Thursday, August 31, 2006

*...a lovely day*

We have had a great day with the little girls today, more of which in a mo, but first a sneaky peak of my finished entry in Sue's circle journal:

sue's cj entry

I have now sent both Annie's and Sue's journals to Charlotte, and can relax for a little while until the next couple roll on through!

Kirsty and I took the girls to The Ark Animal Sanctuary at Twyford, near Evesham, and they had a fantastic time. We saw goats, enORmous pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, spiders, chinchillas, meerkats, Shetland ponies, tortoises...and the girls were able to feed a deer, and watch an emu being fed:

freya and deer 31.08.06

deer, freya and anja 31.08.06

The deer were SO gentle, the children kept going back for more feed. The emu was a little more skittish and was a bit 'pecky' when it came to taking grapes from outstretched palms, so we didn't have a go at that.

This is Ellie at the meerkat enclosure:

Ellie looking at meerkats

I honestly think the children would have stayed all day, given half a chance!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

*yay, I finally scrapped!!*

After months of not doing any layouts or circle journal entries, I have today scrapped my entry in Annie's circle journal, and I am really pleased with it. Here is a tiny sneaky peak - just enough for a taster, but not so much that it will completely spoil the surprise if Annie stops by my blog!

annie's cj entry

I am about half-way through my entry in Sue's journal, and then I will be able to get them packaged up and sent off to Charlotte, who has been waiting patiently for them for too long. Sue, I haven't forgotten that I am supposed to be emailing some photos to you; I can't decide which ones to send, but I'll get on and do it tomorrow!!

Kirsty and I have had a fab day, and the girls have played beautifully and amused themselves with all sorts of games and stories. From what we could gather, eavesdropping on their conversations, Ellie and Freya have spent part of the day as dogs, away on 'doggy holiday' - they have been as good as gold. We tried to do a photoshoot this morning, but only Freya was up for it; we are taking them to see the animals at our local sanctuary tomorrow, so we'll hope to get some better photos then. Maybe catching Ellie and Anja unawares will prove more fruitful! I DID manage to get some good ones of Freya, though; she is quite happy to pose for her demanding mother!!

freya 30.08.06

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

*...early to rise*

Ooh, we were up early this morning! The girlies are doing another week's crash course at the swimming pool in Stratford, starting at 8.30, so I was up at what felt like the crack of dawn (6.30!) I have had to get ear plugs for the kids - they did a crash course at the beginning of the summer hols, and we missed two days as they both came down with an ear infection on the first day. It may have been a coincidence, but given that they both have ear trouble anyway, I didn't think it would do any harm to give the plugs a go. Freya's stayed in all the way through her lesson this morning; I can't have put Anja's in properly, because I watched them bobbing around the pool from about five minutes in, and luckily was able to get her to fish them out before she came out of the pool!! They are made of silicone, so at least they float if they come out!! We'll try again with Anja's tomorrow. Freya was quite happy with hers.

Much excitement here, as Kirsty and Ellie are coming to stay for a few days; Kirsty and I are hoping to scrap, and the girls, as ever, will be so delighted to see each other that they'll keep themselves amused, hopefully in the garden if the weather stays fine. I know that Ellie would like to pay a visit to a petting zoo whilst they're here, and there are several in the vicinity, so we will try and do that, either tomorrow or Thursday. Also, the girls are having their hair cut this afternoon, which is always an adventure, possibly with the added bonus of new school shoes for Anja, depending on how we're doing for time.

*later that same day*

Had a lovely afternoon; managed to get the girls' hair cut with no problems at all - they both sit as still as statues in the hairdresser's chair, and are model clients, doing exactly as they're told! We had a little bit of time to kill before our appointment, so we had a meander around Malvern, and took a few photos, including this one of Elgar, Anja and Freya:

elgar, anja and freya 29.08

Anja embarrassingly gave him a good old prod, including a thorough check between his legs!!

Kirsty and Ellie are here - yay! Lots of fun and scrapping to be had this week - I hope to be able to share the fruits of my labours in a later post.

