Saturday, 29 June 2013

Making sock friends

Saturday saw us home whilst the tiler continued with the tiling in our en-suite, will be glad when its all done tbh as I'm getting a bit fed up of workmen in the house first thing in the morning! Hubby, Bailey and Cordelia headed out to do a stall at the car boot leaving myself, Ruben and Piper.

Piper's book arrived yesterday so she was very eager to make a start. Think it was a little harder than she expected but she's enjoying it lots. 

Ruben decided to make a sock monster from one of  the girls craft books. It was quite easy to do.

We started with an old sock, cut off the top of the sock so it was just the flat bit of the foot and heel. 

Ruben then chose two buttons, he wanted it to look as close to the picture in the book as possible.

We then sewed on the buttons, Ruben had a go at sewing bit it was a little fiddly so I helped.



The picture in the book:


Ta-Da! The finished monster


Piper sat chatting to us whilst we did the sewing and she was working on her history book


Here's one we made earlier...the little chicken now has a friend in the sock monster..


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Clumber Park


Making the most of a dry and humid day, Ruben went off to play at his BFF's and Bailey stayed home to work on his maths so we just took the girls to Clumber Park with their bikes. Its around four miles around the lake so it was a good, flat surface for them to practice their new found bike riding skills. Lovely views over the lake.




Trying not to ride into the lake!


Clumber church in the background but still a long way to go...


Halfway around

 Stopping for a quick rest, both a bit shattered and us too-its been a long time since we've walked at that pace!


We had a quick stop for an iced coffee and some well deserved choclate bars for the girls before setting back off. Piper had quite a fall off her bike, she was fine but we did notice lots of baby frogs whilst scooping her back of the grass. They were all trying to get to the lake.


They were so tiny!




The last stretch of the ride was ok. Its a good, flat surface and the girls really enjoyed just being able to ride. We picked a very happy Ruben back up, and had a catch up with friends before rushing home to take Bailey to his Warhammer group. Food shop done, Bailey picked back up and finally back home for tea :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Woeful Wednesdays

An early start for us this morning, on the train to Nottingham at 9am-much less stressful than driving! plus it means Piper and I get to have a good chat. Very small group of us at the archives today but it meant that Piper and I got to chatting to some more people wh ich was nice. Piper is very shy in a group and finds it difficult to start up conversations so it worked much better for her being in a small group today. Lots of archiving done today.

We were hoping that the History textbook we ordered would have arrived today but still no sign much to Piper's disappointment.

Hubby picked us up from the train station with the boys and Cordelia and we headed to the park with yesterday's bought tennis rackets and some new tennis balls. We found a free tennis court but there was a huge school group on it so we just practiced on the path until it was free again. I think its safe to say after today that its highly unlikely that we will be watching any of our children at Wimbledon in the future... But fun was had, by some of us anyway, and that's the main thing. Life is all about experiences and we are trying to give the children as many as possible, who knows if one of those experiences may trigger something in them?

Back home and Ruben and I practiced throwing and catching tennis balls in the garden, as well as a game of chase before we donned sunglasses and laid on the trampoline and did some cloud spotting. He managed a 100 bounces on the trampoline before we came back inside and joined the girls watching Horrible Histories. We love this song Transport Pioneer's Song

More Wimbledon and we watched quite shocked on "Withdrawal Wednesday" as so many of the big names we either knocked out or withdrew due to injury's.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tennis Tuesdays

An early start out of the house again this morning again for me, only this time a much more pleasant outing to meet up with a good friend at a cafe. Hubby took the girls and Ruben to see his grandmas, who wasn't home and ended up at the playground. They still had a nice morning before they came back to pick me up. I had a lovely morning catching up with my friend and talking through a lot of my IGCSE/GCSE worries, as she is heavily experienced at going through all this she was perfect for me to talk to and I feel so much lighter for having spoken to her. Well that and the fabulous lemon curd cake and Lady Grey tea in a vintage cafe in an antiques centre, all helped. I'm feeling much better after a good nights sleep and no sign of return of my facial pain. Bailey is not feeling better sadly and decided to stay home and carry on with his Warhammer painting, he has lots of new pieces from his birthday that need painting to keep him busy. Hoping he will pick up in time to go along to his Warhammer group on Thursday though.

We had a lovely walk around the charity shops after hubby picked me up, with only one question of "no school today?" to which my response of "No, their home educated" quickly brought silence. I'd rather that today than a tirade of questions. Ruben was on a serious hunt for tennis rackets after yesterdays Wimbledon viewing. We managed to find two for £4, including one that has a special Venus & Serena Williams cover-how relative! Just need to buy some tennis balls now, I have even managed to locate a nearby free tennis court we can use.

