Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day

Australia Day Printouts - Colouring in pages, crosswords, find-a-words

The shops were all shut today and the kids wanted to know why. They weren't that interested in the information but Kalea is happily colouring in a picture of the Australian flag. Tyger is playing solo Guess Who and appears to be winning heh. When out we used some coins from the car to get sausage rolls, a chocolate milkshake and stopped at an icecreamery literally in the middle of nowhere for $1 choc chip large cookies.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


is on the path to recovery. Today is one week since she's been getting her ear drops and the hair is growing back just under her ear, she is more active and not sleeping as much. We were told two weeks of ear drops so we will continue with those for one more week. Yay Dino!


Since that day at the park where one of the home learners had a makeshift kite, I have seen Tyger and Kalea experimenting with aerodynamics frequently throughout the days.  It started with Tyger wearing a plastic shopping bag on his back and zooming up and down the driveway with it billowing up behind him. Kalea was quick to join in once she saw him at it.

It progressed to them throwing shopping bags off the verandah and then to paper planes. Today I saw Tyger playing with a makeshift paper plane I had not seen before  - a piece of paper and a peg.

It wasn't working very well, then I saw Kalea come up and adjust the peg and the plane became more effective. I asked her about it and it turns out she came up with the idea and was throwing those peg planes off the verandah earlier and knew what worked and what didn't. Tyger had modelled his off hers but missed the subtleties of where the peg should be positioned and how the paper was folded up. Here's a pic of Tyger's peg plane!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh noes!

This morning when Kalea woke up and discovered the power was out she said so dramatically "OH NOES! There is no POWER! That means we have no lights, computer, tv, fridge, fans or AIRCONDITIONIN!"

It was quite amusing especially given we don't have fans or airconditioning. At least she appears to have a good idea of what requires electricity!

It is rainy weather here today, excessively so. We popped out to reading time at the library and then came back to torrents of water. We have little waterfalls and rivulets all ove the place much to Tyger's delight. He's been outside sweeping leaves up on the driveway to create corridors for the drainpipe water to run down. Kalea wasn't too keen to get wet because it was cold, but now she's gone out wearing a towel over her head. A drawback of not having a dryer, we run out of dry towels FAST when its raining!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We checked out the local library today. Kalea immediately got stuck into looking for books she was interested in and wanted to borrow. Once she was happy with her pile of books, she sat down to read some young adult nonfiction books. I suspect she was looking for words she recognised on the pages.

Tyger played with some puzzles on the floor and shared pushing a car back and forth with another child. Then he spotted the children's computer and went to have a look. He found some children's games and did okay at Chicken Invaders. I had a chuckle when I turned around and saw him playing that game. Ah childhood memories of playing Space Invaders, such a simple arcade game but mesmerising nonetheless!

When I was smiling about that, Kalea came up with a book "Puff the Magic Dragon" and I remembered a movie from childhood - Pete's Dragon. Will have to find that for the kids.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Falls and Dinner on Beach

We saw a waterfall today. Tyger was quite awestruck by how much water there was and Kalea seemed to enjoy standing there looking at it. It was interesting to note that both children were tentative about approaching the railing. They aren't usually so wary, the waterfall must of been loud!

Then it was off to the beach for dinner with family. The children caught and cooked their own dinner - their first taste of pipis. There were many exclamations about how yummy they were and a few "Hey! There's sand in some of them!". I explained about putting pipis in a bucket of salt water for a while so they would spit out the sand before cooking them.

I like pipis too but didn't get many as the kids were so into eating them! By the time they wanted more, it was dark so we got out the torch. That didn't last long though as a woman came by with a large dog and warned us she sighted a large crocodile up the beach a little way. So back to the BBQ area we went quick smart!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breakfast taken care of!

I woke up this morning to discover Kalea was already up and had made breakfast. I enquired as to what Tyger was eating out of a bowl and he said "Pancakes!". Groan. Uncooked pancakes to be exact. He was in heaven. He likes pancake batter better than  pancakes (unless its beet pancakes then he'll eat those!). Kalea put the rest in the fridge for me to cook later, cleaned up after herself and put the food away. I helped her make Choc & Pear smoothies. We ended up putting a banana in it and more honey as pear doesn't go very well to smooth out the tanginess of kefir.

