We were out over South Weald with my sister Katie and we came across this wooden bridge overlooking the lake so of course we had to look for a troll and then have The Three Billy Goats Gruff re-enacted.
I'm amazed at how many different types of screws you can get, I'm also amazed at how many of the different types we have! What with putting the cot bed and soon to be the cradle together we've had to delve into our amass of screws.
This is Bumpy's room. On Friday my wonderful Mum came round to help finish off Bumpy's room, mainly to put the border up and to help with the curtain rail. The only things left are to get the mattress and put the tall boy in our room into Bumpy's room so they have somewhere for their clothes.
It's hard to think that soon there will be a little person sleeping in there. Well sleeping in there during the daytime, for night time we have a cradle in our room, the same cradle that my parents bought when I was a baby and Bumpy we have worked out will be something like the 16th baby to sleep in it which is nice to have that bit of family history. What is also nice is that the cotbed is Callum's old one, the curtain rail and curtain are the same one we had for Callum's nursery and we've still got the same bed linen. Obviously we'll buy Bumpy something of their own but I do like being able to hand down things.
Tribute Tuesday this week brings you my Nan, well one of them. This is my Nanny Williams.
Back in 2007 on her 84th birthday
There is a 50 year age gap between my Nan and I and 80 between her and Callum. She celebrated her 80th birthday (June) and I celebrated my 30th birthday (August) and between those months (July) Callum was born.
She was born in Southern Ireland and moved over here in World War II where she met my Grandad. They got married and settled down to live here in England. Even though she has lived here all those years she still has her Southern Ireland accent which when she goes back home gets even stronger.
She has several names and I'm still never sure which is her true name. lol I think it's Johanna but then she has Joan, Hanna, Joanna and so on and so on. I remember my Mum telling me that they had about 3 sets of records down her doctors for her under different names. Only my Nan. lol.
She is the oldest of her siblings and sadly the only one living... which she reminds us of all the time. A phonecall with my Nan will go something like this.
You: How are you Nan? Nan: Still breathing unfortunately...
I used to spend a good portion of my childhood at my grandparents and have many fond memories of those times. I remember summer evenings sitting in the garden at the Holly Bush pub and walking home in the dark from there. I remember on a Saturday after she'd been shopping my grandad and I sitting in the kitchen eating all the cheese she'd just bought with crackers and being told off by her, but in that loving caring way. When I was ill she'd make me hot lemonade. Lots of happy memories. I even remember all the church services we went to. Oh and she would always make you breakfast in bed, we used to argue over who would go and stay with her just so we could get breakfast in bed.
I can't remember how old I was exactly but I must have been a teenager. I'd not long gotten a brace for my teeth and we were going on a family holiday to our farm house in Ireland. As there wasn't enough room in the car to fit us all I got the pleasure of flying out there with my Nan. It was the first time I'd flown anywhere. One of the things I remember is being nervous about my new brace setting off the metal detector so because it was one of those removable ones I took it out, cleaned it and wrapped up in tissues/hankies and put it in her handbag. I also think that was the same year that when we went to fly back home the airline didn't have a seat booked for me on the plane, she kicked up a stink and we ended up spending most of the day at the airport while they found a plane with two spare seats as she refused to leave me on my own.
She managed to burn pizza. Daz always remembers this as it was one of the first times we'd been to visit her. The gas man had been to check something out and she'd forgotten that she had put a pizza on to cook. Daz could smell the pizza cooking... and then burning and didn't know what to do. My nan then remembered she had a pizza cooking for our lunch and proceeded to serve up burnt pizza. To his credit Daz ate it but he has never had pizza cooked by my Nan again.
She makes the best trifle, it's also the most lethal and before any kids taste it an adult has to. Why? Well she likes to put a drop of booze in, the only thing is that she then can't remember if she has or not put any in and so adds more....several times. Still it's pretty tasty.
She once told me that we have things to much easier these days with dating etc. Her words were "You get to test drive before committing, we never had that option, you're so lucky."
