Friday, December 18, 2009

New members of our family....I forgot to share!!!

I am so slack....I forgot to share the newest members of our family.

3 weeks ago we adopted two little kittens. It was only meant to be one but we just couldn't pick between the two so now we have two little girls.

They are:

Narla - now 12 weeks

and Smudge now 11 weeks

They have brought many laughs into the well as many yells and screams by the kids as they try to climb the christmas tree lol. Unfortunately a few decorations and even a couple of twiggy bits from the tree have disintegrated at their mercy lol, but overall they are beautiful little girls.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Mum's Proud Moment

My 12 year old graduated from Year 7 last Tuesday and I couldn't be more proud of him. He isn't normally the type of kid that likes to get dressed up, but boy did he look gorgeous!!! He grudgingly wore a suit for our wedding 2 years ago and when it rolled around to his graduation, I asked if he would wear his suit again, just like his older brother did for his graduation 2 years ago. Of course he said "I won't fit it any more" but I said, well there is always the older two's suits. So he tried on the pants to humour me, saying that he wouldn't wear the jacket. I thought well that is ok, just he nice pants and a nice shirt. He tried on the pants, perfect fit! Tried on the shoes, perfect fit!. We found a shirt that he was happy with too and I thought well, he does look nice. Next thing, he said "this would look even better with a jacket though wouldn't it Mum?",,,,lol who was I to disagree with him!! He put the jacket on and then next thing out of his mouth was, "well if I wear a jacket you would normally wear a tie too right?". "Most of the time, yep"..."okay let me see Steve's ties. Lol you have never seen someone run so fast to grab those darn ties.

Roll forward to last Tuesday and he stuck to his thoughts and wore the jacket and tie, and he looked wonderful. He even let me spike his hair up!! All the girls said it really suited him like that so now he wants his hair spiked all the time lol.

Here is a pick of my young man......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have been so slack!!!!!

How is everyone going???

It has been school holidays here and life has been very very hectic lol. I have been trying to get to post something for weeks but can't seem to tie myself down long enough!!

During the school holidays I had my step kids the first week and Mr9(autistic) was a challenge to say the least.

I was watching Today Tonight or Current Affair (can't remember which one lol) last night and there was a single mum with a 6 year old autistic son and she showed her house which was a series of locks on everything from the oven to the fridge to the taps. I felt like crying for her.

My step son is very similar to her little boy although not quite to the same extreme. But basically our life works on his demands and we have to lock the fridge and freezer, otherwise he steals food and it is not uncommon for him to take a full 3 litre bottle of juice, get the lid off and basically drink and/or destroy the contents before anyone has noticed. I remember earlier this year when I had taken two packets of sausages out of the freezer and left them in the fridge to defrost over night. Well he got up in the morning and managed to sneak out to the fridge without any of us hearing and take the sausages. We came out when we heard the back door being opened to find sausages mushed into the carpet, all over the tv and dvd player, smeared over the cupboards and there he was sitting out side covered in sausage mince with the dog eagerly licking it off him. Believe me when I say that raw sausages don't come off appliances or carpet very easily!!!! My heart went out to this lady who deals with her son on her own full time. We did have my step son full time and now that we have had that break due to his mother and we now have him on a part time basis, I don't think we could go back to having him full time, I just don't think we would cope. It sounds horrible to say that but the stress that is in the house when we have him and the constantness of his demands places alot of pressure on us and also on the other kids. The other kids don't like having their friends over when we have him because of some of his behaviours (smearing of poo being the worst). You feel like you are on a constant seesaw swaying between loving him to bits and wanting to help him as much as you can to wanting to just scream at him which does no good anyway. He has you feeling so many emotions on any given day it is just unbelievable.

Anyway as usual I have gotten sidetracked lol,,,,,,our little business is slowly getting organised and I am trying to stay positive. I am not the most optimistic person when it comes to spending money to make money and I keep having doubts, mainly due to the fact that we don't have much to start with lol,,,,,thankfully Hubby is the opposite and is determined that we can make it work, so we will see. I'm not going to give up, I will keep going until I can prove either way whether or not we can make it work. Time will tell and we have only just begun, so stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our New Business Venture

As you might notice, I have a new little link down the bottom of my blog. This is our new business idea/venture. We have purchased the Ebay Magic course and we received our box of goodies yesterday. My Hubby and I have been wanting to start up our own little business for a long time, but have wanted something that we could work around the family without me having to use childcare. So we stumbled upon Matt and Amanda Clarkson's course and we have been very impressed with what we have found. We have spoken to one of the girls that works for them and she was so helpful answering our many questions (some of which were pretty basic but since my brain has been spinning they didn't seem basic to me at the time lol). We decided to go ahead and give it a go. The amount of information they give you is mindblowing and today I am feeling a little overwhelmed but excited at the same time. Their system takes all the guesswork out of things. From the little that I have had a chance to read so far it is straight forward and I feel that once we find our little niche market we should be able to make a good second income and one that is generated on our terms not a boss' terms lol.

I will keep you informed on how we are going!!! We are going to put our heart and soul into this and make it work. I'm a very sceptical sort of person when it comes to handing money over lol, so spent a long time thinking. My Hubby is more a "give it a shot" type of person and "after all its only money lol" type of guy. Yes its only money but when you don't have large amounts of it to spare every dollar gets watched carefully. I have told him we no option but to make it work since we have spent our holiday fund money on it lol. I don't normally feel very confident in these sort of things but I can see this course is very logical and I can see how it could work and we are going to make it work!!!! Lol wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Exhausting week

This week has and is absolute mayhem. It was always going to be chaotic but then a devastating event happened on the weekend. My auntie passed away. She has been battling cancer for many years, I think at least 7. It started with breast cancer and then finally moved into her brain this year. She was a wonderful lady and my mum's only sister. I haven 't seen her in quite a while and feel guilty for not going to see her more regularly but in a lot of ways I kind of prefer to remember her as she was the last time I did see her which was when she was still reasonably well and still had her bubbly personality. I got the task of telling my mum who recently moved into a nursing home. I stressed about it majorly but amazingly she took it quite well and said "I have been expecting it for quite a while", which is true but I really thought she would fall apart on me. The funeral is on Friday so we will have to keep a close eye on her!!

Other than that my kids have a really full on week at school.
Monday Mr12 had a choir performance at the Magic Millions race at the Morphettville Race Track so he had to be at school by 7.50am to go to that.
Tuesday Mr12, Mr9 and Mr7 had a play put on at school called Jungle Bungle.
Wednesday Mr9 is going on an excursion to the recycling centre and going to look at a landfill site (I have been conned into tagging along lol,,,,,wasn't the best excursion I have ever been on but it was okay I suppose!!)
Thursday I have to go in and do spelling testing for Mr9's class and Mr12 is performing in JRock Eisteddford Thursday night at the entertainment centre. We are all going to that which I am really excited about but of course it goes from 6.30pm through to 10.30pm and then by the time we pick Mr12 back up from school we won't get home till after 11pm.
Therefore Friday I had arranged for all the kids to have a day off as I know they will be exhausted,,,,,but Mr12 also has a SAPSASA Soccer Carnival on this Friday lol, so he doesn't get to sleep in and has to be at school by 8.15 and of course he volunteered me to help drive the kids to the carnival. This would have been great except now I have 3 other kids who all want to sleep in and a funeral to be at at 10am!!!
So the plan is for my Mr14 to stay home with Mr9 and Mr7 while I take a car load of kids to the soccer and then go to the funeral and then rush back to them and take them up to the soccer carnival in time to pick up a carload of kids yet again....(the joys of having a Tarago is you always seemed to get volunteered to be a chauffeur!!!!! (One good thing is that I have very responsible Mr14 and Mr9 and even Mr7 is pretty good and they know that they can go next door if there are any problems).
I am at Wednesday and am exhausted already lol. I actually can't wait for the weekend, although I have my stepkids as well and a birthday cake to bake and decorate for Mr14's friends birthday on Saturday.
I say "Roll on next week!!!" lol

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog This Challenge 12 - Meet the Parents

This is a photo of my hubby and I with my Mum on our wedding day in October 2007. Mum was so excited about our wedding but unfortunately was feeling a bit off on the day. She was a trooper though and made it through the day with happy chats with everyone.

I always remember growing up when so many people thought my parents were actually my grandparents. My mum was 40 and my dad was 55 when I was born. Life was a little different for me I guess as my Dad had emphysema and that really limited him greatly throughout my childhood. Sadly he passed away when I was 17 and never got to see me get married or meet my children. I am glad that at least my Mum has had that opportunity.

Mum has recently gone into a nursing home as she has now developed mild dementia and it just wasn't safe for her to live in her unit alone any more. She also almost totally blind due to problems caused by her Diabetes.
Mum has always done her best throughout my life to give me a happy childhood and has always been there in some way for my children too.

I will never forget when I was in about Grade 2, the school had a halloween party (this was before Australia really even acknowledged Halloween lol). Anyway Mum made up a whole stack of toffees for the school party and came dressed all in black complete with a black witches hat. I have a photo of her somewhere on this computer but I can't lay my hands on it.

