Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Is....

sleeping under the Tree
Dress Ups
Myer Windows
Christmas Parades
Gingerbread houses
Putting up the Tree
Christmas Dinners
City Trees
Christmas Eve Pyjama's
And Family and Presents galore tomorrow!
Have a wonderful Christmas Everyone!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Card Movie

I've finished just in time!

{had a few technical issues - my video footage was sideways!}

But I fixed it and Our 2012 Christmas Card Movie is done!

I've waited YEARS to have a child with no teeth at Christmas time.

Finally it's happened.

So of course... this HAD to be the idea for this year.


And a VERY MERRY Christmas from our family to yours.

Previous years here:
2011 - Putting up the Tree
2010 - Let it Snow
2008 - Nativity

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Worries of Christmas Past

It seems each December I come up with some worry.

You know.... just to balance all that cheer out.

Things like:

The dueling Christmases that exist in my head
Will it be enough?
The impossiblity of a perfect Christmas
Black hole week and that horrible after feeling

{yes go back and read them }

Last night I was wrapping presents on the bed when The Mr came home from a evening meeting.

He was like... what IS all this STUFF!?

Ummm Christmas presents?? We do have four kids that equals ALOT of stuff to buy ya know

Yeah one or two things each ...... he trailed off.

Ok so I have been buying stocking stuffers since about September.....

It is possible that there is a little too much of the little plasticy fun stuff.....

I've been thinking ever since talking to a mum at school who stated they didn't do Christmas.

Why I asked? She felt as they practiced no religion it would be hypocritical to celebrate Christmas
(I said you do realise probably 80% celebrating don't do the religious thing?)
and that she is very against all the consumerism and waste around Christmas.

I actually really admire her for her stance. She made me really think. Asses how much I do.
{because I really agree on the waste part}
I personally would not be able to stand against social norms of presents, fun, lights, crafts, christmas trees, Christmas dinner etc. She really did NOTHING that is associated with Christmas.
Hardcore to me. 

I'm but a sheep. A follower. Easily led by shiny pretty things.

I've also heard of religious people who opt for nothing but church services, kindness to others and choose to opt out of all secular parts of christmas .

I always wonder if I do too much. People have said it. Over compensation? Wasteful of resources to be buying up crafts, decorations, foods to celebrate for the whole month. Do my kids REALLY need all of these traditions? Do they need more than one present?

What would it be like to keep things really simple.

Maybe one year I'll try. I tell myself that will be easier in the teen years? They won't want to do cheesy family traditions by then. Simple will be easy right? On a side note I watched that Christmas with the Krank's movie where they try to cancel christmas to save money and go on a cruise. It just seems there are just so many things that you can't cancel!

Theres always that balance.

Too much?... Too little?

Cheer or Grinch

Take the parts you love ... leave the parts you don't?

Throw other peoples expectations to the side?

One Day I'll do it.

{I'm dreaming}

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grandparents Christmas Dinner

Our favourite tradition

Last night after it was done I was even thinking about next years menu.

Food was delish

company wonderful

Kids with Gifts

Watching slideshows of the years photos

And I got my first napkin rings!! {I've been on the lookout for a while!}

The Menu
Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup
Chicken Kebabs with Mango Peanut Lime Sauce
Beef fillet on bed of creamy mash, asparagus and jus
Lemon Curd Tartlet, Gingerbeer Chocolate Cake, Meringue with Rasberries
One of my girls is learning how to send emails. During the busy preparation of the day I recieved this email which made my heart melt - The subject line said 'sup'
hi mum it's me!! I think you've put alot of effort into cleaning cooking and getting redy for grand perants dinner I bet tonight will be awesome it's gonna be so fun like it always is. lol oh and I'm happy it's holidays the holidays is fun. but when are we going to the movies with dad or you?
please send a email back to me
When the kids are little and they're tired and its hard to organize and cook a fancy dinner and keep the house clean and look after them it sometimes seems so hard to do these things. Then the kids grow and they know they've had 8 years of this tradition and they know it in their hearts, its part of them and they become helpful {sort of}and things seem easier {apart from the hot weather and sweating it out in the kitchen} then they want to be part of things and their idea of decorating is vastly different from yours and you have to step back from being OCD balanced decorating mum and let them make daisy chains and paper trees, while they forget about garish tinsel they had taken from school with grand plans for it. You let all children use crystal cups you got for a wedding present 14 years ago and they love it and the glasses live another year! And great grandma's send along really annoying presents which make you laugh cause only great grandma's have the authority to give annoying presents and we have to grin and bear it as thats what family is all about.
And we love it.