Even though my Grandad has been dead for many many years she has never re-married or as far as I know met anyone else. My sister Eleanor when she was really young used to try and find a man for my Nan and would point out some old man while they were out down the shops asking if he would do. lol. I think when you find that perfect someone nobody can ever replace them.
If you told her a secret she'd take it to the grave, you can trust her with anything.
She's a one in a million nan, brilliant, kind, caring and funny. Love you Nan... not that you'll probably ever see this. lol.
I love cloud spotting! Callum and I can spend forever in the summer lying in the grass cloud spotting or over the park on the swings doing this hobby. This photo was taken back at our old home (first floor flat in a town centre). We used to get beautiful sunrises there and great cloud viewing too. This shot to me it looks like (1) the cloud has a shadow and (2) a little bit like the shape of the UK.
This was taken back in September 2006 on my little Olympus mju camera. It sums up Callum, always ahead and always running everywhere. If you ever look all the way through my flickr photos you'll probably see a handful of more shots like this, different places, different ages but off into the distance a marching, running, exploring Callum will be there.
Hainault Forest Boxing Day 2009
Knebworth House May 2009
OK not so much of the running into the distance but even sitting down at a picnic he has to be ahead... maybe we smell. ;)
In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until you have a pale, fluffy mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk the three eggs together.
Slowly bit at a time add the beaten egg mixture to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and beat into said mixture.
Continue until the eggs are completely mixed in with the butter and sugar mixture.
Sieve half the flour into this mixture and with a metal spoon carefully fold in the flour to the cake mixture. Once done repeat with the rest of the flour.
One the ingredients are mixed and you have a smooth consistency that easily drops off the spoon you can then either put into a cake baking tin which has been greased and lined or you can add any additional ingredients you may like.
I added milk and white chocolate chips and lemon juice. Add to your liking.
Pour mixture in a greased and lined baking tin and cook in the oven on Gas Mark 4. Length of time depends on how much mixture you have, keep checking every ten minutes. You'll know when the cake is cook when it is golden in colour and springs back when the top is lightly touched. also if you stick a metal prong in it should come back clean. (although I use a kebab skewer and that works just as well lol).
Remove from cake tin and leave to cool on a wire wrack. Once cooled it's ready to decorate as you like or eat just as it is.
And look who wants some!! lol. He can't have any though as it has chocolate in it. hehehe
It's probably easier if I just link to the site I found this from rather than type out my own instructions.
As always the ever helpful Activity Village had plenty of ideas and Callum and I settled on making Chinese Lanterns. These were quite easy to make and didn't take too long. Plus they look fun lit up with a torch inside. I'm sure if you used the right type of paper you'd be able to put some little candles in.
Here is our finished results. I'll try to get a better photo tomorrow when (1) I don't have a six year old son acting like a lunatic; (2) I don't have an 18 month old puppy thinking that it's good to encourage the lunatic six year old boy; and (3) it's daylight.
This weeks Tribute Tuesday is for my brother Joe(seph), the only boy out of seven kids and the youngest of us all too. Don't you feel sorry for him? lol
He was always so solemn looking as a kid but as he has gotten older that humour of his and smile has come out more and more.
He is one of a twin, Frankie his twin sister used to be so much taller than him but not nowadays, I think Joe's even taller than our Dad!
When he was younger he had trouble saying Francesca's name and so came up with the nickname Decker which for years and years and still a bit to this day has stuck.
Last year while talking about ages with Callum he was asked how old he thought Joe (because he rarely refers to him as Uncle Joe!) was. Callum's answer was 93 years old. Asked why he thought this he replied that the taller you are the older you are and Joe is as tall as our house so must be really old. Kids logic. lol.
I couldn't tell you what position he played but Joe plays rugby. He played for Cranham for many years and now plays for his school and last year went to South Africa on a School Rugby Tour.
I think the most Joe has talked to me was after he came back from South Africa and showed me the million and one photos. lol.
I don't think any or many of us have ever met a girlfriend of his. Have you had any Joe? I can understand not introducing her to us lot at a familyoccasion as that must be daunting meeting your boyfriends' six older sisters. lol.
When Joe and Frankie were babies and just at that toddling stage they used to hide behind the curtains in my parents back room and play peek-a-boo.
