Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Year of Celebrations

2015 is going to be a year jam packed with significant events that we as a family intend to celebrate! I really need to tell you about them now as I am going to be one busy momma and if I find time to update my blog it is going to be a miracle!


The first birthday of the year is in June for my amazing husband who turns 50. I had thought of planning a party but we might just go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking. June is going to be a busy month of planning for a very special day in July!


Our son is getting married! We were just so thrilled when he sent through a photo of the ring he had just presented to his girlfriend. His fiancee is the sweetest Christian girl you would ever want to meet. She loves the Lord with all her heart and she puts Jesus first in her life. She is kind, thoughtful, sensible, intelligent and practical and she shares my love of beautiful china! They met at Bible study at the church they attend. I also met my husband at Bible study. They have decided upon a short engagement as they want to be together and we approve because we know that God approves! (Proverbs 5.18)

The wedding will be held at a country property belonging to a Godly couple we have known for many years and it is where and son and his fiancee wanted to be married. We were so happy to find the date they had chosen was available. It is the most stunning setting with gorgeous gardens and a beautiful barn for the reception. No surprise that the tables will be set with vintage china though if my daughter-in-love had wanted something more modern we would not have minded but it just so happens she loves vintage elegance and classic style. This is a table I set up at a recent wedding expo. It will be a different colour scheme as it is a winter wedding and the roses will have stopped blooming but fresh flowers will feature in the decor.

There will be a tea station. This was the tea table I set up at the wedding of a friend's daughter recently. Guests just love being able to choose a pretty teacup and the tea table decorates a space beautifully!

I think we are going to have enough plates! For a number of reasons we have decided to self-cater. I have catered for large crowds in the past but never a wedding. It's a challenge we are willing to take on to help out our son and his wife to be. A spit roaster has been purchased and tested out. Have you ever tasted lamb slow roasted over charcoal? It is some kind of wonderful. Thankfully, the internet has a wealth of resources  for those who are considering this. I found an old but very helpful website put together by a lady with a wealth of catering experience who cooks for her church. They enjoy a fellowship meal every Sunday after the service. We are not talking a pot-luck dinner or standing round the barbecue with a sausage sandwich in hand but a sit down sumptuous chef cooked meal and dessert. Oh the fortunate people who attend that church. They are very close and have got to know one another really well. It was very interesting to read about but most useful to me were the recipes, tips and advice on catering for a wedding. And yes, we will be asking family and friends to help us. You have heard of 'doomsday preppers'? We are going to be the 'loveday preppers'! Already we are seeing God's favour and blessing as we look forward to such a special and significant day in the life of our family.  I couldn't resist sowing some seeds of love. What a wonderful name these poppies have and they bloom over winter here!

There are a few more significant events following the wedding. My vintage girl turns 18 in August and she is planning a 1950's ice cream sundae party! She doesn't care that it is winter. She says she will have hot fudge sauce with the ice cream which will be served in vintage sundae glasses. I hope to devote a whole post to that celebration later in the year. Her older sister also turns 21 in November but she is more excited about her upcoming trip to Canada and the United States in May. Yet again, she gets to stay with my sweet friend in Vancouver, Camille from 'Flowers in His Garden' and will spend three days with one of my earliest blogger friends, Carrie from Farming in Faith in Missouri. So not fair! I want to stow away with her! I am just grateful to these lovely ladies who are opening up their homes to my girl on her big trip.

Time for me to say goodbye for now. Did I mention that I have 3 weddings and 2 bridal expos before our son's wedding? As I mentioned any blog posts which appear before then will be miracles but I'll do my best to share photos and snippets of news from time to time.

Spring is coming my dear friends in the Northern Hemisphere and I am grateful for the cooler days that lie ahead for us after a very warm and humid summer. Blessings to you all.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paper Planes - An Australian Movie your Family will love!

