Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 tips for raising chickens

We are a chicken family.
We have seven cherubs and six chickens.

I have seven kids following me inside the house and
six chickens following me outside the house making me...
one serious mother hen!

We decided to get the chickens to save money.
This all started when we began cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Our family loves scrambled eggs.

A normal breakfast of scrambled eggs in our house uses up 16 eggs!
Insane! Insane I tell you!

So we did our research and got ourselves a chicken coop and chickens.

So today I thought I would share with you our tips for raising chickens to 
help you get 'value for money'

Raising and keeping chickens at home in the backyard is an easy, economical way to get fresh eggs and save money. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain and to raise, and you are guaranteed to have fresh eggs that are chemical and hormone free. 

Up close and personal with some of the girls.
Let me introduce the girls:
Penny, Pecker, Rainbow, Skywalker, Buck Buck and Poop!

So here are our top 10 tips for raising chickens:

1. Choose the best chicken coop or house for your space. If you have a small space in your yard make sure you have a coop that can comfortably fit in that area. Also consider how much space each chicken needs in order to avoid squashing them too close together. When purchasing a coop talk to whoever you are buying it from about how many chickens you plan to raise.

2. Create a safe area for your chickens. Protect them against outside predators and make sure they cannot escape themselves. We have learned that chickens like to jump and can cleverly get over high fences even with clipped wings. See example below:


3. Provide ample space for chickens to roam. Chickens cooped up in one small area are generally stressed and unhappy. Giving them some free grass time brings great benefits of better eggs and improved diet.

4. Pick the best possible food for your chickens. There are many organic food options available which provide your flock with the best nutrients and do not contain nasty pesticides or chemicals found in cheaper alternatives. Provide them with plenty of food scraps and add variety to their diet. Our chickens love yogurt, oatmeal and chocolate cake!

5. Provide plenty of attention to your chickens. They can be happy left alone but they love to receive some attention and love. Our children have enjoyed carrying them around, talking to them and running after them in the back yard.

6. Chickens need to be checked on regularly to ensure their health and happiness. Clip the wings, keep the chicken coop clean and treat for bugs and other insects.

7. Decide what age you want to own chickens from. We have had some chickens from when they were a couple of days old and the children have loved watching them grow into laying hens. This was very exciting for the children to own baby chicks but be prepared to wait a while before eggs start to appear. We have also had chickens from the 'point of lay' age and it has been hard to blend them in with the existing chickens we already have. Be prepared for some chicken fighting but the eggs come faster and things settle down.


8. Protect your garden. If you have a vegetable garden or like growing your garden, be prepared to have it attacked by chickens. Many chickens like to nibble on fresh grown vegetables or flowers. They are wonderful at getting rid of pests and bugs but can destroy a garden in seconds.

9. Be careful with young children. Young children are naturally curious and need to be reminded about being gentle if you have baby chicks. As the chickens get older they can peck in the face and go for anything that sparkles. This can result in pecking on clothing and jewelery. We have lost several earrings from our chickens! That being said, when using caution and safety practices, raising chickens can be a fun and exciting task for young children.

10. Chickens are actually quite friendly animals and provide a great way to teach children about responsibility and how to care for living things. They also provide a source of pride for those who raise them, and give people experience in small animal farming and egg hatching. Some people raise chickens in their backyards to raise money. We have delighted in our abundance of fresh eggs and love to share our bounty with friends when we have spare.

We love our chickens and appreciate the gift they provide for us with wonderful eggs.

Does anyone else have great tips for raising chickens???

Monday, November 29, 2010

help! I am stuck in a high school musical

Every so often something happens around here that tips me over the edge.
You know the last straw...the I can't take it anymore type of attitude.

It is generally when one of my children decides to branch out and develop some crazy new type of behaviour. One that sends me bonkers and drives me to my bedroom to utter many pleas for help to give me strength and patience.

The latest development has been the introduction of Sharpay Evans to our family.
If you don't know this delightful girl yet, she is one of the characters in the High School Musical movies.

Having watched all the movies and been happy that our family is 'over' the excitement of it all, I have been a little frustrated that somehow she has found her way back into our lives.

Sharpay is portrayed as a drama queen: arrogant, domineering, and melodramatic.
She likes to boss her brother, Ryan, around and enjoys being in control.
She also wants everything fabulous and more!

Believe me - we so do not need a Sharpay in our house!

