Monday, 28 March 2016

Happy Easter 2016

We've had a very relaxing Easter at home. We've caught up with friends, done some hiking up Mt Cootha, read and watched movies. We had the usual Easter hunt which is always exciting but seems to take much less time these days.
Pip and Hamish have enjoyed having us all home - especially snuggling in bed with Bunny ears on!
Hope you and your family have had a terrific Easter.
Love, Rach xx

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Welcome 2016!

As promised, my commitment to this blog would be sadly lacking. Here's a quick catch up since my last post in November in the form of photo collages. Hold on for the ride as this post is LOOOONG.

Clockwise from top left:
Christmas Day spent in Brisbane
Penny's Dancing Concert- she was in 10 dances!
Cool Pip
Nic had braces fitted for the next 20mths and managed them brilliantly
Hamish and his strangled Christmas chook
Penny on Christmas Day
Penny and her friend, Summer at Max Brenner, Southbank enjoying the best chocolate milkshake ever
Lego Brickman Exhibition

Nic and I cleared an old, messy garden to plant hydrangeas. We pulled out over 40 agapanthus which are now planted along the inside of our front wall and are sprouting plenty of new growth. Hamish enjoyed helping too.

We enjoyed a lovely 5-day stay at Osprey in Mooloolaba. We visited the Eumundi Markets on our way up which is always a treat. It was a bit rainy on our first day but after that plenty of surfing, walking and eating occurred. We had a fantastic view over Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba. We visited Underwater World as we had so many times when Nic and Penny were really little. Unfortunately it didn't have quite the attraction as it did when they were small.Their confidence in the surf though was second to none!

Penny has gone into Yr 5 at Sherwood State School and Nic is now in Yr 8 at St Peters Lutheran College. They've both had a great first term.


My cooking adventures (clockwise from top left):
Fiery Bengal Chutney on the stove
Remedy for chopping loads of onions
Our first raspberry from a bush we planted in September and it has just kept giving
Crispy skin Thai salmon curry - favourite dish
My Thai Kitchen cooking lesson
Fiery Bengal Chutney in the jars
Loads of onions

We are back to a family of two boats. Craig and Nic bought a tinny as they were having trouble fishing "seriously" from the kayaks. They have had fun exploring the Brisbane beaches and catching fish and mud crabs. The two bottom left photos are from our big fishing boat which is stored at Agnes Waters and Nic really enjoyed his second trip out to the reef in January despite sea sickness.

Hope you're still with me and have enjoyed the catch up. I'll be back tomorrow with Easter photos. Hope you're enjoying your Easter break.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mischievious Pups, Dancing and the Brisbane City Hall

Pip and Hamish have been getting up to high jinx and mischief. A couple of weeks ago they decided to destroy a Pepsi box that still had 15 cans in it. There were cans and cardboard all over the deck and even next to the pool. They even sampled two of the cans which had puncture marks but luckily the Pepsi drained away to the verandah below!

This week the pups caught a mouse/little rat with my help in flushing him out. We have been having a little trouble with them getting into the pantry and trying to eat the dog food. Pip has a great nose for the rats/mice and so she alerted me to the one downstairs, that ran under the water heater which I flushed out with the hose and she caught. Pip wanted to show it off and Hamish being the piggy he is, just wanted to eat it!
Penny is deep into dance concert rehearsal and I have been helping out with the sewing this year. I had to make 16 head pieces which involved hand sewing on the orange fabric, sewing on the silver sequin band and then hot gluing on the feathers (which went everywhere) and sewing on the hair combs underneath. Time consuming but easy to do in front of the TV at night. I am still vacuuming up little bits of feathers!

A couple of weeks ago I took Wednesday off work and attended the grade 4 excursion to City Hall. It is a magnificent building which was renovated 3 yrs ago. The kids were there to learn about what the councillors do and so our local councillor Nicole Johnston took us on an excellent tour and we visited places that the general public don't see. She provided sushi, watermelon and lamingtons for lunch which we ate in the councillors tea room. We also had a tour of the museum upstairs which had some great exhibitions on and went to the beautiful concert hall. Penny was one of seven, lucky enough to be chosen to go up in an old-fashion lift to the clock tower. We fully plan to return for another visit in the holidays.

Have a good weekend and try to keep cool!
Love, Rach xx

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Gardening and Birthdays

Nic and I have planted a veggie patch underneath the laundry window. We put it together by ourselves and researched how to make a good soil mix. After letting it sit for a couple of weeks, we planted seedlings of parsley, chives, spring onions, tomato, basil, coriander and more recently beans and thyme from seed. Everything is roaring along with the help of consistent falls of rain. Nic is very good at covering (and uncovering) it every night with netting so that the possums don't feast on our plants. We are really enjoying watching the growth and had some chives with sour cream on our jacket potatoes last night.

Craig has also filled the garden with mushroom compost which was deemed waste at work as it became too hot in a truck. It seems to be working fine in our garden though with the plants flowering and looking healthier as well as mushrooms popping up everywhere. This mushroom is huge (diameter=14cm).

We have also put in some sandstone garden edging out the front to contain the cane mulch (from puppy frolics) and made a new garden along the inside of the front wall which is waiting for me to fill with plants.
Penny celebrated her birthday in October with a sleep over with 4 of her friends. It was lots of fun with the girls swimming, playing a few games, eating pizza and an ice cream cake topped off with a DVD. She wanted mostly clothes and items to decorate her room rather than toys - a sign she is growing up!

Here are some photos of Nic enjoying his birthday night out at his favourite Italian restaurant in Graceville in April. Mum and Dad joined us and the meal was bellissimo!

