Thursday, 30 November 2017

Frosty mornings and busy days.

There is nothing better than waking on a cold winters morning, looking out the window and seeing the white crispness of frost on the grass ... especially when you are snug and warm inside :)
Everything smells clean and fresh, and there is a bite to the air that gives you shivers down your spine and makes you rub your hands together and go bbrrrrrrr ...I love it :)
 I love the frozen leaves on the grass, Autumn is saying farewell and we are ready to welcome Winter  ...I realize I can say that quite flippantly as our Winters here in the UK are very mild compared to some, my Sister-in-Law lives in Montana and I think she's already had several snowfalls this year :)
 
 Cold mornings call for snuggly, fluffy slippers on chilly wooden floors...and it's hard changing out of warm comfy PJ's too! ;) hehehe...

We don't have time for frosty winter mornings to slow us down when we have busy days planned.  Our school days have always been Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm and those 6 hours have  been my Angel-free time to complete the usual house chores; shopping, cleaning, visiting my Mum and Abi and Bubba Daniel, volunteering at school and even just time to relax and stitch. Since September my new 'school' week has been shortened by a day as Angel Esther is now home with me on Mondays. Tuesday-Friday she has her adult placement at Day Services which starts at 10am. My daytime slot has been shortened by an hour  :( ... I miss that one hour soooooo much, it feels like I've lost a really valuable hour of my day and gained extra several frustrating inbetweenie hours ...we have about 40 minutes from Angel Mim leaving for school on the bus, to getting Angel Esther in the car to go to Day Services and then another floating 40 minutes later in the day when Mim is dropped off after school before we need to go collect Angel Esther at 4pm ...itty bitty periods where I might just be able to manage getting a wash load started in the machine or fill the dishwasher...but not enough time to really get anything done properly...I can't even get into my usual morning power clean mode ...hahaha (not that that happens toooo often! hehehehe)    For several years I've enjoyed going into the Angels school one day/week to do some handicrafts with some of the older students, this year with the time adjustment and reduced days  its being more of a challenge and I've found it harder to manage everything...a full day volunteering at school left me with much less time at home.  I tried  reducing my time at school to 1/2 a day, but I just found I was needing to use the other 1/2 day at home to prepare and cut and stitch all that I would normally do during class with the children. I've struggled the last couple of months trying to fit everything in, so after much thought  I made the sad decision to stop going into school each week once my little group had completed all our crafts for their annual Christmas craft fair. These are some of our  cute little crafts we've created this year. ..I particularly like the pine cone reindeer heads :)  ....
 Today was my last day with my little group, I'll go in next week to help them 'man' their Christmas stall, but I'll miss sitting down and helping them learn new crafts. I feel bad not returning but I also know that I can only do so much and if I'm fraught and exhausted from running around trying to squeeze everything in the only people that suffer are my little family and I need to be there for them. I'm sure there will come a time when I can return to school and we can craft again :)

The last day of November means one thing only in our home.....
 
 Has Mum  remembered to get the Advent calenders ready for the morning??? We cant start December without our Advent calendars! (I was a day late one year and one might say I had a lot of negative feedback from certain members of the family!! hahaha) Mum is all ready this year :)  I have the Chocolate Advent calender's ready and waiting on the kitchen table ...its become tradition that I buy calender's for everyone.. the Angels and Jacob get individual ones, Abi and Nathan get a slightly fancier one to share, bubba isnt allowed one this year as hes tooo young for chocolate :( A nice posh Thorntons one for Grandma ...Hubby and I are also sharing a posh one this year ..hehehe ;) There's also chocolate buttons for the wooden advent, Angel Mim LOVES the wooden advent, our old one has  become a little battered and bashed over the years so I have an early Christmas surprise for her tomorrow...a  brand new wooden snowman calendar, with little doors that open as opposed to drawers that can be hard for little Angel fingers to manage :)  I'm really excited to see her little face when she unwraps it in the morning! :)

I had a few extra goodies in my basket when I picked up the Advent calender's at the supermarket ...
 I couldn't resist my usual mini poinsettias and some lovely candles and shiny red bells ...you can never have enough 'alarm' bells for the Angels at Christmas! :)
And as I got home from shopping Mr Postman had called with a little bubble envelope for me...
some last minute purchases of a few Autumn/Fall/Halloween cross stitch patterns and woolly kits ...I just couldn't resist! ;) I'll keep them safe in a basket ready to pull out and enjoy stitching next year :)

