Friday, October 31, 2008

Spinach and Feta Pide.

I attempted to make a spinach and feta pide today after enjoying one last night whilst doing the grocery shopping. It was tasty, but next time I will use a Turkish bread dough, not a pizza dough.

First I washed the baby spinach leaves. Then I par cooked them. I squeezed the excess liquid out and then spread some on the dough, already rolled out. I crumbled feta on top, then some mozarella cheese. I also sliced mushrooms and added them. I made a package with the dough and baked it in the oven.
Serving it with cottage cheese and lemon was delicious.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


As is customary, on the last Wednesday of the month, we gather for bookclub. I think we have been meeting for at least five years. My dear friend who recently moved back to Seattle used to come too. We missed her tonight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Farewell Dear Chair.

I found this chair on chuckout. For other 'finds' look here. We are putting it back on the kerb though, so that someone else can enjoy it as much as we have. Our floor is being repaired in the family room, so we have to move a lot of furniture about. Husband E and I agree that the top part of the chair pushes our heads forward. Maybe it won't for the next owner.....


The before and after of the children's study. The cat was in a muddle in the mess and the children could not work properly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


"Here we go 'round the mulberry bush...."

but it is not cold and frosty.

Two boys; 9 year old son and his friend, picking mulberries from our neighbour's tree. With her permission of course!!

Birthday Season.

We have two children's birthdays in June and the older two are in November and December.

9 year old boy is going indoor rock/wall climbing and the invitations are sent by the centre, with release forms, information for safety etc.

6 year old daughter's invitations were made by me yesterday. At first the heat of the day and grumpiness meant that she was not very happy with the design, but, this morning, she awoke on the correct side of the bed and was pleased with them. One or two suggestions were taken on board and now they are ready to be distributed tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In the Garden.

We planted tomatoes,

Pruned lavender,

Watered some new lavender,

Repotted some oregano,

Repotted some Aloe Vera,

Mixed our compost with some other soil,

Weeded some pots,

Ate ice blocks and popcorn.


"Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I think it is still Sunday in some parts of the world. I enjoyed the Sabbath yesterday; a day set apart. I did not turn the computer on, put the washing away or any usual activities. Instead we went to church, we enjoyed a family lunch and a time in the garden in the afternoon. I will post some pictures of that later on...... I hope the Sabbath was a day of rest, a day set apart for many.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Grown Ups' Gathering.

Last night we gathered for a lovely dinner to celebrate Mrs B's 40th birthday. The food was delicious, the company wonderful - much belly laughter which does wonders for the soul..... Party favours were lovely perfumes, creams, chocolate and ribbons. The table's centre piece was a balloon and rose ensemble - three balloons as three children were waiting at home.....

I used the smaller of my favourite red bags, the larger still has nappies in it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baking Banana Cake.

Bunches of banana cakes. The heat of the weekend sped up the ripening of our bananas. It is rare for us to have any bananas left for baking into banana cakes. Good to have in the freezer as we have a few things coming up in the next week.

Sewing Repairs.

A cloudy, cold day and a casserole in the oven. Weary, but can manage repairing torn ribbons on these Amish dolls and reattaching their hats.

Nearing the end of October.....

I have always said that we are not to put our blankets away before the end of October. Well we are a step closer to this. We are about to air them in the warm sunshine and then pack them away. Nice, crisp, Summery, striped linen replaces. Today however, is VERY cold. Well there only a few days left.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boiled eggs.

Boiled eggs and soldiers (toast with butter cut into fingers) were a treat in husband E's family, sitting in their pyjamas in front of the fire on a Sunday evening. Boiled eggs and biltong were a favourite in my family, boiled just right by my Dad. Our children love boiled eggs, soldiers and biltong. These cute little egg cups were given to us on the weekend from my parents. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


"The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine." Proverbs 4:18

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yesterday Evening's Quiet Moment.

After 4 year old daughter's excitement in her first swimming lesson and a week of keeping on track, I sat out on the deck in the evening to enjoy a cup of tea. It helped just to have a little quiet. I love the view.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Afternoon Tea.

Today's afternoon tea should fill 'em up. Using pizza dough from the breadmaker, I rolled the dough into rectangles, spread one with tomato sauce, Italian herbs and mozarella and another with vegemite and tasty cheese. I rolled them up, cut them into scrolls with a pizza cutter and then placed them on a baking tray. They rose and then baked. Let us see if the four children like these as much as they did the chocolate buns earlier in the week.
PS: They are all gone, except 3 for husband E. YUM.
Pizza Dough:
200mL water
1 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 t yeast

Thinking of Summer....

