Monday, 27 December 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus cake

This year's magnificent creation is a Lemon Canadian Crown. The recipe is from Rose's beautiful cakes. It took three baking sessions, four mixer loads and lots of beater licking by Lucy.

Firstly I baked the ladyfinger biscuits. This was to give the 'ethereal' taste to the cake. Then I made the lemon curd/whipped cream centre which was promptly frozen into the ladyfinger 'crust'. The final step was to whip the meringue topping and quickly broil the top.

The cake went into the freezer and can stay there happily for a month. It takes a hour to get it to the right temperature to eat (0/32 degrees).

We all enjoyed the cake immensely and there was much bowl licking by one young boy in our house.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Household chores

After a couple of falls by Fiona and Lucy on the painted concrete floor in the garage Andrew (finally!) painted the floor with some special paint with sand in it. He braved the freezing temperatures to clean the garage (90% of the time taken) and then paint the floor. Hopefully now when the floor is wet we won't have any more accidents.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Mike's Farm

We headed an hour north to back swamp, NC to a town called Beulaville to visit Mike's Farm. After a Southern home cooked meal (fried chicken, mashed potato with pork gravy, corn, beans, mac & cheese, and biscuits washed down with sweet tea) we went on a hayride to see the Christmas lights. Henry was enthralled and even started clapping (ironically when the song 'Proud to be an American' came over the loudspeaker). Despite the rain and the freezing temperatures we really enjoyed the light display.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas: Baking 2

'Cookies & Cream' chocolate bark; dark brown sugar cookies; gingerbread house (decorations only)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas: Making Presents

This year Lucy and Henry are giving presents to each other. I thought it would be fun if Lucy could make the present for her brother so that she would feel some ownership of the process (she has some pocket money but really has no concept of money)

So I organised for Andrew to make a set of blocks. He bought the wood and cut it into different shaped pieces. Lucy then sanded them all and Andrew applied beewswax to them (Lucy thought it was too sticky to touch).

We found an old Walkers shortbread tin (the 5 pound size!) and Andrew spray painted it blue. All the blocks fit perfectly in it and now Lucy has the best gift to give to her little brother.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

It's a ...

Afternoon tea

Lucy has hosted a couple of afternoon teas for friends. We've hosted Miss Lyn and Miss Janet and we hope to invite a few more people soon.

Lucy is in charge of setting the table in a beautiful way, which includes flowers, serviettes and getting out all the glassware. I'm in charge of cutting up the fruit and organising the biscuits/cakes (which Lucy helps to bake).

Then we enjoy tea, food and good company.Lucy answers the front door and welcomes in the guest.

It is an easy and enjoyable way to host guests.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Winter weather

I know its boring to blog about the weather but with such extremes I'm making an exception.

2 weeks ago Lucy was running around the backyard in a tshirt and shorts. It was about 70 degrees and we were experiencing a long, warm autumn.

Now winter has arrived early and the average temperature has been about 2 degrees celsius ie 35 F. And it doesn't look like improving anytime soon.

So much for a temperate winter. If its going to be this cold then it may as well snow for Christmas!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Living Nativity Part 2

The weekend started with a full calendar.

On Friday night we performed in the Living Nativity again. This time we saw lots of friends go through!

Saturday brought constant rain so the Nativity was cancelled.

Sunday our mom's group Christmas party was also cancelled.

So what did we do? We all took long naps, drank tea and played board games. Simple.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Christmas: Baking 1

Our first baking for this Christmas season was chocolate bark. We made two kinds of bark: s'mores (with marshmallows and graham crackers) and crackly two tone bark (white chocolate, milk chocolate and rice krispies) We made up four tins for L & H's bible study teachers. The little bit that was left over was very good!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas: Daily activities

Morning [At the breakfast table]:

  • Advent Calendar – odd days Lucy, even days Henry

  • Read through Luke 2

Lunch [At the craft table]:
  • Jesse tree reading and ornament hanging

Bedtime [On the blanket in Henry's room]:
  • Christmas Devotion

  • Read one Christmas book from the box

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

12th Wedding Anniversary

It was our twelfth wedding anniversary on Sunday!

The traditional gift is linen and in that regard Andrew gave me some place mats.

I ignored the linen tradition and gave Andrew a 5,000 piece jigsaw. It turns out that 5,000 pieces is a lot - a lot more than you usually imagine!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Living Nativity Part 1

Each year our church holds a Living Nativity. In fact it's more than just a stable with live people dressed up as Mary, Joseph and Jesus - its a whole 20 minute walk through. The drama starts in Herod's palace and then the temple, continues through fields of sheep into the Bethlehem marketplace, visiting at the inn, finding the stable, seeing the cross and then the tomb of Jesus.

Last year Henry was the star of the show as baby Jesus. This year he would pull the stable down as he tried to climb the walls! However Andrew got to have a major part as the innkeeper. Here he is with a gruff Australian accent. He never said the same thing twice and I missed some really funny encounters.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Decorating the Christmas tree

Note Henry climbing the ladder to 'help'

Friday, 3 December 2010

Raleigh: Shopping and playing

On Saturday our first stop in Raleigh was at the Marbles Children's Museum. It was AWESOME and we could have spent all day. So we just played some soccer, made pizzas, slid, did some art and some woodwork.

We then headed over to Neo Asia, followed by Crabtree Valley Mall. We stopped quickly in at the Lego Store and H&M (and quite strangely saw a Gloria Jeans coffee shop which I haven't seen since I left Oz).

Then we headed to the main drawcard - Trader Joes. It is our favourite supermarket and we've visited outlets in Boston, Seattle, Santa Fe and Washington DC. Please Trader Joe's open a store in Wilmington!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Raleigh: Dim sum

We enjoyed yum cha at Neo Asia in Cary. The custard tarts were a big hit! Lucy enjoyed the roast bbq buns and Henry enjoyed the noodles. We also finally(!) had bubble tea and were very pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmas: The Nutcracker

Last week Lucy and I headed downtown to see the local ballet troupe perform the Nutcracker. Before the performance we enjoyed high tea at the Wilmington Tearoom. Lucy thought the pink tutti frutti tea was amazing and enjoyed all her sandwiches and cakes. We met up with 4 other mums and girls (including Alexis & Lilia) and everyone was so pretty and well behaved!

We then drove over to Thalian Hall for the ballet. We ended up with the best seats in the house - front row, center, dress circle. After two hours of magic Lucy was restless but she had enjoyed it so much.