Monday, March 29, 2010

crafts galore

We had another very productive day yesterday...
After doing a bit of house work including washing the car and boat and feeding the ducks we put Benny up for his nap and Rebe and I spent the afternoon crafting.
We blew some eggs (I nearly did myself damage doing this!) and then Rebe painted them. I'll get around to putting ribbon through them sometime today I hope and we can hang them with our other egg decorations.

After the eggs we got out the felt scraps. I made another 'Bok' for a little friend of ours and Rebe made Andy this gnome.She did it all by herself, apart from one little bit of the hat. It's so nice to sit together and quietly create.
While I was out at my midwifes appointment a parcel arrived from Bubs in it was this just stunning dress for Rebe. The colours will match her kisses and cuddles cardigan beautifully. I just love it!Benny got his own little kisses and cuddles cardi, including sweet cat buttons. The photos do neither any justice! I'll get picture of them with the kids in them. In the pockets were more surprises; a lolly and a packet of seeds! There was also a substantial Easter Bunny package that's been hidden away until the weekend. We're so grateful to Bubs and love her 'too millions'.
As I said I had a midwives appointment today. It was lovely, my midwife is always so nice and I was with her for an hour just chatting mostly. Everything is going really well. I'm 30 weeks now. Head is down and baby is not too big (thank god, something I've been a bit paranoid about this time round). So here I am at 30 weeks...
Right off to make lunch, spaghetti soup is on the menu :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

a walk in the woods

After the usual drudgery of the weekly shop (god how I hate it), it was such a gorgeous afternoon the kids and I decided to pop over to the woods (that are just behind our house) for a few hours play. Rebe decided to be a spring detective and look for signs of spring. Here she is with her detective equipment; a magnifying glass, a nature notebook and a pencil.
She's sitting on her turtle rock (I posted about this before) jotting down her notes of the evidence of spring found.

This is definite evidence, so was the bird song so sweet all around us. As was the delicious smell of wild garlic and earth.

This is my favourite tree ever. We call it the gnome house, you can see all the little holes at the base. Gnomes definitely live here...

Rebe even saw one and here is the proof in her nature book...

Benny, he looks like a king on his throne surveying his kingdom.

Not quite so regal here: caught in the act eating a piece of moss.

They made a nest with twigs and moss and leaves.

It got fairly big, not sure what kind of bird will lay their eggs in it, maybe the roly poly bird?

A gorilla.

Two gorillas.


We've not had one for ages...

I love seeing these rainbows over our wee bay. It is just so beautiful here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

what's on our shelves (floor, sink, side of the bath, bed...)

Before I dive into today's post, I just want to show you Rebe's finished tank top. I wanted to make her one because they are so great for this time of year. Their little core's are kept warm and snug yet sleeves can be rolled up for outdoor water, mud and sand play. I knitted it from this pattern . I adapted it to fit Rebe so I knitted it with chunky wool and size 5 1/2 needles. I also added an extra 20 stitches to the pattern and a few extra rows...
It fits her perfectly and the colours are gorgeous on her.

Anyway,I thought I'd do a wee post about what we're reading at the moment. I spend a lot of time reading and the kids do too. It's a very important part of our day and we often begin with stories together and we always end it with a story... So here's what we're reading...


I have been doing a bit more reading about Steiner and his ideas about early childhood and parenting. I do really like some bits of this book and the ideas, such as about protecting the infants senses in the first few weeks. But there are other bits that I think are absolute twaddle. Still that's what reading's about; taking what is useful to you and leaving the rest.

The Memory Garden

This is my 'bath book'. There is nothing I love more in the world than getting into a deep, hot bath with a good book and lazing for an hour. It's an easy read and very enjoyable.



At the moment this is one of Benny's number one favourites. He shouts 'Liddelar' (do it with a sort of japanese accent and you'll be spot on how he says it) when he sees it and will happily read it over and over again. The fisherman in him coming out I suppose!


This is his other favourite (and mine). It was bought for Rebe by Bubs when she was little and she loved it too. If you've never read it I would recommend it. It's beautifully illustrated all the way through with incredible attention to detail. It's set in the UK during the blitz but is completely timeless and there is great rhythm and repetition throughout. All the ingredients for a great read. He takes this into bed every night and reads it to Lambie (more often than not upside down).



I don't know what to say about this... It's just too good for words. I have been waiting since getting pregnant with Rebe in 2004 for her to be old enough to read it to her... in fact I would say I've had children purely to read them this book. It was THE family book for me growing up and I think Rebe is already enjoying it just as much.

No Matter What

This was a present from a dear, dear friend for Benny about a year ago and Rebe came across it again a couple of days ago and we have re-read it again and again. The illustrations are so cute and the idea is really lovely. Basically it's about loving people 'no matter what', and unconditional love is certainly very important even if you are a bear, or a crocodile or a bug!

