Saturday, 29 November 2014

Our upside-down summer holidays.

For our family summer holiday this year you won't be seeing this..
Or this....

And most certainly not this...

This year we will be here....
and admiring this (while shivering).

The Date family are heading to the Northern hemisphere for our first big international adventure. It will be freezing (& cheaper than the summer equivalent) and we are excited! 

Watch out Canada! Here we come! 

Hey Vancouver, don't say I didn't warn you, eh!!

We welcome top travel tips & great fun suggestions, especially involving wheelchair access. 

Also please keep your fingers crossed because we have had the passport application process from hell & I'm still not convinced that we will ever be allowed to leave the country :/

Monday, 10 November 2014

Day 17- one more sleep!

Busy, busy, busy today! I wanted time to fly because it really does feel like so much longer than 17 days since you left. 

Joe & I kept busy with a ridiculously tricky 'I Spy' book. You know how he loves that stuff. It's been nice to spend time with him, usually the two of you are as thick as thieves & I rarely get a look in. 

Campbell has continued to do his own thing (books, writing & The Muppets) but he is missing you & asks every night how much longer you'll be away. 

Looking forward to sleep tonight because tomorrow brings you home. 


So full of nervous energy today & I've been watching the clock obsessively. While we are expecting that the bus may not arrive precisely on time- we will be standing there at 4pm waiting! 
I wish I'd been at work today so that I was busy.  Instead I have just dropped Joe at school, picked up some groceries, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned both bathrooms & all 3 toilets, baked a cake, dusted, prepared dinner, did a load of washing, packed away the multitude of toys and books left from one end of the house to another and had too many cups of tea. It's nearly time to leave to pick up Jonas & then we will wait.....

Can't wait to have you home xxxxxxx

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 16

We've had a lazy day in the sun today...
Campbell had a very long nanna nap today after a late night and then a very early morning. So we gave him some peace and quiet & wandered over to the dam. Jonas found 7 yabbies and 2 tadpoles!!

As you can see we are doing it pretty tough here at home. Hopefully Coffs Harbour is just as lovely today....yay to the home stretch!!! Only 2 more sleeps xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Day 15

Guess where we went today? Yep- our favourite bookshop. As you can see Campbell struggled to fill the $5 crate...

The best bit of visiting our bookshop is that we get to visit with our besties too. It was very odd that you weren't there too. We had a lovely seafood dinner under the Jacaranda tree and later Joe & Oscar were hanging together in Oscar's room- the cool kids!!! I have no doubt he will enjoy telling you all about the secret 'big boys business' they discussed in there ;) 
Only 3 more sleeps xxxxxxxx

Day 14

It was so exciting to hear your voice!!! I am so glad you had a chance to call, however brief it was! You are a man if few words Drew, but all we needed to know was that you were happy, healthy & having fun- and you answered yes to all if the above. 
Unfortunately nobody else was home when you called and of course you asked to talk to Joe as soon as I let you get a word in- I just love how much you boys look after each other. I wonder who you are most excited to see when you get home- I suspect it could be Jonas. He has been quite happy and independent but he will be very excited to see you too! 
Dad & Joe went fishing tonight & enjoyed a tour through someone's house boat while they were down there (I think that they might like to have one too now). 

We hope the weekend flies by so that we can cross off the days before you are home! Travel well gorgeous boy xxxx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Days 10- 13

It's been pretty uneventful around here this week. Just the usual routine. Apart from the hail storm yesterday afternoon there is nothing much to report- Joe saved you some hail stones & put them in the freezer. 
We have enjoyed a few updates via email & saw a lovely photo of you. If the huge smile on your face is anything to go by, you are having a fantastic time! We are counting down the days close to your return to the mainland!! We will all very excited to see you on Tuesday afternoon. 
Today Campbell asked when you would be home & he said that he missed you. He will be happy to have his kind & helpful brother back under the same roof. 
Jonas has been coping well without your company, but he must be desperate to have his number 1 companion back. He set the table for me last night & he accidentally set a place for you too :) He has been kept very busy making his own dominoes set at school. The pieces have all been cut with a hand saw, which he was very excited to try for the first time. They are so beautiful & he is doing a great job. You will be so proud of him when you see them. 

I have been doing this today: 

Just in case we might need them anytime soon ;) I need your signature before I can do anything more! That sounds rather grown up doesn't it. 

It's going to be quite hard to have another weekend without you, but it is lovely to know that you will be home very soon xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Day 9

It has been a perfect Spring day. Joe & I took Sean home this morning & dropped into the markets at Bella Vista Farm while we were out & about. Joe found a cute little bird feeder at the markets & couldn't wait to get home to hang it in the trees. 

