Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas With Us

Christmas dawned early and bright here, with much excitement and joy. This was also mixed with a croissant breakfast and food preparation for the feasting before the family and friends arrived.
We laughed, shared, ate, drank, played with new toys, danced, sang, created memories and remembered those not with us this year.

preparing the chicken shwarma for the spit, thanks Jamie Oliver for the inspiration!

teaching Pop
"What do you call a penguin in the desert?"

cousin time

how all good Christmas lunches should end!
 Here's to 2015  xxx


Friday, 19 December 2014

Bring on Christmas Day!

For the last thirteen years Great Southern Rail has hosted the Indian Pacific Outback Christmas Train during December. This event spreads Christmas cheer across Australia as the Indian Pacific travels 4,352km from Sydney to Perth.

Each year Santa travels on the Indian Pacific, along with a special guest to perform free concerts at regional stops along the way. This year Australian rock band, Chocolate Starfish accompanied Santa and it was with much excitement my children's school choir was also part of the concert in Broken Hill.

Earlier this year Great Southern Rail teamed up with Adam Thompson, front man of band Chocolate Starfish and professional music mentor, to put together a uniquely Australian Christmas carol. Adam travelled  to some regional towns, including our home town, and with help from some of the school children along the way, they created an Aussie carol – ‘Bring on Christmas Day!’.

My son was lucky enough to be one of the children who spent time workshopping with Adam and his group collaboratively wrote the second verse.  Needless to say he had an absolute ball and is still enjoying his rock star status!
The day the Christmas train pulled in to town we were up and dressed extremely early to meet it on the platform before school and our school choir performed "Bring on Christmas Day', along with Chocolate Starfish. This was of course after they had entertained the crowd of parents, train passengers and staff and  other onlookers with songs that showed our age (or lack of it in the case of some teachers and all the children!).
here comes the train

Adam and the children singing 'Bring on Christmas Day'

Yes, we live a long way from anything and many visitors comment on the fact that our place is in the middle of nowhere but, while this brings many challenges, it also brings so many great opportunities such as this one.
The end result, 'Bring on Christmas Day' is a brilliant Australian Christmas song, and not only is it a catchy tune, but every time someone downloads it on iTunes, funds from the sale will be donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Adam and his crew were extremely generous with their time and attentions and made the kids feel very special. He remembered them, he got in with them, he said "Hi" and he posed for many photos. He even caught a soccer game and gave the kids a half time pep talk while he was in town making the song, after finding out that many of the kids he had worked with all played in the same team!

Here is the end result. The kids look like they are having SO. MUCH. FUN!


one mother hen

Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Conversation

Every year the local Ulysses club organises a Toy Run collecting donated toys for less fortunate children. They are coming to our school this week to collect any donations so today we went shopping...

On the way to the shop there was a very interesting conversation in my car which made me realise that the idea of not 'having' things is a very abstract concept for my children. Master B said that he thought giving toys was a great idea but wondered where the toys went as there was probably not anyone who would need it in our town! In my line of work I know this is not true and it got me thinking.


My children are not over-indulged but they do not want for anything. They have the basics and more. I do not want to take things away so how do I foster compassion in them while a less fortunate life is not their reality?

I have been doing some thinking and while there are many options for sponsorship, donations of money and goods or time, especially at Christmas, I would like this to be relevant to my children so I think that helping other disadvantaged children in Australia is what I would like to pursue.

It is certainly food for thought, especially as I did not realise that, even though we talk about those less fortunate, Master and Miss B do not really understand or relate this to themselves or their community. Thanks to Mr Google I already have my eye on The Smith Family organisation as they are Australia’s largest national education-oriented charity, supporting disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education and giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of disadvantage. They run learning support and mentoring programs to help children in need to fit in at school, keep up with their peers, and build aspirations for a better future for themselves. Education is something very close to my heart and part of my children's reality as well.

Do you volunteer with your children or support any causes along with them?
Have you had conversations with them about what we can do?  
What do you think is the best way to foster compassion for others less fortunate?

I'd love to hear what you think!

Kate xx


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list or wish list? I do and during the recent school holidays I got to cross something off it! It was definitely worth the VERY early morning start...

up we go...
so very peaceful

over the Murray river - South Australia
one coffee deprived but happy balloonist!
Truly one of the best ways to start the day!
Kate xx
Linking with Wordless Wednesday
My Little Drummer Boys

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Great Tea Towel Swap

One of my besties and I have a tradition. Should one of us be lucky enough to go away on a holiday, it is a given that we will return bearing gifts. In particular, a gift of the highest touristy calibre!

