Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Part 2 – The Books

October 31, 2011

Possum is 5 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 3 months

Little Princess is 9 months

Of course, we did have some books to go along with all the food.  The first one is this:

Five Little Pumpkins

I really enjoyed this.  It is the American rhyme about the Five Little Pumpkins.  DH had never heard of it before, so he thought the book was a little silly – looking for the story – until we got to the end.  He then re-read it to the kids and it was lots more fun.

I managed to pick this book up in a $5- sale, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have bothered with a Halloween book otherwise, but I do like it.

Night Animals: Level 1

We read this book again, too.  (I haven’t been able to find it available at any of my usual sources.  I bought it second hand on a home-schooling swap site.)

This book is more Northern Hemisphere oriented (aren’t they all?) but we included discussion about some of our local nocturnal animals (we have two different kinds of possums, a bandicoot, bats etc that visit our yard in the night time.  Not bad for a city, eh?)  Halloween always seems like a good time to talk about these critters.

 

However, I think that our absolute favourite is this one:

The Pumpkin Patch Parable: The Parable Series

This was one of those books that I had read about other families using, but I had never actually seen it myself.  I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but when it arrived via the postman, I was pleasantly surprised.

Like the previous book, it is not a Halloween book, but it fits nicely with the season, even if pumpkins aren’t really in season here!  It is a lovely story, and each double page spread includes a Bible quotation.  I will definitely be looking at the other books in this series.

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Halloween Part 1 – The Food

October 30, 2011

Possum is 5 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 3 months

Little Princess is 9 months

Halloween is not a big deal here, but as I have said before, I like to mark the passage of the year with various festivals and events, even if only in a small way. 

This year, as well as our tiny pumpkin pots we hang in the window, and the big pumpkin bowl of lollies on the table we also bought a really cute purple windsock with bats on it.

Of course, there were books to read, too, but here are some the of the goodies that we baked, first.

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Whoopie Pies

The recipe is inspired from here.

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Or how about a cobwebby chocolate-pumpkin cheescake?  (I ran out of time to make the crunchy chocolate spiders.) Adapted from here

Oooo!  What’s that peeping in the oven?  Eeek!  They are ghostly meringues!

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(Inspiration here)

Of course, we did have some books to go along with all the food.  The first one is this:

Five Little Pumpkins

I really enjoyed this.  It is the American rhyme about the Five Little Pumpkins.  DH had never heard of it before, so he thought the book was a little silly – looking for the story – until we got to the end.  He then re-read it to the kids and it was lots more fun.

I managed to pick this book up in a $5- sale, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have bothered with a Halloween book otherwise, but I do like it.

Night Animals: Level 1

We read this book again, too.  (I haven’t been able to find it available at any of my usual sources.  I bought it second hand on a home-schooling swap site.)

This book is more Northern Hemisphere oriented (aren’t they all?) but we included discussion about some of our local nocturnal animals (we have two different kinds of possums, a bandicoot, bats etc that visit our yard in the night time.  Not bad for a city, eh?)  Halloween always seems like a good time to talk about these critters.

However, I think that our absolute favourite is this one:

The Pumpkin Patch Parable: The Parable Series

This was one of those books that I had read about other families using, but I had never actually seen it myself.  I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but when it arrived via the postman, I was pleasantly surprised.

Like the previous book, it is not a Halloween book, but it fits nicely with the season, even if pumpkins aren’t really in season here!  It is a lovely story, and each double page spread includes a Bible quotation.  I will definitely be looking at the other books in this series.

 

Things I Know Friday

October 13, 2011

Playing along with Shae and Yay for Home via Sam-O at Living Life Playing the Glad Game

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Things I know…

I know that today is Friday.  It shouldn’t be, because I haven’t been to bed yet for Thursday night, but somehow it is.

I know that I am really looking forward to being away this weekend, but I am not looking forward to going away.  Or to coming back for that matter, either.

I know that going away involves me packing for four people.  I also need to organise the washing (which I know I should have hung on the line earlier than I did), the toys, the food…  I know I hate packing.  I know I don’t want to do it, but that I should probably have done it already.

I know that DH will pack his stuff and grab CDs and never know what I do to get us out of the house.  And I know that packing doesn’t bother him.  Mismatch?

I know that when I come back, somehow every item of clothing that we own will need to be washed again.  We have never really encouraged the kids to hold back for fear of getting dirty, but seriously?  There is some serious skill involved in accumulating so much washing.

I know I need to get the meat out of the freezer ready for Sunday night’s dinner when we return.  I am not doing it now.  It is the middle of the night.  I know I will probably forget in the morning…

I know that Bandicoot gives the best snuggles of anyone in this house.  Hands down.  Actually, he is probably the best snuggler in the whole world, he is that good.  Sometimes I am jealous of his future wife, getting all those snuggles, when I only get them for a short time.  Still, I will take what I can get!  (She better be nice.)

