Thursday, June 30, 2011

Captain Hook

The Boy heading off to school this morning. It was casual clothes day which normally just means normal clothes but he wanted to go as a pirate and spent an afternoon making his hook and sword.

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He was the only kid in special dress today but he was so cute standing in front of his teacher waiting for her to notice him. She was very impressed by his outfit. I'm so glad he doesn't worry about being the odd one out. He's not afraid to stand out from the crowd.

52 Photos: Scent

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Week #19 was scent. The Little girl smelling the cinnamon sugar on top of the muffins ... yum!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Independence

About a month ago The Boy asked me if he could walk to school. We live a 10min drive away so I started to explain that it was too far to walk. He said no, he wanted to walk from the car himself. So we started the first few days with me walking him from the car to the crossing then he crossed the road and walked into class by himself. After a few days a this he said he wanted to walk from the car by himself so I said ok, as long as the crossing lady was working. So now we drive past the crossing and if the lady is there he is allowed to walk by himself from the car.

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Everyone's happy? Not quite. Next The Boy asks to catch public transport to school. Sorry but I draw the line there. The Boy has always had trouble understanding that his age puts limits on some of the things he can do ... he was found standing on High St in Kew with a couple of mates when he was 5 years old waiting to catch a tram home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Choc Chip Bars

We left out the toffee and nuts in this chocolate chip toffee bar recipe  because the kids don't like nuts and we didn't have any toffee. I remember my auntie making a version of this but from memory I think she used a biscuit base. This version was very sweet and yummy but I think I prefer the biscuit base so I'll probably try that next I make it.

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Carrot Soup

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The kids love pumpkin sou so I figured I'd mix it up a little with some carrot soup. Loved by the Little Girl, tolerated by the Big Girl and left in the bowl by The Boy. I don't think it will be getting a regular rotation on our menu plan.

Monday, June 27, 2011

On our weekend ...

Sports ...

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walk to the library

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Project making. Multiple tears and everyone pitched in. Tip: If your child has an assignment to make a board game get in early and squash any plans to make a version of monopoly. Board, cards, pieces, money ... there's just too many things to make.

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Luckily I had a last minute invite to lunch after the baptism of a little boy from our mainly music group. Sarah and I thought we'd just pop in but we didn't get home until four ... which meant I missed a couple of the tear sessions. It was a lovely afternoon.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just wondering ...

Praying Mantis



1. Why it's a Saturday and I've got no links to share.

2. Who leaves a skid mark in the bowl just after I've cleaned it.

3. How new atheist types keep a straight face while claiming a superior rationality.

4. Will I ever get to the bottom of my ironing basket.

5. What's in the cupboard to satisfy my chocolate craving.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet Piggy - A Layout

I know it's been a while. A story I blogged earlier this year. I think this may be the first layout I've done for this year's album, I'll have to check. This is for the first challenge at the SAG blog.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Driving home from school the kids started talking ...

The Boy: That Justin Beiber is a brain washer.

The Big Girl: Yeah ... people go to his concert or movie and when they come out they like him.

The Boy: That's why you never, ever go to a Justin Beiber concert or movie.

You've been warned!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Potato Pizza

Sunday's are often pizza night at our house and having people over gives me a chance to try out a few more varieties. I make my own bases.

Mix two cups bread flour, 1/2 tsp actor sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs olive oil and 2 tsp yeast. Add 3/4 cup warm water. Mix with dough hook until combined and then for a further 2mins. Let rise for at least 1 hr.

This recipe makes four plate size pizzas with a really thin crust.

For the topping I brushed the base with olive oil. Then topped with thinly sliced potato also brushed with olive oil, finely sliced red onion, chopped rosemary and a handful of grated pizza cheese.

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It was yum! I also love aussie (tomato, bacon, cheese and egg) or my tomato, proscuitto, cheese, rocket and sour cream specialty.

Monday, June 20, 2011

On Our Weekend ...

Sport Saturday morning. Followed by the Big Girl's birthday party. She had an indoor sports party. They played soccer and dodge ball. The Boy enjoyed helping the party host, especially operating the remote control for the scoreboard. Sports were followed by pizza and a soccer ball ice-cream cake. Lollies were eaten on the way home in the car.

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We stopped off on the way home to check the house out ... it's going well.

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For tea Little Girl and Hubby made pancakes.  Which prompted this tweet:

Screen shot 2011-06-20 at 12.30.01 PM



Sunday started with church, then lunch in the city, followed by a special screening of Kung Fu Panda followed by tea at Sofia's in Camberwell with many, many kids in tow ... satisfying the challenge.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Don't laugh ...

I've been let loose on an unsuspecting readership ... guest posting at Notes to Allan today. I would love it if you popped over for a read.

If, after checking that out, you're after some (more?) internet goodness here are a few links.

1. A Predictable Life? - not what we're here for.

2. And continuing the theme: The Bride of Christ Becomes a Stepford Wife.
"Maybe we need to understand that the Bride is not there to make our individual dreams come true, but to teach us patience and self discipline."
3. Maxabella The Messy Charade  - straight talking as usual. I like it.

