Sunday, 5 December 2010

Christmas Rose

Remember Egbeart? ... little Egbeart the sugar paste bear with a head bigger than his body but my first attempt at sugar craft. Well that was about 9 weeks ago and since then I've progressed and made a spray of Sweet Peas - now I loved doing these, much better than trying to get bear proportions right, and I have to say I enjoyed doing the flowers and they turned out rather nice although I am not sure what I shall do with them.

But now for the finale - we had to decorate a Christmas Cake. Now I can hear some of you say oh she's made the cake and decorated it. I hasten to add take out the word 'made' - cooking is not one of my things. If I can put it in a kiln and fire it then fine, if I have to put it in an oven - not so good ... so I bought the cake from M&S and then rolled out the marzipan and covered it, week later rolled out the icing and covered it. The result was OK but then I added what we had been working on for the last few weeks of the course ....... Christmas Rose and holly leaves, berries and some other named leaves .... and the result .... pretty good even if I do say so myself. Not bad for a beginner - so what d'ya think?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Happy Birthday Kristen

A big Happy Birthday for tomorrow to my sweet niece Kristen, who I don't get to see as the miles separate but she has a place in my heart always and I hope she has the most blessed birthday ever. (sorry sis, hope you don't mind me pinching the pic but it's such a cute one). x x x

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I'm a sleepy head

I should be well and truly in the land of nod by now but I think I am just far too tired. I was babysitting (sleep over) last night and my beautiful granddaughter decided to waken at 11.30 just as I was going to bed. She stayed awake until almost 2 a.m. and it didn't matter what I did she just wasn't tired. Don't get me wrong she wasn't crying or screaming just talking and chattering to herself so loudly that she would have woken the boys so it was a case of in bed with me for a while, back in her own bed, changing nappy incase it was that, getting her a drink of milk but all to no avail. She just wanted to play and finally fell asleep just before two. My son came home from work at half two so just as I was falling asleep I heard his key in the door and woke up again. I was then just nodding off and heard Tom crying, looked at the clock at it was only 4 a.m. He wouldn't settle and wanted to sleep in bed with me and as I finally fell asleep I was awakened at half six by Ben getting up and coming into bed with us. My alarm went off at 6.45 which is when Livvy woke again. I gave in, got up, gave them all breakfast, then realised I'd left my work shoes at home along with some other things. Sam came in at 7.15, Marc woke then to take over and take the children to school and child minder so I left, came home, got dressed for work and started work at 8 a.m. Quite a full day really and here I am typing when I really should be asleep zzzzzzzzzzz oops did I nod off.

Had a lovely week visiting mam and she is doing really well after her stint in hospital. She still gets very tired but is beginning to potter around and do things. She's a tough little cookie.

I am now most definitely off to bed. Night all.

Monday, 27 September 2010

My Mam

is in hospital again. She was taken ill a couple of weeks ago and went into hospital for a few days. Doctors didn't really know what was wrong with her and said it could be one of three things but they let her out the day before her 85th birthday. She wasn't well last week again so they took her back in. She had a scan done today and they found out she has gallstones so may need to operate. She's been through such a lot this year that she could do with the gallstones just going on their own but it doesn't seem likely that she'll pass them. She's worried they will put a camera down her throat and she hates anything like that. She is a tough little thing but I'd value your prayers that all will go well. We don't know exactly when they'll do something but we're hoping it will be soon.

My but the weather has turned cold, we are still in September and I've had to put the heating on. I've been hearing all the old wives tales about us having a bad winter again and the main reason seems to be there are lots of berries on the trees. Don't ask, I have no idea why berries or lots of them on the trees means a cold winter but apparently it does. So if any of you folk out there know why, let me know too please.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Meet Egbeart

I'd like you to meet Egbeart. Egbeart is my first attempt at making a bear in the new sugar craft course I am taking. He is not the most eloquent of bears; his fur is rather bitty and his arms are not very well rounded as a bear's arms ought to be; but you have to admit his smile is contagious and he has a cute nose. Egbeart is most surely going to need some tlc though as he has now broken his leg. He seems to think someone handled him a little too rough but I think he was messing about in his box doing what bears do best (looking for the honey) climbed and tree and fell and broke his leg. Alas we shall never know the truth of the matter and sadly Egbeart may never walk again.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

They make me smile

I just can't sleep tonight and I've tossed and turned since 11.30 ish so decided to blog a little and see if I get sleepy.
I took Ben and Tom to church youth club last night. It's the first time they've been and they seemed to enjoy it although last night they didn't really seem to do much. I was helping out as one of the girls was on holiday.
The boys do make me smile -
The youth club is having a shoe box appeal and the teacher was telling them some of the countries they would be sending the shoe boxes too after they'd been filled with goodies. She mentioned several places and then said 'We'll also send some to Swaziland'; at which 3 year old Tom piped up "I love 'smartie land' Nana" (First Smile). It took several attempts to get him to realise she wasn't saying Smartie Land.

