Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the meaning of college in australia.

So, the other day I posted some amazing news on my Facebook status… Byron was accepted into the Australian Trade College!! We are so proud of him for getting in and excited about the new things to come for him in 2012.

Of course after reading all of your comments it dawned on me that most of my friends and family back in America might be a bit confused as to why Byron would be starting ‘college’ at fifteen. I guess I will start this explanation by first providing you with two Australian to American translations that might help:

Australian = American
College = Private High School
Uni or University = College

In Australia, the term "college" has several different meanings depending on what state you live in, but in Queensland the term college is used by some private secondary institutions (high schools), although some newer schools which accept primary (elementary) and high school students are being called "State College", while schools which offer only secondary education are called "State High School".

Does that clear things up a bit?

Basically, Byron will be doing his last two years of high school (11 & 12) at the Australian Trade College where he will complete his regular schooling but also start his apprenticeship for his trade- which is carpentry. He will be doing 4 weeks at college and 4 weeks on-the-job training. At the end of Year 12 (12th Grade) he will have completed 45% of his apprenticeship and move directly in to his remaining two years of trade school. I guess the best comparison would be when I took university level courses while I was still in high school. I was able to get ahead by studying a few subjects while still in high school and applied them to my bachelor’s degree once I got to the University of Florida. Same goes for Byron, only he isn’t going to “Uni” but will be getting his trade instead.

Make sense??

Anyway, we are VERY EXCITED about this and getting Byron started with something that actually interests him. We are really looking forward to next year and this new chapter for him… and us, hehe!

Friday, November 25, 2011

climb on.

Last weekend Sarah, Tynnielle and I met up at Urban Climb for one of our girl's weekend adventures. It all started with our bike ride last month and now we are thinking of all sorts of fun activities to try!


Sarah had been to Urban Climb before and was the instigator for this adventure. Her boyfriend, Andy, use to come here a few days a week as a training/workout. Urban Climb is by far the best rock climbing gym I had ever seen (and I also love how it is referred to as gym- because that is what it is if you ask me... or my ridiculously sore arms!).  


Years... and YEARS ago I took up climbing with a friend of mine. I think we went about 5 times before we realized climbing wasn't really our thing and so we quit. Of course not before my friend had talked her mother in to buying her all of her own equipment (harnesses, shoes, chalk bags, etc).  I wonder if she still has that stuff laying around somewhere....?



Because it had been so many years since my last climbing experience, we went through a quick lesson on how to use the belaying equipment and rope system. Go on- ask me what a "grigri" is because I now know!




While we all did really well (in my opinion of course) Sarah was the best by far! She was like a spider with her long skinny limbs. If you blinked for too long you would have missed her climb to the top completely.











We all took turns belaying, climbing and taking pictures until Tynnielle and I got really tired and decided to just watch Sarah kill the green route over and over again. She is a machine!




We liked the green brain rock on this wall.  They had a lot of interesting shaped rocks at this gym. I think my favourite one was shaped like an elephant. Very creative.


Tynnielle- the master belayer!




After a few hours of climbing on and off, we were completely worn out. Sarah and I gave "bouldering" and quick try before giving in to our worn out forearms and calling it a day.



I think all of us had a really great time and got a good workout as well. I am looking forward to going back again as soon as I can move my arms without wincing with pain, haha.

Thanks for the great day ladies! I look forward to our next weekend date.  Paddle boating, right?!?! haha.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

tricycle brothas'.

[disclaimer- this post contains MORE pictures of the boys on the sliders.  Sorry- are you getting sick of this, haha?]

This was Thomas' first try at the Huffy Slider.



I think Byron was hoping Thomas would love it soooo much that he would buy one too and they could add a fourth amigo to their tricycle gang....


Byron gave him tips and showed him his moves...




And although they were taking it very slow and easy... an innocent "thong" was sacrificed during the lesson.


[what a show off, hehe]



While I think Thomas had fun, I don't really see him running to Toys 'R' Us anytime soon.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

homeward bound.

You might have noticed a little somin' somin' over there on the side bar -->

Yes, that is right  It is a COUNTDOWN!!  

Not only did I revive the countdown but also booked my next trip HOME! Although it will have only been 7 months since my last trip home, I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who truly understands how much I need these visits and deals with my homesick ways in between. Yep, good catch that husband of mine :)

So in (enter time on the countdown on the right side of you screen) I'll be landing in Boston, MA where two of my very favourite little boys live... oh and my friends Erin and Steve and my sister and brother-in-law (the parents of these beautiful little boys!).  I'll be seeing some of my very best friends, my family and getting a little winter break in the middle of a steaming hot Brisbane summer. Santa has truly delivered this Christmas and I could not be more grateful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

grown men and their toys.

Remember Byron’s birthday last month and the tricycle he was dying to get...?

Last weekend while Brett and Max were pondering important things like world peace and the global financial crisis in the shed they came across an ingenious idea. Maybe they needed blue tricycles as well! The next thing I knew, Max and Brett were in the car driving to Toy ’R’ Us to buy Huffy Sliders of their very own. Children.


We did check the box and it seems that these trikes are made for people up to 180lbs, but just look at the age of the person on the box. Something tells me the guy who thought up this toy had no idea grown men would be building and riding them in their spare time.


I didn’t notice the very obvious sticker over the age recommendation until the box was thrown away and I was looking at this picture on the computer. I wonder what it says under that sticker. Veeeery suspicious if you ask me…



Max and Brett spent the next few hours building their sliders. I really thought after the last ‘building of the trike experience’ that they would be masters at putting these things together.  Turns out it was still confusing and took just as long as the first time. 





You can imagine Byron’s surprise when he arrived home after work to find his beloved dad with a HUFFY SLIDER of his very own.



I went out for a friend’s birthday that night and unfortunately missed out on the joy and excitement of the three amigos as they took to the streets of the neighbourhood with their makeshift headlights and riding gloves.


As I crawled into bed at 1am that night, Max rolled over and told me stories of their night on the streets. Stories of bloodshed, giant hills and sore legs.  As much as I don’t really understand the appeal of these sliders, I am glad it keeps the boys in my life so entertained!
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