Monday, June 30, 2008

My Little Brag!

I once went to a seminar by Ian Lillico who talked almost exclusively about raising and educating boys. I was incredibly inspired after listening to him that I returned home with a new belief that a lot of the issues I had in the day-to-day living with my son were common! In fact, I found myself nodding through much of the evening at his words and have since used many of his strategies to help me out at home.

At the end of Lillico's talk, an audience member put a query to him about how we, as parents, should choose the correct high school for our son. His response was that it was best to go with the mother's instincts. Now, whether he was being tongue-in-cheek or not - let's face it, the entire audience laughed - it certainly rang true as choosing a high school for my son, at the time, was a heart-wrenching, extremely difficult prospect.

In the end, we did go with my instinct (Ok, it was pretty much a consensus in the end, but my gut did most of the talking at one stage!)

Well, today's mail brought confirmation that my instinct was the correct one! Yes, our first formal high school mid-year report arrived and it was so wonderful that it brought tears to my eyes. In basic terms, he got 3 x As, 1 x C and all the rest Bs! Across the board, for effort he got As and Bs. And for behaviour it was all As! In fact, more than once, teachers commented that he was a 'pleasure to teach' (geez, I love reading that line on my kids' reports!) and the comment by his graphics teacher was so good that real tears of pride rolled down my cheek.

Now, given that his year 7 teacher told me that his attitude was terrible and that he would most certainly spend time in detention for not getting homework completed (it hasn't happened yet!), I really want to buy a frame for this wonderful bit of paper that brought complete joy to our house today!

Yaaayyyyy the 12 year old!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sushi Sushi

I am no cooking expert and definitely don't have any real knowledge of Asian food. But I do love sushi! I've always thought that sushi was an incredibly difficult thing to recreate at home so have never even tried. The other day, however, when in the supermarket, I spotted a sushi making section and decided to move outside of my comfort zone and give them a go!

Well, here is my attempt! Traditional sushi makers across the world may cringe at them but I am pretty darn proud of my first effort! They were much easier to make than what I expected and the twelve year old loved them!

In fact, we set up a 'help yourself' dinner night at home where we had a counter full of rice paper and nori, bowls of chopped chicken, bowls of chopped vegetables (cucumber, carrot, lettuce, celery, avocado) and bottles of soy and satay sauce so that the kids could make their own sushi or rice paper rolls. Oh and we also needed a big bowl of cold water to soften the rice paper. The family thought that it was fantastic (the eight year old thought she was very clever making her own rice paper rolls) and they were having fun eating healthy foods! Yayyy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh So Typical!

Lately, I have been feeling fat! No more gym due to back injury means that suddenly my curves have become a whole lot curvier and the firm bits are now squishy. Naturally, this is quite depressing and has meant that a lot of last year's winter clothes, once out of summer mothballs, are a tad too tight or too short! Waaah!

So, a clothing store at the local shopping centre was having a sale! Never one to pass up an opportunity, I looked upon it as a good reason to grab so super cheap, better fitting clothes!

Imagine my excitement, therefore, when in the change room, the L (as in 'LARGE') tshirt was too balloony around the tummy and too droopy on the shoulders! Yippee! I am always a L in tshirts so this was a real morale boost! Out I trotted into the store to get the size M (as in 'Omigod, I fit a MEDIUM'!). It was perfect and in a gorgeous colour to boot, so I added it to my 'buy' pile, threw the 'non-buy' pile back on the rack and happily bought a few nice things to upgrade the wardrobe.

Yesterday, I decided to wear my snazzy new tshirt. I proudly strutted around in it all day thinking about how much slimmer I must look because of course, it was a M. And by lunchtime I was even wondering that perhaps I should have even tried on the SMALL! That even the M seemed too big. For the whole day, it drove me nuts by constantly falling off my shoulders.

It wasn't until last night, when dressing for bed that I happened to spot the tag!

You guessed it......somehow I'd mixed up the L and the Medium and ended up buying the Large! Der! So much for being proud of feeling smaller! Now I'm just embarrassed for being a shopping air-head! Good bargain = not so good after all! That's life, I guess!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Meaning of Tired!

I am tired!

Tired of.....

