Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's the little things

It's waking up way too early in the morning (4am) and not being able to go back to sleep. Instead of getting frustrated, I spent some quiet time on the lounge with a cup of tea, my journal and a slowly waking world.
 

 It's having your daughter get out of bed at a reasonable time, eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, and get dressed for school....all without one single complaint, tantrum or screaming fit. 
 
It's then having your son say to you after you've just dropped your girl off at school ..."I love my sister". 
 
It's buying a new sewing book.....
 
 
 
....which is full of lots of small (and some not so small) projects that would be perfect to whip up for Christmas gifts.
 
 


 
It's knowing that in this age of movies galore for kids, they still want to watch the classics.
 



 
...and while they're having some quiet time watching the classics, I get to spend some quiet time of my own with a coffee and my computer to catch up on some blogging.
 
It's reading about the everyday lives of people around the world and realising that no matter where we live, there are so many similarities in all our lives.
 


 
It's spending some time with my new yarn and my crochet hook making colourful squares.
 
 


 
Yes, the little things in our lives certainly do make us happy and even though I've been frustrated, upset and many other emotions lately, I have realised that I do have a lot to be thankful for.
 
 
I'm especially thankful that I finally got my hair done for the first time in 18 months!
 


 
xx Susan

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grandad's here

Grandad hasn't been around much lately as he lives where the work is.  In this case he's living out of his caravan in the small town of Marlborough in northern Queensland now so we haven't seen him for awhile.
 
 
 
The kidlettes just love their Grandad and are so happy to see him every couple of days for the next couple of weeks.  Then he'll be back up north and we'll miss walking out the back to find him sitting on one of the chairs reading the paper.  Sometimes he's been there awhile but he's happy having quiet time until the kidlettes find him!
 
We'll miss him when he goes back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Big Night Out

Little Miss R's school had their Big Night Out on Friday night.
 
Rather than holding the annual school fete during the day on a weekend, they hold it from 3-9pm on a Friday night and I think it's a fantastic idea.
 
I had decided to stay there straight after school rather than go home and come back later.  It ended up being a good decision because there weren't as many people in those first couple of hours so getting on the rides was pretty easy.
 
There was the Jurassic jumping castle which was very popular with my two (as well as many other big kids who were pushing in line a lot by the end of the night.)
 
 
 
There was also a jumping castle for the little kids as well as a little merry go round.  There was no way my kids were going on the spinning thing that went up in the air.  Too scarey for them and as my girl gets motion sickness, it just wasn't an option.
 


 
The big slide was an option though and we lost count of the number of times the kids went down this.  It was definately their favourite.
 


 
Master M doesn't get motion sickness so he had a go on the chair ride while my girl continued to slide or jump or whatever else she was doing at the time.
 

 
You can't have a fete without fairy floss......
 

 
Once they'd spent a couple of hours on the rides, I decided it was time to walk through the school to see what else was happening around the place.
 
They got to catch some ducks and get a prize.
 

 
My girl also did well throwing the ball and got a great little prize for both her and her brother.  (He piked when it was his go and decided to throw a bit of a tantrum so his sister had his go for him.)
 

 
The toilet toss was a great novelty.  You got three balls to throw into a toilet and got a prize depending on how many you got in.
 

 
There were the usual stalls and food places too as well as face painting.  My girl wanted to be Spider Man and my boy had no interest in having his face painted.  He told the lady that.. "I like my face just the way it is!"
 
 We stopped and had some dinner before heading back out to the rides.  The sun had set, the place was lit up and it was time for more fun.
 

 
Then the night ended with a bang...literally.  They had fireworks and it was the first time my kids had actually seen fireworks.  To quote my 4 year old son...they were SUPER AWESOME!
 

 
After such a late night, the kids slept in the next day which was a relief.
 
Saturday was also Little Miss R's 7th birthday.  It was another very full day but lovely for my girl.
 
