Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thanks to all our gift givers

To all of us:
Movie tickets from Jacq, Sims and Rooster
Aussie Jingle Bells book from Nathan, Jaye, Hannah, Jasper

To Vincent:
Lego box from Jacob and Jessica
Playdough dinosaurs from Jacob and Jessica
Surfboard from Dad
Lego Jet Plane from Dad&Mum
Walkie Talkie set from Keegan
Ben10 Shorts and Lego from Grandma Laura
Watergun and REAL (!) tools from Nathan, Jaye, Hannah, Jasper
Rubix Cube Game from Grandpa Kevin

To Keegan:
Lego box from Jacob and Jessica
Playdough dinosaurs from Jacob and Jessica
Surfboard from Mum
Lego Fire Engine Helicopter from Dad&Mum
Big Green Truck from Vincent
Spiderman Shorts and Lego from Grandma Laura
Watergun and REAL (!) tools from Nathan, Jaye, Hannah, Jasper
Disney stories book from Grandpa Kevin

To Fergus:
T-shirts in a red bucket from Dad&Mum
Windup Submarine from Jacob and Jessica
Thomas and Whistle from Nathan, Jaye, Hannah, Jasper
Barn Animals from Grandma Laura
Penguin bag and towel from Nathan, Jaye, Hannah, Jasper
Jumpsuits from Grandma Laura
Pots and Pans from Grandpa Kevin

To be updated....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scrap the Boys: December Challenge 1

Challenge 1–“Dancer or Prancer”

Another month past and start of a new one…this month we have taken inspiration from Santa's reindeers..well their names anyway. So get those photos out of your boy strutting his stuff either in general or on the dance floor… and scrap whether he is a dancer or a prancer…

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Summary

Brennan’s work erupted in excitement, and interrupted our camping holidays when his client at Lane Cove went bankrupt. Suddenly life at Lane Cove (which had been boring in 2009) became interesting with the tunnel up for sale and the prospect of a new client. Contract negotiations with the new client gave him a chance to learn some new skills, and at the same time, Transfield started to get him involved with other work. All up, in 2010, Brennan has made 21 flights around the country (plus a few to NZ) working on bidding new work, and attempting to make a loss making contract in Tasmania into a golden opportunity. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig…

I’m still working in racing, with 3 main clients and doing interesting work. I did a lot of work at the start of the year on a massive court case that will be heard in Aug 2011. Apparently I have a high chance of being cross-examined as an expert witness, which should be an intriguing new experience.

Life at home with Vincent and Keegan is always full of adventure and in May we welcomed the arrival of Fergus Lorcan Daly to make it three Daly boys to run with. “Will he jump on the trampoline with us?” “Can we play cricket with him?” Well, not yet…

Operating under a lack of sleep for those first few months, we saved on organisational time and held a joint birthday party for Vincent and Keegan in July. Now 5 and 4, they are enjoying day care for 3 days a week, swimming lessons on Thursdays and playgroup on Fridays. Generally they are great pals who play well together, but with the usual sibling spats occasionally. Vincent learnt to ride his bike without training wheels and zooms around at great speed.

In September we bought a house and moved south-west by two blocks. Yes, still in the same suburb, and about the same distance walk to daycare and the shops. The house is really just an apartment, but we have a ground floor with kitchen and lounge and top floor with 3 beds and bathroom. It’s a 1970s development, so tastefully decorated with navy blue carpet and orange curtains. We’re in a block of 10 units with some common ground that the boys can run on. It’s next to a busy road, but we had to compromise in order to be able to afford something! The highlight for the boys was hiring a moving truck and getting to spend two days riding in the truck and going up and down on the lift at the back.

The other big event of the year was our trip to NZ for 10 days. The full story is at: (

Renee: Hey boys what was the best part about the NZ trip?

Vincent: Campervan and farm

Keegan: Campervan and farm

Vincent: Why you like the same?

Keegan: What? Huh?

Also from other conversations, they liked the plane rides, riding on the quad bike, playing with their cousins, and going to the snow. It was great catching up with family, and we had loads of fun.

Now we are back in Sydney and back to the normal routine. The boys have joined the local cricket club and go to cricket lessons on Fridays. Vincent starts at Ashfield Public School in February. We spent a week at school in November doing ‘transition’ which consisted of a couple of hours each morning pretending to be a school kid and finding out what he will be doing. Mostly, I think he played in the playground and went on tours, or at least that’s what he told me!

Wishing you all a good summer holidays.

From the Daly family in Sydney.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Daily - it's begun...

