Friday, December 26, 2008

Some more piccies...

On Christmas morning Erin woke very early anxious to open her presents.
To stall her I asked to go & take some photos with the camera for a bit extra sleep.

This is part of her efforts, pics of the gifts she had received the night before & lots of the wrapped gifts still under the tree!

By the end of the day she had lots of energy left to scoot up & down the drive...

But Cal peaked much earlier & needed a 'Nana nap' even before we got home... too much cheer I think!
We're heading off to the coast tomorrow early, I'm packed & ready & I've made sure the camera battery is charged & ready to go so I can take loads of photos to share, seeya, Jo
(Happy New Year everyone!)


One of my lovely gifts this year was a digital photo frame which I'd had my eye on for ages. I've been really busy today getting ready to go down the beach tomorrow, packing, cleaning, cooking for Chris, & I've just sat down to look at the instructions for my new toy.

I am a bit baffled... this is the introductory text.

Digital frame---Settle a space in a twinkling at your happy time! Need not a computer, need not to hurdle to print, re-appear fascinating appearance at any time!
Welcome to choose the digital frame that produced by our company, please read the Product Usage Manual before using the product in order to enjoy the digital frame as soon as possible.

Deciphering the rest of the instructions is giving me a headache... I am glad though I won't have to hurdle to print any more, that was getting tiring.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I sit here at the end of a great day with a cup of tea reflecting on our merry celebration. It started with lots of presents...

Continued at my sisters with lots (&lots) of yummy food & fun...

And then back home tonight for a try out of new things & reading of instructions in many languages.

It's been a really good day, the weather was perfect, sunny 26 degrees, the only draw back was that Chris was not there to share the day.
His 'mystery' present was...

A new all black helmet!
I got a new black bike jacket so we will look really tuff(!!) when we're out rolling along together!
I hope you all had as good a day as we did, I feel like I should roll into bed now after all my over indulgences today, Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I'm feeling a little anxious, just a little on edge but I think I am READY!

The last present is ticked off the list, I only have to get some cream & bread tomorrow at the supermarket.
I've got the nibbles ready for the work Chrissie lunch & our Christmas Eve party. My plan is in place to cook the pork & trifle after work, wrap a last few gifts & kick into holiday mode with a champagne.
Oh wait... how much champagne have I got on hand???? better get another bottle or two tomorrow!

If you're looking for a laugh check out this blog Cake Wrecks it's hilarious!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Erin was nagging me to make more toffee since our butterscotch bites never worked...those little suckers just never set, I even tried re-cooking them but the gooey mess went into the bin.

So as reward for staying at home with her brother while I work we tried 'take two'.

As I type this I am holding an ice pack on to my throbbing, burnt thumb. Another Christmas cooking injury (number 1 - the pistachio pinching episode) the kitchen is becoming a dangerous place to be!
The magic icepack is helping, its one of those that traveled home from school on an injury that was magically soothed by its application. I hope I don't end up with a big blister on the end of my thumb to hamper all the jobs I still have to do!

This batch of toffee has set already & is going down a treat.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry to you...

It's going to be a busy week leading up to Christmas, I don't need to tell you I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas right now.

I hope you all can enjoy the Festive season with family & friends, capturing moments for the 'ol memory banks.
For those of us with short (& long) term memory issues, take lots of photos for future scrapping!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Its that bloke Noel again... he's everywhere at the moment!
My big sis found this cute ornament in Canada & brought it back for us, the moose in the middle is particularly cute eh?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I picked up Cal's report today & was pleasantly surprised! It was much better than I was expecting & am encouraged for next year when he will finish his VCAL certificate.

Take note dear Hubby, I quite like this silver ring, hint can find it at our local jewellery store next to the post office.

You know me & jewellery, it doesn't have to be expensive to fit my style. I'll be looking for a small box under the tree!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Quickly... because I'm tired & because Hayley wants to go on the laptop.
It's fun going to the letterbox at this time of year to find other things apart from the usual bills.
A few more cards came today with snippets of news, & my share pack of the new Stampin up paper & ribbon range from the latest catalogue - thanks Jayne. It's very pretty paper & I can't wait to use it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 days to go...

This was my lucky pick at the work Christmas do last night. We had to bring along a Kris Kringle gift to the value of $5, I found something really nice but have had bad experiences in the past so was not hopeful.
Lo & behold I pulled out this deck of cards of....Christmas recipes!! It is a really darling set, & so appropriate for me, I was really lucky (or was it fate?)

We were really lucky at work today with lots of gifts from patients who are grateful they are finished their treatment or are appreciative of their care.

ThankYOU & Merry Christmas! enjoy the festive season with family & friends.

I always understand when a patient says 'I hope I never see you again'!!! We always take it in the spirit it is intended, chemo for Christmas - no thanks.

