week 712 / week 584

Lots of different activities this week – Huff’s school had a session for fathers and kids where they were offering pizza and paper plane making. It was good to meet some other Dads and see Huff in her element.

huff at school pizza night

Friday night was the first night at youth group for Huff. Puff was happy to have his sister along too.

puff on the way to youth group

It was pretty dark, so this is the best photo Dad took of dropping them off.

huff waves goodbye on her first night at youth group

Saturday was father-child day. Dad and Huff went to see a movie together.

huff at the movies

On the way home we stopped for cookies.

huff at post-movie lunch

At night, Mum and Huff watched some reels together.

huff and Mum watching reels

What did Dad and Puff do for father-child time? Went to a shopping complex to look at new developments in tech, and in gaming. Both Dad and Puff enjoyed spending the low-key time together: something we used to take for granted years ago.

It’s been good to take some time spent with each of them and try and create some lasting memories together.

week 711 / week 583

Another big week; it was Dad’s birthday and graduation this week, so more photos of Dad than usual.

After swimming, we went to a cafe for breakfast; it was a beautiful day, and we had a tasty meal.

puff at breakfast (after swimming)

The kids enjoyed their food too; Huff was excited to share a box she had made and decorated for Dad (which he used to store the Minties Puff gave him).

huff at breakfast (after swimming)

It was a happy morning.

dad and huff

Dad, determined to get a morning walk in, took the kids for a brisk, somewhat hilly 2.5km walk.

Dad walking with huff and puff

Huff received her year 6 jersey this week; perhaps we’ll put up a photo at some point when her school name is less relevant.

Then on Friday we had Dad’s graduation. Huff wore a brooch from her cousin’s wedding.

huff dressed up for dad's graduation

There was lots of smiling (Puff is still adjusting to regular smiling with his complex tooth-braces situation going on).

huff and puff at Dad's graduation

Masks were on and it was time to head in for the ceremony. The kids were impressed with the chairs in the auditorium as they have built-in mini-desks!

huff and puff and Mum at Dad's graduation

After the ceremony it was time for some more photos in front of the giant logo.

huff and puff and Dad

Is this the first photo on the blog of just Mum and Dad?

Mum and Dad

After graduation we drove down to Canberra.

dad, huff and puff in the car on the way to Canberra

Puff had lots of school work to keep on with, while Huff had a great time watching the sunset.

huff and puff in the car on the way to Canberra

We stayed with a friend overnight, and had a great time catching up with them – our first trip to the ACT post-lockdown.

huff and puff at our friends' house in canberra

We stopped briefly on the way home for fancy coffee at a place called the Cupping Room.

huff, puff and Mum at the cupping room in canberra

On Sunday Dad was teaching Sunday School at church with Huff’s as a part of the class.

week 710 / week 582

Back to school for our first full school week, and in the shadow of a teachers’ strike tomorrow: the kids’ first one.

Dad picked up Huff from school and stopped for hot chocolate when it emerged that she would be walking home with a grazed knee.

huff with hot chocolate

Puff’s glasses arrived, so he’s been spending the week getting used to them: they’re for close-up work.

puff with new glasses

Dad is teaching Sunday School this month: it was a slow start so far with only three kids including Huff! We visited cousin A and V at their place after church. 

huff and puff with cousin A

And that’s about it: lots of time at home, Huff still feeling the weight of bronchitis a bit so we’re trying to get a second opinion on that. And despite the teachers’ strike, Huff and Puff still have to get up early for swimming lessons.

week 708-709 / week 580-581

Two weeks of holidays, stretched out with two long weekends and a bonus pupil free day; back to school tomorrow. 

Here’s the back of the car when we were about to head to Katoomba for Easter Convention. We even managed to bring pineapple along, as we were staying in a pet-friendly place. Huff has ginger beer for long car trips to settle her stomach.

huff and puff ready for a road trip

Dad and Huff walked up to Leura from Katoomba together; there wasn’t much complaining, so Dad was a bit heavy-handed with the reward desserts.

huff and dad with mid-walk desserts

The next day, to meet up with an old workmate, Dad and Puff walked over to scenic world, pausing to grab a bubble tea from a local Katoomba store.

puff and Dad waiting for bubble tea

Puff had a bit of homework to do; Pineapple was glad to be out of his cage.

puff and pineapple

Puff and Huff had a great time in the kids program at Katoomba Easter Convention.

puff and huff

After the weekend we went to the REFRESH conference at Stawell Tops that Dad’s work was running.

puff nearly as tall as Dad

Puff was on the AV desk for the open mic night, and did a great job managing the desk for the various acts.

puff on the AV desk

When back in Sydney we went out for a cafe breakfast. Mum and Huff shared Mum’s poncho.

mum and huff

Dad and Puff didn’t think to bring jumpers.

puff and Dad

Sunday, Dad and Huff had some father-daughter time. We went for ramen.

huff and ramen

Then we went for gelato.

huff and Dad

Dad, a soft touch, agreed for Huff to buy fairy floss from a vending machine that spins fairy floss. She was impressed.

huff and fairy floss

And the macarons had a lot of food colouring.

huff and puff with blue macaron

On Anzac Day, Dad and Puff went to watch the dawn service together (though there was a mix-up with the start times). 

puff and Dad on the way to Anzac Day

And Huff and Dad went to watch a movie in the final embers of the holidays.

huff and Dad watching a movie (the bad guys)

Overall, it was good to spend some extra time together as a family.

week 707 / week 579

School holidays are back again! Is life really returning to some kind of normal? Mostly, it seems. Even as more than one friend at any given time is covid positive, people are isolating for a week at a time, for the most part not too sick (with some exceptions) and then returning to society again.

