Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Christmas morning started this year with a very sleepy look from an excited 11 year old.

Of course after we all woke up it was time to open presents

The children were very happy with what Santa brought them

Our morning had our family visit for breakfast. We have done this tradition for many years now but I think this year will have been the last. It is getting harder for me to get stuff organized and after a long term of teaching and the effects of the EDS I am usually shattered by xmas day. I really want to enjoy the morning with the kids and so my plan next year is to host late morning tea/light lunch. I feel with all the morning rush we don't really get to chat to everyone and simply enjoy the day.

Jess and Michael came for breakfast and then headed off to Mikey's family for lunch.

After a quiet afternoon we headed over to Mum and Dad's for our Christmas dinner.

Both Lucy and I wore our new Xmas dresses I made.

Whilst at mum and dad's The Royle's were on TV. I love this show and even though it was a repeat it was still fun. Speaking of repeats- a few days before Xmas the kids and I watched National Lampoons Xmas vacation with Chevy Chase. I love that movie and Matt and Lucy thought it was hilarious. Nothing like a fun Xmas movie to get you in the spirit.

Mum cooked a beautiful dinner of Turkey, ham, veggies and all the trimmings. I don't know how she gets it all together so well. I would be sooo stressed. Cooking is so NOT my forte!!

Jess came to Nana and Grandad's for tea and Mikey went to his grandparents. It was nice to have all the kids together. James reminded me that this was our first Xmas without Jess living under our roof. It made me a little sad just for a minute.

Every year we have a lovely day but boy the work involved is hard. I tried to simplify things this year but it sort of didn't work out as well as I wanted it to. I have decided that we need to do what's right for us and if others don't agree then that is OK and they can do what they want. My stress levels hit high really quickly these days and even if others think it is silly I am still resoling to do what is best for me and my family.
I am looking forward to a new year full of being true to myself and putting myself and my family first.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Xmas Cheer

I didn't get a lot of photos of the decorating this year but here are a few.

My side table all in silver

Our beautiful tree adorned with all the kids things they have made over the years. Co-ordianted -no! Lots of memories -yes!!!!

Xmas morning after Santa had been.......

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gold Coast 2011 - Day Two

We have had an extremely long day travelling and am pooped  but it was great. We were picked up at the motel by taxi just after 8am and at the airport within a few minutes. After checking in and sorting Lucy's wheelchair we headed upstairs where Mum, Dad and Rob were waiting for us. It wasn't too long before we boarded the plane and I was ecstatic to NOT be feeling nauseous. Staying near the airport was worth every penny. As Lucy has a disability we were near the front of the plane and allowed to use the toilets in business class which was great!! No trekking to the back of the plane and queuing for ages.

Early on in the flight we discovered a very unwell man on the plane and it was in his best interests to get off the plane so we had to divert to Adelaide which added some extra time to our day. This caused us to miss our connection to Cooloongatta from Sydney but luckily there was another flight so we were on our way soon after.
We finally arrived at our hotel at 9.20pm and the first thing I did was go out on the balcony and breathe in the wonderful sights and sounds of Surfers Paradise. It was like going home to the most wonderful place, the views are just amazing. We had a quick bite to eat and now it's time to hit the sack for I am sure tomorrow we will have some mega fun to deal with.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gold Coast Day 1

Well not quite the GC just yet but today we set off on our journey. As I am a very poor traveller and we would have had to be up very early in the morning we decided to stay the night at a motel close to the airport. Matt finished school at lunchtime and once ready we headed off. Along with all our luggage and Lucy's wheelchair we travelled by train to the city and then caught a connecting bus to our motel. I was very surprised as to how easy it was and am so glad we did it this way.
We are staying at the Comfort Hostel in Belmont which to say the least is very basic - not even a window to look out of !!!! Oh well, it is serving a purpose.

We had tea at the Hungry Jacks across the road and am now settling down for the evening. We have played cards and are just hanging out  before catching an early bedtime. We will be up early, have breakfast and then be on our way. I cannot wait to see the Gold Coast!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is my holiday here yet?

This is what I have been asking myself every day for the past month or so. We are heading to the Gold Coast at the end of the month and I seriously


I am sooo ready for a break and change of scenery. My hotel awaits!!!

Oh the sunshine, sea, shopping, eating and the theme parks. I am counting the days.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - 10 Years on

I think just about every adult and even some children can recall where they were when the awful events of New York city unfolded. 

I was a thirty something mum with three young kids so I had headed off to bed early (it was nightime here in Australia) the next morning I woke up and could hear James watching the news and I heard a plane had flown into a building in New York. My first reaction was how awful but thought it was a small two seater plane or something that has lost control. Boy was I wrong!!!!
As I came into the family room I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the TV screen. Jess was nearly 11 years of age and home from school sick that day- we just sat and watched all day in utter disbelief.

I know lots of Aussies had still been awake the night before and saw it as breaking news and they said they just sat up all night watching everything unfold.

No - one could believe what they were seeing. How could this happen to a country like the U.S.? Could this happen to us here in Australia?

The pain of loved ones soon became apparent as they searched for family and friends. The heroics of the fire department and other emergency agencies just absorbed us. The looks of victims faces said it all......... How could this be?????

10 years on, those families remember their loved ones and are probably still in disbelief. I hope they know that the world is with them and praying that their grief will never have to be felt by any other human being on this planet at the hands of terrorists.

The world got changed forever, but America and it's allies will never give up and are stronger than ever.

