Monday, 23 January 2012


Just before Christmas I discovered a new interest, called Pinterest...
Ooooo - so much loveliness! Basically lots of photos of all sorts of things - wonderful places, foods, craft ideas, house ideas etc etc. I have always kept photo files of ideas on my computer, but this is a much easier way to tranfer and store pictures for later use and inspiration.
I had saved this picture I came across on Pinterest, and shown it to Harry:
Harry asked if we had any of the white tape, and a short while later our living room looked like this:
It's actually looked like this for about a week now (with the addition of lots more Playmobil and Hot Wheels cars...) I'm wondering just how long it will be here for?

January so far...

Well so far this year, I seem to mainly have been occupied with church activities, and ladies' trips out!
The children all went back to school on Wednesday January 4th, the day after Scott went back to work. That Wednesday evening we had a Relief Society class on Cake Decorating, and I took along a couple of Mums from school.
I had a Youth meeting in Northampton the next night, then an evening out with my school book club friends at an Indian restaurant on the Friday night, and a meeting to plan the Youth Camp, in Kettering on the Sunday night.

The following Friday (13th), we had an activity evening in Northampton, followed by our very first youth choir practise! There were over 100 youth and leaders, and we didn't sound too bad! The girls were incredibly enthusiastic, and the boys a bit less so (or down-right very not enthusiastic in some cases!) I was glad with how it went, though we had some other mix up on the night, and I left the evening feeling exhausted and a bit fragile.
I was cheered up enormously the next day though, following a phone call with President Hirst. He always helps me see the bigger picture.

On Sunday 15th, I went to Bedford ward to give a talk there. I'd been asked by the Bishopric on Wednesday evening to speak for 20 minutes. I get very nervous speaking, but I don't mind it in some ways, because it makes me really study, and try and listen for the Holy Ghost. I think it went OK anyway. It turned out that Scott and the children didn't get to go to church that day because my car hadn't started! Lucy had ended up doing a little class at home with the boys.

I didn't have the car for all of last week, but luckily I didn't really need it.
On Thursday 19th, I went out to lunch with some friends from Harry and Tom's school, to celebrate Zoe's birthday. It was very pleasant, and I had made a pink roses cake, with little bunting on top, to finish off. The restaurant people were really nice, and even provided a cake sparkler and bought the cake in.
On Thursday night, I travelled with the Cains to Northampton for our Stake Council meeting.

The next day, I had another (unplanned) day out with two friends, to go swimming costume shopping. I actually found two that I liked, and we had another very lovely lunch out!
The swimming costumes were in preparation for Saturday 21st, when I and eight friends from the school travelled to King's Lynn for a spa day.
It had been planned for a Sunday, so I'd said I wouldn't be going, but not long ago, they told me they had changed it to a Saturday so that I could go!
We had a wonderful day out, leaving at 9am, and getting home again at about 11pm. At the spa, I went to the gym, swam a lot (between 30 or 40 lengths), had an AMAZING back massage, went in some of the different steam rooms, had an ice fight in one of the spa rooms, salt scrubbed our feet, read by the pool, chatted a lot drinking herbal teas, and at the end I think I fell asleep for a bit curled up in a bath robe on a lounger in the relaxation room! We also had a nice lunch out, then a meal at a local Chinese restaurant in the evening.
Scott was great, and took all the kids to London on the train. They went to the Science Museum, The British Museum, and also into Westminster Abbey. They all seemed to have had a super day!
Yesterday (Sunday 22nd), I went to church in Northampton ward, and then Duston ward (who meet in the afternoon). I then went straight from there to Bedford, for their 'New Beginnings' evening. It was good seeing lots of the girls and their leaders. Scott and the kids went to Huntingdon. (My car is fixed now - it had a service, which sorted it out.)

