Thursday, 31 December 2009

The end of another year of computer addiction?



The above is from a clever application on Facebook that picks a sample of the past year's status updates and makes them look pretty. I had forgotten most of the updates and it's brought back quite a few memories - maybe it's a good thing to spend too long on the computer? Looking forward to the new statuses (should that be stati?) of 2010!
These are the matching photos from another Facebook application:


Happy New Year xoxo

Monday, 21 December 2009

4 sleeps and counting

The most amazing thing happened this week - after a year Euan finally allowed the hairdresser to get within arms reach of him! The result wasn't very sculptured (as he still didn't want the scissors near him) but as Anya said "a least he doesn't look like a girl any more". He's styling himself as Max from Where the wild things are.

We had a quick trip to see Father Christmas (quick because so cold, it definitely felt like Lapland). On the way in there were a few reindeers, Bucks wanted to know why they weren't flying (lying on my feet - they only fly when it gets dark - when it comes to lying do as I say not as I do!).

Anya was the only one who would stand near Father Christmas but even she went very quiet when asked what she wanted for Christmas - I think she whispered a surprise. This is very lucky as I have finished the shopping and wrapped the presents (had a bottle of wine while doing the wrapping so I'm a bit worried about the labelling!) - I can definitely guarantee that there will be a surprise on Friday morning.





Today I met a friend and took hyped up kids and dogs for a long walk along the canal. The idea was to wear them all out. It didn't really work, they all tried throwing themselves onto the frozen water, skating on the solid puddles and fighting over the longest sticks (how do you spot where a 4 year old boy lives - there is a pile of sticks on the doorstep!), so rather than be tired out they were bouncing off each other! We were forced into the pub to warm up as the cake and hot chocolate cafe had shut early - a nice small glass of red did calm me down slightly!

Quote of the week - "Look, Father Christmas" Euan pointing wildly at Father Water the highlight of the everlasting, dull end of term Christmas Mass. I think it was the colourful outfit and beard that did it!

Thought of the week - "Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us." ~ Boris Pasternak

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Skywatch Friday - baby, it's cold outside

I think these photos sum up how this week has been - it looks quite nice out of the window but is much nicer inside with the heating on and a nice cup of tea! Today we've had a sprinkling of snow - the kids have just got back from a pantomime trip and together with trying to scrape together enough snow to make a ball (think marble there!) - are bouncing off the walls (roll on bedtime!)


If you look closely (click on the image) - the church has a ladder fixed on to the right hand side of the spire. I think that some sort of roof repairs are going on, I'm very pleased that I will never have to climb that ladder!
Click on the button to see hundreds of skies from all over the world.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Pure magic!

In our family one of the signs of passing from a toddler to a child is doing 'magic coat'. This week my last baby has grown up (and isn't he happy with himself)!

video
Tim flew in from Egypt to surprise Anya and Patrick in their school play. They were both children (I had no problems pulling together the costumes for those). I got to see the 'Snowman at Sunset" twice, so for the evening performance we were able to strategically position ourselves. We were sat in the correct row in the Church, so that Anya and Patrick did their dance beside us (they were very cute dancing together!). Anya had a singing part - she and 4 others had to sing part of a song alone. The DVD of the performance has just arrived so we will be able to let the whole family 'enjoy' it on Christmas Day!

On Saturday we went Christmas tree window shopping on Cannock Chase. This is one of my all time favourite things to do - the forest smells of pine, there's twinkly lights, festive music, doughnuts, hot chocolate and magic shadows in the setting sun.



On Sunday we took a trip to the Denby Factory Shop to replace broken plates so that everyone can have their own at Christmas (far better than taking turns I feel). This was a high risk adventure - we didn't just take a bull to a china shop, we took a Bucks to a pottery factory!
Quote of the week - from my bonkers 37 week pregnant sister, who was pleased to have started maternity leave so that she could "get to the gym", it's alright though she just wants to do a bit on the cross trainer and bikes.
Thought of the week - “The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet.” ~ Bill Cosby

Jingle bells, batman smells

"Jingle Bells" was the first song broadcast from space, it is also the first recognisable tune played by Anya.
video

All together now.....Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin flew away, Uncle Billy (or replace with a name of your own choice) lost his willy on the motorway, hey!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Skywatch Friday - here comes the sun

