Monday, 23 January 2006

Gaynor's 35th

Gaynor receives a yummy present from her children.

We just completed a two day celebration marking the end of Gaynor's 35th revolution around the Sun. The actual anniversary of her birthday was on the 19th and on that day she received presents from her kindly husband and children -- as graphically portrayed. Of course she had been receiving gifts and well wishes from all corners of the Earth-sphere for a number of days but took time out to personally accept those from her immediate family.

Friday evening included a Fenton-prepared meal -- Shepherd's Pie (a speciality) and Devil's Food Cake with Blood Orange Icing (apologies to sensitive souls for the Satanic references) -- with some friends followed by a fireworks show in honour of her marvellous achievement of staying alive. Viva le Gaynor!

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Weihnachten (Christmas)

It snowed late on Boxing Day but on Christmas the sun was actually shining. It looked a little more like Christmas but it didn't feel like a proper Christmas. We went sledding a couple of days later but otherwise we mostly played inside. We did have a snowball fight with one of Joshua's friends. Bryna says it is very cold and she doesn't like cold feet. I cleaned my room just before Christmas so that Mum would feel happy.

We had a real Christmas tree and it was spiky. We put some lights up in our windows with about one hundred in each window. We also had candles burning as part of decorations. We didn't have many decorations at first but we made some for the tree and the windows.

We ended up doing some German traditions this year and some Australian ones. We opened the presents on Christmas Eve and had St. Nicholas come. Instead of putting out stockings you put out shoes for St. Nicholas and they get filled with sweets. St. Nicholas comes on the 6th of December so you have enough stash to get through to Christmas. We still put out our stockings on Christmas Eve and they got mostly filled. We didn't get any mangoes though.

We had some missionaries and two friends over for Christmas dinner and we sang some Christmas carols. The Christmas dinner was really yummy with roast goose, roast potatoes, chestnut stuffing and vegetables. We got to try a new Italian dessert -- pistachio panatone -- brought by a Sicilian missionary. Mum also says we had a salad of smoked salmon, rocket and mascapone cheese for starters and a palate cleanser which was a pink grapefruit sorbet.

Where to start on what people gave? I made cool keychains for everyone out of scooby-doo bands (like plastic string). Ariana painted noni glasses (small ones) for everyone but Elijah's broke before he got it. Josh made bookmarks out of paper, then he burnt them a little and wrote a Hitchhiker's Guide something on it. Elijah gave us blank books with our names and 'Gosple Notes' on it (Yes, that is how he spelt it). It's for writing down things we hear in church. From Mum and Dad I got a Bugel Bead Kit (it's craft beads that you make into a pattern or picture and iron it together) and a ballet CD. Elijah got an mp3 player and a calendar with cars on it. Ari got some Little People(TM) and some Ello(TM). Bryna also got some Little People and a soft bear with a bag. She calls it 'Teddy mit Tasche'. Joshua got a game called 'Abenteuer Menschheit' (Adventure Mankind) and a cartooning book.

Saturday, 7 January 2006

New Year Greetings

Though the blog has been a little silent lately we have not. Christmas and New Year's kept us quite busy and a good time was had by all. If you did not receive an email with our digital Christmas card this year firstly, please accept my sincere apologies (I tried to get everyone!) and secondly, please find it in this post.

We have almost completed a DVD of our past year and if you would like to receive a copy please let me know. You can just leave a comment to this post (including your name) and I'll get it. Of course there is no cost but you should be the kind of person that would like to browse our family photo album since that's basically what it will be. Unfortunately, all immediate family members (Gaynor's and my siblings and our parents) will be receiving an unsolicited copy. We like to pretend you are interested enough not to object ... well not too strenuously anyway.