Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Storytelling Sunday

For the past few months some of the bloggers that I follow were doing something called 'Storytelling Sunday'.   I got treated to some of the most wonderful stories, but I thought that they were just for a few select people. I later found out that it was for anyone and that it was started over at  From High In The Sky.  So this year I have decided to join in too.  I am not sure how often I will find the time so I am just going to roll with it.  I wasn't going to write a story this week as I don't have a New Year story.  I have no memories of any New Year celebrations and when I was old enough to work I always volunteered for a shift as it was double time :-)  However, after reading all of the stories posted so far I have decided that it isn't too late to join in with a random story about us.  This one answers a question that many of you have asked me in the past.

How one became red ...

Most of our photos, no matter where we happen to be, look like this ...

or this ...

or this ...

or this.

Do you see a pattern forming?  No?  Look more closely at the shirts ... now do you see it?  Our family is black & white.  There is no other option as each child had their own Newcastle United strip from birth.  I didn't even have a choice in this matter so even I became black & white. Although when it came down to actually buying a shirt for myself I chose an away strip that was blue :-) (And I have only worn it once when I went to a match).

One year The Extrovert started a conversation with "Dad, you support Newcastle because you were born there ..."
There is never going to be a happy ending when a conversation starts like this!
To which Dad replied with a long, quiet, drawn out "Yeeeeessssssssss".
"Well I wasn't born there so do I have to support Newcastle too?"
Can you picture the silence at this point?  I bet a million things were going through the Dad's head.
"I guess you could, but do you want to?"
"Oh, yes.  I really want to support Liverpool" was the reply given to the very shocked Dad.
"But why????"
"Because I like them and they play well, and I want to choose my own team."
At this point I was expecting WW3 to break out in the kitchen and I was relieved to here the Dad say "If that is what you want then you may, but I will never buy you a shirt.  You will have to buy your own from now on."

The next few months past and The Extrovert stuck to his guns and supported Liverpool.  He got a bit of ribbing at school and from the family, but he never wavered.  Christmas was coming and he cheekily asked for a Liverpool shirt even though he was told he wouldn't be getting one.  He could buy one after Christmas if he got any money.  The Dad was stuck in a quandary ... he always bought both boys a Newcastle shirt.  What was he going to do?  But love for his son won out and he decided to buy them both a shirt still.  We had to drive to Dublin to get Newcastle shirts (Liverpool ones could be bought anywhere) so we drove up one day to try to get as many presents bought at one time as we possibly could.

The first stop was the sporting goods store.  The entire drive the Dad was fighting it out in his head.  He couldn't believe he was about to buy a Liverpool shirt.  When we walked into the store he chose the Newcastle shirt he wanted and took it to the counter to have a name put on it.  He then also asked the attendant for a Liverpool shirt in the same size.  The attendant pointed to the rack and said to grab one from their.  The Dad just looked at him and replied "I am not touching that shirt, could you please go get it".  I think the attendant was very confused but he selected the shirt and printed the names on them and then the penny dropped.  He tried very hard not to laugh as The Dad paid for both shirts.  The minute we were out of the shop he handed the bag to me. "I have paid for it, that is enough.  I am NOT carrying a Liverpool shirt around all day!"  He would only go so far, and he went further than I would have ever imagined.

So Christmas morning The Thinker unwrapped a Newcastle shirt with his own name on the back.  And much to The Extroverts surprise, he unwrapped a Liverpool shirt with his own name on the back.  Lovingly given by his dad.

And to this day, our family looks more like this ...

Always one bright patch of red amongst the black & white.

And that is my first story for Storytelling Sunday Wednesday.  And to this day we still don't know why he chose Liverpool as there wasn't another Liverpool supporter at school, or in the family.  Living in rural Ireland there were all sorts of teams represented in his school of 43 kids.  His only saving grace was that he didn't choose Manchester United ... I don't think his Dad would have been so kind :D


Footnote: Thankfully there is one team they can all agree on.  For this one I become the odd one out :-)

The Princess' New Adventure!

