Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Life Is Good - Blog Award

This is the first time I have done one of these!

I won my first award and I’m very thankful for it and the person who awarded it to me….Grace at Going Going Gone Green.

Life Is Good Award

Life is good!

In order to receive this award I need to answer the following ten(10) questions and give this award to six (6) other people.

1.If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I do not blog anonymously, and I'm okay with it. I love sharing about my life. I'm just surprised anyone wants to read about it!

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
I think I was at my most stubborn as a child, and that is directly related to how much confidence I had back then. I'm getting my confidence in myself back, now that I am over 30, and my "inner stubborness" is returning as a result. I'll share an incident from my childhood though.

When I was a very young girl, I was friends with a boy. His family and my family were having a picnic at the park together one day. I found a butterfly on the ground. I thought it might be injured because it wasn't flying.

The boy saw me looking at the butterfly and started throwing pebbles at it. His aim was bad and he kept missing it, but I was very upset with him. I asked him to stop. He laughed and said, "Make me!"

I told him, "Leave the butterfly alone or I will HIT you!" I had no intention of actually hitting him. I had never hit anyone.

He didn't stop. I knew I was going to have to hit him, because if I didn't, then what I had said would be a lie and lies were bad. The internal argument in my head went on. Which was worse? Lying? Or hitting? Then I thought about the poor butterfly and the fact that he would keep throwing pebbles at it and probably hit it if I didn't do something. And, even at my young age of six or seven, I realized that if I didn't stand up and follow through on what I had said, he would never again believe me.

So I hit him. It wasn't even that hard but the big baby cried as if I'd given him a broken nose or something!

I got in trouble for it, because of course, he told on me. But I didnt mind, because I knew that I had done the right thing.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
A thin person! I've lost almost 140 pounds,but it still has taken a long time to stop seeing the unhealthy, morbidly obese person that I used to be. I've finally been able to wrap my head around the idea that I am no longer that person.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
I LOVE Diet Mug Root Beer, but it isn't sold in the UK, except, very expensively, from American Soda. Because of the price, it is only a rare treat for me, but it's still my favorite drink!

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I have a ton of things I still want to accomplish, and I am slowly but surely taking the steps I will need to achieve all of my goals. My biggest goal right now is that I want to be a published author, with both my children's stories and my novels.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the class shy person, or always ditching school?
To be honest, in highschool, I ditched school a lot. Most people didn't see me as shy, but I always felt very self-conscious in highschool. I don't really think I fit into any of the categories listed though. I didn't ditch all of the time. I wasn't the most shy. I definitely wasn't an overachiever or the class clown.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what do you see?
Giving birth to each of my seven children. The moments when they each were put into my arms were the most beautiful moments I've ever experienced. Each time, my heart would swell with love for them so much I felt it would burst.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
It's easy to type up a post filled with the real me and have my true feelings shown. Sometimes, it's not as easy to hit the "post" button and let the post I have written go out into cyberspace. Usually I have no problem with being who I am and typing up posts that are all ME.

10. If you had the choice to sit and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Most of the time, I would sit and read. It's not that I am antisocial or anything, but I just love getting lost in a good book. It's so easy to let my imagination and the story I am reading transport me to different worlds and realities. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE the life I have and all of the people in my life. I wouldn't change anything about it. But I think I also have an inner need for adventure that I fulfill vicariously through books.

Now I need to pass this award on to 6 other people:







Monday, 30 August 2010

Connor's 4th Birthday!

Today is Connor's 4th birthday.

I hadn't really planned a birthday party for him this year, but after recently celebrating his sister's 5th birthday with a party, he expected a party too. Thankfully, I invited his best friend Tyler over and Tyler's brother and sisters too. Tyler has an older brother Jay who is Gabby's age, an older sister Kyra and a a younger sister Rosie.

So, as an impromptu party, I bought some party favors and some items for a couple of pass-the-parcel games and some pizza for the kids to eat. Robert had already made a terrific fire engine cake for Connor's birthday.

Connor was very excited about his birthday and started the day by opening the birthday presents from his family.

