Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Colour Behaviour Awards Day at APPS

Today was awards assembly day at Albion Park Public School, though only two of the three crazies were to receive said awards on this day. First up was Josh, who received his first award at big school. He was very excited, smiling and waving, and proud of himself. In the photo above he is standing on stage after receiving his award, and below with his Mum and his Pop.

For the last awards ceremony, Helen, as a 'senior' member of the P&C, had to sit on stage and give out the P&C Citizen's Awards. Here she is doing a fine job of her reponsibilities.

Jessica then received her umpteenth award, her next Silver award.

The video below is as the kids step up to get their awards.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

APPS Disco Night!

Tonight the kids had their first disco of the year at school. For Josh, it was his first disco. He and Maddi fortunately were in the same group, with a 4.00pm start. As you can see from the above photo, both of them were excited about the prospect.

Following them at 5.15pm, Jessie's disco started straight after the other kids' finished. She decided to get a little funky with some coloured hair spray and some way out hair design.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Consequences, Or Lack Of, For Throwing a Punch

The melee within the Australian Cricket team continues unabated in England, as the one day squad continues to keep themselves in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. And given what has already happened on the recent tour of India, and the difficulty the team faces in attempting to wrest back the Ashes over the next seven months, one wonders if they could be doing a worse job of things.
In 2001, the Ashes tour was dogged by the unwinding of Michael Slater through pressures in his collapsing marriage and problems with alcohol, though the team was on the surface unaffected due to the steel in the team and individuals. In 2005 Andrew Symonds' infamous all-nighter before the first ODI against Bangladesh helped perpetuate defeat in that match, and set the team off on a footing that they never really recovered from. And now a late night punch thrown by David Warner at English rookie Joe Root has all the hallmarks to again damage Australia's ability to concentrate on the task at hand, winning an Ashes series for the first time in six years.
Motivation to succeed is in abundant supply, what with the comments flowing forth from former players and captains such as Ian Botham, David Gower, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff. All have been critical of almost every aspect of the team and some individuals in recent weeks. All are basically of the opinion that a 5-0 whitewash is only unachievable if the English summer turns on the rain. It's not that they don't have enough ammunition with this latest incident, but the chuckling and chortling has become ever louder and more annoying. There's nothing much more aggravating than a self-satisfied smug git of an Englishman to get up your nostrils, and they are all lining up for their chance to be so.
Warner himself is now at a precipice, and it will be interesting to see which way he falls. Having just copped the wrath of the Australian public, media and cricket board alike for his ill-advised and unthoughtful ranting on Twitter while he collected his millions in the Indian Premier League for doing very little, to put himself back in the spotlight like this so soon after smacks of a lack of intelligence and appreciation of his own position. He is currently a first choice player in all three forms of the international game, which places him not only in a wonderful financial position, but in a leadership position of note. However, his form has not been the best in any of those forms of cricket, which has made him vulnerable.
In the long run it doesn't matter if he was provoked or was standing up for a teammate or just being a boofhead in this latest incident with Joe Root at a pub at 2.30am. The warnings have been coming thick and fast for and around Warner for the past few months. His fitness was questioned in India, where four of his teammates were suspended for not handing in a questionnaire. He went on a vitriolic rant on Twitter against two of Australia's senior cricket journalists with the thinnest of plausible reasons, and proceeded to make a dick of himself. The fallout from that should have been enough to hammer home that he needed to pull his head in and score runs rather than sledge the world, something he seems to do a lot of without being witty or remorseful. Following all of that, to allow this to happen - and the severity of what may have actually occurred is basically not relevant - is a sign that he is unable to control his emotions.
Cricket Australia's James Sutherland has made it perfectly clear that the entire team should feel some responsibility for what is occurring, and that they are all on notice. By suspending Warner right up until the start of the 1st Test Cricket Australia has basically ruled him out of contention for that team. The severity of this should not be underpinned, though many felt he should have been sent home outright. Instead, he will be forced to train and carry drinks, knowing he won't be a part of the 1st Test, and, quite possibly should they succeed, the whole series. That's as harsh as just sending him home with his tail between his legs.
One wonders, however, where the coach is in all of this. Arthur and Clarke came out swinging in India, taking the bit between the teeth and acting of their own authority to suspend four players for a match for not completing a task. We know the captain is currently M.I.A. in recuperation for his back, but where was the coach? And for that matter, the other 65 support staff this team has now? If this happened DAYS before any move came about to take action, why wasn't the leadership group so quick to jump on and take action on this occasion? To me this is the sign of a very serious rift in the ranks, and though it hasn't been mentioned yet, it looks as though it could blow at any tick of the clock.
It's fine to be aggressive on the field, but if you can't back it up with performance and wins then you look childish and churlish. This is the current state of Australian cricket. A little humility wouldn't go astray. There is no need to be submissive to the contest, but surely dialling back the antagonism can only be a benefit when you haven't got the form on the board to prove you have a superiority.
The end of the Champions Trophy element of this tour can't come soon enough. This squad needs to get some serious and sensible heads into the group, guys like vice captain Brad Haddin (who had better be seriously considering his options as captain of the group given the frailties of Clarke) and Chris Rogers and Peter Siddle, who won't put up with this kind of crap off the field and will make sure everyone is focused on the field. Let the media and former players have their field day dreaming of 5-0 whitewashes and Tests over in three days. We need to get our Ashes squad together, bonded tight, get some serious training and lead-up games under their belt, and come out for the 1st Test focused only on what lies ahead, and not what has gone on in the past.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Celebrating the Queen's Birthday by Doing Nothing

