Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday My Darling Boy

My Son Watching you grow has been the delight of my life. I look at you and wonder what dreams you will dream, what mountains you will climb, what joys you will have. I know there will be tears and struggles as well, but my prayer is that you will grow into the man you are meant to be.

Three already - how did that happen? You're such a funny little man. Obsessed with Transformers, anything with wheels and your favourite DVD of the moment is Shark boy & Lava Girl. You love to eat your veggies and you can be so headstrong one minute and so compliant the next. You are much more sensitive than your sisters - one word can send your bottom lip trembling but one kind word sees you throw your arms around for a huge hug. I love your spirit and admire your heart. I can't wait to see what you're fourth year has in store. Love you "boy". x

Friday, April 25, 2008

ANZAC Day March

We had a great morning at the march. We saw the evidence of so many more of our returned soliders passing away and their family members carrying on the tradition. Lots of music and jeeps, not to mention an F1-11 fly over to keep the kids excited. And hey, how often do you get to sit on the kerb of a usually hectic city street and see history pass by your eyes?

I thought I'd share with you my usually well-kept secret recipe for ANZAC biscuits:

1 cup Plain Flour
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Desicated Coconut
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
125gm Butter
1/4 cup Golden Syrup
1/2 tspn Bi-carb Soda
1 Tbl Boiling Water

Preheat oven to 180ºC, Sift flour into bowl and add rest of dry ingredients; mix.
Melt butter and golden syrup in saucepan on Medium heat.
When melted, add bi-carb to water and mix, add to butter mixture (It will start to froth up immediately)
Add wet ingredients to dry mix, mix with a wooden spoon.
Roll desertspoons full of mix into balls, place on lined tray, flatten slightly.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until just browning on edges, longer if you like a crunchy biscuit).
Cool on trays - makes approximately 26.

A bit of Sepia fun! Could of been the first ANZAC day march!

Lest We Forget

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget."

Today is Anzac Day.

A day we celebrate our young men and women who have served our country and still continue to do so. It's not about war and whether we should be there or not, it's celebrating the traditions and sacrifices made, mateship made and lost, and fathers, sons, brothers and mates that never came home.

I am an Army wife, I have friends serving overseas, my husbands grandfather was a Rat of Tobruk, my step-dad did two tours of Vietnam. I have heard so many stories of the ravages of war, the pride taken in a Military life and the often disdain of a wider public, but today we stand united and say we thank you to those who have sacrificed so much, including the families.

I am always inordinately proud to be an Australian, and even more so today. LEST WE FORGET.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Op Shop Gold

Look what I found today. For the sum of $72, this little baby is waiting to be picked up on Saturday when I can be minus children to bring it home.

It needs a bit of work on the veneer, but all the wood underneath is in perfect condition along with the mirror inlays. Did you recognise the left hand side top part as being a lift up cocktail bar?! I can't wait to fill it with martini glasses and lots of canapes and swan around pretending to be in some vintage glamour movie. I have dreamed of finding a piece like this, my Grandpa's house was full of this type of furniture (who knows where it all is now). I will finally have room for my placemats and thrifted beauties that I could never bring home before due to lack of space.
Thanks Cass for the passed-on op shop luck! I got a jumper and a gorgeous pottery jug I will blog later.

They Obviously Gave Me The Wrong Name!

What Leah Means

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

How about you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You HAVE to try these!

White Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Oatmeal Biscuits - from Julesong at RecipeZaar

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened - or 125gms
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oat (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup ounces white chocolate chips
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 190ºC.
    2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together.
    3. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
    4. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
    5. Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips- making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
    6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.
    7. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
    I took them out at 10 minutes - they looked totally underdone but upon sitting on their pretty silicon sheet covered tray for a few minutes - they are the PERFECT combination of crispy on the edges and chewy texture in the middle. Truly, promise me you will whip these up, you won't regret it! Even though I'm not the biggest cinnamon fan, I stayed true to the recipe and it is divine. Really, my bum is growing just thinking about them. I might have to try another one, just to make sure they're not poisonous....

