Thursday, 31 December 2009

Today has been a nice day. A quiet peaceful (mostly!) end to the year.

It has been quite a year. A lot of the year was overshadowed by my Father-in-Law's battle against cancer, which he tragically lost in July. He passed away at the age of 64,never having got to enjoy his retirement. It has been a huge blow to Overflowing Dad and his family.

In spite of it all though you have to carry on. With 6 children there is little choice! Life at times this year has at times been wonderful; and at times very hard. We havelaughed, we have cried, we have smiled and we have shouted. But whatever we have done it has been done togaether as a family. And no doubt 2010 will be much the same. At times hard , at times great, but always together and always overflowing to bursting!

I am determined this year to let my frustrated inner creative self out! I am going to make more time for the things that I love doing: gardening, photography, and baking. I am going to embrace new skills : sewing and knitting. I am going to try to be more organised (as always LOL)yet am going to be more forgiving of myself when things aren't perfect!

And with all that in mind I have finished my first my craft project for 2010- a little hand knitted bag for little O's 4th birthday in 2 weeks.

And......we received some unexpected money from my Mother-in-Law for Christmas 2 days ago...and I ordered myself a very exciting Christmas present (after much deliberation!) It arrived today...I havent opened it yet ...can you guess what it is????

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Enjoying a little post Christmas calm....

Well we have survived it for another year..... Christmas.

We have all had so much fun over the last week.

The night before Christmas Eve we went out to watch Father Christmas drive through the village on his sleigh. It was freezing cold, and snowing, but that didnt bother the children and they all had fun playing in the snow. The looks on the little ones faces when they saw Santa was well worth braving the cold!

On Christmas Eve we all went out for lunch at a local Chinese Eat-all-you can type place.We dont all eat out very often. Mostly because for 8 people it is too costly,and also
because our 20 month old doesn't really cope well with sitting still LOL, but we all had a great time. It was really relaxed,the food was lovely and everyone had agood laugh and lots to eat!

When we got home the children had their Christmas Eve gift bags with new Christmas PJs, slippers, mugs for hot chocolate,and Christams story books.We then had a lovely afternoon snuggled up reading Christmas stories. Then it was time to leave out Santa's milk and mince pies and scatter reindeer food (kindly sent to us from The Mad House) and off to bed.

The girls tried to get up from 1am onwards , and we finally gave in at 5.30 and all 6 kids piled onto our bed to open their stockings. Then downstairs for all the wonderful things Santa had left under the tree.A bit of persuasion to get them all dressed and ready and then out to Church.

The rest of the day was a happy muddle of eating and playing and bit of Christmas fizz!

Christmas was lovely, but it has still left me totally exhusted.The following 3 day visit to my parents was also quite a challenge....

....and now that things have calmed down a bit I am enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet!

We had a lovely time, but next year Iam going to tweak a few things, scale down a bit,and try to not become quite so worn out!

I am now looking forward to the start of a new year. New ideas, new ways to try some things,lots more happy family times to enjoy.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Eve of Christmas Eve.....

So here we are ..... the Eve of Christmas Eve as my girls keep telling me! It has been a busy month. Try as I might to not get drawn into all the over-commercialised Christmas hype, December is still hectic. A lot of it is filled with lovely things, like Nativities and Christmas crafts,and reading our little books about the Christmas story from our Advent Calendar. Some of it though is stressful, like trying to juggle our limited budget to be able to afford presents for 6 children. Some of it is fun, yet also time consuming like baking and sewing and making up hampers of homemade and bargain gifts for my sister and other family members!

A hamper of all things pink and girly for my 4 year old niece!

A hamper of pampering goodies for my sister

7 hand sewn sock monkeys! These have taken me ages, but I am pleased with how they have turned out - considering I am a novice with a needle!

Painting our salt dough decorations!
I always set out with such good intentions of all the wonderful things I will do. Then a lot of it falls by the wayside and I feel guilty, like a failure of mother.But I shouldn't. I do my best. It isn't easy, I have 6 children,including three 5 and under. I need to accept that I do my best and that is good enough!At this time of year more than any other I NEED to let go of my perfectionism, and accept that things may go wrong- but that is OK. The children just want a happy stress free Mum for Christmas- not perfectly co-ordinated decorations,or perfect homemade stuffing. We have done lots. We have had fun. That's what matters!

So today I am stopping! I am not doing anymore rushing round. I have a few bits still to do - they may or may not happen. But for now am going to chill with my family and work on being a calm relaxed Mummy for Christmas!