Saturday, 29 November 2008

"I Hate Walking..."

Mr Busy and I had a funny little conversation the other often happens with Mr Busy. This time his teacher was in stitches too....and the art teacher!!!!!

Mr Busy had fallen off the flying fox and hurt himself just above one hip, so he came over (this was at the end of school...we were waiting for the girls to come down to the car park) and I gave him a cuddle and this was the conversation that ensued:

Mr Busy: Mum, I don't think I can go to school tomorrow (sob, sob)
Me: Really mate? Why is that?
Mr Busy: (sob, sob) Because, (sob) I can't run.
Me: I don't know buddy, I reckon you can go to school even if you can' can walk
Mr Busy: But I hate walking (wail, sob)

Mrs C & I were, at that point, trying not to laugh. So we get in the car and they've all got their seat belts on....

Mr Busy: Mum, I think my back is broken
Me: No son, your back is absolutely not broken. You would not be walking if it was.

Well...he went to school the next day and told his teacher how he'd nearly broken his back on the flying fox. I told her the rest of the story and she laughed....a lot!

Next day, he was back on that evil flying fox, giving it a run for its money!


We have our class info for next year. A very exciting day as all the kids in the car park came down the hill waving envelopes addressed to Mum and Dad and ripping them open!!!!! None of us can wait ~ we love this day. And then the kids begin ... "which class are you in...." With composites all the way through to Year 8, it's always fun to see who you'll have in your class this time.

Mr Busy is in a straight Year 3 (first time ever, this has happened) with the two teachers who will be taking that class ~ he is ecstatic. Mrs R will have taken all three of our children after next year. He loves her.

Miss Mischief will remain right where she is. She is very is her teacher, she keeps me for another year too.

Miss Sunshine has a new teacher...the daughter of our secondary art teacher. She is oh so excited. Particularly to have avoided having the other teacher who will be taking Yr 7/8's for home room. Dh is over the moon too!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Why God Made Mums

My Sister In Law sent me this little gem. It's rare that I do anything with these types of emails, other than hit delete...but this time I think it's worth sharing. It comes with a warning: Put down the cup of tea, coffee or whatever you're drinking, lest you spit it all over the computer screen!


Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the sticky tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mum just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other Mum?

1.. We're related.

2.. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's Mums like me.

What kind of little girl was your Mum?

1. My Mum has always been my Mum and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mum need to know about Dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your Mum marry your Dad?

1. My Dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mum eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My Grandma says that Mum didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mum doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because Dad's such an idiot.
2. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mum is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between Mums & Dads?

1. Mums work at work and work at home and Dads just go to work at work.
2. Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but Mums have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Mums have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your Mum do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't have spare time.
2. To hear her talk, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your Mum perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. You know, her hair. I'd die it, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mum, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mum smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Stitching Day

Last week the invitation was opened up to our entire sewing circle group and I was not going to knock back the offer. Some of our Thursday gals were staying at the Quilt Shop in Our Town for the day to do their Christmas Stitching Day. A bit of a mix up with dates was the cause, but who am I to complain? The offer was: stay all day if you like, just bring something to share for lunch. So I opted for the stay all day with my own sewing to do. I took my chickpea and mango salad and with the vast array of delicious goodies to nibble on, I don't believe I'll need to eat dinner tonight. Perhaps a bit of fruit will be all I need to see me through to bed time!

What a perfect way to spend a day. I quilted....and we all laughed a lot. I might actually get this quilt bound before Christmas...maybe!


Speaking of fruit ~ apricots and yellow nectarines were the exciting find this week, at about $5-$6/kg they've reached my price range. The kids were very excited to discover these little treasures in the fruit basket this morning. And even more delighted when they were given permission to take an apricot in their lunch. Miss Mischief was in heaven...fruit is not her favourite thing. But apricots, apparently, will do the trick! Pity the season is so short!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

'Painted Dresses' by Patricia Hickman

My review for 'Painted Dresses' is now up at Relz Reviewz. If dysfunctional families intrigue you interesting art inspires you, then this is a must-read!

