Monday, 28 February 2011

The rest of Half-term

On Wednesday, Holly bought Lucy and Abigail back from their London trip... never seen two girls so happy/crazy/full of it! (Suffice to say, they had a good time!) We ended up with all the Bleakleys (minus Imogen) staying for the afternoon and for tea - lovely to get together again!
In the evening I hosted bookclub for my church ladies. Also on Wednesday my second blog book came in the post - all of 2009 printed up. This one of Tom enjoying it is what it's all about!Lucy and Abigail made themselves useful, planning meals for the rest of the week. (I think this had something to do with one of their Personal Progress award goals.)
I just about managed to keep up with the VAST amounts of dirty dishes produced...
The trip to London/the theatre was to celebrate Abi's 13th birthday. This also meant she was allowed to go on Facebook for the first time... Oh. My. Goodness. Facebook will not know what has hit it... Anyway, Lucy and Abi both had terrific fun editing and putting all their London pictures on, and they also spent a substantial amount of time on the phone/Facebook with a certain 13 year old boy...
We have had a good time though, and they are good girls. The boys were also happy, and kept themselves busy.
The 'I {heart} London' duo (who's goal it is, apparently, to work in the Harrod's perfume bit in the daytimes, and on the West End in the evenings... they have it all sorted out.)
Tim left his little Fiat Coupe with us, till they picked up Abigail again. I just needed to move it!
Lovely mild weather for a couple of days, and playing in the garden.We went to a couple of parks too, with the boys on their bikes.
On Friday, Scott came home with three bunches of flowers for me - lillies, tulips and pink roses - gorgeous! and in the evening I went to bookclub with my school ladies. Lovely time chatting, sitting in front of a wonderful log fire. Bed at midnight.
Abi got picked up on Saturday, while Lucy had to go to a 4 hour rehearsal for Bugsy Malone. Time to make some mini albums with Abi and her sisters before they left. Fond farewells (and now we are finding everything which was left behind!)
The rest of Saturday was peaceful, just getting cleared up and organised.
I drove Lucy and Ben Conway to Duston Ward Conference on Sunday (along with my experimental banana/fudge muffins for the girls - looked gross, tasted good), and enjoyed the meetings.
In the evening had fun chatting to various family members on the phone and on Skype, which Jack has got rigged up and is very keen on! I started making a new photo book too.
Feel that the Half Term Holidays have been survived admirably.
Everyone back to school quite happily today, and I got tonnes of stuff done.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Half-term Holidays

Scott had yesterday off work, and took all the kids to the driving range to smash golf balls around. I didn't do a whole lot - still felt sick - just got bits of ironing done etc.
Today I took the kids over to near Ely, to drop Lucy off at someone's house where she was meeting up with the Bleakleys, before going to London for Abigail's birthday. They are getting the train down today, doing some shopping and seeing Les Miserables tonight.
I took the boys into Ely after, and we had a nice little wander around, and play on the park. Jack found a £2 coin in the street, and Harry found a £1 coin, but lost it again (and was a total nuisance about it all the way home...) Stopped off at the library on the way home too, for Jack to get another massive pile of books. He is reading vast amounts at present!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

This Week, including Parent's Evenings

Monday: Harry and Tom poorly, and off school (though not poorly enough to stop arguing...) Had to miss Visiting Teaching. Did an on-line shop, just in case I have sick kids forever and never get out again!

Tuesday: Everyone finally at school, and I had quilting class. Enjoyed learning a new technique. Jack's friend Tiago came for dinner after school, and he come along with us to Jack's Parent's Evening. Jack's teacher said Jack is far ahead in all his subjects, that he is always polite, charming, and a credit to Scott and I, and that if he had a class full of Jacks his job would be...(can't remember the word he used, but good anyway.)

Wednesday: Went Visiting Teaching in the morning. After school I went to Tom and Harry's Parent's Evening. Tom's teacher said all his subjects are strong, he has a great imagination, and that he just soaks up knowledge and loves learning. She was happy that he is getting more confident in class, and said he is a total delight.
Harry's teacher said he is doing fine with learning to read etc, that he has plenty of friends and seems happy at school. She said she calls him the 'Lego Expert', and that he definitely has an artistic streak. She also said he is a bit of a chatterer at carpet time, and sometimes says not so nice things to people ('I'm a faster runner than you' type of thing.)
I've felt quite challenged by Harry lately - he seems to be so tightly wound up - has so much tension in him, and so much energy, and he is so quick to take a swing at someone, or shout at them or say 'I'm not listening' etc, so I was glad that his report was pretty good!

