Friday, 27 April 2012

Changing the Home Reading Books

Every morning I change the home reading books for Hannah's Grade 2 class. These are the books that the children take home each night. They read them with their parents and then bring them back the next day to be changed for a nice new one.

For some reason this 'job', I won't call it a duty, as I do enjoy doing it, always seems to fall on me. I don't know why that is exactly... anyway. I have been doing it since Bethany was in Prep which was five years ago now. Sometimes for both of the girls, now just for Hannah. Next year for Hannah and Angus. So I can't see it ending for at least another 6 years! Yikes!

This year this 'job' has got even more challenging  trying  arduous  laborious  fun, by the fact that I now have two small boys to occupy and amuse while I change the books. There are four classes close by and a reading group of about 6 children comes and sits at the table right next to us. Having just Angus there was so easy. He was such a good boy and played quietly and calmly. Now a strong willed little two year is added to the mix and we have fireworks.

They fight over toys, balls, crayons, chairs, mummy's attention. Angus picks up a toy that Josh wants and Josh lets the whole building know about it! He throws himself on the floor, flat on his back and cries. I stop, pick him up, take him outside, happy him up a little bit, and take him back inside for the next round. I am lucky if I get to change one kid's book, before he starts again.

Today I used a different tactic. I sat him up on the desk next to me. Held on to him securely with one hand and opened folders and wrote numbers down with the other hand. That works for oh maybe five whole folders. When the novelty of sitting on the desk wore off, I sat him at my feet with books. While keeping up a steady chatter of "Oh what can you see there Josh?" "Is that a teddy?" "Oh that cake looks yummy", I could write furiously, and kept plying him with different books, until I had finished them all.

It really is all good fun! All these other mum's that don't volunteer, really don't know what they are missing out on.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Memories are funny things.

One of the first memories I have is walking into my Grandma's house in Southampton and looking at the Grandfather clock, she kept just inside the door. Watching the pendulum swing back and forth. I must have been about two years old.

The next clear memories I have are on board the Fairstar, on our way out to Australia in 1972. I have quite a few memories of the ship. I remember the dining room. The children would eat dinner first and the adults later in the evening. I remember having a luke warm cup of tea with a biscuit. I remember being told off by the cabin boy for making too much noise one day and I remember playing quoits on deck. I was 2 1/2 years old.

How do memories work? What makes our brain retain a certain piece of seemingly unimportant information? Why do we remember an event that happened decades ago better than events last week?

I have good memories about certain times in the past and certain periods in my life and sometimes wish things were the same as back in the "good old days". But when I really stop and think and remember back to those times. I remember they weren't as rosy as my mind tries to paint them.

It is a good thing, isn't it? That our brain remembers the good points about a time and not the bad. In twenty years or more will I look back on today and think "remember how wonderful things were in 2012"!

What is one of your first memories and how old were you at the time?


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tolkien Truths

It is time to let my inner geek out, with some pins from my Inner Geek Pinterest board.

Source: via Melanie on Pinterest

And remember, on the keyboard of life always keep one finger on the escape button.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Free Apps for iPhone, Android and Windows is a site where you can grab free apps for iphone, Android and Windows Apps.

Search for them by popularity, rank, most downloaded, most reviewed, best free app.

There are apps for windows, iPhone and Android. For whatever you need - games, education, news, reference, sport, social networking, travel, weather, medical, music, navigation, plus lots more.

Freenew was established in May 2010 by a group who were eager to find free and new things on the Internet. is dedicated to providing a selection of popular software, mobile applications, and game downloading and installation services.

Some of the many and varied apps available are:

  • Angry Birds 
  • Farm Story 
  • Sudoku 
  • Fruit Ninja 
  • Night Vision Cam 
  • Barcode Scanner 
  • Real Player 
  • Gmail 
  • Becoming a Self Starter 
  • Achieving Simplicity at Work and at Home. 

There is something here for everyone and it is free!

Thomas at the Railway Workshop Museum

I chose a few photos from a day that we spent at the Ipswich Railway Workshop Museum. Occasionally they have Thomas and the Fat Controller come to visit. It is a great day out for everybody.

So for those train spotters among us.... Enjoy!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Drifting Off To Sleep

Do you know that time at night, just after you turn the light off and you are lying in bed?

That ten minutes just before sleep overcomes me, I go through my day. I take stock of all the things that have happened during the day; encounters with different ones; conversations with people; things that I accomplished and things that I didn't...

My plans for the next day; what is on my 'to do' list; what is urgent and what can wait. Things that are happening at school the next day - am I doing the home reading books for the kids? Do I have to sign anything? Pay anything? See anyone? Have the kids done their homework? Are their clothes all ready for the morning?

I choose this time because it is the only quiet time in my day. This may sound completely insane, but this is the only time that I can actually stop and hear my own thoughts. With four kids, two of them boys, who like to talk loudly, and like things loud, in a house with wooden floorboards upstairs and tiles downstairs, you would not believe the noise level sometimes.

I listen to the night sounds. The squabble of bats, the sweet, soft, songs of the night birds, the hum of an occasional car, the monotonous dial tone of the cane toads, as they all go about their nightly business. I can relax. Knowing that my four little sweethearts are all safely tucked up in their beds and sleeping soundly.

I can then drift off to sleep. Safe in the knowledge that all is right with my world. The rest of the world can wait until tomorrow.


