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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

FHE Lesson {Old Testament Scripture Reading}

Our family recently finished reading the Book of Mormon and I was looking for another thing for our family scripture study and came across this Old Testament Scripture Challenge from the January 2014 Friend Magazine pg 26 which inspired this lesson.

Opening Song: Search Ponder and Pray #109

Opening Prayer: Child


I've often found my children are not as familiar with the scriptures as I believed they should be.
We've held a few FHE about getting to know the scriptures ( see here ) and I thought this scripture challenge would be another good time for a refresher.

Ask children to name the Main books of Scripture:
 (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price)

Tell them today we are talking about the Old Testament.

Do they know any books from the Old Testament?

Using the Index if they need, ask them to find the books you call out
eg Joshua, Psalms, Genesis, Malachi etc. Make a bit of a game out of it.

Display some pictures from the Gospel Art Picture kit of various Old Testament Stories.

Do they know any scripture stories, prophets or people from the Old Testament?

{Maybe point out/ talk about a story they didn't know about}


Watch some favourite stories from lds Old Testament Videos

Act out a favourite Old Testament story {eg Jonah , Noah , Joseph, Daniel, Moses etc}

Print this Old Testament Scripture Reading Challenge and decide how/when your family will do it.

Books of the Old Testament song #114

Closing Song: Follow the Prophet #110

Closing Prayer: Child


Sunday, July 20, 2014

FHE Lesson {Gratitude}

Opening Song: I am glad for many things #151

Opening Prayer: Child

This lesson inspired from November 2013 Friend Magazine pg 40

Heavenly Father wants us to notice the many blessings He give us.
He wants us to say thank you for all these blessings too.

When we are thankful we feel more happy and grateful and blessed.

Sometimes it can be hard to be thankful because we might take things for granted.

Activity: {choose from below}

List a blessing for every letter of the alphabet
Print this alphabet to write your list on or make your own, write up on a whiteboard/chalkboard

Use an example of something that was a challenge but ended up being something you were grateful for. Even in hard times blessings can help us learn and grow.

Using notes and a jar or similar spend a week writing down daily things that you are grateful for.

Start a gratitude journal/notebook. Write or fill with drawings from younger children.

Think of particular person or time someone helped you and write them a thank you note.

Play Pictionary drawing pictures of things you are grateful for and have everyone guess

Some other Gratitude songs from Childrens Hymnbook:

Thank Thee for Everything #10

I'm thankful to be me #11

A song of Thanks #20 

Thanks to our Father #20

Closing Song: Can a little child like me #9

Closing Prayer:


Another Gratitude FHE Lesson Here

Saturday, July 19, 2014

8 is GREAT!

Eight is such an awesome age.

This girl is funny, cheeky, full of energy, loves everyone.

Starts each day off at school giving crazy tight hugs to half her class and lifting them ground.
I usually have to tell her to retreat 'cause her friends might not be able to breathe.
We once had a family discussion about people's personal space and said that everyone has a bubble around them and you have to respect that distance. She looked at us like 'what chu talkin' bout'
~ personal space was an unheard of phenomena to her.

Class clown, entertainer, often has a twinkle in her eye.

Since she had her birthday party {Part 1} before the school holidays her birthday was super low key.

Playing with friends in the park for the day and a trip to grandma's to pick up her baptism dress.

But that's ok because most of our traditions start early in the morning.


She got to try her finished Baptism dress on for the first time on her birthday.
She got to design her dress.
My kids are so lucky to have such a talented Grandma.
Miss G's requirements were a long A line with a massive bow at the back.
It was all about the bow.
Grandma delivered!

And that was part 2 of the longest birthday ever.
Part 3 ~ Baptism coming soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

FHE Lesson {Compass for life}

This lesson based on:  Guided by love June 2014 Friend Magazine

Opening Song: Jesus said Love Everyone #61

Opening Prayer: Child

Show a compass
If you don't have a physical compass use the default one on your iphone or show a picture of one

What does a compass do?
{Can tell you where North is, then an individual can work out other directions, can use it to find your way without a map}

