Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Birthday celebrations

We had planned to have some friends over Sunday night to help celebrate Donald's birthday as Tuesday (Donald's actual birthday) is our soccer practice day and we are out till 7.30pm.  Unfortunately our friends had to cancel, we still had a lovely dinner but it was just us left to eat this luscious strawberries and cream birthday cake, filled with strawberries and topped with a  really giant strawberry.

Today we didn't have much planned for Donald's birthday as it was supposed to be soccer practice, but it was cancelled due to the grounds being too wet. So we had Donald's favourite cup cakes for afternoon tea and went out to our local Pizza place for dinner.  I think it's time we all went on a diet............I think I'm a bit caked out!

Happy Birthday Donald

This day 35 years ago a little man was born in Princeton, British Columbia, Canada.  

He is father of three beautiful boys who love him so much. 

Toby loves nothing better than to play building blocks with his dad and to hang out on the trampoline with him.   

He is Head soccer coach to 40 or so Under 6 soccer players and to Ethans team.  Sam and Ethan have both been fortunate to have Donald coach their soccer teams in the last few years.

He is a fantastic cake decorator........  


..........and Animator

He loves nothing better than to go on a trip with his Dad and brothers on their motor bikes.  

Something extra special about Donald is that he loves me and he married me. 

I do love him, he's my best friend, even though he does work at home and drive me nuts most of the time..........  He is mild mannered, gentle hearted, loves his boys and me and is very patient with us, yet he has a competitive drive to keep him working so hard at what he loves doing, drawing, creating, animating and playing hard in soccer.

Happy Birthday Donald

Lots of Love
Lisha, Sam, Ethan & Toby

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Soul sister

I have just had a lovely weekend with my friend Christine, who comes down from Brisbane to visit me every year or so.  Wherever we are in the world we manage to see each other, London, Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney.  Christine diligently makes the effort to come and visit me, I'm a little slack in that department. We met in high school but became really good friends when my parents moved around the corner from her parents about a year and a half after I left high school.  I don't know what it was but we really clicked and after a few years considered ourselves soul sisters.  She is a tall leggy blonde who doesn't realise how hot she is.  No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other we still manage to pick up where we left off and have a good laugh.  We went to see "Mamma Mia" the movie and loved it.  So now I think we are both dusting off the old Abba CD's to listen to them again and remember good times.  Thanks Christine.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


About a month or so ago, while the camera was being fixed, Donald & I repainted our bedroom.  When we first moved into our house 3 years ago I was about to give birth to Toby and after the stress of moving and having a baby we never got around to fixing up our room.  It was once a mouldy apricot colour, very old apricot paint from the 80's with lots of mould surfacing everwhere.  It has not been the nicest of rooms to live in.

We are now proud to say we have the best room in the house, now a granny smith apple green, which goes nicely with our wooden furniture and bedding.  Why we didn't do it sooner I don't know, but it is so nice to be in the room, it feels so refreshing and clean.

The boys never really came into our room much before and now they kind of like hanging out and lounging on the bed, Ethan especially.  I'm so glad we painted.

We have added some original art works on our wall as well.  A few paintings of the characters from Donalds' childrens book, Round Cat & Square Dog (yet to be published), which really add some life to our room. 

Monday, 21 July 2008

The best picnic lunch

It's the last day of the school holidays and I've been dying to try this cheesy breadstick recipe that I found on this blog site  a while ago.  I have never made bread before, I have made damper, scones, scone dough for pizza bases, but never bread with yeast.  First time lucky.  It took a little while for the dough to rise, it's a bit chilly in our house, so I helped it by sitting it on the open oven door with the oven on.  Sam & Ethan helped me to twist the dough and sprinkle on the cheese.  

When they were baked we went outside to the sunny but cold and windy back yard and had a picnic.  I think we found a winner recipe and had a lovely picnic.  The boys couldn't get enough of them and we fought over the last bread stick.  Just delicious!

