Monday, November 21, 2011

Family updates

We've been busy these last few weeks. We had a little Halloween party here at our place for the kids' and their buddies. It was so cool.

The "Conte" Dracula Family (ha ha)
Our lounge room filled with 3 - 8 year olds!

We also recently celebrated Michael's 5th birthday. On the day of his birthday we took him to the Melbourne aquarium and then we threw an "Under the Sea" party for him. Most of the decorations were home made, including the pinata, which Louie and I made together. It was soooo much fun (and a little stressful, but mostly fun). Michael was spoilt rotten that day with gifts from his kinder buddies, church friends and neighbours. Maybe too spoilt actually.
Michael on the day of his 5th birthday

Joshy and Michael as deep sea divers :) this was our photo prop at the party.
Sienna and Michael "under the sea". I love this one!

Recently Louie finished the chicken house. We have two little chicks. Initially we had three but the littlest didn't make it past day 3. We gave it a proper burial. Her name was Kooki. The other chickens are Maria and Madison. They will one day grow up to be healthy, egg producing hens (hopefully).

We're spending so much time outside nowadays, especially since some good friends donated a swing set for the kids. So generous.

And now that the weather is fining up, we're also making every possible excuse to go 'adventuring'. A couple of weeks ago we went to the beach, fired up some sausages for dinner and looked for sea shells on the shore. How romantic huh? It was on a Monday night, meaning it was our special Family Home Evening activity. Normally we have FHE at home, and have a proper gospel-themed lesson, songs etc. Our excuse: we're appreciating Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's creations.
Sunset at Werribee South Beach.
Today (Monday) we also went out for family home evening, this time looking for tadpoles in the nearby creek. Our children are so into nature. I love it. They say we now have more than ten pets (they're counting the tadpoles and yabby we caught today). When little, Louie used to do the same. It's nice he shares some of his childhood experiences with the kids.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Catch up...again!!

Don't know when i'll be able to blog more than once a week, but here's a catch up one (again!)

We celebrated Papi in grand style with a cooked breakfast in bed last month. You might notice he is not actually in our own grand four poster bed, but rather on Joshy's little (and i mean little) bed. Yeah. That's our life right now, we like playing musical beds at night.
Sienna made him a crown with the title "the king of the Conte family". Very cute. Michael gave him 101 handmade pressies he made at kinder and he donned a spanking new suit at church that very day. He looks very handsome in his new suit :)

HOUSE IMPROVEMENTSIn the last few weeks we managed to finish painting our kitchen (love white country kitchens) AND restored our floorboards. We love the result - and it was worth all that hard work and +++ dust.
this is our wooden kitchen, painted white (used to only be stained clear). Notice the raw flooring!

 This is the first sanding of the floor in the lounge. It required several grades of sanding (from very coarse to very fine). We're now pros using the sanding equipment!

 A glimpse of the finished result. Much better than before! Whereas before it was rough, now we can slide across (with sockies on). What i really love about it is that it still has lots of character. No question about it being real timber flooring. Dents and all.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

finally back after a pc virus removal..

It's nice to be blogging again. Just thought i'd put up some photos of what's been happening in the last few weeks.
At our recent visit to Collingwood Children's Farm

the farm cat!
With the delightful Davenport kids

On an outing to the city with Abuela. Ah Josh and that photo face!

We celebrated Joshy's 2nd birthday by going on a family outing to the zoo last Friday 12th August. It was awesome. I especially loved the primates!
Oh Joshy, how much you have grown. And although your babyhood is now gone, i still see you as my baby. Thank you for the laughs and giggles you bring to us all. For your cute and growing vocabulary, even for your temper tantrums, which are far more dramatic than anything i have ever seen. For all those things and more, we're grateful to have you in our little family. We love you Joshy!!! And happy birthday once again. Lots of love, Mami, Papi, Sienna and Michael.
A gorgeous poster Sienna made at school.
Her teacher posted it on Twitter!

Joshua Elias Conte, born 12th August 2009

At the Zoo, with our 2 year old Josh.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Time Out for Women

TOFW was just amazing: the feeling, the presenters and their messages, the awesome talent of Hilary Weeks and the company were just superb. I loved every minute of it. Thanks to my friend Llyly i was also able to contribute a little on the day. Mum also loved it- i'm so glad she came! Choose to become!
Unfortunately my pc is virally infected so i can't upload photos yet. Watch this space!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

school holidays and random stuff

I'll try and keep this post kind of self explanatory through the pictures. Here it goes:

Our kids are budding artists. Here's one of Michael's pieces.
His favourite subjects are terrifying animals, both those that live deep in the sea, and those long extinct. When I asked Michael why he only drew the tail of the fish (picture on the right) he told me that the rest of the fish's body was TOO scary to be drawn. Funny kid.

I had a go at drawing a portrait of Michael on a particularly quiet afternoon last week. So far I haven't started on the others (quiet afternoons for me are a rarity). I kind of like the portrait, kind of not. I'm aiming for a "pop art" feel to it, so we'll see how it develops. 

 What I love more than a library is a brand NEW library with brand NEW books. On Monday we were one of the first visitors to the newly opened Wyndhamvale library. It is so spacious and replete with books.

