Tuesday, 30 June 2009

We feel sick

If you wanna make all your kids feel 'puke', make this smoothie:

1 whole broccoli
1 big lump of frozen spinach
2 big carrots
Orange juice
Apple juice

It is truly revolting. We have made what we call 'power smoothies' before, which look very green, but this one even I struggled with - I really do feel sick now, along with the kids.

Also, I have never seen such a grubby T-shirt. Click on the picture to see just how bad it is!! It was clean this morning:(Jack is eating frozen strawberries, in case you are wondering) Tom also managed to get a big hole in the knee of his brand new school trousers this afternoon. They were only 2 days old!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Grandma Asher's 90th Birthday Party!

On Saturday everyone travelled to Nottingham to celebrate Grandma (and Great-Grandma's) 90th birthday! (It's on the 1st July)

Katy and Dan had bought Grandma a cake and put on 90 candles - here's Dad lighting them with a blow torch...
Grandma's nick-name has become Ferocious Florrie!
Someone go and waft the smoke alarm...

My whole side of the family:

It was also the first time we got to see Katy and Dan's new baby (she still doesn't have a name yet, but not for lack of suggestions from us lot...) She is BEAUTIFUL!! and very contented. Here's Scott with his little niece. Tom was especially in love with her, and had loads of holds.

After an enrichment evening on flower arrangements, I had a go at making one for Grandma... (this was actually the second one I made - the first one did a nose dive while we were still at home, and was a total disaster!)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The evening sunlight was so nice, I took a couple of quick pictures of the kids on the trampoline. Jack loves the one of him! Harry was a bit manic and is already fast asleep. (Pheww)
I was thinking about Ali's comment on our last post, re portion size, so thought I'd better use some Growmore on our strawberries... it worked!
Only kidding - went strawberry picking on Saturday - guess which basket is Harry's. We didn't let the kids eat any strawberries in the field, they had to wait till we'd paid and were in the car, but then Harry really made up for it...
So now we have frozen strawberries (for our smoothies), strawberry jam (a bit runny, so I'm re-naming it strawberry sauce and using it in the bottom of sponge puddings etc.), and dehydrated strawberries. We had strawberries in some of the 'sauce' and sweet cream and scones at tea time. Um-mmmmm.

I got released from my calling as Youth Sunday School teacher on Sunday. I've done it for nearly 2 years now. I haven't got a new calling yet, but will be standing in as the Adult Sunday School teacher till we go to France in the summer. Scott's early morning meetings were cancelled for Father's Day, so he got a lie-in and a roast dinner. I think he had a nice day.

Yesterday was nice - Harry and I went blackcurrant and rhubarb picking at the Larson's house next to the church farms. Harry picked FIVE currants then gave up. He was too distracted by the trains going by. We popped in at the church farm office and asked if we could have a look at the machinery. Very big tractors and combines! Harry happy. The office gave him some of the farming brochures to take home too, and he has been telling me all about 'John Deeres' and 'CATs' etc. We then went up to the old church on the hill and sat on a bench watching the railway. It was very peaceful and quiet - just birds singing and the odd train - that and Harry talking about dead people, and me saying No - he probably wasn't going to be dead today, OK. (Not that he was very worried by it)
Well, Lucy and Jack have just come in from rehearsals, Tom is on the computer and Harry has wedged himself into a wicker basket, and is asking me to put another one on his head. Better go and do it...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

We reap what we sow...

Our gardening efforts are starting to pay off!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

So what do you do at dinner time?

We pull out Lucy's teeth and get blood everywhere...
Other things this week - Harry got to look after 'Bruno' the Koala bear from playgroup. He and Blue Bear are cousins...
We have been creative, and so the house is now a total mess (And half of Harry's bottom is stained bright blue).Other things: Lucy has gone on her school residential trip till the end of the week (minus a tooth). It sounds good fun - kayaking, climbing, archery etc. On Monday night the two of us went on a nice hike with the Guides. When I walked in the door though I managed to cut open my heel, which has taken a couple of days to stop bleeding. Scott's boss is away on her honeymoon at the moment so scarily, Scott's in charge. Hope the college survives till she gets back. Harry has just bough an electonic toy crane that's taller than himself from Tom's school toy sale. I've just asked the kids if there is any other news. Jack wants it to be known that he has started collecting torches...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Want to see a little baby Gosling??!

Yay!! 15 days late, but here at last! Our new little neice and cousin! My little sister Katy Gosling and her husband Dan have their first child... born this morning and weighing 8lb 1oz. No name yet... what a cutie! Well done Katy!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sunday Afternoon

Scott has gone to Seminary Graduation this evening, Lucy is being literary (see her blog!), Harry is outside watering vegetables and Jack and Tom are playing Monopoly. They remind me of me and John playing Monopoly together when we were kids - we would play for hours. The games lasted so long because we would let each other have unlimited loans out the bank, so noone could ever lose. I never play it now - I have been put off for life!
Sitting here waiting for news about Katy and the baby - she was going in to hospital this afternoon (13 days over due) to be induced. Can't wait to see little Esmeralda (don't think they have a name yet - just helping out!) I'll just ask the kids their name suggestions...

