Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer to do list

The boys that are at school all finished up for the summer earlier this week - hooray!

Now, much as I am a great believer in letting them enjoy the freedom of these carefree days of summer, I also realise that leaving four boys entirely to their own devices for nearly two months is a bit of a recipe for disaster! I don't want to spend our summer breaking up arguments, see boys plugged into electronic gadgets for hours on end or hear the dreaded cry of 'I'm bored' too often!

With that in mind, I asked the boys to help me draw up a list of things we want to try and do this summer. Most of the things on our list are free, or very minimal in cost, and can be achieved by various ages. We typed up our list and have made it into a sharable document for anyone else who wants to join in with us! You can download our printable list here.

There are some things that we have left off our list that may seem like obvious summer choices - go swimming, play ball games, visit family, go to the beach, go fruit picking etc. The reason we left them off is because these are things we always do in the summer, and many times too, so we didn't think they needed to be on the list as we will do them anyway!

I've added a new tab at the top of the blog where I will keep track of what we have accomplished from the list. Plus, I'm hoping to check in with a post once a week of what we have done.

Right, let's get started!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Weekend fun.

The weekend fun started on Friday evening with a girls night at my sister in law's house.


One of the girls in our church is getting married next month and so my sister in law thought it would be nice to have a wedding album night. Those of us who are married were to bring our wedding albums along and we spent a really lovely evening looking through all the albums. The weddings dated from the 70s right through to the most recent one, four years ago. It was really fun to see how people had (or hadn't) changed over the years and especially to see how the fashions had changed - of both the wedding party and the guests!


Here is one of the photos from our wedding album that I shared on my Facebook page recently for Father's Day.



Then on Saturday it was our annual Sunday School outing.
We were due to go to a country park for a barbecue and some games but after nearly a month with no rain the weather didn't quite co-operate. With the forecast for heavy rain showers all afternoon it was decided that we would just hold the outing at the church instead. Actually I think this worked out even better than going to the park.
There were lots of options for the kiddies.
They could have their face painted....


...or take part in team games in the hall
When the rain stayed off there was the chance of some games outside...



Cricket proved popular!


Then when the rain was back on, it was back to the hall for some more games...


Once everyone was tired out from all the games there was lots and lots of pizza and other goodies to eat.


When the afternoon was over it was time to tidy up the church. Most of the children whose parents were involved in the organising and clean up chose to play more football outside while we got on with the work but one little man wanted to help.

Here he is helping his uncle mop the hall floor.


And what a great job he did of it too, even if it did take my brother twice as long to do as it would have without his helper!


Thursday, 20 June 2013

22 weeks

I can't actually believe it's taken me until 22 weeks into pregnancy to post an update of how things are going! I suppose there hasn't been much to update really though. Like I mentioned before, there was no sign of an obvious baby bump until around 18 weeks when almost overnight my jeans would no longer fasten, so there was no point in starting the 'bump' updates before then!



This pregnancy has been pretty much exactly the same so far as when I had each of the boys. Weeks 6 to 16/18 are a blur of constant day long sickness, which is another reason I held off posting an update. After all, I didn't want to post week after week of - I feel terrible, sick all at long!


The actual sickness is usually only in the mornings but the nausea lasts all day during those weeks. I've already mentioned how I went off tea (still can't drink it) but I also went off a whole host of my other favourites - biscuits (cookies), cakes, chocolate...really not like me at all.


I was able to tolerate making meals for everyone, it does help a bit when you just have to get on with things rather than dwelling on how awful you feel, but I really couldn't face doing any baking for a good few weeks. That's why my Bake it like Berry went on the back burner for a while! Thankfully for the boys, the no home baking in the house phase didn't last too long.


Throughout previous pregnancies I must have tried every suggested morning sickness remedy going - dry crackers or toast before getting up, ginger tea (even when not pregnant I can't touch ginger drinks now because I always associate them with that horrible nausea!) etc - but with no joy. The only thing I have found to help is to eat a little and often.


