Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Whole Lotta Love!

My friend's daughter got married yesterday. Like all weddings, it was a joyous event with a beautiful, teary bride all dressed in white, a handsome young groom, a bevy of colourful bridesmaids and groomsmen, a bit of drama (traffic hold-ups), and a whole lotta ceremony!

I found some stages throughout the ceremony rather bittersweet as I reflected waaayyyyyy back on moments of the bride's life - especially on the moment when I guessed that her mother was 'a little bit' pregnant with her. Should you feel old on occasions like this?! Whereas before, I have always been considered a 'friend of the bride/groom', suddenly I've been relegated to 'an old friend of my mother's'!!! Hmmmmm! She is the first child of a friend of mine to get married and can I just add here that her mother was incredibly young when she had her!!! Lol! There, that makes me feel better, saying that!

Anyway, alongside the bride were her sisters, including my absolutely gorgeous Goddaughter who I love to pieces and am just so proud of! To watch a tiny baby grow into a young, friendly, thoughtful and caring woman is an absolute be her Godmother in the process is even more so!

I loved the words of the priest, throughout his sermon. He spoke of love. He told how love grows. How the love of newlyweds is exciting and energetic but that that love is just the beginning. He advised that new love should strive to grow to be the love that is shared by a couple after years of marriage. He spoke of how great it is for a couple to declare their love to the world through the vows of marriage. He was a wise, old priest!

And, like all good brides (me included!), she chose the 1 Corinthians 13 verse for one of their readings. I just love these words. They are just so true:
"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

*sigh* Don't you just love all its forms!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gotta Love BBC Adaptions!

I am such a sad, soppy romantic! All of those romance genes within me were doing happy dances last night when I discovered that the BBC has recently (in Britain) aired an adaption of Thomas Hardy's, 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'.

Ok, specifically speaking, Tess isn't really a romance (more a tragedy), but the connection between her and Angel Clare is palpable. And Hardy's unsaid comments on the treatment of women in that period are obvious as the past sins of Tess and Angel are judged so differently.

I must admit that Tess is a novel that does hold some sweet memories for me. It was one of the literary pieces that I studied all those years ago at high school. And I was surprised when I loved reading and discussing it. My Marist brother English teacher had also picked such classics as King Lear and Oedipus Rex for study in that year - is it any wonder that I enjoyed Tess so much! (Just don't get me started on the works of Gerard Manly Hopkins and his 'dark night of the soul' which I still find that I paraphrase while everyone looks at me blankly! Lol!). And I admit that the love story between Tess and Angel Clare got me darn good English marks that year.....something I remember even more fondly! Lol!

I just love the BBC historical dramas that have been adapted for television in recent years. The Jane Eyre story was spell-binding and North and South really put the current stock of these dramas on the proverbial map.

So now I sit in anticipation, wondering when the ABC will decide (if they decide) to air Tess of the D'Urbervilles here in Australia. Once again, we are expected to wait for such great pieces to arrive on our televisions here - a frustrating thing, no matter what show you await.

So just to whet our appetites, here is a snippet from this upcoming drama. Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

These Gosh Darn Cupcakes Will NOT Beat Me!!!!

In my attempt to find the perfect cupcake recipe, I stumbled across this one that I just had to try! All comments so far have been great and they look just smashing!

The positives: They have those perfect dome tops....the kind that eluded me previously! Woo hoo! They are soft on the inside and a bit crusty on the top (if you like that type of cupcake) and they made me a whopping 22 muffin sized ones!

The negs
: Do not attempt to eat these if you are diabetic (or be prepared to insulin yourself well afterwards! Lol!). 2 cups of sugar is a lot, but it does explain the crusty and easily browned tops!

Try them and enjoy though! We are cupcake happy here once again!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Put Your Hand Up

Put Your Hand Up if you are a sad, middle aged (well, close to...I'm brave and not afraid to admit it!) woman who is addicted to trashionista!!!

Ok, that would be me!!!!!

I confess that every Thursday night, I sit avidly in front of the television and wait for Make Me A Supermodel to begin!

And I love it! It's trashy and funny and catty and easy on the eye.....all good ingredients for trashionista tv viewing!

