Salt Dough

Every year before Christmas we make salt dough decorations for the tree and to give away to people we know, but this year the homeschool group we go to are having a sale of craft things to support someone overseas. We decided that we would make salt dough for the sale.

Sophie and I made up a few batches of dough, and began cutting and cooking, painting or coffee staining, and varnishing the ornaments.

We were soon sick of the whole process and our hands were all sticky but we knew we couldn't stop because they had to be ready in two days. We worked on them all morning and well into the afternoon and there were still lots of smug pieces of salt dough waiting to be cooked or coffee stained. Sophie and I were tired of it all but by the end of the day we had quite an impressive amount of salt dough ornaments.

When we finally finished work for that day we knew that we still had another busy day ahead of us. Production like this is not an easy thing to do and Sophie and I were very happy when we could stop making salt dough!

Do you make salt dough ornaments?     

War Memorials, Picnics and Doll-house Sized Cabins

On Monday we loaded all of our bags into the car and set off. We were going on an adventure! We were going to stay in a cabin in Canberra, our capital city. We had done this once before a few years ago. While we were in Canberra, we were going to visit the National Museum of Australia, the Australian War Memorial and Questacon. Questecon is a science centre.

The trip was a long one but luckily I didn't get bored because I was reading an awesome book. We were going to the National Museum of Australia first before going to the cabin.

"We are here!" Dad shouted, from the front of the car.

I looked up and quickly put away my book and MP3 player. We all piled out of the car (except the boys who were at home looking after Nora and the cats). 

The museum had an exhibit on horses that we were going to look at first.

"Let's have lunch before do anything," Mum suggested.

We all agreed that eating would be a good idea.

We found a nice place to sit and Imogen began to put together the rolls we had brought. We had ham, cheese and the traditional potato salad. 

After lunch we entered the museum. We were soon lost amongst trophies, carriages and saddles. The people who had worn the dresses that were on display must have been tiny (about Charlotte's height).

By the time we had walked around the entire horse exhibit my feet were sore and I was quite ready to go home.

We climbed wearily back into the car and we drove the short distance to the cabins. Mum got the key and we found our cabin. We all trundled into the cabin and looked around. The cabins were just as we remembered them. I was sure the entire cabin would fit into our living room at home.

Imogen and Dad went to the shops to get dinner while we watched one of our favourite movies, "Beauty and the Beast". 

The next morning I awoke long before anybody else. I was in a top-bunk. There was two sets of bunk beds in our room and only one ladder to get onto them. Luckily the ends of the bunk-beds were close together so I could climb onto Imogen's  bed and then onto my own. I had to wait for ages for everybody to wake up lest I make a noise and wake them. Sophie woke and began coughing. Her hand whacked the wall and the whole cabin shook. I looked at the roof, certain that it would come down on our heads.

For the second day we went to the War Memorial. It was a very depressing place. We were soon all feeling a bit down.

We went to see a video on a massive screen about the Australians trying to take down Berlin. As soon as the gun shots started I put my fingers in my ears. It was so loud. We saw lots and lots of medals and guns and more war videos. We saw one from the Vietnam war about people getting off helicopters. It was very dark when we were watching it and they had flashing lights and wind to make you really feel like you were in a helicopter. I clung to Charlotte trying to block my ears at the same time. When we came out of the room Charlotte said I looked like a startled hamster.

On the last day of our holiday we went to Questacon and got to play with science and learn about it. Our brains got meddled with a lot. We saw a show on Perceptions and we felt so stupid afterwards. Even when the man explained what was happening our brains could not keep up.

Finally we went home, feeling happy but tired. There is no place like home. Nora and the cats were very glad to see us!        

Dog Toys

Our puppy Nora is a very strange dog. She drags all my brother Callum's car parts he has stacked up at the bottom of the garden and sorts them into piles. She has chewed up her bed with stuffing, and her stretcher bed, and pulls all the washing off the line. (She likes pyjamas and tights best.) It is clear she is bored.

"What if I sew her some toys?" I suggested to Mum.

"She will chew them up too," Mum warned.

"Hopefully it will stop her chewing everything else up," I replied.

I found an old tea-towel and cut it into a dog bone shape. I sewed it up together and stuffed it before taking outside for Nora. Two minutes later stuffing was all over the garden and the tea-towel nowhere to be seen. Next I twisted some socks up and sewed them in place. Nora didn't manage to eat this one so quickly. I decided that I probably should not make toys with stuffing because when Nora rips them apart, it goes everywhere,

I hope the toys stop Nora from chewing everything up (not that there is much left in the garden that she hasn't already eaten!)

