Saturday, 21 June 2014

Slouchy Saturday

Hubby left bright and early this morning to pick up Bailey and several of his friends and take them along to Warhammer World in Nottingham-where Bailey spent his last birthday you can see it here. We were supposed to tag along too and hubby was going to drop us off at the Saturday carboot but after sitting out last night at my in laws for a BBQ my hayfever had kept me up all night and I just wanted to hide indoors away from pollen, so the girls, Ruben and I had a home day. It was actually really nice to potter around in the house cleaning, changing everyone's bedding, hoovering-I know its sad but I actually like having a day to clean up and get on top of the washing pile, in a house with 6 people and 4 pets-all of whom are malting thanks to the warm weather-its a lot of work.

The girls and Ruben played on the Xbox, read books-I managed to read a few chapters of this month's home ed book club book to Ruben-Magyk by Angie Sage. The girls having already read this months' book club book started on two books for Sheffield Children's Awards and as we had a visit to our friends yesterday they borrowed "A Fault in Our Stars". Wish I could read as quickly as the girls!

 Ruben and I had a game of Pokemon Yahtzee, a great way to sneak in some maths! Cordelia joined us for a game too :) Cordelia baked some chocolate buns before her and Ruben went out to play Avengers in the garden. Hubby came home for a bit before leaving again to go and pick Bailey and his friends back up and drop them all home. They had a fab day and Bailey spent lots of his birthday money on new figures so he was very happy. Cordelia and Ruben had an epic water fight in the garden whilst I Manic Panic-ed Piper's hair shocking blue. So much for a slouchy day haha!

This free Lego Story Starter pack arrived late yesterday in the post, not had time to open it yet but am looking forward to having a play with it:

Piper having her hair-and scalp-dyed blue:

Playing Avengers:

Baking chocolate buns:

Blue hair:

Hubby and I had a chilled evening watching "Searching for Sugarman" which came highly recommended to me by Katie over at Outside the Box. One of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, I think I hear a music obsession coming on with his albums....

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hetty Feather & Horse Riding

Cordelia was very kindly invited to watch a production of Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre by a friend who had a spare ticket. She had read the book quite a while ago and was really excited about seeing it.

We left her with friends whilst Hubby and I took Piper and Ruben around Sheffield City Centre, we don't go often so its nice to wander around. We took Piper to an emo/goth shop where she bought some blue hair dye by Manic Panic, had a wander in the new market before having a look around the newest exhibit in the Millenium Galleries. It was called Recording Britain and there were some really stunning drawings and paintings, always a chilled experience in the galleries.

We headed to pick Cordelia up who had had a fabulous time and absolutely loved the production, she said there were lots of acrobatics and the cast were very funny.

Then it was time to shoot straight off to horse riding, which thank to the sunshine showing us his face was outdoors again:

Here she is with Jim the horse:

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The one where Bailey turns 16!!!!!!!!!

I say it but I still can't believe this boy of ours is 16, its such a huge number and means we have been parents for nearly half of our life, which is both scary and thrilling.

I'm so proud of Bailey, he has grown into such a kind, considerate, witty, smart and fun young adult. He is helpful and thoughtful-everything and more that I thought and hoped he would be. He's worked so hard this year with his revision and he so deserves to chill out and enjoy his summer, this could be his last year of being home educated which makes me a bit sad. But I'm so glad we have had the opportunity to be bale to home educate him and spend so much time with him before the possibility of college and life beyond Home Ed.

He might be 16 now but he still woke us all up at 6.30 am to open his present-he only had one to open!-and his cards. He has been waiting for the Xbox One for a while so was very happy to finally have it in his hands as you can see:

We had a super chilled day, he plugged it into the downstairs TV so that at least he was downstairs with us for some of the day. I made his cake and early evening we went for our very first curry at an Indian restaurant!! It totally threw the kids as we just don't eat out often, they have never been so quiet! But the food was lovely and it would be nice to try and do it more regularly.

the big brother and little brother:

The cake!

