Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Little Fairy April. She LOVES this suit and is rarely parted from it.

Stu and Hermione (clue - that wasn't coffee in his mug)

Noelie was very pleased with his present - a remote controlled car

The whole crew just before we went out for Boxing Day lunch at my mum and dads house

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time and Happy New Year to you all x x x x x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Twas the night before Christmas ...

And everyone in our house is very excited! We walked into town this afternoon and picked up a few bits of shopping for Harris (and some toothpaste as I suddenly realised I didn't have any!) and then Stuart stayed with Mini while I took Noel and April to the Christingle service at St Johns. Now everyone is bathed and tucked up into bed and will no doubt be up very, very early ...

Mini wouldn't let me put her down to take her photo with the big 2 by the tree so I'm afraid I'm on this one ...

A very excited Noel and April taken shortly before I tucked them up into bed

A snack for Father Christmas as its very hungry work delivering all those presents

And a little note just so that he knows its for him

And all that remains for me now is to wish you a very Happy Christmas from our house - to yours

Love Jem, Stu, Noel, April and Hermione Wills x x x x x

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pre Christmas Celebrations

I feel like all we have done this weekend is eat! Its good practise for Christmas I suppose, as if I needed the practise! Last sunday we invited Rob, Lesley, Jake, Laura, Richard, Carole and Spencer round for a pre-christmas get together and to exchange gifts and have something to eat. I left Stu in charge of the photography as I had my hands full with other things and this is what I found on the camera....

  Spencer, April and Noel tucking in 

Jake, Laura and Lesley also tucking in

 Hermione with her Auntie Laura. As you can tell she is cutting another tooth

Lesley enjoying a brew and I've no idea what Richard was reading ...

And that was it - other than one of me in the kitchen sorting out the dishes. Still, a nice time was had by all and thats the main thing!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lots to celebrate!

Well its official, Mum and Dad are now retired and spending our inheritance! Mum finished yesterday at BMI where she has worked for 25 years and today we went out for a celebratory meal. Its Dads birthday on Monday so it was a bit of a joint celebration for them both. We had a really nice lunch out, and James was able to come down from York as well so it made it more special to all be together. Unfortunately Hannah wasn't able to get the weekend off to come with him and it is a bit far for Phil and Becca to fly in from America, but hopefully it won't be too long before we see them all. 

Grandma, James Noel, Mini, Mum, Dad, April and Stu - before we all had very full tummies!

I went to watch April's nativity dress rehearsal on Tuesday. The children all did so well, I had a big lump in my throat watching it. I managed to get her photograph after the evening performance on Thursday so I'm really pleased. Now we have to practise for Noel's next week when he will be a villager - no costume making required.

My little Angel

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Preparations

It feels quite frightening to think that it is December, and that the first week is nearly over all ready. Someone advised me that when you have children at school it is wise to get all of the Christmas preparations out of the way by the end of November and to keep December free for all the other things that will be going on at school. It was fantastic advice and I am certainly grateful for it when I see the long list of things that we will be doing between now and the 22nd December when the children break up.

Tomorrow it is April's nativity dress rehearsal. I am not allowed to take Mini to the actual nativity plays (there are two - one Wednesday afternoon, one Thursday evening) but I am allowed to take her to the rehearsal so I will be getting my tissues ready for tomorrow afternoon. It is called Little Angel gets her wings and April is one of the "supporting" Angels. We were practising this evening while Hermione was in the bath and I was joining in with the singing when April tapped me on the shoulder and said quite sweetly "let me do this Mamma as I know the tune" - in other words "you're tone deaf mother!"I had to laugh. She knows her lines and is very excited. I hope I am allowed to take a camera but I don't know if I am or not.

Next week it is Noel's pantomime - Jack and Jill and the Beanstalk. He is only singing in it from what I can understand and the older classes are doing the acting. Again I will be going to the dress rehearsal - his two 'performances' are Wednesday and Thursday evening. He has got to dress up as a villager, a knight, a princess or a wizard?! I will be sorting him out an outfit later this week, I think it looks likely he will be a villager as I'm not handy with the needle and thread and that seems the easiest costume to come up with.

And finally something for Hermione. I don't want her to be left out so I took her to Woodlands garden centre this morning to see all the displays. She seemed to really enjoy it and we saw lots of pretty things. Amazingly none of them found their way into my shopping basket, and I returned empty handed. It might have been a different matter if the Lakeland concession was open but it was closed due to the heating not working - maybe thats a good thing  ....

