Amelia Magazine Available for Subscription!

Here we come, 2017! It's going to be packed full of great, 'girly' fun, and we hope you'll join us to share in it all!

It's our second year in print and we have loads of fantastic articles, craft, activities and ideas in store for the new year!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Getting ready for 2017!

We're getting all ready for a new year! After much frustration getting images the right size, LOOK! We've updated our blog! I'm loving it's fresh, summery feel.

I think, and if you were to ask the girls they'd agree - the photo shoot for this photo was the best one we've done! It's been such a privilege to see these girls grow into young women over the years, and what a blessing they've been to our magazine.

Be sure to sign up to have updates go straight to your email so you can keep your finger on the pulse here at AMELIA. We have insights into our plans for 2017 as well as an annual, prayerful dedication for AMELIA with our staff and regular contributors.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10 - Pomander of Spice

Do you have a house full of lanterns glowing their Christmas lights?! Hope you had fun making them. Did you decorate them with pencils or textas?

Today, I have something that I used to make with my mother to hang in the cupboard to keep the moths away and help the clothes to smell nice. They make a great little present, too! You could make them tag-team style – sometimes little fingers get sore!

Here’s how simple it is: tie ribbon around the orange and make a loop for it to hang from. Pin it in place. Poke the cloves into the skin of the orange – all over! You might find you need to pierce the skin with a skewer first.

Some people preserve these with more spices and orris root powder, but as a kid, we never did. Although it won't last for years, it will still be nice and fragrant for a couple of months! I wonder how long Mary kept the presents that the wise men gave Jesus?

These could make a quick and lovely gift, or place them in a bowl on the table to fill the room with its sweet scent! A bit like you, with all the Christmas joy you are bringing to your little corner of the world, sweetening with a beautiful aroma!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9 - Christmas House Lantern

I could imagine that as Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there were lights shining from inside all the houses. And, when I think of a traditional, Victorian Christmas, I think of the soft glow of light shining out of those quaint little houses.

So, we couldn’t help but make a cute little house that can shine its Christmas glow!

Simply print off this printable here onto light card, cut out on the cutting line, join the sides and tabs with glue, then glue on the extra decoration!

Pop a little battery-operated tea-light candle inside so it can shine out the windows! You could maybe make a whole row of these little houses, or draw on your own details.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8 - Spicey Wise Men Gift

Seeing the star, the wise men, who had studied the prophecies, set out to find the newborn King. Among their belongings and supplies were gifts to give the King. These were gifts given to those of royal birth. Can you remember what they were? Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Some believe these gifts had special significance: gold for His kingship, frankincense for His priestly role and myrrh for His embalming when He died. The wise men must have been so excited to finally find the King they had searched for. Have you found The King? Are you excited about it? Don’t you want to share that joy with someone else?

We all know what gold is! Frankincense and myrrh are both resins from trees. You might not be able to give these as a gift to someone else, but you can give them a gift of spices!

Put together in a jar:
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of whole cloves
A few star anise
2 whole nutmeg
Some dried ginger
1 Tablespoon cardamom pods

Spices need to be heated to release their aroma, so to fill your house with the smell of Christmas, place the contents of the jar into a saucepan, cover with water and heat to a simmer.

This would make a great gift – simple and easy!

‘… they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.’ Matthew 2:9-11

Monday, 19 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7 - Gingerbread Man Ornament

Gift-giving doesn’t need to be expensive or something large. I think some of the nicest gives are the ones that are hand-made. Here’s a simple little one that would be easy to make a number of at one time. Great for friends, teachers, Sabbath School leaders or to decorate your Christmas tree with.

Make a batch of your favourite gingerbread recipe and cut out little gingerbread men.

While they’re baking in the oven, get a clear, plastic ornament (you can find some in craft stores, or we picked this one up in the after-Christmas sales last year!). If you have one like ours, carefully cut almost completely around it with a stanley knife (only an adult should do this) – leaving a bit connected to act as a hinge. Glue some string or ribbon to tie it closed with, and then decorate the cut edge on one side.

Use the recipe below to make some royal icing. Place the royal icing in a piping bag, and decorate the gingerbread man – give him a face, some hands and feet, even some buttons!

Once the icing is dry, place a large amount of it in the bottom of the ornament and stand the gingerbread man in it. You may need to hold him there (or prop him up) until the icing is nearly set.

And there you have it! A little gingerbread man gift! And as you give this gift, think of how the wise men brought their gifts to baby Jesus.

Tomorrow, you'll need some whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and a jar!

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6 - Movie Night!

It’s become tradition in our home to have a movie night on Saturday night. Last night, though, we were involved in a big Christmas concert so we’re doing it tonight instead! And it’s worked out well – I think I might be rather tired after just getting through the last week of school and a concert!

And, Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching at least ONE soul-lifting, joyful Christmas movie! So, today, why not plan to watch a movie together tonight!

What movie will you watch? The top of my Christmas movie list is always White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. After watching them I’m left with a sense of Christmas, maybe some tears (!) and a happy, joyful soul – remembering what Christmas should be about – sharing love and family – not about getting what’s on your Christmas list.

Add a special touch to the night and make some donut popcorn (see recipe below) and spiced hot chocolate (just add a pinch of cinnamon and make the hot chocolate with hot milk instead of water for a smooth, creamy hot chocolate!).

After (or during!) the movie, have a chat about how you can bring those same Christmas feelings of joy to those around you. Jesus was born to bring joy – to show us the wonders of heaven. Share the joy around this Christmas.

'I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.' John 15:11

12 Days of Christmas - Day Five - The Christmas Story

You can’t possibly go through Christmas without reading the story of the first, most wonderful Christmas, when Jesus was born! I don’t know about you, but it gets me teary every time I read it!

So, snuggle up with your precious girl and have a read. You could take turns reading, or let her pick a person in the story and read what they said while you narrate the rest. Really try to imagine what it was like back then, think about what might have been happening in heaven (how joyous those angels would have been!).

The story is found in Matthew 1:18-2:12 and Luke 2:1-20. Or find a book that tells the story with beautiful pictures.

Talk about it afterwards. What does the story change in your life? How does it make you feel?

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given … And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6

Friday, 16 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4 - RANDOM ACTS OF CHRISTMAS

Are you ready to bring a Christmas spirit to your little corner of your neighbourhood?! Today’s activity isn’t a craft – it’s a random act of Christmas! Here are some ideas, or you might come up with some ideas of your own!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day 3 - Snowflake Pom Pom

How did your snowflakes turn out yesterday? What have you done with them? Did you save some for today?
Today, we’re going to turn some of those lovely snowflakes into a pom-pom. And it’s so easy you’ll be making piles of them in no time! And, having great mummy-daughter time together – there’s something about busy hands in company that makes way for comfortable deep and meaningfuls!

  • All you need to do for your pom-pom is make two stacks of six snowflakes.
  • Push a split pin through the centre of one stack and spread it open about halfway on the back of the stack. Do the same with the other stack.
  • Starting at the top of one stack, pull the first snowflake up gently and give it a bit of a squeeze around the centre. Pull up the second snowflake and do the same, but don’t squeeze quite so tight. Then do the same for the third.
  • Flip the stack over and repeat for the remaining 3 snowflakes.
  • Do that all again with the second stack.
  • Now, imagine you are going to create a cross-shape with the two stacks (with them turned on their sides).
  • Tie some string around the split pin in the middle of one stack, then around the split pin of the other stack. Leave the tail of string to use for hanging.
  • Fluff out the snowflakes so the pom-pom looks like a ball.
Isn’t it pretty?! And just think, each one of the snowflakes there is beautiful just because there is not another single one like it!

There’s a splendour in this collection of unique snowflakes, that reminds me of groups of friends, or families or communities. Each snowflake is important in bringing its unique qualities to add to the beauty of the group. Much the same way that you do.

God loves you so much He made you unique. And He wants to see your beauty shine out when you are with others. Could your Christmas present to God this year, be you shining your individual uniqueness, adding to the beauty around you, to make the world a brighter place?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day Two - PAPER SNOWFLAKES

Do you remember doing these? There are just some things that are so simple, yet are still fun to do years later, and this is one of them!
  • Take a piece of paper cut into a square.
  • Fold it in half, then like a pie slice into thirds (this gives a true snowflake look!). Then in half again.
  • Cut shapes out of the folded edges – keeping in mind that you are cutting out only half of the shape.
  • Open it out, and there you have it! A beautiful, unique snowflake!
Pretty it up with a touch of glitter or glitter glue on the edges.
Fill a window with them taped to the glass (or use blu-tac), or hang them from your ceiling!
Here’s a hint: save some for tomorrow, as well – you’ll need at least 12 the same size!
Did you know that each snowflake is unique. There is not one that is the same as the other. So, why does God love you so much that He would send Jesus to be born here that first Christmas? One reason is that He made you. He made you as the only one of you ever to exist. And He has made you for a reason. Be that reason this Christmas. Put your passions, interests and talents to the best use you can. Others will see that spark in you and you’ll make a Christmas difference in the world around you!
'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!' Psalm 139:13,14

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas - Day One- Washi Tape Card

'I'm dreamin' of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write ...' It's one of those classic Christmas songs, isn't it? I love it!  And it's so true - we associate Christmas with cards. Here's a simple start to our 12 Days of Christmas - a little washi tape card!

Take some cardboard and cut to size. You could make a flat card, or a folded one.

Cut a strip of washi tape and trim one end as you would trim the end of a ribbon, with a little 'v'.

Place the tape on the cardboard - don't worry about it going over the edge.
Add a couple more strips of washi tape.
Trim the washi tape at the edge of the card.

Hot glue buttons on the end of the washi tape strips.

Why not listen to some Christmas music while you're making this. You could make a whole set of cards, ready to use when you think of who to send them to. Use this card to let someone know how much you appreciate them.

Christmas is all about love. It started with God’s love for us. He loved YOU so much, that He did all He could do to make sure YOU can spend eternity with HIM. He gave up His own son, to come and live here. Jesus was born, just like you and me, but He lived out His life showing us just what God is like. He loved all those around Him. And He did all He could do to show that love. Christmas is a celebration of the greatest love we could ever experience.

At Christmas time we make the most of this opportunity to let people know we're thinking of them, or to catch up and let them know what we've been up to. But we can also turn this into a time to bring real heart-joy to someone by telling them how much they mean to us. Share some of the love of Christmas - the love of Jesus, by making someone feel special and cared for.

With your daughter, write a list of people you'd like to share Christmas joy with, and write your newly-made cards to them. You could even pop them in the post - we so rarely receive letters in the mail, it makes it kind of special when we do!

'Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.' 1 John 4:7

Monday, 12 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas Starts Soon!

Planning on joining us for our 12 Days of Christmas? We get started TOMORROW! Simply keep an eye out for a post here on our blog and facebook page. To make sure you don’t miss out, you can subscribe to our blog to have each post emailed to you!

To get ready for tomorrow, you might want to collect some plain cardboard, washi tape (Christmas style if you have some) or ribbon, button, scissors, hot glue and a hole punch.

Set aside some time so you’re not too distracted by other things, keep some table space clear and set up all that you’ll need ahead of time.

It's going to be great, Christmassy fun with the special girl in your life!