Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Gigi’s Concert

Posted: 07/07/2014 by Sharole in Events, Gigi, News, Pictures
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Gigi did her first larger concert this weekend at the Conservatorium of Music in the City with the Sydney Children’s Choir. Quite swarve and the first in my family to ever perform there. Granddad and I were her cheer squad, since Toby had to get TJ to his last swim lesson for this term. Toby was glad to see the improvement in TJ’s swimming so it was good for him to go there for a change, to see TJ.

We had to drop Gigi off at 8.20am and then go back to watch the performance at 11am. It was cold, being Winter, I guess that makes sense. Dad and I meandered about in the city it was nice to be there nice and early when it’s lovely and quiet, and enjoy the serenity of it. We enjoyed looking at the architecture and shop designs. At one stage it was nice to sit down and just appreciate the country we live in and how lucky we are.

We warmed up with a mid morning hot chocolate and then the shops started to open and I decided to check out Gap since their was a sale on which doesn’t happen often! I found a shirt for Toby that I liked which hardly ever happens, I even had to ask them to take the last one off the mannequin for me. Then before I knew it I lost it from under my arm, we searched high and low and realizing that we would be late if we didn’t hightail it to the concert, I was determined we’d come back after and see if we could find it, not without asking the staff to look and call my if they found it. No such luck from the staff.

We made it to the concert just in time and enjoyed seeing Gigi strut her stuff. We were given strict instructions as to their clothes and what was acceptable and what wasn’t. One of those rules were no white socks. Well there was one girl who had white socks on, she stuck out like a sore thumb, I wonder if that was the parent or child’s fault? It turns out there are only 3 red-heads in the younger choirs, so it’s quite easy to see Gigi.


Her face lit up when she finally saw us in the crowd, one of those proud moments. She did a fantastic job and we really enjoyed seeing kids enjoy one of the pleasures of life, being able to sing. Some of the kids faces were so animated, it made me smile from the inside out. I might even admit to a tear or two.

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After we collected Gigi, and headed back to the Gap store and I thought well I’ll check the pile of shirts where I couldn’t find it previously (hence having to get it off the mannequin and bam there it was sitting right on top. I was so happy and went and purchased it. We went and grabbed some lunch then went to head home.

Gigi caught sight of the St Mary’s Cathedral and wanted to go in and check it out, she was fascinated at how big it was and wondered if that was the biggest church in Australia, so we went in, she asked questions like why is there water in bowls about and why are people lighting candles and how do they make those lovely pictures in the windows. She thought it was a beautiful building and huge! I love that she appreciates such things and asks such good questions.

We then headed home for some family time, we all went as a family, bowling. William won a free bowling ticket for being man of the match in his Soccer game last week and being the only one to get a goal for his team. So he wanted Granddad to come with us. We had a nice time and just quietly I won, closely followed by Rocky, Granddad and Toby. William wasn’t too happy about that as he won last time when just he and his siblings played. I said well we are all taking turns at winning ok, he said ok!

Citizenship for Toby

Posted: 11/06/2014 by Toby in Events, Family, News, Pictures
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Hey everyone, I’m no longer the odd man out in our family. I’m still an odd man sometimes of course.. I’m the last one to become a dual citizen of the US and Australia! For those who don’t know, a bit of history.

Sharole joined me in the US and we got married, and after much paperwork, she was a permanent resident. We had 3 kids while we were there, and for each kid, as soon as he or she popped out, we went down to the Aussie Embassy in DC to get them naturalised and get their passports (so easy compared to the US process btw). Then, barely in time, before we emigrated to Australia, We figured just save ourselves hassle next time and get Sharole made into a citizen. So that was all of them as dual citizens except for me. Then when we had Rocky here in Oz, we likewise went to the US embassy and made him a naturalised American.

In order to become an Australian, I had to wait 4 years before I could apply. We sometimes hear stories of people getting their citizenship faster than that, but we sure didn’t know how that happened, or what loopholes they were able to use, so we just went the usual route.


Everyone at my work were quite happy for me, I would imagine it’s a pretty rare thing for a non-Aussie to be working for a Council. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten this job if I couldn’t at least say I was approved to be a citizen (just had to wait for the ceremony).


Here’s a bit of trivia for you: the status of Australian Citizen is only 66 years old. That’s right up until 1948 Australians were classified as British subjects, and held UK passports. I did a bit of research and it turns out Canada was a similar story. The status of Canadian citizen was only in effect since 1947, so the year prior. I won’t say it, but some might think Aussies were copying the Canadians.



