Sunday, 23 August 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Hermione! XX

Our little princess Hermione turned 5 yesterday, and she didn't even know it was her birthday until she got up. I'm not sure how I managed to keep it from her, she even saw me making her cake the day before and asked what I was doing - and I managed to fob her off. She had a lovely day and was very happy with her gifts - mainly Sylvanian Families toys as I bought a job lot off a friend!

We didn't go out on the day, after a very busy week of visitors and trips out, we stayed in so she could play with her new toys. Mum and Dad came round to visit in the morning and at night we had a party tea for her, and later on she watched Paddington with us.

Someone is very excited to be 5!

Make a wish Hermione!

Thanks to everyone who has sent cards, gifts and well wishes. She has had a really lovely day and feels very proud to be 5. 

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

Monday, 10 August 2015

Making the most of our time together

I'm very aware that this might be the very last summer that Noel is willing to enjoy spending with us all so I have tried my absolute hardest to make it as much fun for everyone that I can.

Thankfully we still have a few weeks left but the time is going by far too quickly for my liking. A friend cancelled plans we had together this morning so we spent some time today trying on school uniforms and tomorrow we are going to buy shoes. I have a nice long list of things that Noel still needs for secondary school - including trainers, shoes and 3G trainers. Its a good job that Dad gave me a clipping from the money tree he used for us 4, else I might have to send the little ones out to sweep chimneys.

So, what have we been up to? Well, we have had a weekend by the coast, the big 3 have camped in the garden with family, we've been to Staunton harold reservoir, The Workhouse, Calke Abbey twice, several parks and eaten more picnics that I can count. We have also been to Elvaston castle, Leicester to give back the keys for the rented house (hooray!), been on bike rides, lots of walking (and puddle splashing), the library, the Scarecrow festival and Noel has cooked dinner twice (both delicious).

We've rolled down hills, climbed up trees, paddled in the sea, built dens and made the most of this precious time together. We still have a list of things we'd like to do - baking, camping in the front room and a visit to Sudbury museum of childhood are on there, along with pond dipping, swimming and another camp out in the front room (I'm putting this one off until the bitter as I never get any sleep as it is!)

The boys are all now sleeping in triple bunkbeds, it's made a lot more room in the bedroom for all those odd socks that end up on the floor for their train sets and scalextrics. They've taken to them really well. I wish I could say the same for toilet training but I guess sleeping in a bed is a lot more fun than sitting still on the toilet. 

We have 3 weeks left and I intend to make the most of every minute!

Our new paddling pool from Connie - we'd like some more sun now please so we can enjoy it!

Isaac (bottom) and Sam - all cosy in their triple bunkbeds. I can see Noel peeping out of the top too!

Samuel at the Workhouse - "please Sir can I have some more?"

Noel trying out the mangle - thank goodness things have moved on since then!

and Hermione tried a spot of dressing up!

Noel doing bone inspection whilst making the fishcakes.

We had a lot of fun in the forest at Calke Abbey. Sometimes spur of the moment trips out are the best!

We were in a giant birds nest up a tree in Calke Abbey for this photo - although "someone" didn't want their picture taking...!

The scarecrow festival was amazing as usual.

I took this with my "little" brothers in mind ...

Hermione and April all snuggled up in the tent

The boys were in their own tent. I don't think they got much sleep ....

We had a lovely lunch and a walk around Calke Abbey the day after to blow the cobwebs away.

Plus a bit of tree climbing ...

And nearly everyone rolled down the hill (Stu and I did a tandem roll!)

This was taken at Staunton harold reservoir. A really great find. We spent the day there with mum and  dad.

Noel, April and I  had a lot of fun on the zip wire!

Isaac insisted on carrying this stick around Elvaston castle for the entire day...

Not the most flattering photo but the only one I have of everyone together from our coastal adventure. Chips and ice cream followed later on....

I think that is enough of our adventures for now, I really shouldn't have left it so long to post....

Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

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

Monday, 29 June 2015

Settling in

We have been home a little while now and we all feel quite settled and like we have never been away (judging by the mess, some members of the household are a little TOO settled!)

I am just waiting for one piece of furniture to come back and then I can finally unpack those last few boxes and put up our photographs. A home doesn't feel homely without photographs.

The lovely cards we received.

We are enjoying the walk to school again, it feels lovely after having to bundle everyone in to a car and drive to school. Samuel and Isaac are getting much better too at walking distances so they usually walk home from school but travel there in the pushchair to save time. The good news is, we only have two weeks left and then we have the summer off. YAY!!

On Thursday and Friday, Noel, April and Hermione are having a couple of taster days to try out their new classes. This means April will be in year 5, Hermione will be in year 1 and Noel will be in (sob) a totally different school as he's going to Newbridge after the summer. He is looking forward to it and I see him growing up more and more every day.

We finally gave the children their christmas presents the other day. Everyone had to wait as Noel's gift was a little hamster and he wasn't allowed him in the rental as the contract stated no pets - he has called him Bugsy. 

It turned out to be a pretty good weekend for Noel as on the Friday he won the talent contest organised by the PTA. This has nothing to do with the fact that I am a member as we use independent judges in case our children want to enter. April also entered and didn't win, so we had a few tears at bedtime from her. But they were both so brave and to get up on a stage, at a theatre, in front of all their friends and family - I'm full of admiration for them both and it was a great night. In case you're wondering, Noel won by playing "Heart of Gold" on the guitar.

Noel isn't the only one who will have to a little bit of "growing up" this year - Samuel and Isaac will be starting play school in September. I can't really put it off any longer as we are no longer in temporary accommodation and so this summer we will be tackling potty training... We are also putting them in a bed this week, so big changes for the boys over the next few months.