My favourite is Rhys (with and without long hair! Anyone else think he sounds like Pat Rafter?)! There has been a lot of media attention here about the fact that he is a Catholic school teacher and paraded around in his swimmers with a model in her bikinis for some photo shoot on the show. Some 'soooooo very important media and public groups' thought it would make good headlines. ie...Will it affect all those precious kids that he teaches? The hilarious thing is that a quick Internet search showed those kids and their families leaving messages for him everywhere saying that they supported him fully! Lol! So much for the hype, huh! And let's face it...the guy's a PE teacher! He's used to parading around poolside in his toggies! (More power to him though...when he was asked to pose naked for a photo shoot, he said no! Now you have to respect that! Good on you, Rhys!)

The girl models are just a viewing all to themselves! And I agree with the judges and viewing public, Sara is a mini Angelina....lucky girl! Just look at her here to see the similarities!

So yes, I am having another foray into trashy tv viewing! And I'm loving it - no heavy thinking, no great depression over all the problems of the world....just watching and relaxing! Just don't get me started on BH 90210! Lol!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Say Hello To The Superteen!

It's official! I no longer have a 12 year old! As of today, he will be forever known as 'Superteen' cause now he is thirteen!

Festivities for his birthday started on the weekend at a family bbq! Naturally, he was showered in presents and can you tell from the above picture that he got an Irish rugby jersey from my brother and SIL (after their recent trip to Ireland)? In fact, I don't think he's taken it off since that photograph was taken....ewwwww! Lol!

This morning, he was kind enough to let me sleep in (hey, I am on holidays!) till 8.30 before coming in for his presents.....PS2 game, Wii game and 2 dvds of Pimp My Ride!

So to celebrate my gorgeous Superteen's birthday, I have decided honour him in a Top 5:

The Top 5 Reasons Why I Adore My Son
(naturally, there are many more but these are the 5 biggest!)

5. He is soooo smart.....The mid-term report arrived yesterday with....4 x As (English, Maths, Japanese and Music), 4 x Bs (Religion, Science, PE and Art) and 2 x Cs (Sose and Drama). Fantastic! And every subject besides 2 gave him As in behaviour and attitude!

4. He is determined.......whether it be deciding that he is going to cook something, deciding that he will do well in sports or school work or just deciding that he is going to get his own way in an argument; once he makes up his mind to do out!

3. He is caring......he is so good at looking after his little cousins and often visits our elderly and very ill neighbour to keep him company (pity he doesn't transfer this to his little sister but meh...we can live in hope!)

2. He is gorgeous....did I mention that he's supposed to look like his mother??? Rofl!!!

1. He is kind, sensitive and thoughtful and is obviously on the road to becoming a fantastic man!

Now, if only we could control that cranky streak!!! ;)

Have a fantastic birthday, my beautiful boy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Scary Australian Story!!!

The dangers of living in a country which has so many creepy crawlies is this....finding a suspected red back nest underneath a patio chair that you usually sit on! Now, for those overseas visitors who don't know, red back spiders are nasty nasty creatures that can kill you (or make you very sick) with one bite (well, if you don't run off to hospital for an anti-venom apparently!)

So whilst looking out my study window this morning, I spotted this!!! Out I rushed to inspect. Now, there was a big white backed spider taking up residence there, but somewhere in that mess, I'm sure a scarlet backed hunter lurked just waiting for a big butt to land above!

And so, out with the brave broom (and not so brave handler!)!!!
Voile!!! No more red back nest! Phew! Close call for bottoms-on-my-veranda-chairs avoided!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spiritual Enlightenment????

The 12 year old goes to our church youth group! He loves to go and actually reminds us that it's on usually. They play games there, get fed (party pies, pizza, fish bites in Lent (lol!) etc). It also gives him the opportunity to catch up with old primary school friends who went to different high schools. During the evening, they also have a spiritual awareness session. This consists of a variety of activities including watching relevant dvds, having a guest speaker, looking at pictures, etc etc. Following this they break into girl/boy groups and have reflection time.

So, last night, Dear Husband picked up the 12 year old from youth group. He came home with his usual vigour and enthusiasm. As per usual, I also asked him about his night and what he'd learnt. His response last night was exceptionally eager. 'I learnt heaps', he said.

'Oh', said me. 'Like what?' (Naturally, I was expecting him to tell me some great recount about some missionary somewhere, a biblical story perhaps or similar).

'Well', he replied, 'I learnt that I am awesome at eating'!


'They had an eating competition and I won! I ate so much and I beat this really big kid'!!

Okkkkkk....enlightenment...yes! Spiritual? Ummmmmmm!

Btw, I've pimped my blog. What do you think??? Is it too much or ok to read? I fell in love with the polka dots (sigh....child of the 80s that I am!!!).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ahoy Me Hearties!!!!

