Sunday, October 26, 2014

FHE Lesson {Strong Families}

Opening Song: Here We are Together #261

Opening Prayer: Child


This lesson inspired by October 2014 Friend Magazine pg 41

Decorate a can with a label that says "I CAN" { or print from here }
Have slips of paper prepared that say I CAN strengthen my family by......

alternatives suggestions for use:
I can strengthen my life by...
I can be an example by...

Tell the children that they are special.
They have a lot of power.
Children can be such a force for good.

What things do you do already as a force for good?

Families are central to Heavenly Fathers Plan. We are all part of a family.
We can decide how our family runs, the happiness experienced, how much love is shared.

Have children fill in strips or draw pictures about how they CAN strengthen their family. eg

I CAN strengthen my family by saying nice things
I CAN strengthen my family by helping others
I CAN strengthen my family by remembering to have family prayers
I CAN strengthen my family by giving daily hugs and kisses
I CAN strengthen my family by doing my chores

Place strips, family photos, drawings into the can.

Leave around for the week to remind children of all the things THEY CAN DO!

Get children to show you how strong they are. Comment that just as they are strong and healthy we want our family to be like that too. Families need constant care and nourishment just like them to stay healthy. We want to have the happiest family we CAN.

Thank them for all that they already do and how much you love having them in your family.

Closing Song: Families Can be Together Forever #188

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat: Canned Fruit :) or something else from a can :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

FHE Lesson {Obedience}

This lesson inspired by The blessings of Obeying July 2014 Friend Magazine pg 2
Why do we need to obey the Commandments Sept 2014 Friend Magazine pg 11

The Blessings of Obeying

Opening Song: Quickly I'll Obey #197

Opening Prayer: Child


Why is it important to be obedient?

How do we learn obedience?

Who/what should we be obedient to?
Our parents, Heavenly Father, the commandments, scriptures, The Holy Ghost, teachers

We do not need to travel this life, alone without direction.
Obedience can be like a map, guiding us and ensuring our safety.

What are some ways obedience keeps us safe?
How are the commandments like a map?
{show a variety of maps if interested}


Draw out a map {or written instructions} for places around your home with directions to follow and end with a prize, treat or picture of Heavenly Father at the end.

Make a treasure map with dots and X marks the spot

Thank the children for being obedient and following the directions.

Knowledge we seek, answers for which we yearn, and strength we need in hard times can all be ours when we willingly obey the commandments and be obedient to God's law and our parents.

Closing Song:  I will follow God's Plan #164

Closing Prayer: Child


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Camping - Somerset Park Campground

I can't believe it - but its been a year since we've been camping!

Once again not very organised and madly ringing places to find somewhere to camp.

All the places we rang said they were full.

So my dad took it into his own hands and drove off in his mobile home till he found a place.
The minute they found one they rang me and I packed up the kids to join them.

This was my first time camping without the MR!

I felt so brave driving the car full to the brim through the bush on my own! {I'm such wimp I know!}

This time we camped at Somerset Park Campground

It was a lovely couple of days and the kids were great.

Maybe I've reached the magical age of where it is pretty easy to take kids camping.

No injuries, all sleeping through the night, well behaved and fairly helpful around camp!

The only problem was a blow up mattress problem.
The bed I was sharing with two kids refused to stay inflated :(

After initially being told the campground didn't allow fires we were so happy to find every second camp had a metal drum fire. Lucky for the kid that insisted I bring marshmallows regardless!

Animals spotted : Lots of cows, horses, 5 Kangaroo's, Kookaburras, lots of birds



The camp ground was very neat, FLAT {yay}, clean toilets/showers {but needed gold coins for hot showers} quiet and small very near the dam wall, only 1km from the spit/boat ramp which meant there were lots of people with boats at our campground.

Overall I had a very enjoyable few days.

Thanks to my parents for organizing, dad for washing dishes every meal and mum for cooking on her stove in the mobile home. Makes camping a treat :)

Previous Camping Trips:

Neurum creek
Flanagans Reserve
Elanda Point

Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Ode to all those I've met

My girls paddleboarding the Brisbane River

The nature of where we live and who we are lends us to making lots of friends.

Friends that don't stay.

