Monday, July 29, 2013

Sports Day {and a Photobooth}

We aren't the most sporty family.

But we are all about participation.

Also this year my eldest daughter was the sports captain of her team
{unusual as she doesn't care for sports at all. But apparently for sports captains it isn't a requirement. Being good at organising others and cheering loudly is - things we CAN do!}

The yearly sports carnival was here again. Since our school sports day is held at THE GABBA!
they are often low key regarding cheering paraphernalia because apparently we must protect the hallowed ground and not make a spec of mess!

I remembered growing up we had so many shakers, mascots, toys etc at our sports days.

We decided to dress up our very own Bear Grylls to be our team mascot
{he was a hit! and dragged around the school - no one has bought a mascot along before}

Just before we left home I thought a photobooth with Bear Grylls would be fun.
So I quickly rigged up a blue blanket between some chairs and voila! Photobooth!
{I wish I had thought of it earlier - I would have made it much nicer, but hey what can ya do?}


and then be a good mum sports photographer and try and get some action shots that make you look better at sports than you are


and then there is that winning feeling!!

Someone from the family gotta REPRESENT!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

FHE Lesson {Stop It!}

Elder Uchtdorf's talk The merciful obtain mercy in the April 2012 conference is well known.
In the June 2013 Friend Magazine  there is a two page article based on his talk which you can share and which this lesson is taken from.

stop sign

Opening Song: Kindness begins with me #145

Opening Prayer:


When we are angry, or jealous, or scared/shy or want something someone else has it can be very easy to be mean. Sometimes we say mean things about people who we actually love, or sometimes we say mean things about people we don't even know that well!

When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it! {you could have a premade Stop Sign to hold up}
God loves everyone and he wants us to love everyone too. He wants us to take away our mean thoughts and replace them with love and kindness for all people. We are all his children.
Is this difficult? Yes it can be!
Let us be kind.
Let us forgive.
Let us talk peacefully with each other.
Let the love of God fill our hearts.
“Let us do good unto all men” (Galatians 6:10).


::Make a big Stop Sign together. You could print one out, cut one from cardboard, drawn/paint one. However you like. Put it somewhere where it can be seen easily and will help be a reminder for small children to be nicer, play nicer, less talking back, less dobbing or saying unkind things about others.

Alternatively make little individual Stop Signs for each person to place in their room, or somewhere special to them.

Stop Sign Clip Art Here

::Do the Quiz at the bottom of the page to see how you could become more loving to others.
If those questions are too hard for younger children make up some easier questions eg

Your little sister ruined your toy - do you - accept her apology and ask her to get you next time she gets your stuff down, get mad and never play with her again, break something of hers to get even

There is a new kid at school - do you - Offer to be friends, just stare at them, whisper rudely about how they look weird.

You see someone who looks different to you - do you - smile and say hello, talk loudly about how they look

:: Watch this short youth Video of Elder Uchtdorfs remarks on this topic

:: Play a game where family members hold up their Stop Signs (or stop signs you prepared earlier) when you say something that is considered mean, gossip, unkind.

Closing Song: I'm trying to be like Jesus #78

Closing Prayer


Friday, July 26, 2013

Christmas in July

Every Year around this time I wish I organised a Christmas in July party/dinner.

I swear Christmas ideas are trying very hard to take over my brain right now

It's only 150 days away people!!  {I do like to be organised! lol}

However with  birthdays in July and another a few weeks after I'm always stuck in Birthday Plans!

Yay! but Booooo! at the same time.

Doesn't mean I haven't been having Christmas thoughts, went to a Christmas in July craft day, been googling Christmas Family Traditions, ordering Christmas Books online, thinking what Christmas movies to add to our collection, looking for places to buy reasonably priced Christmas fabric for our Christmas pillowcases and the list goes on!

Last year I listed all our awesome  Our Family Christmas Traditions in one post.

However I'm always on the lookout for more!!!!

