Sunday, 29 November 2009

Not much really

I'm sitting here, feeling a bit rubbish with a cold coming on, just fiddling about on the computer. Can't be bothered to read or do anything really. Just some odd photos from the last day or two...
The boys watching 'You've been Framed' on telly last night. Lucy wanted some fabric to make an advent calendar, this afternoon, and it's all in plastic tubs under my bed, so I was helping her get it out and choose some. I came across some fabric I had forgotten about that one of the Mum's from school gave me ages ago. I was thinking it might make a good table cloth - maybe for the Ward Christmas party, so Lucy was helping me see how long it was - and she says 'I feel like the Statue of Liberty!' It made me laugh because Mum and Dad have a photo of my little sister posing as the Statue of Liberty too (though wearing somewhat less... sorry Katy!)

Scott's Mum & Dad sent the kids some money to buy chocolate advent calendars, a few days ago. The kids couldn't see any they liked (all sold out?), so we bought a big tin of chocolates for them and they are making their own. It's been fun seeing what they have come up with. Lucy is making a fabric wall hanging with pockets, and little numbers embroidered on; Jack has made a castle out of a cereal box, with a draw bridge that you pull down and get a sweet out of every day; Tom has hung a bag of sweets from a wooden coathanger that he is decorating all Christmassy. I'll have to come up with something for Harry. Noone got many advent chocolates last year because Harry went round and ate everyone's on about day 3.
Scott called for Tom to come and get his teeth cleaned tonight, and he came with this sign sello-taped to his head. Scott commended him for coming up with such a labour-saving device...
There has been lots of 'creativity' (ie. total mess) this weekend, what with making calendars, invites for Harry's birthday party, cards etc. and I finally finished off my Relief-Society-Christmas-craft-evening-wall-hanging thing. We also got a great new book on making felt and fabric Christmas decorations. Harry got me to sew a little blue and orange felt penguin for him, and Tom drew a template for, cut out and stitched this little snowman all by himself! His stitching has improved loads even since doing that monster thing.
My wall hanging.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

I took my camera on the school run yesterday, to get some shots of Harry with his new scooter. We had to add the crash helmet, though he isn't falling off quite so much now. It cracks me up how he scoots faster and faster (no smooth gliding going on), then just before total wipe-out he leaps off and has to run along side as fast as possible for a moment...
He has gone from moaning about walking to school, to crying if we have to go in the car now, so success! (sort of!) Just playing around this evening after tea.
Also I will mention that I am now a Playmobil junky. The kids asked for some pieces for their birthdays and Christmas, and I have been on Ebay bidding like a loony for the last couple of days -both sets of Grandparents have given me free reign to get presents from them too! Now the parcels are arriving and I am like a kid! I can't wait for them to open them!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Tom's 7th Birthday Party

The last couple of days have been busy to say the least, but I'm sitting here pretty happy, because everything got done, and as planned. Holly came over yesterday morning to make her fabulous pies for the activity at church, and then I went to the chapel and helped set up, followed by a trip to Tesco - I got a couple of comments from other shoppers and my checkout lady re. the 200 rolls I bought! Thanks to Lucy who peeled all the vegetables needed for 50 servings of soup, without even being asked.
Then it was time to go out for a meal with some of the girls from church, and watching 'New Moon'. It was good chatting, and Rebekah and I had plenty of chance to catch up when we stood in the queue to bagsy seats for everyone. Had a laugh at the completely & utterly obsessed members of the queue, and also at Rebekah's swift getting of our seats!
I hadn't really given much thought to the film itself, and so it was great to thoroughly enjoy it! Very nice evening.

