Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Xmas Highlights usual all the stress leading up to Christmas and blink and its suddenly over! Here's how it all unfolded for our family.

Christmas eve was spent with my side of the family all meeting at my place, ten of us in total. My little brother prepared the entree, while I made us lunch and pud.
I was keen to try some turkey this year after watching all the northern hemisphere cooking programmes leading up to Christmas. Not convinced I could pull off a whole bird I went for a "Tegel Turkey Breast Roast with Cranberry Stuffing". It was surprisingly delicious and moist after cooking it in roasting bag. To go with it I made Jamie Oliver's roast veges. The best roasted potatoes Ive ever made. For pudding I made us an "Eton Mess". This is a mix of munted up meringues, whipped cream, syrupy strawberries with fresh strawberry on top. All served in a brandy snap basket. So yum!  And apparently one of Prince Williams favourites!

We did all the usual fun stuff,  opening presents and hanging out together. Good family time.

In the afternoon we did some deliveries to help get the children giving before all the receiving.  Then we went and checked out the City Christmas lights. By the time we got home it was 10pm. I was pooped, but in true procrastination style we still had presents to wrap and load into sacks!

The kids only slept in a measly half an hour more despite the late night before. They found their sacks and brought them in to our bed. We read the Christmas story and prayed thanking God for the best Christmas present of all, his Son Jesus. The kids then tore in to their presents. It was fun watching Zak zak doing it for the first time. Yuss! he must think, permission to destroy something!

We drove over to hubby's family to have brunch and then later in the afternoon we drove out to Wellingtons Bay for a BBQ at the beach. It was lovely to see so many others who thought a relaxing day at the beach is a great way to do Christmas.

Pasta Maker!

Check out hubbys new gift from me! Its the gift that keeps on giving! He gets a cool kitchen gadget...and I get dinner done! But seriously, the italians have got it right. Taking the time to hand create something like this makes you savour it so much more. My brother helped prep the tomato based sauce and we all concluded it was the best pasta we had ever eaten! We are already looking forward to making some ravioli and other Italian morsels.

So good!

I hope you are yours are had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cranberry and pistachio nut biscotti

Christmas baking.

I thought I would try and make biscotti as its something Ive always wanted to try and make. I had an idea to try and find a Christmas themed one with cranberry and pistachio nuts to make it look green and red for Christmas. So after googling cranberry and pistachio nut biscotti I found this recipe.  

1/4 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
I found I used more flour than the above as the mix seemed way too wet and loose.
I also tried a batch with part of it dipped in chocolate. Super yum!
Have a go! It was way easier than I thought it would be! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the goings on.

Well its been a stressful few weeks here unfortunately. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends who have been praying loads for me and my family and I have felt them. So thanks, you know who you are.
So I haven't exactly been getting into the "Christmas spirit". Take my annual xmas picture for example. I planned that months ago and only did it yesterday. Mr Zak zak did not want to comply for my photo. He wanted all the letters for himself. Consequently I took individual photos and then put them in a row. Don't even ask how long it took me to make the red letters stand out. I wish I had spent more time on I really should have started the project weeks ago and not the week of xmas.

Anyhoo in other goings on. The kids had their end of year gymnastics show. Unfortunately I had to miss it because I had to work, but Dada took about a minutes worth of footage so at least I could see something of the night. I had already sat though the weekly practices so I at least knew the routine. Dada said he was so proud when our little Joe got a  trophy, the only one in his group. Miss Joy got a big certificate too. My kids are awesome. Just sayin.

And some body has taken a bit of skin off his nose. Another reason I should have taken my xmas photo weeks ago! Joe was undertaking some tomfoolery in the form of climbing up our very high fence. I think he's survived childhood pretty unscathed so far. First blood nose at age 5. Ah well. That'll learn him.

Last week we were all sick with the sniffles. I actually rang in sick for work. I hate ringing in sick.

I tried making something I saw on Pintrest. Hotdogs with spaghetti poked through. The kids loved it! Im not gonna lie... I ate something different for dinner. I may try it again with a different kind of sausage.

