31 October 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . decoration shopping time!!

Greetings all,
Our Saturday pared out well, athletics in glorious sunshine, then quick shower of the children & dressed into various themed party ensembles & started delivering them around Canberra.  The last drop off & first pick up was in Jerrabomberra (NSW side of the bottom tip of the ACT) so after Shop Girl's tip to check out the Christmas Barn in Bredbo, we were off down the Monaro Highway towards the Snowy Mountains.  Bredbo is a tiny town north of Cooma & EVERYONE was at the Christmas Barn.  Husbands with arms folded & rolling their eyes, wives squealing with delight at decoration mania.  Judging from the ELF plated Audi out the front, the Christmas decoration business is very good indeed.
Super friendly service & so much variety, glitter & sequins, we had to do a lap before we picked up a single item.  My husband was overwhelmed, arms folded & rolling his eyes.  We were offered a basket & i started filling it with jingle bells & turtle doves.  Yes, i jingled all the way.  We were asked if we needed assistance . . . "what is your colour theme darling??"  Um, i looked at handsome soldier who was already covered in glitter & said "oh, we don't have a colour theme, a guess multicolour for fun".  So underprepared for this was i!! 
The Army tends to relocate you at Christmas time so we've had maybe 3 Christmas trees in the past 10 years, often using a hotel room fern as our tinsel & star encrusted attempt at a make shift Christmas tree to stand over the children's gifts.  So often my husband is away in a war zone on Christmas, we make other family celebrations a big deal, to take the pressure off a daddyless Christmas period.  This year my husband is home & wants a decent Christmas tree. 
Now i grew up with a plastic European Christmas tree.  I remember it well as it was strapped to me . . . aged 4 in 1979 it was my duty to drag it through the airport on the trip home from London to Sydney.  The box still has "Jennie QF2" all over it.  My husband is a genuine-pine-needle-dropping-real-tree enthusiast.  I grew up with an angel on top of the tree . . . um, acquired from a Policeman's Christmas Ball/ Dinner/ Dance in the mid 70's, my mum just really wanted it & held up my sister to reach it & the commissioner smiled - that's my mother's story (we just refer to it as the 'stolen angel' behind her back).  My husband's family Christmas Tree was real, with a star on top, purchased legally.  So this year it's a real pine tree with an angel on top (& proof of purchase)!!
Finding the angel was difficult but gave my husband something to do while i kept gasping at the Babushka decorations & wondering how an owl could fit into Christmas booty.  He found a beauty!!    
Voila, our contained collection of decorations for this year.  Love the folksy style & simple silver, all a tax deduction too as they are used as props & merchandising at my market stall, yippee!!
Have fabulous weeks everyone, love Posie
PS nice little plug for my new range of boys' fashion range METRIC over at the Handmade blog in Shop Handmade now, not far from the GingerBreadHouses of course!!  Thanks Tania!!

29 October 2010

a bit of everything for the weekend . . .

