Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Six Months in Sydney

The other day I was driving home from taking Gregory and George to school. I was coming into the city over the Anzac Bridge, and from there you have a nice view of the city, the harbour, and the Harbour Bridge. It was beautiful, the sun was shinning, the palm trees were visible as I neared the I-Max theatre and Darling Harbour and everything was happy. The best part of it was that it all felt so familiar. I have felt that we are home now for a while, but it was nice to feel that  familiarity of driving in the same places, not having to think which lane I should be in, or when I needed to merge or turn or whatever... it all was very familiar, my routes to and from school, Broadway Shopping Centre, the swimming pool, Costco, church, and the park are all memorized now. I am not so dependent on the GPS, which makes me feel happy. I have a sense of direction, I know where I am and I can now get around more. Life has fallen into place for us in Sydney, and we are very happy to be here. I decided that as fun as it is to move around the world and see new places and meet new people, there is something important about finding a place to call home. We've now lived in Sydney for six months, and time has a way of making you feel like home. I still have to use the GPS when going into North Sydney or to a beach. I probably could get there but with a few wrong turns. The other day I was driving to a stake primary activity, and I forgot to bring my phone which means no GPS... I did get lost since the stake centre is in North Sydney over the Harbour Bridge, but with some prayer and luck I actually found the church with only a few wrong turns. That was a bit frightening but it turned out well.

The normal day to day is like it would be anywhere else except for that fact that we live in a city and I try and take advantage of that. The disadvantages are obvious, the boys cannot go outside on their own. There is no yard for them to go out and explore. In Ireland the boys could go out the back and play on the trampoline or in the fort, go out the front and play with all the children, ride bikes and scooters, or play on the green. But now if we go outdoors we must all go together. I take the boys out with me and go and see things during the week on my own, and on the weekend Stan and I do family dates. Our last family date was to Coogee Beach and then dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. It was a really fun day together.

I made a video of what we've been doing lately.

My boys and I love green smoothies. I like to start them young with their greens! William just cannot get enough of that green goodness!

William loves to play in the sand, and he is so good to wear his hat. He is such a smart boy. He knows that his hat will protect his eyes from the sun and he prefers to wear it when outdoors.

This is the view from our balcony. I spend a lot of time just looking outside from our apartment and watch the boats come in and out of Darling Harbour.

I was collecting the boys from school on the ferry one day this week and thought this was a cool pic. There is one point when three ferries cross paths, so I took a photo.

The boys, but especially George, love chocolate. The corner store just at the entrance of our building sells these giant Cadbury chocolate bars for 2 AUD. It is the best deal I've ever seen for Cadbury chocolate, so when we come home from school, sometimes we stop in and get us some chocolate.

 Darling Harbour always is celebrating something. Here it is celebrating love. These little love boats are so cute and it would be romantic to take a ride. George and I had a late night walk one night this past week and we enjoyed looking at these small love boats.

On the way to Coogee beach we ran into this spider. Can you see how HUGE it is???

 This is the walking bridge that connects that goes across Darling Harbour. We walk across this bridge all the time because Coles is on the other side. When I am not up to making the trek to Costco, we just walk over to Coles and get some food.

Here is the same bridge looking at the city whereas the photo above is looking towards Pyrmount.

Here's another view from the same spot on the walking bridge. You can actually see our apartment building in this photo. Can you see the building with the bubble-like roof? Well we are just s few buildings away from there.

William likes to be Stan's hat. He wraps his whole body around Stan's head and holds on as Stan walks around. It is so cute how William plays with his daddy!

Gregory has started football (soccer), and his team is taking things very seriously. They have a paid trainer, practice uniforms as well as game uniforms, and I have seen Gregory improve so much already. My boys are great athletes, so with a bit of training they really do well. I am so proud of Gregory and his willingness to get in the game and try his best. He really is enjoying it this season.

Stan and I have been working on building his ultimate gaming computer for months. It has been a huge project, and Stan has worked and worked on it for hours late into the night. Everything is customized and done so well. I am so proud of how he has completed this project and has done such a good job! He is very bright and teaches himself to do all sorts of difficult and technical things.

Painting has been a family favourite. The boys just love to paint, and it is fun seeing them get so excited about doing art.

Just a few minutes away is the Wild Life Park, which is like a mini zoo. We walked there this week and spent some time with the Aussie animals. I really love koalas and they usually are sleeping since they are asleep for about 21-22 hours everyday. Anyway, I was happy that they were awake today!

This is funny... I look so tired... but tired is okay when it means your having fun and making memories, right?!?

This little zoo is fun because at certain times during the day they bring out animals for us to touch. The boys really get excited. Sometimes we have the place to ourselves, but not today... It was a bit crowded, but the boys were good to squeeze themselves through the crowds.

This croc is mean. I guess he has to be in isolation because the last two crocs that have lived with Rex have also been killed by Rex. He is huge!

If we were still in Ireland, we would be celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Our good friends, who still live in Ireland, sent the boys some new Paddy's Day t-shirts. Thank you Megan! We'll be celebrating with you on the opposite side of the world!

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