Friday, April 27, 2012

What I have learnt...

We had a wonderful day. Good traffic, good weather, good food and good friends!

This was the first time doing/watching fishing for some of my girls. Our friend kept catching this small fish and throwing it back. We're pretty sure that we were just recatching the same fish. 5 times we caught it. Miss N wasn't too sure about the kissing the fish part :)

It's funny how we have to be taught the same thing over and over.

Once again {again!} I was taught that:

new surroundings, water, nature objects, animals = hours of quiet from my children.

add a mix of  fun friends/other big kids and adults and you won't see them all day except to eat.

I muse sadly that if I passed a stick, some shells/rocks, water and string to my kids at home

and said 'go have fun for the next five hours' probably wouldn't work. {dang!}

Yet while camping or at the beach or nature day trips this is what we get.

Children out running, playing, building, swimming, building animal habitats

and not bothering me one bit...

At home when I try to kick them out of the house it's usually to get something done, or a rest cause I'm feeling unwell. They seem to just know I need space which turns to even more hovering.

What a blessing then, that their lack of hovering is linked to me not having access to things I need to do.

It's like an ultimate blessing for all around.

Kids might be occupied...

but now you get to sit and watch.  {or join in}

We ran in waves, swam, drew in the sand, dug tunnels, went fishing, caught tiny crabs, ate food.

Such a wonderful day.

A reminder to do it more often. {not that I don't} but a reminder to force it more often. I find in a larger family there is ALWAYS someone who doesn't want to do what is planned. There is often complaining, a tussle, even a fight.  More walking, trips to the park, art, bike riding, laying in a field, walking along the water, day trips etc is what I want ... BUT there is always someone being a pain and preventing us from doing more, more often and I sometimes let that prevent me from getting us out of the house.

No more! Be strong. Be tough. Get OUTSIDE...... its for their own good! :)

The beach NOT in Summer is my favourite!!
So Nice and now's the time to organise some more visits.

{ It's too hot in Summer... blerg. Say no to hot sand, burning sun, so much suncream everything sticks to you, sweat and more sweat. Our family are vampires.. burnt to a crisp by mere mention of sun. Autumn beach visits are perfect for us!}

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anzac feelings

Anzac day  parades at school always bring a tear to my eye.

The talk by a Soldier

My kids singing in the choir { this song}

The little children walking to the front and humbling bowing their heads

As they lay the wreaths

The Last Post and minute silence

The Rose bushes full of thorns on the school anzac memorial with just 2 roses at full bloom symbolically barely hanging on, to fall as the fallen soldiers.

I made 3 classes worth of Anzac Biscuits to take to school { this recipe}

And for Anzac Day we are off to the beach to celebrate this wonderful country they fought for.

We love and appreciate it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Single Saturday

The weather was perfect and we had no plans! That is plain crazy.

Having a big family, lovely friends and heavily involved in church usually fills nearly every Saturday in our year. Birthdays, parties, potlucks, weddings, engagements, baptisms, conferences, church functions ~ the list goes on.  We usually {happily} follow a schedule determined by everyone else.

We rarely have to create our own calendar {kinda sad when I think about it?}

With nothing to do we followed a friends lead about a free community festival
{not our community though.. almost felt like an illegal someone was going to guess any minute that I actually did not live in that area.}

Apart from being so hot I thought I was going to faint!
{ummm hotter than summer weather in Autumn? This is crazy}
 The girls had an enjoyable day.

Had to blog it cause I had cute photos.

And a Saturday to ourselves.


Everything except lunch foods was free. There were some long lines, but worth it for FREE Fairy Floss, Pony Rides, The Big Slide, Mini Ferris Wheel, Helium Balloons and Baby Farm Animals.

The snake and repile show was a favourite with my animal loving girl who spent easily 2 hours on her own watching that and playing with the baby farm animals.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Video killed the Radio star...

Her cuteness is killing me. 2 and half year olds are just too precious!

I'm turning into one of those parents.

The ones who make countless videos of their children. Endless family movies!

I've never really been into videoing my kids ( Christmas Movies aside ;)

I've always felt they were kinda pointless as I rarely/ if ever would watch them. I'm more happier looking at photos. Plus home videos make me cringe. I hate it when someone puts a camera to your face and says 'say something..' which is followed by a lot of um's and a wave and a 'hello' ... LOL pointless!

I might even have pyschological isssues because one of the few video's of me as a kid is me singing Kokomo by The Beach boys. Badly. Very Badly (I have mentioned here before that I cannot sing at.all. )  Obviously I couldn't sing as a child either..  *shudder*

So I've never really been big on subjecting my kids to the same
(Christmas movie is hard enough to pull off!)

This leads me to this week where I have videod my 2 year old .....

singing a crazy version of round and round the garden like a teddy bear, pretending to be a baby with lots of wah wah wah's,  running commentary about cars on our walk home from school drop off, chatting on a toy telephone telling strawberry shortcake that there just ISNT any more room!, her commentary on her favourite book, a big "I Love You and smooch session with lots and lots of slobery kisses all over me..... I just can't stop!

and I'm getting annoyed when she is doing something supercute with cute talking and she STOPS the minute I start taping! I have lots of video's with me prompting her to say what she was just saying seconds before! or short 20 second snaps of nothing..... wherein I turn it off with a pffffft! Yes a crazy video orientate parent! Someone stop me!

Maybe I am really feeling the loss of toddlerhood. (when you're pretty sure its your last child so many issues come up!) That squeaky breathy baby talk will be gone soon! OH NO! I love misprounciations! I love baby lisps and crazy talk! Gone! All gone and since I can barely remember what my older children were like as little ones it makes me sad ... and desperate!

I love it when she calls softdrink FRONK FRINK my new favourite word of hers. Makes me giggle every time. (more often on Monday nights as that is the only night they have fronk frink) I loved it when she was being super adorable in a lift the other day and the other ladies in there just sighed with happiness and cooed over how cute my daughter is!

She always been shy of strangers and not a big talker so this cutesy talking phase is doing my heart in!

In keeping with parental mistakes - I'm joining in. First child has most photos. Last child has most videos and perhaps photos too and newest clothes (handme downs rarely make it four jumps) . Middle children miss out on everything. Gotta keep up with the normal so my children have something to complain about. "I'm the youngest and spoilt..." "Im the middle child and got nothing.." "I'm the eldest and I'm not bossy at all ;)"

I'll be out there with my phone videoing all the mundane things. The songs, the picking flowers, the endless chatter about nothing.

So my kids can cringe when they are older.

Maybe I'll even get someone to sing a better version of Kokomo.

*don't feel bad for my other kids.. I've got several videos of them as little kids. Self Videos. Love kids filming talking to themselves and doing house tours with your phone. Plus its not really true about the photos thing. We didn't have a digital camera till our 3 kid. SHE has the most photos. So I don't wanna hear ANYTHING about the middle child missing out!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stories. Life Stories

One of my favourite hairdo's at the moment..
you know if anyone cares about how I liked hair in a hundred years...

Lately I've been thinking about journals. Writing out some history.

Last month we had our Annual Relief Society Commemoration.

We had a sit down dinner and discussed our favourite parts of this book.

daughters in my kingdom

One sister commented on a favourite section. page 32-33

It was about a womans journal entries.

July 14, 1846  I am very uncomfortably situated for a sick woman. The scorching sun shining on the wagon through the day and the cool air at night, is almost too much of a change to be healthy

October 15, 1846 We have taken posession of our log house today. The first house my babe was ever in. I feel extrememly thankful for the priveledge of sitting by a fire where the wind cannot blow every direction where I can warm one side without freezing the other. Our house is minus floor and many comforts but the walls protect us from wind if the sod roof does not from the rain

December 6 1846 My baby is sick and getting worse. Has cried all day but I cannot see what ails him

December 12 1846. The baby is dead and I mourn his loss. We have done the best we know for him, but nothing has done any good; he continued to fail from the time he took sick. My sister caroline and I sat up every night with him and tried to save him from death, for we could not bear to part with him, but we were powerless.. I still have friends who are dear to me. If I had not I should wish to bid this world farewell, for it is full of disappointments and sorrow. but I believe there is a power that watches over us and does all things right

June 1 1987 Sister Elvira Holmes baby died. Recieved an invitation to come and spend the day with her which I accepted.

The sister said that this reminded her of the importance of keeping a journal. Even though the woman was from a different time to ours she felt connected to that sister from hundreds of years before. Even though years seperate us we often have the same feelings and challenges!  We too have felt cold or sick. We too have complained of the weather. We too have put up with substandard cheap accomodation.  We too have sat up all night with an ailing child. Hopefully none of us will go through the loss of a child but we can understand her pain and see that we do make it through trials, and then we are required to help others and strenthen those who may go through similar trial. She felt strengthened that other sisters feel the same way she has at times.

We never know when OUR words may bouy up another!

YES! Oh yes I so needed to hear that. I want to leave something interesting behind for my family to read about me. That my children and grandchildren may see that our lives are in different times but can still be similar. I also want to leave advice or feelings to them, that though I might not be there I understand!

Ever since starting this blog I have been terrible at journal keeping. I supposed that is what this is meant to be. Except that this can in no way be personal enough. I'm not sure I'm that vunerable to put those things out there for everyone to read. As much as crafts and cooking and photos are great, it might not be the only thing of importance I need to pass on to subsequent generations.

It doesn't help when a famous blogger { C. Jane } is doing her life story in posts. I've been pondering on this before that (so don't say I'm copying :) but her posts are definately making me think MORE about it. Some of my favourites were the posts about her first  5 loves . I would love to be able to blog something like that without embarrassing myself or hurting people's feelings! Sometimes I think there is so much to learn from the difficult, hard, embarrasing, or just plain different times of our lives!