Previous Grandparent Dinners found here:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stocking Pinata {A Christmas Tip}

It's not a party without a


Last year the Candy Cane pinata was a hit!

I think Christmas pinatas are my favourite.

So many easy shapes to make

This year I'm doing a stocking shape

Large cardboard (a box works fine)
Masking Tape
PVA/White Glue
Crepe Paper

Trace 2 basic outlines of a stocking in cardboard and cut out. {Mine is about 50cm tall}

Cut a long rectangle to join around the edges (Or two long rectangles)

Bend the rectangle around the stocking shape taping as you go.

When attached, then place the other stocking shape on top and tape it down too.

Leave a small gap at the top to put the treats in

'Fringe' the crepe paper by cutting 3/4 way into the paper.

Cut several layers at once to save time!

Glue strips down in layers starting at the bottom. Each layer covers the one before.

Keep going till all sides are covered

Fill with lollies, glitter, cut paper, small toys

The hard bit is attaching a rope. Fasten a hook or loop onto the back to then attach a rope to.
Alternatively tie a rope all around it :)

Make sure it is well attached {Glued/ Taped down}
This is a weak spot and often where pinata's break.
It wrecks the fun to have a pinata fall down before the lollies come out.

Hang your pinata in a tree, in the garage, over some sort of post.

Then HIT your PINATA.

Hopefully we will be sharing ours with cousins on Christmas Day.

Ha. I just realised where I took this photo. Note: DO NOT hit pinata's in front of windows :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've probably had dates 2-6 by going away with the Mr for the weekend :) I might make 12!!

There has to be some perk of having your husband travel interstate weekly for work for 6 months.

Right?! Right?!

That would be a flight business class to Melbourne and back thanks to frequent flyer points

and hotel 'cause he was already there.

and major props to grandparents for babysitting {I'm forever indebted}

Most times we go out, The Mr and I are together {of course}

there have been very few times where I have travelled somewhere to meet him

{see another time here}

But I can't describe that feeling after being apart a week, then travelling hours flying then taking two buses then finding the hotel and walking into that lobby.....

and seeing him sitting there waiting for me...

I literally bounded over and threw myself in his arms

I think I may have done the chick-flick lift of the leg thing if you havent done it before, I totally recommend travelling to {even if its just across town} and meeting up with your other half somewhere.


Now on to Melbourne. I've been to Victoria before and seen several places but never to Melbourne City so it was exciting for me. So many Trees! lovely old buildings! and churches! and christmas decorations! and tiny restaurants and cafes everywhere! Melbourne felt so safe and vibrant. I felt more unsafe in the evenings when I was in Newcastle and Sydney than I ever did in Melbourne. Positive vibes the whole time and not a single dodgy vibe even once... I was impressed.

We played it pretty easy. Lots of walking, looking at buildings and churches and shop browsing and my first ever ride on a tram.

Not much else.

so onto photo overload: Buildings and more buildings, churches, gardens, food, trams


I even took money to buy myself something but alas didn't really find a single thing!?!
{whats wrong with me?}
Things are either too expensive, too big to carry back, have similar shops in Brisbane, beautiful but where would I put it?, why? {I talk myself out of purchases all.the.time}
I know I know so silly and I regretted not getting myself something on my last holiday with The Mr but hey I suppose the memories are the most important thing.
I find shopping on holiday really difficult for some reason {and I'm sans kids! what the?}

Always lovely to take a few days time out with my darling Mr.

Where to next????

Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Dates of Christmas {A Christmas Tip}

Ever since hearing about this idea I've loved it!   see here

Perfect if you are a young married or child free couple or your children are grown enough to look after themselves.

I had plans to really try to attemp to achieve this goal starting end of November with two dates a week.. but then my husband announces he will be working in Melbourne for 3 weeks. Maybe I should have kept those babysitters I had lined up and taken myself on a date ;)

So ...I highly doubt I'll get even four dates accomplished but its the thought that counts!

Christmas is so often about the kids that the adults get forgotten.

I think this would be a really nice way for adults to enjoy the Christmas season.

It would even make a great gift idea to yourself or to your other half!!

12 Dates!! I have a lot less than that per year! What a wonderful gift it would be.

Our first date of Christmas was dinner and a production of Handels Messiah

Some other ideas - both expensive and inexpensive, both out and at home (for those with little kids)

Going present shopping together
Seeing Christmas lights
Attending a Christmas Production {Nutcracker, Choirs, Carols by Candlelight}
Wrapping Presents together and sharing some treats and nice drink
Writing Cards
Dancing by Candlelight to Christmas music
Watching a Christmas movie
Doing Service together
Go Carolling
Preparing Christmas Dinner Menu {The Mr cooks ours so I love to talk menu with him}
Pixie Drops {leaving treats of friends or others doorsteps}
Evening Walk around the neighbourhood
Get a photo taken together with Santa
Attend a church service
Visit the City Tree and Decorations
Out for dessert and a hot chocolate

Have you got any other ideas that would make a perfect little date night at Christmas?

