Tuesday, 29 March 2016

December 2015

On Tuesday 1st December, I went round to Michelle Trickett-Smith's house - a lady from church, who's had incredibly bad health for a long time now. She needed help with packing ready for moving house. I spent a couple of hours with her packing up kitchen breakables and having a good chat. She's great company! I went over once a week during December - there was plenty to do, as Michelle is a bit of a self-admitted hoarder!

Wednesday 2nd  - impromptu visit to the big Tesco with Donna!

On Thursday 3rd December, Harry turned 10! He had asked for a couple of friends from school over for tea and to a few games.

Henry, Mary and Harry having a doughnut eating race!

I was pleased because Harry had asked for a Minecraft birthday cake (ie. what the cakes look like in Minecraft) and it was quite an easy design to do!

Our Elf on the Shelf 'Maldad' made a reappearance this year... (Fortunately, I only came up with something for him to do a few times - the kids enjoyed doing it the rest of the time.)

On Friday 4th December, I met up with Scott at Peterborough Chapel for Dylan Martin's Funeral Service. He is Hannah and Spencer's 11 year old son, who was born with severe physical and mental health issues, and who in spite of being wheelchair bound has been a lively and happy part of our Ward.
We all wore bright colours to the funeral as those are what Dylan loved. Lots of Dylan's family gave beautiful talks and musical items, and as well as the sadness, there was much hope in the knowledge the Gospel gives us.

On Tuesday 8th December, Jack turned 16!!!
He didn't want a party, but I made him a big chocolate cake!

Singing to Jack... we had to make do with one big candle for the cake!

Maldad strikes again, on the medicine cupboard.

A few weeks ago, Harry had wanted to make some cream horns, and wasn't very impressed that we didn't have any cream horn moulds! (He loves watching 'The Great British Bake-Off'.) Anyway, I'd bought a pack of moulds for his birthday, and on 11th December, we made some.
I'd bought ready-made puff pastry, and Harry cut it into strips and wrapped it round the moulds.
(Our pyramid of Grape Soda in the background - a present from the Butikofers!)

The horns worked out pretty well, and I made cranberry and white chocolate cookies too.

I'd also bought some squirty cream, and fruit sauce. Yum!!

On Monday 14th I had to go to Fire Head Quarters, to collect my working rig (smart uniform) and have a photo taken for my warrant card. When I got there, they were ever so apologetic and said that actually I needed to go to the Training Centre instead (across town). My friend Jason was also there (great news, because it meant he had passed his assessment day too, and we'd be on the training course together!), so we both headed to the Training Centre. A few more people from our course were there. I recognised most of them from our assessment day. 
I got changed in a room with another girl who'll be on the course - Vicky, just to check everything fitted. We each had a massive box of stuff! Trousers, T-shirts, smart shirts, sweatshirt, jacket, socks, boots, belt, eye goggles, whistle, bag etc.
We also had to try some PPE on for size too, which would be ready for us on the course.
I had a couple of photos taken, then headed back to Sainsbury's car park with my enormous box!
Tried everything on again when I got home! I love my magnetic name badge best of all!

On Wednesday 16th, I got to look after the Hookers' little boy Seth, for a while. I think Naomi was a bit worried that he'd get upset, but I had Harry 'ill' off school (not that ill!) and he played cars and train tracks with Seth, who was entirely happy the whole time!
The 16th was also Tom's 13th birthday! (This has been quite a year for special birthdays... Me 40, Lucy 18, Jack 16, Tom a teenager, and Harry in double digits!)
I was delighted that he didn't want a party, and requested a doughnut birthday cake!!

On Thursday 17th, I went for an Osteopath appointment in Godmanchester. Ben Conway had recommended a couple of osteopaths there, and I thought I should probably get my shoulder checked out before I started the fire course. I'd hurt it on the indoor ski slope on camp in the summer, and it still bothers me from time to time. I absolutely loved Vida, my osteopath! She is so positive and encouraging! She said I had a AC joint ligament strain that we should be able to get sorted.
Scott also went to an osteopath on the 17th, in Peterborough, because he's had a painful shoulder too!

On Saturday 19th, Scott went on a Ward Youth Temple trip with Lucy, Jack and Tom, and I had a baking day. I wanted to make gift boxes of treats for our neighbours and the families Scott Home Teaches. This was Tom's first time inside the Temple, and he said he really enjoyed it. Lucy had found some names of ancestors - some sisters - on Scott's family tree, and was baptised on behalf of them, should they wish to accept the ordinance.
Harry and I also assembled a Gingerbread House kit!