Hope you all had a fantastic weekend.
 
xx Susan

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another milestone

I'm a bit shocked at how quickly one year seems to have flown passed. Most of the time I've felt I've been plodding along at a nice pace but then I found myself making cupcakes for Little Miss R's class to celebrate her 7th birthday. 
 
That's when I realised that it didn't seem all that long ago when I was making cupcakes for her 6th birthday.
 
 
Some things in life seem to drag out but our kids seem to grow up so quickly and those growing moments are coming around a bit too fast.
 
And just because........
 

 
There are two new hippeastrum's flowering in my front yard.  I now have 4 different colour flowers.  My goodness!  I'm nearly classed as a gardener.  :)
 
 

 
xx Susan

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's finally finished!

Yes it's true. One of the projects I've been working on is finally finished!
 


My little blanket made from all those scraps of yarn has finally been completed after about 6 months.
 
This is not a big blanket at all, in fact it's probably a perfect cot blanket.
 
 

 
I did something different for the border this time instead of the usual block border with a picot or shell edge.  I love the effect of the granny border and it was so quick to do.  After taking so long to sew the actual squares of the blanket together, I was more than happy that the border was completed in super quick time.
 

 
I really do love this blanket.
 
 
And do you know what the best part is?
 
As I was finishing the last round of the border, the mail lady arrived with a delivery of bright, cheerful and colourful yarn!
 

 
The next project is already flying off my hook.
 
You'll have to wait for a peek of that though!
 
xx Susan
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Around camp

It's a couple of week's since we got home from holidays and I think I'm finally sorted with the washing and re-packing of our camping gear. I'm sure hubby really doesn't realise exactly how much goes into packing etc when camping with a family. He's used to throwing his swag, some beer and a couple of steaks in when he goes somewhere and since we've gone somewhere as a family, he's been away working and I've had to deal with the packing.
 
Anyway........ as I said, it's been a couple of weeks since we got home and I'm really missing it.  I love my home but there's something about camping that I just love and can really relax.
 
This trip away I got to use my camp kitchen that my father-in-law gave us
last Christmas.  We haven't used it yet as we didn't really need it for the smaller trips away.
 
I LOVED IT!  I had the washing up bowl set up permanently (in the hope that someone else would do it I think but we know that NEVER happens).
 
 
 
 
I also had our two water bottles on the bottom middle shelf so it was easy for the kids to pour their own drink.  Our other folding table which I find essential when we're away ended up over at Mum and Dad's camp near the fire.  I missed it in our camp but as we were over near the fire most of the time then it really was better to leave it there.  We only had to walk about 10 metres from our camp to their's anyway so it wasn't a problem.
 
Dad's filleting table always gets packed into their van when they go away.  It's certainly another brilliant use for old ironing boards and when you walk around the camp ground you realise just how popular the old ironing board is as a filleting table.  It's a great size, can be adjusted, is easily cleaned and folds flat.  Perfect for camping!
 


 
The photo below is of our camp with my washing strung up a bit like bunting.  I do have a folding washing line which my parents gave us for Christmas a few years ago but a few days it was a bit too windy to have it up so the tent ropes worked perfectly.
 


 
The fish was just so beautiful too.  There's nothing better than fresh fish, caught that day, then cooked on the campfire.  DELICIOUS!
 

 
Did I mention the campfires? 
 
Oh how I miss them.  I'm trying to work out how we can build something in our small backyard so we can get a fire going out there without the neighbours calling the fire brigade.  If all else fails we'll just head down to my brother's place as he has a bonfire at his place pretty well every weekend.  The mozzie's are a killer there though as he has heaps of mangroves and the Bribie passage virtually at the back of his property.
 
 

 
The next photo I've put in because I just love it.  Lovely hubby getting harassed, tackled and tickled etc by Master M (right) and Nephew R (left).  There was LOTS of giggling!
 

 
 
I have no idea when or where our next camping trip will be.  We were originally supposed to go to St Lawrence for this last trip but ended up out near Warwick with family instead.
 
