Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple fun

Take one air pump, a plastic bottle 1/3 filled with water, piece of tubing and a cork.  Apply pressure with the pump..

And watch the bottle fly!

Finish off with some 'quiet time' - making Xmas ornaments using styrofoam balls, aluminium foil and ribbon..

Monday, November 28, 2011

Less stressful Xmas

I commented to a friend yesterday that I felt so much more organised for Xmas this year, even though we're hosting it this year - most of my present buying has been done, menu organised.  I'm not feeling stressed (as yet).  I said it was the most organised I'd been in years.

And then I started thinking why.  This time last year, we were organising passports, tickets & itinerary for going to the US in Feb.  Billy had his performances of Wind in the Willows, rehearsals & a cast party.  We went away for a week to Coffs Harbour in Dec (combining a work trip for Pete and a holiday).  We had a homeschool excursion, swimming lessons and art classes.

No wonder this year feels relaxed by comparison!

And yes, I am aware I've probably just jinxed things :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trails, maps and compass work

Our cubs have been busy lately:

brushing up on compass points, setting and following trails using the compass

Map reading- understanding scale, finding locations and reading legends on a map (did you know maps and compass work are part of the NSW maths curriculum?  Handy for us, hey!)

And setting and following trails using bush signs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A day in my life - 13th Nov

It's been a pretty laid-back, relaxing day today.  Just what I needed.

I was woken at 6:30 by Billy chatting via Skype to a gaming friend from England.  Yawn..  I find it almost impossible to go back to sleep once I'm awake, so I got up, fed the cat, and made myself a cup of tea in the hope it would wake my brain up too :)

I drank it while checking emails, Facebook, forums, blogs and doing a few online surveys (I do these for a bit of extra money - I can usually get a couple of hundred dollars over 12 months.  Its not a great hourly rate but I'm on the computer anyway and sometimes they're fun).

I'm feeling pretty sore today - after 4 weeks without any exercise, I refound my motivation this week.  Eased into it with 15 minutes on the Wii on Monday, did the BodyBalance class on Friday (first time in 4 weeks) and then Defendo on Saturday (first time in 5 weeks).  Arms and abs are reminding me that they exist today :)

Breakfast time - I made myself a poached egg on toast. Its my favourite comfort food!

Did my monthly maintenance of the RWA email accounts - part of my duties as webmistress is to go through them each month and clear out any that are getting full.  The hosting doesn't seem to have any nice reporting to make this easier, so I have to go through each of the 70+ addresses individually to check!  It's a bit time-consuming but better than having the addresses bounce if the mailbox is full.

Flicked through the local free paper (nothing startling), and junk mail (looking for Xmas ideas - didn't find any).  Unpacked the dishwasher, and then washed the remaining dishes by hand.

Still waiting for hubby to get out of bed so I could have a shower, so I curled up on the lounge to read a book.  Read for a while, then got up to cut up some fruit for Billy & I for morning tea.  Went back to my book.  Its an interesting read - the story line is quite enjoyable, although some of the writing style isn't to my taste.

Eventually had a shower, then got us all some lunch.  We all watched an episode of "Chuck" while we ate (Chuck vs the Sandworm).  Billy then invited a neighbourhood friend over to play while Pete & I watched a series of the Australian black comedy TV show "Laid".

I was sorely in need of something to wake me up, so I succumbed to a mini can of coke.

I made chicken schnitzel for tea (from scratch),

which we ate while watching Disc 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  Billy had read The Hobbit a few years ago with Pete, but this is the first time we've attempted The Lord of the Rings with him.

And since most of my photos today seem to be of food, I bring you something just as yummy - a gratuitous Viggo Mortensen photo...  :)  *sigh*

Ran Billy's bath, got him to bed then Pete & I watched an episode of Torchwood.  So why not throw in a gratuitous photo of "Captain Jack Harkness" as well :)

My bum is about to wear a groove in the lounge and my eyes are square from so much TV watching, so that will have to do me for tonight!

Hope everyone else had a good day :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Correct me if I'm wrong..

but there appear to be only 6 weeks left until Xmas.  I'm honestly not sure how that happened - every year the days seem to accelerate in about October and the time just flies..

Looking at my calendar, most weekends are filled up until the end of the year already.  The weeks are starting to fill up with end-of-year parties and activities, plus those extras like getting the caravan serviced before we go away on holidays. 

I looked at my list of work yesterday - I have 4 customers that have said they want websites but haven't committed to them yet, one website that's underway plus general maintenance bits and pieces that pop up all the time.  Given that I can only work at most 10 hrs / week, I think I've reached the point where I have to start telling any new queries that I won't be available until January.  Knowing the way things tend to work, at least 3 of those potential customers are likely to suddenly decide they do want me to go ahead - and they want it done by Xmas.  Xmas seems to be this magical deadline that spurs everyone into action around this time every year!

We have two Xmas dinners at our house this year - Pete's family on the Sunday before Xmas, and mine on Xmas Day.  So two menus to be planned, food to be ordered, bought and cooked, a house to be cleaned, yard to be tidied etc. 

I'm actually well underway with Xmas shopping.  I've bought or ordered maybe a third of gifts, and know what I want for some of the others.  I'm really at a loss what to get Billy this year - I have a couple of ideas, but nothing really spectacular.  But then presents to wrap, cards to write...  I don't actually send that many cards anymore - one thing I've pared back.

So what about you?  Do you celebrate Xmas?  How are you going with preparations?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

"Hatching the Past" dinosaur egg & nest exhibition

This morning Billy and I went to the Newcastle Museum to see the new exhibition "Hatching the Past".  It's a collection of dinosaur eggs, reconstructed nests and real dinosaur bones - most of which you could actually touch. 

You could even see gnaw marks on this bone :)

Afterwards we met up with my parents, sister and nieces to celebrate my mum's birthday with prawns for lunch, sitting on the foreshore, watching the myriad of boats coming in and out of the harbour.  It was a tough day :)