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More ‘P’ December 22, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Goals, Kids, Parenting.
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I left something off my ‘P’  list yesterday ………….


I learnt piano for a while as a child, my kids are learning piano now.

TJ’s reading has shown a dramatic improvement since he started. Music is all about patterns after all as is reading. CJ loves her music and will be starting grade work early next term. Miss Lou will be restarting lessons next term as well after a long break because the freak didn’t consider that kind of thing terribly important or beneficial.

We used to go practice at mum’s or on the electric keyboard with weighted keys that I bought for at home but no longer. We were one of the families that received the government’s ‘save the economy’ bonus – so we chose to invest it in our kids rather than spoiling them for Christmas and bought this –


Isn’t it lovely?

It’s a 1924 J Schiller of Berlin piano.


It has a lovely sound and the kids are really enjoying playing on it.


Busy December 15, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Craft Projects, Family, Friends, Holidays, Kids, TJ.
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It’s been pretty busy here of late.

Saturday was spent changing our junk room study and Miss Lou’s room over. Now that she’ll be spending more time at home leading up to her moving back home, we thought she should have the bigger of the two rooms.

There were boxes in the study from our move into this house 18 months ago. Books drifting everywhere, tonnes of craft supplies and stuff that I have no idea what the hell it was for.

Sunday was spent freezing my ass off watching TJ compete in the local swimming carnival.

And today I’m meeting a lady at the kids school to see if there is anything in the clothing pool that would fit her kids for next year before I make the 2 hour drive to meet Miss Lou’s train to pick her up for the holidays.

We are going to do a little shopping on the way home – how could we drive past a Spotlight store and not stop for a stickybeak? lol

We do need a few things though – material for new curtains for one and Miss Lou has a few projects in mind that she’d like to have a go at over the holidays.

Hopefully we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging by Tuesday!

O Holy Night of Jingle Bombs December 10, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Christmas, Church Stuff, Community, Family.
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After the assault on our ears committed by Naomi and Widdle Shamrock early this week with their choice of Christmas *ahem* carols I felt that it might be the appropriate time to share some of mine.

Some of my earliest Christmas memories are of sitting upstairs in our church, lit only by candlelight, at midnight mass listening to the choir sing carols.

I remember, and I was only about 4 at the time  sitting, watching,, listening, completely awestruck and thinking that God must live here.

I miss that simplistic faith of my childhood some days but despite the more complicated theology of adulthood I still find that there are often moments where I am sitting in church and and catch myself thinking that God must live here.

Now I’m one of the privileged ones that sings in the choir, who gets to help create atmosphere for others through music but not in a creepy ‘hype you up then lead you to religious fervour’ way like some churches we won’t mention here.

We haven’t had midnight mass for a couple of years because it was too many services for our priest to manage on his own but we still sing carols at the evening vigil mass and at the Christmas morning mass. I’m hoping that this year, now that we have a second priest again that midnight mass might be reintroduced. Having been part of my Christmas tradition for  most of my 35 years it is sorely missed.

Now I’m not going to torture you with some of the all time worst Christmas music as I believe that Naomi and Widdle Shamrock have already done a good enough job of that, instead I’m going to share my favourite traditional carol and my favourite version of it –

Now just to make WS laugh again, and also to appease our tall dark frosty goddess of political incorrectness  Anja,  here is my next favourite Christmas Carol

Somehow I don’t think they’ll let me sing that version in church…….. do you? 😉 lol

For The Birds December 3, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Holidays, Kids.
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The rellies that we spent our weekend with live in the gorgeous North Wollongong.

Getting there entails driving along roads like this


or this


From my uncle’s backyard you can look up at the mountains, down at the ocean or out at the creek that runs down the middle of the block. (that’s fog not smoke you can see on top of the mountain btw)


As you might well imagine there is a lot of wildlife and birdlife around the area and some of it has gotten pretty used to people…………..





My uncle keeps a packet of birdseed in an old weetbix tin next to the back verandah door for the birds. He said that some days the birds will fly in the backdoor looking for their morning feed and sit on the backs of the chairs around the dining table while Uncle B is eating his breakfast.

Kept the kids fascinated for ages……………..


And it’s nice to  know that they can move slowly and stay quiet when they want to………. 😉 lol

Screw Up Tuesday December 2, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Blogging stuff, Family, Funny Stuff.
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I could easily give this award to myself this morning for severly underestimating how long it would take us to crawl our way through traffic to pick Miss Lou up from school last Friday. We made good time all the way through the mountains, right up till we hit Parramatta Road from where it then took us THREE FREAKIN HOURS to get to the inner city and Miss Lou’s school. Getting out of there and down to Wollongong wasn’t much better taking us nearly another 3 hours.

