Sunday, 27 June 2010

Family Pictures

Rebekah just emailed the pictures she took when we were all over at Shane's. She did a great job! Thanks Rebekah!
The weather this week has been marvelous, and last Wednesday evening was a wonderful pocket of heaven. I had been on a church visit in the evening, and stood talking with a friend in the stillness of a picturesque little town, near a meadow and the river, and long sunlight through ancient trees. The air was bewitching with its shifting perfumes, and driving back home through the countryside, with a glorious jagged red and pink sky, was pure peace.

Well the weekend has gone, and I feel in need of another weekend to catch up.

Friday wasn't a great day - felt very stressed for no known reason - not even hormones to blame. In the evening I was so sick that I pulled a muscle in my jaw (not funny - it really hurt to talk and swallow!) It wasn't a bug though, and I went for a late evening run afterwards. Thought it was a good idea to wear myself out rather than mope.

On Saturday, after major kids' bedroom clear-outs, Scott and I took it in turns to go to sessions of Stake Conference. I travelled with two friends from our ward. Towards the end of the meeting, my friend sitting next to me became ill, and I got her out, rushing her to the bathroom. By the end of the meeting, she was in an ambulance heading to the nearest hospital with a possible heart attack (we were about an hour away from home). We other two followed on after. We spent the next few hours in an A&E room passing the time between our friend's tests. Got to know her much better, and love her more, and even laugh a lot. She improved through the evening, and it looks like she suffered a bad angina attack. We left her to be observed for the rest of the night, and I got home at about 1.30 this morning. Scott had waited up for me. Conference itself was good, and I took away some things to ponder in more depth.

We had the morning session of Conference with all the kids today - left at 7.45am so Scott could go to a meeting beforehand. Harry was a tired, grumpy nuisance and got worse as the day went on. Glad when the kids went to bed, and that was even with me sleeping for most of the afternoon! I'm worried that I won't actually ever become a wonderful and patient mother, and that the kids will just grow up and leave home before I manage to suss it out. All I can hope is that we will manage to do enough.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Elderflower Cordial

I am watching England play Slovenia at the moment, but can never give 100% attention to an entire football game (and this one is too nailbiting to), so...
While I was Visiting Teaching (visiting with church friends) this morning, I was given a very nice glass of elderflower cordial. Scott is quite keen on it, so I got the recipe, and on the various walks to and from school and playgroup, collected enough flowers for the recipe.

Elderflower Cordial

25-30 sprigs Elderflowers (don't pick whilst wet)
3lb Granulated Sugar
3 Oranges
1 Lemon
2 oz Citric Acid
3 pints Cooled Boiled Water

Wash flowers, slice oranges and lemon, and put all ingredients in big bowl/pan, with lid/tea towel over top.
Leave to steep for 48 hours, stirring when passing.
Strain mixture (in muslin or something fine), including squeezed juice from fruit slices.
Use within a week, or freeze.
Very nice diluted with sparkling water.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Busy day but Harry has had some firsts. In between quilting group, playgroup, school runs, two visiting teaching visits, taking the kids to the library and sorting out the banking in town, I helped Harry learn to ride a bike - not that he needed much teaching. He was indignant that his friend Oliver turned up at playgroup riding a bike, and that he couldn't ride one. I said Oliver had just practised lots, so Harry put in some concerted effort and can now ride a bike! I was so proud of him - he fell off and scraped himself loads, but kept trying, inspite of getting really frustrated at times (and being in quite a grotty mood for a fair bit of today.)At bedtime Harry asked if he could say his prayer (I normally say one out loud for him). He said a lovely prayer, saying thank you that he could have food and a house and learn to ride a bike. It's the first prayer he's ever said on his own.
He just seemed so grown up and pleased with his achievements, that I got a lovely hardbacked notebook out my stash and gave it him for his first journal. He wrote the date, and dictated the rest to me. He's very proud of the guilt pages and attached bookmark!
Everyone else is OK, except poor old Jack who was sick at bedtime. Not sure if it's a bug, or just the heat.
Never a dull moment!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Past week

A few things from last week.
Last Sunday we had a lovely tea at Shane and Dawn's, for Shane's birthday. Scott's Mum and Dad were there too which was nice. Rebekah also came over to take some family photos - can't wait to see them! I'm going to take some pictures of her too, so she can be in some for once.

On Tuesday we had an appointment with Tom's consultant at the hospital. Had Jack (ill off school) and Harry with us too. It went well. Although Tom hasn't changed, we got discharged because 'Doctor Nick' is happy that I can manage his medicine OK, and change it as needed. Tom also got a different kind of medicine which is much more pleasant to take.

