Friday, 30 December 2011

The Days In Between

As well as having all the excitement that goes with the anticipation of Christmas day there was also the much anticipated arrival of T's big brother R who came to stay on Tuesday. After a long drive to get here we allowed him to eat before he had to join in with Just Dance 2 on the Wii.

T and R spent a fab day together on Wednesday popping into town together for a few hours, a spot of shopping and a trip to the temporary ice rink.

We've also tried out a couple of other new games

and S and I had a lovely time with her rock painting set.

There has also been some jigsaw time. Such a lovely Christmas scene, so many sweet details

but why is it my eyes keep being drawn to the bakery and the amazingly cute pudding?!

I love being in our dining room and even more so this Christmas. A lovely new addition is this 'these are a few of my favourite things' sign by my mum and C gave me as a thankful for cooking Christmas lunch. I was given it after we had eaten, maybe if I'd burnt it all I wouldn't have been given it!

Talking of Christmas lunch I saw these on Pinterest (where else?!) and made them for T and S as an alternative to the alcoholic cheesecake I made the adults.

They were a hit and will probably be made again.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Table Presents

I LOVED our table present selection this year. They had us in stitches. I love this tradition of ours and it is one of the things that makes Christmas for me.

G plays the guitar and so I was really pleased when I found these glasses, although the best find at a vintage fair was one of two false cheeks/nose/teeth combos.

Here's the same combo being worn with T's table present

and this is the other combo. G's little glove puppet Santa is my table present.

Here am I, although sadly the chins aren't false, they are all mine!

Just love this of T

Not sure which makes me laugh the most, seeing my sister like this or looking at how funny T is finding it all.

My mum couldn't escape having a go too.

I had bought S a sequinned cat mask which she said hurt her so she decided to wear the fan inside her cracker!

And then pretty much the rest of the day she wore these Christmas trees which were a gift from a friend and were unwrapped after lunch.

We took all the table presents to Salisbury with us so everyone could have a go on Boxing Day. G's brother looked hilarious and slightly scary at the same time when he put on T's.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Morning

As usually happens on Christmas Eve G and I got to bed time some time just after midnight. The children were in bed hours before but were they asleep by the time we climbed the wooden hill to collapse, oh no they weren't! T woke us up at 2.30 a.m and 4.30 a.m pleading to start the present opening. At 6.30 he asked us again and we finally agreed. So after he very loudly went and woke up S the pair of them bought their stockings through to our room. In our house Father Christmas only brings the stocking presents and these are from the man himself. S was thrilled he bought the bubble gum machine she really wanted, plus a few other surprises too.

T's main present from us was an X-Box. It wasn't brand new (although it wasn't far off) and so it didn't have the original box. We put it inside a box which had been sent to me from the Book People. T's face was a picture when he tore of the wrapping paper of this large-ish box to see a label saying 'Book People', he thought it was a set of books! This is his face when he realised what it really contained.

S's main present from us was a new bike. She took to riding her bike so well in the summer but quickly out grew the one she had. She is now the proud owner of a new pink bike.

G loves the Monkey onesie we bought him back in October for his birthday and so on one of my shopping trips to town I made sure I bought T and S for Christmas. S is very pretty in her pink one, T's tiger suits him to a T. And probably the less said about the Santa one G bought me the better, but it's so comfy, I love it!

Melvin the cat isn't looking impressed though!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

To all our lovely bloggy friends near and far we wish you all a very Merry Christmas. xxxx

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Children and Cars

In the past few days we have had the annual glitter and glue fest so the children could make their Christmas cards for grandparents, aunties and uncles.

We have been to the park. We haven't been to our favourite park for a while and we were there for ages.

T and S ran around together, played together, laughed together. It was joyous watching them enjoying each other's company.

G was off on Tuesday and took them all off to the cinema to see Alvin and the Chipmunks whilst I stayed at home and wrapped presents. Why oh why do I forget each year just how long this part takes?!

All good so far and then yesterday happened and there was a car issue. Not a massive one and thankfully not an expensive one and one which was sorted relatively easily. But it meant that the day was given over to getting it sorted and not a lot else was achieved which was frustrating but not the end of the world.
Especially when there is a big box of Celebrations to dig into.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

12 Fast Food Days of Christmas

As well as the quizzes and games at our afternoon on festive fun last week we rounded off with a short sing song.
Word sheets were handed round and we sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bell Rock, Deck the Halls and then finished off with the 12 Fast Food Days of Christmas.
This is hilarious.
I can guarantee that if you sing this at a get together everyone will be laughing and joining in very loudly especially with the 5th day of Christmas.
Write out on a slip of paper each number and the item for numbers 1 to 4 and then 6 to 11, as we had lots of people here last week we had enough for 2 people per number. The slips of paper are then folded up and placed in a bowl and everyone dips in to pick one.
I found this a few years ago on the internet and modified it slightly. So here is our version to sing to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas.
On the first day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me a double bacon burger with cheese
On the second day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me two happy meals
On the third day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me three large fries
On the fourth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me four egg McMuffins
On the fifth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me five onion rings (EVERYONE TO SING)
On the sixth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me six chocolate milkshakes
On the seventh day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me seven pints of ketchup
On the eighth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me eight chicken drumsticks
On the ninth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me nine slices of pizza
On the tenth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me ten baked potatoes
On the eleventh day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me eleven chicken kormas
On the twelth day of Christmas my takeaway gave to me twelve Alka-Seltzer (EVERYONE TO SING)


Friday, 16 December 2011

Tudor House

When I go into town to meet up with my friend I we usually pop along to the City's art gallery, but as it was only a few weeks since our last visit we decided to try out the fairly newly opened Tudor House museum. The museum has been closed for years and has had major work and renovation carried out funded by the Lottery, English Heritage and the local council.

