Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Project365 February 2010

The holidays are kicking along nicely for us, with friends to play, chalk drawing on the driveway, hideaways built in the bedrooms, a dragon chasing cinderella this morning and now playing in the backyard in p.j.s, it's good for the kids to be able run free.  Last night we took them along with us to prayer night at church ... oh, yeah ... we're hardcore.

Over the next couple of days I plan to try out two new recipes for hot cross buns in the search for the ultimate recipe that my sister and I started last year, decorate some eggs, start some cross country training for Big Girl and today we're off to the dentist.  Thursday night we plan on going here and we'll head back again for Good Friday.

Anyway onto the actual topic of this post ... I know it's almost April but here's February's Project365 summary layout for our family album.  You'll notice it's a similar layout to January.


Credits HERE.

For my words and photo book I'm planning a smaller 7x7 album from blurb.  I'll probably do a variety of one or two photo pages depending on how much I love the photos.  Here's a photo I love so it gets it's own page:


Credits HERE.

I'm so glad I've taken the time to write words to go with the photos as I upload to flickr, it makes the process much easier.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This and That

Been pretty busy lately.  Last week our dishwasher broke down ... Hubby thought we better hurry and get a new one for the health of our marriage, so we went off on Saturday to get a new one.  It arrived today and is just working through it's cleaning cycle.  When it finishes I'll load it up with the breakfast dishes ... yay.  The kids didn't mind helping out with the dishes because they'd never done them before, in fact The Boy and LIttle Girl had a fight the first night before we pointed out that there were two teatowels ... then they had a fight about who was going to dry what.

It's holidays now so I put the kids to work yesterday morning.  Big Girl made chicken schnitzels from scratch all by herself and The Boy vacuumed the lounge and dining room and did a spectacular job sweeping the front verandah ... school holidays are looking pretty good about now.  Little Girl had enough to do just cleaning her room ... yes that bad.

Yesterday afternoon we scored some tickets from my sister to the Gruffalo, her kids weren't 100% so I took The Boy and Little Girl.


I think maybe Little Girl is trying to be the Gruffalo. It was great. They used the words from the book and padded it out with extra dialogue and some songs.

While we were there I took the kids up to the Chemistry department to meet my old supervisor. Had a quick catch up ... he thought he might try to stick around until my kids are old enough for uni. He showed them my thesis on his shelves and we chatted about the half-finished paper that keeps popping up when he goes through his files. Then I took them down to look at the labs. The wing I was in has been completely gutted and is now shiny and new, blue and white ... just not the same.

Saturday we started a game of Monopoly.


It's Big Girl against me. Little Girl is being banker and The Boy occasionally comes in to help me out with rolling the dice, moving and reading the chance cards. It's still going ... this morning it looked like this ...


... of yes ... the hotels are mine ... won't be long before I crush her. Competitive? ... no we're not competitive at our house.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gifts, timeout, bottling, sick girl, dishes, monopoly and cereal ... this week's P365

Started yesterday and finished today, cards, palm crosses and easter eggs for all the girls in her class.

81 - Easter Gifts

At the end of the second straight day of, in the words of my boy, packing up a stranger's house, ... first shower, then sit down.

82 - Needing a Lie Down

Making and bottling tomato sauce with dad.

83 - Tomato Sauce

Today's plans derailed by call from girls school. Last week of term means I must have at least one home sick.

84 - Home Sick

So they had a fight about who was going to get to do this.

85 - Drying the Dishes

The start of our long drawn out, multiday monolopy game.

86 - Monoploy

Out at 8:30am, church, lunch at friends, afternoon tea at cousins in at 6pm ... dinner is whatever you can rustle up yourself.

87 - Breakfast Tea

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession by Mark Sayers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was very excited to get this book in the mail as part of Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. In the Vertical Self Mark Sayers looks at how in modern western culture instead of defining ourselves vertically in relationship to God we now attempt to gain a sense of identity horizontally by what the people around us think. The first section looks at various influences in our culture that combine to shape the way we see ourselves. The second part looks at how we might seek to find our true identity by cultivating our souls ... to rediscover holiness.

