Friday, December 29, 2006
Matthew did seem to enjoy opening his presents and was more intrigued with his new toys than I expected (lots of people told me he'd only be interested in the wrapping paper). It took us a while to open them all because so much of a day is eating and sleeping! And there are more presents to come because we are still waiting for parcels from the UK (I feel very sorry for Elisabeth who, having posted a parcel surface mail last year which didn't arrive 'til mid-January, decided this year to post it air mail and it still didn't arrive on time) - so Christmas will be an extended affair this year.
Christmas food was very different with a whole salmon (expertly barbecued by Dan), cold ham (which honestly could have fed an army) and lovely salads and bread. We also had a chocolate truffle cake for Christmas cake which was amazing! We ate outside, though in typical English style; actually it was quite chilly but we had to eat out because we could and it should have been warm!
The one frustration of the day (which continued into Boxing Day) was difficulty with technology in trying to make contact with family at home. When we could get through on the phone, after several attempts, the connection only lasted a few seconds. The internet was not much better and when we tried to use the webcam it crashed.
The rest of the week has been very quiet and relaxing. The weather has been much warmer so we've been for a picnic and walks and generally enjoyed time to read and play with our new toys (and that's not just Matthew!).
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Matthew is also getting into the spirit of Christmas and is obsessed with our tree. He's a little like the squirrel in Ice Age who is in pursuit of the acorn; he looks at where the tree is, appears to think out his route and then rolls - back to front, front to back, left to right, right to left (a skill perfected over the weekend) - and pushes himself however he needs to in order to reach those very pretty beads that hang nicely from the lower branches! Then, very cruelly, Mummy or Daddy swoop down and scoop him up - denied! I have a great little movie of it and if I ever figure out how to post it you can have a look but, for now, here are a couple of photos of his brief moments of triumph!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
So Sam (just finishing his breakfast in the photo!), Tim, Dan, Monique, Kirsten, Mel and Jaimee joined us in the rather large bach that we stayed in with Alastair and Helen and co when they were here in October.
The lads slept downstairs, the Shepherds on the middle floor and the girls had the top floor - though not sure the girls got a huge amount of sleep!
Our aim for the weekend was to hang out and deepen friendships by hearing one another's stories and by listening to what God had to say to each of us. This was all linked wonderfully together by food, silly songs, Cranium, street cricket, bedtime stories and the hot pools (which I appreciated far more today because the weather was dreadful). Matthew had lots of fun with different faces to entertain him and lots of cuddles! He also loved the pools - just a big bath really!
Anyway, our aim for the weekend was achieved and it wasn't for me but I feel totally blessed and encouraged by them all. They are fab!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
So here's our Plunkett group: from left to right - Tessa, Finlay, Braedan, Emma, Matthew, Ruby, Bradley and Evie!
Ah - how cute! What you can't see is that we had to give Matthew a toy because he kept hitting out at Ruby and you may spot Bradley pulling on Ruby's neckerchief - he wanted to suck on it and go to sleep! Poor little girl - she got the worst spot to sit! Finlay was very tired and about to lose teh plot and Emma nearly slipped and lay down chewing on her feet! Can you imagine the carnage when they're all moving?!
www.upsidedowncharlotte.blogspot.com) and this year our church entered as a walking group 'telling' the nativity story. Neil was an innkeeper, I a shepherd and Matthew a sheep! Matthew didn't seem too impressed and slept all the way so won't be scarred from wearing the little ears and outfit! Here he is with two gorgeous girls from church, Hannah and Grace.
He kept himslef amused by shaking the sleigh bells - maybe he thought it may drown out the bagpipes band marching just ahead of us!
The 'float' looked great with rickshaws decked out as camels and a stable and a host of angels, wise men and a star - such a success we won first prize!
The Christmas season is in full swing and we had the youth Christmas party on Sunday night. It was an 'S' party (because it's the youth gathering has been Sunday @ Six) so we had Star Wars characters, a stocking, Santa, soccer player, special agent, something and something else! We also had a sausage sizzle and played Singstar (Neil and I sang Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen; we had no idea the words were quite as dodgy as they are!). Lots of fun was had and it was a great way to end the year.
On the last couple of Fridays we have been out walking with Matthew in the back pack. He absolutely loves being carried up high - he's the king of the castle - and he chats and giggles constantly (until he falls asleep!). In this part of the country you can either go for a stroll around the town or local park or go on a mammoth 3-6 hour tramp. There aren't gentle ambles between villages (and their local pubs) and along footpaths through farmer's fields. But we have found a few hour long walks in the local mountain forests which are really lovely, though can still be hazardous (Neil prefers 'adventurous') when trees have fallen and blocked the paths and we're trying to duck or climb over with a baby on our back - good job Matthew had a hat on is all I can say!
The beach is another favourite place to visit. Last week it was quite windy but the recent mixed weather (mixed putting it politely - it is so still spring here and not summer) had resulted in the tide bringing in an abundance of fantastic driftwood and somebody must have had fun building a tee-pee.
(PS: If anybody can instruct me on how to post two photos side by side without them touching I'd really like to know!)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Anyway, I have included a picture but it's not very clear because by the time the tree was decorated we were all roasting as the sun had come out and was streaming through the window - you couldn't even tell there were any lights on the tree!
Friday, December 01, 2006
While we had our cake and ate it, Matthew was trying a different delicacy. Another gorgeous friend, Lisa, had spotted the sand pit and thought Matthew needed initiating into this new world - her theory is if boys (and probably girls too for that matter) come in grubby and caked in mud and sand they've obviously had a really good day! Well, he was certainly intrigued, enough for it to take a good few minutes before he decided to take the taste test.