Monday, October 31, 2011

Her Royal Highness

zoom doesn't work on my camera - believe me we could see more clearly than the photo shows

Did you miss me? My computer was out of action for a week! Heck I missed me!

so I got a bunch of stuff to catch up with.

First of all we'll start with The Queen.

I don't watch or read much news.

I didn't even know the Queen was coming to Australia till the day she arrived. I didn't know she was coming to pretty much my house till the day before.

So I hummed and harrrred and decided I would brave the crowds and go check her out. After The Mr told me I MUST GO cause HE was going in his work lunch break! (closet royalist remember?)

Then I heard they were telling people its was ok if you wanted to take your kids out of school to see the Queen.

well now, any excuse to ditch school.

So I took the older girls out of school and we went to see the Queen

It seemed a doable crowd at first, I just wished we knew exactly when and where the Queen would walk so we could get a perfect spot, but I just didn't know. We checked out where she was to first arrive and walk down and that crowd was huge easily 30 people deep in all directions.  I felt so bummed because I knew all we would see in that crowd would be the person in front of us armpits.

We back tracked and found a spot only 3 people deep about 20 metres away from the dock she was to arrive at. It seemed 'the best spot' we were gonna get so just took our chances.

It was fun to wait and chat and be with the crowd. Holding tight to the Mr in pressing crowds is also fun. A lady kindly let my older girls sit on the wall of the river. In the end we had an uninterrupted perfect view of the Queen as she sailed by on the yacht. She was only 15 metres away!

After the crowds dispersed I was smiling big and fist pumping.. the Mr laughed at me and said

'Enjoy yourself did you?'

Heck yeah..... I achieved what I came down for... even if I don't care for the royals that much.

I felt it was important for our girls because:

Our family history on both sides is nearly purely English

The Mr and I believe in instilling a sense of respect and pride in our girls (even though we aren't opposed in any way to becoming a republic, while Australia has a Queen/monachy we will show the correct respect)

It was probably the last time The Queen will visit Australia

It was a fun thing to add onto a list of 'things I've done in my life'

and that was the day that I saw The Queen! yipeee!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Soup Anniversary

You wanna know my secret to winning The Mr over?

Chicken Soup.

Oh yes. And not even the homemade variety.

From August - October 1998 The Mr and I were passing silly emails every couple of days.

Then one day he got sick. Sick enough to stay home in bed.

He sent a long email about being sick and signed it - virtually yours *sniffle*

Well that was my opening. And looky now, we are celebrating our 13th chicken soup anniversary!

Sent:  Wednesday 21 October
subject: RE: Help me!

Oh my dearest darling!
Are you feeling any better? I do hope you are. I hate to hear that my sweetie pie is not feeling the best... I  hope you are well enough to come see me at institute tonight... thank you for your long email... wasnt I just complaining the other day that they weren't long enough... well I have nothing to complain about now... oh you just are perfect arent you? I bet you treat all the girls like this. I am just one of the many that you have on a string, sending emails to..... Oh why, why does it have to be this way... Is there more to life, or will it just be a life full of cold and unloving computers, with no real touch or affection?

Be well... just think of me... oh no that could make you more sick!!!!

This girl loves to talk xx

I dropped the hint atleast 3 times that night at institute (he got himself off his sick bed on the chance to catch me there) that I could visit him after my university class the next day as he was taking a sick day home. Took 3 big hint drops for him to say sure come on over. (our first date? First time alone? and he was sick and didn't even know it... poor guy didn't know what hit him ;)

So I came bearing soup and chocolate.

We still have the can of soup!!  It's starting to rust now after 13 years of sitting with the food storage. I should have preserved it better. Also looking at the gastly nikko I used to inscribe our names... I wish scrapbooking had been around then... I could make an awesome soup can cover  now ;)

I'm thinking we should totally celebrate this special day with Chicken Soup every year. Strictly speaking canned soup would be more authentic but now that I'm older and wiser (and a much better cook) I'm thinking homemade soup is the way to go. Plus we never ate that Can soup for a reason.. yick.

So in years to come when the kids ask "Why do we eat Chicken Soup on the 21st October"

The Mr and I can wink at eachother and reminise.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On the First Day of Christmas...

A *kind* friend mentioned on facebook how many weeks till Christmas....

then someone left a comment like..
'yeah but how many paychecks do you have between now and then!?!'


Some years I am very organised - starting in June or July. Other years I'm scrambling last minute.

Most years I start around October.

