Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May, that's a wrap (featuring My Month in Numbers)

It's the end of the month which means it's time for My Month in Numbers. Julie is the smart cookie that came up with this idea and she hosts a linky every month where you can check out all the different ways people are recording their numbers each month. Maybe you want to add your own?

So there's the very quick overview of our month in numbers.

I've decided that instead of doing two separate posts at the end of each month I will combine both into one looong monthly wrap-up. Apologies and feel free to click over month-in-numberers. I moved through April's list reasonably well with one noticeable exception (laundry cupboards) which has shown zero progression over the last two months. I've come to the conclusion that at this stage with everything else that's going on I just don't care enough about those cupboards to make it a priority (they're only mildly annoying at this stage) so they will not be making an appearance on May's list.

And so to the list ...

1. Another few days of this ... (which was spring skiing with blue skies). Yes to Spring skiing but the weather changed to this ...


2. A few days in China and Hong Kong on our way home, sight seeing plus meeting the people from work who I only know through email and skype and seeing our factory. Done.

3. The start of term 2.

4. The Little Girl's swimming Club Championships. Short course PB's in every event, but a little disappointed with her breaststroke which was 3s off her LC time.

5. The start of a new basketball season for the Big Girl. She has only played one match and missed both training sessions due to on ongoing cold she picked up in Hong Kong. The cold finally finally looks to be clearing up so we expect she will be at training tomorrow night.

6. Outdoor soccer for The Boy. 2 out of 2 wins so far, he's out at training now.

7. Piano exam for the Little Girl. Done, still waiting to hear the results.

8. A night out with friends ... we do occasionally have a social life. Done ,very enjoyably, plus The Exchange Student babysat. Win and win.

Moving forward on my list ...

9. I'm going to finish my February pages and finish my blog series that I started last month. - Not quite. One more blog post to go.

10. Hand in my first workshop paper for uni. Done and I was very happy with the result.

11. Have an easy hit of tennis, I've been given the all clear by the physio once I get back from holidays.   For now I just need to remember to do my exercises. No. didn't have time before #12 below and now have to wait for my neck to fully heal.

I also need to ...

12. Get a BCC taken off my neck. Done. The stitches came out today and the doctor has given thumbs up to the full removal and healing is progressing nicely.

13. Complete the two BAS returns. Done.

14. And finish decluttering the laundry cupboards. Not even close. I'm going to drop this off my list, I've had recent problems with various vermin in the pantry so I need to do a full clean and sort in there first.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Projects ...

there's was a few over the weekend. School projects ...


garden projects ...


 I have my own long list of projects I'm working on but my main priority this weekend was to get a dress for the Little Girl. She has her swimming presentation evening in two weeks and the dresscode is "Dress to Impress". She also has a least one other function where she'll need a dress this winter. She was not too keen on the idea of a dress but could see the necessity.

 First shop:

 "Too pink"

 "Too frilly"

 "Too lacy"

 "Too black"

 Next stop Pumpkin Patch


Curled lip.

Shrugged shoulders.

Sigh (that was from me)

"I like green"


It was a winner (and not quite as short as this on the Little Girl) and paired with her silver sandals and a black cardigan the Big Girl's just grown out of, it will be perfect. The bonus is that it is not too warm so if she wants to avoid another dress shopping expedition this year she could also wear it to her graduation in November.

Projects complete.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

This week's links ...

1. The Boy sometimes needs a little help picking books, hopefully this will help - New books for children aged 9-12.

2. I did not know you could regrow Romaine lettuce hearts. I wonder if it really works?

3. It's that time of year when I need to pull out the summer garden to make way for the winter. I have a big basil plant so I'll probably try this method of preserving basil.

4. Because of our crazy schedule the slow cooker is going to getting a good workout. I tried the honey rosemary chicken in this post and it was good.

5. I also use this Korean pancake recipe to use up any leftovers in the fridge. Just cut up whatever you have in the fridge and replace for the veges in the recipe. (this will sound strange but first time I did this we had two chicken drumsticks, an eighth of a red onion, a small assortment of potato, broccoli, carrots and beans leftover from a meal of spanish chicken and it worked a treat)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Monthly PL Process Part 5: Get those photos in.

I will generally arrange my photos and stories chronologically each month. I also have some double page layouts and regular layouts already completed so in order to make the month work for a photobook I use my rough draft to work out whether a particular group of photos need to fill an odd or even number of layouts. Once I've got this information I grab the photos that I'm going to put in ordinary PL layouts and quickly slot them into layouts, leaving some space for journalling or filler cards. I've found that concentrating on getting the photos in first then adding the journalling and other bits and pieces is the quickest way to get the layouts done.

Here are two layouts from February all waiting for me to add journalling or other bits and pieces.

 I also put in the photos that I've decided to showcase on their own page.

At this stage in my PL layouts folder in iphoto I'll have completed layouts for my four regular monthly pages, the full page photos (2 in Feb) and any other regular layouts I may have done (4 in Feb), plus my regular PL layouts that just need words (8 in Feb).

Previously: Part 1: The Raw Data, Part 2: SuppliesPart 3: Regular Monthly Pages, Part 4: A Rough Plan
Up Next: Add Some Words and Fill Any Gaps

Monday, April 22, 2013

Autumn garden

We pulled out most of the summer garden the day after we arrived back from China. We left two of the tomato plants. They are covered with tomatoes but I'm not sure whether they'll ripen at this time of the year, although we are looking at possible 23 or 24 degree days later in the week. We let the kids use a small bit of the garden, but only The Boy had any success. I think we'll harvest this mini pumpkin in the next week.


