Sian’s Story Telling Sunday

’tis the season

…to start my Advent Journal.
I lit my Advent Candle on the first Sunday of Advent this year and decided to start my Journal from then. This is the first entry in my book.

I haven’t really thought about the meaning or start of Advent since I was a young girl going to mass on a Sunday morning with the family.
It was such a special time, a time of preparation and anticipation for the birth of Jesus. I loved the ritual and the colour of Advent in the Church. The purple wall hangings and priests vestments, a symbol of Hope and Waiting.
The peace, the singing, candlelight and the deep earthy perfume of frankincense burning touched my soul.
Mum used to begin her preparation at home like everyone else, starting with the pudding made last Sunday. There was so little money and so many of us. How she did it never ceases to amaze me. She baked and stored things away, (later, not far enough away from brother Tim who loved her mince pies!)
She shopped and stashed things in her wardrobe (discovered by brother Martin). Her knitting needles flew through the evening, socks, hats and scarves for this person or that person.
Fabric, always a bit of fabric to be made into something for this dolly or that action man.
My parents were ‘famous’ around family friends and neighbours for the sweets they made and packaged so beautifully for gifts.
I remember making smooth glossy fudge, vanilla or chocolate or rum & raisin, my dad’s favourite.
We used to stand in a row waiting for a turn to pull the toffee from one end of the kitchen to the other (or so it seemed) fold it, like a bed sheet, and pull it out again to make it chewy and smooth.
The smell and the pink and green colours of the coconut ice, are still so vivid in my memory. I didn’t like the smell of it then or now.
How our parents coped with the endless stream of demands, the television advertising and peer pressure remains a mystery. I can’t ask mum now of course but I know what she would have said. “Just get on with it!” that was her answer to lots of things. I realised as I grew up that she was a very strong Irish lady with an unshakable faith in the Lord. Only He had the answers. She certainly did not she told us, so she left things in His hands.

I have her strength and some of her faith. For that and all our childhood Christmases I thank her.

Thank you to Sian for linking all these wonderful stories together.

Merry December story telling to you all.

The cover of my Journal

and my entry for The First Sunday in Advent

I will share my JYC pages during the week. Hope you have a happy day today.

Advent 2010

This is the last page of my Advent book, finished just before 12th night as I had hoped (hooray!) I didn’t get ’round to posting my pages each day so the whole project is here.

December 26th

Boxing Day is such a lovely day almost a Christmas day part two. The house is full of lovely things to eat and drink, there is time to play with the Christmas gifts, time to have a lie in and a non-cooking day. We have a beautiful fish platter (a Christmas treat) and a wonderful sherry trifle in the fridge for today.
I have loved putting this advent book together again although this year I found it tough going.
I was busy at work, Paul wasn’t busy with work but Ben was working which was really strange. I also tried to keep up with my blog posts.
I have a few days off work now so the plan is to finish this, my Simple Things book and In My Garden book.
I would like them all ‘done & dusted’ before 12th night.
On Boxing day, in the evening, Paul & l always talk about ‘Christmas day’ & how it was for both of us.
Christmas is always a difficult time for me, I am never really happy and I am always pleased when the day is over. I really hate feeling like this and try so hard to fight it, so in the late evening, when we are alone, I like to talk about all the good things. So for the first time ever I have put some of my thoughts into words. But, as its a first, here is a list (my name is Miriam and I make lists) of all the best bits, with no great long explanations or explanations of any sort.
This year we decided to exchange just one gift each. This plan completely failed when it came to my gift/s.
I stuck to the plan with Ben, we bought a gift for Paul
I stuck to the plan with Paul, we bought a gift for Ben
They didn’t stick to the plan and each bought me a gift
We all loved what had been so carefully chosen for each other
My brother Alan came over again & as agreed, only ephemeral gifts were exchanged this year, it was just perfect
My lunch was beautiful
Alan’s champagne was chilled and sparkling
I talked to all my brothers
We laughed loads
It was perfect
I know I am loved
This has been cathartic. I will write more about it, but not here.

In my garden 2010

In my garden, the last page in my year long project. I have really loved doing this project, both in terms of the diary writing and getting out and taking the pictures. Like all these books we do, it is so good to look back on.
The complete project is here


December 2010

In my garden December 2010

We have had the coldest December for many years. Beautiful sunrise followed by frost, snow, icy winds, or morning fog before wonderful sunsets has been the pattern for this month. Most of the plants in the garden are blackened with frost. All but the basket by the back door and the bay tree have suffered in this weather. The week before Christmas brought heavy snow which is taking days and days to go. The paths are treacherous but the roads are now clear. The lawn looks like the Somme where the snow and Pepsi have been! Monday 27 December

Simple Things Project 2010

Here is my last page for the Simple Things Project that I have been joining in with over at IACW
The girls actually finished with a word for November but I couldn’t leave it finished there. So the word I choose for December was Hope, I thought it kind of summed up the end of the year 2010 and the start of the New Year, 2011

December ♥ Hope

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.
Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Hope goes with prayer in my mind

At the end of a very difficult year filled with so much change and uncertainty for us as a family, I am hoping and praying for stability in 2011

Some of the things I am praying for right now:
Always top of my list is work for Paul
The sale of the house
Ben’s three-month review with Apple will have a positive outcome for him.
I will have the motivation and will power to loose some weight, then I will have more energy for work and to walk Pepsi.

I am also praying that Gerard and Martin will be well and that as a family we will be strong for Sara & Brian as they face a difficult and uncertain future with Alec.


I have enjoyed doing this project although towards the end of the year it was more difficult to keep going.
I am pleased that I wasn’t too ambitious with it!
It was organized by a group of people whose commitment waned as the months went by making it hard sometimes to keep my enthusiasm up!
Never the less I hope that in the future it will be nice to look back on 2010 to remember that there were some good times.

My competed (hooray!) project is here

Advent 2010

I know it’s only October, but I have no idea where we will be or how much of my craft space will be available in November so I decided to put my Advent 2010 book together last night.
It is the same format as last year but I just love using the Christmas cards!



I loved Mels design feature on her note book mine is definitely a punching error! but I like it… thanks for the inspiration Mel

Have a look at Ali Edwards December Daily project, it is beautiful.

My 2009 Advent book is here if you want to take a look. I looked at the book last night, It brought back happy memories and made me smile, so for that reason alone I’m doin’ it again. x