Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back to School

What a lovely day today was.  The boys were so excited to be going back to school.  Our morning went very smoothly.  Thankfully I had organised as many things as I could do last night, I even unloaded the dishwasher before I went to bed, what a big difference that made.

My eldest son is now in grade 3 and for the first time is wearing a formal school uniform.  He looks so much older and so very very handsome.  I got quite choked up looking at how my sweet little boy is growing.

There was bucketing rain all morning, and the decision was made to drive to school, as the path through the forest would be very boggy and we didn't want to get caught in the rain.  It was an added bonus that Geoff was able to come to school for the first day back.

Well how insane that it took us 25 minutes to get from our driveway into a carpark.  Would have been much better off walking.

I took our grade 3 boy off to his classroom and Geoff attended to the new little grade 1'ner.

It all worked very easily and was quite exciting.

I then headed off to kindy for our first day back there for T.  I was also on roster so I spent the morning with him.  E came with us and I could just about pack her off to kindy already, she has the routine down pat.

I came home around after 1 and put E to bed, and she managed to get a little sleep in before I had to wake her to go for school drop off.  I didn't walk it because I thought that the boys could be pretty tired and probably wouldn't feel like the walk home.

They were in very good spirits after having a good first day back.  

I have just been through the hefty wad of notes that have come home, and marked all the necessary dates on the calendar and in my diary.

Once again I have spent some time tonight getting things organised for our morning, in the hope it goes just as smoothly.

I am hopefully that if I start the year off on the right foot, then I have more chance of continuing all the way through the year.  Our lives have been lacking in organisation and it makes the biggest difference to so many aspects if I am a little bit organised.

I can also stick to my SureSlim program a lot better if my days are organised.

Tomorrow I plan to try and have a quiet day at home, something I haven't had in over 2 months.

It would be nice if it wasn't so disgustingly hot and humid!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day

Well I don't know where to start really, I like to do everything in order, but it has been awhile and I have had a bit going on.

I have had an awesome weekend.  Last week was such a busy week, the last week before school goes back.  I seemed to be busy every day. 

Friday night I went to Daisys.  I am having a good run at the moment and I think I have only missed one Friday night for 2009.  I look forward all week to Friday night.  It is my time to kick the shoes off and relax with my friends.  It always seems a huge effort to get there, and I sometimes think of plenty of little reasons I should skip it to get a few things done around the house.  Geoff leaves the house early on Saturday morning to go to golf, so it is always tough to get myself out of bad after a late night out.  But it is well worth it, when I walk through the doors at Daisys, I can feel the weight lift from my shoulders.  I have dinner with Barbi, Jenny and most nights Lisa.  I don't usually get my scrapping stuff out until after 8pm.  Sometimes my scrapping comes really slowly, well in fact it always comes slowly and I sometimes wonder why I persist with this craft.  There are a lot of reasons I persist, the main reason being I love the end result, looking at the layouts with precious photos of my children.  Another reason is because of the social side.  I have met the most amazing ladies through Daisys, who enrich my life with their friendship and kindness ... and make me laugh on a regular basis. 

I am prattling on I know, better get on with it.

Friday night wasn't a particularly late night, home around midnight.  

Saturday Geoff went off to golf and was pretty happy with his morning because he got a NTP, which of course I had no idea what that meant.  It was "nearest the pin" shot.  His name was even in the paper on Sunday.  Pat on the back for that Geoff.

Geoff then spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out our computer problems.  We had a storm on Friday afternoon .... the kids and I got stuck over at school in the middle of it.  When we came home I noticed that the power had gone off, but was back on.  I turned the computers back on but couldn't get an internet connection, but didn't think too much of it.

Apparently there was a lightning strike up the road, and it must have blown something.  We have managed to get back the internet connection on the Mac, but not the PC.  He thinks it may have blown a chip.  All the more reason for me to get a Macbook I say ... lol!

Saturday night I went to dinner at my dear friend Jenny's house.  We had an amazing night.  Her husband had organised for a lovely french chef Laurent to come to Jenny's house and cook a 3 course meal for herself, and five friends.  I feel very privileged to have been included.  The food was wonderful, the main being Lamb Rack which is my very very favourite.

