Wednesday, 30 January 2008

I grew a carrot....



If you remember from a blog entry earlier last year, I was making my first attempt at a vegetable garden.... From my 2 rows of carrot seeds, I managed to grow a carrot (yes, carrot singular...). And since I put a teaspoon next to it for scale in the photo, you can see the size of it. It made only one mouthful, but was a very tasty little morsel....

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

First Day of School

Here they are - my school children..... They were part excited and part apprehensive on this first day at a new school.
The school bags were packed and I am suffering with RCI (Repetitive Contacting Injury) after covering 14 textbooks and 28 exercise/project/scrap books with contact. By the 20th book I was really getting the hang of it, managing to not get bubbles or to stick the contact to other surfaces....

Drop off went well this morning - we stayed until the end of assembly in the school yard has finished. The children all lined up with their classes. Little Possum gave us a kiss and cuddle before lining up and then a wave as she walked into her classroom with her friends.... Looking a little apprehensive, but not even a fake show of "let me go home again and stay with you"..... completely insensitive to her mother's feelings.... LOL.... is this the thanks I get?... I had a little tear in my eye as they walked in, feeling so proud of my beautiful children but also a little sad at the end of an era. So here I am, at home.... alone.... LP had suggested I could talk to the guinea pigs if I get lonely, and even if they don't speak human they can squeak back to me and keep me company.
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The strength of the family

This week our church mourns the loss of our beloved prophet Gordon B Hinckley, a great man who gave his life to service. I am so very grateful for his example, his faith and the loving guidance he gave us. I read through my collection of quotes by him and thought I would share this one:

"The strength of any community lies in the strength of its families. The strength of any nation lies in the strength of its families. Strong family life comes of strong and clear religious understanding of who we are, and why we are here, and of what we may eternally become. Strong family life comes of the perception that each of us is a child of God, born with a divine birthright, and with a great and significant potential. Strong family life comes of parents who love and respect one another, and who love and respect and nurture their children in the ways of the Lord. These are undergirding principles of our teachings as a church. To the degree that we observe these teachings we build strong families whose generations will strengthen the nation."
- Pres. Gordon B Hinckley

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Jamberoo......


"Where queues you control the action"


We had promised the kids we would take them to Jamberoo for a day during the school holidays so we set off, with the esky loaded, swimmers and towels ready and a movie in the portable DVD player. After 2 hours of "are we there yet?" and then another 40 min of "you said it would only take 2 hours", we finally arrived. The park was fairly busy and queues long for the more popular rides, but everyone queued cheerfully and had a great time.


First up was The Rock which had two jump off points. All the boys had a go at that one:




The Gold Rush House was great fun - a play with water squirters, water sprays, water slides, buckets... all the ingredients that would make a child happy especially in these days of water restrictions! Here was the opportunity for waterfights, and pretty much anyone was a target!




And here comes MOTH with the Turtle... the facial expressions are wonderful, particularly the last shot when MOTH discovers how shallow the pool is as he hits the bottom.


And then there was the famous Taipan ride......

There were several other rides that I didn't take photos off - white rapids, surf slide (waterslide using a foam mat) bobsleigh, wave pool and more..... we spent a happy 5 hours here before the park closed and we had to leave.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

I believe I can fly.....

This photo was taken by Pop during our trip to Magenta Shores earlier in the month. Little Possum loves to throw herself into the pool horizontally, landing in an impressive bellyflop. This is her variation on the pencil jump that her brothers do and she calls it "a pencil fall". Obviously the suit makes it a painless experience because she does it repeatedly.
I love her fearless ways, and am envious that she can bellyflop with total abandon (and without causing a tidal wave)

Friday, 18 January 2008

Sweet Pea progress

We're getting there, slowly but surely... Not much was done during Christmas and the school holidays. Beach and Pool days are not compatible with sewing :) But this week I have managed to find more time to stitch and I have finished all the stitcheries, and I'm working on the applique pieces. Blanket stitch - nice and fast. The border strips are ready to be sewn on and then I will be quilting, perle cotton and running stitch. Am hoping to be all done by the end of next week.
In the meantime I am eagerly awaiting the first block for Leanne Beasley's 'Butterfly Garden' from Honeysuckle Cottage.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

the many uses of a lunchbox

When is a lunchbox not a lunchbox? In the hands of a little girl whose imagination knows no boundary it can be anything, for example living quarters for various of her toys. She even included amenities like an "outhouse". I love her creative play and that she can turn her lunchbox into a doll's house - a travel-sized one at that.
Someone once said: "There will always be something in life for the person who can take his (her) lunch outside and call it a picnic" - that's my LP!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

pedicure - Possum style


I think Little Possum must have been inspired by Carli's toes, and she set about beautifying her own toes with a Sharpie's permanent marker. The colour is quite vivid and the girl herself is very pleased with the result.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

doing a happy dance today!