On the way home 6 year old Ben had been telling me he liked his learning lesson with his new teacher Mr D'Veen (I've spelt it how he pronounced it). He'd been learning about the fire of London. I asked if he liked Mr D'Veen and asked if he was young or old. "He's young Nana", he said "He's not old, old people can't teach because they would get tired and fall asleep all the time". (Second Smile).
I said I wouldn't be able to teach then as I was old to which he replied "You would be able to teach anyone Nana, you're not old, you're young". (Third and biggest smile, so I now have it on the authority of my grandson that at 60 I sam still young - don't you just love them).

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

If you're squeamish, don't look!!

Sis, just don't show Jason the next couple of pictures, I still remember his first encounter with 'willicks' (winkles) and well yep, he just doesn't like seafood of any description does he and I guess these little uns are enough to put most folk off.
Our Michael and Eddie (George may have gone too but not sure) went to the beach and picked a few bags and brought some round after he'd cooked them. I sent a couple of the photos to Marc and Sam saying 'yum, yum' and Sam's reply was 'seriously No, you can't eat them, you wouldn't boil garden snails and eat them would you'. Be thankful I haven't posted the one of me eating them, which is what I sent to Sam, Marc said the poor girl was nearly sick, but yes to be honest I will eat these but a snail of any other type 'nope I think not - they seem a lot bigger'.

Cooking instructions - first go to the beach and look under the rocks for willicks (winkles). Collect as many as you can before the tide comes in (only joking) - try to collect the bigger ones though as some of them are not worth having. Do leave the ones alone that have crabs in them (although you can't always see them), otherwise poor things will be boiled to death (now I know that sounds gruesome but OK don't put me on a guilt trip, I only eat them)
Rinse with cold water and salt to remove any sand or gunky stuff, put in a pan of salted water and boil for 20 minutes or so. Let them cool and eat using a pin to remove them from the shell, although they are tasty warm-ish.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

A long post ....

Well another wet day today but the sun did get out for a time. It's not been a brilliant summer weather wise but we have had some really hot days. It looks as if it's going to start getting a lot colder now as the last couple of mornings have been rather chilly. Still, as promised, I've managed to get pics of some of the things I've done over the holidays so this could end up being a very long post.

At the start of the school holidays I went up to visit mam and the family and as Marc and Sam had come up for a couple of days with the children we spent the Saturday at the Air Show, which was a lovely warm day. Here's a few pics of Ben and Tom enjoying trying their hand at putting on some military headwear.

Ben has a little help adjusting the strap.

Tom decided he could go it alone -

See, I did it but ooh it's a bit heavy for my head now ... Don't worry I'm OK, I've got it balanced - look 2 hands ...Marc showed Ben and Tom how to put a line (or something like that) into the dummy to get it breathing. We had a bit of fun with the 2 paramedics on duty and didn't let on at first that Marc was a paramedic, they were quite impressed when he did it first time, but we had to come clean and tell them that he did know what he was doing.
Being at an airshow would not be complete without at least one picture of an aeroplane - well not quite - but if you look very closely at the top part of the next picture, you will see the red arrows parachuting from their aeroplane ..... yes that's right I missed the aeroplane altogether and I was so far away at the time this was all I saw - I think there were 7 of them and they did land on their mark - I heard the crowd clapping - OK you can stop laughing now Niecy!!!
Olivia was about to fall asleep and even though the noise from the jets was thunderous she did go to sleep and slept through most of it.
Marc and Sam enjoying the day.
Sorry butI had too much fun with the grandchildren for photographs of areroplanes and after a long but enjoyable day we headed back to mams. As I said in my earlier post my 84 year old mam is a keen cook and still bakes pies, especially apple. We got back only to find her in the kitchen - baking applie pies ....

Is that sheep tea cosy cute or what ...
Mam put me to shame so by the end of the 2 weeks I had made some biscuits (cookies) for my grandchildren and with mam's help, mince (meat) pies for my son.
Here's mam giving me instructions on how to roll out the pastry while I was taking her picture - I wasn't rolling it correctly she told me - roll away from you then turn, don't roll backwards and forwards - but she's the expert pastry maker so I followed her instructions.
It worked, just take a look at the next photos - the kids loved the cookies and Marc enjoyed eating the pies - 3 mince (meat) and 2 apple (but not all at once though) ...