My parents have always been an inspiration to me. The went against the tide so to speak having me at an older age. I have 4 older brothers and the age gap between me and the youngest brother is 13 years. These days older mothers are common, 30-40 years ago they were a rarity lol. I am now 39 and still yearn for more children, but unfortunately my Hubby and I can't have any more. We will just get to spoil the grandchildren to bits when the kids have children lol!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mr9 gets his new pet tonight...

Mr9 (my difficult child lol) will be picking up his new pet cockatiel after school today. He is so excited. He has paid for it out of his own money (well we paid half in order to get him a hand reared one).
I picked up a cage off the side of the road a few months ago in the hope of getting a couple of budgies. A man had a few things out the front for free and one of the items was quite a large cage in need of a really good clean up. Well it has cleaned up really well and now we are all set to go for our new family friend.
I am hoping his enthusiasm remains strong lol. We have been thinking about breeding cockatiels for a while so this will be the tester for a much bigger goal! When I was little my mum and dad used to breed finches and budgies. I still love budgies but have always wanted a cockatiel. Mr9 researched for ages trying to decide what kind of bird he would like. Originally it was a cocky but then he saw the cockatiels and fell in love with them. Fingers crossed the little one we have found will come to be a great little mate for him!!
Mr9 also has karate tonight. He got his ghee last week and the change in his enthusiasm is remarkable. He is now looking forward to his karate lesson and is remembering his stances and his japanese counting so much better. I am so thrilled for him, it has taken many years to get him to give something a go. It may not be interaction on a talking/playing level with other children but at least he is out there mixing with others in some form! we just have to continue to work on his enthusiasm for school lol........I am still doing research into homeschooling but will persevere with school for a bit longer at least.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Mr9 is being soooooo difficult I just don't know what to do.

We have had problems at school since his best friend (read that as only real friend) left in Week 4 of the first term. He had a couple of classmates picking on him for a while, I got that sorted, then an older boy started bullying him,,,,I got that sorted. Now he just refuses to go to class of a morning.

The thing is though,,,,he comes out of school perfectly fine, says he has had a "so-so" day and doesn't complain to me about anything when I ask if there was anything wrong with the day. At home on weekends he is fine. On school mornings I might have one morning a week where he is very difficult to get up and ready but generally he gets up and gets dressed and has breakfast fine.

When it is time to go to school he is quite happy and it is only when I go to say goodbye to him when the first bell goes that the problem starts. He says to me "will you come up to my class?" and my normal response is "as long as you don't cry and carry on". Well 9 times out of 10 by the time I take Mr7 into his class and get him settled Mr9 is waiting for me outside of the classroom and I have no choice but to walk him back to his class. I get him upstairs and then the "I don't want to go to school" and tears start. His teacher has had to appoint a door guard at the classroom door many times so that he wouldn't come back out again. He clutches at me, grabbing on to my jumper or handbag or anything really. If I get angry with him and say "just get into class!" he will just follow me back out. His teacher has had enough and has more or less given up helping me,,,,I don't blame her, she has 22 other kids to worry about. I end up having to walk back to the school office and get the school counsellor to take him back up to class because he just will not stay there. I can't move classes as there is only one other Year 3 class there and they do alot of work together anyway.

I just don't know what to do. The school doesn't really have any suggestions for me either, they say that he seems happy enough once he has settled down after I have gone. I have never had this problem with him in the previous 3 years of school.

I would take him out of school and give homeschooling a go but then I would have Mr7 demanding the same and I know that socially he wouldn't advance at all because I can't get either of these two for that matter to join any sporting clubs or anything where they have to go and mix with new kids. Mr9 has just started karate, that has been okay because there are 2 other kids from his school that have just started too. Even for karate he went the first week and loved it, then the following week he refused to go. I managed to talk him into giving it another go and he of course loved it again. The following week he once again said he didn't want to go so Hubby made a deal with him that he would go and give it a shot at least until Christmas. If he really doesn't like it by Christmas time he can quit.......I would have said he do it for a whole year as we just had to pay out $60 for the annual membership and $90 for his Ghee, but I suppose even Christmas will do. Fingers crossed he learns to love it by then lol.

I don't know I just sit here and wonder what I have done so wrong with the younger two boys. I never had these issues with the older two. I can't even get either of them to have a birthday party. How many kids don't like birthday parties??????? Mr9 hasn't even been invited to any as he has no friends and won't have one of his own because he has no one to invite. Mr7 just refuses even though he does have friends at school, he doesn't like any type of out of the ordinary occurrence. The other mums at school are all beginning to look at me like I am strange and I don't know how to handle my children.

Aaaaghhhhh I want to cry today!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009


This morning I decided that we were long over due for a huge pot of homemade veggie soup to be made in this house! So off I went to Virgara Fruit and Veg (this is in Angle Vale about 20 minutes from where I live,,,,,,for those Aussies, it is about 30-40 minutes drive north of Adelaide). I don't go there as often as I used to, as their prices started to rise and I could get stuff equally as cheap closer to home. They used to be soooo cheap,,,, and then they decided to expand a little and the customers had to pay lol.

But on Fridays they do their market days and put selected stuff out really cheap.

Today for a sum of $39.55
3 x canned corn kernels - $4 (this wasn't that cheap but I needed them and didn't want to go to another shop lol)
2 x D'oro Tomato Puree bottles - $2.78
1 x Bunch of Celery - $2.50
3 x Margarine - $4
2 x whole Cabbages - $4
1 x Bunch Leeks - $3.99
1kg Carrots - $0.29
2 x medium Zucchini - $1.67
2.35kg Sweet Potato - $2.02
1.2kg Tangellos - $2.55
1kg Brown Onions - $0.04 (no this is not a typo they were 4 cents a kilo!!)
840g Tomatos - $1.23
1kg Royal Gala Apples - $0.45 (yes these were just 45 cents a kilo!)
2.1kg Pumpkin - $0.82
6 x Kiwi Fruit - $0.84
1.4kg Bananas - $1.37
2 Dozen Eggs - $3
2 x Punnet Strawberries $4

I thought that was a pretty good haul. The kids are all covered for their favourite lunchbox fruits and I get to make a huge pot of soup.

I am going to put in a barbecue chicken, pasta, onion, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, celery, zucchini, leek, spring onion, and various herbs and spices and let it simmer away tomorrow afternoon.....mmmmmmmmmYUMMMY!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

High Expectations or Just Sheer Laziness????

This week has left me feeling very, hmmm I don't know, I guess stressed out is the only way to describe it lol.

For quite a while now I have been feeling like I have too much too do and too little time to do it, but now I am wondering if it is just sheer laziness on my part or just me setting myself too high of a target to reach.

I am feeling like my house just doesn't measure up to other people's houses, not in the type of house we have or anything like that, I am not the sort of person that has to "live up to the Jones" so to speak,,,,,just in the sense of tidiness/cleanliness of the house and garden etc. Yes my house has 4 children and their friends coming and going for most of the time and then 2 step children every second weekend, one of those being autistic and tending to create a trail of mess and sometimes destruction in his path, but I always feel very self conscious of my house when other mum's come to pick up their children from play dates. Every surface in the house is cluttered no matter how hard I try to keep it tidy. Dust bunnies hide behind every hole and under every item of furniture. The sink seems to never be free of dishes even though I have a dishwasher in which to hide some. There are always baskets of clothes and in this weather clothes horses of washing around. The floors seem to scream out to the dust and dirt outside "hey we just got swept/mopped, come inside and makes us dirty would ya!!".

I started decluttering,,,,,,anyone who is in a "blended family" scenario would know what it is like to have two houses become one lol, you end up with two houses full of clutter under one roof! We have been living together for over three years now though and you would think I would have it sorted, but no. My mum recently went into a nursing home so I am also storing quite a bit of her stuff too which isn't helping! I am a very sentimental person so tend to hold on to way too much stuff and what I haven't held on to is sitting out in the carport, boxed up waiting to be listed on Oztion. It is my plan to list it and sell it and that will help us to save up for our next trip to the Gold Coast in a couple of years. But I need the motivation to get going with the photographing and listing of it all. I know if my carport was neater that would help me feel better but it just looks hideous with box after box of items sitting there.

I dearly want to get started on my scrapbooking. I like doing digital scrapbooking and my dear hubby bought me a couple of great programs a couple of years ago to help me improve the look of the photos and to get me started with my scrapbooking but I just don't have the time to make that start. I have finally got all my photos scanned onto the computer and I need to go through and sort them into "events" so that I can scrap far I have only sorted them into years and there are hundreds sitting there needing to be cropped as they were scanned in 3 to a page and most of the scanned ones need to be photoshopped.

Everything I want to do just feels like a massive task. I know Flylady says baby steps but I am even struggling with that at the moment.

Am I the only one that feels like this? I seem to spend all day just doing the basics, like washing, folding, sorting, sweeping, vacuuming, preparing food, I look at the clock and it is time to go and get the kids from school and then I am helping with homework and preparing dinner, we eat, we go to soccer/karate if it is that night, come home, get the kids showered, they watch an episode of Alf and then its bedtime for the younger two, I jump in the shower, then read a chapter of Harry Potter to the older two and then we finally get them to bed and sit down for about an hour or two to watch shows that we have taped for ourselves then fall into bed, just to get up and repeat the scenario all over again. There has to be more to life than just constant drudgery right????

I would be interested to hear other people's views on the life of a stay at home mum!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Hate Autism!!!

