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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas

I feel like Christmas was so long ago I wasn't even going to post this!

Funny how being home and doing nothing seems to make time go fast!


Christmas Eve Tradition of new PJ's for everyone.



Christmas Morning Tradition of Toblerone Dip with Fruits (mangoes a must)





















Present Chaos after breakfast



Whose bright idea was it to buy a box of instruments? ummmthatwouldbeme..


Oh dear. Someone finally worked out that there is chocolate inside those Chocolate Coins



We had a very relaxing Christmas with three!! Get togethers with my side of the family.
I think we saw enough of each other over the holidays!


I just want to show you the presents the girls made each other. Usually we let them buy a small gift for eachother, but this year I thought they could make their own presents from stuff we have around the house.



 Iphones and Scotty Dogs and Pet Rocks



The Iphones were some plastic from a gift box cut into rectangle shape. I made a little 'pillowcase' and slipped the plastic inside and then sewed it shut. We sewed around it through the plastic and all. Then we sewed on a peice of white felt and glued a button on. We then used fabric markers to draw our designs. G loves Cupcake maker game on the Iphone so A wanted to draw a cupcake on hers.

The scotty Dog pattern came from All Sorts . We didnt make ours 3D. Just a 2D flat type version.

G made the most adorable pet rocks by glueing googly eyes on different shaped small rocks we collected. We seriously had one that looked like a frog, an owl, a sheep, a monster just depending on the shape of the rock and where you put the eyes. She was very excited to hand them out.


And I must have been a good girl this year because

My own personal santa claus bought me tickets to see Wicked and a stay in 5 star hotel xx


or he's a really smart man because he gave me these for Christmas yet they happen strategically between our birthdays and wedding anniversary which are both coming up soon ;) One stone, 3 birds?
He's a thinker I tell ya.


Hope you all had a wonderful christmas and are now looking forward to the new year.

We have excitedly, last minutely been making signs, pinata's and things for a kids party were going to host tonight for New Year's. So much fun. And so much cleaning to do I best be off.


See you next year!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Building
















 



















This harness will fit me?  Yes it will.


You learn things you know

about your kids

when you put them in difficult situations

We did a bit of  'team family building' as I liked to call it.

We decided to take all the kids indoor rockclimbing.

Yes Poor N was strapped to the pram the entire time.


It's always eyeopening to see how they handle different situations.

who is scared, brave, afraid, willing to try, won't listen to instruction no matter how much you tell them or how many ways you 'rephrase' what they should do, who trusts, who doesn't have the trust or faith in their abilities (the saddest thing)  I suppose that's why these type of activities are GOOD for you.


I saw:

trust in ones abilities.

Ready to climb sideways inside 'the chimney'

legs stretchrf far apart 'ala Angelina Jolie or some other action flick chick

elation in being able to repeatedly reach the top.


I also saw:

shakes

distrust

sweaty hands

frozen stuck in place, not being able to move regardless of whatever 'advice' I gave

Sadness/upset at her lack of  not being able to do something easily.

However

I saw repeatedly trying something even though it scared her

And I saw her get further up the wall with each try.

She never made it all the way to the top but each time she got better and further.


Isn't that all we can ask in life?


Such a great teaching moment.

For me.


Now I've really got to try some new things that push my boudaries.



we climbed here.

To get your money's worth climb for a few hours, then take a break for lunch or go home for a nap like we did (what? belaying tuckered me OUT!) then head back again for another session. They allow pass outs. Adults are free if they are just belaying their kids.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Compulsively Clicking - Edited

Of course its only fair if I've asked you to link my blog that I link the blogs I love too.

So a round up of some of the blogs I've enjoyed reading this year.

And I need more addictions in my life, so if you've got a favourite blog do tell me about it!

