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7. January 2016 18:01
by Rene Pallesen
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Hunter Valley Christmas 2015

7. January 2016 18:01 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Between Christmas and New year we went to the Hunter Valley with Sasha and his family.We stayed over
Between Christmas and New year we went to the Hunter Valley with Sasha and his family.

We stayed overnight in a cabin in Lovedale.




During the day we tasted wines at the various wineries (found some good ones).






















The kids also loved playing at the cabin in the evenings.

























































16. December 2015 12:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas family photo 2015

16. December 2015 12:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

It is almost Christmas and I've just completed our annual family Christmas photo and this is the fin
It is almost Christmas and I've just completed our annual family Christmas photo and this is the final version.



It was an interesting process getting to this photo this year. Last year we did a photo in the kitchen of us baking a cake, but this years photo has so many more elements to it.

The idea came from a combination of Kim and my ideas. Kim wanted to do a photo of the boys through a crystal ball. I actually bought the crystal ball right after Christmas last year with this year in mind.

We did a test in front of the tree in early December which was reasonably okay, but Kim didn't like the feel to it. She wanted more snow (pretty ambitious on a summers day here in Sydney Australia).



My idea for our family photo was based on me wanting to do a story of us as a family out in a snow storm 'Looking for Santa'. I had purchased a bag of artificial snow and a Christmas cape a few months back and we had some lanterns downstairs so I pretty much had all the components in place for the shoot.

I knew I had to do it as a composite with the boys as there was no way that I would be able to get the photo with all four of us at once. We did the photo over a couple of days, on the first evening (after the kids had gone to bed) I took the one of Kim and myself holding the lantern. Once I had this photo I could show it to Aiden and Lucas so that they knew what we needed them to do (Lucas just had to copy Aiden).



I had Gaffa taped markers on the floor so everyone would know where they were supposed to stand. Inside the lantern I had hidden a speedlight gelled with CTO to make it look light the lantern was lit. We are actually lit by a large Einstein strobe also with CTO, grid and barn doors to control the spill of the light.
At the back left and right were another two speedlights providing a bit of rim light to emulate moon light.

Because of the first 'failed' attempt of the crystal ball I got the idea to extend my 'Looking for Santa' photo into Santa's shed where he would have a crystal ball where he could look at us looking for him.
This would require three components - The crystal ball, the lights from the Christmas tree to create atmosphere and then Santa himself. I created Santa by hanging a hat on a chair which was easy to light and then I had another light which I used to balance the ambient with the lights from the tree.

The final photo all combined looks like the following, but in the end we decided to just use the tighter crop in the first and final photo.

1. December 2015 12:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden Graduation and Christmas Concert

1. December 2015 12:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

It was time again for the annual Christmas concert with Aiden and Lucas' daycare.Aiden is starting '
It was time again for the annual Christmas concert with Aiden and Lucas' daycare.

Aiden is starting 'big' school after Christmas, so this was also his graduation.



Kim and Aiden had both practiced some dancing and songs for the concert and were both dressed up, Aiden as a doctor and Lucas as a pumpkin.





Although Aiden was very excited leading up to the concert and was telling everyone how he was going to sing and dance, he absolutely broke down once we got there overwhelmed by all the people and the noise.

It was heartbreaking to see him like that on an evening where he should be enjoying himself. He was crying and didn't want to get on the stage. Eventually we managed to get him up and he did try and participate.





Lucas on the other hand had a great time, unfortunately I didn't get a lot of photos of that because I had to try and comfort Aiden.





After the show Santa turned up wit presents for the kids and he was a lot happier again.







After that the graduates had their photos taken and had cake.




27. September 2015 17:09
by Rene Pallesen
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Walk to Lurline Bay

27. September 2015 17:09 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This weekend we took the kids for a walk with some friends from Maroubra to Lurline Bay.It is a nice
This weekend we took the kids for a walk with some friends from Maroubra to Lurline Bay.

It is a nice little pleasant walk that is easy for the kids.




They loved jumping between the boulders.




...and exploring the small rock pools.







Because of the recent storms the beach was full of Blue bottles, so no playing in the sand this time around.





They are nasty little creatures that will sting you badly if you touch them.




This surfer was being very careful in his bare feet.



27. September 2015 17:09
by Rene Pallesen
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Lego Exhibition

27. September 2015 17:09 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Last weekend there was a Lego exhibition in the city.We caught the train in to St James station and
Last weekend there was a Lego exhibition in the city.

We caught the train in to St James station and walked from there.





It was a fairly small exhibition with my favourite being the pirate ship with all the details of the lower decks.












There was also some Ninjago and Star wars.










And a lot of other pieces.








27. September 2015 17:09
by Rene Pallesen
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Lucas Birthday

27. September 2015 17:09 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Earlier this month it was Lucas birthday.We didn't have a kids party for him, but we did celebrate w
Earlier this month it was Lucas birthday.

We didn't have a kids party for him, but we did celebrate with the family.







We gave him a new bike for his birthday...he was stunned and didn't know what to think of it, but he loves riding it now.

27. August 2015 12:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Lucas Moment

27. August 2015 12:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Lucas doesn't like me taking photos of him.Here I caught him having a moment after I picked him up a
Lucas doesn't like me taking photos of him.

Here I caught him having a moment after I picked him up at daycare.

21. August 2015 08:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden Birthday

21. August 2015 08:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

I realised that I hadn't posted anything from Aidens birthday.On the weekend we had a bowling birthd
I realised that I hadn't posted anything from Aidens birthday.

On the weekend we had a bowling birthday party with all the kids (and mum and dad) dressed up as super heroes.

















We also had a family dinner where we celebrated both his, Kayla's and Adams (his cousins) birthdays.











18. August 2015 16:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Steam train day

18. August 2015 16:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This Sunday we took the boys to Thirlmere trainworks. This is a large train museum with lots of old
This Sunday we took the boys to Thirlmere trainworks. This is a large train museum with lots of old steam trains.

Here we learned that steam trains in NSW were running up until 1973 which means that we were born in the era of steam trains...makes me feel really old.



We went for a ride on one of the old steam trains (I think I was more excited than the kids).
























As usual Aiden and Lucas were monkeying around being best mates. This is a bus on rails.






This is an instruction carriage used to teach how to operate the brakes on a steam train.

18. August 2015 16:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Coastal walk with the boys

18. August 2015 16:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

In the spirit of trying to keep the boys active Kim and I took them of a coastal walk from Coogee to
In the spirit of trying to keep the boys active Kim and I took them of a coastal walk from Coogee to Clovelly on a beautiful winters day.



The water in the little bays were calm and clear.






Half way we sat down and had a snack.



Kim braved it with the aerial yoga.



And the boys were being themselves...best mates.






















They loved being outside and they managed to walk the whole way (bribed by ice cream) even though Lucas on the last stretch was asking to be picked up.