When asked to name the greatest commandment, the Saviour said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” “This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). Along with the second great commandment—to love our neighbour as ourselves—we have a spiritual compass that provides direction for our lives.
Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of everything we do. Love unites families. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, and respect. It overcomes hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with joy. Love should be our walk and our talk.
Love God and our Neighbour should be our compass. They will lead us in the right direction.
Show this compass / or draw it, from the June 2014 Friend Magazine
Guided by Love
Long ago, explorers used compasses to find their way to faraway places. President Uchtdorf said that the two great commandments can be like a compass that guides us back to Heavenly Father.
If you’re not sure about a choice, ask yourself two questions:
Does it show love for Heavenly Father?
Does it show love for others?
If the answers are yes, then you’re choosing the right!
Play with the compass. practice finding north.
Find other directions.
Closing Song: Where Love Is #138
Closing Prayer: Prayer

Sunday, July 6, 2014

FHE Lesson {3 Bears of Church Membership}

Opening Song: The Church of Jesus Christ #77

Opening Prayer: Child


Show a teddy bear. { Or use 3 bears, each with label}

This bear will help us remember the 3 bears of being a church member:

Bear his name - When we join the church we promise to stand as a witness of God at all times. We become Christians. We bear Jesus name. We are part of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints. In Mosiah 26:18, it reads:

“Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.“

Bear one another burdens
 We must help other people. We must offer service. We must help others that their burdens may be light. Problems are always easier when shared with others. Jesus said love thy neighbour as thy self {Matthew 22:29} Love one another {John 13:34}

Bear Testimony
We are lucky to know many truths that provide happiness in our lives.
We can bear testimony to our families and friends and others about how the gospel help us.
Bearing testimony also helps our own testimony to grow bigger.

Discuss ways as a family or individually that we could do the above.
How can we bear his name better?
How can we bear another's burdens?
How can we bear testimony more?

Make some goals to achieve the above.
Eg bear testimonies in FHE, make it a goal to bear testimony in Sacrament meeting, tell another person what church you attend, think about someone you know that needs some help, make a list of service you could provide to neighbours, grandparents, teachers.

Make a sign that says Bear his name, Bear another's burdens, bear testimony.
Leave near your teddy bear/attach to bear and leave bear somewhere you can see it all week.

Draw/print/colour a bear.

Closing Song: Give Said the Little Stream #236

Closing Prayer: Child

This lesson inspired by these sources

Bearing Another's Cares - August 2010 Friend Magazine pg 44
The 3 bears of Baptism

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Clock Tower Tour

Have been wanting to go up the City Hall clock tower for some time.

Tickets are free but can book out quickly each day {no prebooking}
{The Mr and I missed out on tickets on my Birthday city tourist day out }

This time we got there as doors opened {10am} and got a tour for one hour later!

I have been up the clock tower a  few times in the past.
Back in my teens with friends and past boyfriends!
The tower was closed for couple years due to renovation and other times I always had a baby.
It's been about 16 years since I've been up there! Boy does time fly!

The girls really enjoyed the tour. The other people on our tour didn't turn up so we got a private tour of just our family! The elevator operator let the younger girls control the lift with the original lever {while secretly really controlling it electronically these days ;} Whist no longer the tallest building in the city there was still lovely view. We spied some secret gardens and interesting to look down around. It was fun to ride in an old style cage elevator through the brick tower ~ Apparently the tower used to be lined with books and records. The girls commented that they could see names/graffiti scratched into the bells! There is an actual regular sized grandfather clock inside the tower regulating/keeping time for the four faces of the clock tower that each have their own machine to move the hands.

Find Details Here : City Hall Clock Tower Tour

When the clock was built, it was the largest public clock and most modern in Australia
The clock face is almost five metres in diameter
The minute hands of the clock are three metres long
Over 1,000 screws hold the white opal clock face in place
The clock chimes are known as Westminster or Cambridge and consist of four bells weighing over three tonnes that chime every 15 minutes and a 4.3 tonne striking bell that marks the hour
The clock tower is 92 metres high, with an observation platfrom at 76 metres

Monday, June 30, 2014

Disco Party

I was a little stumped on how Miss G's birthday party was going to go.

No theme, date, reason etc. And the fact that she will now sort of have 3 celebrations!

We slowly got going with a sort of theme and it was all engines steaming.

Without a theme I feel lost in the sea of uncertainty.

Once she chose a theme, all stations go, 10 mins on pinterest and done.

Well not quite done, but a piñata, theme food, games. Done. Thank you very much.

We already had the disco ball languishing in the cupboard.

