Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving

We don't have thanksgiving in Australia, and I wish we did. Not because of the feast (because just between you and me, if I was going to come up with a dinner that everyone had to eat once a year, I'd pick better than green beans and candied yams...), but because of the opportunity to have everyone turning inwards and upwards with feelings of reflection and gratitude.

I'm thankful for so many things. I sometimes forget how much I am, and how much I have, and how much I enjoy. My family, friends, my knowledge of and testimony of my Heavenly Father and Saviour. My talents, opportunities and experiences. For music, for this beautiful, beautiful world, and for the tender mercies and teachings of the Spirit, and for prayer. All of these things bring me so much joy. I'm grateful for Jenna and the other two upcoming Munro/Easthopes, I'm grateful for technology, I'm grateful for my church callings, I'm grateful for Christmas. I'm grateful for rain, and running water - for their sounds and smells. I'm grateful for chocolate and watermelon and avocado (although I'd be just a tad more grateful if they were calorie-free), I'm grateful for my ward and the blessing it is to hear from church leaders. I'm grateful for the holiday I'm really looking forward to next year (and for the blessing it will be to escape the office for a month!). I'm grateful for my job, and the things that I've learnt. For my home, my bed, my desk, the kitchen, bathroon, family room. For the roof that covers it all, and the airconditioning that makes it so pleasant. For my car, for my education, and for my ability to read and have access to so many wonderful books. I'm grateful for a sound mind and a (relatively) healthy body. For the freedom, peace and sense of community and belonging I enjoy here in Oz. For the other wonderful places I've also been blessed to visit and live. For the tooth that's finally stopped hurting. For a lack of green beans and candied yams on tonight's menu. For laughter and humour and a Heavenly Father who's love I've never doubted.

Take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tuwid8_O8dk. It's become a new favourite for me. They just get better and better, don't they? :)

And then drop me a line and tell me what you're grateful for....

xo Tammy

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chair Soccer in the Backyard

A few Saturdays ago, the family came over and we spent an hour or two playing Chair Soccer in the backyard. Nothing overly special, but it was a fun way to spend a few hours :) The general gist of the game (and you'll quickly see why I'm willing to play this kind of soccer), is that everyone has a chair that you place in a large circle, and everyone has to defend their chair. If someone manages to kick the ball so it hits your chair, than you're out and you have to sit down. Naturally, I usually don't stray too far from my chair... :)


Anyway, here are a couple of photos I took that afternoon, and 2 little videos I took on my digital camera. Obviously, they're not the best quality videos, but I thought they were kind of fun. The first one is just showing some of one of the games (it shows one of the few times when Jessima got out actually - she's pretty good at the old soccer, but she was trying to be careful since she's pregant), and the second shows a bit of video of Abby the beautiful (very) pregnant lady, followed by a random bit where the ball goes over the fence and everyone suddenly nominates Ben to go get it, followed by a little bit of Jenna toddling around the backyard. It's a miracle she wasn't hit by the ball actually...


Enjoy! xo Tammy


PS. Okay, I'm having trouble with the videos - sorry :( I'll see if I can load them as a separate entry under this one, but otherwise the photos will have to do :)








































Video - Gorgeous Abby

video

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Day at the Beach

A few weeks ago we had our Stake Youth Beach day, and in spite of my standard 'I hate sand' (almost as much as Jess hates snow... so that's a lot!), it was a really lovely day, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself :) Rather than plan a lot of structured activities, we just picked a sheltered beach on the spit down on the Gold Coast, where there's a roped off shark net area with a platoon for the kids to jump off and swim around in. We also set up beach volleyball, and hired a bunch of water craft (canoes, kayaks and water bikes) for the kids to play on. It started at 8 (so us leaders were there at 6:30am), and went until about 1pm. It was a really gorgeous day, not too hot at all (we're only in spring after all), and there was plenty of shade. I had a lovely lazy time chatting with kids and other leaders, and just relaxing! We put on a steak burgers lunch for them all, and had cut up watermelons for dessert. I've pasted some photos from the day bellow... watercraft, the 5 Priesthood Leaders it took to light the BBQ, shots of the beach and a picture of my brother Oliver :)









































My assignment for the day was the watermelons, and I wish I'd thought to take photos of them! Bethany and I stopped by the local IGA on our way home from work the night before the activity, and filled (and I mean 'filled') a shopping trolley with watermelons! In fact, we emptied the stand, leaving only 3 lonely looking watermelons in the grocery department. It was really funny when we got to the checkout - everyone was laughing at us, and quite a line formed behind us while they processed them all. Everyone was in a friendly 'thank goodness it's Friday' mood I think, because there was no shortage of jokey banter between them all... my favourite was the two biker guys who said to us "You know you'll be known as the watermelon girls from now on!" *raucous laughter*
Anyway - lovely day all round. Even if it was at the beach!
xo Tammy

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The plan...