What do you buy a 10 year old Princess for Christmas?  This was the question we wrestled with this year.

She doesn't need any toys, she is the youngest in the family and all the outdoor toys have been purchased before.  She is on the verge of 'growing up' but still wants dolls for Christmas and an iTunes card (of course!).  The boys were easy to buy for this year ... books and camping supplies.  But I do remember it being VERY hard to find them a suitable present at this same age.  We toyed with so many ideas and none of them fit.  The main items The Princess wanted were new clothes for Bell (her doll) and new clothes for her Barbies.  She already has an abundance of clothes for Bell as every time I made her a dress I made one for Bell with the scraps.  The Princess may not have any of those dresses anymore but Bell still has ALL of them!

Then we hit upon the perfect idea.  We bought her some doll clothes patterns, lots of cute fabrics, all the sewing supplies a new sewer needs, and a pretty pink box to put it all in.  That way she can make her own clothes for Bell and just perhaps develope a love of sewing.  This is also a skill she will be able to use once she is no longer making doll clothes.  I wrapped each piece separately so Christmas morning she had LOTS to unwrap :-)  At first I think she was a bit sceptical, but by the end of the morning she was bursting with excitement.  When we went to my Grandparents house that afternoon she proudly told everyone that she "got sewing stuff for Christmas"!

Our first sewing lesson together
So on New Years Day we sat down to have her first sewing lesson.  First I showed her all the parts of the sewing machine and how to thread it properly.  Then she practiced sewing a few straight lines.  Then I showed her how to change direction and she sewed along pencil lines I had drawn on some calico.  She took to it like a fish to water and was excitedly showing everyone her sewn lines.  Even The Extrovert who did sewing this year at school was impressed.  In the picture you can see her sewing box.  It is a pink Artbin Supersatchel that I decorated with vinyl letters that I use on my Cricut.  I then added some glitter butterfly stickers.  It looks so cute and so girly!
It fits Princess and just needs Velcro.
The next step for our lesson was to learn how to cut out a pattern.  I downloaded a doll nappy/diaper pattern for her and showed her how to lay it on the fabric and cut it out.  We then pinned the inside and outside together and away The Princess went.  She was thoroughly confused at this point as the fabric was all "the wrong way".  But the penny dropped when I showed her how to turn it inside out and stitch the opening closed.  She sewed all of it herself, even the hand sewing!  The pattern fit her doll Princess so now we have to enlarge it for Bell.  She was so impressed with herself.  Now all she wants to do is sew!
After the success of the nappy/diaper The Princess really wanted to sew something from one of her Christmas patterns.  So I helped her lay out all the pattern pieces for a skirt and jacket for Bell.  It was one very complicated pattern to lay out as it has just as many pieces as an pattern for a real person!  But it was a good learning experience for her.  We stuck to stretch fabrics for this one as that is where I am at my most comfortable.  It took her most of the afternoon to cut out all the pieces and sew the skirt but it turned out so beautiful!  I am sorry that I don't have a picture to show you yet as the minute she finished it we rushed out the door to the fireworks.  The Princess really wanted to get it finished so she could show her Grandma and rushed at one point.  Then came the lesson covering unpicking :-)  I don't think she will rush again LOL

It was such a great decision to buy her sewing supplies.  Maybe a little unconventional in this day and age but we are both really enjoying it.  We also bought her a pattern for a dress she liked in the shop along with all the fabric.  With a little bit more practise she will be ready to try a dress for herself.  I will keep you updated :-)

On an unrelated note there is a wonderful weekly storytelling time happening over HERE.  I have considered getting involved on occasion and will see how time goes throughout the year.  But the stories will make you laugh, and some will bring a tear to your eye.  But they are all definitely worth a read.  This year there is a different aspect in the storytelling and you can tell your story with pictures if that is more you.

The weather here is very HOT at the moment and trying to keep cool is hard.  I hope you are all enjoying the start to your new year.