29 Mar 2013

Recovering Slowly

Last week was nothing short of an action packed adventure. One that I believe I am still recovering from !
Attending the Digital Parents Conference in Sydney. Meeting many fabulous bloggers all who have left me wondering if I am truly cut out for this "blogging world" I am still trying to figure this out. Eating so much food that I thought I would burst, drinking LOTS of wine and I mean LOTS ahhhh fun times :) Climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge with the fabulous Jules who is most definitely as cheeky wonderful in the flesh as she is in the blogger and twitter verse...a lady who I am so lucky to call my friend.

Friends

And if all this wasn't enough, I got to meet up with Mr Crafty for the remaining two days of my trip away to celebrate a belated anniversary.

Saturday was full of fun, we walked and walked taking in the sights of Sydney (it has been 13 years since we had last been there) eating fabulous food and yep you guessed it ..... more alcohol. I am not an alcoholic I just tend to let my hair down when I am teen free. I hope that is understandable !
Lunch was unbelievable, sitting by the water we shared a fabulous seafood platter and sat back and  let the world pass us by, relaxed, happy and enjoying each others company with out teen interruptions was sensational, and something that does not happen often. It was sheer bliss to spend this time alone.

divine seafood

Next we headed off to check out Madame Tussuads Wax Museum. What a great experience, I totally got into the whole "tourist" mode snapping pictures and playing the fool.....Mr Crafty believe it or not actually got into the spirit too !

Good old Slim

We decided that after such a huge lunch that we would have a late dinner and decided to return to a  little Italian restaurant right on the Harbors edge.
Oh my, if I don't eat for the next week it is totally understandable. After seating you another drink in hand you are given a plate of the most delicious Italian bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I have NEVER tasted bread like it. Following that I sat down to enjoy a plate of Squid Ink Linguine and lobster while Mr Crafty indulged in Crumb encrusted rib eye on the bone (there was enough on our plates to feed our whole tribe) but of course when away the Crafty's do play and over indulge and so we decided that with the food being so amazing dessert was a must.
Oh good golly miss molly.......We ordered traditional Italian Tiramisu.

The best Tiramisu ever

 I may have wobbled back to the hotel. The ah hem 3 Long Island Iced Teas topped with the very strong alcohol in the dessert was enough to make this old girl quite giggly.....
Oh well you only live once, right ?

We definatly had a wonderful time and hopefully it wont be to long before we can get away again to enjoy each others company.
Happy belated anniversary my sweet man, may we have many more years together full of fun and love xx
Happy anniversary xx
Linking up with the gorgeous Grace for FYBF

26 Mar 2013

The Climb Of A Lifetime

It is an adventure that I never thought I'd conquer. It's not something that I would usually just go out and do. Never before had it even popped up on my radar.
But the challenge was put before me and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, after all 2013 is the year that I promised to go fourth and put myself out there, and this was the perfect way to begin, I mean if I could accomplish this, then it is quite possible that I could achieve just about anything.

Magnificent, exhilarating, an achievement like no other. The perfect way to challenge myself. I actually climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, not quite with style the climbing suits are not that glamorous but with determination and a belly full of guts that I had never expected. I must say that I never actually felt nervous at any time, which is interesting because going to great heights is not one of my favorite pass times. I guess the excitement took over.

Dressed in the compulsory "bridge suits" and attached to the bridge by a static line, participants in the climb walk along flat, inclined mesh catwalks, climb up and down four flights of stairs, climb 465 widely spaced steps on the arches and step over, duck under and squeeze through girders. There are hand rails to help guide you through and lend support all the way to the top.

The view is breath taking, it's unbelievable. You truly have not experienced Sydney Harbor at it's best until you have taken in the view from this incredible height. The climb is a must, a definite addition to any ones "bucket list".

Looking stylish

Two of my boys did not really want me to do it, I even received a sweet face book message the morning of the climb asking me to "be careful" and make sure "you don't fall off mum" the other two crafty kids and of course Mr Crafty are very jealous, adventure is in their blood and the bridge climb is a definite must for them to do, they simply have to experience it for themselves.