Maybe next trip we'll be up at St Lawrence catching some Barramundi with Rob.  Considering I hate the heat, we're heading into summer and it's cyclone season in North Queensland soon, then I'm not sure of our chances.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An afternoon project - swimming bag

Little Miss R starts swimming today and needs a waterproof bag for her to keep her wet togs and towel in.
 
The only thing  I had was a plastic shopping bag and while it would do the job, I wanted something a little bit nicer and hard wearing for her.
 
I got to have a little 'me' time on Sunday (which was awesome) and while out  I headed to a Spotlight store to look at buying some oil cloth to make a bag with.
 
Then I found the laminated cotton which I didn't know existed.  It's nowhere near as stiff as the oil cloth and had much prettier patterns.
 
 
Home I came with my little bundle in my hands and started to measure out the bag.  I ended up using an old library bag (which Master M uses as a blindfold when wrestling his toy crocodiles) as a pattern and it was just the perfect size.
 

 
I cut out four pieces the same size because I wanted to line the bag and I also decided to make a pocket for the inside so my girl can put her sunscreen and goggles in.
 

 
It didn't take long to sew up although making a button hole for the side so  I could put the draw string through proved daunting.  I'd never made a button hole with my new machine so I had to get the instruction book out and work it out as I went. 
 

 
Threading the rope through proved to be a bit of a problem too as I hadn't made the encasement wide enough for the thick rope I had.  In the end it was solved by finding some smaller rope somewhere in the house and using that.  Much easier!
 
So now my girl has a waterproof swimming bag which she loves and I'm sure it will be unique within her class so hopefully it won't get lost. 
 
Hope you all had a great weekend.
 
xx Susan

Friday, October 12, 2012

Adjusting

The holidays have finished and it's back to school this week. That's meant one big change at least for us as Little Miss R started a different school. 
 
We're a lot more confident with this school for her education so fingers crossed all goes well.  The first week has been pretty good so far so we hope it continues to go well.
 


I've got a couple of gorgeous hippeastrum's growing in my front yard.  I always forget I have them as I don't look after them at all and the bulbs just sit there quietly for most of the year.  Come spring I'll drive into the yard one day and there they are in full bloom looking beautiful. 
 
It's always a pleasant surprise.  (Shows I'm not a gardener doesn't it!)
 
The deep red one is gorgeous but I think I love the pink and white stripey one that's nestled at the base of our bottle brush tree.
 
 


 
I've finally finished cleaning, washing and repacking all the camping gear.  The camper trailer is back in the shed and I'm trying to sort my house out now.  It's such a mess and I'm struggling to get into any kind of routine this week.
 
I'll just do what I can when I can and try not to let myself get stressed about it all.  Hubby's been gone all week too but will be home late this afternoon which I'm looking forward to.  I may just have to have a bit of 'me' time this weekend I think. 
 
I have been getting back into my crochet.  I've missed it so much and have a couple of projects I want to try.  I won't let myself start them until I've finished at least one or two of the other projects I have on the go right now.
 
Do you remember my scrap blanket?
 



 
I started this about 6 months ago with all my scrap pieces of coloured wool.  Then I added the white around them before starting to sew them up. That's when the project came to a screaming halt and it's been sitting in a bag for the last few months at least and not been touched.
 
I decided that I needed to finish it so each day this week I've been laying out each row on my bed and sewing them together.  I may only get half a square, or one square sewn together and sometimes it's only a few stitches that I get the chance to do.  Having it on my bed though means I can do little bits throughout the day and now it's really coming together.
 
I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the weekend (fingers crossed) so look for a ta-dah post next week.
 
On a completely different note, the kids wanted to do some baking after school on Thursday and I just wasn't up to it.  To stop the whinging and crying because I wouldn't let them do it  I quickly mixed up a small amount of icing (just using icing sugar and a little milk) then they got to choose the colours they wanted.




Once mixed it was time to decorate the biscuits.  We had flowers, faces and just plain messes but it was fun and they forgot all about doing some baking.
 