And now is the perfect time to work out what traditions you want incorporated into your family life in the coming months.

As kids start getting older its time to think up some traditions that will assist them in that transition time when Christmas starts to lose it sparkle and magic.

Here are some I've found on my searches in the last few weeks:

I've been reading about staying up late on Christmas Eve {we are strict go to bed as soon as our family party is over} : Christmas movie marathons, playing games, doing random drop offs, midnight candle services at churches, a late Christmas Eve walk and leave a gift at a strangers house.

Sleepovers in the same room, {my girls all share so not needed really but this one was so sweet.} It was two sisters and a brother where there was a big age gap. So even though the girls are grown and one married they still sleepover with little bro so he doesn't miss out on the wonderful tradition the girls had. Nawwwww.

Celebrate St Nicholas Day on Friday 6 December

Gift ideas for older girls {what do you get them?!}
letting them choose a fancy china brand and buying them a piece for their set each year

Giving everyone charms that match things you did that year {holiday, graduating, instruments played etc} and keeping them in a box to be opened each Christmas. The person who posted it says she has 20 years of charms and the family love to look back on them each year. So adorable!

Taping coins to those mechanical ride things or lolly vending machine with a note that says 'we did this for you - Merry Christmas' and sit around the stores waiting for children/families to find it

Choosing one big Christmas event to attend each year {eg nutcracker ballet, concert} I really like the idea of not being tied to 'one tradition' but each year try something new, but Christmassy.

Start a gag gift tradition. Purposely buy a silly gift, regift a crazy gift each year, get the girls to think up some daggy but secretly funny to our family tradition.

I've been thinking about getting Elf on a Shelf and getting the older girls involved in the nightly placement of sneaky elves.

Service ideas. It can be hard to find places that allow children/young teens to volunteer. I'm always looking for ideas for kids to do service. Do you have any??

At a recent funeral I attended the family had a folder with all their family Christmas photo cards/letters in one spot. I just loved it. Made me want to get organised to do it every year so I too can have a 'snapshot of our life' over many years. I will organised what we have already this year!

I found a list of Christmas Tree Farms !! in Australia. Sadly no Queensland ones listed. How fun would it be to go collect a real tree, have an adventure and made a tradition out of it.

Create a nativity village. Using natural materials - twigs and rocks and moss - and craft items

Host an open house and share an easy meal with lots of people

So many ideas out there! Do you have an idea for a great family Christmas tradition?

Time for me to grab the calendar and pencil in

Christmas Photo Cards {end of Nov}
Nativity Day {1st Dec}
Putting up Tree Day {1st Monday night in Dec - 2nd of Dec this year}
Sleeping under the Christmas Tree {When School gets out}
Advent {Every Sunday till Christmas starting Sunday 1st Dec}
Grandparents Christmas Dinner {week before Christmas}
Christmas book reading {every night in Dec}

Also I think I'm going to start collecting paper advent calendars. I do love them so.
And as far as collections go {they can get out of hand easily} advent calendars pack flat and don't take up much room. Perfect really. I've never collected anything really {apart from teddy bears as a kid - so I think this will be fun!} and if you see a good one - please think about adding to my new collection ;)

Christmas is only 22 weeks away.
I'm sure I've got 22 things to accomplish and about that many presents to buy.
One a week. Better start now!!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Explore where you live

When at grandma's there are trips to the horse paddock, trips to the creek, adventurous walks here and there all in regular suburbia. When we discovered an awesome local creek/swimming hole not 2 kms away in summer I knew there must be little hidden gems in any neighbourhood.

Now I've lived here like 8 years and there are plenty of awesome places being in the city, but not things like mentioned above. I always feel guilt when my neighbour is taking her daughter on daily long walks in all the wonder this city has to offer. However for me it is hard, hard work to drag four kids out of the house for long walks. There is always someone who doesn't want to, someone who can't and someone for me to carry, sometimes more than one for me to carry. It always seems to be such a task to get everyone out on a walking adventure. Why is it so hard!?!

