Tuesday, 29 September 2009

the little things...

The little things I loved about today.

Making bubbles with the washing up liquid and having all the kids rush in and try and pop them.

The wonderful smells that help cover up dirty nappy smells: baking banana bread, fresh bread baking in the bread machine and the smell of clean washing and the knowledge that tonight I will have clean sheets to snuggle under.

Some sunshine which means we can eat lunch outside by the swing.

Singing "never smile at a crocodile" and having ALL the kids join in.
Putting on a favourite CD and dancing round the room with the children.
Crafting with the kids.

Being surprised when a request didn't result in "aah why?" or "I don't want to"
Seeing the older two so proud of their work that they didn't want to do.

An undisturbed cup of coffee.

A hot bath with latest craft book.

Sitting on the couch learning to crochet while the children sleep upstairs and Hubby sits next to me playing computer games and chatting.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

craft fair

we went to a craft fair today! woohoo! The first one I have been to in years. I only took the older two children so that I could spend time looking, learning and talking. It was wonderful. I bought myself crochet hooks, some wool blend material and some Angelina fibres that the children fell in love with. I was pretty restrained I thought. There were some lovely books there that tempted me but I thought after my recent rather large book order, I had better put them back :o)
While we were there I was taught to crochet, the kids got to do some lace work (which is truly amazing)

I found out how to make felt vessels after questioning the poor woman for ages while she ate her sandwich, and how to print and fuse angelina fibres.

As soon as I got home I got out the wool and tried to crochet - from 2pm I tried and I tried and I tried but I just couldn't see where all the stitches were on the 1st row aaaah it was so frustrating!

After hours and hours of persisting I finally got it and ended up with this at 11pm.
I know that it is still not perfect but trust me it is better than all my previous attempts. I am so chuffed with it :o)

I am now so excited to get stuck into this craft but unfortunately I have to put my crochet hooks to one side as I really have to learn to make skirts for the girls. We have my uncle's wedding at the end of October to attend and I would love the children to be matching. My plan is to make the girls circle skirts and the boys matching ties. Now this might be a bit of a challenge as I have never sewn clothes before. But hey! I can always do a bit of last minute shopping if it doesn't work out.

Friday, 25 September 2009


As part of my cleaning binge, I vacuumed the ceilings of all their inhabitants, namely the spiders and their webs. I was getting sick of having to clean up the insect carcasses that lie underneath their webs!

So anyway, a week later and they are getting their revenge. Not only are they all back in their nooks and crannies of the house (probably just crawled out the vacuum cleaner) but they have multiplied! To top it all off the children have found the babies which means I can't get rid of them because now they are "our Pets". *sigh*

The babies look cuter in real life. The shadows cast by the flash of the camera make them look a little bigger than they really are.
So in honour of our "new pets" we made our own spider webs today. I love the way the shiny new conkers protrude from the centre.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Now don't get me wrong, I love having four children, it's just that i can occasionally feel extremely outnumbered and ganged up on. Like today, for example, Hubby had bought a box of those miniature chocolates - you know the ones that come in a bright red tin that screams eat me! The children of course spotted it and then one by one they come in and ask me for one. My rule was that they for for after supper. First it was the eldest, then he obviously prompted the others to ask, saving their best weapon for last - Kiki. The older two accepted my "No, after supper" Googes emitted an "aaaahhh" and then Kiki came in and asked very sweetly, batting her eyelids (how do they learn these things so early on?) but as soon as I said "later" tantrums ensued until she was unceremoniously put out of the room to calm down.
Why don't they realise that when I say no to one child for something like that, of course I will say no to the others too! Hmmmm

Monday, 21 September 2009

1st day of school

After some exercises, singing, dancing and generally warming up we did some practical tables practice. I love doing tables this way as it doesn't feel as though I am just focusing on the older two as the younger ones get to play too.

Then into the workroom to write out some sums in their workbooks.

still in pjs...

While Champ and Boo were doing their work, the younger two and I had some eggs to use up, so...
we made lemon cake!

Helpers always get to lick the bowl!
Just out of the oven before the lemon juice icing has been poured over. We like it really sour which means it never makes it out of the tin complete as it is kind of soggy - more pudding than cake.

Tidy up time.
Play time!!! Inside...

and out.
Kiki went to bed so after reading a ton of books, we got painting. Googs wanted to do a "long painting" on some old fax paper.

and the older two worked on the puppet theatre.

Now to plan for tomorrow...

clean house!

After hours and hours of sorting, tidying and cleaning, the house feels wonderful! I have to remember to do this before every "school" year.

Here are all the bits and pieces that we discovered at the bottom of the toy boxes. The kids loved it, "I remember this!" "Hey this is mine" and then they started squirrelling items away. I made them keep everything in the living room and after allowing them to reminisce, I was pretty ruthless about throwing things out. I honestly thought that the children would kick up more of a fuss about giving away so many of their toys at once (I had just been through their rooms), but they loved having so much space again. We can breathe!

And we got to learn along the way. Here is an old video tape that Champ dismantled which Kiki then "dressed up"in.

That's better!
Tidy AND dusted!
Instead of buying an air freshener, I decided to make one myself. I wanted it for the living room but got carried away when applying the scent so now, instead, it lives near the hamster cages :o)

Friday, 4 September 2009


Today I have been sorting through bookcases, cupboards and toy boxes for 5 hours! I don't think it helped having the children going through everything I was sorting saying "Oh yeah, I remember this" and then taking it off to some nether regions of the house where I will find it again and not know where to put it. Seriously, where on earth did all this stuff come from? I guess I know the answer to that; when we first married we lived in furnish accommodation, it was very small. We then moved to a larger unfurnished place and had to purchase everything from beds and cupboards to fridges and ovens. So there was not much money, instead we trawled the charity shops, said "yes please" to hand-me-downs and had very generous relatives when it came to Christmas and birthdays and to top it all off I am a hoarder. I see use in everything "whats that? a bottle top? well we could use that for junk modeling, a piece of wood? brilliant we could do some woodworking, old Cd's? great a sun catcher or mobile to scare away the birds" I think you get the idea.

And books...I am obsessed. I am a bona fide bookoholic! I LOVE books, old and new and it shows - the house is brimming with books; craft books, story books, poetry books, teaching books, how to books...the list goes on and on. My dream is to have a library room with floor to ceiling bookcases on every wall and big squishy beanbags and lots of lamps...bliss.

Maybe one day...but for now I have lots of love and lots of noise which naturally comes with huge piles of washing and lots of toys.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


Today we spent the day at a nature reserve. It is so lovely to see the children enjoying nature with their friends.

The blackberries are lovely at the moment. Kiki couldn't wait for lunch so she was happy helping herself, although I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up with tummy ache as she ate just as many red and green berries as she did black!

She just stood there shoving handfulls of berries in her mouth pulling faces because some were obviously very sour :)

Googs was looking after me - he told me to be very careful because the brambles are a bit ouchy. He got that right - and so were the nettles and the wasp that stung me! Which I have to say is still really sore. But just look at all the berries we picked!

And ofcourse there was apple and blackberry pie for pudding.