Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Catching up with Friends & Moulin Rouge

Yesterday we had friends around for most of the day, we haven't seen them for quite a while so it was nice to catch up. A house full of 8 happy children is always a nice thing! Lots of Monster High and Lego going off in between bursts of playing in the garden on the trampoline.

Today Ruben has had his BFF Ruben over for the entire day so we haven't seen him at all. They have been totally immersed in a world of Pokemon in the way only the two Rubens can be and have only ventured down for food and a quick change of scenery for their epic conversations in the garden. They spent a good 30 minutes bouncing whilst talking Pokemon..

As Bailey decided to go into his Warhammer group in town I decided to make the most of a girly afternoon and introduce my daughters to one of my all time favourite films..Moulin Rouge. They have been intrigued by it for a while but I was wary of some of the scenes in it, but they are 11 and 12 now so think they are old enough. I blubbed through most of the way through-I think because I was feeling unwell and nothing to do with me being a complete softie...


The girls enjoyed it but not as much as I'd hoped, its just not their kind of film. They loved the fashion though! And we all agreed that Nicole Kidman is simply stunning in this dress....WOW

Monday, 29 July 2013

Monday in Matlock

We had a lovely morning in Matlock/Matlock Bath today, we picked Piper and Cordelia's friend C up and took her along too, it gave the girls a great chance to catch up. The weather was lovely for most of the morning and we managed to have a really good snoop around all the antique shops where I managed to pick up a lovely old deckchair. I have been looking for one for ages to do up a bit but they have become ever so cool this summer and are really expensive on Ebay. So I was very please to pick this one up for just £8-Hubby managed to barter it down from £10. I have been inspired my new wardrobe for our bedroom and I feel a new hobby coming on again!!

I have no photos-the girls get rather shy when their altogether...but they had sweets from Lilly Banks sweet shop, a walk by the very muddy looking River Derwent and a look up at the cable cars in Matlock Bath before we headed up to Matlock for a chip shop lunch in the park. They all enjoyed watching the children on scooters/skateboards at the skate park whilst they ate their lunch.

We headed up to the antique shops-the one in this photo (from an older blog post) is my favourite and where I got my bargain deck chair.

But I did see the most beautiful 1950's dressing table and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since....

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday walks

We love our Sunday walks around Linacre Reservoir as you can see here Sunday Rituals but we haven't been in a while. I've really loved watching how the scenery has changed here this year from last Autumn, Winter and Spring. I have to admit to preferring it in Autumn as its my favourite season but Summer is pretty nice too.

We have noticed lots of bees and butterflies around this past week and also a distinct lack of wasps-I'm not complaining about them though!

Lovely views over the reservoir

The last time we were here was with friends and now its become part of our ritual, to sit on the tree over the water.

Meanwhile Piper enjoyed her snack...

Cordelia did NOT want to come down off the tree trunk... This face is a face that I'm seeing way too often at present...

A quick walk around before we picked Bailey back up from his warhammer group. He is taking part in a new competition as part of the holiday activities. He has spent £20 on some new figures and now has several days to paint them and get them all ready for the start of the competition, that should keep him busy!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Lego Assault Course & Family Birthday Parties

Lego continues to be a major theme of our house, I can't imagine a time when it won't be, and to be honest I don't want to. Cordelia and Ruben felt inspired from playing on the Xbox Lego Lord of the Rings game and also they have been building LOTR themed things on Minecraft so it was nice to see them stepping away from the screen for a bit and creating an assault course for the Lego minifigures.

They picked a lovely sunny spot on the patio to create a scene and I was lucky enough to be sat in the audience and have full commentary too!

The participants begin their trial, with Gollum looking over them-someone has to make sure no one cheats..

Sam's turn...

Loving the water section, fitting with Lego crocodile! Really like the use of butter tub too...

Kept them very busy whilst I had the super boring jobs of cleaning, washing, cleaning and also a bit of decorating! I found a new piece of furniture to upcycle :)

Saturday evening was spent with my dad's side of the family celebrating the 80th birthday of my Grandad. Not very often that we get to go out on a Saturday evening and it was so lovely to watch the children playing with all their extended family. My dad has 5 brothers and 2 sisters so there are lots of children, grandchildren, cousins, second cousins etc etc. Was lovely to see all of my uncle's and aunts too. Happy Birthday Grandad Ralph-you will always be the silly Grandad who used to post ice lollies through our front door when we were out :D

Friday, 26 July 2013

Summer Walks

I really have been neglecting my blog lately, things have been busy around here and I'm not having the time to blog like I used to. I really am missing it and I know I'm missing blogging things that I will regret and also  forget!!

Home educating in the summer is a funny time, you want to make the most of every day but then when there is six of you everything is SO very expensive. Its also harder than ever to plan days out with four children who's ages range from 9 to 15. When the children were at school I know I felt this huge pressure to be doing amazing things with them during the school holidays and despite the fact they haven't been in school since 2007 I still feel that pressure!! Its so silly because we do so much in a year and I only have to look back on the blog over the last 7 months to know that but I suffer terribly from summer guilt and feel like we are not making the most of it. The thing is I know even when we do spend a lot of money doing something it doesn't mean we will enjoy it anymore than something free. Its usually the simple things that we enjoy as a family, the simple things that get us all chatting and laughing and which we all return in a good mood. So bearing this in mind our Friday morning started with Piper and I go for a morning swim at the local pool, where we have been trying to swim 2/3 a week, we managed 30 laps-750 meters before coming home for a quick lunch and a family walk.