Thanks to god my children get to live in a safe place with democracy.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Picnik Fun

I have been having so much fun with Picnik lately. If you haven't tried it you really must. It helps to make an OK photo great. There are lots of editing, cropping, framing and effects options to choose from.

So far I have only used the free version but am seriously thinking about paying for the upgrade. 

This picture was taken on the weekend. Mikey turned 20 on Sunday- yes 9/11 is his birthday.....
Both him and Jess have been unwell this past week. They were hoping to have a party for Mikey but it wasn't to be this year.

Anyway he got to spend the day with his family and they called by us late in the afternoon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Father's Day 2011

We had the most lovely father's day. It was quiet but just what we needed. It started out with us cooking a full breakfast for James and present opening.

Last year when James and Jess were holidaying in Melbourne they visited the zoo and James managed to get this great photo of a tree kangaroo with her baby in her pouch. I decided it would be a great picture for our home and so had it put onto a canvas for father's day.

We just hung around home for the day doing bits and bobs and I managed a small amount of time in my sewing room tracing a pattern for a top.

As we are off on holidays at the end of the month we decided not to go out for dinner on this father's day.

Lucy had fun just jumping in the garden while the sun shined. The hint of spring is upon us and the days feel a little warmer. I think I need to get some sun on my body before we head off on holidays as my skin is so white after winter. I don't want to blind all the Queenslanders with my white as white skin- ha !!!

I love this  photo of my sweetie.

 Jess  and Mikey came over for dinner and we enjoyed KFC and  a lovely glass or two of wine together. It was so nice us all being together and having fun.  They gave James some money for him to purchase his favourite thing - some DVD's.

I hope everyone else had a great Father's Day !!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hockey 2011

This is what James has been doing all through winter. He hasn't played for 10 years what with raising young kids and their weekend activities etc. Now the kids are a little older he decided he wanted to play again.

He has enjoyed it even though he has had numerous injuries and got very friendly with the physio team at Woodbridge physio.

Lucy and I went along one Saturday to watch and it was mighty  cold and not something we did again this season. We find something a lot warmer to do on a Saturday afternoon.

I am glad he gets some male bonding time even though the physio bill is increasing by the week!!!

Home Schooling - How do you do that?

That is the question that gets asked of me every time someone learns that Lucy is homeschooled. The first thing people assume is that we are hippies or that I hate the school system. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have done it all. Our Kids were in the public system successfully and then we found private schooling which I love and prefer to public school. My eldest went through private secondary school and my son is now there.

And here we are now with Lucy doing distance education. Would I prefer her to be at  school? Yes and no !!!   I would love her to be healthy enough to go to private school and be with friends and hence give me some free time, but I am glad she is not in public school.   The negative about home schooling is that I have no free time - in the beginning that was hard but now we have a routine and it works fine. The positives of home schooling is that Lucy has a personalized program and one of the things I sure don't miss about public school is the politics and a child coming home being upset about one thing or another. 

Homeschooling is a huge committment and I look at it as my job. I have friends that work and they can't do stuff because of work and neither can I because this is my job.  That's not to say we don't have the occassional day off or if James is available I don't meet friends for lunch or whatever. We have a pretty strict routine but we do break it now and then.

The biggest thing to establish is a good routine and have the kids know what is expected of them. The aim is to produce independent learners for life. Lucy has gained so many skills doing distance education that I don't think she would have learnt being in the public school system.

Here is what our classroom looks like. It is in the corner of our dining room which is open plan with our family room and kitchen. I could have put the classroom in our spare bedroom or office but I find it works better here. I can do things in the kitchen and still have Lucy ask questions etc.

Home schooling has always been popular in the U.S. but not so in Australia. The only kids that used to do it were those that lived in the outback and were isolated. I am finding it is becoming more of an option now here too which is great. If someone had asked me five years ago if I would home school my child I would have said "HELL NO" but I am glad to say it is a great option for our family right now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It was a beautiful sunny winters day yesterday. James and Jess had gone to see the Eagles play so I took Matt and Lucy to the foreshore to enjoy an ice cream in the sun.

This has fast become my favourite flavour - cheesecake praline. I have never tasted ice cream like it and it was even better 'cos we had a two for one voucher!!!

This picture Matt took really shows what a gorgeous sunny day it was.

After our little break it was back to the sewing room for me. I am madly trying to get some items sewn up for our up coming holiday to the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kwik Sew 3334

I finally finished this jacket and I must say whilst I still have things about it I will fix next time round I have worn it so many times in the past few weeks.

I wanted a jacket that I could just throw on for errands etc and this does the job beautifully. I am really happy with the comfort factor even though in this version the bust point isn't quite right. Of course no one else notices but me. To me it doesn't matter how good something looks if it is uncomfortable I won't be wearing it very often. I am so happy with how wearable it is and it goes with so many dresses,skirts and pants in my wardrobe.

I can see me making this in lots of different fabrics and think it would be nice in a white drill /linen for the warmer months. 

This is the dress I made for Shannon and Daniel's wedding back in March but I have been wearing it a lot more in winter with boots and a jacket. It really is too heavy to wear in our hot summer. I can't even remember what pattern it is now as it was traced from  a pattern Jenny had. This is the second time I have made it and I am sure it will get another look in sometime in the future.

I am currently working on New Look 6915

I am nearly done but had a hiccup with the neckband and ran out of fabric so I will need to pick something contrasting from Spotlight in the next few days. I just need to hem it and add the neckband and them I'm done.

Next up will be some quick summer tops for the Gold Coast holiday. The patterns have already been adjusted so I am hoping they will be a quick sew!!!!