Thursday, June 30, 2011

Early Birthday

Bethany turns seven a week from tomorrow and, being a last minute sort of a person, I hadn't given much thought to how she would celebrate her birthday at school - tomorrow is the last day of school for 3 weeks. When I arrived to pick up the kids this afternoon, I was informed that the birthday celebration is to be held tomorrow so could I please bake 23 cupcakes? We had three parent/teacher interviews in the late afternoon and then celebrated three excellent reports by going out to dinner. Bethany hopped into bed and drifted off to the sweet sound of my Kitchen-Aid making 23 butterfly cakes. Thanks to Nigella for the recipe (I added cocoa).

Here is a photo of Toby and his duet partner at Sunday's piano recital. I love his concentrating face. One little boy wore a red bow tie making us feel a bit bad about Toby's ripped jeans!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Facebook for business

Oh, what a day I have had! Andrew had to go to Broken Hill for work today so the alarm went off at 5am. I could kiss his colleague Therese for coming to pick him up because I got to enjoy a lie in until 6 rather than go out in the below zero darkness to drive him to the airport. I made lunches and got ready for the day before waking the kids up at 7. Bethany got dressed and then came out, white as a sheet complaining of being very tired and feeling sick. Oh no! How would I get the others to school? How would I get those last brochures designed and sent to the printers when I don't have InDesign on my computer at home? I was meant to go to Albury for a Facebook for Business seminar! How do single parents do it?

Thankfully, she felt better after a few minutes and begged to be allowed to go to school. I dropped them off, finished the brochures, sent the files to the printer and rang the school to see how Bethany was. I was torn about whether to go to the seminar. The council had booked me in and paid for me and I knew it would be a good topic but I would be an hour and forty five minutes away, without my own car, so if Bethany fell ill I wouldn't be able to pick her up. I spoke to her teacher who said she was bouncing around with her friends at recess so I decided to go. I made it back to after school care to pick them up at ten to six and Bethany seems fine. Phew!

The seminar was great but I won't bore you with the details. I'll bore you with random photos taken since I was last here. Here are my two favourite book marks. If you read more than one book at a time you need at least two good book marks. The sickly green nail polish came as a freebie in one of the magazines the library subscribes to. Jossie loves it and no-one else does so she gets it!

We celebrated the end of our first stamp club. Six of us, plus Liz, met once a month for six months to make fabulous things using Stampin' Up. Two of the group have become demonstrators themselves so won't be coming back next month but the rest of us wouldn't give it up for anything!

Look at all the ink pads and markers Liz has....

Natalie made these delicious choux swans. Yes, there are glasses of pink bubbles behind the swans, we didn't have alcohol every month.....

I watched all of Downton Abbey, including the extras, last weekend. So, so, so very good. The DVDs will probably wear out as Kristy, Kate, Claire and Margot have all borrowed them and there is still more demand. Poor old channel seven.

My book club met to discuss Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. We had a fascinating discussion. I really liked the book, I have read it twice now, and Jeannie liked it too. Kate quite liked it but the others ranged from being annoyed by to outright hating it. Extraordinary! This month we are reading Jeannette Wall's The Glass Castle which I would never choose to read for myself so it should be very interesting when we get together next month. I just finished Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine, passed to me by Kristy, which was lovely. Set in London in the sixties and the present with interesting characters and intriguing secrets, I loved it. If you want to borrow it from our library you'll have to wait until Claire returns it - I always pass on my favourites! What have you read lately that you have enjoyed?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Free Weekend

I finished my marking! I found it a hard slog this semester, I must confess. The assignments all took longer than the time I am allocated and perhaps I am tired of telling people what to do. Well, in this context anyway. My extended absence from the blog calls for a dot point, photo heavy, catch up.

Very popular on Facebook was the adventure of Bethany's haircut.

She had been asking for a long time to have her hair cut into a bob with a fringe.

Jossie would also love a fringe but has a serious cowlick in the way of that dream.

Jennie, my friend and hairdresser, admirably put up with the constant chatter.

Bethany was, and still is, thrilled with the result.

Bethany went to Noah's Ark for Laura's birthday party. Surprisingly, she isn't fearless when it comes to play equipment and has, in the past, shown great hesitation when it comes to the big slide. She seems to be over that hesitation now. I haven't seen many children go down this way.

Milo got a new bed and he loves it.

Jossie complained of a sore throat last Monday and ended up feeling very ill. I took her to the doctor on Tuesday and she had tonsillitis so stayed home for a couple of days. I was home with her for one of the days but for the other we left her with instructions to do something other than play the Sims on Dad's computer. She produced these drawings as evidence that she did move from the study.

Bethany loves to copy drawings so did this one of herself in the same style. She is holding a pencil and her homework.

Then she added her own special touch to the next one.

Toby handed in all his well done cards and merit awards and received a Principal's Award at assembly. He will now get a pizza lunch with the principal.

Last night  a few work friends and I went over to Shell's for pizza, card making and Just Dance 2.!

Just Dance 2 is not only excellent exercise but it is also educational. Thanks to Boney M's Rasputin, Toby wants to learn some Russian history.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Putting my feet up

I'm at home today, nursing a sprained calf muscle. My first ever dance injury, I'm very impressed, even if I was just dancing by myself on Just Dance 2. Dance injury sounds a lot better than Wii injury, don't you think? Maybe dancing in a freezing room at 6.30 in the morning is not a good idea. I don't want to waste precious dancing time on stretching to warm up..... I'll worry about that once I have stopped hobbling around.

A day off with my feet up would have been so delightful if I didn't have these assignments to mark. I can't wait until I have finished! I suppose we appreciate freedom so much more after we have been enslaved. What, melodramatic, me? And I wonder where Bethany gets it from.

Mum and Dad came to stay for a couple of nights last week on their way down to Melbourne for the twins' first birthday. We love it when they come to stay. They were able to help us complete Bethany's first proper project. It's on transportation. She really wanted to use my stamps, that's why the birds are there.

I had a big pad of paper for the project and Bethany has loved doing some big drawings. We particularly like this one of ladybird girls looking discombobulated by a real ladybird.

On Saturday Jossie and I picked up her friend Lilli and I dropped them at the movies. This is the first time Jossie has been to the movies without an adult so I came in to check that they got their tickets and food without any problems. I gave Jossie $20 and Lilli had $25 so imagine my surprise when Jossie came running over to me asking for $2! Remember that this is the country and we don't pay the same ridiculous prices charged in metropolitan cinemas. I had left my wallet in the car so Joss went back to the counter and told the lady that they wouldn't need the Mars Pods. Just the ticket, popcorn, drink, chupa-chup and sour skittles then.

Lilli then stayed the night at our place and wore off the sugar high playing Twister.

I left Andrew with the kids and went to a chocolate fondue night with my friends from church. Look at all of that healthy fruit.

Sara has her own collection of pretty tea cups. Not quite as pretty as mine....

Mum and Dad came back last night, on their way home from Melbourne and Mum minded the children while Dad took me to the doctor. I had heard a noise when my leg had commenced hurting a lot (during what was going to be a top score for Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. My enthusiasm for Just Dance 2 cannot be dampened) so thought I had better check that it was nothing serious. It's a terrible shame not to be able to ride by bike in to work when it is minus one outside.

Yes, my bike is the dirty one. Do you think the others wash their bikes when they get to work?