I could have stayed and talked all night long.  We have never socialised together as a group outside of Daisy Chain so it was so nice to be able to sit around a dinner table and talk away.  I probably talked too much as always.  It would be so nice to be able to do it more often.

Thanks so much Jenny, Barbi, Sue, Lisa and Corrine for such a lovely evening.  

Today I was busy getting everything organised for Tuesday.  It will be a busy day, first day back at school, first day back at Kindy, I am on Kindy roster.  We will all need to be heading out of the house shortly after 8am.

Heather and Merv wandered down the road to join our Australia Day bbq.  The kids and Geoff and myself had one last year and decided that we should mark the occasion every year.  Geoff and I wanted the kids to march with their school on the parade at Buderim, but Emma kept us both awake throughout the night, and we were just too tired to get up and organised that early.  The rushing around will start all too soon.

We tried to make our bbq an 'aussie' flavour.  We had lamb chops, rissoles and sausages.  I made baked potato that we had with garlic aoili, which were just fantastic.  I knew Geoff would love them because he loves his roast potato, they were just perfect.  Heather made a noodle salad because that is T's favourite and he virtually eats the entire bowl.  We also had pavlova, of course.  J had made a choc tim tam mousse that he saw in the paper.  It was pretty good too.

Tonight has been spent making lunches, making sure I have all the kids school stuff, and folding washing ... and now updating my blog.  

I have raved on way too much .... a good reason not to leave too long in between blogging.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Farewell No. 2

I am a bit behind in posting on my blog.  I think because I have just been quite exhausted after the events of the last month.

Last Thursday we travelled to the airport in Brisbane to say farewell to my Uncle Trevor and Aunty Angela, and their two granddaughters Hannah and Georgia as they were heading to Perth to meet up with Mark and Sarah.  The kids were really excited about going to the airport.  I drove down on my own with the four kids, as we didn't all fit into one car.  I was all a bit hairy really the driving, particularly on the way back.  There are so much roadworks and cars and trucks travelling at varying speeds and all trying to outdo each other.  I was blessed to arrive home without a scratch.  The trip back was very quiet as it was just J and I, he is just like his father, barely a word spoken!!!  The other three opted to come back with their Nanny.

It was really sad to say goodbye, it always is, as you never know if and when we will see them again.  Mum is talking about taking a trip to the UK later in the year to see her sister for her 70th birthday.  Geoff and I won't be able to afford it, the airfares alone would be expensive.  Mum's brother seemed quite emotional about leaving my Mum.  Mum just goes very quiet when she is sad.

We briefly called into the DFO on the way back.  I managed to score a bargain for E, 3 pairs of winter pj's that are really cute, reduced from$24.95 to $5.00 each.  It was only when I got home that I discovered I had purchased the wrong size, and they will fit her by the time she starts school ... what a twit!!!!  I might try and organise a trip down one Sunday just to have a look around.  It is the kind of place you need all day, and no children in tow.  I think there are bargains to be found, but you have to look through lots of crap.

Nothing much else has been happening for us.  I think we are all quite exhausted.  I put myself to bed at about 2pm on Saturday, because I just didn't feel too well at all, and I think I was just extremely tired.  I woke up at about 5.30 and felt a little better.  We were supposed to go to a friend's 40th but cancelled at the last minute because I just didn't feel up for it.  I was disappointed that we couldn't go, but felt better for the early night.

Now I can't believe we only have a week left of school holidays and then the kids are back at school.  I collected the boys' books from school.  My year 3 boy this year has to be more responsible for his own belongings so they have sent the books home for everything to be labelled.  I believe he has his own desk this year for the first time.  It is all very exciting.  There was a recorder in his pack, so I am sure that is going to be very entertaining listening!

Tomorrow I need to go and get some laundry markers so I can label all of his new uniform.  This is his first year of wearing the formal uniform.  When I put it on for us and gave us a parade, he looked like he could almost head out and get his drivers'  licence.  He looks so much older and I just can't believe how quickly he is growing.

Well its getting late and I need to get some sleep.  I have been watching tv until quite late.  There are a few shows I am really into at the moment, my latest being Entourage.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Well I knew that it had to happen some day ... and I managed to go a year before that day finally came .... our first snake sighting!  I much preferred them behind their glass at the zoo last week than in my backyard.

