Tag Archives: happy days

Movement Makes Music with MSO

For years, when the kids were little, I would read about performances of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) created specifically for kids to enjoy.  Of course with the juggle of work, other kid stuff and generally being too busy, we never made actually made it to a performance.  I was delighted when I was contacted by Alison a the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to offer me tickets to take the kids along to a performance.  As usual, we had a crazy busy weekend ahead of us but the planets aligned and ice-skating was moved back a few hours so we had a morning free – the perfect opportunity to finally take the kids.  Alison did stress that the performance was aimed at 3 – 8 year olds, that my kids being 7 and 9 might be a little old for the show but I know that they love music and that I want them to love dance again so I was willing to give it a shot, I would take the kids to a performance of Movement Makes Music, a unique collaboration between the MSO and the Australian Ballet Dance Education Ensemble will engage children aurally and kinetically. Performers will highlight the links between movement and music during this 50-minute show, in which audience members will be moved, inspired and enchanted.

I must admit that I was hesitant that boy-child would moan and complain all morning (as he  frequently does!) so it wasn’t until we were in the car and on the way there that I actually told the kids where we were going and braced myself for the whinging.  Guess what?  There was none, we were off to a great start!

We made it to the venue with plenty of time to spare and found ourselves a spot front and (almost) centre on the floor, ready to enjoy the show. As we were waiting for the performance to begin, boy-child declared that if he was in the orchestra, he would be wearing a green shirt.  I wondered why he would wear a green shirt and he pointed out that not only was green his favourite colour but it was also the colour that the woodwind musicians were wearing and since he plays clarinet he would have to wear green too!  He then went on to point out that the string section were wearing blue shirts, brass in red and percussion in yellow.  Already I was impressed at how much he was enjoying being there and the performance hadn’t even begun!

I really didn’t know how the show would be tailored to suit young children but found that the conductor used the time between pieces to introduce a different member of the orchestra, highlight the instrument that they played and talk about how it would be played in the next piece of music.

The dancers from the Australian Ballet were beautiful, showing how music can be influence dance and movement.  Girl-child barely blinked the entire time that they were on stage.  Boy-child was entranced by Patrick tap dancing different rhythms and then hearing Rob repeat the rhythms on a drum.  He was even more impressed when Rob beat a rhythm on the drum that ended in a drumroll and Patrick was able to tap that same rhythm and drumroll.

Sure my kids were amongst the oldest there but they had a great time.  In fact they both had such a great time that they are wanting to know when they can go back to the symphony.  I don’t think the planets will align to allow us to go back during the school holidays but if they do, this is what I would love to go to – Peter and the WolfProkofiev’s story of the irreverent Peter has resonated deeply with generations of children, enchanted by its power and sense of fun. Now BreakThru Films and Se-ma-for Studios, in collaboration with BAFTA-winning director Suzie Templeton, bring this mesmerising and enchanting classic to the big screen.

Thanks to MSO, I was lucky enough to have free tickets to take the kids along to see Movement Makes Music, but the opinions expressed are mine and those of my kids.  We had a great day and only wish that we had discovered MSO Family Classic Kids a few years ago.  Family Classic Kids is the MSO’s popular program of concerts for children aged three to eight years of age – and a great way to introduce young people to the wonders of orchestral music. With the children sitting right next to the Orchestra, there are opportunities to sing along, respond to the music with movement and actions, follow a story and maybe even conduct.

As a bonus, the kids had their photos taken with some of the musicians and the dancers!

Being shy around the amazing performers!

Don’t just listen to me rave on about how much fun we had at MSO, check out what my kids thought here and here, also head over to Stuff With Thing to see what Heidi and Annie thought too.

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in all in the family, the monsters


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Spring is Here

Spring is finally here with the promise of warmer weather and sunshine.  Sure it may be overcast and drizzly right now but simply knowing that it a season filled with the promise of beautiful days and blue skies is enough to lift my mood.

Vibrant and alive

I am using the start of the season to turn over a new leaf.  I want to find the best possible me that is hiding within.  To do this I am going to attempt to make a few changes.  I know that already I am over scheduled so I am going to practice saying NO.  I don’t need to do everything, or be everything for everyone all of the time.  I am going to (try) and prioritise and make some time for me.  Time that doesn’t involve the pressure to do journal readings for uni or running around for other people.  I will do the things that are important to me and recognise that my world won’t cease just because I can’t do everything.  I want to make time to enjoy the wonderful things that I do, and the great life that I am to busy to enjoy.

I WILL enjoy the sunshine whenever I can, I will relax, breathe and enjoy.

By doing this I will have time to be a better partner, parent and friend and most importantly be a better me.


Posted by on September 1, 2011 in all about me, just a day


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Sundays in my City #73 – Baking with the Boy

Unknown Mami

The weather is improving and the sun has been shining, the perfect opportunity to get out and about right?  Wrong.  I spent yesterday in front of the laptop, surrounded by journal articles that needed to be read and hopefully understood.  Today, I attempted to continue my reading, but out in the sunshine and promptly fell asleep!  I figured that no study was going to happen, it was time to do something else.