Well, I said I'd start one of these, and here we are:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scrap the boys: November Challenge

I'm not sure why it's posted sideways, it's not saved that way.... (it's my "computer touch of death" at work again)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November CC at Mad About Scrappin

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

December Scrapping Challenges

I've been struggling to get motivated lately to do any scrapping. Sounds crazy when it's just a hobby anyway - why should it matter if I'm doing it or not? But the events and the photos keep piling up and I feel like I "should" be documenting them. But perhaps waiting is better as I tend to get through a bunch when I'm in the mode.

But I've found a fun xmas project to do this year, and it uses up some stuff I bought last year for a project that I never really started - let alone finished.

So the Ali Edwards December Daily it is. Apparently I need to do some pre-planning. Maybe I'll find time today, or next week...

Here's a fun photo of Fergus enjoying flying with Brennan!

Monday, November 8, 2010

NZ Trip Addendum

Dinner on the Friday night, while the boys were hamming it up at the Halloween party, was at the restaurant where bil Scott works. Dallows at Sale St

Scott put together a six course degustation menu for us and it was just gorgeous. A night out with just Brennan and I to chat, eat, drink and be merry.

Fabulous !!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NZ Trip October 2010

Thursday 21

Flights ought to be unmemorable and the majority our flight told no tales. The landing into Auckland was a bit bumpy; well, ok, it was one of those landing where everyone in the plane bursts into spontaneous applause. I leaned over to the boys “Was that scary or fun?” “Fun, fun, let’s do it again” were the cries that almost drowned out the applause!

All five of us cleared customs without one missing bag and met Caro who had picked up our campervan for us. We had intended a quiet night at Caro’s flat before venturing off the next day. But the whole family were there and the boys ran around crazily with everyone for a few hours. Of course, sleeping in the upper deck of the campervan was also too exciting, but luckily we were still on Aussie time and when they finally slept at 10.30pm it was still really only 8.30pm.

The missing bag was the one with the adult clothes in. So while the kids were madly meeting their NZ relatives, Brennan and I went out quickly to get some clothes for the next few days. What an excuse to buy some nice new fancy undies!

Friday 22

The idea was a gentle drive to Taupo for lunch, then play in the garden at Helene and Pete’s for the rest of the day. It took considerably longer than we intended to sort out the bureaucracy for the campervan and we finally hit the road just before lunch! Eventually we arrived at Taupo and settled in for a very cold night. At 5 degrees it was just about as cold as we’ve been since our last visit to NZ. There was plenty of wine drunk and many crazy exaggerated stories told that night – a warm up for the main event.

Saturday 23

Everyone at the house seemed to be quite organised and focused, breakfast was made and ate and everyone hit the road. Our campervan crew took slightly longer, already in holiday mode, but we were on our way soon after the rest of the entourage. Only to find that we were locked in the property and the front gate was firmly closed. I guess that huge campervan just blended right into the garden!

“Ahh, but we have Helene’s number” “She’s not answering it” “It’s probably still in the house” “How about one of us asks the neighbour for the gate combination number, and the other rings around the family to see if anyone else knows it”

It took about half an hour, but the neighbour did know the number and we could get on our way. By then, most people knew that we would be late to the farm visit in Napier – and we thought we had everyone’s lunch in the esky that had been carefully loaded into our vehicle that morning.

We arrived at Johan’s farm about an hour after the organised time, after nearly running out of diesel and having to do a detour to fill up. Luckily the guy at the gas station knew the road that Jo’s farm was on, and could give us better directions than the useless GPS which thought the road didn’t exist.

And we weren’t the last to arrive!

Everyone piled into Jo’s ute, along with the working dogs, and he took us out to a steep paddock to show us (well, primarily Jan and Jan Jr) how the dogs work the sheep.

After all that, the esky wasn’t required for lunch. We were to carry on to Waimarama and have a late lunch there. Our bag still hadn’t been found, so we left the touring party and detoured to Napier to purchase more clothes and some lunch for our very starving children.

We finally arrived at Waimarama and spent the afternoon socialising with the extended Geelen family. From the oldest (Jan – my grandfather’s brother) to the youngest (Fergus), we were there to celebrate the 60th birthday of Andre (my Dad’s brother). Plenty of aunties, uncles and cousins to pass the time with. And plenty of beer and wine to ease the conversation. Can’t forget the Russian vodka either!

Sunday 24

The thought of lunch at a fancy winery sounded brilliant last week when it was organised. Everyone was applauding Tash for her inspiration, but that applause faded quickly into grumpy scowls when we all woke with massive hangovers! What better cure for a hangover than a winery lunch? How about a half hour drive along a windy road first – sure to cure that seedy feeling! At least we gained some humour. Katrinka hitched a ride in the campervan and was soundly told off by Vincent “Put your seatbelt on!”