It's finally stopped raining long enough for us to wade through the mud for a walk. There really was a sun there somewhere:
Spot the flying dog (well not spot, Ruby !)
We got a bit scared of the swans (isn't everyone a bit scared of swans? - I think it comes from the urban myth about them being able to break a man's arm with their wings. However, I'm yet to meet anyone who has actually suffered from a swan-broken-bone. Still better to be safe!).
It was all OK, we escaped unharmed!
Not had a chance for a wade and a look at the sky yourself? Go visit the lovely people on the button to see their patch of heaven.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

One in one out

We had a flying visit from Tim (a whole 18 hours - dumped his washing and ran) - here's a photo to prove his existence (and need of haircut)!We had a disco party on Saturday (1 3/4 hours of clingy children followed by 15 minutes of mad dancing!) and a playbarn party on Sunday (lucky Auntie Jax got to come to this one!)

Our cat died in October, I started to prepare a post but couldn't finish it. I also couldn't bring myself to tell the kids about it so waited until they asked. Well as Martha was a pretty self sufficient cat they only asked where she was this week. I explained that she was 15, which is pretty old for a cat and that she was very poorly, so I had to take her to the vets, where she went to sleep and didn't wake up. I don't believe in the fluffy cloud, angel filled, pictures of heaven so wanted to keep that out of my explanation. Bucks' next question - "Where is she now?". Don't say heaven, don't say heaven, don't say heaven - "She's in heaven". "How did she get there?" - thankfully I didn't have a chance to answer that one before he was asking if we were getting kitten like Auntie Bags.
Well, I seemed to have failed in dragging myself out of my bah humbug mood...I've promised the children that we'll put up the decorations at the weekend, so maybe next time!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

All I want for Christmas is my 4 (at last count) front teeth

Hurrah - the top tooth that's been hanging on by a thread for the last week has finally fallen (in the middle of a party while biting a crisp - blood everywhere).



Thursday, 3 December 2009

Skywatch Friday - rain, rain go-away

Red sky at night shepherds delight
Red sky in the morning shepherds warning
(mince and mash shepherds pie ~ Trevor & Simon circa 1990!)

This was taken in the morning!
Have a look at lots of other lovely skies from all over the world - chase the sun and click the button below.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Now where did I put that festive spirit?

I'm struggling once again to find my blogging mojo. I have a very painful back (I think it's just wear and tear - time for some sort of refurb) and Tim is away (currently in Germany, next Egypt, ending somewhere in the USA) so I'm feeling the daily grind. This isn't helped by the various extra seasonal activities and donations sprung on me (today I've found out that I have to give 2xjam jars filled with sweets or toys to school on Friday - I will be emptying jam down the sink at midnight on Thursday!).

I did have a fun, but very full on, day of Christmas shopping last week with friends - it was my only childfree opportunity so had to get every present - with a little help from Amazon I'm done! When I got all the presents out at home, Father Christmas is being a bit more generous than I was intending! Now I just need to get the children to write Christmas lists that match what I've bought.
Rather than spending the weekend shouting at hyped up kids at home we went to visiting. We managed to empty every toy out of Beeba's toy box and fill it with children. Then went and ate lots of chocolate at GGs (she was secretly pleased to be left on her own to watch the tennis), to add to the chaos of GGs we got to meet Ba Bags new boyfriend there (we like to call him Bill). Patch was very intrigued by this boyfriend thing, asking if he was living at Granny's house or had just come for a sleepover, and wondering if Ba Bags had kissed him (for those that are interested, the answer is yes but only on the cheek - good thing too as I'm very protective of my little sister). He seems very nice, he coped with four children and a dog all afternoon (always a good sign), as far as I can tell she appears to have found a boy version of herself.


Sunday was a dreaded magician party - this was one was done in very beautiful style with lots of fancy bows and pretty cakes (far too much reading of design mags going on there Mrs Smith!).