Last night, when everyone else was in bed and I was up doing something, he did a sleepy wandering through the house.  I took him back to bed and snuggled down for a second lot of sleepy snuggles in the one night.  I know that was great.

I know I miss him now that he is a big boy sleeping in his own bed.  *sniff*  I know we want them to grow up, but why do they do it so fast?

I know I better post this and go to bed, or I will meet myself in the hallway getting up!

What do you know this Friday?

Cakes!

October 13, 2011

Here is my first ever cake stall offering:

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They are bite size cupcakes with white chocolate and 100s and 1000s.

Yes, that’s right.  Not icing.  White chocolate.

Oh, so super yummy!  (I had to do a quality control check, now didn’t I?)

I have several dozen to take to our Church in the morning for the Cake Stall, but I have kept these little lovelies to be devoured by my family.  I know how awful it was taking my Mum’s amazing cooking to school for a cake stall, only to dash out at recess to buy something and find they were all gone.

I really felt like I was turning into my Mum as I was dipping these in chocolate and sprinkles.  *sigh*  I have been feeling so awful that everything I had dreamed of was coming to an end with the boys going to school and preschool next year, but I got a little buzz about Things to Come tonight. 

Now I am nervous.  I hope that they sell!

It’s Not About the Coffee

October 13, 2011

I am a bit burnt out at the moment.  “Mumma’s running on empty,” I tried to explain to the boys today.  Life continues to spin me in its craziness.

So I had a brilliant idea.  A cup of coffee on the front verandah and the opportunity to catch up on a few text messages that I needed to send.  But how to do it?

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Well, let’s gather the ingredients.  Some mini-sized paint rollers and trays, some paints and a roll of craft paper.  Total cost about $18- (they pretty much used all the paper).

Roll out the paper down the driveway, place rocks on to keep it from blowing away.  Apply children.

Easy, huh?  Nice and peaceful…  boil the kettle…

Baby cries.  “No, I am not having a rest”, it roughly translates.  “I don’t care how tired I am, no sleep for me!”  Put baby in rocker on front verandah.

Make instant coffee.  Commence leaving the kitchen and head towards front door.  Jump to miss small child running through wielding paint soaked roller.

Growl that painting is for outside.  Clean up floor.  Carry half cup of coffee out to table.  Bend knees to sit .

Something about yellow paint.  Can’t really hear because baby is screaming like a banshee.  I try the smile and nod.  Doesn’t work.  I need to walk over and discuss the beauty of the paint on the paper.  In detail.

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Finally sit down to coffee.  Baby still screaming.  Grab a sip of coffee, try to be soothing (in vain), second sip.  Tap out part of a message- what NO pink paint left???  NONE???  Yes it does look very pretty on the paper.  Can you use another colour for a little bit?  No?  Not even if you paint another bit.  Okay, okay, bring me the tray.

Back inside to the bathroom.  Mix pink paint.  Yellow tray slips in beside me.  Mix yellow paint.  Kids carry paint trays through house and outside (NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo…. darn.)  Clean up paint drips.

Return to verandah, half a cup of rapidly cooling instant coffee, screaming child and phone.  Try to remember what the message was about.  Rock baby.  Baby’s cry turns indignant.  Pick up cup, but doesn’t make it to my lips.

Ah, yes, well if you take all the rocks off the paper, if WILL blow around in the breeze.  That’s why Mummy put the rocks there.  Yes, yes, I will help you set it up again.

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Return to verandah.  Screaming baby pulls face at me.  I growl back.  Wonder to what depths I will end up descending.  Sit down.  Sip.  Pick up baby and snuggle her.  Pick up phone.  Yes, okay, I will get you a biscuit, but not while you are still painting.  Do you want to paint or do you want to wash your hands.  Okay, go and paint some more.  No, no biscuit while you are painting.  Okay, go paint.  No, I am not bringing a biscuit to you.  No!  Paint or biscuit.  No, paint OR biscuit.  Which one?  Okay, paint now, biscuit later.

Baby snarls at me.  I snarl back, “If you are tired, go to sleep.  And yes you will stay hungry if you won’t eat.”  Chug a bit of cold coffee.  Refill paint trays, again.  Change nappy.

What do you mean you need more paint????  I was only two minutes!!!!

Rearrange paper.  Roll up dried painting.  Move wet painting onto the grass bindiis to dry.  Inwardly say not very nice things about DH who doesn’t see the urgency in spraying the weeds in the grass.  Roll remaining paper down drive.

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Return to verandah.  Baby has been playing happily with brothers, but on seeing me approach begins to scream.  Noice.

Oh, I see.  You need more paint.  Well of course you do.  Take empty trays to bathroom, where I discover the mirror has been painted blue.  Scream.  Inwardly very, VERY pleased that the paint is only on the mirror.  Especially as the bathroom was painted by professionals only yesterday.

