Sunday, 27 July 2014

'Long weekend' in Melbourne

I find that having something to look forward to helps a lot so when the AFL fixture came out at the beginning of the year, I looked at the games to see what would be a good game to take the boys to on the mainland this year.  I knew that the games between Sydney and Hawks would be big ones, and I was lucky to get cheap flights to take the boys to both the games - first in Sydney in May and then cheap flights came up for the game last night in Melbourne.  

Having my brother Christian in Sydney and sister Nicki in Melbourne is handy as it means we can have a nice cheap holiday as long as we can get cheap flights, and can catch up with them as well.  Having Fridays off work is great as it means we can have a long weekend and make the most of it.  I don't think having a day off school now and then hurts the boys, when they are getting to experience different things.

We flew to Melbourne after school on Thursday and stayed with my sister and her family.  My niece Maddi was so excited to see Jalen as she loves watching his videos on his YouTube channel. She is his little fan, and keeps asking him to do a shout out to her on one of his videos.  When we arrived she was watching his videos and was so excited to see him.
On Friday we got to see Maddi and Alex's classrooms at school. They were so excited to have us at their school and to show us their classrooms.  My EAL kids that I teach really stand out at school, but at Maddi and Alex's school probably half or more of the class are from backgrounds other than Australia.  
After we dropped them off we headed to the Scienceworks museum with Nicki and my nephew Linc.
We went there last year and ever since Kobe has been begging to go back.   I was glad that we did, as there were a lot of new things since we went last time.  The new exhibit was to do with the future. 
There was a room where you could choose which kind of music or sounds to make, and then people had to press buttons according to what mood they felt.  The colours of the room would then change according to the mood. 
 There were a lot of interactive exhibits which the boys loved.
 They loved making their own car for the future. 
 Jalen loved the sci-fi section. 
 Harri was excited to see the interactive sports section was still there. 
 Kobe couldn't wait to get to the kids section as there is so much to see and do. 
We have been in touch with one of our favourite missionaries - Elder Hosman since he was transferred from Tasmania.  We caught up with him in Melbourne in December, so we emailed to see if he was close to Nicki's area to see if we could catch up quickly while we were there.  We were glad to hear that he wasn't far away and organised to meet up to have lunch at a shopping centre.  He let me know that Sister Vermuelen was also in his area.  We loved her so much and she even spent Christmas morning last year with us, so we were so excited to hear that we could also meet up with her.
Elder Hosman had a lovely companion - Elder Davis who is going home to the USA in a few weeks.  The boys loved having arm wrestles with them. 
It was so lovely to see both of them and to meet their companions. We loved having them in our home so often, and their weekly visits really brightened our day, so catching up with them was like catching up with my own kids.   We loved having the Elders visit because the boys love having some older males in the house again, and I loved having some girly company when the Sisters would visit. 
We just had to take a few selfies before we said goodbye :) 

It's always sad to say goodbye, and we knew this was probably the last time we would see them before they go back home to the USA and South Africa.  It'll be great to be able to stay in contact via Skype and Facebook though once they're home.  At the moment they are only allowed to email family and friends once a week, so we usually just send snail mail every couple of months because they don't have a lot of time to read emails.
Yesterday morning Nicki and Alex took us to an awesome place called Watermarc.  It has pools and a tipping bucket area, which is very similar to our Aquatic Centre we have here, but it also has two awesome indoor water slides (photo taken from their website).   Once you pay the entry free you can go on the slides as many times as you want. 
The bigger slide was called Tantrum Alley and is similar to the rides at Wet 'n' Wild and 'White Water World' on the gold coast where you fly down a tunnel, and then up the sides, but it is a much smaller version and is all indoor.  It was really fun as part of it was dark.  It was the first 'big' ride that Harri has been brave enough to go on and he freaked a little the first time (especially as he was flying down in the dark, backwards!) but he loved it and went on it many times during the day. 