The results...

In the evening when everyone was back, I delivered gift boxes to four of our neighbours, and took a good couple of hours, because I went in and chatted with Bill and Connie, and then Anne, across the road.

On Sunday 20th we went to church, and it was a lovely day - it was the Christmas Devotional broadcast, Meg and Dave were there, and then we had a ward Munch and Mingle, plus I got to give out presents to my Visiting Teaching sisters. Also, most importantly, Jack was ordained as a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. I was really proud of him living in such a way that he is able to have this responsibility. Part of his new Priesthood responsibilities include blessing the bread and water for the Sacrament, and he is also able to baptize others now.

Harry asked if he could sleep in the bath, and as it was the school holidays, and he won't always be able to fit in the bath to sleep, I said yes. Tom and Lucy 'helped'! They filled the bottom of the bath with sleeping bags, for padding.

That evening, Lucy was complaining she'd have no good skirts to wear on her mission next year, so I said we should learn to make them, and I had a go right then. I got some fabric out from the boxes under my bed, and laid out an old skirt I like, then drew round it, and improvised the pieces I'd need. It turned out pretty well! It has a side zip and everything! I rashly said I'd make Lucy a new skirt every week of her mission... that might be pushing it a bit... maybe one a month?!

Lucy went to Mallory Grover's house on Monday 21st to make cupcakes with the Young Women. Tamisa Martin and Mariah Taylor came over to our's after for a Star Wars film marathon! (The next day the Young Women went and sang at a Care Home and delivered the cakes. Lucy said it was lovely!)

Also on 21st, I iced our Christmas cake, which Janice (Richard Blackhurst's Mum) made for us. I was at Richard and Jo's house for lunch one day when Janice was there. She makes Richard and Jo's cake and said she'd like to make mine too because I decorate their cake every year! I happily agreed! I'd left some ingredients money for her, but when I got the cake, she'd put loads of goodies in there for me too, because she hadn't wanted any money - she'd included mincemeat, icing sugar, homemade jams, and some other baking bits - it was so nice!

Scott went down South on 21st to meet up with two of his old school friends - Justin Illingsworth and Simon Bennett. They'd not seen each other for a few years and I think had a pretty good time!

Wednesday 23rd December. In some of Harry's 'no screens!' time, he made these Minecraft characters, using the back of my scrapbook paper and my box maker!

Also on 23rd, I came downstairs at one point to find all the kids making cookies together. It was so flippin' cute!!

On Christmas Eve, we all went to Shane and Dawn's for a lovely lunch. Chris was there too, which was nice. Then my lot went to the cinema (taking Ethan) to see Star Wars. I had refused point bank to see it, so went home!

I shared my testimony on Facebook that afternoon. I have focused more on Jesus Christ lately, and have felt strengthened and happier because of it. I wanted to express some of that.

We took ages to decide what to do for Christmas, and in the end stayed at home on Christmas Eve, had a nice quiet and relaxed Christmas morning on our own then drove to Mum and Dad's for lunch.
Robin and Niki's lot were there too, and we enjoyed just hanging out.
Katy and Dan hadn't planned on coming to Mum and Dad's, but ended up stopping by on their way to Dan's parents, so I got to see them briefly.

I recently got into Essie nail polishes (I'd seen a shade I'd liked on a Youtube video - which I'd come across while I was in a bit of a make-up researching/buying phase), and bought it in a set with a couple of other polishes, then got a bit addicted to looking at (and buying!) all the other nice Essie shades on Pinterest!
I'd bought my polish tin with me, and after tea did Emma and Heidi's nails, and Mum's!
I've also been doing Lucy's nails every couple of days, and she's stopped biting her nails for the first time in years and grown them out!
Dad at tea!

We stayed overnight, and on Boxing Day, John and Hannah's gang came at lunchtime and we had Christmas Part II.
Beforehand, the older kids and I went to the Avenue - mainly so I could go to the Boots sale! It didn't disappoint! I spent over £100 on toiletries and lovely things. I also had to get a refund on my Christmas present from Scott - a bottle of Chanel Mademoiselle perfume, which unfortunately had a smashed top. (I replaced it later!) Scott turned up just as we were finishing, and took us home.


The usual back room chaos.

Scott trying out some 3D viewing thing on John's phone.

