Thursday, December 25

On the 1st day of Christmas.........

......... my true love gave to me

A partridge in a pear tree.
Merry Christmas

** Kate **

Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve already, its come around so fast and we are nearly at the point of "if its not done now, forget it" which is the point at which I finally begin to relax.

Small-N-Grubby is much better and looking forward to his first performance playing the bells with the Minitones at the Christingle this afternoon.

Took a photo yesterday but never got a chance to blog. I'm enjoying the seasonal photo prompts as it gives a record of a family Christmas through objects you might not normally photograph. Yesterday was 'Cards'. We always put string across the curtain poles and hang them all up.
Today its the big man himself 'Father Christmas'. I painted this one a couple of years ago in very muted colours rather than Christmas brights so he goes with any colour scheme. He's been to a few sales with me but I'm quite pleased that he always comes home again.
The meat for tomorrow is cooking - chicken this year, a bit everyday but we like it. Then I shall cook Yorkshire puddings and everything else can be made hot tomorrow for the minimum amount of time in the kitchen. Although this year I am experimenting with 2 different homemade stuffings and my own Gluten Free gravy recipe. Wish me luck!!!

Almost forgot this cute photo from bath time, you can't be 'bah humbug' with one of these around.
** Kate **

Monday, December 22


A super speedy post as I have had Small-N-Grubby home sick today, 1st full day of the hols and he goes down with the flu, bless him.

Managed to be a shepherd in the church nativity with his sister on Sunday. No individual pics of her as she wouldn't stand still.

Here is my 'Tree' for HS:MS:HS, another from the tree festival, this time a Caribbean entry.
And lastly, as soon as I get time there will be details of this on my foodie blog.
** Kate **

Friday, December 19


My patience has worn thin and I have succumbed to Octocide. Or at least I thought I had. After beating the offending tentacle with the butt of a screwdriver it made an awful dying screaming and then all went quiet. Here it is dead but still smiling.
It's like something from a horror movie, sporadically it springs to life and chirps, bleats and squeaks all manor of strange tunes. I've considered removing a tentacle but there is something really eerie about the way it just continues to smile at you. It's currently silent (and long may it stay that way), still drying out from its trip around the washing machine.

Today's HS:MS:HS is 'Food', which is just what we went out to buy yesterday. With little success. M&S had more staff than customers but the shelves were still fairly bare. Hopefully Sainsburys will be well stocked for a dawn raid tomorrow morning.
Did unexpectedly manage to find these gluten free treats though.
** Kate **

Thursday, December 18


HS:MS:HS 'Glow'. I love these artificial candles, they are so useful. Particularly as we had a power cut last night and we were unprepared. Most torches had no batteries (the kids are always playing with them) and we don't really have candles for safety reasons with 3 children and a dog about the place.
Missed most of Desperate Housewives, hardly a tragedy and I did watch a bit on the +1 channel when the power came back. What was eerie was the number of sirens we could hear outside just after the power went off. Maybe we don't hear them normally or maybe lots of people were in a very vulnerable position when the lpower went off!!

This morning I have put a load of toys through the washing machine, washable or not - it was either that or chuck them out. I am now being driven mad by an Octopull whose music chip has shorted out and just won't stop, aaaarrrggh. Every time it stops for a moment you sigh with relief and then it starts up again. How long do the batteries in one of these things last, it must be years old??

** Kate **

Wednesday, December 17


Today's HS:MS:HS is 'Tinsel'. This is mine still waiting to be put up.
Off to deliver some cards and presents this morning, then I need to try and get a photo for a Christmas project I have planned.

** Kate **

Tuesday, December 16

Golden Disco Balls

Things I've been up to for the last few days, with a catch up of HS:MS:HS photos along the way.

Friday was Small-N-Grubby's school nativity. The photo prompt for the day was 'Star' which by coincidence was exactly what he was.
I got this shot at the end as I could see exactly diddly-squat throughout the whole performance. The new head at the school opened the doors as the children arrived at school even though the play didn't start until 9.30. This was a sensible yet previously unheard of move which we did not pre-empt. Arriving at 9.15 there were only seats in the middle left with just the odd glimpse of a child over and around the parents sat in front.

