January 27, 2009

Proverbs 16

I don't think I've done this before - perhaps because it seems a little like blatant cross-branding or sharing too much of my personal bias :)

But I really enjoyed reading Nathan's latest blog, "One Step In Front Of The Other"* and wanted to pass it along.

At the start of another year these thoughts (based on Prov. 16) are a beautiful reminder of Who our lives belong to. I found it helpful as I tend to hold tightly to every aspect of my life, even as I juggle and trip and drop it all on a daily basis!!

Thank you God for your grace.. Ct.

(*yes, that is a new-look blog for Nate, times are a changing!)

January 25, 2009

Australia - country, movie, what next?!

Today is Australia Day (in Australia).. And tomorrow it dawns here - Porter Rd has it's little flags and packs of Tim Tams at that ready!

True, the sun is FAR from warm right now and there isn't a beach in sight. We can't consume genuine lamb chops or plate loads of Lamingtons. Waltzing Matilda is sadly not top of the playlist (you're missing-out America - this recording is priceless!). And cricket, well, that's just all too hard.

BUT we can thank God for a homeland of freedom, choice, abundance & beauty. We look across the ocean fondly, with a tear in the eye and are proud to represent the land Downunder.

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

(that is lost on most over here.. our "Aussie's" are left hanging in the air..)

January 16, 2009

So Long...

As we said it would, three weeks went by in a flash! Nate and I are now back home pulling down Christmas decorations and feeling just a little sad. We had grown very accustomed to loved ones - big and small - being close-by to share the days with. We didn't realize how little of a family life we'd had these past two years!

It was a very sweet holiday... Plenty of laughs and great experiences, and the joy of simply sitting and catching-up.

We are very very thankful for each of you and feel truly blessed that you made the effort to come over and visit with us. I know at times it must have seemed crazy! :)

For us, there is nothing more lovely and comforting than family. x

January 15, 2009

Sunny California!!

It was a beautiful, pleasant change to leave behind gray skies for blue ones and see a major hike in the temperature gauge. Hello California!

We felt a little naked on our first day out in LA without all the layers, hats and gloves! But it was glorious, and perfect for a visit to Disneyland.

We all happily regressed just a little, going on rides, eating junk food and enjoying time in Toontown with Mickey & Mini.

Nate & I realized only half-way through the day that we were perhaps a little old for most of what was on offer - in our memories it was all so much scarier. But we had a hilariously fun time, even while enduring the slow and "dramatic" jungle boat ride (nephews - you owe us for that one!!)

Fly Dumbo, fly!

C eased himself in, with a basic rocket ride, and eventually graduated to Splash Mountain with the grown-ups. We are yet to determine if his shivering was from adrenaline or water chills?! (For all concerned parents and grandparents - he's fine :) )

For P it was clearly a THRILLING day. We're pleased to say on day 2 she scored a ride on the Carousel, where she headed butted the pole and then proceeded to taste it - fun times!
So, as the sun set over Toontown (which, we have to say, is just a tad-bit creepy at dusk) we hauled our weary bodies home to recover. Tomorrow held more adventures for everyone else, and a stint of food poisoning for me (surprise, surprise - not everything at Disney is advisable for consumption :) )

Truly, you're never too old for Disneyland.

January 13, 2009

In Transit

NY-LA was the last of the fun family flights for Nate & I, so I snapped some pictures to remember it by...

Joe-Joe watches over just a fraction of the luggage we flew with (!)
We are undecided as to which requires more energy - traveling with merch & guitars or traveling with kiddies?! :)

January 10, 2009

Next Stop: NYC

It has been a blast sharing our favorite city with family, even in the chilly winter air! We've tagged-along on the sight-seeing - 30 Rock, The Met, The Gugg & 5th Ave - and done a lot of mindless wandering as well.

Central Park was SUPER chilly, so we stood long enough to snap a picture and power-walk out of there! Dad, despite how it may look, was the smartest one in his Michelin man coat. (Actually, scratch that, the missing family members were the smartest ones, choosing instead to stay indoors that morning!).

Our 2nd day here was Mum's birthday, and it needed some redeeming after years of celebrating at the Manum pub! So it was lovely to take her out family-style Italian dinning. We stuffed ourselves stupid on shared plates of pasta. Yum!

Meatball anyone?!

Even the littlies enjoyed their Big Apple experience - Charlie stood in awe at the larger-than-life Batman at F.A.O Schwartz, Jonty laughed uncontrollably every cab ride he took & Penny, well, she got smothered in kisses for her patience with all this sight-seeing!

We're pleased to say we got ourselves off the island and over to Brooklyn this trip. Thanks to Keely's great recommendation we tried Bubby's Pies and chowed-down on real home-cooked, hearty fare while overlooking lovely Manhattan.
Brooklyn Bridge

And FINALLY, on our last day here, IT SNOWED!! So pretty...

Union Square

The sunny skies of California will be a welcome change... :)

January 4, 2009

Crazy Family Travels: Beginning with DC

(We're sorry if this blog feels like deja vu, we visited beautiful Washington a few years back. This time we just happily followed along).

Washington is full of all-things museum-y, governmental & war memorial-ish. We saw a bunch of stuffed animals at the Museum of Natural History...
And pointed-out numerous planes, spaceships & missiles at the Air & Space Museum:
Cass & I laughed at the air travel "Then & Now" display. The food from back then looks the same as the food now - and so do the bathrooms!

We all rugged-up (every last one of us!) to wander The Mall and see the gorgeous buildings that make this city famous around the world.

The Capitol
The Whitehouse
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Washington Memorial
And how it looked from the Lincoln Memorial with the Capitol in the background.
(That's a lot of important buildings crammed into one sentence!)

And the visit was made complete with seeing Seinfield's puffy shirt at the American History Museum.
On to the next stop!

Strong-man Joe-Joe


An old house, some tree-chopping & sight-seeing in Music city

Better late than never! A little update from our Christmas week in Nashville - we made the most of the "abundant" sunshine and headed out to see the sights (again :) )

First up.. Carnton House is a historic plantation that served as a hospital during the battle of Nashville (in the Civil War). Over 300 injured & dying confederate soldiers took refuge here, being cared for by a few doctors and the family of the home.

Bel (holding P), Cass & Steph

A Nashville visit isn't complete without a walk to Downtown & a look in some very "yeehaa" stores...
And after a year of looking at jobs around our house & saying "if only the guys were here" - we were excited to put an electrical saw in Shane's hand, and a rope in Gus' and cheer as they chopped down two trees in our yard. Press play for a look...


To end this blog are a few kiddy snaps:

C taking a peek en-route to Washington DC.. Stories from there are up next!