If you're like us and have lots of traditions and things you like to do for the Christmas Season you'll have plenty of lists and things to start on! (I'm already thinking its too late, and I'm going to have to let go of some of the plans I have. OH WELL. I'm always glad that Christmas comes every year, because there's always next year to do that project I wanted to do!)

So did you know its only 10 weeks till christmas? Pefect time to start my Christmas posts

my true love gave to me
Personalized Ornaments for the Tree...

These were hard to photograph, they're much cuter in real life :)

I actually started these back in September. If I want  annual personalized decorations for everyone I better start early I thought! However I enjoyed making these and it took me about a week or two (slowly) I saw the pattern in Handmade magazine. Basically it is a Circle of material embroidered with a name and a wreath. Then using a bit of padding and a circle of cardboard smaller than the embroidered circle you stitch around the edge of the embroidered circle and pull tight. It will then encase the cardboard and padding. Using some christmas material do the same again and you create two circles. Sew some ric rac around one of the circles. Place some ribbon to be able to hang then glue both circles together. To make sure the circles are neat and tight invisible stitch around the edge of the circle.

Previous years Personalized Ornaments found here  here  and here

I'm so excited to start the season! wahoooooo.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I don't have much reason to head down the side of my house
(even though thats where the clothes line is :)

so the other day I was surprised to see it was a SEA of clover.

But I love clover (almost as much as dandelions remember? ) such a lover of weeds I am.

Or Bee food as I like to call it and we all know bees need all the help they can get.

We've made daisy chains a few times before but it's been a while.

Maybe this could be a spring  tradition?

Twice yesterday I sat on the ground with the girls and made clover headbands, bracelets, anklets and rings.

So relaxing.

We even spent some time photographing our bee friends.

I'm sure there are more indepth, neater ways to make daisy chains but basically I just use my thumb nail to put a slit in the middle of a clover stem. Then thread another clover through the hole. Then make a slit in the new attached clover and continue on till desired length.

Our neighbourhood is full of clover so go and enjoy laying in the grass making chains.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Parenthood seems to be a constant realigning.

Otherwise those kids get away with anything.

When they are little you cant wait for the day they are a little bit more independant in doing things for themselves. Oh and then that day comes and they don't wanna do anything..

I know I wrote about Chores  and  Family Work not so long ago (and sadly have to admit that my girls are no longer doing the laundry - another thing to get them back to!)  I've realised it's time once again for a little realignment. A bit more of a push. A bit more of reigning the kids back in.

It starts out subtly too. They asked to watch their favourite show after school, after homework - no harm right? yeah that leads to a descent into ' a few more shows', more irritablity and less helpfulness around the house. I hate it when I get caught out in my desire for some peace and quiet and I allow things I shouldn't then I realise how much more hard work I've actually created for myself!

Constant vigilance is hard work isnt it? Just when you think things are hunky dory it doens't take long for them not to be again. I am not very good at backing myself up. oh and dont kids learn THAT quickly. I don't WANT to have to be a person forever following everyone  up to make sure they are doing the things they are meant to be doing. I really struggle with 'splitting myself in 5' to follow everyones schedules. which equals everyone knowing how to get out of doing things.

The part of motherhood I am learning. - It's never going to get better, there will always be some 'phase' that people are going through, don't wish 'for the day when...' as when that day comes it will only be replaced with yet another set of child rearing problems, you must never rest for that is when the adversary can enter your home, consistant and calm directing will always work (if you can be consistent!!) DO NOT ALLOW your 'ideal' family life to flitter away because its too hard to keep up with it.

So this week its back to a schedule. I've tivo'd the girls favourite shows for them to watch at once on Friday/Saturday. Each day we will do a different art/activity. Each girl will cook once a week.

Now pray that I have the endurance to back up my words!

Last night Miss K cooked this recipe from Pioneer Woman. She mastered it with a little help from me. As we sat down to eat she looked everyone squarely in the eye and stated " You WILL love this" To which I laughed my head off and said 'ohhhhh... the tables have turned have they" There's nothing like teaching gratitude by making them the ones to work for the gratitude.

If it goes well perhaps I will start a collection of recipes kids can cook and share them on here. Would you be interested? I would love some easy recipes suggestions from you too!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mango Mango

I don't know how it came to be... but it's definately another family tradition.

I think four years ago I photographed the girls eating their 'first mango of the season'
see here here here

Now it's like a family tradition!

Don't tell the girls but a few months ago I was at a function and there was mango on the fruit plate!  I was like 'it's early for mango.. this really MUST be some of the first mangoes for the season!'

So apart from my little *ahem* indiscretion....


(for us that is)

and we just love little celebrations like this. Seems a good way to usher in the coming HOT season!

