Sharon &

The Family

Room for one more…..

by on May.10, 2011, under The Family

This year brings two new arrivals into Bodwen………….Sophie has moved her boyfriend in…..and Athena has a new friend, a tiny, fluffy bundle of fun…..called Kashmiri….Kashy for short.

Athena is my eldest girl and she suddenly announced she would like a cat…..this coming from the girl who would rather eat animals (shuddering at the thought) So I started the search for the right kitten…….You know when you start looking for a four-legged friend to join your family you realise a few things……firstly there are a lot of people out there who have animals to literally make money from them…..selling kittens and puppies for stupid amounts of money….makes me sick…..but what makes me madder, is that cats and dogs in “homes” “protection leagues” etc etc will never have the chance to come and live with me because my house sits on the main road…..even though the cat-flap exits onto the wild back gardens and fields!!!

Anyway I found a lovely lady who’s cat had four kittens….and so Kashy came to live in Llansantffraid! She has been with us for three weeks now and yet I have never known an animal settle in quite so quickly…..she rules the nest. She rides on the back of poor Mr Darcy, hides in wait for TheBruvs….and poor ole Danny has his tail swung on daily!!!…….but her favourite game is playing chase with Pathia the smaller dog.

and so our house is now even more crazy……do I care….of course I do….I LOVE IT!!!!!

Kayden meets Kashy!!

Kayden meets Kashy!!

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by on Feb.09, 2011, under The Family

mmmmmmm…..I am a tad late in writing this…but hey…we have been a little bit busy.

Where shall I begin….OK….Friday 5th Nov, Sophie had been admitted to hospital the day before because her blood pressure was up and there was the dreaded protein present!. After using a gel and giving “things” a gentle nudge they booted me out of the Hospital at 9 o’clock “go home she will not be doing anything tonight” they told me….after promising to ring as soon as anything did “start” knowing it was a good 40 minute drive to the hospital from my house  -  off Andy and I went….with just a nervous feeling.

The phone rang at 12.27 in the early hours…..I have had four children, but I have to say my hand shook as I took that call….I quickly washed my face, brushed my teeth and kissed a rather pale Andy goodbye….shouting next time we speak you will be a Granddad….and promising to take care of Sophie…and of course to take it easy driving to to the hospital!!!……yeah right..!!!!!!

The forty minute journey took a lot less….by the time I had struggled to key the number plate of my car into the car park ticket dispenser, parked up and legged it across to maternity I had missed Kayden’s arrival by just a few minutes…he arrived at 12.45 – the midwife was just handing him to a rather shell-shocked Sophie!! I couldn’t believe that here was our Sophie holding her Son….and she had very bravely done it all on her own….!!!

Apparently after we left at 9 she had started to contract….the midwives had told her she was not in labour….she begged them to call me….they refused.  By 12 she was in such pain that a text that she was sending me, asking me to come, lay unfinished on her phone…one of the “mum to be’s” on Soph’s ward had rang for a midwife and insisted that she was seen to……one check and Sophie was whipped down to the delivery rooms….I was rang (at 12.27!!!!!) and a couple of pushes later our Kayden made his powerful entry into the world!!!

I have to say…giving birth is special….nothing is compared to holding that baby that you have felt move inside for the first time….but sharing Kayden during those first few hours with Soph was also very special….I gave him a kiss from all the important people in his life who was yet to see him and lifted him to the window and let the heavens look down on him ….for all those special people who he will never see. I am so glad that Soph gave me the chance to share her and Kayden’s first moments together

 By the time poor old Soph had been stitched and messed with it was getting on for 6.30 in the morning…after seeing her settled I headed off back home armed with a camera full of pictures and a stupid grin

I guess the past three months with Kayden at home has flew by….all the kids love him…and to be honest it’s hard not to…the little man is so laid back, happy and content…..he has four older aunties and uncles (officially) however a family meeting declared that the four of them prefer to see Kayden as a BROTHER… he has four older doting Brothers and Sisters….a Nanny and Granddad who love him to pieces and a Mummy who absolutely adores him.

Kayden - 3 months!


Kayden getting "the house rules" explained!! a few hours old!


