Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spring is in the Air

Finally, winter comes to an end and the gardens around us begin to look alive with colours. What is surprising though is that some of these blooms belong to our very own garden! I must admit, since we moved to this house more than 3 years ago, we never really bothered to take care of the garden apart from hiring somone to mow the lawn every 6 weeks or so. A couple of months ago, we took an interest in it by taking out a lot of weeds and planting a few herbs and flowers in pots. There was one pot that the kids got involved in by planting seeds for flowers called anemones. And now, almost 3 months later we are enjoying the fruits of our labor .... they have started to bloom! I think I am the one most excited about this development, after all I have been regularly watering and watching them with great anticipation. Here are some photos of the flowers in bloom at our garden:

Now that there are a few blooms in the garden, what do we do with them? How can I make them last a bit longer? Bianca gave me a great idea this morning at the markets. She saw a shallow glass bowl and suggested we cut the flowers and make them float inside ... what a great idea!

Kid Funnies Part 15

It's not always that our kids get along with each other. They do have their own share of fights and little squabbles. Like today, we were loading the kids in the car and they got into a fight over some toy they each wanted but didn't share. The girl cried first and the boy followed suit.

They were both bawling in the back seat and we tried to make them share the toy but they both wanted it their own way. So, in frustration, I told them that I wouldn't be starting the car until they both quieted down.

I took some tissues and gave them one each. The boy reached for one, wiped his face and promptly said, "I'm happy now!". We all burst out laughing, including the girl through her erstwhile tears.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Smart Questions

Lately, we've been getting a lot of smart questions from the little girl ... here's a few we got recently:

B. Mommy, why do you love me?
M: I love you because you're my daughter.

B: Mommy, why did you choose me to be your baby?
M: I think God chose you to be our baby, and somehow put you into my tummy.
B: But why did God choose me to be the first baby, and not Nico?
M: Maybe God knew you would be a good big sister to Nico.

B: Mommy, you make a lot of things by yourself (as she was eating my home baked pudding) , did you make me ?
M: No, I did not make you all by myself ... Daddy helped too. Actually, God made you for me and your Daddy.
B: Wow, God made a lot of things didn't he .... but who made God?
M: That's a very interesting question! Maybe God has been there all along.

At the rate she's been asking me these kind of questions, I may soon run out of credible answers!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Library Days

I've always loved libraries. In elementary school I've looked forward to library days and I can almost even remember the first book I've checked out. Unfortunately, public libraries are non-existent in the Philippines and after elementary school the only way I could read new books was if we acquired them ourselves. Our parents did right by us by getting as many books as they could. We had encyclopaedias, surplus American school textbooks, and the occasional new books from National Book Store. When I reached teenage years I probably read all the books in our household from cover to cover.

One of the happy surprises I've found about living in Australia has been the availability of free libraries to its residents. It was here that I realised what a public library should be. Our local library isn't just a place to borrow books but one can also borrow up to date magazines and periodicals, CD's, DVD's and even sports equipment for free. You can even book time for free internet as well. Heck, our library even carries the latest graphic novels! It's a terrific place and one that's influenced my kids heavily when it comes to them reading early.

One thing I love about our library is the online book catalogue and reservation system. I spend my time at home on the net just browsing through and reserving books online. Then, I just pop down to the library to pick them up at a designated spot when the books are ready. Because our city shares the books throughout its library system, I don't have to wait for a book to be available just at my local library. The online catalogue searches throughout the several libraries in my city council area and brings it all into my local library down the road when they're available.

Our family has spent many an afternoon at the local library just browsing and borrowing books to take home. The kids love visiting and we'd come home with a bag full of kids books which they'd read before their bedtime. They already have their own library cards and are always keen to use them when they get the chance. I'm glad to have been able to impart my love of reading to our kids and I hope it helps them out later in life.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Austraila 2- Kuwait 0

The new look Australian Soccerroos debuted tonight with a rousing 2 nil victory over Kuwait.  Goals courtesty of Sasho Petrovski and Adelaide's own Travis Dodd.  It was a nail biting moment there as the 2 goals actually came in the last 15 minutes of the match.  Australia now has qualified for the Asian Cup championships next July.   

A little bit of history here but this is the first time Australia is in the Asian confederation and the Asian Cup finals.  It's always been part of the Oceanic Confederation which has not provided more skilled opponents.  With being part of Asia, Australia will have a chance to compete with high caliber teams like China, Japan and Korea on a regular basis.

