Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Fireworks start Christmas celebrations?

We've been busy creating memories rather than spending time writing about them on my blog, so apologies if you've missed me.  The plus side of this I have lots to write about.

Firework (safe indoor decoration!)
I love November as after Bonfire night I can really get organised for Christmas, knowing its just around the corner.  So last weekend Josh and I spent the evening standing in a tent serving burgers and hot dogs to the crowds who attended the annual Scout Bonfire and Firework Display.  We had a great evening and were really busy from the moment the bonfire was lit until everyone had seen the last firework and grabbed a hot drink on their way home.  This is always a great fundraising event for our scout group along with others in the area and a busy night hopefully means more funds to share round, but we won't know until sometime in the New Year just how successful the evening was.

Ready to serve the crowds at Firework display

Jacob and Andy would normally be there as well but this year they were attending the district tennis club dinner and dance which included the trophy presentations for the inter and summer leagues.  Our tennis club won three trophies and two runners up, so the car was much heavier on the way home. Our mantle has become a trophy shelf and a new job needs to be added to my housework box - cleaning trophies!
Division 1 summer league Champions
Thanksgiving spinners
Everlasting flowers
Craft time has seen preparing for two events at church recently.  We have a craft and film day in each school holiday and I led the craft at the October day this year.  We made monster bookmarks, so that as the evenings draw in the children will have bookmarks for all that extra reading.  We also made tissue flowers to brighten up our homes as the fresh flowers fade in the garden.  The final craft was a thanksgiving spinner, listing all the things we are thankful for with a decorated back.
Monster bookmarks

We have also launched a monthly family drop in morning on a Saturday, offering families somewhere to grab breakfast (first or second depending on how long they have already been up!), read the newspapers, chat and join in with a craft or two.  It was a wet rainy morning this Saturday but we had a good turn out and the church smelled gorgeous from the bacon cooking and coffee brewing in the corner while I sat with the children (and some of the adults) and made crafts inspired by fireworks and God as our light.  We also made more bookmarks for those that had missed the craft day or who had enjoyed them so much they wanted to make more for family and friends.

I am currently experimenting with my menu planning and trying out recipes that can be made ahead a stored in freezer ready to pop in the slow cooker.  From the notes I made after last Christmas we planned the Christmas meal plan using post it notes this year hopefully preventing the need to cross things out while working out who is coming for dinner when and when we are out over the Christmas period.  We found this so helpful, we have decided to try this with normal meal planning, so for November we have already planned the majority of the meals for the month, with just details needed each week, like which roast to have on a Sunday and what fish recipe to use.  We are noting on the slow cooker recipes what we think needs changing and then in January we'll repeat the exercise and hopefully I can get ahead with a lot of the preparation.
Monthly menu planning

The Bible verse for this week links with the change in weather around us and reminds us that all things are in God's control, he commands the snow to fall when the time is right.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; 
he does great things beyond our understanding. 
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ 
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
Job 37:5-6

 Our prayer as a family this week is for all the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes being prepared across the country at the moment and for the children around the world who will receive them.  We pray that the love that goes into the boxes will light up a child's life n a country where there is need.  We pray that God's love will bless the senders as much as the recipients.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x