Friday, 31 January 2014

Scrambled Monkies

Today was a PA Day so I got a little lie-in while Small watched Kung Fu Panda on the TV and Smallest watched The Croods on the IPad. Small made us scrambled egg for breakfast which was lovely. They spent the morning showering, playing together, putting away their clothes and playing on the computer. I finished off Smallest's monkey hat.


After lunch we went to the Cinema and watched The Nut Job. The cinema was full and we had to squeeze in. We took some treats to eat in there and Small's Flake wrapper was very noisy! The film was good but I nearly fell asleep, I was so cosy wrapped up in Smallest's coat. Whoops. The temperature today was only -2 and it snowed all morning. Great big flakes that I thought would come to something but didn't. We are supposed to get 4-6" tomorrow!

Once home, a quick skype with Moo and I made dinner and set the oven to come on while we were out. A quick change for the boys and a grab of their swimming stuff and we were off again.

Swimming lessons today consisted of Smallest still not being able to do his Whip Kick (I suggested to his teacher that she tie his legs together ha!) and Small doing very well with all of his strokes. Back home, our pizza was nearly ready, Huffle was home and had found us a film to watch. Tonight we watched Free Birds - phew, I'm all filmed out today!


On a sad note, I found out today that my Cousin died earlier in the week. He was younger than me and it was a shock. I wasn't in touch, but he is still family and we shared a childhood together that has fond memories. Mainly of us all being given 50p to go to the corner shop and buy penny sweets, playing crocodiles (he was always the crocodile) and damsels in distress (all boy cousins so I got to be the damsel) on the Grandparents stairs and hiding behind the sofa when Dr Who came on. :(

This is a photo we have hanging on our basement of me and my cousins. My hair looks lovely!!! (Huffle edit - and look at those knees)


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Well I do look different!

It was Assembly Day at school today and Huffle worked from home so he could attend. We were told it started at 9am which in reality meant 9:25am. However, that did mean that we got to sit on the front row, unfortunately for Smallest that meant he had to watch us while he sang "Sing, sing a song......." He was very very embarrassed, his little cheeks went red and he stood there looking like a fidgety rat stuck in a trap! They sang their song and then sat down while the rest of the school came in and sat down. There was a bit of very quick (why do the older girls in the school speak so quickly?) chatter and then a video presentation from Smallest's class. It was all about optimism. Smallest's video clip was the first. "Hello my name is Smallest and I read the book 'I love you forever'. I can relate to this book because........ And my optimistic part was........" Wish I could remember. He was obviously the best and I can't possibly be biased!!! At the end of everyones video, Smallest's part started over again. The school laughed. There were a few technical glitches in the whole assembly. Next came the awards and Smallest got up again, this time to recieve an award for "100% fluency in Reflex Math" which is the computer maths he does at home everyday. Such a clever boy.

We managed to get out before 10am despite the fact I had to pick up excess clothing, lunch bags and certificates from Smallest's peg. I dropped Huffle back at home and then went on to meet my Welsh friend at a new place I hadn't been to before. On the way the sun was out, the lake was sparkling in the distance and the snow looked so crisp and bright, it was gorgeous and really made me smile. I actually thought how lucky we were to be living in such a beautiful place. (Obviously been here too long!!!!!). It was a kind of brunch we had and I had a waffle and lots of yummy fresh fruit with maple syrup - it was AWESOME! We stayed for quite a while chattering on about life in Canada, she has been here about the same time as us and has two older children, one in University. I really like her and we swapped addresses and made another date to meet up. I drove on to a DIY shop to buy what I thought were called Plug Covers - the surrounding plate that goes around a plug socket. Only they are not called that here, they are called Switch Plates - except our plug sockets here do not have switches so how does that make sense?

Once back home Huffle fitted the PLUG COVERS and swapped some others around. We had orangey pine ones in the kitchen before to match the orangey pine cupboards. Now our cupboards are painted white and the walls cream (sorry, Soft Linen) the brushed steel ones look much cleaner and more up to date. We are getting there.

