Sunday, 25 December 2011

Kids of the week Christmas quotes

This week I asked my own children all about their thoughts on Christmas as my kid of the week series for Norfolk Online News.

Here is their responses to my questions about Christmas 2011.
What is your favourite part about Christmas Sienna? Getting presents on Christmas morning and learning all about Jesus.
What is all about then? It is about Jesus because he was born on Christmas day.
So why do we get Presents? because Santa sees who is naughty or nice, if they are being naughty they get a lump of coal and if they are nice they get presents.
Which list are you on? I am on the Elves watch list to see which one I am today.
Why does Santa make presents for kids all around the world? Because he loves kids, but not bad kids.
How does he deliver all the presents? on a sleigh with all his reindeer, they are like horses but they have antlers. They fly because of Santa he has lots of magic.

What would the North pole be like to live? very cold with lots of snow and ice.
What is Christmas all about Teddy? It is all about Jesus being born on Christmas day.
So why do we get presents? Because Santa wanted to be nice and give presents to kids who are being nice in the whole world.
Teddy and Sienna who gave the first presents to Jesus? The wise men
What presents did they give?
Sienna; hundreds of money
Teddy; a ring, golden sandals, some baby clothes and a bracelet
What did baby Jesus do with the presents?
Teddy; I have absolutely no idea Mum.
Sienna; be a king or something
What does Santa do when he gets back to the North pole after delivering all the presents?
Teddy; He celebrates by having food and games and mostly go to bed after his big night.
Sienna; He sees how the elves are going and makes more presents.
What is your favourite Christmas carol?
Teddy; Feliz Navidad
Sienna; The first Noel
What do you like to do on Christmas eve Teddy? we go out partying and then we go look at ALL the Christmas lights all over town, then when we get home, I find a little table and pour some nice cold milk and 3 chocolate chip biscuits onto a plate for Santa and a massive plate and put 9 carrots on for the reindeer, watch a couple of Christmas shows and carols and then straight to bed.
Sienna, what do you do on the night before Christmas? I go to sleep under the Christmas tree every year.
Why? Because I want to see Santa.
What do you like to do on Christmas day Sienna? open presents and sing songs like "a long time ago in Bethlehem so the something something says..."
Teddy? My favourite thing to do on Christmas day is to wake everyone up, look in our stocking, open one present from under the tree and have something to eat and wait to Nonni and Poppi to come over to open the rest. The rest of the day is mostly Mum and Dad's choice on what we do, but I will play with my presents and build stuff.
What is the best thing about a Norfolk Island Christmas?
Teddy; The Christmas lights
Sienna; At school learning about Jesus and singing on the stage at the Christmas pageant. Going to Emily bay to swim.
What message do you want to give everyone?
Sienna; "Merry Christmas to every one on Norfolk Island"
Teddy; "Merry Christmas, be good kids, Ho Ho Ho."
Jasper "Chismas tree star!"

Merry Christmas to everyone from me also, Thankyou everyone who let me interview & photograph their children this year, it has been lots of fun.

Wishing you and your families a safe holiday season and a wonderful start to 2012.

♥Cristina Rose.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas, we go off to see the lights.

Every year as has become the tradition, all the kids travel around the island together on the back of trucks or in cars & visit all the best lights.

Some lovely people like Brian and Coral who have won the best house lights for the past 2 years wait for the kids to come in and visit to give them all a candy cane, they must have given out hundreds on Christmas eve.

Jaspers first time walking around the maze, he was still crawling last year!

Then we head around to Cascade and New Cascade road to see the lights on the way to Little house day care which also won a best display award. Each year, the little house staff have a Christmas maze set up to walk around as well as many mini displays and lights.

The Main street looks lovely and festive with all its lights ablaze.

The Large Norfolk Island Pine tree at Kingston, right among the convict ruins and restored buildings, is decorated each year.

During our road trip, we heard the plane land with some friends who moved off the island 12 months ago returning for  Christmas, but rather than going to the busier than usual airport, we went to the next and last destination as we knew that we spend so long there, that everyone turns up there. Sure enough, not long  after leaving the airport, we saw many returning friends come to the Cat's cafe lights , 12 months just melted away for our kids as they reunited to play in the bubbles.

The place we always leave til last is Cat's Cafe.

Throughout December, Caroline 'George' Douran sets up many lights at Cats cafe next to the school, but on Christmas eve, it is extra special with a bubble machine and a 'snow' machine which generates snow like foam, this is my kids favourite place to be, dance laugh and get completely covered in foam before heading home for a warm shower and hot chocolates.
ho ho ho

The last job left to do is to hang the stockings and feed Santa and the reindeer.