It seems every few months I get determined to get out for walks, trips to the park, to watch the sunset.

Then I fall back into regular life.



This months attempt was finding an adventure in our own area.

We used google maps to look up what creeks, paths, mangroves, swamps etc were in the local area.

We saw a little bridge on one map about 1km away and went to find it.

I saw some previously never heard of 'flats' down by the creek hidden in the industrial area and we went and walked it.

And Explore where you live #1 worked out great. Thanks Google Maps!

There's never a fist pump a mum loves more than the child who whined they didn't want to go on an 'adventure' be the same kid who didn't want to go home when it was time. Boo Yah.. take that!

Why don't they learn that everything mum suggests is going to be awesome ;)

And you might even find a tire swing on your trip.

Any hidden gems in your neighbourhood?

Monday, July 22, 2013

FHE Lesson {Mid Year Resolutions}

At the beginning of the year we set some resolutions. I think mid year is a good time to revisit them and check how you are going, and get back on track for great family memories! Time has a way of running out!

 Opening Song:

 Opening Prayer: Child


It's never too late to set goals and resolutions.

Even Mid year is a good time to set new ones or check if you've done what you wanted this year.
Perfect time to get back on track before the year runs out.

Ask children to list things they would like to DO this year
Back in January we came up with :

Visit Planetarium
Visit favourite Parks
Daddy Daughter Dates
 mentioned a few of their favourite family traditions

We decided that we had enough activities for half a year and will designate one Saturday a month to check off the above activities.

Via design mom I heard about these fun questions to ask your children
{and keep their replies to look back on over the years}

This year:

Something I want to do
Something I want to read
Somewhere I want to go
something I want to be better at
Something I want

Maybe you can include
spiritual goals, {prayers, scripture reading holding regular FHE}
physical goals {games to play with kids, daily walks together}
Places to go
Mental health/organizational goals {kids helping with chores}

Have fun planning out an awesome year! I find written down goals seem to happen more and better!

I'm going to review with them what things we have done, what we haven't {and calendar them in!} We have forgotten about our Daddy Daughter Dates so I will definitely put them back to the forefront of our planning and get them to plan what they want to do for them.

Here's another short lesson I previously wrote about how to plan FHE better.
Its always a good time to ask your kids what they want more of!
I thought it would fit in with the goal planning night.

We put forth the question to our girls -
What can we all do to make Family Home Evening better this year?
What things would you like to do?

 These are the answers they came up with:

:: Chocolate for the treat

:: An "I love You because..." spot (one person each week and we will list things we love about them)

:: Bring back 60 second silence (to get our kids to be quiet and get ready for FHE and to practice reverence we use to time to see how long they could be completely quiet for)

:: Take Turns at teaching the lesson

:: Outings for FHE once every two months

:: A hug at the beginning and end of FHE

:: Recite/learn more scriptures

:: More games

:: Continue with our 'fancy dinner' night meals before FHE 
{we set the table with tablecloth and full settings and fancy cups on Monday night and try to have a good quality meal. Interesting side note the kids are more acceptable to higher quality (read vegetables) meals on these nights because I say this is what you would get in a restaurant ;)

:: Act out stories of different prophets in the Book of Mormon and scriptures

:: Always sing Popcorn and Snowman

Most of these we thought up by our kids. I was very surprised at a few of them. Even though this is a completely SIMPLE idea for a FHE I thought I would share it because our girls came up with some lovely ideas I wouldn't have thought of myself, or knew that they wanted.

Wishing you all the best with successful Family Home Evenings in 2013!

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:
Treat: Chocolate of course according to my kids!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Magic Party

Since I glean most of my ideas from the internet I like to share back.

Even if they are hokey  homemade parties.

This is the year I promised myself to only do EASY birthday parties.

It is very hard for me to refrain from the bajillions of ideas out there!

