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Messy Strawberries

The time came for our first strawberries and cream of the summer and I had mine messy!

By messy, I mean, I made Eton Mess, from a recipe I found here. It’s from Delia and it’s super fast and easy.

KayCee, (for some strange reason!) doesn’t like cream so I bought Carte D’or, strawberry and yogurt delice ice cream. The plan was for everyone, except KayCee, to have Eton Mess for dessert but the ice cream was obviously far too tempting and Aiden and Ella couldn’t resist! So I had Eton mess all by myself and enjoyed every last bit of it 🙂
And the best bit of the children wanting ice cream instead…. the leftovers! 🙂

messy strawberries - strawberries and ice cream

All that was missing was a glass of Pimms and the sun, which of course, went away when we planned to have dinner outside followed by a quintessential summer dessert!! Don’tcha just love English weather?!
Instead of a light dinner, we had roast pork, mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was lovely.
We had two days of (for me) unbearable heat and on the day I wanted it to be warm, we got clouds and rain. Oh well, at least I was able to get in the garden and get some more seeds planted without roasting in the heat!
Talking of Pimms…..my birthday is coming up so I should really go and add some to my wishlist on Amazon! *grin*

Sports Day #1

It was Ella’s first sports day today and she was super excited about it this morning.
The thing she loved most, was having to go to school in shorts, a t-shirt and trainers instead of her school uniform.

Ella dressed in shorts and t-shirt for her first sports day
 

She likes to leave her long hair down usually but we tied it back today and it looked lovely 🙂

Ella's hair tied up for sports day
Ella's hair tied back for sports day

When she came out of her classroom, she looked around for me and gave me a big, gorgeous smile.
She said, “Mum, we’re not allowed to run to you”, so obviously, they’d all been told to stay in line and not run to mummies and daddies!

I took some videos of her races because Anthony had to work in the shop on his own today so couldn’t come and watch her.

Ella at her school sports day
 

You could tell she really enjoyed it and when she came running out of her classroom afterwards, she had a huge grin and shouted, ‘that was sooo fun’ :o)

I think it’s tired her out now though….she’s lay on the sofa watching Beauty and the Beast!

Spring is on it’s way!

Ella and I were having a leisurely walk back from nursery today when we saw our first sign that spring is on its way.

Spring is on the way

Ella didn’t want to go near the tree because she thought there were bees on it! I told her they weren’t bees and they were nice and soft to touch. She still didn’t touch them but she did go and have a closer look. I’m sure she’ll pluck up the courage to feel them the next time we walk home from nursery.

Spring is on the way

I’ve never been good at naming trees and this one is no exception!
If you know what kind of tree this is, please feel free to post and let me know 🙂

Patchwork Quilt

I’ve finished the first patchwork quilt I started about 3 weeks ago and I’m very pleased with it, as is KayCee who brings it down with her in the morning and wraps it around her while she’s waking up!

Ella keeps asking when hers is going to be ready.
I’m going to try and make a start today but I’ve got so many projects on the go, it’s hard to know which to do first!

I’m currently sanding down a chest of drawers so I can repaint it, I bought herb and flower seeds at the weekend and want to get on with growing things. I’ve got a bookcase to sand down and repaint as well as Ella’s quilt to make.
I also want to sew some sheets together that will fit each of the small mattresses that are on the girl’s beds. Regular single sheets are too big and slip around due to the mattress protectors cover. I’m going to sew two sheets together so that the mattress can fit inside the sheets like a duvet fits in its cover.
Hopefully, this will stop Ella throwing her sheet on the floor in the middle of the night!

I really wanted to get pictures of the finished quilt on my blog today but I’ve lost my camera cable so I’m going to finish the sanding then find my cable.

I’ll hopefully be back later!

Edited 02 March 2011

I’m back!

I didn’t find my cable but I can always rely on my wonderful husband to have extras! 🙂

So here it is…..my first patchwork quilt made from an old curtain, 2 old sheets and an old duvet for the filling.
It cost me nothing (as long as you don’t count the sewing machine I bought last week!!) and I feel great that I’ve used unwanted material that would normally have ended up in the recycle bin.

Patchwork quilt

Ella wants hers made now so I’d better hurry up and get the chest of drawers and bookcase finished so I can start her quilt!

Bring on the sewing!

I’ve been wanting one for a while but kept asking myself if it was going to be worth it. I mean, they’re not cheap and I worried that I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the price, but yesterday I decided to go for it and today my new sewing machine was delivered 🙂

Bring On The Sewing

sewing machine

It’s lovely! I tried it straight away and it’s so easy to use. It’s going to make short work of my first patchwork quilt that I’ve been hand sewing for the past couple of weeks.

