Monday, February 28, 2011

The One About the Hungry Kid, Pumpkin Seeds, a Scarf and Priorities.

It's Monday again.

What happened to the weekend?

What happened to the 48 hours that is meant to be Saturday and Sunday?

This is some of what happened to my weekend,

While hubbie surfed and worked, I went from laundry to kitchen to studies and back again.  There were some lovely moments of the weekend though, including markets and swimming for the boys and. . . .

Anzac biscuits - double batch and lucky for me (apparently) that they taste 'almost like Grandma's anzac biscuits.' *phew!*

Peanut and Cranberry biscuits - double batch.
How else does one keep up with lunchbox fillers for kids?
I am not a fan of packeted, processed, preservative snacks in lunchboxes, so I make my own.  I am not totally daggy though, the boys do get the occasional muesli bar/packet of tiny teddy biscuits, but it's VERY occasional.  
I do know that I will need to top up mid-week with a slice and the scary part is the eldest is still 5 years from being a teenager!

Pumpkin seeds that I popped into the oven after the biscuits were done.  Not sure mine turned out like the ones I get from the health food store.  They were ok.

A moment of ta-daaaa!  Another scarf completed to be donated to our local Cancer Ward. This is from some of the lovely donated yarns from my neighbour that moved recently.  I love these colours together, so feminine, and so soft.  It's all 5 ply yarns and was part of a bundle of odds and ends she gave me.   

Here is a close-up of the colours.  It looks sort of shimmery and also in reality although the yarns themselves are not at all shimmery and I don't even know what brand they are because they are all odds and ends and there are no bands, but gosh, so lovely to work with.

This was completed early hours of the morning after laying in bed not being able to sleep the last few nights.  It's driving me crazy, and each night I lay in bed wide awake, with a billion thoughts rampaging through my head, sleep button, far from turning on in my brain.  11 Units to be completed by 9th December neon light flashing disco light style under my eyelids.

I get up, walk through the house, check on my family, sit out the back under the moonlight, wander back inside and pick up my crochet.  It's rather quite soothing, crocheting while the house sleeps.  Its quite calming to hook and breathe.  Something about working my hands, slows down the racing heartbeat.  It gives me time to think, time to sort out my thoughts into little trays and mark them in order of priority.  It makes me stop and think about the strangers that I will never meet that are going to wear the scarf I make for them, and I wonder how their priorities are so much more simpler but more important than my own jumbled mess.  

That's my problem, priority!  I am stressing and stupidly so, yes, I realise that now, I am sweating the little stuff, and I shouldn't be sweating the little stuff, cause NONE of it matters.  

Seriously, who am I?  I am a MUM!  Number one priority - I am a Mum.  

Everything after that should come second.  It's the reason we moved from Sydney, it's the reason we had a family to begin with.  I stayed home on the weekend while hubbie took the boys down to the beach, I got more work done, however, what has happened to me?  I should be spending that time with my family.  It's the reason we didn't have our family straight away, we both worked, built our home, moved in and saved the money we made so that I could be the stay home Mum.  Sure we could have had kids earlier and sure we could have had more kids, but there is no way I could have been able to be that stay home Mum for them.  

There are ONLY 24 hours in a day, I can't change that and there isn't anyone I can pay that can change that, so I need to sort my priority trays accordingly.

Starting with now. 

When I collect my boys from the bus this afternoon, my books are closed.  I am going to hang out with my children.   I am going to be their Mum instead of some psycho freak look-a-like that has a pencil stuck behind her ear and tells them to play quietly while she writes more crap about first aid, tripping over a mat, hazard policy procedures, and scenario what if's.  (Yes, currently my unit is OH&S, and I am not belittling the importance of OH&S, however, I am putting what is important first on my list.)

Seriously, what's the worst that could happen if I don't complete the course by the 9th December?  
Do my ears fall off?  
Do I grow a monobrow?  (oh hang on, already got me one of those)

*sigh* if you have managed to read to *here*, then thank you.
If you didn't manage to read to *here* then I apologise if you had to gouge out your eyeballs.  I am truly sorry.

Do you sweat the small stuff?  Do you let things get to such a state that you can't see straight, can't sleep at night, can't remember what day it is, and when you lock up the house, go back three times, because you cannot remember if you locked the back door/shut the window/turned the stove off?

Just writing this here now makes everything so much clearer, I use my blog to escape alot of stuff lately, and I didn't even realise I was escaping at all.  

Have a wonderful afternoon with your little ones today.

