Summer Holidays - Weeks 3 & 4

Friday, 26 August 2016

Continuing my look back at our Summer Holidays. (Weeks 1 & 2 are here)

Day 17
James was half way through his 2 weeks at Army Cadet camp, and his little buddy Ally (7) was beginning to miss him. This was what he drew in his worksheet at church that morning.

Day 18
More sports today. This time Ally got to take part too. He and David had an afternoon of football training. Ally loved getting to go along and take part in something sporty like his big brothers often do, but was a bit tired out by it when tea time came!

Day 19
The weather forecast had said that this was going to be the hottest day of the summer. Sure enough, the sun was shining from the moment we woke up and so we headed to the Traigh Mhòr with a picnic, to make the most of a rare day of hot sunshine.

It really was my idea of a most perfect way to spend a summer's day. The boys had such a great time. Fraser (2) loved being in the sea and he loved playing about in the sand too. He was having such a great time that every so often he would say to me, 'we not go home yet' :0) 

I couldn't really narrow down the photos to share from this day to just one or two like the other days though!

'Look out boys, this is how it's done.' 

Which may not have been such a good idea, as we discovered a day or two later!

We came home to see my dad had fired up the barbecue.

And enjoyed a lovely evening in the sunshine.

Rounded off with s'mores.


Day 20
Everyone was quite tired out after their full day at the beach the day before so we had a quiet day. But we did venture out to the sports centre for a wee game of football. Fraser was very keen to be the goalie. Daddy joined in the football too, even though he was complaining of a painful ankle.

Day 21
The painful ankle was now swollen up like a balloon and there was pretty severe bruising going right up his leg. Since we couldn't pinpoint what had happened to it, we didn't think it could be too badly injured. After all, you would think that if you had badly injured your leg, you might actually realise at the time that it happened! So, poor daddy soldiered on again when we went for a walk around the shops. By the time we were heading home he could barely walk on it though, and when he collapsed in a chair with his leg up we saw that the swelling was even worse and the bruising had spread even further. So I took him along to A&E, and a short while later he was back home with his leg strapped up and the diagnosis of a fractured ankle! The only thing that we can think could have caused it was jumping off the sand dunes at the beach.

Day 22
We went for a run around on the beach at the bottom of my granny's croft. It was very strange being there and not calling in to see her before or after. Ally seems to be agreeing with me here that it doesn't have to be hot and sunny to have fun at the beach.

Day 23
We popped into a craft fair in town and saw my aunt who was selling her hand knits. She sells them to raise money for a hospice on the island. Ally and Fraser both got these gorgeous jumpers.

But the best thing about this day was that when the boat came in in the evening, it brought James back from Army Cadet camp! We were all so glad to have him back, especially the youngest boys. He was a bit exhausted from his two weeks at camp, but he achieved so much while away, including a promotion to Lance Corporal.

The boys all stayed up late listening to James' stories from camp, as well as telling him their own tales of what they had been up to while he was away.

And that left us nearly half way through the summer holidays already!
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Show Day

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The boys all look forward to the Point Agricultural Show every summer. They enjoy going along to the show and seeing everything that is there. They really enjoy making things to enter into the show, and they especially love it when those things win rosettes!

Last year the show was cancelled, as a result of the extremely bad weather, and they had been quite disappointed that they didn't get to carve out some animals from fruit and veg that summer. So this year they were very eager to get working on their creations -  with a little bit of inspiration from Pinterest.

Calum made an owl from pineapple and melon; Ally made a hedgehog from pear and grapes; David made a watermelon frog (complete with his own special addition of a blueberry fly on the frog's tongue); and even little Fraser joined in by making a few caterpillars from grapes and tomatoes, which he kept calling 'nakes'.

Another annual summer highlight, especially for Ally, is the Stornoway Lifeboat Open Day. Usually these two events take place on different Saturdays, but this year the Show was a week later than usual and so both events were on the same day. 

