Fantastic Christmas, with lots of craft-y stuff done throughout December. We’d missed out on doing much craft over the last couple of years, as Emily had gone off doing it, but she was keen this year and it was fun to get back to making decorations and the like. After Christmas, Emily was 14 on the 2nd January – my goodness, seems hard to believe! Every year since she was five, we’ve always decorated the dining room with a surprise theme for her birthday. At five it was princesses, six was ballet, seven was snow queen, eight was Harry Potter, nine was ancient Egypt, ten was jungle/butterflies/parrots (we got Lulu the day after her 10th birthday), eleven was disco, twelve was London, thirteen was vintage…. this year was books.
Anyone who knows Emily’s passion for books and reading will not be surprised to find that she was over the moon with this surprise. We decorated in secret with all manner of things made from book pages (from charity shop 10p books), inspired by lots of book page art I found on Pinterest – we had book page vines, book page wreaths, book page mobiles, book page letters, book page pom-pom ish bunting, a book page tablecloth and a huge “tree” (cut from the garden) covered in book page leaves 🙂 🙂 It took hours of effort, but it looked amazing when we were done – the photos don’t do it justice. Emily also had tiny miniature books on her birthday cake, each with readable pages. Naturally, she had a ton of books among her birthday presents……and has barely surfaced from the since.
In general oh-look-haven’t-blogged-for-months catchup terms: Home ed is going fantastically well, and Emily’s added linguistics to psychology as a new potential career choice. Lincolnshire County Council appear to have finally got the message and given up on their demands for “evidence” from us – a report was “due” in September 2012, but they’ve gone awfully quiet apart from the occasional email attaching revised policy documents for my information (not much of an improvement on the old documents, mind you, but still). Emily’s happy, healthy and glowing, and her hand eczema pretty much cleared up over the Autumn. Jon and I are full of positivity about a wide range of new projects/career interests. The writing market is really starting to pick up, and lots of new work is being commissioned from us. Emily still has Blue, of course – he’s been stabled at night throughout the autumn/winter, so the mucking out has added an extra hour to our horsey time each day, but he’s settled really well into it despite not enjoying being stabled as a general rule. Spring is on its way and he’ll be back to 24 hour turnout soon, I daresay. Among Emily’s Christmas presents was a bitless bridle which he’s really taken too; he seems a lot more relaxed without a bit and also a lot more energetic (if he can be both at the same time, which trust me, he can be). Looking forward to 2013 as it gets underway 🙂
And so for the obligatory massive photo catchup, with some from Christmas and some from birthday. Ta-da! [Hmm. WordPress has decided to insert all these photos, full size, into a huge long list. Not what I had intended, but I’ve run out of time to fix it now. If your page takes forever to load this lot, you’ll just have to take my word for it that they’re all lovely ……. 😉 ]