Friday, December 29, 2017

Looking Back at 2017

Here we are again, sitting at the end of another year. Time for me to reflect and sum up the year just gone and ponder the year ahead. If you’ve read my yearly review before, you will notice I’ve updated the questions this year. I hope you enjoy. Pictures are in no particular order.

This Year - 2017

What was the best part of 2017?

For my 10th year of teaching I had my very own class for the whole year. I thought it would feel very different because normally I just take over from other teachers however it was no different. I’ve done so many long term and almost full year contracts before that I felt really well prepared. I had a wonderfully behaved class and we had such a fun year together. I am genuinely sad to pass them on to another teacher in 2018 but feel very blessed to have taught them during year 4.

I was also offered a full time, permanent teaching position which begins in 2018. For any teachers out there, you’ll know this is very exciting because it’s extremely difficult to get a permanent teaching job on the Sunshine Coast.

I always really enjoy my short Gold Coast holiday just before Christmas and that hasn’t changed this year. We shared it with Rachael this time and had some very special family dinners and breakfasts together. It was also fun to test out our tennis skills while we were down there. Chris and I played tennis through some of primary and high school, so I was impressed to see I could still remember how to play. Might I add, I beat both Jeff and Chris in a game!

We made many special memories this year so it’s very hard to pick the ‘best’ but just scroll through all the photos for some highlights.

What was the worst part of 2017?

No big lows this year, just some life lessons. Quite a few colds and sore throats but nothing a day of rest couldn’t fix.

Jeff had to have surgery on his mouth from a root canal gone wrong. That was a very stressful day for the both of us but it went very well and this mouth healed up nicely.

What did this year teach you?

In my work life, this year taught me that I should have confidence in my ability as a teacher as I am competent at what I do. At some point during the middle of the year I was asked to teach a lesson for the regional director of ED QLD. I felt the pressure of that but also through I must be doing an okay job if admin are willing to bring someone from ‘high up’ to visit my classroom. I also really enjoy teaching. I feel very blessed to have a job that not only pays the bills but makes a difference in little peoples lives!       

I was given the opportunity to help re-write some of our schools Year 4 English curriculum. I learnt that I did not enjoy writing curriculum documents and will stick with my classroom teacher role!

Each and every year I think I gain a little more knowledge on being a better wife, this year is no exception. It would be quite sad if we stopped growing each and everyday and I believe in learning from every opportunity, good or bad.

What was the biggest surprise of 2017?

This one is easy, we became pet owners again. One morning in October I arrived at school to find a kitten behind my classroom. My teaching partner and I caught him and as they say, the rest is history. We named him Marvel and we’ve fallen totally in love with our hyperactive kitten. No need for an alarm clock anymore, he lets us know when it’s time to get up.

Wrap up your year with a name that fits:

2017 was the year of teaching and very little sleep ins.

What will you be doing on new years eve?

Jeff and I are planning a very low key New Years at home watching something good on TV and enjoying delicious snacks together. After an extremely busy year it seems appropriate to slow it down for a while.

What have you been listening to in 2017?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Christian music this year, in particular a group called Anthem Lights. Lots of Ed Sheeren too.

What was the best TV show of 2017?

My kids at school were obsessed with Dr Who and with some persistent nagging from my friend Phil I got stuck into watching it. I found it REALLY hard to get into but by halfway through season 2, I was hooked. If you easily get attached to characters, don’t want it. Everyone keeps leaving! Also I’m quite excited about a female Doctor!

I kept up with The Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy. I also started watching Young Sheldon which links well with Big Bang.

Another great series I discovered is The Crown. I’ve found the royal history immensely interesting and am currently watching the second season.

Finally, after busy days at school I needed something funny. Comedians fit that criteria perfectly and I laughed away to Michael Mcintyre and Jack Whitehall. Seriously google them, so so funny!

What was the best book you read in 2017?

I read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits to my class. With so much to teach, it took me the whole year to get through them! We also read about half of Thomas Appleby, Convict Boy which was quite a depressing read for year 4 kids.

