Stuff and Nonsense

Yesterday Ava was singing, "Oh my brother, Oh my brother, Oh my broooother AlecandBenji! You were born to hug and kiss me, so I loovee yooouuuu!"   The boys were mortified. I thought it was adorable.   She actually tried to plant one on Alec's cheek the other day on our sidewalk while they were scootering with a friend. Not a popular choice!


Ava has become such a little lady, and so motherly. She hates it when the boys are crying or upset and tries to comfort them at all costs. Even when they try to hit her. It's so sweet. I really and truly hope that Jesus sees fit to bless us with one (or two or more!) more children!! My three would be so wonderful with the new baby/ies.


We don't allow sleepovers. I don't enjoy hosting noisy children in the middle of the night, and we just (for many reasons) don't allow our children to sleep at other people's houses. Except family, of course...and ONE of our friends. She makes the boys go to bed at their actual bedtime! And I just feel very comfortable with the way she runs things.

Anyway, I say all that to say this:
I allowed Alec to sleep over with that particular friend on Wednesday night...and then he had a "late-over" (our compromise for no sleep overs) with another friend on Thursday night. Um, what was I thinking??? Can you say 10 year old zombie yesterday? Yeah.

Thankfully, Benji had gone off early in the morning yesterday to have his special one-on-one day with my parents, so the quarreling was non-existent. Ava was quiet because she had no one to pick a fight with, and Alec was quiet because he was asleep on his feet.

I gotta say, it was weird with only two kids...what the heck did I do before I had Ava? It was almost boring yesterday!! Haha! And just way too quiet...
I'm so thankful for my three musketeers!
I took the A's (what I call Ava and Alec in my head) to see a movie and treated them to Krispy Kreme donuts (because it's something they can't enjoy with Benji due to his allergies) and we had a good time...but I missed Benji terribly!!

I will say, though, it did give me some insight into who instigates squabbles around here. Immediately upon arrival that evening, Benji stirred it up, whining to Alec about wanting him to play Legos and yelling at Ava because she had her feet in the wrong place. In all fairness, it was nearly 8:00 and everyone was tired, but the change in dynamics between the three of them was dramatic.

I do think part of the "Betty Crocker" syndrome (always mixin' it up!) is Benji's age, and the age gaps between he and his siblings. I always think things like, "oh, we made a mistake, we should have had them just a little closer together" or stuff like that, but then am smacked in the face by the realization that God doesn't make ANY mistakes, EVER, and He is the one that planned them, not us!!!


Today we are going to my aunt and uncle's house to send off a cousin of mine who got accepted into a military flight program (I think?). Something like that...
I love my two aunts and two uncles, we don't see them nearly enough. Both sets live only an hour away, but for some reason it turns into a herculean effort to get together.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing all of them. My cousin who is leaving has a wife who is newly pregnant. They are totally adorable, and LOVE our kids. My other cousin is newly married, and he and his bride are so cute, too. 
It's funny to me to watch them and think we were there once...and now how much more we know now! Sometimes I think I'd like to go back...but sometimes I'm not so sure. We've come a long way, over many humps and bumps and are so much wiser now...but have still a long way to go!


The picture of the sky up there is because I love the sky. All the time, no matter where we are, or what state we are in, I'm always obsessed with the sky. Perhaps it's all the beautiful colors (I never see just blue sky and white clouds...too me it's always hundreds of colors), the texture of the clouds, the changing light, the unpredictability, but sameness...I'm not sure.
Sometimes in my head I try and decide how I would paint a particular sky or cloud...and sometimes, like a child, I wonder if heaven really is up in the sky, on a cloud. 
For what ever reason, the sky captivates me...


Have a great weekend!  
Notice the sky today...and your children...and your husband!