:)   good stuff

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by on Feb.02, 2011, under The Family

If you have read previous blog entries about my kids…you will have read about Shae….his intelligence, quirky behaviour…..over the summer holidays my little man was assessed by a child psychiatrist, speech therapist and the ball is now rolling on the strongly suspected view that Shae is on the Autistic spectrum….possibly towards the high functioning end

Those of you who have ever looked at their child when they are tucked up safe in bed, fast asleep….eyes tightly closed, dreaming happily in a world that gives them a slight grin on a peaceful face…will have had at that moment – an over-powering surge of love….add to that a feeling of wanting to make everything OK, taking away any problems will appreciate the feeling I had one night looking down on Shae – the need to protect, make everything as smooth in life as possible……I have gone from feeling kicked in the guts by the thought that something is not “normal” with one of my kids, upset, blaming myself…to being thankful that at least Shae is here with us….to actually embracing Shae and his quirks…..Shae is just SHAE

I am right now on a huge learning curve… many things about Shae now make more sense…wanting to be alone, frustrated moments sparked up from nowhere, desire for everything just “right”, not being able to play a family game with siblings, intense focus on “wheels” as a small baby/toddler…which has been replaced by dinosaurs, monsters and aliens, a jumper not being the correct colour, his literal meaning and interpretation of the world, what we have always described as “that’s just Shae” really does now become clearer…..although the yearning to see the world from his eyes is huge….to understand.

Shae has now started “big school”. The first few weeks have gone “OK”…….

……..The fact that a teacher had to get into the swimming pool two weeks running ……FULLY CLOTHED.. (  :)    ) to retrieve a fun-filled Shae….will probably always make me chuckle.

……..Or telling the dinner lady to “shut up….because has you can see I am eating my dinner!!!”…..does bring a smile to my face.

or the best….addressing a teacher walking down the corridor…

“Who are you??”

“I’m Mr Hughes, the headmaster!!!”

“Where are you going?”

“… my office”


“… work?”

To Shae the Headmaster….dinnerlady….school friend….all the same – it’s a shame life really wasn’t that simple, that people didn’t have different rank, importance….another story I guess…

We are at the moment fighting for funding for Shae….but as that is probably the same for every parent with a child needing extra support at School , I am not using this blog as a platform for my grievances.

Shae never ever fails to make us smile (although sometimes keeping an adult straight face is required – impossible!!!) There is a deep intelligence within Shae….and he really does crack us up with his dry “as it is” sense of the world, he is undoubtedly hard work, harder than any of the others…days out have to be planned meticulously, potential obstacles have to be thought about, he is “watched” constantly, his meltdowns tire the whole family, his outbursts are sometimes put above the needs of the other kids…….But he is blond, green eyed….with a smile that when he flashes it lights up the whole of his face….it would melt the toughest of hearts and break the hardest of faces, when you get a cuddle or compliment from him it comes straight from his soul….

He is just “Shae”

Our Shae

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Proudly presenting Kayden..

by on Oct.06, 2010, under The Family

Well Sophie (Bessie) is now five weeks away from bringing my Grandson, Kayden into the world :)

The house is slowly changed ready for his arrival…..amazingly I have four children of my own, the youngest being three….but the arrival of Kayden has completely changed the equilibrium of the house….in a good way!!!. A wall has been built…. oak beams filled in with plaster board and plastered/painted by yours truly and Sophie now has her own bedroom… boys remain in their own room and my girls now share my old bedroom (lovely, large bedroom!!!) and me and Andy relegated to the smaller (just as lovely) smaller bedroom…all sorted….amazingly enough in all the move-arounds we now have a four bedrooms…and two lounges….and the best of it is….the kids have one lounge….the other with it’s oak-lined wall, oak floor and huge oak beams standing strong and proud….will eventually be turned from “the grown-ups” lounge to a PUB room!!!!!!!!! (I’m sure TheBruvs will appreciate this!!!!!!) :)

Now where was I…..mmmmmmm…..aa if I could possibly forget….KAYDEN!!!

Along with the joys associated with the forthcoming arrival of Kayden….it has also had a few black moments. We live in a small village. The father of Kayden also lives in our small village….their are also some small minded people who live in our small village….friends with, it seems both our Sophie and the baby’s father…..loose tongues, have with just a few weeks before Kayden’s arrival, put doubts about his paternity into heads…it makes me VERY cross to think of how Sophie feels when “the father” suggests he would like a DNA test, “rather than bringing up somebody’s else’s child!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Before I run off and purchase a very large rusty knife and cut into his Vas deferens….I will think of Kayden and most of all our Soph…who have done nothing wrong  :)

Did I mention that Soph wants ME to be her birthing partner??? ……..