What was the best film of 2017?

This is a hard question because I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast let along the films I saw. The re-make of Beauty and the Beast stands out for me. Mum and Dad took Chris and I to see it while we were down in Canberra. It was really special because it’s the first movie they took us to see when we were young.

However, my favourite movie was not Justice League. I went with Jeff to see it one Sunday afternoon and promptly fell asleep. Dark theatre, big comfy chairs and nearing the end of term 4… it was bound to happen!

I’ve got a list of movies I’d like to see over the Christmas holidays, but we’ll see how I go.

The Year Ahead

What are you most looking forward in 2018?

2018 is a mystery to me as I’ve nothing planned. Maybe that’s what I’m actually looking forward too, all the surprises 2018 has waiting for me?

Is there anything you are not looking forward to in 2018?

Waking up in winter! This year I found it extremely difficult getting out of bed in winter. I know it doesn’t get ‘that’ cold in Queensland but still I was freezing, and it was dark. A miserable combination! I’ve got reverse cycle aircon in my classroom now so I can warm it up but it still doesn’t get that warm. Maybe I should invest in a heated jacket?

What are your top goals for 2018?

Being more organised with food. It’s safe to say, I’m a very organised person but I can sometimes find I’m too exhausted to put much effort into what we’re eating. Breakfast I have sorted – green smoothies. I’d like to be a tad more organised with lunch and dinner. Maybe I’ll practise meal prep and find a way to make it work better for me!

Spending alone time with my husband. We are both so busy that we often find ourselves together but not together. I’m marking assessment in one room and he’s doing computer work in the other. Next year I plan to set aside time for us to spent quality time together.

What change would you like to see in the world in 2018?

People thinking for themselves. We’re a bit like sheep sometimes, following the pack. I fall into this often too but I’d like to see us all think for ourselves and check out facts before we believe something we’ve read, seen, heard.

New Years 2016 in Brisbane 

Welcoming in the New Year 

Watching the fireworks, drinking tea in bed... yup we're old

Enjoying the Gadenne pool in January 

Gracie's first movie

Mochi ice cream

Perfecting my dumpling skills

Letter boxing for Jeff's computer business

Getting ready for 2017 school year

PD first few days back

Playing with Miss Ada

We discovered a nice Thai place

Chinese New Year

Sunnybank for Chinese New Year

Beautiful sunsets

What a mess... first few days back finding my feet

Valentines day

Fresh pineapples from the farm

Date night at the beach


Pancake day


Rachael came to visit in March

And made up Scottish pancakes

Only a short visit but we had fun!

Puss enjoying her deck chair

Craft with Gracie

My travel book arrived

Visiting Good Shepard Baptist

How I survived term 1

Beautiful view on my way to work

We had lots of rain

Easter craft

School was cancelled for 2 days due to severe weather and flooding

Not very often you get to send this message to parents

Romeo and Jasmine came to visit.... in the middle of severe weather and flooding

We lost power for almost 48 hours and payed yasi 

Photo with the Gadennes

Not able to get out of Mooloolah

Huge tree feel down in the park, destroying a BBQ area

The boys went fishing

Misty watching Laree dance

Waffles on a stick and listening to Jason

Abbie came to visit

Free ice cream day at Ben and Jerry's 

Beauty and the Beast in Canberra

Mt Stromlo was very rainy

The view

We got Gracie a pony for Easter 

Dana's pretty Easter cookies

I made these delicious cinnamon scrolls 

Green smoothies became our breakfast 

Jeff took up cooking

Puss helping me use the Pro-bots

ANZAC Day craft

Visits to Nana

We grew grass heads

We used them as our Mother's Day presents 

Misty Moo

Eat Street

Sunset at Eat Street

Nutella Cronut!