Greetings all,
Seeing the weekend is a bit of everything (sports, parties, snowy mountains) i thought i'd make a post that reflects my scatty about-to-do-a-market brain.  So here goes . . .
My darling children made an awful mess in my studio last night but i woke to find gifts to the GingerBread Gods . . . how cute is this, they made some paper gingerbread men for the house (still in tact)!!  Plus my darling 3rd daughter, my deep thinking bohemian dreamy one, made a daisy chain at school (as you do during sports class on the oval) for the GingerBread House too.  These handmade GingerBread Houses are available in Shop Handmade Canberra NOW, plus $2.50 GingerBread Men, Trees, Snow Men . . . seriously delicious treats!!
Tonight i have a little twilight market & with only one trestle for stall space, i'm taking retro toys & vintage Tshirts, seeing all of my handmade stock is at Shop Handmade.  Yes, i used to import vintage Ts & sell them at the markets but now i'm more a handmade purest (read: do strictly handmade only markets) so this is a great way to move some stock!!  My husband will bring the children for a BBQ dinner & fingers crossed, help me load the car, yippee!! 
Ivy Designs is in Shop Handmade, check out her sweet accessories for children.  Love Wynona, she's really cool & her style, well, gorgeous, i have that necklace on the stand in my collection.  Wyn sent beautiful props & how about that branding display, so beautiful, just like her!!  Many more new designers starting in November too along with more stock from that Posie girl.
I'll just take this opportunity here in a mixed post to say my eldest daughter came top 4 in the ACT athletics for high jump!!  My super star, 4th in the state!!  She's not very tall yet, so when she gets the traditional McClelland long legs, the sky will be the limit!!
Finally, to make this post completely bitsy . . . just watching The Circle (shhhh, i should be at school watching my middle girl at midday assembly hand chosen to do a Japanese dance, but i'm also packing the car for tonight's market so my husband is the chosen parent to go armed with fancy SLR Nikon to capture her performance) . . . they discussed this cool site about childhood photos (usually horrific with bad hair) compared with ones taken now.  If you like Cake Wrecks, Regretsy & What Not To Knit . . . check this out . . . YoungMeNow!!
Have lovely weekends, love Posie

27 October 2010

my creative space 'edible art'

Greetings all,
Wow, check this out . . . i've always wanted to have a Gingerbread House to gaze at in the lead up to Christmas.  How about this one??  At Shop Handmade next week . . . so dreamy, from the clever creative Canberrean (by way of Hungary) Erika Lenc.  It even smells amazing!!

 Wrapped up in cello with coordinating ribbon detail.

My Austrian sister-in-law used to make them too, with extreme detail utilising her dental tools.  Funny how being a dentist & mother of 4 put the breaks on making one for everyone in our huge family!!
. . . & for far less cleverness, my new METRIC boy's clothing range is in Shop Handmade now.

My son just didn't feel like modelling, so this will have to do.
Happy Creative Spaces everyone, i'm sewing all day Thursday for a little market on Friday night.  Should be fun!!  Love Posie

25 October 2010

you have to laugh at your sewing mistakes . . .

Greetings all,
During my sewing marathon on Saturday - let's just say about 20 pairs of trousers & shorts turned out like the pair in the bottom of the image (sans elastic) . . .  but one got through my speed sewing & not only resulted in the print being upside down, but, well, really . . . really . . . really . . . just wrong with a capital R!!
As i make clothes in stages when i'm in production line sewing, i overlock them in bulk, so this pair could only be saved by cutting the entire seams off & making them a size smaller (wasn't wasting that precious Japanese printed fabric!!)  I couldn't stop laughing, i mean, SO wrong!!  The children tried them on to parade my error, after 10 hours of solid sewing, it was deliriously funny.  Tee hee, love Posie

23 October 2010

snippets of my studio

Greetings all,
I have a love/ hate relationship with my studio??  I LOVE it when it's tidy, orderly, spacious & clear, i hate it when i have let it go . . . piles of fabric, piles of incompleted projects, piles of filing, piles of regret i wasn't tidier.  Right now, i'm in love with the studio.
When i did a big clean last weekend, i changed a few things around, like . . . moving the replacement printer the burglars stood on & broke, into the study nook in the hall so now when anyone needs to print, it's central.  In it's place . . . an overlocker, now on it's own portable table.  It's so much easier to manage over locking all shapes & sizes with clear space.  We all know how PMT overlockers are, i overlock like i'm on egg shells chanting "please don't break the thread" - threading bobbins is annoying enough, but rethreading or changing the needle on an overlocker, oh, so frustrating & the interuption to completing your project is infuriating!!
 . . . slowly working my way through these bolts . . .
 . . . one end of my studio . . .
As my business is a mega chunk of my home life & i'm the only one home during the week, i have the entire front of the house as my studio.  This shot barely covers 1/4 of the glorious space i have to be creative in.  I like working at this end, with the sun pouring in & 3 sewing machines at the ready, Mad Men in the DVD player, bliss.  I keep the ironing board up permanently too!!  Notice the no-more-burglar-grills on the window??
Time to cuddle up next to handsome soldier after a full day of sewing today while he ran the children around to sport & parties.  I should have mentioned in my last post he has already won a Husband-of-the-Year title, he he, it was a magazine competiton with a holiday & prizes, 10 years ago??  The state finalists included a fireman (who won the national title) also a policeman, a customs officer, a hairdresser, an engineer & of course, my soldier.  I sent in 25 words on why he's such a great husband & a shot of him holding our first baby in his UN Peace Keeping ensemble, they mustn't have noticed the rifle he had slung over his shoulder. 
Happy sewing everyone, love Posie

