Tuesday 30 December 2008

Lang May Your Lum Reek! A bit of Scottish trivia for 2009!

****Update - I should have explained; the dark haired thing, I think, is to do with the proximity of Scotland to Scandinavia and bands of marauding Vikings. This may be why Scots would not be best pleased at someone  blonde trying to shoulder into their houses in the wee, small hours!***** 

Here it is: I should probably warn you I'm not looking my best, and I'm sounding even posher than usual; but the sentiment is genuine, and I'm not going to get another chance, so it'll have to do!

Thursday 25 December 2008

God Bless us, every one!

Merry Christmas to All!
And to All, a Good Night!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Illness and Christmas Crafts!

***** This is so cool! I've just found out that 'O, Little Town of Bethlehem' and 'The House of the Rising Sun' by The Animals, are completely interchangeable! You can sing each to the tune of the other!******** Maybe I'm just easily pleased?

We’ve been away for a few days as we’ve all had flu’ - no fun at ALL!

Being ill as a parent with small children always reminds me of Garrison Keillor’s description of the Swedish Flu’.
‘Swedish flu is like Asian flu but in addition to the usual nausea, fever and chills; you feel it's your fault.
Besides the personal guilt this flu is also accompanied by an overpowering urge to put things in order. Before you collapse in bed, you iron the sheets. Before you throw up, you plan your family's meals for the upcoming week."

Although, in my feverish state I put a navy, cotton-jersey pillowcase in Ken’s t-shirt drawer by mistake.
Let me tell you, there is nothing funnier than a large man in post-flu’ recovery stumbling around the bedroom trying to put a pillowcase on!

Luckily, before we all succumbed, we managed to do some Christmas crafts.
Here are the pictures:

Friday 19 December 2008

On all things Christmassy!

(These photos are a little old, but bear with me, the camera's charging!)

Well, we've finally got the tree from outside;

To inside:

There is the usual discussion about how to include us vegetarians in the festive fare, best summed up here

And just in case you wanted to know more about my family's bizare Christmas rituals:

The Holiday Version Meme

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hmmmm! It’s got to be hot chocolate, because we don’t really get egg nog over here. I also love mulled wine and cider. Oh, and those lovely syrups you get for coffee - gingerbread latte, mmmmm!

Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree?

Don’t be silly! He wraps the presents and puts them in the stockings at the end of people’s beds. Everyone knows that!

Coloured lights on tree or white?

Either! I’m easy on the Christmas light thing! As long as it's muted. I can't stand anything that's lit up like an airport runway!

When do you put your decorations up?

Oh, some point before Christmas!

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

That’s tricky! Do mince pies count as dessert? If not then I’ll have those, please!

Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

My Grandma’s Hogmanay parties (New Years Eve was her birthday).
Lots of nice food and couples dancing the Gay Gordons in the hallway.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Can’t honestly remember.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

No, no,no!
We open stockings in the morning of Christmas Day. Then after Christmas dinner we go and sit round the tree and open our presents as a family. 
We're big on delayed gratification and making it last all day!

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Bring the decorations and the tree together at warp speed and see what sticks. Anything that can be shaken off gets swept back into the box for next year.

Snow... Love it or Dread it?

Love it! Not so fond of it if I have to drive in it. But by and large pretty positive!

Can you ice skate?

Yes - very badly. I always remember it being more fun than it is!

Do you remember your favorite gift?

My favourite gift is a silver watch that my husband gave me as a Christmas present. Which was a bit of a chance on his part as we’d only been going out a couple of months - and I’m still wearing it!

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Making time to see everyone. And enjoying the family being together.
And having lots of other adults around to look after children!

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Sherry Trifle. My Grandma made the best! We’ve never got it quite as good as hers, but we make it every year.

What is your favorite tradition?

Christmas stockings! Everyone in our household gets one - even the cats get something!

Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving?

Both! It’s nice to give something that people really want, or to receive something that you like and can make the giver feel really good about giving!

What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Phoebe’s Christmas Pudding song!

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

Probably yum. We don’t tend to have them so much over here, so they become more for decoration than for eating. But I have eaten them, and I never met a sweet I didn’t like!

Ever recycled a Christmas present?

Unless you regularly give me presents; in which case - no, never!

Now you know more than you've ever wanted to know about my answers to random Christmas questions.
Consider yourself tagged!

