Reflections – An endearing little read about Christmas

With all the buzzing of Christmas preparations around, non stop emails of sale offers and ongoing Facebook notifications, I sat down the other day making myself comfy in one of my favourite places in our home, the Snuggle chair. Surrounded by things to read and with a cup of hot chamomile tea in hand I came across this lovely little passage.
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas this year and spent quality time with loved ones.
Nativity scene Christmas The Urban Ma blog
THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
One week before Christmas, a well-known visitor made a surprise appearance…
I had just finished the household chores and was preparing for bed when a noise startled me. I
cautiously opened the door to the front room. To my amazement, Santa Claus stepped from
behind the Christmas tree! He placed one finger over his mouth so I would not cry out.
“What are you doing here?” I exclaimed. Then I realized that Santa had tears in his eyes. His
usual jolly manner was gone. The eager, boisterous soul we all know was very sad. Santa
offered one, simple statement,
“TEACH THE CHILDREN!”
I was puzzled—what did he mean?
Anticipating my question, with one quick movement he brought forth a great bag from behind the tree.
I stood there bewildered. Santa explained, “Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of
Christmas. So many people today have forgotten what Christmas is really about!”
Santa then reached into his bag, pulled out a tiny FIR TREE, and placed it on the mantle.
“Teach the Children that the stately fir tree remains green all year round, showing the
everlasting hope of mankind. The needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of ourprayers that always reach God.”
Santa again reached into his sack and pulled out a brilliant STAR.
 “Teach the Children thatthe Bethlehem star was the sign of promises long ago. God promised to send a Savior to deliverthe world. The bright star pointed to the fulfillment of that promise—God’s only Son had been born!”
Next, Santa pulled a CANDLEfrom his bag.
“Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Jesus, God’s Son, is the light of the world.
When we see this light remember the One who overcomes the darkness.”
Once again Santa reached into his sack. This time he removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree.
“Teach the Children that the wreath reveals the endless nature of God’s love. Real love never
ceases. Nothing can stop God’s amazing love.”
Santa then pulled from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF.
“Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we show to others because God has given us His
very special Son. Don’t forget to tell the Children that Saint Nicolas was not part of the first Christmas in Bethlehem.”
Santa then reached into his sack and carefully placed a CANDY CANE on the tree.
“Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s staff. The crook on the staff rescues
sheep who have strayed from the flock. God never gives up on people who wander from Him.”
Next, He removed a delicate ANGEL and lifted it to the very top of the tree.
“Teach the Children that angels shouted the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. These heavenly messengers sang
‘Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good will to everyone on earth!’”
Finally, Santa pulled out a beautifully wrapped GIFT.
He said, “Teach the Children that God deeply loves people, so He gave them His most precious gift—Jesus, His only Son. When the
wise men arrived in Bethlehem, they bowed before the Child and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
This is why we give gifts to others each Christmas.”
Then Santa paused. He stared at the tree and seemed to be pleased. I saw that the twinkle had
returned to his eyes. He turned, looked at me, and smiled. Santa offered these final words,
“Remember to teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas. Please don’t put me in the
center, for I am but a humble servant. Jesus Christ is the real reason for the Christmas season. I
am glad to join all others who bow down and worship Him, our Lord and God.”
— Author Unknown.

Sunday Reflections – A reminder

The Urban MA blog Melbourne bloggers
Sunday mornings are the best. This of course means different things when you have two under four. Even 8am is a sleep in!
Relaxed breakfast time. Maybe even a short walk. And of course we start the week off with an hour to reflect, give thanks and prepare. I love this time of year and even more so when we are surrounded by kindness, peace and like-minded people who are grateful and filled with hope and joy.
As we sat down for our morning coffee and hot chocolate after mass (free of course, and served with a smile!), I saw this little paragraph (see below) in our Parish bulletin. It is always filled with surprising little words of wisdom, stories of the locals and events that help bring people together in unity and love. It is published weekly with a Big Bulletin being published monthly. Something for everyone.
Life may be kicking you around right now, but I’m telling you that you can’t imagine the good that awaits you when you refuse to give up.
Stay focused on your dream, you have the power to change your circumstances.
Let nothing hold you back!
How do you spend the first few hours of your week? ‘Tis the season to spread hope, peace and love, not run around like headless chooks! Just something I need to keep reminding myself 😉
Wishing you a week that’s not too hectic as we draw closer to Christmas.
-xx-

Santa’s Magical Kingdom 2013 – Melbourne

Merry Christmas 2013!