Armed with sunglasses and after treating the seedy guts with bread and water; suddenly the idea of lunch sounded brilliant again. The boys had a great time, galloping about in the vines, eating the fanciest fish and chips you ever did see (totally lost on them), borrowing everyone’s cameras and taking loads of photos of stuff. Leaves, grapevines, grass, rocks, and each other (up really close).

After lunch it was back to Waimarama for more drinking and mad conversation. “How is Australia?” “How is the new house?” “Are you still doing horse stuff?” and finding out what all the rest are up to. The boys had dinner with their cousins, and spent the time riding the quad bike and tearing about on the lawn and beach with the other four little boys that were present.

Brennan struggled with the question “How is your job?” “Well, it’s a long story, I’m still at Lane Cove, but I’m also doing ….” Brother-in-law Scott had tried valiantly to hide the fact that he was a chef, but failed miserably as each person he met said “Nice to meet you, welcome to the family, and what do you do?” Suddenly, the idea that he could cook up one of Jo’s sheep into a fabulous mutton dish was embraced by everyone! So he spent the afternoon in the kitchen – in the midst of everyone – and surpassed expectations with the most wonderful roast!

Another evening was passed in drunken conversation. Perfect.

Monday 25

Spent the morning playing and cleaning, then parted ways. The NZers back to work the next day, but we thought we’d take advantage of the weather and show the boys snow. So we drove off to Whakapapa and arrived in time for dinner and sleeping. It was a nice quiet night in the bush to settle ourselves before spending more time in company later in the week. The boys slept well, even though it was very cold!

Tuesday 26

Snow, snow, snow. Snowball fights, snow down the back of clothes, eating snow. So much fun to be had, in what was really so little snow. Most of it had melted – after all, it was nearly Nov – but we could find enough to get excited about.

To finish off a quintessential kiwi experience, we drove down the mountain to Tokaanu and swam at the hot pools. Fergus poo’d all over the floor during a bit of nappy free time – you’d think that we’d have this perfected by the third kid and have less of these dramas! Vincent and Keegan gave Brennan a fright by leaping into the big pool and swimming across to the other side. He leapt in the rescue them (unfortunately for the humour value, he was already in his swimmers not fully dressed), but they showed off their skills and cruised across the pool without incident. Several more laps followed before we piled back into the campervan and cruised up the road to Taupo.

We arrived in time for Brennan and the boys to help Pete in the garden, then had a quiet dinner before a long sleep.

Wednesday 27

Our drive back towards Auckland was slowly taking shape, and as we pulled out of the driveway at Taupo, we decided to relive a little history and take SH30 and SH3 to view the old roads that brought our lives together. It was a fun drive with a photo shoot at the Mangapehi railway station, and a plan to have lunch at Waitomo and show the boys where we were married. Of course they didn’t care, and were just starving. Being midweek nothing much was open, and so we fed the boys ham and cheese sandwiches from the campervan fridge and carried on to Hamilton.

After lunch there, we arrived mid afternoon at the local Transfield depot and caught up with some of the old team. Much chatting later and we reconvened at Doug’s place for the evening. His wife made the most wonderful Indian meal for dinner; albeit a little hot for comfort! And another night of drunken conversation was undertaken. Pretty much the standard theme for our holidays!

Thursday 28

On leaving Hamilton, we were running quite early to get back into Auckland, so decided to drop by Waiuku to catch up with Gran. Had morning tea there and lots of interesting conversation catching up on all the gossip including Hemaima’s new baby, even saw pictures. So cute.

Onwards to Auckland for a quiet dinner at Marua Rd.

Friday 29

Spent the day at Auckland Zoo wandering around and found it quite pleasant to go to a zoo that is flat. The boys had a wonderful time with Ruth, and among the highlights were the howler monkeys, the playground and a seagull eating tomato sauce. Once we’d had enough sun, and ran long enough we went shopping to get outfits for the Halloween party that Ruth had invited the boys along to that evening.

Vincent became “Justice Police” while Keegan was “Zoroo”. Not sure if it was just a spelling mistake, or a misguided attempt at dodging copyright, but much enjoyment was gained from having a sword and a cape. Ruth was made into a ghost with the help of some massive industrial sized scissors and a white sheet. “Stand still, where do you want your eye holes?”

