Saturday, December 22, 2012

Slow Saturdays

On Saturdays I really wish I had a cleaner. I have lots to do and with children to attend to it can be difficult. It seems that there is no use to mopping because the floors only stay clean for a short while and I somehow have a never-ending basket of laundry and not Tim Tams :( But I have a bit of peace now that the youngest is going to sleep and there's some freshly micro-waved rice which will turn into lunch very soon.

Onto more exciting news though we have picked out three winners for the book give-away. Thankyou to all who commented or just popped in for a read. The winners are Karen, nessie and Lil. So please send me your addresses so I can get Scholastic to send your book!!! Congratulations!

I'm thinking of sewing today but can't decide which project. I just downloaded the Sorbetto top and perhaps I could have a crack at that but most of what's in my stash is quilting and not apparel so there goes that idea. Note to self: I should buy more apparel type of fabric.

Can you believe there are 3 more sleeps til Christmas??? I can't wait. We haven't broken our toy buying rule this year so none of the kids will get presents from us, only from their aunts and cousins (which will be rather abundant). I'm a bit late to the party but trying to instill St Nicholas into our home instead of Santa Claus.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope that you have a great time with your loved ones. God Bless.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Good Night, Sleep Tight - Review and Giveaway

After my first baby was born I did all the activities you did with your first child including reading to her. Once she could sit up it was wonderful to have her in my lap as I read her books. It was fascinating to watch her wide-eyed and point to the pictures or words. To this day I am very sure that reading to her at a young age attributed to her advanced reading skills. We have a vast collection of our favourite books and I have to say that I love reading books by local authors such as Mem Fox.

I was fortunate enough that Scholastic have sent me a copy of her book Good Night, Sleep Tight to review.Good Night, Sleep Tight was inspired by research suggesting that children who have learnt six nursery rhymes by age four will usually be in the top reading group by eight. The book revives seven classic nursery rhymes for new generations and highlights the importance of parents reading aloud to their children. She had written it many years ago but she has now revised it to include two children and the illustrations by Judy Horacek are marvellous.

Our bedtime routine starts off with brushing teeth, going to the toilet and then reading the children books only if they are in pyjamas. So they always get dressed and sit on my daughter's bed. They absolutely love this book because it includes well-loved nursery rhymes like round and round the garden and pat-a-cake, which I get them to sing to me.
There are lovely pictures in this book and I enjoyed getting the children to spot different things and asking them questions. They love being involved and getting into the book. My almost 5yr old son has dozens of questions when I am reading. He had a great memory bank so he was already saying things as there is some fun repetition as well. My 6yr old daughter's favourite part of the book is when the ladys' are trotting on their horses. I love that she can read and although I do try to correct her, it's best if we don't so that they don't feel like it's a test. My 3yr old daughter enjoyed the nursery rhymes and the tickling part. As you can tell this book suitable for all ages.

 Mem Fox has been a literary consultant in Australia, the United States, Taiwan, Guam, Singapore, Soth Africa, Uganda and Tanzania. She is a well-known writer of many best selling picture books for children and several non-fiction books for adults.

Here are her top-ten comandments for reading aloud to children:

Mem Fox’s Ten Read Aloud Commandments
1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.
5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.
6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.
7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do. 

I really hope that you'll share the joy of reading to your children and thanks to Scholastic for also having this same sentiment by having three (3) copies to Giveaway!!! Just leave a comment below to be in the running. I'll draw a winner on Friday, 21st December in the morning.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Two for me

 This is what happens, I get e-mails from on-line shops about their current sales and I have a bit of a browse and then I delete the e-mails. Sometimes there are quite good sales worth going to the shops and picking out an item or two. Target happened to be one of them as it's 40% off all dresses this weekend!!! I normally try on dresses when they have 20% off but I don't buy them. Call me stingy or whatever but I really only buy a dress when I feel it's worth it. That being said, I don't have many nice dresses in my wardrobe so I set about changing that this morning.

So with all the kids dressed I drove down to the shopping centre just after 9am to beat the crowds. I picked out about 5 dresses to try on and headed off into the change room. I had to let them all in with me in the change room and leave the pram outside. The 18mth old decided it was not for him and cried the ENTIRE time I was trying on dresses. The eldest, my 6yr old daughter was singing and my almost 5yr old boy was crying because I stopped him from opening the door. Let's just say it was rather horrid and loud and I couldn't wait to leave.

I picked out these two dresses though. The top one is a nice navy one which would be good for work. I did try the lace peplum one but she thought it wasn't colourful enough and I agreed with her. Miss 6 really liked the fake wrap one (pictured) and I will probably wear it tonight at a pre-wedding party we are going to. They ended up only being $35.40 each so what a bargain they were! I love you Target.

I grabbed the nearest food distraction (Cadbury Favourites) to tide over the little ones while I waited in line to pay for them along with a white Christmas t-shirt for our St Vincent de Paul Hamper drive next Monday. I like to look festive. I hope you found some goodies this Christmas season.

May God bless your weekend.

* Stay tuned for a book give-away next.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Small gifts

 It's that time of year again. I was going to buy myself a new diary from Target but they trashed the stationary area so I went to Typo instead. Lucky for me (and you) they are having 50% off diaries and calendars so I grabbed this pretty week to view diary for just $5.

 There were heaps of other choices but Little Miss said this one had more pink so it was the obvious choice. I tended to agree with her. I love how it has a monthly view at the beginning of each month so you can keep track of what's coming. I know people like to use their mobile phones or other devices but I like this method. That way, if my phone dies I still have a record of my appointments and I can scribble notes.

(Not-so) Little Miss got another award this term. They entered some Paint my Christmas Card competition for the local government and she got a commendation award. She makes me so proud. That being said, we don't need awards to make us feel proud about who we are but it's the things we do we should be more proud of and strive to achieve.

So it's a really busy time of year for everyone. I've bought some chocolates for the teachers and neighbours. I've yet to buy some toys for the Kmart Wishing Tree but will do that this week when I don't have so many little ones with me.

On the sewing end I found the Tulip Skirt pattern from Sew Daily. Talk about procrastination... 4 years to be exact since this pattern was released. I hope it works for me though as I'll be needing more skirts for this summer. We had a heat wave the past three days and it's finally subsided a little today with some rain.

In other news I have been completely humbled by doing two home visits for our St Vincent de Paul Conference. I was so moved by the lady who opened up her heart and life and talked about her struggles in life. Then when the Deacon told us of a story of a man who shared his sunset with his local priest because it was the only thing he had, I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I had asked to Lord to make me humble in he granted me those graces. I hope I am a good President for our conference and I hope we are blessed to continue to do the work of Jesus.

Aside: Are you wondering what's going to happen on the 21st? Me too......