My new daily schedule consists of hearing:

Give me a beat....
I want more...
I need my Tiffany headband...
Give me fabulous...
I need fabulous...
I want it all....

now this I can handle but all the:

hip flicking
hair flicking
wrist flicking
crazy singing and
exaggerated talking is driving me nuts!

Yep! this is the look, I am now seeing.

Times like these....I walk around the house muttering to myself:
"This too shall pass, this too shall pass."

What do you do in your home to deal with behaviour changes???

Sunday, November 28, 2010

creative writing blog hop...hop...hop...

Every so often I come up with great ideas.
Not very often but sometimes....

My latest idea involves creative writing and blogging.

I love to make up stories for my kids at bedtime. I start off the story and every so often I stop and let them finish the rest of the sentence. Then I carry on with my story telling ~ just like they do in the movie 'Bedtime stories'. We were so excited when it came out because that is what we have been doing for in our home for years.

I also love starting a story and letting my kids finish off the rest of it. I love to listen to how creative they can be and to see their minds ticking over as they try to come up with the craziest ideas that they can.

This led me to wonder if I could do the same type of thing with blogging. I know we have blog hops where you can link up blog posts on a main site and can get the code to link them all to your blog page but I wanted to actually have a story where you hop from one blog to another.

I know this will take a little organisation and co-ordination between bloggers so that the story can be posted on the same day on all of our blogs but I thought it might super fun and a great way to participate in some creative, expressive writing.

Also, of course an excellent way promote each others blogs!

An example would be like this:

Once upon a time....blah blah blah.....to view the next part of the story click HERE.
Then click on the link and you get the next paragraph on another blog site which might say...
the whole family developed the chicken pox....blah blah blah....to view the next part of the story click HERE...
and so on and so on!

So if you are interested in a little creative writing challenge and want to participate:
Email me at sevencherubs@gmail.com

backpack winner!

Thanks so much to all those who entered our backpack giveaway!

I am happy to announce that the winner 
{picked from the Random Number Generator} is:



Number 14!!!
Congratulations Lyn

I will send your details off to Bosisto's so they can send your pack out to you!

*Enjoy*

Saturday, November 27, 2010

chocolate notebook

I have been a journal writer for years but after having children I have not had as much time to keep a record of my thoughts and happenings as I would like. Sleep deprivation being the main issue!

Since I have started blogging I have found some great sites that focus on journal writing and notebook keeping. One of my favourite blogs I came across is called: Small notebook. 

One of her delightful ideas which I would so love to try for fun is to keep a chocolate notebook.


It is a collection of chocolate bar wrappers and what she was doing when she ate them.
I just so love this idea!

I can see myself throwing serious time and energy into this little endeavour and with great enthusiasm eating my way through every chocolate bar ever made. But, Oh! the fun I could have!!!


Of course I think I need to keep this little idea for later on next year when I am closer to my goal weight I want to reach and it should be a special notebook that I get out every so often.

Hmmm....maybe I should not start, need to wait until I have a little more self control.

What about you? 
Do you keep a journal or a notebook of what you get up to?

Friday, November 26, 2010

love story part 1

Something I really enjoy reading about on other blogs are love stories.
I just adore it.

It fascinates me how couples end up together and I love to find out what event or who it was that made the difference in the connection happening.

So to celebrate this I have decided to share a little of my own love story.
It is not the most romantic event but it is mine and I treasure it!

It involves me and my handsome spunky husband, who I adore.
Yes, people's prepare yourself for some serious loving!

I first met Matt when I was 20 years old.
It was at a church dance {not the slow dancing, waltzing type of dance but, the loud pop music shake your booty type of dance} and I said 'hello' and 'goodbye' in my first sentence.

It was the last church dance I was going to before I went away for 18 months. I was leaving to go on a full-time service mission for my church to New Zealand and the Cook Islands. To serve in the community and to talk to people about Jesus Christ.

So we spoke very briefly. We said hello and I told him I was leaving that week.
He wished me good luck and we parted our separate ways.

Matt was 22 years old and I was 20 years old.
He was a full-time student studying to be a teacher.
I was a full-time student studying Literary studies with one subject left to finish my degree.

We did not met again until I was 23 years old and he was 25 years old.
There were no sparks and no fireworks, just conversation.

He really was not my type.
I liked guys with dark hair and brown eyes.
He had blonde hair and blue-grey eyes.