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Nov-Dec 2013, Burnley Oval

With all the Christmas parties, gathering and festivities finished for another year I finally got to sit down and post some photos from our trip to Santa’s Magical Kingdom! We were invited to the opening preview night and there were many a happy face ready to meet Santa and Mrs Claus and experience all the magic under the big tent.

It was our first visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom and it was so much fun for both the kids and the adults! My husband and I took my 11 month old, my 6 year old goddaughter and my 18 year old cousin and we all had such a memorable time We attended the evening time slot and the anticipation built up outside while we were waiting for the doors to open. From outside we could see the huge tent, a ferris wheel and a giant slide. As soon as they opened the doors everyone was greeted by Mrs Claus and festive music playing throughout the whole place. Lights, rides, laughter and a snowfall lit up the magical kingdom as we walked around deciding what to do first.

The kids when on the caterpillar ride about 3 times and loved getting their hands on some sand art. My little one was mesmerized by the falling snow and all the lights and baubles. There was also gingerbread decorating, story time with Mrs Claus and lots of rides to cater for kids of all ages. After having explored the big tent we were all invited into the second tent to watch the circus and having not been to a circus since I was a little kid I enjoyed it as much as those decades younger than me! The talented performers all had us on the edge of our seats and I really liked watching the lady in the wheel – so graceful and flexible.

The night was well planned out with just the right amount of proplr to create a joyous atmosphere yet still keep the queues for the rides to a bearable wait time. There is food, show bags and merchandise available and an ATM at the entrance. There was ample space to bring a pram and there were roving mascot characters that we got to take photos with. We also spotted a celebrity or two!

Make sure you don’t miss out next year and book your tickets as soon as they go on sale as nearly all of the sessions this year were sold out! There were two sessions a day to choose from, an afternoon or an evening session. So many activities in one place for the kids to take part in on their school holidays, we’ll definitely be back again next year! Thanks for having us 🙂 xx

smk

Life Lately #6 – plus a Christmas Giveaway!

The Urban Ma blog meets Ms Claus SMK

The last leg of 2013!

Can you believe it’s almost November!? Lately I’ve gotten accustomed to the fact that time just seems to go by way too quickly and the past few weeks have been no different – I can’t believe I have an almost one-year-old! Being October, the wedding season has started along with Christmas parties many more celebratory events and with an 11-month old in tow this has proven to be just a tad bit more tiring than usual (sorry for my lack of blog posts last week – I’ll make up for it this week!). If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@jacqfruit) you will have seen what my past few weekends have been like. Thank you to all of you for your comments and messages on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts lately and as always if you have any suggestions on any topics you’d like to see in my blog posts please feel free to leave a comment or email me! Also, keep scrolling down to see details on how to enter my first Christmas giveaway! 🙂

– I originally set out to make October the month where I don’t buy anything new…umm, epic fail! I bought a few new things for my little man (shopping haul here) and also for myself as sadly my mat leave is ending soon and I thought I should buy a few new things for my first week back at work.
– visited a few eateries for the first time and also ate at some old favourites! (a local favourite, see here , a variety of new places I’d never been before ranging from Indian cuisine to American style chicken and burgers!
– we took Baby D to his first ever Melbourne Show and I had such a great time I wrote a massive post on it – photo heavy! See here.
– we had lots of nice and quiet family time and walked to the lake every time the sun was out so Baby D could feed the ducks! #itsthesimplethings
– Baby D spent some quality time with both sets of grandparents 🙂
– I attended the 6th annual AHC Dance competition this year not as a competitor but as a volunteer and it was so amazing to see life backstage and all the talented dancers live their passions on the stage at the prestigious Crown Casino venue, The Palms (blog post coming soon)
– I spent some time with Baby leisurely strolling through Melbourne city and South Melbourne visiting little boutiques and eateries
– celebrated lots of birthdays and had a few mothers group get togethers 🙂
– attended a few bloggers events, see here and here
– And finally yesterday, after a week of rehearsals, we took part in a proposal flash mob gig complete with dancing, beautiful log-stemmed roses, a percussionist ensemble, a curious Bourke street mall crowd, a film crew and a very much in love and most organised groom-to-be I’ve ever met! It was a success – she said YES! <3

