Friday 29 December 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 29/12/23

And it's Friday again!  Time to look back on the blessings of the past week and share them here.  Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us each week.  We often do need to take a step back and realise how fortunate we are.

1)  Christmas hampers all packed and delivered to the beneficiaries of the Food bank.  I helped out last Saturday with packing the final items into hampers then Hubby and I delivered 3 of them.  I was really pleased to see the amount of food that we were able to provide to people but saddened to see how many people were going to be on their own for Christmas dinner - opting for a Ready Meal rather that any sort of joint.  The hampers also had a lot of treats in them as well though so hopefully they will have given some enjoyment to all our beneficiaries.  It was a lovely atmosphere amongst the volunteers while we were preparing the hampers and I'm glad to have been a part of it.

2)  Christmas with all the family here.  Our eldest son and his family had been here since Thursday 21st but our other son and our daughter and all their families were here for Christmas Day.  14 of us in total.

I was up to midnight the night before getting everything prepped.  And once I'd worked out my timetable I was able to go to bed not feeling stressed.

They all laughed at how detailed my list was - even down to reminders about putting condiments on the table but knowing I'd left nothing to chance made me feel a lot more in control!

We didn't get a decent photo of all of us at the table - and it was hard getting all the grandchildren to sit still for a photo - these were probably the best of a bad lot:

Ella, Rory, Nathan, Noah, Vinny & Miles

3)  Good weather on Boxing Day so that they were able to take the children to the park for some fresh air and to run off some of their energy.  

4) Quiet time today.  My son and his family left for their home in Nottingham this morning and, although I loved having the whole family here for Christmas it was nice to just be able to sit and relax.

5)  I'm thankful that we made the move to this house when we did.  It is a bit crowded when we're all together but there is room for us all to be together and for everyone to sleep over as they did Christmas night.  The layout in our previous house wouldn't have made it possible for us to do that.  Of course as the children get older and bigger it won't be so easy but hopefully we're making lots of happy memories for them to be able to look back on.

And now the New Year approaches.  Hubby and I will probably celebrate it quietly as we usually do.

Happy New Year to you all.

Friday 22 December 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 22/12/23

Thanks to our host Susanne for keeping us on track every Friday to find the good things in our week.  You can find out more here.

Here are mine:

1)  Almost Christmas ready.  The presents are all bought and wrapped.  The house looks Christmassy and I have a big shop being delivered tomorrow.  I'm sure there will be something I've forgotten that will mean a trip to the shop but hopefully not for too many things!

2)  Family time.  My eldest son and his family arrived yesterday and they will be with us until next Friday.  My other son and my daughter will be here with their families on Christmas Day, staying over until Boxing Day.  It will probably be total chaos but also lovely to have all the grandchildren together.

These two do love a dinosaur or two....

3)  Fun at the Food bank.  Well not fun exactly but we had a good time packing Christmas hampers for our beneficiaries today.  The amount of food that has been donated this month has been amazing.  Everyone who is registered with the food bank will get a delivery of festive food that will hopefully make this holiday a little better for them.  I'm thankful that we received the donations to be able to do this and for the wonderful team of volunteers who make it happen.

4)  Not striving for perfection.  Of course I would like Christmas to be perfect for our family and, in the past, that would have entailed making the Christmas pudding, cake, mince pies etc.  Having the house spotless and everything running like clockwork.  Now I hardly make anything myself and I'm definitely not stressing about the meal itself.  It's essentially a roast dinner just scaled up for the extra numbers right?  (But with lots of trimmings and Christmas crackers!)  Sharing it with the family is the important thing.

5)  Books.  I have lots of them and access to many more via the library.  When things get too hectic or difficult it's great to snuggle down and lose myself in a book.  Especially with a nice cup of tea and, at this time of year, a mince pie or two. 

Well that's me done.

Merry Christmas everyone!  It's almost here.

Friday 15 December 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 15/12/2023

Well I've been missing again but I'm here now to look back on the week and find the good things in it.  Susanne is the host for this here where like minded bloggers share their lists too.

1)  Firstly I'm grateful for all the well wishes I received on my last post when I hadn't been well.  I'm also grateful that I'm now feeling a lot better although I still have a bit of a cough.  Thankfully the covid tests I did were negative.

2)  Fun with Grandkids at the weekend - I had Rory and Vinny from early Saturday morning until Sunday morning while my son and DIL went to a wedding.  We also had a visit from Nathan and Ella during the day so it was a bit hectic.  The boys went to bed quite well for me though but we did have an early start on Sunday - I think Vinny was awake at 5.30 but I did manage to stall them from getting up until just before 7 am.

3)  A successful event for the Food Bank last weekend.  We were collecting at our local big supermarket for food items for the Christmas hampers that are given out to our beneficiaries and local people were incredibly generous with donating food and also money - we raised over £700.  This was my first time helping out with this and I spent a couple of hours giving out leaflets to shoppers with details of the items we needed for the hampers on Sunday.

4)  Despite not doing too much last week I did manage to get my Christmas tree up and the house looking a bit more Christmassy - all the kids and Grandkids are coming for Christmas!

5) I managed a proper walk today - a lap of the lake - the first time in over 2 weeks.  It was nice to be able to just sit and read or knit when I wasn't feeling great but not getting out for a walk didn't improve my mood very much.  I do enjoy putting my AirPods in, turning on some music, and getting out in the fresh air.  I did need my hat, warmest coat and wellies today and it was very overcast but I was still pleased to have got out again.

This weekend should be a bit quieter so I'll be able to plan what I still need to do for Christmas over the next week.

Have a good weekend all.

Friday 1 December 2023

Friday's Fave Five 1/12/23

Brrr it's been cold this week.  Frosty starts to the day but some lovely bright sunny days.  Someone suggested there had been snow this morning but I think there were about half a dozen snowflakes lol.

Anyway it's Friday so time to look back on the good things from the past week then head over to Susanne's site here to see who else is taking part. 

1)  An outing with Hubby on Saturday - he was going to a nearby pub to watch a band play and meeting up with a few of the women that he walks with on Thursdays.  I decided on the spur of the moment to join him.  We got there early enough so that we could eat in the pub before the band started playing.  It was a fun evening but difficult to chat to his friends over the noise of the band.

2)  Tea and cheesecake on Sunday and a chance to see Grandsons Rory and Vinny.  My son and DIL had hosted friends on Saturday for Thanksgiving and had a lot of dessert leftover so they invited us over on Sunday to help with that.  She had made a pumpkin pie which is not a fave of mine but also a chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake which was very yummy.  But also very rich and not great for my preventing diabetes diet so I declined the offer of bringing more home with us lol.

3)  I haven't felt well the last few days - feels like my body is fighting a virus of some sort which is making me cough quite a bit and feel out of sorts.  I'm thankful that I'm retired without any responsibilities and have been able to just take it easy.

4)  Also thankful for a Hubby who can cook and who is willing to take on household chores when necessary.  He was proud of himself one day this week as he put a load of laundry through the washer.  He wasn't feeling quite so smug when I reminded him that laundry happens in 2 parts - the washing, then the drying.  (Fortunately I found the wet washing in the machine fairly soon after he'd washed it.)

5)  I'm also grateful that I've been able to get a few things sorted like ordering ink for our printer, food for the birdfeeders and a few Christmas items without leaving the comfort of the sofa.  I've also done quite a bit of reading and knitting.

I'm planning a lazy weekend in the hope that I can shake off this virus but hopefully with Hubby's help make a start on the Christmas decorating.  

Have a good weekend all.