Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Train and musical adventures. Good for the soul.

Things in our little world have been rather hectic lately. Actually come to think of it, this whole year thus far has been one crazy ride. Sickness and stress and adjusting to life with TWO children has been far more demanding than I had anticipated for us this year. Jonathan and I had been reflecting recently that we really want to slow down. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.

Breathe. Just breathe.

One should never underestimate the impact of a few deep breathes. I've been feeling that as a family, I want us to also take some of the few moments we have, where all of us are together and do simple things to create memories. Go to the park, go for a walk, explore, create, talk, listen and be present in those moments together. A few weeks ago, we made a plan to have a family adventure day, catch the train into the city and visit the new Cultural Arts Centre that has been created around the museum. We invited our good friends (who are considered family) Chris and Aimee and their beautiful children Rahni and Taj. (Unfortunately Chris was unable to join us as he was off photographing a wedding that day. We missed you!)

The girls were so excited to be spending the day together and especially excited about a ride on the train. Rahni could not contain her excitement as we walked across the bridge to the train station. This was her first time on a train! The girls both sat down and nervously awaited the train to move. We were off! It brought me such joy to see their excitement.

 Gracie, too cool for school in her Priority Seating.

We arrived in the city in what seemed like no time at all, and after a compulsory coffee recharge, we headed on over to the Music Garden just outside the City Museum. We were there for over an hour and quite frankly, this place is good for the soul. It might be intended for children, but there is something inspiring and invigorating about music outdoors in the fresh air, no matter what your age. You can't help but be a kid in this place. Around every corner was a new instrument and new sounds to explore, new things to climb on, under and around. I think we may have found a new favourite location.

 We even found a frog hiding inside a xylophone. Poor thing must be completely deaf! The Xylophone was really loud and had the most amazing ring that lasted for ages!

Even the boys joined in on the fun after the woke from their naps.

It was a wonderful morning creating memories and moments together. Gracie keeps asking me if we can go on the train again. I think a return visit will have to be on the cards very soon!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Project 52 - Week 14 Bloom

Gracie, Oliver and I were playing in the garden yesterday afternoon, enjoying the fresh, after rain air. I had my new camera in hand in search of inspiration for week 14's theme Bloom. I realised at the moment we have very few flowers in our garden. I started photographing my Grevillea which is flowering and was covered in bees. I wandered past the vegetable patch and as I lamented about not seeing any passionfruit flowers yet, I noticed one hiding near the apple tree. These are my one of my favourite flowers. They are so intricate and so unique and it makes me wonder what was God thinking when He made this flower? I think God would be smiling at the thought of how clever He was to make such a beautiful flower.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Project 52 - Week 13 Blue

Blue sky, blue eyes, blue stripes, blue rail. 

I love the bitten lip and the anticipation on her face as she contemplated stepping out onto the rope bridge at the playground.

Project 52 - Week 11 Night Portrait

Oliver was just about ready for bed. He was having so much fun with Grandma.

New Park, New Camera, New Experiences

 Last week I drove past our local park, at the end of our street, and spotted something very intriguing. Fences in the middle of the grassed area and some men hard at work digging in poles and footings. Now, I didn't want to get my hopes up, but the footprints of a playground looked very promising. I drove past almost everyday to check on the progress and each day my excitement grew. We finally have a playground! We have been living in our current house for almost 4 years and we have shared the sentiments of all our neighbours that one thing our area was lacking, was a playground. We had the park, but no playground. Finally our musings had been heard and we have a playground!

It officially opened this last weekend and very quickly all the children in the neighbourhood came out of the woodwork. I knew there were a lot of children around our area but my goodness, there really are a lot! We have been to the park four times in 3 days (yes we went twice in one day) and each time I have seen different children. It has drawn our community together. People are talking! Everyone seems so delighted in our new neighbourhood addition and the shared joy that we feel is a great conversation starter! I believe this is exactly what our little community needs.

We had our first visit to the park on Sunday afternoon. Gracie has found a new love for playgrounds. Well specifically swings. She stayed on the swing for literally half an hour yesterday! But with this new love has also come a new confidence in her ability to explore the playground. With a little (OK sometimes a lot) of encouragement, she can climb up and over the rope bridge and onto the highest point of the tallest tower (she is a princess after all and the tallest tower is where all princesses reside). I find so much joy seeing her conquer her fears and watching her delight when she surprises herself with her own achievements.

So our first trip to the playground. What better an opportunity but to christen by new camera as well. YES you read that right, I got a new camera!! *So excited* After six months of wishing, waiting and tactful persuasion, I convinced Jonathan that it was a worthwhile expenditure.

 So here we are, playing, exploring, conquering and just down right having fun. Even Oliver can't wait to be able to climb and chase after his big sister.