    Don't you just love the World's biggest recipe book - the www? Have you got any Net recipes that you've gleaned in your travels?

    Hark to Recipes of Old

    Photo Courtesy of Taste

    I was in the mood for comfort food last night so I decided a meal of Corned Silverside was in order. I remember it as a bland tasteless meal smothered in floury white sauce when I was a child but I have found a new recipe and tips from Judie my legendary MIL. It's no longer a meat destined for a week of use on sandwiches with pickles, it's a delicious healthy tempter.

    Corned Silverside

    1.5 - 2kg Silverside
    1 Onion
    1 Stick of Celery chopped
    2 Carrots peeled and chopped
    6 Cloves
    2 Bay leaves
    1 Tbl Vinegar
    2 Tbl Brown Sugar

    Place silverside in pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, empty water and put meat to one side.

    Cut vegetables, peel Onion, stud with cloves. Place vegetables in the pot, along with bay leaves, vinegar and brown sugar. Place silverside back into the pot and barely cover with water.

    Bring to the boil then gently simmer with the lid slightly ajar for approximately 40 minutes per 500gms. When a knife inserted slides out easily, remove from water and double wrap in foil to rest for approximately half an hour. I think cooking it in the slow cooker would yield excellent results also.

    Keep some of the water aside to place on to moisten the meat upon serving.

    I like to serve my silverside sliced as thinly as possible, with steamed carrots, french beans, buttered chat potatoes and some cauliflower cheese if I want to make a real effort. I find an almost 2kg piece is enough for myself, DH & 3 kids' dinners and a round of sandwiches the next day.

    I hope to make an actual tutorial with as you go pictures soon, but for a recipe slightly more exciting than Silverside!

    Monday, April 14, 2008


    Photo taken by Me in our Front Yard, Wodonga

    What a weekend. Full of talks, full of past, present and future. Love, loss and hope. It's been a tiring and fulfilling time.

    I wanted to escape to the beach to clear my head and let the unending wash of the waves cleanse my futile soul and refill it with a sense of something bigger but alas time was against me so I've decided to do a totally disjointed Gratitude list. I've read lots of peoples' lists (wish I could link some right now, please forgive me, I'm too tired) and thought they were a cool idea so here's my crack. Today I am grateful for:
    • Friends in my life. Old and new, all understanding me and loving me for me.
    • Not-so Friends no longer in my life - for helping me to better appreciate what I do have in my real ones. For teaching me life lessons, however painful but necessary for growth.
    • My children. My living children for being my daily joy and for Darcy being my strength and forever link to a Heaven I can only dream of.
    • My husband. Through thick and thin (thin and not so thin). Best friend, rock, support, laughter, vulnerability, nemesis.
    • Mocha coffees at 1am when Cameron won't sleep and my nerves won't rest.
    • This silly little blog - my link to some of the most amazing people I have ever not met.
    • Needle and thread. Fabric and Yarn. A universal language.
    • Charlie and Lola DVDs - my 71 minutes of peace and quiet a day. And for the hours of inspired play they create afterwards.
    • Borders Bookstore - for giving Jaynie and I a precious hour and a half of perfect intunement - reading, browsing, hand holding. We are now proud owners of Possum Magic, Koala Lou and there's a Hippo on our Roof Eating Cake.
    • Messenger - the connection to a ray of light and a dimple creating smile (Hi Kylie!).
    • God for putting me here and now and guiding my futile attempts at navigating the sea of life.
    I think that'll do for now... I think I've covered most all and the kitchen sink. So if you're confused and random as I am right now, you might like a try?!

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    An Nena Lollie Nena Head??

    The kids and I had a trip to the museum yesterday. After a week of illness and DVDs, we all felt a little cooped up. I gave Jaynie the choice of op-shopping and park or the museum. Apparentlywe're going op-shopping today (don't like her chances, I'm exhausted)!

    We toddled in around 11:30 after making lunch to take with us and getting all snazzed up. We had to park in the covention centre car park and walk but it was a nice day so no problems there. I was surprised at just how busy it was!

