Sunday, April 20, 2014

Coochie {Holiday}

We rarely holiday at Easter. This year we went OVERSEAS!

Ha ha ha not really. But we did need to take a car ferry to get there!

We were so lucky to be able to rent a beach house at a very cheap price.

My kids school sports teacher kindly offered her holiday rental on Coochiemudlo Island to us.

Coochie is touted online as 'the first golden beach closest to Brisbane'

It was great to go on a quiet seaside exploring holiday within 40 mins of our house.

Easy. Too Easy. Embarrassingly close to home :)

Even though there are around 150 houses on the island it felt like we had it to ourselves.
We walked 5 km around the island and didn't see a single person.
We were all alone exploring on nearly all of our twice daily walks.

We saw curlew's and a peacock and a massive sea turtle
{sadly dead! locals say they get hit by boat propellers often}
The birds were loud and woke us a lot.
Curlews screaming at night, birds screeching at 4am, kookaburra's laughing at sunrise.

I did however find more heart rocks/coral here than I have anywhere else.
I ended up picking up about 20! Hearts were everywhere I looked.


Sunrise photos. We have a tradition to watch the sunrise once a year. {See 2013  2012  2011  2010 } Usually on Queens birthday or Anzac Day or Easter. This year I decided to get everyone up while we were on the island. Watching the sunrise as a family is sweet and touching to me. We shared a testimony. Sunrise is cleansing and reminds us all that as dark as times may be, the sun will rise.

Then we packed up the car, got on the ferry and headed back home. Except we only went home for a couple hours before we headed north to Gympie to stay with the best and loveliest hosts in the world. On one of the days we went to Rainbow beach. I had never been to Carlo's Sandblow. It was amazing! A desert in the forest above the ocean. The clouds looked so close we could touch them. Vivid blue sky and water. The kids had a blast sandboarding down the dunes.
The weather was amazing this Easter. So blue and clear and wonderful temperature. The week went so fast, but it was so nice.
It was great to get away. The outdoors keeps kids so busy they were so well behaved.
Every time we camp or spend time in nature I'm reminded of the need to do it often.
I truly believe it makes a difference.

Easter Tree 2014

It's a little simple tradition. Decorating sticks we've collected from the back yard or park.

This starts the Easter Season in our house.

I like to document the kids hanging a decoration, however it is very tricky to photograph.

Not to mention we did this back one Monday night, all dirty from the day still in school clothes.

But oh well my life isn't a fashion magazine I suppose.

I've got photos of them doing this for about five years now. Its the simple things.


Surprise eggs, Smash eggs, Carscerones

Ready to smash

Whatever you call them they are pretty fun.

One of the Easter things my kids ask for most is dyeing eggs.
The last few years I've combined our surprise eggs and dyeing eggs because we don't usually need that many hardboiled eggs.

If I can remember while cooking instead of cracking an egg open, I slice the top off and pour the egg out. Rinse the egg shell and keep to the side. Repeat until you have enough eggshells.

Using food colouring, water and a little vinegar dye your eggs. Let Dry.

Fill eggs with - confetti, bird seed, glitter, whatever, {this year I used wheat!}

Seal the hole up by glueing 2 layers of tissue paper over the hole.

When dry trim the tissue paper neatly.

Turn eggs over and display.

To play give everyone an egg to smash over the top of someone else.
{use your hands to smash it - don't directly hit people with the eggs!}

It's a symbol of good luck!

Have Fun! You better Run!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Night Time Egg Hunt

Now my girls are getting older egg hunts are becoming a little too easy, too boring and too quick.

I've heard of night time egg hunts for a few years now and have really wanted to do one.

Originally I wanted to do one where you put glowsticks inside the plastic egg but I thought that would be too easy - you would see the egg glowing!! der! So I went with regular use a torch hunt.

This year on the first Monday of the holidays we actually did it.

We had The Mr go ahead of us and hide eggs all around our local park.

15 mins later we joined him with basket in hand, a torch each and ready to find eggs.

It was so much fun and I'm really glad we finally got around to organising and doing it.

A little more challenging than a regular hunt and we got to play in the dark after.

The kids didn't want to leave!

