Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One year old today!

We celebrated Shaan's 1st birthday this morning with pancakes and chocolate cake. He loved the cake! Feels like a huge milestone not just for him but also for us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Budget Challenges!

Read this great new book "Living with Less So Your Family Has More" by Jill Savage recently. Lots of great ideas and encouragement for living on one income as we are at the moment. So I should have it all together... But the truth is I don't. I have spent more than our budget allows on so many things this month. So instead of saving we have ended up using our savings. So not the way I want things to be. But hopefully I am learning from my mistakes and next month will be an improvement.

The latest Simple Savings newsletter was an encouragement that saving is possible! A couple of ideas I liked was how to cut electricity costs and earning money from having short term guests stay on www.crashpadder.com. Though the funny thing is they are not that practical for us at the moment especially the second idea.

Well here's to a new, more frugal budget month!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy drivers!

How great our local toy library is! Every 3 weeks we get to take home a bunch of new toys for the kids to play with and then return them. Hopefully with no missing or broken pieces. They loved having a turn in this toy car. The colour was especially appealing to Kalyani as pink and purple are her "favourite".

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bokashi buckets and beeswax candles.

Just looking online and drooling over one of these at todae- a bokashi bucket. A what you say? Its an indoor composting system and apparently its odourless, low maintenance and produces a highly nutrient rich liquid fertiliser. Something to do with the fermentation process. I like the sound of it because I could chuck in a lot of organic matter such as meat scraps, citrus and tissues which at the moment don't go to the chooks. Will just have to go on the wish list though...

Have also been looking at and purchasing some beeswax candles. Someone said somewhere (so don't quote me) that there are a lot of nasties in the candles most people burn at home. So hoping to get something better! Love using candles occasionally at meal times, or when I'm writing in my journal, the very occasional long bath time. Lovely to unwind in the evening to the flickering light of a candle.

Oh yeh. Do you like the colour change? I wonder if it will help me post more often?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A very quick post

Just to say... not sure actually. Instead I'll leave you with a photo or two.

We went down to Dwellingup for a friend's birthday on the weekend and got to go kayaking. Even though I was feeling very stressed and tired at the time it was wonderful to be on the water.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Haircut Saves $

I finally got around to giving Kalyani a haircut this past week. It had gotten longer and was looking very wild. But I had been putting it off for a while for two reasons. I don't usually enjoy cutting her hair. "Stop moving, sit back down- again, Kalyani only one side of your hair is cut you can't get up now... stop moving your head!" The second reason being that I was concerned about her looking like she had a home haircut. So I was actually thinking about taking her to a hairdresser and paying for it.

However this time I decided to cut her hair in the lounge room and put on Dora for her to watch. Thanks for the suggestion Holly! Dora rocks! She didn't move a muscle the whole time. And if I do say so myself it looks pretty good. Maybe there's a hairdresser in me after all!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Definately a raised garden!

From this to this.  Our autumn vegie garden is finally in.  It turned out to be a much bigger project than I thought it would be.  I went for a Birdies (www.birdiesgardenproducts.com.au) modular raised garden bed 2.2m x 1.3m x 600mm.  Ok so not a huge area but there aren't a lot of places in our backyard anyway that get enough hours of sunlight to grow vegies.  Previously I'd tried a no dig garden in the same spot but it got majorly over run by couch grass and I didn't want to resort to using round-up to get rid of it.  

Oh notice the chooks popping their heads up to have a look in both photos which were taken on different days.  So curious!

I filled this bed with a base of tree branches, leaves and mulch and then combinations of newspaper, grass clippings, straw that had been in the chook pen for a few months and fresh stuff and of course extra manure.  I've planted spinach, silverbeet, pak choy, parsley, chilli, peas and still have garlic to go in.  Here's hoping it does well!  The funny thing is the old chook pen is a lush green at the moment with tomato seedlings, capisicum and who knows what else.  That required no work!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Love the bush!

We got outdoors over the long weekend.  A trip to a park near the river on Saturday and then bush walking yesterday.  Jut love being out in nature!  


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When life is not going your way...

