Sunday, November 30, 2008

Twelfth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me.. Pencils for everybody!

I thought I better squeeze the last Day of Christmas post on the last day of November !! I found the idea for these pencils at One Crafty Mumma They make great gifts for end of school (which is in two weeks!! Here comes SUMMER HOLIDAYS!)

I pretty much detest candy canes.. they don't taste that great, my girls make STICKY horrid messes with them, they pretty much melt and wilt on the tree as we don't have airconditioning, I find half sucked ones being saved for later in the fridge... I am guilty of giving my fair share away.. Well...I mean they are the easiest thing to pop in a Christmas card for my daughters school class friends, But not this year!

I am just finishing up like my 45th pencil topper - enough for everyone in each of my daughters classes.

I was lucky enough to find these lovely Christmas pencils at the local $2 shop, then I cut lots of Christmas Trees out of felt (see One crafty Mumma's link for the pattern)

I sewed some on the machine around the edges and some are handsewn leaving a gap in the trunk to put a pencil in, and a little glue to keep the tree on. Then I dotted PVA glue and sprinkled on glitter.

Attach a ribbon for girls if desired and give to all your friends

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my 12 days of Christmas - they made my day!! Enjoy the Christmas season and check back in December for my 12 Day Walk with Christ - A wonderful way to begin the Season :)


That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God ~ 1 Corinthians 2:5

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Hill

You know how I mentioned a few weeks ago about my offical and unofficial engagement? Well this week was the anniversary of the official (ring and all) one. I was planning on taking the husband and kids there to take photos and have a picnic dinner but all these storms and rain and busyness have prenvented me. Today we attended like our 40th wedding (perks of the MR being a YSA Bishop) and the kids were off at Grandma's decorating her Christmas tree - we took the opportunity to visit OUR HILL - it is noone elses - just ours ;)and remember that time 10 years ago :)



US (10 years older)

THE RING (still shiny after 10 years)

THE BIG TREE AT OUR HILL (picture us sitting under it when we are old :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordfull Wednesday - I am Grateful

Today's topic at Chocolate on my Cranium is I am Grateful. Perfect timing for Thanksgiving in the US. Even though it isn't celebrated here, anytime is a good time for being thankful :)

One of the best journals I have ever had was Sarah Ban Breathnach's "The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude". It was pretty expensive for a book which is pretty much lined paper, but I really liked how each day was set out with 5 lines and each page had different quote for the week. My birthday is in January so I bought it as a gift to myself.

Now I have had my ups and downs with keeping a journal (some years good, most years terrible :) and journal entries more sporadic once I had children and started this blog :) well hey, this is my journal now :) But the aim of this one was to keep it short and simple, fill it in every day (I felt sad when I saw a date empty)and to think of something new each day to be grateful for. So if I did it for 365 days (miss a few) and I wrote 5 new things each day, I came up with 1825 things I was grateful for!! WOW.. that is an accomplishment.. but maybe not really for someone who likes to talk as much as I do :)

Well I won't bore you with a complete list :) but I decided to have a skim through and list some of the things I was grateful for in 2001 (the year I had the journal) (ok so I am looking now and it is gonna be hard to choose only a few things... oh the memories :)

colour (I had just painted my first baby's room), Afternoon nap, My sister made me laugh hard, my husbands smile made me melt, little brothers who mowed my lawn, my dad who builds me anything I ask, mangoes for breakfast, dancing with the MR in the loungeroom, Free hospitals for all my antenatal checkups, Sitting in a plastic blow up pool to keep cool in the heat

A random lady telling me that raising children is the best job ever, going out with my nanna - she spoils me so much, the MR calling me Angel, going to the library, Cheesecake, reading the Ensign, Eating lunch in the park with mum, The TEMPLE being approved for our area, people holding my newborn baby while I taught RS,driving the car after 6 weeks not allowed (because of emergency ceasarian), random strangers carrying my pram down the stairs at the train station (happened more than once, when I didn't have a car), MR C's Frozen Custard,

Emails from friends far away, windy days to dry my washing fast, a beautiful bright pink sunset, smell of Anzac biscuits baking, cosy rainy days, Seeing a friend before she left for Russia for her mission, LDS family expo- I learnt sooo much from the US speakers, Hot Chip Sandwiches, A blessing at 1am from my husband when I was sick, making M&M cookies, Miss K's one tooth smile, Picnics, dinner invites to friends, making sushi, the MR making dinner, A suprise stay at a fancy hotel, Fairy Lights, camping, The Atonement

and the list could go on and on.. thanks for sharing the journey.. and go get an old journal out and have a never know what you will unearth :) I have enjoyed reading through mine.

