Saturday, May 30, 2015

Show holiday

Friday was the Maleny Show holiday in our area and miracle of miracles....IT DIDN'T RAIN!
 
My sister contacted me the day before and asked if I'd like to go on a picnic with her and my nephews.  It sounded like a great plan so early Friday morning I packed up a picnic and headed around to my Mum's to meet up with the others.
 
Kids swapped cars so I had Little Miss R and Nephew J as well as my Mum with me on the trip over.  We had decided to head to Charlie Moorlands for the day as it's got a great creek, a bushwalk and plenty of space to run and play.
 
We headed out to Kenilworth via the Eumundi turnoff which is the longer way but Little Miss R gets REALLY car sick everytime we go down the Conondale range.  She's fine going the other way so we had a lovely and slightly noisy drive playing plenty of Eye Spy.  (I'm not quite sure about some of the things that were 'spied' though).
 
 


Unfortunately when we got to Charlie Moorlands it was to find most of the place fenced off and some heavy machinery in residence.
 
The whole day use area was closed and most of the campground too because they're putting in new amenities and making other changes to the place.
 
So we changed plans and headed the 5 kilometres back out to the main road to the Little Yabba Creek picnic area.

The other lovley thing that happened is that when my sister arrived she had an extra passenger.  She said she had a job to do before she met us and that 'job' was picking up our friend Jodi (see previous post about knit and natter).  It was a wonderful surprise and I know she really enjoyed her day too.

 
A LOT of fun was had throwing rocks into the water.  There was plenty of exploring the creek area and of course the kids just happened to get a bit wet.  As we know them well we did take a change of clothes but they dried out over lunch as it turned out to be a pretty warm day. 
 
I had heard a rumour that Winter is only supposed to be a week away but I'm not sure if the weather gods have heard that yet.
 

 
Now apart from a lovely creek with lots of rocks that the kids are literally happy to throw for hours, Little Yabba also has a short bush walk.
 
It's just over 1 km long and has a bitumen or boardwalk track the whole way so it's wheelchair and pram friendly.
 
 



 
A couple of the kids were interested in the signs posted along the way and wanted to know information about the rainforest and a couple were just hell bent on making noise and running off so I suppose you could say that it was a typical walk with kids.


 
They dubbed the above fig tree the "Faraway Tree" mainly because of the size of it and it's huge root system.
 
Then there was the obligatory pose......

 
....before heading back across the bridge to where we had our picnic.

 
 
Then it was time to pack up and head home.  We swapped kids and it would seem my Mum and I had the quieter trip as we had Master M and Nephew R.  Those boys soon fell asleep after their big day and didn't wake up until we arrived home.
 
It would seem that Little Miss R and Nephew J did not sleep and that car trip was a little noisy.  :)
 
All in all it was a lovely day and hopefully something to be repeated in the school holidays coming up in another month.
 
xx Susan
 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Knit and natter

Knit and natter has been a bit hit and miss since just before Easter for various reasons.
 
I know I've certainly been missing it so this week we decided that it was time to start up regularly again and instead of going to a cafe, we would meet at our friend Jodi's.
 


It was the first time I'd been to Jodi's place and I didn't realise just how beautiful it is.  Situated in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland a little to the west of Woombye and looking out over the Blackall Range and Montville up on the hill makes it just a delightful spot.
 
We got a little bit of crochet done and there was a LOT of nattering.  In fact we were a bit shocked to realise the time as the morning as whizzed past.
 



 
It was lovely sitting outside though enjoying the scenery, company and the antics of the dogs.
 



 
Yes I think we'll definately be going back to visit her again soon.
 


 
xx Susan


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend happenings...

Hubby was home for a FULL weekend so we decided that we would do something nice for just the both of us.
 
It did begin with a bit of a bang though as lovely hubby finally cut the 44 gallon drum in half that he's been meaning to do for A VERY LONG TIME to make me a fire pit in the back yard. 
 
It would seem that there was still a bit of oil in the drum so it ended up being quite spectacular for a bit... just make sure you stand well back!
 
 
Excuse the random pictures but lately I only seem to remember to take photos half the time, and usually not the half I really want to photograph.
 
Dinner consisted of homemade potato rosti's as a side even though they took me much longer to make than the rest of the meal.  They were also snapped up in less than half the time that it took me to make them so I decided to blog about them here in an effort to remind me that they are a hit and to make them more often!!
 

 
The best part of the weekend was that the kidlettes had sleepovers with other family members.  That meant that lovely hubby and I actually had a Saturday night to OURSELVES.  This is more rare than you would imagine.
 
We decided to actually go out and have a 'date' so we went to the movies and had dinner at a restaurant.  Then we worked out that it had been nearly 5 YEARS since we've gone out like this which shocked the $#*! out of us I can tell you. 
 
 We've had last minute nights to ourselves but most of the time when both kids have sleepovers at the same time it's usually when hubby's at work and my family take pity on me and give me a bit of respite from sort-of-single-motherhood.
 
