Last week Thursday Britain was hit with a HUGE storm. Scotland and Northern England were worst affected, we live in the Midlands and still experienced strong gale-force winds. So much so that our water butt that collects rain water was ripped off the wall and blown about the garden like a cardboard box!
We decided not to go out and instead stayed home, continued in our lessons and spent the afternoon baking a pumpkin pie with the last of the pumpkins we grew.
My paper-white narcissus that I purchased from Tesco at the beginning of December is growing in leaps and bounds! Already a flower-bud head is forming. I was really hoping for the blooms to come out in January, but it looks like it could be sooner.
As I thought - there was no holding off decorating the tree once it arrived. So we now have our lovely Norway Spruce twinkling in the corner of the living-room, sending over the most wonderful wafts of alpine magic every so often - and dropping oh-so-many needles every day! Vacuuming has become a daily chore in our home :o)
My toenails even got the Christmas decor treatment! Miss V-L is quite into nail art at the moment, she wanted to give me some seasonal nails - I hate my fingernails having anything on them, so conceded to letting her prettify my toes LOL. On the knitting front, I am on the home stretch to finishing DH's weekend jersey! Wooooohooo! I am literally just sewing the sleeves in and then the side seams. No pictures until he is modelling his new jersey for me! I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment. It has been SO much knitting with lots and lots of adjustments and additions to suit his tastes. I will be sure to share at the next Yarn Along. My girls are requesting jersey's now, and I am willing to comply! If I can knit a jersey for a 6ft 5in man, I can cope with anything smaller :o) Schooling - we are in our last week before we break for the Christmas holidays. We are breaking slightly sooner than most schools in our county as we started a week earlier - and I am tired! It's been a strange term for me, I have not felt quite on top of their lessons. I have set aside the last week of holidays to do some serious planning and mapping out for the rest of our school year. And that's about it for now. All Christmas shopping has been done - just a few things for Christmas dinner to buy but otherwise we are quite sorted. It's a good feeling to be done with all that - I really cannot bear thronging Christmas crowds in the stores - I am a bit crowd-o-phobic I have to say. Too many people = too much sensory overload for me. So the thought of a relaxing two weeks before Christmas is quite lovely :o) The sun is already weakening here and in a another half hour we will be turning on lights, in the mean time, I am off to light the candles :o) Have a lovely afternoon...
Good Morning! Well today gale-force winds, rains, wintry showers, and snow in the north have hit Britain. So we are hunkering down until it blows over :o) Yesterday I mentioned how my girls had made a lovely eye-catching Christmas decor display in the living room. I think they did a fantastic job of decorating the mantle...
I love the hanging baubles - a great idea we got off Pinterest :o)
I just love the sunlight streaming through onto the little scene.
Our little creche scene is on the hearth
and our little African Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus have their place too. Tomorrow the tree arrives - early I know, but we did a bit of shopping around earlier on in the week to try and get the best tree for a reasonable price. I am glad to say that we found a lovely 7ft Norway Spruce for £40.00 - a bargain, I thought, after seeing what some places were charging for smaller trees. I was shocked at some of the prices! Miss V-L said that we should just grow our own for future. That's all good and well but I have never had much luck with conifers! They ALWAYS die on me :o) Hope to see you here again soon :o)
The kitchen is usually the place that always smells so delish this time of year. I have already churned out three dozen Christmas pies and we are only 5 days into Advent! I think I am going to need more fruit mince!
As I spend so much time in the kitchen, I wanted it to have it's own little festive touch this season. So I dressed up the teapot dresser. I took down the colourful bunting that was strung at the top and replaced it with this little length of Christmas bunting I made last year.
I couldn't resist this cute little stack of Robbin and Christmas pud cake tins. They were only £5.00 for all three from Dunelm.
Aren't those little Robbins just too dear? They are my favourite birds so this little stack of tins brings a smile to my face every time I see them. Of course they are practical too - they are full various good-to-eat Christmas treats.
On either side of the Robbin tins I have these cute little votive candles. The little stuffed star decorations has a picture of a Reindeer on the front. This is not the greatest picture - sorry about that. As you know - I love candlelight at this time of the year, so I have plenty included in our Christmas/Winter decor.
Among the teapots I have placed trio's of pine-cones. These were selvaged from a past fresh wreath - waste-not want-not :o)
Above the hob I have placed some holly from the garden and a little snowman from our Christmas decorations. Cost - £0.00
Isn't he just so cute?
Along the windowsill behind the sink I have a trio of woven Christmas trees from our decorations, between each one a tea-light candle placed in home-made votives.
These were small coffee jars. I just tied a bit of festive ribbon around them simple and sweet. Cost - £0.00
What I am loving about 'decking-the-halls' this Christmas is that we are hunting down creative and virtually cost-free ways of making our home festive. We are using what we have along with lots of natural resources from nature. My girls have picked up the torch and have made a wonderful eye-catching display in the lounge - but I will leave that little bit for tomorrow's post :o)
I think that it is so easy to get carried away buying decorations to decorate your home over the Christmas season. I have been so inspired browsing around Pinterest, some of those front porches are quite something!