Just like Cathy, I too have an older style picnic set. Unlike Cathy though, this picnic set does not get much use. I bought it before we had children from a little junk shop, thinking that we would use it for vintage car outings. We have used it, and hopefully will again in the future.

6 year old daughter wanted to make frozen fruit yesterday so we did. We cut strawberries and grapes and then covered them with water. Fruit juice could have been nice too. We put them in the freezer and will enjoy them this afternoon. It is hotter today. 4 year old daughter starts swimming lessons today, she will join her big sister in the pool.

Around the Home.

My kitchen benches are finally clear. I love clean uncluttered surfaces. I also like things that are quaint and homey. To find a happy balance is my aim.
I do not like paperwork on the bench and I find it hard to cook or bake (especially with helpers) when the bench is cluttered. The paperwork does not magically disappear though. I have photographed the depths of a cupboard in the kitchen that houses these things.
This wicker suitcase houses all my household management folders; lists of presents for family, linen lists, holiday ideas, menus, garden information etc.

Better that the items below are hidden in a cupboard I think.
The upright mini shelves have a shelf designated for each child. The games on top are ones that are favourites at the moment. The blue tray carries folders with things I am working on with each child (I was once a teacher!), the white tray can be brought out as it is all the current projects I am working on such as organising birthday parties, bills etc.
There is a lower section of the cupboard that has all computer related 'stuff'.

I visited a blog called That British Woman. I enjoyed reading her "Housekeeping from A -Z" and had a go myself:

A ~Aprons--y/n If y, what does your fav. look like?

Once in while, I have a green one with embroidery and a cream one with coffee cups on it. Also a nice maroon apron that a good friend gave me for my birthday.

B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake?

Almond based goodies, shortbread and at the moment, weetbix slice.

C ~ Clothes line?

Yes a Hills Hoist (whirly). I love the smell of sun kissed washing.

D ~ Donuts--Have you ever made them?

Never. I worry about doughnuts: refined flour, then deep fried and then sugar on top. I do remember though that I enjoyed nice fresh doughnuts when on holiday on the South Coast as a teenager.

E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday?

Make the beds, wipe the bathroom and washing up.

F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze?

Yes, an upright in the garage. I could not do without it. It stocks bread and meat or chicken. It also stores cooked meals, cooked chicken and baking goods for lunchboxes. In the Summer it has ice blocks. There is also a back up supply of frozen vegetables and bacon.

G ~ Garbage Disposer?

No, I have a compost section in our bin.

H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource?

Friends, the internet, old fashioned remedies.

I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results?

I don't mind it, but don't have the time to do it. At the moment, dear husband E does it. I have said I will do it when all the children are at school!!

J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?

Well a junk cupboard for paperwork etc. I do have a second drawer for things like potato peelers, zesters etc. It is checked often though, so it never becomes a junk drawer.

K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme.
Green tiles and wooden cupboard doors that husband E made. The door handles are brass forks, spoons, teacups and teapots. I love old jars and tins.

L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking?

Creating a haven for my family. Everything in its place, good smells, keeping on top of jobs, enjoying beauty.

M ~ Mop--y/n?

I use a static mop and then paper and vinegar.

N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash?

I don't wear them.

O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check?


P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours?

Homemade base, sauce, mozarella cheese, grated zucchini and then bacon on top.

Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

Do a project, pray,read or rest.

R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like?

A big folder divided into food categories ie chicken, beef, vegetables, baking: biscuits, cakes etc. There are loose leaf papers in it and I stick recipes on to the paper.

S ~ Style of house--What style is your house?

Single level, 60 years old. 4 bedrooms plus a study, 2 bathrooms and 2 living areas.

T ~Tablecloths or Place mats?

Placemats. I look forward to using table cloths when the little ones are older and don't risk pulling the whole table cloth off.

U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland?

Clean and relatively empty as cleaning products are up high away from little fingers.

V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week?

With wooden floorboards, I use a static mop every second day. We vacuum the hallway weekly though and bedrooms whenever I think of it.

W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week?

5/6 loads a week, all separated into coloured, white, darks, towels/linen, socks and underwear.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?

I have a new system that works brilliantly: I have a generic list on the computer in black text. The day's jobs will be highlighted in blue until they are done. If it was a 'one off' job, then it is deleted, if not and the job is there every day, I will highlight it back to black again. Each night I review the day ahead, type in extra things at the correct point of the day. The day is divided as a table, based on the time of day. All aspects of the day are included , even "wake children up"....

