School summer holidays have begun here! Since Zoë has finished pre-school it will be the first time that she will be on holidays over the summer with Ethan, so with two siblings now at home for 6 weeks we're going to need lots of things to do to keep us all entertained! We don't want to break the bank, so we came up with a list of 100 things you can do over the summer holidays for free! The guidelines for the list were: you can use whatever you already own, or petrol that's already in the car, and things you have easy access to. But you cannot spend any money.
It was pretty challenging to come up with 100 different things, but it was great to do!
Here's our list:
1. Bake cookies
2. Play Uno
3. Write letters to friends, family & pen pals (ok, so the stamps cost money, but we've already bought those!)
4. Look through photo & scrapbook albums
5. Read a book or two or three
6. Go to the beach
7. Watch a movie from our DVD collection
8. Go for a bike ride
9. Make greeting cards from the craft stash
10. Sing a song or two or three
11. Do some gardening
12. Build something with Lego
13. Write a creative story
14. Play hopscotch
15. Fly a kite
16. Make potato head creatures
17. Find different species of wildlife in the backyard
18. Make something on the sewing machine with the fabric stash
19. Create a scrapbook layout
20. Play the piano
21. Draw a picture
22. Colour in
23. Play with pets
24. Skip rope
25. Clean up the house
26. Read old magazines
27. Visit a free museum or gallery
28. Plant a tree
29. Take photos
30. Catch up with friends
31. Listen to music
32. Press flowers found in the backyard
33. Jump on the trampoline
35. Edit digital photos
36. Play the playstation
37. Bake a cake
38. Play Scrabble
39. Complete a jigsaw
40. Go for a bushwalk
41. Have a BBQ
42. Paint your fingernails & toenails
43. Learn some phrases in a different language
44. Climb a tree
45. Write in a journal
46. Make a cubby house out of sheets and blankets
47. Have a slide night
48. Watch home-made movies
49. Have a pillow fight
50. Play dress ups
51. Have a tea party
52. Or a teddy bears picnic
53. Learn how to crochet
54. Play handball
55. Play the guitar
56. Collect bugs
57. Read old letters and diaries
58. Look at the stars and moon
59. Watch the sunrise
60. Watch the sunset
61. Play I Spy with my little eye
62. Camp in the backyard
63. Wash the car
64. Go bird watching, train spotting etc
65. Collect sea shells on the beach
66. Play elastics
67. Create crazy hair styles
68. Play marbles
69. Paint a picture
70. Visit the library
71. Make sandcastles at the beach
72. Go yabbying (crayfishing)
73. Share scary ghost stories
74. Climb a mountain
75. Tell funny jokes
76. Have a wrestle with someone (rules: no bloodshed)
77. Learn a new cool handshake
78. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood
79. Create a puppet show
80. Play Monopoly
81. Watch TV
82. Make daisy chains
83. Go for a swim
84. Throw a Frisbee around
85. Try to juggle
86. Practice hula hooping
87. Play catch with a ball
88. Make handmade paper
89. Make origami creations from scrap paper
90. Play hangman
91. Play charades
92. Finish a craft project
93. Make a treasure hunt
94. Interview someone you love
95. Make a home movie
96. Help someone in need
97. Walk along the lake
98. Kick a ball around
99. Watch old episodes of Seinfeld or X-Files or Ghost Whisperer or True Blood or whatever show you enjoy! (for the adults) Ben 10, Dora The Explorer, The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle for the kids!
100. Make creatures out of egg cartons
Is there anything I've missed? What else would you put on there? I'd love to hear your ideas. At the end of the holidays I'll let you know how many things we did from this list :) Should be an interesting summer!!!
Last December we traveled out to Tottenham and Nymagee to spend Christmas with my family. You may remember this post where I told of the rain that flooded the river and we couldn't pass through it to go to my Mum's farm. Instead we drove back to Tottenham and spent a few nights at Grandma Greig's house. (my Dad's Mum)
Grandma Greig was living at Tottenham Hospital as her failing sight meant she was unable to care for herself at home. We spent some time with her over those few days drinking tea, talking about what was happening in our lives and what our kids had been up to. Grandma loved holding hands with Zoë and little Zoë loved it too. Grandma always held our hands, and held on just that bit longer as we were about to leave. We both knew that one day it was going to be the last time.
Last week Grandma Greig passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was 90 years old. I'm going to miss her so much. I traveled out to Tottenham for her funeral last week. My cousin Megan and I read the Eulogy, which was quite difficult but I'm so glad I did it.
