Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween Fun

The dining room all decked out for Halloween

The Podlings all look forward to Halloween. I endeavour to keep the scary out of it and we make it a fun family day. We don't do trick or treating, so I always give the Podlings a basket of treats in the morning instead and they always look forward to coming downstairs in the morning to find the decorations up and some lovely goodies waiting for them. Mark's Mum and Dad were able to come across and spend the day with us. We carved pumpkins, baked and decorated fairy cakes, played games and had a special Halloween tea. The Podlings dressed up and we all had a really fun time.

Tom had a Cub camp this weekend, but was adamant that he wanted to spend Halloween with his family as he didn't want to miss out on the fun we have. He spent Friday night and Saturday at his Cub camp, but came home to spend the evening with us (briefly popping back to Cubs to watch the bonfire and fireworks display). We ended the day, as always with the doughnut game and a round of Ghost Hunt before packing four tired little people off to bed. 

The Podlings' Halloween treats ready for Halloween morning

Alex's Halloween gift was a sweet pumpkin romper with a matching hat and a cute chocolate lollipop.

I love these little honeycomb pumpkins. I put them everywhere!

I found an adorable vintage graphic of an owl sat on a Jack-O-Lantern (I love owls!) and used it to make a Halloween banner for the mantelpiece 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

My Budding Artist

I love these pictures of Lily as they show her in her element.  Lily loves to draw and spends much of her spare time with a pen or pencil in her hand. She is developing her own style and I love her drawings. We had been doing some Halloween pictures and I just snapped a couple of photos of her. She is always happiest when creating. 

A little doodle of a witch Lily put on a Halloween picture for her friend. She was obviously pleased with it as she asked me to photograph it. I think it's really sweet.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Mark's Official Birthday

My most excellent husband celebrated his birthday on the 22nd of October. Mark couldn't be with us for his actual birthday, so we decided to give him an official birthday the following Sunday instead. Mark's parents were able to come across and join us and we celebrated with a little birthday tea.

The Podlings had a lot of fun decorating the birthday cake with some of just about every cake decoration I had in my cupboard! 

Lily wanted to make a special rainbow jelly dessert, but as I only had three colours of jelly in the cupboard it was more of a sunset jelly dessert. She made most of it on her own, with me just supervising. She made one glass for everyone at the party and topped them with whipped cream and sprinkles. She did a lovely job and they looked lovely.

Make a wish!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Nanny and Grandad

My mum and dad came up to spend the week of Tom's birthday with us. Alex was so funny with my mum. He insisted on bringing loads of cars to her every time she sat in her chair. He piled them up on her until she could hardly move for them and then he would go off and leave her alone. The second she put them down, he would go back and bring her more! He did this every day they were with us. Funny boy!

Nanny got the cars, Grandad got the cuddles!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Tom's 11th Birthday

Tom loves Minecraft, so it was natural that he would want a Minecraft theme to his birthday. Many of his gifts were Minecraft related and I made a Minecraft themed birthday cake, fairy cakes and banner for his special day. Both sets of grandparents were able to spend the day with him and he spent some of the afternoon out playing with his friends. We were all able to sit down together for his birthday tea thanks to our new (to us) dining room table, which extends to seat eight, although we managed to get ten around it.Tom had a really lovely day and told me that he thought it was his best birthday yet. 

The banner I made had slimes and endermites, two of Tom's favourite Minecraft creatures

Tom loved his birthday cake

I confess I was rather pleased with how Tom's cake turned out. It is nice when something turns out exactly the way you pictured it!

For those of you unfamiliar with Minecraft, the little figures on the fairy cakes are slimes. I made them from green fondant. Tom has been saving them and they are currently residing in his bedroom. 

I love having the larger table. We had rather outgrown our old one and it is so nice to all be able to sit down together at birthdays now. I don't yet have any tablecloths large enough to cover it when it is extended, but find a double duvet cover works very well! 

