Not a lot to say about our Christmas really.  It was a lovely peaceful time spent with those we love, everything you could want.

Merry Christmas

This week hasn’t gone to plan really.  It was supposed to be a social, catching up with friends week. But heavy colds here (poor Jack has been very poorly, most unlike him)  have led to a very quiet week.  Lots of sleeping, reading, playing Xbox…

 …and baking.

Jack made some cupcakes completely on his own (and very nice they were)
A gingerbread house which collapsed spectacularly but made a nice treat for breakfast one day.
And a biscuit tree (Nigella's butter biscuits we love them and I use them for everything)

We also finished off the 1000 piece jigsaw that  bought in one of those ‘won’t that be a nice family thing to do’ moments.  Well I did about 95o pieces and Jack jumped in at the death to finish it off and get the glory.  Sam was good at finding edge pieces and Pete refused any involvement at all.

And of course we picked up the pottery reindeers.

And decorated.  I will admit we do tinsel, but only good thick stuff that we’ve had for years.  The rest of our decorations are either home made or have been picked up in Christmas markets etc as part of days out.


This morning we completed the Advent Villages from Activity Village

Then went off to a panto.  I can firmly say that back in my teenage years I would never imagine seeing anyone from Steps on stage.  But ‘H’ in giant red dungarees and stripy tights doing the Tragedy dance accompanied by a drag queen well the mind boggles.  Weird things happen when you’re a parent.

And a bit off pottering round the shops.  They bought a blue nose friend each with some Christmas money.  Sam’s is called Hannah 🙂

Then home for treasure hunt, Christmas eve present (pjs, slippers, books, mug, cuddly toy and something homemade), bath, hot chocolate, Merlin and bed.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Pottery Painting

Today we had the mundane task of medicine reviews to make sure we don’t run out over Christmas.  Sam had an impromptu flu jab and was incredibly good and stiff upper lipped about it.

Afterwards we stopped at our local pottery painting cafe for a treat, it has recently been taken over and they were keen to try it again.  They painted some reindeers to look like their Blue Nose Friends Achilles and Amy.

Sam finished his long before Jack and was very pleased when they gave him a tour of the back room showing him how they were glazed and fired.

We’re looking forward to collecting them on Tuesday.


Decorations went up in Sam’s room yesterday.

He has a homemade wreath on the door.  It is simply a metal coathanger bent into shape with tinsel (tree like not sparkly) wrapped around.  Then craft wire with baubles threaded on wrapped around to decorate.


And a mini tree with Action Man on top

Skipping along

When the best thing that happens in your week is delivery of a heated airer it is not a good week and one best skipped over.

On the other hand, those driers have massive queues (6000 people waiting for delivery when I rang a few weeks ago to enquire where it was) and I am sick of wearing slightly damp, smelly clothes so maybe I am not absurd to be excited by it.  Although getting excited over a clothes horse – even a fancy electric one, makes me feel incredibly sad and middle aged.

But doesn’t change the fact last week is best forgotten.

This one, fortunately, is better.

We’ll still ‘working’ but in a very relaxed way.  Jack is in charge of making sure everything on the timetable for this block is finished before the end of the week and Sam is just picking what workbooks to do, a few pages of a morning to keep things ticking.

And not forgetting we’re making lovely little card villages with our colourings from the Activity Village Advent calendar.

Monday morning was spent working and tidying, before Lisa and Harvey popped around for the afternoon.

Tuesday was the last Cubs before Christmas so we spent a lot of the day shopping for and making gifts for the leaders (and lots spare for us)

I will admit to being a bit lazy and not spreading the biscuits between 2 trays so they spread to one giant biscuit (these are ours – leaders got some that held their shape). They are cinnamon bread, although recipe there is off.  Not sure why as it is mine but… should have 150g of sugar in (I used caster this time as it came out of cupboard first, have used soft brown in the past), 125g butter and 4tbsp golden syrup.  And I used mixed spice instead of ginger but that was a feel like a change thing.

We started off trying to paint the details in a chocolate mould with different colour chocolate to make pretty chocolates, soon gave up and made chocolate mice (melted Dairy Milk and a dash of orange essence) which were much simpler.  Left over chocolate got tipped into lolly moulds.

Each leader got a mouse and some biscuits in a cellaphane bag tied with Christmas ribbon.

And of course cards.  Which we carried on with today and they finished everyone’s. I simply supplied a load of prefolded cards, some stamps and inkpads, sparkly pens, Tatty Ted die cuts and scrap paper and left them to it.  I just have to do my bit of writing and addressing them.

Cubs is only about 8 mins walk away but 4 mins into the walk there was a tremendous hail storm.  Really hurt and we were soaked through.  So Sam and I managed a hot bath (and left Pete to get Jack) and there was hot chocolate and biscuits before bed.