All his childhood favourites-which was the theme of his birthday, helium balloons with Toy story on and Mario and lots of cards with Thomas the Tank, Pokemon, Sonic and Transformers.

Hubby and I finished the evening by opening a bottle of champagne that we had been saving for a while. Toasting 16 very happy years being parents to our wonderful children. By far the happiest 16 years of my life :)


Thursday, 12 June 2014

RSPB Old Moor & Horse Riding

Beautiful weather here in sunny yorkshire, we had purchased a group on offer for Old Moor RSPB nature reserve which we wanted to use yesterday but with the washing machine saga we got side tracked! 

The new washing machine arrived this morning leaving us with a free day so we packed a picnic and set off. Bailey chose to stay home and finish revising for tomorrow's exam, which was a shame but totally understandable given how close to the end he is.

The staff at Old Moor are fantastic, so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about which parts of the reserve to see which wildlife. So nice to meet people that enjoy their jobs so much, the lady that helped us today was actually a volunteer and really well informed. 

They have a school of eels in reception which were very cool:

They were only tiny, the lady told us they will eventually go to the River Severn in Bristol when their much bigger.

We were given backpacks containing binoculars, magnifying glass, bug jar with magnifying lid, paper, crayons, and a stethoscope to listen to the trees!

We also got a pond dipping kit for each child so we headed straight for the ponds!

Cordelia, Ruben and Hubby caught between them (although not clear on this photo really!): water mite, Pond skater, Snails, Leech, Dragonfly larvae, Mayfly larvae, Caddis fly, Damselfly:

There are lots of hides around so you can sit and look for different bird species, the first one we came to was the Bittern hide, Bittern's are very rare birds and this is the third year the nesting pair have chosen Old Moor. Sadly we couldn't see them, their notoriously shy birds!

As it was way past our usual lunch time we found one of the many picnic benches to have our lunch. Plenty of time for some sibling photos:

The view from one of the hides, very noisy seagulls here! We were looking for Sand Martins but didn't spot any...

The family hide was my favourite, lots of chairs, a chalkboard and lots of little tables for children. Ruben and I had great fun playing with the stethoscope listening to each other's heart beats and testing it on daddy :) Cordelia took some wonderful photos and Piper got to high level on a game on her phone-teenagers!

Here's Ruben seeing how big his wingspan is:

Putting the paper and crayons to good use, Cordelia actually drew a lovely horse not the wildlife :) and we had this wonderful home ed moment when Ruben drew (he hardly ever draws at the moment sadly) Hawkeye and Black Widow and then wrote their names on the picture with no spelling help!!!!!!! This from the boy who has taught himself to read, write and now spell!! I'm just in awe of the amazing abilities of children to learn things in their own time. Not going to forget that moment EVER, left a wonderful feeling in my stomach...

It was really hot so we headed to the cafe, our voucher for entry which bought from Groupon also included a free hot drink for both adults, so whilst hubby and I indulged our caffeine addiction, the girls and Ruben settled on ice cold cans of pop.

Time for half an hour in the playground:

Our second playground trip this week :)

We left just in time to head to Cordelia's horse riding lesson which due to the fabulous weather was in the outside arena, one very happy girl on her favourite horse :)

A really chilled but fun family day.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Ponies Assemble

We had an interesting start to the morning with 3 power cuts in the space of an hour all thanks to our washing machine which also chose to empty itself on the utility room floor! Old washing machine removed, new machine ordered and should be here by Friday. Dread to think of the washing pile by then but having to wring out a load of very sodden washing has made me feel incredibly lucky I don't have to do it everyday.

Anyway the day improved despite us deciding not to go out for the day and saving it for tomorrow.

A day in the garden for hubby, out garden is quite big and requires lots of work to keep on top of it. All this rain has meant a slug/snail invasion so we have had to use slug pellets to try and save what's left of the veg. Only four pumpkin plants remaining but then that's all we need so fingers crossed they make it to Autumn.

