Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sew in the City part 5

One of the lowest numbers of children today when only 4 of us turned up! Thankfully Danielle was understanding and the session continued, much to the delight of the children. This month they were making cushions from recycled t-shirts. Love how much they concentrate when we are here! I like having the time to look at all the craft magazines/books for inspiration and have a quiet cuppa. Bella and I like to oooh and aahhh over all the crafty things we'll never get time to do!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Warhammer Gaming Day

Today I took Bailey to Warhammer World for a home ed group day. We've been meaning to go along to the monthly meet for a while now but not made it so this was the first time we'd meet most of the group. Thankfully I already knew two of the parents and Bella kindly introduced me to the other parents. Bailey has been excited for several days about this trip, since we took him and Ruben to Warhammer World earlier in the year, he has been itching for a return trip. Just before we arrived, a little later than anticipated thanks to the sat nav, Bella text to tell us that the school championship league was there. This meant that the place was H-E-A-V-I-N-G! Thankfully Bailey wasn't too perplexed by this. It did make the place seem even hotter though on a day which was already 22 degrees and rather muggy and ever so slightly overwhelming but still. Bailey had a great time. He smiled and chatted to the staff, made a potential new friend and bought himself a new codex book and this months magazine. He's really embracing the Warhammer and I'm so glad because it involves so many skills, it's really good for maths and logic too! We didn't set off home until 4 so we had a full 5 hours in there!
Thankfully hubby was working from home today so the girls and Ruben stayed home. I think it might have been a little bit dull for them. They've had lots of fun at home playing ponies, paper fashions, houses, bouncing on the trampoline and rescuing a pigeon! Yes a pigeon! It's now "resting" in their wooden playhouse outside and we'll have to see how it's doing tomorrow.....

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Huddersfield, Chess & Tolson Museum

We've had a slow week getting back into the swing of things after our holiday, Bailey's birthday and the charity tea party. Hubby and I started some decorating yesterday too so I'm feeling really achey today. Especially as I painted all 6 of my bargain wooden dining chairs yesterday too. They look fab though, am very impressed. Hubby had a meeting this afternoon in Huddersfield and as we haven't been here before we tagged along. I took the children into Huddersfield Art Gallery, it was only small but we were the only ones there so it was quite nice. Pippi liked the first exhibition which was like a huge floral printed lung, it kept filling with air. Hard to describe really without a picture but no cameras allowed....

We came out and watched two men playing chess with this cool outdoor set, as they ducked under a shop for cover from the rain, Ruben and Cordelia jumped in and started a game. They had great fun and the two men waited patiently (although I'm sure they would have rather had the chess board back to themselves. Tough luck!)

 After a good 15 minutes of play and the two men watching the whole time! Cordelia won. Ruben shook her hand afterwards, at least he wasn't a sore loser.....
 We had a walk around the shops and picked up some new oil colours and canvases, had a look in the book shops and picked up a small birthday gift for Daddy. Then Hubby finished in his meeting and we had some spare time so we popped into the Tolson Museum. We brought the children here a while ago, must have been over 5 years ago as the children were at school.

Cordelia having a go at steering a canal boat
 A Victorian Classroom, looks very uninspiring....
 Weaving on a loom. Pippi, Cordelia and Ruben enjoyed this, I might have to buy them one!
 Bailey was reading this and was shocked, I have to admit to never hearing about the Luddites before. I wonder what they would have thought about technology in the twenty-first century? Seventeen men were hanged at the end of the trial, pretty grim..
 I wanted the girls to look sweet and serene but they were getting a little hyper by now and Cordelia stuck her head out and shouted "Look I'm in 3D!" :D
 I LOVE it when we find a random non-schooler. This time in Seth Mosley, who collected rare and common birds. His collection here was very impressive. Although I'm not a huge fan of cabinets of dead, stuffed birds... He also painted and wrote too and built the cabinets to hold his collection.
Oh my, not another photo of Bailey...smiling?.....