This week has been a very trying one for is school holidays, that is always trying but this week I have had my step daughter and step son who is autistic here as well.

He loved me to bits when I first met his dad when he was just over 5 years old. He would let me do anything for him and liked to be with me. Now he is 9, he hates me, well he hates me when it is me by myself, I am fine when there are other people around, which is what makes me feel the worst of all,,,,,I feel like a child basher!

To give a brief history, his dad had virtually full time custody of him for the first 15 months after I met him, his mother wanted little to do with him. After 15 months of constant breakages in my house, literally cleaning shit off walls and off the child (he even will eat the stuff!!) I was reaching breaking point and confronted the mother saying that she needed to take responsibility for her son and not just her other son and daughter. At this point she had her other son (my hubby's stepson) and her daughter 50% of the time but the son with autism only when hubby had to travel for work. After confronting her she began to have him for 10 days each month. Last year she decided...due to the new laws relating to family tax benefits/child support etc that she would take all the children and not let us have any contact with them at all. We went through hell and ended up having to take her to court to get some visitation rights. Now over a year later we are due to return to court for final orders in two weeks time and we have hubby's son and daughter half of school holidays and every second weekend but don't see his stepson at all. Well since this visitation started back in November last year I have been going through hell.

I live in dread of school holidays when hubby has to go to work because I can get Mr9 to do absolutely nothing for me. I end up avoiding him as much as I can, but that is hard when I have to take him to the toilet every half an hour or so as he is toilet timed not toilet trained. He starts to cry as soon as I tell him to go to the toilet. He will then shut up and sit on the toilet....I have to stand there and watch him otherwise he will just run off and not go. He will sit/stand there and then as soon as I tell him to pull his pants up he does so and then drops to the floor and screams. By screaming I mean ear piercing screaming that sounds as though he is being murdered. I then have to get behind him and hoist him up which can often take 3 attempts as he has learnt to make it harder by raising his arms above his head so I can't get a grip. I then get him into the bathroom to wash his hands where I have to prompt him every step of the way. He knows how to wash his hands perfectly well but for me he won't do it. I tell him to turn the tap on, he does so and just holds his hands under the water, I tell him to use soap, he picks up the soap. I tell him to rub his hands, he does it, I tell him to rinse his hands off and he will just stand there with the water running over his hands refusing to turn the tap off. I tell him to turn off the tap and he just drops to the floor and screams again with the tap still running. I go in there and turn off the tap and then once again have to hoist him up. Finally I get him back up and he will refuse to dry his hands, so I have to do it for him which makes him once again drop to the floor, pulling the towel off the rail with him. I am at my wits end....thanks for listening I just needed to vent,,,,thank goodness school is now back and he has returned to his mother for the next 10 days!!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pain free trip to the Kmart Toy Sale!!

Today I was amazed. I hate shopping (my husband thinks that is fantastic lol but most people find a woman who hates to shop is a little...shall we say "unusual"!!) and I do my best to be in and out super fast any time I go there.

After thumbing through the toy sale catalogues and feeling very disappointed in the prices and ranges of both Big W and Kmart, I circled a few bits and pieces that I thought would be good to layby for the kids for christmas.

I decided to go to Kmart first as it is the furthest away from home and thought the earlier the better is generally the rule with any sale.

Well when I pulled up in the carpark at Kmart at Ingle Farm I was amazed to see very few cars there which I guessed was a good sign. On entering the store and making my way to the back toy section I was amazed that you could actually walk around in reasonable comfort and there were actually staff wandering around that you could ask questions of.

Kmart truely have it all worked out this year I think. There were alot of signs up saying that you don't need to take the items to the layby counter, just let them know what you want and they would layby it for you (I think this only applied to their christmas thing I hated was the fact that only certain things are eligible for the christmas layby which I thought was pretty unfair). I was after some Wii games first so I headed down there and began the horrible task of trying to find the games you "angel" appeared out of nowhere and said that you could just go up to the counter and they had all the games that were on special at the counter so they would just hand you the items you wanted. I trotted to the desk and for once in my life everything I asked for was handed to me.

I got Singstar Queen for my hubby (he has been looking at this since it came out so there is something for xmas) for $26, Buzz Brain of Oz for $30?? for Mr14, Wii My Sims for $20 for Ms10, Wii Sports Party for Mr12, Zelda, Links and Gun on Wii for $69 for Mr9 and Mario Kart with Steering wheel on Wii for $69 for Mr7. Not a bad start to Christmas I thought, something for everyone in there almost for around $250.

I went down to the layby line expecting a large lineup and found to my delight that I was second in line and was served within a few minutes. I laybyed a table tennis table for $129 as our family present, this at least was available as a christmas layby so at least I don't need to find a place to hide it lol.

I was in and out and laybyed within the space of half an hour.....that is what I call perfect toy sale shopping experience!!!

I then decided that I would brave the Big W toy sale since I had such a great experience at Kmart,,,,,,,I so wish I had quit while I was ahead. I mainly wanted to get my hubby Monopoly on the Wii which they had out for $25. I went to their Parabanks store to find next to nothing left of their sale items in the games section, no helpful staff to be found and a layby queue that stretched for a long distance. I decided it just wasn't worth my effort to look any further, there were people everywhere, so walked out empty handed.

I hope Kmart learn from there efforts this year and other stores learn from it to put my thinking cap on and work out what else to get for thekids lol, they are all at an age where it is starting to get hard to think of ideas!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend off from kids and I spent it in the kitchen....I think I am mad lol

This weekend we had a child free Saturday from about 11.30am and I don't pick up the kids from school until 2.15 today (Monday is early dismissal for them). Hubby and I had planned a nice relaxing weekend, or so we thought lol.

Basically as soon as the kids left we got ready to go to the shops (Trust me I loathe the shops with a passion, I always seem to be at the shops and I hate it!)....but I desperately needed a haircut so off we went. While there we decided that we would have two meals that we love and the kids aren't so keen on for Saturday and Sunday night's dinners.

For Saturday night we decided to have marinated pork belly (I know I know that is really not good for you but its a once every so often treat lol) with singapore noodles....yuuuuummmy!!

For Saturday night we decided to have slow cooked lamb shanks with veggies.

Of course we then decided that we really should make another batch of Jam Scrolls for the kids lunch boxes, and then we just happened to also be running low on our home made chicken and vegetable soup which we love to have for lunch during the week. So we shopped for everything and came home and found we had no time left to actually make anything except our Saturday night dinner.

It turned out fantastic and was so tasty. Of course though that meant that Sunday then became our cooking day. We did enjoy a bit of a lay in till 9.30 which is a very rare treat in this house. Then proceeded to make a start on the jam scrolls and veggie soup. Once they were on we decided to finally rearrange our freezers. I bought my mum's fridge/freezer when she went into a nursing home last month and after bringing it down here it has sat in my alcove for the last 2 weeks. So we pulled out freezers and gave them a thorough clean out and the older of the two now sits in the carport defrosting and we will attempt to sell it off next weekend. My alcove looks so much bigger now that all the crap has been cleaned out of it. The alcove is a small area that joins out addition to our house. It is basically just the verandah roof which has been roughly lined out and the previous owners have put a sliding door on one wall and a normal door on the other which leads into our carport. So it kinda looks like a box with a door on each side lol. In this space we just have a small pantry cupboard which houses kids raincoats and things like potatoes and baking trays and then we have a large chest freezer and an upright freezer, which is now a fridge/freezer. It was my idea to try to save power, so hopefully it works. I had only bought a new fridge for my mum in February when hers died on her, so it seemed only logical for me to pay her the money and take over her fridge. Only thing is we have gotten rid of our second fridge and an upright freezer and consequently I am now a little short of freezer space as mum's fridge is only fairly small and the freezer is naturally only small too. Oh well I guess it should save us money in the electricity department at least. The fridge and freezer we have just retired are at least 15-20 years old each so a brand new fridge would have to be more economical.

Gee I got a bit off topic there didn't I lol...sorry! Anyway after doing all this I found a frozen jam roll cake at the bottom of the old freezer so decided to make a Jam Roll Baked Custard......these things are soooo nice. It has been a couple of years since I last made one and I am so out of practice lol. I made it but forgot that I used to double the custard mixture so the custard only came to half way up my dish.....but it did taste really nice lol!!

But our weekend without children saw us spending it all predominantly in the kitchen or at the shops, that was so not what I had hoped for lol. Next time I will have to plan better I think!! This week is the kid's final week at school as they come into their next lot of school holidays. I can see the next two weeks will involve a lot of cooking so I can stop the "what can we eat" questions that seem to spring up every hour on the hour lol and they can eat something other than chips and lollies that they naturally seem to gravitate towards. I will be stocking up on fruit and definitely making homemade biscuits and cakes I think!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can anything else break down or break in this house????

