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DIY Advent Calendar by Design Sponge. Image sourced from there.

Meredith’s got a fabulous idea for fantasticly simple bible content here. Love it especially this close to Dec 1.

Cathy gives insightful day by day content here. 

Nicole….shares some great ideas here.

If you know what you want each day to hold, but need a little visual inspiration, have a look at my pinterest board here. 

This year I have an unusual plan which focus’s on letters….. we will see how that goes.

To see what we have done in previous years look here and here and here.

I just realised that our advent events for 2012 are not collated….. so I will get onto that.

Enjoy, and let me know if you come across anything inspiring.

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A cast of thousands……

September 7, 2013

Finale at the Opera House! 1000 kids

Finale at the Opera House! 1000 kids.

Last week our 10 year old…. and lots of other public school kids …… made their Opera House debuts. What an exciting night of so many talented kids.

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Embarrassingly I made her get out her cello and pose standing (oh MUM!) in front of the Harbour Bridge.

Book Week Costumes.

August 29, 2013

 

Onsies as costumes.

Onesies as costumes.

Yes I know I am very, very slack but this year it came down to onesies for the book parade. Judging by just how many I saw on parade day, I am not the only parent enjoying the simplicity.

10 year old , of course is Eeyore from the Winnie-the-Pooh series of books, and 7 year old is the ‘good’ pig from “The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig” by Eugene Trivizas. 

While at the parade a conversation was had about the difficulty getting a good photo during….and sometimes before ….. the book parade. I took some pretty bad ones. Did you?

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Mmmmm…..

...this one is fabulous!...

…this one is fabulous!…

If you took some equally awful pictures at the book parade, and you are happy to share them, please email them to me. … or comment below. I will share them if I get enough. I might even offer a prize!

 

 

Some of the the book-club girls and some ring-in's at the school fundraiser.

Some of the the book-club girls and some ring-in’s at the school fundraiser.

Last night we dressed up for a school fundraiser. It was trivia with a roaring 20’s theme. Can’t let the kids have all the dress-up fun.

A fabulous night! Thanks girls.

Holiday doona cover.

April 4, 2013

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The upcycled doona cover.

Over the holidays, while her sisters were doing drama and aerialize  weeklong workshops, 9 year old and I had sewing camp together. She is the most keen daughter when it comes to sewing. 14 year old will do some, 13 year old runs a mile, and 6 year old …well I’m not sure about her yet.

9 year old was given a little Ikea sewing machine for Christmas, so we thought it was an excellent opportunity to give it a run. I am planning to review this little machine now we have given it a run.

We decided together to make a doona cover from my stash of fabrics and old clothing in the cupboard.

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The finished cover.

Many of the fabrics are significant to her as they are from different parts of her life and  ours lives as a family.

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Close up of tags fabrics etc.

This close-up shows fabrics from a baby dress of hers (lace), a shirt she wore when she was a toddler (heart print) and the blue and white spotty left overs from her Alice in wonderland dress I made for her for her 7th birthday.

We tried as much as we could to keep labels too.

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Sleeve tabs were kept.

Here you can see fabrics from a shirt of Tim’s (light blue stripe), lace-edging I bought at a garage sale (with my Mum) when  I first moved to Sydney about 25 years ago….. so I guess that makes it vintage ….., and a shirt of mine (blue flowers).

We tried to keep the garments detailing as much as we could….. like the sleeve tabs. 9 year old then hand-sewed buttons (taken from the shirts we had used) opposite the tabs so treasured toys could be held by them.

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The finished poduct.

We finished it off by using a flat white sheet to form the back of the cover.

Every single thing….including thread…. we got from the stash!!

It is not quite a standard size 😉 and I did help a lot, but she was amazing and now is planning her next project!

Can’t wait to share it when she does.

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…can you see it?

Keeping with tradition, we got up early on Easter Sunday and headed out to see the sun rise.

It’s a quiet little family ritual we do each year now.

I love the intimateness of it.

Reminds me of the few going to the tomb and discovering it empty.

He has Risen!

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

Hand Held Ice Skating Date In A Jar

1. Ice skating date in a Jar. Image from The Gunny Sack.

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2. Hot Chocolate in a Jar (stay in) Date. Image from the Wintrop Chronicles.

Spa In A Jar

3. Spar in a Jar. Image from The Gunny Sack.

Super Lovey- Dovey

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4. 52 things I love about you in a jar. Image from The Gunny Sack.

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5. Love Potion No. 9. Image from Shaken Together Life.

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6. A little envelope of notes for your loved one. Image from Oh hello friend.

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7. Sharpie Mug. Image Sister’s Suitcase.

For the Kids

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8. Love Lead pencils. Image from The Gunny Sack.

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9. Robot Valentine’s. Image from Lisa Storms.

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10. Monster Pencils. Image by the 36th Avenue.

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11. Don’t ever change…. Image from Jac & Lyn Murphy.

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12. Burst My Bubble Valentine’s. Image from The Gunny Sack.

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13. I’m Bananas for you and You’re Grrrrrreat. Image from Lisa Storm.

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14. Arrow pencils and printables. Image from Design. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

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15. Origami Heart Wrapped lolly Pop. Image A Kiss Of Colour.

