Wednesday, 28 December 2011

JYC 27

Sleep! We're on holiday and this is the bed at the hotel...

...even bigger than our bed at home which is great as Adam has been sleep walking a lot recently!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

JYC day 26

Boxing Day picnic breakfast with Josh and Siming and an evening round the fire at the McPhees in Bath...boxing day bliss I think!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas Blogland

Journal Your Christmas Day 25!

Dinner for 2, open stockings, Jesus birthday party at Church...

...followed by a nap and family skyping, it's all good!

Happy Christmas to all, hope you're having a lovely day.

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23 & 24 jyc

Day 23

-Having already talked about stockings I'm just doing a 'this is what we did today' kind of post...Lydia came to visit, collected her from Waterloo as it was her first solo journey! Took her to the V&A which she loved and found lots of useful things for her coursework so that was good. We ate bens cookies, walked along the southbank and had a lovely time, then came home to watch Christmas movies and eat lunch!

Day 24

Mum, Dad & MH came to visit for the day which was lovely, we exchanged presents and had lunch with crackers...

...then we went to the Christmas Eve Christingle service at Church. This is the Christingle we built on stage, everyone wrote their prayers on an orange handprint and came and stuck them up. The theme was the line from o little town of Bethlehem - "the hopes and fears of all the years are met in you tonight" so all 550 people wrote down their hopes and fears to give to God. Then the magical moment happened where all the lights are turned off and the candles are lit, just beautiful!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone x

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

JYC day 20, 21 and 22

JYC 20 -

Tales of the unexpected...

A couple of years ago we went to a pub that all my in-laws had lovely memories of. Apparently it was decorated beautifully christmassy and had a number of open fires. However the year in question we walked in and it was freezing, they would light the candle because it wasn't passed 7pm when we arrived! There were some very tacky tinselly decs hanging limply in some windows and a sparce looking tree in the foyer. Hmmmm, certainly not what we expected. Mother in law was horrified. We upped and left and drove to another more reliable venue for our Christmas dinner.

JYC 21 - Right now, White Christmas Festival at the Royal Albert Hall...

JYC 22 - list

Buy Christmas Dinner at M&S
Wrap Adams present
Print off holiday booking details
Buy Josh and Siming presents
Print photos
Tidy spare room
Pack for holiday

Monday, 19 December 2011

JYC weekend catch up...

Day 17

The perfect gift -

This was the title of my talk for the Northside School Assembly. I had 5 presents under the tree and we were on a quest to find the perfect gift. After socks, chocolate, a bike and an iphone someone unwrapped this picture...

...and I talked about Jesus being the perfect gift for every situation. There's nothing in life he isn't perfect for. Anyone sad, hurting or broken, anyone lost, bored or confused, anyone happy, excited or fulfilled...he fits into every part of life. Thanks God, Jesus was a great gift to the world!

I'm also going to do a page about Adam's perfect gift from childhood, his yellow and red car! Got a cute picture of him age 2 and beaming sat in it, super cute!

Day 18

Dinner -

Adam's favourite part of the day. Always has been. Always will be. Think we'll cook together this year, something that's usually banned in our kitchen because cooking at the same time is not good for our marriage(!) however it'll mainly be M&S bits so I think we'll manage to share. As long as I hold my tongue!

Also today...

...This is me dressed up as Mary with my colleague Colin the vicar dressed as a shepherd! We hosted the nativity service at St B's! It was so much fun but absolutely exhausting!

And finally -

Day 19

Letters to santa -

Having never been introduced to santa I can't say I ever wrote a letter to him but Adam did and posted it in Safeways apparently! Will let him do the journalling for this page I think!

Hope you all had a lovely festive weekend!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Jyc 16

I am thankful for you...

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Friday, 16 December 2011

JYC Day 15


This year is different. This year if people want to see us they have to come and visit! Simple as. Bit selfish probably but seriously lovely not to be driving around constantly! The one exception is going to Bath on Boxing Day to see the McPhees. Otherwise we've had S&P up last weekend, Sara's coming again on 20-22nd Dec, Lydia's arriving on the 23rd and the rest of the Grants are coming on Christmas Eve!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

JYC Day 14

To-do list

It's not too long thankfully, the main thing I still have to do is get everything done at work...

-Northside School Carol Service
-Barneys Toddler group nativity
-Nativity Service Rehearsal
-Family Craft Morning
-Nativity Service
-Strawberry Vale Carols and Christingle
-Carols by Candlelight
-Christingle Rehearsal
-Christmas Morning Rehearsal
-Christingle Service
-Jesus Birthday Party Service

Then HOLIDAY!!! hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

JYC Day 13


We've been listening to a lot of Buble this year, such a classic album. Perfect with Christmas tree lights on, cinnamon candle burning, warm mince pie and a blanket. Ahhhh Christmas bliss!

