It all started boxing day. It was time to rid ourselves of the bamboo jungle that the boys had been living in, so we had a wallpaper ripping party. It began with Donald and I then Jan and the boys all joined in to peel the old wallpaper off the walls in the boys room. Sam and Ethan really got stuck into it. It took us two half days to spray and soak the wallpaper with water and peel it off. Then Toby joined us with a bit of wall scrubbing. The room looks so different already a little more spacious. We've been prepping the walls and sanding so I can't wait to add some colour.
After a lovely Christmas at home it was time to get back out into the world. We spent a warm Boxing day morning at Wiseman's ferry. Luckily we got there reasonably early as I think everybody had the same idea...sitting by the river having a picnic, getting eaten by mossies. The more the people came the less the mossies ate us. It was a hot day and the boys enjoyed exploring by the river.
Watching my boys give each other the presents they had made and seeing their joy, pride and enjoyment in giving them. Ethan made dream catchers for Sam and Toby. Toby made a beaded leather bookmark for Sam and Ethan. Sam drew a comic book each for Ethan and Toby.
Making roast turkey with the most delicious stuffing and roast veggies.
Eating the most delicious Christmas dinner with my family.
Christmas cracker bling boys.
The joy Toby gets from his new fireman umbrella.
Going for a walk Christmas evening down to the boys school to use up some energy.
Our Christmas Eve was filled with a few Hammond/Walker traditions
1. Donald must make a trip to the shops in the afternoon for last minute presents (usually for me).
2. Lisha (& Jan) prepare nibblies, dips, fruit, cheeses and burn the prunes in bacon while Donald wraps presents.
3. We finally eat the said prepared food and drink fizzy drink out of the good crystal glasses, this years choice A&W root beer and grapetise.
4. We eat trifle. Madeira cake covered with tinned fruit salad, jelly, custard and cream topped off with crumbled chocolate flake.
5. Donald sits by the Christmas tree and hands out one present at a time and we watch the joy as each present is opened and admired. We keep doing this until we've all had enough and save a few presents each to open Christmas morning.
6. Leave out for Santa a glass of egg nog, some star cookies and a carrot for the reindeer then the boys go to bed or Santa can't come.
7. Then we eat some more trifle, if there's any left we eat some for breakfast too.
Ever since I have known Donald he and his family have celebrated the Eve of Christmas by giving presents to each other and eating lots of nibblies and trifle. I think Donald's grandmother on his Dad's side, Ruth Lilian Walker's family were of German decent. So they have continued the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve as have we. So it is fitting that when my mum was in Germany last year she bought us home a little wooden nativity candle pyramid. I just love them, we have yet to find candles to fit, light and make the fan spin round, but we make do just blowing them in the mean time.
This year my mum's thoughtful neighbour Katherine, who is also from Germany, sent down with my mum two little wooden Christmas candle pyramids for us. She's always giving the boys special treats. Thank you Katherine, I could think of nothing better than to deck my shelves with German woodwork. Oh I have dreams of so much more.
Merry Christmas Eve to you all and Happy Christmas Day too. I hope this season brings you and your families much joy.
Last night we braved the masses and went to the Carols by candlelight at the Sydney temple and to see the beautiful temple lights. We had no intentions of staying for long just to hear a few carols and walk around to see the lights. We didn't quite realise that most of the lights get turned on half way through the carols. At least we had our free candles they were giving out to play with and drip wax all over our clothes. So it was a waxy, late night.
While we were sitting on our blanket we started chatting to the people sitting beside us, Carli and her clan and Michelle from Kellyville. I told my new friend Michelle, the real reason I was here was because Graeme a finalist from "So you think you can dance, Australia", was supposed to be singing at the carols. I'm a bit of a fan of Graeme's, he was my favourite male dancer from the show see here. Later in the evening I saw him from a distance as my new friend Michelle pointed him out, she suggested I go over and get a photo or at least say hi, at which point I turned into a blushing, babbling giddy school girl too shy to even contemplate going up to this 20 year old dancer. Anyway I settled myself in to listen to the carols as Donald had taken the boys for a walk to see the lights, which had been turned on by now. Michelle came up to me dragging a young man dressed in a light suit no taller than myself and introduced him as Graeme. Oh my goodness, my legs turned to jelly as he offered me a hug.... a hug!! I don't know what Michelle had whispered in his ear, but he gave ME a hug. I babbled something about thinking he was fantastic and that I'd voted for him on the show all the while blushing. What a dag am I. I couldn't even contemplate getting a photo with him, so sorry no proof here but the little smile that keeps appearing on my face today as I remember the flutter of my heart at my girlish crush. To finish the evening Graeme sang "Silent night" I sat listening with a big goofy grin on my face. Thank you Michelle (distant relative of Graemes) for making my night and making me smile.