Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day

Wow! Christmas Day this year was a whirlwind! We'd decided as we were setting off to the airport hotel late afternoon and as Charlie and Courtney have no concept of time as such to spread Christmas out this year for a couple of days. We felt it was a little unfair to let them open all their presents and then whisk them away from them. We had written to Father Christmas to explain and he was very kind and went out of his way on Christmas Eve to deliver a few presents, only a few mind, but enough to give them a nice play through the day. We had a few visitors through the day too who bought their pressies to open.

So, back to Christmas Day! We were awoken around 7:45 and all excitedly went into the kitchen to see if Father Christmas had been for his 'official' visit.

 He had so we went through to the living room to find a pile of presents each, yay! So pressie unwrapping commenced, it's so lovely to see the joy on their faces as they appreciate the gifts they are given. It was very much half and half this year, some gifts they'd stop in their tracks and want it open there and then, other times they'd tear through a few at a time! They each received lots of nice pressies, Charlie's main gift from us this year is a tab to take on his holidays, Father Christmas did a fabulous job of pre loading it with all his favourite games and apps that he plays on Daddy's tab! (some educational ones too, lol!) and Courtney got lots of bits rather than one big present but the biggest being a Hello Kitty scooter.

We then had a little panic (ok, at the time it was a big panic with it being Christmas Day but it did sort out.) Karin (our sister in law) was due to take us to the airport but rang to say she was poorly (poor love sounded dreadful and was so sorry she couldn't take us.) We thought of a few options but none worked out, my father in law's car is too small, we were going to take ours and even booked airport parking but then I remembered it's having it's MOT whilst we're away which would have expired before we returned and after having a quick Google found out it would have been illegal to drive and no trains were running! In desperation I rang an airport taxi firm, we expected it to be triple time and far too expensive but the driver was brilliant and said he was working all day anyway and the time we wanted to go was his quiet period so he could take us and didn't rip us off! Yes, it was a little expensive but not too bad, certainly not a lot compared to not being able to go on holiday! So although it ended up taking the rest of the morning at least it was sorted.

My lovely parents in law came up soon after as they were joining us for Christmas Dinner at the Golf Club.

We ate there last year and really enjoyed it. We didn't want the hassle of the aftermath of Christmas Dinner at home so decided to eat there again this year. I mean, Christmas Diner tastes so much better when someone else has prepared it, LOL! It didn't disappoint, it was delicious! The nice thing is this year it was done as a carvery with vegetables served to our table so we could choose how much to eat.

We returned home and whilst Charlie and Courtney played with their new toys with Nanna and Grandad we de-Christmassed the house and had a quick clean around. We then had about an hour to relax before the taxi came. The motorway was clear all the way down to the airport, we made ourselves comfortable in our room, gave Charlie ad Courtney a bath before settling them into bed and then we watched the soaps on TV before settling to sleep ourselves.


Monday, 24 December 2012


We attended the Christingle at St. James this evening. Again, like I said at the Nativity service, this was well attended too! There is a little more room at St. James though and people were standing at the back and down the sides! The service was really nice, we sang lots of Christmas carols and I had my little moment again when it came to the Christingle. All the children sitting there with their lit candles singing 'Away in a manger' does it to me every time! It's one of my favourite parts of Christmas.

After Christingle we sprinkled some Rudolf dust and put out a carrot, a mince pie and chocolate coin. This years choice of drink was lemonade!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Yay! Panto

Today we went to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Charter Theatre in Preston. As there was myself, Charlie, Courtney, Sylvia, Karin, Maddie and Dan we caught the train down as we didn't think it sensible to take 2 cars to the centre of Preston the Saturday before Christmas, LOL! It was excellent, very funny and both Charlie and Courtney enjoyed the joining in parts!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Rudolf the Red Nosed Courtney!