Take out paint.  Clean mirror.  Yes, I know, biscuits.  Wash small child.  Take biscuit tin out to verandah (after much discussion).  Baby scowls.  Hand out biscuits in hope of producing goodwill.  Boys gorge on biscuits before returning to paint.  I swallow remainder of cold, unpleasant coffee.  Quickly finish txt messages.  Baby slumped asleep in rocker with biscuit in hand.

Try to transfer baby to cot.  Twice.  Settle her in our bed.

Put on Dora DVD.  Put boys clothes in washing machine.

Well that was nice.  I got a cuppa today!

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Embrace the Camera – 13 October

October 13, 2011

Possum is 5 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 3 months

Little Princess is 9 months

Okay, it is true.  I didn’t have this photo taken this week.  It seems it is only Possum and Bandicoot who photograph me, generally, and as I have been laid up with migraines, that hasn’t been happening.

BUT this photo was taken not very long ago.  It was on a family day out:

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and it is me with all the kids, Possum being as crazy as he can.

It is almost impossible to get a nice photo with everyone behaving, um, photogenicly. As Bill Waterson said, via Calvin’s Dad (Calvin and Hobbes), “Someday these photos will remind us of more than we want to remember.”

Aah!  Real life.  It’s lots of fun, even if it has a pair of chopsticks whacked in front of your face!

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What my Child is Reading – 12 October

October 11, 2011

Possum is 5 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 3 months

Little Princess is 9 months

 

I haven’t written one of these posts for a while, partly because my kids often like the same books over and over again (Please don’t ask for “the Whale Shark” again!) and partly because I am not organised enough to scan in the pictures of the books.  Actually, pictures are something that really hold up my blogging, but I digress…

This week I have some new candidates. 

This book was delivered by Santa last Christmas, and boy it has been a hit!  Isn’t it amazing how Santa often really knows what would be a wonderful pressie?  Anyway, Possum loves this book:

WMCIR111012001Body” by Robert Winston

Did you know that the surface area of the small intestine is equivalent to that of a tennis court?

 

And the underwater infatuation continues.  Oh my goodness, sharks are number one with Bandicoot these days, and he is happily dragging Possum and Little Princess along in his wake.  You can’t move in this place without stepping on a model or being begged for yet another shark drawing.  We have literally 100s of pictures of them around the house and in chalk all over the driveway, too.  So it is no wonder that these books are featuring:

WMCIR111012002 This one is a Leap Frog Tag book.  We bought it with the Tag System for Possum, 2 years ago, when we were doing a three month road trip.  The concept never grabbed him, but Bandicoot happily calls this “his” book, now.

WMCIR111012003 This book is called “Sharks and other dangers of the deep” (it is a bit too big for my scanner).  NOTE:  The link is to the paperback.  We have the larger format hardcover, and I think it is a much nicer book.  We saw this in the children’s section of the Australian Museum on a recent visit, but couldn’t find it in the museum shop.  The boys were very happy when the postman brought it!  It has amazingly beautiful pictures and good factual information, but not too much so as to be dry, about many different kinds of sharks.  Even I like sharks after reading this book.

And one more, just so the Little Princess wasn’t left out:

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A shark board book, also with gorgeous pictures.

Who knew sharks were so beautiful?

 

Of course, we are continuing with:

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but we have finally finished the Children’s Classic Tales.  It became a bit of an albatross in the end.  The kids are too young to read it at bedtime when they are so tired and twitchy.  Ah well.

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I needed this this morning

October 1, 2011

Last year I began reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation.  I was following a programme, but I found it moved too quickly for me.  There were times were I wanted to read more, but mostly, I couldn’t read that much in a day and still have pondering time.

Well, the project is still slowly underway.  Unfortunately, these days, with so many babies sleeping in our bed I don’t get much reading time (or sleeping time for that matter 😉 ) – I always find that I read best in bed.

Well, this morning, despite two littles awake and in action before 6am, I managed a pseudo lie-in (thank you Dora and Wiggles) and I also got some reading time.

I came across this wonderful passage:

“Sing praise to the Lord; tell the wonderful things he has done.  Be glad that we belong to him; let all who worship him rejoice!”  1 Chronicles 16:9-10

Well now, isn’t that just a beautiful way to start the day, and indeed, a long weekend?

But it gets better.  A bit further I found this:

“Save us, O God our Saviour; gather us together; rescue us from the nations, so that we might be thankful”   1 Chronicles 16:35

A-ha!  Now that is what I needed.  I have been really struggling, struggling, struggling lately.  Struggling with the real and imagined demands of my life as a Mum to three littles, a child with a sick Mumma myself, a sister with a sick sister, a grumpy wife to a tired DH and, well, just everything.

But I will be rescued.  I AM rescued, if I will just let it happen.  I am not made for this world, but for the next (and so are you!) so I don’t need to be bogged down, I just need to do what God has called me to do.  Now.  Today.

Excellent news!