Friday, 24 January 2014

Wooden Daggers

Today has been a home day apart from a trip out to the library for the boys, the girls stayed home. Both boys were arguing over Marvel books in the library with Ruben sulking because Bailey got to them first! Explained that they could both read them but he still sulked for a while after, back at the car and there was an argument over which superhero was best! 

More Lego play back at home with a wedding for Arwen and Aragon, Cordelia has worn her hobbit cloak all day which was very sweet. The girls watched Lord of the Rings in bed last night and are watching the second film in the trilogy tonight. 

Bailey is completely up to date with all his work as we are off to Center Parcs next week for some family fun. So he has spent the afternoon painting Warhammer.

Hubby made the girls and a Ruben all wooden daggers this afternoon, they required two each apparently and he patiently sat and wrapped string on each dagger. They look cool and the children are very impressed!

I've had a headache most of the day so the girls and I snuggled on the sofa this afternoon to watch last weekends Call the Midwife, they love Chummy aka Miranda Hart. I'm achy from yesterday's yoga and feeling rubbish as trying to have less caffeine but the children are all in good moods and excited about next week :)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lego Hobbits, trip to Clifton Museum

Struggling to blog regularly as have no January motivation! But don't think that it means we are doing nothing because that's not the case.

Its been a month of games, mainly Heroclix-which the boys and Cordelia have become addicted too, chess, and the Magik card game Ruben had for Christmas. Piper has been busy building and painting her dolls house, which is proving quite a big task, maybe even more than she had expected, I'd like to say she is enjoying it but I am not sure. She likes to spend time thinking about doing things rather than actually doing them-she is a lot like me really, all ideas and no action. I think she would really rather be sucking her thumb on the sofa with a book...

There has been some one on one time with the children, only little trips here and there or walks but it is nice to get to chat to them one on one. We have tried to get out a little, we had a mooch around the charity shops both last week and this week. Ruben picked up two NHM dinosaurs at a third of the museum price so he was very happy. We made some new friends and saw some old friends at a friends birthday/graduation party last weekend which was fun. The girls found a new friend who shared their love of Skullduggery Pleasant so were very excited. We have had family visits and a few family dramas, not affecting us in particular but still a little draining. Yesterday the girls and I visited great-grandparents, my sister and her baby for cuddles before we had a few hours shopping for thermals in Meadowhall and even a sneaky cheeseburger! The boys had a home day, playing a mammoth game of Heroclix and hubby took Ruben and the dog for a little walk. Hubby is still really struggling with his ankle sprain, his ankle is still double the size of the other one so proving difficult to walk far. It has been great having some more help around the house again though and I will never take for granted my hubby's domestic skills!!

Yesterday the girls and I popped into the Lego store to fill up our complimentary lego box, it was given us before Christmas with a shop purchase, they had lots of fun filling it up with bricks in the pic n mix. Then they decided to build 3 minifigures between them-which took ages! They came away with a detective lady-Sherlock inspired-a mermaid with cool blue lipstick and a medieval lady with a hairbrush to brush Legolas' hair...

Back home and the new lego bricks came in handy to make Smaug-aka Ruben's Schleich dragon- a treasure pile

And Frodo a lovely garden for the Hobbit Hole....

Last week when we had finally got a new battery for the car we had a trip to Clifton Park Museum, sadly it was far too cold for a trip to the playground and it was raining but we had the museum pretty much to ourselves. Unfortunately, nearly all the top floor of the museum is closed due to a new exhibition installation so it took us less than an hour to walk around.

Cordelia showing hubby the famous bear, apparently these bears live in the Pyrenees so we could have seen some when we were there last year-we didn't but it was nice remembering our holiday. The bears used to be made to dance in the streets which reminded Ruben and I of our most recent Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear book.

Cordelia and Ruben love the rocking Zebra

Outside are some Roman column remains, which made for a very quick stepping stone challenge before we headed back to the car: 

We have been catching up with several of our favourite TV shows including: Sherlock, Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls-Ruben announced he wants to be just like him when he gets older, River Monsters, Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, American Football play-offs and Ruben continues to be into Superheroes including his favourite Iron Fist.

The girls have been turning Top Model pictures into Tauriel, drawing, reading Lord of the Rings, playing Lord of the Rings, wearing their hobbit cloaks on walks and getting along very nicely in general! They had new beds this week and so a big bedroom sort out was required as well as a wardrobe sort out as they have both grown so much in the last few months.

