Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween 2015

A home day, Cordelia finished off pumpkin cupcakes and spent a lot of time helping hubby and I with face paints. 

Hubby finished off his Hail Hydra pumpkin which we all think looks epic :D

They were all ready from 3pm!

Cute little Spanish fruit carved into jack o lanterns

Lots of selfies!

Hubby and I got into the spooky spirit of things to....

Piper was a very cute witch :D

Our friends arrived and hubby and the other two dads all headed off to do some trick or treating! Managed a group photo before they left!

When they got back in we all had a lovely autumn evening walk to the local village firework show, the fireworks were really cool but my photos are not!

On the way back home we saw the most stunning red moon it looked really big but my iPhone camera made it look so tiny!

Friends stayed till after 9pm and then Ruben was exhausted and is fast asleep, we are all currently sat in pjs watching the cult horror film Nightmare on Elm Street With Piper and Cordelia-they've been dying to watch it for ages so I've relented even though it frightened me as a teenager! They are not as easily scared as their mama thankfully.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Sheffield Winter Gardens

It felt very autumnal this morning with rain, wind and leaves falling everywhere. Cordelia was meeting up with a friend in Sheffield so we all decided to have a trip into town.

It was actually really mild out and once the rain stopped I even had to put my sunglasses on! We had a wander round the shops with Piper adding things to her Christmas list and Ruben looking at Nintendo games. 

We headed to the Winter Gardens to look around the galleries and saw the Sheffield Hallam University students had several displays on including this colossal model of E-Coli:

And a really cool orgami protein sculpture:

Piper and Ruben had fun being super sarcastic in the Ruskin gallery:

And didn't enjoy the new exhibit the Cattelain Collection. It's from the 1960's and 70's and was all about minimal and conceptual art. Both of them voiced their disappointment loudly and in front of the staff *sigh*. Still they did throughly enjoy the light tunnel part, especially when we stood inside it and they got all silly, they do get a bit bonkers when it's just the two of them since they have a similar sense of humour. So at least they got something out of it and art can't please everyone!

We spent ages in Waterstones looking at Manga, history, ghost story, humour and gaming books. Piper spent pocket money on new clothes in the sale :) we met back up with Cordelia and then headed to the supermarket for trick or treat supplies and food.

Back home for some more pumpkin carving, hubby helped Ruben finish his Splatoon squid:

And I carved this teeny tiny Spanish fruit into a Jack o lantern, I really love the classic pumpkin designs!

Everyone super excited for tomorrow :D Cordelia baked some chocolate cupcakes ready to decorate for Halloween.

Thursday, 29 October 2015


We had a lovely day visiting family yesterday, I took the girls and Ruben to see my aunt and uncle, they have children the same age so they had a great day. Ruben and Jess played on the laptops and Minecraft on the Xbox, they had some really cool Greek skins including a snake which Ruben loved! Jess was due after Ruben's due date but is 12 days older than him, their both the youngest of 4 with an older brother and two older sisters in common too. The girls talked Youtubers and music amongst lots of other things with Morgan who is the same age as Piper. 

Lots of flooding across town yesterday but we managed to get home not too late and hubby had made us all tea and cleaned the house whilst we were out!

Today I had to be at the physio's for 8am, dropped a cake off at my friends and had a doctors appointment all before lunch. When I got home Cordelia and Ruben were making a start on their pumpkins. I read there was a bad crop of pumpkins this year and it's certainly been true of the ones we have bought. I had to pick up two more whilst I was out today because two of the four we bought had gone completely rotten inside! Last year we grew our own pumpkin which was really cool, I think we'll do it again next year.

Cordelia attempted the Attck on Titan wings but it went wrong so she improvised and did a creepypasta style face-I think he looks like Jeff the Killer, very spooky...or spoopy as the girls keep saying!

Ruben wanted to do a Zelda Tri-Force symbol, like the one currently drawn on his hand by Cordelia in eyeliner!, but went for a Nintendo Splatoon squid instead. Hubby helped in gauge out the shape and then Ruben finished it, it's not quite done yet.

Piper doesn't want to do a pumpkin this year :( or Bailey :(

Piper has been drawing, sewing a new bow in pastel blue and hubby has tried to get the lovely turquoise out of her hair today. She wants a completely different colour but the turquoise is proving totally stubborn even though it's only a semi-permanent colour. She's a bit fed up its taking so long but hopefully we made a bit of progress with it today. 

