Monday, December 31, 2007

Hot New Year's Eve

It's officially a heat wave in Adelaide. Today was the 3rd consecutive day of over 40ºC temperatures. The mercury topped around 42º just an hour ago. Last night was also the hottest night Adelaide night in 60 years with the temperature not going down 29ºC overnight. Looks like a sweltering New Year's Eve for us here in South Australia.

At any rate, Happy New Year's to all and try to keep cool ( or warm ) wherever you are.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Enchanted on a Summer Day

Today was another typical Adelaide summer scorcher. Temperatures topped around 40 degrees celsius so we planned a whole day at the mall to watch the Disney movie Enchanted and do a little post-christmas shopping. We've been waiting for the movie to open ever since the kids and us watched the first trailers on the net and seen some of the video clips. Sure enough, we all liked the movie and walked out of the cinema still humming some of the tunes.

It was a great film, it was sort of a Disney movie that wasn't a Disney film. It still had its happpy ending but had a different way of getting to it. Anyway, I've noticed that the girl actually sat through almost 90% of the movie which is something. The boy still had his restless moments though. One good thing we did was to have them go to the toilets before the movie. That ensured no toilet related interruptions at all and we parents actually got to see all of the movie. Which is probably why we doubly enjoyed it too.

After the movie, we had lunch and got haircuts for the kids. We did a spot of shopping as well because there weren't that many people doing actual buying. They probably spent all their money in the last few days so there weren't any actual lines at the checkouts. This wasn't what we expected considering the post Christmas sales but it was a pleasant suprise.

We knew it was still hot outside so we actually just wandered around the mall until the late afternoon/ We figured that the heat wouldn't be too bad by that time and we started for home around 4PM. The next few days would see even hotter temperatures here in Adelaide but considering what we spent today, I don't think we can afford to cool down at the malls anymore... :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Adelaide 1 - Sydney 3

Sydney FC won the game. Adelaide lead early in the first half but a senseless red card left Adelaide with a man down soon after. After a great shot from outside the box by Sydney player Santalab, the visitors went into gear and the home team struggled to keep up after that. Anyway, it was the first soccer game at the Adelaide oval normally reserved for cricket. It was a good start too as over 25,000 people attended the match.

Teams Take The Pitch

Adelaide Oval

Waiting for kickoff Adelaide United vs Sydney FC.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kid Funnies Part 23

Multiplayer, originally uploaded by chazzvid.

We just bought the new Simpsons game which has dual player cooperative mode. Unfortunately for the little boy, no one wanted to play at the time so he took matters into his own hands ( or feet! ). He played one controller with his toes and he was actually good at it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007, The Day After

It was a busy and fun day yesterday. After going to mass on Christmas eve, we had a little dinner at home. Not the usual noche buena of course but it was ok nonetheless, just garlic prawns and pasta and I had a hand at baking a Christmas ham with a pineapple glaze.

Anyway, before going off to bed, the kids left some cookies and milk out for Santa. The wife and I stayed up a bit to try and wait up for him( as parents usually do on Christmas eve! ). We didn't stay up too late because we knew that the kids would be bright and early in the morning to check out what the big guy left them under the tree.

Sure enough, the girl woke up first and was so happy to see that she got what she wanted from Santa that she woke us up too. The boy was still asleep when we got up. Looks like he still hasn't gotten the hang of waking up early on Christmas morning. Eventually he did get up and both kids had so much fun opening the gifts from us and from relatives and friends. Of course, they didn't have to do any unwrapping for the gifts Santa left them. They were eager to get on and ride the bikes right away!

Unfortunately for them, we couldn't go out and test drive the bikes because we still had to prepare for the Christmas lunch we were hosting at our house. We invited a few friends and their families to a Christmas lunch at home. We prepared a sort of Mexican style meal with chili con carne and corn bread, prawns, make your own fajitas with all the trimmings and a non-Mexican meal of hotdogs on sticks in case the kids weren't into the Mexican thing.

Lunch went well, we all had a good time just eating and talking. The kids just played a video games indoors. The PS2 EyeToy game is a great party starter that's for sure. We were worrying all week about whether we prepared enough food but we ended up with so much food. So much for the diet of course but, hey, it's Christmas!

