Poolsbrook, Newsletters and Hama beads

Today we got to meet up with friends, who due to illness we haven't seen for quite a while. Thankfully whilst their not all 100% they were well enough for a walk around the park. Its where we all met 3 and a half years ago for our first ever Friday group meet, so fond memories.

It was really cold and overcast but we managed to avoid the rain and Ruben had a great run around with his friends R and M, whilst Hubby and I had a good catch up with their mum and dad.

After lunch Hubby helped Ruben finish off his newsletter you can read it in a pdf format here. He is so pleased with it and its really cheered him up.

The girls have had a huge drawing session and Bailey has been using the drawing tablet to work on some more art for college. Ruben has been making Pokémon hama beads whilst watching Pokémon episodes on TV. He finished his last Diary of a Wimpy Kid book last night and has enjoyed them so much he says he wants to reread them all so has started at book number 1 again. He's also got a lot of Pokemon books to work his way through.


Total home day for me and the girls today, much needed to catch up on mountains of washing for me!

We had family visitors this morning, which was nice. I got to play dinosaurs with another toddler and cuddle a newborn so I was happy �� even Cordelia had a little baby cuddle.

Hubby took Ruben out for a walk, a bit of 1:1 time required.

The girls did some drawing and generally hung out together. Cordelia did two new pictures this afternoon:

Bailey spent nearly all day practising with the drawing tablet, much to Cordelia's dismay-she doesn't like to share it!

Hubby and Ruben had a game of Yu-Gi-oh, Ruben won.

Hubby made pizzas for tea and we sat and watched two episodes of Top Gear

Royal Armouries Leeds

As Bailey is off college this week (some kind of study week for the tutors?!) he asked to go the Royal Armouries in Leeds, its a place we have visited on many occasions but he wanted to specifically look at armour and weapons for his games design course. As we were looking after our niece, Bella today we thought it would be a great place for her to have a run around too. Good job we had an indoors day as the weather was really awful today.
There are so many floors of exhibits in the armouries, some of the displays are really big, like these horses in armour: 
There's lots of hands on activities which Ruben happily had a go at. We also found some 15th century iron and bronze handguns that were as wide as Ruben's arm span!

I LOVE this Japanese tea house and Piper happily watched a video on Japanese archers whilst Bella happily played on the drafts tables and looked out of the window at the canal boats.

We were really excited to see the Hobbit film swords were still here! They've been moved to a smaller bit and weren't advertised-such a shame! We made a special trip in 2013 to see The Swords of Middle Earth and were disappointed to find that Sting wasn't there because it had got delayed in quarantine, so we were really excited to see it there today after all!

The elusive Sting:

We managed to be just in time to listen to a really good talk on Jousting given by a member of staff, he was really funny and engaging and we hung around after as Ruben had questions about the jousting armour and Cordelia wanted to ask about the horses they used for jousting. He was really impressed with their questions and spent a good 15 minutes chatting to us and even walked us across to a different hall to show us a horse picture he thought we'd like! He loved Cordelia's horse drawing and they spent a while chatting about horses, he told us that the horses from the new BBC series Poldark were going to be at the jousting event in April and also some famous jousters. So we'll be adding that our sky planner and also hopefully making the trip to see them for real in April.
There are some great pieces of Royal Armour on this floor including Henry V111's:

This piece of armour was a gift from Emperor Maximillian to Henry the V111 in 1514 and was chosen to be the symbol of the Royal Armouries Leeds, its a really bizarre piece of armour:

Cordelia's horse sketch:

Cordelia photo bombs cardboard characters from the Hobbit film!

The eldest pesky hobbit makes a rare appearance on the blog!
He managed to get nearly 300 photos of armour and weapons for his work so all in all a really good day.

Changing Rooms

We've had all sorts of weather today, grey, dark skies full of snow, beautiful blue skies and hail stones. Freezing temperatures of minus 4 and a beautiful clear shiny moon. Another busy day here but at least a home day! Bedroom move round began early, Cordelia had a lot of posters to take down. Its scary how many toys Ruben has-highlighted to me when they were piled on my bed during the move, I suppose when your parents have an Ebay shop selling toys and collectables you're going to end up with quite a lot of stuff....the boy is crazy about cuddly toys, just like Cordelia a few years ago. It didn't end up taking too long, just a couple of hours and meant we got to have a bit of a clothes/toy sort out too. Some big bags to take up to the charity shop. It really feels like a Spring clean.

Ruben already much happier in his old room and Cordelia already planning on how to fill the floor space she's now gained-bigger desk and maybe an artist's easel. Some decorating to be done in both rooms soon too. Ruben managed to fit in some more reading, and has now finished book 8 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series-8 books by himself!!! Only 1 more to finish the series and then he is starting on some Pokémon books. He's also built a Lego vehicle for the Ninjago figures today as well as some painting to send to a friend. 

Piper meanwhile has begun making her first YouTube videos. She is busy planning some events for the year and looking into lots of Japanese culture at the moment. We spent over an hour today watching Japanese adverts and pop videos! It's quite fascinating and I'm quite looking forward to seeing some of the acts in real life this weekend. She finished off her fimo by baking them in the oven this morning.

