Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Needles to say

This morning, after breakfast, we started to take the boys Christmas Trees apart and wrapped up all their baubles, tinsel and lights. After that we thought we might as well clear the rest of the house of Christmas decorations. This years tree has shed so many needles it is not a nice sight. Once all the tree decorations had been removed and lovingly wrapped for next year, Huffle got his tree loppers out (Christmas present) and chopped up the tree bit by bit. Normally we would leave it on the porch for a couple of weeks but this one was so wide we couldn't get it through the door without breaking it. The mess it made was unbelievable.

All the boxes were stored in the newly organised basement and then Huffle walked down to the fire pit many many times and deposited the bits of tree. Poor tree. I think we made the mistake of chopping it down in too cold weather and then bringing it in to a too warm house. We still have the outside decorations to do but that's it for Christmas inside, apart from all the goodies to eat.

The floors were swept and mopped and then it was lunchtime so we stopped and ate and then got all of our snow clothes on and went sledging at our local farm/golf course.

The boys zoomed off without a care in the world. I looked at the icy slopes and knew there was no way I was going down there. Moo said she would only go down there with Huffle. It was a blowy cold icy wind at the top of the slope and people were flying off their sledges all over the place. I decided I wanted to go on the other side of the slope where no one else was.

A gentler slope with a better covering of snow. I was much happier and soon everyone else joined me. We were actually in the sunshine and were slightly sheltered from the wind. We had a lot of fun and only stopped for drinks and chocolate up by the farm shop.

We sledged for about three hours. Smallest got the award for fastest, bravest, most extreme sledging. Moo got the award for longest run. Huffle got the backwards award (not for being special just the best backwards sledger). Small got the award for most jumps. I got an award for finding the nice 'Beatrix Potter' slopes. Hurrah!

It was a lovely afternoon. We weren't sure whether we were sledging today or snowboarding so we packed the car with everything and checked on the sledging first. Huffle chose correctly we think.

We had lots of bumps and bruises and were throroughly worn out by the end of the afternoon and it was starting to get a bit colder. The views were amazing and the sky was gorgeous.

We came home, all got warm and had showers and then we made pizza which we ate in front of the start of a film. Percy Jackson and the sea of monsters - the boys went to bed and we played cards, drank wine and ate lovely things.



Monday, 30 December 2013

Pancakes, Pasta and a Power Cut

A wibbly night's sleep due to the fact we were expecting the power to go off and it didn't HURRAH!

We promised the boys a pancake breakfast so that is what we had.

Yum yum.

We sent Moo outside to check if the snow was 'playable'. It wasn't and it was very cold -15.

Moo and I finished the jigsaw while the boys played on the computer..........

We can't remember if we bought this from a charity shop or Drew gave it to us, but there were four pieces missing (huffle found two pieces under the table whoops).

Next we decided to tackle the boys rooms. The Christmas Decorations were taken away (just from their rooms) and clothes were sorted, hangers exchanged (Small is now too big for his lovely little wooden hangers), books and puzzles donated to charity, floors swept and cleaned and beds changed. My goodness this house is getting clean. The boys played extensively with their lego and then played on the computer again.

After a cup of tea and tidy of the kitchen we started on making pasta from scratch for another late dinner. We made Tagliatelle and Ravioli, unfortunately we lost the fillings out of our ravioli which was a shame but the pasta tasted good. Moo made Garlic Bread which was very yummy.

Everyone played Newmarket with Smallest's pennies and then we had a couple of games of Tetris .........

.........before Small, Huffle and I went off to the cinema to watch The Hobbit 2, The Desolation of Smaug. We settled into our seats with our sneaky Christmas chocolate and drinks, sat patiently through the adverts, watched about forty minutes of the film and we had a power cut. AGAIN! There was an announcement saying the power was off and they would get it back on as soon as possible. Small bit into his Cadbury's Caramel and found a nut, tried to bute it but couldn't, tried again and spat it out - it was his tooth. He handed it to me all covered in chocolate. Then there was another announcement saying that we should stay in our seats. Then another one to say we were being evacuated. We couldn't believe it. It was only the complex we were in so we knew Moo and Smallest weren't affected (plus I messaged Mrs Royal).

We had no choice but to come home. Poor Moo had to cancel her entertainment for the evening of watching Mr Selfridge on Netflix (after Smallest, aged 6, showed her how to work it!).

What a strange evening!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Around the world in a teabag!

Photos I forgot to post yesterday

For Christmas I bought Huffle lots of different teas to try. Every morning he gives us a taste of the tea of the day. Today's was called Emperor Pu-er. The boys were disgusted he was drinking the Emperor's poo! It wasn't a great one but was full of antioxidants.

Just in case the power cut affected us again, we all had showers and then filled the bath with water. Better to be safe than sorry. After breakfast we cleared away presents, put the boys new clothes away after cutting off tags etc, swept the floors of endless pine needles - arrrrggggh - we have not had this problem with needles falling before. They are everywhere! We gave ourselves a break and went off to the Five Pin Bowling Alley.

We pretty much had the place to ourselves for the first game. We all exceeded our personal best and were very happy with our improvement. However the second game, I lost (being beaten by both the boys and Moo - tut tut).