Ella seems just as impressed with it as I am! She sat with me, passing me pins when I was pinning the fabric together and then pulling them out again as the fabric went through the machine.

I can’t wait to finish my first patchwork quilt tomorrow, with help from my little Ella!

Bleak outside

rainy window
Image by Avelino Calvar Martinez from Pixabay

The weather is starting to get me down a little now. It’s bleak outside and I really can’t wait for spring.
I want to be able to open all the windows and let the fresh air wash away the gloomy feeling that seems to have settled over the house.

Keeping Heating Costs Down

We usually have windows open all year round but at the start of last winter, we decided to try and keep our fuel bills down as much as possible, so the windows were closed, central heating was used very sparingly and layers of clothes were added!

We want to save money of course but we’re very aware of our impact on the environment and this was a major factor when deciding how much we actually needed to use central heating.
I also stopped using the tumble dryer and bought a clothes horse. It’s more work but it’s not like I don’t have time to do these things now I’m at home full time.

Because the windows have been closed for so long now, it seems that winter is lasting forever. I’m ready for it to be over now so come on sunshine, poke your way through!

Children Away In Derbyshire

The children are away in Derbyshire until tomorrow and Ant’s at work so it could just be that I’m feeling a little lonely and out of sorts today.
Maybe I should get out in the garden for a while. The fresh air will do me good and even though I’m not really a gardener, I do know it needs a good clean-up.

I’m Cooking Tonight

I am looking forward to this evening though.
I’m going to cook a lovely meal for us tonight and we’re having a bottle of wine with it. We very rarely drink but there was a great offer at Tesco so I figured it was time we treated ourselves. It’s going to be a late Valentine’s dinner.
We didn’t really celebrate it last week what with one thing and another, so I thought it would be nice to celebrate today before we’re back to the chaos that is children when they come home tomorrow!

Patchwork Quilt

I’m now going to see what we can have for lunch then I think I’ll make a start on one of the pieces of furniture in the hall.
I worked for most of the day yesterday on the first patchwork quilt that I’m making, but all that sewing gave me a very sore arm and wrist so I’m resting it today.

Wow…where did 2010 go??!!

Where did 2010 go?

I totally missed 2010 on my blog!!!
I did say I probably wouldn’t keep it up and guess what….I know myself well!!

So here I am, in February 2011 trying to think of any significant events of 2010 that I need to add here for the children to read about when they’re older.

Hmmm, it seems that it was a pretty uneventful year in our family, which isn’t a bad thing.
The 2 previous years had seen Ant admitted to hospital with a heart attack and me admitted to hospital with a blood clot in my leg and multiple clots in my lungs.

We’re both quite well now, although Ant has to keep taking the tablets.

On to the children.

The biggest thing to happen in little Ella’s life was starting nursery.
She started in September with KayCee who was starting year one.

Kaycee and Ella in school uniforms

Ella

Ella goes on Monday and Tuesday from 8:45 am to 2:45 pm while KayCee goes from 9 am to 3:15 pm.
The time difference is a little annoying, but we only have a few more months to go and then she’ll be going into Reception which is the same start and end times as KayCee.

Ella still goes to Papermoon Day Nursery on a Friday. She loves it there and we’ll be quite sad when she finishes for good in the summer.
KayCee started there in 2006 when she was around one-year-old and we’ve always felt extremely happy and comfortable with the level of service they provide. You get a feeling from the staff that your child is very special and important to them. As a parent, this is exactly what you need, especially when you’re feeling overwhelming guilt for leaving them there in the first place while you go to work.

Our little Ella brings laughter and happiness into our lives on a daily basis.
Her smile is contagious. It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having, she only has to smile and you find yourself smiling back!

So, on to KayCee.

Kaycee 2010

KayCee has fallen in love with reading! She had started to learn to read in Reception, but it wasn’t until she started in Year One that she really grasped how to do it. Now, she’s constantly reading, writing and asking how you spell different words.
She does gymnastics after school on a Thursday and is working towards her level 5 certificate.  She complains about having to go but when the time comes to renew at the end of each term, she always wants to carry on going, even when we tell her that it’s her choice and she doesn’t have to go if she doesn’t want to! I suspect she’s going to be one of those people who like to finish what they start and I think she’ll carry on with gymnastics next year so she can get to her level 1 certificate and badge.

She’s very grown up for her age and we are often amazed at the things she knows and understands.
She’s always been older than her years and in some ways, that’s not such a good thing! We often expect things from her that she’s not yet capable of and we have to remind ourselves that she’s only 5 and not 15!
She’s an absolute treasure and we’re very proud of her.

