With a brilliant sun in the sky today, we moved out of the house to enjoy the warmth. And with a pre-eminent solar photographer next door, we also got to experience our first true views of the sun through a telescope!

A new friend invited us stay at her home in ‘Baylys Beach for a couple of days. With a guest room, ensuite and serious playground equipment in the backyard, it’s luxury accommodation for our whole family! Although we’re within an easy walking distance to the beach, today we just stayed around the house, letting the girls adjust to playing with 3yo Marama and basked in the sunshine.

Calista's drawing, August 2011
The girls are all wearing fancy dresses they appropriated from Marama's closet.

Drawing outlines for chalk people, August 2011
Our girls takes turns lying on the driveway while I draw their outlines in chalk.

Drawing outlines for chalk people, August 2011
Then the girls fill in the chalk silhouette with details. Aisha used white and blue chalk to dress her outline in the same colours as her outfit.

Marama and Deborah, August 2011
After watching our girls, Marama lies down carefully so Deborah can trace around her too.

Brioni drawing with chalk, August 2011
Brioni carefully draws out a hopscotch game, complete with numbers.

Delaney playing outside, August 2011
Delaney loves playing with her little ride-on car in the sunshine.

Aisha in a white dress, August 2011
A little doll is carefully brought outside to enjoy the sunshine too.

The day was warm enough for water-play, and so the girls served cups of tea and played with magnetic fish in a tub of water before filling up one half of a clam-shell-pool with water. Delaney loves water and eventually climbed into the pool fully-clothed.

Aisha arranging Delaney's hair, August 2011
Aisha uses water to give Dell a new hair-do.

Delaney in the swing, August 2011
I think the mohawk really suits Delaney!

In the middle of the day, astronomer Andy was working next door, examining the sun through his special telescope, and he brought his equipment over to our side of the fence to show us what he was looking at.

Marama and Andy, August 2011
When she shows an interest, Andy gives 3yo Marama a view of the sun.

David looking at the sun, August 2011
David and I both seized the opportunity to look at solar flares and other visible activities on the sun. Using a telescope with a special filter, the sun is a red, glowing ball.

Deborah and Marama’s backyard is fitted with a huge swing-set — high enough for Deborah to perform manoeuvres on the swing trapeze — and a sturdy fort. The girls loved playing on the equipment while David helped Deborah and Andy assemble a spring-free trampoline.

Aisha on the trapeze swing, August 2011
Aisha is awesome on the trapeze swing. She hangs upside while swinging and pushes herself to great heights while standing. I'm so impressed!

Calista and Brioni playing outside, August 2011
Our girls invent new games to play on the fort and invite Marama to join in.

David and Andy, August 2011
While Andy reads the instructions, David starts putting the feet onto the trampoline frame.

Assembling a springfree trampoline, August 2011
Assembling the trampoline is quite complicated, but we'll get there!

We all enjoyed our time in the sun. Marama has been a lovely friend to our girls, willingly sharing her wardrobe, accessories, toys and play equipment. We’re so thankful that Deborah invited us here and are enjoying getting to know her better!