It was a lot of fun and we snook some Quality Street in for 'energy'. After we finished there we drove to the supermarket and picked up a few essentials and then on to the Tire where we purchased lots of storage boxes. We came home and made dinner. Our lunches and dinners are getting later and later!

Once home we sorted the lego into the new storage drawers for the boys and put them in their bedrooms which Moo had busily sorted this morning. After dinner we started on the basement. When we moved here over two years ago, the previous owners left a falling down wardrobe (cheap melamine one) down there and we used it to put all our pots and pans and spare stuff in it. Everytime you put something away it leaned a bit more and we were worried it would just all collapse. Plus it looked like the mice had been having a party in there. So we started packing up the storage boxes, throwing away stuff we didn't want, putting in a charity bag for things they might want and adding to a 'garage sale' box for the summer.

It took a lot of work and the boys played on the wii while we toiled away. All was boxed, the basement swept and vaccuumed and we came upstairs to start on the understair cupboard. Goodness this house has had a right Spring Clean already!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Drunken Dinosaur on a London Bus

In the night all we could hear was falling ice, big chunks were falling off the tree next to our bedroom window and it kept us awake for most of the night. I was too hot and opened a couple of windows as my voice started to go again. Then at 4am we had a power cut that lasted about 45 minutes and woke us when it went off and then again when it came back on. So all in all not a great night's sleep! The boys went to bed in matching PJ's last night. Very cute.

We had a load of Christmas cards delivered today. Some very special ones too.

Thank you TheChappos

After breakfast Small had a dragon tattoo applied which didn't work brilliantly because you have to keep very still and that is not something he is able to do.

We all played Tetris Card Game and built Small's London Bus which was very tricky and only Moo and I managed to stick with it, not throw it across the room and finish it with style.

I loved the picture of the box so much I framed it and we hung it in the kitchen. Smallest made a moving dinosaur (well I handed him the right piece to give to Moo). It walked (in a fashion) across the kichen floor in a drunken movement.

Huffle skyped Grandma and had a good chat. It seems Grandad is wearing 'my' socks for another day (that's three then - stinky!).

The boys flew their helicopters, played on the wii and built more lego. Huffle put up pictures and new hooks.

Small's ninja star hook that we bought for him from Montreal

We had dinner late after a lengthy Skype with Aunt Pear catching up on all the news. After dinner we all went for a walk with some Christmas chocolate to keep us going. We built a really quick snowman next to the field. The ice was still falling from the trees and wire. Some of the paths were pure fallen ice. Very strange. We also found Moo a snow/ice hat which she modelled for us.

We walked for about two hours around the village. We had many snowball fights along the way.

We stopped to chat to some friends and made our way back home as the light was fading.

Our igloo has fallen and poor George is 'just' asleep!

Our neighbour told us to make sure we filled out bath tomorrow as we are due to have a lot of 'meltage' and then a huge freeze so we could be in for more power cuts. At least we have plenty of candles this time.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Spring Clean three months early

'Call the Midwives Christmas Special' was brilliant but 'Still Open All Hours' wasn't. We are not sure if this is a new series, but we won't be watching.

Another lie-in this morning but then a realisation that our mice friends had visited again. After breakfast Huffle went off to buy Mice Deterrents while Moo and I worked our way around the lower kitchen cupboards and drawers, emptying, washing, disinfecting and finally relocating our 'tupperware', utensils and bigger items like coffee machine, blender, scales etc. It was a mammoth task and took us past lunchtime. Grandad skyped and we had a brief chat. He had his socks on that I had made him and he showed me, they looked very nice and warm though a bit stinky because I think he wore them yesterday too!

The boys showered, played on the computer, built with their lego and flew their helicopters and finally disappeared into the basement to play on the wii. Once Huffle came back he filled in any holes with expanding foam, big gaps with wood and unfillable spaces with steel wool (they hate it apparantly!). All holes sealed, we went out for dinner and left everything to dry.

The surrounding fields

A crystallised tree

We had a lovely Italian meal at one of our favourite places. We took Tetris Cube puzzle, magnetic draughts and smallest's dot to dot book with us so we were perfectly entertained.

Smallest and Moo dot to dotting

It was a slowish service but that was fine with us. The food was magnificent. It wasn't too cold out and there is still plenty of ice everywhere. We went home and got on with the task of putting everything back in place. Some cupboards still have nothing in so we can check easily for visitors again.

Wingardium leviosa

The basketball net is still iced up. The boys copying the snowman, but Small did inform me that he had used a 'different' finger! Iced lovelies.

Everyone played our new game Ticket To Ride Europe and then the boys had their tea in front of the TV. Huffle watched cricket and Moo and I jigsawed.

Tonight we are watching Downton Abbey Christmas Special.


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Gorgeous George

Everyone got a lie-in. It was snowing when we did get up and was a mere -4* outside. The things that were encased in ice, still are, but now have an inch or so resting on top, which looks lovely.

After breakfast I went out and took some photographs - I dedicate these photos to unc Pear who I know is particularly intersted in TREES - especially the ones I take photos of. Thanks Unc Pear, nice of you to say so.