Did you know that today is apparently International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day?

Neither did I until I saw it on the tv this morning!


Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Welcome aboard! Put yer cutlass up for some good bloggin' fun!!!

And this courtesy of my kids.........

What is a pirate's favourite letter?
R-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, of course!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

School Projects!

I love school projects...usually! They can be so much fun, if the project is motivating and interesting. Now, I'm not one of these mums who has to interfere (ummm...usually!) and as you can see, Miss 8 enjoyed making her 'Thailand Snapshot Box' all by herself! We did go to a certain travel agent and pretend that we were thinking of a holiday so that we could gather pictures, but....ahem...I won't tell if you won't! ;)

Now all was going well with the went off to school in its completed form along with an assortment of appropriate items - souvenirs from a friend who recently travelled to Thailand, a keyring borrowed from another friend, a bag of rice etc. Until tonight! When wayyyyy past bedtime, Miss 8 gasps and suddenly remembers that she has to write a whole talk up on said box! Arrrrghhh! Needless to say, panic was high in this house tonight, and Miss 8 went to bed for the second time this evening one very unhappy girl!

Sooooo...guess who has an early start tomorrow!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Paying It Forward For Nie

About a month ago, I had never heard of Stephanie Nielsen or the Nie Nie Dialogues. A lot has changed since then. As I was doing my weekly scroll through blogs a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but note so many blog entries about Stephanie and her husband and the tragic private plane accident that they were involved in and the way that so many internet bloggers had banded together to raise money for their recovery.

Initially, I had detachment. Stephanie and I didn't have a lot in common (we were on different sides of the world, she is sooo much younger, we go to different churches, she has way more children than me etc etc).

But then I started going back and reading Stephanie's blog. What I found there was riveting. For the last few years, she has written about the stories of her life. Through her words, I started to feel as if I knew her wonderful, energetic four children. I read about the love story between her and her husband. I celebrated the achievements of her extended family (How I realise what I am missing by not having a sister!). And I marvelled at the creative flair that she demonstrated in decorating her own home. I was so enthralled that I sat at the computer for hours just reading about her life and wondering why I hadn't come across her blog before.

The most amazing thing about Stephanie's blog is simple. She loved her life. She rejoiced in her role as mother and wife and celebrated the basic things that we so often overlook. In our rush-filled existence it is so easy to take so many of life's basic pleasures for granted.....the pleasure of sitting outside under a tree to eat dinner, the pleasure of our children going back to school, the pleasure of making others happy.

So touched was I by reading the blog that I started to look around at my own life. And you know what? I felt ashamed! Ashamed that I had so easily fallen into the trap of finding the day-to-day grind of life a drudge. Ashamed that the simple things felt 'too hard'. Ashamed that I'd fallen for the negative at times when I should have remained positive.

Yesterday, I read this entry on Mom Logic. When I finished, I got up and turned off the computer. I walked out to my children and asked them if they wanted to go for a walk with me (Ok, dog included...I was feeling brave!). For the next half hour, we walked and talked and just enjoyed being with each other. We had a Nie moment.....and all thanks to a woman who is fighting for her life in a hospital on the other side of the world!

I cannot agree enough with Mom it forward for Stephanie. And for the simple pleasure of being a mum!

To help Stephanie and Christian's recovery, go to this site for more information.
To keep up-to-date with their progress, read Stephanie's wonderful sister, Courtney's updates here.
To visit Stephanie's blog, go here.

Praying for Stephanie and Christian and that they will be back home to their loved ones soon.

For Those Rellies Way Down South!!!

Lookie at what we got yesterday!

Whaddya think???

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Off To See The Netball Wizard!!!

Date......Netball break-up party tomorrow!

Theme.....Come as your favourite Hollywood star!

Problem.....No costume, no ideas and no time!

Solution......Friend with ballet-happy daughter and a cupboard full of used-once costumes! (Don't ya love friends like that!) happy Dorothy.......Hey, it's Hollywood enough for me!!!! Tee hee!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Did You Know...

....that you can cook whole potatoes in your slow cooker?

Wrap them, jackets and all, in al foil (I spray the inside of the al foil first with non stick spray) and place in slow cooker. I usually put the cooker on slow if I leave them on for the whole day but anything under 5 hours probably needs the slow cooker on high!

This is tonight's dinner! The potatoes are cooked and warm and waiting for chopped ham, crushed garlic, coleslaw, grated cheese and light sour cream! Yuuuuuuummmy!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Else Is There to Do In Spring?