Courtney came out of Nursery looking like this!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Charlie's Nativity and Father Christmas Visit


This morning was Sunday School's Nativity at St.Peters. As is always the case with these sort of events the church was packed out! We thankfully managed to find a pew and a little later on they opened up the reserved pews just near the front so we got lucky and sat nearer to the front. Charlie was playing the part of King number 3 and had a line to say 'Mhyr for the baby.' The Nativity was really lovely and Charlie did his part well, as the church was full and there were a few children there some of it was hard to hear but we heard him say his part. Doesn't my boy make a very fine king!

With Mary and Joseph

and his fellow Kings

How cute, saying The Lord's Prayer

I truly love it when a visit to Father Christmas is magical, where you can see a lot of time, effort and thought has gone into it. This afternoon we'd booked a trip to see him at Beetham Nurseries. We were greeted at the entrance by 'Mary Christmas' who was dressed in all her finery! She greeted Charlie and Courtney by name and handed some sleigh bells to Charlie to ring on our way down to zigzag path to see Father Christmas.

Father Christmas peered out of his caravan when he heard us and made such a fuss as they climbed the stairs. Inside, just by Father Christmas's chair there was a long blanket covered bench set up for us to sit on, Sylvia and Hughie came with us and there was plenty of room for them to stand too. In the corner there was a nice Christmas Tree and then nice decorative touches including oil lamps! Father Christmas spent quite some time with each of them, asking them lots of questions. Courtney was a little apprehensive at first but he soon won her round! By the time it came to gift time you could see they were both totally enchanted. We have had some really nice Father Christmas experiences but I felt this one was very personal, you can see by this photo how much they both enjoyed the experience. (and I am a very happy Mummy, I adore this photo!)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

School Photo 2012

What a handsome little chap I have! (Photo taken on the 8th November but was brought home today.)

We had the choice of 2 images, it was hard to choose so we bought a print of the photo above photo and then bought a copyright free disk with both images on.

On the same day Charlie brought home his Christmas cards. We saw his design at the end of November and was starting to panic a little that they hadn't arrived, thankfully they came today and I've written the ones out to post. We've decided to send half and half this year, half of my design and half of Charlie's. They are totally adorable and he tells us he spent all morning designing it. We love it and hope the recipients do too. :D

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Well as this will be the last time I'll see the date 3 numbers together I just had to mark it! I don't somehow think I'll be around in the next century to see it again, LOL! So happy 12.12.12!

Lion King Musical

Quite a few years ago Mark and I watched The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London. We did one of those coach trips from our local area where you get tickets for seats right up in the Gods, LOL!! The show was fantastic though, The Lion King is my all time favourite Disney film so to see it adapted onto the stage was amazing.
When the show was doing a tour in Manchester there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to see it again, I went last night. My friend Cara said she'd come with me and we booked seats in the stalls, right in the middle. We had a spectacular view! Through the show we had cast members coming down the aisles either side of us including a huge elephant! I can't say enough about this show, I've seen some fantastic shows but I think The Lion King tops them all, it's just so well put together, the costumes are fantastic and the music is poignant. I could watch it again and again!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

♥♥♥ 45 today!! Happy Birthday, we all love and adore you! ♥♥♥

Mark was born on his Mum's 22nd Birthday. So Happy 67th Birthday to my lovely Mother in Law, Sylvia, we love you too! ♥

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Happy Advent (and Coca Cola Truck!)

Today marks the first day of advent. Charlie excitedly remembered his train whilst Courtney just loved the excitement of chocolate! LOL!

This afternoon we had a trip out to Blackpool. I happened to notice on Facebook that the Coca-Cola truck was going on a tour and was in Blackpool today! I thought it would be exciting to see and knew Charlie and Courtney would love it too! It had been getting chilly in the last few days but nothing could prepare us for how cold it would be on the prom! It really wasn't that bad whilst sheltered by buildings but as soon as we hit the open space it was freezing!!! We joined the queue to have our photo taken with the truck, Charlie and Courtney were ever so good waiting. I'm really pleased with our pic! On the website where you download them they have these cute borders on!

