Scenes from the Skeens

Archive for the 'Maddy’s updates' category

Maddy’s Thoughts on Our Recent Trip

July 8, 2007 12:40 am

On June 21st, 2007 we started our ten day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We traveled in a large and noisy campervan. We stopped only twice before we reached Shute Harbour and rode a ferry to Daydream Island. The weather was bad to start. The worst part was that it was cold and windy and it didn’t rain enough to water the plants. Despite the weather we had a great time. The wildlife was amazing! The rock wallabies came right up to us and snooped through our bags.

Kids and Wallabys

Nate and I were attacked by lorikeets, which are small parrots. The lorikeets would come right up and eat out of your hands. The snorkeling was fabulous, but the snorkeling wetsuits were the opposite of fabulous. My brother and I looked like Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss. When we went snorkeling we saw a giant clam and about 20 black sea urchins. Sea urchins can sting but black sea urchins can really sting!

Snorkeling, Daydream Island

On Daydream Island, one really neat thing was that they didn’t have sand. Instead they have millions and millions of little bits of dried coral. Day dream Island also has the biggest man made reef in the world. They let you pet and feed the reef animals.


After we left Daydream Island we drove to Airlie Beach and stayed for one night in a very pretty area (Eungella Park). Then off we went to Emerald. There are mining areas around Emerlad where you can pay to do some fossicking for emeralds, rubies and diamonds. We stayed there for one night and it was fun. Nate and I built a treehouse.

We stayed for two nights in Cania Gorge. They had bird feeding and the beautiful King Parrots that would land right on your hand and head.

Maddy & King Parrot

At night time you could go to the bird feeding area or sit around your site and there would be little bettongs eating the bird seed. Bettongs are the smallest marsupials. When we left Cania Gorge we finally went home!

Hooray for Grammy

June 2, 2007 8:29 pm

We miss her already.

mom and kids

Run Maddy, Run!

May 19, 2007 9:37 pm

We bought a new camcorder a while back, so get ready for a flurry of media on this site if I can figure out the best plugin for embedding video clips. What better way to start than Maddy’s track and field event. She finished 5th in the race at her school, a pretty amazing feat based on how much older and taller many of the girls were. Not to mention that Aussies take their athletics pretty darn seriously. So, with that finish she qualified for the regional finals, and she legged out a great race, finishing second among the girls from Currimundi in her age group. If I had some editing skills I’d layer in the Chariots of Fire music. Sorry, not there yet!

Happy Easter!

April 5, 2007 2:23 am

There’s a mythical creature here in Australia that comes out at Easter-time, sneaks into homes and hides lots of chocolate eggs. Sound familiar? It’s not what you think. It’s the Easter Bilby!

This cute little critter is on the endangered list so the Australian government swapped him in for the bunny (not much love for bunnies here, understandably). Here’s a colourful Easter Bilby card that Maddy made for us at school.
easter bilby
Upon hearing Maddy’s card would get scanned and posted on this site (such regal treatment!) Nate insisted on contributing to the effort. Here’s his picture of a crocodile.
nate's crocodile

Back to School

February 20, 2007 9:41 pm

We’ve had two weeks of school now (school starts in late January here and runs until the end of November).

waterfall Some comments from the kids:
Maddy: the school is spread out. There’s lots of classrooms in individual buildings.
We get to wear uniforms.
My teacher is strict, but we only have homework once a week!
My new friends are Kara, Cara, Brooke and Kellie.
The tuck shop is great!

Nate has made friends with Bill and Ji.
His favorite part is the walk home. It’s mostly along a stretch of beach and there are some neat tidepools.

Top Five Things

February 4, 2007 1:48 am

Here are some top five lists we’ve come up with.

The Top Five Things Nate loves (so far) about Australia.

moffat beach, queensland, australia

  1. I love when we go to the beach.
  2. Swimming
  3. Snorkelling
  4. Bodyboarding
  5. I love that it is hot here.

Maddy’s Top Five things she loves about Australia (so far).

  1. It is warm (enough said!)
  2. It is exotic.
  3. The surfing and swimming
  4. The people are nice and friendly
  5. We are altogether as a family

Things that we find a little different here in Australia.

  1. Number one again, it is hot!
  2. There are palm trees.
  3. They say ‘G’day’, not ‘hello’.
  4. They have skinks and goannas, and oh ya, a lot of cockroaches.
  5. All the rhinoceros beetles are dead in February. (as far as we have seen)
  6. They drive on the opposite of the road, not the wrong side of the road.