Sunday, December 11, 2011


Preparing for Christmas is always lots of fun. Money is tighter this year than usual thanks to our O/S sojourn but with the sun shining and everyone in good health there is the same fun as usual to be had. Dad has come to visit for a couple of weeks and has brought my nephew with him - he is 8 years old born 1 day shy of the twins' birthday the year before they appeared. Kit is in heaven and Hannah is quite pleased too. The advent calendars are out - I bought Hannah a tacky Barbie one from Target, Kit has last year's Lego one set up again and there is of course the quilted wallhanging one that is for all of us that Mum and I made together so many years ago when she lived in Gympie. One of the things I love about Christmas is I always feel Mum is right there by my side. I turn around to straighten up a bit of tinsel - and I can almost see her smile, I watch the kids' excitement and I can see the warmth in her brown eyes. Of course it also makes me feel a little sad too - I miss her all the time and would love to be able to put my arms around her, to share some Christmas cake... instead I must be content with a mental nod in her direction each time I think of her this season and a toast whenever I am enjoying her Christmas cake recipe. This year I started the season making Glad Shute's Fruit cake - the cooking time was indeed a bit deceptive but because I made 2 cakes at once - the 3 hours cooking time worked out fine and the one we have iced and started eating is lovely and moist and a little bit crumbly. I still have to make Mum's one and will try and do that soon because I want to send one home with Dad for him and my sisters to enjoy this year. The first cake was officially cut when the Christmas tree went up. Hannah was very excited to go with her father to pick on - just like in the Curious George movie she loves. The inlaws came over to help us celebrate the start of the Christmas season. This past week Christmas cards have begun to trickle in from the kids at school and the round of Christmas parties has started to happen. That began with Kit's music party and continues still. Hannah had a party at Rainbow Club (her swimming class) yesterday. Tonight is her concert with Dancing Hearts - a dance class for children (in one group) and adults (in a later time slot) with a disability. She gets to wear a princess dress and a ballet bun and so is very excited. We have a bit of a cheer squad coming for her so I hope she does ok. I was watching her at dance rehearsal this week and can see that this class is good in developing her confidence - in the other class she goes to with everyone else being 'regular' she really needs to have a partner that she 'copies' in order to stay on track but int his class there is more pressure on her to actually know her steps and do them by herself - so that is a good balance I think. FOr next year we are going to start off keeping both the mainstream and the special needs classes going. On Friday night this week we went to the parish carols. It was lots of fun. We went to support the church (our kids go to a local parish school) and because my MIL is one of the amazing organising women on the parish social committee. I didn't know what it would be like. It might have been boring or full of oldies or ... I managed to wrangle another family from the school who also has twins to come along too. Well I think it is fair to say that everyone had a great night. There were other families there from the school and so the kids pretty much took off as soon as we got there and ran around the hall having a blast. The food was delicious - and the service from those women - inspiring! The Italian womens choir sang a few carols in Italian which were beautiful then we had our chef lead us in a few English faves before a guest appearance from Santa. There were a heap of raffle prizes - Dad scored a fibre optic Christmas Tree which he has put int he kids room - it is very pretty. So yes I think it is fair to say that the grown ups had almost as much fun as the kids. It was lovely to see my nephew just join in with Kit and Hannah's friends. I think it shows how much he has grown up int he past year and how lovely the kids at our school are. Hannah was beside herself with joy because her best friend (who is now homeschooled) was there. The two girls had a blast playing together. Totally unrelated to the season Dad and I also took him tot he Powerhouse Museum and the Harry Potter exhibition that is on there - it was great. Really lots of fun. I loved listening to the other people as they walked through talking about the Hogwarts world and its artefacts and characters as if they were real. There was also a little boy who was divine - "Oh look Mummy! That is Harry's wand. That's AWESOME Mum!' and so on... a delight. Here are some random pics

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