Monday, March 31, 2014

What We Are Reading

We love books.  There are books in every room, overflowing from wardrobes, down the sides of beds and spilling out of library bags.

There is always a certain few books though that the children like to read and read again.  And as the kids get obsessed with certain books I thought that I would share them - others may be missing out you know!

Currently one of those is Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake.  Its the top favourite in the house.  A completely pointless story as far as I am concerned, but hilariously funny as the kids anticipate getting to scream "Poo Bum" as loud as possible.  The pictures are bright and its a really easy read.

Not sure how long the obsession with this book will last, and how long I have to endure hearing "Poo Bum" to every question I ask them, but it makes us laugh and we love that.

I also read a few chapters from a 'big kid' book every night after our picture books.  I am pretty passionate about reading to my children - here I am ranting about the delights of reading literature to the kids. I found The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo at the op shop (of course).  Filled with beautiful illustrations, we are finding it totally captivating.

Edward is a china rabbit, who one day is lost from his owner.  The story follows his journey, and I guess (as we haven't finished the book yet) he eventually ends back up with his old owner.

Its had me sobbing while reading it, while Sprat clutched my hand in sadness.  Its a beautiful story about learning to love and losing love.  We anticipate every night being able to sit down, all of us snuggled up on the couch, and disappearing into the pages of a book.  And admittingly Edward Tulane is more up my ally than Captain Underpants...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Op Shopping - Puzzle Time

Puzzles.  The kids love them and we spend huge amounts of time puzzling together.  I recently gave a heap of our puzzles back to the op shop to make way for some fresh new ones.  I've had a couple of op shop trips to re-stock our puzzle supply.  

Today was Habitat For Humanity, and for $20.50 I got everything below, including some great puzzles.  Definitely not as cheap as things used to be, but for the Libby Weaver book alone it was worth it!

I actually squealed when I saw this.  Excited much?

Strawberry Shortcake puzzles.  I am sure I had one of these when I was little, they brought such a rush of nostalgia back when I saw them.

Fairy puzzles for The Girl

A Melissa and Doug Puzzle and a 100 piece for Sprat.  The Melissa and Doug puzzle is awesome!

A two handled mug for The Girl.  She loves to have 'cups of tea' (milkshakes or hot chocolate) with me, so now she has her own special mug to use.

Golden Circle books we don't have yet for our collection, and Elmo.  We all love Elmo. 

Of course I can NEVER go home without books for myself.

Now to just find some room for my new books....

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Exterior Blackboard

The hubby made an Exterior Blackboard for the kids over the weekend.  I showed him a picture on Facebook on Sunday morning, and within the hour we were at Mitre 10 buying supplies.

It was so simple to make.  Says she who watched.

A big piece of hardboard.  A coat of Resene Sureseal.  Two coats of Resene Exterior Blackboard paint.  And a blackboard was born.

I am looking forward to the ever changing artwork that will live on my fence.  And somewhere to write up my WOD's ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where Have the Spoons Gone?

The lunchbox is filled with delicious, nutritious lunch.  And a teaspoon.  Off it goes to school or kindy.  At the end of the day the lunchbox is returned full of bread crusts, apple cores, destroyed cling wrap and no spoon.  Where did the spoon go?

They seem to morph away in our house, maybe to the same place as socks?  I tried sending plastic spoons but after Danger Mouse turned his into a deadly weapon one day I had to stop.

Then I found these suckers (see what I did there?..).

And my lunch making days got a little bit more exciting.  No more missing spoons.  No more nasty unnecessary yoghurt preservatives.  And even Sprat, the anti-yoghurtist, would eat them.  They taste great, don't take up a heap of room in the lunch box and can be frozen over summer.  My lot fight over these.

I did get quite excited when The Collective contacted me asking me if I was interested in reviewing these.  Of course.  We are already majorly big fans in our house so it didn't take much convincing.

They also come with really cool collect-a-bull ABC magnets in each pack.  And they don't leave scratches on the fridge like some other magnets. The Girl loves to find the letters of her name and spell it out.

So if you have lunchboxes with worm holes that suck away spoons then these are the answer to all your problems!  I am so sold.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Rediscovering Plastic Animals

Hello sun!  After two days of cold temperatures and nasty winds, the sun shone through and blessed us with 26 degrees of awesomeness.

Not wanting to miss out, I spread out a big blanket under the tree and brought out our plastic animals.  These used to be a favourite a few years back.  They've since been relegated to a spot hidden far back in the Narnia space of the wardrobe.  I actually had forgotten we owned them.

So much opportunity for imagination play.  Danger Mouse was on them the minute they came out.

We had man eating crabs, shark riding giraffes and naughty lions that had to be tethered to the tree so they couldn't get away.

We spent from 1pm until around 5.30pm, with a break to pick up Sprat from school, just hanging out on our blanket, playing with the animals in between riding bikes and reading books.  Sprat even did his homework outside with the friendly help of a plastic elephant.

It was wonderfully relaxing and highly entertaining yet terribly simple.  Fingers crossed for another sunny day tomorrow.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sewing Room Hoop Art

I've been collecting embroidery hoops on my op shop travels for a while now.  I had a vision of a wall in my sewing space filled with awesome fabrics in embroidery hoops.

Today I made a small start on that vision.  I am not sure how I feel about it yet though.  I am not loving it. But I am not totally hating it either.

Its OK.  Its a work in progress and we'll see where it goes.  There is room for improvement and allowance for change.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unexpected Treats

Every now and then I like to surprise the kids with a hidden and unexpected treat.  Something they'll stumble upon as they go about their day.  Nothing ever big, just a small token to remind them how awesome I think they are.

Today it was a helium balloon each.  I tied them to their favourite toys and left them on their beds to discover in their own time.

Just a simple little gesture really, and so much love in return.  My children rock.  


Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Discoveries - Te Waihou Walkway, Blue Spring

The Blue Spring, Putaruru.   The water is 11 degrees all year around and is so amazingly blue and clear.  We decided this would be the perfect place to take the kids on a hot day.  Totally underestimated 11 degree water though, even on a stinking hot day, it was bone chillingly cold. It was fun watching people squeal and squirm until it was our turn. Ice cream headaches are just a tickle compared to the all over body ache this water created.   Worth the experience though, it really is incredible.

With the 3 children we parked at the Leslie Road entrance (about 3.6km down Leslie Road, off Whites Rd, on the right hand side) and it was a short and really manageable walk to the popular swimming hole.  From Whites Road it is longer, around 4.7km long, but apparently a beautiful walk.  We'll save that for another day.

We went on a cicada hunt and Sprat was able to give us a lesson on the life cycle of a cicada as he has been studying them this week at school.  I had no idea he was so clued on up cicadas!

An awesome family walk - pack a picnic, throw in towels and togs and a snorkel if you dare. And bring some empty water bottles - you can fill your bottles from the spring.