Thursday, July 31, 2008

The last Christmas in July Post :(

So it is the last day of July.. and my last Christmas in July post... you won't hear anything more to do with Christmas from me.... until say.... November!! =)

I am ending with some organized Christmas Links
Organized Christmas
Awesome Holiday Planner Printable
Christmas Notebook
Christmas Planner

I know I could do with using these... It would make the holidays run smoother.... I need to keep a list of gifts I have to make or buy and tick them off as I go.

Have an enjoyable Christmas and if you start now.. it will be even more stress free.... Christmas is only 20ish weeks away!!! Oh I will never be ready in time ;)

And the winner is.....

Fitting for Christmas - A Huge Cup for hot chocolate

Winner is picked by my cute random number generator

And the winner is.....

I thought my number generator looked too sad to be announcing a winner, so I asked her to smile... this is what you get with the dummy and all.....

I think I will either have to not have giveaways (it makes me too sad... I want everyone to win :) or I have to have more giveaways to ensure everyone wins atleast one thing!!

And frumpy email me your address and I will be sure to add some Australian goodies to the envelope!! Any requests?? what you been missing over there???

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's SO EASY....

When I first started blogging I messed around with backgrounds from Pyzam... but it was too hard and I lost all my widgets (didn't even know I had any till I lost them ;) so I vowed to just leave the layout as it was... and never touch it again... until TODAY that is...

Zan told me about this awesome blog background site The Cutest Blog on the Block that promises not to lose any of your widgets or side bar or pictures AND it is really easy to do.

First make sure that your blog is in the MINIMA layout. You check this by going to Customize, Pick New Layout - This is as hard as it gets... luckily for me... It already was!!

Now scroll through the Free Backgrounds at The cutest Blog on the Block Use the side bar on the right to choose styles you like - Even though it says to sign up - YOU DON'T HAVE TO.. just click on a background you like and the code will be there anyways.

Click on background you like and you will see a code. Copy code.

You will be pasting the code on your blog - so go to blog and

Click customize - then add a page element

In the list there should be one that says HTML/JAVA SCRIPT click on it

Paste code in box and save

And TA DAAAAA - you have a beautiful background

Now you can change your background to suit your mood, holiday, or just as often as you change clothes.. I have already tested out about 5 today!

Once you have done it once, you master it and I can change my background in about 1 minute now (not including scrolling time looking for the perfect template =)

Something is GROWING!!

We have spied a tiny baby tomato growing on our plant. This plant was Miss 2's birthday present from her grandma - Thanks Grandma... they are more excited about watering it and looking after it now there is evidence that it will produce something!

Flat Challenge - Unplug your kids

Last weeks theme for Unplug your Kids was flat... I always seem to have trouble with the open ended themes (like the old one)

Ideas that came were -
cooking - pizza, dough type things
Cardboard/Shoebox "Flat" dollshouse. Another word for apartment in Australia is a Flat - ie I live in Flat #9

and then I remembered a cute idea from many years ago......

A missionary at my church had a little paper child cut out. He said they are called "Flat Stanley". Someone (his neice in this case) drew a picture of herself and posted it to him (halfway around the world) and he was to take it with him to different places and have it's photograph taken in interesting places that the little girl will probably never be able to visit.

Such a cute idea... so introducing ... THE FLAT ME'S!!! or as I called them the Flat Triplets...

The girls coloured some doll cutouts that I got from Riot Craft

FlatMe loves to eat breakfast

They love to wear their hair the same

They call home when they are out

They like to climb trees

Watch excitedly as their real me goes down the slide

They love to go to the fair

As you can see the FlatMe's and their 3D counterparts had a great week.

This weeks Challenge: rough

Monday, July 28, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday

We had a Muffin Tin Monday afternoon tea... I had to wait till the older ones were home from school... I didn't want to do it without them, and I think the little one will enjoy it more with them anyway.

Nutella Sandwiches, banana, trail mix (crasins, cashews, smarties, Pistachios)
Feta Spinach Bacon Quiche, vanilla yoghurt, fruit salad

As it is FREEZING... outside today... we had an indoor picnic!

4 days left

to win this lovely christmas ornament!! Leave me a comment and you will be in the draw.

