Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

Another year has passed, and now I reflect back, but can't remember much at all! I shall try to remember the highlights and other significant events:

  • So many changes for Charlie, we're starting to understand his words and sentences, his vocabulary has grown substantially, and he's mastered the art of tantrums!
  • Our eldest son, Callum, left home and moved to the big city.No longer a boy, he's living a man's life now!
  • Guthrie finished his last year of high school;
  • Lily started her first year of high school, impressing all the teachers with her maturity;
  • Freya enjoyed school, participated in the Tournaments of Minds, and won the endeavour award in her class. I'm very proud.
  • Michael reached the milestone of his 50th birthday. Wow! He's still a young man to me.
  • We celebrated our 20th anniversary. Boy, where did that time go?
  • I enjoyed another wonderful year of being a stay at home mum. It's very definitely my vocation.
And last, and by no means least, just after my 44th birthday, I was surprised and delighted to find out I was pregnant. After the initial shock, we came to accept that bub number 6 would join our family. Sadly, over Christmas, I miscarried.

So, 2010 ended on rather a sad note for me.

But 2011 is a new year, full of promise. I've made no resolutions, no plans. I just want to take it day by day and really appreciate and enjoy what I have in my life.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Grateful List

I'm trying to be more gracious, to focus on all the good things in my life, so from time to time I write a grateful list in my head.Today I'll try and put some of it down in writing:

 My wonderful daughter Lily who is always lending a helping hand with our littlest one.
 My wonderful daughter Freya, so loving and caring.
 My gorgeous family. My lovely big boy, Guthrie, a born entertainer.
 My sister. I never tire of her company. There's always something to talk  and laugh about.
 The miracle that is is our beautiful boy...
The constant mess and chaos that says, "a busy family lives here".
  • The fact that we have a roof over our heads, in one of the most beautiful places in the world;
  • Always having plenty of healthy, fresh food to eat;
  • Feeling safe where we live;
  • having fulfilling,satisfying jobs to do;
  • time to spend on the beach;
  • time spent crafting.
There's so much more, but I'll save it for another time.
What's on your grateful list?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2011

What a beautiful day we had. It was quiet, just us, and the children loved their gifts, their lunch and the cruisey time we had together. Sadly, we didn't have the camera out to take photos. Silly isn't it?I should have some lovely photos of the kids opening their gifts. Especially Charlie who couldn't quite work out what was going on, and wanted to open everybody else's presents!

 Our tree was a bit scrawny. Had to find it at the last minute in the bush on our block. It did the trick, and at night, with the lights on, it is fine.
 Pretty glass baubles bought new this year to adorn the bare branches of our decorative tree (also used at easter time).
 Solar lanterns. So pretty, but we had such overcast days that they didn't work terribly well! We need some sunshine.
 My beautiful Christmas treat for myself: A wonderful blue hydrangea to brighten the front doorstep.

And how the laundry has mounted up! Looks like I've got some catching up to do. Taking time off for the festivities has left at lot to be desired on the domestic front...I'd better go and hang out a load of washing. At least these ghastly Easterly winds we've had for days on end will dry the washing...there's an upside!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Happy List: Idea from inner Pickle, from Fox's Lane Blog

 Idea from Inner Pickle, from Fox's Lane Blog
Living in a beautiful, pristine environment. Meeting up with kangaroos, lizards, small marsupials and the odd snake, almost daily!

 My lovely, relaxed,supportive husband. Seen here relaxing in ugg boots on the deck.
 Our beautiful sunny place, to sit,relax, share time with friends and family and soak up the view.
 Happy, silly, funny children. The best thing I ever did!
Our silly, naughty, gorgeous little boy. There's never a dull moment, and so many happy times....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Don't Write So Much Anymore....

 As you can see from the photo, my two year old manages more time at the "pooter" than I do these days.
Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately, and I hardly seem to catch my breath. I am struggling to do very much for myself, but I realize I need to get back to my knitting, sewing and the garden, (though it has had some attention lately, and I shall endeavour to post some pictures later.)
 In the last couple of months, much has been happening. We got back from our holiday to a new term, and then the organizing of Michael's 50th birthday party. We had a "sleep-over" party for 16 close friends, then the following weekend went out to lunch with Michael's family and my parents. There were about 16 of us there. It was a very pleasant lunch and I feel we celebrated his birthday well, just as he deserves.
 As well as the extra things going on, life powers along for a family of seven and there's rarely a dull moment (I wouldn't mind a bit of dull to be honest!). Charlie entertains us daily with his antics. Having young children, though exhausting, is just so entertaining and joyful. He is a little ray of sunshine.

