Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quick Summary


Leaving the reindeer food out on the back garden wall... so they wouldn't miss it.

Oh I really do have to get away from this computer and tackle my disasterous in-tray before the end of the year. It HAS to be empty for New Years Day... has to. It's just that there is still so much happening here in blogland that I find that my holiday 'chill out time' involves sitting on my front porch, in the rain, coffee in hand, computer in lap.... catching up with everyone else's Christmas...es! Pure bliss.... well for me anyway! Here's how our Christmas panned out:


Santa came, used the special Santa key to get in, took a few bites and left 'the lads' a letter noting their academic achievements and good behaviour.


All presents were loved ' til breaking point.
 
Tree was packed up yesterday - had to do it, it has been up for months!... I needed to do it before my in-tray.

Believe it or not, we have a waterline tile 8 mosaics deep. We will have to let all that beautiful water out into the stormwater drains. Our tanks are full. You'd think in this day and age, there would be a storm water reticulation system here in drought ridden Queensland .....but no....fodder for another post with a political slant!
PS I have a beautiful mirror ,for 'the pool shack' wall, arriving in the New Year.

.........and it has been raining since before Christmas.


I think they're gorgeous... but I think a house at frame stage is gorgeous too!
 Oh, side track... look, we replaced all the scrappy little stones in the drainage channels, around the pool, with some bigger, smoother, nicer ones. They are gorgeous grey river stones that give off a slight tinge of green when wet. It was all hands on deck yesterday, in the pouring rain, digging out the old stones, in the channels. They run right around the edges of the pool area and along under the pool fence near the terrace. Even big boy helped..... for 2 hours... in the rain. Oh how we laughed.... we looked like drowned rats... wet clothes, wet hats.... it was fun!


Now I am off to clear out my in-tray in readiness for the New Year. Enough of this blog stuff, concentrate A-M. I will see you in the New Year. Have a great New Years Eve!
A-M xx

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Holiday Rules


  Tantrum corner - starting in the upper left corner

New rules for playing 'Upwords' with a 7 year old, who insists that he knows more than both his parent's graduate and post graduate degrees put together. Create a corner on the board just for him. You could call it 'The Tantrum Corner', just like we do. Allow 'tantruming 7 year old' to create all his words (that don't fit in with your words) just in that corner....the words that he insists fit in with all the other words that you have successfully created (that surprisingly happen to be totally WRONG in his eyes). Remaining non tantruming parties carry on playing according to the official rules until it is time to tally the scores. Tantruming 7 year old always wins the first round..... unless one has had a few wines and is in the mood for some melodramatic theatrical entertainment.
A-M xx


Ah yes, don't be fooled by the happy faces. It got messy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Just Had To Share


Click to enlarge.

Whilst still in the Christmas spirit, I just had to share this one. I knew you would love it.
Yep, all I'm good for is washing, cleaning and not being fat! ...he was under strict instructions from Daddy to write from the heart... and of course it went straight into the envelope, no 'love from' and no checking by Daddy. I laughed til I cried. Happy holidays!
A-M xx

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Over And Out


Image Courtesy Martha

This here 'House' is signing off for the year.... to take a break from the bloggy blog and to get ORGANISED for Christmas. Thank you all for your love and friendship. Have a wonderful Christmas.
See you in the New Year!
Your friend,
A-M xx

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Nook


Who's up for a Friday Nook?.. as I think Monday will be out of the question in the big lead up next week. My Mum turns 70 on Christmas Day so I am having a Christmas brunch here for the family...for those who actually want to get out of bed for the occasion. Yes, we've already had some complaints logged... too early..... too hot. Yes, the family dynamics have already started.... ahh Christmas... don't ya love it. Just keep smilin', just keep smilin'. Can I hide out here perhaps?

Well I am spending the day with my Mum today. We're going to have a morning tea out somewhere and then trawl some antique shops. The weekend? ... just more dirt shuffling! Thank you all for your truly lovely comments this week. I plan to put in a big 'visit bloggy friends session' early tomorrow morning, on my front porch with coffee in hand. See you then!
A-M xx

Monday, December 14, 2009

A 'D' In Maths



Hang on a minute!.... a 50 x 50 x 50cm  pot is not half a cubic metre ... it's one eighth of a cubic metre. If only hubby had asked me (I'm the one attempting the maths at present) before he ordered all that dirt! We now have a ridiculously enormous pile of dirt at our front gate (which never seemed to get smaller the more we dug), waiting to greet our visitors on Christmas Day. Half of it will end up in my house for sure! Our neighbour thinks we are the best - free topsoil. The rest?..... 400 trips with a bucket up 24 steps on Boxing Day, to topdress the top lawn. Aren't we a learned pair... can't even work out cubic metres.... some scientists! See kids, do your Maths.. it does come in handy when you are a grown-up. LOVE learning from mistakes!... and I can't lift my arms!... or move my neck!
Happy Monday!
A-M xx

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend Warriors


That tragic old fence will be covered by lovely Lilly Pillys - soon!