Did I mention that I hate anything like that???……

Did I mention that even a birthing scene on TV makes me feel squirmish…and I cannot even look??……

I’ll say no more……..

apart from….

May I proudly present the most loved Grandson….. Kayden

4d scan of Kayden

4d scan of Kayden

little man….it does not matter why or how you were conceived….what people have to say….whether your father stands up to be proud…..In November are coming into our crazy house full of Uncles, Aunties, Nanny & Granddad….and of course your Mummy. You will always be warm, fed, safe and above all unconditionally LOVED.

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Athena’s last day…

by on Jul.19, 2010, under The Family

Friday 16th July

At 2.18pm Alethea turned 8 and three hours and thirty three minutes later, at 5.51 Athena turned 11.

but for Athena this was to be a big year……Along with the rest of Year six, she spent her final hours at primary School.

With Andy manning the shop I had the day off.

The leaver’s Assembly was a lump in throat occasion!  Each child in year six stood before the mums, dads, grandparents and recalled their memories of Primary School…..which was then topped by the headmaster (also year five/six teacher) giving his take on each child…Athena was summed up (rather accurately) as being the pupil he would always remember because of her obsession with her hair!!! On a recent trip to Brecon, after spending time with the class to discuss what they would be doing etc……Athena only had two questions..

“would there be an hair dryer?” and “can we take our straighteners?”

kind of sums her up…..

I have to say the School is fantastic….Athena has left having gained experiences that many children will never have….taking part in the Eisteddfod, residential trips to London, Brecon….being involved in Sporting events. She has blossomed into a confident, colourful character, who has so much more ahead of her. Her memories of her Primary School I am sure will always be fond and they will hold a special place within her heart…

The day was topped off with a Prom. Now Athena being Athena chose her two dresses (yes TWO dresses….apparently a girl always needs a back up dress…I sure am learning a lot from this “parent” thing) weeks before the event and then spent two hours getting ready….mmmmm

Athena posing

Athena posing

For me it was a case of setting up the disco, the tables, the marque…with the help of a few mums….finish at 6….within half hour I had bathed, dressed and was back at the School for 6.30…..WHY does it take two hours???????

The evening was great….the kids came out in their finest!!! The girls dressed up and even the boys turned out in shirts, ties and even the odd Dickie bow!!!.  To the magical haunting sounds of  Andrea Bocelli’s Time to say Goodbye the year six children were all presented one by one by the Head of the School. they then sang to ABBA’s I have a Dream…..two and half hours of Disco and has the night sky started to darken…..all the mums, dads, grandparents, Teachers gathered around a very emotional group of 17 year six, raised their hands high and sang along to “you’ll Never Walk Alone”……a few tears later we all gathered outside and watch each of the Children release a Chinese Lantern containing their hopes and dreams for the future into the night sky….

Sad, thoughtful, happy……above all very proud that Athena is part of those memories….memories created by one of the finest Primary Schools. For the minority of parents who are sometimes unhappy with the School, the Teachers or other pupils….take a few minutes, switch on the TV and look at other primary Schools (perhaps similar to the kind I attended in the West Midlands) large schools where you are really just a name on the register, or are unsafe walking home on your own, or have barbed wire on the fencing in order to keep in or even out…….close your eyes and work it out….are you really blaming someone or something else for your own shortcomings….just a thought?

Llansantffraid Primary School for me and I would say Athena has been supportive, welcome and above all a fantastic platform of learning on all levels….I very proudly send my other three children through those doors.

and so my eldest has left Primary School and continues her journey in September at Llanfyllin High School…

But before then after a late bedtime on Friday night,  forgetting to eat and with a dodgy back and ankle I opened up the shop on Saturday feeling slightly worse for wear…..and not really looking forward to the fact that at seven that night I was opening my door to 14 girls….friends of Athena and Alethea who were crashing over for a sleepover to celebrate the girls birthday……

Oh boy was I in for a shock… I’ve done parties and I enjoy them….but at least the kids go home eventually….the evening was fun, the girls had a laugh…..then at about 11 I settled them all down into PJs and sleeping bags…..thinking rather stupidly that they would all watch a couple of DVDs and then go to sleep…..

SLEEP did not hit these girls until 6.30!!!!!!!! I had vomit, crying for home, I think I may be dying!!!, pole dancing (my poor lamp got busted)..

Which reminds me…I must tell you of the “I think I may be dying” story…

A tiny little eight year approaches me at about 10.30….now bearing in mind – I’m feeling slightly knackered, I still have my two boys running riot amidst a group of high pitched girlies….and this little girl tugs at my top and asks…”may I have a private word”

…..PANIC….oh dear what was this going to be?

We sit down together on the quiet of the stairs…..She looks serious….I ask her what’s wrong…She tells me this…without stopping for a breath…

“Well you know those glow-bracelets, the ones we had at the Prom last night and the ones you have got here, I had a Orange and yellow one at the Prom and Now I’ve got a blue one and a pink one, well I like the pink one the best…one of them leaked and I kind of managed to get some on my face and then I licked my lips and the glow stuff went into my mouth and I have washed my face and my mouth out loads of times, and I couldn’t taste it so I think I got it all out but I’m not sure….no one else has licked it….but I really frightened that I may die!!!

I was jerked out of my day dreaming with the words “I think I may Die” at this point….


errrrrr….when did the glow bracelet leak and when did you get it in your mouth ?

Last night she replied….


well I guess that if you had it in your mouth last night and you already woke up this morning…and you aint dead…I guess you are OK?

Big smile…SIMPLE!!

Kids just make you smile sometimes!!!

Although I have to say I do not think I will be doing a Party again….I know I say that every year….BUT this year I really feel every year of my 41!!!!

I’ll leave you with the girls of year six…… Good luck to all of you. x



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Oswestry Gift Shop gets a “guard dog!”

by on Jul.19, 2010, under The Family

Well I think officially I may well be approaching the menopause….

Most women hit 40 and change their appearance…..their husband….just generally have a mid-life crisis. Not me I hit 40…..NOTHING HAPPENED……..

Until I hit 41!!

Now those that know me from all those years ago will constantly remind me “You never wanted kids” ……mmmmm OK I got that wrong!!

This year 2010 sees me at 41 with five kids….and a grandchild being baked all ready to be delivered in November!!! and apart from the fact that I have to “be there” at the birth (I have to say at this point I would much rather be the one giving birth than the one “watching!” the thought is just stomach turning!!!….The kids only have to cut themselves and I’m wiping it while not looking….as for any scenes on the TV of “labour” and I’m squirming round, clenching muscles and seeing how far I can get my head down the back of the sofa!!!) anyhow with all my kids you would think busy house…why have a puppy?…..well I did. Tikka is now 11 months old and is  like a shaken bottle of pop….completely nutty!!!

So why oh why did I ever even let the idea of another puppy even enter my head……

But when someone speaks to me about “runt of the litter” …no one wants it….it’s far too small to be of use for anything….

I now have TWO dogs…..may I proudly introduce “Pathia!” (YES another Indian curry name!!)

Oswestry Gift shop Guard dog!!

Oswestry Gift shop Guard dog!!

Now originally she was intended as a Playmate for Tikka, BUT when as I carried her home I realised that Tikka could probably eat this little bundle of fluff quicker than she could demolish a frozen chicken wing!!!

So Pathia now comes to the shop in Oswestry with me!!……I could have actually sold her ten times over. She has officially become head of security at the shop….

Pathia is a Cavalier King Charles crossed with a Poodle….apparently!!! we picked her up on the Tuesday on the Wednesday she was vet checked…along with a few minor health issues (which have now been treated and cleared!!!) she weighed in at a scary 0.6kg !!!! I would love to name and shame the People we had Pathia from….They are “breeders” in Telford, who actually breed Cavaliers King Charles, and seem to like Coco. I have emailed them since taking Pathia…firstly to let them know that Pathia had travelled home safely and had settled in….and then further to tell them of Pathia’s Vet report…….they have never responded to any of my emails!!