But I did try.  I read some really good advice over at O Happy Day about parties.

She suggests just 2 or so focal points.

So if you spend the time to make the most amazing cake then just have simple decorations.

If you spend hours creating a photobooth or centre pieces -  get your food delivered.

If you're doing crafts and games and decorations - then get a store bought cake.

No worries it'll still be a fantastic party!

If you kill stress yourself trying to create a million wonderful focal points
{the other mums will think you're supermum} but children will hardly remember.

Since we have a wonderful magician in the family I opted for a Magic Birthday Party!

Can't get easier than a Free entertainer!!

Since I did not want to be in the kitchen at all (AT.ALL!)
{why do most parties we mums end up in the kitchen and miss all the fun!}
I decided to serve up all pre-packaged junk food.
Chips, chocolates and some doughnuts, cupcakes and water bottles. Around $30

The party went like :

Kids arrive and birthday girl opened the presents straight away
{why not? she wanted to and so often you don't even see the kid open the present you bought}
That kept them busy for 20 mins
Eat some treats and look around our back yard
Magic Show - 40 mins
Cut the Cake and sing
Home time :)

All over and done in one and half hours!

Shortest party I've hosted and it was GREAT! As we don't have much room hosting 20+ kids (and all those parents) can be hard. I kept it short so they wouldn't get bored and turn to destroying everything in sight instead ;)

Magic party details:

Top Hat Cake

Looks a little more cowboy hat than Top Hat but oh well!! It was super easy to make.
{After giving up on the idea of a  3D round hats with fondant bunnies being pulled out of them - I'm smart enough to know my limitations and don't need to create an internet fail meme!} I made two rectangle cakes and froze ahead of time. Use one whole cake for the top and I used half the other for the bottom. Put chocolate icing all over and little strip of white icing. I used liquorice rope for defining the edges. Very quick and easy to put together.

Bunny and Top Hat Invitations
For the invitation I saw a similar idea on pinterest but made an easier version. Basically I printed out black hats and glued them onto cardstock. At the top of the hat on the ring I cut a slit. Then I printed out the details of the party on regular copy paper  and cut out them out in a rectangle shape to fit in the slit. Then I printed some bunnies out and glued them on top of the rectangle invitation. The width of the bunny stops the entire invitation slipping through the slit in the hat. These were very simple and cheap and fairly quick to make and the kids loved the novelty of them. One girl lost hers and was very adamant I make her another {even though her mother knew all the details and she was coming to party regardless}

Top Hat Piñata
It's a bit wonky and not a perfect top hat (next time I won't free hand cut lol ;) but Piñata's are a party must have here. However we didn't end up using this one as I felt there were going to be too many kids. Instead I tried to make it more as a decoration. I was going to hang it along with a big number 7 but I ran out of time to make that. I also forgot to attach a way to hang this one before adding all the crepe paper fringe, so it was too difficult to hang so it became the table centre piece.
Basically to make a piñata cut a big shape out of cardboard. Make 2 {a front and back}. Then cut several long rectangles about 8cm wide. Bend this to the shape taping as you go. Then tape the top piece on and you have a 3D ish shape. Then glue fringed crepe paper all over your 'box'.
{PS Think ahead of time how you will attach a string/rope if you plan to hang it}

Wooden Dowel Magic Wands
We went to another magic party a few months ago {much better than mine!} and they had made these wonderful wands for all the kids out of dowel. Just cut dowel into lengths, paint black and paint tips white. What a great idea as a gift for each child and their own wand to use during the magic show. Our magician sneakily put some double sided tape on ours and taught the kids how 'to do a trick' by making it look like their wand was levitating!
Even better I got Grandad to make these for me now he is retired and has 'plenty of time' :)

Magic Popping Candy Thank You
I did away with doing party bags years ago. I personally don't like them {most of it gets thrown away, they can be really expensive, and they cause fights at home with other siblings (or is that just my naughty kids?!} We usually give one small gift or treat as a thank you and it usually relates to the theme. I thought magic popping candy would be perfect for a magic party. This cost $2 for 50 little packs. I popped a few in a bag and printed off a square that said Abracadabra - thanks for coming to my party. Fold over and staple down onto bag.

