Halloween treats

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*** Ooops! I didn’t see that wordpress had changed things a little and posted to the wrong blog!! Still, they are pretty cute little treat bags so I’ll leave them here for now. I will have to get used to the new way of doing things now that I am sporadically updating both blogs!!***

These little treat bags were made by one of the ladies at the monthly community craft night that myself and a friend run. We had a loose theme of Halloween and Thank you cards. The ladies had a great time putting these together, and these were made by one of the ladies for each of her kids. We were using Googly Ghouls which you will find in the “Holiday Mini” catalogue.

Lucky I had my cellphone to get any kind of photo – I think she did a great job!! She made another dozen or so which she planned on taking home and threading with cotton in order to hang from twigs in a vase – super simple halloween decorations!

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She lives!!!!!

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Wowsa!!!! Over a year since I left word on here! How on earth did that happen??

In a nutshell – Kelly got busy – and happily neglected this wee piece of her life for a bit…. for a year!! I thought about giving it all up. But I quite like having a place to leave some thoughts. I haven’t done much creating and that was the original reason for sharing…. and I guess that’s the main reason why blogging has gone down the old To Do list! Plus facebook has become a replacement for many of the forums and scrapbooking groups that used to be a big part of my day while I was at home with the boys… more than two years ago since those days changed!! Wow!!

I’m not even sure who will be out there reading what I share. I think this will become more of an place for me to pop some thoughts and ramblings as and when I feel like it. So, if anyone is still out there checking up on the goings on in the Nelson household, I say hi!

Work:

I’m still at VSA, although I have a new CEO. The incumbent felt it was her time to move on to fresh pastures after 8 years with the organisation and in July our new CEO started. It’s one thing to walk into a job and learn everything on the fly…. it’s another to adjust to a new person’s style as they learn what there new role is to be! My hours of work generally are well above the *official* 20 hours… but that is proving to be a good thing. I get to *bank* time in lieu – and that means I get to schedule time off around the school holidays. Loving that flexibility…. it meant I could take a week and a bit off over these most recent ones…. so family holiday to Ohope… woohooooo!!

Family:

Mr11 is in year 6 at the primary and we got a place into a school that starts at intermediate and goes through secondary. I’m thrilled because it’s a good school and it’s NOT the private school that we would have taken another mortgage to get both boys through. In our Mr’s case, I personally think he will really benefit from going to a single sex school… a school specifically catering to teaching boys. Not because he is behind in any way, but more because he loves to be involved in virtually everything going on – and allows himself to be distracted. I know that there are many good co-ed schools out there (I went to one of them!!), but I truly believe that teachers that know how to teach boys will be a good thing. (I really like how girls “can do anything” these days, but it’s been something I’ve been concerned about in general in terms of boys falling behind in overall achievement…. and now we are parents to boys… well, we have to do what we think is best for them…)

Mr8 on the other hand will do well wherever he goes – he’s that kind of kid that just gets on with the task. One of the great things this year has been his involvement in extra activities at school. He was so pleased to come first in the school cross-country at the beginning of the year, and then followed that up with a fourth at the Western zones. Sadly, inter-zones were cancelled after several attempts to re-schedule due to dodgy weather. Even now, he tells me how frustrated he was… and how he plans on finishing 1st and 4th again next year to repeat his selection!

Mr8 did however complete successfully in the BP challenge – a challenge where teams from different schools had to create a project in advance and show their planning and prototypes. This year, the teams in Year 3-4 had to create bird feeders according to various criteria. Mr8’s team were awarded second – woohooo! On the day of the challenge, they had to do another challenge which involved them creating a sling or sled that would carry 5 kg across a certain distance and over and around various obstacles. Both challenges were completed using nothing more than newspaper, string, tape and a few pieces of cardboard or plastic. He loved taking part.

Rugby:

Both Mr’s had great rugby seasons for Petone – different teams to the ones they played in last year due to a change in how junior teams are created. Mr11’s team only had three losses – a couple of which were *character forming* (much of his team was not used to winning and their reaction to the first lost was…… interesting….!) Mr11 had so many losses last year, he was surprised at the general reactions and pointed out that they had played well so they should still be pleased with themselves. This raised a few eyebrows among his coaches, but they backed him and encouraged the other boys to pull themselves together. I have to say, I was a bit stunned at the first reactions from a lot of these other boys, and I was actually quite pleased they had a couple more losses…. In my mind, playing at this level is about doing your absolute best to get that win, but learning how to be both decent winners and gracious losers.

