Saturday, May 28, 2011

WOOT - A NEW BABY!!


 Congratulations to M and Family on the wonderful arrival of their newest family member!!
Born at Home, into the loving arms of family!
What could be Greater?

All Our Love and Congratulations from the Jolly Dragons Family!


Tired ..... so ...... tired .......

Sorry for lack of postings. Am really tired lately - can't seem to get enough sleep, no matter how much I sleep for. Add to that the new family stuff we have been doing, along with a cupful of disenchantment over a few things and I have really have not wanted to be near the computer lately.


Anyhoo, will be back soon with all the nicely updated cleaning I have been doing as well as catching up on all our unschooly and family stuffs. Stay tuned, we will be returning to our regular scheduled programming soon (or as soon as I can find the camera ... )

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How can you love doing something you totally and incredibly SUCK at??

 What a lovely pair of bright happy pants, yes? I love this fabric and have been planning to turn them into pants for P for ages.

Well, I LOVE LOVE sewing. I really do. Its something that seems to suit my soul, if that's not too sloppy.
But the problem is ... I totally SUCK at it. Pattern or not, doesn't matter. It rarely ever looks like what I pictured or even what the picture on the packet of the pattern shows.

These pants were the third pattern I had tried in my quest to make P's pants for him ... Here's the result ...

They never seem to fit properly on the inseam. For whatever reason, they always sit waaaaaaay too low at the back and always look like he's smuggling a blanket down his front. Argh!
So off I toddle to one of my favorite forums and ask what the hell I'm doing wrong. After some sage advice (everyone was really nice about it too) I rejigged the pattern and upped the sizing ...



Bloody HELL! It sits a bit better - but still ' V 's at the waistband and poor boy looks like he's got a mother who puts his nappies on backwards!

I give up! The next step is to cut up one of his existing pants and make a pattern that way ... we'll see!

Day 7: Organize Your Books, DVDs, and/or CDs

Day 7: Organize Your Books, DVDs, and/or CDs




Sunday 15th May

Well, for the first time, I see this disclaimer on the emails ...

What you can achieve in 5 minutes will depend on the size of your various collections.

No? Really?? hahaha

Anyway, as this email runs similar to the Organise Your Living Area, I'm assuming that the email is meaning another room or area, so I have treated it as this. We have several bookcases in this house as well as the entertaining area.

I have been a bit naughty and will copy the main portion email for you ...

Step 1: Take a large box (or bag) to your bookshelves, or wherever you store your library. Moving quickly from top left to bottom right, put into the box:



Books you've read and won't re-read
Unread books you're never likely to read
Books that contain out-of-date information (that means most reference books, encyclopedias, etc)
Old textbooks - unless you graduated, like, this decade
Binders of seminar/course info (unless you really believe you'll refer to them)
Archived magazines (do you ever look back at them?)
Manuals for software or computers you no longer use
Software CDs for programs you no longer use
Computer games the kids (or you) have outgrown
CDs you no longer listen to
CDs ripped to your iPod and backed up on your computer (if you only want the CD booklet, just keep that)
DVDs you've seen and won't re-watch
DVDs the kids have outgrown
Unseen DVDs you're never likely to watch
Photo albums you never look at
Photo albums that have negative memories
Video or audio cassettes if you no longer have players for them.

Now, this is all good info. As A Self Confessed Hoarder though, even I don't keep some of this sort of stuff, so it boggles my mind that anyone else would, who would be doing this challenge, but ... stranger things have happened I suppose. And there is certainly NO way to complete this in any where close to 5 minutes.

One thing that makes my Hoarding Instincts SCREAM with despair, is the thought of people throwing out photo albums just because they haven't looked at them lately. I can fully understand the idea of tossing photo albums of negative things, but I have seen families throw out decades and centuries of memories and I just feel it is a crime to lose this connection with our past.
So instead of simply chucking these memories out, consider having them put on CD or DVD at least, sot hat sometime in the future, if someone shows any interest in your family history, you can at least have some sort of record.

