Thursday, April 29, 2010

What if ...


“What if there was a giant spaceman out in space and he had a huge rolling pin … and what if he rolled the earth out flat … and cut it out like cookies … and what if he got moonrocks and put them on like chocchips … that would be pretty cool.

All the people would be flat … everything would be flat … it would be called Flatland … and what if he had a really huge table that he rolled everything out on ... ”

The Boy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The US Album

Last week all the talk was about Week In The Life project which I'm keen to do at some stage ... although I'm considering a video/photo combination slideshow instead of album ... just need to work out how that would look.

Anyway I picked up Ali Edwards WeekInTheLife album templates because I thought they'd be fab to use for our album about our US trip.  I really want to get our holiday scrapped and in a book and with these templates and most of my journaling already done courtesy of my blog posts it's coming along quickly ... well quickly for me anyway ... and I LOVE the way it's looking.

Here's our first 2 days ... only 26 more days to go ... and some have way more photos than these.

US Album


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lego Everywhere

Lego is slowly invading our house ... not sure what this wall art means ...


but this is under it.


I woke up and found this in the bathroom one morning.


It seems to be multiplying at an exponential rate.


At some stage I'm going to have to vacuum this floor though.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sport, food, camp ... this week's P365

The training paid off, she came in 8th place and made the school team.

Day 109 - Cross Country

First meeting to discuss specs and plans for the new house.

Day 110 - Ball Rolling

Just filling in a few minutes before it's time to leave for swimming lessons.

Day 111 - Waiting

Googling eggplant recipes turned up this ... a wonderful way to use the last eggplants from the garden.

Day 112 - Roast Vegetable Salad

Both girls have shown a massive improvement in their swimming this year.

Day 113 - Interhouse Swimming

Off to camp with a bunch of her also school mates.

Day 114 - Church Camp

A tradition for Hubby - the Collingwood-Essendon football match, unfortunately The Boy was sick and couldn't go.

Day 115 - Anzac Day Match

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Awards Reading Challenge

OK ... another reading challenge for me - Book Awards Reading Challenge.  I've had this on my list from a little while, just hadn't got round to posting it yet, which also means I've already made a start with Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Ursula LeGuin's Tenahu.


Read 10 books from 10 different awards during January 1, 2010 through November 1, 2010.

Overlaps with other challenges are permitted.

Choices don't have to be posted right away, and lists may be changed at any time.

'Award winners' is loosely defined; make the challenge fit your needs.

SIGN UP at the Book Awards site using Mr. Linky -- please use a SPECIFIC post link.

If you'd like to be a contributor on the Book Awards blog, email me at 3m.michelle at gmail and reference your blog address if you have one. (I must have your email address, so comments to this post won't work.)

Have fun reading!

Friday, April 23, 2010

House Swimming Sports

The girls had their house swimming sports today.  My throat is still a bit hoarse from yelling encouragement to them.  I got home and downloaded the photos and they're pretty bad ... a lot are blurry ... mainly because I get a little bit excited when I'm watching and forget to hold the camera steady ... yes, I'm living vicariously through my children.  So no action shots of Big Girl's racing dives ... but here's what I've got.

Big girl on the blocks for the 50m freestyle.  I must admit her diving and tumble turns were a strong point today ... she really killed them on her turns ... she was disappointed when she found out earlier in the week that she wasn't going to be swimming the 100m races.


and in the 25m butterfly, she's in the far lane.


Here she is at home at the end of the day displaying her ribbons.


Big Girl's results for the day:
  • 50m freestyle 1st
  • 50m backstroke 1st
  • 25m breaststroke 1st
  • 25m butterfly 1st
  • 4x25m kickboard relay 3rd
  • 4x25m medley relay 3rd
  • 4x25m freestyle relay 1st

Little Girl raced against her best friend in the next lane all day.  They are both similar standard with Little Girl getting the upperhand in the freestyle and backstroke and her friend just touching in front for the breaststroke ... which was nice ... of course there were others in the race as well.

