Monday, 20 July 2015

Twenty Nine/52

L: This week my baby girl graduated from Kindy. It was such a lovely send-off to all the kids who were leaving to start school in September. Complete with caps, certificates and gifts! Although you've not had a very long time here, you had loved every minute of being there and adored your teacher. So special. Every day this week you also found yourself a snail buddy and had it "slug" all over your hands and arms... much to the amusement of teachers, parents and other kids. You and H were invited along to a birthday party for one of A's friends and had a ball playing, having your faces painted and henna tattoos drawn on.

A: I still look at you and marvel at just how big you are getting. But you are still so young and love playing and being a silly goose. You were delighted that we were finally going to be "in-town" for a birthday party you were invited to, as we've had to miss a couple previously! You had such a great time tearing around with your friends and having a ball. Makes my heart so happy to see you loving life and enjoying your lovely friends.

H: It is unlikely I will ever stop being fascinated by how different you all are from each other. This week you have brought a smile to my face many times with your realisation of words that sound or look the same but have different meanings. Some of the ones you've uncovered: saw (with your eyes) and saw (to cut a piece of wood), or know (to understand or have knowledge of something) and no (which sounds the same but means not/don't/negative/exclusion). Love the way your little brain works.

It's been a full week with lots of happiness.
L xx

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Twenty Eight/52

L: On Monday you had your second induction visit and school and were eager and happy as larry during the visit. Kindy had their sports day and you were awesome to watch. At first you thought I wasn't there and your little face said as much. However, you soon found me in the crowd and continually tried to talk to me from across the field. At each race you also yelled over to me explaining what you were about to do. So funny. You are a great little sprinter and during the egg and spoon races you were the only kid in kindy who didn't drop your egg! You were so thrilled with yourself.

A: A busy week for you at school and it finished on Friday with the school festival. As part of the dance club you performed two numbers and then also participated in the miming act that your class year performed. You seemed to lose us in the crowd but when you spotted us you almost forgot what you were supposed to be doing, you were grinning so much! The consummate professional.

H: Your class year performed the toy story song at school festival... with a couple of surprise songs in the mix. As you were all supposed to be Toy Story characters we made do with all the pink we have, made a snout and ears, and you became Mr Piggy the piggybank. You performed so well and were fully focused on all the actions - carried out with great flair and the occasional grin when your eye caught us.

A week of beaming faces :)
L xx

Monday, 13 July 2015

June - half year eve

Crikey... We're almost halfway through July and June seems a distant memory...

June marked the start of summer. School restarted after the mid term break and it has been an action packed half term for the girls.  A and H headed to the beach on a school trip to Weston Super Mare for a day and had a blast - ice-creams, sandcastles, donkey rides, bouncy castles... They had a gorgeous day for it and so much fun. Later in the month L also had a Kindy trip to a farm - after the big girls' school trip she was counting down the sleeps. She came home with an egg collected from a chicken, beaming from ear to ear. In other school activities, H started football coaching which she relished and L also had her first induction visit at school in the final days of the month.

A managed to give herself a huge black eye early on in the month and then went on to loose two more teeth (after the one lost late in May). She was quite the sight for a few weeks. She has also been reading like crazy and her two sisters are also loving books. H celebrated her 6th birthday and we had a wonderful weekend away at the time. The two of us also enjoyed spending an afternoon shopping for a birthday outfit - as gifted by a family friend. No surprise that the minute we came across a Zebra top the search was over.

On the home front we tried to leave for school one Monday morning only to find the car battery had died completely. Thanks to our wonderful neighbours we had the car turned around and jump-started within a few minutes and at school barely a minute or two later than we would usually be. Which is still well on time :) The next day one of the tyres was practically flat... So two visits in two days to the mechanic and we had a new battery and a new tyre to replace the broken flat one. The landlord also arranged to have the patio replaced and we now have a lovely outdoor space for summer evenings.

This month I pulled out the sewing machine to test a pattern for my clever friend Juliet. First time in 5 months. It was so good and just what was needed. The in-flight quilt was also finally bound and is now in use...just need to find a place to photograph it properly before writing about it. There wasn't very much progress on the crochet project but it did see the light of day at a catch-up with a lovely new friend, where we enjoyed getting to know each other more over a cuppa or two, some knitting and crochet :)

Speaking of friends we also received a few surprise and lovely parcels from NZ, along with great Skype and Facetime calls. We made some new friends and acquaintances with the people in our cul-de-sac by doing a cookie drop to them all. Another fun and encouraging exercise that has been so rewarding already.

Our one trip away was arranged to catch up with dear friends who were visiting England briefly. We made a weekend of it, starting with a dinner with old friends from NZ (who also live here now) on the Friday evening, an awesome and super fun day at Legoland on the Saturday, and on Sunday a drive through Oxford followed by a visit to the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, topped off with a special few hours with our visiting friends. Back home late that night but full of joy from a fantastic weekend.

