Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baking cookies with Chef Eliot

Recently the boys have been interested in watching videos on YouTube showing how various things are made.  It started out with the process of making cheese, then we learned how peanut butter is made, then chains, golf balls, gummy worms, you name it.  Eliot decided it was time to make his own demo video.  He does a great job of explaining what he's doing, step by step, and he has a wonderful assistant.

Eliot wrapped the "cookies" in wax paper and then asked me to write numbers along the side of a scrap of paper that he'd glued on.  It wasn't until he asked me re-write them with a different orientation that I realized he was making a bar code.

Developing his brand.  A package of These Are Cookies (guaranteed to make one happy) all wrapped up and ready to go!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Penguin Island

The lease on our car ended this week (in fact they came and picked it up today) so last weekend we decided to take it for one last day trip out of town.  We chose to drive south and visit Penguin Island.  In summer time you can walk on the island and see the penguins, but evidently winter is their breeding season so the island is closed.  There was a boat tour, however, that takes people around the three islands in the area and points out wildlife, etc.  So we went for it.

Waiting for the boat to board was made less painful by a fun playground (I asked Eliot to put the hands at three o'clock, and he did)...
...and a nice little beach area.
Nevertheless, the boys were anxious to get going.

The boat had windows in the floor so that you could watch for any marine life underneath the surface.

Mostly bubbles.

As the boat got going Peter settled in for a cuddle.

Apparently this area was once dry land and covered in a forest of Tuart trees.  The stringy texture of the rock is the fossilized root system.  Pretty cool.  In the centre of this picture you can sort of make out a somewhat cylindrical shape; that's a petrified tree trunk.

Just enjoying the water and the sun.

Peter had all sorts of observations to make.

The ride was a bit rocky, Yellow Bear needed a snuggle.

Though we didn't spot any penguins (which, our guides informed us, are hard to spot at the best of times) we did come across a few sea lions basking in the sun, and of course there were plenty of pelicans.  One of the islands has the largest penguin rookery in the world.  I've decided I really like pelicans.  They're just so massive and they look so graceful and majestic as they sail calmly over the water.

Eliot snapped many, and I mean many, pictures with my camera.  This was one of his best.  He really caught the sparkle of the water.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Getting Out and About

Here are some of the outings we've been taking advantage of the past few weeks.  The Herdsman Reserve is always a fun and accessible place to visit.  I like to think of it as our backyard.  This boardwalk does a loop through a paperbark swamp and for the past year or so it has been partially closed due to some damage done by vandals.  We visited it a month ago and found that it had been repaired.  The boys were thrilled.

Stopping off at the favourite bridge for some pebble tossing.

Last month the boys and I got together with Merlene for a potato roast up in the hills.  It was the same spot we visited two years ago and Eliot had not forgotten his important job of gathering sticks for the fire.

Peter got in on the action this time around.

Helping Merlene light the fire.

The boys were pretty good with the fire and kept a respectful distance.

While we ate, Red-tailed Black Cockatoos watched from the trees and ate their lunch above us.

Our next trip was to New Norcia, a monastic community north of Perth founded by Spanish Benedictine monks in the 1840s.  It was a really interesting place, sort of the last thing you'd expect to find in the Australian bush.

Attempting to get the wiggles out by doing cart-wheels in the grass.

The monks made the bricks on site, though they didn't bake them hot enough and the bricks are weak and subject to erosion.  Eliot found this very interesting.

The ground was very rocky and Peter Garbage Man went right to work gathering up the rocks.

And of course there's the beach.  We just never get tired of the beach.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Plugging along

Recently the boys have been playing hospital.  They will set up a bed and then one will be the patient while the other wheels around a cart with "medicine" (raisins or Tick Tacs) then the patient is spoon fed the medicine.

Eliot's culinary skills continue to grow and he's actually getting pretty good at making pancakes.

He is justly proud of his work.

Peter is happy to help out as well, especially when there's a bowl of brownie batter that needs cleaning out.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful for the past several days so we took the boys to the beach for a play the other afternoon.  Of course Garbage Truck was put to work.

Peter always enjoys having his feet buried.

We have to take advantage of these beaches while we can.  We'll be missing them in few weeks.