This morning, we went to the park so the kids can practice more of their riding. Because the bikes had training wheels on, the kids soon got the hang of riding. They learned how to do their braking and slowing down and speeding up. It was nice to see them so independent ( sort of ). We did a round around the park and despite a minor tumble or two, the kids had fun. Because it was getting a bit hot we didn't stay long and soon they peddled for home. I'm pretty sure we'll have to make this a routine for all of us now ( I hope ).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lechon Kawali and Adobong Kangkong

I had a nice piece of pork belly defrosted in the fridge so I decided to make lechon kawali ( or a Filipino style roast pork ) for dinner. I also bought some kangkong, or what passes for kangkong over here to make adobong kangkong which makes a great side dish with the lechon. Instead of traditionally deep frying the pork, I just placed the pork in a rack in the oven and the results were the same, even a little bit "healthier" as I didn't have to to so much oil for deep frying. The pictures came out great too... :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

'Twas The Weekend Before Christmas

And it's been a hectic couple of weeks. Over this time we've attended a couple of Christmas picnics which was part of both our office's Christmas festivities. The thing was, both were held at the same day. We first went to my wife's Christmas picnic at Rymil park. It was brunch thing so we had a great eggs, snags and bacon picnic and the kids had a fun time at the park area. We didn't stay long as we had to go to my office's Christmas function at a different vanue. So, straight from brunch we went to lunch. Aside from the catered lunch, there was a huge fun slide, jumping castles, pony and camel rides as well as a visit from Santa too!

Of course, the kids had the most fun. Not only did they get their fill of the jumping castle ( which actually deflated while they were on! ) they also did the huge fun slides ( with me of course! ) but they got presents too!

At any rate, it's also the start of school holidsay so the wife is taking time off work to stay and keep the kids occupied for some of the school holidays. She already has her hands full not only with making sure the kids don't get bored but also to plan out our own family's Christmas activities.

As for me, I still have to be at the office but hopefully it wont be too busy though.

At home we're sort of busy too as we're preparing to host a few friends over for Christmas day lunch. Nothing much really but I guess it's what Christmas is all about, just getting together with friends. It's so different here because we don't have family nearby, it's really the friends that make Christmas around here for us.

At any rate, speaking of friends and family, if you read this you probably are one of ours and from our family to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and a joyous New Years!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kindy Christmas Concert

The other day our son's kindergarten held their traditional Christmas concert. He played the part of Santa in one of the songs and pretending to be stuck in the chimney! He he had lots of fun and he did the actions for the song perfectly. He looked so cute in his Santa outfit too.

As the concert was about to start, the teacher took him and his friend aside and whispered something to them. Turned out he was given the job to welcome everyone to the concert in a loud voice as the concert began. Then they started to sing their Christmas carols and the kids were enthusiastic about singing Jingle Bells! After a few more songs they ended the concert again with the boy and friend saying goodbye to everyone and inviting them to stay for a quick party after the concert. We remember that his big sister actually had this job last time she was at kindy. They are not so different after all.

But after the concert, there was surprise visit from Santa! He gave out some gifts to all the kids and everyone was quite happy to get something from the big man.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Boy's Kindy Report Card

So time flies. It's our boy's last week at Kindergarten and they took home their report cards. The wife and were pretty proud of him and of what his teachers wrote about his time in kindy.

Nicolas is a bright, conscientious child who has been a very special member of our Pre-school. His gentle, caring nature and friendly smile have endeared him to all staff and students. He will be sorely missed as he begins his new school adventure.

Nicolas has advanced numeracy and literacy skills. He is capable of reading most children's books independently, with the ability to utilise effective word attack skills for any unfamiliar words. His writing skills are also advanced, competently writing many words legibly in proper sentence formation.

Nicolas is a relatively quiet member of group discussions. WIth encouragement he happily engages in conversation and contributes in an articulate and valuable manner. It was such a pleasure to see his confident and most informative 'My trip to the Philippines' presentation in front of the whole group.

Nicolas enjoys outdoor activities. His sense of fun and adventure, combined with a sense of safety and appropriate behaviour, have enabled him to be a positive role model for his peers. Nicolas is looking forward to school. He is well prepared for the challenges that await him and we wish him all the best for the future. Good luck, Nicolas!

We had a little chuckle about his "sense of safety". We know he's a big stickler for rules and he almost always ends up admonishing playmates when they don't abide by them. Before we enter play areas, for example, he'd read the rules on the sign board first like "no shoes" or "no running" etc. and he'll make sure to follow them. Not only that, he tends to remind the other kids too!

At any rate, we're so happy that he had such a great experience at kindy. We hope he has the same fantastic time at big school.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

School Christmas Concert

A few days ago, our daughter's school put up a Christmas concert. All the year levels presented a Christmas themed performance in front of a large audience of parents and relatives. Our daughter's class partnered with another class to act out a story about 10 little angels. Each child was asked to wear a costume based on their part. When the girl came home one day telling us she was the narrator of the story, we weren't sure what costume she should wear. Good thing the teacher said that she could wear anything and she ended up wearing a dress and with tinsel in her hair.

