Pokemon the whole walk on this day!
We loved having my sister Nicki and her family, come and stay with us when they were home from  Melbourne, for Christmas.
It was so hot when they were here, so we had lost of fun with the water slide in the backyard.
While the Watsons were here, we went to try out the new tube park we had heard lots about.  It was so much fun, and the boys keep asking to go back. The first time Kobe went down he freaked out. I think he held his breath the whole 100 m down, and at the end I cracked up laughing and said 'Kobe was freaking!' and he yelled 'no I wasn't!' and then tried to act tough every time he went down. This was his third time down, so he was being a lot braver than the first couple of turns.  He cracks me up when I asked him if he was scared and he says 'no, not at all' and then when the guy asks if he is ready he says 'no' and yells 'I said NO!' as he's being pushed down the slide :)
Some friends of ours - Kelvin and Annette got hold of an old Hawthorn banner that their friend had on his business.  We have been using it as a water slide and the boys have been having so much fun on it.   Thanks Nettie and Kelv for the coolest water slide ever.   It's nice to slide into Hodgey all the time ;) 

Jay spent a couple of nights on a church Young Mens camp. He was feeling quite anxious about going as we really haven't been apart very much since Aaron passed away, but he had the best time and when I picked him up he wouldn't stop talking and loved telling me about all the things they got up to.
We have loved spending some time with the missionaries from church.  It was Sister Hadfield's birthday earlier in the month, so we had fun creating an Aussie/American birthday lunch for her as she is from Utah.  I found out her favourite drink is Dr Pepper and searched every where for it (it's not a drink we have here except in specialty shops or in the international food section at the supermarket) and she was so excited about it. 
They are from the USA and South Africa, and are here as volunteers, so they don't have a lot of time to go sightseeing as they only have one day 'off' a week.  We were shocked to hear that they hadn't been to the Gorge before, so we had fun taking them there on one of their days off.
The boys had never been on the chairlift before, so Jay and Harri begged to go on it and loved it. I thought Harri may have freaked out, but he kept asking if he could go again. 
A couple of weeks ago I got the call I had been hoping for all summer.  It was an offer of a contract to teach part time at the boy's school again.  The most exciting thing is that the job is my dream job right now - teaching English as an Additional Language to some beautiful Iranian children who are refugees from Afghanistan.    At the end of last year I was asked what job I would prefer to do if there was a chance of being offered a contract, and that is the position I put down as my first preference.  I am so excited about it as I think it's going to be such a rewarding job, and I feel so blessed to be teaching at my boy's school again.

I will have a lot to learn, but I can't wait for it.  It will be so exciting to be a part of helping them learn English. I know that they will mostly learn from being around the children in their classes, but I'm excited to see them develop.  
I saw this on the internet a few days ago and had to laugh because English really is a crazy language at times.
After finding out that I have a contract to teach, I have also been offered some relief work which also starts next week. It 's probably more work than I really want, but with Kobe starting school full time (!!) and relief teaching money being so good, it's hard to pass it up.  I feel so blessed that I have gone from wondering if I will have any work, to having more than enough work.  Someone is definitely looking out for me.  I guess Kobe's back up plan of me working at Maccas doesn't have to happen now.

I start back at work tomorrow and the boys start later in the week, so last night we decided to go out to mourn and also celebrate the end of school holidays, and to celebrate my new job.  During tea I couldn't help but think about how close we have become over the past two years.  
After a tough couple of weeks in the beginning, summer holidays ended up being lots of fun.  Each holiday does get a little easier as we learn to adjust to life as just the four of us. I don't think I will dread the next holidays quite as much. 


  1. Still can't believe you went to Hog's Breath AGAIN without me!!!!!
    YOLO, that was for Jae.
    Love Mum.

  2. What a fantastic job you are doing with your boys! Glad you got another contract and can try to find some enjoyment in life.

    Love from Utah

    1. Thank you. Having a job that I love has definitely helped.

  3. Congrats on the new job! You and the boys always have so many fun adventures and I love hearing about them.

  4. I love this blog post. You are doing so well Lisa. Love all the progress you are making together. Keep moving forward. N xx

  5. Aww, congrats on your dream job! Can't wait to hear how it goes. I keep thinking Harri is Jalen in the photos and that Kobe is Harri! Shows how big they're getting and how long I must've been following! Maybe I'm just getting old or it's harder to tell on my phone. ;) Whatever the case, you're doing a beautiful job as a family with 2/3 here and 1/3 pulling for you on the other side. :)

  6. Dr. Peppers has been available at the Norwood IGA,right under your radar:) Hasn't been there of late though. I like it but now can't have it as having being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Bwaah!
    The shop next to the Princess Theatre was also said to stock it. However it is expensive $2.40 a can.

  7. What a great ending to your post. Well done on your job. May you be happy and fulfilled in it. Much love from Cape Town - where we also have mozzies! xx

  8. What a great post! I am SO so excited for you to have your dream job! I understand the sister missionary from Utah loving Dr. Pepper - it is my favourite, as well, though I drink the sugar-free version here in the U.S., which I think tastes as good as the original. Here's to a fantastic school year for all of you! Hugs from Michigan, USA!


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