Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our Garden Evolution

 It all started with 2 pots and some flowers.  From there we added more and more seeds and flowers.

 We realized we had a problem with wild tom cats crapping in out dirt so we added some cactus and rocks to keep them away and it did the trick!

 We started some sunflowers from seeds and we were waiting for them to bloom this whole week.

 On Friday we had a sunflower party!  The flowers finally opened and came to life!
Grant said they opened for his nana's last day!

Our Garden is diggin the nice sunny days!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nice Dinner Out

 We were invited to go out with Lacey and her family for her birthday at the Orange Mining Company.  We all had a really nice dinner with a great view.
 Hazel and Dean are the most well behaved children I have ever met.  I don't even think the other diners knew we had children with us.

 Here we are trying to pose for a picture!
 Finally a good won where we are both all smiles!

 I finally had a reason to wear the dress my mom got me from Hawaii.
Happy Birthday Lacey! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

We Will Miss You

 In 2010 we were able to go to Australia and see Grant's Nana, I am so happy I got to meet her before she passed away.  She was a lovely lady and I wish I could have known her better.  When we visited her she had cookies and tea for us and she showed us some family photos that both of us had never seen before.  She will be missed.

Grant's mum wrote a very nice letter about her mum below.


People I have met since my return to Australia 5 years ago have said to me “what a lovely little old lady your mother is”  (while looking me up and down)’  In the words of my American daughter in-law “she is soooo cute” and quoting a friend of my nephew “she is cool, the ultimate grandmother”.  And she is all this and more.
But I know another Mona Mary Irwin.  As a young mum, raising 6 kids on a shoestring budget.  She was Big to me, she was  Firm, very organised, even Scary!  She was a devout catholic, making sure we got to mass every Sunday when we didn’t even have a car.   I remember waiting for lifts, mostly from my grandparents but because there were seven of us, we often hitched or she arranged lifts in from passing Catholics on their way to mass, the Tarrants, the Docherties, the Linches, all with their own big families.  We always got to mass every Sunday.  If we prayed hard enough we even got lifts or “invitations” to the beach on Sundays too.  She was an even better Christian in the way that she lived the whole of her life. 
She managed to feed us well, she sewed most of our clothes and even our dolls’ clothes were a great source of joy and the envy of the neighbourhood.  She was determined to give us the best education possible.  She also managed to arrange beach holidays for us every Xmas holiday.  We lacked for nothing really.  A few more hugs maybe …… But she was a very busy woman and we knew by her actions that we were well loved.  She told me once that my brother Robert and I were the only planned babies out of the seven and ironically she was much harder on us. The other siblings who just “came along” in the Catholic way of things got it less tough!
I lived away for most of my adult life, first in Sydney and later in Auckland.  I developed a strong connection with my mum through letters over the years.  How I treasured those letters.  She was very literate and had a way with words.  I got to know her more intimate thoughts and could map the changes in her over the years. 
There were many changes too.  She invented “Sea Change”.  She wrote of the joy of living by the sea, of dancing and even falling in love twice.   This was a shock to me at first, being in my mid-twenties, but it empowered me to embrace my life more fully, it gave me a great feeling of contentment and hope and I felt more secure in myself as a woman from then on.
She was a fiercely protective mother.   She raised three adolescents on her own.  She went in to battle for our poor mentally ill brother Rodney (who she will even now be reuniting with), she protected her younger daughters from the onslaught of this illness so they could get on with the business of raising their own families. 
She was also very loyal to my dad, first when he was recovering from cancer, she took him in to look after him and later she was beside him in his final illness and on his death bed and she said to me “Even though we have been separated for years …. I am a Catholic …. And in the eyes of God he is still my husband and I still have a duty of care and love”.  I admire that.
She worked very hard as a volunteer for the Woman’s Refuge and was so good at it that she was asked to take over the reins.

