Monday, 30 June 2008

Brothers In Arms

My boys - Samuel and Joshua

In the words of Jean Baptist Legouve

'A brother is a friend provided by nature.'

All for one and one for all
My brother and my friend
What fun we have
The times we share
Brothers 'til the end

I REALLY love you guys!!


A Summer Evening

Present them with a tower of naan bread, savoury rice and coconut satay chicken, for dinner.

Give the younger three some coloured chalk for the pavement and let them draw.

Capture their bright smiles on a sunny evening.

Get the oldest one ready for Cubs.

And live in hope that someday Samuel will put clothes on so you can take pictures without having a little tinkie in the way.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

When Krispies Have Lost Their Crunch

When I had a bowl of rice krispies this week, they'd lost their snap, crackle and pop. Only one thing for it. Today I HAD to make...

MARS BAR RICE KRISPIE CAKES: Oooh yeah!!! Yummy, yummy, yummy!!

Take 3 Mars bars and 75g margarine or butter. Melt them together gently in a pan. When melted mix in 75g rice krispies. Mix well and pour into greased tin. Melt 200g milk chocolate in bowl over hot water. Pour on krispie mix and put in fridge.

When set, cut into squares and enjoy! Nom nom nom.

Bits and Bobs

Samuel has discovered it's fun to shove your face in front of the camera just as Mummy takes a shot.

There he is again.

And again!

And again!

Sam, can you PLEASE move out of the way!

Thank you! The shot I was trying to get all along. The herbs have been planted. Now I want more pots and more herbs. At the moment I'm growing mint, thyme, basil, flat leaf parsley and chives.

After a dinner of fajitas, enchilladas and tortilla salsa melt with Andy's parents down for the day and my friend Michaela, we dived into Andy's lemon torte. Very naughty and not to be consumed if you're on a diet.

The Weedy Wonderland (aka The Allotment)

250sq m of weed infested land waiting to be dug over, prepared and planted. The work ahead is long, arduous and back-breaking!

wooden pallettes in the corner ready to build compost bin and manure area

top left corner - if you look close enough you'll see the onion and potato patches
the rhubarb's in there somewhere too!

view from the bottom looking up
bottom half covered in old carpet to suppress weeds

looking through the onions at the beetroot
cabbages, lettuces and leeks behind


start of the fruit area
two raspberry bushes and one blackcurrant have established

the potato patch
Michaela weeding

sturon onions

not my shed but one two rows down
made entirely of doors
in my opinion, the best shed on the allotment!

I'm hoping by this time next year it will all be cleared and full of crops. I met a new tenant yesterday who has taken over the plot on the left, so now I have neighbours on both sides which is nice as it means they'll keep their plots cleared too and then weeds will be kept down. It will also give me the incentive to put more work in down at mine as they'll put me to shame otherwise!!

Friday, 27 June 2008

What I Love About Homework

With Maddie, it's her enthusiasm. She's currently doing a project about the Romans and had to pretend she was a soldier writing home about her experience.

Considering she's been in many battles she's in rather good spirits!

Signs of Summer

The sun is out at last. The children are in summer school uniforms. The first strawberries have been picked and Wimbledon's started. Could this be the start of Summer?

Maddie and Eleanor with the first strawberries from the crop

Samuel's found the biggest one!

The apples on Joshua's miniature tree are cropping

The roses are in bloom

Take four terracotta pots. Seal them. Paint them.

Four little pots all in a row

The back of Maddie's pot

The front of Maddie's pot

Eleanor's pot

Samuel's pot

My pot

We were going to grow herbs from seeds in them, but I think I've left it a little late this year, so I might head down the garden centre and buy the plants and pot them in. And that reminds me, the tumbler tomatoes are going into their large pots over the weekend too.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Birthdays Are Coming Round Again

Both Samuel and Eleanor have birthdays next month and I'm toying with the idea of making their birthday cakes. With Sam hitting three and Eleanor a very grown up five, it dawned on me this week that I have yet to make them their own cake.

I used to make cakes for Joshua and Madeleine, but with working full time and having more children and the associated responsibilities taking my time away, I've not made one for years.

I always feel guilty nipping down the shop and buying some mass produced creation in a cardboard box. So, this year, I'm going to try and make an effort.

Maddie got Noddy and Big Ears in their car for her 3rd birthday. We transported it in a box to a camp site without her even knowing as we were on holiday over her birthday. I was amazed it was still in one piece!

On his 4th birthday, Joshua was a huge Postman Pat fan.

Thomas was made for Joshua's 3rd birthday. Sam's also a huge Thomas fan now so I'm stuck between doing a replica for him of this one, or trying a completely different novelty cake.

For Eleanor, I'm thinking along a butterfly theme.

Whatever I do, it will mean a day off work, as these babies took around 8 hours to bake, cool, cut, mould, assemble and ice. But I loved every minute!

The Art of Negotiation

I commit a bad Mummy sin every morning.

I bribe the children by letting them have two biscuits from the biscuit tin in exchange for not coming into the bedroom to wake me up too early. (And before breakfast too! Ooh the shock of it!)

It never works. They come in every morning to ask if they can have a biscuit, despite knowing that they can, as long as they only have two. (Besides, they always wake Andy as I take ages to surface in the morning).

Every so often they try to worm out an increase in their biccie consumption. Every so often they're met with a resounding 'no' and a warning that if they continue to do it, the biscuits will be put on a high shelf.

This morning Eleanor came up with quite an impressive display of tactful negotiation. For a four, soon to be five year old, she is VERY switched on. She's one of those kids you just know you can't fob off with a lame answer so you have to be clued in before she gets you offguard or else she's sucked you in.

Her ploy this morning was to come into the bedroom holding a complete chocolate bourbon, a complete chocolate digestive and another chocolate bourbon with a sizeable corner chipped off. The conversation that ensued.

Eleanor: Can I have these please Daddy?
Andy: No, you can have two, put one back please.
Eleanor: But this is two, this one's broken - holding up offending biccie and looking quite disgusted it only went and broke itself.
Andy: No, that's three.
Eleanor: But it isn't a whole biscuit, it's not three. It's only nearly three.
Me: But it's more than two Eleanor, so do as Daddy has said and put one back.
Eleanor: But it will never be a whole biscuit.

At this point I'm seeing her logic. This is a partial biscuit. If she has it with one other biscuit, that won't quite total two biscuits. This biscuit is redundant and will never be a biscuit in its own right, so really should be put out of it's misery and given the dignity of being eaten.

I'm wondering how long it will sit in the biscuit tin, rejected and lonely and not quite whole.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Don't you just love it when the children come home...

and your kitchen looks like the local landfill?

And don't you just love it when the children go to bed.... so you can tidy it up and make it look suitable for humans again?

Yeah? Me too.