A food shopping trip, new Spider-Man bedding for Ruben and a very chilled house today. The girls and Ruben are very much in a 3 player Minecraft groove at the moment which is lovely, often the girls super close bond doesn't allow for little brothers but this week has been a different story. Lots of Avengers talk, play, cartoon watching and today it even spilled into Cordelia's art work when she did these fab Avenger style ponies:

 How cool are they? I think their fantastic!

Meanwhile Piper has made a start on her new project, she picked up the Doll's House Emporium's Retreat set for a bargain £5 on Sunday morning, it has already been built, albeit not all that well, but not decorated or finished. So she is re gluing and Hubby took her to the craft shop for paint whilst Bailey was at the hairdressers yesterday-multi tasking hubby! She has chose a beautiful blue colour for the outside:

Ruben and I sat and looked through a Horrible Histories Trenches book this afternoon and also discussed the causes of WW1. Some really fab WW1 books from the library, we looked at the map and he pointed out lots of European countries to me whilst we talked about the Allies and Central Powers. Before he bounced back off to the trampoline! He did come and help with tea though, hubby made the kids pizza dough and Ruben rolled it out and put on the toppings:

Bailey meanwhile has been hard at work with his continued revision, he's working so hard and the end is in sight!!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Forge Dam Walk

This morning started early with Bailey having his first maths gcse exam. As he needed to be there early and the sun was out we all decided to get ready and make the most of an early start. We dropped a very nervous looking Bailey off and then headed up to Endcliffe Park. We headed up through the woods with Cordelia and Ruben playing Avengers-Ruben seems to have been rather lucky at the car boot sales and has managed to find a Hawkeye bow and a Captain America shield for £1 each. They have inspired many a game over the weekend.

This is a bag charm full of peas that Piper made last night for her bag, its so sweet:

Lovely views from Shepard's Wheel:

Superhero photoshoot...Daddy fancies himself as Captain America...

Stepping stones!

Everyone safely across including Chub (our nickname for our portly Jack Russell)

Time for a swing in the playground because your never too old..

And a hidden slide

A cup of tea for hubby and I at the cafe and a round of ice creams for the three pesky hobbits, felt a bit guilty that Bailey wasn't eating ice cream with them, thought about it him all morning. We saw lots of wildlife whilst we sat by the water- a Jay, lots of ducks and their baby chicks, two yellow wagtails and on the walk back a heron:

On the way back a huge thunderstorm started, which was quite fun to walk in by the time we got back to the car we were all drenched. We picked Bailey up, he said it was harder than he thought but he thinks he's done okay. Think he is relieved the first one is done, only one more exam to go!

A very wet afternoon indoors, the girls and Ruben watched Disney's Secretariat before playing Minecraft on the Xbox including the purchase of a new skin pack. Bailey has spent the afternoon painting Warhammer before watching the live E3 games conference-he has come downstairs several times to tell me about the exciting new games coming out for Xbox One including Halo 5. At least its taken his mind off the exams.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Friday fun

Friday morning we met up with friends at the mini climbing works, it was very quiet probably due to the glorious sunshine outside. At one point there was only our small group in there, a very chilled out morning with fellow home educators:

Ruben had already attended the monthly home ed climbing session at the Foundry on Monday but he likes having the freedom of bouldering. Here is our little Spider-Man:

Cordelia really enjoys the climbing session and it's great for her leg muscles too, her horse riding instructor has said her legs have been really improving so I think it must be helping. Here she is:

Back home and there was still enough energy for bouncing on the trampoline:

An afternoon of Minecraft, drawing and some TV before we all got ready for my sisters 21st surprise birthday party. Not very often we go out in an evening so it was nice to get dressed up. Was lovely to catch up with family we'd not seen in a long while and to see the kids having so much fun.