Rel also has a give away for US and Canadian readers. The 'All About Us' series, by Shelley Adina is up for grabs. All you have to do is post a comment at Rel's blog and tell her which favourite movie or TV star you wanted to meet as a teenager.


I need a list. Lisa's list from yesterday just looked like a list I should have going on at my place. Laundry, dishes, clean out the fridge, vacuuming, clean heater vent, weed vegie garden, tidy my bedroom, grocery shopping (and then get it all put away!!!!), put the stuff back in the caravan that's been sitting there for about 3 weeks, get my bible study homework done by tonight.

My list is endless! It's so not a good day to have woken up feeling like I never slept at all. I think I should add 'take a nap' to that list! You know what though? I am ecstatic to have a day at home....all day!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Weapon

No, this isn't a post about children waging war on each other...or about me waging war on whatever issue it is with the kids that needs to be addressed (although, there are some of those, definitely!).

We're heading into early summer next week. Somehow or another, every year from now until at least Christmas tummy bugs seem to do the rounds. At school, at church...around the entire city of Melbourne, it seems. One year we were even afflicted, despite our lack of contact with anyone!!!!! I've already heard reports at school about kids not being well....and I've been known to tell teachers that they need to keep those kids way away from mine. Indeed, two years ago I told Mr Busy's entire class to stay away from him if they're not well. They think I'm funny. They have no idea how serious I am. I hate tummy bugs. I find the symptoms very traumatic. When the kids are in the midst of symptoms they're on their own. Here's your bucket. Empty it there, rinse and sterilise it there. Don't come to me or I'll join you and that wouldn't be pretty. It's the only time I am seen armed with a spray bottle of bleach, killing germs on every light switch, door handle and tap we own. I never sterilised my kids dummies and bottles the way I do when gastro is around!

A couple of weeks ago Mum was telling me what a fellow missionary family did to repel these tummy bugs when we lived in PNG. Why they didn't tell us this in our first year I'll never know! We all spent so much time in the bathroom it wasn't funny!

Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a class of water. You can drink that once a day, or just when you start to feel a little bit iffy. These friends are adamant that they rarely suffer from tummy bugs. I'm adding the ACV to my shopping list!!!!!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Mad Monday

I'm not really feeling ready to dive into a new week. I feel like I really just want a whole day at home to potter my way through some tasks that really do need doing. I have a feeling Dh will be requiring a day from me again. It's not so much the time and the timing I think.

Monday: Lamb Rissoles & vegies
Tuesday: Chicken Casserole & scallop potatoes
Wednesday: Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Pesto
Thursday: Pasta & vegie sauce
Friday: Oven Baked Chicken & Rice
Saturday: Crumbed Chicken & Cranberry Orange Sauce
Sunday: Chinese Corn Soup & something?! to sort out some children! Why is one in the kitchen when he has no reason to be, annoying the one who is making her breakfast...and here comes the third to make her breaky.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Rain Came Down...

There was a song we sang in Sunday School about the wise man and the foolish man building their houses. Fortunately, there is rarely flooding in Our Town. Living in the hills means that unless you're at the bottom a valley or gully you have nothing to worry about.

I woke this morning thinking to walk, but the sound of pitter pattering on the roof had me snuggling back into warm blankets. It has been pouring and hailing this morning. There will be no gardening today, or walking. I think perhaps it might be a day to get the weights our ~ right next to a heater vent! And then I think 'Match Point' by Erynn Mangum will be my aim for the day. I giggled myself to sleep last night!


Miss Sunshine and I have been successful. I took her to one of the big shopping centres just down the hill to search out a suitable graduation dress. Her primary school graduation night is just around the corner and one must be suitably attired....especially when she must give a speech before all those parents! After two hours of walking (and stopping to eat dinner!) we returned to a store we had noted earlier, and tried on The Dress. Oh the beaming shine of pure joy on her face. This was it. We came home and enjoyed a cup of tea to reward ourselves ~ hers green, mine fully loaded with caffeine!