The birthday boy presiding over his birthday tea

The candles on Tom's cake burned with different coloured flames and were a big hit. 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Tom is 11

Tiny baby Tom

Tom turned eleven today. Eleven!!! I have an eleven year old son! I can't believe that eleven years have passed since I sat next to that incubator wanting to get out that tiny little boy inside and give him a cuddle. Now we are busy looking at secondary schools for him and I am left wondering where all that time went. Oh, but I am so proud of the young man he is becoming! It has been a pleasure watching him growing and maturing and becoming more independent. Tom lives life in his own unique way and we are lucky to be his parents. He is such a lovely boy and we love him very much. 

Happy 11th Birthday Tom!

My very handsome 11 year old

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Autumn in the Woods

An Autumn walk in the woods at Biddulph Grange Country Park with my favourite people. I love being in the woods at this time of year. Watching my small people running through piles of leaves and looking for Minpins in the trees. Soaking up the Autumn colour and making the most of the milder weather before winter descends upon us. I love these days.

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl
The girls looking for Minpins in the woods.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Mornings with my Boodle

I love my mornings with Alex, or Boodle as he is affectionately known: The Boodle, Boodle Boy, Baby Boodle, Mr Boodle...he answers to them all! He is an outdoor boy, so we normally try to fit in some outdoor time, be it a walk in the fields behind the house, a trip to the park, playing in the garden or a longer walk with him in the pushchair. He just loves being outside. Today, however, was very wet so we were indoors all morning. After trying his hand at painting, we played with the wooden blocks for a while before he started fetching me books. Alex loves to be read to and I keep a selection of suitable books in a basket so he can choose them himself. He normally fetches me a book and then trots off to the basket for another book as soon as the first one is finished, unless it is a favourite in which case I have to read it again. He sometimes gets a bit overexcited if we have two of his favourite books out at the same time and wants me to read back and forth between them simultaneously, which I try to discourage! I am so thrilled that he loves books and he seems to have a very good attention span, so we usually get in a good reading session in the mornings.

This morning I got out our Fisher Price Little People collection and he had a fantastic time playing with the garage. Alex is car-obsessed and loves nothing more than being surrounded by lots of wheeled toys. Whenever I get his highchair out for lunch he normally chooses a selection of cars which he then puts on his table to entertain him during his meal.

At the moment he has his nap at about half eleven and then I give him his lunch between 2 and 2.30pm. This means he is able to go until six for his tea, which means the whole family can eat together. It is working very well at the moment as it gives us a lovely morning together and then I get a couple of hours to get things done before it is time to fetch the others from school.

I love having a little one at home still. Granted, I don't get everything done. The house frequently looks like a bomb has hit it and I am never on top of the ironing, but Alex won't always be small and I don't want to waste his babyhood cleaning windows! During term time, the mornings are our special time and I plan to make the most of them while they last. Sadly, with three children already at school, I know they don't last long.

Fetching a book from the basket

I think I'll read this one myself

The Fisher Price garage was a 'Big Brother' present for Tom when Lily was born (he was similarly car-obsessed at the same age). Tom has become a big brother twice more since then!

You may notice he is wearing his shoes indoors. This is because he is also shoe obsessed. If you don't want him to wear shoes, you have to hide them!

I love this little guy so much!

Alexander's First Painting Session

It was raining this morning, so since we were looking for indoor entertainment I thought I'd try Alex with poster paints for the first time. Naturally the first thing he did was to taste them. Apparently poster paints are disgusting! I had to give him a small piece of chocolate to take the taste away. He makes quite a fuss if he eats something unpleasant, repeating 'Yuch! Yuch!" and trying to scrape the offending taste off his tongue with his fingers. I showed him what he was supposed to do with the paintbrush and he had a good go at spreading and dotting the paint around, in between pointing at the fridge for more chocolate!

The painting session came to an abrupt end when he suddenly decided to have another taste of the paint, this time a very large dollop of blue! He was not at all impressed with the flavour, so we called it a day, with him looking rather like he'd eaten a Smurf! We'll try again another day, but perhaps I need to hunt out some edible paint recipes at this stage!

Paintbrush in one hand, chocolate in the other!

Getting into it, with a paintbrush in each hand

"Surely it can't taste as bad as it did just now?"