4. If you like photos and stories and getting them down and into albums without too much fuss then you should check out Simple Aussie Girls.

LInking with Saturday Stumbles

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Shipping News by annie Proulx

The Shipping NewsThe Shipping News by Annie Proulx

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story opens with a description of Quoyle, the ultimate loser. He's big, ugly, married to a woman who sleeps with whoever she can, often at home, treated like dirt and doesn't protest, father to two girls. One thing - he loves with passion and great loyalty. With the loss of Petal (his wife) and the entry of his Aunt the story shifts as they move to Newfoundland. Over the course of time we see the characters start to flourish. A really beautiful story, I must admit I'm a sucker for seeing the bad redeemed and second chances grasped. About two thirds of the way through the story there is this line "Thirty -six years old and this was the first time anybody ever said he'd done it right". It made me pause and think about the influence we can have on others for good and bad.


I loved the writing some of the descriptions are just fabulous and bring the story to life. It's not a page turner but is a book you can sink in to savour slowly. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

52 Photos: Me

Getting back into this after dropping off during our trip to Singapore.  So here's week #15 ... me, in my native habitat ... waiting to pickup at school.

52 Photos: Me

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Choc Chip Cookie Bowls

I saw these choc chip cookie bowls on pinterest. Now I didn't follow the instructions it also seemed rather difficult to me ... so I went my own way. I used my favourite choc chip cookie recipe which gives a fairly soft cookie.

Cream 250g butter with, 1/2 cup sugar, 1and 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs and 2 and 1/2 tsp sugar. In a large bowl mix together 2 and 1/2 cups plain flour, pinch salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in  250g pkt choc chips. Spoon tsp of cookie dough onto trays lined with baking paper. Bake for 10mins in a moderate oven.

For the bowls I pushed some cookie mix into a muffin pan. Make sure you grease them well first. I know it doesn't look very pretty. The two nearest the camera don't have choc chips because we had one child visiting with allergies.

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Put another tin on top and pressed down lightly. Make sure you've greased the bottom of this tin.

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Getting them out of the tins was a little tricky but I managed to get all except two out without too much damage. They didn't form really deep bowls, more like a little indentation in the middle which still gives the right effect.

Add some choc fudge sauce. I make mine in the microwave by heating some chocolate with a little bit of milk.

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They were a real hit and good fun for a special occasion.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On our Long Weekend ...

... we shopped for a watch for the 12y.o. birthday present, sheets to replace the ones I put my hand through Friday night, clothes so The Boy doesn't look like we're living in the back of our car. I found a cute top that has a shirt collar and tail sewn in to the jumper ... looks like a shirt but I don't have to iron a proper shirt. Pancakes for lunch.

The girls lunch


Picked up the skis and got the kids sizes checked. We just need to pick up a bigger set of skis for The Boy, he's not quite big enough for the ones Little Girl used last year.



Amazing hair day at church.

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Crazy ball day at home.

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Clean and tidy.

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Cook.

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Play battleship.

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Pizza night.

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Introduce my friend to Pinterest

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The Boy and Hubby went to the footy on Monday. I stayed home with the girls. Little Girl and I finished our Singapore slideshow, the Big Girl worked on a school presentation.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The good I want to do? I don't do it.

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It’s 5 mins until we have to leave for school and we’re running late again. I’m doing the Big Girl’s hair and The Boy comes down without shoes or socks, his bags not packed and his wanting to know where a bakugan the Big Girl’s gave him is. They start bickering and fighting because he wants to take the bakugan to school, she doesn’t want him to and the clock’s ticking down and he still has no socks or shoes on. I tell him to get ready and forget about the bakugan ... if he wants to take stuff to school he has to pack them in his bag the night before. The lip sags and tears sprout and I tell him to stop whining and get ready. It’s the third time this week we’ve had the same conversation.

I put my shoes on and they’re still arguing which breaks out into a full blown fight and I just want to get them to school. Soon I’m yelling to just get in the car then she’s crying and the frustration and rage feels like it’s rising up and is going to choke me. I tell her to stop crying about nothing and she just cries harder. I want to scream ... or break something ... or climb back up the stairs and pull the covers over my head and hide away for the rest of the day.

But we have to go and we’re in the car. I pull out the driveway and tears prickle behind sunglasses. Why, oh why, do I always make the same mistakes. Impatient, selfish, quick to anger ...

“Wretched (wo)man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Rom 7:24

What do I do when I repeatedly fail, day after day? I could make excuses, ignore my failures or lower the bar ... a quick look at Today Tonight would be enough to show that there’s plenty of mothers doing a worse job than I am but Jesus said “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” so that doesn’t seem an option. Luckily Paul answers his own question in v25 “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” ... there is someone to rescue me.

We pull up at the school, I hand over the bags then I pull my girl in close, give her a hug, look her in the eyes and whisper I’m sorry. As she walks away she turns around and says “Bye mum” and I know I’m forgiven.

