Thursday, 31 July 2008

Hot and sticky!

It has been really sticky and humid today, with a bit of rain thrown in for good measure! It wasn't much fun cycling to Noels swimming lesson and then sitting boiling round the side of the pool but we're home now and the little ones are tucked up in bed. In fact Noel fell asleep on the way home so i just slipped off his shorts and shoes and put him straight into bed.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Todays offerings...

Not to be outdone by Aprils photo yesterday, Noel took this one today of his beloved Kenny
Tomorrows tea - the children always have a little picnic in the back of the bike trailer

These are yummy but very sticky

Quiet Day

Its been a quiet, fairly uneventful today here at Chez Wills. I took the Music tots class this morning - my friend is now much better and will be back in charge next week - then on to my friend Rachels for a picnic, along with another mummy and her daughter. It was nice to have some adult conversation, we were talking about spiritual beliefs amongst other things. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Then it was home to catch up on some jobs and do a spot of baking. Bread rolls and Apricot crunchies today. Nothing very productive got done today but sometimes its nice to take life at a more leisurely pace and to admire the world around us instead of rushing about all the time (which I seem to do a lot of).

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Museum Pictures

April took this photo of Auntie Laura and Grandma herself
Noel enjoying his lunch with Uncle Jake


One of the mummies, it was really interesting to read all about them

Fun at the Museum

Today we have been to the New Walk Museum in Leicester. It was really good and best of all it is free! We got the bus there and met up with Grandma Lesley, Uncle Jake and Auntie Laura. Noel absolutely adores Jake and April is just the same with Laura so it makes life blissfully easy for me when we all get together!
The museum was brilliant, lots to see and quite a few activities for the children to do. There was a big exhibition with lots of sets from the Wallace & Gromit films to look at. Afterwards we all sat outside and ate our picnic in the sunshine. Fabulous!

Monday, 28 July 2008

My bargains

I'm so chuffed I've got to show them off :0)

A Bargain Day!

Well for once I feel like I've had a really good day, bargainwise! To start with I caught the bus to my mums with a 50p voucher (normally £1.90) then she drove us into Long Eaton so I could have a good rummage around the charity shops. Its always great to have an extra pair of hands and eyes to help with the children and it gave me the chance to have a proper look around.
First stop was Help the Aged where I picked up a Laura Ashley dress, a black Next tank top, a red Kenzo skirt - still with the label on (it cost £69.95!) and a Next t-shirt for April all for £7.38! The other shops produced similar fabulous bargains, namely a leotard and skirt for April to put away for when she starts dancing lessons next year, a "hoody" for Noel, another brand new top, a khaki dress, and a smock top. All in all I spent under £20 today for for what must be well over £100 worth of clothes. I also picked up a skirt which was £1 because I liked the fabric, my mum has been nominated to make April a dress out of it :0)
Mum also treated Noel to a "roadsweeper" - which he likes so much he's taken to bed! and April to a wooden alphabet jigsaw.
I came home with swollen feet but a big bag of lovely items to show for it :0)

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Tucking into veggie sausages, salad and jacket potatoes
Enjoying a cuddle with Daddy

Yummy Barbecue!

Another wonderful day at the Wills household, it must be the summer sunshine because I've not felt this happy in months! After a morning at work with my little brother, we had a barbecue and invited Richard, Carole and Spencer over - Stuarts Uncle and Auntie. Noel and April absolutely loved playing with Spencer and a great time was had by all.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Fun at the eco house!

Great Fun at the Eco House!

Well today we have fulfilled an ambition of mine and we've all been to the Eco House in Leicester! It was absolutely brilliant!
The children loved it and they were able to have a good run around the massive garden. They had an outdoor play area which went down well and we were even able to put our banana peels in their compost bin rather than carry them home to put in ours (which I usually end up doing when out or rather forgetting and finding them black and shrivelled in my bag weeks later)
The staff were really friendly, one of the staff made the children a shaker each which they enjoyed playing with on the decking outside the cafe while Stu and I enjoyed a can of cold organic lemonade. The house itself was really interesting and they gave me a booklet to take home and read. All in all a brilliant afternoon out for a fiver!!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Pushing his "baby" sister up the road
Enjoying an afternoon nap in the sunshine

Enjoying a homemade ice lolly - which is basically frozen pureed fruit

Egg-citing times !

