Summer holidays are approaching…

Another school year is as good as over. I feel old when I say it but I really don’t know where this year has gone! My oldest boy, J, will be going into year 9 in September, and B will be in his last year at primary school. My niece will be starting nursery and I’m expecting major envy from my little girl who has a whole year to wait before she gets to go to school.

And so my inevitable holiday planning starts. This has become similar to new year’s resolutions in how effective and useful they are, but one of these years I’ll get it right! So far, both boys plan to practise their musical instruments regularly, and I think both are planning to take part in the local library reading challenge. B is keen to clean out and decorate the shed at the bottom of the garden, and while J is less willing to do the work, he doesn’t want to miss out on a potential man cave and so he’ll be helping. E will carry on much the same as now, being alternately gorgeous, frustrating and hugely lovable. And I hope to dye lots of lovely yarn to stock my shop in the autumn. We’ve also got three weddings to enjoy, and at least one camping trip, hopefully more. I’ve bought us a rail card and I’m hoping that we might get a couple of day trips on trains in – E has never been on a train but she loves Thomas the Tank Engine and so I think she’d be thrilled!

That’s it so far. I think you’ll agree that there doesn’t look like there’ll be too much time to get bored!

Jumping back in…

…as if I’d never been away! It’s been a long time, and the longer I leave it to blog, the more intimidated I feel. So I’ve decided just to hop in and write as if it hasn’t been months and months and just get on with it.

Cheeky found out how to put loom bands together last week, and is totally immersed in constructing bracelets now. So far we’ve just had simple bracelets but I don’t think it’ll be long before he wants a proper loom. I think he’ll enjoy having a go at all the little superheroes you can make!

Here’s a selection so far. I’ll be studying YouTube later – apparently I’m learning to make a Starburst, whatever that is!


And here are the artists at work earlier;


Chilling out and sitting back

I’m sitting here with my cup of soothing orange, mango and cinnamon tea, relaxing while Sweetie has her nap, and I decided to try to write a quickish update for you all. Let’s start with my youngest and work our way up!

Baby Sweetie is coming on in every area but sleep in leaps and bounds. She seems to have decided that sleep is for the weak, so an undisturbed night has become a notable event! Her mobility is really increasing, and this last week or so she has started crawling. So far she’ll only crawl on carpet and stops once she hits wood or tile and shouts to be picked up! But her speed is increasing daily, so I think it’s about time we put up the stair gates! In a timely and slightly psychic manner, Welshpurpletree has actually, a few days ago, offered us her stair gates, which will be very gratefully received! As we have the attic conversion we’ll need an extra stair gate for the bottom of those stairs, and we’ve also decided to gate off the kitchen rather than put cupboard locks on everything.

Today I’m taking her for her MMR. This measles outbreak in South Wales is uncomfortably close to home, so after consulting with our doctor she’ll have her jab today at just over eleven months rather than waiting until the usual thirteen months. I hate needles (other than of the knitting variety!) so I’ve got sweaty hands just thinking about it, but it’s a necessary evil!

Handsome turned twelve at the start of the month and is too rapidly approaching the end of his first year of high school. He’s doing well, apparently, although he needs to work on his organisation. Also, we need to break him of the habit of taking every school book he owns to school every day!

Cheeky is nine now, as of Monday, and still loving his tennis and music. He’s been fiddling about on the keyboard recently, learning a few movie tunes. He got a piano tuition book for his birthday so hopefully he’ll have a go at learning properly. I need to sit down and help him with his music reading as his guitar teacher writes all the notes on his music so I don’t think he feels the need to learn to play properly.

I’ve been very productive this last few months with my knitting, so I need to sort out a picture post soon. And this month I had a go at crochet again. I’ve not crocheted since I started having problems with my hands, so when I didn’t have pain immediately I got a bit over excited and overdid it! Daft idiot that I am, I forgot that the pain is generally cumulative and so my hands have been aching more for a week or so. So, no more crochet for me for a while, then maybe just very small amounts once in a while.

Right, time for some therapeutic knitting until the baby wakes up. TTFN!

