Friday, January 21, 2011

Please excuse me while i boast.

So just felt like having a little show off. Happened to get up to a few funky little creative ventures over the holidays and thought you guys might like to see them! here it goes..... 

1. My Birthday Cake

Had a 'Starlight Picnic' on New Years Eve to celebrate my birthday. It was fun fun fun. In my head i envisaged a Black Forest Cake as my birthday cake. It was a true labour of love having to source Kirsch, a cherry liqueur, and buy a bucket load of ingredients. In the end i think it looked better than it tasted- probably needed more liqueur in it!

2. My Tie-dyed Christmas Presents

Don't you just love them? Kids really enjoy wearing them and i love that it's an original piece of artwork made just for them. My tie-dying represents an image i have of God - instead of a boring black-and-white dull God, i see him as a swirling, technicolour mass of creative power. Fireworks. Synapses firing. Electrified life straight from the source. All my creative power, not my ability to make pretty things, but my creative power, my power to bring something forth- a dream, an idea, all comes from this place. This swirling, rainbow mass of brilliance. Pretty deep for a tie-dyed shirt, eh? Well, that's just me really. I'm smarter than i look, deeper than i act and more spiritual than i seem...errr, hopefully.

Shirt with capped sleeves for a little girl

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Human kindness, overflowing.

We have all been affected by the floods. People we know, businesses we've been to and streets we've driven down are all changed from this devastating experience. Many people have watched feeling helpless or even guilty that their world has only been marginally affected by the flooding. Brisbanites are desperate to help. Volunteers have gone out in the thousands, some even turned away from overcrowding, to clean and restore our community. As a mum with two small children i thought, "What can i do?". Well, I can cook and i can drive. So, I got involved with Baked Relief last week which basically finds food needs in the flood affected community and meets those needs. It's been all over the media lately and is the 2nd most popular hashtag on Twitter at the moment.

On Monday, i began my muffin mania. Three dozen delicious muffins began their frenzied dance in and out of my oven, interrupted,of course, by two tiny people who needed some lovin. Then began the wrapping, labelling and packing of these delicious morsels aided by some cups of tea and a little "Summer Heights High". Finally on Tuesday, Harry, Flynn and I set off on our Baked Relief adventure. First stop: pick up muffins from the lovely Miss Jess ( you can read her blog here) then on to the wonderful Kylie for some awesome Lentil Patties ( her blog can be viewed here) and our final destination, Northey Street City Farm. A group of friendly, hard working greenies and inner-city hippy types were all busy ferrying rubbish and green waste here and there. Food was delivered, smiles were exchanged and for a moment floods and loss and grief were forgotten. For a moment, kindness and selflessness were the order for the day.

Harry and Flynn ready with muffins at Northey Street

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town...and Elmo and Mickey Mouse and Mary

So, many years ago my husband said to me "I don't want to follow the whole Santa myth/lie thing with our children". I was mildly devastated. My memories of christmas as a child were so wrapped up in the magic of Santa's-midnight-dash-across-the-Pacific-to-struggle-down-non-existent-chimneys-in-his-fur-lined-suit-in-40-degree-temps-just-to-give-me-presents.   *pant, puff...breathe*    I felt in that moment that i had been a little ripped off, that i wouldn't get to share and re-live my Christmas memories with my children.

Fast forward nearly 4 years later and here i am pondering how i can get rid of this ridiculous Santa idea from my 3 year old's head. Here's how it went....

