Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Happy Lockdown Birthday, Bella!

Bella's birthday today!
Looks like Bella's family have been busy cooking up some tasty treats to celebrate, despite being in lockdown I'm sure you'll have an awesome day, Bella!
Lots of love and blessings from us all xxx

Sophia created a chocolate story for Bella:

Dear Bella,
You are such a fabulicious sister, with your curly wurly hair and pinky cheeks. This is your lockdown birthday, so make it extra special. A Turkish holiday would have been eggcellent, but not right now. You are such a smarty that you probably know where Mars is. Tomoro you twirl on the crunchie ground. Don't flake out with surprise when you see us eclipse you in a race. This lockdown life is a picnic.
Love from Sophia, Mum and Dad.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Chain Reaction Videos

Here are some chain reaction videos to get you inspired to enter our challenge!

The first one is from the O'Keefe family:

This one is from Izak:

And this one, from Team Koster:

Saturday, 4 April 2020

D.A.T. Palm Sunday Edition!

Hi there! Welcome to D.A.T. for Palm Sunday!

I've been super impressed by the number of you taking up the challenges during the week. Your creativity and enthusiasm is awesome! I'm sure we will all be putting on weight with all the amazing baking and cooking that's been happening!

Here is a short message from me for this week, and below you can find all the challenges. You can do one or two, or try the whole lot. You can enter multiple times. I am keeping a record of the winners, and prizes will be delivered when lockdown is over.

Keep smiling, washing your hands, and be kind to one another!


Let us pray:
Lord, I can't even count all the things I should praise You for - but I want to try! Please help me to remember to ring out your praises every day.

Here are some crafts and challenges you might like to try this week. Have a go at one, or more, send me a photo or video to be in with a chance to win a prize!

Click HERE to do this week's D.A.T. online QUIZ!

Be inspired by the video above... can you use rocks, pebbles, stones or anything else you have around your home to make a picture or video of a scene from the Palm Sunday story? You might like to create a picture of Jesus riding the donkey, or someone in the crowd. If you don't have any stones, see if you can improvise with other objects - Lego, or pegs, or draw a picture in a plate of sand. Use your imagination!

Re-create the crowd that was there, shouting "Hosanna!" as Jesus rode into town on a donkey. You could use members of your family, toys, teddy bears, Lego, pets, or draw a picture. You could make a chalk picture on your driveway or footpath. Take a photo or video of your 'Crowd' and send it to me!

You can interpret this any way you like! Either take a photo of you with a musical instrument, make a video of you or someone in your bubble playing a musical instrument... you could make your own musical instrument, sing a song, write a song... anything that celebrates the love of Jesus!

You might like to make a rock concert, using stones (or tin cans, or other objects around your house). Here is a link to a video of some percussionists making music on the ringing rocks in Pennsylvania.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your joyful sounds!

Using thin paper, fold it accordion style, then cut in half at a steep angle. Staple and fan out the pointy ends. An easier option is to draw around your hand (either on green paper or card, or colour it in). Put your palm frond onto a straw or iceblock stick.

I love this donkey, created from wooden pegs! Try making your own donkey. If you don't have pegs, you could use iceblock sticks, Lego, or draw one. Send me a photo!

Flax makes a great palm cross, but if you don't have any, try making one from cardboard or thick paper.

Be inspired by this selection of smiling faces... make your own smiling face in a creative way. I especially love the painted rocks, and the upside down face with googly eyes on the chin!

Our CHYPS Youth Group have been busy making chain reaction videos using marbles, dominoes, cards... and other objects around the house. Why not have a go at making your own awesome chain reaction video and share it with us? I'll post a couple of videos on the blog in the next day or so, to give you some inspiration. Have fun, and be joyful!

Email your entries to me,
and I'll do my best to put your photos/videos up on the blog for everyone to enjoy. Have fun!

Friday, 3 April 2020

Sewing Box Mandala

Thanks to Carol, for sending in this photo of her friend's sewing box mandala. Pretty cool!

Challenge Winners - Week 2

Congratulations to everyone who entered our Awesome Time Challenges during the week. I was so impressed by your talents and creativity!

Here are the winners of the challenges...

'Animal World' by Anaya

'Harvest Platter' by Sophia
Sophia created a beautiful crayon artwork for Harvest Festival, even studying artist Eric Carle to learn how to do shading. Anaya used pencils to create her amazing picture, titled 'Animal World'.

