I have been think a lot about happiness recently – at some point I expect I’ll get round to blogging about it. But for now I have been thinking about things that make me happy right now, today. There is so much.

Because we are having a new bed made in Ruth’s room there were a pile of mattresses in the middle of the living room floor – I leapt on them and had a bit of a bounce, Martin joined me :-) Then Jonathan had a go and Rebekah also couldn’t resist



Then the kids were heading out to various places and I needed to do the dishes so I found a radio 4 murder play and listened while I happily did the dishes and cleaned the window and window ledge in the kitchen.


And the sunshine was glorious – even have a little washing on the line.


A good walk out through the park to Gurnard


and some time spent watching some of my friends doing some Morris dancing in their troop Moonshine along with The Oyster Girls.






A few weeks ago Jonathan was baptised at West Wight Pool. He wanted to do it inside (not in the sea) and when he could swim. So this was the opportunity.


The church hired the pool for an hour and we started with a quick swim as everyone came in, then we had about 8 baptisms, children, teens and adults.


Making his statements of faith:


ready to go under:


back up again:


We had some friends and family joining us which was lovely – Jonathan particularly wanted to give his grandfather a big hug!



And then there was more swimming afterwards followed by some time spent down at the church. We had to rush off afterwards as we had Burns’ Night celebrating to do as well :-)

Once again I am very behind with my blogging.

A couple of weeks ago we hopped on the ferry for a very brief trip to London. We managed to go on a lovely calm day in the midst of all the recent storminess.


We were hurrying over to go to my mum’s 70th birthday celebrations. My sister had organised a party for her and we decided we would surprise mum by turning up at the last minute.

We only arrived slightly before my mum did, so only managed to do a little to help. Jane and Jonathan with help from Michelle had done almost everything fantastically by the time we arrived.

We managed to help out a little in the kitchen though:

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Jane seems to be a little frustrated with me and Ruth nibbles a naughty bit of lettuce!

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The food looks great as it always does when Jonathan and Jane make it.



The room was well decorated too.





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Mum started off the evening in character with a nice cup of tea.


She had lots of her friends around her to celebrate.

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Mum seemed to be having a good laugh with us too.

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It looks like mum had a happy birthday

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Our Christmas Days tend to follow a standard pattern each year.

1. Stockings – in our bed.

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we all had to make something home-made and i was really pleased that the minion wrisites I had made went down well!


2. Then it’s off to church, relatively early as we usually do the music and open up the church on Christmas Morning – great time, everyone was in good voice so the singing went well.

3. Back home and a starter of dips, veggie sticks and crisps and a glass of bucks fizz.



4. Time to open presents.



5. Time to prepare the dinner and play a game while it cooks.


6. Dinnertime – not a traditional turkey roast but toad-in-the-hole with cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes!


7. More games – Rebekah was delighted and some what surprised to win a game of Blokus and think we all won a various games of Articulate.



8. then some cheese and crackers and settling down to watch Doctor Who on the iplayer


Christmas Eve didn’t start too well for us – we had storms the night before and this was the view over our garden:


Four fence panels broken, but I know we are lucky compared to some of our friends who have flooding.

The view inside was much more attractive:




We had a relaxed morning, then spent the afternoon listening to Carols From King’s preparing the vegetables for Christmas dinner and even managing to persuade Rebekah to do a little bit of crafting.



A quick dinner and then one of our most important Christmas traditions watching, the best version of A Christmas Carol, The Muppets.

Martin, Jonathan and I then went to a friend’s party for nibbles and cocktails, then back home so everyone can get in bed before Santa comes to visit. This year we gave Santa a hand and did a secret Santa of stockings, but he was coming round to check we had done everything properly so we left out something to eat and drink for him and the reindeer!

We’ve just had our family Christmas with Susan’s half of the family. We watched the Wizard Of Oz together yesterday. Today we had allocated to spend:

exchanging presents.

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eating Christmas dinner expertly and deliciously cooked for us by Jonathan and Jane, a full turkey dinner and lovely pudding too!

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and playing Pitt (we’d borrowed it ages ago and it seemed like a sensible time to have an excuse to shout at each other lots!) and generally having a good time together.




Even once everyone had gone we were still having a lovely time listening to Christmas radio programs and chilling out – what a lovely weekend!

Ruth and Jonathan have been working hard at Wight Stars this term. This afternoon we watched the Wizard of Oz with Ruth playing Glinda and Jonathan being a very posh tree and an Oz man.





It was a great performance by all the cast and Ruth did brilliantly to overcome her mic cutting out.

I’ve had a great day.

I went on a walk with Martin to work and instead of just rushing back I went down to the sea and just stood and watched for a while, peaceful and beautiful.

Then we got the pre-Christmas cleaning up done – all the children joined in and so did Caleb who, unfortunately for him, was around to help out!

We had a bit of time to spend making a few decorations and some gingerbread trees and snowmen followed by a quick spot of lunch.

Then we had friends over to decorate gingerbread houses. Jonathan made a gingerbread camp site complete with a fire and an abominable snowman. Val was quite sure we had made a brilliant gingerbread city. There were a lot more sweets at the start than managed to end up on the houses!

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I also got some mulled apple juice going , non-alcoholic but with a little kick from some Rochester dark ginger drink  and while the icing was setting (we used Mary Berry’s royal icing method and it was brilliant) we made some decorative stars.

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This scene could have taken place over 10 years ago now and I love the fact that in some respects nothing has progressed and nothing has changed!







We have a nicer house now than 10 years ago, Caleb is taller, Rebekah is less bossy, but Caleb is probably her oldest IoW friend and it’s lovely that they are still sitting on the floor making paper-chains.

Today we went to the Learning Zone nativity. It was lovely, like any traditional nativity with small kids. There was some not very quiet whispering, some prompting needed, some very cute lines and a gorgeous outfit very clearly completely made from a stripy sheet. It was exactly what you want.

But none of my kids were in it – they are just too big. Jonathan is nearly 12 and not interested and the girls were too busy even to be involved in helping out. While the rehearsals were going on I was very aware that there was this whole set of meetings that I would have at one time been very involved in that I had no reason to be at. I was even moderately tempted to go along without the children bit that seemed to be a bit too sad! So we seem to have progressed a stage now as a family we really are (and to be honest haven’t been for a while) not a family with anything resembling small children any more. Time to move on in my thinking as Ruth considers college next year and is already out a lot with an internship type thing at WightStars, and Rebekah has just been given a very slightly conditional offer on the course she wants to do at uni next year.