 A funny story. Some local kids we know saw The Mr hiding the eggs but they didn't know it was him. They thought he was some dodgy dude hanging around the park at night waiting for a drug deal or something. They said to their grandma we see he has chocolate? Boy did the family laugh when we all turned up for an egg hunt. They had never heard of or seen such a thing. The grandma said oh the stories the boys were getting carried away with. So if you hear an urban myth about some dodgy dude hiding drugs in plastic Easter eggs and hiding them around in the dark... its totally not true :)

Egg Shell Candles {Tutorial}

There are so many Easter Traditions we didn't get to do this year. Boo!
But we have been doing this one a few years and it made a great Sunday afternoon activity with friends last week. The kids enjoyed burning these at dinner.

:: Egg Candles ::

Cut up any old candles but ensure you keep the wick.

Melt cut candles in a saucepan
Use an old saucepan. It may never be the same, the wax will remain.
We have a really old one the kids play with in the garden

Pour melted wax into egg shells.

Leave to cool.

Before wax sets place/push a small piece of the wick in the middle of the wax.

Hold wick inplace till hard/wick can stand up alone.
Try to keep wick tall and straight away from the walls of the egg.

#note. These are small candles and won't burn for long. During dinner or an Easter devotional only.  Also note the eggshells can/will get hot and if the wick is too close to egg shell it can burn.
Be vigilant and keep watch. Be careful with fire and children.

FHE Lesson {Resurrected Christ}

Each Easter Monday we have a simple little lesson where we eat real honeycomb and talk about the Resurrected Christ.

Opening Song: He is Risen #199

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Luke chapter 24

Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the resurrected Christ. She and Joanna, Mary and other women told the apostles. Jesus appeared to 2 apostles walking the Road to Emmaus. Jesus appeared to the 11 apostles in Jerusalem. They felt the holes in his hands. He ate fish and honeycomb with them.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and acarried up into heaven.
 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
Eat Fish and/or honeycomb just as Jesus did after he was resurrected.
A resurrected person has a body of flesh.
Resurrection is the reunion of the spirit with an immortal physical body.
Closing Prayer:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FHE Lesson {Palm Sunday}

Opening Song Easter Hosanna #68

Opening Prayer : Child


Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.  {so that's today!}
The feast commemorates (an event mentioned by all four Gospels Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19) the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Cruxifiction.

According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus was staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus sent two disciples to the village over against them, in order to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never been ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned. Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees.


If you have access to palm fronds have the children act out the triumphal entry. We usually cut 4 fronds off our neighbours palm tree with her permission. We wave them around and have someone pretend to be Jesus or I may be the donkey and let them ride on my back while the others wave palm fronds and call Hosanna. I have a childrens picture book that outlines the Easter Week and we read the section on Palm Sunday.

Make Palm Frond Crosses:  see here for instructions.

No access to Palm Frond? Make a paper one here Palm Leaf Fold and Cut Craft

Young Children Colouring In pages:

Disciples untying the colt Coloring In Page

Triumphal Entry Coloring In Page

LDS Bible Videos - Triumphal Entry

Closing Song: "Hosanna" Hosanna #66

Closing Prayer: Child


Friday, April 11, 2014

That the Blind may See

The last 5 months I have been a personal aide for a older blind lady.

She suddenly went blind only a few years ago so needs constant assistance.

Spending time with her usually involves A LOT of talking.

{Yes I'm perfectly suited to this job!}

I never been so probed in all my life.

Sometimes I don't even have an answer.

Any topic I mention ( my childhood,  past jobs, university, people I know, where I live, my faith, my parents, my husband, cooking, the kids school, service projects, friends, my children) gets closely examined and a 100 more questions come from it. You name it, I've been asked it.

So which is your favourite child
Which child is most like you
What do your parents think about this/that
Why is life unfair
Why must we get old
What happened when
Tell me about...
Do you think..

I don't think I've ever had anyone in my life ask me this many questions.

I don't think I've ever looked as deeply into things about me ever before.

It can be kinda liberating. Even a little weird.

It's taken a blind lady to show me to 'see' people.

Because she CAN'T judge by how you look or who you are, she doesn't.

And because of that she is willing to listen.

And ask lots of questions.

And care what people have to say.

And probe deep and take the time to ask questions you've probably never been asked.

There's not many times in life where we have hours to spend just asking questions.

And the blind shall see, and see she does.

And open my eyes that perhaps I can learn from this example.

To ask people - who they are.

Who they really are.