So if interested here are some of the details of the party close up:


Can't be a party without a piñata! Once again I may have made it a bit tough ;) Each kid got about 5 strikes with the stick so the thing got about 100+ hits before it broke. However they loved it.
My neighbours were probably all wondering what was happening with a hoard of kids yelling "Smash it, Smash it, Smash it" at the top of their heads repeatedly.

I bought a larger size balloon from a party shop to make this piñata.
Glue 3 layers of newspaper and one layer of white copy paper {to make painting it silver easier}. When dry, paint silver.
Stick hundreds of silver circles all over.
The idea I saw recommended giant silver sequins. I was unable to find those so used my round punch to punch out circles from some silver wrapping paper {I used 2 sheets}.
You can't tell in the photo but I then painted it with some glitter paint to give it shine.
Almost a pinterest fail since it resembled a golf ball more than a disco ball, but Miss G gave it the thumbs up approval.

Plastic Tablecloth Ceiling Decoration

I saw an idea on pinterest about using dollar plastic tablecloths to make a ceiling decoration.
Mine almost turned out pinterest fail as the silver tablecloths looked like plastic shopping bags and it was pretty messy but Miss G insisted it was wonderful so it got to stay. {I was about to pull it off}
Brighter colours work better for this - see here
Basically buy some plastic tablecloths and cut each one into 4 long strips.
Gather all the strips together and tie with string/fishing line.
Attach to the roof.
Pull each strip out to desired distance and attach (I used tacks)
Keep going till all strips are fanned out.

Microphone Cake Pops

Probably the easiest cake pops I have ever made.
I crumbled a shop bought chocolate pound cake and mixed it with 3 tablespoons of cream cheese. Rolled into balls.
Dipped a bit of the ball in melted white chocolate and stuck it in a mini icecream cone.
Let set then dipped each cone in white chocolate, let drips run off  then dip in silver sugar balls.
Voila - Microphones.
These were my one novelty food. I try to keep it simple at parties. Kids don't really care.
We served individual packets of chips, poppers, strawberry cupcakes (birthday girl request) and chicken nuggets later in the cool of the night.

Birthday Cake

Some years I have the energy for cake, some years I don't. I've been busy with working now and life so it was a shop bought cake with disco ball decorations. So Easy!  I actually had to stop a few kids from trying to steal the disco balls, they liked it so much. They had tiny string on them and I thought would be awesome Christmas baubles so I wanted them for myself!!


We played pass the parcel, piñata and donuts tied to a string and you have to eat them with your hands behind your back. The kids loved it all and actually many of them have not played these types of games before. They also played in our tree house that had fairy lights strung on it. Party only went for an hour and half in the evening, so this was the perfect amount of games and pretty easy.
We had music playing  and a disco ball and fairy lights strung up. They didn't dance as much as I wanted but we had a few songs that made them cheer and move it.

All up we survived 20 plus excitable screaming kids. Phew!

The birthday girl was suitably spoilt and all her friends came for a Friday night end of school term party and had a blast. She said it was fantastic and that's the best a mum can hope for. Bless xx

FHE Lesson {Jesus wants me for Sunbeam}

This lesson inspired by June 2010 Friend Magazine page 3

Opening Song: Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam #60

Opening Prayer: Child


Jesus wants me for a sunbeam {Sing or play song, or youtube - like this one}

What does this song mean?

How can we be a sunbeam?

What does the sun do?  {Provides warmth, makes things grow, makes daylight, Shines}

How can we use these definitions of Sun in our lives?
{Be kind, helpful, help others to learn (and grow), have a happy smile to warm others, shine -through our talents, give hugs, bring sunshine into the lives of all around us}

Draw/Collage a big sun with some sunbeams coming off it.
In the sunbeams write down some ways the children will try to be a Sunbeam for Jesus this week.

Have each Child make their own sun drawing/picture. Glue a picture of them in the middle.
Write in the sunbeams service they will do for others.

Make a sun picture with a circle cut out of the middle
{like a yellow wreath, zig zaggy edges, can use a paper plate}}
As you sing the song have each child hold up the sun in front of their face in turn.
They are the Sun/beam.

Alternatively stick a drawn sun with hole in middle around a handheld mirror and each child can look at themselves while the song plays.

