Sunday, August 27, 2017

Flashback Post: Even then...

Apparently, I wrote this in 2012 and it was first published on 9 June 2012.  It might not be the best poem I've ever written but It's good enough.  It's quite reassuring actually.  

Even When... Even Then...

Even when the day is long,
When you can't remember the name of the song.
Even when your tired and sleepy,
When the kids make you feel so crawly and creepy.
Even when the weather is cold,
When you feel as though you're a hundred years old.

Even then, you can get out of bed,
You can face the world and hold high your head.
You can stand in the midst of the chaos and know,
That there is better than this, when with God you go.

So, wake up and go out
Take the day as it comes.
There is no reason to doubt
That God has done all the sums.

He is watching and working
In ways you can't know.
He will get you home
If with Him you will go. 

Have you bought your Father's Day gifts yet.  Next week you will see a card and a homemade gift I made. 
Keep going with God, it's worth it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jurassic World Party Part Two

Last week, I told you all about the decorations we had at the Jurassic World party.  This week I will show you the activities and tell you about the food we had at the party.  Check out my party Pinterest Board to see where I got a lot of inspiration, tips, tricks, instructions and printables. 

A quick note about the Birthday Boy: this was a tenth birthday party, so I spent a bit of time with the birthday boy before the party.  We talked about the movie, his favourite parts of the movie and activities he would like to do.   I also asked him what type of party he wanted, organised games where everyone does each activity at the same time or stations for each person to move to as they liked.  We ended up with a combination of the two.  


The activities were supposed to be spread out through the backyard.  We had to move a few activities at the last minute due to rain.  The kids didn't care.  Kids were checked in when they arrived, receiving a name badge and dinosaur temporary tattoo (This was their VID- Very Important Dinosaur- pass, like in the movie)

Pin the Horn on the Triceratops: my very talented Mum took a printed image of a triceratops, and used a grid overlay to draw a huge triceratops. She made some black horns and used yellow stickers to write a number on each.

Guess Jar: I filled an old coffee jar (that had been thoroughly cleaned) with some small plastic Dinosaur figurines. The BFF drew up a name and guess chart for guests to record their guess.  Hint: don’t forget to count the dinosaurs as you put them in the jar and write it down somewhere safe! Lol. About half way through the party I took the guess chart away and worked out which three guesses were closest to the exact amount and awarded prizes from a lucky dip box.  The Birthday Boy wanted to keep the jar of dinosaurs. 

Squad Training: we used some dinosaur figures (about 20-30 cm high) and lined them up along a shelf.  Guests had a six shooter Nerf gun (so six shots) to hit up to 5 dinosaurs.  The one who shot the most dinosaurs in the one turn got a prize from the lucky dip.

Footprint Match: I made up some cards using images from the internet and a print of labelled dinosaur footprints.  Only a few guests participated in this.

Fossil and Bone Digs: I made fossils using salt dough and some skeleton figurines (click here for instructions).  I also made some dino-sized teeth and a hybrid dinosaur skull for the kids to dig up.  My mum, (go Grandma) bought some sand from our local garden nursery for us to bury the fossils and “bones” before the party. I laid out small spades, spoons and paint brushes as tools.

DNA sequencing: I made a couple of big batches of yellow/ orange jelly and pushed some plastic bugs into the jelly.  The kids were supposed to use eye droppers to ‘suck the DNA out of the bugs’ and drop it in a test tube before putting it in the DNA sequencing machine (a box).  When they did this, they were given an ‘egg’ and went to the Hatchery.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a photo of this.  Sorry. 
Hatchery: I made about 25 fizzing eggs (directions here) with dinosaur figurines in them.  The kids sprayed the eggs with vinegar and broke the eggs to hatch their very own dinosaur to take home.

Creation Centre: Dinosaur colouring, word searches, dinosaur cut outs and some coloured pens made this an easy centre! Check out my Pinterest board to get all the links I used to find these.  No picture of this either.  I was so busy that day! 

Photobooth: I threw together a bunch of props that we purchased from discount stores and the Big W party shop.  I also made a fire torch using cellophane and a large piece of brown cardboard.  The backdrop was created using a plastic table cloth, brown crepe paper, green crepe paper and leaves cut out of green paper.  A camp chair, a ladder, caution tape and an old pallet made it even better.  I created some "Warning: Dinosaur Area Keep Out" signs using a Google Image search.  

