Not a lot to say about our Christmas really. It was a lovely peaceful time spent with those we love, everything you could want.
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…
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 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.
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
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.
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.
…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.
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.
…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.
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.
Following on from the Victorian Christmas theme of Thursday afternoon, on Friday we went to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for the Festival of Christmas.
Apologies for short and rare posts at the moment. Have spent the last three weeks really struggling to shake off rotten colds and failing badly.
Then we’ve been distracted by bookcases collapsing which has resulted in a major clear out and furniture rebuilding/rearranging.
Besides our normal academic work much of what we’re doing I haven’t wanted to include on the blog for professional reasons.
I’m working on writing an Art Course for Activity Village, which involves producing pieces inspired by famous works using a range of art materials and approaches. We are having great fun with this and the boys have produced some wonderful pieces. Need to pick a Da Vinci as I really, really want to see the new exhibition at the National Gallery.
And of course Christmas is on the horizon! As everyone else has been making Halloween crafts we’ve been busy making a mess with glitter and sequins as we work on Activity Village’s Advent Calendar.
Really excited about this year! Helps that I’m way on course to have done my part by mid November for once, rather than struggling to stay a few days ahead Adina has produced some gorgeous pictures (we don’t always do the colouring part but will this year — envisaging a big display in my front window). The crafts are lovely and simple, not that I’m blowing my own trumpet — but I am genuinely really pleased with them, boys have worked hard to help and had fun doing so (helped by payment by blue nose friends!). And the printables we’re creating are lovely too, helped by some gorgeous illustrations that are a pleasure to work with.
…that’s what Christmas cake is made from
A traditional brandy, fruit cake for my Dad and a whisky dundee cake for my Sister. They originally started off as Delia’s recipes but over the years have had a lot of tweaks.
House smells yummy.
Am I the first?
Christmas Morning was spent constructing Lego Starwars ships. Over 2 1/2 hours this one took! Not helped by the fact that 1 1/2 hrs and 3 wings in some ‘lovely person’ got up to go to the bathroom and stood on it! Sam looks a bit nervous as he was under strict orders from Pete (who managed it in around 2 hrs) not to break his Tie Fighter.
They weren’t nervous for long and I have spent a lot of time this week sticking bits back on.