Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Fun 2009: Snowmen, Cooking, Trees & More

Welcome to Week 3 of our Christmas Fun 2009 Linky. I can't wait to see all of the fun Christmas things everyone gets up to over the coming weeks. To join in with the linky just link here to this post from your Christmas Fun Blog Post and don't forget to come back and add your link into the McLinky field at the bottom of this post.

Although not required, but it would be nice to see around the place, is the code for the Christmas Fun Button over there in the right side bar."

We took a drive into the city this past week to view the gigantic Christmas Tree they display every year. This was the first year we've seen it so the kids couldn't believe their eyes. We hope to make this part of our annual Christmas Traditions.


Not such a great photo but a family shot none the less. :)


We also strolled up the mall to have a peek at the Christmas window displays that Myer (department store) puts up every year.


This year the theme was, Olivia Helps With Christmas.


We knew that that large tree would truly come to life after dark so everyone was pretty eager to see it. This photo does nothing to show how magical it looked, but it was stunning, completely lit up and solar powered too!!


Thought it was about time we started some Christmas Cooking. We try to start with something super easy and super yummy as it always gets the kids extra excited to try the other recipes out.

First up a simple sugar cookie recipe.

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
* 2 cups white sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. This recipe thanks to All Recipes

We decorated them with a simple icing sugar mixture and some sprinkles.

The blue bowl was the wrong colour choice for a photo, ah well, not going to move them just to get a better shot hehehe.





I've opted out of putting up our extra large tree this year. With a 16 month old baby in the house I just didn't feel that it was worth the stress. I don't believe in not allowing little ones to touch and feel things and obviously the tree and all of its decorations would have been off limits.

Not to mention that I had many a flashing before my eyes of the tree ending up on top of C with him caught underneath that I just felt it was safer, kinder and easier to go without this year.

We have the small advent tree that we will start adding decorations too once some of the gift bags are removed.

K and I decided we would make our own backyard, stick tree. Ok this isn't definitely for everyone, but I really like it. We are lucky enough to live on a decent sized piece of land that has lots of gum trees, so finding a 'stick' that was suitable took no time at all. We shredded the dead leaves and gave it a spray of silver paint.

Popped it in a pot of sand and rocks and it is now on display on our Christmas table. There's still lots of room on it too continue to add the kids homemade decorations, which really are so much nicer than the store bought ones anyway, don't you think?!


K made this sweet little decoration at kindy this week too. A coloured picture of baby Jesus and craft sticks glued together, sweet and simple.


I keep forgetting to share some of our books too but I've included a couple this time around.

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne, is the touching story of a rocking horse and how he is passed from one generation to the next.


Dashing Through The Sand is a funny look at Santa's travels around Australia.


The following recipe is from a freebie supermarket magazine.

White Christmas Crackles

2 cups Rice Bubbles
50g butter
1 cup white marshmallows
30g white chocolate melts, melted (I think you need a little more than 30g)
20 jaffas (we used christmas m & m's)
mini patty cases


Method

Place rice bubbles in a large bowl. Combine butter and marshmallows in a small saucepan and melt over low heat until smooth. Pour onto rice bubbles and stir to combine.

Spoon mixture into mini patty cases and leave to set for about 20 minutes.

Spoon white chocolate over the crackles and place a Jaffa on top of each one. Leave to set.



I saw this idea here and thought it was very cute and another relatively indpendent craft (do you get the feeling I like those type, I can set them up and off they go)


For this though we used Craft Foam Sheets that I cut into strips. The kids first painted a wash on a piece of A4 white card and then set about laying down the pieces of the tree. I gave them some glitter glue (other sparkles which they chose not to use) and the off cuts (thinking they could possibly add gifts under the tree).

I am so impressed with how these turned out they look great on the wall in our Christmas Display area. Can you see the little face on K's tree trunk? She went a bit wild with her glue but that's what you get for leaving a 5 year old that loves glitter working freely on her own!



Every year the kids Grandma makes them a Advent Calendar (aren't they lucky). For the first years she made a new and different one each time but over the last couple of years has settled on a simpler reuseable design.

It is simply circles of fabric, with a little trinket or chocolate inside (she had to fit 3 in each this year) tied with ribbon and a cardboard circular number for the countdown.


This year K added all of the bags to the tree herself. (with a little of my help) Every year whoever is awake first sits very impatiently waiting for the other to get up so they can open the next one on the tree. It only took C 3 mornings to work out that he got something inside those things and he was also right there beside them waiting for his little goodie too!



The kids had another Art Class this week with our Home School Network. We asked for a Christmas feel this time.

Snowmen and Perspective

Oil Pastels
A3 Sketch Paper
Acrylics

Step 1: Start by folding the sheet of paper 5 times horizontally. The top section is for the Snowman's Hat, then as you move down the paper you add a circle of sorts for each part of his body, making them larger as you go. The last (bottom) section is for the land (grass, snow whatever you choose).

Be sure to make your snowman quite big and have him going off the edge of the page a little, you want him to be right there with you once you're done.

Younger artists may need the help of a template to trace around for this step.

Step 2: Using a sponge add the background colour, making sure not to cover over your snowman.




Step 3: Using either the back of your paint brush or a Q Tip add dots of white acrylic for falling snow.


Step 4: Then it's time to decorate and complete your snowman. Add lots of vibrant colours for his hat out of Oil Pastels. Maybe some buttons and an extra special nose.

Step 5: Optional but does look really cute. A Christmas Tree added to the horizon line far off in the distance.


You can either add green oil pastel/paint for grass or leave the bottom section white for snow.


The kids loved how these turned out and so do I.

These art classes have been so much and I love that in the one class we have children between the ages of 5 and 13, all working on the same project all very different results. We are really looking forward to more art classes next year.

What Christmas Fun have you been up to this week?



4 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

You have so many traditions in your house - the decorations are really nice. I have to try cookies from scratch when I start my shutdown. I am looking forward to having lots of time at home doing all the projects that I was putting off "until later".

Elise said...

Hi Kylie

Wow, you have been super busy and creative.

We have not seen the lights on the tree at night, but I imagine it would look spectacular. It must have been absolutely stunning and your family would have loved it.

What a lovely tradition for your children to receive Advent calendars from Grandma every year.

Kylie, I am very excited to learn that I was one of the winners in your recent giveaway. I'll email you our postal details right away. Thank you for such a lovely surprise!

Momma Snail said...

Love the snowman paintings! Genius!

artsy_momma said...

I'm such a dork! I mean his snowman painting.... :)

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