Home Schooling Day 1

Hi all,

So last Thursday my kids’ schools all shut down (as did all schools in the Republic of Ireland) to avoid spread of the Corona Virus.

I was delighted. Firstly, the government made the right call, quickly. Secondly, I was going to have time at home to work on projects that I’ve wanted to do with the kids for years now, like science experiments and art projects.

So I set up a room to be the “home school room” – which also took most of the morning, so it was a late start to the school day! Easing into things!!!

But then I got the 6yr old to do her sounds, and then colour her new letter in. She then did more colouring in pictures, and then made the St Patricks Day chains with her brother. Then they did some free play colouring on the whiteboard. And now are in playing lego.

The nearly 10yr old did his reading, a bit of dictionary work, some maths, the St. Patricks Day chains, planned the menu for an Instant Restaurant later in the week, drew some little comic strips and is now is playing lego.

The secondary school child, the 13yr old, did her Geography homework, her French work and an hour of Maths revision. She made their lunch, and a hot chocolate for herself while they worked out a menu plan for an Instant Restaurant. She’s now gone for a walk with her Dad and the dog in the woods.

At 3.30pm my 13yr old said it felt like 6.30 and that the day should be over. I was explaining to her that that is the reason that I want to put a bit of structure and planning into our days, because otherwise the time will just gel together into one big mess and nothing will really get done and it will get so boring just watching mindless tv or something.

I had a lovely day, and I’m really happy that we are on the same page about self-isolating and just staying home to do our part to stop the spread of the virus. It’s giving us lovely family time together too.

Nearly The End of April

So two days left in April, and I can say for one I do not know where this month has gone. I didn’t manage to get any of the things that I wanted to get done done. I didn’t restart my healthy habits. And instead of my body getting fitter, it has gotten stiffer. A direct result I assume of less exercise. Also my mood has been lower than the past few months, so I think it definitely shows how important the exercise is to me.

I did go out on the treadmill last night (my husband is trying to push me) but after 20 minutes something happened my leg and I couldn’t put weight on it. And still today I can’t put weight on it, with the pain radiating between my knee and my thigh/hip area. So I’m hoping it will be gone later today, otherwise I am going to be very slowed down this week! And I really need to be on the ball this week.

This is the countdown to My Boy’s Communion! The Communion itself is on Saturday and we are having a party here, and as of last week I decided to do something I have never done before – I am getting it catered! I realised I was so stressed and unorganised and I just wouldn’t enjoy the day, so instead of trying to cook all the food, I am getting caterers to just drop it in and that will be that. I will still have to do all the desserts, but that is not a worry. The food was.

And then on Sunday we are having a second party out in my Dad’s house, and my brother is catering that, so I have very little to do for that either. I have delegated everything to do with the Sunday party, I basically just have to turn up! And my husband did a lot of work just straightening up the garden here over the weekend for the bouncy castle to fit, so we have to get desserts made this week – and SCRUB the house!!! So a lot of work, but at least the huge stress of the food has been taken off me. The relief. Still a few bits of clothes to be picked up, but basically we are sorted!

And then after it is over, I will be back on track – I have no more excuses, the next mini goal is my birthday in June, about 6wks after the Communion. So hopefully I’ll be able to make a good dent in the weight and fitness by my birthday. I have done a lot so far, and even though I haven’t been great recently, I have to focus on how great I have done – and use that to encourage me to continue and do even better!

Day 15 of My Month of Gratitude

I’m late, it’s no longer the morning! I’m really busy today, and that gives today’s thing to be grateful for!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. .
  17. .

Yesterday was one of step-daughters 21st birthday. She had her party last weekend and I made the cake – it looked great! And then yesterday her mum planned something special for her, for her actual birthday. So today I am making her chosen birthday dinner, and she gets her present and her special dessert.

Each of the kids have a particular dessert that they get for their birthday – the eldest is a red-velvet cake, the next has always been ice-cream because he doesn’t eat cake but has recently decided he likes roulade (so guess what I’m learning to make for his birthday next month!), the next is chocolate biscuit cake with white chocolate decorations, the next is cookies, the next is brownies, the next likes to be surprised but likes to have a fun and rich flavoured cake (like a ferrero rocher cake or salted caramel!) and so on….

As it is her 21st birthday, we have a tradition for 18ths and 21st that they get money – at 18yrs they get a bit more money, but just handed to them. The 21st present is money, a bit less than at 18yrs old but it is given in a fun way. We’re on our fourth 21st birthday, so have spent a good bit of time coming up with ideas and always thinking ahead to the next one (I’ve had todays way of gifting the money chosen for the past 3 years following a comment she made 3yrs ago!)

A lot of my friends think that I am mad spending so much time and thought on making these occasions special, particularly as the last two years I was pregnant and then had a newborn and we fell behind in the birthdays. But yet I wanted to catch up on them, as opposed to just starting over fresh – or doing one big meal. However it is important to me, and I love doing it. I think that this is what memories are made of, they know that I will always do my best to make their special days special. I did catch up, I think I did one big meal and four different cakes! And then got back into doing the rest of them close enough to being on time for the rest of the year! And this year I’m being more on the ball, and getting the birthday meals organised quicker!

I have decided to simplify things for myself and for my own kids I have just been doing a cake and tea party where everyone comes for literally cake and tea to blow out the candles, and then for the older kids I am doing the birthday meal for just the birthday person (and their partner and kid/s if applicable). It means I am only doing the big meal for the 17 of us twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas, possibly also Fathers Day. Their fathers birthday we do a big take-away here, nice and easy, no cooking!!

But I am so grateful for all these little opportunities to spoil and remind our children how special they are, and for us to get together and make memories with all these special occasions.


