Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fun and Games...

We decided to go for a drive to the beach yesterday. Get a little sunshine when the clouds rolled past. Have a swim. Corby go for a surf. J-Boy and DragonGirl drop a line in and catch something for dinner. Boo and Casey (a dog who we minded for the weekend) dig in the sand and play with the ball.

I had the option of going to the markets and seeing Maggie Beer but was convinced by the family that this would be much more fun.

I packed a picnic and off we headed.

We did some 4WD-ing along the coast, drove up a hill and stood at the lookout for awhile. Drove down along the beach and go out to enjoy the air and let Casey have a run.

Everyone smiling...
DragonGirl, Boo and Casey went up in the dunes for a look. You can't do it in Summer because the Tiger Snakes are out and active, but over Winter it's pretty safe.
Then we thought we would cut in a bit around some rocks and keep going up the beach. We went through a rather large puddle. I was in the middle of explaining why I thought it would be a good idea to walk through the puddles first when it happened.

The drivers side was full of water to the seat and the passenger side was about 2inches. We've got vinyl floors which is good, but the water has probably got into the lining underneath. It's going to stink for awhile!

Corby went off on a walk to look for help while the kids and I waited with the ute running. We were a little wary to turn it off and have it not start again. In one spot I sank to my waist in muddy water (not to mention the farm run-off and cow shit!) which was a cold gasp and a naughty word moment.

While Corby was getting help and J-Boy was trying to dig the mud out from under the ute, a guy came past and pulled us out. It took a few tries but we got there in the end. I opened the door to get out and water gushed everywhere. We let it drain away and wiped up as best as we could while we waited for Corby to come back.

I'm still laughing though. I was proud of myself for managing to retain my sense of humour. Corby just said, 'See, that's why we need a snorkel!' I restrained myself from throwing something at him!

DragonGirl is Eight!!!

DragonGirl and Boo's birthdays are only 3 weeks apart, so this time of the year is a time of giving and receiving for us.

We like to celebrate the person and what they like on their day. We let them pick the menu, the music and the daily rhythm of activities. I feel it becomes a bit more than 'where are my presents' that way.

DragonGirl watched a movie a couple of months ago and loved the cake in it and wished for it for her birthday, so I baked two sponge cakes and then cut them in half and filled the layers with strawberries and cream.

Another tradition in our house is Corby pulling out a present at the end of the day. This year's one was a Big success. He had to work until mid-afternoon and when he came home he brought a telescope with him. Her face when she saw it was priceless.

He got her a Night Sky book to go with it. We are going to head North for the weekend in a couple of weeks to get a clear view of the stars and planets and try and pick some of them out. We've had too much cloud cover to see much.

It apparently works quite well on land too and I thought I might take her out whale watching with it next time there are sightings. Yesterday we saw a mother and her calf, as well as another lot that were too far to away to define. There was also a seal on the rocks down from the lookout we haunt.

On Saturday we got together with friends at the local pool and hired out the inflatable. The kids (and grown ups) had an awesome time. I would have liked to have had a go as well.

I can't believe DragonGirl is eight already. It has gone quickly and been quite eventful. We've moved to NZ and back, driven from one side of Australia to the other, lived on a couple of farms and now we have the coastal lifestyle with our little piece of Land.

We started school and then decided that Life Learning is much more our style and DragonGirl is blossoming happily with the choice.

We had a visit from the local home education Moderator last week. He said that he 'is impressed with how we are going' and that he hopes we will continue homeschooling next year - which we are. I knew that DragonGirl had made some big steps in the last couple of months but it was still nice to have some feedback. It boosted my confidence in our ability to keep going.

I have seen DragonGirl's confidence grow too over the last two years. She is more willing to try new things and conquered a few fears too.

One of her biggest fears were situations where she was required to perform or speak in front of a group. Last week she had a session of Drama and I really wasn't sure how she would go. She amazed herself and did really well and I would even go as far as saying she was really good at it. Needless to say she is looking forward to next week's session.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Little Bloke is 3!!!

It has gone by so fast! I know all mum's say that, but it's true.

I've been meaning to make this post all week, sorry it took so long.

We had a lovely day together. He got some lego and as the weather was wet, we spent hours by the fire making trucks, houses, helicopters and gardens.

At a few days old...

...and now...

I made him a choc berry fudge cake which went down well with everyone. We waited for dad to get home from work to have it. He spent the whole morning singing Happy Birthday to You, so was more than happy to join in with us when it came time for cake!

Thank you so much for all your gifts. They have been appreciated and enjoyed immensely.

Spring is in the Air...

...despite the weather saying otherwise!

I've been busy in the garden when I get a chance (in between rain and hail) and it's coming along really well.

I got this lot of plants this morning, ready to plant out over the weekend. I am going to put them into the existing gardens and fill them up and then will get on to digging some more.

The fruit trees are all waking up and in flower. This is a good shot of the plum tree's new shoots.

We've got bulbs coming up that were planted by the last owner. Some of them are really interesting. Like this one, any ideas what it is?

I've finished down the side of the house finally. I edged with pavers, fed the soil with compost, manure and seaweed, then planted and mulched. It will be great once it is established. It's close to the back door, gets all the morning and midday sun and is protected by the house from the horrible south winds.

We are getting some more fruit trees over the next couple of weeks and I want to start the garden at the very back of the yard.
The plan is to put in sunflowers, corn, tomatoes, peas (for green manure) and melons. I am going to make traditional rectangular garden beds using the pavers for edging.
We got the pavers free from up the road. We had to pull them up but it was worth the effort to have them to use around the place.