We had the place more or less to ourselves and took time to explore the rooms, play with the interactive information boards and try out the dressing up box too!

We both loved the kitchen rooms. Everything was so well labelled and informative. I would definitely recommend a visit not only for the house, but also for the garden which is stunning, no photos of that I'm afraid as it was so chilly outside and the cafe was calling. As the cafe is in a separate building you can pop in there without having to pay the museum entrance fee, we'll definitely to making a return journey in the warmer weather.

Casting an eye over the wall of the garden you can see into this house, which I never even knew existed! Apparently the Norman fireplace is one of the finest examples of it's kind still in existence.

And if cannons are your thing then you'd be impressed by this one, it's a belter, my hurriedly taken snap doesn't do it justice. Made originally for Henry VIII. Proper history!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

December Catch-Up

We've been busy and so there's a fair bit to catch up with.

The month started with a parent and teacher evening at T's school. T had to make appointments with the subject teachers we wanted to meet and find out how he has got on this first term. We decided on Tech because he has really struggled with this (fine motor skills always an issue) along with Maths, English and Spanish. Really good feedback from each teacher with pointers for improvement and help and praise for work well done. I had to leave early to take S to her swimming lesson but whilst waiting for another teacher G got to meet T's History and RE teacher too.

Of course the start of December also means the advent calendars begin. The children have been using the ones from Grandma and this year my calendar is another purchase from Phoenix.
Behind each door is a plate of food. Loving this.

Saturday 3rd we went down to our local shops for a couple of hours to see what was happening in this year's Christmas festival. The weather was very touch and go for this outdoor event. We bumped into a couple of friends and caught up on news, watched the ukulele band and I bought a Christmas pudding tea cosy from a stall raising money for the Royal British Legion. Must take a photo.

On Sunday we put up our tree. Disappointingly our trusty set of tree lights have given up and we are still light less something I must try and sort out today.
S did a fantastic job, lots of concentration as each ornament was hung.

Lots of silliness too.

The morning of Monday 5th was lost to the orthodonist. Another 6 month wait and see if T's teeth will be ready for braces.

Tuesday 6th was a very exciting day. S was singing with her school choir at the Guildhall, along with other schools from across the City. They were being taken by coach to the venue in the morning for a dress rehearsal which she was very excited about. Then when she realised they would be back in time for lunch and that there was pizza on the menu I thought she was going to burst. She looked so happy!
Of course she looked splendid in her uniform stood in the front row singing her heart out and from where we were sat in the second row we had a wonderful view. And of course I cried. So very proud of her.

Whilst out doing a major grocery shop on Thursday I spied the Christmas edition of the Radio Times and suddenly felt awash with that festive feeling. The only thing I have looked up so far are the details on Dr Who and Downton Abbey, essential viewing in our house.

Friday evening I went for a meal with all the people from the charity shop. We were thanked by the area manager, pulled crackers, drank the free wine provided by the landlord and exchanged secret santa gifts.

A couple of months back we arranged to meet G's mum and sister in London for a trip to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

Our route there took a little detour as we needed to go to Charing Cross first to snap a couple of photos for T's history project. I now know an awful lot more than I used to (which wasn't difficult really!) about Edward I.

Everywhere we looked as we made our way to Trafalgar Square there were people dressed up in Santa suits as that morning a charity Santa dash had taken place. It was bizarre but all very festive!

We meet Grandma and D for a late lunch and then wandered through the park to the Winter Wonderland entrance and walked straight in which we were surprised about as earlier there had been really long queues.

We had a lovely time wandering round and if I'm honest arriving slightly earlier and seeing more would have been even better, but we did enjoy ourselves.

G looked fabulous in this hat which he didn't purchase

S's eyes were on stalks at the huge bags of candy floss

T couldn't decide on which hat he preferred, this being one of many he tried on

before plumping for this as his final choice. And what is he taking a photo of,

why a singing moose/reindeer? head of course!

To round off our weekend and well and truly throw ourselves into the Christmas spirit we had a party at our house on Sunday afternoon. Between 3 and 5 our little house was full of family and friends. I'm still not sure how we al got in! I had sent out invites a couple of weeks ago and told everyone to expect quizzes, games and a sing song.
I had set up 3 quizzes in our lounge. Using faces cut out of magazines there was name the famous face. Another where Merry Christmas in various languages had to be matched up with the country they are spoken in and finally there was name the Christmas carol/ song title from just the first letter of each word.

I was hoping for a dry day so we could do a few games outside but it poured down with rain so we did our best indoors. I had lots planned and only a few were played which is the best way round, better to have too much than not enough. There was 'can you get an After 8 from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands', 'pass the balloon race', 'pass a chocolate button along your team by using a straw' and the 'coming or going' game where half a dozen objects are being passed along your team at the same time, some in front and some behind. This was very hectic made even more amusing by the objects being used such a a peeled banana and wet soap. Lots of cheating and lots of laughter!

I asked everyone who came if they would mind posing for a photo, either wearing one of our Christmas hats our using one of the photo booth objects I had printed out after finding such a brilliant selection through Pinterest. Luckily everyone agreed and here's just a sample.

Just as everyone was leaving two more friends arrived. He had been working and so we knew they were going to be late. We were chatting for a while when S mentioned we hadn't played the popcorn game. This involved tipping popcorn onto the floor and picking up as much as you can in 1 minute using cocktail sticks in chop stick fashion. So we all played. T's friend then suggested a popcorn fight.

This is just some of it. I found more in S's hair Monday morning and yesterday more in the basket with the hats and scarves. I have a feeling I may discover more yet. And I wouldn't want it any other way.