52 things – week 28

52 things in 52 weeksAnother action-packed week has passed and now the time really WILL seem to fly because we’re going to be so busy! We will be moving to Northumberland (from whence I came!) in a couple of months, so now the frenzy of getting the flat ready for sale, getting it actually up for sale, and selling it has begun. Along with that, we need to sort out a new school for Tadpole, new doctors and midwives for me (as well as finding out where Button will be born, because this baby will be born a Geordie!) and trying to find a new home for us!

Along with all this, we need to keep Tadpole entertained and occasionally get out and about to enjoy the summer before it’s over, as this will be our last summer living in Aberdeen!

It’s all very exciting, but very scary at the same time, because we’ll be moving (to my Mam and Pop’s place initially) just a few short weeks before Button is due and the amount of things that we need to organise between now and then is mind-boggling! Wish us luck!

1. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (45/52)

Reading: Alexandre Dumas – The Man in the Iron Mask (K)
Reading: David Peace – The Damned United

4. Read only books that I already have, have been given as gifts/to review, or have borrowed from the library for 52 weeks (28/52)
We returned all our library books today – we won’t be getting any more out before we move to Northumberland, at which point we shall have to register with a new library! Still no new books bought though!

Film and Television:
7. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (51/52)

  • Dead Man Down (2013)
  • The Words (2012)

Travel away from home:
22. Visit my family in Northumberland twice (1/2)
When we go down in September, we’ll be staying for good!

23. Visit my family in Braemar twice (1/2)
Planing a mini-break to my Dad’s place before we leave…

24. Go to Edinburgh for a mini break
25. Visit the National Museum of Scotland (in Edinburgh)
26. Visit Edinburgh Zoo
These three challenges are now cancelled, or at least temporarily suspended due to our moving very shortly. However, Edinburgh is closer to Northumberland than it is to Aberdeen, so we may still make it to the zoo and museum as day trips before the end of the year, one we get settled…

Food and Drink:
38. Eat only vegetarian meals one day every week (28/52)
Vegetarian day: Tuesday

43. Make / contribute to three items for charity (1/3)
Although I haven’t finished yet, I’m in the process of sorting through all my craft stuff, downsizing for the move, and I have earmarked several items I’ve made to go to charity shops. I’ll take them along very shortly and this part of the challenge will then be completed.

45. Save all £2 coins for 52 weeks (28/52)
Total saved in £2 coins: £76.00

46. Save all 1p/2p/5p coins for 52 weeks (28/52)
Total 5p pieces saved: £18.35
All coppers have gone directly into Tadpole’s piggy bank.

50. Self portrait picture every week (28/52)
Here I am, very tired after a long day of sprucing up the flat, followed by a long evening at work. I don’t look my best, but I’m happy. Behind this little sign, I’m smiling a big smiley grin.

28. Week 28 - 15.07.13
Week 28

51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog (28/52)


Graduation day!

02.07.13 - Graduation Day 4
Our very grown up little boy
graduating from nursery class!

Although the last day of nursery school isn’t till Thursday, today was Tadpole’s Graduation Day.

Tad has really enjoyed his time at the nursery and says he has the best teachers in the world, so he’ll be a little sad at leaving, but he’s been telling everyone for weeks now that he’s nearly ready for Primary 1, so I hope the transition won’t be too tough on him.

The whole class made their own mortar boards for the occasion and everyone got a lovely certificate congratulating them on graduating. Our boy was very smiley and did very well (especially as this morning he was very tired and didn’t want to go to school at all – he didn’t go to sleep till late last night, despite going to bed at the usual time of around 7.30pm).

I was so proud seeing him standing up to receive his certificate and shaking hands with the Deputy Head Teacher of the school.

So, only a couple of days of class left before the summer holidays start!

52 things – week 26

52 things in 52 weeksHere we are, officially half way through the year! Can you believe it? I’ve not completed quite as many of the challenges as I had hoped by this point, but there are quite a few well on the way to completion and I expect to finish off quite a few over the next few months. Till then, it’s back to the busy – this is Tadpole’s last week of nursery school, and we’re heading into the summer holidays, so we’ll be planning lots of fun activities with Tad over the coming weeks…

Also, due to me making several items for Button over the last few weeks, Tadpole has requested I crochet him a new blanket, so I’ve begun work on that. He chose the colours himself – air force blue, light blue and lime green. It’s gonna be awesome!

1. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (42/52)

Reading: Marie Mongan – HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A Natural Approach to Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing
Reading: Alexandre Dumas – The Man in the Iron Mask (K)
Reading: Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides

4. Read only books that I already have, have been given as gifts/to review, or have borrowed from the library for 52 weeks (26/52)
Got out a couple of books from the library. Still no new purchases though, I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without buying a new book for myself!

