Thursday, 22 December 2011

It's December 22 and we finally decorated!

Yes, it does look almost exactly the same as how it looked in 2009, and how it looked in 2010, but we have at least moved on from December 12th when I showed you our Spartan tree.

We have a decorated tree:
Everything else is exactly the same as years past, with one addition - a Christmas pterodactyl attacking the Christmas Minis Tirith.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Merry Spartan Christmas: My Christmas Struggle

I'm going to get there. But right now, life is so packed, with more work hours than usual, two children with Guide/Scout activities, a sport each, me doing Brownies, husband working longer hours than this time last year...oh I don't need to tell you, and I'm not struggling-struggling, we're going to get there, just a little later than usual.

So if you want to see how my house will end up looking, check out how it looked in 2009, and how it looked in 2010, then you'll know pretty much how it's going to end up looking in 2011. Even if that's Dec 24, 2011, it will happen!

For now, our Christmas theme is Sparta: so, welcome to our Spartan Christmas*. We managed to find time to pick up a tree - and what a tree! - on Sunday but picking it up was sandwiched between daughter being collected from a sleepover, husband returning from his bike ride and me and daughter needing to head out to a Guiding carol concert. When we returned, she still had homework to do, so she focussed on that and the decorations remained in the box as we do like to all do them together.

We were going to try again today, but then by the time I got son from football, fed him and sent him to was well past bedtime once husband was back and son was home again, so now we are planning to try again tomorrow.
Merry Spartan Christmas!
*Spartan as in austere , don't think of my husband and me as Menelaus and Helen, please!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

First Toymaker doll finished

Our first completely finished doll came to Brownies this week - just look how gorgeous she is!

And bear in mind that this has been made completely from scratch; every piece of the doll stitched together, stuffed then stitched to the body then the girls had to make the dress, the boots, the tail, the tiny cat ears, the hair.
It's taken a lot of concentration to get to this point.

I've seen a few of the dolls that the girls have finished over the last couple of weeks, but this is the first one with all the accessories too.
She did a great job, and I can really see this being something the girls will come across 15 or 20 years from now and remember that they made that, from scratch, at Brownies.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Button Christmas Tree Update 2

I made contact with the lady that came up with the button Christmas tree, she not only gave me permission to use a picture of her tree, but it turns out she was a Guide, in Oxfordshire in the 1980s!

It's a small world, I had assumed she was American/Canadian as the stores she references are North American and she mentions dollars. She must have emigrated at some point, and it's funny that Guiding links us - although I was a Guide in Scotland when she was a Guide in England and I'm not suggesting for a second that we ever met!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Badges, Christmas and a promise

Fun evening, and I am still on a high from the great time we had.

We started with badge presentation; instead of handing out badges as they are earned, as we normally do, we saved them all up to the end of the term and had a presentation instead: nothing too fancy, we had a bag for each girl and in there was a Christmas cracker, some sweeties, next term's diary and newsletter and then whatever badges they had earned.

Out of 25 girls, just one didn't earn any: while my original thought was that half the girls might earn some and that might inspire the other half, since it was just one girl I did give her a general badge instead, as I didn't want to single her out.

At the other extreme, one girl earned five badges, plus her Brownie Adventure badge plus a Brownies Well Done badge for being very helpful to other Brownies.

After the badge presentation - and the girls seemed to like it this way so we may well do it again this way next term - we moved on to the Christmas section of the evening, as planned by my daughter as part of her Baden Powell award. The girls split into their sixes and moved round one of four sections every ten minutes:
  1. Food: mince pies, a mini yule log and a drink of squash, plus they pulled their crackers
  2. Colouring: a wooden ornament each, coloured in and then a gold tie added to hang it
  3. Button Christmas trees: ten green buttons going from large to tiny plus a yellow one to go on the top, you thread through them and tie to make a Christmas tree, it is very cute, I will say ten minutes wasn't quite enough for this, 15 mins would have been better, but as they all had their bag of badges, they were able to drop in their bits and pieces to finish at home
  4. Games: snowballs made from newspapers and a Christmas tree unravelling game which is too hard to explain!

Finally, after clearing up, we had a promise ceremony for our littlest Brownie, M. She was very sweet, "whispered" it in my ear but actually said it quite loud, and was really thrilled to be included in the pack.

So, for regular meetings, that's it for this year as the school where we meet will have school play next week and school disco the week after. We do still have two events before Christmas, one for the unit and one for units across the whole town, so more to come.

Button Christmas Tree Update

My daughter got the idea for the button Christmas tree from her Guide Guider, I had a quick search online and found it, this person made it after a failed attempt at a Martha Stewart ornament - I must email her and let her know how many people have been using her idea! Both my Brownies and daughter's Guides used normal thread instead of the suggested cord but other than that, this is definitely the original!

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