This morning Tom had his birthday party!! (I am trying to do at least one birthday party a month before the actual birthday, because people run out of Saturdays in December) He had 4 friends round for cinema, MacDonalds, and back home for cake. We had a bit of spare time and Jack was great at organising a football game for them. Tom had a good time.I am happy about the birthday cake situation this year - I saw a cake like this on someones blog, or some website, and thought it looked a very good, easy option. I was right! It is the easiest, most fun cake to make ever!! And the best bit is that all 3 boys want it for their birthdays!
It tasted OK too - there wasn't any left to put in party bags.
After the party, Lucy and I went and picked up our Activities Chairwoman and her 3 kids, and then got some last things ready for the activity. I think the evening went well, and I was really genuinely touched with how helpful and willing so many people were to help us do everything, even down to someone holding the gate open for us in the pouring rain while we drove out. People's kindness was the best bit of the whole evening for me. (Burning one of my fingerprints off on a slow-cooker, was my least favourite bit! - that and the fact my treacle tarts tasted horrible - you should NOT add lemon juice - the recipe lied.)
Very tired now. Hope we get to sleep in a bit tomorrow (ie. till 7am) Sorry Scott - know you won't!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I enjoyed our Relief Society meeting last night - making Christmas crafts. Really well organised, and it was good just to chat to people, plus, I managed to drive all the way there and back without the car blowing up, to the relief of Anna and Enid who had a lift with me. I think it was a bit low on oil - Scott did something with a blue container this morning anyway.

Harry came downstairs on his own at 6 this morning, and I noticed later that my lovely gingerbreadman swag thing that I made last night, was mainly eaten. There used to be 3 men, and this is what's left... they were real gingerbread, but I'd painted them with acrylic paint. We'll have to see if Harry survives. To be honest, his scootering is more likely to finish him off than his acrylic paint habit.I know I have quite a lot to do for tomorrow and the weekend (ie. get party bags etc. ready for Tom's party, decorate his birthday cake, decorate his cup cakes for Children in Need, set up for the ward activity, buy 200 rolls, make soup for 50 people and a pie...) but today I decided to make an apron.
I realised I would need an apron for helping serve soup and pies after the church Quiz Night, and the only one I have is the most disgusting looking thing imaginable. It's a navy blue MacDonalds apron that my friend Juli gave me when she used to do accounts for them, years ago. That would be OK, but I have done plastering and floor tile adhesiving in it, and there are bits of rock welded all over it. Anyway, I did not think our ward members would like to be served by anyone wearing it.
I like my new apron, but it took me ages, as I was making it up as I went along, and haven't used bias binding before (and I sewed the straps onto the apron by accident a couple of times and had to unpick them.) I even made a big red polka dot rossette with buttons in the middle, and sewed that on it, but it looked a bit OTT, so I unpicked it. I may stick it on a hairband though, so I have a matching accessory!I made lemon curd after tea, and will put some in the middle of butterfly cakes, that I'll make out of the cup cakes - then they will be nice and yellow for Children in Need day! My hands smell lovely from doing the lemons, and I feel all good and domesticatedy!! Lemon curd is so easy to make and it tastes REALLY good - we haven't bought any ever, since tasting homemade. It's Jack's favourite.

Scott is sitting next to me eating pop corn that he just made. He felt really horrible yesterday - all the symptoms of everything going around, in one go. He stayed off work, but made it back today, and is a whole lot better. Watching 'The West Wing' DVDs on the laptop in bed a lot, must have helped his recovery.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A new baby Flinn!

Wonderful news!! Nikki and Robin have a little baby girl! Born this evening, and weighing 7 lb 7oz, and Nikki didn't need a C-section - everyone is doing well! Adam has a sister!! Can't wait to know her name, but we might need to wait a while, if naming Adam is anything to go by.