Mr8’s team on the other hand played better and better each week – and got through their season unbeaten. Might have to check their head sizes next season at weigh in!!

Moving…..??

For a large chunk of the early part of the year, Hubby and I looked at various sections and new homes. We were investigating building – and we were very excited as we looked through plans and developed a layout in particular. However, in going through the process, we came very quickly to the decision that the sections in the new development or the one around the corner from there were well over-prices and we pulled the plug. We still want to move: our house no longer *fits* the way our family works…. but we’re going to take our time and get it right. The good thing is that when we do move, the intention is to get into a certain set of suburbs where both Hubby and I have wanted to be for a number of years… and that will provide Mr11 with a choice of moving to the boys school out that way, or staying at the one he’ll be starting at next year and taking the train to and from. Wellington’s public transport rocks!!

My weight watchers journey:

I started Weight Watchers almost a year ago exactly. In the first 3 months, I lost 10kg pretty easily. Then it took another 4-5 months to lose another 5. Since then I’ve been going up and down a couple of kilos…. and finding it hard to keep on track. I have another 10 to go in order to make it into my healthy range and become a life-time member. I’m frustrated at the sabotaging I do (I find myself making *those* choices easily)… but the one thing I have been proud of myself and it shows me that this is a life-style change is that I don’t beat up on myself – I make a point of making the next meal a good one… and knowing that my not so great choices aren’t the end of the line for me. Instead they push the goal out. So, the up shot? I’m still determined to make the changes I’ve started with a very permanent part of a healthier way of living for me… and the fact that I’ve only been moving around that 2 kg mark speaks volumes to me… I just need to really knuckle down to keep moving down for another 10kg and make that end target!

Creating:

As this blog was started originally with the purpose of sharing scrapbook projects and pages with my online friends, I feel I should at least mention what I’ve been working on in terms of creativity this year!! I’m still a Stampin’ Up! demo… although making it fit into my busy-busy kind of schedule means I’m choosing to do workshops as and when I’m asked – so that is becoming a more relaxed model for me and working well.

I’ve been doing Project Life for the first time – and enjoying capturing our life as a family. The routine of printing photos and putting into the album still needs work… but there is quite a bit captured. The whole family enjoys seeing this album come together… and at week 42, there might be a few weeks to be worked on still… but it’s coming together well. I’m also preparing my December Daily album for this year. I’m really excited about this project – I love Christmas and the focus on traditions and family and what it means to us. And as we’re not travelling this year in the lead-up, I’m really looking forward to capturing this part of the year!!

We also have Halloween coming up – and while I know a lot of friends don’t participate in this *festival* for any number of reasons, our friend that was in our street but moved during the year further up our hill, has well and truly got me into the fun of it. I putting together Adventure Time costumes for the boys… Jake the Human and Finn the Dog costumes for the Mr’s. I’m also going to put together something for myself… A pumpkin costume – I intend to crank this out on an annual basis in the manner of Mrs Zielske and her Bee costume!!

Another American style holiday that I love (and wish that more of us would adopt… in principle at least!) is Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago, we got together with extended family and celebrated thanksgiving in lieu of Christmas seeing so many of us were going to be out and away around the country. Not sure if we’ll be doing that again this year (hoping so!!) but I love the vibe of being grateful and thankful – so I might just put together some ideas in a project of that nature. Now, many of you (if you’re still reading these days!!) will now I’m seriously good at making plans. Seriously good! But not so good at delivering. Shhhh… we know how bad I can be at that… Queen of procrastination and all!! Soooo…. in theory I’ve put the thought out there publicly. So I can be held accountable – and do this…. yeeeessssss!! So help me be accountable and check that I’ve put the thinking into reality!! :P

Anyway, that’s all she wrote.

Ooops, I’ve done it again!