Monday, 12 December 2011

JYC Day 12

The ghost of Christmas Past -

This is the story of a boy named Adam and a girl named Hannah, when they were small they loved Christmas as every little child should have the chance to do. They enjoyed getting ready, making things, going to parties, their separate family traditions and everything that made the festive season exciting to them. Hannah with her family and Adam with his, they never even knew about the other until 2005. That Christmas in 2005 they sent each other a text on Christmas Day, Adam didn't send it until 7pm at night which Hannah thought was a bit late in the day. They'd been texting each other every day for about 2 months now and they had unwritten rules that stated one of them would not be the first to text every day. So having text him on Christmas Eve, Hannah waited and waited to get that text she was longing for. To know he'd been thinking about her on the 25th December and so make her Christmas Day complete. The moment came when his text arrived and her face lit up as she quickly replied and felt happy that he must truly like her to include her in his Christmas Day. The following year they had grown closer and the next year closer still, until in 2007 two days before Christmas Adam whisked Hannah off to the London, climbing to the top of the London Eye and getting down on one knee to declare he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Hannah. With her engagement ring on, they reached the bottom and wandered along the Thames looking at all the blue Christmas lights. Having been overcome with the moment, Hannah although mouthing the word 'yes' to Adam's all important question, had never imagined being so quiet when the day came that Adam would ask her to marry him. So, cheekily, they boarded the merry-go-round on the Southbank and she asked him to say it again, so that this time her 'yes' could be louder. Having successfully proposed twice in one night they left London and headed home to tell their story to happy families.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

JYC 11

Oh Christmas Tree oh Christmas Tree...

This is our little tree all dressed up for the season! I made bunting this year using a bit of bond a web and my hair straighteners! Looks rather pretty now if I do say so myself. Adam put the lights on and I added all my red and white bits and bobs, might even make some decs out of saltdough if I get round to it. I should of course mention that this is the second attempt at decorating the tree this year, last weekend the grants were here and we started decorating it with them, almost finished when Dad knocked it over!

I used to love the smell of real Christmas trees and the grand look of a real tree in our living room. Sadly Adam's allergies will mean we're stuck with a bendy fake wire one!

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JYC 10

I do love wrapping paper! Every year I have a theme and then wrap all my presents with the same paper/accessory/ribbon combo. This year: carol manuscript and red wool.

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Friday, 9 December 2011

JYC day 9


One tradition I want to make sure we have in our family is watching a Christmas film on Christmas Day.

When Adam was little they used to always go to the cinema on Christmas Eve and watch Santa Clause on Christmas Day...and watching miracle on 34th street was a grant house tradition a some point over christmas.

The first year we were married we snuggled up together and watched the Polar express, it was lovely and provided some much needed rest. So this is something I'd like to do every year, pick a movie, put our feet up, snuggle under a blanket and relax.

Establishing a tradition...I wonder if it'll catch on?

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

JYC Day 8 photos

It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas...

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

JYC Day 7

Giving and receiving:

I love to give and receive gifts, gifts are my thing. Gifts are my love language, any time I want to say thank you or sorry or I love you...I like to give something. This year the budget is tight because we've spent it all on a Centerparcs holiday with the Bailey side of the family in January, so the presents are small. I think I'm ok with that, much as I'd love to buy everyone lots of gifts, quality time is good too so we'll just invest a lot when we're with people this Christmas and say 'I love you' in another way. Plus people like chocolates, not to worry if they don't last long.

Adam and I are just filling stockings for each other with sweets and little bits. We made our stockings for each other the first year we were married. I like that it can be a new tradition and when we've been married 60 years we'll still have the stockings we made for each other in 2008. That'll be a good story to tell.

The other tale of Christmas...

A typical Christmas is the Bailey side of the family:

We used to wake up early but never very early. I remember waking up in the night to stare over at the airing cupboard where our stockings would be hanging, I think I may have even got up a few times to go and have a prod to see if they'd been filled. When we woke up we would run into Mum and Mark's room to see if we were allowed to bring our stockings in. I remember thinking, quick find the orange because it's the least exciting thing in there and I wanted to get it over and done with. We'd open most of our stocking presents on Mum and Mark's bed, I would make a neat pile with my new things. Then sometimes we'd have breakfast, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, in bed and then go downstairs before being allowed to open 1 or 2 presents from under the tree.