This reindeer was lovely and it moved its head from side to side. Hermione insisted it was a "dog"

I think this was meant to be a "glamorous Granny"

Oh dear, it looks like Mini was frightened of the Donkey (which also moved). She wasn't but she wasn't very impressed that I had to take a few steps back to take her photo. Still, it proves that my children don't always smile for all the photos!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chop Chop!

I guess when you are six you need a more grown up hairstyle. April has been asking to have her hair cut short for a few weeks, I thought she might change her mind at the last minute, but she didn't and she seems very pleased with her new style. 

And just to even things out a bit, and because the last few posts have been about April, here are a couple of photographs of Noel and Hermione...

Noel has been doing a lot of this lately - and I think he too is due for a haircut looking at this photo!

Mini having lots of fun at Bumblebees on Sunday

Lots of love from the Wills family

Fairies and Christmas Trees

The tooth fairy has come to visit the Wills family, this time to visit April who lost her first front tooth yesterday

She looks so grown up now and her other front tooth is wobbling so I guess it won't be long before that one comes out as well.

It didn't stop her eating some of her Christmas tree that she made at Rainbows on Tuesday night though!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Fit for a Queen

Last week April and Noel had an open day at school where they dressed up and took part in various activities. Unfortunately when the time came to leave for school the camera batteries were flat so I never got to take a photograph of them both. I put the camera on to charge and took it in to school with me at lunch time (cheese and potato pie this time, it was delicious). Noel dressed as a sailor (and he danced a lovely hornpipe!) and April was a princess (and she took part in a medieval banquet and dance). I took Hermione in the sling and I think she enjoyed watching all the different activities going on around her although it made taking photographs quite difficult as she kept grabbing my camera! Out of them all this is the only one that came out ok. This is April at her banquet, with one of her little friends.

On Wednesday Stu and I celebrated 9 years of marriage. I am very lucky as I always get a lovely gift - this year I got an Emma Bridgewater bowl and my own special cup too. Now I can enjoy my breakfast in style!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Happy Birthday April!

Where is this year going? I am sure the years go faster as I get older!

Yesterday we celebrated April's 6th birthday. I find it hard to believe that she is only 6, she is so grown up in many ways, and she has a lot of my characteristics. By all accounts she had a lovely day and she seemed really pleased with all the presents she got. She specifically requested a "Hungry Hippos" cake which I think will be the Wills Family standard cake from now on, and we went to Bumblebees soft play centre in the afternoon. The way things are going before I know it, it will be Christmas!! (incidentally there is a house in Coalville that has had a tree up since November, it turns out it the house belongs to one of April's classmates!!)

With her present, a Playmobil castle

Can you spot the very dark front tooth? Its so wobbly I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out today, closely followed by her other tooth. All together now "all I want for Christmas is me 2 front teeth...."

Monday, 14 November 2011

Keep on Trucking

We have just come back from a weekend away in Stratford-upon-Avon. I don't have any photographs of it to show you but I can show you this - a photo of Stuarts brand new truck. He is a very happy bunny X

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Spooky Cakes

April decorated these halloween cakes at Rainbows yesterday. She was very kind and shared them with her siblings, and then we all shared the "monster" apple. Noel must be feeling better as he ate it without a problem and Mini couldn't get it in to her mouth quick enough - perhaps she is more like me than we first thought ....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Tooth Fairy's Overdraft

Stuart is off work this week as we had to take Noel to the hospital on Tuesday to have some teeth extracted. He ended up having 6 teeth out in the end, we were only expecting for him to have 5 out. He was so brave, and he has recovered really well. I found it a bit upsetting and I've not had much sleep this last week for worrying, but he was back at school today with a little flask of soup and some yoghurt. I popped in to see him at lunch time to remind him to rinse out his mouth and to dose him up with calpol and he was laughing away with his friends and seemed perfectly happy.

This little package of goodies arrived today which put a smile on Noels - and my - face. Thank you very much to the very kind Pippa over at

Stu went shopping on Saturday to get some bread and came back with some bread and . . . a breadmaker (I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't another socket set!) Now that we have eaten all the bread he bought I have had chance to try it out and I used it to make some rolls this evening. They were rather tasty if I do say so myself!

