Monday, 31 August 2015

The 52 project 35/52

 Fun at the zoo, which is not our home, on Saturday. made even more fun to go with the cousins of the male variety! This photo is in the wallaby enclosure hence the action from Ben and Jack.

Joseph loves lions, nothing on earth in his opinion is as strong or as fierce some. If any other animal attacked a lion, they would lose. Of course we are not putting dinosaurs into the mix, they're extinct and a species of their own! 
Watching the tiger cubs frolick around and pester their mum, Joseph performed a great (rather loud and in suitable tiger cub accent ) commentary to the action
'Mummy, I want some milk... mummy I want some milk now... mummy... mummy'
It all seemed so relatable, there the mother was just wanting a bit of a lie down and one cub jumping all over her, then when one would leave another would take over the baton!!  
Ben, Jack and Seth (of course) then began their own interpretation of the tiger behavior by crawling up the dusty path. I'm pretty sure no other children left the zoo quite so filthy! They do then reverted back to being revered lions - Ben a baby lion cub and Jack a teenage lion with a small mane. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Summer Loving

 Hopped along with daddy as he went to deliver a training course in Hull.
Kids AM film - two by two. Baby bro refused to be fobbed off with an inferior drink to the tango ice crushes his brothers had!
Trip to Withernsea is a lot further than you think by looking on a map!
Deserted beach. Joseph paddled in the quite turbulent sea and then was lovingly persistent in trying to rescue Anakin who had fallen out of Ben's hand in between the boulders. It was then time for some racing around the circle pavement in Withernsea park. Joseph wanted to beat his PB each time, Ben wanted a head start and Seth of course wanted to race too. They made it look like so much fun that other children wanted to race too!.

Soggy but fun day out with friends at Bolton Abbey and a retreat to Billy Bob's ice cream parlor.

The 52 project 34/52

Just back from a great week in Norfolk. We'll definitely be back. the coast on the north is so beautiful and it's only 3 and a half hours drive away. It seems like we've been so blessed with a fun packed summer that the boys are actually craving some down time. They're are some loud but mild protests when we say we're going out to a park or the beach 'What AGAIN?!' 

On the Wednesday evening of the holiday, Nathan and I drove home; leaving the boys in the capable, though by the end, tired hands of Grandma and Grandad. Nathan was needed and wanted to do some important Bishop duty to conduct and speak at dear Kath's funeral. It was only on the ride home that the sadness of her passing sunk in as for the five days since her moving on the feeling had been one of relief. Her body was clinging on as her body was well ready to go. I wondered why she had to wait those extra weeks. I think there are a few reasons to draw - she needed to get to a point she wanted to go, Dennis needed to get to that point to, where he wanted her to be released though he will miss her desperately and I think another reason is so that there was time for so many people to serve them as a couple and be demonstrative of their love for them. The funeral was lovely. Lots of people were there. she was the eldest of 11 children and had a large family but she was also such a lovely friend to many. Nathan mentioned her love to serve other people, she was truly good and without guile. he spoke so well covering the basic principles of belief that we have about the plan of salvation  which covers where Kath has moved onto now.
 Some of the thoughts I will hold dear bout Kath are - she was quick to compliment - tell you you looked great, gave a lovely talk or lesson,
her stew 
she was a fab Sunday school Class president when I was the teacher, always had a positive introduction or summarising comment.
she spoke to everyone, looked out for the ones who needed that extra attention.
loved her style, always looked just so and had a love of the red lippy like me!
loved a charity shop find, a car boot find or a good ol jumble sale find!
went to every church meeting she could and would always say how marvelous and uplifting it had been.
her desire to do some good in the world 'Dennis, come on we're going to do some good in the world'

Nathan used a quote by Gordon B Hinckley in his talk - 'I have found that the happiest people are those who lose themselves in the service of others.'
I think Kath was a case in point of this. I will miss her but feel a peace that I will see my friend again some day. 

When we returned to Norfolk to meet up with the boys, Grandma reported that Ben had been a missionary!
A girl had taken a shine to him at the play centre and asked him to be her boyfriend!! This is how the conversation went between Joseph and Ben recounting the event.

J: So she asked you to be her boyfriend, what did you say?
B: I said 'Do you go to church and believe in God. She said 'No' so I said 'No way!!'
J: You should have said 'No thank you!'....Did she cry?
B: Like a baby!

I think/hope the last statement was for dramatic effect??!!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Insta update Early summer #6

Most favourite of all the equipment at Nostell Priory. These buddies play too fast for focus! #parkcrawl2015 #newbuddies

Cheer me up gifts from friends.