This year Santa got chocolate Afghan biscuits and milk and there were 9 carrots on the front yard plus water for the reindeer.

This year, Sienna didn't try to sleep under the tree, both big kids happily trotted upstairs to their castle shaped bunk beds and fell asleep.

I then had my almost ritual, nightly *Baileys Milo while watching the Christmas carols on TV.
 I may be the only one awake and sing along by myself while the rest of my 4 'babies' are tucked up in bed sleeping, but I am happy and content to be safe and sound with my family in our home.

Often before bed, I will follow the Norad Santa tracker to make sure that Santa is on his way. It is a magical night.

* Baileys Milo recipe
After the kids are in bed, boil kettle
add large splosh of Baileys to a coffee mug, size of splosh depends on how your day went.
Add 2 spoons of Milo to mug, again, size of spoons depend upon the day you've had.
Fill with hot water. Stir.
Sit down at the computer to catch up with facebook friends or read updated blogs while enjoying your Baileys Milo.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Olivia

There is something special about turning 5. For me it is such a huge transition time from preschooler to starting your school life that continues for the next 13 years into early adulthood.

I feel very fortunate to have shared my niece Olivia's entrance into this wonderful world 5 years ago.

My sister Mia at her baby shower..waiting..waiting...waiting.
I moved away 2 days after Livvy was born, we hoped to have at least 2 weeks together, but this little lady was in no hurry to come out.
Now, 5 years later, we miss her incredibly and hope to again live around the corner from each other one day in the future.

When we post presents, we wish we could post ourselves for real live hugs too.
LOvE yOu LiVvY LoU!

Monday, 5 December 2011

whooosh, now it is December again!

Did that year just fly past super quickly for you too?

The year 2011 was busy, but the busiest month of all is here upon us again. I am trying to tamp down the feeling of panic that keeps surfacing, though I work best under pressure, I only have a day to find all my teenage nephews and nieces Christmas presents & have them in the mail  to get to them by Christmas.

I learnt my lesson from last year about putting extra blog pressure on yourself at a very busy time of the year.

Last year on the 30th of November, I was all inspired by other bloggers to do a post a day for the lead up til Christmas. Probably if I was the type to only post one photo each day, I may have made it, but I can't...I am a quantity party type of girl who does far more than I should and takes way too many photos, the problem is, I want to share them all!

I did make it to the 15th of December of blog posts and then gain 15 blog drafts until the end of the month.
So, I have decided that instead of starting new December blogs, I am going to finish what I started last year and continue each day until I complete the month of December even if it was so last year. My parents were here then, so by doing it this way, I get to relive all those fun moments again.
Life with a toddler this year is also proving fun and adventurous. I don't think that the Christmas decorations will actually stay on the tree, as Jasper thinks they look better scattered all over the floor. The baubles make great ball to throw at people too! My loungeroom looks like it has exploded at the best of time, now it is a technicolour, spangly, tinselly, baubley mess.'tis the season to be messy jolly.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Finding out about Norfolk Island

Everyone who arrives on Norfolk Island has a tale to tell about it, they also need to find out about Norfolk Island in some way or rather, this is usually from advertising or word of mouth.

The Internet has become the most powerful tool for people to tell their story and show through their images what life is like in their home & town in that space of time.

I started my blog (this one) about our family life here after I moved here nearly 5 years ago as my Auntie Mary had a blog that I followed with tidbits of island life prior to our move here called Devonhouse recollections
Then a school teacher who was moving here with her two young children found my blog and read about it prior to her move here early in 2010, she is now my daughters teacher and has a wonderful blog herself about their family life here called Norfolk Exposure.

I have recently received a comment (Thankyou Deb) from another potential teaching family who hope to move here and have been following my blog for an idea about family life on the island, who knows, Deb, perhaps you also will have a tale to tell about your time here, I wish you well and hope you do get to come to Norfolk Island, you will certainly learn to appreciate all the good things in life, like being part of an amazing close knit community who pull together in their mutual isolation from anywhere else, also to appreciate seasonal fruit and vegetables and being only 5 minutes from any beach or mountain view or valley and the most stunning 360 degree views, there is plenty to appreciate here. Call me when you get here and we can have coffee!
♥ Cristina

P.S, I have branched out from my first blog here to include many other blogs about me and my time on Norfolk Island and have helped others to start one for themselves also. None of my blogs gets the attention they deserve now that facebook is more instant and easy to use for a daily diary of photos and messages etc, but I do hope to come back to update these blogs when I can.
For full list of Norfolk Island blogs visit -

For my 'other blogs' see

Phew! no wonder I run out of time to edit them all ☺

Monday, 10 October 2011

Capturing children in Photography

Sorry for my lack of blogs lately.
It seems that when Spring is in the air, I get busy taking photos, especially of the kids and of the amazing convict built georgian buildings down at Kingston.