There would be the customary dog present. Which with Charlie would involve Mark trying to get the dog to open it himself but actually he would just open it until the dog could see the toy. Then we'd dress smartly and Grannie and Grandad would come round before we headed off to Church. Church was only 45 minutes and we lived 2 minutes walk away from Church. Then we'd come home and open presents, I would hate opening the presents from Mark's family - always a lynx gift set, and from Zoe (my Dad's Mum) a floral diary, to be honest I'd rather have had another orange.

My favourite part of the day was always dinner. Still is. I think we usually had dinner either at our house or at Grannie and Grandad's. It was the only time in the year that we got pigs in blankets and gravy that wasn't like water because that duty would have been taken away from Mark!

For many years in a row we watched 'The Santa Clause' Tim Allen film. Then we'd have a very chilled out rest of the day, putting together whatever toys and games we'd been given that year and eating after eights. As we got a bit older and Mark left, we started to go out for dinner more, once to the Gurka in town and I remember going to the Pulpit with it's wonderful gravy. When I started dating Hannah I remember the year of 2 Christmas dinners, I drove from Weymouth to Poole to be with her and her family but back home to have dinner with mine too.

My favourite Christmases of all have been the one's we've had on our own in London. Little bit of working but time to just be together.

By Adam, Hannah's husband.

(I'm shocked he did this, he's so good to me!!)

Document 2011

I interrupt these festive broadcasts to bring you some the form of Document 2011!

This is the only scrapbooking I've done all year, which in some ways I like because it doesn't feel overboard. For example I don't have 3 AC 12x12 folders full of LOs from this year I have one more sensible album with the things worth documenting. However because I've scrapbooked less I can remember less of what we've done and that seems like a bit of a shame.

Anyhow, here's a run-through of the year -

January - Centerparcs for the MILs 50th, ice skating at the National History Museum, a night at Shendish Manor.
February - a lovely long walk along the jurassic coast, my birthday, half term family time and drink shop do.
March - Meeting Grannie and Grandad in Winchester, a week in Cornwall, National Trust visit, forest walk.
April - Easter holidays arrived, staying with the Grants, Royal Wedding, Sara and Jess visit London for the day.
May - MH's birthday, carvanning in Swanage to get away after the miscarriage, a day out of London from cream tea.
June - Swanage, living with David and Anne, seeing Hattie, going to Aqua Sana, weekend in Swindon.
July - BBQ in Weymouth, Centerparcs with the Grants, Isaac and Rachel came to stay, positive pregnancy test.
August - Weekend away in the Lythe Hill Hotel, Adam's birthday weekend and trip to railway children show, early scan.
September - Photo of our little baby bump emerging, pick your own farm, harvest assemblies, quick trip to the beach.
October - 12 week scan, half term in Dorset, last time we saw Grandad, Adam qualified as a paramedic.
November - Building the pram, enjoying baby prep, found out baby's a boy, changed our car, saw Strictly Come Dancing.

December is obviously still to come but will no doubt involve glitter, sparkles and a hint of holly.

I've enjoyed looking at everyone else's scrapping this year, think I'm getting worse while everyone else seems to have turned pro!!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

JYC Day 6

The tale of 2 Christmases.

A typical Christmas with the Grant Family:

Waking up far too early (so early in fact that for a few years we were assigned one present that we were allowed to open and play with alone until a more suitable time for waking Mum and Dad - like 6am!), we would grab our pillow cases at the end of our beds and run through to Mum and Dad's room taking up our positions at the end of the bed. We'd then gradually go through our presents making a nice pile of new things and showing everyone what we'd been given. Then we'd go down stairs where our present from Mum and Dad would be under the tree in the lounge. Usually we'd have to wait for dad to go in first so they he could film our reactions to the scene! Sometimes a bike hidden under a sheet with a bow, or Isaac's first drum Kit, similarly concealed I seem to recall. We could then play for a bit and gradually get ready and eat breakfast. I think we almost always had a new or at least posh outfit to wear on Christmas Day, we would all go off to Church and then head to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas Lunch.

All the cousins would gather in the lounge and then we'd go back upstairs for lunch around 2 big tables in the kitchen. Grandma's cooking was sooo good. Then for many years we'd go back into the lounge and Grandpa would appear dressed as Santa to give out presents from he and Grandma. Sadly I remember we used to spoil it by shouting "It's Grandpa!" Shame really we should have just gone along with it! The rest of Christmas afternoon would always involve a blustery walk on the beach come rain or shine, there were always a few drop-outs and a years went by the older kids got more and more moany about this annual piece of exercise. Then it was tradition for the Grants to head to the other side of the family to have a finger buffet and spend an hour or so with them at the White's house. Never as fun going there, and I don't think we did it for that many years but it was certainly a traditional part of the day for a chunk of my childhood.

