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One frosty morning.

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We woke up to the most beautiful wintery day today.  Jack Frost had done us proud and I wanted to make the most of every glittery, sunshiney moment before I start a set of night shifts tonight.  We headed to Crickley Hill, which is our favorite spot for nearby, easy countryside walking.  Maisy is just too old and blind to enjoy these outings anymore, so we just took Bertie.  And it was breathtakingly, heart-stopping exquisite.  I’ve always hated Winter but these types of days make me feel so differently about this season.

Who said bad luck comes in threes?

1.  Pranging the neighbour’s bumper with our car……………………………..£180

2.  Dropping a new bottle of the dog’s insulin……………………………………£ 30

3.  The plastic housing coming off the water pump on the car…………….£230

4.  Dropping my phone and smashing the screen………………………………£ 70

5.  Add to that an expensive year anyway (unexpected trip to Kenya

for Lily for her Grandfather’s funeral, a school trip to Barcelona, etc, etc)

………………………………………………..EQUALS……………………………………..£0 left for Christmas.  Oh well.  It’s just as well that I had already decided that we would be focusing on the real meaning of Christmas this year anyway!

Last night for FHE we watched this video.  It is a really beautifully made version of the nativity story.  We also started a scripture paper chain and are planning to read from these each night.

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This is what it’s really all about. This is so beautiful.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

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The Christmas tree went up yesterday. I think that’s the earliest we’ve ever started our Christmassey build up but we couldn’t wait any longer!

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After a rugby tackle, a headlock and a heated discussion it was agreed that it was Lily’s turn to put the star on the tree this year.

And our decorating theme this year is ‘the more the merrier’. Like it is every year. Otherwise known as ‘throw every decoration we’ve ever owned onto the tree’. And I love it!

Continuing cosiness.

I had a whole weekend off this weekend – what sheer joy! And I had originally planned some energetic activities.  You know, the sort that would actually require us to get dressed and leave the house.  But after my Friday afternoon cosy-fest I decided on an indulgent, all out pyjama day on Saturday. BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS!  In our defense, we have all been knocked sideways by various tummy bugs and coughs & colds, so (in my mind anyway) a PJ day was practically medicinal.

We baked…(using this recipe – the dough was LOVELY to work with and the results yummy!)

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and I crocheted little stars…(very cute – pattern found here)…

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and played with Hama beads…made homemade wholemeal pizzas using this recipe for the base, and topped with BBQ sauce, chorizo, peppers and cheese (I didn’t get any photos as they didn’t survive long enough!)…watched rubbish TV…had loooonnnnngggg bubble baths..read some of my favorite blogs (including 71toes, Posie gets Cozy, My Rose Valley….and took time to smell the lillies.

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Mark brought these home for me last week when I was feeling most sorry for myself.  He also brought Imodium, Sudofed, extra loo roll and a Greggs Custard Slice.  Who said romance was dead?  That man knows me so well.

Sunday continued in the same way after church.  Mark went to play golf, the kids went about their various indoor activities and I snoozed on the sofa.  We had the first rehearsal of our new choir last night and it was so lovely.  We are practicing songs for a couple of Christmas services.  I LOVE Christmas music and I came home having sung/bellowed/screeched my heart out feeling all festive.  Which added to my weekend of cosy beautifully!

A lazy family day.

A whole Sunday off!  Together!

Lily and I watched the Women’s Session of general conference this morning, which was wonderful.

And then PJs, blankets and family movies were the order of the day.

 

I picked up where I left off (about a year ago) with my Giant Granny Blanket…

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…and really enjoyed the colourfest.  And it’s lovely when a blanket gets big enough to cuddle up in while you’re still working on it.

We did a spot of baking…

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We used a cheapie Aldi Ginger Cake mix but lined the bottom of the pan with tinned peaches.  After the cake was cooked and while it was still hot and in it’s tin, I poked holes in it with a chop stick and drizzled the juicy, syrupy peach liquid over it.  It was DIVINE!

The kids now have two weeks off school and other than a late shift tomorrow and a couple of nights over the weekend I’m off too.  I’m really looking forward to spending some time with them and we’ve got lots of lovely things planned.

Happy!

Domesticity

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Marbles! Although they can get everywhere and are a pain in the bum when you’re trying to hoover, I can’t begrudge Paddy his collection because I remember how much I loved them when I was younger. He’s got quite a lot now and he had a quick play with them before school.

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I’ve had a lovely day today. Lily has been off school poorly (she’s feeling much better already) so I’ve been grounded at home. Which has been wonderful.

Very rainy day + a day off = pyjama baking! I love putting an apron on over my PJs, switching five live on the radio and baking something sweet and cakey.

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Today I made Marmalade Cake using a recipe I found hehttp://circleofpinetrees.com/category/baking/a-cake-for-the-weekend/re.

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Although the recipe calls for Seville oranges and (preferably homemade) seville orange marmalade I just used what I had in the cupboard. Good old Aldi’s marmalade. And the cake turned out to be very yummy indeed!

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I spent a couple of hours cleaning the house (boring, but necessary to keep up with my New Year’s resolutions) so felt I deserved to relax and enjoy my library book – Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum novel…sheer bliss! She’s one of the very few authors that can make me laugh out loud.

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It felt good to be at home with the rain belting down outside, feeling snug and domesticated.

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I need to make sure I build more days like this into my life – with or without the rain!