I'd bought Hattie and Viv a mop/broom set, and a doll's pushchair. They spent ages pushing each other round in the pushchair (and shrieking every time they wanted to swap - talk about noisy!!) ...hilarious!

Asher and Emma trying to kiss Tom!

We headed home on Boxing Day evening.

On Sunday 27th, Bex Key was at church, visiting Ben and Anna, so in the evening I went over to Ben and Anna's, and Bex and I had a good catch up!

On Wednesday 30th, I traveled on my own to Nottingham for the funeral of Aunt Dot - Dorothy Saldeba. She had died after battling cancer for many years. I ended up getting to Nottingham 1 Chapel just after the service had started, and slipped in at the back, sitting with Ron Berrington and Roger Beardsmore. It was a wonderful service and the place was absolutely packed. David Bourne spoke, then Dad, and then Kate Radford. I felt like it did justice to Aunt Dot who is one of the best people I've ever known - quiet, unassuming, kind, generous, and always cheerful.
She used to teach me at church, and I was her bridesmaid after her first husband died and she married Eluardo (John) Saldeba. She was my toffee supplier, and introduced Juli and I to 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'! (This photo of us is from a couple of years ago.)

After the service I walked over to Wilford Hill Cemetery with Robin, Adam and Martin Devine for the funeral.
The four of us walked round the cemetery a bit after the funeral, looking for our Grandparent's graves. We found Grandad and Grandma Asher, and further up in the same row, Granny Flinn. We also found Martin's Grandad Needham.

We came across some light-hearted grave stones too, and left the cemetery with Martin and I planning Robin's grave stone... laser beams projecting a huge Robin's head into the night sky, flashing lights, great quotes and pictures etc...!!
Back at church there was a lovely feast and I enjoyed talking with lots of the old Nottingham 1 lot - Kate Radford, John Saldeba, Sister Bennett, Tiffany and her kids, and Jo Milward for ages. 
I spent the night at Mum and Dad's, then drove home the next morning.

In the evening it was the Ward New Year's Eve party! We split into teams and had some really great team games (I was in a group with Scott, the Wades, the Cooks and David and Ola Willis - what a laugh! We were highly competitive!)
Harry was in a group with lots of the Young Women, and he volunteered for one of the games which involved his face being covered with shaving foam while the rest of the team threw Cheeto's at him - the team with the most Cheeto's stuck to their victim's head, won!

We had a 'fake' New Year celebration at 9pm for all the younger kids who needed to go home early!

Our New Year (at 9pm) fireworks, which were pretty impressive!

Then we had more games, karaoke, food and chatting till midnight. One of the games was creating a costume for a team member from various scraps. My team dressed Richard Malachowski as a snowman! (I think we came joint first!)

The actual New Year! We'd thought we might take Harry home early, but he was fine, so we all saw 2016 in! Good times!

Monday, 28 March 2016

November 2015

We went (reluntantly as usual, in my case) to the Ward Trunk or Treat on Saturday 31st October. Tom bought his school friend Henry. I managed to find the ghosts I'd made last year to decorate the boot with, plus had the leaf garlands and painted pumpkins which I made for the Multi-Stake Youth dance after Sister Oscarson's visit. I can't get excited about Halloween, but I enjoyed the evening, and ended up being a judge of the chili competition with Scott (Ethan Collings won), and just chatting with loads of people all evening.

November 4th was a big date on my calendar... my assessment day for the Fire Service! I spent a couple of days beforehand intensively studying the Fire Service website, and learning more about the structure of the service and their policies, plus going through the Personal Qualities and Attributes which they look for, and running through interview answers based on them. I just had to hope I'd done enough at the gym to be strong enough for the physical assessments.

I had to be at the Training Centre for 8.50am. I went dressed in smart clothes, with gym stuff in my bag. I arrived in the rain at the same time as another candidate (Matt, who ended up being in the same group of three as me for the physical assessments, later on.) We were shown to a cafeteria area, and sat and chatted while other candidates gradually arrived. Matt was ever so nervous about the interview, but I wasn't too bad.

All of the morning candidates were taken into a room for an introduction to the day (there were about 12 of us) I was interviewed by two officers, and it took about an hour. I managed to come up with something for all the questions, but I had a bit of a slow start - my mind went blank when they said 'tell us what you know about the Fire Service'. Luckily it all came out later in the interview!
I think I came over as being pretty organised and methodical, and as I was walking over to another building with one of my interviewers, he said that that is often seem as a bit of a negative in the Fire Service, but that I reminded him of himself a bit, and he didn't see it as a negative! (I found out later that he would be my Station Commander.)

