Make My Week #51 – Face Cushions

These will be under the tree for my 2 favourite boys.

My concept was to make silhouettes (am I the only one who finds it impossible to spell that word??) of my boys faces with the things that they love surrounding them – kind of like what is inside their heads is now outside and around. One for my number lover and one for my vehicle lover.

 

I think they will love them – super easy to make I might do a tutorial if anyone is interested.

Joining in with this lovely new crafty linky and out creative spaces too.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

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B.M.W.B #51 – The Words We Shall Not Speak

This week has been the worst some families will ever experience. There are families (not just in the USA but this is in my heart and tears) that have lost little ones…. ones they love like I love my boys.

I have been thinking so much about these families – the searing loss, the aching and I so recognise how easy it is to respond in fear. To worry for my children, for the people who inhabit the world they are growing into, to fear the diseases, the dangers, the predators….. but even though that might motivate me (for a time) to love and cherish my children more it is not where I want to parent from.

Fear

Obligation

Guilt

These are the words I want to banish from my parenting. These words, their feelings, the actions they motivate – these are not the mama I want to become.

Fear, when we allow it to set up camp – controls us, it robs us, it makes us cling to children where we should be throwing them in the air, cheering at their attempts to learn new skills, it makes us hold them back from the world they need to experience (I’m not talking about unsafe risks, I’m talking about the joys – and sometimes pains – of being a child). Too many children in many places are robbed of their chance to experience childhood, skinned knees and all. I will not let my fear rob my children of their opportunity.

Obligation – along with its long-suffering companion the heavy sigh – is robbing mama’s of being the mama they long to be. So busy having to do this, should be doing that, ought to have done……. maybe it’s abandoning the home baking this week, or leaving the dishes in the sink or ‘forgetting’ homework for a night. Parenting out of obligation just leads done a very slippery slope to resentment. It does mean the physical needs are met but don’t for a second be fooled that an obliged parent is giving or receiving joy from her family.

Guilt – I have made mistakes, my parents have made mistakes and their parents before them too. If I focus on these I spend so much time in ‘self-improving/being trapped in a cycle of regret/ not doing it the way my parents did it‘ that I take my eyes off the goal – this moment, this experience, this opportunity to laugh or cry, this chance to skip down the road. Guilt traps us in the past. I want to parent right here, today, in this moment.

I love this quote – it reminds me I want people to treat my children with a fresh slate each day and I too need to start each parenting day with a fresh slate too.

 

So what words shall we speak of?

Joy

Celebration

Future

It is a joy to have my boys. A joy not allowed to everyone who longs to parent. I will enjoy this moment. This mess that speaks of a home inhabited by small children. Joy in the noise that demonstrates children relaxed, children expressive, children who do not have to silence their thoughts. I will lie in bed at the end of the day and thank God with joy for the minutes, days and years I have been given with these boys so far.

Celebration – every day is a gift. I am not promised tomorrow for myself or my boys and so I will celebrate today.

Future – I will parent with the future in mind. With my hopes for men who will be filled with compassion and strength. Men who will be generous in their actions, their laughter, their friendships. Because while I choose and hope to dwell right here in this moment I am also growing men. For me this is like stopping to smell the roses – looking at the delicate buds, marveling at the flowers but remembering to water that same plant because I hope it will bloom for a good many years more.

This week I started teaching my biggest boy to sew (he made a Christmas gift for his brother) and I sat in the sandpit (in my Sunday dress and ‘pearls’) with my littlest boy. Because I enjoy them, because they make every day worth celebrating, because they are without a doubt the best thing I have to invest my life into for every single day we have one another.

(I realise this is like the longest post ever pretty much I’ve written it for me…. but I’d be stoked if it encouraged you too)

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

Advent Openings

It’s been a busy week – activities and expectations rise and suddenly I realise how mush there is still is to do that can’t be done until just before….

DAY nine

 

 But each morning we have had the delight of unwrapping. I love the concept of this swap the joy of being allowed to open something every day, of pausing to feel blessed that someone has thought of you. Of unwrapping a gift with genuinely no idea of what might be in it!!