Monday, August 28, 2006


OK, so my desk is tidy enough to scrap on, now I just need some inspiration/motivation to get down to it. I think what I probably need to do is put in an order to Snapfish for an injection of new photos; I have taken a number recently that I thought would be good to scrap.

Ed has gone to collect the girls from his mum and dad's, so I'm just making the final preparations for our guests this evening; cannot WAIT to have a cuddle with Elizabeth. I haven't seen her since I visited the hospital with Freya a week ago, and Sue says she is growing all the time, so I am sure I will see a difference in her. Ed and Anja haven't been introduced to her yet, and Anja is SO excited; she's a proper tomboy, but she loves babies, and is dying to have a cuddle. I am hoping to get some good photos, and if I can share them later, I will.

*later that same day*

*warning: if you are of a remotely broody disposition, look no further - don't say I didn't warn you!!*

Elizabeth and her big sister, Victoria:
vic and liz 28.08.06

Freya, Victoria, Elizabeth & Anja:
girlies 28.08.06 1

Freya, Elizabeth & Anja:
freya anja and liz 28.08.06

Elizabeth May:
elizabeth 28.08.06

Isn't she scrummy??!! We all had loads of cuddles with her, and she was so placid, so happy to be passed around. The girls are all totally besotted, and Anja helped Sue to change Elizabeth's nappy. Anja was fascinated and intrigued by the mechanics of breast-feeding - I think she has it all sorted out now! We had a lovely evening, birthday cake for Sue, raucous singing and daft dancing from the girls - a thoroughly enjoyable night. I thought I would feel more broody than I do; I am going to enjoy being part of this little girl's life so much - I think that might be enough...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

*it's oh so quiet...*

...because the little girls are spending the night at grandma and grandad's! They were collected this morning, just before lunch-time, and Ed will go and bring them home tomorrow morning. Consequently, I have had a colossally lazy day, and have achieved very little. Pootled in to town this afternoon to buy a birthday present for my friend Sue (mum of baby Elizabeth, born on August 18th); Rich, Sue, Victoria and Elizabeth are coming for a meal tomorrow evening, as it's Sue's birthday tomorrow, and with a new babe, I didn't think she should be cooking on her special day! Was able to get her a very pretty bag - big enough for all the extras she will have to carry with her whilst Elizabeth is tiny. Give me a kick up the butt, ladies; I still haven't made any headway with the clearing of my desk space, and I really DO want to get down to some crafting now, so I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and do it tomorrow. Too late to start anything tonight!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

*weekend plans*

Saturday morning! Nowhere near as nice a day as it was yesterday, and it has obviously rained in the night, so everywhere looks damp and dull. Am off to Malvern for two hours of indulgence this morning while I have my hair restored to its 'natural' blonde state, and the grey hairs are banished for a bit longer. Freya and Anja are going to mum and dad's for the day, so I will make the drop off on my way to the hairdresser's, and then go and collect them later this afternoon. I know mum and dad had hoped to take them to another maize maze today, but I'm not sure this damp weather is conducive to a tramp through a corn field. My mission for this afternoon is to sort out and tidy my crafting space - it is in an atrocious state, and I am itching to get down to some serious scrapping, so it's time to take action! If I'm feeling brave enough, I'll post 'before' and 'after' photos, but I might decide that the 'before' is just too shameful to share!!! (And my mum reads this, and she certainly wouldn't be too impressed...!)

Friday, August 25, 2006


Yay!! End of the week, and a long weekend in prospect with the Bank Holiday on Monday. I am sad that the girls have only one more week left at home before school starts again on September 5th, but we have had such a lovely summer holiday, and I'm sure that by the time the 5th rolls around, they'll be ready. As Anja is going in to Reception, she has a staggered entry - she's in for a morning here, and then an afternoon there, then a couple of full days, but she's not properly full time until about September 21st, so she and I will have a bit longer at home. It is another glorious day here; blue sky and wispy white clouds. This is the scene in the field beyond the back garden - it is all very quiet and peaceful.

field 25.08.06

I think we will go for a walk this afternoon.