Saturday was the church Christmas party day. The Supreme Commander attended his 1st one and had his 1st glimpse of Santa. As you can see he didn't think much of the whole thing as he posed for a rather sad winter SPS.
After scraping jelly and ice cream off the floor the older children were let in for a disco. Today's photo prompt is 'Gold', so here is a photo of my golden disco ball necklace which I made to wear to the party.
I've also finished this set for a Christmas pressie (which I can show as the recipient is not on the net). Bit of a blurred picture but I don't realise until after I'd wrapped it.
Today I'm finishing off more presents as Himself allows me. At the moment he is on my lap wrestling me for the keyboard, with the dog contentedly at my feet (but only cos the kitchen door is shut and she can't get to the sofa!)

** Kate **
I'm sure I could write far more interesting stuff if only she'd let me get a proper go at the keys ........ SC

Thursday, December 11

Ribbons and Bows

Today's HS:MS:HS prompt is 'Bows'.
Still kidding myself that I am well ahead with all my Christmas preparations. Started writing my Christmas cards last night. Using up my stock of cards so I don't have to make any. So why did I buy all those new Christmas papers?!?!

** Kate **

Wednesday, December 10


All things glittery for the Christmas theme at HS:MS:HS. This is a bauble that Small-N-Grubby has been decorating.
Kind of got my way with the Christmas tree, the kids were solely responsible for the decorations and then I put the lights on.
Thing is it looks kind of pitiful now in its little space in the corner which is usually filled with our big tree. Have lit up Mickey as well to add to the decs.
Think I might tinsel up the rest of the room too and then if I can't live with it the big tree will have to come out!!
** Kate **

Tuesday, December 9


Its definitely winter but I haven't been out getting wintry shots yet, I'm not used to the cold! So for HS:MS:HS today a wintry night sky that I photographed a few weeks back.
Feeling quite virtuous as I have been wrapping my Christmas presents to get them done before school finishes and avoid the midnight wrapping when you finally have excited children sleeping.

Still have loads of bits to make though and a little bit of shopping to finish. ** Planned for Friday so watch out for blizzards, hurricanes and floods **.

Also hunted out all the decorations but hardly any are put up yet. I'm having a battle with the children for a smaller tree this year as we have an extra little body in the house who seems to have acquired a lot of stuff. I want them to have room to spread their new toys out and have a fun Christmas morning, they can't see past the idea of the big tree with a train running around the bottom.

We'll see who wins??

On a sad note I hear that Oliver Postgate has died. Children's television will probably not see the like again. Bagpuss, Nogin the Nog, Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Pogles Wood to name but a few of his marvellous creations. In this house at least a new generation will be brought up knowing his work. Even the Supreme Commander has a 'pish-ti-cuff' noise made at him to get his mouth open and shovel some tea in.
** Kate **

Monday, December 8

There's teeth!

I know the Supreme Commander hasn't been sleeping well for a couple of weeks and now we know why. We had our suspicions but there is definitely a sharp, pointy tooth poking through his bottom gum. Breast feeding and teeth at 22 weeks is not a good combination!

The family have spent the weekend following the Dinky Diva around with her handbell group. On Saturday they played at a local church Christmas tree festival. As today's HS:MS:HS is 'Decoration' please take any or all of the following as my contribution.

Various individuals or groups enter a tree, I think there were about 100 this year. Some traditional, some modern, some with a message and some down right bizarre.

Small-n-Grubby had the class puppet to write in its diary about the weekend's activities, so here they are in front of a lavender tree.
Both Donkey and I had a favorite tree it was completely covered in glittered brussel sprouts.
I remember making decorations like this with my sisters but had forgotten how they were done.
I see Sizzix now does a die that will cut and score the circles for you, I meant to pick one up at Hobbycraft and forgot.

Now for the bizarre, this was the entry from the Methodist church where we go for Brownies etc.
Hhhmmmm, least said about that the better.

On Sunday the Belles took us to Waitrose to entertain the shoppers. We had quite a lovely day with carol singing, lunch in the restaurant and shopping as well as the bells. Here is the DD concentrating.
** Kate **

Thursday, December 4

Tradition and Lights

Didn't get around to blogging the photo I took for yesterday's prompt 'Tradition'. Someone is getting a hand knitted gift this Christmas!

Today's word is 'Lights'. The Supreme Commander slept for at least 6 hours last night after I stuffed him with food all day. However, it still wasn't in his bed, at least it's little steps forward.

The 4 December is our 10th anniversary for SMO and I. Mum is popping in to babysit whilst we nip out to late night shopping and have a couple of hours to ourselves. The last couple of days have been crisp and clear, if a bit chilly, but of course it hasn't stopped pouring with rain all day today. It better clear up later.