I will be ending on the last day of July with my last Christmas in July Post... I have had some lovely comments, so I hope you have all enjoyed it... Through this I have learnt that Christmas in July is obviously an Australian thing (or Southern Hemisphere?) as I had some great laughing comments from my American readers... people must think I am crazy...

Sunday, July 27, 2008


He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him ~ Psalms 126:6

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The fair... the fair...

As my husband was going with a friend to the movies, I wondered what the girls and I would do today... I rang my mother to see what my family were up to... then she says the primary school I went to as a child was holding their yearly fete today...

So that is what we did, went to the local fete (like a very small fair)and reminisced of my school days from 20 years ago..

One half of the fete

Choosing Fairy Floss (Cotton Candy) Apple and Watermelon flavours???

Waiting in line is never fun..

They loved the big slide, even if it made "their hearts beat fast"

Checking out the Wildlife

Checking out the police display, in the paddywagon - I hope this isn't an omen for the future ;)

A fete after 3 days of rain = Muddy Feet!!

Shadow Shots

This is my entry for this weeks Shadow Shot Sunday at Hey Harriet
Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this universe is but a faint shadow ~William Blake

As it was raining all week, I didn't get out to find any shadows, so we made our own at home.

Tag Blanket

I have decided to make a tutorial on how to make a Taggie Blankie. I found a few online, but there weren't many that went into detail (probably because they are so easy). The first tag blanket I saw were made by the Young women and Children from Faith in God classs to be put into baby baskets for expectant mothers in the ward at Church.

I made these two for a baby shower for a friend expecting twins. The fabric is rather bright but it was the only flanelette besides white at the shop - and the babies sex are unknown at the moment, so I thought this could suit boys or girls.

You could make these larger, but they are designed to be small to be dragged around my child as a comforter, take anywhere type of thing, and the tags are to be played with/felt.

Apologies for the Photos, I did most of this at night :)

Cut two sqaures of fabric (mine were around 45x45cm 0r 20x20 inches)

Pin ribbon strips facing inwards on good/print side of fabric

Zig Zag stitch along edge - securing ribbon tags on all four sides

lay both sqares of fabric wrong sides facing out

Sew using straight stitch around the 4 sides, leaving a small gap for turning through. Sew two times around to ensure tags are very secure.

Turn out to right sides

Straight Stitch around the edges (closing the opening) and stitch lines across the blanket to make a grid, securing both sides of the blanket.

Finished product

I made a teeny tiny baby one out of leftovers to go in Mummy's bag

Two blankets folded waiting for their owners to be born!

Being in the Moment Parenting #3

Many adults play roles when they speak to young children. They use silly words and sounds. They talk down to the child. They don't treat the child as an equal. The fact that you temporarily know more or that you are bigger does not mean that the child is not your equal.

Most adults will find themselves as parents someday. Are you able to fulfill the function of being a parent withoug identifying with the function - without it becoming your role? It is necessary for a parent to look after the needs of a child, preventing them from danger and at times telling them what to do. When being a parent becomes an identity, when your sense of self is entirely or largely derived from it, it can become overemphasised, exaggerated and takes you over.

Giving children too much becomes spoiling; preventing them from all dangers becomes overprotectiveness and telling children what to do or not to do becomes controlling, overbearing. What is more the role playing identity remains in place long after the need for those particular functions has passed.

Parents then cannot let go of being a parent even when the child grows. They can't let go of the need to be needed by their child. Adults can't let go of the notion "I know whats best for you". The role of parent is still being played compulsively, and so there is no authentic relationship. If their desire to control or influence their child is thwarted (which is usually is) - the parent will start to critize or show disaproval, or try to make the child feel guilty, all in an unconscious attempt to preserve their role - their identity.

On the surface it looks as if they were concerned about the child, and they themselves believe it, but they are only really concerned about preserving their role-identity.

"If you are so enlightened" Ram Dass said " go spend a week with your parents." That is good advice. The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship that sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

pg 97-101 "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle

Friday, July 25, 2008

Being in the Moment Parenting #2

In the human dimension, you are are unquestionably superior to your child. You are bigger, stronger, know more, can do more. If that dimension is all you know, you will feel superior to your child, and you will make you child feel inferior (if only unconsiously) You may love your child, but your love will be human only, that is to say, conditional, possesive, intermittant.

