Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Running of The Ducks

We've had our Indian Runner Ducklings for a couple of weeks now and we've started to let them wander around the house yard during the day, then we put them back in their box at night with a warm light so they don't get cold.
They are getting bigger and cuter by the day and they must think Muddy Bubby is alright, as they tend to follow him around, they let him share their water dish and come looking to him when they're hungry.
There is still one that's a little bit of a runt, her name is 'Sprinkles' and all the Muddy Kids want to hold her and pick her up and put her in the box at night. I'm hoping she gets a growth spurt soon, otherwise she'll be left in the box alone at night as the others are growing too big!
We also said goodbye to our pigs this week, they've gone away to become Christmas Ham and Pork Roast so we don't have to worry about losing our Ducks to the pigs the way we ended up losing 3 chickens. My next addition will be restocking the chooks, so we can get some eggs coming back in!



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Constructing a Truck Cake for Muddy Bubby

I mentioned on Friday I was going to make a proper birthday cake for Muddy Bubby to appease my mother guilt. I had ummed and ahhed about just what to make. The wonderful Jo at Country Life Experiment and her talented Country Boy had made their two year old a fantastic truck cake for his birthday. So using this as my starting point I made a truck based around our truck (see photo below).
It was really pretty simple to construct, because I made two trailers I needed 4 loaf cakes. I made a butter cake and froze them, so they were easier to cut to shape. Then I crumb iced it, before putting on the final coat of icing and the decorations, including two trailers with jellybeans.
Overall I was pretty happy with it, and I think Muddy Bubby and Muddy Hubby were too! The hardest part was definitely the gel icing for writing and drawing. No matter how hard I try I just can't get it to come out without blobs in it!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Athletic or Unco?

When I was younger (and really still now) I was a bit unco-ordinated when it came to sport or any sort of gross motor activity. I'm not sure whether it's lack of exposure or whether it's ingrained into me to suck at most physical activity. Either way, sports carnivals were not my favourite event at school, except for the fact that it was a day out of the classroom. I have been hoping that my Muddy Kids inherit Muddy Hubby's enthusiasm for sport more than mine, so I was interested to see how my Muddy Organiser would go at her first Athletics Carnival. We rugged ourselves up on a windy and cold afternoon and settled in for the fun.
As it's only a relatively small school, they ran it for just over an hour on Friday afternoon and the kids had a ball. They had a running race, a sack race, 3-legged race, jelly bean on a spoon race, dress in footy jersey and funny hat race and a tug-o-war. After watching the whole carnival, I think it's safe to say that my Muddy Organiser has inherited my gross motor skills (poor thing) but she had a blast and not once did she stop smiling, which I thought was the best bit. As long as we can keep encouraging her enthusiasm and making sure she doesn't stop trying I'll be a pretty happy Mum.
How do we make that happen though? Is it a matter of lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement, is it a matter of getting out there and practicing with her to make sure she's not afraid to give anything a go, or is it something inbuilt into them to keep giving everything their all with a smile on their face?
Do you have sporty kids, or are they like me and a little un-co? Do they keep trying and how do you keep them smiling and having fun?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grateful for Organisation

Muddy Bubby turned One this week and to be honest it was a little subdued, I didn't make him a cake, we used the leftovers from a cake I had for a meeting (he still hooked into it and there wasn't much left).

I had a mild panic attack on Wednesday when I realised I had no presents for him. Then I stopped and breathed and had a light bulb moment 'I bought his presents months ago and hid them' HOORAY! He had a lovely Tonka Bulldozer to unwrap and a beautiful book and Care Flight Bear, all sorted.

So this week I am grateful for organisation and forward planning. Without Organisation and Forward Planning things would be a lot worse in our household! My house may be a shambles, my floors may not be clean and the toy room looks like a bomb's gone off, but I can still be organised. I make lists and try to stick to them, and I am always packing and repacking days before we go anywhere, which drives Muddy Hubby insane, but keeps my sanity intact. It's the little organisation beforehand that helps reduce my stress levels when we go anywhere which makes for a happier Muddy Family. It also means my Muddy Bubby actually had a present to unwrap on his birthday.

I still plan on making him a cake of his own, with a family lunch this weekend, to appease for my mother guilt in almost letting his birthday slip by unnoticed, but for now he is a very happy One Year Old pushing his Bulldozer around.

Linking up with Maxabella for 52 Weeks of Grateful at Village Voices. Please take some time out to check out the lovely Grateful posts, they will put a smile on your face and warm your heart.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Bus Swing

Next to one of the old cottages on our farm there is an old fashioned swing. I LOVE this swing. Every single one of the Muddy Kids fits on it at the same time. There are no fights over whose turn on the swing it is, just where everyone sits and who holds Muddy Bubby.

The Muddy Kids call it the Bus Swing, they pretend to get on the bus and take turns being the driver. They sing 'The Wheels on the Bus' and stop at different places to see things or go to school or preschool. There is peace amongst them, the bickering ceases and the squabbling is gone while on this swing.

Maybe I should call it the magic swing? It is the bickering and squabbling over little things that I think wears me down more than anything. From the 'she hit me' to 'it's mine, they took it', to 'she's hurting my ears' to 'Muddy Bubby wrecked our game', it's this that eats away at my patience until I can stand it no more.

While on this swing there is happiness in all our faces and hearts, if only they could spend maybe half a day on the swing we'd all be a bit happier! Is it just me or do all kids squabble and bicker? If your kids don't PLEASE tell me how to help stop mine, otherwise my kids will spend way too much time on this swing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grateful for the little things

Life has been moving in a blur, and I've realised that really I'm kidding myself if I think things will slow down, if anything they're only going to get busier. I'm trying to make a conscious effort not to sweat the small stuff, focus on my priorities, make lists and work my way through them, all of the tried and true stuff, some days it works, some days it doesn't.