CJane @  CJane Enjoy it

Pretty much everyone knows who CJane is but I love this blog.  If any of you know of a similar blog tell me cause her daily posts are NOT ENOUGH. When I first started reading blogs it was mainly craft and mummy type stuff but I now prefer the written prose type blog more. I love her wit and I enjoy all the photos of her (which is why you might notice an abundance of photos of me on mine - I've found I connect better to blogs who show photos of the writer (as opposed to just their kids like most blogs- Hopefully you all dont think I just love myself)


I love how she believes in bringing the fun to her. From hosting concerts, to having guest speakers speak in her home, to endless dinner parties, to public speaking, to fine dining, to testimony meetings in her home, to inviting singers to her home to entertain her friends. How much fun can one have!


 Holly @  Hello Lucky Holly


Maybe it's the whimsical nature, the design,the homewares, the pretty eyecandy, or things that just make me reminisce  but I just love this blog .
Her short snippets of life inspire me and make me happy.
Hopefully her luck will rub off on me!

Recently made public you should read it too!




Amanda @ SouleMama


Another popular blog but boy I wish I had soulemama's life. How she makes living simple such a desire of mine! To knit and sew and own a rambling farmhouse in the woods and cook from scratch surrounded by the children playing with the sweetest toys ever. Ahhh such a life. This blog makes me yearn. Big Time.

She has great advice on living simple. Enjoying the small things. Creating traditions with your family. And she takes great photos too.




Montserrat@ Chocolate on my Cranium



I love her LDS real life based blog. Her homeschooling. All those daughters. Life on working Farm. Wife of a bishop. Her sewing skills. Her gentle ways.

I noticed the other day that she has been commenting on my blog for over 2 years! She must have been one of the first real (not my friend or acquaintance in real life) commenters.






Carli @ Carli's Clan



Flowers. Poetry. Kids. Book reviews. Simple Pleasures. I dont know her, but I know some of her friends and some of her family.  Small degrees of separation in this church no?









Stephanie @ nienie dialogues



I'm sure everyone reads this one! One of the very first blogs I started to read over 3 years ago. I've back read all her archives too. I found much inspiration here all those years ago and started to look at my mothering in a different and much better light.







Lenore @ Free Range Kids




How could I forget this one? My favourite blog to read and I read all the comments too! This blog has helped me get in charge of my kids childhood. Removed some fear. Bought me BACK TO REALITY. Tells you the truth behind our fears for our kids.  Anyway bit of a controversial one but I love it.








so people tell me your favourites!
I need more blogs for my igoogle blog roll.
I do have more than this but these are just some of my favourites.


Compulsively clicking into 2011




Honourable mentions to

The Artful Parent

Bakerella

Crazyland - Tales from the Motherboard

Filth Wizardry

Sycamore Stirrings 

I originally loved her for Muffin Tin Monday ( I should get back to doing that! Its been a while- and it was always good) but now I just love her life in Luxemburg and her crafty little life

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To shop or not to shop.

'Cause what I need after all this - is more shopping!


Each year around this time I fall into a black hole.

Christmas is done, The Mr is home, the year slowly winding down.

Each day feels the same as the last. Like every day is a Saturday or a Sunday.

It feels weird.

We either sit at home or take a few little trips sightseeing or visiting friends.


I have never once in my life been to Boxing day sales (or the week of)

A few weeks ago I thought, this year I'm gonna do it!

And ya know what? I only checked the calendar the week before and dah! found that Boxing day was a Sunday!

(To those who don't know in an effort to keep the sabbath day holy I have never shopped on a Sunday ever)


So maybe today I might finally hit some sales. Or tomorrow. Only four days late.


But then I reason do I have money to waste? Not usually.

The Mr is a firm believer that major holidays should have enforced holidays for most workers. We often talk how only the most important services should be open. That sometimes society needs to be FORCED to have time off, to relax, to be with family and not worry about trying to earn extra cash.

That you DON'T NEED to go shopping the day after Christmas.

As my birthday is in January I usually hit the left over January sales to spend my birthday money.



I think another reason why I have never been post christmas shopping is when I was a kid the shops were closed. Mum used to get in enough food to last days after Christmas because you knew there was no way to buy more. In my head sometimes I still think the shops are closed like when I was a kid. (I also still think in my head that shops aren't open on Sundays like years ago)

Also for some reason - because we are all home together I feel that we need to be together. I actually have my husband home and it seems harder to leave the house? I feel in my head that I am going to have to take everyone with me and for some reason getting 6 people ready to leave the house seems like a mammoth task!! Not to mention I couldn't think of anything worse than taking kids to post christmas sales.


