The twins have been at me since their birthday to go for a bike ride and for whatever reason, that hasn't happened. Today Xandy had a play date so it was the perfect opportunity.
We set off on the local bike path - slightly unprepared for our ride (no water!!) and went the opposite way I had expected they'd choose. They are getting really good on their bikes and I had to ride at speed which is nice to do. The only issue is that Benji rides flat out and Spencer enjoys the scenery. I am in the middle yelling at one to slow down and one to speed up - with probably all of us getting the directions mixed up. There were moments of bliss where we all rode together.
We rode further and longer than any of us had expected as we were on the hunt for water. We turned around when we eventually found a drinking tap in a playground. On the way back we stopped at Hungry Jacks for an ice cream as a 2 hour ride in the heat is enough to give anyone an appetite.
What I think surprised me the most was how much fun I had. The boys are real characters and getting out in the fresh air and only concentrating on them and enjoying the surrounds is something I haven't done enough of. I was able to slow down (or speed up - now even I'm confused) and enjoy the moment - and that in itself is a step in the right direction.
Sorry to bore you with our chairs yet again - but it is taking up all our time so what else have I got to blog about.
Here are the stools at Freedom. The nudle stool is $139 for a pack of 2.
The other ones come flatpacked too so we wouldn't have saved on this particular bit of labour, and I think they look fairly similar - with about a $50/chair price difference.
I have chosen the colours -we are having three different colours and the big squirrel has completed a first coat. Not surprisingly I encouraged him to do this alone. Top coat is far more important than an undercoat. They are looking good but I will keep that til the big reveal.
The Freedom Table (230 x 75) $799- we got a big old pine one from StVinnies for $100 (or should I say the big squirrel did who was doing work there and seem to be getting paid in kind. So much for my decluttering!!) He is going to cut the table down so that it is slimmer (the store one was 75 wide) and ours is about 180cm long so not nearly as long as the shop but again that suits me.
I will be quiet on this front until the grand reveal.....
I had seen a table and stools at Freedom which I thought would be fabulous for our kitchen dining area. With the hefty pricetag and the simple structure of the stools I thought we could do it ourselves much cheaper.With the big squirrel being a carpenter I thought the stools would be something from trade school and he could make these with the boys - for Christmas. Well apparently they are harder than they look and buying that much timber would be expensive and etc etc. So I went off and found the stools flatpacked at Ikea for $20 each. I got six plus 2 step stools which were a little higher and would be great for the boys now and later would be step stools as designed.
All the stools were unwrapped today and we did all get to have a go. Somewhat enthusiastically everyone started to paint the chairs in undercoat - but the number of helpers reduced as time passed, which probably helped the quality of the output.
One by one we all stopped until only the big squirrel was left to finish (& fix) the paint job.
I do have failures - more often than not these occur in the kitchen. My severe lack of both planning and patience is usually the cause.
This was meant to be a gingerbread christmas sleigh complete with reindeers. I made the gingerbread as per the recipe on the cutter box. Seems I didn't cook it long enough and even with killer strength royal icing, there was no saving these walls. They were stuffed full of paper and held up on the outside with boxes but there was nothing that could be done. It also didn't help that I did it Christmas morning in between present opening and heading to lunch at mums. I couldn't get this thing together on my bench there was no chance of transporting it!!
On the positive side, I did cut some gingerbread men and the kids had fun decorating these up. They too were a little soft but fun was had and that was the objective.
Alexander got a book for Christmas - Show Off - a pictorial guide of how to do everything. Of course he has big plans to work through this book and was trying to make a big dent in it on the day after christmas.Fortune cookies was the request and they actually were pretty easy. I did overcook them a little and then not move quickly enough in the folding process, but the instructions were clear and we got one good cookie. They still tasted good and Alexander had written all the fortunes so they were all good!
Only today - with school over and my antibiotics kicking in, do I feel we can get into the christmas spirit - and we did in a big way today.
First was a visit to a friends house where the kids played happily and I remade the skirt that I had gifted which was too big - now it is perfect. We enjoyed lunch and munched on strawberry Santa hats.
When we got home, Phartie visited to exchange gifts and join us for a gourmet dinner (Takeaway fish and chips!) Still his company was enjoyed and we sat outside in the warm summer evening. Alexander got his 'ripstick' which was his christmas request. This should come with one or two free hospital visits! I think santa will bring the required protective gear!!