Grandpop passed away in 2006, and now with Grandma gone too, a chapter has closed. I am so used to bounding into their house and hearing Grandpop's stories and sitting down to morning or afternoon tea with Grandma's home made cakes. I grew up eating Grandma's apple pie and ice cream, her lemon cheesecakes, their homegrown green grapes, and preserved peaches. And Grandma's baked potatoes. Oh, how I wish I could make them like her!
Grandma taught me how to knit and sew. She was a dressmaker and together we made a few of my formal dresses for end of school year fuctions. She also taught my Grandpop how to knit his own vests. I remember seeing them together on the lounge, watching TV, both knitting away. Grandpop would knit the back of the vest, Grandma would knit the front.
Grandma and Grandpop have an organ in their loungeroom and I used to play them lots of tunes. They often requested 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree'. Apparently they used to dance together to this song when they were younger. I can still play this song, and I had actually been playing it on my piano on the day she died (I didn't know of her passing at this time though.) Just like I had been going through these photos of her and Granpop that day. It was a few hours later when I found out that she had died.
One game Grandma used to play with me was 'Apple Peel Letters'. We'd peel an apple, trying to create a long peeling. Then we'd throw the peel over our heads behind us onto the kitchen floor. Then turn around and see what letter of the alphabet it looks like. Grandma used to say this was the first initial of the man you were going to marry. She'd always manage to make her peeling look like a G (Grandpop's name is Gordon). I have played this game with my own children over the past few years and mine 'always' looks like an S (for Stewart). The kids think it's funny.
Grandma always had a great night time ritual for us. She'd make us hot milk and honey or a hot milo, then draw pictures on our backs and we'd have to guess what the picture was. There are so many other wonderful memories of traveling with them, picnics in the paddocks at the farm, looking through old photos with them and hearing the stories. I'll miss them both, but I am so grateful for being able to share so many years of my life with them. They really were the best Grandparents anyone could wish for.
For Christmas 2008 we decided to head out to my Mum's farm at Nymagee. Most of my brothers were going to be either staying there or passing through, so it was a good time to catch up with them and it's always a treat when Santa has to get all dusty by visiting the farm too!
However, mother nature had other plans! We left our beachside home (not literally, but close enough) early in the morning for our 8 hour drive out to the farm. We had been driving for 7.5 hours along roads like those in the above photo. We were all getting hot, tired and eager to get out of the car at the farm. we were scooting along, then came across this:
WATER! Yes, rare as it is out there, the road was covered in water along Pangee Creek. A rare sight indeed, and one I've not seen often (except in the Nyngan floods of 1990, but that's a whole other story, and goes to show that it has been about 18 years since I've seen this creek actually running!) In this photo the water doesn't look very deep, but it was deep enough to go up to the windows of our car.
And we were only half an hour from the farm! With no phone coverage we couldn't even call Mum to tell her that we'd have to turn back. Luckily a Country Energy van came along and allowed us to use their satelite phone. When I called Mum, they couldn't believe the river was running (they'd not had much rain!) so my stepdad Terry and brother Tim drove out to see what all the fuss was about. This is them:
The river had risen by now too. We yelled out hello and Merry Christmas to each other, then we both had to turn back and go our separate ways! We went back to Tottenham and stayed at my Grandparents house in there until Christmas morning. By then the river had subsided and the rest of the family could get together for a wonderful lunch feast! I always say before Christmas that I'll try not to eat too much, but every time my will power just walks out the door and I'm found eating huge bowlfuls of desert. What can I say... sweet tooth! It was a great day and Santa did find us after all too.
We spent another week on the farm, catching up with family, playing board games, yabbying, painting, taking pictures, riding the four wheeler motorbike, changing flat tyres, taking long walks, teaching Banjo the dog to sit, playing Lego, watching movies and again... eating way too much food!
I hope you all had a wonderful festive season with your loved ones, and wishing you all a wonderful, fun, happy, wild, crazy and adventurous 2009!!!
Thanks for all the well wishes and comments for our 10 year anniversary! We had a fabulous day... and the photo shoot went well. I wanted a 'formal' looking one like this first one here, because we have a similar looking one of Stew & I from our wedding day. Then after this was taken, we had a lot more fun with the kids and just acted 'normal' (for us anyway!!) I love this next shot.
Our photos were taken by David Benson. He's been a friend of ours for many years, and did a photo shoot of Stew & I before we had children. It was great to have him do another photo shoot for us. We mentioned we'll go back for our 20 year anniversary - but I think the kids will be taller than me by that stage! Perhaps it'll be me sitting on Ethan's shoulders by then.