Here they are in the 25m backstroke ...


This is the first year Little Girl has been in the swimming sports and all the girls in her backstroke race stopped as they came into the wall. I was getting a little animated at that stage yelling out to keep going and touch the wall so no photos of the finish.

 Here they are at the finish of the 25m breaststroke.


Little Girl's results for the day:

  • 25m freestyle 2nd
  • 25m backstroke 2nd
  • 25m breaststroke 2nd
  • 4x25m kickboard relay 3rd
  • 4x25m novelty relay 3rd
  • 4x25m freestyle relay 2nd

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A post about food

Last week we had a birthday at small group and my Big Girl volunteered to cook the cake while Little girl made the birthday card.  I'd decided to go with a raspberry buttermilk cake.  I had the recipe on my computer so I was yelling out directions to my girl but she kept thinking I was saying 1/2 cup instead of 1/2 tsp ... there was a lot of "no, no, teaspoon ... t e a s p o o n not cup"  Anyway we got the batter done and I gave the kids the beaters while I poured it into the pan.  Next thing I hear the kids talking about salt so I tasted the batter and it was disgusting.  Turns out Big Girl had put 1/4 cup of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoon.  The Boy enjoyed telling Hubby that Big Girl made "the worst cake ever".  Big Girl was a good sport and whipped up another cake which got rave reviews from everyone in small group.

Every couple of days I've been going out into the garden and coming back with these ...


I didn't realise cherry tomato plants were that productive. I wash them and put the bowl on the dining table and the kids snack on them throughout the day. The normal tomatoes are going well too. So far we've had tomatoes in salads, made tomato relish and fresh tomato pasta sauce which made enough for dinner plus two lots for the freezer.  The sauce is really easy.  Just heat a tbs oil in a pan over medium heat, add some crushed garlic and lightly brown, peel and chop your tomatoes, put them in the saucepan, cook up for about 30 mins over low heat, then add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs.  It's a lovely light tomato sauce ... we had it with ricotta and spinach agnolotti.

Now it's time to go out a pick another lot of tomatoes and I'm wondering what to do with this lot ... suggestions?

If you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, tonight we had Cook’s Illustrated’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry (scroll down to the bottom of the post) ... so, so easy and tasty ... plus the kids ate it ... although I won't lie and say it was without complaining.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Birthdays, movies, garden, lunch and a workshop ... this week's P365

Last day of holidays we went to learn "How to Train a Dragon" ... anything dragon is a must for my big girl.

102 - 3D

After 1/4cup of salt in the first cake this is #2 made by my big girl to celebrate a birthday a small group ... scored rave reviews.

103 - Cake

Self-explanatory really.

104 - Lunch

The kids came inside because all the balls went onto the mushrooms ... makes sense??

105 - End of Game

This morning I'm off to learn "How to write small grant applications" #bureaucraticfun

106 - Grant Writing

Went out in the garden and came back with this.

107 - Foraging

A park is a good place to get together to celebrate a couple of birthdays.

108 - The Cousins

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dawn on a Distant Shore by Sara Donati

Dawn on a Distant Shore (Wilderness, #2) Dawn on a Distant Shore by Sara Donati

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in Donati's Wilderness series following the adventures of Elizabeth and Daniel. It was great to follow on with more adventures from these two, they are great characters. I also liked how we also got to get to know a few of the other characters especially Daniel's daughter Hannah in this book.

The adventure keeps coming at a cracking pace although the major plot direction is telegraphed in advance by the book title. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Friday, April 16, 2010

When I grow up

The Boy: "When I grow up I'm going to drive a bus.  You get to drive people to lots of places"

I love that part of the excitement of being a bus driver wasn't just the allure of driving something big but also the fact that you are serving people.  For him the bus takes you somewhere exciting so why wouldn't you want to do that for other people?

