Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas

The day didn't start too early and despite the fact that, Pip is full of a nasty cold and teething, we actually made it through till 7am before she woke proper.  This is her first real experience of Christmas, since last year she was barely two days old and it was lovely watching her unwrap her present from St Nicholas:

"What can this be?"

" Need to take a closer peek, help please mummy"

A Sunday Bunny with his own bible, just right for keeping me entertained in church.

Benedict woke an hour later than Pip and here he is opening his stocking.

The house was fairly peaceful at this point as he hadn't realised there were other presents under the tree!!

After a breakfast of scrambled egg, toast and fruit and for some chocolate!!  The present unwrapping began in earnest.  Pip still found the whole experience slightly bemusing:

"Another thing to explore?"

"It sure looks fun though!"

" These stacking bowls are great Nanna and Grandad thanks very much"

Benedict playing with the Stylophone that Sara bought, James May would've been proud!

Sara and Dad tucking into the Christmas meal: roast potatoes and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrot and swede, cashew nut roast with sage and onion stuffing and vegetable gravy.

The Head Chef having a well deserved sit down!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Cooking

Sara and I were peeling veg in the early hours, listening to Christian radio and in my case babywearing a poorly babe.  During the course of the day all the veg was cooked as well as two nut roasts and a parsnip/cheese and stuffing bake which we had for tea.  All the cleaning was finished after tea and presents are now nestled under the tree.  Today's picture thought is:

Good old Delia you can always rely on her for no nonsense cooking!

Happy Christmas and many blessings for the forthcoming year xx

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Tree

Our new tradition... the tree went up last night as reminder of an answered prayer. 

The safest place for this is the dining room, where the door can be shut when necessary, to prevent little fingers from removing the decorations!! 

Our Fairtrade Angel.

Linen appliqued bauble.

Red Robin - Benedict's Favourite.

Tree and ornament photographs courtesy of Heather our resident family photographer!!  Thanks Heather!  

One Whole Year Round The Sun

One whole year of snuggles, boo feeds, slinging and learning.  We had an early start this morning as Pip is cutting another tooth, so we were sat eating our breakfast of scrambled eggs at 6am.  In the peace and quiet and soft glow of the fairy lights on the tree, I reminisced that, this time last year things were not so peaceful!!  Quiet yes, as I'm not noisy in labour but I was definitely hoping that, the baby in my tum would be born soon.  Thankfully at 8:39am this wee treasure came into the world and as with all of our babies, three of them now grown, I am always amazed by the miracle of new life.  None more so than with Pip though as there is something extra special about a newborn at Christmas... a very real and tangible reminder of another precious babe born in a stable at Bethlehem; Jesus our precious Lord and Saviour.

Benedict and Pip examining the tree at the precise time of her birth, in the same room where she was born... the dining room!

Party Princess with her birthday crown.

Mid morning my brother Colin and sister-in-law Heather came to visit, it was lovely to see them. 

This box looks interesting, " I wonder what's inside?"

Uncle Colin holding the birthday gift a lovely bear money box.

Aunty Heather with Pip and Benedict.

Aunty Heather enjoying a cuppa coffee.

Right now the party girl is all partied out and enjoying a most welcome afternoon nap!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More Snow Fun

Dave, Benedict and Sara made a combined effort in clearing a pathway at the front of the house and after the necessaries were out of the way, time to get down to some snowman building and ice house making.

 A pristine lawn.

Busy Bees.

The beginnings of an ice house.

The snow sculptures never did get finished numb fingers got in the way, however a good deal of energy was expended and that is what counts.  On the home front the house got tidied and the bedrooms done.  After tea despite hassling with a migraine the tree was eventually put up and other assorted decorations placed around the house.  Thankfully migraine short lived due to big doses of pulsatilla courtesy of a really good homeopath.  Have just finished helping Sara make Pip's birthday present, a pink rosebud tutu!!  Will leave you with  a snap shot at the day's end:

Red sky at night shepherd's delight.   

A Late Night Flurry Of Activity.

We have had a greater coating of snow this evening and Sara could not help herself but go crazy outside:

Can you guess what she is doing?

Making a snow angel of course!!

Picture says it all!!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cleaning, Cooking and Crafting on Solstice Day.

Snow still lay in a thin coating today and what with the accompanying cold temperature it was definitely an indoors type of day.  Our first treat of the day was our delivery from Abel and Cole.  The driver was just pulling away from the top of the drive at 7am this morning.  As per instructions our veg, fruit, grocery and chiller boxes were neatly stacked behind the car.  For breakfast we had some of the organic Guernsey milk on our cereal and then throughout the day an assortment of the veg was made into colcannon, mixed vegetable soup and mushroom bake.

 Colcannon for lunch.

Mushroom Bake.

Mixed Vegetable Soup.  All recipes posted on The Kitchen Angel.