 I'm sure you're all very excited about the next part... THE FOOD! 


For the Herbivores: carrot sticks, celery sticks, assorted fruit,
For the carnivores: party pies and sausage rolls (dipped in tomato sauce/ blood)
Dinosaur Cookies: I planned to make footprint cookies (check out the inspiration here), but I used my own cookie recipe which was a bit too soft for the footprint.  I added milo to my cookie mix to make it look like dirt, spread some Nutella on the top of each cookie and stuck dinosaur lollies (from the Natural Confectionery Company) on top.  They were really yummy!
Cake: was made by the Birthday Boy’s mum and dad. It was inspired by a few of the cakes on my party Pinterest board.   I pinned about 20 different cakes for my nephew to choose from.  As it was created by family, the cake wasn't as perfect as the ones that inspired it, but it was still cool.  Easy way out: check out these cake toppers!  (I'm not affiliated with the site linked).  

Jurassic Juice: a mix of pine-lime cordial, lemonade and water.  We poured this into jugs for serving.  Guests all got a cup with a Jurassic World Logo on it. 

I had lots more ideas for food, but as the party was mid-afternoon, we didn't go all out on a big range of food.  I pinned lots of ideas on the Pinterest Board, link above, so you can get inspired.  If you want to do something easy, you could order pizza:  Meatlovers for the carnivores, Vegetarian for the herbivores and Supreme or Hawaiian for the Omnivores.  You don't get much easier than that! 
That's that then. 
Enjoy the party planning! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jurassic World Party Part One

The party was a while ago now and hopefully this means I won’t ramble too much.  On the other hand, I might have forgotten some of the important things I wanted to tell you. Sorry about that, only, it takes a lot to write a party planning post and I just didn’t have it in me.  I will be posting in two parts, because it’s just way too long for one week!  Here goes.


My nephew has loved Dinosaurs for more than 5 years.  It was a no brainer that his 10th birthday would have a dino-theme.  He was very specific that he wanted his party to be a “Jurassic World Party” NOT, Jurassic Park… that is so last decade!  So, unlike my Frozen Party, I had to do a lot of research (watching the movie and using the website was so helpful) before I could start committing to ideas and finally creating all the wonderful stuff that made the day. 


I downloaded a printable party pack (that was FREE) from including invitations.  I didn’t use all of the pieces in the pack but what I did use worked brilliantly.  We used a lot of paper for this party too.  I think we may have killed a couple of trees to pull this one off.  :/  It was simple to print, cut out and laminate all the name tags, security badges, thank you notes, logos and posters, it just took a long time.  I also copied an image of the Jurassic World sign so that we could make some awesome signs/ posters of our own.  

The other awesome printable was a template for our pterodactyls.  Click here to check it out.

I also downloaded the Jurassic Park font (click here to get it) which we used for the signs at each activity and party zone. 

Let’s give you the tour:

Entry: the gate! We used cable ties to attach large pieces of cardboard to our wrought iron gate.  Grey plastic tablecloths made the side pillars (I love my staple gun!).  We made 6 torches from brown paper bags and yellow/orange/red cellophane.  The BFF used the A1 printer at her work to print some supersized logo signs for us.  One was cut in half and stuck on the gate so when it was closed it was whole.  It looked great.  The other sign was stuck on the wall of the house, so kids could get a photo there if they liked.  I was so proud of the gate! 

Discovery District: Tubs of sand for kids to dig in, under our clothesline.  We hung various leaf shapes on the line and had some hanging vines (crepe paper and craft paper) draped around so it felt like a bit of a jungle.  

Innovation Centre: A high camping shelter with folding tables and chairs laid out underneath.  There were three activities set up under the shelter.  Each space was signposted.  

Main Street:  Green Leaves were cut out from a few different templates (found on my Pinterest board), we used a few different shades of green paper and card.  Pterodactyls were cut from brown and black cardboard using a template we found online (link above).  We printed it and photocopied in three different sizes so they looked like some were higher in the sky when hung up.  We rearranged my Mum’s pot plants to line the sides of an alley on our verandah and made a few cardboard palm trees to bulk it up a bit.  Dinosaur figurines hid among the trees too!