Connors 4th Birthday

Connors 4th Birthday1

When his guests arrived, they played some pass-the parcel games.

Connors 4th Birthday2

Connors 4th Birthday2

The sun was out, so the children spent some time playing outside.

Connors 4th Birthday3

Connors 4th Birthday4

Even Connor's little brother Cameron seemed to be enjoying the fun.

Connors 4th Birthday Cameron

Next, everyone ate some pizza.

Connors 4th Birthday5

Connors 4th Birthday6

Then we brought out the fire engine cake.

Fire Engine Birthday Cake16

And we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Connor.

Connors 4th Birthday7

Connors 4th Birthday8

Connors 4th Birthday9

Connors 4th Birthday10

Then it was time for Connor to blow the candles out on his fire engine birthday cake.

Connors 4th Birthday11

Connors 4th Birthday12

He had a wonderful day and, when we were putting him to bed for the night, he said, "I loved my birthday party! When's my next one?"

Happy 4th Birthday, Connor! I love you!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Dancing Boy Who Was Camera Shy

This morning, Cameron grabbed a flashlight and started "singing" and dancing. He wiggled and strutted and held the flashlight up like a microphone.

His "singing" consisted of him yelling "Yah, yah, yah" at the top of his lungs, and occassionally holding the note for several seconds.

He's done this before, but this morning, I got my camcorder out to video him.

He immediately stopped singing and dancing, and then pouted at me. First, he threw the "microphone" down angrily. Then, deciding that didn't express his opinion well enough, he picked it back up and went and hid the "microphone" under the couch.

I put the camcorder away, and within minutes, he went and got the flashlight back out to use as his microphone and started singing and wiggling again.

Cameron's "Yah! Yah! Yah!" was heard throughout the house again.

My camcorder is tiny. It's just a FlipHD, so I tried to be sneaky about filming him and hoped he wouldn't see me. He did. Immediately.

He did the exact same thing as before, complete with the pout, the throwing of the "microphone" and then the hiding of the "microphone."

So I have no adorable and funny video of my little 1 1/2 year old dancing and singing to show you.

It's just too stinking cute not to have it on video to share with you (and keep as a video memory).

So I will try again next time. Eventually, I will capture his behavior on video.

By the way, I really love my totally silly and independent little boy.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rides, Cotton Candy & Walking

I promised the children I would take them for a walk today to our local store so that they could ride the mechanical merry-go-round that has been there for the past few weeks. The forecast told us it would rain this afternoon, so we headed out early in the morning.

On our walk there, we went through a long stretch of park area. There were blackberries growing up and down the entire stretch of our walk, and the kids liked to stop occasionally to pick and eat them.

Blackberries Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Along the way, a beautful black and white cat showed up beside us. It was obvious he wanted our attention, so we all stopped to pet him. He rubbed up against all of our legs and bumped his head against my hand several times. Whenever someone started walking past us, he would dash back into the bushes and hide, only to come out again once they had passed.

We walked on, but the cat followed us. It didn't seem to matter how far we walked, he continued to follow us, and whenever we stopped to look at something or to pick blackberries, he'd saunter up to us and demand attention again.

A couple sets of other parents with kids stopped to try and coax the cat out of the bushes so that they could pet him too, but he would only poke his head out far enough to look past them at us, and then he'd wait for them to leave and start following us again.

I started to worry a little as we got closer to our destination, because not only had he followed us for more than a mile, but we were nearing a very busy road which we would cross soon.

A couple passed us going the other way and they had two dogs with them. I knew the cat would hide until they passed, so I urged the kids to speed up with me, and we got further away from the cat in order to discourage him from following us any further. I think it worked, as I didn't see him following us after that.

When we got to our destination, because we had left so early, the rides were not open and neither was the stand that sold cotton candy. Cotton candy is a very rare treat for my kids, but I was determined to make today a special and fun day for the kids, so I had planned on buying them some.

We went into the store, and I let the kids pick out some inexpensive toys. I told them I would spend £1 on each of them and no more than that. Gabriella and Isabella both picked some little Hello Kitty trinkets filled with candy. Connor, as usual, picked a toy car. And Cameron picked a toy cell phone that made noises when he hit the buttons.

