*posted today, because we will be away NYE staying with family*

Another year passes into history…  

As 2009 leaves us, it’s time to start thinking ahead to what we want to manifest into our lives in the coming year as well as take one last look at the goings on of this year. It’s been a hard year, but not nearly as hard as 2008 was honestly ( my mom died that year, and then I came all too close to losing my oldest son as well). I can’t say that I’ll be sorry to see this year GONE all the same.  

I have done all the looking back during these holidays, and am ready to look ahead now. I will not call these wishes for the coming year resolutions, because new years’ resolutions are made to be broken. But they are desires for myself & my family for the new year J (in bullet form, as I’m feeling lazy!) and posting them here is my way of making myself accountable!

* I am going to get back into menu planning so that we can eat healthier. We don’t 
Eat horribly now, but DH & I could both lose a bit of weight for our health.

* I WILL start using our treadmill more regularly! I will be honest, I have not touched it since returning home from my vacation in August L

* I will get more serious with the budget so that we can save towards a deposit on a home of our own. To do so, I plan to cut out frivolous spending as much as possible. The kids will get birthday gifts, school supplies/curriculum, and clothing replaced as needed but not without planning it into the budget.

* I want to be debt free by the end of 2010, with the exception of a car payment. We are going to have to get a used 7 seater (thinking Honda Odyssey) as we are going to be adding another family member to the house if all goes well (NO, I am not pregnant! My 16yo wants to move here with us for a year or so J ) Our debt right now is one loan from MIL (given during the crisis this time last year), and one credit card (closed account), and DH’s van payment. Don’t think we’ll be able to pay the van off that quickly, so I think it will be an exception.

* I want my 16yo to be here with us, and am willing to save like a mad woman to make it happen.

* I want to feel more spiritually connected and active. 

* I want to completely finish decluttering my house. Clutter and chaos in my home stresses me out and I hate it! We aren’t drowning in clutter… but there are a few areas for improvement.

* I am going to revisit the idea of returning to school, and evaluate if it’s something that I’m ready to do just yet. A job as an RN would go a long way towards buying our own home and saving, but that’d be at least 2.5yrs away. And the kids might have to return to traditional school.. Not sure I’m ready to go there.

* I want to work out better coping mechanisms for dealing with Frodo’s behavioural issues. He seems to have trouble hearing/understanding things said to him, as well as has issues with hyperactivity/impulse control… my lack of ability to cope with these has come really close to making me want him away from me as much as possible lately… and I don’t like that at all L

* And, as much as I hate to say it, I want to move out of this rather awful neighborhood L It’s just not a very nice place (we do like the house though), and if the Teen comes to live, there is no way in Hades I will have him going to the school in this suburb. There are very few with worse reputations or graduation rates. So, I hope to manifest a great house in a nice suburb with decent schools nearby in 2010!

So, in the coming year you'll see more posts on decluttering, getting healthy, frugal finances and saving,  and I'll share updates on all of the above as well, as the year goes on.  And of course, the everyday, homeschooling and life with kids stuff isn't going anywere :)

I hope that you're all ringing in the new year with those you love best!  

Ok, so my last post was just a bit BLAH.. sorry bout that.   The holidays have gone and I survived them well enough.   Christmas eve my in laws came out, and brought DH's brother and his husband (who had just arrived in from New Zealand) with them.  We had seafood and nibbles and wine ;)  Which definitely helped make the season merrier lol.   It was great to have the brothers over, and they spoil their nephews wonderfully (not with junk thank goodness!)  All boys recieved a season of a cartoon series.. we have smurfs, TNMT (original toons), and GI Joe.  The latter I'm not a huge fan of (I'd imagine most women never got into it as girls ;) , but if the boys enjoy it and they don't go all warrior on me, I'll live.   Here's a small sample of our traditional Christmas eve dinner.. prawns, oysters (for the parents), smoked salmon and lobster!  and that's before mum made her stupendous 'steamboat' with satay sauce, coconut milk and all sorts of seafood.  My terribly awesome cheese and nibbles platter was decimated before the camera was found lol.

After they left, hubby & I sat and talked for a while ...and polished off the bottle of wine ;) and then started to 'play santa'.  That's a bit of a misnomer for us, as we have really scaled Santa back to basically being the dude that brings a stocking full of cool bits & peices and candy.  All the good stuff is from US dammit... I figure why should I be the one that has to say no to things all year, and has to handle all the ups & downs of the year... and yet Santa gets to take credit for all the loot? LOL    I don't think it makes the boys miss out on anything, as each of them got  something they asked for from Santa in their stockings :)    By midnight all gifts were assembled, and the wrapped goodies were under the tree and hubby & I collapsed into bed shortly  before 1am. (here's the before, and after) 


At the UNGODLY (and UNGOddessly too, for that matter!) hour of 5am Sam came excitedly in "It's christmas!!!!!!"   lol    We had a lovely morning doing pressies and playing and such.  The kids were thrilled and Frodo was all about the Wii that we'd gotten as the family gift.  (he was so sure Santa would bring a Wii, that he looked at the gifts under the tree, then stepped into the lounge to see if there was one.  He saw the 2 gift bags that I'd sat on TOP of the 6ft entertainment unit, climbed up and got them... then came in and complained that he got wii controllers but NO CONSOLE!  LOL)

   (note evidence of console there LOL)

We thought he might get sulky about leaving the Wii to go over to DH's cousins for the big family DO, but he was quite excited to go!  There was, after all, going to be swimming!   (here's Merry & his dad in the pool :)


We planned to hang out for a couple of hours tops, since the boys were up at stupid o'clock... but we ended up being there from just before lunch till 5pm  LOL.  A great day was had by all, and way too much decadent food was eaten by all as well ;)  Mmm... pavlova! 


But despite the disaster that awaited us, we were very glad to get home.   I read much online about the awful holiday gifts that some MIL's give to DIL's and had to share what mine gave me.  She is the most awesome mother in law ever, without a doubt!  If you remember a few weeks ago we had a whole 24hour period where she & her sister absconded with our boys?  Well THIS was the real reason!  I couldn't get a pic without a glare (she spent big on the photos, so I'm not complaining about the lack of non glare glass!)   It's the most gorgeous b&w photo of the three hobbits (complete with bare feet).  How on earth they managed to get them all happy and cooperating I have NO idea,  but I guess that is why one pays the big bucks for the pro's! 

    Hope you all had wonderful holidays friends, and bring on 2010 because it looks to be awesome!  (post coming on that ..)

I've been having a bit of trouble getting into 'the spirit' this year.  I've tried, I really have... but I'm falling short.   I have a gorgeous tree, and have done some decorating.  The pressies are all wrapped (with care?  well they don't LOOK like I cared, but they are wrapped.  Gimped wrapping skill is genetic, my mother passed it to me)  The Christmas eve dinner is planned (seafood, I'm making a very posh pavlova, and nibbles galore) and the in law's are coming for the evening.  I've shopped for pressies and stockings and have it all ready to go.  But I just can't really seem to get excited.

