Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sunday 6th
Good day today. Woke up to rain pelting down. I mean, we have double glazing, so that's a serious amount of rain to make that much noise to actually wake me up. Mum popped in with a birthday present for Ella from Dawn and Collis - a Go Go Hamster. Dad and Sandra came up for most of the day. They're off to Italy at Christmas - lucky sods - so we had a Christmas get-together today. Jeff's new table top invention was fantastic :) Got an all round thumbs up, room for everyone and the food. Sandra and I debated whether this was actually in our favour as in the past we would both sit in the front room around from the melee! But seriously, you know me, I love the Italian style meals so I loved it. Also, got Sandra converted to Facebook and Farmville - I hope I haven't created a monster!
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday 5th

Another busy day. Don't think it being December helps. One has all the 'usual' stuff to do, then we have to include all the 'extra' stuff. So today we start the morning with only 2 extra teenagers camped out in the boys room. Ben's football starts at 9am - should be interesting as he didn't go to sleep till gone midnight (ETA ended up losing 5-1, but the goal scored was by Ben, not bad for a defender!)

I have a couple of letters I have got to get in the post today. The den needs blitzing - all the pressies and dec's have been stored in there. And as the weather is pants we've been drying clothes in there. And Jeff has his tools in there as he's been doing a few odd jobs. Not including the 2 comfy chairs and floor to ceiling wall unit. And the room is only approx 8' square! Should keep me busy! Then we want to blitz the living room so we can get the Christmas decorations and the tree up.

Tonight I'm going to see one of my oldest friends, Julie, who was a bridesmaid for Jeff and me, for a get-together and a take away. Jeff is kindly chaffeuring me, so I think a little bit of alcohol may be appreciated :) (ETA, yep, much alcohol was enjoyed! :) )

Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday 4th

Busy old day. Jeff has been making a table top for our dinner table. It's designed for 6, but then special occasions are a bit of a squeeze - ok, a lot of a squeeze! So we should now comfortably seat 8. He's such a clever old sod :) Teaching for me this morning. My apprentices. Was nice today to see their assignments taking shape and putting anxieties at ease.

Lunchtime we went to the Old Manor pub together. I have fond memories of this place. It used to be a Berni Inn many moons ago and my dad had the cleaning contract for it. One of my earliest memories (I couldn't have been more than 4-5) is sitting in the bar playing. The smell is the kicker. It's been over 40 years, but it still has the same smells that evoke these memories. We try and have lunchtime every couple of months. Nowhere fancy, sometimes using Tesco vouchers, but a couple of hours adult conversation and eating with no interrruptions, bliss.

And tonight he took me to the flicks. It's been years since just the 2 of us went to the cinema together. We decided to see Nativity! It was hilarious - loved it :) It's had mixed reviews, but for this time of year, and just a film to kick back and smile - perfect!

Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday 3rd December

Yesterday was my last day for teaching 10 of my DPP students. They've hopefully successfully completed their last unit. I've been teaching them weekly since September 2008, the first regular course I taught. It hasn't all been easy. With our money worries; Joe's head injury; studying for the Playwork Awards; as well as the Teacher Training; etc, etc, etc, it has meant some weeks I have honestly felt like giving up. But I'm so pleased I didn't, it was so nice to see them all go. You know, I didn't mean that the way it sounded! LOL! Maybe 'move on' would be a better choice of words! Anyhow they gave me a lovely heart shaped keyring with Hopes and Dreams written on it. You can just see it. And this gorgeous basket of flowers. Apparently when the student that bought them was in the queue, Cliff Richard was in front of her :) Better not tell mum, she'd nick them on the offchance that Cliffy babe had breathed on them LOL
Thursday, December 03, 2009
This was supposed to be posted yesterday but flaming internet decided not to work! So we'll pretend it's the second LOL