Anyway, back on track - It took me about 1/2 hour to just clean out my bookshelf in my bedroom and that was a 'Chuck & Stack' sort as well. DVDs and CDs were done in the Organise your Living Area as well as magazines and the like.

So, overall - a bit of doublehandling with 2 emails, but that could just be me, and while no where near 5 minutes, it was accepted that if you had a larger collection (what, more than 5? lol) it would take longer.




Day 6: Freshen Up Your Crockery & Glassware

Day 6: Freshen Up Your Crockery & Glassware


Saturday 14th May
In today's 5 minutes we're going to freshen up your crockery and glassware
This one looked fun and was fun!


Now this one was to get rid of anything that shouldn't be in your crockery and glassware cupboards - oh, in Aussie speak, clear out your dishes and glasses cupboards - lol


I do this as we toddle along in our daily lives. Anything that is chipped- even a little bit, is binned in this house. Perfect breeding ground for nasties and also dangerous for little lips and fingers. The email said to get a binbag and line it with newspaper, but as we use our papers for our fire, I opted for a box - bit safer with kidlets around as well.


Now, we are supposed to get rid of anything that is stained (fair enough) poor condition (again, fully agree) and any ugly promotional items (totally agree!!) but one other 'rule/suggestion' was anything Mismatched goes out as well.


HA! If I did this, I would have nothing left! lol


Step 4 certainly gave me a chuckle...
Thats why my stuff is Mismatched! rofl
Step 4: If you need to replace any items, make a note on your shopping list.
A) Because its that easy to simply run and buy more kitchen stuff  *insert eyeroll* not to mention, ethically bad for the enviroment and B) Thats the reason WHY I have Mismatched Items - ROFL
Then, tidy up the rest of your cupboards so that everything is together and stuff you use more is easily reachable. Now, as I stated earlier, we already do this whenever we see a chip or crack, so it was merely a clean-up. We only have two small cupboards - a plate/bowl cupboard (adults) and glass/mug cupboard (adults). Doing a quick tidy STILL took more than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, another time fail.
And you're done!
The 'Got an Extra 5 Minutes?' bit was a tad puzzling.

Decide to abandon your 'special occasion' stash.
If you have glasses, crockery or other items you only use for special occasions, consider abandoning this idea.
If the items are too delicate or not your taste, perhaps you could donate them?
If they're nice and usable, perhaps you could integrate them with your everyday stuff and get pleasure out of them more regularly? You'll also save yourself the trouble of packing them away after every use.

I can see where she might have been going with this, but anyone with small children will know, if its nice, and out, its gunna get broke. So having only child friendly-ish glasses, crockery or such items, while practical, is not very 'adult' when having friends or family over. Don't know about anyone else, but drinking a nice white wine out of a chunky, drop/smash resistant water glass or even a lovely plastic My Little Pony cup, just doesn't do it for me.
So, I chose to leave my nice wine goblets in their box at the back of the glasses cupboard and the nicer plates under the 'daily use' ones and pack them away after every use happily.

Day 3: Organize Your Kitchen Utensils

Okay, Day 3: Organize Your Kitchen Utensils

Wednesday 11th May - Day 3.

Now, this was the first one to be completed in the stated '5mins' - and it was on-the-dot - as in we had all the utensils we were keeping in my hands ready to go back in the drawer as the timer went off.

I did not realise that we had 11 wooden spoons!! Who needs 11 wooden spoons? I don't have that many pots ..... ooh, hang on - LOL

BUT ... in this house, we have a separate drawer for the sharp knives - safety - I have never understood people that put their big sharp knives in with their wooden spoons and spatulas, easy way to get cut if you ask me! So that drawer didn't get done. Also, we don't keep any baking stuff in the utensil drawer - measuring spoons and the like are all in their own Tupperware container with the measuring cups, scrapers, brushes, etc. I'm supposing, after reading the email for Day 3, that many people keep all these things crammed in together - no wonder people hate the utensil drawer!!

