Cookie Cutter as: Sandwich Shaper

Since I’ve not had time to bake anymore I just went with another sandwich, but really that’s fine because my daughter LOVES them in shapes. Today I present: un petit bonHAM de neige!

What a cutie! He’s made with doughy French bread, ham, cheddar and mayo, and decorated with edible food markers. E liked him so much (and she’s been eating a lot lately!) she asked to me to make her another one, so he is joined by his girlfriend today. Her lunches are mostly packed in a Goodbyn that she decorated herself. Love this lunchbox!

Well, that concludes National Cookie Cutter week, but I still have the cookie tree to post. I’ll have to get to it later. I didn’t have time to get it together before J’s party on Sunday so the cookies are in the freezer and the icing is in the fridge ready for the next get together.

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Cookie Cutter as: Stencil

For Day 1 of National Cookie Cutter week, I started simple. I used a plastic star shaped cutter as a stencil to make shapes for our Jesse Tree

No fuss, no muss. It also happened to be that we were out most of the day and then the dinner hour was wonky and I didn’t realize until 8pm when I was feeding Mr. T his nightly avocado that I hadn’t done anything. But hey, we’re into creativity here! I traced both the outside and inside of the cutter to get the different sizes.

The yellow fat one reminds me of the Super Mario Bros star. Now that brings back memories!

Here’s a pretty photo of our Jesse Tree. The girls do simple colouring of symbols from here and we glue them onto construction paper and hang them up with bent paper clips. We also do the devotions from here at dinnertime. This is the first year we’ve done it and it’s been a lovely and meaningful way to celebrate Advent and anticipate Christmas. It’s reminiscent of Resurrection Eggs at Easter.

And just for fun here’s a picture from J’s birthday cake on Sunday. It’s a Reese peanut-butter cup ice cream cake. Yumo! In the picture right before this one, Mr. T is staring at the candles ready to pounce. Someone gave him pencil crayons to distract him:

Apple Fan

I love Apple. I am not ashamed to admit that I am pro-Apple products and software. They really do make my life easier.

Except when they don’t work. Or work very, very slowly… We’ve had an iMac since 2008, so 3 years. That’s getting on in the computing world. And for the last year, this computer has been slow. Not just a little slow. Old PC slow. The spinning beach ball was starting to get more screen time than anything else. I do a lot of stuff on my computer – email, web browsing, photo editing, downloading music and videos, word processing, spreadsheets, you name it. We have all of our digital life on this little machine. And I spend so much time on it that the slowness of it was becoming a problem. Not just a little problem – a BIG problem. I spent half my time on the computer just waiting. For programs to load, things to save, web pages to refresh, emails to pop up. It was painful.

Last week or so my iPhone updated to the new iOS 5 software which includes iCloud. I had already been intrigued by iCloud and the new OSX for my desktop, Lion. I was considering buying it but was waiting for some time to sit down and research it. I played around with iCloud and decided I liked it. So I went to the Mac App store to purchase Lion.

I couldn’t buy it. I needed 2GB of RAM. My computer only has 1. ONE! Uno. Solo.

Could that be the reason for the slowness? I started to research in my web browsing way. And lo and behold, this iMac is capable of 4GB. It has 2 RAM slots which can handle 2GB each. Well I’ll be! I started to research some more and found a Canadian online company, CanadaRAM, with very good reviews. They sell RAM for this Mac (Apple doesn’t, it’s too old!). They also have a quote system whereby you tell them what you have and what you want, they quote what you need and then guarantee that what they quote will work. If not, you return it. No problems.

So I ordered 4 GB on Wednesday. IT CAME IN THE MAIL THE NEXT MORNING! Seriously! That was fast. So I installed it before dinner and now my tired old iMac has a new speedy lease on life. Applications load in a snap. Multiple programs run without crashing. Application switching is lightning fast. My iSight doesn’t have a lag. It’s almost miraculous.

I even took pictures of changing the RAM so I could post a little tutorial. But really, it’s super-easy. Let’s upgrade!

 

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Very carefully lay your baby iMac screen side down onto a clean soft towel. This will protect the monitor from scratching and give you access to and visual of the memory compartment. Notice the lovely diagram printed on the base, detailing how to do EXACTLY WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TELL YOU.