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Neglected my blog that is!  Well, I’m starting this post at 11pm on Monday night – and because I’m on the laptop rather than the computer upstairs with the photos, I know it’s unlikely this will be a complete post… but while I’m in the mood, I might as well get on with it :)

I’ve been working a few extra hours here and there at work.  With the job I started at the beginning of July, the role is a new one for them – and when I looked at the description when I applied, I had a feeling the role would need more than the 20 hours each week it stated.  It is proving the case.  I was asked if I would consider working a few extra hours just the other day.  I found working 25 hours on a permanent basis meant a stretch of other things and often meant that some of those things didn’t get done.  As always, my procrastination foibles are there, but that extra committed 5 hours really did impact on what I was able to do and what I wasn’t.

So, work and I reached an amicable agreement.  I’ll stick to the formal 20 hours per week arrangement, with the ability to work and be paid the additional 5 hours as and when they are worked.  I’m hoping this means I will get to take on some of the tasks that I am meant to be doing but find I run out of time to even think about, yet keeping the ability to get to the supermarket, have lunch with friends on occasion, sometimes get to the Mr’s open assemblies at school.  I like that work is prepared to work with me on this – it isn’t an either or question

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We’ve finished winter sport season – without any of the accolades that were suggested might be coming the Mr’s ways.  Both Mr 10 and Mr 7 have had a really good year.  In one case, I personally found it hard to hear week in, week out about how great one of the Mr’s had improved, how good he was playing – yet every week someone else would be given the player of the day, or finally “most improved”.

I know I’m the mum and I’m biased, but I know how much he had improved – and being told each and every week how good a game he had seemed to back my view.  But week in week out I kept my mouth shut as the kids who got the trophy – again – because they scored x tries. I didn’t want to be seen as being one of “those” mums.  Still, it is a fine line between being proud of my boy’s acheivements and wanting others to acknowledge the same thing, and avoiding the whole pushy stage mum thing!

I’ll be satisfied with the fact that I am proud of how much he improved, how much fun he had, and the fact they both said they loved playing this year.

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We got part of our summer holiday plans sorted out.  Great team effort with hubby finding a holdiay home in Momorangi Bay for a week (thanks Marram Trust!) and plans to get to see my Brother, SIL, and new niece in Christchurch.  I found a motel reasonably close to them, so we will be a few days in Christhchurch too…. not nearly as long as I’d like, but probably enough to enjoy a fleeting visit with the fam and hopefully avoid experiencing the aftershocks. For all my bravado, my gallows humour about earthquakes goes OK up here in Welly where we haven’t had to seriously experience things to any serious degree.  I’m not sure I’d be as calm as the rest of the fam have had to be should something out my usual experience actually happen!

Having said that, I’m really looking forward to getting down there – first time anywhere near Christmas time that I’ve been anywhere near the old stomping ground since we got back from Belgium eight years ago!!

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And on that note – that’s all for a glimpse of what we’ve been up to.  I was going to tell you about our fun weekend in the city with the navy and all that boys stuff – but as I said… no chance of pics tonight.  Guess that means I need to get back here real fast then, hey?!  :)

Remember the time it snowed in Wellington….

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I must be almost the last person in Wellington to put up photos of the snow.  Some of my pics are really blurry – I didn’t even check the settings before I started snapping away – and the snow on the lens really didn’t help! :lol:

Yet, in among the blurriness, I think I managed to catch some special moments.  Like this:

The WONDER of snow!

The WONDER of snow!

This is going to get picture heavy so I’ll just get on with it….

"look at the snow dad!"

"no, LOOK at it Dad!!" LOL

The snow wasn't actually settling yet, so the best place to collect snow for your snowball?? From the wing of the "teenagers" cars!s

Family Portrait

Duck! Neighbour N has just attempted to hit Mr 10... having been ambushed by Mr 10 a number of times!

Our house at dusk... after a little more snow fell

First attempt at a snowman... well, snow blob! There really wasn't enough snow on Sunday!!

Snow buddies - I didn't see Neighbour boy or Mr 10 the whole Monday afternoon!

Mr 10 and Neighbour Boy spent much of Monday afternoon in the new snow that coated the back deck - and made Mr Snow - a portable snowman on a baking tray so he could be moved under the verandah, out of the rain, so he wouldn't melt!!!

