Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thirteen...

Thirteen years ago my life was turned upside down - an ending and a beginning and a nineteen year old girl lost in the confusion. Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of my adulthood.


This tree is on our street... it flowers for a few weeks a year and was flowering tonight.
We put the kids in the car, set up the tripod and ended up having to use the
headlights for light... We take so many photos of the kids' milestones,
I wanted something for us. To mark 13 years of ups and downs,
of sharing and loving and growing older (growing up?) together.


Thirteen years ago today, Jase and I moved furniture, unpacked boxes and set up our first home. We were so excited, two youngsters playing 'house' and rattling around our new place like tic tacs in a shoebox. What would we ever do with such a big home, we wondered. When would we ever get enough furniture to make it looked lived in?

On the other side of the country, my Dad's life was ending. It was sudden and shocking but at the same time a day I had been expecting for some time. It didn't need to happen, but it finally had.

When I look over my life, I see so many instances of death and rebirth in the same instance. This is just perhaps the most obvious, so today I pause to think about how far I've come in thirteen years.

I look around at all I have been blessed with - a full pantry, somewhere soft and warm to lay my head at night and four of the most beautiful people I could ever imagine. And stuff. Too much stuff.  So much stuff that sometimes my biggest gripe is what to do with it all. What a problem to have! Thirteen years ago, I could never have imagined I could ever face that sort of conundrum.

I search my heart and I find it full of hope and love... and faith that things always happen for a reason, that every lesson brings me closer to the sort of person I want to be. I have faith too, that those I love are never lost and that God watches over us until we meet again.

I thank God - for giving me the dark days so that I can bask in the glorious sunshine when the clouds finally part, appreciating the small things and (trying) never to take things for granted. And for giving me Jason. My friend, the father of my children, my love. The man who knows all my quirks and flaws and loves me regardless. I am blessed.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Things to do in stormy weather

I took this photo just over a week ago when we had bushfires in our region.
The picture does not do it justice. The sun was a deep red to look at,
like a red alien eye hanging in the sky. I was too lazy to get any storm photos
today. I preferred looking at the underside of my quilt

Today I was woken by my husband literally leaping out of bed at the sound of thunder shaking our roof. "What was THAT?!" he yelled running to the window. It was the loudest rainless thunder I think I've ever heard, and I've lived in some pretty stormy places! Before we knew it, Mr Z was leaping onto our bed saying sadly, "It's not going to be a very good Saturday, it's raining!".

So while I lay there in the semi-darkness, trying to pretend that thunder and a combo of two of my most favourite boys had NOT woken me up, I mentally compiled a list of things I loved to do in stormy weather as a kid.

1. Build cubbies out of furniture and blankets. Consider this one done. Our loungeroom is currently a mess of a semi-demolished cubby large enough to house a family of five. And a dog. I say semi-demolished because it turns out Small Boy does a pretty good Godzilla impersonation.

2. Make hot chocolate. Our hot chocolate had solidified in its container (it's been a while since any serious sort of rain) so we had to make do with Milo, but I did put a swirl of whipped-cream-from-a-can on the top of the kids' drinks. This was a hit with Mr Z, Miss Piggy didn't like it but Small Boy happily cleaned hers up :)

3. Watch a family movie. We saw the second half of "Camp Rock" peeking out from under the blanket cubby. Well, I actually sat to one side because I have a bit of a thing with small confined spaces and until recently couldn't even get into a zipped up sleeping bag without an anxiety attack!!! The kids had a wonderful time.

And then the rain stopped. And I missed out on my other rainy day activities :( It rains so infrequently here (except when it rains it pours) I just get excited at the chance to sit home in the gloom, looking out at the rain drops hurtling from the sky from the relative dry of my verandah.



Here are the other things I wanted to do:

1. Walk in the rain. I have the raincoats, umbrellas and gumboots by the back door in case the rain starts up again.

2. Group cooking in the kitchen. But we're going to make cupcakes this arv - rain, hail or shine :)

3. Read picture books in bed. Who am I kidding, I love to do this in any weather!

4. Colouring in. Love colouring in, but also love getting outside. Rain makes it seem more ok to sit around the kitchen table staring out the window :)


Instead, we raced around on the verandah - the kids on their plastic bikes/scooters, me in my bare feet. I pushed Small Boy on the swing until we were both smiling so much I felt one of us would burst. Now we're planning part two of our Saturday :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lil Birdie Designs

I got a parcel this week! We get a lot of parcels round here due to our penchant for homemade-or-unusual-curiosities (me) latest-state-of-the-art-technological-things (him). This time I had ordered a waistcoat and capri shorts for my Small Boy.

It was a very late night purchase on a FB sale - not something I usually do - but I just couldn't resist that quirky little set! It's so hard to find 'nice' traditional-type clothing for small boys and I wanted to have something special for my littlest man to wear at Christmas (the kids always dress up for church).

Ruth from Lil Birdie Clothing kindly sent me some fabric scraps (to match the set I bought from her) and I made him a little flatcap to match. Jase said I am cruel and unusual for dressing him in 'golf clothes' but agreed he looked cute!

The workmanship on this little set is awesome - such neat stitching and hard-wearing fabrics. I recommend you check out Lil Birdie on facebook if you're looking for high-quality, one-of-a-kind clothing for your little one.



The hat is another story... I'd give it an A for effort, and... well, let's just say I'd rather you not look too closely! It's a proto-type and I have just enough fabric to make a second edition! Who knew it was so impossible to find a flatcap pattern on the internet! I had to make my own... After looking closely at an old hat we had here, I just kind of winged it. It's OK, but I think I'd like a second shot at getting it right!

I might add the pattern here when I get it just right... anyone interested?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lemonade Scones

It's stormy here today, so nice to be able relax in comfy clothes and listen to the wild weather outside from the warmth of our kitchen!

We're waiting for these scones to cook as I type. This is a simple little recipe I got from my sister. Easy to make with kids, quick enough to throw together if someone is due to drop by in ten minutes.



Lemonade Scones:

Ingredients:

3 cups of SR flour
180 mL cream
220 mL lemonade

Method: (emergency, done in a flash version)

1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Stir thoroughly
3. Spread mixture into a lamington pan
4. Cook at 180 C for 10 - 15 minutes
5. Cut into squares, serve and enjoy

______________________________

That's it! That's all you need to do to get that satisfied "Why yes! I *am* a real housewife!" feeling :)
This time, we went a little bit fancier as Little Miss wanted more 'cooking' to do.



So we spread the mix on a floured board and cut out circles with a tiny mug.






Toward the end we just rolled the mix into balls



and then set all the 'pieces' on a board



When they were done, we enjoyed them with our homemade jam  :) Yummy!

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