Today we take a side-step and forget about Christmas. Today is Ella's birthday. She's 11, which means we've been blessed with her for 7.5 years. This year she really seems to understand her birthday. "Where's my cards and presents?" and "Where's my birthday cake?" Yep, she's sorted out the important stuff! So tonight we shall be watching Ice Age 3 in front of the telly. Ben and Josh will be joining us. They knew we'd got it for her and had hoped to get a sneak peek, but we kept the cellophane on and made it impossible :) So, tv, blankets, HSM3 cake, hot chocolate and the kids. Perfect :)
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
First of December, so out comes the Advent calendar. We've actually got 2. One in the traditional A4 sized paper one with a lovely nativity scene and doors. Except we've had it years, mum gave it to us, and the doors never get opened! The other is one I bought a couple of years ago in a B & Q sale. Initial thoughts were to alter it, but I've grown used to it as it us. Ella helped me last night put a chocolate in each drawer - I wonder why that was LOL. And of course, the first thing she said this morning happened to be about Advent chocolate. So here's a photo of said Advent box.
On a small forum today we were encouraged to write about what we consider "Holiday Values". This is what I wrote. ' For me Christmas is about valuing the time I get to spend with my family. Appreciating the Christian beliefs behind it, and renewing my faith in the 'season of goodwill'. I value the warmth and happiness I feel as the decorations go up in the house and Christmas music is played. I have tried to instal into the children the value that less is more. Each year we buy a present from the local charity shops to help them understand the importance of giving and that the cost is not the main priority.'

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Rough few weeks. Ella had either flu or swine flu - who knows. But she was rough for 9 days, bless her. She's never ill, so wasn't nice to see her so frail. Being her main carer all week as Jeff was on Jury Service at Coroner Court meant I suppose it was inevitable I would catch something off of her. Nasty, horrible cough keeping me up all day and night. But at least it seems to have avoided everyone else.

Jeff found Coroner Court interesting, just as well, he's such a grumpy man in every other respect LOL

Boys all okay. Joe had swine flu jab. Took ages to decide, just hope we made the right decision! Have had friends galore sleeping over. Picture gives you an idea of the number of teenagers hanging around - yes, that is 13 pairs of shoes. Jeff and I are seriously thinking of getting a separate doorbell just for the boys room!

Went to dad and Sandra's a fortnight ago and got virtually all the Christmas presents. In fact, reckon Sandra should be a Personal Shopper :) Been Flyladying, so each evening have done a little bit. All now wrapped, cards written, stamped and addressed. About the only thing I had enough energy for this week!

So not much news.

First Day of Advent, and this year I feel very Christmassy. Got the quilt out today I made last year - hope you like it :)
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Busy few days.

*Back to school.
*Stood a girlfriend up *insert blushing smilie*
*Winter coats needed
*4 of my students wanted their portfolios in for final IV - argghh, so know there's going to be bits that need addressing.
*Attended a Diet and Nutrition Awareness course. And you know how you always come away from that sort of thing feeling renewed and righteous! Don't think the rest of the family is very impressed LOL
*Ella had her school photo - she looks so cute in pigtails - and a trip to the doctors. There's 4/5 in the practice and this one commented that he'd never seen her before. When Jeff and I thought about it we realised that, despite all her problems, she is one healthy lassie :)
*Joe's got a new girlfriend on the horizon - really pleased for him. Only met her briefly, but she seems nice. I thought for ages about 'nice', bit of a 'urgh' word, but couldn't think of anything more suitable! I don't know anything about her to say she's lovely - although Joe certainly thinks so LOL - but she seemed .......nice!
*Joe had 3 mates round ..... the same night Ben had 6 for a sleepover ...... the same night Josh's (about 8) mates all started out ours before they went to a party! Frazzeled? Bloody right
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Made those cheesecakes with Ella without too much chaos! I think she's quite a clever little madam, she knows that whenever anything is made, the bowls and spoons can always be licked after! Doesn't she look adorable in her apron and chefs hat :) Turns out her intentions weren't entirely evident at the beginning. Once she had made the cheesecake, she then went to the cupboard and got out a chocolate Angel Delight!

Went to MJ's crop in the evening. Anna kindly drove, don't think I would have been safe on the road, and I must admit I nearly fell asleep coming home! Working on a mini-album on our day to London with Mellie - will let you have a sneak peek next post.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Saturday we all - yep, all 6 in one place at the same time! - went to Niki and Bruce's engagement party. It was a lovely evening and even the kids enjoyed it. Congratulations to you both xx

Yesterday it was Joe's 18th birthday, when did that happen! He got in about 2.30 this morning very tiddled but very happy!