Back home and  we decided to get the bikes out again and have another go. Lovely sunny skies again today but Piper really struggled with co-ordination, having several crashes into the soft hedges before getting the hang of it again and even managing some turns. Cordelia did much better today and was doing laps up and down so she was all smiles. Ruben took his scooter again but keeps banging his legs on it so wasn't very happy. He had a late night as friends came over last night and has been suffering slightly for it today.






More Wimbledon matches, Ruben announced he thinks we should all go on holiday to Wimbledon! He has sat and drawn his name in unknown Pokemon symbols, played on his Jurassic park tablet game before a bath and several chapters of How to Train Your Dragon-we are nearly at the end before a slightly earlier night. Cordelia has been making rugs for her Breyer horses, she built them a stable out of Mr Men books in the living room corner too-apparently they are just the right size. Piper has managed to finish the Cold War section of BBC GCSE Bitesize and scored very high on the test, she's been much happier the last two days now she has found something to focus her attention on.

Tomorrow is the fortnightly archive meeting for Piper and I.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Bike Riding Mondays

Pretty rubbish start to this morning, hubby and I were really tired after I had an incredibly painful facial spasm in my face of all places which lasted from 11.30 pm until 6 am this morning. Meaning neither of us had much sleep and meant I had to have a trip to the emergency dentist this morning to figure out why it happened. Still clueless and in terrible fear it may return, would rather have gone into labour than have to go through it again it was THAT bad.  Poor Bailey is still feeling rotten after catching his sisters' rotten cold, rubbish Monday morning.

Still there were errands to run before coming home for lunch where I had the bright idea of taking girls on a bike ride. We are not a bike riding family really, Bailey has never enjoyed learning to ride and despite buying the girls new bikes we haven't used them in three years! So when it came to getting bikes out Cordelia had outgrown hers massively and so she needed to have Piper's and Piper needed to use Bailey's. No great problem except both bikes had flat tyres and despite a half hour hunt in the garage no bike pump!!! So... hubby had to put both bikes in the car and go up to the garage to use the air machine. Why is it always the way when you want to do something simple and fun it gets stressful?!

Nearly an hour after we started for a bike ride, two bikes sorted, scooter for Ruben who refuses to learn to ride a bike, one excited dog and two exhausted parents later we finally walked to the park. Its lucky really that we have some paths perfect for re-learning to bike ride as we would not fit two nearly adult bikes in the car with all of us without a struggle. Will have to possibly purchase a bike rack...again why does everything you try to do for free come back to cost?

Anyway, moan over...

The girls had a great time rediscovering their love of bike rides, some very wobbly starts before determination set in and they were off. The sun came out to join us and it was a very pleasant hour. Ruben not so happy as he likes a flat tarmac to scoot on and am thinking of trying to learn him to ride Cordelia's old bike and then buying him a second hand boys bike, but we'll see. I've never been much of a bike rider myself but I'm starting to see the fun and think it would be quite nice to have a family bike ride somewhere off-road. I can't see Bailey enjoying it though...


Having had so much fun the girls want to go again tomorrow! Its good exercise for Cordelia's leg muscles which need building up for her horse riding and the dog was happy to have a walk too.

Back home and there was Warhammer painting by Bailey, in between sneezing and coughs. Ruben did some Pokemon drawing and played a Jurassic Park building game on the tablet. We watched some of the Wimbledon coverage which gave lots of interesting questions, talks about scores, players, rankings etc and  the possibility of buying some tennis rackets and finding some local courts to have a go ourselves. Cordelia did lots more research on her horse project and Piper is on an all out mission to do a History GCSE. It has come out of nowhere but I'm not surprised, she has been in a difficult mood lately and been very bored. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do and seems to have got bored of playing. 12 seems a difficult age of being stuck between child & teenager and not really sure what she should be doing. Because of all the talk about Bailey possibly sitting IGCSE's she asked about history and I said its a possibility. We have ordered her the IGCSE History textbook to have a look at, no pressure at all though, and she spent several hours today consuming Bitesize GCSE History on the BBC website. She is amazing at remembering information, facts, dates, people etc. She did all of the WW1 & WW2 sections including videos and the revision tests. She scored an average of 8/10. So am thinking this is what she needed. She is also reading a HUGE book on Bess of Hardwick, which she is throughly enjoying.