The day started out innocent enough.  Trying to make plans with the UK rellies, they were going to the park and then to the river for a swim, which I decided to forego, because I hate swimming in the river.  Especially with the high tides we have been having and E thinking she is the next Stephanie Rice, I knew that I would get drenched and am just not up for that today.

So I told Mum to ring me when they got home and we will pop over then.

What should we do then ... well the rubbish pile is being removed on Saturday (hallelulah) so I thought we could clean out the back garden and prune some trees so that it could go as well.

That was until I almost stepped and a dirty great big snake sunning itself in our garden.  He took off into the long grass beside the fence.  I assured the kids that he would be more frightened than we are (when I told dh this his comment was that "the snake must have been really really really really frightened - lol!!!).

Needless to say gardening finished and we are all inside, am happy now for the kids to play on the computer.  

Scary thing is E walked straight up to the long grass to play.

I think I know why the snake has decided to make that his home as well, as there was a nice little family of quails living in there, and now I can't remember the last time that I saw them.  Hopefully the noise of my kids will give him a headache and he will find some peace and quiet in someone else's yard.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Want a cup a tea luv!

Today was a pretty good day.

The kids and I headed out fairly early down to Mum's place to catch up with the UK relatives.  Not long now and they will be leaving us.  The kids were pretty good and played with their cousins, something they just don't have here in Australia.  I enjoyed watching my little E play with Georgia.  Georgia is one on 1 February, and E 2 on 19 February, so there is one years age difference.  E doesn't get to really play with anyone her own age or younger and she seems quite taken with Georgia.  She doted on her, gave her toys to play with, gave her kisses and chatted away happily to her.  Hopefully after the arrival of my brother's little girl sometime in the near future, E will have another little cousin to play with.

It was a relaxed day spent just talking and downing many cups of tea.  I tried to stick to my Sureslim program, and managed to do that for breakfast and dinner.  As I was out, lunch was just what was at mums.  I did sneak a biscuit or two when I got home.  I was just really tired.  I made sure I cooked Geoff and I a dinner following SureSlim.  It actually felt really good to be cooking good food, that I know will help me along to lose to extra kg gained over Christmas.  I have been really disappointed with myself because prior to Christmas I was going so well and had managed to lose almost 5 kgs, and have nearly put all that back on purely by overindulging.  It is a hard thing to stay focused because part of me thinks its holidays and I should just take a break, but unfortunately I just don't seem to know where to stop myself.  With me it seems to be all or nothing.  I need to find that happy medium.  

I know Sureslim works, I have done it before and be really happy with the weight loss that I managed.  Who knows if I hadn't fallen pregnant again whether I would have kept the weight off or not.  But I know I can get there again, I just need to stay focused and be organised.  I have already made lunch for Geoff and myself tomorrow, so all that is needed is to pull it out of the fridge.  I am so much better when I set small goals for myself and just take it one step at a time.  If I try to bite off more than I can chew then I just fail.  

Monday, January 12, 2009

One of those days ....

Well today was one of those days that you just have to forget and start again tomorrow.

I find myself thinking quite a lot these days about the effects of food on my No. 2 son's behaviour. On our day out yesterday the kids had a chocolate milk and cookie for morning tea and McDonalds for lunch.  Both of my eldest boys were today were really out of sorts.  No. 1 son was just plain tired, but thinks he is too old to go and have quiet time on his bed.  We also had an argument about what I had prepared for lunch and I told him if he wouldn't eat that he could go without.  Each time he asked for something to eat, I re-offered his lunch, so he ate nothing until dinner.  He was just being stubborn but I wasn't giving in.  It wasn't as though I had made something I knew he wouldn't eat.  In any event the hunger didn't aid the whinginess.

Charming son No. 2 just seems to change personality and I do believe the majority of his behaviour is the result of certain types of food.  I could virtually bet money on it.  These days I expect his behaviour to change after a birthday party, or too much treat food, which of course is in abundence at this time.

I didn't enjoy today one little bit, and could have wished to be anywhere else.

