A really fun day out!

I know things have been super quiet around here for some months and I promise I will fill you in soon… but to welcome myself back to blogland I thought I’d share some happy photos from our fun excursion yesterday!

Loads of photos ahead!

We set off in the morning on a lovely late winter day in Melbourne and headed to Docklands! As we drove closer to our destination I could see an edge of colour on an amazing looking building in the distance! To my great joy we soon arrived at it… the NAB building (well, one of them!) This building just makes me deliriously happy… I mean look how it’s even reflected in the building opposite! Surely people must feel bright and cheery working in this building all day!?

 
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But we were looking for the exhibition we had come to see and couldn’t see any sign of it. Suddenly, just as we were surely looking a little lost a cheery voice greeted us from the top of the escalator! Lo and behold, and angel from above, sent to guide our way! She offered to walk us up to the building we needed to get to. What a delightful start to our wander!

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Well, the walk up a couple of blocks was interesting enough… apparently the NAB enjoys colour and culture! Here are some of the interesting sights along the way… yes, those plants really do go up the wall for several storeys!

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Soon we reached no 700… apparently they bought the numbers so they could have all their buildings 100 something! Inside the building was really impressive too! Someone had lots of fun with this architecture! The photos of all the storeys inside the building do not even begin to capture how impressive it is! It’s like something from Dubai! I loved the corporate coffee lounge with all the greenery, and the very yellow meeting pod, not to mention the funky glowing post! The whole building had the most amazing amount of open space, really lovely and calming.

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Well, we did find the exhibition we had come to see… close up shots of cells and other things in the body. Here are a couple of my favourites.

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After oohing and aahing over these photos and others we still had a little time before our parking meter ran out so we went in search of a cow in a tree! Along the way we saw some other interesting and fun sights!

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Docklands really is worth visiting… there is so much fun… but we had to carry on to our next destination… the Exxopolis! This amazing structure is basically a big blown up sculpture which is to be seen to be believed, based around Islamic and other art! The photos don’t remotely capture the atmosphere inside! But, they’ll give you a little taste!

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Oh, on the way to the Jam Factory we saw some interesting architecture…

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… and we popped in to see my old school… Christ Church Grammar School! Pretty much as I remembered it! I grew up a block away so enjoyed walking up the hill to school every morning! And my grade 3 classroom is still there! Fond memories! We used to have recess and lunchtime in the park next door… Fawkner Park and as I grew up at the church just down the road I remember many walks through that beautiful park in South Yarra.

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The Exxopolis is on the rooftop of the Jam Factory in Prahran, near where I grew up! It was quite a trip down memory lane though it looks a lot different these days!

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We had lunch at the Jam Factory in a funky Mexican Restaurant! Really yummy!

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Then, since we were exploring our old haunts and walking down memory lane we went for a wander up Chapel St… just as quirky as ever… but a little (lot!) more expensive! Yes, that is a full-sized horse lamp!

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Finally we popped in to the Prahran Market, something we used to do every Saturday morning… it’s a lot more up market these days… but it still sells fruit and vegetables!

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Finally we headed home… and just had to stop on the way (thought my companions seemed less enthusiastic!) to take a photo of a hare and a snail in Toorak Village… I even spied some genuine upper class… those I used to mix comfortably with (from a safe distance!) before I moved to the outer edges of Melbourne civilization! 😉

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As you can see we had a brilliant day! I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos which give you a little taste!

 

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Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

Never heard of him!?

Me either!

Wanted to have a bit of fun with clay in art class this week so went hunting for artists who worked in a medium that would be suitable. Found all your typical Michelangelo types… a bit unrealistic perhaps and kind of unimaginative… and then I came across this dude quite by chance!

Awestruck!

Isn’t he amazing… what’s not to love. No matter the world thought he was crazy!

I mean, we’re talking like over 250 years ago and he pulls this sort of stuff… all 64 of them… the kids laughed uproariously!

So, first things first… I took a photo of them all pulling a crazy face and printed them out for inspiration.

Then I got them drawing 6 different expressions in their books… go as crazy and imaginative as you like…

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And then we cracked the clay out to see how outrageous a portrait we could create! They did not disappoint!

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Here’s another heads up if you’re in Australia… picked up this book today… lots of fun activities to introduce younger kids to real artists…

The Art Creativity Book

It’s currently on sale at QBD Bookstores (click the photo to find the link) for $5.95 which is an absolute steal! Rush in! Be a great gift too just as an aside… I so dislike buying toys for birthdays!