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today.

Friday, February 25, 2011

b r e a t h e

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, 
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
- Kahlil Gibran -

My prayers and thoughts with our friends in New Zealand.

No stories, no adventures - just a photo - just a breath - just 'be'.

Bless. xx

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Creative Space

I cannot believe it - My Rainbow Crochet Blanket is finished.  
Just in time too - as it's being used today to keep little Minnie warm while he is home feeling *ugg* on the lounge.  

He didn't want to be in any photos, which is a sure sign he really is quite *ugg*, so I asked if I could borrow it for a few quick photos to share.  

I just love it, I just love that I finished it and it's being used right now to snuggle my darling boy.  I love that I can share this with you.  I love that he loves the colours, I love that I have enough yarn left over to do a cushion cover, I love that this room in our house is going to be a rainbow room through all of winter, I love that I am about to curl up with my boy under this very blanket while he gets better and I make notes for my next assignment and prep playgroup craft sessions.  I love that my Grandma, my Nanna, and my Mum took the time to pass on their love of craft to me.  

 To my Mum, my Grandma and my Nanna - thank you.  xx

For more creative spaces, pop on over to kootoyoo.

Thank you so much for stopping by my place today.

Have a wonderful day at your place.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sending Prayers

Again my heart is in my mouth as I watch in horror another natural disaster on the news on tv this afternoon, coming in from Christchurch, New Zealand.  Category 6.3 earthquake, in the middle of the day, Mums and Dads at work, children in classrooms, lunch break for many.

My prayers and thoughts go out to our neighbours.  I cannot believe what I am seeing on tv.  My heart breaks for the devastation I see on the screen.  

'Whats on your Table - Tuesday', is taking a break this week.  I don't feel like talking about something so trivial.  

To all my blog friends in New Zealand, my prayers and thoughts go to you all and your families.


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Weekend in Pictures.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments from last week.  
It's a new week, it's a new chapter.  
Hurrah!  Bring it on - I am ready!!

I have finished unit 3, it is printed and bundled ready to post - goodbye and good riddance unit 3 - I say with a kiss - travel the postal route safely to the hands of the red penned ticking person who is going to do lots of red pen ticking (please!).  

I hope you had a glorious weekend.

I certainly did.  There was lots of washing and cleaning and cooking to prepare for a new week, but then there was lots of family time as well.  Much needed hanging with my boys, it recharges me in the most wonderful way.  

Here are some bits and bobs of time spent with the ones I love the mostest.  

Beach boys. . . . and they both went jetty jumping for the first time, but Joyce didn't have the camera with her (!).  My big boy jumped from the topmost pylon and Minnie jumped from the little platform which at the low tide that it was, would have been from a floor to ceiling sized gap between platform to water.  They jumped over and over again.  Woo hoo!!

My big boy and I finished this book and so hired the movie.
Lots of laughs - two thumbs up!  Can't wait to start on book two.

I love this time with my boy, he is growing up so quickly and to snuggle with him and read each night really is very special to me.  No matter how tired I am, or what chores await me, I make sure I put it all aside to spend this time with him.  The chores are always there, they never grow up, they never change.  

Another completed scarf for our local cancer unit.  I need your help, I have more yarn to make possibly two more of this scarf.  What do you think?  Personally, me, I love it, I want one of my own.  This is 5ply yarn from the stash that was given me by my neighbour the other week.   Your honest thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  If the vote is no, it will be made into granny squares instead, so don't worry there will be no waste.

Yes, I cannot help myself, a new scarf on the hook.  

Sewing alterations for a friend.

Recorder time.  We had fun making music and little Minnie was on the harmonica.

This was our beautiful sky on Saturday night.  So brilliant.

Fresh blueberries from the markets . . . . picked Friday, bought and eaten by us Saturday.
You just don't get stuff like that in the city baby!!

I wish you a wonderful week at your place.
Thanks so much for stopping by my place.

Friday, February 18, 2011

B r e a t h e

Wish I was here.

It's been a bit crap cakes this week, but that's ok, it's Friday today and I am going to pull the plug on the week and say goodbye as it gurgles down the drain.  

Tomorrow begins afresh.

Thanks for stopping by my place today and have a wonderful weekend at your place.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What's On Your Table - Tuesday.

Oops, I almost forgot - it's Tuesday, yes, already, it's Tuesday!  

Here is what is on my table this Tuesday.

It's bright, it's colourful, it's shapely.

