On Friday 28th October, it was Trev's birthday, and we hadn't posted anything to Estonia for him, so the boys and I worked on some birthday banner photos for him!
I spent the next day at a Road Traffic Collision course at Wisbech fire station.
After church on the evening of Sunday 30th October, I drove Lucy to President Hirst's house, for her missionary interview. Lucy had got all her application papers and medical stuff sorted out.
I chatted with Claire Hirst and their kids while I waited, and Darcey made me a pretty good ice cream Sundae! After the interview, President Hirst brought up the subject of fire fighting and got out his collection of axes to show me!
He approved Lucy's application and submitted her papers electronically to church headquarters in Frankfurt that night!
On Monday 1st November Lucy started work at Tesco. She came home very happy and said she loves talking to all the people!
Harry also started his Bikeability course at school (Cycling Proficiency). His bike is in France, so Donna lent me a bike which I'd got serviced.
At the end of October, Tom had hidden my bag of Revels and said he wouldn't give them back till I'd run 5k! (I'd been saying I needed to start running again, and this was his was of helping!)
On 2nd November, I got round to doing the run, and got my Revels back!
On 4th November we went to a Ward Bonfire party at the Guy's house in Manea. It was fun, though a case of freezing the bits of yourself not facing the fire, and burning the bits that were! Had nice chats with quite a few people, including Brother Wright who said that Stake Council meetings aren't as interesting now I'm not there! (Fewer people putting their foot in it?!)
On Saturday 5th November, Jack had his induction day at Tesco, which he said went fine. He's on re-stocking the drinks shelves. I made dinner rolls with Harry. They turned out amazingly well, and we couldn't believe how much the dough rose, or how light and fluffy they were!
I'm not usually on-call on Saturdays, but was for a couple of hours in the evening. We got called out to a fire in a derelict house and I wore Breathing Apparatus operationally for the first time. It was ideal really, because there was no one in danger, or people's possessions being ruined, so it was a great low pressure situation in which to do my first wear.
The next day we had YSA Family Home Evening, and it was Rebekkah and Luke Amos's last one before they both left on their missions the next week. We had a great time writing letters for them in advance!
On Tuesday 8th November, there was great joy because Lucy passed her driving test! (Third time lucky!) I was absolutely delighted for her - it's been such a huge stress for her, and there was relief at her passing before her mission.
Lucy and I then headed to St. Ives to take my laptop to a computer shop for a new screen. (It got cracked at some point on the journey home from Asia, and was usable but finally got too annoying!)
We had time for Eggs Benedict for breakfast before they called to say it was done.
In the afternoon I picked Tom up from school and took him to the hospital for another appointment at the fracture clinic. He doesn't have much pain now, but the bone is still sticking up a fair bit. The doctor gave him a kind of figure-of-eight brace thing to wear, which will hopefully pull things back into a better position.
On 10th, I held a card class, then had a Skype discussion with the missionaries and an investigator, then had my hair cut. In the evening Jack had his first shift at Tesco. He and Lucy each do three shifts of four hours a week.
On Saturday 12th, I took Kirsten and Lucy to a rehearsal up at church for the Stake Disney Musical Evening (our Ward had been assigned Mary Poppins), which I have also got roped into!
Also on Saturday, Scott and I decided to insure Lucy on the Corsa so that she'd be able to get more comfortable with driving before her mission. We didn't want her being assigned to a car area and that being her first time properly driving.
This photo is of the first time she ever drove on her own!
It's been pretty nerve-wracking when she's out and about driving, and in the weeks since, she's been to Huntingdon, St. Ives, Northampton etc.
The 13th of November was Remembrance Sunday, and Scott, Harry and I took part in the parade from the Abbey Gates across the road to the Senotaph, with about 150 others. I went in uniform with the fire engine and a few guys from work, and Scott and Harry drove separately and took the wreath from our church. Harry laid the wreath and I was really proud of the respectful way he did it.
Just as the last wreath was laid, I saw James leave the circle of wreath bearers, and start running, and realised we had a call-out! (Only James had a pager.) We had to break ranks and run like loonies, clutching our caps, across the church green and up Hollow Lane to the fire engine, in front of 250-odd people! We ended up getting stood down on the way to Chatteris. Harry said afterwards that we'd put the sirens on right in the middle of the 2 minute silence. Oh dear!