Greeting blog followers!

*Insert standard apology about how I'm sorry I haven't written for ages because I've been really busy etc. etc*

I've been up to a fair bit lately, and have actually kept you in mind with photos of the odd activity here and there, but these photos/stories never seem to get themselves onto my blog

*Insert standard excuse about how I'm too busy to write blog entries because my job is taking over my life etc. etc*

I'm just loading the photos onto my computer now, and I was thinking I'd write a mammoth entry about all the things I've been doing etc. etc. , but I think we all know that if I do that, the entry will be 13 pages long, and most of you won't have time to read it all. I'll also be unlikely to post again for another month or so... so instead, I think I'll write a few separate posts, and put them on time release, so they publish a couple of days apart for the next week or so. How's that?! I like the plan because it means I'll get more comments than if I just post once :D

But to give you a couple of tidbits now (because I know you'll all be going crazy with suspense waiting for the next posts.

(Which I should actually warn you aren't going to be THAT exciting... I mean, I haven't won an international trip or had dinner with the Queen or anything...)

I have been released from my Stake Young Women's calling, which was a little sad (I've really enjoyed it), but I've been called as the 1st counselor in our ward YW presidency - which is really exciting. It's going to be busier (ward callings always are!) but it'll be really nice to work directly with the girls for once - it's much more hands on, and I'm really excited to be working with Brodi (our president) and Sulla (our second counselor), so I'm sure there will be more stories to follow on that front.

I should also warn you that I've been signing up for choirs left right and centre at the moment, and I just realized that I'm likely not to have more than 1-2 nights a week at home over the next 3 weeks! I hadn't quite made that connection as I was signing up for them! But it should be fun anyway, if I don't die of exhaustion (I have a habit of biting off more than I can realistically chew, unfortunately)... I haven't done any real singing in a long time, so hopefully this will help renew my vocal chords a little :)

HANDEL'S MESSIAH
I've signed up to join the QLD Choir for a short stint for a concert of Handel's Messiah on Saturday 21st of November. They like to swell to a 200 voice choir for this concert, so they let people join, and I figured I could handel (get it, 'Handel'), I figured I could 'handle' a 3 week stint. I did it last year, and they perform in City Hall with a Baroque orchestra and 4 fabulous soloists, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm also doing it with a work colleague who was keen to sing with a choir, and so I'm singing alto to keep her company. Rehearsals will be Monday and Thursday nights until the concert. The only down side is that I won't actually be able to make the concert itself, because:

ELDER COOK YSA FIRESIDE
The apostle, Elder Cook is coming out to Brisbane over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of November, and on the 21st (Saturday night), he's having a fireside just with the YSA (finally, an upside to being a YSA!). Anyway, I'm playing the piano for the YSA choir that will be singing at the EMP chapel. Quite excited about that - haven't played the piano for a choir for a long time! Rehearsals are Wednesday nights for the next three weeks.

GENERAL AUTHORITY STAKE CONFERENCE
And then, either Elder Cook or Elder Gonzalas will be speaking at a special stake conference for my stake on Sunday the 22nd of November. So I'm signing with the Stake Choir for that fireside. Rehearsals are Sunday nights until then.

CHRISTMAS FIRESIDE
My stake is having a Christmas musical fireside on Sunday December 20th, and the Stake Choir will also be singing for that, so after the stake conference, we'll continue rehearsing Sunday nights until then. Except for fast Sundays and Sunday the 22nd of November, when there's a stake youth fireside about using technology, and I'm giving (and need to prepare actually!) a workshop about social media and how to and to NOT use it...

YOUTH NIGHTS FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Are every Tuesday night, so those are blocked out in the calendar now... forever :) I went to the first one last week, and it was really fun. We were doing a night about first aid (to follow up on the Sunday lesson 'Health Care in the Home' and mum came in and took the workshop (she used to be a nurse, so she knows this stuff really well!). And of course, mum did a great job :) My favourite was when she put talcum powder all over her hands and then shook hands and touched people left right and centre to demonstrate how germs spread. We were all covered in powder and not a little freaked out about ever letting people near us ever again!

SO, that leaves Friday and Saturday nights free :) There's a few Youth Stake dances, Ward YSA activities and family things sprinkled through there (Abby's baby shower is coming up soon...), but otherwise people will just have to catch me in December :)

It should be a fun month - I really love Christmas :)

Okay - so your worst fears were confirmed, and I wrote a 13 page blog entry anyway. I'm afraid it wasn't very exciting... just another logistical information blog!

*Heavy sigh... did you really expect anything different?!*

But if it makes you all feel better, I think I've used the blog to organize my head a little better, and I'm now feeling better organized... so there's your silver lining!

Okay, I will take my leave to go and write other entries to post on timed release....

*If they don't appear, it means I never actually wrote them, because this entry has been going for AGES... but check back in a day or two anyway... *

xo Tammy :)