Friday, April 26, 2013

A Quilt for The Girl

I finally finished The Girls quilt.  In time for winter snuggles in bed.  Its sadly been sitting unfinished in a box since we shifted last year.  Now it has the honor of gracing her bed.  Love.

I had it quilted by Donna at Donna's Quilt Studio here in Hamilton.  Just stunning.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sprat is 6!!

My baby boy turned 6 today.  6.  Wow.  I hate it that time seems to go so fast, but love watching him grow and change.  I still relive each child's labour on their given birthday and marvel at how much they have grown from that tiny squashed newborn they started as.

We made a decision a while back not to do big birthday parties for the children each year.  Its way too much work and my personal opinion is it seems quite excessive each year with 3 children to organise parties for.  Instead we'll celebrate as a family, doing a special activity together.  Of course we will celebrate milestone birthdays with a big bash, and the next one will be Danger Mouse turning 5 next year.

Sprat decided he wanted to go up the Sky Tower for his birthday this year.  The hubby and I had to face a few fears, both of us hating tall buildings.

It was a wonderful day spent together, visiting family, playing with new toys and eating cake.  He wanted a yellow Bumblebee Transformer cake.  I have developed a love hate relationship with fondant.  Granted I rushed this cake, not allowing things to dry properly before adding additional layers and I hope one day I will learn how to produce beautifully smooth fondant.  Still, I have one VERY happy 6 year old who thinks his mum's cakes are the best.

I found my cake inspiration here.  She gives great instructions on how she decorated it.  I should of read them, as they would of helped haha.  Still, a great cake!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Its Time to Change to Nicknames

I've been reading some great posts lately on how to improve your blog.  If you haven't checked out Kiwi Bloggers already, pop on over to here to find some great tips on how to improve your blog.

One thing that has pressing on me lately is to remove my children's names from my blog and replace them with nicknames.  So over the next few days, I'll be going through all my posts and doing just that.

So without further ado, let me introduce to you Sprat.  My sensitive, gentle, easily frustrated, snuggly young man who is turning into a natural born leader.  The best early morning cuddler around.

Next is Danger Mouse.  The cutest little ratbag I know.  Outgoing, extrovert, daring, challenging, energetic, loving and cute cute cute (I am rather biased).

And lastly, is simply The Girl.  My sweet little angel.  Amazing smile, expressive eyes, stubborn, demanding, cuddly and such a blessing to our family.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Treasure Hunting

The boys watched an episode of Dorothy the Dinosaur in which she went on a treasure hunt.  Ever since they've been begging to do one themselves, with Sprat drawing elaborate treasure maps and talking about it non-stop.

Saturday afternoon was dragging on, so a treasure hunting we went.

Keeping things simple, I drew (rather badly I must say) a heap of pictures as clues.  The kids were sent to their bedroom while I planted the trail and the treasure.

I told them the first clue was hidden in the couch.

Danger Mouse found money, and thought the hunt was over.

Clue found!  It was off to search all the bikes.

Found.    My drawing for the next clue was so bad neither of the boys could work it out.  In my defense its not that easy to draw a jet ski, so I had to tell them what it was.

Yay, found.  This led them to rummage through all the shoes and boots at the front door.  Which then led them to the swing set.

And from there, to the letterbox.

Getting close now, they were headed back inside to search the beds.

I couldn't draw a BBQ.  Yes, I am really that bad at drawing.  So I wrote down BBQ and Sprat managed to figure it out.

Treasure found!  Along with the missing cat bowl and cat food which The Girl must of stashed a day earlier!  After a small treat of chocolate, both boys gave me a massive hug and thanked me for the fun, then went off to create their own treasure hunt themselves.  This was such a fun activity for so little effort, that we did it again on Sunday, with the prize being a packet of I Spy Memory cards that we got from a certain fast food joint about a year ago.  Very happy children.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Quilting We Will Go

I am currently in quilting heaven.  That is all.

BMTB Salted White Chocolate Oat Cookies

Again, more food for playgroup.  I found these on my favourite baking blog Baking Makes Things Better.  The hubby and I ate a heap of them straight from the oven, they were so good.  I was lucky to have any left for the next morning.

I added dark chocolate drops along with white as I didn't have enough white drops.  A great twist on an oat based cookie.  Link to the recipe is here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reading Literature to Your Little People

One of my fondest memories of primary school is of one of my teachers reading us The BFG.  We got to pick a pillow each from the reading corner, get comfy on the mat and enter, what was to me, this amazing world.

A friend of mine reads avidly to her children, and at the few homeschooling conferences I have attended, pretty much everyone reads literature to their children.

I've been so excited about reading literature to my children, and for the past few years have been collecting all my old favourites and classics from op-shops.  So far we've read James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Paddington Goes to London.  We are currently nearing the end of The BFG.

Its one of my most favourite times of the day.  The kids fight to snuggle in against me and we all relax together in a big snuggly heap.  Its bliss.

I started reading literature to Sprat when he was around 4 and a half.  We still read piles of pictures books, but when I ask him to pick between a picture book and literature, he always pick literature.  Danger Mouse (3) lasts through the first few pages before something else catches his attention, but he still sticks around, snuggled in and quietly playing with something else.  Very rare, as Danger Mouse is hardly ever still and never quiet.  The Girl (2) likes to sit on my lap, and like Danger Mouse, her attention span soon wonders, but she also sticks around.  As they get older they will learn to sit still for longer and understand the story that is playing out to them.

Apart from the obvious benefit of snuggle time together, there are a huge amount of other benefits.  It teaches your children that reading is fun.  Its a great bonding experience, and provides some quiet intimacy, which sometimes is hard to get out of active little people.  It exposes them to language, relationships, different personalities and characters and provides learning situations on good and bad etc.   It builds listening and imagination skills as well as helping them develop longer attention spans.  As a parent, you get to sit down and relax for half an hour, while teaching your children.  And you get to re-visit all your childhood favourite books.  Huge benefits from something so easy that takes a second hand book, a bit of time and a snuggly corner.