Keepsake Boxes for My Children

I'm a terrible hoarder. Which when you have keepsake items from four children isn't necessarily a good thing. As they (and obviously I) have gotten older I have realised there are some things that are important to keep and others not so important.

With all four pregnancies I had kept baby books, I have my own baby book too somewhere and I enjoyed looking through it, plus when you have a baby-or in my case 4!-you forget some things! I always enjoyed writing in their books and keeping a record of when they did what.

We have moved house 8 times (I know its a lot!) since our first child was born and I had wittled down the children's baby clothes down to just one box. I actually wish I had just kept everything but that just wouldn't have been possible and I'm not sure the children would have appreciated that so much either...

Anyway..The clothes had all gone a little musty so I re-washed everything, I can't tell you how broody it made me to have all the baby clothes hanging up around the house! I also can't believe how tiny the clothes are, you really do forget things, especially when that teeny baby 6lbs 15ozs baby is now over 6 feet tall! Everything washed really well thankfully, I bought some acid free tissue paper and then set to wrapping each child's clothing in separate colours, it brought back some lovely memories and made me feel quite teary but I so enjoyed the flashbacks of memories. I wrote all four of them a little note and put some photographs in the envelope too-I managed to find photographs of the children wearing some of the clothes that I'd saved which I think is good because they won't remember wearing it!

I packed the boys things together in a plastic storage box with a lid and then I did the same with the girls things. I also put each of their baby books in so everything is together, I know it sounds a bit sad but I feel really pleased that everything is together and organised and as the children kept coming in and out of my bedroom whilst I was sorting it all out I know they will probably remember me taking the time to make these little boxes and hope one day, when I'm no longer around that they will still feel a little of their Mama's love.

I have put them under the bed as I read that keeping them in the garage (where they were before) or in the loft where the temperatures are too extreme will cause damage to the clothes. I don't expect the children to re-use the clothes or anything but I hope that they will treasure them as memento's of their childhood and know that they brought their mama very happy memories going back through all their teeny outfits and Christening Gowns.

I didn't photograph everything but here are a few photos from the girls box, I had already finished the boy's box when a fellow blogging friend suggested I did a blog post on it -Thank you Lisa!

Piper's Christening Dress:

First shoes for Cordelia

First shoes for Piper:

All wrapped up in acid-free tissue paper

Baby Books!

Yorkshire Lego Show and March Summary

It was actually ages ago that we went to the Yorkshire Lego Show, before we went to Northumberland but I just don't seem to have gotten around to much blogging during March. So in order to begin blogging more regularly I'm trying to move forward from all we did last month including the Lego show.


Has been a lot of boring errands like annual eye tests, dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments for Bailey, haircuts etc... nothing worth really blogging about but enough things to keep me busy and distracted not to blog (lame excuse). We had a bit of bad news with our car and its MOT so that has meant March and going into April being very frugal with some expensive car repairs to come but hey ho such is life! Before we found out about the car however we had a fab mini break in Northumberland which I blogged about here, it was really relaxing and also very inspiring to be around so much nature. Since we have come home we have been making a real effort to get outside for walks more and done lots of things in the garden. We only moved here in December 2013 and last year was a really busy one starting our new business and getting it up and running so the last few months-whilst the business has been quieter-we've had a real chance to make this house much more homely. The same can be said for the garden, its been very unloved and very overgrown and we have quite a big garden so its taken a lot of hard work and now we are beginning to see a much nicer space. Hubby, Ruben and I spent last weekend getting some vegetables planted and this week we have had courgettes, pumpkins and onions all sprouting in our mini greenhouse. I'm not much of a gardener but I like watching things grow and enjoy growing things that we will hopefully get to cook and eat! Ruben has reclaimed the playhouse we bought for the younger three several Christmas' ago and so that is our current project in the garden, he is wanting to make it into a Pokemon centre for all his pokemon figures and toys. Hopefully when the weather dries out a bit we can get on with painting it.

