I hope you and your family have been enjoying a lovely Christmas break. The fact you are here reading Country Kids suggests that like us, you enjoyed some fresh air in between the Christmas feasting and pouring rain!
Well the news has been full of the rain in the south west and being down on the river at the bottom of the valley we have been swamped in it! That didn’t dampen the Spirits of our lovely hardy guests staying with us this year or do anything to deter our own children from having fun.
Despite the rain we had some little helpers each morning, and their help was much appreciated as the animals are munching their way through so much food to keep themselves healthy and warm in these short rainy days.
The Goats found their field a wash with rain water pouring down the valley right through their shelter. Thanks to a cunning idea from Farmer Nick we set to work building a platform from pallets with hardboard over and straw to give them a toasty dry escape from the relentless rain.
Thank you for following and supporting Country Kids throughout 2012, please join me on the last linky of the year here with your festive fresh air fun and I look forward to sharing more outdoor adventures in the New Year.
I sit here now on the afternoon of the 27th waiting for our New Year guests to arrive and reflecting on another Christmas just passed. It has been a happy time for us here at Coombe Mill and the children are still buzzing.
Christmas Eve, while the children played full of anticipation for the big day ahead, I was busy preparing for our annual open house party that evening. We are not a very religious family but I do like to support the Christmas Christingle service and 4.30 was my deadline to have the house and cooking ready to take everyone to Church. The children have grown up with this lovely service which is aimed at them and meets their expectations every time. Afterwards, mulled wine, mince pies, Father Christmas and presents outside church are a perfect combination and we always encourage our holiday makers to join us too.
The village activities finish by 6.30 and we then take over with our open house party for our family, friends and guests. This year we took advantage of the new BBQ hut in the garden to make a Santa’s grotto for farmer Nick and the hub for the cooking. In the house we had the drinks, the cold food accompaniments and puddings and everyone had a wonderful time milling between venues while the children raced round the house and in and out of our indoor play area together in an excited huddle, I’m sure forgetting to eat judging by mine when everyone had left!
When I grew up, Christmas day followed a strict regime, however now Nick and I like to keep the day flexible and go with the flow a little more. Stockings from Father Christmas are governed by waking times which stretches later each year. In this case 8.30 am, don’t worry if you still have youngsters, I promise 8.30 starts will happen to you too one day! It was a frenzy of presents and paper as they all dived in.
Feeding the animals is our only fixed agenda, which we always move from 9.00 am to 10.00 am on Christmas Day, to allow the deer time to return from a busy night helping Father Christmas and parents time to clear the debris from morning presents! A fun chance for all the families staying at Coombe Mill to get together and an hour in the fresh air for all.
Brunch for us was smoked salmon and scrambled egg, a little bit of a Christmas tradition and most welcome after an hour on the farm! We then interspersed presents with cooking playing, till Christmas dinner around 5.00 pm with all the trimmings. A final present opening was saved until everyone had helped clear up including bedrooms. I’ve never seen them work so fast and will remember this tip for a tidy house to finish on Christmas day next year!
Boxing day was a chilled out time off work day for us all and another lovely party at a friend’s house for their Birthday in the evening with all the children too; so chilled in fact I don’t have a photo to show, except for the Birthday cake I made!
For us there is always a drama at Christmas. Last year was the worst when we nearly lost Guy and Jed as they crashed and wrote off their brand new quad bike within 20 minutes of having it, half the children didn’t even manage to have a turn! It was February before it was back with us on the farm with many safety features installed! The year before we had -10 degree temperatures to contend with, a very sick farmer Nick and Farmer Fi (aka me), struggling to do the animals feed run and break the ice for the animals on their water troughs. This year it was the floods. Thank goodness the schools broke up late giving us maximum time to try and sort things but with a building project being flooded out and the farm a soup of mud we were all hands on deck at every waking hour to keep Coombe Mill open and presentable over the festive season. Thankfully I think we just about managed it with our guests and children seeing mainly the fun side of the water problems!
How was your Christmas? If you have blogged your Christmas adventures, please do join in the blog hop adding your Christmas fun on the link below.
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Can you imagine the excitement on my triplets faces when the tablets they had dreamed of and saved towards were finally opened on Christmas evening? They were overjoyed and despite it being 7pm on that special day evening they were desperate to open it up and have a play. With three older siblings and a propensity to lose or break things I was very keen to find a way to protect these new expensive and treasured devices. The lovely Sarah at Silver Birch Crafts had just the answer. Sarah makes all sorts of personalized gifts for every occasion from the most amazing fabric collection including sleeves for phones, tablets, kindle and i-pods; whatever your device, Sarah can make the perfect quality sleeve. I was thrilled when she offered to make sleeves especially for the triplets and from her wonderful selection I chose these three designs for my gang.
They arrived beautifully packaged and labelled and I can see why Sarah has such a thriving on line gift business. It felt a shame to unwrap the pretty tissue paper and ribbon in favour of Christmas wrapping paper! However once one Clio found hers, the boys hunted frantically to see if they had one too, of course they did and can you image 3 more delighted faces? Hardly a squeak was heard for the rest of the evening!
If you were lucky like the Triplets this Christmas and have a lovely new phone or tablet to protect, why not enter to Win one of Silver Birch Crafts amazing sleeves in your choice of fabric for your portable device worth from £8.99 – £17.99 here.
All you have to do is leave a comment below saying why you’d like to enter and what your chosen product requiring a personalized sleeve is. Remember to also leave a way for me to contact you.
For one final entry, please tweet the following sentence and leave another comment to say you have done so:
I’ve entered to win a personalised sleeve 4 my phone/tablet with @SilverBrchCraft & @coombemill http://bit.ly/W1VxHB Why don’t you? Pls RT
The competition is open to UK residents and will close on Wednesday 9th January at midnight with the winner announced the following morning. Good luck to all taking part.
Disclosure: I was given my table sleeves to review for this competition and keep for our triplets. However, the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
This competition is now closed, the winner is Sarah Clegg as chosen by Random.Org 10.1.13
True Random Number Generator 37