Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas week, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A very Happy New Year!

Hard to believe Christmas has already been here!

It was not a great start to the week.  I actually lost a couple of days having to lie down on the couch.  This is the first time a very bad headache got me so close to Christmas Day!

The end of last week looked like this...

and this was all in one day!

Loch was totally keen to do some more painting since he'd helped paint the Scouts club house so I asked him to help me paint the outdoor benches white.  He did pretty well before it got a bit too much for him with all that bending!  Nearly got through a whole bench.  Then the headache hit and I was out for 2 days. 

The boys watching The Polar Express on TV way past their bedtime.

We also had one last Christmas lights drive.


We let the boys open one present from their Canadian Uncle Peter and Auntie Andrea on Christmas Eve.  That present lasted all day!  The boys loved them, thank you very much!

Gav made it all on his own.  Clever boy.

Lochy needed some help from dad.

The result was a pretty snazzy starship!

Thankfully I'd recovered from my headache (mostly) Christmas Eve so I had to catch up on some Christmas cooking presents for Ted, Tricia, Andrew and Nic.

Ever since Ted and Tricia came to visit us when we were in Canada they've loved the Naniamo bars.  So as an family Christmas tradition I make them one every Christmas as well as Andrew and Nic.  This year since I've been making all our food from scratch so for gifts with my Thermomix I also made Lemon Butter, Peanut Butter and Iced Magic (a chocolate ice cream topping made with chocolate and coconut oil, YUM) and of course a bottle of Kambucha.  Last year it was all about the sewing and this year its all about the food!

It was a relaxing day at home this hot Christmas Eve, where everyone made their own fun.  This is a form bowling the boys made up.  You know what they say about the box....

Christmas Eve was also the day our dishwasher stopped working.  Good thing we were not having Christmas Lunch at our house this year!

Christmas morning was very calm!  They were happy to see Santa ate his bickie and drank his Kambucha (got to be healthy!) and the Reindeer ate the carrot. The stockings went first while the boys waited for us to get up.  Then they got stuck into the presents passing them all around.

Everyone played with their new toys....

Then it was time for Christmas lunch in air conditioned comfort at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Andrew arrived first with Nic coming after lunch still needing to work at the airport.

We opened our gifts first with Lochy helping pass them out.


Then opened our Christmas crackers with our party hats, prises and jokes.  Gav was pretty happy with his measuring tape.  Lochy's favourite joke was...

Where would you find a Reindeer with no legs?
Right where you left it.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas with all your family traditions and a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

51 and 52 of 52 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

51 of 52 A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

The crazy faces my boys make!  Monopoly 2000 is the ultimate for the boys and one day we will finish the game..hee hee hee.  This was actually taken Dec 20th.

And for this Christmas week...

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

One last Christmas lights run on Christmas Eve.  The boys do love the lights!  Christmas has come so fast its hard to believe its already over!

Merry Christmas everyone and have a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The time for creative pursuits and Christmas fun

Time was definitely short during that last week of school.  I was madly putting the finishing touches on the bags I made for Lochy's teacher, teacher aide and Gav's teacher.

I have not made one for ages but Lochy's teacher and teacher aide were exceptional for his first year of school.  I also was lucky enough to spend the last term as a volunteer teacher aide with the classroom teacher aide learning from her. I really wanted to give them something personal as a thank you for their support and confidence in me.

For Lochy's Prep Teacher

For Lochy's Prep Teacher Aide. I was a bit worried a bright yellow pocket would be too much.  What do you think?

Gav's teacher is a very special person as well.  His teacher, as well as all the support staff, have really turned Gav's attitude around towards school work.  He is so much more a happy self confident boy now.

For Gav's Teacher
Ben and the boys have also gone crazy for Kambucha!  I made my biggest batch yet.  I haven't got a photo of all the bottles I made but here are a sample of a few.  I've just made another batch today.  We go through nearly a bottle a day!  I've made a few different flavour combinations, some are the boys suggestions as they get into spirit of making yummy things at home.

 Here are a few we've come up with:
Strawberry, plain and with Ginger, or Mint, or Kaffir Lime
Raspberry - plain and with Ginger, or Mint or Kaffir Lime
Mango - couldn't really taste it much
Kaffir Lime - with Lemon, or Ginger
Blueberry - with Ginger or Mint (just made this one today)
and Ginger

If you have any new flavour ideas let me know.
Gavin brought a Christmas pudding home, that would be the one on the bi-fold doors!
Both the boys also made some Christmas decorations at home.  Lochy was especially keen to make the gel stained glass tree and Gav made the candy cane.

We also did some Christmas baking.  While not in the Paleo/Gaps diet plan, its hard to go past these Gluten Free sugar cookies.  The boys rated them a 10 out of 10!

Unfortunately the juiced apples didn't get a very good rating.  Gav enjoyed the juicing but wasn't too keen to even taste the apple juice.  Lochy had a sip but said he didn't like it. I got a free bag of apples after getting my fruit and veg and the local green grocer near Lochy's school.  I didn't want them wasted so borrowed my mother-in-law's juicer.  I even tried to make my vitamin gummies with them and some tropical stevia sweetener but still not a hit.  The vitamin gummies are awesome by the way.  You can find the recipe on  A truly brilliant way to hide some vitamins.

We've also had lots of playing on the back deck...  How flexible is Gav!

We also brought out the slip and slide from last year.  Dual purpose of watering my children and the garden at the same time!

Our Eucalyptus tree in the back yard.  Its still only little.

The last of the Frangipani's on our tree in the back yard.

Aren't they growing like weeds!  The boys, not the sunflowers that is

We also got out on the Sunday night to see some Christmas lights.  Yes, here in Brisbane not everyone put up Christmas lights.  They even have a Christmas lights tour!  This neighbourhood street won second prize (I think) in the Christmas Lights competition.

See the touch of Australia on the roof!



Saturday, 14 December 2013

48/49/50 of 52 Something like that!

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Gav:  Taking down his favourite green Lycra off the washing line.  Its 2 meters of lycra goodness my son loves and sleeps under like a sheet.  He also plays with it in an amazing amount of different ways: tug-a-war with Loch, dragging Loch on it down the hallway, whips it at dad to rile him up, and many other imaginative ways.  Best $50 I've ever spent!

Loch:  Getting down and crazy on the water slide in the backyard.  Lots of hot days ahead, I hope that waterslide lasts all summer holidays!

Somewhere down the line I lost a week..or two.  Ah well, I've really enjoyed taking these photos.  They've really made me mindful of taking a closer look at my boys and documenting how amazing they are.  Thanks Che and Fidel for getting it started.