Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Mothers Day (Sunday 15th March 2015)

On Mothers Day, we travelled to Nottingham, and went straight to church, where we saw Mum and Dad, John and Hannah, Robin and Niki, and all the kids. (Katy and Dan were at Dan's Mum and Dad's for church - they came back to our Mum and Dad's after.)
I also was delighted to see Aunt Dot, who is looking pretty good, even though she has just started her TENTH lot of chemotherapy!

The kids in the car! (I should point out that the hearts were not made for me - they just happened to be in the car from the Valentine's dance!)

After sacrament meeting, Lucy realised she didn't have her finger pricker with her, so couldn't test her blood. Lucy, Scott and I ended up driving to the Avenue, and having to buy a whole new Blood Glucose Monitor set for £24 (which included a finger pricker!)
We went back to church via the parts of Nottingham we are thinking about buying a house in, and saw several of the houses for sale, which Scott's been looking at. All of the areas seem OK.
Back at church it was a bit late to go into class, so I ended up having a nice chat with Anne-Marie Beardsmore.

After church Harry gave me a letter he'd written in Primary. It said:

''Dear Mum
I love your Dinner
Il do the dishwasher and Ill let you get to bed.
I have lernt that when you take your helmet of in space your head blows up.''

What a laugh!!

Also for Mothers Day, I had a beautiful huge bunch of pink tulips, some fudge, a handmade card and sweets from Tom, a massive origami flower from Jack which looks more like a Dwarvish war hammer, and some more paper bits from Harry, from which I've worked out that he's happy I've given him life, food and hugs!

After church, we all piled back to Mum and Dad's. Everyone else had stayed over the night before, and so there was stuff everywhere, and everyone was a bit tired!

Mum reading her giant Grandmothers card, signed by all the Grandkids.

We had the usual 'March Birthdays Present Opening', and Scott decided to share one of his presents (a mini bottle of Shloer) with Joseph!



Dad showing us the heat distributor he's made. (Fans from a biscuit tin!)


Joseph got sat in between Viv and Hattie, and they promptly both clonked him!


Jack and Emma!

Lucy and Hattie


Scott and Viv

We took it in turns doing the spinning ball hand exerciser thing... it kills your arm after a bit!



We didn't really do much - just hung around in the back room chatting, with Dan and I taking photos. Didn't see much of Harry and Tom at all - the 'middle-aged' cousins were in the front room making dens.

We left at about 6.45pm, and went home via Stamford so that I could try and check out the camp site I had secured for the Stake Young Womens camp. We drove down the right road, but never managed to find the entrance to it in the dark!

The Week of Scott's 42nd Birthday

Monday 9th March. I drove Jo and I into Peterborough in the morning, and we went shopping at Morrisons, and had sandwiches in the cafe. I'd had a really bad night's sleep on Sunday night, with a lot on my mind, so by the afternoon I was completely done in. I made a cake for Scott's birthday though, to have for tea that night, because we wouldn't all be together on his birthday. 

I was also pleased on Monday, because I had confirmation of a camp site I found near Rutland Water, for the Young Women camp this summer. 

We had Scott's birthday cake for pudding. (Harry photo-bombing!) I went to bed not long after, feeling ill.

Tuesday 10th - Scott's 42nd Birthday! He opened some presents and cards in the morning, but had a normal day at work.
I'd had another very bad night's sleep - high temperature and aching. I tidied up the house, and had to stay up for boiler man who was coming to look at the not-working central heating system (we've been using electric heaters), and he took a couple of hours. I was so glad when he was gone, and went straight to bed, feeling fed up and dreadful. He needs to come back later when a chemical had done its job, then flush out the whole system.

One of Scott's birthday card envelopes, from my niece Emma!

After school, Lucy had to get a passport photo done for a railcard. I was't really in the mood for it at all, but we took this photo in my bedroom, and fiddled around with sizes, and got it printed out.