We are trying to toilet train him, and starting to wean him off breastfeeding through the night. Perhaps that is adding to my level of exhaustion!

 I'm also busy cooking and baking for the family everyday. This gorgeous creation was an Angel food cake, which was very much like meringue, which was used in a trifle - just add jelly, custard (made with the egg yolks left over from the cake, and baked in the oven - so easy) fruit and cream.

And on top of all that, our big boy, Guthrie has been very busy studying and sitting his final exams. He will graduate next week. I can hardly believe it, but glad the stress of exams (mainly my stress) is over.
So maybe things can slow down now? Only 4 weeks til the summer school holidays start. Then we can enjoy no alarms, no breakfast rush, slow mornings, the beach and sunshine....ahh...

This Moment

Easy Vegetarian Curry (very yummy and eaten by the whole family)

This really is a very easy recipe,, mainly because it involves cheating by using a store bought jar of curry paste. But it tastes so good and the list of ingredients on the back doesn't include any nasties. So here it is:

1 red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
6 medium potatoes cut into 2cm(ish) cubes
2 medium sweet potatoes cut into roughly the same sized pieces as the potato
1 large carrot,cut into 1cm cubes
1 cup chicken stock
400ml  can of coconut cream
400g can of haricot beans
1 jar of Valcom Massaman curry paste
2 Tablespoons of sugar
3 Tablespoons of fish sauce
Natural yoghurt to serve
Coriander and spring onions, chopped, to serve

Use about a tablespoon of rice bran or avocado oil to brown the onion and garlic. Add the vegetables and saute for a minute or two. Add the jar of paste and cook and stir for a minute or so.
Add the fish sauce and sugar, stock, beans and coconut cream.

Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

While that's cooking put your rice on to cook. I used jasmine, but it is nice with basmati or brown rice too.

Serve topped with coriander and spring onions and yoghurt if you like.

This tasted delicious, was warming and filling. It isn't too spicy and my 2 year old happily ate it.

You could use other beans( I think chickpeas would be nice), and any vegetables. I've made it before with cauliflower and peas and it was just as good. I also make it with chicken.

Sorry, I don't have a picture of it.....

Friday, October 29, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's been so long...

...since I last posted. I'm finding it really hard to find the peace and presence to write on my blog. I often think that it is silly, as I'm sure I don't have anyone reading it regularly, but I suppose as a record of our family life (or a tiny part of it) I should try to keep it up.Perhaps my children will enjoy reading it one day.

Since I last wrote, we have been on holiday in Augusta.

Charlie is growing and learning new words daily.
Charlie is presenting me with too many challenges to list.
I've decided to banish clutter and organize our living space (Ha! This should be challenging).
And now I must dash off to get ready for Michael's 5oth party. More later....

This Moment

What happens when you leave a toddler alone:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Charlie is Two

Our wee boy is two today! Where did that time go? Yes, I know, countless nappies, sleepless nights, long days, but also so many joyful moments. I have loved almost every minute and have felt like the luckiest woman in the world to have had the chance to this all over again.

Now, our little one has started to talk in sentences (very short ones) and has new words every day. He loves to imitate what we say ("Alrighty then", just the other day), is the danciest dude in the south of Australia, is full of smiles and mischief, and always ready with a pat on the back if you feel sad.

We adore him!

Happy Birthday Charlie Bear!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Antidote to the winter blues....

....dancing to Stevie Ray Vaughan. I guarantee you'll have the whole family smiling,laughing and bouncing !

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guthrie goes to the ball...

My lovely 17 year old got all dressed up and transformed from the boy to a man! It is amazing how a suit can make them look so grown up.
I suppose it is a milestone for us. It marks the final year of high school for him. Two of my children have now been to the school ball! Gosh - I feel old.
At least I still have three more to go,otherwise I might be a bit more emotional about it all.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This Moment

Morning view from our deck. Need I say more?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lessons in Patience

I sometimes wonder why the desire to have a baby (Charlie) was so strong.That despite knowing, logically, that it would be quite an inconvenience, I felt compelled to pursue the desire.
Well, I think it may be that he had lessons for me to learn, and one of the main lessons is to be more patient, especially today.

After a very restless night ( I think he may be cutting eye teeth), he got up before me, and I could hear from the dining room:"Charlie,get off the table!" Followed closely by,"No, Charlie, don't play with the wet nappies!" His sisters did their best to keep him in line, but this toddler has his own agenda, and no one is going to stop him!