Wandering and Overreating in San Francisco

It was a foggy morning in San Francisco as Ryan and I set out for a day of exploring the way that I know best. Ditching the guide books and car, we rode the train to the city where we proceeded to wander by foot.
I knew from the beginning that it was going to be a long day. As soon as we'd emerged from the station and spotted the massive line of people waiting for cable cars, we opted to walk to the waterfront instead.
We began the hike up the steep hilly streets, happily wandering and snapping photos. We strolled through China town and eventually reached Fisherman's Wharf. Having successfully converted Ryan into a coffee drinker during our trip, we stopped at Starbucks for a caffeine fix and then carried on with our wandering. Mass amounts of camera shops along the way caused a slight delay, as we stopped to check prices and walked out with brand new polarizing filters. It certainly wasn't something we'd planned to purchase, but our photos from that point on were far better.
Once we'd reached the food stalls of Fisherman's Wharf we both realized just how amazing this city was. Both of us are seafood lovers, and the vast amount of crab, shrimp, mussels and clam chowder was almost overwhelming as we tried to decide what to eat first. We settled on clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, as it's somewhat of a "must-try" in San Francisco.
It was pretty darn delicious, despite the large glob that ended up in my hair thanks to the ridiculous wind. Never full, we pondered our next snack. We decided upon squid, which was yummy but could have done without the dressing that it was soaked in.
Next on our list was Ghirardelli Square. Any city that has an entire square dedicated to a brand of chocolate is good in my books. We browsed the chocolate shop, where we were offered a delicious sample. This satisfied my craving and convinced me to buy ice cream instead of more chocolate.
Oh my goodness, the ice cream. It's almost worth a blog entry in itself. We scanned the menu before deciding upon 2 massive sundaes... one called Mint Bliss, made with mint chocolate ice cream and hot fudge, and the other one called Gold Rush, which contained layers of ice cream, peanut butter, and hot fudge. Even while we were ordering, we knew that we'd regret it, but that didn't stop either of us. We indulged in the incredible sundaes, eating far past the point of feeling full. Did I feel disgusting once I'd conquered the ice cream? You bet. Was it worth it? Heck yes.
Feeling the need to walk off the sugar, we strolled down the long pier where we were rewarded with beautiful views of the city and Alcatraz. We even managed to spot a few sea lions swimming around in the water below us. We spent an extremely long time on the pier, caught up in taking photos of everything and anything.

I finally convinced Ryan to return to land, as I was freezing from the heavy sea breeze. We headed back towards Pier 39, browsing random shops along the way. Always ones to spend our money on useless and amazing items, we entered a kite store and left with a rather large Kitty Hawk airplane shaped kite. Being the practical engineer that he is, Ryan insisted on putting it together right then and there to ensure that it was in good condition. We stood in the store meticulously building the kite until it was finally good to go. From that moment on, I lost my fiance to a kite. Rather than holding my hand, he held onto the plane and ran around soaring it through the air. If I was anyone else, I'd probably think he was a bit silly, but admittedly it was my idea to buy that very kite and I'd known that this would happen.
Miraculously, we regained our sense of hunger as evening approached. Determined to indulge in crab, we sought out what looked to be the best restaurant. When we saw The Crab House in Pier 39, we knew that it was meant for us. We sat at a large table, propping the plane on the booth beside us and trying to refrain from ordering absolutely everything on the menu. Donning the bibs that the restaurant provided, we settled on steamed mussels and shrimp to start. A huge steaming platter was brought to our table with wine poured over top. Amazing.
Next up was the main course, and it was exactly what we'd hoped for. A huge plate of crab dripping in garlic butter was placed in front of us, much to our delight. It was so incredible that I never wanted it to end.
Sadly, it did end, but that didn't mean that the meal was over. Oh no, not for food addicts such as ourselves! Feeling that we'd already ate a week's share of dessert that day, we chose to order crab chowder instead. It may have looked like mush, but it was certainly the yummiest mush that I've ever tasted. Dinner was finally over and we were content with how amazing it had been.
We continued wandering Pier 39, full of all sorts of random stores that tempted us to spend our money. I walked away with a tiny airplane charm that I've been searching for for quite awhile. It even has 4 engines so I can get away with saying that it's an A380. The sun was setting over the water, forcing us to stop to take even more photos. Alcatraz sat beneath a layer of cloud and orange sky, looking eerie in the distance.
Before we could return home, we were distracted by an arcade where Ryan thought it would be a good idea to spend our pouch full of quarters. We were instantly drawn to a game that we'd seen many times before, where the object is to use coins to push other coins off of the ledge. It happens to be annoyingly addictive. Our quarters were gone, and Ryan began breaking out the dollar bills... "Just one more!". That's what they all say. $8 and 250 winning tickets later we left with our prizes... a styrofoam plane, some other junk toy, and not one, but 2 Laffy Taffy (only because the guy behind the counter threw in one for free). We were tired and it was dark, so we made the decision to go home and head to bed.
Realizing how far the walk was at that time of night, we opted to ride the cable car. Besides, we were in San Francisco and it seemed almost mandatory. Jam packed like sardines into the car, we rode up and down the streets until we reached the end of the line and the metro station. We rode the train back and to my relief my car was still intact and waiting for us at the other end. We drove back to the house, looked at our photos, and called it a night.
San Francisco won over our hearts, and our stomachs, but it's time to continue down the coast... next stop, LA!