Work pressures
Waking up when it is dark
Coming home when it is dark work, from work, to school, from school, to and from after school care, to sports training etc etc etc
Running late
Feeling chubby
Doing the groceries
Worrying over the rising costs of living
Paying bills on time and sometimes not on time
Work meetings
Cleaning up mess that I didn't create
Washing on week nights and hanging out washing in the dark, only to have it rain the next day!
Having a pile of ironing that is almost as tall as me
Breaking up sibling fights and trying to work out who started it, who finished it and who should have consequences delivered!
Picking up chewed dog toys and chewed doggie bits of paper from the floor
Doing homework, even though I've finished high school
Worrying about children
Having back ache
The same old routine to get son out of bed in the morning
Just the same old routine
Husbands who continually forget our wedding anniversary (yes, today!)
I'm sure there's more but I'm too tired to think of what it could be!

Maybe I'm not tired......maybe it's just life! Or perhaps the life of a busy working mother!

Counting down to holidays....again!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Spending Spree

My Dear Husband has a terrible habit of bragging at what a good cleaner he is, when in reality he just takes the clutter and hides it! He usually finds a box or bag, fills it and then puts it in another room so that the room that he 'cleans' looks fantastic but the real cleaning is hidden, waiting for me to sort out!

Last week, I stumbled across one of his 'hide the clutter' efforts in an unused drawer of the filing cabinet. Feeling energetic, I decided to sort it out!

Well, there are rewards for the hard working because, in an unopened envelope I found a very nice, healthy cheque that DH didn't even realise he had!

And so, doing what any good (read 'overworked and unappreciated!') wife would do, I banked the cheque and went on a spending spree!

Appreciate below then the fruits of my shopping labour:

Two brand new dinner sets (hey, its predecessor was chipped and cracked so we needed a new one! And you never buy just a single dinner set for your day-to-day use!)


A new purse for me (the old one was definitely broken!)


Birthday presents for upcoming friend birthdays! Notice that I haven't revealed them here, in case said recipients just happen to stumble along here:


New pink igloo bed for Ruby....the old one needed replacing and it gets so cold in the laundry at night in winter! ;)


A new serving plate to replace one that the 12 year old broke.


And lastly (and the best bit!) a new pair of shoes for me!!! After all, a girl always needs new shoes, right!


Oh what fun....there is nothing like a spend up and unfortunately, they are few and far between around here!

And in case you are wondering....yes, I did tell DH that I spent his cheque and of course, I could justify every little thing that I bought.....well.....almost! Tee hee! ;)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Menu Planner!

I was reading Kin's blog about her menu planning which was just so topical for us here at the moment!

I have been menu planning for years. My mother menu planned (and still does) so I guess that it was a natural progression that, in the midst of being overloaded with work and family life, I would undertake the same concept.

Imagine my surprise however, when Master 12 3/4 decided that he was getting in on the act! Not content with meals that I've been preparing of late, he has decided that he can do a better job. So this evening, after being challenged by me, he has written his own menu plan for the following week and has also included the necessary grocery list to accompany it!

Now, in case you haven't worked it out yet, said child loooooves food! As a child, his favourite shows (alongside Bananas in Pjs and Wiggles) were the cooking shows. That doesn't mean that he eats fact, because he is so fussy, making lunch for him is nothing short of a nightmare because he prefers to starve himself than eat the food I pack! But dinner is his specialty and he's decided to show me his ideal week of eating!

So here it is! Notice what's on offer.....tacos, two lots of pasta (will my hips survive?), burritos and home made meat pie! Lol! Oh and let's not forget the night of meat, vegetables and mash - cause apparently I don't mash! And I do love the grocery list, that has included everything right down to the cornflour!

It will be interesting to see how the week pans out. I am half expecting that he will be pretty sick of cooking by the end of. But I'll let you know if he was successful!

Oh, and in the process of writing his plan, he cleaned out my recipe book cupboard so I am so not complaining!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is It A Catholic Thing?

Miss 8 was miffed! She (according to her) was the only child amongst her classmates who did not get rosary beads as a gift for her first communion. So, being nudged by guilt, I took her to mass this evening with the intent of buying some at the little shop outside of the church.

Naturally, she picked the shiniest ones which just happened to have beads in the shape of girly and so typical of her!

The woman at the counter, at the end of our transaction, suggested that we canvas the priest to have the rosary beads blessed. So, we lined up with others outside of his little room at the back of the church (I'm sure that room has a special name but I have no idea what it is) and waited while he quietly blessed the beads.

Miss 8, feeling proud of her newly blessed beads, was holding them carefully as we left the church. She hesitated, however before we walked outside, into the rainy evening.

'What is wrong?' I asked! 'We need to get a move on'!

'I can't', she replied. 'Or else the beads will get wet and the blessing will wash away'!!!!

Photo courtesy of