Day 15 of My Month of Gratitude

I’m late, it’s no longer the morning! I’m really busy today, and that gives today’s thing to be grateful for!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. .
  17. .

Yesterday was one of step-daughters 21st birthday. She had her party last weekend and I made the cake – it looked great! And then yesterday her mum planned something special for her, for her actual birthday. So today I am making her chosen birthday dinner, and she gets her present and her special dessert.

Each of the kids have a particular dessert that they get for their birthday – the eldest is a red-velvet cake, the next has always been ice-cream because he doesn’t eat cake but has recently decided he likes roulade (so guess what I’m learning to make for his birthday next month!), the next is chocolate biscuit cake with white chocolate decorations, the next is cookies, the next is brownies, the next likes to be surprised but likes to have a fun and rich flavoured cake (like a ferrero rocher cake or salted caramel!) and so on….

As it is her 21st birthday, we have a tradition for 18ths and 21st that they get money – at 18yrs they get a bit more money, but just handed to them. The 21st present is money, a bit less than at 18yrs old but it is given in a fun way. We’re on our fourth 21st birthday, so have spent a good bit of time coming up with ideas and always thinking ahead to the next one (I’ve had todays way of gifting the money chosen for the past 3 years following a comment she made 3yrs ago!)

A lot of my friends think that I am mad spending so much time and thought on making these occasions special, particularly as the last two years I was pregnant and then had a newborn and we fell behind in the birthdays. But yet I wanted to catch up on them, as opposed to just starting over fresh – or doing one big meal. However it is important to me, and I love doing it. I think that this is what memories are made of, they know that I will always do my best to make their special days special. I did catch up, I think I did one big meal and four different cakes! And then got back into doing the rest of them close enough to being on time for the rest of the year! And this year I’m being more on the ball, and getting the birthday meals organised quicker!

I have decided to simplify things for myself and for my own kids I have just been doing a cake and tea party where everyone comes for literally cake and tea to blow out the candles, and then for the older kids I am doing the birthday meal for just the birthday person (and their partner and kid/s if applicable). It means I am only doing the big meal for the 17 of us twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas, possibly also Fathers Day. Their fathers birthday we do a big take-away here, nice and easy, no cooking!!

But I am so grateful for all these little opportunities to spoil and remind our children how special they are, and for us to get together and make memories with all these special occasions.

 

Advertisements

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not a big person for Valentine’s Day, however I love flowers any day so I’ll happily take another opportunity to get some flowers. My hubbie picked up some flowers for me the other day, a little bunch of pretty pink roses and a bunch of purple lilies. I told him to get them before the rush of Valentines and only being left with expensive options!

But for some reason my children love Valentines Day and want to make a big deal about it. And its not about the big things, its the little thoughtful details. My son bought me and his Dad and little sister little presents. My eldest daughter made cupcakes yesterday for all the lunches today, brought me breakfast in bed, and had Kinder Eggs and special treat wake-up-waffles bought for her brother and sisters for breakfast! All without my involvement, I just brought them to the shops and let them go in, and I was under strict instructions not to go in to her room!

I realised they would like some little things done for them too, so got a chocolate cereal for breakfast (a rare treat here), strawberry laces for their lunch box (I’m strict with the no sweets policy in school) and wake-up-waffles for their after school snack (not knowing Q had bought the same for their breakfast!) and I have some Lindor sweets for them because Q joked a few weeks ago about having “Red Rain” for Valentines Day (last year I had dropped red Lindor sweets over the bannisters to them calling it red rain!) And for the hubbie I made one of his favourite cakes!

I don’t think that Valentines Day should be about big gestures, but I do think that the little things that we can do for the ones we love are nice, and even though we should make the effort every day, there’s no harm of making things a little bit more special today too! And to also remember to do something nice for ourselves too!

I do love the art-work that comes home from school for Valentines Day too!

Happy Valentines Day everyone xx

Pumpkin Picking!

pumpkin 1

Pumpkin Patches are a relatively new idea in Ireland (as far as I know anyway!). We had planned to go to one last year but couldn’t for some reason, so this year I was adamant we were going to go.

The one we chose to go to was one that we didn’t need tickets for, and no entry fee. You could go and pick your pumpkins, potatoes and corn and pay for what you got. This took off the pressure of paying in advance – although we paid for it because of the giant pumpkins our kids chose!!!

