Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm gettin' Good..

This happened this morning and I had to enter it in before I forgot..

In the girls' room they have a large blue spotty sac that I made to put all of their bears and soft dolls into. And since I have moved the sac from the toy room into their bedroom, every morning it has been emptied out onto the floor, leaving about 15 bears and dolls scattered everywhere. Over the past couple of weeks it has been obvious to me that Tori is the main culprit over half the time.

So this morning when it happened again, I walked out to the lounge where the two of them were watching T.V.
"Who emptied the toy sac all over the floor again?" I demanded, hands on hips.
Eadie looked away, consumed by her T.V. show. "no me.." she mumbled under her breath.
Tori didn't say anything. Silence from Tori is a dead giveaway that she has done something naughty. Either silence or hiding are her two tactics. I looked down at her.
"Was it you?" I asked. She remained quiet as her little eyes darted around the room trying to escape mine. That was answer enough for me.
"Go in and pick them up right now", I said. Suddenly her shoulders slumped, her head flew back, as her eyes grew large and she moaned, "Argh, how do you know?!"

I desperately tried not to laugh as I replied, "I know everything. Now get in there and clean it" and off she tromped, defeated again.

The incredulous look of surprise on her face when I knew it was her, was absolutely priceless. I am sure it was the look my mum saw countless times as she made us stand in line and she would check which one of us had the 'blue line' in our tongue which indicated who the liar was. I remember checking my tongue in the mirror and asking myself, "How does she know?"

A mother just knows. :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Our First Family Roadtrip

So this year we decided to take a family road trip to the small town of Emerald, located about 10 hours North-West of here. Why on earth would you do that, you ask?  Because our loved ones, Tia Carmen and Tio Joe and our gorgeous niece and nephew Ellie and Noah live out there. And what an experience it was!

We left at about 9am on the 27th and drove to Toowoomba where we stopped and had lunch. Things were going awesome, which was a shock to us since we were afraid Anabel would go crazy sitting in the back seat for longer than 30 minutes, which is what she does if we dare drive into the city to have lunch with daddy. Good thing we turned her seat around backwards again and voila, we had a happy little camper! 

As we continued, even Tori and Eadie seemed to adapt well to road-trip life, as they watched their DVDs on Juan's 'tablet' and had the occasional nap. Oh, and yes the lollies helped.. 
We went through lots of little towns and pulled over for a stretch, a change of nappy and something to eat every now and again. It wasn't so bad!

But by about 7 o'clock, we realised we had a problem... In our flurry to find a decent place to eat in Roma, the sleepiest town we had ever encountered, we forgot to fill up with petrol.. And we still had about 3 and a half hours to drive but only just over a quarter tank to go. We were sure there would be a petrol station in the upcoming towns, and we just prayed that they would still be open... but I began to get confused as I noticed the towns on the map coming and then going as we passed through 'town' after 'town'. "Since when has a letter-box on the side of the freeway classified as a town?" we complained, beginning to freak out..
The petrol gauge was dropping quickly, and we knew we would either come to a chugging stop on the side of the road about an hour out of Emerald, or we would have to pull over on the side of the road and sleep in the car unless we found a hotel or a petrol station in the next hour. By now it was almost 9pm and the next town was about 20 minutes away. We were both of us praying over and over that the next town was not just a small house on the side of the road as it had been for kilometre after kilometre. Still, I committed that I would even knock on their door and see if they had an petrol, if it was the case. And what made the experience even worse was that Juan's mobile, which we were using as our navigation, kept on dropping out of range, so for hours we couldn't actually tell where the next town was! All we could do was keep driving forward and hope for the best. SOOO nerve-wracking! 

After a couple of hours (but what felt like a life time) we approached a sign with the turnoff to Emerald, but had the feeling to keep driving a bit further to a dot on the map called Rollstrom. We just prayed they had a service station.... please... please... pleeeeease!!  As we entered the quiet street we noticed all of the lights were off in the few houses lining the road. Then suddenly we saw a petrol station! But no lights were on, and we were heart-broken when we noticed the CLOSED sign on the front door. Nooo!! What do we do now?? 