Film and Television:
7. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (44/52)
As you can see, we’re on a bit of a Star Trek films jag at the moment…
Watched: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)
Watched: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Watched: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Watched: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Food and Drink:
38. Eat only vegetarian meals one day every week (26/52)
Vegetarian Day: Monday

42. Learn three new crochet stitches/styles/techniques (1/3)
I completed my first ever proper item of clothing this week – a small cardigan for Button. Before now, I’ve only ever made acessories (scarves, hats, fingerless gloves) but this was a proper item of clothing that required multiple pieces to be assembled. I’ll share photos next week, as I’m very proud of my efforts!

45. Save all £2 coins for 52 weeks (26/52)
Total saved in £2 coins: £68.00

46. Save all 1p/2p/5p coins for 52 weeks (26/52)
Total 5p pieces saved: £18.00
All coppers have gone directly into Tadpole’s piggy bank.

50. Self portrait picture every week (26/52)
I’m dying my hair today, so this is the last pic of my streaky hair with roots several inches long! Tying it up seems to hide some of the roots, although there’s a hell of a lot of pure white at my temples these days. To be honest, I can hardly wait for it ALL to turn prper full-on white, then I can quit dying it all together. Or even if I just got those Bride of Frankenstein streaks at each side that go the full length. That would be way cool! When that happens, I’ll quit with the dye, because it’s currently stretching it with TWO bottles of dye to cover the lot – I may have to stretch to a third one within the next couple of dye jobs! Here I am in front of my rather full bookcase (each shelf has two layers of books – it’s that deep!). Yo ucan see how dull and washed out the colour has become. That’s the trouble with reds – they never last long enough!

26. Week 26 - 29.06.13
Week 26

51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog (26/52)

Our little sports day star

25.06.13 - Our sports day star 2
Showing off his medal!

Yesterday was Tadpole’s nursery school sports day. There’s nothing he loves more than running around, so he was understandably very excited about taking part in races (and we were excited at going to watch him take part). He’s usually very camera shy, but he was very good about letting us snap a photo of him showing off his medal and also about us shooting little videos of him racing. We’re so proud of our little sports star at the best of times, but he also won three out of the four races he did! They don’t actually do “winners” at nursery, but all the kids got a medal for taking part.

The bat and beanbag race was first (nursery school equivalent of egg and spoon race), and it was a tight run thing till Tadpole decided to get competitive with his friend who was running next to him, and ran straight back to the beginning instead of weaving in and out of the little cones like he was supposed to, but he went back and completed the course as he was supposed to, so he finished last in that one.

Next up was running. Just straight out running. There’s nothing can stop our little speedster once he gets going and he came first by miles.

Then it was the javelin throw. Tadpole’s javelin flew straight and true, ending up the furthest down the gym hall. He was so excited he chased after it, crying out “I did it! I did it!” He’d obviously hoped he would do well in this event and he did. (I always enjoyed the throwing events when we did track at school too!)

Finally there was a fun race – the hat and bag race. The kids had to run to the first hoop and put on a hat, then to the second hoop to pick up a bag, then run round the end and return the bag and hat to their hoops before racing back to the finish. It was a close call, but Tadpole just made it to the end in front of the others.

I love that Tadpole enjoys being energetic – hopefully he’ll be able to enroll in a gymnastics class very soon – we’re on a waiting list for an accredited group and I know he’d love it!

Well done, Tadpole – you’re a star!

52 things – week 24

52 things in 52 weeksAnother week, another update, although this time a very quick one because it’s a busy day! Tadpole’s just home from nursery and we’ve had a quick lunch, but now I have housework and baking to get on with before getting ready for work this evening. Time flies when you’re having fun! Oh, and we have a couple of completions too – hurrah!

1. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (41/52)

Finished: Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Kindle e-book)
Finished: Alison Hardwick – Henry VIII – About the throne the thunder rolls (Just the Facts) (Kindle e-book
Reading: Marie Mongan – HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A Natural Approach to Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing
Reading: Bernard Schaffer – Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes (Jack the Ripper) (Kindle e-book)

4. Read only books that I already have, have been given as gifts/to review, or have borrowed from the library for 52 weeks (24/52)
Still not bought any new books – doing really well with this!

5. Read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin (7/7) – COMPLETED
I came to realise that the next installment of this series has now been set back till next year, therefore I have, in effect, completed this part of my challenge, as I have read all the available volumes in the series and am up to date, ready for the next book when it is published next year.

Film and Television:
7. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (37/52)
Watched: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
We also started watching Killer Joe (2001) but it was so terrible we quit watching it after about 25 minutes. We just couldn’t stand any more of that drivel!

9. Watch 12 films that are newly released in 2013 (12/12) – COMPLETED
Watched: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
This part of the challenge is now completed (although I’m sure I’ll see more new films this year anyway).

