Wednesday, 14 January 2015

visual rules

Meals with kids are not always enjoyable... at least not in our family. Still- it is very important for me that we enjoy meals together. It is a time of day to be all together and tell eachother what we did during the day, what bothers us, what we are looking forward etc. 
Since the kids eat breakfast and lunch in the daycare this one meal in the evening is even more important to me. 
But for some time now we were struggeling to have an enjoyable dinnertime. My oldest has a hard time sitting still and since I can remember she has a hard time using fork, spoon and knive instead of her hands. They all want to talk at the same time and sometimes start to fight.

Last week I made a small poster where the basic rules are visually stated. The icons are not mine- I just took them from the internet. I could have drawn something myself but had no time and I was so fed up with dinnertime that I urgently wanted to try this visual way of stating the rules instead of always repeating myself in telling them what to do and what not.

And- it worked!!!!
I fixed the rules on the wall beside the table. Before we ate, I went with the kids over the rules and asked them to try to stick to them. Here and there I silently pointed to the rules during the meal.
It works nicely since them. Not always perfect, but MUCH better and they even remind themselfs by checking out the rules (Like- "oops, I still need to clear my things from the table...")

What do you do to have a pleasent meal? Any other tricks?

Translation of the rules on the poster: 

  • wash your hands (before and after the meal)
  • use cutlery
  • don't shout
  • wait your turn (for talking)
  • be nice (say thanks and please and don't fight)
  • clear the table 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

magnetic pinwall- an idea for a present

Now that Christmas is over I want to show you the Christmas presents the kids made for their grandparents/ godmothers and godfathers.
The magnetic pinwalls are very simple and can be done even with smaller children.
We took metal plates/ sheets that we arranged from a metal-workshop in town. I thought to use baking trays but it was hard to find and expensive.
The kids chose fabric and we cut the fabric to the size of the metal sheets- leaving some spare on each side.
I made glue from flour and water and we brushed the metal sheets with it.

We then glued the fabric onto the metal.

We cut the edgesof the fabric so it could nicely be folded in.

Et voilĂ - just fold in the edges and leave to dry and the wall is finished.

The magnets can be done in various ways. We had some small wooden cubes left at home and we had some tiny, very strong magnets.
The kids painted the cubes (well- more dipped them in colour after a while when they did get fed up with painting them carefully)
And when the cubes were dry we drilled tiny holes and fitted the tiny magnets in. 

I loved the result. It is something nice and usefull to give as a present. I will make one for us too- maybe bigger and I have some other projects going on using fabric to cover wooden shelves.

And I forgot- we drilled two holes into the metal sheet so it can be nailed to the wall.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Back from almost 2 weeks with my family in Switzerland. It was so nice to see everyone again after one year. This time we will have to wait less time- in summer we will see them again- including the new baby of my sister that is due in one month. We are already looking forward.

We enjoyed the snow, the cold, the warm fires, hot punch, the cheese, the christmas lights and so much more :-)

For the new year I wish you and all of us mainly peace. Peace and good health and many moments of joy and happiness.

I will hopefully post more later this week.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

sunny days

The rainy season started early and with a nice amount of rain. But since some two weeks it is mainly warm and dry again...
We are in the middle of the pecan nuts season. This will hopefully and sadly be the last pecan nut season for our tree. I really hope that in spring we will be able to start building/ renovating- with a year delay... but things are not sure yet. And sadly the tree will have to make space to our addition to the house... there was no way around it.

We spend our time collecting the nuts, making heaps of leafs and play in them. We spend time in the fields and wadi and enjoy how nature is getting green.

Sometimes even I get a break- when the kids are busy playing in the woods, collecting things, discovering things- or in the case of Yotam- fixing things (He's always busy with "drilling", "sawing", "hammering" etc. :-)

Today they were very busy in the garden and worked quite hard to get a big pile of leafs :-)

Monday, 1 December 2014

a princesse doll

Helen's birthday is comming up. She wished for a Rapunzel doll. Well- for her, Rapunzel is the one from the movie and she has blond hair. I asked her if she would mind, if it would be a princesse with brown hair (since I only have brown wool at hand)- and that's what I made her.

