Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Snowsports Competition

We went to Mt Buller last week.  The girls competed in thier first Victorian Interschool Snowsports Competition.  I'll spare you the long version and just give you the lowlights, highlights and some bits in between.

  • Vomit count for the trip:  1 from The Boy just before we reached Yea on the way up.  1 from Little Girl in the bed at 1am Wednesday morning.  She was sharing a bed with The Boy, luckily the hotel had an emergency phone number for after 12pm ... we decided it was an emergency.
  • Spectating and queuing for races in -7C temperatures and gale force winds is not that fun.
  • Competing in skier cross is great because there is just one run ... a bonus when it's freezing and you're 6th in line.
  • Big Girl deciding not to brave the weather to do a course inspection in the giant slalom before her second run ... "It's not like they move the gates or anything"
  • Both girls improving by about 5s in their second run in the giant slalom and successfully competing all their runs in each event  ... no DSQ.
  • Lots of feral kids and parents who ignore their bad behaviour.  Leaning on the barriers at the finishing line so much that they push all the way to the ground is not OK ... they're there for your safety.  Snowball fights on crowded, ice covered steps ... also not OK.
  • It took us 90mins to dig the car out to go home.
and some photos:

My creation

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dressup, skiing, Auskick and cake ... this week's P365

Both girls decided to dressup as dragons from different stories for book week this year.

Day 235 - Dragons

Our home for the duration of the interschool snowsports competition.

Day 236 - Arlberg

A successful completion of her first race in -7C temps and gale force winds.

Day 237 - SkierCross

Loves the fireworks but hates the noise.

Day 238 - VISC Closing Ceremony

Waiting to start her second run in the alpine.

Day 239 - Div 5 Alpine

Last day of Auskick for the year ... the weather obliged by raining.

Day 240 - Auskick Presentation

Not a resounding success. I prefer the real deal even with the extra work.

Day 241 - Cinnamon Bun Bread

Thursday, August 26, 2010

10 Things

Inspired by the Sunday magazine in the HeraldSun.   10 Things I Can't Live Without ... like a lot ... enjoy most days ... OK, I think the idea of ten things you can't live without is ridiculous so here are 10 things that are special to me ... excluding God and people.

I love books, love reading. When I was a girl I used to retreat with a book and the world would disappear. I still love to journey through other times, places, worlds, lives in a good book.


I've been keeping a journal off and on since I was a teenager. My first one was when I was about 14 years old ... must make sure that doesn't get into the public domain. Since I became a Christian I've used them a lot. I have found them a wonderful tool in my faith journey and would recommend journaling for everyone.

These are my engagement, wedding and eternity rings. They were made to fit together.


The bible. I've got a few but this is the one I use most of the time because it's not too large or heavy. The doodling in the title on the front was done one bible study night. I musn't have had my journal open because I usually just doodle in there while we are doing the study. Don't judge me ... apparently doodling helps concentration.


No explanation needed.


I like to go for a long walk most days although the weather has been preventing me lately. It's a good time for me to think and recharge plus get some exercise.


On my long walks I also listen to music. My iPod also comes in handy when the kids are arguing and whining and I don't want to be drawn in but am having trouble ignoring them. I just put the earbuds in and pump up the volume.


Love playing with photos, layouts and home videos. Am working on getting more of this stuff off my hard drive so we can share it with friends and family.


We have a coffee machine at home so most mornings I'll have a cup of coffee.


My camera.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bread Recipes

One of the goals on my list this year was to perfect my bread recipe.  When I wrote the list I was using a bread maker to make my bread but the blade has since broken.  I don't usually use the machine to cook the bread so I decided to try using my food processor.  It's working well so far although it has a couple of cracks in the lid so I'm not sure how long it will survive.  The first loaf I wanted to get right was my everyday wholemeal that I use for the kids lunches.  I looked at quite a few recipes around the internet and played a little bit myself and have come up with this.


2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups wholemeal bread flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1 cup water

I mix all the ingredients in the food processor using the dough hook on low speed for about 5 mins.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size (maybe 2 hrs depending on temp ... I leave mine close to the heater vent in winter.)

Day 204 - Making Bread

Turn dough out onto floured bench and shape into rough loaf shape. Place in loaf pan. Allow to rise for about an hour. Cook in moderate oven for 35mins.


I also tried the no-knead bread which makes a yummy, crusty, rustic style loaf and I love it. You just need to decide you want it with plenty of time to spare because of the long rise time. Really, really worth it though, unfortunately it didn't last long round our place.


