I thought I would do a "the making of the 2006 Christmas family photo" special.
To get this one great photo, Rob took over 50 shots.
Here we are trying out different positions and keeping Ben in the photo.
But then..........Steven......a huge splash....
I love how we all have our mouths open screaming in shock.....
I am saying to the boys here " the hair, the makeup, don't wet me......" Of course they were all laughing hysterically.
We have learnt from past years that photos with wet hair and no makeup, although are nice and natural, are not what you want enlarged to 11x14" and hung on the wall!
The splash monster........
While I was waiting for these photos to upload I went to one of my favourite blogs- Knee deep in Munchkinland and saw Jens photos of a blizzard over Christmas. I was struck by the difference between our Christmas's- Stinkin hot and humid here and bitterly cold over there!
I organised a little surprise for Rob for Christmas, his brothers!
Rob had his younger brother Roger(on right), staying with him but didn't know that I had organised for Steven (on left) to come on Christmas day as well. He was very happy and surprised!
Steven is a bit of a practical joker and loves to get me in particular; he got me big time this year. Steven rang on Christmas eve and said that he was bringing an extra person, his fiance Glenis. I hastily rearranged all the sleeping arrangements s the two of them could have their own room. I was so excited, I love weddings and engagements! When Steven arrived ( 5 hours early!!!!!!!!) we rushed out side to meet Glenis and were shocked to meet Glenn, Steve's mate from Townsville. I should of known, he always manages to get me......
I couldn't believe how similar these three boys are in this photo. I haven't seen all five of the brothers together since Robs wedding in Cairns many years ago. Rob is the only one with hair on his head!
Aunty Tan Tan scored a hit with her special present to the kids... a chocolate fondue fountain. This is its first outing for lunch on Christmas day. Accompaniments were marshmallows, crisp green apple wedges and strawberries.
Here are Brooke, Janny, Chelsea, Jeremy, Georgia and Aunty Tan Tan having a turn.
Here I am with Chocolate smeared all over my face, chest and top; it was that good. Georgia and Chelsea were covered in chocolate. There was 10 of us hovering around the fountain taking turns to dip into the lush chocolate. Rob's brother Steven was smeared in chocolate. We have all decided that if no one was looking we ALL would dip our tongues straight into the chocolate.
I was so excited all those months ago when Boomama announced that there was going to be a Christmas tour of homes. I LOVED the original tour, I think that I managed to see 95 % of all the wonderful homes. This is a link to my first tour of homes, where my home was tidy and not filled to the rim with boxes! I love my home, we knew the instant we stepped in the door that it was the house for us, see here for more photos. I had so many wonderful plans of how I could show you all what Christmas is like in Sunny Brisbane, Australia..........BUT that was before we found out about our BBBIIIIGGGGG move ! We are moving to Jakarta, Indonesia in 4 weeks and still having our entire family from both sides for Christmas day. (You can read about it here, and here and here)
But, as most of our home looks like this......
and more of this.....
I am doing a bit of cheating, I am using a mix of photos from the present and the past.
Christmas 2003, note the play pen around the tree to protect all the decorations from a crawling Ben
Christmas eve 2004
Photo for Christmas cards, 2002
Photo for Christmas cards 2003
Photo for Christmas cards 2004
Photo for Christmas cards 2005
Unfortunately I cant get the same template for this year, so I have created a montage for 2006 Christmas cards.
Christmas 2006 photo
As we are moving to a predominately Muslim country, I have gone a bit overboard with decorations to take with us. I hope to be able to recreate the excitement, meaning and joy of Christmas for the children in a country that doesn't celebrate Christmas.
Our first Nutcracker with Santa
Our newly decorated current tree, It is a riot of colour and glows magnificently at night when the lights are on.
Our Nativity scenes, I was going to arrange all the figures perfectly and then realise that it wouldn't show what it is really like. The kids all play with Baby Jesus, bring the reindeer's over to meet the 3 wise men and let the carollers sing everyone off to sleep. They all spend hours role playing and retelling the story of baby Jesus
Reindeer and snow globes
Our wreath, we couldn't have and fresh wreaths in Queensland's summer, it would wilt and rot within hours.
Our current tree with even more decorations
Our family room tree, this one gets moved around a lot. If someone is extra special good, they even might get to have it in their bedroom for a night!
This is a wonderful tradition that we started a few years ago, we have a family portrait in the pool on Christmas day. I have all these prints enlarged and framed in 11x14" size and on the wall. It perfectly captures Christmas in Brisbane.
Here is another Christmas tradition, the BBQ on the deck.
School teacher Christmas pressies.
I have finally worked out the perfect presents for teachers. We create a box of goodies:- mini champagne, home made shortbread with recipe, mini chocolates, 2 pretty tree decorations and 2 crackers.
This is the recipe for the BEST EVER shortbread
GJ’s Very Special Shortbread
2½ cups of Plain Flour ¾ cups of Sugar 250gms of Butter (not margarine) 1 pinch of Salt
Combine softened butter and sugar in a bowl. Cream mixture with electric beater until it changes colour from yellow to nearly white (Can take several minutes!!!!! This is the important part)
Once creamed add sifted flour and salt to form a dough. Roll in to balls the size of 20-50cent pieces Place on baking paper and flatten to 10-12mm with the back of a fork (allow a little room for expansion) Bake in pre-heated oven 150 deg until light golden brown. ENJOY
I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas tour, please feel free to drop in any time. It has been a pleasure showing you around, next year I will be having an exciting adventure and look forward to sharing that with you too!
The kids had a wow of a time decorating Robs home.
Chelsea found a new use for Christmas baubles.......
I always take dinner and or snacks to Robs house when we visit. GJ decided take us all out this time instead. The kids were so well behaved at the BLU GROTTO , it is one of their favourite places. When we started to come here the kids were much smaller. Ben would fall asleep in his pram and we would push two arm chairs together and the girls would curl up and go to sleep as well. I would always get looks of amazement, awe and envy from other patrons when they realised that we were having a civilized night out with friends and our three perfectly behaved children slept sweetly in the corner. I might add that it only happened at this particular noisy restaurant and the kids only appear to be little angels........reality is often very, very different! LOL
It is not a good photo, but I love the expression on Georgie's face.
The mega tidy up last weekend paid off- We have tenants for our house for the next 12 months.
What a photo, it has been hard for the last few weeks to keep clothes on Ben. Here he is enjoying another pair of Aunty Tan Tan's shoes
Treadmill and a champagne cocktail...
Look at these little angels....
This is on Tan Tans Christmas list, a date leading to Marriage and Children.......
We are an Australian family of five who lived in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2006 to 2010. I am a full time mum, a full time teacher, as well as studying towards my Masters in Early Childhood. Life is chaotic, busy and very, very fun!
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org