Mele's girls were the clear winners in the quiz based on the book, Red, with 100% correct. That must have been a combination of great listening and awesome teamwork! Jack and Sophia tied for second place. Congratulations!

The Master Chef Challenge was sooooo difficult to judge! In the end, we were so impressed with Sophia's two-course meal she cooked for her family, complete with menus! Sophia even made the pizza dough from scratch. Dylan's cooking video was fabulous too, if you haven't seen it yet do check it out HERE! Esther's afghan cookies looked delicious - I only wish I could have tasted them! Well done to you all, and to everyone who has been cooking or baking up a storm in the kitchen.

The vege characters were awesome, all of them! In the end, Brian the Broccoli won first place, because he looked like he had oodles of character, and we loved the alliteration used in his name. Well done, 'Emeline!

Keep an eye on the blog for new challenges, coming very soon!

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Esther's Kitchen

Esther has been very busy, baking my favourite biscuit (afghans!) for her family. They look so good... I can almost taste them! Great job, Esther!

Esther making afghans.
Pic 1: Cutting the butter
Pic 2: Rolling up the cookie dough
Pic 3: Cracking walnuts

Sadly, when Esther went to ice the biscuits, she found there was no icing sugar left in the cupboard! I'm sure they were still delicious!

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

More creativity!

Here is another vegetable character, this one from Sophia. And below, a mandala from one of our more 'experienced' Awesome Kids, Carol :o)  Some wonderful celebrations of Harvest Festival.

Sophia's vegetable person
Carol's mandala

Learn something new!

Bored? Why not learn something new?!

I have found it really interesting watching the sign language interpreters during Jacinda's addresses on T.V. (I have learnt two new signs in New Zealand Sign Language!)

Go to https://www.nzsl.nz/ and share your favourite 'sign' with us





Monday, 30 March 2020

The perfect day for a blanket house...

Our youth group members are currently working on their next photo challenge... to build a blanket house or box house, and take a picture of it.

I'm inviting all our Awesome Kids to also take up this challenge... it's a great day for blanket-house building!

Cooking with Dylan

Dylan made some marvellous meringues for his family. He even created this step by step video for you, so you can make them too! Watch out for the special guest, Bruce, in the video!

Sophia's Restaurant

Sophia treated her family to a beautiful home-cooked meal last night. She created a menu for each member of her family, made pizzas from scratch (including the bases!) and a delicious looking dessert to finish! Wow! 

Can I book a table at your restaurant Sophia, in say, four weeks or so?

Sophia's Menu

The chef, hard at work.

Hungry diners, waiting in anticipation!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vegetable Characters!

 Congratulations to the creators of our first vege characters! These are so cool!

From left to right we have...

1. Hanging in the window we have Tevunga's creation (named Pumpkin)
2. Also made by Tevunga, this one is called Ellie (and is sister to Pumpkin)!
3. This broccoli person is made by Peatalisa
5. I love the hairdo on Peatalisa's creation, named Rosanna
4. 'Emeline's creation is called 'Brian the Broccoli'!

And below, we have our first entry in the crayon art challenge... Sophia has drawn a Harvest Festival Platter, with all her favourite fruits!

Very impressive girls, now... what are you all cooking for dinner tonight? 😀

Drawing by Sophia

Saturday, 28 March 2020

D.A.T. #2 Camp Service & Harvest Festival

Hi there Awesome Kids and Hot Chocolate Club! Welcome to this week's D.A.T. (Digital Awesome Time)!

Hope you are well and looking after one another.

This Sunday was supposed to be our Camp Service and Harvest Festival. So today we will celebrate both of those things, and there will be some challenges for you to do at home with your family - and the chance to be in to win prizes too!

Check out the video message below.

WATCH and listen to Mel read 'RED, A Crayon's Story', with a message from Rev Anne:

The crayon, ‘Red’ had pressure from every side to be something that he wasn’t. There were lots of tears, and lots of anxiety and lots of trying, but he couldn’t be what everybody wanted. And do you know, that each and every one of us is a bit like that.
God has made us in a special way and God says ‘you are beautifully and wonderfully made’ and you need to find out who the true and real you is inside, and to be that person, no matter what anybody else says, to remember that you are made and deeply loved by God, and to find out who God wants you to be and what God wants you to do.


