Monday, December 19, 2011

School holiday baking

Mr H is on holiday this week with the children and decided to start the week with some festive baking. Jolly good they look too!!!

Santa Train at Groudle Glen

Yesterday we decided to go and visit Santa in his grotto and travelled there on the Groudle Railway. It was a really really cold day but felt very festive.

Little Z put her order in carefully with Santa and we had a lovely time.

Christmas concert

Little Z was a very delightful snowflake in her school Christmas concert.

Snow princess

Little Z loves dressing up - couple that with a princess theme and you have one very happy little girl. I think she liked the birthday present Mummy and Daddy bought her!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


As if we didn't have enough to occupy ourselves with upon returning to the Isle of Man (suitcases to unpack, mountains of washing, kids to get ready for school etc) it was Hallowe'en on the first day back at school.

We invited some friends round and did hot dogs for tea and then went out to do Hop tu Naa which is the Manx celebration of this event. Instead of Trick or Treating, the kids have to sing a song about "Winnie the witch who flew over a ditch ........... " and then get an offer of sweets.

Little Z and her friend P looked the cutest witches ever!!

The end of the holiday

Came about all too soon and we packed up and headed back to London Heathrow. We had booked in a quick stop in London before returning to the Isle of Man and took a flight on the London Eye and managed to see 'the Queen's House! i.e. Buckingham Palace in case you were wondering!!!

Little Z's 6th birthday in New York

Our beautiful little girl had her 6th birthday whilst we were in New York. She was allowed to decide how we spent the day and believe you me, we have a phobia of toy shops now!!!!

The day started at 5am with "Mummy, it's my birthday" which was met with "Yes lovely, that's right but go back to sleep it's only 5am"!! Needless to say, she didn't and neither did we.

So there we were by 6.45am eating birthday cup cake and Danish pastries and a much needed takeaway of Starbuck's best!!!!!

Next stop (all dressed in our best birthday dress and tiara!!) was the Build a Bear factory on 5th Avenue. So many bears and so many outfits to choose from.

Little Z chose a bear whom she named Lilly who ended up with a whole wardrobe of clothes and AJ picked a Star Wars bear with both Jedi and Darth Vader outfits.

There then followed :-

FAO Schwarz (including a play on the giant floor piano)

MacDonalds for birthday lunch (yes but she is only 6 and it was the biggest meal she ate the whole time we were there!!)

Toys R Us (a ride on the in-store ferris wheel)

The Disney Store

The M&M Store (an obscene amount of money spent on M&Ms!!!)

By which time we were shopped out, spent up and ready for our hotel room.

We all slept well that night I can tell you!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

New York highlights

Where do we start?

First stop - The Rockerfeller Centre

Top of the Rock (67 floors up with an optional 3 further floors to go !!)

The majestic Statue of Liberty from our river cruise.

The rising structures of the new World Trade towers being built at Ground Zero.

Central Park - beautiful weather and a lovely day out.

Dancing on Ice in Central Park

OK remember the moment in the Disney film when Bambi tries to stand up on very shaky legs? Well imagine the same concept for a 6ft 3" bloke wearing a metal blade on the bottom of some clunky boots and you will get the idea of how Mr H's ice skating went. Add to that he had a 5 year old clinging on for support but who desperately wanted to skate!!! But you know what, that was some determination he showed!!!

This is a really short summary of the best bits of our trip.

Half term holiday - New York, New York here we come!!

It finally arrived - our family trip to New York for half-term (which also happened to include little Z's birthday).

First of all we flew to London and Mrs H's brother kindly came to pick us up to spend the day with the Guildford clan before flying to New York. The cousins were so excited to see each other and a very happy 6 hours were spent. There were many tears at Heathrow airport and requests to buy a house to live in near the family in Guildford!! (Lottery win anyone??)

The boys had a great time playing with Lego and I am sure the older boys were the most entertained!!!

We had a great time and a lovely lunch out - thank you so much and we wish we could see you more often! xxxxxx

Badminton Tournament

AJ took part in his first badminton tournament of the season which was for under 13's.

He did really well and reached the quarter finals in the boys singles, semi finals in the level doubles and semi finals in the mixed doubles.

Must have been down to the new Yonex shirt I was conned into buying at the Commonwealth Youth Games!!!

Isle of Man Ink

Mr H finally got around to getting the tattoo he wanted for his 40th birthday - only 4 years late!!!! Not sure what had stopped him from getting it donebefore but he assures me it wasn't that painful!

Commonwealth Youth Games 2011

The Isle of Man had the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games in September and Mrs H took AJ along to watch the badminton finals (what else!).