This week though I have made a conscious effort to think about the things I'm Grateful for, I let it slide the last few weeks and it hasn't been fun, I like to focus on the positives. So this week I'm grateful for all the little things.

The delicious chocolate pudding I got to enjoy all on my own while away for work, and a wonderful job that presents so many lovely opportunities.

The small smiles of joy as my Muddy Kids enjoy their new ducklings and spend lots of time getting to know them and look after them.

I am grateful for having a wonderful manager at work who has made the return to work just that much easier.

The wonderful Muddy Hubby I have who makes each day just a little easier to get through when things are busy.

A caring teacher for My Muddy Organiser who was adamant she wanted to go to school despite her ear infection.

The silence of a motel room on my own, just to sit quietly and read.

Good friends who listen and love you just the way you are.

It's the little things I'm grateful for this week to keep me smiling and moving forward.

Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. Head over and check it out, it's definitely worth it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Family Members

My Muddy Puzzler only had one request for her 3rd Birthday - Ducks. Our first attempt at the Poultry Auction was a sad outcome, we came home with nothing. Now, however I'm quite pleased we came home with nothing, because I found 6 little ducklings to fulfill the request, and to top it off they're my FAVOURITE type of ducks. They are Indian Runners, they can't fly, so they can't escape on me, they're great for training your sheep dog (so Muddy Hubby is happy), and they are so good looking and friendly once you've got them used to you.

They had a long trip to make it home to our house, I picked them up and they attended their first baby shower, before spending the night in Nana's shower recess, then a 6 hour drive home. They were very pleased to be put in their new home, have something to eat and a nice bath and drink, before the Muddy Kids started the cuddles!

They have kept the Muddy Kids entertained for hours, just sitting and watching, or sitting and holding. Muddy Bubby has tried to climb in with them a few times, or tried to pull down their light, but he's getting used to them.

There's one little duckling we're keeping an eye on, she's a little bit smaller than the others, the runt of the bunch. My Muddy Organiser has named her Sprinkles and yesterday she was being bullied a little bit, today the other ducklings are being a bit nicer, she's getting something to eat and drink and seems to be growing and happier. There's no doubt about it, they're a very welcome addition to our Muddy Family.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Canola's Flowering!

You always know the year is moving along quickly when the Canola is out in flower. The first flowers shoot up and appear during shearing and within a couple of weeks the paddocks are a blanket of yellow. It was such a lovely sight to come home to after my weekend away.

Muddy Hubby took the kids down to check it out while I stayed and unpacked the car and got dinner started. The kids always have a lovely time playing in the crops, and my Muddy Organiser in particular likes to show off with silly faces and dance moves. Some of my favourite shots of the Muddy Family are taken in our crops, they make such a great backdrop.

Whenever we have Canola the 'Bee Man' comes and puts out his 'Bee Boxes' with hives of bees to make honey from the Canola Flowers. He places the boxes near the crop in a place where he's sure he won't get bogged, they have to also be near a water source, as they need water to drink and help with the honey production. In return we get a box of lovely honey to enjoy for several months after. It's also a good sign that things are starting to warm up and winter is not far from over, Hooray!

The Bee Boxes in the Distance

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thank You Posie Patchwork!

A little while ago now I was lucky enough to win Posie Patchwork's comp where the prize was Louise Fulton Keats latest Recipe/Story Book titled 'The Best Ever Birthday'. I had been eyeing this off for a while so was VERY excited to be a prize winner. I promised Posie that the first recipe I would make would be the Butter Cake, and it's taken me a while (thank you to the thermostat in the Oven going) but this week I did it! I used the Basic Butter Cake Recipe to make the cake for the Muddy Puzzler's Birthday Cake. As promised by Posie, it was delicious, just like my Grandma used to make, all moist and buttery goodness.

It was the perfect cake to use for the Butterfly chosen by my Muddy Puzzler and by the reactions they loved it!

A Huge Thank You to Posie, the book is already a big hit, we read the story all the time and the Muddy Kids have picked out what's next to make.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Overthinking with Cake

So I've been traveling along pretty well, almost in denial I think that the return to work is looming, blithely I have planned a birthday morning tea for my Muddy Puzzler, have made countless phone calls asking people to donate prizes for our Preschool Trivia Night, followed up leads on ducks for the Muddy Puzzler and rearranged the way our household works to accommodate going back to work. Suddenly though it's the day before and I haven't even ironed any work clothes!

I did think I was doing pretty well, then about a week ago I started waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning for hours and hours, until I can finally get out of bed and start the day without waking the entire house. I put it down to everything except work, then Muddy Hubby declares 'it's because you're going back to work you know'. Of course he's right, I get like this each time before I start back, that nervousness of 'will I remember how everything works, what is the latest research on evidence based practice to make sure what I'm doing is right, will I have a desk to sit at and will I have a phone, what has changed since I've been on leave (12 months is a long time), how many e mails will be there waiting and what will they expect on the first day?' All of this worry and anxiousness, and chances are I'll walk in and not much has changed, but it still doesn't stop the torrent of thoughts. Does this just happen to me or is it a common thing this over thinking and over analysing and worrying????

So tomorrow I head back into it all, and I'm hoping that once the first day is over I'll be back to sleeping again at night! For today though I've distracted myself with the Muddy Puzzler's Birthday Morning Tea. I baked up her requested cake, I invited friends over to exhaust them and now I have laid them all down for a rest in the hopes they will sleep and I can run around like a mad person making sure my house is in order to return to work! Because of course it makes all the difference in the world to my work day knowing my house is clean and tidy!