Tuesday, June 30, 2009

12 748 and counting - whats a few 1000 more?

That's about the number of baby names I have read through :)

One night I read until my eyes were blurry and I actually fell asleep (around letter G), but I was still thinking of names, so I thought I was still awake?? Well this baby wont be able to complain that I wasn't THOROUGH!!

Here I am all thoughtful like ;)

(and if you live in my area you MUST book
Zanabelle Photography
for a session)

I have been online to Babynames.com, babynamesworld.com, uniquebabynames.org and I have 2 baby names books from the library

but alas so far not much is happening :( Why are there so many UGLY names out there!! and I have to sift through them

Most names on the last list have been scrapped for various reasons

I don't like it, he doesn't like it, I find it hard to use a name if someone else I know has that name (I definately have issues - like that is their identity), it doesnt suit our last name, too hard to prounouce, and of course "all the so and so(insert name here) named people I have met are crazy/trashy/weird etc".

Then there is the it must have a nice meaning behind the name. All the meanings of my girls names are very beautiful/nice. I read name meanings, it's important to me - Sorry but if Kamryn means 'crooked nose' I just can't do it... Portia? no sorry not if it means 'pig', Cecilia - blind, Brenda - fiery, Linda - serpent, Thera - wild, untamed one, Trista - melancholy (no offence intended to people with those names)

so I gave up and decided to focus on Middle names :)

Easy, as we have decided they will all have fairly regular middle names that come from Family History. Now I also have a rule on that too.. the girls arent named after any particular great grandmother or anything, because if you go back too far how am I to know that great great aunt so and so wasn't a crazy fruit cake??? and that I named my child after her!!

So in great wisdom we scour the family history records and looked for names we liked that appear more than once. Lucky for us on both sides is English ancestory so we have plenty of Elizabeth's, Sarah's, Anne's etc. Now if there happens to be atleast 10 or more Elizabeths atleast some of them had to have been lovely enough for my child to bear their name??? No?

So this baby will be an :


Oh but that is a new set of problems when the middle name doesnt match the first!! LOL Cant have Celeste Sarah - what if the kid has a lisp?? or an Elliana Eliza.. so the debates continue... and I am keeping secret on the so far winning middle name that the MR and I have decided upon.. you'll have to wait :)

Here is a new list of first names if anyone happens to be interested in my internal debate that I have about a month left to sort out :)

Amani (The MR says too pretentious cause of the brand)


Esther (pretty much scrapped, but I'll leave it for now)

Jemila (oh the nickname possiblities!! and it means beautiful)

Kenzie (Perfect my name and the MR's combined ;)



and it better not be a surprise BOY in there.... It will have to wait until I search all over again if it is !!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Unplug Your Kids Challenge - Tiny

We had so many ideas for this weeks Unplugged Project Tiny is a good theme!

We are still working on making some tiny things with some air drying clay we have. But this is what we did do

I got this idea from my new favourite Mum/kids craft blog Filth Wizardry check hers out as they did a ton more than we did.

Basically upend some boxes, and let the kids loose with nails and screws. Use screwdrivers and rocks instead of hammers

My two year old loved it and she was surprising good with our little hammer and didnt hurt herself at all. I gave her a piece of styrofoam to make it easier

Quotes from this activity

"oh oh... we got movement" (when the screws were screwing in)
"Its doing it, its doing it!!" (When I suggested they unscrew all daddys screws to put back in the jar - the excitedness of the screw 'reversing' was too much :)

My original idea for the tiny challenge was to make little dolls out of the many palm seeds scattered around our block, but the girls just couldn't get going on this one. So I did it myself!!

I am always interested in the little Waldorf Gnomes I see on the net and wanted to make something like those - See some Gorgeous ones here at Feeling Stitchy

Take Seeds and little pieces of felt - triangles and rectangles

I was mega lazy and just hot glue gunned it all together. Stuff under the body piece with cotton balls/wadding etc so they stand up. These took all of like two minutes each to make

Tell Gnome Stories in bed - Once made the girls loved these little things

They were biggest hit with my 2 year old, she played for hours with them - esp the tiny wrapped baby ones

This Weeks Challenge: Container

Sunday, June 28, 2009


How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth ~ Psalms 119:103

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cafe Capers

Our End of Term visit to a cafe with hot chocolate and Chocolate Fudge Cake and even Grandma joined us!