We took a few of our own pics too whilst there. The atmosphere was really good, they had a live choir, dancers and free Coke!

We then had a little look around the shops before setting off home. It had gone dark by the time we left so I asked Mark if we could just drive along the prom to see it lit up. Just near to it there happened to be a space so we parked up and I nipped out to take this pic.

Monday, 26 November 2012


My Chorley crafting friends and I rent at cottage in Pilling a couple of times a year and spend the weekend in PJ's eating choccies, drinking wine (and Diet Coke, not together, LOL) oh and we craft! We were laughing this past weekend as when we first started these little jollies we'd bring everything but the kitchen sink! As we've all now evolved into different crafts we don't bring quite as much! I was super productive this weekend! I made 30 Christmas Cards, 7 layouts and did a little cross stitch!
My Christmas Card design this year looks like this........

I have to admit I'm pretty pleased with them! Mark found the photo idea on the internet, both children have soap sud beards, too cute!!
I alternated between the layouts and stitching for the rest of the weekend, here are my layouts......

and progress made on Holly........

She is a joy to stitch and is coming together beautifully :D

Sunday, 18 November 2012

First Christmas Fayre!

So with 5 weeks to go today we attended our first, of I'm quite sure many, Christmas Fayre's. We actually inadvertently attended this one! We decided to take my Mum on a little run out to Bay View garden centre in Bolton le Sands, the cafe there is very nice! As we approached we saw an advertising board on the road about the fayre. It was chaos there, very very busy! We did wonder whether to go somewhere else when luckily a car pulled out just in front of us and we were able to have their space! It wasn't quite so busy indoors as it was nicely spread out and we got a good view of all the stalls.
After a nice wander we went to the cafe and enjoyed a latte and piece of lemon cake. Charlie had a deluxe hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream! He is loving hot chocolate at the moment! We could see Father Christmas from the cafe and he waved to us! How could we resist a visit! I had a quick word to the elves first about going to New Zealand on Boxing Day, I have told Charlie that I have written to Father Christmas to tell him we were going. The grotto area is beautifully set up complete with a snow machine! Courtney didn't like that as it was quite loud but Charlie had a little play!

Just in the entrance there was this very cute reindeer set up pulling a dinky sleigh that the children could sit in, I was about to take a photo when Courtney noticed Father Christmas coming towards her, of course then there was no chance, LOL!

So we went in to see Father Christmas, he had a lovely chat to both of them and Charlie was enthralled that Father Christmas actually knew we were going to New Zealand! He was so lovely and as there were no other children waiting we got to spend a nice amount of time with him.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Children in Need 2012

The cake stall was open again at Nursery, this year Courtney got to 'work' in the shop! She was ever so cute trying to use the tongs to pick up the cakes! In the end Julie, her key worker, said she could use her hands as the cakes were covered in paper! She really enjoyed herself and proudly showed the cakes off to daddy when he got home from work!

Photo taken 15.11.12

Today was actual Children in Need day, many schools do dressing up in PJ's, wearing clothes inside out etc. Charlie's school decided on a theme, Heroes! That was a challenge! I started by thinking he could go as Daddy but wasn't sure how to pull it off! Then I thought of police man, fire man and even a footballer (not that I think of a footballer as a hero but you'd be surprised how many children did actually go in footie kits!) Of course in the end I went back to plan A, Daddy is Charlie's hero, I just had to work on it! In the end he wore a smart shirt and trousers and one of Daddy's ties, featuring Tigger and Pooh! As a finishing touch I made a badge. I found an image in the internet which appeared to be a book cover as there was an author's name but I photo shopped that out, printed and covered it and stuck it to his shirt using double sided tape!! Apparently one of the teachers at school also went as her Dad and she really wanted Charlie's badge!

As Charlie was dressed up, Courtney desperately wanted to as well! I rang Nursery who said it was OK to and voila, a fairy princess with her big 'Daddy' brother!