I think that the proverbial ghost of christmas past is looming.  Just one year ago I was not sitting here with my family, preparing for the holidays.  Just one year ago, I was sitting in a room in Surgical Intensive Care, half way around the world.  I was staring at my first born, laying in a bed with a tracheotomy, and central line IV's  and scars all over his body.

It's pretty likely that at this exact moment a year ago, I would have been trying to comb his long hair in hopes that he could keep some of it when he woke up.. or something equally mom like.   I sat by his bed and read to him... I was reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings at the time.  I watched Comedy central with him.  I did anything I possibly could to keep him tied to the here & now.. hoping that his mind was just giving his body time to heal from the worst before it woke up and he was hit with a pain that will never fully leave him.    His girlfriend died in the crash that nearly took his life as well.   

It was this very day, that his father & his younger brother had to leave to go back home.  The military would wait no longer unfortunately.  I don't think I have ever felt more alone than I did the evening of the 23rd sitting there. waiting.   A beautiful 'online friend' (in quotes because the online part makes no difference to me) sent a few small decorations for his room, so I put out a few candles (that obviously couldn't be lit, but still smelled of the season) and garlands on the whiteboard at the end of his bed.  Every day the nurses dutifully updated it with the date and who his carers were for the day, so that just in case he woke up, he would at least see that.  And now he would see that someone thought enough to bring  him a small peice of christmas.  

Things got much worse before they got better... On christmas he seemed to follow me with his eyes, and there seemed to be recognition.  Then a fever set in, and peritonitis.  A day or two later,  there was surgery which saved his life... again.    When I left to come home he was just waking ... and when he finally did it happened in leaps and bounds, thank Goddess.  

A year has passed, and I have seen him again healthy and whole, along with the Teen.  But for some reason it hasn't made this holiday season any easier to celebrate.  I know that he is well, and ALIVE, and that fills my heart...almost.  But I think there will always be a shadow of what was over the holiday season.   Maybe next year I can fly him here, and having the holidays together will banish the ghost... who knows?  

For now though, I have hung butterflies on my tree in memory of Susan, whom he loved dearly. And I try to put on the happy holiday face for the sake of the little ones who deserve a joyous holiday.  

For Susan, who loved the holidays...

and for Jon who loved Susan.


Well, almost anyway ;)  It's tomorrow here so I figured I'd send out solstice wishes tonight as I'll probably be busy cooking & baking with the boys tomorrow.  

Our plans are pretty laid back, hubby has to work as usual, but he's almost always home by about 13opm.  After he gets home we'll give the boys a gift bag with a few littles presents inside, which they will immediately want to use.  Mainly because one of the presents is a mask & snorkel set for each of them (they asked for them so they'll be thrilled), the little guy can't really handle the mechanics of those yet, so he is getting a cool whale that swims through the water instead.  They will each get a book and a couple of smaller things as well.  

In the later afternoon (translation: after we can drag the boys out of the pool!) we'll be having a bbq dinner.  It's going to be pretty simple.. steak sandwiches, corn & zucchini medly and something fruity with custard for dessert.    All in all, a fitting way to spend the longest day of the year I think!

I wanted to share a pic that I took the other night too.  We took the boys out for our annual Christmas lights drive (challenging with Frodo's carsick issue.. but he made it!) .    It just happens that we had 4 houses that entered the council's lights competition right in the next suburub!  They put on very good shows, I must say.  One even had a sign saying (in xmas lights of course) 'tune into 95.9fm'  as they were broadcasting their own brand of very australian like Christmas tunes to go with their display!  It was great.   Here's a photo of my personal favourite

 You'll have to click to enlarge it to see just how awesome it is.  Pardon the two people standing in front of the garage door lol, I didn't see them there when I took the pic as it was dark.  The pics with the flash off were much more vibrant, but also much more blurry!   

Happy Solstice (whether it be winter or summer) to those of you that celebrate it!  


I had my post underway here earlier and the kids informed me that there was a knock on the door. Down the hall I went and I could see the bright orange shirt of the parcel delivery guy.. which is always exciting, don't ya think??   I signed for the parcel and brought it inside, and you would think it was already Christmas morning! lol   See, 11 days ago Lakeshore Learning  had a pretty decent sale.  It was spend $1oo and get $25 off.  Oh I can spend that easy lol.

I'd waffled about ordering, and even checked their Aussie distributor, but the Aus prices were so ridiculously high (especially considering our exchange rate is awesome!) that I finally just decided to mentally apply that 25bucks to cover part of the postage to make myself feel better.  I went with the 'cheap' shipping (using that term loosely lol) because the expensive/fast shipping was almost as much as the order was!  It was supposed to take about 4 weeks, so I was shocked to have it in hand on the 11th day.  Here's what we got:  

A couple of 'Draw and write' journals, a bucket of fraction circles, a personal size dry erase board with lines, a dry erase cursive book, a set of rubber 'base 10' block stamps, a set of geobards, and a massive set of sandpaper 'sight words'.  

 Frodo & Sam were beside themselves... so much for school being basically over for the year LOL.  Immediately they had to make circles & patterns with the fraction wedges, then the geobards had to be test driven.  That was funny because what did Frodo do?  He used the rubber bands to make '10 blocks' or 'unit's ala Math U see LOL.   

Sam has been writing up a storm on his dry erase board and loving it.   I forgot to grab a pic of the large magnetic learning clock, which has taken up residence on our fridge :)  Frodo has been checking the digital clock, then going and positioning the hands on the learning clock, and writing the time at the bottom..all day.  It's dry erase as well, which is awesome, and it seems very sturdy.. so hopefully Merry will not be able to tear the hands off it like he did the old one we had!

I can't wait to start doing a bit of journaling with them in their 'draw & write' journals.  I think Frodo is at a good age to get him into writing about things, instead of just 'functional' writing.  He's itching to get ahold of them.  

I'm very happy with our purchases, and will definitely be back in the future... my wish list is substantial hehehe.  

The past week has brought a lot of things ... gastro bugs, jackhammer drama, and  boys that just don't seem to listen.  But on the up side there was some of this... because the boys love their math.   And I love the spiffy new boxes to keep their blocks in some state of tidyness.  

It had been driving me nuts for quite a while!  And the boxes have cool grooves in them so tht the kids can totally ignore actually building the problems in them!  Wow what an innovation eh? lol  There hasn't been a huge amount of other 'schoolwork' done though, as there has been a bit of illness & drama in the house (as you may have read) and our school year is technically at an end.  We're still doing a bit of reading on the Romans though, and plan to briefly look at the ancient Chinese and Aztecs as well, over our 'break'.   We may also do the boys '5 Senses' lapbook for something to keep them busy,  after the holidays anyway... they're keeping themselves busy by being worked into a frenzy about what Santa and the parents (who of course get credit for all the rockin cool stuff.. santa gets to do stockings and a few bits and bobs) might get them!

