Our Girl Did Good!

15:42 Karen 4 Comments

Well, like so many families, Thursday brought us the long awaited GCSE results and I can only say that we were thrilled, delighted, amazed and so proud of our girl. (David said I have phoned everybody in the Colchester phone directory to tell them our news!)

Our little girl has left school with 5 A*s, 6 As and (a C for French - I am whispering the last one).
Even with those grades she was disappointed that she only got an A and not an A* in Maths and Chemistry.

I went to the fabulous Wyverstone crop yesterday and sat between my good friends Eileen and Karelyn and opposite Nikki and what a fantastic day I had. It was lovely to sit and chat with the girls - hence not much scrapping done but lots of eating and gossing, so maybe not a productive day but certainly a fun one.

I did get one page made about all the things I love about our house and the new bathroom features quite heavily in the photos. I have realised that I haven't taken any proper photos to show so will try to get that done next week.

This page took ages because I used some fabulous My Little Shoebox paper and spent ages cutting out the little windows, doors and roofs and then using foam pads to create a 3D border. I must have spent at least 2 hours just doing that!

Once I had finished the main work on the page I realised that I hadn't brought along any brown letter stickers and so Eileen came to the rescue - thanks bud - and I was able to blag H O M E from a brand new pack of Doodlebug stickers. That's real friendship for you xxx

Also in a moment of madness, on Friday, I signed up to a Shimelle class - Learn Something New Every Day. It was really a spur of the moment click of the mouse that made me join because as soon as I had sent the payment I reflected on how little time I always have in September and panicked how I was going to get a page a day done. I then remembered that on my recent trip to ArtBase I had purchased a set of Jenny Bowlin chipboard Bind it All covers and these would make a very cute 6 x 4 album. A size that even I should be able to find time to do each day. I may well get up a little early each day to complete my page. Also because of the size I can scan and upload the pages rather than photograph them so this means that I will be able to scrap in the evening and not worry about photographing the results if necessary.

I made the covers yesterday and am pleased with the results - they have all the things I love on them - quirkyness (the cute little birds, I knew I would find an ideal project to use this paper, oh ye of little faith who laughed at me for buying it), blossoms and bling and most of all bright colours.

So my pages have all been cut and are 6 x 4.5 and white - I so love scrapping on white or black and I think I will use the gorgeous black, white, pink and cerise Luxe Design papers that I inadvertently (no, really I kid you not) fell into my shopping basket when I was looking on A Trip Down Memory Lane's website, last week! So I'm all fired up and ready to to.

Tomorrow I must do the bookwork for the dreaded VAT return and also a few other admin jobs but hope to get in a little walk with the family too.

I will leave you with a photo of the magnificent rainbow that was outside our house on Friday. I have never seen such a vivid rainbow with such vibrant colours it was truly spectacular and my photographic skills do not do it justice.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. We have so much to be proud of in our beautiful talented and smart daughter.

2. I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed my day out with the girls yesterday - thank you to everyone who was there.

3. I am actually looking forward to going back to school on Thursday as I have missed the company of all the little people I work with.



Lion Taming, Retail Therapy and Buttons, Brads and Bling

15:23 Karen 0 Comments

This week we are running a holiday club at church and the theme is 'God's Zoo'. I am one of the leaders of the Lions - a group of children aged 7, 8 and 9 - hence the lion taming bit of the blog title. It is very tiring but oh so rewarding. The children are with us for 2 1/2 hours and it is lovely to see them having so much fun learning stories from the Bible.

After holiday club yesterday, I drove to Ipswich to pick up the girls from a pre-college shopping trip and decided that I did need to go into town to buy the handbag that I saw on Saturday but had resisted - it was from a charity shop and was only £3.49 - can you believe it? It is just so absolutely gorgeous and soooooooo me!

This page has been in the making since Sunday and was made for the SLYMI challenge on UKS. The challenge was to make a square lo, smaller than 12 x 12 and then put it onto a 12 x 12 piece of card stock. Well - I made the lo, put it onto a piece of card stock and didn't like the amount of white space around it. I then doodled a border in brown but still did not like it. This morning, I decided to try a few buttons, brads and bling and now I like it.

For me the more I can pile onto a lo the better! I used My Little Shoebox paper - I could happily just scrap with their ranges - love, love, love them so much.

I am sitting here wondering how can Gracia have gone from this cute little 11 year old to this sophisticated 16 year old in such a short time. I don't think that the photos look like the same girl!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Holiday Club is such a success and I love spending time with the children teaching bible stories.

2. This week has been a week for re-establishing old friendships and making new ones.

3. A cup of tea and one (or two) chocolate biscuits are waiting for me in the kitchen!



Retrospective Blogging Is OK!

