Thursday, November 29, 2007

My very first gingerbread house!

Jackie, Sister Doig, Mel, Louise, me, Barbara and KitLast night for our church cooking class, we decorated our gingerbread houses. It was the most fun I had had in ages. I think it was because we had so much lollies and we were all getting a bit hyper eating them as well. We had made our gingerbread houses at Sarah's house two weeks ago and now it was time to decorate.

I was really nervous to start, stressing I might mess it up but Lorraine looked after me, getting me a chair and some glasses to prop up the walls while they dried so after a few deep breaths I plunged in.

Getting started
It was amazing to see all the different decorations we came up with. It did not matter what you did they all looked fantastic. Kit and I went together and we did not get home until about 10pm. It was fun because we all chatted and admired each other's houses as we decorated.

We are all concentrating very hard

We filled the inside full of lollies too and I can't wait to see the kids' faces when I bring it home and they find out that they get to eat it.

For more photos and the gingerbread house recipe and template click here.

The front

The back

The side

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Six Pies

Okay so everybody I have talked to does not believe that I had SIX pieces of pie at Thanksgiving dinner last week.

Well Jackie took a photo of my plate and me. It took me well over an hour to fit it all in but I made it and I did not even feel sick.

So I have the proof.

Bingham news

Penny sent some photos of the kids. They are the most gorgeous niece and nephews with beautiful blonde hair.. Ella turned two on the 15th of November.

And because they live in Canada, the kids got to go out and do the real Halloween thing - trick or treat. To see Ella singing Happy Birthday to Oma, trick or treating (the real deal) and playing in the leaves click here.


Happy Halloween...................

Isn't this so cute!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Launceston Christmas Parade

Yesterday we went to the L'ton Christmas parade. It started at 11a,m so I went to the gym first and Mum and Collette met me in the gym carpark at 10.30. We then walked into town from there as we knew that it would be extremely difficult to find a park.

We got there in plenty of time and found a good spot on the grass opposite Health and Fitness on St John Street. It was a great spot as we were near the beginning of the floats so did not have to wait for ages for them to come up the road.

We saw Punchbowl with Lisa, Jalen and Noah go past and we saw Emily and Rohan on the Norwood float. Hallie only had eyes for Santa and her eyes nearly popped out of his head when his float came past. She was a bit disappointed that he had not brought any presents along but I explained to her that he was here for a quick visit and then would be back home working on getting the presents ready.

Lisa and Noah
Oliver sat in the gutter with one elbow leaning on his knee giving little waves to everyone. I don't think he quite knew what was going on but he loved watching it and sat there very seriously taking it all in.

Sarra made sure she waved to every single float and could not stop talking about how many sleeps there were and because her birthday is on Boxing Day she always adds one more day for her birthday.

Today she told her Primary teacher at church that she is very special because she was born the very next day after Jesus was born.

After the parade finished we converged on L'ton along with every other Launcestonian to do some Christmas shopping. I am happy to report I have finished except for Simon. But it was ridiculously busy and a pram does not make it any easier. In the end I just started bulldozing my way through and people soon got out of the way. Otherwise I would still be there now saying, "oops sorry, excuse me, pardon me could I just squeeze through there."

After town we went to McDonalds and honestly we lined up for half an hour before we got served. Collette said, I don't know what happened to 'fast' food. We then went to Mum's school and turned the eggs. Mum's Prep/1 class is hatching chicks this year and they need to be turned everyday.

Yesterday was of course federal election day so I did an absent vote at Youngtown Primary as that is part of the Bass electorate and of course I am in Lyons. Later in the afternoon we took Mum and Collette's dogs to the dog park at St Leonards and there were kids swimming there. There used to be a rope there that you would swing out on into the river and someone had put another one back up. Lisa, Chris and the kids were there with the Baileys and when my kids saw them swimming they of course wanted to jump in with their clothes on. Like I was going to let them.

Collette came home with us for a sleepover. Mum was headed to Burnie today for their Primary Presentation (Mum is Stake Primary Pres) and picked her up on the way. We had an 'election party'. Collette has this wicked dry humour and we spent the night nit picking all the pollies. Collette has this amazing ability to turn anything boring into something funny so we actually had a fun night watching Ray Martin and the election count.

We even stayed up and made it through John Howard's concession speech and Kevin Rudd's acceptance speech. Howard said the words 'please, please' heaps of time to shut the crowd up so he could talk and so could not stop laughing, Collette commenting that the political tongue-in-cheek show, 'The Chasers' will be using that in their post election show next Wed night.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner with friends

Tonight we went to the Websters/Coronas for Thanksgiving tea. Mel's husband Dean is from USA, well he was born in Mexico but grew up in the States and every year Mel puts on this amazing dinner. Now when I say Mel and her Mum Jackie are good cooks, that is an understatement. They have some of the best culinary talents that I have ever come across. Honestly guys don't deny it!!

Mark and Jackie

The beautifully set tables before we tucked in.
Even the kids' table looked very fancy.
SO in preparation for the big event, I had a light breakfast and lunch so I would not be starving but not too full either. Dinner was served at 4 pm and it was even better than Christmas. Dean had taken two days off work in celebration of the event. Mel who I might add is 30wks pregnant had spent hours and hours in the kitchen getting the meal ready. She sent her Dad out on the Monday morning with a big grocery list so everything would be ready by Thursday.

Emily and Louise came with little William. Levi was at home looking after Korom and of course Deidre and Kim are in Qld so they missed out this year. Mark's Mum was there too.

Emily took some plates home to Levi and Lousie's house piled high with food for Levi and Korom. Because they just live down the road, Emily walked home and I just had to take a photo of her walking down the country road with two plates ladden with food in her arms.

Levi and Louise's house
Okay the turkey and this was the biggest turkey I had ever seen, had been in the webber since 9.30am. It was so tender it just about melted in your mouth. With that we had sweet potato with melted marshmellows on top, steamed carrots, beans and asparagus, mashed potato with cream cheese and cream through it, a spinach cheese dish, salad, stuffing, and the most divine turkey gravy. I had never thought sweet potato and marshmellows would go but hey they were yummo!!

Pigout time
Dean's plate
The kids then went on a treasure hunt while we let dinner settle and then we started on dessert. A choice of 6 pies and I tried every one of them. We had pumpkin, pecan, strawberry, chocolate, apple/blueberry and banana caramel cream pie - all homemade.

But what was even better than all the food was the great company. Jackie and Mel's family always make you feel right at home. It usually takes me quite a while to relax around people, I mean really relax beyond surface level where I can be my true goofy self. They just accept people for who they are. That's what I love about them.

We stayed until about 9.30 and gave the kids a bath together. They had a great time until Kealin did a wee. It was such a laugh. I can't believe we fit them in. Thanks guys for a wonderful night and even more wonderful memories. You realise now its a tea date every Thanksgiving.

Of course we can't have a night out without Hallie in a costume. Here she is wearing Charna's Halloween costume. Charna let her take it home for the weekend.