Saturday, January 26, 2013

Australia Day 2013

I'm thankful to be an Aussie & proud to say so.. I have lived here all my life & have never travelled outside my state, let alone my country. So although I don't have anything to compare it to, I couldn't imagine calling anywhere else home.

I was watching the Ellen show the other day {as you do} and she was interviewing 'Australian' actor Simon Baker Denny & he was speaking of his home in Australia amongst the fig tree's & the back deck of his home & the bird song etc & I thought to myself, he hit it on the head...His description was so PURE, he wasn't fancying it up & I believe that is what Australia is all about; it has such breathtaking beauty from something so simple.. And it's those things I love the best, the simple things such as beautiful beaches, tall tree's, stunning weather {although not so stunning here today!} the cleanliness of communities & the availability of services to its citizens.

Many a time I have chatted with a good friend in the US whose availability to health care services limited her in getting a scan with her 3rd Child. This is ludicrous to think because here in Australia they will scan every week if need be! And free too! Only 2 days ago I opened a letter from the Government stating that my two eldest were entitled to a free dental voucher up to the value of $165.00. We have so many amazing resources available to us & to be thankful for its no wonder many are envious of our beautiful country.

We had planned on heading to the beach today to celebrate Australia Day in one of our favourite locations but with the rain setting in, staying at home and a quick trip to the local shops seemed far more sensible. The kids were quite dissapointed as in previous years we have gone fishing etc. so they seem to look forward to and expect certain things to happen. But oh well, a wet Australia Day it has been, but surrounded by family it has still been a good one.

I hope you all had a wonderful Australia Day xx

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Hopes For The New School Year

So we're all organised for back to school! The supplies have been purchased, covered & packed. Lunch boxes & drink bottles labelled & uniforms washed, labelled, ironed & hung.. It is with sadness the school holidays draw to a close, I looked forward to them for so long & now they're over, it's just gone way too quick for my liking. I'm not one of these Mums who count down the days till school goes back because I enjoy the freedom of no routine, I enjoy spending time with the kids and it takes 1 million worries off your mind when their close by rather than out in the big wide world. So no, I'm not really looking forward to them going back at all. However, I know they love it.. They thrive on learning and the interaction and they have become bored of the holidays.. 7 weeks to them must feel like forever.

I didn't enjoy the kids school last year, not at all. I didn't like the kids Teachers nor the overall atmosphere of the school or the way it conducted many of its program's & events. I bit my lip through assemblies where I felt like bursting into laughter or yelling back at the Principal at times out of the sheer frustration of how useless I felt the school had become. I gritted my teeth when I paid the fee's each term as I felt it was money better spent elsewhere.. But we will still be returning.. Why? Because my kids love it & I wonder if I missed something?

So it is my hope that this year I can find some joy in the school. Staff left in droves at the end of last year & I wonder if this will freshen things up? I hope that I will love my kids Teacher's this year & that they will seem excited to be there {the Teacher's that is} I hope we as parents will be made to feel comfortable within the school as I felt far from welcome last year. I hope that the School has tweaked their motivation, behaviour & rewards program so that it will be more inclusive of the whole school population & that kids who do the right thing all the time won't be ignored as I felt they were last year. And at the same time I hope those kids who struggle to achieve & do the right thing are given the opportunity to shine. I'm going back this year with an open mind but have decided if I am still not happy by the end of this year I will change schools. I'm not looking forward to that so I hope my faith is restored in the school during 2013. These are my hopes for the kids this year;

I hope that Mr 12 has a smooth transition into high school & that he makes new friends quickly, that he stays safe in his new found independence & makes the most of his new Highshool despite not wanting to go there. I hope that others are kind to him & that he works hard to achieve. I hope that he is able to find himself this year & make the most of every opportunity that arises.

I hope that Miss 12 enjoys year 7 and the leadership that comes with being the highest grade in the school. I hope we are able to find some peace with her ADHD this year & find a happy balance for her medication & an end to the tumultuous behaviour that seems to have emerged of late. I hope that she can tell the truth & that she regains the trust and respect of her peers. I hope her Teacher is firm but fair & that she finds her work easier to understand than in the previous year. No one likes to see their child struggle and success would be fantastic for her self esteem. I hope that she finds a hobby she loves and that she takes many happy memories away from her last year at Primary School.

I hope that Mr 9 starts to mature this year & that he loses the 'class clown' facade that he puts on. The sooner he realises he is worth far more than everyone laughing at his expense the better. He has friends that are no good for him, yet he plays with them despite knowing they are bad news. I hope in 2013 he has the courage to break out of his comfort zone and find new friends. I hope he experiences many great things & enjoys his first school camp later year.