Bailey has been making some really good progress with his college work, we had to have a really good chat with him about his attitude and behaviour, which was not a fun converstation but it feels like its made such a difference. His English work is slowly but surely making great progress and he's feeling much more positive and confident about it. The Maths continues to go from strength to strength and am amazed at what a natural apt he seems to have for it, not sure where it will lead but am feeling really positive for him. He is having lots of fun with his friends at the weekends to break up all the study.

I, meanwhile, am trying to spend less time on social media as I'm finding it counter-productive and if I'm honest a bit depressing. Trying to find inspiration in lots of other ways and even managing to find some time to read! Feel like I've been lost in the midst of home educating, cleaning, cooking etc and trying to find what I actually enjoy doing is not as easy it may sound. Today I started reading this book:
The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood

Its an interesting read so far. I'm also reading a book about Napoleon's first wife Josephine, which is all-consuming and fascinating. Was hoping Piper could read it after me as she loves historical novels but its far too raunchy! So I just keep passing on bits of facts and information on Josephine and Napoleon. We've had a lovely if brisk walk today as its cold but it gave Cordelia and Ruben a chance to wear their hobbit cloaks and take their wooden swords out. Back home for Heroclicks, doll's house painting, lego building and meat and potato pie making for me. Must blog more regularly as its a struggle to remember everything otherwise!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Settling into January

Its been a quiet start to January really, the weather has not been as bad as in previous years and I would have liked to have been out walking about more but Hubby is suffering from a very severe ankle sprain, meaning we have been having a lot of home days. Its been a tough week with only one adult in charge of a lot of household chores, cooking, cleaning, entertaining etc and so my back has decided to show its appreciation of hard work by being very painful. Everyone had felt a bit under the weather and I think being at home has actually been quite nice. We had friends over on Friday which was lovely to have some company and the children got to have a fab play with friends which was muchly needed.

There has been lots of reading, Ruben has been reading his new Minecraft books, Piper her Poirot, Cordelia some Meg Harper books and horse books, Bailey has been reading the most recent Skullduggery book whilst being completely back into the swing of college work. Summer exams seem to be looming in the horizon. There has been lots of drawing and Ruben started a dragon project book last week too. Cordelia is perfecting the art of drawing horses and getting very good at it, the horse riding lessons are going extremely well even though I'm sure it should be a summer sport? At least for the parents who have to watch and wait for an hour in the cold building next to the arena....

Piper has been incredibly busy building her dolls house, today the basement is very close to being built and then almost all the building and painting of the outside will be complete. Then the huge task of decorating the inside will begin! She already has some of the wallpapers and floorings for some of the eight rooms but its going to be a pretty mammoth task furnishing it all. I think another trip to the Dolls House Emporium will be in order shortly.

There has been lots of Minecrafting too on the PC and Xbox and a new love for the Lego Lord of the Rings game since the children saw the advert for the Lego Hobbit game coming shortly. We have also managed to squeeze in a few viewings of Lord of the Rings films, along with Wreck it Ralph, Avengers, Batman Begins, Spiderman, Iron Man 3-a superhero theme is developing here....which Ruben is delighted about and is already contemplating a new collection theme. The children have begun watching the BBC Sherlock series from the first series, they are loving it and are very excited seeing Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on screen together again after their appearances as Bilbo Baggins and Smaug.

A very chilled-ish start to the new year which is probably best since our car battery died yesterday and we are awaiting delivery of a new one shortly. Reminding us how much we really cannot be without transport! Maybe when the car is fixed, Hubby can walk again and my back will allow me to move properly we may have a visit out somewhere. It is tricky to find places to visit at this time of year and I was tempted to book a winter break, still am actually but since we have an exciting trip into Europe booked for late Spring I think I should try and be patient.... January always seems like the longest month of the year and I do find it a struggle but we are nearly halfway through now and February always seems super short and it will be Spring before we know it. Not wishing time away though as enjoying the cosy hibernation but looking forward to the rest of the year...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

End of Year Review 2013

I'm not sure I've ever done a year review before? But I have read lots of other home ed blogs that have done and thought it was a good idea. Its taken me quite a while to pull all of our year together which I suppose shows how much we have done this year. Sometimes it can feel like not much is happening at all which looking over our year is so not true at all. This year has seen us end with all our children in double digits!! 2014 looks already like its going to be a year full of exciting things and I'm really ready for a fresh start at a new year. 2013 saw a lot of change for us as a family, hubby leaving full time employment to becoming self employed and starting up our own business, I'm excited to see where it shall lead this year. Bailey will be turning 16 in the summer and taking his first ever GCSE exams, I've no idea where that will lead but I'm excited for him. We have another year of watching our children grow and learn and I'm so happy to be part of that. But I've enjoyed looking at all the things we have done in 2013, I hope you do too:


We visited:
Sherwood Forest, the home of Robin Hood
The Swords of Middle Earth at Leeds Armouries Museum, a great treat for our Hobbit/Lord of the Rings fans and the children had a go with a crossbow too. We found out some sad news about Vina Cooke and had a great amount of snow fall and also a great amount of grumpyness! January is also an interesting month....


