Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Santa Collection

My mother has a gorgeous collection of Santa's that she brings out each year at Christmas. Most of them are kind of expensive, and all are absolutely gorgeous. A couple of years ago I decided that one day I would like to have a Santa collection too, so I started collecting.

My first was a Heartwood Creek Naughty/Nice Santa, which I love so much, and it actually has some of my kids names on the lists that Santa is holding, and there was enough room to add the rest. Then my best friend gave me another Santa another year. Then each year another has been added to my collection. Some are inexpensive, and some not. This year I added another Heartwood Creek Santa with Woodland animals.

I hope to continue this tradition, and to have a note of where each Santa came from, and hopefully my kids will like the idea enough that they will be happy to give my Santa's a home one day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

to P or not to P

Perfectionist = a person who is displeased by anything that does not meet very high standards
Procrastination = the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or deferring an action to a later time 

In reality I am not a true perfectionist - and that is something I have been working on for quite some time ;) but when it comes to anything photographic, scrappy or paper crafty my perfectionist nature rears its ugly head. It seems that because people know I love to take photos and scrapbook I feel that they expect something really WOW from me when it comes to things like, ummm, say.... Christmas Cards.

That means I put stupid pressure on myself to design and create something fantastic, which leads me to the second word Procrastination, because I seriously doubt my ability to produce said fantastic production, I put off getting started on it, and put it off, and put it off until.... oh dear its Christmas Eve and I still have not sent any Christmas Cards! eeek

Last year I only posted five cards, and that was because everyone else on my list had an email address, so I could email a .jpg of my card to them on Christmas Eve and they would still receive it before Christmas. I am afraid the posted ones probably arrived a day or two after New Years. I took the annual photo of the kids early enough, I even wrote the annual letter in plenty of time. I them ummed and aahed over the design, then decided it was all too hard, and put it off for another day, and another, and another. Of course then I had to go with something that I was way less than happy with, because I had run out of time.

Stupid huh?

So this year I am changing tactics. I have downloaded some free card templates from Becky Higgins blog, I am dropping in one photo of the family, typing a greeting, printing and posting (the envelopes are still here from last year already addressed and ready to go). No fuss, no responsibility for the design, just a simple greeting to our family and friends for the holiday season. The goal is to have them in the mail by December 16th.

I'll keep you posted - wish me luck!

White Christmas?

....I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas.... hey wait a second, that should be white not wet shouldn't it? Around here right now wet is the word. After years of very low rainfall, dam levels below 40% capacity, water restrictions and drought reports on the news each night we have been thrust into waterworld.

Overnight last night 87mm was recorded as falling on us. Gutters are running fast, dams are filled to overflowing, and the grass in the yard gets to knee height in record time. It feels quite surreal.

Christmas season to me is always couched in thoughts of heat, sweat and dust. Not damp, rain and wet ;) Yes I am sure there have been wet Christmas seasons before, but the overriding memories are of those long hot days leading up to Christmas, of being too hot to sleep at night, and of dreading the thought of having to cook and eat a hot meal for Christmas lunch. This year as the season starts we are far from those kinds of thoughts. Its probably amplified by the fact that the past few years we have been under drought conditions, so all of the green and damp feels decidedly out of place.

One of my dreams for Christmas is to actually experience a white Christmas. When I was 21 I spent a Christmas in Switzerland, surely you would expect snow... but no, for the first year in I don't know how many they had no snow for Christmas. Disappointed? you bet. I love seeing the snow scenes in photos from my overseas friends, everyone rugged up and red cheeked, it all seems so special, so romantic. At home we are all red faced from the heat, and hot, tired and irritated often too. White Christmases seem to be absent of all of that, although the reality is most of that is probably very good marketing from Hollywood lol.

So this December I am settling for a wet Christmas. Its cool enough that we can be a little rugged up, we can snuggle up inside with hot chocolate and watch movies together, we can leave the tree lights on without fear of melting the tree, we can have a hot lunch, and hot pudding without complaints.

...yes I'm dreaming of a WET Christmas ;)...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time Flies

Its December!