Of course there are loads more but these are the books of the moment...

What are you reading right now?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

snigger snigger (and making pasties)

We had a lovely staying at home day today. It was a gorgeous, warm spring day so we spent most of it outside.
After cleaning the bathrooms, the kids are actually a good help at this, we had our mid morning snack outside... After lots of play and washing and water play inside and out and face paints and drawing, inside and out, we made pasties for lunch. I had to defrost my 4 inch x 4 inch freezer a few days ago and so I had a few things I needed to use including a portion of beef stew and some puff pastry. So pasties it was... here's how we did it.
Gather together all your ingredients and helpers. Roll out your pastry on trays...

put a few slices of thinly sliced potato on one side of the pastry,

spoon on some softened onions...

spoon on you stew...

We added a couple of spoons of baked beans to this and some thick beef gravy...
Brush a little egg around the sides of your pastie then as carefully as possible fold over and squidge edges to try and make them stick together as much as possible. Brush more egg on top and put in oven (about 180 for about 20 mins or until done).
I was very surprised how well they came out...

The front one was Benny's but still was edible...
We ate them outside and they were delicious!

Poor old Tasha (our Maine Coon) is so neglected of late that she has got massive clumps of matted hair. Andy and I are trying to cut out as much as we can. This afternoon Rebe drew this great picture of Andy cutting the clumps out....

We think it looks like he's holding a massive *snigger snigger snort*.
To my utter delight she draws these accidentally hilarious pictures quite often... here's another one of me cooking, what looks like *snigger, snigger snort*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our First Family Fishing Trip of 2010

Yesterday was so gorgeous Andy suggested we all go fishing together in the afternoon. Waiting to go (how brilliant would it have been to get a picture of Rebe fishing in a cat suit...sadly it would've been wrecked so she just had normal clothes)

Waiting for daddy to get everything ready we made sandcastles...
played a hammering game with a stick and some stones...

made sand angels.

Rebe and Andy casting her little rod.
Andy had given both of the kids an old, small rod to use each. Rebe's had bait and hooks, but Benny's only had a reel with no line so he could pretend...

Which is lucky because he was determined to catch these two swans... I think they had a lucky escape!

waiting for a bite

time for a hot cross bun to revive us.

Finally a fish (well, technically, it was a stone) but Benny was delighted with his catch.
It was great fun and we were all starving and tired when we got home. We'll definitely be doing it again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ostara: Spring Equinox

Today was Ostara, or spring equinox when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal. It heralds the true arrival of Spring, and this year we decided to mark it.
A few days ago the children and I had felted some eggs, I made a little Bud Baby to go inside an egg for Rebe...
And a little chick for Benny. I left these on the breakfast table for them to find in the morning, hanging on our spring branches along side the other eggs we'd felted.

Benny was delighted with his chick and has called it 'Bok', as in the noise chickens make. It's filthy now as he's been playing with it, and feeding it all day.

Rebe's Bud Baby (she called Timmy) is in the background, and helped her to sing a lovely spring song this morning.

I came across the idea of 'wish eggs' on some website or another, it's a pagan idea and I liked it straight away.
First everyone writes down their wish. It's a wish just for yourself, something you hope will be brought to you this year...

Then you carefully crack your eggs, and keep the egg itself to bake something yummy.

Place your wish inside the egg.

And glue the egg back together.

Cover your egg with watered down glue and tissue paper

and leave them in the sun to dry.

We decorated ours with ribbons, but you could do anything, paint, glitter, different coloured paper, whatever tickles your fancy.

Then hang them from your spring branches, or even outside somewhere and hope your wish comes true.

We also did a bit of spring cleaning,

We decluttered the play room. We put half of their toys upstairs in the spare room. I hope it will make a difference. Benny is just emptying everything on the floor all the time, and they are just jumping from one thing to the next without tidying up so the playroom is like a bombsite most of the time and this in turn prevents them from playing properly. They enjoyed the space straight away and I'm sure they'll enjoy their toys more too, now they can really see what they have and when they get bored we can just have a jiggle around.

After all that I needed a sit down in the afternoon and while Benny had his nap Andy and Rebe set about using up the eggs.

They made these and they are absolutely delicious!

It was also a delight to listen to them doing it while sitting knitting in the living room. They're like a comedy duo the pair of them.

The last thing we made were these Hot Cross Buns, another pagan tradition, and so scrummy!
I made them mostly in the machine then just crossed them and bunged them in the oven.

So it was a busy spring day here (we also went to the park in Timoleague until Benny fell off the slide and Rebe fell off the swing) but I think we really welcomed in the spring! How do you welcome spring?