Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas and End of Year Review

I had hoped to pop by sooner than this but we have been beset with a further virus and the children have been poorly.  Not sick enough to be bedridden, Thank God but sick enough to be waking throughout the night, thus leaving folk exhausted for days thereafter.  Despite this we have had a quiet yet enjoyable time together as a family as the following pictures will testify:

We missed mass on Christmas day as Pip had been awake in the night coughing incessantly.  She came into our bed around two having sailed past her stocking on the door! and did not settle again until half five, needless to say we were very tired.  So after breakfast and before opening the presents we prayed the joyful mysteries of the rosary and read a Christmas story.

 Still putting her birthday candles to good use!

Waiting patiently for Christmas lunch ~ Benedict at this point is looking a bit peaky and within a matter of hours was coughing and sneezing and feeling very unwell.

After lunch they opened a very special present from a lovely man who had a great love of kids but sadly had none of his own:

 Dear Uncle Bernard ~ he has been greatly missed this Christmas and there have been many times when Dave and I have shed tears at his parting.  It was decided that the children in particular would benefit from this interesting parcel as he had mentioned in the summer how much they would enjoy playing with it:

Sara and I had enormous fun road testing it a few days earlier and I'm looking forward to trying out the wii-fit games!

The just dance stuff looks pretty good too!

On the 27th we had a visit from our daughter Sara and Tom her beau and together they brought some wonderful news:

The rubber band is a stop gap until they can shop for an ENGAGEMENT RING!  Tom proposed on Christmas Day and in true family style popped the question on a local promenade near the beach and produced an elastic band to seal the event.  Apparently his Dad did the same and his Mum still has that elastic band in her jewellery box!

On the 29th we had a visit from Dave's brother, his fiancée and her dad on route from Cumbria to Somerset.  Their visit was much appreciated and Uncle Andrew had great fun helping Pip play on the Wii :

Today Debs and I took the kids to the super bowl and a great time was had by all and surprisingly there were no disasters!  Jack and Lewis came home with us and the kids worked in pairs on minecraft and wii-sports.  Most of the time I am pretty cautious about screen time but it was obvious that there was a lot of communication going on between all parties concerned and they were a delight to have around.  This evening the downstairs of the house has had a jolly good clean to welcome in the New Year and in a short while Dave and I will watch an Agatha Christie Poirot starring David Suchet, to welcome in 2014.

I am hoping that this forthcoming year will be a little bit less stressful than the last!  This has not been the best of years and my lack of posting in this space was a testament of that fact. The birth of Gracie was undoubtedly the highlight of the year but the darkness lingered and what with my Dad's major health scare, an MS flare up for Dave and ongoing diabetic concerns, it all became too much and my own mental health suffered in a big way.  Determined to deal with the issues at hand in late September the following strategies were implemented:

Dave bought me a SAD light box and it has been used daily, just being in the light especially on a very grey day has made such a difference to my moods.

I started using the exercise bike on a daily basis, some days I have to pass because of tiredness through lack of sleep or family interruptions but on the whole I have been faithful to this regime ~ I now clock up 13 km in just under half an hour and my heart gets a really good work out in that time!   I can tell the difference if I have not exercised for a few days as my mood dips, I am more irascible and the stomach pains return.

I have tried to take my camera for a walk, this has not been as successful as Pip was away from school for most of December due to sickness and so my time was spent mostly within the home.  Despite this I once again took part in the December Photo Project, using my iphone as my camera for this event ~ it was a cinch uploading from the phone straight onto the facebook page.

I have a few extra things I would like to implement this forthcoming year, but I am very wary in sharing them ... look what happened when I posted about home schooling the kids and Pip ended up in regular state provision!  If I manage to stick at them, then I'll hopefully share them in this space next year!

New Year Blessings To You x 


  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year San. I think the bike and the SAD light box are great things to do. I usually do stretching and sit ups and a few yoga positions in the morning, but fell out of it during this holiday time. The bike is good to get your heart rate up.
    I hope everything has stabilized health wise with you. Morgana is a little better, but not quite out of the woods yet. Sometimes it takes awhile. Middle of the night vigils really knock me out these days. I just don't have the stamina like I used to! I send prayers of good health your way :). Your holiday time looks lovely. What day are we on? What night? Love and hugs . .

  2. Happy New Year to you and your family! We watched "Dinner for One" last night, very British. My grandma used to have such a light box. She liked it a lot. Congratulations to Sara!

    You know, I don't do any resolutions for a new year anymore. My life always turns in different directions than whatl I expect or would like or plan, so I have given up on those resolutions (I never wanted to marry an American, I never wanted to live in the U:S., I never wanted to homeschool, I never thought I would love being a stay-at-home mom, I never wanted to move to rural New York, etc. and look what life has done with my "ideas." Now I am glad I didn't get what I thought would be the right thing for me. God had different ideas for my life it seems.)

    Sending you lots of love.

    1. Love your not wanting to do list and look how beautifully it all worked out! I am working on very small things and only one at a time, the biggest being taking care of me!

      Hope to Skype soon?

      San xxx

  3. Wow, congratulations to Sara how wonderful :). I do hope that 2014 is a settled year for all health wise. Life always has its ups and downs and surprises, even if we don't know what is round the corner we make decisions based on now not in what might be. When you decided to home ed Pip that decision was right at the time the fact that you changed you mind means you are a fantastic mother not someone who cannot make up their mind. ;). Whatever 2014 throws at you I hope you have the strength to do what you need to!


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