Miss Mischief's disappointment at being left with 'the boys' was assuaged with the promise of preparing dinner. I had planned a simple meal for last night and she was able to take over beautifully. All of a sudden she was not left at home, but the one who would ensure family members were cared for. She even made coconut bread, the kitchen was cleaned up and I returned to home to a little girl who shone with pride in herself and her accomplishments.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Worth It

I can now highly recommend that Warm Chicken Salad from Maggie Beer, that I mentioned yesterday. Of course, I made a few minor adjustments...some from the TV show and some because of the lack of smoked chicken!!!

I only had a fresh chook, so I mixed some garlic and lemon zest with butter and popped that in under the skin before roasting. That made for a deliciously moist and flavourful bird! On telly the other night, Maggie tossed the chopped chicken while still warm in a majo and dijon ... just to coat, not swimming. Then as well as apricots, Maggie also used prunes and green olives. I thought I had prunes and didn't, so I just had kalamata olives (my favourite) and popped them in at the end of cooking the apricots. Oh it was soooooooo good! My friend and I moaned and groaned in delight as we took first mouthfuls of different flavours! I will definitely be making that recipe again. It is perfect for lunch or a light dinner ~ males will find it hearty enough with the potatoes and women will find it light enough to suit their more delicates tastes. You could serve a robust crusty bread with real butter to round it out if you really felt you needed to.

Oh, and I used red oakleaf lettuce mixed with baby spinach. I'm not so much into rocket! you'll have to go and check out the link I posted yesterday for the recipe ;)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Mmmmm...Who Could Resist This?

I finally managed to watch last night's episode of 'The Cook and the Chef'. Oh always it was delicious viewing. I'm catching up with a friend tomorrow. I think I might suggest that I should make this and we should have lunch together...seeing as how her husband will be home to look after their 5yo. It looks pretty tempting to me!

Warm Smoked Chook Salad

I've also printed out Maggie Beer's Choc Vino Cotto Pavlova recipe. After all, one must try these things out before she takes them to a family Christmas meal!

Click on the recipe name for ingredients and instructions.

A Country Dweller's City Experience

Dh & I had the opportunity yesterday to combine a necessary task with having lunch together in the city.

Spending time in the city, for us, is a rare thing indeed. We are country dwellers....semi rural really. I've had odd looks from those who don't know where we live when I talk about 'our town' because it sounds like we live hundreds of hours away from the suburbs which are just down the hill. Nevertheless Our Town is indeed it's own little hub of activity and everyone seems to know everything about everyone else. You can't get away with much at all! And we like it that way.

So...we get to the city and being the people watcher that I am there is much to see. Businessmen in suits entering fancy building lobbies. Uni students schlepping their way to classes. Well dressed workers with ID tags hanging around their necks, perhaps from the hospitals up in the top corner of the CBD. The well dressed up the Parliament end of town, to the less impressive statements made by those further towards mid-CBD. Dh commented that he is incredibly glad his city-worker days are well behind him. I think it would near kill both of us to travel the 1.5 hours it would take us to get in there every day. Could you imagine? Three hours a day on the train. People watching isn't that interesting! Dh was complaining when they had temporary lights between here and his office because a gum tree had ripped out half the road. "I had to wait for three changes before getting through!!!" was his constant lament for the few weeks before the road was fixed. His Dad just smiled indulgently...he travels an hour to get to work through many a set of permanent traffic lights.

My favourite part of the day was wandering through the city streets deciding what we felt like for lunch! Once we hit Little Bourke Street we knew. Yum Cha at the Shark Fin Inn. What other choice could there be...and the people watching continued there too! We began in an almost empty room and within 15 minutes the place exploded into a hive of activity. We ate well and enjoyed our walk back to the train station.

