Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Quiet Boxing Day With Family

This morning I woke bright and early and decided that rather than turn over and drop off to sleep again, I would get up and crack on with some chores that tend to get neglected over the Christmas break.
I hadn't managed to fit in any ironing last week, so caught up with that, did three loads of washing ( still not happy to use the timer programme incase I have a leak) dried two loads, folded and sorted it, baked some cakes I had intended the Teens to do, but realised time was running out so got them made...and all before 7am!!!
I then had a cuppa and some panettone for breakfast, then took Hubby up some brekky and enjoyed a cuppa upstairs with him....just love having leisurely starts to the morning.
Eventually we made it out the door, with half the cakes left at home to take to Grandma in Lincoln tomorrow and the other half to take to Grandma here.

At Grandma's it was an afternoon of chatting and knitting, with a quiz and board game thrown in.
I have mislaid my knitting stitch markers, but coloured paperclips do a great job!
It has been lovely not having to think about food, and I think Grandma is glad the past two days are over.
Whereas she once regularly cooked for a dozen, she only cooks for herself these days, so it must have been daunting to cook for 13, however she did us proud, with a lovely homemade pork terrine, chicken and mushroom casserole and some lovely salads and veg...as well as a home made Christmas pudding both days!!
Cold wise, it hasn't quite taken hold, but hovering if you know what I mean!
Hubby sadly seems slightly worse, even though he is into his third week!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Day Blessings

After a feverish night, I was pleasantly surprised to wake not feeling worse than yesterday and just a tad better.
Teen Two came in around 7.30am to open his stocking and it was 9am before Teen One surfaced.
Hubby brought me a cuppa a toast in bed, and we enjoyed a slow get up whilst Teen Two cleaned out his animals.
By 9.30am we were enjoying watching the Teens open their presents, sat by a roaring fire.
We then opened ours, and I was thrilled by this lovely painting Teen One did for me.
I had said I wanted a black and white Scripture verse for the conservatory, and she knows I am often attracted to drawings with apple trees, but had no idea she was making it for me, so this is perfect!
I have a stash of black frames I have been collecting to create a gallery wall out there, and I can't wait to see it framed.
She also bought me the little bird wooden plaque which I had admired in a shop a few weeks ago....without me seeing she sneaked away and bought it!
I was even more taken with it when I read on the back it was made by individuals with disabilities.
Hubby had bought me another lovely wooden mushroom to add to my collection.
My late neighbour's son gave me this swish Ted Baker vanity case, filled with lovely goodies.
I have only ever window shopped in Ted Baker's!!
That was just a few treats I was blessed with, but above all I felt blessed with feeling a little better!
Hubby still isn't over his cold/flu/cough virus that started almost three weeks ago!
For lunch we went to Grandma's where Hubby's brother and sister and families were there.
We exchanged pressies before they went to see their  inlaws, leaving just my family of four with Grandma.
We had a quiet afternoon watching Cinderella, with a spot of knitting for me.
After a light tea it was back home to feed the animals and then watch Call The Midwife in bed with Teen One whilst Hubby and Teen Two watch Dr Who on catch up.
We have so much to be thankful for in an unsettled world.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

No Time To Be ill!

Last night I had a sudden attack of sneezes....Hubby looked at me suspiciously....
"No, its not a cold...just a sneeze!" I confidently announced.
I then went upstairs to do what  I hoped would be the last of the wrapping....only to very suddenly feel very ill.
So, straight to bed for me...and this morning I woke feeling really not myself.
I suspect I have finally caught what Hubby and Teen One have had.
I did attempt to get ready to go to church but just having a bath sapped me of what little energy I had,
so Hubby made me a lemsip and I retreated to my bed.
After a snooze I thought I felt a bit better but just putting washing on was enough.
We had arranged to go to a friend in the country for the day, so at least it meant dinner was sorted for the family, even if it meant I wouldn't get to see their new granddaughter and enjoy the company of their lovely grown up children.
With the house quiet, I slept some, pottered some, drank tea, tried to watch TV (Guys and Dolls) but couldn't get into anything.
The door bell went around 5pm and it was Hubby's sister in law, who had temporarily "lost" my brother in law in their attempt to find a parking space.
She wanted to borrow my phone to call him as her mobile was in the car...now you wouldn't think it would be hard for me to operate my own mobile to get his number up, however it was more than my brain could cope with and it took quite some time, thankfully I finally made it, but clearly I am not myself!!
Hubby is bringing back a dinner for me from my friend and I must admit I am actually looking forward to some food, hopefully that's a good sign!
I really hope this is a 24hr thing  (which Hubby's wasn't!) and I wake up tomorrow ready for the festivities!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

A Fairy Tale Ending To A Family Day Out

This morning I was up at 6am to finish off some pressies, put in washing ( daren't use the timer at the mo as there is still an intermittent leak!) and get a picnic packed for our day out.
We left just before 10am...had planned for a little earlier but you know what its like getting everyone out of the door....but we arrived at Longleat just before midday to massive queues!
Apparently the animals were playing up, so everything was extra slow for some reason.
We had a great day nonetheless....here are a few highlights...

