Saturday, March 30, 2013


We invited ourselves along with some friends who were climbing Mt Ngungun
So glad I was eavesdropping and asked if we could tag along.

I'm not scared of heights from tall buildings or lookouts or the like..........
But put kids in the mix and looking down over ledges and it gives me the heeby jeebies!

Once the Mr took our first child when she was around 3 mountain climbing with the young men from church. He said it was pretty scarey with her and after that I nixed all kids going on climbing trips.

So suffice to say its been many a year since any of us have climbed anything substantial.

Even with scaredy mum telling everyone off at the top
{sit down, no bumping eachother, no jumping! BE CAREFUL!}

It was a lovely experience. Even in the rain/clouds and no view.

So many life metaphors in climbing and achieving the summit.

Questions from our 3 year old

I'm tired.
I don't want to do it.
(and a subsequent little song about rocks, more rocks, boring rocks...)
How do we get back home

To her absolute joy upon reaching the top and wanting to keep climbing to the very pinacle.

She even said when at the top.... Where did the mountain go?! {naww what a cutie}

I was so proud of her as I had doubted she could make it even half way and had resigned myself to the fact I was not going to make it to the top and would spend an hour or more sitting halfway up the track with her waiting for everyone to return.

I was so happy that I got to reach the top

When we returned home nice and tired I read a few blogs who all mentioned that they find a hill to sit on, or climb each Easter and share testimonies or discuss spiritual and Easter things.

I've thought for years that I want to have an early morning Testimony meeting each Easter.

We might not have done that but it definately was a wonderful experience to have.

We can do hard things.
We can have joy in the journey.
Having friends along is fun
Having a hand from others to get us up/down the hard parts
The wonderful view from the top
Great feeling of accomplishing something
Being on top of the world.

Mt Ngungun from the Lookout where we ate lunch afterwards and saw a kangaroo!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Class Gifts

The downside of blogging about seasonal items is having it all done well ahead of time to share.

I've had these little eggs on my mind for weeks but been so busy I only finished them today.

I've blogged these easy felt eggs before here  HERE

Cut an egg shape out of felt. {I created a cardboard template to trace around}

Fold the egg in half and make a little cut in the middle.
Use this cut to cut a zig zag in the middle of the egg
But DO NOT cut all the way through.
It is just to make a slit to pop a treat in

Now cut another egg out of felt a little bigger than the first egg {like 1/2 a cm bigger all around}

Sew around the first egg on top of the second egg.

And now you have a little egg with a pouch to hide a treat.

I found these little chocolate chicks at Aldi {20 for $1.95}

But those little fluffy chickens would be cute, or even just an Easter message.

Hand out to all your friends. Peek a boo.

I thought they looked a little plain at first so we glued sequins on top. Totally optional.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

FHE Lesson {Passover}

Opening Song: Follow the Prophet #110 {verse 5}

Opening Prayer:


Passover this year starts Monday 25 March. Perfect timing for a Passover meal and lesson.
Easter and Passover don't always happen at the same time.

I'm not Jewish or celebrate Passover in the proper manner but its always a fun lesson for kids so I have borrowed from the idea over the years.

For an easy Passover Seder:

Hard Boiled Egg:
Symbol of Life

Lamb and Lamb Bone:
Reminders of the Temple Sacrifice and the first Passover Lamb
The roasted shank bone of a lamb reminds us of the tenth plague in Egypt, when all firstborn Egyptians were killed. The Israelites marked the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb as a signal that death should pass over them

Bitter herbs (horseradish):
The hard bitter life they had to lead

Dipped into salt water reminds us of the tears the Jews cried in Egypt.
Greens are symbol of coming spring which brings hope

Represents the mortar the slaves in Egypt had to use to build the cities of Pharoah
{Charoset can be made by mixing grated apple, honey, chopped nuts and cinnamon}

Flat Bread:
The unleavened bread is a reminder of the haste with which the Jews left Egypt

Grape Juice:
Thanks to God for his blessings and creations.

Old Testament Cartoon Video  {3 mins}

Moses Parting Red Sea
Last Supper - Gospel Art Picture Kit

You can also make the connection that Jesus celebrated Passover the week before he died

Closing Song: Choose the Right Way #160

Closing Prayer:

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Friday, March 22, 2013

FHE Lesson {Palm Sunday}

Palm Sunday

Opening Song Easter Hosanna #68

Opening Prayer : Child


Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday. The feast commemorates (an event mentioned by all four Gospels Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19) the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Cruxifiction.

