Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Weirdest Thing

I've had this stupid little cold for a couple of weeks now. I decided last night, at 2am....when I couldn't sleep again that this is the weirdest cold I've ever had. Normally they flow quite predictably. I get a sore throat for a day or two and then it heads into the full blown nose thing. After 3 days I start to improve and within about 2 weeks it's all over.

This time, I've had a sore, niggley throat for about 5 days. I thought that would be the extent of it, but no. On the 6th day I got the nose thing. But thankfully, just the nose. None of the tired feeling that leaves you wanting to sleep all day. And ever since I started having to blow my nose it's been quite a constant thing....never one day worse than another.

* * * * * * * * *

Today stretches before our family somewhat lazily at the moment. We have nothing planned. Nothing! I don't suppose the extroverts will allow that to be the case for too long. I'm hoping some housecleaning will get done. And then I think my books and my major assignment might keep me company.

I know the day has just begun, but perhaps I'll have a snooze first. I've not slept well the last two nights. Yesterday I woke at 2am and went back to sleep 15 minutes before I had to get up. Last night was only vaguely better. I didn't sleep soundly when I went back to sleep and then had this stupid song from the P/1 Indonesian lesson running through my dreams!!!!!!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Normal Returns

It was a nice break from my normally high-energy-output days while it lasted. Today it was back to normal. Kind of. My Prep student was on a bit of a doing-my-own-thing bender. Mrs B and I made eye contact over little people's heads a number of times during the day!

However I've realised some rather significant things. Things about the nitty gritty little details of the actual work I do. And things about the physical and mental intensity of working with someone who has rather high needs in both areas.

* * * * * * * * *

Miss Sunshine was back at school today and behaving quite like herself this morning. By this afternoon she was quite the Queen of Frustration after one of her classes. Her class is challenging in the behaviour department at the moment and she finds that quite unacceptable. Interestingly, she seems to think it's perfectly fine for her to lose it at home!

* * * * * * * * *

I have one last 'Starting Points' morning and then I'm done for a month. I can't say how much I'm looking forward to next Friday. I'm like a goldfish with no concept of what it is to focus. I keep thinking of all these things I could do....I wonder what I'll settle on?!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

I love Wednesday's

I always love Wednesday's because it is the one day that I spend in one classroom all day long. I know that means a full day for Mrs B, but for me, it means a lot less running around and more sane pace to the day.

This week my whole week, so far, has been quite sedate with my Preppie still unwell. It's funny ~ other teachers wonder what I do when my young charge is not there for me to concentrate on. in all classrooms, there is always a myriad of other tasks that can be completed. For example, if he is still away tomorrow, I will spend the first lesson dealing with homework folders and returning readers. Today I spent quite a bit of time one-on-one with different children helping them master the art of writing on dotted third paper.

Miss Sunshine had a day at work with her Daddy today. I discovered last night, after some pretty awful behaviour, that she has some 'stuff' going on at school. This morning the poor girl was feeling a little under the weather, but not in a quantifiable, detectable kind of way that this mother likes to be able to measure. We decided some mental space away from school for a day would do her little harm and in fact, probably a lot of good. I suspect her physical ailments are more stress induced than really being unwell. This is quite a 'first' for me. My kids have usually got to be really unwell to be allowed a day off. I hope that come tomorrow she'll be feeling a little more resilient and ready to keep perservering.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday's Menu Planning

I had a very surreal day today. In a nice way that is. I'm not even sleepy and it's 8pm! I have realised today that my job is truly as full on as I imagine it to be.

My Prep student was away, so I was able to have recess and lunch with everyone else ~ always a special blessing. Since I had no other tasks pressing for my attention I also had the privilege of doing some literacy testing on the Prep's. They're such a cute little bunch of people. They all seemed to decide that coming to visit me at the teacher's desk and sitting on the other whirly chair a couple of times each during the day was the highlight. And then I had a handful of gorgeous little girls declare their undying love and appreciation that I'm in their classroom. Heart-melting cuteness in pink-lined 6yo packages LOL. Tomorrow if my student is away I'll see if I can organise to spend a little extra time with my Yr 3 student.

Now for my menu plan...

