Maria was the bridesmaid for our wedding 10 years ago, and we have maintained a close friendship since we worked together in Leeton in 1996. In 2000, while living in England, Maria met and married Oli, and they now have three children: Josiah (4 1/2), Micah (2 1/2) and Emmanuelle (“Mani”, 3 months).

Maria, Josiah and Micah, July 07
In the park with Maria, Josiah and Micah

Oli and David, July 07
Oli and David

We last visited the Aldrics in May 2005, shortly after Aïcha and Micah were born. David had a floorcoverings contract to lay carpet in a restaurant halfway up the ski-slopes, and Oli went with him to help (and for the adventure). In that visit, David and I climbed Mount Kosziousko (with Aïcha in the sling acting as a hotwater bottle), and later Maria and I visited the National Museum in Canberra (which hadn’t long been open).

During this visit to Canberra, Maria and I took the kids to both the National Museum and Questacon (a fun, hands-on, science centre). David went to work with Oli (who is a carpenter), and it was great to submerge ourselves into their lives.

Oli playing soccer, July 07
Here's Oli kicking a goal (yes, that's the goalie behind him). The chant is: "Oli, Oli, Oli, oi, oi, oi!

Lauren & Brioni, July 07
With Brioni at the National Museum. My favourite exhibit is the post-war kitchen.

Aïcha has had such a good time here. She plays so well with both Josiah and Micah, and she’s been learning to take a bit rougher style of play. Brioni, too, has enjoyed the extra stimulation. The boys are noisier than Aïcha, which provides great entertainment for keen watchers.

Josiah & Aïcha, July 07
Josiah and Aïcha were pushing buttons to cause a landslide in the display in front of them (at Questacon).

Aïcha & Micah, July 07
Aïcha and Micah experimenting with water at Questacon.

Aïcha & Brioni, July 07
The girls fooling around at Questacon. There was one section that was created to stimulate 0-6 year olds -- highly recommended!

Brioni, 11 months old, July 07
Brioni gets hands-on at Questacon.

Lauren & Brioni, July 07
Me and B laughing at ourselves in the mirror.

Aïcha & Brioni, July 07
Mr Potato Head parts aren't just for toys!

I love just hanging out with Maria, sharing the domestic chores and planning our days. We have been sleeping in the truck in their driveway, which has been great because we’re not in each others’ pockets all the time, and we haven’t displaced anyone from their bed. This Freedom Truck style of visiting others sure is a good idea!

Micah, July 07
I love this shot of Micah on the playground equipment!

Maria, July 07
How many shots do you think it would take to catch someone else's flash? I fluked it on the first one!

Aïcha, Lauren & David, July 07
We surprised David with a birthday cake (he turned 34 on the first of August).

Freedom Truck cake, 31 July 07
Yes, of course, the cake was a miniature Freedom Truck. Aïcha called the cake "Happy boo-boo noo-noo cake" (after the song -- try singing it: "Happy boo-boo noo-noo...").

We’re heading back to the snow tomorrow. I think the forecast is for snow showers (while we’re there), so we may stay inside. But it’ll be fun anyhow. After that, our plan is to head to the Coast, where we’ll meet up with David’s youngest brother Tim.

Will fill you in later!

The Fishers, with Micah, August 07
This is us at the beginning of August (+ Micah Aldric).