Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Eve, and scary deadlines are approaching!

We’ve had a marvellous couple of days. It was my husband’s 40th birthday on Thursday, but he wasn’t home. However, as a surprise for him I’d invited his closest friend/surrogate dad and family over to celebrate with us and they came, arriving early hours of Thursday morning. We didn’t end up catching up with them until 1pm because I got sidetracked at Alisa’s and with some last minute Christmas shopping after swimming lessons (thinking they would be sleeping off their travels – they weren’t, entirely, but it worked out okay!). I picked them up at their holiday house and took them to a lovely restaurant on the foreshore for lunch (where we toasted absent husband for his birthday), which killed a couple of hours, then back to our place for swim and toast for dinner, with Master Nine going back with them to sleepover!

Friday was our last Vac Swim day (to my enormous surprise, Miss Six passed stage 5, after only the week’s lessons! Master Nine passed stage 6 as well, but he’s had more practise!), and we had our friends’ boy with us. Came home and got presentable, then went and dragged things out of the shed to take to the charity bins – a bit silly to do AFTER showered and dressed! But that meant once our friends came over, I could dash out and do all the last minute things I needed to do, which included a meander around the madhouse shopping centre, SANS CHILDREN!! Got home just after my cousin called in, so had a chat with her, and once she left, we all piled in the car to go pick up husband from the plane. He was very surprised, and very pleased, to see our visitors.

Today I had booked us on the Fremantle to Perth Swan River Lunch Cruise for husband’s birthday, which was very nice, but we were all (particularly the kids) getting pretty weary by late afternoon. Mutual decision to all have an early night (well, except me, but that’s normal) in the hopes that Christmas Day will be full of cheer, not tears! Fingers crossed. We’re having pressies here in the morning, then heading for the hills to have Christmas lunch with my rellies – and then I really MUST do some more packing! Eep *deadlines loom*

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Too busy socialising to post, or pack!

It’s a really stupid idea to try to move house at this time of year. Christmas itself is bad enough in terms of social events and things that need to get done. Add to that a husband who is turning 40 (tomorrow) and an interstate move which involves saying farewell to friends of five different family members (okay, mostly my friends, but still!), well, that’s just crazy.

This past three days we seem to have just flitted from one social engagement to the next. Each day begins with Vac Swim. I LOVE Vac Swim, and am devastated that we won’t be doing anymore – four years of summer (Oct and Dec/Jan) holiday swimming lessons (for $10 for two weeks!) has seen the two biggest kids become quite competent swimmers indeed, and poor Master One won’t get that. Vac Swim is also great because it gives you a daily reason to get out of the house on holidays, and we’d often spend a couple of hours a day swimming with mates after lessons. Loved it! So decided to do one last week of it, even though I knew it would be crazy cakes round here. We snagged the early lesson, so really it doesn’t impact on our day other than to mean we are up and facing the day at a respectable hour, rather than a lazy one! So it’s good. WA folk with school aged kids, MAKE THE MOST OF VAC SWIM, IT’S AWESOME! (at a pool near you these holidays!).

Following swimming on Monday, I was lucky enough to be kid-free, as a friend took both big kids home for a day-long play date (Master One was at his final day of daycare). I squished in a bunch of jobs (including being here while the house got de-spidered) before heading out to lunch with Jody (was delightful on lots of levels – gonna miss her!). A few little jobs done on the way home from that, another hour or so at home alone which involved lots of secret present wrapping, then off to pick up all the kids to go to the Bellini residence for a long overdue dinner with them – one thing that I really hate about moving is that you do all these things you really should have done YEARS before, and then think how stupid it was that you hadn’t done them sooner. This was one such thing 😦 Had a great night with them, and they are two more awesome people I will miss.

Tuesday saw us with a friend from the WASLA committee and her kids come visit from Perth, along with Lee from work for part of it – another long overdue social meeting for Brenda and I! In the late afternoon following that we dashed out to toast the lovely new house that Jody has built and to say a final goodbye. *sniff*

And today has been fantastic, with about 24 kids from a bucketload of families from the kids’ school over for a long, fun day of play and chat. Almost without exception the kids were great, and the mother company definitely was! A little sunburnt now, despite liberal application of sunscreen, but really enjoyed the chance to say goodbye to them all.

And I’m feeling rather impressed with myself as on top of all that, the house is clean (thanks Sam for doing many of the dishes today before I got to them!), the washing is done and the back yard/patio are cleaned up ready for the gardeners tomorrow! Amazing! While the social whirl slows fairly dramatically for the next couple of days, it’s not non-existent but I shall report on that after the event, in order to keep secrets secret 🙂

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Photo spam – pre-Christmas Croft family lunch

So my extended family is a bit hopeless – moderately terrible at getting together, even though many of us live less than an hour apart (or less). I see a reasonable amount of my dad’s brother and his wife, not nearly enough of my cousins, and even less of some other aunties and uncles! So naturally, just before we leave is the perfect time to get in contact with some I’ve not seen for over 15 years! It’s the way it goes, eh? My wonderful cuz Melissa decided she would make the effort and pull the family together, inviting all the family who live relatively locally to a pre-Christmas family get together. She did a great job, getting my dad’s eldest sister and family to join us (the ones I mostly haven’t seen since I was a kid, and even then not much!), as well as the usual ones who see each other more regularly. Sadly, one cousin and his family couldn’t come as they had a sick child, and his dad (who just had a back operation), mum and sister couldn’t make it either – I’m sad about that, but we had a lovely afternoon. Mel and her fiance and mum (my auntie Jacey) did a brilliant job on the lunch, the set up and made sure it all ran smoothly. The food was delicious, the company excellent, and we had a great day. I even bullied them all into a bunch of family photos (which then took me several hours to work through!). Missed absent family (my mum and dad would have liked to be there too) but glad we had those we did.