*later that same day*

It stayed fine all afternoon, and we were able to go for a little walk, taking in the village shop for Friday treat en route, and I snapped this photo of the girls, with Freya's friend, next to a good old fashioned red telephone box!!! I have pixellated Freya's friend's face, as I haven't asked her mum if it's OK to post her photo on here.

girlies 25.08.06

I have discovered a website that could become very addictive if I spend too much time browsing there; Swap-Bot is set up to administer all kinds of swaps - I have signed up for the Tea Cup Swap #6, the last day for sign-up for which is today, so if you're interested, get your skates on! I am also very tempted by the Red & Aqua Swap, but I am holding fire on that one for the time being, whilst I suss out the logistics of the tea cup swap!! It seems like a nice way to get little surprises through the post - I have just bought a beautiful bone china cup and saucer for the tea cup swap on eBay, and it's something I would be delighted to receive. There are stationery swaps, collage swaps, ATC swaps, hot chocolate and a good book swaps - all sorts of lovely things!! Check it out - you might find something to grab your fancy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

*a bit flat...*

We're all feeling a bit flat this morning. I think we had an excitement overload yesterday, and we're paying the price today. Luckily, Freya has an outing today with three of her friends to 'Party in the Park' in Evesham - her friend Chloe's mum is taking all four of them with a picnic and their swimming gear, as there is a little water park - not a pool, just wet activities to run through! And there is a whole host of children's entertainment scheduled, so if this fine weather holds (keep everything crossed, please!) they will have a good day. Anja and I are going to play with some of the presents she had for Freya's birthday - she had a couple of sets of Top Trumps, having been taught how to play last week by Uncle Richie, and a bead set for making jewellery, so we will see how we get on with those.

*later that same day*

Do the animators at Pixar sit and work with one hand on the mouse and the other with thumb firmly in and sucky tightly gripped??!! I very much doubt it, but I was watching Anja with much amusement this morning as she ably manoeuvered her way around the CBeebies website, all the while furiously sucking her thumb!!!


Freya had a fantastic time at 'Party in the Park' with her three friends, and Chloe's mum; she returned to the fold at quarter to four, having had her face painted, and unfortunately, once I'd taken some photographs, I had to wipe it all off before her swimming lesson. She was resigned to it - luckily, one of the friends she'd been with today is in the same swimming class, and had also had to lose her painted face.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

*why am I sitting here...*

...when I should be getting ready for the par-tay??!!! A very good question! I will not dally much longer - just time enough to post that as of 09:51 my daughter is 6 years old, and is currently with her sister, playing with some of her new toys, whilst I am about to go and blitz the downstairs in preparation for my parents joining us for lunch (which mum is bringing, love her) and then the party at 4pm. YAY!!

*later that same day*


Next year, we'll invite fewer children!!!! Actually, considering we were entertaining 13 lively 6 year-olds and 1 lively 4 year-old, I think we did very well!! F and A had a great start to the morning, unwrapping their presents, and admiring each other's new acquisitions, and F even let A unwrap some of her presents, so that she had a few more to unwrap. We now have more Polly Pockets than we know what to do with (and our collection was already quite large!), enough crafty stuff to occupy many a wet afternoon, some fantastic new books (Judy Moody - off to a good start at bed time tonight) and some vouchers - F is particularly delighted with the vouchers because she LOVES any opportunity to go and browse and spend a bit of money. She is the world's most considered chooser when it comes to picking toys/books - she takes an absolute age, but is always delighted with her choice. Anja picks the first thing she sees - in, out, no messing! Mum and dad came for lunch, bringing with them a beautiful quiche, some salad, olives, cous cous, the works - it was great, and mum even took home their dirty serving plates so that I wouldn't have to wash them. Thank you, mumly - you are a star. And then, on the dot of 4, F's party guests arrived, pretty much all at the same time. We played good old traditional party games with them, and as far as I could tell, they all had a really great time. I had wondered whether, at the grand old age of 6, they might turn up their noses at such things as 'pass the parcel' and 'Simon says', but they were all extremely enthusiastic.


