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Friday, 28 January 2011

Baking with the girls

Lily is very fond of her baby sister and is continually amused at Emma's increasing independence.

Mark has been in Germany on business for a few days, so the Podlings and I decided to welcome him home by baking him his favourite cake. Lily donned an apron over her school uniform (it's Friday, so I don't care if it gets dirty today!) and we got baking. Emma is now old enough to want to join in, so she climbed up next to Lily and tried to stir the mixture with a teaspoon she found on the side. She was easily distracted from any further attempts to help by allowing her to lick the mixture off said spoon! We sandwiched the layers and dredged the cake after tea and then had the long wait until suppertime to eat a slice when Daddy came home. Tom was busy doing other things, but I had fun with my girls in the kitchen. We make a mean Victoria sponge!
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My little helpers

One day they'll be baking cakes without my help, but for now we'll have fun doing it together
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Tom's Year 1 assembly

AA rather blurry picture of Tom's assembly. Tom is in the bottom row, third from the left. Doesn't he make a handsome little prince!.

Wednesday morning saw me stood in the back of the school hall for Tom's Year 1 assembly. The assembly was on the theme 'fairytales' and Tom did so well, speaking his lines beautifully. It is the first time I have seen him seem to actually enjoy one of these things, rather than looking either bored or wishing he were miles away. I was so proud of him and, yes, I'm afraid I do get rather choked up at these things. I hide it in true stoic British fashion of course!
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A weekend in Devon

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It was my mum's birthday on Monday, so last weekend we took a trip down to Devon to see her. My sister and brother-in-law went down too and we designated Sunday mum's 'official' birthday...just like the Queen! We took the dogs for a walk in the afternoon to give mum time to rest and the Podlings had a wonderful time running about in the fresh air. We had a little birthday party for mum when we got back and still managed to fit in a delicious lasagne later in the evening. It was so nice to see everyone again and I always come back from my visits home feeling relaxed and refreshed, no matter how short the visit. Tom is already asking when we go down to Nanny's again!
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Emma playing peek-a-boo in the hotel shower
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Dad (in his 'you can't see me' gear, with Lily, Elaine and Gareth. It was lovely to see my sister and brother-in-law, we don't get to see each other often enough
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Emma chasing Molly and my sister's dog Tangent
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Tom loved playing on these stones and spent most of the time we were in the field on them. Tom is collecting stones at the moment and I think rather regretted the fact that he couldn't bring them home with him!
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My boy!
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Mum with all her GrandPodlings. Emma is eagerly anticipating the Smartie that Mum is picking off the cake for her. Baby loves chocolate!
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Friday, 21 January 2011

Dance fever

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Lily has a purple singing dragon toy that Emma is rather fond of. For some unknown reason, the toy went into overdrive this afternoon and started singing everything like a prospective member of the chipmunks. Best dance music ever apparently...

video

(Apologies for the state of the kitchen...it's been one of those days!)
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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Warmth and roses

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We had no heat or water for much of today (and oh my goodness was it a cold day!), but these beautiful roses on the mantelpiece never failed to brighten my mood whenever I looked at them. Mark brought them back for me last night when he popped out to buy some bottled water. They are such a pretty colour and look amazing in the rose bowl I bought over Christmas. I've never used a rose bowl before and I am so taken with the effect. I am so thrilled that my husband still gives me flowers (and quite frequently too) after nearly eight years of marriage! I adore flowers and they make a room look so cheerful.

I'm happy to report that we now have heat and water again and, other than ruining a towel or two, no harm has been done. Going a few hours without either makes you realise quite how much we take it for granted. I certainly wouldn't want to weather a British winter without decent central heating!

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Water, water everywhere!


This is what our family bathroom currently looks like. The white thing on the floor....? That would be the radiator. It came completely off the wall this evening whilst I was giving Lily and Emma a bath. There is a considerable amount of water in a central heating system (who knew!), a fair amount of which is now all over the bathroom floor and, thanks to gravity, the kitchen below.  It never rains but it pours...quite literally through the kitchen ceiling!

The best thing to do with the girls while boiling hot water spewed out of the walls was to keep them in the bath, so Emma was rather thrilled to get the longest bath of her life. She was a wrinkled, but happy little prune when I finally fished her out of the lukewarm water. I got Lily out a little before and she was happily darting stark naked around the house trying to find receptacles with which to catch the water that was dripping through the kitchen ceiling. Sadly, I feel her Russian doll may never be the same again! Tom was largely unbothered by events, other than being mildly diverted by the water coming through the ceiling.

Thankfully Mark was working from home today as I'm not sure how I would have coped with it all on my own. We have now turned off the water and the boiler and will get a plumber out tomorrow to sort everything out. Extra blankets on the beds and bottled water should suffice till then. No shower for me tonight, but I think I've had enough of water for one day!
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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Peekaboo Podling

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Every morning after breakfast, Emma and I go upstairs to make all the beds. Every morning, without fail, she will sit on Lily's pillow after I make the bed and play peekaboo with the canopy. Every morning, that is, until the one I take the camera with me to try and film her doing it. Then she cuts the game short...typical!

Here's the best I could do...
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video
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Sending love to Devon...

Lily and Emma in our hotel room on Sunday morning

My Mum was admitted to hospital last week, so we all went down to Plymouth last weekend to visit her.  She was able to go home today, although her symptoms haven't subsided and the doctors are still not clear what is causing them. She has undergone some treatment and is still waiting on test results, but we are so glad she is back home again. Now we just have to hope and pray that she makes a full recovery.

We love you Mum!
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
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A gift for my mother

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                             'Spring'                                             'Summer'

                           'Autumn'                                             'Winter'

When I asked my mum if there was anything she would like for Christmas, she asked if I would embroider some handkerchiefs for her. I was finally able to give them to her this weekend, so I can now share photos of the finished set. I tried to give them a 'four seasons' feel, choosing a different seasonal colour scheme for each handkerchief. Have I mentioned how much I like bullion knot roses!
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