Tuesday after school - thought I would try to get some shots of falling snow.... so far the attempts hadn't been great

This is the same Kowhai - just 20 minutes later! With our local Kereru trying to find shelter

That same roof and tree - just 20 minutes after the snow started falling!

Just loved the look of our tree with the snow

Almost forgot to do snow angels!!!! Mr 7 had come and gone - he loves the snow but there is simply no insulation on his body and he wanted to get out of the cold!

Looking down from the top of our cul de sac....

Looking back up to our house

...round our corner.... that turn at the top of our street was so slippery, people were leaving their cars several streets away!

our last snow man - Mr 10 did this largely on his own... and was so disappointed a large chunk of snow fell off the torso before I got the camera on to it. That bottom snow ball... it lasted until Saturday before finally melting completely!!

I haven’t shown pics here, but one of the nicest things was how many meighbours were all out – especially on the Sunday at the first snowfall – and Wednesday.  Such a special time seeing as this is such a rare event… On the Tuesday our elderly neighbours came out to join in where they could.  He pulled out some toboggan runners that were around 40 years old, another neighbour had some wood in the garage so the old was added with the new and a sled was created!  Not quite enough snow depth to actually make it work – but still it was fun trying!!  Those guys now have a sled to use the next time snow gets anywhere near us!!

OH, and Mr 10 just told me that I completely forgot to tell you all that at school on the Monday, they were allowed to go out to the field and have a massive snowball fight, and Mr T(the caretaker) found a whole lot of bags so that they could slide down the big bank at the back of the field.  Super cool!

Glorious mud….!

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I was moaning yesterday at the lack of cancellations for our area’s rugby games.  When we got to the designated grounds, it was soft but not too bad, and the temperature wasn’t cold, so OK, let’s get on with it.

And then the rain set in. Again.

This is how the Under 10 game looked being played at Trentham Memorial Park:


Mr 9 was also captain for the day, which he loved.

OMG – this cat is a hunter!

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I opened the front door after work a couple days ago and something strange was in the hallway… lots of little things. Feathers!!

Sasha has proven her worth as a mouser … there is a really freaky mouse experience from a few months ago that I’m not going to share here because having shared it at work, it really did freak someone out and I felt bad.  Suffice to say, it left me with a feeling I didn’t enjoy for several days after!

 

Anyway, I assumed that being a good mouser wasn’t necessarily leading to a bird hunter.  We have lovely natives around our section quite a lot which I just love.  So when I saw the dark feathers through the hall I was pretty devastated.  I couldn’t work out what had happened to the bird though and assumed it was a little sparrow that had been eaten.  Our last cat, Sam, did that in his peak.

And then I walked into the laundry.

More feathers.

And behind the door………..

OMG!!  The body.  It wasn’t a native – thank goodness… but man!! It was quite a large bird. And it was in my laundry. And it was dead.  :(

I have no idea how Sasha got the bird into the laundry through the cat door – and clearly the poor thing put up a fight.  I cleaned up the mess, said a few things and popped the bird away.

WHAT am I going to do to stop our little cat from murdering the natives???

 

Sporty dudes

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I don’t have photos just yet – partly because I wasn’t there to see it *sad face* but also the after the event photos I took with the ribbons are on the computer upstairs and it’s too cold for me to sit up there tonight!!

The Mr’s have been at it again – more sporting success!!

Two weeks ago: Mr 7 got player of the day in ripper rugby.  He is playing so well at the moment.  The week before was a little frustrating because the other team wasn’t working with getting back onside too much and three times he got so close to scoring tries when he was ripped by an offside player.  It was a sorta big deal because normally he’s the kid that runs and runs, gets his hand on the ball a little bit but that’s about it.  To see him so close to scoring was so neat to watch.

The following week, the opposition was a bit better at getting back on-side – and he scored two tries, a handful of seriously good rips stopping tries and had some really good runs… hence POTD.  He LOVED it.

Last week was another great game for him – the coach actually remarked how he was totally into the game in the last few weeks.

Last week was also cross-country time at the school.  During the training sessions, both of them had been looking pretty good.  Mr 9 came fourth – and will be representing the school in the Year 5 zone run.  He was so pleased – having just been pipped into one of the spots last year, plus beating the boy who normally is always ahead of him in the past years.