The PTA had their AGM on Friday and yours truly is now the Chairperson. It feels like a big responsibility but no one else wanted to do it so like a fool I said I would. I can see I am going to have even less free time on my hands soon....

But for now, the sun is shining and two little monkeys would like to eat their lunch in the garden. Its such a magical time and I intend to make the most of it.

Enjoy the sunshine! 

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

Friday, 15 May 2015

There's no place like home x

I realised on Monday that I haven't updated my blog for a while - and that I couldn't as Stuart was away in London and he had my laptop with him. Yes, that's right, my husband is working away again! He is still working for SRS but now he has completed his course, he is doing "mentored shifts" which has meant that for the last week (Saturday - Friday) he has been working nights in London and staying in a hotel. He will be going back next week too but not until Tuesday as on Monday WE ARE GOING HOME!!

Yes, our house is finally ready and we can go home and take our finger off the pause button. Well almost, as I still have ties with the rental house until they find new tenants, but hopefully in a month or so we can put all of this behind us and move forward. It really does feel like a fresh start.

My beautiful new kitchen xx

The dining room - with our lovely new french doors.

We have a brand new fireplace and a built in cupboard now!

I wonder how long our new bedroom carpet will stay this colour ....

So much has happened since the fire - Christmas and the New Year feel like a blur, it really doesn't feel like May at all. We have changed our car and we now have a car WITH A BOOT. To be fair, Stu takes it to work and I still take the Picasso as I do a lot less mileage than him, but it is really nice to know that if we want to go out as a family, we have a car big enough to accommodate us all, and space for our bags too.

I have also celebrated a big birthday - I am now 40. And you know what, it feels great. I was thoroughly spoilt and although I wasn't looking forward to the day (birthdays always seem such a let down when you're an adult!) I ended up having a really lovely time. A couple of friends popped round to see me and the day seemed to whizz by in a flurry of birthday wishes and card opening.  I asked friends and family to donate to the local food bank instead of buying me cards or gifts, and I was really pleased to donate a lovely big box to them.

Just a small badge letting everyone know my age - thanks Mum. I really embarrassed the kids !!

Look at all these fabulous goodies for the food bank - I have very generous friends and family.

My scrumptious birthday cakes from Sue and Phil - we put candles on these for my birthday cake.

The boys are becoming more and more independent, they walk most places with their little monkey back packs on, and they are trying to dress themselves. Their speech has improved significantly (perhaps a little too well sometimes!) and they are turning into little boys instead of babies. It's the end of an era for me, as there will be no more little babies in the Wills household. What will I do with myself all day??!!

James and Hannah came over last weekend (which is what reminded me to update my blog) and we had a lovely family meal out on the Saturday (minus Stuart who was in London).  Everyone had a lovely time and it was great to see them both.

A rather camera shy Noel is missing ...

And on that note, I think it's time for bed, ready for another busy day tomorrow ready for the big move on Monday. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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

Saturday, 4 April 2015

All Change for the Wills Family ...

We have been in our rental home now for about 6 weeks or so and since we have been here, so much has changed.

Stuart has now changed his job and he is no longer a truck driver! He is still a driver as such but he drives for SRS and he drives people, rather than freight. He is booked on a training course in a few weeks to become an "operator" and then he will be driving all sorts from cherry pickers to winnebagos. The strangest thing is that Stuart comes home, every night! Some nights that might be 2am, others 6pm - there is no set pattern - but here we are, 11 years of working away down the line, remembering what it feels like to live together! (So far, so good) 

I also realised this morning that I hadn't posted any photographs of our rental house so I went round with the camera ....

Here it is!

The sitting room. The rug was our original rug but the sofa and a TV are replacements. We are awaiting a replacement chair - although Noel could have sat on the sofa to read his book, it was empty...

We have a playroom!! I think it's actually meant to be a study but I like it as a convenient place to sling all the toys at the end of the day and just shut the door (I think I will miss this!!)

The dining room. Due to the carpet we have opted not to eat in here and instead we use it to store the mountain of boxes that need unpacking when we get home to Crescent Road.

We have a nice big cupboard under the stairs ...

And 3 toilets!!!

I do love the large kitchen here

And I don't have far to carry the food

I spend a lot of time here!!

And in the utility room with the washing mountain I tackle everyday!

Noel's room (I guess he'll miss this!!)

The girls room

Its a good job their beds separate as the bunk beds don't fit due to the sloping ceilings everywhere.

We managed to squeeze Sam and Isaac into the little bedroom.

Our bedroom (that isn't a striped bedside cabinet, it's still wrapped and taped up!!)

We get a lovely ensuite!! Luxury!!

And finally, toilet number 3 - the bathroom

And that concludes our tour of our temporary home! Popcorn, drinks and ice creams are available in the foyer. Please visit the shop on your way out. And have a lovely Easter xx

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

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Happy Birthday Noelie!

We say it every year don't we but where does that time go!

My first born, Noel Christopher Robert Wills is now 11. 11!! It seems so grown up, especially as he will be starting secondary school in September.

Taken at 6am in my bedroom ...

Unfortunately, he did have to spend the day at school, but then he came home to enjoy his new lego  set (unfortunately he lost most of his toys, including his precious lego in the fire) and to his chosen tea of a gammon and egg baguette and birthday cake.

One of the things I love most about Noel, is the fact he just gets on with things. He rarely makes a fuss about anything, he takes everything in his stride and is very accepting.

Because of the lack of bakeware (due to the lack of funds from the insurance company for replacements), we purchased his cake this year. A giant jaffa cake! Personally I thought it tasted vile but it went down well with the children, so that is all that matters.

It takes a lot of huffing and puffing now there are 11 candles!

Happy Birthday to my Eldest Son - you made all my dreams come true the moment you were born xx