Tag Archives: New Year

#thisismyhappy 2017

I’ve been sharing pictures for a while now on Instagram with the hashtag #thisismyhappy and I love it because it makes me focus on the here and now.  It also makes me realise that my happy can be a lot of things – breastfeeding the toddler, baking with my still little (but not for long) girl, walking in the park with my currently home educated boys, going out for dinner with the biggest boy, having my hair done, spending time with friends, collapsing on the sofa at the end of the day and watching TV with the lovely husband (I don’t generally instagram that…), and, of course, lots of introverty quiet time on my own thinking, planning, working and just being.

And today I shared a picture of my happiest start to any new year ever – a whole day of planning and working on my own, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.  I’ve seen the writing on the wall for home ed, and I’m bowing out gracefully, though not in a hurry – I’m going to try and enjoy every last bit of this current home ed year.  And there are still the toddler years to enjoy (yes, really! – if there’s one benefit to having a fifth child, it’s being able to enjoy every stage wholeheartedly, including the really not terrible at all twos…)  But I’m also looking ahead and getting excited about doing things for me again.

planning day

I’m looking forward to so many things this year.  And there are other things that are scary unknowns, and some that are downright definitely difficult.  But I’m just going to go with the flow, and even if there are some deposits in the bank of bad days (credit to Matt Haig for this very helpful concept – even bad days can be banked as proof you can survive them), today, nothing can steal my joy.

Isaiah 43:19

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

A White Christmas at Butlins

We’re spending Christmas with my family this year, and I’m looking forward to it.  My brother and his wife will be over from Australia, which makes it a special one, and some friends from way back when will be joining us with their toddler.  With such a lovely crowd, I’m sure it will be a good one, but I must admit that some years we feel tempted to get away from it all and go on holiday for Christmas instead.

I’ve just found out that Butlins stays open over Christmas and New Year, which I didn’t realise before, so I’ve been fantasy planning for future years!  I was pleasantly surprised that it’s cheaper than I thought it would be – Christmas themed breaks start from only £41 per person, for a 3 night break.

 butlins christmas 1

Since the weather turned colder, our children have been asking me to check the forecast every day to see if it is going to snow, and of course they are dreaming of a white Christmas.  At Butlins this year, it’s guaranteed!  In each of the resorts, there will be a magical Snowstorm show that takes place in the Skyline Pavilion.

butlins christmas 2

There are Christmas themed short breaks at all three Butlins resorts, at Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, from 13th December.  There are a lot of fun activities included in the price of the break.  As well as the Skyline Snowstorm, there’s  a Winter Wonderland – where every child will get a free gift from Father Christmas, an Ice Rink, Christmas themed arts and crafts, and a traditional family pantomime.  If you are staying over Christmas Day, you will be treated to a 5 course Christmas dinner, so you won’t have to worry about cooking or washing up!

butlins christmas 3

There will also be live entertainment from children’s TV characters like Mike the Knight or Angelina Ballerina, and there are so many things for kids to do around the resorts, the only problem might be fitting everything in!  The indoor sub-tropical Splash Waterworld is always popular with our children, and there are traditional fairground rides too.

If you are visiting over New Year, your break will include a New Year’s Eve party for the whole family, with a spectacular fireworks display, and live entertainment throughout your stay.

You can book online or call 0845 070 4730.  All breaks are priced per person and subject to availability.

I love the idea of a family holiday at Christmas, and if it fits in with the plans of our extended family, we would definitely consider it in future years.


We are Butlins Ambassadors for 2013 and 2014.  Although we won’t be there at Christmas this year, we are looking forward to visiting both Minehead and Bognor Regis in 2014.

Christmas and New Year

Owl’s round-up of the highlights of December and January so far

On the first day of December, we opened the first door of our Lego city advent calendar, and in the afternoon we went to our church fair.

On the fourth, we went to see Rabbit’s Dramabuds show.  Rabbit was very good as the witch, Horrid Hagrid.

I sang in my choir concert on the ninth of December, and Mummy, Daddy, Granny and Monkey came to watch me.

The next weekend, on the 15th, it was Mummy and Daddy’s choir concert and Granny and I went to watch.  The following day it was our Home Ed group nativity, talent show and party.  After the party we went to the Christingle service at our church.

On the 21st we went to the theatre in the afternoon to see the Elves and the Shoemaker, and in the evening Monkey and I performed in our violin concert.  The next morning, we went back to the theatre to see another show, called All I want for Christmas.

On the 23rd, we went to the Italian restaurant near our house for lunch with Mummy’s aunt, uncle and cousin.

On Christmas Eve we went to see Father Christmas at the Garden Centre.  On the way there, our car broke down, but we were very lucky because Granny and our friend came to take us all there in two cars.  Then Daddy managed to get a minibus from a car hire company just before they closed for Christmas.  In the evening we went to church for the nativity service.  Tiddler and I dressed up as shepherds, Monkey was a sheep and Rabbit was a king.

On Christmas day we woke up very excited.  We opened our stockings, had breakfast and then set off for Granny and Grandpa’s house.  When we got there we opened our presents and had smoked salmon sandwiches for lunch.  We played with our new toys and in the evening we had Christmas dinner.

A few days later, we went home for the family Christmas dinner at our other Granny’s church.  Then we went back to spend New Year at Granny and Grandpa’s.

On the third and fourth of January, Monkey, Rabbit and I went to the Dramabuds holiday club, ending with a winter wonderland show.

On the sixth we went to see a pantomime at Epsom Playhouse.  It was Snow White and we all really enjoyed it.

On the seventh, Monkey and I had our piano lesson and then went to play at a friend’s house.  We made a big Lego city scene out of his new and old Lego.

Now we are staying at Granny and Grandpa’s house again.  We have been on treasure hunts inside and out in the village, and we have played with Lego, games and cars.  We have been doing Maths and English websites and lots of reading.  We had to hire another minibus for this week because our car is still broken.