Fact Wall: I made some small posters with random dinosaur facts and we stuck these along the wall for the guests to read while they were eating.  I used this as a sort of game when we were running out of things to do.  I asked questions and the kids had to run to the wall to find the answer.  Most of the facts came from the Did You Know? slides on the Jurassic World Website.  

Bathroom Entryway: As most of the activity was outside, we didn’t go overboard decorating inside the house.  However, we combined a few ideas from Pinterest to make a Dinosaur Mouth over the archway that leads to our bathroom.  When guests came inside to use the bathroom they were greeted with this scary sight and then had to walk into the monster’s mouth to use the facilities! The BFF added her expertise to make it look just right!  Thanks Bestie! 

That's it for now! Next week I will tell you about the food and the activities that kept the kids busy!

Monday, August 7, 2017

BIG WORDS: Paraprosdokians

I found this post in the old archive and it made me smirk. It was originally posted here. Enjoy:

A brand new word for you to learn!

Paraprosdokian: (noun) a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; this is frequently used in a humorous situation.
For example: "Where there's a will, I want to be in it."  

Here are a few more for you...

"The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list."

"Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

"If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong."

It seems to me, Paraprosdokian, is just a fancy word for: "a funny t-shirt"

If you want to enjoy some more Paraprosdokians, click here.

One more for the road... 

Much Love

Friday, August 4, 2017

Flashback Post: Jigsaw Puzzles

I know it's been a while since my last post... two weeks! No excuses.  I was reading through some of my earliest blog posts and I just had to share this one with you.  IT was originally posted here way back in 2011.  Trust me, just stay until the end.  😏More to come.  One day I will catch up with myself. 

The Joy of the Jigsaw 

I have been enjoying my holidays and the opportunity for some quiet time at home, filling my hours with reading and drawing and colouring in, all the while listening to music or watching old movies.  I have also been doing puzzles.  I'm talking about the kind of puzzle that comes in a box, in lots of little pieces, and you have to put it together to make the picture on the front of the box.

The other day, I was packing up a puzzle so that I could pull out another one. As I pulled each little piece away from its mates and put it in a bag I became a little sad.  That puzzle had occupied the kitchen table for a number of weeks.  Everyone who entered our house had seen it, leaned over it, peered at the box and attempted to place a piece correctly.  Everyone had enquired regarding it's progress.  It had filled the hours of quiet evenings when I was unable to sleep.  It had kept me company while I "watched" television or listened to music.  Any time I became just a little bit bored, I would be drawn towards the picture and become engrossed in it.  There were nights when I would close my eyes in bed and see candy canes and Christmas ornaments, puzzle pieces everywhere.  Every time I walked past the table I would pick up a piece and examine it, twisting and turning it between my fingers, eyeing the holes in the puzzle, trying to match a colour or shape, anything to find the right position.  The perfect place for this seemingly insignificant piece of cardboard did exist.

There is nothing like finding the right puzzle piece and pushing it gently into place.  Squeezed between the other pieces, it brings it's tiny shape and distorted colours to the big picture.  It contributes what it has and as you place piece after piece you begin to see the scene take shape and form a life of its own.  Eventually with a triumphant grin you come down to the last few pieces and all of a sudden you are in a frenzy.  The pieces just fall into place, like they are magnetised to their cohorts.  One after another, you place them more and more quickly until... the triumphant grin becomes a glow and your whole face lights up in pure ecstasy as you lift that final piece of the puzzle and place it gently and methodically into position.  You did it, you conquered this (insert number here) piece monster!

The puzzle had taken pride of place, once finished.  I took photos, visitors admired it and the children were scolded away from it.  This "experience" was over.  This beautiful picture, with a life of its own, had been finally assembled.  Now, it was being dismantled.  Packed away.  The big picture became tiny detached pieces again, destined to return to the shelf and gather dust.  There was something sad about those little jigsaw shaped items lying on the table.  Separated.  Lonely.  There was no way anyone could see how each piece would fit together to make something beautiful.  I sat there for a moment and contemplated all of this.

Then I rolled my eyes, shook my head and switched on the television.  What a drama queen?!

I'll say!