Saturday, 28 February 2009

We started....

..... clearing the loft today. It was postponed slightly as dh had managed to delete the drivers on his computer 'cos he 'didn't think we used those'. Still once I sorted that out we got stuck in.
Deciding it would be best to work down one side at a time, we dragged it down, and got filthy in the process. I think we had about 6 boxes of videos, and no longer own a video player. Also boxes of books. But I found some old letters and photos, a couple of diaries from when I was about 10, which the girls fell about laughing when I read them aloud. I found some autograph books - remember those - which my nan and grandad had signed! One letter was from my nan and was a lovely find. I'd forgotton how funny she was. She wrote 'Thank you for the book, I really enjoyed it and finished in a couple of days. Mind you, some of it was a bit saucy' Obviously I had sent my nan a risque book to read!
I found this lightshade which I rescued from a clearance some years ago:

Unfortunately although it was perfect when I acquired it, Hettie kicked a ball at it and broke a panel, and its been in the loft ever since.

I will get it repaired, because for one I love it and for two it will go nicely in the house.
And the girls have generally dossed about, got in the way, sneakily saved things from the 'dump' pile and cuddled the pigs!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Pastels Today!

I had to work this morning which is always pretty boring for the kids, but they were very good and so got MacDonalds for lunch as a treat. This afternoon they played with the baby guinea pigs for a while and then it was back to art!

Hettie had taken a liking to a picture of The Scream she had seem in an art book we got from the library and decided to make a copy in pastels.

She loves using pastels and its one of her favorite ways to produce art work. Issy seeing the pastels out thought she'd have a play about with them and came up with this:

Which I kinda like! Looks like something I'd paper my wall with!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Birthdays and Art....

It was Issy's 8th birthday - at last! She was much calmer than last year and we only had a couple of outbursts of tears the night before. She more or less knew all her pressies, but still had a lovely time. My mum was in hospital so we went round on Monday and had cake etc and as it was pancake day on her actual birthday I did my best to cook and toss them! Ok so the dog got to eat two that ended up on the kitchen floor. Well actually one landed on the bin, but he still managed to scoff it.

iPod Nano complete with Dolly Parton greatest hits!

Monsoon top (which as matching bag at considerable expense) - her favorite shop!

Now, this is dh, in bed in his work clothes, family tradition we sit in our bed while they open birthday presents and he was already dressed for work so had to get back in, having just learned he has games on his iPod which he has had for a year now. Hettie informed him!

Today we went to our HE meet. Group is going great and we have lots of regular turn out which is nice for parents and kids. We usually go to nanny's for lunch but she has just come home from hospital after having a kidney op, so we gave it a miss. After lunch we got down to some art and craft work.

Issy made geometric shapes from paint stamp sponges.

Working on a rabbit mask.

Hettie had some good news this week, thanks to Lyn at the Art Factory - she can start the Art Award, broze level, a year early. This means although she may not be able to register until she's 11, she can do the work, and then register and have it assessed when she turns 11. Great because she is very keen to do it, and some of her HE friends will be starting Monday so she'll join with them. This meant she immediately started looking at art, so we looked at cubism type work and she produced this:

Today she started on a bigger piece, looking at how she can use different textures and materials to produce a similar effect. I'll blog the finished pic - well when she's finished it! Note the straightened hair Nanny Norfolk!

That's about all folks!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Thriller and Dolly Parton.....

... strange combination, but that's what happened here tonight. We watched Let's Dance For Comic Relief where some well known and lesser known stars dance famous dances, a type of dancing X Factor for charity over 4 weeks. If you missed it, available on BBC IPlayer.

Dh and I quickly realised the girls didn't know the famous dance routines, having not seen the films they were from, with the exception of High School Musical. The Flashdance routine performed by Robert Webb of Mitchell and Webb fame was the funniest thing I've seen for ages, and boy has he got legs I'd kill for! He somehow seemed to look strangely attractive in a leotard and leg warmers. Anyway I digress, and so after the show I scanned You Tube for the original dance scene clips.

Its been some years since I've seen the M Jackson Thriller video and so I popped it on. Unfortunately it scared the living daylights out of Issy -surprisingly Hettie laughed all the way through it and she has nightmares if she watches Scooby Doo. They howled with laughter at the Blues Brothers though, and at John Travolta strutting his disco dancing in Saturday Night Fever. Thought it was even funnier when I said all the girls loved John Travolta. There was a sudden outburst of the strut and dance routines in the lounge.

So we stayed on You Tube because Issy asked me if they have Dolly Parton on there. I wondered where she had heard of Dolly Parton and discovered unbeknownst to me she's a closet DP fan. Nothing wrong with that, I like her myself! Turns out DP is Hannah Montana's aunt in the tv show. So we got over my scaring the life out of her by watching half an hour of DP on You Tube, whilst Issy told me how glamorous she is, what lovely hair she has and how slim she is. Hettie pointed out she has big - well lets call them Dolly's - as well!! We checked out a few Billy Ray Cyrus videos as well, and I learnt more about Hannah Montana. Seems to be Issy's specialist subject, maybe she can do a lapbook ;) We also checked you can buy a DP album from itunes, just in case she gets an ipod for her birthday next week.