I've learnt so much the last 5 months by hanging out at the 'facility' aka nursing home. It's amazing how ones eyes are open to disabilities when you have to live it with someone {oh the obstacles out there to blind people! Oh the difficulties when you are older and can't walk far!} My advice if you can - reach out to someone who is lonely, visit a nursing home, help a person with a disability.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

FHE Lesson {Easter Kite Parable}

After seeing this Easter Kite idea in April 2014 Friend Magazine I was intrigued.
I had never heard of this tradition so I looked it up.

I thought it could make a great FHE and idea to do on Easter Friday together.

Opening Song: Jesus has Risen #70

Opening Prayer:


The sticks/supports of a kite look like a cross. The tradition of making a kite on Easter Friday is popular in some Caribbean Countries. The kites rising up in the air is to remind us Christ rose again from the tomb.

In some other countries (Greece and Cyprus) people fly a kite Before Easter (at beginning of lent) to symbolise sending away their sins and a time for purification.


Make a real kite to fly. Instructions here . Keep the kite ready to fly it on Easter Friday.

Make small paper kites using paddle pop sticks (or chopsticks or regular sticks) and paper.
Display in the house for a spiritual Easter Reminder/Decoration.

Or these tiny origami version maybe using toothpicks?

Or just draw or print and colour some kites

Remind Children the supports of the kite are like a Cross. Jesus died on the Cross but that was not the end. As we fly a kite/ look at a kite we can remember that Jesus Rose again on the third day. Easter need not be a sad time, it's a time of joy. Jesus was resurrected and so will we! Jesus died for us and we are so grateful. This means we can live again with him.

Closing Song: He Died that we might Live Again #65

Closing Prayer:


FHE Lesson {Easter Lesson Collection}

I've just realised I have more Easter FHE Lessons than weeks before Easter.

I am compiling them all here for easy reference.

Thank you to all who use these lessons! {Lots of you! I'm honoured!}

I enjoy writing them for you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Parable of the Bunnies

There are a lot of blogs I admire

There are a few I go to get inspiration for family traditions, family time, things to do with kids.

It seems discouraging when I see kids whittling wood, play instruments, kids that know how to knit, sew, trial several art techniques, Kids building stuff, kids spending all day outside,  kids who seem to spend all day creating.

I hate dislike it very much when I suggest an activity to my kids and they pooh pooh the idea.

They don't even want to try. Not interested.

I'm here and ready to teach them but if it requires trying they don't want to.

Now no ones life is perfect so you should never compare yours to someone else's but occasionally it does get me down that we seem to busy with school, homework, computers, eating and cleaning, being lazy, letting life live us to get to learning what I think are sometimes essential life skills.

This week I saw some easy handsewn bunnies and I thought it would be good practice for the girls since they haven't sewn anything since their Christmas pillowcases.
{and handsewing is different to machine sewing}

But of course no one was interested. No begging or cajoling on my side could get them to do it.

Too tired
we don't want to
just finishing up this... on the computer
just want to do nothing on the weekend

I let it go but did leave them with a terse parting

After dinner you WILL sew a Bunny!! Non negotiable!!

then went to my room in shock ~ the things you never think will come out of your mouth as a parent

YOU WILL SEW A BUNNY! {ha ha ha ha}

Then once time had passed and we were calm  and set up and ready to roll the comments started.

Actually sewing is kinda relaxing.

I want to make more. Cut more out!!

This is nice.

To which I said 'yes.it is!'
See! All I want is to teach you about one new craft/technique a month.
Will you please just do things when I want to show you how?

'Once a month? That's not often enough!
We should sew every week. It's just that we don't have time to fit everything in. It's unfair.'


Then there was bedtime resisting and I want to keep making bunnies!
I want to make bunnies for gifts for my whole class!

Then there was cajoling of a different kind going on.
Time to finish, time for bed, you can make more another day... etc..

All my own fault lol.

Now apparently I have till Friday to help them make 55 bunnies as class gifts.

Why. Why is life like this?

I don't believe in forcing kids to do things they aren't really interested in. I've had plenty of failed attempts at family activities. We also rarely do paid extra curricular activities as I'm personally not a fan, we aren't focused on any particular pursuits, we really aren't achievers here, just mediocre...

BUT .... BUT

There must be some sort of gentle force applied to get kids to do stuff.

That will be benefit them in the long run.

And its seems like they wish for us to do it, because once they do finally do something they act as if well this was fun, why aren't we doing this all the time????
{they are soo like me. I never did things as a child either}

I almost feel like time is running out with my older kids. You won't be here forever.