As Huffle was working away at the computer in the Living Room, I decided to get out of his way and spent a couple of blissful hours listening to my music sewing on Cubs Badges on Smalls uniform and blanket and trying to finish the Monkey hat Moo started. When the boys came home it took them a while to come up to me and Smallest came up last, hence the conversation at dinner*. Small had homework which included needing to know how many hours a week we used the washer, dryer, dishwasher, TV, DVD, Wii, cooker etc etc. Then he had to work out how much energy they all used - that's where I passed him back to Huffle - I do not do Maths! Small also did his Literacy homework which was to find five words he didn't know or found interesting, write their meaning and put them in a sentence. He also has to study for a test on Monday but we said he could do that over the weekend. Tomorrow is a PA day.

*Our dinner time conversation was talking about how Smallest always goes to Huffle first before me. It was a very lighthearted conversation and we talked about being adopted (neither of them are) and Smallest said "We are not adopted, we are yours", then he thought for a minute and said "but I do look different to you all" and genuinely looked like he was considering if he had been adopted or not. We told him we went to the orphanage and asked for the noisiest baby they had!!!!



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pips and seeds

Huffle and I, for the last two nights, have been watching The Jump (Channel 4 UK). Celebrities doing slalem and skeleton which looks absolutely frightening. I thought I would like to have a go but I think it's too fast for me. Anyway, it is very entertaining. Now I have found another one called Splash which looks like Tom Daly teaching celebrities how to dive. Could be interesting though Huffle says it has bad reviews!

Smallest came in to us in the early hours of the morning having had a nightmare. Something to do with Small telling him he hated him. After a snuggle and a reassurance in our bed he went back to his own and slept in until 7:45am.

Another cold one, -17 (feels like -27), and another day of no outside play for the kids at school. I had a telephone call from Smallest's teacher telling me he was going to receive an award in assembly tomorrow. Small did his Gifted Test today. He said it was fun and easy. Now this could mean he knew the answers or it could mean he had thought he knew. Oh well we will see soon enough. He also said he did not want to leave his school to go to another school - again we will address this once we know the results.

I had a busy day of exercise class where we have a new goal of trying to do the Plank Challenge - it is supposed to be a five minute challenge but there is no way I can do that! It was so cold that the heater had been on all night and all the time our workout was done too. I got told off for not wearing a coat. Stupid me, I looked out of the window and not at the temperature gauge, saw the sun and went out in just my exercise stuff (plus my snow boots obviously) - I will know better next week! They were discussing the weather and they said that this winter was a normalish one and that the two previously were very very mild. That's it, I said, I'm going home!

Smallest has always loved oranges. Until the age of three his breakfast was an orange everyday. He still loves them now but is more partial to a Satsuma or Tangerine. However, he likes them without pips and when I send him one in his packed lunch I have to start to peel it so he can finish it. When Moo was here she asked how I knew what was a good orange as she is funny about them, i.e. likes them pipless and sweet. I said it was easy here - as long as the skin is a little bit baggy I buy them and they seem to be fine. Even I eat them and I am very fussy. Last time I bought some Smallest wasn't happy because they were very pippy, therefore I have a fridge full of oranges that no-one wants to eat. So I made Chololate Orange Muffins using the juice and grated rind of the offending oranges. Ummmmmmmm.

I also made a Macaroni Cheese for the boys as they have been asking for one for ages, a Roasted Butternut Soup for Huffle and I and a Farmhouse Seed Bread. Then while it was all cooking I did a second coat of paint on the kitchen. It's all looking very Soft Lineny?!

Small's friend came to play and they spent their time on the Wii. After dinner Huffle and I played table tennis while the boys watched Wrestling (what a load of rubbish!!!). Smallest got sent to his room today for being too silly and getting all upset because a piece of orange muffin went down the wrong way. He stayed up there for a while playing and came down in floods of tears with a note for me which said "Sorry I don't apeshate you". (Appreciate) Bless him, he is the most thoughtful little boy ever and we told him that was a very grown up thing to do. I also told Huffle he could learn a thing or two from his youngest!! (Huffle edit, 'noise of a raspberry')



Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Which White?

