Saturday, 30 May 2009


A few days ago I promised Millie we could make some felted balls for the baby. Of course, I didn’t quite get round to it and she kept asking me. So, today I got the kit out and we sat down to make them. Beth and Robbie joined in (Ellie was out with daddy and Barney doing the shopping, Sophie was asleep on the sofa, the boys playing in the dining room) and off we went.
I followed the instructions on how to make them but when it came to felting them it all went a bit pear shaped. Ok, very pear shaped. It just didn’t work. As soon as they were put into the water as per the instructions they just fell apart and didn’t felt. Luckily I’d only put mine in to demonstrate how to do it so we abandoned wet felting them and needle felted instead. We also abandoned our original designs and make other things. Beth did attempt to wet felt her but gave up after a while as it didn’t quite work which is a shame.

I made a bumble bee, Robbie made Mario, Millie made a ladybird.

Millie really got bitten by the felting bug and made lots of things once the main session was over, and Ellie joined her and made several things too when she got back from Tesco.

I did come close to losing my temper a few times while we were crafting, but I managed not to - I have no patience at all so find it very hard to teach my children things - which I’m really pleased about.

We all enjoyed it so much that tomorrow we’re going to have another attempt at wet felting, this time something flat. One thing we’re going to make is a duck pond for Alfie for his birthday - he’s getting some Ostheimer ducks for his birthday and I thought a pond might be a really nice idea. I’ve seen a felted farmyard in a magazine and am wondering about having a go at making something like that for him for all the wooden animals we have, but that will probably have to be for Christmas.

While we were working away I was listening to the children chatting and Ellie and Millie were talking about how when they are mums they are going to make their children’s toys themselves which I thought was a lovely idea. I’m so glad that they have the same ideals as I have. And I hope they have the same love of crafts.

It was quite hard to let them use my wool. I had to really bite my tongue to stop myself from telling them not to use too much or not to waste it. But if they did use it all would it really matter? Surely it’s better for them to remember making lovely things from lovely materials than to remember that mummy had a massive stash of craft materials they weren’t allowed to touch and that never got used - can you imagine if they were clearing out the house after I have died and it’s all still there, unused, when they could have spent hours having fun with it as children?

So I am feeling like a really good mummy tonight! J

Oh, and not all the photos could be uploaded so I'll post some more tomorrow.

Friday, 29 May 2009

So much for me getting into the habit of posting every day. Mind you, it wasn’t my fault - I’ve had a nasty virus on my laptop and couldn’t use it for a few days. But I’m back. Not that I have much to say.

It’s been a quiet week here - spoke too soon, Ellie has just come to me with a really bad nosebleed. Right, crisis averted, where was I? Oh yes, it’s been a quiet week, we haven’t done very much at all. The girls rooms had a bit of a tidy. We didn’t quite get there with them, but they are much better. We’re considering a bit of a radical idea (which almost certainly wont happen knowing us) where all the girls sleep in one room, all the boys sleep in another, then we have a room for the older children’s games etc and a room for the younger ones toys. And the younger children have to stay out of the older ones room.

I really need to have a sort out of the children’s clothes this weekend if possible. I quite enjoy sorting their clothes, getting rid of the stuff that’s in too much of a state to be passed down to the next child, seeing what they have that still fits them. They have far too many clothes though so I’m not going to buy anything unless they actually need it, and if possible make things for them instead of buying. Luckily my children are happy to wear things I make (well, apart from the younger boys who refuse to wear the things I knit for them).

Before I forget I must tell you about my new favourite thing. I love nutella chocolate spread and have treated myself to a jar for those moments when only a spoonful or two of lovely nutty chocolatey-ness will do. Well, Craig made some scones and I decided to try them with nutella instead of jam, with a blob of cream on top. Really really delicious. I highly recommend you try it sometime.

And here’s another confession for you - I love the idea of baking but don’t particularly enjoy the process so Craig and my older children do the baking in our house instead as they do enjoy it (and they even clear up after themselves so it can’t be bad!!) So, no, I’m not one of those Domestic Goddesses who rustle up cakes etc every week.

Does anyone else have children that won’t play outside? I’ve been trying to get my lot outdoors today but within 10 minutes they’re back inside on the computers or Dss. Tomorrow if the weather is nice then I am banning all indoor pursuits until after dinner. They’ve got plenty to do outdoors so they can’t claim to be bored. Anyone got any ideas that I can pass on to them for things to do? Just something to start them off. Hey, who knows, I might even go out there with them! I could go and sit in my Cath Kidston tent and read or something.