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Marie Curie Tea Party

About six weeks ago my mother in law sent me an email about the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party. Its right up my street as I love tea and I love cake! So we organised it for Saturday the 23rd of June. I wish though, really wish I'd not been too busy to take some photo's of this because it was a lovely afternoon! My mother in law suggested it and I volunteered to do the baking and offered the use of my vintage china . The weather was really against us and even as we set up the two gazebo it was pouring down. Still we are British and we got on with it. The day before I had baked a carrot cake, a Victoria sponge, 32 cupcakes, 60 melting moments, 2 lemon cakes and 20 chocolate brownies. Other guests also brought buns and cakes so we had plenty. With the weather we weren't really expecting everyone to turn up. But we had a turn out of around forty people! We managed to catch up with friends who'd also been away (and had better weather!!), the children were so happy to see their friends after a 3 week separation!! The children were a big help, Bailey helped with moving gazebo's, chair's and tables, Piper helped with organising and setting tables, chatting to people. Cordelia helped sell the cakes and suggest what cakes people would enjoy. Ruben was in charge of the ice cream selling, how much he actually ate we shall probably never know.... Still it was a lovely afternoon and we raised £206 altogether, which is way more than I had imagined. Thank you for all who came and bought our tea and cakes!

Monday, 18 June 2012

My Boy is 14!

Oh gosh! My boy turned 14 today! He requested a day of no fuss, and in particular wanted to be back home and NOT in the tent, bless him. He isn't the most enthusiastic camping fan. His only birthday request was for a flat screen television, sounds boring I know, I certainly got bored of looking at tv's before we finally chose one. If I've learned anything about parenting a teenager, especially one who has Aspie's its that I need to LISTEN to what he wants. The mother in me wants to make a fuss, out up banners and balloons, take him out for the day. Birthdays feel like they should be all theme parks and parties BUT not if that's not what they want. So I resigned myself to a rather "simple" birthday. I caged my "inner fussy mum bum" and just went with the flow of the day. It started early-6.30am, we had wrapped his tv up in our attic room and it had stayed there for the last 2 and 1/2 weeks waiting. We brought his cards up and he sat and opened them on our bed, whilst all of us watched. The others had all picked funny cards out themselves and helped Bailey count up his birthday cash. Dad then helped him set up his new TV, which he LOVES and has not stopped saying "Thank You" all day, and made us all a breakfast of bacon bagels (sans bacon for me!). Bailey asked if we'd mind taking him to Meadowhall to buy some Warhammer figures. He spent ages choosing which figures and paints he needed and chatting to the friendly staff in there. We picked him some new bedding as my parents in law have given him a double bed, so I'm using it as a good excuse to have a bit of a make over in his room! Back home and Dad made birthday pizza's, Bailey's choice, and I made a 4 layer sponge cake. A super quiet day really with no fuss but exactly what Bailey asked for. He doesn't like surprises. He says he's had a lovely birthday and he's very happy, our work here is done!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day!

This year, or rather after last year we decided that Mother's Day/Father's Day were really not for us. Neither Hubby or I see anything special about having our children forced by commercial advertising to send us cards,  gifts etc on the same day as everyone else. The shop windows and tv adverts are full of so-called "gift ideas", and it just feels so very un-romantic and forced. We both know our children love us very much, we don't need gifts or anything else other than the random hugs, smiles, kisses and "I love you's" our children frequent us with. Today Hubby woke up to no cards or presents, in fact the children had no idea it was Father's Day at all. He wasn't remotely bothered and we both hope that this is how the children will always be, never feeling the need to buy us "stuff" because Hallmark think they should. I do however want to just take a minute to say that it does NOT, in any way, mean that my husband is not an AMAZING, TERRIFIC, LOVING and WONDERFUL Father! My children really couldn't wish for a better Daddy. He is intelligent, patient, loving, funny, generous, knowledgeable..... oh I could gush for an eternity and it would still not be enough! The children and I are SO lucky to have him and really everyday we are thankful for that, so we really need everyday to be Fathers Day for him!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Wistlandpound Reservoir & Barnstaple

Another morning of light rain, so after breakfast we set off to walk around the reservoir we could see from the campsite. The rain managed to stay off long enough for us to walk around thankfully. Although some of us weren't just walking around! What better use of a big brother could there be than for a piggyback?
 That's right, not one but two smiling photo's of Bailey-a first for the blog I think? :-D See how much fun being away from your Xbox for a week or so is and spending time with your siblings!?
 Even little R gets a piggyback from Cordelia!
 After the walk we were all hungry so headed off to Barnstaple. It was heavy rain by the time we got there so we ended up finding a pizza hut and having an all-you-can-eat-buffet. These pleased the children (and hubby!) lots and it was nice to be dry and not trying to cook in the rain for a change. Afterwards we walked back over the bridge and into Barnstaple Museum, I forgot my camera so only have a few phone shots but here is Cordelia taking her new role very seriously! She is Captain of the ship....

