December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas….hope you have a cool one.
Christmas Concerts, Art Exhibitions, Music Exams, Sports Finals and Presentation Days…….among other things!
December 23, 2012
That about says it all!
Bring on next year!
December 23, 2012
Activity: Serve lunch to NTE mission team and church. 14year old, 9 year old, Tim and I did this one. 6 year old did her best to not need much supervision. A few other families from church helped as well. All in all pretty successful. (12 year old had a birthday party so was unable to participate.)
Had a bible verse planned but didn’t read it.
Extra Joy: Tim and the girls went to the local coffee shops Christmas party. I was all talked out and couldn’t face another conversation so stayed at home.
Activity: Dinner with Cousins. Really, really fun. With almost 3 teens (taking up much space) we are moving into a new phase of fun. Great fun joking about which mediocre superpower we would want…… which super power we think would be not very useful to us.
…..and how much enjoying movies can cost us.
I am loving this new phase of life with no bottoms to wipe or children to hand feed. Wasn’t sure I’d make it…. but we have. Hang in there if you’re not there yet. Older kids can be very funny and helpful and entertaining.
18: Tuesday too pooped for anything. Didn’t do the things planned.
…. a great post by Jodi of ’Sewfearless’ came into my inbox today, and it really rang true this year. Have a read if you feel like you are failing Christmas. We don’t even have a family photo all together that would have made a great Christmas card.
19: Wednesday Last day of school YAAAAAY
Dinner with family friends (planned). Great to get to know friends better and better.
Had a reading but didn’t read it.
Had things planned but ended up at the pool with school friends and families… Great time. Had other activities planned and readings to read, but didn’t do them.
Didn’t do our reading for advent, although we had planned to, just enjoyed each others company….. over the activity.
Activity: Watch a christmas DVD We all enjoyed Arthur Christmas.
Last minute christmas shopping and packing for holidays.
Extra Joy: We did surprise the girls today, giving them a set amount of money to spend at our favourite book shop in the city. What a great treat it is to have kids who love reading. Tim and I even indulged in some holiday reading.
Did our activity though…..
Activity: Go and see the Local Christmas Lights.
Not really being very faithful with our advent this year. I am thinking a ‘non-christmas’ month of readings and activities may be a good idea. We have loved being together though and spending time with friends. I guess it’s good to embrace the moment and not be a control freak!
9: Sunday: Catch-up time
Reading: Luke 1: 26-56
Activity: Talk through the different names given to Jesus. Make a Christmas ball for our tree with the names of Jesus in it. Planned but not done.
Think about someone in our lives that serves us and make them a Christmas ball. (planned but not done)
Charades with lolly pops in our mouths Funny …as always. Made up 2 new categories. “Youtube” and “Theatre” Great fun.
Reading: Luke 1: 57-66
Activity: Talk through the passage. Eat a baked dinner together. Took advantage of a coolish day to add this one in. I like to have one in December if we can.
Build a lego village together. Super fun. I lashed out and bought a fabulous Christmas set of lego for the family to enjoy each year. It lights up and makes the cutest village scene. The relevance was tenuous….. but was a nod to the community that Elizabeth and Zechariah were part of when John was born.
Extra Joy: Making got intense….left to me and 14 year old. Tim tool the others for a late night scooter in their PJ’s
11: Tuesday didn’t happen…. too many comings and goings.
12: Wednesday (did Tuesdays)
Reading: Luke 1: 67-80
Activity: Christmas Ball snakes. We ate a jelly snake (representing sin) each. Talked about how sin often comes in very attractive packaging, and how once forgiven (eaten) we have a fresh start (empty glass ball)
Extra Joy: The girls all started inventing advent calendar ideas, including 24 walks, ‘jenga’ advent, 24 travel days…. and the list went on.
Extra Extra Joy: Lead by 6 year old each of the girls gave us a ‘Tell and Show’ (You must tell before you show) Lots of fun.
13: Thursday didn’t happen
14: Friday activities planned but spent the evenings farewelling special friends. Firstly Mrs Sinclair a kinder/Y1 teacher who three of my four girls had….9 year old for 2 years….. She is off to be the Principal at Tempe. Lucky you. Very sad.
Then goodbye to our lovely friends Klint and Kirsty. Off back to Brisbane after being an enormous encouragement to us (and others I am sure) being some of the first Joshua Tree members. Sadly our involvement in The Joshua Tree has ended but many fabulous friendships remain. I’m sure we will see you again soon.
I love this photo. Looks like 6 year old is pushing us all over!
15: Saturday again we had activities planned but December got the better of us.
Room make-overing (more on this later), birthday party craft (this too) and Summer Hill Church’s Twilight Markets to raise money for tear.
I sat with the youth kids and wrapped presents (badly) for donations. They made about $40 and had a ball.
Hopefully this coming week we can show a bit more commitment to the cause of advent ….. although giving it up to love and serve our community and each other has great value I think.
How is your advent tracking?
December 1, 2012
Well…. it’s here. The first of December and the kids are super excited about the calendar this year.
Since last advent we have moved house…. so no fireplace to form the backdrop to our countdown. We even had to rearrange the lounge room last weekend to make space for the Christmas tree!
As I was preparing this past week, Tim said he had just this year realised, that I was going to do ‘this advent thing’ every year. He then said he was glad. We don’t have that many traditions that are just for our little family.
So….. bring on the manic month of December….. and we will keep reminding ourselves that Christmas is all about Jesus! We will be using the Luke readings we used a couple of years ago…. and some of the activities that really worked. I have included some new activities as well this year. The contents of the glass balls give a hint to what we might be doing. Can you guess any?