I am prepping craft for the Friday playgroup that I help out with.  
It needs to be easy, it needs to be quick, it needs to be something that little fingers can pickup and paste on.  It needs to be something they can take home and stick on the fridge.  

We are doing shape matching this week.  I am about to cut out all those lovely bright shapes for the children, so that come Friday, they just have to choose their shapes to paste onto the matching shapes on the white paper.  

Oh and the choccie cardboard is perfect for drawing up templates to make marking out a breeze.  I know, it would be so much easier to photocopy the pages, however, I am not at the playgroup until Friday and they have other sessions and office happenings going on during the day.   Besides, it has taken me away from my assignment which isn't bright and colourful and shapely and fun and giving my eyes a rest from black print on white paper.  

I love a bit of hands on when I can get it, I love a bit of tracing and cutting to break up the day.  I am making up 12 sets of this activity and I hope I will have enough.    

 So what is on your table this Tuesday?
Do you have any exciting happenings at your place today?

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today, take care of you, and have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Handmade Love

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. 
- Quote from Moulin Rouge - 

We are not into the whole commercial side of celebrations days, however, I did put a lunchbox love note into my three boys containers this morning.  It's not too mushy, they won't be too embarrassed by it, much.  It's just to let them know that I love them.  

Lunchbox love notes are ok aren't they?  
If someone was making my lunch, I would love a little lunchbox love note now and then.  

Click here for more information/history on St. Valentines Day.

Thanks for stopping by my place today.

With handmade love to your and yours on St. Valentines Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

b r e a t h e

Just living is not enough. . . . one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
- Hans Christian Anderson -

No stories, no adventures - just a photo - just a breath - just 'be'.

Bless. xx

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Creative Space

The weather is cooling, I am seeking a change of crafting.
Do you follow the seasons of craft too?

Crochet Rainbow Blanket. . . . progressing ever closer to completion.

My first square from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet blocks.
Shell Lace - block 30.
This square will be sent to SIBOL

 Requested scarf for hubbie completed.  I am so happy with it, so much so that I was wearing it whilst studying this week.  Yes, our temps have dropped just enough that a little warmth around my neck is just right.  

 Pumpkin scones

 oh and a batch in car shapes too, because apparently they taste better when they are car shaped!  

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today.

Pop on over to kootoyoo to see what others are making and add your link to show us what you are making too.  

Have a lovely day at your place.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am really quite without words to explain myself.  

The only way I can explain it is to say, I am feeling 'hugged'.  You know the kind.  One of those Grandma type hugs.  The all encompassing, all surrounding, all warmth, all arms, and heart, and soul, wrapped in Grandma's arms kinda hugs.  I miss my Grandma's hugs, but you have all just given me one of my Grandma's hugs - and it's so very delicious.  

Thank you.  

To add to this, I have something special to share with you today, actually, a few things to share with you today.  (I have found my words again!)

The first is, yesterday afternoon whilst working on my current 'all about Joyce' for my assignment - (struggle street), Zyatica popped over and showed me . . . .
. . . . this (above).  It's Peter Pan on a pendant!  I love it.  
She gifted this to me.  Yes, it's a gift and it's for me.  
Now I have Peter Pan around my neck all the time, telling me 'all it takes is faith and trust.'  Thank you Zyatica, and apologies for blubbering all over you.

 The other bit I would like to share with you is that one of our neighbours moved out a few months ago now, and the last few weeks have been in the process of sorting out their house to rent it out.  Anyways they had a garage sale on the weekend and she knows that I crochet scarves for our local cancer ward, as well as squares for SIBOL and crochet a rainbow.  The above photo is what she GAVE me to use for making scarves and grannies.  !!   She wanted no money in return, she just wanted me to use it for making scarves and grannies.  

Astounded = Joyce.

THEN. . . . yes, there is more, she gave me this above.  
It was started by a very good friend of hers, who lived at the end of our street, who I very briefly met when we first moved into our home, but she not long after passed away.  My neighbour has kept this cross stitch, with the intention that she would finish it in memory of her friend, but has not gotten 'round to doing so.  She asked me if I would like to have it.  I told her I would finish it for her and get it back to her to give to a nursing home or her church, whatever she wished.  She said she would like that very much.  It's the least I can do for her, in a very small exchange for all the wonderful yarn.

This lolly photo is totally unrelated to all of the above, but, I just wanted to share these with you.  I was in town this morning, and passed this little lolly shop and just had to go in.  Oh my gosh, I felt like a kid again.  Choo- choo bar!!  Get outta here!  toffee apple bar!!  Double get outta here, lemon sherbies, too awesome!  I bought some sweeties to share with my kids.  These are lollies from 'when I was a kid'.  

ultra mega rad!!

