Friday, December 23, 2011


This week has been lovely after a few weeks of hectic running around.  I am finally catching up on a little sleep and feeling a little more normal (if I ever am normal  he he)   I love the week leading up to Christmas.  The secret rustles,  giggling and 'hide and seek'  with gifts.  I love the genuine love of people and care. I wish this could carry on all year.  I love also the little secrets we do as a family for others.  It gives us lovely warn fuzzies and excitement for the recipients of our secrets. 

With all the commercialism of Christmas is is so easy to get caught up in the trims and trappings.  How can we remember the true reason for Christmas?   How can we get back to simplicity and celebrating the birth of Christ and spend quality time as a family?  Here are some things that work for us

  • K.I.S.S Keep it simple sister.  Is is really necessary to make 20 ginger bread houses for gifts? 
  • Serve others.  For our 12 days of Christmas this year we have done acts of service for each other in our home.  I.E  1st day one act,  2nd day 2 acts etc.  It has been really fun and has brought a lovely feel into our house
  • Visit with neighbours
  • Visits with elderly and those with no family
  • Bake and drop off secretly on door steps
  • Decorate letter boxes in your neighbour hood.  Maybe even tape lollipops to the boxes too.
  • Play traditional Christmas music
  • Have all you meals together
  • Make a handmade gift. 
  • Go to church on Christmas day (or as near to Christmas day as possible)
  • Read or act out the Christmas story
  • Sing carols
  • Go carolling (lots of fun)
  • Read Christmas books as a family
  • Have a Christmas concert
  • Go to a community carols night
  • Drive around your neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights
  • Sit and listen to a child or friend or family member.
  • Serve as a local soup kitchen
  • Wrap a couple of presents up and drop them in to a homeless shelter or woman's refuge
  • Watch a Christmas movie together.  The Nativity From the Church of Jesus Christ of latterday saints is beautiful. ( )

Get your thinking caps on and think about how you can get more meaning in your Christmas. 

Merry Christmas to you all.  Have a wonderful season and day

Love Catherine xxxxx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time flies

I am sitting here contemplating where this year has gone.  It seems only yesterday that it was last Christmas and it is here again.  The last 2 weeks have gone by in a blur too.  We have had so much happening, a few dramas and very little blogging.

 I spent last week at school camp.  It was fantastic and I had a blast but it meant very little time doing anything to do with art. The kids were amazing and we had a lot of fun.  I did an art group on one of the days.  I had the kids make a bridge they could stand on out of newspaper and string.  It was a great activity and they did very well.  Most of them got the bridges to work. 

I left a long list of things to do at home while I was away as I had 25 people to dinner on Sunday. When I got home I had a wonderful surprise to find it was mostly completed. They had worked so hard.  I felt so supported and loved.  It was such a relief to know that I had only minor stuff to prepare for Sunday night.  The evening was wonderful.  We had a beautiful meal, shared gifts,  sang carols and spent sometime sharing the wonderful things that had happened to each of us during the year.  I was touched to hear some of the children's expressions of gratitude.  Simple and profound....I am grateful for family,  my friends,  that I have a mum who loves me and that I achieved my highest grades this year.  It was a really special family moment that I wish I had recorded in someway. 

My Beautiful Treasures

They all grow up so fast and these moments seem to melt away into far distance memories.  I found this song by Taylor swift on YouTube about this.  It bought many tears to my eyes as I lose a child to University next year and have another one only home from university for a short time until she finds work. When my children where small it felt like they would never grow out of nappies now it feels like the time has just disappeared into a puff of smoke. I hope you enjoy it.

I am trying to value every moment more so this means sometimes that I have to re prioritise my life to make sure I give value to these important moments in my life.  My art will always still be a huge part of my life but for the past 2 weeks it has had to take a back seat to my family and there special and precious moments. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I won't be posting next week as I am away on school camp.  I am really looking forward to having time with my boy and spending time in the outdoors. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Coping with stress

No matter what I do at this time of the year I always seem to have stress.  In the Southern hemisphere Christmas falls at the same time as the summer holidays and end of year breakups.  I seem to spend so much time trying to balance my time and keep sane.  I feel really sorry for my children because of all the extra pressure and needing to be in so many places in short spaces of time. This is how I sometimes look on Christmas day and it really isn't worth it if we are to tired to enjoy the day.

I have come up with a few ways to cope in this busy season that work for me.  Not everything that I do will work for you but I hope there might be a couple of things that  may help

  •  I try to keep fourth term extra curricular things down to a bare minimum.
  • I write daily to do lists that I don't keep to strictly but use as a guideline each day so that as I get nearer Christmas I don't collapse under the strain
  • I start shopping in June when I start seeing things on sale and I tuck them into the cupboard.  This helps the budget too.
  • I take time everyday to smell the roses.  I may take a walk or look at the cloud or read a book.  Just something small to gain peace in my heart.
  • I try to keep order in my home.  I sometimes have to rely on the children a bit more but it is worth it for the extra visual peace.
  • I don't do everything.  I chose to say yea to some things and no to others.  I base my decisions on the goals and values my family is aiming towards
  • I prioritise people first and jobs second
  • I try to spend an little time each day with each of my children and my husband.  Relationships always come first
  • I keep the lines of communication open in my home so I can see when things are getting too much for people.
  • I keep a well used calendar which everyone in the house can add things too
  • I expect help from everyone who is available.  If everyone does their bit the load is easier.
  • K.I.S.S  Keep It Simple Sister.  I don't need to make ginger bread houses for everyone or elaborately decorate the house
  • Remember to keep simple traditions with lots of meaning not traditions that take a lot of preparations and give very little in return
  • Serve others it always keep life in perspective.
  • Keep food simple but yummy.  A roast is always easy to prepare but is always delicious.

When I follow these things I find the stress decreases a little and really begin to enjoy the season.  I hope there could be something here that helps you.

Catherine xxx