Slowly the Christmas decorations are starting to be taken down.
The unseasonally cold weather is gradually heating up again, and we will venture out to swim tommorrow.
I have nearly completed my cleanout of the boys room. They cleaned out a whole bunch first and now I am in there doing the 'culling' phase of the operation.
The boys were given the board game of Warhammer Quest
from Robby and Paul for Christmas, so each day I sit at the kitchen table and go one round with them. It is a hard game to explain. Roly is the wizard in the blue hat, Spindles is the dwarf with the yellow bundle, and I am the Barbarian with hardly any clothes on. (Roooarr! Heehee!) The elf is sometimes played by Diva.
At present we are playing the dwarf's special quest, so we are helping him to get something out of the fire room.
As we move around the board, we have to take on the trolls, etc that bar our way. We fight them by rolling dice, to see how we go. they have a certain amount of lives and so do we, though we can buy healing potions and bandages to bring our lives back up to the optimum. Quite fun really.
In totally unrelated news: our storytimes at night have undergone some changes lately. I have always read a 'Bible story' at night, plus a chapter or two of some kid's novel. But now that the kids are older, we all lie on the floor with our Bibles, and read either a chapter or half a chapter, depending on how long the chapter is) each reading about 8 verses. We are starting from the beginning, Genesis, and working our way through (using some discretion. For instance, we chose not to have our little innocents reading about Lot's daughters being incestuous with their father. Though to be honest, the skipping made Roly very curious, so he read it himself!). Hubby has come on board with this too, whenever he is at home, so that is fantastic, though at the rate which we are reading, I will probably be in the dementia unit by the time we swing round to Revelations.
Novel-wise we are reading Five on Finniston Farm by Enid Blyton, as well as another one that I won't reveal, as it has divided lots of Christians over here and I do not want to debate or lose blog buddies over it. (HA! Bet that just got everyone curious! Cruel aren't I! LOL!)
I have always loved reading, as Robby and I never had TV growing up in Kenya, and I have always so enjoyed reading to the kids. Now we have three prolific readers in the family, besides Hubby and I. The boys read all holidays, and while they read they also listen to an audio book. Who ever said that males cannot multi-task?!!
8:00 I popped a coffee cake in the oven just before we went to the early service next door. I usually make sticky buns for Christmas, but the bread maker is on strike, so Coffee cake it was.
9:15 After church, the kids pottered, Hubby went over to the next town to conduct another service, and I started making a pasta salad, and 3 bannoffee pies.
12:00-3:30 We had Chrstmas lunch with my Mom's dozen siblings and their families in a town about an hour away. Topsy was a terribly winger all the way there and all the way back!
We had a delicious feast of cold roasted lamb, pork and ham with a salad buffet.
Then we had nearly 10 desserts from which to sample, whilst catching on a bit of the family news.
Usually we all sit outside in my Uncle's back yard, under a big tent thing. and because it is so stinking hot in December, we drizzle water over the tent and end up having a big water fight.
But this year it was rather cool, and it rained sporadically.
The annual cricket game was played, but the water fight never eventuated.
3:30 Late afternoon when we got home we played with our 'toys' and munched on leftovers for dinner.
A very satisfying day all up!
I can't wait to hear how you all celebrated Christmas.
As for our pre Christmas highlights.... well it is all a bit of a blur now, but I do remember that last Friday night we had our own family Christmas dinner, just the six of us. For a couple of weeks we had been stockpiling bottles of apple and grape cider (the non alcoholic kind).
Roast Turkey roll
Garlic Roasted potato and Sweet potato
Buttered carrots and beans
Cauliflour and broccoli in Cheese sauce
Sticky Date pudding for dessert (this was requested by the kids and I was flattered since I too had thought that the one I made a couple of weeks ago was to die for. Flattered, that is, until Diva added "Yes can you please make it like the first one you made, not like the second one!' The 'first one' she was talking about was a bought Sara Lee that I had overcooked in the oven about four weeks back. Grr.!)
It was a gorgeously yummy dinner, despite having a bought dessert! :)
We had aalso planned to go into town, meet up with my cousin and her hubby and their kids at their house. They live in the epicentre of Christmas light central, so we were going to stroll around together. Well the day we chose was totally stormy with torrential rain. We still went out, and ended up driving around, with our windows down, fellas in one car, girls in the other. It was still fun, but the kids were dissapointed that none of the Santa Clauses were brave enough to stand out in the rain and hand out lollies!and today, the day after Boxing Day, it has been a whirlwind of activity. Hubby and I agree that it must be a pre New yea's Eve 'spring clean' of sorts.
Spindles protects his friend as he runs to safety.
Spindle's best buddy strikes a pose for MamaC
Getting the enemy within his sight.