Advice….. avoid CocoCavaliers of telford!!! I have since spoken to another breeder in Telford who had heard similar stories. People like these need stringing up!!!

anyway Pathia has been with us now for four weeks and on her third trip to the vets she weighed in at a whopping 1.3kg!!! (good ole BARF diet) and has been given a clear bill of health!!!!

She is fantastic with the kids…..worships the ground that Tikka walks on….fully respects the cats (Mr Corky made sure that she quickly understood that CATS RULE!) …..she has settled in so quickly that I can’t remember not ever having her. Everyone who meets her falls in love instantly with her big soulful eyes, her grinning mouth and her constant wagging tail….

I’m not convinced that we will ever have a guard dog in our family or shop…..but lets be honest….what intruder is ever going to get past five kids, four cats and two puppies…..

Me and my two babies!!


Have fun…Sharon

First Kiss!

First Kiss!

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Aberystwyth Urdd Netball – Winners of the heart!!!

by on May.20, 2010, under The Family

Well Saturday morning at 7.15am Athena and I jumped onto the mini bus along with her team mates and a few of the mums….and off we went to Aberystwyth…..The kids were high spirited and excited…each had been given a School tee-shirt with their nickname printed boldly on the back….Athena’s was “WOWA” she is affectionately known by this name because six years ago when Alethea was just beginning to talk her pronunciation of Athena turned out to be “Wowa” ….it stuck….we all call her Wowa now!!!

Anyway back to the minibus!!!!

We arrived at Aber half hour before the tournament started….plenty of time to settle in!

Just arrived in Aber!!

Just arrived in Aber!!

Two competitions were to be held that day….the Netball and the best banner. Llansantffraid were representing Maldwyn who were in turn representing Belgium….so banners and flags were designed around the Belgium flag.  We set up camp, placed our banners out….and waited patiently for the start of the competition.

Our Netball team!!

Our Netball team!!


The sheet arrived with the teams from across Wales that we had been pooled against……


… wasn’t good   :(


It turned out in our pool we were up against the top three teams…one of them had previously won the cup three years on the run!!!.  Oh well!!!


Our first match we won….4-2!!!! 

First net of the day!!!!

First net of the day!!!!

we watched the favourites play their match….they won 12-0  it was not looking good, the favourites looked as if they had been placed in a grow-bag…most of them were taller then us parents…and they played a little “rougher” than our kids had experienced before!!!!!

we won our other games….10-2  and 8-1

As our kids bravely stepped onto the concrete to play the favourites a ripple of applause generated around the court.  It was obvious that the favourites tactics were not really appreciated amongst the other teams supporters.  they needed to win…so did we. 

At half time it was 3-2 to them….our kids had took the elbows, ignored the jumping blocks, and danced around the six-foot structures. Hot, red faces….both from the heat and indignation of being held, nudged & body-blocked. BUT still our kids played on…no one moaned, cried or appealed….

The kids entered the second half….the other team’s prep-talk had done the trick they came on and slotted a further 5 nets against us….our kids came from that match the ultimate winners….


….they had won the respect of the other teams  supporters,  they played their hearts and soul out for 14 minutes and although did not go through to the final match….they were the winners of every one’s heart that day!!!!


Well done Llansantffraid Netball Team……you showed how sport should be played….by being competitive but fair, graceful in defeat….out of the competition in a tough match I was so proud of Athena and her team, gutted and probably feeling very upset, they shook the hand of the opposition that day with heads held high.

As a treat for our “winners” we “bribed” the minibus driver (who had watched and cheered on our team) to take us down to the beach for an icecream and a dip in the sea….


I’ll leave you proudly with our nine fantastic Netball players…..who are still Champions of Maldwyn 2009/10 and champions of llansantffraid…


Our Winning Team!!

Our Winning Team!!

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Llansantffraid Primary school – Through to the National Netball Urdd !!

by on Apr.27, 2010, under The Family

I guess the title of this post gives it away!!!


Today I sat for over two hours…and watched the netball team from Llansantffraid fight their way through to the National Urdd competition to be held in Aberystwyth….amongst them my daughter, Athena.

They played well in the first rounds….securing their place in the semi…..JUST!!!! 

