Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Night Stories.

Every Sunday night we have a longer time of reading stories. For a while, 9 year old son has indulged in "Harry Potter" and 6 year old daughter enjoys her library books or "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". Our younger two have nursery rhymes care of Dad before bed and "Hairy Maclary" from me before their day sleep.... until another favourite is chosen.

Food From Many....

Food means many things: it is given for rest and sustenance, it is given in rememberance and it is to commemorate.

My father made a pot of chicken soup and my mother made fritatta. My sister made gluten free chocolate cake. I did not get to make milk tart for afternoon tea. I woke up and really felt the effects of the cold we have all been fighting for the last three weeks. We did however have koeksysters that we had bought to remember that 26 years ago we lived in South Africa. Mum and Dad also sent biltong, droewors and some more koeksysters.

Again a day of quiet moments, resting and recuperating.


"Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 3:13

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quiet Moment.

Surveying many familiar, local faces from school, preschool and soccer; all at soccer presentation day. Nice to gather my team and present them with their medals.

Simply Saturday.

Well, not as simple and quiet as I would like but filled with good things:

Firstly E and 9 year old son cycled to the newsagents, then 4 year old daughter went to the podiatrist. The next stage is the soccer presentation day; 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter will go to that with me. After that is a 40th birthday afternoon tea which I will go to alone as there won't be children there. Finally there is a slide night at E's father's house. E will go alone at this stage I think as the rest of us have still got coughs and we do not want to pass that on to Grandad.
In a lull before the storm, the older two played on the old computer and 2 year old daughter did some drawing. Laundry of course happened.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Quiet Moment.

As well as enjoying the warm gusts of Spring air, I will be making an inventory of soccer equipment to hand back to the club tomorrow and wrapping National Rugby League balls for the fathers' day stall at school next week......

Fresh Produce Friday.

The weeks are flying by. The leaves are reappearing on the trees. Spring will be here. I have seen some lovely recipes using Spring vegetables which I hope to use and post in the next few weeks. We won't be seeing many pumpkins from now on..... only in lovely American blogs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quiet Moment.

It is blissfully quiet here. Not a sound except the ticking of my clock.......

Some Ladies are Coming...

to morning tea. One dear friend is moving back to America, we met in the preparation classes at our hospital before we had our first babies. We then bumped into each other as we were both leaving hospital with our bundles of joy. As she lived close by, we would walk every day with our prams. Her family then moved to America. Five years later they returned to Australia and now two years on, they are returning to America. 4 year old daughter loves it when this lady calls by.

Mrs H is coming too, 2 year old daughter will be particularly pleased. Actually if they weren't my dear friends, I could disappear and read quietly somewhere and the little ones would have a lovely time with these people they adore.
I have baked banana cake, so this week it has been baking Tuesday and Thursday, not Wednesday

A Night Out...

My quiet moment today was in preparation for a treat tonight: going out to dinner with husband E on the Doulos. We went and heard about this ship's work in many countries, met the crew, toured the ship and had many, many, many of my questions (I do ask a lot...) answered.
We saw the ship's engine; one room powering the whole ship. It is quite an old ship, built in 1914. With new International Shipping Standards coming into effect in 2010, this ship will not be able to remain on the seas. This is her last visit to Australia. The ship is open for daily tours whilst in Darling Harbour.
The ship has 330 crew members, some of which are young families. It seems that the highest percentage of crew members are often from South Africa.
We heard of the ship's work in Sri Lanka, building houses after storms, medical help and the fact that sometimes, the ship is the only area in a country where the people are free to browse through Christian books.

Continuing the laundry theme from earlier in the day-the laundry room on the Doulos is ship shape. There was a lady on duty as we were there, much of the laundry is done at night. There were huge bins for sorting colours, huge washing machines, a spinner and two tumble dryers. After the washing is done, the clean, dry laundry is folded and placed in a pidgeon hole, ready for the owner to collect. If it is not labelled with the owner's name, it will get lost!

Back at home, my mother kindly stayed here late to look after our brood, give them dinner and put them to bed. It was so good knowing that all was well at home. A mid week point of interest....seeing and thinking of things that are worlds apart from my usual frame of reference.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quiet Moment.

Today's quiet moment was feeling a Spring breeze, hearing our chimes outside the window and .....doing some ironing. Pristine, white shirts.

A Change....

I have been playing.....learning......even creating......

However I am sentimental and do hold on to memories....
Here is a helpful site for backgrounds and sharing knowledge.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet Sprinkles....

The children loved it, except 4 year old daughter who seems to prefer savoury foods like me. 9 year old son took the photos.

The icing was particularly good and I found the recipe on Homespun Living.
6T milk
6T butter
1 1/2 cups sugar

Bring to the boil (I did it in a large capacity jug in the microwave as it bubbles right up....)
Once out, quickly add 1 cup of choc chips and stir. Spread fairly quickly as it does start to set.

