Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apologies to any bagpipers

We went for a walk to a friends round the corner on Sunday and partway there heard a bagpiper practising in their backyard.

My kids hate loud noises - apart from the ones they make themselves and will usually put their fingers in their ears when the TV or radio is on too loud.

I looked around at My Little Girl and she's got her fingers firmly plugged in her ears.

The two girls are curious so they peek through the gate to check him out - he wasn't wearing a kilt or anything.

We pass the fence and The Boy pipes up: "That music is really annoying"

Monday, September 29, 2008

In Noosa we ...

Played in the pool:

The Boy ran into the corner of the building and split his head open, luckily our friend who is also a GP was staying in the same apartments. Hubby and him did a quick trip to the chemist for some steristrips to hold it all together. The alcohol swab didn't go down too well though.Chased the bush turkeys: Drove out to the Eumundi Market: where the girls got their hair braided:
and The Boy got a balloon sword and belt.
Walked in the National Park: Collected treasures: Had icypoles and iced chocolates:
Went for walks:
My Little girl and I had a surfing lesson. We both managed to ride a wave.
Went to the beach:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Melbourne to Noosa

Well we're back. Feeling a bit tired after the drive and days of close quarters. It is good to be home and sleep in my own bed.

First things first - HAPPY BIRTHDAY to My Little Girl. She turned 7 today so we started with presents
then our family tradition - the pancake cake.
Now some photos from our road trip to Noosa. Apparently it is 1822km from our house to Noosa one way. We left on Friday afternoon about 3pm and headed to Tocumwal on the NSW side of the Murray river. After stopping at McDonalds in Shepparton we got to our motel at about 7pm.
We had stayed there on a previous trip - same room and everything. Started early the next day and headed for Narrandera. We visited The Big Guitar, Sara had a go at plucking the strings, I'm not sure whether that was strictly allowed but it is billed as the World's Largest Playable Guitar.

In the park we saw this:

two lizards biting each other. Strange mating ritual, fight to the death? I'm not sure but they ran off when I tried for another angle.

So after our exciting stop we hopped back into the car and headed for Forbes - our lunch stop. Had a quick lunch then we were off to Gilgandra. We had snacks and drinks in the car so we stopped at the Floral Reserve about 8km out down a dirt road. Hubby was wandering where we were headed. The kids enjoyed it though and we had a nice walk around and checked out the wildflowers.

Jumped back into the car and hit the highway again for the drive to our overnight stop - Narrabri. Had tea at the Narrabri RSL which has this whole Outback Shack theme happening. We ate there on our way home too - at the same table and I got some photos so I'll share them in another post. Next morning was another early morning start for our final day on the road. We stopped at Goondiwindi for morning tea but it was a bit blowy and cold so we didn't stay long, the kids had fun in the park though and then we had a race to the car to try to warm up.
Lunch was at Toowoomba and the kids had a play at the park there as well. It was packed being Sunday but they managed to get a short go in the steam engine. We arrived at Noosa late afternoon in time for a walk on the beach followed by tea at Bistro C. Hubby had his calamari and I had my Thai Mule and we both declared we finally felt like we were on holiday. Here's the photos from our trip up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looking Forward to Friday

We leave to drive to Noosa for our holiday on Friday and it will be a relief to get on the road. Before then I have three sick kids home from school and a fair bit to do.

Sleep - I'm desperate for some decent shut eye but not having a heap of success the last few nights , sick kids and all. Doing long hours of driving it will definitely be safer if we're well rested.

Little Girls birthday invitations - I know it's kind of last minute but I kept thinking I've got plenty of time but now I don't so I better get a move on. I'll need to post to family and friends before we leave.

Pack - this will involve getting up into the top of the cupboard to pull down the summer clothes. I got Ethan some sandals last week but I haven't checked the girls yet so I may have to go to the show shop, if the kids are up to it.

Clear the memory cards and and charge the camera batteries.

Clean the house and do the the washing - I don't want to leave the house dirty for a couple of weeks.

Work out some places to visit and where to stop on the drive - I've started that but I need to do a final pick and also print out locations etc.

I need to make a few phone calls because I have a couple things I'm going to miss while I'm away.

I need to take in last summer's shorts.

Buy My Little Girl a birthday present because we get back the day before her birthday.

I'm sure there's more but I better go and stop procrastinating.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Homemade Pizza

First make the dough, I use a breadmaker but you can do it by hand.
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp caster sugar
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil

If mixing by hand first combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl and stand for 10mins. Then stir yeast mixture into into other ingredients, bring together then knead until smooth. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for 1hr.

This makes a really nice crisp, thin base. I divide the dough into 4 lots. Then roll out nice and thin - make sure you sprinkle the bench and rolling pin with flour so it doesn't stick.

Next spread the tomato sauce, I use a can of chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil.

Top with your choice of toppings. This is ham, pineapple and mushroom. Finish off with a sprinkling of pizza cheese.

Now I put it in our pizza oven, a Christmas present from last year - thanks mum and dad. You could cook in normal oven or it works really well on a covered BBQ with indirect heat.