22 October 2010

a little hooray for my husband

Greetings all,
A little blown away by the super kind comments & emails about the mention of my husband in the last post (he reads them too, shucks).  So i thought i might do a dedicated post to my handsome soldier & what he means to me.  Of course it's always super exciting when he comes home from war, safe & relatively unscarred by his experience (strangely the more often he goes the easier it gets??) but we've had such a lovely solid, loving, fun relationship since i was a teenager, i just find myself saying he's just so easy to love.
Just for the record, while we were gardening today, i accidentally took this shot (have i mentioned before i'm really clumsy??) it's not posed & i wouldn't normally stand that close to a hedge trimmer being started up either.  Please ignore the Transformers Tshirt, your man might find it cool but it's strictly for home fashion!!  One day i'll show you his face . . . when he stops doing dangerous things.
This morning he took our big girl to her high school induction & testing day.  She was quiet as she examined her new school scene, so he sensed he should stay with her a little longer & gave her an extra reassuring hug & kiss before he left.  Poor bloke, surrounded by 200 excitable new girls plus their 'hosts', no wonder he came home with a power tool from Kennards. 
 I always love hearing how people met their husbands . . . like most, i met mine in the 'workplace'.  Ok, so technically i was doing a science degree which is 32 contact hours at Uni a week + study, little time for normal part time work, so i joined the Army Reserve & you guessed it, ran off with my instructor.  He was very different to anyone i had ever met, a total action man who sky dived, rock climbed, drank & had tonnes of mates, a real blokey bloke.  I thought he was gorgeous, i had an instant crush on him & couldn't stop smiling.  I'm not kidding, i had camouflage paint on my face but he noticed my blue eyes, thank goodness!!  We went out that first night & never looked back.  See, easy to love. 
On our first date we talked about having 4 children (i know, we even agreed on a name) it was just so right, natural & easy.  I think for the first month i was still in shock this totally hot guy was sitting opposite me at dinner, next to me at the cinema, driving me all the way home (he's an Inner Westie, i'm North Shore - that will make sense to Sydney folk).  We had 25 dates in our first month together!!  We both still lived at home so we had to go out for privacy.  My father (retired Naval Commander & excellent judge of character) absolutely loved him, welcomed him with open arms to the family & had me, his youngest daughter, married off 3 years later.
What do i still love about handsome soldier 16+ years later . . . he's all the things i never knew i wanted in a man . . . of course he meets my 15 year old girl criteria of taller, older & handsome with muscles . . . with added bonus of olive skin, blue eyes & dimples, hello!!  He's handy, kind, brave, loving, supportive, loyal, thoughtful & funny but what i love about him most is that he can't touch type, can't put flat packs together, can't do maths, hates shopping, loathes cushions on the bed, refuses to eat left overs & doesn't eat seafood.  OMG, i'm the COMPLETE opposite to each & every one of those things!!  Why do our husbands hate cushions on the bed so much anyway??I love that he can fix anything, cook gourmet, speed read, reach the top shelf, hang pictures straight, run forever, drive anything & focus on a task without distraction.  He's also completely calm in international airports with foreign languages & 4 children to get on a connecting flight!!  Again, all opposites of me!!  This is what you could call a complimentary relationship, symbiotic if you will. 
What makes me smile when i go to sleep . . . he sleep talks, makes me a hot chocolate even when i don't know i need one & makes me feel beautiful.  That's a big call, when we met i was cute, blonde, slim & carefree, i'm a different person now (although people say i never change) but i have big worries on my shoulders with children, business & my husband's work, yet when he's home, i'm so relaxed, happy & serene.  I guess this is who he gets to see.
So there you have it, the highlights of things about my favourite person in the whole wide world.  Better yet, his best mate is possibly my 2nd favourite person, how easy is it when you love your husband's best friend too??!!  Have lovely weekends people, i sure will, love Posie

