Thursday, 23 October 2014

A little bit of spice

Huffle had to work from home today as he had a dodgy tummy. Luckily, he ate the same thing as the boys yesterday so I knew I hadn't poisoned him. I took Small and Tuba to school this morning while Smallest went on the bus with his friends (today he had his fleece on the right way!).

I had a lovely slow breakfast, watched Our Girl and did a bit of washing and quick clean of all toilets (due to the poorlyness of Huffle - I did not want anyone else getting whatever it was).

I had a quick visit from a friend before running off to the forest to meet up with NoCustard and TeaLady. It was a walk of the English, Irish and Scottish (I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere). The forest was beautiful, even more beautiful than normal. The trees were a lovely golden yellow and leaves covered the paths and were falling on our heads like snow. Now before you read any further - I have taken A LOT OF PHOTOS! Well I was in the forest for 90 minutes!

We had a lovely walk that took us an hour and a half (well NoCustard is still supposed to be taking it easy after her fall).

By the time I got home it was lunchtime and my birthday present from Huffle had arrived (my very own IPad). We attempted to set it up, and then restored it and then set it up again. It is lovely and has a little inscription on the back that says "Mummy's IPad - Hands Off!!!"

After lunch I left Huffle 'under the stairs' and started dinner. Today I made Roasted Lentil Dahl, Butter Chicken with rice and an Apple and Strawberry Crumble. I put too much spice in the Dahl and Small struggled to eat it. It was too hot for me too but very tasty. The three boys liked the butter chicken and everyone loved the crumble of course.

The boys came home from school with photos from School Photo Day. They were awful. At least I have lots of lovely natural photos of them. We will not be buying any this year (in fact we haven't bought any school ones since we have been here and I always used to buy them in England).

What a pair of ragamuffins - Small looks all fat faced, like the photo is squashed up!

After dinner, the boys watched TV and Huffle and I did some cooker leg maintenance. Is involved him holding up one corner of the heavy heavy cooker and me lying on the floor turning the feet. We were there a long time as once again we couldn't quite make it do what we wanted. Eventually we worked it out and it is 'almost' perfect. One of the problems though is that our kitchen is on a slant which doesn't help.

Today I went into Smallest's bedroom and put everything from the floor (except his beloved Lego battle and his half done puzzle) into a big black bin liner. I threatened this last last night because his room is such a mess and I can't clean it because I can't see the floor. He actually asked me to do it this morning. He has two weeks to put everything away (there isn't that much really) before it goes in the bin. He is happy with this and thinks it is achievable.

I gave Small a challenge to open his curtains, make his bed and close his drawers every day for seven consecutive days in return for some monetary reward. He managed it and is now aiming for a fourteen day challenge. Smallest was given the same challenge but for his curtains and bed (he is only 7). He managed it too eventually but is now trying the fourteen days.

I have also started to give them hearts (for kindness) and skulls (for badness) on their charts. The aim is to get more hearts than skulls and get a reward of some sort. The reason for this was because Small was upset with me because I made him eat his fruit and yoghurt (an ongoing battle) and he left it on the table. I told him it would go off and make him ill but he stormed off anyway. Smallest asked me if he could put it in the fridge for him as he didn't want him to get ill. Even though he knew Small would never do that for him. That was a definite kindness.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Me, you and Tuba too

Huffle worked from home again and disappeared into the space under the stairs. This is not quite as small as it sounds but it keeps him out of my way, stops the kids bugging him and it's nice and quiet. The boys went off on the bus to school.

Today was sunny and all the leaves were golden. It was quite a beautiful spectacle.

I went to aerobics and laughed a lot whilst doing lots of exercises that I know will hurt me more tomorrow than it did today. I came home and then went off to do the grocery shopping.

I got back lunchtime ish and Huffle and I managed to squeeze in a lunch together before he went back to his work and I showered, changed and Skyped Moo. We talked for ages about this and that and then I went and picked up the kids from school. Small got on the bus and forgot it was Wednesday. Smallest wanted his friend to come home and ran around the playground finding his friend and his friends Grandma to organise it and then got Small off the bus and into the music room to pick up Tuba. Everyone back to our house where Small did his Tuba practice, homework and piano practice before playing football with Huffle, Smallest and friend. Smallest had a great time with his friend who is a year older than him but seems a nice boy, good manners and able to hold a conversation (which is rare).

Back home the boys watched a bit of TV before dinner was done and then we all ate. We all played Scrabble Scramble and Smallest and I did a puzzle before bed.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

There's an Alpaca in our barn!