Make a drawing or artwork using crayons. If you don't have crayons at home, pencils or felts are fine too.

Make an animal or character out of vegetables. Take a photo and email it to me.

Make a meal for your family. Take a photo, including the menu, and email it to me.

How much of the story can you remember? (You might have to go back and watch the video again).

From Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones

When a riverboat needs to go up a hill, it navigates through a lock (which is basically a staircase for boats). The boat enters a sealed chamber. Gradually, the water level is raised, lifting the boat up, until the water inside is at the same level as the river ahead. The gates open and the boat continues on.

But from the boat entering the lock - you can't see the river ahead. It looks like a dead end!

And the Bible says we can't see everything God is doing in our lives either. But what looks like a dead end, is really God lifting you up. Because there are no dead ends with God. Only new beginnings in disguise.

I think this is really fitting at the moment. Lots of things have closed, we are 'locked in', we can't do many of the fun activities we are used to. It's hard to see the way ahead. But in this time of dead ends and closed doors... how about we look for new beginnings? There are so many awesome things starting up and people showing amazing creativity and kindness right now. Let's celebrate that, and let God lift us up and move us to take up a new challenge, be creative, show kindness and love to others. 

Love and blessings,

...and the WINNERS are...

Announcing the winners of the Digital Awesome Time Challenges for last week:

Well done to everyone who entered! It was pretty tough to judge... remember there are some new competitions out there for this week, so do give those a go.

CHYPS Photo Challenge | Letterbox Edition

CHYPS (Chapel Street Young People's YOUTH GROUP) have been having a Photo Challenge. The first challenge was to take a photo of something interesting on your letterbox.

We had some awesome entries... definitely some surprising objects appearing on top of letterboxes. I wonder what the neighbours thought?!

The winner of the inaugural CHYPS PHOTO CHALLENGE is...
B E L L A!

Bella created the perfect hideaway home for her Sylvanian Family toys in their letterbox!

More mandalas!

I love these mandalas, sent in by Carol, made by a friend of hers, Sophia. Thanks for sharing - they are beautiful!

Water Glass Music by Sophia

Awesome music from Sophia - even with vocals! A very original version of 'Here Comes the Sun' - great job, Sophia!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Anne's mandala

Thanks Anne, for sharing your stunning mandala. Did you make the cookies yourself, I wonder?

Anaya's mandala!

Check out this incredible mandala, created by Anaya, using rabbits, hatchimals and shoes!

Very creative!

FISH: Family Fun Night | Lockdown Edition No.1

Welcome to the online version of FISH! Grab your family members and get together for an 'at-home' family fun night!

Here are some games and challenges for you to try.

At camp, we searched for forks which had been hidden earlier by Dave and myself. You could try this at home. Take turns to hide a number of forks around the house, and give the rest of the family a time limit to try and find them. The person who finds the most gets to have a turn at hiding them next time.

Using a plastic fork (if you have one, or otherwise see if you're allowed to borrow one from the kitchen drawer), turn the fork into the character Forky from Toy Story. If you don't have googly eyes or pipe cleaners, you could make eyes and arms from paper. Be creative!

Email your photo of Forky to me and I'll post it to the blog. There will be a prize for the best Forky!

Here's a clip from the movie, introducing Forky:

Give your family a jumbled up word and see if they can figure out what it is. Here's one from me...

You can enter online by clicking on the jumbled letters below:

Separate your group into two even teams and have them stand in two separate lines facing the opposite group. 

1) The players at the opposite ends of each line are opponents. They will step out of the lines, so they are facing each other and looking down the middle of the two rows (like an old cowboy shoot-off).

2) They will both say, “Hagoo” and start to walk down the row toward each other.

3) They must not break eye contact and the object is to get to the opposite end of the line without laughing or smiling.

4) When the players pass each other, they must continue to maintain eye contact.

If a person does break eye contact, laughs, or smiles, they then must join the end of the line of the opposing team.

The teams can do or say any silly things to make the opposing player crack up, but they must be careful not to make their own player lose concentration. The teams may NOT touch another player. This process will continue until everyone has had a turn. The team with the most players at the conclusion of the game, wins.

Hope you have fun with these activities... let me know how you get on! 

Happy Lockdown Birthday, Bella!

Bella's birthday today! Looks like Bella's family have been busy cooking up some tasty treats to celebrate, despite being in lock...