Campbell was exhausted after a rather challenging week at school (he may have got into a bit of trouble this week!) and actually slept most of the day away. He is obviously a bit tired and emotional at the moment- ahhhh teenagers!!!! 

Dad has been flat out at work this week.....
Do you get it??? Flat out!!!!!

Jonas enjoyed some more time splashing in the paddling pool & chasing butterflies. Even with an indoor pool, sometimes you just want to enjoy splashing around in the sunshine. 

I sat in the sun with Joe while he played & read a new book. He found some tiny cherry tomatoes in the garden for me to snack on while I enjoyed my book. 

We hope you had a fantastic first day on the island. After a week of building up to your arrival, I am sure you were all celebrating!


Day 8

You missed your appointment with the lovely Danelle today (our hairdresser extraordinaire) & no doubt you are going to need a really good haircut when you get home! Campbell was a bit spoiled by Danelle & thoroughly enjoyed a chat while he got his head massage. 

Joe had his mate Sean over for a sleepover & they filled the afternoon with tree climbing & water fights.

Can you spy monkey Joe up there?? 
Then the Lego came out & then it was all about the Lego! 

I hope the island is treating you well & you enjoyed your first day. We have had several updates via email & we are hoping to get your postcard soon. Xxx

Friday, 31 October 2014

Day 7

I can't believe it already been 7 days!! Tomorrow is the day you head out to the island, so I am sure everyone is super excited tonight. I hope you have a smooth trip over on the barge tomorrow. 

Joe & I were really excited when we went out to the carport this morning & discovered that our possums were back. They were still there this afternoon when we got home, but all splayed out and looking a bit hot and uncomfortable. They obviously didn't like the cute little nest that Dad & Jonas built, because they opted to make their bed in the rafters again. 

Halloween is a bit different this year. No tricks or treats out here in the sticks. Jonas still wanted to put out some decorations & as you can see Charlie was terrified!! He is really just laying in the shade- but doesn't it look like he fainted from the shock ;) 

We took some treats with us to Nan & Pop's & dropped in to see the Follans while we were there. Joe & Jett enjoyed a visit together. Luckily we took treats to share because Nanny's 60 treat bags were gone within about half an hour!! There were lots of kids around & it was fun for Joe to be a part of the buzz. 

Missing you heaps today my gorgeous boy. Xxxxxx

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Day 6

Today Campbell told Mr Thomas at school that he is missing his brother Andrew. Dad got a message from Mr Thomas to tell us. He may have only noticed that you were gone yesterday, but he is missing you heaps today. As are the rest of us xxx 

Tonight Joe wanted to pick & cook dinner. He found an enormous sausage in the supermarket this afternoon & that decided it! Sausages it was :) We raided the veggie patch & threw together a salad to go with our sausages. You can imagine his delight. 

You are getting very close to the reef now! I am sure the excitement levels are getting high. 
<3 xxx 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Day 5

I think today must be the day that we are all really starting to miss you, because it was tonight at the dinner table that Campbell said 'Where's Drew?' Even though he said his goodbyes when you left, it has only taken him 5 days to realise that you haven't come back yet!

I also dished up 5 plates for dinner tonight and gave you an extra baked potato- no need to panic- all of the potatoes were still eaten ;)

We had news today from your teacher letting us know that you are all having a great time, despite a bout of vomiting that hit a few of your class :/ Of course I was immediately worried that you were one of them, but I am sure the cast iron 'Date stomach' looked after you. We also heard that ALL of your class found gold and that some even found sapphires!! I will make an appointment with the jeweller shall I??

I hope you are enjoying the Bunya Mountains National Park tonight xxx

PS Charlie misses you too :)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Day 4

I am sure your day was heaps more exciting than ours today. We just had our typical school/work/swimming routine today. Your swimming gang were disappointed to hear that you'll be away for so long! 

The mulberry trees in your school playground are heavy with fruit. It is lovely to see a bunch of kids huddled under the branches stuffing juicy mulberries into their mouths. The paths are all stained with big purple blogs too. 

I am sure you are all excited about moving on to the next leg of your trip today!! 

<3 xx

Monday, 27 October 2014

Day 3

It was another hot day here today and Jonas was busting all day to get in the dam for a swim. Thankfully he didn't have any yabbies nibbling on his toes.

He also flogged me at 'pick up sticks' (several times) and showed off his very clever mathematical skills by adding up his sticks to prove just how significantly he flogged me!

Campbell has been very busy writing stories again and tonight I had to print off three of his latest creations!

We miss you Drew but hope that you enjoyed your day fossicking for quartz crystal and rubies!! I will be looking forward to designing my lovely new ring with all of the gold and gems you will bring home. I am sure that your planned swim in the Bingara Pool was a happy relief from the heat today.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Day 2

Hi Drew!

