Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas 2013

I probably say this every year, but this year really did feel like our best Christmas yet. We had such a lovely day, we just stayed in and hibernated in our pyjamas! 

We were all thoroughly spoilt with such lovely gifts, we ate lots of yummy food and surprisingly the Christmas tree is still standing! Since putting it up we have bought some blue lights for it so I did take the opportunity to move a bit of tinsel and a few baubles around so its a bit more balanced while we were putting the new lights on. I wasn't going to bother as to be honest I thought I would be taking it down on Boxing day, but the boys have been great and they haven't really bothered with it much.

5 stockings waiting for little hands to delve in and unwrap their contents

Our very untraditional Christmas cake in my new cake dome

New Christmas jammies and slippers 

The boys were getting into the swing of things

Noel wanted a computer game so I printed off a certificate and wrapped that so that he had something to open

April's gift was much easier to sort out - Sylvanian Families Fish and Chip Van

And Hermione got Wooster the dog

For some reason I don't have a photo of the boys opening their presents, probably because they opened theirs later than everyone else but they got a Happy Land Village with little shops and people to play with

The big ones also spent lots of time playing with this playmobil that I bought off a friend. I guess as long as its new to them then that is good enough.

I hope you all had a lovely, cosy Christmas and a Very Happy and Healthy New Year to you all 

Lots of love

Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

All ready for Father Christmas

Well if it's not done by now, its not getting done! We have put the tree up this afternoon and the stockings are hung up all ready for Father Christmas to fill later. I let the children decorate the tree themselves and although I would dearly love to re-arrange it all, I won't because I have years to have the "perfect" tree when the children are all older. 

Someone is very fascinated by our Christmas tree

All ready for Father Christmas - I hope he can get past the fireguard!

This photo was taken just before the most exciting bedtime of the year

All that remains is for us to wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas 

Lots of love 

Jemma, Stuart, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Family Fun

What do you do on a wet, rainy afternoon? Well you play silly games of course! We had lots of fun on Sunday together. We went for a walk, did some baking and we played lots of games together.  We did some indoor obstacle courses and had lots of fun with a great game where the object was to put on as many items of clothing from the hat and gloves box as possible in one minute.   

The children were very imaginative ..

And found it was easier to put mittens on feet than on hands!!

It really did make us all laugh.  Tomorrow we are going to put the tree up, I am hoping it lasts throughout Christmas day, but that really all depends on our little monsters.

And in case I don't get chance to blog again before Christmas - here is wishing you all a very happy, healthy, warm and cosy Christmas from our home to yours.

Lots of love, Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Getting ready for Christmas

We put our trimmings up yesterday, whilst listening to Christmas music and enjoying a snowball. The only thing we haven't put up yet is our Christmas tree, which usually goes up on Christmas eve. We are debating where to put it as Isaac is on the move and I have visions of him pulling it down on himself. We have gone for a very retro look with foil decorations, cards on strings and tinsel. Its a far cry from when I used to have a tasteful tree with white lights and colour co-ordinated decorations but its a lot more fun!

I did some christmas baking with the girls this afternoon. They love baking and it made the house smell gorgeous.

Taking it in turns to stir the christmas gingerbread mixture ready for rolling

We went to Christ Church last weekend where they had a Christmas tree extravaganza.  Noel didn't want to come and the boys were in bed, so it was just me and the girls again. Hermione is fascinated by Baby Jesus and we had a lovely time, looking at the trees and then doing some christmas crafts. After such a hectic week it was good to have some quiet.

Enjoying the Christmas tree festival

Hermione had her christmas party on Monday at play school. She had a lovely time, ate lots of party food, watched Sooty and Sweep in a puppet show and met Santa. He gave her a present which she was very excited about and she was quite happy to have her photo taken with him.

A very excited party elf.

Tomorrow we are going to watch Noel and April in their school performance of "A Creepy Crawly Christmas". Noel is going to be a Beatle - Paul - and April is going to be a Shepherd. Because I have the little ones with me we will be going to the dress rehearsal, but Mum and Dad will be there to watch them in their evening shows and bring them home. Where would I be without them?