Friday, 13 April 2012

Things I Know This Week

I know that trying to write a blog post during school holidays is amazingly hard. Next week it will be back to some serious blogging I promise :-)

I know that the divide between good people and bad people seems to have widened just lately. The bad people seem to be quite degraded, no warmth, conscience, or goodness in them at all, they have a blatant disregard for anybody but themselves. On the other hand the good people are wonderful, go out of their way to help, think of others, always ready to give of themselves, looking for ways to help make things easier for those they mix with, with no intention or expectations of getting anything in return.

I know that the American Indian saying - 'Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins' has never been truer. Some people don't understand. It is not their fault. Their lives are different, they have had opportunities, chances, luck, advantages call it what you will. They may try to understand but they never will. No hard feelings. It's life. 

I know that getting answers to some questions this week, has made me relax and feel much more confident about a certain little lady's future.

I know that knowledge certainly is power.

Now over to you....  What things do you know this week?


Friday, 6 April 2012

Things I Know this week ...

I know that just because it is school holidays doesn't mean that mummy gets to sleep in.

I know that some good friends take the time to look deeper and don't take things at face value.

I know that I love living close to the railway line and I will miss the sound if I ever move house.

I know that there is not enough enthusiasm in this world and when you see a person passionate about something it is very refreshing.

I know that tidying a room with children around is like trying to shovel sand at the beach.

I know that sometimes I spend more time stressing and worrying about doing something than the time it takes to actually do it.

I know that not one of us has the right to judge another person.

I know that acquiring knowledge and learning are a voyage not a destination.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Nature's Secret for Baby's Sensitive Skin - Aveeno Giveaway

A baby's soft skin is something to be cherished and cared for. Absolutely nothing compares to the feel and smell of a precious baby's skin.

As mums we want to make sure that we are doing the right thing. We want to choose baby washes, creams and shampoos that do not irritate our baby's skin, and are quick to soothe them if their skin becomes dry or for the occasional nappy rash that can make them sore and red.

Colloidal Oatmeal is made from oats that are ground into a very fine powder. It has an anti-itch property that can reduce the need to scratch. It provides excellent relief for things like eczema, rashes, sunburn, chicken pox, insect bites and other things that make us itch.

One of the ingredients in Aveeno Baby's range of luxurious baby products is Colloidal Oatmeal or Oat kernel extract.

This not only soothes our baby's sensitive skin but also provides a protective barrier and is clinically proven to moisturise for 24 hours.

Soothing Relief Moisture Cream: Moisturises for 24 hours, contains colloidal oatmeal and rich emollients to relieve dry, red and itchy skin. The non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. It is suitable for use on dry skin caused by eczema and is gentle enough for everyday use on baby's skin.

Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash: This tear-free wash contains colloidal oatmeal. It is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. It gently soothes, cleanses and relieves dry skin associated with eczema.

Baby Daily Moisturising Lotion: This non-greasy formula contains colloidal oatmeal that soothes and protects a baby's delicate skin. It is absorbed quickly and contains no drying alcohol. It is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free and is suitable for daily use on even the most sensitive skin.

Baby Wash & Shampoo: Contains natural oat extract and is hypoallergenic. It is a rich, lathering, soap-free, non-drying cleanser for your baby's delicate skin. The tear-free formula gently cleanses the skin while leaving a soft, fresh fragrance. It is gentle enough for everyday use on newborns and babies with sensitive skin.

One lucky reader will win all four of these beautiful products for their little one.

Offer available to Australia only.

This giveaway will end on the 18th April, 2012 at 6:00pm.

Please remember to put an email address, or contact details in your comment so that I can contact you if you are the winner!

Monday, 2 April 2012

No More Tangles! Product Review

Babies and children and Johnson's products seem to go together for me. I remember my mum washing my hair when I was little with Johnson & Johnson No More Tears shampoo. I remember the smell and the bubbles. Do you have good memories of those days, like me?

I was very kindly sent some - no more tangles shampoo, no more tangles conditioner and no more tangles detangling spray.

I was very keen to try them out on all my bunch of hair bears! Especially the new no more tangles detangling spray. Both my girls have beautiful long hair and it can get tangled and knotted very easily. It is good because you can use it on wet or dry hair. I find it makes styling their hair into pony tails and plaits so much neater and easier. Their hair felt incredibly soft and silky. The knots and tangles just seemed to fall straight out. Not a single 'ouch'! They just loved how it made their hair feel.

Johnson's no more tangles Shampoo has an extra conditioning formula and is easy to apply and to rinse off again. It leaves their hair so shiny and it also restores the 'spring' back to curly hair.

Johnson's no more tangles Conditioner tames the toughest knots. It was easy and quick to rinse out or it can be used as a leave in formula. You can also use it on dry hair between washes.

I always try to make bath time a fun time. Plenty of toys, plenty of bubbles, plenty of laughs. My kids have always loved their time in the tub.

First up was my youngest Joshua. He is two years old and his hair is starting to thicken up nicely.

Next was Angus, my four year old. He has lovely, curly, thick, blonde hair.

The shampoo lathers up well and is just perfect to make silly hair dos! Which my two boys are demonstrating for you!

It feels so good to have nice, clean boys again. Because as any mum of little boys knows they don't stay that way for very long.


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