Saturday, September 29, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Tips for food photography. I love looking at food ... eating food ... cooking food ...

2. I did not use the tips from #1 to take this photo ...

Homemade gnocchi

we were too busy getting ready to eat it to muck around with lighting etc. This is Pips' super easy super delish gnocchi, and it delivered on both fronts. The Little Girl and I made it Wednesday night. Not something I would make on a school night but not that difficult. The Little Girl is already asking when we are going to make it again.  (confession: I just used the potatoes I happened to have on hand, they were dutch creams)

3. Painted Treat Tins. Give any old tin a new life.


Friday, September 28, 2012

The one where we plant a garden and the Little Girl turns 11.

It was a big day Tuesday. This was the view of the front garden after lunch, plants laid out and tanbark delivered. We'd spent the morning picking out plants at the wholesale nursery.

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Hubby dug holes while I did planting and spreading a lot of the mulch.

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It was a big day, but since then, every time I drive in the driveway I think to myself "Gee that looks good". I took a while picking everything but I'm so happy with the way it all looks together now that it's planted. I had an idea a what I wanted but seeing it all come together was a relief.

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Hubby made a fabulous pancake cake for the Little Girl's birthday ... although it was a different "best pancake recipe". There must be a few floating round the internet.

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We were missing the Big Girl on the day because she was at youth group camp this week. The Little Girl decided to postpone her special dinner to tonight so the Big Girl could be there.

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 This morning the two kids and I went and had our immunisations for China. We all needed two injections and there was no hysteria. The Boy felt a little sick afterwards and looked a little green but he sat down while I paid and soon got his colour back. The Boy was quite put out with me, apparently he'd planned on a happy day today and I'd ruined it with those needles. The Little Girl, as usual didn't flinch and jumped up straight afterwards without any ill effects announcing that she would still be having a good day. I think she has a fairly high pain threshold.

For her birthday dinner she decided on chicken schnitzels and caramel cake for dessert. She loves to cook so she helped me, even though it was her birthday dinner. The Boy helped make the cake.

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The Big Girl is back full of stories of all the fun things they did, how disgusting boys are and requesting my help with encouraging her in her daily bible reading. We've sent her off for an early night tonight but I'm expecting the weekend will be a major downer for her, getting over the lack of sleep, sugar high and fairly constant stimulation of the last week.

Monday, September 24, 2012

We're having bursts of beautiful weather here ...

and on Saturday afternoon I sent everyone outside, including myself. While Hubby painted the fence, we, in various combinations and locations, played cards, started tutorial papers, made T-rex's and read books.
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Hello Spring and your wildly fluctuating weather. It's cold here again.

Hello two kids at home. I dropped The Big Girl off at the bus for youth group camp this morning. She'll be away all week.

Hello occasional sleep ins. The Little Girl is not going to do every day of the holiday swimming which starts at 8am. 

Hello eleven year old ... not quite, but later this week the Little Girl turns eleven. We went this afternoon and picked part of her birthday present which was a new doona cover.

Hello more plants. Hubby is hoping to take a day off work this week so we can go out to the nursery and get another load of plants. I have managed to plan some more sections of the garden, so we're not heading out blind.

Hello Grand Final week ... Hubby is off doing various footy related socialising this week and we will all go to our friends' place on Saturday for the grand final BBQ.

Hello family get togethers. Apart from Little girl's birthday we will also celebrate two of her cousins birthdays.

Hello Monday Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This week's links ...

1. Raspberry Oat Bars ... but I didn't wrap them.

2. The Little Girl had a friend over and they browsed through my "Looks Yummy and Sweet" board on Pinterest. They settled on these chocolate cookies. They were good and the mix made plenty so we could send a box home with the friend.

3. Will have to try upside down tomato cages to keep the zucchini from taking over the garden this year.


Monday, September 17, 2012

The first week of the school holidays.

The girls had a successful sporting weekend. The Big Girl won her basketball grand final 36-11, scoring 6 points. Fortunately they have the presentations straight after the game so I got to see her pickup one trophy but I missed her club presentation where she won a most improved award because I was out with the Little Girl at a swim meet. She managed three PB's, her backstroke improved by 3s on her previous week's swim. Butterfly is still her nemesis.

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It's the first week of the school holidays in our house but swimming and tennis are still running. So ...

Hello wardrobe restock ... change of seasons means it's time to sort through the wardrobes, make a list and hit the shops. I know that Sara needs new bathers as her old ones split all the way down both sides at training a couple of weeks ago, luckily they were lined and the lining held. She's been borrowing the Big Girl's since then.

Hello playdates. One planned for Wednesday for The Boy and one for Friday for the Little Girl. I said if the Big Girl wants to see her friends over the holidays she'll have to organise it herself.

Hello vaccinations. The Big Girl has her final gardasil and we need to start the vaccinations for our trip to China.

Hello birthday party planning, for the Little Girl, at least invitations will need to be sent.

Hello library. I need to go into uni tomorrow and return books and borrow some for the tutorial paper I need to prepare over the holidays. On a more fun note I'll also take the kids to the local library.

Hello kitchen ... OK, we spend a bit of time in the kitchen anyway but I usually save the more complicated, time consuming recipes for over the holidays.

