Monday 26 April 2010

Thank you Rowan

You provided our would-be tree dweller (Luke) much entertainment for the afternoon, after we decided he would be ok 15 foot up in the air with a saw! Your branches have taught Luke how to whittle.
And your twigs have made some wonderful bundles of pea sticks for the allotment.

Sunday 25 April 2010

My kind of week!

Apart from the children returning to school, this has been a lovely week. Lots of little things that have really made it wonderful.

We started off, as did the rest of Europe, with plane-less skies, and it was so lovely to see such a vibrant blue sky unspoilt by contrails.

Our breastfeeding group moved locations, and we still got new people coming, which was great, as I had quite imagined that people would be confused as to where it was. This was followed with meeting up with a dear friend on her due date to go for a walk, a priviledge to share a portion of the last few days before she meets number 4. Birthing vibes coming your way Jo!

And we eventually sorted out for Alec to go to a scalextric club he has been wanting to go to for the last 6 months! His first day was Monday, and he really enjoyed himself, a little boys dream, 6 lanes of racing on a track that fills a barn!!

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I managed some time down the allotment. Planted the last of the spuds, did some more weeding, watering, and alot of breastfeeding! I'm sure that's why Sophie gets so excited about the allotment, she thinks the sole reason we are there is to feed, feed, feed!

I have decided to revamp our diets, trying very hard to introduce way more veggies, and more meat-less meals (especially for me!) We made nettle fritters with nettles and eggs fresh from the garden, and I have started sprouting seeds to add to salad, but am having trouble remembering to rinse them at the moment. Does anyone know if it is still ok to use them if you have missed a rinsing?

Saturday, Stuart discovered there was a food festival in a local town, so we went to investigate, as Stuart's favourite beer (made by a local brewery, Purity) was being combined with local pork to make Ubu sausages, which he was determined to try! So after a lovely wander through the streets of Alcester, munching of a falafel wrap (for me) and pork and stuffing baps for the others! We discovered the sausages! We also came across some morris dancers. Luke's comment was "surely they must be drunk to do that!" However, Sophie enjoyed bopping along to the olde english music!

On our return home, we took out an enormous laurel bush (actually 12 smaller ones conjoined into one big green mass). We had been meaning to do this for years, but took the plunge yesterday. Luke was not impressed, so has planted one of the root balls in the pot the Christmas tree used to inhabit, to see if it will survive! Our plan is to make a flower garden, cottage garden-esque.

To top this off we had a barbeque with the said sausages and homemade bread rolls. A lovely end to a lovely week.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Party time

Although his birthday was a couple of weeks ago, we had his party yesterday, so that particular friends could make it. Ethan helped to make the party bags from newspaper, and then lovingly filled them with raisins, fairtrade chocolate mini eggs, a dreamcatcher, Tinti bath colour and a pencil made from a twig. I eventually got around to making some bunting, not as hard as I'd had in my mind, so some more might be on the cards!
Some rather excited boys awaiting the guests arrival.
The games got started, there aren't pictures of all of them, but this game went down a storm! If you roll a six you get to put on a hat and scarf, pick up the knife and fork, and attempt to get yourself some chocolate (organic of course!) without using your fingers! Meanwhile, the rest of the children are trying to get a six, and as soon as they do, all hell breaks loose whilst one gives up the hat and scarf and the next tries to get on with the task at hand as quickly as possible!!
Food time!
Another popular game, flour in a bowl, upturned out onto a plate, with a sweet balance on top. Take it in turns to cut away at the flour, but if you make the sweet fall, you have to retrieve it with your mouth!
8 children all popping their own square of bubble wrap! Frantic but fun!
There was also toasting marshmallows over the firebowl, trampolining, pass-the-parcel, pin the tail on the donkey (Ethan's favourite) and Blind Mans Bluff.
We could have continued for hours, they all really enjoyed themselves, and it was lovely doing a proper birthday party, rather than those soft play jobs! Another bonus was, as he could only invite a few true friends rather than the whole class, he didn't have too much in the way of silly gifts!

Thursday 15 April 2010

Well done Luke!

We found out yesterday that Luke passed his grade 2 drum exam...
... with distinction!!
Well done fella, you worked really hard at that!

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Why do I think I should...

... take the children out during the holidays? Surely I've learned my lesson by now! Places heaving with people, especially when the sunshine is out! And all the boys want to do is go home and play! We did enjoy feeding the swans and ducks, especially as one of last years cygnets would feed from your hand. But after our picnic they just wanted to go home, Luke wanted to via a forest, but got out-voted by the other two!

I think we are raising some home-birds here! And some comments that Luke made make me think that even he realises that we are not quite like the people we have around us, ie we want solitude and peacefulness (along with a few trees!) rather than busy-ness, cars, people and hustle and bustle!

