Sunday, June 29, 2014

Babycakes, and knitted love

Baby-sized cupcakes for my cousin's baby shower today.

Pink and blue, to cover all outcomes.

We girls got stamping and punching and icing after lunch
and were finished just in time.
(And time for a quick photo, too!)

It was a good afternoon, no games, just lots of food,
chatting and presents for the mother-to-be.
Everyone is so happy she is having a baby,
she got married last year, just before her 40th birthday.

My aunt gave my cousin today 
some baby items our Nanna had knitted and crocheted,
years before, for her great-grandchildren.

It was special to see the booties and bonnet knitted so lovingly
and packed away so many years ago for a hoped-for child.
My girls each have a crocheted granny rug from Nanna,
who died just after Laura's first birthday, over thirteen years ago.
This will be the tenth great-grandchild in the family,
but Nanna only lived to meet the first three of them.

Here is my Nanna, and my father and aunt,
babies both welcomed with much love,
and likely much knitting too.

I'm hoping to crochet something for the baby,
who is due in a month.
I'd better get started!
Laura has begun a rug,
but got sidetracked crocheting squares for Wrap with Love.

Babies + celebrations + good food + items handmade with love 
It's all good.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Winter Picnic

With a forecast for strong winds this afternoon
we decided to head out early for a picnic this morning.
Today might be the only day of the holidays we are all free,
and picnics are few and far between these days.

I whipped up some muffins
and we drove just about 10 minutes, 
along the ridge and down into the valley,
where it was sheltered and warm.

There was time for some duck-watching

some strolling with a camera,

some donkey

some laughter

some portrait-taking

... eventually...

  (can you believe this beauty avoids the camera?)

and some physical activity of one sort

 (this one is also a beauty, but oh, she does clown around for a camera!)

... or another.

After lunch (leftover risotto) we headed home
for a quiet afternoon.

The wind did start blowing in the late afternoon
and there was another amazing sunset.

Tonight Emily has been to a surprise party,
and Laura has been iceskating at the Darling Harbour Winter Festival
(fulfilling one of her dreams to skate outdoors).
The wind is still blowing hard out there.
She won't mind, though.

All in all, it's been a very good start to the winter holidays.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Poncho Perfection

Through the autumn I crocheted and crocheted,
at home and by the lake, and after my surgery,

and finally my poncho 
was ready for wearing 
late at night
as I sit in bed, reading.

It's perfect for the job, as it warms me up,
but I can poke a few fingers through the holes to 
hold my book
as opposed to freezing two whole hands.

I added a rose to the front,
just to make it pretty.
I had grand plans of a dark blue shell edging,
but I ran out of the dark blue yarn.

I love the way the colours go with
the grey is rich with a little brown in it,
a good warm colour.
This might just be the most practical and appreciated
 item I ever crocheted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Today I love ...

(even on a windows phone)

... new craft supplies,
particularly this brushstroke stamp in the new 
Work of Art Stampin' Up! set,
which I used to make this rainbow card for a friend

... and this set of Memory Box dies
which I will no doubt use again and again

... that I found some jonquils in the garden
when I thought we had no flowers anywhere

... and that I had a clear table to enjoy them on.

our church;
on Sunday we gathered at a backyard pool for a baptism,
(a lovely grandmother who lately came to know the Lord)
and once again I was thankful for this group of families
who love and accept and grow together,
we are truly a family

... and being home, snug (enough) inside today

while the wind howls outside and the house is pelted
with small branches from the tall trees around.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

In which we get to go out like normal people

They say it never rains but it pours.

I hardly ever get to go out for a meal, let alone a movie,
and then suddenly I have three days of
restaurants and movies.

While the girls were at camp Steve and I had two date nights.
On Wednesday night we had a delicious dinner at a local bar & grill.
I had Morrocan Lamb Rump, (on a stack of grilled vegetables and a bed of hummus).
Steve had a Seafood Mornay Pie.
(unfortunately I didn't take any photos of our yummy meals,
just one of the pretty lights in our mall).

Then we headed to the cinema and saw Edge of Tomorrow
with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
I panicked a little when I saw the ads before the movie,
firstly because they were so loud 
(especially for someone who recently got her hearing back in one ear!)
and secondly because the movies advertised were all very sci-fi.
Thankfully the movie was at a more reasonable volume
and the sci-fi element was only a small part of Edge of Tomorrow.
 We liked the action/Groundhog Day mix.
It was pretty quiet out,
seems that all the normal people were home,
watching the State of Origin match.
There was only one other person in theatre,
we enjoyed our back row seats ;-)

On Thursday night we went to our favourite local Thai restaurant,
and enjoyed Garlic Lamb and Satay Chicken, on Saffron Rice.

At the video shop we found the movie I was looking for -
I loved this movie.
Think: 1950s, France (and in French!), secretaries, typing competitions,
50s songs and 1950s style title animation.

What more can I say?  See it.

On Friday I had lunch out with my good friends Fiona & Tanya.
I don't think I've been out for lunch since my birthday in September!

