Monday, 28 December 2009

Holiday Week

This is the time I love- all time bets off! Nothing to do now but sit back and enjoy together. Only dilemmas are when to make it to the Museum, visit friends, meet for coffee? Today, however, is all about putting presents to good use...

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas...

...and may 2010 bring you much food for thought, much delight in your lot, and all the joy that lies in the small detail.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Anniversary, Prince Charming! (Or a life in a tree!)

A Christmas wedding. 1998.

A New Year in Times Square honeymoon. 1999, followed by a few years running around with friends.

Baby's first Christmas. 2003. Babies' first and second Christmases. 2004.

Shattered parents.

Nativity plays.

Wife recovering from knee surgery for tenth anniversary. 2008. Thanks for the ten tins of tuna, Edwards family!

First family trip to the theatre. 2009.

Monday, 21 December 2009

holy experience

111. Hope, peace, joy, love-
112. Wensleydale with cranberry
113. Mince pies
114. Snowball fights in street with friends
115. Warming up with friends and big mugs of tea and left-over carrot cake
116. Driving out to more friends for mulled punch and afternoon tea!
117. A husband who sings Joseph's Song with a sun in one hand and guitar in the other!
118. Nativity plays and family with whom to enjoy them
119. Interesting Woman's Hour discussions about Christian Christmas vs a Christmas without the negative undertones of sanctified virginity and death

120. Jesus

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Fourth Sunday in Advent- Love...

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, Surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Santa, sofas and cakes

Our annual Sunday School Trip to see Santa this morning. It snowed as we arrived at Logwood Plant Centre and the magic just went on and on! Santa Trail around reindeer, donkeys, turkeys (of great and surprising longevity!), on through the Elves Workshop for colouring, present making, snowball throwing and snowman building...

...and finally the Great One himself. We were so excited that we had to spend the rest of the day under blankets, on sofas, watching a succession of festive flicks.

Meanwhile I'm working on my third cake in a week, and hoping that it will be the first one to work. Tonight's carrot cake refused to cook through and now lops on the cake stand awaiting tomorrow's white chocolate and cream cheese icing. Ho ho hum!

Lo, snow!

I took this at 8 this morning (I'm still in Friday, even though technically it is tomorrow!) in case all snow would be gone when I got back from school. I suppose we're not so high here, because it was indeed mostly gone by lunchtime- end-of-term for me. Happy Ho Ho Ho!

Suns won't finish until Tuesday, however, but it was nice to be a four family walking up the hill this afternoon- devising rhyming sentences for snow. Because it did snow for the brief twenty minutes it takes us to get home! We got to five...

Lo, snow! I know. Let's go. Don't be slow!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas presents too

These were possibly the smallest Christmas presents in the world for our morning coffee at the Bean today! Here snuggling in the branches of our tree, pre-departure! They were Snapdragon brooches that I got at the Country Living fair when Mum amd I were in Glasgow last month. The VW Camper Van was obviously for Crafting Catherine who craves one!

It was a morning of threes. These are two out of the three Bean snowmen, and the sign beyond, which I couldn't capture, advertises three wishes- or three tasty coffee options!

Queen Niqi had brought us her speciality Christmas boxes, each filled to the brim with QS. Lovely! Small tokens of huge esteem...

My term ends tomorrow, suns' term ends Tuesday, Bean Nativity is Wednesday with associated children suitably attired. Merry Christmas, Bean Crafters!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Presence!

So, at Mothers' Union on Monday night there was to be a Secret Santa exchange of presents. Absolute embargo on anything more costly than £2. Not a lot to go on- unless you are confident in your cooking and crafting! I would have happily wrapped up some shortbread or Christmas cake, but there wasn't a crumb left after Sunday afternoon, and as it transpires that this was quite fortuitous!

I therefore arrived with my tiny little envelope, containing Most Ingenious Idea. And placed it with not a little trepidation on the table groaning with surprisingly large gifts. £2?