Eleventh day of Christmas

my true love gave to me.... more ornaments of the family..

One of my favourite things to make at Christmas is personalised Christmas Balls. A few years ago I made my Nanna one ball for everyone in her family (that took while ;) My mother put in an order as we have had a few additions to our families in the last few years and I have to play catch up. They can be put on the tree or strung in a line like my grandmother does. My mother in law even put all her balls in the shape of a tree pinned to a wall in the house.

Basically you buy some plain balls some PVA glue and glitter.

I like to find a small round container which will hold the ball while I write on it with the glue. Then sprinkle glitter over the name, and shake off excess.

Add a bow, I bought these bows premade 12 for $2 at overflow

Now make one for everyone in your family :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tenth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me... Celebrating Advent as a family

For a few years I have wanted to celebrate Advent the proper way with a wreath and candles and starting on the last sunday in November.. but small children who happen to be pyromanics prevented me from such.. but this year I am going to try!

I had my dad make me a birthday candle ring a few months ago. See here for birthday ring details. I had read somewhere that it can also be used to celebrate Advent.

I covered my basic birthday ring with holly shaped tinsel and added 4 red dinner candles.

In the middle you can put any decorations you would like, I used gold baubles here

And a small nativity set

How to celebrate Advent ( I googled to find this out :)

Purchase or make an Advent Wreath. An Advent Wreath has 4 candles, 1 for each week. Sometimes a fifth candle is added in the center for lighting on Christmas Eve.

Decide as a family when you will observe your Advent traditions. Advent is celebrated on Sunday in churches, but you might find another day of the week that is less hectic for your own celebration.

Choose a reading for each week from the Bible that tells a portion of the story of the birth of Christ. The first should be from the Old Testament because it represents prophecy.

Gather your family around your wreath during the evening meal and light the first candle. Read the story you have chosen. Each week the first candle will be lighted first and so on until all 4 are shining on the fourth week.

Sing a Christmas Carol together after the reading. If your family doesn't like to sing, then have some music playing during the reading.

Say a prayer together after the reading and the song.

Allow the candle or candles to burn throughout the remainder of the evening meal.

And I found this which describes the meaning behind an Advent Wreath

The circular shape of the Advent wreath reminds us of God. Just as a circle has no beginning or end, He is eternal, without beginning or end. His love and mercy have no end. The greenery of the wreath speaks to the hope we have in God, the hope of newness and renewal, and the hope of eternal life.

The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life and hope. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God’s grace to others The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four weeks of Advent. These four candles also symbolize the waiting for four centuries between the life of the prophet Malachi and the birth of Jesus.

The four outer candles usually consist of three purple candles and one pink or rose candle. In the center of the wreath, is the white Christ Candle. The central location of the Christ candle reminds us of the central focus of Christ in our hearts and lives

Advent starts this Sunday 30 November

Thankful Challenge - Unplug your kids

This weeks Challenge at Unplug Your Kids is thankful. I am reposting my thankful tree I did a few weeks ago and another idea I want to do.
This is the idea I want to do this week: Sweet Cone Cornucopia idea from - Until seeing these Thanksgiving crafts I had never really heard of a Cornucopia.

The cornucopia is a symbol of food and abundance dating back to the 5th century BC, also referred to as horn of plenty, Horn of Amalthea, and harvest cone In modern depiction, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket typically filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables. In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest.

Even though Thanksgiving isn't an Australian holiday, I think it will still be fun to talk about the abundance and plenty we enjoy where we live.