We had a few trips out last month too including a trip to Melton Mowbray-famous for its Pork Pies- this was manily to get Piper a pork pie as she is a huge fan! We visited the Ye Olde Pork Pie Shop, and found that the Queen had also visited! Have to admit that it was a pretty good pork pie too. Here she is with her pies:

Cordelia must be drawing over 10 pictures a day at the moment, mainly of horses but she has also drawn some excellent birds and begun experimenting with water colours too. Here is one of my favourites:

She has also been having regular horse riding lessons-its been nearly a year now since she began and she has made fabulous progress. from the minute she climbs on the horse a huge smile appears over her face and it doesn't leave until she is back off it!

Piper has been creative in a different way and really gotten back into story writing, she is currently writing a story which I've been allowed to have a sneaky preview of and its very good. I've asked her to guest post on the blog and talk us through her dolls house-its all finished now and looks amazing.

Ruben has a new xbox game which he has spent a lot of time on inbetween Minecrafting, playing lego and becoming slowly more obsessed with Superheroes. He has even been doing some reading and I've noticed when we are out he reads me signs or road name son the sat nav, the other day he told me if we were to change some letters around on a street name then it would make Bailey's name. I think he can read a lot more than what he actually lets on but I'm not pushing the issue. He has been in charge of his best friend's goldfish for the last two weeks and is being very mature in remembering to feed them and looking after them.

I think that pretty much sums up March, I'm never going to be a daily blogger, maybe when I first started the blog I could have been because we spent a lot of time going out and seeing/doing things but I'm noticing as the children all get older we are spending more and more time at home. Maybe this is just coincidence because its been winter but the girls are wanting to come out with us less and less-they's much rather be home drawing and reading, Bailey has been working really hard on his English and Math GCSE, with exams just around the corner and he's a bit of a homebody during the week. Preferring instead to spend the weekends with his friends. Either way I don't find much to blog about when we are at home all day-I think it would be boring to read!! The dynamics of our household are changing and so that has a knock on effect to everything else I feel.

 Here are some photos from our visit to the National Coal Mining Museum for the Yorkshire Brick Show:

We had chance to have a quick peek at a Pit Pony too!

Cordelia bought herself an Emmet figure:

And created this:

A Spotted Woodpecker & High Force Waterfall North Yorkshire

Our last morning at the cabin :( we were up, packed and ready to go at 8.30am-some of us may have been excited to rejoin the rest of the world with wifi and 3G but I can't possibly say who....
Since we were up so early we decided to have a last walk to the red squirrel hide, very different from last night where there wasn't a single bird in sight...this morning we were spoiled with nearly a hundred chaffinches, green finches, nuthatch's and the red squirrels :) we were also very lucky to see a spotted Woodpecker!! We could hear him in the trees and then we all watched in excited silence as he flew down and rested on one of the bird feeders:

We've been very impressed with the wildlife we have seen whilst we have been here and it has completely inspired Cordelia's creativity-she now wants to look into photography and has started drawing sketches of birds. Lovely bit of strewing!!

It was pretty cold today so we set off back home via the North Penines-what a beautiful scenic drive even if it was a bit twisty and Bailey felt car sick :( There was even some snow upon the hills and some pretty grim rain and wind. We headed towards High Force waterfall, which we had passed at the other side of on our way back from Whinfell Forest in January. It promised a wonderful sight and din't disappoint, the sound of the water was deafening before we even reached it....

A 21 metre drop into the River Tees:

Four Pesky Hobbits and their Dad :D

Walking back to the car there were lots of little bits of woodland and streams..

We've had such a wonderful, relaxing week at Keilder and its been so nice to escape from all the distractions of home. 

Keilder Observatory & Skyspace Walk

Our last full day at Keilder Water so we decided to do a few smaller walks, firstly we walked near the Keilder Viaduct and also popped into see the bird hide but it was already busy with several bird watchers. They did let the children look through their fancy telescopes and they were lucky enough to see a Green Woodpecker and Mandarin Duck-no photo's sadly.