Scott's been pretty busy this month with Seminary starting again, and with his plans for world domination (well, actually his plans for making the college bigger and better...) He's had loads of ideas recently, and is excited to see if they actually work!
The children are all quite happy. Lucy has been choosing her subjects for GCSEs - her option subjects (she thinks) will be Geography, Economics and Drama. She already has to do French, and all the sciences etc. because she is on the 'enrichment pathway'.
Lucy's also been chosen to be on a justice panel type-thing at school, where she and some others have to listen to 'cases' of misbehaviour in school, and decide what should be done.
She is still thoroughly enjoying her phone - it helps her keep in contact with church friends from around the stake.
Jack is happy to just jog along with life - he does his homework with no problems or reminders, and he has recently taken part in two basketball tournaments with school. He is really getting tall too - nearly as tall as Lucy now.
Tom has a new teacher for two days a week, who he is quite happy with - Miss Lavelle - I laugh every time I hear the name, because she was a character in one of the episodes of the A-Team...
Tom is enjoying reading a lot at the moment, and frequently reminds me that we need to go to the library.
Harry is growing up too. He takes pride in his artwork, and loves his cars and Playmobil. He is a bit more compliant now, and life seems easier in some ways. He loves his swimming lessons on Mondays after school, and is highly enthusiastic, and a joy to watch!
Harry ran 102 circuits of our downstairs, last week. He has lots of energy!


On Christmas Eve, we had a lovely day - Lucy and I went to buy cinema tickets for Arthur Christmas in the morning, went to McDonalds for breakfast, and then walked over to the big Tesco nearby (via the extremely muddy bit!) for a wander. I got a very turquoise jacket, and Lucy got a poncho which she loves, plus some other bits (including nail polishes). We had such a laugh. 
When we got back, to Lucy's delight, her new Sim card had come for her mobile phone. I had finally decided to get a new phone (my old one has been lost for nearly a year), and we found a very cheap contract. I get a free phone with mine (exactly the same model as Lucy's!) and Lucy bought the same contract too. She is so happy to be able to text as freely as she likes now. My phone arrived after Christmas, and I am actually remembering to charge it and take it with me!
We all enjoyed the film in the evening, and then went and got cheese burgers afterwards. Lucy and I ended up running back to Tesco again, pleading with the security guard to let us in (he was just locking up), so that we could get someone to take the security tag off my turquoise jacket, which they had forgotten to do earlier in the day.
On Christmas Day, we were just by ourselves in the morning, and it was lovely watching everyone opening their presents, after I showed them a short film from Don't know why I bothered tidying up, it pretty quickly looked like this!
We went to church for an hour-long service, in which the ward choir did a really good job. We then went back home, quickly packed, then headed to Mum and Dad's house for Christmas Part II!
John and Hannah arrived around the same time, and we all had Christmas dinner, then had more presents (my favourite being a gorgeous glass cake dome and plate, with some almond things inside which John had made - perfect!!)
There's nothing better than hanging out with family! Lots of talking, laughing and late nights!

On Boxing day, went went to Nottingham University to go for a walk in the park.
Mum and Dad on the spinny thing!
The guys on another spinny thing
Asher and Uncle Scott
Family Portrait #1
Family Portrait #2!
Mum being the Karate Kid...
On December 27th we took Granny's mobility scooter out for a spin, on Abbey Park. All the kids had a go - though whoever was on the scooter became the target for the frisby.
I wanted to stay at Nottingham for a bit longer, so that I could get to see Katy. She hadn't been able to come while Asher, and also Nikki (who's pregnant) were around, because Amy got Chicken Pox just before Christmas. 
Katy, Amy and Bobbie came on 28th December, and we had a nice stroll up to the Avenue, and got loads of half price Boots sale bargains. 
Me trying out some new polish on Amy.
I also started some knitting at Mum and Dad's... Scott looks so impressed!
Chicken spotty Amy and big cousin Lucy.
We headed back home on 29th, to give me time to get ready for the Brand New Year event in Northampton (for the youth from church and their families), which I was helping to organise.

