Friday, October 29, 2010

A mummy and daughter date

With only a few weeks left until my children finish school, my youngest  and I have decided that every Thursday we are going to have a Mummy and Daughter date, before she starts school.  We are going to get out and do HEAPS of stuff that Brisbane has to offer (of course we do stuff together usually but these dates will be extra special!)



Today it was off to Redcliffe Lagoon for a swim and play.  If you are visiting north Brisbane, this place is awesome.  It is all seaside, has a big playground and a massive manmade lagoon.  There are barbeques, changing rooms, lots of shelter and lifeguards on duty and even a little iceblock shop. Its great!

I will apologise for the photos in advance, they are on my phone and I think I might have sunscreen on my lens... oops!


redcliffe 2



redcliffe

 

Where will we go next week????

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finally some scrapbooking!

I have been scrapbooking since my eldest daughter was about 18 months old and in the last 2 years I haven't done much at all. I love the idea of keeping a visual record for my children (and I have lots of photos to prove it lol!)

So this weekend I somehow managed to squeeze in some time to do a few pages. (excuse the photography - its really hard to photograph the pages straight!)


scrapping2


scrapping


scrapping mario



Hopefully I can spend some time doing some more soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Loving these sweet kids...

kids at beach

On Saturday I was reading Widge's Post here and it really got me thinking.

At times I struggle with parenting, particularly now my children are heading out of the pre school phase and in a few short months will all be at school.

I thought I had it pretty much sussed in dealing with preschoolers (not all the time but a fair bit of it!). I did ALL the parenting courses I could and have all the books!

I have learned recently that a certain beautiful 9 year old who was a strong willed and feisty 3 year old is now bigger and still as feisty with more vocabulary and a lot more defiance!

I have learned recently that a sweet boy who breezed through the terrible twos/threes is now learning to stick up for himself, sandwiched between two strong willed girls.

I have learned recently that a gorgeous wee almost 5 year old, if not given enough opportunities to 'experience' things, will start to act out. How do you introduce the concept of time out to a child who has rarely needed it?

But despite all the learning we are doing together, one thing remains, the feeling of absolute JOY when I hear beautiful words spoken from other people about our children. It makes it all worthwhile.

My darling boy's teacher emailed me on Friday to tell me he is BLOOMING and how she wishes she could bottle his smile.  She also told me to tell the Principal at his new school that he is getting one BRIGHT boy.  OH SO PROUD!

My beautiful eldest went to a birthday party last weekend, a sleepover with about 11 girls, all 9 years old. When I went to pick her up as soon as I arrived the mother (of the birthday girl) started telling me what a BEAUTIFUL and COMPASSIONATE and LOVELY daughter I have.  I was overwhelmed as she just kept going on and on and on about how wonderful MY girl is. OH SO PROUD!

And my precious, almost 5 year old, is so loved and adored everywhere she goes.  Recently at Kindy I was watching mat time. At the end of mat time they hold up cards with each of the children's names on... and here is my little girl calling out (almost) all of them!! Wow!  And other parents keep telling me how bright and lovely she is to spend time with at kindy. OH SO PROUD!!!

So despite the times (like during the school holidays where they fought non stop) we find it tough and I feeling like crawling under a nice quiet rock to hide, I am OH SO PROUD of my darlings!!!  It feels like we are raising beautiful kids with great personalities. AND IT ROCKS!!!!

(and I am going to reread this post when I have pms and they are fighting over which plate to eat off!!)

A Present a week until Christmas

I am finally joining in with Deb's Works in Progress, A Present a week until Christmas (she is up to week 16!!) and there's only 8 weeks to go.


I have been making some bears for my kids from this great book (I treated myself to this book a couple of months ago and it is AWESOME!)



One Yard Wonders: 101 Fabulous Fabric Projects


Here are the cute Peg bears for my girls (my son's one is still in progress) - they are actually about 40cm long - so quite big bears!


peg bears 2


AND, thank you to everyone for your lovely comments about my exciting news yesterday!! We have so much organising to do but I feel really at peace knowing it will all fall into place.


 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

big BIG NEWS!!

I have big news.... and it has something to do with...... mangawhai heads2010 nz 050

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while would have probably figured out I get homesick a fair bit and despite having made some lovely friends here I miss my family a lot.

At our netball game on Monday night we played a team of women who were all kiwis.  I loved it (apart from the arm injury) because the two ladies I was defending were both chatty and friendly and one of them and I just talked about all the things we miss about NZ.. ice cream, hangi, the rugged beauty of the beaches, the general laidback nature of Kiwis, the list was pretty long.


image borrowed from here


I don’t want anyone to get me wrong. I love Australia too. We are so lucky to be given the opportunity to live in a beautiful place with so many fantastic opportunities.