Dog Bed Drama

When we were making preparations for our puppy Nora to come to live with us, we bought her a kennel and a dog bed. A few weeks ago we found the dog bed outside, all chewed up. The stuffing was everywhere.

"Don't worry, Mum," I said. "I will fix it."

Armed with thread and a needle, I put all the stuffing back in the bed and sewed up the hole. Soon the problem was fixed or so I thought. A week later the bed was chewed up again. I once again sewed it up. But however many times I sewed up the bed, Nora kept eating it. Charlotte helped me sew a sheet over the bed but Nora just chewed right through it. One day when I found her bed chewed up I took it inside and found that there was not enough fabric left on the bottom of the bed for me to fix it.

"Why don't you make it a new bottom?" Sophie suggested.

"What could I make it out of?" I asked.

"How about those old sheets we put in the garage?" Sophie asked.

So I went to the garage and found my old purple sheet with all the holes in it. I was not really sure how to make a new bottom for the bed. I had never done something like this before. I roughly cut the sheet in half and folded it till it was the right size then I sewed the fabric onto the bed. It took a long time but when it was done I was rather proud. Then all that was left to do was sew the pink sheet back over the top of the bed.

The whole procedure took a few hours. I took it back outside confident that this time the dog would not be able to chew through it. I was dreadfully wrong.

The next day the bed was all over the garden. I spent a good five minutes cleaning it up and a good few hours stitching. There was no denying it, we needed a new solution to the bed problem. Dad suggested that we buy Nora a rubber mat but we all thought she would chew through it like she does with her fabric one. For now it looks like I will just have to keep mending it till there is no fabric left.

Do you have problems like these? Do you have any ideas on what we can get the dog instead of her old bed?   

Sleeping Beauty


I like all Disney Princess movies (except for Snow White). But there was one Disney Princess movie I hadn't watched. It was Sleeping Beauty. We didn't own so I couldn't watch it.

But Imogen and Mum went to the shops and when they came back, they brought Sleeping Beauty with them. We were all very excited because either we hadn't watched it in a very long time or not at all.

Mum and Imogen were going to a conference in Sydney so Charlotte, Sophie and I got to watch it first while they were away. We loved the scene where Fauna, Flora and Merriweather try to sew and cook. Now I know that if I want to make a dress, first I have to cut a hole in the fabric for the legs.

The cover of the DVD lied. For most of the movie Aurora has a blue dress but on the case she is wearing pink.

I think I am really going to have to learn how to turn into a dragon like Maleficent. It was a really cool trick.

Charlotte thought that the Prince from Sleeping Beauty looked identical to the Prince from Cinderella.

Have you watched Sleeping Beauty? Who is your favourite Disney Princess?

Sunshine Award

I was nominated  by Scarlet from Scarlet's Forest to do the Sunshine award. Thank you Scarlet!

The rules:
Thank the person who nominated you
Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked
Nominate some other bloggers (11 being standard)
Question the people you nominated
Tell them that you nominated them
Put the award picture on your blog (if you so desire)

1. If you could go anywhere in the entire world, where would you go?
England in winter because it snows.
2. How many pets do you have?
Three cats and a puppy.
3. What is your favourite movie?
Probably Beauty and the Beast.
4. Pizza or strawberries?
Um, not sure. They're too different to choose.
5. What's your favourite outfit?
A denim skirt and my Tangled T-shirt.
6. How many siblings do you have?
Three brothers four sisters.
7. What's your favourite colour?
Not a clue.
8. Frozen or Tangled?
Sorry Frozen  fans but I like Tangled too much.
9. Spring or Autumn?
Probably Autumn.
10. What instruments do you play?
I play the piano.
11. What's your favourite time of day?
Chocolate O'clock.

I nominate anybody that wants to do it!

My Questions:

1. Megamind or Despicable Me?
2. What's your middle name?
3. What's your favourite board or card game?
4. What genre do you like reading the most?
5. Who is your favourite author/s?
6. Cooking or Craft?
7. Do you like reading out loud?
8. Do you like blogging or novel writing better?
9. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
10. Do you like jelly beans or chocolate better?
11. What is your favourite animal?

Thank you again Scarlet for letting me do this award!

Liebster Award

I have been nominated by Scarlet from Scarlet's Forest to do the Liebster award. Thank you Scarlet.

The Rules are:

Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions they have given you.
Write 11 new questions for your nominees.
Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to answer the questions (excluding the one who nominated you).

You must notify your nominees of their nomination.