On New Year's Eve, Scott took Harry and Tom on the train to London, where they went to the Science Museum, the Imax theatre, and Hamley's toy shop (to spend some Christmas money!)
Jack, Lucy and I headed off, and helped get everything ready in Northampton.
When everyone had arrived, we started the evening off with a bit in the chapel where we introduced the Church's Youth Theme for 2012 ('Arise and Shine Forth') I had to give a talk, which I had based on a quote from the film 'The Help'
I tied it in with gospel principles, and I felt like the talk went well - it really was what I wanted to say to the youth.
We then had the party part, with inflatables, and food and games etc, and we counted in the new year in classic style. One of Lucy's friends took this pictures, a few moments into 2012!

Monday, 16 January 2012


On Wednesday 8th December, I should have been at Harry's school, watching him in his play - only I totally forgot to go! (loving Mother that I am...) Luckily one of my friends had spare tickets for the other performance they were doing, the next day. Here's Harry as a spider... (promotion from last year, when he was 'Herod's Helper' - yes, the Herod who killed all the babies...)
On Thursday 8th of December, Jack turned 12, and the next day he and Lucy had a day off school (teacher training or something). Harry and Tom still had school though, so it worked out well to have Jack's birthday party that day. After dropping off Hary and Tom, Jack and I drove round and picked up a couple of his school friends and then went back to ours. The boys played for a bit, then Jack's friends saw my 'The Cuter Book':
and asked if they could make felt creatures... they then spent an hour or two sewing and chattering away to me as I helped them, and I genuinely don't think I have seen happier, more enthusiastic boys anywhere! Jack looked slightly bemused that his friends were enjoying sewing so much! They didn't want to leave when I said it was time to go out for lunch (we had arranged to meet Scott), so I made up little packs with all the bits they'd need to finish off at home, and said they could always come round after school some time to make more stuff. We then met up with Scott for lunch, and afterwards dropped the boys back home.

The next day (Saturday 10th December) we had Tom's birthday party. Scott took him and some friends to the cinema and McDonalds, then they came to ours to play for a while. They were all a bit silly, and thankfully Jack took them in the garden to play football. 
In the evening, we went up to the village hall next to church, for the ward Christmas party. It was nice just hanging out and chatting with people - I was feeling a bit brain dead.

On Sunday 11th December, straight after church, Ben Conway and Scott ordained Jack as a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. It was a short and sweet blessing, and I felt so proud of Jack living his life right and being worthy to receive it. 
Our children are growing up around us, and there are many pleasures which I had never really given a lot of thought to beforehand.
Jack helped to pass the sacrament for the first time on Sunday 18th, though Scott and I managed to miss seeing him doing it, because we were in the over-flow room!

In the week before the kids broke up from school, I did my Visiting Teaching, got my hair cut, babysat for the Conway's two youngest, and also went as a last minute thing to Cambridge with my friend Jo. We went on the guided bus, and had a very pleasant time shopping for a few little bits, and having lunch in a cafe. 
On Friday 16th, Tom turned 9. He always finds it hard to 'wait the longest' for his birthday to come around!
In the evening, I went ice skating with about 40 of the youth and leaders from church. I took a car full of kids. We had a great time (me pretty rubbish as usual, Lucy not too bad, and Jack clinging to the edge for most of it!), but about 15 minutes before the end, one of our boys tripped badly, and cut his face and knocked himself out. He came round, but had lost his short-term memory. Bishop Wade and I waited with him in the first aid room for an hour or two, while a paramedic arrived, and thoroughly checked him out. His memory gradually started to return, but they took him to the hospital to keep an eye on him, and I took back the kids I was taking home. He went home the next day, and all was fine, thankfully.
That weekend we also finally got round to putting up the Christmas decorations - me reluctantly. Once the Christmas tree was all pretty though, it made me happy every time I saw it, and Lucy felt the same too!
We had a full week before Christmas then, with the kids off school, and it was lovely. We gradually cleared up the whole house (though I never did get round to getting all the ironing done before Christmas), and we were in a real making mood, and also baking mood. We did a menu for the week, and ate well.
Here is our pudding one day - chocolate cake drizzled with condensed milk and fudge sauce, then covered with creamy stuff, and topped with home made cinder toffee.
Scott also did his first ever baking! (since I have known him, anyway) - he and his able assistant Lucy made two gingerbread London Temples, to give to Anna Conway and Nikki Flinn, for a Facebook handmade-pay-it-forward thing. They were complete with green spires, golden Angel Moronis (Lindor chocolate teddies), and pond, with kids paddling in it (gummy bears.) I think he was quite proud of them, and I was quite happy because he made enough Royal Icing to ice a shed, so there was plenty left for me to freeze in little tubs and make stuff with later.
We also built into our menu for the week, some smoothies. This was one of our less successful ones... beetroot (straight from the garden), carrots, apples and possibly celery. No one could drink it. Even I who pride myself on not being fussy, could only manage a third of a glass before spitting a load out in the sink. RE-VOLT-ING...
On Friday 23rd, we had been invited to a Christmas party at a friend from school's house - Holly in Harry's class. There were a few of us 'Ladies who Lunch' there with our families. The kids all disappeared, the men all talked, the women all talked, and we had a lovely and very civilised time!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