Mr 7 got first in the Year 3 boys race…. and was so pleased.  Apparently he came in first by quite a way.  I’m still hunting out the photos for that one :)  Thankfully there was a mum up there at the time that race was run that knew I’d want pics :)

I’m really hoping that I can get a day where the workload is light enough to let me leave early on the day the zone races are run.  Fingers crossed!!

Back from Melbourne

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I had a WONDERFUL four and a bit days in Melbourne last week.  This year’s Stampin’ Up! convention was held there.  The last time I was in that wonderful town was back in ’98.  I know!! That is SUCH a long time ago!!  Funny part was that for a time, I was in the same part of town because it was for a work thing that had us attending the convention or expo or whatever it was at the convention centre.

This time was a whole lot more fun – (although the first two days of the previous statement don’t qualify as THEY were fun being spent with my good girlfriend, Claire, who was living there at the time and they were definitely awesome times!!).  This time I was part of our Stampin Up team that was staying in a fabulous apartment right in behind the convention centre… and DFO.  Stampin and shopping – in Melbourne… simply BLISS!!

I tried taking a photo from our 29th floor looking over the fab nightscape we had each night.  It was through the window as well, the weather was slightly more akin to Invercargill that Ayers Rock if you know what I mean…. (sorry Mrs Frizz!!!) and I wasn’t going to venture out on to our balcony.

On the first morning it was a bit gloomy – but I had a wonderful experience of noticing a hot air balloon rising from that space by the shortest high rise slightly to the right of centre…. and then noticing it wasn’t alone – at least two others were a bit higher in the sky and about to disappear from our view as we looked right.  I didn’t grab my camera as it was one of those moments you wanted to see rather than miss while you grabbed the camera!  Amazing though!

Now I did take a PILE and a half of photos but I can’t share them here… a lot involved upcoming products and sneak peeks that we demos simply aren’t allowed to share before certain dates.  But I can tell you I am totally excited about what we have coming up.  And the clever people doing the presenting and showing us how to use stuff – impressive talent. And that would be a massive understatement.

With it being my birthday weekend (a certain milestone may have been reached…..) I was pleased to have some great company to share the weekend with.

And to finish off, we had the awards dinner where we all got glammed up.

L-R: Judith, Sharlene, Me, Emma (NZ Country Manager), Liz, and Broni.  The lovely Laura was also staying in our apartment but stepped out for this pic…. Laura is an aussie from Adelaide and was sooo much fun.

I also came home with a lot of items from momento mall (the “shop” of convention souvenirs…. which is pretty fun) but the best thing….. FIVE pairs of shoes none of which was full price thanks to DFO.  Heaven much??!  Somehow, I managed to get enough stuff into my Trelise Cooper countdown bag to take on board and had EXACTLY 23kg to check-in.

All in all…?  It was definitely a Happy Birthday to me.  Think Hubby will definitely insist on a party rather than a convention weekend next time ;)

On a Saturday night

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Tonight I’m sitting watching “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” on Sky with the Mr’s.  It’s goes a little later than their bedtimes but it’s quite nice to be able to chill with them after what’s been a typical Saturday with rugby, laundry and typical Saturday goings on.

We had a second day of fog hanging around the hill today… finally burned off around 4-ish while the big Mr and I were out shopping.  It’s amazing how clothes that have been slightly big, looking good and don’t appear to be in the drawers for that terribly long suddenly look short on the arms or need to be invited to join the shoe!!  Thankfully both Mr’s are trackies and t-shirt boys… and there were still some sales on.  Makes it really easy to shop

This weekend I’m also prepping for a trip away next week.  A trip out of the country even.  On my own!!  Woo-hooo!  I’m off to Melbourne for the Stampin’ Up! convention and to say I’m looking forward to it is a fairly large understatement!  I am trying to get through the laundry, plan where the Mr’s go aftershool and how they get to rugby practice — and what might be eaten while I’m away.  This is on top of working out how little I can pack (so I have room to bring STUFF home!!), getting some swaps done (I’ve finally decided to stick to a plan!).  I do the domestic planning in order that things go relatively smoothly while I’m away – with the primary motive being that I will then be able to go away again!!  The other prep is the procrastination side coming through well and truly.  You didn’t think that I’d give up that title did you???

