Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Made with Love

7.15am found me making porridge with my left hand and pikelets (pancakes) with my right.  I'm often to be found like this if I have forgotten to bake something for morning tea/recess the day before.  Pre-school are particularly strict about what is, and is not, allowed to be brought and anything packaged is strongly discouraged ie wrapped back up and sent home.  Thankfully Husband was on hand to make sandwiches or we may have had a bus-missing situation for No1 Boy.

No2 Boy was packing his things in his lunch box (he ended up getting back into pj's and back into bed but that's another story) and noticed this...

...maybe not quite as exciting as a celebrity face, but he was delighted!

It has taken me literally years to master pancakes/pikelets.  They were always too runny, burnt too easily didn't cook etc.  I would try, have a disaster, then not bother again for ages until I got fed up buying them for the kids lunch boxes when I knew they were super simple.  My recipe, which is now marked indelibly on my brain is 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 185 mls milk, one egg  and 60g of butter, melted.  I melt my butter while measuring out the dry ingredients, then mix my milk and egg in one of those snazzy little salad dressing recipe thingys (it has the marks up the side for the various ingredients for 3 or 4 different dressings then a whisk attached to the lid).  I add that to the flour and sugar, mix, then add the melted butter.  I have then discovered what you all knew already, that patience is the key!  Med-high heat, flip when bubbling and hey presto!  Lovely fat pikelets.

Since I have failed to bake this afternoon (ill child plus activities don't make for good baking time), I'll be found making porridge and pikelets again tomorrow morning!

Night night xx

Monday, June 20, 2011

Normal Service Has Been Resumed...

In the interests of full disclosure and recent comments about "How honest" this blog is, I felt I should let you know that normal service has, indeed, been resumed.  The tormenting of Small Sister at breakfast this morning lead to wailing, crying, screaming, then a bit of shouting thrown in from the Adults.  A stern lecture was given and the Guilty Boy was unable to account for his behaviour, although he did accept that it is fairly pointless as it doesn't make anyone feel good.   Add to that a game of catch with a bag across the kitchen bench which knocked things flying and a lost bus pass.

What a great way to start the week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No 9

No3 Boy was 9 today.  We were due to be leaving the house at 7.30am for football matches in various places around the countryside, but due to the recent rain and flooding in the Hunter all the matches were called off - yay!  We got a lie-in, Boy got to open his presents, play games, build Lego and we generally chilled out together.

Biggest Boy had a piano exam after lunch which he passed.  I have never seen him quite so shaken afterwards!  I don't think even he realized how nervous he'd been.  He has been learning some hard lessons of late to do with working hard and getting out of things what you put in.  I hope for his sake he learns them sooner rather than later.

Back to No3 Boy, we got home and finished decorating his cake.  I had a little assistance from No2 Boy who considers himself an expert in the fields of Lego and modeling.

For those of you unfamiliar with the latest Lego craze, this is Zane from the Ninjago sets.

(Edited to add that I have written up a tutorial for this cake here)

After cake we got (relatively) spruced up (they're a scruffy lot)  and went into Honeysuckle for dinner and the Winter Heat events put on by LiveSites.  These events include fire installations, live music, activities for children and this evening fire-eaters, fire-twirlers and beds of nails!

This one taken by No2 Boy with my phone - I love it!

It's been quite a revealing day for me today, actually.  No3 Boy is always a very sweet, loving, kind boy with a fairly mental side.  While many kids would be possessive of their presents, he has spent all day sharing, giving and thinking about his siblings.  No2 Boy is not known for these qualities but when I told the 3 of them that their sister had gone to the front of the crowd on her own because she couldn't climb up to their vantage point, without being told, or telling me, he went and found her and stayed with her until the end.  And No1 told me in the car after his exam that he was grateful to God for helping him to be calm while he was playing his pieces.
It's so lovely to have a wee glimpse, every now and then, of the decent human beings that they will become.  Bit more of it would be nice...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Just a quickie to ask if anyone out there in Blogland might know why I can't seem to publish comments on other peoples lovely blogs?  Every time I spend ages typing something out, it wants to publish it as "Anonymous" and then when I try to edit it, promptly deletes my comment.  I would love to hear from you!
Sandra xx

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

It's the end of the Long Weekend and I'm watching Heston Blumenthal putting four poor amateur chefs through the wringer on Masterchef while I type. 

It's been a wet, windy and relatively cold weekend, but we're tough Celts and it doesn't stop us!  We've done a wee bit of indoor stuff and the Wii has had a bit of a workout, but Dog and Mummy need to get out for fresh air!  We dodged the showers yesterday and had a good look around the HMAS Newcastle.

 Smallest Boy has decided he would like to join the Navy so that he can climb right to the top of the ship. 

At the end, No2 Boy was delighted to be given some pop out models to make when we got home.  We reckon he'll be an engineer or architect as he loves making/building stuff!

This morning No1 Boy had an extra piano lesson at his teachers house as he has an exam on Saturday.  It gave me half an hour to sit in the car with my crochet, listening to my cd's in peace.  How lovely!  After lunch we rugged up and took ourselves to the beach for, what turned out to be, a very windy walk! 

There was the usual jumping, digging, burying, and racing,  along with some chatting and coffee and ice creams. 

How cute are these two?

And these two?

When we got home we warmed up with hot chocolate and marshmallows - soo good! 