Miss Joy turned 8! I can't quite believe it actually. I wanted to keep it low key this year. So we just took a couple of her friends out for dinner at our local Gengy's. It's an all you can eat place. They bring the birthday girl out a birthday pancake and the entire restaurant sings happy birthday and then the BBQ flames are lit. Super fun for an eight year old!

She is growing up to be a pretty special young lady. Kind and sweet hearted. Love my Miss Joy to bits.

Sunday Morning was our churches annual childrens and creche presentations.
Joe and Paisley Jades daughter "letting their light shine".

In the evening service we held our annual Christmas concert. My lovely hubby did a great job as MC for the night. He enlisted the children to help him teach about Christingles. Any northern hemisphere readers heard of these?

Only a few more days until Christmas!! What!?
I may get my A into G and do some Christmas baking.

Ooh and if you are in for something funny...hubby and I saw this the other night on TV that had us in stitches. It was like he summed up our bedtime parenting to a tee. (It gets to the bedtime routine at  about 2.30 minutes.)

I did a post called "Worst case scenario mum"  and now don't feel so bad! Somebody else does it too

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

schools out...argh....

I cringed at the thought of getting out of bed this morning. I wanted pull the covers up and not get out. Why? Because already the madness has begun...the first day of the school holidays. Even hubby gave me a good luck pep talk before he left for work. For the last three school terms it has just been me and Zak zak, the day  to ourselves. 

So while I was in the shower I knew I needed a plan of attack. I needed to lay some ground rules, and I needed to do it today. "Show no weakness, be in control, take no prisoners....don't negotiate with terrorists"....okay so I may be getting a tad carried away...they after all only children...right?! Some how three children + a fairly small echoie house = Me slowly going MAD. The noise just drives me spare. They are usually happy sounds...but even this irritates me. There may only be three of them...but it sounds like 20.

So we have had a pep talk and have come up with some negotiated rules and an activity chart to look at over the holidays in case somebody is bored. I tend to have a "hands off" policy to parenting. My favourite Nigel Latta line is "go and play" and usually the kids can spend hours outside entertaining themselves. So if they need some ideas we have this.

 Am I missing anything?? Or do you have any other suggestions?

School Concert:
The Kids had their end of year school concert, Miss Joy in the red played a dear. Joe sang in the choir. Hubby and I had to take turns outside with the noisy toddler...ahh the joys of having a toddler. 

Baby Shower

The other thing I wanted to show ya'll is the pretty baby shower cup cakes I made. I was going for that marbled icing effect. I really need to practice my piping skills. I must admit...they tasted devine. I'd lend you the recipe for my vanilla cupcakes but I'm not sure of exact measurements.

My chocolate cake tasted delish too... I made a massive basic mix for the cupcakes ( I was hoping my cake mixer would handle it all) and put them in first...and with the left  over mix I put cocoa and grated cooking chocolate in to make the cake. As you probably already know I hate following recipes. Some times it turns out right...this was one of those times. Yay me!

It was a fun baby shower for my Sister in Law in Auckland. Baby Showers are not really an Indian thing to do,  so it was fun introducing them all the games like; Guess the disgusting baby food, blind fold farex feeding, blind fold nappy change and guess the pregnant belly girth. I had fun playing host as well as getting to know the new baby's extended family.

I made a nappy cake too. I think they are such a cool present for baby showers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Kristy

*I thought I would re-post this blog I wrote last year for my new readers and for anyone who missed it last year. All of the below is still true...and then some. A year on PJ still inspires me..and she is still one of my favourite people in the whole world*

If you are a KiwiMummy blogger..there is probably no doubt you have PaisleyJade in your favourites list...and for good reason... I love her blog too. I have the privilege of knowing the famous Kristy of PaisleyJade in real life, and today is her birthday and I wanted to let ya'll in on some inside information on her. We've known each other for about 11 years, our husbands and children are besties and shes one of my besties too.

This is my top 10 list of reasons Paisley Jade is one of my favourite people in the whole wide world.