He's really great when we have family get together at my parents and all the kids hassle him in the front room on the PS3. He's also great when I go round to see my Mum with Callum and Callum decides to go raid his bedroom for toys to play with.
He likes his Magners or just lager/cider.
What else can I say, he's my only brother, he's nearly 18 years old and you don't get much out of teenage boys. But he's a cool handsome dude and I bet he has loads of girlfriends. lol.
And look he's secure in his masculinity that he doesn't even mind having a photo taken of him playing with a dolly. ;) :P
Thanks for being that cool little brother dude Joe and sorry for a lame arse attempt of a Tribute Tuesday.
Eight weeks today this little bump is due. At times I wonder where the time has gone and other times I feel as though I'm ready now and pregnancy has gone on too long. I'm ready to meet this little person who sulks when I don't eat and loves to listen it seems to Bob Marley. What will they be like? What will they look like? Will they still like to listen to Bob Marley? What will Callum think of them and vice versa? All these questions.
150g chocolate (you can have a mixture of plain and milk or just one or you could even try with white chocolate)
2 tbsp golden syrup
Flavouring if you wish, something like orange would be nice, just a little drop though.
Break the chocolate into little pieces and place in a saucepan with the butter and golden syrup. Melt over a gentle heat. Once melted carefully stir in your cereal until fully coated. When fully coated spoon into paper cases or you could just line some baking paper and put little scoops on there. Chill until set in the fridge (could take a few hours). Eat and enjoy!
I'd really like to apologise for all those kind enough to have visited and left comments for not having replied sooner but more importantly not having been round to visit your blogs. The last week I've been fighting a rotten stomach bug which under normal circumstances isn't nice let alone when you're seven months pregnant, plus having to starve yourself for 24 hours when you have a bump who sulks when it doesn't get food = not very comfortable. lol. Fingers crossed though I'm feeling better now and slowly building up my energy and I'm slowly making my way around your blogs. Thank you.
I had to bribe Dash to come in from the garden with treats, can't belive he actually sat still long enough for me to get a shot. Only took a few minutes to get him in from the snow.
What better way to have a Winter Wonderland Wednesday than to waking up to a blanket of snow. Sadly Callum had to go to school (but not tomorrow!!!) so it was up to Dash to make the most of the snow. Seriously I've never known a dog to love snow as much as Dash.
Although not a brilliant photo it captures that crazy dog of mine perfectly, he'll run up and down this path for ages and use our backdoor as a sort of spring board to turn himself round to go run back down. Crazy indeed.
Blimey these Tuesdays roll around quickly. This weeks Tribute Tuesday is to my sister Francesca (aka Frankie) and the reason I've picked her over her twin brother is that she was born first so it's the whole age thing. lol.
Frankie is the youngest of my sisters and even though she acts like a big kid she's also always had a grown up, older than her years sense to her. I remember she must have been about three or four years old and I was a naughty smoker at the time. One day she looked at me all serious and said "Smoking is bad for you.", that was all she said, totally out of nowhere. lol. Eventually years and years and years later I did give up but I always remember her saying that to me.
The first time I took Daz round to meet my family it was bonfires night. The tradition in my parents house was to always make a guy out of everyone's old clothes but for some reason this year the family decided to make it out of all my old clothes and make it look like me. I think they may have even put my name on it. Frankie who was three years old at the time actually thought they were going to put me on the bonfire and got really upset and cried.
Callum has a lot of Aunts (six to be exact and five of those from just my family!) and he loves them all to bits but if you asked him at the moment who his favourite Auntie is he'd say Frankie. Funny enough though last summer he had trouble getting to grips with Frankie actually being my sister. He understood all the others were my sisters but not Frankie. So Frankie and I asked him what Frankie was, his reply was "A Teenager?".
When she was younger we all pretty much called her Decker. Why? Well Joe our brother always had trouble saying Francesca and this was how it came out.
Frankie and her boyfriend James love to come up with weird food concoctions. Seriously if you have any ideas you would like to try out but don't want to taste give them a shout I reckon they'd be up for it.
