Friday, December 30, 2016

Old snaps...

I found these old pics the other day and had to put them in.... classics now!
One was taken about a month before our wedding, when I was a bridesmaid for an Indian wedding to my friend Krishna, and the other is of our second year of marriage, when Tori was a baby... Time flies!

Time Out for Family Fun

We recently went waterskiing with'boating friends'; (aka: friends who have a boat and actually use it, in this case, the Harris's), and some work colleagues of Juan. It was lots of fun! The girls had a blast, and they even were brave enough to try wakeboarding and tubing, which I was really happy about. Even Juan had a go wakeboarding! I was so impressed as I watched and cheered pregnantly from the sidelines, unable to do any of it, but loving the day nevertheless.  I took some pics of Juan and Tori as they attempted to get up, get going, and then crash into the water. There were so many boats on the water that day, it was tough to get up and stay up because of all the wakes, and I was so impressed they almost made it up multiple times. 

Juan took both Tori and Bel out on the tube, but Eadie wouldn't have a bar of it, she was perfectly happy to stay in the boat. Especially after watching Bel and daddy flip face forward into the water on their first attempt on the tube, which really solidified her resolve that she didn't want to do it. But I was grateful that Bel chose to get on again and had the time of her life once they got going. 

It's definitely made us consider the option of getting a boat or at least some kind of water toys for the future, and we had a great time. Thank you Melanie and Brendan for letting us tag along on your fun day. It was just another day on the water for them, but for us it was a special family event! 

Christmas 2016

Another Christmas come and gone! We had a lovely time this year, it was quiet, but nice to be in a bigger house to call our own (after our tiny townhouse and my mum's place previously!) and especially to have Juan back so we were all under one roof again. 

We did the usual Hunt Family Nativity Spectaular again this year, and Tori had the honor of playing the coveted role of Mary, which she pulled off beautifully. We also went to a Stake Christmas nativity which my sister Sarah was in charge of, and Emilie played Mary, Anabel played an adorable little angel, and they both did a great job. She tried desperately to stand still for the whole time, but in usual Anabel fashion, ended up doing a kind of rocking back and forth like a little dance for a while, until she gave up and just sat down. It was so cute! And considering she was the only one of our kids brave enough to stand up there infront of the entire Stake and perform for the first time in her life, it was not only so sweet, but impressive :-)

The girls are all old enough now to really feel of the Christmas spirit, and we are trying to encourage them to think beyond presents and focus on the real Christmas message. Juan shared with them this year for the first time the story of his first Christmas in Australia. It's very emotional for him, as he and his family had arrived in Australia as refugees from El Salvador less than a month earlier with pretty much nothing but the clothes on their back. They were fortunate enough to have been given a house to live in, but apart from that, all food and clothing were donated by local Christian organisations. He shared with the girls how his parents were so sad because they had no money to buy anything for Christmas gifts or special food in that first year, but to their surprise and delight, good samaritans from local church groups brought to their homes boxes of used toys, clothing and food on Christmas day. Juan remembers as an 8 year old being so excited to receive used toys and clothes that were either too big or too small. He said that you could tell that they had all been used, but to them, they were new and beautiful and exciting. He remembers that his parents were so grateful and overwhelmed, as were the kids and it became a wonderful Christmas to remember forever.

Every year since we have been married, we have made an effort to annonymously buy groceries for a family that we know is in need. This year the girls were old enough to really participate, and every family prayer together we would pray to know who to give food to. We received our answer, and dropped the full laundry basket around. It was fun to watch the girls get excited about it, and really feel of the spirit of giving not just fun things to eachother, but things they had never considered 'gifts' to peopel in need. 

It has been interesting and wonderful to see how emotional the girls became when they found out that their dad, someone they love so much and know so well, had actually experienced such heart ache as a young child the same age as themselves. It's even hard for me to comprehend it all; what Juan and his family have been through coming over here to Australia back in 1988. I'm just so grateful for the sacrifices his parents have made for their children. They didn't speak any english, let alone know where 'Brisbane Australia' was, and they came over here without any friends or family support. Now, with each of their five children all married and active in the church, all with kids of their own, and all with education and successful careers to rely upon, it's a miracle to see the hand of the Lord having guided them in their lives. I don't know where I would be without my wonderful husband and the beautiful children he has given me and the life that we share together. 

This Christmas has certainly been one of gratitude for us, and our children, thanks to Juan being back here in Queensland with us again, as well as him sharing his family history, and I hope that the girls will always be able to take the humble and devistating circumstances of war and sacrifice that his family endured, and be able to turn it into positive experiences and changes for themselves and their families now and into the future, as we have and continually try to do for them every day. 

Mucho gracias Abuelio et Abuelita, et Felis Navidad! 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Special pics for a special Grandma

This year for Christmas, Cassandra thought of the brilliant idea to give my parents a calendar with pics of all the grandkids in it. It came out beautifully! All the grandkids met at the park one day and we snapped some pics in age groups, birthday dates, and family groups, and Cassandra turned them into a beautiful work of art to give mum and dad. They absolutely loved it! It was well worth the time it took to pull everyone together in the heat and make them stand still long enough to get the snaps. I absolutely loved the ones of my girls, so I wanted to put them in here. Check these out: 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The first of the Grandchild Graduates

I can't believe my niece Emilie has graduated highschool! Given, she is about 18 months younger than her other graduate friends, but that is because she skipped grade 10, so she has technically only just turned 16 years old and has now completed highschool. Crazy! Alisha and Glen are very proud, as you can imagine. But the highlight for me was watching her get ready for her school formal. Another niece, Ava, did her hair, and I did her makeup, and with my mum and dad, as well as her's and all her six brothers and sisters looking on, it was totally a family effort glamming her up :-) And glam we did!  SO happy with how she came out :-)  Congratulations Emilie, exciting times ahead with driving, working and going to uni!! One down, only 18 more to go! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holy Moon!!!

My sister Sarah bought herself a huge telescope and we have been around a couple of different times to enjoy looking throug it. I was able to score a brilliant pic of the moon one night (with my phone through the telescope!) and I just had to put it in here. It is just so huge and bright, we could hardly focus on it for too long, it was so bright! I love seeing the craters on the moon edge in contrast to the black backdrop. It was so amazing. Thank you Sarah for buying such a special toy that we can all enjoy! xx

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Halloween 2016

For Halloween this year the usual 'trunk or treat' was not held, so instead we went to my friend Caz's house and let the kids run a muck while us girls sat around socialising. It was lots of fun. I went as a a lepoard, after Irma gave me a dress that would fit over my pregnant belly, Tori went as her dream character Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and pulled it off brilliantly much to her delight, Eadith was adorable as a pink princess after finding the dress in Alisha's dressup box and becoming obsessed with it, and Anabel was a perfect Snow White with her newly cut hair. It was a lovely time, as it always it with dressups and friends! 
Happy Halloween!