The reason I am a stay at home mum is to be here with them, to teach them stuff.
To show them that spending time with them is the most important thing to me.

These Bunnies, this simple craft idea really spoke to me this week.

Its the parable of the bunnies running through my mind.

I must try to gently coral  my children to a place where they are open to work and try new things.

This is my goal.

Thank you Bunnies!!

In all honesty it's the electronic down time that probably has to go but they always seem so tired after school. I feel I'm terrible at setting limits but I do agree with them - there DOESN'T seem to be enough hours in the day to do all that I would prefer.

I don't think kids like living to my schedule, but if left to them their schedule would be do nothing.

I would love to have a space big enough to leave out projects so they can come and go as their interest piques. But we can't. All projects must be put away each day if we are to have room to eat.

So I'm looking at creating a list. No time frame but a list of things that I want to practice this year.

Perhaps if we are lucky and see the list reminding us we will be able to find those precious fleeting times WHEN We are ALL READY and EAGER and WILLING TO LEARN! That we will be able to grab those moments by the horns and do and learn. That we will feel we live full and satisfying lives.

The List for This year:

Wood carving.
I want the girls how to whittle wood so bad. I just need to buy some knives and soft wood

More art techniques {we need to move past houses, flowers, cats and dragons}

Cooking {a house of girls and no one has the cooking love}

Touch Typing

Teach my youngest to ride a bike. Then finally after 12 years everyone will be able to ride a bike.

Knitting or Crocheting {problem as I don't know how to do either}

Sewing. - maybe a quilt

Gardening - definitely more for me, I don't have a love for the garden.

Evening Walks

This is more than plenty to keep us busy this year.

What things do YOU want to teach your kids this year?

How do you gently encourage your children to do more?
Try something new?
Get away from the digital distractions?

Monday, March 31, 2014

FHE Lesson {Easter Tree}

 Opening Song: Did Jesus Really Live Again #64

Opening Prayer:

It's a few weeks till Easter so I will be posting lessons to do with Easter until then.

We like to start the season off with an Easter Tree

Go here and here to see how we make ours

Discuss that Easter is coming up. Ask questions like:

 What is Easter? What do you know about Easter? What is your favourite part of Easter?
What things should we do this Easter {plan your calendar!}
{eg visit family, hold a sunrise family testimony meeting, make hot cross buns, egg hunt etc}

 Together create an Easter Tree.
{honestly it can be as simple as a few sticks to hang things off}

We use several decorations to put on ours. Each year our tree is a little different.

 You can google and print and colour small pictures of easter scenes
{both religious and non religious} -
Easter Eggs

 Cut out pictures of Christ from the Ensign or print pictures and laminate them and add a string and you've got a homemade religious decoration to hang {instruction here}

 Buy/Make decorations such as Eggs, bunnies etc.

 If you have time watch an Easter Movie

LDS Bible Videos - He is Risen

We own and kids enjoy Veggietales 'An Easter Carol'

Closing Song: Easter Hosanna # 68

Closing Prayer: Child

Tiny Easter Eggs, Hot Cross Buns,

To start getting prepared here is a timeline overview of  the things we try to do in the Easter Season
Easter Preparations {one month of Easter}

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easter Inspiration

It's less than a month till Easter! I haven't started a thing!
So I've put together all my past Easter Projects in one place to get me motivated.
I decided a few years ago that I should put as much effort into Easter as I do Christmas as really Easter is almost a more important holiday.
Egg Hunt
Carrot Pinata
Please Note I don't do all these every year. Just a couple of projects.
I never have enough time to do all the things I want.
Do you have a great Easter craft/food/tradition to share?
So to help myself and maybe you if you wish I'm writing down Easter preparations here


:: Suprise Eggs
I started this week on my {Surprise Eggs}  I find I can collect more eggshells the earlier I start. Each year the girls seem to need more and more (12 is no longer sufficient!) The hardest bit is remembering NOT to crack eggs in half when cooking. I use a sharp knife and slice the top off the egg. Empty the egg into your cooking, then wash the eggshell out. I store them in an open egg carton so they can dry out. I found some gorgeous surprise eggs over at O Happy Day . Filled with Gold glitter or birdseed or cereal so the mess can be left behind in a park without worry. Great idea! My kids really enjoy this easter activity. One of our favourite Easter Traditions.

