Thursday, 30 December 2010

Back From An Adelaide Christmas

We spent 5 days in Adelaide over Christmas, visiting my family. Most of the boxes were unpacked so I was ready for a relax. The weather was topsy-turvy as usual - 30 degrees one day and 19 the next! We managed to visit the beach where the children bravely entered the water. Too cold for the adults but the children had a lovely time.
Christmas day was spent having a long lazy lunch/dinner at my parents place.
Boxing day was spent at the zoo which we all enjoyed although the pandas were a great disappointment this time as they were sleeping. I think they must've experienced too much Christmas cheer as one had her paw covering her eyes.
On Monday we visited my aunt and uncle's "special place" (as Penny calls it) in the Adelaide hills. Although it was very cool up there we had a wonderful time as usual. All of my cousins and their families were present (26 of us), just my sister, Robyn unfortunately missing. The children had a great time on the rope swing, we had a treasure hunt around the property, we caught some red claw and the kids paddled around the dam in a boat. My uncle, Nigel has recently completed the construction of another vintage motor car which is 82 yrs old. Penny was first to put her hand up for a ride as she had such a good time in the Speedwell (in this post) when we visited in June. We finished up with a family photo as it has taken many years for all of us to be together (perhaps 15yrs). Someone will just have to photoshop Robyn in!

On Tuesday the shops opened again in Adelaide for the big sales (no Boxing Day sales). We had a little look although didn't have much room for purchases.
We returned to Brisbane on Tuesday night and a huge number of emails containing photos of the floods from our friends in Bundaberg. What a tragic event and we feel very deeply for those who have lost so much. It must be a rather smelly and depressing place to be and will be for sometime. The house that we sold is not flooded as it is in a higher part of Bundaberg. Thinking of you all.
Rach xxx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Moving Done

Well we made the big move to Brisbane last week. All went really well. The removalists were great and didn't break a thing. I have most of the boxes unpacked and everything in its place. The kids have coped well although are feeling a little cabin fever from waiting around for me to finish unpacking. We ventured out to the shops and the local library yesterday. My favourite scrapping shop had its final closing down day yesterday and I received 80% off my purchases! The cat travelled well and seems to love her new place. High fences, small yard and plenty of bushes to hide under.  The new house is lovely. The kitchen is huge. I am getting leg weary moving from one side to the other. Penny was over the stairs after the first day as they are quite steep. We all had sore calves for the first few days climbing up and down. We have a beautiful park nearby on the river which we have visited a couple of times. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas.
Rach xx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Cleaning Break

I really am missing my scrapping at the moment. I haven't scrapped for a month as I packed all of my gear up. I even handed out bought thank you cards! I am having a bit of a break from cleaning and thought I'd have a look over the LO's I completed in 2010. I came across these 2 that I haven't shown yet.
In other news we are right on track for the truck to come and collect our gear on Tuesday and hand over the keys to our home of 13yrs on Friday. We feel mixed emotions at present - sad to leave but excited for our future. The kids and I all had our last day yesterday. The lovely carers at Penny's daycare made us a card in which they all wrote messages - very touching. Nick received cards from some of his friends and teachers wishing him well. I had cake and yummy morning tea at work yesterday - thanks Tracey and BR staff. I walked out of the door after almost 16years yesterday and felt sad to say goodbye but am also so excited for what our future holds. I feel that we must be making the right move as everything has fallen into place so easily. I have just signed a contract to start work in 8wks, working school hours, 3 days a week. I am really looking forward to working at this practice.
So I must sign off for a week as my internet provider tells me it will be a little while before I am back on-line. Hope you have found your Christmas Spirit and are enjoying the season. Only 14 more sleeps until Santa visits!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Jazz, Tap and Ballet