And here is the thanksgiving tree we had up for a few weeks in November. I thought it would be a great chance for the girls to list what they were thankful for instead of thinking about what they would be getting with the upcoming christmas season. With no Halloween or Thanksgiving, little ones in Australia can be spending ALOT of time thinking about Christmas.

The wrote thankful things on strips of paper and we tied them to the branch. Later we added some seedpod birds that we made.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness ~ Psalms 18:28

Friday, November 21, 2008


Having been in a drought for like 8 years I hope this week is the end of it :) It has stormed severely nearly everynight this week. Even the girls school was damaged.

Last night Miss K came up with this list all on her own

This checklist kept her busy though the whole storm and she wasnt scared or worried one bit. She added ticks or crosses to each section as needed

TV off
Computer off
Lights off
Candles on
everything ready
loud noises
big lightning
heavy rain
time storm started

It was the cutest thing ever and made me laugh.


Oh and did you know it is World Hello Day today? November is a busy month for the UN :) Every year, November 21 is World Hello Day. The object is to say hello to ten people on the day. By greeting others, the message is for world leaders to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.

Go Here to see how to say hello in different languages

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Childrens Day...

It's Universal Children's Day today. The day is used to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood.

November 20 is also the anniversary of the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states.

Go hug a child and be glad that your children live where their rights are protected, and think about children who live in parts of the world where they are not protected.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ninth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me.. an Advent for counting...

You know I love me a good Advent Calendar... Do you remember my Christmas in July Advent Ideas Post? Click back there now to refresh your memory and find some cute ideas. I have a few advent calendars around the house but none of them made by the kids...

until Now!!

lay out 24 Coffee filters on some newspaper. I used size 2 filters. They open like a pocket

using droppers (we used straws) drop red and green food colouring on the filters

drip until you are happy with colours

write numbers on each filter with permanent marker

use mini pegs to attach to a string, tie raffia or ribbon between each filter and fill :)

This year we are filling the pockets with a family activity to be done each day. I may add some chocolate or lollies on random days so the kids don't expect it. On Monday night at Family Home Evening we brainstormed 24 ideas that could go in our pockets

Here are some of them

Make paper chains
Sleep Under the Christmas Tree
Give some treats to our neighbours
Make paper snowflakes
String Popcorn
Listen to the Christmas Story on CD
Set up the Christmas Tree
Make bon bons
Watch Christmas Movies
Go for a walk and find some Christmas lights
Watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional
Make and send Christmas Cards
Pine Cone Craft
Star Craft
Go and Visit the nativity at the Temple
Listen to Handels Messiah

Now is the time to get cracking on your Advent Calendar - you don't want to be caught out in two weeks time... December First comes along quickly

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day November 19

The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO is also one of the few organizations to focus on toilets instead of water, which receives more attention and resources under the common subject of sanitation.

WTO was created as a global network and service platform wherein all toilet and sanitation organizations can learn from one another and leverage on media and global support that in turn can influence governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies.

In 2005, WTO started the world's first World Toilet College (WTC) providing training in toilet design, maintenance, School Sanitation and Disaster Sanitation and implementation of Sustainable Sanitation systems.

In addition to advocacy, capacity building and sanitation projects, WTO is now driving a market-based strategy to address the dysfunctional sanitation market for the poor, by installing efficient market infrastructure

About the founder Jack Sim
After attaining financial independence at the age of 40, Jack decided to devote the rest of his life to social work. He established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998 to break the taboo of toilet and sanitation and legitimize it for mainstream culture. In 2001, Jack created the World Toilet Organization (WTO) as a global network and service platform wherein the various toilet associations, academia, government, UN agencies and toilet stakeholders can learn from one another and leverage on media and corporate support to influence governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies.

I was lucky enough to see a TV show (Kennys World toilet tour) that actually had the founder of the World Toilet Organisation interviewed on it about 2 months ago. He said that Toilets and associated sanitation is still a taboo topic around the world. He said because there are no celebrities willing to put themselves out there to promote this subject, this problem does not get the attention it deserves. He said so many people out there esp celebrities are supporting AIDS,famines, animals, violence etc when in fact it is poor toilet sanitation that kills the most people around the world.

