Friday, 19 May 2017

Saturday film and art

We made it back to Millennium Court Arts centre on Saturday to watch 'Horton hear a Who!' and to create cityscapes. Meanwhile at home there was a 20 tonne digger pulling out tree stumps with its own artistry and grace.

Ezra has chicken pox!

My little niece creates a piece of art for me every time I see her. Yesterday she gave me her artists impression of Ezra with the chicken pox!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Say 'no' to screens!

This is what happens when I say 'no' to screens and endure 5mins of tantrum. I love how they play creatively with Ezra's toys! Ezra helps by emptying the box of duplo onto the floor and then crawls off to play with the hoover!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Ezra's first shoes

Ezra got his first pair of proper shoes today. 4H...they weren't sure they were going to have anything wide enough in stock, but managed to come up with one pair! Of course I took the opportunity to pick out a new pair for myself also!

He is very interested in the Velcro and less interested in actually walking in them!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Back to porridge

I was dreading the return home from Lanzarote to cooler climes, washing and cooking but the reality has been fairly pleasant. It seems being back in your own little patch isn't so bad. It helps when you have a girlie night, a nieces birthday party, an evening out with hubby and friends and a little creative work to be getting on with over the weekend. Yes, the 3 load of washing still needs ironing but there is always Monday morning for that...oh and the fridge is still fully loaded with Easter chocolate.

Art work by 'doodled by Neatee'...I am simply the image mover and paster!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Lanzarote -Easter 2017

'Ola' from Peurto del Carmen in Lanzarote, our Easter holiday destination to increase Vutamin D levels and spend some relaxing family time together. As M doesn't really do 'relaxing/lazy' holidays we hired a car on the second day and embarked on his day by day itinerary of exploring the island. To be fair, I never imagined Lanzarote had so much to offer. In my ignorance I thought it was all about lying by the pool or on the beach trying to get as good a tan as possible. But thanks to M and his planning we have seen some super sights and I'm feeling creatively inspired.

The highlights have been mainly down to one man, Mr Caeser Manrique, architect and artist -bringing the natural landscape of Lanzarote and art together in an amazing way.

Timanfaya, Fire Mountains. During the volcanic eruptions of 1730-36 and 1824, the most fertile parts of the island were buried by mass lava leading to an almost 'moon' like landscape.

Cactus Garden, Guatiza. This is the first work of Cesar Manrique which we visited. 1,400 different species of cacti grow in the black ash of the island. M is now slightly obsessed with cacti and is thinking of creating an indoor cactus garden in our hallway!!!

Jameos Del Agua. A volcanic tube formed during a volcanic eruption. Manrique made it accessible to the public and is now a restaurant and theatre.

Mirador Del Rio. A stunning viewpoint looking north over the sea where Manrique designed a restaurant and tourist spot.

Cueva de los Verdes. An underground cave system created by the volcanic eruptions and forming natural crystal clear pools.

Fundacion Cesar Manrique. Originally Manrique's house, built on five volcanic bubbles which was later converted into a museum. The kids were inspired by his wind sculptures which can be spotted all round the island.

Rancho Texas. Just 5 mins from our resort it was fun to see the dolphin, sea lion, tropical birds and birds of prey displays followed by a cool down in the aqua park.

Puerto del Carmen. Our local sea side town.

Sentido Aequora. We did spend some time in our resort, mainly eating too much and swimming in the pools. Lj mastered a variety of jumping in techniques!

Thursday, 6 April 2017


Lj and I made slime! This is the recipe we used. We ordered the Kershaws laundry starch from Amazon. It is simply amazing stuff. Ezra managed to cover his new dungarees with it but thankfully it washes out.

Ezra antics

This week nothing is safe as Ezra's exploring continues.

Beauty and the Beast

With the new release of 'Beauty and the Beast', Lj was desperate for me to take her to the cinema to watch it. We booked the tickets and headed to our local cinema one sunny Saturday afternoon. Sadly, it was not quite the fairy tale princess experience that Lj had envisaged and she spent most of the time curled up in a ball on my knee too frightened to watch! What continued was a week of difficulty getting to sleep due to nightmares and disappointment that her expectations had been dashed. She did however create this figure of Beauty from clay which I am really impressed by. She seems to have quite a talent for 3D clay models! Despite Lj's disappointment, I really enjoyed the film myself!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ezra Turns One!