Our conversation was polite and normal.
He seemed like a lovely guy, friendly and nice.
It was hard to tell with a conversation that only lasted 5 minutes.

I had no idea that in the future he was going to be the man of my dreams and sweep me off my feet!
That we would share a union of great love and have seven cherbus together!

I think I will leave it there for now and update you on Part 2 another time....
Anyone else want to share how they met???

Thursday, November 25, 2010

motherhood: be your own hero

This post is inspired by Felicity over at Gifts of serendipity who is for the month of November writing some extremely uplifting blog posts about being the best you can be.
As mothers we generally have other women that we look up to who are our motherhood heroes. Women that we admire and respect that have influenced and helped to shape our mothering techniques, traditions and thoughts.

These women might be our own family members such as a mother, grandmother, auntie, sister or even a cousin. Often these family members are the best and most consistent example of learning the joys of homemaking and mothering. Not always but mostly. These are treasured relationships that are connected through heart strings that are unbreakable by time or distance.

Or they could be family friends or acquaintances who are talented and motivated in being the best mother they can be. No matter where your mother hero comes from, they have helped shape you into the mother you are today.

I have many women that I admire and have helped me be the type of mother I am today. Many of them I have never even met. As I pour my way through parenting books and blogs searching for techniques and ideas to implement into our family that I know will be best suited to our situation, I come across some amazing mothers.

Women who are sensitive to children's needs, who plan mothering experiences, who take time for themselves, who appreciate the blessing it is to be a mother and who most of all are being a great mum and keeping it real in the meantime. Reading these books and words have brought me hope, comfort and peace to know that I am not alone in my worries, motherhood desires, unique family situation and challenges.

I really want to be a great mother. I believe it is possible.
For me, it does not matter what anyone else thinks, it only matters what my children think.
Some days they are hard to impress, they know no different, I am all they have known.

I have hope. I have patience and I have faith that one day they will know how much I care.

Having done a lot of reading on motherhood and having progressed from the child~bearing stage to the child~rearing stage and now that I am a mother with four daughters and three sons I can see I need to be my own hero.

I need to speak positively about motherhood and be an example to my daughters of what an awesome mother can be. I need to be an example to my sons of what a future wife and mother to their children could be. I know ~ intense pressure!!!

No wonder some days I just want to fall in a heap!

To me this means sharing the good and the bad of being a mother. It really is hard work.
I want them to dream about it but also be prepared for it.
I tell my children when I am really tired, I tell them when I can't take any more, I tell them I adore them and I tell them I love being a mother.

I have heard and read about women who speak of their mothers who loved motherhood.
Who told them many times every day how much they treasured being a mother and homemaker and then lived those words in every action. They were women who emanated the spirit of a joyful mother and in turn the children felt it and knew they wanted the same in their own lives.

The example they set taught them daily.

I want to be one of those mothers.
I am finding it is hard to do.

Some days it is a struggle to speak positively, to look for my blessings and to be happy at home surrounded by my cherubs. On difficult days like this, I get down on the kids level. I sit on the floor so I can look at them eye to eye. I start to see things as they do and it changes my perspective.

They hug me more, they love me more and we connect with each other.
I then have delightful mummy moments where I feel like I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing and I start to feel happier about my purpose.

I even have small moments where I feel like I am my cherubs hero.
I treasure those moments.

So today I just wanted to say that I think you are all heroes.
You have become heroes to me.

Since starting this blog I have learnt so much from you and appreciate you dropping by and linking up with your 'mother heart' posts. I love your comments, I love your words and I love your hearts.

Ad2




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas tradition: best brownie recipes, value for money

Sponsored by Nuffnang

One of my Christmas traditions involves making and baking to save some money.

I love to give gifts and with seven cherubs the budget just does not allow for that much expensive sharing and caring around Christmas time. So what I have started to do over the past couple of years is to give away a plate of some of my favourite brownies.

Often I have been asked what the recipes are for these brownies so I thought this year I would help you get a little 'value for money' too and share with you my best brownie recipes. Maybe even help you start a new Christmas tradition in your family!

Warning: if you are on a Christmas diet - Leave immediately!

Super Chocolate Brilliant Brownie 
{Sugar loaded version}

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, melted
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of flour

Mixture:

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm base baking pan.
Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. In a bowl mix butter, cocoa and sugar.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
4. Stir in flour.
5. Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Let cool completely, sprinkle with icing sugar and then cut into delicious pieces and enjoy!