I mean, really, where did the year go? In less than two weeks the kids finish school for the year, Kelly finishes primary school forever, and I only have one primary schooler left.

Time to start my December Daily and gear up for Christmas. I love Christmas, I find its lots more hard work these days than it ever was when I was a child, but its still lots of fun. Its funny how different Christmas is as an adult, I obviously never appreciated all of the work that my mother had to put in to make things special for us, and its only now that I get it.

Our tree is up, thanks to the girls, they love "tree day", the 1st of December, they were a bit excited, and I am already sick of hearing them sing Christmas carols lol, but luckily its all good :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Foto Friday

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and Hayley decided that to make it a special occasion she needed to put on a pretty dress, and make sure that I had music to listen to. She happily played Happy Birthday, then moved through her small repetoire. So sweet!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foto Friday

Its been a while since I posted a photo Friday, so here is one from last weekend. This is a Waratah bush, the colour was amazing, from the distance all the other plants around it faded into obscurity. I am told they are very hard to grow in our area, and given that my thumb is far from green, I wont try, but I do think they are amazing.

Lucky

Today I am having one of those moments, you know, when you just feel appreciative of what you have in your life. Its Friday, which means I am at home. I love my home - it feels good, I am lucky to live in such a perfect home for me.

The sun is shining. I am warm. My dog is sleeping by my feet. There is homemade mango ice cream in my freezer. My kids are healthy and happy. My husband loves me, even when I am less than loveable. Its not long to Christmas and I feel organised and ready. I am healthy. I have internet. I have good friends. There is nothing in this world that I need (only things I want ;) which is different).

Today I can say, I am one of the lucky ones. Have a fabulous Friday xx

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretty curse

All around town at the moment the paddocks are covered in purple. From a distance it looks just amazing, but, sadly it causes irreversible liver damage to horses, so it is bad bad bad.

Even so I couldn't help myself, I had to stop and take a photo of it today. Its called Patterson's Curse around here, a friend calls it Scottish Thistle, I dont know its true name, but it is very pretty, even though it's a curse.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Support your SES

This week is SES support week, to find out some more check out Amys post here. The last few years the SES has not been short of work here in Australia, so here's to those who volunteer!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Typing wounded

Hmm and I thought it would be a good idea to get the kids to cook one night each during the week. It appeals to my laziness to be able to sit back and play on the internet while supervising dinner being cooked. What a shame the reality doesn't line up with the fantasy ;)

Last night it was Kels turn to cook, but she still requires more hands on help, so I was slicing veggies using a Zyliss slicer and I managed to slice off a part of my finger too - ouch!! It was quite a deep slice, although nothing requiring stitches, but painful nonetheless.

Also bad was the fact that even though I was slicing a zuchini when the incident occurred, just prior to that I was slicing an onion, and of course I didn't rinse the onion juices off before starting on the zuchini. Man that smarts....

Then to add insult to injury this morning while making my bed my fingernail snagged in the blanket as I was snapping it tight and ripped off and flew accross the room. Both injuries on my right hand, both stupid and avoidable, and both hurt more than they should given how small fingers actually are.

Bummer :(

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here's a fella I met while on holidays


This cute little guy sat watching me intently while I clicked away, then darted straight at my foot! What I didn't realise was he was waiting for a big juicy fly to land on my shoe, then he pounced, and voila! lunchtime.

We all sat for ages watching him repeat his trick over and over, he was very entertaining. I dont know his real name, but the locals call him a ta ta lizard, becasuse while they are watching they wave one of their front legs as if saying ta ta or goodbye. We were in Lawn Hill NP by the river when we saw him. We also ran into one of his cousins in Mt Surprise who was equally as cute!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Project 365 update

Last time I attempted project 365 I fell flat before May, this year I am happy to say I am still going strong in October. There were one or two weeks that may contain a couple of photos taken on the same day, but overall the photo a day thing has continued.

At first I really wanted to take superb photos every day, to finish up with an album of magical visual delights, but as the weeks went on I realised that not every photo is going to be a magical visual delight, in fact some photos will be downright near unprintable ;) Funnily though not all of my photos could be considered excellent from a technical or artistic persepective as I look back through them I am finding them quite magical. Its unlikely that anyone outside our family would see the magic, but for the five of us living in this house it is there.