Some more very random pictures from the last day...
Harry wanted dinosaur pie for tea last night... this is what we came up with, chicken pie with some handiwork by Harry and Mum.At last - there are pictures in all the frames in our living room! (The frames have been up and empty for about a year now) I seem to go along fairly happily, then suddenly realise that a part our house has descended into total chaos. How does it manage to get so bad before I actually notice it?!
Do we really need 2 bikes, a bodyboard, a pushchair, an After Eight Mint fancy dress costume, a huge bag of conkers, a golf bag trolley, several bags and 10 million shoes all on our porch floor???
No, we don't. This is the porch now, and I scrubbed everywhere and painted undercoat on the skirting boards too. No doubt I will 'discover' another disaster area soon...
We never got a picture of Lucy dressed as an After Eight, at the 'Trunk or Treat' at church, but she wanted a record of it before it got chucked in the recycling bin:
Harry this evening: "I CAN'T SEE!!"
Harry has been hard work this week (and last) since being ill. My patience has really been tested. I was getting fed-up this evening, when Harry suddenly changed into a different child - sweetness and light!! He said he was going to tidy up, and then did it! He did a really good job, and then went up and tidied his bedroom. I've no idea why. It cheered me up anyway.
Lucy, Jack and Tom all seem happy - Jack's looking forwards to going to Lucy's school tomorrow for a football tournament, Lucy's been organised with her homework, and is really enjoying Young Womens (she's just got in this minute from doing a scavenger hunt and said it was the best fun she's had in ages!), and Tom is happy in his quiet way - he has a biggish part in his school play and a solo singing bit, and he's enjoying it, and today he said his team won 3-2 at football. I asked him if he got any goals, and he said all three, so I have been calling him Hatrick Hero this evening. The oldest three have been getting on well with each other too. Though to be honest they have been a bit eclipsed by Harry the last week.
Also, Lucy said this afternoon, that she is really glad I take so many photos, even if they moan about being photographed at the time. I gave the kids a big box of photos today, that I was going to scrapbook, but didn't need because I made Tesco photobooks instead. They were happy sharing them out, finding ones of themselves and remembering good times. Anyway, the point is I feel vindicated!! I will carry on being snap-happy!
Harry spent some time this evening being a 'mer-man' (ie. legs wedged into a scooter box). I gave him an early birthday present today - a scooter. I couldn't bear him moaning the whole walk to school to pick up Tom again. It worked - he didn't moan, but I spent the whole time grabbing him before he flew onto the road, and picking him up, brushing him down and telling him It's-OK-there's-no-blood. One day this week, he shouted/cried really loudly after we'd just set off from our house "I'M GOING TO CRY THE WHOLE WAY!" (because I wouldn't carry him). Some lady was coming of out her house, and was laughing quite a bit at this. I have rolled my eyeballs quite a lot this week.
I know I'd be bored without all the fun though!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

This Week

A fairly quiet week this week - I seem to have slept a lot, including 12 hours last night.
Some random pictures:
Jack made this heads-on-spikes lego creation yesterday. I think he has been reading too many 'Horrible Histories' - when I told him it was gross, he said 'The Celts did it.'
Scott got greeted by a couple of 'slugs' when he got in from work yesterday. Scott has been working on our itinerary for America in the spring - he thinks we are squashing in a lot, but I reckon we will be fine, especially with no kids (!!) We've now booked our rental car.
Tom lost a tooth during tea last night, while his friend was round (actually I pulled it out - I love pulling their teeth out!!) At bedtime, I wrapped a purple Quality Street wrapper round one of my front teeth, and Harry looked most worried indeed, and couldn't figure it out till he touched my tooth!
I have no worries that Jack will eat well during his life - if there's not much in the house he doesn't just go for the peanut butter - here we have grated cheese and carrot. He always comes up with a plate laden with imaginative stuff!Also this week, Lucy had her Target setting day at school. It was nice because she got the whole day off and we only had to go in for 15 minutes. Lucy's tutor is great and totally agreed with me in thinking the kids should have much less homework, and that it should not be so computer based. Lucy's grades were very good. She is at a Chemistry Masterclass in Ely today, with her Gifted and Talented class. She was unimpressed at having to wear school uniform on a Saturday.
Harry bought home some great cookies from playgroup yesterday, and happily we were given the recipe too. Harry kindly gave me about a twentieth of a cookie, and it was GOOD, so we promptly made a load. They remind me of Bounty bars.
Here's the recipe:
Anzacs from New Zealand
75g Self-Raising Flour
75g Rolled Oats
75g Desiccated Coconut
75g Sugar
125g Butter
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
Melt butter and syrup, add rest of ingredients and mix.
Roll into balls and flatten onto greased baking tray.
Bake for 15 mins on GM 2, 150'C, 300'F.
Next time I make them (probably today!), I'm going to try adding chopped glace cherries/chocolate chips/raisins, or all three.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sparklers & Monsters

