Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Passin' Thru's Head in the Clouds

Got to play with the fun kit Head in the Clouds this month as well. The cute and original colour pallette results in a kit that stands out from the others. Subtly patterned papers combined with a good selection of frames, lots of fluffy white clouds, flourishes, borders and realistic button and strings give lots of options. You must check out the ladder reaching through the clouds and the curly string/cocktail umbrella combination ... too cute.
Now for my layout. Big girl clowning for the camera.
and in this one she was actually climbing the ladder to do the flying fox.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Five #5

Check out this little man, he sleeps down the road from us. I snapped him on my walk this morning.



This week was Book Week. Every year at the girls school they get to dress up as a character from a book.

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Big Girl went as Jenna from Magyk. Little Girl was Princess Lily from The Princess and the Unicorn. They take the book and have a parade at assembly.

The Boys school had a whole week of scheduled activities. Apparently he won the treasure hunt on Thursday but he was wondering where his prize was.

You can check out some more book week blogging at Squigglemum.


A book I'd like to check out ... combining photography and inspiring stories, what could be better?


Love in Action documents the difference made to the people involved in the Manly-Manado partnership.

Love in Action is a story of hope: how one ordinary neighbourhood in the corner of the world - Manly, in Sydney, Australia - formed a relationship with the people of Manado, Indonesia, to take action against poverty. From its small beginnings with only a handful of residents, this grassroots movement has captured the imagination of Manly's wider community. It now includes support of local council, local businesses, schools and churches, and over 13,000 residents.

From the partnership website:

Manly-Manado is a Christian-led Community Partnership between Manly in Sydney, Australia and Manado on the Island of Sulawesi, East Indonesia.

Manly-Manado exists to help transform lives out of the mutual poverty that exists within both communities. It empowers people to personally take action against poverty using their passions and talents and tangibly affect someone in a specific community.

While a community like Manly is materially wealthy many in the community still have unmet spiritual, emotional, social and relational needs. The project seeks to transform both communities.


I went on excursion with Big girl's class to the Dali exhibition at the NGV. They always run fantastic programs and this was no exception. We started with a fascinating lecture, followed by a walk around the exhibition. The girls then went upstairs to do their own Dali inspired artwork in a workshop. As my Big Girl reminded me it was a once in a lifetime experience and included 200 works by the artist.

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Lastly something from Little Girl, love the colours and detail ... sorry about the bad photography.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Boy Talks Dogs and Beados

The Boy is an endless source of conversational entertainment. He always has a unique take on things and is full of information and questions. The other day going to school he asked the question "Do you know what a puppy is?" I thought he asked "Do you know where the puppy is?" so I responded with a no. He obviously decided I needed a lesson in dogs. "A puppy is a baby dog. Puppies are very cute. A medium dog is a puppy-dog"

Phew glad he could clear that up for me. Of course that wasn't the end of the conversation.

The Boy: "What's Harry's (that's our dog) middle name?"
Me: "Harry doesn't have a middle name"
The Boy: "His middle name should be Furry. That's a good name for a dog because dog's are covered with fur ... Harry Furry Stebbins."

This afternoon he asked to play with the Beados. I said as long as he didn't make a mess. He replied "Beados don't make a mess. It says that on the ad" Well if they say it on the ad I guess it must be true ... right?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

While we were 40hr famining ...

we reorganised the girls room. It was pretty out of control.

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We needed to get it back into order before we go away because we have house sitters coming. I coaxed a little enthusiasm by suggesting we move the furniture ... which of course requires that everything by taken off it ... a perfect opportunity to cull the clutter.

We started at 9AM and by 10:30 Big Girl announced that she was bored of this, unfortunately by this stage everything was in a huge pile in the middle of the floor.

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To be honest I was struggling with the whole exercise as well, but I managed to talk Big Girl around and she kept on going. Both girls were really great with getting rid of toys that they'd grown out of, we dropped 2 boxes to the salvos and a bag of rubbish to the dumpster. As the day wore on a smaller percentage went into the "to keep" pile as the girls realised that everything they kept needed to be put away somewhere neatly.

They were pretty pleased when we were all finished at 3:30PM although Big Girl was a bit put out that night when she couldn't see Little Girl in bed.

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So I kept them busy ... and myself and we easily made the 40 hours with no TV, DS, iPod and computer. Hubby and I decided we'll probably have a tech free Staurday once a month.

While the kids and I were busy Hubby made himself useful removing some out of control flora in our bedroom.

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Yes, it's a plant growing up through a gap in the floorboards next to our bed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Five #4

Photography has again taken a back seat this week as I try to get the house tidied up and our trip planned. I did take some in the vege patch.



The vege patch got some loving this week, I weeded, it was pretty overgrown, and planted some more mixed lettuces and some bokchoy. The broad beans and snow peas are flowering so it won't be long now. I also hit the Diggers site to order some summer vegetable seeds. They have the best range of heirloom veges. I made sure I ordered some Lazy Housewife beans.


