Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas done and dusted for another year...

I just love the family and friends aspect of the Christmas season and this year has been full for me.  Being off for the few weeks before Christmas has let me catch up for coffee with a few people which has been lovely. 

Jack has had fun being around his cousins and second cousins.  They had a ball playing at my uncles birthday dinner the other night.  Carrying each other around and things.  Kids make up some funny little games.

My Grandma and Grandad

 When we pulled into the driveway I said to Owen "What is that on the wall?", it was a huge slug.  It had even shrunk itself in a little before I took the photo.  I've never seen a slug that big before at least I think it was a slug.

 Jack was very excited all week about Santa's impending arrival.  We have been counting down not only days but hours. We put some milk and cookies out for Santa and I read him a couple of stories then he went off to bed.  I was surprised that it didn't take him that long to get to sleep.

 And his wait was worthwhile.  The look on his face on Christmas morning was adorable.  He got royally spoilt.  There were so many toys you could hardly see his bedroom floor.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas, whilst a wee bit stressful, is such a major part of it, well at least in our
family.  The noise, the chatter, the excited squeals of the kids. Ahh, Christmas.

 Here's our buffet lunch spread.  My Mum and Aunt came and helped get everything ready.  I had a wee disaster with the first pork roast which caught on fire on the BBQ and was so bad I had to send Owen out to get a replacement.  Owen and I will be eating left overs for days.

 And the deserts.  Ahhh desert, how I love thee.  LOL.  Well truffles in particular.  I love truffles and I only make them at Christmas.  I tried out a few new recipes this year, eggnog truffles, a Martha Stewart Mississippi Mud Pie, a coconut raspberry slice but I still like my regulars, pavlova and rice bubble truffles (the yummiest).

 Truffles!!!!!!!!!!

 Yesterday was the sort and play day.  Jack made up his new Spongebob Lego while I cleaned and then we tried out the new Mario classic games on the Wii.  I really liked that.  I love the way the graphics are still the same.  I thought they would have modernized it a bit but it's exactly as it was.
Jack also had a great time playing his Paper Jamz guitar.  He was a bit iffy at first because it wasn't a "real" guitar.  I sold it though.  I gave an impressive demo of Born to be Wild complete with rock star facials.  I then got to hear Born to be Wild about another fifty times that afternoon.

At one point he was following me around the house playing whilst carrying his little amp around.  He followed me into the bathroom while i was putting on my make up and I caught a glimpse of him spiking his hair up in the mirror.  "Born to be wiiiiiiiiiiiild!!"  Lol.

I got him a coin collecting book which I thought was pretty cool.  I used to love collecting coins and stamps when I was a kid.  He seems to like it.  I'll wait and see though when he needs ten cents for something whether he just raids to book.

Then last night we had a family fun night.  Trivial Pursuit!!  Another of his Christmas presents.  We did have a version that I'd bought from the swap meet but I think it was an early eighties version.  This one is a bit more modern and is the family version so it has both kids and adults questions although I'm flat out answering the adult ones but it's nice all the same spending time together.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holy gingerbread!!!!...& some itty bitty macaroons

How huge is this freakin' gingerbread house!!  It's crazy.  It was a display in the lobby of a Walt Disney resort.  Trust Disney to turn out something like this.  Incredible.  I wonder if they eat it when it's finished with?



I came across this gorgeous little house when I was Google'ing houses.  How adorable are the little bear topiary bushes in the yard.  Some people are soooooo talented.


 I also saw these little guys the other day when I was blogging about.  They are from the Not Martha site.  I thought they were such a neat idea.  They'd be gorgeous on the rim of a sugar rimmed cocktail glass with some eggnog too.  Hmmm, I might have to do that actually.

I was contemplating making a gingerbread house today but decided to see if Jack wanted to make some macaroons instead...which we did, some Rosewater Macaroons with white chocolate filling.  They are yummy!!


I love cooking with Jack.  He insists on wearing his chef hat and apron whenever we cook which is adorable. I can't believe for a kid who likes to cook that he is so picky with what he will actually eat.  I drives me crackers.


Viola, our itty bitty macaroons.  It's my first time making macaroons and I think I'll have to try again, my mix seemed too thick but they still taste pretty good.


And lastly this years Santa photo.  Jack was so funny.  He just walked up and plonks himself down on Santa's lap without so much as a hello and starts smiling for the camera.  Funny little guy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jack's Fun Filled Day

Jack has a great day today thanks to my friend Tricia.  She messaged this morning to ask if Jack would like to go to the bike park with them and some friends so that is how we spent our morning.  Jack scooting around the pathways and the kids having an absolute ball. 


To make the morning even better after they had had their play we headed to the new McDonald's so the kids could have an ice cream and the Mum's could have a coffee.  McDonald's is getting pretty snazzy looking nowadays.


After McDonald's Tricia asked if Jack would like to stay for a play at their house and dropped me home where I continued on my cleaning jaunt and cleaned out my bedroom including all the stuff I had stashed under my bed!!
This afternoon Tricia swung by and picked me up and we headed to her folks place so the kids could have a swim.  I am stilled floored by Jack's duck diving efforts.  Prue (their dog) was having a good game dropping various toys in the pool for Jack to retrieve.


Jack was even very generously offered a sleep over at their place but came home a wee bit early. Thanks Tricia for including us in your plans for the day and for ferrying us around and for bringing my little man home tonight.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jack's First School Year Done & Dusted!!

