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Our Winter School Holidays Bucket List

If the after-school special is a big deal around here, school holidays just blow everything out of the water. There’s a school holiday activity list pinned up on our cork board in the kitchen and given the fact that it’s winter too, we’ve all gone and lost our minds.

I feel this should be the point I mention that I may have gone too hard too soon because the kids are currently planted firmly on the couch watching Pocahontas and if they ask me for so much as a glass of water I’m going to run away. Life with kids? It’s 70% work, 10% sleeping, and 20% pure magic. Public outings take the work ratio up another 10%. But those pure magic pockets are what I live for, and I’m prepared for the sweat and tears in order to experience them.

Ticking off some Winter Bucket List dreams today and tucking away a few more precious family memories.

Disney On Ice.

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We started a new family tradition this winter, courtesy of Joel who burst through the door one night with a bunch of tickets in his hand and a look on his face that had me wondering if he’d won Powerball. “Disney on Ice!”, he said. “We’re going!”, and I thought that for all the ways we fall short, when it comes to family, we never do. Half the battle in relationships is aligning your values, and thankfully, without trying, ours always seem to fall into the same grooves.

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It was a lovely little night and I could not tear my eyes from my children’s faces during the Frozen segment. Logged forever in the 20% Pure Magic bits of life.

Winter Festival King George Square.

We left the house squabbling, burnt out and with a million things on our to-do list, and not for the first time I thought how TYPICAL it was that something I’d been looking forward to for weeks, an annual tradition of ours I live for was now tainted by cross moods and – of course – rain. But that’s the thing about family – they are imperfect, messy and complicated bundles of the best and worst things and we just hold on tight and ride the waves as best we can.

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And in the end, the best parts always find a way to shine through.

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Our girl is a determined little thing. Ice skating is super tough but this one? She did not want to be helped. Falling again and again and again only to get up and try harder. I kept stepping in to help and she’d shout, “No Mum! Leave me alone!”, and it was that time in a parent’s life where they step back in awe and see their child not as an extension of themselves, but as their own living, breathing, capable person who does not want you to stifle their growth.

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Got it, honey. Sister on.

We here in the tropics only source our snow from pure, natural sources.

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As you can see, it comes from white plastic tubes running directly from monk-blessed Himalayan mountain tops and there is nothing fake about it whatsoever. The German lady from the German sausage stall told me that the toboggan slope was a little, mild, compared to the ones back home and I was all Lady, we take what we can get around here, okay? Don’t kill my winter buzz. That is a ski slope and it’s the best damn slope my kids have ever seen.

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Himalayan snow tube continues in the background.

Strawberry Picking.

Another favourite winter tradition.

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Our first pick of the season was made even more exciting because of good friends.

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Billy’s strawberry patch thoughts went something like: Hmmmm, what to do?

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One for my mouth.

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One for my basket.

And my girl quickly followed.

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Baking Day.

Another winter bucket list activity, we cooked broths and stock and spiced yoghurt muffins yesterday, ending with the main event – strawberry pie.

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Because what else are you going to do with two kilos of picked strawberries?

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It was awesome.

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Fire nights.

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Because no winter bucket list is complete without some.

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Hot chocolate stands, Out of the Box, Christmas in July, more school holidays goodness planned — happy, happy.

Happy Winter!

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