He wants us to put our taboos behind us and be brave enough to do some Toilet talk :)

I am grateful for flushing toilets... to commemorate World Toilet day I just may go and clean my two toilets :)

I was bought up with a healthy appreciation for water and bathrooms. When my mother was injured in a severe car accident when she was pregant with me she had to remain in hospital for a few months on her back and was unable to wash and use the bathroom. She always told us as children that she has always been grateful for a warm shower and bathroom ever since. She has never forgotten what blessings they are.

Enjoy world toilet day and all your "potty talk" :)

Go to to read more, donate and cause change

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eighth Day of Christmas

my true love gave to me.. a felt wreath for decorating..

I filed away this idea from Bella Dia who is also the creator of one of my favourite crafty blogs The Crafty Crow She used felted wool sweaters, but I have used just plain cheap felt from the shops.

All you need is some wire and some felt scraps cut into squares (about 1.5cm square)

Thread the squares onto the wire. Bend one end of the wire to stop them falling off. Some felts are easy to thread on, others are quite tough. I used a big needle to poke a hole through the thicker felts to make it easier to thread.

Keep going until you have filled your wire, then bend the wires over, and press them closed.

And make many more as they are easy and quick to make and there are so many colour combinations to try out

Mine are about 10cm high. You can make them as big or small as you like.. but the smaller the cuter they are.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred therewith ~ Proverbs 15:17

This is also my Shadow Shot entry at Hey Harriet . My husband called me and said grab your camera and go lie in bed.. So I am lying in bed going... what?? Why am I here?...I don't get it.. and he said "Look UP - it will be perfect for your shadow shots" and there was this heart on the ceiling. How wonderful... and it was only fleeting.. it was gone minutes later.

I am lucky to have found true love in my life

Friday, November 14, 2008

A portion of thyself

I shamelessly stole this quote from another blog Artist Reborn

Next to things of necessity, the rule for a gift, which one of my friends prescribed, is that we might convey to some person that which properly belonged to his character, and was easily associated with him in thought. But our tokens of compliment and love are for the most part barbarous.

Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkercheif of her own sewing.

This is right and pleasing, for it restores society in so far to the primary basis, when a man's biography is conveyed in his gift, and every man's wealth is an index of his merit. But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy me something which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's. This is fit for kings , and rich men who represent kings, and a false state of property, to make presents of gold and silver stuffs, as a kind of symbolical sin-offering, or payment of blackmail. ~from the essay "Gifts" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now we all buy gifts from the shop... yes even I... and many of them... but something reasonated with me in this quote..

that I may give a portion of myself...

I need some ideas readers on how to do this without sending myself barmy crafting 24/7 and to think of people who do not like handmade gifts.

I just went to a class for enrichment which was GIFTS versus PRESENTS.

A gift is something that lasts. Taking a friend somewhere, babysitting so a person can go to the temple, going to to temple with a friend, sharing a talent, family history, Sharing dinner, family home evening, and the list goes on

but how do you do this without seeming like you are trying to get out of it.. like you say to a person I will give you this at a later time and then it never happens.. they never redeem it.. possibly thinking you are too busy and didn't really mean it.

So people I need your thoughts on this... how does one give a portion of themselves?

Seventh day of Christmas

my true love gave to me...Seed pods from a tree :)

This might be the cheapest craft you do this holiday season - FREE!!

I collected jacaranda seed pods from my front yard, gumnuts from down the street, and these bird looking seedpods that I have no idea what they are from the next street over... all from off the ground!!

then I painted them with some house paint sample tins (gifted to me from my sister in law - THANKS Karyn :)I didn't even use a paint brush.. I just dipped the whole seed in the paint tin then hung the pods from a tree in my yard with a peg and let them drip dry in the sun :)

Then I wrapped raffia bows around them (or use whatever ribbons you have in your craft stash) and some beads for the birds and hung them using fishing line.

viola... Instant natural decorations for your tree. We have hung ours on our Thanksgiving tree (branches) Do you think the jacaranda's look like baubles, the gumnuts like bells, and unknown pod like little birds? We do.. perfect christmas decorations!

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