 

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Locate the memory compartment by gently lifting the stand. Be careful because it only pivots just enough for you to get at the compartment. Notice all of the dust and vow to clean your office more often. Or at least once.

 

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The instructions (on page 33 of your “Everything Mac” guide) tell you to use a #2 screwdriver. I used a 3mm Phillips from my handy-dandy mini screwdriver set.

 

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The cover is pretty easy to remove as it’s only held with one screw.

 

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You’ll see two memory slots each with a black plastic tab tucked over them. As you can see, only the right slot has a card in it. Untuck the tabs…

 

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And pull on the tab with the card. I had to give this a good tug with both hands. The card contacts are very tight.

 

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The card will pop part way out so you can slide it the rest of the way. Slide it out and keep it facing the same way so you can match up the new card(s).

 

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These are my new 2GB cards. Here you can see all the fancy numbers and stuff. But notice that they are the wrong way up.

 

For some reason this pic is a different size. Oh well, it’s fitting as the old card is smaller than the new cards. I’m boosting my RAM 400% from 1GB to 4GB.

 

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Slide the new cards in and give each one a good push until it “clicks” in. I had to push pretty hard. At first I wasn’t sure they were going to go in, but eventually they did.

 

Remember to tuck in your tabs. Screw the cover back on, stand ‘er up, plug ‘er in, turn ‘er on, and fire ‘er up! I noticed a difference right away.

Happy Mac-ing!

Disclaimer: **This is shameless Apple love but it is only because I really like Apple. I haven’t been paid or anything for this write-up. I am also not a tech expert, just a geek who does this kind of stuff for fun. If you need help, call your IT guy or visit an Apple Store.**

Resurrection Eggs: Day 7 & 8

Tuesday’s egg contained three nails in the form of a cross for Jesus’ crucifixion. We read Matthew 27:31-35.

Pain and suffering are hard topics to talk about with children, especially young children. Somehow, by the grace of God, they understand Jesus’ trials and death. In their own child-like way, they understand how “unfair” it seems that Jesus didn’t do anything wrong and yet was punished. They may not understand politics or deep theology, but they understand punishment. Believe me, when one of my girls gets disciplined unfairly, they understand it! They coloured this picture:

and then we did a “stained glass” cross made with melted crayons:

Yesterday’s egg was a die to show the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ garments. We read Matthew 27:35

We talked about how games are supposed to be fun but in this case, the soldiers were being very mean. I found this picture for them to colour:

It’s not the greatest illustration but it does was the only page I could find that showed the soldiers’ game. It also happens to show the vinegar drink and the spear wound (which is funny because the spear wound happens after Jesus was already dead, which would be after he was offered a drink…) This was an after-dinner devotion so we didn’t do a craft. Actually, there aren’t many crafts out there that apply to this particular passage! We’ll do another cross craft for the next egg.

Resurrection Eggs: Day 4

Today’s egg contained hands in prayer to illustrate Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane:

We read the Bible passage from Matthew 26:36-45 and then talked about how Jesus knew he had to obey his Father’s will. We also talked about how sad he was, especially when he found the disciples sleeping.

A few years ago I actually helped E make a little garden with praying Jesus and sleeping disciples:

This year we went a bit simpler. They had a colouring page and pasted Jesus and the disciples down into a night garden:

This was just before dinner again so there wasn’t a snack. The girls lost interest in their colouring pretty quick because they were quite tired from C’s birthday party:

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and even though we’ve already talked about it, it is a reinforcement to them of what they’ve learned so far. It also prepares us for the coming weekend with Good Friday and Easter Sunday sermons.

Resurrection Eggs: Day 3

Yesterday’s egg contained a cup to illustrate the last supper: We read the Bible passage from Matthew 26:26-27 and then talked about how our church celebrates the Lord’s Supper. Last time I printed a colouring page for E and then had her glue down the names of the disciples on another one (she couldn’t read so it didn’t matter whose name she glued where!)

This year I found this craft which is a replica of Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. It’s a bit more hands on and both of them could do one together. The girls enjoyed making it with dad:

We did this right before dinner so it was the “last” supper of the day… I had thought of making some unleavened bread for them to try but since C’s birthday party was the next day (today!) I decided to choose my workload.