We're fancy round here - gourmet pizza and a nice glass of red. This pizza is cooked with tomato, proscuito and cheese, then topped with rocket and some sour cream after.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Father's Day Weekend

This weekend we were going down to my parents holiday house to help with some gardening but unfortunately The Boy had a birthday party Sat afternoon that he said he really wanted to go to so we decided Hubby and the girls would go Friday night and I would follow on Saturday. When The Boy realised Hubby was heading off without him he chucked the hugest tantrum. In the end I told him if he didn't be quiet he could sleep outside. Screaming reduced to periodic whining and for a diversion the two of us went off to my favourite takeaway to pick up some dinner. That was exremely exciting for him, he took his ballon to show the lady and enjoyed the vietnamese springrolls.

The party the next day was at the church where The Boy does kinder which you think would be a good thing except that I pretty much have to carry him in to kinder every morning. They had a magician though and once he got started The Boy got into it and even participated in the show at one point.

I made lasagne for tea which got rave reviews all round, it was the first time I'd used that recipe and we got down to the house about 5:45pm. The girls had had a fun day catching lizards.

Look I don't know what they're up to, it doesn't look too enjoyable for the one on the bottom though. The Boy got stuck into his lolly bag - ooh that sweet and tangy taste of Whizz Fizz.
Next day the boys all got out early for some more gardening. The Boy did a good job sweeping the sand off the pavers. The girls were inside because they were both struck down with nasty viruses. I was introducing mum to flickr.

Then it's time to get changed and do the Father's Day stuff. You'd think that would be pretty easy but we had a fair bit of angst over the getting changed. Finally we managed it.

Here's the gang out to lunch. We're missing my brother, SIL and their 5 kids so a bit smaller gathering than usual.The Boy with Aunty. He's trying to get out of the photo.

Keeping amused while we wait for food.

Father and son ...
Son trying to poke daddy.
My Big Girl having a rest - the panadol was starting to wear off.My dad's favourite party trick.

and as the final encore My Little Girl had a coughing fit after her icecream and vomited all over the floor.

This Could be Relevent

This continues my conversion story. After Hubby’s declaration and my decision to find out about this thing that was important to him he asked me to visit his small group. They were going to have a special night where one of the pastors was going to visit and run a hypothetical. That night blew away a few misconceptions about Christianity that I had and left me eager to learn more.

They weren’t weird – well no weirder than me

Christianity wasn’t just a whole heap of fun spoiling rules but maybe offered a framework to answer a whole heap of life’s questions and to make good decisions in diverse situations.

Here was a couple with 3 children of their own willing to take a group of twenty year olds under their wing, to make time for them, listen and teach and just share their lives. At times they must have wondered where we were heading – Hubby was often heading to the nightclubs after small group. They became my first mentors and I still have a huge respect and admiration for them and the way they led this small group.

Subsequent weeks involved in depth discussions of many of the areas we had touched on in the hypothetical. I realised that this Christianity thing could be relevant in my life. The next step would be going to a church service.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Have Evidence ...

that I am a domestic goddess. Yep that's right - pikelets for afternoon tea. Of course there could be an alternate explanation - I forgot to make sure I had something in the pantry for when my Big Girl was bringing home a couple of playmates. Normally I'd find some dry biscuits and tell the kids to hit the fruit bowl but with friends over I thought I better make some effort. The guests are good kids and we want them to come back again. Anyway my Little Girl looks pretty chuffed. But what's this? No I'm not trying to permanently damage The Boys hearing - look he asked to turn it on. We're making Dad's favourite slice - Raspberry Jam Coconut Slice.
You know how some people are naturally thoughtful - they remember birthdays, bring stuff when they visit, remember to ask how your latest whatever went - that's not me. In fact I'm really bad at it. A couple years ago at Christmas we were sitting at the table after lunch and dad gets us to share something someone did that made you feel good from the last year. My little sister shares how I rang her in London to wish her a happy birthday. Then goes on to say it felt so special because I never remember birthdays. Yep, that's my plan - to be completely thoughtless so when I finally do something nice you feel really special. Anyway I've decided to try to be a bit more thoughtful and less self-centred. Bear with me - I'm coming to my point, this weekend we're going to the holiday house with mum and dad to do some gardening and so I figured I could start now. Instead of freeloading off my extremely generous parents I rang mum and said not to worry about dinner for Saturday because I'll bring it. So tonight I'll make a lasagna but this afternoon I made the slice to take down.

I didn't have quite enough coconut but that's OK - recipes often get modified in our house, must be a legacy of my days in the Monash Chemistry department. Here's my free timer that I use so I don't forget to pull it out of the oven - I sometimes forget. My chemistry days were spent with mainly instantaneous reactions or ones that went for days so I didn't need a timer then.
The finished product. I had to have a piece so you could all see the inside. The space really looks bigger than it is (the angle and everything - honest).
I also got a birthday book - now I just have to write all the birthdays in.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The end of an era?

Life is changing – next year my baby (The Boy) goes to school. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. Looking after preschoolers at home can be pretty draining and all consuming at times and to be honest where some people seem to be naturally drawn to young children that’s not really me. (You may be wondering why on earth I have three children - My Big Girl actually asked me that once). So after nearly 10 years with children at home next year between the hours of 8:30-3:30 I’ll be child free. People often ask what will you do with yourself – believe me I’ve got plenty of ideas.

Today I was walking back from the bakery and The Boy said “Can I help you carry the bread?”, of course I said yes. Looking down at his proud and determined face, his arms carrying the bread carefully in front of him, I felt a little sad. I’m still looking forward to this new phase in my life but it feels like time is speeding up. So today I took a deep breath, soaked in the sunshine and just enjoyed walking and talking with my little man.