We are hoping that the high temperatures didn't interfere with your gold panning riches! Were are expecting you to come home with $millions$. It was hot here today so we assumed it must have been pretty warm in Bingarra. We hope it wasn't too bad and that you may have got a swim. It was so warm here that Joe not only had a swim in the pool, but also in the dam. He said it was warmer than the pool. He also (finally) found a yabbie in the dam today. Not in the trap with the tin of cat food I was instructed to purchase yesterday, but by lifting a rock in the shallows! He was so excited and brought it up to the house to show me and then promptly returned it to the dam so it could grow big enough for a meal. You know Jonas- he is such a foodie!

Kate brought her boys out for a visit today and we have a lovely afternoon together. We made hamburgers for lunch. I made a double batch of rissoles and there is some in the freezer so that we can do it again when you come home- they are BEEF!!!! Of course Campbell wanted all of the extras without the bread- avocado, beetroot, potato salad and coleslaw. We enjoyed the shade of the garden and then the boys had a water fight, followed by a swim. It was the hottest day we have had here so far and we even put the air conditioning on for a little while. 

My Hummus was much better this time! I think you would have loved it. I halved the garlic so it had a little less kick. 

We made some pretty crazy, huge burgers on the barbecue! Really yummy, but a bit too big to manage! I gave up on the bread and just enjoyed the best bits.

We hope you have had an amazing day. Did you read the notes we wrote? Jonas was pretty particular about writing you notes for your first week and I am sure you would enjoy his cute drawings and messages. There are some from all of us- all rather silly in the hope that we make you smile each day and share them with your friends. Campbell's will probably make you laugh more than mine ;)

Much love,
Mum xxx

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Barrier Reef trip- day 1.

Don't let the title deceive you- this is not MY Barrier Reef trip. This is all about the experience we have while my beloved middle child is having his reef experience. This is documenting every exciting thing that he misses out on while he is away from us ;) Oh yeah there will be SO much excitement going on around here- make sure you follow along so you don't miss the fun! The truth is, this is my distraction while he is away, because he only left this morning and I feel like I have lost a limb. It's just that it is such a long way for such a long time and we love him so dearly. Our beautiful middle child is totally the glue for our family. He is adored by both older and younger brothers. He is so easy going and, well, just easy. He is just a lovely boy who is kind and thoughtful and clever and creative. So that bit was just for him to read when he gets home so he really does understand how much we are feeling the void tonight and here is our day.....

Dear Drew,

I was so excited for you this morning and also a bit worried about how badly I am going to miss you- also a bit worried about how much Joe will miss you! You are hands down his very best friend EVER and he will be lonely without you. The best bit is that you get to be nobody else but Drew for the next 18 days (OMG really!! 18 days sounds like a few too many days without you). You are not big brother or little brother and the truth is you take on so much responsibility in both of those roles that we are so happy for you to have a bit of a break. You are so thoughtful and helpful and we are so proud of you for that, but now is your time to really be you with your friends. I hope you get to realise how much people like you and your beautiful nature. I hope you get to forge amazing and strong friendships with people who get you. I hope that you make memories that shape your future in the most positive way.

Meanwhile we had lunch with the family today and it felt a bit strange without you. It would have been nice for you to see your cousin Jacob and meet his gorgeous girlfriend, but there will be other opportunities for that. We wandered down to the dam this afternoon with Beth, who dropped in for a lovely visit. We met up with Mick and Gina too and watching the dogs play (bark at each other for a while). A storm passed over and upset Charlie, but we didn't end up getting any rain.

I hope you got to eat one or two of my biscuits today and maybe some potato salad too. I also hope that you and Tom talked away the hours on the bus and that you had some time to read one of the new books I picked for you.

Much love gorgeous boy,
Mum xxxx

PS I will write again tomorrow xx

Thursday, 2 October 2014


We have made some pretty big changes to our lives this year. We have slowed down the pace and we are finally catching our breath. I actually have more time to blog now but I have been finding so much other stuff to fill my time instead. This is what has been filling our days lately...
Watching the seasons change. As soon as Spring arrived this tree was buzzing! We could hear it buzzing from many metres away!

Growing massive radishes like this one. This one provided much amusement amongst my silly boys ;)

Noticing the trees transform with the arrival of the warmer weather.

Harvesting peas and eating most of them right there in the garden.

Enjoying long afternoons soaking up the sunshine and playing amongst the trees.

Making candles after sourcing all sorts of gorgeous vintage vessels.

Just a whole lot of growing, baking and creating. 
And a whole lot less busy! 
Cheers to that :)

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