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Rhiannon's evening

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Rhiannon is missing two teeth now. The Tooth Fairy visited last night, coughing up an outrageous US$5 for her fourth dropped tooth. This time, like her last one, she didn't already have replacements lined up, so she got a very cute little gap. As the song goes, "All [she] wants for Christmas is her two front teeth!". You can't really get a good look here (click on it for a bigger view), but I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow This one shows her in her ballet outfit, as they had just gotten back from their ballet/tap dancing class..

She also regaled us with a couple of rhymes tonight. Not sure exactly where they are coming from...

Mary had a vampire bat
His fur was black as night
He followed her to school one day
And promised not to bite

She brought him out for show and tell
The teacher screamed and ran
And school was cancelled for a week
Just like Mary planned

And, in the same vein:

Hush Little monster
Don't you cry
Papa's gonna give you to Frankenstein
If you and Frank
Can't get Along
Papa's gonna send you to old King Kong

Adrienne's evening

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Adrienne was very quiet tonight, as she headed off to the bathroom for the nightly ritual of washing, bathroom and teeth brushing. One of us will go in with her, to help out with the brushing. They do a very good job themselves, but we like to get in a little scrubbing ourselves.

But tonight she went in herself and was in there for quite some time. And it was quiet - too quiet for our little Adrienne. I got a little worried, figuring she was up to no good - flooding the bathroom, unraveling all the toilet paper, you know, something. But when I went in, I found out she had been a busy little beaver, only it was moving all their Care Bear (tm) toys that had been on the side of the tub drying out. She set up a little bridge for them to go acroos the floor, then they climbed up onto the counter and carefully lined themselves up in matching color order:

Red and orange, yellow and green,
Shiny blue and Purple (and pink!) too.

Care Bears as a snailAnd then, because she's always thinking and her mind is going along a kerjillion miles a second, she quickly realigned them. This time, she said they were in the shape of a snail. She can be mighty tough to keep up with, especially at bed time. Her mind never slows down and it takes her awhile to get settled into sleep. Tonight, she was going and going and going until well past her nominal bedtime, which should be 7pm but is generally considered to be 8pm.

Fall Harvest

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A set of pictures celebrating Autumn in New England.

U8 Soccer, Fall 2005, The Galaxy

Galaxy Team pictureRhiannon in goal First up is the team picture for my daughter Rhiannon's U8 (Under 8) soccer team, the Galaxy. These are girls between the ages of 6 (Rhiannon's age) up to 8 years old. I'm the assistant coach, so I help out Coach Phil where needed. While the U6 level (where my other daughter plays) is co-ed, the U8 level is all girls. They play on a half-sized field, with half-sized goals, 5 on 5 with a goalie and a ref. We still don't officially keep score but the games are pretty competitive and a good time was had by all.
From left to right, back to front:
Me and Coach Phil
Bella, Olivia, Molly, Abbie, Emma
Shannon, Sofia, Sarah, Evelyn, Rhiannon

Rhiannon did very well, considering she was playing against girls up to 2 years older than her. She really loves to play soccer, to run around, and she got along great with all her teammates. She scored two goals in one game and looked really good doing it. I asked her if she wanted to try t-ball or something else in the spring, but she said she wanted to play soccer, so we'll keep at it. She played goalie the second half of the last game, and didn't get to handle the ball at all, poor kid!

Snow in October

Playing in the snowmini-snowmanIt was some cold for this last game, as you can see by these pictures, taken later that afternoon. Some heavy wet snow came down and the girls could hardly wait to get out and play in the snow. Spenser enjoyed it as well. They even got to make a miniature snowman. Of course, today it was in the 70s! Ahh, New England in the fall!!

Trick or Treat!

costumedcandyAnd finally, the finest of the fall holidays - Halloween! The girls get nearly as excited about this as they do for Christmas. They've been counting down the days to it since last week. Grammie got them dressed up and ready to go. Rhiannon is the sharp-looking cowgirl, while Adrienne is the adorable pumpkin. We were out for quite some time, collecting more candy than any of us will eat. Adrienne isn't a huge candy eater, and Rhiannon is even less so. And I always buy too much candy. Four bags was two bags too many, as we don't get all that many visitors. But nobody fell down, and they got lots of candy, so I'd call it a grand success!

