Saturday, April 30, 2011

being creative AND domestic

Tomorrow we are Goin' Fishin' at a Super Special Secret Fishing Hole, and ordinarily I would be in bed already, as I have to get up early to prepare for this day out, and put a hearty casserole on in the slow cooker to be waiting for us - and a few of our friends - when we get home. But my plans have been foiled - the water is out and I can't bear to go to bed stinky, so instead I am here with you, waiting for the blessed moment for the pump to have enough water in the tank and I can have a shower.

Living in small towns have their downsides. but don't get me started on that.

ANYHOW: I have been both a little crafty and domestic this week. Not domestic in the cleaning sense, lest you think I've undertaken a personality change! ;-) Our school teacher celebrated a birthday early in the week, and I drew the short straw (or rather she did) and I had to bake her cake.

We all know my successes at cake decorating. This one was not much better.

_MG_6397Let me just say I had no imagination or brilliant ideas, so just made a plain old butter cake (which wasn't as brown on the outside as the photo suggests) dumped on some butter icing (that I tried flavouring with jelly crystals for fun. Fail, no change in taste what so ever). And the butterflies are hovering over a field of flowers, should you be wondering. I knew you would be.

So, cake done, I had to find/make a gift. I decided to not go into that cupboard in the spare room, and instead to get crafty. Made this:

_MG_6393(its a key ring/fob/thingy)

And this:

_MG_6396(its a glass tile pendant).

I had bought the bits and bobs to make both of these things some time ago, and am quite pleased with how they turned out. A couple of little things that could be improved on, but that is just me being picky at my own work, and I don't think they look too dodgy, unlike the cake. I think, anyhow. I am thinking of doing one of each for myself actually. (I was annoyed with myself that I cut the pattern off centre, but now I think I like it this way better.)

Be back in a day or so with our fishing adventures.  I am packing a full esky, as I have no intention of relying on the fishermen for lunch. (not that I like fresh water fish in any case!)   

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the obligatory siblings shot

_MG_6374 (2)

One of my finer offerings, don't you think?

School starts tomorrow here. Sort of good, but more along the lines of "the holidays haven't been long enough". This term packs a fair wallop in the amount of events it contains, but thank goodness that its 1. short and  2. includes some long weekends (for us  - Labour/May Day this weekend, our annual show holiday, and Queens Birthday weekend.) There are also a great number of local social gatherings, not to mention getting together with a dear friend who is about to produce baby number four. (I know, what WAS she thinking?! ;-)

My calendar is looking rather congested. So deep breath, get the lunch boxes out and wonder where on earth the seven pairs EACH of new school socks purchased at the start of the year, have gone to.

catching up

alternately, not catching any fish.

we caught up with friends who were camping nearby over Easter. Camping near enough that WE did not have to camp (I really really like my bed and my shower!).

Kids did some boating:

_MG_6244In shifts - the little kids had to wait.  And the men all wore their green shirts so they would all match! ;-)

Tall tales were told:

_MG_6254And that was just these two, fishing off the back of the wagon!

_MG_6265 Campfires were prepared and studied. And the green shirted ones drank much beer, and giggled as much as grown tough men possibly could.


Four grown tough men getting into a boat that isn't really made to accommodate four LARGE grown tough men.

_MG_6304 The tough men didn't last long out on the water.  The only thing biting was the mossies, and boy, didn't they get a good feed. The men rowed back as fast as they could paddle, in fear of running out of blood.

_MG_6346And we dined on the best campfire cooked tucker, and the kids finished off with curly whirlies (damper on a stick) cooked over the coals (even though it looks like a bushfire in this photo!)

And then my little family went home to our nice comfy beds and shower, and then joined in the fun again the next day.

_MG_6320Where my little boy found a new big boy to idolise and follow around. Green shirts were again popular. And fish again were off on holidays. But its not about the fish really, is it? Its just about being there.

And funnily enough, relaxing and catching up is quite exhausting!

Monday, April 25, 2011

an observation about narnia

I recently bought all three of the Narnia movie series, and the kids watched it at the start of the holidays.

No other movie has captured their imagination like this one. They argue over who wants to be Susan or Lucy (Susan being the favourite) or if Angus is to be Peter or Edmund (and is it me, but Prince Caspian in the last movie is quite  easy on the eye!)

Has this prompted the same reaction in your children? Kate can't wait to read well enough to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (and the series) - I read the first one or two as a child, but wasn't overly fond of them. I far preferred my Billabong books, and Trixie Beldon (not Nancy Drew!). They haven't enjoyed Harry Potter as much either (too scary, they only watch the first two movies) - however I must confess to really enjoying the HP books, particularly the first two as well.