I had to bribe Miss M to do a bit of modelling for me, she was not in the mood and it took some persuasion to get these pics. 

I'm always surprised by how green her eyes are when the rest of us have blue/grey. 

The pattern for this beanie is in The Happy Hooker and I made it a bit smaller by using a 5mm hook.  I have been asked a couple of times to make some beanies as customers at Make Space have been requesting them.  Thankfully they are pretty quick to make - I do love my instant gratification.

And I'd better not forget my "Guardian Alien" built for me by Smallest Boy...

Back to real life in the morning!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sea and Scarves


It's the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend so we're all chilling out here, no (organised) sport to race around for and nowhere we have to be - how lovely!  Unfortunately the weather is not so lovely this evening and not looking too great for the rest of the weekend. 

We've had a very cold but sunny week and on Wednesday I headed out on an excursion around Newcastle with Miss M's Year 2 class.  We started off at Fort Scratchley, overlooking Nobbys and the entrance to Newcastle Port.    I just love this view and have quite a few photos of it from lots of different angles!

After lunch and a spot of whale-watching, we went to Miss Porter's House, a house owned by the National Trust and kept as it was when the Misses Porter lived there.

She looks frozen, doesn't she!

Smallest Boy and I got out yesterday and watched the HMAS Newcastle parking up (I know, there's a proper term for parking a ship, but I don't know what it is!).  It is open for people to visit tomorrow so the boys are thinking they might like to go and have a look around.

Then, since I had my camera and zoom lens with me and had heard about the whale and dolphin activity on the radio, we thought we'd see what we could see at Bar Beach.  We didn't have to wait as we could see a pod of whales on the move immediately!   There have been dangerous surf conditions and warnings for the last couple of days, so I wasn't 100% sure at first but I did get a few pics in the end.

As for my woolly activities, I have made myself a scarf!  I was fiddling around with stitches as I find the weather cold-but-not-that-cold if you know what I mean! 

I wanted something a bit more open and found this one at Lilibeth's Garden which uses a UK treble treble stitch.  I just kept going until I'd used up 2x 50g balls of wool and soy bean mix yarn.  It reminded me of my lovely friend Emma's post about fishing nets she had seen on holiday in Majorca.  You should check out Emma's Blog anyway, she is a very gifted knitter and crocheter and has one of her patterns currently in Inside Crochet.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are what ever you are up to!

Friday, June 3, 2011

For Husband! xx

For one reason and another, I haven't blogged for aaages!  This was pointed out to me last night by Husband who admitted to reading every post and even "quite enjoying"it!  High praise indeed since he only reads highly intelligent books/articles that I can't get my head around. 
So just for him I thought I'd make an effort and try and find something to say.

I must say I really haven't felt all that inspired to write as there is always lots going on and any spare time I have at the moment I'd rather spend catching up with a book, some crochet, a friend, or even just a cup of tea! 

We've had Granny and Granda's visit, our first Parent-Teacher interview at the High School (It felt quite strange to be on the other side for the first time),  exams, some colds, and lots of planning sessions for Miss M's class's entry into the Hunter Dance Festival to name but a few.  I'm making some stretchy head bands for the girls to wear with some feathers for their interpretation of "There's no Business like Show Business".  The Blanket, which had been awaiting the arrival of it's recipient, has been posted off and should be arriving at it's destination any day now, I've been making more scarves and other bits and pieces and was delighted to hear that 3 scarves and 3 cowls have been sold in the shop.  Also some customers had been requesting beanies so I've been scanning Ravelry for a good pattern that can be easily adjusted for different sized heads.  For those of you who have been doing this for years I'm sure it's obvious but I'm still working out the basics so that I can do it without thinking!

I have written a few blog posts in my head while doing other things and then not got around to doing anything about them.  One of them came from these planning sessions where we were discussing what the girls should wear for their dance performance.  We were discussing leg wear.  One mum suggested "Tights" which I questioned thinking they would need bare feet to dance, she said "no, footless tights" so I explained that we Brits would call them "Leggings"!  So in order to be clear I asked what they call "Tights" and she said "Stockings", so I asked what "Stockings" were called by which time we were all thoroughly confused!  We were further confused when the Principal mentioned "Footless Tights" in the news letter and someone else referred to "Dance pants" which led to the whole "pants" and "underpants" conversation! 

 I had just assumed that having watched Neighbours for 20 years that I was bi-lingual but apparently not!  Husband was also struck by the language barrier(!) when watching Heston Blumenthal's 70's Feast when he was talking about "lollies" (such as Rockets, Feasts and Tangle Twisters) which here means "Sweets" eg people talk about going to the English Lolly shop for their Sports Mixture/Liquorice Allsort/Minstrel fix.  I'm still not 100% clear on the definition of Ice Lollies here...  Then there is of course the whole crisps/chips/hot-chips confusion and "flip flops" vs "thongs".  But don't mention 'soccer' in this house or He may ask you to leave...!  We had another meeting yesterday over lunch when I made great use of the term "Bewdy"  and was delighted to hear such phrases as "Bloody Oath" and "Bonzer", specially thrown in for my benefit - they're usually a fairly refined bunch!

I'll finish off with these beautiful flowers that a friend gave me for watching her 2 lovely, quiet, polite, cooperative children for all of 5 minutes!  Always a total pleasure Mrs H!