Rare sunday afternoon walk to favourite place Skipwith with my faves. #mcneeadventures

When you bump into the long horned cattle at Skipwith. #run #nodontrun #mcneeadventures 

Seiged! Impromotu water fights #summerloving 

When you go to Grandma and Grandad's and none of the aunties or uncle are there! ' Josh?.......Where are you? Hope?' 

We took the scenic route home from Keighley tonight over the tops to Menston. Brought back some happy memories of travelling to youth activities on this route. Also some hair raising moments too if a certain friend was driving! 

The cutest kid in the class - nailed it! #dailyjosephcharles

  This boy has done a number of assemblies now. Each and every time, at some point he breaks ranks with the rest of the class to come and give me a hug and a kiss. I'll be honest, I'm a conformer so his blatant disregard for assembly etiquette makes me feel like I'm going to get told off by the teachers as well him. But really how cute is my boy for stuffing the rules and coming for a hug! #dailyjosephcharles  #hesonlyseven 

Pre race pep talk for Ben from big bro! Worked a treat - he won!!  #dailybenjaminnathan #dailyjosephcharles #bigbrowatchesover

Two happy boys.

What I see in my driver's miror. Man I love this face. #gettoseethisfacedaily 

If the sons made popcorn!

Up since 4:30am! Ugh I feel ruff!

Some school shirts need documenting!! Must have been a great day! Every shirt tells a tale! #stainremovaltestorwhat #dailybenjaminnathan 

Hanging out with 'Ionman' today! #dontcallhimbatman

Summer loving!

Found a heghog called Spike and followed him on his way around the perimeter of the chapel.

' Mum, I'm 2! It's totally OK that I'm up this high by myself!' 

Sometimes the stars align and these three nail it! #mcneeadventures #eastpark #parkcrawl2015 #hull

3 friends with 11 boys between them and on this occasion only 1 scooter and 1 bike bewtee them made for some extreme sharing! Some found it easier than others!! #sharingishard #boysrock

Kings of the castle #astleypark #parkcrawl2015 #chorley #cousintimeisbesttime

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The 52 Project 31/52

Pair up this boy with Little Miss Elsie and you have got the biggest pair of gigglers! Mr Fussy Pants, at first was having no one else push him in the 'wing'. 'No, my mummy!' 
He is going through this Mummy's boy stage and I am pretty much, most of the time, loving it. In the the morning, though he can get out of his cot, he will call 'Mom!.....Mom!....MOM!MOM!' 
Most mornings I obediently and quickly heed the summons. He then hugs me tightly, nestling his head into my neck, until I plonk (gently place!) him on the bed and then dive back in myself and try to get back to sleep. He does not like the covers over his feet and gets ratty when you replace them over the top, in the attempt to get the covers over your own shoulders. Some mornings the boys have gone in to get him 'NO! NO!NO! Mummy!' and then Daddy has even tried 'NO Daddy, No Daddy! Mummy!'

Saturday, we celebrated Yorkshire Day by ditching the temperate weather in Cawood and seeking out the rain at Bolton Abbey!! BBC weather forecast failed us! Though, in the end, we had a great day and probably if we'd known in advance we'd have cancelled and missed out on a lot of fun. Ben surprised me as he was so into playing in the river. Ben normally prefers his water a bit warmer and cleaner too, but he loved playing on the lilo. He still cracks us up with the one liners and as we were driving over the dales we got to a particularly steep decline and the voice from the back cries 'Hold on to your butts!' He just cracks us up.

More water! This time at Valley Gardens in Harrogate. I actually didn't realise there was a paddling pool so came unprepared. I learnt that Joseph and Ben are now too cool to be seen in just their undies, but they were happy to borrow shorts from Megan, our three year old friend. Phew! Good to know they're not too cool for that! Joseph has been great hanging out with lots of children who are younger than him. He is also really good at making friends quickly, with new children his own age at the places we've been. He'll strike up conversation with anyone and sometimes they reply and sometimes they look sheepish taken back by his confident but friendly nature.

(Seth didn't mind wearing his bros undies over the top of his nappy. He's too cool to go paddling in just his nappy though JK)

The 52 Project 30/52

Schools out for summer and it looks like this ...

We had a great day at Clifton park. the boys ran wild and free (well within eye sight). It was a great park for them, great equipment which was big enough to feel exciting to our now advancing in years, older boys. The splash park was so fun and even though it was a little bit on the cool side, they loved it. I loved watching Ben take the lead role with some of the younger children. It's good for him to be able to have time to adopt a leading role sometimes. Winston loved it that he got attention from a big boy and Seth then copied what Winston and Ben were doing too!