  1. She has the funniest sense of humour, a great laugh and she doesn't take herself too seriously.
  2. She IS the Proverbs 31 woman.
  3. She is generous.
  4. She is amazingly creative. Sewing, card making, jewelery, cakes, toys and of course crocheting...are just a few
  5. She is a great wife and puts up with all of Symon's shenanigans and obsessions passions ;)
  6. She is an awesome youth pastor.
  7. She is a cool mummy to FOUR lovely, bright kids.
  8. She is the friendliest person I know.
  9. She is an amazing baker.
  10. She is the most encouraging person you will meet. If you are ever down or having a bad day she will always let you know she's there thinking and praying for you.
There you have it...if you love PaisleyJade- the Blog...just wait till you meet her in real life.

Happy Birthday PaisleyJade

Friday, November 25, 2011

♥Things Im lovin♥

 ♥ Things I'm loving ♥

Loving looking out my kitchen to this rose bush. Most of my gardens are either weeds or green when this baby blooms every spring I always think I must get some more rose bushes. Such a pretty colour too.

Loving watching the kids get ready for their gymnastics show. This is the one after school thing we do. Its been great watching the kids develop their motor skills and learn some new things.

Loving celebrating 10 years since graduation with a couple of my lovely class mates. Everyone has pretty much scattered the country and globe so it was a bit hard to do a real class reunion.
Thankfully after all these years none of us have changed too much.

Enjoying a champagne breakfast the morning of our graduation 10 years ago!
Loving this cute shot. Hubby did a skit as part of a speaking engagement at a conference using these props dressed as a crazy doctor. Apparently he had the delegates in fits of laughter. That's my hubby.A funny guy.

 ♥ Loving new words. Remember how I was telling you about Zak zak and his ear piercing screaming. I thought it was probably due to the fact he can't communicate his desires.Well he's finally learned a word; "Noooo". He says it in such a cute tone, that it makes me laugh all the time. I'm sure I'll get sick of "nooo", but for now its a nice change to the screeching.

Loving the movie "Soul Surfer", out on DVD. When I first judged it by its cover saw it, I thought- here we go another cheesy surf movie. After investigating a bit further I found out it was about the chick Bethany Hamilton who was on the road to becoming a pro surfer when a shark bit off her arm. Even Hubby enjoyed this one. Bethany is a Christian and a bit of this comes through, but I wouldn't class this as your typical cheesy Christian film. It has the likes of Helen Hunt, Denis Quaid and AnnaSophia Robb (from Charlie and chocolate factory and Bridge to Tarabithia), so some great acting. The surf scenes are awesome. Apparently Bethany and her family had a lot to do with making sure the surf shots looked as authentic as possible.  And the digital effects were super great too.
Show this movie to your daughters!! A great message and inspiring story.

And that's My lovin List for the week.
Linking in with the fabulous PJ

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Operas and Echos

Heff and I

Kate and I

So as mentioned in my last post...I was off to the opera that night to support a friend who was in the chorus. Me and a couple of my girlfriends got dolled up in our prettiest dresses. What did I think of the opera? Well it was better than I expected. I was expecting constant soprano singing in a different language. But it was in ENGLISH and it had a few lines! And it was an Opera comedy even! I must admit it was a little hard to contain the giggles when the first verse was belted out by the first character, the maid. It was just such a sudden assault to the ears. It was more a nervous giggle I think. Any hoo. I can pop that on the list of things I've done in my life time. I think the next cultured thing I would like to try is attend a ballet. Have you ever been to one of those before? The NutCraker is playing in December at our local. Hehe "Nutcracker"... I always think of the men dancers in their tights...Somehow I don't think that's why its called that.

image from here
Yesterday I took Zak zak for his follow up ECHO appointment for his heart murmur. I was advised to have him be nil by mouth for 4 hours before hand because he would be sedated. I hate watching the kids be sedated and all dopey. I've only seen one other of my kids have it, but it had to be done. Or did it? I got there and they wanted to just give ago without the sedation. He had already been a monkey, and was petrified of being weighed or having his height done. So by the time we down to the radiology department, he wasn't even having a bar of sitting on the bed. Fortunately Hubby was in the department working and was able to lend his hand. In the end we just had to hold him down for the minute while the heart was quickly checked. Its times like these Im greatful to have trained as a nurse. The nurse*get the job done* in me completely overrides the *oh no! my kid is crying* mummy feeling. Or maybe I'm just heartless. Any ways we got the job done while he screamed the department down. The results show just a teeny little hole that is healing nicely. Thank you Lord!