Everyone is excited for Halloween and we have friends coming over and a trip to see a Firework show to look forward too. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Baking cakes

Piper had a lovely time at her friends last night, she came home in a lovely mood but I only got to chat for 10 minutes since I took some painkillers for my back and they kind of floored me a bit so I was in bed at 9.15pm!

Felt shocking this morning but we needed to pick my niece at 9.15am and headed to the supermarket. Everything takes twice as long with a toddler in tow, something which I really appreciate now I don't have to deal with it on a daily basis. Thankfully three of us and one of her was just about balanced....

Piper bought icing and a frozen cup cake kit to make her cousin a little tea party. When we got home she got busy making three cakes to turn into Olaf from Frozen-not the easiest of cakes but she did a great job! And Bella loved it as well as the Frozen cupcakes!

Cordelia has been busy finishing off her Titan gear, which is looking fantastic. She's been using some fibreglass and today had to sand it down ready to paint. She drew some fab patterns on my hand earlier so we decided to order some henna cones, they should be here on Thursday!


Ruben has been downloading a new game called League of Legends but it made everything slow on his laptop so he uninstalled it. Think we need to have a think about hard drive capability...

Hubby made pizzas for tea and it was nice to catch up over tea since I've spent a lot of my day crawling on the floor and running around after Bella. 

Hubby, Ruben and I are watching The Moaning of Life with Karl Pilkington which has become one of our new weekly TV favourites.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Half term!

A day home for me, Cordelia and Ruben today. Hubby and Bailey popped out to move furniture for grandparents, a trip to the tip, they dropped Piper off at her friends this afternoon too before circling back for Bailey to get Halo 5, he's been excited for months about it!

This morning Ruben read some of this book he got from last weeks library trip. He says it's a bit sad but he likes it. 

He also made a start on painting his pumpkin head after hubby help him cut out the eyes and mouth. We found the bottom of it wasn't quite strong enough after it got wet with the paint but it's dried okay. 

Cordelia had a morning drawing horse heads, chatting to a new friend online and doing some more of her Titan gear project. Her and Ruben had a long game of Super Smash on the Wii this afternoon before tea.

Piper had a bit of a rough morning with one thing and another, thankfully I had time to sit and have a big chat with her and work out some things that I hope help. Time will tell, being a teenager is tough, so many hormones. She wrapped her friends present and made a card after lunch and even had a bit of time to help me with a sewing project. She's just got home from her friends and had a fab time by the sounds of it. 

Ruben has been playing Minecraft with his online friends this evening. A break from Terraria!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Woods, gingerbread zombies, Pokemon art, photography, and catching up!

I put the photo's on this post on Monday night and can't believe I am only just getting around to writing it up now. All these photo's were just from Monday, we had a really fab homeed Monday this week and we've had a really lovely week.

There's been some really fun moments with all 6 of us this week, which I want to just remember because its easy to lose the little things when things can be stressful and with lots of things going off it can be very stressful! We had a quick, impromptu dance party in our utility room this week with all 6 of us dancing to nothing! It sounds a bit bonkers but that's just how we are sometimes, it was very funny and there has been lots of little moments like that this week-real bottle up moments. We are such a close little family and even though they are all growing up so quickly they are maturing into such funny characters, I know it won't always be like this but I hope we are always this close. They really are the best people I could ever meet.

Right that's enough of my Sunday mushy talk!

Monday was a really fab home ed day, Ruben and I were up early and with Hubby busy working in the room we took over the kitchen for more paper mache, its coming on really well! Then we made a batch of rather yummy gingerbread men.

We iced them into zombies which went a bit wonky when the icing bag exploded on me, Ruben just improvised with that gingerbread man though and filled him with strawberry lace blood bits!

We pretty much finished before the girls had even surfaced out of bed.

Hubby, Ruben and I had watched Sky's Karl Pilkington in An Idiot Abroad a few nights before and there were two US artists who went around New York decorating dog poo. It was funny but pretty gross to be honest but it did give us an idea of doing some photography in the woods.

We have some really beautiful woodland spots around where we live and didn't have to go far to find a lovely spot. The girls wandered a little ahead, both getting some good photo's (I haven't managed to get them uploaded to this laptop yet but will try!) just using nature and its beautiful array of colours and a passing Scottie dog!

Ruben decided to bring props in the form of Pokemon figures and had great fun getting photos of them in different positions...