Talking of tents - does anyone want an unused 12 person tent? It’s never been out of the bag it came in. I bought it last year to go to Faery Fest but didn’t go in the end as I was so ill with morning sickness and petrol prices were really really high. We’ll never use it, camping just isn’t our thing. Let me know if you’re interested.

Right, that’s it for tonight. Hope you have a good weekend and that the weather is lovely wherever you are.

Monday, 25 May 2009

First photo taken by Jack.

Today the weather wasn’t quite as warm as yesterday but I did get some washing out. I’m a bit lazy when it comes to drying washing. When the weather gets nice I’ll put the washing out for about a week but then the novelty wears off, and I often forget to bring it in and it spends a week out there before I finally get round to getting it off the line and back into the washing machine (if it’s been rained on in that time). The dryer has been on a few times as well as there just isn’t the room outside for all the washing I do.

I have something else to rehome in my declutter attempts - this scrap booking kit. I’d like £25 ono for it including postage (which is going to be a lot more than the QVC postage as it is so heavy). Contact me at (or my other email address if you have that) if you’d like it. I also have some sewing patterns as well if anyone is interested in those? Contact me as before. They are mainly baby and little girl patterns. And a request - does anyone have any issues of The Knitter magazine they don’t want anymore? I have 3 and 4 but would like the others.

Two of our chickens have died in the last 24 hours. No idea why, they seemed fine, one of them was about 4 years old so not too surprising but the other one was one of our newer ones, although still about 2 years ago. I’m not too bothered about it, I don’t get attached to animals or get sentimental about them, it’s life isn’t it?

Ellie wondered if we could have a pony if all the chickens died - she was most disappointed when I told her that the chicken pen, big as it is, just isn’t big enough for a pony. Not even a Shetland. Not even a sheep (mind you, I’d be happy to rehome one of the sheep from down the road, lol)

Several people whose blogs I read do something called “Book Sharing Monday”. Well, I can’t promise that I will participate every week but here’s my contribution this week. “Ten Tiny Tadpoles” by Debbie Tarbett. Jack and Alfie love this book. It won’t win any literary prizes, the concept it simple counting down from 10 to 1 as one by one the tadpoles are left behind only to be reunited at the end as frogs. I would love to show a photo of the lovely pop up ending, however ours was ripped out a long time ago but the boys still love reading the book over and over again. It’s only of those ones you find you can read to them while doing something else if necessary as it doesn’t take long to learn each one of the rhymes.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunny Sunday

Today was a lovely day, one of those “throw all the windows and doors open” days where it was nice to let the house air properly for the first time this year. I love having all the doors and windows open and the house definitely feels like it’s had a chance to breathe a little.

I’ve been really fed up with the state of the lounge recently so decided we would all spend 15 minutes tidying it. After 15 minutes it was almost done so we spent another 5 minutes finishing it off. As the weather was so nice the children spent the rest of the afternoon/early evening in the garden so it stayed tidy as well which was great! I even cleaned the windows so we can see out again (just need our window cleaner to finally come back and do the outsides).

I cleaned and tidied our bedroom as well which hasn’t quite been finished the last few attempts. I even cleared the clothes out of Barney’s cradle so he could in theory now sleep in it. Yeah right!! Last time I tried he screamed and then obviously didn’t trust me not to put him back in it because he wouldn’t settle to sleep properly for the rest of the night. I really ought to put it away as he isn’t going to use it. I should really get rid of it as Alfie and Jack didn’t sleep in it either but I have this stupid attachment to it and can’t bring myself to pass it on. I can’t even bring myself to put it away even though it takes up room in our bedroom and is a nuisance.

We had a barbecue for dinner which was lovely. It’s out third attempt this year - the other times we bought the food and it started raining as soon as we had paid for it! The children helped me make vegetable kebabs and enjoyed eating them - Alfie even ate two “babs”.

I’ve won a prize. I’m not sure exactly what it is but I’m really pleased with myself as I never win anything. So, to celebrate, and also to assist me in my declutter, I’d like to offer something to you my readers. I have a box full of rubber stamps that I never use so I’d like to pass some of them on. Email me with your details at and I’ll send some to the first two people to contact me.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Saturday with Sophie

Had a lovely day today. I wanted to go into town to see if the cheap magazine stall on the market had any issues of The Knitter magazine. Sophie wanted to come with me so we had an afternoon out together which was lovely.