My but those cats had scary eyes!!!!
Well I said it was going to be a long post so I hope I haven't bored you - there'll be more to come. Have a good day.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Very wet day

Very cold and very very rainy - what a change in the weather today. It has become really cold and I'm praying it will brighten up as Marc, Sam and the children are off to Cornwall camping for the week. They left this morning, arrived safely praise God and unfortunately Marc didn't say anything about the weather when he text me. I remember camping a long time ago when I was a young school girl. It's lovely when the weather is fine and sunny but everything feels so damp when it's wet and I can still remember clothes not drying out and just that soggy feeling.
It was very quiet at my little studio today too and I think most people that came in only wanted to get out of the rain. Still I demonstrated my enamelling to them and who knows some of them may come back.
I only came on my pc to check my emails but now it's getting late as I did a bit of surfing, and then did a bit of blogging so it's goodnight and I pray you have a blessed Sunday and a sunny day too.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Relaxed and stress free

I have just returned from a 2 week visit to the North East to see my mam and family. It was a very relaxing time and once I get the very few pics I took processed I'll upload them. Unfortunately I am not one of those that know how to download straight from my phone (I must get Marc to show me). Marc, Sam and the children came up the first weekend and it was lovely everyone being there. The airshow was on so we got to go the beach on the Saturday. We could hardly move there were so many people but the kids enjoyed it all and then Marc and Sam took them back on the Sunday as the Red Arrows and Harrier Jet were there. It's quite an impressive sight.
Mam is doing great and at 84 spends a lot of her time baking pies - mince, apple - Marc loves them and put in a request for me to take some back for him. Mam and I ended up baking pies just before I was due to come home and she even gave me a rolling out pastry lesson as apparently I wasn't doing it right. I was being a bit rough with the pastry and mam said 'roll away from you, then turn, roll away from you then turn'. I don't do much baking these days but she made it look so easy and her pastry was so smooth, you're never too old to learn I say and I will now have to start baking. Oh I did make some biscuits for my grandchildren. One was a packet mix but the others I did from scratch - and I have pics too so hopefull I will get to load them up by next week as I can't get into town until then.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Too tired to sleep

Well it's almost 2 in the morning here in England and I can't sleep, too much going on in my head so thought I'd do a bit of blogging. It is nearly the end of the school term and as I work in a school I can't wait for Friday. I have too much to do being the school secretary and not enough time to do it; probably one reason my head is full of putting in order what it is I need to do. I also have another cold which could be hayfever and I'm just keep sneezing and feel yeuk. I probably should just give it all over to the Lord as I know he will help me order my thoughts.

I'm going home to see my mam and family on Saturday for a couple of weeks. It will be lovely to see everyone and even lovelier just relaxing. Marc and Sam are coming up for a couple of days with the children so it will be nice. Just hope the sun shines as it's forecast rain.

Hopefully I'll have more pics I can put on my blog when I get back.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Meet the family

Someone commented on one of my posts that they hoped I'd blog more then they would get to know me better - so thank you Judy you set me thinking - hard work this thinking lark early on a Sunday morning but anyway I am so blessed to come from such a wonderful family and while we may not see each other as often as we'd like as the miles separate us we still love each other so come on in and meet my beautiful family ...

This beautiful lady is my mam. The picture was taken a while ago at a family wedding but she is still as beautiful today. She still lives on her own and after a life saving operation earlier this year, at 84 she is just amazing and is the kindest and sweetest person you could meet.

Mam has brought up 6 children and whilst we were never rich in material things we were rich in that we had 2 wonderful parents. Sadly my dad died some 12 years ago now and we all still miss him very much, mam especially. He was such an inspiration to me, my hero.

Here's our Bren or Nenna as we call her. She is golden. Like me she has grandchildren and is forever looking after them but we wouldn't have it any other way. I'm the oldest so she's my younger sis, we had our moments arguing and fighting when we were younger but we have always stayed friends and I love her dearly.

It's always lovely going up home cos we get to spend some time together and whilst I'm not a great shopper like our Bren and my youngest sis it is great to just get together and go out for a meal or to her house just to natter. And we can talk forever us girls.

This is our Ed, he's the oldest of my 3 brothers and another one who would do anything for you. Our Ed is the one who when he was younger was the toughy but underneath, soft as a kitten.