Monday: Chicken & vegetable curry, brown rice
Tuesday: Polenta crumbed chicken, vegetables
Wednesday: CP cranberry and orange lamb roast, vegetables
Thursday: Pasta with vegie sauce
Friday: Lamb with rosemary and vegetables, mashed potatoes
Saturday: Quiche, potato wedges, vegetables
Sunday: Roast ... maybe chicken

Actually, I might swap Tuesday and Wednesday around....first staff meeting and all. I believe they're inclined to finish quite late in the afternoon and then I'll need to pick the kids up from their uncle's.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

'A Widow's Hope' by Mary Ellis

My review for this wonderfully fresh approach to Amish fiction has been posted here at Relz Reviewz. 'A Widow's Hope' is the first in a series by Mary Ellis, the next of which will be published in 2010.

Many of you will know by now I have a bit of an obsession for Amish fiction and Rel is the generous enabler of my little 'habit'. Mary Ellis is a new author to this genre and I was really excited about her storyline and the characters she introduces. I'm looking forward to the sequel with quite some eagerness.

Friday, 21 August 2009

How to Fool Your Kids....

...into thinking you're a GREAT parent? When your daughter asks if her friend can come after school on a Friday, you offer for the friend to sleepover instead.

My actions this week have purely been a study in parental laziness or self-preservation. Whichever you feel is a more befitting explanation. One of Miss Sunshine's favourite friends lives about 20 minutes from us and when I thought about me dropping her off or her Mum having to come here I felt exhausted for us both. We have an Open Day at school tomorrow, so we'll return her to her parents there. Apparently Open Day's have more uses than one might otherwise imagine!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Mid Point

It is now precisely half way through third term. Grandparents day..morning really..went beautifully. Most kids had someone special come and visit them. I even managed a moment to duck out and say hello to my parents. I wouldn't have seen them otherwise! Now to prepare for Open Day LOL. The excitement will continue for a little bit yet.

I had reason to ask my boss if I'm supposed to attend staff meetings....or not. Ahh...hmmm...yeah, I am. Good to know that! So, from next week I'll join the ranks of them who get to stay late. I'll also have to organise for my children to have permission to use a space at school. Somewhere like the library, where they can watch a DVD and do some homework or whatever.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I've been pondering issues of home organisation over the last few days. Particularly when I realised this morning, that the dishes weren't done last night and the pile grows too quickly, especially when we're all dashing in and out of an evening. I wonder how one is really able to fly through the day, getting everything accomplished that requires attention. I rise earlier than everyone else and I try to keep things simple. I am even happy to have a less than perfect house and let some of those things go, rather than expecting more than I'm capable of.

Now I just wish I had time for all the things I would still love to have time for. My books and my stitching both compete for my time, amongst my study and housework! I wonder whether other busy Mum's have come across the perfect solution to my wondering. Or is it all truly impossible?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Monday's Menu Plan

I spent the weekend with my head buried in books ~ school books on Saturday, and once we got home after lunch yesterday, head in a novel. I need to finish the book before I forget how it started! In any case, that's my excuse for not blogging over the weekend. I was just too busy doing other 'stuff'.

This week is looking a little too 'big' right at the minute. The girls have both Girls Brigade and their Bible Study group this week. At school we have Book Week, Grandparents Day and Open Day. Mrs B and I have begun a clean-up list for the classroom so that we can work on some of those things as they need to be dealt with. I also found out that the Prep-2's have an excursion coming up, so I will do some Google Earth-ing to see what the ramps and steps are like in the area we'll be visiting. But I'm very excited about the prospect! Excursions are always a really great fun day and I think that since I've mastered that area with prams in the past, I'll be fine with a student in a wheelchair!

I've done a little self preservation planning with my menu this week, opting for pre-cooked and easy-to-prepare meals where possible. Althought I need to find out what the go is for my parents, who have been invited to join us for Grandparents Day!

Monday: Chicken Wraps
Tuesday: Chicken & Corn Soup, Yum Cha nibblies
Wednesday: L/O lasagna, salad, garlic bread
Thursday: Ricotta fritters, vegetables
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Potaot and Leek Soup, ham & cheese toasted sandwiches
Sunday: Warm chicken salad, bread & butter

With Miss Sunshine and myself both opting for wheat free diets right now, there will be some adjustments to be made with pizza bases and the type of bread we use. I had wanted to have mini crossiants on Saturday but my eczema (and hers) has flared this past week so I think it would be better not to tempt myself with even one!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Hummingbird Cake

It's been a little while since I shared a recipe, isn't it.