It was an amazing experience and the level of play was phenomenal - the shuttlecock moved so fast I couldn't see it!!!!

Sept - 2011 Back to school

AJ starts high school and doesn't he look so smart??

Summer Hols

Turkey in August is very very very hot!!! We did have a good holiday although Mrs H wasn't really impressed with the standard of accomodation to say the least!!

July - Aug update!!!

Well, I really have been remiss when it comes to updating this blog but I have to put that down to the amount of stuff we do!!!!

Some key events to note:

  • AJ took his Grade 1 trumpet exam and passed with Distinction. Mrs H's nerves nearly couldn't take the stress!!!

  • Both children received really great end of term school reports.

  • AJ finished primary school for good!! High school in September - no way, where did that time go to?????

  • Little Z achieved her proficiency level in gymnastics and also received a special award for her effort in her gymnastics class which were both presented to her at an awards evening.

  • Mrs H bought a new car - wasn't looking, wasn't planning to but said goodbye to the convertible and went for a more sensible :( family practical car!

  • Grandma and Great Auntie I came over for a week to look after the children in the school holidays. It was great having family to stay.

  • Mr & Mrs H had a big clear out and did a big car boot sale which went well and made some money!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Princess parties rule!

Z was invited to her friend's princess themed party recently and had a brilliant time. There had even been a fairy teacher flown in especially from the UK after her friend had won a competition through Clintons cards. It was a lovely afternoon.

Fencing competition

AJ did really well at the recent fencing tournament and came away with bronze.

Well done and keep it up AJ!!

All I want for Christmas is .......

a new front tooth!!! Little Z lost her first baby tooth amid much hysteria as it kept wobbling and was bleeding a bit. Mummy helped it out a little bit and everything then calmed down from then on.

School sports day

AJ and little Z had their school sports days in the middle of June. Both had been practising hard and had high hopes for finishing in a place. Unfortunately, little Z (despite an impressive starting position) decided to turn round and talk to her friends and completely missed the start and had to play catch up!! AJ did really well and came 2nd in his sprint and also gave an impressive performance in the long distance race which he led all the way round until the last 200 yards or so when he pulled up due to injury. He joined back in after the last racer had passed him and managed to pull back some distance which was very brave of him and he was nowhere near last in the end.

Elton Mania in Mann

Me and Mr H were lucky enough to have tickets to see Elton John live in Douglas!! It was a fantastic evening, the atmosphere was incredible and it was extremely well organised. The only slight disappointment was that I did not have a camera with me as someone had told me they weren't allowed so I didn't get any pictures. It was amazing - I nearly had no voice left by the end of the evening!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Budding musician

Little O took a shine to Grandpa's birthday harmonica.

Self portrait

AJ and Mrs H had some fun taking photos of themselves when we went out for dinner.


Cousins galore

Grandpa's birthday parties (note the plural) were a great excuse to get together with family that we haven't seen for ages. There were cousins and 2nd cousins a plenty!! And it was really great spending tme together.

Happy Birthday Grandpa

We had gone to Liverpool as it was Grandpa's 60th birthday. We had a fabulous time and Grandma did an amazing job of organising everything. We really enjoyed having birthday cake 3 times over the weekend!

Portraits a plenty

Whilst in Liverpool Mrs H finally managed to work out some of the functions of her camera - which she has had for nearly 2 years now!! Some lovely results.

Fishy feeling

Whilst in Liverpool Grandma arranged for herself, Mrs H and little Z to have their nails painted. Whilst in the salon, we realised that they had the feet nibbling fish treatment available. Now Grandma has always wanted to do this and Mrs H has refused point blank but feeling in holiday mode she eventually agreed, so into the fish tank went our feet - taking it in turns obviously - we didn't want to overfeed the fish!!! Mrs H hated the whole experience as it felt so wrong having fish nibbling your feet and burrowing in between your toes - yeugh!! Grandma says she would do it again - but once bitten (forgive the pun!) twice shy for Mrs H.

Birds Eye View

A trip to Liverpool was happening during half term and Mrs H and AJ and little Z boarded the Ben-my-Chree bound for Heysham. Coincidentially, it was the same evening that the Red Arrows were performing during TT week. We were sat in the harbour onboard ready to leave which was a brilliant vantage point.

Half term horsing around!

Half term arrived at the start of June with some beautiful weather. Mrs H was off work with the children and we decided to visit the Home of Rest for Old Horses. This is a locally run charity who look after horses who are no longer working or fit for riding. There are some retired tram horses living here. AJ and little Z spent a good hour talking to and feeding the horses. Mrs H declined the pleasure!! Little Z talked them into submission!!