Friday, December 15, 2006

BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes

I was so excited all those months ago when Boomama announced that there was going to be a Christmas tour of homes. I LOVED the original tour, I think that I managed to see 95 % of all the wonderful homes. This is a link to my first tour of homes, where my home was tidy and not filled to the rim with boxes! I love my home, we knew the instant we stepped in the door that it was the house for us, see here for more photos.
I had so many wonderful plans of how I could show you all what Christmas is like in Sunny Brisbane, Australia..........BUT that was before we found out about our BBBIIIIGGGGG move ! We are moving to Jakarta, Indonesia in 4 weeks and still having our entire family from both sides for Christmas day. (You can read about it here, and here and here)

But, as most of our home looks like this......

and this.....

and more of this.....

I am doing a bit of cheating, I am using a mix of photos from the present and the past.

Christmas 2003, note the play pen around the tree to protect all the decorations from a crawling Ben

Christmas eve 2004

Photo for Christmas cards, 2002

Photo for Christmas cards 2003

Photo for Christmas cards 2004

Photo for Christmas cards 2005

Unfortunately I cant get the same template for this year, so I have created a montage for 2006 Christmas cards.
Christmas 2006 photo

As we are moving to a predominately Muslim country, I have gone a bit overboard with decorations to take with us. I hope to be able to recreate the excitement, meaning and joy of Christmas for the children in a country that doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Our first Nutcracker with Santa

Our newly decorated current tree, It is a riot of colour and glows magnificently at night when the lights are on.


Our Nativity scenes, I was going to arrange all the figures perfectly and then realise that it wouldn't show what it is really like. The kids all play with Baby Jesus, bring the reindeer's over to meet the 3 wise men and let the carollers sing everyone off to sleep. They all spend hours role playing and retelling the story of baby Jesus

Reindeer and snow globes

Our wreath, we couldn't have and fresh wreaths in Queensland's summer, it would wilt and rot within hours.

Our carolers

Our current tree with even more decorations

Our family room tree, this one gets moved around a lot. If someone is extra special good, they even might get to have it in their bedroom for a night!

This is a wonderful tradition that we started a few years ago, we have a family portrait in the pool on Christmas day. I have all these prints enlarged and framed in 11x14" size and on the wall. It perfectly captures Christmas in Brisbane.

Pool 2002

pool 2005

pool 2005

pool 2005

Here is another Christmas tradition, the BBQ on the deck.

School teacher Christmas pressies.
I have finally worked out the perfect presents for teachers. We create a box of goodies:- mini champagne, home made shortbread with recipe, mini chocolates, 2 pretty tree decorations and 2 crackers.

This is the recipe for the BEST EVER shortbread

GJ’s Very Special Shortbread

2½ cups of Plain Flour
¾ cups of Sugar
250gms of Butter (not margarine)
1 pinch of Salt

Combine softened butter and sugar in a bowl.
Cream mixture with electric beater until it changes colour from yellow to nearly white
(Can take several minutes!!!!! This is the important part)

Once creamed add sifted flour and salt to form a dough.
Roll in to balls the size of 20-50cent pieces
Place on baking paper and flatten to 10-12mm with the back of a fork (allow a little room for expansion)
Bake in pre-heated oven 150 deg until light golden brown. ENJOY

I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas tour, please feel free to drop in any time. It has been a pleasure showing you around, next year I will be having an exciting adventure and look forward to sharing that with you too!


Adventures In Babywearing said...

How awesome to be in a pool on Christmas Day! Great job for having to improvise on decorations this year!

ihmyours said...

I truly enjoyed the tour of your Christmassy home, boxes and all! lol I can't believe how wonderful you did posting with such a BIG move! The tree is lovely but I just loved your family photo Christmas cards. What a nice looking family! Have a wonderful and safe move! :)

Sarakastic said...

I am so jealous of your Christmas. Thanks for making me smile, Indonesia is lucky to have you

thehomespunheart said...

Thank you for your gracious hospitality! I enjoyed my tour! Merry Christmas!

Laurel Wreath said...

Oh Jen, I love all the pictures. Pictures of past and present. I know you must be real busy. When exactly to you move (I forget)?

I pray you have a wonderful Christmas.


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Thank you so much for the tour. It's amazing to see how much your children have grown with each card. Have a very blessed Christmas and an easy move!

Mama Duck said...

Oh wow, I love it all!! What a great idea for photos and cards! All we've gotten decorated around here is the Christmas tree, yipes!

Heather said...

Thanks for the tour and for the recipe. My Grandma is Scottish and I'll have to make it for her. Your pictures are lovely! Best wishes for a successful move and Merry Christmas!

crickl's nest said...

congrats on your new home! It looks lovely!

I loved all the family pictures and ornaments pics. Hope you get settled in soon!

Susie said...

You've done a great job sharing your Christmas traditions in the midst of having to pack for a huge move.
Your children are adorable!
Merry Christmas!!

Overwhelmed! said...

