A friend emailed me this week asking about ideas for her daughters birthday cake. She said she makes a mean cupcake but was not so sure about tackling a full-on cake.
Whoops! This entry should have been posted ages ago, but it happened around the time of our flood and I've only just managed to transfer the images from my camera.
There is only one thing better than seeing my little Gareth jumping off the school bus with messy hair, grubby hands and a big grin on his face...
...and that is seeing him with this weeks "Courtesy" award badge for really good manners in class!
He gets to wear it all this week and then hands it back for another kid to get next week.
Good boy Gar!
Sian will be 11 in 3 weeks time. We talked about what she wanted to do to celebrate her birthday. With the glamour and excitement of the weekends concert still fresh in her mind she decided she wanted to have some friends around to our house for a pop star party. No boys, girls only, lots of balloons, streamers and music so they could dance their hearts out and have lots of girly fun.
All we need to do now is talk Mr B and Gar into wearing dark suits and shades and acting like our event security on the day!
It's been two weeks now since I opened the front door and had water flow out over my feet and down the driveway. Two weeks since they ripped out the carpets and the skirting boards. Two weeks since they installed hot air injection machines into our kitchen, multiple industrial blowers throughout our house and huge he-humidifiers to suck all that moisture out of the floors and walls.
Finally, I am glad to say it is dry in our house.
All moisture has been well and truly sucked out of everything, including my lovely Christmas poinsettia from Byron and the kids.
You can't say the machines didn't do their job well....!
We miss you Nicola :-(
Rhiannon went to a party today. She was really excited and in an effort to direct her energy into something useful I set her the task of wrapping the present.
Most of our wrapping paper had turned into soggy mess during the flood so we only had a sheet of plain gold. A little boring for a ten year old boy I thought but better than nothing. Rhiannon got stuck into the wrapping with joy, abandon and about 20meters of sticky tape. Oh yes, Sometimes I look at my middle child and I see her Dad in her.
But then a few minutes later as I yelled like a fishwife at everyone to
I stopped and saw what else Rhiannon had done to brighten up the boring gold paper. She had turned the gift into a monster!
Now thats my girl! There's a little bit of her Mum in her too!
Well dare I say it....
What a night. It was heading towards midnight as we made our way up the driveway. Two exhausted but elated little girls by my side. Ticket stubs, programs and merchandise held tight in their hands. Tonight I saw a difference in their faces. As they screamed and jumped their eyes sparkled with the hype and excitement of seeing real live music. I could tell they loved it. Maybe there is a little bit of their mum in them after all!
I used to love going to concerts. Back when I was younger, back when I thought I was such a rebel, back when I planned to tour around America on a Harley, when my boyfriends were generally broke and had long hair and my parents prayed for the day I would meet Mr B and be a good girl and settle down!
A good friend of mine Nicola has said to me over and over that she will come visit us in Australia at some stage. This was the year she finally booked her flight and we started our countdown to her arrival.
She arrived with us this weekend and was the same Nicola as always. Full of chat. Squeezing a million different conversations into every day. Full of positive energy. Nicola has to have been one of the friends that has had the biggest effect on me as a person. I hope she wont mind me saying this but the year before we emigrated Nicola was involved in a dreadful car accident that has left her with some pretty awful injuries. I flew over to Ireland and was collected by another friend Stella who drove me to the hospital where Nicola was in an induced coma in a very serious condition. As I sat watching her and holding her hand I felt so much regret. Regret for all the cards I should have sent, the phone calls I should have made, the friendship that had been allowed to take a backseat as my life had taken me in a different direction. I made a promise to Nicola that if she would just get better I would never take her friendship for granted again. Or any other friendship, or my health, or Byron's, or my kids.....
Nicola did recover, slowly and over many months and many operations. She could be self pitying but all she can talk about is how lucky she is to be alive. About all the great things she wants to do with her life. How precious is the here and now. How absolutely nothing is unachievable if we just set our mind to it. She is a brilliant person and if I could just have 1% of the positive attitude she has I will have a great life no matter what gets thrown at me.
