Starting to feel real

Home / Family / Starting to feel real
Lincolnshire schools admissions guide

I’ve mentioned the fact that I got a little bit emotional on the first day back to school last week because it brought it home to me that my girls are growing up fast. It’s starting to feel real and I don’t like it!

I was reminded of this again tonight when Kaycee gave me a brown envelope from school which contained her school admission information booklet for her move to secondary school.
I can’t believe this is happening already. I want those cute little girls back who were always coming for snuggles and kisses!

Time is going too fast and I just want it to slow down now.


Guide for children moving to secondary school



Home / Family / Sisters
Kaycee and Ella walking in the woods
Sisters - Kaycee and Ella walking together in the woods


This shot was totally posed for me by the girls but even so, I love it.
It’s not even a very good photo with regards to the sharpness of it, it’s a bit blurry. They look so nice walking together through the woods, though, and I’m going to cherish it 🙂
They spend an awful lot of time snapping at each other and arguing. If I can pretend, for just a short while that they actually like each other, I’ll take it!
I hope when they’re older and not living together anymore, that they’ll have a better relationship. I’ve got my fingers firmly crossed!

Back to school

Home / Family / Back to school
Kaycee and Ella in their school uniforms

Back To School

I got a little emotional this morning while waving the kids off on their first day back to school.

It’s Kaycee’s last year in junior school, it’s Aiden’s last year in secondary school and all of a sudden it hit me how fast time is going.
I remember watching Aiden toddling about and wondering to myself what kind of person he was going to be.

I’m so lucky to have the most wonderful, kind and caring son a person could wish for. He helps around the house without moaning, he’s always respectful and he still gives me cuddles!
I’m not putting his photo on this year, although I did take one this morning. I’ve taken one every first day of school since he started school but now he’s older, he’s not keen on being photographed anymore and doesn’t like me putting his photo online so I respect his wishes.

The girls, however, love posing, as you can see!

Kaycee before her first day back to school


Ella before her first day back at school


Kaycee and Ella in school uniform


A lovely wedding reception

Home / Family / A lovely wedding reception
The Old Palace Lincoln

Ant’s eldest son lives in China and has been with the lovely Elaine for five and a half years. They’re planning on getting married in China and had a wedding reception yesterday for all his family here in the UK.

It was lovely seeing Ant’s children and their lovely partners altogether; it’s unusual for that to happen because of work commitments and one being away in China for years!

We wish Jonathan and Elaine a very happy marriage and long life together 🙂

They had the reception at The Old Palace, Lincoln.




Wedding reception - Jervais, Kaycee, Ella and Jourdain
Four of Ant’s nine children, Kaycee, Ella, Jervais and Jourdain


wedding reception - tea lights in a heart shape


wedding reception - the cake


wedding recption - Kaycee


wedding reception - Kaycee, Ella, Nanny, Anthony, Aiden, Jervais, Kellyann, Grandad, Jonathan, Elaine, Jourdain, Jervais, Jason
This is Ant with his mum, dad, eldest son Jonathan, bride to be, Elaine and all his other children, Jourdain, Jason, Kellyann, Jervais, Jerome, Kaycee, Ella and hiding behind him is Aiden!


wedding recpetion - Jonathan, Elaine and Jonathan's cousins
Jonathan and Elaine with his cousins, their partners and children.


wedding reception - Elaine, the bride
The beautiful Elaine


wedding reception - Elaine, the bride, looking out of the window


wedding reception - Jason and Gemma
Jason with the lovely Gemma


Wedding reception  Jonathan and Elaine kissing


wedding recpetion - lunch
All the food was delicious. I forgot to take a photo of the prawns for the starter.


wedding recpetion - dessert
Gorgeous lavender flavoured shortbread and creme brulee


wedding recpetion - Jonathan and Elaine cutting the cake


wedding reception - Netty, Gemma, Emily an Elaine
These beautiful ladies are (hopefully!) the daughters in law to be! Gemma (Jason’s girlfriend) is to the left, Elaine to the right, Nettie (Jourdain’s girlfriend) at the front and slightly obscurred by the wine bottle, is Emily (Jerome’s girlfriend) at the back.
They’re all really lovely ladies and we’re so happy that the boys have them in their lives.


wedding reception - Ant, Kaycee, Aiden, Ella and me
This is us, Ant with Kaycee, me with Ella and Aiden at the back. The one behind me is Kellyann’s partner, Ian.