Has any movie intrigued your children like this?

PS. Personally, Lucy is my favourite!

what happens when you eat too much chocolate



Lest We Forget

I borrowed this from Di. 25 April is Anzac Day (as well as Easter Monday this year) I think this says it all.


I've got lots of photos of our last few days to share, not sure if it will be in one BIG post or a couple of little nibbles. Allowing the kids some chocolate today after the total ban bar one little one, yesterday.  They were some really really tired and ratty kids, and a sugar overload wasn't going to help matters!  All on a much more even keel today!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Lazy Cook's Brownie

Also known as the Best Ever Brownie.

So, Happy Easter to y'all. And if you haven't had enough of the good chocolate stuff already, whip up some of these and get them into you. You know I am the laziest cook out there (although I prefer the term "simplistic" ;-) and after trying this recipe the other day and finding the Tupperware dish empty after the men had smoko, I knew I was onto a winner.

Warning: possibly not the most diet friendly recipe!

Also to note: the recipe calls for Plain flour and baking powder however I misread the first time and used Self Raising, so omitted the baking powder when I came to it. They came out perfectly so you can choose which you would like to use.

image stolen from the www

(image from the www. Again too lazy to photograph my own. They will look a bit like this. But I would make my slices smaller)

250g choc bits or melts (dark or milk, personally I prefer dark)

1 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 can condensed milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 heaped tablespoons cocoa

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Mix all ingredients until well combined (by hand - good for the upper arms!) Spread into lined or well greased brownie tin. Bake 20-30 mins moderate oven. Cut into slices when slightly cooled and rest.

Don't know how long it will keep for as it hasn't lasted more than one day so far.

Bon appetite!

PS there will be fights over who gets to lick the dish!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Everyday photo storage

I love the idea of Project Life and Photo A Day and those sort of projects; I also know myself and long term projects. Not good. I also like photo books, but they do require some time and effort to put together.  However I have found myself a groove with my Every Day Photo Storage, that works for me. Its more than a wee bit more expensive than the old Crazy Clarkes slip in albums, but more much durable, and holds far more photos.

I've randomly flicked open the album and taken a shot.

_MG_6241 I use a three ring binder album, and 4x6 page protectors. I printed on some plain white card some AE journaling blocks, however have used lined index cards before. The protectors above are American Craft, and I like that they offer the two orientations, however I have come to the conclusion that I would prefer the extra pocket and will be going back to the 6 per page protectors. And I like the AC ones in that they allow photos to be slotted in on each side, not just one side like the WRMK ones which I have also used.

I stick multiple photos in each pocket if they are similar. Its from here I will take any I need for scrapping.

_MG_6240 (2)I have used the "patches" Printblocks albums that I have managed to pick up for less than $25 (and they are just as good as the more expensive brands) but more recently I was able to grab a handful of very similar (but carrying a different brand name!) albums from my local "prices plus" (I think) store for $17 each. I am thinking of going there again next time I am in town and getting some more to put away!

And let me tell you, for a person that usually has 100 + photos for each month (and that is WITH editing! and taking a cut from each month) these albums are FULL. And the kids love flicking through them.

Which reminds me, I must order some more page protectors!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I don't think the Sports Institute will be calling us

Remember we had sports day last week?  My kids had a great time, however I don't think we shall ever need worry that the Australian Sports Institute will be ever calling with an invitation.

_MG_6160She concentrates SO much! i know she can run faster at home - I've struggled to catch her - although I am FAR from being fleet of foot!




It's obvious, really. His too large shorts are to blame. Wind resistance. Still, he got a participation ribbon and was so pleased with himself. And was SO excited to be allowed to wear school uniform!


Munchkins! (also included the spare kid that I was looking after for the day).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Ringers

Yesterday we went and visited some friends, and took our horses too. For a long time we've talked about the kids having a ride together, so yesterday we did. It was quite some effort really, for a play date, loading horses and saddles and kids, and heading off in the truck. The Husband unloaded us all, had a cup of tea and continued on his way to the prickle farm with the remaining load of supplements in the back.

The kids were all ready to go.

_MG_6200And don't they look excited about it as well. Little stinkers. (the cat stayed at home)

The effort involved in saddling the four horses for my family, at the same time as trying to get them to stop climbing rails and loading ramps and actually do something to assist, made me wonder just how great an idea this was in the first place!

However, finally all horses were saddled, and the girls mounted themselves.  Not sure how, I told them to go away and figure it out for themselves.  I was hot under the collar at the time, wrassling with a horse that was old enough to know better, otherwise I would have sneakily taken a photo of the girls getting on. I am sure it was inventive and amusing!