It's there in the way it shows how many more freckles have appeared on small faces, or how much smaller the height difference is between a boy and his father, or the number of amazing faces one girl can make, or the love that three kids have for their dog, the magic in the garden that makes the hard work worth it, and the life experiences we face as a family.

I started out thinking that Project 365 would be an artistic endeavour, but found that approach made the whole task daunting, when I started shooting it as a labour of love, that's when I really appreciated the true value of Project 365.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am back!

The last few months have been a real whirlwind in our house, we had numerous birthdays in July and early August to contend with, then on the 22nd August we drove down our street and headed for the great outdoors for a whole seven weeks.

So we spent seven weeks touring around the country (well the Eastern to Central part anyway) and having an absolutely fantastic time. Coming home has been hard.

We have slipped back into the routine of housework, school, work etc etc, but if you asked me if I wanted to go again tomorrow, the answer would be a resounding YES!!!!

We tried to keep a blog along the way, but due to sporadic internet, and so many other exciting things to do the blog was sadly neglected. All of us kept travel journals on the road, so over the next few weeks I will be uploading the record of our adventures. If you are interested in reading about our journey you can find it at Are we there yet??

There will be more to come.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Safe as houses...

Sometimes you see headlines in the paper like "Burglars thwarted by family dog" or "Family Dog protects home" but, with my dog its more likely to read "Guard Dog - I think not!!" lol

This morning I managed to drive up my driveway, walk through my side gate, cross the yard to the back door and open it and go inside without even a flicker of fur from my vicious attack guard dog!

Hope no one is relying on him to protect the family home lol

 Here is just one of the hundreds of photos of our dog that I downloaded from my p&s after my daughters had been using it for a weekend. Its probably lucky they love him!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Camping at Easter

Another weekend of great weather, great friends, and time spent in the great outdoors. There was the small inconvenience of multiple tick bites per person, and I am still itching four days later, but otherwise nothing to complain about.



Fireside entertainment provided by the boys and their guitars.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

She's back

and she loved every minute of it!



and I am so happy to have her home :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Whining to start but ending with optimism ;)

Only one more sleep and she will be home. The weekh as gone faster than I thought it would :)

The day before yesterday I slurped up my coffee too soon and burned the roof of my mouth. Oh I hate that! now evertime I try to eat something a little bit crunchy it pokes into the sore parts of my mouth.

As if that wasn't bad enough yesterday morning I woke up and couldn't open my mouth fully without bad pain in my jaw, and of course, I found myself needing to yawn much more often than usual. Have you tried to yawn without opening your mouth fully - totally unsatisfying lol

Thankfully work is really slow this week, so I am spending Thursday at home yay! I have a huge pile of photos to edit, so I will be busy most of the day, but at least I can lounge around in my trakky daks while I am busy ;)

Only one more week until school holidays, which I am really looking forward to this term. We will spend a few days camping, we will have some pyjama days, and my sister will visit with my neice and nephews for a few days. I am so looking forward to that!

Living 300km apart means we dont spend much time just hanging out, and on previous visits her kids were still young enough that there were some things only Mummy could do. Now they are that bit older, and my kids are keen babysitters, we might actually have time to really talk to each other and hang out.

Just have to get through the next week and then the fun begins!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Time flies... too fast

Yesterday she was just a little tacker toddling around the house, always underfoot, today she left me for five whole days to go on school camp...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 6

Two posts in one day, think I need a bex and a lie down now ;)

Favourite for January

This layout shows my favourite photo from January. This particular day was just one of those great days. The sun was shining, everyone was in a great mood, and standing with my feet in the water looking out over the ocean just filled me up with all good things.



Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 5


p365week5
Originally uploaded by jocfly
Better late than never, here is my Week 5 P365 layout. Elements by Karla Dudley, template mofidied Linda Roos. (In the Making blog).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crazy busy

I know that's a crappy excuse for not blogging for two weeks, but it has been fairly busy around here. Thankfully I am home on Friday and I have no outside commitments other than getting the family to work and school.

