Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Christmas Decorations!!

Oh my gosh, our house looks so so pretty!!!!

Penelope is epitomising our excitement here in this photo. We are all decorated up, despite the Awesome One's head shaking and muttering that "it's only November for crying out loud!" 

We don't have Thanksgiving here in Australia - if we did I'd wait to decorate. We do normally wait until December 1st, but excitement got the better of us and so we decided that because it would take a few days, we'd jump right in. And so we did. 


And jumping up and down too. Well. I personally am not jumping, but there are some pretty excited kidlets in the house right now. Did I say already, it's all just so pretty!!!

We made a lot of new decorations this year. The Believe sign was done by the Eldest One, who did an awesome job, and I made the twine and twig star hanging on the post. 

I also made the Advent calendar, which I had already posted. I went with a different take this year, instead of the usual chocolate calendars. This year we have the cutest countdown calendar, and a little gift inside each package, instead of chocolate. And instead of everyone having their own, this year only one person gets to open a package each day. 

The boy especially is very intrigued about what might be inside!!

And here it is all lit up at night. 

Montgomery the Moose looks nice and festive.....

As does Ted up on the shelf!

How cute are the little stacking decorations? I picked those up at Kmart of all places, for a ridiculous bargain price and Penelope has spent days and days playing with them! They're wooden so pretty durable, and she only stopped playing with them once she got her own set of wooden stacking reindeer, also from Kmart! (Go the K-store hey?!)

And while we're on the subject of Miss P and her love of our decorations, I made this felt tree just for her to redecorate as much as she wants! It's right next to the real tree, which makes her feel like it's just as important of a decoration, and looks pretty cute too. 

She's actually been pretty great about not touching the tree ornaments, but those presents you can see, well they're nothing but empty wrapped boxes. The temptation of actual presents under the tree might just be too much and as has been pointed out to me, it's probably kind of mean to put presents out and tell her she has to wait another month to have them!! So we have fake ones, and she has a little box under her tree that she can play with, put things in, and has been wrapped and rewrapped a couple of times already!! 

And how pretty does the tree look all lit up?

My little paper tree forest makes the perfect setting for our Christmas Lego train set. I added some fake snow and it's adorable. I love it. 

I did put my foot down when both the boy and Miss P wanted to play with the reindeer bell. Not because I was worried they'd break it, but the noise was driving me bonkers. So they're not allowed to touch!!

The view while I stand at the coffee station in the mornings making my cup of lifeblood is pretty, well, pretty too!!

And here is the same view at night.

The front entry looks rather awesome too....
Jeff the deer greets all who enter nice and festively!

My squirrel that is actually a decoration but I've decided to keep out year round, has had a little change of location but still looks so at home next to our awesome Minnesota book.

And while we're on the subject of squirrels.... 

And other favourite ornaments!

Our stocking and hat holder was originally going to be a fireplace. So let me explain... We don't have a fireplace, so I was going to make one. I saw this awesome tutorial on Pinterest somewhere and was all excited to do it. Then I saw a gazillion other awesome ideas that I wanted to do, and had to cull. So I googled (on Pinterest), stocking holder ideas and saw lots of fences. And I thought "ohhh, I like that idea!" 

But apparently those fences aren't designed for large families because when we went to put it together after painting the fence posts, it just looked silly and too crowded. So I figured I'd put them in the lounge room anyway until we decided what to do. Then when I spaced them out a bit, I was all like "hey, that looks awesome as is!!!". And so that's where they are staying. 

We also have the most adorable Snoopy lights, that we found on our last day in Minnesota, along with a totally super cute retro style light up penguin and snowman that I found again at the old K-store. 

Outside is mostly centred around the front entrance as we've had decorations stolen from the front yard before, but I did put lights and a cute banner over the carport. 

So that's our decoration effort for this year. The Eldest One decorated her room too, but it's actually really messy, so I'm not taking photos. 

I love our house, it's so homey and festive all at once. The Awesome One keeps asking how sick of it we'll be in a few weeks' time, but we won't. I love Christmas!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Minnehaha Falls!

Today I enrolled in all of the units (well, the first years' worth!) for my teaching degree I'll be recommencing next year! And oh man, what a job that was sorting it all out! I finally got my advanced standing; the credit for the study I've already done, and this meant a year has been taken off the four year degree. But this also meant that the proposed timetable for study was completely off - so I had to check every unit for the entire three years of study and see which semester they would be offered in, and then try and match that up with the compulsory units and my electives! Sounds relatively simple, but every time I thought I had it sorted, I'd check the timetable and discover that the classes were clashing with one another. But of course persistence paid off and I got there in the end! (Well, bar one compulsory unit but I'll worry about that later!). 

Anyway, it's all done now and I'm all enrolled. And I won't be the only one in the family going to study next year - the Eldest One has enrolled in a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology through Griffith University in Queensland! She will be doing it online rather than on campus, so no moving out of home for her! So with the Social One doing her final year of high school next year, it might get a little crazy in our house, with all that intense studying happening......

Exciting much?! 

Ok, now I know I said maybe I'd put some Christmas decorating photos up this post, but I haven't taken any. So I can't. But I will do that for the next post, because once we get the outside decorated tomorrow, the house is all done and looks amazing!! 

So now on to the last of the trip photos! I can't believe we've been back nearly three weeks! That's so insane!!

Our day trip to Minnehaha Falls was pretty impromptu, but thanks go to Uncle Mark because it was awesome!! (and somewhere I've wanted to visit every trip to Minnesota but haven't).

This place is seriously beautiful! 

Some cousin bonding time....


Somebody may have needed an Aunty to rescue him......

But everybody wanted to explore the rocks!

More cousin bonding time....

Squirrels chasing each other up trees....

Then we walked to Dairy Queen, passing the gorgeous Minnesota School of Botanical Art. Such a pretty building!

More tree lined streets...

And finally some pumpkin smashing and a couple of Bald Eagles soaring in a beautiful sunset...

And that brings us to our journey home. It was uneventful, unlike last years' rush through Brisbane airport and nearly missing the connection, and the subsequent nightmare toddler on the five hour flight to Perth. No, this time the children slept, and slept, and slept. 

And now we start saving and looking forward to the next trip.