Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Hallieday - 9 years old.

(this is Hallie half as old as she is now)
( photo courtesy of Chelsea Parsons Photographer)

 Today Hallie turned 9 years old.

She was SO excited for her birthday counting down the weeks, then days, then sleeps.

Hallie is easy to please. Anything to do with motorbikes and lego and she is happy. Oma knows her well and got her a motorbike magazine for her birthday, which she has on her bed for light nighttime reading. :)

In the morning Jonty our official 'present opening helper', helped Hallie open her pressies.

Flynn this is Hallie's birthday blog post not yours. :)

Hallie has wanted an ipod for a long time now so she was happy with this.

I picked Hallie up from school at lunchtime so she could have some time to herself on her birthday and we came home and put her lego together. Well more I watched as Hallie sped through the instructions.

After school two of Hallie's best friends, Hannah and Alice, came over for a play. Sarra organised it as a surprise for Hallie and she was so excited when she saw them pop out of our car.

Even though it was cold outside, they had a lovely time on the jumps.

After the girls went home, Lisa and Rohan came out for tea. The week before Hallie had made a list of the foods she wanted.

chips-spring rolls-party pies and sausages rolls-fizz (Solo and Raspberry)-cocktail savs-sour worms-pythons-maltezers-homemade pizza.

Along with all that she wanted a dump truck cake. I should be used to these cake attempts by now. Even if they don't work that well, I'm sure one day my kids will love the effort. :)

Happy birthday Hallie.

A tomboy...

and gorgeous beauty...

(present day)
(photo courtesy of Lisa King Photography)
all in one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Westbury Anzac Service

 The last few days have been quite wet and rainy but as Flynn and I watched the sun rise today, we knew it was going to be a gloriously sunny day, so fitting to remember show our gratitude for all servicemen past and present who sacrificed the ultimate to keep our country free and unique.

We headed down to the village green in Westbury, just  a few minutes from our house to watch the parade.

Today reminded me of when we visited the war memorial in Canberra in 2009 on a family holiday. The same feelings of gratitude and awe surfaced today as I pondered the sacrifices made for each one of us.

Many of the school students from Westbury PS went in the march, and Sarra, Hallie and Oliver were part of that.

Simon, Jont, Flynn and I watched from the footpath.

until Jonty decided that the drain in the road was more interesting!!!

Today's service held special significance for us as Sarra and fellow grade 6 student Corey, were both doing speeches for the service. But what was extra special was that Sarra was able to proudly wear her great-grandfather's medals. He served on the HMAS Napier during WW II which saw battle right through the Mediterranean.

Pop Lanham received a medal for service in North Africa, Burma, the Pacific, and Tobruk, being one of the heroic party's that became known as the Rats of Tobruk. She has worn them once before, but she was a bit younger and I don't think she understood the significance of them back then.

Anzac Day gets me the best of times but to see Pop's great-granddaughter wearing his medals so heroically earned, so much sacrifice and hardships over the years he was at war and the years once he returned home as he fought many a post-traumatic demon, made me cry for what he did to earn freedom not only for his great-granddaughter but for countless people he would never meet.

Sarra also has the privilege of having her other great-grandfather, Harry Triffitt also serve in WW II in the army. He was shot in the stomach in Papua New Guinea and lay all night in a hole waiting to be rescued.

To think about his courage is overwhelming. I don't know where to begin to thank him and Pop Lanham for all they did, (I wish they were both still here) for all that every soldier has done and continues to do for us, to ensure we continue to live in this amazing 'lucky country' of ours. We are truly blessed.

I have included a copy of Sarra's speech here for Pop (my Dad) to read. Thanks Dad for bringing the medals out to us. I know Sarra did my Pop proud. She wrote it all by herself without any help from parents or teachers.

Anzac Day 
Good morning everyone, my name is Sarra  Triffitt and I am speaking to you today on behalf of Westbury Primary School. Today I would like to speak to you , on my thoughts and feelings for Anzac Day.

