Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Girls escape from Horbling!

Thursday 8th June - The girls broke free for a morning of culture and quiet at Belton Park.

Bleton House or aka The home of Lady Catherine de Burgh's in Pride and Prejudice

 The tour around the servants quarters downstairs was really interesting led by a great guide (Mr Grice) . I think we all agreed that the role of Housekeeper would have been the role for us if we had to be amongst the worker's ranks. The poor scullery maid with her 5:30am rise, 18 hour working day; washing pots; lighting the kitchen fires; mopping floors and lots more washing up sounded like too much hard work. The reality of one day off a year 'Mothering Sunday' to go and see their mums, actually brought tears to the eyes of some in the group. These workers were in fact the lucky ones of the lower classes having a roof over their head, clothes, warm meals, medical attention and a salary. It made me want to go and grab a book and read more about it.

We had lunch in the Tearoom and got more bargains in the secondhand bookshop. Then went for the tour around the upper floors of the house. What a stark contrast! Total opulance. I made a few gaffs, walking beyond the barrier in the chapel (mildly chastised), allowing my flash on my camera (got away with it) and touching the wallpaper (mildly chastised).

Nathan and my boys arrived to check out the amazing adventure playground which went on and on with each slide bigger than the last - but non were too big to be tackled by our action men - Jack followed their lead and at 21 months conquered the helter skelter slide. It really was huge!

After another lovely day, Nathan and I cooked up a mexican feast.
 Stuffed and extremely dirty the three boys got a well needed bath.
Jack making sure Joseph has washed his nose properly!

Then freshly clean and in pyjamas, Granne and Grandad did a family home evening on 'loving our family'. We sang 'I love mummy, she loves me etc' with many verses to include all the different members of our family. Emily sat on Granne's knee with pictures she'd drawn for each verse ( Joseph had shown little interest)  When we got to the verse with sisters and brothers, she had a mini protest ' I don't like brothers, I don't want to sing that one!' Apparently she'd refused to draw the picture for brothers too and so Jack had helped out!!! 

The boys went to bed well. I headed downstairs guessed it - some more knitting. Having cast on, I knitted a few rows, dropped a few stitches, decided I couldn't concentrate and started a head warmer instaed with only 10 stitches in a row. The knitting plan for the holiday really didn't go as planned!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

More from Horbling

Wednesday 8th June- Slightly later start and to Tattershall Farm Park we went. Bonus that we were almost the only people there due to it not being the holiday week for children in the area. Our children loved the animals and Joseph and Ben as usual got 'hands - on'

One very cute moment was after the group of feeders had moved on from the pair Alpacas to the other animals, Joseph stayed behind and picked up a handful of littered animal food from the floor. He tried to offer it to Nuzzle (the one-eyed Alpaca) but Nuzzle either was full or had higher food standards than eating food off the floor as he paid no attention to Joseph's offered hand. Joseph persisted a little longer trying to get his attention 'Excuse me,... oh excuse me do you want some food?'

(It's good to remind myself as I am currently being bellowed at from the toilet upstairs with not an 'excuse me' to be heard - that he does have great manners with farm animals :)) 

The animals, including a cow named 'Hilary', (think I remember being one of them on certain days in my past!)fed we went to play on the numerous bouncey equipment outside.

Picniced inside the soft play area which we literally had to ourselves let the children play away. Most of the 'adults' (INCLUDING GRANDAD!!)  strictly paid no attention to the 'strictly no adults on the play equipment' rule and had fun too.

Photographic evidence of Grandad disobeying the rules
- and Nathan too (though less of a surprise!)

  I think Uncle David was hoping that we would be found out and the punishment of being asked to leave would come to fruition!

Managing to dodged the torrential downpour we headed made it beck to car the all went our seprate ways for a couple of hours. Joseph went with Granne and Grandad to sing a long with the Disney CD Grandma Josie had sent - he loved it and at the end of the holiday asked if we could have it in our car. Being only one mile away, Nathan couldn't resist the urge to go and do a spot of plane spotting at RAF Conisby. He chatted away to a man with a huge camera and radio and when we had watched to French planes take off we were allowed to go.

Made it home just in perfect time to enjoy a full on cooked breakfast cooked by Andrew and Sarah.

The children went to bed better as we put Joseph in our bed. Nathan went with the boys to play tennis and I went to...knit!
cast on 100 sticthes onto a new pair of needles I'd bought at the lovely shop in Ruskington, only to find that the needle again was too long??? How could that be possible??? That's because I'd cast them onto the same pair of needles as last night -duh!! slightly annoyed I tried to simple transfer the stitches onto then have to  the new needles only to simple get stuck and then have to use the worst scissors in the whole entire world, solar system, universe to cut them free - more than annoyed!!! Cast on 100 needles to correct needles and gave up for the night.
On the opoposite side of the room Sarah was beginning to look less awkward using her 20mm needle and Gemma and Caroline were still wondering how on earth they were mangaing to create extra stitches. Mum was worn out moving from one to the next to the next and little attention was able to be spared for watching  'Becoming Jane'.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Horbling Holiday continued..

