My life is not my own, for I belong to Christ.
Some Fabulous Posts
Some Fabulous Places
Some Fabulous People
Monday, November 27, 2006
That really is a song. A Lemony Snicket song, to be precise, and the music which filled our car for a lot of our traveling time (also a nice contrast to the title of my last post).
Can someone please help us convince our dad that we NEED a Christmas tree this year?? Especially since we have only a small shoebox of Christmas decor that we managed to slip into the shipping crate. AND since our wonderful grandma sent us adorable little angel ornaments.
USA Foods, the American grocery store we finally explored today, is a lot less majestic than I imagined it. It was nice to go, but also kind of depressing to see the HUGELY expensive prices. Our little box of Grape Nuts cost us over $11, and the little box of Pop Tarts Tamara so cunningly slipped in the cart was, I think, $7. But I got Reeses pieces, so my life is complete. ;-)
Congratulations to B&M Fisher on the birth of Adele Xaris Fisher!!! We were soo excited that Meg was able to come to our Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday, but still manage to give birth before we left town. Sadly, visiting hours at the hospital didn't start until 4:00 pm today, and we had to leave Geelong before then.
I love the Blakstons. The movie I Am Sam makes me cry, but it has a very good soundtrack. I made pumpkin roll this year, and it was actually GOOD (even though it looked questionable). This is possibly the cutest picture in the entire world (though I cannot take credit for it):
I love going to Geelong RPC because people there love me, and I love them. Spefically, Gabe declared his love to me last night, and Ben still holds to his proposal of marriage.
Kennet River was amazing: the ocean plus koalas in our backyard; parrots feeding out of the palm of our hand (and landing on our heads); wetsuits to help us not completely die in the freezing water; lots of salt water to kill our hair and possibly the insects that have made their home there; a view of the Twelve (or...five?) Apostles at sunset; trying to kill ourselves, and very nearly succeeding, by going up and down cliffs [We are the Blackwoods/ we are dumb/ we are the Blackwoods/ but we have some fun/ we are the Blackwoods/ but we're still really dumb/yeah, yeah// (you should hear me and Maria sing it! Also, it refers to Blackwood kids...mostly)]; relaxing in a comfortable home; and "Family Time". What more can you ask for?!
Someday soon I am going to do a post full of pictures that I actually took. Try to contain your excitement, please.
"Would you like a glass of pie?"
--Josh McEwen, referring to the rather soupy, but nonetheless scrumptious, strawberry rubarb pie he served. The McEwens are great. ALL of them.
Oops, this is getting long. Wait, what am I saying?? This is NOTHING compared to my last post (thank goodness).
There was absolutely nothing chronologically correct about this post.
song of the post ~ "O Holy Night" by Avril Lavigne And Chantal Kreviazuk
[Avril doesn't know what she's talking about...and I may write a post concerning that fact. But for now, I'm enjoying this beautiful little piece of Christmas. And I think I shall now excuse myself to the piano to play some Christmas tunes for myself. :o)]
Charity | 4:28 pmComments-[ comments.]
Saturday, November 18, 2006
*** Warning: This is like the longest post you will probably ever read. Or not read. Just so you're aware. ***
The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. I could've killed Maria for setting it. I didn't even want to try to motivate myself to get up soon... But at about 5:10, mom came in and told us it was time to get up. I dragged myself from the comfort and warmth of my bed into the chilly morning. There was no way I was going to try to force contacts into my sleepy eyes. So I grabbed my glasses -- after throwing on some jeans and a hoodie -- and glanced at my "Don't forget!" list.
I threw some life support (aka pain reliever and allergy pills), along with a few more last-minute necessities -- MP3 player, 6 or so books, toothbrush etc. -- into my bulky bag.
My hair was still damp from my shower at 11:00 the night before, and was making my colder. So I quickly dried it, and finally dragged my stuff and myself to our van. As is our tradition, we sant Psalm 121 as we began our trip.