Resurrection Eggs: Day 2

Today’s egg is for the scheme of Judas Iscariot with the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus. The egg contains a few silver coins:

please ignore my terrible photography...

We read the Bible passage from Matthew 26:14-16 and then talked about it. I printed a colouring page for the girls and they counted out and glued down 30 “pieces of silver”:

lil C insisted on an extra coin - can you spot it?

Finding a craft idea for this passage was not easy. I made this one up last year and just re-used it. The girls love glue, E loves to count, and it’s simple enough for lil C to do it without too help. I printed off some Roman coin drawings from here:

I cut them out for the girls and let them go to town with choosing which ones to use on their sheets. Since we did our devotional time right before dinner, we didn’t have a snack. Otherwise we might have had some chocolate coins, although finding ones wrapped in silver foil instead of gold might have been difficult!

Resurrection Eggs: Day 1

The first egg is for Palm Sunday and is the story of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey. With my girls, we start with prayer and then open the egg. Inside Day 1 is a little donkey:

We read the Bible passage from Matthew 21:1-11 and then talked about it. Then the girls get to do a craft and some colouring and have a snack if it’s that time of day. Yesterday we made a donkey puppet:

The pattern and printouts are from DLTK’s Crafts for Kids – a great source of ideas! Another great source is Sermons 4 Kids – I’ve gotten lots of ideas and colouring pages from there. Last year E made palm fronds:

She actually took them to church on Palm Sunday that year and waved them around. It was very sweet, especially since we didn’t end up having a Palm Sunday sermon because we had a guest minister. E waved them in the lobby and one of the seniors said to her, “I was looking forward to a Palm Sunday sermon and was disappointed that we didn’t have one. But you just made my day!” Precious!

I was going to make cookies in the shape of palm fronds or donkeys, but when I was at Costco earlier that day, they had Palmiers on special so we had those instead:

from RealSimple.com

J was off work early so he was home and helped the girls do their crafts. They really enjoyed that part (I’ve mentioned before how I don’t craft with my kids).

Then we hang up our work in their playroom on their art wire and look forward to tomorrow.

Preparing for Easter: Resurrection Eggs

In less than two weeks we will celebrate one of the most significant events in the history of the world and in our Christian faith: Easter. This season and holiday is a solemn yet joyous occasion and is one of my favourite times of the year.

But how do you find the true meaning of it amidst the bunnies, chocolate, baskets, and sales?

It’s easy to celebrate Christmas when you’re a Christian because it seems like the whole world is celebrating something magical and wonderful and spiritual despite the commercialism it is steeped in. But Easter is seemingly more and more about the commercial now and the historical events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday are lost and forgotten. At Christmas, almost everyone seems to know Christmas carols that speak of the baby Jesus. But at Easter, nobody sings Easter carols outside of church. You don’t hear familiar Easter carols on every radio station.

So how do we make it exciting and look forward to it with anticipation? With our two girls, we were looking for ways to make the countdown to Easter a bit like the countdown to Christmas. A few years ago I discovered Resurrection Eggs and have used them each year since. They are a fun, bright, hands-on way to tell the Easter story to children. We do them one each day leading up to Easter (meaning we started yesterday).

from Family Life Today

I’ll be posting each day about our Resurrection Egg devotional time and will be sure to have pictures and links so that you too can try this with your kids.

And most importantly, remember to pray for and with your children. For all of the teaching and time in the world can only truly make a difference when covered in prayer.

Have a blessed day!

From Centsational Girl: Waverly Fabric GIVEAWAY

One of my favourite DIY home decor blogs, www.centsationalgirl.com, is doing a fantastic giveaway of some fantastic fabric. Waverly’s beautiful prints are inspiration for any room – my sister in law just did living room drapes in Cheri Panther:

 

 

Waverly Cheri Panther from fabric.com

 

Would this be lovely as drapes in my girls’ room?

 

Waverly Cheri Flamingo from fabric.com

 

Well, Waverly has just come out with new line, their Modern Essentials collection:

Click Waverly Fabric GIVEAWAY to hop over to Centsational Girl and enter to win some!