Hubby apparantly giving Diva a turn. (Just at the last moment, as in five minutes before the end, she decided she would like to have a go. I was not about to pay for five minutes! So Hubby let her have a go of his..... sort of!)
Posing while under attack.
Some of the terrain.....
Roly having a blast in tactics mode.....
....but still has time for a chat with Topsy.
Topsy taking huge strides....
...trying to keep up with the big boys.
Wrapping it all up.
A day Spindles will never forget.
Well today didn't start off great. When Topsy was having his morning sleep, we thought we would prepare for building a campfire, by watching a 10 minute instructional video. You Tube has this nifty mini-communty called Expert Village, which has hundreds of 'how to' videos. So cool! And free!
The problems started when Roly decided, 50 seconds into the video that he already knew everything there was to know about setting up a campfire. ( Having gone on an overnight trip with school in first term, with lots of adult supervision.) Diva who was desperate to just do some hands-on fire buildin', jumped on his bandwagon a bit. So less than two minutes into the video, I turned it off with a 'humpmmmpphhh! Alright Roly, you can make a fire from scratch, and cannot learn any more from someone who has taught it for 8 years? Alrighty then, well you show us how it's done!'
He started out very enthusiastically, and I gave him a limit of 20 matches.
Well, all I'll say was that, he has come to realize that a 10 minute instructional video may be come in very handy. LOL!!! ( Oh and the reason I am using the video rather than teaching the 'how to' myself from our SAS survial book? I feel it would be a bit hypocritical, seeing as I have never lit a campfire all on my own.)
Well after Tospy's second sleep, we ventured to another friend's pool. Their own children have moved out of home, and they live right up amongst the hills, about 8 km from us. it is just a gorgeous place to live.
Well, the welcome was generous and the pool was exquisite. And to top[ it off, half of the pool was in the shade. Our hosts had a lot of pool toys.....
which entertained us, almost as much as watching each other practise diving!
And guess what? Our hosts have kangaroos, wild goats and reindeer in the hill on their property. What an eclectic mix, huh?
After dinner, even though we were exhausted from the swim, we dragged ourselves over to our Oasis for half an hour. The Oasis is a little disappointing at the moment, if I am being totally honest, seeing as someone has almost completely stopped up the running water with a deluge of rocks. And what meager water there is to play in, is made quite hazardous by the hovering throng of thirsty bees and wasps.
I am about to crash now, having put children to bed, and done a half hour on the manual treadmill (that my friend Funny farm loaned me).
I will probably not blog tomorrow. but on Friday night it is Spindles' birthday party, the laser one, so I will take tons of pics and show you how it went.
And then Saturday night is our Church Christmas party. We all just bring food for ourselves and a dessert to share. It is always held at the home of a parishoner who has a pool to keep all of the kids and hot people happy. It should be a ton of fun.
( Why this first paragraph is so big is beyond me! I have tried several times to alter the size but it reverts back to 'huge'. Grrr!)T's comment made me realize that I should probably clarify our holiday set up for the school year. The kids have four 8- 10 week terms. Then this year we have had two holidays of 3 weeks, one of 2 weeks, and this hot summer of 8 weeks.
Quite a lot, I guess.
Which leads me into my post really.
This is a really long holiday, so we are going to start something I was planning to do with the kids next year. I may have already said that Hubby is not keen to send our kids to Scouts because of the bad rap it has had with child abuse.
I, though, am keen for the kids to learn some good practical skills. So, thanks to the World Wide Web, I have managed to find where I can order the Scout badges, as well as finding the set criteria kids must complete to achieve a badge.
The ones I have decided they can start to work towards are:
Don't you think that is kind of cool that the whole program is right there, badges and all, on the net? And for any concerned Scout fanatics out there, fear not, we are doing it by the book. Badges will not be given until the criteria is met!!
So anyways, I am enlisting friends who are experts in some of these fields to come and give us a couple of talks and demonstrations (Hi Funny farm! One day I may get you to show us some basic first aid!!). I am getting one retired man from church to take the kids through the process of making a rope ladder each. Another man will teach us how to make a fire from scratch. We have a video and a human resource (Funny's Hubby) to help us learn our basic knots. (a must for scouts!)
We have started to plan an overnight camp at a river in our friend's property, and for water activites, we will hopefully borrow my cousin's raft and float down the river at Gunnedah (where we used to live).
So hopefully all will go smoothly over the weeks. I feel a little intimidated , as I am not as planned as I would have been in the New Year, but oh well, I am seizing the day! I will have to give updates on how it is going. Hey, any ideas where they should put their badges, seeing as the kiddos will not be wearing a uniform?
Anyways, better go. It is Sunday night, not a popular time to blog, or read blogs and I am tired. Talk soon!