Sunday, December 25, 2011

"jingle all the way. it's christmas in australia on a scorching summer day!"

Merry Christmas Mates!!!
We have fully enjoyed our Australian Christmas!!! 
We started the Christmas "week" with a girls dinner party and a Kris Kringle present exchange. These wonderful crowns are supposedly an Australian tradition. There are party crackers called BonBons that are at every home for Christmas. In the BonBons there are always a paper crown, a cheesy joke and a little toy. I'm planning on bringing a few home with me for everyone to see!
Christmas Eve Eve was spent singing Christmas Carols. It was only the rehearsal for the next night but there were probably a couple thousand people at the music bowl to enjoy the performance. It felt like an awesome summer concert. Everyone had blankets laid out on the lawn and tons of food to share. Definitely a great way to sing carols. 
We enjoyed the hot, sunny day! However, It is still so strange to celebrate Christmas in the heat. 

 For Christmas Eve Megan and I got a yummy Cookies and Cream Milkshake! It felt appropriate in the summer to get a cold milkshake instead of a hot chocolate like we would usually have Christmas Eve in the winter. 
 These are the incredible cupcakes we bought for the family (Lancasters) we spent Christmas Eve and Day with! Cupcake Central is by far my favorite cupcake place AND the people working there are awesome. 
 The Lancaster Christmas Tree. 
 Megan, Emily and I Christmas morning after opening our stockings. 
 We made our way to the beach after lunch! Our Australian Christmas was complete. 

Australian Jingle Bells:
Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side, 
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in 
my singlet, shorts and thongs

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia 
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Engine's getting hot; 
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard, 
he is welcome too.
All the family's there, 
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way, 
by the barbecue.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia 
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Come the afternoon, 
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce, 
are swimming in their clothes. 
The time comes 'round to go, 
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through, 
before the washing up.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia 
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.


Monday, December 12, 2011

summer summer summer!!!!

Sorry it has been so long since my last update. I promise I'll do better with this blog from now on. (New Year's Resolution perhaps?)ha.

Well it's officially SUMMER in Australia. Their seasons change on the first of the month so December 1st marked the first day of summer. The weather so far has been pretty cold though. However, we have seen some hot days which have led to some great summer fun!

We have spent time on rooftops celebrating birthdays.

 Melanie, Megan and I at the Rooftop bar for Emily's birthday. We enjoyed the beautiful, sunny day.

I got a bike just in time for great exploring weather. I've already found some great biking paths. I will take pictures and blog about them soon!

The most fun part of the season change so far has been seeing all of the Christmas stuff out and it being hot.

The decorations still look just the same as decoration in America. EXCEPT we get to walk around in shorts when we look at them! Whoo Hoo!! I'm not the biggest fan of cold weather. 

It cracks me up that they use fake snow. haha 

I found this book at one of the schools this past week. It's probably one of the first Aussie, summer Christmas things I have seen!

   Later  that day at the same school, we had to practice Christmas Carols for a performance the school was putting on.  They sang the same songs we do with maybe a few little changes such as...

"Rocking around the Christmas Tree 
Let the Christmas Spirit ring 
Later we'll have A BARBECUE  ( instead of some pumpkin pie)
and we'll do some caroling "

I found it funny they changed those words and not any of the words about snow in the other songs. ha. 

Summer/ Christmas Slang:

Sunnies- Sunglasses
Sunbake- Layout, tan.
Bathers- Swimsuit
Chrissy- Christmas
Kris Kringle-  Secret Santa.

I also wanted to say a little goodbye to some of our incredible American friends that left this past weekend! We were so lucky to get here and immediately be surrounded by community. All of the girls in this picture made us feel welcome and comfortable right away! Thank you girls. Love you dearly.

The four girls to the left of me went back to the states! Nina (not pictured) did as well a few weeks ago. Luckily Nina and Catherine (black dress/red necklace) will be back in January and Michelle(yellow dress) will hopefully be moving to Texas! 


p.s.  Less than a month until I am back in the Lone Star State for a bit.:)

Monday, November 14, 2011

randoms over the last few weeks.