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today.  

I hope you are having a wonderful day at your place.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's On Your Table - Tuesday.

It's back, it's Tuesday, and it's what is on my table this Tuesday.  
It's riveting, it's astounding, it's zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . . . . 

It's section three of my studies for Teachers Aide, contributing to workgroup activities.  This is fine, however, then it turns into talking about me.  I have to talk about the best product in the world.  Apparently that is me - Joyce.  


Can I just talk about the awesome staff that I work with and how passionate they are about giving these little minds the hunger for learning?  Can I talk about the long hours they all put in, the meetings they have with parents, other staff and support staff to fuel up these little minds and find ways that makes those eyes sparkle and little hands raised to ask and answer questions and want more information?

Can I just talk about the stuff I do with the children and why I love it so much?  Can I just tell them that it's such an honour to sit down with a little one at the beginning of the year, introduce ourselves to each other, have a little chat about their favourite books or hobbies and find books that match their passion?  Can I just talk about how shy most of them usually are that first week, then we see this little personality begin to shine through and their confidence just bloom when they realise THEY CAN DO IT!!  Can I talk about how I feel on the last day of school when I see how grown up they all are, and how much they have achieved since day 1, term 1 - and how proud I am of them and at the same time a little bit of sad, that my little journey with them for the year has come to an end and that they are growing up right before my eyes?

Can I, p-l-e-a-s-eeeeeeeeeee, can I, can I, extra cheesssssseeee pleassssseeeeeeeee?

 hmmmmmmmm. . . .

So, . . . . pumpkin scones, jam and a cuppa for me.  I made 104 pumpkin scones last week and froze little batches of them - yummmmmm delish!
Also, those lp's are not for putting on the player - they are our placemats.  Yup, they are mega easy to wipe over, they are mega cheap, the kids love reading them, and they do the job.  Plus I like stuff that is 'multi-purpose'.  

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today.

Have a wonderful day at your place and tell me, what is on YOUR table this Tuesday?

I would love to know.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Street Party Auction 2011 - Chapter 1


Thank you to Mother Teresa and Peter Pan for their words of encouragement running through my head up to Saturday afternoon, just before our street party.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. - Mother Teresa - 

All it takes is faith and trust. - Peter Pan - 

Chapter One

It was a rather hot and blustery Saturday afternoon just before 4.30pm street party start time.  I had a few neighbours between 4pm and 4.20pm apologise that they were not able to attend and I was out the front looking for a spot of shade for the handful that would hopefully turn up.  I had previously been advised that quite a few of them were unable to attend and some were only able to stop over for 1/2 hour.  

Oh gosh, what do I do?  Do I call it off?  When do we hold it then?  Will I lose my resolve to have it if it's put off?  Will people not be happy with my decision?  Why do I have to make this decision?  We are busy over the next few weeks, I could not see when there was going to be another time to have it other than now.

Hubbie informed me that to have an auction you need to have a decent number of people in attendance.  Yes, thank you, I realise this.  He could see I was stressed and uncertain, he could see that my heart and soul were sold on doing this auction, he could hear my heart smashing inside my chest cavity, he knew that if I didn't have it that day, it wasn't going to happen at all.  He knew that I so desperately wanted to go through with this, he is my realistic boy, he was right, I could hear he was right, it had been a hot day, and now there was this blustery wind which did cool things down alot, however, was very annoyingly rough.  I could see he was right (no one had so much as even stuck their head out the door yet), BUT, my gut, my gut disagreed with everything.  My gut even disagreed with my head, my gut, Mother Teresa and Peter Pan, were all there, and pushed me to push on.  

Then. . . . it happened, one person turned up, then another, we collectively decided on a shaded spot.  I sent them back home to bring chairs, we had a few chairs, but needed more please.  They did, they come back with chairs and drinks, they come back with chairs and drinks and money.  

A table was set up, auction items placed for viewing.

Then we didn't have our MC, we didn't have the person that is good with talking to groups of people to keep track of auction bids and do the 'going once, going twice, SOLD to the gentleman in the blue shirt!' *yikes* who can be that person?  Would anyone like to be that person?  Blank looks, right at me.  *panic* breathe. . . . Mother Teresa is in my head.  "It's up to YOU Joyce, it's up to YOU." she said.  I had the book with all the items listed ready to write down the winning bidders name and their winning bid, I was ready for all the secretarial stuff, you know the stuff I can do, the stuff I am good at doing, the organising, the setting up, the getting items together, the invites, topping up glasses, serving, seating, feeding, and then the cleaning up and putting away.  It's all the secretaries work, it's what I know.