And on Friday Hermione is going to be a donkey in the play school nativity. She was told last week she could be an Angel instead but she burst into tears and said she wanted to a donkey still - so a donkey it is.  Tissues at the ready...

Enjoy your Christmas preparations

Lots of love Jemma, Stuart, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Finally finished!

I got quite a surprise when I came home from the school run on Wednesday morning as I found the builders round putting our garden path in. I'm so glad they came as the weather on Thursday was horrible, very windy and cold - and that was the day they were supposed to come. Every time we have booked them in to come and put the path in we have woken up to horrendous rain - even the builder said he felt our house was jinxed!! The garden is all finished now - new patio, new turf and now a new path down to the trampoline and toy sheds.  I'm really pleased with it, and hopefully it should be easier to maintain as I will just add colour with some pots.

Our garden is all ready for the winter now, the table and chairs have been packed away and everywhere had a good scrub yesterday.

Christmas preparations are in full swing here, not in our house as such as I don't put the tree and decorations up until the last minute (and I suspect Isaac may have a hand in pulling them down) but with Christingles, Christmas parties and practising for school and pre-school performances.  We are going to a Christmas tree festival later on this afternoon after lunch and Hermione has a play school christmas party tomorrow morning. I think I pretty much organised with gifts and I have posted all my cards out but I have to confess though I don't feel festive. Maybe I will once the children have broken up from school and we have a bit of time to breathe.  

April had a Christmas performance on Tuesday at Brownies. She has now finished there until the new year as Brown Owl said there was so much going on with school plays etc it just makes sense to finish it early. As Mum takes her every week it only seemed right that she should go and watch them singing and dancing, and enjoy some party food afterwards. April had a lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed herself - she even had to sing a solo line.

Isaac is now toddling around with the furniture and he even pushes Samuel in the pram! Unfortunately he just sat down as I took this photo but it was very entertaining watching them toddling around and laughing. I think I managed to capture some of it on video for when they are older.  Samuel is showing no signs whatsoever of walking or even standing up, he prefers to sit quietly and amuse himself or bunny hop around the room. I can't say I mind, one toddling baby is hard enough, two is going to be a nightmare!

Samuel doesn't look very impressed that Isaac has stopped pushing him!

And on that note, I am being asked to play "treasure hunts" with the girls - which involves me hiding toys and them going to find them, so I shall sign off.

Lots of love to you all - Stu, Jem, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Happy 8th Birthday April!

Gosh, every year it goes by quicker and quicker. April was so excited about her birthday this year, I've been having a running commentary since the beginning of November about how many days it is etc. Being 8 is such an exciting time.

We decided to buy April a bike this year. She never asks us for anything and she is so appreciative of everything we do that I feel she really deserved something lovely. It also makes the 2 mile journey to school more fun for her as well.

We gave her the bike on Sunday so that Stuart could put it together, check the saddle height and tyres and we could go out for a bike ride for the first time without the pressure of having to be at school on time etc. I think it is a winner

Happy Birthday April. You are a wonderful daughter - funny, kind, loyal and generous. We are really lucky to have you in our lives and we love you very much. 

Thank you for all the lovely cards, gifts and good wishes April has received. I'm off to ice the cake that Noel made with me last night.

Lots of love - Jemma, Stuart, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Our 11th Wedding Anniversary

Stu and I walked down the aisle 11 years ago today. Its gone really, really quickly and mostly its been really, really happy. Like all couples we have had our moments but I put our happy marriage down to our shared sense of humour and the fact he works away. Only joking darling...

I have been thoroughly spoilt today with not one but two lovely gifts. I had asked for a cookbook stand as I used to have one years ago and I used it a lot, but then I broke it. I am very lucky as I got this one...

And as an extra special extra, I also got this ...

I know, I'm just a teensy bit spoilt, aren't I. It's a Lady's Favourites hamper - indulging in my love of wicker baskets and all things girlie.

