The last few months have raced by yet again and we have had a wonderful time with the family!
While we're were house sitting for Jo's neighbours as mentioned in the last blog, we were able to have Josh and Ellie come and stay for a few days which meant we had all our grandchildren together with us. That doesn't happen as often as we would like and was a mission in itself with all the kilometres involved to make it happen.
We met Josh and Ellie halfway of a 5 hour trip and brought them back to Coolah with us where they were greeted by a very excited Olivia. It was a quick game in the back yard and dinner before bath and bed ready for a busy day tomorrow.
We had arranged to take the kids to Dubbo Zoo for the day and although I wanted to take Ruby as well, Jo said it would be a lot easier without a small child who still needs her daytime sleeps. By the end of the day and 3 exhausted children later, I reluctantly agreed! We had a great day and Josh, Ellie and Olivia behaved beautifully. We saw most of the animals, fed the Giraffes and did the Safari bus tour. I think the giraffes were the highlight of the day as we came up close and personal to feed these beautiful creatures.
The next day Jo, Phil and the girls were leaving for an overnight stop in Orange where we had all arranged to meet the day after, and to hand Josh and Ellie back to their parents. As Jo and Phil left we headed out to Coonabarabran to see the Space Observatory, looking out for all the planet signs along the way. There is a great interactive visitor centre and a huge telescope at the Space Observatory where we had fun checking everything out before going back into town for Op Shopping and then fish and chips at the park.
The next day it was up early again and off to Orange to meet the others and to wish Emma a happy birthday with coffee and cake at Gloria Jeans. Next stop, the park where the 4 kids worked off the birthday cake and some energy on the amazing play area. It was then time for Emma, Graham, Josh and Ellie to head home, another big road trip! (We worked out that we, along with Josh and Ellie had done about 2000 kms those 4 days! I have to say a big "well done!" to the kids as they coped really well.)
From the park we headed off with Jo, Phil, Olivia and Ruby to Wade Park in Orange where there was an event being held trying to get the most redheads in the one spot for the Guinness book of records. As Olivia and Ruby are both beautiful strawberry blonde redheads, this is something they wanted to be involved in. It was good to see so many redheads in the one place but unfortunately the number didn't come close to being broken. After the record attempt was over we headed back to Coolah, another long day of driving!
The rest of our housesitting time went quickly with Olivia and Ruby keeping us busy. Play group, horse riding, walks with Max, swimming, the park and day trips to Mudgee, Gunnedah and Coolah Tops. All making our stay a very pleasant one. We were also there to celebrate Ruby's first birthday with a party in the back yard. We had hoped to see her walking during our stay at Coolah but she's still only walking a couple of steps before she plonks herself down. Little madam, we know she can do it but she's just keeping us hanging!
When we left Coolah we headed to Boorowa again, stopping for a few days on the way at Wellington where we visited the caves and Cowra Showgrounds where we attended the local agricultural show.
We stayed at Boorowa for nearly 3 weeks, helping out while Em was working full time. It was good to be able to help them for a change, especially after all the times we've spent at Coolah helping the others. We took Josh and Ellie to Canberra for the day where we went to "Flip Out" first and the kids wore themselves out on the trampolines before a quick trip to Bunnings to pick up a couple of bits and enjoy a sausage sizzle. Then onto the Australian National Museum. The kids enjoyed the "K Space" section best where we were able to build robots on a computer and then travel back into time and learn the history.
We explored more of the area around Boorowa, visiting Young, Yass and Cootamundra. We checked out the sale yards at Yass where 25,000 sheep were being auctioned that day and the birth place of Sir Don Bradman in Cootamundra.
While we were at Em's, mum went into hospital in Tweed and for a while there we were thinking we would have to make a quick getaway but as the days went by mum improved and was sent home. Panic over this time!
We are now back at Tweed and although mum is back in her home at Raffles, she is far from well. Mum has had viral pneumonia and is fighting a very bad cough. Life is not good for her at the moment and as she used to have good and bad days, now it seems to be bad and worst days. So sad!
We will be here at Tweed for a few weeks leading up to December, then a short trip up to Noosa where we will pick up Harry and Yasmin and bring them back to Tweed to spend a week on this park with us, catching up with our 2 nieces and their families. Suzanne and her partner and new baby who is yet to be born and her sister Sarah, her husband and 4 children from England. It looks to be a busy family time yet again!