What else is there to do in Spring?

Why, plant a vegetable/herb garden, of course!

This was a pretty trashy side of the yard that really needed a face lift.

The twelve year old and I went out there a couple of weekends ago and remodelled it!

Now, I'm not saying that we did a particularly flashy job, but it sure beats the barren desert that was once there!

Plants include tomatoes (Mmmm...lots of tomatoes), lettuce, cauliflower, carrots (don't like their chances in the stone-filled soil but oh well!), parsley, basil, mint and (a certain boy's favourite) chocolate mint!

Naturally, they are all being watered with rain water from our new tank!

Fingers crossed that they grow!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fathers Day Guest Blogger.....The Eight Year Old!

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there! Today the Eight Year Old is guest blogging on here and is giving you a round-up of our Fathers Day along with her impressions of her dad! Enjoy!

This morning I gave dad a key ring with a light and a measuring tape. I also gave him a book called 'Stuffed With Love'. Then we went to a cafe with my grandad and my nanna and my aunt and uncle and my cousins. My dad got Mario Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii from all of us.

I love dad heaps. He's funny. He spends time with me. He's cuddly. He works hard. He's caring to me. He likes to watch sports and he sometimes plays cricket in the front garden. He also likes to go fishing.

I love my dad.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rainy Days and Cupcakes!

Up until now, I have avoided the whole cupcake phenomenon (and what ever happened to calling them 'patty cakes'? Anyone?)! They always seemed like a 'two step' (ie, too much work) process to me. But yesterday, with rain pouring down, I had a sudden urge to cook some. Don't ask me why....perhaps I am 'nesting' or something......or maybe, just maybe, I was avoiding all of the housework screaming at me!

My first step, of course was to find a recipe. I ended up settling on this one by Nigella Lawson. Then it was a matter of cooking, icing and decorating. Naturally, and typically of my spur-of-the-moment cooking decisions, I had to search for a cake topper for each, eventually settling on fresh strawberries cause they looked yummy least I thought so!

So, what do you think? My only complaint was that the Nigella recipe made flatter cupcakes than I'd anticipated in my wild imagination. Not those little hill-top ones that you buy in the shops. Regardless, Dear Husband and the kids went cupcake berserk when they got home and needless to say that there aren't many left!

Mind you, I am sending the males in my house off to the football tonight so perhaps Miss Eight and I will have cupcakes for dessert as well!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Introducing......Ruby-licious!!!!! Wooo hoo!

Do you recognise her????? I almost didn't!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shaggy Mutt Dog!!!


Me thinks that Ruby needs a hair cut!

Say tuned to this space....she's booked into her first official salon grooming tomorrow!!


Monday, September 1, 2008


Hooray for favourite season of all and right on queue, the warmer weather has come out in style! Woo hoo!

To celebrate (ok, so it was a week early but I finally got the pix off my camera!), my little fam-billy and I decided to try a spot of fishing at our closest (hmmmm...20 minutes drive away) pier! Naturally, we expected to catch...ummmm...nothing, and we weren't disappointed! But Shorncliffe pier is one of my all-time fave places to go so really the whole line and hook thing was just a weak excuse for an outing!

Miss Eight decided that walking the length of the pier was positively preposterous! She-of-the-princess variety only scoots along at times like this. We won't mention the family she almost totalled along the pier cause she was too busy looking at the view but oh well, it was fun anyway! And the fact that she dragged me off to the massive playground back on shore for most of the time cause fishing is far too boring for madames-in-waiting really didn't bother me....really, truly!

The Twelve Year Old decided to look way cool holding onto his father's fishing rod and pretending that he knew all about varieties of fish! Pity it was only toad fish that took his bait but hey...a bite is a bite...right???!!! And that fabbo orange tshirt made him mega easy to spot from back on the mainland! Can you see that little teeny weeny speck in the pier shot? You can, can't you???!!!

As for Dear Husband....welllll, let's just say that although he'd have us believe otherwise, fishing is just not his thing! Impatient brute that he is, he dumped the bait into the water after the first hour and walked away....but I didn't tell you that! ('s our secret cause he tells me that he really is a fisherman!)

And me? Well, I enjoyed watching my gorgeous babies have fun and I do love soaking up the sun alongside the water. And if you have ever been to Shorncliffe, you will realise that they don't call it 'cliffe' for nothing.....mountain climbing to get back to the car made the take-away fish and chips bought afterwards all the more worthwhile! Lol!