Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A long driveway and Sunday afternoon fun (Wordless Wednesday)

Ready, set, go!


Up for another go!

Daddy and Mummy took turns running alongside Mr Sociable and catching him at the bottom of the hill.

Mr Fun followed along with his popper toy.

Fun times!

My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Farewell little pink bubble

Once upon a time our car was red. It was shiny. It had no dents. It was a cool car (in 1991). It was owned by my mother-in-law. It lived outside, it got many dents and the paint gradually turned pink. It was given to Franky and I the year we were engaged. It has served us well - driving us on holidays, driving me to work and, in recent years, making short trips to and from the station.

On holidays at the Hunter Valley
But this year, we decided not to renew the rego and to scrap our little pink bubble. It was 21 years old and was going to need quite a few repairs to get registered this time. I think the beginning of the end was when someone thought that they would find something valuable inside the car towards the end of last year. They smashed in one of the windows and broke the passenger door lock. They searched though all our things and (surprise, surprise) there was nothing valuable left in our junk station car. We never bothered to repair the window or the lock - but I did do a mighty nice job of taping plastic over the window frame!

Wonder what they were expecting to find under all that newspaper?
Nice, yeah?
I called the guy from Sydney Scrap cars (website - sydneyscrapcars - hehehehe) who came within an hour. I was shocked! He was much quicker than expected - I hadn't even cleaned out the glovebox yet! I quickly pulled stuff out of the car and he got to work putting the car onto his truck.

The boys watched curiously from the driveway. Mr Fun was interested, Mr Sociable was a bit sad - he's pretty attached to our car.

Then, it happened.... he smashed through the windscreen. Mr Sociable started to cry! I think it suddenly all became real to him - that the car was not just going away, but that it was going to be scrapped!

We watched the truck drive away and I encouraged the kids to say "goodbye" to the 121. Mr Fun was happy to farewell the truck, but Mr Sociable was too sad.

He was still a bit sad later on and talked to Franky on the phone. Franky told him that we got paid by the man which I expected this to make Mr Sociable even sadder, but it actually had the reverse effect! He's developing a head for money.

So, for now, Franky is walking to and from the station each day. It's quite a walk - so great exercise for him! Not sure how he will go in winter, but for now we are choosing to be a "one car" family.

Have you ever scrapped a car? Did it make you sad?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Sunny summer day with cousin Joe

Today we went to visit my cousin Joe (he's not actually in the photos, because he took them). We had lots of fun - playing lego, swimming & having fun in the garden. Thanks for a fun day, Joe!

Learning about jacaranda seeds
Picking violets
Mummy gave the boys a wheelbarrow ride!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Quick tips - Collecting a Wooden Railway set

We gave Mr Sociable a wooden railway set for his second birthday. It was from ALDI & was compatible with the Thomas & Friends wooden railway series.

Mr Sociable's 2nd birthday morning
Since then, we have added lots more track, engines, carriages and fun accessories.

The boys are starting to play "together" with Thomas
One day, I'd like to build a track that uses every single piece!

This track was close, but not quite.
Here are my tips for creating a wooden railway set:
* For the basic track pieces (straight track, a bridge, a tunnel, curved track), buy the generic pieces from Kmart, Big W or Toys R Us. They all sell wooden railway pieces that are compatible with the Thomas Wooden Railway (like the ALDI set I originally bought). These pieces are plain wood, rather than striped (like the genuine Thomas brand) - but my kids don't care and they are a lot cheaper!
* Buy some interesting pieces from the genuine Thomas range. We have the chocolate factory, roundhouse, turntable, Cranky the crane, bumpy track, a swing-bridge and the wash-down. These pieces get played with a lot.
* If your kids are into the Thomas series on TV, then buy the genuine Thomas and Friends engines - these have also had a lot of play at our house (both with the track and without).
* Wait until the toy sales to buy the genuine Thomas stuff - Myer often does big specials on the Thomas range.
* The larger Thomas items (eg the chocolate factory) are great presents for grandparents, aunties, etc to buy for Christmas/birthday. Mr Sociable gradually collected these over Christmas/birthday when he was 2-3.
* Rather than buying everything, organise to with a friend to swap some of the interesting pieces (eg one of my neighbours let us borrow her pig farm and mine shaft). Before we had such a large collection, we used to borrow track too!

Any other tips that you would like to add?

Saturday, 25 February 2012

How do you REALLY love your kids on days when you don't like them very much?

You know those days - the ones when your kids are driving you insane? When you really want to love your kids, you really want to be a good parent, but you REALLY just don't like being around them? It pains me to admit that there are days when I feel like this. Days that I want to run away and lock myself in a cupboard!

I'd love to hear ideas from you - what do you do to love your kids on those days??

Here are a couple of my tips:
* Try to think about some of the great things you love about them
* Change location or activity (eg go outside to blow bubbles, walk to the park)
* Pray that God would give you patience & love

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A great afternoon and a clean craft cupboard

What is your idea of a fun afternoon at home (without kids)? Watching TV with some chocolate? Reading a good book in the bath? Spending some time on a craft project? Cleaning out a cupboard? Yes, cleaning out a cupboard! I used to think my love of organisation was a bit unusual, until I started reading blogs written by other women who love it too (eg. Home Life Simplified, The Organised Housewife). It is so satisfying (and relaxing) to spend an afternoon cleaning out a cupboard, while catching up on some my favourite TV shows!

Our beloved BESTA unit from IKEA. The best part about it is that it's easy to hide junk.
The worst part about it is that it's easy to hide junk!
I decided to use my child-free time this afternoon to clean up the craft cupboard (Mr Sociable was at Prep and Mr Fun was asleep). I've been wanting to do it for a while & when I read this post on The Useful Box, I got excited about this project.

The finished product
I went to Bunnings and found some great containers with removable section dividers.

The sequin box
Adhesive foam shapes (we mostly use these to make cards
I removed quite a few sections in this box to fit pipe cleaners and long feathers
A deeper box for larger misc. craft items (the sections aren't removable on this one)
 Some craft items stayed in the boxes I already had and some were moved to different boxes. I finished off the afternoon going label-maker crazy & finding new homes for things that really didn't belong in the craft cupboard.

I love my label maker!
 Do you love to declutter and organise?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I made a dress!

It's been 10-15 years since I attempted making a dress (after a failed attempt in high school). But, I saw a pretty summer dress in a sewing book Franky gave me for Christmas and decided to have a go.

From Sew La Tea Do, by Pip Lincolne, p. 51
I used some curtains that my Mum gave me (yes, my darling sister, very Sound of Music). The straps took me a while to fold/iron/sew, but the rest of the dress was easy!

It's a little baggier than I expected, but I'm still pretty happy :) I learnt some new skills & now I'm feeling braver about sewing another dress!

What new projects have you tried lately?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The wedding dress

I was looking through old photos during the kids' rest time today. I got nostalgic & decided to try on my wedding dress (as you do...). Lacing up the boned bodice was a bit tricky my myself & my dress seems to have shrunk in the wardrobe over the past 8 years... But, I did manage to put it on! (To see photos of it 8 years ago, look here.)

But, it got me thinking - what do I do with this beautiful dress? It's been sitting in my wardrobe for the past 8 years (I don't think I've even tried it on in the past 5 years). Mr Sociable suggested that I should wear it next time we go to a wedding! (I'm not sure the bride would agree...).

So, my question is - what did you do with your wedding dress? Pack it away nostalgically? Keep it for dress ups? Sell it? Save it for your daughter?

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