Thursday, 31 May 2012

400th Post, Jubilee Party & Last Day of May

Four hundred posts seems so many and yet so few at the same time if that makes any sense? Not when you divide it down between four children and two years anyway... Today has been a home day, we were due to meet friends at the park but after a bad night with Cordelia having several nightmares, the second night of hardly any sleep in a row, and Ruben having an upset tummy I had to cancel. The weather had been rubbish today too but it's been very stuffy and I've had do much washing to do before next weeks holiday! I washed the sleeping bags yesterday ready for camping but because of my bad shoulder I couldn't get them back in the bag!!! I'd sooner put the new tent up a hundred times then have to wrestle with a sleeping bag, it's quite amazing how small the bag it comes in actually is :-/ so the kitchen was swamped in sleeping bags whilst I tried to prepare for the first third of the holiday. Packing for six people is really no fun at all!
Yesterday we were invited to a Jubilee Party at our friends house. The children were all very excited and Bella and Mason had gone to a lot of trouble. (Feeling a bit guilty that I haven't organised anything to celebrate the Jubilee with the children but maybe there's still time?) there was enough food to feed the Queens Army! So the children happily ate their way through quite a lot of it and were all very happy. I got to chat and have a cup of tea that was still hot so was very happy :-) thank you for a lovely Jubilee party Bella & Mason!!!
In the afternoon we visited my dad and his girlfriend, she has just had an operation on her foot so the children were quite intrigued by it all! They happily played Pokemon in the garden and the girls were ecstatic to receive a piece of Anndrea's cactus plants to take home. I'm really not that good with plants so hope they don't take after me! They had a good laugh with my brother who had just finished his last GCSE exam. He's only 15 and seems too young to be deciding what to do in the future, I'm sure he will have done well in his exams though. Hubby is now back home after his business trip, only one more working day before he is off for 16 days! We have A LOT to fit in and the last day will be Baileys 14th Birthday! Scary. But June is hopefully going to be a great month! And I really can't wait :-D

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summer days & the return of Pokemon!

Its been so lovely to have some good weather and its certainly helping some serious bonding sessions with my children! Bailey has actually left his room and played voluntarily with Ruben. I realise that sounds really sarcastic but unless you have a teenager with Aspergers and a 5 year age gap between brothers your unlikely to appreciate how "BIG" a deal that actually is. No bribery was initiated and maybe it was just for the sheer "POKEMON" factor. Bailey began a Pokemon obsession when he was 7 years old and it continued for around 5 years, like all his interests, he is always in it for the long term! Unlike Ruben who is rather fickle to be honest. Luckily for Ruben though, he has inherited his big brother's huge collections of  these obsessions! Transformers, Trains, Lego and his Pokemon! Ruben has now added quite a lot of Pokemon himself to this collection and after I picked him some more bits up from the Sunday car boot last weekend whilst he was at his sleepover we are back on it again. What was nice to see, as well as Bailey getting involved, was Piper and Cordelia playing it too! They are all into Pokemon really, we have the DS games, board games, lots of books and Hubby even started, several different times, a Pokemon Card Game League. It requires a lot of patience to play and have to admit to being the only one in the house who can't actually play it! Its lovely to see Pokemon make a bit of a return again and see them all playing together with it! As its been so sunny they have played with the figures in the garden and had some trampoline battles too!


 The brother bonding even continued into some light reading-seems they also share an interest in Spongebob Squarepants :-)

 Meanwhile the girls have had a huge game of Monster High. I picked this Barbie house for a bargain £1.50 at the car boot on Sunday and the girls have spent all day making it into a home for the Monster High dolls. They even made "groceries" like cat food, ice cream and wash powder from pom poms, paper and cardboard.
 Even Monster High dolls have washing to do you know! And in such lovely conditions its always nice to be able to hang it on the washing line to dry!

Even the Pokemon got involved in this game too, becoming the Monster High dolls "pets". I really love it when they combine their games together. Despite an early start, a daddy away until Thursday (sigh), the return of the summer ants (sigh) and an unfortunate dog poo/new sandals/Ruben situation (HUGE sigh) its been rather a lovely day with VERY little in the way of arguments! Quite a day ;-)

What did they get up to exactly?

My MIL sent through some photographs of the children whilst they were at her house on Sunday morning. They went to visit my MIL's neighbour Rosemary, she has fields next to her house which she rents out and Cordelia just happened to be there at the same time as the horses! The girls very kindly let her have a go, have to admit to feeling a little panicky when I saw these photo's and heard about it. Horses frighten me to death and I wouldn't have let her go on without a helmet and body protector but my MIL assured me they went very slow and only around the field. I can't say much else about these photo's as I wasn't there!