Well that's me for tonight, time to get my snuggly PJ's on and cuddle under the warm duvet with my Angels. I've had this idea floating around in my head for the last few weeks, Id like to do my own daily blog/journal advent, just sharing little bits of  December as we prepare and get excited for Christmas. We have a family advent folder full of Christmas stories and carols and scriptures that when the children were small we would sit and read each day starting the first of December ...lots of fond happy memories...but...can I find that folder this year?? Nope!!....no idea where it is ...I remember seeing it on the table in the Quiet Room ...last year!...but naturally its not there now...hopefully as I start to unpack the Christmas boxes it will turn up ..fingers crossed. I might try and start my blog/journal advent without the folder ...we'll see ...I'm hardly known for daily posts now am I?! ;) hehehe...you never know ...I might be back tomorrow....:)
Hugs Wendy x x x 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

28 November 2010 - 2017

10 years..... I've had my little blog journal for 10 whole years today :) I was reading over some of my old entries and had a good little giggle over some of our Angel antics and adventures over the years. My Angels may be 10 years older but are still getting up to mischief ...hehehe   It's easy to think that our life stays pretty much the same with caring for our Angels but lots of changes have happened. We've had  a lot of happy wonderful events, we've had our fair share of challenging moments too. There's been tears of laughter and sorrow but I think we've weathered them all reasonably well, importantly  at the end of the day we always have family and giggles and one another to love and support each other :) Life is as it is ...you just sometimes need a hug .....and a bar of chocolate to live it with a smile :)

I'd like to say that over the years  my ability to complete my sewing projects has improved but ......
 This snowman quilt was one of the first photos that I shared ...Ooooh the shame of that duct tape holding it up on my quilt bar aka curtain pole on the wall ...hehehehee... I'm not sure ..because I can't actually remember where that quilt top is now ...but... I'm certain that I never actually finished adding the snowman's button eyes, never mind the wadding or backing fabric!!! I really need to have a hunt around and see if I can find it somewhere ...hope the mouses haven't nibbled it! But it is bold evidence that even after 10 years I still have baskets and baskets of unfinished projects :(  Its not a good endorsement to encourage or persuade the hubby that I need more stash!! hahaha

Its fun to see how my crafty/sewing interests have changed too ...I started out as a young girl cross stitching , discovered doll making, and wall hangings, dabbled in painted woodwork, moved onto patchwork and quilting, enjoyed applique and fell deliriously in love with all things wool. I enjoyed redwork stitchery and hand embroidery and  returned back to cross-stitching.  My tastes have changed too, I'm less whimsical and pretty-country and more primitive  and old -country if that makes sense ...hehehe ;)

I managed to complete one last Autumn/Halloween  cross stitch design...
 "Tricks & Treats" by Brenda Gervais of With thy Needle & Thread ...its an older design ..2008... but fun to stitch ...and actually quite whimsical!!! hahahahha :) :)
I was super keen to finish stitching little miss pumpkin witch as I was desperate to start on some Christmas designs  ... my fingers were itching ...hehehe
I'm not far off completing this happy Father Christmas ..."Kringle & Woolard" by Plum Street Samplers  ...love this soooo much :) ...nearly finished ...must remember to give Woolard his eyes, so that he looks less ominous! hahaha    Last year I bought a few Father Christmas /Santa designs that all arrived late in December or early January ...to late to stitch then but perfect for this year  :) Hopefully I'll complete them into finished projects and in 10 years time I won't be wondering where they all are!! hahaha
Hugs Wendy xxx

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A Last Farewell and New Resting Place

A year today we said a tearful goodbye to the most wonderful Father, Grandfather and Husband ever...a whole year! I really can't believe that my lovely Dad has been gone from us for a whole year, its scary that it seems only yesterday and that time has moved on sooo quickly. I truly miss him each and every day, life without him still seems a little surreal, how can life go on without him here with us?  But it does, sons return from adventures in Spain, Grand-babys are born, Angels grow older, we grow older ..hehehe I hope Dad is watching down and enjoying all the antics his family continue to get up to.
  A month or so ago we were finally able to lay Dad to rest with my brother John. His little casket has sat at home with Mum for these many months whilst we've waited on a new headstone to be made and set in place (who knew that could take sooooo long!!!) I've quite enjoyed knowing Dad was at home with Mum this last half year or so :) But it was time to finally lay his ashes to rest so as a family we travelled over to Yorkshire to our family plot and laid Dad to rest with his beloved son :)
It was a lovely crisp Autumnal day and we were wrapped up warm and snug. The local vicar allowed us the privilege of not only digging the hole to lay Dad in but also to say some personal family prayers and Jacob was able to say a small dedicatory prayer over the grave as we said our last farewell. It was a really lovely, private, family time. My Angels were good and sweet...although at the very last moment Angel Esther did throw one of her chewing straws in on top of  the casket...we left it in, Dad would have been tickled and amused that Esther shared her straws with him! :) Dad will love his last resting place the grave yard is old and beautiful ...and in Yorkshire! His beloved home county :)
Just some last photos of the Church...(pinched from the Internet) St Marys Church, Woodkirk.