We practiced her part over the next couple of weeks and when the night came she was more than prepared. She did very well in reading out the lines in front of the large crowd. As she read out the words, the class did their part to act out the story on stage. Seeing her on the stage with the spotlight on her, we couldn't help but feel so proud for. I was amazed at how composed and confident she and her co-narrator were to speak in front of a large audience.

It didnt' take long for the concert to finish and as we collected her from her classroom, her teacher told us how great she did and what a treasure we have in her. It was nice to hear that coming from her. I guess we must be doing something right. :)

P.S. Video to be uploaded soon!

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Hot Water System

Our old hot water system died over the last weekend. I had to scramble to find a new one and have it installed. It's our fault really. The old system was way past it's 10 year lifespan and we should have replaced it when we had the chance.

I actually had the day off last Friday and I thought I could relax for a bit after I brought the kids to school and kindy. But when I got home and I heard a large leaking sound from outside the house, I knew that wouldn't be possible. The old system sprung a huge leak and I guess we were lucky I was home to catch it before we lost too much water.

Anyway, I had to find someone to quote us a new system and have it installed but it took a few days for them to come over and do it. In the meantime, we had to endure cold showers for a while there. After a few days, the tradies were able to replace the old tank system with a continuous hot water system. It's a bit expensive but hopefully it would save us water and money in the long run.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sunday Afternoon in Glenelg

We did something different and visited the Glenelg beach today. It was very very warm yesterday so it was quite good that the sky was overcast and was a bit cooler today when we went out. First, We drove and parked in the city and went to church at the cathedral. Then took the new tramline from Victoria Square all the way down to the beach precint of Glenelg. The city of Adelaide just recently extended the trams to go all the way from one end of the city to another. It used to be that it only stopped in the middle and buses took people all the way to the end. At any rate, we rode the old tram once before, on the last day those trams were meant to be retired no less. This time around, we got to ride the new trams and it was a different experience. I have to say though that the old trams really had character and this time around, the new trams just felt like another mass transit system.

Anyway, we arrived in Glenelg just in time for lunch. Glenelg is one of Adelaide's beach side suburbs and quite a tourist spot. Aside from the beach there are lots of shops, restaurants and there's also a huge indoor amusement center called "The Beach House" where we took the kids once and they had a ball.

The wife had a hankering for fish and chips and that's what we had. I myself just had a fish and salad and the wife and kids got their fill of fish and chips. The specialty of the restaurant was fresh local South Australian oysters and we had some of that too. We liked the fish as the batter they used was quite light and tasty. We ordered half a dozen oysters Kilpatrick and even under the sauce and bacon bits, we could taste that the oysters were plump and juicy. Real good South Aussie oysters. Wish we could have had more but, unlike in the Philippines where we can have a sack full of oysters for next to nothing, over here it's not that cheap.

After lunch, the wife and I had a coffee and the kids had ice cream. We then took a walk to end of the jetty (pier) just to see the sights. The kids were really interested in the deep water off the edge as some teenagers were jumping off to and dived into it. I must admit, even though we know the kids can swim now, I was still a bit nervous about letting go of the kid's hands as we walked along the jetty as the railings weren't exactly kid proof.

After the walk, we stayed a little while on the beach as the kids played on the sand. We didn't stay long and after a quick walk along the shops, we headed for the city on the tram again. It was a good day and something tells me, we'll probably be back as summer holidays are fast approaching.

Friday, November 30, 2007

School Uniforms

The boy is starting school next year and we had a uniform fitting a couple of weeks ago. As expected, the boy went for the smallest sizes. The ladies at the uniform service even joked on how he was too small to go start school. Anyway, here he is, trying on the school uniform. Take note, those are supposed to be shorts, not pants!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kid Funnies Part 22

We were in the car, on the way home today. We were asking the kids how their days went in school and in kindy. The boy said, "My teacher said I had big strong muscles!"

"Really?", I said. "What can you do with your big strong muscles?"

"I can lift a car!", he said.

"Not a real car," I said, "maybe a toy car?"

"How about the world!", the boy said.

"Not the world," his sister replied, "Only God can lift the world."

The boy thought for a second, "Or maybe really, really, really big astronauts!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Government

Australia will wake up tomorrow with a new government in power. After 11 years in office, the old government will make way for Kevin Rudd's Australian Labor Party. It's quite an exciting time for many of the Labor party because this is effectively the first time they'd be running the country after so many years sitting on the opposition bench.