Suddenly! We saw a small printed piece of paper on one of the fuel pumps. It read: "24 hour fuel. Use Credit Machine". We looked around... what machine?!  :-O  That machine!! That wonderful, heaven-sent miraculous machine!! We put in our card, selected our tank number, and it turned on the fuel for us to use. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! Thank you Heavenly Father, Thank you Petrol Station owner who put in the 24 hour credit machine! We were going to make it!! What a wonderful relief. Needless to say, any security camera filming that night will have footage of a man praying and a woman dancing, around 9:45pm.

At about 11pm we arrive in Emerald. We had a great time with Joe and Carmen, just as the kids did with Ellie and Noah, to the point where Tori still talks daily about wanting to sleep in Ellie's room again. It was her first 'official' sleep over and she LOVED it. 

Here, I'll give you the cliffs note version of the fun we had: As well as just hanging out, we also went to a beautiful local lake (anything under an hour drive is called 'local' in Emerald, which we thought was hilarious), and I swam in a lake for what I think is the first time ever, and so did Anabel!! Needless to say we took heaps of pics in case she never wants to go back in the water again (which she has never wanted to do before! Even in the bath!) Of course of all the things, I completely forget the kids' swimmers, which were the things we actually needed!! (OK, I admit, I also forgot their toothbrushes, but Carmen is so awesome and well-prepared that Ellie let the girls borrow one of her 'spares'. What a mum!) So thanks to Ellie who let all three of our girls wear her old swimmers, and thanks to Carmen for keeping them for days like that! :-) 

We also went 'fossicking', which is using a pan to search for sapphires in dirt. And we actually found some!! We are the proud owners of apx 15 small (ok, tiny is a better word), blue sapphires from a real sapphire mine. Although they are not worth a single cent, it is still very exciting. :-)

We relaxed, we laughed, we had a great time. It was so nice to get away and leave our busy life in the 'big city' for a bit. Things in Emerald were so much slower than here, but still so many things were exactly the same.. the kids act the same, driving each other insane and run around half naked for most of the day, and the mums do the same things we do here. The dads go out to work and you order the same tasting pizza on the weekends. But the thing that is always the best to notice is that even though you can have months and months away from your family, as soon as you meet again it is as if you had never been apart.  Thanks Carmen and Joe for making our first family road trip such a great one! xx
 Anabel loving her time at the lake-to everyones surprise!

 Juan found this rock as we left the sapphire mine. No, it's not a sapphire.. it's just a rock. How exciting..

 The girls showing off their imaginary rings

 Ellie pretending she is a mermaid at the lake. So cute! 

 What a relief Bel loved the water! And even I got in! 

 Cousins and a trampoline. Best. Fun. Ever! (And yes, Noah is pant-less.. so glad my kids aren't the one ones who do this!)

 "Stick em up or I'll pee all over you!

 The girls had a great time fossicking for 'diamonds'

 Although there was no getting Eadie into that lake, she still had a great time!

 Fun with mummy and her new hat, which worked perfectly I might add ;-)

Tori LOVES the water. Even after her lips have turned purple and she is shivering with cold, she still wants to stay in there!! 

Pausing at a highway diner for a stretch and to pick wild flowers on the way home... 
Great times!! 

My new favorite photos..

We decided it would be a nice birthday present for Abuelita if we gave her an updated pic of the girls. So I dressed them in clothes I thought would somewhat match and sat them down on a couple of their small chairs and an old wooden one, and pressed them against a wall. I wasn't expecting much, but in the five minutes they spent grinning and hugging, and while I stood there going, "Ok, now look at me! No, not over there, look at mummy!! Now say, Abuelita!!", I walked away with a collection of photos I absolutely LOVE. So I just had to get these in here for safe keeping. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sometimes I wonder....