Temperatures of -27 (windchill) and another day of not the letting the children out at recess or lunchtime. I decided to go shopping for food and paint today. When Moo was here we chose a colour for the kitchen walls called Antique White, which was creamy white with a hint of yellow not pink or grey. I took the paint chart with me even though I went to a different shop. Here we just have one aisle of paint which bamboozled me because there was base paint, tonal paint, medium range, I don't even know if I have the terms correct. I flagged down a lady who worked there and told her I wanted a kitchen paint in an off whiteish colour. She told me to choose the colour first and then we could find the paint. How many different colours can there be for off white? Millions. Three different companies all with their own hundreds of thousands of colour variants. Armed with my colour chart, I tried desperately to match the colour. No way! Impossible. I went from one company's paint to another to another. In the end I grabbed a load of whitey/creamy colours and went back to the desk. I eventually chose a colour called 'Soft Linen' which was in the warm and cosy range. The lady decided on the best paint when I told her which company I wanted. She got the paint and told the computer what colour, opened the lid and a squirt of black, red and yellow squirted into my lovely white. What came out was a lovely colour of what I can only describe as 'soft linen'. Yeah Right! It was just a creamy white. I couldn't wait to get home to try it but had to shop for food first.

At home I had missed a Skype from Aunty Miaow so I grabbed a banana and skyped her back. We had a lovely chat and she showed me her pregnant bump. So exciting, can't wait to see her and the new baby (it better come before or when we visit UK).

I managed to paint a good part of the kitchen and, in my opinion, it is already looking lighter, brighter and better. When the boys came home, Small said he liked the cloud effect and could we keep it (it is obviously patchy because it is the first coat). Smallest liked it and Huffle didn't even notice at first. He is happy that the kitchen is moving along finally though.

Some photos of my trip out this morning. I had to stop the car and wind the window down brrrrrrr.

Last night Small got his Astronomy badge - he is very happy.


Monday, 27 January 2014

The Singing Potato

We didn't realise how much snow we had overnight until the school bus was cancelled and I had to get the snow off my car. We think we had about a foot. I drove the boys to school and picked up Smallest's friend on the way, dropped them at the Kiss and Ride and came home.

Huffle worked from home today and we intermittently popped out to clear the drive. It was tough going, lots of clearing of snow, breaking of ice, removing of ice and sweeping of cleared paths. The temperature was around -12 today but it felt much colder, every time the wind blew it was an icy blast.

I stayed in today (apart from helping to clear the drive) and cleaned some windows and sorted washing. I watched another episode of Bletchly Circle, had a skype call with Moo and sewed up my cardi which I don't like as it makes me look like a balloon in a thick cardi.

When I picked the boys up later from school they decided to stay out and play. As Huffle had chopped the ice and threw it on the, what once was, grass, the boys chose the large chunks and made a wall with it. Another fort. I helped them a bit by scooping the snow around for the walls.

It started to get a lot colder and the kids came in. We had jacket potatoes which were the biggest potatoes I have ever seen, when they went in to the microwave for a quick cook before the oven, they whistled and sang. Smallest thinks that the potatoes and fridge are friends because our fridge also sings and talks!!

Small went off to Cubs tonight to make a robotic hand and Smallest stayed behind (no Beavers this evening) and watched Tale of a Turtle on the IPad. Ahhhhh they are learning.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

How are you in a formal way?

Today was an 'in day' as it snowed and snowed and snowed. Only small piddly little flakes but it did accumulate throughout the whole day. Only Small went out and played in it. Flumping around like an excitable puppy, throwing snowballs at the big icicle on the barn until it fell off.

Here it is, do you like it? That was only half of the icicle, as the other half is still up there

We played many games of Guess Who, mainly with Smallest who giggles all the way through. Huffle watched Stoke lose and come out of the Cup - shame. We all played Ticket to Ride in which Smallest came 2nd, not bad for a six year old.

The boys have been particularly annoying today. While Huffle and I attempted to play two games of Table Tennis (one of which I won 21-11), one of the boys had a dryer hose attached to his nose pretending to be an elephant and the other banged on empty plastic shoeboxes with plastic pipes as drumsticks. We ran away and locked ourselves in the loft but they found us and let themselves in.

We had a Skype call with Grandma and Grandad, watched part of another Harry Potter film, because Small finished the book today, and in between making a Roast Dinner which was scrumptious.

I started my online French Language course yesterday and have learnt a few new words considering I learnt French in school. The narrator says things like "now say How are you sir in a formal way", "this literally means......" She is a bit annoying but its good. There is also a Pirate language you can learn and Smallest and I had a go. We learnt how to say "shiver me timbers" instead of Holy Cow and "me ship be founderin" which means "My ship is sinking". Well you never know when you might need it!

