Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week 2 round up

Week 2 in review...

Holiday programme 9-12 each day for Big Brother.  He has made papier maché, painted a pet rock, planted a geranium and been to the movies (Rise of the Guardian).  Unfortunately he was also kicked and punched by another child :-(  He was happy with how it was dealt with though, and decided that on the whole it was a positive experience, and he'd like to go again another time.

Kindy is back for Little Sister... three mornings of playing "Mums and Dads" with new and old friends,  sandpits, painting, dressing up, playdough and generally being three... yay!

On Tuesday Grandma took both kids to see a stage show of the Three Little Pigs.  BB's comments are in another post... that's about all I've heard about it, but they seem to have had a good time.

At home:

Lego for LS... this is a "policeman's house, and his 'mergency vehicle"
Lots of reading books.  Little Sister has decided she really wants to read like everyone else so she's working really hard.  She has reached about yellow level now (RTR) and is accelerating quickly.  I scored a Reading Eggs CDRom at Every Educaid's new shop (which is not as cool as it was prequake)  and she has had a little play with that but, like the website, it's just too much repetition and the steps are too small for it to be much fun.
Little Sister and Big Brother both got out their hot dots pens (LS has the cat and BB the dog) and played with their cards - LS is working on telling the time (o'clock and half past) and BB is reviewing and learning new stuff about the Human Body.

Working on our coursera course - Evolution and Genetics.  

Big Brother has been playing more Chess (surprise!), reading more Chess (another surprise) and trying out the lego mindstorms kit we have borrowed.  He made a start on his brand new handwriting book (E) and I'm working on tracking down a fountain pen for him to start using soon.  He's very excited about that!  He's been playing Minecraft, and enjoyed a movie afternoon with a friend.

This is my bargain of the month too... two buckets for oranising the kids' school supplies for just $2.99 each!

These will be especially handy as some of our school will be in the car / out and about this term.

Read Aloud: Still The Secret Mountain

Next week... school starts "properly"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Three Little Pigs: Big Brother style

me: did you enjoy the show Grandma took you to?

him: yes. Did you know the floor was like a chess board and when the wolf tried to take the pig in the house of sticks he should have stood at E8 (or something... I don't know what he really said) and then it would have been checkmate if you allowed the wheelbarrow to be a knight and the tree to be a bishop. And if he'd stood at A4 we could pretend he was white that time and the two trees were bishops... mate! 
me: oook, so was the wolf scary? 
him: not really, he had several opportunities to check mate, but his end game was weak. 

umm oook

Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu Planning

In an effort to be more organised (and budget conscious) I'm going back to menu planning, and combining it with the freezer cooking I've already been doing.  I've also been looking at our timetable this term and thinking I definitely need all the help I can get keeping family life on track for the next few months.

First up... a list of "regular" meals... some for the kids (K), some for the grown ups (G) and some for all of us (A).  Some I use for lunches (L) as well.  Anything for the kids is gluten and dairy free, obviously - adult stuff is dairy free but maybe not gluten.  Things I cook in bulk and keep in the freezer are (F) and things that are prepared and stored in the freezer but still need cooking are (F*).