The family of the Prep student I work with came for afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago. I knew I wanted to make a cake...but what to make. Dead bananas being my inspiration, I went in search of a recipe to melt the hearts of hungry 'savages'. I happened, also, to have a tin of crushed pineapple and so Hummingbird Cake became our afternoon tea. Banana cake is ok but Hummingbird Cake is absolutely the way to go! It is so easy to put together ~ no creaming of butter and sugar, just throw it together, mix and bake.

Hummingbird Cake

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup undrained crushed pineapple (tinned)
Cream Cheese Frosting
60g packaged cream cheese, softened
30g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Lightly grease 23cm square slap pan, line base with paper, grease paper.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon and soda into large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, nuts, banana and pineapple; stir until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in moderate oven for about 1 hour.
  4. Stand cake 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. Beat cream cheese, cutter and essence in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.
  1. Spread cold cake with cream cheese frosting.
Of course, you know I've made some slight alterations! I omitted the nuts, because Miss Sunshine is allergic to them. I also substituted the flour with gluten free flour ~ a mix of plain and self raising because I had run out of the plain! And just because, like me, you'll want to know....2 cups of mashed banana is about 4 regular sized bananas. I don't have a 23cm square cake tin, so I used a 23cm round springform tin. It was just fine but you will need the extra 3cm as the mixture is larger in volume than a regular cake batter is.

I have some bananas set aside in readiness for this recipe. Next time I'll try making it into muffins and baking for about 20 minutes. I'll try to remember to take pictures to share!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Crazy Days

Every few weeks I hit a crazy Thursday. Today is it ~ after school we scramble to get out having showered and fed children. Tonight we'll all be eating in various other places rather than a home-cooked meal. I just can't do it in 30 minutes so the girls and I will eat somewhere and the boys will eat wherever the wind takes them.

Girls Brigade, grocery shopping, an extra pick up of friend's kids, music practice. Anyone wanna swap evenings with me?!?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A Little Thanks to Warm the Heart

Yesterday morning, Mrs B (our Prep teacher) presented me with this bouquet of simple, elegant, dainty flowers and a little container of gluten free yo-yo's. It was her expression of thanks for the 'poo incident' last term. Since then, of course, we've (I've) had a 'wee' incident to deal with too.

Her family told her she was so cruel to 'make' me do it. The reality is that the teacher has duty of care and couldn't just leave a class of children in the hands of an unqualified member of staff. Also, it's nothing I haven't done before...having toilet trained three toddlers of my own. Yeah, someone else's mess isn't so easy to deal with but as any mother will tell you, you just have to get on with it.

I'm savouring every crumb of each yo-yo and enjoying my stunningly beautifuly little splash of dainty colour over dinner...and breakfast!

In any case, I came home saying to my kids 'Mrs B loves me'. And it's nice to know that things like that are not unnoticed. Not because you do those kinds of things in order to be thanked... but it's nice to know.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Two for Two

I have a knack. Yesterday I mentioned that I'd made my Year 3 student angry. Not so much because I was being horrible...just that he didn't like what I was asking. I did it again today with my Preppie. He went home happy but it took some doing.

Going well, aren't I?!

I don't think I'm really that mean and nasty. In fact, I am probably a little more inclined to back up and redirect with students than I am with my own children. In fact, on both days we've ended our time together on a positive note. This morning the Yr 3 student was quite happy to tell me that yes, he'd been thinking about his writing and was trying to remember. And yes, he did the right thing in the middle of the word, but he may have forgotten at the start of a word. I simply encouraged him to keep trying and we moved on. You wouldn't have known it was such a big deal yesterday.

Tomorrow...just to prove that I am indeed trustworthy and not asking things that are unmangable I'll be asking my Prep boy to do something very little. To prove to him that when I ask him to do something, that all I want is for him to do his best. And that's it.

I feel like, on both fronts, we are building on the relationship that is already there and requiring a further measure of trust to be grown within that relationship. Both of these boys are a delight and I love them dearly. I hope that, within the challenges, they learn that I am there to walk with them, guiding them through, rather than them feeling they are being pushed beyond their limits.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Menu Mayhem

We have lots going on around here. We got home just before 6pm. We're at the end of a flurry of activity....dinner, a load of washing, a few days worth of, maybe it's only one day but my goodness it felt like three days! Miss Mischief is still drying and Mr Busy has yet to finish putting away. I can't wait for the part for the dishwasher to arrive!