Random facts about me:

1 I like to write novels. I do Nanowrimo young writers program every year.
2 I like to cook.
3 I was born on Australia day.
4 I like listening to Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Davis and the Piano Guys while I write. 
5 I own a puppy named Nora and she is very cute.
6 I can make really weird faces. 
7 I have freckles.
8 I watch Doctor Who
9 My favourite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast
10 I learnt to bike ride in two days. 
11 I am allergic to mangos.                                       
Scarlet's questions:    
1 Girly girl or tomboy?
Girly Girl
2 Ice cream or burgers?
Ice cream, definitely. 

3 Ballet flats or thongs?
Ballet flats.
4 Ponytail or braid?

5 Dogs or cats?
6 Drawing or writing?
7 Movies or books?

8 Outside or inside?
I like both inside and outside.

9 Summer or winter?
I don't like summer or winter particularly, 
10 Dresses or jeans?
11 Necklaces or bracelets?

For the Liebster Award I nominate the Queen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Rapunzel, the Pope, Saint Gemma, Saint Rose, Gollum, Jane Austen, Mozart and Usain Bolt.  

My questions:
1 What colour are your socks?
2 Do you wear glasses for reading?
3 Left handed or right handed?
4 Bloomer or pantaloons?
5 How many hats have you got?
6 Swords or frying pans?
7 Favourite Saint?
8 Least favourite Vegetable?
9 What is your favourite riddle?
10 Wigs or real hair?
11 Favourite dress up costume?  

Colds and Writing

The cover I made for my novel. I think I am probably going to have to change the title because Eversnow is not mentioned much.

At the moment it is Camp NaNoWriMo or Camp National Novel Writing Month. I am way too young to do Camp NaNoWriMo and they haven't yet created a young writers' program, so I do it unofficially with my older sisters. 

I am writing a novel about a girl who gets trapped in a fantasy world and can't get out. Very cliché I know. My main character is named Skylar. She is about ten or eleven years old and is nothing like what I planned her to be. I thought she was going to be a rather talkative up-beat girl but instead she is rather quiet, rather moody and very dull. When I am done writing the novel I am going to have to edit her a lot

My first few days of writing was wonderful. I even kept up with Sophie who is doing fifty thousand words. It was a bit hard to fit in writing and also go places with everybody else, but we would not miss going to see "How to Train Your Dragon 2" for anything, even if we missed most of the morning that we could have been writing in.

But a couple of weeks into Camp NaNoWriMo, disaster has struck. I have caught a cold. It might sound easy to write with a cold but it isn't. I have missed a few days writing and I had an ear-ache yesterday so it has been really hard to write. 

One of my biggest problems is keeping my novel going. I always run out of storyline before I have reached my goal. However hard I try, my main character always wants the adventure to end so they can go home way before I am done writing about it. 

None of my characters ever seem to acquire a personality (except if it is a gloomy one). I am wonderful at making my character shy and gloomy and all in all horrible, but if you ask me to write a happy cheerful person I would probably stare at you blankly, blink a few times and go back to my novel and make my character even more gloomy. 

I hope my cold will go away soon and I will have another wonderful writing day. Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? Are you writing a novel? 


Nora Elvis

We are very busy, getting ready for the newest arrival to the Elvis family, Nora Elvis. Nora is the cutest puppy ever. She is a bitser. She is 6 months old. We think she has some Labrador and cattle dog in her. She has a pink leash and matching collar. Dad has bought her a kennel and a bed for when she is in the house. Dog bowls and food have also been bought, and now we are waiting for the puppy to arrive. We are adopting her from the animal shelter. She is a stray dog. We will have to teach our Pound Princess her name.

Imogen and Dad go to pick Nora up from the vet where she is having her vaccinations and an operation. She will be very sleepy when she gets home. We have time to eat dinner and get most of the way through the dishes before finally we hear car doors slamming. I race to the front door and wrench it open. Imogen is holding a black puppy. She looks slightly odd holding such a huge puppy. (Nora is going to be a big dog when she is fully grown.) Imogen puts Nora down on the floor and I gingerly pat her head. I am slightly nervous. I don't want to get bitten or anything.

Nora looks around dazed. One minute she had been safely in her cage, the next she was in a car driving to the vets', and now these strange people have taken her to a place she has never seen before.

Sophie appears beside me and cries, "She is so cute!"

"Shh," I scold.

Imogen leads Nora into the family room. Nora immediately settles down on her bed. If she was a cat she probably would take one look and think, "That is a nice bed", and then go sit on the settee. But she is a dog and very intelligent.