I am beyond proud of myself that I conquered the climb, it is the beginning of a new me ! I think that I have actually discovered my adventurous side much to the delight of my husband who has always been the brave one. What now lays before me are many possibilities, and countless adventures that I have always said I would like to try but was never confident enough to actually do.
Who knows what is next, a ride on the back of Mr Crafty's motorbike very scary stuff or jumping out of a plane ? Whatever it is I am ready.
Bring on adventure number two. Crafty is ready.

Breath taking views
Linking up with the fabulous Jess for another adventurous IBOT

25 Mar 2013

Attending DPCon13 : An Amazing Experience

It's over.
What an amazing week. One that has been ingrained in my mind for the long hall. I climbed the ladder of uncertainty and conquered the fear of putting myself in an unknown situation. I attended the Digital Parents Conference and managed to turn my fears around, and knock on the door of self awareness. It was nerve wracking. A brand new experience full of wonder and awe. Yet I could still not shake the inner voice nagging me.
What in the world was I doing ?
I was absolutely terrified, shaking to my very core, wondering if I would fit in, If I would really belong ?

There was no need to panic.

As promised, I was led down the garden path taken by the hand and shown the "ropes" so to speak. Jules my constant supporter, my gentle encourager and life long friend was beside me all the way. She was my rock, and made me realize that I had nothing to worry about.
I did belong
I do matter
And if nothing else, I am worth my place in this world.

My head is full, a whirling mass of information. I think it may just take me a few weeks to process everything and see if I can put all that I learned into action.
I am excited ! I am full of determination, and I have many ideas...

If only I can pull it off.

Aside from all the blogging lessons learned. I was honored to have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful inspiring people. Many of whom I am now lucky enough to call friends.

I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for those who were brave enough to stand before us, and share with such raw emotion their most private stories and their deepest emotional feelings. Baring their soles to all was defiantly not an easy path to walk.

I had no idea that the week would bring with it so many emotions. My eyes were blurred from crying, my stomach still hurts from laughing. It was a roller coaster ride full of may twists and turns and one that I am honored to have had the chance to be apart of.


So many memories to cherish 









18 Mar 2013

DPCON - Butterflies In My Belly

I'm packed
And in 24 hours I will be boarding my flight to Sydney, where I will be attending the Digital Parents Conference. I am very nervous, very excited and to be honest, just plain old scared out of my mind. But I know that with my partner in crime by my side "showing me the ropes" the awesome Jules from The Bumpiest Path I will be led down the path of mischief in good hands and we will have the BEST TIME EVER !

The past few days have been hectic, I thought I was on track to being organized with plenty of time to "double check" that everything is just right, so there would be no last minute rush or need to panic. But as usual this is not the case.
I woke this morning with a start ! It's Monday........
How did that happen ? What happened to the weekend ? It totally got away from me and I also just realized this morning, that I totally forgot to link up with FYBF :( sorry Grace, it honestly slipped my mind.

I don't often leave my family and head off on an adventure all on my own, in fact the only other time I have ventured off on my own was to a Scrap booking retreat that was for two nights and I attended with my Mother In Law.....we must do that again :)

I know the boys will be fine, they are quite capable of getting by without me, I just hope that I will be able to get by without them for so long !
I'm sure that I will manage :)

Is it awful that I am excited to be "getting away" from the everyday norm ?
Should I be feeling more guilty then I am ?

I am starting to feel very over whelmed, just the thought of being in the room with so many fabulous bloggers many of whom I am in awe of and cant wait to meet in person, is starting to make the butter flies dance in my belly, I hope I fit in, I hope that I don't make an absolute fool of myself.......
  


I ran out of time to get my nails done, I had to cancel my hair appointment :( But I did manage to work out my outfit for the gala dinner and pack my Giraffe successfully into my suitcase !!

So I've been thinking, maybe I should change my name to Daggypjmum and just throw caution to the wind and turn up to the conference in my PJ's ;) at least you will all know exactly who I am !!
Please give me a wave and say hello, I promise that no matter "how I look", I am friendly and cant wait to meet you all

Safe travels everyone and see you all soon




15 Mar 2013

My Families 15 minutes Of Fame

For this weeks Flashback I'm heading back to good old 2004.
In a moment of of sheer boredom, I threw caution to the wind and entered a competition.