Nothing, . . . . people had to leave soon, they had to go soon, they were being picked up and really did have to leave, we had to start, the children wanted to start too, they were all waiting.  

I did it. . . . I stood behind the little blue table with all the items on it, and flustered and croaked my way through the auction.  I remembered everyones names, I am so shocked that I remembered their names despite my nerves.  I say croaked my way through, because for most of last week (and looks like into this week) I have been fighting a ear/throat thing.  But there is no way I was going to let that stop me.  Ha!  Be gone you pesky family of frogs in my throat, the show must go on!

Some people arrived, some people had to leave, we auctioned on.

Then there was a bit of a lull, I looked around and I saw my neighbours, I saw my friends, I saw our kids laughing and bidding, I saw my hubbie jostling with another neighbour bidding over a bottle of wine, I saw the faces of all these extraordinary people that I am so honoured to be living next to, over the road from, down/up the street from - I took a breath . . . . and I laughed, I relaxed, I become involved, they were having so much fun, I joined the party.  

I wanted to get hubbies little gavel post thumping tool and use it to count 'going once etc', I was wishing I had made a little headband for myself, and little bidding paddles with numbers on them for my neighbours.  I took a mental snapshot of that moment of all of us to keep forever to remind me of each and every single person there that afternoon and just how lucky I am.

It was a success, it was such fun, the bottom line is, and I know you are busting to hear this part, we raised $425.50.  That is four hundred and twenty five dollars and fifty cents raised at our auction from 9 households.    

Thank you to the most awesome neighbours and friends a girl could have.  Thank you for your generosity, thank you for putting up with me, thank you for your friendship and your passion to help others, thank you for your laughs.

Thank you gut, thank you Mother Teresa, thank you Peter Pan.

We then held a meeting of collective intelligence to decide where we wanted our funds to go.  We have decided on a primary school in one of the QLD towns that were affected by the January floods. I apologise that I am not going to put the name of the school on my blog until I have spoken to the school, I do hope you understand this and are not offended by this decision.  

This is the completion of Chapter 1.

Thank you for stopping by my place today, thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your friendship, and if you made it to this end of my post, wow, give yourself a pat on the back.  Thank you.

Always remember - All it takes is faith and trust.  - Peter Pan -

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Street Party Auction 2011

Nervous? - Yes!

Freaked out? - Yes!

Talking myself into going through with it? - Yes!

Wondering if there will only be 3 people there? - Yes!

Telling myself that the glass is half full - Yes!

Making the most of the moment, knowing that this can be a practise run for the next one, and knowing that I am helping our neighbours in QLD? - Yes! 

Do I need a drink? - YES, YES, YES!!!!

*gulp*  There is one hour to go to our street party auction.  
Say a little prayer for me - please.

Some cards to sell for $2.00 each.

The basket of bookmarks and cards all with envelopes and individually wrapped.

Notelet packs of 10 post cards and 10 envelopes.  Hope to sell for $3.00 per packet.

Crochet scarf from a Ravelry pattern, with choccies.

Movie pack, 2 adult movie tickets and munchies.

Various kid packs.

We also have donations of wines, a choccie gift pack, a picnic backpack set and a lovely romantic/pamper gift basket.  Oh and I also have two vouchers for school book covering.  

Well Joyce, there is only one way to find out, and that is to chin up and get out there girl.  

I think I need to read my post from yesterday and breath. . . . . 

Thanks so much for stopping by my place today.  

Have a lovely afternoon at your place.

Friday, February 4, 2011


. . . . breathe  - - - -  in. . . . 

. . . . breathe  - - - -  out. . . .

. . . . lift your shoulders. . . . gently. . roll. . back. . your. . head. . . .

. . . . drop. . your. . shoulders. . . . and. . . .b-r-e-a-t-h-e-. . . . . .

No stories, no adventures - just a photo - just a breath - just 'be'.

Bless. xx

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Creative Space

Stamping and cutting flowers to be made into greeting cards to sell at our street party auction this weekend to raise money for a little school that suffered from recent floods in QLD, Australia.

Pop on over to kootoyoo to check out what others are making today.  

Thanks so much for stopping by my place, take care of you, and have a wonderful day.