Lincoln Cathedral


What’s the story? – Kaycee’s bed!

Home / Family / What’s the story? – Kaycee’s bed!

I’ve been re-organising the house, a project that started about a week ago and which will probably take another 2-3 days to complete.
During this time the house has looked like a bomb site and it’s been a little stressful, to say the least!

I did my bedroom first then moved on to Kaycee and Ella’s room. It had been an absolute tip for about a week and I’d put off doing it because I knew it was going to take most of the day.

I finally managed to get it clean and re-organised with only Kaycee’s top bunk left to sort. I don’t go up there but could see she had a few things at the bottom of her bed so I asked her to clear her bed off for me.

The following photos show the amount of stuff she had on her bed and I swear I had no idea there was this much stuff. I also had no idea how she managed to fit in there, let alone get any sleep!

I bet my face was a picture when I saw the amount of stuff she took off of her bed!


A bit of bedtime reading….for the next year?!


Enough cuddly toys and dolls to never feel alone!


Taking a trip to dreamland maybe? 🙂
In her defense, she didn’t put the suitcase up there, I put it up there the day I started cleaning their room and I forgot to take it down. She, however, didn’t move it for 3 days!


I have no idea why she needed 2 hot water bottles in the middle of the hottest summer we’ve had for years! Maybe the fan was to counteract the effect of the hot water bottles?!

Of course, you have to keep your Moshi Monsters safe from your little sister who’s also collecting them so I can see the logic in that but the post it notes and big wooden Crayola crayon box?

She likes to craft and is always saving cardboard from the recycling!


Spare pajamas, nighties, a flannel, handkerchief and….. a piece of material!


Finally, lots of paper in case she has to write down all the ideas that come to her for the many stories she likes to write 🙂
Tell me truthfully, have you ever seen this amount of stuff on one 8 year olds bed?!

Lazy Saturday

Home / Family / Lazy Saturday

The kids are home this weekend and we’ve had a lovely day today. Even the migraine that started as soon as I woke, couldn’t put a dampener on the day.
The girls woke me around 8am and Aiden made me a coffee when I came downstairs before he went off to help with the paper collection at scouts.

Jason went off to work and we settled down for a pj day with the fire and lamps on to make it nice and cosy.
While I had breakfast, coffee and pills to try and get rid of the migraine, Kaycee and Ella played Monopoly Junior then we all had a game of Pictionary when Aiden came home.
I didn’t think Ella would be able to play but she was surprisingly good at drawing! One of the other team had to help her read and give her an idea of what to draw but still, I managed to guess quite a few of her drawings 🙂
It’s the first time I’d ever played and we all really enjoyed it.

Ant came home from work at lunch time and we spent a couple of hours just chilling until he had to go back to work.
Grandad bought Kaycee a book from the school book fair yesterday. It was an activity book and she wanted to make something out of it so we settled on cheese straws.
She followed the recipe and made them all herself, (with a little help from Ella!) measuring the ingredients, mixing, rolling and cutting the dough.
I had a small taste and they were delicious 🙂

We had dinner and daddy came home just as we were finishing up.
After he’d had his dinner, he helped Ella make a model of a shop which is the topic for next week in her class and then helped Kaycee with her shoebox fairytale scene for a competition she’s entering at her school.

This took up right up to 9pm and way past their usual bedtime!

My migraine didn’t go but it did get less intense after 6 ibuprofen (spread throughout the day, not all at once!) and I’m hoping a good nights sleep will see it gone in the morning.

Fear followed by anger

Home / Family / Fear followed by anger

All I kept thinking about, while pacing the floor with a phone in each hand was seeing the news on TV; the woman was telling everyone that two twelve year old boys failed to return home after school today and police were searching for them.
The report would then change to a few days later and the woman was now saying that two bodies had been found.

This was when I had to force myself to stop thinking about such things and concentrate on finding my son.

His friend’s mum had phoned me at 4.15pm asking if Aiden was home yet. When he still wasn’t home ten minutes later I phoned Ant at work. He drove along the route Aiden’s supposed to take when going to and coming from school every day on his bike.
I didn’t really start to panic until Ant phoned to say he’d got all the way to the school and hadn’t seen Aiden or his friend.

He went into the school while I phoned his friend’s mum again. I’m sure she could hear the worry in my voice as I could in hers and we discussed phoning the police as soon as Ant got back if he hadn’t found them on his way home.