I heat Imogen's and Dad's dinner up for them before skidding over to Nora. Her fur is black and she has a white stripe down her front with black spots on it. Her snout is huge and she has big floppy ears.

Suddenly Nora's  head rises and she sniffs. She likes the smell. She can smell Dad's dinner. Nora walks over to him and puts her two front legs on the settee to look into Dad's bowl. Imogen pushes Nora down.

I don't want to do the rest of the dishes. I want to cuddle the puppy. All my fears about her biting me disappear when she looks at me with those big brown puppy eyes.

"Hurry and do the dishes, then you will be able to play with the dog," Mum says. She knows that I want to pet the puppy.

We enjoy petting Nora till bed time. Neither Sophie nor me want to go to bed.

In the morning Imogen and I take Nora outside before breakfast. She meets the neighbours' dog Louie. They have a barking match. I hadn't heard Nora bark before.

A few days later we take Nora for a walk. It is loads of fun.

I love dogs! Do you? I think Nora is the best dog ever! 

How to Cook Chocolate Pudding

Sophie decided that we needed to make another cooking video. This time I decided to cook a chocolate pudding. I love cooking sugar-free chocolate pudding. It is really easy and I couldn't wait to show everybody on my blog how to make it.

I was a little afraid that people would get bored during the cooking stage. We kept having to take the pudding out of the microwave, and stir it before cooking it some more. But Sophie sped those bits up for me, when she edited my video.

Here is the video. I hope you like it!

Rainbow Coloured Shoes

Sophie and I are on the DIY website and we both wanted to complete the fashion designer's badge. One of things I could do to get the fashion designer's badge was to decorate a pair of shoes. I liked the sound of that and asked Mum if she could get me a pair of plain white shoes to doodle on. Mum agreed but then Sophie said she wanted to do the same thing. I got a bit upset. It had been my idea to decorate shoes after all. Why couldn't Sophie think of something herself? Mum assured me that it didn't matter if Sophie did the same thing as me.

We went to the shops to find some shoes. Sophie found some plain white canvas shoes but there were none in my size. 

"Maybe there will be some next time we come shopping," Mum suggested.

I sighed. It appeared Sophie would be getting the fashion designer's badge before me. 

Sophie found some Sharpies and got to work colouring her shoes. I watched enviously as she drew one spot after another spot with a pencil, then got to work colouring them in with her Sharpies.

When Sophie was done she went to show the big girls her shoes. I came with her.

"Oh, those are lovely," Imogen said, inspecting the shoes. Sophie beamed. "Did you colour some shoes?" Imogen asked me.

"I don't have any shoes," I grumbled. "The shop didn't have any in my size."

"Hmm." Imogen thought about the matter for a while. "Go to my cupboard and find the pair of shoes I was going to colour in."

I skipped over to the cupboard and found the shoes.

"Why don't you colour these in for me?" Imogen asked.

"Thank you, Imogen," I smiled. "Are you sure?"

"I've been meaning to colour those in for months. It's about time somebody did something to them!" Imogen replied.

I gave Imogen a big hug before running back out of her bedroom.

I found my laptop and looked through Google Images for a design I might want to try.

"Imogen!" I shouted after a while. I ran into her room with my laptop.


"I found three designs I could try," I said and showed her the pictures.

One design was a starry pattern, another was flowers which looked a bit hard, but my favourite was the zig-zaggy one.

"I rather like that one," Imogen said pointing to the zig-zagged design.

I smiled. My day was getting better and better.

In the afternoon, armed with a pencil, Sharpies and a pair of shoes, I sat down to begin creating the best shoes the world had ever seen. Imogen had said that she wanted the main colour to be blue. I worked all afternoon on them and when they were done I was amazed. I had thought I was going to make some terrible mistake that would ruin the shoes. I did make some mistakes but nothing noticeable.

"Imogen, I've finished your shoes," I said, bouncing into her bedroom.

"Gemma-Rose, they're lovely," Imogen gasped.

I grinned.

Sophie took some photos of the shoes for me and posted them on DIY.

I really enjoyed decorating the shoes. I wasn't sure I could but it turned out to be easier then I thought it would be.

Thank you Imogen for letting me decorate your shoes!

Watching Old Disney Movies and Singing

I have been watching lots of old Disney movies recently. Why? Well it all started with a book Imogen borrowed from the library. It was a Disney song book and had lots of our favourite songs in it.

One day Imogen asked us if we would like to sing some songs from it. We all agreed.

Imogen played the accompaniments on the piano and we sang lots of songs. Some of the songs in the books we had never sung before because they weren't in the Disney song book we own. 