Ideas to Bake

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16. Nutella Love Letter Pancakes. Image by Kitchen Simplicity.

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17. Sparkly Cookies. Image from The Gunny Sack.

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18. Valentine snack mix. Image by Glorious Treats.

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19. The Nutella/Espresso cup cake.Image from mandy Ash Craft.

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20. Valentine’s cookies. Image Wedding Chicks.

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21. Heart shaped pies. Image Babble.

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22. Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar. Image My Baking Addiction.

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23. Strawberry and Cream scones. Image Sanae Ishida.

Countdowns to Valentine’s Day (or count on….) 

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24. The Valentine tree. Image from Simple as that blog.

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25. Cute countdown. Image by Dear lizzy.

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26. Bit late for this year….. A countdown to the day. Image from THe House Of Smiths.

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27. 14 acts of love. Image from Make and takes.

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28. Countdown to kisses. Image from the Olds family

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29. DIY printable calendar. Image from Paige of Style.

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30. Just one of the activities in the 14 days of love. Image from Pink Pistachio.

Cards

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31. I love you this much. Image from Day in my life.

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32. Sewn hearts card. Image from The creative Place.

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33. Birthday candle card. Image from Real Simple.

Everything else.

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34. Mini polaroid Magnets. Image from Ambrosia Girl.

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35. Valentines “fortune’ cookies”. Image from Design. Wash.Rinse. Repeat.

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36. Message in a bottle. Image from Oh hello friend.

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37. Wall heart. Image Oleander and Palm.

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38. Washi banner. Image: Fancy Little Things.

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39. Printable PDF. Image from The girl creative.

* 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!

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Image from austenprose. Cover Artwork by Kazuko Nomoto

Yesterday marked 200 years since Pride and Prejudice by ‘A Lady’. The ‘Lady we now know as Jane Austin.

To celebrate, I sat the girls (and Tim) down to watch the movie. We also began reading the novel aloud to each other…. very Jane Austin indeed.

I have mentioned before that I have only recently become a reader, so I didn’t grow up reading and dreaming of Mr Darcy. Which I think is good, as I didn’t go looking for a fictional character to marry.

So while I don’t want my girls to go looking for their Mr Darcy, (because let’s face it, most of us don’t want to be insulted rudely to others at our first meeting…. and would never give him a second chance)  I do want them reading books that have stood the test of time, and to read about times, situations and lives that are very different from their own. I want them to be able to look back and forward with critical minds, aware that what they experience in the day to day is not all there is……. I also think there is only so much dystopian, zombie and fantasy  fiction the brain can take.

Anything else I should encourage them to read?

Any other anniversaries coming up?

What book have you most enjoyed reading aloud to someone?

 

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Week 2 Advent 2012.

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.

Baked dinner...... potatoes!

Baked dinner…… potatoes!

10: Monday

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.

After much concentration the village is made.

After much concentration the village is made.

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.

Half of our family enjoy written instructions.

Half of our family enjoy written instructions.

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

Goodbye Mrs Sinclair.

Goodbye Mrs Sinclair.

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.

Like one big family.

Like one big family.

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?

 

 

 

Advent 2012……. part b

December 9, 2012

Activity for Day 1 Decorate the house for Christmas....

Activity for Day 1
Decorate the house for Christmas…. Put up the tree.

1: Saturday Reading: Luke 1: 1-4

Activity: Put up the Christmas tree. Fun, fun, fun….we excused Dad and the girls and I had a great time.

Extra Joy: Bought ‘Christmas Lights’ by Coldplay on itunes.

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…. set up the “Little People” nativity.

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….angel ornaments from past years.

2: Sunday Reading: Luke 1: 5-16

Activity: Gave the girls their angels. Not the planned activity…but the activity really was a personal one, so I reshuffled so we could continue even with a lunch guest.

Extra Joy: Had lunch with one of the Sunday School teachers (Stef) and played some games and chatted.

 

Activity: Give girls their angels for this year.

Activity: Give girls their angels for this year. Loved these Oxfam recycled paper angels.

3: Sunday (same day) Reading: Luke 1:17-25

Activity: Tell the girls what a joy and delight to us they are.

Extra Joy: We then encouraged the girls to tell each other the same thing. Risky…..yes…. but went amazingly well. Lots of laughs and smiles.

4. Monday: School Presentation day and family dinner out ….no advent tonight

5: Tuesday: Had a friend Brian from Church for dinner. 12 year old was rushing out soon after 14 year old arrived home ……so no advent today….. but had a lovely time.

6: Wednesday: Reading: Luke 1:26-28

Activity : Make ‘rememberalls’ of the girls great grandparents. That means an ornament for our tree to remind us of family members who have gone before us. We talked this through and will make them later once I get all the supplies.

(This was the missed activity from day 2.  In past years we have all written a letter to the oldest member of the family. This year the oldest family member is my grandma at 94, but as she suffers from dementia we are going to make her a decoration for her tree instead.)

…. will show the photos as they come.

8: Thursday: …. no advent planned

9: Friday No activity planned. ….. but did buy ‘The first Noel’  by TobyMac (featuring Owl City). The girls have been singing it almost continually since.

10: Saturday: A funny all over the place day (again). No advent….. but saw some lovely friends.

More next week…..

How is your advent going?