Sunday, December 24, 2006

And Christmas begins...

One of the very nicest things about Christmas is catching up with family. Dh's grandparents welcomed us to a pre-Christmas lunch yesterday. While the meal was absolutely enormous and delicious, what was most heartening was seeing again that it is possible to live a good and healthy independent life even in your nineties!

Nana J loves to spoil her grandchildren, and the gift bags she prepares each year probably contain as many little treats as they see in a year - although I must confess to removing as much sugar from their bags as I can once they're out of sight!

I've included a shot of three generations all working together in Grandad D's study to get his computer back up so he can keep track of his online share portfolio. He's certainly living proof of "using it and not losing it"!

After the truly enormous meal, the children were able to lie on the spare bed and watch one of the DVDs that were in their Christmas bags. I was so proud of the way they negotiated with each other to find something they were all happy to watch. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 22, 2006

The joys of homeschooling

Since bringing the Ginger Ninja home for educating, I've been getting much better at finding fun educational opportunities for all of us.

On Thursday, we went to the CSIRO discovery lab and the children had a ball identifying acids and bases using red cabbage juice, making wind turbines and isolating pea DNA.

Of course, it took a long time to drag them away from the machine that let you convert kinetic energy (by turning a handle) into electrical energy into solar energy into stored energy then back to kinetic energy to operate a handle that scoops out a candy coated chocolate ball!

Ginger Rose just liked being able to wear a funny big white coat - I predict a big future as a doctor on TV ;). The boys, of course, enjoyed perverting the acid/base experiment by mixing vinegar and bicarb to see how high they could make it pop a plastic lid. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My matched pair!

Ginger Rose loves the Ginger Ninja so much! And of course it's mutual!

Two nights ago, Ginger Rose hopped out of her cot (she's quite skilled at that!) and silently crept into bed beside me. Then she just as silently left the bed and padded off down the corridor into the pitch black.

After a few minutes, I followed - just to see where she'd ended up. And found her all the way up in the Ginger Ninja's top bunk. In his sleep he'd flung an arm around her and made sure she was tucked on the safe side :).

Ginger Ninja roused briefly to tell me she was in his bed, but neither protested when I asked Ginger Rose to come down. She went back to her cot quite happily having experienced how the other half sleep :). Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A quiet weekend

Poor Possum has totally overdone the sport - he's given himself an impact fracture in his heel, probably from his fast bowling on a hard pitch last weekend, exacerbated by a sideways kick in the pool on Thursday night.

He'll be in pain for another 12 hours of so (according to dh, who has a 99% success rate with these predictions) then on crutches for another couple of weeks.

Am I a baaaaad mother for feeling a twinge of guilty pleasure at the thought of two less sporting events for the next two weekends?

How sarcastic am I?

You Have Your Sarcastic Moments

While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.

In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!

And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.

Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Toddler humour!

I found the Ginger Ninja sitting outside Ginger Rose's door waiting for her to wake up from her sleep because he was sure she'd hidden his book. When she finally awoke, Ginger Ninja asked her if she knew where the book was, and she shrugged her shoulders, raised her hands in the air and said "Why do-no" ("I don't know"). Ginger Ninja pretended to be heartbroken, and wailed "Nooooooo". So Ginger Rose said "Oh awight" and toddled off to retrieve it from underneath a pile of the Ginger Ninja's school books.

What a sense of humour!

Here's a photo of her today after Grandad had left his stereo unattended on the couch.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No-knead bread

  • I've been trying to perfect the New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe, which is about the simplest recipe I've ever seen for bread!

    The stages shown here are the:
    1. original quick mixed dough with my previous loaf shown to the left of the bowl,
    2. dough after sitting for twelve hours,
    3. dough covered in plastic wrap ready to sit for 15 minutes, and
    4. dough tipped into the preheated so-hot-it-burns-through-the-oven-mits casserole pot.

    I've used spelt flour in place of regular flour which I think is playing with the moisture content (I've reduced the water, but need to reduce it further), and polenta for the crust, which works beautifully.

