Thursday, 31 December 2009

Out with the old and in with the new!

As the last day of 2009 is slowly drawing to a close - its time for out with the old (t'was lumpy, bumpy and coming apart at the seams - no not MrVV but his chair!);

It was at least 3rd hand when we acquired it - it has served its master well but now has been consigned to the great recycling centre in the sky :(

Its replacement was picked up from deepest, darkest Essex yesterday - a lucky find via ebay;

So far it has escaped cushions and granny blankets but eventually it will get something to pretty it up!

I was looking back through some of the photos I've taken this year pre-blog and thought I'd share some of my favourites with you all;

Easter weekend on Southwold beach - warm enough to wear shorts & make castles.

My littlest sisters wedding in May - the bridesmaids make a bid for freedom :)

A medieval fayre somewhere in Suffolk in June - not sure the littlest knight looks entirely happy.

Latitude Festival in July - he's just posing with my cider not actually drinking it!!

The school hols - lots of picnics in the garden.

Camping in Norfolk in August - a week of sunshine :)

Boys on the beach in north norfolk.

How brown they were and look what happens when they are given bright blue lollies!

Just after that picture was taken - I started writing my blog.  Those first 3 months of writing have whizzed by - I've met some great people and read about their lives and families.  Its like opening a magazine everytime I log in :)

Last but not least - I shall wish you all a happy new year.  I shall do my usual New Years Eve trick of falling asleep on the sofa only to be woken by big ben and the fireworks at midnight!!

See you all next year!!

xxxx Vicki xxxx

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The bit in the middle!

Good morning/afternoon/evening blogland friends

How was it for you?? Did all your hard work - shopping, cooking, planning and making pay off?

It did here :)

Christmas Day started about 7am when 2 very excited children came into our room armed with their stockings and mugs of tea for all.  Stockings were opened in our bed and both very happy with what Santa had brought them.  The boys also gave MrVV & I our pressies from them - I am the proud owner of a gorgeous scarf and fluffy socks from Joules :) MrVv got a hipflask and a guide to being a grumpy old man (not that sometimes he needs much help ;) ).

We came downstairs and as is tradition, the pressies under the tree are given out and the boys get their pressie from us.  Little son did know he was getting a new phone from us - the first time he's not had a hand-me-down but Big son had no idea what he was getting.  He unwrapped his pressie and opened the box - even the pedal in there gave him no clue immediately nor did the note saying 'for something that goes with me head to the garage'. It was only as he opened the garage down and looked inside that the penny dropped and a huge smile appeared on his face - a gorgeous, new, huge moutain bike was waiting for him.  At this point I realised I'd not got my camera so missed this wonderful photo opportunity. 

In fact I missed lots of photo chances on Christmas Day as I never did managed to go and get my camera!!

Boxing Day was much quieter just the 4 of us and a chance to play,ride, read or use our new pressies.  The boys were given Airfix kits by an Aunt & Uncle and were keen to get started on these (I must thank James May for getting them re-interested in traditional stuff - our meccano has been dusted down and is now being used again).

If you look carefully on the right hand side, you can see part of MrVV christmas pressie - a homebrewing kit.  At the moment its just doing whatever it does in the huge bucket - later in the week its got to be bottled and then left for a a few weeks before it can be sampled - now its going to be wonderful rather like our local Adnams or awful like the peapod burgundy (I know thats wine) that Tom & Barbara made in the Good Life - would be happy for somewhere inbetween!!

What did I get for Christmas??? Lots - coming from a large family it tends to be one huge pressie fest this time of year even though amongst my sisters we have a Secret Santa and only buy for one person.  This pic is a brief summary;

Now yesterday was a bank holiday here in the UK and so like sheep we joined the 1,000's of others and headed to the sales;

To be very honest it was not a great day - firstly MrVV has decided he needs a new armchair so we visited every furniture store we could find and came home empty handed. The boys wanted to go into the main town to spend christmas vouchers so we found the last remaining parking space and headed in the high street.  Yuck it was heaving - mainly with sale shoppers but also with football fans - we hadn't realised Ipswich were playing at home :(  We battled through the crowds and the boys were able to add to their book collections and MrVV & I got a couple of bargains before we decided enough was enough and we headed back home.

Today is another stay at home day - the menfolk have been out on their bikes and I've attempted to do some tidying and blog catching up.  We've visitors this afternoon - my little brother is coming to see us - am quite excited as we've not seen him since June.

I hope you all are enjoying your break and are having fun with your pressies.

See you soon

xxxxx Vicki xxxxx

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Home Straight :)

Nearly there - when we wake tomorrow morning it will be Christmas Eve.  Am thinking despite their ages the boys will be more excited than they are today.  We shall be heading out for a walk at some point to try & calm them down.  Not sure that the snow we've had for the past week has helped much.

We've been busy here with last minute preparations;

Making tags

Wrapping pressies

Making mince pies

and shortbread - little son not quite got the hang of the edible glitter

He's rather proud of his iced biscuits - spent ages decorating them

This lovely hamper arrived from Poland from a company MrVV deals with - full of very scrummy chocolates and wine, all packed a gorgeous basket.

