Friday 31 December 2021

Christmas 2021

We made it!  All of us together for Christmas.

Clockwise from bottom left: Daughter Rebecca, Grandsons Nathan, Noah and Vinny, Sons Michael and Matthew, Grandson Miles, DIL Elizabeth, Hubby Nick, DIL Victoria, Granddaughter Ella, DIL Amy, Me and Grandson Rory.

We had a busy week leading up to this - Matt, Amy, Noah and Miles arrived on Friday 17th so we had lots of people in the house on various days - including gingerbread baking days:

Tower building sessions:

And then there was Christmas dinner to prepare which needed a plan:

And seemed to turn out ok

Photos to take - very challenging:

And of course these to do:

And edible presents:
This was from our friends from Vermont (DIL's parents).  It was a work of art which we all enjoyed.

It was so lovely to have them all here together although it was a bit hectic at times.  We even managed to sleep them all here on Christmas night and we enjoyed Boxing Day together as well.

Matt and his family returned to Nottingham on Monday and the house has been considerably quieter this week.  I've been catching up on the washing having guests generates (remind me never to contemplate opening a B & B lol) but also taking time to relax.

Now it's time to welcome in the new year.  We'll be having our usual quiet night in, watching a music show on TV.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022.

Friday's Fave Five - 31/12/21

It's the last Friday of the year so time to look back and list some blessings from the last week or so.  This weekly event is hosted by Susanne over at Living to Tell The Story.  Pop over there to see who else has taken part.

1)  Firstly I'm grateful that we've made it to the end of the year with neither Hubby or me getting Covid.  We're also double jabbed and boosted so hopefully if we did get it we'd be ok.  It's still looming over us and life is not back to normal but staying Covid free is definitely a blessing.

2)  We got to celebrate Christmas with all our kids and Grandkids!  There was some concern that extra restrictions were going to be put in place the week before but thankfully it didn't happen.  I think even if they had restricted gatherings we would just have gone ahead anyway.  Our Government doesn't have a good track record for leading by example at the moment so I'm sure lots of people would have just ignored them too.

3)  We had plenty of food.  There have been some difficulties with supply chains over the last few months and rumours of shortages but I managed to get everything we needed.  

4)  It's been nice to have a quiet few days once everyone went home.  The run up to Christmas was busy but the last couple of days I've been able to relax in some peace and quiet either catching up on TV or reading.

5)  I'm grateful that we didn't choose to downsize when we moved last year.  We were able to cope with having everyone here, not just for Christmas day but also staying over so that no one had to drive home Christmas evening and we all had Boxing Day together too.  Hubby and I did end up on an airbed downstairs which isn't something I'd want to do regularly but I think most of us got a fair amount of sleep!

I'm going to do a separate post about Christmas with some photos but for now Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday 21 December 2021

4 more sleeps! Help!

Only 4 more sleeps as the children would say until Christmas.  How can that be?  It was only the beginning of December a few days ago wasn't it?

Despite trying to be more organised this year I feel like I'm failing miserably.  For starters I bought my Christmas cards really early intending to send them out at the beginning of this month.  They finally got posted yesterday which meant paying extra for postage.  I was really cross with myself for that.

But it's been a busy few weeks and the kids have taken up a fair bit of time.  Last week I was helping out with Granddaughter Ella and then helping to set my DIL up in my daughter's empty house so she could isolate from my son and grandsons because she had tested positive for Covid.  Fortunately she hasn't been too unwell and by staying in the empty house she's kept hubby and kids Covid free.  However we had to gather together the basics she would need to be in the house and get it there.

We did manage to fit in a visit to one of Hubby's sisters though so that made a nice change.

But then there was a mad dash to get our house ready for my son and his family.  I had it in my head (and diary) that they were arriving last Sunday.  Fortunately we had a conversation last Thursday when it came to light they were planning to arrive late on Friday.  Cue frantic housecleaning, bed changing, shopping etc.

Of course it's lovely having extra time with them and the two grandsons.  They are with us for Christmas.