I know, I know I live in a delusional world.

So I'm hitting the shops.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What you can do for me.

waiting for you all


Wanna give me a Christmas present?

Of course you do.

I've entertained you all year long no?


I would love for you to become a follower of my blog

or recommend my blog to your friends and family.


Put me on the sidebar of your blog.

Add my little button over there

Link to me on your facebook.


Have favourite posts of mine?  Link to the labels over the side there -- >

Mama Musings make you nod your head in agreement or shake your fist?
Foody Friday tickle your taste buds?
Enjoy our family traditions and Celebrations ?


I'm under no delusions that this is the greatest blog out there, not by a long shot.

But I really enjoy doing it. 

And I'd really enjoy more readers, more comments

'Cause then we can get this party started.

It's a new year. I've got lots planned for you all.


Share the love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It will be enough.


Last night as I was wrapping presents I looked at the stash I've had on layby for the last few months for the first time and thought it was pretty dismal. No big toys or big ticket items (except for zhu zhu pets which they really want)



I started to worry that it wasn't enough and should I hit the shops today and buy more?

This year I didn't get books like usual, I didn't get them new clothes, and I didn't get school supplies ( being the sneaky mum that I am I pass off new school bags and lunchboxes as christmas gifts ;) I didn't get outdoorsy games things or sports gear and we have yet to move our children into the computer game phase so no Wii's or gameboys or the like.

oh the list goes on and on of what I didn't get.

Then I told myself they have enough.

They will get a bunch of gifts from grandparents and great grandparents. They have enough!

Christmas is about the WHOLE month of December. If you were to ask the girls they would tell you this is a common phrase said in this house. I tell my kids all the time. This is why traditions are important to me.


I remember a year when I was around 12 (or 14 can't remember) where I cried in my room because I wasn't happy enough with my gifts and felt that Christmas was very anti climatic. " I've waited all year for this?"  I never want my kids to feel that way which is why I do so many things the month of December and declaring the whole month Christmas and spend the time building up traditions rather than just the eager waiting for "THE DAY OF ALL DAYS"


Oddly enough I also remember berating myself that day thinking stop crying, its so embarrassing. You are being ungrateful. You're grown now so you can't expect Christmas to still have that magic. I felt guilty for thinking badly of my parents. I felt bad for being ungrateful. I even thought of chidren around the world who had nothing!


I've often found Christmas day to be a let down anticlimatic ending for the season and I have been working on reversing that feeling. Instead to see it as a day to relax, enjoy being with family and allow the season to wind down (or for the summer season to start up). Time just to be.


I really hope to impart that to the girls. And that yes they do have enough.


Strangely it was Santa who reassured me.

When asked what they wanted for Christmas the girls couldn't think of anything.  Even after he extensively probed for a while they were able to come up with very simple things (this has happened twice now)

He said I will bring you a surprise.

Then he said to me what wonderful girls they were and how he has met many a demanding one


And my heart soared when I realised I am doing the right thing.





This morning I read this post at Crazyland which made me organise these thoughts that were running around my head.


May your season be full. And may your gifts be enough.


It will be enough.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12th day of Christmas Tradition

video

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

xx This girl loves to Talk



my true love gave to me ~ A Christmas Home Movie



We love to make a little Christmas video each year.

(well the girls love watching themselves in the end product more than making it)

My most favourite one is found here

But I think this years was the most fun to make!

They threw that paper around for hours.


I don't think my house will ever be the same.

I'm still finding paper.

K still has some stuck in her hair.

The tree is still covered in it.

I think we ingested some of it.

G is dreaming of real snow.

But this is the closest we shall get

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ice Wreath


Oh I'm running out of time.

No, I'm not stressed about Christmas stuff - I'm done in that department.

Just about sharing all our christmas stuff here.