Monday 6th June - With having five children under 4 on this holiday one of the main differences (in comparison to previous holidays) is that is seems to be less of an issue to get everyone up and out of the house - because they get us up much earlier than we would choose to, left to our own devices!
So by 9:30 we were all on our way to Lincoln.

We did some shopping; wool for me,  cars for the boys and two quarters of chewy nuts from two different traditional sweet shops for Nathan.

Joseph playing with his new car on the slippy surface of the shopping centre!

 We walked up the steep hill (aptly named as it was indeed very steep) to the cathedral.

                     The lower lesser steep part of the steep hill!

 Very impressive though it appears it is not the largest cathedral in Europe as I confidently told people, but in fact only the third largest in Britain!! (Don't know where I got that wrong fact from!!)

We had a picnic courtesy of 'Boots Meal Deal' and then went to find the 'restrooms/toilets/loos/crappers' (Another slight difference on this holiday - with two toilet trained children you need to keep an eye for where public convinences are on hand) fortunatley these were much superior to the trauma of Lincoln bus station WCs - enough said on that matter!!

Ben by the statue of Tennyson where we had our picnic

Joseph having a little dance to the Busker's tunes

The boys then went off to play golf and we girls did a little more shopping then headed 'home' via Grantham Asda ( quite a lengthy via!!). Granne got the sticker pictures out for Joseph and Emily and Sarah brought out the hoppers.

Aunty Gemma and Aunty Caroline made tea of Pizza and salad with cherry pie to finish off.

Main highlight of the day was whilst Emily and Joseph were playing with his cars, Emily asked - 'Joseph am I your best friend?' To which he replied within ear shot - 'No, my mummy's my best friend.' Total heart warming moment - everyone awwed and he ran up to me with a big grin on his face and gave me a lovely hug.

Tuesday 7th June 

Ben blowing kisses to Isabelle at breakfast.

To Skegness we went. Uncle David with his ever at hand iphone 4, with its many apps found us the cheapest carpark. All packed up like donkeys, we wandered down to the beach. Joseph loves the beach, he spent the first 10 minutes running around and diving on the sand and kissing it - something he has been known to do before (no idea why?). He got into his swimsuit and headed for sea, Ben again was not too interested in the water - too cold, though Jack did and Emily too.

We had a picnic lunch, some played boules, some attempted sandcastles, Ben went into diving on the sand mode!

Ben wearing Isabelle's hat - won't wear his own (De-ja-vu of Joseph's 2nd birthday at the beach where he and Emily swapped hats!)

When getting ready to pack up after a couple of hours Joseph got stung by a bee right under his arm. He was really very brave and just wanted me to kiss it better and demanded through sobs 'no plaster'. Aunty Sarah of course had the calpol and Emily just wanted to make him feel better too - she shouted at the bee to 'go away, we're not your friend'

Then he lost one of the two planes bought yesterday, in the sand. Nathan told him to say a prayer to Heavenly father that he would help us find it. So he did and minutes later Nathan found the plane hidden under the sand. Calmed down and plane found, we went for ice-cream at the bargain ice cream house: 50p for a single cone, £1 for a double, £1.60 for belgian waffle and ice cream £1.50 for 4 doughnuts and ice-cream - I had the waffle and Nathan had .... a Fab?!

We then took the boys with Granne,Grandad and Emily to an outdoor play park with a huge inflatable slide, bouncey castles, swings, sand pit and Little Tyke cars. So it's no surprise that for the hour we were there that Ben did little more than sit still in one of the Little Tykes cars (£4.50 to pay for him to sit still??!)At one point when there were two available he played a game of running from one to the other almost like a game of dare - Can I get there before someone else does?

Emily was a little action girl and away
down the huge slide. Joseph went down once and decided he didn't like it but would climb up to the top, then change his mind and try to climb down the stairs getting in the way of the other children climbing up!

Nathan later on managed to convince Joseph that if he went down the slide it wouldn't rain - well that was it he was up and down that slide and up and down and so on until we had to leave. (And somehow it did not rain!)

A bit more shopping - posh frocks for mum, bargain jumper for a craft project for me and sunglasses for Nathan. The recommended place for Fisn n Chips being closed we settled for bargain fish n chips at £3 - it was obviously some sort of theme for the day - Skegness a place of bargains!