But we managed to get rid of about 1/3 of the clutter - we should be able to open the drawer now - lol

Overall, a nice easy one!

Day 4: Declutter Your Bathroom Cabinets

Day 4: Declutter Your Bathroom Cabinets

Thursday 12th May

Another pass day here. Which was great as I volunteered at The Birth Place today and got home completely knackered!

As we have nothing but a few bits and pieces in the bathroom cupboards - literally a few bits and pieces and don't use them really at all - I can't be assed pulling out the baking soda and the bathspa and the other such crap in there. They haven't seen the light of day for the past 2 years, why disrupt their slumber now? heehee

A New Section - Camping

Okay, we have a new section as of tonight. Gees, the rate I'm going, we are going to need to splinter off into heaps of dedicated blogs - lol - but I know I'm too lazy for that!

Anyhoo, Camping.

I feel like adding a section dedicated to my Camping Dreams. I haven't been camping since I met and married DragonPapa - who loathes camping. It hasn't worried me until recently, but having grown up in a camping family, I can now feel the call of the wild pulling at me!

I find I am longing for empty vistas, filled only with nature, far away from modern life. I want to be able to feel as though noone else has ever been there - like when we were kids.

*

*

Sooo, to this end, I am assembling our Camping Equipment. Well, as we have little to no money, I am assembling it as I find it at Rummage Sales, garage sales or op shops!

I just wanted a little section for me, just for me, so that I can keep a sort of track of what we have, without dragging it out everytime. It will (hopefully) also keep me on track and limit the amount of crap stuff I get. Camping for me, is going with the most basic you can, without making life too freaken hard! If that makes sense lol. I don't want to be overflowing with equipment, spend all the time unpacking, then packing and sorting and ..... well, I can suppose you know where I am going with that.

So to start and as I go, I will copy and add the new stuff to the list - So this is what we have already -

Bedding :-
               2 kids sleeping bags
               1 single sleeping pad

Cleaning Stuffs :-
               Wash-up basin
               Tupperware Camping Pumppack for detergent ( I SO SO SO want more of these!!!!!)

Cooking :-
              Vintage Grill/Stove - mini
              Tupperware Containers (more than enough)
              Camp Frypan & Billie & Mug
               Utensils

Kitchen :-
             Tupperware bowl and plate combos
             Utensils
             Tupperware travel mugs with lids
             Collapsible wooden bowl

Furniture :-
              2 Kids Camping Chairs
              2 Adults camping Chairs
              1 folding wooden stool

Refrigeration/Heating :-
              2 Eskies - One modern, one vintage
              1 Pump action thermos
              2 drinking eskies with spouts

okay, so far so good. Still need some of the more important stuff ... like a tent ROFL, but we'll get there. God has provided all this so far, its going to be SO interesting to see what He supplies next!

If you, my dear reader, can think of anything that you think is missing and that you find a Must when camping yourselves, feel free to let me know!

So my Want List at the moment is :-
              Tent (lol)
              A couple of floor canvases
              Sleeping bags for DragonPapa and myself
              blowup/padded mattress (because of my back)
              A Folding table (that can fit in a standard car)
              Lanterns and torches
              A Big Billie or Kettle (drinks and washing)

*Psst - pictures pinched from the 'Net. If you see yours, let me know and I can either credit you or remove

Day 5: Organize Your Household Information Center

Day 5: Organize Your Household Information Center


Friday 13th May
- In today's 5 minutes we're going to organize your noticeboard or household information area.
As I have recently already done this, all that was required was a clean up and reshuffle of the current bills to the front and the older bills (and the unpaid ones - teehee) put away in the To Be Filed Box.
 
Now the email stated to remove all paperworky stuffs (like kids artwork, bills that sort of thing) from their various resting places - ie. fridge, bench, pinboards...
 