"oh the first date of christmas my true love gave to me..."

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Had a most wonderful afternoon and evening putting up the tree with the girls and The Mr.

Every year gets easier.

They are more willing to help and excited and don't tire as easy.

I just love it. It was pretty magical this year.

We put up our tree, had sparkling apple and lindt chocolate and then sat around our candle ring and held our first week spiritual advent. Finished the night off reading Christmas books under the twinkling lights and one child insisted on falling asleep under it.

Be still my heart. Best afternoon I've had in a while.

I loved our Christmas Movie last year which was a stop animation of us putting up the tree.

I have another Movie in mind this year but just couldn't resist doing it again.

{The absolute easiest way to make a little video! Take LOTS of photos of you doing something and upload them in movie maker - change the timing setting to 20 seconds and you have a little movie! Add some music and title and voila you're good to go. I made this one pretty fast!}

The tree up...  IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spiritual Advent {A Christmas Tip}

Last Sunday I was gathering our items to celebrate Advent

Advent usually starts the last Sunday in November.{4 Sundays out from Christmas}

Then I realised there are four Sundays before Christmas in December this year!

This year Advent starts December 2

So it gave me extra time to prepare and I'm glad because this week I came across this really easy Advent Devotional.

My kids love the weekly burning of the candles... but I think they humour me on the devotional and singing hymns part. I used this book (I bought it but I see its free online!) last year for daily advents but think I might opt for this easier to remember one.

So if you would like to celebrate a more spiritual Christmas I find Advent helps me out.

You need:
4 Candles (Red but any colour would do)
A ring/wreath (optional or make it out of a paper plate)
Chosen carols

Each Sunday we light one of the candles {progressing to 2 the next week then 3 and lastly 4}.
Advent means 'coming or arrival' so we light the candles in anticipation of celebrating the coming birth of Christ.

Week ONE is the Good NEWS candle
Explain the prophets of old told of the coming of christ.
(choose any scripture/s you like eg Isaiah 9:6)

Week TWO is the HOPE candle
Jesus gave hope to people that God still loved and cared for them.
The angles told the good news that Jesus had come (Luke 2:8-11)

Week THREE is the JOY candle
When the shepherds heard the good news they rejoiced and went to tell others (Luke 2:15-20)

Week FOUR is the LOVE candle
God shows his love through Jesus Christ. His Son and helps us to show love to others
(John 3:16)

You can add as little or as much information, scriptures, hymns to these four topics.
Search your own scriptures to match. I'd also love to do a more involved one for myself and The Mr.

See here for Previous Advent Ideas I've tried
Advent how to 2008  and 2010

You'd think with all the Christmas stuff I do that I'm like a crazy christmas lady doing too much. There's a reason I like to have my craft done, presents bought, traditions lined out in November...

Each year I think we are too busy and we need to slow down and remember the real meaning of Christmas and spend time as a family focusing inwards. I try hard but we fail each year (so many parties! we even have several birthday party invites and engagements amongst christmas ones, so much on the to do list in December!)

This year I've declared December will be TV and computer free in the evenings. We have candles to burn, christmas books to read, treats to eat sitting around together and fairy lights to admire.

I hope I'm successful.

And Advent will be a nice addition to Sunday Evenings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pillowcase Sacks {A Christmas Tip}

Each year in November we sew Christmas Pillowcases.

The girls pick the material and we sew them up for the children to have

"wonderful Christmas Dreams"
{makes me think of The night before christmas - visions of sugar plums danced in their heads}

My nine year old daughter swears they work and she doesn't have a single nightmare the whole time her head is on one of these apparently! The pillowcases are much loved and this time the older two practically sewed them by themselves {yay!}

However I am starting to accumulate quite a few {almost 20 now!!}

After seeing this idea on soulemama I've started using them as gift wrapping.

I makes it all quite easy. Most toys, boxes, fit in the pillowcase and I tie it shut with a string.

Eventually I could also use them to wrap our Christmas books. 25 books each in its own bag.

And think of all the wrapping paper that will be saved over the years. The planet thanks you.

I pick them back up after Christmas and store them with the Christmas boxes ready for next year.