  • Eadie was walking down the hall carrying a bunch of grapes. I was bound to the rocking chair while feeding Anabel in her room, while we had this 'conversation':
Me: Eadie, put those grapes back in the kitchen.
Eadie: The grapes?
Me: Yes, put them back in the kitchen.
Eadie: Back in the kitchen?
Me: Yes, put them back in the kitchen.
Eadie: Put the grapes back in the kitchen?
Me: Yes Eadie, back on the bench.
Eadie: The bench?
*Deep breath in*
Me: Yes, put them back on the bench in the kitchen.
Eadie: The bench in the kitchen?
Me: Yes Eadie. The bench, you know, the table in the kitchen.
Eadie: The table in the kitchen?
Me: Eadie, just put the grapes back on the table in the kitchen!
Eadie: Put the grapes in the kitchen?
Me: Yes, put them on the bench in the kitchen!
Eadie: The grapes?
Me: Yes!

They are now back on the bench in the kitchen.

*And breath out*

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's us! - Before we were 'Us' !!

Last night I was sent this photo from my good friend Kara, who was sorting through some old pics. She came across this one of Juan and I when we went to a 40s theme Ball together one year.  We must have been about 18. I remember that neither of us had dates, so we decided to just go with each other as friends. But I also remember that it was lots of fun.

It makes me laugh to look at this. We were always good friends, but never more than that. One night, maybe a year before this pic I remember we were on a youth activity walking from a camp ground to Natural Arch, an underground cave site. Everyone was spread out along the road, but Juan and I walked together practically the entire way. We were talking about lots of things, and I remember thinking what a nice guy he was and how easy it was to talk to him. My thoughts didn't really go any further than that, as I'm sure we both had crushes on completely different people who's names we now can't even remember.

But one thing is for sure.. I can't wait to tease my girls about the youth in their wards and warn them that they better treat them nicely, because that boy might just be the one who makes all their dreams come true.. ;-)

Our New House

Finally! I took some pics and I have them to show everyone!! I looked around on Christmas Eve day and thought, "The house looks clean, I'll snap some pics while I can!" So here they are, pics of our new house. It makes me laugh how excited people are for us to finally live in a home where we don't have to move the dining table into the lounge room to feed guests. I often get asked, "Are you going to have a house warming party?" which feels kind of weird because it is only a rental property, but still it feels like home, so yes, some time in January I will be having friends over to show off our new 'pad'.

Until then, these pics should suffice! Enjoy!

 I can't wait to get a HUGE table right here. I want one that fits 10 people, so I'm looking at a couple of expandable ones at the moment.

 At the moment we have this little desk in the corner of this space with the laptop and some files on it. It's very handy, but we plan on moving it into the study soon.
 I used to HATE mopping my lino floor in the townhouse (even though it was only the size of this kitchen!), but somehow mopping in this house isn't too much of a burden.... weird! I think it's because it looks so nice when it's all done :-)
 You'll notice there are no frames up on the walls... that's because there are NO holes! I don't know if I think this is great, or frustrating.. Right now I'm planning what to hook up using removable sticker thingys which I hope work as good as they claim... Lots of fun projects coming up I think! Oh, and even though I LOVE the glass on the front door, I have learned the hard way that walking around in underwear is no longer an option!
 I love the view of light spilling into the house at the end of the hall as I walk through the front door.
 I have such big plans for Anabel's  bedroom! I'm thinking tree decals and wooden letters and little frames all in a cute enchanted forest kind of theme. Can't wait to get started!!
 I was so happy with how well Tori and Eadie's beds fit into the space, there is still plenty to spare! Can't wait to add a bit of color here and there, and finally get around to painting that old chest of drawers! But what colour??
At the moment this is our random Toy Room. It holds toys, empty shelves and boxes not yet unpacked. It's kind of a permanent pigsty.. Hence why we have decided to turn it into a study/library. We have so many books packed in boxes that we feel would look better than all this mess. So soon we we will divide these toys up between all the girls, hide them in their built-ins, and I'll get to working on a study!
Yes, we also have a master bedroom with WIR and Ensuite, but as anyone who knows me well will fully understand, there are multiple reasons why I haven't taken a pic to display on the world wide web. Those reasons are scattered haphazardly around the room in a manner than can only be described as a mess. Hey, I may have a new house, but I'm still the same ol' messy me.  ;-)

Christmas - Party #2

After the 8am Christmas Eve Breakfast, we said goodbye to the Hunt clan and began preparations for the Montes bunch to arrive. By 1.30pm we were baking and cooking and slicing and chopping delicious foods, hot and cold. I am so fortunate to have married into a family who each bring bucket loads of food, which makes my job as host so much easier! So in the end I made a pavlova which, although half squashed on one side, still looked fabulous even if I do say so myself ;-)  and pork skewers, which are a family favorite.