There's a very talented doll maker from Spain- I guess her name is Ana- and I just love her dolls. I let myself inspire from her work and I am quite happy with my prototype.. some things I would have to change next time (If there will be a next time- but I have a feeling that neomi will want a doll too). The head is a bit asymetric and I would make it a bit bigger.

You can check out Ana's work here. Be warned- her dolls are BEAUTIFUL!

I made a collection of clothes- like pants and dresses, skirts and socks, shawls etc for the doll, in case the princess is getting bored of her crown and princess-dress. :-)
I am not sure yet, if I should braid the hair or not...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

a bunny for a baby

I made a bunny for a dear friend's baby. I hope I will be able to see her little boy when we go to Switzerland for Christmas.
I used whatever fabric I had left from other projects and some recycled fabric.
The bunny also got a felt carrot- but it's not in the picture.

Now I need to start to think about Christmas presents and two more birthday presents...

Thursday, 16 October 2014


We spent the morning outside and went for a nice walk. I need to keep the kids outside otherwise they go crazy and I keep getting mad and we just fight...
We found some nice big pine-cones and took them home for a crafty project. We decided to make owls... well they turned out to be a mix between owls and parrots and penguins, but I really like them :-)

Helen added a hat- it's her wizard-owl.

My humble creation.

Neomi made the "queen of stars"- owl.

Monday, 13 October 2014


A few weeks ago I bought 2 kilos of locally produced honey. We have two guys in our community that started to keep bees and this year was the first year with honey.

For a long time I wanted to make a bee hotel for our garden. Last week we finally went down to the wadi to collect some reeds.
My husband made a simple box from pallet-wood and we drilled some holes in branches. The whole thing is not finished yet.

With the girls I made some bees from toilet-paper rolls. We painted the rolls, fixed some antennas and glued some eyes. The wings we made from a cardboard frame and foil. The bees are "flying" around the girls rooms now and Yotam got the one I made.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sukkot- sewing and decorating

This week we are celebrating "Sukkot". Yesterday we went for a walk and collected some natural material in order to make decoration for the sukkah. The girls also made a paper-chain that is over 12 meters long- they just kept going and even plan to expand it more.

My husband is on a business trip this week and I am at home. They closed the company for the holidays- not my choice to stay at home (because it will decrease my vacation days, and I really need them for visiting my family....)- but of course I enjoy some free days. Since the day care is open I have even some hours all to myself! I have time for sewing- finally. I sew two presents (can't show them yet) and I recycled some old shirts and made two long sleeved shirts for Yotam. The days are still warm/ hot, but in the evening and morning it is getting chilly.
An overlook machine would come handy- but so far I get by with my 40 year old sewing machine

Happy holidays.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

a peaceful afternoon

Neomi was bored (once again). She wanted to play on the Computer, she wanted to watch TV. She was very annoyed with me because I did not allow her TV or Computer. She was frustrated and complained for a while until I gave her the task to write a list with ten things she would like to do. After quite some thinking she got her 10 things nicely listed.

One of them was, to make muffins. I scheduled this for the day after. In order to give Neomi (and myself) the space to actually make the muffins with minimal interference from the younger ones, I asked Helen what she wanted to do and she decided to do some watercolour painting.

So I set up the easel outside for Helen and her watercolours. I put up an old wooden board for Yotam to draw on and I printed a muffins recipe in German for Neomi (like this she could also practice a bit her Latin letters).
We had a great, peaceful afternoon.

Neomi made great lemon-poppy-muffins almost all by herself (no pictures).

Helen painted for quite a long time.

Yotam made one drawing with his crayons but decided then that it was much more fun to use his wooden saw to "saw" apart the board. He was busy for a long time peeling off straps of wood.

I can reccommend this list writing. Neomi was busy all week- choosing almost every day something from her list and already wrote a new one.

I try to fit in some activity for myself. I embroidered an owl- now finished I will use it for a lavender sachet- as a present for a very dear person.