DAY ten

 

I so appreciate the work Cat put in to pairing people up who suited each other

DAY eleven (the boys smelly markers had already been squirreled into bags for show and tell!)

and Leonie’s thoughtful selections

DAY twelve

 

and her gorgeous hand-crafting

DAY thirteen (and more special characters for our magnetic nativity)

and her generosity to the boys (their gifts are disappearing into their room very quickly!)

DAY fourteen

 

 

Bounce got his crocheted bauble off the tree the other day just to show me again ‘this is the one I got first Mama and it’s still lasting.’

DAY fifteen (the lace is wrapped around a whole box of licorice – yum!)

10 days left until Christmas. I hope your weekend is filled with everything good.

 

at the end of a busy week

with parcels in the post and Christmas cards too (you know who you are)

gingerbread house making

school concerts

 

and bike races

 

and bouncy castles at kindy

and joyful laughing together as a family

Christmas is just around the corner but don’t miss out on today because you are so focussed on tomorrow  next week.

Hear your children laugh (or better yet make them laugh), welcome your partner home with a moment of true eye contact and a joyful smile.

This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Make My Week #50 – My Birthday Suit!

I’m counting this as my December dress even though technically I made it before December.

This is what I wore to my birthday. I invited some of the gorgeous women in my life over. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to celebrate the women that make my life such a pleasure. I made high tea, of sorts, and we all sat and word bombed each other.

I made this pattern from a vintage pattern – one from the early sixties and there are no pattern markings on the tissue. So you need to read the instructions to know these 3 holes mean on the fold or this marking means grainline etc. The original didn’t have the puffy over skirt but I felt the fabric called for it.

I made the under garment in calico and the over part is a net curtain I picked up at a church fair for $3. I love the wee raised daisies and the subtle lemony colour. 2 people stopped me in the supermarket to comment on it so I consider that a success!!

I wore it with my self-made necklace, self-made earrings, thrifted beads and shoes from Melbourne. One of the mums from schools aid to me ‘you look very dressed up’ and I aid yeah but I bet my whole outfit is much cheaper than yours. Dress – pattern free, calico $15, net $3. Shoes $20. Necklace about $20 because I did it in a class, earrings – free, beads – 50c Total Outfit= $58.50 (I’m thriftier than Gok!)

Did you enter my giveaway? I keep adding wee things to it. :o)

So this year I challenged myself to make a new piece of clothing each month – here is a breakdown of the clothes I have made this year.

There were a couple of months I seemed to forget but other months I did a few extra so currently it stands at 16 makes and I do have at least 2 more I hope to make in the next 2 weeks!!

I’d love to know your favourite.

I’ve so enjoyed making something a piece of clothing each month – it’s got me thinking about challenges for next year! (and how much I pose with my hands on my hips!!)

Joining in with our creative spaces.

B.M.W.B #50 – Feeding the Ducks

Thanks so much to those who linked in parenting posts last weeks. There were some great ideas and some very encouraging and inspiring reads. If you missed them you can find them here.

 

 

This week we stopped to feed the ducks. We had a bag of bread crusts and it was a sweltering day – a friend suggested we joined them for ice-blocks and we suggested the join us for duck feeding so we did.

It was so lovely to stop on the way home and just get out of the usual rhythms of after-school hustle and bustle.

 

 

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

 

 

December Giveaway – Little Things

There is something about little things I just love so this month I thought I would make a giveaway from little things.

A little lined notebook

2 tiny tea-cup erasers

a fair-trade Christmas decoration with tiny seed beads and maybe some other tiny things too.

If you’d like a mini parcel of love for yourself this Christmas leave me a comment.

I’ll draw next Monday and try to get it in the post for you so you can receive it before the end of the year.

Thank you so much to all of you who have entered my monthly giveaways this year. I hope to continue them next year.

More Advent Openings

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed getting out of bed so much… over the last 8 days I’ve been woken to the sound of my boys whooping with delight over the beautiful and thoughtful things Leonie has picked out for them each day. (There was no expectation for her to do something each day for them that’s just the measure of her generous heart!)