Remember the pots? All 900 kg of them? Well we have 10 cubic metres of soil/mix arriving this morning and the plants arrive on Monday. It's going to be a long hot day. Lots of steps and fights over the wheelbarrow.
Got to remind myself that we have come a long way from this:


Front yard where raised courtyard is now


And this:


Oh look there's 'Lloydy' in the corner. Hey Lloydy, we LOVE our pool, you champion. Can you pop in and teach hubby a thing or two about 'backwashing' though? He makes a terrible mess of the pool when he does it.... we're talking 'mud' gushing out of pipes.

Whatever you are up to this weekend, have a lovely one my friends.... even if it is shovelling dirt. Yes, shovelling dirt can be lovely.... just got to keep one's eye on the end result. Hubby and I have booked a babysitter tonight so we can have a nice meal out..... as a reward for our scars! A-M xx

Friday, December 11, 2009

eBay Love


Answer to emails re my cushions! I have purchased a lot of my vintage style toile cushions from the lovely Pamela on eBay. She makes beautiful cushions from decorator fabrics. They are exquisitely made with the most gorgeous tassels and embellishments and they are so reasonably priced. Visit her store: 'My Cushion Covers' HERE.

These come in a set of 4. Photo does not do them justice. They are divine. Pamela has a set in her store at present. A perfect Christmas pressie! Oh and she wraps them so beautifully too!


A bit blurry sorry, so not a photographer. Similar ones can be found in Pamela's store. Oh the Pom Poms are gorgeous on these!


Have a great day!
A-M xx

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Every Moment Matters


 For those who have asked, the little trees at our front door have lights in them... see the cord ceremoniously dumped any which way, when the plant was moved back after the deck 'rejuvenation'. You don't notice messy things until the photo has been taken. I had another version of this photo but there was a SOCCER BALL under the bench in the hall. Ahhh, real life! Oh I just noticed... it's still there! Ha!


Thank you for all your lovely comments yesterday. Hubby and I were contemplating the universe yesterday evening, watching the sun set on our front porch and we both agreed that, while living in this lovely place, neither of us take one moment for granted. We listed off the things we cherish in this place - the sound of the boys running down the stairs, the gorgeous afternoon light creating a glow in the Great Room, the cool breeze that finds it's way from front to back, the way our boys perch themselves at the kitchen bench to chat while we cook dinner, the shade over the pool at just the right times of the day, our neighbours beautiful trees that frame our entire back yard, the "I love my room" comments from the boys as we rub their backs at bedtime. I catch my breath every time I drive into the driveway... so thank you for seeing what I see and enjoying this journey with me. Life can turn on a dime so we cherish while we can. Every moment matters.




Today - our tree - a collection of precious memories of our life together since our boys arrived! Hubby and I put the frame up and the boys decorate it while we sit and sip G&T's! Of course hubby has to do some heavy lifting (children) so that the top gets it's fair share of pretties.We add to it each year, just one or two special little decorations, chosen or made by the boys. Every little decoration represents a milestone, a kindy/school project, a special moment shared in our little family. We have some rather scarey artwork, decaying baked creations, old glitterless glittery thingys and photographs in frames. Enjoy!


Yes - decorated by 2 small boys - throw it anywhere son, throw it anywhere it fits! 


Oh yes, the fish is a newbie. It trumps the winged thing behind it. Don't you love the 'chuck it anywhere' aesthetic. Priceless - wouldn't have it any other way! Pretty good for someone who is addicted to symmetry!




Oh yes, the angel is a keeper!

Have a great day and thanks for visiting. Your comments just make my day....every day!
A-M xx

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Nook


The perfect spot for my little Ebay cushions

This Monday's Nook is my hall. I finally got everything off the floor and up on the walls, thanks to the guys at 'The Art Of Hanging'.

As soon as the spirit level and tape measure came out, I knew I was going to be witnessing 'poetry in motion'. Oh, professionals... I love 'em! I sat on the steps in my hall, watching them work, chewing their ears off.... adult conversation was needed in my camp as I had just spent the first morning, of the school holidays, refereeing trivial paediatric altercations (my boys even had a scuffle while they were here... something about someone blowing someone else's 'card house' down).


 I have 2 gorgeous skinny high lamps coming for the hall stand, ah la 'Karnas Hus style'

Anyway Andrew, from The Art Of Hanging' was full of wonderful advice. It was great to have another pair of eyes look over my place.


All I need now is a nice black and white mat for my framed violin music... one can't rush these things.


 
Oh yes, we got everything off the floor, even my old violins, that now take pride of place on the wall in the Great Room.
Have a great week!
A-M xx

Friday, December 4, 2009

School's Out!




What a week it has been! I set myself a goal and achieved it!.... to attend every concert, break up and function that the boys had on. Phew, it's a full time job being a Mum!


Guitar Ensemble played the most gorgeous rendition of Green Day's 'Time Of Your Life'

 
 The Year One/Two Singers sang 'Cat Goes Fiddle I Fee'. 
Got so involved singing the parents chorus, I forgot to take a photo of him singing!


 
My 'Little Wise Man' sang up a storm in the Christmas Pagent
 
A quick cool off before Speech Night

 
We invited our friend over to share the joy - yep that's a (washable!) hat floating in the foreground.