I've decided to take Miss Sunshine off wheat for a bit to see if her skin clears up. Her arms are an absolute mess with unusual rashes amongst the eczema. She only ever tells me when it is really beyond bearable, bless her little heart. My own eczema flares when I've been naughty and had too much wheat, too. She came home saying my rye bread wasn't so bad. Funny that. She's had it before and as I recall, quite enjoyed it!

The week's meals might end up being something along the lines of:

Monday: Sweet & Sour Pork, basmati rice
Tuesday: Chicken, mushroom and bacon casserole, mashed potatoes
Wednesday: Pork meatloaf, vegies, potatoes
Thursday: Chinese simmering chicken, rice, stir fried vegies
Friday: Nachos
Saturday: Roast chicken, vegies, potatoes (keep leftover meat aside)
Sunday: Lunch out ~ dinner might be toasted sandwiches or something similar

* * * * * * * * * *

On the work front, it's been a doozy of a day. My year 3 student got very angry with me today when I insisted that he needed to change the way he writes one of his letters, even though I explained and demonstrated the reasons. They're learning joining writing and the change is necessary. He's not enjoying the switch to the new style of writing so today's requirement to change further didn't go down well at all. He did settle back to his normal happy self after a quiet word from his teacher, after I explained the situation to her. We agreed a better day tomorrow would be nice.

My Preppie was a little all over the place, but I think he did much better than his Mum expected. I love that 6yo's a usually genuinely repentant when their behaviour gets picked up.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Busy, Good, Happy

This weekend has continued in much the same vein as the week has been. Busy. A good kind of busy, we've all agreed. Dh set off for a Men's Camp with the blokes from church. He left a little snuffled up and came home pretty unwell. He was well cared for by the guys there. He's enjoyed being home though! The poor man has a very busy time ahead at work. I pray he recovers quickly!

The kids and I headed into the Collingwood Children's Farm Farmer's Market yesterday morning, as a Girls Brigade activity. Not many families attended and to be honest, I could've been persuaded to pike it too. But it was a marvellous day. Despite the icy 2C start, the day ended up being sunny and quite warm enough. We bought some rhubarb, some sweet eeze oranges, a beautiful savoy cabbage ... and some goats feta for me. My leader who organised the event is a close friend and we both agreed we should return with our husbands and make another day of it. Even more impressive, I made it all the way there and back on two different routes, thanks the girls, who took turns in the front seat holding the wobbly plug into the Navigator. My golly I love that thing. It just tells you what to do and voila, you've arrived safely with no hassles.

After the Farm, Rel & I and our two girlfriends gathered with our combined throng of children and spent the rest of the day and into the evening together. The kids enjoyed themselves...and of course we did too. What a shame we had to cut it short to get kids into bed LOL. We ate a beautiful dinner after the kids had demolished their meal and left platters and serving bowls with barely a crumb! Thanks Nols, it was absolutely delicious.

Today, we spent the afternoon after church at home. Resting, watching 'Home Improvement' episodes, snoozing...general relaxing and awaiting the return of the Man of the House. Despite his lack of energy, croaky throat and stuffed up nose he did enjoy the weekend and I'm sure as he feels more like talking I'll hear more about it this week.

I think a nice hot cup of tea might be the perfect way to end the day.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

'The End is Now' by Rob Stennett

My review for 'The End is Now' by Rob Stennett has been posted here at Relz Reviewz. I'd not read anything by Rob before. If you enjoy a quirky twist and slightly irreverant approach then this is the novel for you!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Drop Bears

I've learned a new song in the last six weeks. It's a special song that 5-7yo's adore. And I have to say, this somewhat older 'kid' loves it just as much. The tune is catchy and the words are very cute. Watching Prep student do the actions is even cuter still.

I have to say, more than anything, I like Jennie's idea of a Drop Bear. This Drop Bear seems cute, cuddly and a little bit uncoordinated in a most endearing way. Nothing like the vicious creatures of Australian folk lore that live in trees, poised to attack passers by. If I met one of Jennie's Drop Bears, I suspect we'd do a little toe dance out along a tree and blink our shiny little peepy eyes at each other. I would hope someone would catch us when we landed on their shoulder, upside down.