According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus was staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus sent two disciples to the village over against them, in order to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never been ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned. Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees.


If you have access to palm fronds have the children act out the triumphal entry. We usually cut 4 fronds off our neighbours palm tree with her permission. We wave them around and have someone pretend to be Jesus or I may be the donkey and let them ride on my back while the others wave palm fronds and call Hosanna. I have a childrens picture book that outlines the Easter Week and we read the section on Palm Sunday.

Make Palm Frond Crosses:  see here for instructions.

No access to Palm Frond? Make a paper one here Palm Leaf Fold and Cut Craft

Young Children Colouring In pages:

Disciples untying the colt Coloring In Page

Triumphal Entry Coloring In Page

LDS Bible Videos - Triumphal Entry

Closing Song: "Hosanna" Hosanna #66

Closing Prayer: Child


Monday, March 18, 2013

FHE Lesson {Easter Countdown}

Opening Song: He Sent His Son #34
Opening Prayer:
Make an Easter Countdown Calendar. You can make it as short or as long as you wish.
7 days or 12 Days is perfect length.
Using Card cut in egg shape, paint, draw, decorate 7 eggs in any way you wish.

Either sew them together as shown here , or just stick to wall or tie with ribbons.

On the back of the eggs write down some activities to do as a family.

Here are 7 religious examples of things you can do leading up to the week of Easter.

If you want a longer countdown calendar add other activities such as:
Egg hunts
dyeing eggs
bunny and chick crafts
watch Easter Movies

Palm Sunday :
Make a Palm Cross , reenact Jesus on a donkey and people waving palm fronds.

Monday: (cleansing of the temple)
Talk about how church/temple should be a place of calm and worship and not a house of chaos.
Make Soft Pretzels (shaped like folded arms for prayer) remember to use ALOT less Bicarb!!

Tuesday: (teaching at the temple)
Jesus taught what is the greatest law. Love thy neighbour as they self.
Take a gift for your neighbours

Mary washed Jesus Feet and offered expensive oils/purfume.
Reenact with children and wash their feet (I find this very humbling and moving)

Thursday: ( Preparing for Passover)
Read the story of the passover John 13:1-11 and make a simple passover meal.
Unleavened bread, lamb, horseradish, Haroset, Parsley and salt water  details here

Friday: (The day Jesus Died)
Make Hot cross buns and discuss Cruxifiction

Saturday: Festival of Light
Make lanterns, candle holders to symbolise those that wait for Jesus resurrection

Sunday: He is Risen
Hold family testimony meeting, attend church.

These activities start on Sunday 24 March this year.
Explain that you will be doing some activities in the coming week starting on Sunday.
Share your testimony of Easter. What you love about it.
Ask children to share their testimony too.

Display your countdown calendar somewhere noticeable and get the kids excited to start next Sunday

Closing Song:  I feel my Savior's love #74

Closing Prayer: Dad

Decorate arrowroot (or oval shaped biscuits/cookies) with icing and m&m's and mini marshmallows.

FHE Lesson {Easter Tomb}

Each year we grow Easter Grass.

We use it as a time to show new life, Easter, Life Cycle, For Fun etc.

We've grown it in jars,  Cake Platters etc.

Last year I saw this idea and thought it great and set aside for this year.


To start buy some Wheat berries {wheat that will sprout} about $1worth will be plenty.

Dig some dirt from the Garden.

Place a plastic cup or similar shape in the middle of a glass pie dish.

Cover over the cup with dirt to create a 'hill'

Do not cover the open end of the cup {find a rock to place over the opening}

Liberally sprinkle the wheat all over the dirt.

Spray with a water bottle and wet all the wheat well.

Each day give your wheat a few sprays with water.

In 7 days you will have very long grass.

Make 3 stick crosses if you wish.

 Garden Tomb or Calvary's Hill Lesson

Opening Song: Did Jesus Really Live Again #64

Opening Prayer: Child


Make your hill/tomb as instructed.

Talk about how the grass will grow over one week.
This will bring us closer to the time of Easter.
This is an example of the tomb and Calvary's Hill.