Once upon a time, not so long ago...

My mom had recently been showing Ava old photos of my childhood. I picked up an album that had been left out and opened the cover to see what they had been looking at. 

As I turned the yellowed pages, I was captured by the beauty of my mother's youth, how carefree my aunt was, the happy smiles on the faces of my grandparents. I saw the love in my dad's eyes as he cradled an infant me, and the the gummy, wet grin of my toddler brother. I revisited my grandmother and grandfather in their old house, smelled the familiar comforting smell of their store, and remembered things about my uncle.

I was suddenly captured by a wistful urge to go back...not for my sake, but for the sake of my mother. To give her a chance to snuggle my chubby baby brother again, to let her walk the beach and gather shells with my tiny hand in hers. To let her find herself back in the apple orchard with my grandma and grandpa, to help my dad plan crazy birthday parties for me and my friends. To go, just once more, back into the kitchen with HER mother and laugh as they fixed dinner.

As quickly as that urge came, it went, and was replaced with the realization that I was living those moments right now. Holding a tiny hand, laughing in the kitchen with MY mother, watching my children run to Daddy for hugs, playing with them in the sand,  making an album of my own, my children's childhood memories.

How dare I push those moments aside in favor of selfish pursuits? 

You can never go back...only forward...and hope that you are using up every bit of time you are given making the best, most beautiful memories you can.

{my mother and I, on the beach at Cape May, on the east coast}

california dreamin'