I took a chance
I thought nothing of it
I sent it off in the mail and promptly forgot all about it

Until the phone call
I had won
Wait a second, I what ?
Yep, that's right. I won :)

I won a Fisher & Paykel Stainless Steal Refrigerator, and my families story and recipes would be published in the December issue of the "Super Food Ideas" magazine, under the title "Family Of The Month"
I was so excited, I had never won anything in my life.

The magazine editor emailed me a bunch of questions which I promptly answered and sent back. All I had to do now was wait for the delivery of our brand new fridge, and the publication of the magazine.......

I could hardly contain myself.

The fridge arrived the week before we were to appear in the magazine, it was so shiny and so BIG. Almost twice the size of the one we were using FANTASTIC a family of 6 needs a large fridge.
Next, we received an early copy of the magazine. There we were, my families picture, story and favorite recipes printed on page 24 and 25.




The boys were beyond excited to see themselves in print "are we famous mum?" they were so cute, taking the magazine everywhere. School, daycare and even to swimming lessons, it was funny to say the least.
We no longer have have the fridge :( it gave up not long ago actually, but we still have our copy of the magazine to remind us of our luck and our 15 minutes of fame.

Linking up with The delightful Cathy for another Flashback Friday post :)




: this is not a sponsored post



14 Mar 2013

Oh Boy, What's Next ?

It seems as though this child is destined to keep me entertained for life. A wild child, and a free spirit from the day he was born, there is never a dull moment while he is around. He is a child/teen full of character and has never been one to shy away from anything. He is daring, and heads into mischief with full force, no holds barred.

Over the years he has given me many reasons to smile, and to gasp in horror. Like the time he painted his cot in poo, decided to wear his birthday cake, or when he bathed the dog in mud.

Cake face
Now he is a teen (almost 15) he is no less entertaining. His antics have us in fits of laughter, and some of the things he comes out with would be worthy of any good comedienne (possible future job maybe ?)

Always the clown

But the latest "teen trend" he has bought into, or whatever you want to call it, freaked me out to say the least.
On returning home the other day after shopping with his oldest brother, he marched through the house locking himself in the bathroom for a good half hour.
Knowing full well that he was "up to something" I questioned my other sons to find out exactly what he was up to. Of course this is the time they decided that brotherly loyalty was worth putting in practice instead of "dobbing".

I must admit that I was a little concerned, after all this is our child who is full of surprises. I was not sure what to expect.

Low and behold when he finally came out of the bathroom, I must admit that he looked completely normal for a teenage boy however on closer inspection due to the cheeky smile he had plastered on his face I noticed that all things were not quite as normal as first thought.......

Those eyes
He had gone and purchased a pair of coloured contact lenses. His response to the look on my face. "I didn't tell you because I knew you would not let me get them"
You think !!
I did have a chuckle, it certainly could have been worse, he is a clown, always looking for new ways to shock. And this time he freaked me out to........

Do you have a child/teen that gives you a sore belly from laughter ?
Or one that can sets out to shock ?

Would love to hear about more child/teen characters :)



12 Mar 2013

Shhhh Don't Tell Anyone

As a child I was never really into sport, dancing was my thing and I played the odd game of Netball for the Primary School Inter Sport Competitions, and that was about as exciting as I ever got. As for High School, please...there was no way that I was going to sweat for anyone that just wasn't cool  And as for watching sport, well I am afraid that was never high up on my list of fun things to do either.

My how things change

Lucky for me, I was given the privilege of giving birth to four wonderful sons, and so over the years I have had to change my outlook on sport. The boys at one time or another have played it all. Soccer, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Cricket, Tennis and even Taekwondo and so it seemed that with such enthusiastic kids, I needed to brush up on my "ball skills" well my knowledge anyway.

