Australian Family Feud Party Game

IMG_1687Family Feud anyone? One of our yearly Christmas traditions is to host a high tea for some of the wonderful ladies from our church. As part of this event, we always play some get to know you/icebreaker type games for a bit of fun. This year we decided to try out Family Feud at home but after searching the web found that the answers were not very applicable to Christmas here in Australia. There’s not much snow around this time of year!

So we polled 100 volunteers (actually 110 but who’s counting) and came up with our own Aussie version. If you aren’t sure how to play Family Feud I’m sure you can find some old episodes online or here is a pretty clear explanation of how it works.

To get started, you will need to print off one set of the question and answers cards and another set of the answers chart below.

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Free printable free printable question and answers cards

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Free printable family feud answers chart

Cut some card strips and cover the answers. (Make sure they are not see-through.) I laminated the answers chart and some coloured card and cut it into strips, then just taped each end to the answers chart.

As you play the game you can peel off the relevant strip to reveal the answers and scores. Add up the points to find your winning team. There are 9 question and answer sets so you can do 8 rounds plus a tie-breaker if necessary. We found 3 rounds was enough spaced over the 2 hour high tea but it would depend on your event. Have fun!

 

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Knock & run nativity

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One of the traditions we enjoy is to bless a neighbour or friend with a knock and run nativity. Each day in the lead up to Christmas, a piece of the nativity is secretly delivered to their door. The first day comes with an instruction poem (free printable below) letting them know what to expect and asking them to leave out the bag/basket each day for us to deliver the pieces into.

The Blessing Buddies idea for the day was to get started on delivering our nativity; a wooden version that we picked up from Target this year. We chose a bag with handles so we can hook it over our neighbour’s gatepost as we can’t actually access their front door without them knowing we are there.

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The children love running across each day to leave the next piece without being discovered and we get to share the Christmas story with someone who may never have heard it before. Each piece comes with a bible verse that tells the relevant section of the Christmas story with a short description of the role that each particular piece plays.

If you do not live close enough to deliver a piece each day, I have an instruction poem for an all at once delivery here  that allows you to make one single delivery with all the pieces numbered and instructs the recipient to unwrap one piece each day in the lead-up to the 25th of December.

Click below for a FREE PRINTABLE of the scrolls that you can attach to your own knock and run nativity pieces with 2 copies of the instruction poem – one for bags and one for baskets.

FREE PRINTABLEknock-and-run-12-days-of-nativity-poem-scrolls

 

Christian Easter ideas for 2015

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Easter is here and with it the bombardment of chocolates and commercialism that threatens to take over any meaningful celebration. If you are looking for some Christian Easter activities and traditions that help make Easter a Christ-centred affair, take a look at this post or for Jesus trees, Lent ideas and other Christian Easter activities see here and lastly, my Pinterest board with some more activities is here.

Easter decorations

Our Easter space with books and objects that help direct our attention to the real meaning of this season. We used palm branches to act out the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The kids threw down blankets as cloaks as well as the branches and made crowd noises to help tell the story. It was a little chaotic but lots of fun.

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An up close view of our string crosses that we made this year. (Original idea and instructions here.) As we hammered the nails into the wood blocks we talked about Jesus being nailed to the cross and what that must have felt like, comparing the size of our nails with the nails that would have been used to pierce Jesus. My oldest son’s comment was “Children’s bibles always make the cross seem so pretty!” It doesn’t hurt our kids to get a better picture of what the events surrounding Easter were really all about. Giving them some understanding of what our sin really cost is so important, especially for those who grow up so saturated in bible stories that they grow immune to the importance and reality of it all.

Father’s Day 2013

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We try to make Father’s Day a special time of celebrating my wonderful husband and continuing the family traditions we have started over the years. One of these is that the children make something for Dad, rather than buying gifts. We want them to know that we value their handmade efforts and that spending a lot of money is not necessary to show someone that you love them. Having a lot of young children though means that it is sometimes difficult to come up with great ideas that everyone can participate in. We want it to be something that Daddy can use or enjoy, not something he cringes at as he imagines how embarrassing it is going to be to have to walk down the street wearing that!