    I'll report back when this loaf comes out of the oven!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 06, 2006

Joy at the breakfast table

The children were just such happy campers that I had to grab the camera and share it with the world! As you can see, we're not exactly morning people.

Possum and Ginger Rose are our two bright sparks in the morning, the Ginger Ninja is generally slow to warm up then cheerful, but Briar Rose is shocking! She resists brushing her hair until the very last minute and mooches around the house in bare feet until it's absolutely positively time to leave the house!

Then she magically changes her attitude and becomes bright and bubbly again. "Oh, so I have to ask the front office to write "bad temper and slow" on my late note. Sure, Mum. I LIKE getting late notes at the front office". Argh! Posted by Picasa

Another school lunch

Week 4 Term 4 and Briar Rose is still going strong with the relatively healthy lunch box! We have:

* an organic fruit spread on home made selenium enhanced wholemeal bread,
* Cherry tomatoes garnished with a sprig of parsley,
* Rice crackers with cheddar cheese,
* Kiwi fruit with fancy pink knife/spoon, and
* Apple juice.

I know lots of people seem to think fruit juice is akin to junk food and devil worship, but I think it's a nice touch that helps keep the lunch box cold and provides a low GI energy burst.

Also packed with a blue serviette and a bottle of frozen water for cooling and drinking if the juice isn't enough!

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mums for Modesty

I really like this idea! If anybody else likes buying clothing that doesn't make their daughter look like a prostitute, please feel free to sign the Moms for Modesty affirmation here!

Briar Rose is tall and thin, and finding age appropriate clothing is increasingly difficult as she has just moved from the toddler girl sizes into the teenage girl sizes! Hipsters and crop tops are such a tacky look on a girl who still likes pretending to be a fairy - and don't get me started on the hunt for a pair of sandals that don't have heels, straps or spangly bits that get in the way of actually walking in them!

Monday, October 16, 2006


We went to the last day of Floriade 2006 yesterday only to discover that after a two day heatwave had faded the flowers, the brightest objects in the park were very expensive rides that simply weren't in our limited cash budget much to the childrens' disappointment.

But we did find a great Kids Carnivale tent which let the girls make their own masks, while the boys learnt circus skills in another tent. Posted by Picasa

Back to school lunch

Term four began today and so begins the morning lunch box ritual. Today, Briar Rose has taken an organic fruit spread sandwich on home-made whole-wheat bread, rice crackers interspersed with cheese, a raspberry and apple Fruit Smash (a special treat with fruit puree and no added anything) and an apple juice.

Last term, she took a home-made yogurt each day, but has suddenly decided that she hates home-made yogurt and only likes yogurt in a nasty disposable commercial containers. Hence no yogurt in today's lunch box. Posted by Picasa

Book binge

Dh flew interstate from Thursday lunch til 11pm Sunday night, leaving me with four children, their assorted playmates and a rather unpleasant cold and headache. So I ended up reading...

I've ended up with a slight hangover due to the late nights required to get through that volume of junk reading while taking children out to various end-of-school-holidays activities, but it was worth it :).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cluck cluck

What lovely hens we have! They have been laying beautifully - there would've been a full half-dozen eggs in the nest if I'd waited another few minutes.

The weather is truly scary - hot and blowing a gale, real bush fire weather and it's only the second month of spring. Summer is going to be terrifying.

I have some new straw to mulch the vegetable garden with, but it's too hot to be out there now! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

A visit from Grandma

Somehow I forgot my camera when it counted so don't have a good visual record of this visit - but here is Grandma inspecting Briar Rose's end of term school portfolio.

It was a good visit - though poor Grandma's tongue must've been bleeding by the time she left! She did a very good job covering up her horror at our lax parenting practices, and was very gentle with us!