When we left the store, I could see that the ride was open now, so I paid for the children all to have a ride on the automatic merry-go-round. It was Cameron's first-ever ride! Fortunately, I had brought along my camera and my video camera. Isabella chose to ride on the dalmation at first, because she loves dalmations, but before the ride started, she changed her mind and chose to ride on Bugs Bunny instead. Gabriella was sweet and chose to ride with Cameron in a tank. Connor surprised me by choosing to ride on a fish.

Bella on ride 25 Aug 2010

Connor on ride 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride1 25 Aug 2010

Bella on ride1 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride2 25 Aug 2010

Connor on ride1 25 Aug 2010

Bella on ride2 25 Aug 2010

Connor on ride2 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride3 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride4 25 Aug 2010

Connor on ride3 25 Aug 2010

Gabby & Cameron on ride5 25 Aug 2010

Gabby on ride 25 Aug 2010

Once the ride was over, I bought them a bag of cotton candy to share. They did manage to get sticky and messy with it!

Conno & Bella cotton candy 25 Aug 2010

Bella cotton candy toy from shop 25 Aug 2010

Bella cotton candy 25 Aug 2010

Gabby cotton candy 25 Aug 2010

Connor cotton candy 25 Aug 2010

Cameron cotton candy 25 Aug 2010

Once the children all had some cotton candy, we started home.

Gabby toy from store 25 Aug 2010


Connor toy from store 25 Aug 2010

Bella Gabby Connor Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Gabby Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

The children asked me questions about many of the different plants we saw along the way.

Fungus Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Plants Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

We saw a lot of plums, but none of us could reach the red plums as they were too high up in the trees.

Plums Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Plums Seven Fields walk1 25 Aug 2010

The kids picked more blackberries on the way home.

Blackberries Seven Fields walk1 25 Aug 2010

At one point, we passed by an apple tree that was full of ripe apples. Unfortunately, all of the apples were at the top of the tree, making it nearly impossible to pick any of them. Only one small apple was a bit lower than the rest, so I picked Connor up and he managed to reach it and pick it. Gabby, Bella and Connor all shared it.

Apples Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Apples Seven Fields walk1 25 Aug 2010

Apples Seven Fields walk2 25 Aug 2010

They loved walking onto the bridge and looking at the water a short way below it. I even let Cameron out of his stroller to walk over the bridge too, but he soon tried to make his escape. I chased him down and put him back into the stroller.

Bella Gabby Connor on bridge 25 Aug 2010

Kids on bridge 25 Aug 2010

Cameron & Gabby on bridge 25 Aug 2010

Cameron & Gabby on bridge1 25 Aug 2010

Cameron on bridge 25 Aug 2010

We found a lot of yellow plums along the path that were within reach and Gabriella and Isabella both tried them and liked them, so they started picking their own. (I had to explain to Bella not to pick them as low as she started out picking due to the possibility of dogs having peed on them.) Bella shared on of her plums with Cameron.

Yellow Plums Seven Fields walk 25 Aug 2010

Bella picking plums 25 Aug 2010

Gabby picking plums 25 Aug 2010

Bella with plums 25 Aug 2010

Gabby with plums 25 Aug 2010

We came acorss a woman walking her friendly golden retriever. We have met this golden retriever before and the kids enjoyed petting him.

Connor Bella Gabby & dog 25 Aug 2010

The kids climbed down the steps to the tiny bit of waterfall in the creek. By then we were getting rained on, so we didn't stay long.

Connor Bella Gabby creek 25 Aug 2010

Gabby Connor Bella creek 25 Aug 2010

Gabby creek 25 Aug 2010

When the kids climbed back up from the creek, we found out that Cameron had pulled Gabby's beret out from the basket under the stroller and decided to wear it.

Nearing the end of our walk, the kids all climbed on some large rocks that were positioned around the park.

Gabby Connor Bella rock 25 Aug 2010

After that, the rain started falling much faster so we had to hurry home.

I hope they enjoyed the day as much as they seemed to. I like creating memories for them with simple days like this.