Thursday, December 6, 2007

pppssttt.....Lightening's Online.....pass it on.....

If you've happened to notice a little bit of lack of substance (and reduced commenting) from me over the past few days, it's because I have been rather busy working on a new project......

I have TAKEN THE PLUNGE and moved my blog to a self-hosted site.

You can now find me at .

So, now I need you to:

1. Visit my blog and ooh and aaahhhh (via the comments of course) over how good it looks!!!! Not that I can take credit for that. Snoskred has been working very hard to get me up and running. Isn't she a saint?

2. SUBSCRIBE to my new site - it's very easy and fun to do. There's a big PINK button you'll be just dying to press when you see it!!!! :-)

3. Give me a housewarming (or should that be blogwarming????) present. How do you do that? It's so easy! And it won't cost you a thing! I need LOTS of linky-love right now. Can you add a link to my new site in your next post (it can be a tiny little mention right down the bottom or a whole post or whatever you like). You see, I NEED a little leg up into the internet world as I'm starting all over again at the bottom. (If you haven't yet claimed your own blog on Technorati - it's also a great idea to do that. If you're not sure what Technorati is all about you might like to read this post I wrote on Technorati for Beginners. It's not hard, I promise! :-) ).

4. Change my blog URL in your blogroll so that your readers can find me if they like (thank you so much to those of you who have added me to your blogroll).

5. Pass the word around: "psssttt....... Lightening's Online ......pass it on.....". I wonder how far we could get this around the webworld? :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blogging Addiction

81%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Which is actually a LOT better than I was expecting it to come out!!!! Want to have some fun and take the quiz yourself? :-) You know you do!!!

Thanks to Veronica at Sleepless Nights whose blog I pinched this from found this on. :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

7 Weird or Random Things About You Meme

Jenn at Jenn's Den has tagged me for this meme.

Here are the meme rules:

1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here goes with 7 things about ME:

1. My favourite soft toy as a child was named "Doggy Pussy". I was obviously a rather confused child with a severe lack of creativity or ability when it came to naming my toys. LOL. He was a very faithful friend though and has absorbed truck loads of tears in his (and my) lifetime. I still have him. He lost his nose and both arms have been resewn a number of times. The fur is almost thread-bare. But he has pride of place stuffed in the bottom of my wardrobe somewhere! :-/

2. I eat chicken chips (the "Arnott's" or "Smiths" kind that is - some of you may call them crisps) with ice cream. Yeah, I know it sounds disgusting but you have to TRY it before you ditch the idea. Don't ask me why but the two go together quite well. It has become a favourite Friday night dessert in our house. It took my DH a LONG time to convince me to try it but once I did - I was hooked.

3. I have a tendency to end up in the middle of a circle of people. Someone in high school pointed this out to me. I'm still not sure if it's because I like being the centre of attention or because I'm so short that everyone can just speak over the top of my head!

4. When my first child was born I made a conscious decision that I wanted to see him laugh at least once every day of their life. Not sure exactly where that came from or if it's even a reasonable goal to have. That particular child is actually growing up to be quite a comedian and has the ability to make people laugh - what a gift!

5. I hate those hard 100s and 1000s on fairy bread (I like the soft "dollar sweets" or whatever they're called) but still like freckles (they're a chocolate covered with the hard round 100s and 1000s). In fact, I'm eating some right now (which is why I thought of this).

6. My favourite movie is "Pretty Woman" which I find rather strange given that I don't agree with prostitution. My favourite part is where Vivien returns to Rodeo Drive with her hands full of packages to say "BIG mistake" to the stuck up boutique that refused to serve her because of the outfit she'd been wearing. I don't like the attitude that having money makes you a better person.

7. My favourite number is the number 7!

So there you have it. Some a definitely weird. Some are just random. I'll let you decide for yourself which are the weird ones. LOL.

Now for the hardest part, who do I tag? I know I've seen this meme on some other blogs so if I tag you and you've already done it, just let me know.

YOU (if you'd like to participate and haven't yet been tagged - please consider yourself tagged and let me know and I'll add your link here too! :-) )

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Party's Over


Plus I'm still smiling and the house is in tact - so it's all good! LOL.

The cardboard box Lightning McQueen cars were a real hit. It's such a simple idea and yet so effective. It provided an activity (making the cars), a game (racing around the track) and a take home gift. I think our biggest cost for these were the paper plates! LOL.

Here is a photo TJ modelled for me yesterday. We made his car up as a "prototype".

Here is an action shot showing some of the "racetrack" we set up using a couple of pieces of white rope. I was thinking of buying some of that white spray on stuff but this worked just as well and we already had it on hand. It's amazing how something so simple can work so well. The kids loved it! :-)

And here is the cake! Can't get much easier than a nice square cake. LOL. It really only took a few minutes to ice, decorate and assemble. I did purchase a brand new Lightning McQueen car for the top of the cake but the rest were toys from the cupboard (carefully washed or wiped over) and ingredients from the cupboard.