:: Easter Tree
Decorate with eggs, religious things, whatever you wish really. I made names of Christ birds to hang on ours this year using this dough recipe

:: 30 Day Living Christ Countdown


:: Easter Countdown Calendars
Easter Week Activity Countdown
12 day treat or activity Easter Countdown

::Growing Easter Wheat Grass
Pretty Wheat Grass Tutorial at Ecoki
Our previous wheat grass

Egg Pinata
Chicken Pinata
Easter Basket Pinata


Palm Sunday - we read the story and act it out with real palm leaves and make palm crosses
Passover - celebrate on the real date or the thursday before easter as Christ did
Hot Cross Buns - We've made these Easter Friday for the last few years
Soft Pretzels - we make these around the day Christ prayed in Gethsemene
Dying/Decorating Eggs - A must and fav with the kids.
Easter Candle Ring - we love candlelight and quiet thoughts and a devotional if I can sneek it in

 "Without Easter we would have no Christmas" - this was our starting quote with the children. They had to think really hard why it was so! If Jesus had not given his life so we can have eternal life he would have been just another special but ordinary person. Because of Easter and his ultimate gift we want to celebrate his birth.

Easter seems to be a much more solemn holiday than christmas. I hope that I don't cheapen that, but my goal is to try and put as much if not more effort into Easter than I do at Christmas. It's such a special holiday {and a lot less commercial -if you ignore the cocolate eggs everywhere} that there seems to be a lot less stress associated with this holiday. I'm hoping to use that to my advantage to give the girls lots to ponder on at this time of year. { no end of years parties, no presents for others to buy, no work/christmas parties - therefore ideally I should have lots more time and focus for Easter}

Enjoy! I hope my efforts will result in a greater love of Easter and Christ for my children

Sunday, March 23, 2014

FHE Lesson {Thankful for our Bodies}

This lesson inspired from a variety of primary lessons. Go here to see the primary manuals
Opening Song:
Opening Prayer: Child
Action songs to get you in the mood :)
 Head shoulders knees and toes
Hinges #277  (my fav action song as a kid!)
Do the following in a whisper:
Direct the children to do several things, such as sit down, raise their hands, lower their hands, and hold up two fingers, hop, close eyes, open eyes.
In your normal voice, ask the children how they knew what to do while you were whispering.
Explain that our bodies can do many things. Each part of the body has a special job to do.
What can you do with your eyes?
What can you do with your ears?
What can you do with your mouth?
What can you do with your hands?
What can you do with your feet?
Our bodies are a blessing. Our bodies were created in God's image. There is a reason we look the way we do. Our bodies are useful and strong and help us to do many things. We must look after our bodies and treat them well. We must also only use our bodies for good and never to hurt others.
If needed in your family discuss how our bodies need to behave to be reverent. What things should our bodies do at certain times {in school and church}
Mouth—Speak quietly, smile, sing songs, pray, keep closed when someone else is talking.
Eyes—Look at the teacher or speaker, close during the prayer.
Hands and arms—Hold still, raise to answer a question, fold during prayer.
Feet and legs—Walk quietly, hold still.
Ears—Listen to what is being said
Have children look in a mirror and name parts of their face/body they can see.
Alternatively have them say "I am thankful for my ears, I am thankful for my nose etc"
Draw a picture of themselves
colouring IN
Closing Song: I am a Child of God #2
Closing Prayer: Child
Make smilie face biscuits using icing and then stick on m&m's for eyes and jelly beans for mouth, or similar.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FHE Lesson {Wise Man and Foolish Man}

This lesson inspired by what came up in family scripture reading this week

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way #160

Opening Prayer:


Share the following Scripture (or just sing the song for really little children)

3 Nephi 14:24-27
Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock
  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand
 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
What does it mean to be foolish? How are we sometimes like the foolish man?
What does it mean to be wise?  How can we be like the wise man?
What things are wise decisions that will help us build on a strong foundation?
{list out and leave up to remind kids of wise decisions we make in our homes}
Watch Wise Man and Foolish Man Youtube Videos :)
Build a little lego house or cardboard house and blutak it to a large rock and then sand. Pour water around each and see which house stays standing.
Draw Wise and Foolish Houses or colour this colouring in page  or this one
Reiterate that things are always better when built on a sure/strong foundation. In our family we try really hard to make sure we have a good solid foundation for our family. A happy family, with kindness and love toward eachother, following rules, having respect, with love for the gospel and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ we believe is the best foundation for our family to grow and succeed on.
Closing Song: Dare to do Right #160
Closing Prayer: Child

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Outdoor Movie Night

Ever since we got our projector I have been dreaming of hosting outdoor movie nights!