09:10 Karen 0 Comments

Sometimes when I get home late, like yesterday, I cannot be bothered to update my blog but then in the morning wish I had. So I have decided that retrospective blogging is ok.

Yesterday I took Kiera down to the woods for a lovely long walk, yet again, I do so love the woods as everytime we go there is something new to look at.

So on the way I found this little treasure - a beautiful blue Jay feather and it got me thinking about how I used to have a treasure box when I was little to keep things like this in. I now just pin them up to the board by the side of my desk so in fact my whole desk is a treasure box! I also pondered on the wonders of nature - how beautiful creation is. If you showed someone, who had never seen one before, a drawing of a peacock or a tropical fish or even a bird of paradise flower they would think you had made it up because they are so fantasticly beautiful. I never cease to be amazed by the beauty that is all around.

We had our lunch here in the woods where I sat on a fallen tree and Kiera snuffled about - I am hoping she is turning into a truffle dog and we can make some money from our woodland exploits.

I had a Quorn and coleslaw sandwich (sorry about the bite out of it but I was ravenous), a yogurt (which I had to eat without a spoon because I found that on my desk when I got back. Good job it was a runny yogurt and not a set one.) and a large handful of blueberries - yum! Kiera had a piece of chicken I found in the fridge from earlier in the week. A treat for her because a) we don't normally feed her at lunch time and b) we don't usually allow her to have 'people' food. Her lunch went down in about 5 seconds and because I was so hungry mine didn't take much longer.

We then walked through the woods

and through the fields home. Absolute bliss.

We both crashed out for an hour when we got home - it was so hot and the last mile home was a real trudge.

In the evening we went to see The Time Traveller's Wife. Loved the film but surprisingly did not cry one little bit. I am not sure why because I can cry at the slightest thing but not at this film.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I fully intend to repeat my lunch in the woods experience, today.

2. I have decided I need more adventure in my life and so have signed up for a charity abseil.

3. I may well grab my cup of tea and return to bed for a while with my book - how decadent is that?



Birthdays, Bullocks and Bruises

07:17 Karen 1 Comments

It was my boy's birthday yesterday. He is not big on birthdays, like Gracie and me and likes a very low key affair - he even said "Shall I pretend to be excited for Gracie?" How sad is that, not even excited on your own birthday. We Gracia and I always make up for the lack of excitement by being hyper excited instead! We even had to prompt him to open his presents at about 8.00pm - he had forgotten he had presents to open - how could anyone not rip the paper off the instant they are given presents is beyond belief!

I spent most of yesterday making Christmas journals - they took longer than I expected but I am hoping that as I ironed out the problems as I went along the next batch will be quicker.

After I retrieved Gracie from Hannah's (I think Eileen will have to start charging rent the amount of time Gracie spends in her house) and we went 'birthday food' shopping at Sainsburys I made a Pizza Pie for tea and Gracia made a profiterole birthday cake. It was quite spectacular.

We all went for an early evening walk down to the river. What a glorious evening and what a fabulous time we had. David and Gracie fooled about the whole time and it really gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see the the bond they have. I took the final photo for my 'Seasons of Love' lo that has been a year in the planning and now I have a photo of the two of them walking for all seasons!

We saw these absolutely beautiful bullocks (they were getting very frisky at one point and I had to look away!)

a hot air balloon

played chase the stick with Kiera

they did Superman impressions

and Gracia gave us a demonstration of her speed walking skills (she thinks she could be an Olympic contender!) I laughed so much that a man painting his gate stopped what he was doing to stare at me!

Finally look at the state of poor Gracia's leg. The blooming wasp sting has left a horrible bruise.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. We are going to the cinema with Eileen and Hannah to see The Time Traveller's Wife, this evening.

2. I have two los in Scrapbook Inspiration this month so am going to buy a copy.

3. July's invoices are finished - I only have August's invoices, the VAT return and the year ends for both business to do now!



A Very English Afternoon

21:58 Karen 0 Comments

This morning started early as I was doing the intercession prayers at Church. I love going to church, the warm feeling I get singing hymns, the companionship of my church family and the teaching from Andy and Mike. So I got up early to write my prayer and as usual it was a simple, from the heart, prayer. Many of the people who do the intercession prayers can write amazing, deep and thought provoking ones but me - I just tell it from the heart in a simple way, praising and asking for the the things that are important to me as a woman and a mother. So there are no deep meaningful thoughts just thanks for all the lovely things in our lives and all around us and thanks for the safety of our children and the love from our families - both church and home.

