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 37ÂșC 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.