Monday, September 24, 2012

School holidays

The last day of school ended with a bang....literally.
A storm was brewing after quite a hot day and right on 3pm when we had to pick Little Miss R up, the skies opened.  We got pretty wet running to the car with lots of thunder and lightning booming around.  It was all very exciting!
Since then we've been trying to keep occupied and in just a few short days I'm really ready to get away.
We've improvised with the Princess tent as the poles are all bent and broken.  The teenage kids next door attached it to the clothes line and Little Miss R is a happy girl now.

It was great improvisation on their part I thought.

You won't be hearing from me for a week or so as we're off camping in our beloved camper trailer tomorrow.  We'll be gone for at least a week, perhaps more and I for one am in desperate need of this getaway.
Hope you are all well.
xx Susan

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New life

Excuse the quality of the pictures but my phone was the closest thing to me and I needed to snap these pictures quickly.
One of my brother's dog's has just had 11 puppies.  When I say just I mean that these littlies are only one day old.
Little Miss R was so gentle with them which is sort of amazing considering her usual hyperactivity.
She now wants one or two of the pups to be ours.

Not a good idea considering we have a small yard and they're wolfhound pups.  Not to mention that with Daddy away most of the time it would mean Mummy would be looking after them.
I struggle enough on my own with my kids let alone dogs as well so no matter how much crying, whinging and desperate pleading there is for a puppy, in this case Mummy's heart is frozen.....or else it flees to the sanctuary of it's bedroom for a few minutes respite to be able to cope with the onslaught again.
They are cute though.
xx Susan

Monday, September 17, 2012

Late Sunday arvo at the beach

Just after lunch on Sunday, hubby made the suggestion that we go down to Caloundra to visit Grandma and have fish and chips at the beach for dinner.  There was no argument from anyone in the house.
We headed to Grandma's first then walked to the beach from her place as it only takes about 10 minutes.  It was a beautiful Spring day with lots of families out and about enjoying the weather.

Our kidlettes had plenty of fun digging.
I tried a bit of beach art.

Then sat on the rocks under the boardwalk to watch the world go by.

It didn't take Master M long to head to the water to fill the bucket up.  Lucky he didn't have his crocodile with him otherwise he'd be wrestling with that in the water!

My kids also found the joys of digging into the sand and getting 'stuck' while the water laps their ankles. 

After a good play we headed a bit further along the beach and found a picnic table on the boardwalk area.  The kidlettes could still play in the sand in front of us while hubby went off to buy dinner.

Fish and chips at the beach on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

It's been such a lovely weekend doing homey, family things.  I hope you've all had a fantastic weekend too.
xx Susan

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A happy weekend

Our weekend started slowly with a lovely sleep in followed by a leisurely breakfast.

Then we headed out to my sister's house mid morning to pick some more mulberries.   I ended up getting a few for my bowl which was a miracle as Little Miss R ate 2-3 times more than what's shown in the picture below.
My sister was off on holidays later that day so we came home with plenty of goodies from her fridge which would go off otherwise.  It's certainly helped me with my menu planning for the week and the bottle of cream that had just about reached it's due date gave me a good idea for dinner.
I used our big slow cooker to make up a stew.  It certainly doesn't look the best but is chock full of beef, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato (kumara), carrots, spinach, onions, cannellini beans, red lentils, some herbs, beef stock and probably a couple of other things I've forgotten.
DELICIOUS.  I've also put half of it in the freezer so we can take camping with us in the school holidays.

Instead of toast or bread rolls, I decided to make some cheese scones to go with the stew.  These go really well with soups as well and I love having them for breakfast the next morning if there's any leftover.
They're so easy to make.  Just mix 2 cups of self-raising flour, 2 cups of grated cheese and 1 1/4 cups of milk together.  It's a really wet mixture so I just plonk spoonfuls onto a baking tray to cook.  No kneading, rolling or cutting out which is just how I like it.