Number 7 star shirt
Just our regular birthday shirt . I pick up shirts on sale for a couple dollars when I see them.
We chose some star material from our stash to try and match the theme. The material was attached to some white felt to give it extra strength and then I straight stitched the number on and zig zag stitched around the 7 so it is less likely to fray.

It looks like a lot here all described but it really was a simple, easy, cheap party and the kids sat still and kept very entertained by my amazing dad the magician!!

Miss 7 is a lucky girl!!

My party tips found here  Party Fatigue Prevention

Sunday, July 14, 2013

FHE Lesson {Prayer}

I've written a few lessons about prayer and have decided to put all the ideas in one spot here.
Pick and choose from below what elements you want to teach.
Alternatively teach about prayer as a topic for a month?

Opening Song: We Bow our Heads #25

Opening Prayer:


We used this segment on Prayer to start our lesson.

New Testament Stories chapter 20 - Jesus teaches about prayer

After watching the short video we talked about prayer.

We said this poem

We fold our arms
Close our eyes
Bow our heads
When the prayer is said

Then we talked about the elements of prayer by asking questions

What do we start a prayer with? (addressing Heavenly Father)
What is next?  (giving thanks for the many things we have)
Then we can... (ask for things - safety, health, good dreams, bless food, )
And we end with  (in Jesus Name)

We asked how many times a day can you pray? (whenever you like, but the girls came up with the rough answer of we pray 6 times a day - food prayers, family prayers, individual prayers)

We discussed why we should kneel in prayer
(respect, humble, people kneel to kings and dignitaries, so the Lord would be even more important, so we concentrate on only the prayer and not slouching on the couch or laying in our bed )

We reminded the children to continue trying hard in their personal prayers morning and night

For this lesson I prepared some strips of paper and made two groups.

One group was "I should pray" the other group was "I shouldn't pray"

I prepared strips of paper that said things like:

When someone is sick
When I am lost or alone
Over my food
For safety and protection
Night and morning
When I am thankful
If I need calming
To ask Questions


For lots of money
To ask for a pony or lots of toys
When I want another team to lose
To wish harm upon another person

I read out the strips and each child got a turn at choosing which side the item belonged to. Things that are suitable to pray for, or things that aren't really suitable to pray for. It worked really well and the girls enjoyed guessing and got most of answers right. I then asked them to think of some extra things we could add to our lists.

I originally had 'when I am angry' on the when not to pray side as I meant it in a 'I shouldn't say an angry prayer about how much I hate my sisters and I wish God would do something to show them' way. My girls all said you SHOULD pray when you are angry and it will help you calm down mum! ... so I changed it to 'If I need calming' !

This was a easy simple lesson that worked out well for our family. Any other things you could add to the list of times to pray?


(For some reason my children prefer me to say their night prayers for them, and always tell me they don't know what to say and want me to do it! Even though I've taught them several times and they can all say food and family morning prayer with no problems! I felt it was time to give them a little push into saying their own personal prayers) I printed a copy of this chart for each child. We talked about the importance of reading our scriptures everyday even if its just a few verses and to say our individual morning and night prayers.

I chose a simple yet interesting scripture that we all read. I then said they could now colour in one of the scriptures on the chart under Monday. Later when you go to bed you can colour the girl when you say your night prayers. When they have a certain amount coloured I said they would get a small reward.


Draw, cut out pictures or write words  on a big piece of paper of the things we can pray for

Practice kneeling, folding arms and saying prayers


Handouts for any lesson:

My Prayer Reminder Printable

Did you think to Pray? Daily colouring Chart

Little girl praying colouring in page

{all found in Sept 2008 Ensign. Lots of stuff on prayer in there}

Closing Song:  Search Ponder and Pray #109

Closing Prayer:


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7 years

I'm not sure I'm a fan of my younger girls growing older!
To me they're still babies but their age is certainly showing the opposite.

