I am really really trying to continue updating this blog, because:
1) I want everyone to know what's going on (especially the people that we don't get to talk to very often!)
2) I want to have kept this updated the entire time we were living here
3) I want to somehow figure out how to print it and arrange it into our Australia scrapbook :)
Well, things are busy...as usual! Ben's been working crazy hours up at the power station. It's a lot of responsibility and a lot of work, but it will pay off on his resume and it literally pays off, too! He re-signed there so he is officially at the power station until 30 April, 2013.
I'm working a lot too because really...why not? We get up (yeah I said we) at 5am and Ben doesn't get home until about 6pm. I get in usually about 8-9 hours a day. This allows me to accrue time in lieu (we don't get paid for the extra hours, but we accrue extra time off for every extra minute we spend over 76 hours per fortnight.) So that just means I have sick time accruing, annual leave accruing, time in lieu accruing, not to mention I get paid for public holidays. Seriously...does it get much better than this?
Ben is still brewing like a mad scientist, and he has made his first beer from scratch (fresh hops and everything). It's from a recipe from one of his books, and it's called "Righteous American Ale". I think it's going to be incredible! He's nearly finished the wine hutch, too. It's absolutely beautiful. Will post a picture as soon as it is officially done!
Here are a few little things that are coming up, and some future plans (but you know..you can only plan so much):
+Family Day Event this Sunday at the Galleries. Our Indigenous Arts Development Officer (we share an office, a love of good music and food, amongst other awesome things) plans this event annually. I'm excited to work this event--there are traditional indigenous foods (like dampers, which were originally just flour and water cooked in a hole), kangaroo stew, etc. She has also booked a professional indigenous dance company to perform. Plus they'll be lots of art and children running around. Should be fun :)
+Long weekend the first weekend of June. We'll be having a Wine Tasting (to celebrate the wine hutch being finished!) The hutch holds 55 bottles of wine. We plan on filling it up (wine is VERY tasty here, and also very inexpensive!) and serving some classy nibbles like chocolate dipped strawberries, brie and camberbet and crackers, fruit, turkish bread with dips, etc. We are asking that everyone dress in semi-formal attire (no jeans or flannel) and bring one bottle of wine that is at least $15 and their own glass (we keep breaking ours. And no it doesn't have to do with filling it too many times!) Then we'll have our own little wine tasting. I think it will be so much fun!
+End of the financial year as of 30 June, 2012. That means we file Australian taxes and get an incredible tax return, which we will pay off all of our credit cards with, and our car loan. The only debt we will have will be student loans, which we are slowly chipping away at! If we have any money left over, we will probably use it to book a trip (Thailand, anyone?!)
+Trip to Thailand in July/August?
+Same plans for October as I mentioned in my last blog
+My dance "graduation" (recital) in November!!
+Mom and Betsy are coming in early December!!!!!!
+New Years Eve is booked and we are ready to see fireworks over the Sydney Opera House and bridge to ring in 2013 :) Hopefully we will be booking a trip to Great Barrier Reef at this time, as well
+We will start backpacking and making our way home in mid-May 2013, probably will arrive home in July, depends on money and our plans!
I'm sure I'm missing a lot of exciting stuff, but that's all I can think of at the moment. We are enjoying our time here, but also really looking forward to being home. Everyone cross your fingers, pray, send positive vibes, do whatever that might help us secure jobs in the US! (Grad school idea is a no-go for now. After contacting grad schools about financial aid, we found out that even though we are citizens and were last residents of Maine, we would no receive in-state tuition because we have been residing out of state for the past three years. So...maybe we can find jobs that will pay for grad school!)
Hope everyone is doing well, and knows how much we miss them xx