Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Happy Birthday Alice :)

Yesterday was Alice's 3rd birthday :)  She had been counting down the days and was so excited! 
 I went round to the house by 9 and the presents were soon being opened.  The tutu, wings, tiara and wand were a big hit!
Alice changed into the tutu straight away and then went to have a look in the mirror to see what she looked like :)
 before trying out a few ballet moves! So sweet :)
 However, there were more presents to be opened (this one from Uncle Iain and Iris in Australia)
 Lambie (from Doc McStuffins) is another hit - especially when she asks "Do you need a cuddle?"
Alice had been waiting to blow out her candles since morning so as soon as family arrived in the afternoon we agreed it was time. Such a good job - all candles blown out in one go!
Emily snapped this photo of me holding Megan. She was a bit bewildered by all the goings on especially seeing as there were all these new toys and she wanted to play with them too - only to be told no, most of the time.

 Megan got cuddles with Uncle Hugh.
 Alice just loved the whole day, the presents, the playing, the people and the cake!
 Nana Linda and Richard arrived a little bit later with a bike for the birthday girl. Great excitement :)
 Showing Grandpa and Theresa how she can ride (or try to!)
 We love you lots Alice, enjoy being 3!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Once again, it's been a while!

The past few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for our family. 
The 29 September saw us celebrating Emily's birthday. We went out for breakfast to start off her birthday but while out I got a phone call from Jon telling me that his brother Mike had had a heart attack at Church.
An ambulance got there quickly and the paramedics spent time getting his heart going again before taking him to the main Cardiac Unit in Brighton, about an hour from us. Sadly, Mike passed away in the early hours of Saturday, 05 October.

We're thankful that he was in Church when it happened and help was quickly on hand. We are also thankful that his sons, Ryan and Darren were able to get to the UK from Canada and South Africa respectively, that his sister Deb came down from Yorkshire and brother, Simon, flew in from America and all got to say their goodbyes.

Ryan's wife and sons flew in from Canada, Darren's girlfriend arrived from South Africa as did their mother, Merle and Mike's sister Penny. It was lovely to get the opportunity to spend time with extended family in the run up to the funeral and to see the other family members who were able to make it to the funeral from the UK.

Deb, Simon, Penny, Ryan, Jon, Darren, Ryan's son Owen, Mike's son Steve, Mike's step father Frank and nephew Mark.
 Siblings Deb, Simon, Penny & Jon with Frank
 Alice loved having young cousins to play with - seen here with Owen (thank goodness for iPads!)
 Ryan's wife Shannon - love this girl and so glad we got to spend time together.
 Claire and Megan
 Merle with Shannon (her daughter-in-law)
 Sarah (Mike's daughter-in-law), Emily and Norma
 Darren and Natasha
 Emily and me
Finton, Ryan & Shannon's younger son.
Despite the sadness of the occasion, there were many happy moments, lots of memories shared and Mike's life celebrated. I'm sure he'd have been pleased to see so many family members together again and enjoying each others company.
I hope to post again in the next few days.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

On My Walk

On 01 August 2013, Norma and I joined Weight Watchers (again ;) ).  I'm happy to say it's going well and I'm still sticking to the plan and have lost weight each week. However, I realised I need to get more exercise too.  I'm not a fan of the gym so have been doing some walking instead.  We're lucky where we live because we have a footpath (for want of a better word) a couple of minutes from our house called Forest Way. It's an old railway line which has been built up and smoothed out and runs from East Grinstead to Forest Row through countryside.
Norma has done quite a bit of walking but I'm afraid I've not been that energetic.  We started out walking together (with Norma encouraging me ) but now that Norma has started teaching I tend to walk on my own.  I walk for 15 minutes down the path then turn and walk back again. A half hour walk seems fair enough to me.  A lot of people use Forest Way - dog walkers, joggers and people just out for a walk, so I feel quite safe. Today my walk seemed easier and I walked a bit further than normal in my 15 minutes - I'm taking this as a sign that I'm getting a little bit fitter ;)
Here are a few of the photos I took with my phone along the way.

 Aren't these berries a stunning colour against the green leaves.  I didn't realise until I uploaded the photo that there was a fly in the photo too ;)
 Today I walked to just past this sign
 Then turned round and started back again.
 I love this bridge and there is actually a road over it, though you seldom see cars on it.
 One of the little paths leading off the main track. There's a little gate at the top and I think one day I need to follow the path and see where it leads to.

 I love looking over this gate and seeing if any of the animals are in the field.
 Today it was empty.  The cows had been in a different field when I walked down but by the time I walked back they'd gone - milking time perhaps?

Nearly home - the main road is where you see the light at the end of the path.
This afternoon I was able to have my lunch outside on the patio.  It's been a while since I've done this because we've had so many wasps and as soon as you sat outside with food, they'd arrive.  Now that it's cooler they're not there any more.  I wonder how much longer I'll be able to do that.
Tomorrow's walk will be in to town to meet friends for coffee. Even the hills are getting slightly more bearable ;)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Finally finished

Posting again a bit sooner than expected ;)  I'm a bit like the buses - none for ages and then two come along! 

I started this log cabin quilt about three years ago. It's completely hand sewn using the "Quilt as you Go" method. I loved making the blocks but have to admit that when it came to the thought of joining them all up I wasn't quite so keen!  There were times when I didn't touch the quilt for months but there were other times when I'd sit sewing each night. Once I finally got round to joining it up (and realised it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be) I was working on it most nights. Now that I've finished I've had to find something else to do in the evenings. ;) 

I wish you could feel this quilt, it is really heavy but also really soft because it's all been hand worked.  What a difference there is between hand sewn and machine sewn quilts!  I don't know if it'll stay on the bed (I needed somewhere to lay it out to take a photo) because as it gets colder I have a feeling we might like having it downstairs to snuggle under. 

It's also wonderful for wrapping Aunty Em up in
and playing hide and seek under ;)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dad's Birthday

Saturday was Dad's 84th birthday and a reason to celebrate.  It was good to have the family around for afternoon tea - those of us close by anyway. When Norma lived in South Africa she used to say she missed being part of the birthday celebrations but this year it was good to have her here to celebrate with us.
A quick photo before everyone arrived.
Some presents to open.
We had been speaking to Iain in Australia as people started arriving and he asked for some photos to be put up for him to see.  So Iain, here are a few from the afternoon ;)
Mum and Emma
Kay and Martyn
Norma holding Brooke
 As you can see, Megan wants to be on the move now.  She's pulling herself up on anything she can get hold of.
 And Alice is super busy and doesn't like to stay still long enough to have her photo taken.  In fact, she's already got to the stage where if she sees you with a camera she says "I don't want my photo taken!!"  Sigh!!
 The children had fun playing outside and it's lovely that they're at an age where we don't have to worry too much about them outside on their own.  Won't be long before Megan and Brooke are joining them ;)
 Alyssa and Kyle
Kyle is always brilliant with the children and they love it when he goes out with them.
 Not quite sure what they were looking at but he certainly gets their attention (Alice had seen the camera lol!)
And to show I was there, Claire took a photo of me - which also shows I was holding Megan for a while - hence the chocolate covered top!

There may even be another update next week after Emily's birthday ;)