 

 
I hope you're all having a great week wherever you are too.
 
xx Susan

Monday, October 8, 2012

There were some quiet moments......honest!

As any Mother will tell you, holidays with children are not always relaxing. Most of the time it's just doing the same stuff...just in a different and probably much more picturesque location.
 
So I got to enjoy sunsets.  The only time you'll ever see a sunset over water in Queensland is if you're looking over a dam or a river.
 
 
 
I got to enjoy the wildlife.  It was so lovely to go for a paddle on my own in the kayak.  The kidlettes did yell at me for quite awhile to take them with me but I resisted and floated around on the water where it was peaceful and quiet.  More than bliss!
 
 

 
I loved looking at some of the houses surrounding Leslie Dam and fantasising about which one would be mine.  It was the old Queenslander with high ceilings and surrounding verandahs of course.  (Being near Warwick it would definately need an air conditioner in summer and a fireplace in winter.)
 

 
Then there was the fire at night.  Once everyone else was in bed (children and adults), I stayed up that bit later and enjoyed some ME time beside the fire. 

 
 
There were a couple of days when I got to enjoy a bit of quiet hooky time but as the whole place was gritty sand, it became a bit difficult to keep everything clean.  In the end I started (and finished amazingly), the book I took over with me.
 
 


 
Did I mention the sunsets?  The afternoons were just lovely.  The campfire was going, the chardonnay was chilled, kids were happy playing and no tv or computer in sight.  I didn't want to leave!
 


 
 
Then the days would start again and I could have some peaceful kayak time.
 
 

 
....then some wine and campfire time late afternoon.
 

 
....followed by peaceful campfire time just for me again.
 

 
 
How I miss those moments.



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kids love camping

Not only do adults love to get away from it all but kids just love being away from home too.
 
The mundane routine that we can get into at home can really get to them as well as us which is why they love getting away too.
 
Four kids, away from home for over a week and not missing all their usual activities, the tv or anything else at all.
 
Why would you when you can kayak....
 
 

 
...even if you get pushed out too far by your sibling or cousin and have to be rescued. Thank goodness for life jackets.

 
Why would you miss watching tv when you can walk 20 metres to the water and go for a swim pretty well anytime you want during the day.
 


 
You can stand on a picnic table and entertain everyone with an impromptu concert. 


 
Meeting other kids from around the camp and forming friendships for a few days is always a bonus as well.  We always ended up with plenty of other kids around our camp joining in the play fun.  I think we fed quite a few of them too when it was snack time.
 


 
We got out the Boules and Coights for the kids to have a bit of fun too. (Until Master M ran in front of someone throwing a very heavy Boules ball and got clonked on the forehead.  He had a nice little egg for a couple of days.)
 



 
Nan and Poppy took over their canoe too and the kids got to have a go in that as well.  Little Miss R is bringing her brother and cousin back (below) because the two four year olds got a little enthusiastic and were ready for a big paddle.

 

 
 
Daddy came to the rescue and took all four kids out on the water to explore a bit.  They just loved it.


 
Then there was the building of things around camp.  We couldn't work out what Little Miss R and Nephew J were doing (below) until we went over to investigate.
 


 
They worked so well together to build a ladder so they could climb the tree.  Very inventive although I'm not sure how they were going to get it to stay together as they had no nails or rope.  Needless to say this project didn't get off the ground!
 


 
Investigating the most recent catch after Poppy and Daddy had been fishing was always pretty exciting too. 
 

 
We took the kids bikes over too so they were able to zoom around the campground.  In fact, most of the kids camping where we were had bikes so you always had to watch out for someone zooming somewhere when you went for a walk.
 
Master M even rode a short distance on his own without training wheels.  He still needs a bit more practice and some confidence before he's truly on his own.
 

 
A week of fun things and plenty of exercise and activity every day certainly makes camping fantastic for kids.  Mummy's certainly love it too as they get so worn out from their day time activities that their in bed soon after dinner with no complaint.  Bliss!
 
xx Susan