Speaking of procrastination, I have several cards I need to get to the post office tomorrow… there’s a few sitting here waiting for their trip out the right person!  Sigh. I never get better at that part of the process!!  There is always hope though.  Hopefully the recipients will at least appreciate I was thinking of them at a certain point… and forgive my usual lack of timing!! :oops!:

I haven’t taken a photo of the card for mother’s day that Mr 7 did at school during the week.  I knew something was coming because he was really excited about it and kept telling me about some things that he had been working on.  As always, I LOVE it… but he got a real buzz at being able to give it to me as he received a certificate for the “character writing” that he did to go inside it.

“Mum.

blue eyes.

brown wavey hair.

fancy rosey red cheeks

Pretty.

works.

likes books.

gets take aways.

cooks all our food.

Awesome.”

And then… “Dear mum I hope you have a very happy mothers day.  love from —–“

Totally love how these things give you an insight into what kids think :)

And that’s probably enough Saturday night stream of conciousness for you.

Catch up time again

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Woah!  Really?! Two months on.

OK, so I’ve been missing in blog land again for a bit. Whoopsie.

February:

School restarted, the boys are happy with their teachers.  Year 5 for Mr almost-10, Year 3 for Mr 7.  School touch team was signed up for again, and Mr 10 also decided to sign up for French club. I never even knew it was an option and he decided off his own bat to do it. 30 minutes once a week.  He’s loving it.

March:

School swimming happened over two weeks and Mr 10 finished first in 25m freestyle and second in 25m backstroke.  He got to represent the school in the Western Zone competition.  Unfortunately he didn’t finish first in either of his races, but he was so pleased to be able to get to represent his school.  I was definitely one proud mum!

Proof he does concentrate!! Mr almost-10 listening to the teacher before swim races get started.

Pre-race routine…..

I have to admit – he has a nice technique.  His swimming teacher this year is working on fine tuning some things – and maybe by next year, we’ll get into the inter-zones.  That’s his goal for now.

We also had part 2 of the athletics nights.  The boys both love this – although some of the summer nights were definitely a little chilly this term!

And then after the medals get presented…. it’s time for  a brotherly noogie.  What IS it about boys and the need to give noogies??!

Summer terms seem to also mean Touch Rugby.  The end of season this year seemed to bee a very sudden shift from Summer to Winter.  The final touch game was at 4, and the first rugby practice was at 5.  Yep, we had 30 minutes between seasons!

Oh, and not to forget a fun birthday in the middle of the month.  Mr 7 decided he wanted to go back to laser strike – and have a star wars cake again. Seeing as the star wars cake from birthday number 5 was a relatively simple number, I decided I wanted to jazz it up a bit.  In order to achieve this, I knew outsourcing was the way to go…. thanks to a wonderful friend that sure knows how to bake a cake!

If you have a need (or a want!!) for a special cake, definitely check out I Want…..  She’s based here in Welly – but has been known to ship cakes all over.

Oh, and I’m not allowed to forget to tell you how much the Mr’s still enjoy playing lego.

On the crafting side of life, I’ve been pretty remiss. March was going to be LOAD (Layout A Day) … I think I got two done!  Epic fail!!  LOL  I did however manage to start and finish a knitted baby jacket for a colleague, get February and March cards out mostly on time.  Definitely good stuff.

I’ve also picked up on the OLW – One Little Word – c0ncept this year and have been doing the year long class with Ali Edwards.  I’m really enjoying it – instead of having new year’s resolutions which pretty much fall over the second they are made, OLW seems to stick. Especially with a means of documenting in.  So my word is FOCUS. As in Focus on the things that I need to – that mean something to me.  I like that the class is fluid – no actual deadlines, but prompts to keep you thinking.  I’ve not quite completed some, others I need to just pull together.  I think it will be really neat to look back at the end of the year and see how well I’ve keep this word in mind throughout the year.

And that is almost an up to date catch up.  I know that I’ve left April – but the battery on my laptop is going to stop shortly.  And it will hopefully mean I get back on here sooner rather than later!!

So I hope you in blog land have been good enough for the easter bunny to leave some treats – enjoy your Easter weekend.