On Wednesday night it was the New parent's meeting for Harry starting school in September. It suddenly hit me that this is actually going to be happening, and though I have been looking forwards to it (and had it pointed out to me that lots of my sentences begin with ''When Harry starts school...'') I suddenly felt a bit emotional and wobbly. Need to make the most of him!

I'm vaguely aware that some football has been going on, but find it too boring to be able to watch. (I may manage it if we make it to the World Cup Final.)

Friday, Jack was off school again - missed his Sport's Day, which I can't say I was too upset about...bad Mum...

On Saturday Scott took the boys to the cinema and I took Lucy shopping (she is growing far too fast...) We had a pretty successful time getting nearly everything she needed (and one or two things we didn't, of course.)
In the afternoon I headed off with Lucy, Harry and a printed out map, to visit a quilt show that my friend Liz had some things in. I hadn't been to the village before, and the map was slightly misleading, so after a MAJOR detour, and me driving on motorway (NOT my favourite thing), we got there... 20 minutes after the show had ended. I managed to sneek in and have a quick look around though, then on the way back I took Harry to a massive pet shop to look at the animals, and Lucy to a massive stationary shop to look at pens, so that they hadn't just sat in a car for 2 hours straight!

Yesterday - Father's Day, was pleasant. Dad rang in the morning. He and Mum have Robin and Nikki and kids living there now - great news that they have completed on their old house. Now just waiting for a couple of weeks to move into their new one. Sounds a bit of a squish though with 2 lots of furniture in Mum and Dad's!
Scott didn't have to go to early morning meetings, and we had a nice afternoon - roast dinner with all the works, followed by peace (mainly), as all the kids made a huge obstacle course in the garden and played on it for ages.

Recently the boys, and Harry in particular, have been mad on drawing - I left out the Atlas for them on Saturday in hopes they would like the flags - they did. This was Harry and Tom this morning, working on flags from Georgia and South Africa. (Though our Atlas is a bit out of date - Georgia stopped using this flag in 2004.) Beautiful weather today. I took some pictures of Amy's quilt outside this morning, which I finished sewing last night, then my Visiting Teachers from church came over and shared a message with me (and bought me lemon meringue pie!) I had an organisational meeting at church this afternoon.
After school Jack came home very happy - his school's team of 4 kids, which came 2nd in the local schools' Maths Challenge, have got picked for the regional Final next month. Their score was higher than some of the other heats' winners, so they got through.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I saw this mirror for sale on someone's drive this afternoon as I was going to Tesco, and on the way back I bought it. I think it will look rather nice once I have painted it white. It wasn't till I got it home I realised how big it is!
Harry wanted to model the new sunglasses he got at Tesco.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Various bits to be recorded for posterity

Harry visited the local Fire Station yesterday, and got to use the hose two times (he would not let us forget that bit), and he was given this beloved keyring, which I spent most of yesterday searching for every time he misplaced it. Sadly it is now lost over the back fence, but not before he insisted I take a photo of it.
Harry also yesterday: 'Mum, after I've been an Artist, I'm going to be a Doctor, and after I've been a Doctor I'm going to be a Fireman, and after I've been a Fireman I'm going to drive cranes. Oh and be a mechanic on cars.'
In France Tom lost two bottom teeth (one fell out while he was holding his cushion with his teeth??) This year's planting record: Carrots, Purple sprouting broccoli, Beetroot, Broad bean (Tom's plant from school), Courgettes.
Onions, Cauliflowers, Leeks and Mixed salad greens.
Last year - our first year of veg gardening - I had OCD about going out and seeing what had grown every three minutes. This year I chucked the seeds in and ignored them till today - and they have still done something! Gardening is amazing!
We had a lovely pottering day today. I went to a local quilting show, Scott took the kids to Tom's school fayre, we found the recharger at last for the strimmer, got some gardening done (Lucy did some really good work) and played games. Scott went over to watch England play America this evening, with a load of guys from church, and I worked on Amy's quilt. (I forgot the football was on till half time, but turned it off again till near the end - couldn't stand the noise.)