Tuesday 15th was a bit of a day! I cleaned the kitchen, did 3k on the treadmill, showered, went to Tesco, went to Fire Station, studied, chatted with people, then Andy, Dan and I took the fire engine down to Harry's school, to show the Reception class. It was pretty good fun! Back at the station we washed the fire engine, then I went went home and a bit later got called out to a car crash off a motorway slip-road. A car had gone flying and landed on its side down an embankment, trapping the driver. She was conscious, and the crews already on the scene had made a start on stabilising the car before cutting her out. We weren't really needed there as a third crew, but Tony said we'd stay so us probationers could watch what was done. I got called over by the Officer in Charge and asked to assist the person doing the cutting. Because of my position though, I ended up doing the cutting myself, and stuck around to help the ambulance crew with getting the driver onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. I think the driver was OK.
We had an interesting time getting to the incident too - we ended up having to drive over a road which was closed for re-surfacing! The workmen let us through, and madly used a digger to create a ramp for us to drive over. It was a bit hairy though! Back at the station we washed the fire engine again (4th time in 3 days!)
Back at home I had less than an hour to get dinner ready in time for Elders Rix and Blad and Jason Solomon coming! Scott was at an Insurance Conference in Birmingham for the day. When everyone had gone I pretty much died! Achy and exhausted!
The next day I went over to Donna's to help her decorate a birthday cake for her son Jake. We had a great time, and were well impressed with our results! I then helped her do some de-cluttering!
That night I stayed up half the night researching polaroid cameras, and the new bullet journaling craze. I decided to get a mini printer that connects with my iphone, so photos can be edited first. I had a nice blank journal which Scott had got from some convention, so on the 17th I started on it.
I'd bought a few Karen Burniston dies, and made this card on the 18th November. Karen shared it on Facebook in this nice post.
Harry also got creative on 18th, making this big gun thing and virtual reality goggles! I'd taken his Kindle away about a week before, which he plays games on, because I felt it was making him too uptight and bad tempered. He really got into junk modelling and Lego again, and unwound a lot.
On Saturday 19th November, I finished making a papier mache robin as a prop for the Stake Musical Evening that night.
Here we are performing our Mary Poppins show!
Also, President Slattery spoke to me during the evening, to say that Scott and I would soon be released as Stake YSA couple.
Tom had spent the day with some of the other Young Men and parents going to Wales to watch a rugby match! Lucy and I picked up him up from the Collings' house on the way back from Northampton, then we all picked Jack up from Tesco just after 11pm!
More junk modelling by Harry on 20th.
He spent ages in here!
The next week I had a bad back, but everything worked out OK - I had lectures for training, and it was worst on my day off.
On Thursday evening I went out for an Indian with some of the guys from work, which was nice.
On Friday I met up with Rachel, Donna and Jo in Wild Frosts, and after being on-call I went over to Jo's to help her do some de-cluttering in her bedroom. It was a gorgeous evening. This is the view from her bedroom window.
On Saturday 26th, Harry and Jack dismantled Harry's bed, and Harry spread out! (At one point I looked out the dining room window to see a huge bit of frame dangling off the extension roof, which they'd got out through Harry's bedroom window!)
Me: Harry, what would you like for your birthday and Christmas?
H: Some really big things.
Me: What kind of really big things?
H: Just some things that come in really big boxes.
Me: So really you just want some big cardboard boxes?
Also, Lucy cut her hair off again to donate to a wig making charity for young cancer patients.
On Sunday 27th, I gave a talk at church on the Sacrament, and in the evening we had YSA FHE, where we ended up decorating envelopes for part of a present for Luke Manning's girlfriend!
On Monday 28th, some chalk pens arrived from Chalkola, a company who sent them in return for a review on my craft blog. Lucy and I immediately began seeing their potential!!
I did a few bits, but Lucy kept going throughout the whole house!
On Tuesday 29th, we had the Elders and Jason come for tea, and I baked what turned out to be a giant meringue for pudding!
Before Harry went to Scouts, we watched with Jackie and her family while Father Christmas came by on the Rotary Club float.
Scott had some sickness and diarrhoea in the night so went to bed after dinner. The Elders and Jason stayed and added to our snowflake window! Lucy came home from work and we had a good evening, chatting and joking. Elder Rix was leaving the area the next day.
At about 8.30pm I got a call from Rachel asking me where Joseph was - I had totally forgotten to collect Harry and Joseph from Scouts! When I got to Scouts no one was there, so I assumed a leader was dropping them home. I drove to Rachel's just as Joseph was being dropped off - the boys were fine, but Rachel wasn't very impressed!
The Elders ended up coming back a bit later because Eder Rix had left his bag.
The next morning we came down to a nasty surprise - a large Donald Trump on the patio windows!! Jack was really proud of his artwork! Harry looked at it and said 'But it looks like Donald Trump!' - he saw 'Elder Blad' written above it, and thought it was supposed to be him!
Meg and Dave popped in for a visit during the day, which was nice!
When Lucy got back from work, before Jack got home from youth, she got rid of Donald and replaced him with Napoleon Dynamite!!