Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gift of Grace

Long, long ago in the year 2011, a beautiful rose plant was given as an unexpected gift. The rose, a new release, is called "Gift of Grace".

Although it lived in the midst of busyness, it found time to bloom this month, a gorgeous pink flower on a long stem.

The rain came and it bowed its head to keep its delicate face fresh and dry.

The sun came out and the light danced on pretty raindrops.

The back of the rose became even more beautiful than the front. 
Sometimes it's the details we overlook which radiate the greatest beauty as we dance this gift of grace called life.....

Sharing at Project 52, Sneak Peek Friday, Weekly Top Shot, I Heart Macro:5th photo (most viewed link),
Sweet Shot TuesdayTuesday Tips & Pics.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stripes Paint!?!?

A conversation a few days ago with our 4 year old, as she looked at our white primed/undercoated walls:

"Does Bunnings (hardware superstore) only have white paint?"

Just the beginning

"No, they have all sorts of colours," I replied.

"Do they have stripes paint?"

"Well no, but you can..." I began to explain.

"I know," Miss E suggested, " how about we paint one ceiling lellow, one ceiling purple and one ceiling brown!"

I wonder what she had in mind for the walls! I decided not to ask...

Our terrific trio (our middle guys 12, 14, 14) have done a marvellous job over the last two weeks. The younger three were very keen to help also. They all helped with the scraping and sanding and after their initial attempt with the brush we decided we pay the younger three NOT to help with the painting....

 Our peeling hallway and our toilet room, including 7 doorways and 5 doors, all with old original tiered skirting boards and door trims, were all badly in need of scraping and repainting. High ceilings make the job more of a challenge.

Their hourly rate? Some time off school work and less than a dollar an hour each. They were happy and so were we. This is their 4th painting job over the last few years, becoming better each time (with a little delegation, assistance and quality control).

Finishing touches completed and drop-cloths removed yesterday, bookshelves back in place today, and not a purple ceiling anywhere in sight!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bayside Birthday

Hot on the heels of Miss E's 20th birthday was her grandfather's 85th birthday. We spent the day celebrating with my Parents-in-Love and Uncle B. After a birthday morning tea some of us headed to the park at the end of the Bay.

This hibiscus plant isn't shrub-sized but a rather large tree right on the edge of the saltwater bay. I wouldn't have recognised it as a hibiscus if it hadn't been in flower. I have just discovered that it's a native Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus).

This beautiful orange jewel beetle, which I found on the hibiscus tree, is the Australian Hibiscus Harlequin Bug, Tectocoris diophthalmus, (isn't Google wonderful!) and it's main food plant is..... the native Beach Hibiscus! I love making new discoveries as I take photos and track down details to share with you.

Every time I pass this tree I'll now be on the lookout for these gorgeous bugs!

As I was sidetracked with beautiful flowers and bugs, the children made their way to the park, which they found of more interest.

My camera and I found these of interest at the park......yes, another smaller beetle on a bottle brush tree.

Also a stunning Blue-Faced Honeyeater which the camera allows a closer view of.

Everyone was happy with our bayside walk as we returned ready to help with final lunch preparations..

Sharing at This or That Thursday, Shoot. Edit. Submit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Aussie Afternoon

Last week was Grand Final week for the Junior Cricket comp in our valley. Played Thursday and Friday afternoons from 4 to 7pm, the top two teams in each age division played for this season's premiership. Our  "Terrific Trio" love their cricket, the twins being the only girls in their team. 

Master T is a valuable spin bowler, just as his older brother, Master J (17) is in the men's/senior's comp.

Two "drinks" breaks gave the players a chance for a quick drink and for each coach to encourage his team. Even though we are three weeks into our autumn, it was still over 30C when they started at 4pm on the second day.

Miss E (4) and I aren't so keen on sitting still for she had me take photos of her nearby running as fast as she could! 

Most the parents, some grandparents and friends came to watch and support their youngsters. Aussies are generally keen spectators, many of the men enjoying a cold beer or two (or more) while they sat in the shade as the sun sank low.

A convincing win was a great way to end their season. I do believe all the players and spectators enjoyed the afternoon, it was exceedingly pleasant to be in our great outdoors as the week came to a close.

Update: The Editrix (Miss E senior) has correctly commented that there were two more girls in the team but neither played in the grand final. You can tell I'm not a regular spectator, I'm more of a taxi mum.

Sharing at Our World Tuesday, Communal Global, SkyWatch Friday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Precious Gifts

Following on from my last post are a few more wonderful photos and memories brought home by Master J's from his school excursion. They visited Macquarie University in Sydney to view the Museum of Ancient Cultures.

We have covered a good deal of history over our years of homeschooling but History was never a favourite of Master J's. Asking him about these photos he replied that History is quite interesting when explained by an expert and you have some great exhibits to see and actually handle.

He took a few photos while at the Sydney Aquarium, mainly for Miss E's (4) pleasure. She was too young to remember our family visit just over two years ago.

Being a keen cricketer, Master J took several photos of this cricket bat at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. It's signed by the Australian team which played against the West Indies in 2005. This was of particular interest to his twins sisters (14) and Master T (12), fellow cricket players.

The day after his return was Miss E's 20th birthday. Miss E, our precious first-born, has wonderful classical tastes when it comes to literature, art, history and life in general. She is a confessed bibliophile and a beautiful person in every way.

Master J visited the National Art Gallery while in Canberra, this was the only section of the trip Miss E desperately would have loved to have seen as there is currently a Renaissance exhibition on loan. No photos are allowed in the National Art Gallery, as we knew from our family visit two years ago. However Master J had a birthday surprise......

....a copy of the book featuring the exhibition! Miss E was thrilled. It was the only thing Master J bought on his trip other than a little food.

His thoughtfulness and generosity touched more than Miss E.......

Sharing at Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Precious Gifts

 Parliament House Canberra, beyond Old Parliament House, as taken from the War Memorial

Master J (17) was away most this week on a fast-paced school excursion to Sydney and Canberra. I gave him my pocket Canon IXUS to take with him, in case he wanted to take any photos. He very rarely takes any photos so I half expected he wouldn't use it.

A section of the WWI Wall of Honour, National War Memorial, Canberra

When he returned late this week I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only had he used the camera but he had captured many great photos to share with our family. I feel like he had given me a wonderful gift. While I was capturing only our little backyard and busy house painting, he was careful choosing and snapping pieces of his trip for all to enjoy.

The Last Post, played at 5pm each day, National War Memorial

Old Parliament House through his bus window

Looking back towards the War Memorial from the top of Parliament House

The huge flap atop Parliament House

From inside Parliament House looking up at the flag pole

Directly underneath the flagpole/pyramid

Parliament House entry foyer with marble posts to represent eucalyptus trees

Precious gifts to me - all photos taken by Master J (edited by me). A few more yet to come.....

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