And I just couldn't resist this poster, I may have to see if I can buy a replica and put it up in the kitchen!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

National Trust's Heddon's Mouth

The weather forecast for today was pretty terrible so we decided to have a walk. I saw this walk on a Devon tourism website and thought it looked perfect. It really was! The National Trust say "The Heddon Valley set in the West Exmoor coast was the favourite landscape of the Romantic Poets. Follow the deep, lush wooded river valley down to the sea at Heddon's Mouth beach". 

I love a photo of everyone setting off!
No reason for this photo expect this tree was MEGA and I couldn't not!
The river swept all the way past through the walk.
Perfect "Pooh Sticks" bridge, if I ever saw one
We can see the sea!
The views were worth the walk
Easy to see why this beach was used for smuggling. Although we can't understand why there was a kiln built here? Some of it still remains but it doesn't mention why?
Pippo exploring the water in here new wellies. We went though 4, yes 4!, new pairs of wellies this holiday!
All around there were rock art left by previous walkers, Cordelia had a go at balancing some of the stones
Whilst I grabbed Pippi for a quick cuddle!
A rare family photo taken by Wes. Its a shame we don't have more family photo's but I like how natural this one is
Ruben's armadillo from Longleat exploring his surroundings
A dung beetle! Underneath they are a most spectacular blue

It was about 3 miles all in total and the rain stayed off so a very nice walk :-))

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Woolacombe Sands & Sand Sculpting Dads!

We awoke to another glorious sunny day in North Devon and so headed to what is, according to Trip Advisor one of the top ten beaches in the UK. Three miles of sandy beach! It was much busier than Croyde but we managed to find a nice spot. After our picnic lunch Hubby and Wes decided to have a go at some sand sculpting, the children got involved for a short while but they got bored pretty quickly, so they left them too it!
Meanwhile, Bailey used some of his own pocket money (think its the only thing he bought ALL holiday apart from a Warhammer magazine!) to buy himself a huge spade to dig a hole that he could fit in. Kept him busy for quite a while......
Cordelia hid behind a towel before taking me to see some jellyfish that had been washed up onto the beach. I forgot to take photos though! Then both girls, Ruben and little R decided to spend a good half an hour or so rolling down a very big sandy dune they had found. They were shattered afterwards and they were totally covered in sand, even in their scalp!

We walked back over to Hubby and Wes, who by this time had attracted quite a few fans, a guy even told them they should enter the "Weston-Super-Mare Sand Sculpting Competition"! Here is their "Velociraptor:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Croyde Bay

We woke up to gorgeous sunshine beaming through the tent! It was lovely, outside the tent and this was our view-superb!

 After a lovely breakfast outside, all 10 of us, we headed out to Croyde Bay. It was really warm and was a bit of a pain lugging everything on to the beach but gosh it was lovely! The views on the drive were beautiful, not that I got too look too much as driver but still! What could be better than clear blue skies, a sandy beach and a cool, blue sea? We had a little walk into the village to get some local cheese and fresh, still=warm=from-the-oven bread, Bailey and Piper had a freshly made pasty, (they both love pastry!) and we sat and ate before going back to the beach with a new bucket and spade. Lots of digging and splashing in the sea!
 Hubby and Piper had a go at flying our new stunt kite but it broke within about 5 minutes! Such a shame as it was perfect kite flying weather!! May have to take it back and get a refund...
 A rare picture of Bailey!

Ruben meanwhile was busy burying what started as just my feet and ended up with me being turned into a mermaid! Little R and Cordelia then came over and also wanted to be mermaids! Very sweet.
 Our friend Wes had a go at surfing and also took Cordelia for a go on the board, she loves water, but it did make me a little nervous! 

Piper happily dug in the sand for ages and built herself a little boat, she let her little friend R have a go in it too.

  Laura and I had a walk to get a fresh coffee to get little E to sleep and by the time we got back to the beach everyone was ready to go back to camp and eat! As it was so sunny we decided to have a BBQ for tea and then sat around for another fire. It would be rude not too when the weather was so good! I had a good chat with the owner Nicki about home educating and she said how lovely the children were, she had been chatting to Ruben when we arrived and she said how confident and friendly he was. She said we were clearly doing a really good job. Its lovely to meet someone who is so positive about HE, so much of the time is spent defending our decision and sometimes it can really take its toll. I've realised just how hard it is being in a minority group, but its so refreshing to here someone being positive about HE even though its not something they would do. There were lots of animals around so Cordelia was in her element, the two horses were her favourite though and she loved the hens! Ruben loved the little dog=Tug, who was so friendly and loved coming to see us!