I slept against the window for a bit, then tried to get more comfortable on Tamara's shoulder; I still woke up with a sore neck. Zachary graciously captured some of my attractive drolling and awakening poses on his ever-so-handy camera.
Quite the healthy brekky was served at Mickey D's: a hot fudge sundae and hasbrowns for me. Tamara tried to order a "sausage sundae", and was rewarded with a confused expression from the guy trying to keep up with our humongous order. Dad kindly explained the reason for our occasional stupidity: we're crazy Americans. Right. Of course.
I'd packed my deoderent and therefore hadn't been able to apply it that morning. Ever so thoughtful to those around me, I dug it out of my bag before settling back into the van. The squishyness seemed to have increased after we were all fully awake. But we were armed with what no holidayer can depart without: books on tape [we had enough for about 37 hours of car travel].
We stopped at a National Park and took a walk to some look-out points. We looked out at the purple mountians majesty, along with amazing rocks and trees (it was a lot cooler than I'm making it sound). Some of my ever-so-careful siblings climbed down onto some of the cliffs/ledges, much to the amusment of other on-lookers.
Our next amazng stop was the Pink Lake -- though we were awed by much more than pink water. I was determined to stay in the car since I'd had a headache most of the day. As she stood at the top of a hill, looking down at the lake, mom commented, "It looks like snow!" I was confident I wouldn't be that impressed by some white water, ,so I just slupmed back into my seat. Then I heard Maria cry, "It's sald! It's just salt!"
Curiosity got the better of me and forced me out of the car and down the path, following the cries of wonder and awe. When I reached the edge of the dried up lake, I looked out at the white snow-like stuff, as far as the eye could see. "This is rediculas!" I kept saying as I trudged through the warm, crunchy slush. We kids walked all the way to the middle of the salf lake, where a small pool of water stood.
We alkwas back to the van, spattered with salt, sweaty, and ready to reach our final destination. Our book on tape kept messing up, so dad replaced it with "Classics for the Car". Now, I really don't have anything against classical music... but I prefere to play it myself or really be in the mood to listen to it. So, I dug out my MP3 player and shared my headphones with Tamara for the next hour and a half or so.
I enjoyed looking out the window as we drove deeper and deeper into the country. The land was beautiful in a bleak, rugged way.
As we started venturing down dirt roads, I turned off my music, sensing we were kind of lost. Maria, ,as our designated navigator, was desperately attempting to aid Dad in scaning the roads for any sort of sign. We were going in circles for a while, laughing and joking about "country life".
We started REALLY laughing when we chased three sheep down a road -- or was it a driveway? The sheep quickly darted under a fence and ran into another pasture. As we started to turn around, realizing this was not the road were looking for (and it probably wasn't a road to begin with), we saw a man get out of his truck and walk up to meet us.
Dad told the man -- Malcom was his name -- we were a little lost and looking for the Bedfords'. He kindly gave us directions and at last we made it to Moongara Homestead. [Moongara means "come in and sit down; you are welcome."]
We met Alan and Jean Bedford -- a wonderful, Godly couple that you wouldn't believe are actually in their 80's! After tea, we sang some Psalms and had family worship. After helping with the dishes, we were off to bed.
I had a pretty miserable night -- I thought I was going to die from my allergies. I did survive the night, ,though, and felt much better in the morning.
After brekky, we went out to the barn to help clean the eggs they had gathered the evening before. We met Dave, Allen and Jean's son, and his two kids, Joshua (20) and Hannah (18). we also met Maya, a friend who was visiting who we discovered lived really close to some other people we were planning on visiting during this trip.
We had a lot of fun with them that day. We visited two other farms, ,and in the afternoon, we got to go to a town social they had. We played our first game of crikey there. Maria and I were paired up, and we didn't do that badly... okay, maybe we did. But we had a blast anyway!
Just as we were called into the hall for Tea, it started pouting down rain. When dad prayed for the meal, he thanked God for the rain, and asked that He would bless that land with more. And more He gave! I saw the first thunder storm I'd seen sincec we've been in Australia. It was incredible! One small buh fire did get started from the lightning, but it was quickly put out. The rain was almost a miracle. It was wonderful for some, but too late and untimely for others -- like those who hoped to gather the meager crops that they did have...
