December 27, 2007

A True-Blue Christmas

Our family Christmas festivities started on Friday and lasted till Tuesday - Nate & I definitely made up for a lack of family time this past year! ☺ We had brunch with Nathan’s family to kick things off, followed by an extended-family lunch on the weekend, before flying down to Adelaide to spend Christmas day by the beach with my family.

Christmas day at Brighton beach!

Nate was given a "piece of Australia" to take home

Our little niece and nephew kept things lively with the present giving, and have been a total laugh to play with, having grown a lot since we last saw them..

Chloe with her new bucket and spade

Charlie & his reindeer antlers (he was not convinced!)

Nathan and I were on pancake duties Christmas morning, which I think was based on the assumption that a year spent in America must mean we’re pro’s with pancakes!! ☺ Then mum whipped-up a 3-course meal for lunch, which had us snoozing in the afternoon…

The weather has warmed-up now so we’re getting in plenty of beach time - and that sums-up our time so far really. We eat, sleep and swim!

My pregnant older sis, Steph.
We hope you're all really well and had a wonderful Christmas.
Nashville & crew - we miss you!!

Love C & Nt.

December 19, 2007

Homeward Bound..

We've said our farewells to Nashville and headed for warmer weather! Nate & I landed back into Sydney yesterday morning after a year away and were welcomed with sticky humidity and overcast skies... Ahh, bless Sydney in Dec!

It's awesome to be back with family for Christmas and sharing with them in person what our Nashville home and life is like. (seeing the harbor again and sipping an Italian coffee wasn't too bad either!).

To our TN friends - welcome to the blog! We'll be sure to post plenty of Australian pics & stories to give you a taste of life "down-under". We hope you enjoy stopping-by - know that we miss you and look forward to more TN times in '08.

Have a very blessed Christmas!
C & Nt.

December 11, 2007

The American Worldview, care-of Youtube

My friend Linda (an American) just sent this video over to me, with a comment that read:

"ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO LIVE HERE?? OH MY..."

And the "oh my" is an understatement!! At points I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Take a look...

(It's kind of long, but even a glimpse is enough!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6r1IcY1pv0

Love C

November 27, 2007

Porter Road

This will probably seem like a fairly odd blog-post so our apologies in advance! But for our families, who have been asking to see some more of the house and the things we've been up-to, I hope this is helpful.

The biggest change has been in the kitchen where we painted this week from brown to green, with the help of Kara & her parents..

And the back porch is also slowly getting painted from brown to white - although this is a slower process as the temperatures drop and I can't stand out there for too long!! I paint a few posts then race inside to run my hands under hot water. Hence why Nashvillians do all their home-projects in the Spring! Hmmm.. smart move.. But I'm determined to have at least the first coat done before it gets really cold.

And the best solution to combat my chilly hands was installed just today - our brand new gas fireplace!! We fell IN LOVE with this little invention at our Franklin place and honestly wouldn't have survived last winter without it. So now we have our very own...

Next-up for painting is our bedroom and the spare bath - so stay tuned. I can sense it will be exciting times!

Lastly, here are a few pictures of the place with furniture. The walls are still very bare, as we're yet to hang our pictures. And the outdoor furniture is currently acting as our living-room couches! But we're getting there.. (please note the blinds - Nate hung them all!)

Office - we're back to sharing!

(looking from the front entry hall back toward the kitchen)

Nate's upstairs music room

Front Porch with our new hanging lantern!

The two front rooms are empty - so nothing to show there. We hope you're starting to get a feel for our place - but not too much - as we want you to come and see it in person!

Love Cassie & Nate.

November 26, 2007

A quick update!

We realize we've been quite out-of-touch for the past few weeks & very poor at providing updates & pictures!

In a brief run-down - we moved house (!!), visited Dallas & Colorado Springs, celebrated Nath's birthday & started a few home projects. Nothing like multi-tasking...

Packing-up

We farewelled our sweet little never-lock-the-doors home in Franklin to move into our East Nashville place - where the alarm is set every night without fail! Probably sounds crazy to move into the "ghetto", but we're loving it. The neighborhood has really become home and we're enjoying making new friends & serving in small ways through church when we're around. Being part of a supportive community has been awesome.

In-between trips this month we sneaked-in a little birthday dinner for Nate with our dear friends the Yoders and Moore's.

Nt, Wes & Daniel

Kara & Cass

And much to our surprise, the birthday celebrations continued the next night in Colorado Springs! We'd just finished dinner with some of the staff from Compassion when the restaurant staff came out clapping and singing all for Nate! TOO FUNNY! For a guy that likes to keep his birthday on the down-low, it was priceless... And they served him up this lovely little bowl of creme and chocolate sauce - as only American's can. :)


The trip to Colorado was short but sweet. We visited the Compassion headquarters to check-out how things are done, meet some of the staff & lead worship during Chapel. Plus it snowed! It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement, remembering how big the world is and how great the need is amongst young children. It never fails to help re-adjust our perspective.

Compassion HQ

Nt & Steph - our Artist Advocate Rep. (and good friend!)

(not the most scenic picture from the Hampton Inn car park! But points for trying)

This post is getting a bit long, so I'll finish-up and make sure the next post has some pictures of our new place and the changes we've made / are making. Nate even bought a tool box!!

Love C & Nt.

November 3, 2007

Boston for a few days

Mid-way through our Florida tour we took a side-trip to a gig in Boston. We parked the van at Orlando Airport, jumped on a plane & hoped the change in temperature would not be too extreme!

The lovely couple that hosted us - Lyn & Tom

And their gorgeous home - around 120 years old!