This one was taken on my birthday a few weeks ago, It seems that dandelion clocks are everywhere at the moment ( I love them and they will receive their due in their own blog post soon).

This photo was a perfect opportunity to snap my daughter showing the amazing light of the day.

Sienna Rose blowing a dandelion 'clock'.
 This photo is eneterd in the Photographing children photoworkshop's photography competition.
This photo hasn't been edited and I have entered it into a photography competition to win a lightroom3 editing package.

Please feel free to visit the photo on facebook by clicking here and press like, that is all you have to do to help.
♥ Cristina

You can always see what I have been up to on facebook with my children's photography by going to my  facebook page *Captured by Cristina Rose photography.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Coconut Ice cake

My undisputed FAVOURITE flavour & scent is COCONUT!
I love the smell and the flavour, coconut ice cream, coconut rice & curries and coconut body butter as well as the Body shop's coconut perfume oil (almost a tie with my second favourite scent & flavour, Vanilla)
 So for a dinner party at our place last night, I made a variation of the rainbow cake in the previous post.

It was a large 3 layer coconut ice cake. The pink layers were coloured by Cochineal and a small dash of Strawberry essence and the white vanilla layer has a small splash of vanilla essence as well as a half a teaspoon of citric acid, to give it a tiny lemony zing.

I love these layer cakes, all done in under an hour for the 3 layers.

Jasper thought it looked delicious also and couldn't wait to sample to icing.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Rainbow cake

I never got around to posting the photos of the rainbow cake that I made for the Norfolk Island Central school's Easter carnival here on the blog as I caused a bit of a flurry on facebook as I was baking each of the six brightly coloured layers.

You see the night before the Easter carnival for my 2 children in K-2 to take to the cake stall, I baked a 6 tier cake, one brightly coloured layer at a time and posted the photos and running commentary as I was going, so there were some eager customers ready to grab my cake(s) as it was cut in 2, when it arrived.

I only had one pan, so it baked in 6 seperate layers & I used commercial powder food colouring as the watery food colouring isn't strong enough. Each layer took about 15 minutes to bake.

The recipe is a basic cupcake recipe and so super simple. The recipe can be used for cupcakes, loaf tins and large cake tins as well.
Here it is.
CupCake recipe
1 cup of Milk
1 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Self raising flour
1 cup of Coconut
There, I told you it was simple!

This is the base recipe which is fine as it is, my best tip is to mix the coconut & milk the night before to soften the coconut and make it really creamy.
From here you can add other flavours such as orange and poppyseeds or lime and sesame seeds or even white chocolate & raspberries.

Ice with butter icing sugar. Enjoy, share with others.

Monday, 1 August 2011

18 months already? where does a year and a half go?

I know where it goes...into cuddles and love and staring at this amazing, lovable little creature that comes from within and soon learns his place in the world.

Now running around, copying animal sounds, colouring with crayons and discovering new things.
Life is so much fun.

Love you our big boy Jasper.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Skits and Vocal Bits

If you missed NATS "Skits & Vocal Bits" last weekend then you really missed out! What a fantastic assortment of 11 variety items featuring 35 local identities who had us rolling off our seats with laughter. Hadyn (Teddy) Evans was MC extraordinaire and kept the night running smoothly. The talented cast was made up of lots of first time performers along side the "old" hands.

· "The Red Hot Mummas" starred 10 local hot mummas... Cristina McRitchie, Rose Stephens, Raewynne Tarrant, Juliette Grant, Louci Reynolds, Roberta Simpson-Leha, Leia Widdowson, Michelle Hayes, Gill Brown & Tamson Mayo. The Mummas danced to River Deep and set the night's standard for high energy entertainment with their opening number.

Red hot Roberta with 4 children, the youngest is 6 weeks old.

Three of our four k-2 school teachers proving teachers rock!

"I want to be on stage like you Mum."

· "Technology" was a short comedy skit starring Ian Anderson, Monica Anderson & Lexi Tavener and was about how the older generation struggle with computer terms.

· "Blue Moon" was a short play starring Tamson Mayo, Tony Wilkinson & Toppy Wilkinson who showed us that often words have double meanings. Tony really stood out on stage... maybe it was his "equipment" or maybe just his "Lego" hair.
Tony 'lego man' Wilkinson

· "The Dentist" song was a McRitchie affair starring Brandt but also featuring Cristina & Sienna... and Momma as well. Thanks go to Ernie Christian for his cameo appearance and for showing us how NOT to be brave in the dentist chair.

