Monday, April 30, 2012

coping with the big issues

Sad day in this household today.... at least two of us are going to bed with bloodshot eyes and headaches from crying most of the afternoon..

Just before I was due to do the school run, I let Jumeirahs beloved pet cockatiel, Thomas, out for a ride on my shoulder. Hes just a gorgeous bird and loves to be close to you. Just before I went to put him back, he suddenly took flight ( even though I clipped his wings last week) and flew straight over the front fence. I raced through the gate... to find silence. Not a sign of the bird anywhere.

We have searched all afternoon, spoken to neighbours, and asked God to bring him home.
There is still no sign of him.

Its the first time as a mum I have really hurt her, not intentionally, but nevertheless, I caused it and I ache for her. She loved that bird, wrote poems, stories, sang to him, and trained him.

Her final comment tonight ( and she went to bed with two of his feathers under her pillow) was
" Mum, I know its not your fault, but he was the best thing Id ever had." Ouch.

And so we talked about whether he'd survive, she taught him to eat grass seed so he should be ok, and shes gone to bed with the knowledge that hes probably happy.

My neighbour thought maybe I should pretend he came home and go get a new one tomorrow, but I believe that this child would know straight away. Shes not one Ive ever shied away from telling the truth ( and yup, she knows how babies are made the "real" way already cos she asked!)

If you have kids,how do you cope with things like this? What do you tell them? Do you tell them the truth? What do remember of things like this happening to you as a kid?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

little bit more cooking

Another cooking day from the holidays... still catching up!

I had an extra child for the morning and both girls wanted to do something " cookery" and "fun" ( what is it these two and making me find them "fun"??)

So I pulled out something I had stashed away for a rainy day, which meant that today was perfect ;) I found the coolest chocolate mould a while ago and some white chocolate and we were set. I had brilliant intentions of colouring the chocolate with food colouring ( DONT DO THIS BIT. It seriously doesnt work well) but next time Ill find some proper wilton colours...

So we set to work... we talked about how long chocolate takes to melt in the microwave, and what happens when you over cook it ( yup I was good at that) and not cooking it enough ( obviously it was still solid) . Once melted, I added food colouring to it. At this point, the chocolate starts to congeal REALLY quickly and impossible to pour into the mould. We had to really work fast to get the chocolate into the mould at all but somehow it worked. ( This happens frequently, I think its totally screwed and then somehow I pulled it off)

How cute are they!! The kids abolutely love them, especially Jared who was totally not convinced that they were edible but was shocked with delight at how good they were :)

For lunch, I set the girls up to make rice paper rolls for lunch. Ive been totally addicted to these for a few weeks now so I had all the ingredients, I set them to cut up the veggies, and then instructed them on how to construct them. They had the choice of capsicum, chicken, cheese, beans, carrot, and snowpeas. Both of them filled them as they liked and then rolled them.

Such an easy yum lunch :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

rainy day boats

Of course... it rains a WHOLE week of the school holidays. And not just piddly little rain. No! This is rain that floods, FAST. Its like the whole ocean is dumped upon us.. consistently for days. By day 2 Id had enough... kids had had a terrible morning and wasnt looking much better for the afternoon. So I knew I had to do something fast if I was going to survive...

Luckily, a friend of mine has been collecting corks for me for awhile now and I knew just what to do with them ;)

Jared and Jumeirah were fast to stop playing crazy not-good inside games to be allowed to come outside with me. We glued together two corks, added a makeshift mast with bluetac and a matchstick and the followed me outside to our gushing river of a gutter ( that water has just flowed merrily through our backyard :( )

And this was the result!

They loved it. I loved it. And whats more, with umbrellas at the ready, it wasnt raining as hard for the hour we played in the flooded drain, but as soon as we finished, the heavens opened up again! I had a few neighbours comment on my " we never see kids get to play like this anymore!" and I was glad I hadnt robbed my kids of simple cork play just because they might get wet.