I wish I could find the sound track for this song so you could truly know what I'm on about! Miss Sunshine thinks I've gone nuts ~ I break out into the chorus quite often. "Please Mum, please STOP!" she cries in that 13yo-My-Mum-Is-So-Embarrassing kind of way that 13yo's do. Miss Mischief and Mr Busy has a little more appreciation for fine music, no matter how butchered the rendition.

Drop Bear
Words and Music by Jennie Flack

A drop bear bear
Is a brown bear bear
A shiny eyed, peepy eyed
Brown bear bear
It's very hard to tell
If he's the right way up
Until he lands -plop-
Upon your shoulder

Well a drop bear bear
Lives in the forest
Yearh yeah in the trees in the forest
He's got a little problem
He can't see in the dark
Oh no
What a blow


Well a drop bear bear
Sleeps in the day time
Yeah yeah
He's awake in the night time
He does a little toe dance
out along a long branch
Then he drops
What a drop
'Till he lands
With a plop
Upon your shoulder


A New Experience

Yesterday I did something that I never do. Ever. What do I never do? I never cancel something that has been planned or that I've committed to unless I am completely, physically unable to meet the obligation I've committed to ie. I or someone in my family is dying of some terrible something or other that renders us confined to the couch, or bed.

I've entered new territory. I cancelled my plan to have lunch with some Mum's from school. I love these women and I agonised over it. But organising to make and bring a dessert and then be out all day today just made me feel more and more weary, the more I thought of it. Then the idea popped into my head "I could just not go".....that idea became more and more attractive. And so I did it. The friend who invited me was very gracious and understanding. We will catch up on Monday after school.

As it turns out it was a God ordained thing that had more pressing needs to be filled. Miss Sunshine went to a birthday party a few weeks back and gave the birthday girl a couple of books. It was Miss Sunshine's choice of book and while a little nagging in my head was present, I let it go, based on the high praise I'd had about this author and his work. Turns out I should've listened to that voice. Isn't that always the way! The mother phoned me on Wednesday to have a chat with me about it all....and then phoned this morning to apologise for the way she delved into that conversation. Not that she had anything to apologise for! I appreciate that she felt completely comfortable in approaching this and finding a solution that we were both comfortable with. I love this friend and that above all her desire is to be God-honouring and to heed His leading in all she does. I passed by the end of her road on the way home from the Starting Points program today and thought I'd pop in and see if she was home. We encouraged one another and enjoyed some very special sharing and prayer together that fed my soul more than 3 hours of silence ever could.

Turns out, it's OK to bail on things sometimes. Who knew!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

A Day in my Productive Life

I've ticked off only one thing that I've done off my list for today. I went to work! Make that two, because when I got to work I learned that the other aide who should be doing my recess release today was (again!) not there. Added a chat to the Head or Primary to 'To Do' list. So I've ticked off two things.

Yet to go:
  • Get the Girls Brigade uniforms over a heater vent to dry
  • Make Dinner
  • Check on the kids' homework progress
  • Buy ingredients and make Panna Cotta
  • Organise something for my lunch tomorrow
Looks like I'd better get a wriggle on, doesn't it.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Axe to Grind

I have a complaint. If only my blog were popular enough for someone at the top of some major retail clothing chain...then I'd really be going somewhere with this!

August is the last month of winter, here in the southern hemisphere. In fact, August is often colder than June and July. For me, it is usually about the time when I am saying to myself "I really need some half way decent winter clothes that aren't a million years old". And then I'm inclined to start looking for winter things that will keep me nice and toasty warm.

I have two huge problems....the first is, no one seems to be making clothes that look like they would keep anyone warm. Seriously, what do people wear in the middle of winter? I want cosy roll-neck tops and long sleeve shirts made from some kind of substantial fabric. I want warm woolly jumpers to bury myself down in while I'm outside in the icy wind.

The second? No one is selling winter clothes, all of a sudden. They're even advertising summer clothes. What is that all about? Did I really miss something pretty big? I want to take some retail giant boss by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense into whomever that person is. Who on earth, in their right mind, thinks that we're ready to buy summer clothes in the dead of the cold part of winter? I don't even want to think about summer clothes until about November!!!!