Penny had her 3 dancing concerts this weekend. She performed the 3 genres in each concert. It was a lovely concert as any biased mother would say. Penny loves performing on the stage and was very sad to find out that dancing is over for another year. Much to our relief (and wallet) she has decided ballet is where her heart lies and so we will be in search of a ballet school in Brisbane.
In other news we have just been packing, packing, packing. My garage is filled with boxes. Cleaning has begun. We move in a little over a week. We have a lovely 2 storey house to move to, much to Penny's delight. Stairs were her main request. We are just praying for slightly finer weather than the torrential downpours we have been having in the last week.
My work friends took me out for a farewell dinner last week. I had a lovely night and was spoilt with gifts. Saying goodbye to the lovely friends that I have made over the past 16yrs is sad but I am starting to get excited about our new adventure.
Nick finishes year 2 this week and Penny will finish daycare. More goodbyes!
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A Simply Superb Farewell

Today, I sadly attended my last Sunday scrap with the Simply Crafty Club. The sneaky ladies had organised a scrummy lunch of quiche, salad, sandwiches and chicken wings not to mention delicious desserts. They also presented me with a lovely card, Camera House vouchers and each lady made me a lovely tag to remember them by. I was completely overwhelmed and will really miss the friendships I have made and nurtured over the past 7yrs. Thank you to you all. I hope to return for at least one of the retreats next year.
Box packing is well underway and they are slowly stacking up. We still don't have a house to move to in Brisbane but will remedy that in the next week. Only 4 more weeks of work! It almost feels like I am going on maternity leave again. It's more like Mummy leave and it will be very special to spend the whole school holidays exploring our new city with the children.
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Pro Marker Pens

To all of my scrapping friends, I just wanted to post a LINK to a blog with a great competition to win a set of newly released 148 Pro Marker pens. They are from a UK based company and are alcohol based ink pens great for colouring in stamped pictures that blend very well - same as Copic but cheaper. Just leave a comment by 14th November.
In other news I am starting to get organised and am packing some gear. I have also had another major throw out which I think will continue until we move. Our house sale is progressing just as it should. We don't have a rental yet but found out that we have to live in the same suburb as the school which will narrow our search down greatly. I don't think finding a house is going to be an easy task - think positively Rachael!!
The weekend was very restful without any children's sport. Nick attended a Halloween party on Sunday morning and had a lovely time. Penny and I went to the beach together with another Mum and her kids. It was beautiful building sandcastles and wallowing in the shallows.
I'm busy trying to put another scrap booking LO together at present but am easily distracted and find there are so many other things I should do.
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

5 Today!

Our princess Penny turned 5 today. She has had a very happy day with a party for 15 friends, presents, lollies, presents, afternoon tea with Grandma, Nan and Ted and Aileen and presents (did I mention those). She didn't need much convincing to go to bed tonight. Photos below of her cake which I created with a little help from the Women's Weekly magazine and also our take on "pin the tail on the donkey". She also had pass the parcel and best of all a treasure hunt. She has had a wonderful day playing with all of her new toys.

***Happy birthday to my sister Robyn who celebrated her birthday on Friday. Hope you had a good day Rob xxx ***

Thank you to all for their kind words of sympathy on the loss of our dog, Zoe. We miss her dearly but it is getting easier with each day.
This week will be spent organising a Halloween costume for Nick who has a Halloween party to attend next Sunday. He's back to his fine form with spelling again - another 20/20! Well done Nick!
Have a good week.
 Rach xxx

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Goodbye Dear Zoe

Today we farewelled our dear Labrador, Zoe. She was 11 and 3/4 yrs old. Zoe brought us so much love and happiness and we all have such heavy hearts at present. We know that it was time for her to go as her cancer was advanced and making it difficult to walk. She wagged her tail until the end. We like to think that she is cancer-free and running and sniffing around a huge park in the sky. Rest in peace our sweet friend, Zoe. xxxx

Monday, 18 October 2010

Fame Again

My LO is in Scrapbooking Memories (V12N11; p83) which I received today. I was thrilled to see it in print and they even did a bit of a write up to go with it because of the way I had incorporated the journalling.
I had a good few days in Sydney. No time for shopping but attended an excellent echocardiography conference. I stayed in luxury at the Shangri-La at The Rocks and woke up to a view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I must admit it has taken me a couple of days to recover from my "brain" fatigue.
Nick had a pupil free day today and had a friend over to play. They had a great time pottering in his cubby house and scootering around.
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Happy Birthday Miss Alex

