Celebrations and Mothers Day relaxation

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Last week marked the 20th anniversary of our beloved school Stevenson PACT Elementary School – it was such a fun filled event full of entertainment, dessert, food trucks, art – a mosaic, and what the kids loved most of all was balloon swords. It was hilarious to see all the kids out on the field sword fighting with balloon swords, and everyone was having such a grand old time doing it!

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The alumni enjoyed seeing their friends who were at other schools and had an excellent time playing, and the adults of the community enjoyed catching up on life.

The school was decorated with some very thoughtful ideas like this tree full of favourite memories and the watercolour flowers made by the kids.

At the end of this week, we say farewell to the beloved spiderweb that I am climbing – it will be removed over the summer to place the new temporary school buildings in its place. It is such a fun play structure, and apparently, the new play structure is nature inspired so we will see how that compares to this super cool spiderweb.

In quiet times when not studying or driving the kids around I sit and knit and made a couple of pussyhats this week for one of our teachers – this is my son’s 1st-grade teacher who wanted a hat for herself and for her daughter. We saw each other at the Women’s March, and I suggested I knit a hat for her in the beautiful Malabrigo Rasta.

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Saturday was a busy day with a yoga class and helping my friend out with a knitting party in the afternoon. So Sunday I really had to get into gear with my last 2 assessments for this teaching period and get on track and now after devoting a few hours of my mothers day to study I feel I can get through it all! Mother’s day was lovely with the kids making a beautiful spread of pancakes, kombucha and a cup of tea complete with flowers freshly picked from the neighbourhood. I said to Ash to come on a bike ride with me as I wanted to take him out for some exercise and we rode a nice 10 miles (16 km) out on the bay. The head wind was not very enjoyable, but it was so lovely to get out and about on such a beautiful day!

And there is my beloved bike on the trail with no one around, we found some binoculars and spotted a pelican – next time we will take our bird watching binoculars!

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Ch-Ch-Changes

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Visiting the beautiful City of Melbourne is always a joy with all the memories that come to mind discovering new places to visit with the kids. When I lived in Melbourne over 10 years ago I enjoyed a lot of ‘growing up and finding myself’ time here! Everything from finding my love of art, discovering my calling as a designer, huge nights out partying, broken hearts, love affairs, living alone, living broke week to week as a student, riding and owning a bike, living in share accommodation with strangers, freelancing jobs in many offices in the city and surrounds, enjoying eating and cooking food and finding the love of my life has all been a part of my life patchwork here in Melbourne.

This panorama is up on top of a hill at the Royal Park Nature Play Playground in Parkville just behind a place where I used to take my little blue bike and ride the oval round and round to get some exercise in the city away from the traffic and up behind the native trees. Everywhere I go I am telling the kids this is where I rode my bike or that is where I lived. There were many good times back in the day in this amazing city!

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Looking down into the city from the top of the hill and how the landscape has changed dramatically with lots of high rise apartment blocks. I don’t think living in an apartment block will be that appealing to a modern family these days. A lot of the 1 BR and 1 Bath apartments sit empty with a price tag of $450,000 plus attracting many an overseas investor looking to plant some cash somewhere.

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Still the architecture of some of the buildings are a sight to behold with so many details. The building on the right is a building belonging to the RMIT Design Hub with an outer skin of disks of glass on the exterior of the building. This fascinating except is from the Sean Godsell architect website: In particular the outer skin of the Hub incorporates automated sunshading that includes photovoltaic cells, evaporative cooling and fresh air intakes that improve the internal air quality and reduce running costs. The cells have been designed so that they can be easily replaced as research into solar energy results in improved technology and part of the northern façade is actually dedicated to ongoing research into solar cells to be conducted jointly by industry and RMIT. The entire building façade, in other words, has the capacity to be upgraded as solar technology evolves and may one day generate enough electricity to run the whole building.

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Down the road from our place we found a wall of cats belonging to Cat Boarding Melbourne and who can resist a lucky cat and Missy wearing her fave cat dress.

Finally I had my first sit down coffee in a Melbourne coffee shop at Heartattack and Vine in Lygon Street, Carlton. We made a visit to my friend at Readings to get some book recommendations of local authors and kids chapter books. Mr Ash now loves any book by David Walliams and is trying to collect as many books as he can before we leave Australia. Each of the books he read in one day and so far he has collected Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie . He compares the writing of David Walliams to another of one of his fave authors Roald Dahl.

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As the day seemed too good to go back home and stay indoors we ventured out to the Royal Park Nature Play Playground in Parkville as I had heard from my sister in law that it was named the nation’s best playground by landscape architects. The design of the play structures are fantastic in their design, as you see chunky tightropes with rope to hang on up above the top of a crows nest which leads to a gigantic spider web. The kids really enjoyed navigating the space up high. Even I enjoyed climbing over the huge log sculpture and climbing in the nets – great exercise in balance and body strength. Lucky my yoga planks and chaturanga help me lift myself up onto the logs, it’s a great workout!

The kids enjoyed watching the videos of  themselves jump off the structure – you can see how much fun they had at this playground. As we left there were screams of can we go back with Daddy soon?!

Day out to Lake Elizabeth in Fremont

It was hiking Sunday and the weather was just fine and sunny so we decided to enjoy a day out with the family. The plan was to go to Mission Peak, Fremont and hike up there but by the time we got there it was choc a block with people everywhere and no where to park in a neighbourhood full of ugly million dollar mansions, so we blew off that idea. So we decided to take the kiddos to a park instead and found Lake Elizabeth at Central Park, Fremont. The funny thing about Lake Elizabeth is that it is named after Elizabeth it’s sister city in Australia. We have driven through Elizabeth on the way to the Barossa Valley and all I can say is that I saw a lot of p*rn and hydropnics shops. If you like that sort of thing great, but not my bag at all!

We met a few locals of the lake and this gaggle of geese were quite noisy and my son overheard someone say they bite so we left them alone.

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The 2 mile walk around the lake was just lovely and it did take us ages with snack and nature breaks but it was Sunday and it is nice to relax. Seeing the first signs of spring in the blossoms I enjoyed as it was the first time I took my 25mm to 105mm lens out for a wander. I just love it!

Come on Spring do your thing!

The kids were keen to enjoy the playground with the treehouse after our walk so we spent ages over there. This playground was super cool with a redwood replica play structure and huge boulders made out of fibreglass for the kids to climb – they just loved it. Here is Missy hiding in one of the many caves.

Missy hiding in a cave

We finally left as it was way past lunch time and time to go as there was one more event to go to in the afternoon – Chuck e Cheese, be warned that place is a zoo on a Sunday afternoon. We left with the gaggle of geese saying one last farewell with their loud honks. I am sure they just want to make friends 🙂 but we weren’t willing to risk a nip of a geese’s beak.

Gidday to you guys – Lake Elizabeth is cool right?!