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:

Treat: orange/yellow foods, decorate round biscuits/cookies with yellow icing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Before Baptism Photoshoot

I think it started because I was pregnant when my first child got baptised and I just knew in the busyness of the day that I would never get all the photos of her that I wanted. Things to organise, friends and family to spend time with, food to do, multiple children to dress and look after etc.


Then my mum apologised that there was no photo of me in my baptism dress. She too was so busy beforehand and after your dress is a soggy wet mess, she never got a photo of me in my pretty white dress.

So 5 years  and 3 children ago we started a little family tradition of the....

Before Baptism Photoshoot.

Miss K

Miss A

It also gives us some  pictures to use for invitations.

We've also inadvertently started another tradition. Because wonderful grandma was busily sewing away at dresses and they weren't available yet we've used the same dress for all photoshoots. Even though each girl has their very own, pattern/style chosen by them, sewn by grandma dress. Miss K's dress has been used by everyone for the before photos and to wear after the baptism when their dress is all wet, but they still want to keep wearing white afterwards.

One mention of this photoshoot and the girls are so excited.
It's almost treated with the same reverence as the actual day. {which makes me happy}

Miss G was so happy to have her photoshoot last week. She was a very willing model.
Another rite of passage. Family Tradition.

She is looking forward to her baptism day.


Over time I've discovered that I really like need to break things down into bite size to feel accomplished, not rushed, feel I do things justice. It seems I do this with Birthdays, Parties, Christmas, Easter etc. Instead of keeping stress things to one/two days I drag them out over weeks.

I really don't celebrate Christmas for 3 months (Pleennntttty of normal living, lots of other things going on) but I really do need to divide up all things I want to do and assign them timelines so I don't feel overwhelmed. This little baptism tradition seems to be another example of that need for order.
But hey just call me crazy or whatever.....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

FHE Lesson {Moses}

Since we are studying Old Testament this year in class, sharing some stories here for FHE

Opening Song:

Opening Prayer:


Share the story of Moses:

Joseph and the king of Egypt died. Many years went by. The Israelites lived in Egypt a long time. They had many children. One king of Egypt did not like the Israelites. He thought there were too many of them. He was afraid they would take his land away from him. The king made the Israelites slaves. The Egyptians made them work hard and were mean to them.The king said all the Israelite baby boys must be killed. He sent people to kill them.One Israelite mother was afraid they would find her baby boy. She hid him for three months. Then the mother put her baby in a basket. She put the basket in the tall grass by the river. The baby’s sister, Miriam, stood by to watch the baby. The king of Egypt had a daughter. She went to the river. She saw the basket and opened it. The baby began to cry. The king’s daughter was sorry for the baby. She wanted to take him to her home. She needed someone to take care of the baby. She wanted to be his mother. Miriam went to the king’s daughter. Miriam said she would find an Israelite woman to take care of the baby. She ran and got her mother. Her mother came to take care of the baby. They took the baby to the king’s house. The king’s daughter named him Moses. Moses grew up in the king’s house.

The Lord saved Moses because he knew he had a special work to do.
He was to become the Prophet of the Israelites and save them.

Lds Bible Video - The Baby Moses
Bible Video - The Prophet Moses

Print and Play:
Scripture Figures - June 2014 Friend Magazine
Folding Paper Craft - Moses parts the Red Sea

Find Baby Moses Maze 
{I dual screen our TV and computer and place mazes and activities on our big screen tv and the kids do the maze standing up with finger in the air in front of the tv}

Baby Moses Action Song:

This is Baby Moses.
(Cradle arms as if holding a baby.)
Here’s his basket-boat.
(Cup hands into boatlike shape.)
His mother tucked him deep inside,
(Pull both fists up to cheeks as if pulling up a blanket.)
Then let the basket float.
(Make boat out of hands again, add rocking motion.)
Pharaoh’s daughter found him
(Spread fingers wide near eyes to indicate surprise.)
And raised him as her own;
(Pretend to pick up baby and hold him close.)
Then Moses chose to serve the Lord
(Fold arms as for prayer.)
And earned a heavenly throne.
(Look up and gesture heavenward.)
January 1997 Friend Magazine


Have children wrap up a doll to be baby moses. Place him in a basket {or box}and pretend to have him float down the river or hide him and have children find him as did pharaohs daughter.

Make a craft baby moses in a basket - easy paper basket and paper doll

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:


Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice came around so fast.

It was as warm as spring/summer day!

No fire for us to celebrate the longest night.