Huffle was worried about the woodpecker today as he sat on the bird feeder for ages just staring at it, not eating, not moving just sitting. Ww watched him for ages and then he suddenly started eating and flew away. I thought he might be a young bird and just got a bit sidetracked and was thinking. While we were watching the woodpecker another bird came along that had a funny way of moving the snow with his belly. We couldn't find out what he was but he was lovely. Small, black with a white tummy (top right photo).

It is still snowing and the roads are covered. We are forecast snow all through the night and through most of tomorrow. Tuesday is supposed to be -20 (without windchill). Brrrrr.



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pickle Pit

The forecasters exaggerated the amount of snow we would get and we only had a about a couple of inches. It was only -5 but the roads were a bit scary especially where the wind blew the snow across. On my way to the pharmascist I skidded a few times. Today I went to see if I had a repeat prescription held there. In this country instead of holding your own repeat prescriptions, the pharmacy hold them. I think this is a good idea except that you HAVE to go to the pharmascist you used to get the original prescription in the first place, which for me was about 35 minutes away, longer in the snow. Luckily I did have a prescription waiting for me so it meant I didn't have to visit the doctor (it was only for normal monthly pills). While I was out I decided to look for Coconut Oil as I had heard many good reports about it being vey good for skin. I have very dry, dehydrated skin and Huffle has been suffering with dry hands recently. Anyway, I found it in the International food aisle of a supermarket (actually a woman in Shoppers Drug Mart sent me there). It was in a tin and was solid and looked like wax. Huffle and I read up about it, it has many health benefits, to use and to consume. We will try it and report back.

Pig goes Pop and Snow all day

I left the boys behind playing many games together and trying to earn their gadgets back. They did help to make breakfast and set the table without being asked for lunch and tea. We had a lovely skype with LizzieDotDot and her family. We haven't spoken for ages and we booked ourselves in for a chip van dinner at their house when we visit England. How exciting.

Blustery snow and a big icicle hanging from the barn

After lunch we ventured out for a couple of hours sledging. Everyone else there was sledging down the icy slopes but we chose to go to 'Mummy's Beatrix Potter Hill' where we carved our own runs. We had a lot of fun, a few falls and one or two bruises.

We were slightly sheltered where we parked ourselves but when the wind blew it was an icy blast. There was a bit of a snowthrow fight.

When the sun came out the snowy shadows looked beautiful.

After much climbing up and down, sledging, pushing and laughing, we came away to have dinner and get warm at home.

Lots of falling and gymnastics!

Dinner was in front of a film called The Adenturer. Smallest and I finished the evening playing Guess Who AGAIN.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Do yours have a beard?

Oh my goodness it was cold today. I think it started at -17* with windchill of mid 20's which isn't anywhere near as cold as it has been but I really felt it. There was a sprinkling of snow overnight and tomorrow we have been forecast a big dumping of about 17cm. So of course, I went shopping and bought food in case we were snowed in.

This morning I banned all devices from the boys as I was completely fed-up with their constant bickering and quarrelling. Small burst into tears and couldn't believe I had banned EVERYTHING. Smallest just ran away for five minutes, sulked and came back to see if I would play Guess Who. Last night, after a bickering session about who wanted to watch which TV programme, we explained to them that we had televisions, IPads, IPhone and a Wii - all of which were able to play Netflix (which is the main thing they watch). Yet still they sit on the same sofa, normally under the same blanket, watching the same TV but moaning about who watched what!

At knitting today it was very loud and I took a number of things with me. I finished my second thrum sock (hurrah) and then I started on sewing up my cardi. I had a lesson in proper sewing up and managed one side and half a sleeve before giving up because of hunger and going shopping. One should never go shopping for food when one is hungry. I wanted everything and although I only went in for a few things to keep us going through the weekend, I bought enough for the whole week. Oh well, maybe I don't have to go next week now.

Once home I rushed my shopping inside because it was sooooo cold (have I already said that?), put away all that needed fridging or freezing and made a banana sandwich (very healthy considering I had consumed two big handfuls of crisps on the way home to sustain me!). I watched a little bit of Bletchley Circle and then made dinner and put the rest of the shopping away plus had a bit of a tidy round.