Came across this set of textures on flickr by Dubtastic. Free to use on any of your projects. Here I layered it over the photo above and used the soft light blending mode. I also reduced the saturation in the original photo, which gives it a lovely vintage feel.



My favourite bolognese recipe at the moment is Oven-baked Bolognese. Fantastic rich sauce, pretty easy but cooks for 2hrs in the oven. You need to make sure you have plenty of time. We had it Wednesday and I didn't get home from school pick-up until 4:30. Even though I started straight away I didn't get it in the oven until after 5 ... we ate late that night. Hubby wondered if I had my cooking mojo back ... if I did it was gone after Big girl left all the sauce in her bowl then hid under her quilt and refused to come out when it was dished up the next night as well. Seriously, what kid doesn't like spaghetti bolognese? We won't even talk about the fact that she has eaten it hundreds of times before.


I finally got my hair cut today so it must be time again for a self-portrait, because let's face it, my hair's not going to look this good until I get it cut again.


Notice how I considerately saved you from having to look at the large version.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WorldVision 40 Hour Famine

Last Friday Big Girl came home from school with the news that years 4-6 were going to participate in the WorldVision 40 hour famine. She then followed up with the suggestion that she give up piano practice for 40 hours ... of course The Boy chimed in with the suggestion that he give up sitting at the table. What followed was a fairly laboured conversation about why we need to give up something that is hard. Big Girl was still not convinced but I invoked my executive decision making power to decide on a technology fast.

In the interests of family harmony and leading by example I am also participating ... yes that's right ... no computer for me. So for 40 hours starting on Friday at 8PM the kids and I will have no DS, computer, TV, iPod, mobile phone or radio.

Sponsor us online.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wonder ... where have you gone.

I thought kids were supposed to be delighted by sparklers ... here's my Little Girl looking decidely unimpressed by her sparkler ... although she was a rather reluctant photo subject this day so it may have just been in response to me pointing the camera her way.

Wonder-...Align Center

This layout is for the blog challenge on Donna Duncombe's blog. Really easy challenge, just use the word "wonder" ... you can also pick a freebie to use. Oh and a prize is up for grabs.

I used two of Donna's new releases on this layout, Flower Brushes #1 and Cardboard Backgrounds. Full credits HERE.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Delightful by Debbie McKenzie

I got to play with two kits at nuts4digi this month. The first is Debbie's Just Delightful. This is the most pretty, girly kit. Beautiful pastel colours with an abundance of pink and purple, flowers, ribbons, bows and cute fairy doodles ... everything you could need to make gorgeous girly pages.

and now to my layouts, I broke out a few older photos:




Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Five #3

This week's photo is from the Butterfly House at The Royal Melbourne Zoo



"We are in orbit around God and his purposes, not the other way around" - NT Wright

I've had the book Justification on my shelf for a while now and finally started reading it this week.


I bought a dress today ... that brings me up to a grand total of three.

I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping ... marginally beats supermarket shopping except that it usually takes longer. One thing I've noticed is that everytime I go shopping at Esprit I seem to fit in smaller sizes. I'd love to say that I'm getting smaller ... but I don't think that's the case. If things keep going this way pretty soon normal size people ... you know like me ... will be shopping in the kids shop.

While I was there I also picked up a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a jumper ... if I'm going to go I may as well make it worth my while.


It's All About the Waves: (credits)



and my favourite little story this week comes from Little Girl who asked me for a "toothbrush suitcase" when she was packing for her sleepover last night. Took me a few seconds to register what she said then work out exactly what she was talking about. I have a feeling the toothbrush suitcase will have a long life round our house.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Royal Melbourne Zoo Excursion

On Wednesday I went with The Boy's class to the zoo. Luckily there were plenty of parent helpers so I only had to keep my eye on two boys ... that was enough.

Each of the boys had an animal they needed to look at. My Boy had gorillas he learnt they are vegetarian and build nests to sleep in.


A very cheeky gorilla:


Next my other charge had to check out the elephants ... they were rolling logs.


Then it was time for the educational segment ... the mum's went for coffee. Followed by lunch and a long explore of the rest of the zoo. I really need a tape recorder that I can play most used phrases on ... "Come back here" ... "Don't jump in the mud" ... "Stay with me" ... "Stay together" ... "Don't bang on the glass" ... "Stay out of the garden"

Anyway we had a long time in the butterfly house.


The Boy was disappointed that the butterflies didn't land on him ... umm, you need to keep still.


The meerkats are cute.


We had just a little bit of time left at the end of the day to visit the reptile house.


Me? I was very, very tired ... still getting over it.

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

The Fixer: A Novel The Fixer: A Novel by Bernard Malamud

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Malamud won both the National Book Award and the Pullitzer prize for this novel. Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy.

Malamud writes beautifully with enough detail to draw you in without becoming overwhelming. The story deals with some big issues ... injustice, meaningless, suffering. If you're looking for an uplifting read don't go here, but if you're looking for something to keep you thinking after you've finished, it's well worth it.