It has some champagne truffles in it, a handmade soap in a little hat box, 1/2 bottle of pink champagne and some sugared almonds. It is all very dainty and pretty.  

Mum and Dad very kindly looked after the children for us today so that Stu and I could go out for lunch. It was such a nice treat, we went to the Harvester and had a really nice time. Mum and Dad gave us some money for our anniversary so we treated ourselves with that - even bigger bonus.

Not long after they had left, we were just sorting out the dinner dishes and bath time etc, when there was a knock on the door. It was my mum. Finally, after all my hinting, they have bought us a house.  

Isn't it cute? It's actually from Lidl. Stu and I went to try and get one last week but they didn't have any. I mentioned it to mum and unbeknown to me, they went to get us one after they left. It's the little thoughtful things that make life special isn't it. 

Isaac is now standing up really well, he pulls himself up on the furniture and as you can see below, on the stair gate. This gate is across the kitchen door to stop the boys sitting by the back door when I have to nip out to the tumble dryer/bin etc.  As you can see, everyone congregates around it when I'm in the kitchen, even if they had been happily playing 5 minutes earlier ...

You will always find me in the kitchen at parties!

And that is all our news for now, enjoy the rest of your weekend

Lots of love Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Friday, 15 November 2013

Children in Need

We have had a real week of it in the Wills household. Bugs have visited every single one of us, resulting in days off work and school and lots of disinfectant and even more washing than normal. Thankfully, we are all on the mend now, and things are getting back to "normal" - whatever that is.

Noel and April have gone into school today in their pyjamas for a donation to Children in Need, and Hermione has gone in dressed as a police officer in return for a donation to the Lucy Rawlings Blue Bird trust. Lucy is a local girl who has cancer and a very worthy cause. I'm not sure if Noel was too enthusiastic but the girls really enjoyed the chance to dress up, especially Hermione who was very excited this morning.

Noel doesn't like to wear pyjamas so he settled for a comfy top and trackie bottoms - I couldn't even persuade him to wear his dressing gown over the top.

Wouldn't you just love to go to school dressed all cosy like this.

WPC Wills - Minus the hat do you can see her face as its a touch too big

Its our 11th Wedding anniversary tomorrow and Aprils' birthday next week, so fingers crossed we are all well to enjoy the celebrations.

Have a good weekend. Lots of love, Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Friday, 8 November 2013

A rare moment of peace!

I went to meet up with my friend today who also has twins. We went to the soft play centre, had lunch in the cafe and then had a walk around the shops. It was really lovely, especially as I don't see her very often.  All the little ones had a great time and as you can see - they were quite worn out afterwards!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Keeping me on my toes!

We have had lots of bugs this last week. April had Thursday off, Hermione was off Thursday and Friday and Noel was off yesterday and he is also off today. Hopefully this is our share for now and things will get better for a bit. Noel felt so poorly yesterday that when I told him he had to go to bed with the little ones at 6.30 he didn't even put up a fight. When April got out of the bath, I decided to make the most of having some time with her and we made some shortbread.

April was in heaven having lots of attention

And she did a very good job of the shortbread - it is delicious!

As well as all the extra work that comes with having poorly children, Samuel and Isaac are really starting to become "partners in crime". Their current fascination is with the cat flap, which up until now has been locked shut and then covered over with a very attractive cereal box.  However, this morning they managed to pull off the cardboard, locate the flippy switch and open it in a bid for freedom. Admittedly I did take a couple of photographs first before I moved them, and then moved them again, and again.... We have a stair gate up in the loft which I will be fetching down later, at least that way I can be certain that they are not halfway down the garden whilst I have taken my eyes off them for 2 minutes.  

Talking of the garden, the lawn is down now and it looks gorgeous, we are just waiting for our path to be laid. It was too wet this morning to do it so fingers crossed for tomorrow. Photos to follow when its all finished.

And on that note, Issac is gnawing on my leg so its time to go.

Lots of love

Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Back to normal - whatever that is!