Just a random thing... I love reading our (3) local papers, it comes on a Tuesday & I love to flip through it looking for articles that relate to me & pics of people I know (I've been in it a couple of times myself). I like to see the hatches & dispatches, & see who's selling their property. Today this rural section caught my eye... I need a quick test for worms (with a gross pic) & tips on how to keep my cattle 'quieter'!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Elfing fun...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

You must click & play this short elfing clip, it is hilarious!!! especially if you know Chris... this is the most dancing you will ever see him do, & Cal is following in his footsteps.
On that note last night Chris surprised us all & sang!!! Admittedly it was just "Santa Claus is (not) coming to town" but it was sung, yep you read that right! I think his bah humbug persona is all an act.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cooking up a storm...

We tried Donna Hay's butterscotch bites today

We bought the toffee up to temperature

Then poured them into mini patty pans

We are waiting for them to set, the mixture is yummy but still quite runny after about 3 hours

Then we rolled the rumballs...

They look pretty good, & probably wont last long when Cal sees them

The almond bread is baked...

And the fruitcake is done!

I have dish-pan hands after all the dishes I've done today! Thats the worse part of cooking.. that & having to think of something for dinner (they don't want fruit cake for tea although Erin would happily eat toffee thanks!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Our tanks are overflowing, the 2 combined hold 7,500 litres of water, I am thankful but the overflow has flowed into the garage, & the rain gauge shows 52 mls so far & its still raining.
I hope its filling up the empty dams around here, & I can only imagine what it was like in Qld recently when 300+ mls fell... poor them.

See how the bike sits on a piece of carpet!!LOL (that's to protect the tyres!) no damage done, just need to dry out a few things.

Whilst I was cleaning out Erin's bulging school bag we found a few treasures including this Christmas card from her teacher. I knew he had summed her up well by her report but this card & its personal message reinforced that view. Thankyou Mr R hope you have a wonderful break!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rain rain rain...

Its been so lovely to listen to the rain falling steadily all day, you can hear the ground going oooh aaah as it soaks it up. The only down side is probably no riding on the bike if it doesn't clear.

Classic example of teenage boy non-communication,

Me "what happened at the dentist today?"
Cal "nothing"
Me "Nothing? really? didn't they clean your teeth?"
Cal "Yeah"
Me "Did they say you needed anything else done, have you got any cavities?"
Cal "nuh"

In exasperation I rang the dentist & the lovely receptionist read from the notes & told me he had his teeth cleaned, flouride applied & no he doesn't need any further work done. Even at 17 I feel the need to be by his side for every little thing but you have to let go a little.
He did go into the city on the train with a GIRL & a few friends & when I asked him what he did he managed to tell me he followed the girl around bored while she did clothes shopping!!! Good on you Mads for getting him to do that.

No Christmas shopping or cooking today but helped my big sis finish 6 mini albums she is putting together for her daughter's dancing troupe, I wish I could share them with you as they look great, it was fun adding all the bling.

This LO is for my little sis - her husband is a big kid at heart & very involved with his (& lots of others) kids, he is lots of fun to have around.

Hope to get lots of cooking done this weekend, better go & check the pantry & make a list, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Schools out for summer...

Erin lugged a very full school bag home today & bless her she walked all the way home! (its about 3kms & half of that up hill). She waited until the last day to empty her locker & on a day when she had to walk, she could catch the bus but would rather walk.

Inside her bag was her report which is very good, her teacher summed her up well with snippets like ' Erin prefers to be a listener rather than a contributor in class discussions' 'pleasure to teach' 'trusted to work co-operatively' 'set a good example' 'relied upon' 'caring & polite' etc. It is a very positive report with a few areas that still need to be worked upon, overall we are very proud of her efforts

These cherry candy canes are very popular this year & are disappearing faster than the mint ones.

Aren't these little trees sweet??

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chrissy fun...

After our Christmas lunch we like to play a few games before the big meal takes hold.
Sometimes its a game of cricket, a 3-legged race or trivial pursuit depending on how active you feel.
Last time the day was celebrated at our place (it was 12 degrees & we were seated outside!) I put together this little game for everyone to share. It had easy things like "eat too much" 'wish someone a merry christmas" "find a chair to sit on" (that can be harder than you think) "tell a christmas joke" (easier when you crack open a cracker) & "score 20 points on the dart board".
We also had to write a christmas poem.

Each person was given the sheet without the stickers & once you had achieved the challenge in the square you got a sticker! The poems were written on the back & weren't that daunting once we got going, egging each other on, laughing & offering suggestions.
Hayley's is here, seems to be the only one I've kept - if you can't read it, it goes...

Christmas time is lots of fun
It's good to catch up with everyone!
Eating, drinking, telling jokes
The Kents are a bunch of funny folks
The Mums have made lots of nibbles to eat
but save some room for the christmas meat
I hope that you all have a ball
a very merry christmas to you all

Is it going to be hot or cold or wet this year on Christmas Day?? Summer seems to have deserted us again, we had 8mls of rain yesterday & our tanks are full again!

Erin is off to her last day of school tomorrow, roll on the school holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The devil is in the detail...