I love that she was so excited for her birthday.
She was counting down the days.
Was telling everyone.
Was doing a little dance.
I love that we have birthday traditions that excite them.

{though one tradition I've always wanted is to have helium balloons - the amount = age but I've never been organised enough to pull it off - and where do you hide them while waiting for morning? Do you have any fun birthday traditions? There are always more I'd like to do but these ones stuck.}

Even though she knew what most her presents were, she was still excited
{sadly with holidays always before her birthday she seems to be tagging along shopping and choses them herself. I was unsure if a doll house was too young, but hey I want to keep them young for as long as possible! A dollhouse, wooden doll people, a mini lalaloopsy and some pens for drawing}

Just putting a candle in you pancakes puts a smile on your face.

We lit and relit it a few times.

Even when your mother forgets to do a treat to take along to school to share and doesn't bother making you a birthday cake. {Candles in breakfast lets me off the hook - it's the best I swear!}

But it's all OK,

Because secretly wearing your number 7 shirt under your uniform gives a spring in your step all day!

{apparently new principal is super strict about uniforms and her older sister told her she'd get in trouble if she wore her number shirt despite us doing it for like the last 5 years. So she hid it}

Super Secret Birthday Power.

And the day ended with her order of homemade lasagne and pizza with red softdrink for dinner.

She's crazy and kooky and the class clown and loves to make fart jokes to make people laugh. She's a climber and climbs trees,  lightpoles, the top of any structure, fences, basically anywhere she isn't meant to be. She's got a twinkle in her eye, she's tiny and still loves to sit on my lap. She loves to draw and create and is always always making. She always gets a creative thought at the wrong time and gets in trouble for starting projects as we are leaving on our way somewhere. She longingly looks at the recycle pile as I throw it out and says 'think of all the  things I could make with that!' She can get upset when her sisters don't let her tag along, she gets in trouble for using a loud whiny voice {all whining is banned after 6 years old in this house - last years saying was 'are you over 6? you cant use that voice?}She loves her stuffed animals and can be found sleeping on a giant teddy bear named Bear Grylls.

7 years have been an amazing ride with you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Winter Beach

The {warm} winter beach is my favourite.

I totally dislike the beach in peak summer. Blerg.

I must remember on warm sunny winter days to head there to get our fill.

After a lot of rain we've had unusual summer like weather in the middle of winter!

Kinda love where I live!

We've been a few times lately.

We can stay for hours and not burn
No searing sand on feet
Only the tiniest bit of suncream needed {I did get a little burnt this week! eek!}
Less crowds, easy parking
The kids don't fully swim so I can read a book or relax while they explore or dig in the sand.

If we get cold ~ end with a hot milo
If we get hot ~ have an icecream cone

Pretty perfect really. xx

The silhouette of my older girls makes my heart squeeze. But that's a whole other post!

FHE Lesson {My Baptismal Covenant}

This is part of the Preparing for Baptism Lessons

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way #160

Opening Prayer:


What is a covenant?

Explain that a covenant is a two-way promise. When you make a covenant with someone, you agree to do certain things and that person agrees to do certain things.

When we choose to be Baptised we will make a Baptismal Covenant.

My Baptism Covenant

I Promise:
To follow Jesus and always remember Him
To serve Him and keep His commandments
To stand as a witness for Him at all times
To love and help others
To repent of my sins

Heavenly Father Promises:
To forgive my sins
To give me the gift of the Holy Ghost
To give me eternal life with Him

{you could prepare these promises on word strips, write them on a whiteboard/chalkboard, hide the strips around the house for children to find, get children to sort them into the two groups etc}

When we take the Sacrament it is to remind us of the covenant we made at baptism. If you are not baptised yet you can prepare by practicing these promises and trying your hardest.

