Saturday, 27 February 2010

On Thursday, a friend of Lucy's came round for tea and they did some homework together - designing a 'Green Town'. I'm not sure that it was meant to be this big or in model form, but they had fun doing it, and I liked the details they added.
Yesterday didn't turn out as expected.
It was going to be a quiet day, with a bit of book club book reading, and ironing.
First of all Lucy was ill (bad cold and feeling sick/dizzy), so she was off school.
Whilst dropping Harry off at playgroup I was reminded that he was meant to be going to a birthday party miles away all afternoon, so I had to make arrangements for someone to take him, because I didn't want to leave Lucy for that long.
When I got home there was a knock at the door, and it was a builder asking if he could come and start work. (I had asked him a couple of weeks ago if he could do some coving in the kitchen and bathroom, but hadn't been given a date.) So a mad scramble to clear out the kitchen etc. so he could begin straight away.
Then sorting out a present and card to take up to playgroup and see Harry off.
I tried to read my book club book then (for that evening), but the builder was pretty chatty, telling me that he would like to be in a book club himself, and also finish off writing Dickens' last book, one day.
I felt ill - same dizziness as Lucy.
Picked up Tom (Harry on scooter - me running to keep up), then picked up Jack and the two Emilys who he normally walks with, from drama club and dropped everyone home.
The builder left at 5.20pm, leaving me 40 minutes to clear everywhere up and start on dinner for the missionaries who were coming over at 6pm.
Did that, then some more last minute speed reading till the kids' bedtime.
Walked round to a friend's house, who gave me a lift to book club. (I never did finish the book in time.)
Got back at midnight after a good discussion on secularism/Islam in Turkey.
Had a natter with Scott.

Today has been pretty quiet (thank goodness). Tom went to the cinema with Shane and Dawn in the morning, and I popped out for a bit to pick up and drop off approx. 350 servings of desserts for tonight's Gold & Green Ball (VERY slowly driving round corners and over speed bumps...)

Harry and I made marble cake for tea, with ganache on top (Melted chocolate & double cream)
Here is my hole-in-the-middle cake tin. It used to be my Granny's and I remember her making marble cakes in it. The tin is one of the things I asked to keep after she had died, whilst I was pregnant with Harry.
Someone appears to have stolen my piece of cake.
Lucy and Harry this evening - Harry never changed out his pyjamas all day...Lucy is still looking a bit ill.And a quiet evening now too - Scott is bidding on surfboards on ebay and I am falling asleep...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Harry and I didn't go to church on Sunday - he was flagging, and the rash he had in the holidays has really messed up his skin - the kids were saying he looked like a zombie - flaky white skin and really red eye sockets! We drove the older kids to church though, and that was a fun trip! It was snowing quite a bit and the roads were covered - very slippery. We didn't go over 30mph the whole way.

Here is Harry a few minutes before he told me his name was now "Headband-Dan Harry Billy Bracken Jack Cryer". I can't remember the kids' normal names half the time, never mind that!

He made me laugh too, with "My poos can talk, and they make me play." ie. I don't want any more of my cereal - I'm going to the toilet now, and I'm not coming back to finish it." Hmmm. On Monday Harry was feeling a bit more lively, and we ended up having a friend round whose Mum was feeling rough. They got on with some stamping, and then saw me sewing on the machine and wanted to have a go too, so with them controlling the treddle we made them a cushion each. Talk about proud... they did not put those cushions down for the rest of the day, even on the school run to pick up their big brothers. On Tuesday I went to my second quilting class up at church - there was no power in the building, so not much sewing going on, but still plenty to learn.
In the evening the Young Men (the 12-18 yr old lads in the Youth programme from church) came over with a couple of Leaders to practise some cooking skills. We had a good time and produced some very edible food! (I showed them omelettes.)
Yesterday was a pretty quiet day and I didn't feel that great, but had a good laugh as ever at book club in the evening.
Everyone else is doing fine. Lucy hasn't been around much - she's been in her room reading the Twilight books - I think she's old enough to now. She is loving them!
Harry and Tom are keeping their room very tidy - even found the beds made this morning!! It's nice to be able to actually walk round their room, not have to jump over the piles of mess.
Jack and Scott have just been getting on with things - business as usual. Scott's been out Sunday, Tuesday, last night and tonight, but we've been having fun planning our driving route for America - think we have it sussed now, and I'm starting to get excited!
I've got to get on with some reading now, to finish my book off for my other book club tomorrow night.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Half-term survived!

On Thursday, Lucy got invited out for the day (and then ended up not being home till later this morning! She went on a couple of sleepovers - 1am and 3am bedtimes... oh joy)
The boys have got on pretty well with each other - lots of lovely imaginative play with lego and playmobil going on. Harry developed a rash all over him on Thursday morning, but seemed fine in himself. He made me laugh yesterday - was wondering round the house calling for Lucy and muttering to himself about where she was 'hiding'. He missed her, I think.