She's a big kid! Look below for evidence!
She is totally in love with our crazy dog Dash, she doesn't come round to see us she comes round to see Dash.
I'm sure I could think of more to say but as I'm finding with these tributes it isn't until a few weeks later that more thoughts crop up in my head, I think I'll have to do an Addition to put all those extra thoughts in.
Needless to say Frankie is one heck of a cool teenager and great to hang out with. Last summer she offered to help me out with my photography by being my model and she was a perfect model to have. Like all my sisters she is beautiful on both the inside and out. Thanks for being a cool sis Frankie and not being embarrassed to talk to you over the hill Big sis.
This was my Chritmas present from Daz. How cool?!? I know it isn't the best of photos and that I should really do an Art Project post but I'm still feeling under the weather so it's just a quickie post today. I'm hoping to feel better soon so I can get on with things and also with visiting all those wonderful blogs I like to read.
Back in 2007 my parents went on their yearly summer holiday to the farm house that's been in our family for generations in Southern Ireland. Little did they know that on their return they'd have a new family member with them. That little family member was Poppy a cute adorable cross breed Border Collie/Springer Spaniel. She'd been one of a litter of three and the farmer who owned her Mum didn't need anymore mouths to feed. My parents were badgered by my sisters Els and Frankie, my brother Joe and even Els' boyfriend Stu... and that's how Poppy became a new family member.
Now flash forward a year (2008) and my parents are getting ready to embark on the Summer family holiday. I was talking to my Mum on the phone and we were joking about stuff. It was coming up to my birthday so I said to her "Bring me a puppy back as a present Mum.". Yeah I totally learned that year not to have a joke with my Mum. lol
Dash the first day I got him. How cute?!?
Even though we've had many a sleepless night with Dash keeping us up barking, we've had to completely re-do our garden, have spent a fortune on flea treatment and worming tablets, gotten bruises on my hands from walking him, had the paint and wood chewed away on our kitchen and back door to name a few things (Yeah Marley the worst dog in the world is a saint compared to Dash!!) that little bundle that fitted into a flower pot when given to me as a birthday present has grown not just in size but in the place he has in our hearts. Daz spoils him rotten (he even sings to the dog!!!), Callum has adventures with Dash his Trusty Steed and I... well I have company during the day. Now we have a new family member due in just a few months and I'm intrigued to see how Dash handles having a baby in the house, I'm thinking the crying will drive him mad and the dirty nappies will be his favourite thing.
Callum and Dash playing with toy cars, I can't believe how small Dash was once.
Awwww, having a little snooze together. Of course now the two of them run around like crazy and don't snooze together.
Dash and I Summer 2008
One of my all time favourite photos of Callum and Dash, the dog loves the snow and snowball fights!
Yes the dog was daft enough to jump up on our windowsill and not be able to get himself down.
I was met one morning with Callum yelling for me to come help Dash. "Mummy Dash has got stuck and can't get down. He needs your help." I didn't expect this scene to greet me. Every day we have to check that our garden chairs are folded up or leaning against a wall. Why? Dash loves nothing more to sit on the chairs or if he can get to it the patio table and survey the land around him, typical sheep dog! lol. Oh he also doesn't realise that when Callum watches 101 Dalmatians the dogs are on the T.V. ... Dash is convinced that the garden has been invaded by a million and one dogs and he needs to go and play with them, which when Callum watches 101 Dalmatians two to three times in a row does become a little tiring.
Why did we give Dash the name we did? Well Daz and I can't agree on this. I know that my reasoning was because he had this dash of white on top of his head (which you can see in some of the photos), sadly that white has slowly disappeared and now everyone thinks we called him Dash because he ... well... he dashes everyone. Anyway Dash seems a suitable name for him and in a way he is a joy in our lives... just not at 3am when barking at something invisible.
Anyway I'll leave you with (hopefully) a litle slideshow of some of my flickr photos of Dash.
Mum to two wonderful boys and wife to a loving hubby. All of them who put up with my craziness and my big love of photography. I have several blogs for different things and each is self explanatory when you visit them. I hope you enjoy my ramblings. Thank you Sarah. x