On the way from the car Sophie spotted some toys in the window of a charity shop so I promised we could have a look on the way back again. She didn’t forget and in we went - she got a game and a little jewellery box and I found a nice yellow jug.

We got back to the car to find there was no way we were going to get home any time soon - I was blocked in by two police cars, a fire engine and an ambulance. Sadly somebody had been hit by a car - I really hope they are ok. We dropped the shopping off and went back into town. Now, I’m not a regular charity shop patron, I hardly ever go in them. But I always see other peoples purchases on their blogs and think how lucky they are to find nice things but I will admit to being a snob when it comes to second hand clothes, I just can’t bring myself to buy them. I don’t mind books etc though, so off we went on a trawl of the towns charity shops. Only one other had anything we wanted and Sophie came out with another game while I found two little ceramic pots with lids for 99p each. So now I’m wanting to go on a charity shop tour of Lincolnshire to see what else I can find.

And we had to go into Costa for a drink and cake because the baby needed feeding - what a shame!!

After we got home I did a bit of sewing. I made a couple of pairs of Pjs from the pile I cut out several weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do some more tomorrow.

And in other exciting news, one of my girls has been asked on her first date!! She’s been best friends with the boy for a few years now so it was almost inevitable it would happen sooner or later. They're going to go to the cinema and then to McDonalds apparently...

Oh, and no, the stall didn’t have the magazine.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Sheepish surprise

Sometimes I see things others don’t notice, sometimes I don’t notice things that are really obvious.

When we do the school run we can go two ways onto the main road. Neither gets us to school any quicker than the other, but one takes us down a narrow road that often has big lorries and tractors coming in the opposite direction and also has a blind bend so I’m not that keen on going that way. Of course, it’s Millie’s favourite way to go and if she remembers in time will ask if we can go that way instead of the usual way.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we came home the back way and much to my surprise one of the normally open fields had been fenced off and was full of these:

I couldn’t believe there was a field of one of my favourite things so close to our house. What was worse was the fact you can actually see them from our front door but I hadn’t noticed. Admittedly it is a fair way off so it’s not like they’re very obvious but if I actually opened my eyes I’d have seen them. I suppose you get so used to your surroundings you stop noticing them don’t you? So now that’s my favourite way home and we drive past the sheep every day to see how they’re doing. In the evenings all the lambs run round in a little group together which is really really sweet. There’s usually a mummy sheep telling them off for something as well.

My lack of observation doesn’t end there this week. Can you believe I have got to the age of 35 without realising that horse chestnut trees have blossom on them?? I had never noticed before, but now I’ve realised I’m seeing it everywhere. And in another example of synchronicity a blog I read this week mentioned it. I had hoped to get a photo of one of the many trees round here but haven’t yet.

Another thank you to everyone who has ever left a comment on my blog. I read all your blogs too and apologise if I haven’t ever left a comment. Often I can’t think of anything until later and then never quite get round to it. One day I will get round to updating my blog list at the side and add more of the blogs I read. And if you read without having left a comment, thank you to you for reading. J

Thursday, 21 May 2009


I love stories like this that Andy posted on his blog yesterday.

So it was nice to have my own story happen today - my health visitor runs a short course of baby classes about things like weaning, first aid and baby massage which I have been to after the babies I’ve had at this house were born. Today was the first one of the newest course and we all had to say our name, our baby’s name and where we live. As it happened the lady next to me lives in the same village and of course we both asked which road the other one lived on. Later we were chatting and it turned out we both have daughters in the same year at the same school and then she asked which house we lived in. I described where it is (all the houses on our road have names, not numbers) and asked “do you know which one I mean?” You know what’s coming don’t you? Not only did she know which one I live in, she used to live here when she was a little girl!!!! She couldn’t remember much about it but enough to give me a small insight into what it was like.

When she was here it was a tied cottage to the farm her father worked on and was quite different to how it is now. What is our front door is a newer addition and takes you through what was their back door. The first room was the kitchen (our infamous dumping ground) and the old front door has since been bricked up. The breakfast room and the kitchen must be around 30-35 years old as it wasn’t like that when she was here.

She’s going to ask her parents if they have any photos of the house when they were here and also ask more about what it was like. I would love to have her and her parents round to tell me how it was when they lived here.

Not only was that a lovely coincidence, it also tied in with me lying in bed last night wishing I knew more about the house and the people who have lived here before. A friend lent me a book about tracing the history of your home which I managed to look at last night but a lot of info needs you to go out to record offices etc and I’m not sure my house would have any historic records anyway being just a farm cottage.

