Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa 2010.

There is no Santa Photo Booth at the shops here in down town Kununurra. Hard to believe but true! There was a small ad in the local paper the other week saying sorry no Santa photos this year due to an impending birth. So what is a Mum to do? I have to have my Santa photo, have had one every year since 2004. During my recent whirl wind trip to Darwin while wandering around Kmart, I found a Santa Suit for $7! $7???!!!! So I brought it just for this photo shot. The girls weren't fooled at all about it being their Dad. "When is the real Santa coming Mummy?" Milly asked, soon sweetheart soon.

We will be going here on boxing day for 2 weeks so I'll be taking a blogging break while we are away. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, looking forward to sharing 2011 with you all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Grace's Art Exhibition.

We went to the school's art exhibition last night. Grace had a few pieces on display. Despite being less than impressed on the first day here, I am proud of how well she has settled in. She does enjoy her art classes!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fishing at Digger's Rest.

On Sunday we went on a 12 hour fishing adventure. Yes, 12 hours.... We went with friends to a place called Digger's Rest. Travel 90kms towards Wyndham, then do a left and travel for an hour or so and your there! We stopped on the way at the old Boab Prison tree. The tree has a circumference of 14.7 metres and is estimated to be between 2000 and 4000 years old. As the name indicates it used to serve as an overnight lock up for patrols taking prisoners to Wyndham.

You can climb in it. Bats live in it now, it was smelly, Milly is holding her nose saying "ewwwww, it stinks!" in the first photo.

The ranges in the distance were amazing, Australia was shot around here for a few weeks. Apparantly the plains were so bare in places due to wild goats eating and trampling everything in sight. Now it is cattle just staring at us, wondering what we are doing.

We were after the elusive barramundi. But all we scored were the ugly cat fish! Grace caught one on her line but she couldn't bring herself to touch it! Mr H. helped!

On the banks of the King River. Waiting, and waiting....

The two tired and dirty fishermen.

Due to the crocodiles, swimming is a definite no go, so I let the girls play in the mud which they enjoyed. Thank goodness for napisan! Although I will admit I just threw their socks in the bin, didn't even attempt to wash those.

Dinner was a chicken roll and an apple under the sunset. We didn't catch any Barra, but we had a great day! Thankful for lovely friends that can take us to such amazing places.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grace's Merit Certificate.

Grace got a merit certificate on Friday at the school assembly. She was a bit surprised and said to me that afternoon, "I thought you were only supposed to get one a year Mum?" So did I Gracie, but I guess her teacher thought "pushing herself to produce neat and well presented work which is a pleasure to mark" deserves another one. Well done Gracie!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grace and the Python!

This morning I took the girls to the vet's which was having an open day with the local wildlife rescue group. Grace was so excited, from 6am this morning, all I got from her was "Is is time to go now Mum?" She got to hold a Stimson Python which is non venomous. It was called Mary! A giant stick insect one week, a python the next..... she loves it up here! Note the other daughter in the background who took a lot of coaxing by her older sister just to touch it for a nano second!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

El Questro!

Friday was the last day of term 3 here in Western Australia, yahhh, that means two weeks of school holidays stretched out in front of us! So we packed up the car and joined Mr and Mrs F once again on an adventure. We went to El Questro, again! At 421,000 square kilometres, - that’s five times the size of Tasmania, 1.7 times the size of the United Kingdom and 10 times the size of Switzerland (according to their website), I think we can safely assume that we will see something different this trip!

We camped this time, in our own tent, cooked our dinner and breakfast on our little gas burner. The kids thought it was fantastic! After we had set up camp on the Saturday, we drove out to Branco’s Lookout. Cracked open a bottle of champers and had some nibbles and toasted that we had survived term 3 of the school year!

The next day we were up early and day went to El Questro Gorge. Here is Daz and Mr F just checking out the depth of the first water crossing. Yep, looks good, lets go boys!

It was a shaded walk. Clear pools and ferns growing up one side, very pretty.

We set up the self timer on the camera and managed to get a shot in what they call the half way pool. The trail here stopped being a blue easy trail and went up to a hard red from this point. With the girls in tow we didn't go any further. To get around this rock you had to climb up the waterfall on the right or the rock on the left, bit tricky!

That afternoon we went on a boat cruise up Chamberlain Gorge. It has towering 300 metre escarpments and no crowds as you can only get to it by boat. On the drive down to the jetty though you do catch a glance of the posh Homestead accommodation.

We stayed at what is called the Station. They had created a little swimming pool in the Pentecost River which we all loved dipping in. Milly practiced her floating. Little fish would nibble your ankles though which for me took a bit to get used to.

There were donkeys and some horses near the camp ground. They woke us every morning with their loud eorrrrr! One morning while I was trying to drink my coffee in peace I sent the girls up with the camera to take some shots and Grace came back with this one of Milly. I don't know who was more impressed with themselves, Milly for touching the donkey or Grace for taking a great photo.

Then as we left this morning,we turned the corner to find these brogla's calmly drinking in the river. Thanks for another great time El Questro, see you soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Stick Insect!