I am so fed up right now. We just can't seem to get a little bit of luck on our side at all. Since we have been married it has been one thing after another.
We were married in October 2007 and since then the things that have happened (to life as well as household items) are as follows:
April 2008 - Hubby's kids are taken by their mother and we have to take her to court to get access re-established.
June 2008 - Had to track down Hubby's ex as she moved house right at the time when we had to serve court papers on her and didn't bother to give us a forwarding address (thankfully they stayed in the same suburb so we were able to find them!)
August 2008 - First court date which then was adjourned because the Ex was had just had a baby.
October 2008 - Finally something goes right and we get access of every second weekend granted effective beginning of November.
November 2008 - My mum collapses and is rushed to hospital where she is kept for 2 weeks and told that she will have to be fitted with a pacemaker.
December 2008 - Major blowup between my ex and me due to his new partner deciding that there is no way on earth that we should actually be on speaking terms with one another as her and her ex hate each other!
January 2009 - My mum collapses again and lands back in hospital where she then gets moved to another hospital for her pacemaker insertion.
February 2009 - My mum was out of hospital for 3 weeks only to have my brother go and visit her and find her unconscious because of having a hypo (diabetic). Thankfully ambulance guys were able to revive her and she didn't have to go to hospital
Late February 2009 - Mum is found unconscious by Meals on Wheels ladies and goes onto to spend another week in hospital.
March 2009 - Mum is sent home only to land back in hospital a week later after being unable to breathe at a follow up hospital appointment. She then spends another 3.5 weeks in there where they assess her as having some kind of non responsive style seizure so they place her on antiseizure meds.
April 2009 - Hospital sends her home, only to have her found 4 days later by the Meals on Wheels unconscious yet again.
May 2009 - She is placed into a nursing home and here we hare mid June still trying to organise to become her Power of Attorney as unfortunately she didn't have any appointed.
In the meantime we have had a list of breakdowns as follows:
Sandwich maker
Tyres on car
Fuel pump on car
Fridge played up
Playstation broke down
Dog has had ear problems which cost us almost $1000 in treatment
and now.....
Hubby and Mr12 were mucking around in the kitchen the other night and Mr12 fell backwards onto the open door of the dishwasher, totally buckling the door and rendering it inoperable. Of all the things in my house the dishwasher has been the best thing we have ever done as it has saved me sooooooo much time! In this house it works out more cost effective than handwashing as dinner time used to see me filling the sink 3 times a night, not to mention the breakfast/lunch/baking session washing up times. I am devastated as we just can't afford to get it replaced/fixed right now. We just laid out $1800 to buy mum's fridge and tv off her which of course if she hadn't had to go into a nursing home, we wouldn't have purchased, but I knew that if we had tried to sell them we wouldn't have got anywhere near what she paid for them and as these items are only a few months old there was no way I was going to let her loose money on them. So I bought them. At least I know that they will last for many years but right now I am not sure its something I should have done lol.
Please tell me that our luck will change soon lol, I am just so sick of every time I turn around something else has blown up or gone wrong!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My first recipe......CHEESE AND BACON SCROLLS

These are my famous (well in my house at least lol..) Cheese and Bacon Scrolls. I use these to put in the kids lunchboxes and they really do go down a treat. They are so easy to make and are a bit of a weekend tradition in this house.

I use my breadmaker as it is so quick and simple.

1.25t dry yeast
3C plain flour
1.5t bread improver
1T skim milk powder
2t sugar
1t salt
1T margarine
290ml water

Pop all ingredients into your breadmaker pan and pop it on the Pizza Dough setting and push start. On my breadmaker it takes 1hr50min.
Once the dough is done, simply tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out so it is a rough rectangle shape (I am in no way precise with this, I just roll it until it looks about right and is about 1cm thick).
Spread it with a think layer of tomato sauce.
Sprinkle with bacon pieces and grated cheese (I have also added capsicum occasionally for a more "pizza" like flavour.
Simply roll it up, so you end up with a long sausage.
Then it is just a matter of lightly flouring a couple of baking trays and cutting approximately 1 inch wide pieces off the dough. Place them onto the baking tray so that they touch one another, forming a rough circle shape. I normally get approx 10-12 on each of my trays.
Cook them in the oven at approx 160 degrees (Fan forced oven) for approx 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
This recipe normally makes about 22 scrolls.

They taste beautiful hot but are equally as nice cold. I normally freeze individually and the kids get one each in their lunchbox. They make a great alternative to sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Drowning in a house of clutter - Oh boy do I have clutter lol

Well here I was thinking that my house was pretty cluttered and was planning ways to declutter without the kids getting too upset about my thoughts on a few of their bits and bobs lol, I shouldn't have ever thought my house was cluttered before, really I shouldn't have.......NOW it is cluttered.

After moving my mum into a nursing home a couple of weeks ago, my brothers and I have gone through her house, well most of it at least and thrown out the junk stuff and boxed up alot, marked a bit for a garage sale and gone through her clothes working out what she will need and won't need. Of course all this sorting leaves me with a dilemma. I am a really sentimental person and as I am also the youngest child in the family by a 13 year age gap, I have memories attached to so many of mum's things. You should have seen the pile of stuff that I had to bring home courtesy of my nostalgic mind!!!!

My sisterinlaw wanted to toss the clothes that mum won't need, I said no we will give them to the Salvos,,,,,well now I have rethought and decided that I will list them on Oztion to make mum a little extra money (where I will find the time to do this when I have a carport oozing with decluttered items from my own home to list on Oztion I have no idea!).

So here I am with a loungeroom that now houses a huge box of ornaments, 3 boxes of clothing/handbags to list on Oztion, a suitcase and two washing baskets with mum's clothing that needs to be stored and rotated to the nursing home, a suitcase full of photo albums with a stack of photos still to be gone through, and other bits and pieces. I also scored a sleeping bag, blankets and two quilts...these things can be used straight away on the kids beds etc so that bit isn't quite so bad.

Oh boy though my house is just screaming out wanting to be set free and I am just dreaming of the day that I can actually properly clean the place. It takes me so long to clean as I have to move so much stuff. I have told me Hubby that this weekend, the toolshed and carport is being gone through from top to bottom. We are tossing the crap we no longer use/need and going through all the boxes I have sitting there waiting to listed on Oztion to make sure that I'm not holding onto it for nothing.

My new mission is to only keep the things we use and/or love to bits, everything else can to put this plan into action!

Wish me luck!!!!!

OOOOOHHHHH yeah I forgot to mention, I am so happy, we are getting a solar electricity grid on our roof in November (sooo far away, but the best this poor inundated company can do lol). After getting a quote of $9500 a few months ago from another company, we are getting it done for the princely sum of $550 (plus the cost of a new meter box which is approx $430, but we would have needed that regardless of who we went through. I am so happy that we will be doing our bit for the environment and also helping ourselves out a little with the cost of our power. We are only getting 6 panels but it is a start at least.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just another day......

I am really starting to feel like life would have been so much less complicated back in our grandparents days. I feel in so many ways that computers, playstations, wiis etc etc have just made life for parents so much harder.

Also all the legal rigmarole you have to go through to do things these days. Take my mum for example, as she is legally blind I have been signatory on her bank account for the past 5-8 years but now that she has gone into a nursing home I have to jump through hoops to be able to do her banking for her. She hadn't nominated a power of attorney and because of this I am going through hell trying to get the paperwork done so that I can continue to do this. Why should it be so hard. An elderly person begins to forget things and so that means that anything they have said in the past is null and void. I know that there are probably many daughters/sons that have squandered away their parents money when this happens but it makes life so darn hard for those of us that just want to do the best for their parents. Then of course you have the actual parent who makes you feel so guilty that you have had the nerve to put them in a "prison" as my mum called it. She has been in there 5 short days and she has already decided that she doesn't like it much, the nurses are lovely the food is nice but "there is just something about it I don't like"....sheesh. She won't leave her room that is the whole problem in my eyes. She won't give it a try. She is happy on her own as she says but then she complains because she just sits there bored all day. I have no idea what to do to try and get her to mingle. Looks like I will need to talk to the diversional therapist up there and see if she can come up with some ideas.

As for my kids,,,,major blow up yesterday afternoon. I admit I lost it totally and I feel so bad today. The stress of them and everything with my mum has gotten to me I think and unfortunately the kids pushed my buttons so they bore the brunt of my ranting and raving. Mr8 in particular was in the firing line. I need to work out something to do with this child but I am at a loss as to what. On a brighter note Mr7 has finally settled in a bit better and I haven't had tears in the mornings for 8 consecutive days of school....fingers crossed this continues!!!!

Thought I would share one of my more recent scrapping sessions......don't get time to do diddly squat these days but here is one I did of Hubby back when he was a little school kid lol.......what a shame I haven't gotten around to doing any of mine yet lol.....lucky he doesn't read my blog or he would kill me!!! (He is the one on the far left in the striped beige jumper)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What is a blog for????

My mind has been everywhere since returning from our holiday. We have had to put my mum into a nursing home and I am feeling very stressed out about this. I never imagined that this would be so hard. I feel guilty, cruel and relieved all at once. I know that she can't stay in her own home as she just can't look after herself any more but at the same time I know her views on a nursing home and I feel that we have just made her miserable.

She has borderline dementia and one day she realises that she needs to be cared for and the next she is talking about going home. We only moved her into the nursing home last Friday, but she seems to believe it is only a short term thing and she will be going home soon. I just can't seem to find a way to explain to her that this is it, this is now home.