There was also a bit of this... we were looking for a particular park, didn't find it, but did find another little one.  We stopped for a picnic lunch of something yummy from the bakery and a play.  Nice little park, even if some local teens seem to have felt the need to forcibly remove the gate to the fence.  I suppose you'll have a few bad kids no matter how posh the neighborhood, eh?

Dad took the intrepid explorers off down a walking path for a bit.. doesn't Frodo have the funniest determined look on his face? lol (you might have to enlarge it to see)  Merry was clearly not ready to stop his exploration of the local scenery, and was quite adamant about not coming back.  Sam, on the other hand, had already raced back to where I was.  That boy has got boundless energy... wish I could figure out how to bottle it!

And off down the hill, was a view of the new lake.  The park we discovered is in the nearby 'master planned' community... it's BRIMMING with neighborhood parks!  We used to live in the original part of the suburb, but they have expanded greatly.  It's a 'lakes' suburb, so of course this side had to have it's own lake.  It's quite pretty, and I hope they leave it a little more natural than the other one (not that I dislike the other lake, with it's nice walking paths all the way around!) 

The Teen (my 16yo, who is currently in the states) is really wanting to come live down here for a year or so and finish up school here.   Partly for the experience, and partly to spend some time with his dear ole mum (at least I'd like to hope that is part of it LOL) and partly because chicks love an accent lol.   I'm going to check the local school there that Frodo went to part of K in, and if they have upgraded to having a high school we might contemplate finding a house to rent there again.  Oh how I'd LOVE to have all those parks within walking distance again!

Strider is currently on his way home from picking up a part for his work vehicle, and has informed me I am not allowed to look at the bank account site lol  He has  apparently been doing a little pressie buying for me.  I sincerely hope he had the good sense to pull cash out, as I am quite nosy (I seem to remember one christmas where my brother and I slit the tape to most of our presents when the parents weren't home LOL) and WILL work it out if I can see where he shopped :D   And being the greedy wench I am.. I txt'd him back that since he was there, sushi for luch would go over very very well  hehehe.   So, I think I'll go uncover the table from the current arty farty projects the kids have going, so that we can have a bite to eat shortly!

I'm feeling all full of Righteous Fury at the moment and just had to share with someone, so you lucky people win ;) This morning we took Merry to kindy, as we always do on Tuesday, and on the way home we decided to pop into Woolies to grab some milk & bread. As we walked up to the store THIS is what we were confronted with:  

 The photo was actually taken after the fact, so you’ll just have to imagine those guys over on the left standing inside the orange mesh operating JACKHAMMERS!! The pic also doesn’t give the best idea of the space so let me share…this is a smallish courtyard that is bordered on 3 sides by shops, a chemist, a newsagent and Woolworths. The only shop that actually has walls/doors is Woolworths, the other, smaller shops have got open fronts that they roll down metal shutters to close up at night. So they are wide open to the noise outside. The entrances of all 3 of these shops (plus the bakery, which is just up 3stairs to the left of the pic) are within about 3.5metres of this god awful noise & dust.  

Anyway, on with the story. The boys and I cover our ears and RUN into Woolworths, me swearing under my breath the entire way. We get the items we were after, plus a pack of kinder surprise eggs for the kids ;) (mum’s the hero!) and go to the checkout. We stand there for a good 5minutes waiting , because the customer ahead of me can’t get her card to swipe correctly, and I chat with the cashier. She left work with a booming headache yesterday, and is sure she’s heading for a migraine today L I let her know I wasn’t impressed and that I’d be calling someone about it because *I* was already having ringing in the ears & dizzyness and that was just after 15minutes exposure to it! We finish the transaction, cover our ears, and RUN out to the car as quickly as we can. By the time I get into the car I have to sit & calm down for a bit, as my heart is just pounding… but it didn’t stop, so apparently it wasn’t just the short sprint. After I got home I looked up this.  Friggin Acoustic Trauma… FAIL.  

I got home and was fuming! I rang Strider to see exactly who I should call to have something done about it.. He suggests Workplace Health & Safety. First though, I ring Woolworths and speak to the very nice Store Trading Manager. I let him know that I was on the warpath because I came in to get milk and bread, and left with shrieking, ringing ears, dizzyness and my heart was pounding. ..and I was not happy. I also told him if he wanted to avoid compo claims, he’d get the cashiers some ear defenders right NOW, because at least one of his workers was already complaining of a severe headache! He kindly assured me he would get on that immediately upon hanging up, and gave me the number I requested for the centre management offices whom I called & left a msg for.

I then rang the State office of Workplace Health & Safety. These people put the fear of god, proverbially speaking, into companies. I gave the basics of the situation to the receptionist and she just said Oh dear, and put me straight on to speak with an inspector so I could file a formal complaint. The gentleman was incredibly sympathetic and helpful, and had a laugh with me when I said ‘I know you can’t really put this in the actually complaint, but someone’s ass needs to get nailed to the wall’ and he said OH, but I can if you want ;) LOL I informed him that I was going to go back up and take a photo of the area just in case the inspectors couldn’t be there straight away and after giving DH a quick ring to let him know what was up, headed back out to make the 3minute drive up there… but before I could do that…

Centre management, a very unhelpful company named QED Enterprises, rang back and I spoke with the gentleman that handles this centre. He pretty much blew me off stating there was no other time to do it, no way around the noise. When I suggested after hours he said that then local residents would complain, to which I replied yes, they may… but they won’t be deaf or suing you. I also pointed out that the nearest actual HOUSES were at least 200M away, and across a noisy busy road anyway! I told him I’d already spoke with WHS and that he could just take it up from them when they call about my formal complaint, and said goodbye. He did however, give me the name & number of the company doing the concrete work though.   SO thumbs down to you, HAW Construction!!!! 

That took about 5minutes and then we left.  I got there, parked fairly close but not too close, and walked up to find the workers standing to the side talking amongst themselves … or so I thought. I took a few pics and went back to the car and rang hubby again to say wow, shock horror they’ve stopped.  THEN a gentleman in a blue shirt emblazoned with ‘workplace health& safety’ walked up to the car right next to mine lol. NOW I knew why they’d stopped.. That was fast! I hopped out of the car and introduced myself and asked him exactly what was going to be done and he informed me that it already was! The company doing the work had been given a stop work notice and agreed to return the next evening at 530pm or so to complete the work, after most of the shops were closed. There were several ‘notices’ issues (which sounds an awful lot like a nicer way of saying FINES to me?). He had also gone into the business and spoken with the workers & owners to make sure nobody was suffering serious effects of the prolonged exposure and instructed them as to what to do if they did.   I cannot say enough good things about WHS at this point.. the Inspector was literally on site, and had shut the offence down within 30minutes of my call at the most!  So Kudo's to you gentlemen, you rock!!!!! 