Today has all been about tidying up and getting ready to put up the decorations.  Well the ones in their rooms, not ready for downstairs yet.  A week before Christmas is plenty.  Unfortunately Sam started to get unwell as the day wore on.  His asthma has been bad for a little while but seems to be getting a cough/infection to go with it.  I came in from hoovering the stairs though to find that Jack was doing a good job of looking after him though.

Jack does deliberately wind Sam up a lot, but he is a very good big brother really 🙂

So decorations never made it up as Sam fell asleep while I was doing the final tidying up.  Jack and I spent a pleasant evening though, we played table football and Stratego and he had a go at some of the tunes from his new book.

He’re hoping Sam is on the mend tomorrow and we can potter on with of Christmas preparations.

The wreck of the Zanzibar

The wreck of the Zanzibar is about this girl called Laura who lives on the island of Scilly. She has always wanted to row in the gig. Her twin brother Billy leaves home to travel the world while Laura stays on Scilly to milk the cows. Laura finds a half dead turtle on the beach and she and her granny May stop the gulls from eating the turtle and send it out to sea.  Then terrible winds hit the island and the cows are killed. The people on Scilly start to starve. Then a wreck happens and when Laura’s father twists his ankle Laura has to row out to rescue the sailors. She finds her brother Billy on the ship and lots of food and stuff. The people of Scilly are happy with food and cows. Billy tells people the ship was called the Zanzibar. Then a turtle washes up. Laura thinks it is her turtle but it is a masthead of the Zanzibar Billy claims the masthead and keeps it calling it Zanzibar.

At the start of the book there wasn’t much going on so I thought it was a bit boring. But as the book got on I really liked it. It was cool. I would definitely recomend this book. I thought it was a good plot and I liked trying to figure out what Zanzibar was towards the start of the book. I liked it when Laura rowed out in the gig and when she and Granny May looked after the turtle.

Village Life

Although I occasionally miss city life; better public transport, activities on your doorstep, proper pubs and a range of restaurants, I do love living in a village.  This weekend is one of those that highlights how nice it is to be part of a relatively small community.

Friday night was carol singing and the village light switch on.  The community was out in force, loads of young families as well as many of the OAP’s that make up Lee’s community.  I lost Sam quite early in the singing as a lot of my Rainbows were there so spotting a group of them off he went.















And Santa was outside the florist giving away soft toys.








Today was the church fete and again the village came out in force.  Jack had drama and piano but Sam and I went to lent our support.  Sam spent his money on a Tatty Ted, a cake and a lucky dip, and of course there was Santa again.
















Then on the way home we enjoyed the winter sunshine at the park.


Christmas is Coming…

…and over the last week I can feel the change as we take the foot off the pedal a bit.  Concentrating more on finishing off projects, crafts and socialising.

The game of the moment is ‘cars’.  They have spent a long time pouring over the atlas planning their round the world trip.

And Twister!

Last night was a christmassy night!  At Rainbows Sam joined in, making reindeer food.  Which we appear to have lost but probably just aswell as the glitter leaked through the organza bags I’d bought.  The church floor was very sparkly despite a lot of sweeping.

When we got home I sent them upstairs where they found I’d treated them to (much needed) new pjs and a not so necessary but much wanted Blue Nose Friend and a new book to share.  I got lots of cuddles (although Jack’s were by proxy – he sent Sam down to give me a cuddle when he found them and then I got a lot of cuddles from the rabbit) and thank yous.  I can’t surprise Jack very often anymore, he’s too old and cynical, so I love seeing his genuine delight.

They hung and filled their fabric advent calendars which I made many years ago now 🙂

And put up the Blue Nose Friend picture ones that I couldn’t resist.

Then we snuggled down…

…switched on the electric fire, turned off the lights and read our new book by torchlight.

Today they coloured the first picture from Activity Village’s online calendar.  Jack’s is an alien house and we are displaying them in the window. Sam is standing his up to make a model village.

We used the stocking frame from the Activity Village calendar to write their Santa letters.

Then Jack did a bit more work.  I’d said a mornings work of his choice so he wrote up a report about Eid as part of his Islam study (Cubs badge 🙂 ).  Then we cuddled up and read some of Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo, the book from Jack’s English chapter.  Lunch in front of Blue Peter.  Then they played ‘cars’ and computer while I fixed a very wobbly computer cupboard and wrapped 30(!) Christmas presents for the Rainbows ready for Santa to bring next week.




The Witches

A bit behind here but…

Last Saturday was Jack’s drama classes show so we all headed over to Portsmouth.

While Jack’s class did some last minute practice, the rest of us went to Victoria Park.

Jack was a narrator in the play and played several background parts.  Here he is as a mouse.

And with his certificate