Home made toys the girls made each other. Our yearly christmas video. Christmas crafts

I saw this Ice Wreath a few weeks ago and was supremely jealous. SO gorgeous. Or how about these ones? Just so simple and so beautiful.

Unfortunately  there's the little problem with the whole two hemispheres thing. I'll bookmark ideas for 6 months time only to forget them. boooooo. Oh and the fact that where I live IT NEVER SNOWS.

This morning I thought who cares if the wreath melts in half an hour. It's a FREE and FUN activity.

I also thought an ICE WREATH would be a perfect gift for summer solstice.

Longest day of the year? Here have some ice.

Also today was cool and overcast. Perfect for our ice wreath.


If it gets too hot we could always try and wear them as a necklace to keep cool like this



I made our wreath like this. Just using a short wide bowl. I placed a container in the middle with some heavy glasses in it to keep it anchored. Pour water till desired height. We filled with leaves, flowers and some old rasberry's.

Freeze for a couple of hours. Use warm water to dislodge and hang with ribbon.

Enjoy your brief living wreath. Collect the melted things and do it again.

Personalised Stockings


You know that poor last child. They might be spoilt but they miss out on a lot.

Namely personalised Christmas decorations

Last christmas N was only 5 months old so I thought she wouldn't notice if she didn't have a stocking etc.

But I felt so bad.

This year as I unpacked all the decorations I was hit by guilt again.

Named personalised wooden decorations. Photo Embellished Stockings. Wooden block photo ornaments. Glitter named baubles. For everyone. Except N.

My goal this season was to atleast add her to a few of them.

And with 5 days to go till Christmas I achieved two of those.

Poor last child.

They miss out on everything ;)




Instructions on how to make these here . I decided my ones from two years ago were too narrow, so I enlarged the shape. I also thought it was time to update everyones photos. I'll still keep the old ones for reminiscing sake in a few years time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

11th day of Christmas Tradition



My true love gave to me ~ Grandparents Christmas Dinner




I know I've said this about nearly every tradition but the girls really love this one too. They've been talking about it for weeks. When will it be, what we will eat etc. What time will the grandparents arrive.

They cleaned the bathrooms, set the tables, tidied the back yard all in eagar anticipation.

Of course for me each year has become about the place settings. I do a different one each year. I think I spend more time thinking about that than the rest of it.

I even googled for inspiration this year.  images here I especially loved that green votive and the pinecones )

I was going to use my little fabric Christmas Trees but inspiration hit last week in the form of  the plastic ring from a juice bottle. I thought it was the perfect  size to make little wreaths from.


I just tied scraps of fabric (left over from this project ) all around the ring. Then trimmed with scissors

I think they are adorable. Cheap and Easy too.


The best things of the night:
I think I have officially become the only person in the family that doesn't like Gingerbeer judging by that last photo :)


Daddy making our TV into a random slideshow of photos from the year.

The girls must have sat there for 40 mins saying "Oooohhhh... Remember that....... thats when we...... look at you there.... and laughing. Sometimes I think we live a mega boring mundane life but sitting there looking at all those photos, we have done so much this year. Many things even I had forgotten about. I think this would be a nice tradition to start at either Christmas or New Year. It has us reminiscing and laughing and enjoying what a wonderful year we had.

Grandma gave us a box of random things from her house that she thought we might use. The girls had lots of fun playing with old clip on earrings, pearls, broaches, long sleeved gloves. Funny that what might be the most used present of Christmas was collected from around her house.

The Mr cooks the food. (well that's the best part for me)

Menu:

Cheese Platter

Rib Eye Fillet
Turkey

Green Salad with feta
Potato salad
Whole baby beetroot
Warm Bread rolls

Fresh Strawberry and Rasberry Pavlova Roll

Makings for lemon lime and bitters
Gingerbeer




I think we've been doing this for about 6 years now. It's one of our most treasured traditions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card - Made it JUST IN TIME

 (click on it to see it larger)


I didn't think it would happen.

No Christmas Cards I told myself this year.