 I thanked him very much, not only for myself.. But also for the employees who should not have to work in those conditions, and the other customers who should not have to cart infants and children through noise that is easily 130 decibels!  The only thing higher on that chart? A friggin airplane lifting off (I’d assume at close range) Normal city traffic, office machines etc are about 80db and each increase in 6db is not just an increase of 6.. It actually represents a DOUBLING of the amount of noise produced! So these workers had been subjected to noise that is basically at the level of torture, for hours and hours. And I stopped it. Why on EARTH the Woolies store manager didn’t DO SOMETHING about it, I do not know.. But I intend to find out!  

I can’t understand why the average citizen/shopper/patron of a store would not say HEY this is not ok! And take it further to protect not only their own safety, but that of others. They assume that the store management will handle it… or that someone else will do it. It’s always someone else’s job. People, nobody in this world cares as much about your safety as YOU DO. If you see something that is just not ok, DO SOMETHING!! It’s not that hard to find out who you should contact or to start talking to ANYONE that might help handle the problem. Talk walk off and do nothing but complain to yourself does nobody any good.  

Because I got angry at what I was forced to endure, and started making phone calls.. No less than FIFTY employees in the shops surrounding that work area are now spared having to possibly risk permanent hearing loss at worst, or at the very least, having to endure horrible headaches. Why can’t more people put themselves out that way, and take up an hour of their time on the phone, instead of waiting for someone else to do it?

P.S. It’s now almost 2hours after the incident… the ringing/shrieking in my ears is not so loud now, but it throbs and is painful. My heart has finally stopped pounding and the shakiness/ dizzyness has subsided I think (I’ve been sitting down having an iced coffee, jotting down this post). Frodo complains of a headache, and I have given him some nurofen in hopes that it helps. Sam seems unaffected, but then he is a VERY hearty little soul so I am not too surprised. If I still have pain or dizzyness in a couple of hours, I suppose I’ll go to the doc and see if there is anything they can do. And it will document the issues if I actually have any continuing drama because of this… however unlikely that may be).  

If you made it through this novel of a rant, I lift my iced coffee and offer you a toast for listening and hopefully being inspired to protect your community in whatever tiny ways you can!  And now, I go to lay in a nice quiet room for a bit in hopes that my poor head & ears can recover...
So instead of my usual serious, and deeply lost in thought posts (lol), I am posting utter fluff.   Last Thursday I decided on a whim to ring a local salon and get a haircut.  I was already going out to get my nails done, so I figured why not make it a pamper afternoon.  I was so tired of my boring old, almost one length and no personality hair.. not to mention my fringe was a disaster.  We're talking to the tip of my nose if I let it, so it had to go.     

The young chick (not meant in a bad way at all... especially if you've noticed the subtitle of this blog ;) that did my hair was great, even offered to make me a mocha (loving this posh service these days) but I already had my trusty Gloria Jeans Creme Brulee.  I did mention this was a pampering afternoon, right? ;)  Must have creme brulee to complete that.  Low fat/cal/sugar be damned.   Anyway... back to Jamie.  She did a lovely job sprucing up my 'do' a bit... without taking off much length.  I gave her the distinct impression that I might go mental if more than about an inch came off then length of my hair... a few razor cut long layers were the only exception to this edict.  Since I rather like the cut, and did not come away looking like a 12yo boy, I shall return to her.  I shall NOT, however, ever pay 30dollars for a friggin blow dry style on top of paying for the cut already!  I nearly fainted when she dropped that one one me... and in her defence, she seemed rather embarassed at the absurdity of that price as well lol.  

I noticed my profile photo on here, and on facebook, was over THREE YEARS old!!!   So, I decided to attempt a reasonable self portrait.. and this is the result.  Yeah.. pardon the outstretched 'tuck shop lady arms' there lol...

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*apologies in advance, blogger is being a fascist about formatting with pictures again *sigh*

Yesterday we visited the In Laws, and MIL and her sister (up visiting from Victoria) whisked the boys away to their swim class.  They returned with roast chooks (that's chickens for you non aussies lol) and rolls for lunch, and with the announcement that Tuesday lunch time or so, they would be arrived to abscond with all three of my little guys until sometime Wednesday afternoon!   We knew they planned on having the older two for the night, but they are taking Merry along for the fun as well it seems.  So... for the first time in a very VERY long time... dh and I shall be without children for a FULL 24hours! 

This brings up a very important question... what on earth will we do with ourselves??   I barely know how to even plan a day that doesn't include some child centred activities, a poopy bottom or two, and a whole lotta whinging! LOL   So, to see that I don't waste this rare as hens teeth opportunity, I have started organizing my plan of attack in advance ;)

 I think that this 24hour period shall find me doing a bit of cleaning, oddly enough, so that I can enjoy a nearly 2 full day period where my house stays clean longer then 15minutes after I finish cleaning it!   With 3 small boys, this never, ever, happens *sigh*.

And maybe I shall do a bit of this, as well.    And I will not feel bad that I'm not paying attention to anyway, nor will I be reading aloud anything that children would be interested in.  As a matter of fact... I may go out to the shops, and have a....


... posh iced coffee, from my very favourite place.  Then I might head to the nearby book shop and pick up a copy of Diana Gabaldon's new book.  It's historical 'lite' smut.. I love her books :)  And certain parts of them, at least, are most definitely the opposite of read alouds for boys lol! 

Then Tuesday night, hubby and I are going to avail ourselves of a Sizzler gift card that he very cleverly won from a local radio station a while back ;) It's not 'fancy', but it's a dinner out, sans kids... and FREE!  We wont' be out late of course, because hubby has to get up at 430am to head out for work.


 While *I*, on the other hand, will be doing THIS.  I plan to sleep just absurdly late on Wednesday morning... as there will be no boys bickering over who gets the first toast, or what goes on it.  There will be no racing up and down the hall squeeling and giggling, nor watching abc kids WAY too loud.  And there will be no toddler sticking to me in the too warm early morning hours, and then weeing our bed (thank the gods for waterproof sheets!).  

For just one morning,  this will be ok.  Then I'll lay in bed, wondering what to do? Probably hang out some laundry.. maybe have a cuppa on the veranda if it's not stinkin hot out.. and wonder.. when are they coming home?  

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So I know at least one blogger who's going to make assertions about my mental health being questionable for this... but we have put up our holiday tree!   The day before Thanksgiving I just couldnt' resist any more... that will give me 30 days of enjoyment (insanity?) before the big day arrives.  

