Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blog Review 2008

I loved this idea from Kelli of "There is No Place Like Home":

Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

May you all have a happy, healthy and blessed 2008!


I often find that different seasons interact... the chronological seasons, the liturgical seasons and my own life seasons.


ENTP, Originator, Intellectual, Linguistic, Logical

That's me, according to


I know I have a few readers who are Mac users, so I thought I'd pass on a recommendation for some image editing software I have been using: ImageWell.


Tevye and I have been away ... two days and one night on our own!


After thinking and reading about Montessori and Waldorf for a while, over the last couple of weeks I have been digging my way back into Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy, and realising over again why I have always found it such a wise path.


Outside My Window ... the darkening sky of a warm summer's evening.


Lots of irresistible babies at the zoo this week.


Outside My Window ... washing hanging on the line and skies turning ominously grey.


I love it! Little Cherub is at the stage where she mostly gets the words right, but the order is often rather tangled up.


This is a confusing year.


Outside My Window
... dark, cold, wet December morning.
If you want to play along, visit Kelli and add your post to her Mr Linky.

HT: Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook: 30th December

For Tuesday 30th December

A day late, because thanks to the holidays I completely forgot yesterday was Monday.

Outside My Window ... a bright, crisp, frosty winter afternoon.

I am thinking ... of goals for next year.

From the learning rooms ... still Christmas holidays.

I am thankful for ... the change of pace between term time and holidays..

From the kitchen ... pasta with pesto and fromage frais for dinner. And we are still eating up Christmas leftovers and treats.

I am wearing ... faded blue jeans, beige sweater, woolly socks. Warm and cosy for a cold day.

I am creating ... soft, stripey socks in a bamboo blend yarn.

I am going ... to the supermarket to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy and a few food items I forgot yesterday.

I am reading ... On Brick Lane by Rachel Lichtenstein and a Good Housekeeping magazine.

I am hoping ... that all the dire financial predictions for next year turn out to be wrong.

I am hearing ... the TV downstairs. Star is watching a film.

Around the house ... a scattering of Christmas gifts being used or played with.

One of my favorite things ... the clean slate of a new year.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... visiting old friends to see the New Year in; bowling with friends on New Year's Day; a visit from my SIL and her family on Sunday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing ...

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year Resolutions - Stock Take

Time to make that annual stock-take again ... how far did I get with last year's resolutions? And what do I want to aim for this year?

First, a review of last year:

A daily 30 minute quiet time for spiritual reading and prayer.
Failed abysmally.
Keep on the Motivated Mom wagon for the entire year.
Not bad. I morphed Motivated Mom into my own list on Toodledo. After a while this got me into a fairly good cleaning routine and I now only need to use Toodledo to get myself back on track if things slip.
Walk to Rivendell with Frodo. I think 458 miles in a year should be possible. If I aim at 10 miles a week that allows for the inevitable slippage. HT: Heather at Doodle Acres
I tried, but was very, very erratic, as you can see from my sidebar. Even after I joined the gym I didn't manage to get into a good routine. By November I had fallen apart completely and stopped counting.
Read at least one history book each month. It has been a while since I have done any serious historical reading and I would like to catch up a bit with what is going on in the historical world, plus read up on some topics I'm interested in.
Pathetic. I don't think I made it past a couple of books.
Knit. After doing virtually no knitting for years I have enjoyed the occasional knitting project over the last couple. I think I'll make 2008 the year of the knitting needle and take it up again properly.
I did well on this one, though I have realised I am a cold weather knitter. I stopped knitting in the summer and then started again in the autumn.

Even though my success rate is very hit and miss, I do find it helpful to make New Year Resolutions. It means I take time out to really think about what things I want to improve or change over the next year. I know from experience that I never manage to achieve all my goals, but some success is far better than none, and I like having something specific to aim at.

I will be posting next year's resolutions later in the week. I have some ideas, but want to ponder bit more first.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


On opening her first Christmas present ... "Can I keep it?". Yes sweetheart, that's how it works. On opening the second ... "Will you buy it for me?". Confusing, this Christmas thing.

Tevye: What's my name?
Cherub: Michael
Tevye: What's my other name?
Cherub: Jewish!

Bouncing up and down excitedly on being told that there were jam doughnuts ...
Cherub: I like doughnuts! Ham doughnuts!
Me: Not ham darling, jam. They are jam doughnuts.
Cherub (disgruntled): I not like doughnuts.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Header Art

Star is very keen that I should tell you, prominently, that she drew the picture in the header.