And I KNOW it must be something important because I have had no less than 5 experiences lately to do with family history, journal keeping etc.

As I sat with my Grandma last week she was telling me war stories with her time with Z special unit. She mentioned her father was an accountant (I've always seen photos of him in his army uniform so I never really knew he had other career). I knew her family was from Cairns but somehow my Nanna was born in Sydney. She told me her father had a bad kidney ailment and at the time the only hospital that could do the needed surgery was in Sydney. They moved for the operation and ended up staying (her mother had family in Sydney).

Then another occasion  talking with my mother in law about another Grandma and how she was injured on the back of a truck going to a dance. A train hit their truck and a few people were injured. Grandma was unconscious so the hospital just left her be! When she woke up (days later) instead of dying THEN they worked on her! She had to have half her head shaved and then when she was better she had to start at a new school and everyone thought she was weird! {Poor thing how embarrassing} The train was in the wrong and she received a pay out which at the time was to pay for her to go to business school! What an interesting story about some of our relatives.

This week we came across old family photos of my childhood. The girls asked 'who is that?' I stated that it was grandad's father and mother. I then said 'well actually that is grandad's stepmum'. They turned and said 'Just like you mum! Grandad is just like you. What happened to him, then happened to him so he was a step parent'. It bought tears to my eyes that they realised how special grandad is to us. That even when someone might not be a blood relative they can still indeed parent you.

These are some simple reasons that have happened to me just lately. How important to keep these stories. However my own stories will be important too. If I'm not here who will be able to say what I thought about anything!

I have a terrible memory. My sister tells me stories about our childhood and I have no idea. Perhaps because she is 6 years younger and these stories come from a child point of view looking up? Also I was married by the time my younger brother was 11. I missed growing up with my brothers and sisters as teenagers. They have memories that I just do not. I find writing my history hard.

But it must be done!

A few years ago I cleaned out a carboard box that held all my childhood journals. It was dirty and dusty and I put them in safer and cleaner place. I decided to read through these books I was keeping. To say most of it is rubbish is an understatement! Scribbles, fights with friends, boys and more boys! and mundane info! They are funny and they will be kept as a reminder of who I was BUT....

These are not the things I want to leave behind to my children! It will truly be sad that the years where I can leave an important message behind I have let time get the better of me. That the silly musing of my youth will be all that they have! I believe an adults take on what I can remember will be beneficial. Comments on how I stood strong, did the right, how my faith has shaped me, how I am able to bear trials, the wonderful childhood I had, righteous examples and friends and leaders and teachers who cared about me and shaped my life. They deserve to have a little recognition for all the hard work they have put into ME!

So now.... How do I go about it?

What are your tips for journal keeping?

Here are some of mine.

Start chronologically and write my life story
Use photos as a writing prompts
Try to write weekly in my own journal about things that are happening right now
Ask older relatives to tell me a story from their or their families personal history
Write them down!
I found going through photos with my  Nanna prompts her to talk about that time

and perhaps if I get up the guts I'll post some things here.

You know that's if I get around to writing anything.. PLEASE let me not procrastinate!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

It's been easter overload here on the blog the last few weeks.
So I promise this will be the last Easter Post!

We had a quiet leisurely Easter that seemed like we did nothing....
we stayed home most of the weekend
{I was feeling bad for not organising a holiday or camping or fun things to do!}

but the photos tell another story. Phew!

Hope you had a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Suprise Eggs

After a month of attempting to collect every eggshell I cooked with (some didn't make it)
I had about 30 eggs to play with to make our surprise eggs.

To make surprise eggs:

When cooking just slice the top off the egg to preserve more of the eggshell.
{alternately you could blow the eggs but I find that too much work and too many eggs to use up at once}

Leave plain {like here } or decorate.
This year we decided to dye our eggs.
We used a few lidfulls of food colouring, a cup of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar for each colour

When dry fill with birdseed, confetti, cereal, glitter or anything small.
This year we tried birdseed for the first time. Very good!

Glue 2 small disks of tissue paper over the hole on each egg.

When dry turn over the other way so it is not visible in your egg carton

Enjoy having an 'egg fight' with family and friends and smashing them over your head.

or you end up doing a funny dance with your hands in the air
{To avoid hurting eachother I make the kids smash the egg in their hands a little before throwing it}

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pretzel Bunnies

We have made soft pretzels for Easter for the last four years.

Usually we do the regular pretzel shape (as it is to be said the shape of arms folded in prayer - and we talk about Prayer and Christ Praying in Gethsemane for us)

This year we made regular pretzels but we also made these Bunny shaped ones. Easy and Cute

I found the original idea  here in the April 2011 friend magazine

Here's how to do it:

I use this recipe to make our soft pretzels
(though be careful with the bicarb - I use less as the taste is quite strong)

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.            
In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.               

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.               

When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.               

Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.               

(we used currants for the bunnies eyes)

here are our regular shaped pretzels.

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