We celebrated May the 4th in my classroom

Church lunches

Mother's Day at café Envy

Mother's Day with Nana

Family photo

Lots of Dr Who watching

Waffle Time in Montville

Monty's is a milkshake place in Montville

I learnt to make spring rolls

Ginger factory with Buchanans/Wests

Train ride

Brisbane trips with JDG

I got myself a fidget spinner 

When Uncle Jeff says you can't have ice cream :( 

Frozen on Ice with Rhonda, Laree and Gracie

We all enjoyed the show!

Lunch dates with these two lovely girls!

Fresh strawberries at school to support our chappy

Winter isn't my thing

Jeff's new favourite ice cream


Spring art

Went to Harvey Bay... Gracie hit her head within 5 minutes of arriving and needed a hospital visit.

Jeff, John and James enjoyed fishing

The ladies went to the beach

Harvey Bay coffee

Walking the beautiful pier 

My class artwork sold to a parent for $150

Mrs G

A few Noosa Chocolate visits 

We went to the Marvel exhibit in GOMA

Iron Man

Marvel characters 

Brisbane city lights

A huge fire broke out near Jeff's parents place. 

Father and son

We took 90 year 4 children to the Glasshouse Mountains 

Book week - Miss Frizzle (or Miss Grizzle as my teaching parents called me).

Dinners with Nana

Father's Day

Jeff's swollen face after surgery 

Visiting my 3rd cousin Ruby

Family photo

More family

Kooralbyn hotel was really cool

Meeting Ruby's rat

The girls

Trying for a whole group shot

New Review shoes

It took me all year but I found sunflowers

Aled Jones live 

7th Wedding Anniversary

Took my little black bag to the theatre. Got it from Mum and Dad when I was really young. 

City lights again

The Next Hotel - everything operated from your phone 

Mocktails and people watching

Puss was my bed buddy when I stayed at Mum and Dads. 

Misty lunch at Montville

Oliver Brown dessert 

Morgan and Gary's wedding day

Morgan and Gary's wedding

Photos with Nana

Mum and I took ages to curl our hair

Father and son

Teacher aides put on an ice cream bar for World Teacher's Day

Birthday kisses from Gracie

New willow tree 

One of the parents grew beautiful roses that smelt amazing. 

Christmas craft

JDG putting up our tree

My willow tree nativity 

Family photo

Fireworks from our back veranda 

A parent made these gorgeous cupcakes for our breakup party

So much party food!

A beautiful break up lunch for the staff

Our principal was my Secret Santa, she gave me this. Clever!

Until 2018, goodbye classroom!

Huge storm on the coast the ripped out loads of trees. 

Marvel got an ornament on our tree 

Lighting up the house

Trying to grow my hair longer

The most epic loaded shake ever!

Rachael came back to share Christmas with us!

Says it all!

Kings Beach Carols

Gadenne Christmas tree

At the carols

Jeff's friend Liam came to visit and do advanced data recovery training with him. Liam also taught us to cook Chinese food!

So good!

Our multi cultural family for a few days 

This photo is a mystery to me. I took it at 4:36am but I don't remember at all!

Father daughter love

Christmas cookies

I made and decorated over 80 

Mum's Christmas lights 

Arrived at the Marriott 

Marriott Holiday

Love the view

Rachael and I by the pool. I may have napped

New dress


Mum and Dad on holidays

Night view is just as good

I love seeing all the decorations 


Pro tennis player...

Family dinner at the Gold Coast

I was a Christmas Fairy for Laree

Ready to make some Children's day!

Christmas time!

Laree, Dana and I made this cake... it almost killed me!

At the holiday park

We got a dryer for Christmas!!!

Christmas breakfast

Gadenne present opening

Gadenne Christmas lunch

Family dinner

Merry Christmas to this gorgeous girl!

Dad putting in the new dryer

Merry Christmas from us!

Family on Christmas

Sharing Christmas with Rachael

Awesome Uncle!

We celebrated so many birthdays  

The Churches birthday

And finally we met and welcomed our beautiful kitten Marvel
The day we found him

Meeting Puss

He loves attention 

Chill out life now!