Ref: Sunshine Smackdown

Monday, August 10, 2009

All Packed

We got the kids some backpacks for our holiday on Friday. While I was making tea The Boy came in with his backpack ... "I'm all packed"


He had his stormtrooper gun and robot arm. What more could you need? When hubby came home The Boy proudly announced that "He had his weapons packed for the trip". Hubby explained that we weren't allowed to carry weapons in our carry on luggage.

Saturday morning I got up and was greeted to this:


Apparently he's "all ready to go". Clearly clothes, shoes and a toothbrush don't get a look in ... oh, and we don't actually leave for another four weeks.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Book Giveaways

Just a quick post to let you know about two book giveaways on Royal Reviews.

The first is the chance to win either "An Echo in the Bone" or "Covet". Images are linked to the giveaways.

The second is to win a copy of Phillipa Gregory's new book "The White Queen"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Five #2

5 good things from this week.

A photo:

Little Girl playing the chocolate game at our mother/daughter lunch last Sunday. If there's one girl who could eat that whole block of chocolate in record time without ill effects it would be her ... she can eat.

I tried a new dish this week, Chicken and Dumplings. Really, really good for a cold winter's night. I had to tell the kids to cease and desist from any complaints until I had finished eating ... no point ruining a good meal.

Chicken with Dumplings

I went to this terms Kidschurch elective with Little Girl. Great teaching on the fruit of the spirit.


Of course being Kids church there were actions ... definitely need to make sure you go in comfy clothes and shoes. Little Girl is really keen to go back next term. During free worship the kids were invited to draw or write something if they wanted and they kept these to put up around the room. Finally prised Sara out at 8:45PM ... she's a little tired today.

While I'm doing the housework ... which as most would know is pretty mind-numbing ... I usually listen to podcasts to make the time go a little bit faster. I've caught up on all the sermons I've missed from our church and have been listening to the Citylife podcasts. This week I listened to part 3 of the Fit for Life series which was an excellent talk on reading the bible. Well explained basics of bible reading including taking into account literary and historical context, cultural relevance and timeless principles. You can also access the sermon notes.

Finally some digi scrapping goodness. I love fonts but never really go browsing much. A great resource is Misty Cato's blog. Every Tuesday she has Typeface Tuesday where she links up to some great fonts. This Tuesday it was Cartoon time ... lots of fun. I downloaded Cookies and Heartbreaker.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Enough already ...

Big girl has a habit of getting fixated on things ... plus she knows how to talk. This is the girl that can carry on a conversation about tictacs ... yes the lollies ... all the way from our local supermarket ( about 10mins away) ... until we were two doors from home when I finally snapped. She just laughed and said Ï was wondering how long it would take until you lost it" ... lovely.

Her current obsession is Pokemon. So we have:

  • The 7AM visit to our bedroom on a Saturday morning to give us an update on how she's going with her pokemon game.
  • Interupting my conversations with my friends to give them a description of various pokemons.
  • Dressing up as pokemon.
  • Carrying pokemon cards to and from school.
  • Blow by blow accounts of how she's going in her DS pokemon game.
  • Endless requests to go to the shops and buy new Pokedex or cards.
  • Rambling monologues about Pokemon at dinner, in the car, when walking
  • Our HDD getting filled with the pokemon shows on TV.



Hmmm... OK ... now that I've got that off my chest, back to our regular programming.

On another note I'm heading off with the girls tomorrow night for this terms Kids church elective ... the importance of love and God's heart for His children to encourage, care for and respect one another through the fruit, empowering and gifts of His Holy spirit in us ... mummy needs this one too .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Reviews

The Taste of Innocence (Cynster, #14) The Taste of Innocence by Stephanie Laurens

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was an okay read. The phrase taste of innocence was repeatedly used and was frankly annoying. I've read better books by Laurens. The scenario at the end between the two heroes and the villian was not believable ... I kept thinking as if anyone would actually do this. Other than that it covered the usual romace bases.

Assegai by Wilbur Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I usually enjoy Wilbur Smith's books and this one started off well and was reasonably enjoyable but the suspense didn't build quite as well as it has in some of his other books. The other thing that grated was the dialogue between Leon and Eva, just plain annoying and it didn't seem to gel with their characters, in fact I dreaded the parts of the book where they were alone together. Better to pick up one of his earlier Courtenay books.

Ref: Historical Fiction challenge

Monday, August 3, 2009

Whole Orange Cake

This is a really easy cake ... perfect for the girls to make.


Align CenterGrease a 20 cm cake pan and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven on moderate.

Wash and dry a whole orange, cut into quarters, remove the seeds and process to pulp in a food processor.

Mix in a bowl the orange pulp, 200g melted butter, 1 cup castor sugar and 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 mins. Stand for 10mins before turning out of the tin.

You can sprinkle with icing sugar or ice with orange icing.