Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's discoveries

Well you'll be glad to know (or not!) that today I have already made my bed, hung out the washing, mopped the floor (strictly speaking it was at 11:15pm last night - don't ask), and watered the veggies (although that was actually the rain, not me).

Don't little broccoli's look like butterflies?

And I have made some interesting discoveries already:

1. One of my gum trees (that I specifically looked at last night and thought "No, that one is big enough not to need a tree guard now") was demolished by $&@#*! rabbits last night.

2. I really need to use the lock on my bathroom. I discovered this as I was shouting instructions through the shower screen on how to make a bar graph. (Her keen-ness to get through her maths directly proportional to her desire to get back to her book Ginger Pye - yes we finally ran out of Famous Five!)

3. Cutting a big hole in a nappy is a really great trick for toddlers who absolutely refuse to go to the toilet without their nappy on. Toddler happy. Mummy happy.

Peek-a-boo strawberry!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today's checklist

1. Make the bed. Nope, still not done, but I made contact butterflies to go on littlest chickie's walls - that's gotta count for something, eh?

2. Hang out the washing. Well... it got washed at least. It just hasn't made it out to the line yet, and it's almost dinner time now... I did, however, finish a throw rug that I started about 10 years ago, so chicken no.2 should be cozy in bed even if he has no clean underwear tomorrow.

3. Sort the clean washing. This relies on me making the bed first, so that I have somewhere to sort it...

4. Mop the floor. Negative, again. But the children slid around the floor on cushions, so I'm sure that's helped a great deal... Maybe I should dampen one side of the cushions...

5. Water the veggies. It's been a gloomy day, so I don't think they would have died of thirst today. Hopefully the clouds will burst and my watering will be done for me.

So what did I do today? Not sure. Although I did seem to spend quite a bit of time reading books to a certain little chicken as she was sitting on the toilet.

Well I'm off to cook dinner so I can check something off my list!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A painting afternoon

The children had a sudden urge to paint today. We have a nice little area set up so that the painting is easy to setup and take down:
  • some hooks to hold a tarpaulin with straps sewn on to hold pegs and paper,
  • a hook in the wall to hold a strap which in turn holds recycled fruit containers holding small finger paint tubs (with lids),
  • another hook to hold a bag of pegs, two containers of water and a rag for washing brushes and hands.

All easily transferred to hooks on the back on the laundry door. Not much else to say, except washable paints, and get the bath ready!

In case you were wondering - yes, they do all have paint in their hair.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New seedlings in the corner

I was so pleased, on the weekend, to have the seedlings corner almost completely empty again (just the blueberries waiting to go in), but we discovered the local council nursery today so the corner is full of plants again! (Half of them free, too!). Lovely eucalyptus, oaks, grevillia and banksia. I've also been preparing some seed pots, so hopefull soon I'll be planting the winter crops in the veggie patch.

It's about time I drew up a map of which trees are where, or I'm going to forget what they all are! We must be up to at least 100 trees now. My apple trees should be arriving soon too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kestrels and lemon butter (not in the same dish)

It has been a very blustery morning. The autumn winds are certainly here. Everything on the washing line is double-pegged, and flowers bloom one day and are blown away the next. It is lovely weather for running around outside with a ball; flying a kite; spending hours jumping on the trampoline; or simply lying, face up, and watching the clouds roll by.

It was a good morning for sighting kestrels - a couple sat on our fence posts and politely waited for me to take a photo with the pathetic zoom on my camera. I do wish they would come by a bit more often and eat up all the mice and snakes.

And it was a good morning for making comfort food: lemon butter and bread. Mmmm... I think I've had my sugar dose for the month, now!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A day in the garden

Another day of lovely sunshine today. After we sadly said farewell to the last of our guests, we got straight into the gardening. The veggie patch is so well mulched now, that, as Don said "I shouldn't need to get the whipper-snipper in there this year..."!

The veggie garden has even made it indoors today... (ie we're growing mushrooms in the pantry).

The children had a lot of fun on their bikes...

...and on the trampoline...

...and preparing for a picnic outside.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A day in the sunshine

We have had a string of relatives visiting over the last week. It's been lovely, and I'm glad the sun is shining again or the relatives might have been sharing unwashed sheets...! ;)

It has been a lovely warm sunny day today. Don has been in the veggie patch, turning over the beds and getting ready for late autumn and winter planting. The children have been racing around in the sunshine with their cousins. There has been a lot of collecting dirt/rock/leaf samples (to go in my nephew's new explorer bag), and observing the wildlife (although I'd prefer it if the flies stayed outside for their observation). And I have planted (with lots of help from relatives) quite a few flowering shrubs and vines.

We were all quite fascinated by the above Golden Orbweaver spider. The web it used to hold to the trees was very strong and quite a yellow colour. It was hanging at quite a perfect height for us to observe all her body parts, including the spinneret.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, friends. We have celebrated the usual way - freshly baked hot cross buns and chocolate eggs, to remind us of Jesus death and resurrection. Today we're happy to be warm inside as it is pouring with rain outside. There has been a spot of reading (Don pictured trying to read "Twenty-one balloons").

And a spot of knitting.

It has been very pleasant, but I think the quiet individual activities have come to an end as the children are starting to quarrel. Time to pull out the rainy-day play tent and box of toys...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Snake sighting

We've had a very exciting morning so far - the children spotted a brown snake in the yard outside, quite close to the house. It was a good opportunity to revise what-to-do-if-you-see-a-snake lessons. Somehow I don't think anyone will be volunteering to help me hang out the washing this morning!

I have been organising some Montessori-style activity draws for the littlest chicken to keep her occupied during school work times. They're such a great idea. The favourites at the moment are posting matchsticks through a hole in a box, and dropping water from one bottle to another.

And after all my moaning and groaning yesterday about not having the right Easter eggs in the shops, I made some up last night using the moulds. It was really very easy in the end, and I'm wondering why I ever bought them in the first place!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An exercise in patience...

There's been a bit of baking happening here over the last week. There have been lots of helpers, as evidenced by the floury fingerprints all over the kitchen, and the sticky spots over the floor... Between you and me cooking with children is a real patience building exercise - there's a lot of breath holding, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's about the process rather than the end result, and flour and sugar all over the floor can be cleaned up! I must say, though, that the cakes have been very yummy.

Don cooked up all the beetroot we pulled from the veggie patch. Yummy!

I'm thinking I'm going to have to find the egg moulds, so I can make chicken no.1 Easter eggs this year. There is generally one store in town that sees fit to stock dairy & nut free chocolate, but evidently this year someone way down in Melbourne decided we didn't need it this year!! Grrrrrr.....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ah, those chubby cheeks!

On the weekend my dad was showing us some video tapes of the children when they were younger. Those chubby little cheeks were so adorable! (Not that they're not adorable now.. but there's something extra cute about those very early years - that look in their eyes of earnestness and trust, love, cuteness...). I hope you'll permit me to share a favourite set of photos with you, taken while they were playing with a ladybird.