    The kids were awesome, waiting their turn to look at things and being generally exceptional in their behaviour, with the slight deviations from the norm of course, nothing that a stern talking to or a jellybean to break the monotony of being in the pusher for Poppy couldn't fix. We finished off at the Science Centre playing with all the gadgets.

    I really enjoyed seeing how the kids' different ages and conceptual understanding made each experiment a different experience for them. Anna-Jayne read each plaque and asked questions based on gravity, mirrors, weight - lots of things that I had to struggle to answer. She was most impressed with the idea that she could lift an 80kg fridge by a rope attached to a lever - and she worked out all on her own that the closer to the object she was (ie: less leverage) the harder it was to lift it! Cameron loved playing the impromptu musical instruments and tried to get different sounds: lower and higher pitch, louder and softer and Poppy just loved dancing around in the coloured shadows and bashing things to make as much noise as possible! I experimented with a new diet I've heard about - it's called the smoke and mirror effect - I think it's working for me - although it does tend to give one "bingo wings" and bloated looking midriff - and I have no idea how they got there. Oh well, back to the reality...

    Upon asking the kids there favourite part of the outing, Jaynie said it was the stuffed animals, Cameron the dinosaurs and the case of vintage firearms and Poppy? It was "An Nena Lollie Nena Head" for all your punters that don't speak Popstar-nise, that translates to getting a Lollie in her head, or stuck in her hair, whichever way you choose to think of it. Next time I'll save my legs and give her a jellybean to spit on!

    Monday, April 7, 2008

    Macro Fun!

    Orange Flower came up with a great idea to learn more about photography and Bloggers' respective cameras. On a trip to the little playground down the street, I came up with some Macro shots and thought I would join the fun:

    I love joining in on things like this - it makes my day to know I am sharing and connecting with the outside world, even in www land. *I love blogging* It's my break away from the endless cycle of housework, a reason to keep plugging away at being a better photographer/cook/crafter, a way to connect with like-minded souls and spare my husband another rendition of the great sewing I did (although now he hears about the great blogs I found) and it's the spark to keep creating and seeing beauty in my World. Did I say I love blogging yet?

    Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

    The kids and I were looking for something fun to so this morning and I wasn't in the mood for sweet.

    We (when I say we, I mean I) looked in the fridge and came to the conclusion that something vegetable based would be a good idea. I pored through my Jamie at Home book and used his Superb squash soup recipe with my own additions:

    1 Onion, chopped
    2 sticks of Celery, chopped
    2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
    2kg (roughly) of Pumpkin (I used Kent but Butternut would be preferable)
    2 Ltrs of Chicken Stock
    Salt & Pepper
    Slurp of Honey
    1 Cup of Soup Mix

    Now, if you're anything like me & decide what to cook on a spur of the moment thing, you'll end up doing the quick method of preparing the soup mix. Rinse, bung it in a saucepan, top with water and simmer for an hour and a bit, skimming the gooby bits off the top, adding water if needed.

    In a warm pan, add oil, then onion, celery, carrott, garlic, any herbs you desire and salt and pepper. Cook gently for around 10 minutes or until they are softened.

    Add pumpkin and chicken stock - simmer for around 45 minutes or until the pumpkin starts to break down. Give it a whizz with your stick blender, or however you puree, or if you want to be really rustic, leave it in bits and pieces.

    Add honey to taste if it needs a slight sweetner (I used approximately a dessert spoon). I assume using Butternut would exclude the need for this step. Drain and rinse your soup mix then add to soup. Delish. Guaranteed to even have grumpy children slurping away.

    Now, I didn't take a photo as I assume we all know what Pumpkin Soup looks like, yeah? That and I was too lazy. I have both the little ones with a virus, Poppy with tonsilitis and Cameron with a chest infection so it's happy campers at this end! I think this soup is not only tasty but a nice immune boost too.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Adrenalin Hangover...

    I have the worst headache this morning but I'm still smiling! I think it's a combination of tiredness, beats charging through my body for over 2 hours and left over excitement.