... but things change quickly round here.  Just yesterday he started up:

"I'm going to be a builder.  What if I was a builder and me and my wife wanted to renovate our house.  I could do it.   I'd get a big ball to smash down the house ... it would go through the windows and doors ... smash everything ...."  *insert dreamy smile and staring into the distance here*

I'm just glad he doesn't want to be a pirate ...


... OK, that was just a way of working this seriously cute photo into the post:)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Hanging Rock Template

I thought it was about that time again ... so I whipped up a template based on my Hanging Rock double page layout.

The template looks something like this ...

and you can snag it HERE.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


About a month back I was doing my daily bible reading which happened to be in proverbs 18 and these two verses jumped out.

"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions." Prov 18:2

"He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame" Prov 18:13

I like to talk, I also don't always listen that well.

You know when you do actually listen to other people you can learn a lot.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Boy in the Car:


The Boy:  I give you ten words ... money ... money ... money ... must be funny ... in a richman's world.

The Girls:  money. money. money. must. be. funny. in. a. rich. man's. world ... that's eleven words.

The Boy:  money. money. money. must. be. funny. in. a. rich. man's. world ... oh yeah ... eleven words.

Another drive ... another scintillating conversation.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Food, lots of swimming, houses, relaxing ... this week's P365

Who's for icecream ... grandad and the kids.

Day 95 - Icrecream

Every 2 years we get interviewed as part of the GrowingUp in Australia study.

Day 96 - Study Time

Soil testing ... and so the big project starts.

Day 97 - Soil Testing

Wicked Arvos at the pool, extra fun for the price of the kids admission ... inflatable and tarzan rope.

Day 98 - Water Fun

Finally my girl got the opportunity to do some diving lessons ... 4 days this week ... and it lived up to her expectations -> success.

99 - Diving Clinic

A big bowl on the bench plus these on the windowsill, we have home grown tomatoes coming out our ears ... time to make some pasta sauce.

100 - Tomatoes

After church and brunch with friends we have a relaxing afternoon before dropping over to my brothers to talk houses.

101 - Famous Five

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

Into the wilderness Into the wilderness by Sara Donati

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I enjoyed this. Good, likeable characters, some action, some romance. Will be reading the rest in the series.

Sorry not to be more helpful but I'm not feeling so wordy today, but I will point you in the direction of a review at Historical Tapestry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Interesting challenges for April

I love seeing the new challenges that start each month and seeing which ones might interest me.  Some that I'd like to make time for this month:

Carolyn's Inspired by the Arts challenge - showcasing blurry photos
Tamara's Font  Challenge - using 28 days later ... a new font for me.
Flora's Variety challenge @ - she provides a template for this one.
Web Inspiration @ oscraps - actually I've already done my layout for this one.
Color Challenge @ oscraps - black and white and add one colour.
Creative techniques challenge@oscraps - use blending
Ostash Challenge @oscraps - scrap inside the box.
Amanda's Photography Challenge @ pickleberrypop - photograph your house or garden ... works in with the challenge below.
Home Sweet Home challenge @ pickleberrypop - this really is a page we need in our albums.

I've been getting more pages done for our album.  Here are a couple.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

As promised yesterday ...

the suckling pig ... vegetarians may want to skip this ...


It's tail and ears were wrapped in foil prior to cooking. Ever since my brother built his woodfired oven there has been plans for a suckling pig feast which finally came together on Easter Sunday. I was the official photographer for the event since my brother, also a keen photographer, was engaged with cooking.

Dad had the good idea of getting the kids to make placemats for the dinner ... which also kept them busy for a while.


The pig started off in the BBQ for a quick, high temp, browning.


Then shifted over to the wood fired oven.


The table all ready to go ... there was 22 of us.


Making sure it's done.


Oh yes ... here's the kids ... running to get their bit of pig.


A double check says maybe not quite ready?


Decision is made ... will be fine once it has rested under foil.


So I was dealing with a kid crisis while the carving happened, little sis stepped in as photographer.


Little Girl tucks in ... no crisis here.