Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Creative Spirit

Still opening presents at this end.  My brother and his wife sent these lovely gifts:

His smile says it all!
Make your own finger puppets.
Pip found all the relevant pieces and I added the glue and she fixed them in place.  The glue that came with the set did not work so we had to resort to super strong adhesive which was not kid friendly.  Still it did the job!
Well done Pip!
Ready to tell a tale.
Tea and Knitting.
Sara busy working on Pip's multicoloured sleeveless cardigan.  She devised the pattern herself and watched a you tube video on this particular stitch known as a "honeycombe stitch."  She's spent this evening weaving in the ends and will add the ribbing to the armholes, neck and front band tomorrow.
Benedict and I listened to episode three of A Christmas Carol ~ The First of The Three Spirits.  My intention was to work on the accompanying questions but I could barely keep my eyes open, so off to bed I crawled.
  We had a particularly rough night with Pip as she was awake between the hours of 2am and 4am.  I think genuine hunger had prevented her from settling when she woke in a light phase of sleep.  Her appetite had been poor thoughout the day and I'd wondered  if she was sickening for the gastric bug, thankfully she was OK but it was no surprise when she woke.  It was a shock to wake this morning and find the alarm clock announcing the time of half past nine!  The extra sleep was welcomed but we've all been disorientated today.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day ~ Seaside Fun

I think we might have set a new tradition.  It was all the girls together this morning!  We left Dad at home preparing a yummy christmas soup and Benedict snuggled with a hot water bottle and ventured forth to the seaside!

 Pip drew a picture of Daddy in the sand...
... and threw stones in the sea.
She also scooted up and down the prom  and Sara and I attempted to keep up with her!  It was a good job we kept moving as the wind was bitterly cold and I'd forgotten my hat!  Nevermind, we soon warmed up in our favourite coffee place.  It was relatively quiet when we arrived but the place was positively "jumping" when we left:
Orange juice and crisps, for Pip.
Salted caramel latte for me and ...
... one for Sara.
We just had time to call in at the playground and ...
... found this cheeky chappy sat on the roof of our car!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Christmas

We've worked Christmas around minor gastric troubles and whacky diabetes.  We kept everything low key today and only opened a few presents, the rest remained in the caravan!  We wanted to take the time to appreciate each gift and to try and remember why we celebrate this day.

Benedict was over the moon with this!
Setting up the game.
Playing ~ Sara is very patient explaining the rules and helping Pip.
A very simple yummy meal ~ chicken, vegetables, stuffing and gravy.
Watching this...
... the snowman and the snow dog.
We also listened to carols, read books, Pip played with her unicorn family and we even managed another star wars game!  Once the little ones had settled we watched two lovely programmes:

Monday, 24 December 2012

DPP * Day Twenty - Four ~ Christmas Baking

Today has been a kitchen day; mince pies, lebkuchen, and sausage rolls:

Chocolate coated lebkuchen with white chocolate stars.  The chocolate contained a hint of ginger.
Melt in the mouth mince pies.  I've finally found a gluten free pastry recipe that does not result in rock hard pastry!
Sausage rolls stuffed with apple and onion chutney and topped with cheese.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

DPP * Day Twenty - Three ~ Birthdaying

Pip turned four today, it only seems like yesterday that I was rousing my lovely midwife from slumber to tell her she needed to be on her way!  She had an hour's drive and boy was I glad when she let herself in the front door!

We seem to have developed a strong birthday tradition with Pip and we always celebrate around the time of her birth, 8:30am with a cooked breakfast followed by cake and tea:

Birthday ring lit with the extra addition of the mistletoe fairy.
Mesmerised by the candles.
Opening presents and reading cards.
Loving a handmade gift from mummy ...
... purple polka dot trousers.
Wishing for you dear Pip, a fab year full of fun.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

DPP Day Twenty - Two ~ Cake Making

A Christmas Tree birthday cake was made in the small hours of the morning:

A "snow" covered tree sprinkled with chocolate "baubles" and white chocolate stars. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

DPP * Day Twenty - One ~ Boxed In

Whilst Dad was elsewhere, Benedict and I had a quiet night by the fire.  I happily sat and knitted and he had great fun with scissors, sellotape and three empty cardboard boxes!


Ready for take off!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

DPP * Day Twenty ~ Crafting with Friends

We shared lunch with our home ed friends from the north and the girls settled to a snowflake craft in the afternoon:

Naturally the glitter shaking was the best bit!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Dickens Of A Tale

Well, I always have hopes of posting every day in December for the DPP and each year I reach a block somewhere in between, but that's OK!  I've been busy wrapping presents, finishing last minute items including birthday prep for a little girl at the weekend and attempting to keep up with some kind of "homeschooling!"

