Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A Reflection

Thank God for my blog - none of this I could have remembered on my own :-)

Let's see - On the work front, both hubby and I have been at our respective workplaces for almost 2 years - in fact we started in the same week in 2011! Kids have finished grade 5 & year 9, turning 10 & 15 respectively.
January saw me on a Christmas ornament stitching frenzy, perhaps in a fruitless attempt at surviving the 6 week school holidays in a sane and calm condition.
February meant the return to a crazy schedule of 2 kids at 2 different schools, meaning 2 hours on the road each day, dropping them off and picking them up. It also meant a crazy after school schedule of coaching & participating in our masters calisthenics team on a Monday night as well as a karate class, Tuesday meant another karate class, Wednesday was tennis, Thursday was 2 karate classes, Friday was DS assisting at a karate class & Saturday was either state team training for karate in the first half of the year or black belt training in the second half. Oh, and amongst all that our cat was bitten by a snake. A trillion dollars later, and some touch and go moments, and he's back to his usual self. See why I'm so frazzled yet?
March was the Victorian State Karate Championships, a compulsory event for state team selection. DS started the day by vomiting once. He'd been all stuffed up with a cold so I thought it might just be a build up of mucus because apparently blowing your nose is a sin. We went anyway in the hope it was a one off thing and he'd be fine. Turns out he wasn't and we returned home pretty much as soon as we got there. Not a great start to state team selection! Oh, and the following day he was just fine!
April saw us spend a weekend on the coast, down at Warrnambool, along with more stitching and stash purchasing :-)
May was apparently quiet, with either no time, or nothing to blog about. I'll take a few more months like that thanks! Um, I think it was actually a case of no time as there was a karate tournament or 2 I missed reporting on.  From 2 events at 2 tournaments DS gained a 1st and a 2nd in kata.
June saw another tournament, where DS did incredibly well to win kata, beating an older boy whom he had never beaten before. He was sooooo excited. The state team was announced at the presentation dinner and he made the team for both disciplines on offer!
July was pretty quiet, just another tournament where DS took home 2nd in kata. I believe Monday night debating ended for my other DS. Despite him personally doing well, I don't think his team won a debate. No real surprises as I don't think any class time was devoted to it, and many of the other team members did their prep just hours before the debate. :-O
August was exciting, we went to Plantation Island in Fiji. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, the only down side being the food. We had our first calisthenics competition where we did OK, but not as well as I'd hoped. Youngest DS also had a regional chess competition through school where his school came 3rd, earning him a medal. He personally came 4th overall and was the best one from his school. August was also Nationals for karate, held in Melbourne this year. Unfortunately DS had an unfavourable draw and was knocked out first round in both kata and kumite. He wasn't happy with his results as the last 2 years he has come 4th in kata and was hoping that he may break through for a medal. We also had our 2nd calisthenics competitions where we snuck up at the last minute to take 2nd place overall, a very pleasing result. It was our most successful comp in the masters team history.
September saw more competing, both calisthenics and karate. We did OK in team calisthenics, and also did our first ever duo where we also performed well. Karate was more successful, taking home 1st in kata with a new routine and narrowly missing 3rd in kumite.
October saw our last local calisthenics competition where did well, but not quite well enough to take home another 2nd place trophy. We came close though, with the trophy coming down to the last item again.
November saw the final competitions of the year. There was a karate tournament in Warrnambool so we decided to make a weekend of it. DS did well to take home 2 3rds. The car didn't do so well, getting 2 flat tyres in 2 days, almost leaving us stranded. I travelled interstate to the Gold Coast in Queensland to compete in the first ever calisthenics section at the Pan Pacific Masters Games, in both teams and a duo. We performed well, but were quite outclassed.
December was busy, busy. Lots of baking for Christmas and some exciting achievements for the kids. Eldest DS got his 3rd school award in 3 years, this time it was an overall one, the Julia Gillard award for overall excellence. Youngest DS earned his black belt in karate after 5 1/2 years of training.

Do you see why I need a drink nap now? If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading and get a life, seriously! ;-)
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Friday, December 28, 2012

My Latest WIP

Here is a progress picture of "Keep friends close at Christmas" by Imaginating. I won't be stitching the wording as it won't fit within the snowflake framed fabric.

WIP as of 28/12/12

What it should look like finished, minus the wording
It's so much more vibrant in the latter pic, although I'm using the called for threads. I hope the pic wasn't photoshoppped  to look so bright and glossy. Maybe mine will pop when backstitched? I hope so!
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas - Better Late Than Never

I hope you all had an enjoyable day with family, friends and loved ones. I spent the day with my family at my sister's house, with lots of good food. I've also done some baking for various things, here's rudolph caramel tarts that I made for my youngest son's class break up party:

And some oreo balls and "swirly" cookies gone wrong, but they tasted yummy! These were for dessert for lunch on Christmas day.

A butterscotch cream pie that tasted OK before I froze it, then it was kind of bland :-(. This was also for dessert for lunch on Christmas day.

Here's some "faux"rer roches I made as a gift for my husband.

This was also a request of my husbands, chocolate ripple cake for dessert at dinner on Christmas day.

Here's some bon bons I made for Christmas lunch.

Here's our table set for dinner, just the 4 of us.

And last but not least, just because he's cute, here is my sister's dog Beau with his present from us.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Exciting Award

Yes, I know, I've been absent from my blog for sooooo long! Busy, busy, you know how it goes. Part of that busy-ness was my eldest son's school awards night. He is in his 3rd year of secondary school and has won an award each year. The last 2 years he won a class award, but this year he took out a school wide one! He won the Julia Guilard award which consisted of a personalised letter, a book and $50 voucher for school supplies. Not sure what he won it for exactly but it was something like overall excellence. A very proud moment indeed. :-)
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's a black belt in my house!

My 10 YO son has been doing karate for 5 1/2 years and has achieved quite a lot in that time, but this weekend was a very special moment. He gained his black belt and can now be called a sempai - or teacher/senior student. He had to do a 5 hour session on Friday night that involved basic skills and endurance. Then he came back on Saturday morning for 2 hours of various katas, including a weapons one. Then a lunch break and back for about 3 hours of demonstrations and sparring which was very challenging. Several of the young ones struggled with this aspect but toughed it out to gain their new belt. They also had a nice ceremony at the end where their main instructor walks each student down a candle lit aisle and presents them to the head sensei and everyone who assisted. He has worn his new belt with pride ever since he got it! Congratulations to my little sempai!

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