Talk about these eg

Where did Jesus Die?
Where was Jesus Buried?
On the Third Day what was the miracle?

Because of Jesus we can live again. Does that make you happy?

Easter need not be a sad time, its a time of joy. Jesus was resurrected and so will we!

Easter Images at
Crucifixion - Gospel Art Picture Kit
Gethsemene - Gospel Art Picture Kit

Closing Song: Christ the Lord is Risen Today #200

Closing Prayer


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Other Life

One of my favourite blogs to read is Soulemama

I'm pretty sure she's living my other life {sans the animals though. I don't do animals}

It seems that family achieves more in a week or so than we would in two years!

{though perhaps if I knew I could make enough money and my husband could be at home I too would find weekly craft projects, build a farmhouse, can food from my garden, homeschool, make your own ice hockey rinks, spin wool, kids in the local theatre group, tap maple syrup, take weekly/daily hikes, make furniture, blog better etc to share with the world to keep them reading}

As City folks who spend way too much time indoors and on computers this past weekend we were able to attend an activity that included canoeing, making rafts and bonfire.

My girls were in heaven for hours.
Oh it makes my heart sing.
They literally did not stop from 2pm till 8pm.

Now that's the life I want for them

Perhaps because it is novel, and we don't get to do if often is what makes it attractive

Perhaps allowing children slight danger in their play makes a big difference

Perhaps it is nature and its lull

Perhaps it is having all members of the family actively engaged with one another

Perhaps it is having parents doing nothing  {remember? }

But whatever it is I want/need more of it my life.

I appreciate the people who put the activity together.
I appreciate that it was free as similar activities can be cost prohibitive for most large families.

Though I do recognize it was really nice to come home to hot showers and nice comfy beds :)

The weather has been horrible lately. Hor.rib.le! We debated even going.
But then I said to the Mr who was a Queen Scout.. Come on..
What's a little rain when canoeing?
What's a little mud {which I have just washed off our car!}
What's a little accelerant on a bonfire to get it going in the wet?
{note no accelerant needed, The Mr KNOWS how to build an awesome fire :)
I'm glad I forced us to get going. Why do the best things happen when it takes a tonne of effort to get anywhere? I'm always reminded of the mantra my mum gave us growing up
Complain AFTER the fact.. not BEFORE!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Pamper Party

Last year I put a bit more effort into the birthday parties.
see Cat Party  Snow Party 

This year I wanted to opt for a little easier.

Miss A had a pizza and pool party a few weeks ago

This week Miss K had a pamper party.

I almost fell over backwards when she suggested this party.

She really isn't interested in clothes or hair or girly things.

Regardless...what the lady wants the lady gets!

In my aim for simple I had a hairdresser friend come and do the kids hair.

My sister was here for support and nails.
{and as a surprise bought all her old jewellery and makeup to give away. Kids were HAPPY!}

I hung some decorations and put out some finger food.

Each princess left with a red box containing:
a shower cap, nail file, sparkly nailpolish and lolly.

All super simple and the entire party cost under $100

A bit of craziness and boredom ensued {only from some girls, some were perfect angels}

so perhaps I should have arranged some facials or other beauty things to do while waiting your turn.

I thought they would happily paint and repaint their nails, sit and chat and do girly things.
Nope even some 12 years olds have short attention spans.

But we made it to the end. Over for another year!

Till next year!

My latest party tip is Friday Afternoon Parties.
Can clean the house and cook while the kids are at school
{as opposed to Saturday Parties where they mess along as I try to clean}
The party really is over and done in 2 hours.
{Saturday parties seem to have the ability to spill overtime by hours}
Then you make The Mr buy takeout for dinner and you rest your feet!

Sewn Paper Garlands inspired by this  Mod Party Circle Photobooth Idea
{I was meant to make circles but ran out of paper}
But basically you run strips of paper through the sewing machine. So easy!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

FHE Lesson {Spiritual Egg Hunt}

Opening Song: He sent his Son #34

Opening Prayer:


Have a paper easter egg hunt. I purchased a similar thing from a store, but you could easily make yourself. It had paper eggs, basket to put eggs in and arrow signs to point the directions to go.