My sweet niece, Alex is turning 11 on Thursday. She had major surgery last week which she has begun to recover from very well. So much so that she will be able to leave hospital tomorrow after 5.5wks. Home just in time for her birthday. Have a lovely day Alex - you deserve it. Thank you to all of my friends who have sent well wishes for Alex. She has needed every little prayer to get better and we feel so relieved that she is improving.
I am off to Sydney tomorrow, hence my early birthday wishes to Alex. I am attending a conference there for a few days in the lap of luxury. I'm very excited and love the motivation that conferences promote. Craig is returning from Cairns tomorrow and will be holding the fort.
 We are slowly organising our lives and gearing up for our big move. Amongst all of this, I took time out to attend my second last Simply Crafty Sunday scrap. I will really miss this group of ladies, some of whom I met over 6yrs ago. I didn't achieve much but really enjoyed their company. Here are 2 LO's I created.
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Good News

Someone has made us an excellent offer on our house! Woo hoo! Craig keeps telling me not to get too ahead of ourselves and the contract could all fall through but it's hard not to. These people don't want to move in until mid December when we were planning on moving out. Is something too perfect about all of this? Should I feel as though something is going to go wrong? Well I've decided no and am just going to feel positive about this new adventure in our lives.
OK after that bit of waffle, I remembered I had some LO's that I did a month or two ago that I haven't shared.

Happy Tuesday.
Rach xx

Monday, 4 October 2010

Holidays Over

That was quick. We all had a good break though. Our mad cleaning frenzy has not been in vain. We had people through the house this week. I like my tidy, clean house. I had mentioned to a friend about 12mths ago that I needed to move to have a good clean up and out. I looked through the cupboards again today and I don't think that there is too much more that I can get rid of. I have a few things that missed the garage sale which I will drop off at the charity shop tomorrow.
Nick and I spent 2 days last week sorting out his jumbled up Lego. He had multiple sets joined together and wouldn't re-build them as it was too hard to find the pieces. Now each set is packed and labeled in a snap lock bag. The left overs are colour coded in snap lock bags.
On Wednesday night we were picked up by limousine and driven to a lovely restaurant (Restaurant 55) to celebrate my good friend, Joanne's birthday. It was my first trip in a limo and would be very easy to get used to with champagne served whilst we were travelling. The food at the restaurant was superb as was the company. We had a great night out.

Saturday was filled with birthday parties and a get together for the re-run of the AFL grand final. Sunday was spent relaxing. Penny and I made her party invitations. She has many plans for her party and has been making lists since January!
Today Nick and I went to see "Despicable Me" which was a fun movie with a great message. Back to school tomorrow for Nick and his last term.
My niece Alex is entering her 5th week in hospital. We have everything crossed that she will keep improving. It is baby steps and getting really tough for her. Keep your chin up sweet girl.
Have a good week.
Rach xx

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Holidays At Yamba

We have recently returned from 7 days at Yamba on the northern NSW coast. We discovered this lovely seaside town last year and decided to return for a longer visit this time. We stayed in a townhouse at The Sands which is right on Pippi's Beach. It was beautiful and the complex included 2 pools and 2 tennis courts all for a very reasonable price. The weather wasn't fantastic and included a few days of showers but we still managed to go walking. Craig took Nick to the movies twice and Penny once so that I could get in some good shopping time. The shops are lovely and very boutiquey (if that's a word). Not that I could afford many of the clothes but it was lovely to browse. The scrapbooking shop - Simply Crafts, is great and well stocked with new products and they have an on-line shop. It was lovely to get away. BTW, the tooth fairy found us in Yamba. Nick lost a top front tooth.
On our arrival home we had a message on our answering machine from our real estate agent indicating that he had some people interested in buying our house. The house isn't even on the market yet!! We had planned to prepare the house over the next week to put on the market the following week. So speed cleaning with emphasis on speed is what is happening here in amongst golf days and a lovely ball which we attended last night put on by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. The night was great fun although at Craig's work events I often end up on the stage as part of the amusement. In the past I have been a magician's assistant. Last night I was an 'air' drummer for the comedian along with 2 other men who were an 'air' guitarist and 'air' keyboard player. It was all good fun and thank goodness for the few glasses of champagne for courage. At last I was able to wear this dress which I fell in love with earlier in the year and just had to buy. It is navy and white and very soft and easy to wear.
My darling little niece Alex is still very sick in hospital so we are hoping and praying that the little bit of improvement in the last couple of days goes ahead in leaps and bounds. Keep going brave Alex you are a true champion.
Love Rach xx