The Urban Ma shops UniHill FO bargains The Urban Ma at Crown Metropol The Urban Ma blog jacqfruit at the RoyalMelbShow The Urban Ma blog in MelbourneThe Urban Ma 6th birthday party fairy themeThe Urban Ma blog at Crown Metropol The Urban MA blog jacqfruit The Urban Ma blog jacqfruit Brimbank Cairnlea lakes The Urban Ma blog nanna The Urban Ma blog mothers groupKstar ueg ahc2013The Urban Ma blog backstage at AHC The Urban Ma blog at Estellas The Urban Ma MishandaThe Urban Ma styling Daniel Flashmob proposal flashbmob


SMK The Urban Ma blog craft handmade SMK The Urban Ma blog sweets table SMK The Urban Ma blogSMK ootd The Urban Ma blog styling daniel

A Christmas Giveaway! – Santa’s Magical Kingdom, Melbourne, Burnley Oval.

Melbourne get ready to see a truly magical experience. Burnley Oval will be transformed into Santa’s Magical Kingdom this November and December. The magic of Christmas will come alive at Santa’s Magical Kingdom with an interactive walk-through adventure land including everything that you love about Christmas, plus a spectacular Christmas themed circus show that will amaze everyone. Enjoy an enchanting walk-through wonderland that includes regular snow falls, rides, amusements and a variety of Christmas activities including ginger bread decorating and Christmas sand art. And of course the day would not be complete without the jolly man himself; even Mrs Claus and Rudolph pay a visit!

Tickets include entry, gingerbread decorating, sand art, unlimited rides and access to the Magical Kingdom! Great family value! Tickets are $39.50 plus Ticketek charges. Kids under 3 years of age do not require tickets. To purchase tickets click here. Santa’s Magical Kingdom sold-out in 2012! Dont miss out and get your tickets now.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Giveaway Details!

WIN a family pass to Santa’s Magical Kingdom for Sunday November 17th, 11am 2013
TO ENTER
1) Share on Facebook, tweet on Twitter or repost on Instagram (use tags #smkgiveaway and #jacqfruit)
AND
2) Email theurbanma@hotmail.com with “SMK Giveaway” in the subject line and the following information:
– your name
– the age/s of your children/s
– where you have shared or reposted (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram)
Competition closes and winners will be drawn at random on Monday November 11th. The winner will be notified by email and must reply within 3 days otherwise another winner will be drawn. The family pass is not transferrable and is available for use on Sunday November 17th 2013 for the 11am session.

Good Luck!

SMK collage giveaway The Urban Ma blog

My first Christmas & New Year celebrations!


Happy New Year everybody! I am taking over mummy’s blog today because she has been so busy lately that I noticed she has not posted anything here for you.I got a bit too excited about my first Christmas & New Year’s celebrations that there are a few more photos than usual! I am sure you all do not mind 🙂


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my first acting gig lol!!IMG_9749IMG_9771 image (1)

my great grandma!!IMG_9797IMG_9810

Christmas was all about family 🙂 It was so nice to see that everywhere people were celebrating this special time of year with their mummy’s and daddy’s, brothers and sisters etc (Mummy thinks that I am not paying attention when she is on the laptop and thinks that I sit there just sucking my hand, but I am really checking out what she is looking at on these websites called Facebook and Twitter hehehe!).