Fall Leaves in MA...

Nathan was the guest artist for a conference with Dr Michael Green, the English evangelist, author & lecturer. We were excited to be involved in a weekend of outreach, especially in the North-East where things are quite different from the bible-belt of the South. Growth is slow and young people haven't, in many areas, found a place for themselves in the more traditional Anglican church.

So Michael and his team came-in with an aim to refresh the church leaders and ignite a passion amongst the believers for sharing Jesus. We were a tiny part of that - more observing, than influencing! It was a time of learning for us too.

Michael is the most enthusiastic, energetic 77 year-old evangelist we've heard and watched! It's both convicting and encouraging as we look at our own lives and own involvement in sharing Jesus with others. This man lives soley to share the truth of the gospel with the lost - it is a burning, seemingly-endless passion that his whole life is based around. We hope to do more of these weekend with him & his team in the future!

While in MA we took the chance to spend the day in Boston. After our trip this past Sept, we were keen to revisit and just wander the city!

Waiting for the train

Fruit Market

Boston Common

It was especially good timing, with the Boston Red Sox one game away from winning the world series!! So the city was full of energy and A LOT of red, white and blue everywhere. Not that we got a picture of that! Duh...

Thanks for reading. Love C & Nt.

October 24, 2007

Florida: part 2

Halloween has arrived, along with Fall festivities!! Having missed the whole point last year, being newbies to the US, we took the chance to grab a picture at the Lakeside Pumpkin Patch this time-round.
And then we headed home to eat our first ever slice of pumpkin pie!


After several weeks of beautiful sunshine, we've come to experience the flip-side of Floridian weather! It can rain.. A LOT!! Since all of our travel around the State has been driving we've watched, and sat through, the storms of Florida.

Up around the Panhandle of Florida are several little towns very popular with vacationers & we stopped in on our way through. The biggest pull-factor was learning that the "Truman Show" was filmed in Seaside, FL. So we grabbed some lunch, took a sneaky drive through one of the gated communities and snapped some quick pics!
Driving through did make us thankful for public beaches in Australia, where the best is not fenced-off for fancy homes! It's free-of-charge. :)

And that's about it from Florida, from a non-work perspective! We spent a lot of time in churches and were so thankful for the opportunity to share music and stories with them. If you're interested, more gig-related news will be posted on Nath's website.

Love C & Nt.

October 16, 2007

Florida: Part 1

We were a little nervous as we headed south to Florida, the state of retirees (scary-bad drivers with leathery-tanned skin). But we've come to learn that there's more to this bright state than the northern "snow birds" that arrive each winter to sun themselves! :)

We've been in Florida for a week and a half now, mainly on the west coast, playing at churches and youth events. It's been a busy time, with lots of playing at both day and evening things. But it's also been a great time and a real blessing to be out visiting with lots of different people.

A great young couple hosted us for a week in Port Charlotte and the wife is an Elementary School teacher. So, for fun we went along to her class and filled-in a few US young-ins on Australia. I think we were more interested and into it than anyone else! We had pictures of Sydney, Bondi Beach, Ayers Rock, Kangaroo's, Koala's, a meat pie, Pavlova, fish & chips - all the good stuff!

It was quite cute when the kids realized Vegemite was made by Kraft and a little girl called out "oohh, like Macaroni and Cheese!". The best part was definitely hearing them sing "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree", which they learn in music class - made us very proud.

Nathan played 12 gigs during the Port Charlotte visit (eck!). He powered through really well, and was even good enough to let me sneak-up for a bit of singing! We lead worship together during a cafe night, which was fun...


After the busy week we took some local advice and headed to Siesta Keys, and it was gorgeous!! Siesta is a long, pristine beach of pure white sand and blue ocean, the perfect spot to unwind. Thankfully there was not a speedo-clad grandpa in sight!

From Port Charlotte we headed North to St Petersburg & Venice for a weekend of playing, crossing this roller-coaster-styled bridge...

And we arrived on the other side to visit with some great church groups and one particularly keen youth event that had made us a cool banner! We had a great time sharing some tunes with them and hanging-out - plus they sponsored a number of Compassion kids, which made our weekend.


A major highlight for the trip happened the following day. Driving along the freeway we saw the hard-to-miss Newsboys touring truck parked at the local arena. So I pointed and screamed (not because I'm a Newsboy fan) and Nath jumped on the phone to Paul Colman who plays guitar for the NB (but I am a fan of seeing friends while we travel!). We knew Paul was touring FL but didn't realize he would be so close. It was an great coincidence that we were playing just 15mins from where they were playing that night. So Paul got as all sorted with passes and we stood and cheered him-on - by far the coolest member of the band!! :)

That's Paul on the end

The NB Truck!

It was cool to see a show of that size from the sidelines & see Paul do his thing - he is a truly great friend and we were pumped to watch him in his new job with the band. After seeing them pack-up at the end, into all the trucks and buses, we laughed jumping into our "little" van to continue on our way. But we don't complain - give us the Hampton Inn King beds anyday over a shared bunk-bed bus experience!! :)

To end off this part of our FL travels we headed for another gorgeous beach, Barefoot Beach. It's an even more remote stretch of white sand & calm blue waters, which we soaked-up for a brief hour. It was enough to keep us going!


We are here for another 2 weeks, heading further toward Orlando and the middle of the state, hence this being part 1 - we're bound to have a few more stories and pics after this post!

Although, this could be the last of our beach jaunts - apparently the East coast has the highest number of shark attacks in America! No thank you, don't need that at all! We'll see, could be time to hang at the Mall for a bit...

Love Nathan & Cassie.