I will try to remember this exerience next time I think we ought to go out, as that is what people should do when the children are off from school!!

Monday 12 April 2010

Spring cleaning and woods

A spot of spring cleaning in the garden over the weekend, it's amazing how dirty everything gets, but it was made all the more easier, and pleasant with some willing helpers.
And following a very stressful trip to a certain horrible toy shop (how I wish I could have convinced them to spend their money at somewhere like Myriad!) We called in on some woods on the way back, where we discovered muddy puddles for throwing stones in...

...fences to climb...

...and sticks to traverse the mud with, whilst Luke tries to knock them off! Big brothers hey?!
We also heard a woodpecker, but unfortunately did not catch a glimpse of it, but at the end of the walk we discovered that the wood is home to all three varieties of woodpecker, I wonder which one it was?

Thursday 8 April 2010

What a difference a day makes!

The chickens are back to normal, with us not having to throw away the eggs.

I have my eye on this patch of lush green nettles (about the only thing the chickens won't devour in the garden!) for nettle soup.

My long awaited parsnip seeds have germinated (I nearly threw them out, thinking I had another thing to add to my list of veggies that won't grow for me, as Mum has always germinated the parsips in the past!)

A choc-abloc mini greenhouse.
Rhubarb in a nappy bucket!

And yet more sowings, all done by Ethan and Alec, of sweetcorn, pumpkin, courgette, leeks, sunflowers, and purple sprouting.
I could get used to this sun and warmth, I hope it stays around for a while. Even though we were housebound today (due to the front door being stubborn, and not closing!) the sun lifted our spirits no-end, as well as getting our hands in the earth. Making us feel as high as a soaring bird, but grounded, all at the same time.

Sunday 4 April 2010


Look at my little boy, so proud he is following his brothers in the Scouts. This was the day before he turned six.

Gosh, six years have gone so fast, from that peaceful birth, where you were delivered so quietly onto my tummy, and stared at me with those beautiful big eyes. (You used to describe your eyes as chocolate eyes, which is such a good description). It took 24 hours before you uttered your first cry, so chilled from the very start.

Such a beautiful relationship you have with Alec, doing so much together. And you are adored by Sophie, who will wait for you by the classroom door, (just as you used to do with Alec) and gives you such lovely hugs, even if she hasn't quite learned to share me with you yet!

Watching you grow is such a wonderful experience, I love the way you dance when you think no-one is watching, how you act "cool", how I will find you sat at your desk, drawing for ages. I wish for you, a wonderful year ahead, surrounded with love and laughter. xx

Here is a glimpse of the birthday celebrations. A game of blindfold jenga.

The trike that turns 360 on a pinhead. A hit with all of them! (and the neighbourhood boys!)

Blowing out candles.
The cake!

Saturday 3 April 2010

One step forwards, two steps back

After having had a successful weekend in sorting out more "stuff" either redistributing it into relevant rooms, or getting rid of it, and the fluttering of feelings that it really is possible for us to have an ordered house, rather than boxes of things, long forgotten about, sitting around the place. We then got hit by more bugs!

Luke had to come home from school early on Monday. By the evening I was feeling ill, and then by Tuesday morning Stuart had to come from work, soon after arriving there! So any good work was soon undone by nobody feeling up to doing anything, and it's amazing how quickly mess accumulates again! To top it off Sophie seems to have a perpetual snotty nose at the moment, turning her cheeks bright red. So Sophie is trying a dairy free diet, and hopefully it will make some difference. Luke was off school all week, but did muster the strength to take his grade 2 drum exam.

Fortunately, Friday everyone was feeling well, which is a good job, as it was Ethan's 6th birthday. More about that later.

The general feeling though at the moment is rather depressed, as Stuart and I feel so run down at the moment, a kind of apathy has set in.

Oh, and to top it all off, the chickens gave me a scare on Tuesday, after I found them picking over the carcass of a rat. My worry was that if the rat had been poisoned, that they too would succomb. And after speaking to the vet who gave me rather in depth details of how they would die depending on the poison used, I dreaded letting them out the following morning. If they had been poisoned, they would have been dead within 24 hours, it really made you think though about how actions have ripples beyond the intended action. And whilst I never would use anything like poisons, there are many other aspects of our lives where the intended action has far reaching consequences, from how we speak to each other, to the foods we eat.

So with such a realisation, I am going to try and look at things more positively, and pull myself, and the rest of us out of this sickly rutt we have found ourselves in. Sophie has loved having someone to share her passion of books with, with somebody always sitting around feeling sorry for themselves! I have started knitting a cardigan for Sophie with some wool given me by a friend. Ethan was invested at Beavers this week, and was very proud of himself. Luke is feeling confident about the results of his drum exam. And we have 2 weeks to live as fast or as slow as our bodies need. Onwards and upwards!