I found a new recipe book! I love recipe books & couldn't resist a 'Donna' to add to my collection.

It has beautiful photographs of lovely things - who could resist?

My sisters & I take turns to host christmas lunch, this year we are heading north to an almost finished reno at little sis's.

Sometimes we sweat, sometimes we shiver & once in a while we have perfect weather, but we always have a perfect day.
Maybe because it is fairly small (6 adults + 7 kids at the table) it turns out well. Lots of forward planning helps & we basically do the same foods each year with each person allocated part of the menu.

This year I'm going to try a new plum pudding recipe in individual ramekins, a berry trifle & the pork loin I'm going to roast the night before to save some time. There's also a prawn & avocado salad I want to do even though we agreed we didn't need an entree but I think we can squeeze it in!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Some presents have started appearing under our tree, mostly for nephews & friends but this strange object has appeared with a tag for 'Dad'. Can you guess what it is????

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The kitchen smells lovely & Christmassy after baking these spice cookies today. I'll try to do some baking during the week but it looks like next weekend will be full on for my trusty Kenwood & Westinghouse.

I pinched my finger trying to crack an unwielding pistachio & now have a blood blister hampering my efforts.

Is this the fattest guinea pig you've ever seen???

Albert lives free range in our backyard & is about 7 years old. He co habits in the yard with our very patient miniature fox terrier, she is very tolerant & only growls at him when he eats her kiblets, he drinks water from her bowl & we had to get the dog a hammock bed to stop the pig snuggling up to her in her kennel!
Albert will come up to the back door & squeak like crazy if he hears me chopping vegies on the cutting board & eats any plant that is at his level. I've had to put herbs/geraniums etc up in hanging baskets to save them from his jabber jaws. (He is watching me through the sliding door as I sit here with the laptop -bold thing).

How long do guinea pigs (or 'dinner pigs' as my nephews call them) live??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

'to you...from me...'

Another Christmas treasure....

A busy day - cleaning, preparing & a little shopping. I did get a newsletter finished to put into the cards & finished the cards I need to post, I'll be able to get stamps on Mon & send them on their way.

I always like to add more than just 'to... you' 'from... me' on a card & always thought a printed note was a bit, well, non-personal but I've given in & shared some family news this way. It was this compromise or none at all.

Hopefully if you got my blog address from a Christmas card you'll be checking in regularly (& letting me know if you've stopped by)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ginger man...

Another of my favourites from our tree, its been hanging around for a few years now, I made one for each of the children. Our tree will look a little bare when they all move out & take their deco's with them!

Chris told me tonight he will probably have to work the roster he has had for the past weeks during Christmas week, which will mean he could have a 7am - 7pm shift.:(

I have been accustomed to our usual ritual on Christmas morning - early rising, open presents & then lunch with my sisters & their families, eat too much, play a few games, roll home later to enjoy the presents. It won't be the same without him, we've been spoiled for years that we have all been able to be together on Christmas Day

A quick pick of the girls before they head out for the night (Erin would love to be included)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kris Kringle

Had a hectic, busy day at work yesterday, raced into the gift shop at 530pm to pick up a $10 Kris Kringle, then back home to get ready for a night out with the gal pals at the local hotel.
The manager of the shop gave me the heads up & told me to look out for her wrapping paper as she knew several of the girls had been into her shop during the day to pick up their surprises!

I ended up with this cute Noel cutout, & we had all chosen something different! Quite a feat when you have a budget of $10, I think everyone came away happy (I know I did)

At next weeks work breakup we have to bring a $5 Kris Kringle, that will be a strain on the brain. I'll be alright as long as I don't leave it to the last minute again.

I've made a start writing in the Christmas cards but am struggling with parting with them or choosing who should get which one. Maybe I should've made 2 fabulous designs & massed produced them!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Second day....

of Christmas, for me anyway - (when does the 12 days of Christmas officially start??)

The whole of December is Christmassy for me.

This little santa, painted by me many years ago, is actually a paper mache box. Each year he comes out to oversee the festivities.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Come to my door in December & this is what will welcome you!

Went to Western Hospital today for another forum with the Transfusion Nurses, I am inspired again to get some projects underway but I think I will have to put in a submission for more time to accomplish them.

Most of the day was taken up with how to teach adult learners & was informed that I am a 'digital immigrant' whilst the next generation are 'digital natives' - they are very comfortable with e-learning, 'hip-tops' (which is a mini laptop that you wear on your hip like a large mobile phone) & webquests, etc. I have to check out 'moodle' which will make it much easier (apparently).

And here I thought I was up with the times by having a blog!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


From this...

to this!

And it only took about 2 hours!
Last year I had put the lights into snap lock bags so they were easy to do, the decorations are on & the wreath is on the door & other favourite items are placed around the house.

It looks decidedly christmassy around here!

Chris even got out the ladder & put up some outdoor lights (some didn't work so I had to return them which was disappointing & annoying)

I can't wait til dark now to try them out. It will never compete with the Griswalds but it will nice for us this year.