I think some of my favourite songs must be "Under the Sea"  and "Les Poissons" from The Little Mermaid. I love the words in "Les Poissons" because they are so funny. I also like "Be our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast.

After singing the songs I found our copy of the movie Beauty and Beast and I decided to watch it. Imogen watched part of it with me. I was a bit disappointed when the beast turned into a prince. His hair was too light and he sounded nothing like the beast at all. I thought he should have had really dark hair and a beard.

Last night Imogen and I persuaded Charlotte to come watch The Little Mermaid with us. It was better than we remembered. My favourite characters are Ursula, Sebastian and Skuttle.

Maybe next time we will watch the Lion King or Pocahontas. I can't wait to watch more wonderful Disney movies.

What is your favourite Disney movie?  

Master Chef

I stared at the camera looming before me. What was I supposed to say?

Sophie stopped filming. " Why didn't you say anything?" she asked.

"I didn't know what to say," I admitted.

"Say, 'Hi, I am Gemma-Rose Elvis and I am going to teach you how to make my favourite kind of biscuits, oaties," Sophie said.

"Oh, okay," I said, wondering how Sophie had ever talked me into this.

I wondered what my problem was. I mean it was simple, just tell my fans how to make oaties and look cool while I do it. Instead, here I was staring at the camera like I didn't know how to make them myself.

"Hi," I said a little too loudly, "today I am going to teach you how to make oaties...."

I was on a roll. It was quite easy except I had to remember to tell people what I was doing.

With an expert slice, I cut some butter off the block and weighed it. It was the right amount, of course. I had cut it after all.

I whizzed and sliced, tasted, measured, and tasted again before taking the blade out of the food processor.

"Now we are going to put some baking paper on the tray," I said in a I-know-what-I-am-doing voice.

Finally I had a full tray of oaties. I sauntered over to the oven to cook them. A little while later I took them out of the oven and put them on the counter. My arm hit the kettle and the kettle turned on. I quickly turned the kettle off and hoped that Sophie could cut that bit out of the video.

Sophie and I edited the video and cut lots of it out before Mum uploaded it onto Youtube.

I enjoyed being Master Chef but I think that I will be content being "me" till Sophie persuades me to get into the kitchen again.

To make oaties you will need:

125 grams of butter

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of stevia

1 egg

1 cup of flour

1 cup of oats

1 teaspoon of baking powder

50 grams of dessicated coconut

50 grams of chocolate

I hope you enjoy my video!

What We Did When the Big Girls Went Away

Imogen and Charlotte were going away to the 'Reasons for Hope' weekend and they would be away for a few days, so that meant Sophie and I were in charge.

When we had waved goodbye to the big girls, we made some eggy bread to eat. Mum said we could rent a movie, so Sophie and I did the dishes as fast as possible.  After looking at a few movies we chose The Croods. Sophie and I made some popcorn then settled down to watch.

The movie is about cavemen and was really good. Have you watched The Croods? I think one of my favourite characters out of the movie was Belt.


The next day Sophie made porridge for breakfast. We ate it slowly before doing the dishes and all the jobs.

"Girls, would you like to go out for lunch?" Mum asked. She'd promised we could do something special together while Imogen and Charlotte were away. "But we have to do some shopping first."

We smiled from ear to ear.

First thing we had to get from the shops was a present for Nanna. When we had found her something and bought a few other things we went to get lunch.

We entered a cafe and sat down. A lady came up to us. "Would you like a drink?"

"Just water please," Mum said.

The lady walked off but it wasn't long before she came back with glasses of water.

Another lady appeared with some menus and we began choosing.

There was so many things on the list like quiches and salad. Finally we had all chosen. I wanted a egg and bacon quiche. Sophie wanted a chunky steak pie. Dad had salad and Mum had quiche like me.

I stared at the huge plate of salad, chips and quiche that was placed in front of me. How was I ever going to manage to eat all that? All around me people chomped and munched. I tried some salad. Yum. I tried some quiche. Yum.

Sometime later Mum was staring at my plate. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"You're nearly finished," she said.


"I didn't think you could eat all of it," Mum said.

"I was hungry," I said.

When we had finished eating, Mum told us to choose ourselves a cake. Sophie chose a slice of apple pie and I chose a custard tart.

When we had eaten the cakes we went to the supermarket and did some grocery shopping.

In the evening we watched The Croods again.

On Sunday Imogen and Charlotte came home.

I enjoyed doing things with Mum and Dad but I am glad the big girls are home again.