Probably didn't help that I decided to clean my oven and catch up on housework which left them fending for themselves.  Crazy ... there are a million and one things to do, but I virtually have to tell them what to do.  S and T are pretty good at playing together and making up games.  Albeit that one of their games today was to throw water through J's bedroom window as he was in there in quiet time.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Geoff has hooked up his Time Capsule for the Mac and it is backing up all our precious photos and video footage.  I feel a little more relaxed knowing we now have all our precious momentos stored somewhere else.  It was an expensive addition that we could have done without right now, but I see it as a bit like insurance, just something you should have.  Unfortunately I think it will take a week for the Capsule to do its initial backup, which means I haven't been able to carry on with organising some photos for printing.  I would so love to have my own Macbook.

I am loving my new Making Memories Slice.  I have been enjoying making some cards with it, very simple cards but really nice.  I just noticed on the Making Memories website that there are loads of new design cards to be released at the end of the month.  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Farewell No. 1

Happy Birthday Sarah

Bye Bye ... see you soon

Today we travelled to the airport to wave off Mark and Sarah, who headed to Sydney for a few days.  Their children Hannah and Georgia are staying behind with their grandparents, Trevor and Angela, and my mother.  They are in Sydney until Thursday where they will then fly to Perth and meet up with the others.
They have a few things planned, one of which is the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, which I think would be amazing.  I hope that they have a really good time and enjoy the break.  Sarah was a bit teary at leaving her little girls, and its always hard, but the thought of a few days R & R wouldn't stop them.
We had a really nice bbq dinner last night.  They were then heading out for a night on the town with my brothers.  Funny Geoff and I weren't asked if we wanted to go along.  Whether that is because they think because we have four children that is just something that's impossible these days, they probably aren't far off there.  I probably would have been asleep at the bar by 10pm.
After the airport we went to Chermside for a quick look around.  I was pretty pleased I picked up a Country Road bag that I had been eyeing off at $100.00 and today it was $30.00.  Not bad.  I also got some shorts from Lorna Jane at the DFO, so there really is no reason that I can't get on that treadmill and walk off some of this Christmas cheer!
The kids were pretty good at the shops, but T lost the plot towards the end so we decided to leave.  Shopping just is not enjoyable with four kids in tow.
We went to the DFO before the airport, because the others were lagging behind.  Most of the shops weren't open and I am tempted to go for another browse around when we go down on Thursday to farewell Trevor and Angela.
J & S were feral tonight going to bed.  So frustrating.  They really do need separating but I am just not sure what the best option there is.  Need to figure that one out before school goes back.
I now have to tackle that mountain of folding that has been piling up.  With all these visitors and day trips out I am so far behind in my household stuff.  Have been staying up late to get it under control and haven't been having much sleep.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Extended Family Time

What a busy day today ended up being, full from the minute it started.
I took all of my children to Myers at 9am this morning so that I could get the boys fitted for their school shoes.  They have a sale on buy one pair get the second pair 50% off so I wanted to take advantage of that, and go early enough before they ran out of sizes, which were limited already. No worries though we were successful.  J needs two pairs this year, a black leather pair and sports shoes and S just needed sports shoes.  T scored his first real pair of sports shoes, velcro ones because I could take advantage of getting another pair for half price.  The poor child really does just have to fit into every pair of hand me downs and he hasn't had some sports shoes for a while because I just haven't had the right size.  That will be good, he can do the velcro himself, and use them for riding his bike as well.  He was quite chuffed that he got to sit with the big boys and get measured as well.  Easy and painless, and its good to save a little bit of money.  A thought did run through my head as to what it will be like when I have to take them all to be fitted and will be buying 8 pairs of shoes!
Then we headed out to Australia Zoo to meet up with the rest of my family.  It was quite special that we were all spending the day together at the Zoo.  Even my older brother Steve came along, and I don't know that I can ever remember him having a day off work and joining in something like that.  Now I know why my mother phoned me this morning and told me to make sure I brought the kids out.  It must have been really pleasing for her to have all of us there.
Trevor, Angela, Mark, Sarah, Hannah, Georgia, Matthew, Amanda, Steven, Mum, Myself and my four troops made up our group.  We met up at various points, and did our own thing for some of the time, it gets a bit complicated following each other around, you don't get to see as much.
At one point I just took my 3 boys and wandered around and we went to see the Croc show, and it was much easier than mucking about with the stroller.
The Zoo is fabulous, but really quite expensive now.  Mum paid $172.00 for herself and me, and my 3 boys, E was free.  So a visit to the Zoo is not something you can do often.
We did enjoy our day though.  The kids were all good.
Mum and I left just after 4 because we had to go and pick up a birthday cake for Sarah, as she turned 31 today.
Tried a few different places to book in for dinner, and our first 3 options were booked out, so we booked a table for 6 o'clock at the Chancellor Park Tavern.
We wanted to eat early because of the little ones, and I wanted to finish at a reasonable hour so I could head into Daisy's.  Geoff and I were there on time.
The others all dwindled in at various times after that, not too late I didn't think though.
But of course it was 7 before we ordered and it took 45 minutes for the first meal to arrive.
I think there was some frustration as to the length of time that it took, but they were busy, I think everyone must have been ordering at the same time.  The meals were really good when we got them.  I had chicken, which I would not usually order when I was out.  The kids meals were good value to, $8.95 for a good serve and reasonable good quality meal, a soft drink and ice cream.
It was about quarter past 9 by the time we got home.  
We are all pretty tired.
It would be nice if all the kids would sleep until lunch time.
I hope my UK relatives are having a nice time, such a short trip, hard to fit everything in.  I love having them here though and will be sad when it comes time for them to go.  I know Mum dreads when it is time for them to leave.  She gets a little down afterwards, understandably so.
I should sleep well tonight.  
One little pic from today, I loved the Elephants, they were splashing around in their pond and having a great time.  I have never seen Elephants so playful.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Great Day