5 Things I Love About Christmas

1. Carol Singing on Christmas Eve in the High Street. In the evening the Salvation Army and the Rotary Club organise carol singing for the town - the Salvation Army band plays, Santa visits in his sleigh and throws sweets to the crowd, carols are sung, and Christmas spirit prevails. In good weather years like this one the crowd virtually fills the High Street.

2. Midnight Mass. I don't go to Midnight Mass now as it wouldn't work for our family, but in the days before children I loved it. Even in my atheist-agnostic-former-Methodist days I used to go to the Midnight service at Christmas.

3. Christmas Trees. Other Christmas decorations I can take or leave - all it takes to make me feel festive is a Christmas tree. Tall or small, real or artificial, themed or eclectic. Any Christmas tree will do. (If you are wondering, ours is medium-sized, artificial, and this is an eclectic year.)

4. Christmas Presents. I don't think I am a particularly materialistic person, but I love giving and receiving Christmas gifts. I even enjoy Christmas shopping, particularly since the internet took the pressure off. Seeing a big pile of presents under the tree gives me the same thrill it did as a child.

5. Christmas Pudding with brandy butter, custard and cream ... or with brandy sauce and cream. Either way is perfect. I even used to eat Christmas pudding for breakfast on Boxing Day, but sadly my stomach has passed the age when it can cope with ridiculously rich food for breakfast.

HT: Sandra

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Little Glitch

... in my online grocery shopping.

What I asked for ...

What I got ...
Pesto with turkey, anyone?

In all fairness, I know from experience that if I had phoned and complained they would either have delivered the missing stuffing or had it ready for me to pick up, and would have given it to me at no charge, but I just didn't have the heart to add to their workload this week over one small item!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook: 22nd December

For Monday 22nd December

Outside My Window ... four o'clock and nearly dark.

I am thinking ... how glad I will be when the days get longer and the evenings lighter.

From the learning rooms ... Christmas holidays!

I am thankful for ... online grocery shopping and avoiding the pre-Christmas supermarket queues.

From the kitchen ... apple pies, cranberry sauce and bread sauce to make for Christmas dinner.

I am wearing ... faded blue jeans, beige hooded sweater, woolly hiking socks.

I am creating ... a soft, fluffy scarf as a Christmas present for my mother.

I am going ... next door for a pre-Christmas get together with our neighbours this evening.

I am reading ... English Catholic history.

I am hoping ... that we don't catch any more coughs and colds over Christmas.

I am hearing ... Little Cherub talking to Star.

Around the house ... a sitting room floor covered in even more Playmobil than last week; washing waiting to be dried; Angel and her friend upstairs.

One of my favorite things ... Little Cherub's experiments with English grammar.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a joyful family Christmas.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing ...

We have this Playmobil nativity, though a couple of minor pieces have gone missing and it is regularly rearranged by Little Cherub. Also, we don't add the Three Kings until Epiphany.

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.

Out to Dinner

No blogging at the weekend because I was out to dinner - a carvery meal on Friday evening for Tevye's office Christmas celebration, and on Saturday we went to a fiftieth birthday celebration here ...

Just to whet your appetite, this was what I had to eat ...

Terrine of Gravadlax and Saute Potatoes
Cheese Fondue and Pickled Peppers


Loin of Lamb braised in Claret
Potato Puree, Braised Shallot and Root Vegetables
Claret and Rosemary Jus


Caramel Souffle

It was every bit as good as it sounds, and enhanced by champagne, Pimms and red wine. Every once in a while, it can be fun to live the high life!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Muddy Puddles

Inspired by Peppa Pig, Little Cherub wanted to go jumping in muddy puddles with her new flowery wellies.

She had a lovely time ...

... until the inevitable happened.

Poor Cherub. She was most distressed by the blob of mud that went down her boot!

7 Quick Takes Friday

-- 1 --

I just re-read Bill Bryson's Notes From a Small Island in which he takes a quirky and affectionate look at the UK and its inhabitants. I then had a Bryson-ish moment of my own last weekend. While on a break from playing Christmas music in a local shopping centre I took a turn holding a collecting tin, and was approached by a man whose small daughter had put in some loose change a few minutes earlier. He lent over to me and muttered confidentially, and with the embarrassed air of someone not naturally given to paying public compliments, "I don't know if anyone has told you ... but the music is quite nice." British understatement?