Then you were to quickly remove only the most current or useful bits. Now of these pieces, place them in chronological order (avoiding piles on benches) on your fridge or pinboard.


Then from your reject pile, put anything you want to keep... or as the email so nicely put it ...
From the remaining items, put anything you really want to keep (really?) in a memory box
As for everything else – chuck it (recycle, shred - do your bit people!!)


Now, it took me about 2-4 minutes to just go through the past months small collection of bills (been a bit busy then sick  - that why there is a gap in my postings). Another 'No Way!' response from me for this 5 minute task.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 2: Clear Out Your Hanging Closet

Tuesday 10th May

Our second email and organising day - Day 2: Clear Out Your Hanging Closet


Well... As we currently don't HAVE use of a hanging closet at the moment, this was a little hard to do. Also, I am currently sorting out our clothes as I wash and sort, so this was already being done before I took this challenge. So I sneakily took a day off, heehee.

But if I * DID * have the closet, I could see how this might take 5 minutes, if you were not that picky.

Day 1: Declutter Your Living Area

Monday 9th May

Okay, I got my first email and started on Day 1: Declutter Your Living Area



It said that take 5 mins and get rid of all Magazines and other print media, Knick-knacks, games - board and electronic, books, Books, photos, you get the gist.
Basically, anything not in constant use or needed.

Well.... FAIL!! It took more than 5 minutes to browse and clean out the DVD shelf. With the whole list, it took about an hour (not that I finished in that time). The list goes on to say if you have a spare 5 minutes (insert laughing DragonMumma here lol) Return items that don't belong in the living area to the proper place - the kids' bedrooms, the office, the kitchen, etc. Straighten the coffee table and wipe it down. Neaten remotes, DVDs, and anything else that lives in the living room. Yeah ... no. For us, that is simple everyday part of tidying up.


Fluff up the cushions. That one is funny to us here - do people really do this??

Anyway, I have established that 5 minutes is not actually do-able. At least for me. Well... not do-able for anyone I know other than my mother, who is the epitome of Modern Minimalism.

But before anyone thinks that I'm bagging this out, I think that it is a great tool for a schedule or routine for working on different areas of your house.

So, the lounge room is put off for another day until I can finish it off.

Friday, May 6, 2011

30-Day Organize-athon

Now, as regular readers and real-life friends will know, DragonMumma is a Clutterer at best, borderline hoarder who is aware of this and strives to make sure it doesn't get out of control.

While on Facebook today, I came across this link on a friends post

30 Day Organize-athon @ www.getorganizedwizard.com

So I dutifully read the blurb and downloaded it (if you LIKE them on Facebook, you get the eBook for free).

Taken straight from the website... (link above)

What Is The 30-Day Organize-athon?



Make a fresh start and get better organized in just 30 days with the easy and motivating 30-Day Organize-athon.

Over 30 days I’ll give you a daily 5-minute organizing or decluttering project. Each assignment will be a simple, step-by-step task to organize a small aspect of your home, time or life.

That’s just 30 days of 5-minute tasks – totally achievable!

What Do You Get In The 30-Day Organize-athon Pack?
Your 30-Day Organize-athon Pack includes:


30 x 5-minute decluttering and organizing tasks plus 1 x bonus task


Optional daily emails containing your daily task


Optional extra 5-minute tasks


128-page interactive e-workbook containing:


– All 30 tasks plus optional extra tasks


Bonus task


To-do list for each task


– 30-Day Organize-athon Checklist


Comment links for commitment and motivation.


At the end of the 30 days, your home and life will be transformed – and it will only have taken you 5 minutes a day! Very cool.
Before I start, I just wanted to say something for the record. I'm not a fan of these 'organisational' things. I have watched them on TV and Foxtel, read the books, looked at blogs - all because its a bit like Real Estate Porn, interesting to look at other people lives, maybe get some tips for yourselves, but only for people who

a) don't really need the help, just a kick up their butts,

b) haven't had someone show them how to do it before

and

c) IMO most successful for those many people who are already naturally inclined to be tidy anyway and are NOT Clutterers/Hoarders. 

