Sunday, September 27, 2015

Holidays

We're halfway through the September school holidays here.

I feel like we haven't done much at all in the way of outings etc. 

The kidlettes have been playing way too much xbox and I'm quite happy with that on some days. 

I feel guilty that we're not doing much but I'm a homebody and sometimes I need to be FORCED to leave the house to do anything at all, that includes going down to get the milk. (I'm sure we have poddy calves in the house right now as the milk seems to be disappearing at rather a rapid rate.)

We have been baking.  Lots of yummy deliciousness in the form of ginger nuts (Master M's favourites), chocolate slice and lemon slice.  Jam drops may be next as I have a few jars I need to use up the dregs of and perhaps some cupcakes may be in order too.  Actually I think cupcakes will be a must in the second week of the school holidays as I haven't made them in my new oven yet. 



We've had Cousin R over for a sleepover which was very noisy.  Fun but noisy!

There's also been a visit to Australia Zoo.  I can't believe it's been about 5 years since we last went considering it's only 3 kilometres from our place. 

My sister and I used to meet at the zoo for a coffee once a week back then instead of going to a cafe.  It's a lovely place to go as there are so many gardens and trees and the kids loved seeing all the animals.



My sister was taking my nephews last Friday and catching up with some other friends at the zoo so the kidlettes and I decided that we would go too.  We've bought our annual passes again so we can head up after school sometimes or just anytime we get bored on the holidays or a weekend.


The Africa section is open now so we finally got to check the giraffes out (I've been harassed for years now for us to go see the giraffes).



Master M wasn't impressed with anything other than the crocodiles.  This is not surprising as he's been obsessed with crocodiles and getting a top jaw rope on his stuffed crocodile since he could walk. 



We didn't stay all day as children (and Mum) were getting a bit tired and grumpy.  From now on when we go we'll stick to what I used to do years ago.  We pick one or two things we want to see and head up there for just a couple of hours then the next time we pick something else.  It saves everyone getting tired and grumpy that way.

Somehow I think Master M is going to pick the crocodiles everytime we go so it might be up to me to add the variety each time.

We'll see what the second week of he holidays brings but at this stage there'll be more sleepovers and I'm sure another couple of trips to the zoo.

x Susan


Click here for one of our Zoo visits years ago.





Friday, September 18, 2015

All things snakey.....

My walks this week have taken on a new level of vigilance.

On Monday I nearly stepped on this little fella below.


It was only about 20cm long but even baby snakes can pump out lethal venom so I made sure the dog and I got well away pretty quickly.

Then on Wednesday we were wandering along happily again when I spied a glistening stick in the grass and quickly called Patch back to my side.  Thank goodness he obeyed me as I really didn't want to have to rush to the vets if he got bitten. 

Can you see the snakes in the picture below (there are two).



I'll zoom in a bit for you.  There's one crossing the track and one in the grass about to follow the bigger one.



The first snake was about 3 foot and the second was skinnier and smaller so they really weren't very big.

I'm not 100% sure what they are but I'm thinking Eastern Brown snakes as they're fairly common around here. 

Considering they're the world's 2nd most deadliest snake I was amazed at how calm I was. 

We waited for about 5 minutes until they had crossed the track and gone into the bush before we continued on our walk.

After that I kept an extra sharp lookout and was relieved when we got back to the car.  You would not believe how many sticks lay on the edge of the track!!

xx Susan

Friday, September 11, 2015

Father's Day

Sunday was Father's Day and by some miracle hubby was actually home to celebrate on the day this year.  Usually we pick a day that he's home a week or so after the official day to celebrate as he's often working.

After pancakes for a late breakfast we got organised to go on a picnic.  The whole thought of going up the coast and dealing with the traffic and crowds that are a part of Father's Day there didn't appeal so we headed west.

Not too far, just a short half hour drive away to our favourite spot Stoney Creek. (You can see some of our previous visits here and here.)

(If the links don't work then just click on the picnics label on the side bar and scroll down to the story's on Stoney Creek).



The water at the swimming hole looked beautiful as usual with it's gorgeous blue/green colour.  It was freezing though and the kids were upset that we wouldn't let them go for a swim. 