Caramel brownies
(a serious family favourite)

Ingredients:

375g Dark Chocolate Melts
200g butter, chopped
3/4 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup white chocolate bits
380g can top 'n' fill caramel

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. Grease a 21cm x 31cm base baking pan.
Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. Place dark chocolate melts and butter in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on medium for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon or until melted and smooth.
3. Stir castor sugar into chocolate mixture. Stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each additon. Stir in flour.
4. Fold through which chocolate bits and top 'n' fill.
5. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out with crumbs clinging. Set aside in pan to cool completely.
6. You can use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut stars from the brownie. Serve.


Double-choc Marble Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

250g butter
430g (2 cups) caster sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate bits
1/3 cup cocoa powder
100g white chocolate bits
Icing sugar to dust

Method:

1. preheat oven to 180 °C. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking pan with non-stick baking paper.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and stir until mixture is thick and glossy.
3. Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
4. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls.
5. Add the dark chocolate bits and sift the cocoa powder into 1 portion of mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir the white chocolate bits into the remaining portion.
6. Spoon the dark and white chocolate mixtures alternately over the base of the prepared pan. Use a flat-bladed knife to create a swirled effect.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Cut into pieces and dust with icing sugar.


I know you want to do some baking now after reading this. But, first tell me:
What Christmas traditions do you do in your family to get value for money???

This post was sponsored by KIA. To celebrate the great value of KIA's new Cerato Hatch, a website has been launched so you and your family can get some great value offers and deals. Check out my favourite deal for this week: Free 1 week trial pass to Fitness First for yourself and a friend at www.getmorevalue.com.au

Monday, November 22, 2010

happiness and love

I have been really distracted lately with my blogging topics. So much is always going on in our house and I keep finding so many awesome ideas/topics on the internet to write about that I totally forgot that one of my original plans for my blog was to promote and write about happiness.

It started me thinking that maybe I have been so happy lately I haven't felt the need to write about it!
Imagine that! I sure feel like I have been enjoying myself and have been too busy to even feel low.

So today I wanted to share with you some great images I have come across on etsy that uplift me and have been begging and begging me to become items in my house. I of course have the perfect spot for them and so far I have withstood their pleas but I don't know how much longer I can hold out!



image

in looking up happiness I discovered it is:
a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment
having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation)

in looking up love I discovered it is:
an intense feeling of deep affection
a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone
a great interest and pleasure in something
affectionate greetings conveyed to someone on one's behalf


I wish everyone had a little happiness and love in life.
What is currently making you happy?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

turning twelve and another pool party

We are in the thick of birthday season here in our house. Right in the middle of all the dates that flow one after the other through consecutive months of the year.

This birthday is a special one for our family as our oldest cherub Cheslea is turning 12. A significant birthday for us and her. It is the age that she advances into the young women's program at our church and has the opportunity to attend our church temple for the first time. We are delighted that she has grown into a beautiful caring young woman who is creative, intelligent and mature.

This year for her birthday she wanted to have a pool party again.
Some how 10 girls were invited and all able to attend!

I love having girls parties - they swim, we play loud music, they dance and they chat.
They eat and they drink and they giggle. Easy!

My take on parties is this: the kids don't really care about the decorations - they care about spending time with each other and the experience. So we provide lots of people and fun! We do a few streamers and balloons and that is it. I keep it simple so then I can watch and enjoy and treasure too!

Jumping in together.
Playing a few pool games.

In keeping with my blogging tradition of listing things I love about the child whose birthday it is that relate to their age, here are 12 reasons why I love Chelsea:

1. I love to watch her with children, especially her brothers and sisters, she has a natural ability to connect with them and to make them happy.

2. I love her creative desires. She loves to draw, paint, make and design. I love her ability to see things from a different perspective and she loves to put the Chelsea twist on what others have already done.

3. I love to hear her laugh, well giggle. She giggles at everything and is constantly looking for the funny side of life.

4. I love to hear her sing as she floats around the house, as she does her homework and listens to her ipod. I especially love to catch her dancing when she thinks no-one is watching!

5. I love her hair. She is the only child I have that has natural gorgeous curls. I love them - they make her unique in our family and they bounce along with her on her happy travels each day.

6. I love that she finally has a desire to read. I love to catch her with her head in a book, engrossed in the story and those moments when she is begging me to stay up a little longer to read one more chapter.