I think somewhere along the way, my journey into simple living has simplified the way I do kids parties. I kept the food simple, the cake decorating simple, the activities simple. Yet the kids all seemed to have a lot of fun, were stoked with their stash of items to take home and a couple of the mums seemed to think I should go into the party throwing business. LOL. All the while I was able to relax and enjoy the day as well (this is a BIG thing for me - usually I'm stressed out the whole time wanting it all to be "perfect").

I did a quick calculation this afternoon and think I've spent around $60 on this party for 7 children and 8 adults. That was without actually "trying" to keep costs down. It was only supposed to be morning tea but I know none of our family have needed lunch and there are plenty of other leftovers as well.

All in all I'd have to say it was a succesful morning. :-)

Now I feel like I can focus on Christmas......

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Number 4 Birthday Cake

Here is the first birthday cake I made for DS's 4th birthday. He chose what colour I put in the icing (yellow seems to be a favourite at the moment). The lollies on the top are little lolly cars. (Yeah, I know, they look like frogs don't they? At least, that's what DS thought they were lol). Chucking a few lollies on a number cake is my idea of a birthday cake - nice and simple! :-)

I had to include this photo as well (carefully edited to remove as much of my "first thing Saturday morning hairdo" as I could manage lol). Doesn't he look so excited when he sees the Lightning McQueen Beach Towel? :-)

I love kids birthdays - they're so much fun!!!! I'll be back tomorrow with some photo's from the party. :-)

The Button that Broke the Mumma's Sanity

....... Or "The Consequences of Spending the Whole Week Finishing a Novel AND Planning a Birthday Party"..........

We have a Baptism to go to this morning. Not a problem. We're regular church goers so getting the family ready to go to church on a Sunday morning isn't a *new* idea to us. Mind you, this isn't our regular church we're going to so I don't feel like I can allow the kids to go with half done hair and unironed shirts with a shrug to my friends that we've had one of those mornings (we have a really great church that accepts us come what may).

WELL!!!! Remember that comment I made about 3 overflowing baskets of ironing????? Not a problem. I can iron a shirt or two (can you tell I'm a good flybaby that gets everything ready the night before????? NOT!!!!).

Only slight little problem...... I'm wearing a black skirt and only have black tops clean! I CAN'T wear all BLACK to a child's baptism!!!!!!!! Can I change? No! Most of my bottoms are currently too small (*sigh* let's not go THERE). This skirt is slightly too BIG but at least I can get oxygen into my system while wearing it!!!! I'm sure I read somewhere that oxygen is *GOOD* for you.....

Quick look at the clock. Think we have time to handwash something and throw it through the tumble dryer before we have to leave......(shhhhh...... don't tell anyone that I'm breaking my own electricity challenge here...... )

Eating breakfast.

Reading Blogs. (I like to multitask).

Avoiding Frogdancers blog so I don't cement up my laptop with weetbix I've sprayed everywhere. Come across a COMMENT left my frogdancer that almost makes me throw up my weetbix (something about a creepy crawly thingy with white stuff oozing out...... you get the picture). Interesting..... laughing makes the weetbix spray all over the screeen (cleanable) whereas throwing...... OK, I won't go there.

DH comes in. "Don't we have any good shirts for TJ?"

I look at him. "Heaps" I say confidently, sure that I've bought him at least 2 this season.

Look in the drawer. Nothing. Look in the ironing pile. Hmmmmm........ starting to wonder what IS in those 3 baskets of ironing cause it sure aint anything USEFUL!!!!!

DH finds a shirt hanging up in the wardrobe (well, fancy that - something hanging in the wardrobe!!!!!! Remind to tell you the story about my dad's shirts one day.....) Shirt that used to be his older brothers. That'll work.

Okay. It's missing a button. When you put it on him his belly BUTTON shows. But apparently that doesn't count as a replacement button.

No problem. I have HEAPS of buttons. I keep every single button that comes attached to clothing when you buy it. Half of them are still in their little packets even!!!!!

Tip the buttons all over my bed. There are trillions of them (well I'm sure there would be if I could COUNT that high).

Kids shirt. Sure to have a nice little clear of white button on it. Got plenty of those...... NO!!!! It's from a surf shop (BIL bought it in Queensland YEARS ago....) It's some fancy schmancy BIG button. Kind of creamy with swirls of brown through it.....

Looking.....looking....... DH doesn't look convinced that the pink button I found fits in quite nicely (in an eclectic kind of way). Right size. Even has some brown flecks throught it......

Back to the drawing boards.....or should I say cupboard????

TJ appears wearing one of the new t-shirts I bought for him. I don't even WANT to know where DH found it!!!!!

*sigh* Think I no longer qualify for "mummy of the year" award. :-)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

4 Years or 48 Months?

The BIG day has arrived. Today my baby turns 4!!!! It sounds so BIG, doesn't it? Last week I was talking with a friend of mine who also happens to be one of the staff members at my son's kindy (preschool) and she was sharing about a conference she went to which taught them to remember that the 4 year olds in their care were just 48 months old. When you put it like that, it doesn't really sound so old after all does it? I think it was just what I needed to hear at the time. :-)

My boy is SO proud of how big he is! It really is very sweet.

