Sat 15th - spent the day sorting out the garage. WOW - that was a mammoth job, but well worth it and as we now have use of 'The Zone' (minus any light or power yet) and it's loft space (which is room-sized and fully boarded) that made it much easier. All the moving boxes were sorted and those we can we will store in the loft, together with all our cumulative 'memorabilia' and 'JIC' stuff. BOY! Do I have a LOT of memorabilia!! - letters, souvenirs, stuff I made as a kid... but I don't like getting rid of it, it just feels like it's part of who I am and one day my kids might find out some interesting things about me from some it! Also, I do like to look at it all, albeit only when we move. The memories flood in then and each time I find something I haven't seen in a long time and it makes me smile to remember. SO I don't get rid of any of it - it goes from house to house with us - a whole trunk full!! My kids can just burn the trunk when I'm gone if they like :( . The Ivar shelves were assembled in the garage and stuff sorted onto them. The camping stuff was sorted into one corner on top of our 1970's sideboard full of TGI shoes (TGI = 'to grow into' / JIC = 'just in case' (of another baby) ). At the back of the garage remain a mountain of plastic boxes FULL of kids clothes that I have the onerous task of sorting through and making sense of. I really struggle parting with them (JIC), but the amount we have is ridiculous and I know that - so I need to find my generous spirit and get rid of a least half of what is there!
So garage sensible and all-but sorted - makes me smile :D
'The ZOne' has also gained some new carpet (2nd hand-Freecycle) and looks MUCH better). A lick of blue paint and it'll look great in there. All it needs is some power now and we can keep it warmer and escort the Wii to it's new destination - leaving the children NO reason to make a mess playing in my lounge :D
The broken red suite has been carted off to the tip, thanks to the generous gift of a fantastic 4pc leather suite on Freecycle (it's amazing what folks give away - her husband developed an allergy to the leather and she didn't want the hassle of selling it!). A bit of a clean and condition and it's looking fit for our family for a good number of years yet :D When the kids are all grown my plan is to get it re-coloured Ox-blood and restored (would still be cheaper than replacing) - and it will feel good as new then - but that's a long way off just yet :D
Over the summer many people have left our church to follow Regents College down to Malvern (it's new home) and with them many of our musicians. This has left us bereft of drummers. We now have only one other than my J2, so he has become a regular fixture - and no-one has commented on having a 10 year old drummer - he really is VERY good - loud, but good! The other Sunday it was a bit of a Hampton Family Band affair - I was singing, J2 was drumming and Paul was playing keys and leading. Two other teenage brothers (also J&J) were our guitarists. Considering we have lost so many of our best musicians we made a reasonable sound :D
Sun-16th: We spent the afternoon with some good friends of ours (J&J and their Mum & Dad C&B )- having a BBQ at their house. It was a lovely afternoon. The sun shone, the wasps were out in force and the food & the company were very good! My boys spent much of the day playing on J&J's Wii and playing Guitar Hero on their borrowed X-box. I had considered buying guitar hero for our Wii, but now I am glad I didn't. They had the guitar and the drums, but it was boring compared to the real thing. The drumming was to easy for J2 and the guitar playing is simply not at all realistic. They got bored quite quickly and went back to Need For Speed.
Boo & Beefie were away in a caravan in The Lakes for the weekend with some other friends from church so Belle was a bit bored. Bleb and NJ managed to amuse themselves quite nicely - NJ throwing C's slate stones from the garden into the little stream that runs along the end (not good). It was good to spend the day with C&B. B has been seriously ill for a number of years. She was diagnosed with brain cancer a long while ago (about 10 years I think) and received treatment, but it was a 'splatter' growth and therefore not completely curable. She has been in remission since we have known them (about 7 years now), but not fully well - having petite-mal seizures and unable to drive and lately to work because of them. Then it was found that the cancer had begun growing again. She has had surgery, more radiation and been on Chemo' for some months, but all they have succeeded in doing is halting the growth (for now) - it has not reduced and the long and the short is no-one knows how long she will be well for, but they have decided that she will not have any further treatment now. B is a lovely lady, so kind. Her boys are grown now (one in final Uni year, one going in final college year), but all the same... It's hard to imagine our Church without her in it and I don't even really want to. We pray she will have a live a good few more years yet, and have a full and happy life while she is living it :D
Mon 17th - We were visited by some friends who moved to Al Ain (Abu Dhabi) about 6 months ago. They were home for 6 weeks, but this was the tail end of their visit. They won't be home for another year :( It was great to catch up and chat and fill each other in on our half a year, to have lunch together and for the children to play. The kids all went down to feed the horses (a regular thing to do with visitors) and a lovely day was had by all :D
Tues 18th - J1 had S round to play and the boys all decided that building a 'shelter' in the neighbouring field would be fun, so they offed down to the brook to gather sticks for the said shelter. They were gone about 3 hours and then spent the evening digging them in and covering them with ferns. I didn't hear much from them, but it so lovely to have my lads doing lad things and NOT 'sass'ing all the time :D The shelter is still standing (albeit after a redesign last weekend) but the fern are dead and it needs recovering. I am impressed though!
Sat 22nd - We spent the afternoon and evening over at Sam's (Beefie's best friend K's Mum). It is her birthday next weekend but she had her party early and she wanted to have a 'back to your youth' kind of party, so she organised a game of rounders on the school field behind her house and invited a tonne of people. Sadly for one reason (all legitimate) or another a fair few couldn't make it in the end, but the rounders was played none-the-less and the sun shone and everyone had a lovely time. I didn't play, but I did take photos! I hated rounders at school, and I still can't hit a ball or catch it, whenever I have played I still run people out (even though I am not that fast these days) and although I could have bowled I suppose, my right shoulder is still not too good, so I didn't want to risk making it worse. Just as well I was taking photos though - I was the only one who was :D
In between all the 'stuff' we've done life has ticked on as normal. There have been numerous sleep-overs both with friends here and going to friend's. There have been mini-breaks: I mentioned the girls in the caravan with their friends, but the boys are right now in The Lakes too, camping with Hydro-G (our older kids church youth group) since Sunday, returning today and doing lots of walking up hills in between. I believe they have had great weather, but J2 rang me about 9am this morning to say it was teaming down and they weren't sure if they were going to walk or not today before they come home, but they are not home yet so maybe they did in the end. Shame they had to take down the tents in the wet though :(
We have had family film nights (last night was one) where we play a film on the 'big screen' in the lounge (actually the wall and a projector) & have tea watching it - that is always fun.
Paul and I have managed a night out at the cinema too. We went to see 'Time Travellers Wife' - it was good and I cried too much, as I always do. It's humiliating when the lights go back on!!
There has been a little bit of crafting and a little bit of puzzling and a little bit of getting work finished before next term. A little (well quite a lot) or preparing on my part, but mostly of Tot-school stuff and a LOT of photograhy :D
Well - that's all I can think of and if you're still reading - well done!!