Hi Everyone.  I hope you all survived the battles of the wrapping paper and the rigors of the turkey, ham and seafood followed by the pudding or, in our case, homemade pavlova.

I received a couple more photos to start the post off – first a quilt that Caroline and I made together.

And then a quilt made from donated fabrcis and stitched by Chris’s group.  The cute laundry bag was stitched by Cheryl.

A thank you or two for Nancy – first from a wife …
Yes his quilt has recently arrived. Just in time for Christmas!
It was very fitting that it came from WA too as it is his home state.
He was very touched that there are all you lovely ladies out there sewing quilts for our men and women overseas.
I have attached a photo of the quilt that my husband sent me this morning.
Thank you to all the busy sewers and yourself and of course the lovely lady from Kalgoorlie who made his quilt. 
My husband, myself and our four children are grateful to have so many people out there thinking kind thoughts towards our soldiers.
Many thanks 

Thankyou so much for the quilt, it’s so very much appreciated. I’m very grateful for the time and effort you have put into it and the laundry bag. I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year
And a few more happy messages…

Hi Pam (that is Pam from VIC)
I received your package in the mail yesterday, which was a great surprise, thank you very much. 
I would like to report that after 24 hours there is still some Tim Tams left, but that’s just not the case. Luckily they all weren’t consumed by me though, my roommates also say thanks. Tim Tams never last long around here.
Loved the gifts, the quilt especially, it’s pretty awesome and there’s a few jealous individuals within the detachment. You’ve done an excellent job, can’t imagine how much effort and time goes into something like that, it’s definitely made a otherwise very boring / dull room a lot more homely and colourful. Best gift ever and it is ever much appreciated. At first I thought the laundry bag (hope it is) was a Santa’s stocking, given the Xmas colours, so I have tried to sell that to the girls here in the hope that they will attempt to fill it with gifts and lollies……I will keep you posted on how that turns out.
Almost 30% through my deployment this time around, the XXXXX being my return to Australia date. It’s going well, helped by a great group on the detachment (35 people), we all get along really well and add a lot of fun to what can only be described as ground hog day. We get one day off a fortnight to chill, do washing, cleans rooms etc, but every other day is normally 12-14 working day.  
Its starting to cool down especially at night (0-5) but the days are still in the high teens. Sometimes it snows during winter in XXXXX, so there’s that too look forward to. Snow but nowhere to go skiing, how frustrating is that, this place is nothing like Denver.
Thank you again for the care package and thoughts.

Good Day Angela,
                                     I received your amazing laundry bag a month ago. Your bag has been incredibly useful and avoided messy piles of clothes in overcrowded living spaces. Your support means a lot to the boys and myself. Keep up the good work!
Many thanks,

 I have received my quilt. I absolutely love it and have taken a photo. I will send the photo very soon, we are extremely busy at this moment… but it will come… I love mine so much and I feel a connection to Fran and Bev as they enclosed a photo of them with the quilt. XXXXX also got a quilt and he did not even order one… He is in country at the moment and says he is very grateful as it is freezing there.  From all of the soldiers over here, we are eternally grateful of the effort and work that you and your fellow quilters do for us, it is comforting to know that so many people care and are selfless in giving to provide us with the quilts. I for one know the hours, cost and care that goes into making just one quilt, let alone thousands. 
 MERRY XMAS to you all 

Dear Lorraine, 

I am writing this email to thank you for the quilt I have just received. I greatly appreciate the quilt and all the work and time you put into making it for me. It was a great gift just before Xmas and at a perfect time seeing it’s dropping temps over here and getting cold at night. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and great New Year enjoy the holiday’s back at home.
Thank You

Hi Stephanie,
 Thanks heaps for the quilt and laundry bag! Getting parcels over here
 is a highly anticipated event. Love the colours, looking forward to a
 better season next year – after such a good start this year.
 The weather here has turned sub-zero over night so an extra quilt is
 spot on. And the laundry bag is being put to good use as well. We all
 appreciate knowing that there are people at home willing to support us
 in a foreign hostile land. Especially over Christmas where we really
 miss home the most.
 I would tell you my location and bit about my job but my security
 officer might have a heart attack…
Kind regards, please keep up the good work!

The quilt and LB’s arrived today… the quilt is Amazing.  I got all excited when I seen all the boxes for me, I feel bad for everyone else in the mail slot, it was packed full of things for me from family and quilters.

 Siobhanhas done a wicked job.  Makes me miss the end of winter diving off Sydney though,  thats when all the interesting baby fish/sharks start heading out to deeper waters. At least I’ll catch the end of the summer diving season, still plenty going on then.
 The laundry bags have slowly been distributed. Everyone is so happy with all the laundry bags. There is going to be a scissors/paper/rock off for the para bag and the aussie animals one.  The shark/ fish bags were a hit.  We’re currently writing up some thank you’s for Pauline, Sue and yourself for sending them (and trying to get a photo, but keep our faces hidden at the same time so you could possibly use it for the webpage).
 Thank you so much.

A small amount of Happy Mail for today – and it is a good number of block of the month blocks from Dorothy.  I really do love the wonky lines in these blocks.  It works so well where there is a good contrast between the lights and darks.

Not bad for a week when everyone has been busy with Christmas.  See you on Friday with Quilts of the Week – and Yes,  I already know of some that have made it into the mail and more to go.

Till next time…….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!