In the evening I took all the kids up to church for Seminary and Activity night, so we didn't see Scott. I hung around with Jo and Clare and had a nice chat.

On Wednesday 11th, Scott took Lucy to the train station before work, where she met up with her Politics class, and travelled to London for a tour of the Houses of Parliament. She even saw Gordon Brown in the underground tunnel which leads from the Houses!
They had the afternoon free to wander round London, so Lucy and her friend Jess had a great time catching buses and tubes, and exploring! I picked them up from station at about 7.15pm.

I was feeling quite a bit better on Wednesday. In the morning I delivered some packing boxes to a lady I Visiting Teach in March, as she needs to pack up her kitchen. I also had arranged to visit Maureen. Back at home, I rang Claire Hirst for quite a while, packed up some Ebay stamps I'd sold, went on the treadmill (during which Gill rang), Jo Waters rang, then I had a super quick shower before the school run.
I spent the evening browsing books and music, trying to find some new stuff to download before going to America.

On Thursday 12th, Seminary was cancelled, so I didn't have to do the Seminary run. I parcelled up some presents, dropped Lucy off at school, went to the Post Office, then had my hair cut. I went to Tesco afterwards, and felt absolutely tired out. We had a nice dinner though - pork chops cooked in the slow cooker, with a balsamic vinegar gravy.

On Friday 13th, Jo came over and we made courgette spaghetti, and worked on a 'Wedding Bingo' sheet, to entertain her at the wedding she was going to the next day. (It was lists of words and phrases she had to listen out for people saying, or that she had to get into a conversation herself!)
I spent more time on my calling/camp stuff.

In the evening Scott and I drove over to Bedford, for a meal out with the Claytons. We've been trying to get together for months now! They had chosen a Chinese restaurant in the centre, and we had a lovely night, getting back at midnight.

On Saturday 14th, I took Lucy, Jack and Tom to Peterborough, to go clothes shopping ready for America. 
As well as clothes, we bought travel pillows and some other bits. Driving home, I finally started to feel really excited about going to America!! I finally feel like it's close enough now to start thinking about it! Eeek!
I also wrapped all the presents for the March Birthday celebration in Nottingham the next day, and made Mum a Mother's Day card.

Our late night catching up on Scott!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

4th - 8th March

In the evening of Wednesday 4th March, I picked up Jo Blackhurst, and we went to the Relief Society Birthday Party. We were seated by birthday month, so Jo was sitting at a different table. 
It was a nice evening! Played some not too demanding games - including one where every table submitted two stories, and we all had to guess who did which thing. Ola's 'thing' was walking round Paris in her nightie, because the clothes she was wearing were too hot, and that's all else she had! Ha!

The next day, Thursday 5th March, my car was still at the garage. Jo had a wedding she wasn't looking forwards to, so we went to town and I picked her out a dress and lovely long jacket from the dress agency, which cheered her up quite a bit about the wedding. I bought myself a nice lambswool cardigan - prefect seeing as the central heating decided to stop working again!!
We also met up with Donna and her American friend Jen in a tea room.
I then walked down to the garage and collected my car.

Tom's beautifully healing wounds, one week on!

In the evening I drove on my own to Bedford chapel for a youth committee meeting.

Next day (Friday 6th) Donna came back to mine, while Jo had an optician's appointment, then I drove us all to Peterborough. I returned some clothes we had bought Lucy online from Matalan, then we went to a retail park, and spent a while looking for shoes for Jo to wear to the wedding. No luck anywhere till we tried Asda!! £8, and the only light coloured pair of shoes in the whole place, and they fitted Jo perfectly!
I got loads of birthday presents for all the March birthdays.

Selfie of Jo, Donna and I in Asda!


In the evening I was picking up Jo, Donna and Jen for book club at Claire Hewson's house, and Jo asked me to go to hers early so I could see her whole wedding outfit.
I was so pleased!! She looked great in it, complete with clip-on pearl earrings! Richard was really happy too. We had a bit of a chat too while Jo got ready.

