Saturday, December 27, 2008

Country Christmas II

At long last the waiting paid off, and, all adults suitably fortified with the caffeine of their choice, presents werre distributed.

Santa is a good listener!

Can anyone guess what the rest of my summer will be spent doing?

And listening to?
The rest of the day was spent eating, laughing, and talking on the phone with the much loved absentees. By telephone we shared Uncle Jason's London Christmas (hard to imagine, way over there in the cold!). Naps were enjoyed by a lucky few. We had a delicious dinner of steak and salads, and the grown ups enjoyed a raucus board game while children fell asleep watchin Christmas movies.
It was a joyful, relaxing little visit, and we are very grateful to our generous country 'lations. Hope those Wii-stiffened muscles stop hurting soon!

Country Christmas

A pleasant drive to my sister in law's new home in the country was the perfect way to start our Christmas celebrations. We all enjoy getting out of the city, and spent the drive spotting baby farm animals.

My in laws are Catholic, and we attended Christmas Eve Mass. The children were invited to join the choir with their country cousins, and had a great time in the choir loft while we enjoyed the service downstairs. I love this beautiful church.

Christmas Day dawned bright and early. Brighter and earlier for some than others. This picture was taken at about 5:30am, when I got up to keep 5 excited children company while they waited for the rest of the family to wake. The sixth child had far more sense, and had to woken by an over excited grandfather who couldn't wait for present time!

Isn't this cubby house fabulous! Although still under construction, it was much admired. A veritable Taj Mahal. We can't wait to see it completed, with window boxes and numerous other exciting features. Good job, Uncle Brian!

Meanwhile, inside the house, children waited ...

... and waited ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O, Christmas Tree!

We are having a downsized Christmas this year. Our plan was to donate our old tree to charity, and purchase a larger one, since the kids are big enough to be trusted not to maul the tree. The first part of the plan worked perfectly, and the old tree was removed from the house. The second part? Not so much.

We discovered on a foray into the Christmas sales, that our taste in trees runs towards the more expensive end of the market. Way beyond our planned budget. So a compromise was reached. As we will not be celebrating at home anyway, we decided to get a live tree, in this case a native pine tree, and keep the decorations small. It's rather pretty with the lights on at night.

We're all crammed into a small hired car at the moment. It's been one issue after another having ours repaired, and at this stage we won't have it back until January 7th. The biggest car we could get was a Corolla. We were not impressed, especially with travelling to spend the holiday with family. At least the insurance policy covers the replacement vehicle.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas, so I am wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season. Take care, and I'll see you all again soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A sweet little apron for a sweet little baker.
I had fun with this project, inspired by embroidered doilies rescued from a St Vincent de Paul op shop. I halved the embroidered piece, hemmed it and created the apron from a template traced from a commercially produced apron. It came up so pretty, I think. I can't wait to give it to its new owner!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

City Excursion

We caught the train into the city. This is what I got when I asked the kids to smile. Not a clue!

After lunch with Daddy we went and admired the Myers window display. Every year they depict another Christmas book. It's always a fascinating display.

We saw the city Christmas tree.

And climbed on the nearby artworks, which reminded me of gifts beneath the tree, or perhaps a bauble knocked down by a curious kitten.

My favourites are these leadlight angels, which look down on you throughout the Queen Street Mall. I am sure at night they are divine. We are going out for dinner in the city in a few days, so I will take my camera back at night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bella demonstrates the vital importance of wearing a seat belt at all times. We often find her sleeping belly-up in bizarre positions. She's a contortionist kitty.
In other news: My data has been rescued, but apparently dh didn't have enough memory to load my enormous amount of data onto his laptop to bring home. He's taking our external drive thingy to work tomorrow to complete the transfer. He's my hero, even though he emailed me the full story during the day, forgetting that I have no email set up yet. Silly him!

I have lost my cookies. This is completely different to losing your marbles. Perhaps losing my marbles would have been preferable. I rely entirely on my smart little laptop remembering all the passwords for me. I am not even sure of my email password. But yesterday my laptop died. Complete with every photo I have ever taken (not backed up, naturally). And my precious little cookies.

Everyone cross your fingers that Darling Computer Genius Husband (who brought home the new-to-me laptop I am using at this moment) can retrieve all my data from the old hard drive and put it on this one. Until then I'll muddle through without my passwords. Sigh.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What have I been doing lately?

December has been its usual rush of activities. I have had little time for blog updates, as well as a few days there where I had no internet at all, through my own clumsiness. I knocked my laptop off the little table it sit on, and it fell straight onto the external modem plugged into the side ( I have a very well loved hand me down computer, no fancy internal modems for me!) It snapped the modem in half, and it took me a few days to get back online. Everything else is fine, and fortunately we had a spare modem, so it was not an expensive mistake.

The Christmas party was a delightful evening. Fantastic dinner and a dessert table laden with delicious little delicacies, including my all time favourite, Creme Caramel, a dessert that brings back memories from a very happy childhood holiday. We stayed the night at the Marriott in the city, and relished the exquisite linen and an actual bath tub. The view of the Brisbane River was pretty good too. We eventually retrieved our children from their ever indulgent grand parents on Sunday. It was a lovely little holiday, just what twe needed to launch into the couple of weeks since then.

We smiled back at the moon, Jupiter and Venus. Blurry picture, because heat has melted the glue in my tripod, so I need to stick it back together.

My cherished frangipani (plumeria for you North American types) finally bloomed after two years and a transplantation to a better spot. It looked good, but the kids picked all the leaves off it one day, sparking a parental explosion of epic proportions. It has recovered slowly, and finally rewarded me for my patience.

We said a fond farewell to Mr Brown, one of the most outstanding, patient teachers I know. Josh is so excited about moving on to school, but I am already feeling quite sad.

I stitched this Victorian Lace Snowflake, designed by Rosewood Manor (JCS 2007) for Christopher's teacher.

And Peace, also by Rosewood Manor (I didn't notice the coincidence until just now!), from JCS 2008 for Samara's teacher. This is the fourth year in a row that I have had a child in her class, and now I hear a rumour that she'll be teaching Samara again next year. She is very pleased with her growing ornament collection. She has more of my ornaments than I do!
Samara won the academic prize for her year level at the school awards night. Auntie Sarah was the designated photographer that night, so no pics just yet. We were all very proud of her effort. Christopher did not win a prize this year, but impressed us enormously with a solo performance at the concert. His confidence is amazing, to stand in front of a crowd and sing so well!
I have so much yet to do before Christmas!