As the school holidays draw to a close (can you believe it?), I thought I'd give you a peek at how we passed the time.
We will never forget out wettest, most tragic Queensland Christmas holidays, which were marked by devastating floods, empty supermarket shelves, lack of power and internet, and being marooned at various places for days at a time.
I will never forget the experience of watching army trucks rumbling through our muddy, smelly, ruined city streets. Nor the sight of the thousands of mud-spattered, exhausted volunteers, working endlessly to help strangers and mates alike. (And next week, I hope to roll out a week of giveaways for survivors of our natural disasters.)
But for now, I wanted to assure readers and loved ones that my little family was lucky, and we remained safe and dry.
And despite the wet, we managed to have a Jolly Good Time with Lashings Of Fun. (Yes, I'm an Enid Blyton girl from way back.).
Blogging for me, is partly a way of journalling our lives, so that the kids have something to keep their childhood alive forever.
So today I'm sharing some of the highlights of our school holidays. (Northern hemisphere friends: Our summer holidays are six to eight weeks either side of Christmas. And when you're a child they are endless. Okay, sometimes for parents as well, but in a different way!)
As I've been uploading photos, I've been delighted to discover there are way too many for just one post. Who knew we'd been so busy and had so much fun?
So I'm afraid I'll be inflicting at least one more post of happy snaps this weekend. Meanwhile, take a look at these little beauties ...
Mr 9 introduced Hannah Kitteh to the delights of Pokemon
Our foster kitteh Russy finally began to accept us as his temporary family, and wasted no time making himself at home.
The kids spent hours doing science experiments. (And I spent hours supervising them)!
Polly Pig, our foster guinea pig, was the recipient of endless pampering, including baths and grooming sessions.
Miss 7 lost a tooth, just as she was about to bite into her lunch at a suburban supermarket
We took a last-minute break via http://www.wotif.com/ and ended up at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast. Initially I worried it may be an odd venue for a family holiday, but it was awesome. The kids loved the practically deserted pool, and made the most of it. This was taken on probably the last really nice day before the horrid weather set in.
Hannah Kitteh eschewed all her expensive toys for an old cardboard box. (Yes, my cat likes to play in boxes).
We took the obligatory school holiday trip to the Queensland Museum, at South Bank, Brisbane. (Before the floods obviously. The museum is currently closed until further notice. Sad.)
As well, there was the annual Christmas holiday trip to visit my parents, sister and family in the South Burnett. And it just wouldn't be cricket without a backyard game of, erm, cricket!
There were a few meals out. This one was at the Queensland Art Gallery, South Bank. Also closed until further notice due to flood damage.
Mr 9 used his Christmas money to buy himself a pet finch he named Cynthia.
We were invited to a Christmas party for the polar bears at Sea World on the Gold Coast. Icy presents and all! (This photo courtesy of Sea World media and publicity department)
Readers, what are some of the highlights of your holidays?
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I'm a writer, author, journalist, blogger, and mum. I love my kids, hate housework, and would rather chew my arm off than supervise homework. Picker-upper of toys and pet poo; finder of lost things; and curser of the Sock Monster. When I grow up, I want a pony.