Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas is over for another year

We survived Christmas for another year.

We had an awesome time with family and friends, ate too much, got ridiculously spoilt and had heaps of fun!
I think that it is important that if people take the time, effort and money to buy my kids presents that the kids take the time to appreciate and thank those people. So each year I take the reject photos from the Christmas card and turn them into thank you cards.

So today we set out writing our thank you notes. What a big job...but we are almost done!

This is the card
Phoebe showing off the finished version of one of her Thank You cards
And that is Holly, showing off one of her efforts. 

Monday, 26 December 2011

25 December 2011

Day 25 - Christmas day

It's here!

And Santa came.  The kids were over the moon.  Each of them got a "Nice List Certificate" from Santa which Holly in particular was so proud of.

Holly with her "Nice List Certificate"

The loved all the presents from Santa.  They got a ridiculous amount.  Is it a sign that I take too many photos - each time Holly  pulled a present out of her Santa Sack she held it up for a photo!

Holly with one of her many presents
All the presents...we have some very lucky kids

We had a lovely day.  We started with Morning Tea with Bain's mother, auntie and sister & family.  This was nice and relaxing - a very casual affair.  We also got a lovely phone call from Bain's "long lost brother" in Australia - who we have only just met after several years -  very exciting but a whole other story.

The girls had great fun playing with their cousin Maddi. We were so lucky it was a beautiful day.

Maddi, Holly and Phoebe

We then had Christmas Dinner with my family.  We were lucky enough to have my Nan up from New Plymouth to celebrate with us.  Bain did a beautiful pork on the rotisserie and everyone else brought wonderful dishes.  Perhaps the highlight was my Dad's home made my home made ice cups.  So yummy!!

Poppa's Pantry - Limoncello

 One of the activities I had planned for the Advent Activities was to make homemade Christmas crackers.  Unfortunately with all the illness this idea went out the window.  So I ended up quickly making them myself at midnight on Christmas Eve...hence they look a bit rough. 

This is the second year I have made them.  I get so disappointed with the store bought ones I think it is nice to do your own.  They each had a Santa Hat, a small chocolate Santa, a scratchie lotto ticket (the kids had facecloths) and a joke.  The jokes were blonde jokes, and I changed them to the names of everyone at the dinner.  So everyone got a joke about themselves.   A bit lame I know, but it was funny at the time.

Bain, Nan, Mum, Georgie, John and Dad

The rough and ready Christmas crackers

So now it is over for another year....can't wait!!!

24 December 2011

Day 24 - Christmas Eve

So much to do today!

I am slightly disappointed as I had a couple of cool activities planned for the kids for our Advent Activities but with Phoebes illness that all went out the window. Oh year will come around soon enough I am sure.

Today is our first family gathering.  We have Christmas Eve dinner at Bain's father house.  The kids had heaps of fun.

Tagging along after big cousins....

Enjoying beautiful food....

Talking to Santa...

Watching Santa arrive....

Doing special moves with her new gardening gloves....

Playing new games....

Checking out nice and tidy trees (ours never stood a chance)....

Having a kick around in new Christmas outfits....

Getting presents from Santa....

Swimming - what a beautiful day it was....

Getting special presents from cousins (Cousin Henry made a special point of wrapping up his own rugby ball to give to Hunter...cute)....

By the time we got home the kids were absolutely shattered and asleep.  So poor Santa missed out on his milk and cookies.  Luckily Holly had left the key out for Santa earlier....

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

20-23 December 2011

Day 20-23 - Appreciation Day

The last few days advent is well and truly mucked up.

I had to phone an ambulance for Phoebe. She had high fevers, shakes, getting ready to convulse....

Have you ever seen a kid so happy to be carted off in an ambulance!

Anyway she is fine now. Phoebe had a bad health year this year.  So we are hoping 2012 brings better health!

19 December 2011

Day 19 - Christmas Decorations

Each year my sister started the tradition of giving the kids a new decoration. I loved the idea so I joined her.  I think it's great that when the kids grow up they are going to have an awesome collection of decorations - all sentimental.

This year we only decorated the tree with their decorations. The kids love it. They pull each decoration off and ask who's it is and who gave it to them.  It means it's not the most elegant and coordinated tree- but who cares!

So this year I gave them their decorations....

I always get a copy of the Christmas card printed on ceramic ornaments for each of them. Actually they love these the most!

I take photos of each decoration and write who it is from, where it came from etc in a folio so we always remember.

I showed the kids their folios this year. They had great fun trying to find their own decorations.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

17 December 2011

Day 17 - The Christmas Tree

After waiting for the real tree to be picked up I finally gave up and resorted to the fake one!

To be honest, not a huge fan myself but at least we have a tree.

Phoebe was such a great help setting up the tree itself. She was such a cutie dragging a couple of pieces into the living room... "wow wee these heavy mama".

Phoebe helped with the lights too and then promptly fell asleep.

Holly helped with the decorations.

So now we have a tree. How long it lasts is another matter!

18 December 2011

Day 18 - Gingerbread

We have some sick little kids at home today. High fevers for them all! Poor things. We are hoping they get better soon especially Phoebe who has been so sick this winter.

As a result we didn't feel up to much today. Lucky Nanny came to the rescue with some beautiful gingerbread she had purchased at the German Christmas markets.  Made by "Gretel's Gingerbread"

It looked awesome and tasted amazing! And that was our advent activity for today - hopefully we will be back on schedule tomorrow.

Friday, 16 December 2011

16 December 2011

Day 16 - Kindy Biscuits

Today was the last day of Kindy for the year. They have already had their Christmas party but I wanted to give a small token for each of the kids.

So Holly went off to Kindy this morning and while she was gone Phoebe and I made some ginger cookies.

Phoebe did a great job icing hers. You can see from her face that she did a lot of taste testing as well.
Phoebe making her cookies
Phoebe's cookies - completed - minus many of the lollies
The final cookies
Phoebe sampling her wares

15 December 2011

Day 15 - Messages from Santa

Every parent should check out....

This website is awesome. It allows you to create an email message from Santa using your child's details and photos.

I used it last year but this year the reaction from the kids ( just being that much older ) was awesome. Oh to be young again and still believing in Santa.

So today the girls got their email messages from Santa.  I made the mistake of not doing one for Hunter given he was so young.  "Lets listen to Hunters one" they both say....had to think on my feet for that one!

The pictures tell it best ...

The Girls watching Phoebe's message....just working out that Santa is talking to them.
The start of Holly's message from Santa
Phoebe:  "Holly, Santas talking me!!!"
Phoebe watching her message
Holly watching her message from Santa

Phoebe:  "He's talking us.  We good girls"

Holly watching her message

Phoebe: "Mummy Mummy Mummy Mummy"

Holly watching her message
So much concentration

Holly just found out Santa thought she was "Nice".
 She turned to me and said "He doesn't know it just went wees in my bed last night he he he"

Waving good bye to Santa