Mum cutting her Christmas Pudding. This is Sago Plum Pudding she makes every year.
It is so good!
The person who enjoyed it most was Harper! I am pretty sure this was the best day of her life! She has older cousins who played with her all day and they were all just beautiful.
They had so much fun!
This was Scarlett's first Christmas. She wore a little deer antler headband 😍
Aunty Chloe with Scarlett.
It was just a lovely day. I wish I took more photos but it was busy! I will remember this day forever!
I have to say when we got home I felt exhausted. I think I am still in recovery mode!
So down to business... some of the ways we saved and got ahead etc. were:
I got a free chicken from Coles. If they have no cooked chickens ask for a ticket to get a free one next time. Most Coles do this.
Every year I made Nan's tomato pie to take to Christmas. It isn't much of a recipe really but you can find it here. I always LOVED this and Nan served it with many roast dinners. It wasn't until recently that I realised it was a way she stretched the roast meat. We always had lots of vegetables and this was an extra. Left overs are great with eggs!
We came home from the farm with left overs! I love left overs! I didn't cook a thing for three days.
We had meat, eggs, cheeses, mini quiches Mum had made, wine, tomatoes, cherries, salad... it was wonderful!
Even with eating cherries constantly I had spares so yesterday I made Brandied Cherries. Today they are looking beautiful as the Brandy and Syrup are turning a beautiful ruby colour.
A couple of these will become gifts.
I made yoghurt.
I was given shampoo and conditioner.
Now I am adding up my last Vicky Challenge for the year. I am calling this close enough to the year end. So tonight I will add up the whole year! This challenge has motivated me every week! It has also given me more confidence to say that my work at home is an income. And it is. The things we do, create from nothing and cook etc are worth a lot. If we had no time and had to buy all these things it would cost a fortune!
Today I have a lot of cleaning up and putting away to do. Over the weekend I will put away the Christmas tree. I like to get to New Years Day with everything put away and a lovely clean house. To me this starts the year off well! I have a lot to do!
I LOVE these days between Christmas and New Year. I have started to write down all we did this year. Truly, I forget half of it until I start writing it down. We did a lot! We have some major home improvements. I made some progress with my health and fitness. Our family grew!
I look at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one as a big opportunity to have a review, make changes and plans. I love a new planner and a fresh new year.
And my new planner arrived yesterday! It is gorgeous! I get ridiculously excited about this!
I cannot tell you how much a planner and writing things down helps to actually get things done! I don't want to drift through a year, I want to set goals and achieve them!
The last three years this saw us clean out a cellar and fill it with emergency supplies and food.
It saw us learn so many new skills, set up back up plans like generators and rain water tanks and ways to cook in an emergency.
It saw us establish an emergency fund.
It filled my present cupboard with gifts.
Last year it saw me paint the whole house top to bottom.
Even really big dreams are achievable when you break them down to week by week and day by day. In fact I am convinced the biggest things are achieved by what we do in tiny bits daily.
So on Monday we will get up and running! If you want to join in think about what you want to achieve or change in 2018. What needs to happen for your family? What do you really need to change? What are you unhappy with?
I tend to set goals in different areas i.e. household, financial, health etc.
Sometimes I realise the things I decide to NOT do anymore are just as important as the things I decide I need to be doing.
Realising things that are just not working can be a really good thing. This is the time of year that I take the axe to those things! Don't keep doing something that isn't working!
A review is a real good thing. We have the power to change so much. We are able to learn so much.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me this year. In life I am always surprised. I remember different hard times in life when the people you are sure will stand by you don't and the ones you doubted turn out to be your best friends. I think that happens to us all! We get surprises! I always looked at this (after the initial shock) as good as really it is great to know what people are really made of and the truth rather than what you THOUGHT was the truth.
And so it is with blogging. I have had the most wonderful help from people I have never met and never could have expected help from! I have made the most wonderful friends! I am so grateful! You all have encouraged me so much.
There are people who read and never comment but from a few lately I have found out they feel like they know us all like friends!
As I began writing to a group of people who were my friends I have continued like this. So I am just writing to friends.
This also means I need to review what I write. A few times this year I almost couldn't write the blog as I was writing so much personal correspondence. I know realistically I have to choose between the two or I am messing up my own home life and family life. Usually I pretty much write everything on the blog. I have had letters from people asking me how I am and what is going on? It might be rude of me but I think well if they gave a flying fig they would already know! haha! So this is honestly ridiculous to re write everything I just wrote! So Im taking the axe to that!
For many this year was not easy. I can think of so many examples of this. A fresh new year is very welcome! But we also have so much to be grateful for. That is what I am thinking about now.
Have a lovely weekend and Happy New Year! xxx