    Maroon 5 were A-W-E-S-O-M-E... No other word for it. They were just amazing. The singing, music, showmanship, the whole package had me in a state of bliss the whole time they were on stage. I could talk on and on but let me suffice to say that if you ever get the chance to see them live, grab it with both hands. Their CDs don't do them justice, truly, and I love their CDs! It was just so great to see a real show combined with such god given talent it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up for every song. Ok, I am dribbling now but they really were that good!

    Oh, and Adam is even dreamier in real life than I imagined. Something so sexy about a man that can sing and move like that! *be still my beating ovaries* (sorry, it was begging to be said)

    Tarn and I had a glorious Thai for dinner and the combination of great food, conversation and music made for a night I never want to forget. Love you T!

    Apart from the girl sitting directly behind us that wouldn't have actually seen the show as she was too busy taking hundreds of photos - with the flash, from about 150mtrs away - I hope she has 100s of black photos to show for all her efforts. *evil grin*

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008


    Maroon 5! I was having a quiet moment to my self yesterday, moping about the fact that I would be husband-less for 6 weeks and all the work that will entail to make sure the Bee-hold would stay on track when I recieved a phone call from said Mr Abandon-his-husbandly-duties-to-do-work.......

    He'd purchased tickets for myself and my Bestie to see Maroon 5 TONIGHT! He's taking control of the fort for the evening so we can go out and pretend to be half-sane reasonable human beings! Wow, it's going to be awesome. Just the fact that he went and organised it all so I couldn't do the guilty-mothering thing and say "No, the money would be better spent elsewhere" was so lovely.

    My Bestie and I have been exchanging increasingly immature emails about co-ordinating fashion statements and what we're going to grab for dinner (yes, we have forgotten the art of sponateous eating *sigh*) and if we're going to drive or taxi. I am guilty of feeling like it was just another huge effort to get sorted but as the day goes on I am starting to feel those little butterflies of excitement - doing something out of the ordinary is such a huge thrill - and then there's Adam Levine..... ***drool*** Sing to me you handsome man.....

    Tomorrow we will be back to our usual broadcast; only after I give a breakdown of how fantastic my night was - thankyou for entertaining my trashy immature ways.....

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    At the Risk of Sending My Dear Readers Running for the Hills....

    Awesome Koi Tattoo Example

    I've decided to get a tattoo. Well, I decided to get one on the day I found out about Darcy having Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and having a limited chance of life, so that would be since the 6th of December 2002! I have been through many ideas for what I'd actually like to have done but I have finally picked the design.

    Tell me, what do you know about Koi Fish? I've always admired them in the context of Oriental art and became curious after hearing about them being very popular in tattoos. After doing some digging, I found out the most amazing information that seems to speak of me, my history and my future:
    • First, koi fish tattoos depicting the animal swimming upstream may represent strength during trying times. It takes a lot to be able to go against the tide of fate if life has stacked the odds up against you. Koi fish tattoos often represent victory despite terrible adversity: courageous triumph over a struggle.
    • The Koi or "dragon fish" is the king of fish and holds special significance in China. The legend says: Any carp able to climb to the Dragon Gate along the Yellow River will be transformed into a dragon. As such, the koi has become symbolic of aspiration for lofty goals and dreams.
    • The Koi Fish symbolizes courage in the Buddhist Religion. According to Buddhists, humans 'swim' through the 'ocean of suffering' without fear, just like a fish swims through water.
    • The Koi is associated with the family. On Children's Day Koi flags are raised, Black Koi the father, Orange/Red mother, Blue/White for a boy, red/pink for a girl.
    • Another word to describe "love" is "koi". The kanji character for "kokoro (heart)" is included as part of both kanji characters. Both "ai" and "koi" can be translated as "love" in English.

    My transforming year spent in China, my struggles in life, the adversity of Darcy's death and my hopes for the future seem to be put so eloquently in my desire to adorn my body with a symbol of my devotion to my family.

    It may sound completely irrational but I long to go through the pain of a tattoo to release some of my heart's pain. Another part of grief. Like I said, it's complicated and not for everyone. But I know it's for me. I don't know why I've had the compulsion to share this, I am worried you'll think me weird or something but I am so excited.