Monday, 25 July 2016

Hello Monday

hello sister My sister has been at a Your Inspiration at Home conference this past weekend, and is coming to visit us today. We haven't seen each other since her wedding two years ago (and now we have a growly dog, and a hesitant Sophie, today will be an interesting day!)

hello baking With her conference comes some exciting new products to try, and I get first crack! Combinations like Tumeric Chai White Chocolate Latte powder, and Aussie Works Burger spice rub. She also got some exclusive conference-only products that we're going to brainstorm ideas for. (Consultants get the chance to submit recipes for use in company publications, too)

hello gardening Just like housework, the process of tidying a garden is never-ending, because things grow! But we seem to be getting a lot of use out of our backyard at the moment, so we'll try to keep on top of the weeds and sticks that appear with great regularity (leaves are starting to drop off the Jacaranda, too, it's almost Spring!)

hello blog maintenance Removing broken links and updating missing pictures is labour-intensive work, but a necessary evil, so I try to have a poke around a couple of times a year. Usually, I do it as the mood strikes (or I remember), but I want to try and have a dedicated time, so I've slotted it into the calendar, and this is the week. (Looking through the archives also gives me ideas for posts I want to update, or new ideas to write about)

hello, Monday, a new start every week

linking with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen
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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

5 things we've learnt from our dog

In case you missed all my photos on social media, we got another dog. Some might say it was a strange thing to do, just a month after we lost Molly, but we just found ourselves in the position of looking at a dog's photo online and being cranky that she was being given away, and bringing her home with us. She isn't the perfect dog; she keeps sleeping on the couch, and she digs holes in the backyard, but she cleans up any kid-food spills, and she's happy with a belly rub after the kids have gone to bed; she's best for us right now.

And we've learnt so much from her in the last month or so. I've been pondering this for awhile, as we go about our daily routine, it's kind of been a bit of a surprise that anyone has learnt anything at all from her, but while the lessons may only be little, they've been important ones.

The kids have learnt cooperation Seems like an odd place to start, but dogs poo. And big dogs do big poo. And the kids have had no choice but to remember how to work together to clean it up. They whinge and whine about every second of it (I never said they were happy about learning these lessons), but the mess gets cleaned up.

The kids have learnt to be gentle Not an easy concept to teach a 3 year old, and I've had my moments of hair-tearing-out, but all the kids have learnt to pay attention to their actions, towards each other, and towards Daisy. Daisy often comes to the defence of someone when kids are arguing (I think she's never quite sure who needs her help if they're yelling at each other) And Sophie is working on gentle patting, instead of riding Daisy like a horse (probably the only downside of Daisy being big, Sophie doesn't quite understand that Daisy might accidentally hurt her.)

Everyone has learnt to give love It's fair to say that family loves each other. But they don't always show it in ways that are easy to interpret as "I love you." With Daisy, it's been easy for everyone to show love - all it takes is a belly rub. Natalie and Riley can often be found in the afternoon with Daisy on her back, rubbing madly away at her tummy.

What goes in must come out This was our very first lesson. Daisy chewed the string off a school hat her first night here. The kids weren't home when it made it's way through her system. And we've also had to watch what food she eats. While she loves all food (and is always at the table beside the kids at breakfast time waiting for someone to drop something), mashed potato makes her sick.
Eventually everything gets chewed I've been keeping track of how many pairs of shoes or laces get chewed. The cupboards in the lounge room are piled high with items picked up off the floor away from Daisy. Steve was quite sure that tucking his laces into his work boots each night would be enough, and he wouldn't have to pick them up off the floor. Obviously, Daisy didn't get that memo. These are now hers to chew (FYI 5 pairs of laces, 3 left shoes, 1 pair of slippers, 3 drink bottles, 1 handbag strap, 1 dog leash, 1 cheap chew toy, and countless bones.)

I'm sure over the next 10 or more years she'll teach us many more valuable lessons.

Do you have pets? What have you learnt from them?

linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT
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Monday, 18 July 2016

Hello Monday

hello incentive Douglas turns 14 years 9 months next month. In Australia, that means he's allowed to hold down a part time job. He's desperate to "have [my] own money to buy whatever I want", and finally starting to pay attention when we offer small amounts of pay for jobs. (We have yet to discuss the practicalities of savings and spendings when you have your own income, or even juggling homework and chores and work.)

hello bedroom sorting It took over 6 hours for Natalie and Riley to clean their room yesterday. If there had been less bickering and whining over who was doing more cleaning, it would have taken a lot less time. While they did that, I sorted a pile of stuff in the craft room, and am feeling slightly energised to tackle the floordrobe and bed-of-doom in our bedroom. (I think I hate housework because it never stays clean, it's something that you have to do over and over again.)

hello warm weather In typical, fickle Queensland way, we're starting to get warm weather again. I've had to remove one blanket from bed, I've only worn my jumper 3 times this season, and all the warm clothes I bought for the kids just two weeks ago are ready to be packed away in favour of shorts and tshirts. (I was really hoping winter would be a bit longer this year, at least until the end of winter!)

hello crafting Sophie and I are heading off to a 3 year old birthday party this weekend. But I'm totally stumped about what to buy for a kid who has mountains of stuff, so I'm going to try my hand at crafting some unique items that I know she won't have. (Fingers crossed I can pull off what I imagine in my head!)

hello Monday, a new start every week

linking up with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen
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Monday, 11 July 2016

Hello Monday

hello school It has been a very long two weeks here. The kids haven't been able to entertain themselves at all, and have spent most of the last week bickering and fighting. And the second Douglas got home, he joined in. I'm looking forward to some quiet today.

hello baking school is back, so we need food for the lunch boxes. And a friend shared this link to dog treats, so I'm going to get stuck in and bake for the kids and the dog.

hello morning pages I decided on Saturday that I was going to start morning pages again. It's been years since I've actually sat down and done them, but I need to get some of the noise out of my head, and this feels like a great way to get started. [Morning pages as written about by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way are about stream of conscious writing first thing each morning "called a brain dump, as that is one of their main functions" (pg10)]

hello walking So we've been a bit slack, not taking Daisy out of the house for walks (but spending lots of time in the back yard throwing balls and letting her chase the neighbour's dog along the fence line), but Steve managed to get out early this morning and take her around the block a few times and she loved it, so we're going to try to do it more regularly. 

hello Monday, a new start every week

linking with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen
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Monday, 4 July 2016

Hello Monday

hello July only 174 days to Christmas. You're welcome.

hello second week of school holidays with Douglas away this week, days move with a different rhythm. I'd like to say there's less bickering, but that would be a lie.

hello school diary Douglas got consistent grades on his report last semester, but every teacher without fail said he needed to become more organised and get work finished. This does not surprise me, I'm pretty sure every one of my teachers said exactly the same thing about me. We need to have a refresher lesson in using the school diary.

hello raking one of the hardest parts of a tight budget is it feels like it's impossible to do anything without money. We're slowly reminding ourselves that while it's difficult to buy things without money, simple tricks like raking the yard can make a difference to how it looks. Now if only we could remember to apply these lessons to other areas of our house.

hello goals I think I've mentioned a couple of times that I need to reassess my goals. It's not so much that they're not important, more that I can't even remember what they were, or why I chose them, or how to reach them. Time to get stuck in this week.

hello Monday, a new start every week.

linking with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen
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