This afternoon, we went over to David's mum's house (should there be two apostrophes in that sentence?) for lunch in her beautiful garden, as his brother and family were visiting from the Lake District. I really get on with my SIL and we are taking our girls out for lunch tomorrow - just the 4 of us.

The boys played badminton and fooled around and us girls did what girls do best - sat in the sun and chatted.

I love the way Kiera snuggled up to David at the end of the afternoon - even though she has spent most of the holidays with me, she is still his dog :(

Finally, before going home I had a lovely cup of tea in a proper cup and a piece (or two) of this delicious boiled fruit cake.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. This afternoon has been simply sublime.

2. I am so looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

3. I have managed to blog every day for a week - although in the beginning I doubted that I would.




22:01 Karen 0 Comments

Poor Gracia was stung by a wasp yesterday and her leg has swollen up quite badly. She has a red, angry lump, the size of a satsuma and it is sore and itchy.

Today has been spent doing mostly wifely/mother/admin chores for David and Gracia. I got to take Gracia to Hannah's, do the banking and a big Tesco shop this morning and this afternoon I got to do this:-

............................................. typing up invoices. No time for any crafting but Hannah came over for the afternoon and brought a DVD called Disturbia. We don't usually watch movies that are scary but this wasn't a horror movie so I quite liked it. I am one of those people who hate horror movies and cannot for the life of me understand why you would pay good money to go to the cinema to be scared witless.

As Hannah was staying for tea I bought our favourite pizzas to have. YUM I love those bad boys - delicious on the lips but fattening on the hips!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. Alan, Ginny and family are visiting tomorrow and I am really looking forward to seeing them.

2. I have made a good start on this month's invoices and should get them done by the end of Monday.

3. I went to the Range and purchased some little bits and bobs which I am delighted with.



Cleaning, Cutting and Sticking

20:42 Karen 0 Comments

This morning was spent mostly getting reacquainted with these

Yes I cleaned the house from top to bottom and it is so nice to see the results of my labour.
I also spent this afternoon pasting photographs into a mini book but am not entirely pleased with the result and will sleep on it and make a decision whether to start again or whether it will grow on me.

Gracia has had her bf over for the day and they have had a lovely day walking the dog, playing football on the heath, watching numerous dvd's and other innocent activities that teenagers get up to together.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. HP have accepted that there is a fault with Gracia's laptop and are going to fix it free of charge!

2. Tomorrow is the weekend which means that David will be at home with us for the next two days :)

3. I have booked for us to go to Go Ape and am really excited at the prospect of hanging from trees for several hours!



A Quick Little Blog

21:21 Karen 0 Comments

Just a quick little blog to show willing as I am really tired this evening.

I have had a lovely afternoon with my best Scrap Bud Eileen. I scrapped and finished a lo all but the journalling and she ....... well she didn't scrap one little bit. Not a piece of paper was cut nor a blob of glue glued! Eileen spent all afternoon tidying up her scrap room. I can't complain as I did benefit greatly from this with all sorts of scrapping goodies! Thank you Eileen xxx

(Sorry about the bad photo Eileen)

I also picked up Gracia's laptop from the computer hospital only to be told that they could not do anything with it as the mother board was corrupt! Not what you want to hear about a very expensive laptop that is only 18 months old. HP have had a very fiery e-mail from me this evening!

I finished the lo when I got home and scanned it (badly) I can't be bothered to mess about with the scanner - the only reason I scanned this lo is that it was too dark to photograph. I will photograph it tomorrow and replace the bad photo.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. Even though it is not working correctly Gracia is happy to have her laptop back and be able to Facebook to whom ever she likes, when ever she likes.

2. I spent a lovely relaxing afternoon with Eileen (waves to Eileen xxxxx) and managed to get a lo 80% finished in 2 1/2 hours - a record for me at the moment.

3. I am off to make a nice hot chocolate for Gracia and me and then off for an early night - I hope.



At Long Last!

22:36 Karen 0 Comments

- Snapfish order delivered today! On my return from taking Gracia to the doctors there on my mat were the 50 photos I have been hankering for all week. :) I'm afraid that was probably the highlight of my day.

A very uneventful day filled with running around to various appointments.
I was here this afternoon

but absolutely love this statue outside the hospital.

I then went to here.

Went to the pc doctors to check whether Gracia's laptop was ready yet - no :( and finally picked up Gracia from Hannah's and returned home to add the photos to my little handbag book. It now looks really pretty with the coloured photos instead of the black and white photocopies!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I now have my 50 photographs, some already in Gracia's prom mini book and some ready for my Christmas Journal, others ready to be scrapped.

2. Good news from the hospital.

3. We watched Memoirs of a Geisha this evening and I had forgotten how good that film is.