With a bench full of mums holding onto bladders, clutching water bottles….and generally embarrassing the kids….the team up their game and won a convincing semi-final 8-0!!!!!!

onto the final….feeling the pressure on the bench… was serious, red-faced……..and starting to feel shattered (the mums that is!!!) the whistle blew… was to be a straight six minutes….no half-time…no second half. (last year we went out at this stage by one goal) could we do it this year????


The first net was probably scored in the first minute….”the bench” went ballistic!!!!. The kids played her hearts out….they looked good…and they played faultlessly!!! 2-0………3-0………4-0…….sore throats on the bench!!!!

The whistle blew!!!


you would seriously think that it was us “mums” who had played!!!…….group-hug, followed by group-hug…..more hugging…..the kids shook hands and cheered the losing side…..and then they were hugged (much to the embarrassment of some) ….who was more excited the kids or parents?….not sure ;)


I have to say the team in “RED” representing Llansantffraid Primary School looked the part, played the part…..and was “simply the best!!”


WELL DONE…..and good luck at Aberystwyth!!!!!


One VERY proud mum…..X   :)

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Have I got some news for you…!!

by on Apr.22, 2010, under The Family

Something was wrong with Soph…..grumpy (more than usual!!!!) and her face was flushed…there was something I just could not put my finger on!!!

After a few days I managed to pin her down…..eventually she confesses that she thought her period was a day or two late!! (mmmmm I suspected as much!!!!) OK….try to keep my face straight. After begging me NOT to tell her Dad she said she would do a pregnancy test on the Friday…this was the Saturday!!!


By Tuesday I think Andy was starting suspect that I knew something – breaking her promise I told him that it was a strong possibility that he could be a Granddad….After a few obvious questions – he seemed at ease with the idea. (OK one hurdle jumped!!!) On the Wednesday of that week I told Soph that I was going to buy her a Pregnancy test….The fact that she had started “barking”, shouting at the kids and eating like you wouldn’t believe…..she needed to know the stress of not knowing was starting to show.

Coming home that evening, Andy bathed the boys while I dragged Sophie into her bedroom….told her exactly what she needed to do…then sat there twiddling my fingers….she came back….”I can’t pee”


Off I ran returning with a pint glass of water…..”DRINK THIS!!!!!”

Twenty minutes later she returned and passed me the pregnancy test…..Glancing at it I noticed the test window was already going “PINK” …..I grabbed the leaflet…re-read it (you think after four kids of my own I would know how to read one!!!) “YEAP” looked like she was pregnant.

I got up walked over to her…wrapped my arms round her and whispered…..”Congratulations…you are going to be a Mummy!!”

SHOCK….was all I saw in her face. 

Worried about what her dad was going to say…I confessed to her that I had laid down an idea that she may be pregnant to him…and that he was “cool” with it…..we both went up into our bathroom where he was bathing the boys…..She stood there….saying nothing. He stood there…saying nothing!!!!

Errrrrrr……You are going to be a Granddad!!! (never one to mess about with words – I came straight out with it!!!)

I think Dad and Daughter probably shared a moment that they have not shared for many years…..they hugged, cried…and hugged.

Telling Athena was not so lovely….more clinical!!!!  “well who is the father? – When will it be born? – Where will it live? – Will I be an Aunty?” Kids can sometimes give magic and take it away!!!!!!


Now she is ten weeks pregnant..Andy is very excited about his Grandchild (as I am too!!!) ..most people who care know about it and are happy for her. Those people (we are a small village) who feel they have to talk about her are not worth the energy of typing!!! The father of “peanut” (as we have lovingly nicknamed it) is aware of the situation and has claimed he would like to be involved in the baby’s life. He is a good lad and our door will always be open for him.

She has the scan this Monday…So hopefully she will allow me to post a picture of “peanut”. Although the birth seems months away she has asked me to be her birthing partner!!……now anyone who knows me, although I have had four children…the thought of watching a birth just makes me shudder….when I had my first baby - the midwife asked if I would like a mirror so that I could see the head crowning…..not really sure if I could spell the words I retorted!!!!! Anyway for Sophie I will be there…just don’t want to think about it too much!!!!! ;)

So there you have it……in November, all being well….Andy and I shall be grandparents!!!! ………….can’t wait!!!!!!

have fun, stay safe…and be happy. Sharon

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A very sunny day out in Abergele!!!

by on Apr.22, 2010, under The Family

After finishing work on a Saturday….the kids are usually waiting…..for their present!!!.  Shae in his usual style will come straight to the point and demands……..