I can tick today off as a good day had by all.  I had been telling the kids that if I saw some good behaviour by them, then I would think of somewhere to take them swimming.  We are really missing not having a pool in our own backyard this summer, and swimming is a great way for them to burn some energy.

So this morning, we headed off to the Mountain Creek Aquatic Centre.  It is smaller there than at the Kawana Aquatic Centre, but I thought that this one wouldn't be quite as busy.  Also the small children's pool is perfect for E, because she can touch the bottom of the entire pool.  Unless she gets knocked over and loses her balance, she happily plods around.

We spent two hours there.  J and S went into the 50 m pool and did some diving and laps.  T was keen to get in the 50m pool but I did suggest to him that he stick with E in the little pool, as the outside lanes were taken up with kids having lessons, so they had to use the two middle lanes, and to be honest I just didn't want to have to dive in myself to help him.  It is a shame because it is great to see him having confidence to swim in the bigger pools.  I had thought it would be a good idea for me to take he and E when the boys are back at school so that they can have some fun.  It will be quieter than too.

We had some lunch with Nanny and the UK relatives.  I then had to be home by 2 as a valuer was coming to give us an updated valuation of the house for the bank.  We were home before 1, and I put E to bed and she slept for just over 2 hours.  Not surprised that she had worn herself out.

I let the boys watch a bit of telly because it was hot and I just needed some quiet time.  Then they went outside to play for a bit until dinner.  

I noticed that when we were at the pool, there was no fighting between any of the kids, they happily played together.  They were like that when we had a pool at the other house, it was always an easy option for me when they were bickering and difficult, to let them burn that frustration and energy in swimming.

Let's hope for another nice day tomorrow.  I did need today's reminder, that my children can get along and be well behaved, well mannered and considerate of others.  I have had my doubts in recent days.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Surprise Surprise

Mum and her bestie Joy
Mum and Joy again
Mum and big bro' Trevor

After what seemed like a lifetime of trying to keep secrets for Mum and making arrangements, Mum's brother Trevor, his wife Angela, their son Mark and Mark's wife Sarah and their daughters Hannah and Georgia managed to pull it all off and surprise Mum for her 65th birthday.

They arrived in Australia yesterday and spent the night at the Beerwah Motel.  Thanks to Mum having the weekend off, I arranged a lunch here at my house, with good family friends.  Mum arrived mid morning, and friends started to arrive at around 11.30am.  Mum brother and co made their appearance around the 1pm mark.