But, I am willing to give it a go. I have already started decluttering previous to this challenge - this house has seen a loss of about 45 garbage bags of clothes, 22 bags of toys and decluttering of other areas. But as a Clutterer/Hoarder, I find it difficult to keep on top of - add two kids, a just-as-slack husband (Hi Honey, LOL), friends and their kids, two cats, two rabbits, one snake, four lizards into the mix and add a pound of bad back and you can see the results for yourself! lol

SO I will use this blog for recording my progress. I *think* I signed up for the daily emails successfully (we'll find out soon enough) but regardless, I will be doing the steps in the ebook I downloaded and will post them here.
Wish Me Luck!!

I Can Count!

My Latest Find ...

This gorgeous 'I Can Count' teddy was located at an Op Shop
I had popped into to check on a new mattress for A.
Just hanging there, pleading for me to take it home!

Little velco backed items, perfect for counting.
The only thing missing was a LadyBug, which I will strive to replace myself.
At $2, it was a huge steal!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some Crafty Stuff

Been meaning to blog this - we did some craft people recently and in my humble opinion, they turned out WONDERFUL!! :)

Mine are on either ends, A's are the three in the middle and even P did one - leaning up against the glue bottle!

We talked about different peoples, different dress, different cultures. It was very interesting to see A's take on it.

Tuesday Rummage Sale

It was Rummage Day Tuesday today - Bestie paid YAY! lol and while we didn't get much (some more vintage tupperware, a few boxes, the usual) I did get two items I'm particularly excited about!

The First was a camping mattress/sleeping pad. Nice and padded. Now, I did *TRY* to get a photo of it all nicely laid out on the front lawn for the blog, but ..... kids and the like, heehee.


Yep, thats me at the bottom of the kid pile. P had been playing as well, but drifted off to have time with the car while the older two were occupied - LOL

Here's a rolled up shot of it.

Going straight into the camping kit.

I also found this. I couldn't understand why no-one else knew what it was... then I realised that probably not everyone has had a camping childhood...


Any guesses??

Its a frypan!! And inside the frypan is a..


... a billie can!!


Now, I only had a quick look at the Rummage Sale, so I didn't realise what else was inside until we got home...


A tin cup/mug (its more muglike IMO) and in the mug was a small metal lidded container - maybe for coffee or sugar, etc.


What a fabulous find for the Camp Kit! I am getting so excited about our camping kit, we can't wait to finish it off with a decent tent - then we are on our way!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Funday

 Well, as mainstreamers went back to school today, we also started our new home schooling routine (routine as in the loosest sense of the word)

After doing our chores for the day, we sat down and played a new game we got at the Rummage Sale - Mouse Trap Maths. It is a double sided board with addition on one side and subtraction on the other. We played the subtraction side today. Great for getting A to work on her number recognition as well as the obvious subtraction and counting. Counting is big in this house at the moment. I believe that children tend to absorb only a few key learning elements at a time - A is perfect proof of this. She didn't walk until she had studied the concept, then got up and ran across the room. Speak was the same. She simply seems to stop learning one thing when she reaches a certain point or when she is focused on something else.
So at the moment, she is focusing on numbers and counting, so that is what we are doing here.


And as always, P wanted to join in, so we had sorting set up for him. He's in a sorting/posting phase at the moment, so this kept him happy for nearly the whole game!


Then, after a break, the kids had 'free time' - basically this is when they can do what they want. A decided that she wanted to do some construction and helped herself to the new Box of Boxes and with some textas and glue, made a train.


While P decided he wanted to play on the iPad

 Both kids also helped out with their chores today - first time it went without a hitch or argument. It was overall a simply delicious day!!