20 October 2010

my creative space 'my handmade husband'

Greetings all,
What a whirlwind week for my husband.  As if coming home from war straight to a family funeral wasn't dramatic enough . . . a Monday morning meeting with our accountant readjusted his discharge plans.  See, soldiers aren't paid much but they do get reduced rent Army housing, which helps as they move us interstate every couple of years (it would be difficult to keep buying & selling your family home!!) but you lose this housing the day you discharge.  While we still dream of a farm & a Queenslander style family home in the country . . . by putting off the discharge for a year, we can chose land, plan the home properly, so when he does discharge, we move straight into our own home, no rent (rent is impossible for a family of 6 + dog in Canberra or surrounds!!)  Yippee, smooth transition from his career for everyone.
My husband is on leave from soldiering & busy doing all those manly things like fiddling with cars, tidying the garage & planning the Summer restoration of the garden (we're putting down new grass) . . . the family car is getting the bull bar fixed from when that kangaroo leapt in front of me (sorry Skip) . . . & making badges for me!!  Voila, over 200 badges today & counting, just in time for my little Brindabella Market tomorrow.  He'll join me at the market (he heard there was going to be a BBQ) so we can chat between customers & be helpful by carrying heavy things.  Sounds like a pretty lovely day, ahhh, love my husband!! 
Happy Creative Spacing everyone, love Posie
PS anyone else love a Queenslander style home . . . verandah all the way around the outside, bull nose roofing, a breezeway, open doors & curtains blowing in the breeze, cows on green grass, can't see your neighbours, full on market vegetable garden . . . carried away??  Me??  Never!!

19 October 2010

for the love of stationery

Greetings all,
Like most, i'm a big fan of stationery & packaging.  With Christmas markets looming, i have a few tricks up my sleeve for subtle customer reminders for seasonal gift buying - like laminating the sheets of gorgeous Christmas wrap from Kikki-K (double sided, love that) & hanging them from my market stall (so they can spin & show of both festive sides).  Aces!!
I couldn't resist the goodies from Typo too, those stacking boxes (set of 5) are not $25 for extra large, $20 for large, $15 for medium & so on, i got the LOT for $14.95!!  I'm going back for more today as they are fabulous for holding stock & this particular print has an international flavour with Eiffle Towers & Statues of Liberty in small reptitive print!!

Shock horror gasp, i spent Sunday tidying up my studio & there is a floor afterall.  I treated myself to a new sticky tape dispenser, note pads, clutch purse (totally unrelated to my studio) & to start my Christmas cards.  I have a market on Thursday, little 3 hour event at Canberra Airport (Brindabella Park to be precise) so i'm madly trying to make stock in the evenings after a fun day at Shop Handmade with Rachel.  It's hard to resist my husband so i'm doing hand sewing next to him (lounge craft) rather than being in my studio (& watching reruns of OffSpring, why Nina, WHY??)  I'm pretty torn, husband vs OffSpring & all.
Have a lovely week, i'm still only able to upload one image at a time, so expect single-imagey posts for a while.  Love Posie
PS thanks for your thoughtful comments to my last post - i think it's fascinating this whole teen thing.