Life in California has been relatively peaceful considering the massive population and big city surroundings. Ryan and I have been doing exactly what vacations are intended for... relaxing.
Our friends Jon and Jody have taken great care of us, allowing us to stay in their home and touring us around the Bay area.
Yesterday we woke up to another beautiful California day. While Jody headed off to work, Jon and his 3 year old son had dentist appointments. Ryan and I agreed to stay home with the 11 month old baby while the others were gone.
As everyone left, Ryan decided that it would be an ideal time to rotate the tires on the car. I stayed inside with a baby who was heartbroken that his dad had left him all alone with a stranger. He cried for quite some time before finally falling asleep as I carried him around. Success! Only minutes later, Ryan walked back inside the house. At the sound of the door opening, the sleeping baby in my arms woke up and burst into tears once again. Way to go, Ryan. We struggled to cheer him up, only succeeding temporarily before he'd scream again. For those of you who will certainly be asking as soon as the wedding has happened, Ryan and I aren't planning on having kids in the near-ish future.
Jon finally returned home and magically calmed his sad baby in a way that only a parent can. Next on our day plan was a trip to Costco. It might not sound all of that exciting, but for Ryan and I it was. He bought an external hard drive and a huge supply of batteries, while I tossed some fresh cherries in the cart. Once we'd made our purchases, it was off to make a far more exciting purchase. We are now proud to be in possession of a pair of 3-day park hopper passes to Disneyland and California Adventure. I'm the most excited girl on the planet as I think about finally being able to meet Mickey Mouse.
Continuing on with our day, we stopped at a fast food outlet called Pollo Loco, where we sampled what Jon promised were some of the area's most delicious churros. Admittedly, they were pretty darn amazing. Having already passed the point of no return on our trend of unhealthy eating, we stopped at 7-11 to grab some pina colada flavoured slurpees. Best idea, ever. While we sipped our slurpees, Ryan took photos of planes landing overhead.
We finished off our day by joining Jon, Jody and their family for a barbecue and picnic in the park. We ate hot dogs and brownies and played at the park with the kids.
After dinner we took photos of the sun setting over San Francisco before we returned home for a quiet night of TV and general lazing around looking at the photos that we've taken thus far.
This morning we woke up and lounged around the house, contemplating taking photos of the sunrise but succumbing to our laziness. Jon had the day off again and the 3 of us were set for another day of photo adventures. It's great hanging out with people who actually find joy in standing at one spot for long periods of time just to capture the perfect shot. We drove through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, took a slight detour to Starbucks and then headed to Muir Woods National Monument, a huge forest full of giant Redwood trees.
Each of us stopped every few minutes for another photo. We took an hour to walk what would take a normal person only 10 minutes. Hundreds of photos later, we left the forest and continued on to In N' Out burger, where we dined on delicious burgers and fries. Say what you will, but I love American fast food chains in all of their greasy glory.
On the way back to the house we stopped for photos at a Mormon temple perched on the side of a hill with a stunning view of the city below. Normally open to visitors, it was closed for the day. Cameras in hand, we managed to entertain ourselves for quite some time taking photos of honeybees in the rose bushes.
Dinner came with even more delicious food. Jody and Jon made an amazing meal of tri-tip sandwiches, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. Home cooked meals are especially delicious when you spend so much time on the go.
The rest of the evening was spent lazing on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand and a bag of kettle corn on the couch beside us. Life is good, and we love California!