We made a mess, we are still working on our Cafe Manners, we talked too loudly about all the exciting things they have done in the first half of school, we talked with our hands and got very animated, there was crying from the tired/overwrought 2 year old... I think we left just in time before we got kicked out :) But a deserved treat for the girls who aced their report cards!!

And somehow I ended up with the babychino (just the milk froth) and my passionfruit citris tart stolen... hmmmmm... my diet secret - have kids :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Its the end of our world as we know it...

well not really.. but I can't get that song out of my head :)

Last month we thought we had our last student. Roani from Brazil.

the next day the girls (IE The MR) rearranged the bedrooms to make room for the baby (all 3 shared a room - and I will say Miss G was a bit sad that she now has her own room for a little while - that I almost want them all together again) House rearranging is so much fun

2 days later the international school rings asking me to please take an emergency student whose homestay family couldn't take her.... There were a few protests from the Girls (poor things) but after I gave them the guilt trip of: this girl has nowhere to go, no family to love her, shes all alone in a strange country and can't speak english... they all moved back to their old room and gave up their new room for her. What good girls

So now we are back to rearranging the rooms as we said Goodbye to our last student - Jinni

Me forcing Jinni to eat a Dagwood Dog - very Australian of me - hey I only eat these things once a year at THE EKKA - but since I will be giving birth that week, we splurged at a local fair - and I will say it was probably the best Dagwood Dog I have ever eaten!!

The last two days I have actually been counting the children, as I feel like someone is missing - It feels strange yet good, I feel liberated, yet that something is missing at the same time -

4 almost 5 years we have been fulltime Homestay family - with all the good and bad that comes with that. Mostly good .. but sometimes annoying..

So farewell to:
sharing my home.. (though I am sure one day we will go back to it.. I will miss the $425 I earn per fortnight without much effort - it might be sooner than later when I realise what living without that means :)
Girls living in a room wall to wall beds
gifts from overseas
The world views my children have learnt; their kindness to strangers; sitting and playing with someone who understands nothing they are saying and yet still the girls press on
How wonderful the world really is, and that most people are the same the world around
That our family is brave and strong enough to let virtual strangers live with us

But hello to:
running around in my underwear (I can join the girls :) LOL
Not expecting my front door to open any time of day or night
water free bathrooms
No constantly speaking in pidgin english (well I still have kids, so maybe)
Not having to cook wonderful meals each night.. the girls will be so happy to hear they can eat noodles, toast, boiled rice and other lazy dinners!!

Life ebbs and flows.. and for that I am grateful

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Unplug Your Kids Challenge - Mechanical

so I dont technically think this is very 'mechanical' but real robots are mechanical aren't they? My girls usually lean towards making animals and family type things so this would be mechanical- ish for them :)

I have been collecting boxes for weeks - stuffing them in my laundry (we rarely do recycled arts, as I cant stand the boxes/junk sitting around :) Bad mummy me :) So I thought this weeks challenge at Unplug your Kids was the perfect time to get rid of them all.

Put boxes out everywhere and invite neighbour over

Some of the finished creations - hard to see the details but one even has a moustache

I noted if one wanted toilet rolls for legs all the girls copied each other... so a fight broke out over the toilet rolls, I save the day by finding plastic cups only for them all to copy eachother and use cups for legs and arms... annoyingly to me, I felt this stifled creativity.. but oh well.....

I was even ready to donate a roll of aluminium foil to this project and wanted the girls to cover up the boxes (I find the printing distracting) but none of them wanted to do that. I was pretty persistant that they stick foil or paper over the front boxes so we could draw faces, buttons, knobs etc to make them more roboty looking.... after a while my 8 year old got sick of me going on about it and said

"Mum.. It is more ARTISTIC this way - we want them not covered!"