Also on Thursday friends came over, and then stayed for tea - I like it when things happen unplanned! The house was a tip though, which I made a lot worse whilst making tea. Leek & Potato Soup was on the menu, and I picked the leeks out the garden (while it was snowing - so pretty). The leeks have been growing there since last Easter! And they were only this big! We used the entire crop for one pan of soup!! (It tasted good though.)I am loving this winter so much - normally by this time of the year I am fed up of it and ready for spring, but I have enjoyed the cold and especially the snow, and feel like we have had a proper winter. Yesterday our new mattresses came and I built the beds - here's the first one up, with the boys in (I've told them that we can have a family sleepover one day - 3 per bed and a midnight feast! Kids very keen, Scott less so.) I got injured though - I touched a screw head just after I had electric screw-drivered it in, and it was boiling hot - I now have a Philips screw-head shape branded into my thumb tip.
Anyway, so now there is very little in our room except beds - but oh what comfort... (That's my fillering on the wall by the way - getting ready to decorate.)
Also yesterday some fabric I was waiting for arrived, so now I have finished the top of Lucy's quilt. I've also been working on another quilt (See my craft blog for pics.)

Today, more chaos upstairs - Tom wanted to share rooms with Harry, so he has swapped with Jack, who is happy to have his own room. 3 bin bags of recycling/charity shop stuff/RUBBISH.
Everywhere is looking spick and span now though.
Scott also made a trip to the dump - after we managed to fit a kingsize mattress into our car (without opening the boot - because it still does not open!) - quite a feat.

Jack and Tom got haircuts today. I've been putting it off for ages, and asked Scott if he would take the boys with him to the hairdressers instead. Scott said he could do, but it would cost quite a bit, and wouldn't I rather do it and spend the money on quilting fabric? OK! It only took me about 15 minutes in the end. I love Scott's logical view on life!

I don't think Harry and I will make it to church tomorrow. I thought his rash was going, but now it's gone blotchy and itchy and he is a poorly boy. Poor little thing.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Half-term so far

Valentines day was nice. We had bought the kids boxes of chocolates, which they were not expecting in the least, and they had written us this. There was such a nice atmoshere, with everyone being lovely and the kids being so sweet to each other, and taking a big valentine heart they had made to the old man across the road. It has worn off somewhat now though!As part of the 'Personal Progress' programme at church, Lucy asked if she could do the cooking for 2 weeks. We planned out the menus together on Monday and then went with the boys to get the ingredients. Two dishwasher loads yesterday, is all I'm saying! Actually, Lucy's doing a great job, and we're enjoying working together on the meals. Here are some brownies she made to take to church last night. Pancake day yesterday. I actually forgot, but the kids hadn't. Looks like Tom had a lemon juice overdose.
Jack's goal is to stay in his dressing gown all week. He has to get washed, but he's doing pretty well so far. He even wore it under his coat this morning. (It's the one Mum bought him - she should be happy it's getting such good use...)
This is the den that Lucy has been sleeping in for about the last two weeks......and this is what the living room looked like yesterday... (I'm not even going to try and bother keeping the place tidy this week!)
Scott is off work today. I did some new quilting earlier on (see craft blog) and then we went out this morning and sold our red car - it has been a good car and I am sad to see it go - though glad our driveway is a bit emptier now.
We're all enjoying watching the Winter Olympics now. (And we watched 'Cool Runnings' yesterday too, to get us in the mood!)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Pretty things

I've just been reading the book Shabby Chic Home by Rachel Ashwell, and I loved the collection of mismatched crockery she had. When Scott asked me if I would like anything in particular for a Valentine gift, I said I would like to get some. A cup/saucer/plate set arrived today (Ebay!) and I have a couple of other plates on their way. I think they are pretty. (It didn't stop Scott getting me two dozen red roses today though!) We have had some more slow cooker meals this week. I think the book I have (Hamlyn Ultimate Slow Cooker Book) is turning out to be really good! We have all liked everything so far. We had Beef with Ginger & Bay the other day, and yesterday had Bread & Butter Pudding with White Chocolate and Blueberry Coulis. It was very rich - lots of double cream/butter/chocolate etc! It used egg yolks for the custard part, so to not waste the whites, I made meringues today. Also today we've got a new potato and spinach curry. (The joy of the slow cooker is that it was all done by 10am!)
Other stuff: Jack and Tom both had parent's evening this week. They are both doing great, and doing very well across all their subjects. Proud of them all.
Scott and I ordered our two double beds.
Harry went to a birthday party today at the Leisure Centre, and had a joyful time tearing around like a loony. Unfortunately we completely forgot to take him to goodbye party last night, on the American base. It was written down and everything - my memory is just bad.
Also yesterday I did another run. I tried to go faster this time, but was dying after 20 minutes, so that was that.
Scott wants to play another game of Settlers of Catan now, so gotta go!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ha ha! Guess what arrived in the post today!
Harry's eyes are beautiful - I wanted this photo to highlight mainly them. Harry has spent a lot of time putting stickers on some cards lately, then peeling them off and sticking new ones on. They were meant to be for his friends, but he's very attached to them now.
I love seeing him so engrossed. Everyone is fine - Scott is in London today. We had a lovely walk to school in heavy snow, but it's mainly melted now. Trying out another of the recipes from the slow-cooker book - Beef with Ginger & Bay. It's making the house smell good.

