Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Books {Family Tradition}

We already have our Christmas books out and are reading them.
We have a tradition to read a Christmas book each night in December.

The last year or two my older girls haven't really been as interested {thats ok. They are growing up} so I've mainly read to my younger two children.

However this year I was so happy when they came and gathered round and joined in.
It's happened a couple times now and my heart just melted.

I haven't bothered to wrap our books this year {previously been wrapped with wrapping paper, then painted newspaper (so it wouldn't feel so wasteful) to our fabric Christmas bags/pillowcases, last year all in a basket under the tree.} This year they are all just on one shelf next to our nativity sets. Though I do like this idea : books as trees or stack like a christmas tree

Here our some of our favourite books

Christmas on Exeter Street

Christmas in Noisy Village

Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree

Christmas in Big Woods {Little house on the Prairie}

Once there was a Christmas Tree

Christmas Trolls

Madeline's Christmas


The Little Fir Tree

Eloise at Christmastime

Christmas Cobwebs

Berenstain Bears Christmas Tree

The Night before Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

The Christmas Wish

Nativity Books

I usually order at sales or mid year. I try to only limit myself to 2-4 christmas books each year.
Most of these books can't be found in stores here so I use Book depository with free shipping.

Happy Reading! Oh how I LOVE Christmas illustrations.

What is your favourite Christmas book recommendation?

Sunday, November 29, 2015


^^ This years incarnation of our Advent Wreath

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

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 { I hoping to make something like this one this year}
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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

FHE Lesson {Thanks and Giving}

Opening Song: I am Glad for Many Things #151   A Song of Thanks #20

Opening Prayer:


I love this idea of a Thanks and Giving Countdown from Cranial Hiccups!

Write something you are thankful for and on the other side write how you can turn that into a blessing for someone else.

Some suggestions {but you can write your own too}

THANKS: I am thankful for my kitchen (house full of food)
GIVING: Make some yummy food to give to another person

THANKS: I am thankful for my favourite toy
GIVING: Invite someone over to play and share your toy with them

THANKS: I am thankful for church
GIVING: Invite someone along to an activity, sunday worship

THANKS: I am thankful for my body
GIVING: Use it to perform a good deed

THANKS:I am thankful for my family
GIVING: Plan out some time to be together
or visit someone who may be alone at this time of year

THANKS:I am thankful for flowers
GIVING: Give a special someone a small posy out of the blue for no reason

THANKS:I am thankful for all the things I have
GIVING: Donate to a toy drive/Christmas appeal

THANKS:I am thankful for my Grandparents
GIVING:Write them a letter/Call them on the phone

THANKS:I am thankful for my teacher
GIVING: Say thankyou and why you love them

THANKS: I am thankful for my bed/bedroom
GIVING: Clean it up and keep it neat

THANKS: I am thankful for Jesus
GIVING: Write a testimony down. Share it. Record your feelings in a journal

Here are the scriptures under the topical guide for Thanks, Thanksgiving, Thankful:
Ideas :
Share a few with your family.
Print some out and attach to a gratitude tree.
Read one each night for the rest of November
Write them up on a chalkboard

  • It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord:Ps. 92:1;
  • Come before his presence with thanksgiving:Ps. 95:1–2;
  • Be thankful unto him, and bless his name:Ps. 100:1–5;
  • Cease not to give thanks:Eph. 1:15–16;
  • Be ye thankful:Col. 3:15;
  • Blessing, and glory, and thanksgiving, and honor be unto our God:Rev. 7:12;
  • O how you ought to thank your heavenly King:Mosiah 2:19–21;
  • Live in thanksgiving daily:Alma 34:38;
  • When thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God:Alma 37:37;
  • Ye should do all things with prayer and thanksgiving:D&C 46:7;
  • Ye must give thanks unto God:D&C 46:32;
  • Do these things with thanksgiving:D&C 59:15–21;
  • Receive this blessing from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart:D&C 62:7;
  • He who receives all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious:D&C 78:19;
  • In everything give thanks:D&C 98:1; ( 1 Thes. 5:18; )
  • Praise the Lord with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving:D&C 136:28;

Closing Prayer: Child


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Advent Candle

I've wanted an Advent Candle for a few years.

I was worried we would either burn it for too long, or not be home often enough to burn it each day.

So I never got around to it.

Then I figured who cares!

I was so excited to see one for sale - I snapped it up.  {bought Here}

However I thought it would be easy to make one yourself.
In 5 mins I made one from supplies I had at home.

The generic household candles I had in our emergency box weren't particularly tall, so I could only fit 12 days on it. But everyone knows I'm a fan of 12 day countdowns too ;)

Then all I needed was a metallic pen which aldi were selling 2 for $1.99!!