I remember when mam had an accident (she electricuted herself on the vacuum cleaner - it has stopped working and she unplugged it from the back of the vacuum but the plug was still in the socket at the wall. She used a knife to unscrew a screw and ... not the brightest thing to do but she was rushed to hospital. I'd been called from work and someone was relaying the story to me. Just as they got to the part where they said 'she's gone' meaning she'd gone to hospital, our Ed (probably about 11 at the time) came in and heard it and thought they meant mam had died. He broke his heart and it took ages to console him.

Next our Mike - the most placid of childrenI know when he was younger, takes after mam I think as she has the patience of a saint. He has been great at helping mam around the house when he was staying with her. He had a back operation a while ago and stayed with mam to recover. Worked out really well as it wasn't long after that that mam had her operation and Mike was there to help her. He'd do anything for anybody our Mike.

And then last but not least the twin - Yes twins.
This is our Ken and Denise. Ken is the oldest and our Niecy is the younger of the twins. I was 15 when they were born and helped mam look after them. We always remember the time our Ed took them along the shops in their pushchair and came down some steps and they both fell out. Oh they did cry and had cut and bloodied faces poor things. I remember holding our Denise while mam held Ken and I think we were both crying but they were OK. I don't seem them nearly enough and our Niecy is living in America now but she has her blog (pop over and see her she writes some great stuff - her link is at the side of my blog). They would both do anything for you. I have a special bond with my l'il sister and even though she is miles away I know she prays for me, loves me lots and I would just have to ask and she'd do anything she could for me. Ken is the joker of the family, always doing card tricks and telling jokes. He kept us entertained for hours.
As I said, the most beautiful family a girl could have. Am I blessed or am I blessed.

Next installment - coming soon.

Friday, 2 July 2010

What did I do a year ago

That was the question my sister asked on her blog so I took to reading mine from a year ago and here's what it said - not quite the same day mind you but on 30th June 2009 part of what I'd written was

It's another late night for me, I've just been writing my bloggy bit for the KJV site as it was due at the weekend and I'd not written anything, but that done I'm here to say well what a thunder storm we had last night. I wasn't in the cupboard like my mam is when we have a storm but I do close the curtains and just sit quietly, I don't like to watch the lightning and I don't like the noise of the thunder but nor do I like the TV on so I do hear it all and boy was it loud last night and monsoon season had come I think - or maybe my son had been doing his rain dance again as it was mentioned he was coming to do the garden

You can read all of what I wrote here

Well guess what - it's another late night for me but thankfully we have not had a thunder storm although we have had some lovely weather and although it has tried to rain we haven't had much. Once again though my garden is in need of being done. I will pray my son does not do any rain dances and comes to give me a hand. I have to admit, I do actually hate gardening, I don't like the creepy crawly things you see in the soil and well it's just that I can't quite mow the lawn as I'm in agony afterwards due to problems with my neck and shoulders so it tends to be neglected - Maybe it's something I should try to like in 2010 (I'll let you know how I get on).

As this has been another late night I will now take my leave and go to the land of nod. I will leave you with the same question my sister asked on her blog 'What did you do a year ago'? 'night

Sunday, 20 June 2010


This week started badly as I haven't been well and it's ended badly too but praise God he is in control of all things. Yesterday I made my first loaf of bread with a bread making machine someone had given me. Guess what - I still work in the old lbs and ounces but the measurements in the recipe were in grammes. I tried to get an accurate conversation by looking in one of my old recipe books and the proportions looked about right but at the end of the cooking cycle I
1) nearly broke the machine trying to get the basket out that the bread was in
2) nearly broke the thing that turns the dough
3) eventually got it out to find that my loaf resembled 'a rock'
4) a rock in every sense of the word - if you wanted to build a house of bricks I suggest you ask me to make bread for you!! The dough will surely keep the bricks together.

Ah well there is always another time and perhaps a new set of scales which are the old type with the lb and ounce weights.

My spiritual lesson for the day thought - Lead me to the rock that is higher than I - praise God for Jesus.

My cold seems no better - I was told it may be hay fever as the pollen count has been real high and if it is well, where does all that yeuky gunk come from - I have gone through so many boxes and packets of tissues.

I am now off to do the dishes, I don't feel much like doing them I might add but it's a chore that can't be left.