My brothers and I have to rent her unit out as naturally she needs some sort of income as her pension gets eaten away by the nursing home fees. We are packing her unit up bit by bit and we are going to store her sentimental items (ornaments etc). I want to take her shopping as two of my sons have birthdays next month and she wants to buy them a present but I am too scared (read chicken!) to take her shopping in case she asks me to take her to her house. I am scared that if I do she will refuse to leave but I am even more scared that if she was to walk in there now and find her house getting packed up, she would get very upset and angry. I feel so torn as to what to do and I seriously do not know what is the "right" thing to do.

I also then have Mr8 crying his heart out every day when I take him to school due to a couple of class bullies. Even though his day goes okay and he is happy at the end, I still have trouble getting him there. The teachers have been great and reassure me that once I am gone he is fine but it still pulls at the heart strings even if he is "faking" it to a degree.

But anyway, I have gotten so far off topic its ridiculous lol,,,,,,this is what I mean about my mind, its everywhere at the moment. Life right now has got me thinking about the "purpose" of our blogs. I have a passion for reading everyone's blogs but I feel that my own just doesn't measure up. Reading other people's blogs I find to be "educating" and I feel that everyone else has lots of pictures and shares their lives and in turn enriches others lives by sharing information that is really useful. On the other hand I have mine that is just an outlet for my stress it seems lol. I want my blog to become something interesting, something that I can actually refer to for recipes, ideas etc etc in years to come.

My biggest problem is time. I have lots of recipes that I could share but its just finding the time to actually be able to get them on here. I don't know,,,,what do people want to see in blogs that makes them interesting????????????????????

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our holiday in the Gold Coast Queensland and now back to reality...ho hum

Well here we are back to normality after spending 16 wonderful nights on the Gold Coast. Our days were so jam packed but the kids loved it and never complained that they were tired or sick of walking which really amazed me.

While there we went to all the Worlds twice, visited Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, the Tree Top Walk in the Lamington National Park, Tropical Fruit World and spent a day in Brisbane at the Museum and Science Centre. Such a fun time and one which the kids are all eager to do again.....they even got their chicken mum on the Tower of Terror, not once but twice!!!! lol I will post a few piccies once we get ourselves organised.

The weather was beautiful while we were there with very little rain, what there was was only a brief shower then it cleared up into blue skies again. Come back to Adelaide to grey overcast skies and very chilly mornings. Have had to drag out the jeans and jumpers yuck!

Today is their first day back at school and I have had a hard dose of reality thrown at me. The younger two have worked themselves up into a tizzy about school. Mr8 was sobbing his heart out upon getting into the car, calmed down by the time we got there but then as I was about to leave the school I hear this yelling and he is sprinting across the school grounds in a flood of tears because he doesn't want to go to school. The youngest, Mr7 made himself sick about 5 times so Hubby took him in because I just couldn't deal with it, I was at my wits end. I am back to having no idea which way to turn.........can't we just stay on permanent holiday???? lol

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Baby is 7!!!!!

Yesterday was my baby boy's 7th birthday. Where has that time gone???? It seems like only yesterday I was cradling a tiny baby in my arms and now he is a boisterous little boy who loves wrestling, Alf (you know the alien from the 80's tv show), Bakugon and anything bash them up and crash them down lol.....oh yes and neverending amounts of.....wait for it......toilet humour shall I say lol.

My little man had his heart set on an Alf cake. I make them a character cake every year so I was up for the challenge. I have actually found an Alf cake pan on Ebay and I won it, but unfortunately it has to come all the way from the USA so it won't be here for a couple of weeks. So I got creative and this is what I was able to produce....I was pretty happy with it and my little man was over the moon.

I was so much happier with this cake than the one that I did for my StepDaughter back in January. She wanted a Bratz cake and so I attempted Yasmin for her. Let me say that although the kids thought it was great, I thought she looked like she was demented lol. But hey at least I tried, I have never been good at human forms lol, cartoons and characters I can do freehand but faces, nope.

Daylight savings has finished sadly and gone are the times when I could go out and bucket some water onto my veggie patch after dinner. It means I have to be more organised, which isn't good in this house!! I love the extra hour of daylight after dinner time. That was always my time to get a few bits and pieces done outside, oh well, looks like gardening and bringing in washing is going to have to squeeze in somewhere before dinner for the next 6 months again.

I saw an interesting segment on 60 Minutes last night which was all about back yard gardens and how more and more people are returning to the old style of eating/cooking and living. It was really interesting. It made me more determined than ever to really get stuck into my garden over winter and get it all planted out before spring.

Ok back to housework.......

Friday, April 3, 2009

When sickness hits.......

It has been such a "down" kind of week in our house. Last weekend my step children were here for the weekend and we had planned to have a lovely day on Sunday and take them to a local fair that was on and then down to Semaphore Beach for the annual Kite Festival. It should have been a lovely relaxing day. The weather was about 32 degrees so it was very warm out unfortunately, but it still was supposed to be a lovely day. My eldest son had been at his mates house on Friday and Saturday night but I insisted that we were picking him up at 10.30 Sunday morning so we could have a family outing.

Sunday morning arrived and I was feeling less than great with pretty bad stomach cramps, which by the time Mr14 arrived home had turned into me feeling very nauseous. DH asked if we should just cancel the day but I was determined that the day would go ahead and I would just pull my socks up and get on with it.

Well we went to the fair first which was set up on the local footy oval. We walked around the outside, but I felt too horrible to take in much and was just too flat to actually get the kids involved with what was going on. I made it around the first lap of the oval and then started to feel extremely unwell. DH told me to go and sit down in the shade and he would take the kids over for a free ride or two. I gladly took his offer up. I admit I did feel so much better sitting in the shade. DH came back with the kids who had decided it was too hot to wait in the sun for a ride and we decided to go to Hungry Jacks for lunch as we had promised them.........there was no way I wanted to look at food but went along anyway. The kids happily tucked into their burgers while I just sipped on a little bit of lemonade.

We then made our way down to the Kite Festival. It was so busy and we had to park quite a way away so by the time we made it down to the where the kites were flying the heat had started to make me feel very lightheaded and nauseous again. Once again DH put his hand up to take all 6 kids down the jetty to watch the kites fly while I sat in a shady spot. I was wondering why on earth I had put myself through this,,,,if it was one of the kids that had been unwell we would have either not gone out at all or just one of us would have taken those that wanted to go. But no the "Supermum" in me kicked in and I was determined that the kids would get to see these darn kites if it killed me lol,,,,,,I so wish I had just given in to my "sooky la la" mood I was feeling lol.

DH finally after what felt to me like hours, arrived back and I just glanced at him and said "Can we go home now??????", one look at me told him that I really should have just been home in bed, so we made the trek back to the car and I went to bed for 4 hours uninterrupted by children, while poor DH ironed the school clothes, cooked the dinner and did another load of washing.

Well, 5 days later I still feel very run down but am at least able to function, which is great considering 3 out of my 4 boys have all been ill this week,,,,,of course one after the other lol. I have number 3 at home with me today and just have my fingers crossed that the fourth doesn't come down with it as it is his 7th birthday on Sunday and would hate for it to be ruined for him.

Well I had better get some housework done, I don't really feel like it but I feel that the house is looking very grotty and just horrible, the floors all need doing and the bathrooms and kitchen need a good going over too.

I also have to plan how I am going to decorate my little boy's birthday cake,,,,he wants and "Alf" cake,,,,you know that TV show from the 80's. We have been watching it on Foxtel for the last couple of months and he is hooked. I have managed to get him an Alf toy for his birthday so he will love that, but now just have to get creative and design the cake!!!

I will post photos of the outcome next week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's so strange how different it feels when one of your kids isn't here....

My eldest, Mr14 has been away on his year 9 school camp for the past two nights and is due to come back this afternoon. He would have to be the quietest one out of the 4 boys and yet there is a strange silence in the house with him not being here. It is so strange!!

He is the sort of kid that doesn't enter into arguments, is the peacekeeper in a lot of situations and the all round good guy who always tries to help others out. Yet while he hasn't been here the other three who usually have daily squabbles have been unusually calm. I feel like the house has entered some kind of time warp or something lol.

Does anyone else feel major differences when one child is missing from the day to day scenarios??

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So exciting.....

We have finally decided we are definitely going to take the boys away for a holiday to the Gold Coast. I can't wait!!!! We unfortunately can only take my 4 boys due to problems with hubby's ex but we will have a blast and it will be alot easier not having my Hubby's autistic son to have to control all the time too. I would have loved to have taken them all, but the more I think about it the more I know that it would have been a real drain on us trying to control him and stop him from destroying things in the house we are renting.

We have paid all our deposits and bought most of the theme park tickets and booked the flights. This will be the first time any of my kids have been on a plane so that will be really exciting for them and they have never been to the Gold Coast so I think they will just be blown away by the stuff we have planned.

Today Mr14 left on his Year 9 school camp. I know its ridiculous but I always feel a sense of loss when the kids go away for a couple of days. I feel like a bit of a control freak because I worry when I'm not there to watch over them. School doesn't bother me but anything else I turn into a real worry wort lol. I know he will have a good time, although adding to my worry is the fact that he has no friends going on camp with him. He didn't seem too phased by it as he does at least know a few of the others but I worry for him anyway. It is only a 2 night camp so he will be back after school on Friday.