It wasn't just foods that made me feel ill though, but smells too. Anyone else found that? The worst offender is my poor husband's first cup of coffee in the morning. That often had me rushing out of the kitchen! And a strange one, you know that lovely smell that comes from the bakery section of the supermarket?


Anyway, as in previous pregnancies, by week 18 the all day nausea passes leaving only sickness immediately in the morning on getting up. Not every day but probably more days than not. I had this for the full nine months with each of the boys so I'm not expecting it to go away this time either.


Moving on from the yuckiness though.


I'm enjoying those second trimester energy levels just now. Not quite pre pregnancy levels but certainly a lot better than they were with all that nausea!


Last week I had my second scan. My fifth baby and this is the first time I have had a scan this far on! Our local health board only brought in the 20 week scan just before Alasdair was born so I only just missed out on getting one by a matter of weeks last time round.


I was amazed at how thorough they are and how much detail you can see. I've always been impressed by the fact that you can see the heart and spine at the 12 week one but the one I had at 21 weeks was far more impressive! Baby seems to be doing fine. All the major organs are where they should be and doing what they should be.


The big question on everyone's lips was, would we find out if baby is another boy? I wasn't too fussed about finding out but my hubs said he would like to know. He wasn't able to come with me so the lady doing the scan told me. I'm glad I know now though. It is kind of nice knowing while they are still in there!


I know what everyone is thinking now....



Do I have to change the name of my blog?



Well you will all just have to wait and see as we are keeping it a surprise until baby is ready to make their appearance!




Monday, 17 June 2013

Make it Monday - Father's Day Cards

The boys are great believers in home made presents for Father's and Mother's Days. I wonder where they get that from?!


These are the two cards that Alasdair made for daddy. As you can tell, he got really enthusiastic about sticking on the sequins! He enjoyed making the first one so much that he wanted to make a second.


Once the outside was finished he then spent ages drawing some super heroes on the inside. He has drawn Captain America, Buckie and daddy!


Calum's card is on the right below and David's on the left. I told them to draw something dad likes on the ties. Calum has drawn a shinty stick and David has drawn dad scoring a goal at shinty. David also decided to make two cards and his second is at the back.




Actually, David decided to do a third card, although it's more of a picture. An owl reading a book and dad scoring a goal in football.


James' card is in keeping with their enthusiasm for a summer movie I mentioned last week!



Finally, my hubs has written a lovely post about fatherhood on his own blog which I can highly recommend reading. You can find it here.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A funny namesake

All of our boys are big fans of the film Despicable Me, as am I actually. It's such a funny film and I especially love the minions, as I imagine many people do.


The boys are eagerly awaiting the release of the second movie in a few weeks time.


We hardly ever all go to the cinema together as it's just so expensive. I think it works out at about £40 for us all to go so it is a real treat when we do go.


An eagerly awaited film and the start of the summer holidays seems a good enough reason for a treat though.


Anyway, we were passing the cinema the other day and saw the giant cut out minions in the foyer so we popped in to see them.


One little man was quite excited to see that he shares a name with one of them!




Monday, 10 June 2013

Make it Monday - Crochet Shawl

It's been a few weeks now since I finished this lovely shawl but I kept forgetting to get photos of it to share on here!
I'm so pleased with the way it turned out.


I love the way all those shell stitches look together.


The pattern is available here for free. I think you might need to register your email address with Lion Brand Yarns to see it properly but perhaps not. I was already registered with them anyway as they have a great resource of free crochet patterns.
The pattern was actually for a slightly shorter shawl that would have stopped about half way down the top half of your arms. I wanted to make it much more snuggly and cosy so kept on adding more rows until it seemed a length that I was happy with.
I'm glad a did now too. This is a much cosier length. Just right in fact for wrapping round your shoulders for sitting up nursing a baby on a chilly autumn/winter night, don't you think?
Speaking of said baby, I'm not really one for posting weekly bump shots, but since I've had quite a few people asking, I do plan to maybe have an update every few weeks. Up until I was 18 weeks there was no bump to speak of anyway and I was still in my normal jeans. Then, almost overnight it seemed to appear! More of that in my official post, but in my last photo of the lovely shawl there is no mistaking a 21 week baby bump!