Every best friend my daughters made each year at school ~  gone the next year.
Back to Sri Lanka, Quebec, Africa, New Zealand, China, Germany. Friends from church to India, USA, Canada. Others arrive in Brisbane for a short time to relocate elsewhere in Australia. Strangers and friends met in our local park, this inner city community of ever moving migrants.

We have people tumble in and out of our lives at a much too quick rate.
Some we've lost contact with.

Knowing people who relocate overseas a lot means my house has become a testament to those who've flown in with the wind and reluctantly back out again.

I'm often thinking of the owners when :

I set my table with their tablecloth
Iron my clothes on their ironing board
Bring out the plastic chairs for extra guests
Curl my hair
Bake a cake in that square pan
Drive my Car.
Wear their clothes
Use the blender
Eat from their casserole dishes
Use the cleaning products left with me
The kids use their beach toys
I finally use unusual cupboard ingredients they didn't get to use up

I smile when using these items. These things warm my heart.

I've got the ghosts of friends long left inhabiting my home.

I hope they are happy to know that a little piece of them still lives on in Brisbane.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

FHE Lesson {Follow the Saviour}

Opening Prayer: Child


As Christians we are followers of Jesus Christ.
He set many great examples for us to follow.

How can we follow the Saviour?

Have some prepared foot prints and stick them to the ground using bluetak.
At the end of the foot prints have a picture of Christ.

Have each child walk along the foot prints as a follower of Christ.

Pre-prepare word strips or write on the foot prints as you go some of the following things:
{for smaller children you can place pictures of these items next to the footprint}

IF we are Jesus Disciples we should Love One Another

We must take upon us his name  - Missionary work

The Sacrament is a renewal of our baptismal covenant to always remember him

Jesus organised the church with apostles - we should follow the Prophet in our day

Be Baptised just as He was

Go to the Temple as He did

Help the Sick and Afflicted

Be thoughtful of friends and family


{Add any other attributes of Christ you think of}


Use the footprints (or rope)  to make obstacle course/path to follow through the house/yard

Closing Prayer: Child


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

'Bout sums it up really.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby Possums

A couple months ago my daughter and the neighbour friend delivered some baby possums.

The story goes - I'm walking along after picking up our Japanese students and see the kids at my neighbours house. There is a possum on the fence acting very strangely. I told them to leave it alone. We did think it unusual for a possum to be out in the day. Then I noticed its bulging stomach and said oh it looks like its pregnant - maybe its in labour? It's painful you know - maybe that's why the possum is acting strangely. Leave it alone.

I proceed to my house to cook dinner for everyone.

An hour later they bust in saying the mumma possum had blood come out its nose and just up and died and that they put gloves on and examined her and eventually coaxed two baby possums out of the pouch. My neighbour arrives home and take them to a vet that takes wild animals.
A man who takes in wild animals arrived to pick up 3 other possums and now theirs too.
He tells the kids that they can come visit his house to see the animals in the future.

This week we finally had some free time and went to visit the house that was looking after the possums. Oh my did they have a house full of animals! 10 large possums, 15+ baby ones in tiny pouches, 5 wallaby's/kangaroo's, and the most adorable teeny feathertail glider! The girls were in heaven. This lovely couple let the 5 kids all come in through their house and look at all the animals in every room. They sleep in shifts as the animals need to be fed every few hours. The lady was looking for some tiny possums to show us  and couldn't find them... then went.. dah of course here they are - DOWN HER SHIRT!! and whips out a polar fleece pouch she had stashed down there.
 She said she sleeps with the tiny ones as they like heartbeat.

Baby possums start out hairless and don't grow hair till around 4-6 months old. She said our mother possum probably died of rat poison and if it is suspected the baby possums have to be given special medicine. One of our possums was almost lost but he rallied around and came good. She said they were the first 'pinkies' (hairless ones) of the season. This is the busy time for wildlife carers. We were lucky that apparently our babies were already 2 months old. If you find a dead mother possum you should cut the teat off and leave it in the babies mouth. If the teat is pulled out of a tiny possum its mouth isn't formed and their face collapses in and they die! Lucky ours were old enough, or we would not have saved them anyway!

We had a wonderful visit to this local house/wildlife care  and its amazing to see how caring some people are. It's a full time night and day job for that older couple. They treated the kids so kindly and even though it had been a few months the remembered our story and which possums belonged to us.

Just another story. I'm glad for these types of education for the kids.

and that obviously my kids don't listen when I say to leave stuff alone!