We thoroughly enjoyed half term, we visited friends and had a few treats, and generally made the most of it. The highlight of the week was a visit to Castle Donington Fair with Mum and Dad, everyone had a great time and even Samuel and Isaac got involved and had a little train ride.

The highlight of Noel's year - driving the dodgems

You can probably just see April peeping out next to my dad!

Hermione was very much into the fair this year

Samuel wasn't sure whether he liked it or not!

Isaac, on the other hand, loved every minute of it and was bouncing about and grinning

Unfortunately, we have lots of poorly children in the Wills household this week. Samuel and Isaac are both coughing and I am constantly wiping their noses, and they seem to have a bit of a nappy situation going on so they have been really under the weather. This of course, means lots of sleepless nights for me. Then last night I was up to Hermione who needed the toilet and she is off pre-school with a poorly tummy. Keeping her company is April, who told me this morning she felt unwell and I decided against sending her in case I was fetching her back half an hour along the line.  I have just run the girls a nice warm bubble bath so hopefully they will feel better in a minute when they get in. I think April will back at school tomorrow as she hasn't been ill (yet!) but Hermione isn't back until Monday so that we don't spread our germs about too much.

The other piece of news, which is much more pleasant, is that we are having our new lawn laid this week.  It's not quite finished yet but I am very excited about seeing our garden transformed. I really missed having a washing line yesterday but today its cold and wet so the tumble dryer is keeping busy. There's always plenty of washing in the Wills household!

Our last piece of news is that I won a prize last week from the Author Fiona Gibson. She asked "What are your simple pleasures" and so I put - "A hot cup of tea, clean sheets and something lovely to read would be my idea of heaven. As would going to the toilet without 5 children needing something but that's not quite so polite!"  And I won on the strength of 5 minutes peace in the bathroom!!

My signed book and a little treat - which contained some lancome goodies

And on the that note, I am going to put my bread rolls in the oven and 2 little girls in the bath.

Lots of love

Jem, Stu, Noel. April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A lovely day with the little ones

Noel and April have gone to Mum and Dads for the day so I took Hermione, Samuel and Isaac to Woodlands Garden Centre this morning for a look around. Now don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and I save up for it all year but even I think that October is too early to get the Christmas trees out! Hermione was particularly smitten with this doggy and she asked me to take a photo so I thought I would share it with you.

While the twins were having their nap, Hermione and I made some little cakes for after dinner.  Hermione loves baking and it was nice to do something with her without worrying about getting to school on time.

And on that note, I make it time to make dinner.

Lots of love, Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Half Term - Hooray!

It's the first day of half term today and I don't mind telling you, I am very, very pleased about it!  

We had planned to go to Belton House today but it's far too wet so instead we had a walk to the library and splashed in some puddles.  You're never too old to splash, after all!

We spent the afternoon playing with playdough, or rather the children did and I stood ironing, and being passed various playdough "treats".  Who says the weather has to spoil everyone's fun?

On Saturday I had a morning off from the children and housework and I left Mr Wills in charge whilst I went out. It was his idea (one of his better ones I must say!) and it quite took me by surprise, but I legged it out of the door before he changed his mind, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Because I wasn't expecting it, I hadn't arranged anything so I just went for a mooch around the sort of shops that don't usually accommodate double pushchairs and small people (i.e. expensive) and I had a cup of coffee in a cafe and watched the world go by. I think it did the children some good to have a break from me and as Daddy being in charge is a novelty, they were as good as gold. It went so well, I've asked for another morning off next month and I shall go and get my hair done and have a coffee.

Samuel and Isaac are growing up fast. They are nearly 14 months old now and they are very mischievous. Isaac is in to everything and he is the only one of our babies to crawl. He will half bum-shuffle and half crawl where as Sam just shuffles every where. There is nothing like a bum shuffling baby to show how dirty the floors really are!!!  Isaac keeps trying to pull himself up on the furniture and the first thing he does when I tuck him in at night is to roll over and sit up in bed. Samuel hasn't even attempted to do either of these things, I think I should be grateful really, it's quite challenging as it is.