There was a dessert contest that night. We girls made a coffee cake -- with actual coffee in it -- and the famous Blackwood kettle corn! I thought out cake turned out rather bitter and dry, but the kettle corn sure did go quickly. Josh and Hannah made this amazing cake that looked like a swimming pool, with blue Jell-O in the middle, and they won 2nd placec.
We played some hilarious and fun games and had some awards for the cricket players. Dad and Tamara actually got 3rd place! It was 11:30 before we got home and to bed.
Church on Sdnday wasn't until 11:00, so we had plenty of time to get ready. The Bedford's meet in their home with their son and grandkids. Also there were Maya and her family and another couple that lived 40 minutes away. We had a Psalm sing in the afternoon, an dafterwards I got my first chance at dricing the 4-wheeler when we went to gather eggs.
During te, it started pouring down rain again. Then it started hailing wildly -- the large balls of ice dancing around in the yard and splashing down into the puddles.
After evening service, we went to the other Bedfords' hourse for a bit. They have a beautiful, big home. Zachary humbly told them about his picture website which, of course, had to be viewed for quite a while. Josh, Hannah, and Maya were very gracious in their responses to the oh-o-attractive photos of us kids. (*snort* Riight!)
Sadly, we didn't spend all that long because dad wanted us to get up at 6:30 to have family worship and then brekky with Alan and Jean.
Somehow, I got up and managed to stay awake and survive the day. We cleaned eggs, ,packed up, said our goodbyes, and were on the road oncec again. Maya and her mom and aunt carvaned with us, as they only lived an hour or so beyond where we were headed. The car ride was actually rather pleasant as we listened to a book on tape that we we all thoroughly enjoyed entitled "Freak the Mighty".
We arrived at Stephen, Jeanne, and Jemimah Webb's home at lunch time, and walked down with Maya and her family to a nice, little resturant.
The Webbs' house was amazingly gorgeous! I think we all felt rather pampered. We mostly lazed around in the afternoon. Then, for tea, we had a barbaque/bonfire in the back yard with another couple the Webb's invited -- Terri and Coral. We sang Psalms before tea, and sang campfire songs afterwards. We sang and sang, long into the night: everything from "Kumbiyah" to "In a Cabin in the Woods" (dad's specialty) to "There was a Tree" (which reminded me of ECHO and corn detasseling) to "When I'm at the [Webbs']" (the Covfamikoi theme song). It was great.
It was almost lunch time before we packed up and got on the road again. We stopped by Stephen's doctors office to say goodbye before heading out of town. We listened to the rest of "Freak the Mighty" just before we got to thishuge rock/mountian thing that Allen insisted we stop and climb around on. We kids had a blast; I'm not so sure mom and dad had such a great time waiting for us in the car.
We had cuppas and chatted for a bit, and then Tamara went with Steve (16) and Anna (11) to help with the cows. I stayed and read for a bit before helping Mrs. Taylor make tea. Then I read some more and talked with Maria while we waited for tea to be served.
Just before we ate, Z, T, Steve, Anna, and I played "tackle" footy/keep away -- boys vs. girls. It was a lot of fun, though the boys crushed us!
Tea was dee-lish (of course! I helped make it!). Afterwards, we had family worship. There's something beautifully connecting about singing Psalms with people, even if you barely know them.
Maya's family invited us over, so we spend the evening there -- meeting more people, playing "halo" on the Xbox, and chatting. We were home 5 minutes before our curfew (Good on us! Even if we were only a couple of minutes away...)
The four girls slept together in Steve's room. A, Z, and B slept in Anna's room. I felt kind of sorry for Steve, who slept under the pool table with bean bags. Kinda of. But he said he's come in at 6:00 a.m. to see if we wanted to get up. I definitely wasn't planning on it... But believe it or not, up I got! I'd heard Steve come in and whisper to Tamara and Anna, and couldn't get back to sleep. Anna and I got up 10 or so minutes after the others. After a nice cup of Milo, we made it over to the barn. I think the rest were surprised to see me.