I had a lovely Skype call with HB and Aunt Pear with a brief appearance from CousinPest and GP. We had a really good catch up and they managed to stay on long enough to see the boys come home from school, though not long enough for them to speak as we had to get off to swimming lessons.

Huffle came home in time for swimming and we watched Smallest have a lesson all by himself, do a fairly good dive, have three instructors trying to help him do 'whip kick' and swim 75m. We watched Small perfect his strokes, ice rescue for himself and to rescue someone else and a shallow dive. Once again they both did very well and were quite tired afterwards.

I had set the stove (which is working wonderfully by the way and Sears sent us a $50 giftcard for any inconvenience we were caused) to come on while we were out so it would cook our dinner and although it hadn't been on long enough to cook completely, it was a nice smell to come home to.

As there were no gadgets this evening (apart from me blogging on the IPad and Huffle checking the weather), the boys played together, really nicely, with Guess Who. I started playing with Smallest but when Small came down after his homework wanting to play too, I suggested they tried to play together. Wish they would do this more often. They were laughing and giggling and had a really good time.

Maybe gadgets and devices should be banned FOREVER!


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Oh! You're just a visitor!

Huffle worked from home. The boys went to school as normal. It was another cold one with temperatures of -17 (windchill -27*) and the boys weren't allowed out of school again. They are not happy and they both said "It's not THAT cold!"

Huffle did some work and I had breakfast and watched half an espisode of Bletchley Circle as recommended by Grandad. It is very good. Mid-morning Huffle and I went to our local town to renew our Health cards. These allow us to visit the doctors and hospitals without having to pay the $100 that Moo had to pay when she was here. We arrived with lots of paperwork proving who we were, passports, driving licenses etc. First of all we realised we had forgotten the kids Healthcards which meant I had to come again a different day. Huffle's card was sorted first, his papers and identity sorted, photograph taken and then she realised we had to be in a different place, a place where they deal with people who are here on a work permit. We decided to come home and get the kids cards so we could do it all together. After double checking that we knew where we were going and a quick call to make sure they could do what we wanted, it turned out we needed to go to a different place. Off we went, documents in hand to a much bigger place where we expected queues and delays but it all went very fast. We didn't need new photographs, our old cards or much identification. All done.

As we were hungry we stopped for dinner at a place called King Richard's English Pub. Which King Richard though? We thought about asking them but we guessed they would say "there was more than one?". Huffle had a Steak and Kidney Pie (very English) and I had a Quesadilla (not very English).

We had a quick trip to buy some more kitchen cupboard sticky paper as I am currently lining all the drawers and cupboards with lovely paper to make it easier to clean should there be any more mice incidents. We haven't had any mice for a while but Huffle did catch two a couple of weeks ago. Since then we have been clear.

I have acted as Huffle's secretary today, reading his emails while he was driving and making up voices for all his colleagues - apparantly I got none of them right. Reading the forms we took today it says I am not allowed to work (that means I cant even volunteer), and am not allowed to go to college. I wonder if I can do a night course? I have a yearning to learn French language (only because I want to help the boys with their French and live in Montreal when Small goes to University there) and thought it might be better to go to a class rather than learn it at home by myself like a Billy no mates. To go to work or proper school I have to wait until we are Permanent Residents. BOOO!

Huffle carried on working and I tidied the loft (my crafty side was a bit messy and had not been touched since Christmas Wrapping). The boys came home from school. Small's friend came over to play and I made dinner and Oatmeal Cookies. They played nicely on the Wii until smalls friends dad picked him up. We chatted to him about the weather and he said that he couldn't remember a longer sustained period of cold since the 1970's. Why is it that everywhere Huffle and I go (whether on holiday or a longer move) we promote the weirdest of weather not normally seen for many many years. In Tuscany we had the hottest weather for forty years, Cyprus was the wettest for many many many years, Bulgaria had two days of solid snow that the locals hadn't seen for a long time and the ice storm and coldest weather here that hadn't been seen since the 70's. I wonder what weather we will take back to the UK???

We had a random funny conversation at dinner:

ME: a lady in the healthcard place said if she met you, she would want to hug you because of your name.

SMALL: well I'm never going there then. Why?

ME: Because your name is Alfie and it reminds her of a character in a film called Little Rascals.