In amongst the cooking the washing machine has toiled away fairly quietly followed by the rythmic hum of the tumble dryer... not terribly eco friendly, but at the moment needs must.  Have managed to keep on top of the tidying and even cleaned the bathroom as per my chore chart!!  A first in ages.  The bedrooms are on the list for tomorrow, whether they get done remains to be seen!!  Whilst Pip had her afternoon nap I managed to work on Benedict's crown, having finished Pip's last night.  Officially they are birthday crowns, hence Pip's made in readiness for Wednesday.  Benedict eyed up the creation wistfully so I promised him one for being the Big Brother!!

A pink heart crown for a pink princess!

Benedict's crown, just need to borrow his head for sizing!  It will have to wait until the morning. 

Sunday, 20 December 2009

First Snow

Finally we woke to this, much to the glee of Benedict!!  Not enough to make a huge snowman but enough for a snowball fight with big sister and a miniature snowman!

Gathering Supplies.

Filling the container.

 Slight distraction a snowball fight with big sister Sara!

Better move quick Sara.

Finally I get to finish the task at hand... just need to find some coal pieces for the eyes and buttons for the coat!  Better get inside and warm up now with a nice cup of tea!  

Christmas Stollen

This delicious bread recipe is posted over on The Kitchen Angel... go take a peek!

Two were made only one is now left!!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Change Of Plan

Today was our long awaited trip on The Santa Special at Haverthwaite, Lakeside.  These steam pulled specials have been running for over twenty years; they are enjoyed by young and old alike.  The adults usually enjoy a piece of Christmas cake and glass of sherry, whilst the children have their treat visit from St Nicholas.  The children's gifts are age appropriate and have been well thought out, as a result they are received with much enthusiasm and appreciation.

This year was to be Pip's first visit but unfortunately she began to spike a fever during the night and has been on the warm side throughout the course of the day.  So mummy and babe stayed at home keeping warm; she has nursed more frequently throughout the day and has welcomed being carried in the sling.  Thank God for mama's milk,  and echinacea tincture.She is sleeping at the moment but for how long is anyone's guess.

Dave and Benedict however continued the family tradition and had a great afternoon, singing carols and eating cake.  They were not on their own however as they met with Adrian, Bryony, Heather and Zoe.  We met the North family through Dave's time at RMC and have known them now for over six years.  Benedict and Heather get on very well; he copes with being organised by the little miss!!  They both really enjoy their time on the Santa Specials.  Benedict's present from St Nicholas was a miniature set of dinosaurs and Heather received a writing set.  Pip too was not left out from the proceedings, her gift via Benedict was a very cuddly turtle, just thing you need when you are feeling poorly! 

 Snow for the Santa Special

Santa gives early presents

Dusting of snow and still waters at the south end of Windermere

Steam, smoke and snow

Northern terminus, Lakeside station, where in warmer days we would alight for the lake steamers or ice cream, but today we appreciate the steam train heating instead and await the return journey to Haverthwaite

Wisps of locomotive steam mingle with the cold view

A Wood Trail

Freezing temperatures have hit and although we have central heating, nothing beats the wood burning stove in the lounge.  Our mission for today was to replenish our log pile in readiness for the Christmas season.  We all actually managed to be out of the house just after nine, nothing short of a miracle given our current combined health status!!  Benedict was duly deposited at school for the morning and the rest of us continued on our way into the local countryside.

We are very blessed to buy all our wood from a couple who have their own woodland at the back of their house.  They manage the land appropriately and ensure that all their wood is well seasoned and stored in dry conditions.  They have their own wood burner and run their central heating from it, in fact the only time they have a heating bill for water is in the summer when the burner is not used!!  We had toyed with the idea of running our system from our burner but given our family and it's various nuances decided against it. All we would need would be a prolonged spell of sickness and:  No Burner = No Heating = A bad combination and a cold house!

Neatly stacked logs in the back of the car.

The source of the logs.

We definitely needed somewhere warm to thaw and headed for a local and favourite bird reserve.  I can't believe it but I think this is Pip's first visit to Leighton Moss... where has the time gone?  She was slightly bemused by the feathered creatures wadddling around but very quickly warmed to them.  Give her a few more visits and a couple of months maturity and she'll be charging around after them!  Poor things!!

Hmm, these look interesting.

C'mon mummy lets move in for a closer peek!

As usual the cafe was a welcome break.  Two lattes, one slice of gluten free cake and a piece of flap jack.  Pip was more interested in the food rather than the decorated tree nearby.  I'm sure she will home in on ours once it is in and decorated just before her birthday!  After all she can spot a loose piece of wallpaper a mile off and before you know it there is that familiar ripping sound!  Dad has part shares in evostick and can most days be seen with glue stick in hand!

Quit snapping, where's the food?

Cake please not just the crumbs!!

Empty plates and full tummies!

Cheeky Daddy and a serious Pip.

The day did not end here once we had collected Benedict and eaten lunch, Dave very kindly/bravely drove back through town so that, Benedict could  attend the school advent service.  Pip was enthralled by the whole event.  I had a few hours peace and actually made a start on present wrapping, good job too, nothing worst than late night wrapping on Christmas Eve!!  All in all a very blessed and happy day, Thank You God.