Over my gourmet chicken burger (GF!)
and their fish & chips and barramundi
we (quite unintentionally) came up with plans to
reorganise all sorts of things at church.
Now we just have to persuade our minister. Lol.

After lunch I rushed to collect the girls from school,
and found myself in a traffic jam of about 10 buses, 700 girls and
250 parents.  Not sure why the school thought it was a good idea
for all the camps to finish at the same time...

And on Friday night (while eating a good steak with the yummiest butternut pumpkin ever)
Steve and I watched 12 Years a Slave.

Which was also really good.  Powerful. But harrowing.

Yesterday, we returned to normal life.
No fancy meals, no movies ... just some good memories.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Winter morning

I wake to the alarm, the sound of flute arpeggios, and hit snooze.
My face feels cold, and I snuggle my nose under the heavy doona,
but a few minutes later, I feel too hot.  
I push the doona off my left shoulder and that 10cms of cold is enough
for me to float quickly back into slumber.
Steve takes Emily to band practice, and I open one eye to say goodbye to them.
I see golden light outside, the warm cloud cover has gone,
yesterday's red sunset was right, today is a shepherd's delight.

I hit snooze another couple more times, but finally I step out into the cold house
and am soon in a hot shower.
Laura, determined to go to school today,
is hopping around on her crutches. 
She offers to make her lunch and I don't say no.
I realise she can't manage the bus with crutches, 
so at 8.15 I drive her to school, and stop off at Coles afterwards
for milk, remembering to bring the milk home this time.

I am tired from the weekend, but thankfully not dizzy, 
and looking forward to sitting and resting.
By 9.00 I am finally eating my breakfast of boiled eggs,
and reading Down to Earth
 I see Rhonda has sorted out her laundry,
something I was planning to do today. 


Maybe tomorrow ...

After just 5 minutes of reading without glasses (oops) I have a headache,
so I head outside to hang out yesterday's washing,
which has been on clotheshorses in the living room for 24hrs.

It is about 12 deg by now, but since the washing is already half dry, my fingers
don't get too cold.

I stop to admire my patterned legs.

And, back inside by the heater, the scarf I crocheted last year to match my jeans.

The phone rings, it is Steve, and I find out that while I was outside,
Laura was trying to contact me from school, she is just too tired and sore
So, I drive back to school to collect her at 10.00am.

We come home and have morning tea,
the inside temperature is just 13deg.
I turn the heater up to 'high',
and finally get to sit down for half an hour,
I sign up to this newsletter
and email to Mum on my ipad,
this time wearing my glasses.

I hang out another load of washing,
and head to the computer to upload my photos, 
wanting to hold on to the morning, and its goodness,
despite the few hiccups to the plan.


Emily will be home at lunchtime, and then I will go and do some stamping
with a small group of primary students, at the school where our church meets.
I will be teaching  them the joys of brayering.
Then I will come home and teach 6 piano students.

I'll be even tireder tonight
 - but tomorrow there's another winter morning 
to look forward to.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Winter Evening

Brrr! It's cold outside.
The girls and I came home this afternoon
from a church weekend away,
not far away, just a couple of valleys over, really.

We had a wonderful time.
Talks on Ecclesiastes (and Hebrews, for the girls)
by visiting speakers; getting to know a young African man
our church is sponsoring through bible college;
chatting, crocheting and a campfire;
a family fun night that really was fun;
a walk in the late afternoon sun past lovely properties, 
with more chatting, as we spotted scarecrows and vegetable patches;
late-night port and playing Articulate;
camp food that even I could eat;
good times reading the bible, thinking, discussing and learning.

And now we are home,
which is always a good place to be.
There's a bit of unpacking mess around,
and some rest and sleep to catch up on.

After a sit on the sofa reading some favourite blogs
I felt energetic enough to do some baking.
Steve and I made these carob cookies,
which are super-easy and yummy.

Emily has been finishing off an ancient history essay,
and Laura is nursing a sore foot, she had a scooter stack
while we were at the campsite, a sock and shoe were casualties,
as well as her foot, which has a sort of burn from the bitumen.

(At the time of Laura's spill I was frantically doing a jigsaw puzzle of 
Romans 1:16 with ten or so other people, to earn 30 points
for our team, so much more fun than it sounds, 
especially when we won ;-)

Just as well we have those crutches Laura chose once at the op shop ...

It's not often I would wear a polar fleece jacket inside
and still be sitting or hovering right by the heater, 
but this afternoon I am.
There has been a gorgeous sunset,
I braved the chill winds to get some photos.

Tomorrow we go back to normal routine, 
but just for two days,
then the girls head to school camps,
leaving Steve and I home alone in the old house ...

... I guess we'll manage somehow ...

So, it's been a good weekend.  Lots to think about
and lots to appreciate, both there, and back home.
God is good.

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, 
and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot 
and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 
They seldom reflect on the days of their life, 
because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

- Ecclesiastes 5:19-20