I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. One week into a new routine and I've discovered that there is no such thing as a routine, especially in a family of five. Between physio appointments for various ailments affecting different people, bugs and such-like, it is still in a state of flux around here that I am really looking forward to the school holidays next week just for the chance to enjoy some of that boring predictability.
On the plus side, Aimee has settled into school with ease. Alarmingly so. This is the child who cried almost every day for 18 months when I dropped her off at kindy. I would have to extricate her little arms from around my leg and quite often not succeed so would resort to walking across the room John Wayne-styles with her koala-fied to my leg to get the help of a teacher. It's funny now but so unpleasant at the time. I braced myself for something similar to happen at school. I don't want to sound all glass half-empty, but the transition has been just a little too easy and I find myself wondering when the curveball is going to be thrown in my face and smash a couple of my perfect teeth. By the end of the day, I have one very tired little five year old but each morning, she is the first one dressed and ready to go get 'em again. I hope that enthusiasm continues.
You might be wondering how a parent who has no preschoolers at home fills her days. I say quite easily, thanks for asking. Especially when one of my children announces she is going to have a fundraiser to help raise money for the new school playground. Our slightly abridged conversation over breakfast one Friday morning went something like this:
Her: "Mum, I've got a meeting with the principal this morning".
Me (vaguely alarmed): "What for?"
Her: "I want to have a lolly stall to raise money for the new school playground".
Me (quietly impressed): "Oh, that's a good idea. When are you doing it?"
Bless her. We managed to reschedule a more achievable date, which was Election Day and then set about purchasing sweets and sourcing donated goods for our stall. After chatting to a few knowledgeable people within the school community, we were able to use some surplus cellophane bags, lollipops and treats left over from the school discos, which helped to minimize our expenses. My sister and her husband also very kindly contributed two tins of sweets they received from the current Resene paint promotion. We used them for a lolly jar competition, and it was a very popular addition to the stall. Thanks, sis *mwah*.
We woke on Election Day to the sound of hail hitting our roof, and the weather did not improve at all throughout the day so I was surprised (but glad) to see so many children out and about with their parents as they passed through on their way to the polling booth around the corner. I didn't even realize that my husband had taken this photo, but I am glad he did because it's the only one that shows our stall before it was pillaged.
A number of other stalls were lined up with us underneath the school verandah, including a sausage sizzle, bake sale and lemonade stand. We all managed to make a combined total of about $1200, which was such a great achievement given the terrible weather.
Leading up to the event, I spent a few days huddled over the kitchen bench with the curtains pulled in case Nigel Latta showed up making all kinds of treats from quite possibly the most versatile sweet of them all, the humble marshmallow. Some were successful and very quick to make, like the Hello Kitties. I stumbled across a blog that showed how easy and effective marshmallow flowers are to make. Instead of skewers, I used a fruit stick so the whole flower was edible. Once I started making them, I couldn't stop; these are very addictive.
We also made lolly necklaces, cars from Moro and Crunchie bars with edible axles and marshmallow wheels, Jaffa flowers and the girls sat down with a friend one afternoon after school and created monsters using different types of lollies joined together with toothpicks. They had unique painted facial features using food colouring. These were a surprise hit. The fact that each individual monster was concealed in a plastic egg was really appealing to other children and they quickly sold out. In fact, everything sold within a couple of hours despite the miserable weather so my husband gallantly made three trips home to whip up some more bags of treats to top up our stall.
I didn't stop to think about photographing the stall items so these are the ones that I took throughout the week with my phone. In fact, if it weren't for my husband and the school principal, we would not have even had a photo of the stall itself on the day.
This was most definitely a team effort, a fun family activity and a very important lesson for all of us to see exactly how much is involved in fundraising. The whole exercise was very worthwhile even just to see my excited daughter and her friend proudly marching into the school office earlier this week to hand over the proceeds. Plus, we made it into the school newsletter. Ticked that puppy off the bucket list.