Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The end of another school year

Here we are with just under three weeks left of the school term!  Where has this year gone????  I truly thought it was just me getting older but even the kids are commenting at how fast this year has gone by.

With Christmas Pageants done and the christmas tree put up, we are now faced with our traditional hanging of the christmas lights.  I have boxes of lights sitting here waiting for the weather to cool a little for us to hang our outside lights.  It seems like such a lot of hard work each year but to me it is a little piece of happiness that we can give to our community.  We don't have lots of lights but I think our house looks quite pretty each christmas with what we do have.  This year my hubby has just bought a 3 metre tall inflatable santa with lights inside which will take up our driveway (I think this one was a bit of overkill on his part but I guess at least people will be able to find our house lol).

Christmas is a magical time and I won't let anyone destroy that.  I think we all need a little bit of magic in our lives the way the world is now.  Just to see a smile on a person's face is worth all the effort we go to.

As the end of the year draws to a close, I feel sad also that there are kids at school that have been reading to me every week of the school year that I won't see much of any more.  I have volunteered to hear reading for both my primary school boys so have had 50 year 2, 3 and 4 students chatting to me each week.  It has been wonderful getting to know each of them and watching them get more chatty with me as the year has gone by as they have grown more comfortable around me.  Some of them, sadly, it is obvious that they don't get to read at home, so have been their parent figure in a way and they have flourished with just that little bit of attention.  I love getting to know the kids and it is so nice to be able to know exactly who it is my children are talking about at the end of the day.  It is so much nicer than the high school kids coming home and telling me all about such and such at school and this multitude of names spring up and I have no idea of who they are.

I am so grateful to be a stay at home mum and be able to take part in these areas of my children's lives.  I get to attend their school christmas parties and help out on excursions and listen to them read.  I wouldn't change that for anything.

I urge all of you to stay connected with your children as much as you can.  If you can volunteer a little of your time to help at the school, please do it.  It not only makes your children feel loved and special, but it also makes other children, who may not receive much love and attention at home, to feel special too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More scrapbooking to show off :-)

These are some of my earlier creations......

This one is my hubby's school photo from 1978,,,,,he is the one in the beige jumper second row up on the left hand side.  (He will hate that I have posted this one lol!!)

These two are my eldest boy when he was aged about 20 months,,,,,,,I used to love those little overalls!!!

This one is my stepdaughter's 5th birthday......before I knew her but I love the little hat she is wearing.
These last two show all the kids.  All these were taken just before/after hubby and I got together.  His kids are in the top one and my boys are the bottom one.  Some days its hard to remember when they were so small, they are growing up way to fast!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking - No Mess No Fuss Scrapbooking

Because my stepson is autistic, I try as hard as I can to limit the amount of things that are left laying around the house.  I desperately wanted to start scrapbooking but knew that it is a hobby that tends to take over quite a bit of money and space if you let it.  I love all the little embellishments that you can buy and I knew that I would be forever buying cute little bits and pieces for my creations.  I also knew that I would like to display my works and not keep them hidden away, but knowing my boy as I do I knew that he would be pulling my pages apart very quickly if he got a chance to.  I didn't want to be forever having to put my works away out of sight every time he came over, so I decided that digital scrapbooking would be the way to go for me.

This way I can create everything and store them on the computer.  I get them printed up just as a 5x7 photo and put them in an album.  This way everyone can still see my creations but at least there is nothing for him to pick off the pictures and if he does destroy them, I can at least just get another one printed off.  It seemed the perfect solution for my life at least.  I do miss out on the cutting and gluing and general creativeness but I think you will agree that you can achieve decent results digitally :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This cake is so easy and it is just so moist it will disappear very fast!!  I love nice simple recipes and this one really fits the bill!!!



1C Self Raising Flour
1C Dessicated Coconut
1C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
2 eggs
3T butter or margarine, melted
1t Vanilla Essence

Mix together the Flour, Coconut and Sugar.
Beat the eggs and Vanilla Essence into the Milk then add to the dry ingredients and mix.
Add the melted butter and beat well.
Pour into a greased and lined cake tin and bake in a moderate oven for approx 30-35 minutes until golden and cooked in the centre.
Ice with plain icing and top with sprinkles of coconut.

