Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Eve

Each year we visit the Bethlehem display put on by one of the local Catholic schools. It is a lovely way to spend Christmas Eve. Everyone is in character and are so friendly and joyful, obviously loving every minute of the evening. It's just a happy place to be!

Upon entering the 'city' Ollie had to fill in the register with our family name and number of people in our family, as well as paying our taxes ($5 entry). There are a tonne of activities for the children to participate in as well. They can try their hand at weaving, make Christmas decos and jewellery, there are goats and baby lambs, the wise men and their camels are always fun!
But, the highlight is of course the Nativity with a real baby Jesus. Beautiful!

 Happy Birthday Jesus

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wrapped with love

The last gifts have been wrapped.
This year I have not handmade any gifts.
In fact, we have pulled right back with the gifting.

We are having a kris kringle with our extended family so I have bought 2 gifts instead of the usual 15. Our little ones will receive a gift as did all our nieces and nephews over the years. But now they are all adults and so we thought we'd give a kris kringle a go. It has taken A LOT of pressure off shopping wise.
 The Mister bought for our 18 year old nephew-a gift voucher...boring I reckon but he'll be happy.

And I bought a little something for the girlfriend of one of our other nephews. Beautiful Carlie...I had a lot of fun wrapping this one in a simple little kraft box, punched out some music paper and embellished with some feathers and a chipboard letter from my scrapbooking days.

I find the first part of December very busy with all the parties and end of year functions. While I love every minute of it, it can feel exhausting and my being sick a couple of weeks back didn't help.
This week has been so beautifully relaxing and fun! All the Christmas prep has been geared around the kids. So, I've had some happy time with the children and they've been busy and happy too.

We made wrapping paper using the much loved technique of potato printing-almost as good as foot printing.

Bella created some beautiful finger knitting, just the perfect trim on Grammys gift.

Lulu decorated Nanny's gift with glitter glue and I topped it with some paper flowers that I made from an old sewing pattern.

As well as our snowman cookies and peppermint bark, we also made some rocky road.

The kids and I worked together to make the Crackers for our Christmas lunch. I bought the supplies from Spotlight in the after Christmas sales last year. They wrote their own jokes and popped some Hersheys Kisses inside each cracker. We photocopied some vintage music paper for the wrapping and tied them off with some twine. It was a big team effort, Ollie thinking of most of the jokes (of course), Bella writing them as Ollie was tired after writing the first one, Lulu popping the treats inside and me doing the tying and wrapping with help of little fingers to hold the string tight while I tied the knot.

Just a lovely week together and I am so grateful for these moments.

I do hope your week has been festive and fun too and may your Christmas be filled with much LOVE and JOY, PEACE and HOPE!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Pudding

For as long as I can remember, we have always enjoyed a frozen pudding as part of our Christmas lunch.
They look beautiful all plated up, they taste delicious and they are really simple to make.

Last night I whipped one up to take to my sis-in-laws.We'll be going to her place for Christmas dinner.
Our niece has Coeliac Disease and because there are not many ingredients in this dessert, I was able to find gluten free. I hope you enjoy it Pippi.

Frozen Christmas Pudding

2L tub of Vanilla icecream
box of bakery meringues
450g packet of frozen mixed berries 
packet of white choc chips

Leave the icecream sit at room temp a while. You want it to be just soft enough to mix ingredients through.
Put ice cream into a large mixing bowl.
Add meringues-I used about 2/3 of  100g box and mix into icecream, chopping through some of them.
Add a cup of choc bits and mix through.
Finally, add the frozen berries. I save them for last because they need to stay frozen and in tact.
Just stir them though gently.

Line a pudding tin with glad wrap (for easy removal later)
Pour mix into tin and press down firmly with metal spoon
Place in the freezer

To serve, place on a plate and drizzle with a berry coulis  and maybe a few berries for good measure.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Easy peasy Peppermint Bark was on the menu for today.
Crushing the candy canes with a hammer brought much joy to all three.

Peppermint Bark
packet of white chocolate melts
candy canes
peppermint essence (optional)

Melt choc buttons in microwave
Add 1/2 tsp peppermint essence-if you want to
Crush candy canes-we used 8, using a hammer. Pop them in a zip lock bag to crush... clingwrap worked too!
Stir candy cane into chocolate mix, save a little bit for sprinkling on top
Spread over a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with remaining candy cane

Pop in the fridge and break into pieces once set.
Easy peasy!

Oh did I mention how much I love school holidays?!
I've been staying in my jami's until lunchtime most days.
The little two have pretty much spent all week running around in their undies.
Bella asked for a tonne of plaits to make frizzy hair.
We have been eating dinner outside every night.
There has been A LOT of swimming.

I dropped some bags of stuff to the oppy yesterday. I spotted a cheery tablecloth on my way out.
With not a cent in my purse, I raced out to the car to scrape together $2.00
I love it's bright colours and floral print.

Hope your week is lovely too.

Monday, December 19, 2011

School Holidays

Oh I breathe a big sigh of relief when the school holidays arrive. Mornings are often a bit chaotic at our place with Boo-who is NOT a morning person-usually protesting about being woken up and having to do her treatments. We are almost ALWAYS late for school So the holidays provide a welcome relief from the morning regime. Of course we still have the treatment regime but without the pressure of the clock ticking.

So this morning while Boo slept in, the little ones and I started some Christmas baking. They had been awake since 6am so by 8am we were looking for something to do.