We have more plans to use these boats on the beach.... stay tuned for that one :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cooking up a storm

School holidays and yet again the water of the world is falling in Port Macquarie... it doesnt bother me so much really. Only for the fact that we have no clothes in any cupboards again and the ground will now be wet until christmas but as far as my kids go, its a fairly thing to deal with.

On Monday arvo though, my facebook status was FULL of mums complaining that they had nothing to do with their bored kids... drives me nuts really, but then I am slammed with " oh well its easy for a creative Mum" and I know better than to tell them to pull their socks up and MAKE it happen...
But I thought I would help them a bit and suggest a few things they could do at home. Whilst I did this, in all of about 15 minutes, my own gang entertained themselves until I got there.
I then hear the most almighty scream and Jared comes racing to me, eyes wide open and in pain.
Took me a few seconds to realise this had happened.

Great game though. What you do is one person starts running and the other catches their leg so they fall over! BRILLIANT! Shame the tv cabinet was in the way. *sigh*

So I logged off from helping and joined my gang.
I had some cooking ideas to do today and so we began.

Now, in Coles last week, a "friend" stopped me and asked how on earth I could teach my kids to cook when I use a packet cake mix. ( Oh wow thanks for that!)

This is what WE learnt today from cooking with a "cheat" packet mix.

Reading instructions. ( jumeirah @ 7yrs)

Working out what the little "c" meant after 180c. (jumeirah)

How to turn the oven on the right temperature. ( Jared @5yrs)

Measuring the right amount of milk ( Amahli @ 3yrs) and talking about what would happen if you measured it wrong ( Jumeirah)

Learning the difference between tsp and tbspn ( teaspoon and tablespoon) and how they differ in size. ( ALL)

Mixing until all ingredients are combined ( Amahli)

Working out how many patty pan cases you need for 12 holes. ( Amahli/Jared) and also working out that if you have pinkand white, how many of each you need to make it an equal amount ( Jumeirah)

Spooning just one tablespoon into each case, talking about why it looks half empty and what will happen in the oven. ( all)

Waiting for it to cook in the oven... ( me mostly)

Icing and decorating.. trying not to lick our fingers whilst we do it as we can give others our germs( All)

Such a simple plan but it has SO many concepts and learning in it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekending... the best way :)

How do you do weekends with your family? Is it made up of a whole heap of jobs that you race to get through whilst the kids play as far away from helping as possible?? Do you mow the lawns, wash the cars, spend time in the weeds in the only time you have away from work? DO you work hard to "just get it done"? Or do you a family work together????

I know, I know. Involving the kids means it takes twice as long, ends up making 4 times the mess and pretty much always means you'll have to completely do it again. But sometimes, all that is totally worth it :)

Tim had decided to wash his car, leaving me in the house with three children I had been with without him for a week ( I took them to Sydney, he stayed at home and went to work and then lived it up with us at night. Sounded like such a tough week. NOT). In his mind, he had a job to do and was going to do it. By himself.

Very quickly, I decided I was going to wash mine too, but all three kids were going to help me.
So armed with buckets and my beautiful craft sponges I had to cut up for the occasion, I herded them all out to merry cries of " we get to wash the car too!".

Outside, Jared changed teams and went to help daddy wash his car and it turned into a friendly game of " girls vs boys".
We had the best time, working together as a family, chatting, giggling, soap and suds going everywhere and possibly in the middle of all this, two cars got washed.

I watched two walkers stop and watch us, having a total blast as a family and they smiled and nodded and I felt their approval as I sought to involve my kids in our otherwise boring jobs.

Of course, pretty soon, it turned into a full on hose and water fight with daddy the master of the hose.

I ran to grab my camera ( if it gets wet or ruined it means I should get a new one! Right??) and took some shots of my very happy gang.

Times like this are SO invaluable for kids. Today they learnt:

That jobs can be fun ( in true mary poppins style).

That we can work together to do jobs.

