My boys are now (nearly) 7 and 9 and the nightly ritual of reading bedtime stories has pretty much gone out the window!
They either read their own books, or push the bed time limit so far that it’s an immediate ‘lights out’ as soon as their heads touch the pillow.
The other day I got to thinking that I really should continue to embrace reading stories to them while they are young enough to enjoy it, particularly for my younger one. I decided to find a decent sized story book that we’d all enjoy reading over a month or two. One that I could read a couple of chapters from each night. A story that was nice to listen to before falling asleep (rather than Boy Versus Beast as the boys would choose). This is what I came up with…
It’s such a joy to be reading Enid Blyton again after all these years. Next I’m hoping to get the box set of Secret Seven that I saw at Big W the other day.
What’s your favorite bedtime story?
Well…it’s nearly time for the boys to return to school so this weekend has been consumed covering what seems like an endless supply of exercise books, project books and texts. I’m sure I didn’t go to year 1 or year 4 with as many books as I’ve covered for my boys this weekend! Of course I have no idea what each book will be used for so I created some labels for the front of each of their books with their name and a space for the subject to be written.
Do you remember when the weekend paper would include these ‘back to school’ labels as the return to school drew near? I can’t even find then in the shops now.
If you need some labels like these they are quite easy to create in Word. You just need to insert a table 2 columns by 5 rows. You can then chose a picture. I searched in Google Images for a something to match the paper the boys chose. You can then choose a font and insert your child’s name and include a space for the subject. Here’s the template I created for Will’s and for Hamish’s.
Finally I printed these on Avery sticker paper. Once the teacher has written the subjects on each book I’m going to stick some contact over the label to ensure it stays clean and legible. My printer is a bubble jet so any moisture on the label will cause the image to run. I’m so glad to see the back of covering school books!
When Hamish was a baby my parents gave him a gorgeous soft blue teddy bear. It was actually the same size as him as a newborn.
In the last couple of years he has given this teddy a name – ‘Super Ted’. He has been begging me to make an outfit for Super Ted. Today I finally did…
The outfit gives a great deal of strength to this little bear…
Hamish is happy but already looking at enhancements to make to the outfit!
Thankfully the school holidays are nearly over, and the number of hours free for the kids to shout ‘I’m bored!’ will soon reduce.
In response to a recent declaration of boredom I created a “word find” for Hamish. I found a great website that allows you to print out a template. You can then insert your words and fill the gaps with other letters. Hamish supplied me with a list of words around the super hero theme and within 10 minutes I created this for him.
This kept Hamish entertained for at least two minutes. He was requesting another one so I dug a little deeper in my Google search and found a very cool site that allows you to select a theme for the words and a design for the layout and create, with very little effort, a very cool word search. Here’s the Halloween themed snake design I created (well actually I was responsible for very little of the creating!).
Hamish preferred the first one I created but I just adore the shapes available for the word find on the ABC Teach website. I think we’ll be crating a few of these for both boys in the months to come.
I’ve started a private online journal just for the boys…capturing the fun they get up to. Rachel from Spinnering introduced me to OhLife a few months back and since then I’ve been regularly posting photos and little stories about things the boys get up to.
The best part is that everyday I receive an email from OhLife inviting me to add a post. If I have something to say or a picture to share I simply reply to the email and voile…it’s in my online journal.
The boys had a pupil free day today…no school! I had to work (from home) so the boys spent the day adventuring in the yard, culminating in a request to sleep outside tonight. My first instinct was to say ‘no way…you have school tomorrow’, but I paused, realising that once it was dark they would last about five minutes outside on their own.
They set up their tent…a Huggies tent from when they were babies.
They found pillows and sleeping bags and a torch – ready for the sun to set. They even had their dinner, their bath and did their teeth without any delay. Then it was off to bed…in their tent. Do they look a little scared?
They lasted four minutes.
I’m sure many of you have already created photo books, but I’m a little behind the times in this arena. Infact, I’m guilty of downloading my photos to the computer and not doing a whole lot more with them. For quite a few years every Christmas I diligently printed photos of the main things we did for that year and slipped them into an album, wrapped it up and popped it under the Christmas tree for my husband. But even that has taken a back seat of late. So I’ve decided it’s time to try photo books. We took a big trip overseas last year visiting six countries so I am planning to create one book for each country - a perfect way for the boys to hold on to these precious memories.
Today, using the Big W website I created a hard cover photo book of the Hong Kong leg of our tour and sent it off for printing. It is a very simple drag and drop process, but does take a little time to pull together. Can’t wait to pick it up in 10 days time.
Once I’ve seen how it turns out I’ll get started on the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Singapore. Hopefully by Christmas they’ll all be complete ready to wrap up and pop under the tree for my boys to enjoy.
And for my friend Nan…it’s time for you to get started on this project too.
I’d love to hear of your success and/or horror stories creating online photo books. Any tips that may help me in creating my next editions would be most welcomed.
We’ve just returned from a fantastic driving holiday from Brisbane to Sydney and back. We travelled many, many kilometres with two little boys who sometimes weren’t satisfied with the array of entertainment I packed for them: DVDs, DS Consoles, colouring-in, and activity books. Then it was time to become entertainment director and come up with creative games and stories to while away the hours and miles and delay the question ‘are we there yet?’. They particularly liked stories about my childhood – which amazed me as I didn’t think it was all that interesting. We also played a few old faithful games like counting animals and I Spy. And when the whinging become a little too much I popped a barley sugar in their mouths.
When I arrived in Sydney I found the most wonderful book of old-fashioned and brand new travel games, ironically called ‘Are We There Yet’.
I stood for quite some time flicking through it as the kids chose a book they wanted to buy for the return journey. Some of my favourite travel games suggested were: Rhyming Celebrities, Weird Vacations, Signpost Lottery and the best – Quietest in the Car. As I placed the book back on the shelf and walked to the register with the boys chosen books I clearly had erased the memory of entertainment director on the drive down. It was only as we kicked off on our next long driving day that I so wished I had bought that little book! I can tell you right now it will be in the glovebox when we take off on our next driving holiday.
So what are your favourite games to play on a long drive?
Tonight we went to the boys school for their Excellence Expo. I was very proud that they both received Highly Commended awards for one of their pieces of work.
Hamish received the award for Haiku - Japanese poetry he completed as part of his Asian Studies.
I thought this was just beautiful. I asked Hamish if he wrote this himself. He told me he did, and it took him three weeks. He then went on to tell me that a real Samurai can write Haiku in just a couple of minutes. That made me smile.
Then we went to look at William’s award winning piece.
I feel very proud to be their Mum. What clever little boys!
At Hamish & William’s request, tonight was movie night. So after our trip to the DVD hire store (haven’t been there for quite some time!) I popped some popcorn, and then decided to take it one step further and make CARAMEL POPCORN! Oh my goodness. Yum!
I popped my corn in a popcorn machine, but you could just as easily pop it in a saucepan with a little oil, as described in the recipe on taste.com.au where I found the steps to make the secret ingredient – the caramel!
To make the caramel add 125g chopped butter with 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey to a saucepan and stir over a low to medium heat until the sugar dissolves. This should take around 5 minutes. Then increase the heat slightly to bring the mix to the boil. Allow it to bubble gently uncovered for 5 minutes without stirring until the mixture turns a light golden colour.
Then careful pour the caramel over the popcorn in a heat proof bowl. Stir to coat the caramel, then pour it into a baking tray lined with baking paper to set.
A perfect sweet little treat to nibble on during Despicable Me!