SMALLEST: There is a film called Alfie

ME: Yes and the man who plays Alfie will be your next Father.


HUFFLE: Mummy wants Jude Law the man who plays Alfie to be your next Father

ME: When Daddy runs off with Penelope Cruz.......

SMALL: what the one from Wacky Races?

HUFFLE: No, not her, Penelope Pitstop is too needy

ME: but you don't mind Penelope Cruz?........

That then prompted the boys to check out the list of racers and pictures of Wacky Races for the rest of the meal - Silly family.

I read a report today in the Canadian news saying that a British Shop has been stopped from selling Marmite and Irn Bru. The reason being that there are too many added vitamins. They are not on the approved list of foods for Canadians. WHAT? All the Sh!t that is sold here and they are stopping Marmite. There is no cordial here because they let their kids drink Soda (fizzy drinks) and the bags of crisps are sooooo big........ To be fair Moo and I read a report about Marmite saying that it has something in that is not good for Alzheimers and Memory Loss. The shopkeeper here of the British shop said "and this from a country that allows one to buy firearms, guns, and bullets.....".


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

-24* is that all?

Huffle woke me and said it was cold. The boys were already up watching TV. I checked the temperature and it was -24* but no colder with the windchill. When I told Small how cold it was he said "Meh, is that all?" I asked him how he would have felt about that temperature a couple of years ago when we were in England. He said "well that was different, since then we have had temperatures in the late -30's and 40's!!" Fair enough! They still went to school very well wrapped up. The both got dressed and put on their tops Moo bought them yesterday and posed for a photograph (their idea not mine).

The house was quiet and empty and I had breakfast by myself and then rushed off to my exercise class. I had my fleecy trousers, downy coat and snowboots over the top of my exercise stuff. ExerciseNic's loft was lovely and warm and we were all soon sweating and grimacing. It was a good workout and I think I will be stiff tomorrow.

Once home I briefly skyped Moo to check on her. She had a good flight that was only delayed slightly. She used her earphones and was very happy with them despite the person in front tipping their seat backwards and making Moo's screen too close!

The rest of my day was spent washing, drying, swiffing, sweeping, mopping, changing beds, knitting and watching the last episode of The Paradise. I made Turkey Burgers, Wholemeal Baps and Hand Cut Chips.

The boys came home, Small had got an A+ in his Social Studies test and was very happy. He went to play at his friends house and Smallest and I drew clocks and told the time. I taught him to tell the time ages ago but he seems to have forgotten and relies solely on Small to get him up in the morning (plus we can con him into going to bed when we want, regardless of the time). He has asked for a clock for his birthday for his room.

Huffle came home and after sorting through all the paperwork needed to renew our Health cards tomorrow, he walked with Smallest to fetch Small from his friends house.

We all had our burgers, baps and chips for dinner. The baps were a bit crusty and I think Paul Hollywood would tell me I hadn't 'proved' them long enough but they were tasty.

Smallest did his homework, Small watched wrestling and Huffle and I played Table Tennis.


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Moo's frosty flight

It was -21* when I got up this morning with a windchill of -29*.

Brrrrrr. Cold! The boys were not allowed outside of school today in case of frostbite and were well wrapped up against the elements. I didn't even allow them to stand and wait for the bus this morning but made them stay inside while Moo stood on the landing and watched for the bus from the window.

Today was Moo's last day (Aunty A informed me I hadn't made any mention of when she was due home). Moo attempted to sew up my cardigan but because she sewed it slightly wrong, she then undid it. We packed her cases and looked for missing things. Her bags were very full but fairly light (well considerably lighter than when she came). The time has flown by. It seems like she has been here forever but also that it has gone by quickly which doesn't actually make any sense.

After packing, unpacking, packing and lugging the bags downstairs, we went to the warm Mall. It was sooooo very cold outside. Once in the Mall we had dinner at Jimmy the Greek. Spanakopita, rice, salad and potatoes. We could have shared a meal it was that big. We poddled around the Mall and Moo bought the boys a tee-shirt each. I only told them she was going this morning and I think they were both a bit shocked. Needless to say she got a big cuddle from them as they left for school.