Cordelia has been feeling very achy this today, understandable when she did a full 8-5.30 working day yesterday. Its one of those I'm-so-glad-we-home-educate-days so that she has been able to just rest, well apart from taking her BVB posters down off her wall anyways, I had to promise not to get annoyed whilst I moved her things around as she is SO messy. They say boys are messy but seriously both boys are a dream compared to Cordelia, the amount of uneaten snacks and random items like spoons (!) and old socks I found behind, underneath or in boxes is quite unbelievable! She's had fun at pony club this evening. Two days of ponies on the trot :)

Hubby and Ruben have been back finishing off Ruben's first newspaper edition, Bailey wrote a column on Saturday so that is going into the first issue, just awaiting Cordelia's column now. She has been busy finishing this rather magnificent digital art picture, I know I'm biased but I think it is brilliant!

We are busy everyday this week so nice to have a bit of a home day today.

March-ing Ponies

The first of March! Its beginning to get lighter early in a morning and stay lighter well past 5pm, so glad that Spring is on its way.

We were up early this morning as Cordelia has to be at the stables early, she was helping out and very excited. She is desperate for her own horse one day but before that she really needs to have experience in caring for horses and all their needs.

She said her jobs for the day were mucking out 5 stables, cleaning and changing water bowls, tacking up the horses for the children in lessons, bringing horses in out of the fields and taking some out to the fields. She also got to have an hours lesson in exchange for all her hard work.

Since before Cordelia was even one year old she loved horses, one of her first words was "Popo" (a nickname for horses, in case you were wondering) she had a rocking horse, toy horses, cuddly horses etc. She had her first riding experience on her 4th birthday, where she got to groom the horse and have a trot around an indoor arena, she didn't stop smiling the whole day. This is a photo of her:

 She had lessons on and off, mainly because they are expensive and also because I didn't find the right kind of riding school that fitted her well. She started regular lessons two years ago and also goes along to weekly Pony Club where she has acquired several Pony badges for horse safety and care.

She came home last night shattered, achy, covered in mud (she fell over in a field of mud) and smelling pretty darn gross but she loved every minute of it and was super happy. Look at the mud:

Meanwhile hubby and I took Piper and Ruben into town, Piper needed some things to finish off an outfit. No yugioh group for Ruben today as he isn't feel 100%. He is having a lot of hormone-induced meltdowns at the moment, which has been very hard. Its a sure sign my youngest boy is growing up and is hard on all of us. When you are such close family, like we are, when one of you is not right it affects all of us. I have some ideas of things we are going to try this week, including less online time and more actual play, tomorrow we are going to move him back into his old, smaller bedroom and move Cordelia back into the bigger room. Hopefully this will allow her more space for her art (and Black Veil Bride posters!) and Ruben will feel better being closer to our room.

Hassop Station-Monsal Trail

An early morning start for me at least, I had a terrible nights sleep of only 90 minutes and came downstairs at 5am. I'm never, ever up before anyone let alone everyone. Ruben was especially shocked to see me. Hubby and I popped to the supermarket and then it was an early lunch before heading out to meet friends at Hassop Station in the Peak District. Hubby and I came here for our cycle ride date last April!

It was a bit overcast but dry thankfully so we set off to see the tunnels. This trail used to be the old railway but it's for cyclists/walkers now. It's a good path because it's flat with beautiful views but it can be a nightmare dodging the cyclists.

I brought the kids and their little friends R & E some paper and crayons to do some drawing:

Ruben drawing sheep:

Beautiful views

Hard to tell in this photo but this mossy wall was dripping with water, looked very pretty:

The first big tunnel we came too! It's very long and our little friend R said it was 407 steps from one side to the other! You can't see the end from this side of the tunnel and even though it's lit up its still pretty dark in there!

Lovely views standing on the Viaduct from the other side of the tunnel. Time for hot chocolates and cookies for the troops:

It was really cold on the way back but the children happily walked and chatted, collecting sticks and branches resembling trees! I love how easily Ruben plays with younger children, R is 6 and E 3 and they played lovely. Cordelia held their hands and chatted to them. Our friends kindly made us a warm cuppa in their camper van back at the car park whilst R & E showed Ruben around their super cool camper van. They had great fun sitting up in the roof!

Back home for tea, minecraft, youtube and a bit of Skype. We sat and watched Ruben's favourite TV show "Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" with popcorn before he headed to bed. Now watching I Robot with Bailey and Piper-I can't believe I'm still awake!

Friday Thoughts

A Spring-is-in-the-air kind of feeling today which meant cleaning and tidying. Obviously inspired by Piper's tidying of her room yesterday, both Ruben and Cordelia tidied their rooms too today. Piper woke up feeling much better so we think it was a migraine attack yesterday :(

She has been busy today with her new Fimo, making some yummy looking sweets to glue onto hair slides.

Hubby spent nearly two hours this morning helping Ruben to make a magazine/newspaper about gaming. He is hoping to email it out to some friends but wants to print some copies out too and post them out. Will try and put a pdf  up when it's finished, he's talked Cordelia and Bailey into having a column each! Not sure where the idea came from, just happy to have him in a better, brighter mood this morning. He went for a walk with Hubby and the dog and then sat doing hama beads, he has been making Pokemon badge.

Cordelia baked some yummy chocolate chip cookies, as well as her usual drawing and her and Piper spent quite a while just hanging out and squealing rather loudly.

Homemade shepherds pie for tea and a quiet start to the weekend :)