 
 A bit of a 'scrub up' for Speech Night
 
 Receiving our award from the Headmaster of the 'Big School', where we're heading next year
 
 Proud as punch
 

 
 Essential stock up on goodies on the way home!

2009 - what a great year. We are so grateful for the opportunites our boys have been exposed to at their wonderful school. We never take it for granted and cherish every moment of their school lives.

Now I am going to pour myself a coffee, pack the lunch boxes and uniforms away for the year, and enjoy the sound of laughter (and fighting) in our house, for the next 8 weeks!
A-M xx

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Stuff


Not the most exciting photo but you get the picture. 

My new Great Room rug! Goodbye echos! Very proud of this choice. Hubby and I did this one together... umming and ahhing in the showroom much to the amusement of all within earshot. The black and gold border goes beautifully with all the black touches in the room (piano, music drawers) and the gold... well now I have something that brings out the gold in my little Etsy owls and my new Chinesey (is that a word?) lamp!

Last day of school today.... we have the little one's Christmas Pagent and Speech Night tonight. I have promised the boys that they are allowed to jump in the pool this afternoon in their school uniforms (minus belts and shoes of course).... they are more excited about that than anything! Boys!.. they're so basic! I love it! Will share some photos with you tomorrow.
Have a great day!
A-M xx

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Magic Moment


The only photo I took, I became too engrossed in the performances!

You know those moments in your parenting that will be indelibly etched in your 'treasured parenting memories part of the brain' for years to come? I had one yesterday at my boys little piano concert.

Now my little one, about 4 weeks ago, decided that he could not bare waiting one more second to start piano lessons, so we agreed that he could 'hijack' big brother's last 3 piano lessons of the year. Mrs P (piano teacher) sadly did not have any time slots left for 'new students' at this time of the year. Over the past few weeks, Little One has attacked his new instrument with gusto (twice daily) and has been furiously practising his one note pieces, accompanied by the groovy CD backing tracks. He happily volunteered to take part in Mrs P's student's piano concert at her home yesterday. Fearless!

19 little piano students all sat patiently waiting their turn to perform yesterday while their proud parents and grandparents looked on and applauded raucously (I was the raucous one.... I know what it is like to perform and receive one feeble clap at the end of a performance - aka my bushband at bushdances where everyone is too busy talking to have noticed the best version of Lucky Star's 'I've Been Everywhere Man' you'll ever hear in your life).

My Big Boy got up and performed the best rendition of 'Inspector Gadget' you'll ever hear from an 11 year old. Big statement... but I am his Mother! Not one mistake (despite the mistakes and 'almost tears' in practice earlier in the day). He did a dramatic bow at the end of it... the relief beaming from his face. Little One was introduced as Mrs P's newest student. The hijacked music lessons were mentioned and it was announced that he would be playing 3 pieces,' Rock on C', ' Groove on D' and 'Reggae on E' (the same piece. different notes)... he played and counted out loud and clapped the rests to perfection and then sat, on completion of his performance, with his back to the audience during the clapping and after! He didn't move! Mrs P announced that there could not possibly be 'an encore' as they were all the pieces he had been taught! He didn't move for ages, just sat with his back to us just soaking in the attention. I have never laughed so much in my life... and I was bursting with love for both my boys. When asked later why he didn't move, Little One said, "I just loved to hear everyone clapping for me, Mum. They clapped the loudest for me". Fearless!
A-M xx

Friday, November 27, 2009

Growing Up



First day of  Primary School - now for high school!

Ahhh, Friday already. Next week is the last week of school for the year, with a Piano Concert, Guitar Ensemble Concert, Christmas Pagent, Speech Night and break up parties all in the one week. My boys are exhausted. With one of their school motto's being 'Finish Hard', they are being pushed hard, right to the end. Big one got some great news this week, receiving the highest grade for his Trinity College Guitar Exam, and little one FINALLY received an 'Award Card' for 'always doing neat and tidy work' (he's been sweatin' on that one all year). We're off to the 'Middle School' orientation day tomorrow .... my big boy starts high school next year.... . it seems like just yesterday we spent our days in the park, feeding the ducks and swinging on the swings.


 
In the blink of an eye!
Have a great weekend!
A-M xx

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Perfect Porch


Well yes, it is possible to have a 'before and after' scenario in a new house! This was our NEW front porch deck, the finished product, handed over to us 6 months ago. Click on the photos to see real tragedy.


Yes the blue defect stickers have been there for 6 months, greeting every visitor to our front door. Great conversation starter!....especially the numbers that were just painted over. "What's with the number 24?", they would ask!




This is my deck today...... after six months of unanswered emails, Master Painter Reports and WHINGING. I've been such a high maintenance customer... expecting a new house!

 
We had our coffee out on the front porch this morning just marvelling over how beautiful the decking is now. You don't realise how really bad something was until you see the good version. For the record, builder, - I'm happy!



Excuse the 'bed hair' and 'bed attire'

... and then all was right with the world and a rainbow formed.... and at the end of it??... my perfect deck! Ha! Can you believe that!
Have a great day!
A-M xx