Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Christmas Wedding

The Bride and Groom
Three days after Christmas saw us celebrating the wedding of Mark's youngest brother Ryan to his fiancĂ©e Carrie. They couldn't have asked for a better day for the time of year and, although cold,  the sun shone out brightly for them. It was a real family affair, with Mark's other brother Greg as the best man, Greg's wife Kelly the chief bridesmaid, Mark as usher, Tom as page boy and Lily and Emma as bridesmaids. Mark and I both did readings during the service and once again Mark's Uncle Keith was the wedding photographer. Carrie looked absolutely beautiful in her gorgeous dress and the whole day was just wonderful. The children behaved beautifully and I was very proud of them. We all had a lovely time and we left with three sleepy children at about 10.50pm in the evening. Emma didn't wake up at all as I undressed her for bed, which was interesting!
Many Congratulations Ryan and Carrie! Wishing you a long and happy life together.
Welcome to the family Carrie!

Tom looked very handsome in his wedding suit. He was rather put out at being made to wear pink, but seemed to forget he was wearing the cravat after a while!

Carrie walking down the aisle with her father

The wedding cake, complete with snow bride and snow groom

My father-in-law plotting world domination in the tallest chair I have ever seen!

Mark looking rather dashing in his wedding finery.

Tom and Emma playing Angry Birds on the iPad.

Photo credit: Keith Avard
With the exception of this last one, all the photos in this post are mine. Mark's Uncle was the wedding photographer, so I will try to post a few of his rather lovelier photos at a later date.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Opening stockings on Christmas morning
The Podlings woke at the rather civilised time of 7.40am on Christmas morning and just sat talking to each other in bed until I went in and told them to come into our room. Emma was thrilled that Santa brought the candy spray she was hoping for (!) and Lily was thrilled to get lots of stationery. We went downstairs and the Podlings waited patiently for all the grown-ups to come downstairs before opening their main presents. Much happy tearing of paper ensued and I think they had opened all their gifts before 9.30am!
They spent the rest of the day quietly playing with all their new things and amusing themselves. They had a good game of 'Super Dogs' with Uncle Ryan in the afternoon, which just about made the day perfect for them. (Super Dogs is a special game that Uncle Ryan and the Podlings came up with on their own and only Uncle Ryan is allowed to play it with them. The Podlings spend a lot of time between visits planning out these games. Uncle Ryan is much adored!). Mum and Dad P. cooked a glorious Christmas dinner and put out a lively buffet in the evening and we all went to bed happy and extremely well-fed! It was a lovely day! 

Lily enjoying some of her new stationery

Waiting patiently to open gifts

Emma with her new doll

One of the best pictures I was able to get of Emma in her beautiful Christmas Day outfit. She looked adorable!

Lily loved her cross stitch kit from her Great Aunt and Uncle. Auntie Mary and Uncle Keith were also staying at Mark's parents' house over Christmas and it was lovely to be able to spend some time with them. They live in Devon and we don't get to see them very often.

Tom with his favourite Christmas present, the official Angry Birds sticker book. My boy loves Angry Birds!


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

The Podlings wearing their new nightwear for Christmas Eve. We weren't sure how well they would settle down as they were all sharing a room at their grandparent's house, but they surprised us by settling down long before Father Christmas was due. I think they wanted to make sure they were on the 'good list'!


Friday, 20 December 2013

Gingerbread House

Emma wanted me to make the 'Fairies Welcome' sign.

Magic Christmas Tree

We'd given Tom a 'Magic Tree' for his birthday last year and the Podlings all enjoyed watching it grow, so when I found this Christmas themed magic tree I knew they would love it. Once we put the tree together and added the 'magic' water, it is a bit of a waiting game. The first crystals appear within an hour and after about six hours it looks quite impressive. It kept the Podlings amused for an afternoon and looked rather pretty by the end. Not bad for £1.99!



Monday, 9 December 2013

Costume Making

Christmas concert season is upon us once again and the Podlings are all busy rehearsing for their school productions. I found myself needing to make two out of the three costumes this year. Emma is an angel in her class nativity, so I am thrilled to be able to again make use of the absolutely beautiful angel costume I bought her for her playgroup production last year.