The Countdown

The cover I made for my story 
I stared at my empty notebook and tried to think of an idea for a novel. I always come up with beautiful plots, so why couldn't I think of one now?

Later when Mum was reading a book called The Road to Gundagai by Jackie French, the idea hit me. I was going to write about a circus. Yes a circus. All afternoon I had my notebook in hand.

After a few days I had a plausible plot.

My main character, Lance, is a trapeze artist. When his partner, Old Bob, falls off the trapeze during practise and gets injured, Master Jensen decides to get him a new partner. The only problem is that the person he chooses is a girl.

Despite Lance's protests that he doesn't need a partner, the girl, Lilia, does arrive.

Angel, another performer from the circus and a bully, receives a mysterious letter. After Lance and Lilia read the letter they are determined to find out who the writer is. But they find out more than they mean to and they end up in the centre of a big mess.

I am really enjoying writing it. I cannot tell you why it is called The Countdown because that would spoil the story.

I hope you like the sound of my story, and when I have finished it I might post it up for for you to read.  

Movies, Cat Litter Boxes and Collages

I was sitting in the corner with a book when Mum had this brilliant idea.

"Sophie, why don't you make a film and put it on your blog."

"Could I be in it?" I asked immediately.

"What kind of film?" Sophie asked.

"You could get something out and tell people about  it," Mum said. "Maybe you could post a film once every few days."

We were all full of ideas.

"You could tell people about your sewing or the books you are reading," Mum said.

Sophie found a box that used to hold bags of cat litter.

"What are you doing with that?" I asked.

"I am going to put some books in it for my show and tell," Sophie explained.

"You can't put a cat litter box on film," I said.

Sophie shrugged.

"I will decorate it for you," I said taking the box off her.

"We could make a collage," Sophie suggested.

"Good idea."

The next day Sophie and I found some glue, old wrapping paper from my birthday, coloured paper, ribbons and sticky tape. Sophie ripped up the paper and I stuck it on to the box. In a surprisingly short amount of time we had finished sticking the paper to the box.

"Hand me the ribbons please, Sophie," I said.

Sophie handed me two gold sparkly ribbons. We tied one around the box and secured it with some sticky tape. Sophie cut the other ribbon in half and we glued them the top of the box. I tied them together so that the two flaps on the box stayed closed and we stood back to admire our handiwork.

"Looks good," I said.

"This is our Mystery Box," Sophie said.

"Cool title for the box," I agreed.

In the afternoon Mum put her film camera on the tripod. Sophie and I walked into the living room and waited. We discussed what we should say before Mum turned the camera on.

"Welcome to Sophie's Show and Tell. I am Sophie and this is my assistant, the Great Gemma-Rose and this is our Mystery Box..." Sophie began.

Sophie started to tell people about a book she had read but couldn't think of the right words.

After a few tries we got close to perfect except Sophie didn't know how to end the video.

Finally we had an okay version and Sophie went to edit the film while I packed up the Box of Mystery.

I think we did rather well. If you want to watch the film please go to our blog, Mother, daughters, sisters. It's called Sophie's Show and Tell (Episode One).

A Very Soggy Battle

I grab a towel and the cat shampoo before trotting into the laundry. It is bath day. That means that I wash the cats while trying not to get wet myself.

I fill the sink with warm water and march off to find my first victim.

"Meow," Jenny says as I scoop her up from the floor.

I grin evilly and dump her into the sink.

"I don't understand what is going on!" Jenny wails.

I tip cups of water all over her back, completely ignoring her complaints.

"STOP," Jenny screams as I rub shampoo into her fur.

I smile as I rinse the shampoo out from her fur. Nearly done.

"Where is my water going?" Jenny asks as I pull the plug out from the sink. I then haul the cat out of the bath and onto the closed washing machine.

"Stop, that tickles!" Jenny squeals as I rub the towel up and down her back.

"First cat done," I say, dumping Jenny on the floor.

I fill the sink again before walking off to find the next cat.

 Sammy is always easy to find. He has two regular hiding spots. Behind the settee or Mum's armchair. I open Mum's bedroom door and head to her chair. There he is, cowering behind it. "Got you," I say, pulling him out.

We march over to the operating room. "In you go," I say gently lowering him into the sink.

"Help!" Sammy screams and grabs the edge of the sink with his claws.

"Get back in there!" I shout, unlatching his claws from the sink.

Sammy reaches his claws out for the next nearest thing. They sink into the towel I had put on top of the washing-machine.

"Stop! Stop!" I cry as he claws his way out of the sink.