With our staycation being over life has been about working and saving money! This has definitely limited our exploring time but don't you worry, we have had plenty of fun. Here are some little tidbits that have taken place since my last update.

 We had Halloween!! Megan, Melanie and I all wore our parachute pants that Melanie's boyfriend Connor brought us from India. So obviously we were Indians. Ha. It was an easy costume. Since Halloween isn't a huge deal here, I expected that we wouldn't see any trick or treaters or decorations. Luckily, we still did. Our neighborhood was full of little ghost, vampires and witches running around getting lollies. We celebrated the night eating goodies (like the spider cookies above) and watching Hocus Pocus at a Halloween party.

Melbourne Cup Day was Novemember 2nd. Who knew that the horse races were such a big deal in Australia?! Well they are. It was a public holiday!! We hung out and relaxed all day to watch a 4 minute race. I couldn't have enjoyed it more!

Megan, Em and I have started a new tradition... Parenthood and Nutella Hot Chocolate (we added white chocolate the week of the pic). Megan loves the show Parenthood and has definitely got me hooked on it so why not make it better with a tasty beverage. Everyone should stop what they are doing and go make some of this right now! 

Australia has a new chip flavor. VEGEMITE! I have tried vegemite on toast and really do enjoy it, but I don't know about this vegemite chip business. When I get enough courage to try them, I'll let y'all know what they taste like. 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy the city is up high where you can take in the view. Melanie and I spent  the evening hanging out with our friend Nick at a rooftop pub and then enjoyed the city view from his apartment complex balcony. It made me love the city a little more!

At our church City On A Hill, Megan, Melanie and I joined a Connect Group Bible Study with our friend Em. There were about 7 of us meeting each tuesday night. It was such a blessing being able to meet with those girls and talk about the sermon from sunday. A course called The Change for the women at our church started also on tuesday nights, so as a connect group we decided to do it together. There are around 40 woman of all ages taking the course. Last week was the first time we met and it was wonderful. We are going through a book called How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. Each week we will meet together as a large group and then break off in smaller groups to go deeper. I am so excited to see what the Lord does through this for the women of the Church and how He changes me to look more and more like Him. Please pray each tuesday for the class!

And lastly...a song that has been in my head for the last two days is:
"I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Tell the world that I'm coming home"

Why? Well I'm coming home for a little bit over Christmas break! It's going to be a short trip but hopefully I can see some of your beautiful/ handsome faces. 

heaps of love. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bringing a bit of Halloween to Australia.

It may be October and the time of year that houses are decorated with pumpkins, costumes are being created and candy is being taken off the store shelves faster than ever, but not in Australia. Halloween is something that "America does really big." I was super disappointed when I heard this! I really love halloween. So we decided to bring some halloween tradition to Melville Road (the street we all live on).

It was fantastic. The season may be spring here, but it was a night that felt just like fall. We made cider, carved pumpkins, listened to Thriller and roasted pumpkin seeds. A great night of fun. 

Our roommate Sarah had never carved pumpkins before. Actually, I don't think she even had a clue what we were talking about at first. Once we started though, she greatly enjoyed it. But honestly, who wouldn't? 

The pumpkins were $4/ kg. So expensive!! We decided to just get two to carve as a group. Each pumpkin ended up being around $20! Some may say that's not worth it, but I would highly disagree. ha.
This was our Australia pumpkin. The star formation on the side is called the Southern Cross. You are only able to see it in the Southern Hemisphere and it is on the Australian flag.  

Make sure you all enjoy Halloween!!! We will be missing it here!