How Fun!!

It has taken about a year or so to finally do it!
{excuses range from not being prepared to make invitations and choose a date in advance, rain, sun up too late in summer, too cold in winter, too busy/full calendar, just plain unorganised}

I really wanted to back in Sept/Oct but never did. Then in Summer the sun is up too late and starting a movie at 8:30 is too late for little ones {and ahem me - I'd probably fall asleep!}

So it was great that for her 13th birthday our daughter wanted to host an outdoor movie night.

We've finally done it! {and by WE I mean The Mr who had to set it all up. I don't do tech.}

Easy and Cheap as we had all we needed.

While I drooled over pinterest - the stuff dreams are made of!
{20 matching chairs! outdoor couches! 20 beanbags! Massive trees with fairy lights!
Perfectly co ordinated everything! Colour themes!}

Alas I live in REAL PARTY WORLD and Sometimes you just gotta face facts that nothing will ever be that perfect unless you hire some expensive catering party company. Someone needs to start a regular normal people party ideas blog {I'm sure its out there}

My pictures don't do it justice but I think we pulled together a pretty good night.
A few of the guests complimented the house and set up, so I'll take that as success.

We made it easy on ourselves and ordered in Pizza.
I organised a concession stand with chips, chocolate bars and soft drink and lots of popcorn.

We laid out 3 mattresses and had about 8 chairs. We also had some kids choose to sit on the deck stairs.

We strung some fairy lights and bunting.

For an outdoor movie you will need:

 a screen {I've used a sheet before}
laptop or something to play your movie from.

and end the night with shadow puppets and music videos.

We survived our first teenage party! {they were sweet darlings!}

Monday, March 10, 2014

FHE Lesson {Sacrament, Remembering Jesus}

Opening Song: "I feel my Saviours Love Children's Songbook #74

Opening Prayer: Child


Show a picture of Jesus. Ask how we remember him.
Read or have an older child read the Sacrament Prayers from the scriptures (D&C 20:77, 79)
Ask the children to guess what it is you are reading.
(some knew straight away, some knew it was familiar, but not sure)
You could also have some bread and water out for visual clues.

In the March Friend is a lovely Acrostic poem and pictures about The Sacrament.
Find it here - As I take the Sacrament - March 2014 Friend Magazine
Print each letter to spell sacrament (or use a whiteboard). Have children hold up each letter one at a time as you read out the poem. If you have the gospel art picture kit, also have various pictures of the life of Christ to have out at the same time.

Bear Testimony about why you like going to sacrament each week. What it means to you. Talk about the symbolic nature of what the Sacrament represents.


Now say you are going to play a memory game. Children have one minute to look at 10 items on a tray. Cover it up and have children write or draw or dictate to you what they remember on the tray. We made sure one of the items was a small picture of Jesus.

Our older girls wanted a go at being the person in charge of the tray, so we played 3 different versions of the game (allowing them to choose the items, but the ONLY Item that had to stay the same each time was the picture of Jesus)

We said that it is important to remember Jesus in our lives, even when it can be difficult.
We must make room for and love Jesus.

Closing Song: "Tell me the Stories of Jesus" Children's Songbook #57

Closing Prayer: Child


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just incase you didn't know

I am good at accidentally wearing twinny dresses and making my daughter pose for photos :)

I think quite often about stopping blogging.. the new year is always a popular time too
{I sense it must be for other people too because several blogs I read all threatened the same! though luckily a few of them came back! It can be hard to give up}

This blog isn't perfect, I don't have awesome photography skills, no pretty typography skills.

We lead pretty mundane lives, so not even anything that exciting share.

The kids are growing will they appreciate an online presence that others could laugh at

It sometimes feels embarrassing to put yourself out there.
I know no one REALLY cares what I have to say/what I do. I aint saving lives here.