Where would I be if the kids listened to boring old me.

We didn't get any photos of our baby possums as they were all wrapped up
but this is what baby possums look like via google images

Sunday, August 24, 2014

FHE Lesson {Fathers}

With two Mondays till Fathers Day - a lesson on fathers is nice to prepare children for the upcoming celebrations. We also use it as a time to plan what nice things we might do, visits to grandparents etc.

Opening Song: Fathers #209

Opening Prayer: Child


What is a father?

What day is coming up soon?

Why are Dads important?

What other fathers do we have in our lives?


Heavenly Father

Father of our ward {Bishop}

We see lots of examples of fathers in the scriptures too.
{Lehi, Alma, Joseph, Abraham, Mormon, Adam}

How do these 'other Fathers' help us in our lives?

{Go into as much depth as you wish discussing the fathers in our lives}

Let's remember to celebrate our fathers all year round and not just on Fathers Day.


Do this Fathers Day Questionaire
{and keep them and fill in a new one each year and see how the answers change }

Have small children draw a picture of them with Daddy.

Older kids can write down on a card/paper/journal things they love about their dad

Plan out some Daddy Daughter/Son Dates. Things they can go do with Just Daddy.

Give your grandfather or other 'fathers' in your life a phonecall or write a thank you to them telling them how much you are grateful for them in your life.

Watch  this video about how awesome Dad's are.

Closing Song: The Dearest Names #208

Closing Prayer:

Treat: A favourite treat of Daddy's :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

FHE Lesson {Home a Holy Place}

Opening Song: Here we are Together #261

Opening Prayer: Child



This lesson inspired from  A Happy Home November 2009 Friend Magazine pg 25

Our homes should be one of the holiest places on earth. Just like the temple or church our homes should also be considered holy places. Do you consider our home a holy place?

There are many things that we can do to make our home holy and full of love.
What things make our house this way already?
What suggestions do you have to make our home more holy?

Print and Cut out the above house pieces here .
Alternatively draw your own house or make one out of lego.

As you draw or put together the above house read out sections of what can make a happy home.

Use the headings listed or create your own of what you think makes a happy home.

Jesus teaches when we serve others we are also serving Him. Serving in our family, shows we love eachother and want everyone to be happy. We will strengthen eachother and then we can help others. Service brings joy and gratitude and happiness into our lives and the lives of those we serve.

Sometimes it is hard to live in a family. Sometimes we are going to hurt or annoy eachother. Forgiving others and saying sorry when we do wrong is an important part of a happy home.

Having faith in Jesus Christ in an important gospel principal. Doing what is right and following the commandments will help us to  have a holy home.

Houses need strong foundations to stay up and so does a family. We need to be kind and support one another. Loving and supporting the members in our family keeps us strong and able to withstand hard times.

Family Prayer can bring us closer together as we are united in talking to and thanking Heavenly Father for all our blessings. Having common things for us to pray for {family, the sick, challenges}unites our family.

Add more of your own eg

Scripture study:
Daily Scripture Study will help our family. We will be reminded of the words of Christ and Prophets. Scriptures can give us answers for daily problems we may face.

When we love eachother and know that Home is our safe happy place for all family members we will become a stronger happier family.

Looking after our home and working together creates a clean place. When things are in order our lives can run more smoothly and happily.

Spending time together creates a happy holy home. If we use our home as just a hotel we may be physically in the same place but not emotionally. We can be happier by choosing to spend our time in wholesome recreational activities together. Lets think of ways our family can spend better time together.

We are blessed to have the families and homes we have been given.
Lets find ways to make our home more holy and happy.

Making your home a holy place Funstuff Activity

Continue to play/ build homes out of blocks/lego

Closing Song: Families Can Be Together Forever #188

Closing Prayer: Child


Friday, August 15, 2014

EKKA 2014

Because it's tradition. Because they wait in anticipation. But mainly because of family.


Last year we made a little stop motion video of our trip to the Ekka which required me to take like a bajillion photos. This year I decided to enjoy the day and put the camera away.
Still got a few photos but it was nice to not worry.

Ekka Highlights from the family:
The fireworks show was pretty amazing. Probably the best I've ever seen.
Lasers, kites, fireworks coming off people. The works.
My Little pony showbag
Dr Showbag
Hamster like Water balls Ride
Unlimited Rides Band for my thrill seeker who tried EVERY RIDE.
Food. Lots of Food. "Only I come for the food mother"
Horse Heads.