Book club was nice - discussed 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'.

On Saturday 7th March, I got a 'Zoodle Chef'. I'd been thinking of ways for Lucy to have lower carbohydrate foods, so she doesn't have to take so much insulin, and I came across this tool on Friday on Amazon. It's like a large pencil sharpener for vegetables. One end cuts little strips, and the other cuts wide strips.

I made up some small batches of vegetable bolognese sauce, and cut some courgette in the Zoodle Chef. I cooked it for a couple of minutes, and made quite a nice passable spaghetti substitute, with almost no carbs! Even Harry had some!

On Saturday afternoon, Scott took Jack to an Air Cadets event, where Jack received a promotion to 1st Class Cadet (apparently there are now three people he can give orders to!) and a couple of other certificates - for an Emergency Life Support course, and a Basic Swimming Competence assessment. (Jack's not a very strong swimmer, and had never learnt to tread water - I was giving him demonstrations in the kitchen before that particular evening!)

He looked so grown-up in his uniform! I did the whole 'really-proud-but-a-bit-emotional-he's-growing-up-so-fast' Mum thing...


On Saturday evening, we went to the Garricks' house for a 'Pre-America Trips' evening! The Garricks are going at roughly the same time and to similar places as us. Clare wanted us to all talk 'America' and swap ideas!
On the way out the door, Jack showed me one of his poor bashed-up knees (from football!)

Clare and Scott discussing routes and itineraries!

Paul and I weren't all that bothered about holiday talk (I'd rather not imagine every bit of the trip in advance, but have it feel new when I get there), and I'd taken my camera and lenses, so we happily discussed photography instead!

Clare had really gone to town with the food! It looked and tasted great!


I'd made a banoffee pie and trifle for pudding, and Ryan made brownies.

After tea, we compared American Playlists! Had fun playing loads of snippets of songs with some kind of American theme in them!

One of the songs reminded me of 'Just Dance' on the Wii, so Cara found it, and we did some dancing!


A really great evening!

On Sunday 8th March, Lucy and I went to Northampton Chapel, for Duston Ward Conference.
It went OK, and Gill taught a great Young Womens lesson. Claire Hirst the YW President had had to go home early, but we met with her counsellors, then I had a Ward/Stake Council Meeting.
After church President Hirst and I talked for ages about stuff we are both dealing with, and Lucy (who had hung out with Ben) and I got home at about 4pm.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The past week

On Friday 27th February, Tom was feeling a lot better after having his teeth out, and went to school, though with a note to miss rugby. (His wounds took about two days to heal wonderfully well to little slits.) Jack was ill with flu-like symptoms though, and spent the day in bed.
In the evening, Scott and I were picked up by Richard and Jo Blackhurst, and we went out for a meal at a nearby pub/restaurant. We mainly had steaks, followed by desserts, and it was all pretty nice. Lots of deep discussion about life etc!

On Saturday 28th, we had quite a quiet day, though went and cleaned the chapel just before lunch, as it was our turn on the cleaning rota. Jack was still a bit rough, but he came anyway, and just dusted everywhere!

On Sunday 1st March (Dad's 65th birthday!) I dropped the kids off at our chapel, then Tom and I went to church in Milton Keynes. Two roads were closed off on the way, so we got to church about 15 minutes late. 
My counsellor Gill and I were there to meet with the new Young Womens Presidency after church. We had a wonderful meeting, and they really are great women with a lot of love and enthusiasm. I was really on a high all day from it.

On Sunday evening, Scott and I were invited to go round to Ben and Anna Conway's house, for our usual chat and game of Rumikub!