I'm going to count that as #18 complete.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ariel's Grotto Template Freebie

If all goes to plan we should be on the way to Mt Buller by the time this posts.  The girls are competing in the Victorian Snowsports Competition later in the week.  The weather is looking a bit wild so we'll see how we go.  Anyway I'm not sure what I'll be getting up to for the next few days so I've scheduled a few posts for the rest of the week starting with this one.

Free for you: a template based on my layout Ariel's Grotto.

Download HERE

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some sport, some art, an election ... this week's P365

My girl was selected to take part in a workshop with Kevin Burgemeestre. She said he was funny.

Day 229 - Workshop

Take two for the athletics went ahead with a gorgeous sunny day.

Day 230 - House Athletics

Early morning information session for the interschools snowsports today. Girls got their bibs and lift tickets.

Day 231 - Ski Team Breakfast

One of The Boy's masterpieces. He really does love using black.

Day 232 - The Bee

First hours of our tech fast for 40 hour famine. Hubby finds an alternative to playing on his iPhone or watching TV.

Day 233 - Crossword

Wandered down to our local polling booth at YWAM to vote and supported their fundraiser by picking up sausages, pancakes and some muffins.

Day 234 - Australia Decides

He approached the lipsync competition with gusto. Not sure where he gets his moves from.

Day 235 - Rocking On

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicken Pie

Time for the third recipe in my 52 Recipes series.  Pip is working her way through the AWW yellow box of recipes over on her blog and recently cooked a Chicken Pie.  I'm a sucker for a nice chicken pie and the weather has been perfect for pie eating.  Last Wednesday was awful ... rainy, blowing a gale and it was good to get home from swimming and sit down to this.


1. Steam or boil chicken in the usual way until tender. Reserve 2 cups of strained stock. Remove skin and bones from chicken and cut meat into 2.5cm pieces.

Thanks to Pip's suggestion to cook the chicken ahead of time so that when it comes time to pull it apart you don't burn your fingers, I started in the morning. I threw the chicken into a large saucepan, added some celery offcuts I had in my freezer, an onion, half a carrot, parsley, bay leaf and some peppercorns. Covered with water then boiled it for a few hours. You can cook 2 hard-boiled eggs now too ... you'll use them later in the pie.

2. After school pickup I came home and assembled the pie. For the sauce I used the microwave. Melted 2tbs butter then added 2 tbs flour and cooked on high for 1min. Gradually added the reserved stock so I didn't get any lumps then cooked for approx 10mins on high, stopping every couple of minutes to give it a good stir.

3. I'm not a big fan of butter left in the bottom of the dish so instead of cooking the veges in butter I heated a little olive oil in my frypan then sauteed 125g mushrooms, 1/2 red capsicum and 3 green onions.

4. Add the vege mix, chicken and 1 tbs chopped parsley to the sauce. Pour into pie dish and let cool completely.

5. Top the filling with slices of hard-boiled egg. My kids don't like eggs that much so I only put these on half the pie. Top with a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry. Slit the top to let the steam escape.

6. Prepare some green veges to go with it. We had beans and broccoli.

7. Write out instructions for Hubby to cook the pie when he comes home from work.


8. Come home from swimming to a clean kitchen and this ...



PS: Thanks to Hubby for his wonderful help XXX

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Donna Duncombe's Sandy Feet

Donna Duncombe has a gorgeous new kit out called Sandy Feet.  Beautiful colour scheme of red and lime green.

She also has a new alpha in store and a coordinating freebie on her blog but pop over quickly because it will only be available for a few more days.

Oh yes, mustn't forget my layouts using this kit.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm Not Special

The Boy wants Hubby to watch his tabloid sports on Friday.  He wants it to be special.  When I go to support him it's not special because I go to everything.



There are some people who still appreciate me coming to cheer them on.


Of course that means I was at the track from 9:30am yesterday to watch her compete in the 1500m. Then they had the field events before the younger girls came out around lunch time. Then I was rushing from one to the other to make sure I didn't miss any races. They both had pretty packed programs. As well as the 1500m and all five field events Big Girl also did the 800m, 200m, 100m, 100m hurdles and the 4X100m. I didn't quite achieve 100% ... while Little Girl was doing this ...


Big Girl was running the 2nd leg of the 4X100 circular relay. At the end of the day Little Girl announced that hurdles wasn't really her thing ... she's probably right ... but she's not too shabby in the sprints.