It was quite funny actually because Matthew had organised to play a DVD for Mum that had her brother and family wishing her a happy birthday all the way from the UK.  She then came back outside to where we had been sitting, and they were all there just sitting.  It was so funny because it took a while for her to register who was sitting there in front of her, and she was quite gobsmacked.  I must admit that I shed a few tears just to see her so happy.  My mother deserves all the happiness in the world because she is such a selfless, giving, caring person.  She always gives so much, and does not wish for much for herself.  I've always said she would give someone in need the shirt off her own back.  So it was really nice to see her getting something back.

My concerns of not enough food of course were for nothing.  Although there were a few that I was expecting that were unable to come, and then not all stayed for lunch.  It was a nice lunch though, cold meats, chicken, salads and fresh bread rolls.  I overdid it a bit on the nibbles.  I think everyone is a bit over nibbles from the Christmas/New Year period.

Mum and her brothers family stayed for dinner, so I pulled it all out again and we ate some more.  I will take some down to Mums tomorrow.

The birthday cake that I ordered from the Cheesecake Shop was beautiful, expensive, but beautiful.    I will definitely have to start my diet tomorrow.

The kids all had a lovely time together.  I had a lovely cuddle of my friend Michelle's newborn Caitlyn who is now about 6 weeks old.  I love that tiny age.  So precious.

My kids were all well behaved.  E managed the day without a sleep.  J wasn't too good, had a bad headache and a funny tummy.  I think the funny tummy came from 2 cups of Fanta which my kids just don't drink and if they do I dish it out and watch how much they have.  They had gone to the esky and managed to pour it themselves.  S will probably be uncontrollable tomorrow.  J felt better after a vomit and some panadol.  He was still very quiet for the day though.

I am now pretty exhausted from the busy weekend, and all the planning and running around, all worth it to see my Mum so happy.

I will post some photos of the day, then head for the shower and the comfort of my bed.  I am sure I will sleep well tonight.  Geoff is back at work tomorrow which is quite disappointing, I wish his holidays were for another month!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009

Another year has passed, and a new one beginning.

My hopes for 2009 are the same as always, good health and happiness for my loved ones, keep them all safe and protected.  In addition, for myself, I would like less stress and to be more organised.

For this reason, and after watching a little of Oprah yesterday, I started the day tidying, sorting through boxes and throwing out trivial and unwanted, not needed stuff.  Also I wanted a reason to stay inside in the aircon.  Our aircon is very unpredictable.  The day started as an absolute scorcher and it was Geoff's idea that we just had a really cruisy day inside.  Also, we didn't get to bed until almost 2am, at which time Emma woke up.  So there was little sleep for last night.

We had a good New Year's Eve, with our good friends Heather and Merv coming, also my mother came which I was pleased about.  I did not want her seeing the New Year in on her own, and my brother Steven and his girlfriend Sam were spending the night with my other brother and his partner Amanda.

We had some yummy roasts cooked on the bbq and Merv's you beaut gravy.  I made a potato bake and Heather brought a noodle salad, which  Thomas really liked.  I made cheesecake for dessert and jellies for the kids.

We put the kids in front of a movie before bed, and the adults had a Wii tournament, which was full of lots of laughs, particularly as more wine was consumed.

I managed to win the first bowling tournament which was hilarious, as I am prone to the odd gutter ball.  We had most laughs trying out some of the challenges on Wii Fit.  None of us were impressed at all with our Wii Fit Ages, mine being 60!!!!  That should prompt me to try and get fit in 2009.  

Now I can focus my attentions on Mum's birthday on Sunday.  I haven't thought about it much today at all, because part of getting organised for it is making sure my house is a bit tidy on Sunday.  

Tomorrow I will work out my plan for the day.  I will possible go to Woolworths on Saturday afternoon, because I can't buy the salads too early.  I have ordered the birthday cake, and might just make another dessert myself, I have some simple and easy ones.  I could even just make the kids some jelly.  They like that on a hot day.  I have ordered one cold meat platter and will get some chickens.  I have ordered the bread rolls as well.  I will just make a green salad and Heather offered to make her noodle salad for me which is great.

I will do the nibbles myself too, far cheaper.

I am just hoping the day isn't as hot as it was today, with no breeze our house is a hot house and the aircon won't do the whole house.  I don't really want 20 people in my bedroom!!!

I will sign off with the best of intentions for 2009 to keep my blog updated, and more regular with email communications.

Happy 2009!