On Friday 2nd December it was the Christmas Fair at Harry and Tom's school. I am in the school parents' group, and had a few assignments to help with it, one being to set up Santa's Grotto, and another to make the 'Guess the number of sweets on the cake' cake...
I also ran a 'making incredibly gluey & messy wooden Christmas Puddings craft stall', while Lucy and Jack came straight from their school, to take Harry and Tom round. Everyone spent their money on the Jam Jars stall and soft toys.
The next day was Harry's 6th birthday. He was delighted with his presents, and got down to some serious playing, while I spent most the day making cupcakes for his party that afternoon. Harry was sharing his party with Dylan from his class at school. We had booked the local leisure centre soft play bit, and invited their entire class (most of whom came).
It went pretty well I think. Harry enjoyed it anyway!
The calm before the storm...
Harry and Dylan, and the pirate cupcakes I made.
After the party, Harry had a wonderful time opening the enormous amount of presents he received from his friends - I know I probably should have felt how excessive it all was, but actually I just enjoyed how happy he was.

The following week, we went to the library, and I remembered to take my camera with me, to get a photo of this picture which Harry drew. He and his classmates all drew pictures of book covers, for a display on one of the library walls. I think it's lovely!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Family Temple Trip

Had a great weekend, starting with Friday 18th November. Scott had signed up for some deal with Blockbuster, so that we could have as many DVDs as we liked for a month. On Friday evening, we watched 'Australia'. Seemed like we hadn't sat down to watch anything for ages, and we had a lovely evening together. 

The next day, we went down to London Temple. We were so lucky with the weather - clear and mild. I went in the Temple first, while Scott had the kids, then we swapped. The kids did drawings and read, and we all took it in turns with my camera.
The grounds were beautiful.
I love seeing Jack and Lucy having fun together. They seem closer since Jack started Lucy's school - more in common I suppose, and Jack's seems a bit more grown-up lately.
The place where we were married for eternity!
I also took the kids into the visitor's centre, where we watched some of the church's short films. They are wonderful. I know the kids could really feel the spirit, and they didn't want to leave when Scott came and found us. Harry asked if we could go back to the temple soon.

In the evening, Anna and I went onto the American Airbase, and met up with a load of our friends from bookclub, to watch 'The Help' at the cinema. What a good film! We'd read the book, and I think everyone really liked both. They are also a great bunch of girls to be friends with!

On Sunday, it was the Primary Presentation at church. Scott, Lucy and I watched from the over-flow room, so I wasn't able to glare at Harry as he messed around through much of it (or was non-co-operative at the very least) - not one of his finer moments anyway. It was Jack's last ever presentation, and he didn't really want to do it (feels too old now), so I was proud of him, and Tom did a good job too.

It was also announced that Stephen and Johnathan who I worked with on the stake youth team were released from their callings. I felt a rush of emotion as it was said, and started crying - we have worked hard together this past year, and had a lot of fun too - I will really miss them both. In the following week, I spoke with Stephen, and then with Johnathan the next Sunday, at a Stake Youth Fireside which we were holding, and got to thank them for a good year. Also over the past few weeks, I have had 5 new people called to the Young Women's team, so it will be all change!