I loved watching the boys play sport, full of action and their eagerness to fight for that sometimes elusive win. It was exciting.
But it wasn't until I saw my first "live"match of rugby League between the North QLD Cowboys and Newcastle Knights that I truly got into "the spirit" and became a full on sport junky !!
The Cowboys promptly became MY team and I follow them with pride. I sometimes get a little excited watching their games on TV and I may even make more noise then my boys :)

Anyway, today (yesterday) was a big day for my the club, not only was it their 18th birthday but it was the day that they were to announce whether or not JT (Jonathan Thurston for those not in the loop) was resigning his contract or moving on.
The tweet came through at 11.30 stating that we had to wait for a live broadcast that was to be shown at 1pm Can you believe it, we had to wait for another hour and a half for the news we had been waiting for, for months.

The countdown was on, I kept watching the clock, time went by so slowly. I waited.........

He came on the TV looking all gorgeous in his suit and tie and said those magic words. He was staying, the wait was over, he had recommitted to my the club for another four years !

Shhhh don't tell anyone
I may have lept out of my chair
I may have shouted out "Go you good thing"
I may have squealed like a little girl at Christmas

I am ecstatic                                                                                  

I think that it may just be the Cowboys year
Go you good things
Do us proud

Linking up This fab Tuesday with the awesome Jess for IBOT

11 Mar 2013

It's On, It's Off, It's On Again

If there is one thing that you can count on in life it's that at one stage or another, you will most likely suffer from a broken heart.

First love can be beautiful. It can also be brutal. And for a Teens first walk down the path of "love" it can be down right confusing.            

For the past few weeks one of the Crafty boys has been on cloud nine. There has been much laughter, a willingness to help around the house a shock to my system and a smile so big it has made my heart sing. There has even been a truce called between brothers that has resulted in a lovely household quiet.  It was a joy to see my boy so happy teen boys are usually sullen and moody 
All because of a girl :) His first girlfriend, he was so proud of himself. There was a noticeable positive change in his outlook on things and at that point it seemed as though everything was right in his world.

First love, so sweet, so magical, so memorable, but it can hurt.
Things can change in an instant !

Heartbroken, my big tough teen crumbled and tears were shed.
It was over.
My heart ached for him, it was a fight to keep my own tears from falling. This is my boy who usually only shows his "tough" side. It's not "cool" to be any other way (apparently)

It is hard to know exactly what to say when one is so down and experiencing something like this for the first time. Words can seem empty when a heart is broken, and advice often falls on deaf ears.

Mum couldn't possibly understand !

He took it hard, and was not himself. Laying around watching movies, keeping very quiet and his phone close, just in case......

I expected the old "I'm to sick to go to school" routine the next morning, however that was not the case. Unbeknown to me, the young lady in question did call him the previous night and things were slightly better, his spirits were up and off to school he went no problems at all thank goodness

I worried about him all day, but later that afternoon when school was done, a smile was spread across his face once more. It was "back on" and he confided in me that girls are "confusing" this is only the beginning my boy He still claims that he does not know what happened and why they "broke up" in the first place at least he is not telling mum anyway but thank goodness my smiling, happy boy has returned once more, for how long, it cant be known but I am going to lap it up for as long as I can.


8 Mar 2013

It's A Cake Flash Back

I love birthday parties. The exciting lead up, the preparations, the smiles that seem forever glued to children's faces as they wait in anticipation for the fun to begin.
It brings warm fuzzies to my heart.

Now that my boys are older, birthday parties are nothing but a distant memory to cherish except 16th's 18th's and 21st's of course  Party games are a thing of the past, and as for mum whipping up  delicious goodies, well that is off the radar to. I have been replaced with pizza, movie marathons and games of football that parents may be allowed to watch, but are definitely not invited to play :(

The one thing that I do miss about the boys birthday parties no it's not the cleaning up is creating fabulous birthday cakes. I use to get so much pleasure from the planning, the baking and the decorating. It saddens me a little to know that it is no longer "cool" for mum to serve up these cake creations anymore.

Flipping through photos yet again for this weeks Flashback Friday post, I came across these photos of some of the cakes that I had made for my boys over the years. At the time they were big hits, and along with photos of the cakes, there are many more photos of the boys covered head to toe in coloured icing :) but I will leave those for another time.



