Summer Holidaze

I dragged the kids to our local book exchange the other day. Actually they don't need dragging. There is a lolly store directly opposite, so even #4 who is least interested in the books (on account of not being able to read yet) is happy to go - as the promise of being able to choose something for $1 has everyone bouncing with anticipation and excitedly discussing just what they will choose.

The state of their teeth after this holiday is another question..

The book exchange is run by an older lady with strong opinions. Opinions she is not afraid to share. I remember when 50 Shades was at its height of popularity (I'm assuming, no hoping, that has abated - I mean no one's going to see the movie, right?) a sign was posted above her counter - I think it was a printout of the book cover, which she had amended to say: 50 Shades of SMUT! NOT WELCOME HERE!

Its nice to know some people out there aren't willing to sacrifice their principles for the sake of a quick buck.

So anyway, we went to the book exchange because I was in search of earlier thrillers in a series my husband and I had begun to read on our beach holiday.

"He can't write you know!" The shop owner declared loudly as I perused the shelves exclaiming over how many titles this author had produced over the years. (Note I'm refraining from saying the author's name here - they're spy thrillers, so I'm sticking with the mystery theme..)

"Yes I know," I replied, giving her a small smile. "But after seven weeks of school holidays all I want is something formulaic and a little bit thrilling to keep me going. You can see where I'm coming from?"

"I do". She said, smiling.

So here we find ourselves at the tail end of approx. seven weeks holiday. It is two weeks since we returned from our beach holiday and it is two days until school goes back. I've only just managed to restock the pantry (actually it's a cupboard but pantry sounds a bit loftier don't you think?) with Earl Grey tea bags for Jonathan and Russian Caravan for me... So maybe that will help me handle the approaching whirlwind that will surely be term 1.

Here are some of the highlights of the last 2 months (because my posts have been few and far between, I know):

In between what at times felt like constant shouting and crying (I've given up worrying about what the neighbours must think) I've been watching my kids grow up. Sometimes it happens without you realising it, and you look back at some old photos and get a shock at the changes. Other times the changing seems to be happening right before your eyes. 

My just turned four-year-old has started to write his own name, and to tread water in the pool. He is still sniffing his blankie so that is some consolation to me. 

My eleven-year-old has joined the tweenies. All it took was a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for Christmas and an I-tunes card to download some (vetted) music on his e-reader, and behold: 

He wore the headphones everywhere. Even when they weren't plugged in to anything.

Why didn't I ask for noise cancelling headphones for Christmas???

Meanwhile summery treats = happy children. At least until the gelato was gone.

Arch's birthday (the December birthday phenomena made slightly less painful when a pre-made and decorated supermarket cake entered the equation). Yes that's Lightning McQueen. $20 and worth every cent.

Christmas culinary favourites (old and new) made the festive season filling.  

A panettone coffee and berry bread and butter pudding was pre-prepared with ease, perfect for our large family gathering and totally scrumptious (I'll put the recipe up on my notes page, eventually.).

Even breakfasts get snazzier over summer. Crunchy cranberry and almond granola from our favourite holiday cafe (yes they sell take home packs!) served with natural yoghurt and frozen berries. 

And after the Bundaberg Spiced Ginger Beer sold out (before Dec 25th in most supermarkets, possibly thanks to me) we smoothly moved on to this lovely brew. Fruit is healthy, right!?

Days and weeks of chilling out, seeing friends, down times and up times have left us with plenty of happy memories and much to laugh and smile about - and I will. Smile that is, once I've forgotten the supermarket tantrums, early morning fighting, exhausting struggles to keep the house from falling into utter chaos and feeling like I haven't had five minutes peace in living memory!!!! But that time is coming....

So overall not a bad way to start the new year.

Is this Arch on a date? Sure looks like it!

Thankfully no occupational health and safety officers in sight.

I wish there were more random chalk boards in the world. Kids find them irresistible.

Sometimes you just have to settle for three out of four kids smiling...

And Happy Australia Day for January 26th! I'll try and post more on that prior to Easter, I promise!

I have a new Houzz story up now on 30 Sights to make you proud to be an Australian
I'd love you to have a look and like it for me!! We really would love to know your comments on what (if you are one) makes you proud to be an Australian.

And if you haven't already joined then you're missing out on stories such as:

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Kids Go Back to School - super ideas on how to get organised and stay on top of things

Houzz Quiz: What Style of Kitchen Should You Have - I'm addicted to this quizz. The questions are insightful and even intriguing. The answers are inspiring!

The Move to a Well Stocked Clutter Free Home - as someone who struggles with the stuff and clutter issues, this was great food for thought. May even help me to stay off starring in the Hoarders program in 2015!


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