Now I want my home to look and be warm, inviting, and festive, but I certainly do not want it to cost me a fortune! I do enjoy a more natural and homespun look anyway, so it is not hard to create something special for very little or even next to nothing.
This is what will greet friends, family, the postman and milkman - and whoever else drops by our home this season. It's simple, but it also conveys a little about the occupants! Have you noticed the cross in the pots?
This little arrangement was adapted from an idea I found on Pinterest. It is simply greenery and sprigs of holly gathered from the garden, pine-cones and teasel heads gathered from various nature walks, a couple of baubles - bought really cheaply from Tesco, and a bit of ribbon.
I think that the palm leaf crosses that top the arrangement are the best bit for me. They convey a silent message. Christmas is about Christ in this home.
Now all we are waiting for is a bit of snow please!!!!
Today Currclick is giving us another opportunity to grab some great resources and great prices! We have used some fantastic lapbooks bought off Currclick, and it remains a valuable resource for us as a family in our homeschooling journey.
This great opportunity to stock up is available now through to 9 December!
I've had my eye on a few products so I am off to stock the homeschooling shelves :o)!
So have you started decorating yet? We usually put our tree up around the 15th of December, but I do like to slowly start decorating the house with little touches before then. Of course the first thing to go up is our Advent Wreath. This is central to our Christmas celebrations in our home as it helps us to keep our focus on Christ.
I have to say that by Friday I still had not sorted our Advent Wreath and candles out! In fact it was only after Church on Sunday that I dropped into 'The Range' and collected what I needed.
Traditionally you are supposed to have 3 purple candles, 1 rose candle and then the Christ candle which is white. This year I knew I wanted pillar candles - less likely to fall over in my wreath - so I had to compromise on colour. Still, I love the result!
I found some 'knitted' candles and just fell in love with them. My favourite pass-time combined with one of my favourite traditions of Advent. what could be better?
Our Advent wreath has been placed on the central coffee table in our living room. In our home we light the candles each day as part of our devotional time. This week it is the Prophecy candle, the candle of Hope. We remember the prophets and how they foretold of a Savior whose kingdom would be established forever. Praise the Lord!
As I write this post the sun has slipped away below the horizon. It's not yet 4pm! But the candles are all lit and a warm glow is now filling our home. I do so love candlelight in the home!
Anyhoo - I will be back tomorrow to share a few more Christmas Decor things with you. Have a peaceful and blessed evening.
Life is full of them ... those 'blink-of-an-eye' moments. It is a brief picture of something lovely that captures my attention. Little moments that bring pleasure and peace to my soul. I have to be living slowly and purposefully - pausing from my busy-ness, taking a moment to gaze out the window perhaps, to 'catch' the silent moments that often pass by unnoticed. Today I glanced up from washing dishes and caught my cat watching the birds - no doubt she had rather evil intentions (which were never realised!), but the picture she made sitting on the wooden fence, bare branches framing her and the old stone barn next door creating a rather rustic and quaint backdrop was so beautiful. The moment grabbed my attention and touched me somewhere deep within. These moments happen fairly often - although I do not always have my camera at hand to capture them. Today I am glad that I captured this moment :o)
I took a little break from DH's Weekend Jersey this past week to knit up a little ear-warmer head band thing ;o)
I'm fairly happy with it although I think I need to adjust the length to be a little shorter on my next one.
My girls love it and so I have requests to keep knitting them!
I'm thinking that these would be great craft stall sellers. What do you think? Is it something you would buy if you were at a craft fair? I would love your opinion as my 2014 goal is to book a table and start selling - a beginning to a small cottage business which has been a long time dream ;o) Reading - still busy on my Gervase Phinn book which I shared last week. I am enjoying it so far - a lovely light read.
Our November World focus started with my own preparation - reading pages 1 and 2 of my Handbook of Nature Study as suggested by Barb. I was really glad I did as it reminded me that I needed to just let my girls engage with their environment. Sometimes I can be a bit teachy!
I started off our morning by reading Janet Marsh's Nature Diary. We read all the November entries. This must have inspired my girls because they immediately asked if we could go for a nature walk to see what they could see. I had not at this point told them what our nature focus was to be - I'm glad that by reading this 'living' book they were inspired to go out themselves.
Like I said, reminded of just letting the girls engage with nature directly, I asked them each to grab their camera's and just snap away at what November's World had to offer us. So...they did. Here is our 'November's World' Study - through their eyes.
Wet and squelchy
The sun riding low in the sky
Pathways littered with leaves
Brown and yellow tones
and mostly bare branches.
Not pictured but enjoyed - frosty mornings, our first snowfall - which settled on my car but not on the ground.
Biting wind, cold icy days, dear little robins darting in and out of the hedgerows while we walked, our bird feeders - very busy, and watery winter sunshine :o)