Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Day has been and gone ... and we survived ;) The Tree almost didn't but it is still standing if only with a little bit of help from leaning slightly against the wall ... I have said the next time it comes down - it stays down! :)  We had our traditional evening with Keith's family around ... brothers and sisters and lots of children ... lots of boy children!!!! Grandma and Grandad came to stay on Christmas Eve and were more than ready to go home on Boxing Day ... hahaha   Excited Angels and old frail Grandparents, despite loving one another very much aren't really conducive to extended periods of squeezing and hugging ... Grandad needed rescuing on a few occasions ... what can I say .. its Angel Love! :) I think the quietest the Angels were was around 6:30pm on Boxing Day evening after Grandma and Grandad had left for home and they were watching 'Wizard of Oz' on TV, they were completely mesmerised, quietest hour we've had all the Christmas holiday ... hahaha
All in all its been another Kirby Christmas, we've had  moments of frantic, hair pulling chaos and quiet peaceful snuggling moments , with lots of giggles and fortunately no tears! :)

Now we're starting to prepare for the New Year and back to school ... we're back earlier than usual this year , on the 3rd of January, Tuesday, so I need to make sure I've got bags and uniforms all ready and raring to go. So, even though its past Christmas I thought I'd share some of my favourite decorated corners, I don't quite feel that I hit the mark with my Christmas decorations this year, didn't fully get into it, but anyways here are some of the bits I liked :)
My Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Santa's .. Love them! A new one this year is the one by the front, you can't see it very well but he's holding a glass of milk and a gingerbread man cookie!! Had to have him :)

And my Snow Globe Santa and Snowman in my cubby corner ...
Out of reach from little Angel fingers, love the colours on the bases of the snow globes :)

My Trees, getting quite a collection, thanks to some lovely friends and the odd lucky find on the Internet and when out shopping. The one in the rusty bucket I found in the home department of 'Next', only £6, and once plucked of its excessive glittery berries and stuck in the bucket ( it came with a cement base wrapped in faux red suede fabric) then tied with a gingham bow, it looks quite cute stood with my trees :)

It wouldn't be Christmas without ...
My Ginger Christmas Tree and my Ginger shelf ...
I think this is just about my favourite corner, I just love the simplicity of it, its in the hallway and makes me smile each time I pass it :)

I Love my little Nativity that sits on top of the manky old microwave (really need to save up and buy a new one ... lol!)
The red toilet roll candle, is a new addition this year ;) made by Mim at school as one of her Christmas decorations, she was soooo proud of it when I took it out of her school bag,  it had to have pride of place next to the Nativity, most days she comes by reaches it down , has a look at it  and ever so carefully places it back ... it's like she's inspecting it to make sure I'm taking proper care of her work of Art!  :)

Santa's Sack is a newbie too ...
 I love the 'Dealer in Good Stuff' printed on the front of the sack, its looking a bit squashed as its been loved a bit too much and been emptied of its straw stuffing and greenery tooo many times to count so I ended up hanging it as high up and out of reach as possible .. lol! You should be able to see a prim Ginger with some cones and berry greens , a candy cane and two teensy prim Santa dolls ... but like I said they're all a bit squashed and overly loved ;)

One last little corner ...
I just about managed to finish this cross stitch Santa pocket in time :) He's from a Country Stitches design and I soooo loved sewing him, so much sew ;) he was my second make, I'd already made a first as a gift for a friend and decided that I needed one for me tooo ... hahaha ... doing another second of another 'I need one too gift'  as well at the moment ... lol   I might get it finished before its time to put it away for next year .. I have a third second tooo .. hahaha but I probably won't manage to get around to that one just yet ... Can you tell I had fun making my gifts this year ... soooo much so I had to make them for me tooo!! hehehehee

Soooooo, that's my favourite corners this year , soon be time to take them all down and store them away for another year :(  But ...... Guess who comes next?????  Snowmen!!!! Yeahhhh!! Love my Snowmen :)  Actually can't wait to get them out ... they've been calling to me ...lol! All I need now is some snow.........  hahaha

Last of the Christmas hugs ... till next year :)
Love Wendy x


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I think I might be nearly ready ... I only said nearly ;)  We finally got the tree decorated ....
As I was hanging up all the mostly homemade ornaments some I thought were looking a bit old and tired, some are a bit past it, some are not to my taste anymore, some are possibly even bordering on tacky :) But when I thought about it a little more I realised that each and every ornament represented a different part of our family life ...

