February Half Term, 2016

Did you miss us? Last week was a whirlwind of being off school, squeezing in work, siblings playing really well together, another Dance Competition and quality family time, just the 4 of us. Phew! Today Ella is back to school and Sam and I are enjoying a lazy Mummy Sammy Day together. It does feel good to be back to a bit of a routine.

I’m going to run down the highlights from the past week as I am sure you’re definitely not interested in what time we got out of our pyjamas and how little we actually accomplished over the course of the week. But I keep reminding myself that it’s not about the QUANTITY of activity but the QUALITY. And we did really enjoy our week together. I am most grateful that at ages 7 1/2 and 4, Ella and Sam still like each other 95% of the time and are happy to play together. I know that will change in the not too distant future so for now, we celebrate it!

Monday February 15:

We enjoyed our first day of Half Term by laying low, taking a trip to the supermarket and doing a good deed or 4 by putting trolllies back where they belong. Ella now wants to work for Tesco so she can always wrangle trollies! I do like helping the children to see that THEY can make a difference in the world around them however. In the late afternoon, one of Ella’s classmates had a really cool birthday party at the store LUSH. Very girlie, very smelly (in a good way) and very fun. Sam and I went with 3 other friends to enjoy a cuppa at Costa and catch up on chatter. A great start to the week!


Tuesday February 16:

We had a proper lazy morning and didn’t leave the house until mid-afternoon on Tuesday. We did more good deed (trollies again) by dropping some of Ella’s old clothes in the Charity Bin at our local Tesco. We then did a bit of shopping for my in-laws to ensure that they are getting some good nutrition in their diet and visited them for an hour or so. Ella and Sam were brilliant at occupying themselves while I cracked on with working from home. It’s a bit unfortunate but needs must!


I do love Half Term! Have a wonderful day people! 💜 #embracehappy

A photo posted by Karin Joyce (@karinjoyce) on

Wednesday February 17:

Again, we mixed my work with play for the kids. Play-Doh took centre stage and provided a great distraction. We also received an AWESOME delivery of Crunchie Marshmallows from a blogging friend who has just started up her own bespoke marshmallow delivery business. GENIUS, right?? We enjoyed our marshmallows in a lush hot chocolate while watching a film on Netflix. The parenting version of “Netflix and Chill”! Ella also got creative with her drawing today and made some lovely “Evryone Be Happy” signs. I think we need to laminate these and hang them around the village. What do you think?


Ella’s message from us to ALL of you: Everyone Be Happy! 💜 #embracehappy

A photo posted by Karin Joyce (@karinjoyce) on

Thursday February 18:

NERVOUS! NERVOUS! NERVOUS!!! Thursday was Ella’s 2nd Dance Festival Competition of the Half Term, this time located in Milton Keynes which is about an 80 minute drive for us. The bonus of Milton Keynes is that there’s an IKEA there! We set off, Ella, Sam and me just after 7am and arrived without incident at 8:30am at the venue. I hated driving on my own as, having never been to that specific location before, I was worrying not only about how Ella would do but whether I could find the place! Thankfully with Google Maps as my Sat Nav, we were totally fine. Ella and her dance mates and her teacher Amy warmed up and prepared the best they could. The competition was FAR more experienced and tougher than the competition we were at on Valentine’s Day. Ella performed very well but didn’t place this time. She wasn’t discouraged, however and we’re ready for more practice for the next competition.

We ventured to IKEA for lunch with one other family. Sam managed to ding his shin on the escalator step which caused much trauma and many tears. Thankfully, Ella’s dance mate’s family were ever so helpful and allowed me to get our lunch while they distracted Sam from his woes. By the time we were done with lunch, Sam was back to his old self. We picked up a few bits and bobs (code for: more KALLAX 4×4 cubes and a new set of dishes) and then landed straight in a traffic jam which delayed us about 45 minutes. Eventually we arrived back home rather exhausted…well, that was me anyway. We had the inlaws over for a dinner of sausage, mash and beans and everyone went to bed around 9pm!


Early start for Dance Competition day! @inspiredanceuk 💜

A photo posted by Karin Joyce (@karinjoyce) on

Friday February 19:

Since Thursday had been such a busy and away-from-home day, we had a quiet morning where I worked and then much later in the afternoon (unfortunately as the grey clouds rolled in) we went to the park in the next village. Ella and Sam found loads of litter on the ground at the park and continued their good deed efforts of picking up the rubbish and putting it in the bin. We also went to Tesco to pick up a few bits and bobs so that meant more trolley wrangling. We then popped over to Mark’s work to say Hello and then went back home to enjoy a movie and some quiet. We had pasta bolognese for dinner and again crashed far too early for the grownup’s likes. I think Mark and I are as worn out as the kids are right now!


Saturday February 20:

I do love a bit of a lie-in on a Saturday morning! With no dance this Saturday, I could languish a bit longer than usual and let Mark and the kids fend for themselves. I wrote down instructions for making pancakes so Mark could try his hand at it for a change. We eventually got ourselves dressed and moving and went over to Mark’s work so I could attempt to set up his new Desktop PC and make a Homegroup for all of his work computers. I was pushing the boundaries of my IT knowledge but I was confident I would be able to accomplish it. Unfortunately, technology had other ideas. First we realised that the reclaimed monitor was not compatible with his new desktop PC so we packed up and headed off to Curry’s/PC World. While Mark perused the computer monitors, I had an eavesdrop with a technician who was helping another couple. I’m in the market for a new laptop myself and learned quite a bit from shuffling along with this couple!

Eventually, we ended back at Mark’s office and while the kids watched a movie on the iPad, I attempted to install software and get everything functioning. Unfortunately again, technology had other ideas. The install of Microsoft 365 took so long that we had to abandon it to work for itself as we needed to get the kids home for dinner and bed. What a frustrating and uneventful process! This also meant that we would have to return on Sunday to finish the job! Such is the life of owning your own business!


In computer installation Hell at Mark’s office. At least we have each other for comic relief! #embracehappy

A photo posted by Karin Joyce (@karinjoyce) on

Sunday February 21:

We returned to Mark’s work with far more success this time! We were blessed with sunshine and relatively warm temperatures so Ella and Sam were able to play outside with their scooters while I finished what I could with Mark’s computers. I wasn’t able to get everything sorted but I have set them up okay to start the week. It’s a lot of pressure being the IT support!

We were then off to the supermarket to track down some gluten-free stuffing to go with our planned pork roast for dinner. En route, a call from the inlaws meant we would have a slight diversion. We shopped at one local supermarket but alas, no stuffing. The 2nd one produced the stuffing but in the end, after an extended visit with the inlaws, all plans for a roast pork dinner were abandoned in favour of ham, eggs and mashed potatoes. Pork roast will have to wait for Tuesday now! We orchestrated bath and bedtime, got school bags and homework prepped and put our February Half Term to bed. Not a bad week, all in all!


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