We had a long leisurely coffee in Starbucks and 'people watched' and then went in a few more shops before realising it was time to meet Huffle as he had kindly offered to drive her to the airport. We checked if he was there but he wasn't so went in one more shop. We got a message from him saying he was there and then a missed call and then a voicemail asking grumpily where we were. We soon realised we were both at different entrances and he came to find us.

Lots of hugs and kisses and they were gone. Huffle said the traffic was bad and it took him longer than we originally thought but they had plenty of time. I bought Moo some headphones so she could watch a movie on the plane and I wondered if she had opened them and used them. They were an early birthday present.

I got home with five minites to spare before the kids came home. I had a quick tidy up. They were very happy with their new tops and Smallest hugged his. Small's said "refuse to lose" which he didn't understand at first until I told him it meant ALWAYS A WINNER. He liked that.

I skyped Aunty A and we arranged a trip to London when we visit England. Oooh can't wait. I get to stay overnight too by myself. What a treat.

I made dinner and the kids cleared their bags and played on gadgets. Huffle came home and they played table tennis while I finished dinner. For pudding we had Moo's Apple Crumble that she made yesterday but we didn't have time to eat. Yum yum, thanks Moo.

Huffle made us a spreadsheet and we filled it with things and dates for our England trip.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Knit Twits

Small came running into our bedroom at 6:30am this morning shouting "it's 7:30, get up, get up, it's 7:30". NO IT'S NOT YOU IDIOT says his Father, IT'S ONLY 6:30am NOW GO BACK TO BED AND SHUT THE DOOR!

It had snowed a bit during the night. The kind of snow that you can throw at your brother! Once all the boys had gone off for the day, Moo and I sat and had breakfast, read the news and knitted for most of the morning whilst drinking coffee. Lovely. Moo carried on with her Monkey hat and I made two more hairbands.

At lunchtime we went out for a coffee and a toasted bagel at the 'twins cafe' in town and then went on and did some food shopping.

Back home we made a Roasted Red Pepper Soup, a many seeded bread and an Apple Crumble.

We sat and knitted some more and finished off watching Call the Midwife (we watched most of it last night). The boys came home and did homework, reading, snacking, table tennis and then played on various gadgets.

Huffle came home and we all had soup and bread before Moo, Small and I donned our warmest clothes possible and headed out towards Toronto to the Observatory for Small's Cub trip (they are doing their Astronomy badge). Small sat in the back playing on the IPad until we needed him for directions. Our sat nav performed well on the way there and got us to the correct place. It was very very cold with temperatures of -16 (windchill of -24*). When we arrived we stood in a cold hall and waited for the rest to appear. Then we listened to a lady tell us a little about the place, wait for people to go to the loo and then we made our way outside, up a slippery hill, up some icy steps into the Observatory. It was an amazing buildng but because it was so dark I couldn't get a good photo. Once inside (which was colder than outside) we learnt that the building's interior was made of the same material as an English Ship with metal and rivets. We were led up some stairs in the dark to where Canada's largest telescop was held. The roof was opened and we could see the clear night sky. While they re-aligned the telescope, we listened to the lady talking about the stars and planets.

Eventually we got to see the telescope again and this time we climbed the big ladder up to the eye piece to view Jupiter and it's two moons (there was another one too apparantly that passed over Jupiter but all I could see was a big blurry white thing and two smaller blurry things). I climbed up with Small so he told me what to look for. I expected it to be much clearer as it was such a big telescope.

We walked to the the other building and sat in a lovely warm room with cushions to listen to a presentation by a volunteer who was very 'excited about some new moons'. I learnt a bit about moons and planets and stars and Small enjoyed it. Moo was a little disapointed by the view in the telescope but at least she can go home and say she has looked through the largest telescope in Canada.

We left just before 9pm, this time the sat nav did not behave so we ignored her and found our own way home. A cup of hot tea was waiting for us and a tray of chocolate chip cookies made by Smallest at Beavers.

Some of the leaders tonight were absolutely annoying. Prattling on about nothing just so they could be heard, wanting to be the loudest voice in the room (The main leader isn't like this at all but then he is English, not that I'm biased at all). Moo called one of them a prat (not quite to his face) and I had to agree with her. He was coughing all over the place and never put his hand over his mouth once - And we let him 'lead' our children!!!!!