Sammy smiles he is winning the battle. With an extra spurt of energy I pull him back down.

"Why are you so mean?" Sammy asks.

Cup after cup of water gets thrown at him.

"Stop! I am dying," the wet animal screams.

I grab my next weapon. The shampoo bottle.

"That stuff smells," Sammy moans as I squirt the shampoo all over him.

A few minutes the animal is clean. I lift him out of the sink and onto the washing-machine. I smile.What a good job I have done. But Sammy isn't giving up.

"OUCH!" I scream as Sammy digs his claws into my chest. But there is no time to spend feeling sorry for myself while there is still one animal left standing.

I find Poppy sitting in Charlotte's wardrobe, looking as grumpy as ever.

"Why do you always bath us and make us smell of shampoo?" Poppy asks. "I way prefer my stink."

I wrinkle my nose at her statement and think of the horrible odour that usually follows her about.

"I way prefer this nice clean smell," I say, waving the cat shampoo bottle in front of her.

Finally the cat is shampooed, rinsed and rubbed sort of dry.

I am done!

When I look in the mirror though I discover that my victory has come with a price. On my neck is a cut from Sammy and my T-shirt is soaked. But the cats look worse than me. They are miserable, soggy balls of fur.

Have you ever bathed a cat?

Image: by onyx by paparutzi, (CC BY 2.0)

Dad Gives His Consent

When I was tiny we used to have lots of pets. Our house was overrun with birds, mice and even a mean ferret. We also once had a dog called Rocket. He was crazy. One day somebody fed him curry and the results were not pretty.

A few years ago we got a cat called Poppy from the pet shop and I was overjoyed. Then a while after that one of Callum's work colleagues gave us two more cats called Jenny and Sammy.

But since Rocket we have not had a dog. For some reason Dad didn't seem to want one. But Sophie and I always did.

Yesterday it was Callum's birthday and we were all in Mum's room chatting about dogs and how we always wanted one (Dad was at work).

"I love dogs," Sophie said dreamy eyed.

"Casey is trying to give away her moodle or her huskies," Callum said. Casey is Callum's girlfriend.

"We would need a fence to have a dog," Mum said. (Our garden doesn't have fences all the way around it.)

"I'd make one," Callum offered.

"You would also need Dad's consent," Mum said.

"We could make the fence first and then suggest we get a dog," Callum said.

"You would also have to suggest a kind of dog that Dad likes," Mum said.

"Easy, just ask him what kind of dog he would like," Callum said.

"You should also see how much this fence would cost," Mum said.

So Sophie, Imogen, Callum and I went to a warehouse to see what kind of fence we would need and how much it would cost. After trotting around a few warehouses we decided on a fence and went home to tell Mum.

"We think that we should get the colourbond one," Callum said.

"Okay," Mum said. "Now you have to tell Dad."

In the afternoon Callum's girlfriend came over and then we had to wait for Dad to get home. After what seemed like forever he finally arrived and we sat down at the table for dinner, trying to hide grins.

When we had finished eating Callum turned to Dad and said. "Today we have been looking at some fences and have found one that we could buy."

"Hmmm," Dad said suspiciously.

"Tomorrow I can start putting it up. It would only take three or so days," Callum said.

"This doesn't involve anything four legged does it?" Dad asked.

We exploded into laughter.

"How did you guess?" Sophie asked.

"WHAT?????? I was only joking," Dad said, turning accusingly towards Mum.

"Don't look at me. It was their idea," Mum said.

Dad's eyebrows hung low over his eyes.

"We have worked out the cost of the fence," Callum said.

"And I can give you some dog examples," Casey said.

"What?" Dad asked.

"Well I could give you a moodle..."

"What is a moodle?" Dad interrupted.

"It is a cross between a poodle and a maltese," Casey said.

"And what is the other example?"

"Two huskies," Casey said.

"How much does a husky cost?" Dad asked.

"Usually a lot of money but these ones are free," Callum said.

"Please," I said shooting Dad my puppy eyes.

Dad sighed and said he would talk about it with Mum.

After dishes Mum appeared and announced that Dad said we could have a dog.

I can't wait to see what we are going to get. Mum wants a dog she can take for a run with her. Imogen wants a German shepherd and Callum wants a pit bull but I don't think he will get it. Duncan doesn't want a dog.

I wonder if we are going to get a small dog or a big one?  


A Three Times More Pretty Picture of Who?

A little while ago it was my birthday. My eldest sister Felicity rang to tell me she was sending me a present and it has arrived.

"Gemma-Rose," Mum said.