Our very first tree ornament  ...
a cross stitch made by a friend who was my bridesmaid and whom over the years we've lost touch with :(   I think she lives in the US now, but her little 'First Christmas' gift inspired me to make firsts for each of the children ...
... even though Jacob is none too impressed with the lace on his, and I think I possibly got carried away with Esther and Mim's lacy edges ... lol! Not really what I would make now but fond memories. And I did try to make a new cross-stitched ornament for each year of our 'married ' Christmas's ...{{ Ooops.. reading that back again, somehow  makes it  sound like we're not still married  ... lol ...we are! Just not quite got all the yearly cross stitched ornaments to prove it}} ...hahahaha

Then there are the Gingham Angels ....
... made one year when we didn't have any extra pennies to spend on Christmas, I made them out of an old feather pillow and scrape of chequered cotton a lady from church gave me ... you should have seen the mess I made cutting up that pillow to use the cotton outer cover for the bodies and the feathers for stuffing :) we originally had about 6 Angels of different colours but are now down to these last three.  That was also the year that I made Abigael a Rag Doll ( out of the same feather pillow :) and I made Jacob a big knitted green dinosaur again with wool that was donated, Keith also made the children a black board and I 'borrowed' some chalk from Church :) It was our 'poorest' year, our Christmas dinner was a wonderful hamper full of the most delicious goodies and a beautiful turkey and all the trimmings, that was left  on our doorstep that Christmas Eve by some kind and loving person, I never found out who it was  but I thanked them with all my heart in my prayers and each year I pray that they are blessed with love and kindness where ever they are :) Wonderful memories ...
 
Then another year I was using my scroll saw and decided a tree with wooden hearts and stars would look cute....

... there was the year my Mum bought me some wool felt kits ...
I loved making them ... that was the year Esther was born 4 weeks early in November ( she was due to be a December baby) and was poorly all thru' Christmas and New Year, those little kits kept me sane :)  

Our tree is very homely, a mix of differing homemade styles and tastes but as I was hanging them out and all the different memories were coming to mind  I couldn't bear to not hang each one up. Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed at not having a glitzy , sparkly tree with giant glass baubles all beautifully arranged, but then I remember that that's not who I am ... I'm a homemade kind of mum, that lives with sticky Angel fingers and boys that are big enough to know that I will pop that football if they kick it near the tree again! ;)  ... and really,  can you imagine how many glass baubles would last in my house ... not many ... lol!  After much thought and reminiscing I do love our tree and all its ornaments and decorations  :)   So there you go, the story of our homemade Christmas tree.

Now onto a new memory, one that was created this very last weekend, if you are of weak disposition you may need to finish here, because this is a tale of not epic but Angelic proportions ... We try to go to Church each Sunday, sometimes we are successful , sometimes thru' one thing and another it just doesn't happen, this week it happened :) And I was really pleased because I love Church at Christmas time, I love the Carols and the lessons, and I love the nativity that the children perform during Sunday School ... just all very Christmassy. So off we go, the day or so before we'd had a little bit of snow, not much but enough to have frozen overnight and cause the Church car park to become a bit of an ice rink. Nothing to worry about so far, except hubby on seeing the state of the paths and the car park decided he had to get his tractor out and clear all the ice ( Hubby is the Head Gardener on the site that our Church is situated on ... they're his grounds ...lol!) I was a bit anxious about having the Angels on my own during the service but I had Abi and Jake and a book full of stickers , I should be OK :)  the service went OK, Mim did try to tip the pew in front of us up (by stretching out her legs and pushing against the back of the pew) it did startle the old ladies sat on the pew,  but between you and me they did look like they'd been nodding off and need waking up ;)