We then drove to the car park at Skyspace and began our walk up the hill to see the Skyspace structure and Keilder Observatory-although the observatory wasn't actually open I still wanted to see it. I had tried to book us on to some of night time shows but it was completely full for the week we we there which was a shame. Keilder boasts the darkest night skies in England and the stars were definitely clearer and brighter although it was so cold we only popped outside for 10-15 minutes to look at them each night.

The Skyspace structure was close to the observatory and a good 1 1/2 miles uphill so we took a relatively gentle stroll up to the top. The structure itself was quite cool with a huge circular hole in the top so you could see the sky, it lights up different colours at dusk and dawn which must be cool to see but I wouldn't fancy the walk in the dark. We only sat inside for a few minutes as it was quite cold inside so we went back and sat in the sun to have our lunch.

Feeling very tired once we reached the top-our total miles this holiday have been around 22+!

The outside of skyspace:

The view of Keilder Observatory:

And the view down the hill: I loved the Christmas trees that were planted everywhere-perfect for bauble bombing :)

Ruben wanted us to do a top of the hill selfie :)

The outside of skyspace:

In the evening we had a walk back to the squirrel hide near our cabin:

Compared to our visit yesterday morning it was extremely quiet-there was only a couple of owls in the distance. No birds or squirrels. It was a little eerie to be honest

Being quiet and looking for birds:

The night sky was very pretty on the walk back up to the cabin though:

Red Squirrels at Keilder Forest, Keilder Dam walk

Everyone is sleeping so well here I think because it is so quiet, we all woke up early again which is very rare at home. We had breakfast and a little walk down to the lake where there is a red squirrel hide. We had a quick walk by the lake as it was such a beautiful clear morning, the lake looked so clear-like a mirror, it reminds me of the lake at Bala.

Being goofy for the camera:

Finding ice at the side of the lake, Ruben couldn't resist picking it up

A rare photo of the four pesky hobbits :)

We sat in the squirrel hide for about half an hour it was so quiet and there were so many birds and several red squirrels! Quite rare to see red squirrels in England now and it was only earlier in the year when we stayed at Whinfell Forest in January that we saw our first ever red squirrel so feel really lucky to have now seen several more. They are really beautiful and much smaller than grey squirrels.

These were Cordelia's photographs again:

 I love this one

After an early lunch we had a drive around the lake to see the dam wall, within about 2 minutes of leaving the car park Ruben went flying in the mud and ended up bum down :( thankfully it was only a 5 minute drive back to the cabin and a quick change of clothes (a chance to stick the old clothes in the washing machine in the hope all the mud would come out-there was so much of it!) and we were back at the lakeside in less than 20 minutes. This walk was mostly flat thank goodness, as our legs were still feeling achey from yesterdays 9 mile walk. It was still 5 miles altogether though....

The lake was so still again in looked like a mirror:

Couldn't resist a picture of the blue skies and green trees against it:

We walked all the way around the huge dam to the Wave Chamber sculpture, I forgot to take a photo though. It was made up of stones into a beehive kind of shape and when you stood inside (it was very small and a little claustrophobic) and closed the door you could see the reflection of the water through some tiny holes cast shadows on the floor. There was also a photograph of the farmhouse that used to stand on top of the hill over what used to be a valley before it was flooded to form Keilder Dam. We could see crags next to the edge of the water which people used to climb up for views of the valley, have to admit that it made me feel a bit wary as I have a bit of a fear with the children near deep water-no idea where it comes from but it made me feel uneasy being so close to the edge. We stopped for a quick snack though before trekking back of the mini-island which was incredibly muddy but good fun back on to the path and back over the 1 mile dam wall. Back at the cabin and we had a family game of Lord of the Rings risk-Bailey and Ruben beating the rest of us!