The frost has gone and replaced by rain. Not heavy but enough for me to change my dog walking route and opt for a quiet weekend. I’m not keen on mud season. I seem to spend too much time trying to keep mud out of the house, only to start again the next day. One day, I will just give up, throw seeds at it and see what plants we have growing in the house by summer. Might be quite interesting. Peppers and tomatoes growing in easy reach for my salad preparation.
My theory is that there is always an upside, or silver lining, if you look hard enough. This weekend was good. We did the Big Garden Birdwatch as a family. We do it each year. Despite the rain, there were a good number of different types of birds, to count. Improving everyone’s identification skills. There was also a creative vibe bouncing around the house, hitting everyone. Even the Pup whittled a stick by the fire, although it looked more like an attempt to make kindling rather than a great masterpiece. I live in hope.
After homework was
reluctantly, by some, complete, the paints were out. All three children, at one stage, were busy painting. Birds, feathers and eyes. Just experimenting away from the pressure of a classroom.
finally enthusiastically decorated the gingerbread house. We are coming up to Candlemas, half way through winter. It seemed a good time to mark it with gingerbread. We’ll be celebrating with Candlemas activities later in the week, as usual. I wouldn’t miss it.
I love the jelly bellies they gave the gingerbread men. The tummy buttons sank down due to lack of room. Not that any of it lasted long after this photo was taken. A small piece was reserved for today’s packed lunch.
In between it all, I was creative too. I positioned the old Singer machine at the end of the kitchen table and started on a patchwork. Not for long. Middle daughter hovered.
It wasn’t long before, she reappeared with patchwork squares, cut up and ready to go.
I didn’t mind, did I?
I was hardly going to say no. Especially as she went on to bake the cake in the top photo, later on in the day.
For her patchwork, she laid out the squares on her bed. Running up and down the stairs to fetch the next strip to sew. Loving using her great great grandmother’s hand cranked sewing machine. There is something rather special about sewing with this machine.
She finished it too. That evening, when I went up to say goodnight, I found she’d laid the finished quilt top on the end of her bed. It looked pretty, but lacks the warmth of a quilt, yet. Next stage is to sandwich the layers and quilt it. My patchwork is a long way off that stage. Partly as I’ve changed the scope. It started off as a small pincushion, but as I eased into the process, it grew to a cushion cover and then full steam exploding into a lap quilt.
I’m enjoying making the stars. Up to now, I’ve favoured handstitching over machine piecing. This project is changing my mind. Even cutting them out is obstacle free. I’ve figured out the best way to construct them, so they are a joy to make. Diamond bunting spins out from behind the sewing machine, when I’m in full swing. When I had a chance, I should add. I’m heading for a scrappy quilt. Mixing patterns with a nod to random, as it progresses. Opinions on favourites change as each new star is formed. I’m really, absolutely enjoying this quilt. It is not a quick one, but I don’t mind. The old Singer sewing machine is perfect for the job.
It was a good weekend. As the children grow, weekends are subtly changing. No afternoon walk this weekend, as we had hoped, but there was less screen time. (Not completely free, although they do seem to learn cooperation through Minecraft than I never anticipated. And coding too, which is good as it’s in context.) There was more making and reading. More family time. Together.
So how was your weekend? Hope you had a good time.
Each year, it’s different. Each year, it’s the same.
Like many homes, Christmas Eve heralds the start of a procession of well rehearsed traditions for our family. Yet small changes arrive like new, unexpected visitors, jumping in to join in the fun. Ready to establish and grow roots as new traditions. Perish the thought that I should skip a well loved aspect of this time of year, in the rush to embrace the new. No, all of it must happen. Someone is sure to remind me.
When I step back for an instance, I can see the steady march of a family growing. As it should. I have no wish to see our lives preserved in some kind of perspex. No point trying to keep it all the same, but I do want to remember every mama-heart-warming moment. So here is a snapshot of our Christmas Eve. Not everything, but the bits, how ever small, I don’t want to forget.
I want to remember the bauble Eldest brought back from a german Christmas market. Hanging from the stag’s head above the fire. It was this year.
I want to remember the year Middle One decided to dress her artists mannequin as Father Christmas. It was this year too.
I want to remember how letters were sent via Elf mail to Father Christmas. Youngest anxious that this may be the year Father Christmas has no time to write back. He did. This year.
I want to remember how every year my Aga is packed full of food, cooking. Using every spare inch to cook or warm a vital part of our edible Christmas tradition. Every year. ( I may choose to forget how much smoke is produced from burning chocolate, billowing from the microwave. Let’s try and forget that one.)
Moving on. I want to remember the Christmas Eve that we bought rolls of craft paper and printed hundreds of trees and snowflakes, ready to wrap presents. Like this paper. Hanging the sheets from cupboards and bookcases to dry. So many that it looked like we’d chosen to wallpaper in the style of Wallace and Gromit. Wondering if the paint would dry in time. This year.
I want to remember the year that my husband turned up with a real Christmas tree on his shoulder, on Christmas Eve, so the children would know how it scented the room. An unloved tree that no one else wanted. Except us. We did. This year.
I want to remember. Just hug those moments once more. I am truly grateful for all this and more.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
Here’s to many more happy moments, that will be treasured for ever.