Be back soon with the next installment.
Love, Rach xx

Friday, 6 November 2015

Poor Neglected Blog

Sadly, again I have neglected the blog. Thank you Robyn for the message on my previous post which has spurred me on even if you did leave it a few months ago!
It's too hard to go back and fill in March-August so I will just fill you in for the last few months.
In the holidays, Craig and Nic and some other boys/men went camping and kayaking at Eurimbula National Park (6hrs nth of Brisbane) for 4 days. They certainly roughed it with no shower (which wasn't a disappointment to Nic) and a long drop toilet! They had a great time and caught many fish.
Penny and I stayed home because we obviously weren't invited on a BOYS trip and also because
Miss P had dancing eisteddfods to attend. She danced in a trio and this was the debut of a dance they have been practicing all year. The costumes were beautiful and they did very well - 2nd (missed 1st by one point) and very highly commended.

Nic and Penny also attended a tennis clinic for a few days and Penny was very pleased to top her group and win a trophy. Nic did very well in school tennis and received the Coach's Award. He was undefeated in singles.

We also went to a couple of movies in the holidays - Pan in 3D (N and P's favourite) and Oddball (my favourite). Both were very enjoyable and I'm sure we'll watch them again when they come out on DVD.
In October, we had a visit from Trudie, Alex and Lachlan for Alex to attend the Gregory Terrace Boys School Semi Formal (Yr 11) with an old kindy friend. Nic and Penny so much look forward to their cousins coming to stay and there are plenty of giggles and fun. Alex looked stunning after an afternoon of primping and preening. We also went kayaking at Wivenhoe Dam and us girls went to the musical, Strictly Ballroom - both very enjoyable.

Doesn't she look stunning?
Well that's enough for now. This post was much longer but I have split it up so stay tuned for the next post very soon.
Happy Friday. I think it's champagne o'clock.

Monday, 2 February 2015

First Week of School

Nic and Penny returned to school on Tuesday with one major difference - they were at different schools. They had a great first week.

Nic has begun year 7 at St Peter's Lutheran College at Indooroopilly. He had a fantastic week and we watched his confidence soar day by day. He catches the train by himself, is managing his timetable, a new phone and laptop very well. We are really proud of him. He has made new friends and is happy to ask for help if he is lost or has a problem.

Penny is in year 4 and has a wonderful teacher. She is with her good friends and is happy to be back.

In other news, we have adopted a new baby - a Westie pup named Hamish. We met him on Saturday after telling the kids we were travelling out to Calvert (1hr from Brisbane) to look at a shed. They received the shock of their lives to see a litter of  7 Westie puppies on their front lawn. Nic and I will go and pick Hamish up on Thursday afternoon when he will be 8wks old. We're very excited and hope that Pip enjoys the company after a major adjustment period of course. We spent yesterday puppy shopping and puppy-proofing the house.

Have a great week.
Love, Rach xx

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Australia Day Weekend 2015

Well 10mths later and I'm back. I've been thinking about deleting this blog for the last 6mths as it reminds me of how slack and unmotivated I am these days. At Christmas, Robyn (sister) was asking me about my blog and why I didn't write it any more as she loved receiving the updates. So I've been pondering this for the last month and decided to give it another go. No pressure to do it regularly, just when I want to share something. I've given the blog a bit of an update with a new background, heading photo, new 2015 goals and updates to the book list. Hope you like it.
I thought I'd explain one of my goals - TAKING RISKS. Don't worry Mum, I'm not going to rob a bank, I'm just going to step out of my comfort zone a little more which I have found more and more difficult to do with age. I did this in December when I attended the Katy Perry concert. I've never been to a music concert but I loved it. I think more so because of my admiration for this stellar lady was confirmed rather than the bass that vibrated through my whole body!
January has gone quickly for us. After a most relaxing New Year week, we returned to work and the kids attended vacation care (only 3 days each week). They had fun doing science experiments, going ice skating and making candles.
Last weekend, the kids went to stay with Auntie Annette whilst we attended work drinks for Craig's management team at his boss' digs - Mantra Penthouse, South Bank overlooking the Brisbane River. It was a lovely evening with delicious food and icy cold drinks as it was stiflingly hot. After collecting N and P on Sunday I lay by the pool (cooling off regularly) for the afternoon reading a book as it was so hot.
This last week, Penny and Nicholas attended a tennis camp for 3 mornings and thank goodness it cooled down a little. The threat of rain was imminent but it didn't interrupt them. They both had a good time and have improved. Nic was put in the top group and much to Penny's delight she was moved from the 5th group to the 3rd group in the first hour. Nic even ended up with a new racquet as he has managed to crack his old one. I'm not surprised with the amount of tennis he has been playing.
I am on holidays at present (last and this week). I have sewed a dress, although I decided it needs altering so I'll pop a picture on once it's completed. I've also done some scrapbooking. It's lovely looking back at the photos from 2008. The kids have had many friends to play and sleep over which is fun and easy these days, especially with a pool to entertain them. I'm also enjoying the tennis too.
We had 150mm (6") of rain yesterday and it was a cool day (23) which was a welcome reprieve. We had to drain water from the pool three times!

Lastly, I wanted to tell you about this great Australian movie the kids and I saw this morning
                                             ***       PAPER PLANES      ***
Don't watch the trailer before you go, please just go and see it. It is very funny but also deeply moving. I was laughing out loud for much of it but also holding back tears in other parts. It isn't just a children's movie, it is a movie for 5yo -100yo and beyond. A lovely, uplifting and positive Aussie film. Let me know what you thought of it.
Have a great weekend
Be back soon with back to school photos, best book I read in 2014 and my updated guest room.
Love, Rach xx