I’m definitely getting older

How on earth is it October already? Possibly not having experienced summer this year might contribute to the feeling of incredulity that there are less than three months to Christmas. But even so.

Baby Sweetie is already four and a half months old. She’s doing everything she’s supposed to, and then a little more for good measure. Handsome is a month into high school, and seems to be.enjoying it so far. We have been experiencing a shift to a certain teenagerish attitude from him, but I’m sure he’ll grow out of it in a few more years! Cheeky is doing well in Junior school, absorbing information like a sponge. He has decided that he will be a baker when he grows up, and made his first solo cake last week. He’s also had a good go at piping icing on some gluten free cupcakes we made for his godmother. I think I still have a picture…


I’m writing this on my phone, so there might be a photo or there might not, it’s really the luck of the draw! More later…


Just a quick post today. Cheeky (my youngest – the five year old) saw a competition at the local library, for World Book Day to paint a character from his favourite book. He chose to depict Harry Potter playing Quidditch. My mother gave him a lesson on perspective and relative dimensions, and here it is;

Bless him, he’s already planning the next ‘masterpiece’!

My son, the budding literary genius

When my elder son, Handsome, won the class merit cup recently it was suggested to him that maybe he’ll be a scriptwriter or an author when he grows up. He took this to heart and has started writing his first Doctor Who fan-fic.

As I’m a good and kind mother, I offered to type the ‘manuscript’ up for him. I started yesterday but gave up after the first page and a half, as it is something of a struggle to decipher.

As you can see, Handsome is in far too much of a rush to empty the contents of his brain onto the paper to bother about trifling things like legibility! So, my evening tonight will be spent typing up the remaining six and a bit chapters. Wish me luck! (I’ll be demanding commission if he ever gets published!)

Random things (you’ve got to love it when I run out of ideas!)

Ten days left of my January NaBloPoMo. And nothing interesting happening in Jennieworld. I’m over tired from rushing round after a group of five and six year olds yesterday at Techniquest  in Cardiff Bay. Cheeky’s yeargroup had a school trip and I volunteered to be a parent helper. What. Was. I. Thinking? I suppose it wasn’t that bad. The problem was that I’m just not used to kids that are like little Houdinis. I’ve put the fear of God into my two from a very young age and so they don’t stray far from my side without express permission. The six children entrusted to my care yesterday hadn’t had that, and so scattered around the museum the moment we got through the door. I spent the morning feeling slightly panicky, trying to marshall them all into looking at the same exhibit at the same time (futile. Extremely futile. And foolish. Not to be repeated in a museum aimed at children with hands on exhibits). In the afternoon I was a little more accustomed to them, and so let them dash from place to place. I, meanwhile, walked continuously round the museum (it’s open plan, so the theory is that you can see the children all the time. This is not the case.) counting the children in my group, repeating their names like a mantra each time I saw them. Of course, they all needed toilet stops every time I turned round, and of course, one of my group managed to lock themselves in the toilet cubicle. Thankfully, he managed to unlock the door before the member of staff could return with the screwdriver; I was very glad as I had visions of being sacked from my voluntary parent helper role before I’d had a chance to get started!

The children were all asked what their favourite bit of the day was. My favourite bit was definitely the moment I did a last head count once we were back in the school playground and I was relieved to find that all of my group were back safely! I’m sure though that actually teaching wouldn’t be so stressful, I just saw the group when they were at their most excited and hyperactive! I honestly don’t think they could have been more energetic and lively if I’d fed them all pure sucrose all the way to the museum on the coach!

In other news, I’d like to mention an appeal that I heard mentioned on the radio the other day. Marie Curie Cancer Care are looking for volunteers to give an hour to collect money and sell daffodil pins for their annual appeal in March. This is a great opportunity for those of us who are richer in time than money and who would like to help out. Marie Curie Cancer Care provide nurses to care for terminally ill cancer patients in their own homes, and I think they do a wonderful job. So, if you’re in the UK and have an hour to spare in March, click on the link above and register. They have set themselves a target of 20,000 hours and so far have 2051 hours promised. I’ve just volunteered. Will you join me?