17 October 2010

raising children through a challenging age

Greetings all,
Our eldest is at that challenging age between primary school & high school, sitting at the children's table but wanting to join in adult conversation, up & down moods . . . that almost teenage stage.  She's a beautiful girl, bright, happy, healthy, sporty, popular, house captain, variety of interests, loving & she's really excited about high school (eventhough she's going from a school with 16 girls in her year 6 group, to a whopping 200 girls in year 7!!)
I put Saturday aside to spend with our lovely big girl.  We planned to put the IKEA book case for her room together then go to the Murrumbateman Field Day with a boy-friend from school (who lives locally) & then collect the twins who were at a sleepover in Murrumbateman too.  FYI Murrumbateman is between Canberra & Yass on the Barton Highway, if you were leaving Canberra to head to Melbourne
We had fun in the mud, she rode the dodgem cars, a BBQ lunch, afternoon tea from the church marquee, we played with sheep, watched a snake show . . . i took great shots . . . anyone else only able to upload one image to their post today?? Come on Blogger, you're messing with my head!! 
Anyway, after the declaration i had yelled at me earlier in the week of "what would you know what it's like to be the eldest, you & daddy are both the babies of your families, you were never the first to do anything, it's all so hard" & subsequent tears, it was good timing to devote a day together.  I had a nice chat to her about the fact, she might be the eldest but we're first time parents to an 11y.o. & we're all learning as we go.  Her attitude at times shocks us, then there are unexpected cuddles.  If any of this slow build up to her outburst has shown me - being a stay at home mother to this age - you just have to be there, when they are ready, when they want to talk, when you realise they have followed you around the house making small talk as there is something much bigger on their mind.  You can't ask or push, you have to let them get it out, in their time, it's slow motion, but you're on egg shells.  My husband & i have developed hand signals for when to avoid & when to act.  While we don't let her be disrespectful, we give her space & let her know we're here when she needs us.  She was a frustrated toddler & this is no different, 10 years later, eventhough she has the words to express how she feels, it's all so new & world ending.  Mercifully she's not dramatic & doesn't have narky friends, she chooses sport over gossip so we hope it's a smooth-ish ride.You think you've done a lot of work raising them to school age, OMG, there is so much ahead of you!!  Any teenage daughter survivors out there, do tell, i'd like to go in with my eyes wide open.  We have lots of teenage nieces but it's different when it's your own!! 
Have a lovely week, love Posie

15 October 2010

101 ways with sausages, ok 3 ways with sausages . . .

Greetings all,
Now i'm a pretty terrible at cooking dinner.  I can bake for parties, cakes, slices, biscuits, muffins . . . make fantastic gourmet sandwiches & prepare anything you throw at me to chop, clean, mix . . . my first paid job when i was 12 was as a kitchen hand!!  It's just when heat is introduced, it all goes pear shaped.  I do my best to steam vegetables & not murder good cuts of meat, so my children get something edible & healthy for their growing bodies.  There is no 'made with love' at dinner time here . . . sewing it is not!! 
See, when handsome soldier goes away, we miss him & HIS COOKING!!  My husband can cook anything, with flavour, he finds it relaxing, enjoyable, a challenge.  He can make a sponge rise to perfection & roast a leg of lamb to juicey tenderness.  Me, when i cook, i am also supervising  homework, directing children doing chores & cleaning up, at the same time.  There are only so many hours between walking in the door after a long trip home from school & their bedtime.  Don't tell me about preparing vegetables during the day, i do ALL that, i even plan a menu, this is not spontaneous-last-minute-cooking!!  When you lack skills, inclination & passion, it's really hard to get the task right, or . . . tastey.  I know, all you great cooks must think i'm incredibly slack, my mother was a chef, oh the shame of it all.
To add to my kitchen nightmare . . . i froze 3kg of sausages in one huge lump.  I know, i didn't count them out & divide into family portions like normal, i just froze without any consideration for how, when or why they would be used . . . so i had to be inventive to disguise 3 sausage based meals in a row.  I actually view it as dinner anarchy now, rebelling against every other facet of extreme organisation i had going on during my 9 months of solo parenting this year.
First night was BBQ sausages & salad, easy, happy children.
Second night was . . . sausage mince, toss in herbs, tomato paste, onion & carrot, da dah, sausage rolls to toss in the oven on a freezing wet Spring evening.  Extra delicious with Lynwood Chilly Tomato Jam which i picked up at Shop Handmade this week.
On the third night of sausage mince, my true love made for me . . . ground up bread rolls = breadcrumbs for rissoles.  So we had homemade burgers stuffed with salad on a Friday night.
I wonder if Donna Hay could style & photograph sausage mince with any glamour??
Theory of this blog post - count & divide your sausages before freezing!! 
Have great weekends people, Little Athletics has already been cancelled due to rain, so i'm off to the Murrumbateman Field Day (that's a big event in them thar hills on the Barton Highway) & sewing.  Love Posie