 
The sad thing is that apart from the movie and dinner, we were at a bit of a loss as to what to do with our time.  I ended up doing some more crochet of course (excuse the blurry photo but they all seem so clear if I take them on my iphone.  It's only when I upload them that the blurriness becomes apparent.  I'm starting to think that my next eye test may be due soon...)  Then again maybe I just need to make sure my little Canon point and shoot is charged and near me at all times like it always used to be. 
 
 Ah Me... the things we let slide when we get busy or lazy. 
 
We were also given LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of bags of clothes from hubby's cousin and his wife.  I've spent a lot of time sorting through that and the upside is that we won't have to buy any clothes other than underwear for the kids for the next few years.  Thank you SO MUCH Meg and Ben.  What an amazing and wonderful gift this is that you have given us.
 


 
The kidlettes had wonderful times at their respective sleepovers too.  Master M stayed with his 'best mate' (my Uncle) and the two seemed to have had a great boys weekend.
  
Little Miss R had a pretty wonderful time at her Nan and Pop's it would seem too where she got to have some special one on one time with some people she loves dearly.
 
She also got to have a good feed of lamb's brains with her Nan which pleased both of them no end.  My Mum LOVES her lamb's brains and not one of her offspring will eat them.  I mean honestly... yuuuuk!
 
My daughter absolutely loves them though so it's something special that she shares with her Nan sometimes when she has a sleepover.  I'll have to ask her what Pop eats though as I know my Dad doesn't like brains.  I've never heard him going to bed hungry though so I'm sure they do something else just for him. 
 
  

 
Once they were home it was lots of building, playing and enjoying our new fire...this time without the inferno!
 
xx Susan
 
 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Birthday

Wednesday was my birthday and with hubby away (as usual), my girl decided that she was going to spoil me and do something special.
 
She made me breakfast in bed and was up at 6.15am to do it which is pretty amazing on a school morning as I'm usually struggling to get her out of bed at 7.30am!
 
I could hear her pottering around in the kitchen and then in she came with chopped up banana and toast.
 
 
I was pleasantly surprised and it was delicious!!
 
When I went to go for my walk I noticed that Master M had written a note in chalk on the road.  It was so sweet...
 
(I did find out later that his was the scribble underneath and his sister wrote the message out properly for him.)

 
The rest of my day was pretty quiet.  I went out for lunch with my parents and my Uncle which was lovely.
 
I then spent time doing some crochet and playing with the kids after school.  
 
The electricians also came back to hook up our new solar panels so the power was off for a couple of hours but it's all working now and we have sun power! 
 
Hope you are all having a lovely week.
 
xx Susan


Monday, May 18, 2015

Keeping the hands warm

We've had a few cool nights here lately so Master M requested some mittens to keep his hands warm.
 
He was very specific in that he wanted them to be blue and red striped too and he even went searching in my stash to get the colours he wanted.
 
 
I searched the internet and my books for fingerless mitten patterns but I couldn't find one that I was happy with so I ended up making a pattern up that was easy to adjust so I could make different sizes.
 


 
Master M is VERY happy with them and now comes out of a morning with them on.

 
I'm pretty chuffed with them too and they're a great stash buster.  Little Miss R wants a rainbow striped pair so it was back to the stash again and I've adjusted the pattern to fit her slightly bigger hands.

 
I think these ones will look great when they're finished.
 
Oh and because they're a stash buster they're made out of a mix of wool, acrylic, bamboo and cotton.  My kids can't tell the difference and they love them so I'm not worried if the materials don't all match.
 
xx Susan


Monday, May 11, 2015

Something new on my blog

So I've been fiddling around with a few things and have decided that I want to develop my blog a bit more, especially with things that are happening in my life.
 
My blog will essentially be a record of my life and won't be made into a specialist blog.  I mean I really do want memories of family events, holidays, everyday things and whatever else I feel like.  It's why I started this blog, it's my life and my blog so that's what I choose to write about.
 
 
 
I am adding a couple of stand alone pages though which you will probably notice under the title picture.
 
Those pages will show images of some of my crafty things.  I've wanted to do this for awhile but have finally worked out how (yep..I'm quick with technology!)
 
 
 
There are two main reasons for doing this.  The first is that I want to be able to go to one place and be able to see what I make all in one place.  It makes it so much easier than trawling through my not very well organised photo library on my computer.
 
The second is that I have been selling some of my creations.  I have been for a little while and things are progressing nicely.  I'm not rushing about making things quickly to sell but am still making things that I really want to make and if people want to buy those things then I wish them well and hope they love what I have created.
 
 
 
The main reason why I decided to sell my work is that I can't wear most of the stuff I make.  I mean I live in coastal Queensland where it's HOT and HUMID so wearing something made of pure alpaca or wool and silk is not going to happen, no matter how much I love my creation.
 
So I make things that I would love to wear myself if I lived in a cooler climate and then let them go with love to someone who I hope will appreciate them as much as I do.
 
