Friday, October 30, 2009

Mission Accomplished and a Celebration!

So many things to tick off on the list of "things to do":
Firstly, we had the most wonderful celebration of Mum and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary. On September 26, after watching the Grand Final (Geelong beat St Kilda - both worthy opponents), we all went out for dinner to Glencoe. It was a delightful evening of good cheer and good conversation. Everyone of Mum and Dad's children, children-in-law and grandchildren attended, with the exception of Fraser and Sophie. And the celebration was added to by the announcement of Peter and Amanda's pregnancy. That will make it 8 grandchildren in all.
Mum and Dad had a lovely evening, and the next day hosted many friends and relatives at John and Reg's house. It was wonderful to be able to catch up with so many old friends; Rob made an excellent speech and there were photos and videos of the wedding to watch. Mum and Dad have made loyal friends throughout their lives - well deserved because they are both such generous, fair-minded, kind-hearted and honest people. John, Rob, Peter and I are very proud to have them as our parents. And we appreciate the example of their marriage.

We've all changed a bit since that photo!

Mission accomplished for Greg - today was the Yr 12 VCE English exam. For the last few weeks particularly, Greg has been working all day and most of the night trying to keep up with marking his students' essays. With a large class, and very diligent students, he has been almost overwhelmed with work! The boys are really terrific - and really appreciate Greg's efforts. Now, he can concentrate on his remaining classes - two Yr 11s and one Yr 10. He has four weeks of the school year to go.
In early September, he went on the Years 9 and 10 camp to Fraser Island. Again, he had a great time - both the staff attending and the boys were good fun, and all went smoothly. Afterwards, Zoe and I met him in Noosa.

It's a beautiful place, and the weather was fabulous. The only problem was that the place was full of my Yr 9 students! Everywhere we went, the girls were there! Still, we had a fantastic time everyday at the beach, in the pool or choosing which restaurant to have dinner at each night.
Yesterday, Zoe attended her orientation day for Yr 7. The girls don't start until the end of January, but all of the Yr 7 2010 girls visited the school yesterday for some games and activities, a sausage sizzle and the opportunity to make some new friends. It was a huge success, except that Zoe was rather unwell, and later had a temperature of 39 degrees! Considering she was so unwell, she coped with the whole day admirably! She is so excited about moving on to high school.
She has also just taken up learning the oboe. Her friends are all calling it the "zoboe" of course! Already, she is quite good at it and hopes to join one of the orchestras when she changes schools next year. Many thanks must go to her wonderful music teacher at primary school, Martin, and her fabulous piano teacher, Leonie.
Ballet is proving to be a challenge, with the ballet teacher becoming increasingly demanding and rather erratic. A change of ballet schools is probably the solution for 2010. One that doesn't require such an all-consuming commitment!

Zoe continues to love the "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging" series. And now she has taken up reading magazines! More evidence that she is growing up!
I have been enjoying a wide range of books - currently, I am devouring "Wuthering Heights". I have read it before, but never with as much enjoyment as this time around - mainly due to the fantastic two-part series on the ABC. I revelled in the Stieg Larssen trilogy - loving "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest". You really can't put it down. And I adored "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - I want to go to Guernsey! I have also been reading "What's Happening to Our Girls" - a thoughtful and provoking investigation into the culture in which our girls are living. I feel like insisting on no shopping, internet or TV, and only picnics and farmers' markets as alternatives. Of course, that's not possible, but extending the range of activities that our girls participate in is important.
I have been trying to run regularly, but it seems my body is not as willing as my mind! Little niggling injuries creep in. Anyway, these next pictures are of where I love to run 2 or 3 (alright, usually only 2) times a week.
As you can see, Freckle loves the run just as much as I do! The girls from my school are often down on the river, doing rowing training, and Freckle loves the excitement she generates when they see her!
I'm so lucky to have this beautiful park so close to home (less than 2 km away). It feels like an extension of my backyard!
Some big decisions have been made about my job for 2010. I will have a reduced teaching load as I am going to take over the running of the Expanding Horizons (Camps) program. At first, I was rather surprised about this new position, but now I am really looking forward to it. It comes under my umbrella role of coordinator of leadership, and this is what I am going to focus on in my work on the program. I am only caretaker while the usual coordinator is on family leave.
I have also been enjoying working with the team of the Young UNIFEM Australia, Melbourne Committee. The Night on the Rooftop was a huge success with 200 people attending and $3500 being raised. The committee is so dynamic - I am in awe of some of these young women.
I have also just held a Student Council Conference that included two fantastic speakers - Krista and Katie from Young UNIFEM, and then small group discussions exploring issues facing school girls. My student council girls and our visitors were enthusiastic and thoughtful and have come up with some huge plans. Accomplishing them will be a challenge but they can only try, hey?
Just had to share a couple of picture of the wisteria around our front door. It makes quite an impression.