The shopping plan is M&S 20% off day and 10% off evening at the local bead store. I might be forced to check out the gluten free options in Thorntons as well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't?

** Kate **

Tuesday, December 2


Today's HS:MS:HS 'Angel'. Here is my 1st very quick attempt at an angel charm.
It's about thumb nail size hence the strange blown-up picture. I think I will be on the look out for some slightly more bell shaped flowers for the skirt, I've seen some with a teardrop bead on the bottom so I could try that too.

Here is one of my other little angels trying out the highchair for the 1st time. I say angel though his ability to sleep anywhere but his own bed makes me think there is definitely a bit of devil in there too.
Here's the cake standy thing I mentioned yesterday that i bought to put paints and inks in.
The Dinky Diva has asked for it to filled with cakes for Christmas, we'll have to see.

** Kate **

Monday, December 1

The key

SMO, as i think I have said before, does the shopping 1st thing Saturday morning as the supermarket is opening. So he set off early and walked in to town past a local council building site. The paths have been blocked so temporary wooden bridges have been built to bypass the works.

The bridge was iced over and he slipped and fell, unknown to him losing the house keys. He arrives at the shops and digs in his pocket for £1 for the trolley and discovers they are gone, so we know for certain they are somewhere between our house and the shops.

When he gets back with the shopping we all go out and search everywhere. The troll that lives under the little wooden bridge (aka site security guard) even came out and searched on his side of the fences in case they had been kicked underneath. Nothing.

I spend a cold Saturday afternoon at the out of town DIY store buying a new lock. Which includes a phone argument about the size because I ask SMO to check the measurements and he says its about 5cm. The locks are in very precise 45mm and 57mm sizing so against his nature he was forced to make a firm decision!

It happens to be 10% off DIY day and as its not too busy I have a look around and find one of those nice metal cake stands for storing craft supplies in (will photograph when I get time).

Decide the lock is the right size but that the door will need a bit of adjusting and arrange for help with it on Sunday (thank you Charles).
Call mum that evening to update her on my day and she says she saw some keys on a wall on the way into town. Off goes SMO with a little lantern to investigate where he manages to fall over again and find nothing. I'm surprised he didn't manage to get himself arrested. He went out again as soon as it was light but they were definitely gone.

We have a nice new lock now and surely that means that the old keys will turn up anytime now. I've bought SMO one of those clip chains to attach his keys to his trousers. He says he has never lost them before but he only counts losing them if you never actually find them again, so apparently the day we had to collect them from the police station doesn't count!

I think it was my niece the other day who said "Why can't I live in a normal family" or words to that effect!!

HS:MS:HS - Advent - could this be the start of some seasonal photo prompts?

** Kate **

Sunday, November 30

One of those days

You know how people say 'it's going to be one of those days', well what I want to know is why my life is made up of a continuous succession of 'those days'? More details tomorrow when I have more time.

For today, something I am proud of, the content of the picture rather than the quality of the photograph!
We get lots of these smiles now he is that bit bigger and when he is like this you can't stay grumpy for long.

** Kate **

Wednesday, November 26


Today's HS:MS:HS is 'American'. I've been to the supermarket today and meant to pick up some New York bagels or Ben and Jerry's but I forgot so I will have to turn to Small-N-Grubby again this time in his baseball cap.
How is it I can't set foot in the shops without spending a fortune. I'd like to claim that its the prices that have gone up but I think I am just a shopaholic.

** Kate **

Tuesday, November 25


Today's HS:MS:HS word is 'Birthday'. Here's Small-N-Grubby celebrating his 4th birthday on the morning we are due to come home from holiday in 2007. The only candle we could find was from the gift shop of a local castle, cost a bit but a young man only turns 4 once!

It reminds me that all the ingredients, icing and toppings for my birthday cake are still sat in the cupboard from July!

Happy Birthday Ellie, who becomes a teenager today.
And also Happy Birthday to SuzyB, who doesn't quite qualify as a teenager any more!

** Kate **

Monday, November 24

Shaving Potato Waffles

I have discovered I have a previously unknown talent, the ability to provide a potato waffle with a really close shave. There was only one left in the box and I burnt it down one side. The Dinky Diva has to write a piece about someones achievement which she admires, but I don't think my potato grooming capabilities will impress the teacher. DD says she thinks she will write about Tom Daley instead.

