Thursday, 18 December 2014

December 17th - Make Christmas cards

I think the elf was tired today:
 We made Christmas cards today. They were super simple - we just used stickers from Baker Ross.  P had so much fun with it and I wrote them for me. 
Product Details

Today we read Cat in the Manger which tells the Nativity through the eyes of a cat.

Me and G went to see the Wind in the willows in London which was just lovely. A simple very child friendly version using action, dance, song, music and puppetry - the weasels and stoats were not scary! It had Alan Titchmarsh narrating.

                                             Cris Penfold and the cast of The Wind in the Willows at the Vauderville Theatre © ROH. Photographer Johan Persson, 2014

December 16th - Make Gingerbread houses

Today the Elf was guarding this gingerbread house kit:
 I and P then got to work making it.  It was quite straightforward - they did it no help:



 G made her own:


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 She used this recipe:

300ml black treacle
3tsp ground cinnamon
3tsp ground ginger
1-3tsp ground cloves
200g butter, softened
180g caster sugar
2 eggs
2tsp bicarb of soda
500g plain flour

She used a food mixer to mix all the ingredients except the flour and bicarb. 
Then she added the flour and bicarb and mixed again to make a smooth dough. She chilled overnight in the fridge before rolling.

We preheated the oven to 200C. She then used the lakeland mould to help her shape it. We baked for 10 to 15minutes until it was just beginning to darken. Then we left it to cool before G decorated it.

We read   Product Detailswhich has Madeline competently running the household as everyone else is poorly when she meets a magical-rug merchant.  It is slightly odd story! 

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Monday, 15 December 2014

December 15th - a trip to London

Today the Elf clearly was a little homesick:
We then had a fab day out in London.

First we went ice-skating (again) at Somerset house:

Then we had lunch at The Parlour, Fortnam and Mason where the girls had sandwiches and amazing ice-creams and I had a G and T float! 



Then we went on a Paddington Bear hunt and to look at the Christmas lights.





Then we read Product Details which I just love!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

December 14th - celebrate a birthday

Today is E's 7th birthday.  I managed to fail to get a photo but the Elf was guarding E's presents.  We went ice-skating in Cambridge, had Pizza at Jamie's and then had a birthday party to the Pantomime - a thoroughly Christmas birthday.




Happy birthday loud, crazy, exhausting lovely lady.  You are so full of life- you love singing and dancing and especially annoying G.

We read  Product Detailswhich is the story of the nativity but told from the eyes of a little girl and a baby donkey.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

December 13th - Lucia day

Today we had music:



Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means 'light' so this is a very appropriate name.  December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

 We made lussekat buns:

150 g (3 tablespoons) butter
5 dl (2 1/4 cups) milk
2 teaspoons yeast
1 g saffron
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
1,5 dl (1/2 cup) sugar
2 eggs
17 dl (6 cups) white flour
Egg and raisins for garnishing



Set the oven to 225°C.  Melt the butter. Add milk and warm to lukewarm (37°C). Mix out yeast in some of the milk. Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle, or dissolve it in the milk. Mix milk, yeast, saffron, salt, sugar and whisked egg (and raisins if used) with most of the flour. Work the dough until it lets go of the bowl, adding more flour if necessary. Spread some flour over the dough and cover it with a clean towel. Let it rise to double its size. Work the dough lightly on a floured surface. It should be a light, pliable and rather loose dough. Form wreaths or buns, for example s-shaped. Put them on a non-stick oven paper on an oven tray and let rise for 30-40 minutes.Brush with whisked egg and garnish
with raisins on the rolled-up ends. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

We read Product Details- a fitting Swedish story with fantastic pictures.

Friday, 12 December 2014

December 12th - sing some Christmas carols

Today the elf has been reading:

The girls went to their school carol service and enjoyed singing traditional carols.

We read Angelina's Christmas. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

December 11th - another present of a board game

Today the elf has been writing on the mirror with toothpaste:


And we got a given a gift of a board game Product Details.  It is really simple game where have to make the sound of or act or do both of whatever is on the picture on the card whilst the rest of the players guess what you are doing!  Simple and fun! 

We read Stickman Product Details