Last but not least, we move on to Aiden.

Aiden

Aiden was 10 last year and had a pizza and movie party for his birthday. He invited some friends from school and Ant sorted the food out while I watched a DVD with the girls upstairs. I’d been ill for a few days and was too ill to go downstairs so missed his party.

He had a great time and I’m sure he preferred time alone with his friends without his mum hanging around!

He’s doing brilliantly in school and got an excellent report last year. We were very proud of him.

He’ll be starting secondary school in September and I truly can’t believe how fast time is going.
I watched a home video of him from when he was about 3 and it brought tears to my eyes. He was so cute and even though I’m loving seeing him grow and mature, I miss my cute little boy.

We went to Haven at Skegness for a week during October half term and stayed in a lovely caravan.
The kids had a great time going swimming and playing in the indoor play area.
They also loved the arcades, just as I did when I was young!

And so, onto Christmas. 2010

Aiden was at his Dad’s for Christmas and we fetched him back on Boxing Day.
Christmas is my favourite time of year and I loved it. I’m cherishing Christmases while my children are young because it’s such a magical time for them. I love seeing Ella jumping up and down with excitement and hearing KayCee saying that it’s the best Christmas ever!
I look forward to visiting family for tea on Boxing Day and having family around to ours on Christmas Day.
I love getting the trolley out that used to belong to my Grandmother then to my Mum and now to me, and filling it with goodies.
I think that the only thing I don’t look forward to is taking the decorations down because that means I’ve got to wait another year to put them back up!

So, that was 2010 in a nutshell.

We’re all one year older, one year wiser and still happy and content with our wonderful family.

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009

I was very organised this Christmas, more so than any other Christmas and I loved it!
I’m already planning for next Christmas and I bought my first Christmas present a few days ago.
I also got some bargains…… 3 rolls of wrapping paper that had been reduced to 50p per roll for 10 meters. A box of 12 Christmas crackers for £1.50. 3 extra large gift bags, the kind the kids put out on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill with presents. They were only 40p each. They’re usually 80p each or 2 for £1.50. This year it cost me £2.30 for 3 bags and I’ve got next year’s for only £1.20

So, back to this Christmas.

We decorated the tree and put the garlands up on the first Saturday in December.
We always let the kids decorate the tree. It always looks full of tinsel and ornaments and usually looks a little lopsided, but we never change it. We’re not bothered by how it looks, we just love watching the children getting excited about Christmas when the tree decorating starts.

Child decorating Christmas tree
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

We put the usual angel on top but the last week, Ella came home from nursery with an angel she’d made so we put that one on the tree instead.
The children all put their own ornaments on the tree. Ever since Aiden’s first Christmas, I’d bought him a tree decoration every year and carried on the tradition with KayCee and Ella so they’ve all got their own tin that holds their own tree ornaments. They love putting them on the tree.

Christmas activities

We had the children home for 2 weekends at the beginning of December (they usually go to Aiden’s Dad’s on weekends) because Aiden had Chloe and Stuart’s birthday parties to go to.
We took advantage of this extra free time and did loads of Christmas activities with the kids.

Aiden, KayCee and Ella each made pastry and made mince pies, lemon curd tarts, and jam tarts.
While Aiden was at one of his parties, KayCee, Ella and I decorated some jars with brown, green and red paper. We cut diamond shapes in the paper and then wrapped it around the jars. We put a tea light in each then went out and collected some greenery to put on the window sill with the jars. They looked wonderful when Ant lit them. We found out, though, that we needed jars with wider necks because the tea lights kept going out!
We didn’t bother lighting them after that day, but they still looked lovely in the window.

Ella and Kaycee also made some paper chain decorations. KayCee couldn’t wet them enough to make them stick so we got Ella to stick her tongue out and we wiped the paper chains on her tongue to get them wet, (she’s going through the dribbling stage!). We found it very funny!

Wrapping presents

They all loved wrapping up Christmas presents for Daddy and they used loads of ribbons and bows. The presents looked lovely.


They also did a great job at writing their Christmas cards. This was the first Christmas that KayCee was able to write her own name and copy other names. She wrote all her own Christmas cards.

We watched some Christmas movies, drank hot chocolate with marshmallows and generally had a wonderful time together.

Illness

I got a cold on the second week the kids were home and Ant was taken back into hospital with chest pains that week (he was in the hospital in November after having a heart attack on his dad’s birthday) so that week was quite hard on me.
The kids missed Daddy. I missed Daddy but couldn’t go and see him as much as I wanted to because I was ill.