Take time to stop and smell the roses.  Well in my case, since I deliberately didn't want any roses in our garden (I was all rosed out after having over 30 rose bushes beautiful though they were that needed pruning every year at our last house), I am taking time to plant some vegie seeds.  It helps me to take small steps in the direction of where I want to go.  Ie I want us to have a vegie garden this autumn but if I look out in the backyard there isn't one.  So planting some seeds that will need transplanting somewhere when they are bigger will hopefully help that to become a reality.  

And seeing the joy that this gorgeous little man has in learning to walk also helps.  He loves pushing the car up and down the verandah again and again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why I Haven't Been Blogging...

For anyone that has been wondering why I haven't posted lately I have been struggling with big, hard to answer questions.  Like what is my purpose in life?  Why am I here?  What life work am I to do?  What am I good at?  How can I contribue to the world beyond my family?  The only thing is that my life is a lot more complicated than when I last wrestled with these question in my late teens, early twenty's.  I am limited in the time I have to study or work and where and what I'm willing to do and ... 

So feeling directionless and not having a view of the big picture of my life beyond the wife and mother I am wanting to be doesn't inspire me to write or share.  Does that make sense?  Anyone else relate to this searching?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Almost Easter

Got into the Easter theme this week and had a go at making hot cross buns for the first time in the bread maker.   Not as dense as the shop bought ones but so yummy.  Especially hot out of the oven with lots of butter.  My funny husband, who is not normally into sweet breads, even enjoyed them.  That is accompained by his favourite spicy pickle.  

Leave you with a pic of these two cuties dressing up.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still at home...

and are we glad about that!  Personally, my primary role is still at home too.  I've been thinking through ideas about what I will do at the end of my maternity leave and still don't know.    Ok its a few months away but I like to be prepared. :)  

In the meanwhile I've been keeping busy catching up on sleep, going away for the long weekend and then coming back, lots of washing, cooking, playgroup, MOPS.   

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing Like A Happy Chook!

I finally finished the chook pen for the girls after almost 3 years in their temporary pen. I must say I get quite a bit of satisfaction from seeing them wandering around, having a good scratch and checking out their new home. Only sad thing is that my new black chook ran away (well more like flew away) the morning before the pen was finished. Here's hoping she's found a nice new home away from the bullying older chickens. Our little Australorp chick (below) is growing up and I now think we have a hen. Yeh- bring on the eggs girls!

And an end of day pic of the three of us!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Already I have:
* folded two loads of washing and hung out another two loads
* watered the garden, feed the chooks
* cleaned Kalyani's floor rug from her room that had a spillage on it
* dropped her off at daycare
* made some fresh bread rolls to have for lunch
* updated our budget
* used up the basil that is going to seed by making pesto (blended basil and olive oil) to freeze
* listened to a telemarketer on the phone and told them I wasn't interested
* sent the JWs away
and now sat down with a cup of tea and fresh fig (yum!) for morning tea.

I wonder what the rest of the day holds?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

7 Month Update

This gorgeous boy is almost 7 months old. Wow- time flies! Can't believe it has been that long since he became part of our family and boy, do all of us enjoy having him here. He is such a delight (even though he still wakes up for a feed or two at night). He loves eating and will scream the house down if we don't get the stuff into him quick enough. He's crawling proficiently now which means the cat food, bins etc all need to be moved out of his reach. The other thing is he has started being shy with people other than us. Well at least for the first 10 minutes.

7 months also means over half way through my maternity leave. I am not sure yet what I'll be doing at the end of it. I've actually enjoyed being at home more than I thought I would and so I'm not sure if I want to go back to working 3 days a week. Still praying and thinking about what I'll do and when.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waiting on God!

Sitting here at the computer and the house is quiet. Arrh... love the absence of noise and chatter and crashes and crying and grunts (that's Shaan's preferred noise). Shaan is in his cot asleep and Kalyani is back at family daycare after a 3 week break. She's only going one day a week but she's been hanging out to go for the last week. It was a relief to be able to say YES, YOU CAN GO TODAY!!!!! And I've got home made rolls cooking in the oven and did I say already the house is quiet...