And once again it rained for most of the day. I did go to work but there wasn't a lot done as it was too drizzly and cold. We moved a few plants and repotted one that was thirty-five years old and lived in an heirloom pot. We spent over an hour drinking coffee, eating chocolate carrot cake and chatting. Hopefully next week will be nicer and we can get in the garden and do some proper gardening. I got invited to a Christmas Party today but unfortunately it is on a Saturday so I declined (until nearer the time) as it is too difficult doing things at a weekend as I have no idea what the boys will have on. Plus weekend is family time.

I came home at lunchtime and Huffle, who was working from home, and I went for a walk the length of the village and back in order to pay our gas man bill (His name is not Bill, we had to pay for the job done)(we didn't know he lived that far away but it was a nice walk).

We had a quick lunch and while Huffle worked, I made a Roasted Butternut Soup with toasted butternut seeds and some white soft rolls. Although I forgot to put the yeast in and didn't realise until an hour and a half into the process! I made some more and then made some ginger muffins with vanilla icing.

The boys came home with stories of watching The Stomp in music today and being told off for clapping!! Five of Small's friends came round to film a play they were doing in Drama. They needed to use the barn - it was about some teenagers wanting to buy an Alpaca. After they finished they played hide and seek, football and other things that involved them running around the garden. I stayed out of the way! When two of the boys left they both said "Bye, thank you Mrs H". I was very impressed and told Small while one boy was left playing in the house with him. As he left he looked at me cheekily and said "Bye, thanks for letting me stay". Small also came and said "thanks for letting me have my friends round". Awwww lovely boys.

Huffle and Smallest went off for Huffle's foot assessment. He too needs orthotics (but we knew that) but what was interesting was that they said exactly the same thing as the Physio in England (so at least we know they are genuine). Him and Smallest have an appointment next week to pick up their orthotics and get them fitted in their shoes correctly. All in all that will have cost us $1650 (thank goodness for good health insurance).

Soup, bread, seeds were lovely and everyone ate them (which is unusual for Smallest, as up till now he only ate Tomato or Leek and Potato soup).

Huffle went for a warming soothing bath while the boys watched the Stomp video and I did a bit of jigsaw.


Monday, 20 October 2014

I Promise that I will..................

It was a rainy wet day all day. After the boys left for the day, I packaged up my sewing machine, pins, cottons, material etc and and headed off to Suffolks house for a day of sewing.

We happily sewed and chatted all morning long and then stopped for a lovely lunch of Roasted Parsnip soup with seedy bread. It was scrumptious. We followed it with a cup of tea and a couple of chocolates, then carried on with our sewing. We finished by 3 and sat and drank tea and chatted more until her middle child arrived home. I left and got home just in time for the bus to arrive.

Piano lessons were cancelled today but we all practised. The boys played on the IPad but were horrible to each other immediately afterwards so it is banned again for a couple of days, despite the fact that their grades and results from school have improved considerably.

The boys had their Beavers and Scouts Investiture this evening and it was scheduled to be an outside ceremony with campfire and marshmallow roasting but as it rained constantly all day, Huffle and I presumed it would be inside instead. Someone decided that the sky was clearing (It was not) and because they were Scouts it would be all okay. Well I'm glad I didn't stay! It rained heavily on the poor boys all night and they did Apple Bobbing! They came back soaked to the skin. I had to hair dryer their whole body to get them warm and dry.

Huffle and I played Table Tennis.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Eye eye pork pie!

A lovely lie-in followed by breakfast, a bit of colouring with Smallest and then we all helped Small make his Diversity Doll. We spent most of the morning working on it and he was very pleased with the outcome.

Old John (a monument in Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, a place we love and somewhere that Great Grandad Ic made Aunt Pear and Grandad walk up if they were ill!!) for a hat. Sheep for his hair. Pork Pie (famously invented in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire) and Conker for his eyes. A Cricket Ball (typical English sport and one loved by many members of the family) for his nose. A trumpet (played in the War by Grandad Ic) for a mouth. Union Flag tee shirt with the Leicester City Fox in a fox hunting jacket playing football. Canada mittens with the year we arrived. Cricketers, Morris Men, Smallest with his favourite English sporting mascots (Charlie fox, Filbert Fox and Pottermus), the Sydney Opera House (Australian cousins), cricketers and a football (Small's favourite sport). He is standing on a Alligator representing our relatives in Florida USA. He is holding a pub sign from the village he was born.

Once again we enjoyed doing this and it brought back many memories. Lovely.

Don't they make a lovely couple.

Smallest finished his homework while Small and Huffle watched Stoke play Swansea, before the kids went on the Wii. I went out into the garden and cut down some stuff and planted three new plants. Huffle came out after the game and helped me clear away and then we all had lunch.

We were going to go for a walk in the forest but it has turned quite cold and Huffle has pulled his Achilles and hurt his chest. Huffle Skyped Grandma and Grandad while I made savoury muffins. Banana Wholemeal Pumkin ones and Oaty Raisin Sunflower ones. Taste a bit like cardboard but Huffle will eat them and Small will if you put custard on them!