Crofts of two generations








Croft cousins. We five are all grandchildren of Gwen and Leo Croft. There are lots more of us (my brother Todd, Holly's brother Tristan, Melissa's brother Des, our Perth cousins Sharon and Matt, and younger cousins in Queensland, Claire, Rebecca and Callum)

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Photo spam – Last Day @ Kolbe

My library (LRC) to the left of the shot, looking across Kolbe's lovely Avenue to the Chapel.








Kelly and Maria - two wonderful women I'll miss so much!









Kolbe English Team










Kolbe LRC team - I'll miss you! *sniff*








Rosie and Jody - smart and beautiful and inspirational!










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Less than two weeks to go!

We’re on the final countdown. School is out (the kids finished on Wednesday, me on Friday with the staff Christmas party day). The container is here, ready to pack (it’s bigger than I thought – thank goodness!). The house is tenanted, with a 12 month lease, I think, starting January 10. Yay! Things are moving along. Eep!

The week just gone has been crazy cakes – just seemed to lurch from one thing to another, with barely a moment to catch breath and get organised for the next onslaught. Monday and Wednesday were my last official work days, so spent a lot of time trying to figure out what else I could do to make the transition easier for my staff next year, and finishing off bits and pieces of jobs. Was spoiled rotten by my Kris Kringle giver (who turned out to be Lee, my wonderful library assistant, with help from Cheryl, my other wonderful (and apparently crazy, according to all the speeches yesterday!) library assistant), and I had fun spoiling my recipient too (Lynda Mc, who works so hard on behalf of everyone in the school). KK at Kolbe is a week long affair, and is a lot of fun. Just one more thing I’ll miss!

Tuesday we went to a lunch that Jo organised, with a group of mums from the kids’ school who I’ve become friends with over the past couple of years. Despite the general grumpiness of the small children present (is that catching? They are usually all so good but were that day not, Master One particularly!), we had a really nice time – was good to catch up with them because I really haven’t had much of a chance this past few months.

Was supposed to go to a WASLA meeting that afternoon, but simply could not manage to fit the 2-3 hour meeting plus 2 hours travelling into the schedule, so reluctantly apologised. Had to get things ready for the home inspection the next morning, which I did, and we had a good response and on Friday, accepted the application of two lovely sounding tenants. Tick one off the list!

Wednesday afternoon I picked Miss Six up for a birthday party (another chance to enjoy company of friends, particularly as I left the boys at daycare so didn’t have to be harassed by them!). Thursday we picked husband up from the airport around lunchtime (I’ve never been so glad I checked online about his flight status – was delayed almost two hours, which I used very productively at home but would have been WILD if I’d had to waste them at the airport, with three children in tow!), and we stopped in at Sizzler for lunch on the way home.

He left again for work at 4am Friday (yup, about 16 hours at home in three weeks – this is why we’re moving to Tassie!) and we were out the door by 7.15, so I could get to work with just a little time to spare before practise for carols. I really enjoy the staff Christmas day at Kolbe, and will miss it. For four years, it’s been a highlight (if a bit sad sometimes) – I love being in the staff choir, performing carols and songs during Mass, which, though I’m not Catholic, I always enjoy for the sense of peacefulness and community that arises from it. This year, I received a candle and blessing as part of the staff farewells (a Kolbe tradition which is really lovely) – Lee managed to get through the beautiful blessing she and Cheryl had arranged for me, without too many tears!

Following Mass, we had the last of the staff farewells (quite a lot of people leaving this year, which meant farewells were done over several days). This included mine, in which Jody said many lovely things about me, and also managed without too many tears (darn you people, when YOU cry it makes ME cry!). I’m really going to miss Kolbe in so many ways, in particular for the friends I have made there. *sniff*

Me with Jody (one of the most awesome women I know)

Then it was the discovery of who everyone’s KK people were, and we were off to Meadow Springs golf club for a wonderful lunch, a few drinks and last conversations. I won a prize in the raffle, ate way too much, took loads of photos, and received and gave lots of goodbye hugs. *double sniff* It was a long and fairly emotional day, even though I’ll probably see some people again before we leave, and more next year on one of the trips I have already got planned! Still, it’s sad.

Anyway, today we’re off to Meadow Springs again, for a family Christmas BBQ at my cousins. In fact, we’re supposed to already be on our way, but Master One is asleep so I’m letting him have as much as possible. Best get a wriggle on though. At least the busiest week is now over and we can relax a bit. Um, no, wait. We already have three social things booked in for next week, plus, you know, PACKING. Eep!

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