Sunday, 26 February 2012

Time Out

We've just survived another week that has flashed before our very eyes. Mr Bogert has been working almost every evening, and I have been trying to catch up on my course reading. I had forgotten just how difficult it can be trying to juggle two modules at once. I'm not really sure why something that had such a big impact on my life this time last year would escape my memory, but there you go.I really look forward to weekends. We get chance to spend time together as a family (just about) and we let boring chore type things slip a little (not entirely - we just relax a bit more), but even yesterday was overtaken by 'things'.

Everyone waiting and passing time before the Small Person's name was called. (Sorry for the poor quality of the images. I only had my phone with me!)

The Small Person has dance classes on Saturday mornings: Freestyle and Musical Theatre. She's just moved up to the older classes this week, so they were an extra half an hour. So the whole family rides over to Kenilworth, drops her at her dance class for 9am, then we have breakfast in The Almanack and collect her again at 10.30am. Normally that would be it for the day, but yesterday she had a ballet exam at 2.30 (we had to be there for 2pm) and a tap exam at 3.30 (we had to be there for 3pm) so we couldn't really relax and do anything because we knew we had to be back in Kenilworth for then. I'm not sure hwo she did, but she seemed happy with herself. Fingers crossed she earned her rosettes. We wont hear for a several weeks.

So we made up for it today. We took a family trip out to Cannock Chase Sculpture Trail. Zack absolutely loved the freedom of being able to run around freely. We weren't worried because it wasn't very busy and it's quite enclosed. The ground is quite soft too, so for the many times he tripped over a branch, over his own feet or just a wobble and lost his balance, all we got was dirty knees and "oh oh" or "Woah!" which is just too cute from such a tiny dude.

We also spent some time practicing a bit of lighting for photography. It didn't go quite as planned because the model was a bit temperamental (The Small Person is an easily bored Diva). I think we got a few shots we're both happy with, but we didn't get the lighting we wanted. We'll just have to try again with a more stationary model!

How poor little Zacky spent his time while we were photographing his big sister.

We had a Bogert packed lunch sitting on a large tube of (wooden) toothpaste, explored fairy homes, which Zack was fascintaed by, and made friends with the tortoise and the hare.

Entering the Fairy Woods

It was a very welcome break from housework and uni work. We're now home with the Smaller Person sleeping off his adventures on the sofa (sharing my blanket), the Small Person colouring in her room, and Mr Bogert and I are hiding behind our laptops with Got to Dance on in the background. We love this show.

Time spent in and around the maze.

I wish tomorrow was another Sunday.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Do you remember I said I was working on a little crochet something waaaaaaaaaaay back here? Well, I finally finished it! Woo hoo! I am SO pleased with how it has turned out.

Those with a keen eye will realise this isn't the same crochet from the sneak preview. I decided I was not loving it and started over using a different type of stitch. So it's the same project executed differently to the original plan.

Sorry to say, I still can't show you :( But you can have another little peek...

Yay! Finished project make me feel good, but even better when I love them so much.

Now I'm working on an Alexandra request:

This is something quick and easy, and hopefully to be finished by next week. When they are finished, you CAN see them :) Any guesses what 'they' (there's a clue) might be?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Toddler Group Tuesday - Rain Clouds

We've had a fair bit of rain lately by us, which, for the record I'm OK with. I only do the English complaining about the weather thing if it interferes with or makes my plans for the day difficult. I think that's fair.

So today in homage to the weather, we made rain clouds (which caused the weather to change and be dry and reasonably warm for February. No, really, they did. The power of papercraft!).

For this craft you will need:
- card
- glue
- yarn/string
- blue craft foam
- sellotape
- various white collage bits (as many textures as possible)
- scissors
- pen/pencil

First of all, draw and cut out a cloud shape on your piece of card. Make it big enough to provide a large enough area for collage (we filled an A5 sheet with our cloud).

Next cut 3 pieces of yarn or string, 2 the same length, 1 longer. (We cut two at 15cm and one at 20cm).

Stick these to the back of your cloud shape with sellotape, so that they hang down underneath.

Cut 6 rain drop shapes from the blue craft foam (you could also use glitter/holographic card).

Glue or sellotape a droplet to the end of each strand, and another droplet part way along each strand. This can be fiddly, so we did this for our littlies. If you have more time and resources, you could sandwich the yarn between two droplet shapes for a cleaner looking finish, and it will probably secure them better. (We didn't have this option because of the number of children we have at toddler group).

Finally, cover the whole cloud in glue and go crazy with the textures. We have used cotton wool, white tissue paper (flat and scrunched), scrunched kitchen roll and some polyester wadding.

All finished!

You could also add a loop of yarn to the top of the cloud for hanging, silver glitter for a "silver lining", tinsel strands for rain, or other story coloured collage materials.

Happy crafting :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

That Happy Feeling

This evening I am in my happy place. Today was TMA04 submission deadline for EA300 Children's Literature, one of the courses I am studying with the OU as part of my degree.

There's always this great feeling right after an assignment is completed and sent to my tutor, even when I don't feel that I've done very well. It's the thought that the stressful week of compiling extra notes, developing and argument, gathering quotes to provide evidence for your argument and sifting through it all to pull a 2000 word essay out of the bag in time (amidst a whole heap of self-doubt), is over. Not only is it over, but I wont be experiencing one of those weeks for at least another 3 less stressful ones! Woo hoo!