We've promised them we'll come back on some of the hot days in summer that are looming on the horizon so they can swim to their hearts content.


So instead of swimming they had to make do with throwing rocks, exploring and racing stick boats down the small creek that trickles into the larger one.



We certainly bypassed the crowds out here as there were only 2 other family's at the small picnic ground when we arrived.

It really was lovely and quiet and I wished I had a book with me so I could laze around reading while the kids explored with Daddy.


Considering there was hardly anyone there, we decided to picnic on the grassy area near the swimming hole rather than at the designated picnic area.  We had the whole place to ourselves which was beyond wonderful. 


It was a really lovely family day which just happen to be some of our favourite kind of days.

xx Susan

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Date Day

When Master M missed out on the twins birthday party a couple of weekends ago because he was sick, I promised him that we would do something special together.  Just Mummy and her boy having a special date day together.

He was so excited and so generous in the things he wanted to do.  He not only thought about what he wanted but expressly added in things that I like doing because he wanted me to be happy too.  Honestly ...how gorgeous and sweet is that!



First up we went to the shops as there was a couple of things I needed and Master M wanted to check out the Skylanders range.

We weren't at the shops all that long but we did stop for a coffee for me and Master M's first iced chocolate.  The verdict was that it was AWESOME and the best drink EVER!!!


Next we headed to Caloundra to go to the playground at Happy Valley with the Pirate Ship and the Castle.  Well it really is a wooden ship playground but Master M insists that it's a pirate ship.


He spent hours playing and making a new friend which was lovely.  I sat and watched him, had a lovely chat with the 'new friend's' grandma and enjoyed one of the last cool days of winter.  It really was gorgeous even if the breeze was a bit strong.


After some fish and chips for lunch we headed onto the beach for a play and a paddle.  It was too cold to go for a swim but it was fun to splash around and play in the pools around the rocks.


It was a really lovely day and Master M is already planning what he wants to do next Date Day with Daddy.  We'll swap kids next time and hubby will spend the day with Master M and I'll have a Date Day with Little Miss R. 

xx Susan

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One

My cousin's twin girls have just turned one!

We left early Saturday morning to head over to their place near Toowoomba (about a 2 hour drive) to help them celebrate.

Unfortunately Master M was sick again and couldn't come.  He was VERY UPSET as he had really been looking forward to the party.  He was just too miserable to go though  so ended up staying home with Daddy who has also been quite sick and couldn't go back to work this week.



So we left the boys at home and had every intention of enjoying our day.

Little Miss R had a lovely time getting her face painted, meeting new friends...
 


...having cuddles of the birthday girls...



...and spending most of her time with the horses.


I caught up with family and friends and had a lovely day myself.

Cake time was hilarious.  Those girls made such a mess eating their birthday cake and they certainly ENJOYED it!


It was very sweet afterwards when they sat there holding hands too.

They are the cutest little girls.

Happy First Birthday A and Z!

x Susan

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Renovations.....FINISHED!!

The kitchen has actually been finished for a couple of weeks now so excuse my tardiness in not showing you earlier.

Not much has been going to the 'normal' routine around here as I had sick kids (yes, plural but not at the same time thank goodness).  Now hubby has caught whatever it was the kids had and is laid up in bed on his days off.  I really hope it bypasses me as he goes back to work in a couple of days and there's no way I'd ever be able to sleep and recover with the kids around.

Anyway...I'll just give you the before and after photos of my new kitchen which I just love, Love, LOVE so much.

Before....




after....




I'm still slowly going through boxes of things in the shed and working out where I want to put everything as well as what I want to get rid of.  Honestly, the amount of stuff I had was just ridiculous and some of it hadn't been used in more than 5 years so it's now gone!

The only thing left to do in the kitchen now is a new blind for the window but that will have to wait awhile as we went a little over budget with the rest of it.

I love it!!

xx Susan

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back to school

The school holidays are over and it's been back to school this last week.

Before the holidays finished we had some fun even while the renovations were still going on. There was some movie time with the kidlettes and Mum off to see the Minions movie (sorry Daddy but you had to work).


There was still a few more things needing to be completed in the kitchen (tiling, plumbing) so we couldn't really venture too far until everything was done.  Oh okay...I'll give you a sneak peak of the tiling while it was getting done.