It's half-term this week so usual house sorting and cleaning. I have to start writing my 3,500 word assignment for Playwork; 2,500 for the teacher training; 4 portfolios to mark; and 5 weeks worth of lessons to plan! No rest for the wicked LOL I've signed back up with Flylady - I know, how sad! - but when I joined a few years ago my house was definately more organised and Christmas was a breeze. So here's for a easy Christmas :)

And .... dramatic pause ..... have finally sent the forms in for fostering. I'm not sure we'll be approved with all the financial problems we've had, but if we don't then it's not meant to be. And .... another dramatic pause ..... have sent a letter of complaint to the Chief Inspector for our area. 4 times in 4 days the boys were stopped with no action. Fair enough if they were being out of order, but this is harrassment pure and simple. I've been in 2 minds, because it can't go on, but I have been worried it will make things worse. However, now that Joe is 18 anything they want to throw at him will stick and that's just not acceptable.

Right, off to bake cheesecakes with Ella - now for that I definately need luck LOL xx
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Lots of illness. All of us, except for Ella, what's the betting she gets it over half term?! Joe got it worst, went on his chest and aggrievated his asthma, and now Tesco's are talking about a disciplinary! I don't think so.

Half term next week so plan to write my second assignment for my Playwork, and relax. This term is always sooo manic! Joe's also 18 next week, can you believe that? 18 years since I was stuck in maternity for weeks on end. I remember one Friday seeing a different doctor and he let me home with an appointment to come back on the Monday. I felt like a prisoner with a weekend pass LOL Of course, on the Monday my regular doctor asked me if I'd enjoyed the break cos the slip up wouldn't happen again LOL And it didn't.

Visited 2 of my old Racal friends at the weekend, just a lovely, quiet evening. And that's about it! Off now to sort out some of my scrapping albums - anything to put off planning a lesson!

Photo of said fab friends :)
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Just back from the annual Center Parcs girlie weekend. It's been 5 years now - how quickly has that gone by! I went to the CP Aqua Sauna for a 3 hour spa = heaven! About 17 different rooms with different heat/humid/sound/etc. Heaven! Woke up with a slight cold Saturday, but not going to let that spoil it. Saturday night we all went for a Tapas. Never had a Tapas before, very nice, but very small portions! And the girls are clubbed together and treated me as a thank you for all the work involved in booking and co-ordinating the weekend. ***luv those girls*** Sunday morning I did a 2 hour watercolour class. I've posted on Facebook 'Monet watch out'. Those that have seen my works of art will feel he doesn't have too much to worry about! LOL Sunday afternoon I was treated to another Spa. Two of the girls cooked the most scrumptious Sunday dinner :) Plus of course there was the chocolate, Pernod, walks, cycle rides (ok, one cycle ride!) and roood chats. A few photos attached from the Boobs in Tour 2009! And we've already booked 2010 with all 8 wanting to go again :)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yesterday spent the day in London with Jeff, Mellie and Tim. It was fab to see Mellie again and meet Tim. But it was lovely to get a day sightseeing with Jeff, just us, no kids!

We started at Tower Bridge and then the Tower of London. I was so surprised at just how big it all is behind the walls. We did the tour, with a very loud Yeoman, and then spent a couple of hours strolling around, We actually didn't get to see it all, but by nearly 3pm we were flaking and needed nourishment LOL

We also managed Buckingham Palace, Admirality Arch, Big Ben and a couple of pubs! Got home and just collapsed in a heap.

Mellie's off now to the next bit of her working trip. We're already talking about where we're going next year :)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Okay, no excuses. Highlight of September? Has to be Jeff and I having the honour to be God-Parents at this little darlings Baptism :)
What else? The usual. School. College. Work. Bumps and bruises. Final term for Playwork course I'm studying. Meetings. Parents Evening at which Ella's Deputy head said "Ella is so unique that's why everyone loves her" :). Not enough hours in the day. Football training and football matches. Started final year of teacher training - gulp. Ben is being a darling around the house. Think that's got something to do with the bass guitar we bought him for music. Managed to get to one crop. Had a group of 7 of my closest friends round for a meal. Cooked Italian. I know, don't faint! Me and cooking - say no more! Joe's had 2 visits from the police. Both waste of time. On the news last year was the highest number of complaints ever recorded against the police. Not surprised. Josh has settled into college and is actually enjoying it. Good start :)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Morning :)

Hectic or what since we got back from holidays. Ton of washing. Joe bumped his head and ended up back in A & E. Finished maternity cover job. Spent a lovely day with Jeanette and two of hers at their caravan. Followed by a Little Chef - love a Little Chef :) Joe got bitten by a dog and ended up in A & E. Had a lovely coffee with Jo. Completed the 3,500 assignment. Josh to the hairdressers. Ben had been a darling around the house. And the usual stuff.