7. I love that she has 'open eyes' to see the needs of others. Many times Chelsea has come home and asked to take school supplies, food etc to school to help others. She has a wonderful kind nature. She even shaved off her hair for the Worlds Greatest Shave - you can read about it HERE.

8. I love that Chelsea tries her best to reach her potential. That she will work on homework or another task several times to get it to where she knows the standard should be. She knows what she is capable of and pushes herself a little bit extra to achieve more of herself.

9. I love that she is not afraid to express her opinion. She loves to have the last say and will stick to her guns on what she feels she believes in and will take on anyone in her path.

10. I love that Chelsea loves to cook and will always help out in the kitchen. I also love that she constantly says I am the 'best mum ever' when I make her a treat!

11. I love her fashion sense. Chelsea has a very different style than I do and I love her creations she puts together. She is brave and modest and gorgeous.

12. I love that she came to our family first. With her kind heart, sweet nature and fun filled giggly attitude she has been an absolute blessing to me as a mother with many children. She has supported me in my challenges and been a great friend when I needed a hug or smile to uplift me. You are super cute and totally awesome - we love you Chelsea!
For her cake this year she wanted a blue cake covered in white chocolate freckles. If you love chocolate freckles you are so going to love white ones - Chelsea just adores them and here is the finished cake:

Pretty big I know but hey! we had to feed 19 people {our nine plus ten guests}.
Crazy stuff! but as you know in our house we don't cook we cater.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

grateful for...character and personalities

We have a bunch of personalities in our house. Nine different one's in fact.
Some are naturally kind and some are naturally crazy.

This insane combination has led me {the mum} to possess several different personalities myself.

Some days I don't know who I am as I switch in and out of being the kind mum to the child who needs some love, next minute I am the fun mum to a child who needs to be uplifted, then I turn into the crazy mum because something like the image below has happened to my favourite lipstick and whilst that is happening I am also the yelling mum, super organsied mum and ranting mum as I try to get everyone ready for school and weekend activities.

Hmmm...where does lipstick go???
Look at those eyes!
Yes, thinking about the consequences.
 Serious face scrubbing about to happen.

With all of these different personalities I love it when I can get some cherubs together for a photo shoot. Their personalities shine through and the pictures come to life.

I thought I would add a few shots of the youngest three to demonstrate and show you some of the different personalities they have. Enjoy ;)

 it seems like they never sit still these three...
but, that is the way I love it!


One of the moments I always delighted in was when I first held one of our little cherubs.
I looked with wonder into that baby face and felt a leap of excitement in my heart as I waited to discover what character traits and qualities my cherub or with twins, cherubs would have.

I have been surprised and amazed every time.
We have loved discovering who are children are and constantly try our best to appreciate the distinct character traits they have.

We loved to try to guess right from birth with comments such as:
'oh! this one is a fighter'
'this one is so calm and placid'
'look she is full of giggles and fun'
'I think he is going to be a thinker'.

Of course most of the time we were wrong.
That is what makes motherhood so exciting.
Our children are always changing and surprising us.

I am so grateful they are all different.
It enriches my life.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Tea Tree Oil and backpack giveaway!

The lovely people from Bosisto's contacted me and offered me the opportunity to review their Tea Tree Spray. It is used as an Antiseptic, Antifungal and Deodoriser. As we are a family with many smelly sports shoes I jumped at the chance to bring a little fresh air my way!

We found it light and refreshing and it sure was put to good use in our home.


Tea Tree Oil is a favourite in many Australian households for its versatility and practical uses around the home. It can be found in the 'medicinal' aisle of Woolworths/Safeway or in pharmacies. Some of the benefits and top summer 'Tea Tree Tips' from Bosisto's are:

* Spray shoes after a day’s wear, to kill germs, prevent bacteria growth and deodorise.

* Apply Tea Tree Oil or Spray near to feet where there is itching or redness caused by tinea.

* Cuts and scrapes? A quick spray of Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray helps disinfect, heal and soothe.

* Mozzies biting? Take a can of Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray camping, on picnics or anywhere the bugs are out – spray directly onto minor bites to help soothe and ease itching.

* Freshen sports bags, stored camping gear, even fishing gear. Tea Tree is the ultimate odour-buster!

* Tea Tree Oil kills mould...wipe the oil on a clean rag around window sills, drawers or cupboards prone to damp to help clean and prevent mould accumulating.