"Its recyled art"

So I got told... no foil robots here sorry :)

*and a note of Thanks goes to Lucky Holly (sorry her blog is private or I would link it as it is awesome :) who kindly sent me a package of craft things for my kids after I lamented never having enough stuff on her blog (be careful what you say on others blogs!!) Her rolls of sticky tape came in handy for this one as they girls were very heavy handed with the tape to stick their creations together - Thanks Holly

This weeks Challenge: Tiny

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If it's good enough for bakerella...

Its good enough for me!! LOL... most of her recipes are beyond my expertise.. but the Lemon bars were too easy not to try.. and you all know I love lemon recipes.. seen on this blog so far is lemon slice, lemonade, lemon delicious pudding..

I used her recipe found here at Bakerella

Lemon Bars

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar (plus more for dusting)

1 1/2 cup plain sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan

To make crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner's sugar
Cut in butter until combined and crumbly.
Press mixture into bottom of pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

To make topping:

While crust is baking, prepare topping.
In a larger bowl, add sugar, flour, and baking powder.
Then add slightly beaten eggs and lemon juice.
Mix well and pour on top of warm baked crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
When cool, dust with confectioner's sugar and refrigerate.
Cut into bars and enjoy them cold!

and I am enjoying them with cream... YUM!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unplug your kids - Slippery Challenge

It has been months since I participated in a Unplugged Challenge - Shame on me!! I think I forgot to check her blog. And it is all so smart of me to be getting back into the swing of things 6 weeks before I have another baby... bah ha hahah !! So we shall see how long this lasts ;)

This weeks challenge was Slippery

Ideas from the kids -

wet the wooden floors and slide around the house (been done before - they have mopped the house for me in socks and rags tied on their feet - but I deemed it too cold to do that - as they will end up entirely wet)

Homemade slippery dip off the couch or back varandah

Then the idea of course that I came up with that we did :)

I was thinking slime or some type of goo - so I googled goo recipes and found This website that has 4 pages of goo type recipes to choose from including Slime, Gak, Flubber, Gunk, Silly Putty, Ooblick

I chose the two easiest that I had the ingredients for in the cupboard ready to go - Goop and Goo!

1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup water (extra may be needed)
food coloring if desired

Mix one cup corn starch with one part water, mix together well, add water in small amounts until desired consistency is reached. If you wish to add color, use a small amount of food coloring. The mix will feel solid when touched hard and will slide through your fingers when handled

We marched animals across our 'slime' pond and the Goop is hard.. but if the animals were left to sit, they sink into the slime.

Then after school the older girls and the neighbour turned our slime pit.. into slime all over the house :)

Drizzle Goo
1 cup (250ml) flour
1/4 cup (50ml) salt
1/4 cup (50ml) sugar
3/4 cup (175ml) water

Mix together until there are no lumps, and pour into plastic bottles with squeeze tops (old mustard containers are fine)

Why non toxic is good when doing things with 2 year olds... she couldnt resist tasting it - maybe it was the sauce bottle it was in??? Anyway it didnt taste good as she had added extra salt!!

Next Weeks Challenge: Mechanical

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday Night Fireplace

First Fire of the Season...the girls excitedly collect sticks and logs..... The MR builds up the fire... We toast Marshmallows.... YUM!... when they are all gone, children turn pyromaniac... producing glowing sticks of fire.

Oh what fun we have around the fire.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul ~ Deuteronomy 4:29

Friday, June 12, 2009

Foody Friday is back....

Two lovely ladies at church (from the US) taught a Mexican Cooking night.. IT WAS YUM!! A few weeks later I got up the courage to make my own tortilla's and they were worth it :)

Wheat Tortillas

2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 cups Wholemeal flour
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
flour for rolling

In a large bowl stir flours and salt, mix in the oil by hand until mixture resembles oatmeal. Make a well in the centre and pour in half boiling water. Mix with fork. Then add other half of water and mix in. Knead until dough does not stick to your fingers and is smooth (like playdough)

Make balls (about golf ball size), place on a tray, cover with a cloth and allow to sit atleast one hour (or up to 8 hours)

Roll tortilla's out to desired thinness. Fry on frypan 30 seconds each side. And voila you have a tortilla!!