She had a second Sea Change (it was now catching on all over Australia) to Sawtell.  She loved living here by the Sea.  She loved her Catholic community and it was very much a part of her life.  She developed a closeness and received so much comfort and support from her younger sister Marie who our whole family loves and admires.   
She also took up golf and joined a walking club.  Prior to that she was a nurse and enjoyed playing tennis.  She also did a creative writing course and was an avid reader.  I treasure the copy I have of her tales of Briggsvale of growing up in the bush in the large Gillett family.

So lovely little old lady, my mother, you were always both fragile and strong.  You have left with me and my siblings a very great sense of love, of family, of endurance, of tolerance, kindness, of strength, resilience, forgiveness, of joy, and a sense of adventure …. So many legacies …. I will cherish.  You have made me a stronger person than I may have been without your examples throughout my life.  I have at times wondered about looking into having you canonised but then you would be way too humble for that. 

Go in peace cute little lady and please don’t stop praying for us down here.

Joanne Joy Irwin

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

L&W Bridal Shower

 On Sunday I went to a bridal shower for my friend Lyndsey.
There were a lot of games, food and drinking.
At the end of the night the party turned into a dance party lol.

 The party favors were made by Amanda.  It is a Lemon scrub made out of Sugar, lemon juice and oil and I used it on my feet last night and it worked really well!
 This picture is a horrible angle but its the only one I have of my new dress.
 We all made bloody Mary's, but either I didn't make mine right or I just don't like it because I ended up dumping half of it and going to drinking sangria.

 The bride to be is on the right!  Its so exciting.  I told her its so fun getting married, its way more fun getting married than being married ahahhaha.  I guess its just all the build up and excitement about the wedding and the party, but don't get me wrong its fun being married too =)
A really fun weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday Night Slumber Party

 On Friday night my mom came over and we went out to dinner to Ruby's.  On our walk home we stopped by a few bars and then my mom stayed the night for a slumber party.
 After drinking hahahha!

In the morning we ran some errands and we realized we were both wearing our orange shorts so we had to take some pictures with our wedding car!  It won't be long till we have been here a year! One whole year of living in Sunny CA and one whole year of missing NZ.  This year flew by, it is easier not missing all of my family all of the time =)

 Look at us we match the car! Too bad this year we will miss Bonneville, some of us have to work lol.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunday and Tuesday

So not only did I dye my hair on Sunday,  but we also made some NZ lamb to share with Lacey and Brandon.  Today is Tuesday and for some reason Monday is lost in the middle.  Even today at work I kept saying today is Monday...DUH, never assume the week to be longer, that is never fun!

Ok we will start with the star of the cute show, Hazel June!
She is so gosh darn cute!

 Here is a posed family photo as you can tell hahhaha. That is impossible!

 Dean is not drinking wine but he was swirling it around like a pro! I told him to try a sip but I think the mash potatoes were enough to send him over the edge.  The guys are eating their NZ food at the MAN table and Lacey and I were eating hot dogs in the woman section.
 It was a really fun night especially since it ended with Cherry on top Frozen yogurt.

Today is Tuesday and like I said I feel like Monday was lost, I can't remember what happened and I guess there is no need to.  I came home from work and Grant is no where to be found, but the mail was brought in and his shoes are sitting near the door, I went out to the garage and saw the surf boards are gone so I am assuming he is surfing!  A text would have been nice but don't worry I am having my own fun I am looking at blogs and drinking a beer!
 I have been wanting to post about the Fifty Shades of Grey book for a while now.  I would have to say this is the worst book I have ever attempted to read.  If you were thinking of getting this book, don't!  There is no plot, the writing is bad, and it moves along at a snails pace and it is very repetitive!  I don't know how many times it says someone bites their lip or something about inner goddess, but its a waste of time.  If you are reading it for the romance sections there are way better romance novels out there!  It reminds me of the movie Magic Mike because that involved sex and that was horrible too.  Who are these people who are recommending this crap?
 And finally I would just like to ask where do you hang your laundry?  We hang it in the door way and we call this area little Saigon.

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