Thankfully, the children all entertained themselves on Saturday and by Sunday I was feeling a lot better.
Ant came home on Saturday and we all went to Nanny’s Christmas party on Sunday.
We all love going to Nanny’s at Christmas. We don’t get to see much of Ant’s side of the family throughout the year so it’s great to get together, exchange gifts and enjoy all the delicious food Nanny always does.

More illness

The following weekend I went to Derbyshire with the kids because I’d made a birthday cake for Lilly and a christening cake for Lucas.
I took the cake round to Stacy’s when I got there Friday night and found them all poorly so the party was cancelled.

I met my beautiful new nephew for the first time and got to have a snuggle then I went to our Jays, where I was staying for the weekend.
While there, my throat started hurting when I swallowed. I figured it was probably due to the cold I’d just had and thought it would probably be gone by the morning.

Next morning it was extremely painful and my voice was very croaky.
I went to our Stacy’s for some lunch and a piece of the cake I’d made. I must say, it was very tasty! then I went round to Jeff’s for the rest of the day.

We had a Chinese at our Jay’s that evening, but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I usually would because of the throat infection.
It was getting harder to talk and I was dreading the night ahead because I knew I wasn’t going to get much sleep. The pain kept waking me the night before.

Christening

I was supposed to be going to Lucas’ christening on Sunday but when I got up Sunday morning, my voice had totally gone and I felt terrible.
At Jeff’s, Rachel was there and I mouthed to her that I was really sorry, but I wasn’t able to go to the christening because I was too ill.
She liked the cake I’d made so I was very pleased about that. It was the first christening cake I’d made and I was quite proud of it!

I spent the day at Jeff’s and looked forward to going home that afternoon. It snowed quite a lot and I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get home. Jeff said not to worry and he got us home safely.
I was very disappointed at missing the christening. I was upset that my weekend with my family had been ruined because of illness.

Christmas

Thankfully, I was better by Christmas Eve and we had a wonderful day together.
It was our turn to have Aiden for Christmas. I was really happy to have all my children around me. I don’t like it when Aiden’s not with us for Christmas although I know it’s only fair he gets to spend some Christmases with his dad. It’s important for both of them because they’re very close.

We didn’t do anything special, just enjoyed being together.
In the evening, they had a bath then went back downstairs. Daddy gave them each a Christmas Eve present and they were really excited because they could open them straight away! They all had a new pair of Christmas pajamas and they looked lovely in them.

We then put the carrot out for Rudolph and a mince pie and glass of milk for Santa. We went outside so they could sprinkle the reindeer dust over the lawn to make sure the reindeer knew where to come.

Santa's hand picking up a cookie
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

They all slept in the same room, just like I used to do with John, James, and Stacy when we were younger.
I read, ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to them and we sang some Christmas songs before they went to sleep.
Ant and I spent a lovely relaxed evening watching tv and drinking Baileys.

Christmas Day

The next morning, I woke around 6 and Ant got up about half past. After our coffee, he went to wake the children, who were still fast asleep! They opened the presents out of their stockings while upstairs then came down to open their other presents.
I helped Ella, Ant helped KayCee and Aiden didn’t need help!

It was wonderful to see them so happy. I just love Christmas and dread them growing up.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner then we spent the afternoon playing with new toys. KayCee, Ella and I made perfume with KayCee’s perfume maker.
Ant and Aiden did something with Aiden’s weather station (have no idea what lol), and then Ant watched some of his ‘Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy’ DVD that I bought him.

I then made a buffet tea and Grandad, Kellyann, Jervais and Jerome came round just after 4 pm.
We had a great time. We put some Christmas music on and the kids showed them what they’d had for Christmas.

It was finally time for bed, after what had been a very long but wonderful day 🙂

Halloween 2009

We’ve had a lovely Halloween 🙂

We’ve spent the day doing Halloween activities. We did pumpkin carving and made spookily shaped cookies. We also made marshmallow ghosts, chocolate-covered apples and green jelly with spiders.

Aiden’s gone to his cub’s Halloween party tonight and the girls have been in charge of handing out the cookies to the trick-or-treaters.
Ant joined in with the dressing up and scared some of the younger trick-or-treaters! He did look quite scary and I think he may have made a few of the parents jump as well!!

Ant Halloween 2009
Aiden Halloween 2009
Ella Halloween 2009
Kaycee Halloween 2009
Kaycee Halloween 2009
Halloween Pumpkins 2009

The girls look forward to it for most of the year and have been excited all day! Ella, especially, loves dressing up in costumes. She wears them all year round!

Scrapbooking

I’m going to attempt to make a scrapbook today.I’ve tried scrapbooking before, but they never seem to look as nice as the ones other people post online so I’m going to do some research before I start.I don’t want to mess up the book so I’m […]

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