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December 2010
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February 2011

January 2011

Now I am six

Henri is our old soul.  And he often makes us laugh with his quirky comments.

Now I am six

As Henri was cleaning his teeth tonight he said, "Next year I'm going to ask Santa for a little bit of his magic."  So sweet.  I told him I thought he already was magic.

The other day he and Will were sitting in the main street of Flinders waiting for Tom and Max.  They were chatting and, as Will is won't to do, he changed the subject.  Henri said, "Daddy, you're getting me sidetracked."  The elderly couple sitting near them commented on what a big word that was for a 6 year old.

As they later passed the couple on their way home Will tried to get Henri to say, "Let's expedite this mission", or something along those lines.  Alas, Henri didn't oblige.


Island inhabitants

Being on Three Hummock Island is all about being immersed in nature.  The wildlife comes to the back door - literally.

Roos

These kangaroos are very relaxed around us, as they've never had any reason to fear the few humans who visit the island.  It means we wander within a few metres of them.

Tandem grazing

How cute is this: tandem grazing.  See the joey in the pouch?  This was taken through the homestead living room window.

A short boat ride found us amongst the dolphins.

Dolphins

At one point 4 or 5 of them were jumping out of the water just under the bow of the boat.

Dolphin spotting

This place is paradise for young boys.


Perfect island getaway

Tomorrow is the day our whole family has been eagerly anticipating.  We are heading down to Three Hummock Island off the coast of Tasmania.

This year we are staying there for 10 days - our longest visit yet.  We have been looking forward to this since we were last there over Easter.

Golden Beach

I have been very busy organising travel itineraries for friends who will join us.  We have four groups of friends who will fly in for a few days each to stay with us.  By coordinating flights we can fly from Melbourne to the island at much the same price as a discount airline fare to Tasmania.

Every three days or so a plane will come in with one group, and depart with another.  Meanwhile we'll be busy in the homestead changing bedlinen and catering for our guests.

One friend has just sent a text to say she's thinking of organising an island 'Survivor style' treasure hunt with hidden immunity idols, clues and physical challenges for the adults and children to participate in.  Sounds like fun.  The boys will absolutely love that.

In preparation, today was a cooking marathon.  I have made:

  • mayonnaise
  • bĂ©arnaise
  • tuna dip
  • bolognese
  • Jamie Oliver's meatballs
  • ANZAC slice
  • chocolate brownie
  • meringues (or 'remangs' as Henri calls them)
  • a topping for fruit crumble
  • several marinades and sauces

I don't think we'll starve.

Bread

And a first for me - I've baked a few loaves of bread this year.  This is a Tuscan style breadmix that has a wonderful crunchy crust.  As soon as it was out of the oven I had that end piece covered in lashings of butter.  Yumm.  The boys have been devouring it hot from the oven after morning sessions at Little Nippers.


A happy find

I've blogged about my favourite illustrator, Anna Walker, before.  I have collected all of her children's books, with recent purchases before Christmas being this one:

Dragons

And this one:

Year

But I was especially excited when I dropped by Anna's website yesterday, to discover that she has recently started a blog.

On the blog there's also a link to a video of Anna in her studio painting one of her characters.  A happy find indeed!


Young life

Our neighbours at Flinders are keeping a very protective watch over this nest.

Nesting

These Willy Wagtail babies are so sweet.  Their nest is just a metre or two in front of our neighbour's front deck.  I was able to get about a metre away from them to take this shot, with the mother twitting furiously at me from a nearby branch.

The nest is bursting at the seams and I suspect they are ready to flee the nest any moment now.


No mere trifle

I don't normally follow recipes from Donna Hay magazine.  

Trifle I have other favourite sources of recipes.

But I do occasionally buy the magazine for the stunning photography. 

This trifle image is the most amazing food styling I've ever seen.

Inside the magazine there is a story on trifles, with 8 recipes to try.

Trifle1

I'm blown away by how good these look.

Trifle3

Raspberry and Mascarpone Trifle.

Trifle2

How about Brandy and Almond Praline Trifle?

Trifle4

Tiramisu Trifle.

Trifle5

I think this last one is my favourite: Vanilla and Nectarine Trifle.

It is nectarine season right now, and they are grown in the orchards all around Flinders.  I think I'll be making trifle before summer is out.


What's in store for 2011

Do you like our horizon pool?

Swimming pool

We set this up on the front lawn at Flinders for Adelaide and her little friend.  Before long two big boys and their surf mats had found their way in.  There wasn't much room for little toddlers, but that didn't deter them.  Before long we were all in it together.  The perfect way to spend a hot, hot afternoon (even if the pool did have a slow leak).

2011 is going to be all about family for me. Looking after my little ones.  Two of the boys are starting at a new school.  I want to devote more time to baking lunch box treats, keeping a tidier house, cooking a wider range of meals - generally being a better mother.

Will and I have a couple of nice getaways planned for the two of us.  We will plan a family holiday as well.

I'm sure there will be time for sewing and creating, but I feel like my babies are growing up too quickly.  So I'm going to slow down a little and take more time to enjoy them.

Here's hoping 2011 is a great year for you all.  I have high hopes.