I hopped off the piano stool and peeked over Mum's shoulder at the computer screen on her lap.

There grinning at me was a very beautiful girl. Felicity had emailed me a very stylized and three times more pretty picture of who? ME.

"Do you want read the email?" Mum asked.

"Of course ," I said, taking the computer off her.

Felicity wrote that she had a professional artist draw the picture for me.

My smile stretched from ear to ear. It is always special when Felicity remembers our birthdays.

"You could write  a blog post about your wonderful sister," Mum suggested.

I think about it. Yes I could do that.

Thank you Felicity. It is a very nice picture.

Australia Day Birthday

It is Australia Day and it's also my birthday.

Dad is reading at the 7.30 am Mass and Imogen is singing at the later one so we will have to split up and go to two different churches.

Sophie climbs out of her bed. She is going to go to the early Mass. "Happy Birthday," she grins and gives me a hug.

Mum enters the room. "Sophie it is time to get up. Oh you got yourself up." She turns to go.

"MUM!" Sophie cries.

"What? Oh, Happy Birthday Gemma-Rose!"

Maybe Mum thought I was still asleep.

Suddenly there is the sound of a rocket taking off. It is really Callum starting his car. He has to pick his girlfriend up before Mass.

I jump out of bed and head for the dining room.

"Good morning," Duncan says appearing round the corner in his suit.

"Duncan," I say, "it is my birthday!"

"OH, Happy Birthday," Duncan says.

I sigh. Maybe everybody is still waking up. But I'm not. No way. I am full of energy.

Sophie appears beside me fully dressed. We bound into the dining room.

 "Look," I shout. Blue tacked to the wall is a birthday banner. It has HAPPY BIRTHDAY written in light blue words and standing in front of the them are Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf from the movie Frozen.

"Do you think Charlotte drew it?" I ask Sophie. She nods. We both know that Charlotte is the only one talented enough to draw them.

Charlotte appears in her pyjamas. "Happy Birthday," she mumbles.

"Thank you for the banner!" I give Charlotte a big hug.

A few minutes later Duncan, Sophie and Dad leave for Mass.

Charlotte hands me a crumpet. I sit down and eat. When I am done I jump up and run towards my bedroom. In a few minutes I reappear dressed.

Usually the birthday girl or boy gets a day off jobs. But today there are not enough people. It doesn't matter. Having the day off jobs isn't the best part of a birthday.

After I have cleaned the the cat litters and straightened the cushions in the family room, Mum offers to do my hair. Finally I am all ready for Mass.

Imogen puts her L plates on the car before driving down our street and onto the road. She is driving Charlotte, Mum and me to Mass.

After Mass we drive back home and open the front door. Everybody is waiting inside for presents. I make some hot chocolate and we are ready. Duncan grabs the film camera and everybody takes a seat.

"One, two, three," Mum says and everybody starts to sing Happy Birthday.

I grin.

Sophie gives me an envelope. "Happy Birthday!"

"An envelope! Just what I always wanted," I joke. Inside is a piece of paper. "The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns," I read. "Thank you Mum." It is a Kindle book and a sequel to one of my favourite library books.

Charlotte trots up next and passes me a package. I give her a big squeeze and probably give her a broken back. I tear off the paper and shake out a running shirt. My eyes grow wide. "I was wanting one of those!"

Charlotte gives me another present. It is some sketching pencils.

Duncan gives me a Rapunzel wig.

Imogen gives me some coloured inking pens.

Callum hands me a movie called Horton Hears a Who based off a book by Dr. Seuss.

Lots more presents get given to me. I especially like my Lego house Mum gives me and my owl necklace from Casey.

When presents are done Sophie and me sit down on the ground and we begin to build the Lego house.

"Gemma-Rose," Mum calls from her room.

I stand up and run toward her. "Yes Mum?"

"Do you want to go to that animal place we went to on your birthday two years ago?" Mum asks.

I nod.

"Get your shoes on everyone," Mum shouts.

Ten minutes later we have our shoes on and food packed. We pile into the car and we are off.

A while later the Dad parks the car and we hop out. The food gets carted over to the sheltered eating area. Dad hands me a cold sausage in a wrap with pasta salad. It sure tastes nice.

When we have finished putting away the extra sausages we go to look at the kangaroos and emus. There are two emus and loads of kangaroos and wallabies. After we have walked around the enclosure a few times we head back to the car.

In the evening Imogen cooks pizza and we eat in front of the movie Horton hears a Who.

Felicity rings to wish me Happy Birthday then we have cake.

I have had a wonderful day.