“did you bring us a present??” Hands placed firmly on hips, green eyes flashing….would we dare forget!!!!!

Now when I say “present” it usually costs no more than a pound (hey including Sophie, Ceri and Tikka, we are talking seven/eight quid!!!!!) 

I always start with the youngest…you could give Kal a paper bag with a kiss blown into it – he would respond with a huge smile and a hug and kiss back… anything you give him is sure to put a shine into his blue eyes!!!!

next it’s Shae….still standing there with hands on hips!!!…..trying to guess what it might be

“a new car?……A monster?……an alien?……a new car?….a helicopter?…..a new car?”…….


I feel the pressure when I chose his present… could seriously go either way with him. Don’t get me wrong he is not a spoilt brat – he just has a strong mind and his expectations are sometimes hard to deal with.

Next it is usually the three girls, Alethea – like Kal is happy with anything. Athena is also pleased with anything, although does have the slight flashing in those green eyes – her age has lead her to control the desire to throw it down because “it’s the wrong colour/flavour”!!!! and then there is Beri (Ceri the girl from over the road, who seems to live in our house!!!) She is appreciative of everything and wouldn’t tell you even if she didn’t like something!!!

Following the five kids….Soph is generally happy with her gift….although I think is sometimes yearns what the younger three girls may have!!

and then there is Tikka…..she is generally happy just to lick both Andy and I to bits……but her fat bum swinging side to side suggests she is also happy with whatever is contained within her present bag!!!!

Why do we do presents on a Saturday?

The kids are all very good….After we drop them off at School at 9 we then do not generally see them til 5.30….six days a week. They so far have responded to this very positively. They clean up after Sophie has cooked tea…older ones look out for younger ones…etc. So they are rewarded on a Saturday. We are very proud of the way they have all reacted to us being “at work”…..I think that working from home was harder for us….but easier for them.

So last weekend…..after a major clean through on Saturday….ironing done we surprised the kids by taking them up the coast on the Sunday. By 10 o’clock we were all packed into the car – kids, picnic and dog!!!

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?


The day was sunny, warm….and we virtually had the beach to ourselves!!!

It wasn’t long before Tikka took the first few steps into the water to retrieve her prized rugby ball….after that there was no stopping her. It also wasn’t long before she realised that when she was wet if she ran directly at the kids it caused them to squeal, should she shake her fur dry next to them!!!!!

Here I come!!!!!

Here I come!!!!!

Where did that ball go?

Where did that ball go?

Rugby anyone??

Rugby anyone??

So Tikka is “allowed” in the sea……guess what came next….”Can we go in the sea????”

Five kids….no towels….only spare clothes for the two youngest……

Yes go on then!!!!!

Just good ole FUN!!!!

Just good ole FUN!!!!



Kal testing the water!!!

Kal testing the water!!!

Shae actually doing something normal - playing!!

Shae actually doing something normal - playing!!

The Boys!!!

The Boys!!!


Alethea jumping the waves

Alethea jumping the waves

Athena trying her skills at rugby

Athena trying her skills at rugby

and finally but not least………..




Who would believe that at the beginning of April it was warm enough for the kids to go into the sea for a paddle!!! The day was completely relaxing – no moaning, no squabbles just loads of smiles and laughs……although we did have a couple of “are we there yet!” from Alethea!!!!

So for the price of a picnic, a tank of petrol we had a fab day out…..Tikka slept all the way back home!!! Shae actually asked to go to bed at 6 that evening – money can’t buy that!!!! ;)

me and Tikka having a cuddle!!!

me and Tikka having a cuddle!!!

As for Andy he managed to get some peace and quiet away from phones ringing and computers……Neither of us took the plunge to get our feet wet though!!!!!!



Peace and quiet!!!

Peace and quiet!!!


So if you want a cheap day out….one that completely tires a seven month old puppy, amuses four young kids, satifies a twenty year old and makes two parents feel good…..add a picnic, one rugby ball and a deserted beach to plenty of beautiful sunshine and bake well for six hours!!!!!


I will leave you with a rather cheeky picture of Shae…….have fun. Sharon


That's all folks!!!!!

That's all folks!!!!!

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