Ginny has asked for a history of our relationship... I created a mini book a few years ago about how Stew & first met. I tried to find the blog post where I showed it, but couldn't find it. Edited to add: found it here.
And the Thai dinner we had was fabulous. Just like Thailand, but without the humidity.
Happy anniversary to us :)
It's our ten year wedding anniversary today. We always said we were going to go back to Thailand and have a second honeymoon with the kids for our 10th anniversary, but we have another family wedding to attend tomorrow, so we stayed home. Instead, we are taking the kids up to Linton Gardens where we married to have a small little photo shoot of the four of us. When I was booking the photographer, the only time he had available was 3pm. Funny, because that was the time we were married on our wedding day.
After that, we'll head out for dinner to a Thai restaurant. If we can't be in Thailand, it's the next best thing, right?
So... the last 10 years have been full of fun, laughter, challenges, adventure, tears, a few tantrums, joy, stress, tenderness, friendship, babies, spew & poo, kids, mess, laughter so hard we nearly cry, more fun, understanding, dreams, but most of all... love.
As Lenny Kravitz says... let love rule.
We've just spent an amazing fun day at the Snowy Mountains. (yes, there is snow in Australia!) We haven't been there in 5 years. Ethan only had vague memories of when we visited the snow when he was 2, and Zoë hasn't seen snow at all before today. Since I'd been doing a photo shoot near the snow this past weekend, we decided to spend an extra day and have some fun! It was magical. It snowed heavily the whole day. I loved that. Zoë caught snowflakes on her tongue. We had snowball fights. We built a snowman. We went tobogganing. Our fingers froze instantly if we took our gloves off. The kids fell over laughing trying to walk. And it reminded me so much of why I love the snow, the cold, the rosy cheeks, having a warm body with a cold nose, and it made me wish we lived closer to visit here more often. :) But cramming in as much snow fun as we could in one day... priceless.
I'm busy busy here getting ready for a trip to New Zealand on Wednesday! I'm heading over to demo and teach for Stamping Fun Unlimited on Thursday, then onto stamp camp for the weekend to teach for 2bStamping. My luggage is already well over the limit with kits and supplies (and giveaways!!!) I have been told there's some great scenery and walks around the camp, so I'm looking forward to some photography too!
I was cleaning up some old papers and things over the weekend, and came across this little inkjet print that my younger brothers had made for me a few years ago. I'd had this pinned to my noticeboard for a long time until the image started to deteriorate from the light, then I put it away. I should have scanned it while it was still a good print. But the lines in the photo just make it all the more funnier now :) They made this when we were all out at Mum's farm visiting one weekend. Makes me laugh.
I hope you've all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I'll share some photos of New Zealand on my return next week :)
Hello from Australia! I have arrived safely in the mailbox of the Greig-Yule family. There's a Mum called Rachel, a Dad called Stewart, a boy called Ethan who is 6 years old and is in Yr 1 at school, and a girl called Zoë who is 3 years old and goes to pre-school. This family is very lively. Already we have gone on so many adventures. Yesterday we went to the zoo in Sydney! They showed me lots of Australian animals, including spiders (scary!), crocodiles, emus, koalas, and I especially loved the kangaroos! I even got to pat a snake and a lizard!
It was such a beautiful summers day, so we went on a ferry ride across the Sydney Harbour and saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. On the ferry it was really windy and my head nearly blew off, but luckily Rachel helped me stay together so I could continue the journey. We took lots of photos so I will come home with lots of things to show you!
At the end of the day we went to Luna Park. This place was so much fun! There were lots of fun rides and everything was bright and colorful. I pretended I was a clown too. Then Zoë and I decided to get married!
For breakfast Ethan and Zoë often eat Vegemite on toast. I wanted to try it too. It looks brown, and I thought it was going to taste like Nutella, but it doesn't! It was a different taste. Ethan and Zoë said they love it. These Aussies eat strange things!
Your Auntie Robin sent over my books for the family to read. They got very excited when the postman gave them the box. The postman came at 6.30am! Isn't that early! Rachel was still in her pajamas, and her curly hair goes really wild after a sleep, so the postman really laughed at her! (and us too!) We all enjoyed looking at the books and Ethan & Zoë said they can't wait to read them.
Thank you so much for sending me over here, I have had such a great time here. I'm being sent home now, I think it will be a long journey, but I'm happy to relax for a while - I need some rest after my big adventures here in Australia.
I'm looking forward to seeing you soon and showing you all the things I did on my journey!