Australia Slides, picture 4

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I think Melbourne was our favorite city we stayed in during our 3 1/2 week Australian vaction (see more photos here). It reminded us very much of our own home city, Boston - a small city, with lots of character and charm. In fact, we rescheduled our flight out so we could stay an extra day. We had some great meals, enjoyed the Gardens and in general fell in love with the city.

The only thing I regret not doing while we were out there was not going to see Hanging Rock. One of my all time favorite movies is Picnic at Hanging Rock, an incredibly atmospheric film by Peter Weir. It is just outside of Melbourne, but we just never made the time to go see it.

Anyway, this is a picture taken on the Great Ocean Road, a wonderfully scenic highway that goes north from Melbourne to Adelaide. We headed out along it one day, having had the drive recommended to us by several different Australians, and it didn't disappoint. Lots of great seascapes, jutting rocks and we even dipped our feet into the Indian Ocean.

The Bush Stops in New Orleans

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Hey, you never know. It seems possible to me, right?


Australia Slides, picture 3

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And here is a small kangaroo that we met in a park after leaving Canberra.

Our No Great Drama road trip was a nice drive after all. And the ranger was right - it was, in general, a pretty easy gravel road through to Canberra, the national capital. The trickiest part was a stretch under construction, where there were some pretty big rocks to be negotiated. But after going across the Bumaroo Bridge, we made it into Canberra, which was a fun city. Don't listen to the natives, who loved to put down Canberra. We had a blast and found it a fun city with a great central area for parties.

Then it was down to Melbourne, where we stayed three more days. It was only supposed to be two days, but we enjoyed the city so much, we stayed an extra day. It reminded us of our home city, Boston, with lots of charm and personality.

Australia Slides, picture 2

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These are the Three Sisters, in the Blue Mountains. Aboriginal legend had these three sisters turned into stone. You also get a good idea why they are called "Blue Mountains" - "mist" in the air from the every-present eucalyptus trees gives everything a blue hue.

After our 3 days in Sydney, we drove out to the Blue Mountains and stayed the night in Katoomba. After getting up the next day, we drove to the Jenolan Caves, which were only moderately interesting - seen one cave, seen'em all really. Plus they kept hounding us to keep our hands off things. We tried to find out if a road marked on our maps as only occasionally passable would be drivable in our little Toyota hatchback. Finally, one of the guides said "No great worries - an easy drive!", so we headed off our our "No Great Worries" roadtrip.

Australia Slides, picture 1

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This is a group of Australian school kids playing "Guards and Prisoners" - only in Australia! They were exploring an excavation of some early buildings right in downtown Sydney. We spent our first few days in Sydney and had a great time, although Sydney didn't have nearly the charm of Melbourne. We did plenty of exploring, went to the zoo and had some excellent dinners.

For a great book on Australian history, the clear choice is Robert Hughe's The Fatal Shore. A definite "Can't Put It Down" book, for sure. What an amazing story, the history of Australia is.

Australia Slides

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Gabrielle and I took an amazing trip to Australia in 1995. We were gone nearly an entire month, and we did about as much of the country as you could do in that time. A quick rundown of our trip:

  • Fly from Boston to Sydney. Travel time, approximately 24 hours
  • Sydney
  • Blue Mountains
  • Canberra
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Ayer's Rock (Uluru)
  • Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sydney and back home

We had a remarkable time and I took about 10 rolls of pictures, using high end Velvia slide film, much to Gabrielle's chagrin. We carried around an "eski", a styrofoam carrier with ice and the film cannisters in a bag, as that kind of film can't get too hot or too cold. I have two holders of pictures, and if you ever come over, we'd be glad to show them to you!

As I said earlier, we are painting our hallway, and Gabrielle picked out 6 pictures to have blown up to 16x20 and framed. Unfortunately, the Ayer's Rock picture didn't come on a CD, but the other 5 we recently had done and got a CD with them on it. So I will be presenting them here.

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