Welllllll actually I thought I wanted to do cards this year, but if it ain't done by the beginning of December it isn't going to get done. When am I going to learn this?

I have friends in Japan and England and America who need my love!

So sorry. One year I WILL DO IT.

Unfortunately it won't be this year.

These ones won't even get printed off.

But they will be emailed to the ones we love.

So friends look out for my Christmas message in your inbox in the coming days.


Oh and I cheated again. Copied the same idea as last year.

It works, so why mess with what works?

A photo of us all looking good? Unlikely.


Hope you all have a Merry Christmas
and Wonderful New Year xx



I've got lots lined up for next year so don't go far now.

And plenty more Christmas posts the rest of the week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sabbath


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace ~ Isaiah 9:6

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Treats

Filled with Homemade Mrs Fields White Choc Chip - 10 cookies in large jars, 5 in small jars.


Bout three years ago I booked marked this gorgeous idea . I started collecting our Milo tins for this very purpous.

Then I figured I'd never bake enough things to fill multiple milo tins!

What ever was I thinking?


The last year or so we have loved Bottled Cherries. I just couldn't part with those wide mouthed jars.

So they have been sitting in a cupboard while The Mr thinks what is she doing with them?

I also did a happy dance when I noticed Cream Cheese jars changed to short wide mouthed size too.

I knew they would come in handy for homemade jams, relish, holding lollies for gifts.

I find good jars so handy and so hard to part with, but keeping things like jars take up so much room!

Well now is the time to get rid of a few.


I was thinking a while back that these jars would be perfect for holding biscuits/cookies.

And it just so happens that I've been invited to a cookie exchange party today.

I'm so excited I think I'll do one next year.

I told my friend how one Christmas my family exchanged baked goods instead of presents at Christmas. Everyone goes home with a stash!

She thought it was such a good idea for our group of friends so we can sort of gift eachother something without the extra financial burden and organised a cookie/sweets exchange for us!

Hopefully I will also be making this today.

Hopefully I will be filling the other jars with sweet tomato relish and apricot jam this week.



To help sterilise jars before you fill them wash well and place in hot oven for 10 mins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Roundup

Here is a quick round up of some of our Advent Activities. Maybe next year I'll just do a 12 days of Christmas Advent. Shorter and Sweeter and we (ME) wont forget to sometimes put in the activities in the envelopes!


These were extra ones that went along with the regular put up the tree, sleep under the tree,
put up Grandma's tree, visit the Nativity statues, dance to christmas music, watch christmas movies.

4. Decorating Wheatmeal Biscuits     5. Writing Christmas Cards  6. Sparkly Nailpolish
7. Candy Cane Playdough  8. Visit the City Christmas Tree  9. Decorate Gingerbread men
10. Mice made from Nuts  11.Be in the Nativity Play  12. Take lots of photos of each kid putting the star up.


Enjoy the last week leading up to Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tenth Day of Christmas Tradition


 My true love gave to me ~ Sleeping under the Christmas Tree.



This is another one of my children's favourite traditions. As soon as the tree goes up they ask when can they sleep under it. As we still have school for about 2 weeks after the tree goes up they ask every day and I say 'not until school holidays!'


So they were excited when yesterday's Advent activity was sleep under the tree. However this time The Mr and I joined them too. I think I've only done it once before. Usually we leave it to the kids to sweat it out next to the tree while we enjoy the noisy air conditioning in our room.


It was a sweet (yet crazy) evening of Uno games, jumping, watching a little tv, reading christmas books and just staring at our lovely tree.


Having matresses spread on all available floor space just brings the kid out in you. It was very relaxing just to laze around, roll around, jump around with the kids. And lucky for them they got to stay up an hour or two past bedtime!


As with everything. I should do it more often. Sleepovers are so fun.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa Believers.

waiting to be the star in the nativity play


It's funny how things happen.

Remember this post about no santa

Well just when I thought I would never have to explain about all this

Miss G is a Santa Believer.

Yes I gasp!

Very hard to do in this house! Yet she has managed it!