That's a whole other experience too. The underground stations in Melbourne are accessed via long, deep....long escalators. Dh was having a hard time with the height...long way up, long way down! Me...I was struggling with the angle. My eyes were doing different things to my ears and I just ended up shutting my eyes and being quite happy. Being on a different train line now, to when we were growing up, we now have to endure two escalator rides as the platform we needed to use was an extra level down. Oh the vertigo LOL.

It is always the most joyous thing to be driving back through the National Forest just before the town where Dh's office is. You can feel yourself relax and breathe a little deeper of fresher, cleaner air. It was a fun day together, but I do love Our Town!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

All Things Random

Dianne has tagged me for a meme to share six random things about myself. I was going to say I love it when a busy day presents me with an easy post where I don't have to think much. I think in this case it's more like, I don't have to come up with the idea....I'm going to have to dig deep. Six random things? Couldn't someone give me a list of what each of the six things needs to cover? I'm great at following rules and instructions! LOL

Here are the rules for this meme:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here we go...six random things about me:
  1. I am a trained secretary. I chose that field of work because I was too scared to go to University. I lived not far from Monash Uni and the overwhelming size of the place scared me to death. My high school of 800 kids had me in fits as it was. Had I not have such issues, I might've otherwise been a nurse or a teacher. Many years on I can't fathom the idea of working in an office anymore. I've had too many years of freedom, being my own boss!

  2. I love to fly. I don't really enjoy little 6 seater Cessna's, but put me on a big plane and I am oh so happy. I love the experience and the procedures of checking in, flight safety talks....the food (surprisingly, yes)....I love it all. Then of course there's the destination! That I've had to fly somewhere means it would take too much to drive oh how exciting that would be. I am truly the daughter of someone in the aviation industry.

  3. I am bi-lingual. Miss Sunshine's teacher is dubious of the fact that there is such a language as Pigin....however, you will find that it is one of the three recognised trade languages of PNG. Over there it is more widely known as 'Tok Pisin'. My children recently requested that I teach them. Grandma thinks that would undermine our ability to have a private conversation in front of the children. Then again, there's a lot to be said for being able to tell your kids off in public without looking like an ogre. I cannot tell you the number of times I got told 'pasim maus' or 'muski' and no one else knew what I was being told.

  4. I began wearing glasses in Year 10. It was something that only became an issue when re-focusing from the blackboard to the desk. I'd not been in a regular blackboard-using classroom for three was a surprise to me! I've had the same prescription in all these years.

  5. I am a rule follower. If you're not supposed to do something, I don't...and I get uptight when others do. Take train travel. In Melbourne you're not meant to eat on the train or put your feet on the seats. Do you know how many people did that today????????? So glad I don't do train travel often! Or walking against a red walking signal. And talking on the mobile while driving. GRRRRR I tell you, city people are a bunch of rule breakers LOL. Maybe there's just more people in the city to notice so it's more a per capita thing?

  6. Going back to travel...I dream of visiting my BIL & his family in the States and I would take a little skip over and visit Europe....France actually. And maybe Switzerland. Yep...put me on a plane to those places and you'll see a very happy little person!
If you want to take on Six Random Things about Me, consider yourself tagged....and post a comment to let me know so I can come and take a squiz ;)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Groundhog Day

Have you ever longed for that movie to be true in your life? My golly me I surely do right now.

If I could go back about 18 hours I would have stayed out of the subtly disguised minefield. Had I done that I would not have stepped on the inevitable I was naively so sure I had avoided! Time and lack of combat has dulled my instincts.

Note to Self: Stay out of the minefield. Permanently.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sunny Monday Menu Planning

You realise how unimaginative you are when you get to 2pm and still haven't finalised the week's meals. I'm feeling very ho-hum and seem to have come to a bit of a road block. I've gotten through Monday-Sunday but I shop from Wednesday-Wednesday. Ugh. Despite what I've got written in squares, things will get swapped about a bit this week...the roast will happen before Friday!