....we managed to escape damage this year and were only left with tiny muddy footprints to clean off!

A mummy lion...who was HUGE....decided to walk right in front of us.....so glad to be safe inside the car!

We weren't able to visit the lorikeets last year because of avian flu....but it was worth the wait!

To warm up and wait for the light to go we treated ourselves to a Costa...which was the only expenditure for the day as the visit was bought with Tesco vouchers.....saving us £140!!!

The lights were amazing and really need to be seen in the flesh

The theme was fairy tales as you can see, each and every one was so detailed and so beautiful.
Back home it was a portion of chips from the local chippy to share between the four of us with a quick cheese omelette whipped up.
For me its now back to the wrapping and checking everyone locally is accounted for....for folks further afield I have a few days grace!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Helping Make Memories

Going back to last night, a family who whose kiddies come along to our Sunday School and Friday Club wanted to have a re-run of an impromptu visit last year.
They had remembered all year sitting by our fireside toasting marshmallows.
So when they asked if they could come back again this year I didn't need to think twice about it!
The older girl shares my birthday, as does her dad, and I too was born on my dad's birthday, so I have always felt a bit of a bond with the eldest....who also has the lovely name of Faith.
If she is ever put up for adoption I will be first in the queue to take on the role!
So, last night I had suggested they come round in their onesies, and we would make toast by the fire and of course toast marshmallows.
There was always at least on of them by their fire and usually two!
We got through an entire loaf of bread and packet of marshmallows, along with several bowls of snacks I had left on the side!
The family have three rats on leads Chihuahuas, which are actually quite adorable.
Teen One's lap was hot favourite for Tinkerbell!
Teen Two of course totally adores them and loves it when the mum comes to collect the girls on a Friday, with one of them tucked in her coat.
So last night he was able to spend lots of time with all three of them.
Of course three little doggies, were like any pooch, and food was their main reason for living, so we were constantly moving food as far away as possible!
The yapping was a little ear piercing I must say, and as for the little puddles....well it seems teeny dogs don't have much bladder control!
When the food was finally polished off, we put on Disney singalong on the Wii, which was a lot of fun for everyone.
Quite what the neighbours thought is anyone's guess!
At least we don't share living room walls like other neighbours!
We ended the evening by lighting our nativity windmill, turning all the lights off, and singing "Away in a Manger" just as we did every evening before bed time when the Teens were tots....nowadays we just do it on Christmas Eve!
This morning I took Grandma grocery shopping....with Lidl's selling veggies at 19p a bag what a bargain!
Back home I cracked on with a few things I have been bursting to make for weeks...
...boiled up with a cinnamon stick  and sugar...
...with a star anise popped on top, to infuse through the cranberry sauce.
Easy peasy to make....why not give it a go!
I even got to make the Christmas cake finally!
Part way through the afternoon a family friend dropped by with this magnificent Tower of Treats!
This afternoon we went to see Paddington 2 film....really funny and some nods to the TV show we used to watch as children.
Afterwards was a meal out and the start of a slow down which we are all in need of!
There are still one or two things to do before I can finally say I am ready, and with a family day out planned for tomorrow to The Festival Of Lights, they will have to wait for Christmas Eve!


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Last Of The Presents Bought!

Starting with last night, poor Teen One was up till 3am with her sore throat, she eventually came downstairs for some lemsip, a cuppa and some toast....I am glad to say I never heard a thing and am still managing to avoid the germs somehow!
My excuse is I am so busy I'm not still long enough for the germs to catch me!
First thing for me was nipping into town for what I hope is the final couple of gifts.
A friend called in for a quick cuppa, which gave me a break from the marathon pressie wrapping.
I then wrapped up the chocolate sticks I had made last weekend and then made a few more.
I just need Teen One to make me some pretty labels to finish them off.
It was then back to the attic for more present wrapping.
At the beginning of the year I blogged about all the bargains I had got for around 25p in Tesco...
...well today all those bargains came into their own as Teen Two went through the pile picking out presents for his seven....yes seven LSA's and three teachers!
Last night I sewed up the dolly cardi....but not without incident...I managed to sew up the wrong seams not once but twice!
How many years have I been knitting?
And how many times did I check I had the right seams together!
Oh well...all sorted finally.
Did anyone watch The Chase tonight?
One of the questions was...
"Which term is used in knitting?"
Cast on/Cast off/Castaway...
... and the Chaser got it wrong!!!
Tonight we will be saying goodbye to our Malaysian student doctor.
He has been a pleasure to get to know and we will really miss him.
From time to time we may still see him, as he is only going to Southampton initially, and he has yet to decide where to settle after his finals.