Kobe was tall enough to go on the bigger slide and absolutely loved it. It was a tube slide which was also dark in places, and was very long and very fast. 
We had a great morning and had fun going on with Nicki and Alex and the kids too.  Poor Linc was sad because he was too short to go on the big slides.
Yesterday afternoon we spent a few hours in the city before heading to the MCG to go to the footy.  When we got to the city we saw a homeless man begging and it really upset Harri.  As soon as he saw him he looked so worried. I asked him what was wrong and he said he wished that everyone had a home.  I told him that we could give him some food or some money, and Harri burst into tears and said 'I just want you to give him your whole credit card, but you can't do that can you!?'. 
Harri was so sad he refused to get in this photo with the boys. 
He cheered up after a little while and the boys had fun going to their favourite shop in the city - which is a massive EB Games store.  There was a new section downstairs which the boys freaked out about - they are all obsessed with the Pop Vinyl figurines and have just started collecting them, so they so excited about how many were there. I let them choose one each and it took them forever to work out which one they wanted. 
We met up with Nicki and Alex and squeezed onto a tram to go to the MCG. 
Whenever I'm in Melbourne I think about how much Aaron used to love it there. 
Nicki got us awesome seats - three rows from the front up near the goals. 
Before the game Harri thought he would be funny and went up to the Sydney mascot and pretended he was going to give him a high five, but then pulled his hand away.  Everyone around us was cracking up, and a hawthorn supporter a couple of rows behind us yelled to him 'that was awesome mate! You deserve a high five for that!' and reached over and gave him a high five.   Harri loved that he kept everyone entertained and it reminded me so much of something Aaron would've done on one of his school footy trips, to get his students laughing. 
Whoever was in the Hawka costume was hilarious.  He was dancing and posing, and pretending to shoot the swan.  He had us laughing so much. 
It was a very exciting game and it was fun to be up so close. 
I told the boys that if anyone of them marked the ball I would give them $50.  I knew my money would be safe, but started worrying when the ball would come towards us!
It's so fun to see the boys get into the game so much.  Harri had me laughing the whole time as he commentated the whole game and got very excited whenever Hawthorn got a goal.  Even Jay was loving it and was screaming as much as we were.  The result was much better this time, with Hawthorn winning by 10 points.
We got home this morning and are all very tired.  It was worth it though to have such a fun weekend away.   I bribed Kobe into jumping into bed with me this afternoon to have a '10 minute' nap as I knew he was very tired.  He didn't want to, but I told him it would just be ten minutes and that he could have a chocolate when he woke up.  Three and a half hours later he woke up and asked for his chocolate :)

Thanks Nicki and Alex for such a fun weekend, and Alison for looking after Milly for us.  The boys were very happy to get home to her today, and she has been following us around since we walked in the door.

p.s: Hello to the lady who said hello on the plane.  It's always fun when people say hello and say that they read my blog, even when we don't know them. 


  1. Wow you guys had so much fun...that science centre sure puts the museum one here to shame !!!!! so jealous that you got to catch up with one of our favourite missionaries too ...the footy looked great ..(even though i still think you all barrack for the wrong team..he he ..Kelv told me to say that the Tigers are coming into their own and will bring them hawks down this year..he he )

  2. Goodtimes. Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. You are such a fun mum! I'd love to take my kids to the Scienceworks museum someday. The aquatic centre slides look very similar to the slides of an indoor water park we took our kids to when we lived in Missouri, USA.
    I loved your pics, especially the ones of your favourite missionaries. We've always had missionaries over for dinners or holidays. We've grown close to several of them over the years as we've kept in touch. We recently visited with dear friends (a sister and elder that served in the same mission) they were married after the mission and now have two children. It's so fun to see how well they are doing in their lives. I don't like saying goodbyes either.
    You have a beautiful family, Lisa. Harri's so tender hearted to be concerned over the homeless man. Reminds me of an experience I had when I was young. We plan to take the kids to an AFL game someday while living here. Our landlord in Perth, old us we should take the kids...Maybe we should be cheering for the Hawthorn Hawks..ha! ;-)
    I am curious about the Pop Vinyl figurines...are they mostly for boys or do girls like them as well? Also, I'm sure my kids would be interested in Jalen's YouTube channel. What is it about?
    Btw...if you ever plan to come to Perth and find good flights please know you are welcome to stay with us during your visit. I'm not just saying that, I really mean it! Hope you have a wonderful week with your EAL kids and your boys. Xoxo Chrissy Workman...aka beesbutterfly on IG. :-)

  3. Ohh the story of Harri and the homeless man broke my heart!! What a sweet sweet boy you have!


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