She also spoilt us rotten, with dinner out at a Thai restaurant (actually not that relaxing with a 2yo but worth a try) and a girls' trip to the theatre to see Peter Rabbit. Posted by Picasa

Spring is in the air

Despite horrible colds, coughs and conjunctivitis running through the family dh simply couldn't resist the lures of the DIY steam cleaner - doesn't it look beautiful? And how many minutes did it take for the toddler to sneak food into the food-free room?

Of course cleaning the carpets also involves some serious furniture moving. The children were thrilled with this exciting use of their holiday time :). Posted by Picasa

Baby loves her 'cino

Hmmm - see what happens when Ginger Rose spots her share of the morning coffee! Probably not the healthiest habit to instill in a 2yo! But isn't she cute?

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Possum's in his prime

Possum celebrated his 11th birthday with an extra six children sleeping over last night. Rather pleasingly, they did all sleep. Last one was asleep by 10.30pm, with the first one (Ginger Rose) awake at 5.45am. We still had 50% of chidlren asleep at 7am, which I thought was a good sign for ten children sleeping together!

We took them indoor rock climbing for a couple of hours, before settling them down in front of a good movie (Howl's Moving Castle ) which we projected onto the dining room wall.

Possum seems to be enjoying his party, and with time to blog with one hour and forty minutes of party still to go, so am I! Posted by Picasa

Postcard from the trenches

It's been one of those weeks - or two! We were all home sick last Monday for the first time ever! Of course, the Ginger Ninja, not having to go to school, wasn't at all unwell, and Possum could've gone to school except that he thought he might be missing out on something!
Poor Ginger Rose, apart from being badly in need of a haircut, fell and bruised her face. After a week, she still has a chesty cough and has now passed conjunctivitis on to DH and I.

I have also included a gratuitous nappies on the line shot - just to demonstrate the glorious spring drying weather :).

Oh, and the oil burns on my arm - I have six rather nasty looking marks from splashing oil on myself! It was a very good reminder to me - I often cook dinner with a toddler on my hip, but have now realised that I need to be more scrupulous with my kitchen safety.
A friend offered me some cream to prevent the burns from scarring, but I am pleased to say that I have now reached that stage in my life where scarring concerns didn't even enter my mind! The burns have been surprisingly painless so have been rather good value from a shock perspective!

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ginger Ninja in concert

I missed the Ginger Ninja's first flute recital today because Dh was away interstate, and poor Ginger Rose was too unwell with a cold to come along. I thought it was very brave of the Ginger Ninja to go along and play without his own fan club in front of 10 other families! And I'm very grateful to the parent who took some photos for me!

His teacher was very pleased with him, and I think he'll be much less stressed about playing in the Christmas concert.

Homeschooling has been great for his flute practice, so he was better prepared than he might have been previously. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 22, 2006

Disco queen

We arrived at Briar Rose's school disco a little early - it was still daylight, but that didn't seem to stop them having fun in the school chapel!

This is the second weekend in a row that dh has been away interstate and missing a school disco. And Ginger Rose has a nasty cold and high temperature, probably due to my partying her too hard last weekend - so I think I'll be a little less social this weekend.

Of course, we're already committed to an extra couple of boys sleeping over tomorrow night, so with half a dozen children in the house, I don't think I'll have a problem keeping my social life tame!

I think we'll BBQ. For any doubters, I proffer as evidence of global warming the latest school newsletter which allows children to wear summer uniform for the last two weeks of term. As opposed to the previous system of having a choice of summer or winter uniform for the first two weeks of the following term - so we're changing a whole four weeks early! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The new sport

Even Briar Rose has decided to join in with the indoor rock climbing fad - and she's pretty good at it! Not to mention thrilled that while the rest of her group, the Rock Rats, have to wait to be belayed by one of the two instructors, she has a big brother on hand to give her extra climbs in between!
 Posted by Picasa

Grandad's visit

It's been a while since I took a photo of Grandad - he's here regularly, so I'm afraid we might sometimes take him for granted!

As you can see, he and Ginger Rose have a great relationship - even if it's a month between visits, she runs laughing with joy as soon as he arrives! Posted by Picasa