Y ~ Yard--y/n? Who does what?

Yes. I was the main gardener when we had one child, planted the garden beds, weeded, fed plants etc. Now I am pleased that the garden looks after itself. The children and I will weed occasionally and husband E and 9 year old son love pruning. Husband E does the mowing.

ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?

Checking the children and their blankets, putting blankets and cushions straight again in the family room. Sprinkling lavender on my pillow.

I saw this at That British Woman, who saw it at Niki's Rural Writings, who saw it at Pieces from Me, who saw it at Coffee Time At Home.

Please play along on your blog!!! Let me know if you do, so I can visit.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The bed is clear of washing baskets............

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"C" is For.....

Chocolate and Cinnamon buns

and a visit to Council Chambers to voice my concern over a local development.

1 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2T oil
3/4 t salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/1/2 t yeast

Place in breadmaker and set to dough cycle.
Remove, roll into rectangles. Spread chocolate spread, cinnamon, sultanas, nuts, brown sugar, choc bits.....whatever you fancy. Roll up and then use a pizza cutter to cut 'disc's. Place close to each other on a baking tray. Leave to rise for 20 min in a warm place and then bake for 20min at 180 degrees. Glaze if desired.

The Wheels of the Bus.

The older two were back on the bus this morning. I took some photos of our views from the front area of our house, the bush is at the back.......

To the left of our property, a roof or three.....

Our strawberry patch, complete with redback spiders in the Summer:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Day in My Life.

This is a great concept care of Little Jenny Wren. The idea is to record our day. This occurs on the 14th of every month.

I awoke to a cloudy sky. The house was quiet, all children in blissful slumber as they worked hard on their homework last night and the little ones had been busy playing with their cousins.
I enjoyed my fresh orange and then showered. I made our bed and put back the baskets of clean washing that I moved about yesterday!! I started today's load of washing.

I headed to the computer to journal my quiet time, then tried with great difficulty to wake 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son. When it was 4 year old daughter's turn, she awoke a lot quicker. Weetbix, Milo and honey all around. Beds were made, 4 year old's hair done and clothes selected (she is fussy) and dressed. The older two continued with teeth brushing and uniforms. 6 year old daughter then practiced piano which I hoped would help 2 year old daughter to stir. It did. In the meantime, 9 year old son put forward his hope that we would let him play 'tag rugby' for the school. I am still thinking it over.

2 year old daughter was up and dressed nice and quickly. I made the lunches, did 6 year old daughter's hair and gave 2 year old daughter her breakfast. I noticed it was raining at this point so decided to drive everyone to school rather than rely on the bus.

After the bathroom was wiped over, dishes stacked in the dishwasher, notes on the bench transferred to school bags, the older two packed the car for me. They also helped 4 year old daughter into the car. 2 year old daughter decided slippers were necessary and a beanie, this however was washed and packed away as Winter is finished is it not?

A lovely drive and chat to school and preschool. Home again for my breakfast and coffee. Also a quick tidy up of the study and cuddles with the cat. I dealt with a few emails and a phone call from my mother. A quick review of a Bible study that I am sharing with a friend, and I also made sure that 2 year old daughter's lunch was packed. I tried to email a copy of the Bible study to another lady from church as well, but her address did not work.

Out the door again, this time for a haircut for me.
We arrived and enjoyed lovely chats with Jenny the salon owner. 2 year old daughter behaved and enjoyed her lunch and books. We also were given a lovely prize to put in the school trivia night that will be held this Saturday night.

Back home in the rain and a thought that a roast would be a nice meal tonight. I took the roast out of the freezer (there will be a need to cook it for longer). I also put some pot plants in the rain for a good drink. I started the tumble dryer with this morning's load of washing.

2 year old daughter and I read a book together and then I put her to bed. Another quick email, this time to organise a 40th birthday. I also emailed the coordinator of the trivia night. Lunch for me was the chicken mush from dinner last night on a sandwich with mayonnaise. Quite good actually. The next step for me is to tidy the kitchen bench, consider and perhaps work on, the plans for the older two children's birthdays......The washing may only be put away tomorrow..

It is absolutely pouring rain now.
Well actually, I sorted through hair accessories for the girls and put all my handbags in a basket for easy storage. I also had a 10 minute lie down as I had a headache. Just as I lay down I looked at one half of the lounge room and thought how nice the dried flowers were above the buffet and hutch. We received them when our fourth child was born from a dear friend.