Monday: Roast Chicken, vegies
Tuesday: Pork & Feta Patties, wedges, salad
Wednesday: Baked Gnocchi with roasted tomato sauce
Thursday: Singapore Noodles
Friday: Wraps (l/o chicken), salad
Saturday: Crumbed Chicken with cranberry sauce, vegies
Sunday: Quiche, wedges, salad

Deep breath.....I'm off to remove some tasks from my to-do list!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Deep Satisfying Breath

It seems that the last few days have been somewhat of a blur when I realise I've not posted! My parents have been here, pulling my attention away from all the normal things I might otherwise be doing. Not because they are demanding, but because time spent with them is precious and far too infrequent. We've had a couple of occasions requiring babysitting, so they graciously acquiesced while finding a way for Mum not to miss her craft group in the middle of it all.

My dress remains on the still nameless model....must find that baby name book! My Courthouse Steps are at a standstill, my handsewing is untouched. However, I did manage to send in a book review just barely on time and I am relieved to have been able to honour that commitment. I've also managed to get some walking in, so I'll be relieved to report to my health care providers that I've succeeded in that commitment too!

Here's hoping some more dressmaking makes its way into my life this week!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Gob Smacked

I had a whole post relating completely to Frances and not keeping up with lots of things. However, something far more exciting has come up!

We had our school association EGM dinner last night. Right at the end the Chairman of the Board presented five certificates of appreciation for a few of the people who have 'gone above and beyond in their sacrifice of time to the school'. The Head of Secondary and Community Relations Officer both got one, the head of the catering team and the parent who spearheaded our Trivia Night both got one....and me! My completely selfish desire to be involved in my kid's education has earned appreciation from the board chairman and the Principal. I feel a bit like people who say they feel guilty for getting paid to do something that doesn't feel like work to them!

It seems I'm quite the topic of conversation amongst the school leadership. That's what happens when you work in the classroom of the Head of Primary, and did I know this was happening, she asks? No I didn't!!!! Time will tell the result of all those conversations!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Meet the Newest Family Member

No, I'm not pregnant and we haven't got any pets. Just felt I should point that out right up front!!!!!! No....this new member of our family is purely for my benefit alone. She is already hard at work sporting a partially made dress and surprising the kids, it's not a real person standing in the corner! She does, however, need a name.

This beautiful lady has come to me thanks to a seemingly insignificant remark during church lunch event a few weeks back. The former owner muttered about having two and wanting to get rid of them. Meanwhile, I had been drooling over new models in Spotlight, deterred by the price. Yesterday I picked her up, paid the meager asking price and took her home. Within an hour she was clothed and I was able to adjust the skirt pleats to suit with the greatest of ease.

So, at tonights school association meeting, I believe the tradies I need to honour would be the seamstresses and tailors of this world, without whom we would have no clothing. My basket of stitching and a tape measure around my shoulders should do the trick quite nicely.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Christmas Musings

Christmas decorations have been in the shops here for a few weeks already. I keep scoffing at them as I wander past....or rather run past, in denial. Is it just me, or does Christmas become far less exciting the older you get? While my kids are dreaming and scheming about all the wonderful things they will receive and the fantastic time with family they will have, I'm feeling a bit 'bah humbug' about the whole thing at this present moment in time. The whole idea exhausts me.

I have begun the hunt for items that will delight. Fortunately all the recipients we need to care for are little. Very little. Mr Men and Little Miss's will keep all of them quite happy with a few other bits and pieces thrown in. As for my own children? Each year I fear they will be terribly disappointed. Somehow, beyond the upcoming Prep year which is now a distant memory in our home, new school bags and lunch boxes may not cut it the same way they once did. That, and they no longer play with toys. Well, Mr Busy does within strict self imposed limits, but not the girls. What does one get 11 and 12 year old girls who don't have love-it-to-death hobbies when the mother has issues with kids their age in make up?

