30 April 2012

A little zoo goes a long way

We might not have the biggest zoo in the world

Yes you can walk around it an hour or so

There are no elephants here

But kiwis and moreporks we can definitely claim

Cheeky South American monkeys and macaws too

And a very obliging Komodo dragon 

Or is he....that face is somewhere between grinning and menacing methinks

How I love seeing my 3 boys all walking under their own steam with not a stroller in sight these days

And yes...even at the zoo I can still find myself totally distracted by the beauty in nature

It seems I cannot look past a lovely flower or two

Down to the Roost we go with a spring in our step

And wonder in our eyes

Why hello Mr Tawny Frogmouth - you are a mouthful to say and a sight to behold

And you Mr cheeky Cockatoo - you make us giggle with your ability to turn anything into an antic

And then the landscape changes as we climb into the African savannah

Beholding the king of beasts having the king of sleeps 

One of our favourite things to do is to peep out from inside the safari crates

Before embarking on our own open air Jeep safari adventure

We can't make it past here without a drive and nor would we even dream of trying to

Such is the enjoyment and natural affinity we see in this budding driver

Our friend the wooden hippo is true to form, still the perfect resting place for a snack
and a little contemplation

While graceful heads glide by at eye level

And giant birds seem merely dwarfed in their wake

Today the late afternoon sun brings all the Meerkat Manor dwellers out to play

And with the sun on their faces, these mammals also bask in the late afternoon glow

And at our last stop, the little mammals burn off their remaining energy

Running, sliding

Laughing, climbing

Breathless with excitement and exhilarated by the experience

Yes, it's just a little zoo. Nothing fancy by world zoo standards.

But it's our little zoo.

And we love it.

27 April 2012

Things I'm loving 27.4.12

Baking up a storm
Loving that we've had the serious bake on lately. Truly. In the past week, we've made Ange's Cheese Rolls/Southern Sushi (I can now see why you said thin bread not toast though!), Remaliah's Chocolate Gateau (lucky I kept an eye on it, our oven must be way hotter it was done in about 40 minutes!), and our own Sticky Maple Chicken and Cheese Scones. Last but not least today was Mark's mum's Dorset Apple Cake which we have decided to rename Sally's Somerset Apple Cake (sounds so much nicer). Recipe to come!

Remaliah's chocolate gateau - delightful with chocolate sauce and french vanilla icecream!

 Those cheese scones

That apple cake!

Stripey socks
I love colourful socks. Especially on little feet. Love em.

Hunger Games, you're still the one
Addicted much! I have devoured books one and two, and finished the third book just as Mark and I went to the movies on Wednesday night to see it..finally...I'd been hanging out for a couple of weeks to go, and it didn't disappoint, although the book is still much better in my opinion. I've never gotten into Twilight so this is close to a pop culture series as I've gotten since reading the 'Tomorrow when the war began' series about ten years ago.

Dig, dig, digging
I'd only just signed up for a monthly carpark when I got notified that the carpark would be shut down for several weeks while a building right next door was demolished. Luckily, there was another carpark just around the corner so it hasn't been too inconvenient. Today all the inconvenience was worthwhile when we got to watch some major demolition at work. The boys (and I if I'm honest) were totally in awe of the massive machine making quick work of the 3-storey building. And it's a good thing they did close the carpark, because 'HERE' is the exact spot I used to park.

All by myself
Love seeing Noah coming up with his very own LEGO designs that actually look like what they are meant to be!

Autumn collection
Loving this little collection we put together after an outing to the Gardens - part of Noah's class focus at the moment was to collect some autumnal things - so we collected nuts, helicopter leaves, maple leaves and pinecones. It's undeniably autumny in our part of the world right now, and what a cracker of an autumn it has been so far.

Tawny Frogmouth
Love this guy we always see at the zoo. Out of all the creatures God made, this one was a doozy. How cool that this bird can camouflage himself to look like the bark on a tree and blend in with his surroundings? We've hardly ever seen him move, let alone fly, so I reckon he has definitely got the jump on any would-be predators!

Reliving the dream
Loving the pics my bro and Kim sent us from their honeymoon to Santorini in the Greek Islands and then onto Switzerland. Such amazing memories for us of our own honeymoon in Santorini 8 years ago.

And loving that it's been a short week this week. It felt weird but good having a day off mid-week, especially nice when I worked out this was the first Anzac Day in four years that we've actually had a week day off to celebrate it.

What have you found to love in your part of the world?!


26 April 2012

Badges of motherhood

What badges did you wear today?

Here are mine. On the whole it was a great day. It had its moments, but it was still good.

And it makes me wonder do we celebrate enough the little things? Between the every day monotony and the other totally forgettable things that occur throughout our days, do we stop and celebrate our little but noteworthy (to us) achievements?

Because we should.

For a newborn mum, her most treasured badge of the day might be "I got out of my PJ's today"

For a mum with an autistic child, it might be "I got a smile from my child today"

For a working mum, it might be "I got to go home early and see my kids for longer today"

Sure there are the badges we'd rather not have to put on. You know the ones:

"Feeling stink for yelling at my kids today"

"Spent ages cooking dinner and no-one would eat it today"

"Broke my favourite (insert sentimental item here) today"

"Did nothing but clean up kid/cat/dog (insert relevant bodily function here) today"

And sometimes we're wearing these ones right alongside the celebratory badges.

And that's OK. It's just life.

There are days when we end up putting on a nasty badge before we get the opportunity to put on a nice one.

Some days we'll try all day to find just one celebratory badge to wear alongside all the not-so-nice ones that have accumulated, and we may not even find it.

But that's OK. It's life. And tomorrow IS another day. Thank goodness.

And when it comes, anticipate and celebrate every little quiet (or not so quiet) achievement as it happens. Pin that badge on. Because you my friend, you are worth celebrating. Even in the little things.

You are the without a doubt the best mama your kids could ever hope for, perfectly chosen for this very role. They know it and believe it, even when you might be struggling to.

And the best badge of all? The one I know I could choose to put on first each and every day despite not always deserving it and quite often forgetting completely about it? It's this one.

25 April 2012

MNM's Make: Homemade Lava Lamp

This has to be one of the most fun and easy science crafts you can do at home. Although I still love the Milk Explosions one

A plastic or glass jar
Baby oil
Food colouring
Alka Seltzer tablets

Take a glass jar (approx 1L) and fill approx 1/8 with cold water.

Take the baby oil and fill the jar until nearly full.

Drop a few drops of food colouring into the jar at a time.

Enjoy watching the bubbles of colour slowly sink down and sit at the bottom of the oil layer before slowly melting through and dispersing into the water.

Once you have the water at the desired depth of colour you want, break an Alka Seltzer tablet into quarters and let the fun begin.

And if you really want to get things going, throw a whole tablet in at once....although be prepared for the potential for it to bubble over!

Once you've had enough fun for one day, pop the lid back on, store in the cupboard and bring out again on another day!

And if you don't think it will spoil the surprise, here is the real life action version.

Idea sourced from Meet the Dubiens via Pinterest.


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