IKEA trip!

As you know, I suffer from Large Family Envy. To combat this, I enjoy (?) taking large groups of children, on my own, to undertake various activities. Yesterday, we took our little friends to Ikea - and much fun was had by all!

The children of the computer generation at play! Notice all the untouched balls!
The only quiet time of the day!
With heartfelt thanks to the lovely Sacha, who overcame car problems and time constraints to join us.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

As I walked out one Winter morning....

I saw; Christians praying for healing, and people showing off their pro-jumpers. The Cadet Bugle Band collecting for Help for Heroes.

A marching (wandering?) band playing carols!

And my family eating sushi and noodles!
Can I point out that my right thigh looks usually large because my left foot is underneath it!

Saturday 13 December 2008

Beware foot nudism!

Apparently it's catching! This is Guy being a bad influence on his little friend. You can see by the way they are dressed (inside the car, I might add) that this is no weather to be barefoot in!

This the bunny at the garden centre. He is huge! At one stage I thought Guy was going to try and get on and go for a ride!

This is our eco store where we fill up our assorted cleaning products. And they play football with Guy! Nice people!

Sadly, almost all the play groups and activities we go to are finishing for Christmas. Here we are at our last Sparklers.

Can you guess where it's held? The organ pipes in the background are a bit of a giveaway!

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Monday 8 December 2008

Dear Mother Letters

You may have seen the project featured over at Rocks in My Dryer. A young dad contacted her about writing a letter for his wife, a young mother. He is collecting letters for his wife and plans to compile them as her Christmas gift this year. He is looking for letters that express all aspects of mothering, a treasury of heart, wisdom, questions, challenges. Blissfully Domestic has also picked up on this great story. So if you want to help a guy out, You can write a post on this and send him the link here.

Anyway, here's my humble attempt:

Dear Mother,

At this time of year it’s often stated that, ‘it is better to give than to receive’. And it is!
It is far more fun to find a gift that is ‘just right’, and watch the surprise on a family member or friend’s face as they unwrap it; than it is to be the recipient, nice though that is! Family Christmas memories are often full of Oscar winning performances of joy and thankfulness at receiving yet another give-away calendar, or pair of socks!

What I would like to share with you is the lesson that one of my friend’s mother’s taught me.
She did me a favour, and to say thank you, I brought her some flowers which she accepted very graciously. She then sat me down and explained; ‘If you do something for me, and I do something for you. That’s very nice. But it only goes backwards and forwards between the two of us - it’s a closed circle. But if I help you, and then you are able to do something for two more people, and they go on to help others, then we create a chain.’ This is a lesson that has stayed with me.

I feel very strongly that we should show our children (and maybe some adults?) that we should give, in the words of the prayer ‘without counting the cost, and without expecting any reward’; and we should receive gifts graciously, even if we are not able to reciprocate. Then, when we can, we should pass the kindness on, and create a chain.

With every kind wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sunday 7 December 2008

In which the Baroness is very, very ill!

On Saturday we went out for a lovely meal with Grand -Doug.

Everyone was very well behaved and ate up all their food.

Until suddenly, Guy asked to get onto my lap, and vomited EVERYWHERE!
Well, mostly over me! This indignity was compounded by Grand-Doug thinking this was hilarious and regaling the restaurant with stories of the times when I was sick on him as a child.
What made this still worse was that Ken dashed home to get me and Guy some more clothes, and brought back a pair of 'aspirational' jeans that I haven't been able to get into for the last 10 years! 
Anyway, I've got the bug now and I feel like I've thrown up the inside of my toes! But Ken has been wonderful and taken the children all day. They went to the Garden Centre to see Father Christmas, to church (YAY!), and to the soft play.

Luckily the only thing that Grandma could diagnose for Phoebe was a surfeit of ice-cream!

Monday 1 December 2008

Dare to Wear!

Well, the lovely Mama Belle has dared us all to wear something a little outside our comfort zone.

The other day I found these at the back of my drawer;
I was a little worried as, being short and dumpy, I usually run a mile from horizontal stripes!However, after putting them on, my husband replied that they weren't actually the silliest thing I've ever worn, and I was allowed to leave the house in them!

And to be fair to his scepticism about my dress-sense, I did spend most of my time prior to settling down in married life dressed either like this:

Or this:

I know! I apologise!