Sunday, 28 July 2013

Little Moreton Hall

Mark and I went to Little Moreton Hall on my birthday last year, but the Podlings hadn't been before. This fabulous Tudor Mansion is well worth the visit and the Podlings had a lovely time at 'the wobbly house', as they called it. Because we visited on a Sunday, we were also able to attend the short prayer service in the little chapel, which was nice. Little Moreton Hall is so close to where we live that we are sure to go again. I love this house!


Friday, 26 July 2013

A Sunny Afternoon

A few photos from a sunny afternoon in the garden during my parents' visit. The Podlings did a great job wearing grandad out!

Molly wasn't too sure what to think about being in the paddling pool!

Mum enjoying her Kindle in a shady spot of the garden

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Emma's Princess Party

Both sets of grandparents were able to join us for Emma's fourth birthday party. Emma wanted a princess party, but I wanted to avoid the whole Disney thing. I was excited to find this lovely princess party range in our local Home Bargains. The matching party range was incredibly cheap and I thought it hit just the right note for a four year old girl's birthday party. I had a lot of fun decorating the cake and fairy cakes to co-ordinate with  it. It all looked so sweet and pretty!

Emma loved her party, though she was really much too busy to eat any food. Once she has opened her presents, it is all about the birthday cake for Emma. She was in her chair in a flash when we told her it was time for cake!

Emma clearly had the most wonderful birthday. You could just see how much she was soaking it all in and enjoying it. When I asked her at the end of the day if she had enjoyed her day, she replied, "It's the best birthday ever!"


Monday, 22 July 2013

Opening Gifts

Emma was tremendously excited about her birthday and had been asking me every night for more than a fortnight 'Is it my birthday when I wake up?' You can imagine her excitement when it actually was her birthday when she woke up! We came straight downstairs to open gifts and she had a wonderful time, stopping to play with many of her presents before opening the next one. She is such a delightful child to buy for because she is so appreciative of everything. She was as delighted with the 50p bouncy ball as she was with her more expensive gifts. Love my sweet girl!

She was much enamoured of her new rainbow fairy costume

A birthday is always an excuse to buy lots of books!

For weeks before her birthday, every time we passed this Cinderella fairytale castle in the shop Emma practically swooned over it, 'OH! I love that castle! I wish I had that castle!' It didn't seem to occur to her that she might get it for her birthday, so she was absolutely over the moon when she opened it. I had assembled it the night before so she could play with it right away and she was one happy little bunny!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Emma is Four

Baby Emma

Emma is four! I can't believe that my littlest Podling is four years old and will be starting school in September. It seems like only yesterday that Emma was making her rather dramatic entrance to the world. Despite her advancing years, she relishes her role as the baby of the family and resists all attempts to be described as a big girl. She insists she is 'still a baby like my cousin Baby Rowan', often devising logical arguments as to why this is so (such as explaining to Mark that because she still has a 'baby seat' in the car instead of the booster seats that Tom and Lily use then she must still be a baby). Her speech is very advanced for her age, so listening to her explaining in beautiful, elegant English why she is a baby is, as you can imagine, rather amusing! She has, however, the sense to admit to being a big girl if she thinks she will benefit from it, such as when I say 'you're too little, that is only for big children' she will normally reply, 'I'm a big girl now Mummy!'.

Emma is such a happy child and continues to find such great delight in the world around her. She chats cheerily all day long (literally from the moment she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night!) and has such a beautiful, sunshiny personality. She loves her big brother and sister and has a special bond with Lily. She will do everything that Lily does (this is not always a good thing!) and admires her sister greatly. Lily always has to have her hair done first in the morning so Emma can have the 'the same as Lily'.

Emma has the most wonderful imagination and will sit and play little games with her toys for long periods, although she does prefer me to be nearby. She is a regular water baby and is always asking to play in the sink. Dressing up is still one of her favourite pastimes and she loves books and puzzles. She loves music and can carry a tune incredibly well. She learns new songs very quickly and then starts to make up her own lyrics! She loves dancing, princesses, ponies and just being alive. She is such a happy little soul and brings so much joy to the family.

Happy Birthday to our darling little Emma Bear!
You make every day a delight and we love you very much!

Opening gifts on her fourth birthday

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Breakfast in the Garden

I always make a batch of Scotch pancakes on Saturday mornings for breakfast. Lily and Emma love them, though Tom usually sticks with his usual bowl of dry cereal. The weather was so nice this morning that I carried the Podlings' art table out into the garden so they could eat their breakfast outside. This was apparently so fabulous that they needed to turn it into a full blown tea party, so the girls fetched their little tea sets and laid a towel on the table for a table cloth. Tom opted to stay inside, but Lily and Emma had a lovely time. I'm not sure they ate as much breakfast as usual though!

More tea?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Start as you mean to go on...

A few pictures from the first day of the summer holidays. We had a fantastic day together. I love having my Podlings home! Let's hear it for the summer holidays!

Swimming costume and wellies...adorable!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Holidays are Coming...

Time to organise the children's craft supplies...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

In Which I Bake a Lot of Cakes...

Emma's 'Thank you and Goodbye' cakes for her playgroup teachers

The last week of the school year is usually a busy baking week for me. I like the Podlings to take gifts to their teachers on their last day, but I appreciate the fact that most teachers probably have enough 'World's Best Teacher' mugs without us adding to them. I always like to give fairy cakes because they are consumable, so the teacher doesn't have to find a home for them and I think homemade is so much more personal. I was particularly pleased with the cakes for Tom's teacher this year. It was the first year I have had to make cakes for a male teacher and I didn't think he would appreciate flowers and butterflies! Tom's teacher is in charge of pretty much all the sport in the school and takes the football club that Tom went to after school this year. I was thrilled to find these football-themed cake decorations.

Football cakes for Tom's teacher

Cakes for Lily's teacher

We always give a little gift to the headmistress too

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sunset, Sea and Sand

A few pictures and some video from another sunset trip to the beach. I love these days with my family so much!

Tom wanted me to photograph his drawing in the sand