So click here if you want to see a much younger DP singing Jolene, which is my favorite! I was 8 years old as well when this was on, and I thought she was pretty glam too - sadly, I never grew such a nice pair of Dolly's though ;o)

I've been tagged!

OK, so I got tagged - more thanonce, thank-you blog friends! You take the 6th picture from your 6th folder and post it. Here's me in Bath!

And I'm tagging, anyone who wants to have a go as almost everyone I know has been tagged already ;o)

Friday, 20 February 2009

Thank Heaven for Mrs Beeton...

... now she may have been born in 1836, but boy she's handy when you're having a cookery crisis. The girls both begged - sorry asked politely - for those cake mixture boxes when we were in the supermarket. I gave in and Hettie bought Butterfly cakes and Issy bought some Barbie mix. Both from a well known cake mix company.

So today we started. Hettie made hers and the mixture just didn't look right to me. She licked the bowl out and said it tasted funny. We removed them from the oven, and they were rubbish, and so ended up in the bin. Issy started hers and the mixture looked like slop tbh. And yes I did follow the instructions carefully!! I didn't even bother baking them.

We'll go back to the proper old fashioned way of baking fairy cakes I said, reaching for Mrs Beeton. In fact we really did go back because I had no self raising flour, so it had to be plain and add baking powder. Well Mrs Beeton won the day and we finally produced 12 cakes which looked like they were edible. Actually being on a diet the ones I threw in a bin looked quite edible to me!
After finally producing something worth decorating we made Issy's pink butter icing from the pack. It was Yuk, no-one liked it, so after my arm nearly falling off beating it, the whole lot went in the bin. By now I was getting a tad grumpy. So I made normal butter icing for Hettie and pink icing for Issy!

Girls spent a happy hour decorating their cakes. Unfortunately I can't find my camera, so no pics but the girls and dh said they tasted good. No I didn't eat one, I'm on a diet.

Other than taking 3 hours to produce 12 small cakes, I washed and ironed all day.

Our loft conversion starts in 3 weeks and so I really need to get sorting all the stuff that is stored up there. Strangely enough one of the builders employees is the grandparent of HE children and so hopefully there will be minimal disruption. Ok who am I trying to kid? They've already told Hettie she can go and learn carpentry!!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


... those little blighters have struck again. So far in scoring tables Issy in lead with 33 - yes 33 and some of those whoppers - Hettie 2 and Dh 0. Me - I'm waiting for the hot water!

Spent a nice day at my friends and we let the kids ride their bikes over to the common alone, 2 minutes away. This involved crossing one road. 'What on our own!' they cried, 'Yes on your own, clear off and play' we replied. We followed that up with, 'Check back in half an hour, stay together, don't talk to strangers' and much watching out for their return and so on. They had a great time judging by the rosy cheeks and thick mud.

My friend and I spent some happy time discussing the correct use of apostrophies and commas!!

Stuck to my diet - Day 3 and could kill for a bit of chocolate!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Birthdays, Diets & Waffle....

The girls had a party at Build A Bear on Sunday with 6 friends. It was really nice and they all had a good time. We weren't going to have a party this year, but my arm was twisted! So they had 3 friends each and I got the big bear!!

Although they insisted dh was in attendance he sloped off to amble round the shops. I forgot my camera, but fortunately my friend had hers in her bag!

Yesterday we had friends round for lunch and the kids all played out and got some fresh air. Issy having a bit of a meltdown week, think the big bear may have set her off and all the excitement of the party, and she spent an hour this evening cleaning the bathroom and lining everything up in straight lines. She said could everyone stop leaving the toothpaste oozing on the side of the sink, cos it makes a mess. Pretty rich really coming from the one who leaves the toothpaste on the side :O Anway the bathroom's sparkling LOL

Managed to get out in the tank - sorry car - I've borrowed and get to the supermarket, which was necessary because a) I didn't go at the weekend and b) I started a diet.

So bringing me nicely onto dieting. Since my wedding 6 years ago I've gone up 4 dress sizes and put on 2 stone and 4 lbs. Now I don't expect to be 40 years old and be that slim again - I was breastfeeding 2 babies and burning up 600 calories a day in milk production -but lets face it, its not good is it? I used to just basically 'cut out the crap' and loose weight, but now that no longer seems to be working - mmm maybe a little middle age spread then, harder to budge. So I dived onto the book shelf and found Rosemary Conley's original hip and thigh diet, and decided I'd better stick to it pretty drastically!

