Friday, August 17, 2012

Road Trip Part 1 - Whale Watching...

We took a few days off and went to Hervey Bay to go see the Whales.  It was the one of the BEST driving holidays we've had.  The Humpback whales stop to play off the coast of Fraser Island before they head back to the cold southern waters - and what a spectacular performance they give too.

We were fortunate enough to have 2 whales approach our boat and swim and dance their way around us for half an hour.  It was AMAZING to watch them.  Whales are curious by nature - they're probably wondering why all these crazy people are waving their arms and oohing and aahing every time they poke their heads or tales up out of the water !

It was a picture perfect day to be out on the water, and we loved every minute of it, well, until I felt sick, but luckily that was only on the way back.  It took 2 hours to get to where the whales were and  Ruby thought it was  neat to stand up on the front of the boat keeping her eye out for a whale.

The water was so clear, we could easily see the whales as they dove down - they were so close to us !  Most of the time within 10 - 20 metres, sometimes closer.  They would dive down on one side of the boat and resurface on the other side - probably amused at all the people scrambling around the boat to follow them ! 

These humpback whales were so graceful, and friendly and they were HUGE - the photos make them look quite small, but they were really big !  Although, our captain told us they were only calves, and the adults would have been twice the size.  It was a wonderful experience for all of us as we watched in awe of these amazing animals.  Ruby was buzzing with excitement as she ran around the boat following the whales.  I loved seeing how much she was enjoying this adventure ! And Daddy was like a big kid too, running around the boat with Ruby snapping hundreds of photos and getting all excited every time they surfaced !  Marlise, on the other hand, seemed to be wondering what all the fuss was about.  The look on her face said - "So it's a big fish - big deal !".  I had her in the Ergo on my back - I didn't want to be stressed about her going over the side of the boat - I wanted to be able to watch the whales too!  Thank goodness she was happy enough to sit there through all the excitement of a bunch of tourists watching whales!

We will definitley be back some day to say hello to the whales again !

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Childrens Festival

On a recent trip to the Sunshine Coast, we were fortunate enough to visit the Childrens Festival at the Noosa Steiner School.  We had the most wonderful day there !

Don't you just LOVE this playground ?  

Ruby, getting a mould of her face done with plaster for her face mask.

Painting and decorating her face mask was lots of fun.

Making a rainbow tie-dye t-shirt took lots of concentration.

Look what she made in the woodwork shed !

mmmm...wood fired pizza, fresh from the oven, tastes sooo good.

Silk painting.

And there was so much more to do that we just didn't have time for...wet felting, candle making, making swords and shields, clay sculpting, flag painting, lots of yummy nourishing food...and loads more.  Can't wait for next year !

Friday, May 4, 2012

Slow Living in 2012 - Month 4

It's hard to believe another month has come and gone, but it's great to look back over that month and see that I have actually achieved something.  I'm participating again in Christine's SLOW LIVING month by month.  I love reading everybody else's contributions too, they are so interesting and varied - maybe I'm just nosey ! But I love to see what other people have been up to in the daily lives.

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, overprocessed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.
I make the bulk of our food from scratch, it just tastes better !  I went to a Thermomix demo the other day, I've been wanting to see this amazing machine for a very long time now.  And yes, it is wonderful - is there anything it doesn't do?  But while it makes so many things incredibly easy to prepare, as I was watching, I was thinking, "but I like to knead my own dough, and I like to prepare food - chopping and stirring etc."  For me that is part of the joy of cooking.  OK there are definitely times when I would love the convenience of being able to push a button, but for now, I like to be a bit old fashioned.  So no thermomix for me...however,  it would be nice to be able to grind my own grains, and make fresh nut butters and...and....sigh....maybe one day !  Getting better at making crackers more often than buying them too.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season.

I got busy and baked a few banana cakes and biscuits for the freezer.  I really need to stock up our freezer with some REAL meals though, it's looking pretty bare at the moment.

Banana cake

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

Rescued an old piano keyboard that was on it's way to the tip.  Somehow we managed to fit it into the car, and now we have a piano at home and we love it !  We also found an almost new worm farm at a garage sale for only $10 - what a score !  Bought myself a $1 shirt at a garage sale too, but it looked awful on me, so I cut the sleeves and bodice off and made a skirt for Ruby.

All the kids came over to see our worms - fascinating stuff !

GREEN:  Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

Ran out of laundry detergent the other day, unexpectedly, and had to make up another batch.  It really is easy to do, so easy that I wasn't evern tempted to run down to the shops and buy some.  I love that ! 

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints.

The kids and I got out and showed our dead stalks some TLC, and guess what ?  they are coming back to life - I was surprised to say the least !  We moved all of our potted herbs around to the back of the house to be in the sun, now that it has cooled down a bit.  Re-potted some and added fresh potting mix to others along with a good long drink. Basil, sage, parsely and rosemary have literally come back from the dead and are thriving.
And did you know that you can regrow celery?  We've planted ours and it's doing well.

CREATE: To fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

I can't get enough of wool and felt at lately...finished a felted toadstool house and made some felted autumn leaves. 

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

Borrowed Rhonda Hetzels DOWN TO EARTH book from the library.  I love her book.  It has inspired me to enjoy EVEN MORE , being at home and making my house a home for my family.

ENHANCE:  Community: Possibilities include supporting local growers & producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group.

We have now formed an official committee, working towards opening a Steiner school here in Gladstone.  Have a look to see what we're all about at  Curtis Coast Steiner.  Together, we have also started a craft group in our local community and hope to be able to encourage and inspire eachother to develop our crafty talents !

I've also joined the local homeschool group.  Such a lovely group of people to be with.

And as a family, we  attended the ANZAC dawn service.  Can you believe it's the first one I've ever been to?  Must say I really enjoyed it, and I think we will make it a yearly event now. 

ENJOY:  Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be rememered from the month here.

April is a month of multiple birthday celebrations in our family - my two sisters, and my twin daughters.  So we all got together and celebrated with a BBQ and swim at the beach.  What an awesome day!  Later,  I made a zucchini chocolate cake for my big girls.  Can't believe they are 20 already.  Shame you missed it Tiare !

3 of my beautiful girls...

And I thought I'd finished todays post with this beautiful poem from here. 

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
slow down mummy, come spend some time with me.

slow down mummy, let’s pull boots on for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet, and rest with me a while.

slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let’s have some fun - bake a cake!
slow down mummy, I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, it’s nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,
and listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood won’t stay!

-R. Knight