Thursday: Helped with taking Tom's class swimming in the morning (including using up just about the whole of the Leisure Centre's stock of leaflets to make fans for all the kids), and went back to his class in the afternoon, to help everyone make their own 'Angels of the North' out of milk cartons, foil, lots of newspaper, and EVEN MORE GLUE. They are a nice bunch of kids.
In the evening I went out for a Presidency meeting. Also this week I sorted out where we are going to have the Young Women Stake camp, and got the camp site booked. Felt a big weight lifted, getting that sorted out.

Friday: Felt sick and went back to bed after dropping the kids off. Slept all morning, and felt a bit better. Went shopping with the kids after school - seriously in need of some treats to celebrate the start of the holidays!

Saturday: We all went to see Despicable Me at the cinema in the morning - all loved it - had a great time! Spent the afternoon finishing off my talk. Did some quilting in the evening.

Today: I went to Milton Keynes ward today. Probably worried the Bishopric somewhat, because I was the first speaker, and turned up 5 minutes late - the motorway was closed, and I went on a very interesting detour! I also taught the Young Women class. Both went OK I think.
Felt pretty sick again this afternoon. Fed up of this thing, whatever it is - it's been going on for ages. Kids all gone to bed happy though. Harry really took to heart the scripture reading I did with him before bed, and of his own accord said that the people we were talking about in the scriptures were really kind, and he's going to try and be really kind too. (I'm sure any other parents will know how much I was cheering inside!)
Happily, Scott has a day off work tomorrow. Things have been ticking over pretty good for Scott work-wise and in general.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Well - entering a fourth week of having various kids off school... today it's Tom and Harry's turn! I haven't had someone off every single day, but the kids (and I) seem to have some kind of headache/nausea/tiredness bug which comes and goes, though Harry has a cold, and keeps coughing (with the odd nose bleed thrown in for good measure!)
For a bit of variety though, last Tuesday I got a call from Tom's school saying he had had a bad fall in the playground, and could I come and take him to the doctors. Tom had well and truly the most impressive lump on his forehead I have ever seen - a chicken egg stuck to his skull-kind-of-thing. That wouldn't have been so bad, but he was drowsy, and felt sick, with a bad heachache for a couple of days. The doctor said he was OK, but he had me a bit worried that first day.
Lucy also had a cervical cancer immunisation last week, and I don't know if it was a coincidence, but she threw up that night, and was off for 3 days too.
One of the little sickies:
Went to see Jack in a football match on Friday. His team lost 5-0, but Jack didn't seem to mind too much. I liked it that Jack's team was mixed girls, boys, and abilities though, giving everyone a chance to play.
I've been out and about a bit this week too - Northampton on Thursday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, where I taught the Young Womens class. I enjoyed all the meetings though, and got to share lifts every time. Rachel and I met with two of the Stake Presidency after Leadership training meeting on Saturday night, and I felt so uplifted by the end of the night - having a strong feeling of how to lead the girls I am responsible for. I also had a lovely letter from President Hirst this week, which was very encouraging.
Scott went with Lucy and other youth from our ward to London Temple to do baptisms on Saturday, and they both seemed to have enjoyed it.
Feel like I am ready for spring now. We've been too cooped up, and the kids have got on my nerves too often recently. I'm fed up of feeling exhausted, and not great.
It's not all doom and gloom though - on the whole we are pretty happy.
This afternoon Harry, Tom and I made the heart cookies (new recipe - turned out surprisingly delicious!), took some round to our elderly neighbour, and now we have just been to pick up Lucy from rehearsals (3 times a week for Bugsy Malone - being performed in March), and Jack from football club. He is most delighted because he found out today that he's going on a 4 day trip to Belgium for an International Folk dancing thing in May. He and his class will be performimg Molly Dancing, a traditional Fenland dance.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Brownies, Bikes and a Dance (amongst other things!)