It has little man turned One today. What a year it has been and what a delight he is. He laughs so easily, always has a smile and is generally chilled. His favourite toy is pushing a vehicle along the floor. I caught him standing without holding on today which is a first. He says 'woof woof' and 'raar' for dog and lion noises. He loves to wave goodbye and shake his head. He will eat just about anything and rarely refuses food. He is happiest when it is finger food and he can feed himself so he eats a lot of carrot, broccoli and grapes. He has 3 teeth on the bottom. He always has a sore finger from nipping one of them in a drawer or a door. The only way I can get him to sit still is to put 'In the night garden' on television but even that looks like it is wearing thin. We won't mention sleep, safe to say that he doesn't seem to need huge amounts of it and catches up when we are in the car.

 We celebrated with his N.Irish cousins, Grandparents and Great Aunt.

Here he is experimenting with his new 'busy board'. The light, caster wheel and door stopper are current favourites.

In other news, MJ and his cousin Jack spent the afternoon building a military outpost and sniper tower! They were so proud of themselves. It makes my heart sing to see them inspired and delighting in their work.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Today at the Ulster Museum

Apart from the highlight of the day being dinner at McDonalds both MJ and Lj expressed how much they enjoyed looking round the art gallery and having a go at drawing their own pictures. As it is NI science week the museum were running a special feature on skulls which if I'm being honest could have been done better but was interesting none the less. I enjoyed...watching the older kids read about the items in the exhibits, seeing how much Ezra loved playing with the coloured glass blocks, catching up with my buddy and getting to know Belfast again.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's day!

Lj made us a card and a family portrait!

We have been enjoying the New Irish Kids CD and on the way to school this morning we listened to this song which is one of our favourites.

When my energy’s high Jesus loves me

When my energy’s high Jesus loves me
When I just want to cry Jesus loves me
When I fail my exam Jesus loves me
When I doubt who I am Jesus loves me

When I do something kind Jesus loves me
When I leave stuff behind Jesus loves me
When I’m fearful and sad, Jesus loves me
When I drive people mad Jesus loves me

Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so

When I act immature Jesus loves me
When I don’t know for sure Jesus loves me
When I say something daft Jesus loves me
When I make people laugh Jesus loves me

When I wear awful clothes Jesus loves me
When I’ve spots on my nose Jesus loves me
When I think I’ve no friends Jesus loves me
For his love never ends Jesus loves me

When I sing out of time Jesus loves me
When I put far too many words in one line Jesus loves me
When I breathe for far too long, Jesus loves me
When I get the notes all wrong, Jesus loves me

Jesus love is here to stay
With us each and every day
Nothing you can ever do
Will prevent him loving you

Soapy water play

The workmen have all left (for now) leaving a muddy and dusty trail. As I started to clean up it didn't take Ezra long to discover the warm soapy water. I had to keep an eye on what I was doing and a wide eye on Ezra who almost tipped himself into the basin of water a number of times. What is it about little chubby hands? So cute!

Cold and Frosty Saturday

We woke to a cold and frosty morning both outside and inside.

I took the kids to Millennium Court for the film and craft day while Mike went to Belfast with friends. Today's film was 'Big Hero 6' and the activity was making robots from junk modelling. Ezra had a sleep while the film was running so I got some knitting done in the semi darkness. Meanwhile at home we were having the final wood burning stove fitted and a pump put on our hot water tank so we should shortly have a warmer house and a more powerful shower.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ez on the move

Ez is crawling forwards, after a few weeks of sliding backwards. Now nothing is save as he has an eye for wires and buttons. I think I might be borrowing Mum's play pen to keep him in one place.

Courtyard Phase 1 complete

This was how the courtyard looked when we moved in. It is a completely enclosed space and a lovely suntrap (when the sun is shining!).

Sadly the colourful pyracantha had to be pulled out to lay the new ground cover.

Work began with Michael and his team. Digging out a hole for the hot tub, pouring concrete, building retaining walls and creating new raised beds.

The hot tub was craned in to place without too much difficulty.

The artificial grass was laid, the raised beds filled and the paving slabs chosen and placed.

We don't normally have a paving slab sitting on the hot tub but after the cover blew off three times in the high winds last night, the paving slab is perching there until the weather improves.

We love our hot tub and it is used most days. Lj likes to sit (or not sit as she never sits) in it with M as she says it is a great way to talk to Daddy! MJ ideally likes to be in it alone so he can chill out and relax. I like to jump in in the evening to warm up and relax before bed time.

Phase two will be planting the raised beds which will be carried out in Spring and will help to soften the pebble dash walls.