A while a go I tried the "no shampoo" method for my hair. Well it didn't last more than a few days as I found my hair felt very limp. I have read that you need to give it a couple of weeks to settle in but by the 5th day it was starting to really annoy me, so the shampoo came back into play. One thing I have kept up with though is the no conditioner part. I am now using half a cup of vinegar in a 2 litre jug and I just top it up with water. As I have long hair I have always needed to use quite a bit of conditioner just to get the knots out after I wash it, but now I simply dip the longer part into the jug and let the vinegar/water mix penetrate for a few seconds. I then run a wide toothed comb through my hair which loosens any knots, then I pour the jug of vinegar mix over my head slowly, followed by another comb through and its done. I have found that the knots in my hair come out really easily and my hair has felt so much softer and bouncier than it ever did when I was using conditioner. It seems to also help with the knots I would normally get throughout the day too. It is really amazing. I certainly won't be going back to using conditioner (unless of course I am away from home unexpectedly lol). I may even try the bi carb soda shampoo mixture again in the school holidays when I won't be having to go out so much lol.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The "I have no friends" dilemma

Right now I am feeling so sad for my little boy. Mr8 who's friend shifted house 4 weeks ago has absolutely no friends at school and is just sitting all alone at recess and lunch. He doesn't mix in easily and therefore he won't just walk up and ask his peers if he can join in. He is turning into a very angry little boy lately but I know that it is stemming from him feeling so lonely at school. His older brother has confirmed to me that he does just sit by himself or just wanders around aimlessly. I asked him last night if he would like to have a birthday party this year and he said he does but he doesn't know who he will invite because he has no friends. I just about cried for him.

As his mother I want to just hold him close and make all his worries go away, but as his mother I also know that there isn't alot I can do to help him in this area either. He doesn't play any sport as he doesn't want to, I even tried to get him interested in scouts since that isn't a team sport, I thought he may like that better, but after attending two sessions he refused to go back because he thought it was boring.

The other day he told me at lunch time he walked around the pit (a square area where the kids play handball) 28 times before the bell went.

I wonder what kind of day he will have today :(

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekends go by so fast

Here we are at Monday again already, just where do Saturday and Sunday go????

We had Hubby's two younger children here for the weekend, and my boys were with us too. Mr8 went to his best buddy's house for a sleepover on Saturday night. These two miss each other so much. His mate recently moved house about 40 minutes from here in a country town, neither of them are settling into school life without one another. They seemed to enjoy their time together. Thankfully he was picked up by them and then we went for a trek out to their house, for a bit of a stickybeak lol, to pick him up on Sunday. It is quite a nice house, much bigger than the one they had and on a bigger block. It is nice a peaceful, with just the sound of birds singing, so unlike my street that is quite noisy with the sound of traffic. If I was to move out to the country though, I would have to have a big block of at least an acre and feel like I was living in the country I think, they are in a suburban part of the town so it is like a limbo land to me lol.

On Saturday I baked 2 batches of my pizza scrolls and a batch of my jam scrolls.......yummo!! The first batch of the pizza scrolls were demolished for lunch while the latter batches got put straight into the freezer ready for school snacks. This morning they were all packed off with a jam and a pizza scrolls in their lunchboxes on top of their normal sandwich and variety of other snacks they usually have,,,,,,I shouldn't hear "I'm hungry what can I eat" when they walk in the door....well at least I hope lol.

I took photos of the scrolls, so I will be making up a recipe card for each of them and will post it on here once they are done. Well I had better scoot and get the lunchbox snacks sorted out and then go and pick up the boys from school.

Friday, February 27, 2009

How many more things can a girl want to do???

I made a decision last night that saw my hubby just kind of smirk and go "aha" in that way that only a man can do when his wife adds yet another thing to her "want to do list" lol. I decided that each time I cook something (something that has a recipe lol) I will photograph it and scrapbook a recipe card for it. Once I start I will also post them into this blog so in effect I will be sharing my cooking with whoever wants to take a peek. This makes me just want to start cooking all my favourites,,,,my kids would love it as the house would be full of home baking but oh boy I can also feel my waistline growing!!!! For someone that is desperately trying to lose the weight that idea may not be so good but I am going to do it anyway lol.

Tonight we are taking the kids down to the beach for a picnic tea and a swim. It is quite warm here today so it should be really nice down there tonight. Originally we had planned to do it tomorrow but Mr8 has been invited to a friend's house (his best friend that recently moved house) and I don't want him to miss out on either of these outings, so I will just work around him.

This morning I went to help out with the spelling tests for Mr8's class. I tested 19 kids and 14 of them got a score of 8 out of 10 or higher. I thought that was pretty good for a Year 2/3 class. There was in fact only one that scored below 6 and that was mainly because she gets her "b" and "d" and her "p" and "q" back to front lol.

Mr6 has actually managed to have a whole week in a row where he hasn't cried. I am so proud of him. He has now filled up his sticker chart for this week at school and has earnt himself a lucky dip from his teacher and he gets to play with his much longed for electric guitar for the weekend (it is Hubby's and Mr6 so desperately wants his own lol),,,,must remember to dig out some earplugs I think!

Ok off to get ready for the picnic, we are taking savoury biscuits, cheese, kabana, garlic mettwurst, ham, french onion dip, roasted capsicum dip, watermelon, rockmelon and some salad which I haven't decided upon yet lol.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't know why I didn't do this months ago......

On the weekend DH and I didn't have his kids and my kids were going to their Dad's for the weekend, so we decided it was high time to clean out the carport and our bedroom. With an autistic child in the house, our room gets used as a "keep safe" room when he is around and things don't always seem to leave it lol. DH's son is 8 and is autistic, he has the knack of destroying most things he gets his hands on and so our room becomes the dumping ground every Friday before we take charge of him for the weekend. On the following Monday things should get put back but unfortunately we try to think of somewhere safer to keep the said items but can't so we kind of just leave it sitting in our room, the result was a room bulging at the seams and very little walking space left.

We started in the carport and pulled everything moveable out and swept it thoroughly. We had 3 old kids bikes, some old weights, a trolley cart, plastic outdoor chairs, a trundle bed and a few other bits and pieces. I stuck a sign of $20 on the chairs and $20 on the bed and just put the rest out with a free sign.....well I have never seen things disappear so fast! I kid you not within ten minutes the 3 bikes were gone, as were the assorted toys we put out. We followed that up with the trolley and the weights and within 5 minutes they were gone alone with the chairs,,,,Sold for $20 and the bed which sold for $15,,,not bad for things I would have given away lol. I have no idea why I just didn't put these things out as we decided we didn't need them lol. Last year we got rid of another trundle bed and a cubbyhouse in the same way. It is amazing what the word FREE does isn't it? If I had put a dollar value on them they would have sat there for quite a while no doubt. But this was mainly about decluttering our house so that was achieved at least.

Then in the afternoon we made a start on our room, everything got pulled out and sooooo much stuff was tossed out, I mean it was just trash stuff, not even charitable. I ended up with 2 bags for charity but the rest was binned. I have no idea why it had been kept for so long. I am a very sentimental person but honestly as I was going through my stuff that I had saved since my childhood, I found christmas cards that were dated 1979,,,,,,who keeps christmas cards for 30 years?????? Lol the funniest thing was that I didn't even know the people the card was from!!! I even had 5 postcards that had been addressed to my sisterinlaw, she has never lived with me and I have absolutely no idea where on earth i would have got these from!!!!

Anyway because I like to digital scrapbook, I have put all of my photo albums (about 13 in total) on the floor in the loungeroom along with all the kids keepsake boxes. These used to be stored on top of our wardrobes. I decided that if they sit in the loungeroom they will annoy me to bits (which they are!!) and I will force myself to scan all the things I wanted to scan onto the computer and then I can store everything away properly and it will all be categorised etc etc etc. I think I will scan the kids artwork and throw away the originals, keeping only a couple of things and maybe just scan the school newsletters etc instead of keeping all the ones that have their names featured in them. At the end of the day are my boys really going to thank me for giving them a box full of paper which they then have to read through to find their names in it??? I think it will be much easier to just give them a disc that has it all on there and they can just keep it and go through it if and when they want to. At least they have the option then. Sometimes I hate the fact that I am so darn sentimental. I keep way too much stuff. I so badly want to get into my scrapbooking and get all the photos looking nice. To me the photos being nicely presented will probably be more important than an old school newsletter or a piece of artwork they did in Year 1.

So this is me this week, I now have a carport that looks presentable and clean, a bedroom I can actually move in and vacuum with ease and a loungeroom that now looks like a storage room lol....oh well you can't win them all. I just have to bite the bullet and start scanning and naming....wish me luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's the little things....

I am so excited lol......I just went out to see how my veggie/fruit plants that we planted recently were doing and what do I find but two baby watermelons beginning to grow. I am sooooo happy, I really did wonder if I would only be good at growing vines and not the actual fruits lol. I am not by any means a green thumb but am slowly getting the nack of being able to start things off from seed and actually getting a few to grow into productive plants....okay now that I have done my little happy dance I will get back to making some lunch lol......

Friday Musings.....