Hello helpers. The kids are allowed more technology time during the holidays but they have to earn it with extra "help your mother's".

Hello decorating. It's the Little Girl's turn to do up her room for her birthday.

Hello calls to the US. That's where Hubby is this week.

Hello Monday. Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

I wore T-shirts earlier this week ...

and the kids had spiders for afternoon tea ...

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and played outside until dinner.

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 Meanwhile, my broccoli is growing ... 

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and the girls were on holiday today. They occupied their morning making chocolate cake and creamy soda jelly.

I'm currently enjoying the post hand in relief after a stressful afternoon of trying to cut one of the two papers that were due today down from 1600 words to 1100. I got close enough and emailed  a copy of each off at 5pm and then went dropped the hard copies into the post office.

It's cold here again but the temperatures look to be rising again over the weekend and into the next week. Our weekend will be busy ... what about yours?

Monday, September 10, 2012

On the last week of term three ...

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Hello Hubby. We celebrated Father's Day yesterday because he was away last week. Although it's hello and goodbye ... he's off again this Sunday.

Hello calendar clash. Three kids in three different venues on Sunday afternoon and only one of me. The Little girl has the second week of her aggregate swim meet, The Boy has Kidschurch Social (Little Girl is missing this) and The Big Girl has her basketball presentation afternoon.

Hello Editing, I'm at that stage of writing my two papers that are due this Friday and at only 1000 words each there will be a bit to do.

Hello Holidays, starting this Thursday for the girls and Friday for The Boy.

Hello Basketball Grand Final. Against the odds The Big Girl's team is in the Grand Final after finishing 4th at the end of the season. Last Saturday they played a team that had thrashed them both times they played but this time the Big Girl's team won 17-5.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'll count this as done ...

for now. We will be fitting this out later into a guest room and study, which will solve some of the storage issues. You may remember the mess ... most of that is gone now. When I began there were two rows of boxes, one along the wall and one down the middle of the room. I went through all those and put away or got rid of most of it. There are the pictures left, which will wait until we make some decisions about where they will go ... we don't want to go round nailing things into the walls willy nilly.
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A lot of the boxes had books in them so I unpacked all them and either stacked them on the shelf or sent them to the salvos. I had to double stack the books to fit them all on the shelf but since it's a temporary measure I'm not too fussed. The boxes are photos and memorabilia, one for each of us. I need to pick up some more albums so I can file away the kids stuff. Then I'll tackle our old photos.

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This is the desk. At the top right are inboxes for Hubby and I, (guess whose is on top?). Then next to that are the files I'm currently using and the pile of books for the two papers I'm writing at the moment. Below, the black folders are the kids current albums, plus there's an older one for the Big Girl because her current one only started in the middle of last year.  Each one will hold three years worth of their stuff. I put all the memorabilia for these albums in as I sorted through all the boxes. Next to that is a box of stationary supplies which I probably need to sort through.

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Right now I'm sitting at my desk typing this post ... it's always a plus when you can do work at your desk.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello spring with 20+ temperatures.

Hello new sponsorchild, our current sponsorchild's community is now self-sufficient so we will be getting a new sponsorchild at the end of September. This is the second child we've sponsored whose project has finished, which just shows that a little help over an extended period really can help some of the poorest people in the world have the opportunities to lift their lives out of poverty.

Hello solo parenting, Hubby finally made it to China, but he'll be back Friday.

Hello writing, I have two document papers due next week.

Hello early nights. I'm not too sure how this will work with the two previous "hellos" but I've been really tired lately and feeling a bit off so I'm going to aim for lights out at 10pm.

Hello new glasses. It's been too long between visits to the optometrist, but I finally made it there a couple of weeks ago. While I was there the optometrist suggested I try some contacts since I was playing tennis in my glasses. It was a disaster, getting them in, then out was quite a trial, then my eyes were sore for the rest of the day. I think it will take a little while to get used to my new glasses, at the moment I'm feeling a little sick, but that should improve soon.

Hello basketball semi-finals. The Big Girl's team won their final on Saturday. It was the first time they beat this particular team and she played one of her best games. This was one of the five points she scored.

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Hello Monday. Inspired by Amy, originating here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This week's links ...

You may be expecting the study reveal today but that would disrupt the normal programming around here. I'm pretty happy with what I got done, and later today I will take some photos to share early next week. I unpacked quite a few boxes which were stacked neatly in the corner and The Boy got in there on Thursday morning before school and did some making. Making around here usually involves lots of tiny pieces of cardboard offcuts left spread everywhere, so this afternoon he will clean it up and we'll need to vacuum the floor again. After that I'll take the photos.

I forgot to post some the links to some new recipes we tried while we were on our tech fast. They are out of a real life cookbook (since I was not allowed the computer) but I found the recipes on the net as well so I thought I'd link you up ...

1. Special Chicken Stew. This was good. I used chicken lovely legs.

2. Baked chocolate pudding. These were very rich. The Little Girl couldn't even finish hers which is unheard of. His method for getting the gooey centre is genius.

3. A guide to properly washing and storing vegetables.

4. Love this DIY wall organiser.

5. The Grand Inquisitor. "Let us not forget the radical humility and powerlessness of the Jesus we follow, and emulate it ourselves."