Food and drink:
35. Cook one new recipe every month (6/12)
I actually tried out TWO no-cook recipes this very week, so I’m including them together as this months challenge entry. Overnight oatmeal and energy bites.

38. Eat only vegetarian meals one day every week (24/52)
Vegetarian day: Tuesday

45. Save all £2 coins for 52 weeks (24/52)
Total saved in £2 coins: £64.00

46. Save all 1p/2p/5p coins for 52 weeks (24/52)
Total 5p pieces saved: £17.25
All coppers have gone directly into Tadpole’s piggy bank.

47. Put aside £10 for every challenge completed (£100/£520)
Two completions this week so an extra £20 in the kitty – hurrah!

50. Self portrait picture every week (24/52)
A quick snap from earlier in the week when I went on a school trip with Tadpole. We had a great time as you can read HERE. This is us just setting off for our day of adventure and fun!

13.06.13 - Heading off to Loch Insch Farm for a school trip
Week 24

51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog (24/52)

School trip…

Today Tadpole and I went on a school trip. It was one of those induction “away day” trips that are supposed to help prepare the kiddies for Primary 1 after the summer. So, I packed my backpack with wellies (just in case), suncream and water and we set off for school.

13.06.13 - Heading off to Loch Insch Farm for a school trip
Tadpole and me
Excited about our impending adventure!

It was a beautifully warm, sunny, summery day and we just strolled along, so we only just made it in time for the school bell. Of course, the time we were given for setting off was actually 15 minutes after the bell, so we were still in plenty of time. Unlike some others. We had to wait another 15 minutes for latecomers to show up! I don’t know about you, but tardiness really annoys me. As far as I’m concerned, if we’re given a departure time, we should leave at that time and anyone who isn’t there gets left behind! After all, would they expect an aeroplane to stay late just so a few extra people who haven’t bothered to arrive at the airport on time can still catch their plane? Would the train driver hold up his train saying, “Hang on we’ve still got a few folk who have tickets booked and haven’t shown up yet!” and then set off later because of that? No! So why should the kids have to wait an extra 15 minutes for the parents who couldn’t be bothered to get their own children to school on time? They’re already excited and want to get going – it’s really not fair on them or on the parents who DID make the effort to get there in plenty of time!


Glad I got that off my chest!

Anyway, one everyone had arrived (including the aforementioned slow coaches), we all piled onto the coach and drove off to Lochinch Farm, which isn’t a farm at all, but an activities centre. It’s not far out of Aberdeen, and sits right next to Loirston Loch, just south of the city.

Once there we had some refreshments (pancakes, biscuits, tea coffee, juice, and water for those who wanted) and headed out into the sunshine for a little walk along a nature trail, where the kids spotted things, listened for sounds, and generally had a great time before we reached the play park, where they all ran round like crazy!

Then we went indoors for a spot of cake decorating. Tadpole loves doing that, but he likes to do it when he wants to do it, not to a schedule, so he was initially reluctant, but eventually he cheered up and joined in, so we ended up with two cute little cupcakes.

13.06.13 - Our cake decorating prowess
Tadpole’s on the left, mine on the right

Most of the kids scoffed theirs straight away, but I was very proud of Tadpole who kept his to enjoy after lunch. Good lad!

Then the kids all got to decorate a T-shirt each. Tadpole decided he wanted to stencil letters on his in different colours, and rather artily chose not to do all the letters, but tail off towards the end, leaving a space before the bright green “X” which is his own initial. As you can see, he was very pleased with the results!

13.06.13 - showing off his decorated t-shirt - he used most of the alphabet
Tadpole showing off his new T-shirt

There was little more time to play in the park before we went indoors again for lunch. Tadpole did me proud with his choices – he picked out a couple of sandwiches made on whole wheat bread, rather than the white bread ones, and polished them all off, including the crusts. Then he was one of the very few children to choose a piece of fruit – a banana this time – before sharing a packet of crisps with me and only then having his little cake. Most of the kids went straight for the white bread and crisps then polished off their parents’ cake having already scoffed their own. Tadpole also opted for water to drink instead of more juice. I think my influence must finally be rubbing off on him after all – hurrah! He also surprised me by asking if we could take a satsuma to enjoy later. I wasn’t going to say no to that!

Then it was time for the mini beast hunt! The children were taken off together in a large group while the parents all went back indoors to be given a jute bag full of goodies – mostly literature about the Family Learning team, but there was a little book and some magnetic letters for the children, along with a wipe-clean alphabet and numbers sheet for them to practice their writing.

The children came back from their hunt, filled with tales of spiders, worms and various creepy crawlies, and then it was time to go. We’d all had a lovely time but were all exhausted from the combination of the heat and activities – some of the kids even fell asleep on the bus back to school, even though the journey was only about 15-20 minutes.