......and of course, we do have a few trees in our garden. We had about 4" of snow fall overnight and this morning but this rested on top of the previous snow which turned to ice. The new snow was light and powdery but made walking around difficult as it was very slidy underneath. Occasssionally I fell through too.
Eveywhere looked so beautiful and it wasn't too cold either. Our house looked like it belonged on a Christmas card (ahhh that's an idea for next year!). The road was full but had been ploughed.
It wasn't long before the Huffle and the boys followed me outside. Lots of snowballing, snow shovel throwing, snow brick making. Moo joined us with her 'striking' winter gear.
The sun came out and enabled me to wear my new Ski Sunglasses. It got really warm and was just like sitting at the top of a ski slope.
More snowballing, lots of standing under trees while snow flew down and shovelling and falling over.
We stopped for 11'ses and had a pot of tea and hot choclate with christmas cake, chocolate log and gingerbread house. We sat on our chairs apart from me who fell off when the chair leg got wedged in the ice and snapped off leaving me with legs in the air. Well I like to entertain.
We made a snow fort/igloo using the new snow brick moulds which were very good. Huffle cleared the drive and brought us piles of packing snow, Moo brought snow from the rest of the garden and then helped me to make bricks as the boys left us to it. We made quite a structure and then made a snowman who we named Gorgeous george.

George had a beautiful singing tie, Keep calm rubber gloves and my hat with a carrot nose and a charming stick smile. The boys wanted to smash him down but Moo and I wouldn't let them.

We all came in after three hours for a warm and some dinner of lovely simple jacket Potatoes.

This afternoon many bracelets were made, lego played with, helicopters landed, photos looked at, books read, and then we played Small's new Tetris card game.

We ended the boys day with table tennis and TV (they watched a fascinating documentary about dinosaurs) and then Huffle watched the Cricket whilst Moo and I watched the Christmas Special of Call the Midwives.










Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Put me in a wheelbarrow and take me to Thailand

At what seemed like 4am this morning, two little boys came into our bedroom shouting "It's Christmas, It's Christmas!" It was actually 7am. They jumped on us and then climbed in with us, had a quick cuddle and then went off to wake Moo. We decided to get up and the message came downstairs that Moo would get up when her croissants and coffee were ready.

We all sat around and watched the boys open their stocking presents from Santa. The usual apple for Small. Lots of chocolate coins and bits and bobs. Everyone but Moo got a satsuma, silly Santa put two in mine and none in hers. Tut tut. The kids were like mad-unwrapping-things, tearing and opening everything until it was all gone and then piling the grown-ups presents up and helping to unwrap ours before they got bored and went and played their new pokemon game on the wii. At around 11:30 we realised the turkey took 4.5 hours to cook and we hadn't put it in yet so it went in the oven and we had a quick snack of cheese and biscuits at lunchtime to tide us over.

Socks, Lego, Ski goggles, Body Warmers, Leftover Leo, Hat and Gooey Louie

The adults took the rest of the morning to open their presents then it was a skype to Grandma and Grandad and a chat to all the crew. There was general silliness in their household and they were waiting for their third course!

It snowed for us, not too heavily but nice enough to see out of the windows. The boys went out and played but not for too long as it was cold. -17* first thing! We bought the boys snow bricks to make a fort but it was the 'wrong kind of snow'.

TL: the sky first thing. The snowy day.

The Boys, their bricks and the ice

Moo bought the boys remote controlled helicoptors so we had much fun flying them into the walls, ceiling, up my legs. They won't work in the same room without the remotes setting each other's off so one boy was in the kitchen wrecking it and the other was in the basement trying to manouvre the table tennis table.

Catapults, London icons, Christmas Jumper, Dragon Hands, Helicopters and Union Jack House pants.

Finally dinner was ready. Moo and I had a lentil nut loaf which was lovely (thanks NoCustard for the recipe). Huffle and Smallest had turkey and Small had Spanakopita. We all had roast potatoes and parsnips and many veg. Yummy. We couldn't do pudding until much later when we had Treacle Sponge and Custard and Christmas Pudding and Brandy sauce. We set the pudding alight - the boys thought we were crazy. Smallest had his first Christmas Pudding and asked "is there any alcohol in it?" OH YES. "Then put me in a wheelbarrow and take me to Thailand" he said. (This is a quote from a hobo we saw at centre Island in the Summer who was drunk and being transported in a wheelbarow by his hobo friends). He obviously associates alcohol with hobos now!!! Oh dear.

Gooey Louie game, Lord of the Rings chess, quiet dot to dotting, a general Christmas doing and a pudding on fire.

There was a lot of lego played with, rubber band bracelets made, chess played and gooey louie played (yukky thing you pull bogies out of his nose and make his brain pop out!!!). Then some TV, a bit of wine, a cup of tea and a nice relaxing evening.

WHAT A LOVELY DAY AND HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE THAT WE HAD A CHRISTMAS DAY. Some people here in Ontario are still without power due to the Ice Storm and some in the UK too due to their weather. I feel for them. I know how awful it is, hopefully they can have a Christmas Day soon.