I have a huge soft spot in my heart for my christmas tree ... it was a lifelong tradition of my mama's.  The family made a trip to the tree farm and spent ages picking the perfect tree, then step dad spent an absurd amount of time putting the lights on just so, then mama did garlands and bows before we were turned loose to hang our special ornaments on the tree.   It was always great... we often strung popcorn too, eating as much as we strung of course lol.

These days, I'm not quite so traditional ;)  But I still love my tree.  Our tree is rather unusual in that it's black.  I saw it last year and HAD to have it... and then ended up having my family emergency and was in the US the entire holiday season and never saw the tree lol.  Ah well, there were more important things to tend to!   This year I'm making up for lost time.. 

Frodo and Sam were very excited about the whole thing, as kids always are.   We have jewel toned decorations, including things like snowflakes and cut 'crystals' that the boys love.  And up high, there is a butterfly for Susan... who was my oldest sons love, and died in the accident they were in this time last year.  She had a huge love of butterfly's and had been decorating their tree at home full of them.  I saw them at the shop and had to hold back tears as I gave them to hubby to put in the trolley.  I never met her, but she was a beautiful girl and I really wanted to do something to remember her.

 We used to have a star on top of our tree, then a santa for a few years... this year I found a Faery tree topper and just fell in love with her.  She's adorable, and nigh impossible to get a decent photo of it appears *grumble*  So here is a slightly blurry one, which is the best I can do!  


And last but not least.. one very cozy rat!  This is 'Bitty' (his litter mate is, of course, Itty), FINALLY testing out the very comfy pocket hammock we got for the boys.  He seemed pretty comfy in there, but being summer here, he won't be getting much use out of it for several months yet.  Pardon the extraneous ratty 'raisin' or two in the pic, SOMEONE was being lazy about using the litter box that day apparently LOL.  


We have gotten zero done this week and I'd like a do over, thank you.  Sunday night Frodo was up with a fever & nausea completely out of the blue.  Made for a long day Monday that's for sure.  Oh I lied, he wanted to do a review page of his math so he did that on his own while mum was a zombie.

Tuesday... had grand plans for the day, until Frodo had a lapse of judgement and caused his head to make contact with ceiling fan blades (that were, as Murphy would have it, on HIGH speed).  This caused an urgent trip to the GP's office where the very nice doc checked him over, steri stripped the 2inch long gash in his forehead closed and gave me the requisite head injury 'to watch for' list detailing what would require an ER trip in the coming hours.  Luckily enough, none of those things eventuated and all was well in the end.  But for the better part of the morning we were both panicking.  

The fever from Sunday/Monday is long gone now... but Merry seems to have an awfully gravelly voice *insert suspicious look from me*  And as the evening went on it occurred to me that I had a bit of a sore throat.  Then a headache... O.M.G. I'm getting sick *splat*  Suffice it to say that upon waking this morning I had a headache that wouldn't quit no matter how much nurofen I took, a sore throat that was annoying as hell, and I felt like I'd run a marathon before being hit by a very large truck!    Frodo did another sysematic review page in his MUS, which I checked over, and he seems to be really grasping the round to the nearest 100 concept :)     The boys also dug into a couple of  'school project' kits I caught on clearance a while back, on The Planets and Ancient Egypt and did  a project page using the stencils, stickers and information they read in the booklet.  So I guess saying 'nothing' was accomplished isn't exactly true.

My MAIN reason for posting was to share this with anyone that might be interested!  This is the printing readiness program that Sam has used to help with his fine motor skills and writing, he enjoyed it and it really helped a lot for a brief program.    It's from Donna Young and even has a cool certificate of completion you can print out for yout little one.  We all know how kids love those :D

I am just about fed up with illness though, and am doing some research on wtf is going on with my immune system which I will discuss with my doc because it looks promising (and very common & overlooked even  ... how did my doc not notice that I've had numerous severe respiratory illnesses this year AS WELL AS a borderline low thyroid test and put those two together?)   

For now though, I shall go have a brief lay down as hubby is home to supervise the boys. Tomorrow will be a better day.  


Today was an extra curricular day with our distance ed unit.  We have them every fortnight, but we haven't been as much as I'd like this year due to my ridiculous stretches of illness and my holiday overseas.  These days were the reason Sir Merry started attending kindy on Fridays, as he was just too much to manage when added to the king of distractability and disruption and the Lord of Poutiness (aka Frodo and Sam).  

Here's a run down of a typical EC day.  

1030am   Start time, morning 'class' of intro to Japanese ... boys giggle, get rowdy & silly and Sam wants to go to the playground.  Whines excessively when told after class is done.

1100am   Switch to dance class with George.  Frodo loves this, but gets rowdy as he & one of his little mates egg each other one.  Sam on the other hand, refuses to participate at all and sits up under me sulking since we haven't gone to the playground yet.  For goodness sake, they're doing robot dancing and it looks like great fun.. but he scowls and refuses on principle.

1130   FINALLY I send the little grumble bum to the playground (just outside the scout hut we have our classes in) Where he happily plays and comes over for a snack every 2.5 minutes.

1200   Next group activity.  Rinse & repeat previous descriptions of boys behavior as some things never change.

1300   Joyously send the little beasts off to the playground, snacking accelerates to constant levels.  You'd think they are never fed except these days?

1330   Last groups for the day!  Met with exuberance from Frodo and sulking from Sam.  And requests for even MORE food.  

1430    Time to battle the traffic and head home. 

Usually by the time I arrive home, I've txt'd hubby to have an adult beverage ready and a padded room if possible.  

Today on the other hand *faints*.  Pardon that... took me a moment to come to.  WHO are these children I took with me today?  We got there, they went to, participated in, and ENJOYED!  They came out to the picnic area where the mums gathered and chatted, had lunch & snacks, got their water bottles refilled and played with their little friends.   

It was quite possibly the nicest day out with both boys that I have ever had.  And THEY thought so too.  They have talked about nothing else all evening and can't wait to go next fortnight!  The bummer is, next fortnight is the last one till February as it will be 'summer break' for us technically.   


As I admitted yesterday, I've been a slacker this week with the posts!   I blame this on trying to spend LESS time at the computer combined with spending more time getting into a routine here with the boys.  So here's a bit of what we have been up to 'school-wise' since my Bunnings workshop post!  Many pics!    

As part of our History Odyssey, the boys built a model ancient Egyptian garden.   Something very like this (only made of wood, twigs etc) was found in the tomb of a minor nobleman from several thousand years ago!  You can get a glimpse of the brightly coloured columns that flanked the door into the house and the long, narrow pool (aluminium foil painted with water colours) in the centre which was lined by two palm trees on either side.  The ancient Egyptians had a thing for symmetry it seems.  We discussed how when it was hot,  the family would relax in the shade around the pool and that the water would cool the air a bit.

We have no moved on from Ancient Egypt sadly, to the Hebrews and the Philistines.  This has been interesting as a lot of the 'history'  for this section is biblically related, so IMO not totally reliable.  The stories are interesting though, and we talked about how the Prince of Egypt (Disney) was one telling of the story of the ancient Hebrews making their way to Canaan.