After about 5 minutes of being there, I'd been kindly spattered with cow poo. I honestly wasn't all that grossed out; just a bit embarrassed. But I pulled a face for Zachary's camera and then laughed along with the others. I actually milked cows!! How amazing is that? It was actually a lot of fun. I also got to help feed the calves. Aww, how sweet! They sucked on our fingers and left nice, milky slobber all over us.
After brekky and packing up, Tamara and I played a game of pool. Steve was ever-so-encouraging, as was his older brother, Jon. Jon actually helped me learn how to aim and stuff, though. I actually had a couple good hits (is that what you'd call them?) with his careful instruction.
On the way home, we stopped at a town called "Blackwood" just to get a few pictures and souvineres. Dad wanted to buy a "Blackwood Burger" and mail it to Beth. (Hehehe, only a select few will appreciate that...) It was freezing on the way home. Oh and we also stopped in New South Whales, just so we could say we'd been in a different state in Australia.
FINALLY, we made it home. We were all ready to be home, though we'd had a fantastic time.
And I'm sure you're all ready for this post to be done!!!!! Thank you to those who even attempted to skim my ramblings. :o)
Song of the post ~ "Last Christmas" by Jimmy Eat World
Thanks to Eleni (sorta) for this!
Charity | 11:07 amComments-[ comments.]
Friday, November 17, 2006
...L I C E.
Charity | 12:46 pmComments-[ comments.]
Monday, November 13, 2006
We are having a fantastic time.
I love making new friends!
We haven't died/killed each other during any of the car rides (yet).
I am journaling a ton and hoping to write a huge post when we get back...we'll see.
Zachary is taking about 98,563, 492.69 photos.
And I feel bad for wasting time on here at someone else's house.
So I'm leaving...
Charity | 6:04 pmComments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I'm loving my song. :o)
Okay, I was seriously going to write this beautiful long post about my past weekend and weekends to come, all pictureified and everything... ... ...but I'm feeling most uncreative and unpostful right now, so I think I shall just write a random and short post.
Today Justine took me out for coffee (except I had tea -- mmm). It was really, really lovely.
Tomorrow we leave for...well I'm not exactly sure where. Our plans are rather sketchily confusing.
Thanksgiving is coming. Yes, we are most definitely celebrating it. We're going to Geelong the Saturday after Thanksgiving (can you believe these silly Aussians don't believe in taking off work and school for that special Thursday of the year???)
After that comes Christmas. I think it will be a rather.. empty one this year. No, I take that back. We'll all be together, so it will be just grand. Even without snow. And everything else. Right.
I wish it were simple
but we give up easily
you're close enough to see that
you're on the other side of the world
I haven't told my lovlies enough recently: I MISS YOU! Like...a lot.
Smile, people. Because there are plenty of reasons to smile, that's why! Like this reason: God's way is perfect. (Psalm 18) Not just okay...not even just good. Perfect. So there.
Charity | 8:01 pmComments-[ comments.]
Thursday, November 02, 2006
...the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and before you know it, it will be time for the annual Christmas Day Bar-B-Q on the beach!
Um.. THAT IS NOT HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE!
I think I'm starting to listen to Christmas music a mite too early. I thought it would help me with coping with this whole messed up opposite seasons thing, but obviously I was wrong. Instead, it's depressing me further and making me think of last Christmas and all the joys that went along with it (not that that's all bad). *CRY* This is rather pathetic!
Okay, gotta scoot along to the Glovers' for the 7 (or maybe 10) C's! :-D
I won't bless you with Christmas music on here just yet, but I will bring pleasure to your ears and hearts with this beautiful song which I reacently discovered amongst Allen's CD collection:
Song of the post ~ "Run" by Snow Patrol
Charity | 7:55 pmComments-[ comments.]