February 19, 2011

Batman Lego Party

A little short of a month ago Big One celebrated his 9th birthday with this special party. Unlike years past, we had a much smaller group and it was mostly family and a few friends that joined us for the afternoon. It was great fun and I really focused on the children and left the adults to chat and eat yummy cake. Deciding on a birthday theme seems to get more difficult as Big One gets older, but the inspiration behind this one was a Lego computer game he received for Christmas. (This Mommy needs a theme to work to!)

This year I opted for cupcakes rather than a cake and made the toppers myself. I used my favourite circle punch (can't live without it!), awesome Batman stickers care of Grandpa, and toothpicks. The party boxes were bought from a local party shop and decorated with plastic bats.  If you are very observant, you may have noticed that the party boxes do not look the same in the two photographs above. The table was all decorated, when Big One said to me "Mommy, there are no polka dots in Batman." I knew he was right and the boxes did look a bit babyish for his age, so with minutes to go, I pulled off the polka dot strips (they were simply cut from wrapping paper). Afterwards I had a giggle...here I am trying to slip in pretty blue polka dot paper into a 9 year old Batman theme! I should really have a girl :).

The games were a huge hit, with the children coming back for more and more.
  For some more super Batman inspiration, check out this party here. 
Till next time...

February 10, 2011

Teaching Kindness

I think most of us would like to be thought of as kind individuals...I also think that we would like our children to possess this quality, but have you ever thought about how children become kind? Can you teach kindness? I think so. For me it comes down to this ...you need to be what you want your children to be. You need to teach by doing, not preaching! It's a simple truth...a behaviour modeled and observed is far more powerful than a behaviour spoken about.

Now speaking of kindness, this past December, I was bowled over by Katherine Marie's advent post, where she committed to 24 acts of kindness running up to Christmas day. (To read about it, do go see here). But even more impressive, is that Katherine has decided to continue with her kindness mission and has challenged fellow readers to commit to 52 weeks of random acts of kindness in 2011. Quite extraordinary don't you think?! Katherine has called this amazing project 52 Smiles and has given lots of wonderful ideas and inspiration over on her website, so be sure to check it out.

I have certainly been inspired and so have decided to take up this challenge. I would really like to focus on kindness and compassion in 2011 and in making it part of my life, I know I'll be instilling it in my children. They will join me for the ride! Now, I don't know what it is like where you live, but here in South Africa we really have many opportunities to be kind...without having to look very far. On a daily basis South Africans are approached at their homes and in their cars (at traffic intersections and shopping malls) and we are asked for food, clothing and money. We have such high rates of unemployment here, that others begging is a part of our lives and honestly, sometimes one can even feel a bit harassed. (Just keeping it real) For me personally, this year I want to always give with a generous and happy heart and I want to give more intentionally. I also want to share my plans with my children and I want to act on it.

Maybe you want to join me for the ride too? I'll keep you posted now and again of our efforts.

Take care till next time...

PS. Yesterday here in Cape Town it was about 35 degrees Celsius, so my postman knocked on my door with a huge grin on his face. Being kind felt really good!

February 3, 2011

Georgie's Picks {Absolute Joy}

What can be better in the sweltering heat than this?

I have been meaning to post these for awhile - this happy moment took place in December.  As I look at these pictures now, I realize that these are some of my last "in a nappy" pictures of Little One. We started potty training just over two weeks ago and it's been going so well. It's only nappies at night time right now. It makes me extra happy that I captured this!  

Tonight I was reading Snapshot in my inbox, a newsletter sent out by Ingrid Owens of CameraShy and she asked, "Why do you take pictures?" She writes that for her it is about sharing beauty. She says that she wants to share the beauty of a moment with others, not to brag, but just to share the joy of the moment. She would like everyone else to SEE what she saw and to FEEL what she felt when she took the picture. I couldn't agree more!

Ingrid's blog is great, especially if you want to learn more about your digital camera and taking better pictures. Do go check it out.

Till next time, happy capturing...

PS. Georgie's Picks is where I share some of my favourite pictures and moments with you.
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