For more info or a free handy hints brochure, visit www.fgb.com.au

Now onto the awesome giveaway. Here is what is up for grabs:


A Bosisto’s Picnic pack RRP $120
2 x person picnic backpack set 
Bosisto’s Tea Tree Oil 50mL 
Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray 
Bosisto’s Tea Tree Handy Hints brochure

Seeing as the holidays are coming up I thought it would be a lovely prize to win to take on those family trips away. To enter the giveaway please leave a comment telling me:

what adventure you would take this backpack set on: where you would go!

Entries close 5pm November 27th.
Sorry only open to Aussie residents only, we cannot send the Tea Tree Oil overseas.
Look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mother Heart: I am a mother on a mission

I am on a mission to be the best mother I can be.
To raise my cherubs with love. 
I am also on a mission to connect mothers.
To connect mothers through their hearts.




I have been learning so many wonderful things since I started the mother heart linky.
I have laughed and cried over the posts that you wonderful mothers have shared.
Thank YOU so much.

I have seen some gorgeous cherubs, some even more gorgeous mothers and delighted in the wonderful mother heart moments you have written about.

This week I have been thinking about one of the songs on my ipod.
It is by Gabriella Cilmi called: 
On a mission.  
If you want to listen to the song you can click here.
[I am not adding the clip to my site because watching pretty young things shaking their butts with hardly any clothing on is just not my thing or uplifting to me!}

The words, I like to focus on the words.
You may of heard of this song.

I of course think she should have sang my version:

It’s time for me to make a move
And I know what i gotta do
Coz I got everything to prove
I got a plan I’m sticking to
I am a mother on a mission, woah
Nothing can stop me, I’m stronger than ever
I wanna see this through
I am a mother on a mission, woah
Whatever it takes I will do what I gotta do

I'm gonna lay it on the line
I won't give up without a fight
Coz I can see the finish line
... I'm ready here and standing tall
So people think they know it all
So I guess I'll have to show them all
....
I am a mother on a mission, woah
Nothing can stop me, I’m stronger than ever
I wanna see this through
I am a mother on a mission, woah
Whatever it takes I will do what I gotta do
....
I never give up, I never give up, I never give up
I'm on a mission
I never give up, I never give up
I'm gonna see this through
I never give up, I never give up, I never give up
I'm on a mission
Whatever it takes I will do what I gotta do!

don't you think this version would have been so much better???
 
Anyway, this song got me thinking about the importance of having a plan. 
Knowing what you are aiming for as a mother and what the 'finish line' looks like for you. 
Having a vision as a mother helps me to stay focused, to never give up and to do what I gotta do!

As mothers when we know what we want, we are stronger than ever and we have that determination to see it through and not give up without a fight. The fight can come from family, from friends and even from the children. 

We need to be strong and courageous on our motherhood journey.
To have the strength to never give up, never give up, to keep fighting for what you know to be true.

Just a little message from the cherubs:

You are awesome!
Yes...YOU!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

cheap christmas crafts, value for money

Sponsored by Nuffnang

The time of year is fast approaching where we all go a little crazy with spending money. 
Yes, I am talking about the silly season - Christmas.

We shop, we scan the catalogue's, we research, we plan and we spend.
Any savings we can make during this season enables us to make our Christmas much more enjoyable.

As part of Kia's new value for money website, here at Seven Cherubs we are sharing some great ideas on how to save a few extra dollars and to get more value for your money. 

One of the things our children love to do is craft. They love to make, create and paint.
This can get quite expensive with many children and I am always on the lookout for fresh, cheap ideas.

As Christmas as my inspiration here are five of my recent finds:

Stocking Countdown calendar

Give the traditional advent calendar a creative kick by turning it into a festive garland that reuses your kids' colorful socks. Tuck inside notes, games, and goodies for kids to receive ~ one sock for each day leading up to Christmas day.

Materials needed:
25 socks to hang up
Marker to number the pegs
25 mini clothespins (available at craft supply stores) to secure the socks
Something to secure the cord or string with to hanging area
2 meters of cord, string, or ribbon

Helping hands wreath


Celebrate the gift of giving with this hand wreath. Write one good deed or simple service project on the back of each hand and set them aside in a basket. Each day, pick a hand from the basket, perform the deed or service, and add it to the wreath. You can stick each hand together to make the wreath with different adhesives to give it more texture.

