Monday, February 12, 2018

January

Can you believe that January is already behind us?  Wow.  I can't say that it has gone fast because it seems forever ago that we were celebrating Christmas and the New Year. 

We've been busy though and life has been pretty full for a lot of January which meant that the days continued to roll on with their usual regularity.  Then I woke up one morning and realised that it was February.

 
January consisted of quite a bit of family time as lovely hubby took a little time off work which was really nice.
 
We went out for a picnic but took the boat instead of the car. 
 

 
 
That meant that hubby could do some fishing once he dropped the kids and I off at the northern tip of Bribie Island (Caloundra end).  We walked across the tip to the beach on what was a really beautiful day for the first day of the year.  (Yes, this was WAY back on January 1st).
 

 
 
  
 The kids had a great time cooling off in the surf...
 

 
 
...and watching the ships head into the port of Brisbane. 
 
It certainly wasn't a bad way to start the year.
 

 
Little Miss R's best mate came to stay for a few days so we went swimming and a zoo trip and a few other things to keep them occupied. 
 
Master W moved away mid last year and this is only the second time they've caught up since then.  They were pretty excited (understatement :) )
 
 
 
 
We also celebrated a 10th birthday.  I can't believe I no longer have any children with a single digit age now.
 
 
 
There were more trips to the beach while Dad was home too.  This time late in the afternoon on a really hot summers day to cool off.
 


 
Then we just had to have fish and chips at the beach before heading home.
 


 
 
The kids and I had a couple of outings of our own, usually when we had appointments or needed to get school supplies.

 
We treated ourselves to Churros from here which were very much a hit.
 
(I can't seem to get the link to work today.  It was San Churro cafĂ© at Sunshine Plaza shopping centre in Maroochydore)

 
 
It was lovely to spend some time with the kids doing something a bit different and having fun.
 
 
 
 
It wasn't all about food though.  There's also a new project on the go with colours picked by Little Miss R for her blanket she's been harassing me to make for more than 6 months!
 
(more on this another day)
 

 
 
 The biggest news came from the very end of January when a new school year started.  Little Miss R is no longer Little and will probably be referred to as Miss R now that she has started high school.
 
Yes my girl is now Grade 7 and off to high school.  Eeeek!



(She's loving it so far by the way)
 
Hoping you are all enjoying your start to 2018.
 
xx Susan



 
 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wishing you joy

So that was Christmas...
 
It passed in not quite a flurry this year.
 
The days leading up to it were quite full.  There was lots of baking and cooking the roast etc and basically stocking up on some of those excessive treats we seem to have at this time of the year.
 
There was a night when we drove around town to see the Christmas lights which kept the kidlettes happy.
 
 
 
We don't decorate the front of our house and yard as I would seriously have a meltdown going up and down ladders putting the lights up.  I think I would end up a bit cranky actually and then the thought of having to take it all down again in the New Year.....
 
No thanks.  Not for me, but I do appreciate the effort and joy others seem to take in making their homes festive for the rest of us to enjoy.
 
Christmas Eve was quite lovely.  A few years ago I made a tradition in our house of having just nibblies for dinner as I've usually been working in the kitchen for days getting things ready for Christmas.
 
By the time the evening comes I have no wish to cook dinner for the rest of the family, especially when the 3 of them had been on their devices all day while I slaved away.  Perhaps they should cook dinner for me (ha ha)... now there's a thought.
 

 
This year we had cheese and crackers, dip, chips, teriyaki chicken pieces, kabana, pretzels and prawns.  Can't forget the prawns at Christmas in Australia.
 
This was all accompanied by the thwacking sound of the fly swat as they swarmed once the food came out.
 
Afterwards I enjoyed a little quiet time, just me and my chardonnay out the back with the fire roaring in our rusted out fire pit.
 

 
Christmas morning arrived in a flurry of excitement as Santa had been so the presents were ripped open and warm cinnamon buns were consumed for breakfast.
 
The family turned up for lunch and thank goodness there was a slight breeze out the back as it was HOT!  We had a lovely Queensland Christmas with temperatures in the mid 30's (celcius) and sticky humidity. 
 
The air conditioning had been put on early to keep the house cool but we can't fit everyone in our little place which is why we had lunch out the back in the shade.  The kidlettes made use of the cool lounge room after lunch to watch some movies they had been gifted.
 
It was lovely to catch up with family all in the one place and graze our way through the afternoon.
 
At least we had a late night storm to cool things down a bit.
 
I hope you are all enjoying your festive season and keeping cool (or warm) wherever in the world you live.
 
xx Susan
 
 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

December...... so far

Somehow December seems to be sneaking past quite quickly. 
 
It started in a flurry of activity as the final days of the school year came and went.
 
Then we had lovely hubby's birthday which he was actually home to celebrate this year.  (Bought cakes though as I had been in a frenzy cooking a million mini Christmas cupcakes for class parties at school.  I just didn't have the time or energy to make a birthday cake as well.  Bad me...I know :) )
 
 
 
 
We have had a graduation.
 