Wordless Wednesday

road trippin' the usa

The day had finally arrived. After an entire month back home in Red Deer, there was finally some adventure in store for Ryan and I. The car was loaded, the gas tank was full, and we were ready to set off on an epic roadtrip. Getting by on caffeine and excitement, we hit the road early Saturday morning, traveling south.
We cruised through Alberta until the border, where we handed over our passports and drove into the United States. Montana was beautiful, much more than we'd expected it to be. We fought the urge to stop around every corner, trying to make good time.
A few more hours passed, and we reached Idaho. Once again, we were surprised at the landscape and the altitude as we drove through the state. The further south we drove, the warmer the outside temperature got. I was thrilled to finally have an entire day without a rain storm. Summer back home hasn't been great when it comes to weather.
It was getting late as we crossed the state line and drove into Utah. We'd been on the road for over 12 hours and both of us were ready to call it a night. To save time and money, we decided not to get a hotel room for the evening. Instead, we settled into a cozy stall in the parking lot of a Walmart in Salt Lake City. In our jam-packed car it wasn't all that comfortable, but it was better than nothing. Before falling asleep, however, we felt it necessary to wander the quiet aisles of the store, open 24 hours. That alone could almost convince me to move south of the border. It was 1 am and there we were, stocking up on memory cards for our cameras. We retreated to the car where we slept for a few hours before waking up to the sunrise. After a quick breakfast at McDonald's (where they have pancakes!!) we were back on the road.
The air smelled of salt and fish as we drove past Great Salt Lake and into the salt flats. The ground was white for miles on end, covered in a layer of salt. If it weren't for the soaring temperatures, you might almost mistake it for snow. We stopped for a few quick photos and then continued on our way.
Before we knew it, we were in Nevada! Surrounded by desert and under the blazing sun, it almost felt as if I'd been dropped off in Dubai. According to our thermometer, the outside temperature was 38 degrees celsius (about 100F). The land was barren. No trees, no homes, just miles of emptiness with a few prisons every couple of hours. It felt as though we'd never make it out. Time slowed to a halt as we drove through the state. Dust devils formed around us and tumbleweeds blew across the interstate. We finally reached Reno, and it seemed like a mirage after the miles of endless desert.
After a quick stop to fill up the gas, we were on the way again. Shortly after Reno we reached the sign that we'd been waiting for.... Welcome to California! It greeted us like an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, and we hopped out of the car to take photos in front of it. Aside from airport stopovers, it was my first time in California and I was ridiculously excited. The landscape changed dramatically as we crossed the state line. Trees! Nature!
We spotted the exit for Lake Tahoe and despite the fact that we were trying to make it to our destination as fast as possible, we couldn't bring ourselves to drive right past without stopping. We pulled into a small lakeside town filled with quaint cafes and sports shops. I picked up my usual fridge magnet and then carried on down the street to a surf and snowboard shop where we discovered a large rack of winter clothing on clearance. In the heat of the store I stood trying on winter jackets and snow pants. I walked out with my purchases, laughing at the fact that I'd found my winter attire in sunny California, but content with the fact that I was a bit more prepared for what I'm certain will be a long, cold winter with my snow-loving fiance. We shared a sandwich at a bench overlooking the massive lake before continuing on our road trip.
I was nervous as we drove on winding roads climbing up and down mountains at speeds that shouldn't have been legal, but were. Ryan loved every moment of it. I didn't calm down much as we got closer to the coast. As somebody who gets impatient at slight traffic jams in my small hometown, I was overwhelmed by 7 lanes of cars. As night settled in, we finally reached San Francisco, 6 tanks of gas and 11 pee breaks later.
Our friends Jon and Jody were kind enough to let us stay in their beautiful home, and we were relieved to finally have a bed to sleep in.
The next morning we woke up well rested and ready for a day of taking photos in San Francisco. Ryan, Jon and myself packed up our cameras and headed for the city. Our first stop was the famous Lombard Street. The steep road winded uphill, lined with pretty homes and camera toting tourists. A cable car passed by at the top, making it all so very cliche San Francisco. I loved it.
Our next stop was the landmark of the city... the Golden Gate Bridge. We took far too many photos and spent quite awhile admiring the red structure before moving on to have lunch at a place called Liverpool Lil's. Ryan and I shared a Reuben sandwich and a delicious burger, happy to be eating a real meal after 2 days of on-the-road snacks.
After lunch we proceeded to take more photos of the bridge from different angles. We walked along a beach barefoot, spotting a few people who took off more than just their shoes, as nudity was permitted. We even had the chance to drive across the bridge not once, but twice, feeling like movie stars. Content with our day, we headed for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen where we dined on Thai Chicken pizza and Hawaiian BBQ pizza, both delicious. On the way back home, we stopped to take photos of the sun setting over the bay, a perfect end to a great day. I'm loving California and don't want to leave... fortunately our vacation is only beginning!

When you go to the family farm...

You never know how dirty you'll get...

or what you'll find growing...

You might find some pretty things to photograph...

Your parents will probably have fun...

Your kids might learn something new...

or hone a valuable skill like waiting...

There could be treats and a snapping fire...

and your usually obedient dog might, just maybe, need a leash!

one month later...