And then, "all the cracks gathered to the fray", we were all mounted and ready to go. Photo taken by Rachel, the mother of the two extra kids. Note my appropriate and stunning riding attire. I was too lazy to find any jeans, my work boots were still wet and muddy (remember Sunday's adventures?!) and I was quite comfortable as I was, thank you very much.

I think I've reached that point in my life where you just don't care any more! Dear Lord, when did that happen? next thing I'll be out in public wearing a lilac embroidered tracksuit with matching quilted bag. Because I quite like lilac of course...  ;-)

 _MG_6209 We enjoyed a lovely hour or so ride amongst the long green grass and gum trees, getting peeks down into the deep creek that we rode beside.  The gum trees prompted an impromptu rendition of "home amongst the gum tree" by my little mate; he makes a rather cheerful riding companion. He declared that he was now a really good rider (apart from not being able to get on alone, he conceded) and got cross when I wouldn't let go of the lead rope.

My two girls and Jack in the red shirt with matching saddle cloth, quickly went to the lead and trotted and walked and giggled and had all sorts of interesting fun. The rest of us were feeling far more sedate and walked along comfortably, despite Angus declaring he "liked bouncing" - although I fear too much speed might result in bouncing to the ground!

We finished off the afternoon's fun with a sausage sizzle down by the creek. And with some wet kids.

_MG_6213Honestly, my children can't help themselves. If there was a teaspoon of water and mud to get into, they would be there.

_MG_6229Is there anything as tasty as a fire cooked sausage? Bit of bread, grated cheese and tomato sauce, out in the fresh air (with remarkably few mosquitoes) Just lovely.


And sitting by the fire gazing adoringly at one of the few little boy friends we know (isn't the look on Angus' face just priceless?!)

It was bed time by the time we got home, after loading horses in the dark, but thanks to the tail end of the Super Full Moon, I was able to unload and re-paddock the horses with great clarity. And the kids went to bed exhausted.

And that is what you call a full, great afternoon adventure!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Camera-less adventures

yes I KNOW. I did it again. Left my camera at home.

Like the title suggests, the past few days have been busy, and filled with all kinds of adventures and "fun".

The end of sports day saw me bring home four (had a spare!) tired children clutching a handful of ribbons each, and the start of the school holidays.

Before 7:30 the next morning aforementioned tired children, and their horses, were loaded into a truck heading off to my parents place, where a yard full of cattle demanded our attention. During Sports Day, The Husband and various other family members and friends, went mustering, and I am pleased that I wasn't there after hearing reports of the action of the day.  Luckily, a helicopter turned up when things were looking a little...pear shaped. Oh! for a camera!

Mind you, had I been there, I have no doubt that I would not have had a chance to take any photos!

So, we drafted the cattle  - sorting out the ones to sell and the ones to go back to the paddock. Fairly drama free, and I got the easy job (ie sitting in the shade!) of recording their weights as they went across the scales.

The girls and I then got to take the non-sale cattle back to their paddock on our horses, which was great adventure for the girls. Oh how I wish I had my camera - they looked so cute all mounted up and serious about the job at hand. Georgie managed to fall up in the best possible way - without injury or tears, and I didn't even get off my own horse - I reached down and grabbed her and plumped her back on her pony, and off we went again.

The real adventure started on Sunday: Oh how I wish I had my camera! The sale cattle were to be loaded onto a double deck road train and be on their way before dark. Just as we started to load the cattle, it rained. We got soaking wet. Just as the last beast went on the truck, it stopped raining. (insert appropriate swear words). We took the truck driver for a nice cup of tea (and to calm the nerves of all concerned - many thousands of dollars of cattle standing on that truck, and our income for the next 12 months!)  and waited for the ground to dry out a bit. So after smoko and ruminating on world matters, it was decided to "give it a go". The truck and its three trailers moved maybe 40 metres, before the heavy ground won. Graders and tractors were fired up, and after much male head scratching and discussion, one trailer was unhooked and with the use of all motorised horsepower available, the truck and two trailers crawled away from the yards and down the flat. Our body truck was brought in to move the third trailer, however it too needed a tow - all this watched by an avid audience of kids, Granma and myself (not being of any use in proceedings whatsoever) a safe distance away from the action.

Finally, just after sunset, the two trucks drove off under their own steam, and under one kilometre down the road they were kicking up dust. I believe that truck driver might have been having words with God and his sense of humour as he hooked his third trailer back on!

I am pleased to report that the cattle made it to their destination safely, and in around 90 days I would imagine they will be gracing a supermarket shelf somewhere (the trials we have to go through to get the food to your table!)