Photography by Harry (Age 4)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Berol Felt-tips

The post lady bought me some Berol felt-tips today. They are the only brand I will buy - mainly because they are about the only felt-tips that last for more than a week, but also because they are a part of my childhood.
We left all of ours in France (on purpose), and I bought some new ones on ebay this week. There is nothing better than a new pack of felts!! (well almost nothing) and I was especially excited today because there were some new colours (Dark pink, Flesh, Navy, Terracota etc.), and also some SMELLY ONES!! (Mint, Roses, Lavender, Banana, Vanilla etc. - Fab!) If no-one else understands my delight, John, Robin and Katy had better...Harry has been doing some wonderful drawings lately - usually buses or camper vans filled up with other vehicles (today it is rockets in a bus). I had the idea today of laminating a simple scene, that Harry can use with wipe-off whiteboard pens - and maybe we won't get through quite so much paper. He seems quite keen on it.
As for this week, Scott got anti-biotics again and he is fine now. He spent two days in Liverpool for a College Finance Director's jolly (or is that an oxymoron?)
Jack got a certificate for taking part in the Math's Challenge. I can't remember if I said before, but his team came a close second out of all the schools taking part - very proud of him. Had to pick him up early from school yesterday - found him hunched over a sick bag in the waiting area! Nothing too major - he was on the trampoline by tea time.
Tom, Lucy and Harry are fine.
I spent some time this week painting. The kitchen is looking better (ceiling, coving, some walls and window sill), though I did some re-touching in Lucy's room, but apparently the paint has changed colour - now it looks like she has a blue room with lilac splodges everywhere.
I went for a jog this morning, which didn't go very well - even though I made sure I had a big enough breakfast: tin of beans, toast, cheese etc. Why can I only jog OK at night?
Am hosting a reunion tonight, for a bookclub friend who moved away, and is back for a visit, and then tomorrow night I've got book club round here too. I like it when there a few things together - makes it worth getting the house super-tidy for!
And lastly some baby cake loaves that I made yesterday for when the kids got home from school. I love how dinky they are!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Last couple of days

On Friday we went to Lac au Duc, with our new canoes on the inflatable roof rack from ebay. It worked really well, before you laugh!
I don't know if I mentioned it before, but a couple moved in across the road from us, and they happen to have a holiday home in a village right near us in France, and we bought a couple of canoes off them, which Mum and Dad had picked up for us before we arrived.
Another glorious day, and pretty much a whole lake (which has a sandy beach) to ourselves. Tom had his first ever go at canoeing by himself - he did pretty well!
Harry also had a go at canoeing on his own. I didn't think he'd manage it, but he started off across the lake no problem, so I had to grab the flippers off Lucy quick, and speed swim after him to turn him around!
Harry has never played in water before (except the odd trip to the swimming pool) - he usually stays well away, so I was really pleased to see him enjoying it so much this time.
Enjoying the evening sun.The house attached to ours. It is for sale at the moment - approx. £100,000 with 4 acres and a stack of out buildings!! We had a wander around the place in the evening, and I was trying to work out ways to buy it and live there permanently. There is a huge amount of work needed though, and it wouldn't be entirely practical. No harm imagining though!On Saturday we went for a walk around the 'Wood of Love' in Josselin, and packed up our stuff at a very leisurely rate.The shed walls are growing, and Dad put in a lovely stone corner. He is going to render the block work - it's going to look fab.
Surfboards, body boards, wetsuits, bikes, canoes, life jackets - everything now packed up in our living room! It's sad to shut up the house and leave. I think we become fonder of it each time. At least there are only 8 weeks till we are there again!


We headed off to the 'island beach' on Thursday - minus Tom who wanted to spend the day with Grandma and Grandad. Lucy and I went off for a walk. A glorious day. When we got back, Harry and Jack were 'hiding'. Hmmm.
Spot Lucy, Scott and Jack.
In the evening, Scott and I went for a walk.The coutryside round about.I should have told you that this one was Bel-Air...

At the 'Bouncy Castle Place'

On Wednesday 2nd June, Juli & Chris' family and we went a big bouncy castle place for the day. Great fun. This is where I broke my camera last summer, but glad to report it survived this time. One of the great things about this place is that the adults can go on everything too!Scott throwing Harry willy-nilly on the massive inflatable. We had a fabulous time on the go-kart track! I laughed so hard I ached, while trying to take some pictures.I don't think Juli and Chris should trust Annabelle to Scott's go-kart next time...Juli and I doing some jousting.Sorry Juli!Harry and Tom on the younger go-kart track A couple of the inflatables were wet ones. Did our kids have dry clothes to change in to? No.
Juli and I had a race over the massive inflatable obstacle course...
Slightly dazed... I came through the spiderweb bit so fast, I overshot the crash mat and hit my head on the concrete!We all got to write our names in the shed base when we got back.