Monday, January 16, 2017

Bringing some favourite books to life

Looking past the not so fantastic moments from last year, one definitely VERY fantastic thing that happened was kicking-off our reading of chapter books together.

So far we’ve finished reading Enid Blyton’s ‘The Wishing Chair’ and ‘The Wishing Chair Again’, and a little bit of ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’… Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘The BFG’… and we are about halfway through C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.

I managed to score some extra time off over the school holidays. So I decided to indulge in a bit of bookish fun by bringing some the books we read to life.

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We set up our own ‘Willy Wonka Factory’ making our own Wonka bars, everlasting gobstoppers, non-melting ice creams and other confectionery creations. I made some gingerbread ‘bars’ for the kids to decorate and create their own versions of wonka bars, edible play dough for them to mould and shape into various sweet treats, and handfuls of mini M&Ms, Nerds candy and chocolate chips for them to embellish their creations with.

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After that, we sat down to illustrate and write out our own secret recipe books for all the various confectionery creations we came up with. We put the booklets together ourselves in the same way we did with our previous book writing activities.

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Following ‘The BFG’ we concocted our own dream jars by mixing together some small glow sticks, glitter with a sugar syrup mixture (you can also use glycerin which allows the glitter to float slowly around in the jar rather than sinking too quickly to the bottom of the jar).


P.S. Can’t wait to read the other books on this list with the kids. Plus four terrific and very touching children’s books worth reading with your little ones.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

One last hard knock before moving on to 2017

It seems every year we always need to take one really hard knock before we can move on to the next year. This year’s share of hard knocks was probably more than others.

It was kind of a year of just buckling down and weathering through the storm…

We were down to a single income family this year (me being the primary breadwinner).

I dropped my phone, cracking the screen and had to pay out my existing phone contract to get a new one.

With the current bleak economic situation looming over everything, we got stuck between a rock and hard place with a number of our investments.

Hubs and I had to weather through a lot of ‘tough’ discussions throughout the year.

Then someone rear-ended me in my car and we had to navigate through the whole insurance game.

Towards the end of the year we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right after Christmas I finally thought we were over the worst of it and could breathe easy. We were home free!

And then tragedy struck.

While we were out of the shops on boxing day, I let down my guard for less than a minute and ended up being a the victim of a merciless snatch thief.

My entire bag, with my phone, wallet, credit cards, cash… everything.

Just like that. My entire day (and my entire life at that moment) was utterly ruined.

The worst thing was the violation.

The feeling of vulnerability.

Helplessness.

Feeling naked and exposed.

Defeated.

The world felt so evil.

Bad guys won.

Good guys lost.

hplyrikz: “Clear your mind here ” Words:

After a long, mortifying day of endless phonecalls. Canceling cards. Lodging reports. Driving around to see if there was any trace of the bag or remaining contents being tossed aside…

I lay in my bed. Unable to sleep.

A million thoughts and scenes and what-ifs replaying in my head again and again.

Could there be anything worse?

And then I remembered…

How I almost lost something infinitely more precious than this ‘stuff’.

Not once.

But five times this year.

Five times I let my guard down.

And almost lost this baby.

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Five unforgivable crimes.

I never thought I would confess them here.

The incidents still sit on a very raw edge in my memory. All I can tell you is that they involve a couple of near drowning incidents, one involving a car seat, and two at the shops. You can probably infer the rough details from those bare facts. Perhaps one day I can recall and tell the stories freely without pain. But for now they serve to imprint in my heart the weight and value of one little life.

As I told my chicks:

If I lost you, I would cry every single day, forever.

But as for ‘stuff’.

I think I should be able to let them go.

It feels terrible to lose.

But as hubs said, all I need is one little ‘win’ to help me get past this loss.

I hope I will see more wins beyond the horizon.

For now, as long as I have these…

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I am still winning.

 

There are of course other little wins scored along the way…

Like winning at the ukulele.

Finding work-life balance; and

Being able to spend more one-on-one time with this munchkin.

Sharing my booky-love with the kids.

New special family rituals.

Summer beach plays.

Discovering some local hidden gems.

And being good at my job.

 

Anyway after swimming through that whole potluck of the good, bad and ugly, I’m just so done with 2016.

Bring on 2017!