Exploring Australia


One of our favorite things to do together is explore new places.  Sometimes we head into the city and just wonder around or go up to the Blue Mountains not knowing what awaits us.  Our friends Grant and Jaz have that same adventurous heart.  They called us up and asked if we wanted to join them for a little countryside adventure and of course we were keen.   

Currently living in suburbia but being Kansas kids at heart, we cannot even begin to tell you how happy it makes us to see open fields and cows.  Never take those wide open spaces for granted.  So just driving out to Grant and Jaz's house made my heart skip a beat.

First we were off to explore a small little vineyard near the Hawkesbury River name the Tizzana Winery.  When we first arrived we were a bit bummed, the sign said it was open weekends and by appointment only.  The thought was, why not give them a call and see if someone happened to be around.  Sure enough, the owner himself was there and told us to come on in.  He gave us a bit of a tour and the backstory of the winery.  

Thomas Fiaschi was the original owner and first planted the 5 acres vineyard with imported French and Italian vine cuttings in 1882 simply as an experiment. The experiment obviously went well because he expanded that to 55 acres in 1889.  The family continued producing wine up until 1949.  

Then in 1955, Tizzana was broken into and set on fire which only left a stone shell to testify to its existence.  

In 1969 Peter and Carolyn Auld begin the restoration process of the crumbling ruins  and replanted five acres in 1980 and are still producing wine today.  Peter told us that he quit his job and went back to school to get his degree in Viticulture and Winemaking.  It was so inspiring to talk to someone who gave up their day job to pursue something they are truly passionate about.  

We had so much fun learning the history of the establishment and could have spent hours here, but the sun was setting and we still had a spot to explore.  Australia's Oldest Church, Ebenezer Church, established in 1809.

Did you know that Ebenezer means "the Lord helped us all the way."  We truly feel like that has been such a testament to our lives, especially the past year and a half.

It may be tiny, but they still have church on Sunday mornings.  It is cool to think about the generations who have passed through the door.  We truly serve a God for all generations.  

The evening ended with a magnificent sunset, dinner at Grant and Jaz's adorable flat, and a fire pit under the stars.  

We have made such wonderful friends here.  We are so thankful for each and every one of you.

Love Always, The Kids Down Under



This past weekend was one big adventure.  Our friends Gav and Monique treated us to a day at a wildlife park right outside Sydney.  As we journeyed through the day I continuously found myself saying "this is my new favorite animal, no, now this one, now this one."  

We began with boomerang throwing lessons.  Monique and I had a go.  I think our boomerangs actually crashed into one another at some point.  Dane and Gav were really good.  They actually got theirs to begin the curve back towards them.  Thanks to our friends we now have our own boomerang to practice with.  We are going to master this art I tell ya!

The kangaroos and emus roam wild and free at the park.  Although we have had many meetings with kangaroos since arriving in the land down under, we have actually never touched one, and we really really wanted to.  They are so much softer than expected.

Then we hung out with some dingos.  They do not roam wild and free here.  Dingos are beautiful creatures but can be quite vicious and like to hunt just for the fun of it.  The are incredibly strong pups.  

The kookaburra  is my new favorite bird.  They are so cute and fluffy.  I really wish there wasn't a fence standing between us so I could truly show you its beauty.

And then we came to the koalas.  I tell you, I have been dying to get my hands on one of these fuzzy wuzzy creatures.  Although they aren't as fuzzy wuzzy as you think.  Their fur feels a lot like a man's beard.  We should know right?  Their hearts are super tiny so they easily become over stressed which is the reason why we didn't get to hold one.  But I am quite satisfied with my koala pat (that's right, pat not pet).

There was a barnyard pat and feed zoo.  The goats here were out of control (I love the pure joy on Monique's face.  The chickens were super fluffy and I wanted one to take home, of course.

After the animals we went on a bit of a walkabout to see some Aboriginal sights and learn about bush medicine.

We actually ate the sweet syrup that comes out of these flowers, used a plant as a hair brush, and even learned a natural way to open up your sinuses using a Sydney Mint Plant.  This was the coolest bush walk I have ever been on.

Our night ended at the Pie Tin in Newtown.  I was craving me some American Pumpkin Pie.  Not going to lie, it was the best pumpkin pie I have eaten in my life.  I apologize right now to all of my aunts, cousins, grandmothers and mom who have made some pretty incredible pumpkin pies, but none of you have ever drizzled caramel over the top of it.  It is the way to go.  Dane went for the Oreo pie, also insanely delicious.

We also enjoyed savory pies.  Meat pies are the thing to eat here.  I had BBQ brisket with mushrooms.  Dane had creamy chicken and leak.  Gav and Monique had pulled pork and apple. Wondering what the green stuff is on my plate?  Mushy peas.  One of my new favorite sides.  I need to make this for you all someday!

Thanks for joining us for our weekend adventures.  Love you all!  The Kids Down Under



Those of you who used to attend 24 Feet, you will be familiar with Ed's Story.  Once you have had an encounter with Ed, you won't be able to forget him.  This week Day of Discovery is showing my favorite Ed video followed by an interview with Ed.  I just wanted to share for those of you who have already fallen in love with Ed and for those of you who haven't met Ed yet, here is a great chance to meet him.  Check out this interview here.

Hoping this brings encouragement to your day!  The Kids Down Under

A Little Bit of Gospel for Ya.


Last week Dane and his tutorial class had their first performance of the year.  They have spent the semester focused on the gospel genre.  The beats, rhythms, and styles are very different than the traditional church music and pop music that we often learn.  Its roots are in blues music and provide new challenges and opportunities for the class. 

The performance was so much fun and the tutorial did a wonderful job!  The set list included Cover the Earth by Lakewood Church, Moving Forward by Israel Houghton, Holy by Donnie McClurkin and Who Is Like the Lord by Israel Houghton.

Love, The Kids Down Under