In the afternoon we practised piano, played Disney Monopoly, Pictureka, Pictionery and had dinner. Today we made burgers (Turkey for the boys and Bean for me, though mine were better and everyone else ate them). We had risotto with them which was lovely. Our oven beeped at us after we had finished cooking and we have no idea why. Everything was turned off. Strange!! It needn't start that again!

The boys watched TV before bed.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Silver Medallist

A very early start to our day where breakfast was quickly consumed and lunches made for the day. The boys got ready and packed the car with chairs (one of which had been half eaten by mice or chipmunks, leaving a nice hole and chewed insides).

We managed to get out of the house by 9am and drove to Oshawa (40 mins Away) where one football match was already underway, another had finished already and our team were busily warming up while the parents set up their chairs and hugged their coffee. Our first game was at 9:30am but they had no shirts as the coach who was bringing them didn't turn up until halfway through the game tut tut!

Smallest played football non-stop with all the other kids that weren't in the games plus trained and warmed up with the team too.

Their first game ended at 1-0 to the opposition (which happened during the last minute of the game and which Huffle missed because he was collecting Small's water from the car). It was very cold and starting to spit with rain when their second game was called. However, their opponents didn't turn up so our team was deemed the winners and sent off for a break until 1pm. We took this opportunity to go to the Scout Shop (about 20 mins drive away) and bought Small a Scout Shirt (we had to buy a Small Adult one to take into account Small growing and my washing shrinkage).

Lunch was eaten at Wally's World on the way back to the football tournament where we got warm and fed. Back at the football field the kids warmed up again and then they started their next game. Huffle shouted from the sideline and found it very difficult not to get involved. There were no linesmen and just the poor referee who had to hold the whole game together. This game they won 3-2 and then had to play in their final game to play for the Silver Medal. This one they won 3-2 and came away with the silver (though they didn't get the medal as the coach who was late said she would collect the medals and present them at the assembley on Monday in school).

We came home and Small went off to play with his friend 'O' while Smallest, Huffle and I helped create Smallest's 'Diversity Doll'. This is something everyone in school is doing to help show each students cultures and background.

Smallest chose an umbrella with rain on to represent the English weather. The yellow scruffly wool for his hair. Blueberries for eyes, tomato for nose and carrot for mouth to show how our whole family grows vegetables. A Stoke scarf for his chosen football team. A Union Flag on one arm and a Canadian flag on the other being born in England but spending nearly half his life (already) in Canada. There is a Yorkshire teapot and mug (his parents tea of choice), an English thatched cottage, Big Ben and a Leicester City Football badge representing where he was born. A cricket bat and a football for the sports he most likes. Wellies on his feet, with a boomerang for his Australian cousins, an English Stamp and sheep (our English village was full of sheep). He is standing on a snowboard that says "The Master of Snowboarding" because we all snowboard but he feels he is the best! It was a lot of fun making the doll (and yes I sat and knitted a scarf for it and Huffle ran up and down the stairs fetching and printing and finding). We finally glued it on to some thick cardboard which happened to be from the very last packing box we had when our container of furniture and possessions arrived in Canada (Huffle even made sure the British Association of Removers Logo fit on the back).

When Small came back we discussed his doll and came up with a plan. We will do this all together tomorrow. The point of it being that the kids get to learn about their cultures and family history. They will be displayed in school for all to see. I hope they get to discuss them too. I can imagine there will be a lot of different ones.

We had our tea, finished watching the Adamms Family II film and started another film before the boys went to bed. I am guessing they will sleep well tonight - they have used a lot of energy today.



Friday, 17 October 2014

An apple a day

Huffle worked from home and had an early conference call. The boys went to school and I went off to knitting. Only two of us there today as well as El. El managed to sort out all my projects and I got quite a lot done.

After lunch with Huffle, I prepared dinner, did a bit more knitting and watched Downton Abbey.

When the boys came home, Small ran down the road to the Beer Store for 'Scouts Apple Day' where he gave away apples for donations. One man paid $12 for one Apple and another donated money if the Scouts loaded his truck with beer!

I took Smallest to swimming and watched him for 45 minutes swim swim swimming. Huffle picked up Small and brought him to swimming and Smallest and I came home. I had set the oven to come on and cook Smallest's pizza but I obviously made a mistake because it hadn't come on. Smallest went off to the Beer Store and did his bit for Apple Day while I cooked the pizza.

Huffle brought both boys back and we had dinner in front of The Adamms Family II. Tomorrow is a big day - Small's football tournament which starts at 9:30 and is at least 30 minutes away. BOOOOO.