The Kindness of Neighbours

We've had another lovely day at Chez Wills - I wish I could bottle the feeling up for those bad days to keep me going! This morning we played in the garden and then headed into town (again) after lunch to see my friend who runs a fairtrade stall on the market. On the way home April feel asleep and Noel decided to push her. We got chatting to a lady as we tootled along who it turns out lives on our street and she keeps birds. She has 15 of them plus boarders. She invited us in to have a look at all the parrots and birds, and then she let Noel go and collect some eggs from her chickens. I've never even seen this lady before so I am really touched by her kindness. Needless we are having omelette for tea :0)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Our yummy chocolate biscuits

Another bero book special. The ones in the book had glace icing on but I think they are just as nice without - and less sickly too.

I just love Thursdays!

Yes, Thursdays are officially my favourite day of the week. Its the one day of the week when I actually get to spend some time at home, with the littlies and to catch up on all the things I just don't seem to get chance to do during the week. This morning we have been busy making (more) teacakes, a batch of biscuits, a batch of mushroom risotto, a batch of stewed fruit for April and an almighty mess in the kitchen :0) The children have been so good, playing outside while I do all the boring stuff like change beds and vacuum up. They were more than happy to come in and help with the cooking, especially licking the bowl! April has always been a really fussy eater, but she amazed me today by tucking in to a big bowl of risotto, even eating the mushrooms. I'm sure the fact that helped to prepare it helped.
Noel has got a swimming lesson this afternoon so we will be off on the bike and trailer later. He is doing really well and managed to swim a few strokes last week with only a float (they are not allowed to wear armbands). Happy, happy days :0)
Aww, have just come on to add, as I tucked the children in to bed tonight and they said their prayers, Noel said "thank you god that my mummy and daddy are so nice".

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Enjoying breakfast in the garden

April loved wearing her latest "dancing dress" today.

Happy Days!

We've had the most lovely day today! Nothing special has happened really but its been so relaxing and the children have been so good, it just puts a big smile on my face! I sat in the garden this afternoon playing with them, in between cutting the lawn and I just thought how blessed I was to have this idyllic life! Of course, its not always like this, I have my bad days the same as everyone else but its good days like this that get us through the bad I guess.
We started off by having breakfast in the garden, then the children played in the sandpit (in their pyjamas and wellies!) while I got my jobs done, then it was in the bath for all of us before going off to music tots. I'm taking the class at the moment while my friend is recovering from an operation, but all being well she should be back in charge next week. After MT it was off to town to get a few bits we needed. I brought the children some lunch from home so we sat in the precinct eating it and watching the shoppers go about their business! Home for more play in the garden and as aforementioned a much needed trim for the lawn. All in all, one of the nicest days I've had in a while.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Our teacakes! Yummy. The children had one after their bath with butter on, while they still warm. Delicious!
April with our newly planted beans. They gave these to the children on the last day of term at the party.

Helping me to dig up the potatoes for dinner

Noel had great fun playing on Hannah's motorbike. I'm amazed he didn't ask me to buy him one, he's motorbike mad.

Well its been another busy day here at Chez Wills - I don't know where the time goes, there just never seems to be enough time to fit in everything I want to do!

This morning we had a lovely time at the park, I met up with an old friend, Rowan, who I originally met through Antenatal and her children, Max and Frank, and Noel and April all enjoyed playing together.

After our picnic lunch - sandwiches for the children and a flask of soup for me - I cycled back home. April dropped off to sleep and I thought Noel was going to as well but no such luck!

This afternoon we've made a batch of teacakes, picked some potatoes, planted out some beans, and then eaten our tea in the garden. The children have played beautifully all afternoon in the garden, I love to see them playing together, it really puts a smile on my face.

Monday, 21 July 2008

A Stitch in time saves 9!

Aprils new "dancing dress" - she also has one in purple gingham.

Its been a very busy day here for the Wills family but Mondays always are! A dash for the 9.00 bus to my mums, then hopping on another bus for me so I can go to my homestart family, then back for lunch at my mums, naps all round and then back home on the bus. By the time I get in its 5.30, so goodness knows how working mums cope, I find it hard enough just fitting in all of my social arrangements!

My mum made April 2 beautiful dresses, April calls them her "dancing dresses". They come with a matching headscarf and little bag. They really are gorgeous - thanks mum :0)

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Thrifty Ways for Modern Days

My bargain top - this is about the only style I ever wear. And I only ever buy 2nd hand clothes unless its for a special occasion.

Todays choice of books - it was lovely to have a browse for myself for a change.

Having fun colouring in the library - Stuart that is :0)

Noel enjoying reading the Argos book - good cheap fun!

April playing with the beads - these were originally mine when I was little!

Rain, rain, go away!