As of today, I've officially been home for one month! Unlike Dubai, where I spent half of my time flying and the other half sleeping, time slows to a halt back home. It feels as though I've been here for far longer than I actually have. Every day somebody asks "Do you miss it?" That all depends on the context of the question. Do I miss my job? Yes. I miss living in the sky and hopping around the world. Do I miss my friends? Of course! I miss watching movies and eating ice cream with Kim, I miss spending my salary at Ikea with Greta. Do I miss envelopes of cash being handed to me each time I check into a hotel? You bet I do. Forking over payment is far less exciting. When it comes to the main question, however, I have a slightly different answer. Do I miss Dubai? Not at all.
I don't miss trying to accomplish simple errands and the frustration that came with the many obstacles involved in each task. I don't miss the heat, although my stance on that may change a few months from now. I don't miss my deteriorating apartment with its leaky ceilings, creepy crawlies, or lack of hot water. I don't miss the taxis and I certainly don't miss the crew buses.
I may be having a bit of altitude withdrawal as I remain on ground, but other than that I'm still quite happy to be finished with the Middle East.
When it comes to adventure, I am getting a bit restless spending my days sitting around the house. I've spent weeks patiently waiting Ryan's completion of his pilot's license, and fortunately the end is near. As I type he's off to take his flight test, and I know that he'll pass with flying colours... get it, flying? Once he has that weight lifted off his shoulders, it's time for vacation!! This weekend we are leaving for an amazing road trip that will bring us south to California and back up the coast to make it to Victoria for a wedding in a few weeks. We have no timeline, and no set plans. I've managed to persuade Ryan to go to both Disneyland and the Boeing Factory in Seattle, so I'm a little bit (ridiculously) excited for this trip. We'll have the laptop and of course our cameras on the road, so rest assured, I'll be blogging as we go! California here we come!!!

Food addicts anonymous, i need you!

As far back as I can remember, I've loved food. While most parents had to think of creative ways to get their children to eat their dinner, mine had to stop me from eating everything in sight.
Getting a job as a flight attendant was a dream come true... it meant that I could sample some authentic dishes from countries all around the world! This blog evolved into somewhat of a food journal as I bragged about the delicious meals that I'd indulged in during my layovers. I may be home now, but it doesn't mean that I'm not still overindulging instead of falling into the typical bride's pre-wedding health kick.
Last week Ryan and I made a trip to Edmonton so that he could meet with his future boss to set up a start date for his new job. I waited patiently in the car, contemplating what we would eat for dinner. There are far more options in the big city! After a recommendation from a friend, we decided to feast on Greek food. Our destination was a restaurant called "Koutouki Taverna". We were led to our table hidden away to give us plenty of privacy. It didn't take us long to decide... we'd try the seafood mezze platter! We were brought dish after dish of delicious samples, easily enough to feed 4 people but enjoyed only by the 2 of us. Tzatziki, hummus, stuffed vine leaves, prawns, calamari, Greek potatoes, rice, and so much more that I can't even remember it all to list it! Needless to say, we left feeling quite full.
The next day had even more food in store for us. Once a year the famous Calgary Stampede takes place in Alberta, bringing with it a rodeo, midway rides and games, and best of all... carnival food! We were up extra early to drive to the city to meet up with Ryan's parents. We loaded up on a pancake breakfast before hitting the midway. Our first snack of the day was an ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and coated with peanuts. Mmm! Next on the list was bannock, a traditional Native Canadian bread. After a couple of overpriced rides and games, we grabbed a fresh lemonade and headed inside to watch the Ice Show, where Olympic champions (and my former idols) Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were performing. Once the show was over, Ryan's parents hit the road as the two of us stayed for more fun and food. For lunch was a jumbo hot dog, followed by another ice cream, later followed by Dippin' Dots and finally, MORE ice cream! We really didn't need the last serving, but it was free and I'm quite certain that saying no to free ice cream is completely unacceptable.
We left before we had the chance to eat anything else, heading home to visit with Ryan's cousin's brand new son... only 2 days old and so sweet!!
Another week over, and we are likely a few pounds heavier.
I really should make use of my gym membership.

Ryan is preparing for his flight test this week... after which he'll officially be a pilot and we'll officially be on vacation! We are in the process of planning an amazing road trip and I'll be sure to blog all about it!

Big Moment...

We are in Australia...still...and our shipment has arrived from Dubai after 2 and a half months...Big day tommorrow...We are leaving our temporary flat to live in a nice quiet house outside of town for a while, surrounded by parks...Another move...with a cold and a fever! Sniff...sniff...Aaatchoummm!!
I want my mommy...Can anyone make me a warm soup??? Do they send it via air?
The soup made in the supermarket tastes like burning plastic. Putting the jokes aside, we are very excited about settling in, finally surrounded by our familiar stuff ( I don't want to sound materialistic, but it helps and it makes u feel at home.) Skye is excited about the place and her new room. Need to sleep now, tata for now. Movers will be at the house at 8:00 a.m.
C ya later!

here comes the SUN

Good friends, good food, good weather
smiling faces, tinkling laughter
blessings from the One who knows what is best

It will go all too quickly...