My girls groaned in pleasure, covered their faces, declared Mangoes to be their favourite fruit in the world, ate with such vigour on purpose because they knew I was photographing them. ITs all so funny!

Wishing you as much happiness as a 'first of the season mango feeling.'

Monday, October 3, 2011


I know my husband loves me because he puts up with my complaints

It's so dusty here
I really don't think we will all fit in this area
There are no toilets down here (it was a looong walk to the loo's)
We should move our campsite
I hope N doesn't fall off the small cliff into the creek (next to our camp)
and more Worries about this and that, that I can't remember now.

I must have complained about several things in the first few mins and he kindly said please don't say another negative thing. Lets just have a good time.

It's not that I don't want to go camping or that I dislike it (I actually like it very much) but my nerves always pick up on the things that I think are going to go wrong. And I just LOVE TO SHARE my thoughts.

It's hard work to take this bunch camping. Hours of packing (and the dreaded unpacking), alot of set up and a lot of physical work. Work work work. I could NEVER do it alone.

The packing, the tieing down the the trailer, the hours of driving, the lifting, putting up our HUGE tarp and poles. I saw The Mr help out three other groups put up their tarps and tents. He constantly collected and cut wood with an ax. Numerous people borrowed our ax, hammer, shovel that he packed to use. Up early Up late. Adjusting tarps for rain and digging trenches. The last to leave camp after helping yet another group tie up their trailer. Going on a three hour hike that he didn't have to be on but felt he should to accompany the young women, Vigourous labour just hours after vomiting.

Now I'm not writing this to tell everyone how awesome my husband is {I'm sure most peoples husbands are awesome} but it is more to tell myself. A sure knowledge for me that I know what a hard worker and honest man he is. One who cares about the wellbeing of so many that he wouldn't even leave camp until the very last group of girls were safely on their way home. One who worked without complaint for four days straight.

Camping makes me love my husband more. A sort of mating call if you will.

Put people in certain circumstance to make them shine. It also kinda makes me realise how not a hard worker I am and what a complainer I am. However, I look after whiney kids. I precooked the food. I pack the clothes, bedding, food. The girls and I put the tent up and put the camp kitchen together. I do realise we are a team and we need eachother. The reason he has more stamina and mental strength and a sure knowledge of doing many things 'just because it is the right thing to do'  is because that is what is needed for me. For ME! His strengths are gifts to me. I'm crying as I realise this. Like an offering divine, my weaknesses are paid for by this strengths. It is truly a gift to realise that I can be forever carried by someone else.

and camping makes me realise this.

We had a day and half of family camping then we were joined by about 100 other people for girls camp. Luckily we were only looking after 10 of those girls.

It turned our small family camp alot busier with people everywhere but it was great in a different way to our usual camps. The lack of quiet and family time was made up by chatter, giggling, older role models for my girls to follow around and play with. Girls platting hair, making wool headbands for my girls, sharing and snuggling in camp chairs, scary stories around the campfire, games of 44 home and ghost in the graveyard, smores, glowsticks, sparklers.

I was super impressed with the young women at girls camp. Our YW did everything they were asked without complaining. They were helpful and friendly. They looked out for eachother and didn't mind looking after and befriending our girls. What wonderful examples they were. There was not a single problem or fight the entire time. Seriously- PERFECTION!

Well this camp turned out great and not much more could have gone wrong!

While we set up fine, the day everyone else arrived it was raining. The Mr spend half the day  helping other people set up and wore wet clothes all day. That dust turned into mud and the girls were filthy and there was only one shower in this whole camp ground {I've become very good at bathing the girls with a pot of boiled water and a cloth!}I woke up with the worst headache ever { I dont think I should partake in marshmallows and hot chocolate but who can resist while camping!} Miss N got what I think was a tick on her head (but I pulled it off pretty early just squished it and blood popped out) Four members of our family had a vomiting bug. {thanks again to miss N who started it all} Then it spread to one of the young women {oh noes! I felt terrible!}It was very hot when the young women and The Mr went on their hike, then it rained during pack up time again.

But hey I don't dwell on the negative. Camp was awesome!

I may have fallen into bed exhausted by 7pm the day we returned home but it was worth it.

animal sightings: wallaby, cows, possums, goanna, red parrots, rainbow lorikeet, spiders

favourite things: hayrides in the back of the trailer, going down to the river, playing in the mud for hours, making homemade swings out of rope, fires, glowsticks and sparklers

want a camp cleanup technique?

Place your kids on top of the car with a mattress. Our stayed up there about 1-2 hours while we packed up our stuff and helped other people. genius.
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