This really is an excellent book. Mark looks with great insight into today's culture and how it influences us. I must admit even though a couple years back I made the conscious decision to not be defined by other people and put God's will first it is easy to lapse back into old patterns. This book has made me more aware of some of the more subtle influences in my life. Using stories from the bible and also more recent history Mark looks at how we can overcome the messages of our culture to embrace our true self "each day becoming more and more like the people God has designed us to be" ... a must if we hope, as a church, to make any kind of impact in our communities.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Planting Seeds

With the summer harvest coming to an end and many of the plants shrivelling up, it's time to start some seedlings for planting.  The kids are always keen to help.  This is what happens when you mix a packet of tiny cos lettuce seeds and a little girl wearing bright yellow gloves.


We managed to scrape up most of the seeds.  The Boy's rainbow chard seeds were a little bigger but I helped him out anyway.


We're using the toilet rolls again for starting the seeds.  I popped them in old margarine tubs.  I just pour water in the tub and it works it's way up through the dirt.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

I've been scarce this week ...

because, in the words of The Boy, "I've been helping a stranger pack to move house".  Eyes opened ... heart breaking ... but counting my blessings.

The big move is today ... feel free to pray ... stamina required.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forgetting, charades, eggplants, Famous Five, spider, fair and balloons ... this week's P365

I sent my boy in the wrong uniform today. Forgot Monday was sport day.

74 - Mummy's Forgetful

So funny, the kids trying to guess each other's actions ... she's walking on crutches.

75 - Charade's

Went out to find some beetroot came back with a whole bowl of eggplants ... now what to do with them?

76 - Eggplants

Reading some of my childhood favourites with my kids ... first Famous Five with my boy.

77 - Famous Five

Nearly jumped back into traffic today when I saw the huntsman on my car window ... then it hid and dropped on my girl after school.

78 - Spider

Rides, showbags and snowcones ... must be school fair time.

79 - Bungy Run

Woke up to little people shouting there's balloons, there's balloons.

80 - Hot Air Balloon

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Unexpected Beach Day

How much sweeter is the hot weather in early autumn when you know the cold is just around the corner. This week has been warm ... high 20's and 30's ... loving it.

Also loved the couple hours of heat and sun in the midst of wild storms on the long weekend. I went out for a walk on the Sunday afternoon and cut it short to rush back home and grab the kids and hubby for an unscheduled trip to the beach.






Note: I've decided my Friday Five has run it's course ... also translated as I just can't be bothered ... so from now on Friday's will be just a regular old post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lemongrass Beef ... kind of.


This has become a new easy favourite in our family.  I adapted it from a Donna Hay recipe in the Sunday HeraldSun's magazine.  I find many recipes like this don't have enough different ingredients to make a proper meal so I added carrots and noodles.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 lemongrass stalk
1 garlic clove crushed
400g beef
2 tbs lime juice
2tbs castor sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
1 carrot julienned
1 pkt bean thread noodles
Baby cos lettuce, leaves separated.
1/4 cup coriander leaves

Soak the noodles in warm water for 15 mins.  Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over high heat.  Add the lemongrass. garlic and beef and cook 5-8mins, breaking up any lumps, until browned.  Add the carrots, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and cook for  a further minute.  Toss through the noodles.  Spoon into lettuce cups, sprinkle with coriander.

71 - Beef and Noodles in Lettuce

Now I'm a notoriously bad recipe follower, partly because I'm disorganised, but also because I like throw extra things in.  You can see above I haven't sprinkled it with coriander ... that was because I forgot the coriander and left it sitting in the fridge where it still is.  This week I also added some cucumber because we have a huge crop coming off our one plant at the moment.  I also had to make it without lemongrass because the supermarket didn't have any ... hence the title.  My point?  If you don't have everything you need don't worry too much and feel free to add whatever you may happen to have.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kids in the Kitchen

My kids have loved helping out in the kitchen since they were tiny. This year we've moved it up a notch and each week I get them to make something yummy for their lunchboxes. As long as I'm in the vicinity they can do most recipes by themselves. The girls learnt this year to crack eggs ... little girls worst ratio so far is 2 eggs on floor with 4 in the bowl ... let's just say I don't clean the floor before the cooking.

Last week the kids came home from school and made chocolate cake, bread and then chicken schnitzels. We try to make it fun ... I mean who doesn't like to lick the beaters?  Of course when making chicken schnitzels I make sure I stress not to lick anything ... raw chicken ... yum.  Luckily for me Big Girl got into the act ... she has a much better track record with breaking the eggs into the bowl.