Tom is a narrator in his class production of the nativity story, so he needed to look, in the words of his teacher, "like a Bethlehem person". The problem is that all the cheap nativity costumes are only made in smaller sizes and at nine years old Tom needed something longer. I didn't want to spend a lot of money for something that will hardly get worn, so out came the dressmaking scissors, an old sheet and a bit of ingenuity. I didn't have a pattern, I literally just made it up as I went along. The long robe is made from an old cream sheet that we haven't used for years. Tom was quite appalled when I got him to try on the robe "I look like an ANGEL!" he said in disgust. He was pacified by my assurances that the costume wasn't finished and he wouldn't look like an angel by the time it was finished! I made the waistcoat/jerkin from some brown cord I had in my stash and I stitched a knotted length of stripy fabric to the shoulder just to finish it off. I'm relieved to say that Tom is quite happy with the final result. I have to confess to being thoroughly lazy with this costume. I didn't hem anything! It just didn't seem worth putting all that effort into something that won't be worn again after the last performance. I figure the raw edges will add to the rustic charm of the ensemble!

Lily's costume required some creative thinking, but was much quicker to make than Tom's. Lily's class are performing Roald Dahl's version of Snow White and Lily is the mirror. A speaking part no less! I found a cheap artists canvas for sale in our local Home Bargains which was perfect. It was light (she was going to have to wear it round her neck) and it gave us the 'frame' we needed. The front of the canvas became the back of the mirror. I filled in the 'glass' with silver metallic card and glued strips of gold card around the frame. I then stuck on lots of gem and glitter stickers (the mirror belongs to a queen you know, so one assumes it would be jewel encrusted!). Finally, I tacked some wide ribbon to the back, so Lily can comfortably wear it round her neck. I was really pleased with how it turned out. The photo doesn't really show how lovely and glittery the whole thing is. Lily is over the moon with it!

I can't wait until Friday when I get to see all of my little people in their concerts. Break a leg Podlings!

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall..."

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Poorly Bear

Emma was off school Thursday and Friday with a fever. She couldn't walk, or even stand, without her head hurting and she obviously was feeling very poorly. This didn't stop her from trying to enjoy the time we had together. As soon as Mark took Tom and Lily to school on Thursday, she was asking to do an art project. We used to do a lot together when it was just the two of us at home and she was obviously trying to recapture some of that, despite feeling poorly.

I knew she wouldn't be up to much, so we just made a few Christmas ornaments from card, stickers and glitter. She would have liked to keep going, but she just didn't have it in her so I carried her upstairs and I tucked her up in my bed for a nap. It was an exceptionally windy day, so I lay down next to her as she was scared by the sound of the wind. As we lay there together, she kept leaning over for kiss, telling me she loved me and saying, "It's just the two of us at home, isn't it?". The poor love is finding it hard to adjust to being away from me all day at school and she has obviously missed our special time together. I know how much I have missed her since she started school, so whilst I was sad that she was ill, I really loved getting to spend some time with her again. She is much too young to be at school (she only turned four at the start of the summer holidays) and I do think it is a bit much for her at times.

On Friday she was still very ill, so we just spent the day cuddled up on the sofa and watched a lot of Disney princess movies. Thankfully she started to pick up on Saturday, so she was well in time for the weekend. I guess the school will have to have her back on Monday. I'll miss her, my sweet little girl!

She later decided to embellish the bird further with gem stickers, of which you can never have too many apparently!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Decorating the Tree

We like to put our Christmas decorations up the first weekend in December so that we can get the most enjoyment out of them. Mark picked up our Christmas tree on Sunday afternoon and the Podlings decorated it on Sunday evening when Tom got back from his grandparents' house. The Podlings love decorating the tree and rediscovering all their special ornaments from previous years.

Mark and I put the lights on first and then we let the Podlings just go for it. Mark and I normally decorate the back of the tree (sorely neglected by the Podlings usually) and I have a couple of special ornaments I like to do myself, but I try not to change too much when they are finished. I'll sometimes just space out a few decorations if they are too tightly clumped together, but they always do such a lovely job I don't have to do much. I put the ribbon on at the end just to finish it all off. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Merry Christmas!