Even Noelie managed to eat one tonight

Lots of love from the Wills family xx

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Enjoying Half Term

Hermione has now had her first taste of chocolate. This was not actually intentional, I rather naively gave her the box of Roses my Grandma gave me to play with - thinking she would enjoy the crinkly wrappers and pretty colours - well she certainly did enjoy them, but not in the way I intended! I turned my back for about, ooo 30 seconds, and when I looked round she had managed to unwrap a sweet and was happily chewing away on a chocolate caramel!! I let her finish it off, but she really tickled me when afterwards she signed "more".

Hmm, I'll have another one of those thanks Mama, make it a strawberry cream next time!

On Friday April went to school dressed as a Pirate as part of the water topic they have been doing for the last few weeks. All the children in Year One were dressed up, as were the teachers. The children seemed to really enjoy it and it was a nice way to finish the week ready for half term. Friday was also parents day and we were able to come in and enjoy lunch with the children and spend the afternoon looking at the science experiments the children had been doing during the last few weeks. Noel has especially been enjoying the experiments and was very enthusiastic about this, telling me all about them in great detail and showing me them in our science book at home.

Arrrr - I'll have you all walking the plank ...

Today we went to Bradgate park as the topic next half term is the Tudors. For Noels homework he had to find out the name of the Tudor queen who lived at Bradgate park and why she was special. There weren't as many clues to her as I would have liked but we took lots of photographs and thankfully as I researched the answer I was able to point him in the right direction. It was a lovely fresh, Autumn day, but my goodness it was windy! The children both enjoyed a good run around and mostly Mini was happy in the pushchair, but I think we were all ready to come home after a morning out for some nice warm soup!

Hoorah!! I have found the answer - good job I had my binoculars!

Is there anything more fun than an empty box? We brought home the children's toy box and toys home from their Grandmas as they weren't really getting much use (someone else's things always seem much better!)  Since we brought them home they have been playing with all the toys (of course) but most of all, with the box. Its been a space rocket, fairground ride, house, car, train - even Mini has had a go at being pushed round! 

Come on, faster!

Lots of love from the Wills family xxxxx

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Noel had a friend over this afternoon while April was an event for the local Rainbows and Brownies. I took a photo of them before he left as Noel doesn't see his friend very often now that he is a different school. The little boy in question is absolutely lovely, so polite and always smiling - I think April has taken a shine to him too, don't you?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Home Made

This is April's pirate map. She made it for her homework to tie in with the "water" theme. She worked really hard on it and thought of all her place names herself.

Noel's "city" which you can't really see from the photo but it has working lights on it. It did originally span along the corridor upstairs but I had to ask him to rework it to a smaller scale!

Mini cooking us something delicious for tea - or maybe just scattering the contents of the box all over the dining room floor ...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Harvest Time

I don't know about you but I love Autumn. The colours, the smell of the air, the watery sunshine, it has a very magical feel about it. This morning April and I were looking at Spiders Webs on the hedges, all damp with the morning mist, they looked like lace almost.

Along with Autumn comes Harvest Festival. We will be attending two this year, one on Friday at school - followed by a Harvest Lunch for the parents, and one on Sunday at St John the Baptist church.

Noel and I covered our family boxes this evening and he put everything in them. One each from Noel and April to give at school and one from Hermione to give on Sunday. Mum very kindly contributed as well and Noel told me this evening when we were sorting them out that he thought Nanna was really kind to give us some things to put in our boxes and he felt sure the people getting them would be really pleased when they saw all the nice things in their box. Its often the simple things that bring the most pleasure, isn't it?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Walk for Water

Noel and April's school are doing a "walk for water" today with their school. The school has a real sense of community spirit - which is one of the reasons I liked it so much - and everyone is taking part - including Hermione and myself and hopefully a few other parents as well.

Everyone has gone to school dressed in blue today and after lunch we will all go over to Snibston to walk around the big lake there. Some of the older children will carry buckets to collect loose change in and everyone taking part pays a £1 donation which will go to Water Aid.

Hopefully it will be a dry day and the children will enjoy it.

We're all ready to go!

My other piece of good news is that Stu came home on Friday and my dresser is now attached to the wall and safe to display our wedding china on ...

I was quite surprised when I found Stu putting all the plates on and arranging it, and I think he was very surprised that I didn't come along and change it all! I think he's done a good job and at least now I can see my lovely Wedgewood plates instead of them being in the cupboard. I love the smell of pine when I open the cupboard doors and being able to see my pretty things once again, I really am very lucky.