It's a holiday Monday, but by the end of the day it felt as though it had disappeared all too quickly. Hopefully the short work week will make up for that.

Anthony had messaged me last night that he and Koby were going for a hit at the hockey fields in the morning, and did Jess want to come for a go as well. So at 9.00am we went down for an hour. It was good for Jess to have a hit with two guys who can play the game, rather than her crippled old father, who again discovered that his troublesome left knee is going to need something doen to it sooner rather than later if he wants to be walking in a couple of years.

Jessica taking on Anthony. She got this one past him for a goal.

Our eldest girl is growing up fast. She'll be 10 next month

At 11.00am it was over to Nana and Pop's whom we haven't caught up with for a couple of weeks. Morning tea was supplemented by Helen checking out the new carpet and advising on new blinds and curtains, while Nana and Pop wanted to hear all about Josh's expedition to the footy on Saturday.

We came home where it was sausages on bread for lunch, and then watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which most of the kids thought was great, although Josh was unable to reach the conclusion.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Relaxing on a Long Weekend Sunday? As If!!!

Helen's orchid is beginning to break out into the open . It's a ripper too. And here it is for all to see.

So, what else would you do on a long weekend Sunday? Rest? Relax? Well... there was some of that. Helen and Maddi were in bed until well after 9.00am, and Helen even managed to get breakfast in bed.
Anyway, Helen decided that today was time to reseal the deck, which meant getting everything off it, then keeping the dog off it, then washing it down, then painting it up. Which we did, before Helen began the first coat.

Of course, no doubt it's a terrible thing that I did nothing while Helen slaved away.
Oh wait. I made lunch for everyone, and then washed up everything.

Meanwhile, the kids were playing their own little games in the lounge room together.

Meanwhile, Helen was still resurfacing the deck...

... yes, I was still doing stuff... cooking beef and vegetable casserole for dinner...

Eventually, Helen finished the first coat on the deck. Looks pretty good, hey?

Then we all sat down to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. During which Joshua literally fell asleep in this way.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Josh's First Day at the Footy

Skoda Stadium, Homebush
Today I took Dad and Josh to Skoda Stadium to watch the Greater Western Sydney Giants play against Geelong. It was Dad's first visit to the new stadium, while it was Josh's first time to a game of footy in any of the codes. He had been excited for a week.

We arrived in plenty of time, and I made sure I bought Josh a Giants scarf to wear so he felt a part of the game. I took this photo (below) and sent it to the phone number on the big screen, where they promsed to show all the photos later in the day, and that one would be chosen at random to win a prize.

We picked a great game to go to. In reality we went to watch the dominance of the Geelong side, who have lost only one game this year (to the mighty Magpies of course), but the Giants came out on fire, and kicked the first five goals of the game. A lead of 18 points at quarter time had been whittled to a 8 point deficit at half time, but they kept fighting. They were down by over four goals halfway through the third quarter before fighting back to level the scores 92-92 with two minutes left in the third quarter. Two late goals hurt, and then Geelong kicked eight goals in the final quarter to win by 57 points, a very undeserving margin given the tightness of the match. The Giants kids were awesome, and Skoda Stadium's size meant we had a great view from the 50 metre line at the southern pocket.
Dad thought it was great, and it was good to have him there with Josh as well, something he'll be able to remember forever.

The end of the game

I promised Josh that next time we come, we'll do some kick-to-kick on the field after the game.
And to top it all off, Josh's photo was chosen as the winner on the screen at three quarter time, and he won a signed Giants jersey. What a day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jett's Birthday

Though as per usual a camera shot fails to capture just how spectacular this morning's dawn was, I decided to take the snap anyway, just to see. It's not bad, but you can be sure it actually looked a lot better than it appears here. Perhaps it's just the outlook of M.J. Rowles Albion Park?

Today was also Jett's birthday, and seeing as his parents had flown off to Cairns for a couple of days, Mum and Dad had a cake and dinner at their house for him. 6 years old and going strong. Only one cake this time, but a mountain of lollies to go with it.