One of my pet peeves is people who move to another country and just trash it because it’s different to their own.  It may be different  to what we are used to, but people who immigrate (or is it emmigrate.. ? too tired to figure it out) here do it for a reason – whether it is for employment, a dissatisfaction with their country of origin..lots of different reasons. And having the opportunity to live in another country should be an honour.  Of course the grass is always greener (cliché but true) and you figure that out along the way.

So while Australia is different to New Zealand in many ways, there are lots of positives about living here in Oz. The pay is better, the country is so vast and beautiful, there is HEAPS to do and we have had so many amazing experiences!  The weather in Queensland is generally warmer and more sunshine hours. And the wildlife is amazing.. oh and they have T2 (is there one in NZ yet?) and my favourite tv show- Offspring.

2010 124



Of course there are things I can live without - snakes, poisonous spiders, feisty magpies, hot days where it is impossible to cool down and the grass burns your feet, and sweating as soon as you step out of a cold shower.. ewww!

snake



I think for me it is about who I am in my heart. It is only when I am living overseas that my true patriotism for NZ is really evident. It makes me so darn proud to be a Kiwi!!!

I went to the USA as an exchange student when I was 18 years old and loved every minute of it. I can recall times of homesickness around Christmas and my birthday but generally was ok.  Now it is so much more about our children. It is a constant reminder that we cant share special moments with their extended whanau.  These reminders are on birthdays, school events, when they play sports... you get the picture.

For a lot of Kiwi’s living in Australia is perfect for them and they will stay and that is great!!

I miss my family terribly (as I have repeatedly told you on this blog) and I have a very simple but important dream. I want to get together regularly with my family and I want our children to have a close relationship with their grandparents, aunties, uncle and cousins. I have this idea of us all meeting at my parents (or somewhere) every Sunday for lunch and then a game of cricket in the backyard. Im a simple gal!

So on that note,  I am very excited that we are making plans to move HOME in January!

The plans are being made, they aren’t perfect and for a period of time there will be separation within our little family. But school has been arranged for our dear children and my parents are so excited they will get to see my youngest start her first day of school.

I will miss the lovely friends I have made here and they will always be welcome to come and visit us (HINT HINT!!!) and fortunately through the likes of facebook and email we can keep in touch. 

It will be very hard for our children to leave the beautiful friends they have made too.  Our eldest has some absolutely BEAUTIFUL friends and they are so special.

But in my heart a Kiwi I am and that is always who I will be KIWIATHEART.

Friday, October 22, 2010

F.R.I.E.N.D.S swap

friends swap 1


I particpated in the FRIENDS swap over at Sew Prim Khris and I was so excited to receive a parcel of beautiful goodies from Karen (you can visit her blog here)


friends f swap


oh the plans I have for this GORGEOUS christmas fabric!!!


friends r


my favourite!!!


friends i


how cute are these cupcake goodies!!


friends e


oh and this elf is SOOO cute... my photo doesnt show how incredibly clever and cute it is - the present even has a tag with my name on it!!


friends needle case


love this beautiful needle case.. already being well used!!


friends d


my latest passion - doilies!


friends s


and scrapbooking items for my supplies.. my eldest already has her eye on these!!!


Thank you so much Karen for the beautiful swap gifts!! I love everything and feel soooo spoilt!

Little Kiwi Chick Giveaway

Since I have started blogging I have made some lovely blogging friends and one person I love to catch up with and have a lot in common with is Jennifer from Little Kiwi Chick.

And Jennifer is having a gorgeous giveaway - how totally cute are these gorgeous crochet kiwis!!

Get on over to her blog and enter the giveaway before the 31st October.. and check out her new felt shop too (because you will need to buy one there when I win the giveaway - hehe!).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space - cats

 


cats



Today's creative space at our house is brought to you by Little Miss Sunshine.  She is 9 years old and learning to sew. Recently she made these super cute cats, one for her and one each for her brother and sister. I just helped her draft the pattern and she did the rest herself. So proud!

Little Miss Sunshine and Sonic are both attending sewing club at school and my son (7yrs) is so excited about the Christmas decoration he has been making... its his first time EVER sewing and he is doing such a great job. (he took it with him to school today so I haven't a picture to post of it)

I LOVE seeing my children create... this is a picture of Sonic (Mario brothers) that my 4 year old did this week (I had to grab it from the rubbish bin  because she didnt think it was good enough!) I think it is amazing!!!

sonic



 Check out other creative spaces over here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

This week is the Elsie Marley Kids Clothes week challenge.
What you do is make clothes for your kids for an hour a day for seven days!
I am joining in because I want to make my boy some PJs
 and these for my littlest - Fisher boy shorts(for girls) !!!!Oh so cute!
image borrowed from MaryJane and Galoshes
tutorial found here...
And some more super simple lazy days skirts for the girls.... like I made last year (yes its my first ever post!)
 