We made vegetarian bean Quesadilla's with our tortilla's. I always need more Vegetarian recipes.. and this one is very yummy and filling.

Bean Quesadilla's

1 onion
garlic clove
green capsicum (bell pepper) chopped (I used red)
2 tomatoes
can corn kernels
kidney beans lightly mashed with fork
taco seasoning

Heat oil in frying pan and gently cook onion and garlic until soft. Mix in Capsicum, tomatoes, beans and corn and taco seasoning cook until heated through.

Spread tortilla's with the mix and sprinkle cheese on. Top with another tortilla, Fry in frying pan each side until cheese is melted.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brrrrrrr..... its cold outside

I do believe it was 2 degrees this morning (35 farenheit) when I was forced out of bed at 5am by Miss G!! How rude!! Our house is beyond freezing..(no insulation, no central heating, nothing but air under the elevated wooden floor board..brrrr) we have successfully made it 3 years without a heater so I am not backing out now :)

So the freezing cold forced me into action this morning and I whipped up some Rice Heat Bags See Last years bags here As last year I made the bags without a cover... they got pretty dirty and ended up in the bin, so this time I made ones with little pillow cases that can be washed. I used an old flannellette baby blanket to make them.

Want an easier version? Try these Hot socks by Full Circle They look like fun!

Now I am toasty warm lugging my rice bag around the house with me!! And LOL... did you see the post from last year?? I get what I deserve for joking about being pregnant!! Something I didn't think possible.... has exactly come true.. and I am even wearing a similar purple shirt today.... OoOoOoOoO... spooky :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thanks go to the Queen

For having a birthday so we can have a public holiday long weekend :)

We went strawberry picking

They were the best tasting strawberries ever!

Then we went to the beach!! YAY!

In the freezing water with cousins

We stayed with cousins (best 5 star hotel:) great service! And went to a baby blessing

Then we drove the long way home in the dark... I love long weekends :)

*I have wanted to know how to do photo grids for yonks.. finally taught myself!! very easy in Picassa

Friday, June 5, 2009

Popping out

As requested ~

*Note* pregnancy self portraiture is hard (the only good shots out of 50 :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Silence.. sweet silence

Last night I took Miss K to Achievement night. I was without the other girls and was actually just outside the temple all alone. It was a drizzly night, but the rain had stopped. There were beautiful reflections everywhere.. so I stood in the quiet, alone, noone around and took some photos.

It was a wonderful 15 mins of reflection. We all deserve some time - preferably somewhere beautiful and peaceful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Day of Winter..

and the 500th post I have written!! Had enough of me yet??

This morning I read this blog- Carli's Clan and felt the inspiration hit straight away... and I forgot it was the first day of winter... so PERFECT TIMING!!

Have been feeling a bad parent lately.. kids watching too much tv/movies/computer games.. and not much craft from me...

I had all the ingredients (minus a few) to do exactly what Carli did!! YAY!!

First off white playdough - so I mixed up a bowl of it and we made snowmen!! Miss G's favourite thing at the moment are snowmen. She even giggles in public toilets if she sees toilet rolls stacked up and yells out.. 'look mum... snowman!" She stacks cans and says they are snowmen.. pretty much any three things stacked on top of each other are snowmen.

The best thing? we played with the dough straight from the saucepan!! Warm playdough.. mmmmmmmm... on a cold day.. wonder if I can microwave the dough each time we play with it??

Then we made edible snowmen (Miss A made them but she had no clothes on - yes even in winter!! and she wouldn't put any on, so I said she gets no photos then!)

I only had condensed milk, icing sugar and coconut so that is what I made them out of. If I had chocolate and cream I definately would have made these snowmen at Cupcakes and all things Sweet they are super cute!!

This one looks like it's smiling

The first one 'melted' so we had to add extra icing sugar and coconut

Dreamy stuff for my kids who have never seen snow... even I have only seen snow twice and The MR once ... if you count July Summer Left over snow in Utah ;)
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