-- 2 --

More brass banding last night - this time a cheerfully chaotic Scouts' Christmas event at a village a few miles away, held in the medieval parish Church. Great fun, with lots of singing along, clapping and cheering, an eccentric version of the Nativity story written and performed by Scouts with sock puppets, Beavers singing about a red nosed reindeer, and Cubs reciting 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. Unlike many old churches, this one had the luxury of both reasonably effective heating and indoor plumbing (new since last year!). And to round off an enjoyable festive evening I won a hamper in a raffle. The girls had fun unpacking it this morning - various boxes and bars of chocolate, a little Christmas cake and a small pudding, a bottle of wine, shortbread, mince pies, chocolate crispie cakes - all sorts of goodies!

-- 3 --

Little Cherub was distressed this week by the discovery of a "wood mouse" in the sitting room. No, not a little furry rodent, but a small and harmless bug. Cherub has problems with the letter "L". (Translation for American readers: wood louse = pillbug. I think.)

-- 4 --

Star spent weeks refusing to wear a coat outdoors on the grounds that she wasn't cold, even in near freezing temperatures. Why, then, is she now insisting she needs to wear her coat indoors to keep warm?

-- 5 --

Nearly time to light four candles on the Advent wreath. Whenever I think of four candles the Two Ronnies sketch jumps unbidden into my mind and they turn into "fork 'andles". Please tell me I am not the only person in the UK (or the world?) to have this problem.

-- 6 --

I watched a documentary about steam trains last week. (Why? I like trains!) As I am not old enough to remember steam trains running on commercial services I had vaguely imagined that they were phased out in the 1930s or 40s. Apparently not. Converting the British railways to electric or diesel was considered too expensive after the War, and hundreds of new steam trains were built during the late 40s and 50s. The last were built in 1960 and expected to have a life well into the 1980s. Then the decision was taken to switch to diesel and they were all withdrawn in 1968. Hundreds of serviceable trains were sent to scrapyards to rust. Eat your heart out, Thomas the Tank Engine. I had no idea I missed the age of steam by so little. In fact, technically I didn't miss it ... I just don't remember it.

-- 7 --

Last day of school today, then two whole weeks of everyone home (almost - Tevye has to work Monday and Tuesday next week and then is off until January 5th). Yay!

For more quick takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Been There, Done That

I've been meaning to do this meme for a while, since I saw it on Dorothy's blog ... and then Alicia's ... and now Karen's. They don't come simpler than this: if you have done it, bold it; if not, don't.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (I stayed up to watch one once, not realising it was only visible in Australia)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld) (Eurodisney)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (not hard, I only live three miles away)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (not fluently, but enough to get by)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (only a toe)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (only an article in a book)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (as a witness in dangerous driving case)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Monday, December 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook: 15th December

For Monday 15th December

Outside My Window ... a dark, cold, damp evening. Again.

I am thinking ... I should try to do some Christmas crafts with Little Cherub this week.

From the learning rooms ... more science fun for Star. Today they made sherbet. I'm not sure what the other ingredients were, but she had to take crushed Love Hearts with her. She said it was very yummy and the best science lesson ever.

I am thankful for ... breathing easier after my asthma flared up last week.

From the kitchen ... baked potatoes and chilli. Warming winter food.

I am wearing ... black jeans, blue hooded top, beaten metal circle pendant on a leather cord, warm woolly socks.

I am creating ... a soft cream crocheted scarf for Star like the grey one I made for Angel last year (pictured at the end). I finished my socks and a matching pair for Little Cherub that I just (really only just!) managed to squeeze out of the leftover yarn.

I am going ... to get to work on the English Catholic history book for children I am writing. I abandoned it half-done when I was expecting Cherub three years ago. I've given myself a deadline of next summer to get it finished.

I am reading ... nothing. I just finished Bill Bryson and haven't picked anything else up yet.

I am hoping ... that I can get this post onto Simple Woman's Mr Linky. It wouldn't show up for me last week. Anyone else had the same problem?

I am hearing ... Star and Cherub sharing a bath.

Around the house ... a sitting room floor covered in Playmobil, a glue stick with a missing lid, and scattered Christmas tree decorations. Cherub has been busy.

One of my favorite things ... gingerbread latte with whipped cream.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a couple more brass band Christmas concerts, Tevye's office Christmas meal, and - big treat! - a meal out at a smart restaurant for our neighbours' joint 50th birthday celebration. Busy, busy ... but good busy.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing ...

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.

