Monday, 16 May 2016

highlightsreel // it's christmas, it's summer, it's everything...

It's that 'most wonderful time of the year'. You know the one, haha! It's not all picture-perfect moments of course, but it's still a season filled with love and magic and ready-made 'misty-eyed memories' when you have little ones to experience it all with. I really love it. I try to stay free of the lure of over-the-top commercialism and frantic busyness so we can focus on family time and simple, fun traditions. Guess I am pretty intent on soaking it all up now, before they start rolling their eyes at the idea of going to look at Christmas lights (gasp, surely not!!). 

Not so many photos (compared to what I used to take!), but just enough to place mark the time and place... our Christmas of 2015. At the end of our hardest year as a family, and in the midst of other stresses, we stopped and took time just to be so grateful for the good that God had given us. It was a year of loss and pain but through it we still found hope and even joy, and a way to treasure what matters even more deeply.

Busting out the traditional new Christmas PJs the night before Christmas...
along with the traditional new book, before the traditional Christmas Eve lights
tour... haha! ;) #traditionnnnnnnnn
Sometimes you just gotta accept the photo you get. Awkward smiles and all!
Snuggled up, eagerly devouring her new Christmas Eve book. My little bookworm!

Oh, that twinkling magic. Never gets old!

There are some things that just strike you, those quintessential parenting moments like assembling all the Christmas presents under the tree, filling the stockings, tweaking it all just so and anticipating the delighted squeals come morning. #parentinggold
PS Disclaimer that these gifts are not all for the kids from us!!! Many of them are for or from extended family. We aim to keep our gifts few but meaningful for the kiddos.
Christmas stockings filled with little goodies (mostly stationary and toiletries!), along with new cushions for their beds and stainless steel mugs :)
And so the Christmas morning frenzy begins. Paper flying everywhere, happy kids with gleeful squeals, thankful parents with bemused smiles, sweet moments and memories made!
Eli was beyond stoked to get his own pencil sharpener in his stocking. Had to immediately sharpen a brand new already-sharpened pencil! My funny boy xx
it was Mark's idea to get the kids each a 'spray'. Needless to say they thought this was the COOLEST thing ever - and half the bottles were drained by day's end and our house smelt like a (cheap) perfume factory!!
Little arms stuck right into the bottom of stockings, rifling around for any remaining goodies.
The aftermath.
The aftermath of 'Santa snacks', haha. We don't 'do' Santa but the kids still get a kick out of some of the fun little traditions
Dressed for Christmas brunch with the family. Blurry but the best we got! They had
a wonderful day, these little munchkins.

This was the first year we were able to do something I have been wanting to for many years, but were waiting till the kids were a bit older to be able to participate. Our family spent lunchtime in the inner city helping serve Christmas lunch and love and cheer. It was a really special day... as I said to the kids in the car on the way there, we had spent the morning focusing on ourselves as a family, being so blessed with gifts and each other - now it was our time to focus on and bless others.

I don't want to harp on too much about it and I didn't take photos, but I just want to say that seeing my kids eagerly walking around on their own amidst the tables, saying hello to the lovely folk who were there, taking drink orders and carefully delivering them, cheerfully clearing plates and rubbish, and sharing their own Christmas lollies, filled my heart to overflowing. Beyond overflowing. It was such an honour to be a very small part of the incredible team who all worked so hard to serve a beautiful lunch to a couple hundred people.

To be honest, it was an emotional Christmas this year, missing our dear David. Spending some of the day doing something so true to his beautiful spirit of service (he was always helping others), really helped me get through the day, with a smile amidst the tears. It was a small way to honour him. I hope this is something we can continue to do in years to come... it made our Christmas day so much more meaningful.

Putting Lily's new beanbag as well as new textas to work on Christmas evening. Do you remember the thrill of wanting to put all your Christmas gifts to use as soon as possible?! 
Lily with her two best buddies at the annual Christian family camp we go to every year between Christmas and New years.
Happy Little Hippies!
One of the kid's activities was tie-dying shirts and so all the kids looked very hippy, haha!! So cute :) 

Beautiful Hannah was doing Henna tattoos on anyone who wanted one... which meant every kid in attendance of course. Just to up the hippy factor even more, lol!! Eli loved it.
Miles was VERY intrigued. Drawing on your hands??? Surely this is not okay!?! Ha! His face - so fascinated and a little perturbed.
Note Miles hand on the table, just waiting and waiting for his turn.
Finally, my time has come!!!
Ok, the hippy thing is really getting out of control, haha! We have a charity auction night and one of the gorgeous African girls was offering hair braiding... Lily's dream!!!! So we bought it for her and she was very pleased with the result... even though she had to sit for over an hour to get it done. #worthit

Here's the thing. We are just not one of those family that really commits to dress up/themed events. I just can never summon the energy or enthusiasm to spend weeks hunting through opshops and bargain shops for every little item to complete a show stopping costume. And definitely not the type to spend the night sitting up stitching away at some outfit from scratch. No, not us. Or should I say, not me. We are more the type to scrabble around the house at the last minute for anything vaguely on theme, that will at least tick the box of 'Made a passable token effort'. Good enough for me, haha! I much more enjoy marvelling at the costumes of everyone else who really made the effort to pull off those jaw dropping creative costumes. I love it... on someone else, haha!

All that preamble to say the annual dress up theme at our camp's New Year's Eve event was 'Black and White'. So, true to form, the day before camp we scrabbled around the house and this is what we came up with. Thankfully, the kids are totally happy with this casual approach, they don't know any better, ha!! Hopefully I can show my love in other ways, if not staying up all night paper-macheing monster masks and whatnot.

Lily decided to be a mime. No idea how she came up with this idea or how much
miming she has seen. But the idea of the make up was a big draw card I think!!!
Eli chose to be Batman and what he lacks in fancy costumes he MORE than makes
up for with oodles of character, don't ya think??
Miles decided he was a robber/superhero??! Plenty of character, anyway. He mostly
ran around shouting 'Ah-hah!!!!!'

Back home and the school holiday entertainment was watching and trying to help Daddy and a friend build a deck (at long last!!!) out the back. Oh, and I'm totally blaming the construction on the horrendous state of that glass door. Or maybe I should try blaming the little people who can be seen smearing fingers all over it?! #badhousekeeper
The deck framing provide a cool race track, as well as gymnastics platform! Love how kids always find a way to play...

What is this? Ha xx
A trip to the Cotter and what did we see.... 
He spent a happy half hour simply sitting and tossing stones into the creek. The simple pleasures, as well as the thrill of being able to throw rocks till one's heart's content ;)

Father and son... handy men. And me, with my heart melted all in a puddle at this scene. 


  1. Gorgeous gorgeous photos!
    You are a very lucky Mama.

  2. Lots of lovely pictures and beautiful memories, I love the Santa thank you note

  3. beautiful memories and adventures! Your photography is gorgeous! Anna @ Kids Play Space


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