The brand new ream of printer paper is not going to last long and I can squarely place the blame on a movie I took my children to see during the summer school holidays. The movie is an Australian production called 'Paper Planes' and yes, it really is about paper planes and proves that you can make a movie almost solely devoted to that simple but satisfying activity that so many people would have attempted at some stage in their childhood... taking a plain ole' piece of paper and turning it into something wondrous that flies.

Dylan is 12 years old and he lives in the country with his father who has not yet come to terms with the death of his wife in a car accident five months earlier. He cycles to school through dry and dusty paddocks stopping each day to meet up with his friend Clive. I will not reveal much about Clive here, except to say he has a lot to teach Dylan and do watch out for his mention in the credits alongside seasoned and talented Australian actors such as Sam Worthington and Deborah Mailman.

The subject matter is introduced early in the movie as Dylan arrives at school. Following the daily confiscation of electronic devices (and can I just say at this point that every school and household needs a sombrero and I'm thinking of investing in one) the class is introduced to a student teacher who understands the value of hands on learning. Much to Dylan's delight they are whisked out of the classroom to the hall where they are instructed to make paper planes and fly them. Dylan who is fascinated by flight soon realizes he is good at making paper planes - really good and his exceptional talent for making planes that will go the distance will take him far. All the way from the brown paddocks of his small country town in Western Australia to the neon lights of Tokyo and the junior world championships for paper plane makers.

Along the way aiding and abetting Dylan are some lively characters including his mischievous grandad. My girls who made their first batch of lamingtons for Australia Day were rather taken with the scene when grandad calls in the scone and lamington brigade at a fundraising garage sale and they even called out 'lamingtons' in the midst of their laughter in the movie theatre!

It's these scenes which gives the movie its charm whilst paying homage to Australian values such as mateship and generosity. Dylan does face some challenges and bullies are shown up for what they are - bullies but are given opportunities to redeem themselves. Loyalty and devotion to family are added into the mix of positive characteristics, as Dylan makes the decision to stick by his father as he emerges from the shadows of the grief that has devastated him.

Refreshing in this day and age was the fact that this movie had no swearing or blasphemy and comes with a G rating. No subtle references or jokes for the adults added into the script, as some makers of animated movies for children have resorted to for their laughs. It was not needed, there were enough humourous and heartwarming moments in the movie and adults and children were laughing together as 'Oh No's' were verbalized in anticipation of what was going to happen next.

After watching this movie your children will want to come home and make paper planes. Mine did and flattened the battery on my tablet after watching the videos on the movie's website on how to make all kinds of paper planes including ones which appeared in the movie. My driveway was covered in paper planes and some were left dangling in trees and caught on bushes awaiting retrieval. I underestimated the effect the movie would have on them. The television was not turned on. No one asked if they could play a video game. It ignited a renewed passion for learning as I brought out every resource we have on flight.  It was hard to keep them inside but when they did come indoors we talked about flight and sketched pictures of soaring eagles. We studied a little science - the 4 forces of flight and read a story about Jean Batten, a famous New Zealand aviator.

I'm planning on revisiting a unit study called 'First to Fly' based on the Wright Brothers that I put together for my older children  a number of years ago

This is how we roll at our house and I'm very thankful for a movie which allowed us to begin another year of fun filled learning. I am grateful to Screen Australia and the Australian Children's Television Foundation for their role in bringing movies such as Paper Planes to our screens. Please if anyone from those organizations or involved in the making of the movie reads this review... make and fund more movies like this!

I do hope it gets released in North America and you receive the opportunity to see this delightful movie. If you miss seeing it at the movies, it will be well worth adding to your family DVD collection. We can't wait for it to come out on DVD to see it again and one thing is assured, that ream of printer paper will not last long!

Here is the link to the movie website which has a wealth of resources for all those children and adults who can't resist pressing smooth and precise folds into paper. You will find tips on making and flying paper planes. There are activity pages and even a lesson plan to download and some very informative step by step videos for making paper planes. You can also view the trailer for the film.


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