Now we watch santa movies and read santa books ~ I'm not that much of a hater.

I just don't lie to my kids.

So even though we've (well her sisters mainly) have told G that Santa isn't real, she still believes he is.

This has just started in the last few months. She didn't believe last year as far as I was aware.

It was bought to my attention when we were reading a Nativity story.

G was like:

"This story isn't about Christmas! Where's Santa?
Christmas is about Santa who brings your presents down the chimney"

Oh dear.


The funny thing is she knows the real story. She plays with her nativity set everyday since we've put it up. She was the star in Christmas play. She can recite the nativity story in Family Home Evening.

I think these two Christmas stories are exisiting in two different realities in her head.


I blame Dora personally. Back 3 months ago she rented a Christmas Dora DVD.

Since then she's been like "Santa lives in the sky in the snow place and gives you presents"


It's Ok. Its kinda cute. I can handle it.

I'll support her in what may possibly be a very short lived phase.

I even went to take her to see Santa but she refused to get closer than the second story balcony.


She doesn't love him THAT MUCH!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's all about Perspective


Remember this post from last year. (go there now and come back, go go)


This year (so far) I  haven't felt particularly stressed about this christmas season. 

I suppose being organised really does help.

Having had your kids presents on layby for the last couple of months really helps when you get a $700 car bill (which temps you to yell from the rooves "Christmas is Cancelled!")

Having achieved half of our wanted Christmas Traditions a few here and there each week starting early helps

Not buying gifts for those who aren't my immediate family (sorry to everyone else, I do love you still though)

Just being chill and trying not to rush.


However there's still that little part of me that wants that perfectness (see last years post)

I was feeling this way after looking at our tree decorating photos. Just one year. Just one year I would love some photos that reflect the joy and happiness we felt. I blame warm tempreatures and my little old camera - (Almost none of those photos turned out well enough to be posted on this blog) I would almost hire a professional but that would just be embarrassing to witness our tree decorating :)

This year it involved G grabbing hold of the star before the tree was even put together saying 'I put the star on top.' 'Can I put the star on top now. Can I do the star now' (repeat 50 bajillion times)

Along with N physically 'plucking' the balls off the tree. They actually made a plucking sound and the tree rebounded. She was so happy with her 'fruits' she continually took them over to Daddy with a smile and handed them over. I think she thought she was doing something useful?

Not to mention that I actually MADE the children put clothes on as I knew I would be taking photos.

Then I read Lucky Holly's Post about sipping homemade cinnamon cranberry non alcoholic mulled wine while decorating. Oh sigh. What a sweet idea!


But you know what it really is all about perspective.

My neighbour came over last night and simply gushed about my tree. She said

"Oh I always think my tree is nice until I see someone else's. Our tiny tree is positively sad compared to yours."

Last week chatting with a SAHD that I'm friends with at school he was all like

"Now don't you tell my kids about all those traditions you do. I don't wanna heat them annoying me about what fun stuff you do."  Another parent said 'My kids are lucky if I do stuff with them the week BEFORE Christmas let alone earlier than that. Hope your kids know how lucky they are.'


These people are kind friends of mine. They have taught me.

Once again, for another year I learn that its all about perspective.


I really do have a piece of Perfection.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blackout Community


Last night after we came home from School celebration night

(aka the night of torture - The teachers are paying us back for having to put up with our kids all year. We must sit through two hours of kids swaying and dancing in lines and singing terribly and listen to long speeches and awards... yawn)

we drive along and see the few blocks around our house were in utter darkness.

OOooooooo BlackOUT  (I groan)

How fun. Girls sent to get their lightsabers out from under the bed - they make great torches!
Candles lit in every room and our house had such atmosphere.

A neighbour came over worried we didn't have candles or lighters and came to share. How nice!

People milled in the streets at 9pm telling us when the electricity company said the lights would come back on. We shared candles and jars with the missionaries who live across the street


I was musing that a lack of electricity created such a community.



It was fun. Kids running the streets, people chatting, people caring and giving. People sitting out on varandahs in the cool breeze for lack of fans and aircons running.

