Pippi Longstocking

I bought this book for Piper's 7th birthday  and it continues to be one of our most favourite books. Pippi is one of our most favourite fictional characters. I've been reading this book for seven years and I'm still not bored with it!

Meet May, Skullduggery & Hawkeye

The stick insects have gotten SO big:

They are proving to be the easiest of all our pets, the cheapest and less messiest too so they get a big thumbs up from me, although I wouldn't want to squash them with my big thumbs! Cordelia and Ruben are usually in charge of cleaning out the tank and making sure they don't run off-they are surprisingly fast for something finger sized!

Ruben turns 11...

Ruben had a very quiet 11th birthday especially after last years Minecraft party. He got up early and opened his presents, this year he had asked for a Nintendo Wii. We'd had one for years but it had broken and was replaced by an Xbox and a DS console but Ruben really missed his favourite Nintendo games so we agreed to buy a second hand system. He was more than happy with that and it meant he got several of his favourite games too. His favourite is Super Smash Brawl but he also got Zelda, Iron Man, Mario etc and a new skateboard!

He had his two best friends over for the afternoon, they played on the wii together and are lots of food! His friends bought him a Mighty Boosh t-shirt and a zombie Jake from Adventure time-they know him so very well! He changed into the t-shirt straight away. 

Here he is blowing the candles out on his cake-he asked for a teenage mutant ninja turtle cake this year. 

It's not the best cake I've made to be honest but he liked it so that's all that mattered :)

Another friend bought him this fab lego Batman set which he built very quickly! And his TMNT onesie was another perfect gift from friends :D

Happy 11th Birthday to our beautiful boy, you are such a fun, happy, clever, loving boy to be around and we love you so much xxxxxxxxxx

The Iron Giant with artist Johnny White

This was actually back in October as part of Sheffield's "Out of This World" convention. The Showroom is an Art Deco styled independent cinema in Sheffield City centre, it's a lovely building with tons of character and the staff there are very friendly. We took Ruben along to do a workshop about The Iron Giant followed by a cinema screening of the film. It was one of Bailey's favourite films when he was younger and it's the first book Ruben has read all by himself-YES all by himself!!!!- so it's going to be very special for me forever, forever entwined and connected with my two wonderful boys :D

The workshop was run by artist Johnny White, he was full of energy and most importantly had tons of scrap metal, wires, nuts, bolts and tin foil! All sorts of creativity to start building an Iron Giant! The framework was actually already done, but what was needed was the "filling in" of the giant, he was an empty shell waiting to be filled in by the children's imaginations...

Ruben went straight for the arms!

He set about wrapping foam around the arms, then foil, then red wire around one arm.

He found an old shower hose which he managed to attach around it and also found some light fixings to use on the grabber hands too.

Both arms finished!

Assembling the iron giant:

The children had worked so well doing all the different parts, the head, chest and legs all looked brilliant and the children loved seeing him all fixed together:

He was proudly displayed in the Showroom Foyer by the time the film had finished (it was still there when I took Piper to see The Imiatation Game a few weeks ago too!). 

Johnny White, to us anyhow, is best known for this cutlery statue in Sheffield's Millenium Galleries, Sheffield is famous for it's steel in case you didn't know and so it's very fitting! When you put money into the statue it's moves. It's always been a favourite with our children:

Ruben was so inspired the next day he completely took apart an old toaster! 

Newstead Abbey

A really stunningly beautiful visit to Newstead Abbey, the former home of Lord Byron. Such a beautiful time of year Autumn, so many pretty colours and so little people-perfect! Think we will go and visit when the house is open as I'm super curious now...

Was a bit chilly..

We thought this garden frog statue was cool, shame it was in disrepair..

The maze was only small but smelled strongly of Lavender 

Super cool statues...a bit like Narnia but hubby said it was Pan?

A girl version

A little grotto

Watching water hit rocks is incredibly relaxing

Stepping stones!

More water! You could walk around the back of the actual water and that's were Cordelia and Ruben were standing:

Can you see them?

Just what we all needed-some fresh air in beautiful surroundings xXx

Ruben makes a board game!

Today Ruben decided to make his own board game called Monstermon he's using Magyk cards and Pokemon cards.

He has built the game board from cardboard and paper. The first attempt saw him using plain paper and lego to build buildings. Hubby played it with him but they quickly realised that it needed revising so Ruben went off to change some things before coming back to play again. Second time around and still more changes needed to off Ruben went again  to make these changes including sticking score point boards on to the game board. He has also diligently drawn and coloured in patterns and scenery on the board:

He's currently designing a beach/mountain landscape for the other side too.

I think all of this has come from spending the weekend at the Showroom cinema at a film making workshop with Cordelia. They had such a great time and hopefully will receive their final film version on DVD in the post next week :-) it's so wonderful to see  them being inspired!

Elsewhere in the house today....Cordelia is still feeling unwell with her cold but put a brave face on it so she wouldn't miss pony club this evening. Piper has been out with me to meet up with her friend and her mum for a coffee/catch up. They all watched a very interesting documentary on CBBC about a transgender boy, as they have a friend going through the same thing it was really helpful and insightful. They amaze me with their acceptance and understanding of such a delicate subject and show maturity way beyond their years.

Growing up! And park days

Oh my goodness my babies are growing up so fast!

Cordelia in her Black Veil Brides t-shirt, war paint and headscarf:

Piper the EMO :)

After dropping the girls in town to do some shopping we took Ruben up to the park to practise his skateboarding, live the seventy on these shots...

Autumn is Awesome

Monkeying around with Dad

See-sawing with Mama

These are the days to remember and enjoy being alive :)