So far we've been keeping busy these holidays. On Day 1 we went to the new library, on Day 2 we went to a free Magic Show. The guy was so good, seriously. I'll be forever asking how he turned that ten dollar note into a twenty dollar note ( or did it really happen??).  Today we got busy putting on a little play/skit for the kids' friends. They made tickets, and we dropped them off to our friends' houses. We based the play on an awesome play staged outdoors in the City a couple of years ago, at the Arts Centre. It was about a whale who got stranded and people tried to find out what was wrong with it. Anyway, it is entertainment with a subtle environmental message. We named our whale YUKOMI. I seriously hope this made up name doesn't mean anything offensive in Japanese! We spent most of the day making the whale and its "contents". I love Aldi, but not for the reason you think. Where else can you score gigantic boxes like these with minimal questions from staff?

I forgot to take pics of our guests, but we had 100% attendance. We had in total 9 children and their mums. A special thank you to Matilda, Flynn and little Gracie for putting on a little play for US. That was fun.

The thing i love most about school holidays is that your whole day is UN-scheduled. We can come and go as we please, resting assured that we have to go absolutely NOWHERE come 2:30pm (or more accurately for me, 2:45pm). Loving the holidays!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Painting fun and Nonno's Birthday

We had our cute neighbour friends over earlier today for some painting. My idea was to create some frames to hold their artwork in, but in the end, we just did some big paintings on huge cardboard i picked up from the supermarket. I LOVE CARDBOARD!!!! Anyways, the kids were very happy painting and using their imagination.

Painting a huge rainbow under a dotty sky. Notice Joshy's
smile. He always smiles like that for photos!

Sienna and Emma painting a castle

And then later on we got together to celebrate Nonno's birthday. It was nice to see him after his trip to Italy. He's happy to be back home. Nonna made Nonno's favourite... the Mormom-friendly version of Tiramisu. It was delightful!
The lovely Nonna and Nonno!
The lovely Tiramisu!
Louie and I made chocolate brownies from this American recipe book entitled "Chocolate Sensations". I'm certain that not even Betty Crocker asks for as much butter as this book does. Nevertheless, our brownies turned out pretty good! (Though i must say, one brownie has enough calories to sustain life for a week).

Brownies as portrayed in the recipe book

And here's ours!!! We got a 9.5 for taste (but a mere 3 for presentation)
We'll see what more chocolate adventures we embark on next! There are still like 200 more chocolate recipes to try in that book!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

catch up!

In the last few months i have been undecisive about continuing to blog... and though i've made plenty of excuses (from not having a really cool camera to take pics to debating my own narrative style), I continue to get inspired by amazing women like Stephanie Nielson, who writes the nie nie dialogues .That's the reason i began a blog in the first place. And although my blog will never inspire and strengthen people to the same extent (Stephanie's story is one of incredible faith and hardship but also an unabashful celebration of motherhood), I will still tell my story. So here it is.. for my family and friends, here's some more blogging to keep lost memories at bay.
 A picture of the kiddies in our yard, earlier this year. They love running around in the backyard. That's the main reason why i love our place. And it's so nice to hear the birds sing!
We went camping with our good friends the Rhodes, from Warrnambool. We learnt that we can pretty much survive any ill-destined camping trip. We had lots of rain, but we were well equipped and had an awesome easter hunt in the woods with the kids!
Joshy with Los Abuelos on a recent outing to Ballarat

Sienna doing a funky move for the swans :) 
The kids having fun at the Bacchus Marsh adventure playground. I love Bacchus Marsh. I wish it were closer!

Joshy and Papi on a very frosty walk from kinder

Michael and Collie (whom we love all the more now since we found him after he went missing last week for a whole 24 hours!!!). Don't leave us again Collie!

 Joshy pointing at and adoring the moon. Lucky he now points with the correct finger. A few months ago this very shot would not have been G-rated.

And that's me, about 30 minutes ago, with sleeping Joshy in my arms. All is good! Now i better log off and rescue my kids from the tv. They've been watching it for 2 hours!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Favourite things

One of my favourite things about mothering is reading books to my children. Hands down, going to the library and picking new books (or old faves) to bring home is on my top 10. There's nothing like having little ones captivated by the sound of your voice, reading a fabulous story and seeing it come alive by amazing artwork. Our favourite book at the moment is Isabella's Garden, written by Glenda Millard and illustrated by Rebecca Cool. It is a wonderful, poetic read about the change of the seasons and how it affects this garden. I love it because the story leaves so many opportunities for Q&A. Like: "Where were the seeds sleeping?" and "what were the clouds crying?" and "What was the sun kissing"
 I love it and highly recommend it for young and old :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

marriage: an amazing institution

15th March 2003

This month we celebrate 8 years of marriage, Louie and I. I was only 23 when we married. Louie was 27. Probably young compared to average marriage age data. But we were definitely ready for it (even though we did look REALLY young)
So much has happened in the last 8 years. The most important thing however, is that we now are FIVE. Bringing children into this world is a huge blessing and responsibility. I feel happy and blessed for each of our little ones. There's no better place for children to come to, than to an already organized family unit, who love each and care for each other and have promised before witnesses that they will be committed to one another. Marriage is so important.
We witnessed another marriage recently, that of Louie's sister Lucy. Absolutely gorgeous woman. And now, an absolutely gorgeous new wife to Mark. Congratulations to you both!

Lucy and Mark, happy on their wedding day.
The munchkins and me. All dressed up and ready for the main event!

Mr Louie Conte, as his handsome self

Princess Sienna and I
Master Michael Conte, as his handsome self :)