Lucy = Lilly
Jack = Emily
Tom = Sally (Harry says "No - she's a Car" ie. Sally the Porsche out of the Cars film...)
Harry = Rose

Huh - surprisingly sensible!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Lucy bought a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon book on Ebay, and it came today... here she is in Nanny and Grandad's old hammock in our garden, which looks like someone has chucked cotton wool over the whole thing. The Elders who came for tea yesterday (talk about inspiration - I suddenly thought 'I'm sure I signed up a few weeks ago for the Missionaries to come for dinner some time in June or July' so I rang them up to ask, and sure enough they were due to come in 35 minutes...) anyway, they asked if we had a cotton tree. Never heard of one, but definitely looks like we have one.
The climbing frame is a ship at the moment, which obviously is rescuing the kids from large amounts of lava.
Also in the post today came my latest ebay purchase - a basket for my bike! (This was prompted by my having to bring Harry's Father's Day card home from playgroup stuck down the back of my shorts. I've been picking him up everyday with the new bike thing.)
We actually cleaned out the cars today (First time in about a year) - we enjoyed hanging about in the front garden for a change and playing with the bikes.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Pet Monster & A New Mode of Transport

About a week ago Tom chopped up a pair of his pyjama bottoms and laid out a camel from the bits. He asked me to teach him to sew them together, which Grandma did at the weekend (went to Nottm for the Conference). Now he is making a pet monster (from an old seat pad).
We also have a new bike thing! Emma from my (not church) book club, bought it round for us this morning. I took it down to playgroup to pick up Harry, and he wasn't at all impressed, but after a minute or so of walking decided maybe it would be OK. (Don't worry Mum - we just stuck to the pavement) Harry thinks it's great! He wanted me to cycle him round the garden when we got back... no chance - my thighs are already killing...

Monday, 1 June 2009

We're back!!

OK - prepare for a lot of photos...
We set off a week last Wednesday to Portsmouth to get the overnight ferry to France. (This was after a last minute trip at lunch time, to Mum and Dad's in Nottingham when we realised we didn't have the right keys for Bel-Air!!!)
We stopped off at The Devil's Punchbowl on the way - gorgeous scenery (and no, we didn't plan for the kids to all be matching in red!)
The kids were so exciting getting on the ferry - we had 2 x 4 berth cabins - the best bits being the bunkbeds and portholes!! We had a lovely evening on the ferry. The kids bought colouring stuff in the ferry shop and we got nice seats and tables in a lounge bit next to the windows, and just enjoyed the view and coloured. Very relaxing and peaceful.

We got up early on the ferry and had a great fried breakfast in the restaurant (free, because of our Home Owners membership thing!) then got into St. Malo, and drove from there to Dinan. It's a gorgeous place, and we went to the park and walked round the ancient city walls. Then we headed to Bel-Air. Scott assembled the new bikes we had bought over in February, and within about 5 minutes, Jack learnt to ride a bike!! The lane is perfect for the kids to ride around and play football in. Virtually nothing comes down it. I took this photo of Bel-Air from across the field one evening. Lucy and I enjoyed going on little cycles round the farm tracks and lanes nearby. (Though I look pretty stupid sitting on a big polka dot cushion - necessary though, because after the first ride I had a bruised backside...)

Our second day in Fance, we went straight to our favourite beach - 'the island beach'. The weather was perfect! Scott, Lucy and Jack went round the island in the kayak. I was totally lazy and read the whole time. Back at Bel-Air we finished sorting out furniture that we had dumped in February, and Scott was reunited with his BMX!
The next day we visited Lorient, which turned out to be nothing great, but we found this good rockpool beach, and the boys spent their time chucking the biggest rocks they could carry, to make the biggest possible splashes...
We got out and walked around some of the megaliths at Carnac on the way home. There are miles of these prehistoric stones up on end, and noone really knows what they are there for. I'm intrigued by them.

One day we went to one of the surfing beaches on the way to Quiberon. There are just miles of flat gorgeous sand. Lovely sunny day again, but at one point a mist came over the beach and it was really weird, but gorgeous! I was in the sea when it came, and I couldn't see a single person - just me and the sea and the mist - it was a wonderful feeling.
We toasted marshmallows on Dad's wood burning stove when we got back.
We spent a day doing a survey of all the beaches to the East of the Bay of Morbihan. We visited about 14 beaches and wrote about each one. Dad and Ken had asked us to see which ones would be good for windsurfing. We were practically the only people at every beach, and they were all brilliant by English standards! The next day we came back to one of the beaches that the kids liked - not too many waves so good for swimming. We all had a go snorkeling etc, and Scott used his new (enormous) flippers. Lucy and Jack spent about 2 hours solid in the water! There also happened to be a nice chateau across the road from the beach...
How spoilt are we?! We went to a surfing beach again with Dad on Friday and had fun with Dad's inflatable tyre and boat. I am trying to learn to surf properly now (Scott can already stand up on the board) - I can't wait to try again in the Summer. Lucy and I really like bodyboarding, but I also discovered you can surf in on the wave when you just have flippers on. It's all very exhilarating and exhausting!

One of our favourite places is Ivan's wood. It's just down the lane from Bel-Air. Ivan planted the whole thing himself from scratch years ago and he's said we can use the wood whenever we want. This holiday we finished mapping out the whole thing. (All the paths are correct now, but in the Summer I want to use Scott's GPS thing to get the scale more accurate) Ivan's great for having conversations with because he speaks no English at all, so it's really good practise!

We spent over 12 hours travelling home yesterday. Got the high speed ferry from Caen to Portsmouth. The kids were brilliant and didn't moan at all (though Harry is making up for it today!) I had booked for the kids to have today off school too, though Lucy chose to go in. The first thing I did was check on the garden - I'm so grateful to Shane and Dawn who said they would do some watering. All my baby vegetables have grown!! It's fun going away and it's fun coming back too.