I have asked the Cubs leader for my Astronomy badge and he said I could have one but I need to write an essay. Apparantly the Observatory is open to anyone in Summer (definately a bit warmer), maybe we will take Huffle and Smallest there then.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Tip: don't eat yellow snow

This morning we had breakfast, played table tennis, adjusted snowboards, tested snowboards, played ticket to ride, cards, jigsawed, knitted and skyped.

Table tennis and general fixingness

It snowed for most of the day and was cold with temperatures of -13* (with windchill). We went out mid afternoon for dinner at an Italian. It was lovely though the service was very slow and they got one of the orders slightly wrong.

Italian and a cheeky red! The boys took their Pokemon cards and played a game whilst waiting for the food.

On the way home we popped into the supermarket because I promised Smallest we could put his coins in the machine. He had $10 worth of loose change. We bought a storage box and came home.

Moo and Smallest dressed for the snow

I made Chocolate Mousse and while it set, we all played Pokemon (Moo is the new reigning Pokemon Master) and then we watched Wreck it Ralph. The boys had their tea and their mousse and went to bed. They are both very tired and Small has a very late night tomorrow with cubs as we are taking him to the Observatory.

The snowy barn


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Chinese Whispers*

We had a very leisurely morning of breakfast (Small made us Scrambled Egg), watching football (Stoke lost, Leicester won), homework, tidying, sweeping, table tennis and then a bit of lunch before heading out to the local slopes. Moo took her new ski boots and today there was no queue so we got her kitted out with skis in no time.

When we first suggested going snowboarding, Smallest was not happy. Last time he got tummy ache whilst we were on the slopes and spent a long time just standing around. His tummy ache disappeared when we got home and I wondered if he had the same thing I had when I was younger. If I was ever in a situation I didn't want to be in, I would be sick and quite ill. I couldn't help it, it just happened, Moo thinks it was a nervous thing. I sat with Smallest this morning before breakfast and talked to him. He felt he wasn't good enough to snowboard and sometimes got too cold. Between us we agreed that for his age, he was amazing and that he could have lessons to build his confidence and we could stop for Hot Cholcate and to get warm. He was happy with that. When we got there we decided not to do lessons and wait until we had a bit more time though we did pick up leaflets about it. The boys are happy to have a one-off lesson sometime. If we can get them more confident then next year when Moo is here we can go up to the top of the mountain.

Smallest boarding down, falling down and my snow hair which lasted about five minutes!!!!!

We got on the slope around 2ish and stayed there until around 5:30 so we got to board in the dark again with the lights on which Smallest was very happy with because he didn't do that last time.

Smallest and Huffle boarding down together. Huffle, Moo and Smallest all holding a pose.

While Huffle and Moo were on the 'Magic Carpet' and it had stopped for the 100th time, the woman who operated it at the top was trying to tell the people at the bottom to push the button in. They couldn't hear so Huffle thought he would take it upon himself to pass the message along. He turned to the man behind him and said "tell the man at the bottom to push the button". The man behind was Chinese and said "what you say?" Huffle said it louder and slower as only a true Englishman could but the man still didn't understand him. He tried gesticulating until someone else understood and the button was then pressed, the magic carpet continued and they all got off.

Small carrying his board up the magic carpet. Smallest carrying his board up the hill.

Smallest laying on the ground (too tired). Moo skiing.

Smallest was fabulous, in fact both the boys were. Their confidence was high (possibly because we went not that long ago, maybe leaving too long in between sessions is not a good idea!).

Huffle, Smallest, Moo coming down the hill.

We had a fabulous time. Smallest did lots of walking up the slope instead of using the magic carpet ride. Though the slope wasn't incredibly steep it was hard work and I expected him to sleep very well tonight.

Board and Skis waiting for their owners. Small and Moo walking together.

After we finished on the slopes, we drove to the Fish and Chip shop and filled our faces. Lovely. We reminisced about our old chip van from the Village UK. We are thinking we will have to visit it when we go back.

We came home full, warm and happy. The boys got a bit of TV and then went to bed where they fell asleep instantly. We played Ticket to Ride (I won) and Ace to Ace (Huffle won AGAIN!).

We have a piece of paper stuck to the notice board where we are busily writing down things we are due to do in the UK. We are getting quite busy already. Someone said we would need a holiday when we get back, I think they might be right.