Just as we get into a swing of autonomous education it seems we have swung all the way to the other side and now its looking like structure is what is needed, at least for the older two. I feel completely out of my depth as I've quite ignored all the exam stuff as thought it wasn't a route we would be tredding down but now it seems we are I have no idea where to start or which way is going to be right for us. A home ed fork in the road...

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Peak District Walk-Monsal Viaduct

We have started this walk before but my hayfever was so bad we had to turn round, I was determined to see the viaduct this time though despite my hay fever being terrible again. I'm obviously allergic to something in these fields!

We parked in a beautiful little village called Ashford-in-the-Water and our walk began from there.

Ruben with his wooden sword, he spotted some cows.


The views were beautiful, the Peak District is a lovely, but busy, place to walk.


Beautiful valleys


We could just see the Monsal viaduct, it was very popular up here as there were little cafes and ice cream vans but we didn't stay for long as it was too busy for us. We headed back down another path


And came to this lovely weir on the River Wye where we sat and had lunch.



Finding a wasps nest! And leaving it well alone...


We also learnt that trout really loved chocolate brioche rolls!! Hubby put some pieces into the water and they all came up for it.


Crossing over the bridge


The view of the weir from the bridge



Ruben brought along his cape and had a LOTR moment by the river..


We walked past this beautiful but derelict water mill, such a shame, it would make a lovely house..


Looking for more trout! We even spotted a fly fisherman on this part of the walk.


The last bit of the walk was tough going, 5.5 miles in 4 hours in 21 degree humid heat. But the views were worth it and I love how much we get to chat when we are out and about. Lots of IGCSE/GCSE chat going on here right now in follow up from last weeks games festival. A lot to take in and find out, could be a very busy few months/years for us..


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Horse Riding

Cordelia got to practice her first ever jumps today, I was quite nervous for her but thankfully the jumps were only very small so no need to worry!

She enjoyed herself thoroughly though and was shattered when she got of the horse.

I managed to get her a good photo with the horse she regularly rides Charlie


I don't think the smile left her face for the whole lesson






I've noticed such a difference in her posture and position when she is riding over the last few weeks, she is making really good progress. We were lucky with the weather again too as she loves riding in the outside arena.

Happy 15th Birthday Bailey!!!

I get so emotional with the children's birthday's because they bring up so many happy memories, including the births! I had a full post written for Bailey's birthday but I think I'm going to create a new page on the blog and put it there.

He may be 15 years old today but that doesn't mean a lie-in, not with three excited siblings anyway! 6.30 am we were up, even though he knew what all bar one of his presents were! He requested two new xbox games, a book and some Warhammer to build his army up. So that's what he got.

My children are huge fans of a cartoon called Adventure Time and so the others bought Bailey a Jake t-shirt, he loved it as you can see from his face:


And his new Warhammer tank:


I spent most of yesterday baking a square chocolate cake which I then turned into a minecraft creeper:


It's not perfect. my cakes never are, but he loved it and that's all that matters!


Bailey only wanted to do one thing on his birthday and that was visit Warhammer World in Nottingham. So that's what we did, we took him for a birthday lunch in Bugman's Bar-a bit like a medieval pub right inside Warhammer World.


A LOTR Orc Hai!!

Bailey had "The Fat Bloke" meal for his lunch, I honestly have no idea where than boy puts his food since he is 6ft now and so skinny, but the boy loves his food-nothing new! He didn't quite manage to finish it though..


The girls shared a pizza and a side of chips. Cordelia said she felt like she was in the "Prancing Pony" pub from the LOTR film.


Ruben decided on a full pizza to himself-which he couldn't finish!


Whilst we were looking around the shop we were invited by a staff member to have a go at painting a free model. I wasn't so sure myself but the girls and Ruben dived in and I ended up doing one too. It takes such a lot of patience and focus but I actually really enjoyed it, it was very relaxing. The girls loved it too


And Ruben ended up painting another figure an hour later he enjoyed it so much!


Hubby booked Bailey a huge gaming board to play on and here are some photos:




It took them 3 hours to finish the game!!! Hubby won but it was very close..


The time, effort and skill that goes into this scenry and gaming boards is just amazing, the children love looking at it all.



The finished models:



We had our photo taken with a huge Space Marine figure whilst hubby and Bailey were still playing.



Love this photo of Bailey and I, I'm sure he wasn't taller than me last year...



Back home, we had to wait a couple of hours as we were all still full from our lunch, to have some birthday cake:


Happy Birthday my darling boy, we love you so much and feel very lucky to have you xxxx