Posted: 05/06/2014 by Sharole in News, Pictures, TJ
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This year, we decided to get the kids (TJ, Gigi, William) into soccer and honestly it wasn’t that easy to find. I expected to do a search for Soccer clubs near Ermington and no such luck, thankfully I talked to a few people and found what I was after. There is a Ermington Soccer Club. So we signed the kids up, we weren’t too sure about Gigi and turns out she can’t with Choir being at the same time on Saturdays, but she does do practise with TJ’s team on Tuesdays nights for exercise, to learn the skills, and helps her friends are playing also.

A week or two ago I had to take TJ for a whole day’s worth of Soccer games at the local park with all 4 kids, it was a long day and Rocky got pretty tired and grumpy about it. We soldiered on and made it through. They call them Gala Day’s. Well at the end of the day they get medals.

This is TJ’s first Medal, he was rather proud about it. So we’ve got it hanging up in the dining room. Below is a shot of the team receiving their medals.

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Can you spot TJ? He’s the one with the King Kong shirt on.

This year I really wanted to do something fun with the kids and so, I decided to make it green day. We invited a couple from Church to come for dinner Josie and Lachie Mackie, Josie being a fellow American, so she grasped doing something fun. They came all dressed up in green, nice job I thought I didn’t even have enough green to cover my whole self with green, my top was even mint green, sad really.

In the morning I started off by getting up early and making everyone green pancakes and green milk for Breakfast. Toby gladly ate the pancakes obviously not the milk :)

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I packed their lunches with all green food. Green apples, green cucumber, green pikelets and so forth. I even had Leprechaun juice for them, for when I picked them up from school.

Then for dinner we had green mashed potatoes, zucchini, green salad and pesto chicken. It came up quite delicious, if I do say so myself (ok I was pleasantly surprised). It wasn’t that easy finding something green for dinner to keep it all green, and something the kids would eat.


The lemon/lime drink wasn’t that green, so we even added food colouring to fix that problem. Some weren’t as willing as others. Gigi and I were in!


After dinner we played games. First was an easy one where you have to roll the dice for gold coins. Once you filled the clover then you won. I didn’t win. I can’t remember who won now, one of the kids.

Then it was search for shamrocks in the back yard. I stuck shamrocks on clothing pegs for that game so we could put them cool places. First we had the adults hiding them for the kids, then the one who found the most got Lepricorn gold (gold chocolate covered coins) and then the kids hide them for us adults. Lachie won that game for the adults.

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Then I made up a bowl of lime shaving cream, and put gold coins in it, the kids each had a turn in pulling them out when they thought they’d found all the coins, they’d guess how many coins were in it. No one got it right. Gigi especially loved the goey sensation of that game. Rocky didn’t like it at all.

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You’ll also notice that there are pictures up on the wall, that was from the afternoon, I had the kids do a colouring in of a Leprechaun and then Josie and Lachie said who won, for another gold coin.

I had a man game, called Glob Shots. The boys had 5 shot cups of green jelly. The one that got them all down first only using there mouth and tongue got a No 1. trophy. Lachie finished first but he also broke one of the cups and so didn’t eat that one as it shattered. Toby got all 5 down. We were all suitably impressed.


Then after we all sat down yapping with dessert and making pots of gold, when they were finished we put them all up on the frangipani tree outside.


I tried out a recipe called Leprechaun Bark. It was quite tasty, rich though so you don’t eat lots of it. I also did an adjustment to a treat with pretzels. I dipped 1/2 the pretzel in white chocolate, then I had a crushed up pepermint crisp bar, and then dipped it in there. It came out a real treat and was Josie’s favourite. Below is a shot of my version of Leprechaun Bark. We also had mint covered chocolate balls and spearmint leaves, both green also.


My Leprechaun bark was milk chocolate melted on the bottom and refridgerated, then I melted white chocolate  and added green flavouring to turn it green and poured it on top. Then I had picked out green m&m’s (smashed them up) and the rest of the crushed up peppermint crisp and sprinkled it over it, and refridgerated, once all hard you break it up to serve.

So it was a totally Green Day for us O’Hara’s.



Gigi’s 7th Birthday

Posted: 01/04/2014 by Sharole in Events, Gigi, News, Pictures
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This year should work out much better, as in Gigi is turning 7 so not a big birthday and William had a party last year with Rocky, so hopefully we get through this year with less expenditure :) They each get to pick what they want for dinner. And we’ve carried on a tradition from my upbringing, which is they get a special drink and a chocolate. And our own tradition in that they pick what cake they want and we make it happen.

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Last year we gave Gigi the option of going to see a play for her birthday gift, so we made sure to tell her no sleepovers, no party just an outing with either mum or dad, she said can I have both of you, we said sure, so she said fine. We purchased tickets to go see “Annie the Musical” closeby in Parramatta, lovely and close and they did a really good job. She loved it and she felt very special getting both parents to herself.

