We've just about finished two weeks of school holidays, and go back to school next week. It's been a very busy holidays, and we are actually all feeling really run down and tired, so hopefully the routine of being back to work and school, will help us catch up on some rest.
We've been so busy the last two weeks, but it's been a good busy. Last Saturday after a hectic three days of helping at a church youth convention, we jumped on a plane and headed to Sydney for a week.
We always love going to stay with my brother Chrish and it's even better now that Wet 'n' Wild has opened up just 15 minutes from his house. We were so lucky with the weather and it was over 30 degrees when we went.
We were hoping that parliament may have been sitting, but unfortunately they weren't.
Selfie in the Senate :)
We loved going up to the roof top. The views of Canberra were great from the top.
It was interesting to hear on the tour about the design of Parliament House, and how everything had a meaning behind it.
This is often what happens when you try to get a photo of all three boys at once. Kobe is turning into such a clown.
After touring Parliament House we drove around Canberra a little bit. The boys were so excited to see these flags, so we stopped to see which flags they knew. Luckily each country was listed underneath, or we wouldn't have had much hope in knowing very many of them.
The first night we headed to Costco which was very exciting. We don't have Costco in Tasmania, so we were excited to check it out. It had a lot more than I thought it would! I just assumed it was bulk food, but was surprised that they had everything. Jalen amused himself by going around finding the biggest things that he could, while we were there.
The next day we squeezed in as much as we could. First of all we went to the Mint. I remember going there as a kid, and being fascinated with all the money. The boys each made their own $1 coin for the bargain price of $3 each!
We loved the stairs full of 5 cent pieces.
After the Mint we headed to Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre. It's was really fun and interactive, and had lots of things to do and see. This robot could be controlled by touching the controls on the screen.
Our favourite thing was the earth quake house, where you can go in and feel what it's like to be in an actual earthquake.
The boys also loved the free fall slide where you free fall for a few seconds, before hitting a 6 metre slide.
Harri has been learning about sustainability at school (and has been giving us all lectures about how we aren't being sustainable with water!) so he was loving the last section which was all about that.
There was a section for 0-6 year olds, but Jay and Harri had just as much fun playing in there as Kobe did.
After Questacon we went to the Australian War Memorial. I remember going there as a kid, but I think it has changed a lot since then. When we first got there Kobe kept looking at things and saying 'that's cool!', but when I started to explain to him what it was about and that it actually wasn't 'cool' because it was about war, he quickly became really quiet and respectful.
Harri was excited to get his photo taken with the statue of Simpson and his donkey as he had read the story about it at school.
The boys were very quiet as we looked at the roll of honour on the walls.
Kobe desperately wanted to buy a poppy to put on the wall. We were hoping to find my Pop's name, but I couldn't remember what battalion he was in, so he just put it where he could reach.
The tomb of the unknown soldier was very impressive, and such a quiet and reverent place.
Looking out of the tomb.
You could spend days at the War Memorial, but we only stayed for a few hours. There was so much to see and even things for the boys to do. They loved being able to dress up, and pretending they were going to war. Jay knew how crazy it was to have fun while pretending to be at war, and kept asking why Pop would lie about his age, so that he could go and fight.
Kobe could not work out why a nurses uniform was there, and kept saying 'they didn't have nurses at war!'. We explained to him why nurses were there and he said 'that's funny that that ladies would be at war!'.
Throughout the memorial there are a lot of different videos that run at different times. We sat down to watch the one about helicopters. During the video it feels like the helicopter is really going as it's so loud and has flashing lights, so it looks like the helicopter blades are rotating.
I could tell during the different videos that the boys were feeling really somber.
My favourite section was the Afghanistan section. Because all of my EAL students are from there, it really hit home to me about how important it is that Australia is there. We sat down to watch videos of different soldiers who are over there fighting, and I felt quite teary the whole time, knowing how my students have had to leave their own country, because of what's going on over there.
We could've spent a lot longer at the War Memorial, but we were there till it closed and were very tired by the end of the day.
As we were leaving Kobe told me that he felt like crying. I asked him why and he said he felt sad 'because of all the people at war'.
We had a lovely time staying with my cousin and her family, and by the end of the second day Harri had a new best friend - Lachie. The second night they asked if they could sleep together, and when I said goodnight to them Harri asked me if they were cousins. I told them that they were, and they both did a fist pump and yelled 'yes!!'. It cracked me up. It was lovely to get to know Kristen and Steph's kids and we hope that go back to stay with them again sometime.Before driving back to Chrish's we wanted to do a couple more things in Canberra. First we went on a tour of the Australian Institute of Sport. It was cool to see where some of Australia's top sports people train.
There were some really fun and interactive things to do there. It reminded us a lot of the Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne.
Harri cracked me up when he posed for this photo. He kept looking down and looked sad, and I told him to smile and then he said 'but I won the bronze medal Mum! I'm not happy!'.
After the Institute of Sport, we went to the National Museum of Australia.
We could've stayed a lot longer than we did, but just had a quick look around. There was a lot to see and it was all about Australia through the ages. When you first go in you can watch a video which is on four different screens. Each section is about a different time in Australia, and after each section the chairs rotate around to the next screen.
Different areas of the museum were about the different ages throughout Australian history.
The boys loved pretending they were on radio.
We were dreading the drive back to Sydney, but it wasn't too bad and seemed to go quite fast. Before we left Harri was desperate to go back to a suburb called 'Harrison' to get his photo taken with the signs there. He was very impressed that they had named a suburb and school after him! ;)
We had one more night back in Sydney before we had to come home. It was good to see Chrish again, and I think he is either hating or loving that we came up, as we convinced him to have a big spend up, and helped him to choose a new rug, new bed and new couch for his house!
We had a great week in Canberra and Sydney, but it's good to be home - especially now the weather is starting to warm up. I just wish we had another week of holidays to catch up on some rest, before having to go back to work and school.