Award winning Sebastian

Sebastian received a Term Award this week at the end of year assembly. While I was there, the distance involved in a full school assembly meant no good photos of the actual presentation. Unlike the class awards, term awards are actually received by a couple of kids in Kindy, year one and two. So, good job Sebastian.

The citation reads: Congratulations on your enthusiasm towards your  learning. You are making terrific progress! Well done!

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Community fair

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As it was a beautiful spring day here in Canberra today, we set off on our bikes to the Inner North Community Fair which was on in nearby O'Connor.

It had a eco focus and the boys got posters about frog spotting and got to meet some lizards and snakes. Zac wasn't that keen to see the rather large monitor lizard up close "No thanks!"

We ate organic sausage sizzle and lentil burgers for lunch while watching indigenous dancers and political folk singers. Sebastian got a sticker for successfully sorting rubbish and recycling (knowledge picked up from his recent visit with school to the Canberra Materials Recycling Facility) and we got to see solar cells and electric cars.

The boys also enjoyed participating in a tug-of-war – boys vs girls. The much more focused girls won the first round, then the boys (who cleverly named their team "The Boys") after some recruting managed to take out the next round.

There was also some climbing and rope traversing – even Zachary got in the act and managed to edge his way across, without even looking like he was going to fall off.

Then it was time to ride home with some goods made of felt, new posters and increased environmental awareness to take with us!

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Learning Journeys

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Each year at Turner Primary School parents and come and share a "learning journey" day with their children. We spend an hour in the class being shown their work and the kinds of things that they do.

We visited Jude first and he took us through his various work books before all the Kinder kids sang Puff the Magic Dragon. Jude has done well this year and is starting to spell out words himself, while is copying is great. He is also shows creative flair in his drawings and is getting the principles of maths sorted out.

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Next it was off to Sebastian's classroom. They had a very ordered list of activities, and, with his usual discipline in these areas, Sebastian systematically took us through them: showing us his work on display, playing a word sorting game and a maths game, reading to us, demonstrating some PE activities and then showing us all his work. Again it is great to see how much Sebastian has advanced this year and to read his stories and journals.

It is nice to see into their world a bit more, especially as small people are never that forthcoming about what they have been doing at school, no matter how much we attempt to extract that information from them!

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Dinner at the Zen: Photos by me…and small boys.

Our first big event of the most recent Adelaide trip with the ritual trip to the Citi Zen for mother's birthday. Here, small boys got to meet their new little cousin Emilie for the first time, to much delgiht (til Zac decided "I don't want this baby).

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Other attractions of the restaurant, prior to food, involved visits to see the fish, in both the pond and the tank. Zachary was particularly fascinated by the teeth on the barramundi. "The fishy has sharp teeth!"

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There was much eating and drinking and stealing of the camera from Me-Me to enable a whole range of candid shots by budding photographers, Sebastian, Jude and Zachary. Some highlights below.

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At the end of the night, which was possibly not the best choice of timing, Nana decided to try and gather all her grandchildren together for a photo. Herding cats. The expression of Zachary's face reveals that he will soon be  moving into totally uncooperative mode:

…which indeed he did, leaving the others to struggle on and try and get a pose which captured everyone at their best….

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Up, up and away

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Flying to Adelaide on two flights by yourself with three small boys does sound a little daunting. However, the excitement of travel, the joys of earphones and Mr Men travel packs were enough to ensure that riotous behaviour was curbed and everyone behaved quite well (including their mother).

And you know they have taken too many flights when Jude wanders about the house saying "Here at Qantas, we take your safety seriously" with all the right intonations.

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Zac in a Box

Now you see him

Now you don't…

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Atlas: Egypt

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Another opportunity for international cuisine occured on Saturday – Atlas Egypt. Our numbers were initially reduced by the fact that Bronwen is in fact elsewhere in the altas – PNG to be precise – and then further reduced by the non-arrival of Kellie and Reg and co, which we later discovered was for the rather horrible reason that poor little Zoe had broken her femur. Nonetheless, there we were, amongst the columns of Kat and Burke's fabulous new home, ready to eat the food of the land of pyramids, while small boys took advantage of the extensive movie collection.

In the collection of fabulous food was koshari – essential lentils, rice, noodles and chickpeas with tomato sauce – kofta of two delicious types, lamb and black eyed peas and special oily rice of deliciousness.

For dessert, Rachel produced a fabulous brown sugar pavlova which was fabulous and chewy (I think I prefer to white sugar version) which we had with some lemon sorbet.

Delicious all round.

Next stop – Vietnam!

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School Assembly



Today I went along to Turner Primary School junior school assembly. Sebastian's class was hosting and performing a song we had heard practised many times, so it was good to be able to go and see the results of all that work.

It really takes one back to be at assembly and stand to sing the nation anthem and then listen to the children recite the school pledge. There was also "community singing" where everyone sings (including a rendition of "She'll be coming round the mountain" – I was quite disturbed by the rooster slaughtering verse with accompanying "chop chop" action).

Some selected children from Sebastian's class read their recycling themed stories. The personification of plastic bottles who came to life before being recycled was a little strange, but one girl's story did explain that the bottle just "went to sleep" while the melting down occured, and woke up again as a different bottle on another shelf.

Before the final number, class awards were presented. To my great delight, Jude received one (For working hard on his writing) and was totally thrilled. He didn't realise I as there, and was then excited again when he finally spotted me.

Then for the grand finale, Sebastian and his class gave us their rendition of Three is a Magic Number which has been updated to refer to the three "R"s of reduce, reuse and recycle…. Much enthusiastic singing and actions ensued and Sebastian seemed to enjoy it all immensely. His air guitar work was also fairly impressive.

Then, it was back to work for me, and back to the classroom for the boys.

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Zachary Bed Time Update: September 3

Toys in bed: 2 nerf guns, 1 laser gun, 2 swords, golf-club-holder-come-scabbard, Big Cow, Blue Cow, turtle cushion, big blue elephant (soft), Mickey Dog soft toy, giant Scoop, Fisher Price airplane, giant police rescue helicopter, 2 dump trucks (one Fisher Price Little People, one small), old style Fisher Price Little People bus, soft toy butterfly, soft toy pig, balloon (also there last night but I forgot), small Thunderbird One replica (with sounds), Fisher Price turtle, Noah's Ark music thing, giant soft Thomas the Tank Engine and rocket.

Went to sleep clutching: golf club holder – it was also over his shoulder and neck so I had to carefully remove without waking him in order to ensure no risk of strangulation.

Bedtime stories: The Story of Growl and That's Not My Bear. Remembered some of the words to Growl, and as usual laughed at Me-me imitating Growl's sadness about not being allowed to Growl.

Comments: Tonight was a delicate operation as were attempting to get Zac into bed early so could slip out unnoticed and allow Andrew the babysitter to avoid any difficult moments with young Zac. Fortunately, once in bed, Zac doesn't get out again anymore, so all went smoothly.

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Science experiment


One of Sebastian's new book club books is about space travel (came in place of the telescope he wanted). It contained an experiment about rocket propulsion.

Having consulted the book, Sebastian determined that we needed string, straws, sticky tape and a balloon. He found a balloon about the house, so we rode off to the shops and bought all the other requirements.

Sebastian then set up the experiment himself, with only a little assistance from me. By blowing up the balloon and letting it go, he made the straw travel along the string. We discussed it all afterwards – physics in action.

Perhaps he will indeed be an aeronautical engineer after all.

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