I then got changed with the other girl - Helena, and she, Matt and I were put into a group for our physical assessments. We had to put PPE on (Personal Protective Equipment - ie. fire gear, including helmet.) Two assessors took us round (they turned out to be Watch Carbis and Watch Fawcett who were our main trainers on the training course!) They said at the beginning that they had to read from a script, and couldn't say much more than that to us. It was a bit disconcerting going round doing everything, and not having the faintest idea how you were doing - if you had passed or failed each thing. The assessments were as follows:

Dummy Drag: We had to drag a dummy round a course in the training yard, under a certain time, though we weren't told how long we'd taken. It felt easy enough.
Ladder Climb: We had to put a climbing harness on, climb up a ladder leaning against the training tower, do a leg lock, then lean backwards with both arms out, and read a letter from a piece of paper on the ground behind us. That was fine too.
Tunnel Crawl: We had to put on a facemask (not connected to air), and crawl up a ramp, through a flap, and crawl though a network of cage-like tunnels. We had to go through the tunnels once, with a door to the building kept open so that we had some light, then come back, come out the building and do it again in the pitch black. I think we had about 5 minutes to do it in. Unfortunately, because of the rain, my facemask steamed up, and so even on the first go I couldn't see anything. The tunnel changed levels and directions lots of times, so you just had to feel around all the time in case there was an opening above you or to one side. About a quarter of the way through the my first run, I was totally tired out, and felt like I couldn't get enough air. I really had to talk to myself and ask if I wanted this or not...and to just get my head down and keep going. At the end, it was all I could do not to rip my facemask off to get some air! It was HARD!! I had gone first out of the three of us, and was really glad to have it out the way. When Helena came out after her first run, she was hyperventilating, and wanted to take her mask off, but the assessor said if she took it off, she would have failed. She calmed for for a few seconds, then carried on.
Manual Dexterity Test: We then went into a room where about 20 parts of some kind of pump were all laid out on a table. An assessor ran through assembling all the parts, then dismantling them again. There were some pictures on the wall to help too. We then had to have a go (wearing gloves) and do it in a set time (not that we could see a clock or know how we were doing!) I managed to remember all the steps without wasting time looking at the photos, and I think I was pretty fast. Right near the end though, I had to unscrew something, and I couldn't get it undone - must have overtightened it earlier. The assessor had to step in and use a wrench to loosen it, then he let me finish. I was a bit worried that I might be failed for that, but wasn't told anything. While Matt was doing the test, I chatted with Helena and told her what had happened. After she'd had her go, she told me she had asked the assessor what would happen if she got something stuck, and he's said she wouldn't fail for that, so I was relieved!
Ladder Lift: This was something I had worried about because Helena had already failed on this at a previous assessment day, plus Lisa and a couple of other female Fire Fighters she told me about had failed this first time too. First we had to pull on a rope to extend a ladder, which was hard but manageable. Then we had to lift up a bar which was weighted down, to a certain level above our heads. I lifted as high as I could go, and simply had no strength to get higher, but I was about 2 inches off the mark. I stood on tip toes, and that gave me the height I needed! Helena had her go then, but couldn't reach it. Matt and I were taken away then, while she was given another go. I felt really bad for her, because she'd joined a gym and got a personal fitness instructor for the past three months to help her prepare specifically for this. When we saw her she said she'd failed again, and would be given a last chance to come back in three months and do all the assessments again. I felt so bad for her, but it also gave me hope that I had passed everything so far, because otherwise, they would probably have told me.
Equipment Run: Finally Matt and I had to run up and down a 25 metre course loads of times, carrying various pieces of equipment, or just alone. It was hard work!! Near to the end I was shattered, and again - we had no way of knowing how we were doing time-wise (it was being timed). The last piece of equipment to carry was a solid metal bar with weights attached at each end. I could barely pick it up, never mind run with it!! I had to kind of hold it below my waist and shuffle along with it as best as possible. Before I even got 10 metres, I thought there was no way I could complete it - I had to go 4 x 25 metres with it, and it was getting lower and lower. I said a prayer right there as I was going along, to ask for help, and somehow I just managed to keep going with it. What my face must have looked like, I don't know, but when I finished, Matt said 'Blimey - you made that look hard!!' IT WAS!!! Helena had a go at this, just to try it, but she gave up half way through.

