No time to relax with the Kemna Family. It has been a while since our last post, and a lot happend since. Everything is going fine and this week we are experiencing the hot Syndey summer, including the hottest night in many many years. The temperature did not drop under 30 degrees. The newspaper of today says:”41 degrees: Sydney’s sixth day of sizzling”. With some sadness we think back to our Dutch home in Nieuwegein where we installed Airconditioning in the bedrooms, to stay cool and have a good sleep on that terrible hot day in The Netherlands ;). Here we have airconditioning in the living room but not in the bedrooms. Our room and Tim’s room are equipped with a ceiling fan. But as Tim has a  high bed we can’t and won’t turn in on. I refuse to sleep with the fan on as it only gives me nightmares on how I will look after it falls down and it makes those noises….. Well we should not complain, this is what we wanted!

Besides the heat, also wind and floods keeps us busy. As you probably have seen at the news somewhere around the world, a big part of Queensland suffered from extreme flooding. It was horrible to see and hear the sad stories on television. The Australians are remarkable people. They try to stay positive and like on older man said: “Do not cry about things that won’t cry about you”. And he experienced the flooding in 1974 too, so for the second time, he lost everything. People who were not affected by the flooding went to the affected area’s to help and clean. “Too many” wanted to help and this caused traffic jams  and people were asked to go turn around.
As a Dutch, lived below sea level for most of her live, I am surprised. There are people here who think that nature should take its course. Other people think we need more dams and canals (like the Dutch as one professor stated). I think both are options okay, but please make a decision. I do not understand that if you agree with the first one, why Australia let people live in those area’s as flooding is a common thing in that area.

A couple of days a go there was the cyclone Yasi. First  figures were +3, today  adjusted to +2.
There were 3 babies born, 2 an hour before the cyclone hit, one during the cyclone in a evacuation centre. Imagine, giving birth while you are in a centre with 2500 other people! The baby was delivered by a English midwife, who visit Queensland to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary.  It was meant to be…..
After seen all this misery on television, we are very happy we at the last moment decided to go to Sydney instead of Brisbane. We feel lucky.

But enough about Australia and back to the Kemna family. For the first time in our life we celebrated Christmas in summer, so time for a change. While in The Netherlands we always had big real trees and bright happy colours (pink, red, purple, gold), this year we bought a white fake tree. We decorated it with silver and (ice) blue balls and flashing lights. Even the balls were plastic.

It was a tree I would have hated in The Netherlands, now I loved it. And plastic balls are not too bad with little Poes around. On Christmas one of our dreams came true: a barbecue with Christmas and eating out in the sun. Third Christmas day we went over to our friends for a after Christmas party. Again an great barbecue, lots of happy kids playing Star Wars and jumping in and out of the pool. Although it was a little difficult to get the Christmas spirit, we had a wonderful Christmas.
After Christmas our first visitors arrived. My parents booked their ticket before we left and finally arrived on December 29th. It was wonderful to see them again and show them our live here in Sydney. As we live in a 3 bedroom house we did not have the space to accommodate them, so they rented a cabin at the holiday park in Dural. The same park we stayed the first 3 weeks of our life in Australia. We had wonderful weather so the kids went swimming with grandma and granddad and stayed the night twice.. Taco and I went for diner in the city and enjoyed the time together without kids.
With my parents we made some trips to the city, the beach and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. And of course we just enjoyed having barbecues, shopping and spending time together. Before leaving they were making plans to come back next year! In April we will show Taco’s parents around.My parents love shopping and enjoy visiting supermarkets in other countries. My dad got really excited to see they sell whole rumps here, and bought one. From this on big piece of meat (about 4,5 kilo) he made beautiful steaks, mince and roasts. He taught me how to do it so by the time he left we had a freezer full of delicious meat. Yesterday I went out and bought my first whole rump. It took me about almost 90 minutes to process it, but the freezer is full again.

Tim finished Kindy (kindergarten) last year with a great report and English reading onthe level he supposed to be at the end of Kindy. He worked hard through the year and we are very proud. The celebrated the end of the year with a performance night “MovieMania”. Every class danced on a movie song and Tim’s class danced to “Singing in the Rain”. They did a great job and as you know Tim, Tim is always giving a little extra: an extra step, turn, move or funny face.  Last Monday he started Year 1 and proudly tells everybody he is in 1H this year. He really enjoyed his fist week back at school.

Zoë started Kindy, finally! She is tired but so happy! On the first day of school she was dressed, had her shoes on, hat on and her big backpack on her back at 7 am. Of courseTim did too and he really took the time to explain to her how to put the lunchbox in her bag. So sweet! After dropping Tim at school at 9 am, it was her time to meet her class at 10 am. She gave me a hug and off she went! Yes, little girl grow up very fast. When I picked her up from school, there was a big smile on her face and she told me to go back the next day. She is a lucky girl as she is in KW, Tim’s old class, and has a wonderful teacher. Her brother is watching her, like every big brother does. In lunchtime he went to see her and to give her a hug. But independent little sisters do not want that at all! She pushed him away and told Tim that she wants to play with her own friends. Girl Power!!

Now school started again, it is time to enrol for after school activities. Besides swimming (they are both in the goldfish group) it is good to have another activity. Zoë started her dancing lessons on Saturday and looking pretty in her dance outfit. We enrolled Tim for soccer which will start in April. But since Taco bought Tim a cricket bat, we are in doubt. He absolutely loves it and got a set of wickets from his grandma. So I think it will be football during winter and cricket during summer. I just hope and pray that he will never ever invite me to a 5 day test cricket match.

Another change is the switch Taco made in the beginning of January. After working at the ABC for 9 months he decided to accept the position of Senior Java Developer at Genbook.  Genbook provides online appointment scheduling software for small businesses. With a small team they are building new features to continuously try to improve the product. He enjoys working again on a concrete webbased product. It gives him to opportunity to be involved from the start. So far he is very happy with the change.

Did nothing stay the same? Yes a lot of things stayed the same, one thing is worth mentioning; We are still living in the same house and will be till April 2012, as we extended our lease for another year.  By then we hope to move to a house with a little bit more space. We keep on dreaming!

Take care!

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