Print each child A Baptismal Covenant to display/glue in a journal/keep somewhere to remind them of when they will be able to make their Baptismal Covenant.  Find it HERE at



Play Keeping Baptismal Covenant Board Game from the October 2006 Friend Magazine.

Or make a similar game of your own.
Using a dice and examples from the game you could move around a game drawn on a whiteboard. OR Get children to stand at a starting line and take a step forward or backwards for each example. Have them make it to a 'finishing line' somewhere in the house

Read the Book of Mormon every day. Move forward 2 spaces.
After arguing with my friends, I ask for their forgiveness. Move forward 1 space.
Instead of participating in family home evening, I watch TV. Move back 2 spaces.
I do kind deeds for my family. Move forward 1 space.
I ignore my mom when she asks me to help make dinner. Move back 1 space.
I earn some money and pay my tithing. Move ahead 2 spaces.
I pick up the newspaper for a sick neighbour. Move forward 1 space.
I hang a picture of a temple in my room and make a goal to go there. Move ahead 1 space.
I say my prayers in the morning and at night. Move forward 1 space.
I ask a friend to turn off bad music. Move forward 1 space.
It’s been a busy day, and I’m tired, so I don’t pray. Move back 2 spaces
{Make up more of your own Good and Bad Choices}

Closing Song: I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus #78

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Move little chocolates/treats/ fruit around the board game and eat when done!
Have a special treat at the end of the finish line of keeping baptismal covenant game when they win

Friday, July 5, 2013

Southbank Snow

A special birthday gift for a child that has always loved everything to do with snow

{despite never ever seeing it}

This is pretty much the closest will we get to snow for a long time.
Three mounds of very overpriced ice.

And funnily enough ~ it's mid winter and the weather is glorious.
It was like 25 degrees today. The snow was melting faster than they could produce it.

I never thought I would be playing in 'snow' one minute and actually debating about heading to a pool the next. Crazy! We worked up a sweat! It was probably the totally wrong day for it and perhaps the organisers should consider actually holding it indoors in a cooled room next time.

Winter in Queensland! You never know what the season will bring!


It was a fun activity, although no where near enough time for my girls{only allowed 25 mins inside} My poor littlest daughter took a while to warm up to it, push through the crowds, find the building items etc and just as she finally began to make a tiny snowman the time was up and a worker lady took away her carrot nose without any warning. The poor thing burst into tears and was devastated. Luckily her snow loving sister was the last one off the snow quickly constructed another one for her. I snapped the above photo for her as we were being kicked out.. lone snowball snowman by 3 year old.

Time versus Cost (x4) versus Actual Snow to play in = I'm not sure I'd do it again

So I hope they always remember their 'first time to the snow'

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Screen Time Issues

Screen Time

Arrgggg its driving me crazy lately.

I vacillate between wanting to throw them all out the window and unplugging 100%

to seriously contemplating getting everyone their very own individual everything.

Since our youngest has become computer savvy there is never ending demand over the computer.

Since the older ones have started homework on computers
{previously was always just worksheets to write in}

Since it has become evident that my oldest daughters greatest talent lies in computer based artwork

Since they all take 1/2 hour - 1 hour turns on the computer the thing is on ALL DAY LONG

Since I'm easily distracted cooking, cleaning, iphoneing, they sneak back on.

Since we basically have no yard there is nothing to do back there that when I don't take them out its all too easy to use tv and computer and ipads as the back up of boredom.

Before I really only had to divide computer time with two kids while the youngest played with toys. Now its four. Not only my time on here, but their homework, gaming, and talent growing.

I NEVER thought I would have this problem. Always thought - its easy.
A daily allotment for each kid, the less the better right?

They've never had Gameboys or handheld games or their own phones or ipads.
We don't even own a Wii or similar.