Then it was time for the fun part ... I mean what kid isn't going to jump at the opportunity to whack chicken fillets with a rolling pin? - definitely not a 6 y.o. boy.

68 - Kitchen Helpers

I was worried for a minute, I thought he was turning round to whack his sister, but he was just handing over the rolling pin so she could have a go.


10 y.o. girls don't mind a bit of chicken whacking either.


What I like ... it's fun for them, they're not watching TV and while they're doing the cooking I can be pottering around doing some other jobs that might not get done otherwise.

How do you get the kids involved in the kitchen?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Distraction Avoidance

69 - My Time

For years when the kids were young when I did my quiet time it was always at night.  I'm really not a morning person ... hubby knows better than to poke the bear in the morning ... so early mornings are never a good option for scheduling something that requires any brain activity.

With the kids all at school last year I played around with various times during the day when the house was quiet and I wasn't dead tired but I never got a special time to stick.  Last year I'd got into the habit of leaving early for The Boy's pickup in the afternoon which meant I got a carpark that wasn't blocks away ... handy when you only have a limited time to make it to the next school to pick up two girls ... and also gave me a half hour which I used to read.

This year I decided to turn that time into my quiet time.  I figured there'd be no distractions and once I'd finished my daily bible reading there was no temptation to blow off the rest of the time and get back to jobs beckoning from the other rooms.  The first few days everything was great but then one day pulled up and parked and there was a guy in the park practising tightrope walking (yes, you did just read that right) ... the next day a guy was chainsawing a tree next to my car and I couldn't help having visions of it crashing down on my car.  So much for a lack of distractions ... of course when I told my smallgroup they thought it was hilarious, especially the tightrope walker.  It seems part of my role as leader is to provide entertainment.

Anyway I've kept going and after 5 weeks straight it's stopped being something that I have to remember and commit to, to being a part of the day that I really look forward to ... I love it when that happens.  Just being able to sit there, read, then pray and still have some time to dream makes such a difference in my day and my life.  

Monday, March 15, 2010

Riding, reading, cooking, dentist, planting ... this week's P365

Trying out the gears on her new bike.

Day 67 - New Bike

Helping in the kitchen becomes even more fun when it involves smashing chicken with the rolling pin.

68 - Kitchen Helpers

Arriving at my boy's school early has two perks: a car park that's not blocks away and some quiet time before rushing to get the girls.

69 - My Time

Dentist appointment today ... still suffering from a dental phobia caused by a very scary dentist we had when we were kids.

70 - The Dentist

Our newest addition to family meals ... although different everytime ... I find it almost impossible to follow a recipe.

71 - Beef and Noodles in Lettuce

The kids helping me plant seeds of cos lettuce and rainbow chard.

72 - Planting Seeds

Aunty Janine sharing some of my girl's take from the easter hunt at mum's extended family get together in Healesville.

73 - Family reunion

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Five #25

Considering the stormy weather on the weekend, our afternoon at the beach took us completely by surprise.  When the sun came out and it was so warm I quickly grabbed the kids and headed down.



This week's layout is from the Good vibrations Festival ... 2nd page in the works.

Credits: Template by Ashley Kennedy from her blog. Amanda Taylor and Emily Powers Beautiful Mess @ oscraps. Tiny stitches by Emily Powers no longer available.


Beautiful post When You've Been Framed: Life as Art.  I'm not going to make one of these for myself but they are beautiful to look at and gives possible jumping off points for recording life in layouts.


On a similar subject (recording everyday), I was looking back at my twitter stream the other day to find some information I'd posted and I realised that this may be useful in documenting some of my everyday. I will probably pull some of it together to use in some layouts soon and so I used Print Your Twitter to save it as pdf ... it will all be ready when I decide exactly what I'm going to do.


And while on the twitter subject you may like to check out Museum of Modern Tweets. Celebrity tweets illustrated.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

develop on fridays :: SIMPLICITY

develop on Fridays has now moved to a dedicated blog running bi-weekly assignments.

ASSIGNMENT: Take a photo. Then find a way to make it simpler. Post both photos. Go ahead and do this lots of times and post lots of examples.

I don't have lots of examples but I do have a few ... here they are.

Firstly reducing the background clutter:


58 - Saturday

Next, zoom in:



Finally, a shot I think reads faster in black+white.