You can go but be back soon…

Hi there everyone – just to let you know we are off to Kangaroo Island with no internet access for two weeks. When we return there will no doubt be much relaying of many adventures, but no updates until that time.

In the meantime, happy New Year and have a lovely time whatever you are doing.

Trimming the tree

A pre Christmas celebration day at Ga’s house, and all grandchildren were enlisted to assist with the trimming of the tree. It got off to an enthusiastic start with all hands on deck. Imogen didn’t quite get that the task was to put things on the tree and leave them – at first she was quite keen to take them off as well… Sebastian and Jude eventually got distracted and decided to try out their new presents in the pool, leaving the decorating of the tree in Ryan and Zac’s hands. The two small boys, in a show of massive dedication, devoted at least another half an hour, though there was a fair bit of assistance needed to reach the high spot, once the lower boughs were totally exhausted. And everyone was pleased with the results!

 

Brussels!

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So, I was off to Brussels for work…and most of the time was spent working, but I did get half a day to reacquaint myself with a city I hadn’t visited in 30 years….

Some random thoughts:

Brussels definitely has a graffiti problem – everywhere. Certainly not confined to the dodgy outskirts, there is graffiti practically everywhere.

It was much cheaper than I expected.

I had forgotten just how many statues there are in European cities – around every corner there was another statue. Amusingly, many of the Belgian ones featured men with big moustaches.

Going for a walk on the narrow cobbled streets in the pre-dawn with Christmas lights and decorations and some snow gently falling one felt one was transported to a Disney movie and any moment Jimmy Stewart – or worse – Tim Allen – would come running down the street.

And at least I managed to escape before getting snowed in!

 

Haircut

Before

After

It was time for Zac to get his hair cut, and given we are shortly to spend two weeks at the beach, I was quite pleased when he opted to have it cut “just like Sebbie’s”.

Christmas (parties) come but once per year…

So it is that time of year again, when we head off for the childcare Christmas party. The event does have a routine to it, which, after 7 years at the centre, we are pretty familiar with.

We commenced with the face-painting, which the boys were very keen on this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zac was a tiger…

Jude a wolf…

and Sebastian a camouflage army-dude.

Then it was time for a sausage or two…

And then, of course, the compulsory visit from Father Christmas. It is always quite entertaining to watch the level of trepidation about Father Christmas displayed by the little ones. This year, the level seemed quite high, with much great reluctance about approaching and accepting…no screaming or tears though. A small amount of hiding. Not from our boys though, who have this Father Christmas thing all worked out.

Everyone gets books which seems to work quite well as a concept. And as Zac’s Christmas list consists of “a DS and a book” he was more than happy.

Jude was very thrilled by his Zac Power book.

At this point Sebastina was a little despondent as the point as the pile of presents had diminished and his name hadn’t come up yet…

 

However, as we know, good things come to those who wait, and he was finally rewarded.

Here Jude demonstrates his enthusiasm for his new book by immediately commencing reading it, while Zachary demonstrates his continued enthusiasm for chocolate cake.

And then it was time for the inevitable Milo the Clown. While Milo does seem to keep the 3-9 age group very entertained, he has performed the same routine at the Christmas party since we started at childcare. There may be a few changes around the edges, but it has remained essentially the same. A few of us veteran Christmas party attenders decided we could pass on most of the Milo action, although I did have to check out my own children’s volunteering activities. It certainly had Jude in stitches.  I think this might have been the third year running Sebastian has been a volunteer…

So another year over and the Christmas party done. It is weird to think that next year will be the last at this particular event – after 7-8 years at the childcare centre it really has become part of our lives and our community. School just isn’t quite the same. But that is life – time moves on, and hey, we still have another year yet.

 

 

Pudding odyssey: Chocolate self-saucing pudding

After a bit of s break from the pudding making due to general busy-ness, we were again with the chocolate. This time a rather quick and simple chocolate self-saucing pudding.

Sebastian got out all the ingredients after much contemplation of the recipe.

Then there was the measuring and the mixing.

Had it not been for the fact that there was a fair bit of cooking on the stove and handling of boiling water, the simplicity of this recipe would have meant I could have pretty much left Sebastian to do it entirely unassisted.

We did have a spectator though who was eager to test the results.

And here it was out of the oven. while the pudding aspect of this was OK, both Sebastian and I agreed that the sauce was somewhat thin. I also thought that, dominated as it was by brown sugar and water, it really wasn’t ch0colatey enough to deserve the moniker of chocolate sauce. For me this would be my least favourite of the puddings we have cooked so far – the quickness and ease of preparation really wasn’t enough to compensate for the rather lacklustre taste. Sebastian still enjoyed it though and managed to eat the remainder in a day or two.

Award!

Sebastian gets a class award! Hurrah!