Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Movies

We cancelled our Netflix DVD service in October and now just have an instant membership.

It seems however that many of the movies worth watching are not offered via instant!

So now we use a combination of Amazon instant, Apple TV, cable TV, and Netflix instant.

I think we went to the movies once? We saw the King's Speech. Which if you could only see one movie it is an excellent choice!

Our favourites for 2011: The King's Speech, The Beaver and The IT Crowd. Of course we love all the Narnia movies too. Bleak House and North and South were both fun miniseries to watch.


The Beaver

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Blue Valentine

Thomas & Friends: The Early Years: Disc 1

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Barney's Version


The King's Speech

The Company Men

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Wild Target

Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

The Young Ones: Disc 3

The Young Ones: Disc 2

The IT Crowd: Series 3

The IT Crowd: Series 2

Morning Glory

Mary Poppins

Robin Hood

It Happened One Night

Samson & Delilah


Going the Distance

Terms of Endearment

3 Stooges 75th Anniversary: Vol. 1

Valentine's Day

Soul Kitchen


Summer Hours

Bleak House

Mary and Max

North and South

One night with the King


Man on Wire

Love's Enduring Promise

The Young Ones: Disc 1

The Special Relationship

The Ghost Writer

The Sound of Music

Beautiful Kate

Black Adder: Back and Forth

Yes, Minister: Complete Collection: Disc 4

Tinker Bell

Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011 books

Have I said this before? I love reading books. And despite having a baby to add to our brood I still managed to read a number of books this year.

Not a stellar list though and I have been having trouble picking the best.

An all time favourite is The Phantom Tollbooth. Although a children's book I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading it this year on the basis of a Slightly Foxed recommendation. [If you haven't read an issue of Slightly Foxed I urge you to do so soon. And if you haven't read the Phantom Tollbooth you really need to!]

Two books that have lingered in my mind are Corelli's Mandolin [brilliant book, the movie is a disgrace to the book] and The Road Home.

My two audio books this year were I, Claudius and The Odyssey. Both are enjoyable classics.

Two authors gave names to Felicity's soft toys - Willa [Cather] and Sybille [Bedford]

In 2012 I am going to endeavour to read-down my book shelf. It is precariously stacked and there are about 40 books there - perfect for the year of reading ahead. Of course I am still going to exchange books on so the net number of books will remain the same even if the reading list gets longer!

2011 Reading list:

The Omnivore's Dilemma : A Natural History of Four Meals - Pollan, Michael

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Fadiman, Anne

I, Claudius - Graves, Robert

Empire Falls - Russo, Richard

Freedom - Franzen, Jonathan

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--and Joy - Piper, John

Granta 110: Sex - Freeman, John

Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression - Shields, Brooke

The Harmony Silk Factory - Aw, Tash

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith - Lamott, Anne

The Happiness Project - Rubin, Gretchen

Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living - Oxenreider, Tsh

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Hemingway, Ernest

Reliving the Passion - Jr., Walter Wangerin

Slightly Foxed, No. 29, 30, 31

Will Mrs. Major go to hell? - Heath, Aloise Buckley

The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster, Norton

Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Bernières, Louis de

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches - Jankovic, Rachel

Kristin Lavransdatter, Part 1: The Wreath - Undset, Sigrid

Cry, the Beloved Country - Paton, Alan

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl, Roald

The BFG - Dahl, Roald

How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture - Schaeffer, Francis

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are - Voskamp, Ann

A Lost Lady - Cather, Willa

Afterwards - Seiffert, Rachel

The Practice of the Presence of God - Laurent, Frère

Kristin Lavransdatter, Part 2: The Wife - Undset, Sigrid

The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health--And What You Can Do to Take Control Now - Lieberman, Shari

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow - Jerome, Jerome K.