How to wash a car ( important life skill I never really worked on much).

That it doesnt have to cost money to spend time together and completely enjoy it.

And as a family, we created some memories I hope will last them a lifetime :)
So go, find a job and do it together!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On holiday :)

Sorry to those of you checking in this week and are now getting annoyed you have noting to read with your morning coffee..... ;) we are on holidays with only my iPhone so it's a bit tricky to log in :) Back next week :) xx

Monday, April 9, 2012

glow in the dark easter egg hunt!

And so Easter is over for the year... we've had a wonderful couple of days with family and friends. Ive been good.. only a few eggs for me so Im pretty happy with that :)

This year, I wanted to do something different for our hunt. Id seen lots of different ideas in lots of blogs but the one that stood out all over the web is to make some glow in the dark eggs.

I bought some plastic eggs and some glow sticks and, whilst hiding in the cupboard trying to put them together, my kids were keen to find out what exciting thing I was working on. The glow sticks were quite a bit trickier to get into the eggs that I thought but with some under the breath growling and some trust sticky tape, we were ready. I hid the eggs in their bedrooms, under sheets and in cupboards, so that you couldnt really see them but for their glow :)

Such a fun idea :) They played we these glow eggs for quite a while, until they worked out how to take the tape off and created their own "dark party".

So much fun!

Friday, April 6, 2012

paper seeds: still growing strong!!

About two years ago, Jumeirah and I made our own paper and added seeds to make easter cards for her friends. With the left over cards we planted them in our own garden. (This is the blog if you want to see it)

Two Easters later.... these little flowers are still growing strong!! Ive tried to pull them out, theyve survived the craziest of weathers, pickings, stomping on ( by accident so Im told) and a variety of other measures but STILL, they grow, bloom, flourish :) Bringing me joy in the most random of moments, and reminding me that memories and moments can last forever.

Happy Easter xxx

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter: egg dyeing

Its been really busy this week but Im trying hard to start doing some Easter craft.
Unfortunately I havent had a chance to get any photos of my camera so Im going to repost a cool Egg dyeing craft we've done before :)

My cheeks are still aching from the Easter activity we did last Saturday. Luckily it was fun and turned out really well so it was kinda worth it :)

Eggs, in the normal, unchocolated, raw state are really not my favourite thing. Actually I dont like eating them ether much unless they are coated in cake mix.. but I stumbled upon the mother of all crafters, Martha Stewart, and her 62 ( YUP THAT SAID 62) different ways to decocrate an egg and really couldnt pass up trying at least a few...check it out here!!

I picked 2 types from her website and had 2 of my own to try. Now came the part that made me dry retch way too much, blowing the eggs. Truly disgusting. I had Jumeirah and Jared all excited to help me dye the eggs but once they saw this part both took off to find something else to do. And so, I persevered and blew 4 eggs. Trust me, that was enough. I am seriously still sore cheeked.

The first egg I used contact paper in strips on the egg ( should have used a vinyl but contact was available) in a stripey pattern. I made up the dye bath with hot water and vinegar. I was actually pretty amazed at how much colour the egg took.
The second egg I used rubber bands to make a pattern on the egg ( again, it could have been better with thicker bands but thin is what had) and dyed this one blue.

The third egg managed to convince Jumeirah they were clean and she drew on it with pastels. We then tried to dye it yellow but it wasnt very bright so it got double dunked in the blue.

The fourth was my favourite and my own creation, I used a hot glue gun all over it before it was dunked in black ink.

We let them dry for a few minutes and then took off all the embellishments.
They were interesting and effective all in dfferent ways.... Still my favourite was my black one :)

rubber bands

contact strips
hot glue gun

pastel resist

We will definitely do these experiments again, possibly not even at Easter time :)

I still want to have a go at the mexican ones that are filled wth confett and broken over the head of someone with a wish for their future... sometime this week when my cheeks are back to normal)
You wait until you see what with did with the shells after a few days!