I NEVER want to have to drive in traffic like that again! I seriously don’t know how Sydneysiders do it! We were sitting at one set of traffic lights for over 20 minutes. Miss Lou’s boarding coordinator had rang us at one stage to find out where we were and give us directions. She’s asked us if we were at the next turn yet and we were still sitting at the same set of lights as when we started the conversation! (Yes I have hands free mic and speaker for my mobile hardwired into the car). I’m guessing that the rain made things worse too, but jeez! Hopefully I won’t have to make that trip again.

Other contenders for the screwed up prize this week are CJ who was walking around the house in her finished Pink! dress last night shaking her very bright PINK! nailpolish when the lid flew off! We had to then clean nail polish off the tiles, the carpet, her neck, chest, fingers and her damn dress!

Not to be outdone, Miss Lou sent a heap of things home with us from school and accidently also managed to send hom her purse with all her money and keycards in it which I’ll now have to mail back down to her.

TJ wasn’t going to be left out either. While being given a tour of Miss Lou’s school he spotted some likely looking chain strand fencing between posts near the car park and decided to try out his ‘scissor jump’ technique from Little Athletics the other week, missed and splattered himself on the asphalt scraping his arm.

Oh and PSLS left his charger at home last night after forgetting to charge his damn phone the night before and still hasn’t found his old charger that he left in one of the trucks.

So there you have it! A real screwed up family affair this week kiddies.

So what do you have for me? Come on, you know you want to share………..

Sporty Saturday November 29, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Kids, TJ.
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TJ loves his sports.

He loves riding his bike up and down the road out the front of our house. He and CJ often go for rides around our block (which in a large house block size area makes for a rather large size street block).

He loves playing cricket in the backyard.Although I have had to buy premade metal stumps that can’t be seperated to stop him from attempting to use them as mini javelins and taking out someone’s eye. Probably his own.

He loves playing footy with his mates at school. Or soccer. Or handball. Or…….. well you get the idea.

He loves playing Saturday morning soccer during winter. He tends to hang back a little, but that is more a reflection of his poor eyesight than his ability to run, aim or kick. When you are a little short sighted in one eye, rather long sighted in the other eye, have a slight astigmatism and hate wearing your glasses when running around, it can be a little difficult to see other players or the ball coming at you.

He loves doing Little Athletics during summer. He doesn’t really like running, cos he’s a bit slower and just doesn’t like running that much, but he gives it a go and he really likes the field events. We have real shotputs and discuses at home that CJ used for training and  he was throwing them all over the yard last week ……….. as hubby discovered when he ran over one with the lawnmower and stuffed the blade…… He’s does really well with the throwing events. More than makes up for not being quite as fast on the track as most of the other kids.


He also loves swimming. He’s a real water baby. We had to take him to swimming lessons as a toddler because he was fearless and we needed to reassure ourselves that he was ok in the water so we didn’t have a heart attack everytime he saw it and jumped straight in!

And he’s good at it.

He’s always had a lot of upper body strength, which helps with swimming and he doesn’t have to worry about seeing where he is going because he’s just sitting in his lane and will hit either his hand or head when he gets to the end to tell him to stop.

So one year we tried swimming club.


He really enjoys swimming club and having that goal of improving his time each week really motivated him to practice his strokes during the rest of the week which boosted his fitness, improved his times and increased his confidence.

This year we registered him for the club training squad. He now trains for between 30 and 40 minutes, 4 days a week after school swimming laps with the squad. So far this season he has learnt bilateral breathing (breathing on alternating sides on every third stroke instead of the same side on every stroke when swimming freestyle), tumble turns and today I saw him doing a very reasonable imitation of butterfly which he’s never previously learnt.

I was very impressed.

He was very pleased with himself.

Long may his love of sports continue!

Whack! November 27, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in CJ, Family, Funny Stuff, Kids.
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Everything is ‘Whack!’

‘Mum, my hair is gone all whack!’

‘That’s so whack!’

‘How whack was that!’

Apparently ‘Whack’ ™ is a multi purpose descriptor for anything that is stuffed up, craptacular, strange, unfair, odd looking or unbelievable –  both kinds – unbelievably bad and unbelievably funny.

If things aren’t ‘Whack’ ™, then they are ‘Random’ ™.

‘That was so random!’

‘How random would it be if we……..’

Perhaps I should explain to daughter number two that an event isn’t actually random if you have planned it 😉

Still, I can live with ‘Whack’ ™ and ‘Random’ ™, in addition to ‘What the hell?‘ as long as she doesn’t start using ‘Dude’ every second word again!