We had quite an energetic Monday! I did a run on the treadmill before school, and Scott, Tom and Lucy all ran at various times on Monday too. For Family Home Evening, we watched a couple of church videos, then the boys got the weights out, and I did some of a Zumba video.
Jo Backhurst invited me over for lunch, and I spent the afternoon at her house.
After school, there was a knock at the door, and it was Robin!! He's working as an architect on a project in London one day every couple of weeks, so said he'd probably drop in on his way home every now and then. We had a lovely chat, and he stayed for a couple of hours.

Yesterday (Tuesday 3rd March), I didn't have anything planned (except to iron!) and had forgotten it was the Year 4 Parents Come to Lunch day. Donna came home from the school run with me, then we went to Tesco and got some nice sandwiches and bits, before heading over to our friend Lauren's house for a coffee morning to raise money for an Alzheimer charity. Had a nice time there (here I am with another Year 4 Mum - Kat), then Donna drove us straight to the school for the lunch. Harry was happy enough to see me, especially as I bought him a lovely big cupcake from the coffee morning!


Tom has recently joined the school rugby club, and took part in a tournament yesterday afternoon. His B team lost all their matches except one! They were playing A teams though, and he didn't seem at all disheartened.

Today, Donna came back from the school run with me again (she is parking nearby in the mornings, then walking to and from school, in order to get more exercise), I packaged up some ebay things which I had sold last night, then we drove my car to the garage, where it's getting a new clutch today. We then walked back to mine via the post office.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Poor old Tom

After school today (Thursday 26th February), I took Tom to our local dentist, so they could pull out two of his top molars.
He was pretty laid back about it, and we didn't have to wait long before going in. He had four injections which he found really painful, and then the dentist got on with loosening his teeth and pulling them out. I couldn't watch for that part!

Here are his lovely, massive molars, which he got to bring home!!

He has some impressive looking holes in his head now! (And you can see the bar which got fitted between his back teeth on Tuesday.)

After the dentist, I took Tom to Tesco to buy him some Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and some soup of his choice - the dentist said just soft food for today! He's not made any fuss at all, but now, a couple of hours on, his mouth is really hurting, and he's a bit upset. Paracetamol, and the ice cream will hopefully cheer him up a little now.

The rest of today: I did the early morning Seminary run, went for a 3k jog on the treadmill after the school run, and then had a phone meeting with Emma Corre for a couple of hours to plan some more of camp for this summer. Lucy stayed home today to work on a Biology project.

Jo Blackhurst popped round for a bit (and had a run on the treadmill too!), then I went back to Jo's for lunch. Made a couple of Thank You cards in the afternoon.

Scott has been in Watford today, visiting another college and comparing systems and finances etc. It sounded reasonably useful. We're all staying in tonight. Jack's not going to Air Cadets as he usually does on a Thursday night, because he's feeling a bit rubbish with a cold.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Half-Term Holiday etc.

We had quite a quiet week for the Half-Term holiday - we didn't really leave the house! It was great!

Tuesday 17th February was Pancake Day, so we made pancakes for tea...



I like having fruit pancakes (like Granny Flinn used to make), with apple, banana, and orange (plus whipped cream and warmed up syrup!)

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I spent the mornings painting the cabin (it seems like it will need about FOUR coats of paint!!), and Lucy and Tom helped at various times too. I would then go on a 3k run on the treadmill. The kids did quite a bit of running too in the holidays, and Tom and Harry spent hours on the trampoline (as well as the X-Box!)

We didn't really hear much from Jack up in Yorkshire with John and Hannah, but this picture appeared on Facebook one day!!


On Thursday night I ended up going out to the Chapel to have my Temple Recommend interview with President Clayton. He'd scheduled a long appointment, so we could also have a talk about my calling and how I'm doing. I was grateful for it, and we had a really good talk. Scott had had to work late, but came just as I was finishing with President Clayton, for his Recommend interview too. President Hirst was up at the Chapel as well, so we talked for ages too.

On Saturday 21st February, I spent some of the day preparing a Young Women lesson for the next day. Harry got taken to the Ramsey Pantomime in the afternoon, with Henry Wakefield.