A snap wrap dress from here
Oh and this adorable dress!!!
image borrowed from here & Tutorial here
And this gorgeous one here
oh and there are a couple of dozen more things I have saved that I want to make!! haha! but for now I'll just start with those :)

Loving/not loving- team sport for the aging...

I was inspired by Simone's post today over at Great4kids about things she is loving/not loving so I thought Id join in too.

I was going to call this post - team sport for the aging... lol... because

I am Not LOVING

playing my second game of netball last night (after... 20 something years.. ahem) and running into my opponent with my arm out and jarring it from my wrist to elbow.. very painful. And no sleep because I was in pain...

But I AM LOVING

A trip to the doctor and subsequent xray to confirm nothing is broken.. just sore and a pinched nerve. I am nearly 40 and I have never broken a bone so I was a bit worried my record would be tarnished.

AND TOTALLY LOVING....

this guy...

43


(he doesnt normally have a blond attachment on his back...)


for taking the day off work to help me drive the kids to and from kindy and school and getting to have lunch with him (an absolute RARITY without family around to help with the kids) in this beautiful spot


aussie pics 085


mmmm..... I had seafood risotto... soooo good and the scenery - stunning.



He is also making dinner, cleaning up, hanging out washing... Im soooo grateful because for the next couple of days I am strictly on FRICE!!  Fudge, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation :)  .... yeah I know, the fudge bit is because on the weekend we made YUMMY russian fudge....and its gotta help, right?

 Not loving... that its taking me a very long time to type this one handed and not my normal hand. I also discovered today I CANNOT write my name left handed... my four year olds writing looks better!

LOVING ... a trip to the endocrinologist to find out my thyroid levels are FINALLY normal - this is a huge thing for me after 13 years of battling with it. Lets hope its stays that way.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shares in Australia Post

This week I think I should have been entitiled to shares in Australia Post.


I sent all my giveaways, 2 swaps and the first lot of Christmas gifts to family in the USA. 


Here's some sneak peeks of what I have sent... 


sneak peek 3sneak peek two


 (lots of doily lovin' going on here..)


I was so shocked to find out that with Australia Post the minimum is Airmail. Whatever happened to sending stuff overseas surface post?  (for the Chrissy Pressies). It is sooo expensive now.  AND it cost me only 50c more to send a package to NZ compared to sending an identical package across the city of Brisbane.. go figure!


Anyway, Im not actually complaining (well maybe a wee bit). Im just annoyed at myself for being a procrastinator because just a few weeks ago my hubby was in NZ and could have given all my pressies for the USA to my sister in law who is there this week... that would have been just tooooo organised for me!


It is a huge relief to get everything in the mail as I have been avoiding the Post office for the last few weeks... with school holidays, flooding and storms etc. 


AND today my new NZ passport arrived!  My old one expired in January and I have been.. um... procrastinating ... about that too.  So its here, its fancy schmancy with its e-chip thingy and my hubby will now be lining up with the kids in the queues while i swan through the fancy schmancy e-passport queue..... hahaha.  Pity the picture is so blergh though... my old one was actually nice!  Oh and I have finally got a passport in my married name... yes 10.5 years since we married (but passports were valid for 10 years and I had to renew it before the wedding for our honeymoon).... ok, yes Im rambling.


Im also very excited that the Aussie dollar was last night at 99.93 US cents.  How cool is that!!!  Time for a wee bit of US shopping I think.   ... just don't tell my hubby....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Bloggiversary to me!

cupcake



Today it is one year since I started blogging and wow what a year it has been.

Just over a year ago I didn't have any idea what a blog was and didn't know how much I would enjoy having one and the amazing people I would 'meet', from here in Australia, and all around the world.

I'd say one of the best things I did was sign up for Kiwi Mummy Blogs as I have 'met' so many other kiwi Mums who blog and I feel a real connection with.  In the last two weeks I have been lucky enough to meet two of these lovely ladies who live in Brisbane (more about that in another post :)). I am really looking forward to meeting more fellow bloggers in the future.

This year:

I have written 182 posts.

I have been in NZ Parenting magazine. What a buzz!

I have written my first tutorial here.

I have sewn and created probably more than ever!

I have participated in swaps, won giveaways, hosted giveaways.