K, F, L (the sauce) Macaroni Cheese  add in minced ham steak or bacon.
K, F Spaghetti Bolognese (Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food recipe) served with GF Pasta
A, F Garlic Honey Chicken Thighs serve with rice
A black bean beef and noodles (beef schnitzel, GF noodles, frozen stir fry veg. and black bean sauce)
A, F* sweet potato and chicken casserole that, cook @ 200 degrees for 1 hr
A, F Teriyaki Chicken on rice or make fresh with this sauce
A, F Chicken Jalfrezi on rice.  (This is a daddy cooking recipe which makes extra for freezing)
A, F Rogan Josh on rice. (As above - daddy cooks, I freeze leftovers)
A, F* Pizza - use cheese sauce from mac'n' cheese above and add toppings. Can freeze bases, either shop bought or homemade.  Adults pizza doesn't need to be gluten free so this base and favourite toppings for C and me.
A, L meatloaf  serve with mashed potatoes, peas / beans
A, F Hawaiian pork chops, serve with mashed potatoes, peas/beans
G steak... yum!  rare with fries and maybe an egg :-)
A Fresh Chicken Spring Rolls.  Chicken prepared and frozen.  Prepare fresh with carrot and lettuce.
A five bean, cucumber, tomato and bacon (or ham steak) salad
A roast chicken and roast veg... I have a new marinade recipe from MIL to try
A roast beef and roast veg, traditional or slow cooked: this recipe or um... one I can't find right now.
A corned beef, potato, carrots, peas (pressure cooker - water, bay leaf, 1 hour)
A chicken drums and potatoes (oil and salt, cook at 200 for about an hour, turning.
G mince and pasta (lazy meal - jar of pasta sauce, packet of pasta) kids can have this too if I choose the right sauce
G garlic and lime chicken except I cube the chicken and cook it in the marinade.  Serve on rice.
A gnocchi.  Never had any luck making this myself but Korner Klearing Warehouse sells a GF freezer pack
A sweet'n'sour pork on rice
A pressure cooker beef stew... lots of recipes
A pressure cooker devilled sausages... peaches in the sauce is yum
A pressure cooker pork chops... with or without apples

I love my pressure cooker :-)

So that's the list of recipes we tend to cycle through, depending on season and mood.  We have a freezer full of home kill beef and lamb in various cuts.  There are a few other recipes I make from time to time - bacon and egg pie (and miniature GF one for Big Brother), meatballs, chicken patties - all things that go in the freezer until needed.

Phew.  Next Jan/Feb menu.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Week 1 round up

As I promised myself, here's a round up of week 1 of our school year.

We started the week with a trip to the beach instead of going to bed because it was much too hot.  Lots of fun jumping the waves and getting sandy.  Big Brother managed to have one of his sandals float off out to sea.  Oops.

Little Sister headed off to grandma's house for a holiday and stayed form Monday to Thursday.  She had a wonderful time, driving Go-Karts and playing with her cousin.

Big Brother has spent his mornings at a Sport Canterbury holiday programme, where he has tried out a variety of different sports and generally had plenty of running around and exercise.  The weather did not cooperate, with sweltering heat on Monday and heavy rain on Tuesday and Thursday, but he seems to have managed to have fun anyway.

Afternoons have been filled with Chess, and lots of it.  Reading (books about Chess, lol!) and a smattering of fiction.  He's re-watched Harry Potter VII pt 1, Harry Potter III and watched the Tale of Despereaux too.  We visited the New Brighton Library and walked out on the pier and saw some crabs getting pulled in.  He and I are taking a Coursera course in genetics and evolution - partly so I can get an idea of whether it's a good level for him.  He seems to be holding his own so far.  For fun and recreation he's been reading a level 6 maths book... I have no idea how much he's getting out of it, but he seems to be happy with it for now.

Since being home Little Sister has learnt to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the piano.  Her lessons don't start for a couple of weeks, so goodness knows what her teacher will think, but she's having fun for now.

We've been to play with friends, BB had a friend over to watch his movie with him, and we all met friends at the local school for climbing, riding and general mayhem.

Interests and Obsessions:
BB - chess and Harry Potter trading card game
LS - Ponies and Princesses

Read Aloud: The Secret Mountain (Enid Blyton)

I may or may not add photos later :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 3

of climbing back on to the weight loss wagon.  The carb and caffeine withdrawals have reached new heights.  Ugh.  But it's worth it in the end, right?  I'd really like there to be significantly less of me by this time next year.

I want to keep more of a record of school on here this year, so I'll be aiming for a weekly round up post... which is probably less interesting for you, but somewhat more useful for me.

School starts back next week for us, kicking off with morning sports sessions (sport canterbury have-a-go programme... Big Brother went last year and thought it was FANTASTIC), and some afternoon sessions easing back into proper school the week after.

House painting still to be finished... final compliance certificate to be got.  Waiting on paperwork is frustrating!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Little Sister has a vivid imagination, whether awake or asleep.  Her latest... "I dreamed Rainbow Dash was dropping pez into people's mouths."

um.  ok.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013