December 17, 2013
As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am very sad that we don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Australia. This however gives me the opportunity to think thankfully at Christmas time.
Here are some simple ideas from around the blog world, that can be incorporated in your Christmas celebrations particularly in regards to the table.
Some are beautifully quirky, some ingenious, some worthy of a yearly repeat, some child friendly and some all of the above. Let me know if you get inspired and use some, it’s great to hear from you.
February 8, 2013
I’m a bit in two minds about Valentine’s Day. Some of me sits on the “It’s a created day that is all about retailers and spending money” and the other side of me feels it’s great to be reminded to tell the people we love….that we love them in a more intentional way.
This year I feel more of the second…. hence the post….. but have tried to make it a little more creative (rather than spendy) because self created things almost always* help communicate the love better.
Ideas For Creative Dates
Super Lovey- Dovey
For the Kids
Ideas to Bake
Countdowns to Valentine’s Day (or count on….)
Everything else.* Yes if you have asked for something specifically ….or have been promised something and you receive a sweet handmade gift, you won’t feel the love!
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?
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 21, 2012
Some of you may have already seen her in this.
A super comfy fun favourite.
….and so super easy …..
Sorry it’s been so long since an upcycle!
November 12, 2012
A quick slideshow of photos in case you missed our fabulous school fete.
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.
October 14, 2012
As requested by Meredith, How pinteresting are Advent Calendars?
What a great time to start thinking about and through the sorts of activities you want to do to keep your Christmas all about Jesus.
The collection has not just visually great ideas but suggested activities and readings.
Last years advent can be found here in reverse…..I need to fix that!
Who know’s what we will do this year?
If you know of any others, or I haven’t included something you would recommend or have tried, please let me know……
….also please let me know if you would like me to collate a special grouping of things you are interested in. It is an interactive series.
I hope you enjoy this one, and I look forward to hearing your plans and comments.