Tuesday, 29 December 2009

goodbye 2009 it has been quite a ride...


we had lots of holidays together as a family; in Betty the VW camper van, a Cornish tipi, a pink Welsh cottage and camping trips - Alfie's first tooth fell out closely followed by the second - I did the fab unravelling course - it snowed in February and we played and played on the sledge until we couldn't feel our toes - met new friends through flickr and blogging - and cherished old friends - went on a bear hunt - skinny dipped - launched myself as a photographer - had a makeover and appeared in a national magazine - faced new work challenges and lost a loved one...

What a year, full of new experiences, adventures and many brave decisions. I look forward to 2010 with a little more confidence to face all that it holds in store for us.

Happy new year to you, and thank you for sharing your comments and wisdom on this blog in 2009.

Emma x

Monday, 28 December 2009

tools of the trade...

Lots of his little friends were having computers for Christmas, we bought him a tool set. He spent Christmas Day, with Granddad, cutting up bits of wood and cardboard boxes with his saw. He is now building a wood store with daddy! Sometimes I worry that our more traditional approach, won't help him to fit in with his peers, do they think we're a really geeky family?

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas...

baking gingerbread, more pictures here

The boys and I have been busy making a gingerbread house, really easy to make and although ours is less than perfect, I would say we grouted the sides together rather than delicately iced! I know this will be a tradition from now on in our house, as we delighted in making this ourselves from scratch.

We have also been spending today, Christmas eve watching Santa on his travels around the globe, thanks to the NORAD website, excited as he gets closer to the UK.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas x

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...


It's cold here at the moment and we have had a few layers of snow, enough to dust the tops of the yew trees in the churchyard and bring an erie silence that comes with a snowfall. Although I could probably get out and about, the ice on our road is putting me off after watching the neighbours slide about. So inside we stay, hoping for a little more snow so that we can go sledging and hoping that it stays a little while longer for Christmas day, which would be perfect!

I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are?

Monday, 21 December 2009

solstice, stories and snug by the fire

we spent our winter solstice, snug by the fire. Yes, the fire, our new wood burning stove, the one I have been saving up for since we moved in seven years ago, put off with the arrival of babies. Finally and somewhat rashly, I ordered one and it was installed last week, just in time for Christmas. We have had it fired up constantly since! I am sure the novelty will wear off soon, but until then we are toasting marshmallows, crumpets, pancakes and chestnuts and just sitting watching the flames, reading stories.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

why do I always find gifts for myself at Christmas?


I couldn't help treating myself to this lovely stamp a little while ago, from here. It's great as it has 13 letters, and you can move the rubber bands to create gaps for short sentences, such as "love from emma" and "Happy New Year." A really naughty purchase when I should of been shopping for others!

Monday, 14 December 2009

I had resisted up until now...

you probably already know my opinion about children's clubs, and that up until now I had resisted the numerous clubs that my eldest could join. You see, he still comes home from school tired and to be frank, I don't really believe in driving children all over the place, like parcels to be collected or delivered! We had dabbled in a little Sunday morning rugby, but he never really took to it and it did start to mean driving some 50 mile round trip just for a 30 minute game.

Mind you, he is six already and when most Olympic athletes are asked when they started playing their particular sport they usually say four! (Have I preventing him from being an Olympic athlete already?)

So when the other boys in his class at school started playing football, it was only fair that he joined in too and he was desperate to be allowed despite being the youngest in his year. Phew luckily he was allowed to join in with training and was given a number 11 shirt, the shirt is folded neatly with his new shorts and socks on the chair next to his bed. He loves it, I mean really loves it, he would wear his kit 24 hours a day if he could! He has played in a few matches already ~ that's his victory celebrations above, which he has mastered quite well! The coaches are just great with them, really encouraging and supportive but always there when there are knocks. This is his team and he belongs and it is just wonderful to see how much enjoyment he gets from it!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

while shepherds washed their socks at night...