If I get a pic of my bread I will certainly let you see it!!! Have a blessed Sunday.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Just a snippet

We've had some lovely weather over the last week which was especially nice as it was half term so no work yeah. We went back today and ofcourse it rained. Apparently it was very stormy on Sunday and I did hear thunder around 5 a.m. but thankfully I nodded back to sleep which is just as well as I'm not too fussed on the thunder and lightening bit.
I'm hoping to do a bit more blogging even if it's only little snippets now and again but maybe if I invest in a better computer it wont take so long to start up. I've lost count of the number of years I've had this one but it does the job for now although I keep thinking one of these days it will just have so much information stored on it that it will crash - and then what would I do. Hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Happy 30th Birthday to my lovely son Marc. (Haven't any other good pics of him on my pc). He didn't enjoy turning 30 but had a lovely day. Ben and Tom and written in a book for him and drawn pictures saying things like 'you look like Doctor Who' !! This was all 6 year old Ben's idea and he even got Tom and Livvy's fingerprints in charcoal colours. His wonderful wife Sam has got tickets for both of them to have a few days in New York, but not until November time - somewhere Marc has always wanted to go - so I've offered to look after the children.
Love you lots Marc enjoy being 30.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

One of these days...

One of these days I'll be able to get pics on here straight from my phone but just don't know how to do that yet. Still one day.
Well, we're off to legoland tomorrow. It's Tom's 3rd birthday and he wanted to go to legoland so that's what we're doing. I'm really looking forward to it and I know he and Ben are getting very excited although a little disappointed that we are not going next week as it's the Ben 10 week. I will hopefully have lots of pics to post.
Spoke to my mam the other night and she's doing OK. Bit tired which is to be expected for an 84 years old who has just been through major surgery but she's made of strong stuff. I'll be going up in a couple of weeks to see her which will be nice. Hope the weather if fine then we may get out somewhere.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Summer Time

Some summertime pics from 2009

Visited my mam for a few days and the weather was so nice we went to the beach.

Still a child at heart, I love icecream.

Me and mam on the sea front.

It was a beautiful day, really warm and almost tropical.

George, Brenda, Mam and Michael - I have a feeling the dolphin was a rubbish bin!

George took the next shot and it looks like we still had a thing for that dolphin!!!

I spent a lovely day at Telford with Sam and the children during the school holidays, they loved it.

Ben and Tom gazing out of one of the play areas.

Tom just loved climbing through this tube. We did lose him within the first 5 minutes. He'd gone into one play area with his mum who simply turned around, hadn't realised there were two ways into the play area and Tom had escaped. We found him going down a slide where the older children were - a heart stopping moment but undeterred he carried on enjoying himself as if nothing had happened.

Another heart stopping moment for me was when I saw Ben climbing this huge construction. He is the third one from the top. He did make it to the top but my heart was in my mouth as it just seemed so high for a 5 year old to climb and I hadn't realised he'd go right to the top. The other boys on it looked to be about 9 and older

No, not Christmas but they have a Winter Wonderland place there and the boys just loved climbing onto Santa's lap.

Tom just laughed the whole time.

In the deep, dark parts of dinosaur land some strange creatures were about. Mama dinosaur came looking for her children....

Ben, the young dinosaur was staying close but neither of them bargained for little Tom who pinched mama dinosaur's nose to stop her eating him up.
We did have a fabulous day. It was a shame Marc couldn't join us but he was working.
We spent a day at the park and fed the ducks and I just love this pic of Ben, Tom and Livvy on the park seat. It took a few attempts to get it as Tom kept putting his hand on top of Ben's head but eventually they just all sat there and I managed to quickly take this shot when they were looking at something else.

One of the things I hate most in this life is gardening. My garden often looks like a jungle and when it gets to the point where I can't see the children for the grass then it's time to do something. This day I had two little dustbin men to help and they did a wonderful job.

Still having birthday surprises

My birthday seemed to last a couple of weeks and I had the lovely surprise of my sister ringing me to say my mam wanted to come visit.

Mam is 84 so it was a long drive for her, it takes 3 hours.

Here's just a couple of pics taken when my sister Brenda, and brother in law George brought mam down the week after my birthday. We had a lovely few days together.

I've got more pics on my camera but haven't had chance to upload them yet.

These were taken by Minster Poole and the Cathedral in the background

Pics of my 60th

As promised, although a long time overdue, some pics of my 60th. This one was taken at work. Some of the girls had put a birthday banner up in my office with a 60th birthday balloon.

My son and daughter in law came over with more balloons and my most gorgeous grandaughter Olivia.

Now how gorgeous is she??

Flowers arrived throughout the day, the ones below were from my sister Denise in America. That yellow rose was just beautiful.

Back home and Marc and Sam arrived with Ben and Tom who were very proud to give me this gorgeous cake, they couldn't wait to eat it ... and it was yummy.

They were also very proud of the pics they painted for me, and I just loved them.

I had a fab day and there are too many pics to put up here but these were some of my favourites.
I'll post some of the pics of my mam and sisters visit.