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.
November 29, 2013
Meredith’s got a fabulous idea for fantasticly simple bible content here. Love it especially this close to Dec 1.
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.
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.
November 26, 2013
Hello hello hello….. yes I am still alive and I am slowly coming up for air. Crazy busy last couple of months. I will share with you over the next few weeks some of the highlights and a few other things I have been slowly saving for you over those months.
But for now….. something fabulous. Poppytalk calls it ‘What happen’s when you give kids thousands of stickers. Take it as a pre-Christmas warning….. or Encouragement …. if you like.
- Hat-tip Poppytalk, stuart addelsee, sccart, and heybubbles and colossal). Via The New Domestic. …. so apologies if you have seen it before.
- I think it appeals to me because it’s how the last half of the year has felt like, but makes it look so much more joyful than it was some days.
- Though out it all Tim was fabulous and the kids were great. I am hoping and praying that in the next month leading up to Christmas I can embrace the joy in the chaos….. and get to take the opportunity to serve them, and others, like they have been serving me.
April 10, 2013
Lately I have been working on an assignment for uni that gave me a chance to revisit and enjoy one of my favourite artists of all time, William Morris.
William Morris was an arts and crafts master….along with Architect Philip Webb. He worked extensively with fabric, wallpaper, furniture and ceramics.
Here is how his official website describes him….
‘William Morris was the single most influential designer of the nineteenth century, and remains today one of the best known of all British designers. This is due to his extraordinary talent as a pattern designer, his colourful and inspiring life story and to his forceful intellect and personality. Morris was much more than a designer; he was a fervent socialist, scholar, translator and publisher, an environmental campaigner, writer and poet.’
Most of you will know his work even of you don’t know his name…. he was that good. His work is still available world wide, and is so beautifully designed it holds it own 150 years later.
Here’s some more for your enjoyment.
March 25, 2013
Lots of Easter Hat Parades coming up this week.
Here’s some inspiration…..
…. this year I thought, the wackier the better.
Can’t see anything you like?
Maybe there will be something on my pinterest board for you.
January 24, 2013
For those of you who follow me on Pinterest, you will notice I have been spending a lot of time there lately…. Among other things I have found so many quotes and word posters and inspirational sayings. While some have substance, are thought provoking and even encouraging, the vast majority of them are ‘piffle’… as my mum would say.
They are a little like new years resolutions! Easily identified with or desired but offering no help in the achievement or simply so far from truth and reality that they are unachievable…… so I thought I would pepper my resolutions with them for your entertainment.
See if you can separate the profound from the piffle :0
What do I want more of, less of, more focused attention to and to try afresh in the new year?
-continue to volunteer. (This will need to be looked at carefully. 1 church, 3 schools and a number of sporting clubs gives many opportunities…..trying to work out how to be helpful but not overly burdened)
-think carefully through what each member of my family needs and encourage and support them towards that. (Many different hopes and dreams on one household can mean frequent disappointments, tears and joys. I hope this year to roll with all the ups and downs of it without becoming emotionally exhausted)
-spend more time with old friends and new.
Ok, bloggy friends…. there it is.
What have I missed?
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 9, 2012
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.
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.
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?
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.