Depending on the size, cook them for between 10-20 minutes in a moderate oven and you have yummy, easy cheese scones which everyone loves.
Then I made dessert which the whole family were pretty excited about.  We rarely have dessert so it did cause quite a stir in the house when I said I was making one. 
Remember the mulberries we had picked in the morning?  Well they were to form part of the Fruit Galette.
Mix 1 x 250g pack of light cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, half a cup of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornflour together.  (Pictures 1 and 2 below).
Then mix 2 cups of fruit (I used mulberries and strawberries), with 1 tablespoon cornflour, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together.
I use 2 frozen sheets of puff pastry and divide the mixture in half to make two galettes.
Place half the mixture in the middle of one of the sheets of puff pastry, leaving a wide border around the edge (middle bottom picture above).  Then fold the sides over to enclose the galette, brush the pastry with the left over egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Cook in for about half an hour in a 200 degrees celcius oven.

So we had a nice hearty dinner, followed by a tasty fruit dessert served with cream and ice-cream.  It was SO good.

I've also been spending my time organising things for our camping trip.  Nine days to go now and we're going for at least a week, possibly more at this stage so I want to be organised.
I've got the kitchen stuff organised as well as all the bedding which all has to be put inside the trailer.  I can't move it out so that I can open it so I need hubby to do that in the next couple of days. 
I really want to have the tables, chairs, tarps and everything else we may need packed BEFORE he goes back to work this shift.   It may sound very organised but he arrives home late on the Monday afternoon and we're heading off on the Tuesday. 
For the sake of our marriage I want to have as much as possible packed into the camper this week and then all we have to worry about when he gets home next is packing the food and clothes in.  It will truly make for the start of a happier holiday if I can get that done.
I've also been re-arranging the tool box at the front of the camper too.  Hubby just throws everything in it and we have to ferret through it all when we want to find one thing.  I quietly spent some time on Sunday using my old laundry detergent buckets to put ropes, tent pegs, tools etc into so that we can access them easily now.

 It's much more organised and Hubby was impressed when I made him come out to see what I had done.  I'm sure he'll be happier when we're actually camping and he needs to grab things quickly and he can find them easier!
So it has been a busy weekend doing stuff around the house then a late Sunday afternoon trip to the beach which I'll write about in another post.  Only one week left now until the school holidays and we're all so ready to get away for some camping fun.
xx Susan

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm sure I'm not alone

I kept Little Miss R home from school today when she wasn't really sick.
It was purely for selfish reasons on my part.
The tennis was on you see.  It was the US Open Women's final which began at 6.30am our time and the third set was just beginning when I would've had to take my girl to school.
Bad Mummy I know but it truly wasn't the only reason.
We'd had a very trying afternoon and evening after Daddy had headed back to work.
Little Miss R was slightly feverish during the night and had been complaining of a sore tummy again.  She woke up feeling good but I decided that she could spend the day at home to make sure she was truly right.
I'm also feeling pretty exhausted today so the whole thought of making lunches, making sure bags are packed, trying to get kids to eat breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed (which takes most of the morning), then getting them into the car amid the fights, crying, whinging, fights, getting sidetracked, crying, fights, Mummy losing the plot, more fights, more crying and whinging.......was a bit much for me to cope with.
So we're all at home.  EVERYONE is happy, the day is going well and I'm NOT feeling the slightest bit guilty about keeping my girl home.
xx Susan

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another day out

Last Sunday was Father's Day here but Daddy was away at work so the kidlettes and I had a wonderful day without him.
As he's heading back to work about lunch time this Sunday we decided to have our own family Father's Day today (Saturday).
The kidlettes wanted to go back to Stoney Creek because Daddy's never been there and also just because they loved it so much.
It was another gorgeous day, although a little windy and cooler than last week.  The creek was just as beautiful though.
There was lots of exploring over and around the rocks......

....also plenty of throwing rocks into the creek.  They decided that they didn't fill it up with rocks last week so they wanted another go!

Little Miss  R and Daddy decided to explore the other bank of the creek.

She was in such good hands with her Daddy looking after her.

My boy and I were happy to leave the exploring to them this time.

On the way home we called into my sister's place as she had mentioned that her mulberry tree was starting to fruit.

One of us certainly had a feast!
(I won't mention the colour of her shirt or hands either!)

It was just another lovely, beautiful family day and I'm really looking forward to heading off and exploring with my family on more picnics. 
I have so many amazing memories of going on picnics with my family when I was a kid and I want my kids to have similar wonderful memories.
It's also a great way to get them out and learning about our local area too!
Hope you're having a great weekend.
xx Susan

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sports day

It was the school sports day for the Prep to Year 3's at Little Miss R's school last Friday.
I was really surprised I even got my girl there as she was in such a state about going.  She really didn't want to do the running or join in on any of the fun and was nearly beside herself.
I was completely surprised then that we stayed for the whole day and even though she didn't join in quite a few of the games, she did do some and enjoyed herself. 
I'm so excited to say that even though she desperately didn't want to do any running, she got 2nd in her race and was so excited about it (so was Mum!)
The kids also do long jump.