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Thought it was a cool funky date so used it as my title, LOL! (Unless of course you're in America, you'd have had this date last month!)
So, today I finished off November's square of the stitch-a-long! I don't know why but this felt like it took forever! In reality it has only taken a few days and I haven't been able to sit long periods of time with it so it's just 'felt' longer, if you know what I mean, LOL! I am, however totally delighted with it! As 2012 has been a big year here in the UK I decided to add the Olympic rings onto Tower Bridge! (I stitched the Jubilee cross stitch too earlier in the year so that's all bases covered!)

This means I am now ready for a new project! I've been feeling just recently a little flat when it comes to my stitching mojo. I was tempted to have a little break but I do feel inspired once I see a project near completion (like that the stitch-a-long only has one month left and I'm itching to stitch December's square) I've to be careful because cross stitching is a hobby I love but yet I never want it to feel like a chore! 
I really like Bothy Threads kits, I've stitched a couple and decided to have a mooch through their site to see if I could be inspired. I didn't have to look for long, there's so many on there I'd like to stitch but 'Holly' kind of jumped out to me. I think she's beautiful, not something I'd have normally found myself stitching so I'm liking the challenge and the robins around her border are divine! I'm not setting myself up of having her done for Christmas, I'm just going to take my time with her.

She is part of a series and I'm going to see how I get on but at this stage I am tempted to stitch 4 out of the series to form a larger 'seasons' collection.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Handmade with Love

I saw this cute Love Birds design in the August edition of Cross Stitcher. (I waited a couple of months before starting it.) It was originally going to be a quick stitch and although it was lovely and easy to stitch I kind of lost momentum as I went along! Just the last couple of days I've concentrated on trying for a finish, et voila!

Saturday, 3 November 2012


Mark had worked in Silverdale earlier in the week and said if it was nice today we'd have a run out there. Silverdale is a small village near to Carnforth (where I grew up.) I used to visit regularly with my Grandma after I passed my driving test. It was also somewhere I also visited often as a child, our treat being going on the 'switchbacks' in Grandad's car on the way home! Imagine 30 years ago, my Grandad had an old car, not very comfortable compared to today's standards driving along a bumpy road with several small sharp mounds, the sort that make your tummy flip! It was great fun!
Mark and I have been to Silverdale a couple of times since we've been together but not for a long time. It was beautiful today, unbelievably bright and sunny. After our recent terrible weather it made a very nice change! We went down to the shore first, the tide was in so we could only walk across the rocky area. The view was so picturesque. We took the photo above there. Then we made our way to Wolf House Gallery and had some lunch after looking around. I'd promised Charlie and Courtney and ride on the 'swithbacks,' neither of them knew what to expect but their giggles whilst going along brought back memories of my childhood. I love when that happens.

Today also marks a special anniversary for us. It's not something I can ever remember talking about on my blog before but as it's important to us and still very much a part of our lives, I would like to now. Today is the 10th anniversary of my due date when we were pregnant. This means if everything had gone alright all those years ago we'd be parents to a child around 10 years old now! With Charlie only being 5 and Courtney being 3 that's a little hard to imagine!
After years of fertility treatments, firstly 8 rounds of ovulation induction, then IVF and potions (I kid you not!) we were delighted to be pregnant after the second attempt of IVF/ICSI. Sadly I miscarried early into the pregnancy. We tried IVF another 4 times but sadly none worked again. I have so much to be thankful for during the fertility journey. I leaned so much about myself, my strength and courage and how solid our marriage was. We've always been on the same page so have never been tested but I felt extremely secure. When I was 17 I was told it would be very difficult to get pregnant, as sad as I was at that age at least I knew. Mark and I were referred straight away when we wanted to try. So although it ended sadly I can always be pleased that I did get pregnant.
I'm not dwelling on the anniversary, it's just that part of us that I'll always remember. Today I am extremely grateful for Charlie and Courtney, they are such beautiful children (like any child they have their moments but hey!) We had a long road along the adoption journey too, both times, but I would do it all a million times over again to have what we have now.