Friday, October 31, 2008
This afternoon I went down to the school to help in Ben's class with Fall centres-Centres are where the children learn through constructive play, they have them for 45 minutes everyday. Today was obviously themed and parents came in to help and generally have a good time helping the Kinders.
I had baked sugar cookies( getting in to the lingo) cut them in pumpkin shapes and took a load of frosting( know to us as butter icing) down in piping bags and sparkling gels , sprinkles etc, It was messy but the Kinders all loved it, I might add many of them could not finish the cookies they put so much icing on them, but that was what it was all about. The other activites were, pumpkin rolloing, decorating a pumpkin( the one they chose on Wednesday at the Pumpkin Patch), necklace making( all beads in Fall colours, face painting, spooky hands( see through plastic gloves with candy corn as the nails and popcorn as the main hand tied together at the wrist) bobbing for Apples. Then the kids went to there normal Friday joint sing-a-long with all the kinder classes( there are six of them). Bens teacher leads this as she can play the guitar and enjoys the 'over the top' actions and costums etc. It was great, i was called up to wear a hat along with six other parents, each hat was an animal and they children sang Old MacDonald, and we had to do our animal sound- I was act so that was just fine. They then sang The five days of hallowe'en, and five chioldren held up A3 posters with 1 owl in a dead tree, 2 trick and treaters, 3 skeletons, 4 pumpkins and 5 scary ghosts. They have been practicing very well. All sorts of songs had been adapted and it was great to see. I have included our crossing gaurd Karen, as she had a bowl of Candy for each child that crossed with her this afternoon and had dressed up. Everyone is saying'Happy Hallowe'en', it is contagious as I found myself saying the same in reply!
I have noticed my current weather conditions gadget has stopped working, so I have placed it at the bottom of my side bar and put another weather gadget in so you can at least look at our weather, but you need to scroll through the cities and put in Austin TX, yourself, as soon as I see the other one is back I will replace at the top for you. Allan has manged to correct the yearly weather over view so you can see all the year now, he reconfigured my page so it was wider- he is so clever!! my man.
Alex and Ben's school are having a pyjama day today, and this includes all the teachers. The boys cycled to school in their PJ's and dressing gowns but since the temperature was 60F it was a bit warm, but they loved getting dressed from PJ's into PJ's. We have struggled to get them up in the mornings this week, Ben's birthday weekend had obviously worn them out, but not this morning! Ben was up before I went in to their room, all because it was pyjama day!! The school needs to hold of these they work wonders on motivating the children to get moving in the morning. even the principal, Linda Purvis was in PJ's so I took a picture of the boys with her and then bumped in to Ben's teacher, Mrs. Zapp and took a picture of her as well. It was quiet a sight this morning with everyone in pyjama's, some teachers even had rollers in there hair etc, the spirit of hallowe'en was definetly at Baranoff this morning.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ben went to Blondies Pumpkin patch yesterday and I was a helper, which was lots of fun. He went on the yellow school buses and all helpers followed in cars, it was a trip for all of the Kindergarten classes. Ben and Alex have both done there school bus training, so this was the first trip since the training. Ben was very excited about going and had to take a 'sack lunch' to school as well. The trip was not very long, but they learnt about a whole variety of pumpkins and gourds, how the dried ones can be used as vessels for storing water, washing yourself, spoons and lots of recipes, i just wish it was recorded as I can not remember them all today. there were no real mishaps on the trip and a good time was had by all.
Yesterday was the end of my Gum paste and Fondant course, I wish I had had more time to prepare for the cake, but what with Ben's birthday and helping on school trips I seem to have run out of time, but will keep practicing. there were some amazing cakes made, with people bringing in already made fondant/gum paste items, from pumpkins to witches, i will try and find time next week to make a cake for Thanksgiving, i may try and do a hallowe'en one, but time is short before tomorrow, but hey ho, i will give it a go or maybe do cup cakes with toppers from fondant.
Posted by Tamzin Cochrane at 10:13 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I can see my last posting has not published all the weather data, but I am working on how to show you all of it. When Allan is home later we will sort it out( that is the royal we- I mean Allan). My computer skills are letting me down here again, worry not it will be sorted. I copied the data from wikipeadia, Austin, if you wish to see it before i have sorted the problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin#Climate.
Posted by Tamzin Cochrane at 8:27 AM
|Weather averages for Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, USA|
|Record high °F (°C)||90 |
|Average high °F (°C)||60 |
|Average low °F (°C)||40 |
|Record low °F (°C)||-2 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.89 |
Monday, October 27, 2008
I have been very remiss about sending out the weather reports for you, so I thought you could have the weekend ones to catch you up to date. The weather today is certainly cooler with a breeze, and over night it sounded wild, but the recycling etc put out yesterday for collection today was still in the containers, so the house must make the wind sound far worse than it actually is.
Posted by Tamzin Cochrane at 12:09 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
When we went out last Saturday to friends for some Mexican food and Margarita's, ( we cycled to them so we could indulge ourselves) we came home to find a visitor on the stairs. How it got in to the house is a mystery, but in it came, Allan being brave scooped it into a cup and put it over the back fence. That is the second Scorpion we have had in the house, most are in the garage or outside.