Well here we are at the end of yet another week. Earlier this week I mentioned the troubles I have been having with a couple of my boys and school. Well things have changed....a little bit lol. Mr8 is going off to school without a problem and seems reasonably unphased by not having his best buddy there, but it is worrying me that a couple of days he has mentioned that he has played with noone at recess and lunch. Yesterday he told me that he walked around the pit 28 times at lunchtime (the pit being a cement area that the kids play handball in). I asked him if he was doing that with his friends and he replied that no he was alone and just felt like it. My heart just about broke,,,,I so want him to make some friends, firm friends not just acquaintances as he seems to have now. He isn't worried about it but I think deep down he does worry and that is probably the reason why he has so many temper tantrums. This week I have had more than my fair share of tantrums from him and he has been sent to his room numerous times. I can see I will have to work on this with him and may have to have a chat with his teacher next week.

Meanwhile, Mr6 (the one that cries to the point of making himself ill) has been taken to his class by my Hubby for the last 4 mornings. I was at the point where I just couldn't face it anymore. He has cried each morning because I haven't been walking him to his class but has been much better with Hubby than what he has been with me,,,,yes he has been sick twice but his teacher has been able to put up 3 stickers on his happy chart and he has earnt his right to play with Hubby's electric guitar tonight. I am hoping that he keeps this up for me next week when I resume the classroom drop off lol.....I guess if it doesn't it at least proves that it is me that he likes putting on a show for although the fact that he has been sick twice this week without even crying leads me to believe that he must be very upset on the inside still....will have to keep an eye on the more little Vegemite.

This morning I decided to make a batch of homemade laundry detergent. I had previously tried the wet batch (the one that looks like egg noodle soup) and found this to be quite good. I recently discovered a "recipe" for a normal dry style detergent that to me seems so much less fuss than the wet batch. The only tedious part of it was grating up two cups of laundry soap but even though I procrastinated doing it, the whole batch was done in about half an hour. I now have a nice little container of detergent that should last quite a while as it only requires 2 tablespoons per load. This is the recipe I used, it is down the page a little (sorry I am new to linking lol)..... I can't wait to try it out!!!......can't believe I just said that lol, it is very unusual to actually want to do laundry for me!!

Right now I am boiling up some eggs to make some yummy curried egg and salad sandwiches for my Hubby and I for lunch. He pops home to have lunch with me a few days a week, it is nice to be able to eat a meal by ourselves occasionally lol.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, February 16, 2009

KIDS!!! What do you do when you have tried everything????

Oh boy, I don't know whether to scream or cry right now. My youngest, Mr6 is an emotional wreck when it comes to school. He has just started Year 1 this year and it is not going at all well. My heart aches for him but at the same time I feel so much anger at the way he is carrying on. Ever since starting kindy he has cried about 90% of the days I have had to drop him off. It is very trying as you can imagine.

This year though is just ridiculous. He has made himself sick on several occasions because of the way he is crying so hard and this morning OMG!!! We were sitting outside before the bell went and he was sick.....out of nowhere! I cleaned him up as it was only a mouthful or so and then we moved over closer to the door and another mouthful came up TMI I know!!! We then went to go inside and he started crying and carrying on and yep you guessed it I had to race him out of the classroom because he was sick again. It wasn't because he was feeling ill, it is just how worked up he gets himself. He is terrified of doing assembly with his class and he has assembly coming up this Friday with his class leading it. Last week they were only watching assembly and he was just as upset for that!!!

His teacher is a "tough love" sort of woman and has said he is just going to have to get over it. I am at the point where I will be going to see the principal as I can't keep doing this! I know that he is fine shortly after I leave but it is getting to the point where he is getting teased about it and I am so scared he will end up with no friends if this keeps up.

At home he is the little extrovert and has no fear about dancing, singing and generally being the centre of attention. Put him in the school setting and he just freaks,,,although having said that his teacher last year said she couldn't understand his fear either because he would often get up infront of the class (when he isn't meant to mind you lol) and dance and sing and not even think about it. I have never been able to get him to have a birthday party, he refuses and he won't attend birthday parties either.

Oh brother, what to do, what to do.....on top of this my Mr8 has just suffered the loss of his best friend who has moved house. They have been friends since kindy and were together in reception. They spent Year 1 and 2 in different classes and have finally in Year 3 paired back up again after much pleading by me lol. Now just 3 weeks into the term he has moved house AAAGHHHHHH. The poor little guy comes out of school last Friday saying "I'm going to be so lonely now that Jacob has gone",,,,,,,I just about cried for him. He is a great kid but finds it very hard to make friends, I hope today goes okay for him and he actually plays with someone at lunch and recess!!!!

Why does parenting have to be so darn difficult!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What a weekend!!!

Hasn't the weekend just been awful with the fires in Victoria???? It is just such a tragedy, between the fires and the flooding Australia is being hit hard from all angles. My heart goes out to everyone affected by either the water or the fire.

The weekend here was pretty ordinary. Hubby and I were going down to Mt Gambier on Saturday after I dropped the boys at their dad's and returning to pick them up from school on Monday. Well it ended up being a weekend of one thing after another.

We were woken at 4.45am on Saturday by a call from the security company who looks after Hubby's work saying that the alarm had gone off and they were sending out a security guard. Well hubby decided to go and investigate since we only live about 15 minutes away. I had no choice but to stay home since I had the 4 kids sleeping here. I sat here worried that there would be men with baseball bats waiting for him (lol isn't it ridiculous how the worst possible scenarios run through your head!!). He got to work to find nothing amiss and ended up letting himself in, having a quick look around and resetting the alarm himself. The security guard still hadn't arrived and at this point it was almost an hour after we had received the call about it, so hubby called them and then came home. We went back to bed for an hour then got the boys up to take them to their Dad's at 9.00.

We then proceeded to leave for Gambier. We got about a kilometre up the freeway when the car made a loud backfire noise and died. We got it over to the side of the road and called the RAA. This was a day when the temperature was soaring and the wind was absolutely unbelievable. We put the bonnet up but had to put it down as it looked like it was going to tear off. We waited 45 minutes for the RAA guy to get there. It was sooooo hot, thankfully we had water bottles with us. The RAA guy got out the car and had a look and his sunglasses went flying off his head, he ended up getting his safety goggles out as the wind kept ripping his glasses off his head lol. He deemed it unfixable and called a towtruck. So we proceeded to sit for another hour. While waiting a police car pulled up behind us to ask if we were ok....15 minutes later he was back with some nice cold water...what a sweetie!!! We then continued to sit and saw a tow truck coming up the hill,,,,unfortunately he was in the middle lane and had a truck next to him and continued driving. We made comment and said he probably didn't see us. Twenty minutes later we discovered we were right whent he same tow truck proceeded back down the hill on the other side of the freeway without a car on the back, a few minutes later he came back to us, saying "I don't know how I missed you",,,hmmmm yes well if you had been in the left lane where you should have been you would have seen us lol. We got the car towed back to the mechanics who thankfully had a loan car that we could borrow, and took the loan car back home to swap it over for our other car. Finally at 1.30 we left for Mt Gambier!!!! We ended up arriving in Gambier at about 6.45!! But at least it was cooler down there.

When I looked at my mobile I was shocked to find I had missed 7 calls, 1 being from my mum's house and 6 from my SIL. My phone had been on vibrate accidentally so I hadn't heard it. I called my mum to find that she was actually lucky to still be alive. My brother and SIL had gone up there to see her after returning from a holiday the day before. They arrived there and knocked on the door and got no response. They thought that was strange so used the emergency key (she had a key locked outside that the ambulance can use to get in if needed), they found her unconscious and called the ambos. She had taken a nap and had a hypo (she is diabetic) in her sleep. The ambulance guys said that if my brother hadn't called in she would have been dead by Sunday. She is one lucky lady!!!!! That news rattled me, I worry about her living alone as she is pretty much blind and is getting quite frail, but she refuses to move into a nursing home or retirement village type thing. Her attitude is that the only way she will leave that house is in a pine box.......I used to be able to laugh that off but her health hasn't been the best lately and she had a pacemaker inserted 4 weeks ago and I am scared that I will go up there one day to find that is the case....that sounds horrible but you know what I mean.

Today I should be doing the shopping but I am feeling a bit unwell so I am just pottering around the house. Hubby tells me to sit down and rest and do nothing but that isn't me, I need to be doing something lol. I guess I will go and hang out the washing and do a bit more pottering lol.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Call me a Blogaholic lol!!!

OMG I think I have gone blog crazy. I now have about 50 or so blogs on my following list, lol I think I am addicted!!! There are so many great blogs out there and they are so interesting and every time I find something I like I just add it to my list.....I am so glad that people don't add to their blogs every day, well most don't lol or I would never leave the computer!!! Hubby and I have started to try to become "green and frugal" or at least more so than we were. We are doing well so far and have a holiday with the boys lined up so we are desperately trying to save money to go towards that. It is a holiday that I have wanted to do with my kids for many years and feel that before they get too much older we really should go and "just do it"! I can't wait. Once we have this holiday we will be pumping any extra money we can save into our mortgage to try to get rid of that as fast as possible......stay tuned! I sold another 2 things on Oztion today so that is another $11.00 towards our holiday yay!!!

This weekend the heatwave just continued with yet more 40 degree we are looking at a slight reprieve apparently,,,,,its only getting to 39 that is soooooo not a reprieve!!! I just don't seem to be coping with the heat this year at all. I don't know what it is. Normally I handle it better than Hubby but not this year. Roll on Saturday when it is meant to only be about 30 degrees, still warm but alot more bearable!!!!