But onto a Tutorial on how to make your own christmas pillow case in the case you would like 
your own Christmas Dreams...

just under 1 metre of christmas material per pillowcase
Sewing machine and cotton

Use an existing pillowcase to use as a guide. I folded my material in half and then laid the pillowcase on top. I then cut around the pillowcase {leaving 2cm border for sewing} and having a 15cm extra on the top {which will be the 'flap' that keeps the pillow inside}

After cutting around the guide pillowcase you will now have two pieces of material. I trim one so it is shorter than the other. The longer piece forms the flap.

Hem the top of shorter piece with a fat hem {around 4-5 cm}
Hem the top of the longer piece with a small hem {around 1cm}
I hem by just folding the material over twice to capture the raw edges.

So now you will have two pieces of fabric that have only the top {short edge} hemmed.
Place material pieces together right sides facing inwards
Then fold the longer piece over the shorter piece so its like an envelope
Now straight stitch around three of the sides of the pillowcase. NOT where the flap is!
Then zig zag around the same three sides to prevent fraying.
If you have an overlocker... do it in that!!

And now you are done and you turn the pillowcase back right sides out!!


Your first pillowcase will probably take a little while to work out...
but once you've done it a few times you can make these things in 10 mins!
very easy to sew and satisfying to make.

and soon enough you'll have a big pile like me.

and lots of wonderful Christmas Dreams.......

now I think I need to make me one to rest my head on!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sewn Brown Paper Advent

This idea was all over pinterest. So Pretty!!

I wanted to make it soo bad. I find sewing paper relaxing and fun!

When I finally tracked down some brown paper and got to making though...

 I ended up with flags instead.

This advent calendar is to have things sewn within the flags {or stars like above idea}

Now originally I was going to put our miniture nativity people inside...

But I um did the thing you should NEVER do...

I cut without measuring!


Inside my advent are Christmas Jokes and Tiny silver ornaments
{called Christmas charms from spotlight in the button section}
As the ornaments are from previous years this advent cost me about $4

My girls love jokes so I think it will be a fun advent calendar

Alternatively you could put scriptures inside, small lollies, activities to do.

I love the activities advents with things like:

{paint nails glittery, popcorn strings, watch christmas movies, make wrapping paper, put up the tree, make paper snowflakes, write cards, dance to christmas music, sleep under the tree, go carolling}

How to make a Sewn Paper Advent calendar

Make a template from a piece of paper folded in half. The fold is the top of the flag.

Open up and trace onto card.

You now have a flag template. Use this to cut flags out of brown paper.

Fold your long brown papers in half and you have a double sided flag.

Using number stamps, stamp on numbers 1-25.
I used white paint painted onto the stamp as I did not have a white ink pad.
Alternatively use a white gel pen to just write numbers on.

Keep stamping!!

Place a piece of string or ribbon under the fold of the first flag. Fold flag over ribbon. This is what the flags will 'hang' on. Sew around the three other sides.

zig zag stitch around the flag capturing the string at the top

On the last edge make sure you put something inside the flag
{I was having so much fun sewing I did sew two flags shut without anything inside them!}

Move on to the next flag leaving a small gap between each one.

Continue on till all 25 flags are attached.

{I will say it will get a little tricky the longer your string gets.}

At first I thought it looked a little plain and not as pretty as I hoped so I glued some paper doilies onto the flags in random spots. Embellish as you like. The kids could even stamp all over the flags.

Each day rip or cut into the sewn paper to reveal the mini ornament or joke
{or whatever you put inside}

Here is a list of corny Christmas jokes I found if anyone wants to do the same:

What did Adam say on Christmas night?
"It's Christmas, Eve".
What did Santa say to Mrs. Claus on Christmas Eve?
Looks like rain, dear.
What nationality is Santa Claus?
North Polish.

What do elves learn in school?
The Elf-abet!

What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmastime?
Sandy Claus!

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

What do you call Santa with
no money?
St. Nickel-less

What do you get if you cross mistletoe and a duck?
A Christmas Quacker.

What do call Santa when he stops moving?
Santa Pause!

Where does a snowman keep his money?
In a snow bank.

Knock knock
*Who's there?
*Mary who?
-Merry Christmas

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Chris who?

What goes OH OH OH?
santa walking backwards

What goes red white red white red white?
Santa rolling down a hill

 What is Father Christmas wife called?
Mary Christmas

Where does Santa learn to slide down chimney’s?
A Chimnasium

What do you call Santa’s Dog
Santa Paws

 What falls at the north pole but never gets hurt

 Whats a childs favourite king at Christmas
A stocking

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations

I always enjoy the countdown to Christmas more than the actual day.....

Nothing like an advent calendar.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...