I like this diet because you can have no fats or oils ever - easier than being allowed 4 grms of butter on your toast. Lets face it you never weigh the 4 grms so proably end up having 20! Also you can have 1 small glass of wine a night - yipee! Its pretty straight forward 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner. OK now I've blogged it I'll have to stick to it!

We're out again tomorrow to friends - girl's twigged its half term and don't want to do any work - so I should be hoovering and mopping now, but its nearly time for my small glass of wine and I want to savour it!

Thursday, 12 February 2009


The weather report said 'sleet' this evening. Well it looks suspiciously like more snow to me:

It looks very, very pretty and girls are extremely excited at the chance they may be sledging again tomorrow. It is very unusual for this part of UK to get so much snow this time of year, so off to check the only pair of warm trousers the girls have each are clean and dry for tomorrow.

Good work by the girls today. Hettie worked hard with maths, history and science. I had to rake about deep in the recesses for teaching photosynthesis!! Issy completed all her Sonlight. She read the history/geography out loud beautifully and worked hard with her handwriting today. Hettie went to a party so Issy got a whole hour piano tuition all to herself.
Ah well back to slipping and sliding tomorrow!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Bard is hanging out at our house!

I haven't blogged for a while, been a bit busy ;)

Girls have been to their Shakespeare workshop, seen Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest at the theatre - Shakespeare 4 Kidz theatre company - and old Will is the latest hot thing in reading round here. We stated reading children's versions by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross and they give a good outline of the actual stories. Hettie wanted something a bit more so I bought No Fear Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet This is the full play plus modern translation on the opposite page and we started today, and Hettie wants to attempt the whole play. She's got a good grasp of the language and even if we get through some of it I'll be pleased. I also bought Macbeth from Comic Book Shakespeare which is abridged but good for getting the story and the original language comic book style. She really wants to read Macbeth - thinks its the witches!

Hettie followed up by making a character poster for R & J, and is making a collage of the balcony scene. Not usually her type of thing but I think the artist in her over ruled the 'yucky' love bit.

Good day for Hettie HE wise today. She produced some good history work and we managed to finish the chapter on cells for biology. Issy didn't do a great deal today but we did complete all her allocated Sonlight work, and we remain on schedule!

Returning to the saga of my eternity ring, the car died on the way to dropping off the girls. I just about gave up hope of ever getting the ring. My BIL rescued us and fortunately had a spare car to lend us. So we managed to get my ring, which is lovely. I'm not overkeen on driving the borrowed 4 x4 or 'tank' as I call it. Much bigger than I'm used to driving, but I've stuck with it. That was until that died on me yesterday as well. My mum had to rescue me. So not much luck in the car department this week!

Oh well its only a car. Sure I am able to get a bus if necessary, but we got lots of HE done today 'cos we couldn't go out anywhere ;)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Birthdays All Round...

.... Hettie was 10 today and my mum was 70 today, so double celebrations!

We went to see Shakespeare 4 Kids production of Romeo and Juliet last night with our HE club and back to see The Tempest today. Highly recommended, we loved them both. So what with that and fitting in birthday shopping and the snow at the beginning of the week we haven't had 5 mins to do anything else.
Hettie is over the moon with her ipod nano, although I'm frantically trying to sort out how to upload stuff onto it! I have managed to put some audiobooks on, so tomorrow I'll try to sort a bit more if I can. Girls are off to stay with their old nanny, as in a childcare nanny - not a grandma, tomorrow am until Sunday am, so dh has promised to take me out to buy me an eternity ring. He's been promising for about 3 years now so so long as it doesn't snow I should finally get one. If it does snow I probably will just trudge through it and break in the shop if necessary LOL
Got lots of pics of my nephew travelling in Thailand, Australia and New Zealand today. My sister cried as mums do and then got cross as we pointed out he seemed to be with a different girl in every picture - there were about 25!! The girls pointed out he was laughing in every picture - well he would be wouldn't he! Male members of the family muttered 'lucky so and so' under their breaths and wandered off. We women closely scanned the pics to decide who we thought looked worthy of him. Also some great pics of him bungy jumping, so I'm glad he is having a fabulous time.
I'm off for an early night, ready for shopping tomorrow!!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

... and it did today! Good thing about a garden with a steep slope is when it does snow for one day you can at least get some sledges out!

Dh took the girls off to the woods - with a mass of other kids and dads - to do more sledging, steeper slopes! We took the dog out with us this afternoon, but he was just a yob! He pulled the girls physically off the sledges by yanking at their coat sleeves with his teeth, and kept knocking us all flying. He was sent in for bad behaviour!!

Not good news for adults, but all the kids in the South East of England have a had a ball. We only had 3 or 4 inches of snow, but the girls have never seen that much before. So tomorrow comes the black ice and slippy stuff, which the country is equally unequipped for ;o)

We got some video, nanny and grandad as well. I'l get a copy in the post!