Well I was thinking of writing in here that I'd be taking a break from blogging because I'm not too sure what the purpose of it is for me at the moment. I have had a lot of "what am I doing" questions lately from everything to going back to work, involvement in the community to activites at home. Some of it is because we are in a new year and there's a compulsion to re-examine our lives at the beginning of a new year. And the way I'm wired I also like to know a great deal about what I am going to be doing for the rest of the year. This year I just don't know. 2009 was focused around the arrival of Shaan- preparing for that, adjusting to having a new baby etc. However 2010 and beyond ????

I've tried stressing about it, figuring it out, praying and more praying, brainstorming options, getting opinions from people and I still don't know what career outside of home life I am meant to pursue and the timing of that. Even when there seem like there are several good options I can't decide. So at the moment I'm deciding to not decide anything. I know sometimes we are meant to move forward even though we feel uncertain but I feel like this is a time to wait and continue doing the things I'm already doing. When I think about all the things I fit into 24 hours when will I find time for paid work? Also I want to have a word from God about what I'm to do.

I have been reading 1 Samuel this past week and the contrast between David and Saul. How Saul was more conncerned with what people thought of him rather than God. So there were times when he acted presumptiously rather than wait for God's instructions and God's timing. Here's praying that I'll be able to wait and do so without an anxious heart.

Oh I got given some photos of Kalyani from daycare. Some of them might be at least 12 months old. Shows how much she has grown!

So not sure about my blogging yet...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Save 6

Hmm- I think the above post title has something to do with a water corp initiative to encourage residential houselolds to save water. In particular 6 x 10L buckets of water each day. It doesn't sound like a lot but actually in practice it is a bit of effort to save that amount of water.

Things I have been attempting to do are:
* have shorter showers. Ie 3-4 minutes
* fill up the bath for the kids with a lot less water in it
* recycle the kids bath water onto the garden. At the moment it is bucketing it out and so that depends on how my back is feeling.
* make sure taps are turned off properly and are not dripping. Relevant to an older house like ours.
* putting a bowl in the sink to collect water that gets run for things like washing vegetables or waiting for the hot water to come through. Only stuck with that idea for a couple of days though.
* and probably our best improvement so far has been replacing the cistern on the toilet with a dual flush. I reckon we have gone from using over 10L a flush to 3L.

So hopefully its making a difference. The best way I'll be able to gauge it is by our next few water bills. We have been using on average about 535L a day. Though watering over the vegie garden and the new plants I've put in will definately affect our total this summer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tomatoes are Yellow!

One of the heirloom tomatoes growing in our garden. Tastes just like the usual red tomato! Only thing is its a huge vine and I've only gotten two fruit off the plant. So not very productive. Thinking of pulling it out for the chooks.

Speaking of chooks- one of my new layers has decided to go broody. No eggs for her this time. I decided it was too much hassle and so I'm trying to shove her off where she's sitting any chance I get. Then I've got two hens mothering one chick. That's all that left. And my other new layer is recovering from a head wound and so has gone off the lay. So no eggs at the moment. I'm in the middle of building them a new pen. I'm converting an area of our lawn for them so hopefully all my effort will be much appreciated and they'll lay me lots of lovely eggs.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Yes we are back from holidays down south and we had a great time. Very restful despite not getting a lot of sleep at night with Shaan. The location was gorgeous and the weather much cooler than Perth. So here's some of my favourite photos from our time away.

I took some scrapbooking with me and was surprised that I actually got 3 layouts finished. I really liked this one.

Loved having dinner out by the water out the back of where we stayed.

Dad and Kalyani kakaying at Rest Point. Sight seeing at Mandalay Beach which was the location of a ship wreck in the late 1800's. From the look of the coastline you can understand why.

Kalyani made it down to the beach. We visited Dinosaur World on our last day. These gorgeous birds were having time out. The red-tailed black cockatoo is actually a threatened species in the south-west. Can't believe it because I grew up seeing these fly overhead whenever we were bushwalking.

Don't let it eat you Hit? There was also an Australian reptile section. But all of us were too chicken or not interested when it came to having a hold of the carpet python and even drapping it over ourselves.Kalyani got to pat and feed the kangaroos.

Having a twirl of her new umbrella.

And last but not least I'll with you a pic of the smiley Shaan.