Are you adventing this year? I would love to hear your plans.
November 26, 2012
Today I want to tell you all about a fantastic online store.
It’s owned by my fabulous little sister Hayley and a friend… so I am a little bias in my recommendation…. but after I have shown you a small selection of an enormous range of products, I am sure you will agree with me.
Tuxedo Sam (and Friends) USB stick. 14 year old has one and loves it! Once the kids get to high school the USB becomes their best friend. These little guys wont be lost like the boring generic kind…. and are easily recognisable. Even Dad’s and nephew’s would enjoy these.
Djeco make fabulous product. They provide great structured art projects which are vital for building skills. Over the years we have enjoyed many of these craft boxes. They are beautiful indeed.
Covering crafts from colouring, collage, puppet making, folding and knitting these sets ….made for boys as well as girls are highly recommended.
Made by the same company (and often included in the kits) are these felt painting textas and oil pastels. Be warned however….once you buy a child these beautiful textas they will never want normal ones. They make truly beautiful marks and last and last. Well worth the investment.
The oil pastels are also lovely to create art with. you will want to sit alongside your child and draw with them. I think they are better for older children ….. maybe 8+ as they can be a little messy (like oil pastels are)
The Ni Hao Noodle bowl is a fun way to introduce chopsticks to your children. The set comes with a noodle bowl, a patterned plate and a cute set of ‘kid friendly’ chopsticks. The little rubber man holds the chopsticks together making the pinching action that much easier! ….almost like holding a pencil and squeezing. A great gift for 6+ noodle lovers.
We have enjoyed our chalk placement outside and inside. The girls use it to make signs on the cubby house and I sometimes use it to write a list of jobs for them to do…. It’s so much more fun to rub a job off with your hand after doing it!
What is not to love about this sweet Alice in Wonderland necklace (also available as a brooch)? Wood cut and light. Beautiful. You can also get other Alice in Wonderland characters.
The ride on bug.… yes, sadly we are past this, but have many fond memories of the girls zooming around on these. Stylistically so much more beautiful than the plastic ride on…and great for imaginary play.
Past this one too but loved it when the girls were very little. I loved the lightness of the elastic and wood….didn’t hurt when it inevitably hit them in the face! Skish Classic.
I think my all time favourite gift from Scallyoop is Klop. A fantastic park game. It plays like a cross between bowls and boules with a twist or two.
Our family regularly take Klop to the park just with us or with friends and play across generations. The game is well weighted so adult or child can win….. but it’s not all luck. Brilliant!
Now….. my picks for this Christmas and beyond.
This one is for me! Yes there are gifts for adults too!
Love this idea! …..and Balsam wood Plane Card just $7.95
Another Djeco kit! Un-tricky origami Only $12.50
How about this exquisite wooden puzzle? Lovely.
I have loved these for a while. Such a great idea for the ‘construction kids’. Make-a-do kits.
There you have it!
Some of the best gifts you will find…. and you don’t need to go to the shops! Yay.
The site has soooo many more things to love….. and if you get in quick (before Dec 9) adding the code scallyoop10 will give you $10 off if you spend over $30 and put you into the draw for a $150 scallyoop shopping spree.
Why are you still here?
November 19, 2012
Some of you may have noticed a new page below my header…. and not a moment too soon. (like everything I do).
I have collated our advent calendar activities, readings and adventures for you to share and use.
We went with the ‘December is very busy’ approach and although we had a parcel for each day in December we planned from the start to open more than one each day and include some of our communities activities within the calendar.
It worked pretty well…..and included NO LOLLIES but ROCKS!
Yes! This is the week to be finalising your advent plans, if you haven’t already.
November 16, 2012
A new friend of our family has been designing games for a while now.
Here is a great opportunity for you to help get the next game up and going….and get some awesome Christmas gifts along the way.
My endorsement: We have played Archeology and Dungeon Raiders and are fabulous family games which take up very little space! The video for this one looks excellent. Ally
Click on the Sushi and go straight through to how you can help. Thanks…… and stay tuned. I think a giveaway of Dungeon Raiders would go down nicely very soon.
October 30, 2012
Around Christmas time last year I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway on facebook of a bundle of Kristen Doran fabrics. I was so excited, as had for sometime admired this Aussie fabric designer. Kirsten makes beautiful handmade prints and puts simply gorgeous kits together which make you want to make them up RIGHT NOW!
I had great plans for the fabric, but have only realised some of them. This years has been like that! Many plans with only a small proportion of plans materialising. Great and fantastic other things have happened ….. but most of them unplanned….
The Matryoshka Dolls in Red & Pink on White and Gold and Red on white fabric panel was part of my prize, and I decided to use it to make items for the upcoming school Spring Fair.
I think this is what is intended to be made with the panel, but I wanted to share the love around rather than make a larger multi-pieced item which would never get the value on the craft stall….. and I had to make sure I used every last bit!
That said…. if I still had little girls I would have loved this on their beds and for imaginary play and for using with them when they go through the ‘how everyone in the family fits together’ stage.
Here is what we did with them. (yes I had some other crafty mummies helping me again this year)
The tiny ones were made into Christmas decorations and the large Matryoshka Doll prints we made into rice bottomed (so they stand up) padded dolls. I’m so pleased with how they have turned out. What do you think?
I also received some gorgeous fang monster fabric that Kirsten designed with one of her sons… which unfortunately seems no longer in print! I have a plan to make something for my littlest nephew. I will keep you posted.