Wednesday, 24 April 2013

No Learning Here!

We don't do formal schoolwork here on Wednesdays as it's shopping day. Usually by the time we've got home after battling for an hour round the supermarket, going through the check-out, getting home and unpacking,  my reserves of  patience are usually running pretty low!
So no schoolwork on Wednesdays.
So I thought I'd show you what a "no School day" looks like!
Firstly I think the boys are learning whilst shopping, they are comparing prices, following a routine of going up and down each aisle so you're not going from one aisle to the next and back again! and the main lesson is smiling at grumpy people who tut and pass you without saying thank you when you've stepped aside to let them through!
One of the boys puts the shopping on the conveyor belt and another helps me pack. They take it in turns to pay the checkout person with the money ( I always draw out cash so we can do this) Then they have to work out the change.
Then the unpacking, we have to rotate the things in the cupboard so things don't go out of date and we have to put things away orderly so that everything fits!!. Whilst doing this they are learning what needs to go in the freezer, fridge or cupboard.
Today I bought some raspberry canes and seeds in with the shopping so this afternoon Clark helped me plant things and sowed some seeds.

Not too sure if you can see the raspberry canes there!

Runner beans in an egg tray with cotton wool, so we can do a science lesson in a week or two!

This propagator is half full of peas and the other half  is runner beans. Clark also filled another propagator this size with more peas.
Whilst he was doing this Callum was shredding paper for the rabbits and guinea-pigs and then he cleaned out some of the guinea-pigs and Soloman and Cody helped me make these,
A huge Quiche for tonight's tea, a jam tart and a treacle tart. They enjoyed bashing the biscuits for the treacle tart the best! In a past post I mentioned that I've found some really interesting blogs to read which are so informative and interesting, the blog writers are friendly too which is always a bonus!
Well Frugal Mum Of Three is one of them and she did a great post which will help raise awareness of poverty. I thinks it's well worth a read so I've put the link in.
Let me know what you think and if you are going to give it a go.

Eden's due home any minute with a friend and they are going to wash the mini-bus which I'm sure is just an excuse for a water fight! So I'd better go and sort out some old sponges before she nicks all my new ones!!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Teamwork and a library visit

A very rare picture of my boys working in perfect harmony!
The eldest two in particular will argue over fresh air!
We have another veg patch next to this one, about the same size, together they make up about a third of our back garden

We've had some success  with our veg in past years, apart from last year when I planted everything out as I heard we were going to get rain. I thought that would help water everything in. Unfortunately the rain didn't stop for several months.
The potatoes we planted just went mouldy and disintegrated into the ground and we grew one runner bean. Oh, the money I spent on runner beans.  I grew them from seed and put them out, lost them. put another lot out, they didn't take and so I even bought some plants and put them out and nothing came of them either!
Anyway we're not giving up, the boys are in the process of planting potatoes as I type. I'll keep you informed as to how they grow if indeed they do.
We've also decided not to grow so much veg, our carrots and parsnips have always been very hit and miss, so we've decided to grow runner beans again and also courgettes and marrows as they've always done quite well. As do our tomatoes and cucumbers.
We're also going to grow less veg and plant more fruit, we've got a lovely plum tree which gives us a lovely yield of fruit to freeze and cook with, we also have rhubarb. So I thought we would buy raspberry canes, we've got blackcurrants so I thought we could get red currants as those sort of things are quite low maintenance,yet you get a crop which can be used.
That's the theory anyway!
This morning we visited the library, they love us there as we all borrow 20 books each and it makes their numbers look really good!
It was quite busy as there was a toddler group in there. Callum and Clark took their knitting and looming and Clark in particular had a little group of toddlers round him asking what he was doing and even having a go at it.
We know the staff as Eden works there as a volunteer on Saturday mornings, one of them came up to see what Cal and Clark were doing. She noticed a jumper that Clark had crocheted, I put a picture of one he did a couple of weeks ago in a post on here. She liked it so much she asked if she could buy it for her Granddaughter who has a Tiny Tears type doll. ( I'm not sure if she's still around or called something else now)  So Clark sold it to her and was over the moon.
He was going to sell it at a boot sale we are going to on Sunday, so after they've done the garden he wants to start another one to keep his stock up for the boot sale.
Alan Sugar eat your heart out!!
I have been making sausage rolls and we call them bacon diamonds, they are puff pastry with bacon, cheese and tomoto in them.
We've also been eating these,