The boys stayed the night there, Fergus and I had an early night and Brennan cheered our rugby team home. He was a lone cheerer in the lounge!!! Go the Wallabies…

Saturday 30

Our last day in NZ and the weather was still amazing. It hasn’t really had a mention in this whole story but it was miles better than expected. Sunny every day and most warm enough, apart from a cold wind. We were all off to the secret location of the unsurprising surprise party for Mum’s birthday. Some garden in Auckland somewhere, lots of trees, reasonable cafĂ©. Weird that it had plaques with the sponsors names all through the plantings, I thought that they were all memorial plaques and the whole thing was a bit morbid, but no, just a thanks for giving us money to weed this bit plaques. Lunch was nice, the gardens were fun. You could tell our family was there, the peace was shattered with calls of “Hey, where are you?” “over here with Tash” “where?” “here!” etc.

Back to Caro’s for a BBQ and Stefan, Sarah and Noah came along too which was good to catch up again. Noah and Ruth seemed to enjoy the enthusiastic influence of our children, Vincent had them climbing up the outside of the deck, and he enjoyed shooting everyone with his gun from the Friday party.

Sunday 31

Spent all day cleaning up the campervan and taking it back to the depot. It took ages to get it all signed up and I thought we might be late for our plane, but luckily we made it with time to spare. Mostly because the people at the airport saw us with 3 kids attempting to join a massive queue and rushed us to the front! We said our goodbyes and spent the next 4 hours completely stressed out, in lines, on the plane. The idea that they might all be tired and sleep for part of it was crazy in hindsight. The three of them just got tired and grumpy and did silly things. By the end of it, we were pleased to get them in the car and home to bed. Even though it was late, we gave them a quick bath to ease the nerves and they dropped off the sleep the minute they all hit their respective pillows. It took a little longer for the scarred nerves of the adults to recover, but after a good sleep we could see that it was all worth it and we’d had a wonderful time.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gran is ok...

To add to the madness of the week, I got a text yesterday from one of my sisters "gran is in hospital, but she's ok, you'd better ring mum" I rang mum and listened to 20 minutes of how it was so inconvienent, etc. Finally i said "so mum, what is actually wrong with gran?" and got a story about how no one listens to her and gran hasn't been taking her medicine and she has some long term heart failure etc. (big breath) "so, mum, she's basically ok and is just being monitored?" and that did seem to be the answer!

today, i hear via skype that actually Gran cut her leg last week and has blood poisoning and this has led to heart failure. they caught it in time and she is in hospital on antibiotics and should be fine in a few days.

so a totally different story.

at least the first part about gran being ok (now that she is in hospital, being monitored and on antibiotics) is right! we are going over there in a couple of weeks, so will catch up with her then, but it sounds like she'll last another ten years easily. she was probably chopping firewood and cut her leg that way and doesn't want to admit it to the family!

and then, gran's sister visited her in hospital and said "what are you doing here doreen, there is nothing wrong with you. all you need is a good night's sleep"

yeah, a good night's sleep with cure blood poisoning! good one :D (shakes head). i guess crazy runs in the family!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Is there a rule about blogging while drunk?

I wrote a couple of posts at LSBS today that has got silly, so I thought I'd share....

Back from a busy morning at the park. Hubby is at a training course today, so it's just me and boys. They've been bike riding all morning and are now crashed on the couch in front of telly. So tired that they've forgotten I promised them juice! Better go and get it for them; or perhaps they are asleep (but I doubt it).

Fergus slept in the pram, so now he's ready to practise his rolling - something he worked out only a couple of days ago!!

We are supposed to be packing as we move house on Thursday, but oh well. Maybe tomorrow - B's course couldn't have come at a better time Smile

Other than that, I"m looking forward to the two sporting fixtures of the day. The Dato Mile at 3.40 - go Typhoon Tracy and Shoot Out (and old Zipping, I love him, but fresh up is too hard I'd say). Then the rugby tonight - Go the Wallabies!!!

Oh yeah!!! Whobe back to his best - can't wait for the Cox Plate. Aussie breds 1,2,3 - makes my job easier Smile

Just after the race, hubby rang to say he was finished his training course and coudl we pick him up. A quick car ride over to Leichhardt and home and he decides we should have a bonfire in the backyard to burn everything we dont' want to move (goodness, i'm having trouble typing = too manybeers and a crying baby in my arms!)....

We have quality red neck music ont he ituens - my typing is disintergrating!@!!! Very Happy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

LSBS Seasoned Scrapper

A couple of 'winter' layouts.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New look for blog

I'm not very patient with all this online design stuff, but I wanted a lighter background so my new Tickers will show up nicely. Here it is - a new template! Easy...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A few layouts

Mad About Scrapping has brought back their challenge kit - here are the first two from August!