The local shopping centre put on a few kid friendly things during the holidays too so we headed down there for a fun time on the jumping castle.


They also had a little train which drove around the car park.  I felt like I was in a goldfish bowl but the kids loved it.


 We also went to the movies a SECOND time during the holidays which nearly sent the kids into overdrive with excitement.  We're lucky if we go twice a year so to go twice in two weeks was pretty impressive.

This time Daddy came with us as we went to see Jurassic World.


The kids loved it of course.  Master M saying that it was so AWESOME AND WE HAVE TO GET THIS.  He also said he loved it when the dinosaur ate people and other dinosaurs.  Hmmm..a little bloodthirsty perhaps!

So the school holidays were pretty fun and best of all my kitchen is now finished so I'll show you some photos of that soon.

The first week back at school has been cold.  Well cold for here with single figure temperatures at night and the daytime temperatures not climbing out of the teens.  Winter has arrived and we've been rugging up and as a complete novelty, even using the heater in the mornings!

I was looking forward to getting back into a bit more of a normal routine and taking the opportunity while the kids were back at school to start moving things from the shed back into the kitchen and lounge and having a good declutter in the process.

Unfortunately Master M was a bit sick so ended up having Thursday and Friday off school so my plans have been delayed a bit.  Being sick is NOT fun, especially for a little boy who is rarely sick.

He was bored at home and wanted to be at school with his friends but the amount of vomit coming out of him meant that wasn't an option.  

As any parent knows, cleaning up vomit and changing and washing sheets in the middle of the night isn't fun either, especially when it's one of the coldest nights of the year.  It has to be done though and he's much better now.  All ready to go back to school tomorrow.

Hope you are all surviving this cold weather we're experiencing here.

xx Susan

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Familiar but so different

This week has been very interesting for me.  

When you are quite a close family like we are, everyone's houses are familiar and very much second homes.  In the case of my parent's house it's probably more familiar than my own home as I was 3 when we moved in and I won't mention how old I was when I finally moved out!


Being the "Mum" in the house (my parents are away on holiday) this week has put a slightly different perspective on things.  I'm the Mum now and my kids and nephews have taken over the role of my sister, brother and myself.  It's very NOISY!


I've been heading outside when I need a bit of quiet time and have just been wandering around the yard looking at Mum's garden.

Mum's always had a garden.  There's lots of easy to look after flowers, the same familiar varieties after all these years.

Summer or Winter there's always something in bloom to add a bit of brightness to the yard.



It wouldn't be Mum's place without some kind of food growing.  It's the middle of winter here so the naval orange tree is bearing some beautiful, juicy fruit.

The vegetable garden is looking a bit bare though but that could be a good thing because I have a little problem remembering to water things.  Hopefully my brother will handle that department as he and his boys will continue housesitting while 'the olds' are away.


Tomorrow is Friday and we will finally be allowed back into our house.  I will head over there early and open the whole place up so it can air out as the polyurethane smell is pretty strong.  

The kids and I have plans for tomorrow to keep us away for as long as possible and then it will be back home.  Hubby wants me to stay here at Mum's for another night just to give the house one more day to air but I'm really ready to be back in my own little box.

This house which was home for me for so long, is now no longer my true home.  Home is with my husband and kids and our own little place where we are our own little family.  

That's what happens when you grow up and it's just how it should be.

xx Susan

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Home away from home

We are staying at my parents house at the moment as our floor is being sanded and polished. 

I thought we would be back in our own house by Thursday but it seems that it won't be until Friday now. 

I'm trying not to let it get to me as at this stage of the renovations I just want everything done so I can get on with my life again. The wait will be worth it though as it will look pretty amazing when it's finished.

Patience Susan.


My brother and his boys are staying here too so it's been pretty noisy with 3 adults and 4 very excited kids in the house. I even cooked dinner and washed up with ear plugs in the other night!

There have been a few quieter moments for me too though. 



I'm taking the opportunity to try a few new crochet stitches while I have extra adults around to help keep an eye on the kids. 

The extra help is certainly a luxury that I'm enjoying so I'm making the most of these few days and treating them a bit like a holiday. 