I do not remember which one of us started this tradition but I do remember the conversation going something along the lines of one of us going on holidays and saying we would bring something back. The other joked and said they definitely wanted a tea towel. I am guessing that buying tea towels seemed like the height of ridiculous, old person behaviour to us at the time (!!). Both of us pictured in our mind's eye the most kitsch, scratchy, touristy kind of tea towel ever seen and it was on!

The Northern Territory does it well!
It is an ongoing challenge to see who can find the best of the worst tea towels in whatever location they are lucky enough to find themselves in. Please understand that there are some quite tasteful tea towels to be found but these do not have a place in my kitchen (or in hers if I can help it).

Many of my treasures are from New Zealand....yes my friend was originally a Kiwi!
This one is special as it did not come from a shop. It has been pre-loved and dried
many a N.Z. dish!
As it stands, my friend is in the lead as she trumped all my efforts with this delight from the Northern Territory. The fact that it is absolutely useless for drying dishes and more suited to chamoising my car only makes it better!

This is the winning t.t so far! Would you hang this on your oven?

Weird? Yes, but it is a tradition that will mean that I am never short of a way to dry a dish and any visitors to my place will most probably leave doubting my taste in kitchen accessories!

The collection

Do you have a favourite souvenir that you buy in every place you have been?

Do you have any traditions that only you and another slightly twisted individual completely understand?

Here's to dry dishes and travelling far and near! Oh, and don't think I won't keep trying to win back the crown.

Kate xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Dream a Little Dream

I have been interviewed by Lisa from a lovely blog, Random Acts of Zen about my most incredible dream.

Pop on over to today's post if you would like to see what it is...

What's your dream? Are you able to put it into words? I found it a challenge!

Kate xx


Friday, 5 September 2014

Did Somebody Say Spring Chickens???

Some of you may know, or have gathered that I work in a preschool when I am not crocheting, pretending I can bake, taking photographs or being 'Mum'.

We have been preparing for spring in a rather exciting way over the last few weeks.

We have had fertilised eggs incubating in the classrooms and this week, just after one of the classes had finished dancing the Chicken Dance, the first egg cracked....

this one is called Nugget! He has gone home with one of the educators for the weekend... (I bet he stays longer!)
and we were all overcome by chicken fever!!!

Actually it took a little longer than that but Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday saw a lot of cracking, fluffy excitement for children, parents and educators alike. I was even seen at work obscenely early on a day that I do not work, with Miss B, so that she could visit before she went to school. While she was there she held one (or three), named one and even though we were in danger of missing the school bell, she saw one actually hatching out of its egg. I am guessing that her class at school learnt something about eggs and chickens this week too.

Growing up on a property, I have helped look after chooks, collected eggs, beat broody dears off their nests while armed with rakes and welding gloves and chased many a runaway as the sun goes down but I have never hatched these feathery fiends from eggs before.

It has been a fantastic project to be part of with my little three to five year old friends and fellow educators. There have been so many questions, wonderings and preschooler theories as well as art works, stories and craft creation and the perfect excuse to indulge in the Chicken Dance day after day. I can say with absolute certainty that we have all taken part in the learning, and fun here!

Have you ever hatched chicken eggs?

Do you want to buy a chicken? We have about 40!!!!!!!!!

Have a happy weekend

Kate xx


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Flour, eggs and a little sparkle

The rhythm of the house has changed this week. Master B is far, far away, on a school excursion so Miss B is Queen of the house for the week.

One of Queen B's favourite pass times is baking so today she took advantage of her Mother-in-waiting's full attention and she indulged...

Is there anyone in your house who has a passion for baking? I am definitely going to nurture this interest as I fully encourage and support the baking (and eating) of cake!

Kate xx

I am linking with Wordless Wednesday over at My Little Drummer Boys

My Little Drummer Boys

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dragons and Fairies on the loose

Is it just me or do the words 'Book Week Parade' fill mother's hearts with dread? They certainly do for me and I wait with bated breath until the desired costumes are announced...

Crystal, a Rainbow Magic Fairy (pretty easy I thought) and Toothless from the series of books and the movie How to Train Your Dragon (arrrrgh!!!!!)

Thank goodness for Pinterest, imagination, hot glue guns and my ability to thread a needle.

Book week done and dusted for 2014 and the Costume Director (a.k.a Mum) relatively unscathed!

Linking with Wordless Wednesday over at My Little Drummer Boys

My Little Drummer Boys

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