They all ate a good tea - usual fare of cheese, ham and egg rolls, crisps, cherry tomatoes, cocktail sausages, party rings and Jaffa cakes, and birthday cake to take home in their party bags. They were all collected fairly promptly at 6, and Ed and I collapsed into chairs while Freya opened the rest of her presents. The girls are now fast asleep, both in A's bedroom on airbeds as a treat - their idea, not ours! I feel like I could sleep for a week...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

*final preparations*

My little (big!) girl is going to be 6 tomorrow, and as usual I am woefully disorganised, and am only now about to wrap her presents and write her cards (from us and Anja). We have a tradition of buying presents for siblings on birthdays, and Anja, therefore, will also have a tidy pile of presents awaiting her in the morning, as my parents, sister and auntie have all sent little gifts for her - just a token, but things for her to open. My parents always did this when my sister and I were growing up, and we loved it (who wouldn't?!!) So, I'm away to wrap and write now, and finalise the running order for the party tomorrow afternoon - Freya and Anja plus 12 of Freya's know I will be back tomorrow with an account and photos!!!

*i have been tagged...* my lovely friend, fellow scrapper Debra

So, here goes!

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?
Quite a tricky one, but probably either next to the ocean at Cape Cod, or right here where we are, in the village we're in, in a big field!

2. What's your favourite article of clothing?
At the moment, a turquoise/gold/cream top I bought from Per Una at M&S for a wedding in July - I love it!

3. Favourite physical feature of the opposite sex?
Hmmm, if we're talking physical feature I'd probably have to say eyes.

4. What's the last CD that you bought?
Crumbs, I'm so used to downloading from iTunes, I'm not sure I can remember the last CD that I bought. Nope! Can't remember!!

5. Where's your favourite place to be?
In my own home, when it's spotlessly clean and tidy, with good company and great food!

6. Where's your least favourite place to be?
In hospital with a poorly child.

7. What's your favourite place to be massaged?
Back, then back of legs!

8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
Mind, without a doubt, although I can still lift my girls up at the same time, one in each arm!!

9. What time do you wake up in the morning?
Generally, around 6.30, no matter what time of year.

10. What is your favourite kitchen appliance?
My Moulinex Masterchef which I've had since I was at University - how sad is that??!!

11. What makes you really angry?
Racism and extremism.

12. If you could play an instrument what would it be?
I play several instruments but I wish I'd persevered with the piano.

13. Favourite colour?
I'd have to say pink!

14. Sports car or SUV?
SUV whilst I'm ferrying umpteen kids around.

15. Do you believe in an afterlife?

16. Favourite children's book?
'Are You My Mother?' by P.D. Eastman - a classic - I loved it as a child and my children love it now.

17. What's your favourite season?
Hmmmm. That's tricky. I think I'll have to go for Spring. I detest Winter, and the onset of Spring is a relief for me.

18. What is your least favourite household chore?
Cleaning the toilets.

19. If you could have one super-power, what would it be?
I would like to be able, just once in a while, to 'freeze the moment' so that I can savour certain milestones in the children's lives, in their childhoods which seem to be passing by all too fleetingly. Freya is 6 tomorrow - in 2 more of those units she will be 18 - I don't even want to think about it...

20. If you have a tattoo what is it?
I do, and it's fairly tacky - it's a little kitten pawing at a butterfly, on my left shoulder-blade. I had it done as an act of rebellion when I was 21...!!!

21. Can you juggle?

22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?
Granny Alice - she would have loved my daughters so much.

24. What's in the boot of your car?
Right at this moment, presents for Freya which I am going to go and get in and wrap in just a mo, assorted rain coats/anoraks belonging to me and the girls, and probably all sorts of other things as well!! My car is known as the travelling dustbin.

25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
Sushi, sushi, sushi!!! I absolutely LOVE raw fish!

Thanks Debra - that was fun!! Now I'm going to tag my lovely significant other, Mr Ed over at his blog!

Monday, August 21, 2006

*four little girls*

I have four little girls to entertain today; my dear friend Rachel has driven down to Surrey for her father's funeral, and I am looking after her daughters, who are the same age as Freya and Anja. Unfortunately, the weather here is absolutely poo, so I don't think we will be venturing out today. I had thought about taking them to the cinema, but it is such a performance if one of them (i.e. Anja) needs to go to the toilet mid-film that I don't think I have the resolve today!! So we will find entertainment in the house - currently, all four of them are watching 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', and they are all very quiet, so I am assuming they're all enjoying it.

