Tuesday 1 December 2009

Happy Advent!

I've been meaning to share this rather excellent advent calendar for a while, but today seemed an appropriate moment.  My daughter and I found it in a charity shop in Geneva for a measly CHF 5 and I instantly grabbed it.  I don't know when it was made, or by whom, but it is gorgeous.  And rather spookily, and in the way that often happens with charity shops, the day before we found it, I had parcelled up our family matchbox advent calendar to send off to my little sister.  I think we were meant to find this and use it for our kids.  Look at the picture on one of the cute!

It's filled with chocolate coins and is hanging in our kitchen at the minute.  The two eldest are taking turns opening it in the mornings.

We actually have four advent calendars in our house.  Each year my little sister makes one up for me and I return the favour.  It's filled with little bits and bobs and is very exciting.  This morning it contained what my daughter refers to as "clenching kittens" which are little paper-clip type doo-dahs that clench paper between their bum cheeks!  The children have another one that is filled with Christmas books, one for each day of advent, and I made my husband one - I may post a photo later...

As you can probably tell, I love advent calendars!

I hope you enjoy opening yours!

Tuesday 17 November 2009

I'm still here but I've been busy...

...doing this jigsaw.  Last Wednesday, we came home from playgroup and I wanted to make a jigsaw.  We chose this one from the collection (of 4...I'm really not jigsaw crazy) and set about it.  My daughter was keen to help so we picked out all the pieces with writing on them until 10 minutes had passed and she informed me her arms were "too sore" to help any more.  She told her granny that we had been doing a jigsaw with "nearly one million pieces."  I guess that over 1000 is a lot more than her usual 64.

After burning a few bottles of midnight oil, voila!  A completed jigsaw!  Well, almost.  There was a note inside the box which told me that there were two half pieces missing and, sadly, another seems to have gone missing since then.  Still, it was such a nice jigsaw that I didn't let it put me off.  I even put it back in the box and added a bit of information to the note, in French, to update the situation for the next person who tackles it. 

The jigsaw looks like a family heirloom, but it came from a charity shop which gives jigsaws away for free.  So it'll probably go back there at the weekend to replenish the ether, even though I need jigsaw pieces for a craft project I've got planned.  I'll hopefully get one I don't like so much.  A thatched cottage perhaps, or Scottish mountains or something with a lot more missing pieces...

Sunday 8 November 2009

Our crazy house

There's not much time to post, since I'm helping my husband reconstruct a double stroller we picked up for next to nothing in the charity shop last month.  It was pretty filthy, and in order to clean it, he had to unscrew quite a lot of it.  It seemed quite simple at the time, but even with two physics degrees between us - three if you count his PhD - we can't get it to be anything but "a bit too floppy."

Meanwhile, I need to keep nipping off to check if enough tomato ketchup has pooled in the bottom of a new bottle for me to squeeze into an old bottle.  My 2 year old son tried to set the table for tea (putting out only what he viewed as essentials i.e. the tomato ketchup and nothing else) but the baby grabbed it, dropped it on the floor and smashed the top.  It hadn't yet been opened which saved a considerable mess, but it was a non-squeezable bottle of squeezy suace.  Still, we're lax in the frequency of our trips to the recycling centre, so the old bottle with top intact was still in a box in the garage.  Disaster was averted.

My husband wishes he had taken photos of our floppy stroller.  I am off to pour a whisky to calm and help him.

Here's a photo of my unintentional footwear combo to keep us non-drinkers calm. 

Monday 2 November 2009

Hallowe'en Excitement

So we dressed up, ate slime soup and witch's hair, drank blood juice and dooked for apples. And we carved punpkins. My childhood memories of Hallowe'en involve aching fingers from gouging out the inside of a neep, and stealing the said neep from the local farm shed. Boy did we pedal back quickly from those outings! My dad assured me he had the permission of the farmer, but thinking back, we never stopped to say hello... Luckily for my children, neeps are hard to come by at the best of times in this neck of the wood, so we plumped on carving some pumpkins picked up at a local farm (and paid for!) I found a great resource over at The Junior Society and copied my favourite picture.

Hope you had a Happy Hallowe'en.