April and May WrapUps

We have had two crazy months, hence the lack of an April roundup. Here's what we did:

The Boy: Finished his science poster which has been selected to be presented in August at the competition, had interhouse cross country, went on an excursion to IMAX, went to a friend's birthday party

Little Girl: Competed in the Boroondara Eisteddfod for choir and string ensemble, they made the finals for the choir section which meant we were back on the Sunday, came 5th in her interhouse cross country, then represented her school in the district cross country, participated in a GATEWAYS session, was selected for a especial design class, got her pen license, started swimming twice a week from 6-7pm (I think this has been more difficult for me than her)

Big Girl: went on camp to Canberra, looked after the stick insects, selected to participate in an art program with the national gallery, came 15th in her interhouse cross county, went on an excursion to the Planetarium.

Hubby: spent 10 days in China, went to quite a few Collingwood footy matches

Me: Handed in 2 essays and got back one, missed small group leaders training with a cold, went with mum to see Dr Zhivago.

Some of us: Hubby and I went to 2 birthday parties, the kids and I went to the dentist, Little Girl and I went to Singapore, Hubby, Big Girl and The Boy went to Pt. Lonsdale over Easter, The Boy and Little Girl started playing soccer on Saturdays mornings.

All of us: still helping once a month at dinner tonite, Hubby's family came to our place for lunch to celebrate some birthdays, went out to Bellevedere for lunch to celebrate a late Mother's with my family.


Project Progress

1000 Gifts: I have canned this because we are keeping a 1000 gifts journal as family.

Books Read and Progress on 2011 Reading Challenges:

Let the Great world Spin   #3 What's in a Name (2/6), Blogger's Choice Take a Chance #3 (3/10), National for American Battle of the Prizes (1/3), Book Awards V National (1/5)
39 Things (7/39)

I finished the US album (#3)
Made sundried tomatoes using the huge crop of cherry tomatoes from our monster bush. (#5)
52 Recipes

I added 8 new recipes.  Should be up to #43

Scrapbooking:


Apart from finishing the US album I only did one page using Donna Duncombe's new kit - My Mother's Arms.


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This month:
  • I need to change my enrolment for my course.
  • Get the Big Girl a new passport.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Links

Just a couple of links for today.

1. Another free template by Tiffany Tillman.

2. The Summer Sweet Paul Magazine.

3. Easy cake decorating for the chocoholic - Kit Kat Cake.

Linking with Saturday Stumbles

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slow-cooker Chicken Curry

Found on pinterest, this recipe for chicken curry gives me another option to cook in the slow cooker on those days when we're out until late with activities.

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Enjoyed by all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You've been officially awesome ...

for 12 years ...

well that's what her card says. No, really, I saw the card and just had to get it. The Big Girl and I have our moments, let's just say we have quite different outlooks on life which can cause friction and frustration, but that's what makes life interesting. It's definitely a challenge to me to work out how I can help her become everything that she is meant to be, not what I think she should be. So here are some of the special, unique things about My Big Girl.
  • her fascination with wildlife with extends to reptiles, insects.
  • the way she excitedly came home from the planetarium eager to share her new knowledge of planets and stars. Including getting up at 6:30am to look for the planets.
  • her quick forgiveness when I mess up. 
  • her concern for her friends.
  • her plaits, she says she's going to keep them when she moves up to high school.
  • the array of trinkets decorating the space over her bed.
  • the way she stands up to her peers to do the right thing.
  • that she still asks for my advice.
We had the traditional presents and pancake cake in the morning. She had also made cupcakes to take to school for her friends. I had a fail, the camera battery ran out, so pictures are courtesy of the Little Girl.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Icebox Butter Cookies

The Little girl made these cookies a couple of weekends ago. The Big Girl didn't like them but she doesn't like buttery cookies so that was to be expected. She was complained when they ran out though because she had been swapping them with some girls at school each day for oreo cookies.

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We rolled the logs of dough in green coloured sugar (Little Girl's choice). We froze one log of dough and had some more cookies in the middle of the week ... definitely a bonus. Now I just need to get my butt in gear and make sure I regularly have some dough in the freezer to pull out and cook in emergencies.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Solved

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My Big Girl finally worked out why she's been getting so many colds ... because The Boy keeps putting his fingers in the brown sugar.

So there you have it ... oh ... and I'll understand if you politely refuse when you're offered brown sugar at our place.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday's Links

Back home from my last class for this semester. I just have to finish my essay and hand it in on Monday and I'm done. Anyway it's links time.

1. Before Smartphones

2. Some free fonts

3. The Danger of Moralistic Parenting

4. I love this idea for displaying kids artwork

5. Milk and Cookie Favours (free printables)

6. Chalkboard Paint Labelled Jars 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beef with Peppers

I altered the recipe because that's what I do ... actually I usually like to add in some extra vegetables.

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I felt the sauce was a little bit strong. I probably won't make it again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Let the Great World SpinLet the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

I loved this book. The way the author wove the lives of the characters together was masterful. I found myself waiting to see how the final few connections between the various characters would be made. Lovely writing, great characters and not a difficult read.


Recommended here.