Then there's the tug of war and the parents have to have a go at this too of course.

After an early lunch break it was time for the fun games.  There was an obstacle course which is the only thing my girl wanted to do all day but because of a few stuff ups with groups going to the wrong events, she missed out on that one.  (I won't tell you how devastated she was about that!)
She did join in the treasure hunt in the sandpit.

As well as the relay on the bouncy balls.  They did a normal relay with batons as well but this one was more fun.

The tunnels were a lot of fun, probably more so for the parents helping and watching as it was hilarious seeing these little lumps trying to crawl through the material tunnels.
There were other throwing games, running games and building games for the kids to take part in as well.
All in all it was a pretty fun day for them, although it was quite tiring for everyone.  It was all finished by about 1pm so I let my girl have an early day so we came home to have a bit of relaxing time.
What do your school's do for the littlies on sports day!
xx Susan

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My August

August was a bit of a slow month for me.  It was very much about getting back on track and enjoying the small things again. 
We did get to go away for the weekend in our beloved camper trailer to hubby's Aunty who lives about 3 hours drive away.  Spending one of the coldest weekends of the year in one of the coldest areas of Queensland may seem a bit barmy but we LOVED it!
Not much happened on the craft front.  I did only a few rows of my cardy as well as sewing a couple of new skirts. 
Things need to change though because I'm really, really missing having a crochet hook in my hand.

Beachy time for me, the school fete and a special shopping trip with my sister were probably the highlights of the month.

Spring has now arrived and we're planning to do a few more things this September, including a week or so away camping during the school holidays.  Now THAT is something to look forward to!
xx Susan

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A secret picnic spot....don't tell anyone!

It's Father's Day here in Australia today but Daddy's back at work this weekend so a phone call had to suffice for him.
That doesn't mean that the kidlettes and I should miss out on having a lovely picnic together, and as it was such a gorgeous day, there was no way we were staying at home!
I decided to go somewhere the kidlettes hadn't been before, in fact I'd only been there a couple of times and it's so lovely that I knew they would enjoy it.
It's about half an hours drive from our place and off the main road between Woodford and Kilcoy.  There are no signs saying that there's this beautiful picnic area from the main road and as it's in the middle of a rural area, most people wouldn't know it's even there.  Word of mouth is the key and that's how I found the Stoney Creek picnic area years ago.
The last few kilometres are dirt but it's a good road so you don't need a 4x4.
Then you park your car in the small parking area and walk down the easy path.....

to this......

This is the swimming hole where two creeks meet and it's absolutely FREEZING!  It's cold even in summer but many locals find it refreshing as it's usually pretty busy then.
Today there weren't too many people there.

The next photo is the point where the two creeks meet.

The picnic area is quite small with only three tables and two wood barbeques (you have to bring your own wood).

If you don't want to take a dip in the swimming hole, then there's always the creeks to explore.  Stoney Creek is a very apt name.  It's all rocks so the kids spent hours throwing rocks into the various pools.

I sat on a rock and watched my kids explore the water, the bush and the huge rock in the middle of the stream further up.

It reminded me so much of picnics that my parents used to take my brother, sister and myself on when we were kids.  We loved going on picnics and have such great memories of those days which is why I love going on them with my kids.

After the time spent exploring, lifting and throwing rocks, it's definately time for a feast.
Then exploring further downstream... yet another pool which would be great to paddle in and cool down on a hot summer's day. 
We just threw more rocks in today though.

The next photo is looking back towards the swimming hole.

After nearly four hours of rock throwing, picnicking and exploring (I couldn't believe the time went so fast!), we headed home.
As the kids were so good, I decided to call into the local fruit shop on the way home.  They also have fantastic ice cream there so we indulged a bit before heading home.

Do you like our secret spot?
Daddy's never been there before so we've decided that since he's home next weekend, we'll take him home for our own Father's Day.
I hope you have all had a fantastic weekend too.
xx Susan