As we got older and Grandma less able to cater for 18 people, we mixed things up a bit, lunch was at the McPhees in Bath or at our house in Alverton Avenue. We didn't always go and see Dad's side of the family but Nanny and Grandad started joining us for Christmas Lunch because the White's went on holiday. Then I started dating Adam and went to his house for lunch one year. It was so so odd not being with my family and you realise just how traditional you are and used to your own families way of doing things! Then Isaac met Rachel and went out to America for Christmases (one to propose I might add!)

Then I got married and moved to London and we've stayed up here for Christmas Day. Adam's worked the last 3 Christmases and I've spent time with the lovely Ireton family. So far the last 6 years I think Christmas has been far less typical and actually quite different every year! Once we have kids I'm sure we'll settle into a very traditional family routine again! Or maybe not...we'll have to wait and see!

I'm hoping my hubby will write an entry for my Christmas Journal of what a typical Christmas was like for him...again we'll have to wait and see!


My Top 10 Advent Countdown of Traditions-

10. When I was little I thought it was the most exciting thing in the world, then when I was a teenager I think I had a bit of a Christmas lull, now I'm back to loving December!

9. I've always had an advent calendar, can't think of a year where I haven't had one.

8. When there were lots of us at home, we'd have 3 or 4 different calendars and get to open one on each day just to mix it up a bit. I seem to recall one really budget cutting year where we only had one to share between Me, Isaac and Lydia and only got to open a door once every 3 days!

7. Adam's advent calendar criteria involved chocolate. And only chocolate. As long as it was a chocolate advent calendar - he was happy.

6. This year, I found these great little advent calendar cards at phoenix card company and sent them to Morgan and Lydia. Morgan is so excited because she doesn't have to share it with anyone! I guess the Grants are having another economy drive and making the girls share!

5. I bought myself one too, it has a little character from the nativity behind each tiny door - not sure how they're going to string it out for 25 days but I'm intrigued to see how it unfolds!

4. Another advent tradition is the candle. Long candle with the numbers 1 - 25 printed all the way down. This would be on the family dining table every day and to 'stop arguments' someone would take a turn to light it and someone else would get to blow it out. Silly thing was that blowing it out caused many arguments in itself! "It's gone past the number!" "It's touching the next number!" "She just blew it out and it was my turn!" cried from the table every night. Then someone would put their finger in it and push the wax down to far, and so it always went on. Yet for some reason Mum always bought another one the following Christmas.

3. Adam's family had one too, but it turns out they were far less attentive to the candle's lifespan and often only lit 5 times over the advent period, forgetting about it's lit-ness and reaching Christmas Eve far too early!

2. More candles were also part of the Grant advent tradition, we'd make a wreath, either at Church or at home. In a foil tray with some oasis would stand 5 candles, proudly for a while and then limply as the oasis failed to support them for the duration, decorated with a liberal splattering of ever green leaves, spray painted fir-cones and berry like items. Then every Sunday we'd have a brief discussion about what the candle represented and count down the Sundays until we could light the white middle candle to celebrate Jesus' birth.

1. Counting down to Christmas is always fun, although gets earlier and earlier every year with shops getting their decorations in September!

Monday, 5 December 2011

JYC day 4


I'm not really sure about this one. What would be the perfect Christmas? Adam not working (hurrah this year he finishes at 2am and then has a week off!), me not worn out (hoping working part-time will help this), seeing my family (will settle for Christmas Eve this year, very exciting!), everyone being healthy (we've had too many poorly people over Christmas as far as I'm concerned), Adam's Grandad still being with us (so glad he didn't die in December but this year without him will be hard), isaac and Rachel coming over (next year!), a bit of snow (not likely in England but possible), games (preferably new ones), twinkly Christmas lights (just what you need to feel Christmassy I think), some time just with Adam (essential), kids enjoying themselves (having always had little people around they really do make Christmas, the first year I spent with Adam's family when we were dating was so odd and to be honest a tad boring just with adults!)...all sorts really that would add to the perfect day.

But when I look at this big list o perfects I really don't need it all to be content and if we did have all that at once there would be so much pressure I'm not sure I could enjoy it. I guess perfect is keeping things simple with the one you love and enjoying every moment.

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Saturday, 3 December 2011

JYC day 3

Christmas Cards.

It used to be a family tradition when I was younger that one day during October half term we would sit down and make a batch of Christmas cards. Every year there would be a different design and they'd all be pretty much the same. I can remember the year of the gold painted pasta trees, something with cotton wool and regular splatterings of glitter. These cards were always for members of the extended family who delighted in receiving some homemade marvel.

