We arrived back home in Sydney Friday, 4 Aug, morning. Jamie Costello (Costello's Opal Discovery) met us at the airport and drove us back to Hyde Park. Jamie gave me my blue/green opal cuff links. We visited with Cristina and the Lems for a little bit and then made our way to the car and drove out to Rhonda Crosbie's before we lost our energy. It sure is nice to have friends in Sydney where we can crash for a night.
Saturday, 5 Aug - we amazed ourselves and had the car loaded and on our way to Grafton by 8:30 AM. The car was full, but we were able to get everything in but one plastic laundry basket. The drive up to Grafton was uneventful, but the weather was perfect and we were able to see the country side. Australia country is pretty. We arrived at our new home about 4:30 pm. We unpacked the car and did some unpacking of suitcases. We will leave the hard work until Monday.
Sunday, 6 Aug - Fast Sunday and we were able to hear & bear Testimony of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, and His restored Church. The testimonies of the Grafton Branch members were good.
Monday, 7 Aug - it did arrive and now we cannot put off the unpacking and organising of the house any longer. Lots to do. We are very appreciative of the Browns who were here before us and all that they did in getting the house set up and leaving us with some yummy food supplies. Beth Norman had come in late last week and cleaned up the house as the Browns were swamped with all they had to do to move back home.
Tuesday, 8 Aug - we did more cleaning & organising. We also attended a Primary youth activity that is held every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 pm. We will be attending this every week. Elder Haley met with the Branch President for a bit and was given some assignments, but he (Elder Haley) is looking for more. We are pretty much feeling normal by now, so we can get back into our normal morning routine of prayer & scripture reading - it took a bit of a hit during our travels and recuperation.
Wednesday, 9 Aug - We continued to work on the house most of the day. We stopped in the later afternoon and went to the Zaffino's for dinner. It was very nice of them to invite us to dinner and a good break from cleaning the house. In the morning we were able to talk with GGma Haley on Skype for the first time in a few weeks.
Thursday, 10 Aug - This was a CLEAN & ORGANISE the house day. We did get some shopping done for food and some supplies, etc that we needed for the house
Friday, 11 Aug - MORE CLEANING. The branch held a movie night at the branch meeting house tonight. Everyone brought a snack to share and we watched "The Other Side of Heaven". It was good to be with & meet some of the members.
Saturday, 12 Aug - More shopping, organising & cleaning. Plus ironing of shirts to be ready for Church meetings tomorrow. Oh yes, and preparing a crock pot of Chicken stew for the lunch tomorrow after the meetings. We took a drive out to Ulmarra on the A1/Pacific Highway, just to get out of the house for a bit.
Sunday, 13 Aug - President Denley & his wife (of the District Presidency) were the speakers today in Sacrament. Sister Denley talked about how Heavenly Father does exist and that the world and all of us are proof that He does live. She told about taking a 1,000 piece jig saw puzzle and tossing it in the air and seeing if it would fall together by itself. She was trying to show one of her grandchildren how it is not reasonable to assume that there is no God based upon how this earth has been formed and all the things living on it are put together so neatly. The odds of the puzzle putting itself together is in contrast to the great puzzle of the earth & man which is together - not by chance, but by design and management from our Heavenly Father & His Son, Jesus Christ.
OK, fun & games are over. It is time to buckle down and get to work. Next week we start visiting and doing what the branch President asks us to do.
the car packed to the ceiling
Almost to Grafton
The main shopping mall in Grafton
We are HOME
Side view of the packed car. The last of the things were loaded in through the back windows and then the windows rolled up.
Jello anyone? Left by the Browns
Our solar clothes dryer with wind technology to rotate it.
The back deck. The room in the background is an extra room to be used for whatever.
some of the neighbors down the road
Our welcoming committee to Junction Hill. Junction Hill is a bedroom community 7 km from Grafton and where we actually live.
An Australian farm house not far from us
"The Scream" I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. A 50/60s ice cream shop in downtown Grafton
Betty Boop at the Scream
Part of main street, Grafton, on a Saturday afternoon. Most stores close at 1 pm on Saturday.
The Ulmarra Hotel
The Clarence River. It runs through the Clarence valley and through Grafton
Just in case you forgot where we are living.
Beautiful, downtown Ulmarra. We love the wrought iron work on the 2nd floor balconies. Typical of Australia.
The opal cuff links, but the photo does not do them justice
Night is coming to the Clarence Valley. Beautiful sunsets almost every night - at least during the winter months.