The internet has made me so lazy!! If I can’t look it up online I can’t be bothered! I have found the census returns for the house from several of the census years which is interesting - what is also interesting is the way the same surnames keep occurring not only in the returns but also in real life. I think one of the families that lived here is related to one of the ladies that worked at Jack’s playschool for example.

I did ask the lady today if she knew anyone in the forces who might have dropped the badges but she doesn’t. Maybe her parents would? It would be really nice to reunite them with their rightful owner.

Also today I went to my knitting group and watched an alpaca being sheared. It was really interesting but typically I didn’t have my camera so can’t post photos. I will try and remember to take it next week though. It was Ronaldo who had his hair cut today (it reminded me a bit of when I shave the males in this house hair, only with less spitting, lol)

I really must start carrying my camera around with me as I keep seeing things I want to take photos of to share on my blog - or at least to make it a bit more interesting.

And finally, as if two links aren’t enough for you here’s another one. Look at the photo!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Bad news, good news

First of all, thank you for the comments on my last post (both on here and via email).

Laura - yep, you’re right, the jumper is Noro. Silk Garden shade 86 I think. The blanket under it is also Noro, this time Kureyon. I can’t remember which shades it is though (I used two different ones).

I do the same as Pippa, spend days cleaning my house before anyone comes round - in fact, until Pippa and her lovely children came to visit us recently I hadn’t had anyone round for over a year because I just couldn’t face the tidying up beforehand. I have a policy of having a clean tidy house for the first time someone comes round and after that you take me as you find me, lol

A couple of weeks ago I decided to move the furniture round in the living room - the rugs still haven’t been put back because I haven’t got round to finishing the hoovering for them to go back. I nearly did it today though, but got distracted by sorting my books out, lol

It’s great to know so many people are as good at housework as me!!! ;-)

I discovered something terrible yesterday. Regular readers will know about my Time Team obsession. Since I was bitten by the bug in February I have seen 102 of the 170 episodes made to date (not including the specials). As I’m no longer up for the 4.30am showing I tape them, and last night was setting the recorder for the next weeks worth only to discover that from Monday they are showing Scrapheap Challenge instead. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could they???? Who on earth wants to watch Scrapheap Challenge at that time of the morning??? Ok, some of you are probably thinking “who on earth wants to watch Time Team full stop????”

All I can say is thank goodness for channel 4 on demand. Although they don’t appear to have the earliest episodes on there. I don’t suppose anyone has them on DVD I could borrow do they???

Did you see this? Lovely story

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


One thing I have noticed people online say is how they wish their lives could be like the ones in the blogs they read. How come the bloggers seem to have these wonderfully idyllic lives with no stresses and no losing their temper with their children etc etc? Or how do these mums have the time to knit, sew, bake, garden or whatever while bringing up their family?

I think the answer is probably that all you get to read is the positive stuff and not the negative. I try not to write about the bad days, the losing my temper, the state of my house, getting frustrated with my children in my blog as I don’t expect my readers to want to read all that stuff. But I do hope that no one reads my blog and feels inadequate - how on earth does she knit, sew etc AND bring up 8 children?? Is she supermum?

I can tell you without any doubt I am NOT supermum. I find the time to do my knitting or whatever when the children are at school/asleep/being looked after by my husband. Craig works from home so he helps out an awful lot and often takes the littlest ones out to give me time to get on with something else. My house is a mess. Seriously. Not the kind of mess that some people apologise for (“oh my house is such a state, please ignore it”) when actually it’s spotless, but a general untidiness. It’s not spotlessly clean but it’s not bad either. I don’t think Kim and Aggie would feel it was bad enough for their show. I have to admit to thinking “I really must hoover the floor” a couple of weeks ago and a week later it still needed doing!

I’d just much rather do things I enjoy than spend my life cleaning. My house can be clean and tidy when the children have left home. I don’t get as much time to do my hobbies as it is.
I am feeling a bit negative this week though. Something that happened a while ago is really playing on my mind and causing me to have very negative feelings towards the people concerned and I'm not sure how to move on from it. And I just feel like withdrawing more from some of my online groups. One group I am definately not going back to, and another one I havent posted on for a while and don't really miss it. So I'm probably going to step back from that too. I won't be posting any "I'm leaving" posts - flouncing only makes you look like you are attention seeking and of course if you change your mind you then look stupid when you come back. At least if you just withdraw for a while you can go back and say you needed a little break.