Never got a chance to blog this before our hols - wanted to check with the mum that it was okay to put photo on here. Anyhow, had a coffee with Angela and her adorable girls a couple of weeks ago. And Jeff and I are going to be the littlest one's God-Parents. I always think that is such an honour, so thank you Patrick and Angela for thinking of us xx

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Few more!

Back from holiday and nearly back into the swing of things!

So, the pluses?
- spending time with my brother and his family;
- average temperature of 30 - very nice!
- swimming every day;
- eating healthily (now just need to keep that one up! LOL);
- relaxing;
- sunshine and NO RAIN!
- kids not fighting!
- coming home at 10.30 at night and finding Joe had made up all the beds;
- coming home and finding out mum's done all our ironing - and we're talking a lot of ironing :)

The minuses?
- exchange rate not very supportive LOL
- getting a phone call from a neighbour at home because Joe has been keeping him up till 5.30 in the morning. Grrr
- missing the ferry on the way out AND on the way back by 10 mins and having to spend 2 extra hours each way sitting at the port!
- 24 mosquito bites just on my arms;
- horrible heat rash on my arm;

And I would go back tomorrow if I could!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Without a camera lead at the moment and brain is up to maximum capacity writing a 3,500 word assignment on Playwork and fighting with Joseph. No room left for witty comments. So, enjoy a layout I did a few months ago :)
Friday, August 14, 2009

Our Local Authority offered Ella an opportunity to spend a morning at a local centre which has allsorts on offer, but it was felt wall climbing etc. might be a bit difficult. So Ella spent the morning with the animals, culminating in riding a horse! First time ever. Jeff reckoned she looked more stable on the hourse, than on her 2 feet!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Okay, well I've often said it's not boring here, and last night would confirm that!

So. Picture the scene. Ben in the back garden with half a dozen of his friends having a sleepover in the tent. We've set up the TV and DVD so they're all sitting eating pizza, chatting and chilling on the decking. Now, we've lived in this little house for 13 years, 2 months and 2 weeks (roughly!) and it's a quiet little corner of the town. Back to last night. Jeff and I are watching something on the box and hear a lot of noise outside. Look out window. Jeff "That's someone jumping the fences" The next 1.5 hours were like something from Road Wars! So, Jeff is at the front of the house, and he can see the 2 criminals in the garages. He's shouting to the police where they are and how to get to them. I think "S***, the kids" As I go into the house to tell them to come in, they all run in from the garden. One of them has shinnied our fence and come face to face with a bunch of 14 year olds. So, bit of calm. Jeff and me chatting to police. Kids stress, can hear sounds in the bushes. Jeff and a policeman in the garden. He shinnies over back fence. Caught about 2 gardens later by police and their dogs. Now, when you watch that on TV, it doesn't sound anywhere near as loud as in real life with the police shouting, dogs barking. More police. Police helicopters. Dog and handler now outside our house. They were around for another hour. Not sure if they caught number 2, so wasn't keen on kids sleeping out, so living room was heaving with mattresses, sleeping bags and bodies!

After the initial scare, the kids reckoned it was the best sleepover they'd ever been to! We aim to please LOL
How many males does it take to put up a tent?!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Went to a car boot this morning, first one for absolutely ages thanks to Jeffs shifts and the weather. Treated myself to a few nick-nacks. The first are Groovy Girl Wall Stickers for Ella's newly decorated bedroom (£1!!); the ornaments are Willow Tree in perfect condition with their boxes (£8 for both, and on the Willow Tree site they sell for £53); and a Cherished Teddy plate (£10 on ebay and I bought it for £2).Not bad for a mornings work :~) Jeff also got a couple of bits, but hey, that's boring stuff LOL.