Monday, 8 February 2010

New cameras!

I am really happy - there are two new (second-hand) cameras winging their ways towards me as we speak!
I decided it would make good sense to have a second camera (and I am getting jittery without one, while mine is being fixed...) I looked on eBay for the one I had before, but they are still £80-100ish, so I had a look for the camera I had before that, and bought one for £35. They are really great little cameras - John, Robin, me and Mum all owned one, at one point.
Anyway then I saw another one, exactly the same, but with no charger, and I bid on it and got it for £22! It seemed daft not to buy a £200+ camera for only £22! I figured the kids can use it, or I can have it as a spare spare.
I think having no camera for a week has revived my passion for taking photos!

Had a good weekend, even with Scott working on Saturday. I walked with the boys into town to get sweets, and then we made Valentine's cards. In the evening, we drove to Ikea, so Scott and I could try out mattresses. We want to get 2 new double beds - one each. Scott got up before me that morning, and it was so wonderful to be able to sprawl out how I wanted, and have all the covers. Why not have that much space each, all the time?! Our room will look a bit daft with 2 double beds next to each other, but I really don't think I mind!

Church and a quiet afternoon yesterday, and then Visiting Teaching this morning. I'm struggling a bit right now, with a pulled muscle at the back of my ribs - it's very painful to move. Scott took Tom to school for me, and I think Harry and I will have naps this afternoon. The weather is suitable for a snuggling up afternoon - freezing, with some feeble looking snow.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Missionaries, and Olympics Here I Come! (Slight exaggeration on the second one)

The missionaries came for tea tonight, and afterwards they showed us {this} short clip. It's lovely. Lucy is at a new friend from school's house for a sleepover, but the boys enjoyed it, and Tom said to Jack after, that they should do the same to Marcel! (our Farmer-neighbour in France)
After the boys were in bed, I went for a run, and did just over 5 miles! It took 1 hour 9 mins. If my camera wasn't away at the camera hospital, I would take of photo of Scott's GPS watch thing, because I am really proud of it! I'm pretty sure it's the furthest I've run ever. The best bit was that I could have kept going a bit more, and I wasn't even out of breathe. (I know it's quite slow though.)
Scott has to work most of tomorrow, which is a bit rubbish, but Harry and I spent some time today cutting out hearts etc. on my Cricut machine, so we can all make Valentines cards.
Going to go and read 'Longitude' tucked up in bed now...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Sunday was nice at Ben & Anna'a - said goodbye to Beks - before she heads off on her American adventure! Since then it's been cleaning and ironing, and trying to sort out broken things. The tumble dryer has been making incredibly loud shrieking noises, but I've been determined to get all my washing dried in it, before the repair man comes tomorrow, because it may not work at all after that. My camera lens was making bad noises too, so that has all been parcelled off to Sony today. My car has decided it will not lock, but that's not so great a loss, as I never locked it much before anyway. I managed to fix the dishwasher myself, so that's OK now, but I am getting fed up of the pilot light which keeps going out. Thankfully my sewing machine still works! Jack doesn't want a quilt but a big cushion, so here are the squares for that. LAST PHOTOS FOR QUITE SOME TIME...

The family:

SCOTT: Says he is 'totally a cutie' (Think he spent too much time with the Young Women tonight...)

ME: The above, plus I went for a run this morning, and did rubbish again (had to walk). I don't know why I run OK at night, and really struggle in the mornings.

LUCY: Says she is tired. She seems happy though, and looks like she enjoyed Young Women's tonight.

JACK: Has cried about 4 times today, but he was happy too by bedtime. I think he was feeling a bit sensitive because I whooped him at Settlers of Catan. He has sent in a reply slip to join the school Ukulele club.

TOM: Has the most ridiculous hanging-out tooth, that he won't let me pull out. He loves being a free reader and has read 4 Roald Dahl books in the last two weeks. (Which makes me laugh, seeing as he was on 4-lines-a-page books at school.) Tom cleared up and set the table beautifully this evening without being asked.

HARRY: Bought a tiny pink teddy from the charity shop today, and called it Lucy. He didn't want to go to playgroup yesterday, so had a day off, and slept for over 3 hours in the afternoon. He is a mainiacal scooterer, to and from school.