We did manage to make it along to both though, as the Lifeboat Day started earlier than the show.

So first thing in the morning we headed to the Show Ground with all of our entries, as judging takes place in the morning before the show begins at lunchtime, then we headed along to the Open Day to look around the Lifeboat.

This year Ally has joined the Lifeboat Club and knew all about Stormy Stan the mascot. He was so excited to see him there at the Open Day, although Fraser looks quite suspicious of him!

It was a very wet morning, and out at the Show Ground they had been tying down the marquees extra tightly as it was also very windy. 

Thankfully by the time the show started the rain had eased off, although it remained windy all day. Par for the course in Lewis really.

When we arrived at the Show, the boys ran off eagerly into the tent with the fruit and veg and soon came running back to me excitedly, telling me that they had won some prizes.

David's frog won first in the Under 12s competition.

And Ally was delighted to win 2nd.

Calum's owl was in the Over 12s category and he too won first.

From there they rushed off to the tent with the photos in it. 

First spotted was this one that I took of Calum last October, with a 2nd place rosette.

It's quite appropriate that I should win a prize for a photo of Calum taking photos, as this was his haul of photography prizes in the various under 16 photography categories - two 1sts and two 2nds.

What was particularly exciting for Calum though, was that not only did this gorgeous photo he took of Fraser win 1st prize in the under 16s portrait competition, he also won Best in Show with it. That meant that he had beaten all of the adult competitors to the title!

Although James was away at Army Cadet camp, he had given us a couple of his drawings to enter. Because he is 16 now he was put in against the adults. That didn't stop him from doing well though, with a 1st and a 2nd place. I love that drawing of a strawberry. It looks so shiny and juicy!

Following in his biggest brothers arty footsteps was Ally, with 1st in the nursery - P2 art competition.

There weren't many entries in the under 16 woodwork category, and Calum added to his rosette hail with 1st place for his wooden desk tidy.

Onto the baking table then.

David had entered a simple Victoria Sponge in the under 12s baking competition. I really didn't think he would win anything for it, not because it wasn't a good cake, but because quite a few of the other entries looked a bit fancier. Anyway, the judges obviously place a fair amount of emphasis on taste too as he won 2nd place for it!

And Calum won 1st for his gluten & dairy free Highland Cow cake in the over 12s competition. When he tried to explain his plan of the shape of it to me I didn't understand how he was going to make it work, but he did a fabulous job!

And the final lot of entries we had belonged to me, so we left checking them until after everything else had been seen. There are so many entries in the knitting and crochet competitions that I don't expect to get anything at all. But I got 3rd in the knitted/crocheted item for over 2s category for the rainbow cardigan that I made Fraser...

...a 2nd for my Nordic Shawl in the crocheted/knitted garment category...

...and a 1st in the open category for the amigurumi burger that I made David. I nearly didn't enter that one at all!

Once the everyone had got over the excitement of all those winnings, we headed into the teas and enjoyed the amazing spread of home baking. As usual the ladies of the district had done themselves proud with the huge array of cakes available. If the plate on your table was looking a bit low on cakes they would soon be over topping it up again. 

And then it was time to go around and enjoy everything else that was around the Show Ground.

Look, a tiny bit of blue sky even appeared!

Towards the end of the show a couple of the organisers came around asking children to make up some teams for the tug of war. Our boys joined with a couple of other little boys to make up the youngest team. Fraser insisted on taking part too.

After quite a number of exhausting pulls, and some confusion as to what round was what and who had pulled against who, it turns out that their little team had won 2nd, and so more rosettes were added to the haul.

Finally, at the end of the show was the prizegiving, and we had been told that Calum would be winning a trophy for his Best in Show photograph. This is him getting his trophy.

Back home at Granny and Shen's we laid out everybody's rosettes. Our most successful year at the show ever, and the first time any of us has ever won a trophy.

Meanwhile Fraser summed up how everyone felt after a busy, fun day.

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