Do you know, that between going on a school trip and going to the Pantomime last night, I didn’t knit a stitch yesterday?! I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms and will have to make up for it today! I’m working on the collar of my jumper now, so I’m hoping that the last few inches won’t take too long. I’m itching to move on to the next project (or more truthfully, finish the one I started when I got bored in the middle of my jumper!).

Also, I’m in the process of updating my blogroll. If you can see any obvious ones I’ve missed out, please let me know.

Some artwork for your viewing pleasure

Given that today is another uncheery grey day I thought I should post something happy. My younger son asked if I could share his artwork with the world (or at least the very small part of it that visits here!) and I was happy to oblige. So, drawn especially for you we have two mini-masterpieces.

He has thoughtfully labelled his creations (although he’s not so good at the word spacing as yet, but that is something we are working on!). I’m sure you can read it – it says ‘it is green and yelow'[sic]. I like the little caterpillar – I think he looks very happy!

The description reads; ‘this thing is a pe of glarsis thut ar [unneeded words] multi coloured wuns’ (this thing is a pair of glasses that are multi coloured ones). I’m not quite sure why he felt the need to draw pictures all over the frames, but I think they look very interesting! I can’t remember what all the pictures were. I know there was a cat, a train, a house, a building, a rocket, a golden retriever, a couple of birds and someone fighting with a light saber.

So, two drawings to brighten your day. He loves his drawing time, and I’m hoping that he will start to do more painting in the near future. He’s had a go at a ‘paint by numbers’ thing with acrylic paint, but it did dry out a bit too quickly so we’ll try him with watercolours next.

Happy Wednesday!

Should I suggest ‘War and Peace’ for him??

Handsome, my eight year old son has taken to reading in bed. Due to the somewhat fiery nature of his younger brother, I asked Handsome if he would mind going to bed at the same time as his five year old sibling (there would be hell to pay from Cheeky if Handsome got to stay up later than him!). The compromise was that Handsome was given a reading light by his bed and is allowed to read for three quarters of an hour past their joint bedtime.

Since July, he has been reading the Harry Potter books. According to Yahoo Answers, there are 3407 pages when you add up the pages from all seven books. He finished the last book yesterday. So in approximately 180 days, he’s read an average of almost twenty pages each day. Not bad, for an eight year old.

He was looking forward to picking out a new bedtime book today. He spent some time after school choosing a book, then looked forward to it for the rest of the evening. So you can imagine his disappointment when it didn’t live up to expectations! He came into the lounge about ten minutes after he’d gone to bed, saying that the chapters were only a couple of pages long, and that he thought the whole book would only take him about as long as a ‘Harry Potter’ chapter, so could I please help him to choose another book which would take a little longer!

Bless him! I found him another book to try, but now I’m wondering whether he needs something a little meatier?! Thanks to the ‘Harry Potter’ books he’s an even more avid reader than he was before, so I don’t want him to be put off by a couple of less than enthusing books! At the moment he’s reading a treasury of boys’ stories including stories like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Just William’, ‘Flat Stanley’ etc. When I see which stories from there he likes, I’ll be able (hopefully) to make more helpful suggestions! However, all suggestions from you guys will be more than gratefully received!


Friday was a day of jubilee and celebration in the Jennieworld household as both Handsome and Cheeky won the weekly Merit Cup in their respective school classes!

The Merit Cup is awarded each Friday to one child in each class, usually someone who has made extra effort during the week, or has done particularly well in a specific subject. Handsome was awarded the cup for mastering the use of adjectives in his English class and composing some interesting sentences, and Cheeky won it for sustained improvement and being a good friend (bless him!). You can imagine how happy they were when they came out of school. They have both been hoping to win the merit cup for some time now, so the fact that they both won it for the first time on the same day was amazing!

The cups have been taken everywhere this weekend, and proudly displayed to all their nearest and dearest. We had pizza and cake on Friday night to celebrate, and the win has even inspired Handsome to do his homework early – I hope that he wins it more often so that this trend can continue!

There is a plaque on the base of Handsome’s trophy which says his name and class, but the plaque is missing on Cheeky’s cup so, in place of telling people what the plaque says, he has been proudly telling everyone that on the base of the plinth it says that it was ‘Made in China’!