We even felt confident enough to head to Costco when invited.

puff at costco

Huff celebrated the end of term by getting her hair cut shorter than it’s been in a long while.

huff with shorter hair

And on Friday night we had a youth group night where parents and youth could share ideas on what they would like to see happen with youth group.

huff at youth group event

We visited the cousins on the weekend, and Dad managed to take the kids to see Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

huff and puff at the movies

Oh, and the kids spent some time going out for a walk with some friends.

huff and puff and friends out for a walk

All in all, an encouraging start to the holidays.

week 706 / week 578

Site note: Slightly different layout because the old WP theme seems to be too old for the current hosting environment now!

This was the week of the selective schools test; Huff and Dad spent some more time revising answers, and then after it was over, Dad took Huff out for some celebratory churros. Now, the waiting game.

huff with churros

Puff made it through all his assessment tasks and is celebrating now by working out how to turn a Raspberry Pi into a portable gaming console. Lots of lessons to learn through this project.

puff in lounge room

Huff also had the chance to participate in the school Anzac Day programme.

huff with blazer

Puff was back into using his 3D printer to make some sort of video game artefact.

puff with what to do when life gives you lemons

And Dad spent most of the weekend with the kids helping them tidy their rooms to various degrees. The results were good, but the kids were a bit unsure of that as a restorative weekend project.

week 705 / week 577

Another week has cruised by. We are getting closer to the selective schools test for Huff; Puff has a couple of exams this week too, so there has been more study than usual. The kids are getting older and taller and more confident in themselves.

huff and puff home from school

Saturday ended up being mostly a home day. Sunday Dad and the kids took a train ride to meet up with Mum, and did some studying on the train. Puff was doing maths.

puff doing maths on a train

Huff was doing some revision with Dad, and taking breaks to look out the train window and take some pictures.

huff loving a train ride

The kids were reminiscing about things they had seen before; Huff was very excited to see something that years before we had called the “cloud factory” in the distance, and stopped to take a photo of it.

huff remembering the cloud factory

We saw some family members for a bit, but mostly this week has been a time for listening to the kids and trying to help them learn, and trust their instincts in studying and answering questions.

in the drives to school Puff has also been sharing some of his musical tastes with Dad; lots of electronic music.

week 704 / week 576

This was the week the Puff did his first practice hike for bronze DoE. So he went from laptop on the weekend, to packing a hiking pack.

puff using his laptop

To this. Early start at Cronulla Wharf, and they walked from Bundeena Wharf to wedding cake rock to deer pool to marley beach to bonnie vale campground, and then the next day they went from the campsite to Myanmar, the red jack point trail, and then back on the ferry for a total of 34km of walking.

dad and puff pre-hike

Huff, instead, went for breakfast with Mum and Dad.

huff post-hike-departure

And then, home safe again, Puff and Huff had dinner by candlelight due two a planned power outage (hence this post being a day late).

puff and huff waiting for the blackout to end

Mum and Dad are proud of Puff for toughing out the whole hike. Well done!

week 703 / week 575

Bird ownership is an increasingly prominent part of family life, with pineapple coming into his own; this is his bedraggled post-spray-bath look, with Puff on hand to give him some millet as a treat. It’s been great to have a new creature in the house, as sceptical as Dad was (and as disruptive as the bird can be to the relative tranquility of a zoom soundscape).

Puff continues to count down to a Duke of Ed hike, to press on with maths and other assessment tasks, and to dream up increasingly complex computer games, that he’s starting to code.

puff and pineapple (bird)

Huff on the other hand spent most of the week feeling sick. A trip to the doctor (and a few negative RAT results and a negative PCR result) showed it’s just been bronchitis. She is finally starting to bounce again, but had a very quiet week trying to get well. Mum made some chocolate mousse for her to cheer her up, which seemed to work quite effectively.

huff enjoying some chocolate mousse

For her, the global pandemic disruption has been a larger proportion of her whole life, so it’s been a bigger adjustment for her to deal with being sick.

week 702 / week 574

Another week; lots of rain, and flooding in different parts of NSW (mercifully not immediately near us), so more car rides to school with Puff.

puff on the way home

Pineapple continues to be the bonus member of the family, bringing us a lot of laughter.
 
huff and pineapple
 
And Mum and Huff have had some extra hugs this week; Huff has been a bit unwell this week (looks like it’s bronchitis rather than anything more sinister, as three tests have confirmed so far).
mum and huff
And we had the cousins over for the weekend again this weekend, this time staying over for a Friday night sleepover and spending most of Saturday with us.