This year Lightning McQueen is featuring very heavily. For those of you not familiar with Lightning McQueen, he is a red racecar and the lead character in the movie "Cars". I LOVE the storyline as he learns what it truly means to be a friend and to have friends. And that "winning isn't everything".

We gave him a Lightning McQueen beach towel and wallet (he FINALLY has his own wallet!!!! A fact he is very proud of. We tend to start teaching money management to our children from 4 years onwards - that's probably a subject for another post). We also gave him a Leapster that included a Lightning McQueen game. Being the youngest, he is being introduced to computer games a little younger than the other two. DD now has a gameboy and our other DS has a Nintendo DS so this is TJ's very own "gameboy". They work out fantastic for travelling in the car - we drive quite a few km's a week living so far from everything.

His grandparents gave him his very own tool set (with REAL tools) - it came with a hat, goggles and toolbelt and he is ecstatic. So in many ways turning 4 has become a significant milestone for him becoming a "big boy".

On Monday he's having a few little friends over for a "Cars" Birthday party. To the left is a copy of the invitation we used as a base for our invitations. Gotta love the internet for being able to find HEAPS of great party ideas. :-) The children who have been invited are all quite EXCITED at the thought of a "Lightning McQueen" party. :-)

The plan is for each child to make their very own Lightning McQueen car out of a cardboard box (the kind you stand inside of). I've printed off some Lightning McQueen faces to stick to the front of the box and there's a red piece of paper with a "95" on it to go on the sides. Then of course the paper plate wheels and steering wheel. DH is going to mark out a track on the back lawn so they can "drive" around it

I think it'll be lots of fun. The cardboard cars will take care of most of the activity for the morning and also become part of the "take home" gift for each child. I have bought "Cars" party bags as well and in them will go a few lollies, a small packet of chips and a couple of "cars" colouring sheets I printed off the internet.

I'm hoping that by the time they arrive and settle in, make their car and race around in their car, there won't be a need for too much other organised activity. We also have a blow up tunnel type thing my parents gave our children for Christmas which DH will set up and the sand-pit. I do have some blow up egg and spoons they can play with and if need be we'll do an egg and spoon race or two and play a few games like Duck, Duck, Goose. I find the whole "winning/losing" issue with party games and prizes a hard one at this age so I simply solve that dilemma by avoiding those kinds of games.

We have a little boy coming who is allergic to eggs, milk, nuts and a few other things so I've worked on party food that he can have (usually his mum brings food for him but they're close friends and it'll be nice for him to be able to come to a party and just be "one of the kids" instead of being different). I feel very honoured (and a tad nervous) that I am one of the few people she will trust with the life of her child. His first sleep-over away from home was here.

Party Food will be:

* fruit platter
* popcorn with icing sugar
* iced biscuits with lolly faces (I know which biscuits he can have)
* plain potato chips (he can have Home Brand salt & vinegar but DH accidentally ate them)
* toobs
* pretzels
* jelly cups with jelly frogs in them (if I get around to making them lol)
* cordial (plus tea & coffee for the mums)

He can also have my Chocolate Fudge Cake so I'll make that for the birthday cake. I prefer to keep things pretty simple all up. There's nothing worse than spending hours making party food only to end up throwing a heap in the rubbish.

Today I have to make 2 birthday cakes. One for his family birthday tea tonight and one ready for the party on Monday. I'm planning on making a number 4 cake for tonight. The cake for the party is pretty simple (photo's Monday night hopefully). I've bought a toy Lightning McQueen to go on it rather than attempt to actually make and ice a Lightning McQueen (like I said, I like simple :-) ).

I don't think it takes too much to put on a simple little kids party that can be lots of fun without being TOO much work. If I make things too complicated for myself I tend not to want to go through all of that again. LOL. This way, we all have fun and I don't end up in a heap. :-) Having it during the school day means I only have the 6 kids who are coming plus 5 mums (2 kids are siblings) and DS and myself to cater for.

Our family tradition is to have a kind of party tea on the day of each child's birthday. Generally I let the kids choose what meal they'd like and so far they've always chosen a "party tea". LOL. Just like their mother really - that's what I used to ask my Grandmother to do when she would do a special birthday tea for my birthday. :-) So naturally, I'm happy to oblige. No party pies this time though (I don't have any at the moment!!!). But we will have "little boys" (cocktail sausages), fairy bread (an absolute must), cheese & bacon fingers (some people call them "toasties"), potato chips, salad platter and slices of watermelon. I've also bought some brandy snaps and cream as a bit of a treat. And of course, the birthday cake. I *might* make a few mini quiches if I get really energetic today while the oven is on - we'll see.

I think I'd best go write myself a "what needs doing when" list. More details and photo's will follow over the next couple of days. :-)