I'm sure it won't last long but gee it is so good while it lasts!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Drowning in "STUFF"....the disease of the present time

I live in Australia, the so called "Lucky Country".  Yes, we are lucky in so many ways compared to many countries in the world, yet so many of us struggle with our day to day lives, just etching out a living along the path of life, forgetting to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life.

I'm guilty of this too.  Some days I feel like I forget to breathe, forget that there is a whole world out there full of beauty and simple pleasures.

My Hubby is going through a rough patch with work right now.  Trying to deal with a boss who likes to play God and is a constant lyer.  My hubby has been lied to so many times from this Bossman it is just ridiculous.  Unless you get something in writing from the guy you honestly don't have a leg to stand on as he will change his mind in the space of 10 minutes or even less and then say that he never said whatever it is that he did in fact say.  He is cunning and manipulative, the sort of person that I cannot stand.  The sort of person who just uses everyone to better himself and then lays the blame on everyone else when things don't go right, even though it was he himself who stuffed up!!

I have done a lot of thinking over the last couple of days.  Taking a long hard look at our lives, our home and our future.  I know I have talked about my clutter before but it is now that I am feeling it.  As I sit here and look around the room I am in (my kitchen/dine/computer nook) I see way too much clutter.  Sure alot of it can be easily cleaned up but lately it feel like I clean and when I turn around again the clutter has just grown up out of the cupboards to poke its tongue out at me again as if to tease me that I can't get rid of it.

On the weekend we went through the bedrooms of the youngest four kids.  This is something we do every year at this time in the lead up to Christmas.  We tossed alot of broken bits and damaged toys and general rubbish.  Then we also went through their clothes and handed down and boxed up the stuff that is suitable for selling online.  The problem with this is that I already have boxes and boxes of stuff waiting to be sold online.  Now after the weekend cull, I have another 4 boxes and 2 large bags of stuff to list and hopefully sell.  Part of me says that I should just get rid of it to the Op Shop and that way it is just gone.  But then I think that we paid good money for this stuff and I should at least try to recoup some of it especially since it is stuff that has only been lightly used.

That therein lies the problem of this Century.  The problem of so many of us who live in the "Lucky Country".  WE ARE DROWNING IN STUFF!!!  Stuff that doesn't get appreciated or used to its full capacity before being tossed aside.  Why do we keep buying our kids those much longed for toys that they then play with for five minutes and then shove under their beds and don't look at again until you do the big clean out and they say "I don't want that any more".

This year for Christmas I have enforced the "I'm not buying anything for the kids that won't definitely get used".  They will all receive Xbox and/or Wii games as they are items that definitely get used and they also get shared around amongst all the kids.  These things are worth the outlay because they get used by the whole family.  But I will not be buying Bakugan balls, Hannah Montana toys, remote control ants or any of those type of things.  The kids will get their much needed lamps for their rooms, a couple will get a new quilt cover as they have now outgrown their present ones.  They will get clothing and generally things that will be used continually.  They won't miss out, in any way, but they will receive things that they will appreciate the gifts they do get as they will be using them daily.

I will be listing continually until I get to the bottom of our mountain of boxes.  Once our house is really decluttered we will be able to breathe again, and never again will things come into our lives and our home that will not be appreciated by the whole family.

I'm pretty sure if everyone in Australia took a long hard look at their homes, the majority of us would all be in the same boat.  We are a country of consumers, of materialistic people who need to change for our own good and the good of the planet.  Lets all declutter our lives, give the frugal life a go and spend time with our children out in the fresh air planting veggies and fruit and teach them life skills that will enable them to leave home when the time is right, knowing how to be more self sufficient.

Lets all take that first step towards self sustainability.  It doesn't matter where you start as long as you start!!

So where ever you are in the world, lets all purge our lives of clutter and chaos and maybe then we can all begin to breathe easier and smile a little more......IT'S A BEAUTIFUL WORLD OUT THERE YOU KNOW AND WE ALL DESERVE TO ENJOY IT!!!!