Mummy-  "Remember when we talked about Christmas last week with Nonny, Harry?"
Harry-  "Huh?"
Mummy- "We said Christmas is someone's birthday? Whose birthday is it? "
Harry-  "Ummmm.....It's Santa's!"
Mummy-  "aarrgh, NOOOO! It's not Santa's birthday, it's someone very special, do you know who?"
Harry-    "Umm......mummy's birthday?"
Mummy- "Well, yes it actually is mummy's birthday but that's beside the point. It's Jesus' birthday! Hooray there will be cake and a party just for Jesus."
Harry-    "What about Mary?"
Mummy-  " Mary was Jesus' mummy but it's not her birthday. Mary is a good mummy but she's just a mummy not special like Jesus (Please don't repeat this to your quasi-Catholic Nonny)."
Harry-  "well...what about Elmo?"
Mummy-  "sweetie Elmo doesn't really have anything to do with Christmas"
Harry-   "He does mummy he does! And soon Santa is coming!"
Mummy-  "Darling Santa isn't coming, mummy and daddy give you presents so that we can celebrate Jesus' birthday!"
Harry-  " No you don't mummy, no you don't. Santa and Elmo bring all the presents mummy. 
              Mummy can i something to eat?"

And that was the end of our Christmas conversation. So my fear initially was that Harry would miss out on something special but now i realise that I'm actually going to have a hard time convincing him that the great and powerful media circus is feeding him a big fat Christmas lie. So i continue to tell him about Jesus and we play with our nativity scene and i keep answering questions about Elmo, Santa and Mary. I am now going out of my way to avoid big fat shopping centre Santas, NO ONE is taking the glory for my present buying.

Happy Birthday Jesus. xx

Harry playing with our home made nativity scene

Friday, December 3, 2010

Splish Splash!

So Summer is fast approaching here in Brisbane and that means alot of water play! We've had lots of Harry's friends over lately and spent time splashing around with buckets, watering cans, containers and figurines.
Water play is such a fantastic sensory experience for small children and helps develop early mathematical concepts such as volume and measurement.

And summer wouldn't be complete without a few good watermelon sessions. Yum!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake anyone?

There is nothing better than a fun and successful family outing. Anyone with a young family knows that even the best laid plans can go pear-shaped when overwhelmed with nappy bags, hats, dirty hands, whinging, snacks, giant overstuffed strollers, whinging, nap times and more whinging. You get my point?

So, we had a very successful outing last Saturday when we visited Gowinta Stawberry Farm. A great place for kids to run, taste, pick and frolic amongst the massive strawberry patch. You simply pay for what you pick and they are totally cool with lots of small (and big!) hands tasting as they pick. Its really easy to keep an eye on the kids and Harry just LOVED being there.

Having my children involved in cooking is really important to me but having them understand where food comes from is even better. We have a vege garden and small strawberry patch at home but to come to a rural environment and be involved with the land is really special. Being there really inspired me and I've decided to write a book/blog/thingy with 50 or so fun family (and sometimes frugal) ways to hang out as a young family. So stay Tuned!

He ain't heavy.....

Just for funsies! Here are my two boys around the same age as babies.

                                             Harry Jesse; 2 months old here.
                                My sweet, affectionate, wild and crazy joyful boy.

Flynn McArthur; 4 months here.
My cuddly, soft, sweet and observant little-sleep-camel of a son.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holiday! Celebrate! Pt.2

So after our fun adventure camping, i decided that i needed to have some tricks up my sleeve for the second week of the holidays. Daddy and i had planned a 'redo the garden day' which also involved a rather nice family outing to Bunnings. (Who knew you could get seedlings, coffee, cake AND a moments peace on a swinging garden chair with your snuggly baby as your big one plays happily in the enclosed playground all in the one place!)  *sigh*  Bunnings, you make a mother happy. But aside from that, i had no plans.

Enter the magic of the great colour-it yourself cubby house! I found it at Target reduced to $15 from some ridiculous price and snapped it up. The i had to hide it in the laundry room for a few days.

After a little wrestling with the actual construction of the cubby house (much to Harry's amusement), it finally emerged in our lounge room as a crafty piece of playing goodness.

So since then we've spent a few good hours colouring in together AND removing felt pen from various places around the house. Note to self: 2 year olds cannot be entirely trusted with a box of felt pens. There's been puppet shows, hiding games, colours, counting and play dates with his cousins. In my humble mummy opinion, a well spent $15. Viva La Holidays!