We went to our polling place early Saturday morning. There was no queue at all and we were in and out of there in 10 minutes. We also took the kids into the polling booth to show them how we would do the voting. In the lead-up to the election, there were ads on TV showing people how important the vote was and how to actually vote that the kids were looking at our shoulders checking and making sure we voted correctly.

Anyway, just our way of exposing the kids to electoral process and to how democracy works in Australia ( although they might be too young to get it. )

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Australia Elections

Today's the general election and by tomorrow, Australia will find out whether we'll have a new government or continue on with the same. Elections are a big thing here but not quite as busy and hectic as in the Philippines. Although the political parties may have started their campaign push early this year, the date for the actual election wasn't finalised until 5 weeks ago which means the parties really had only 5 weeks of solid campaigning.

I'm not overly political but as I said before, voting does give you a sense of participating in a democracy, more so here than in the Philippines. Here, you know your vote really is valuable and not because some political party is out to buy it outright.

The last time I voted, the wife and I took turns minding the kids while we went into the voting place one at a time. This time, I'm thinking of bringing the kids into the booth with us so they can get a sense of importance of voting. They've ben seeing ads on TV about the election and I think it would be good to show them what it really means.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Roast Rack of Lamb

Sunday dinner was a roast rack of lamb served with cous-cous. This is the second time I cooked lamb and this turned out exceptionally well. The fat was well rendered and the meat still moist. My wife says she gives it 5 stars, hehehe. The girl quite enjoyed the cous-cous actually and we were mildly surpised that she finished everything in her plate. The boy, however, hated the cous-cous and I had to resort to making him a ham and cheese sandwich. Oh well, you can't please everybody.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas Decorations

My wife has been busy getting the house all decorated in the Christmas spirit. She and the kids got the tree up and decorated this weekend. We also took out the belen, ( the Nativity scene ). There's one more piece missing on the tree but otherwise all it's lacking are the presents underneath.

Still doesn't feel like Christmas when it's a very hot 37ºC outside. Somehow though, playing Christmas songs on the stereo can drop the temperature a few degrees. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Wheel Of Time

I started reading The Wheel Of Time about 12 years ago. It was a great read for the first 4 or 5 books then it got so confusing with plot lines left dangling and unfinished; whole chapters with nothing going on. I finally stopped reading it at about the seventh book. It's about the 11th or 12th book now and it hasn't ended yet. I hope whoever takes up the gauntlet of writing the series end the fans' suffering and finish it already.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Multicultural Day at Kindy

The boy had been learning about different cultures the past few weeks at kindergarten. Since the teachers knew we just came back from the Philippines, we were asked to make a short presentation. It included things like the map, the currency, the jeepney and some costumes. He showed some of the coins and money notes we used in our recent trip, and also a toy jeepney we got a few years back. At the end of it all, he distributed dried mangoes to the rest of the class. All the kids (and teachers) loved them, some even came back for seconds.

This week, they had a picnic where everyone was asked to bring snacks from all over the world, and to dress in a cultural costume. I remember my oldest also had this event a couple years back, that time we had no costume but I actually made the effort to make a batch of puto, with some food coloring to appeal to the kids.

This time around, we had a costume on hand (barong tagalog), but I was not feeling well enough to cook something like puto again. Good thing we got a lot of pandesal last time we were at the asian store.

It was nice to see the kids dig into foods like papadums, prawn crackers, pizza, spring rolls and sweet things like tiramisu. Funny to see that the first thing Nico got was the pandesal. Oh well, what can I do, he really likes it. After the picnic, he ran straight to the playground still wearing his barong. Now that's something you don't see everyday.

Lazy Saturday

Just spending a lazy Saturday afternoon at home. We just got back from the doctor's (again) as the wife wasn't feeling any better. She's still coughing and had a fever this morning. This time the doctor gave her another course of antibiotics. We hope this will clear her up soon.

I'm writing this up while the kids are playing Lego Star Wars and the wife is taking a rest. Today is the annual Adelaide Christmas Pageant and we'd made it a tradition to put up the Christmas tree after right after the pageant is over. We didn't go and watch the parade this time but we plan to put up the Christmas tree later albeit without any decorations for now until the wife is feeling better.

In the meantime, it's getting warmer in Adelaide. Summer is almost here. It's clear blue skies outside and the heat reminds me so much of Dumaguete during summer. The clear blue skies and the bright sun just puts me in a summer mood. All I want to do is read a good book by the sofa with a bottle of ice cold Coke within arm's reach.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Boy's Turn

The assistant at our doctor's office always kids us when we come for an appointment. When I book in one of the kids to see the doctor, she always asks when she'd book in the rest of the family.