We visited:
Rufford Abbey
The Florence Nightingale Museum in London
The British Museum
Raglan Castle
Cardiff and Cardiff Bay
The Forest of Dean where we followed the trails of wild boar!
Merthyr Tydfil-fantastic museums!
The beautiful Symonds Yat where we had a tough but fantastic walk. It was a super cold month but we managed to get out and about lots obviously!


Was still very cold. We had more snow too. It was all about Pokemon and Lego in March along with the biggest Easter Egg EVER!!!! No idea how I'm going to beat that next year...

We visited: The Hepworth for some art, the girls baked yummy chocolate cakes and we did some Soap Carving with a fantastic artist.


We visited:
The home of Henry V111 Hampton Court Palace
Took the kids on the tube for the very first time
The Tower of London & The Crown Jewels

Kensington Palace
Platform 9 3/4

Sutton Scarsdale Hall
Sudbury Museum of Childhood where the kids had an epic game of chess on the lawn
Bailey passed out in a Mosque! but he was ok, he had four teeth removed over two days-brave boy!

Cordelia turned 11 years old with An Unexpected Hobbit Party 
 and a Hobbit Hole birthday cake:

and her Horse Riding Lessons began


Meeting up with friends at Sherwood
Peak District walks
A trip to Warhammer World

Took the children to visit the Blue John Cavern in the Peak District
Made the girls and Ruben Hobbit cloaks we then had an atmospheric visit to Fountains Abbey to try them out.

Visited a Jewish Synagogue
Had a 5 mile walk at Chatsworth


We went on a mini camping trip to one of our favourite places Bala in North Wales

Tried to climb Mount Snowden again...and failed....

Bailey attended a 3 day Games Britannia festival at Sheffield Hallam University
We visited the home of Sir Isaac Newton at Woolsthorpe Manor
Bailey turned 15 at Warhammer World

We had a walk in the peaks over the Monsal Viaduct
A trip with bikes to Clumber Park


We went fishing with daddy
Had a trip to Spurn Head and The Deep all on the same day!

Bailey passed his assessments to get on a Maths and an English GCSE course
A trip to see the sea
Climbing experience and Archery,


We had a fantastic day out at the zoo seeing the dinosaurs.

Cordelia had a great day at the stables for her pony day and also had to deal with some tough growing up stuff.
We had a great day out at Newark Antique Fair and managed to talk Hubby out of buying several taxidermy foxes...
I, along with several other blogging friends looked at the economics of Home Educating, an interesting post which I enjoyed writing.
For a reason unbeknown to me this post the fish that got away has become one of the blog's post popular posts?!


Is always a favourite month for me and not just because its my birthday, its just a great time of year. We had a much needed holiday in France and hands down this was the highlight of my year. I love traveling to new places and I love France, we saw so much in our two weeks here but my favourite places were:
BiarritzThe stunning LourdesOur first family trip to Spain, my most favourite birthday ever in St Jean De Luz, the beautiful city of Pau and the magnificent Pyrenees . A truly wonderful month!


A quiet month after our busy September but we tried to keep with our family walks, this walk in Crich was pretty tough going but fabulous views. We also had a visit to see the Imperial War Museum & the Lowry.

The girls and Ruben had great fun making homemade Halloween costumes and had lots of compliments from neighbours when they went trick or treating. I felt a bit reflective about having teenagers...


My quietest blogging month as winter hibernation began setting in. We had a really fun day out with some friends in Hull and learnt some new things too. We visited the Donna Nook Seals which was a truly amazing experience for all of us, they were such beautiful animals and it felt very special to see them just being born.

We all enjoyed watching the 50th Dr Who episode and Cordelia even made a tardis cake! Ruben turned 10 at the end of November so now all our children are in double digits which is both exciting and terrifying! He celebrated with a Minecraft Party which he thought was awesome.


W all got very excited about Christmas, watched Elf a ridiculous amount of times, drank hot chocolate, watched a lot of movies together, squeezed in a few walks together and generally just chilled out after a super busy 2013. Highlights of December are visiting London, Hubby and I celebrating 14 years of marriage on 11.12.13, Piper's Adventure Time Birthday Party and her becoming a teenager!

So there it is Four Pesky Hobbits year in review, phew no wonder I'm so exhausted!! Here is hoping to a busy and prosperous 2014. Happy New Year :)