HS:MS:HS has gone Scottish today so a wee bit o heather for you.
** Kate **

Sunday, November 23

S-N-G V Himself

I keep getting comments about how alike the boys are so I thought I would use this weekend's portraits for a comparison. It was also a B&W challenge so here goes.

This is Small-N-Grubby very much in his Ian Hislop phase!
This one is Himself looking angelic because he's asleep!
I do see the similarities but I think Himself will be much blonder eventually, both have same colour eyes though.

Bought myself some of these little babies and thought I would show them off for Sunday. Always wanted to get them but could never find them when the charity promotion was on.
For those that don't know, the hats are sent in by volunteers and placed on the smoothies with 50p from each sale going to Help The Aged. I just wish you could tell who had made your hats a bit like a craft swap.

Still haven't finished any Christmas presents but here is a bad photo of a wreath I made for the inside front door.
Based on an idea in Papercraft Essentials and using Cosmo Cricket papers.

Having a clear out this weekend as it's the last one we have relatively free before Christmas.

** Kate **

Thursday, November 20


It's all European over at HS:MS:HS this week. My children don't speak Spanish, they speak Dora!
This is Small-N-Grubby's umbrella, I searched everywhere for a boys umbrella and this was the least girly I could get.

All feeling much better, just have to convince the Supreme Commander to go back to sleeping in his cot at night. I think we will try to persuade him at the weekend when it doesn't matter if he wakes the others up.

He is absolutely fascinated by lights (that and curtains). I can't wait to show him all the Christmas lights and I think I will buy some extra ones in honour of his 1st Christmas, and quite frankly why not?

The Dinky Diva is playing with her handbell group at a Christmas tree festival next weekend so we will ring in December and get all Christmassy.

** Kate **

Tuesday, November 18


I think this is 'Fake' it came from a charity shop.
Took the Supreme Commander to the Doc today just to be on the safe side as he is still coughing and barking away. He has a viral cough but no chest infection and we have a follow up appointment on Friday if he's no better.

A visit planned to the Debenhams spectacular sale tomorrow so watch this space for what goes wrong next!!

Made a bit of a plan for my Christmas makes, basically I could do with completing something most days. Today number of items completed - none.

** Kate **

Monday, November 17


Actually today's word is 'Button' and I was going down the route of "Cute as a ..." but we have all been poorly with coughs and colds over the weekend so it is more of a poorly button.Its awful when the children are ill but I find it especially hard when they're babies as they can't tell you what's wrong and you can't explain to them why they are feeling so bad.

He was even more upset when I swanned off to a Rainbow's 21st birthday party on Saturday afternoon.
Trying to organise a hall full of 50 Rainbows has meant the loss of my voice yet again.

Sunday was examination day for dancing medals. Small-N-Grubby took his ballet baby Silver to the tune of Frosty the Snowman.
The Dink Diva was very excited to have completed her ballet medals and be dancing for a silver cup as a snowflake.
All feeling a little better today, S-N-G has gone back to school and the Supreme Commander and I have caught back up on some sleep and are looking less bleary eyed.

Fingers crossed for back to normal tomorrow.

** Kate **

Thursday, November 13

Down the Pub

Yes, today's word is 'Pub', cue artful shots of old English hostelries. Unfortunately I haven't been out of the house today as the Small-N-Grubby one is still home sick so I have found my most recent shots from a pub and chosen to share this one.
One of few that were publishable. I won't say what SMO was doing with hatstand in one of them but it was definitely not for family viewing.

Not sure if my poorly boy will be back at school tomorrow as he flagged a bit this afternoon and fell asleep on the sofa.

Haven't been able to do anything towards my Christmas projects other than gather together a few materials but if I keep chipping away at it I might have something to give people by the time the big day comes.

** Kate **

Wednesday, November 12


Small-N-Grubby has been home sick today with a nasty cough, but he did provide me with the pic for HS:MS:HS today 'Game'.
I think he looks suitably poorly.

Supreme Commander still not sleeping, so on the advice of the health visitor I have upped his food intake and given him a second meal today. He's asleep now but how long for is anyone's guess.

The Dinky Diva had a Tudor day at school. Here is her home-made costume (made by Grandma after a raid on the charity shops).
She's not too happy in the photo but perked up when she got to school and found her friends had remembered to get dressed up too. She also complained that her corset was hurting by the end of the day, so she has had a true experience of what historical ladies had to put up with!

That's about all as too bleary eyed to write any more tonight.

** Kate **