Since I finished the shawl I've been crocheting granny squares and hexagons. I was trying to work on my giant granny square blanket that I've had on the go for a while now, but it's actually been a bit too hot to sit crocheting a big blanket that covers your legs so I need to get something smaller on the go!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Things I'm loving...

This week I've been loving all the sunshine.
Finally, after a long winter and non existent spring, which really felt like the winter was just dragging on even longer, the last two weeks have been mostly sunny. Even when it hasn't been sunny it has at least been warm.
Everyone just seems that bit happier when the sun is shining.
Especially when sweet little boys keep bring them daisies and buttercups.


Calum and David decided they wanted to try a spot of cricket this week. They found a cricket bat in the shed but no wicket so they had to improvise. Look closely and you will see the wicket made out of three metal poles from a badminton net with a scrubbing brush across the top!


It's been so lovely to sit crocheting in the sunshine. I tried out a new pattern for some hexagonal granny 'squares' this week.


Loving watching the littlest man snuggling up with his big best buddy to watch a bit of 'monkey George'. That's Curious George to everyone else. Alasdair loves that cute little monkey. As do I actually! He especially loves it when the man in the yellow hat says, 'be a good little monkey!'


And finally, loving these handsome boys all dressed up for their end of year prize giving night at Boys' Brigade.
The lighting in this one isn't so good but I love the way Alasdair is hugging James' leg! And his silly face too.




Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

This sweet little man.....



....turned four at the weekend.

It was a beautiful weekend and so we were able to enjoy his birthday lunch outside.
Birthday boys get to choose their favourite meal for their birthday dinner. Alasdair's request? Mashed tatties! He would have anything with mashed tatties every night for dinner if he could. This time we had them with slow cooked ham and veggies.


James was keen to decorate the birthday cake and Calum wanted to bake it. I helped Calum a little with the baking and then left James to work his own creativity.


He had asked Alasdair want he wanted on his cake. The answer was a Captain America shield, just like James' had been. He also wanted Batman on there somewhere.
James' idea was to put the Captain America shield cake on top of the Batman cake...
...but when Alasdair came through and saw it he said he wanted the two cakes separate.
As you can see, Alasdair was quite happy with the end result!




Below are the boys and their cousins, who came round in the evening to help enjoy the cake! Aren't they all a handsome bunch?!


Once the cake was sliced we could all enjoy Calum's creativity on the inside.



Again, here is a little clip to finish with tonight. I don't know why last night's one posted twice so here's hoping that this one behaves itself!



Monday, 3 June 2013

Gala Day Success

On Saturday it was our local Gala Day.


Each year the Boys' Brigade takes part in the parade, and each year the Boys' Brigade leaders take their float building quite seriously, starting work on the floats back at Easter time. The hard work pays off as every year for the last 6 years they have won first prize for the best float. (You can see last year's Golden Jubilee themed float here)


This year the theme set by the Gala committee was 'Heroes' and so the Boys' Brigade chose to build models of emergency vehicles.


The parade is always led by one of the local pipe bands.

Second in the parade are the little Gala queens and their attendants, who were pulled along by a rather splendid, and rather clean looking tractor.
The group who win first prize are given the honour of marching next in the parade and so the Boys' Brigade and their emergency vehicles were next.
David was one of the firemen at the front. Their Brigade Captain was dressed as Florence Nightingale.


James and Calum were the two Lifeboatmen.
When the parade had stopped we were able to get some close ups.
The lifeboatmen and their authentic looking lifeboat.


The police car.


My fireman standing beside his fire engine, and behind him is the army tank.


Of course this little man had to have a wee shot inside the lifeboat too!


To finish off, here is a wee clip of the front half of the gala parade. You can see those emergency vehicles marching past in all their glory.