Also, there is a show called X-Factor that we watch every monday night. It is kinda like The Voice, I think. Anyways, the theme of the show tonight was all big Australian songs. I wanted to give y'all the playlist incase you want to add some Aussie music to your ipod. :)

*Throw Your Arms Around Me- Hunters and Collectors
*Lost Without You- Delta Goodrem
*You're The Voice- John Farnham (Ya know... like off of Hot Rod?!)
*Flame Trees- Cold Chisel (also look up Khe Sanh by Cold Chisel its supposedly a huge Aussie fave)
*Fall At Your Feet- Crowded House
*Weir- Killing Heidi
*Joker & The Thief- Wolf Mother

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road is one of the World's most scenic coastal drives! 
Luckily for us it is along Victoria, the state Melbourne is in. It was awesome as.  

We started in Geelong and made Anglesea our first stop. I LOVE ANGLESEA. I would definitely want to live there. It is such a cute town with a very alternative, granola feel. The town was hosting a Music Festival so for our first stop we went to a coffee shop that had live music! Doesn't it sound like my type of town?

Next we went to the town golf course to see the kangaroos. There are over a 1,000 kangaroos that live on the golf course, so you are always guaranteed to see a few. Look at those cool golfers just walking through the kangaroos as they're about to go play. 

Anglesea is also known for it's lighthouse.  We knew we had picked the right way to spend our saturday when we saw this view!

Following Anglesea was the actual sign to enter the Great Ocean Road. Whoo hoo!

Both of these signs were all over the drive. 

Along the drive there were tons of surf breaks. This one was located on the coast of the town Wye River. There were a few surfers getting their gear together while we were there. 

The big sight of the trip was the Twelve Apostles. There are now only 8 of the rock formations but it was still beautiful! 

A little past the Twelve Apostles, was this cave. I can't actually remember the name of it but it was cool. 

We found some rock to climb on and were able to witness some HUGE waves. However, around this time it started pouring down rain which cut our trip a little short. 

We decided to drive to the nearest town, Port Campbell. We had heard about an great ice cream place from some friends so that was of course the first place Meggan and I went to! I got  Baileys and Scorched Almond ice cream. Easily the best ice cream I've ever had. 

We will definitely make the drive again to see all of the things we missed, but for now it was a fantastic day. 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

the zoo. fun as.

Today  at the zoo...

I adored the Australian Little Penguins as they waddled around, eager to be fed.

I watched the Meerkats protect each other.

I was amazed by the Seal show. He had just finished waving at the crowd. 

I was astounded when the Tigers were fed. We were told this doesn't happen everyday. Lucky us!

I met the baboon Hans and learned that these smart little animals have a hierarchy among them. Hans was obviously the top baboon. 

I saw my first joey. Such a precious animal!

AND I pet a kangaroo. We were told not to touch them, but when the Zoo keeper left and the kangaroos walked under their fence, we had to seize the opportunity.   

I never pass up a good day at the zoo! 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Puffying Billy and the Dandenong Ranges

Megan and I have been wanting to ride a train somewhere since we have been in Australia. So when we heard about Puffying Billy, we didn't hesitate to plan our trip. It was cute as! 

If you can't read the hat, it says he is the Head Conductor. Isn't he precious? There were tons of little old men that worked at the different train stations on the trip. I would think they would get sick of doing the same thing every day, but they smiled and were cheery the whole time. :)

Everyone sat on the window seal of the train and hung there feet over the edge for the trip.

The view through the Dandenong Ranges was completely green! There were pretty trees and lakes

and pastures and hills

and flowers. With the sun shining, it was the prefect day to be outdoors. 

When we got to the Lakeside Station, which is where we decided to get off and explore, we spotted paddle boats. Of course we immediately went and got on one. Let me tell you, that was one good leg work out!
After we paddled around the lake, we went on a hike in the mountains. We found a huge log to sit and have lunch. As we ate, we watch the train pass by. Everyone on the train waved to us. Even the sweet conductors. 

I had been aching to be outdoors away from the city and this was the perfect way. 

Aussie Slang: 
(I actually can't remember if I have shared this with y'all before)

Sweet as, Cute as, Lame as, Hot as- Pretty much any word with "as" at the end means that it is "So_____(that word)".