With all the shed-building, ice-skating, bike-riding, movie-watching and play-dating that we did throughout the holidays we had forgotten to spend a single day together as a whole family. So on Day 16, the very last day of the break, we loaded the bikes and headed to Mt Annan Botanical Gardens.
We rode the very steep Sundial Hill and were rewarded with a view of the city at it's summit. There was also a very cool analemmatic sundial, where we used our shadows to tell the time. Can you tell what time it was? The kids loved how accurate it was (again with the stacks hats! They are either very cautious or very well trained). We took some wacky self timer photos and, after a riding the perimeter of the park, found ourselves beside a gorgeous lake where we had a BBQ basking in the glorious winter sunshine.
I love that shot of my boy. He still has that dimple, the only one of us to sport one. He is in that sweet (almost!) 7 year old stage. Full of information and the most interesting observations as he acutely observes the world from his emerging big boy perspective. We are weeks out from his birthday and he is quietly counting down the days until he is 7. It seems to be a big deal, this turning 7. He tells me he is looking forward to sitting next to me in the front seat rather than behind me. I have convinced him that the safest place to be is behind Mummy and that he can ride in the front on the short trips we take without his sister. It doesn't bear to think about the sulking that would take place if Missy was left alone in the back seat.
We were talking the other day about his birthday and that maybe this year we wouldn't have a party. After thinking about it for a minute he thought that would be OK and instead we could have a play-date with cake for 5 of his friends. As much as that sounds like a party he insisted because there were no invitations to hand out it wouldn't really classify as such. I think I am being duped. We'll see how that idea pans out as we creep into August.
I'd like to point out that I'm not an over anxious mumma who equips her children with stack hats as they stand on the edge of cliff. Just before the rain of this afternoon we took a bike ride down a bush track to a lookout and breathed in the fresh air as we looked over the valley.
Each morning of these holidays we have found these two set up in front of the heater busying themselves. We've been able to revel in a lie in on these cold winter mornings, waking an hour later to find these self sufficient bunnies colouring or reading or playing happily till their tummies start to grumble for breakfast.
One of the things I loved most about travelling in Europe in winter was skating outdoors in front of a gorgeous old building. These last few winters have seen a few rinks pop up around Sydney and for the past few years Missy and I have been skating outside Parramatta Town Hall as part of their Winterlight Festival. Our girl is getting pretty good and was dead keen to have a go on her own without her little penguin. She is just getting the gist of pushing back with her feet rather than shuffling along on the ice as if she is walking. She loved helping her little friend who was a first timer and felt a sense of accomplishment each time she completed a circuit without falling down.
The building of the man cave continues. Floor down and poles up for the veranda. Today we also had an interview for Missy at big school. I can NOT believe that it is time to send our littliest chick off to school but she is oh so ready to go. There really is no holding her back. This is the mugshot that went off with her school application. So sweet.
This space in our yard has changed many times in the past 12 years. When we first moved in it was garden with a picnic table that the firies once sat on waiting for the fires to reach our gully. Since then it has been a vege patch and a spot for our chooks.
Last summer after many weeks with broken eggs and dead rats we moved our hennys down the road to our neighbour and a plan was hatched.
Tools has been dreaming of a shed for many years, a space of his own to store all his stuff where he can see it and get to it without bumping his head. These holidays work has begun building his man cave.