We set off from home on foot, which is always nice! It was quite warm I have to admit but I'm not complaining at all at the beautiful weather we are having here. Tallulah (our rescue Jack Russell) had her check up with the vet yesterday and we found out that she has a heart murmur, we are not sure her exact age but guess around 9 years and we have had her for 4 of those. She's also starting with cataracts bless her, the vet recommended some extra walks to help her keep fit so we have been trying to get her out a bit more. The girls have started walking her together in the mornings too which is quite sweet and giving them a bit of the independence their so desperate for at present.

Some photos from our walk:

The weather has been so dry that all the gravely paths were super slippy, meaning that both Ruben and Cordelia had falls. Thankfully I had some wipes on me so we managed to clean them up.

The walk down the hill were lovely, the walk back up the hill in humidity was pretty tough actually, especially since I'd done some cardio on the exercise bike last night and my swim this morning. Not to mention my hayfever allergies *sigh* summer can be hard work when your allergic to it!

Very beautiful views though and all pretty much on our doorstep which is nice.

We managed about 3 miles in all which isn't bad in 20+ degrees, all free too so an added bonuses!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Tree Project Part 6 (very, very late....)

I have completely forgotten about my project!! No photo taken in May or June and only this last minute one taken in July...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Being Legolas for the morning...Archery lesson...

Fresh on the heels of our taster session of climbing we were lucky to also get on to a free taster session of archery. It was two hours and up in the lovely area of Ringinglow, a gorgeous location even if the sun never showed his face!

Thanks to LOTR my children are all fans of bows and arrows, we have  a few wooden ones at home for playing with, one hubby even made from a branch. It was like being Legolas for the morning or so that's what the children told me. Cordelia would have preferred to be on horse back-but what's new?

The children had made some new friends at the climbing on Friday so were happy to see them again so quickly and they also chatted to some old friends. All very social for them.

Here are a few photo's, although it wasn't easy to get photo's with just my children in..

 Piper being shown the ropes.
 Bailey, who really enjoyed himself.
 Bailey and Ruben

 Cordelia chatting to the instructor
 The beautiful location...

A really lovely afternoon, all four of the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Wall Climbing at the Foundry

We are trying to make this year all about new experiences for the children, trying to let them try as many new things as possible. Not always easy on budget so we were really excited when the local home education group got funding for some sports activities and we were able to have a go at wall climbing at the Foundry in Sheffield. Only Cordelia and Ruben wanted to try, Cordelia has done it before but Ruben was very wary and I really had to talk him into giving it a go.

Could not believe the change in him as soon as he was up there-he LOVED it!

The Foundry used to be an old factory, Sheffield is famous for its steel and the area where its based is actually where my dad worked for years in a steel factory so it was bizarre to see all these climbing walls inside there. Its such a great place and was filled with a huge group of us home educators. 

Here is Ruben having a go at his first ever climbing wall:

He didn't make it to the top but he wasn't far off..

On the next wall though there was no stopping him and he reached the top. The look on his face was brilliant-this huge beaming smile.

Cordelia, showing Ruben how its done, she did so well the instructor told her to go up using only the yellow markers as she was so good and she shot up there so quickly I only have this photo of her coming down!

You could see the tiredness in the kids arms and legs, they started to get a bit shaky-its such good exercise! We are thinking of all having a try another time as a family...

This was the last wall and it was much trickier. They both gave it a go though, Cordelia got a little bit of the way up but the markers were too far for Rubens little legs. Maybe next time?

After two hours in there the kids were exhausted, it was very warm in there too. Such a great experience for them both though and they enjoyed it so much we have booked on to the next group visit.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Yesterday was spent waiting to hear back from the garage about our car, it needed the handbrake repairing-quite important for a big car with six people in it! So we used the opportunity to get some much-needed gardening done. The children had a chilled out day mainly inside as they are finding the heat all a bit overwhelming, so they played on Minecraft and with the Lego and kept popping outside for a lay down in the shade and to eat ice lollies..

When the coast is too far a drive the best alternative is to find water! So we headed out to Chatsworth to sit next to the stream. We took lots of food, paper, crayons and buckets for catching some fish.

Ruben looked very sweet chilled out by the side of the stream drawing dragons. His new favourite passion thanks to us reading the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell. We're currently on book 2: How to be a Pirate.

Meanwhile hubby and Cordelia braved the very cold water to look for fish..

Was very sweet watching the deer run and chase each other at the other side of the stream, lots of baby deer too.

Ruben took my camera for a bit and took lots of photos of this family of ducks.

Bailey and Piper read and did some drawing.

Another couple of photos by Ruben

 Here are Ruben's dragon pictures..

Cordelia only managed to catch one fish but it wasn't a bad size-a bullfish-so she was very pleased.

Was lovely to relax next to the stream and play games like hangman. Loving having hubby home full time with us :-)