The weekend has been survived... somehow!!!
After having Tom and Jack off school with sick bugs in the week (they are fine now), on Friday morning Harry said he had a stomach ache, so I thought I hade better keep him off, just in case. Had to take him to Tesco though to get a few more things for the Multi-Stake Valentines Dance. I just gave him a sick bag.
Back at home I made quite a few brownies for the dance (140 to be precise), and Harry (who I was beginning to suspect of not being ill in the least) helped clean the bowl.
Some brownies ready for some icing:
When Harry and I went to pick up Tom from school, Harry legged it round like a wild lunatic, shouting to his friends and any parents who would listen, that he had had the day at home, and it was loads more fun than school. I told him he could at least pretend to look a bit sick. I also felt totally daft, after standing in the Reception Class playground for 10 minutes... waiting for Harry... who was with me!
By that point I felt totally ill myself - headache, nauseous, temperature etc.
I went to Northampton in the evening (drugged up!) to help decorate the hall for the dance the next night. We actually had a pretty good laugh, though don't ask how long and many men it takes to construct a helium balloon archway...
On Saturday I still felt lousy, but we went and bought bikes for all the kids, and a bike rack. We bought them from a guy who does up and sells second hand bikes, about half an hour away. All 4 bikes came to £100 in total - and they are decent looking things - pretty pleased at that!
In the evening I headed to Northampton again for the dance (drugged up again!) I think it went pretty well, and there were kids from all over the place - ranging from London to Birmingham.
We had hired a proper candy floss machine, and I had fun on that, though it ended up all over my arms and in my hair etc. Got home after the clear-up at about 1am, but didn't sleep well again.
Yesterday I went to Kettering for church, then the rest of the family joined me at the Chatterton's house afterwards for dinner. We had a great time just chatting and catching up, and seeing their lovely new home.
Scott said he was asked at church how he's doing as a single parent! He is really enjoying Sundays actually, and having the chance to just talk to people now.
Lucy and I stayed at the Chattertons till later and then headed back to Kettering chapel for a Young Women's evening, while the boys drove home. I was tired beyond belief by the time I got home, and thankfully slept like the dead last night. Had a really good talk with Lucy on the drive back though. She is good company.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Catching up on January

February already! The second half of January wasn't quite as busy as the previous weeks - as mentioned below, we have had the sad news of Scott's Nan's death, and I have spent quite a bit of time getting on with decorating our bedroom. It's meant to be finished by now, but at least good progress has been made! Anyone who remembers the massive ornate mirror (or the back of it!) that's been leaning against our front room radiator for months, will be glad to hear that it has now been painted and is hanging on our wall.
On 19th Jan, Lucy and I went to a presentation evening where Lucy recieved her certificate for completing the bronze level of the Arts Award she has worked on over the last year. I'm proud of our kids and the way they just get on with things.
I finally got round to sending my camera off for repair. After building myself up to being parted from it, it was only away for about a week. Took these on the way home from school one day. I'm not sure my camera is totally right yet, but so far I haven't tried taking any pictures in decent light conditions.
I think this coat suits Harry so much!
On 22nd Jan, we went to Sam Bleakley's baptism. Although they have moved away, the baptism was held at our chapel. Tom gave the closing prayer. He was really scared, but still did it. Lucy and Abigail were somewhat happy to be reunited again, and could only be parted with reminders that they will see each other again in the half-term holidays, when they are going to London to see Les Miserables, and then Abigail will spend a few days at our house...
I still haven't been to church in our home ward yet - visited Milton Keynes a week ago, and this past Sunday was Stake Conference at Northampton. I went on my own to the Saturday evening session, and then I had to give a talk at the Sunday session. I'd had about a week to prepare, but other than choosing what theme I wanted to speak on, couldn't seem to make a talk come together. I got it written on Saturday morning, and am just glad it's over with now. I think it went OK, but what made me most glad was the old Young Women's President coming up and saying that it was great, and that I had put into words things she had been wanting to say.

Tom is here at home with me today, off school with a bad stomach. Lucy, Scott and I haven't been feeling all that wonderful over the last week or two, either. Scott is also totally fed up with winter! He hates the cold! I don't think me or the kids mind it so much, but we probably wrap up better.
Scott and I have enjoyed a couple of lunches together too in the past couple of weeks. I go and pick him up from work and we go to Frankie and Bennie's. One of the joys of having all the kids at school!

Also yesterday, a book arrived in the post - the whole of 2010 of this blog, published! It's a great reminder (and partly of the point of me keeping this blog) - amazing the things we had forgotten about last year already!