Materials:
Paper plate
Green paint or markers
Green construction paper

Instructions:
To make the base of the wreath, cut out the middle of a paper plate.
Color the remaining circle green with markers or paint.
Trace your child's hand on card stock to create a pattern.
Using the pattern, cut out hands from green construction paper (make enough hands to equal the number of countdown days).

Bead Wreath

The wreath can symbolize the circle of friendship, which makes this decorative sun catcher just the gift for almost anyone on your family's list. Children will love putting this together and you will love how simple it is to make.

Materials:
silver-colored craft wire
Wire cutters
Translucent plastic beads (with center holes large enough to thread the wire through)
Ribbon
Fishing line

Instructions:
Cut the wire to a length that will form a loop the size of the wreath you plan to make plus a little extra Curl one end to keep the beads from sliding off, then thread on the beads from the opposite end.
Twist the wire ends together to close the circle and wrap the loose ends around the wire between the beads.
Tie on a ribbon and a loop of fishing line for a hanger.

Candy Sleigh

Looking for a way to sweeten the wait for Santa's sleigh? This little item should help.

Materials:
Square tissue or cracker box
Candy canes
red tape or paint
Candy or lollies

Instructions:
Cut off and discard the top of the box. Trim the cut edge of the box so that it resembles a sleigh.
Cover the sleigh with red tape or paint, or leave it if you like the pattern already printed on it.
Cut holes in the lower corners of the sleigh and insert candy canes "runners."
Fill the sleigh with candy.

Bag it!

Perhaps the most instant and inexpensive of gift wraps is in your kitchen drawer: a recycled bakery bag or a brown paper lunch bag. Not only can it make a stylish package for treats like flavored popcorn or gourmet biscuits, but also it is great for disguising CDs, cassette tapes or other distinctively shaped objects.

Instructions:
Fold down the top of the bag about 8cm or so from the edge.
With a hole punch, make a hole through all the layers of the folded portion about 4cm down from the crease.
Make a matching hole on the opposite side of the bag.
Open the bag and insert the gift (wrap food in plastic first).
Then refold the top, thread ribbon through the holes and tie a fancy bow.
Finally, slip a candy cane or lollipop between the bow and the bag.

This post was sponsored by KIA. To celebrate the great value of KIA's new cars – such as the Cerato Hatch, a website has been launched so you and your family can get some great value offers and deals. Check out my favourite deal for this week: Buy any Panasonic Lumix Camera from Digi Direct.com. au and receive a 4GB Bonus Memory Card and Case FREE at www.getmorevalue.com.au

all image are from http://familyfun.go.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

country cruising part 2

Recently I took a country cruise. You can view Part 1 here.
Here are a few more shots from my adventure:



Don't you just want to know the story behind it???
I do.

O christmas tree, embarrasing the kids and a giveaway!

Putting up our Christmas tree is a busy experience.
We have many little cherubs who want to be involved and help put it together.

I always prefer a real Christmas tree as I love the smell and the memories. This year we decided to go with our good old fake one. The kids don't care - they love any tree we have and really enjoy the process of creating it.

We have many roles to be filled in putting it together.
we have the branch 'fluffer'
the reindeer cheer squad
the music maker
 the lights co-ordinators and tree inspectors.

To celebrate our tree making we had red (well pink) and green pancakes,
to help stay in the festive mood.


They disappeared very fast!

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My kids are starting to get a little older now and I think it is time to start doing a few fun activities to embarrass them. Well, I am not setting out to deliberately plan to embarrass them and make them upset, more to make them smile and to surprise them. With this in mind I decided to start by decorating the bus for Christmas.  I saw these in a cheap $2 style shop and thought they would look great on the bus.


So last Friday when I went to go pick the kids up from school, I put the reindeer ears and nose on the bus and left early. I waited for the right moment when the school gates were full of children flowing out of them and drove my bus in and parked right in front of the gate so that every child who left the school could see our bus {including my kids of course}.

The reaction from the kids was priceless. 

At first the look was of shock and then a slow smile spread across their faces as they headed for the bus. They of course told me I was crazy! - but I know they secretly loved it because they talked about it all the way home and for several hours afterwards!

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Now for the giveaway!

The winner of the:


Christmas DVD is:

Number 4

{I used the random number generator - which is excellent -
but I don't know how to copy it and put it on my blog yet 
to show proof - sorry! if anyone knows please tell me!}


she has a delightful blog - go and check it out!

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Make sure to come by tomorrow where I am sharing some
Cheap Christmas Craft ideas!