It was a good month.
L xx

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hitting the Street

Last year we spent a couple of weeks baking, sewing and then delivering bags of biscuits to all the people in our street. We loved everything about it - but mostly all the people we met and new connections we made.

So given that we are all shiny and new here, I had it on my radar to do a cookie drop to our street. During June we spent a couple of days baking up a storm, sewing little bags and making little notes to deliver to all our neighbours...

We live in a small cul-de-sac and had 20 houses to visit. Some of our neighbours we chat to daily and have been super, so it was nice to give them a bag of bikkies to say thanks for their help and for being so welcoming. Some weren't home of course, but returned to a bag of treats.

We loved having a few conversations with others. As it turned out, we were not the new kids on the block anymore as some people were even more recent additions to the street than we were! So it doubled as a hello and a welcome!

Since then we have had cups of tea, playdates, been to a backyard fair, had lots of cards, been given flowers, brownie, biscuits, home-made strawberry jam and elderflower cordial(!) and also had a french lesson! And of course lots of hello's, how are you's and conversations. Every single house on our cul-de-sac has responded - so nice!

I really recommend doing something like this if you are new to your hood. It was a joy last year and it has been so valuable and uplifting this time around too. It has helped immensely in becoming part of the wee street community, building connections and establishing relations. All things that help you settle.

Do it - even if you are not new! It's a lovely way to meet people :)
L xx

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Twenty Seven/52

A: My precious innocent angel. On Saturday afternoon we were invited to one of the neighbourhood kids' "backyard fair". It was so delightful with fun games, a never ending supply of circulating pennies to offer as payment and lollies... or should I say sweets :) You loved the tombola and eating donuts off a string without using your hands especially. And you were so keen on sharing your winnings with your sisters and helping them in their games.

H: We had a deliciously warm heatwave last week which meant frozen ice treats on our walks home - much to everyone's delight. You were a little sad that Football is over for the term/year but have your eyes firmly set on more sessions next term at the beginning of the new school year. We were terribly impressed with how well you were able to aim and throw with success at the fair. A good eye! Mostly you loved playing with the other kids up in the "treehouse" and making friends.

L: You had your first school visit this week and after a wee "moment" and declaring how much you love your kindy teacher with passion..., you loved the visit and didn't want to leave! Naturally you were super familiar with the environment and a few of the teachers at school already - the benefit of having older siblings there. You loved hooking the ducks at the "fair" and gained skill at doing so very fast given there were sweets as prizes! Such great fun you all had :)

L xx

Thursday, 2 July 2015

On the train: London - Day 3

Monday morning brought the start of our last half day in London. On the tube we hopped and got ourselves to St Paul's Cathedral. It was a lovely quiet morning and we could really take in its size, and all the detail and a cup of coffee as we walked around it. It was a lot bigger than I expected. We only ventured into the front foyer - no photo's allowed inside - but what we glimpsed was awe-inspiring. The girls mostly wanted to know where the birds were so we could feed them ;)

We loved using the tube. So easy, so accessible, even for a complete and utter stranger to the whole thing like me. We got some Oyster cards for the weekend and it was such a breeze. You could also just use your contact-less bank debit card - it really couldn't' be easier. Next we walked the Tower Bridge. It was a beautiful day again and we had lovely views of the bridge, the surroundings and the river Thames.

Right next door is the Tower of London which we visited next.  Again the history of this place is fascinating and deep.  We visited the Crown Jewels which would have been a highlight for the girls.  They could not believe we were seeing the real deal!  All so shiny and sparkly! (No photo's allowed!)

We also ventured into the White Tower and loved the amazing nooks and cranny's and displays. The detail on some of the armour was astonishing - hard to believe they would do battle in something so intricate and beautifully made. We would have loved to visit some of the other areas too (it's such a huge place with so many stories and areas!) but we needed to get going and catch the train back home.

We got home high from a fab weekend and still pinching ourselves that we had really been there and done it! It's not hard to see why people love it and we will be back for more visits in the future!
L xx

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Twenty Six/52

A: How you managed to get in the tree with your ice-cream intact was a surprise to us. But there you just hung out and enjoyed yourself. You have gone from reading a book a day to finishing three or four a day... So speedy! And you are getting close to finishing all the books in the Rainbow Magic series. No small feat considering there are over 200...

H: We couldn't Not have a cake for your birthday so of course the celebration continued after our weekend. You were delighted and loved putting the candles on and cutting pieces for us. You spent a lot of time this week working on all your birthday Lego sets. Despite not getting any from us, you still managed a few and had a ball! From Elves to Storm Troopers to Pirates. You are such a diverse little person.

L: You went on your kindy trip to the petting farm and had a ball. You brought home an egg and were torn between having to use it for food and wanting it to hatch. I loved seeing how beautifully you played with one of the neighbours' boys during the week. So much so, that you kept wanting to just wander on over and play all the time! Is he home yet? Is he home yet? Now? You love running - you will run what seems like "mindless" laps around the backyard. The way you all continue to be so different from each other is always a joy to observe.

Halfway through the year!  Unbelievable.
L xx