 
 
When I finally work out how to link things to my Ebay shop I'll add that to the sidebar too but the shop name is the same as my blog.
 
This will probably be an ongoing, slow development of this section of my blog when I get the time to work out what I'm doing.  Oh and as my computer crashed a couple of months ago I lost ALL my photos (yes that includes all the kids baby photos etc). Luckily I've kept them all on SD cards as I don't delete them when they're full, I just buy a new one. 
 
Thank goodness for that as I have not only previous craft projects but those precious memories of the kids growing up.  It's now a slow process of going through it all and this time BACKING IT ALL UP ON HARD DRIVE. 
 
 
 
Because I'm also a little old fashioned I'm also ordering prints of my favourite stuff as I figure that history shows that hard copies of stuff can be preserved much better than technology.  I mean how many people still have all the stuff they preserved on floppy disc when it was the height of technology.
 
So I hope you enjoy the galleries and remember that I can make things to order, not just what I've pre-made to sell.
 
xx Susan

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I LOVE my bread maker

Have I ever told you how much I LOVE my bread maker?
 
Probably not although I don't often go back through previous posts when I'm doing up a new one so it's quite possible I have.
 
 
 
A couple of months after my 40th birthday last year (yeesh!) I decided to buy myself a present that I had wanted for YEARS.  As I still hadn't received a gift from hubby or the kids for the BIG day and being the practical sort, I decided that I'd just go and buy something I wanted and wish myself happy birthday as I was measuring out the first lot of ingredients.

 
Nearly a year later and we still really enjoy fresh homemade bread.  I ususally make just a basic white loaf which makes the best toast on earth or a really yummy fruit loaf which Little Miss R and I really, really love. 
 
On the odd occasion I'll do something different and add a little cheese and bacon to the mix if we're having soup for dinner but mostly it's just the basics.
 
(Little Miss R loves fruit loaf and has not eaten any store bought version since I started making it.  I wouldn't either as the homemade stuff is so much better and freezes really well too.)

 
Homemade toasted bread with Nana's pretty awesome homemade Rosella jam makes a great breakfast or snack too!!  Honestly the toast is amazing.  I've turned into a bread snob and won't even have toast if I've only got shop bought sliced bread.  It's pretty dense so even though it's great fresh or toasted, I find it a bit too cloggy for sandwiches.  
 
Sometimes I put a loaf on and set the timer so we have fresh bread for breakfast which fills the hungry hoards up.  The kidlettes LOVE it with an egg.  Sometimes I make it so we have a fresh loaf for afternoon tea once school is finished.  That certainly fills the kids up and stops them looking in the pantry for the next couple of hours.
 
Other times it's a fresh loaf to have with a soup or stew for dinner.  Honestly it's one of the best things I've EVER bought and it stays on our really limited bench space because I know it's one thing that does get used quite a bit.
 
Homemade fresh bread.  Not much else beats it and I admit I did used to be happy making it and kneading it by hand, but it's so much easier using the breadmaker.  (...and I do make it so much more often now.)
 
Oh and I've found a recipe for a lemon and poppyseed loaf so I think I might have to try that!  Yum!
 
 
xx Susan


Monday, May 4, 2015

Anzac Day 2015

Anzac Day 2015 has been a special one since it's the 100th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.
 
I'm not writing this from an emotional or special point of view from our family this year but have decided to write this special day from a little more realistic view.
 
Little Miss R was the one stirring the family on to get ready for the march as she has for the last few years.  The girl that I'm flat out getting dressed and ready for school on a weekday is very happy to dress in her uniform on a weekend so that she can proudly march.
 
She's wearing her maternal great-grandfather's service medals again as she has done for the last few years and our whole family is so proud that there is one child that embraces the Anzac spirit and continues on the tradition.
 
 


Our local march always begins with an array of vintage cars driving the ex-servicemen and women to the local RSL where the ceremony is held.
 

 
Then comes the servicemen and women marching themselves, followed by many local groups including the local schools.

 
Even though it was the 100 year of the Gallipoli landing, I don't think there were as many people at the cermony as there have been in previous years which surprised me a bit.  Perhaps the heat had something to do with it!
 
Master M marched when he was in prep but has refused to march with his sister since then.  We don't push him though as it's his choice and one day he may decide that he wishes to march.  Until then we'll probably continue to hear......I'm bored.....when's this over.....is it time to eat yet?......
 

 
It was also Daddy's first time at the march with us. 
 
He's been away at work on Anzac Day all the other years so it was lovely to share it with him this year. 
 


 
This year there was not one but two old planes flyover during the ceremony.  Usually it's a Wirraway but this year it was joined by another old plane.  I honestly can't remember what it was sorry.
 
The planes are always are thrill though and not just for the kids!
 

 
So Anzac Day 2015 was a really lovely day for us as a family this year.  It's the family memories that we're creating that I really love when we do special things like this.
 
xx Susan