This is what they got up too!









Sunday, 27 May 2012

Happy Birthday Blog-2 today Hip Hip Hooray!

Dear Blog,

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Blog
Happy Birthday to you!!

I can't believe its been two years since my First Post!, its seriously flown by! I've really enjoyed writing here in this space. I started so I would have something to show the LEA but its become more of a record for me. I hope you will be of interest to the children one day and they will be able to look back on all the things they have done and how they have grown and changed. I love looking back at all the posts and seeing all the places we've visited and the friends we have made. Sometimes I've doubted whether I should blog, if anyone reads it, I had lots of stat-related wobbles and "oh-their-blog-is-so-much-better-than-mine" moments but I've realised it doesn't really matter its not for anyone but us really and its important for me to write it down because life travels so fast and there is ever so much to fit in. The children have grown up so much in the last two years, we are now in year five of home educating and its so much more than I ever imagined it could or would be. I'm so very fortunate to spend my days with my children, even the rough days when there is fighting and arguments and we all feel a bit bored, I never think "Oh I wish they were at school", its such an alien thought and concept to me now. Thank you blog for allowing me space to write it all down on, a place to share my photographs and most importantly my memories! You've been a great support to me and allowed me the freedom to write my rambling thoughts and feelings down and made me feel better about it all. I'm not sure what I'd do without you now.....

Love you

Zoe xx







Saturday, 26 May 2012

Seaside Thing-Searchers...

We were all a bit shattered last night so were in bed by 10pm and all up early at 6.15am this morning! The caravan was filled with sunlight so we made the most of it and had an early breakfast before heading out at 8am! There was a local car boot which we had a walk around before going to Tesco and picking up some picnic snacks for lunch. Then we headed off to the beach, we haven't been to Cleethorpes beach in a while and we've never been to this part of the beach which is much quieter as its so far away from the busy centre. Because we had the dog with us we had to go to the "dog beach" but I'm so glad we did as it was lovely and deserted! The children ran off to play "thing-searchers" (Thank you Pippi Longstocking), they came across this huge piece of wood that they think was part of a ship, thank goodness for Daddy and his ability to pull/lift things much heavier than himself! They also found a corner joist with very old looking nails in it, some old looking sacks, lots of charred wood, half a starfish, a pile of terracotta tiles and an old pot pipe! Not bad for a mornings work. Cordelia had great fun turning it into a modern art exhibition and took a photo of it, unfortunately she pressed the wrong button on my phone camera and its disappeared! Still its the taking part that counts...and we still have the pipe!

 Tallulah enjoying the sunshine
 Seeing the sea
 Half a starfish...
 Piper cuddling Tallulah
 Sisterly love!
 Writing in the sand


 Being "thing-searchers"



The pipe!

After a lovely morning we headed home to have our first BBQ of the year. Then we took the children up to my parents in law for a sleepover, all except Bailey-who prefers to stay home and enjoy the "quiet" without his siblings :-/. We came home and watched Eurovision 2012-falling asleep on the sofa! Oh how rock n roll we are......



Friday, 25 May 2012

A trip to the farm...

We've had a really lovely week pottering around in the beautiful sunshine, we are really loving this weather! Its such a nice feeling to wake up with the sunshine in your house. On Friday we made a picnic and met up with friends at Graves Park in Sheffield. It was such a beautiful day and the park looked so picturesque with the blue skies and lush green tree backdrop. The flowers were blooming as we walked up to the farm area and were such vivid colours. The last time we were at the park there were lots of spring babies and it was lovely to see how big they have grown in the last month or so! We particularly enjoyed seeing the piglets who were now much bigger and happily digging with their snouts in the mud, which was very cute. I think my recent sharing of Charlotte's Web with Ruben has made me think differently about pigs! I was even looking at micro pigs for pets... We also couldn't believe how big the Emu's had grown and their now in an outside pen. We managed to find a huge tree for some shade and ate lunch. The children played in the playground and played lots of imaginative games that including having their own "den". We stayed for 5 hours! Then we rushed home and picked daddy and Bailey up before setting off to my mums caravan at the seaside. We didn't hit any traffic on the way there and we were all happily eating fish and chips and enjoying the sea breeze by 6pm!






Tuesday, 22 May 2012

New Trampoline Day!