fooooood! Lots of people, lots of munching and mingling and two very slippery and quick Angels!  Its at this point that everything kind of entered that slow motion stage, almost like an out of body experience that you have no control over. The Angels slip between two rotund gentleman, a gap I couldn't squeeze through, they dodge around a couple of blue rinsed grannies {the grannies are sisters and their hair always has a blue rinse , but they are really nice grannies, the kind you want to take home  :) } Through a group of young men and head straight to the plate filled with chocolate covered marshmallow s on sticks ... I'm still stuck trying to get past the rotund gentlemen, and to my horror see some kind, thoughtful lady give the Angels a chocolate covered marshmallow stick ... one each!!!! Noooooooooooooooooo!!!! Esther's face I have to say at this point practically glowed with heavenly radiance as she gleefully held her marshmallow stick firmly clamped in her hand ... then, she looked me directly ... and I mean directly ...  in the eye, laughed and legged it down the aisle of chairs set out in the hall. Now here was my dilemma ... do I run after the gleeful one , who  don't think I can catch as there are too many bodies in the way , or do I go for the Angel stood in place chomping away on her prize, that is reachable ???? I went for the chomper. BAD MISTAKE!! I nabbed Mim, delivered her safely into  arms of Jacob who was close behind me  and turned to see where Esther was ...  out of the corner of my eye I catch movement  and as I turn to look properly, my body is actually trying to respond to what my eyes are seeing before my brain has actually assimilated the horrific vision before me ...  across the hall is my Esther with her fingers firmly grasped in the hair of a lady sat down quietly next to her friend who is trying to eat       (a-nother!!) chocolate marshmallow stick! Then I see the hair lift from the first lady's head ... its a wig!!!! There follows an almighty tussle between the lady trying to maintain her dignity and keep her wig on her head, Esther mesmerised by this furry thing that she can move and wants to keep!! At the same time she's trying to make a grab for the marshmallow stick that the second lady is definitely not letting go of, people are wading in to try and save the lady and the wig , untangle Esther and the wig, stop Esther getting the marshmallow, relieve the lady of the marshmallow.... it was sooooo horrific it was hilarious ... I sincerely promise that I am not making a word of this up , its all frighteningly true! It felt like hours but in a matter of nano seconds of seeing all this Abi and I ( Abi had seen it from the other side of the hall where she'd been looking for her sisters) both converged on to the scene and literally had to push people out of the way so we could reach Esther, the ladies, the wig and the marshmallow. With profuse apologies we untangled all the necessary limbs, finger and hair pieces and tried to make a swift exit, as we pulled away there was still the matter of the second lady with the marshmallow stick .... the second lady still had hold of the stick and Esther had her fingers clamped around the actually chocolate marshmallow. I tried to suggest to the lady, could she let go of the stick, but honestly I don't think she heard me, she was just holding onto  it watching everything happen with a glazed  look on her face, so Abi and I prised Esther's fingers one by one of the now squidged mess of marshmallow leaving the second lady still holding it and the first lady trying to work out which way her wig goes back on ... again more apologies and sorrowful pleadings of regret. But we actually picked Esther up by the under-arms and legs and left as fast as we could, looking back over my shoulder all I could see was the wig back in place on one lady and the second lady dazedly eating sticky goo on a stick!!!! Abs and I just carried Esther straight out of the building and into the car park where we mat hubby, completely oblivious  to all that had just happened and told him ' home now!!'  I think he could tell by the look in our eyes not to ask any questions he just acted quickly and got us all in the car and home as fast as possible. We didn't even get to see the Nativity as all our drama/trauma happened before it started! Once home we told our frightful tale to hubby and he did what any man would do ... laughed his head off!!!