PS: Sorry it’s taken so long to get this post up… I promise I haven’t been totally morose like my last post since then… my father in law has been really sick and my sister in law has come through major surgery so it’s been busy without a man about the house for the last week! I have my days but hopefully I will have a bit more time to post soon! So many things to share with you all! Happy weekend!

 

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Overwhelmed…

If you can’t cope with brutal honesty look away now!

Pretty much sums up the state of my mind at the moment.

Too many decisions, things to keep on top of, problems to solve, hurt to heal, things to get my head around…

Best I could do today is use Mr Google to find some encouragement and reminder to keep going…

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/08/when-you-feel-like-youre-failing-in-every-way.html

I guess one of these days I might just feel on top of this gig, but right now is not that time.

Tomorrow is a new day.

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Cooking with kids… the fun way!

Before I get to the cooking bit… I came across this most wonderful resource today about Australian birds, with free Montessori printable… so I thought I’d share! The quality of this blog itself is just amazing, as is her pinterest boards!

https://app.box.com/s/748ijhvren1yzg30lmql

http://suzieshomeeducationideas.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/hands-on-learning-about-australian-birds.html

Enjoy!

Now, about cooking! Look, I’ll be upfront, I really don’t get the whole masterchef kids phenomenon. Frankly it bores me to tears! We’ve been to the library and borrowed a few cooking books, tried a couple of things… yawn!

Then we found THIS book…

Cover Illustration

I gather there is a first volume… must go looking!

But seriously… if your kids have warped senses of humour… or are boys… I almost guarantee they will love cooking with this book! Forget perfectly presented dishes served up in style… this book has recipes for Plushnuggets, Tummyticklers, Boiled slobbages, A plate of soil with engine oil,Nishnobblers and much much more! You really can’t go wrong!

Having tried the delights of Butter Gumballs he has got ingredients to make Bean’s Cider and The Magic Green Crystal tomorrow. I tell you, the big kids have picked this up and are really excited about cooking for the first time!

We do love our Roald Dahl… what absurd fun! And who can go past Quentin Blake as an illustrator! You can read the books and chomp on the authentic food to go with it! Now, haven’t I just made your day!

 

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Today was brought to you by the letter Aa!

Well, may as well get cracking… teaching a 5 year old to read in a slightly more deliberate way… no pressure… just as we go… mind you at 7pm I had to say that school had well and truly finished for the day! (In truth it finished when the teacher decided she needed a nap at 430pm!)

We’re going to be using LEM Phonics because both my older kids are very familiar with it and so can help, and because it has a good reputation. But I also fully intend to reinforce it with a whole bunch of other creative and more colourful stuff!

This is what we came up with today!

We downloaded the “Ants in the apple” posters to hang up as we learn each letter… art coming next… this is the letter of the week in fact!

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Following some advice from a new friend, we chopped up and laminated a learning book… finding and following the letter Aa…

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While the teacher was collapsed for a little while big sister got pestered into this idea… columns of things that start with A… numbers too! She was most excited! I think we’ve got 1 apple (chomped), 2 astronauts, 3 Ambers (her big sister’s friend!), 4 airplanes,  5 ants, and 6 anacondas… so far…  Image

Well, that’s just day one… we’ve got a few more to go… I wonder what tomorrow will bring?!

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Early literacy… recognition… and a bit of added colour!

On my travels through the world of education today I came across what I think are really cool printables…

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dot-Marker-Alphabet-Mystery-Picture-Activities-1033571

Dot Marker Alphabet Mystery Picture Activities

These seem really neat… recognise certain letters or words and colour them or mark them with spots of some sort and create a picture! There’s a freebie sample pack you can try out first!

I love this! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Out of step…

Last night I went to my daughter’s school production. Of course she was fabulous! Loads of circus colour…

But what I came away with was a real sense of being out of place, a bit of an inconvenience, in a not altogether pleasant category of my own… problem is I have one in school, one out of school… I pulled one from school because I was unhappy with how things were dealt with, but I have one who is still happy at school. So where do I belong? I don’t feel I belong there. But nor be I feel I belong where I am.

It feels like no one really wants to engage me too deeply in conversation, and I feel uncomfortable too. Things unsaid, unacknowledged, unheeded. Just awkward.

I never wanted to be a homeschooler, even now it’s hard to feel like I really fit. Maybe over time I will feel a sense of belonging again. But right now I feel like I just don’t fit.

This punk album over sums it up perfectly… “Minor Threat: Out of Step”.

Minor Threat - Out Of Step LP

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