I'm sure Dad will be happy there ...love you Dad!
Hugs Wendy xx


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Negotiations and Shenanigans

After what feels like months of negotiating with Adult Social Services we seem to have finally agreed upon a support plan for Angel Esther...its not a 100% what we asked for, but they've agreed to more or less mirror Esther's support plan that she had in Children's Services (which is also the same as Angel Miriam's Support plan) So  now Angel Esther will attend Adult Day Services  4 days a week during school term time and then be home during the school holidays with Mim, when they can both continue to go out together with their carers. Sadly we've had to take some cuts in her overnight respite and lost things like transport but I don't think we are going to get a better offer  and honestly I'm pretty much worn out and exhausted from all the wranglings and discussions, that I don't think I could face another meeting. We are hoping that what we have in place will be secure at least until the next review in a years time and even more hopeful that they'll continue with this package and we won't have to fight and wrangle again, sadly Adult Social Services seems to be all about funding; saving funding, cutting funding, its all finance and unfortunately its the people that need the support that are the ones being affected by the cuts. That said, we are very pleased with the Adult Day Placement that Angel Esther has started, its very relaxed, very calm, the staff that support Esther are all really nice and friendly, and importantly, as far as I can tell  Esther seems to enjoy going...well she's not kicking up a fuss getting out the car when we arrive :) She's getting to do lots of activities that she enjoys, like baking and arts and crafts, music and sensory therapies, it seems to be good so far, and as the staff get used to her little ways and she feels more confident with them she'll get to do more trips out, like bowling, swimming and the cinema. As long as my Angel is happy its all good :)

 We all know my way of coping with stressful situations is to either eat copious amounts of chocolate and maybe a little dabble on the 'puter "adding" to my basket :) hehehe  ...my shenanigans ...hehehehe And as always Mr Postman is warmly greeted when he stops by for a visit, particularly when he is carrying a HUUUUUUGE parcel !!! :) .... or maybe even two parcels...OK, three parcels!! hehehehe....   My three lovely parcels contained this gorgeous old firkin bucket, its chunky and heavy and will look fabulous with a Christmas tree stood inside it :) I also found these small whisk brooms and a really lovely primitive wooden framed print..
Here's a closer look at the framed picture...
the wood frame is really smooth and looks soooo pretty.  I'm super-duper happy with my little parcels...although I did feel a teensy bit sorry for Mr Postman having to carry them ..hehehe :)

I had a quick trip out to Chester several weeks ago, only to sadly discover that one of my favourite shops 'Liberty Bell' is closing down, it will continue online but its a shame to see the bricks and mortar shop close. I said farewell with some little woolly purchases, a pumpkin and crow pattern and a scrummy pecan pie candle pan with a couple of pip sprays ... I may have popped round the corner to the Cath Kidston shop to buy a bag to carry it all home in too!! :) hehehhe

I've also managed to finish a couple of  old cross stitch projects from years and years ago ..."Something Wicked" by La D Da Designs ...
 and "Buttons Black" Plum Street Samplers Designs ...
 I mounted them both on some black wooden paddles that Ive had forever, I'm thinking Ill add some ribbon or ric rac or some kind of binding around the edges to prevent any fraying but I'm pleased with how they are looking so far...I probably should have done this years and years ago ...hehehe

Also I finished some woolly pillows, "Jack & Jinx" by Blackberry Primitives...
Ooooh I've missed my woolly stitching ...I soooooo  enjoyed these two sweet pillows, they were quick and easy to sew, I just used a primitive stitch as opposed to button hole stitch (truth be told I very rarely use the button hole stitch any more as I find it quite thick and chunky, I love the way a simple primitive stitch just disappears into the wool...I do like to use other fancy stitches for detail where needed!) I've chosen to stuff the pillows with woolly scraps...my jar of scraps ran out so they need a bit more stuffing before I stitch them closed and add some woolly triangle edging :)
I have one last Pumpkin cross stitch project in progress and then I'll start on some Christmassy projects...I can't believe how soon Christmas is coming up ...I haven't even started to plan anything at all yet!!  I'm going to have to get a move on ...it's Jake's first Christmas at home for 2 years , need to make sure its our usual family chaos! :) hehehehe

Hugs Wendy x x x