Computers are a black hole sucker of time, but what if your child's greatest ability is in using them? We aren't a sporty family, no gymnastics or soccer.
We don't have a yard or animals to play with.
Yes she spends plenty of time with paper and pen,
but she also uses a computer drawing tablet and is really good.


Except that to do a good picture it can take a while messing around with layers and blending and shading and deleting and all other computer arty stuff I know nothing about. It feels mean to tell someone to get off when they've only just begun.

There's nothing like playing a bit minecraft. And I have three that play. It's a shame to kick them off so someone else can have a go. Mid- build? Too bad.

There's nothing like a almost four year old whose discovered her amazing ability at online haircutting and princess making and could do it over and over again.

There's nothing like kicking them all off my computer so I can use it :)


I think taking turns is a good thing.
I think learning to share is good.
I think paying for one/two computers/laptop is plenty enough.
I think computers need to be out in the open
- do I have room in my tiny loungeroom for a daily LAN party?
I'm know that everyone having individual devices would increase use


I want the desperate longing/waiting to stop.
The begging of little ones to their older sisters to give up their computer monopoly.
I want them to do their computer things AT.THE.SAME.TIME! and not have it go all the day long.
I want them to have the flexibility to work on a project for a few hours if need.
I want to be relieved of being a human timer.

I'm dreaming of finding space {where!?!} and making a long skinny table running the length of the wall with spots for everyones personal computer/devices. Chic and Cute looking to boot.

Perhaps I just need to turn the house into cubicles.

Prepare them for the world out there. ~ Yikes.

Now I've come full circle back to throwing all the screens out.

Understand my pain?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Life Lately According to the Iphone

Sometimes I feel like I don't have an interesting enough life to bother with a blog.
Sometimes it seems we're doing lots of things but perhaps each event isn't worthy of a write up
Hence ~ Life lately according to the blessed Iphone

:: ferris wheel
::feeding lorikeets at great grandparents
:: fairy floss
::magic party invitations
::bridesmaid bouquet
::hurt arm hospital
::late afternoon city
:: long wanted bus trip
::found heart

FHE Lesson {Tree of Life}

AKA: The best family home evening we've ever had!!

A few days back the girls asked if we could do the Best FHE lesson we've ever done again.
I asked and which one was that?? This one of course!

Opening Song: The Iron Rod #274

Scripture: 1 Nephi 9

Earlier Preparation:
- A Tree/bush etc covered in fairy lights
- A rope zig zagged  all throughout your house/garden

 Read through a few of the scriptures from Lehi's dream.
Smaller children can be told/show pictures of the various elements
{Iron rod, path, fountain, mist of darkness, Tree of Life}

When then told the children we were going to follow a similar Iron Rod which was a rope that started from the living room and went out the front door and outside and criss crossed our garden and around fences etc. As it was night time we pointed out that this was like "the mist of darkness".
The children held tight to the rope and followed it.

It ended at a tree lit up with fairy lights with their Dad standing under it to give them some of the 'fruit' of the tree. Talk about what the fruit represents. Share words of scriptures to describe the fruit:
Most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted” (1 Nephi 8:11)
White, to exceed all … whiteness” (1 Nephi 8:11; see also 1 Nephi 11:8)
Desirable above all other fruit” (1 Nephi 8:12; see also 1 Nephi 15:36)
Having “beauty … exceeding of all beauty” (1 Nephi 11:8)
Precious above all”; “most precious” (1 Nephi 11:9; 15:36)
Most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:23; see also 1 Nephi 8:10)
The greatest of all the gifts of God” (1 Nephi 15:36)

Emphasize that eternal life is the “most sweet” and “most precious” blessing we can receive. Because of God’s love for us, this blessing is available to us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We must do all we can to better have the Atonement in our lives - partake in ordinances, live the commandments and be good people.

 Our children really enjoyed this simple activity and wanted to follow the rope again and again

Fruit for The Tree of Life or any special treat that could symbolize it

Closing Song:  Book of Mormon Stories #118
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