Today is the first day of Jack's school holidays.  We started the day very slowly, just hanging out watching some TV then Jack helped me clean out the pantry and I re-arranged the kitchen drawers as well as cleaned out the fridge.  
This afternoon he had a blast in the pool.  He is so water confident now.  He can duck dive to the bottom of the deep end and swim the length of the pool.  His style still needs a bit of work but he had come along great guns.  He had a great time practicing his 'cannonballs' this afternoon, I ended up quite wet myself and I was only sitting on the edge.  The water temperature was divine.



Yesterday for his last day of school there was an afternoon tea up at his classroom and the kids sang their alphabet song.  It was staggeringly adorable and I did well up a just a little.  I can't believe Jack will be in Grade 1 next year and I can't believe the amount of glue they need for Grade 1!!  There must be a lot of cut and paste next year.
I've still got a bit of shopping to do for Christmas which I'm hoping to get done next week.  A few of the things I had lay-by'd mid-year for kids gifts I've changed my mind about so I have to re-think them and of course I have all the tricky people still left to buy for but I do have a couple of things in mind.  Owen is off on Tuesday and I should be ok to drive by then so I'm hoping to get it all done that day.  Fingers crossed anyway.
I'm on leave for a couple of weeks now, then back to work for a couple of weeks and then off again in January for a few more weeks, using up some of my long service leave.  I'm planning on really sorting through the house and getting rid of all the junk we don't need so today was a pretty good start to it.  Both Owen and I tend to hoard a bit so sometimes I look around the house and just shake my head and think where to start but I'm just going to do whichever area calls to me that day and run with it.  Sometimes it tends to make me feel a bit bogged down so I'm hoping it will be a freeing experience for me. :)
Jack has decided that he wants a rats tail!!  Now neither Owen or I think that they are particularly attractive but we figure it's pretty harmless to let him have one although he wants me to tie it in a band all the time which looks painful.  He also has two loose teeth at the moment, one at the top and one at the bottom.  He's very excited about the Tooth Fairy coming and also about Santa.  He's written a few notes for Santa lately which is a great way to get him to practice his spelling and writing.


So my surgery went well and I've not had much pain at all which is great.  I had to wait quite a few hours before I went in which was pretty nerve racking but I made it and it's over and done with now and I havn't had any nasty side effects so I'm glad it's done.
The Bruckner's sent me this beautiful bright gerbera arrangement which was so lovely of them and my Mummy brought me some yummy chocolates.  Thanks Kim for popping in to visit me, seeing your smiling face was very calming.


I don't remember anything after the surgery until Owen, Jack & Mum came up to visit me that night.  Owen said I was lucid and talking when I came out of recovery and went to the ward but I don't remember any of that.  I do remember seeing my gorgeous boy when he came up to see me.  He's been so sweet and has been very careful not to bump my tummy and he hugs my leg or arm instead.  He's such a sweetie.


And lastly a huge thank-you to Sally who has been so helpful and lovely this last week.  She and Jason had Jack over for a sleep-over the night I stayed in hospital and she took him to school and collected him and dropped me to the doctors and chauffeured Jack and I around on Friday afternoon.  Sally you are a gem!!  Thank you thank you thank you!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

It really is beginning to look alot like Christmas now around our place.  Our Christmas decorations have started to go up.  Apparently Jack needs lots more in his room but the rest of the house is done. 

Our front entry table is all glitzed and glittered up... 


I made a new wreath for the front door this year.  Target had beautiful full bushy green plain wreaths for $10 and then had 30% off the other day so I stole a couple of decorations off the tree, a flower from the above arrangement and dismembered some $2 shop holly for the berries and viola...our new wreath, I'm really pleased with the finished product.


And of course I have my Department 56 North Pole village all set up and aglow.  There are a couple of pieces of Lemax thrown in there too but I just love the quaint and little bit quirky style of the Department 56 pieces.  There are a couple of new pieces out this year that I just love love love but I will have to scour eBay in a couple of years to get them cheaper methinks as they are not cheap little babies.
My newest addition to my collection actually came last year but it was after I had my village all set up so this is it's first year on display and it's the Rock Candy Co.  It's a gorgeous piece with so much detail.


And this bench welcome sign is new this year too.


This bank was my first ever piece and I bought it from Target when Jack was a baby.  They only carried them for the one year as far as I know.  That's what started my addiction.


I made the backdrop from a panoramic mountain shot that I'd mirrored to stretch the full length.


There was a set of five that all went together that were released one year.  I have four as in the photo above that spell out Claus on the letters above the weather vanes.  I'm missing the Santa's Beacon which is the 'L'.


There are a few pieces that I would really really love to collect.  I really want the Hot Chocolate Tower and the Cocoa Chocolate Works and I really love all the new pieces from this years range and I'd love to get the Sleigh Maker but it's one of the most expensive pieces.  I have quite seriously considered opening my own gift shop just so I can import and sell their stuff and of course increase my own personal collection.  
The other Christmas y things that I would love to own are the Krinkles reindeer by Patience Brewster..well actually all of her stuff, they are seriously adorable.

Anyhoo, onto less pleasant stuff, on Tuesday I'm booked in to have my gall bladder removed.  My first ever surgery...I'm sh*tting myself but trying to stay calm and think past it to recovery instead of thinking too much about the surgery.  It's Jack's last week of Prep and I've been disappointed that I havn't been able to spend any time visiting their classroom so I'm really really hoping I bounce back super fast and can go on Friday to the break up celebration at school which is only for an hour so I'm sure I'll be fine as the surgery should be done laproscopically.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Cheers and Merry nearly Christmas...I might add in and JibJab dance or two.


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