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sending Special Get Well Wishes

to my niece, Alex who is battling illness and has been in hospital for 10days with more to come. She is being very brave and is coping with all that is dished up to her. Keep fighting little one. I went to scrapping on Sunday afternoon and decided to complete a LO with baby Penny and little Alex.

Nicholas lost another tooth on Saturday night. He lost the upper tooth to the right of his front right tooth. His speech is quite affected and he tends to lisp a little. He assures me that the front right tooth is also very wobbly.

On Sunday we all attended Nicholas' friend's 8th birthday party. It was at the go cart track so the Dad's had to come and take their son's around the track. The boys looked hilarious in their huge helmets. It was a lovely morning and we had a sausage sizzle and cake to finish off. I made a pedal go cart card for Angus.

Soccer is over for the year which is a relief in one sense as the season is so long but it was also a little sad to say goodbye to Nick's team mates and their families.
Spring has certainly sprung in Queensland. We have been enjoying some beautiful warm days. Unfortunately allergies and hay fever seem to be much worse this year which I have been battling.
Have a happy week.
Rach xx

Monday, 6 September 2010

Tooth Fairy Visiting

Well the dentist was so right. He indicated 2 wks ago that Nicholas would lose a tooth very soon and hence the photo shoot just over a week ago. Tonight Nicholas lost one of his bottom front teeth. He has had sore, wobbly teeth for the last few days and whilst cleaning his teeth tonight, one popped out into the basin and he assures me that he only just stopped it from going down the drain. The tooth fairy, whom Nicholas informed me was a man (???) better remember to visit tonight.
We had a quiet weekend as Nick and I had colds and Penny had conjunctivitis which decided to flare last night resulting in us having a day at home today. Craig was away for Father's Day so the children gave him their presents when he was home last Thursday night. We did attend Angus' 5th birthday party on Saturday morning at a local playground/park which the children and I enjoyed.
Just trying to get the house ready to put on the market next month. Still working on the mountain of cards (one below).
Holidays soon. Can't wait to visit Yamba. Hope all the rain has disappeared.
Lots of Happy Birthday wishes to my SIL, Trudie, my godson, Lee, my great friend and photographer, Petrina and my Dad.
Have a good week.
Rach xxx

Monday, 30 August 2010

Too Busy To Blog

OMG. Three weeks since I have blogged! We've been busy meeting real estate agents and the bank. Also going through all of our cupboards to find things for the garage sale which by the way was very successful. We made close to $400 which was only made possible with the help of my friend, Shane - she's the garage sale guru! Amazing how one person's trash is another's treasure.
Last week we had a couple of coffee dates with Penny's good friend, Angus from daycare and his Mum, Jolene and also my good friend Petrina. Coffee always tastes better with friends.
I took the children to the dentist last Monday and the dentist suggested that we have family photos within the week as Nick has 8 wobbly teeth!! I knew about one but 8. Poor child is going to have liquefied food! Petrina took some fantastic family photos for us at the local swamp on Saturday afternoon. We haven't ever had professional family photos and who needs a professional when I have such a talented friend who takes photos like these. I am just so pleased with them.

This week I am onto card making as we have so many friends and family with birthdays in Sept/Oct. Not a whole lot of scrapping going on. I just can't get into it at the moment. Too much else to think of. Craig is home for one night out of the next ten so I am trying to be very organised. Wish me luck.