Friday, December 12, 2008


We are gradually getting ready for Christmas. We put the tree up last weekend, and Little Cherub has been enjoying herself stripping the ornaments off and lining them up - in the evening we round them up and put them back, having decided it simply isn't worth becoming the Tree Police and that she will eventually tire of the game (hopefully before January 6th!). Yesterday we made Christmas puddings and there is a batch of mince pies in the freezer. Presents are bought and wrapped. I am having an untypically efficient year with leisurely stress-free preparations.

I am feeling so organised I am almost tempted to try this Provencal Christmas Eve tradition ... Les Treize Desserts. Yes, that's right, thirteen desserts. Dorothy makes it sound quite do-able. I would need to adapt to my families less adult tastes, but I think it could be done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Shelf at a Time - Shelf 10

The top shelf of the next bookcase in the dining room has mostly Bibles. I have a selection of translations that would grace a theology library, acquired mainly from my great-uncle who was a Methodist minister and my mother's former college tutor. Among others I have the Douay-Reims, the KJV, Jerusalem Bible, Knox, New International and RSV. Then there are Greek and Hebrew New Testaments and a Hebrew-English Bible, together with lexicons and grammars. Dante in English and Italian (more inherited books, and no, I can't read the Italian) and various old poetry books - I noticed Milton and Wordsworth - are in a pile along with odd volumes of Virgil, selected writings of Thomas Aquinas and a biography of Peter Abelard. Mostly books I don't use but can't bring myself to part with.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook: 8th December

For Monday 8th December

Outside My Window ... thick white frost on the road, but thawing on the grass and trees.

I am thinking ... how good it is to start the week with some plans and some energy after last week's inertia.

From the learning rooms ... Star's science homework last week was to make a parachute for an egg, to be launched off the school stairs. She was very indignant that I would not let her do a test run at home with a real egg. As it turned out hers was one of the more successful efforts and her egg sustained only minor injuries.

I am thankful for ... recovery from last week's nasty cough and cold. Just a residual cough left for me now.

From the kitchen ... chicken in mushroom sauce; chocolate brownies; sultana and cherry cake; Christmas puddings to make.

I am wearing ... warm blue pyjamas.

I am creating ... more socks. I discovered one ball of sock yarn is just large enough to make a sock for myself and a cute matching little sock for Cherub.

I am going ... to finish the last of my Christmas shopping and wrapping this week.

I am reading ... Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. I wanted something cheerful and humorous to cheer me up after a week of feeling ill.

I am hoping ... everyone else recovers properly from the wheezles and sneezles. Tevye can't stop coughing and Cherub and Angel are both still under par.

I am hearing ... the washing machine making a clicking sound.

Around the house ... cleaning to do, surfaces to clear, toys to put away.

One of my favorite things ... a room lit by the glow of Christmas tree lights.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a trip with Little Cherub to a local theme park for their Christmas special; playing Christmas carols in a couple of large shopping centres at the weekend (the Christmas season is busy for brass bands); finish the Christmas newsletter I started with a burst of enthusiasm three weeks ago.

Here is picture thought I am sharing ... ballerina? or fairy?

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Blog Personality

Interesting. Thanks to Willa at Sierra Highlands I used this Typealyzer to analyse the personality type of my blog.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always at risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

That comes out with a mix of similarities and differences to my own personality type, which is ENTP. I'm slightly surprised that it comes out as "feeler" rather than "thinker", though not surprised that the visual, immediate element of a blog swings it towards "sensing" rather than "intuiting". The ESFP description makes is sound as though my blog is a bright and cheery place to visit, which is nice.

Both my cookery and knitting blogs are "Doers" with ESTP personalities, which figures as they are about concrete activities.

Friday, December 05, 2008

7 Quick Takes Friday

-- 1 --

Little Cherub outgrew her last pair of miniscule wellies (waterproof rubber boots) so I bought her new pair. A pink, flowery pair. She is delighted with them - so delighted that she is sitting next to me on the sofa wearing a pink spotty hooded dress, tights, and yes ... wellies.

-- 2 --

This year the feast of St. Barbara (December 4th) passed me by in the haze of wheezles and sneezles, but next year we will definitely be copying Erin's idea for celebrating this day. As an unrepentant chocoholic this has to be one of the best liturgical year activities I have ever seen.

-- 3 --

What to do when you are laid low by the sneezles? Download this iPod Touch / iPhone app. Many happy hours of timewasting are guaranteed. If you can get the iPod back from timewasting daughters, that is!