Don't get me wrong, there are things I love about the Christmas season. Each year our church has four candles. One is lit each Sunday throughout Advent. Somehow this quiet, simple, unassuming ceremony communicates more 'Christmas Spirit' to me than all the commercial hype beyond our church doors ever could. I love that our school always finishes up about two weeks before Christmas, allowing us time to wind down before Christmas arrives. This year, I'd like to do the 'Road to Bethlehem'. Something I've been wanting to do it every year since I heard about it. Usually we love to spend as much time as we can with Dh's brother & his family during their annual Christmas trip home from the US. Alas, this year it is not to be.

I suppose one must get through the adult responsibilities that come with Christmas preparations in order to enjoy the season to its fullest. I think I'm going to look ahead to the things I love, rather than focus on the things I don't.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

'Dogwood' by Chris Fabry

I am discovering many pleasures, delights and benefits from reviewing books for Relz Reviewz. Of course it's always a pleasure to be reading and Rel delights me with an armload of good books with surprising frequency! She always has, in fact, it's just that now my armload also contains purpose. One of the very many benefits (beyond reading and reviewing, which would be enough in itself) is that I get an easy peasy post on a busy day!!!! review for 'Dogwood' by Chris Fabry has been posted. A fabulous read from an remarkable man. He'll have you hooked until the very last full stop. This is Chris's debut into adult fiction following a substantial reputation in children's literature. I hope he stays with us grown-up's for a while!

Monday, 10 November 2008

What's for Dinner Mum?

Good question! One I wondered about myself, as I was getting up. I have my parents coming to stay for a few days to do some babysitting for us. When they come I like to make meals that are a little bit on the nice side of normal. Dad adores Shepherd's Pie and it's the only way I can come and 'mince and mashed potatoes'. His idea for that gives me the heebie jeebies! Otherwise, I like to spoil them....Mum always gushes over a meal she hasn't prepared that has a tad more flavour than Dad will appreciate. Although he's always got bright shiny eyes that say the meal was pretty exciting, too.

Monday: Roast Pork (carry over from last week)
Tuesday: Meatball Stroganoff, wholemeal pasta
Wednesday: Pork Chops with apple & celery
Thursday: Shepherd's Pie
Friday: Honey Soy Chicken, stir fried vegies, brown rice
Saturday: Bacon wrapped chicken, roast spuds, vegies
Sunday: Homemade Pizza a la Miss Sunshine

And then Mum gets cranky if I get to the dishes before she does. I love my dish fairy!

Now, off to get some lunches happening for the kids, and pumpkin soup for mine. I think I'll stay on at school after lunch and get some Year 6 Graduation jobs done.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Not With Ink

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry,
written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,
not on tablets of stone but on the tablets of human hearts."

2 Corinthians 3:3

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have seven children in my house as I type. My own three are very very tired.....and they treat the four 'visitors' like family, literally. Technically, the four are related in a very distant way, so the fullness of their relationship is valid, I suppose. The children make it seem much closer LOL I had decided that no one should experience my children today, rejecting the whiney "can we go to Uncle W's place????". Too little sleep makes for very nasty little people. I had a nap to escape them this afternoon. Didn't work for them, but it worked perfectly for me! Time will tell as to whether they need space from one another!


Earlier in the week I joined the Prep-Two's for an excursion to Healesville Sanctuary. It's a wildlife park for Aussie native animals. We had a fabulous and tiring day. The only disappointment is that the Tassie Devils were asleep...."but they're awake in the day time in Tasmania". Well kids, I think they're noctural unless someone is poking them. They wouldn't believe me, and the Devils slept on. Eight years olds know far more than a Mum after all ~ proof before them or not.

The highlight for me required nerves of steel, but so worthwhile. The Birds of Prey display is spectacular. Showcasing four native raptors in live flight, the attendants had them flying right over our heads. It takes quite a bit of resolve to have a wedge-tailed eagle fly inches above your head without ducking...but I managed it! The lower you duck the lower they fly, apparently. By far the most thrilling though, was watching one of the birds crack open a fake emu egg with a stone. Very clever bird, that one!