What are you like with medical procedures when it comes to your kids?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

R is for Random.

So today's blog is brought to you by the letter R. R for Random. My thoughts are scattered and random today, but I feel like blogging.

  • I am off to the Opera tonight. I am an opera virgin. Hmmm we shall see how we go. A friend is in the chorus, so its probably more about supporting her than anything else. I am looking forward to getting dolled up and looking pretty with my two friends. We are seeing  Die Fledermaus and I have Wikipedia'd it and am at least up to date about what the heck its all about. I have promised my friend that I won't walk out no matter how painful to my ears.
  • You see my ears have been getting a real battering lately. Zak-zak is back to his high pitch screaming. Like super high frequency.  We had this faze a while ago, I tried to control it by giving him a little poke in the cheek. It doesn't seem to be working. Between him and child number twos loud crying faze...I am sure I will be deaf before I'm forty.
  • This is my first kid to have Tanties. Like actual drop on the floor tanties.  I just cannot believe it. I don't feel like I'm doing anything different as a parent from the first two so I am in need of some strategies for this one. Its really wearing me down.
  • I bought Bear Grylls's autobiography "Mud, sweat and tears". I have no idea what compelled me to buy this while I was walking past it at the Warehouse. I have never watched an entire episode of Man vs Wild. I was always skeptical. I kinda figured it was all rigged and there was probably a massive RV with a comfy bed and real food just waiting for him until filming finished. I guess I prejudged. I do that a lot.
  • Any hoo the book is amazing. I haven't read such a riveting book. What an inspirational dude. I can recommend this book for husbands who love adventure or are in desperate need of it. It would make a great Christmas present. Its well designed for the man reader and for mums with toddlers. Each chapter is only 2 pages long! I did however feel like I couldn't put it down. Its the fasted book I've read.
  • So today Im on a good book come down. Is that even a thing? Where you are so engrossed in a book, that once its over you are slightly sad? Maybe I just need to find another one. I'm all about the biographies at the mo. I like reading about real people doing extraordinary things.
  • Christmas is coming and I need some creative inspiration. I have lost my Mojo. I was thinking of doing a Christmas with the Kranks deal. At least I have already sorted the kids pressies. They are the easy ones.
  • Did I mention that I'm supposed to be training for another triwoman event. I still haven't even been in the water and practiced a swim. I can barely run 1km. But I'm feeling a bit more confident on my bike. I went for a Bike ride on Sunday. i did 9km in 33 minutes. I have two more months to double that in way less time. I am so scared of falling off my bike that I ride slow.
  • I have been thinking about my last post and how morbid I am. I think about death way too much. I guess its what I am faced with as a nurse. At my work place people are constantly dying or are sick and may die imminently at anytime. In my early days as a nurse I was so afraid of death that I would pray..."God don't let any of my patients die today". I went years...literally years without ever having to face it. Now I make sure that patients are given the dignity in death that they deserve. Supporting family is also a big part of it too. 
  • Speaking of death, I read Heaven is for real a couple of weeks ago. Meghan had it up for a giveaway a few months ago...I didn't win so I bought it myself. What an amazing book. Now I'm really looking forward to seeing Jesus when I die. But I've got way to much to do before then!

  • And finally... we have birds nesting under the roof right behind the TV in the living room. Its is driving me nuts.  They are so loud, I just wanna get a ladder and rip them outta there. Its too cruel though...or is it?

Hope ya'll are having a great week. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

That's what you get!