Tadpole is now REALLY looking forward to next week’s trip to Haddo House. I won’t be going along to that one (it’s kids only this time), so I’ll have a well deserved day of rest while he goes off to have fun with his friends!

Tadpole and the cat

Tadpole loves animals. So do I, but there’s a problem in that I’m am highly allergic to many of them and number one on the list is cats – five minutes in a room with a cat and I can hardly breathe, my nose is bunged and my eyes are streaming. Basically I’m allergic to anything with fur or feathers, animal dander and saliva (if one licks me I come out in hives!), washing powder, and powders in general, pollen, and pine sap. The animal allergies effectively rule out pets that aren’t of the aquatic, amphibious or reptilian kind. It’s a shame because I would dearly love a dog – a HUGE dog like a Great Dane or something!

Anyway, back to the point, Tadpole would dearly love a furry pet of his own, but cannot have one, therefore he’s delighted that a local cat appears to have adopted him! Almost every school morning, the cat (which he calls Puss-Cat) waits for him and runs right up to him the moment he’s in sight. He then pets it a while and it follows us almost all the way to school. Then at home time, it waits for him again.

He gets very disappointed on days the cat isn’t there, and on the rare occasion that Tadpole has been ill and can’t go to school, but I have been going to my Primary 1 class, the cat mews quite pitifully as I pass on my own. I guess they love each other very much!

Sponsorship sale at Kincavel Krosses!

15.01.13 - Sledging 3
Me and my lovely boy!

My four-year-old son is doing his first ever sponsored activity to raise money for outdoor equipment for his nursery on Friday 8th February. I’d never ask anyone to just give money, but I’ve come up with an idea…

Anyone who emails me between now and midnight Thursday 7th Febuary (GMT), can have any one of my designs that are for sale for just £2.00 (instead of £3.50 each), to a maximum of three designs (which would be £6.00 total). All proceeds from those sales will go directly to his sponsorship.

Just email me at Kincavel_Krosses@yahoo.co.uk with the heading “Sponsorship Sale” with your choice of chart(s) and I will send you a Paypal invoice for the total amount, I will then email you the charts once payment is confirmed and donate the money to his sponsorship drive.

Choose your charts from the ones listed HERE.

Thank you in advance!Kell @ Kincavel Krosses

Being artistic…

Hand prints and leaf prints in autumnal shades
Hand prints and leaf prints in autumnal shades

It seems Tadpole has been rather artistic in nursery school!

At home, despite encouragement and prompting from both Hubby and me, Tadpole refuses to do more than scribble with crayons or daub with paint, making a picture of nothing in particular, and doesn’t tend to go for the collage approach or getting his hands covered in paint. At nursery, however, he’s been creating left, right and centre!

At the end of the school term, all the kids came out with their artwork for their parents. We were treated to a lovely autumn leaves picture, where Tadpole had used hand prints as some of the leaves, and printed with real leaves for others. I love the autumn shades he chose. We also received a our first hand-made calender with a super-sarkly collage of the sun because, as it says at the bottom, “I like Summer because it’s hot.”

A sun-shiny calender
A sun-shiny calender

We’ve also been getting into the holiday mood by decorating gingerbread men.

Tadpole’s concentration while he squeezed just enough icing into the dents for the buttons so he could stick the Smarties on was brilliant! He added more Smarties for eyes, a nice big red smile, and then “doodled” to make patterns for the clothes before adding just a few sprinkles for added colour. As you can see, he was very proud of his efforts, even agreeing to pose with his gingerbread masterpiece for a photograph before enjoying his efforts as a treat.

17.12.12 - Tad's gingerbread masterpiece 1
Tadpole proudly showing off and enjoying his gingerbread masterpiece

Tadpole’s Xmas party!

19.12.12 - Tad's Xmas Party 1Yesterday was Tadpole’s nursery Xmas party. They had lots of yummy food to eat, they played games and sang songs, and even had a bouncy castle in the gym! A lot of fun was had all round, but still I was a little worried…

You see, I knew there would be a special guest at the party – Santa Claus was coming to their class, and so far Tadpole has been a little reticent regarding the dude in red and white!

Each time we’ve passed someone dressed as Santa, we’ve had to give him a wide berth as Tadpole pulls us as far in the opposite direction as he can. No amount of encouragement or reassurances from us has made any difference at all – Tad was terrified!

Fortunately, his name was one of the last ones called, so he watched all his friends go up and get a gift from Santa with no fuss at all, and when his turn came, there were (thankfully!) no histrionics, although you can see from the photograph his smile was a little strained. Still, he really tried hard and behaved beautifully.

Tadpole had a great time at his party and is very excited at the prospect of sprinkling his bag of reindeer dust (oats with sparkly stars in) in the garden on Xmas Eve so that Rudolph and his buddies will stop in our garden for a bite to eat while Santa brings the presents to put under the tree with the one he already has!