Craftwise I have finished a jumper this week. It’s from a Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book and I’m quite pleased with it. I have started my next thing which is a cardigan for Barney.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

If you’ve read the earliest posts on this blog you’ll know it was set up to document us getting Millie diagnosed with Aspergers. Well, we saw the psychologist on Monday and she gave us a letter she has written to be sent on to the school and our GP stating that she doesn’t believe Millie does have Aspergers and discharged us. She thinks Millie is just immature but doesn’t know why and we need to work on her confidence with things such as her writing and the fact she doesn’t always know the correct words for things even though she knows what they are (I’m like that, often I know stuff in my head but I can’t actually put it into words and explain it to other people). She also said she could see a marked difference in Millie since we moved her to the smaller school.

So, we’re not completely happy with this but she’s the professional and the expert so we have to accept this. Right?

Today we had to go to school to pick Jack up early and the head asked Craig if she could have a quick word. She is also one of Millie’s class teachers (she has two, they job share) so knows her fairly well. She received the letter today and disagrees with it. She is convinced that Millie actually does have Aspergers and if the psychologist had seen Millie at school she would see a lot of evidence for this. Would it be ok if she referred her to the educational psychiatrist?

Apparently Millie has her little routines at school - for example at lunch time she opens her lunch box and sorts her lunch out before she can eat it, and then she makes animals out of the foil.

So, we’re back on the path to getting her diagnosed. If anyone with a child with Aspergers is reading this - did this happen to you as well??

Since I last posted I’ve been to Ikea and Yarn in Notts with a lovely friend of mine. We had a lovely day. Hope we can have another day out soon. I also went to Sheffield to meet up with some of the mums from my Babyworld ante-natal club which was nice as well. The photo isn’t very clear but there are 14 babies there. We had several passers by stop to look when the photo was taken and some even took photos themselves - I wonder what they thought we were all doing??? Barney is third from the left.

I’ve been doing a bit of knitting - I’m making a jumper for Barney which is very simple, but the hood was a bit of a nightmare. And working out how to do twisted rib took me about a week. It doesn’t sound simple does it?? But it is. Hardly any shaping and because it’s so small it’s quick.

Despite spending a weekend cutting out loads of clothes for the children I still haven’t started sewing them. I must try and do some this weekend as the children are getting a bit desperate for Pjs!!!

Yesterday I caught Alfie messing about with my pots of dye. The photo shows what happened when he started crying after I shrieked at him and rushed him into the kitchen to wash his hands - he rubbed his face and turned green, lol

Barney has started “talking” a lot now which is sooooo sweet. He’s such a happy chappy a lot of the time. And nights are getting better. He is still waking every couple of hours but only for about 10 minutes and he’ll go straight back down again. He’s also started sticking his tongue out all the time which is very sweet as well.

I actually started writing this about 2 days ago but life got in the way and I didn’t get back to it. Hey ho!

Anyway, other news is that Beth has started her exams. She had two last week and has three or four this week. It’s scary in some ways that my own daughter is old enough to be doing her exams and leave school. She’s going to 6th form in September and wants to be a games designer. I really hope she succeeds as I think she would be very good at it.

I’m very proud of how she is turning out. She’s very mature in some ways and so good with her younger siblings. I can’t imagine she is going to be in any hurry to have children of her own mind you - she has seen for herself just how hard it is looking after a baby. Today she has been helping Jack and Alfie make cakes (and eat them too!!!)

Yesterday we had a pleasant trip into town so Millie and Ellie could spend their birthday money. Ellie has been slowly spending hers since February but Millie spent all of hers in one shot (ok, admittedly she spent a little more than she actually had, don’t tell Craig!) We went into Waterstones to look at the books and she refused to leave until she had put all their Beast Quest books into the right order. Now you may laugh, but the fact they were out of order irritated me. Not quite enough to sort them out, I have that under control now, but it does make me wonder if I don’t notice a lot of Millie’s “funny ways” because I have them too and so to me they’re not unusual.

On the way home the radio signal went funny and it was making a horrible noise. Millie started having a fit over it because she couldn’t stand it - again, it was irritating me and I was having to try very hard not to shout at Craig to turn it off as well. Is it normal? Or are we just a bit odd???

This afternoon I was meant to be sewing but the dining room is in too much of a mess so I am going to post this and then try and get the sleeve of Barney’s jumper finished so I can start on his cardigan.

There was more I wanted to write but I can’t remember it right now. Hopefully I wont leave it as long till next time!!

PS. Hurray! I have finally worked out how to put photos where I want them in the blog and not just at the top!