Like most people we are really feeling the pinch at the moment. Stu hasn't been "nighting out" as much as usual, drivers are being stood down and work is a bit thin on the ground, so we're having to really stick to our budget.

This morning the rain came down in sheets, preventing us from playing in the garden as much as we would have like so we had lots of fun playing with the beads, threading and sorting them out into different colours. April made a necklace and Noel made a dancing snake with his. Noel is also a big fan of the "Argos" book and can spend ages looking through at all the different things and identifying them. Look mummy, theres the hoover at music tots, or Nanna has that microwave. His capacity to remember what everyone has is amazing, I hardly remember what I have myself sometimes!

After lunch we went for a walk in to town (again). Stu went for a haircut while we passed the time in our favourite charity shop. This time it was a jigsaw for Noel, a Trinny & Susannah book for me and a brand new next top, label still attached, all for the bargain price of £3.80. Then it was over to the library for some more books, this time mainly for me, although I did manage to get another reading book for Noel to practise. Stu was great and sat with the children colouring in while I had a look around the adult section and got myself some bedtime reading. Thankfully we managed to dodge the rain and then it was home for dinner, bath and bed.

Friday, 18 July 2008

After the party ....

Our selection of books from the library - I chose the seasons turning and recycled but all the others were Noels choice - including the book on Asthma.

My 50p bargain - I love Joanna Hall's exercise DVDs and work out to one of them every day so I am looking forward to reading this

On the way home from the party we called in at the library and the Charity Shop - Sense. These are 2 of our favourite places to visit in town and we can easily pass a morning in them both - just looking at everything. The best bit of all of course is that its free - or in the case of Sense, very cheap.

Fun at the party!

All aboard!!!!
We had a go on this train - it was great fun although a little hairy going around the corners!

Watching the trains go by

Enjoying some delicious party food

All dressed up and ready to go to the party. Noel is in his favourite Spiderman ensemble - despite having never seen Spiderman - and April in her "dancing dress"

A lovely day!

Well we've had a lovely day, after spending the morning tripping over Aprils homemade ball pool (as below) we set off to Whitwick for a party at the minature railway. We had great fun, 3 train rides and some lovely (healthy) party food. Many thanks Nicola at Little Angels for a great time!!
On the way back we called in to the park, the library and to the charity shop. As I haven't fixed the punture in my bike trailer yet we walked and took the big pushchair which was fine by me but Noel had a moan as he wanted to catch the bus. Its not as though he had to walk though - I have a buggyboard! Needless to say after a full days entertainment (we left the house at 11, and finally walked through the door at twenty past five) we are all feeling a bit tired and hungry. Thankfully the children have settled themselves in the front room to look at their library books while I cook dinner.

The only problem is that afterwards the front room looks somewhat like this ...

If you can't get to the ball pool ...

We are going out to a party at lunch time so the children played in the house this morning while I did the usual round of tidying up. We brought in the "bag of balls" that usually live in the shed. April made a makeshift ballpool for herself with one of my washing baskets.

All that hard work paid off!

Noel with his very first ever swimming certificate

Lovely and cosy!

En-route to Noel's swimming lesson - despite the puncture. At least someone was warm and dry!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Is it really Summer?!

Brrr I'm sitting here typing this with a cup of hot chocolate - it truly feels like an Autumn day - not the height of summer!

We started off digging the garden this morning, then had to move inside as the rain was too much so we made biscuits and had lunch. I wanted to do some baking but we didn't have any plain flour (usually used in biscuits) and no eggs (usually an ingredient in sponge cakes) so it was something of a challenge but we rose to it and made "australian crunchie" - and delicious it was too. We didn't have any cornflakes either so we used porridge oats. If you are tempted here is the recipe...

Australian Crunchie
Makes 24

225 g (8 oz) margarine
150 g (5 oz) caster sugar
75 g (3 oz) desiccated coconut
75 g (3 oz) crushed Cornflakes
1 x 15 ml spoon (1 tbsp) cocoa powder, sieved
150 g (5 oz) Be-Ro Self Raising Flour

1 Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease a Swiss roll tin 31 x 21 cm (12½ x 8 inch).
2 Melt the margarine over a low heat.
3 Stir in the sugar, coconut, cornflakes, cocoa and flour. Mix well.
4 Turn into the tin and level with a knife. Bake for 20 minutes.
5 When almost cold cut into squares or triangles.

After lunch it was learning time - Noel is learning to read and write - before going off to Noel's swimming lesson at Whitwick Leisure Centre.

On the way we got ANOTHER puncture so i had to cycle there with a flat tyre.

Then bath and bed for the little ones. Another day gone by...