The beans are still going strong, we got another meals worth out of them on the weekend.


And you would not believe how many of these little capsicums we have eaten this year and there are still plenty more. The Little Girl takes them whole in her lunch. I'll definitely be looking to add these to my list of must plant. Zero maintenance after planting and still providing a steady stream of produce is a winner in my book. 


and I'm still not sure what to do with these (if anything) this year.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

This week's links ...

1. Remove labels from jars with this homemade sticky junk remover.

3. I made these muesli bars. They work a treat - just the right consistency, they stayed together beautifully. Thumbs up from all the kids. They will be put into our regular rotation of school lunch snacks.

4. This is a  post on childrens albums in great series on her memory keeping strategy. Obviously everyone is different and we're starting from different places, but some good ideas here to jumpstart your own thinking about what you are doing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Changing scenery ...

It's very difficult to access facebook and blogger from mainland China hence the radio silence that left me in the position of having a backlog of photos on my hard drive and words floating around in my head. Now I know I am not going to have time to give the full story in the near future due to multiple deadlines both for work and uni so I'm going to leave you with the cliffnotes version of the second half of our trip.

Shanghai ... The Bund, dumplings, Temple of the City God, massive balls of spun sugar ...





Jinhua ... our factory, ridiculous amounts of fireworks, traditional offering, future guard dog





Hangzhou ... West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda, Exotic Liquors, Lingyin Temple





Hong Kong ... Hong Kong Museum of history, Pop-Up Restaurant, Double Decker Trams, The Peak





Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Month in Numbers: March

Do pop in over to Julie, the originator of My Month in Numbers and check out  more monthly numbers.

Here are ours:

Hello April

This month I'm looking forward to ...

1. Another few days of this ...

2. A few days in China and Hong Kong on our way home, sight seeing plus meeting the people from work who I only know through email and skype and seeing our factory.

3. The start of term 2.

4. The Little Girl's swimming Club Championships.

5. The start of a new basketball season for the Big Girl.

6. Outdoor soccer for The Boy.

7. Piano exam for the Little Girl.

8. A night out with friends ... we do occasionally have a social life.

Moving forward on my list ...

9. I'm going to finish my February pages and finish my blog series that I started last month.

10. Hand in my first workshop paper for uni.

11. Have an easy hit of tennis, I've been given the all clear by the physio once I get back from holidays.   For now I just need to remember to do my exercises.

I also need to ...

12. Get a BCC taken off my neck.

13. Complete the two BAS returns.

13. And finish decluttering the laundry cupboards.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March ... that's a wrap

Looking back at this month's list  ...
1. House swimming sports for The Boy and the Little Girl, plus what is most likely the Little Girl's last major swim meet for the season. Completed successfully. The same day The Boy had his swimming sports the Big Girl had her crosscountry. I managed to watch both, with The Boy getting a first in his heat of the kick board race and the Big Girl coming in 5th for the year 7 and 8 race. She came home a few days later with a letter from the sport teacher congratulating her on making the school cross country team. She's not going to do it though because she has heel pain due to sever's disease and tries to avoid too much running so she can continue playing basketball.

2. The long weekend on 9-11th of March. We'll head down to the beach. Done

3. Cortisone injection in my shoulder followed by physiotherapy ... well I'm not looking forward to the injection but I am looking forward to seeing some improvement.  And there's been spectacular improvement, now I just have to strengthen and stretch to release the muscles in the back of my shoulder that are knotted up and were preventing the shoulder joint from moving properly.

4. Starting back at uni tomorrow. I've had three 4hr classes and my first paper is due the 20th April.

5. An afternoon at Puffing Billy with all the exchange students and their host families. Missed this due to the Big Girl's basketball grand final, but Becky went and we met them after for dinner.


The Big Girl came runners up in the final, plus she scored the coaches award the next day at the Club's end of season presentation.

6. Jetting off to Whistler for the Easter break. Yes

7. Revisit the internet blackout but starting with one day per week ... babysteps. -  Haven't done this.

Moving forward on my list ...

8. Put together my February PL pages and blog my process ... accountability helps sometimes.  - Getting there.

9. Start work on assessment tasks for uni ... I don't want to leave these until the last minute considering we are going to have two weeks overseas in the middle of semester.  - Still need to do this.

I also need to ...

10. Make some decisions about what to see on our trip. Done

11. Finish our taxes. Done

and each month I'd like to tackle one set of cupboards in the house ...

12. This month it's the laundry.  - Still doing this.

As you can see, some of my personal projects fell by the wayside this month. Last month I wrote that we were getting into a routine ... well March 1st I got a call from the Little Girl's swimming club to say she could move up to the state development squad which is an increase from 4.5hrs per week to 8.5hrs. I had to rejig some of the other activities to avoid the 5:30am starts but we were still working ourselves into some sort of routine. It makes life even busier but this was one of the Little Girl's big goals for the year and she has been working really hard towards it so I want to support her as much as I am able.

We also finally hung all the pictures in the Little Girl's bedroom ... they've only been propped up on the floor since last September. I wrapped up my team manager's duties with an end of season breakup at Firechief for the Big Girl's basketball team. We had a mainly music breakup which the Boy came to as well and we went out for Korean BBQ.