Monday, January 9, 2012

school holiday highlights (so far)

Even though we've been taking things at a fairly slow pace around here, I feel like I'm getting behind in bloggable news. The boys are all a fairly good age for 'getting out and doing things' in the school holidays now, what with no daytime naps and most grumpiness able to be dealt with by application of icecream, cake etc.

We took Gillian's recommendation and went strawberry picking at Beerenberg in the Adelaide Hills. Despite a spell of intensely hot weather the pickings were exceptionally good. It was tempting to keep picking, and picking... however we limited ourselves to a bit less than five kilos. We ate quite a few fresh and in sorbet, and made two batches of jam. The first batch we did not mush up the berries and they all floated to the top of the jars. Live and learn.

Andy has been sourdough baking with mixed success. The flavour is really good but the texture is, as yet, a little too dense. He's working on it. And yes, he has worn that same t-shirt pretty much every day while on holidays. He's back to work today, but I have another week off, and I'm letting the boys have a lazy DVD day today.

Charlie and Jasper were eager to get to work on a new stuffed toy each from Fiona's lovely Hop Skip Jump book. They chose projects with a bit more complexity this time so the work was collaborative. I sewed tricky parts like gussets and string-jointing limbs. But apart from that they did all the tracing, cutting and stuffing, and most of the sewing, by themselves. I'd remind them about clipping curves and they'd say "I know!" I'm pleased to say that in line with the book's philosophy, and my 'Wombling' resolution, the materials for these critters were entirely from stash; mostly scraps from finished projects. One of the delightful things about making stuffed toys is how little fabric you really need.

Three weeks of no work and all of us together sounds like bliss and is for the most part. But I have to admit I actually find the 'doing not much' part a bit difficult sometimes and become anxious that I should be doing constructive things. Maybe that's why I make silly resolutions like 'make the bed every day'. A little piece of perceived achievement to make up for the lack of getting everyone packed off to school and childcare and going to paid work regular week stuff. Pretty silly that some of my sense of self-worth should rest on doing the stressful things.

I think I need to go and sew while the boys are happy with a DVD!

- Jane x


  1. Wow! Impressive sewing by the boys! Your Jam looks good too. I like it with big chunky bits, nice topped onto a big bowl of ice cream... :)

  2. I am inspired and delighted to see your boys sewing. So far only one of mine has showed a slight and short lived interest. I might just show them this post. Looks like fun. Cx

  3. Wow - impressive sewing boys! Glad you made it up to Beerenberg. We might have to visit again before the season's over! How does your jam taste and what recipe did you use? Mine never seems to 'gel.'

  4. Jane, this looks like the perfect holiday! The strawberries look DELICIOUS and I love the pictures of the boys sewing and holding up their creations!

  5. Seems like a great break, though I feel you on the struggle to relax. It's why I now knit compulsively.

  6. Seems like a perfect holiday to the boys' sewing, and that jam sounds yum. Enjoy the rest of your holiday :-)
    (how is the bed making coming along, btw?)

  7. That is an awful lot of strawberries. And I'm jealous of your boys' interest in sewing. Enjoy your holiday, whats left of it!!

  8. Thank you for sharing your family time with me. Beautiful pictures and your boys look so proud of their accomplishments.

  9. Strawberries, sourdough, sewing stuffies, and Sufjan! Looks pretty great from here! Again, you leave me almost TASTING summer, and yet it is so far away here.

    So do you think you'll give up the bed making when the kids go back to school and you go back to work?

  10. Oh thanks everyone. Yes I really should be perfectly happy that we are doing everything that is required of summer holiday season!
    As for the bed-making, well, so far so good. But yeah, when the usual routine kicks back in, we shall see.

  11. OMG your boys are so adorable!

  12. Hi Jane, I wrote a comment here a couple of weeks back but it looks like blogger ate it before it reached you (it's been happening to me a bit, something to do with the typepad profile thingie, annoying). Just wanted to say how fantastic it is to see these photos of your boys and their creations - so, so, good! Hope you've had lovely holidays. We paid a visit to Beerenberg just after Christmas, too, but missed the cherry season, unfortunately. Next year! x Fiona

    1. Hi Fiona! I think the comment-eating thing happens the other way, too... Wordpress I think is the one that eats my comments. Very annoying. Thanks for coming back to re-try!
      The boys both take their new toys to bed every night :)
      We've had great holidays, I hope you have too, and looking forward to a break from this heat, phew. Might see you at Kindy!


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