She got a special dress that she chose, which I would have loved at that age also and the fabric is divine and the colours are fantastic on Gigi, I was also glad it wasn’t expensive, and will last her for some time, since the straps are adjustable. She wore it to Annie, it worked out well being on the exact night of her birthday. Granddad came over and was able to celebrate with us and then watched the boys whilst we took Gigi out. Thanks Granddad, the boys were very happy with that arrangement!


She picked for her cake this year, a chocolate cake with pink swirls on it, sounds easy enough, right, we thought great! Then Toby started to decorate it and it wasn’t looking great, then after some tweeking from Toby he turned it into a lovely looking cake. It said “Gigi 7 Happy Birthday”. Gigi loved it and so voila, one happy girl.

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Thank you to those that sent her a card or gave a gift. Gift giving is definitely her love language at present. She had a great day and loved her gifts and getting to have a day dedicated to her, minus school of course. Thought she asked me to make Rocky Road for her to take to school for each of her classmates.

She starts the countdown to her birthday after TJ’s birthday, every year.

Gigi is a great help around the house, she likes to help mother and is very can do, about the house. She can fry her own egg and toast, she hangs out the washing (albeit needing some finessing), does dishes, vacuums, sweeps, does gardening, can vacuum the car and clean the wheels on the car, she can put the washing on and get it out. Her most disliked jobs are dishes and cleaning her room because she says it’s always Rocky’s mess not hers, a lot is, his but she is certainly good at making a mess also.

We are very grateful to have a princess in our home, and that she is our daughter.





Nude Food Day Last Friday students in all classes, K-6 were introduced to the concept of Nude Food Day by presenters from 4/5B. Students will develop an awareness of how unreusable waste is damaging to the environment and realise that they can take small steps to reduce waste.

A colouring competition was held to promote this concept, and two children from each stage won a healthy fruit salad snack in a reusable container. Congratulations to: Renee (Kindy), William (Kindy), Reuben (Year 1), Gigi (Year2), Clare (Year 3), Brendan (Year 4), Masson (Year 5) and Jordan (Year 5). Starting next term, every Thursday will be Nude Food Day at school.

Students need to bring healthy lunches and snacks in reusable packaging. There will be bins for compost, however, any packaging that is not reusable needs to go home with the child as no rubbish bins will be available.











Toby and I are proud that 2 of our kids won. They are both very creative and it was nice to see others can see it also. :)

It’s taken some time to get to writing this. Our son is now 8 years old, seems strange to think, of him that old before we know it he’ll be in double digits. We always start out with the kids opening their gifts, they have to wait till we are all there so we can watch. The below gifts pictured are from Grandmama and G’dad, a tie and tie pin. TJ was happy with his gifts, his large gift from us was a set of scriptures. He likes them alot so we’ll start reading them together this year.


It sure takes time to get things organised for parties, or maybe I should say a decent party! I tried to simplify it as much as I could. His event was his Baptism, and somehow the timing worked out that his birthday fell right on a Sunday and it worked out that he could get Baptised that same day. Making it easy to remember, for the future.

We went to morning church and then got last minute things organised ready for his baptism. Toby had prepared a song in sign language for him and his great Aunt Helen and his primary teacher Sister Frost spoke at his baptism.

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The Baptism ran smoothly and afterwards we had some food. My friends were very supportive and helped with bringing a plate and keeping the tables sorted and food flowing, which we were very grateful for. Also my mother made the punch which was a hit. TJ choose a rainbow ice cream cake for this year and I was surprised it went as far as it did, everyone who wanted a piece got one and there were even 2 slices left over, which TJ’s cousins managed to polish off for us. TJ ate up the chocolate “Happy Birthday”, no problem! You’ll notice he lost his first tooth just a few days before his birthday.


I tried to keep the table simple as our Bishop doesn’t like the fanfare that can take place at Baptisms nowadays and so here are some shots of what we did.

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I made up some cards for the young kids, saying “chews the right” and stuck a packet of chewing gum on it and, some chocolate for TJ wrapped with messages to remind him about this day and the promises he made. I also made some cookies into number 8′s, boy they went quick!

All in all everything went well and it was nice to get home and relax and know our first baptism among our children is over with, and for the kids to enjoy playing with TJ’s new things all together. The Baptism Bag was fantastic from Grandmama. He’s already gone through it at least 4 times that I’ve seen. They are a great way for the kids to remember the importance of why we all need to be Baptised.

We love TJ so much and are so proud to be his parents. He does provide us with challenges, but what little spirit doesn’t. We love his soft heart and how his countenance shine’s forth.

Happy 8th Birthday and Batpism TJ.