Since we had a class get-together to attend, boy-child and I decided to make some snacks to share with friends.  What started out as a simple idea soon became much more colourful.  We started out with my favourite kid friendly and delicious recipe 100’s of Biscuits, the same recipe that girl-child followed back here, but this time we did a little experimentation.

Green Cookie Dough

Green was pretty spectacular, as was the red!

Ruby Red and Pop Rocks

 We had fun decorating them too, and eating them of course!

Good enough to eat!

His hands ARE clean, just stained from the different food colourings used!

The cookies were taken to the picnic this afternoon and were a treat.  They were devoured in minutes.  Even the parent folk were happy to give them a try and a nod of approval!  Boy-child enjoyed his kitchen experiments and I enjoyed spending the time with him having some fun.  Having used food colouring, toffee and chocolate chips along with popping candy, I wonder what secret ingredients he will want to use next time?

Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City.


Posted by on August 28, 2011 in all in the family, fantastic food


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Sundays in my City #71 – Out and About along the Creek

Unknown Mami

Today the sun was shining and it was the perfect day to be out and about.  First stop was to watch girl-child play soccer before heading out to visit friends to help celebrate the 2nd birthday of their daughter.  Of course you would think that with 4 kids running around the yard there would be plenty of photos to take, but taking photos would involve moving from my sunny perch on the deck so sorry, no pics of cute kids happening today.

Once we bid our friends farewell, we thought we would so some exploring in their neck of the woods, an area that we really haven’t explored before.  We found a few geocaches that needed to be found and headed off to find them.  All three of them were along a walking track by a creek, in fact the same creek that we spend hours by in our neighbourhood, the same creek that is flooded and not very creek-like here!

A girl on the bridge.

This is how you cross a bridge, right?

Enjoying the view (from the bridge railing!)

Of course with new adventures comes new playgrounds to explore.  The boy folk loved this vomit inducing spinning thing!


As an added bonus, the 3 caches that we set out to find were all found.

 Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City.


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Sundays in my City #71 – A Day Out in the City

Unknown Mami

I have had a wonderful, indulgent weekend.  Today I met up with friends in North Melbourne for brunch at the Auction Rooms before heading in to the city to wander a bit exploring the streets and laneways before joining more friends for afternoon tea at Chocolait.  Talk about a great day and awesome food overload – YUM.

Enjoying Brunch

Recycling - Green Printing

The perfect afternoon tea!

I have spent more time in the city this past few weeks than I have in what feels like forever.  It has made me realise just how much I love Melbourne, wandering streets and laneways, exploring shops and loving the pleasure of a quiet day out with no obligations other than having fun.  As an added bonus, all of the walking we did today, from North Melbourne in and around the city and South Bank then back home was about 11km – surely that would have worked off some of the calories from afternoon tea!

 Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City as I head back out in the cold to pick up the kids from the party!


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Blogopolis and Chasing Rainbows

As I wasn’t going to Blogopolis until the very last minute, I didn’t have time to do the usual stress-the-hell-out and panic, kind of like the first day at a new school.  There were so many things that I could have freaked out about and more; what to wear, who would I talk to, what if no-one liked me, what if the ticket wasn’t transferrable, what if I just freaked out completely and ran out and hid.  Even if I had time, there was no need to stress.  There were amazing people everywhere I turned and I am happy to say that the crowd was super supportive and interesting. I had a great time meeting new people and sharing ideas.

There were so many things to learn at Blogopolis that I could fill a post or three about it but that has been done already and done really well so I will post a few links to my favourite wrap-up posts.

KeepCateBusy, Maid In Australia, Writing Out Loud and a beautiful post by Seven Cherubs.  Or for an amazing summary of key all the points, check out The Blog Stylist.

I will instead write about what I missed out on when I was there.  Sure there was the typical Saturday stuff – ice skating and kids birthday parties as well as last minute shopping for birthday presents but it seems that there was also a liberal dose of spontaneity.  The rainbow that we all saw from Birrarung Marr, my guys decided to chase.  Starting near where they left the birthday party, they ended up in Williamstown, following the most circuitous route, to stand under the rainbow.

Taste the Rainbow

Boy-child was pretty excited to taste the rainbow but girl-child was happy too.  To have her say that it was the best day of her life made me feel as if I had missed something special.  I may have missed something special but then I remembered that I had a wonderful day (and night) too, surrounded by old friends and new, learning and having fun.


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Sunday Selections – Happiness

What better way to post more photos from my recent trip to Papua New Guinea than to join in with FrogPondRocks (great chatting to you last night!) and Sunday Selections.  I have titled this post Happiness because it was apparent that the kids we met along the track were always so happy, you couldn’t help smile when you were around them.

Games in a circle

Beautiful Smile


Happy Kids

 I can’t help but smile when I look at these photos and remember the fun of my time in the jungle.

Check out all the other awesome Sunday Selections, better still, play along too!



Posted by on July 31, 2011 in and they call this work


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