Saturday, 24 December 2011

The end of advent (and some Christmas craft success)

Last day of advent today :) We have been a bit more laid-back with the advent activities this week. We haven't been opening all of the advent parcels (we have skipped some days/activities) and we have been focusing on reading Christmas books, rather than the short bible passages. We have had some successes with craft though...

* Christmas tree ornaments made from pipe-cleaners and beads

* Some Christmas chalk drawings on the pavers. These were drawn by Daddy and coloured by Mr Sociable. It was a great chance for them to chat about Christmas things.

* Christmas gingerbread biscuits - I made and decorated these without kid-help (can you tell??).

* Collage picture of the shepherds and angels that Mr Sociable made for my Nana. We will give it to her at Christmas celebration tomorrow.

* Mr Sociable glued the pasta onto a paper plate with PVA. I gave him some suggestions ("more pasta", "look, there is a gap there", etc.), but otherwise he pretty much did it himself. Once the PVA glue was dry, I sprayed it with silver paint. It is hanging on our front door.

I pray you have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow, spending time with family or friends, and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday: "Let's go fly a kite..."

Mr Sociable was recently given a kite for his 4th birthday. On the weekend, we made the most of the cold, windy weather to test it out. Poor Mr [no so] Fun was feeling sick, but he eventually found some things at the park to amuse himself (the grass, my empty pepsi can...). The kite is awesome - flew really high - and Mr Sociable did a great job of holding onto the handle tightly.

Joining up with My Little Drummer Boys and Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Parachute play for a rainy day

We've had a lot of rain in recent weeks (and months...). So, we've been spending lots of time indoors. Mr Sociable is a bit anti-craft at the moment, so I have been thinking of other activities to occupy us. Last week, while preparing stuff for Mr Sociable's birthday party, I bought some parachute men (in the party aisle at the supermarket). One afternoon, when I needed some entertainment for Mr Sociable, I pulled out one of the parachute men and put it together (yes, I was a little disappointed to discover that they don't come pre-assembled). We tried standing on chairs and throwing them up in the air, then we tried dropping them down the staircase. Both boys loved this activity! Mr Sociable stood at the top, dropping the parachute over the side. Mr Fun and I stood at the bottom, catching the parachute man.

Mr Sociable played this game for a long time. He also tried tying the parachute to his car and running along with the parachute. It was a great activity for an "inside" day.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

My big boy turns 4

Mr Sociable turned 4 this week. Amazing! I can barely remember life pre-kids - seems like a lifetime ago (I guess it is - his lifetime!). We have had some lovely celebrations this week and I'm thankful that things are now looking pretty quiet for us until Christmas.

Looking very handsome in his new costume!
On Wednesday, Mr Sociable took a cake to preschool. It was my practice cake - perfecting the shape and the consistency of the icing. I did feel a bit bad about sending a cake to preschool that had red icing and lollies - until I found out that the teachers gave the kids a lolly-pop each to keep them quiet during the Christmas concert! Then I figured, what's a bit more sugar? ;)

The preschool cake
On his actual birthday, we opened presents in the morning and ate pancakes for breakfast. We wanted to fit this in before Franky went to work, so I actually made the pancakes the night before & just reheated them in the morning! Mr Sociable was stoked with the Mack truck and Lightening McQueen that we gave him. Throughout the day, he kept telling me how much he "loves" them & how he was lucky to have "so many" presents for his birthday. It gave me joy to see how much he appreciated the gifts :)

Opening the kite from Mr Fun
Thank you kisses
Both boys wanted to play!
Special number 4 pancakes that I piped with an icing bag
Lightening McQueen, Mater and Mack had to come to the table too
We went to swimming lessons, as normal, and Gran came over in the afternoon. She gave Mr Sociable the biggest, noisiest fire engine toy I have ever seen. It's going to live at Gran's place!

I made the cake for the party and the kids enjoyed licking the beaters.

Mr Sociable requested fish fingers for dinner, which he helped me to make. Gran brought a cake to have after dinner (our family recipe chocolate cake - yum!).

We had an afternoon party at a bike park. The kids had so much fun riding around - the time flew past! We had a BBQ for dinner and had (another!) cake. Poor Mr Fun was sick, but managed to hold it together until we got home (when he started to scream and scream and scream....).

Our family and friends gave Mr Sociable so many generous gifts that he actually hasn't opened them all yet! He only opens a few at a time and then just wants to play with the new presents. I have been trying not to rush him to open them (because I am naturally task-oriented & just want him to finish the job!). I want him to be able to appreciate the gifts & be thankful for others' generousity. Hopefully tomorrow we will open the last of them! Then, we are going to go through his old toys & pick out the ones that he doesn't need anymore to give away. I talked about this plan with him before his birthday - so he knows it is coming - and is quite keen to give away some of his "baby" toys.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sharing some of my favourite childhood toys with my kids (Wordless Wednesday)

Mr Sociable was exhibiting all the signs of cabin fever - jumping around, whining about having no-one to play with, testing Mummy's patience, deliberately irritating his brother. I decided that some novel toys were in order, so I dug out a box of my "special" toys from when I was a kid. My boys had lots of fun!

The slinky

The yo-yo
Mr Fun liked dragging this along the ground
The view-master
Mr Sociable found it hard to believe that this doesn't have a light inside -
that it actually worked better when he faced the window

My fan
"How is this a fan?"
The yo-ball (do you remember these? They are like a yo-yo, but they automatically retract).

Laser spinner (I used to love this! Bought it at Questacon). 

My favourite, most precious, Happy Meal toys :)

My matchbox lockable safe

Transfers - these ones are yogi bear (I also have some farm ones, super-heroes & space/soldiers)

What precious toys have you kept from childhood? Do you let your kids play with them?
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