Today the boys made replicas of Philistine warrior headdresses.  The originals were pictured in many carvings and would have been tall feathered things... ours are cardstock and construction paper ;)  And here's the littlest warrior modeling big bro's ...

Sam & Frodo also painted up their wooden treasure chests from the workshop last week.  Sam went with orange, which is his favourite colour at the moment... and yes, he is STILL wearing those Harry Potter glasses!  Here's Frodo painting his blue, with Merry 'assisting' (translation = making a complete nuisance of himself lol)

Both boys are powering through their Math U see, and are about 1/3 of the way through their respective programs (we've been working on it for about 6weeks, but if they really GET a lesson and it shows, we move on to the next one)  I'm hoping to have them through it by shortly after the start of our next school year, around the beginning of February, so that they can move onto the next levels (they are both just starting their current years math with this program, as we used other things earlier in the year.  This would get them up to grade 1 & 3 math.  Not that I'm really worried about it.. we take as long as we take! 

Sam is coming along brilliantly with his handwriting.  He's finished his printing readiness program, and got his certificate, which he was very proud of.  I wish I could link it, but none of the worksheets I printed from their have the url and I can't remember where I got them from!

 We've moved on to using Starfall alphabet tracers, which are great because they put a dot where you begin the letter and they have 'entries' and 'exits' like the Queensland font does.  Today he drew some love hearts for me and I wrote 'I love you' for him, and he did a great job of copying it all by himself.     Frodo has been doing more copy work with his First Language Lessons and is finally to the point where he doesn't COMPLAIN long & loud about writing :)  

In science, we're learning about our 5 senses right now.  I checked out a ton of library books on the senses and how the body works and the kids have dug right into them.  Frodo is quite annoyed that one book doesn't name the nerve that takes the messages from the tongue to the brain  lol.   He can tell you the one for smell is 'olfactory, and for vision is 'optic' and hearing is 'auditory'... and that there are a few different kinds for touch but they aren't ONE big nerve so they aren't named.     We're doing a tongue mapping activity / experiment later which should be fun!   

But for now... laundry calls and I best answer while it's NOT 37C outside!


  Isn't this little dude the cutest thing??   I was on the prowl for printable learning games on the web and ran across Learning Treasures  where I found the cutest set of stationery ever for little boys (and adventurous little girls!) featuring Whimsical Dragons (and conveniently enough, named this as well ;)   For the vast fortune that is 1.99USD,   I downloaded 22 pages of his cute self featured in writing papers, bookmarks, reading lists, assignment lists etc etc.  I am so hitting a copy shop in the next week!  

But 1.99 is a silly amount to put on one's credit card, don't you think? (actually debit :D)  So I was giddy when I saw the Early Learning pack  featuring my adorable, fire breathing friend!   There are matching letter and number matching activities,  flash cards that are beyond adorable (we don't really USE flashcards, but the kids love to play with them in various ways and I figure it will help Sam .. and later Merry, with their letter recognition) and just piles of stuff to make the cutest file folder games with.   Perfect for my little dudes who were just yesterday out on the veranda, practicing their dragon slaying skillz with their stuffed toys lol.  

I would stay and actually write a reasonable post, but it is 38C/100F at our house right now, and the air conditioned lounge room calls I'm afraid!  Maybe I'll return tonight when it's cooler to share what we've been up to the last week or so :)


Today was a massively full day.  The kids had a Bunnings (think Home depot type place) do it yourself kids workshop at 1130.  Kylie at LHEN  has set these up monthly and they are always good fun.  We haven't made it any in a LONG time due to my bubonic plague, but we'll try to get to more next year as the boys totally loved this one... despite a few glitches hehe.

Here are my two intrepid builders all geared up in their official bunnings work aprons, inspecting the tools of the trade and impatiently waiting to get started!

FINALLY!  They were doing a dry run to make sure all the parts were cut right and to see how the project went together.   The general idea was that we hold the pieces together, and the kids hammer nails in.  Several flaws in this plan were noted almost immediately lol.  One, it's very hard to hammer nails into two peices of thin wood held at a 90degree angle to each other *without* anything to support the free edge ;)   Two, the wood was so thin that the nails kept poking out the sides.  SO, we improvised by procuring a couple of hot glue guns and gluing the box together to start.  THEN the kids could nail into a nice sturdy box to help it stay together a bit better.  

Here are the boys working on their treasure boxes.  We discovered it was much easier to hammer on a hard concrete floor than on a table that just bounces!  Sam was very helpful and grabbed the pliers to hold the Nails for Frodo to hammer into his box.  What a sweet boy, when he wants to be ;)

And below is the finished product,  well mostly it's just my boys acting nutty lol, but their boxes ARE in the photo as well ;)   (note Frodo making a 'mouth' with his box hehehe)

Today was also supposed to contain a bit of math, some language lessons and a little History reading... But as I have just arrived home at 230pm, I somehow don't see that happening.  As a matter of fact I think I'll just open up my handy 'Homeschool Tracker' progam and do a speedy rescheduling of those to spread them over the week!   Mum is just BEAT.. dad is gone to get Merry from kindy.  I have also proclaimed it fish n chips night for dinner .. tofu stir fy shall live to be eaten another day!

The boys are thinking these boxes need some paint.  So I think that may be the order of business for the afternoon... Hmmmm... I think I might have some piratey stencils around here somewhere!  

Over -n- out maties!


Geez, nothing outta me for a week nearly then two posts in a few hours lol.   Feast or famine I guess? :)  If you had a read of my previous post this morning, you saw that I grow silverbeet in my little potted veggie garden.  I'm just in love with silverbeet lately, and pretty much any other leafy green goodness... but the same old steamed with a bit of butter & salt just gets boring after a while.  SO....I just had to share a recipe I found over at Disposable Aardvarks blog.  I found her blog because someone posted about her very cool bento lunches for her kiddo.. I think bento style lunches are just about the cutest damn things ever and have been experimenting with psuedo bentos with the boys lately.  

Anyway this post is not about bentos,  it's about her AWESOME recipes!!  Pop on over and have a look down the right side of her blog... that is the mother lode of tastiness I tell you.     Only there was one recipe, which was of course the one I was DYING to try, that had no link!  

So, unable to live without this recipe, I commented begging for alink hehehe.  The dutiful, and very nice, blog owner quickly fixed it up for me!  Baked Cheesy Chard is the recipe in question. (scroll down a bit at that link for the low down)  I baked this last night and it was a HUGE hit with the hubby.  THe kids?  not so much lol although Sam did at least taste it.  =)  I admit to being a slacker and forgetting to take a photo though.  Can't believe I did that because it looked very much as yummy as it tasted!   