As much I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE one of these ...the children love using the electric beater.

working together

So the cookies were baked using this lovely Sugar Cookie recipe and were set aside for decorating, while O and Lulu enjoyed their breakfast. Is 8am too early for beater licking??? I don't think so.

 beater licking...yum!

The plan was to create the melting snowman cookies as seen here...but Bella, chief decorator had other ideas. She has a lot of ideas, our Bella...about life, and friends, and pepole and cookies. She is sure of what she wants to do and very happy to do it even if no one else is. I love that about her. She is not afraid to be herself. I hope that never changes.

Much fun was had making, decorating and of course eating these beauties. If you look closely, you might even see a melted snowman.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Crazy continued...

  • O had a wonderful Christmas party with his Kindergarten class. I'll let him tell you about it.
"We went to the cinema to watch 'Santa's Apprentice' and I sat next to Boston and on the bus I sat next to Mr F. When we got back to school, we did have a celebration and I can remember what some people brought but not all. I did bring some chocolate crackles. My Nanny made them to share with Kinder because I was staying at my Nan and Pa's house because my Mum and Dad and little sister and big sister were in Sydney. I had lots of fun!"

Big love to Nan and Pa for spoiling Ollie while we were away. I hate being away from my children but it seemed silly for him to edure a 5 hour car trip and a day of hospital appointments when he had so many fun things happening at school. (that's me being sensible and trying to squash any mother guilt I may or may not feel about leaving our boy)
  • Bella unfortunately missed her Christmas Party as we went to Sydney for her reveiw at Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. On the up though, the Mister had to attend a meeting for work in Canberra so we spent a night there before heading to hospital. We spent the afternoon with our dear friends and seeing her bestie certainly compensated for the missing out on the party. Yay for that! 
  •  Thursday night we headed to 'Carols by torchlight' at school. The children had such a happy night. We took our picnic blankie and gosh tis the season for sausage sizzles isn't it!? There was much running around with friends and glow sticks, lollies from Santa and a bit of carol singing too. On the way home we ooohhed and ahhhed at some Christmas lights and yelled out Mery Christmas to the owners of said Christmas lights.

 Just 7 more sleeps!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Crazy

I am tad behind in blogging our Christmas festivities but for the sake of recording the goings on, I'll endeavour to catch up. The past week has been a whirlwind and on top of the Christmas Crazy, I have been oh so sick. I've had a rather nasty throat infection. I even lost my voice for a couple of days-thankfully not before I spent an afternoon visiting my gorgeous friend. The Mister joked that we are only given a certain amount of words to last a lifetime and I must have used mine all up. Those that know me in 'real life' know that I talk quite a bit ;)
Now that I have started some antibiotics, I am on the mend. Grateful for antibiotics! I have shared the love with poor Lulu. Hopefully she'll be feeling better soon as well.

  • Presentation Night
Both the children were thrilled to receive awards at their school presentation night and we were SO  happy for them. It was Bella's first time and she received the Library award for her class. She is an avid reader and zips through novel after novel. She is allowed to borrow books from the Year 5/6 section-while being in Year 3. I am so grateful she has a love for reading. It opens up new worlds and you are never lonely with a book.

Ollie received his award for Academic Excellence in Literacy. Another clever reader! Ollie has had THE best year in Kinder, THE best teacher ever! He has grown in confidence, excelled academically and made lots of friends. He was first called up on stage and was very overwhelmed by the 500+ people clapping for him but he has come such a long way this year-no longer the little boy crying and clinging to his mother like a little barnacle.

  • Christmas Party
Each year we organise the Christmas Celebrations for G's work. The adults enjoyed a day at the races a few weeks ago and last weekend, the children had a lovely time at a local park.  Bella had a ball on the slip n slide while O and Lulu hung out at the playground. Many a lolly was eaten, sustenance in the form of a sausage sambo, soft drink, ice cream and a special visit from Santa (our Pa).

Dad if you are did a fantastic job as always despite your very dodgy Santa suit :)

More Christmas Crazy soon...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Making

A bit of Christmas making was had this week using some thrifted treasures.

The wooden frame was discovered at The salvo's for $3.00-I removed the cardboard print which was all waterstained and warped.
I've pegged some thrifted deco's onto the hanging wire and the result a quick and easy Christmas display.

This happy heart decoration was made with some pretty cross stitched linen and a doily, both thrifted.
I have great admiration for those clever cross stitchers like this beautiful lady. I do!
But I am a lazy crafter and I am impatient too. So it gives me great joy to be able to make a little something quickly. I added a little hand stitching on the edge and the doily so I could give myself a tick for some effort!

the back

The perfect finishing touch...a special vintage button from Belles Buttons. I left the old thread in the button as just adds that little bit of character, I think.

When I went looking for my link to Belles buttons, I stumbled across this picture and thought I'd post it again seeing as Christmas is only 13 days away! Are you ready? I'm not!

For more op shopping treasures, pop over here and visit Sophie and crew.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas creating

I've been such a good girl this year so I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present.

Like many of you, I adore Dottie Angel and her sweet creations.
This little treasure arrived  recently and it is everything I expected!

Yesterday I pulled out the machine and being all dottie angel inspired, I set to work making a Christmas sack for Lulu. I added the finishing touches today and oooh I love this kind of no rules creating, haphazard stitching, random doilies and buttons.. And all the pretty thrifted linens. Does it get any better?!
I added a fabric loop for hanging...I may change this to a drawstring.
I'm undecided. I kind of like the loop.

Have you been sewing lately?