I write this all down not to highlight the most dreadful behaviour of my daughter that I misguidedly call 'Angel Esther', she who is totally oblivious of all the chaos she caused, as far as she is concerned, she found something soft and furry to play with and if one lady gives you a chocolate marshmallow stick ... all ladies must do that ... right!??  ;)   Ooo for the mind of an innocent :)   No, I write this because I need to remember that I should wear flat shoes and not heels to Church ... better for running in! ;)
Here endeth the woeful Kirby Christmas tale of 2011 ... I hope!
We might give Church a miss next week!!!! :))

Love Wendy x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

I've been really worried the last week or so that I was starting to turn into the 'Grinch' this Christmas :(
Whilst everyone round and about me seems to be having festive fun, I've just felt a teensy bit crabby and stressed out. I've tried to think 'why?' and I've come up with lots of excuses.... the boiler has decided to break down, so we're cold and shivery which has led to coughs and sneezes,  I can't decide which I hate most ... a red runny nose , or a stuffy blocked nose ...lol!   Then there's the running backwards and forwards with Abigael to her new job, which she is really enjoying :)  I just don't enjoy going out in the car in the dark and cold ... sigh ;) But I have  found that a hot chocolate picked up from the local McDonald's drive-thru' on the way helps warm up my cold fingers ... hehehe ... so there are good aspects to being Mum's Taxi :)  Then don't get me started on the shopping ... I had to queue for 40 minutes on the self service aisle the other night for a carton of milk and a loaf of bread ... everyone is going crazy buying food ... Present shopping is another 'hate' , well not a 'hate' as such, just an emotional drain ... hahaha. So yet again I've turned to the Internet for gifts ... Hooray for Amazon!  I did take Abi into Manchester the other evening for late night shopping, it was horrendous... and soooooo expensive, I came home and got most things cheaper on Amazon, and I wasn't hustled and bustled by other frantic shoppers ;)  So you see I am most definitely leaning towards Grinch-i-ness this year ;)

Fortunately though I've had some lovely friends that have helped me :)
Karen ("Primitive Life in an English Cottage" blog) and I did a Christmas swap ... I forgot to take a picture of my gift for Karen, just a simple woolly cushion for her lovely primitive home, I'll have to see if I can pinch a picture of it from her blog ;)  Karen made me the most wonderful Ooak Snowman ...
Isn't he lovely, I feel soooo honoured that Karen made me something sooo special. He's definitely 'one of a kind' I love his nose and the crows and rusty bells, the fabric ... everything!
Thank you sooo much Karen for your wonderful gift. :)

Then ... I received another parcel from another swap I did with Tanya ("Friendship Crossing" blog), again I forgot to take pictures of my gifts... bit of a numpty ... ehh!? Have to hope Tanya takes a picture ... lol!  Tanya sent me a lovely box of all things Ginger :) .....
Soooo many lovely Gingers to Oooh and Aaaah over :) I love them all! Thankyoooou Tanya :)

And there's more! I had been busy planning a surprise package for a lovely friend ... Julia ( "Bilberry Grove" blog) but I was tooo slow and Julia beat me to the surprise bit!! :))  ....
I just love the Christmas pudding pincushion, and the snowman hanging is gorgeous... all made out of my favourite woollies , but most of all I love the tiny little label Julia sewed in the corner... 'made by Bilberry Grove' ... it just made me smile sooo much and think of my lovely friend Julia :)
Thank you Julia! :)  Poor Julia is still waiting for her surprise :(   I'm just soooo slow!  Fortunately I put the last stitches in tonight, so just need to head to the Post Office now :)

I feel so blessed to have such kind and generous friends, the gifts are wonderful and will be treasured, but the thing that touches my heart the most is knowing these lovely friends took time to plan and sew something especially for me, it fills my heart with love and gratitude.... Thank you for that wonderful gift :)    I even feel less 'Grinchy' ;) hahahaha...