-- 4 --

I promised to take Star Christmas shopping tonight. Wheezles notwithstanding, we are going to have to go as her school shoes are falling apart yet again - letting water in and disintegrating from the inside out. Marks and Spencer has now officially failed the roadworthy school shoes test, along with pretty much every other pair we have tried. It seems manufacturers do not realise that some children have long walks to and from school, and therefore need shoes that will stand up to real use. To be fair, one Clarks pair did last two terms, but their shoes fail the Star pickiness test. So far, Angel's cheap discount store pair are holding up surprisingly well, so I'm hoping we can find something there. School shoes and Christmas shopping ... it's going to be a long evening.

-- 5 --

Did you know that if you can't find purple and rose candles for an Advent wreath, white is the liturgically correct colour? I didn't until this week. So it was lucky that white was the only colour I could find on Saturday, having forgotten to pick up a box of red or gold ones in the supermarket as I intended.

-- 6 --

I just realised with utter horror that if you add together the weights of all three of my daughters, the result would be pretty close to my own weight. Admittedly both the older two are very, very slimline, and Cherub is tiny ... but even so!

-- 7 --

For UK readers ... Tesco are selling beautiful, big poinsettias for £2.49 each. I bought one yesterday and it looks gorgeous - so much so I think I will go back and get a couple more. And they are guaranteed to last until early January. Though sadly, they are not guaranteed against plant-watering failure.

For more quick takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wheezles and Sneezles

This morning Little Cherub informed me "I've got sneezles", and indeed, like Christopher Robin, we are all suffering from wheezles and sneezles in some degree. If coughs are a symptom there is a strong possibility that some of us also have phtheezles.

I'm hoping we will still be imitating Christopher Robin tomorrow:

Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
"Now, how to amuse them to-day?"
Cherub is at that endearing stage where she can articulate what is wrong, but sometimes loses things in translation ...

Me: Is your throat sore?
Cherub: No!
Me: Does it hurt inside your neck?
Cherub: Yes!

She was also keen to make clear that despite being decidedly warm she was not poorly and should not be given medicine (Calpol), which she hates. "I not need medicine" she informed me ... then, winningly and clearly playing what she considered her trump card ... "I is not crying!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Pear Tree

I love Amazon marketplace, where I have been able to pick up some lovely picture books for the cost of postage and a nominal penny charge. The latest arrival was The Pear Tree by Meredith Hooper, illustrated by Bee Willey (who also illustrated The Jesse Tree). This is a beauty! It uses the Twelve Days of Christmas format, but begins with a pigeon in a pear tree in January and moves round the year adding extra animals for each month (two starlings, three bees, four squirrels and so on). On each page the animals are illustrated in and around the pear tree, which is seen moving from its bare winter branches, through spring buds, leaves, blossoms and fruit, and back to bare winter again. Some of the animals are quite tiny and need eagle-eyed spotting. The level of detail is still a bit much for Little Cherub who ran out of steam around June, but I can see us getting a lot of pleasure from this book over the next few years.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook: 1st December

For Monday 1st December

Outside My Window ... dark, cold, wet December morning.

I am thinking ... about the possibility of Star and Little Cherub switching rooms. Star likes her old room, even though it is smaller than her current one, and a larger room would give more space for Cherub to play and room for toy storage.

From the learning rooms ... Help Week at Angel's school, fund raising for various charities.

I am thankful for ... a quiet day today.

From the kitchen ... turkey steaks and mushroom sauce for dinner. Mince pies to be baked if I have the energy.

I am wearing ... ridiculous pink pyjamas.

I am creating ... socks. I had an urge to knit socks. One toddler pair is done (blue, her choice), and I am working on a pair for myself.

I am going ... to rest as much as possible today. It is my turn for the cough and cold that has been working its way round the family.

I am reading ... Christmas books. Admiring impressive crafts and complicated recipes that I have no intention of attempting.

I am hoping ... Little Cherub has a good long nap this afternoon. She didn't settle until 10.30 last night and is likely to be tired and cross today.

I am hearing ... Tevye leaving for work.

Around the house ... Advent wreath and calendar. No Jesse Tree this year - I decided to settle for doing less things but doing them well.

One of my favorite things ... Christmas! And by extension, Advent. I love everything about the whole season.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a mother and daughter shopping expedition with Star; helping to organise an end of term Nativity Play for the First Communion classes ... there are two classes and they have only rehearsed separately ... Mary and Joseph have never met ... it is going to be an exercise in chaos limitation.

Here is picture thought I am sharing ...

Check out The Simple Woman for links to other Daybooks and instructions if you want to do one of your own.