The recipe itself is vegan, which we are not, so I used regular skim milk and colby cheese instead and it worked out fine :D  the seasoned buttery breadcrumb topping was just the icing on the cake...err.. the crumble on the casserole? lol   

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In the few days since I posted last, there have been lots of goings on.  We has amazing thunderstorms for several days.   I really wish I had one of those fancy many thousand dollar cameras, then I'd have photos of lightning flashing almost 180degrees on the horizon before it engulfed us.  Mother Nature put on a helluva show, several times :)    Our yard became Lake Hobbit.. luckily before the real storms hit I was able to rescue all my potted veggies onto the veranda.  Good thing too, because I've FINALLY got something that's growing worth a damn ;)   Tomatoes are lush and green, silverbeet is getting tall, squash has babies on it!  


 See, aren't they gorgeous?  Those were taken just on Halloween, give or take  a day, so about 10days ago.  That tomato plant is 6inches taller, and just lush.. and the tiny silverbeet to the right side are about 8inches tall now.. in just TEN DAYS!  The boys delight in coming in to tell me what's new in the garden after they inspect the plants :)   And Sam is still our daily water-er. Obviously he's doing a better job than *I* did, as the tomatoes leaves are not curling up from too much water!  That boy is going to be my vegetarian, sport playing gardener it seems lol.

The boys had their weekly swim lesson on Sunday, which Nana met us at and told us to get lost! lol  She was already watching the boys so we could go do a bit of Yuletide shopping, so we took advantage of the extra time to go have some lunch.  We found the most amazing little sushi place (it's in the middle of a major mall, so it's not like it's hidden lol) that was making the rolls fresh as we waited.  Then we wandered down to our favourite coffee shop and had a posh Iced Coffee before descending upon the  Early Learning Centre.   This is our favorite kids shop ever.  

They specialize in fun toys, lots of which have educational value ;), that are also ecologically friendly in their production.  (ie, the woods are rain forest friendly, usually farmed rubberwood)  Some ARE made in China, but I've done the dance with them and have been assured that their plant in China is above board in regards to child safety with the materials they use.   I don't LIKE that they are made in China, but our budget doesn't allow for buying fancy wooden toys from Europe that cost a fortune.  So I feel like I have done the best I can to satisfy both my need for my boys to have high quality toys, my need for those toys to be SAFE for them, and my conscience regarding their production.   Sometimes all we can do, is the best we can right? :)

Ok... *steps off soapbox* lol.. all in all we scored some great deals for the holidays, not that they are cheap.  I was sorta planning to keep it small, but a few things that were just irresistible were on too good a bargain NOT to get *hides face*  Ah well, they're only young once right?   


Ok... at least today does ;)  I'll admit that it is NOT always sweetness & light though...but today has been awesome.  I'm starting this post at 12:09pm,  and we have finished our planned schoolwork for the day.  Actually the boys started without me as I was enjoying a late morning cuppa! 

It is a kindy day today, so we got home around 9am from taking the wee Merry to preschool, and when we got home it was pikelets (sorta mini pancakes with jam & whipped cream) for morning tea.. with juice boxes, which were promptly squirted all over by squeezing.   Note to self: even 7 year olds can't resist doing that *sigh*   Then as I drank my coffee the boys dragged out Sam's big work book (ya know, the cute ones you get at Walmart etc) and Sam traced himself silly.  He loves those tracer alphabet pages, and they are really helping him with his fine motor skills.  

Frodo & I read about the daily life of ancient Egyptians, how did they laundry, what their houses were like and the types of jobs they had.  Frodo was a bit shocked that their children would often go without clothing, wearing only jewelry or amulets of protection! lol   Sam was still happily tracing away at the alphabet but was still able to whip out fast answers when I asked them about something we had read... my little multi-tasker!   

Both boys did their Math U see, and I'm stunned at how easily Frodo seems to be 'getting' addition with carrying/regrouping!  He wants to power ahead to the next lesson, but to me this ones a biggie, so we're going to work through the whole thing.    

We've hopped back into our First Language Lessons, revising it a little.  The book went on about nouns for about 23years so we were a bit over it and took a break lol.  I've started looking ahead and combining some of the very similar lessons into one for less repitition.  We love the poem memorizations, even though so of them aren't the originals, and today Frodo was able to recite 'The Months'  by Mother Goose (30 days hath September etc) today :) and was pretty pleased with himself!  He's plowing through pronouns right now, and has a good grasp of them so we will be on to action verbs next week.   

The boys have just had a 'feast' lunch, as they like to call it, of salami, a quesadilla, some olives (their choice), craisins and currants with coconut flakes, and a few choccie chips.  They love the muffin tin lunch idea so much that I've started using the little silicon cups to put their 'sides' in at lunch, which somehow makes the whole meal more exciting for them lol.

It's now 1:19pm, and I'm finally wrapping this up :)  All school work is done, veggie patch tended, lunch had... and now it's Miller time ... err.. coffee time!  


It's been positively glorious weather here lately, and even pretended to be summer last week by throwing a few little thunderstorms our way! (and filling up our rain water tank woot!)  So, in honour of that I thought I'd get ahead of myself and decorate my blog for summer :D     I'm a bit of a geek, I like to deck my blog out for the seasons as they come, and since December will be taken up by various holiday themes I wasn't about to miss out on summer themes until January!   

AND thanks to Delightful Dots awesome tutorials,  I was even able to tweak my template to 3 columns :D    I'm feeling all techy geeky and pleased with myself.. or was, until I realized that I'd accidentally summerified my sons blog by accident!  Without even asking him *sigh*  So now, if he doesn't like it, I get to try to do a mulligan lol.   

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 Mad catch up post alert!   I got a bit swamped last week so here are a few pics to show what we got up to.   In our History Odyssey, we are back in ancient Egypt... Frodo's favourite subject (historically speaking).   This time around it's Egpyt's Empire and every life in Ancient Egypt.   Fun project for the week was building Egyptian riverboats like the ones that would have been used for trading on the Nile.  Ok, so ours were made of paper towel tubes, pencils & felt scraps... but it was fun! 

Ta-da!  Frodo was very proud..  blogger has eaten the photo of Sam's golden river boat (as it is missing from this post grrr)  but you can see the tip (is that the bow/prow or stern? lol) of it following Frodo's as they went trading up the Nile... which was filled in for by our dark blue living room carpet hehe.  

Frodo also drew a gorgeous picture of what he learned about in this lesson, for his history notebook.  It is a boat very much like that one hauling money back up the Nile from selling gold (Frodo narrated it for me :) with big waves lapping at the hull and a bright desert sun riding high in the sky.  I really should frame that one for his wall I think.  (and should have taken a pic of it for this post but I had a brain cramp,  that's picture fail x2 for me today!)   