 

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This fingerprint tree was the perfect gift for us. All the children were able to take part by placing their fingerprint on the branches. (We just used ink pads from our stamping sets.) I printed out a bible verse that reminds us of the blessing we have in our children and the honour it is to be a Father. Our latest family photo was added and we were done. The tree itself is a free printable available here. The whole thing was extremely quick and easy and Daddy can proudly display it at work.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Father’s Day: Traditions and home-made gift ideas for children

Father’s Day 2012

Advent and Christmas traditions

Christian Christmas traditions; memories for a lifetime

Father’s Day 2012: traditions and home-made gift ideas for children

Father’s Day was loads of fun yesterday and you would have thought it was Christmas by the level of excitement in the days leading up to it! We narrowed down our home-made gifts to a select couple and the children steadily added to the pile throughout the week with their own creations. As family tradition dictates we began the day with gift giving in Mummy and Daddy’s bed. With a little one to feed and church to get to, breakfast in bed wasn’t an option so as you can see, Daddy was already dressed!

Our all together gift was this photo frame with each child holding a letter to spell out Daddy. With a large number of children all needing to give gifts, we look for ways to make that easy. Our Mummy and Daddy shop works well, but for Father’s Day the rule is we have to make something and we usually try to find a project that everyone can do together. This fitted the bill nicely.

All that was involved was making a couple of card letters and taking the photos. The trickiest part was getting a baby and a 9 year old to look good at the same time and making sure that the letters were about the same size in each shot. No need to make three letter D’s though – one will do. It did take me a little while to work that out so thought I’d mention it! I found the idea here.

Everyone wanted to help make Daddy’s special Father’s Day breakfast, even the toddlers. Having kids in the kitchen can be a challenge but it is worthwhile teaching young ones to enjoy cooking. Cutting up bananas is something even my 2 1/2 can do as long as I’m not too particular about how even the slices are! My other 2 1/2 year old was busy putting away the “cutleries” from the dishwasher and setting out spoons on the table.

Our gift to the two Grandparents was a framed message saying Happy Father’s Day with the children spelling out Grandad and Grandpa with their bodies. Here’s “Dad” below to give you the idea. Having done it once, I strongly suggest you use a plain coloured background or just have them lay on the grass. The letters weren’t very straight but I couldn’t straighten them for cropping because of the striped picnic blanket background. Oh well, you live and learn! This idea came from here.

    

Both of these would make great birthday and Christmas gifts for any parent or Grandparent and are an inexpensive way to bless a special person in your life. Have fun building great family memories and showing those close to you how much they mean to you.

Coming of Age 13th Birthday

I had the privilege of attending a young lady’s coming of age 13th birthday recently. It was a memorable celebration and commemoration of this important milestone and transitional point in her life –  a rite of passage experience to help mark the first stage of a girl’s cross-over into womanhood. After reading “Raising A Modern Day Knight” and “Raising a Modern Day Princess” I have several ideas stored away for my own children’s coming of age ceremonies and have added some of the special things I saw at this event to my mental list.

The birthday girl and her friends spent a little time together first, with some games and gifts to celebrate their friendship. One-handed present wrapping was one of the games they enjoyed.

A delicious afternoon tea was served during the adult gift presentations. We all loved this ring tin sandwich idea.

One of the themes of the day was “The Proverbs 31 woman” with this charm bracelet given to the 13 year old by her parents. The charms were carefully chosen to represent each of the bible verses in Proverbs 31 and symbolise the qualities that a Godly woman possesses. It will be an ongoing reminder and symbol of her faith and the moral foundation that a Godly woman’s character is based on.

Another gift to mark the occasion was a beautiful hope chest (glory box). Guests were invited to contribute something to the chest to start building a collection in preparation for the 13 year old’s future life. “The Hope Chest; A Legacy of Love” by Rebekah Wilson includes ideas on how to use a hope chest and what you may like to include.

Continuing on with the Proverbs 31 theme, 5 of the women took a section each from the bible passage and presented a symbolic gift to go with each part, along with a bookmark with the bible verse printed on it. Many other beautiful gifts were given, with the women explaining their choices and reading out their words of wisdom as they were presented.

