Saturday, 20 January 2018

Garden Adventures :: Happy Mail :: First Communion Work

We had a mammoth trip to the library on Thursday and Pip brought home thirteen books to read, one of which was an adventure book by Bear Grylls
This resulted in a rucksack packed and some garden adventuring in between the hail showers!



 Happy Mail

A whole heap of goodness arrived this morning:  a scrummy bag of yarn for a crocheted blanket, a book on post partum self care which I bought for Sara (despite its well known healthful properties I think she might bypass a placenta smoothie!), the girl and the dog card from my lovely friend Sue
and a tree ornament, Christmas card and much loved yearly newsletter from my dear friend, Eva 

First Holy Communion Work
Both Pip and Flora are making their First Holy Communion this year.  As always Eva is a massive support with home school resources and when I asked her for advice regarding resources she pointed me in the right direction!  Once I had begun my search I even found a really good resource in the UK and so I feel happy about supporting Pip through this milestone in her faith journey. 

















Monday, 8 January 2018

The First Day Back Is Always The Worst

I bet there was a groan of dismay around the UK today, as staff and students began the first day back.  Having home schooled for nine years I have learned (the hard way!) that it doesn't pay to jump in with a full schedule on the first day back.  So with that it mind I planned a series of academic activities interspersed with games and free time.  And it worked!  The grumbling on both sides receded and we managed to achieve a fair amount today.  Our reward for all that effort was some home made  scones, spiced Christmas tea and watching "Eloise at Christmastime."  Thanks Dorina and co for this film, it was such a joy to watch and I wish you could have seen or heard Pip roaring with laughter at the funny moments :-)

 These were served with butter and blackcurrant conserve.


Eloise at Christmastime Trailer
 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Birthday :: Christmas

Well, I managed to fall off the DPP wagon, I think the first time ever!  My heart wasn't really in it this year but then had a wobble and thought why not.  However as in all things, life had a different plan. And in between Ben being sick, Dave having a worrying MS wobble and me trying to do "all the things", it was no surprise that I flopped at the last hurdle :-)  Still that is OK and we have had a good holiday week.

Pip's Ninth Birthday

Pip celebrated her ninth birthday last Saturday.  As usual the day was spent with her best buddy Beth and they had fun making their own crackers, decorating cupcakes and generally hanging out with the toys and games.

 The birthday table all set and no I didn't manage to get to bed before the time my waters went (midnight).  In fact Dave and I finally crawled up the stairs around half past one!  The evening involved failed gingerbread houses and Christmas tree shenanigans as in "where on earth is it going to go?!!"



 8:39am and x marks the spot, birth time and place.


 The Christmas Tree all decked in its finery.  We have decided that next year the tree will be up and decorated on Gaudete Sunday.  It is too much organising a birthday event and tree decorating all within a 24 hour window.


 Decorating a cupcake requires a whole heap of concentration ;-)





  The birthday girl declared that the day was "the best day ever."  Who needs a full night's sleep anyway? ;-)

Christmas Eve

The day never changes and yet every year somehow I am always chasing my tail.  My oft repeated phrase is, " the only year that I was organised was the year that I was expecting Pip."  In that year all the presents were bought and wrapped by the October half term break and the Christmas cards written and sent by the first week in December.  I had to be organised, there was a baby on the way and ever since I have had a birthday to shop and plan for, two days before another big event!

This year I had a plan but the trouble with plans is that they often go awry.  My plan was to knit Christmas presents thoughout the year and so in the first week of January the wool and patterns were chosen for Kathryn, Sara and Tom.  What on earth could go wrong ... how about a new job, a health relapse that spanned eight weeks and the boy starting college!  In between all of that said boy begged for more handknitted socks and so I cast on "on all the things."

 My rather untidy bedroom with half wrapped presents, clean laundry and my knitting nook on the floor.


 A well deserved tea break and a few squares of mint chocolate.


 Ben knew about the Christmas socks as he caught me working on them and I couldn't keep a straight face when quizzed.  However he did not know about the purple, black and orange striped pair and I was chuffed to have kept these a secret.


These were my Dad's long overdue birthday socks.  I had already knit one pair and totally messed up with the sizing, as in they fit me! He was gifted these on Christmas day and they fit really well I am pleased to say.


 This wrapping paper represents the true spirit of Christmas. 

 In my lack of organisation, I realised late on Christmas Eve afternoon that I did not have enough paper.  I could not face the mayhem of the larger shops and so opted to visit a local Spar shop.  Hardly surprising they had ran out of wrapping paper but thankfully did have some plain parcel paper instead.  I was just about to pick up some sheets when a lady came up to me and said that she had some spare rolls of paper if that would help.  She lived nearby so we agreed to meet at the corner of her road.  She handed me the paper and I handed over a small box of chocolates as a thankyou.  I told her that what she did was the true spirit of Christmas.  I gave her a hug in thanks and wished her a Happy Christmas.  That lady really made my day.