Today I am undertaking far less adventuresome activities like washing, stripping beds and wondering where the month of April has gone as I have to do a BAS sometime in the very near future! I don't think I need photograph any of these tasks....

Speaking of tasks at hand, I hear the washing machine calling me. I best go and empty it, and refill it...again and again. Horoo!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Wednesday was a day of accomplishment, especially as the list for the day did not involve folding clean washing of any sort (because the folding around here? never done. No sense of any accomplishment whatsoever). 

It did however, include cooking corned meat; baking not one but TWO smoko items simultaneously (not something I do often due to my inability to not scatter cooking implements on every flat surface); visiting school to "supervise" the OMG-I-can't-its-finally-DONE-BER Library cement pouring; fixing of a shirt to wear to Sports Day today;  whipping up of a oops-its-late couple of birthday gifts; washing several loads of The Husband's stinky work clothes.


And HELLAJAH! School holidays start after Sports Day (as in THIS AFTERNOON!).

See you after I recover from sports day, and we wallow in the first few days of the holidays!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things I found in the garden

_MG_6137This pony, hanging over the fence, wanting to get in and wreak havoc and destruction, and eat and poop on my lawn.

_MG_6136The remains of some game or check list (I think it they were checking off who loved mum that day?!)  and excessive use of sticky tape under a shady bush on the lawn. They weren't loving mum so much when I made them pick up and put away those same bits and pieces not long after this photo was taken! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thought of the Day

Ah, finally some reality in all of the positive, albeit lovely, sayings and prints that are getting around.

Very much imbedded in reality (and in the possibility that I very well may be getting old and falling apart) here; well I am, the kids are currently well away from reality, watching the first Narnia movie on dvd after I picked up all three (including the newest one, which looks rather awesome) and peeking out from behind pillows, as it is rather scary for a kids movie!

Not sure where my camera is it has been so long since I've used it. Planning on spending some time with it, with my kids in front, during the school holidays. Which are three long school days and one big sports day away.

I'll leave you with the thought above, which I think does not only apply to spouses, but ones children as well. ;-)

Oh and one other thought. Just been to the city again. Have I ever mentioned how awesome Bunnings is? I {heart} Bunnings. Or BUNNY'S as it is otherwise known around these parts. We love his pronunciation of it too much to make him say it properly!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

what is in little boy's heads?

I've always marvelled at how different a baby and toddler and child our youngest - the first boy - has been to the first two girls.  I mean they are ALL different little personalities, but this boy child, his little mind is just so funny and he has been so different to manage than the girls at the same stages in their lives.

A conversation last night at bed time.  I make a habit of telling him I want to eat him up (he was the most delicious baby!), and he pretends I am a mummy dinosaur.  Me, nibbling on his neck and growling mummy-dinosaur like, declaring, "I'm going to eat your HEAD!".

He stops, and giggles. "No, you can't eat my head!  It has BRAINS in it, and you can't eat brains!".

I declare that I do indeed like brains, in fact LOVE them, and ears (and nibble on the nearest one) give him a kiss, tuck him in, and leave him giggling to himself.

He is a funny little creature: obsessive, temperamental, mercurial, sweet natured, shares without even thinking or being asked, boofy and rough and cuddly all at the same time. Chatty and charming with a wicked, well developed sense of humour. _MG_5945 And he turns five in September. And starts Prep next year. He wants to go to school; he is ready for school (more or less). He needs to go.  But I am not so sure that his mother is ready for that.

This post prompted by Amy 's "storytelling sunday" post, although not nearly as well written!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


It is {finally!} a rainy, drizzly old day here, and after an interesting few days and flying trip to the city and back, and wandering around not quite sure what to do with myself {ignoring Mt Folding of course} I decided to play.

It started with this: a rough idea in my head that did not match any of the templates I have stashed away on my hard drive.

wip kate stuffThe most recent photo of the Big Girl - I have been slack with the camera and have taken hardly any photos of the kids this year. Bad mother! {and am I the only one wanting to take scissors to her fringe?!}

This is where I ended.  I don't think I am going to win any design awards, and that god awful photo that my printer produced will be staying, thanks to the stickiness of the double sided tape from Spotlight that they must also sell to airlines to hold planes together. When they say permanent, they mean it!  

_MG_6132And I finally used my purchased-before-Christmas toy, and it seemed to take an inordinately long time to figure out how to cut out that one word there, but geez, it was fun watching it happen! 

Might go and cut some more things now, just for fun. Perhaps some cute shapes to put on the kids bedroom doors! I'll share the results (after I wipe off the mildew - 24 hours of rainy-ish weather and its blossoming!)

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