I put the roast in the oven, woke 2 year old daughter and drove to preschool to collect 4 year old daughter. Home again and I ran a bubble bath for her.

Afterwards, a lovely disagreement about her clothing. I cleaned the bath and then heard the bus arrive. The older two walked in with great excitement; 9 year old son's teacher is expecting twins next April....

After freshening up and sorting through their bags, I prepared afternoon tea: apples, apricots, sultanas, cheese, banana and Yakult. They also had Tim Tams (a nice chocolate biscuit.)

The sun has come out to dry up all the rain. Once the children had heard that we were having a roast, there were requests for chocolate pudding. I will try......9 year old son and I had a quick chat about a speech he needs to present this Thursday.

6 year old daughter got ready for ballet and 9 year old son did his homework. He was hoping that his friend could come and play, but his friend was still busy with his homework. Husband E came home and a long overdue cup of tea was poured.

The phone rang and 9 year old son's friend asked if it was still OK for him to come over as he had now finished his homework. His Mum then stayed for a cup of tea. Two little ones were very excited to see her and it was hard to get a word in edgeways!!!

The ballerinas came home, the boys were still playing..... I quickly dashed out to buy milk and potatoes, a quick wave to our lovely neighbours down the driveway. I came home, prepared the potatoes for mash (which husband E mashed), prepared the vegetables and whipped up a chocolate pudding. The promise of a pudding has meant that husband E is staying home tonight and not rushing off to a Vintage Sports Car Club Meeting. The older two children have showered and 6 year old daughter is working on her homework. Dinner is ready.....

Delicious roast beef and vegetables and the pudding was cooked whilst we ate.

2 year old daughter then had her shower and I cleared the table. The older three had Drop Everything And Read. I then sat with them and listened to 6 year old daughter read. I then listened to 9 year old son. E read to the little ones and then we both said prayers with them. I said prayers with 6 year old daughter and then went to the kitchen to sign her homework. I also signed 9 year old son's homework. He went to bed to read further.

I hung up shirts ready for ironing, checked the ballet bag and then changed into my pyjamas. My plan is now to type my list/outline for tomorrow, think further about the older two children's birthdays, phone my sister, post this "Day in My Life"and attempt to include pictures, always a problem when it is raining. I also hope to review my tax return and hopefully read. A cup of tea too I think. A very nice day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wishful Thinking.

To sit here would have been nice. The day was very busy and it looked as though we started on the wrong foot by being a little late for 6 year old daughter's piano lesson this morning. The day improved though and all that I had hoped to get done today, was done; with a calm spirit.

"I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray." Author unknown.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


"Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not To Plan.

OK, This morning is now afternoon and as is symptomatic of holidays, my thoughts for the day are not related at all to the activities.

I had thought to tackle my reading pile?

Mend a few clothes and adjust the hems on 6 year old daughter's uniforms.

Instead, I had helpers to hang out the washing; most pleasant......

and 4 year old daughter pinched pegs and attached them to the basket, good Occupational Therapy activities.

The older 2 children helped with the weeding. Now it is time for lunch.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Young Years.

Well here are some pictures of the things that keep our little ones busy and will provide happy memories in the future.

My Godmother in England gave me this babygro for our first born. Our fourth born is still wearing it.

A busy 9 year old Scientist:

Husband E made these; the kangaroo for 2 year old daughter and the bus for 4 year old daughter. 6 year old daughter has a bird and 9 year old son has a tractor. All made from wood.

I love wooden toys.....

4 year old daughter is doing Occupational Therapy to help with her gross and fine motor skills. A good activity is to build something, step by step and ask her to copy. Sometimes it is fun if she builds first and then I copy it. This activity is also good for instructions and language development.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weetbix Slice.

It is a lovely cool day here. Good smells this afternoon include Vietnamese Chicken and Weetbix Slice.

Weetbix Slice (Double this to make two slabs.)

1 cup SR Flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
3 weetbix
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 T cocoa
1/2 cup butter

Melt butter , add to dry ingredients. Press into lamington tin. Bake 10-15 min. While warm, spread with choc icing (butter, icing sugar, milk and cocoa)

The easiest/richest icing I know involves: 6 T milk, 6 T butter and 1/1/2 cups sugar. Place all in large capacity jug in micro. Boil for 30 secs. Remove and quickly add 1 cup choc drops (I have used milk in one recipe and white in another). Stir vigorously to melt and then pour and spread over cake quickly before it sets. YUM YUM.

The recipe for the slice comes from Mrs B, who got it from our school recipe book.