I've had comments from 'hate seeing your facebook posts {about blog posts} as they make me depressed',  accusatory 'oh don't you only ever do homemade?' when talking about buying shop cakes/ plastic toys, jokes about showing off 'oh in my spare time I whipped up this.....'
luckily they are fairly few and often said tongue in cheek - {hopefully!}

I mainly blog happy times {ummm yeah, not too much excitement in overtired whinging kids?} or ideas that help my family but that doesn't mean I'm trying to be perfect. Maybe the formal act of putting ideas down for all to see makes it seem contrived? Trying too hard? Showing off?

Anyone who knows me .. knows that I am farrrrrr from perfect.
But luckily probably 80% + of my life is pretty swish and it is that 80% I like to focus on.

BUT Just in case you didn't know

I have a messy house daily.
We don't eat a perfect diet and I'm not bothered.
Having a family can be tiring
I can 'yelltalk' at my kids like the best of them
I buy shop bought cakes
I make mistakes
I talk too much
I don't play enough with my kids
I feel sadness that I don't have a best friend or many close ones.
I want to be more delicate and refined but have no idea desire to change
I used to bake but have lost my mojo
I check my phone  too much
I'm lazy and shy so without my husband I would probably not have a phone, electricity, insurance, internet, banking, tax returns and all the other things he does that I recoil at doing
I feel bothered that I'm not bothered that I don't have drive/career aspirations/get up and go

I mainly write for me {but its always makes my day to hear wonderful comments from others} infact I was just re reading some old posts the other night about things I had completely forgot about. I rarely back read and it felt so good to be reminded perhaps why I am here writing this stuff down. My most favourite posts are always the least public read ones. Funny that.

I shouldn't feel too bad that people are usually googling 'ideas' - birthday party ideas, sewing tutorials, kindness/love lessons to teach kids and are not looking for words on my life, thoughts and family. For I do the exact same thing.

Just in case you didn't know

No one is perfect.

We are all trying.

And maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

FHE Lesson { Heavenly Father watches over me}

Sometimes lessons come via the kids primary lessons. Last week our daughter loved her picture she drew of herself on a 'Heavenly Father watches over me' necklace and said she wanted to teach it to us for FHE. I helped by bulking out the lesson. This lesson in more detail found in Manual 2 Lesson 8

Opening Song: My Heavenly Father Loves Me #228

Opening Prayer: Child


Who is Heavenly Father?

What has Heavenly Father done for you?
(Answers might include planning for us to come to earth, giving us families, sending Jesus Christ to earth to be our Savior, answering prayers)

Share an experience when you felt that Heavenly Father was watching over and protecting you

Scripture story:

Display this picture Flight into Egypt.
Tell the story found in Matthew 2:13–15.
Why did the angel appear to Joseph? (See Matthew 2:13.)
Why did the angel tell Joseph to go to Egypt? (So King Herod would not be able to find Jesus.)
Why did King Herod want to kill baby Jesus? (He was afraid Jesus would grow up to take his place as king.)
Explain that Heavenly Father watched over and protected Jesus by warning Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Heavenly Father always watched over Jesus.

Bear your testimony that just as Heavenly Father loved and watched over Jesus Christ when he was on the earth, Heavenly Father also loves and watches over each of us. We are all his children.


Cut circles of  paper or card and write 'Heavenly Father Watches over me'
Have children draw themselves on the circle.
Attach string if desired and turn into necklace, or something to hang.

Closing Song: The First Article of Faith #122

Closing Prayer:


Monday, February 24, 2014

Put a Candle in it..

That's pretty much our motto for birthdays around here.

Everything is better with a candle

{some years I've even gotten away without having a cake... cause hey we've put a candle on a doughnut!!}

She's a smart girl cause usually the kids get choice of breakfast and often they choose doughuts or pancakes. She smartly said can I have both? And also begged for Caramel mudcake from the shops. This is what she really wanted {A $5 shop cake?? how can I deny??!!} Gee kids really are easy sometimes.

So now I officially have two kids over 10! where do the years go!

a cool 11 year old with a ukulele {her gift of choice}

 Number 11  she wore all day  - find here : Easy Birthday shirt tutorial

This girl always asks for the easy parties - she likes moving.

Pool Parties
Magic Party
Falling off a waterfall

This year she wanted skating. Very simple and easy.

Thanks to my sister who made the awesome lolly cake and mum for hosting eating before skating. 

Thanks to the 10 kids whom kept all their body parts unbroken!
{my only stress, kids breaking something skating while no other parents around!}

Another Birthday done and dusted and another one coming up next week.

Why do they have to grow up!?! wahhhh.

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