So far May has been very, very busy! We have packed an awful lot in and we are SO ready for half term next week. I just hope we can have some sunshine (or at least dry weather) to enjoy the garden and eat outside (one of my favourite things to do).
So... what have we been up to? Well, Stuart had a week off at the beginning of the month which resulted in the purchase of a new leather sofa and chair and a chest freezer (I think next time we will go away, it's probably cheaper!) We no longer have a dishwasher in the kitchen now, that's gone to live with Stuart's parents and instead we have a fridge. A fridge, in the kitchen, imagine! It's been 11 years since we had such luxury! The new chest freezer lives in the cupboard under the stairs where the fridge-freezer lived. I love having a big freezer as it means I can batch bake and keep some for another week. We gave the old sofa and fridge-freezer away so everything has gone to a good home and I am VERY happy at no longer having to push the cushions back on the old sofa every five minutes (I now spend that time washing up instead!) The chair is on a 10 week waiting list, but we have the sofa to enjoy for now.
I probably should have straightened the throw (or removed it) for the photo session but you get the general idea.
I also said goodbye to the lovely Jessica that week. We wrote a memory of Jessica on a heart for her family to keep and we sent a balloon up to the sky each, full of loving thoughts. I gave mine a kiss so everyone said she'd know which was from me as it would have my red lipstick on!
On to happier memories, I had a very lovely post-birthday lunch with my gorgeous friend Pippa at Belton House. It felt very strange at first not having the children with us, but thankfully we didn't run out of things to talk about (funny that) and our National Trust roast dinner was really delicious. We also took our very first selfie (rather self consciously) - Pippa's turned out much better than mine. I think perhaps we need a bit more practise though - we'll have to escape more often!
You can see we both brush regularly!
Noel has entered a competition run by the local council to find this years "Junior Master Chef". He has entered chicken parcels and we decided on Fruit traffic lights. The good news is, his menu has been selected and he is through to the semi-finals. I have to take him to a local school in 3 weeks time to cook his meal for the judges. I guess we are going to be eating a lot of chicken parcels and fruit traffic lights between now and then while he practises! I'm really proud of him for getting this far and for having an interest in something - go Noel.
Noel's lovely fruit traffic lights
We have had some more work done to the garden and it is finally finished now. I'm really pleased with it, and we have been enjoying lots of meals outside - and we have even had a barbecue! We now have a new fence along the side of the lawn and a little fence at the bottom of the patio to stop the boys from running along and falling down the steps. It really does make me very happy to look out of my window every day and see a neat, tidy garden. Ok, I don't actually look out on to a neat tidy garden - I look out on to a garden strewn with toys but underneath them all I know that the garden looks smart!
Our smart new fence
Our other new fence - to keep little boys from tumbling down the steps.
Samuel and Isaac have had their very first hair cut this week. Sam was quite happy to sit on my knee, admiring himself in the mirror and playing with his toy - but Isaac was not so happy and cried the whole time. Hermione also had her hair cut, its quite a bit shorter now - but still long enough to tie up (essential when at school/playschool!)
Samuel and Jo - happy to pose for the camera as always
And Hermione insisted on having her photograph taken too.
We have had some special visitors this week. James and Hannah are over from Germany and we saw them on Tuesday and Wednesday. Noel and April had a great time playing scrabble with them. You can't beat a game of scrabble can you!
As you can see there is a theme going on here with Isaac not wanting his photo taking ...
And with Samuel happy to pose as usual...
Isaac had a lovely time drawing - perhaps he prefers a more natural shot.
We also had a lovely visit from my friend Sue Rowland on Thursday - I'm kicking myself for not taking a photograph while she was here with the kiddos. We've been friends for 20 years - how lovely is that?
And finally - whilst typing this blog, I've had a text to say that Noel and April have both been selected to go in the Golden book at school. I don't know the reason until I get to the assembly, but frankly I don't care - I'm really pleased with them. As it happens, today the children have all gone to school dressed as pirates as part of a pirate themed week so they will be collecting their awards looking like this ....
Noel is a "modern" pirate - think somali-type pirate
April has gone for a more traditional stance
Phew! I think that's all the news for now from the Wills household. Enjoy the bank holiday!
Lots of love - Jemma, Stuart, Noel, April, Hermione, Samuel and Isaac x x x x x x x