But we did do our tradition of watching the sunset and had a picnic.

I did get up early the next morn and walk in the morning darkness.

It was really calm and warm and a bit fog and just slight glow in the dark.

Very fitting way to celebrate the longest night.

Previous Celebrations


Sunday, June 15, 2014

FHE Lesson {Staying Connected to Heavenly Father}

Opening Prayer: Child
This lesson based on this article from June 2014 Friend Magazine page 42
Why do boats have to be tied up well when not in use?
If boat is not tied well it can get loose, float away, or be torn away during storm and smashed.
Like a boat how does Heavenly Father help us stay tied to him so we can be safe?
Heavenly Father loves us so much and sent us to be here in families.
We must love eachother and keep eachother safe and tight.
He also gives us ordinances to stay connected to him.
Baptism, sacrament, confirmation, temple marriage, blessings.
Choose from below
Print these Cards pg 43 of June 2014 Friend Magazine on staying connected to Heavenly Father. 
Use them to play Memory/Match.
Using some rope tie some things {sticks etc} together. With each ordinance mentioned loop around the sticks and tie a knot. Continue through each ordinance and things Heavenly Father has placed in our lives to keep us safe. Check how strongly the sticks are tied together. Comment how this is how we are kept close to Heavenly Father, this is how our family can be strong together. 
Read Matthew 18:18.
If you have toy boats (or make some paper ones) put them in a tub of water. Tie some boats to a mooring and have some not and make waves and have them lost at sea. 
Alternatively make a tiny leaf boat/ plastic cap boat and tie one to the side of the gutter. Using buckets of water send another boat down the gutter and into the drain. Talk about how it is important to a boat to be secure when not in use. We also need to be careful in our life not to drift away. We can be a boat in use heading in the right direction doing work. But we must also be careful to always be securely tied to what we know is right.
Closing Prayer:
Treat: Fruit String/Ropes

Sunday, June 8, 2014

FHE Lesson {After Baptism}

We have a daughter soon to be baptised so I'm revisiting my Preparing for Baptism series:


Opening Prayer: Child


What is baptism?

How great will it be to have all our sins washed away?!

Do you think it will be possible to be perfect forever, never making a mistake after our baptism? (how many years?!)

Whilst it is important for us to always try our best to be good, we might not be able to be perfect for 80 years.

What has been provided for us so that we may still remain perfect in the years after our baptism?

What do we do every week to remind us of our baptismal covenants? {sacrament}

If we have spent time before sacrament meeting repenting of our sins, we can leave sacrament meeting feeling clean and pure.

Sweeter Than Ice Cream
Read or summarise the story Sweeter than Icecream on page 13 March 2014 Friend magazine.
You could also use an personal example of the first mistake you made after baptism.

{basically after a wonderful baptism the family and friends go out for icecream. The main character who was baptised dropped their icecream and used a bad word. Immediately she felt bad and that she hadn't even been baptised ONE day and she had already made a mistake! She felt her special day was now ruined and her clean record gone after one day. Over time she realises that if she sincerely repents and takes the sacrament, it would be just like being baptised all over again.}

We must always remember that we can repent and right our wrongs.

We can always be as pure as our baptism day.

Closing Song: Help Me Dear Father #99

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Icecream

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Telling Time by the Seasons {first fire of the year}

On Sunday while out for a walk Miss G starts collecting sticks and announces
'It is time for the first fire.'

I reply and say 
'Did you know today is the first day of winter?
Perfect time for a first fire of the year!'

Alas the fire didn't happen Sunday night.
With utmost importance we had to make sure it happened Monday night with marshmallows.

The first fire of the 2014 winter season.

The longer I blog and the more I blog the same things (!!) 2009  2010  2012   2013

I see time/traditions/seasons as a marker.

The cycle of years and seasons are interesting. Why do we have them? We see the same things each year, but each year is a little different. The cyclic nature shows us time passing, but that we still have time to make things a little different, a little better each year. Each year we can build on the last. We can know what to expect, we can be prepared, we can be great! Don't let time pass you by. You have the perfect opportunity for a repeat. Nature provides the comfort in knowing what's around the corner. There must be a reason for this. Embracing the thought of seasons for a reason!

Time is moving.
We are aging.
Children are growing.
Each year the seasons provide us a little comfort.
A little something to lean on.

A way to mark the passage of time.


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