Day 2 of My Month of Gratitude

Day 2 is simple!

  1. Husband
  2. My Children

I am so so lucky and “blessed” to have my children. I have four children. I have had seven pregnancies. It took three pregnancies to successfully get my second child. Secondary infertility is a big thing, that people don’t know much about. They get pregnant really easily on their first baby, but then it just doesn’t happen for the second baby. And no one thinks that it could be a fertility thing, because you’ve had one already easily. Well it is a thing, and when I was going through it I did a lot of research. And I found so many people going through it. People who never got a second baby. I was sure we would be going down the route of IVF or whatever it took for me to get my second baby. And here I am with four.

I never take a pregnancy for granted. I never assume it is here to stay. Or that it will be easy to happen. For me, or for anyone else. I hate when I hear people say “oh are you not going to give them a baby brother or sister” or “do you not think you should start a family now, you’re not getting any younger”. Firstly it is not actually any of your business. But secondly you do not know what anyone else is going through. And your comments will just break their heart a little bit more.

I am so happy to have my four children. My family is complete. My babies are all amazing little (and big) people. My first daughter is amazing, she is just a super star. It’s all I can say about her really, it just sums her up. My son is amazing, he is so loving and kind and he makes my heart swell up with love every day. My middle daughter is amazing, she’s such a character, chatty and full of fun and love, and much softer than she comes across. And the baby, just amazing too, she is adorable and so clever, she is strong willed and determined and fills me with joy every day. I can’t say enough about how amazing my children are. They are wonderful people, and I adore every little thing about them. I am so lucky and so grateful for my four wonderful, healthy, perfect children.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not a big person for Valentine’s Day, however I love flowers any day so I’ll happily take another opportunity to get some flowers. My hubbie picked up some flowers for me the other day, a little bunch of pretty pink roses and a bunch of purple lilies. I told him to get them before the rush of Valentines and only being left with expensive options!

But for some reason my children love Valentines Day and want to make a big deal about it. And its not about the big things, its the little thoughtful details. My son bought me and his Dad and little sister little presents. My eldest daughter made cupcakes yesterday for all the lunches today, brought me breakfast in bed, and had Kinder Eggs and special treat wake-up-waffles bought for her brother and sisters for breakfast! All without my involvement, I just brought them to the shops and let them go in, and I was under strict instructions not to go in to her room!

I realised they would like some little things done for them too, so got a chocolate cereal for breakfast (a rare treat here), strawberry laces for their lunch box (I’m strict with the no sweets policy in school) and wake-up-waffles for their after school snack (not knowing Q had bought the same for their breakfast!) and I have some Lindor sweets for them because Q joked a few weeks ago about having “Red Rain” for Valentines Day (last year I had dropped red Lindor sweets over the bannisters to them calling it red rain!) And for the hubbie I made one of his favourite cakes!

I don’t think that Valentines Day should be about big gestures, but I do think that the little things that we can do for the ones we love are nice, and even though we should make the effort every day, there’s no harm of making things a little bit more special today too! And to also remember to do something nice for ourselves too!

I do love the art-work that comes home from school for Valentines Day too!

Happy Valentines Day everyone xx

Pumpkin Picking!

pumpkin 1

Pumpkin Patches are a relatively new idea in Ireland (as far as I know anyway!). We had planned to go to one last year but couldn’t for some reason, so this year I was adamant we were going to go.

The one we chose to go to was one that we didn’t need tickets for, and no entry fee. You could go and pick your pumpkins, potatoes and corn and pay for what you got. This took off the pressure of paying in advance – although we paid for it because of the giant pumpkins our kids chose!!!

We all got our wellies and waterproofs on and headed through the “haunted” corn maze to the pumpkin field. The kids had great fun running around the field looking at all the different sizes, colours and shapes of the pumpkins. Then they decided that they wanted to get the biggest possible pumpkins – which was an idea we should have knocked on the head, but we didn’t! We’ll know better for future. We did manage to talk two of them down to looking for nicer looking shape and colour ones instead of just the size being the priority. They stood over their chosen pumpkin until we arrived with the wheelbarrow.


You can see the size of the two giant ones, particularly when you notice the size of the wheel or even the “large” pumpkin underneath the two giant ones!

We got a little shock when it came to paying, but they did a bit of a deal for us. And we did end up with 5 big pumpkins in our “trolley”. The farmer was over talking to us, about the amount of eating we had in the wheelbarrow – and even though we only wanted them  mainly for carving, we are going to do our best to use as much of them as possible. I’ve been searching for recipes and ideas, and what is best way of freezing the flesh or the purees. You might be seeing some posts of any successes coming up in the next few weeks!

Happy Mothers Day (belated!)

Happy Mothers Day! For yesterday.

I hope everyone had a lovely day. My day was actually no different to most, seeing as the hubby and Miss Q went off rotavating the allotment, leaving me to keep an eye on the dinner (after they prepped it and got it on!).


But must say the hubby made a big effort for me, and I got not one, not two but THREE bunches of tulips! So my house is full of beautiful flowers this morning – which definitely make me smile!

And they also made me a cake – using marzipan. Miss Q’s school homework this week had  a history of “Mothering Sunday” and how it was tradition to make/bring simnel cake, which is a fruit cake covered in marzipan. I love marzipan so told her she could make me one for Mothers Day – but without the fruit cake bit! So on Saturday they found a recipe for an almond and marzipan cake and firstly made the marzipan from scratch on Sunday morning, before then baking the cake. Very impressive 🙂


I hope that you all had a lovely day yesterday, whether it was Mothers Day for you or not. We had some lovely weather too so I think people had a great weekend – but because of the Boy and his chicken pox, we didn’t get to leave the house and enjoy it!