So am I happy with work I've turned in? I honestly don't know. I guess it read OK, but I'm very aware of a huge pile of very relevant notes and quotes that are sitting here abandoned due to word count. I didn't even have room to comment on dialogue, which I was sure was quite important. It's like anything you create yourself, firstly you tend to be over-critical of your own work because you can't view it objectively, secondly, you've just spent so many hours working on it, you're too close to it to see it with fresh eyes. I get Mr Bogert to read through, but he always just says "yeah, it's good". I'm not sure if this is because he wants to play it safe rather than offend me, or whether he's not really sure what I should be focusing on in my answer because he's never studied literature. Fingers crossed, I've turned in a good one. I never really do have much idea until the marks come back.

That's the next horrible bit of studying. The happiness of meeting the deadline passes, and instead you turn into this irritable F5-hitting monster as you keep checking the results page!

I am really enjoing this course though, the subjects we are covering are interesting, the set texts aren't so bad either. I would never have picked up Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry for myself, and even after hearing the terrible opinions other people on the course held of Swallows and Amazons, I did actually get into the story. I think it helped that I was prepared for the long drawn out beginning, so I just persevered.

For the assignment I just turned in, I actually chose Swallows and Amazons as one of the two set texts to evaluate. The second was Tom's Midnight Garden - love that book!

So, this evening is all calm and relaxation and a break from study (although I keep feeling guilty and thinking I should really go and pick my other course books up which I am a week behind with), instead I am watching CSI and finishing a crochet project that is a gift and needs to be finished, ummm, last month. Ooops.

Also, I think I actually deserve extra brownie points for wrapping a whole bunch of gifts for various people today ready to give out at the appropriate times. One is even for a party the Small Person has been invited to on 3rd March. Go me with the ahead planning! This may be the first time that I am not hurriedly wrapping the present on the arm of the sofa as everyone else heads out of the door, or worse still, in the car on the way there!

I also forgot to show this little item off:

This is the card the Small Person made for my cousin's new baby. I did some of the cutting out, but she did the design, chose the papers, and stuck it all how she envisioned it. Smart cookie, that little girl of mine :)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Cause for Celebration!

Celebrations have been going on everywhere around our little Wishes family these last few weeks! Definitely worth reflecting on.

First of all, Mr Bogert's best friend (best man at our wedding, Godfather to the small people, and reason we ever got together in the first place - so pretty important) has finally set a date with his lovely partner. It's looking like it's going to be a lovely intimate wedding, and I'm super excited because Mr Bogert is Best Man, the Small Person is Flower Girl, the Smaller Person is Page Boy, and I was super surprised and happy to be asked to be a bridesmaid :D Really looking forward to it! Ooo! And I've seen 'The Dress'. It's stunning. Look forward to lots of pictures come November time.

Anthony with Mr Bogert at our wedding.

Uncle Anthony and Auntie Charlotte with Baby Zachary on his Christening day.
The next happy news has already been mentioned: Mr and Mrs Woo's Beautiful baby girl Matilda was born on 28th January. Mrs Woo has finally found a few spare minutes between cuddles to introduce her over on her blog. Go take a look - Matilda's a super sweetie!

At the time we heard of Matilda's arrival, we were waiting for my cousin's baby boy to be born. He arrived safe and healthy. Another cutie pie, Baby Harry arrived (after a very long labour - well done Lauran!) on 3rd February. My cousin, Matt, and his partner, Lauran topped off the good news by announcing their engagement a week later. Another wedding to look forward to.

Congratulations Matt and Lauran.

In between the news of new additions and wedding bells, we went to the first birthday party of a sweet little friend of Zacks. The year has gone so fast. It's this time last year we were attending all of the baby showers! This little miss is going to be in charge of all the boys she's surrounded by. She's not shy and she's determined (despite being such a little dot!).

At Mummy Becky's baby shower before this little Miss arrived, just over a year ago.

Very First Birthday!

Today we have been to another first birthday party. Ethan is the son of Zack's Godparents, Auntie Simone and Uncle Ted, and hopefully Zacky and Ethan will grow up as good friends. Another happy time. This party felt even stranger because it has been exactly a year since I was at this house with mostly the same people (many of which I haven't seen for the last year) celebrating Ethan's impending arrival. It's not just Ethan, Zack and Little Miss that have grown; another mum who was expecting at the shower was there with her steadily growing son, another who had given birth the week before last year's shower was there with her one year old son, another couple who were looking forward to their summer wedding are now wearing their wedding bands and settled into married life. How much a year can change things!

Simone at her baby shower waiting for Ethan's arrival.

Birthday boy about to turn 1 this week!

Most of all, these small people grow too quickly! We need to put something in their food to low them down!

Zachary's Christening last May (Zack 7 months, Little Miss and Ethan 3 months) 

At Zachary's 1st Birthday (Zack 1 year old, Ethan and Little Miss 8 months old)

At Christmas, together with baby gang member number four (Zack 14 months, Ethan and Little Miss 10 months, Little Guy 8 months)
What a wonderful way to begin the year! Every year should start this way (and continue for the full twelve months). So, who else is getting married/expecting/found love/acheived something great? Congratulations all round!