Only in Being are you equal, and only when you find the formless dimension in yourself can there be true love in that relationship. The Presence inside you, the timeless I AM, recognises itself in another, and the other (the child), feels loved, that is to say recognised.

To love is to recognise yourself in another. The longing for love that is in every child is the longing to be recognised, not on the level of form, but on the level of Being. If parents honor only the human dimension of the child, but neglect Being, the child will sense that the relationship is unfulfilled, that something vital is missing and there will be a build up of pain in the child and sometimes unconscious resentment toward the parents. "Why don't you recognise me?"

When someone 'recognises' you it draws the dimension of Being more fully out - This is the love that redeems the world. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.

pg 105-106 "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle

Being in the moment Parenting #1

Many Children harbour hidden anger and resentment toward their parents (Hello, no wonder I cried!!) and often the cause is inauthenticity in the relationship. The child has a deep longing for the parent to be there as a human being, not as a role, no matter how well the role is being played. You may be doing all the right things and the best you can, but even doing the best is never enough.

Doing is never enough if you neglect being. Your ego knows nothing of being, but believes you will eventually be saved by doing. If you are in the grip of ego, you believe that by doing more and more you will eventually accumulate enough 'doings' to make yourself feel complete at some stage in the future. You won't... you will only lose yourself in the doing.

How do you bring being into the life of a busy family and into the relationship with the child? The key is attention. There are two types of attention.
Form based Attention and Formless Attention.
Form based is always connected to doing or evaluating - "Have you done your homework?", Eat dinner, Tidy up, Brush your teeth. Do this, Stop that, Hurry up.....
Form base is necessary and has its place, but if that is all there is in the relationship with your child, the vital dimension is missing and being becomes obscured by doing, by "taking on the cares of the world" as Jesus puts it.

How do we do Formless Attention? We need to Look, listen to, touch and help our child with this or that. Be alert, still and completely present, not wanting to anything else other than the moment as it is. In that moment you are present, you are not mother of father. You are the being behind the doing....

pg 103-104 " A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle

Bloggy Children are perfect... well not mine!

So the bloggy world is full of perfect children who never do a thing wrong.... I have had some lovely comments on what a great mum I am.... and how do I find the time...and that basically I am perfect.... but hey I will let you in on my secret...

I'M NOT !!

Now 2 years ago when I had 3 kids under 5 all at home with me and one of them being a newborn.. I don't think I would have been able to manage this blog at all... ahhh ... but the light at the end of the tunnel.. I now only have one at home, my husband is at home more, I am in such a great mental and physical place I am just SO HAPPY!! and want to share it via this blog... so ladies... there is a time and season for it all..

BUT BACK TO MY NON PERFECT CHILDREN..... I have a 2 year old going through some toddler issues - not wanting to go to bed is one of them.. and a 5 year old going through a "No.. I am not going to do what you want me to do" stage.
"Could these darlings misbehave? You better believe it."

Last night, husband was out, and these lovely little darlings just would not behave. We have a no smacking policy (which I have only broke a few times in 7 years - hey I'm not that perfect) so physical violence was out...

Why do kids listen to their father more than their mother?.... fathers just evoke children to do what they are meant to.... and when there is no father home, watch out.... so I threatened to call Daddy on the phone.. but they saw through that one... dang it....

I am ashamed to admit that I resorted to Emotional blackmail.. I think I better start saving for my children's Therapy.... These are some of the horrid things that came out of my mouth.. before I threw a blanket, squealed and fell on my bed crying...

"I will put you outside if you don't behave" - They hate that one - cause they don't like the dark

"Go find another family to live with"

I did some fake crying to make them feel bad/think about what they are doing to me..

I started praying (oh please help me Lord make it through this night)

"I have to remove my self from you/ I am leaving" - This is when I went to my room crying which actually got the best/worst response - they started crying and banged on my door to be let in - they thought I had lost it I think

and the worst thing was that I was saying these things inbetween singing "I am a child of God" which I have to sing like 10-20 times to get my 5 year old to sleep... how warped is that??? What messages am I sending...

WELL.... when my husband came home I told him all about and how bad I felt, I am the worst mother in the world.... and he said all the right things =) so I didn't kill him aswell - That I was a good mother, and it will be all right etc.

And today they all woke up cheerful and apparently not remembering the Hell they lived through last night... SO I guess I am forgiven...