Last week I went to Tesco (is there no end to the excitement in my life!) and I saw some little Batman babygrows, complete with capes. They were so cute and not very expensive so I treated the boys.   Note the home made cabinet fasteners as the little monkeys keep emptying out the contents of my dresser! We started off with an elastic band but that left one cupboard door free so now I have had to tie my dressing gown belt around it!



Tomorrow, Noel and April are going to my mum and dads for the day, I think baking is on the cards. I shall probably take Hermione, Samuel and Isaac out somewhere (they don't mind the rain and the cold as they are all nice and warm in their pushchair!) although I don't know where yet.  Its so nice not having to time everything around school, or having to make packed lunches, so I intend to make the most of it this week!

Someone else is ready for half term too, although she loves pre-school.

Lots of love, Stu, Jem, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Friday, 11 October 2013

All Creatures Great and Small Dress Up Day

Noel and April have gone to school in home made costumes today for "animal fancy dress" day. Everyone was asked to donate £1 and to go to school in fancy dress. The money raised will help to buy an animal for a third world country. Noel's Godmum Susan very kindly sent us their donation money so thank you very much.

Noel and I have been working on his costume all week, we decided to make a paper mache sharks finn as it would be a bit more sturdy than a cardboard one.  Although I cut out the initial shape, all the paper mache and painting has been done by Noel, he worked really hard on it.  

April's costume was much easier as she wore her "onesie" and I just had to get her some ears for it. Mum made her a tail and she was all set. I don't know how much work the children will get done today, they were a bit hyped up and it's windy today too which never helps. 

Hermione is still loving playschool, and Samuel and Isaac are keeping me on my toes. They are in to everything! 

We are very much looking forward to a week off from school soon for half term. We seem to have lots of plans already so I won't say we are going to have a rest, but it will be nice to have a change of scenery and a change from the routine of getting everyone out of the house for 8am!

Lots of love, Jemma, Stuart, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Keep on Trucking!

We had an impromptu visit today from Mr Wills who was on a break and he just happened to be in the area! It was so lovely to see him, a week can be a very long time without being together - and this week he is at work on Saturday too. He went to Tebay services yesterday and came over ladened with presents. Anyone who hasn't been to Tebay services (or heard about them) is probably thinking - the services - how romantic! But they have a farm shop and they sell lovely clothing like Fruigi and Joules - so I now have a pair of toasty warm feet thanks to my new slippers, and a cupboard full of lovely things like homemade marmalade and chutneys. I feel very spoilt. Hermione popped out to have a little sit in Daddy's truck, I think she rather enjoyed herself.

Thats all for now - love Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Settling in

We seem to have settled into our school and pre-school routine really well so far. Hermione loves pre-school and she always goes off with a smile on her face. I have parents evening today for Noel and April and a parents morning for Hermione on Wednesday so we'll see what has been happening on the other side of the coin, but from this end everyone seems happy and well settled. And I had forgotten what good exercise it is pushing a double pushchair for 3 hours a day while we get there and back!

Look what I made this morning at Noah's Ark

The boys are on the move now, a combination of bum shuffling and commando crawling - if the school run doesn't keep me fit, then running around after that pair will!  It's quite entertaining to watch them playing, they have such different personalities. Samuel will sit and play with the same car for ages, turning the wheel and studying it, where as Isaac likes to get into mischief and he will empty all the boxes out and try to get into the cupboards to empty those out too!

Samuel covering himself in his snack instead of eating it

Isaac having lots of fun on the swing

On Tuesdays we have a day out as Hermione isn't at pre-school and I want to make the most of having her at home before she starts school. I took this photo on a sunny Autumn day at Calke Abbey, where we had a lovely time.  

It was great fun running between the 3 children pushing them on the swings!

I think that's all our news really - life is just a cycle of mealtimes, bathtimes, school runs and laundry - with a sprinkle of homework and storytime mixed in for good measure. Its very, very hectic a lot of the time, but I wouldn't have it any other way (well maybe sometimes...)

Lots of love

Jem, Stu, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x