One of the best things they have said this week was when they opened this awesome magnetic story board with some of the nativity characters in it and Bounce said to me ‘Mum I think Jesus is coming for us‘ (he wasn’t in the first parcel of these they unwrapped.) I thought to myself yes little man how true. 

 Day FOUR:

Awesome jacket and skirt pattern, airhostess beads and gingerbread cottage

 

Story board with nativity characters

 

 


This morning I was thinking about all the amazing things Leonie has picked for me and I felt like oh my gifts are so small in comparison and then I thought isn’t that just like Christmas. We carefully pick gifts for others and wrap them with care but really they are so very small in comparison to what heaven gave us at Christmas. A God who would walk as human, grieve, feel pain, lose friends, have enemies, laugh, eat, hope…. A God who would give up power and clothe himself in helplessness.

Day FIVE:

(the glo sticks the boys received were squirreled away faster than I could get a photo of them. Flip was found sleeping with his that evening!)

Brownie In a Jar

I love how no matter how generous our love, how kind our deeds, how wonderful our words they are only ever a tiny glimpse of the extravagant love of God who gave everything. A God who opens his arms to love us just as we are.

Day SIX:

Gorgeous Crocheted Flannels

 

This Advent swap has been so wonderful and it’s not even half way through. Leonie has really chosen things so carefully in line with the things I said I liked. I think it is such a compliment when someone picks something for you, with you in mind. That is really the great discipline of gift giving to buy what someone else would like rather than what you would like yourself.

Day SEVEN:

I adore this quote – all framed up for me x

 

Star Garland

 

 

I’ve also had such fun listening to all the excited exclamations of the boys and their sense of anticipation each day. Their absolute favourite has been the magnetic story board and they are already telling and re-telling the story to each other with the characters they have so far. It’s made me think after Christmas I need to make some more characters for them to re-tell other stories they love. I do remember getting hours of delight from my mama’s flannel-graph boards as a child.

Day SEVEN boys:

More magnetic characters

Tune in next Saturday to see what else has excited and delighted me… and to see if I’ve been brave enough to cut into this fabric which literally made me squeal when I opened it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fabric I love more!!!

Day EIGHT:

Look here to see what I received Days 1-3

friday classics

fish language – on the way to school this week I heard Flip telling Bounce he could speak fish language. Bounce said he could too but Flip said ‘no you can’t but I can introduce you to the fish and then when they know you, you will be able to speak their language’.

4-year-old knowing and wonder – we had a beautiful Christmas celebration with some other families this week and Santa came with gifts for each family. Bounce informed me seriously and quietly that ‘Santa was actually Sam’s Dad’. Then the next morning when the Wise Men had moved from the bathroom to the top of the fish tank he said to The Atlas – ‘How could the Wise Men have made it over there? They must have climbed down and crossed the kitchen under the table, climbed the draws and heaved (don’t you love 4-year-old words!) themselves onto the fish tank. It’s amazing.’

 

 

 I love the look of wonder on the children’s faces when Santa arrived even though they ‘knew’ who he was. They are at this beautiful place of fully entering in to the magic even if they know the truth.

 

We received all the pieces to make a gingerbread house – Whoop!!

 

There is actually heaps to love this week and so much of it is about the boys so I might just do another post about them over the weekend. I am so enjoying this Advent season.

Head over to Meghan’s the home of taking time to be grateful each week. 

Make My Week # 49 – Sparkly Jewels

On Saturday it was my birthday so as well as having high tea at my place for some of my lovely friends I went to a jewellery making class with my very dear (and daring!!) friend Deb.

We went to this class at the Make Cafe

It was a lot of fun and beautifully decorated including fudge, sweet treats, tea, coffee, fancy juice all in a beautiful setting. If you live in Chch and something interests you I would so recommend any of the classes.

This is what I made – cute huh? I used beautiful origami paper I picked up when we were in Melbourne.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.