Precious Memories

Over the weekend the girls and Thomas had no less than three birthday celebrations to attend.  For one of the parties the girls had to dress up as a favourite character in a film.  Putting the dress-up we bought for the medieval festival to good use, C12 dressed up as Hero from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, whilst L12 dressed up as Maid Marion from Robin Hood.  I had to smile.  My girls are so home schooled (and putting their history to good use!):


How gorgeous do they look?  Gary was one proud father dropping them off at the party.

This week I had planned a lovely mix of lots of work, lots of play, and lots of Christmas preparations.  It was a good plan as the children have happily played together and worked together:

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Christmas has well and truly landed at our house this week.  We have all been busy making long colourful paper chains (along with rather a lot of mess) in anticipation of the Mr Men Christmas tea party:

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They have wrapped the advent books and filled the advent calender full of activities to do for the next four weeks.  I have finally gone through all our Mr Men bits and pieces:

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Speaking of which, the girls continue on with their Mr Men school, asking to do activities each day:

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T has kept himself gainfully occupied as always, putting together his latest venture into earning his fortunes washing cars.  He has planned it all thoroughly, has potential clients all lined up and has created and printed some business cards which he has been handing out to anyone who has shown the slightest interest.

This week has seen the temperature drop and a distinct chill to the air, especially as the nights close in, so we have been lighting our wood burning stove each night.  Our cats have especially loved the warmth it has provided and are gradually losing their hair because they sit so close they get singed:


Would you believe those cats are almost 17 years old?  George (big one in front of picture) is still as handsome as the day we got him.

We mixed up some of our old favourite dough to make lots of lovely cinnamon scented Christmas decorations.  Hopefully they will be dry before Saturday’s decorating fest:

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We also squeezed in our yearly Country Living Magazine and hot chocolate night with my older girls, ending it with our traditional viewing of The Good Life Christmas special.  I had prepared for this in advance with some posh hot chocolate, some star shaped macaroons and of course the very latest Christmas edition of Country Living.

Whilst I was popping the little ones into bed and tucking them down for the night the girls got busy preparing for my reappearance.  I was under strict instructions to wear last year’s Christmas Pajamas (panda onesies).  Can I just say how grateful I am that this year’s pajamas are lovely red cotton and not in the shape of a furry mammal – next year I will look suave and sophisticated for our annual Country Living night.  This year, not so much:

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They’d set our little table beautifully and were all ready for me:


We supped our hot chocolate, flicked through magazines, ate chocolate macaroons and chatted.  Here they are looking very twin-like:

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Then we watched the Christmas edition of The Good Life.  I have seen this dozens of times and it makes me laugh out loud every single time:

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This brought the conversations round to making our Christmas a home made Christmas next year. I had really wanted that for this year but it just didn’t happen.  So I introduced them to pinterest.  They are a tad too young to have their own pinterest account but I created them a board each on mine and we spent the next hour googling home made gifts and Christmas cards, pinning galore.  Such good fun!

Each year this gets better and better.  Although it is bittersweet to watch as their childhood disappears before my very eyes, I am really enjoying them growing into (sometimes) elegant young ladies with minds and opinions all of their own.

And finally, just in case you were not already all Christmassed out, we started to prepare for our decorating the tree day, which traditionally happens on the first weekend of December.  We will be using the rest of the posh hot chocolate, so the whole family made some marshmallow and candy cane stirrers to turn our hot chocolate minty:


First we stuck a couple of marshmallows onto the end of a candy cane, and melted some chocolate:

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We crushed up some peppermint candy canes and we were set.  The children dunked marsh mallows into melted chocolate:

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And finally we pushed the end into some crushed peppermint candy cane.  They have all been stored in the fridge for Saturday (we left as much of the candy cane wrapper on to stop them going soggy in the fridge):

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We just have the ginger nut cookies to make and we are all set for decking the halls on Saturday.  This has been a really lovely week.

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  1. Yum on the desserts and cinnamin scented decorations! My kids and I love dressing up and I’m sending my girls to a homeschool dance in January where they have to wear complementing dresses. It’ll be fun to shop for it. I’m visiting from Weekly Wrap Up!

    1. My twins very occasionally wear the same clothes and it is always a pleasure to see – although a little confusing because they look so very alike!

  2. What beautiful pictures you have here, Claire! I especially like the one of your husband your two girls. You must be so proud!!! I want to come over for hot chocolate! 😉 ~ Mary

  3. Love, love, love the photo of Gary and his girls! Beautiful!!! Your cat that is sitting closer to the stove looks just like our Emily. We lost her several years ago.
    I do love The Good Life (Good Neighbors in the U.S.) Margo is just so funny in that episode.
    We are going to be making your cinnamon ornaments again. The ones we made last year still smell wonderful. All your goodies look delicious. I still love your pj’s. So cute!
    We are doing our old-fashioned Christmas. We are making gifts for each other (why do we procrastinate?) and hand making our decorations. We are buying a live tree this weekend, a first for the children. They are excited about that! All of our Christmas decor is still packed in the garage. I did manage to find one little nativity and our Christmas stockings in the top of one box. I did meet with protests when I told them they would have to find a sock to hang for their stockings, especially Faith who likes to wear little footies. Not much going in there! Gracie said she would just hang a pair of pantyhose. They stretch really big and have two legs! HA! I guess we will hang our stockings. They are all hand-made, so I guess they will qualify.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend with your family.

    1. They are. Would you believe I have just given my son mine because his has well and truly bitten the dust. When did he get big enough to wear my clothes??

  4. Your Christmas traditions are so lovely! I especially like the Country Living one 🙂 I envy you your fire, I’m still living in an arctic-style flat with no heating. The cat continues to optimistically sleep in front of the (broken) radiator though, in the hopes it might get warm again. She would LOVE a stove.

    1. Goodness, I hope you get it repaired soon. Gary and I were just saying how much colder it feels this year compared to last, and I believe you are more north than us? Wrap up warm and drink lots of tea!

      1. I’m in Birmingham, which feels more northern than the map says! My friends have lent me an electric heater, which Paige and I are living next to.

    1. She’s only thin because she is so old. If you had seen her a couple of years ago she was enormous! George, in comparison, hasn’t changed a bit. I’m slightly besotted by him….

  5. I love the country living magazine night! what a wonderful idea, we have done move nights but what a fun, and much more engaging night with your girls…followed with a little Christmas TV watching. Loved all of the pics, you have a beautiful family!

  6. What a perfect evening with your girls. I love the closeness you are making with them. What wonderful Christmas preparations.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I know, I can’t keep up. My son is almost taller than his dad! When did that happen? And he wears a men’s medium because he can’t fit into children’s clothes anymore. I’m not ready, I tell you, I’m not ready!

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