Bart Simpson

Funny Face

The whale was a favorite

Tom Cat

Happily linking in with the lovely Cathy for another Flashback Friday

Enjoy your Friday and have a fabulous weekend :)






A Mum In Need Of Advice

Homework can be an issue in many households, mine included. And to be honest, at times I think  it can get a little out of hand. Don't get me wrong, I believe that homework is an important part of our children's education and I would never encourage any of my sons not to do what is required of them. But on the other hand it can create "issues".

The issues that circulate in our household, and I know that I can't be alone here, is getting our teens to communicate did I just write that ? teens communicating ! To be  honest when asked about the homework and assignments they have been set. To actually sit down with interest, some enthusiasm wouldn't hurt, would it ? and to actually have a go at concentrating on what is before them and to leave all other distractions aside until everything is completed to my satisfaction, and to the standard that has been set by the teacher.
Yeah right, I am dreaming aren't I

It is an ongoing battle, one that often requires A LOT of patience on my behalf.


Earlier this week I received a phone call from my sons English teacher expressing her concern for my son and his attitude towards his work. The assignment paper that he handed in (one that I was unaware he had) was not only late he had already been given an extension but also not up to his usual standard. Nowhere near in fact
On hearing this news, I was very thankful that she had taken the time to communicate with me her concerns, and grateful that she made me aware of what was going on with my sons schooling progress. Something that impresses me greatly with the school that my sons attend.

Being an almost fifteen year old his attitude is a case of shoulder shrugging and eye rolling. It frustrates me, I am aware that he does not have keen interest in school he prefers playing sport but usually with a little encouragement, he has always managed to make decent grades.
I think as far as a routine goes, I will have to shake things up around here !

I have tried structure, a time table and laying down the law...Big fail
I've tried letting him have a go at figuring it out on his own...OK, not a great idea
I've sat with him...this caused a few arguments
And I have suggested that he ask his older brothers for advice or help...I think my ears are still ringing

Things are in need of change around here if success is to be achieved. I need to put a plan in motion that will prove to me that my son is on the right track to taking his education a little more seriously.

I guess I am after a little advice. Homework and son number three has always been a slight issue and silly as I may be, I thought that as time past and the older he got, the kinks would slowly be worked out. Trying to get him to understand the importance of putting in as much effort for school, as he does for recreation, is certainly becoming a challenge, it's falling on deaf ears.

So I am calling out for help.
Does anyone have any idea how I could next approach these homework issues ?
I would be grateful for any feed back that comes my way......

I really am a Mum in need of advice


Linking up with the lovely Grace for another fabulous FYBF and praying for a little advice from all the fantastic mums out there :)

5 Mar 2013

Wet Wet Wet

It's driving us crazy, we are all in a spin. Yes I am aware that where we live the "wet season" is inevitable, it shows it's face each and every year, usually without fail. It hangs on, turning every thing to mush. Everything gets that icky damp feel and I cant even begin to tell you what it feels like to walk on floors that feel as though they have never seen a mop in their entire life time.

And ants......
What the !
They are every where, the kitchen, the bathrooms and last night for some reason my bedside draws. (no there was no sneaky bar of chocolate hidden away from the boys)
They are driving me nuts, I am at my wits end and it seems that I am driving everyone else in the household crazy with my constant yelling for the bug spray (all natural of course)

The "big wet" this year has hit a little later than usual, and it's teasing us, allowing the sun to peak through and shows us it's glowing self only to disappear within moments allowing the clouds to open up and send us buckets of rain once more.
I am not the only one climbing the walls. The boys are over it, hubby is over it, and enough is enough.
I am tired of mud, it sticks to shoes and gets walked through the house (its to hard to remove shoes before entering obviously) and thanks to a naughty poodle that has decided that digging up the back yard is a great way to pass the day away, my BBQ area and beautiful glass doors are going to need scrubbing beyond anything that I can imagine right now.

Sigh........

I'm whining, I know. Literally writing about nothing. Maybe the rain has finally penetrated my brain stopping me from making sense and writing something productive.
The rain will clear, taking with it the fuzzy that is my head space. The sun will shine and everything will be lush, green and beautiful once more.

Oh and did you know that we are now currently on a cyclone watch !
YAY.....could things get any better LOL
Stay out to sea please, I have a lot of better things to do then to be cooped up inside much longer.