I'll show you the floor when they're finished and we're back in the house. 

xx Susan

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Renovations.... almost there

Now for the fun part (for me anyway).

The electricians turned up bright and early on Monday to do all the prep work for my new appliances going in later in the day.  It took them a bit longer than expected as they had a few issues with our old house and old wiring.  

We won't even mention what the poor man under the house had to contend with!

Then the cabinet makers turned up and started to put everything together like a jigsaw.

The baseboards went in first.  All good until they checked the levels and then the job turned into something a bit harder than expected.  I heard the words challenging and engineering feat mentioned at some stage.



Our floors are NOT level it would seem so they had to go away and cut whole new baseboards.  It wouldn't have been such a problem if I wasn't having a dishwasher but because I was, they had to change some things so it would fit in.  In fact they've had to add up to 30ml to the baseboards which makes a difference to the bench height when you are a short person.

Once they got the baseboards right then they could start putting the modules together.


It was nice being able to start to get a view of how it would look with the pantry in the corner where my bench used to be.  I couldn't really visualise it before so it was nice to know that it was actually going to all work.


Then they were able to get the bench top on.  I think there was a bit of a drama with this too but luckily it all worked out.  

It was time to call it a day after that as the reworking of things took up most of it.


But the next day they did come back to finish it off and the electricians fitted my appliances so I was left with a lovely new kitchen to cook in that night.


I now have a proper pantry and a wall oven and lots of lovely shiny new toys of happiness for me.  :)


Of course the plumbing didn't get done that day so Little Miss R took the opportunity to put her hand through the sink because she knew it was the only time she was going to ever be able to do it.



So that's it with the kitchen for now.  

The floors still need to be fine sanded and polished which won't be for another couple of weeks yet.  After that the plumber will come back to put the dishwasher in for me and I've still got to choose some tiles and get the splashbacks done in the kitchen.  

So there is a bit to do but the main part is now done and I can go about the business of working out where I want to put things.  It doesn't all need to be back in straight away so I'm culling things as I go and taking my time to get used to it.

Once it's completely finished I'll show you the final results.  

xx Susan

Renovations.... during - Part 2

Early the next day (after the kitchen had been ripped out), the floor sanders turned up to do their magic.

I'm so glad we got the professionals in and didn't do it ourselves.  I'm not exactly sure if our marriage would have lasted if we did it ourselves!!


I know that Neil (the floor man) was pretty excited when he saw our floor.  In old houses like ours you're pretty well guaranteed it's going to be hardwood floors but he said he's seen them with one whole section dark and a whole section in light wood without them being mixed up.

When you rip up the floors it's pretty well pot luck with how yours was originally made.  We seem to have hit the jackpot with about 4 or 5 different kinds of wood and all mixed nicely in together.



Once the new kitchen is in then the sanders will be back in to finish the job.  They still have to rough sand the lounge room and the front entry way and then they'll fine sand the whole lot and then coat it in the varnish/polish or whatever they call it.

That will take 3 days for them to do that as it needs a day to dry between each coat and it needs 3 coats.  That means we need to be out of the house for a few days so we haven't decided if we'll set the camper trailer up over the back fence in the neighbours yard or if we'll stay at my parents place for a few days.

So until the kitchen's in and the floors are done we're making do and living in other parts of the house.

Our kitchen and lounge room are all currently in the lounge room area.  The dining table, fridge and freezer as well as the microwave are all set up down one end.


The tv is squished into the corner and bean bags are the only comfortable seats in the house right now.


Then to top of that 'sort of camping' feel, I'm having to wash up in a container on the dining table.


I'm also finding that all these renovations are not really that much of an inconvenience.  I thought I'd be stressed by it all but in reality, I've just had to change the way I do a couple of things and they haven't been a problem.

Even cooking hasn't been a problem as we have a microwave, slow cooker and a barbeque.


I'm really glad I thought to take the wire shelves out of my old oven before it got dumped as we took out the hotplates and put the racks in the barbeque.  It worked brilliantly to cook our roast in the other night and once the veges were in, everything cooked very nicely indeed.

More to show you next time.  It will be the exciting part of getting my new kitchen installed although it has not been without a few dramas.

xx Susan