At 4.45pm Aiden came in the gate and the relief I felt turned to anger within a split second. I totally understand how parents can hug their child so tight one minute then be hitting out at them the next; the rush of emotion can be totally overwhelming.

I didn’t hit him.

I did shout at him. I asked him, very loudly why he was home so late. He said, “I’m sorry, my tyre popped and my friend fell off his bike”. I said, “even if those two things have happened it should not take you from 3pm to 4.45pm to get home.

I phoned his friend’s mum to let her know her son would be with her shortly then I phoned Ant to let him know he could stop searching.
I asked Aiden why Dad hadn’t found him on the route he should take and he said that they’d taken a short cut.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry. I just couldn’t help but shout again; the reason he had a set route was so that we knew where to look when situations like this arose.
By this time, I couldn’t speak anymore. I was crying too much and because I was upset, the girls were crying. I had to leave the room and go calm down. I felt awful that I couldn’t comfort the girls but I couldn’t talk and even now, having calmed down a while ago, the tears are starting to well up again and I can feel the fear I felt when I thought someone had taken my sweet boy and I wasn’t ever going to see him again.

It’s like a movie in my head that won’t go away. I can’t stop thinking about  him in some dirty room, unspeakable things being done to him, someone hurting him while all the time he’s crying out for me to save him and I can’t because I don’t where he is.

I have to stop thinking now because I’m just working myself up.

A cold dinner sits on the table, my appetite long gone and it’s times like I regret giving up smoking.
It’s going to take me a while to calm the fear and the anger but underneath the swirling emotions, I’m thankful that my boy is home safe and sound.


Happy Birthday Mama – 60 / 365

Home / Family / Happy Birthday Mama – 60 / 365

I’m not taking a photo today as my challenge was to take a photo every day for 365 days, not 366. Totally forgot about the leap year!

I am posting a photo today though; one of my Mama, because today is her birthday.
She was born in 1932 and as children we found it really funny that in 1984 our mama was celebrating her 14th birthday!

She died in 1985 when I was 9. I don’t have many memories of her but I do know her family meant the world to her. We all felt truly loved and always looked forward to visiting her and Granddad.

One of the few memories I have and can still picture in my mind, is of her walking back from the shops with a packet of best butter (best butter being Lurpack), putting it in the butter dish, then on to the hearth to speed the softening process!
I also remember her giving us tinned fruit with bread and butter and back then it was normal to dip the bread into the fruit juice.Don’t know if I could bring myself to do it now!

Happy Birthday Mama. We all love and miss you xx

Schedules and Stickers

Home / Family / Schedules and Stickers

After being at secondary school for 6 months and after having to nag him every day to make sure homework and chores are done, I finally had enough and printed out a schedule for Aiden.
It details the things he needs to accomplish each day to keep him organised which will hopefully put a stop to me and Ant having to nag him all the time.

After doing Aiden’s list I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do one for me, KayCee and Ella. I saw a pin on Pinterest and it inspired me to get more organised and spend small amounts of time every day keeping the chores down rather than letting them build up and having to spend whole days doing cleaning, laundry and ironing.

Today was our first full day working on the list and it was a great success. Everyone knew what they had to do and got on with it.
Once all the jobs are done and dinner is over we have activity time.
We did painting today at Ella’s request and we had a really lovely time together. Ella hasn’t been to school today because she was ill in the night. She’s spent the day on the sofa watching tv. She was a bit sad that she couldn’t have banana and ice cream milkshake because of her upset tummy so the painting helped cheer her up. Hopefully she’ll be better tomorrow and back to her normal happy self.

It amazed me how calm and relaxed the evening was. The girls were bathed, had story time and were in bed by 7.30pm and Aiden was in bed by his usual time of 8.30pm with the difference being that all his chores were done!
After getting the girls to bed and finishing off my last few jobs I was able to sit and relax with Ant without being all stressed about things the children had ‘forgotten’ to do!

When they’ve filled in each the chores for the day they can choose a sticker to put at the bottom of the list and as an extra reward for completing all their chores everyday they’re going to be able to pick an outing or activities to do as a family on the weekends they stay home.
I do feel a bit guilty though because the stickers actually belong to KayCee! She has hundreds and I didn’t see the point of buying more; she doesn’t mind though because she’s in charge of giving them out when they’ve been earned and she loves being the one in charge and organising people!