Matt and I then sat in a waiting area, with others who were at various stages of the assessments, plus more people arrived for the afternoon assessments, including a lad called Jason, who I'd got friendly with at the written exams, and was really happy to see had made it this far too!
We then were given various items of clothing (working rig - smart uniform) to go and try on for size, so they could order it for us.
After a while one of the office girls came out, and just said to Matt and I well done - we had passed! She thought it most likely we would get onto the next training course in January. We were both totally delighted, but kept a lid on it, because Helena was still with us, as she'd had to try on all the uniform too, for if she got through next time.
We were free to go then, so I walked back to the car park with Helena, then got home by about 3pm.

I went to school to collect Harry, and it turned out they had been trying to contact me during the afternoon because Harry was ill. I didn't really get the chance to tell anyone I'd passed (though I did on Facebook!) - just got Harry home. We had a family dentist appointment at 4.45pm, which Harry and I missed.

On Thursday 5th November, I went to Northampton for a Youth Committee Meeting, and Lucy came too.
After the meeting, Lucy wasn't back yet (she and Ben had gone off for a YSA Bonfire party), and I sat chatting with Emma Corre about a couple of concerns of hers. Lucy and Ben turned up, and then I got talking to President Hirst who'd come out of a meeting too. We talked about a couple of specific challenges I might face in the Fire Service, and also about my concern of being seen as not being an advocate for stay-at-home Motherhood any more. We ended up chatting in the car park for ages, while Lucy and Ben did too, and I went home feeling cheered.

In the evening of Saturday 7th November, I took Lucy and Tom to Northampton for our Stake 'Night of Music'. Each Ward had been assigned a decade, and had to represent that decade through music. It was a good evening! It's lovely knowing so many people in the Stake now, and cheering for them all!
Our Ward had the 1950's and Lucy, Tom and loads of the youth took part. (You can see Tom on the far right hand side below.) It was great fun! Meg and Dave were also there!

Andy Collings, Brian Russell, Robert Watson (with wig!), Eric Davis and Shane did a rather out of tune version of 'Blue Moon'. It was so bad it was great! (To be fair - their voices were good, it just got out of tune!)

On Sunday 8th, Mum and Dad came to ours for church, then came back for dinner (slow cooker pork). They finished their three years of Dad being 2nd Counselor on the Preston Temple Presidency at the end of October.
Dad was in good form, telling the kids his 'joke' where a tea towel gets made into a chicken along the way! Harry was very impressed and made endless chickens out of tea towels/blankets for days after.

Tom being less impressed with the chicken!

Exuberant Dad!

And Harry!

Some of Mum's photos: Eileen Connolly, Mum and Aileen Murray.

John Connolly, President Doug Murray and Dad.

On Saturday 14th November, the youth committee I'm part of organised a day's Youth Convention at Northampton Chapel. In the morning there were various workshops on the theme of 'Self Reliance' run by couples in the Stake. The kids all seemed to really enjoy them.
Here is some of Lucy's group making fortifications as described in the Book of Mormon, in the Thiess's class.

And Jack's group.

I spent most the morning getting stuff for the afternoon organised, though I made it into one of the classes with an ex policeman who worked in armed response. He and his wife were very entertaining, and I had a good chat with him afterwards. He was delighted to hear I had got onto the Fire Service training course, and was incredibly supportive of it.
Marcia Smith from Kettering had kindly taken on all the food for the day, and did nice packed lunches for everyone, then Richard Malachowski and I took half of everyone for some team games, while the other half made videos, then we switched the groups.
One of our games was making and racing newspaper human hamster wheels! (Lucy is at the back in the wheel!)

We also had a paper aeroplane competition, a game of 'ants', a kind of balloon volleyball, and a short basketball tournament. Lucy had been fed up at the thought of having to play games, but Richard and I tried to make everything fun and easy to get involved in... it worked - Lucy cheerfully joined in everything, even the basketball!

We finished off with a short meeting in the chapel, a meal (chili), then we started the dance. We had opened this up to other Stakes, though it did clash with another dance. We were a bit worried though because we purposely hadn't told anyone it was a barn dance with a live band, and weren't sure what the reaction would be! Sure enough some of the visitors from other Stakes weren't very impressed (though some absolutely loved it!), but I was so proud of our Northampton youth because I think virtually all of them joined in!
Emma Corre had arranged for some hay bales to be on the stage, and I had made red gingham neckerchiefs for everyone, and before long, everyone was getting into the swing of things. The caller was very good too at getting people involved.
It was pretty exhausting dancing!! A lot of the youth danced the whole night as well! I'm sure there were a few people who didn't like it as much as a normal disco, but I had so much positive feedback from lots of the youth saying they loved it, that I was happy we'd done it! All in all, a really good day, well worth all the planning!