Quiet Moment.

Baking. 6 year old daughter has requested a cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles for afternoon tea. This is my favourite mixing bowl. We got it as a wedding present from some good friends of my parents.

At a Child's Pace.....

2 year old daughter and I went for a little walk. It was nice not to be doing it for exercise for me or, not to be rushing off somewhere. Rather, just walking, stopping, picking up, looking and smelling.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Face Time with the Kids.

I am so glad I am participating in this challenge. This week the focus is in sharing memories with our children of our childhood.

We have slide nights once a month with husband E's family and when my Dad joins us at the lakehouse, he often brings his slides so that we can see his sea faring days.

We often have slide nights at home and we have a newly developed roll waiting to be watched. Every term holiday I get out our wedding album and the children's albums so that they can page through.

My favourite movie that the children know is "Mary Poppins." We have another special movie for 9 year old son in particular which is the original "Italian Job." Husband E enjoys that one too.

I will be maintaining the Drop Everything And Read and our games' night on Saturdays. Baking on Wednesdays sees two little willing helpers as well.....

Quiet Moment.

I have just realised that the weekend posts did not record quiet moments. Well I did have most of the day as quiet on Sunday as the children and E went to a birthday gathering. Sadly Saturday did not have any and that may be the reason why I have finally caught the children's cold.

Today however, 2 year old daughter is at my dear friend Mrs H, 4 year old daughter is at preschool and the older two at school. I will enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and a view of the back garden and valley.

The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside the window are birds in the valley.

I am thinking that having a cough and snuffle means I might take it easy today.

I am thankful that 4 year old daughter is eating well, talking more and enjoying things around her.

From the kitchen this week will be milk tart; a delicious tart we used to eat in South Africa. We arrived in Australia on the 1st September, so next Sunday we are having a little afternoon tea gathering.

I am creating ....... does milk tart count??

I am going to have dinner with husband E on the Doulos on Wednesday night. It is a ship that travels around the world on a humanitarian mission.

I am wearing E's jumper, a green shirt and floppy pants.

I am reading Australia's Country Style magazine.

I am hoping that we make good use of the spare time as a family now that the soccer season comes to a close.

I am hearing birds and the jingle of the bell around our cat's neck. Luckily he is an indoors cat so that the birds are safe. Although some of the birds are about the same size as him!

Around the house are areas that need a little more than a once over clean. Perhaps they need a 'Spring' clean.

One of my favourite things is (are) beds that are made.

A few plans for the rest of the week include dinner on the ship and dinner to farewell a dear friend who is returning to America. Also, presentation day for our soccer team on Saturday and 9 year old son is fortunate enough to be going to see a professional soccer team play on Sunday. I will also be going to a friend's party to celebrate her 40th. Best get over this cold quickly...

Here is my picture thought: a lovely posy of flowers from 6 year old daughter's little friend L who came to play on Saturday.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Till 2012...

Sadly we farewell the Olympics from our many achievements. The children, E and I had sandwiches in front of the television.


My lovely children brought these camellias home for me today from an open garden where their cousin had his birthday gathering.


Someone from Carol Stream has dropped by, I do hope they drop me a line as I lived there for a year in 1991....


"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:10

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Simply Saturday.

It was bitterly cold at the soccer field but I was prepared and rugged up in E's jumper and a long coat and scarf. The boys played well, 9 year old son scored three goals. A bacon and egg roll went down a treat and there were lots of cut oranges for the boys and girls. I am home now enjoying a warming first coffee for the day (long overdue.)

While we were gone, the girls played.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tea and Cake.

It is warm and dry inside.

It's Cold and Rainy Out....

so we need some warm, banana cake for afternoon tea. It is not often we have a banana left over so we will enjoy our cake....The recipe is from Stephanie Alexander's book.

Quiet Moment.

Look what came in the post yesterday.....

Fresh Produce Friday.

Time to order fruit and vegetables again. There is rain outside so I am not sure about our big soccer gala day tomorrow.....I picked up the pack last night as I am a group manager, so will need to check all the rules today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quiet Moment.

That all being said, time for a quiet cup of coffee...

Thursday's Things to Do....

There is a busyness at this time of year which seems to erupt. I am not sure why....

At school there is an assignment for 9 year old son due next Monday, Multicultural day, a trivia night, family photos, school photos, cricket try outs, Fathers' day stall, cake stall and bbq for an upcoming local election....

The preschool has a bbq fundraiser as well and a create-a-plate fundraiser where the child draws something lovely to 'make into a plate'.

Soccer will reach its climax this weekend with a gala day and then a presentation day the following week.

Nieces and nephews start having birthdays in earnest...

I have not heard about the ballet concert yet.....

