Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Merry Christmas from us all

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays as much as we are.

We had such a fun couple of days.

Firstly celebrating my youngest nephew's 4th birthday on Christmas Eve (his birthday is actually on Christmas Day, but so that he gets to have a special day all to himself it is usually celebrated on a different day.)

And then on Christmas Day we had my parent's in law and sister in law around for the day, which always results in great hilarity!

I'll post some photos in another post when I have a chance to edit them (see all the red eyes above!)

Christmas love to everyone :0)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Final preparations

The parties have been........

School finished yesterday lunchtime with a special assembly.......

Which included the lovely singing of the choir (above) which includes sons no1 and 2, some excellent trombone playing by son no1, and a recap of one of the nativity songs by the infants, which included son no 3.

Mince pie after mince pie has been baked (and devoured!).......

Vats of fudge and Peppermint Bark have been made.......

And the stack of goodies under the tree is growing.......

The boys have a special song for you all tomorrow too!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Things I'm loving...


This week it was the school nativity play.

The Primary 2s always do the acting and the Primary 1s sit in front of the stage and help with the songs.

Since our David is a big Primary 2 boy, he was one of the shepherds and had a whole line to say.

The most handsome shepherd I have ever seen.

And I can say that truthfully, as when his older two brothers were in the nativity play they were a villager and a wise man (the most handsome villager, and wise man ever, of course!)

My cake decorators have been busy again this week, following on from their success with the Captain America cakes last week.

James and Calum made these snowmen to put on the cupcakes I made for the Sunday School Christmas party. 

Then they offered to decorate our Christmas cake. 

They did all the decorating, including rolling out the marzipan and icing.

Can you tell who it's meant to be?

I'll let you know next week!

 But the biggest thing we have been loving this week has been, being on TV!!

The piece that we recorded back in September, of us test driving a car for a Gaelic TV programme was shown this week. It wasn't too embarrassing, thankfully.

You can watch it by clicking on the link below. We are on at around 6 minutes. And there are subtitles too!

Autographs available on request :0)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

How to make a paper snowflake video tutorial

Calum and David came out of Sunday School this weekend with these lovely paper snowflakes.

Last night while we were making some paper chain decorations and some different paper snowflakes, Calum showed me how they had made the snowflakes in Sunday School.

It was so simple and he did such a good job of demonstrating that we decided to make a wee film of it and share it.

I know the video is a touch on the dark side, and you also hear Alasdair at the start as he wanted a shot of the camera, and then he wanted his own scissors, but life is never quiet in our house anyway!

Once you make the snowflake then you can add some ribbon to hang them up or an extra wee star with a Bible verse on it.

The paper chain templates for the chains David is working on can be found here.

You can also find some very cool snowflake templates here.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Tune for Tuesday

I was going to have a wee Christmas tune for you tonight but then when I was trying to play the piano, little man insisted on having a go, and since he was doing such a good job I decided to let him entertain you all instead.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Things I'm loving this week...


There have been so many things I have been loving this week I couldn't narrow it down.

So here we go.

Making Christmas memories.

Each boy has a their own most treasured tree ornament that they hang themselves. The other ornaments can be hung by any boy but not these special ones.

Little man wasn't quite able to hang is own though and every time he tried it just fell to the floor!

Success, with a little help.

My brave oldest nephew had an operation this week and since he is as big a Captain America fan as James is, James wanted to make some special cakes for him.

I made the cupcakes but the decor, including colouring the sugarpaste, was done entirely by James and Calum.

My cosy Christmas mantlepiece, with some favourite Christmas ornaments....

.......and the festive scented candle my beloved bought me.

The special bond of brothers, especially older brothers who are so good at looking after youngest brothers and making things fun for them.

And finally, the rare chance for me to not be outnumbered by boys, at my husband's sister's annual girls-only Christmas party last night. My almost-as-equally-outnumbered-by-boys brother's wife also escaped from her houseful of boys and came along too.

It was such a fun night, including plenty of chocolate cake, and finished off with our Secret Santa gifts.

Here is my husband's sister on the left ready to be Santa!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Recipe of the Week - Christmas Stained Glass Biscuits

Today will be remembered as the day of the hurricane.

Yesterday the MET Office issued a red warning for storm force winds across the central belt of Scotland today. Schools were closed and the police advised against any travel.

There were times when we thought the front of the house was going to blow in! Amazingly, so far, there has been no damage in our little street. Plenty more so in other places though.

What better thing to do then, than bake some Christmas biscuits to put on the tree, as well as plenty extras to eat!

Making these stained glass Christmas biscuits is one of our Christmas traditions.

To make them you need any basic biscuit (cookie) dough, some Christmassy cutters and some boiled sweets (candies?).

I use a recipe I have adapted from Nigella (who else?)

To make wheat & dairy free Christmas biscuits you will need:

10oz Doves Farm Wheat Free Self Raising Flour
2tsp mixed spice
3 oz dairy free margarine
3 oz light brown sugar
2tbsp runny honey
1-2 beaten eggs

~Put the flour and spice in a food processor and blitz until mixed.
~Add the butter, then blitz, then add the sugar and blitz again.
~Now add the honey, blitz it in, and slowly add the eggs.. You probably won't need all of the eggs, but you might, so go slowly here, stopping the blitzing when everything comes together as a dough.
~Now roll out your biscuit dough on a floured surface and cut out your shapes then place on greased baking trays.
~Once on the trays cut out a shape in the centre and place a boiled sweet in this centre.

~If your sweet is too big for the hole in the biscuit, just crush it up a little with a pestle and mortar and fill the hole with chunks of sweetie instead.

~You will also need to make little holes at the top of each shape you plan to hang on the tree. Use a skewer or cocktail stick for this.

~Bake at 180C for around 15-20 minutes, after which your biscuits will be golden and the sweets will have melted and filled up the middle.

~Leave to cool on the trays as the stained glass centre will be hot, hot, hot!

~Once cooled you can thread them and hang them up. If you find that the hole has closed up a little in cooking, thread a needle and sew the string through it. Works perfectly!

They look so pretty hanging on the tree with the fairy lights shining behind them.

I think we have hung them high enough so that they won't be too much temptation to a certain little two year old :0)

Oh and I also make these biscuits at Christmas without the stained glass part, just for eating, adding just sprinkle of icing sugar over them when they are cool.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

This is a bit of a long term WIP.

 I started it back in September and I did know I was in for a long haul project before I started it. Especially as it isn't the only thing I have been working on.

It's going to be one of the Christmas presents from me to the older three boys, although I'm thinking I might actually write that it's from Alasdair on the card.

Although it's a big project, it's not a hard one. Just lots and lots of granny squares. I'm almost done the squares,  I've now got to sew them all together.

While the boys were at school today Alasdair and I laid them out to get an idea of what it's going to look like, and here it is, complete with the chart I'm working from and a solitary extra black square. The gaps are where I still need to make more squares (8 white and 8 cream, since you ask).

In case anyone out there is looking at it blankly and wondering what it is, it's the mushroom thing from Super Mario Brothers.

And I'm making it into a rug for the family/play room. 

I thought about adding some more squares and making it into a blanket, which I might still do eventually, but for as far as Christmas is concerned, it's a rug. If I do make it into a blanket, I'll need to make it a decent sized one so that three boys can snuggle under it on the sofa whilst watching a movie. Actually, make that four.

It's an impressive size once assembled and here is Alasdair admiring it to give you an idea of the scale.

All he really wanted to do was keep running across it!

My inspiration came from here, although I'm using a different granny squares pattern.

I have a lot of sewing ahead of me in the next two and a bit weeks, so if you'll excuse me............