This Christmas I was so lucky to meet and spend time with all my aunties and uncles and grandparents and great grandparents! I was also very lucky to receive so much love, cuddles, kisses and presents from everyone. I think mummy and daddy thoroughly enjoyed opening my presents this first Christmas.Everyone keeps saying Christmas is all about me now! Heheheh! I was trying to be a good boy for mummy and daddy by sleeping lots during Christmas eve so that they could eat and hang out with their cousins and aunties. But by the next day, Christmas day, I was quite tired and cried a little bit when we went to see Daddy’s side. It did not seem to matter because everyone still wanted to hold me and carry me and hug me 🙂 I feel so happy! 🙂

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round fruits for New Year’s eve!IMG_0400IMG_0405

Mummy & Daddy took me outside to see the fireworks! – our first family pic of 2013

Mummy and Daddy spent NYE at home with me and all their friends came over to celebrate too! It was so noisy outside with the neighbours bringing in the new year and people setting off some huge firework things! I was excited too but by the time it was midnight it did not matter how loud the festivities got, I just went straight to sleep because I had had a big day that last day of 2012 (mummy and daddy were cleaning and shopping and doing lots of prep for the night time guests!).

drunknye greeting

Overall it was just the best holiday time ever! I got up to a few things: I got to play Baby Jesus during the kids Christmas mass, I was able to “party” with mummy and daddy during their new year’s celebrations, I did a massive poo explosion on Christmas day which is why you see me naked in one of the photos!

I hope all of you had a memorable Christmas and New Year’s with your families and friends! I sure did!! 🙂

Baby D

Backseat Selfies

Mummy selfiePooface Daniel with Santa

Last, last week mummy and daddy took me to get my first ever photo with Santa. Mummy seemed to be very happy with daddy’s workplace for organising free Santa photos for staff members and their children! Daddy seemed very proud too! I met daddy’s boss and she was really lovely and kind!

On the way to daddy’s work mummy and I got busy taking selfies while daddy made his way through the morning Westgate traffic. Mummy kept taking photos of me as she thought I was making some “Zoolander” face? I’ve never heard of such a thing as “Blue Steel” – I was merely doing my poo’s. Mummy seemed to love it though so I kept it up for her lol!! I thought she was making me rehearse for my photoshoot with Santa but when we got there it was just the normal front portrait shot – no posing or fancy lighting or action shots…so here you see they got me whilst yawning! 😀

I hope you are all having fun preparing for Christmas and enjoying spending time with your families! Go easy in the shopping centres when present shopping and don’t forget to watch out for the mummies with prams!! – if it gets too much of  hassle to shop with us babies then they might leave us at home! 😉

Baby D

Christmas DIY – Personalized Stockings!


felt

DIY materialsStockingsFinished DIY stockings

felt letter cut-outs, craft scissors, different coloured felt, stockings from the Reject Shop and Spotlight, photo ledge from Ikea, the finished product!

I have always wanted to hang a row of stockings in my house but never had a fireplace or mantelpiece to do so. So this year hubby got his handyman on and put up some photo shelves that we can use to display all sorts of things including our personalized Christmas stockings!

Easy DIY Personalized Christmas Stockings 

You will need:

– a pair of quality craft scissors

– a pen or chalk

– double-sided tape

– plain Christmas stockings (from the Reject Shop or Spotlight)

– felt in the colour of your choice

Step 1: Draw the outline of the letters on the felt with a pen or dressmaking chalk

Step 2: Use your scissors to cut out the letters

Step 3: Stick the double sided sticky tape onto the back of your felt letters. Then peel of the other side of the tape and attach them to the ready-made stockings. (I bought 3 stockings from Spotlight and cut the pom-pom’s off them so that I could use the green space for our names. I bought the last stocking from the Reject shop for our dog’s stocking. It was very plain so I also cut paw prints out of felt – I think I made them a bit too big because they look like bear paws instead of a puppy’s paws! LOL!!).

And that’s it! Easy DIY Christmas stockings!

I wanted to personalize them even further by decorating the stockings with more shapes for example a treble clef sign on my stocking, a pair of headphones for hubby’s and a little car for baby’s! But for now our names will have to do as the days seem to get busier and busier.

They are so colourful and I like how they brighten up our lounge room!

What other Christmas decorations do you like to put up around the house?