Family life at its best.

It's been a lovely week - the weather has varied between OK and downright gorgeous, the children have been able to get outside and as a result the Easter Break so far has been really quite nice.

The scooters and bikes have been de-cobwebbed, the trampoline survived the winter storms and the rusting springs have been properly loosened up by excited bouncing children and on the nicest day last week I soaked up some properly warm sun at my little cafe-style seating area with some Buena Vista Social Club,playing a cafetiere of good Costa Rican coffee and a bacon sarni -thick smoked bacon plonked on soft cheap and nasty white bread and smothered in tomato ketchup of course as a good bacon sandwich should be.

The children and their friends hurtled round our cul-de-sac while I chatted to my friend and passing neighbours. Breakfast was followed by lunch with another neighbour, sitting in her garden while the children continued to get lots of fresh air. It was gorgeous.

Next day I loaded 6 of my 7 children and a substantial picnic into our people carrier and heading south we met up with FDIL and her mum at Birdworld. Yep - there's a lot of birds there! And a selection of cute farm animals which tolerate being loved by sticky small people.

Grumpy for once was all smiles - he was fascinated by the bird which said "Hello" back at him and was brave enough to stroke the goats. Every new discovery was met by a chorus of "Mum, can we have a rabbit/guinea pig/goat/penguin?"  from my happy brood. Errm, No.

Back home and a quick car change and we headed off for some child-free time at a friend's cottage in the Cotswolds. A lovely meal, chat, maybe some wine.....

Next morning we headed off for my favourite pastime - a trawl round the local charity shops and antique centres. Yes,  my name is madmumof7 and I'm middle aged. I go round antique centres looking at the tat and reminisce about when I or my household owned and used the items now being sold as "vintage."

I came home with a boot full of bargains - "Pineapple" shorts for my teen girl, a new book for  DS#3 featuring his namesake,  a Mr Potato Head kit for Grumpy who loves them but frequently loses the bits. I have no idea where the bits go but we regularly replace them in charity shops!

I got a new shirt for DH and finally, my best purchases - a vintage-style (probably not old) blue and white French-style bread bin and  finally, after months of searching the perfect (for me) kitchen scales with brass bell weights.

And after some serious elbow grease!
While we were out we had a surprise text from friends inviting us round for supper (more wine!) and then on Sunday a Palm Sunday Service which if I'm honest I wasn't looking forward to but ended up enjoying immensely. It was moving, dramatic, thought-provoking and frankly a bit smelly when one of our real donkeys disgraced himself on the ancient tiles! Resulting in a call for the churchwarden (my DH) to add manure-clearing to his in-service duties - funny!

Proudly I managed to produce a Sunday roast for 6 using only my tiny top-oven (repair-man due tomorrow for my broken fan oven!) whilst completely re-arranging our kitchen to properly display my new purchases. The youngest 2 children played with some bargain Play-Doh (BOGOF in Tesco at the moment!) and it was lovely to hear them chatting while they played.

Finally rounding off a gorgeous few days we decided to choose a fim we all would enjoy - Octopussy won the vote so as is my custom with Bond films I dozed through most of it waking up bewildered and confused near the end as I had no idea who the goodys and baddys were!

It has been a fabulous weekend full of magic moments. Family life at its best!