My New Years resolution this year was to be organised and efficient. I planned a weekly on-line shop that would leave me free to blitz the house on a Monday morning top to bottom and then have you turn up at my door with the perfect amount of groceries for the coming week. Menu planning here we come. No more running out of nut-free-dairy-free-egg-free-taste-free school sandwich fillers. No more realising we are out of milk as the kettle is boiling for a much needed cuppa.
Today you helped make that dream a little bit more of a reality and I feel the need to say a very genuine Thank-you.
Today I sent all three kids to school for the first time since school broke up 6 long weeks ago. I fully intended on getting out the rubber gloves but got sidetracked by a funny video on Facebook. Then I replied to some emails, had a cuppa and read a few blogs. You were scheduled to deliver anytime from 10-1pm. It surprised me when you knocked on the door at 10.30 and brought my shopping all the way into my kitchen for me! A fine strapping employee if I might say so. Being a happily married woman I appreciated the attempt to brighten my day but truly, I am happy for you to let him deliver to the young single ladies out there, I quite like the lady who sometimes comes and chats about kids, weather and housework (I'm getting old and boring I think...)
I checked the items off the list as I unpacked and it gave me an excited endorphine rush to see that you were generous in your portions. You gave me $20 of beef instead of the $15 I paid for and all the veggies and deli products were what I had requested and a little bit more. When you didn't have the 550gm box of Special K you sent two 300gm boxes instead at no extra cost. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy. I really should get out more.
One thing I did learn is that I should probably pay a bit more attention to the weight of items I request. I never did realise that putting 1 next to the picture of green string beans meant 1 kilo. I never realized how big a 1 kilo bag of beans was. I think it might very well feed my family for a week. I really wish they liked beans...
And the special offer on that yummy nut cluster, almond and coconut cereal... 99cents a box! Too good to be true I thought but put two in my basket. Yes, they were tiny trial sized boxes. I ate one for lunch. It was pretty good.
And the free sandwich shape cutter you sent with my Bega cheese slices. You excelled yourselves! I had to make a sandwich to try it out. I ate my mummy cow and baby cow with a glass of milk and had memories of pre-school floating around my head. Then I snapped out of it and ate the discarded crusts like my mummy always told me because I want curly hair .
I'm stuffed now and it's only 11am. I truly am a very happy customer. My fridge is overflowing, my belly full and because I ordered a large shop you didn't even charge me a delivery fee.
If I could make just one last suggestion. Perhaps on your web-site you could introduce some recipe ideas for how-to-make-your-family-love-string-beans.
Yours Most Sincerely,
Rhiannon had some friends here this week and they spent a couple of hours making cards. The kitchen table disappeared under a mountain of paper, glue and scissors.
I'm sure it would be cheaper and easier to buy cards in the local shops but they had fun and hopefully their family and friends will be delighted when they open one of these wonderful creations!
I found myself with half an hour before I was due to pick the kids up so I made the most of it!
We weren't sure how many people we would know but as we walked into the surf club lots of the faces were familiar. The location was spectacular. The club was in an elevated position overlooking the sand and sea. We were handed welcome drinks, I could have downed the glass of cold champagne in seconds. The main conversation was excited whispers about the wedding itself. Everyone had a guess at what surprises lay in store. And then in walked the bride and groom.
Tenelle had opted for a glamorous black and diamonte dress and Kane was wearing a cool linen shirt open at the neck. They both looked so relaxed and happy. After mingling with their friends and family they made their way down to the sand and exchanged vows and rings.
When we all returned upstairs to the club the party really started. Cocktails were flowing. I liked the look of these pink ones with rose petals floating in them but boy were they strong!
Byron and myself kicked off our shoes as the sun began to set and went for a walk on the beach. It was so lovely to be strolling along a beach with the day sinking away at the horizon. Hearing the sound of laughter and music drifting in the evening breeze. It's not often we get the chance to have romantic time together. I think the romantic glowing feeling inside was probably helped along by the cocktails!
When we got back from the walk we noticed that there was a fun addition to the party tucked away in a back corner...
...a photo booth!
Anyone could go in and have a series of 4 images taken which printed out onto 2 strips.
One to put in a book for the couple and one to take home!
I had so much fun going in with Byron and later with a bunch of girls.
The more the cocktails flowed the more giggles came out of the booth.
I'd love to have been a fly on the wall as the night wore on!
The wedding cake was an ice-cream cake and a mountain of delicious Adriano Zumbo macaroons!
We said our goodbyes at a respectable 10am as we had an hour drive home and I had an early start the following morning. I struggled to get out of bed when the alarm woke me at 6am. I left the "Zumbaroons" out on the table for the kids to find at breakfast before I slipped out the door to work...miraculously clear headed but still stifling a yawn or two!
Thank you Tenelle and Kane for inviting us to share such a special day with you. You sure made your wedding memorable and very unique to you. I hope that you live the rest of your life with the same love and laughter and you always remember the special qualities that drew you together.
We are off to our first Australian wedding.