I plan to scrap some, study some, and get things back in order around here. Just got a new computer on the weekend so I am busy trying to set it up with all of my important stuff, (had to do the husbands first so mine has been coming along in dribs and drabs). Really looking forward to having my online life back in control again, and the best thing - its a laptop, and it is password protected, and my kids have their own computer with internet access now, so nobody but me should be touching it!! Yay.

I am still keeping up with my Project 365 and will upload my latest pages on Friday for you to see.

In the meantime here is one of my recent favourites:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week4


Week4
Originally uploaded by jocfly
Fourth week of Project 365. I am working on week 5 today, but its time for a change to the layout, I plan to vary the layout every four weeks or so just to add some interest, so week 5 will take a little longer to put together.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week3


Week3
Originally uploaded by jocfly
Just catching up on my P365 layouts, here is week 3, which was all about our holiday at the coast, Week 4 is coming later today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

One little word progress

So I narrowed down my goals for this year into 10 general areas, in keeping with my word SIMPLIFY, and now that it is February I thought it would be good to look back at the last month and see how I went.

I want to exercise more.
Good progress here, I have done heaps of walking, which is simple and free, and am now back in the saddle of 6am rising followed by 30-45 mintues walking with my husband.

I want to spend more quality time with my kids and my husband.
Again I am doing pretty well here. I walk with my husband every day and we talk, uninterrupted by the kids. We are also getting to bed earlier most nights which leads to... being less tired and grumpy with each other so spending more time together (I know what you were thinking people!!). I am also using the time in the car to talk to the kids to find out what is on their minds. We also went camping together as a family for a week - really great quality time hanging out at the beach and around the campsite together.

I want to read more books.
I am reading for 20 minutes each evening before turning the lights out.

I want to finish my course and get my Bookkeeping Certification.
Fail. Have not done any study in January, this is one I really need to focus on in February.

I want to take more photos.
Project 365 alive and well. A photo a day, but most days it has been 15 - 20 photos a day.

I want to scrap more pages.
Have only scrapped two pages in January, both of them Project 365 pages. I am aiming for more in February, more P365 of course, but a page for each person in the family, and a camping trip wrap up would make me happy.

I want to write here more often.
UM, ok not so good here, but in my defence I was away for over a week, and I had intenet ish-ews for over a week too. February things will be different lol.

I want to declutter my house, and simply things around my home.
Hmmm OK that's another one to focus on in Feb.

I want to keep in better contact with family and friends.
Better but not great. We spent two days with BIL and his family at the coast, we had the in laws over for tea, we had good friends over for tea, but I only talked to my sisters once and my mum twice.

Funny as I was writing this it really helped me see the areas in my life that I am not paying quite enough attention to. I guess that is why it is recommended you write your goals down and review them regularly, now I know why goal setting has never worked real well for me in the past. Its not enough to just have goals, you have to constantly know what they are and where you are in relation to them - der... You can stop laughing at me now, I get it now lol.


So it looks like February will be about studying, scrapping, decluttering and blogging to improve things.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm back...

Actually I got back on Sunday, and today is Friday, but, its not my fault that I didn't update here, really, truly, I promise. I have been having internet troubles - yuk.

How sad we are that both myself and my husband jumped on to the computer fairly quickly on Sunday after we arrived home. I managed to start my email, download 288 messages, open my blog reader ... then... nothing! Nothing for five whole days aaarrrggg!

Keeping my fingers crossed that things are back on track, I cant go through that type of frustration again, I might hurt someone.

Camping was lovely, we got all dirty, salty and suntanned, we came back relaxed (which was instantly eradicated due to aforementioned internet ish-ews) and wishing we could have been away for longer. No falling trees this time, no injuries or illnesses, just lots of fun.

I took a stack of photos which I am editing and will post when they are ready.

Getting back to work has been not so fun, and I think the kids would probably say getting back to school was not so fun either, but life goes on. The girls have great teachers this year, and we are looking forward to a great year for them, especially for Sweetpea as it is her last year of primary school. My son was almost keen to go back to school as he is in Year 9, and the Prime Minister promised to give kids in year 9 a laptop, so he will head of to school eagerly until it arrives, then no doubt he will want to stay home and play on it all day lol.

