This is gonna be a photo heavy post,  (but I'll keep them small) be warned ;)  We met up with the kids Uncles (who are visiting from New Zealand) and MaMa (great grandmother) at the local Botanical Gardens today for a wander around.  Uncle Nigel arrived before us and had maps in hand for the childrens 'Hide & seek trail' and the boys were stoked.   Basically it's a marked trail through part of the gardens with numbered things for children to discover as they walk.  I think there were 17 items in all, sculptures and various neat peices of art, and the boys found them all.  Without further adieu.. pictures!  

Blogger isn't wanting to cooperate with formatting here, so we'll see what comes up where LOL.    Pics are in no real order, as that's where blogger & I did not see eye to eye and I can't strongarm it much!  But they show a (mostly) lovely day. 

The boys got to see a real sundial.. and as the winter solstice was yesterday, it was right on time, showing a perfect 11am to match my phone.   The boys enjoyed hanging out with the uncles, and MaMa (they just dote on her.. up above is a shot of Merry and her, hand in hand, marching up a path :)    The funky fruit bats hanging on the tree,  panda  sculpture and the koala were items the kids had to 'find' on the trail.  I loved it.. the pandas were in the bamboo garden, the koala near the eucalypts etc.  

The first two pics are the kids in the Japanese garden.. they all loved the stepping stones across the water and went on about how 'treacherous' it was hehehe.  

The BEST item in the whole garden (aside from the natural items of course;)  was the Xylophone.  It was near the fern house, and was a fern shaped bench.  It had an assortment of mallets and the boys (and uncles) had a great time making music with it.  It had a lovely, deep sound.. not the obnoxious tinny clang of some.  

The kids have not stopped talking about it and have ticked off all the great things they 'found' during our trek.    It would have been a little bit nicer had Merry not had several meltdowns over not being allowed to run wild *insert eye roll here*  but ah well, such is life I guess??  


The last week has been a long one.  Both Frodo & Sam had the cough a couple of days... then Merry wasn't so well (poor guy was sick on his birthday, that's just UNfair!) Then it happened, as you know it must when everyone else has had it... mum eventually succumbs.  

Not being one to do things by halves, I came down with a whopper of  a case of the flu.  Fever, chills, aches, sinusy stuff... oh yes, I had 'em all.  I'm FINALLY coming round a bit (although I confess that's due to sucking down cold & flu tablets for the last 24hrs) but it's led to a null & void week here pretty much.

Frodo & Merry were content (ok, thrilled) to get to enjoy a week with predominantly media based learning.  Frodo has gotten into TimezAttack, so he's getting a headstart on multiplication (which we'll start in about a month) and he spent a little time on skwirk and the nasa spaceplace website :)  Sam did a few lessons of Reading Eggs, and tried out his cool new file folder game.  It's matching the upper & lower case alphabet and has the added benefit of having small pictures of items that begin with that letter sound.  He quite enjoyed that one.  

Both boys watched a documentary (via computer, if I didn't mention we have a new superfast net plan with 25G worth of downloads....oh it's sheer bliss!) called Voyage to the Planets.  This was episode 3 I think, and it was Uranus & Neptune.  Something about space and small boys, but they are drawn to it like nothing else!  They both sat here in my chair and oooh'd and ahhhh'd over the amazing pictures and the interesting little tidbits of information.  

We had some particularly windy weather, and the winds obviously went fairly high because we got THIS amazing picture (well, amazing for my crappy little camera anyway lol)

  And we ALSO had a real, honest to goodness, FROST!  It was -1C very near where I live just before daybreak yesterday... BRR!!!!  It still warmed up to about 20c though, which is nice.  I was a tad worried about our little potted veggie farm, but being under cover of the veranda seems to have benefitted them and there was no harm done.  Although with Merry AND Sam trying to water... we may need to switch to growing rice???


This week is Merry's birthday, so we had cake & fun with Nana, Grandpa (in the pic helping the dude cut hsi cake), uncles Mike & Nigel along with boring old mum, dad and brothers ;)   Buzz Lightyear featured prominently as you can see.

Last weekend over MY birthday, the grand parents took the kids to the weekend markets by the bay.  The kids played on the giant bouncy castle, and Sam braved the ENORMOUS inflatable slide and had a ball.  There was fossicking around on the beach & rocks and a very up close look at a poor turtle who got hit by a boat propeller :(  Thankfully nobody was incredibly emotional about that for more than a few minutes.

At some point Merry got his pants legs wet and just ditched them altogether.  Here he is doing what boys do best .. getting dirty!

There were also swim lessons... don't the boys look very flash in their pro swim gear? hehehe  They are both doing pretty well... but Sam is definitely our 'sportsman' .. he's going to have an awesome swim stroke!  

There was also the usual at home stuff ... messing around with our veggies, taking care of our ratties, driving mum know how it is.  But now and again, a moment of perfect sweetness like this one...  Watering the garden is Merry's new found love.   Looks like Sam is going to have to share!

It's rather funny.. our tomatos and such are going crazy (I mean CRAZY, this week they are 6 inches taller than the last pics I posted here, easily!) yet the trees that I mark our seasons by as I drink coffee on the veranda?  They have just let go of the last straggler leaves that were hanging on for dear life, despite being yellow and being blown hither & yon by the winds of recent days.   Such is life in Queensland I guess!


It's a particularly dreary looking day out, but I snapped a few pics when I checked my veggie pots to see if I needed to water :) Thought I'd share! A post or two back, there are pics of them from about 2.5wks ago to compare...

My silverbeet are looking glorious... just a couple of weeks ago (scroll down on that link) they were tiny things that couldn't even stand up by themselves!  Now look at 'em go!  You can see my 3 biggest tomato plants behind them (black russians)  They are caged for support as they grow, but earlier in the week there was INSANE wind, so I had to stake them so they didn't lay down like lounge singers.  Basil sneaking into the shot on the right ;)

Lettuce!  These have gone just crazy, we've already cut and eaten some with several meals and they've only been planted for about 2 weeks. They're mixed varities of lettuce's and Asian salad greens.

 More tomatoes!  These guys are cherry tomatoes I believe.   And my very happy spring onions back there :)   DH sprinkled coffee grounds around the tomatoes, as I read that they like them, so we'll see how they go.  We chose these 3 plants as they were lagging a bit behind the others.

 Close up of the silverbeety goodness.   A few more weeks and we'll be making my fave Cheesey baked Chard recipe (that I stole from a fellow blogger, here!)  We don't do ours vegan, so I use regular cheese & milk... and it's to die for.  Quite often DH & I will have that and a roll and call it dinner ;)   You can bet when I put in my garden bed, silverbeet will feature prominently lol

 AND last, but not least... the newest member of the Hobbit household *sigh*.   THIS baby was my birthday present from my darling hubby & his parents... Isn't it beautiful??? lol   It's gotten a fair bit of use and we're getting pretty good at making a nice coffee...Not consuming much instant, except when I was desperate Monday morning and had to race out to meet DH during his van catastrophe!   And boy, it just was NOT the same!