Ruby is Born!!!!

My sister, Caroline, just gave birth to a little baby girl. She is so cute and so small...Congratulations....Wish we were there!

Australia...Take Two...Action...

Hello again everyone,

We hope that everyone is in good health and warmer now that summer is here.
We are still in Australia, of course.

Winter is here and it is cold. But, I have to admit, it is not as bad as I have imagined it would be. We can still wear a short sleeve shirt during the sunny days.
We got ourselves a very busy schedule!

We have 2 different sessions of playgroups in town at the playgroup centre which is full of kids, toys and bikes. Skye and I made a lot of new friends!
We have 2 gym sessions a week where Skye bounces on the trampoline and does gymnastics like walking on a high beam and swinging off a rope like Tarzan. This is brilliant because Skye sleeps well after that, even though she does not sleep at lunch time anymore.

We also go to the library twice a week for story time and craft and we are allowed to take 12 books for 3 weeks! Skye and other 30 kids sit on animal-shaped pillows ( she always wants to sit on the big frog) on the floor listening to someone reading a great story out loud with lots of pictures. Then, they all do a craft related to the story. Last time, it was about trains. So they did a collage of trains with puffy smoke made of cotton balls with lots of colours. Skye chooses the books herself from the library to take home and read with Daddy at bedtime. She is so excited about reading these days, it is great.

Skye is missing everyone and is calling her friends’ names, we talk about you all the time, pretend you are here, it is so sad, she wants to get on a plane to see you all.

We finally found the farmer’s market which is not the organic expensive one but the better reasonable one. It is so busy and things are so fresh, better than the supermarket. It is like China town hidden under lots of roofs, full of spices, herbs and colours.

We also found a French bakery. Michael says that it is the best bread he had in his entire life. It is quite special. Skye likes the happy face biscuits. The first time we bought our loafs of bread, they told us that the baker had lost his ring in the dough and that we should be careful when eating our bread in case we bite the ring and break a tooth! The baker is not happy about this because he got married a week before and that was his new wedding ring!...We ate the lovely bread and the baker never found the ring until now...

During our 3rd week, it started to rain. Skye and I looked out of our window to find a very beautiful rainbow...Skye’s first rainbow...She was ecstatic!

We found a toy library! It is what it is: A toy library where you can borrow toys up to 3 weeks. You can have 3 toys and 2 puzzles and pay a membership of 50 dollars for the year! Skye got a Bob the builder set with tractors and diggers, a yellow school bus with kids in it, a pink doll stroller and 2 very large floor puzzles.

The city is still busy and I realized that there is only one crane in the whole town!! A yellow one, remember how it was with Dubai ?? full of construction and millions of cranes.

We still find new parks every time we go out, we stumble upon one here and there. People are extremely friendly and smiley! We found a park once filled with large pink parrots.
Crows or as they are called ravens are really evil still, they gather around us waiting to attack, they will try and sit on the table where you are eating, too. I actually think they are getting bigger. 3 of them tried to attack Skye because she had a biscuit in her hand. I taught her what to do, just scream as loud as you can and stomp your feet, tell them “Choo! This is my biscuit and you are not having any!” So now, she goes around and tells them off.

There is a lot to see and do. Australia is celebrating Foundation day this Monday, so it is an official holiday. We are going on Monday morning to look at a kids’ market with toys and clothes. Michael and I think Skye needs a new car seat. I might find some good deals for her Christmas gifts, too, you never know.
We miss you a lot and we always think of you, especially when we see everyone around us surrounded by their grand-parents and their siblings. There are expats here but not as many as there were in Dubai. We meet mostly Australian families.
We kiss you and hug you
We miss you and love you
Take care,
the Mirfields.

Something to Laugh about!