On 17th November, I had another Hepatitis B immunisation (for the Fire Service), and the next day, Lucy had her Flu jab. She took a 'matching plasters selfie'!

In the evening of the 18th, I went to Northampton to watch the Europe Area Council Devotional Broadcast - for all Ward and Stake Council Members. (They had shown it at individual wards the evening before, which Scott had been to.) I thought it was brilliant, and really felt the spirit.

Harry's school friend, Callum, came for tea on 19th, and I made pizza dough for everyone to decorate their own pizzas. Later that evening we found a nice little message from Lucy!

That evening, the kids found out that Scott had eaten one of his advent calendar chocolates, so confiscated his calendar. Not quite sure how Jack reached up there!

Also on the 19th, I got conformation that I'd got onto the January On-Call training course. I loved the 'Welcome to the Service!' bit!

On Friday 20th, Scott and I picked up Richard and Jo Blackhurst, and went to The King of the Belgians for a meal. Seated at the next table were the Davises and Linnea Ericson from church!
The food was good, and we had a great time.

On Saturday 21st, the boys all went to Ethan Cryer's birthday party - playing football at the Leisure Centre. It was horrible weather though, and Scott bought Harry home early because he felt really ill. He got worse after that and was ill all the following week, with a bad cough. I stayed off church with Harry on 22nd, not feeling brilliant myself either.

Harry off school on Monday 23rd...making a catapult from an idea I'd saved on Pinterest.

On Tuesday 24th, I took Tom to the orthodontist in Peterborough. We didn't have the satnav or address, so we had to go by memory, which for me was pretty impressive! Got there fine, but had to drive around a bit to find parking, and only ended up being in the orthodontist for a few minutes. They want to check something out with the hospital before giving him braces, so the next appointment will be there.

On Wednesday 25th, I got a load of paperwork through from the Fire Service. I was invited to attend the 10 week training course starting on 4th January, and received a Conditional Offer of Appointment to the service (conditional upon passing the training course), but I will be a paid employee, as of 4th January. There were a load of forms to fill in, and pension stuff too.

That evening Harry wanted to make caramel shards. We Googled a recipe, and they turned out pretty well!

A rare selfie, that I sent to Scott for some reason on 26th November!

We had had to cancel the Butikofers coming over for dinner the week before, but they were able to come over on Sunday 29th. Lucy and I went to Kettering Ward first.
The Butikofers are in our Ward for a second time with the military, but are leaving after being here only a few months because Jessie's Dad back in America is very ill. This was the first and last chance we had to have them over - they left a couple of days later.

The Butikofer and Cryer families! Very sad to see them go - we have a lot of fun together!

On Monday 30th November, the older kids had the day off school. Lucy said the grass to her cabin was getting muddy, so we went to the local builder's yard, and I ordered some paving slabs. I got talking to the guy there (and must have come across as a complete wally - my purse had fallen out in the car, and I was acting like a right thicky - something to do with trying to buy jump leads - I'd run the battery flat on the Chrysler), anyway, it turned out he was a Fireman on RAF Molesworth, and he looked rather incredulous when I said I was going to be doing the fire training course!
He dropped the slabs off a bit later and we talked some more. He said the training course is hard, and basically was I prepared for the job? I said I wouldn't know till I tried, but that some people in our community must be capable of it, so I didn't see why not me. It did leave me feeling a bit worried though.
Anyway, I laid out the slabs to Lucy's cabin, which will do for now - we can sink them properly later.

That evening for Family Home Evening, everyone (except me) wanted to do the Christmas Decorations. I had never felt less Christmassy, so let them get on with it!

Scott untangling fairy lights...

At one point, when tree was decorated with a pair of socks, a candy cane and an Ocean's 11 DVD (don't ask me why...) they all decided they needed more Christmas lights and deserted me to go to Tesco for some!!

The boys took great delight in sticking crackers all over the tree, much to my disgust!

Even worse was Scott's attempt at putting lights on the front of the house. He said there was no point trying to make them neat, because I'd only re-arrange them afterwards. He had a point, but there was no need for him to actually turn the lights ON looking like THIS!!