One of our family quotes is "that's what you get!!". If the kids are pushing each other around on the trampoline and I tell them to stop and they don't and then one of them falls on to the springs and begins to cry...the first thing that comes out of my mouth before- are you alright? is "That's what you get!!".
It pretty much is the catch phrase for "see if you weren't being such a goof ball you wouldn't have got hurt."

My lovely husband has had a range of hobbies since I we have been married. One of his first hobbies was to go rock fishing with his friends. This would often entail heading to the beach pre-dusk and then making their way home around the rocks in the DARK! I didn't really think so much about it until he showed me one of the rock faces he trekked where he admitted it was a little scary and he may have been a little lost for a while! Often coming home late into the night I let out my frustration. "Midnight! You have until midnight to come home before I  call the search party" Thankfully that phase is long over, however we are now into a new one...road cycling.
It started as a little bit triathlon training, but now its becoming a new thing in itself. He even has the appropriate clothing. Taunting me he says..."guess how fast I got to? 70km/hr down the hill"
WHAT!?!? " Do you know how badly you could get hurt if you fell off?! You could even die!"
I get so angry at the thought of being left to raise three kids on my own. Jokingly I reply..."do you know what Im going to write on your tombstone if you hurt yourself cycling? "That's what you get!". He just laughed.
This morning I wondered if there was some sort of site where you could generate a tombstone...(How morbid am I?!) And I found one here...just incase you wanna give it ago ;)
So today's post is dedicated to my hubby. Take it easy or else this is what is going on your tombstone!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A kiwi dinner

 Can there be anything more kiwi than a Sunday evening eating fish and chips at the beach.

This was Zak Zak's first fish and chip dinner at the beach. He ate 3 chips and then found it was much more fun to run around instead. Little monkey! The toddler stage drives me nuts!
Hope you had a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Labour weekend

The weekend started nice and early for me with a 7am Saturday morning shift. I had a good day at work and then hurriedly  made it home to quickly get ready for a 45minute country drive to a friends 30th birthday. She is a lovely friend I did my nursing training with and we have managed to stay connected having children of similar ages. I love how we can pick up where we left off. Just a treasured friend that I don't get to see so often now the kids are at school etc. I love her extended family too! Great people.

While I'm at work hubby has made ginger NINGA bread men. Yes Ninga! He bought these funny cookie cutters on his recent trip to Aussie! And dare I say it they tasted fabulous! He meticulously followed the recipe. This would be the second thing I have ever seen him bake! EVER! Yep we have now designated him the official ninga bread baker.

Sunday morning I awoke to the smell of my favourite takeaway mochaccino. My hubby gets up early and goes for ride on his bike then picks up two mochas to takeaway and then somehow carefully rides the coffees home. Clever man.

 All day I dread that I will have to be at work for the Big game. Had I thought about when the RWC final would be theres no way I would have scheduled myself to work Sunday afternoon shift. But I made the best of it. On Sunday afternoon I stopped at the shops and picked up some chips and dip and lemonade. I arrived at work and set about inviting as many of the ward patients into the day room as possible. A few opted to stay in bed and listen on radio, or had TVs in their room. I worked hard to get all my work done before 9pm...kick off. 
I managed to watch most of it. Between me and my colleagues taking turns to check buzzers etc. We had a room full, all cheering the boys on. And it was great! I would have loved to have been home enjoying the game, but I will always remember where I was the day the AB's made history. At work!

And what a game!

Monday Morning. It was my turn for a ride on my bike. It was my first ride since April 9th! I managed to only get part way down the road before my bike chain fell off. Not knowing what to do about it I walked it home for Les to fix. Oops better figure out how to fix it myself! It was a flat 5km ride and my legs hurt today! I'm aiming for 17km for the triathlon in February. Arrrgggghhhh! What was I thinking signing up to that!
Hubby was on a roll with his cooking and made me some French toast. An appropriate breakfast I thought! And they tasted delicious too. I think I may have to let him in my kitchen more often!
Off to work again for an afternoon shift. Home at midnight.

What a weekend. I'm pooped! Lucky its back to school day!