It's been about eight or nine years since I last went to the Sanctuary. It was far more interesting to me, not being 30 something weeks pregnant. I didn't spend the day desperately looking for somewhere to sit down this time! If you're ever looking for something to do not so far out of Melbourne, go and spend some time there. It is up close and personal and there are times scheduled throughout the park with different animals to meet the keepers and touch some of the a lace monitor! There is also an animal hospital where you can watch any operations being performed. My little group of kids wasn't interested in that so we raced on! Oh, and watch the ibis's...they're an opportunistic thieving bunch of birds who will snatch your lunch out of your hand if you're not careful.

Friday, 7 November 2008

The Tough Mum-Moments

What to do when your daughter wants to go to a particular event at a specific friend's home and both Mum & Dad are having a conniption at the very thought? You have Daddy tell her the answer. No. That way, I still get to be the good guy just sometimes! Do you think I could send him to school to answer the 'but why?' from the friend next week?

This is one of those times when I think I really like that I'm the kind of parent whose answer is "because I'm the grown up and I said so", and that is enough. Lucky for me, all those little friends know I'm not inclined to explain myself, so expectations are pretty low.

The way we parent might look a lot like self preservation and making our parenting life easier, but I have discovered along the way that we're doing a good job! Apparently it's called being the parent, not your child's friend. Who knew my stubborn nature would be the best thing my kids will ever have going for them, in a parent. I'd always thought I just didn't like being told what to do by kids (read: equivalent of waving a red rag at a bull) but it turns out the experts think its a good thing that grown ups are the boss.

They never tell you when you have a baby that all this other stuff is waiting for you just down the road a tiny little way.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

At the Courthouse

Not literally of course, for me at least. No, my Block of the Month Class last night has given me a new use for photocopy paper :) Courthouse Steps.

The picture above is the block I started last night. On the back are lines that you stitch on, and when you flip it over, this is the result. Like magic! All you need is a sewing machine, lots of 1.5 inch strips and a really good light to hold it up and see if the fabric is in the right spot!

The 'girls' tell me you can use the same pattern to do Log Cabin blocks as well. You just go round in circles instead of opposite sides. I'm off to cut some 'light' strips. All the strips I cut last night seem to be 'dark'. And a trip to the photocopier might do me copy more 'patterns' so I can just keep on going.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


I have a full on day ahead, but just had to take a moment to say that the review is up at Christian Fiction Online Magazine here on their 'reviewers corner' page. I find it incredibly amusing that the link address says 'best reviewer'. But oh my how I loved 'The Moon in the Mango Tree'. It was such a touching tale and has stayed with me.

The other tidbit, thanks to Rel....Camembert cheese with a little dried apricot on top. Not the cheap Turkish whole dried apricots, but the halves, with the more intense flavour. Mmmmmmm YUM. Oh yes, I think that one's a keeper!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

This Week's Menu

We've enjoyed a wonderful weekend of fun and relaxation, thanks to a four-day weekend. Well...our school takes the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day. Very generous of them, isn't it. Mr Busy has already had a little cry because he misses all the fun we've had.

This week, when our wonderful weekend is but a distant memory, this is what we'll be having for dinner.

Monday: Sweet & Sour Pork, brown rice
Tuesday: Tuna & Pasta Casserole
Wednesday: Apricot Chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli
Thursday: Herbed Ricotta Fritters, vegies
Friday: Pasta with Creamy Bacon & Mushroom Sauce
Saturday: Quiche, vegies
Sunday: Roast, vegies (whatever meat is economical)

My next food related project is to look into getting a new bread machine. Mine is sounding very unwell and the seal in the bottom around the paddle has deteriorated. I just can't do a three week holiday over summer with bread prices being what they are.