I am here today, not just because I have been asked to speak, but to celebrate the wonderful life we have because of what the soldiers did for us. We are one of the luckiest countries in the world, we are free to be anything we want and do anything we want without being worried. And we should pay our thanks and respects to the soldiers who fought for our freedom.

My great grandfathers on both sides of my family served in the war. One served in the navy on the H.M.A.S Napier and the other fought in the army, both in world war two This is my first Anzac day in Westbury because in the past I have always walked beside my great grandfather in the Deloraine march, and warn my other great grandfathers medals until this year.

I am very thankful for Anzac day because it gives us time to remember what some did for us and to be thankful for our beautiful free country we have because of them. It also gives us time to think about the things the had to do and go through, to not only to protect their families, but to protect a nation.

When I here the words Anzac day, the first things that comes to mind are Kokoda track and Gallipoli. but when I really think about Anzac day, I think of it as a day to remember all soldiers and what they had to, also a day to celebrate our freedom and to thank the Troops for their hard work and sacrifices .

While we are here at this at this very moment, soldiers over seas would be having little memorial services, but they can’t go home to their families and talk about their day - they are still fighting.  We are thanking them as well as the soldiers in the past. Their services may not be as organized or as formal as ours but still mean the same thing, thank you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A tender funeral...

Today I had the privilege of being invited to a most precious tender funeral. This beautiful baby daughter (their first child)was born at just 22 weeks along in her Mummy's pregnancy. She lived for about ten minutes before slipping quietly into heaven.

This perfect tiny daughter of theirs for some reason was only to stay but for a brief moment. Words cannot describe the tenderness of the service, the love and bond that was so obvious to see between the three of them in the slideshow of photos shown - oh the tears that flowed for this beautiful little family.

(a balloon release at the cemetery for this sweet little angel)

Simon was asked as a family friend to run the service and say a few words. These words particularly resonated with me.......

" I know that there are no words that can easily stop the pain, there are words however which point us to a place of healing; to the person whom healing is available. These words are contained in scripture. They teach us of life after this mortal journey, that we can be reunited with our loved ones. We have just celebrated Easter - where Christ came to earth and died for each of us that we might live again. We sometimes might not give it too much thought, but at times such as today we are grateful for the knowledge of Christ and what he did for us.

John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."

He also talked about how their baby daughter has touched each of our without us having the opportunity to know her yet.

"I am sure she has touched each of you in her own way... I'm sure that each of us, since being informed of the news, have stopped and thought about our loved ones... have pondered the course our own lives are taking and what really matters to us. I'm sure we have or feel the need to tell someone we love them..."

How amazing then is this beautiful little baby. She was here but for a brief moment but she has affected us all so profoundly and none more than her parents, who will forever be changed and forever have the love of their daughter with them until they are reunited with her once again.

As parents, their final act of service for their sweet daughter was to lower her small white coffin into the ground, just the two of them standing there for a moment, tears flowing, saying goodbye, before they barely had time to say hello.

We understand that there is life after death.
We understand that we will be reunited with our loved ones again
We understand that there will be so much joy when we embrace our loved ones who have gone on before us.

But it still hurts....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

While you were sleeping...

Today is Flynn's first birthday. I usually let him have a turn on the computer, and report on the month that was and he is still excited to report on *12 months* and talk about his birthday and show us his presents and what a great day he had but I just wanted to get in first.

Usually once Flynn is asleep sometime between 7 and 7.30, I quickly put him to bed and get on with the night jobs but tonight, I sat in the chair for about two hours, enjoying being still, holding my little newly one year old whose head seems to perfectly fit in the hollow of my neck. I just sat and listened to his little sighs, felt his warm breaths on my neck and stroked his forehead.

I kissed his nose, his chin and his cheeks and whispered words of love in his ears as my eyes filled and my heart overflowed with love and gratitude for the rainbow baby of our family.

Who would have thought out of such heartache would come such a precious selfless gift in Flynn.


Lisa King Photography (12 hrs old)