The Road Home - Tremain, Rose

China High: My Fast Times in the 010: A Beijing Memoir - ZZ

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Bender, Aimee

My Life in France - Child, Julia

The Odyssey – Homer (translated by Samuel Butler)

A Visit to Don Otavio: A Traveller's Tale from Mexico - Bedford, Sybille

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World - Nouwen, Henri J.M.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas movie round up

With so much sewing to do this December I watched a lot of Christmas movies (holiday movies as the Americans like to say)

I had a long list of recommendations. Some we loved, some we didn't. Apologies to those who love the ones we didn't.

Christmas movies we liked:
  • A Heart for Christmas [Andrew's favourite]
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • The Bishop's Wife
  • White Christmas
  • Christmas Vacation
  • The Nativity Story [my favourite]
  • Charlie Brown Christmas [Henry's favourite - he watched it EVERY day to see Snoopy play the guitar]
  • A Christmas Carol (George C Scott version)
  • Love Actually
  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • Blackadder's Christmas Carol
  • Veggie Tales - the toy that saved Christmas [Lucy's favourite]
  • Veggies Tales - the star of Christmas
  • Veggie Tales - St. Nicholas

Movies we didn't like:

  • Miracle on 34th street
  • A Christmas Story
  • Elf
  • Polar Express

Movies we haven't watch yet:

  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Little Women
  • Shop Around the Corner
  • The Christmas Child

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a ve
ry fun Christmas. I even finished sewing Felicity's stocking at 10pm on December 23! We went to church on Christmas Eve, a party at the Farvers and then church again on Christmas Day.

We were so busy playing games, skyping and eating that we didn't open presents until 6pm. Then the whining and fighting began. So maybe next year no presents!

We had a leisurely
brunch of oranges with pomegrante arils, granola and yoghurt cups, bacon and pancakes. Then an early dinner of lamb roast, potatoes and pumpkin straight from the wood-fired pizza oven. Oh so good!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Gluten free: Christmas cooking

So far:
Double chocolate cherry cookies

Pork roast with apples & cranberries
Shredded chicken tortilla soup
Apple cinnamon muffins
Cinnamon vanilla granola

Tomorrow: Autumn sausage casserole

It's still hot here, around 72 degrees today. Lucy and Felicity have both been sick (strep, ear infections) and no wonder - some days hot, some cool, some cold. It's the same temperature as Sydney at the moment. Crazy stuff and it may just be an Australian Christmas afterall!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Gluten Free: Chocolate chip cookies

I baked these cookies from the gluten free almond flour cookbook.

They are so good and yet so easy.

Henry delivered them to his CBS teachers.

Then he delivered cinnamon apple muffins to his preschool teachers.

We are loving our Honeyville almond flour.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas stockings

Auntie Kat - Lucy has a question or two for you.

Why is her stocking pointing the opposite way to all the others?

Also why are there only 7 reindeer?

I leave these with you to answer!

[Katrina kindly made Andrew's and Lucy's stockings, my Scottish grandma made mine some 30+ years ago, and I made Henry's]

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Burnt fingers

On Sunday Henry was 'helping' to make pancakes for breakfast.

He was told not to touch the frypan.

He did.

He burnt his fingers.

We put on ice, burn gel, gave him cantharis and put on Lightning McQueen bandaids.

Today he is all good.

Monday, 12 December 2011

It's finished!

Yes I finished Henry's stocking. I even went out for dinner 3 times last week and delivered a meal to a friend yesterday.

How good does it look! Henry was very excited to receive it.

Now I'm on to Felicity's stocking. However there is pretty much no way it will be finished before Christmas. While Henry's had 35 pieces, Felicity's has 152!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Why there is NOT much blogging going on...

Whilst we were unpacking our Christmas decorations, Lucy was very upset to learn that Henry and Flissy did not have Christmas stockings.

Shock horror!

So at the last minute (ie 1 December) I decided to make some.

You can see Henry's in progress.

And that is why, although there may be lots of fun things happening around here, I won't be blogging. I will be sewing. And loving it.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Happy 13th Wedding Anniversary!

We're heading out for gluten free fondue tonight.