The End. Tired and OUT OF MONEY.

Past blogs about our trips to the EKKA.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Years


Oh this girl just had the best birthday.

When questioned at Kindy if she would do something/wear something special for her birthday she told her teacher in an incredulous manner

'Umm wear my number 5 birthday shirt of course.. dah!'

When talking to the teacher about it I laughed and said yes my girls might not realise that its not a normal thing to wear a number shirt on your birthday. They probably think everyone does this.

She chose pancakes.

She got a million lalaloopsy dolls
a babyalive that licks an icecream,
a mini octonauts gup and
homemade my little pony masks

We had errands at the coast so she got a day at the beach, jumping on the jumping pillow and a cupcake (I'm terrible with providing birthday cakes as we put candles in our breakfast!)

We have not been to Southport Broadwater Parklands and it was awesome.
I loved lazing in the sun reading a book.
Taking one child somewhere for their birthday is a dream. So easy.
But could this be my last, one child, school day, birthday? *sniff*

She was so happy all day, saying this was the best birthday.

We had to make a no climbing on the roof under 5 rule a few years back for our more adventurous children. We were reminded by them that someone was turning 5. So that evening she got to go on the roof! What an age marker, what a funny tradition, what a coming of age ritual! Only in this family I tell you! She was very excited and has now asked me daily since if she can go on the roof!

And that is how one turns 5.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

FHE Lesson {Holy Ghost}

This lesson inspired by a wonderful Relief Society Lesson I attended today.

Opening Song: The Holy Ghost #105

Opening Prayer:

Give each child a button to put in their shoe.

{Move on to music time or family business/leave time between}

Do you remember what is in your shoe?
{You remember because it was given  to you}

Can you see it?

Can you feel it?

If you kept it there for a week would you still know it is there?

You remember the button because you can always feel it, even if you can't see it.
The Holy Ghost is a gift given to us at baptism.
Even if we can't see him, we can always feel his influence in our lives if we invite him to.
Some times he will prod us to do right things

Write these headings on whiteboard/paper to stick up. Discuss points as necessary.

The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and of all truth.

The Holy Ghost manifests the truth to honest people everywhere

Following Baptism the gift of the Holy Ghost is given by the laying on of hands

Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, members of the church can have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion

The companionship of the Holy Ghost is available to those who prepare themselves to receive it

As we remain faithful the Holy Ghost will give us revelations to lead and direct us throughout our lives.

Discuss times in your life you have felt the Holy Ghost guide you.

Closing Prayer:

Closing Song: The still small voice #106

Other Holy Ghost Lessons:
Holy Ghost
Baptismal Gifts

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Little Pony Party

Since discovering My little Pony stuff via youtube Miss N has been obsessed.

Every day watching episodes and pony songs and who knows what.

So it was a tough decision between a pony party or a la la loopsy one {her other great love}

She assures me that next year she would like the Lucy Party {her name for lala loopsies}

It's been a busy time here and she's had a bunch of her friends move overseas so this was a very low key party.

It only took a few elements and she was happy.

Even after seeing me google ideas she realised you could actually look at Pony parties online.

She would say  'mum look me up pony parties to look at.'

I reminded her that mummy can't do most of those things but she was cool just to look and not have high expectations {PHEW!}

We looked at amazing cakes and I pointed her in the direction of
Mummy can do those ones.... {round cakes with plastic ponies on top :)

For those interested here are the elements for a easy pony party at home:

Pin the Tail on the Pony

Lucky we have a resident artist in the house who whipped up a pinky pie per N's request.
Miss K free hand drew us one in minutes.
Glad I didn't have to draw it {I would have printed/traced one}

Diamond Piñata

We love piñata's but I have a personal dislike for kids bashing to smithereens anything that resembles animal or human. We try to make only inanimate objects. So of course we could not bash a pony piñata. Since each pony has a special Cutie Mark we decided to go with one of them. At first it was to be an apple but my cardboard box wasn't big enough so we settled on a diamond - Rarity's Cutie Mark. The diamond was so easy and came together super quick. I still really do want to make an apple piñata though - back to school party anyone?? The diamond wasn't as strong as my last piñata { Disco Ball } which took about 100 hits to break. This one was done in about 12 hits, so extra reinforcing with tape will be necessary next time. Or perhaps it was because we used a hockey stick to hit with?