"You guys get sick one after the other," she laughs. "Might as well make appointments for all of you."

True enough, after the girl got sick last week, my wife had her turn at the doctor's a few days later. Today, it was the boy's turn. He had a fever over the weekend and some bad coughing. This time I stayed home and took him to the doctor's. He's now on antibiotics again and is as makulit as ever. He seems to be on the mend and hopefully will be well enough by tomorrow.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Food Trip

You always gain weight during a holiday and we certainly did on this occasion. One thing that we miss when we're back in Australia is always the food that we can get in the Philippines. The combination of good food at cheap prices can always be found anywhere over there. Here, it's always either good food at at higher cost, or cheap food that isn't exactly the best meal.

One of the best meals I've had during the holiday was at a farmer's market just south of my h ometown. Every Wednesday, cattle farmers from around the province make the trek to Malatapay, a place near the seaside to buy and sell cattle. There a weekly market opens up where people buy and sell almost everthing from dried fish, to slippers to clock radios and umbrellas. It's a busy place and near the end of the markets a lot of food stalls set up shop enticing market goers with fresh fish and lechon ( roast pork ).

We already planned to go and on Wednesday we set off and arrived just in time for lunch. We spied an empty bamboo table and the whole family took up their places as my mom and dad looked at (literally) what was cooking. Soon we had before us rice cooked in coconut palms and the best lechon I've ever had. We also had fresh fish in soup and chose a fish to be grilled on the hot coals of the eatery. There was hardly any talking as all of us dug in.

Soon we were nursing our full stomachs as we finished lunch and began to walk around to see some of the market. There was lots to see with around the different stalls. The kids also wandered down the seashore with Lolo Dadad and bought themselves a fish. We didn't stay long as the rains began to roll in so we got on the van and started for home. It might have been just a short visit to Malatapay but we won't be forgetting that meal anytime soon. And the cost? Probably more than 10 of us had a hearty meal for less then $5 a pop. That's good cheap eating...

The kids browsing at the Malatapay Markets

Buying fish with Lolo Dadad

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hard of Hearing

Our girl's been sick early this week. She's all fine now but somehow she's gotten hard of hearing. We think she might have had an ear infection and there might still be fluid in her ear. She can still hear but we have to repeat everything we say and sometimes have to talk louder to her. She's coping well enough but if she's still like this next week we might have another visit to the doctor to be sure it's not glue ear or something like that. For now, we have to get used to the louder TV and being a bit louder for her sake.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Welcome To Leopard

Just upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5 this weekend. Still restoring applications and settings right now but all looks good. The new Safari even supports Blogger's additional blogging tools.

Friday, October 26, 2007

She's Sick Today

We got a call from our daughter's school today. She wasn't feeling well and threw up at school. My wife had to hurriedly changed her plans for today. She was supposed to help out at my son's kindy and do a show-and-tell with the boy about the Philippines. Instead, the boy had to do it by himself with some help from his teacher.

The little girl is resting now, she had a 38.9C fever this afternoon which came down but she's still not feeling well and is now resting in bed. Anyway, we tried getting a doctor's appointment for tomorrow but we were suprised that they were fully booked and the earliest appointment we can get is Monday. At any rate, we just gave her parecetamol for now and she's sleeping early tonight. We hope she'll be better tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

From The Travel Journal: Manila Leg


Yesterday it was (cousin) Maya's birthday and when we played the first game I won the grand prize and before that I helped decorate the cup cakes. And we couldnt eat the cake because Maya is going to have another party. Then we went to sleep.


Yesterday we went swimming at the palms club. My favourite thing was going in the deep pool because I could do a bomb. Then we had lunch. For lunch I had cold noodles and plain rice. Then we went home.


Yesterday we went shopping. We had breakfast at a hotel. Then we went to the Manila Polo Club. Later then we went to Fully Booked ( a book store ). And later we went to Krispy Kreme. And we had a grand tour and I made my own doughnut. And after we had dinner.


Yesterday we met Tita Zai and Tito Ian. We had lunch together. And then we went shopping. While I was waiting for Tita Zai and Tito Ian my tooth fell off and that night the tooth rat came. ( The tooth rat didn't take a bath ).


Yesterday we had early Christmas. For dessert we had jelly. The colour of the jelly was green and red. And we opened the presents. There were lots of presents. We had lots and lots of fun!