On Sunday 22nd, we went to church in the afternoon, for Northampton Ward Conference. I had a meeting with the new Young Womens Presidency, then taught my lesson, which didn't really go anything like how I planned, but still went well I think. Afterwards we had a meeting of the Ward Council and Stake Presidency. 
The whole family came to Northampton, because the Hirsts had invited us to dinner afterwards. We had a lovely meal, and the kids all just went off and played while the adults chatted.
We left in time to go and collect Jack from Peterborough station at 9.15pm. I was really happy to have him back again!

Jack had had a really good week, going to a Stake Youth Fireside, Youth, a Stake swimming gala (he didn't compete, but did loads of diving, including off the 5 metre board), doing computer drawings, tiling a roof, going to some big indoor water place with flumes and stuff, and babysitting the twins and Asher while John and Hannah went to the cinema. I asked him what he had learnt (as well as the actual work experience) and he said in particular that he doesn't need screens. (Yay!!)

On Monday morning (23rd February), I went visiting teaching to Becki Cain in the morning, then went to Harry's school after lunch to pick up Harry, Oliver and Holly (from his class), to take them to a technology afternoon at Lucy, Jack and Tom's school. I stayed with them for the afternoon, and they had a lovely time! There were three kids there from each of the local primary schools, including Ethan Cryer.
The technology teacher was Mr. Austin - Tom's form tutor. He was really good with the kids, as were some boys from Jack's year who were also helping out. The kids all made a metal paper weight thing, which they had to drill, file, smooth off, punch with numbers, make a screw thread, and assemble.

Here's Harry operating the metal drill.


I also had a really good chat with one of the Deputy Heads who had dropped by. She recognised me as having other kids in the school, and we talked a bit about Scott's job (her competitor!), and marketing etc, plus about travelling. She seemed keen to join us on our travels!
It was a great afternoon anyway, and I dropped the kids back at school in time for home time.

On Monday evening, I went back to the school again for Lucy's Parents' Evening. I met with all but one of her teachers. They all like her and think she is working well. We had some discussion about odd bits that she needs to work on to improve her grades. On the whole, I'm pretty impressed with the teachers. I feel so sorry for Lucy having all the A/S Level stress to deal with now for the rest of the year.
She is doing English (working at an A/B), History (fluctuating between A/C), Politics (working at an A) and Biology (working at C/B). She's thinking she will probably drop the English after the A/S's.

On Tuesday 24th February, I picked up Tom from school in the morning, and we went to Peterborough for another Orthodontist appointment. He was missing one of the blue rubber bands between his teeth, which he thinks he swallowed the day before!
This time they glued metal bands to his upper back molars, and attached a kind of bar between them. They gave me letter to give to our Dentist, who now needs to pull out two of Tom's top molars. This will give all his crowded teeth room to grow and spread out a bit, then he has to go back to the Orthodontist in about 9 months.
I dropped the letter off at the Dentist's on the way to taking Tom back to school, and they rang me later in the afternoon and made an appointment to have Tom's teeth pulled out tomorrow (Thursday 26th).
Jack had an after-school detention (for forgetting one of his books on Monday!) and then we went up to church for Seminary, Activity Night and Youth.
Also yesterday, I had a nice email from a lady I don't know:
''I see your Stamps of Life cards and think that you make the best cards of the whole design team!  They are so creative and simply make me happy!  Because of that, I want to thank you!  God bless you!!''

Today (Wednesday 25th February), I made some cookies and gift boxes in the morning (after giving Donna some job interview practise in her car after she dropped me home from school. She had an interview for an administrative job later in the morning, but wasn't all that bothered about getting it!)
I then went to Visiting Teach three ladies over in March (who the cookies were for.)

This afternoon, we had a Tesco delivery (which I did online at about 11.30pm last night!), Lucy's friend Georgia came over and stayed for dinner, our Home Teachers came over, and Scott and Jack went Home Teaching in March.