Felt Pony Masks

I saw a unicorn mask via pinterest and it look fairly easy and I thought it would be great to make some masks of all the pony's. These were easy once I worked out my pattern. My first one was a disgrace and very creepy looking. Each one got easier and easier and could be whipped up in minutes as compared to the first two that took longer. Miss N loves them and the kids have worn them all week. I think the eyes do make them look a bit creepy though :)

Cutie Mark Facepainting

Facepainting isn't my forte and Miss A loves to do it. Had to keep it simple.
On offer was the Pony's Cutie Marks  with facepainting crayons.
~ Balloons, Butterflies, Diamonds, apples. Easy.

Pony and Rainbows Cake

I'm all for easy cakes. There would be NO cakes otherwise. Thankfully google came out trumps and handed me this idea.  I had also marked this pin from pinterest. Easy Cakes for the win.

It was a super simple party with just two other families invited. Between us all that was 10 kids!
Regardless that a couple of her best friends have moved lately she was just thrilled with this and I am glad it all worked out.

Our family is done for birthdays for the year now! Yay! Now to think of ideas for next year...

Apparently its La La Loopsy....

Sunday, August 3, 2014

FHE Lesson {Challenges}

This lesson inspired by Challenges Help us Grow March 2014 Friend Magazine pg 2-3

Opening Song: Teach Me to Walk in the Light #177

Opening Prayer: Child


Play guess who I am from the scriptures:

If you ever feel sad or left out, you are not alone! Solve these riddles to learn how some scripture heroes handled hard times.

My brothers took my coloured coat
And sold me as a slave.
With faith I solved the Pharaoh’s dreams;
From famine all were saved.
Who am I? ________________________________
When men were few and spirits weak,
I raised the banner high.
My troops then won their battles
Once they knew the reason why.
Who am I? ________________________________
High on a wall I prophesied
The Saviour soon would come.
The angry mob shot arrows, but
No harm to me was done.
Who am I? ________________________________
Tremendous floods destroyed the earth,
For no one had prepared.
But we and all the animals
Inside the ark were spared.
Who am I? ________________________________
Although at risk to lose my life,
My people mattered more.
With bravery I asked the king
To save those I cared for.
Who am I? ________________________________
Obeying God gave me great power
Time and time again—
Before the king, at home, and even
In the lion’s den.
Who am I? ________________________________
Answers: Joseph, Captain Moroni, Samuel the Lamanite, Noah, Esther, Daniel
Sometimes things in life can be tough.
It can be comforting to know that even prophets from the scriptures and Jesus had challenges.
Have you ever had a bad day/time in life?
What can we do when times are hard?
show this picture or make up your own list of things we can do when we are having a bad day
{eg Tell someone about it, Talk with an adult, write in journal, sing a primary song, say a prayer, do something that makes you happy, go for a walk, read scriptures etc}
Sometimes we will be able to fix the problems that pop up in life, other times we won't be able.
These might be some ways to help us cope.
How can difficult circumstances sometimes work for our benefit?
{it can make us stronger, braver, draw closer to our family, help us to rely on the Lord, show us what we are capable of}
Testify that even though we all will pass through difficult times, comfort and healing can be found within our families, through the Holy Ghost, and the Atonement of Christ.
Closing Prayer: Child

Thursday, July 31, 2014


I try to be organised. I do try.

We had the missionaries teach her the discussions.
To make sure she knew what she was committing to.

We organised Grandma to sew a gorgeous dress.
With BIG BOW per request.

Pre Baptism Photo Shoot  (probably not entirely necessary as I had the amazing Elizabeth from White Acre Photography photography take some photos on the day)

Big Sisters assigned to do the talks.

Primary friends assigned to sing.

Awesome friends in charge of kitchen and food.

Invites to the ward and school friends.

But whoops I forgot to invite anyone else who may have wanted to come along.
I also forgot to organise a chorister. Lucky for friends who just jump up and do it unasked!

Preparing for big life events like these can be hard. And Busy.

But I'm so glad most of it went pretty perfectly and she had a happy day.




Gorgeous photos above courtesy of White Acre Photography

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