So what do we do when we feel a little muddled? We make lists.... I am good at making lists.
To help the older two keep on track of their daily tasks, I put a whiteboard on the bench with reminders of their homework, chores and what they need to prepare for the next day. This has been useful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baking Wednesday.

Chocolate brownies (with four year old helper)

370g dark chocolate
250 g butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
4 eggs

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Remove from heat, put in sugar, eggs and stir. Then add flour. Pour into two slice tins, bake for 40 minutes.

This recipe came from our local primary school's parents' recipe book.

Quiet Moment.

My quiet moment happened first thing today, I love this view from our window.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quiet Moment..

Looking through recipe books for dinner ideas....

We might have this for dinner:

250g rigatoni
2T oil
500g crushed tomato
1 c white wine
750g ricotta
2 eggs
1 t nutmeg

Cook pasta. Cook sauce. Spoon half into dish. Cover with rigatoni, top with remaining sauce. Mix ricotta, egg, parmesan and nutmeg. Spoon over mixture. Sprinkle more parmesan. Bake 40 minutes.

This recipe was in "Better Homes and Gardens."

An Award with Heart....

Thankyou to Remote Treechanger for this award. More importantly though is the message behind it. Please click on it and visit....
"Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog."
So I hand this award to:
Mrs H's blog
Cherith Revisited and
By Grace Alone.
Mrs H has a blog and is a dear friend of mine and seems to know just how to step in and offer what I need at a time that I need it. We share so many goals in common and we strive to have The Lord as central to our lives.
A new friend is Cathy and I enjoy her humility, love for her family and many encouraging words. She knows many big words too!!
By Grace Alone is a wise lady who is passing on her lessons to us and is personal in her responses to people (even though I have never met her...)

Spring will be Here Soon.....

9 year old son picked 'boy sized bunches' of jasmine for us;

He laced it through these hooks.....

Our bathroom smells sweet..... We put some jasmine on the window sill.

I love this bowl, we got it in Tasmania from a junk shop. It holds water in the shower so that we can use it to flush the loo. (We have water restrictions).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Face Time with the Kids.

The challenge this month is to spend more time with our children. The first week it was recommended that we read together, the second week that we cook together and now the third week that we play games with our children.
Well, every Saturday night is "Games Night" in our house. I must say, we have had some good laughs and learnt some valuable lessons, such as playing for fun and not always being the winner. Saturday nights usually involve our older two, however the younger two are becoming quite adept at "Snap" during the day.

By the way, the Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) session in the afternoon is going really well. It is nice to do it all together.
Don't forget, the adults have to do it alongside the children. Altogether you see..

Quiet Moment.

Quietly swapping girls' clothes around and checking sizes for Spring. As I do so, am so very thankful for the kindness of family and friends in giving us so many items of clothing. Our children are so fortunate.
My Great Aunt painted this cupboard.

The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window are clouds suggesting rain.
I am thinking of projects that are incomplete-quilt and our childrens' babybooks.
I am thankful for a quiet morning.
From the kitchen will be a roast and soup this week, as well as baking.
I am creating mental lists of childrens' interests so I can buy appropriate presents. (I apologise for using this phrase in this manner, but creativity is definitely an area that I need to develop.)
I am going to a warehouse this week to buy Christmas presents and birthday presents for all our nieces and nephews.
I am wearing grey pants, red top and grey jumper (sweater).
I am reading notes from school and preschool.
I am hoping to clear the bench of paperwork.
I am hearing Clannad playing.
Around the house is order of some kind.
One of my favourite things is shortbread with coffee.
A few plans for the rest of the week include revising some piano lessons I had over a year ago and sorting through childrens' clothes for the change in season.
Here is my picture thought: 6 year old daughter's art piece titled "Olympic Rings."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quiet Moment.

Two little ones asleep,
E and 9 year old son on a long bike ride and
Tea for two: 6 year old daughter and me and


"Let wisdom be your sister and make common sense your closest friend." Proverbs 7:4.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the Side...

If your meal won't quite go the distance then a potato bake is the answer. I have had many at BBQ's in South Africa and Australia. We had one for dinner tonight when my meat pie was not quite enough for us.

Potato Bake
Peel and slice potato and then microwave in oven/microwave proof dish. Pour some french onion packet soup on top (I only use a tiny bit as I don't like flavouring). Pour some mozarella or any other cheese you fancy and cream to cover. Mix it all up. Sprinkle some cheese on top and then put in an oven till bubbling and golden.

Quiet Moment.

Holding a dear friend's new little daughter, such tiny feet. She is beautiful.

Simply Saturday.

Cycling for E and a mate early,

soccer for 9 year old son and me, then soccer canteen duty,

sausage sizzle,


Friday, August 15, 2008


Here they are, I know E is going to love them and little 6 year old daughter who is bravely catching the bus by herself. I think we will sandwich two of these cookies with choc honeycomb icecream in between. Thanks Cathy for that delicious idea.