Now Mum struck gold with me, I loved this tradition, I loved to make cards, I took time over each one and enjoyed every minute...writing the insides too! My brother on the other hand, traumatic. Not a crafter by any means and after a few years of 'too-young-to-realise' came a few years of defiance and forcing him to at least put some glue on the card and eventually I think Mum gave up. Then Lydia came along, cute and creative but not nearly as into the detail, same with thank you cards, she'd do one or two but couldn't really be bothered! And now it's MHs turn to be Christmas Card maker, I don't think Mum does it in October half term, bit early for Christmassy things really and it would probably stress her out. However she does make Christmas cards. She doesn't stick to her given supplies and there's no point in trying to make her do what you think looks best. I tried it one year, gave her these cool little nativity scenes on fabric to use. But then she added a small piece of everything from ger craft box and you couldn't really make out it was a Christmas card anymore!! Makes me smile just thinking about the differences in all of us!

For a while, probably about 10 years actually, I continued my Mum's tradition of making Christmas Cards, I would stick to one design and make a batch. But in the last few years I just haven't had the same amount of time to invest in card making. So after one or two years of feeling a bit guilty I gave in and bought some boxes of cards - always nativity of course, just a little reminder to people that Christmas is well, Christmas.

I actually wrote all my Christmas Cards yesterday. Probably won't send them til next week but they're sorted now. The one thing I can't stand is when you get a card from someone that literally just says "Dear Hannah, love XXX" I just think what was the point, honestly. So I always like to write a brief message in cards just to make it worthwhile someone reading them. Only bought 20. Will probably only send 20 too, don't give cards to people I see everyday (a part from Adam) it just seems a bit silly! Much prefer to post them to rellys and old friends as a little catch up. I wonder what Christmas Card traditions I'll make for our kids?! No doubt something that'll make me smile in the future!

Ah nostalgia.

Friday, 2 December 2011

JYC day 2

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

But not as frightful as last year. This time last year it had already been snowing for a few days. We'd been for a spa day on 30th Nov in Elveden Forest and there was already a light frosting of snow on the floor. So beautiful. This year has been much milder, October 1st it was 29.9oC which was a bit crazy. Anyway right now it's 5oC outside, this morning was in fact the first frost, Adam was delayed this morning scraping the ice off the car!

I love the snow. Very much hoping it gets colder over the next few weeks. I remember walking to Church in the snow for the nativity service and carol services, it was just magical! Don't use that word often but the snow deserves it, I love how it's padded and quiet. I love how the sky goes almost yellow. I love how it sparkles in the light. I love how it sounds under your feet. I love how it's clean and makes even grey London look wonderful!

So bring on the snow I say!

JYC manifesto

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

In the past I've been so busy in the run up to Christmas that it's lost all it's excitement and enjoyment. Bizarrely working for a Church you'd think you wouldn't be able to loose the true meaning of Christmas and have the life sapped out of it, but oddly enough it all becomes so hectic that December is like one long tick list of events to get through with the odd wonderful moment thrown into the mix. I remember last year I was so tired by my 9th run through of the nativity that I called Jesus, Joseph. Embarrassing.

This year I would love for it to be different, this year I will focus on the good things, the arrival of Jesus, the joy of the traditions, the wonder of the season. I will make things and bake things, go places and see things, take photos and reflect. Breathe in and enjoy the special things that this year has to bring. I am so blessed to do a fabulous job, to spend so much time with children whipped up into a joyful Christmas frenzy, I just don't want to go through the motions, I want to absorb what's going on around me.

This year I will embrace Christmas. I will take it all in, not rush through it ticking things off, I will savour the season.

Sounds wonderful.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Journal Your Christmas 2011

Having not blogged for over half a year (woah time flies) I thought I'd try and resurrect it for a little Christmas cheer...but we'll see, it might be June before I post again!

I've been a class participant of Shimelle's JYC class for a few years now and never completed anything :( I've come close a few times and although I don't feel pressure to do something everyday for it to count as finished, my attempts have still been short of completion. But this year I'd love to be different, even if it's just a case of journalling on my blog and nothing particularly scrapbooky. However my aim is to have a little square album to pop on the coffee table come January 6th so here goes...

Day 1

This is the prompt for today -

I will believe in - the true meaning of Christmas.
I will be grateful for - the chance to make new traditions in our new flat.
I will always remember - the first and last Christmas together just Mr and Mrs Feery with Adam not working and pre-baby arrival.

Ok back tomorrow, I hope!