This homemade advent candle probably cost 40 cents to produce.

Now to see if we can follow the ritual of  burning the candle a little each day for Advent.
I thought it might go along well with our  Family Reflections Advent Calendar Questions.
A time to pause and reflect each day by candlelight.

Monday, November 16, 2015

FHE Lesson {Olive Oil Clay Lamps}

The actual reason we were making the lamps is because I had seen an idea about having a Bethlehem dinner at Christmas and eating by clay lamp light to be like it was at Jesus time. I wanted to prepare some lamps for that, so we had this lesson first :)

Opening Song: Seek the Lord Early #108

Opening Prayer: Child


Who remembers a bible story about oil and lamps?
Today we are making our very own olive oil lamps.

We used oven bake clay - Fimo.  2 squares made 4 small lamps.

We followed this tutorial at  Cranial Hiccups

Basically make your clay into a circle and fold it up in the middle.
Make a spout and a circle at the back to fill with oil.
Make sure spout is facing upwards a little.

While our lamps were baking in the oven {about 20 mins} we watched
this: 10 virgins video LDS

This is a parable. A story with other meanings.
What is the oil?
Why can you not share it?
How can we fill our own oil reserves?
These lamps enabled people to carry light wherever they went.
In the same way we are to carry the light of the gospel with us.

Ten virgins = Church members

Oil = Spiritual preparation

Bridegroom = Jesus Christ

Marriage = Second coming of Jesus

extra reading:  Parable of 10 virgins March 2009 Ensign

 Some neat facts about olive oil lamps:
Olive oil burns cleanly, without smoking and is odorless. 
 It doesn’t spread toxic hydro-carbons into the air. 
olive oil won’t ignite if the flame drops down into the oil — in fact it will smother the flame.  
Making it a safe light source. It’s quite amazing that olive oil will burn at all. 
Even old rancid oil burns well. A little oil can burn for quite a long time.

Alternative : glass olive oil lamps

** Take care around fire at all times. 

NEVER leave a burning lamp unattended. 
Teach children careful Fire safety and rules.

Our lamps were in no way perfect. We didn't tilt our spouts up enough before hardening. We used unravelled cotton balls and twill for a wick. The tip of our clay lamp did burn due to proximity of our wicks. The oil must be very close to the edge of the wick or it wont light. We didn't burn them for over 10 mins because of these factors but the lamps do indeed work and we have lit them several times. Keep on a tray incase the olive olive spills out.

Closing Song: When he comes again #82
Closing Prayer:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bubble Wrap POP Advent

When I saw THIS advent calendar I just Knew I HAD to make one.

BubbleWrap POP Advent"

It is very easy. Grab some cardstock, christmas picture and  bubblewrap.

Print a christmas picture. I think a tree is best but any picture would do really. 
As long as you can fit 25 numbers on it. I printed on gloss photo paper.

Stick your photo some cardstock of your choosing.

Staple some bubble wrap on top.

Lifting your bubble wrap find some strategic places for the numbers 1-25.
I tried to make the numbers correspond as close as possible to a 'bubble'

Each day pop a bubble as your count down to Christmas.

I've popped a few bubbles outside to main picture to check if it works.
I do think it will be hard to stop at ONE per day :)

Happy Poppin' Christmas!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Advent Calendar {Wooden Tree, Questions, Photo Advent Calendar}

November is all about the Advent Calendar.

Well MAKING the Advent Calendar.

Dec 1st will be here before ya know it!

I have a love of advent calendars {as my pinterest account will attest for}

There is just too many I love - so this year I combined 3 ideas I saw into one.

See:  Family Reflections Advent  Wooden Tree Advent and vintage Photo Tree

As our family is growing older I really liked the idea of a interactive non sweet advent calendar {Though I may add some little sweets in bags and peg them on too for a few days} and I really want Christmas to be about slowing down and spending family time. I'm looking forward to sharing and asking  these  questions around the breakfast or dinner table each night.

You'll notice I only do a 12 days of Christmas. We are often busy in December, and with travelling and holidays 12 days suits us and feels more achievable. The 12 days also usually starts around the same time school gets out. Don't worry I have several other paper window and other advents around that go for 24 days too ;)

How to make this tree:

I followed the instructions on This Tutorial to make our tree. My trusty crafty friend helped me and my trusty handy husband cut all the wood for me! Made my job so easy! It's basically just 6 bits of wood screwed {and a little glue} into one longer middle piece. Then PVA glue some pegs on.
Attach a picture hook to the back so you can hang it easily.