Then yesterday evening when we were tidying up from Ben's party one of the kitchen chairs was being carried in by little old me, and suddenly I felt the Praying Mantis on my hand, I will have to confess to a squeal, still remember the scorpion you see!!!! Allan once again dealt with our new visitor and it also went over the back fence. Just so you know over our back fence is some rough ground, with lots of trees and bushes, that the fire department has for training. I have never seen them there but it is designated a training area for them, so we are just helping them tackle natural Texas wildlife. The scorpion had its tail curled until Allan poked it with a pencil, then it stretched it out and looked a lot bigger!! My bug book says Praying Mantis are good pets, and will eat any bugs so good indoors as well for pest control - not sure what my food safety head says about that!? apparently they are very friendly. Now my food safety head loves scorpions, which by the way are not insects, they are arachnids - part of the spider family, because they eat roaches - now that is good. ( Matthew I will ship you some over if you have any sites that have a real problem, they sting and its painful, but not life threatening, the chefs will be fine!)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Today we had his party with his school friends and neighbours, we had 'Nate the Great' the balloon man here. we had met him at an out door event soon after we arrived up at Steiner Ranch and he was so good, I asked him to perform at Ben's party. A hectic morning, as we held the party from 12-3pm, as it gets hotter in the afternoon and we did not want children outside in the heat, and I did not want lots of screaming Kinders in my house. It was strange to hold a party at the end of October, and not hacve a single coat, everything outside and afterward to sun bath.
Cara was doing face painting with a friend, Taylor, Jack was in goal letting the children shoot for goal and he had to save them- under strict instructions to remember that they were mini goal, and he was 14 they were 5 or 6!!! saving all of them would result in tears or mutiny depending on the child. The day went well, lots to eat and apart from a child being spectacularly sick, a toddler busting every balloon he could find and maybe a cake that we will never finish because of its Texas size( I did make it, but got carried away!) the day was a success. Ben is dressed as Darth Maul, doesn't he look the part. I think he gets that scowl from Allan!!!
Posted by Tamzin Cochrane at 10:23 PM
Cara was thrilled to be able to help all week at school and getting up super early to get to school just adds to the whole experience, so off we went to set up, serve and tidy down a tea party for the Frogs and Turtles, ( Ben is in the Frog class). We were home again by 0855. They were practicing their manners they had been learning, all the children had to dress up and were being served by the parents who volunteered- I happily volunteered myself and Cara. We were meant to wear fancy frocks and hats for the occassion, but the Turtles room mum changed the rules a few days before, it upset the Frogs mums and our room mum decided we could still wear hats, so I did- nobody else did though!, apart from one of the little girls in Ben's class. We had to now wear black and white. Never a problem for me.
bens party was not until today actually, 25/10/08, so on his birthday i asked what he would likef or his tea, and he decided he would like us to grill and have some poeple over, he chose well, and I obeyed. ( I am quiet good at obeying when it is about thier birthday's) . So we had a few families over, a wonderful evening was had by all and Alex's teacher gave him special permission not to do his homework for Monday until Tuesday- we did get groans on Tuesday, but he caught up and all was well. Allan managed to get home from work at a sensible time, even taking in to account he was cycling to work, and since the children go to school so early, we had already primed Ben to know he would only get his present from Allan and I before school. So present opening time happened, then guests arrived and a party was had. Photo's attached to prove we can party on school and work nights.
Life has been hectic in this house, what with Cara arriving as a surprise for Ben's birthday on Sunday- my first trip to Houston, and then Ben's birthday on Monday and a normal school and work week still ongoing, I have not had as much time as I needed to achieve everything. The blog lost out and Cara and Ben's celebrations won the day. I will post items about each event this week so you are up to date with Texas news. Tomorrow I take Cara back to Houston and then she will fly back to us to live in Texas from 1/12/08. Please do not plan on giving Cara anything to bring back, she in already over loaded with luggage to come here!!!!!! the subject of excess luggage and Allan do not sit well together, he mutters under his breath about woman and 'stuff' , it is not good for the household.
Posted by Tamzin Cochrane at 9:54 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We started noticing that Hallowe'en was a bigger holiday here, as it was appearing on front lawns and trees in the neighbour hood were being decorated, everyday at school the theme was pumpkins and Fall, word searches and pictures from 1/10/08( or as now i should write 10/1/08) have all been about halloween. I am ready with candy galore, and we now have many pumpkins to join in this madness, but yesterday I went to the bank. Well what can I say, the pictures do not do it justice, everywhere was decorated. I will start taking pictures around the neighbourhood and putting them on my blog, but I had not expected the bank to among my pictures!!
Well it rained. No it really rained, we had 1.03" yesterday, and everyone was rejoicing, it made headline news and although they definitely do not know how to deal with rain, our lovely locals were over the moon. When I still cycled the children to school, it was commented on. There were only 6 bikes yesterday ( there is 851 pupils at the school), so you can imagine how many cars there were.
Walking was not an option in the rain apparently, really interesting to see, everyone was excited about the rain, but nobody wanted to venture into it. The temperature was still in the 70's and the rain was warm. I have a huge pile of sodden clothes to testify that jumping in puddles and bouncing on trampolines is still a child favourite past time when it rains, and slides are a must, especially if you can come off the end with a war cry as well.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When we were on our way to Sweet Berry Farm, we past a site known as granite mountain, it use to be 860' high of granite and has been mined since 1887, when the mining company was formed. The granite, pink in colour, has been used to build the State Capitol building in Austin and part of Austin - Bergstrom airport, as well many other places, but those two you will see when you all visit. For some reason i can not load the photo's so will add them when my personal computer geek comes home tonight.
When we were eating lunch at 'R Bar and grill', which was delicious by the way, another couple offered to take our photo, included in previous posting, assuming were on holiday( our accents are a huge giveaway!!!) they mentioned we should go out to Sweet Berry Farm and see the Pumpkin Patch. Now I have never seen a pumpkin patch like this, although I am going as a helper on Ben's school trip in two weeks, we decided to go. it was fantastic, they had a field full of activities for everyone, children's maze, adults maze, fall flower maze, horse rides, tractor rides, face painting, pumpkin painting( now doing that at Ben's party next week!!) and PUMPKINS. you are going to be amazed, although not as much as Allan when I decided to purchase a serious amount of them and bring them home for our fall display in the garden.