I said to the MR Blackouts are so much fun. I wish the electricity company would schedule a few a year. It really makes a neighbourhood come together. I am NEVER outside at night chatting to my neighbours.

When I told the girls that the best remedy for no electricity was to 'close their eyes and go to bed' creating their own blackout I was met with girls tucked in with wind up torches, and candles in jars in their room.

IT was so cozy.

I love a little drama to remind us of the simple things in life.

It really was one of the best nights I've had in a while.

Playing, chatting, sleeping to candlelight brings out the dreamy side of everyone.




***
Not to mention it reminded me what more we need in our 72 hour kids/Storm preparedness kits - A wind up torch for each person , more candles, radio, make sure all gas BBQ's are full for cooking on, etc etc.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ninth Day of Christmas Tradition


my true love gave to me ~ Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments for class gifts





I've blogged about my dislike of Candy Canes . Well it's not that I dislike them personally
( I wouldn't mind some of  these softie ones )
 I just dislike my children receiving 25 of them and finding half sucked ones all over the place.


So I have made a personal vow to never to give candy canes. I almost caved this year. They are just so tempting in their cute little boxes for $2. Dang you candy canes why must you be so festive!


Then I decided on buying bulk packs of  reindeer and christmas tree erasers I saw at Spotlight. I still had to get almost 50 of them though and it could run a little expensive. But that's the price of living by your morals of banning candy canes. But I have yet to get back there. So no gift.


I almost decided to ban class gift giving after talking to another parent who DOES NOT ALLOW her kids to give any end of year gift. She said its just too much, other people feel guilt if they don't have a gift for you, she doesn't like to encourage the waste, or the pressure it places on other parents to come up with 25 gifts for everyone. And ya know... I agreed! And then I said what I have done the last few years in keeping up with that trend! LOL.

Two years ago we gave these these cute homemade pencil toppers  Last year it was glitter playdough


However on Sunday afternoon we came up with something that is easy to make and not expensive.

Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments.


Basically the recipe is equal parts Cinnamon and Apple sauce. You can also add a little PVA white glue. I did last time I made these but not this year. My few ones I have left from two years ago are STILL in good condition!!


I found my local IGA sold 'cassia' cinnamon in little 90g jars for $2.50. Two jars was enough to make about 60 little stars and hearts. Apple sauce was around $1.50 a jar, so I found this activity fairly price comparitive. But if your store sells cinnamon in those small sachets it might be too expensive. I was going to go and try and buy cinnamon from a local Indian store, I'm sure its cheaper if you buy in bulk.


Basically mix applesauce and cinnamon to make a 'dough' - roll it out and using cookie cutters cut out your shapes. We used mini heart and star cutters. The dough will smell pretty strong. Using a straw poke holes in the top of each shape (for threading string through later)




Place on a tray and either let dry for two days. Or like me place in a very low oven for a few hours. I turn mine over and 'cook' both sides.


Add string and:

Give as gifts, attach to gift wrapping for cuteness, add around the neck of a bottle of drink or just leave around so your house will smell delish. As my house is so hot in summer, when we come home it smells as if someone has been baking.

Enjoy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eighth Day of Christmas Tradition






my true love gave to me ~ Decorating Grandma's tree



This is another newish tradition for us. The last couple of years the girls have casually decorated the grandparents tree. Like we happen to be at Grandma's so she pulls out the tree and they decorate it for something to do. This year we tried to organise for all her Grandkids to be there to do it as a family activity.


So as with most gatherings this is how it went:


Too much condensed milk in our chocolate balls made them into chocolate smoosh
Wrestling between brothers threatening to break eachother and fragile ornaments
Heartattacks from Grandma freaking out over grandchildren falling down her stairs, off her varandah, typical kid inducing fears, causing her calm facade to disappear after about 40 mins.
Food
Squealing and yelling
Unevenly decorated tree
All the kids fighting over whose Iphone they get to play with


But isn't that what Christmas is all about?


Family fights Togetherness




Naw, I think my heart just melted. Or went kaput from the stress. I love the Holidays!




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