Wednesday, January 14, 2015

December recap!

Sometimes I think the lead-up to Christmas is more fun than the day itself. The kids love anticipating the days in December, counting down sleeps to go and eating a chocolate each morning from their advent calendars. Because there are five of them, I just get the cheap $3 ones from Target and they are happy with that.

This year for one of our FHEs in December we went to Kmart and did "secret siblings", as I like to call it. The kids get pocket money throughout the year, just whatever their age is per fortnight, so Flynn has been getting $3 a fortnight, Jonty $5 and so on. It goes into their own bank accounts and they are always bugging me to go online so they can see how much they have. Some of them like saving their birthday money too and so some have grown and some have dwindled a bit with things they have wanted to buy. The two younger ones have not touched theirs but I did let one child, spend almost all their savings on something they "just had to have" so they could learn the lesson of next time wanting something and finding that it was already spent on something they probably didn't want anymore.

So each child was given $10 out of their bank accounts and before we left home, they drew a name each out of a hat and had to keep it a secret from each other. When we got to Kmart, Simon and I went around helping them pick a present worth $10 for the sibling they drew out of the hat.

It was SO funny trying to keep the presents hidden from each other. I loved how each child seemed to know exactly what their sibling would like and were very excited to go off and find something. At the end, we all picked something for a child to go under the Kmart wishing tree for  the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal. 

It was also fun trying to teach Jonty the value of $10. He just kept picking really expensive gifts and we kept saying, "just a one and a zero Jonty".

Then on the way home, 50c Maccas ice cream cones sealed the deal for a great FHE for the kids.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Flynn spent a lot of time with this handbag that he would keep putting Christmas decorations in to carry around with his other little toys. Sprung with a decoration in his hand in this photo.

Swimming lessons for Hallie, Oliver and Jonty finished and Flynn enjoyed bringing his "bubba" along to their lessons.

And showing off his future surfing skills with requisite "butt crack".

We packed oodles of Cadbury chocolate to send out as missionary parcels to family and friends.

Our school is only 9 houses away and we walk everyday rain, hail or shine so we finished off a year of walking to school with a few friends.

We had the school presentation evening for both WPS and St Pat's, that I blogged about earlier.

Simon built the kids a sand pit for Christmas and put it together for them, a few weeks beforehand.

I got some beautiful Christmas presents from my places of work and felt very spoiled.

The week before Christmas, all 7 of us got gastro. So a lot of time was spent on the couch waiting to feel better.

Toby and Collette arrived on the 16th of December to stay with us and then go to Hobart and come back up with Hayden on the 24th of December to celebrate Christmas with us.

Tony helping (ahem) with feeding the cat.

The week of Christmas, commencing the 22nd, I worked everyday at the butcher shop as it was SUPER busy. I've never seen anything like it. It made the days go really fast but boy was it insane. On the night of the 22nd, we had Simon's work BBQ at our place. It was so much fun and all the kids had such a great time.

It was also timed perfectly with Santa coming around that night on the fire truck handing out lollies.

It was nice to see the yard full of cars and spend some time relaxing before Christmas Day.

The next night after work, we drove to town to meet up with the Woodwards and Kings for Aaron's birthday celebration. I love the tradition we have for his birthday and although my wish of him being here with his family, won't come true in this life, I think he is very happy that we get together for a few laughs and family time.

It started to pour with rain at Punchbowl but it wasn't cold and everyone squealed as we ran to our cars to go to the cemetery. We got SO wet but it was heaps of fun and the kids giggled all the way to the cemetery.

At the cemetery it stopped raining and sure enough a beautiful rainbow appeared just over the cemetery, just after Lisa joked about Aaron sending one.

{photo courtesy of Lisa in this post}

We had our drinks of Pepsi ready and raised them as we let the balloons go that Lisa had brought. Aaron would have been 42 years old. That night I was thinking what I miss about how much I miss seeing Aaron  with his family but also that night, I was thinking of all the ribbing he would have been giving Lisa now that she too, wears glasses.

Over at Noah's grave, Flynn was being very careful and treating all the toys so gently and talking to himself. He just knows there is something about the area and even though I have told him not to pick other toys up besides Noah's, if he has, he seems to know to treat them with reverence and has put them back straightaway very carefully.

The next night, I felt completely wasted from working a 22 hour straight shift, but it was Christmas Eve so I was very excited to get home and hang out with the kids while we waited for Collette and Hayden to come up from Hobart. We have started a little tradition of having Korean food for tea and opening our "secret sibling" presents on Christmas Eve. The kids love it and I even tried to talk Hallie into playing "Hark the Herald Angels" sing on the trumpet (it sounds very cool) but she opted not to.

Our neighbours and I exchange treats at Christmas time and when they arrived on our door, with this amazing gingerbread tree, I knew they had taken the treat drop-offs to a whole new level. :)

Sarra also had a day on the 18th of Dec with some school friends to celebrate her upcoming 14th birthday on Boxing Day. Simon took her and 5 friends to the PCYC for some rock climbing and then to Bentos in Kings Meadows for lunch.

I'm very proud of Simon for surviving a whole 4 hours with a group of 6 teenagers!!

WPS held their annual Advent Pageant, where each class showcased a Christmasy themed performance. Jonty is in the back second from the left.

Flynn went to his early learning/pre-kinder end of year excursion at Brickendon on the 12th of December and had a HEAP of fun with the farm animals.

It certainly proved to be a very busy month, and after December,we always look forward to a nice relaxing January with fingers crossed, some warm sunny weather. You never can tell with Tassie though. :)

No comments: