Thursday, January 31, 2013

Look Up - Look Down 2013 - Two

Playing along with Amy's "Look Up Look Down" posts here's what it's like in Brisbane at the moment.

Look Up - Walking along the main road behind our place.
Look Down - The water flowing from down the hill into the creek near home.

First Day Back at School (yesterday)

Here they are all excited to go back to school to see their friends and start learning again.  James is going into  Grade 4 and Sienna is going into Grade 2.  James loves his teacher and Sienna knows her teacher as one of the prep teachers has moved into teaching Grade 2 this year.  Day 2 and they are both exhausted I think Sienna was more exhausted yesterday going back and James is exhausted on Day for me after 8 weeks of having them home, I'm just plain exhausted!

For Mummy; back to making lunches at breakfast time, making dinner either at morning tea time or afternoon tea time and the endless washing and ironing of school uniforms, school notes, functions, diary appointments and I only have 2 kids to organize.  I'm sure you can relate to all of this.

I hope everyone is taking a big breath because Mummy's HERE WE GO AGAIN.......another school year begins.

Sienna is holding her new "Hedge Hog Pencil Sharpener"

Monday, January 28, 2013

More Water Overnight

We had more rain over night however because of the little river bed drainage system that some very kind friends of ours helped me with last night the water as flowed nicely out of the backyard to the storm water drains.  There is a small portion of water left which will need some sunshine to dry up but it was a lot of water in a very short space of time.  I ended up going to bed around 2.30pm because the wind was so strong and noisy it was hard to sleep.  I made the kids stay inside this morning because the wind was still so strong and we have lots of tall gum trees around and so for safety reasons we were all inside.

In the news tonight unfortunately a pregnant mum and her 3 year old went out for a walk to have a look this morning and a huge tree fell over the both of them and they were trapped.  Luckily for them an off duty fireman happened to be driving past and had his chainsaw in the boot and cut some branches off them however the little 3 year old is listed as critical at the moment (sadly overnight the 3 year old boy died which is just so tragic).  This story emerged midway through the day however my telling the kids to stay inside was based on a tree doing just that and we are safe in the house.  Sienna proceeded to tell me if a tree fell on the house it would come through the roof anyway and get us and I said yes, however we would be more protected than if it just fell on top of you in the back yard.

We did go out for a 5 minutes walk this afternoon when the wind died and there was no rain and I had very strict rules about staying next to me and we were'nt going to go close to the water because we do have a causeway thing at the end of the street.  Here's a few photos and one of a huge tree that  had fallen over down the road in the middle of the night.

And an update on the rainfall...125mm when I looked at it again


The Lake House

OMG we have had some rain here today.....we've been in this house for a year and a half now and on two occasions we have had huge and fast rain which has half filled our back yard.  I can even remember those days and when they were because the yard was half full of water.  The first one was this time last year on the first day of school it just bucketed down so much that our normal 15 minute drive to school took us 1 hour and we got to school late and we drive no where near the city which is obviously more traffic, we are out in the suburbs. Then last November James was invited to a pool party in the afternoon and storm came and again the rain came thick and fast and filled half our back yard with water within 30 minutes to an hour however those two times have been significant but nothing compared to today's rain

We should be changing the name of our house to The Lake House and I'm sure you'll agree when I show you the pictures below.  Bear in mind this is from rainfall only.  The other things Brisbane is contending with at the moment is a release of water from The Wivenhoe Dam, The Brisbane River overflowing because of (i) rain and (ii) the Wivenhoe Dam and of course there is also a King Tide which is not helping with the flow of the rivers either.  All of this combined is perfect for Brisbane to flood as it did exactly two years ago.

As for me, I'm only contending with one issue of the rain falling so imagine if you were in an area where all of those things combined are happening near the river and then when the river overflows which is expected to peak on Tuesday the water from the storm water drains comes up into the streets.  We are fine here but areas like Rosalie which is not near the river always gets hit when the water comes back up through the storm water drains because the river is friends.....I am actually one of the lucky ones.  There is always someone worse off than you are.  So here's what our backyard transformed into today and the photo of the rain gauge was 52mm over night...(that's from last night) so I'm sure it's over flowing from today's rain.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Project 365 in 2013

In 2009 I took a "photo a day" for the whole year and printed the photos and put them in an album which I purchased from Kikki K Stationery Store.  I did attempt to get a Project 365 kit that Becky Higgins designed at the time but they sold out in about 2 hrs and that involved me waking up at 2am and ringing the USA to see if I could get a kit. The website crashed because it was overloaded and the kits ended up on ebay selling for 6 times as much as their original price.  Crazy stuff however 4 years on as most scrapbookers would know Becky Higgins set up her own company and "Project Life" kits have evolved over time with amazing designs, packaging and lots of inspiration on her website with a creative team of people using the kits if you need some ideas.  Australians purchase the kits on line via the NZ distributors Craft House.

My friend Karin and I did the 2009 project together and it was great having someone else emailing you their photos and it was lots of fun, a great talking point and a real feel good thing.  At the beginning of the year I had a Canvas in mind to do with all the photos and knowing this I made sure all my photos were "horizontal" so that they could all fit on a grid type canvas.

In January 2010 I put the camera down for a couple of weeks but basically I was taking photos 4-5 days out of 7 before my photo a day project so it wasn't all that difficult.  In 2011 I got a couple of other Mums involved and we took photos all year long however I probably missed out on a few days due to other things going on in our lives that year but on the whole I was still taking photos 4-5 days out of 7.

Fast forward to 2013 and it's back on again and I will be taking a "photo of the day" and the kids get involved in what would be a good photo and I'm using Becky Higgins Project Life "Seafoam Kit" which Elise Blaha Cripe designed.

I have also purchased mini kits for the kids to do this year and they are right into it.  I got different kits for the kids so they had their own design. The kids mini albums have spaces for 80 photos so theirs is really 1 photo per week and then 30 other spots for extras like holidays etc.  The kids are so getting into it and both of them picking out what photos they would like, what they would like to write and putting them together.  They have full control over what they want to do with their albums.  I also bought them both a coloured box from the $2 shop for them to keep their album, their coloured pens and the little Becky Higgins kits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

James the Magician

During the June school holidays James was right into the jigsaw puzzles and this holiday he has been right into magic.  He has been doing tricks which to be honest have completely baffled me (some might think that wouldn't be hard given I'm a blonde....) however seriously, he does some tricks and I look at him and think I was watching that and I don't know how you did it.

For Christmas James really wanted a Magic Book from Santa but his list was only put together about 2 days before Santa was due to deliver his presents and as we all know Santa has to start preparing early and can't leave things until the last minute.   I'm sure Santa would have loved to get James the Magic Book at the last minute but he was just too busy getting all the reindeer's together to be sorting more gifts.

Santa had chosen the gifts that he thought were very suitable for a 9 year old and I had previously explained to James and Sienna that sometimes Santa doesn't bring everything you want on your list and in fact sometimes he doesn't bring anything on the list because he has other presents in mind that he knows you will love but not necessarily what you asked for.....all that aside...........the kids were prepared to expect what they received.  More on the Christmas Santa goodies in another post however on Christmas morning when we were at my Mum's place (Granny's) exchanging gifts with my sisters etc. James opened his present from Aunty Frances and her family, and it was the very magic book that he had on his wish list for Santa.

James' eyes lit up as soon as he had opened the present and Uncle Steven commented to me later that James looked thrilled about the book.  I then told him the story that this was on his wish list from Santa but Santa wasn't able to get it for him and he really, really really wanted it so I said that James knew exactly the book the second he opened it and they could not have got a better present for him if they tried.  The funny thing was we hadn't even been talking about this so it was fantastic that he got the book from his Aunty, Uncle and Cousins.  James came over to me to show me what he had received and he looked as if he had won the lotto.  The first I had actually heard of the book was 2 days before Christmas so sometimes Santa knows best doesn't he....luckily he didn't go to the last minute trouble of sourcing the book because it wouldn't have had nearly the same impact upon opening Aunty Frances present if he had received the book from Santa's two hours earlier.  I do BELIEVE Santa is really is AMAZING!  He's magic and knows everything.  (Mind you I wish he did know the lotto numbers for the coming week, now that would really be MAGIC).

Along with the magic book Uncle Graham who was visiting from Perth bought him a magicians' hat the week after Christmas as James had been practising his magic every chance he got trying it out on Aunty's, Uncles, Granny and all the Cousins who were in town.  The interest in "magic" has all been highlighted by Dynamo the Magician who's shows have been on TV the past few months and they are truely amazing.

View from our Backyard

We have been eating our dinner outside every night and tonight the sky had the most amazing cloud formations I just had to go inside and get the camera.  I also took some photos of the moon which was on the opposite side of the yard.