These gorgeous spoons were inscribed with “a heap of love, a spoonful of family, a pinch of friends and a dash of joy.”

This wonderful handicraft kit was put together by one of the ladies. She had made a couple of items herself and included the materials needed to complete several more little projects.

One of the lovely letters of wisdom. The box held hand-made doilies and table runners that had been handed down through several generations.

Some of the gifts could be used right away and some were to be put away for her future home.  Each one was chosen for a reason and the givers had been previously asked to include a letter explaining their choice and any symbolism involved, as well as sharing wisdom or encouragement for the future.

The celebration was a simple but memorable one and hopefully left the young lady knowing without a doubt that she is well-loved and supported by many around her and with a sense of excitement and joy as she looks forward to her future. Whether your event is small and simple or big and amazing, plan to mark these pivotal points as stepping-stones towards Godly womanhood (or manhood.) See this post for some links to interesting websites.

Raising a Modern Day Knight/Princess

Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood

Do you have a son on the verge of manhood? A daughter about to become a woman? Do they know what it means to be a man or woman in today’s society? When exactly do they become a man or woman and what marks this transition?

Robert Lewis, in his book “Raising a Modern Day Knight” identifies three key areas that are vital in this process of becoming a man; a biblically grounded definition of manhood, a directional process to help him get there and ceremonies to celebrate and commemorate important transitional points in a young man’s life.

Along with the role of the community and the church, Lewis emphasises the importance of parents who are actively involved in their children’s lives, fully present and doing all they can to provide excellent role models. He outlines 4 principles of manhood that form the cornerstones of the foundation of authentic manhood and presents ideas for a code of conduct; ethical standards from the moral law of God to guide our sons on their path to manhood.

The second half of the book is devoted to developing ceremonies to mark important transitional points throughout a young man’s life. He emphasises the incredible impact these ceremonies have and gives some excellent ideas for developing symbols and ceremonies of your own, the first of which is generally around the age of 13.

Raising a Modern-Day Princess

Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna have written a similar book for girls titled “Raising a Modern Day Princess” with ideas for creating a rite of passage experience to celebrate a young lady’s cross-over into womanhood. They aim to help girls see themselves as daughters of a heavenly Father (their King) and true modern-day princesses.

They discuss the importance of the Father’s role in their daughter’s lives and the opportunity Mothers have to act as mentors in the lives of our own daughters and other young ladies.

Jewish girls celebrate a bat mitzvah, Latinos a Quinceanera, Navajo girls go through a Kinaalda ceremony and American teenage girls may be involved in a Debutante or Purity ball. The authors offer some ideas for creating your own Modern Day Princess ceremonies (that may or may not include purity rings and other symbols of purity) and implementing traditions that could be passed down for generations. These ceremonies may include blessings, special gifts, feasts and outings and can take on many different forms to suit your family.

I would highly recommend both of these books. Young men are well covered in Robert Lewis’ book, however if you only have a girl I would recommend reading both. The ideas for boys gave me a great springboard for coming up with rites of passage ceremonies for my girls, with a different approach than I would otherwise have taken. (I did always think Boy Scout camps were way better than Girl Guide camps though!)

However you do it, please take the time to plan ahead so that you don’t miss these important milestones in your child’s life. They will be 13 before you know it and these ideas take time, planning and financial investment. I am excited to think about what we can put together for our own children and hope that these traditions will be one more building block that knits our family together and helps us to raise children who stand strong in their faith as they grow into Godly adults.

Other Resources:

“The Hope Chest; A Legacy of Love” by Rebekah Wilson is a book I haven’t read thoroughly yet, but comes recommended by a good friend of mine. As the name implies, it explains what a hope chest is and how they may be used. They could be readily included as part of a rite of passage ceremony.

Unfading beauty reading for  womanhood ceremony.

Fantastic blog account of an amazing manhood ceremony physical challenge that a Father and son completed. 12 stones with character qualities, mountain climbing, ring ideas.. I loved this.

A blessing example.

One family’s example of manhood ceremony scriptures and symbols.

I’ll be blogging next about a young lady’s rite of passage 13th birthday that I had the privilege of attending last weekend with a Proverbs 31 theme. Stay tuned!