Lots of love from the Wills family xxxxx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Life as it is now . .

I find it harder to blog these days really as my days are taken up doing the school run, cooking, cleaning, laundry and of course enjoying looking after our little Mini. Then when we get home from school at 4, our evenings are taken up with dinner, reading, homework, bath times and then when the children go to bed its a case of making sure I have everything prepared for the next day and packed lunches. My life probably resembles that of every other mum whose children are at school and I'm not complaining, I just don't really have much to talk about!

The good news is that both children seem to really enjoy their new school. They go to an after school club on a Wednesday (gymnastics) and there are plenty more to chose from should they want to join any more. I have been in and attended a class on tips to read with your child and there are lots more I could attend but I struggle really because of wriggle pants Mini. On Friday Stu and I attended a special assembly where Noel was given an award for being WRITER OF THE WEEK. I have written this is in capitals as Noel HATES writing and it was always one of my battles when I was home educating (if truth be told it was probably my biggest battle). The school is so supportive and as a parent I feel very included in what they are doing and learning about, something which I never really felt while Noel was at Hugglescote Primary.  Don't get me wrong, I miss them a lot and there are days when I really wish I could turn the clock back and do things quite differently, but on the whole the 3 of us seem a lot happier, even Noel who used to come home with a sad face every day.

April came home from school today with a tummy ache and feeling sick, which left me in a quandary as what to do while I collect Noel. Thankfully Mum was at our house today as she comes over every Tuesday, so she was able to sit with Mini while I nipped up in (her) car to fetch April. I then asked my next door neighbour, Harris, to sit with April while I fetched Noel from school. It all worked out in the end but at one point I was wondering just quite how it would all piece together. Thankfully April seems very much on the mend and she will be back at school tomorrow.

Tonight I enjoyed a bath with Mini and I had all 3 children in bed by 7.15. With a relatively clear evening ahead I decided to do a bit of baking to liven up their lunch boxes. I made cheese muffins and an orange sponge cake which I plan to cut into fingers and I may decorate with lemon icing if I get time tomorrow after visiting my Grandma. I love baking and I am lucky that my mum always did a lot of baking with us as children. Noel and April also love baking and its such a lovely way to spend a wet, miserable sunday afternoon.

Hmm, they never look as appetising in the photos do they?!

Well I've rambled on enough now, time to go off to bed, but before I do I will share this photo with you of April. Mini decided to tip the laundry basket of clean, folded laundry all over the floor today and so April picked up one particular item and put it on ...

Yes, my lingerie really is THAT glamorous - not!

Lots of love from us all xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

VERY Excited!

Look what was delivered today

To say I LOVE my new dresser is an understatement - a bit sad I know! The only downside is that the top shelves are only resting on the bottom cupboard and with a baby on the move, I am worried she will knock into it and cause the plates to topple off and land on her head. So until Stu comes home on Friday night to fastens it together securely it will have to remain in 2 pieces, and I'll just have to look longingly at all my lovely Emma Bridgewater pottery and Wedgewood china that I'm desperate to put on it ....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

You know when they're quiet . . .

They're up to something! Mini was sat really quietly, one leg on the bookshelves, quietly taking everything out of the basket. . . . 

She's quite pleased with her handiwork by the looks of it too!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

All Change ... again

Well, its official, we are no longer "home educating". April started school for the very first time today, complete with Dorothy style ribboned plaits and brand new white ankle socks. Its all new for Noel as well as he had to change schools so I could keep them together. Stu took the day off today and the whole Wills family walked to their new school. It took just under half an hour in the Autumn sunshine and both children went off on their new adventure feeling rather nervous but full of smiles. I am looking forward to hearing all about their first day - and having a big hug - later on x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Hermione!

Its hard to believe that a year has passed since Hermione Ann Lesley came into our lives and - quite literally - landed earth side.

We have had a lovely day so far, sunday lunch, tea and birthday cake with my mum and dad (Stu's family are coming next week as Rob is in Singapore at this moment with work) and a walk in the sunshine. Noel and April are really excited and have been helping her open her presents and cards and of course - eat her birthday cake!

Happy Birthday Little Mini - we love you very much xxxxx

I don't think Nigella need worry just yet!

Helping her open her cards and presents

The quietest they've been all day

On her present - her ladybird wheelie bug

Happy 1st Birthday Mini!!!