This year Juan was given a little coal-style BBQ and he was desperate to light it up and see what it could do. So he got to work putting it together and, despite not having any coals, lit a fire using wood and paper, and before long he had a little BBQ burning bright. The only place he could light the flame was around the side of the house next to the laundry which was hilarious in itself, but what happened next was even better.. Juan was so excited to get the skewers on, no one was more disappointed than he when all they did was burn because of all the flames!! Before we knew it half the wooden skewers had literally burned off the ends, and there was black pork, onion and mushrooms everywhere! It was seriously hilarious, I could hardly contain myself. All I could do was just keep clicking the camera as the kids ran into the laundry to watch the spectacle from the safety of the laundry doors!

Do you see the look on Juan's face?? haha, priceless!! :-) But you know what, despite the coal being on the food rather than in the BBQ, it was still edible and even yummy. So even though we will NEVER do that again, Juan's first official BBQ, although not what anyone would call a 'success', was not a total failure... ;-)

So much food; pork, lamb, chicken, toffee apples galore, pavlova, salads, lollies, chips, drinks, drinks drinks (not a good week for me to start my personal 'no softdrink' rule..), and tonnes of summer fruits... yum! 
It was a great Christmas Eve lunch. The girls loved having Los Abuelos in their 'new house' and playing in their backyard with Mark, Kira, Isabella and Lucia. It's so great to see all the cousins get along so well together and enjoy their new gifts. But, once again I'll let the pics do the talking:


Feliz Navidad!

Christmas Cookies

Ever since I learned how to make decorative cookies just before Tori's fourth birthday, I have been completely obsessed with making them for every possible event. This Christmas was no exception! I put a couple of different ideas together and came up with my own little Christmas tree design. Even though I was totally over it by the end, I am really happy with how they came out, despite forgetting to color the small star up the top in yellow.. So instead I pretended I was going for the 'natural' star look... whatever that is..

And, since I yet again missed my Visiting Teaching this month (one of my New Years resolutions to improve on), I took them around to the sisters, Eadie's nursery leaders, which she was sooo excited about delivering, and also our next door neighbours.
The next cookie project will probably be Anabel's 1st birthday party in March.. That is unless I do Valentines Day cookies.... Hmm...

How can you tell a REAL Montes??

They love mango!!

In between our Christmas parties, Anabel sat down with daddy and had her first ever mango. We opted to give her a perfectly ripe one instead of our usual green mango with salt and Worcestershire sauce. And, in true Montes style, she absolutely loved it!! Check out this grin! With every lick of her little lips she couldn't wipe that smile off her face!

She really didn't stand a chance with with Hunt and Montes genes in her. Mango mania is in her blood! ...And we haven't even introduced her to green mangoes yet. .. :-)

Christmas - Party # 1

Christmas Eve.
Our house.

Let the breakfast begin!!

In usual Hunt tradition we got together for our annual breakfast. Normally it would be at Mum's and dad's place but this year since we finally have enough space, it was at our house, and I was super excited!! We had Christmas music blaring and the house was filled with family, the smell of eggs and bacon, mis-matched chairs and kids laughing.
Who could ask for more?

We didn't end up doing the traditional nativity this year, but we still did the 'secret-santa' gift-giving to eachother as couples and then went crazy on the kids. Juan and I were given a gorgeous tie and a pair of earrings to die for, from Alisha and Glen. Thank you guys!

Delicious food, lots of laughs, and the spirit of Christmas..  I'll let the photos do the talking. Needless to say, it was a great morning!