I have been INSPIRED, I have LAUGHED, I have CRIED, I have ADMIRED, I have felt CONNECTED. I have discovered more about who I am and the person I want to be.

I have been awe-inspired by the remarkable people in blogland.

I have come to the realisation that this blog is what I want it to be. It is about what I want to share and how I see the world.

While blogging, I have read about people questioning whether it is easy to portray a 'perfect'  (but not real) life on a blog.  For me the percieved anonymity means I feel more able to keep it real. What you see is what you get with me.  Our life is not perfect but that's ok. My kids aren't perfectly behaved all the time, but that's ok, because we love them unconditionally and they also remind us how to keep it real. I have ups and downs, I get homesick (a lot!), I have an ongoing battle with my health, I have arguments with my husband, I burn in the sun, I procrastinate (oh boy do I ever)... but its all the reality of life.

So a BIG thank you to all my lovely followers and those who leave comments. I appreciate you taking the time to drop by.

There's going to be a few changes around here shortly so stay tuned and WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Meeting a KMB

I am nervously excited about meeting another KMB tonight!! Renee from Nays Place is coming to my place!! Eeekkk!!!!

So tomorrow I will finally blog about meeting Lisa and Renee!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

School closed for rain

Everything in Aussie is bigger and scarier than NZ...  the spiders (massive and deadly ones too) the lizards, the big banana and pineapple (lol) and the RAIN!!!  I mean, seriously, coming from NZ we have more than our fair share of wet weather, especially with having lived in the Waikato, this rain is SO INTENSE!!!

When it rains in Queensland its not a shower - its a deluge!  It has rained for the best part of three weeks (unusual) and last night it literally poured down all night.  This morning our back yard had a little bit of water hanging around but within 10 minutes it was pretty much filling up fast.

backyard flooding



And school is closed!  The streets around our school are flooded and Ive heard people are getting stuck in the water.  Our school is up a big hill but the road leading to is it flooded. Everytime its sounds like the rain is easing off a couple of minutes later it intensifies again.

So we've declared a pyjama day in our house.  Hubby has gone to work and fingers crossed the trains will be running tonight when he wants to come home!

We are so lucky to live in a nice secure house on a bit of a hill.

Now Im off to put something yummy and warm in the crockpot for dinner ... its that kind of day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where did my mojo go?

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo... not sure whats going on. I certainly have things to post about ... especially meeting Lisa from Everything by Twos... but for some reason I have lost my motivation!

I even joined in with Blogtober Fest (which I have already failed at!!!)....and I have an awesome GF banana cake recipe to share...

I told myself tonight I would sit down and actually write a post.. but so far I have had 'words' with the hubby (keeping it real here!), my youngest is melting down about going to bed (usual) and i am sore.. oh so sore... lol (first netball game in 20 + years last night.. more on that later).

I have been sitting here instead thinking about how frustrating I am finding it using wordpress.  Mostly because I have joined in with swaps etc and without a code for the buttons I can't pop them buttons on my sidebar.. and that makes me feel frustrated because I can't figure how to do it...  silly thing to get annoyed over .. but anyway...

And to all the lovlies out there awaiting prizes from me... I am sorry I have been so slow - hoping to make it to the post office tomorrow... even if I have to crawl!!! hahaha....

So here's hoping tomorrow I find my mojo!!

And make my day.. leave me a comment and inspire me!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thankful

Today I am thankful...

for having hands and a mind that allow me to create....

for the rain that is filling our water tank in a country that has been experiencing years of water restrictions...

for a husband who has cooked a beautiful roast dinner and baked a cake and biscuits.....

for having three healthy, happy children who can run, jump and play...

for living comfortably in a country of plenty and never going without.....and being free from war and persecution...

for the beautiful gluten free banana cake my daughter made me... (oh so yummy!)...and still enjoying beautiful food despite restrictions...

for blossoming friendships in blog land... 

for making new friends... and still loving the old ones *grin*...

for family who love me unconditionally...

for the end of school holidays... (oops, how did that one sneak in here?)... lol...

Sometimes its too easy to get caught up in the things that get us down and looking for things to be thankful really puts it into perspective.

I AM BLESSED... IMMENSELY...

what are you thankful for today?

Friday, October 1, 2010

A walking challenge

I'm joining in with Me in a Snap for her walking challenge of 80 km in 80 days.  It starts today and the 80km has to be completed by 19 December.

This is a challenge I really need. I bought some new walking shoes a few weeks ago and I've only worn them for one walk - and they are oh so comfortable!!  So no excuses.

Watch this space and head on over to Me in a Snap to join her :)