Well Neville and Nancy elf have been up to mischief.  The kids found them on top of a cabinet in the room, then under a blanket to get warm and this morning it looks like they had helped themselves to a cuppa during the night!  The sheer cheek 😉

Neville and Nancy Elf.

We’re flying through December already.  The daily tasks are coming thick and fast and we haven’t had time to do them all as that’s what life is like, right?  So we have the ones we haven’t still stuck on the fridge ready to do when the weather and moment calls for it.

Tonight however the star said to “Celebrate Christmas past” so we set about looking at photos from when the kids were young and laughing at how much we have all changed over the years, seeing those who are no longer with us and remembering them fondly, both animal and human.

The reverse advent box has the following items in:  corned beef tin, cannellini beans, baked beans, bottle of orange and dried pasta (I’m slightly concerned that you need to cook this so it may be substituted depending where it ends up).  I’m looking forward to taking this to somewhere/someone in need. 

In smallholding news, the sheep (and geese and hens) have got the hang of the new galvanised trough.  Bottoms up.  Well, it is nearly Christmas.

Mr mole is still giving us mole hills but he hasn’t moved away from the area yet, so were still ok.

At the weekend, Ste and I slept well.  Why?  Because we shovelled 37 barrows of muck into the newly built veg bed.  Plus I did another 7 into the other veg area.  Of course Ste did the filling, I just wheeled!  So really I shouldn’t be aching as much, but I am!

before
after

It was very frosty here this morning meaning the tap we use to fill the animal water was frozen, as was the one on the house wall (this one didn’t freeze previously). 

Tonight is very cold again, so I’ve made sure all of the buckets are full to the brim and a spare bucket is full ready for topping up any that need it in the morning.  The horses drink during the night, so it will be them that need it.  The poultry I can do from the house if I have to.  It’s a nice feeling knowing we’re getting everything ready for the weather to come.  I feel prepared.



Can you spot the ducks?
 

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Happy December!

When we put our previous house up for sale,  my mind wandered to the next Christmas, what would our next home look like, would we have any animals, neighbours, wildlife to share it with?  Even though we had not seen this house, I pictured a perfect Christmas.  Kids with smiles on their faces (and not arguing!), Steven finally able to relax after the busy December period, and me sat watching, taking it all in.  All of the thoughts I had, I am now putting it into action.  I love my family more than words can say and what better time of year to show it and make the most of it. 

So today, December 1st, the kids got up a lot quicker than normal.  They knew their grandparents had left advent calendar for them.  Jack was down first (he never is) and opened his.  We even broke the rules and had the small advent chocolate before breakfast!  How naughty is that?  He’ll remember that though and I’m all for happy memories.  Grace isn’t so much of a bull in a china shop where Jack is concerned, but she had hers too. 

My lovely Mum bought them a handmade advent calendar where each day has an envelope with a treat in it.  They love it and I think they look amazing in the kitchen on the beams.  As the envelopes get used, I’ll put them away for next year and we’ll use the string they are on to hang small, light cards on. 

I have cut out 24 stars, each star has something on it for the kids to do together each day.  The stars are stuck to the side of the fridge with blue tac in the shape of a Christmas tree.  We’ve never done this before and I think it will be a new tradition.  Today’s star was:

We have never done a reverse advent calendar before either.  I’m not sure what everyone else does if they do one, but we are putting one useful item of food/drink, into a box every day until around 23rd when we will take it to someone in need. I’m not too sure where this will be yet as we’re dropping some items off at a hostel and if they need it, it will be there.  Otherwise I may go to Durham Cathedral and hand it to a homeless person.  Any other ideas are welcome?

Whilst I am showing you – here’s the Aga at the moment and the final advent calendar which has followed us around for many years.

I wonder what will be outside the door at 7pm tonight? 
Whilst we wait to find out, this was outside last night.  How pretty?