I hope that Mr 7 continues to grow in confidence & that he continues to try new things. In the past, shy and unsure he has been unwilling to 'have a go' and easily embarrasses when trialling new things. I'd love for him to feel courageous in all that he does. I hope the Teacher's don't continue to 'tar' him with the same brush as my Step kids as each is an individual & should be treated as such. Thankfully the teacher he has this year hasn't taught any of my Stepchildren so he may be on a fairer wicket. I hope he stays connected with his friends even though they have been dispersed throughout different classes & I hope the emotional roller coaster he has been riding of late (school holiday boredom I hope?) will soon come to an end & he will feel excited to be going back to school once more.

On the whole I hope that their school year is fun, exciting & filled with many memories that will last them a lifetime. I hope they are eager to go to school each day & have a look of contentment & inspired awe when I collect them each afternoon. I hope they get every opportunity to learn, share, express themselves & succeed. I wish them a fantastic year of school in 2013 because school is meant to be exciting & memorable for all the right reasons.
Linking up with Jess @

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 23rd January 2013

My day... Making the most of the last week of school holidays & buying some good tunes :) (to make it through the last week of school holidays!)

A Day In The Big Smoke

Art Gallery Exhibit: Family Portrait from Kazakhstan 

At least once during each school holidays I love to take the kids {and myself} into the City. The kids get a kick out of the Museum, Art Gallery/ies & State Library and its fantastic as they can always be relied upon for a great, cost effective day out!

I packed morning tea (choc chip hot cross buns & fruit) but was disappointed to find I'd left my cooler bag behind when we got there ~ so Subway it was! I love Subway because with 4 kids to feed (Mr 1 isn't keen on subs yet) I buy 2 foot longs & give them 1/2 each, it works out to be a lot cheaper than buying 4 x 6" subs (which I used to do till I had my light bulb moment!)
He's not too scary.. he's {was} a plant eater. 

We went to the Museum first & checked out the Dinosaurs, the boys loved the big displays of prehistoric Dino bones & even Mr 1 roared every time I mentioned the word 'dino' {so cute}. 

Checking out the QLD exhibit at the Queensland Museum 
The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is my favourite place of all three as there are always so many exciting kids activities & stunning artworks to view. The kids got a 'family portrait' taken as if they were a tourist, made masks, animation & viewed many fabulous art works from the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial Collection they have on display at the moment until 14th April ~ we were in there a long time before finishing off at the State Library where the kids sniffed out a games area 'Garage Gamer' where they played Fruit Ninja on the big screen & hunted down iPads & technology to feed their addictions.. Meanwhile Mr 1 & I played blocks supposedly making our ultimate Gaming Universe.. Or towers to knock down so it seemed :)

Art work at GOMA

Mr 12's idea of a Masterpiece
The other's made these at the Blue/Yellow exhibit

Mr 1 was having a great time playing blocks!
After all that kid stuff it was time to hike into the city and check out MYER.. My shop was short lived though as it was a long walk back to the car, so we fuelled up with some Gelati from Gelatissimo before heading back. Mr 12 suggested catching buses, taxi's, bike taxi's & crawling (anything but walking) what is the matter with kids legs these days???

And I ask once again.. what is the matter with kids legs these days????

What a loooong but great day.. It was nice to get out there amongst culture, education and all things not iPod, iPad or Wii! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meal Planning Monday W/E Sunday 27th January 2013

I can't believe we are down to the last week of school holidays! Iv loved having the kids at home but after 6 weeks off I can tell they need to go back badly!!! I'm a bit bummed though because tonight I started them back on 'school routine bedtimes' and Hubby returns to work tomorrow after 2 weeks off. It's been nice having an extra pair of hands around during the day.. I can feel a stressful day coming on tomorrow! But oh we'll, here is my Meal Plan for this week. Keeping in mind some easy going meals for the last week of the hols!

Monday: Oven cooked Salmon & Vegetable bake with Rice

Tuesday: Beef Burgers with salad.

Wednesday: Chilli Con Carne with Rice

Thursday: Spaghetti Bolognaise
Friday: Grilled Fish with Salad
Saturday: AUSTRALIA DAY BBQ -- Lamb & Snags on the Barbie! :P
Sunday: Roast of the week with vegetables

Bake List:
Vanilla Muffins
Chocolate Cake
Vegemite & Cheese Scrolls (back to school)
Savoury Muffins (back to school)