Benedict and I began a "rabbit trail" yesterday.  He had finished his on line maths activities and I wanted something with a Christmas theme to tied us over the rest of December, so yay for schools radio and "A Christmas Carol."  We listened to part one yesterday and then using the teacher's notes we worked through the questions together.  Benedict gave some very thoughtful and credible answers, in  many ways he and I are so alike.  It was uplifting to share quality literature together and it boosted moral on both sides no end.

I attended the last "Make and Cake" of the year and it was my turn to provide the tea.  We had mince pies and mini chocolate logs courtesy of Sainsburys(!) and peppermint bark from me.  I decided against taking the Christmas cake as I'd not had time to "feed" it with brandy and was slightly worried it would be it a bit dry.  Not to worry we have one for Christmas and one to be turned into a "Simnel" cake for Easter!

I was blessed today to read that my lovely friend Dorina had received her package from me; thanks to the internet I have made some lovely friends and there words as they drop into my small corner of cyber space are truly appreciated.  As a result of reading her recent blog posts I was reminded that we hadn't made Latkes and so they were on our lunch time menu today.  We had them with applesauce but sadly no soured cream, they tasted good anyway.


We stocked up on wood for the burner this afternoon.  We are trying to reduce our heating bills by not using the central heating as much and relying on extra warm clothing, hot water bottles, hot drinks and our lovely wood stove!

Diabetes wise we have entered a slightly turbulent period and Benedict has had several hypos these past few days.  This translates into justified grumpiness and tears, on his part not mine ... makes a change!



Friday, 14 December 2012

DPP * Day Fourteen ~ Christmas in The Kitchen

I actually managed some treat baking and making this morning.  I've been hopelessly disorganised and didn't manage to make a Christmas cake earlier in November, so I made Delia Smith's "Last Minute" cake this morning instead!  In fact I made two, one to share for "Make and Cake" tomorrow and one to save for Christmastide.  I also made the customary Peppermint Bark:

In the tray.
  Boxed and ready to be given to friends.
A treat also arrived in the post.  I'd been wanting one of these for ages and decided to order one earlier in the week:
Here is our Angel lighting our tea table and here is Benedict trying to dodge a photo opportunity and not quite managing to do so!
 Here she is on a different camera setting, can't for the life of me think which one!!  It's late, I'm tired!
Really trying not to feel harassed but am suddenly acutely aware that this Advent really is short, eek!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

DPP * Day Thirteen ~ Colouring with Nanna

My mum and dad made a flying visit today, dropping off cards and presents.  Pip had a lovely time with Nanna, they spent a good while drawing and telling stories:

Pip sharing her art work with Nanna, who was also explaining to me about Pip's birthday money and the various envelopes in the bag!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

DPP * Day Twelve ~ Warmth

So grateful for this fire on a freezing frosty day:

I cannot lay claim to this shot; I was busy knitting so this is courtesy of Dave.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

DPP * Day Eleven ~ Construction

Benedict bought his first Airfix model nearly two weeks ago and he finally sat down this afternoon to begin phase one of the operations:

One happy boy + quiet concentration = peace for mum and dad!

Monday, 10 December 2012

DPP * Day Ten ~ Window Stars

I missed a day yesterday.  I had to admit defeat when the loft ladder broke and the cooker was temporarily out of action!  However  Medtronic came up trumps and after having spoken to a call centre in the States (at no extra cost to me), I received a call from the UK office informing me that a driver would be delivering a pump that very day!  Within three hours the pump had been delivered, pretty amazing service.

So diabetes wise we've had a fairly steady day.  Wish I could say the same for the homeschooling.  Benedict managed to complete a maths assignment, he finished reading his St Nicholas book "The boy with the bronze axe" by Kathleen Fidler and worked on a piece of independent art.  Despite this it was a bitty day and we all struggled to settle to anything truly productive.  Pip had fun folding kite shapes to make a window star and it has pride of place in the conservatory:

This evening I attended our last Shalom Prayer meeting for the year.  The reading was Psalm 139:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand
when I awake, I am still with you...

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
 and it always resonates with me as I have prayed it during each pregnancy and pondered on the miracle of new life each and everytime.  This time around I am honoured to ponder the birth of a grandchild, what a blessing!
I take comfort too from knowing that even before my birth all the days of my life have been written down and ordained; that though I make walk through some dark times, that I am never alone, He will never forsake me.