Quotes of the week - To Anya - "Can you go and put your PJs on?" "No - I'll put them on in the Simpsons break, that's why it was invented"
Patrick - when looking at a map of the world "That's the snowpole"

Thought of the week - "Those that don't believe in magic will never find it" ~ Roald Dahl
Well that's all my moaning for one week - will try to be a little less bah-humbug in the future.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Skywatch Friday - the view from here is lovely

As it has pretty much rained here constantly for two weeks the opportunity to take sky like photos has been minimal so I'm cheating and using photos that have been given to me by a neighbour this week from his hot air balloon trip over our houses. (Thanks Steve) I guess I'm stretching the rules by looking down rather than up too.

To see photos of real sky taken by lots of people themselves - click on the button below. (Will try to do better next time!)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Water water every where

I am sat here struggling to think of anything to write - all I can remember about the last two weeks is how much it's rained!

We've had Aunty Bags visiting us one weekend and managed to run through the rain to the pub, followed by an almost complete large family meal the next day (Uncle Simon was watching the football). It was ages since we saw "Beeba" - and even though Euan was a bit poorly they definitely bonded.
The lovely Beeba
The next weekend we had Daddy's-friend-dave (or daddy as Euan called him for short) visit. I left Tim and Dave talking their normal rubbish and escaped to go wine tasting. Worked my way to number 10 and got stuck on that (if anyone would like to get me a Christmas present I number 10, it was 'Campo le Calle' Soave Doc, Latium Moroni, not sure what it all means but it was very lovely!). We ended the night dancing and generally being one of those 'older women' who I would have pitied 20 years ago!



Oh look it's raining!
Just to prove that clubbing is for the younger generation we had a birthday party to go to at Chicago Rock on the Sunday - Patrick got to the dance-off for musical statues, an earlier round can be seen in the photo, hence the serious expressions and funny stances. The party ended to coincided with the turning on of the Christmas lights and fireworks. The fireworks were very close and extremely loud - Patrick decided that they were "sprinkling on" him (pretty sure it was the rain!) and demanded to go home.

Euan and I managed to go for a very quick walk between showers on Monday - the river levels are really high - but we saw this fab rainbow on the way to school, so may be someone is trying to say something?

Highlight of the fortnight - Euan managed to get a hit on the potty! When inspecting the poo he pointed out "look mummy, slug".

Quote of the fortnight - I was singing along to Wham! Wake me up before you go go (pop trivia - it happened to be the first song at our wedding) when Euan shouted "NO, MY GOGO!".

Thought of the week - “The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work.” ~ Patricia Clafford

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Skywatch Friday - a slice of my heaven

There are so many photos of the amazing skies that I brought home from Pembrokeshire. I hope these will be enough to keep me going until I get my next fix (also a fun game of Where's Wally can be played with the kids!).









To get a look at hundreds of other peoples slices of heaven from all around the world, you MUST visit Skywatch Friday .




Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A whizz bang weekend

My children are party monsters. They spent Friday night at a bonfire party in a friend's barn (or play barn as Bucks called it) - this was a 'high-end' party - nicely arranged straw bales for seating (and later playing/nesting/shredding/sticking down clothes), a well stocked barby, mulled wine, a potato baker, posh soup, a table piled high with three kinds of homemade cake (my personal favourite was toffee apple cake) and most importantly lots and lots of impressively loud fireworks.

Euan wasn't impressed with the bangs and spent the whole display whispering to me "let's go, mummy's car". The other two spent it screaming with their friends "MORE, LOUDER, MORE!". I had to drag three very tired but very happy children home.

The following night we hosted the annual Killens firework party (we go into the garden and watch the fireworks held at the local stately home - last year we got a bit over excited on the mulled wine and missed the show!). The house looked lovely after 2 days worth of cleaning and decluttering - it lasted for about 2 minutes once the many children and bottles of RED wine arrived!

This was the first year we felt brave enough to get sparklers in (glowsticks are far less dangerous with boys around!) - they were very successful with no visits to A&E.

The night ended with the compulsory drunken Wii hula-hooping competition. We (including Anya) got to bed at 2am, needless to say Sunday was pretty much a non-event.

Quote of the week - Patrick (when looking at picture of a snake with its eggs) - "what else has eggs?". Me - "birds, snakes and fish". Patrick - "and elephants". Me - "No, not elephants". Patrick - "but I've seen small elephants".

Thought of the week - "People who make no noise are dangerous" ~ Jean de La Fontaine
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