14 October 2010

my creative space 'car craft'

Greetings all,
Yet more travelling around the countryside this week, this time . . . in the hope of finding some land to buy.  Still a pipe draem but if/ when you leave the Army, you lose your Army house, so if/ when handsome soldier discharges, we need a back up plan for our big family. 
So i took hand stitching (which was hard to focus on as my husband likes me to pay attention to him & i had wide eyes looking at the big chunks of Australia i could imagine raising our children on) but also sent some emails for my husband as things popped into his head.  Such multitasking, we women can do anything!!
I like this property, over 100 acres (tick), within an hour of Canberra (tick), electricity connected (tick), wind break (tick) . . . my list is pretty modest.
Anyone else gone house or land shopping & tried not to let their dreams, heart, head run a mile a minute?? 
My husband is having heart palpitations at the thought of leaving his career to try something new, house a growing family (no more children, even more scary - teenagers!!) oh & we're about to toss a private high school into the expenses & build, oh that's right, we'd have no where to live in the mean time??  Yikes!! 
For less stressful creative spaces, check out those who worship Kootoyoo here.  Love Posie

11 October 2010

grandparents undermining your parenting

Greetings all,
Wow, quite the response to my previous post.  I thought i should put in a small retort to those of you who don't know me better.  I am one of the strictest parents around, my children have firm boundaries & with a husband in the military, they know very clearly what is right & wrong.  Taking those toys from my parents house . . . i should add more to the story.  My mother has Alzheimer's & forgets which things at their home belong to my siblings.  My children were playing with those toys, so my mother encouraged them to take home.  I loathe this practise, my parents know that.  They think i'm mean, in fact they used to call me after visits to tell me exactly how mean & strict i was by not letting my little ones (when they were little & would cry/ tantrum) take a toy home with them.  Forget the fact i spend 50-70% of my time with a husband away, i command good behaviour & as the children out number me!!
To find that they brought the toys AGAIN is my issue & blog post, alarm & concern.  As it turns out, they did try to leave them, my mother said take them, i said no, so SHE pushed them (quietly).  This is more a Mum Vs Grandma issue now.  So i won't be calling the Federal Police (in the capital, we call the Feds) & turn them in.  I'm so annoyed the children are in the middle & my mum will have forgotten now anyway & she gets upset,mood swings, so i have bigger things to explain to my children - above theft, it's dealing with grandparents undermining me combined with the egg shells of Alzheimers.  FYI we have been burgled, i've had products stolen from my market stall & customers use fraud on credit cards/ lie about using a card & getting refunds for products which they clearly ordered themselves & received, they just refused to pay.  I know life sucks, that's 10 years of business, you have little crappy episodes.  My children see how it hurts people.  
Just wondering who else has had to deal with visiting grandparents recently & have them undermine your parenting??  I can appreciate a grandparently gesture & treat but mine spoil them.  Sure my children have just had bedroom makeovers but that is what they wanted for their birthdays & Christmas, they never ask for anything they see advertised or things from the supermarket.  They are incredibly unspoilt, i don't just say no, i explain why i'm saying no & they are intelligent & understanding.
To wrap up this post on a prettier note, just got these fans & lanterns from Beach Vintaage, thanks Simone!!  She also has an on line store & Just Plain Gorgeous shop in Brisbane.  Lovely, can't wait to put these up.
In the mean time, i'm off to Shop Handmade while my husband puts the latest bed together, love Posie