Ben wearing his Christmas socks on Christmas day morning and they are still on his feet by the end of the week.  I have insisted that he at least change his socks for the New Year!

Christmas Day
 
We had arranged to spend the day with Kath and Mary-Grace.  The plan was to have lunch and a light tea at her house and both sets of Grandparents would visit at some point in the afternoon.  The extra special event was a last minute decision  to attend our home parish church for Christmas day mass.  My mum and dad certainly had a welcome surprise that day :-)
 
The crib on the right hand side of the altar at church.
 
 Smile please, in between the washing up and serving of the meal!
 
The meal, assorted vegetables, cashew nut roast and ham cooked by my dad.
 
 
 
 Sitting on one of Mary's toddler seats eating a rather delicious home made blackberry and apple crumble.
 
 
 
 Dad and Daughter



 One of the Christmas handknits a diamond cable jumper cowl neck jumper dress for Kath.  She sent me a picture of her wearing it on Boxing Day and she looked lovely in it.




 One of Mary's gifts was twin hatchimals, you had to rub its body to activate it hatching.  Sara many years ago had a Ferby, it drove us mad with the constant chattering!


 Looking pleased with her present although I do wonder if those creatures were in fact meant for someone slightly bigger ...



 ... looking equally pleased ;-)
  


 One of the highlights was watching the kids interact with their grandparents.  Family, a God given gift that money cannot buy.
 
 
If you have got to the bottom of this post then BRAVO!!  Go and make yourself a well earned cup of your favourite brew.
 
If you want to read about another set of gifts that you will definitely not find under the Christmas tree, then you might like to read my Christmas post over on the Mindfulness Website:
 
 
I hope that you have had a blessed Christmas and that God's blessing will be upon you in a very special way this forthcoming New Year.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

DPP Day Eleven And Twelve

Day Eleven ~ Wrapping

 Dave took charge in organising some of the present wrapping.  Yesterday was a really weird day.  Benedict's cough virus took hold and he spent most of the day coughing and spluttering in bed.  Thankfully his blood sugars have remained reasonable and for that I am grateful.

I also had an emergency dental treatment.  I chipped a hole in a tooth as a result of inadvertently biting onto a date stone!  The dental surgery were great in fitting me in last minute, what was not great was the adrenaline in the injection.  I had forgotten to mention that I react really badly to adrenaline and so spent the rest of the day feeling quite unwell.  A note has now been placed on my file for future reference.

Day Twelve ~ The Cat In The Bath

 Poppy was pretty epic this morning!  We all totally love that cat ;-)


 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

DPP :: All The Days!

Day Six ~ St Nicholas Day













Day Seven ~ Mum and Son Time

 A well deserved treat after a full day of maths and English including a comprehension test.  Regardless of the result, this was his first time in sitting a test and he is still smiling :-)


Day Eight ~ The First Batch Of Mince Pies


 Our home school friends came for lunch on Friday and so it was an excuse to indulge in some festive baking!


Day Nine ~ Flakes Of Snow


It didn't last but it kept the kids happy watching it fall.



Day Ten ~ Happy Feet


A coffee treat with my very dear long standing friend (of 34 years!) and avid reader of this blog.  As always Rondie, you never fail to cheer my spirits and it was just lovely to give you a great big hug :-)  Hope you have found somewhere nice to house the cyclamen x 

There is still ice on the ground and the temperature did not rise above 1C today.  It is Benedict's last week at college but he is currently dealing with a nasty cough and sore throat, so we will see how things pan out.  Although the college routine is great at setting the tone for the day, I will be glad not to have the commute over the next few weeks.  The challenge will be to keep my body clock in order otherwise I will be in a "pickle" come the New Year :-)

Happy Second Sunday Of Advent x 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

DPP Day Five: Decoration Woes

Missing a day already!  Never mind such is life ;-)  

 This girl - soon to be nine and all the changes that brings!  Life can be hard when you are at an in-between phase, feeling all the feelings and not quite big enough to strike out on your own.

She was frustrated that we do not have any Christmas decorations up and yet thet world and his wife seems to "party on dude!!"  And she also was priceless when she saw a mother and child carrying a "Santa Stop Here Sign"

Pip:  " Poor kid, they haven't even realised that it is their mum and dad that give the presents!"
Me:  " Oh that's interesting!  How did you reach that conclusion?"
Pip:  " Oh well, I didn't want to disappoint you but that letter from St Nicholas last year had writing that looked suspiciously like yours!"
Me:  "Well tomorrow is St Nicholas Day, so it will be interesting then to see what happens :-)"

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself.  Benedict was two years older than her before he finally asked me about Santa Claus.  As my nanna would have said, " That girl has been here before!"    

Sunday, 3 December 2017

DPP Day Three: Sock Knitting For Dad

Well after the debacle of knitting socks but in the wrong size since they fit me!  I have almost finished a long overdue pair of birthday socks for my dad, Yay :-)  Dad, I hope you will be happy with your socks and that they keep your feet toasty warm this winter :-)