Friday, 30 May 2014

Fun Family Birthday Traditions

Birthday celebrations are THE highlight of the Butterballs year.
Anyone's birthday...even Milo the dog, and Boots the goldfish's birthday is the perfect excuse for a celebration.
So I try my best to make the Butterballs birthday celebrations super-special.
In addition to a little celebration at school with their classmates, 
and their themed family birthday bash, 
we have a few family birthday traditions to make their birthday month really memorable.

* Birthday Photo shoot
Each year, a week before their birthday,
 I do a mini photo shoot with the Butterballs.

The theme of the photo shoot depends on the Butterballs
favourite activities or hobbies at that time.
Ethan's second birthday shoot was taken at the playground because he was totally crazy about 'flying through the sky' on a swing.

Tamlyn's fourth birthday shoot was taken at the duckpond cos one of her favourite pastimes was feeding the ducks.

I also include balloons in their photo shoot...
what's a birthday without balloons!!!
The number of balloons represents their age - 2 balloons = 2 years old.
* Extra Special Breakfast
One Saturday in their birthday month is set aside for an extra special breakfast. The Birthday Butterball gets to choose where we go too for breakfast.

This year, I was hoping to include 2 new birthday traditions

* The Cupcake Wake-up Call
First thing in the morning, the family gathers around the Birthday-Butterball's bed to sing Happy Birthday, after presenting the Butterball with a candle-studded cupcake.
I'm not sure if this idea will actually work as the Butterballs are usually out of bed at dawn
...especially on their birthday!!!

* The Birthday Bucket List
I got this idea from this amazing blog 'Peanut Blossom'
The Butterballs get to choose activities that they would like to do during their birthday month. 
The activities should require very little expense and of course, are subject to Mom and Dad's approval.
The number of activities on the list depend on the Butterballs age,
so this year, Ethan will have a 3-for-3 list, where he chooses 3 activities for his third birthday.

I'll be finding out how these new traditions work out, real soon!
Ethan's birthday is just around the corner...
Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Saltdough Mermaid Wand and Neptune's Trident

The Butterballs collected a bucketful of pebbles and seashells from our last visit to the beach...time to put them to use!!!
First, we mixed a batch of Whole-wheat Salt dough.
Recipe :

Mix together, half a cup of whole wheat flour, half a cup of salt and a third of a cup of water until it forms a slightly sticky dough.
Tamlyn cut out a star for her Mermaid Wand and I helped Ethan cut out a trident.
The Butterballs happily decorated their dough shapes with seashells and pebbles.

We carefully pushed in a skewer and baked our crafts for 
20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

A bit of ribbon, a few beads and a dab of paint, and the Butterballs were ready for a game of 'Under the Sea'

Friday, 23 May 2014

Frugal Family Fun - Breakfast Picnic at Dawn

As the nights grow longer on the East Coast, we decided to make the most of our glorious Autumn weather by having a sunrise picnic!

On the menu:

* fruit platter, yoghurt, breakfast bars

* A portable Hot Chocolate Bar - 
a flask of Hot Chocolate and a tray of our family's favorite stir-ins ...
orange chocolate, peppermint chocolate and of course marshmallows!!!

* Breakfast Buns

crispy roll

Cut a 'lid' onto roll and hollow out the center. Place rolls close together on a greased baking tray.
Fry onions, bacon and peppers together until browned. Fill bun with bacon, pepper mixture and top with grated cheese. Grill at 180 C until cheese has melted. Crack an egg into each bun and grill for a few more minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking. Top with 'lid', wrap in foil and pop into picnic basket.

Going to the beach in PJ's,

watching the sun rise over the ocean,

a picnic breakfast,

an early morning splash in the surf,
Awesome Memories!!!

The Butterballs were up at dawn today - wanting to do it all over again!!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Capturing Childhood - Bedtime routine

When I look at my Butterballs, it feels as though it was just yesterday when they were crawling around in diapers...and today, they are jumping off the roof of their play-house, trying to fly!!!

Childhood slips by ever so quickly. Endearing traits, habitats and rituals are quickly outgrown and replaced!
Although these little quirks are safely stored in my mommy-heart, I want a more concrete reminder.
Sadly, I can't go through life with a camera permanently attached to my hand so, starting today, I've made a decision to document not just special moments but everyday, messy, life.

Bathtime Buddies

Story Time!!

Peace and quiet!

Here's to celebrating each and every moment!!!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Gardening with kids - Petunia Planting

I just couldn't resist buying the tray of brightly colored petunias that sat cheerfully on the shelf at Builders Express.
The Butterballs flower bed could use a bright addition so...
into the trolley it went.

Back home, the Butterballs quickly pulled out their gardening tool-box and within minutes, they were elbow deep in damp, potting soil.

Perfect opportunity to learn about the parts of a plant.
Tamlyn now calls the roots 'plant straws' because 
they 'suck up water from the ground' 

A good sensory play activity as well ...
texture and smell of the potting soil,
smell of the petunias (not very appealing!)...

They now insist on watering their new flowers several times a day 
cos 'they are sooo thirsty'

Hope the poor petunias survive the flood!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Family Fun Day - Easter Ideas

What an amazing, relaxing holiday!!

During the Easter Vacation, we hosted our annual 

What a blast...
great company, good food...awesome memories!

We started the day with some easy warm-up exercises and stretching,
before launching into our very own Easter 'Sport' Events.

'Sport' Events: 
  • Bunny Hop Race
  • Pass the Carrot
  • Egg and Spoon Race
  • Father and Son, Egg and Spoon Relay
  • Pin the Tail on the Bunny 
After dinner, the kids created their own paper-plate Easter Bonnets.
This gave us adults a chance to linger at the dinner table and chat;)
No fun-day is complete without a dessert table!
cookies and milk, anyone?
Soon the kids were ready for the Easter Bonnet Parade.
Our Golden Bunny Awards was the highlight of the evening!