We all got our wellies and waterproofs on and headed through the “haunted” corn maze to the pumpkin field. The kids had great fun running around the field looking at all the different sizes, colours and shapes of the pumpkins. Then they decided that they wanted to get the biggest possible pumpkins – which was an idea we should have knocked on the head, but we didn’t! We’ll know better for future. We did manage to talk two of them down to looking for nicer looking shape and colour ones instead of just the size being the priority. They stood over their chosen pumpkin until we arrived with the wheelbarrow.

pumpkin-2.jpg

You can see the size of the two giant ones, particularly when you notice the size of the wheel or even the “large” pumpkin underneath the two giant ones!

We got a little shock when it came to paying, but they did a bit of a deal for us. And we did end up with 5 big pumpkins in our “trolley”. The farmer was over talking to us, about the amount of eating we had in the wheelbarrow – and even though we only wanted them  mainly for carving, we are going to do our best to use as much of them as possible. I’ve been searching for recipes and ideas, and what is best way of freezing the flesh or the purees. You might be seeing some posts of any successes coming up in the next few weeks!

Happy Valentines Day!

I was woken (well, I waited in bed because I heard what was going on!) with a lovely beautiful breakfast in bed brought by my wonderful three children. The hubby was long gone to work, so it was all them (in particular the 10yr old Miss Q). They had make cards this morning for me too.

20170214_083353

It was a lovely start to the day. Hopefully a sign of more wonderful things to come. 🙂

I had strawberry laces put into their lunch boxes as a surprise with a little note and cut out hearts. Which I know Miss Q will appreciate, but not so sure that the Boy will!

And I am doing a roast chicken dinner for the hubby for later – on a Tuesday – as a special treat. And have some yummy after school snacks for the kids. We’re spoiling ourselves and each other. So all in all looks like a lovely day.

I’ve seen a lot of posts today about loving yourself, and I think that is so important, and partly why this year I am putting more effort into special details for the kids. I saw this article about helping children to start loving themselves and I think that we will be making some Valentines Cards for ourselves after school as well.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though it is not part of our traditions in Ireland, I love the idea of Thanksgiving. The name appeals to me – a day to give thanks.

So this year I have decided to attempt to bring a little USA Thanksgiving to our house. I’ve the kids all coming down, there’ll be 14 of us (4 of them under 10). I’ve already had a few disasters, like my apple pie falling to pieces in my hands, not being able to find cornmeal for my cornbread and it seems our sausage behaves differently to how the American recipes say it will!! But its an experience… and a great reason to get family together.

I’ll let you all know how it goes. Happy Thanksgiving to you, wherever you are in the world. I am so thankful for all I have, and I’m happy to give thanks and celebrate today.

Christmas Planning!

I LOVE Christmas!

I refuse to start decorating, or “getting in the spirit” until December…. but I start planning ages in advance.

We have a big family, we have a lot of people to buy for, and a lot of days to organise…. which of course costs a lot of money, but also takes a lot of organising, and can cause a lot of stress if I don’t feel I’m sorted early enough!!

Every year I feel that I leave certain things until the last minute – and therefore the following year I strive to be more organised. It means then I can enjoy December and all the festive celebrations properly!

Our first tradition of the season (actually starts before December!) is that on the last Friday of November, “The Toy Show” is on. This is an Irish television programme where children play with toys and show them to the presenter, there is some music and dancing and a bit of audience participation… with lots of prizes thrown in (cue “and there’s one for everyone in the audience”) – and our kids are allowed stay up late for this, as we were as children, with a big box of Christmas sweets. And I set up mini Christmas trees in the kids rooms for them to start it all off.

The rest of the decorations then go up on the 1st of December, except the tree which is around the 8th.

What do you think, is it too early for Christmas planning or discussion?

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!

We had a lovely family day today. We all got dressed in green, and headed down to the parade. My son was walking in it with his playschool so that added more excitement. After the parade we went to the carnival but there was nothing age appropriate, so we got an ice-cream and went to the park for a play. We came home and had a treat dinner (chips and sausages!) and watched another family movie. And now the kids are in bed, we’re having a few cold drinks together! Its been a lovely day 🙂

How have you guys celebrated St. Patricks Day wherever you are?!