Among other things this past week, we bought & carved our pumpkin for Halloween.  The boys helped me pick out a very cute template to use.  Here's Frodo busy poking holes to outline the pattern (he's using a tiny screwdriver, so no panicked notes about knives please :)  

We also finished up the Halloween lapbook project.  As much as I try to like lapbooks, they annoy me lol.  I think we'll transition to notebooking pages that can be inserted into their various notebooks.  

HERE is the finished result of our hard work on said pumpkin!  The boys were QUITE pleased with him.  Don't ya love that playful wink?  Who'da thunk spiders could be so darn cute!?!

We also ventured out to a big Halloween street party and had an OK time.  I was a bit disappointed because the council apparently OVER advertised it and it was so crowded you couldn't turn around   :(    Traffic & parking were a nightmare and the tiny business district of Manly just is not big enough to support enough stalls, entertainment, rides etc to keep nearly 10k people happily amused for an evening.   We left after an hour at most.  But the kids had fun...  

 As evidenced by them hangin out with the chauffeur to the damned here, waiting for the parade to begin ;)   Note to self:  do NOT get Frodo a costume of a corpse next year,  he was not amused by the screenprinted ribcage on the front *sigh*   That kid is gonna be the death of me with his sensitive side ;)  Then there's Sam.. who was very put out that I did not have vampire teeth complete with bloody dripping from them to complete HIS costue @@.


Ask and ye shall recieve! hehehe   I didn't think too many people would be excited by the old school heroes these days, so I didn't add them to the post.  But here you go!  You'll note Sam looks slightly perplexed.. he had NO idea who these weird men in spandex mum had him pose with were lol.. but he knew they were super heroes so that made it ok!    Man, have costumes come a long way or what?!?!?  Although I must say, these two guys looked fairly confident despite being wrapped in the most unforgiving fabric ever lol.

 Ok ... just couldn't resist sharing my personal moment with Austin Powers hehehe.   They were very entertaining dancing their way along Main Street :D    (you'll note the massive cover over the whole of Main St. there... mega  high skin cancer rates = an immense shade sale industry lol) 

Yesterday we had our home ed group excursion to Movie World on the Gold Coast.  Movie World is the ONLY motion picture oriented theme park int he Southern Hemisphere apparently.   They also film movies,  a couple of the batman movies were filmed there as are many other Warner Brother flicks.    About 100 people, give or take, turned up bright & early for a day of fun and boy was it!  

There was Shrek, and Bugs bunny & friends, Scooby Doo and the whole gang, Batman, old school heroes like the Flash & the Green Lantern.. and even Cat woman was caught lounging in a shady spot (I suppose all that leather would be a tad hot in a nice sun beam ;)  The Harry Potter shop was a huge hit, and Sam & I rode a Batman adventure ride... and HE handled it better than *I* did!  In my defence though, it was one of those 3d movies in a rockin-n-rollin' pod!   Not my forte!!!!  Photos will tell the tale of this day better than words, so here goes!

 Here's the boys & their cousin hangin out with Scooby, Shaggy & Fred.  The guy that played Shaggy did the BEST copy of his voice, it was great!

 For Sam, it was ALL about the BAT!  He got to see the REAL batmobile from the Batman Returns movie and was giddy.  Then he watched adults get flung into the sky on the batshot, Frodo looked mortified.. Sam looked like he was thinking 'where do I sign on for THAT!?!'  lol  Somewhere at that moment, a grey hair sprouted from my head.

 Here's the two boybarians on the mini version of the Batshot, called Sylvesters Pounce &  Bounce.   They LOVED it and did the requisite screams the whole time hehehe.

 And here is Frodo in his first driving experience... don't ask what's up with the hat brim, I have no idea what he was thinking LOL.   They had quite the time bumping each other around the room.

Austin Powers & company danced their way up Main St. at one point, and I managed to get a 'yeah babaaaay' and pose from him for a pic lol.   

All in all it was a great day, and today I'm left with achy knees and legs and am glad it's over.  Wonder how many kilometres we logged walking around that massive place..


Because after MUCH oohing and ahhhing over their new bedroom, and talk of how excellent the bed was itself... I walked into their room around 9pm to discover that Frodo had climbed down from the top bunk and was sleeping soundly next to Sam.    

See, for about 2yrs now they have shared the same twin bed, by choice, despite having a 2nd twin bed in the room as well.   Eventually we gave up on the 2nd bed, and dissassembled it for the extra play space ;)  We even put a queen sized bed in their room at one point, but they didn't like th bigness of it and asked for their old bed back.  lol   

We rather thought that after all the bickering and such after they went to bed, that maybe Frodo was just ready for some 'space' of his own.  I think he is, but as the post title says... old habits die hard!   Ah well.. they are rather cute sprawled across each other :)

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Oh wait, wrong pirate!  Yesterday we made the trip to Ikea and loaded the van up with our handy shopping list from the Ikea site (and we even managed to only leave with 2 items that weren't planned!  major accomplishment really lol)   It was a lovely day out for hubby & I, we stopped off at a shopping centre to hit Border's books, as last time I was there I took a HAHA photo of a couple of books for dh's dad... and he said hey, next time pick me one up and I'll give ya cash! lol  (I'll just say they are rather specialized gardening books and leave it there ;) Scored dh a new pair of work sneakers at a reasonable price,  his were way way past their prime.  And picked up an iced creme brulee at Gloria Jeans,  my favourite coffee haunt, for the road.

Then off to Ikea for lunch & shopping.  Dh has never had their meatballs with cream sauce & lingonberry jam,  he was hooked at first bite.  Seriously tasty lunch and at least as cheap as Maccas' (McDonalds) if not cheaper!   We managed to find everything we were looking for fairly easily... and had a ball going the WRONG WAY through the showroom floor hehehe.  I defy you silly arrows painted upon the floor!  I defy you!!!!  Before heading downstairs to the markethall, I spied  a very nice dining set that I'll becoveting for a long time ;)

It was rather hilarious when we got to the self service area... DH being the master of loading up a vehicle, packed that flatbed trolley like a pro and managed to get 2 desks, one bed, one bookcase a trofast storage shelf and a mattress... all on one trolley LOL.  Steering was a bitch I'm sure ;)

DH spent the night putting the Kura bed together, and I spent the evening drinking vodka cruisers and painting a few cute themed items for the bedroom walls (ok, I shared a cruiser or two with dh.. I didn't drink 'em all!~)  And THIS is the result:



The very cute door sign and pirate treasure map, were painted by yours truly (and are awaiting a coat of varnish as the propellant is gone from the can it appears!).  The uber cool flag on the wall is courtesy of Nan who always finds the coolest stuff.  And how CUTE is that pirate doona (douvet) cover!?!?    

The boys arrived home a bit ago, and they are thrilled.  Sam just informed me 'mum if you need me, I'll be in my bed'  LOL

Now.. to convince dh that flat pack is not the devil so that he'll come build me a REAL desk!

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