Remember the ironing mountain that was finally cleared last week? Well, some hillocks have already appeared, so I am going to flatten those this morning, before they turn into anything more sinister!!! I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that my children have too many clothes, and as soon as they are back at school I will be thinning out their wardrobes and taking any decent items to the charity shop - the rest can go for recycling. Freya is growing like a weed at the moment, in any case, and most of her trousers are at half-mast. That's the problem when she grows so quickly - her cast-offs get shoved in Anja's wardrobe where they stay until she has grown into them. Since she is a little dot, that sometimes takes over a year, plus she has Freya's friend's cast-offs as well. Time to be ruthless, and dump a load of stuff, I think.

*later that same day*

Well, I survived the day, just about with my sanity intact. The weather caused us to be housebound for most of the day, although a gap in the clouds this afternoon allowed us to walk to the village shop for an ice-cream, which was a welcome change of scenery, and provided a useful, if somewhat brief, diversion.

Whilst the girls were amusing themselves I made a lasagne for dinner - I knew that Rachel would enjoy a proper meal upon her return, and so I rustled up one of her faves - she is vegetarian, so the usual mince filling was substituted with a mixture of aubergine, mushrooms, red and orange peppers, courgette and tomatoes. It was delish - am I allowed to say that??!! Anyway, not a great photo, but here it is:


And now, to bed...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

*how many times...*

...have I said, "right, this is it - I am really going to get fit now, and lose some weight"??!! Too many times to count, but *this* time, I really mean it. No, I really do!! I am not going to be a complete diet bore and reel off a list of what I've had to eat each day - I don't really believe in dieting in any case, but I think healthy eating combined with exercise is the way to go. I have been walking with Sue this morning, our usual 45 minute circuit of the village, and I really felt it today. We were doing this circuit four times a week before the children broke up for the summer holidays, but it had gone perilously by the wayside in the intervening four weeks, and we are both determined that we should start again with renewed vigour, and aim to walk on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I have also just bought myself a new swimming costume so that once the girls are back at school, and Anja is full time in Reception, I can go swimming during the day. But, aside from this post, I am resolved not to talk about it, but rather to just get on and do it, save for the odd bulletin to update on my progress!!

Sue and I passed some blackberry bushes absolutely laden with ripe fruit so I am going to try and make time over the next couple of days to go and pick some, and maybe make a crumble for the girls and Ed. They are just about ready to pick, and looking plump and delicious!

Ed has taken the girls to his parents' house for lunch, and I am having a quick flick round with a duster and hoover, as we have visitors arriving this evening for two nights.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

*lazy day*

Am having such an incredibly lazy day today; Ed roped Richie in to taking the girls to see 'Cars' at the cinema, which the girls thought was "amazing", but which Ed declared to be half an hour too long, whilst I sat at home reading the paper and generally doing not very much!! There is an interesting article about multiple births in the Family section of today's Guardian, cautioning against the belief that once you've had one set of twins (without medical intervention) you are unlikely to have another set - the writer of the article was of this view, and now has five children under four - a three year-old daughter, twin boys aged 22 months, and newborn twin boys!!! She has managed to find a quad pushchair in New Zealand...

*later that same day*

Have just been treated to a wonderful rendition of 'Daniel' by Elton John from Anja on her little piano - I sing this to her sometimes when I'm putting her to bed, and she has obviously picked it up!! I am going to try and capture her on tape (the audio at least) but she only sings with her door closed (because she thinks we can't hear if the door is closed) so I am going to have to be quite crafty to pull it off.

*Gratuitous daughter photo alert*

Freya and Anja 19.08.06

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2006

*great start to the day*

I awoke this morning to a text message telling me that my lovely friend Sue, mum to one of Freya's best friends, Victoria, has had a little girl - 7lb 12oz - both doing well - and they have named her Elizabeth May. I am SO thrilled - I saw Sue yesterday, and I could tell that the birth was imminent - Sue did not look her usual glowing self, she was agitated and distracted, and didn't know what to do with herself. I am going to visit my grandparents in South Wales today, with my dad and the girls, but I am hoping to be able to go and see Sue and Elizabeth later on, when we get back. I will be hitting the shops tomorrow for baby girl presents - not a difficult task at all!!!