The Bride-to-be is not wanting too traditional a day so we are very excited to see what lies in store. We know the ceremony will be on the beach (something I have always wanted to see!) That there will be cocktails afterwards and that it is a child free event.
The kids are wishing they could come too. We have a babysitter organised and they will be left lots of treats to enjoy while we are gone but they are threatening to hide in the boot and sneak out and watch the ceremony from behind a sand dune! We will have to take lots of photos and tell them all about it the next morning.
Today my dress is drying on the line and Byron's best shirt is ironed and ready. All that was left was the card. I know that the bride loves purple and because she is going a bit non-traditional I decided to start with some purple beads and wire and see what I ended up with...
With Christmas packed up and back in a box in the garage until next December we are left with the bits of tinsel in the carpet and the odd forgotten ornament surprising us from where it rolled under the sofa. We are also left with the financial drain on the bank account that was hit pretty heavy last month. Added to the back to school costs of new uniforms and school shoes in the next couple of weeks and financially things feel a bit challenged. Not really the time to be reaching into our pockets for a charity donation even though for many families on lower incomes than ours this must be the time they need it most. And so I have decided every week in 2012 to try to follow the inspiration of this great idea I read about here.
It's a simple idea. Put one extra item in your trolley each week (something with a long expiry date) and by December 2012 there should be a sizable hamper to donate to a local charity. In my case it will be our St Vincent De Paul who I know will put it to good use in my immediate area. The items can be food, tins of tomatoes, dried pasta, long life milk etc or they can be household, toothpaste, cleaning products, cloths etc. The website suggests buying things that are already on special or are on a buy one get one free deal so it really does have a minimal impact on our shopping bill.
I have put a box under our spare bed so that the items are "out of sight, out of mind" and don't get in my way or get in danger of being used up. I hope that this idea is something that I follow through on. By blogging about it I am trying to make myself accountable and hope to be able to proudly show you what I have achieved 11 months from now...
Dear Granny and Grandad Joe,
Thank you very much for my meccano car for Christmas. Dad was very
excited when he saw it. He used to have meccano when he was my age. He
thought he was an expert. That was until we sat down this weekend to
make it. He thought it was exciting at first. Then the instructions
got a bit tricky. Another problem was the size of his fingers. Meccano
is not made for big fat fingers to get into. Well it is almost
possible but it leaves you with cuts and bruises. I thought it was
funny when I learnt new words from Dad. Mum didn't think the new words
were so funny. She told me never to use them in school. Or in front of
Granny. Or auntie Rhonda. We got to the end and there were a couple of
bits left over. Mum wanted to know if we had followed the instructions
perfectly. Dad used another new word and went out to the garden to
water the plants. It was a bit strange because it was raining?
Mum said that I should send you a photo of the finished car and say
thank you very much. Dad said that next year you should send Lego.
I love you lots.
For anyone following the story of Kristian Anderson today has brought the very sad news of his death.
He died in a Sydney hospital this morning and his final blog was published by his wife Rachel this afternoon.
Click here to read his final words on his blog howthelightgetsin
Kristian, I hope you are finally at peace after your fight against bowel cancer. Thank you for sharing the emotional journey with us. And to Rachel, as a mother and a wife my heart is torn for you today. I wish you strength and time to grieve and someday in the future a peaceful heart filled with memories of a man that loved you more than life itself.
Looking back on 2011 I feel grateful that as a family it has overall been a good year.
The kids were happy and healthy which is all we can really hope for. They all did well in school with glowing reports at the end of the year but more importantly they enjoyed the academic year and the fun of good friendships, new and old.
Byron worked hard and learned many new skills that lead him in the direction of writing apps for the iphone and ipad, an exciting direction and one that someday may fund my love of shoes and handbags!
I reduced my work hours from three days a week to two. The difference to our family life was immense and everyone was grateful for the more consistent flow of clean laundry and hot meals on the table! I read more books this year than I have read in the previous 5, due no small part to the gift of an ipad from Byron with a great selection of books on it.
Our extended family faced challenges with health that had a big impact on all involved. We don't refer to much of that here to protect privacy but we hope and pray for a happier and healthier 2012 in that area.
Do I have any resolutions?
The obvious jump to mind
Enjoy quality family time
The actual " How To" requires a bit more thought...
Menu planning so that the right food is in the fridge.
Planning some exercise into my week so that I work other things around it and don't leave it till the last priority where it is bound to be forgotten.
Perhaps being less "attached" to my phone when I am in the home. The ping of a new email often stops me from completing a task as I stop everything to read what often is just a junk email anyway. I have started by unsubscribing myself from many special offer websites and newsletters.
Continuing our " technology free hour" where we all leave our phones, ipods, DS consoles etc in another room and come together for a snuggle on the sofa to watch a comedy or documentary. This was perhaps the most rewarding habit we started in 2011. We joke that even the house phone can wait and the call be returned later in the evening, even if it the Pope ringing from the Vatican!
Hopefully we have set ourselves some positive goals that are achievable. We are only human and family dynamics change as children grow and test boundaries. We will be flexible in our attitude and hope that the end of 2012 finds us as happy and healthy as it does now.