A great day, though the 10 minute nap the boys had late on into the journey home meant they were hard work to settle to bed. Nathan took on the task so I could go start knitting with the girls. I cast on 100 stitches to find that the needles were too long. I gave up for the evening and went to bed!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Horbling - a great place to holiday

Just come back from the fifth bi-annual 'Hillary' family holiday.
On this occaision we went and stayed at 'Abbott's Farm' in Horbling near Sleaford in Lincolnshire.
'Why Horbling?' we were asked by a sister in Boston ward where we visited on the Sunday.
Why not Horbling?  - it had everything we needed - that is a huge farmhouse with; a large kitchen with palatial utility offering 3 different dinner sets and more pans than you could ever use; a playroom/sitting room for the children ;a sitting room for us big kids ;a formal dining room for Sunday Lunch ;one master Bedroom for the Grandparents with en-suite ;four other double bedrooms ;two other twin rooms for little people ;downstairs bedroom for Uncle Richard (so that's eight bedrooms in total) ;four bathrooms and a large garden complete with swimming pool (plus loads of original , gorgeous features - cornicing, fireplaces, staircase, deep skirting etc.) 

Also it was somwhere in a part of the country up until that point unexplored by the Hillary/McNee clan.

So what did we get up to? Well here's an outline - which may or may not end up in chronological order.

Saturday 4th June - Arrive at tea time, unpack, have tea (curry and sweet n sour cooked by Mum n Dad) then into the pool - a little cool but still fun  young and the not so young!

 Ben wasn't too sure about the temperature!


Just couldn't resist this one!

Fully clothed - now time to relax

Sunday 5th 'Ben's Birthday'  - Ben turns two. Our little boy turned two. He woke up a little later than Joseph so I was already downstairs sorting out breakfast. He came in and with Nathan and ran as fast in his skippy way to give me a lovely squeeze and calling ' Mummy!'. It's like he knew I needed that.

We went to church in Boston. Testimony meeting was lovely and really focused on the special 'missionary fast' which was being held across Europe on the day. Though Joseph was somewhat fidgety during sacrement meeting it has to be said that both he and Emily set the example and went straight into primary no bother, so we went into our lessons no bother too!

We went back 'home' and the children had a birthday lunch complete with Buzz and Woody plates and a caterpillar birthday cake.

 Joseph and Emily were on hand to help blow out the candles and Jack sang 'Happy Birthday a oo' just lovely.

 Ben needed no help wolfing down a piece of his cake!  

Back into the pool and then a Roast Beef Sunday dinner cooked by Mum n Dad - lovely. Present giving, again Emily and Joseph on hand to help with the unwrapping (just don't expect them to get too excited about new clothes - though I will!)some lovely books, clothes and a gardening set as well as Elefun.
A lovely second birthday for my boy.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Gruffalo's Child

Today we went on our first trip with Cawood Toddler Group, to see 'The Gruffalo's Child' at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. The bus ride there went well (meaning uneventful!! Joseph slept and Ben sat nicely on my knee).

 We had our packed lunch in the cafe area - boys warming up. Both boys were very interested in going down the stairs and throwing things down the stairs fortunately the apple carton was empty and didn't hit anyone. Slight trauma over not being bought a 'Gruffalo' or some sweets (mean, tight mum!) but he calmed down when Ngaika came back from the toilet. In the theatre itself, Joseph found it hard to get comfy as he wasn't heavy enough to keep the seat from flipping back into upright position. Ben was just going into - 'I'm tired, need a nap, in fact I'm past it mode'. His wriggling provided even more distraction to Joseph than the seat and other people's sweets!! We did manage to get involved with some of the story and songs until Joseph decided he needed the loo and set off by himself in the dark, up the auditorium steep stairs and out the door - I of course followed in pursuit but with a flailing armed Ben. In the foyer, whilst giving clear instructions to Joseph not to walk out off by himself, I felt a warm sensation on my leg... Ben was weeing out of the side of his nappy and on me! When does that ever happen????!!! I ran to the loos, took his nappy and shorts off, washed my skirt with his shorts and soap, walked back to the auditorium with a bare bottomed Ben to get spare, albeit girly, shorts from Helene ( a much more organised mother as I had none!). Made it through to the end with a little more flailing of arms from a now very tried and hot Ben. Back on the coach and he was asleep within 5 minutes!!!


Joseph's expression on the photo above kind of reflects how I was feeling at points during the trip - it wasn't meant to play out like this!! However, all in all it was a nice trip with nice people and what am I to really expect when taking two lively little boys to the theatre other than a bit of off stage drama?!

The other photo shows ben drinking water out of the water table in the garden (filled up today so not entirely rank) whilsty sporting Natasha's denim hot pants!!

Faces I love



1. Joseph pretending to be one of Santa's elves - I'm sure he'd make the cut!
2. Elf with attitude!
3& 4 Enjoying his ice cream - the highlight of a wet, cold bank holiday monday.
5. Ben trying to grab his mum's attention whilst she's indexing - too cute.
6. Ben after guzzling his ice-cream this photo was taken at the same time as photos 3&4. Ben takes eating ice-cream, cake and biscuits very seriously - a lot can be consumed in a little time when you concentrate!
7. Joseph came downstairs for more milk but fell flat asleep - I let him as he looked so lovely.
8. Ben loved lying on the blanket in the garden with me.
9. Two cheeky monkeys in the wrong bed!