This weekend was a baking weekend for me. On Saturday I decided to make Pizza Scrolls for lunch so out came the breadmaker which had sat unused for a few months. After making the dough I rolled it out, spread it with tomato sauce, bacon pieces and some cheese, then rolled it up and cut it up into slices. Baked them for about 25 mins and voila! there was Pizza Scrolls. The whole batch got devoured within about 10 least they liked them I guess but I would have loved to have had some left over to make it to the freezer lol. I then decided to make some bread rolls and Hubby put the ingredients into the breadmaker for me but something went wrong, we still don't know what lol, but suspect he may have used SR Flour instead of plain. The dough just about oozed out of the breadmaker and then when the it was done I touched it to get it out and the whole thing was just full of air lol. I continued on to make it into rolls but they didn't turn out very well.....the bottoms of them went like rocks, although the bread in the middle was quite nice. Not to be deterred I made another batch which didn't turn out too bad and my eldest boy has two of them for this lunch time though I must make them bigger, they only turned out like little dinner size rolls. Yesterday I decided to have a go at cinnamon scrolls and I must say other than it turning out a little too cinnamony they are very yummy and heaps cheaper than those at Bakers Delight!! Next weekend I might try making some Jam Scrolls and see how they go.

After reading some more blogs on the weekend and my favourite website..EB I have decided to try going shampoo free. My hair tends to go pretty revolting looking if it gets rained on (by revolting I mean like oily looking) so rather than just use water for the last two nights I have washed it with bicarb soda and done the vinegar rinse. I figure even if I use the bicarb and vinegar every day it still has to be better than shampoo and conditioner and I will save quite a bit as I have long hair and tend to use quite a bit of conditioner. I am surprised that my hair, which usually screams to be washed every second night as by that time it starts to get a bit oily looking and pretty itchy, is actually looking pretty good. It is a little bit oily in one spot which I gather I probably missed with the bicarb lol but other than that it is great. My head isn't itchy at all and if anything it actually feels softer than normal. I was sceptical about using vinegar rinse as a conditioner as I normally find that my hair gets very knotty and it takes a good size portion of conditioner put through it before I can get a comb through it. I found that by dipping the ends of my hair into the vinegar rinse and then running a wide tooth comb through it loosened the knots and then pouring the rest of the vinegar rinse over it slowly then combing again, my hair has been knot free and I wouldn't even know that I hadn't used the handful of conditioner through it. I will keep this updated on my "poo free" adventure lol......even though I'm probably not doing the full on "poo free" thing I think at least this is a start. If it works, I will probably try to just bicarb/vinegar every second day and see if I can stretch it out a bit.

I am also wanting to make up some homemade cleanser and moisturiser......this is quite exciting in its own way lol!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Op Shop Finds - someone's trash is another person's treasure.....

Well I haven't been to an op shop in so long. I have donated plenty lately lol but haven't actually set foot inside on of the actual shops. This morning I changed that. I braved the heat as I am,,,make that was,,,,in need of a couple of bowls.

Last night Mr14 went to feed the dog some of the dinner leftovers and as Billy the Dog jumped up at him excitedly trying to see what was on the dinner menu, Mr14 accidentally dropped the bowl. Unfortunately it was Mr6's Shrek bowl that he had got a couple of years ago at Easter, so he wasn't too happy about that :( Oh well not much you can do about it when it smashes into numerous pieces.

We desperately needed a couple more as we only had the bare minimum. I have plenty of plastic bowls but I don't really want to be eating out of those continuously,,,well not for dinner at least lol. We are trying really hard to be more frugal and stop wasting things. So I decided that since I don't have a matching dinnerset anyway (mine is a hodgepodge of mine and Hubby's that we just put together when we met and so we have about 3 or 4 dinnersets combined together.....out of all that you would think that we would have enough bowls wouldn't you???? But sadly no, bowls seem to be the things that get dropped alot in this house. So anyway back to my op shop lol,,,,,I found 2 bowls (non matching but perfectly useful anyway) for 25 cents each. I had intended to just get the bowls but on the way out I saw a Dorothy the Dinosaur in really great condition for just $2.50 (she even sings now that I have replaced her batteries!) and a large wooden cutout of Tigger (you know the tiger from Winnie the Pooh) complete with the hanging string on his back for just $3.00. Well I decided that I could list those on Oztion and make, possibly double my money or more. Up until now I have just been selling my decluttered items from around the house and while I haven't made a fortune I have made enough over the last 6 months to pay for quite a few of our Xmas gifts last year. This year I am thinking that any sales from January through to March/April will go towards a holiday (our hopeful holiday at this point) and from then on any sales I make will be divided equally between the mortgage (every little bit helps I say!) and our christmas fund.

Ok I had better get moving and actually get these two things listed. Stay cool everyone that is sweltering at the moment!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's sooooooooooooooooooo hottttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so sick of this heat! Thankfully we have ducted evaporative aircon and ceiling fans but when it is this hot the evap system isn't that great...much better than being outside lol but still not that great. I keep peeking at the 7 day forecast hoping to see a much needed change somewhere on that horizon but alas no it seems to want to be in the 40's or high 30's continuously. I can handle a hot day here and there but when it is continuous I hate it. Of course the kids went back to school this week so they are really struggling and come home from school extra irritable and then we all pay for it lol.

The boys all did really well going back this week,,,,well my boys anyway, we won't know how Hubby's guys went until tomorrow night when we get them back.

My Mr14 has started Year 9 and is finding the homework step up a little tough right now. It is a big jump from what they were getting last year and since he has a bit of trouble learning it is going to be a little tough for him I think, but he has a great attitude and I know that he will do his best at all times.

Mr12 has just started Year 7 and is his usual bah humbug kind of self lol. Nothing really phases him too much and he grumbles about homework but tends to just take it in his stride. He sliced his big toe open when he went to the pools with his Dad on Australia Day and it is quite a nasty cut and today one of the kids at school put his chair down on his foot and caused it to open up and bleed quite heavily again,,,,so I had to go back into the school and take him some clean socks as there was quite a bit of blood on his sock.

Mr8 has just started Year 3 and has Mr12's old teacher. I am just hoping she doesn't expect the same out of him as she got from Mr12. Mr12 has never really struggled with school work but unfortunately Mr8 is very behind in his reading and struggles quite a bit and needs alot of encouragement. His teacher last year was fantastic and really boosted his self esteem as she was a real motherly type of lady and just oozed love and respect. The teacher this year is also an older lady but not quite the motherly type lol. She is alot stricter but lovely at the same time. I think I will just have to keep an eye on how he is going.

Mr6 has just started Year 1 and after the first day putting on the waterworks to a major extent, the last two mornings have been very pleasant. He has a teacher who even I find a little intimidating lol and she is known for her strictness but she gets results. Mr6 struggles a little too with his reading so it will be interesting. Mr6 can be quite silly at times and a little on the immature side so he won't like being told off but I just hope that he behaves himself and doesn't get told off too much. I find with him if he gets told off alot he becomes really sooky and won't want to go back to school. I think she will get results from him if he manages to behave though......will just have to wait and see.

I have so much I want to achieve and I feel once again like I am not getting anywhere. I was thinking last night that my youngest has been at school now for 1.5 years and I still haven't begun painting the house which was my major job I wanted to do once he started school. I am also decluttering the house. This is going well and over the school holidays I removed quite alot of stuff,,,,,,,,,,into the carport lol. Now I have to go through and photograph and list it all on Oztion. I figure since I stay at home I should try to become a little more productive and try to earn a little bit at least. I have boxes and boxes of stuff to list. I did at least make a start yesterday but I am finding it very time consuming and tend to get distracted too easily lol. I guess slow and steady wins the race in the long run though!!!

My poor plants are struggling in this heat. I just went out the front to check on passionfruit vine to find the poor thing totally wilted. It is in the shade now thankfully and gave it a nice big drink so hopefully it will perk back up a little bit. The watermelons that I planted near it are fine though so I am happy about that. My Hubby and I have begun to strive for a more sustainable lifestyle and we aren't doing too badly. My 5 tomato plants never made it into the ground but they are doing great in the pots. We have had quite a nice little haul of tomatoes off of them. We have 2 capsicum plants which have so far given us 5 capsicums. We have an old nectarine tree that has given us stacks of nectarines,,,,,they are only tiny ones but they are beautiful flavoured. Our new nectarine tree that grew from a seed is going great guns. I am hoping it will fruit eventually and we can remove the old nectarine tree that has seen better days and replace it with the new one. We have a peacharine tree that has provided Mr12 about 10 or so of his favourite fruit,,,not bad for a small tree that we only bought last October!! I have seedlings in pots waiting to be planted out but it is just too hot.....we have pumpkin (which is threatening to take over the table that it sits on lol), rockmelons, more watermelons, cherry tomatos, a mulberry tree that has just started to shoot from a cutting I bought, marigolds, more capsicums, cabbages and a couple more passionfruit. I can't wait to turn out yards (front and back) into gardens that will help feed our family and in turn save us money. We bought ourselves a compost bin and are hoping we are doing it right,,,,,it doesn't smell so that is a start lol....a little more research is needed there.

Well I best go and list a few more things on Oztion. I need to get into the habit of doing this more often. I spend too much time reading about everyone else's lives and then don't get time to write about my own lol.