Have a great week.
Rach xxx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Big Decisions

have been made around here recently, hence my absence from blog land. The big announcement which many of you already know is that we are moving to Brisbane. Craig has received a promotion in his job which will require us to move. So many more decisions need to be made before our move in December. Will we rent or sell our house? What to keep and what to dispose of. We've been in our present house for almost 13yrs and so have accumulated a lot. Thank goodness I had a throw out a couple of years ago to ease my pain. I think a couple of garage sales will go on in the next few months. We have many sad goodbyes (although we'll only be 4hrs away) but many happy beginnings ahead.
Onto other things now. Thought I'd just show a photo of the tutu I sewed for Penny a couple of weeks ago.
I spent the afternoon with my scrapping friends today which was very relaxing and I'll show some photos of the simple LO's I completed later in the week. I certainly will miss this group of friends but hope to return for the annual retreat next April.
Have a great week.
Rach xx

Monday, 26 July 2010

Hustle and Bustle

Not much to report here. Just very busy with work, Craig being away and school and day care. We are all looking forward to our holiday away to Yamba in eight weeks time. We'll be in need of a good break. My slow cooker is getting a real work out as there's nothing better than getting home at 6pm with 2 hungry children and a meal already cooked. I've made a few batches of pea and ham soup (aka farty soup as the children have named it) which are delicious as well as curries and stroganoffs. I can highly recommend the new Women's Weekly slow cooker book which I purchased this year - great recipes with source-able ingredients.
I sewed a tutu for Penny yesterday and am planning to add the finishing touches this week so will share then. Dancing returned on Saturday after a lengthy break and Penny couldn't have been more excited. Nick is busy with school and soccer although his interest in both is waning at present.
Below are some LO's that I have completed recently.

Have a great week.

Rach :)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Memories Of Adelaide

Can you believe that it is a month since we visited Adelaide? I had some photos from our trip printed today. Between Dad and I we took some lovely photos. Nick stuck many of the photos into the diary that he wrote each day and his teacher and class mates seemed impressed. I had planned to do another post with more photos, so here it is.
One of the many miniature steam trains.

All aboard!

Face painting at the steam trains.

Chris and Nigel's (my aunt and uncle) superb farm in the Adelaide Hills.

Penny on the rope swing at the farm that they had a tree lopper erect around a very high tree branch. The 106 yr old Speedwell that Nigel built. Mum and Dad together with Chris and Nigel drove in a rally (for cars over 100yrs old) in England a few years ago in this Speedwell.

Gorgeous dessert at the farm for the kids.

Wang Wang, the new male panda at the Adelaide zoo. Funi (female) was happily sleeping inside on heated rocks.

My sister, Robyn and her partner Ian who we met for the first time on this visit. Lots of fun.

Nick at his favourite wooden playground which we always visit when in Adelaide.
There you are, just a small snapshot of our visit. I didn't take any photos at the reunion - as they say "what happens on tour stays on tour"! No not really, it was a very tame evening compared to in the past and Robyn and Ian had me in bed by midnight. We really had such a lovely trip catching up with my family and friends.
Happy Wednesday.
Rach xx

Christmas In July

On Sunday, I went to my monthly scrap group get together and the theme was "Christmas In July". We had a great afternoon with Secret Santa gifts, Christmas packs to create some LO's, and more party food than we could consume. I made the Christmas cupcakes which were a vanilla cake recipe with butter frosting and red smarties and halved mint leaves. I had to buy 2 bags of smarties to get 34 red ones, so we have plenty of smarties left minus red ones. The mint leaves were quite hard to cut in half as they were very sticky in the middle and squashed down but they seemed to regain their shape. I did a Christmas LO and started another. It was a great day of laughter and good cheer.
Penny went to a party on Saturday at McDonalds. There was a face painter who attends every Saturday afternoon. She loved having her face painted again.

Nicholas and Craig had a boys day on Saturday where they took the new big boat out for a little run in the morning. On Saturday afternoon they went to soccer where by all reports Nick played a great game.