24 degrees here today! Hurrah! We loved it :-) last night we went and bought the children a trampoline for the garden. They've wanted one for a while and as they love being outside and Ruben has SO very much energy we thought it'd be a good idea. Poor hubby started it last night and got up at 6.30 this morning to finish it before he went to a meeting this morning! He's such a SUPER daddy :-)) the younger three were SO excited to get on and have a bounce. Even Bailey gave in and had a few goes. The trampoline has been the main feature of every game played today-we even played "Go Fish" and "Pontoon" whilst sat on it! It was lovely to have no where to go today and an entire day to chill out and just play.
After a few minor arguments and a twisted knee (Cordelia), I got the paints out and the younger three made pebble pets. Bailey was very disappointed that after three hours his stockmotion video didn't come out very well. I explained that it's the trying/effort that matters and although it's disappointing to not have the finished article it wasn't a waste of his time, things are always being learnt one way or another. I'm so glad that we were having fun together today and not stressing about his exam, he would have sat it today.
After tea, hubby and I put our new tent up in the garden. Ruben helped, it's more like a 3 man job than a 2 man! So excited to go away very soon. Ruben wanted to sleep in it tonight and to be honest so did I but since we have no airbeds and I'd like to be able to walk tomorrow I think we'll wait. Tonight I've ordered our new airbeds and so we're nearly ready for our first camping trip of 2012 :-))

Sunday, 20 May 2012

*GUEST POST* By Mel


I've been kindly asked to do a guest blog on here by my good friend Zoe. I have to admit that i'm a bit of a novice with blogs and even though i have started my own, its very much a case of posting one week then maybe a couple of months will pass. Anyway i'm mum to 3 boys, Dylan who is 5 and so full of energy, Lucas who is 16 months and a big ball of sunshine and Benjamin, my little angel who died at 22 weeks due to a very rare heart condition.

My husband and i decided we would home educate even before we had children. Our decision was for a number of reasons really. We wanted our children to be able to stay children for  as long as possible, children at school always seem to have this pressure to achieve from a very early age and have targets to reach and goals to set. I'm not saying this is wrong period (there's nothing wrong with setting goals and going for them) but we just feel its too much at an early age and we wanted our children to develop at their own pace and learn from life experience rather than sat at a desk and listening to a teacher. As Dylan was only 5 last december its still early days for us really. People often ask me 'hows the home schooling going then?' but really we dont do anything structured so far and he has no desire to read or write yet. Everyday we explore and go out and meet people or do the shopping, he helps at  home and we go swimming and to playgroup. Dylan is a very articulate, happy, full of life little boy and is always asking really interesting questions like 'mummy what are your bones made of?'  I love having this opportunity to watch him grow and Lucas as he gets older and together i know we are going to learn so much but as a family rather than me asking @so what did you do at school today then?'. Its very exciting and each day brings new discoveries.

I am currently training to compete in the Sheffield Marathon which is Sun 27th May. I'm doing this in memory of my little boy Benjamin who died at 22 weeks due to VSD which is a very rare heart condition. You never get over something like this but you learn to live with the pain and even 2 years later the pain is sometimes as raw as those first few days after i gave birth to him. The charity that helped me and my husband is called Arc and hopefully you will have never had a need to use their services but they helped me in ways i cannot describe. I'm raising money for ARC as they don't get any government help and rely totally on donations in order to be able to help parents like us. Zoe has kindly added the link to my fundraising page and any donations (even a pound) would we greatly appreciated. My training has been going well and i feel ready to do it. I completed 11 miles today which is my longest run so far and my legs are so tired now.  I'm feeling so many different emotions though  when i think about the day but mainly i just think of why i'm doing it and that makes me very proud.

well thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and a massive thank you again Zoe for sharing my link


Now time to rehydrate and rest ready for the big day next Sunday
best wishes
Melanie


Papertoy Monsters


Whilst we were in the Hepworth Gallery yesterday I had a look around the gift shop for some inspiration and this book caught my eye immediately! I knew all of the children would enjoy it. I normally look on Amazon and find it cheaper but I just couldn't wait! So I bought it. As soon as we got home Ruben asked me to read about 15 pages, so I think its a bit of a hit here. There are 50 cool papertoys to make and each character comes with its own story-Ruben has been fascinated :-) I like the section at the back which tells you all about the creators of each papertoy, where they come from and what their "real jobs" are. Each monster comes on perforated paper, allowing you to push it out carefully, fold it and then glue it together. There are different levels of monster so we just started of with the easy ones first.  This afternoon we finally got around to making some of these toys, Rubens arms were beginning to ache from lugging the book around and following us around with it-he's become slightly obsessed by it!
Daddy was a big help-not just in face-pulling either....

Ruben picked Gene Chemzyme to make first
Then Zeke-the under bed monster
Holding the pieces together until the glue dried
Cordelia came in to have a go inbetween doing some sequin pin art. She chose Octopod
This is her sequin pin parrot-she bought it at the car boot for 20p this morning and has made a fantastic job of it!
 The finished "monsters" on display on top of the bookcase-I can't waait to see all 50 on display!