Linking up with lovely Jess for another fun filled IBOT :)

1 Mar 2013

H.R. Pufnstuf - A TV Flashback



H.R. Pufnstuf
Who's your friend when things get rough ? 
H.R. Pufnstuf 
Can't do a little cause he can't do enough.


Silly song, silly show, but gee it brings back memories. H.R. Pufnstuf was a children's television show, that first went to air in 1969 and continued to produce until September 1971. This was before I was born ! Honestly, cross my heart.  
The show was about Jimmy, a young boy who had in his possession a magic flute named Freddie of course All I ever wanted was to get my hands on that darn flute ! A flute that could talk and play tunes on its own........
One day Jimmy gets on a magic, talking boat wait it gets better that promises to take him on an adventure of a life time. Little does Jimmy know that the boat belongs to a wicked witch named Witchiepoo, who is using the boat to kidnap Jimmy, take him to the Island where she lives and steal Freddie the magic flute from him !!!

OH MY SHOCK HORROR......

Thankfully Jimmy is rescued by the Islands Mayor, a six foot dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf. But of course This is where Jimmy's adventure begins, trying to get off the Island and return to his home. Many times over Jimmy must try and avoid being captured by Witchiepoo but with the help of H.R. Pufnstuf and his two deputies Kling and Klang, it seems that Jimmy and Freddie are able to out smart  Witchiepoo at every turn.



Ridiculous I know, but to this day I remember sitting at my tiny plastic table and chairs, with a glass of milk and a plate of cookies healthy kid to watch this show every week day morning.......

Do you think that my mum was after some peace ?

Mmmm no wonder I am slightly twisted LOL

Happy Flashback Friday :)

A Day For Me-Part Two

I cant believe it's been a week already since I had my long awaited day of solitude. It was a day of doing nothing except what took my "fancy" and putting aside the everyday dreaded housework and what usually "has" to be done, and just doing something for me !
We all need days like this, days off to recharge our batteries and just chill. It may not happen very often for us mums, but when we do get the chance to have a day of relaxation and throw caution to the wind, we lap up every ounce of these precious moments.

Last Friday started out as normal, waking sleeping teens (always a dangerous moment) gently pushing encouraging them to eat breakfast, pack school bags, shower and leave for school.
They sensed that I was eager to get moving on this particular day, and so I am sure that the dragging of feet and the rolling of eyes were their way of testing my limits but I was determined to put aside their small annoyances and concentrate on my day ahead :)

Pulling away from the school I think my wave to the boys was a little "too" enthusiastic, I was smiling from ear to ear.......

I headed right to the shopping center to indulge in a little retail therapy.
First stop, why it was coffee and a sneaky cake of course :)
with a side of people watching.
People fascinate me, we are all so different yet at the same time so similar. Sitting back watching mums struggle with their babes and toddlers stirred memories of my own toddler shopping days, a mixture of glee that I no longer have to deal with sudden melt downs, sadness that, that part for me is over.

Next I began to wonder through the many gorgeous shops showing off the latest Autumn/Spring fashions and couldn't help but purchase a few pieces for my upcoming trip to Sydney for the Digital Parents Conference :)
The closer the time comes for the conference the more nervous I am  getting.

On a whim I decided that new hair was in order and so I headed in the direction of my stylist who promptly sat me in the chair and began snipping away (all that is needed now is a colour)
After picking up a few things at the grocery shop, yes no matter what, the masses still needed to be fed dinner, I headed home to finish off the afternoon with a home foot spa and a bit of catching up with some of my favorite blogs.


It was sheer bliss :)

I enjoyed my day, and wish that I could fit a whole day of doing nothing into my weekly schedule.
Oh well at least when the opportunity does arise it rejuvenates me a little and helps me get by until the next time.

I hope everyone got a little time to themselves this past week and managed to get a spring back into your weary step.

Linking up with the lovely Grace for another fabulous FYBF

FIVE PLANTS THAT HELP TO REPEL MOZZIES

Summer is just around the corner bringing with it long lazy days by the pool, backyard BBQ's with family and friends and the return of ...