*later that same day*

One trip to South Wales and a hospital visit later, and I am feeling fairly exhausted! My grandparents will both be 95 this year, granny in October, and grampa in December, and yet they are still living in their own home, and just about managing to look after themselves. The children were impeccably behaved - I was proud of them.

gran, grampa & the girls

And this evening I have been and had the most delicious cuddle with Elizabeth May, 18 hours old, and so sweet-smelling (like a sugared almond!) and gorgeous. She has a mass of jet black hair, which supposedly accounts for Sue's terrible indigestion over the past couple of months, and a tiny little turned up nose, just like her big sister. I have taken some photos, but won't post any yet as I haven't asked Sue and Richard's permission to do so. They are hoping to come home from hospital on Sunday, and I will have to negotiate a time to take the girls to visit - they are beyond excited at the prospect!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

*a quiet day, today*

After all the excitement of yesterday, we are having a much quieter day, today. Freya has Dani here for the day, and Freya has a birthday party to go to this afternoon. I am tasked with doing all sorts of little jobs that I have been putting off doing, for no good reason other than that I just couldn't be a*sed to do them!! Mostly, these little jobs involve packing up presents, writing cards, and putting them in the post, and a couple should have gone ages ago. Eek - I hope the recipients are of the view that it's the thought that counts...I am not normally this disorganised. Why do I buy presents, then not wrap and post them? I need to get them out this week, as the Royal Mail are bringing in new rules from Monday 21st August about the cost of posting packages, dependent upon size now, as well as weight. Size didn't used to be a factor, but it will be from Monday. I don't normally penny-pinch, but it would seem to make sense to get in the post any packages that are ready to be sent!!

My Wee Wonderfuls 'put-together' booklet is here, with patterns for a cat, rabbit and bear - if I don't retrieve my sewing machine from mum and get started on these, I think Freya will spontaneously combust! Now that she's seen the pictures of the finished dollies, she's even more determined that I should make a start on her cat as soon as possible!! Aren't they lovely?

Back later!

*later that same day*

Richie came round for tea and taught the girls how to play Top Trumps with a set of Star Wars trump cards!! Anja beat him soundly the first time they played - I don't *think* he let her win, she was just very adept at choosing her trumps!!! The look of concentration on her face at times was a picture - she was taking it all very seriously.



Made a chilli from scratch for tea, using some fresh chilli peppers, home-grown in Harvington, though not by me. It was SO much nicer than using the packet chilli mix - much tastier and no artificial aftertaste! I took some photos of my ingredients before I started but I think food photography is a particular art for which I have zero aptitude at this point - something to work on, as I love seeing foodie photos on blogs.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

*fingers crossed for a fine day*

It is looking a little overcast and murkily grey at the moment; I am crossing everything for a fine day, so that we can picnic in the great outdoors with Debbie and her girls, and Debbie's cousin Jane, who has two little girls. Between the three of us, we have eight little girls to entertain for the afternoon - what a lovely prospect! Am off now to finish preparations - last-minute tidying and packing a picnic for 11!

Further excitement this morning - my fabric has arrived from reprodepot, and it is *lush*!!! I am so impressed with their service - I ended up getting a refund on the shipping cost as the amount I'd paid was $10 more than the actual cost, and I had an email yesterday to tell me that the difference had been refunded back to my card. Excellent customer service - it took less than a week to get here - ordered last Thursday and arrived today.

Another *toot* for excellent, speedy service has to go to Jaq, one of my scrapbook pals who has set up an online business selling the most beautiful silver/bead jewellery - I ordered this pair of earrings yesterday, and they arrived this morning, beautifully packaged, and are absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely be ordering from Jaq again - perfect gifts for birthdays and Christmas!

*later that same day*

Have had such a lovely day with Deb, her cousin Jane, and their children; Freya and Anja had an absolute ball with so many other little girls to play with. The rain held off, despite the ominously looming grey clouds, and although it got a little chilly at the playing field, we were able to picnic and play for a good few hours before we headed back for a welcome injection of caffeine (Debs and Jane, not me!!!) They are now on their way back to Cardiff, and I have two tired and happy little girls who will sleep very well tonight. Here are some of my favourite photos of our day - the li'l Jewells and the li'l Seymours got on like a house on fire.

