Sunday, May 24, 2009

BIRTHDAYS SO FAR (and other things)

The end of May is a busy time for us with the birthdays of my sister's children and Dino Dada's birthday too. So far we've celebrated one niece's birthday and Dino's, both this past weekend.

For Dino's birthday, we woke early and Elsa watched the aeroplanes from our bedroom window while Dino contemplated turning 37 and I considered all that lay ahead for the day. We eventually rose and had yummy toasted pancakes (left over from our Saturday breakfast courtesy of Dada) and a gift opening session. Dada recieved sheep skin slippers to replace the old pair that between us we've completely worn out, a 2 cup stainless-steel stove-top coffee maker to replace our old 2 cup aluminium version (most times we just don't need that 6 cup one we have tucked away!) and lastly, a pair of knitted fingerless gloves by moi for those cold mornings when he catches the train instead of riding (the wool wouldn't be great for the days he rides - sweat and wool don't tend to mix, unless you want something felted!). We also had a long Skype call with Dino's sister and her family in Toronto. We got to see our niece dancing, which was a real treat.
We enjoyed a tapas plate at home before heading to our lunch time birthday venue. This year, we met up with the Richardsons from Bendigo for lunch and general exploration of the gardens at St Erth. Last year for his birthday I gave Dino a Digger's Club membership and we were yet to visit either Heronswood or St Erth. Now that we have, I think we'll be back very soon. Elsa just loved running around the gardens, playing in the autumn leaves and (most of all!) eating the scones, sipping on Mama's chai and cuddling the kangaroo sculptures.
Elsa just LOVEd playing with Henry and Archie again. She talked about them most of the way to St Erth and ALL the way home.

She particularly liked the baby kangaroo. We really do need to get to either the zoo or Healesville Santuary and introduce her to a real one!

Just because we wish...

In my mind, nothing better than autumn colours
Dada's birthday started early with Elsa in our room watching out the window for aeroplanes and birds and cats and anything/anyone else that might pass by

Playdough making - purple colour, grape smelling this time

Our contribution to my niece's birthday cake: the pinata cover for the cake. The idea was taken from the Australian Womens Weekly kids cake book. It eventually covered a tasty cake that was covered in lollies and was itself covered in a range of yummy sweet stuff stuck on with more melted chocolate. This one's high on the list for Elsa's 3rd birthday next year. Apparently the kids at my niece's party enjoyed cracking this chocolate mould open and devouring the sweets.
Helping Mama put the finishing touch on the rice pudding - her Yiayia would be proud! I feel as though we make this constantly; it seems to go as soon as I make a batch, which has to be a good thing but wow!, we go through a lot of double batches in a seemingly short space of time

Just exploring at the park with the puppy; Elsa chasing Gnocchi who is pretty much a black and white dog to the right in the shot

Shortbread cookie-baking; I'll have to post this recipe one day because it's so easy and perfect for cookie-cutting; and EATING!!!
Bread making time; we've been making a turkish style bread once a week for the past 4 weeks at the request of Dada who loves taking it to work to have with his lunches (and we enjoy eating it at home too!)

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