Saturday, 31 March 2012

Burton comes to stay

Tom was very excited to be chosen to bring home the class teddy last week. The previous week's recipient of Burton the dog gets to choose who gets him next and Tom was chosen by a classmate last week. We took lots of photos of Tom and Burton to put in the accompanying diary and Tom was rather sad to part with him on Friday.

Quite by coincidence Tom was also chosen to be the class Star of the week the same week he had Burton. He was awarded the little trophy for excellent handwriting, something Tom has been having to work hard to improve. The trophy took pride of place on a bookcase in the dining room all week.

Tom and Burton at a local indoor play area.

Tom and Burton help Uncle Greg to clean the car last Sunday

We always hold a little party the night before the class teddy goes back to school. I spent Thursday afternoon baking so we could send Burton back to school with a full tummy and lots of happy memories. Here are Tom and Burton at the start of the party.

Bedtime for Burton. Tom and Burton the night before Burton went back to school. Tom loved Burton very much and was rather sad to have to give him back.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Barbecue weather

Lily and Emma were pretending to fish in this bucket of rain water. 

We went round to visit Mark's parents at the weekend and since the weather has been so lovely they planned a barbecue and invited Mark's brothers and their fiancees along too. We had a lovely family afternoon together and the Podlings had a great time playing with their uncles and aunts, who seem to have infinite patience with them.

Mark's brother Greg brought his car round to wash and suddenly found himself with some extra helpers. I think Greg took pity on our poor dirty car and very kindly washed ours too. Lily had a little too much fun with the jet spray and I'm not sure that poor Uncle Greg didn't get almost as wet as the car! Lily and Emma had a great time and got thoroughly wet. Tom was smart enough to stay in the background, so managed to remain completely dry!

We had a lovely time with family, got to enjoy our first barbecue of the year and even got a nice clean car out of it. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 Reeling in a whopper

A five year old with a jet spray - make your own conclusions!

Mark's brother Greg cleaning our rather filthy car 

"I cleaning the lights"

The Podlings with Uncle Ryan and his fiancee Carrie

Friday, 23 March 2012

To the garden...

Emma at the sand table

Although I still wouldn't go out without a coat on, the nicer weather has driven us into the garden. The Podlings are so happy to be able to play outside again and it is all we can do to drag them off the trampoline to eat their tea!

Emma and I spent a lovely day outside together yesterday whilst poor Tom and Lily were cooped up in classrooms. I re-filled the sand table and we spent a good while making sand castles and squashing them. We blew bubbles, sang songs, looked for ladybirds and made a start on what will be our vegetable bed. Emma loves gardening, so she really enjoyed getting to play in the mud!

It is so nice to be able to get outside again after the winter. I'm getting excited preparing our planting for this year and have visions of flower beds and homegrown vegetables dancing in my head. I'm looking forward to playing outside with the Podlings, reading in the garden, country walks and picnics. Let's hope this nicer weather sticks around for a while...I just need it to get a little warmer!

Emma helping to prepare the vegetable bed

What child doesn't love the chance to play in the mud?

Signs of Spring

We have been seeing a bit more sun lately and whilst there is still a decided nip in the air, the promise of Spring is evident in the birdsong, the daffodils blooming in the garden and the appearance of the first of my primroses. I am always happy to see my primroses every spring. They originally came from my Dad's garden in Devon and I always feel like I have a little piece of my childhood home blooming in my own garden. Spring flowers are such happy flowers, their beautiful colours bringing so much brightness and joy after the long, grey winter. It makes my heart sing just to look at them.


Monday, 12 March 2012

All change

Driving home from a visit to Mark's parent's last night, we drove past a Mercedes showroom. Suddenly, from the back of the car Tom pipes up, "Can we get rid of our car and get a Mercedes Benz instead?".

That would be nice...if only it were that easy!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ticket to ride

Emma's imagination is blossoming wonderfully and she is always engaged in some kind of imaginative play. I was particularly amused by her antics this morning and whipped out the camera. She makes me laugh every day...she's such a darling!
(Excuse the background noise. Mark had the cricket on.)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

World Book Day

Yesterday was World Book Day, which is always a big hit with the children as it means they get to go to school in costume. They had a great day at school, with all the teachers getting into the spirit of things and dressing up too. It's always a popular day in the school calendar, much anticipated by the children.

This year the school asked that the children go dressed as a character from a nursery rhyme or poem. As ever, Tom really wanted to be a ladybird, so 'Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home' was the obvious choice for him. He wore the costume I made for him last year. It was a little shorter in the arms, but it fitted him fine everywhere else, so he was more than happy to wear it again.

Lily settled on 'Mary had a little lamb' and we had fun putting her costume together. She wore one of her (many) smocked dresses with one of my aprons and my pink straw hat. She took her little lamb to school with her in a little wicker basket decorated with artificial flowers.

They were asked to bring a copy of their rhyme or poem with them to school, so I found some nice images on the Internet to go with the nursery rhymes I typed out for them. I printed and laminated them and they have proved very popular with the Podlings. I have already had to make another nursery rhyme for Lily, with requests for more. She enjoys reading them out to anyone who will listen.

As ever, I have more pictures of Lily than Tom. Tom really was not interested in letting me take a picture of him, but I managed to sneak one of him on the trampoline after school. Lily loves to have her picture taken and is always happy to pose for me. They both looked adorable in their costumes.

 Emma wanted in on the dressing up too, so Lily let her take a turn in the hat.

 The laminated poems I made for the Podlings to take to school.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The early bird catches the aphid

We enjoyed beautiful springlike weather here in Staffordshire this afternoon. It was so nice that we went out into the garden to enjoy a cup of tea. We weren't the only ones enjoying the warmer weather. I noticed this group of ladybirds on the bush behind the garden bench and was rather surprised to see them so early in year. There were seven in this little group, with an eighth ladybird sunning himself on the same bush nearby. Emma was quite fascinated by them and I think rather fancied holding them, though she knew to leave them alone. I took photos of them to show to Tom, who is completely obsessed with all things ladybird. I think he was rather disappointed not to have seen them for himself, but at least we know to keep an eye open for them when we are in the garden now.

Emma was really fascinated with the ladybirds.

 I think Emma would have liked to hold one of the ladybirds.