We have a sick rat with an ear infection. We made a quick last minute (45m) drive to the vets yesterday before they  closed to get the rat checked out. Tyger was quite friendly with the dogs at the vet awaiting their appointments and was very interested in the posters on the walls of cats' skeletal and muscular structure. We have to do ear drops for Dino the rat 2 times a day. It is not going to be easy to get her to stay still!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pancake goodness

Today Kalea got up and made pancake batter. Then she asked me to cook the pancakes in the frying pan. Her pancakes turned out waaaay nicer than mine. I suspect its because she used more sugar and eggs!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

At the Park

With the home learning group!

This creek was very boggy and smelly. Yuk. Tyger ended up sitting in it hence him runnng around naked for the rest of the time! However the tadpoles were worth it apparently!

Kite flying with a home constructed kite.

Exploring the creek further up - found lots of yabbies in this pool!

Found all the kids at the top of the hill, playing quietly around this
- a memorial to a 16 month old called Oliver.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cicada Pinup

I got sick of the cicada piles all over that the kids kept moving around. I gave them the cardboard from the printer box and showed them they could pin their cicada shells up like a display. The Brown Bunyip is on the left side, they reckon they'll find heaps more adults to pin up. We'll see about that, they're hard to find! They also had a ball cutting up the printouts they asked for of the cicada off the computer and gluing it on.

Cicadas... again!

More on cicadas today. In between eating beet pancakes and watching Naruto, Tyger came running in with another cicada shell. No big news there. However he also had found an adult cicada, this time a dead one. Naruto was forgotten (but not the beet pancakes!) while Kalea observed it wasn't the same type we saw yesterday and asked to look it up. Much to her delight, she discovered it was a Bunyip!

The common name for this cicada appears to be Brown Bunyip, scientific name Tamasa tristigma.

We found two new websites to add to our collection. CSIRO Entomology and Cicada Mania (Australian section) which was really handy. Kalea wants to tell Cicada Mania about the Green Baron and give them our photo so I'm emailing them and then I'm going to be dragged outside to look for more!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cicada Discoveries

A few days ago, I noticed a couple of cicada shells on the posts of the carport. I thought about pointing it out to the children but decided to wait and see if they'd notice them and be interested. Today, Tyger came running into me with a handful of cicada shells - way more than those two I saw!

I pulled up google image search and Tyger's eyes widened as he identified the pictures as being what he had found. He yelled for Kalea and she came to have a look, she asked Tyger where he found them, and we all went outside to look at the carport posts. Found one he had missed. Came back inside, looked up cicadas on youtube. Kalea and Tyger were both fascinated by the sounds and Kalea mentioned hearing the sounds before.

We came across this marvellous video which showed the life cyle of the cicada; (NOTE: Those are american cicadas who are seen every 17 years. Australia's cicadas are seen annually)

It was very interesting. We watched it a couple of times, and then had a discussion about how we could find more shells and Tyger decided the best time to look for live cicadas would be at nighttime when they came out of the ground to climb the trees. When outside with the camera, looking at the trees, we found more shells, and Tyger pointed at marks on some trees that looked like cuts and observed there were no eggs in them. After looking at heaps of trees, we found one! A LIVE adult cicada, with pretty wings. The children were so excited (and I have to admit I was too heh). Kalea is very eager to go out tonight with the torch to see what we can find.

The rest of the cicada discovery photos we took can be viewed in the Cicadas! set on Flickr. We've identified the live one we saw as Psaltoda magnifica, the Green Baron from this page.

Australian Websites on Cicadas

Enchanted Learning - Cicada print-outs - scroll down page a bit to see them.
Free Cicada Printout - (WORD DOC Download) (ADOBE PDF Download)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rainforest walk

All up this was a 1.8km walk. We walked some of it, ran some of it. There were a few slippery spots which we carefully navigated. On the way back, Kalea started whining so I ended up piggybacking her for some of it. Tyger's got more stamina and endurance than Kalea, but he used up energy running and ended up needing to sit for a little bit. He also complains a whole lot less! While sitting he discovered a black worm (or so he said) and gave it to me. I yelped and dropped it. It wasn't a black worm. It was a freaking leech!

A very pretty creek crossing!