Malcolm made them in the breadmaker, there were twelve but everyone had one before I could take a picture!
Well, I'd better go and see how the boys are getting on and make them a drink, I'm sure they are like all British workmen, needing a teabreak far too often!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Shopping Spree

The childrens, not mine!
Clarks birthday was at the end of last month and he recieved some money as presents so we ordered a PC Tablet for him off Amazon. Well to cut a long story short, it never arrived, we rang, they sent another one, it arrived, the screen was lifting on it and it wouldn't charge so we sent it bank and after about 4 weeks of trying to sort it out the money finally went into our account from the return yesterday.
So off we went into town so he could get one in Argos.

He's got it and he's chuffed with it.
Soloman recieved money and some Waterstones vouchers, so we called in there and he bought two space books and a book on dinosaurs.

He also bought some Lego, but he'd undone the box and it was half made before I could take a picture of it!
Cody then decided he wanted to get some money out of his account and buy a couple of books. As their bank is only a couple of doors away we said OK.
He bought these,

Callum then decided he wanted to join in, he had to make a decision between about 5 knitting books and settled for this one.
I've finished Codys cardigan and sewn on the buttons, he says he wants to wear it tomorrow so you might get a picture in the next couple of days.
I'm now knitting slippers for The Biggin Hill Romania Group I've mentioned them before. I've set myself a two week target of knitting as many as I can. I'll let you know how I get on!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Solomans Birthday

In my  last post I ended by saying I was off to finish knitting a cardigan for Soloman, so here it is.
It was his 8th birthday yesterday, so in the morning he opened his presents.

He received some sort of scooter ! I didn't realise you could get so many different scooters! In my day a scooter was just a scooter!, He also received some vouchers from Waterstones and a rucksack.
We had a quiet morning in with some relatives and friends popping by with cards and presents and then we went over to Grandmas and Gramps for a surprise party!
Today was his real party that he invited his Beaver friends to. Malc and Soloman made this lovely chocolate cake and then yesterday Eden and Soloman decorated it.

We had two hours of mayhem and E numbered party food! He's opened some more of the presents he was given and is now building a lego eagle/ scorpion and dinosaur with the help of Callum.
We have a birthday every month from December until April in this house so thankfully we now have nearly 3 months off until the next one!"
I have spent the week knitting, cooking for the party and reading some fabulous blogs. When I use to blog I use to read some lovely ones but I can't believe how many informative, funny and interesting blogs there are out there now, I have to read them every day just in case I've missed something!
I'm now knitting Cody a cardigan, just got the rest of the sleeve and the two fronts to do so that's where I'm off to now, whilst watching a "Columbo" film. Nostalgia, you can't beat it!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

I was looking forward to chatting to Eden on Thursday when she sent me a text about 11pm saying that she'd forgotten her phone charger and her phone was nearly out of charge. So I went to bed very grumpy at her and the world in general! Clark was at Grandmas and my "Mummy Head" wasn't happy. I hate it when we are all over the place especially at night. I'd better get use to it I know but my " Mummy Head" takes a real bashing sometimes. Sometimes I'd like to take it off and shoot it right between the eyes!!
On Friday we made these;