Finally finished up there at 2:45 before rushing off to pick up The Boy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Light Brioche Burger Bun

I usually try to make most of our bread but sometimes I forget or get tied up with other things.  Last Wednesday I decided to try this burger bun recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  I made them before we left for swimming then rang Hubby to start cooking the burgers when we were almost finished there.  Just a little more cooking and some assembling once we got home and we had this ... yum.


I followed the recipe properly this time so I won't repost it you can go over and check it out here.

I made the rolls again Saturday night just to have for lunch on Sunday. Just rolls this time, no hamburgers. They worked both times and were lovely and soft.  The kids gave them a thumbs up and the recipe is now in "recipes I'll cook again". Yes, I actually have a bookmark folder called recipes I'll cook again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sports, cranes and food ... this week's P365

She came straight home from school and went out to practise for tomorrow's athletics sports.

Day 222 - Determination

She came home with an origami book from the library. I showed her how to fold a paper crane.

Day 223 - Paper Crane

Demonstrating his lovely table manners.

Day 224 - Hamburgers

Making use of a small portion of the huge crop of oranges on our tree.

Day 225 - Orange Cordial

I took the two youngest to McDonald's after dropping off the biggest at church for a Lipsync practise.

Day 226 - McDonald's

So we went out for Chinese with Tan's family. No photo though. Baked rolls when I got home.

Day 227 - Fresh Rolls

Twilight Pie night at Auskick. Wet, rainy, freezing ... and muddy.

Day 228 - Muddy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias

Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We DefendBeyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. The book is a collection of essays by various authors. It is divided into three parts. Part One is titled Giving Answers and deals with challenges from different worldviews. I found the chapters dealing with challenges from Eastern Religions and challenges from science particularly helpful. Most chapters in this section dealt with issues I have read a little about previously but they all offered something new to think about.

Part two was titled internalizing the questions and answers. This section contained the highlight of the book for me - the chapter on the trinity as a paradigm for spiritual transformation. Lots to think about in this chapter and I will definitely be going back for a reread.

The third part, titled living out the answers deals with the church's role in apologetics. A point that came through strongly throughout the book is the need to seek understanding of what others actually believe first and the importance of living a life that is being transformed when we are seeking to share the gospel. In the conclusion Ravi Zacharius sums up with the reminder that the apologist is trying to win the person not the argument. "Tossing a verbal grenade down the chimney chute will not do"

The book is not a really easy read but if you want something thought provoking I'd recommend it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just thinking about worldviews

 Tim Keller in Reason for God in an Age of Skepticism says this:

Everyone lives and operates out of some narrative identity, whether it is thought out and reflected on or not.

Your narrative identity or worldview is a set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are and what we should do.   Reflecting on the Christian explanation of reality, history and my own personal experience I have found the Christian worldview to be most compelling.  Discussion with people of no faith, different beliefs and people looking and seeking has been so useful to me for clarifying my thought in this area.

What about you?  Do you think much about these questions?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

P365 June and July 2010

I got a bit behind with these so here is June and July all in one hit.


Credit: Tranquility by Donna Duncombe


Credit: Friday by TracyAnn Designs

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

State of the Albums August 2010

#1 on The List for this year is to make a photobook.  I currently have a few on the go but am making a big push to get our US book finished as soon as possible.  I posted previously about this album when I started it back in April.  I'm now up to day 12 of 28 and have done 52 pages.  You can see them all here.

I am also working systematically though our family's 2009 album.  I started working backwards from the end of the year making sure I had two pages that would work together.  I have completed December and November and have a smattering of pages from earlier in the year.  I also have some single pages that I will work into the album too.  51 pages complete for this album.

I also have a few layouts done for our 2010 album.  These are mainly monthly P365 pages but sometimes I'm inspired to tell a particular story so I'll work on that.  I like to work on something that's inspiring me at the moment and not be tied down too much to completing a particular project.  28 pages complete for this one.

While it might not seem that way the US album is moving along pretty quickly.  With the journaling already done on my blog and using the same templates throughout the book the pages don't take too long to do.  I can't wait to hold something real in my hands that our friends and family can look at.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Some layouts I did a couple of weeks ago for our 2009 album.  First page is for the oscraps July Web Challenge.


and the second page (exclusively on my blog ... *smile*):


Credits: Everyday Ordinary by Emily Powers and TaylorMade @oscraps and AliEdwards Title and Journaling block at Designer Digitals.