· "Dar Hilli Song" was performed by Lexi Tavener who showed us what the Norfolk version of The Lazy Song would be. Since her Mum wrote the words it had to be a winning song.

· "Nursing Home" was a beautiful, short skit with the best punch line!! Margaret Kiernan hardly said a word yet stole the show playing the elderly mother. Bron South (appropriately) played her daughter, with Louci Reynolds & Toppy Wilkinson on stage to complete the cast.

· ”Wicked Girls" began with 5 year old Sienna McRitchie singing "The Wizard and I". Sienna's solo with microphone had so much emotion and such great vocals that the audience was perplexed and gave her the biggest applause for the night. Her Mum Cristina then sang "Defying Gravity" with backing vocals from Tamson Mayo. These girls were truly WICKED!!!!

· "What's In A Name" was a short skit starring Toppy Wilkinson & Lexi Tavener as the hippy mother and daughter. I think hitch-hiking is still legal on Norfolk Island.... but with the traffic rules all changed who knows.

· "Stunt Ski Show" was one of the most hilarious skits Norfolk Island has ever seen. Lovable characters Kylie & Sharon played by Bron South and Rose Stephens somehow managed to water-ski on stage using a blow-up pool and ski ropes. They made us believe they were really on the water and had everyone in stitches of laughter.

You thought the stunt ski show was hilarious from the audience...look at our view from backstage!

· "Gleece" was a play written and Directed by Jayde Granger. Jayde also starred in her play along with Jessica Hetherington, Emily Meyer, Caitlin Evans, Myka Quintal, Kirsten Gomez, Tiarna Finch, Katie Fitzpatrick, Casey Snell, Heidi Bigg, Siobhan Maxwell and with help from Keeley Williams, Denise Lee, Tariah Magri & Madison Wellington. Jayde was inspired by Glee and Grease and in her great writing managed to portray the lives of teenage girls. The audience really enjoyed the musical elements as well as the deeper issues which unfolded throughout the play.


· "Horror On The Rock Stage Show" was the big finale number. Cristina McRitchie and Dave Brown played Janet and Brad, Tony Wilkinson and Tamson Mayo were Riff Raff and Magenta, Rose Stephens was Columbia and Brandt McRitchie shone on stage as Frankenfurter. What a great way to end a very enjoyable night.

The crew did a fantastic job with Ben Hayes on Lights, Brian James on Sound, Lance Miller as Stage Manager and Don Brian as Stage Hand. The many Front of House workers at Ferny Lane Theatre also played important roles in making Skits & Vocal Bits such a huge success. Thank you to the audiences who supported NATS.
Teddy hugs his sister Sienna at interval and says "I am so proud of you, you look beautiful!"

If you enjoyed Skits & Vocal Bits and would like to be involved with the next one (either onstage, backstage or organising) or you have some ideas or material we could use then please approach either Rose or Cristina. And if you enjoyed being in the audience or missed out then keep your eyes and ears open for Skits & Vocal Bits II in about 6 months time.

What the audience said after 'Skits and Vocal bits' at NATS last weekend.

It was Hilarious! I laughed so hard that I embarrassed myself until I looked around and everyone else was laughing too!.

I will never miss another theatre show again if they are all that good.

"The highlight was Tony's Wilkinson's hair in the 'Last Man on the Moon skit..."

"I seriously thought I was going to wet my pants during the water skiing skit..."

"You guys have got to do a full production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show..."

"I am still giggling whenever I think about any of it..."

"Thanks for all of the laughs last night, it was fantastic!"

An amazing array of talent across the age groups, people I never expected to see.

I cannot believe Rose & Bron cannot ski in real life.

It is unbelievably creepy how Tony W looks with hair.

I really needed a laugh, everything was perfect.

a shot in the arm thankyou all.

To Bron, you should let your mother fart.

You should have warned us we needed tissues, we wet ourselves laughing.

It was best belly laugh in years.

how come I can't sing? we want to do that too.

what a blast, we loved it

Some comments from down the street even nearly a week later; Great, loved it, a great laugh,hilarious.

Aren't you doing it again this weekend?

Sadly no, It isn't on this weekend, but we do plan to do another skits and vocal bits within the next 6 months, do you have an act that could be in the show? Do you want to be a performer or backstage helper? Please feel free to contact Rose Stephens and Cristina McRitchie with your ideas. AND definitely don't miss the next show!