It isn't a school nativity until there are children with tea towels on their heads, all singing "when santa got stuck up the chimney!" With two little men in two nativity plays this year, my heart almost skipped a beat, to see my little shepherd and king! Oh, how I love Christmas.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

advent spiral


Advent spiral, originally uploaded by whitt.

shhhhh, its advent spiral time. Each child quietly and carefully carries their candle and places it on the spiral, then returns. As each child takes a turn they get nearer the middle where a candle sits. They do this in silence, apart from a lyre playing in the background. It is a beautiful celebration and one of my favourite Steiner traditions.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

moving on up...

moving on up yeah {she says singing along to this!}. It's time to say goodbye to my wonderful Nikon D40x and trade up. For the past two years I have loved the D40x, it has served me well, but taking on more and more commissions it is becoming clear I need a little more from my camera and I am not sure which my next model will be. I have been looking at a Nikon D90 this weekend, a lovely camera, not too big, but have also been reading about the D300s, which would be quite an investment indeed as these don't come cheap! I am sure it will be a Nikon, but I could really do with road testing one! I mean you wouldn't buy a car without driving it first would you? Have you any experience of either of these models?

Monday, 7 December 2009

just landed on my doormat...

is Jamie magazine packed full of Christmas recipes. I especially like the feature 'Personal Touch' which has lots of homemade present ideas including the DIY cookie jars, pictured above. I just love the layers of dry mixture in the jar and the 'eat me' labels that have the instructions on the back. I am going to make and give some of these myself this Christmas, but add some little chefs hats and star cookie cutters!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

an apple a day keeps the doctor away...


I am thinking of my family's health at the moment. There are so many illnesses going round school and work, and we all seem so tired and run down. The children at the end of the term are especially worn out. This week is nativity week and I remember watching last year and there were quite a few children that were almost in a daze with exhaustion. I make sure the boys have early nights and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, but still the shorter days and cold weather herald the onset of running noses and night time coughs. I think it's time to get out the echinacea and vitamin tonic!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

a few gifts I am buying this Christmas with a woodland theme...


toy deer by schleich

gingerbread house cookie cutter £15 from cox and cox

scented pine cone firelighters £16 from cox and cox I am going to put these into a gift box packed full of fireside treats {toasting fork, hand knitted socks and crumpets} for my mum who has just got a new wood burning stove

Thursday, 3 December 2009

and then it happened...

...it was a split second and he was gone, straight across the road and into the path of a car. Instinctively I screamed, "STOP", the kind of scream I made when giving birth to him, almost animal like and primeval, and flew after him. The man in the car had seen him and was doing a safe speed to stop in time, he made it to the other side, so did I, grabbing him and not letting go. I was shaking and trying to control the tears as the shock set in. Trying to pull myself together in front of my elder son and his friend, trying to hide the shame I felt as a parent who hadn't been able to control her child as the eyes of other parents turned towards me and the drama as it unfolded.

I shook for hours after and have drunk many cups of tea, sweetened with heaped spoons of sugar. I always make them stop at the road, I always ask them to hold my hand, we always 'stop, look and listen'. What made him dart across the road? I gave him a stern telling off, whilst both of our eyes streamed with tears. Does he realise what he did, how can I be sure he won't do it again?

I can't get out of my head the picture of him running across the road and the awareness of an approaching car. I know when I calm down, I will be thankful to the safe driving of the man, whom I can't even recall and I will be thankful that today could of ended very differently.

I wasn't going to share this as I know people will judge and think me a bad parent, but it has taught me two things, 1. you can never really be in full control of your child, it was very out of character and happened in a split second and 2. speed limits around schools, houses, playgrounds should be dropped, it really does make a difference! I can truly say I have never been so frightened in my life before.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

where did you get that hat?


I had the pleasure of spending time with some of my favourite people last night, when we went to a Vintage Shop for some out of hours shopping! Hats, gloves, dresses, stockings, jewellery, bags, tiaras, bodices, hand mirrors, gloves, coats, in fact everything! We drank champagne, tried on hats and dresses that could of only belonged to Margo from the Good Life, ate cupcakes, tried on more beautiful dresses, and looked like Gangsters molls! Despite not being able to squeeze into some of the older clothes {oh my were they really that tiny years ago?} it was very funny to see the others trying things on ~ yes I'm talking about you Sam, in an 80's wedding dress and you too Christina, it was way too revealing for the school run!
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