I had looked forward to having a break this afternoon, while he had a nap, only to have him rise from his slumber about 15 minutes after I'd put him into his bed (asleep). I had just started to eat my lunch...a lesson in patience.

Later, I decided we had to get out of the house and hopefully, wear him out a little. So I decided we'd walk up the road, pick some native flowers for my desk, and just have a nice stroll.

The relaxed stroll was punctuated with Charlie running off into the bush, appearing again, double-backing to where we'd been, lying down on the road, refusing to move or running off again. Never in the direction I wanted to go. Not only was it a difficult lesson in patience, it was also a lesson on how to just let go and enjoy all sorts of things that as an adult I fail to see. Charlie took such delight in singing to dry grass, or picking up a stick to conduct with, or use as a weapon. He just enjoyed the moment.

So, it seems the boy was sent to show me a thing or two: try to live in the moment, take time to just be...

Thanks, Charlie, I'll give it a go.
Now, do you think you could try sleeping for a longer period of time...give it a go.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Goode Wool Hunting Knitting Club: Our First Meeting

Our first knitting club meeting (where we actually knitted - we did have a preliminary meeting at the lovely Liberte cafe, with wine and sans knitting).

Perhaps I should say it was a knitting couple rather than club, as there were just the two of us! Actually it was almost just me, but I phoned Katelyn (she had forgotten) and she came along. I am glad, as I might have had to eat the whole cake all by myself, and then I would have felt like a glutton!

We had a really lovely time, knitting and chatting by the fire, drinking wine, eating cake and a lovely goat's cheese from the local markets.I would have to say the first knitting meeting was a great success and I look forward to the next one.It was sheer bliss to knit without interruption, and to do it with such good company is even better.This is the scarf I am knitting at the moment. I'm using beautiful Jo Sharp alpaca yarn - two types together( Alpaca Kid Lustre and Alpaca Silk Georgette).The alpaca is so incredibly soft, it is a pleasure to knit- the lustre is a mix of alpaca,mohair and merino, the silk georgette has alpaca,merino and 20% silk - lovely.

The stitch comes from one of her patterns - it is actually for a cardigan, but I just wanted a scarf, so I copied the 5 rows that make up the pattern.
The cake I made is an old favourite gluten free recipe that everyone seems to love. It is so good that no one notices that it is gluten free, as it has a lot of ground almonds in it.I sometimes make it as an upside down pear or apple cake simply by pouring the batter over the peeled and sliced fruit which sits on top of 2 tablespoons of brown sugar which has been melted with 4 tablespoons of honey.

However for the knitting club, I just made the basic cake and topped it with vanilla cream and kiwi fruit and strawberries.Yum.

Here's the recipe:

100grams butter
1 cup sugar ( I used caster, but any sugar is okay)
4 large eggs
200 grams ground almonds OR half almonds and half gluten free flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Beat eggs and sugar until double in volume. Melt the butter, and add to the egg mixture along with almonds (sifted flour if you are using) and vanilla essence.
Pour into a 20cm lined and greased cake tin.
Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius) 30 -45 minutes. It is variable depending on your oven - my cake was ready by 35 minutes.

Enjoy with lashings of vanilla cream ( I added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and 2 teaspoons of icing sugar to the whipped cream - about 250mls) and fresh fruit.

So, I think the knitting club has gotten off to a great start.I hope we'll get many new members enjoying a chance to stitch and chatter with us next time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beautiful Bountiful Garden

Happily hanging out with the chookies.
Lovely lemons.
The beans that just keep giving.
Cabbage and coriander.

I love seeing my plants progressing. I love this time of year, when I don't have to worry about watering, the plants are lush, and everyday they are noticeably bigger.

I love to just potter around the garden, pull out a weed here and there, stop and smell the grapefruit blossom and make great big plans in my head about what I'll do to the garden in the future(the "future" could be next week, next month, next year, or even further along, there's no rush).

I really love the way the garden makes me feel.Everything slows down and I feel contented.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Busy, Busy,Busy

Despite the broken toe, I've still managed to get into the garden. Sorry, no photos of the garden today, but I will try to get some this week, because things are going so well.

The beds are pretty well full, I've got cauliflower, broccoli, broccoletti, savoy cabbages,scarlet broad beans, peas galore,lettuce,parsley,carrots,sweet potatoes,potatoes and coriander! Sounds marvellous doesn't it? I've been giving them regular doses of seaweed emulsion and weeding every chance I get.

Pretty happy with that!

I just love that the sun has been shining for us, it is such a pleasure to be out in the sun, getting my hands dirty.

Photos next time.