Archie celebrated his 5th birthday today at Kew Traffic School - yes thats the back of his gorgeous little head and the only picture I got of him. In fact it was difficult to get a picture of anyone as they were all off on their bikes, riding like the wind.
My boys had a marvellous time - this is the first time their new bikes have been out on the open road and they loved it.Even after a morning of hectic shopping, they rarely stopped - even for food!What amazed me more than anything was their obedience to the road rules. I didn't think any of that had got in - but I saw them a few times stop at the lights and wait for them to go green before hooning off! They will sleep well tonight - thanks Nay for a lovely day!
Alexander has had a great year at school this year - a really great year. He gelled with his teacher and she really gave him every opportunity to learn and to thrive. She set high expectations and he happily met them. He wanted to give her something special for christmas and I was more than happy to oblige. We decided on a bag and a top as she is a bit of a hip young thing.
This is my standard bag pattern and I find it really good for carting books around so she got one of these. The fabric is Amy Butler and it is a coated cotton so I didn't put the usual plastic outer. I did however line it with a backed curtain fabric to give it a bit of extra strength and stability. We got the fabric from Fabric.com and were amazed at the speed of delivery. Then we also made her this top. This is my new favorite top as it is casual and dressy but most importantly feels really nice on. The front panel is silk from Darn Cheap and the back is a mid weight knit. I was really happy with the outcome as it is so her. We gave them to her today and firstly she was a little taken aback because it was so much - but I tried to explain that we made them - as this was some reason for there being so much but she didn't get it. She looked like she really did love the top - we had been taking note of her clothes and what she liked and wore. She was touched that both gifts had so much thought and that is really the point.
(Editied to add: Next day she wore the top! According to Alexander she LOVES it and wants me to go into production because all her friends would love them. Frankly the fact that she wore it is more than validation for us!!) The machine has been on overdrive of late - these are purses for the knitting girls. Our christmas dinner is tonight and a little something for each of them. Each has their own special message which I hope is relevant to them for the coming year.
Rachael was the boys teacher . Jan was the assistant who is leaving after 16 years at the kinder. Oh I was a bit slack on the picture front. Each teacher got two gifts one bigger and one littler in a denim drawstring bag with applique triangle tree on the front. (As per usual they always seem more entertained by the packaging than the gift ) Anyway I did manage a picture of the teacher gift - this skirt and necklace.
The skirt is from a remnant piece from the now defunct Frou Frou. You know when you see something that is just right well this was it. Spencer helped me choose it. Then I went to my present cupboard to get a necklace for Jan and I expected it to be yellow. Out came this green one, that I could remember buying but it wasn't what I thought I had. Low and behold it matched the skirt fabric perfectly. I couldn't have done any better if I had it with me. Fate told me this was to be and Jan got a scarf and I found a fabulous little Alice in Wonderland brooch which was perfect for the brooch loving Alice fan. Rachael loved the skirt and the fact that it was handmade. She told me in an email later that not only was it a perfect fit, but that she was wearing it that afternoon. She had literally whipped off her existing skirt and pared it with the red tshirt she had on and rocket it that afternoon. Shame I sulked out and didn't see!!
Where have my babies gone? Here they are on their last day of kinder. It seems only yesterday I was packing them off to start it. In fact I dressed them in the same tops to celebrateThey have grown so much over this past year - both physically but also maturity. Their teachers put together a lovely book which has their first day of kinder photo. Thanks to pinterest I managed to have the picture with the first and last day together. Almost different kids. This is the very last time they were kinder kids... so happy and ready to take on the world. I however was not. I had my big glasses on and did the quickest kinder exit ever. It was also my last time at kinder - a place which has been my life for the last 5 years is no more. I don't do well at goodbyes so for me it was a quick see-ya and I was outta there. Such a big sook!
I was officially too sick to go to the party of the year - I even went to the Dr for the second time in a week! On top of that I had a serious attack of mother guilt and that in being sick so close to christmas the boys were missing out. (I didn't say I was feeling rational)
So I dragged myself off the couch in small bursts to do some cooking - yes something easy with a cast of three. The boys rushed to put on their new aprons that they had made at kinder: And got straight into it. I have done this before and know to make double quantity so both of them have something in their bowl. Just seems to work easier like that. Then we all had some basic biscuit dough to roll out and cut out the holes and filled with the crushed lollies. I think my favourite bit was crushing those lollies with the hammer. The end result was some very pretty cookies. I have put them in plastic bags and they look lovely.