10 October 2010

light fingered children

Greetings all,
We've been to Sydney twice in two weeks, we stayed with my parents.  Upon arriving home the first time, i discovered zillions of small Disney toys stuffed into my girls' bags??  They said Grandma told them to take him.  I explained my sister had collected them & they were not for us (+ i was turning out bedrooms, last thing i needed was more toys).  I bundled them up & returned them, done, gone, dusted, over. 
So imagine my shock after bunk construction this afternoon to tuck my 3rd daughter into bed & finding this staring back at me from under her twin sister's mattress above . . .
 there were more in a bag!!  Hmmmm, they knew they couldn't have them, will have to nip this in the bud as they've never taken things like this before!!
Bunk building, look at that girl go with the Allen key (i had the Makita) 
 this girl started off keen & interested, passing drill bits . . .
 then she got distracted . . .
 making outfits for her new doll.

Back to school tomorrow, the children can't wait, they love school, friends, sport, languages . . . i love 4th term & the build up to the Summer holidays & Christmas . . . swimming after school + it's the ACT Athletics finals at the AIS this week.  Watching the Commonwealth Games, i wonder if my guys will ever compete??  Proud mama.  While they're out of the house, i'll collect up all the toys who don't live here & post them back to Sydney.
This term is very special as my husband starts 3 months leave.  He's all set to garden & take school runs, yippee + get me in shape as 9 months on my own this year, i haven't had time for Yoga or running.  We have to turn out the garage too, such fun.  I'm back at Shop Handmade tomorrow (fun fun fun) gosh i should be sewing, that Shop is such a success.Have a fantastic week, i'm off to a head start of happiness, love Posie

08 October 2010

Canberra . Goulburn . Sydney . IKEA . Husband

Greetings all,
So i'm back in St Ives, again, these school holidays.  Have i ever mentioned my home town before??  I love it here, leafy, quiet, family, shopping, space, restaurants . . . i do love visiting Sydney.   
On the way up the Hume Highway last night, we climbed inside the world's largest Merino in Goulburn & left with obligitory snow dome.  Check out that late afternoon Spring sky!!
 you can only climb half way now, this was met with much disappointment
 lots of giggles at Rambo's giant concrete testicles
 Today i took the boy to IKEA for new bookcases, side tables, desk lamps, bins & round rugs for those bedroom makeovers.  He was brilliant, adding up prices, making suggestions, testing out chairs, pretending to use the toilets in the display bathrooms (that will turn you grey i assure you) & by the end, he had a lie-down-silent-protest (the best kind of demonstration of anti consumerism a boy can do).  He came alive again at the self serve check out - shooting that beeper gun at all the barcodes, brilliant stuff, speedy, simple, love EFTPOS efficiency!!
So tomorrow my husband will meet us in Sydney (yahoo) for dinner, ahhhh, on his way back from Brisbane with his Jeep & i'm kind of hoping he'll take a child or 3, a side table or 3, a desk lamp or 3 . . . those bookcases require 3 rows, ooppss.  We could drive home with our heads to one side??  Non??  I love travelling with the children, they are my company & i don't know how to work the iPod in those 'radio dead zones' without them, so i might keep a few for conversation value. 
 I've never driven in convoy before, i expect to be assessed.  Handsome soldier is a professional driver of all things from scooters to tanks!!  It's only 3 hours & with the promise of finishing off the childrens' bedrooms (their furniture has arrived while i'm not there) we have things to do before school resumes Monday morning so we're heading off early.  
Have lovely weekends, love Posie