Seated at the very end of the long table, between two happily friendly (Grand)Mothers, I grew increasingly concerned as my turn slowly came. Numbers were drawn which would correspond to their numbered present. To my two pillars I expressed the fear that my Most Ingenious Idea would not be up to MU scratch. They were both appalled that this might indeed be so. No comfort there!

Unbelievably the little envelope had still not been drawn before our turns. Anne received a large wrapped present from her number. I received a silver wrapped present from my number. Molly drew the final 18. A little red envelope. She looked at me in disdain.

"Anne, let me tell you my Most Ingenious Idea, and if it's awful, tell Molly to take my present instead."

Frantic whispering. A face lit up. "Molly, swap with me; let me have Margaret's envelope!"

Presence, not presents. I told Molly to bring her diary to church on Christmas morning. Hopefully she'll read the message inside the card and not just use the teabag...

Monday, 14 December 2009

holy experience


101. A happy, relaxed afternoon with many wonderful, interesting friends.
102. Finding joy regardless of circumstances.
103. Finding faith regardless of feelings.
104. Having suns who flourish and flower and think and feel and deduce and conclude and explore and express and still find time to hug their mum!
105. Having three babies in the house today who all went home ultimately without my having to change them or feed them or anything!
106. This progression that I've never fully considered before that starts with the hope of Christ, without which there wouldn't be the peace of Christ, and now to wallow in the joy of Christ, because all else can nestle in the preceding two.
107. The delight that I admittedly feel at the Secret Santa present I have for Mothers' Union tomorrow night!! Approved by PC, still on his Advent Conspiring, "Presence, not presents"...
108. And on Wednesday SarahC flies off to a university interview. Was she even one when I met her?
109. CoGS Christmas dinner on Saturday night! A revelation!
110. Easy times over the last few days- a nice reminder that sometimes life isn't so complicated, especially when your Christmas cake comes out of the tin and opens slowly like a flower!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Third Sunday in Advent

Third Sunday in Advent- joy! And even a joyous Christmas present from Crafting Catherine that I was instructed to open immediately- how perfect!

Every year we know it's Christmas when we have our annual Mince Pies and Mulled Stuff Open House, so that was very appropriate for a joy day as well! I loved it today- thanks to all of you who came and brought us joy (and homemade mince meat and homemade fudge and homemade Christmas scones- oh wow, Martin!- and sweets and presents and cards!)

You bring us joy all year round! We went from this, and more... this...

Joy to the World!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

That lovely day!

Photos from Preparing for Advent have arrived at a perfect moment. PC has been my beautiful assistant with Christmas Cake preparations and the kitchen now reeks of Christmas! Classic FM is carolling merrily, butter is softening for mince pies and shortbread, and today is ORGANISE A TURKEY Day!

It's the third weekend in Advent and joy is seeping through; this was the first hopeful weekend...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

holy experience


91. Mattman wasn't kept in hospital yesterday and is holding an attack at bay.
92. Mum's arm is not broken, and she rings Physio tomorrow.
93. Jojo negociated a birthday party today with no aggressive outburst- that I could see!
94. Strawberries have manfully taken over the role of Ghost of Christmas Present, me having found myself unequal to the task!
95. I have been gently prompted by Prince Charming to open my annual Book of Christmas and write a list.
96. I will be taken, I am informed, to Chirpy Chappy (local butcher) to order a turkey tomorrow!
97. If Mattman makes it to school tomorow, PC and I will have a whole school day in town alone together.
98. If Mattman doesn't make it to school tomorrow, he'll have some Alone with Mum and Dad Time in town!
99. The Beatties
100. The January 11th entry of Daily Splashes of Joy

Second Sunday in Advent

Second Sunday in Advent- Peace.

Mattman wanted to put the santons out this year, and so he did. I got around to looking at them the next day, and was stopped in my apathetic tracks by his arrangement. No posing for the audience in his mind. All intently focused inwards, lost in wonder, love and praise...

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