Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Campers

If I look at the blessings in my life, perhaps the biggest is happy children. They are human, of course, and we get the odd arguements or stroppiness, but really not much. They get along with each other the vast majority of time. They seem to enjoy school and their friends and love playing outside and all that stuff. It is very very good.

Take last night, for example. I got home early enough to read to the boys. Call us old fashioned but we still read books aloud before bedtime more often than not. My oldest, the nine year old, has started taking the odd turn, but even he just likes to lay back and be read to. We're currently reading a very silly book about a boy viking and his dragon.

I love putting on all the voices and pauses and noises. They really get into it. We had laughter at the silly bits, boys curled into corners of the sofa at the exciting bits and groans of dismay when it was time to close the book and go to bed. I only get to do it once a week, maybe twice. To be perfectly honest its one of my favourite times of the week. I love it. Then its tooth brush time and big hugs as they get into bed. I know they'll grow out of it some day, but I so hope that won't be for a long long time...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Works Ahoy

My second post in two days. I feel quite faint, must go have a lie down now. I don't promise to keep it going, but the mood has taken me so far.

So, just before our jaunty holiday to florida our Builder and team finally arrived. Three delays isn't so bad in these sorts of things. They got off to a grand old start. The garage was demolished in no time flat, and a good start was made on a moved stone wall and new bit of fencing we needed (some hedge had died away under a growing tree, the tree was definately staying so no replacement hedge).

Within two days we had our first complaint from our joyful neighbour I've mentioned before. They really are quite something. We often wonder what they do when they don't have anything to complain about.

Off then we went on holiday. No calls from the builder while we were away, though on comimg back looks like there should have been. Nothing serious but some confusion between the builder, architect and structural engineer that it took them all some days to sort out. I probably could have done it faster, but there we go. Our current house needed underpining, which our builder hadn't understood. Lost us a few days.

Still, good progress. The rainwater harvesting tank is now in, as is a new soakaway. All fences and walls are done and a new shed is up. Vast amounts of soil have been removed to make way for the cellar and foundations. Its all going well. Within the week the foundations should be down, then the real fun begins as the walls start going up. Overall? Still happy. We have a good relationship with our builder, and for once I feel he's actively working in our interest.

As long as we can keep happy with our neighbours (angry neighbour has now complained in a email at great length) I think its going to be good. I'm quite excited about it all!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jus Checkin In

No, I'm not dead. Yes, everything is fine.

Am just back from a two week trip to the wonder of the world that is Orlando. There is a mound of work to get on with, nothing drastic, just a lot of it. All is well with the world. The kids terms ended with a grand round of sports days and assemblies. Pirate Pete got one of his class prizes as well as a stellar report card. He was marked above average in all but a smattering of subjects, sometimes well above average. This in a selective school where the average is already high. He was chuffed and we were well pleased. The other two got great feedback as well, though they are too young to be so formally marked. It is a fine fine thing to have happy kids, it is a finer thing to have happy kids who are getting along well with life.

Orlando was quite the experience. Not necessarily a relaxing holiday, we were out doing "things" every day. It was an enjoyable holiday though. Hard not to in that mecca of entertainment. We did ride after rollercoaster after ride. We did movies, we did a safari and watched whales behaving very unwhale like. We saw men joust on horse back. We saw
pirates fight on a pirate ship. We saw some absolutely fabulous clowns and acrobats.

It was my princesses fifth birthday, and it being Disney she got to wear a badge saying it was her birthday and I swear to god had more than 50 people stop and say a cheery "Happy Birthday" to her. She also got to have dinner with her favourite fairie tale princesses. Though she made her mother very happy when she also rolled her eyes and said in perfect sarcasm "That one gets to live happily ever after, how sweet!" Then she got to see a big fire works. She was one utterly happy five year old.

We got to go to a truly amazing water park with five story high slides and a wave pool that generated eight foot high waves every two minutes on the dot. That place we went back to four times. We had good food, and truly crap food. And it was hot, meltingly hot with thunderstorms every afternoon.

Still, it was America. Do they really truly need to serve a five year old a portion that would normally feed a family of six? Does everything, and I mean everything, have to be sweetened? I began to get paranoid and checked the ingredients on everything I could. With the expection of some (not all, just some) crisps (chips), I don't think we ate a single thing other than fruit that hadn't had sugar or sweetener added. And does everyone have to call my little girl "princess"? That's my word for her, I just never call her that to her face. It wouldn't be right!

Despite those minor griefs we really did have a fine time. Our kids (and ourselves) are exhausted, but content. Thankfully they don't need to go back next year, but they did inquire if they could just possibly go back when they were teens?