What a fantastic tour you gave us all! Wow, you're moving to Jakarta, Indonesia! How exciting!

I love your box of goodies for teachers. When Snuggle Bug starts school, I'll have to remember this idea. Thanks for the shortbread recipe.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and see my 2006 Christmas Tour of Homes decorations! I do appreciate it!

Merry Christmas to you!

Owlhaven said...

Great house-- how very fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by my place!

Tammy said...

How fun to visit your home in Australia! I love those charming pictures and traditions!
Hope you can stop by my place, if you can...
Good luck with all those moving boxes! :)

Mrs. B said...

I love your tree that is a "riot of color"-it's beautiful.

Thank you for sharing your home. We'll be shivering here on Christmas while you are in your pool!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

BooMama said...


I'm putting in my vote for Christmas '07 in Australia.

Thanks for sharing your pictures - old and new - with us. Great seeing how the other side of the world celebrates!

Mommy Dearest said...

Good luck with your move! My girls like your snowglobes. :-)

DK said...

Thank you for posting these photos and sharing your Christmases with us! Your decorations are gorgeous - if you find you need more once you are in Indonesia, just send out a bloggy SOS - We'll all send you something Christmassy! Have a wonderful weekend,

Susanne said...

Lovely tree and I love all your decorations! Christmas day in the pool. Gotta love that!

Mississippi Girl said...

I LOVE your tree!! And all those pictures are just precious. You have a beautiful family!
Jennifer R.

Mrs. U said...

What a fun tour of your home!! I LOVE hearing about Christmas there!!! Thank you for opening your home!

Mrs. U

Anniesue said...

How impressive that you were able to post so many wonderful things while in the process of moving! I really enjoyed the pictures through the years. Thanks for sharing!

PastorMac's Ann said...

Wow what a great tour! Your home is so Christmas filled even with the impending move. Love your little tree that can travel around the house. My kids would love having a chance at a Christmas tree in their room at night. Thanks for inviting us in and thanks too for the recipe. Yum.

Blessings for Christmas.

palmtreefanatic said...

Very nice home!
thanks for sharing
come on over and see mine!

Susie said...

This was a total joy to read and see. So different from all the other tours. I pray your move goes well and are blessed at your new residence.

Kelli said...

What a fun tour!! Thank you for sharing photos of years past...I love the little dwarfs all around the presents..that is so cute! Good luck with your big move!!

Karen F. said...

Thanks for sharing so much!
Love, love, love the pics of you in the pool on Christmas each year!
Blessings to you and your family as you prepare to move.
~Karen @

MommaB said...

Wow! What a beautiful post and in the midst of moving! Lovely family and traditions!

Thanks so much for the tour!

Sprittibee said...

Lovely post. I enjoyed seeing the other side of the world at Christmas! ;)

orgjunkie said...

Wow that is quite a move you have on your hands...I hope it all goes well for you. Thanks for sharing all those great pictures. Laura (org junkie)

Chris said...

I love the progression of Christmas cards. Very cool idea!
And Christmas in the that is awesome!
Thanks for having us over.

Merry Christmas!

Jen3 @ Amazing Trips said...

I was told there would be Christmas cookies at this tour ... are there still cookies available?? :)

Ah, I can just feel the warmth of your Christmas pasts and present - regardless of where you are!

May you have the most wonderful of holidays with your beautiful family & a year full of much love, good health and cheer.

Jay said...

Gorgeous pictures -- strange how although our Christmasses are nothing alike this post still made me feel all warm and glowing and Christmassy!

PEA said...

Here in Northern Ontario we always have cold and snow for Christmas so the thought of being able to spend the day in a pool sounds so very lovely! lol Loved seeing your pictures from Christmases past and now...your children are just adorable!! Good luck with the move! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xox

on the Rock said...

A lovely yet bitter-sweet tour! I'm sure the next place you move too will just as stunning! Merry Christmas and safe travels!

e-Mom said...

Shortbread... my favourite! I loved all your family photos. And it was interesting to see how you celebrate Christmas in Australia in the summer! I pray your big move to Indonesia is successful.

dcrmom said...

What a lovely tour! Love the pool photos. Merry Christmas!

Carol said...

I love your carolers!!!

I moved one year in December. While eight months pregnant. And had my entire family coming for Christmas. With God's help, I managed to get it all done. So, I totally empathize with what you're going through.

Merry Christmas!

Barbara H. said...

Thanks for the tour -- you will be one busy person in the next few weeks! I love the idea for your teacher presents. And moving the smaller Christmas tree around to the bedroom of someone who has been extra-good is such a wonderful tradition!

Thanks for having us over!

Big Mama said...

I love the idea of the pool and barbecue on Christmas day!

Hope the move goes well.

Anonymous said...

Have fun in Indo, and dont worry, xmas is everywhere in Jkt, dont forget there is a very big indo-chinese community who are predominately Christian, thus all the malls etc are very big on xmas decorations, santa, carols, etc etc.

Devi said...

Merry Christmas to you & your family! Happy holiday! ;)