Cheesy Breadsticks

7g sachet dried yeast 
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbs sugar
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
150g butter, melted
sea salt
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Mix yeast, warm water and sugar together in a small bowl and leave to stand for 10 minutes - should go frothy.
Place flour and salt into a large bowl. Mix water mixture into flour mixture and knead on a floured board until soft and smooth. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Brush a large baking tray (with sides) generously with some of the melted butter.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly.
Cut off small chunks of dough and roll out thinly into a long, skinny rectangle.
Cut into 1" strips, fold in half, stretching slightly and twist into breadstick. Place in pan.
Let twists sit close to each other. Leave to rise and double in size.
Brush tops of breadsticks generously with remaining melted butter.
Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese.
Bake in moderate oven until lightly browned, about 20 - 30 minutes.

Favourite Moments captured

.......from our Gunnedah trip


So Monday done with, we made it to Tuesday.  We packed our bags and checked out of the motel. Alister lent us his car to dump our stuff in while we waited for our car to be ready around midday.  This time we spent time down the other end of Gunnedah at another park to play, kick the ball around and wait for the car to be ready.  11.30am a phone call came to say that the part for the car had arrived from Tamworth, but a piece was missing that should have come but didn't because it was a completely separate part that needed to be ordered.......from Sydney no less.

Aaaargh!!!#@*>#!!!  That new part was to be sent to Tamworth the next day, but wouldn't make it out to Gunnedah until the following morning (Thursday) by courier. So another night in Gunnedah, we checked into the same motel as Wayne, smaller room, bigger price.  This time Donald went out for dinner with Sam, Ethan, his dad and brothers.  I stayed at the motel with Toby and some bad Chinese food, Toby had been very tired and cranky over the last few days so we stayed in.

Wednesday arrives and we offered to drive to Tamworth to pick up the part that had arrived from Sydney as it would save us another nights accommodation.  Here is the part, just a simple bracket and a photo for posterity's sake. 

Not much interesting to tell, drove there and back........

.............and waited another 2 hours for the car to work.  They had a few problems getting the car started because of the security system.  So we played in another of Gunnedah's parks, I sat and watched some pony club while the boys kicked the ball around at the show grounds and then  had lunch in a spare block of land across the road from the auto electricians.  I had lost all interest in Gunnedah and photos by this stage.

Finally the car was done, we transferred all of our belongings from Alisters car to ours, dropped the car off at the motel and drove out to say goodbye to Wayne, Alister & Campbell.  Dug some more dirt, found some more rocks, had a family photo and away we went.  

The drive home was another story, one that may never be repeated it's all a bit of a blur. Let's just say a 5 hour drive took us about 6.5hrs.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

More Havoc & Mayhem..

Monday continued....... Ethan and Toby spent alot of time digging with the toy trucks and exploring the dirt.  All of the boys spent some time gathering a huge collection of different rocks that they found around dug up in the dirt.  My boys like collecting rocks.

The rain was coming across the field so we decided to head back into town for some lunch. 

On our way back there was an awful burning smell and the next thing you know I saw smoke coming out of the steering column out near the windscreen wiper lever and out a hole in the top (sorry no pics the camera was in the back). In fits of giggles I yelled at Donald to pull over, we checked out the engine all seemed ok there, and the smoking had stopped, so we proceded back to town with caution. We stopped at the pie shop before going to the motel to call the NRMA.

Country towns are great when you need the NRMA, I think it was the quickest appearance yet, they arrived in about 5mins. Results were that we needed to get the car to an auto electrician as wires in the ignition area were burnt out. While we ate pies Donald took the car away to be fixed. Funny things happen in motel rooms, wobbly tables and chairs = spilled drinks and squashed pies!!  That was Ethans pie, he stood in it too, a big beef and mash potato pie.  

We needed a part for the car from Tamworth that would arrive the next morning, the car would be fixed and then we'd be on our way home.......not so......will explain in a bit. Meanwhile we were on foot so we went to a park up the road to play some footy. Gunnedah has some great football parks, AFL, Rugby and soccer grounds. Here is some of our fun in the park.  Lots of kicks and tackles and funny moments.

Donald was playing a tackle game, if he kicked a goal he would tackle one child (Sam), if he missed he would tackle the other (Ethan).  He missed so Ethan got tackled, it was so funny seeing his face as Donald chased him.

Toby & I on the jungle gym and my attempt at pole dancing.

It was good to have some family play time before dinner at the bowling club, dessert at the golden arches then sleep. We assumed that the car would be ready later on the next morning (Tuesday).