2016 Done!

The reason I started my blogging journey was to share our health journey with you. In doing so I hoped that I could help just one person. The response has been amazing.

As time has gone on, I have found that I really enjoy writing about all sorts of everything. The opportunities I have been offered have been amazing and I can only hope that 2017 brings more and that I can put my heart and soul in to everything that I write. (More so than I already have).

One thing I especially enjoy writing about is what we have been up to and our adventures, and as it happens the end of 2016 we were very busy.

As well as the stories of Decemeber I have already told (Baby No More, Our Beamish Adventure…Part Two and Wedding Anniversary), we had a few more adventures I would like to share.

December came and Christmas mode was turned on.

The tree went up, and a couple of days later I attended the Christmas Fair at work. I work with so many talented people. Things for sale included Jewellery, Christmas Sweet presents, Artwork, Metalwork, Card Crafts and some amazing needle work. Here are a couple of pictures of what people had to offer, but if you would like to have a closer look at some of their work you can visit the following Facebook pages, (Amongst them were…..Babsyliz Creations, Vee Accessories, Andrew Kirk Art, The Artful Anvil, Absolute Hound and Down the Rabbit Hole).

A few days later I got the chance to again meet up with all my work colleagues and their families at our works Christmas Party. Held at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland there were so many things for the kids to do, and Mark and I had a blast too.

Face painting courtesy of The Face paint Saint.

Like I was saying just the other day in a post, they aren’t babies for long and this year saw the last school nativity performance for Libby. Really quite sad to think that she has done her last performance, and with the most words to say, she did an amazing job. So proud of this clever little princess and what she achieves.

Next year will see Penny start hers, lord only knows what I will do when she hits Year two. I will have to tag along with friends and watch their children. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Nativity performance.

We have been saving for quite some time to get some new living room furniture and seems that the best time for us to order it would be two weeks before Christmas. Just what every house needs, especially one with a tribe of children, is a mass of flat packed furniture.

Mark helped the delivery men to bring it in the house while Penny and I set about finding homes for the boxes. Turns out Penny is very good at reading instructions for building chairs and exceptionally good at losing the screws…..

With Penny’s birthday out of the way I had promised the Minis that we would go and see Santa. I had many failed attempts at this over the month but decided that we would go for the opening of Intu MetroCentre and stand in the queue to see their Santa.

The girls were so very excited and so was I that we had managed to get in and were third in the queue, three days before Christmas.

Penny was so excited up until we were next in the queue, at this point she had a mass panic. We went in to see him, he was so lovely, of course he was THE man, he couldn’t have been anything else. Libby was chatting away and Penny sat herself on my knee, cuddled in as tight as she could, crying and refused to open her eyes.

Sponsored by Playmobil this year all the presents that Santa gave out were Playmobil and the girls (Penny when we got out of the grotto) were so happy with what Santa had been so kind to give them before the big night.

I promised Santa and Lunch on the condition that I could finish off the few bits of shopping I needed to do, so off we went on the hunt for food.

I know in the past I have mentioned how fussy my lot can be and no one more so than Libby. It is very hard to get her to try new things. Regan and I were keen not to venture to our usual haunts when Libby is in tow and so we suggested she look at the Menu’s at some of the other restaurants.

Chiquito won.

Having not been in for many years it was nice to have a change and go somewhere where all the kids tastes were catered for. The Children’s Menu is really quite extensive and while Libby chose Burger and Chips, Penny had Sausage and Chips. The food was lovely and was served very quickly. I would love to go back again soon and maybe do a full review, (see if I can convince Mark).

By this point in time the excitement was starting to build for the arrival of Santa Claus and no more so than on Christmas Eve. This Christmas we have been visited by “Gustaf Pepperminttoes”. All the way trough December he has been watching over us and getting up to mischief all of his own.

This is the third year we have had an Elf visitor and the kids love it. The little ones because of the magic he brings and the big ones because they help him get up to mischief.

On Christmas Eve when he leaves he goes back to Santa for the last time before he moves back and tells of the kids behaviour and providing they have all been well behaved a Christmas Eve box from him and Santa arrives to say Thank You for being such good hosts.

As I was working on Christmas Eve, Daddy put them to bed and we all had an early night…..not before Mummy and Daddy had a little tipple with Santa though…..

We had a simply amazing Christmas Day. Quiet, at home, in our PJ’s and playing with presents. Nothing can possibly be more perfect. I made Christmas Dinner while Mark built and put batteries in toys. Chilled out in front of the Doctor Who Christmas Special, feet up and a glass of Christmas plonk in hand, the stress of Christmas started to lift. One thing I will say though is not matter how stressed we get it is so worth it ….

Over the space of the next few days we had Liam and Caitlin for a second Christmas. We traditionally get them on Boxing Day and they open their gifts from our side when they come. As the years are going by the gifts are getting more technology orientated and for all I would love to say we had a busy few days with them, I can’t. The only one who spoke for longer than a minute was Penny as all the others had their noses stuck in a device. We did however take a break on one of the nights and played some of the Christmas board games that came in to the house. However I will save the details of these for a while as I have a post in the planning soon.

Mark and I took a well earned break and had a night out on the Wednesday. We roped in Jordan for some babysitting and went for a meal and a few drinks. Lovely to have some down time and a couple of glasses of wine while watching the footy.

Last but least for 2016, Mark’s Birthday. His birthday is New Years Eve and every year I try and make it more like a birthday bash than a New Years Eve party.

I spent the day making far too much food for our little party, tidying up and watching Mark put up the hot tub. I love spending the night with Mark and the kids and it’s even better when we are joined by friends. The very lovely Deborah from Country Heart and Home and her family joined us until just after midnight. All but one of the children managed the full night (although Penny made an appearance at Midnight).

The kids took the hot tub in turns, the girls thoroughly enjoying their little selves. We played games and had sparklers outside at Midnight. It was a fantastic night and I could not have wished for more. Then it was my turn for the hot tub…….

(OK, it’s an old photo but my battery died on the night and in order to be up for work at 8 am it had to go on charge)

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