One factor in our visit to friends on the Sunshine Coast has been to reunite our girls with their friends. It has been nice to see that the memory of their friendships is enduring despite time and distance, and we seek to encourage long-term relationships between our children and their pals.

Embracing Melinda, September 2011
It's been almost ten months since we last visited the Rattenburys.

We last visited the Rattenburys in December last year. However, during our interim travels, the girls have talked about Kalei, Zeke and Asher constantly. They’ve drawn pictures for their friends, composed letters and wrapped up little presents.

Nigel, September 2011
One of the new toys that Nigel has brought back from China is a remote-control helicopter.

Asher and Nigel, September 2011
Unfortunately, a small piece of the helicopter broke today. Nigel's confident he can replace it, but it means that we won't see the whirlybird flying any more during this visit.

The Rattenburys always have a marvellous collection of gadgets and toys to play with. We love to be introduced to cool technology, and Nigel’s the man who susses it all out.

Our girls enjoy seeing and playing with remote-control toys too after we first bought one in New Zealand. Today Zeke showed Aisha how to control her car, and she soon picked up the techniques.

Aisha playing with a remote-control car, September 2011
Aisha would tease Delaney with the remote-control car — sending it towards her. Both girls enjoy the interaction.

Delaney and Zeke playing with a remote-control car, September 2011
In this game, Zeke also likes driving his car perilously close to Delaney who tries to swipe it off the table.

This afternoon, we took everyone down to a local park to get some exercise. We had a special encounter with the woman whose house we parked outside. Her daughter lives in New Zealand and works for Greenpeace, so she thought perhaps we had come to visit her! It was a reminder that there are friendly people everywhere.

Aisha and Brioni on playground equipment, September 2011
Aisha and Brioni enjoy trying out some playground equipment that is different to what they've experienced before. These poles twist around at an angle.

Brioni, 5yo, September 2011
Brioni is our little "hot bod" — she stays warm in cool weather and is finding the hot weather here a bit difficult to adjust to. We're giving her strategies to stay cool, and it'll only be a little while until she's adjusted to the different climate.

Aisha and Zeke on the swings, September 2011
Aisha and Zeke have enjoyed rebuilding their special friendship.

Aisha on her bike, September 2011
We're carrying the girls' bikes with us as we travel. Kuluin Neighbourhood Park is a great place for bike-riding.

Back at the house, the kids soon resumed their colouring-in marathon. Zeke started colouring in several weeks ago when he stayed at home with chicken pox. We love seeing how Zeke uses the computer to source the pictures from certain websites — soon our girls will be doing the same thing!

Our girls drawing on the floor with Zeke, September 2011
The girls have been immersed in intensive colouring-in sessions with Zeke. Zeke uses the computer to print off different sheets — as per the girls' requests — and then they chat as they colour their pictures in.

David colouring in, September 2011
Even David started colouring in with the kids. Although naturally right-handed, he has been exercising his left hand and is getting very good with fine motor skills.

Delaney, as usual, has been charming everyone who meets her. She’s in the special phase between babyhood and toddlerhood and loves to join with her sisters in their play.

Delaney, 20 months old, September 2011
Delaney is really delightful at this age. She speaks in complete sentences but without clear pronunciation. "I an oo eh ow" means "I want to get down." We count the syllables to work out what she's saying (or ask Brioni for a translation).