My favourite kinds of packages arrived in the post today. Here's the little bundle that Anne Heidi over at Piece by Piece sent me - Tusen, tusen takk!! (Anne Heidi had a draw before Christmas and I was the lucky winner). I am going to have fun making the stitcheries, the designs are Norwegian and I love having some Norwegian decorations around at Christmas. The fabrics are perfect for something Christmas themed as well. Now for a bit of gløgg and a bit of snow to set me in the mood!
The other package had a book in it - a copy of "Under the Tuscan Sun" that I bought on eBay. It came highly recommended by my friend Carli who does the most excellent book reviews on her blog.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Road Trip!

After our great time on the Central Coast, we decided to head down to Canberra for a few days. I still hadn't seen The Nation's Capital after almost 5 years in Australia and decided it was about time.

So with a suitcase full of clean clothes and the camera battery charged up we headed south on the M7. On the way we had to see the Big Merino of course but the boys were more impressed with the view from behind than anything else. The Big Merino is a ram and not a ewe, let's leave it at that.....



Little Possum found this funky little caravan - has Apple decided to diversify with iTravel?

Arriving in Canberra we wasted no time, but headed straight for Questacon - the science centre. This proved to be a good choice. The Questacon is filled top to bottom with amazing interactive displays and activities for children (and inquisitive adults) and we didn't hear a single "I'm bored, when are we leaving" all afternoon. There were levers, buttons, wheels, puzzles, water, a roller coaster simulator, an earthquake house and much much more.

Turtle and MOTH braved the Free Fall - a 6 mtr vertical slide.



From the safety of my post at floor level it appeared very daunting. In order to go down the slide, you first have to climb out to hang from a bar before letting yourself drop. Several people got to that stage and changed their minds, climbing back into the tower.




At the end of the day we went up Black Mountain to the Telstra Tower to see Canberra from up high. The views were spectacular. We were lucky it was a clear evening.




The following day we visited the War Memorial.




I didn't feel that I was able to do the Memorial justice. There were so many parts of it that I wanted to spend more time on, The Roll of Honour for example, reading about the Australians who earned the Victoria Cross. Also I wanted to spend more time at the wall containing the names of all those who have fallen to give us freedom. I found it mindblowing to see the thousands and thousands of names that represent real individuals. This part of the War Memorial did not capture the children's imaginations as much as the displays of aircraft and other memorabilia from WWI and WWII.

The Discovery Zone was impressive. This was the part of the Memorial set up especially for children. The kids could sit in a helicopter,


experience a submarine, a WWI trench and a peacekeeping HQ. All with authentic sounds and uniforms to try on.

Later we headed out of town to the Space centre. The drive took us through one of the areas badly affected by the bushfires a few years ago, and we saw areas filled with black stumps, but I am amazed at how the vegetation is regenerating itself. The Space centre itself was fascinating. It lacked the interactive displays, but had some interesting displays e.g. a piece of moon rock, a life size replica of the Mars Rover, Astronaut suits, space food etc. There was a speaker through which we could hear sounds of deep space - a lot of crackly, whooshing noises.

Last of all in the afternoon we found an adventure playground where we could spend the last of our energy. The boys spent a portion of the time watching with awe as a man practised the gentle art of parkour/freerunning. They thought he must be some kind of superhero with the stunts he performed. I am now wondering how long it'll be before the boys ask for gymnastics lessons.

On the way back the following day we drove out to the coast through several lovely little towns, all which met with my requirements of having a bookshop and a quilt shop... Driving up the South Coast to Sydney we stopped at Dolphin's point for a break and a little paddle in the sea. This area must have been volcanic in previous time if the rock formations were anything to go by.

Our last stop was in Kiama where we tried out the surfpool(great!) and hung around to see if the Kiama Blowhole would blow (it didn't). We were driven away by the most terrific electrical storm and rainfall. We sought refuge in the local ice-creamery where we indulged in some lavish creations of ice cream, sauce and fruits....
Great time had by all.