Little Miss R has now finished primary school and is off to high school next year.
 
How on earth did that happen so fast!

 
 
I even got the chance to get a rare photo of my family.
 

 
 
The school holidays have been very homey so far as we haven't really had any outings. 
 
There have been sleepovers though with Cousin R coming to stay for a couple of nights. 
 
THAT has made it an extremely noisy house as three children chatting and getting excited constantly can make you want to walk around with ear plugs in most of the time.
 
I love the movie time snap of them all bundled up together and focused on the goings on in movie land.  So sweet.
 

 
 
There has been Christmas tree decorating. 
 
It all starts off with them carefully placing decorations and then when they start getting bored (which happens quite quickly), everything gets thrown on.  As a result it looks a bit like some creature has barfed up tinsel onto the tree!
 
We love it though and it's making the house nice and festive.
 

 
 
We've also put up the battery operated lights again which I bought last year. 
 
I really love this garland across the top of the tv cabinet.  There's something so magical about fairy lights and I find it quite extraordinary that a few little lights can bring so much happiness and content.
 

 
 
They also have a great practical side as we had a pretty huge storm whip through here on Saturday.  There was A LOT of damage not far from our home with a whole strip of trees uprooted, roads blocked, property damaged and power lines down over the roads and along the train lines. 
 
It was a mess and the clean up has been huge but we dodged the worst of it which was good.
 
We lost power for nearly 12 hours (others around town lost it for 24 or more hours) and luckily we had just finished dinner when it went out.  That's when the fairy lights came in handy as the kidlettes and I sat in the lounge room listening to the window rattling thunder and the bright flashes of lightning. 
 
There was also a game of Harry Potter trivial pursuit in which I got my butt whipped by Little Miss R.  I have come to realise that even though I've read the books years ago, I don't know a lot about the movies.

 
 
Another birthday has been celebrated.  This time it was my Mum's birthday and we all went out for lunch.  (no photos of this though).
 
Patch has been a bit sad lately too.
 
We don't seem to walk as often during the school holidays.  I know I should take the kidlettes with me, and I do sometimes when I think they need to get out more, but the walks are usually for me.  They're often my de-stress time and sometimes the only chance for quiet time I get.
 
Hubby's been home the last couple of days so we've had a happy Mum and a very happy dog.  I swear that he's had a smile on his face the whole time he's running and sniffing and piddling.  That dog squirts on everything.
 

 
We're nearly halfway through December and hubby goes back to work today.  He won't be back until just before Christmas so I'm going to have to work out what I need to do before Christmas and try and get organised and get things done soon.  That way I won't be in a panic and do things at the last minute when hubby gets home.
 
I may have to call on family to help out with the kidlettes and make a mad dash up the coast or somewhere.  We'll see.
 
I hope your December is going well and isn't too stressful.
 
xx Susan
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Agnes Water and 1770... a night away

Last Friday we headed up to Agnes Water and 1770 for the night.  It's a bit of a drive for just one night but lovely hubby needed to pick something up from a mate and it was the only time we had.

The kids were happy to get out of school for the day so that was a bonus. 
 
 
 
 It was a bit of a drive up, mainly because we ended up making a few extra stops and detours.  One was to hubby's mate from work who lives on a farm out of Gin Gin.  The kids loved that as they got to feed the cows and stretch their legs.
 

 
 
 We made it in time for the kids to have a swim at the resort pool then we headed up to 1770 to watch the sun set over the water which is quite a novelty here in Queensland.
 

 
 
 The kidlettes explored the rock pools while the sun slowly made it's way down (they weren't interested in the sunset at all).


 
 
 There it goes....

 
 
 The next morning after breakfast we went for a walk along the beach.

 
 
 It was an absolutely gorgeous day so the kids enjoyed chasing the waves and a little bit of sea foam.

 
 
 

 
 
After out walk it was back to the resort for a swim before we had to check out.  I wish I had taken my togs too because that pool looked so inviting and refreshing.
 

 
 I made do with sitting in the shade (once I worked out how to open the umbrella) and read some of my book for awhile.
 

 
 
 We then had a brief look around the area, heading back up to 1770 to do a few walks around the headland.
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 It was really beautiful up there.
 

 
 
 All too soon it was time to head home.  Next time we'll make sure we stay a bit longer so that we can get out and about and see a bit more of the place.
 
I hope you're all having a great week.
 
xx Susan
 


Monday, November 13, 2017

Crafty bits

It's been really busy around here over the months and I've let a few things slide.
 
Housework is one but I only get worried about that if I have a visitor all of a sudden, and blogging has been the other. 
 
 I don't know if this post will be the start of many but I hope so.  I hope I remember to take photographs and make the time to blog because I do enjoy recording a little of our lives.
 