Someone like me would be inclined to sew her own clothes and that presents a third problem. Spotlight doesn't sell dress-making worth fabric anymore. Remember the days when you could find any kind of fabric your heart might desire? They're long gone, apparently and I'm a little ticked. The problems with buying appropriate seasonal clothes is exacerbated by not being able to sew what you need either.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Monday's (very late!) Menu Plan

Can it be? 5.13pm on Monday and this is the first I've thought about posting this week's menu. Time they say.

Monday: Ants Climbing Trees
Tuesday: Herbed ricotta fritters, vegies
Wednesday: Lamb with bacon & mushrooms, mashed potatoes
Thursday: Singapore Noodles
Friday: Tuna & pasta
Saturday: Must email 'the girls' and see what we're doing!
Sunday: Chicken & Vegie soup, buttered bread

click the links for recipes

* * * * * * * * *
I got my second group of subjects back from being marked, this afternoon. It's very exciting to see all those hours of work come back with big ticks, positive comments about my work and assignments and pretty stickers to top it all off. I even managed to put together a Powerpoint presentation that made sense!

I've enrolled in the next group and have paid my fees. I just need to order the Learner Guides so I can get started. The major assignment this time is a fairly hefty written assignment, rather than the more practical work I've done thus far.

If you're the praying type and you think of me, I would appreciate prayer for the ability to manage my time wisely and to remain organised and on top of all the things I have going on right now. August is going to be a busy month, with preparation for and presentation of 'Starting Points' each Friday morning for four weeks, as well as my regular weekly routine and school work, when it arrives within the next week.

And our Hort teacher wonders why I haven't finished my cardigan yet!!!!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sisterhood Award

Lynda from Cockatoo Dreaming bestowed upon me this award. I thought it was very cute and yes, I felt quite chuffed and humbled that she would pick me.

As I was reading the rules that inevitably come with these things I wondered what exactly a Sisterhood Award really meant. So I did some googling (because everything worth knowing is found via google, is it not?!) and found the person who created this award. And then I looked closely and found Diana's blog in very small print at the top of the award.

This is what Diana writes about the purpose for this award:
This is a special award that should be given to your best bloggy girlfriend(s). Give them the award to thank them for their special friendship. No need to list favorites, addictions or what-not.

Look at that. No rules. Just a genuine desire to bless someone you really appreciate. As much as I love receiving awards from people who think I deserve them, the rules are a bit of a stumbling block to my passing them on. So I am going to go with the original intent on this one ~ I am going to thank some blogging friends for their friendship:
  1. I must start with Rel and Relz Reviewz. Rel is one of three girlfriends (in real life) that I cherish in the most profound way. I have other friends I love and cherish too....but I have three favourites and Rel is one of them. Our friendship extends online, partly because we both have blogs, but also because I help her with the volume of books she needs to get reviewed. Her blog is filled with all kinds of great book 'stuff' and very generous give-aways.
  2. Frances from Left-Handed Housewife is the one who springs to mind next. I can't remember how I found her blog, but her witty and humorous way of looking at life appealed to me from the outset. As I've gotten to know Frances, I have discovered that if I knew her in real life, she'd become one of my favourite people too.
  3. Kate from Our Red House comes next. Kate is a fellow Aussie Mum, who lived in Melbourne until about a year ago. I felt and immediate bond with her too. Her love of baking amazes me and her desire to live a simple life even in a very suburban situation is inspiring. We walk a very similar path, having gone from being SAHM's to both working 4 days a week at quite similar times. Things like that cement the kindred spirit.
  4. Tina from Red Wellies, Rainbows and Cinnamon Whirls is going to be my final pick for today. Tina has a beautiful, positive view of life and truly takes pleasure in the simple things that I am inclined to ignore. Tina has a very generous spirit and similar taste to me. I have been blessed to have been the recipient of her beautiful generosity and I value her perspective.
Of course, I have a whole bunch other people that I would mention too ~ people like Jodie at Life in the Hills, Joy at Joys Quilts, Meredith at Like Merchant Ships, Lisa at The Tin House. Each of them brings a dimension to friendships, both in real life and online that adds richness and depth.

I'm not going to add rules that tell you what to do with this award. But I would encourage you to consider blessing those whose online friendships you truly appreciate and enjoy.