He is not the only one getting a laptop this year, lucky little me is also getting one!!! yay yay yay, I have been wanting one for ages so I can locate myself around the house depending on what is going on in different rooms. Cool.

I will get back to editing photos (and doing all the boring things that I have to do too lol)  and I will get some pictures up very soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Week2


Week2
Originally uploaded by jocfly
My second week of Project 365 photos. hmmm, yes I do have a son as well, will have to try and capture him this week, heaven knows he is a teenager and spends a lot of time just slothing around, shouldn't be too hard to track him down lol

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today

From the Simple Woman's Daybook



Outside my window... cloudy and cool, such a relief after the heatwave shocker of last week

I am thinking... only four more hours of work, then I am on holidays

I am thankful for... grandparents who are only too delighted to have their grandkiddies for sleepovers

I am wearing... green t shirt, white skirt, no shoes

I am remembering... that I have so many things I need to do before we go camping

I am going... to enjoy camping by the beach

I am currently reading... Eclipse (a Twilight sequel) again!

I am hoping... that the weather will be fine next week

On my mind... the need to get my exercising habits established

Noticing that... I get really grumpy when I dont sleep well

Pondering these words... simplify

From the kitchen... Thai style pumpkin soup mmmm

Around the house... mess, mess and more mess!

One of my favorite things~ Lindt chocolate

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week1


Week1
Originally uploaded by jocfly

My first week of photos, completed. :D

Happy 2010

Happy New Year people, I have returned... briefly, as I will be heading off for a week at the beach very soon, but for now I am here.

I am not generally a resolution maker, I always feel a bit sqirmy inside at having to commit to a resolution, knowing full well that by the end of the year the guilt will set in due to having failed to stick to it. Having said that I do like at the beginning of each year to think about what may lie ahead, and what I may want to do (in a very general sense) in that coming time.

Since 2007 I have selected a word for each year, inspired by Ali Edwards. For the past week or so I have been narrowing down what my word will be this year. It started off as organise, as it seems to me there is always so much stuff around here that needs to be organised, and I can never find anything when I really need it, but, that felt a little sterile to me. Then a few nights ago while searching for something I had lost I found myself saying "why are things always so complicated?" and I found my word.

SIMPLIFY

My plan for the year is to simplify things. Go back to a simpler way of living. I am hoping that this will allow me to spend more time living in the moment, not stressing about the details of the things that I am forgetting to do.

A big factor in this equation applies to my scrapping. The last 12 months I was nearly paralysed by the continuous feeling that my scrapping pages were not good enough, they needed more techniques, more fancy shmancy (expensive sometimes too) stuff. So as a result I hardly finished a project. And let me tell you I have many projects on the go. This year I am changing that. I am not going to download every free product around, only the ones that I absolutely love and couldnt live without ;-), I am putting myself on a self imposed bann from purchasing anything that is not on sale, and I am going to finish tagging my digi stash, and purge the things I know I just will never use.

I am attempting Project 365 again. There I said it, I haven't been game to even say this out loud yet given my spectacular failure last year. I am using my simplified method for this too. As per the name of this blog I will focus on the Words and Pictures. The end result of this project will look fairly simple - plain pages, with just the pictures and the words to describe them (where necessary).

I also have a short list of things I want to do this year:

I want to bake more - I like baking, my kids like to eat what I bake, it makes me feel good. My mother gave me Nigella Lawson's "How to be a Domestic Goddess" for Christmas, and I plan to work my way through it, one recipe a week (or fortnight if things get too busy) either on my own, or sometimes with my kids who all love to bake too.

I want to exercise more.

I want to spend more quality time with my kids and my husband.

I want to read more books.

I want to finish my course and get my Bookkeeping Certification.

I want to take more photos.

I want to scrap more pages.

I want to write here more often.

I want to declutter my house, and simply things around my home.

I want to keep in better contact with family and friends.

That's 10 things I want to focus on this year. 10 things in 2010.