 
 
As I said, I've been busy.  So much seems to have been happening and there's been a lot of stress involved so I've found myself trying to alleviate some of the stress by decluttering and sewing.
 
I've decluttered A LOT!  It's felt so good to have a good clean out and to get rid of so much that we really didn't need.
 
My fabric stash needed a good declutter too and even though I did pass a lot of it on, I also decided to get rid of a lot of it by turning it into bags.

 
Christmas is coming up and I usually give the kids female teachers a shopping bag or two for their gift.  This year I'm giving out a few extras to other staff at the school for the extra support and help that we have needed throughout the year.

 
Some of the fabric made 2 or sometimes even 4 bags when I had only planned to make one.  Some have different linings depending on how much fabric I had but my stash is slowly dwindling. 
 
 I didn't want to leave bits and pieces of fabric still sitting on the shelves which is why I've ended up making so many bags.

 
I am now getting quite a stash of shopping bags though but that's okay.  They make nice gifts or hubby suggested I sell them as I think I already have about 15 made and another 8 cut out and ready to sew up.

 
I love the fact that they're all so different.

 
Some days I don't get the chance to sew anything.  Other days I may only get the handles sewn.  Then on other days I complete two or three bags.  It all depends what's going on at the time and I'm making sure I enjoy the process as this is my current de-stresser!

 
Little Miss R has been asking me again to make her a new blanket like her brothers but all in blue (her favourite colour).
 
 
I've still got some yarn left over from when I finished Master M's blanket but I will have to order more of other colours.  I may have to do that very soon and then I can work on her blanket over the school holidays and the Christmas break.
 
I'll let you know how that's progressing too.
 
xx Susan
 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Holiday camping

A week or so ago was the September school holidays and lovely hubby took some time off so we could go camping.
 
We packed up two vehicles and off we drove.  Me in one towing the camper trailer and hubby in the other towing the boat.  We had one child each and Patch the dog was in his crate on the back of hubby's ute.  When you go on a family camping holiday you really can't leave the dog behind.
 
We went to Boondooma Dam which we have been to before but it's been a few years.  No other family members came with us this time, it was just our little family of hubby, the kidlettes and me. 
 
 It was lovely.
 
From late on the first afternoon we had the campfire going which pretty well ended up getting stoked up for every meal.  Our butane gas can stoves broke within the first 24 hours because their springs aren't very sturdy so it was back to the old fashioned fire to boil a billy to have a cuppa tea.
 
 

 
 
It was pretty dry and dusty where we were.  In fact it's been pretty dry and dusty everywhere with fire bans, crunchy brown grass and big patches of parched dirt everywhere.
 
The dam levels are really down from our last visit which turned into a bit of a positive for us.  Most people like to camp near the water so they can have their boats anchored near their campsites.
 

 
 
Being camped RIGHT NEXT to other people really doesn't appeal to us unless they're our family or friends.  We camped in the same place as last time and had no neighbours at all.  If you look in the middle of the next picture you will see our little camp right there in the middle of nothing. 
 
It's not that much of a walk down to the water and we were able to keep the boat down there the whole time we were camped as well as the kids kayaks.  We seriously had a whole huge amazing area to ourselves.
 
 
 
 
There's a bit of a walk to the top of the opposite hill up to the dam wall which the kids and I did one day.  They loved the walk there but decided it was a bit too long to have to go all the way back to camp again.  (Ice-cream bribery was involved and everyone made it just fine).
 

 
 
Patch came with us on our walk too and was a very grateful pooch that he was able to be a part of our family holidays too.  He did get a treat for walking all the way too but it wasn't ice-cream for him.
 

 

 
Not only were the kids bikes utilised a lot (perfect for a quick trip to the amenities when you camp a little further away from them), but the kayaks were used quite a bit too.
 
No electricity.  No computers.  No X-Box.  Just some old fashioned fun. 
 
Bikes.  Kayaks.  Tennis.  Reading.  Card Games.  Board Games. 
 
Hubby found out Master M has been learning to play chess at school so there was a lengthy chess tournament.
 

 
 
We taught Little Miss R to play Patience.  Most people would refer to it as the American name of Solitaire these days not the English version of Patience.  Once she realised that Poppy calls it Patience, that's the only way she will refer to it now.  She then played it A LOT!
 
 

 
We did catch a few Red Claw as well which is one of the main reasons we went camping at Boondooma Dam in the first place.  Unfortunately it was still a little cool (about 0 degrees celcius our second night there), and some decent pot fulls were still a few weeks away.
 
What we did catch was pretty tasty.
 

 
 
I cooked them very basically by keeping them in their half shell, brushing them with some garlic butter and cooking them on the hot plate on the campfire.  Bloody delicious is one of the best ways to describe them.
 
Time seemed to pass all too soon and next thing we knew we were packing up and coming home.  Lets hope we don't leave it so long before our next trip away.
 
xx Susan