Hopefully we will have all our 3 children and their families here for Christmas Day and they will probably all stay over for Boxing day too.

I say hopefully because the dreaded Covid had mutated into a new variant which is spreading through the UK and particularly London at a very fast rate.  It seemed likely that even tougher restrictions might be imposed before Christmas but today it was announced that isn't happening.  We are still being really careful.  My DIL who has Covid will finish her 10 day isolation period on Christmas Eve.  Cutting it fine.

As of today, all of us except her have had our booster jabs.  This should protect us from being seriously ill if we catch the virus but won't necessarily stop us catching it.  We've been testing before we've seen each other and trying not to go anywhere that's busy or crowded but it is making us all a bit stir crazy.

We had fun today though as my daughter and her family came over and the 2 older grandsons, Nathan and Noah, baked gingerbread biscuits.  Not gingerbread people but gingerbread dinosaurs.

Oh and a couple of hearts!  Their decorating skills need a bit of work but they were edible!  And tomorrow we'll get to decorate the second batch when Grandson Rory will be here.

I think I might do the sausage rolls and mince pies without any help though.

It still feels like there are a million and one things on my to do list and the shopping list keeps getting added to - I have an online order that's for collection Thursday morning and a turkey order for the afternoon but I keep thinking I'm going to forget something.  If I do we will just have to go without whatever it was.

I doubt I'll get here again before Christmas so I would just like to wish you all a healthy Christmas and I hope that however you are choosing to spend the festive period you enjoy it.  

Saturday 11 December 2021

Friday's Fave Five - 10/12/21

Well it's Friday oops Saturday so I'm a day late joining in with Susanne and friends over at Living to Tell the Story looking back on the week and finding 5 things to be grateful for.  Yesterday was quite a busy day because:

1)  My daughter and her family have bought a house!  This has been such a long time coming and not without it's ups and downs but they finally completed the purchase yesterday and can now look forward to settling in after Christmas and making it their home.   

2)  The power of antibiotics!  Poor Grandson Vinny developed impetigo last weekend but thanks to the antibiotics and cream prescribed by Thursday he was able to go back to nursery. It's been a tough few weeks for him and I've helped out where I could but his parents have had to take time off from work too which is not easy for either of them - Mum is a teacher and Dad has just started a new job.  We're all hoping he stays well for a bit now.

3)  A new router from our internet/TV provider.  This should improve our broadband speed and I managed to connect it up quite easily today.  Re-setting the internet extenders we need in the house to ensure access in all areas was not quite so easy but I got there eventually.

4)  A catch up with some old friends last weekend.  

5)  Getting into the Christmas spirit.  I finally got our Christmas tree and some decorations up this week and tomorrow afternoon we will attend a carol concert that my DIL's choir are singing at.

It takes me a while to turn off all the lights at the end of the day!  And my nativity scene looks a bit muddled since Nathan has been here.  He likes moving the people and animals around!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend all.

Friday 3 December 2021

Friday's Fave Five - 3/12/21

It's Friday so time to join in with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and recall the good things from this week.

1)  I'm finally feeling well!  I've finished my antibiotics and I definitely have more energy.  I've been back to babysitting duties this week too.

2)  We survived storm Arwen which hit the UK at the end of last week.  In fact in London we were hardly affected by it although we did have rain and quite high winds but nothing compared to some areas of the country.  In the worst hit areas a lot of damage was done and many homes lost power.  In fact some homes are still without power a week on.  I'm very grateful we are not in that situation.

3)  A hair cut!  My hair had got quite messy as it really should have been cut a few weeks ago but being unwell meant that didn't happen.  But I got it done yesterday and I'm pleased about that.

4)  I baked a cake!

Banana bread.  It doesn't look great but it tastes lovely.  I can't remember the last time I baked a cake but we often end up with over ripe bananas that go to waste and this week I finally got to make use of some and baked.  Hopefully it might spur me on to do some more baking especially with Christmas coming.

5)  I spent today catching up on some cleaning that's been neglected over the past few weeks and now I'm ready to put up the Christmas decorations this weekend.

Enjoy the weekend.