Milk, mashed banana and ice-cream,

One of my friends came round with this,

A big bin liner of chunky wool. Callum and I were like kids in a sweet shop! It was like birthdays and Christmas all at once! There were some started garments that needed unpicking and then Callum and I  unpacked it discussed who needed what wool for what project and it's all in a corner in my bedroom  packed away!
We walked the dogs at Delph Woods We love going here, it's great in the snow and has a magic stream running through it. I can't tell you how many times the children have had to half strip before getting in the car and coming home because they've mucked about in it and have been soaking wet. It's part of the Castlemain Trail . The trail runs along a dirt track just above the woods, you can walk/ride miles on it.
We then went to Grandmas and Gramps to pick Clark up, had a cuppa and then went to the train station to pick Eden up.  She talked herself hoarse for the next two hours telling us about her adventures.  I forgot to say she was at Exeter Uni.
Saturday my brother, Craig and his girlfriend, Chantelle came over. I dropped Eden off at work, she works in the library on Saturday mornings, and then Malc went to pick our guests up.
We had a lovely day, they are artists and Craig draws with his foot , long story short, he has a neck/ shoulder injury sustained at Uni and can still draw with his hand but the injury plays up so he draws with his foot. Eden decided to have a go with him.

I'm sorry the pictures are really dark for some reason, the flash was on!
I hope you can see them, if you want to see more as they have a website and shop, go here .
Here is some more up-to-date work, some of it is amazing. I love the last two rows of pictures.
He drew the children and I'm going to frame them and hopefully have them going all up the stairs. I'll take photos of them for my next post.
Today we had another one of our mega- breakfasts, the boys have cleaned out the rabbits, I have done a load of ironing and Eden is supposedly cleaning out her room!
I'm now off to settle down with yet another cardigan I'm knitting for Soloman.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Thank goodness for " Nice and Easy"

As I must have at least a dozen new grey hairs today.
Eden is on a 48 hour visit to a University, two girls were chosen from her school to attend a special gathering of Year 10 students, I think it's a way of trying to encourage youngsters to go to Uni as their numbers have come down so much!
So there is a workshop for 60 students from the South to go and taste Uni life. They are boarded, fed and entertained, which is sooo like Uni life isn't it? She's not going to have to struggle to find somewhere to live, a part-time job to support herself, not to mention taking out student loans and then trying to pay them back!!
Anyway, I digress! She was meant to be travelling down with another student from her year, they have three different trains to catch so I didn't really want her to go on her own and was really pleased when the other girl accepted her place and they agreed to travel together. Part of the deal is that the Uni pay for their transport, so they sorted out the route and times and we just waited for the tickets to arrive, which they duly did.
This morning Malc took her to the train station she was leaving from, Eden rang the other girl 10 minutes before the train was meant to leave as she was getting concerned only to find that the girl was still in bed and had forgotten about the whole thing!
Eden was then in two minds about going, she was really worried about changing trains, we don't travel on trains at all so it was way out of her comfort zone. Anyway, she got on the train and I think both her and I had a frought three and a half hours whilst she journeyed down there.
She's arrived safely has had lunch and is now partaking in workshops that have been held.
I've no doubt she will ring me tonight full of excitement and news about the day!
She will be home tomorrow night.
 Just got to get through the journey home then!!!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter News

I've posted pictures of these before on my old blog. This year between myself and another lady we've knitted nearly 70 of them.
I'm not sure if they all look happy or slightly menacing! We've had quite a relaxing couple of days, Friday was a chill-out day doing hardly anything. Saturday Malc and Callum went to the Mens Breakfast at our local church, then in the afternoon we went to our friends for tea. She has 10 children so we take it in turns to have each other over for tea. When you have a big family you don't tend to get invited to many places! So it's nice for us all to socialise knowing that we don't get offended by each others children being kids as some people with just a couple of children do!
Sunday we had my Mum and Stepdad over for breakfast and we did the whole works of cereal, toast, croissants, yoghurts and then fry up. Needless to say we didn't need to eat for the rest of the day!
Then today we had a very rare lay-in followed by myself, Callum and Clark going to our weekly church knitting group. A vote was taken to hold it today for anyone who wasn't away or busy to attend. There were only a couple of people missing so it was worth it.
I have also spent a lot of today going through a blog that I use to read and then lost when our old computer gave up the ghost. I find it very inspiring  and quite close to how our family works and so I find myself indentifying with what the lady writes.
It assures me that we're not mad at all and they are people out there like us, well me really!
Unfortunately I'm not that special and still have to cook tea, so I'd better go and check the slow cooker and see if it's time to dish up for the troops!