Another weekend, another Sunday day trip exploring before it gets too hot to move outside! We caught up with fellow explorers Mr and Mrs F who have lead us on many adventures and this time we were heading out of town "about 4okms towards the border, turn left down a track then a right and then left again". That was the rough directions!

Then we arrived at what we think is called Thompson's Pool. We think.... With directions so vague it could have been the place or we could have discovered somewhere new. The interesting thing about this one is that someone, once made a little wall to dam it up the top! It was all bricked in very neatly and if we walked up the top there was this little pool.

Which the girls enjoyed splashing in. You could sit on the wall, it was wide enough to walk on, the drop was about 5 meters. We wondered who had dammed it and when and why?

We were later just sitting around eating lunch and chatting when Grace spotted this stick insect in the water! She went in and rescued it to her delight. It was huge!!!!

The colours on it were amazing.

When Mr F wanted to take a photo, he was quite friendly working for the camera. Grace wanted to bring him home for news the next day. I said no!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Parry's Lagoon.

A few weekends ago we took a day trip to a place 90kms away called Parry's Lagoon. It is a Nature Reserve of 36 000 (yes, thirty six thousand!) hectares and is listed by Wetland of International Importance, for the feeding and breeding grounds for many birds.

We stopped at Parry Creek Farm for some lunch and the girls had a swim in their pool. Daz and I sat poolside with our mango smoothie and just watched them splash and got to chat in peace for a few rare minutes. They have a tree top walkway around one of the lagoons which leads to private little cabins you can rent out. What a view from your window!

Massive boab tree's in their garden!

Then we drove down to Mambi Island, which isn't really an island. It is a notorious spot for saltwater crocodiles, I am yet to see one in the wild. Here are the girls, Milly: "Is that a croc Grace?"

Grace: "No Matilda, that is a bird!"

And a little muddy water crossing on the way home.

Getting the tyres wet just for fun! And that was a nice 4 hour day trip out of town for the day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Boab Tree.

Took this shot yesterday. It's one of my favorite shots I have taken while up here, love it. It is bluer at the top cause it was taken out the window of the car. I have the last two Sunday day trips to blog about over the next few days but in the meantime you can just look at this shot. I have fiddled around with the blog settings so things look bigger and better.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Week!

It's Book Week this week. Technically it is about "celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading." Now I am all for the importance of reading but who decided the parents would get the task of dressing up the kids in a home made costume to celebrate their favorite character from a book??! Who's smart idea was that?! I got creative for one child's costume, that was my limit!

Grace decided she wanted to go as Scooby Doo. Easy I thought. Pants with a tail sewn in, yep, no problems, sewn a few pairs of pants in the past. Done! The top though, I was worried about the top. Putting a combination of words like children, costume, easy, simple, shirt, top into good old google, I stumbled on this pattern here. Perfect! So Sunday was spent sewing this up and then painting black dots on the back. It was a really easy pattern, gathered at the neck to hide all my dodgy seam match ups! For the paws we painted some white socks brown, decorated a cereal box with some Scooby Snack signage, I laminated a mask printed off the internet and wolah!

I didn't sew a thing for Milly's costume and she looks pretty pleased with herself. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth hey?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sports Carnival Day!

It was Sports Carnival day and night last Thursday. Its done a bit differently up here. Its school as normal and then a quick toilet break and the students assemble in their faction groups and march across the road to the local oval for events that wrap up at 8pm. So a 12 hour school day! But they make up for that by having Friday off. What a stunning backdrop to the evening the scenery was.

Matilda's classmates started the events. Have you ever seen such concentration for the egg and spoon race?

Friendly participation and just trying your best was the aim of the preprimary kids!

Grace did her best kangaroo impersonation with the sack race.

But the best moment of the day was watching Grace come third in her running race! Third!!!!! Our kids are unlikely to become sports stars with me as their mother, so I am more than proud and happy with a third for running!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Local Pumpkins!

Milly had a friend from school over for a play date this afternoon. When the Mum came to pick her daughter up, she had these pumpkins for me! They are massive! Straight off the farm. So this week it is pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones, roasted pumpkin....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keep River National Park.

We have been across the border a few times to the Keep River National Park. So we packed the grandparents and drove the new car across the border into the frontier that is the Northern Territory! It was the grandparents first visit so we stopped at the border for that snap you just have to take!

I am still amazed at all the walking of trails and gorges that we have done in the last 6 months, the girls still love doing it. They don't complain about it being boring, they set off always going first, sometimes even holding hands!

My favourite shot of the day.

We did the Gurrandalng Walk. Gurrandalng means Brogla Dreaming. In the dreamtime two Aboriginal people traveled from the sea to here. They collected grass and bushes, made a large nest and started to jump around and make noises like a Gurrandalng (Brogla). As the country listened they changed into Broglas. This place is named Gurrandalm - the place of the Gurrandalng.

At the top there was a fantastic view. Here is Milly with her red cheeks, placing a rock on a pile of rocks already there, one rock for every person that has walked here she said.