Father’s Day

Martin, if you are reading this then…

DON’T! 😉

 

I learned something this morning. Father’s Day in the UK, Canada and the USA all falls on a different date than Australia. Mother’s Day is different too I believe. Here in Australia, Father’s Day falls on the first Sunday in September. This year that is September 1st. 13 days away. Eek!

So, what to get for the most awesome father I know that is also in line with eco principles and anti-consumerism too. Well the obvious place to start is home made or second hand. Not helping much. Home made for me means something the KIDS make for their daddy. After all, Martin isn’t MY father and he doesn’t want a gift I’ve made for the kids to give him. Nor does he want something bought from a shop just to satisfy society’s demand we give him a gift.

So, thinking caps on to Pinterest we go. 😉 I am in desperate need of some inspiration I can tell you. And so far, Pinterest has been, most unusually, disappointing. Mostly though, that is due to the combination of having 3 children who are, after all, very young and also a husband that needs for nothing really, aside from time that is. He doesn’t play golf, eat chocolate, read a lot of books, play computer games or most of the other things that Dad’s stereotypically do. He is a musician though but a practical gift related to music that would be appreciated would only be to give him time. “Hey kids, let’s leave Daddy home alone today as a Father’s Day gift” just doesn’t cut the mustard though. 😦 (Although writing that line has triggered a memory of a man who does enjoy eating mustard. 😉 )

So, I’m putting this out there now in the hopes of some ideas that can be shared. Any great ideas for an eco friendly homemade Father Day?

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A birthday… Or three.

WARNING: Black Saturday bushfire triggers.

Well birthday week has come and gone and although I didn’t quite get to cake baking like I’d planned but we have still had our fill of cake (well, I have but the kids probably have not) and we’ve had our birthday day for making memories too. I’m glad to see the last of last week to be honest, despite the fun day we had last Wednesday. It’s been a hard week and we’ve all spent time in hiding since.

Hard at work with his "coffee" beside him.

We started the birthdays off with Martin’s birthday the Friday before. Neither he nor I like a fuss on our birthdays but we always make something of it for the sake of the kids.  A simple meal and a cake does us just fine and that was enough for Martin. 🙂

In thermals and ready to head off to the snow.

Tuesday saw me bid farewell to my baby. No longer can Orik be considered thus. In reality, given his generous proportions (he’s a big boy and weighs in over 14kgs) he hasn’t been a baby to look at for a long time. He’s now a 2-year-old and finally beginning to speak. He climbs out of his cot in the mornings now to come into bed with us and indeed woke us at about 4:15am this morning to announce he was awake and ready to play. 😦 Thankfully our dearest friends “dummy” and “bottle” are always there to help us lure him back to the land of nod. He’s still not completely grown though thankfully and is definitely my snuggliest and cuddliest bubba. He still loves to just come and plomp down on my lap for some cuddles and raises his cheek expectantly for a kiss too. I’ve learned this week though that I am not ready to give up my baby. It’s not been easy.

He's a posh little fellow with the upraised pinkie.

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Wednesday was our birthday party day. With Tuesdays migraine eased and Monday’s baking packed and ready to go we headed off for Marysville and Lake Mountain. As a child I used to attend church camps in Marysville and have many memories (albeit from a young child’s eyes) of this beautiful town. In 2009 the Black Saturday Fires all but destroyed the town of Marysville, burning down about 90% of the towns buildings and sadly 45 residents lost their lives. Over 4 years on and there are still many reminders in town of the devastation. Although many buildings have been rebuilt there are still many vacant blocks. The red soil is bared and under construction on one side of the main street and the hills still haven’t regrown their coverings. Dead branches stick into the air with a low-level of greenery underneath. One of the locals mentioned that the trees there are snow gums which are apparently dormant in winter so there was little to see in the greenery department. The undergrowth is only 1-2 metres where the trees are growing back but there is still 3-4 metres of bare branches just sticking up whitely in the air. It’s going to take a long time for the beauty of the trees to return.

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We stopped in Marysville to hire our toboggans and snow boots for the kids as well as over-trousers for us all before reloading and heading up to Lake Mountain. It’s named after George Lake who was the Surveyor-General and not after a lake itself. There is no lake on the mountain. 🙂 Driving up the mountain we kept expecting to see some snow on the edge of the road but the first snow we saw was a single lump about the size of half a basketball sitting all forlorn in one of the lower car parks. We had also gone prepared to need to walk to the toboggan runs but ended up with the best possible parking spot. Th kids had 2 metres to walk to touch the snow. 😀

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This years season has been pretty poor. Every time it snows it is then followed by rain to wash it all away. Given the tourism focus of Marysville this will hit hard. Still, the snow making machines have been hard at work and there was a small snow school area followed by a toboggan run that was enough that my kids were in 7th heaven. 😀 We loaded them up with gloves, hats and jackets, handed Jas and Egga their toboggans and holding the hand of Orik and our toboggan we trudged up the hill. Orik and I showed Jas and Egga how to hop on and ride their toboggans and then the cheeky kids beat Orik and I down the slope. It was a very slow run and the heavier weight just bogged us down rather than making us go faster. Still, Orik had a blast and Jas and Egga couldn’t wipe the grins off. Martin and I gave Orik a few good runs whist the other 2 made their own way then we built a snowman, joined in a snowball fight and ate some snow. It was awesome fun. Orik soon learned that taking off his gloves resulted in icy fingers and there was nothing cuter than seeing him picking up his glove and bringing it over for us to put back on. 🙂 Jas also found a few snowmen noses just lying around and not to waste the opportunity, found himself an easy snack. He loves carrots! 😀

Martin in the blue, Allegra in the brown jacket to his right and Jasper in blue climbing the snow hill to get stuck into the older kids in the snowball fight.

We spent about an hour and a half on Lake Mountain, finishing our adventure just as it started to get really cold. We stripped off wet clothes, changed nappies then sat munching biscuits, sultanas, activated almonds and macadamia nuts whilst drinking a thermos of hot chocolate and singing 3 renditions of Happy Birthday. Turns out Allegra is quite the songstress. 🙂 When the kids got grumpy and cold we hopped int he car, drove down the mountain, stopping at Marysville to drop back the snow gear and then headed off to visit my parents in Heidelberg where we enjoyed dinner, cake, candles (why do kids simply HAVE to each spit blow out the candles 😉 ), 3 more renditions of Happy Birthday and a welcome break before driving the rest of the way home. It was all up a simply wondrous day.

Our snowman. Hmmm

Thursday as Jasper’s birthday. I cannot believe my firstborn is now a five-year old! He received some wonderful gifts of Red Toolbox kits and a build a dinosaur kit too. He spent Saturday being guided and helped by Poppie to build a treasure chest money-box and we’ve since built the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton too. After the excitement of Wednesday and the added bonus of having Daddy home from work, we kept Thursday quiet. We still had a lovely day but saved the remaining fuss for Nanna and Poppie’s visit Saturday. We are now in find a home for the gifts mode.

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As much as birthday week is a lot of fun it’s also pretty full on and despite best intentions it’s always a little expensive so I’m very glad to see the last of it. 🙂