Harry and I didn't make it to church today - Harry was coughing half the night again. We just dropped the older kids off and they came home with Scott. I was snuggling down for a nap with Harry, and he said to me "Imagine I had a dream, and you were the boy and you were poorly, and I was the Mummy, and I hugged you really tight and then you were better, and that's the end!" I'm glad he thinks that Mummys do nice things!
When it got dark Lucy and I had a play with the sparklers that it was too wet to use on Bonfire Night: Years of practising mirror writing pays off!
Jack and Tom wanted to make monsters. Tom started his ages ago, and he finished the sewing tonight, and designed its face etc. and I finished it off. Lucy came up with the idea of sewing on Hama beads - the monsters will have some little glow-in-the-dark teeth! Jack started his tonight.
Tom is (majorly) proud of it!!
Jack worked hard on his and made a good start...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

On Thursday I did an activity with Harry that I got the idea for from (here). Harry got stuff from around the house and put them on which side he thought - Sink or Float, then he tried them out (obviously he could only put them in the water with the soup ladle). He enjoyed playing with water, though I moved it into the kitchen after a bit - the rug was getting a bit soggy. I was playing around with my camera while Harry was getting wet
Also on Thursday I decided to chop the legs off Tom's cabin bed. Following seeing Tom's consultant, we wanted to see if Tom could go through the night dry without us taking him to the toilet when we go to bed, but I didn't want to be changing a lot of wet bedding with his bed so high. I chopped the front two legs off, but then had to wait for Scott to get home so we could pull the bed out and finish it off. It was a bit chaotic with Tom's stuff everywhere. Scott went to Birmingham on Thurday, but his stuff finished at lunchtime, so he went shopping in the Bull Ring (got a new coat and suit), and was home early.This is his room yesterday. It will have to be painted at some point - it's still in the colours Lucy chose when it was her room. (The kids have swapped rooms loads.) The bed is a much easier height now anyway, though as it happens, Tom hasn't had any problems.Yesterday Lucy had to stay off school. She's had a bad cold this week. My Visiting Teachers came in the morning, and in the afternoon Harry got really poorly and coughed non-stop. Trevor came over later - a flying visit from Estonia. It was good to see him, though Scott missed him by just a few moments. Scott rang up in the afternoon and said he had bought some fireworks, and although I'd said I didn't feel up to a Firework Party this year at our house, I ended up wanting something at least, so at the last minute the Conways and Chattertons came over and we threw some stuff together. Here are the kids watching some fireworks. You can see Harry doesn't look too great! The Chattertons stayed on after the kids went to bed and we enjoyed their company.Today it is just me and the boys. Scott and Lucy have gone on a Youth Temple trip. It's lovely weather, but Harry is still not brill. We are having a lazy day (I am still in my dressing gown), maybe with some art later - Tom has just made himself a paper crown. I fancy some sticking I think.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Try not to be too jealous of our Toffee Apples

On Monday Lucy and Jack went back to school, and one of Scott's old church friends, Gary, came to stay for the night as he had work nearby the next day. We had Family Home Evening together, and for the activity made toffee apples... I did look in every shop for toffee apple sticks, but to no avail. They look gross but we had a laugh making them and actually the toffee tasted pretty good. Flowers from Gary
I was a bit fed up yesterday; I still don't feel right and the kids are all full of cold - Harry had a high temperature and was up a lot on Monday evening. Tom had an appointment with his consultant at the hospital yesterday, and we ended up waiting for ages to go in, with the boys being tired and not particularly obedient! Tom still has to take his medicines (tears most days), and we need to go back again in a while.

Everyone except Harry made it to school today, though Lucy looked like death and Tom didn't want to! It's been nice and sunny though, and Harry and I have had a pretty lazy day which I have enjoyed. Made a couple of cards, and went to the shops. Bargains from the charity shop - a pair of jeans for each of the kids, a spider-man T-shirt that Harry fell in love with, a skirt, and a load of die-cast cars for Harry - all for £3.50!!
Got to go and get Tom in a minute, and I really don't feel like moving from this seat! Can't complain though, Scott took him in this morning for me.