Nicola laughed her way through her flood trashed spare bedroom in our house. She squealed her way through the big storm and she talked my ear off over the many coffees we had during her stay.
Thank you for coming to see us Nicola , enjoy the rest of your holiday!
Just when we thought we couldn't get any wetter...
DOWN CAME THE STORM!!!!
On Tuesday after dinner Mr B went to check the news and saw a warning for a major storm heading our way. He yelled down the stairs at us to shut all the windows and doors straight away. I knew from his voice that something was up so I jumped up and started locking everything. When we looked out the back door the sky was black.
As the storm picked up momentum the rain turned to hailstones. At first they were pea sized but then they got bigger and bigger and bigger until there were golf balls of ice hammering into the windows. Byron ran from window to window closing curtains and blinds because we were convinced that the glass was going to start shattering. I sat the kids on the bottom step of the stairs as far away from any windows as we could and cuddled them as we waited for the storm to pass. Eventually hail returned to rain and after some fantastic lightening strikes and booming rolls of thunder even the rain stopped. We opened the curtains and looked out at hail all over the grass and leaves littering the road and driveway.
It was eerily quiet, no bird sounds just the wail of sirens starting up in the distance. A reminder to us yet again that although our cars looked like someone had taken to their bodywork with a hammer we were all safe and sound and in one piece.
Whats next? We've had the flood. We've had the storm. Plague of locusts anyone???
Sian is now in Year 6, her final year in Primary School. This year her classmates were given the chance to make a speech to all the year 5 and 6 students to be voted onto the school council. Sian really wanted this so she sat up with Byron one night I was in work and together they thought up a speech that was funny and summed up all the reasons her school friends should vote her in. That Friday she went into school and made her speech along with about 20 other hopefuls and watched and waited as the rest of the students voted....
Can you spot her? If I give you a hint that her punchline of her speech referred to how she might be pint sized but she can take on huge tasks....?!
There has been a lot going on in the Baynham house since we flooded last week. The family computer dying (drowning!) has limited my access to email and blogging but the lovely Mr B has reluctantly lent me his oh-so-precious laptop to occasionally turn on and have my fix of all things web-like. He is nervous of all the power spikes that we are having and the fact that our fuse board is humming from the amount of electrical devices that are running to dry out our lovely house. He is obviously afraid of losing all the information on his laptop if it blows so forgive the randomness of the posts that I hope to write and upload over the coming week. They may not follow date order just keep scrolling up, down and all around next time you log on!
Thank you Gina, Byron, Sian, Rhiannon and Gareth for having me. I had a brilliant time with you all. It was great to catch up properly with Gina and get to know Byron and the kids again. You guys should be so proud of your amazing family.
For a bit of a sticky beak around our flood ravaged house have a look at this documentary made by our local TV station....
OK, I lie, It is me behind the camera with a "Tongue in cheek" look at the current state of our house...
Apologies for the sound quality. The background hiss is the sound generated by all the blowers and dehumidifiers 24 hours a day and is slowly driving us crazy.
As you know if you read Byron's previous post we have had a huge flood in our house this week. I cannot even get close to describing what we went through on Monday afternoon on a blog entry. I am known for being a story teller, for juicing up and embellishing stories as I retell them but I honestly don't have the heart to do this this time around.
Unfortunately our house was flooded yesterday due to a burst water pipe. Gina had a shock when she arrived home to see water flowing down the driveway...
The house is a bombshell, carpets ripped out, cupboards emptied and lots of soggy things everywhere. Repairs include new skirting boards in every downstairs room, new kitchen cupboards, new carpets and plasterboard sheeting, not to mention furniture and electrical equipment.
Currently, we have 10 industrial sized blowers and de-humidifiers running on full power day and night, for the next 4 days. It's very noisy!
Luckily we're fully insured but blogging will definitely be interrupted for at least a week.
Kids are taking it in their stride as usual, and we're all treating it like an adventure. I only hope Gina's friend Nicola, who arrives for a visit next week, likes adventures too...