Kate, Freya, Hannah 16.08.06

Freya, Sarah 16.08.06

Emily 16.08.06

Anja 16.08.06

Top one is of Kate, Freya and Hannah; next one is of Freya and Sarah; next one is of the divine Miss Emily; and the last one is of my delicious Anja Mabel!

We had a lovely day, Deb - we must do it again soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

*the ironing mountain...* no more!! Ahhh, I have finally cracked the ironing mountain which has been stacking up in the bedroom for the past few, dare I say it, *months*, but this morning I decided I could ignore it no longer. I should have been cleaning my house in preparation for Debbie's visit tomorrow, but I am going to have to do that this evening. I feel a certain sense of satisfaction at having cleared all of the ironing - I know, sad, isn't it??!! When I am rich and famous I will farm out my ironing... I will be back later with more tales from my day - I am awaiting the return of the girls from granny and poppa's, and doubtless they will have had all sorts of exciting adventures. Can't wait to see them, and they've been gone less than a day.

*later that same day*

My girls are back! And they have had such a lovely day. They were treated to a pub lunch at The Swan, lucky girls, and then spent the afternoon at the National Birds of Prey Centre, at Newent. I have had some very earnest tales of owls that live underground, big 'birdies' eating chicks, snakes and spider webs. They are now both exhausted, as evidenced by these thumb-sucking photos just captured:

I think they will both be having an early night tonight - I am not going to remind them of Debbie's impending visit tomorrow, as I don't want to heighten their excitement levels when they obviously need a good night's sleep!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

*having a lovely day!*

Have had a super day today; have been with the girls to Ragley Hall - we are lucky enough to be 7 minutes down the road from this beautiful stately home which has wonderful grounds and fantastic provision for the children in a safe and secure environment. I will post some photos later. Am just packing some clothes for the girls as they are off to granny and poppa's for the evening - I am taking them over, will stay for a cup of tea, and then come home to crack on with some long overdue housework. Debbie (Debbie70/Daisy) is coming for the day on Wednesday with her brood, and I need to get everything ship-shape before then, although she has told me to leave everything exactly as it is!!! I just can't do that, though - it has to be clean and tidy when they get here, even if it only remains that way for the first five minutes of their visit. Daft, isn't it??!! I am looking forward very much to meeting Debbie - we have gassed on the phone for hours, but never met before, and I am very excited.

Back later with some photos of our day!

*later that same day*

OK, back with some photos of our day. A couple of the girls going down what I thought was an extremely steep slide, but it didn't seem to faze them at all - Anja is so light, she absolutely *whooshed* down, so much so that I was worried she was going to come flying off the end, but thankfully she was able to stop herself from doing so. Also, a photo of the girls with their friends in the 'maize maze', which was great fun. Most of the corn is past its best by this stage, and it was looking a little tired, but the kids thought it was fab, and it kept them (and us!) occupied for a good half-hour. Would thoroughly recommend Ragley for a great day out.

The photos taken on the slide are a little bit blurry - if anyone can give me any hints for overcoming this I would be extremely grateful! I have a Canon EOS 350D with which I am slowly coming to grips, but I learn through trial and error, so any pointers would be very gratefully received!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

*a new home*

*welcome* to my new home!

Thank you Ed for my new banner - I love it!

It will take me a couple of days to update my new blog and get it looking exactly how I want it to look, but in the meantime, thank you for stopping by, and please do check back again soon!

*later that same day*

OK, so I'm settling into my new home here at blogger, and I thought I would post a couple of piccies of some delicious fabric I've ordered from a fantastic site in the US - - I am hoping to start sewing and scrapping again as soon as I have sorted out my crafting space, which is currently overflowing with all sorts of bits and pieces that need to be seriously rationalised. Here are two of the designs I'm waiting for - they're 100% cotton.
Aren't they yummy?!! I am hoping to make little 3/4-length trousers for the girls with them - I just hope I've ordered enough!!