Joseph sticks true to his water baby nature. He doesn't seem to feel the cold. I love how he wanted to help Seth have the full experience of the fountains. We later bought a bag of tokens for the fun fair rides. Both Joseph and Ben paid careful consideration to what they would spend their tokens on.

Look at that face!!! So proud that he's on a ride with the big boys and girls. He has played so hard this week. Naps have been forfeited unless we've been in the car and so most night he just crashes.
I love that we have still got 6 weeks of this.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The 52 project 29/52

Worst quality picture ever! But this is the look you get when you question how many ice creams/ lollies he's had already The answer may well be ' 2 or more than likely 3 and why should that matter, they're nice and I want another. If you take it off me I'll scream!'

School's out for summer and we celebrate by having a sleepover on the landing! A bit of a cliff hanger there for Ben and an obstacle course for anyone navigating in the night, to get to the toilet.

We've just been over to Granne and Grandad's to celebrate Mum's retirement at a point in the afternoon there was the following conversation -
'Granne, some people call me a nerd because of my glasses'
'Oh dear, well that's not very kind of them to call you that. I don't think that'
'Well....probably I am a nerd because I do know a lot of stuff!'
Love how my boy can turn a criticism into a compliment. I think he does know a lot of stuff about the things that matter

The 52 project 28/52

I am obviously pants at doing this on time, but I am benefiting from having the project as a hint to blog regularly and remember some of the small moments each week. 

Wimbledon week! It's like a time where you think 'How on earth are we at Wimbledon time again?' The weather was great this week, long warm days. We've watered the plants together, Seth using 'ephant' watering can and I've had those moments where you just wish time could stand still.  In this photo, we were watching a bit of the Sharapova v Williams semi final. It was a noisy affair, with them both being squealers/grunters. Seth imitated every noise they made. It made me chuckle but he was deadly serious!

It was Stake athletics. The first for 4 years! Being reigning champions we were keen to retain. Though we were missing some of our quality competitors we had more quantity than other wards and Joseph was more than willing to take up spots on the 12-14 year old team. He ran 800m and on the final 100m stretch made a sprint finish which made me well up. he also did both the 100m and 400m relays. the dot on the photo above is him! On the 400m relay, he got cracked by the baton of another competitor (9 year old) as he overtook which really upset him -.' He cracked my heart!' 'he was cheating!' 'I just want to go back and bash him!' He was also openly tearful when Selby were announced as coming in third overall. I can see that in the future when he is actually the right age, with his determination, Selby won't be coming in a respectable third!!

There are some photos which feel like you dipped into the future and are looking at your children in 10 years time. This is one of those. Our Ben, handsome as they come. He is so tired after a long year at school and everyday is asking if it's the holidays yet! 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Fireplace redo

So, back in March I announced to Nathan that I wanted to repaint the fireplace in the dining room. He looked at me and said 'Well if you want to do it, you do it but I am not rescuing you.' A bit mean perhaps, or perhaps just a man who has come to the rescue of his wife's DIY impulses one too many times. I laugh at the thought of when I decided to knock out the bricked up fireplace in the dining room at Starch lane, one afternoon. he came home to a chimney breast heaving with soot!! Happy times and it was totally worth it in the end!
Anyway, after 4 tubs of paint remover and three months most of the black paint was removed and a yellow enamel revealed, I then under coated it and repainted it using chalk paint and to say I am thrilled with the result is an understatement! And I did the whole thing by myself!!! The hubs is proud of me too!

I only used half a tin of the paint so the trolley got a redo too!

How to make a bed.

We all at some point had to learn to make a bed, it's his turn! He's not happy about it, apparently all he does is work, all the time!! I sure loved watching his techniques;the shimmy under the duvet and creeping up the wall was my favourite!

The 52 Project 27/52

This week was bliss, a mini heatwave!! One night both Seth and Ben ended up in our bed, not unusually but the additional heat made it slightly unbearable so I legged it to Ben's empty bed. At 6:00am true to form, I heard the bounding sound of Joseph leaping out of bed but then I got to witness him immediately fall to his knees and say his morning prayer. Seriously one of those jewels of a moment. He was surprised when I spoke as obviously I wouldn't normally be there. I told him how lovely it was for me to see him pray without being told to. he told me he prayers for the poor to have nice food and nice water because he doesn't just care about his family. 

On Saturday we went with Dad as he went to the temple with the youth. We met up with the boy cousins, Granne and Grandad and went and had some fun in Astley Park.

This picture depicts how much the boys feel the morning rush!!  Er, like not at all and quite frankly it does my nut in!! But I do love to see them play together.