On the back of the eggs write about something that happened in the lead up to Easter Sunday. You can have the children collect the eggs in order, or you can put them in order once they have all been found around the house.

Just draw an easy picture or write a few words on the back of each egg about the following things:
Palm Sunday
Washing of Disciples Feet
The First Sacrament
Garden of Gethsemene
Easter Sunday- He is Risen

Here are the links to the Gospel Art Picture Kits Pictures .
You could print the pictures small and glue on the egg.
or just use the pictures to refer to when putting the eggs in order and discussing what actually happened the week leading up to Easter.
Jesus Washing the Disciples Feet (#226)
Jesus Praying in Gethsemene Picture (#227)
Betrayal of Christ Picture (#228)
The Crucifixtion of Christ Picture (#230
The Tomb Picture (#232)
Mary and the Ressurected Lord Picture (#233)
Jesus Shows his wounds Picture (#234)

Briefly talk about what happened the week leading up to Easter.
I found this PDF from April 2011 Friend magazine very helpful

Additional Activity:

 Road to Easter Cut and Paste Work sheet

Closing Song: Jesus Has Risen #70

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat Ideas:
Easter Eggs
Make Egg shaped sugar cookies
Boiled Eggs
Fill some plastic Eggs with small candy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easter Tree 2013


We've put up our Easter Tree for this year.

Since I unpack the same decorations from storage it doesn't change much.

But it is always a little different as the sticks are just grabbed out of the back yard.

I was also happy to see that my BiCarb Cornflour Ornaments  made last year are in PERFECT condition! I had almost forgot about them,  seeing them makes me want to make more again.

So even though it is more of the same please indulge in more Easter Tree Photos.

Just as we have a tradition of each kids getting a photo taken while putting the Star on the Christmas Tree we also get photos of each of the kids putting an egg or decoration onto the Easter Tree.

Plus its also fun to look  back on how they've grown!


I was so happy this week to receive several messages/photos from people who made an Easter Tree via the idea being on my FHE ideas facebook page. Idea has also been posted here The FHE Spot.

You all made my day!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Anatomy of a birthday

A 12 year old. 12 year old!!
So innocent and sweet yet growing and maturing. The last year of childhood?

The only of my children who needs to be woken up on their birthday !?!
Candle Ring and Presents and Birthday Crown and Kisses
Reading of the Birthday Letter and Opening Presents
Daddy found one of her only original baby toys and put it on the table as a joke :)

Birthday Girl choice of breakfast - Pancakes and Berries and Cream
The famous Birthday Shirts. Thinking outside the box this year
Red Dress and Birthday Gift Cat Necklace for Church
Family Photo just cause we are dressed neat
12 Candles and Chocolate Cake for Lunch
Pavlova and Berries Made by Birthday Girl for Dessert
The End
But lots more to come - a pamper party and first visit to the temple
You might notice that we use birthdays as an excuse to stick candles in everything.
cheap and easy and makes any day feel festive.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

FHE Lesson {Easter Tree}

Family Home Evening

Opening Song: Did Jesus Really Live Again #64

Opening Prayer:

It's a month till Easter so I will be posting lessons to do with Easter for the next 4 weeks!

We like to start the season off with an Easter Tree

Go here and here to see how we make ours

There will be lots of Easter information coming up and we don't want to overload or get bored with it all. So we will start off easy.

Discuss that Easter is coming up. Ask questions like:
What is Easter? What do you know about Easter? What is your favourite part of Easter?
What things should we do this Easter {plan your calendar!}

Together create an Easter Tree.{honestly it can be as simple as a few sticks to hang things off}

We use several decorations to put on ours. Each year our tree is a little different.

You can google and print and colour small pictures of easter scenes
{both religious and non religious} -
Easter Eggs

Cut out pictures of Christ from the Ensign or print pictures and laminate them and add a string and you've got a homemade religious decoration to hang {instruction here}

Buy/Make decorations such as Eggs, bunnies etc.

If you have time watch an Easter Movie

LDS Bible Videos - He is Risen

We own and kids enjoy Veggietales 'An Easter Carol'

Closing Song: Easter Hosanna # 68

Closing Prayer: Child

Tiny Easter Eggs, Hot Cross Buns,

To start getting prepared here is a timeline overview of  the things we try to do in the Easter Season
Easter Preparations {one month of Easter}

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