We've set the table for Christmas Day.

Stockings have been found and hung up.

It leaves me one thing to do - to wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas.  Thankyou for reading, following and commenting on my blog, it means a lot to me.

If theres a pause between Christmas & New Year I'll be posting but if not - see you in 2010 :)

xxxx Vicki xxxx

Monday, 21 December 2009

Pause for the 4th & final time

We come to the 4th and final pause in Advent - the time seems to whizzed by so quickly.

As in all my previous posts I guess my main theme is family and spending time together.

Yesterday it was MrVV's turn to have a brass engagement and the rest of us went with him as its one of our favourites - one that has become a tradition within our family.  MrVV has played with his band for over 30 years now since he was a young boy and barely able to see over his instrument! I've been coming to this engagement with him for about 20 years and the boys have been every year since they were born.

Thats him on the far left of the picture - the one that forgot to read what uniform was required!!

We were at Snape Maltings to await the arrival of a very important visitor.
Here's litte son waiting to see if he can see his barge coming up the river;

"I can see something coming"

"Can you see a hint of red?"

"He's getting closer"

"He's wishing us all a Merry Christmas"

Because of the weather the crowd was much smaller than previous years but I hope it meant that all the small children were able to go and visit the great man in his grotto.

We didn't stay much longer - we were all so cold despite wearing many layers.  Instead we headed home to another new tradition - hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows :)

We're now on the home stretch and the finishing line on the 25th can be seen clearly.  I've still quite alot to do - presents to wrap, a pressie swap with my sisters tonight, last minute food shopping, cleaning the house and one final brass openair carol service on Christmas Eve.

Today is the shortest day of the year and this evening we shall be lighting candles to mark this and to remind ourselves that the sun will be coming back and the days will gradually start to lengthen.

See you later in the week  - stay warm & I hope you all get everything you need to do done.

xxxx Vicki xxxx

Saturday, 19 December 2009

We're gonna have snow on the beach ;)

After last nights party, we stayed over in an hotel on the seafront.  We knew that during the evening it had snowed quite heavily and when I peaked out of our river facing hotel room this morning - this was the first view I saw;

You can just see the River Alde and marshes in the distance.
The view from the front of the hotel was even better - is not often we get snow right on the beach;

When we came home late morning - the boys were already busy outside;

Now my little son gets called lots of different things - but an Angel????

Back indoors now having peeled more wet layers off and drapped them over the raditors. According to the forecast tomorrow is set to be another snowy day too :)

I hope everyone is enjoying themselves in this weather - is certainly making us in the VV house feel festive :)

xxxx Vicki xxxx

Friday, 18 December 2009

More snow has fallen :)

We have had loads of snow here in Suffolk overnight and today - school was cancelled and the sledge dusted down.  Big son has had to wear MrVVs wellies as his are several sizes too small!

The view from my bedroom window first thing this morning - virgin snow, untouched by small boys ;)

BBQ anyone?

Faster, faster big brother or I'll throw this snowball at you!!

Finally today I finished my wreath and hung it on the front door;

Last but not least - I got this festive looking bunch of flowers from the girls at work yesterday - hoping they last till Christmas Day if I look after them properly;

Off Christmas partying tonight - staying over in a hotel :) MIL is boyminding :) MrVV has gone to fetch her as she's not keen on driving in the snow.

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Snow is falling :)

Good evening - brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, is very cold here today and its not long started to snow and so far its settled a bit on the grass and plants too.  I tried taking a picture but it didn't work out - if its still there tomorrow I'll try again.

Was a big day today - it was my last day at work.  I've worked in a playgroup with under 5's for the past 3 years and have enjoyed it.  However in recent months the job has been taking over and after much soul searching I made the decision to once again become a SAHM and domestic operative.

When I got home I was feeling a little sad but my spirits were soon lifted when I spied a parcel with my name on it :). It was my Stocking Swap pressie from April.  Again I know this is a pressie I am allowed to open before the 25th and I wasted no time in doing so.  Here's what April sent me;

The stocking is gorgeous - actually I could do with another one and then I'd be wearing them to keep my footsies warm tonight ;)

2 gorgeous decorations for my tree - they look perfectly at home on there.

A yankee which smells very christmassy, chocolate & orange soap -again it smells amazing and it has glitter in it.  The Colony advent candle is lovely and shall be kept safe till next december - will save me a last minute dash to buy one.

Chocolate reindeer and Santa - they have worried looks on their faces - they know their time left is very limited ;)

A cute card with baby penguins on it - I want to 'borrow' the green spotty scarf from the 1st one.

Thankyou April very much indeed for my gorgeous stocking and lovely pressies.  Thanks also to Beki for organising this swap.

I've loved being part of 2 swaps this christmas and look forward to many more over the coming months.

Last day of term tomorrow and weather allowing the boys have things on at school.  For big son it is mainly dvd watching. For the little one it is a carol service in church were he's playing with both the school orchestra
and brass band - does mean one of us needs to meet him from school to help carry both his instruments, 2 lots of music and a music stand home!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx