Saturday, 21 March 2015

Grandpa Bill's 75th Birthday

What a beautiful day we've had today. We had the pleasure of celebrating Jonathan's Dad Bill's, 75th birthday today. His actual birthday is still not for a few weeks but in honour of a special visit from his sister Isobel, her husband Stan and son Michael, we surprised Bill with a not so surprising birthday lunch at Edgecomb Winery along with a handful of his closest family and friends. Much to our disappointment, Bill actually had stumbled upon the invite in the previous weeks which foiled our surprise plan but he did do a good job of acting surprised when he arrived at the winery today, so we'll let him off.



 

Some friends came from far and wide and even some who Bill hadn't seen for years. Ruth tried to have guests represent almost every era of Bill's life. It was special to be able to see how much all these people have meant to Bill.


 We have thoroughly enjoyed spending a couple of short days with Isobel, Stan and Michael who flew over from NSW. They travel back tomorrow on the Indian Pacific Train which crosses the Nullabor Dessert. What an experience that will be!

 
 
Ruth also surprised Bill with a book she put together filled with photos of Bill and his family. Photos from when Bill was a baby, through his childhood, as a young man and then having a family of his own and now also a Grandpa. Although it seemed that even Bill could surprise Ruth still with a story or two about the photos in the book!


 

Jonathan spent some time telling Gracie about the photos of her Grandpa.
 

After Bill's long time friend Carolee said Grace, it was time to tuck in. 
 


 It wouldn't be a birthday without birthday cake! Rachel did a good job making and decorating the number 75 cake.


 



 Jonathan and his sister Rachel.

 
Couldn't resist this photo ;)

Happy Birthday Bill. It was a privilege to be able to celebrate with you today. I know you didn't want a fuss made, which is just like you, but sometimes we all need to be made a fuss of. Especially when you have the lived the amazing life you have and continue to live and we all think you are  are wonderful. Our lives are so much richer for having you in them.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Taylor Family Holiday - Kalbarri

Do you ever feel that sometimes just the right thing comes along at just the right time? Well for me, this last week in Kalbarri with the family was just that. The perfect mix of quality time, just being all together as a family, adventuring and exploring new places, creating unforgettable memories and taking time alone to be with my Lord. In simple terms, just time out. The landscape and creation in this amazing part of the world was at many times breathtaking and at other times harsh and dangerous. I found myself very aware of the power and grace of our Creator.

Probably my most favourite time of every day was my daily early morning 6am walk down to the foreshore, where I sat on the jetty meditating and reading before then taking a walk along the beach while the sun came up. It was by far the most peaceful place I have found in a long time.

 Sunrise over the Estuary.

Also not all that often do I get to experience the sunrise and the sunset both in the same day. However this holiday it was almost a daily occurrence.


One of our first adventures was visiting the River Gorges. This is something that has been on my bucket list for a while and I was very excited at this opportunity. The days were very hot and the locals had warned us that it can get up to 50 degrees Celsius in the gorges in the middle of the day. So we decided to make it an early morning and drive out there in time for sunrise.



 We made it just as the sun was rising and it was spectacular!


Didn't take long for it to warm up as we embarked on a short hike along The Loop. We couldn't walk the whole 8km hike as part of the track was flooded due to heavy rains but we still managed a few kilometres.






 Time for breakfast. This was such a thrill. Eating breakfast sitting on the cliff. I could have sat there for ages but it was getting hot and it was time for us to start the hike back again.


We even met one of the locals on our hike- A wallaby. Pretty sure she was carrying a baby in her pouch.


 


The kids were so fantastic all week. Oliver had his moments (but mostly due to sever case of the terrible twos we are experiencing at the moment) but overall they were both so relaxed and enjoyed every moment. I don't know if it's just me but I really felt this trip brought them a little bit closer. Gracie is loving that Ollie can talk so much more now and so can communicate more on her level. They made up games and were always looking out for each other. They even had some super cute affectionate moments. Be still my beating heart.








We took the kids on a hiking adventure of their own. The climb down the gorge to the river was pretty decent and I think was a bit harder than any of us had anticipated. Plus it was already over 30 degrees by 8am this day, so even hotter by the time we got down the bottom. But the kids were such troopers and Gracie made it all the way down and up again all by herself!

 Cooling off in the river after our steep climb down.


 
 We made it!

Our last day we all got up early and drove to one of the popular snorkeling beaches, Blue Hole. We were down there by 7.30am but it was already warm and humid. Cyclone Olwyn was starting to bare down on Kalbarri and we had been debating about whether to leave a day early or risk being caught up when the Cyclone hit. Many locals were not too concerned, as experience has shown them that often Cyclone fizzle out before they hit Kalbarri. But we decided it wasn't worth the risk for us, so we packed up and drove home Friday. But before that, we enjoyed the calm before the storm down at the beach. There were crabs popping in and out of holes in the sand, tiny fish swimming around our ankles and shells and all sorts of interesting rocks and coral to explore.


 











We will definitely be back to Kalbarri. What an amazing place. Thanks Taylor family for a great holiday and amazing memories.