I wish I would have white washed painted it. Maybe I still will. Or next year ;)

I printed some vintage and some newer Christmas pictures small. 12 photos per sheet.
Attach to pegs along with Family Reflections Questions.
Attach Bicarb, cornflour dough ornament advent numbers on.
{I'm still fiddling with my decorations. Maybe it needs some crocheted stars/snowflakes}


Previous Advent Calendars:  Here

Some ideas for advent fillers:
Kinder Chocolates
Hair Ties
Nail Polish
Movie Tickets
Glow Sticks
Sippah Straws
Mini Decorations
Secret Letters to eachother

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bi Carb Cornflour Dough Ornaments {Advent and Place Settings}

Initialed Place Settings:

Advent Calendar Numbers:

^^ More info to come regarding this years advent :)

It has been a while since I'd made some ornaments with this dough - but its good.

BiCarb Conflour Dough:

2 c. baking soda
1 c. cornstarch (cornflour)
1 1/4 c. cold water

(You can easily half the recipe)

Mix soda and cornstarch together, in a saucepan, blending well. Add the cold water and mix well until mixture is smooth. Cook on medium heat for 2-4 mins until it has consistency of moist mashed potatoes. Stir constantly. Spoon out on a plate. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to cool. 
Knead dough and roll out on waxed paper. Cut out designs with a cookie cutter or shape by hand. 
If you want to hang these poke a hole with a tooth pick, straw while soft. 
Let dry until hard, 1 or 2 days.  
After letting ornaments dry for 2 days all I did was use a fine tip felt marker to draw designs on.

Previously I was impatient and cooked the dough which made it have a bit of a yellow hue. This time I made my ornaments well ahead of time and let them dry for 2 days instead and the dough was much whiter and turn out much nicer.

I started out just making tiny ornaments with words on it - these stars are 3-4 cm.
Then I thought ohhh these would make great personalised initialed place settings for Christmas dinner
Then I thought oooohhhh these would make great number markers for an advent calendar 
Next minute a hundred ornaments with the same pattern and here we are!

I wanted to mix up my patterns a bit and try other designs but I was happy with the wreath which is so easy and turned out the best - anything else not so much maybe I'm not as artistic as I think. The wreath is so easy. Everyone can do it. Draw a circle then make little leaf shapes facing down direction from both sides of circle.

Sorry if your eyes get sick of seeing it :)

^^ By my 9 year old.

Enjoy making hundreds of ornaments for your tree, place settings, advent calendars, as gift tags etc.

It's officially November and its officially time to start showing Christmas things! Someone made fun of me back in September saying I can't believe you are making christmas ornaments! Are you crazy! Sometimes I feel like the slowest person on earth. People might think I'm a crazy Christmas Lady but I'm not really. 

I'm just really, really slow.

I don't do late nights. I don't do all nighters. I don't do party stress. 

So that means I need to start... Last year lol.

We have 4 handmade family traditions - placesettings, ornament, advent and a homemade gift. 

I gotta start early or I'd never be done.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

FHE Lesson {The Lords Law of Health}

Opening Song:  The Lord Gave me a Temple #153

Opening Prayer:


Object lesson:
Mouse trap. Place a piece of chocolate on a mouse trap and set it. Discuss the dangers of something so nice but potentially dangerous. Now place a picture of something other people may deem nice but not good for us (eg cigarette, alcohol, drugs)  – wouldn’t we immediately reject this? Of course.

What is the Word of Wisdom?
The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children.

Where can we find information about the word of wisdom?
Doctrine and Covenants 89

What does the Word of Wisdom say about what we should eat?
The Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body.

What are the promises of the word of wisdom?
Health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom.

What principle of the gospel is the word of wisdom teaching us?
Obedience and caring for our bodies.

Youth say about the word of wisdom
Video [7.5mins]


Holding Fruit and candy
Have child hold an  arm out straight palm facing up.
Place a piece of chocolate on the hand. Is this food health or unhealthy?
Tell them to try keeping it up. Then the adult uses 2 fingers to push the arms down on their wrist. The arm will go down. The body rejects the bad. 

Do it again with fruit and the body will resist the pushing.
The arm will stay up. The body accepts the good food.

This activity worked so well for our family. I hope it does for everyone {because I'm not sure of the science behind it?} The kids were impressed that the arm with the chocolate or candy on it was weak and would go down but the arm holding the apple resisted and stayed strong!

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat: Fruit

“One keeps the Word of Wisdom knowing that obedience will not only bring freedom from addiction, but it will also add blessings of wisdom and treasures of knowledge.”

—Russell M. Nelson
“Face the Future with Faith,” Ensign, May 2011, 35

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...