The children all finished school and college on Friday and I can honestly say that I'm glad they are home for the holidays ... I'm sooo looking forward to snuggling up and watching some cheesey Christmas films, and drinking hot chocolate, even if I have to share with Angel Mim who seems to have taken a liking to sipping warm milky chocolate... especially if there's marshmallows involved ;)

Just before school and college finished I managed to get one last sewing class in at my little quilt shop. It was a Christmas one ... of course ... and called 'Twas the night before Christmas' and involved .... yes , more mouses! We made a cute little mouse in a bed... which I finished  :)  And a 'Santa's Sack' filled with letters for Santa and another mouse and other bits and bots ... which I haven't quite finished yet ;)   Here's my mouse in bed ...
He's very cute even if  I say so myself, the little candle came with the 'kit' but the blocks I got of E-bay ... just because! hehehehe  Now take a closer look at that candle....
Its a  grubbied beeswax candle, can you see those teeth marks? They're Angel teeth marks! :) Can you see why nothing is sacred around here ... lol! If its not light bulbs, its candles! I could mold the candle back into shape but I actually like the teeth indents ... some people save painted hand prints, I like my teeth marks ...lol! It was Angel Mim by the way ... but I bet you'd already guessed that ... hahaha

We bought the Christmas Tree today , and as of  an hour or so ago when we came to bed it was still standing, possibly because its not that interesting yet, its up and covered in fairy lights but no decorations yet, so nothing to pull at and play with :)  I wasn't feeling brave enough to fully decorate it tonight, saving that for tomorrow ...haha :)  I'm almost up to date with making the last of my gifts, just one to finish off for my Mum and one to start  (!) for Abigael, its a fairly straight forward 'make' so I'm hoping I can get it all done on Monday when the Angels go out for a couple of hours to the cinema with their carers ... have a number of hours to use up before the end of the month so if all goes well the Angels should have a couple of fun days out, that will hopefully help combat the Christmas cabin fever that always seems to come by the second day of the holidays :)  Abigael is just waiting to hear what her Christmas hours are, so she'll be busy and Jacob is more than likely looking forward to some 'girl-free' time on the wii with all his sisters out of the house !!! :)

So its late again, actually I think its Sunday now ... I started writing Saturday ... lol!  I hope I can get back before Christmas ... I had intended to try and write every day in December but as you can see I didn't make it ...lol! The best of intentions and all :)  Fingers crossed I can find some quiet moments ....  Ooooo Esther has just put her cold toes on me, we're snuggled in bed, she fell asleep watching a film on TV ... no idea what it was, not sure if I saw Clint Eastwood ... but she's all curled up asleep in a little ball, just with cold tootsies :) I best go snuggle and see if I can warm them up, might stay snuggled next to her too ... she's nice and toasty and its cold outside the duvet  ;)

Christmas Love and Hugs  
Wendy x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

December 1st!!!! ...  Almost December 2nd ... lol! Just  wanted to write December 1st in my blog/journal  :)  Don't reeeeaally have much of anything to say or tell, no pictures to show ... haha   Just literally wanted December 1st to show up on my journal dates .... sad!?

I can share that I've discovered the delights of apple cinnamon donuts!!! Ate two tonight! One on the way to my sewing class and one on the way home! Yummmmmmy!!!  ;)  And the lady at the till serving me in the supermarket told me that they are the lowest in calories  of that make of donut ... can't remember the make???  Not Baskin Robins , that's ice-cream ... Dunkin Donuts!?!?!?!  They're the ones in the glass cabinet in Tesco's ... cost a small fortune! But sooooooooo nice :)

Anyway, that's all I have, told you it wasn't much, just December 1st!  Oooops and guess what I've just realised??? I forgot to get the advent calenders out!!! What a numpty of a Mummy! Should I go wake everyone up .... Nahhh, it can wait until tomorrow, a double chocolate treat should get me out of trouble ... must have been those donuts that made me forget .... but Oooo sooo gooood! I think I might dream about them tonight ... obviously its very late now and I really should  be in bed fast asleep and definitely not writing such nonsense :)

 Oooh well, Happy 1st almost 2nd of December :))

Hugs Wendy xox