The Matilda's have made an impressive debut and now it's the men's team's turn to show us what they're made of.  Mind you, this Soccerro's team that brough us to the Asian Cup is a totally different team from a month ago in the World Cup Championships.  Most of those guys are playing in Europe and were unable to play for this game.  This new team is composed mainly of local A-Leauge players.  They had a tetative start in tonight's game but they quickly gelled togethr as the game wore on.  Kuwait's goalkeeper was kept on his toes for most of the match and stopped quite a few shots in the first half.  In the end Australia just wore down the defense and produced a great result.

There was supposed to be another game scheduled against Lebanon here in Adelaide but because of the war over there, Lebanon's pulled out of the Asian Cup so they cancelled the match.  Too bad, we already bought tickets for it.  So I guess I'd have to be content with watching the Australian team on TV for the moment.

Am I sounding too much like a football junkie? :)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend Furniture Assembling

We spent the better part of the weekend IKEA-fying our house some more. We were finally able to get the kids their beds and a few more pieces of furniture. The thing with IKEA is that one of the reasons they are cheap(ish) is that they sell all, well, most of their furniture with some assembly required. A few people get turned off by that and sometimes get intimidated by the thought of putting things together. The wife and I sort of enjoy that sort of thing. We were able to put a list together and came back from IKEA with 2 beds, a tall storage shelf, a bookcase, a dining table and 4 chairs and a large comfy chair with a footstool.

Yeah, looks like a lot and it sort of shows. Although I have to admit that it's not as expensive as it sounds when it came to the checkout. The hard part is putting it all together because all those pieces came flat packed and needed assembling.

It's a good thing that the kids were eager to help as well. The wife already put together the chair and bookshelf a few days ago so we only had the beds, the dining table and the tall storage shelf to worry about this weekend. We started putting the furniture together and they were quite the helpers, getting us the instructions or getting the parts together. They even had a hand in turning the allen key which is sometimes the only tool you need to put IKEA furniture together. We got the shelf together in little time and it turned out to be the tallest piece of furniture in our house so manouvering it around was a bit tricky.

The beds took most of our time and enegry. The pieces were heavy so it required a bit of lifting. This time it needed more than an allen key but good thing I had a cordless drill to help me out when it came to screwing in the support struts. I started out just using the screwdriver but found it too hard so I used the drill on the second bed and was able to finish quicker. So without too many mistakes on my part, we were able to finally give the kids their own beds after months of sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Needless to say that they stress tested them right away by using the beds as tramopolines!

Because we still had to get rid of our old dining set, we held off on assembling the new dining table and chairs for now. Good thing too as I am now too tired to do any more assembling for a while.

IKEA furniture is only as sturdy as how you assemble them and I hope we were able to do a good enough job for these pieces to keep together for a while.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Japanese Tonkatsu

Japanese Tonkatsu
Originally uploaded by chazzvid.
Another cooking post. Tonkatsu is easy to make as long as you got the right Japanese breadcrumbs. Pair it with instant miso soup, sliced cabbage with dressing it's almost an authentic Japanese meal. Don't forget the secret ingredient...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Of Siblings and Technology

For the first time, I've finally got all my siblings on voice and video together on the net. My brother is back living in our hometown of Dumaguete and only the other day was able to get his broadband hooked up. We wasted no time in getting the technology to work for us. I called my other siblings in Texas and I hosted a three way Skype conversation on the iMac and we all got on a webcam chat through Yahoo Messenger.

It's great seeing them again in one place. The last time we were all in a room together was more than a couple of years ago. Miss you all guys, I'll catch you online really soon.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Adelaide Elder Park

The other day, the sun came out after so long so I took advantage of it and took a walk on my lunch break. My office is only a short walk to Elder Park, which is just to the north of the city bounded by the River Torrens and Adelaide's Festival Centre. I just strolled around and took pictures with the camera phone.

Many office denizens take advantage of the park during lunch breaks. Some jog along the river, others bike. Most just take their lunch on the grass and take up the scenery. Adelaide's pretty well planned so parks like this are all over the city to break up the urban sprawl so to speak. Anyway, hopefully winter's coming to an end soon and we get to go out and enjoy the sun more often.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hmmm... ( Gourmet Glaze ) Doughnuts

Gourmet Glaze and Bean Bar
Originally uploaded by chazzvid.
Gourment Glaze is Adelaide's answer to Krispy Kreme. It tastes very similar although it's a bit more filling than the airy Krispy Kremes. The shop just opened up this week at the City Cross Arcade and we just brought home a dozen of the normal glazed doughnuts. The girl loved them and downed 2 in one sitting. Our boy on the other hand took one bite and declared "Don't Like It!" Oh well, more for me then, hehehe.