As I went to sleep I picked up the book I am reading "A New Earth" By Eckhart Tolle and I just happened to be up to the parenting chapter... I cried.... and to pay for my sins I will share it with you all in the next few posts... so get ready for it people....

Foody Friday

I was too lazy this week to photograph my food.... Sorry to anyone out there who cares...

So I will leave you with the one thing I made that was oh so Yummy... that I am making it again tonight.....

Choc Caramel Slice

1 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, melted

400g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
60g butter, melted

125g cooking chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 3cm deep, 28 x 18cm (base) lamington pan.
Combine all base ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Press into prepared lamington pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven. Cool.
Make filling: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking, for 8 minutes or until golden. Pour over cooked base. Bake for 12 minutes or until firm. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until set.
Make topping: Melt chocolate in the microwave (carefully to not burn it)for 30 secs. Stir until melted. Pour over caramel. Refrigerate to set. Cut into squares to serve.

PS - That isnt my photo... I think if you want the caramel to be that thick - you would need double the amount of filling, because mine was thin... I am off to buy another condensed milk... yuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Christmas in July - Traditions

We are getting to the end of the month and this is my last giveaway. A cute nativity ornament. It measures about 10cm x 15cm. Leave me a comment and you will be in the draw to win it! In our house we decorate with Christ Centred ornaments and stars, bells, wreaths, lights and a lot less with santa.

Here are some traditions that we do and so we have yet to do. Hope you enjoy.

We make pinatas for everything else - why not for christmas? See the Christmas Pinata from Craft bits.

Each night before bed I read a christmas based story. We get some from the library and each year I try to buy a book to build up our collection. I also have a book called the Lions Children Christmas Collection which has about 50 stories. Previously I was keeping them in a basket next to the tree but after seeing this idea from Makes and Takes -
Wrapped Christmas Books about wrapping 25 books and it will be a surprise what is inside. I am going to do this. Who doesn't love unwrapping gifts? Even if they are books you already own!

We put our tree up on the first Monday night in December for Family Home Evening.

We go to see Christmas Lights

And one of our favourite traditions is having a Full Christmas Dinner (my favourite because my husband cooks it ALL!!) on a Monday night before Christmas (1 or 2 weeks prior) where we invite both sets of parents (the children's grandparents) so the children are able to enjoy their grandparents all to themselves without having to share with cousins. This is one of our favourite traditions. Our children get both sets of grandparents, we eat yummy food, it prolongs the Christmas season, we can move at our own pace and basically have a fantastic time.

We celebrate Advent I use this Online Advent Calendar click on each day and it will give you a scripture, a prayer, a craft and a treat - I don't use all of them, but there are some great ideas there. I think a daily celebration of advent makes the holiday go longer

Have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve. Help teach kids the real meaning of Christmas.

We try to attend some carol singing either at church, school or in the city at Carols by Candelight.

Some years in leiu of cards we have made a Christmas Video that is emailed out to family and friends with our children acting out parts in the Nativity story and last year they did Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. This year we are thinking of doing "The Night before Christmas"

I try to get my children to do a service or give to a neighbour, a friend, and a stranger. I am always looking for ways we can help others at christmas if you have any ideas, please forward them on to me.

Enjoy your family traditions at Christmas - leave me a comment on what your family does at Christmas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Well not really since you all know I can't not talk! This is an art journal entry see here at the Flickr Echoes Journal for much better ones than mine - they are very inspiring!!

Writing says "Stayed in my PJ's all day - and cleaned - ALOT!! I didn't have to do the school drop off thanks to my lovely husband. At the end of the day he gave me this art journal, I am so happy - but apprehensive... I still can't draw! :) 21/07/08

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Toddler Art Group

Today's art was Resist Painting. We used oil crayons to draw (kindly donated by my Sister-In-Law- thanks:)then watercolour paint over the top. This was more to use up the little bit of paint left in the bottles than anything else - Paint is expensive!

But either the kids weren't in the mood, or this paint isn't as exciting to them as most of the kids were done and finished in 15 mins. Maybe they were hungry as they spent the next half hour eating and playing in the yard.

Kids working hard

Finished Product

Little Houdini... I got rid of the esky full of water (for washing hands) because she always took off her clothes and hopped in. So I used a pot instead, and she STILL fitted her body in it!!

My work in my new Art diary
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