This was my art work ;)

Tuesday we had a trip to Ikea in Leeds with our niece, it was a lot of fun with a toddler in tow and we spent ages in the playground outside. We only bough some glasses, a new computer chair for Ruben and a gingerbread house ready for December! We popped into Toys R Us and we were in their for ages, Ruben played on the WiiU-he is getting one for his birthday and is very excited. The girls were being really silly taking photos of each other on tiny toys and bikes and I had the fun of running around the store after a toddler pushing a pram.

Wednesday we had friends visit which was lovely, Ruben and M played on the XBOX, the Girls and A watched Attack on Titan and hung out upstairs. I got to have a great business/geeky chat with my friend who also has her own craft business.

Thursday we were supposed to go on a trip but Ruben woke up with barely any voice so we decided to postpone until after half term. So we had a home day instead.

Friday, hubby and I had an early appointment, then we popped with the girls to see great-grandparents. Rushed back for Cordelia to go to the dentist. All four of them had an appointment last week but Cordelia wasn't well enough so she had her check up rearranged. All teeth in great condition as per usual, dental hygiene is so important at this age and we have been visiting the same dentists since before Piper, Cordelia and Ruben were born! We are really missing our last dentist though, he was also a home educator and moved to Australia exactly a year ago, the children have only ever known him so they are taking a while to readjust to the new dentist, but she is lovely. Hubby took Cordelia in whilst I took Piper to the supermarket, when they came to meet us hubby told me the dentist was giggling when he went in with Cordelia. She was looking at Cordelia's record and asked Hubby if some writing was his? In 2005 in Cordelia's occupation he had put "little biscuit muncher"... he can't remember doing it but it is his writing and she was only 3 at the time. Had me giggling but Cordelia is a bit mortified!

Ruben and Bailey have been playing Pokemon together all week, Ruben is loving having his big brother playing 3DS with him so much. They are still working on their PC game together and also have been playing on Bailey's XBOX One together too this week. 

Yesterday we went to Meadowhall to drop the girls off to meet friends and we took Ruben out for lunch, we had lots of talks about YouTube and Ruben's new obsession Terraria. He's been playing it lots with his friends this week and hardly played Minecraft at all which is a big change. He managed to get the download codes for the free Pokemon character from Game for himself and Bailey. We also had a look at WiiU games.

Piper wasn't feeling too well so she ended up coming home a bit early with us, Cordelia wanted to stay with friends and so for the very first time got the tram home all by herself. I picked her up from the tram stop and was really nervous but she text me lots and was so mature about it all. She is growing up so much, she had such a lovely time and was so pleased with herself getting home alone. Its really good for her confidence. Last night I ordered the girls and Ruben travel cards to prove their ages as once they are over 11 they need to prove their age to be able to get cheaper fares on the bus and tram. It will be much easier for them once they arrive and I think we will try and let them use public transport now they are off meeting with friends, not Ruben just yet but I thought I might as well get it ordered at the same time.

Today we were all up and out by 10pm, was funny seeing how early Cordelia got up because of the extra hour, all those years of being up at 4/5am with small children who don't understand the extra hour in bed finally rewarded ha! Bailey wanted to go and spend some of his wages on new clothes and a new Xbox One controller so we headed to a designer outlet not too far away. We all ended up coming back with new pieces of clothing! It was so busy and I've realised that I won't be doing any more shopping at a weekend now as the Christmas rush has definitely kicked in and its just to crazy for us. I came home and did a bit of online Christmas shopping, this time last year I had nearly everything bought and wrapped but barely started this year. Although aside from WiiU games no one has actually asked for much, and toy sales are really not worth me bothering with now no one actually wants toys any more!!!

We had a lazy chicken roast for tea, an early night for Ruben who is shattered. And that is our week in brief! October adding up to be a very busy month so far and hardly any time for blogging!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Home educating in October

It seems ages since I last blogged, hubby, Piper and myself have been really unwell with a nasty flu-type virus. It was a really odd virus, we all had a swollen neck/glands, tender throats, sniffles and a really bad cough. It was a really draining, exhausting virus which left us all with little or no energy. Cordelia started with it this week too and hasn't had a voice since Tuesday-its been very quiet...

On Monday we had a lovely Autumnal walk around Rother Valley Country Park, have to admit to still feeling quite under the weather so it was a bit hard-going but nice to get out.

 Cordelia managed to get a last minute ticket in the evening with a friend to see Dan and Phil: The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire. Dan and Phil are two YouTubers that she has liked for quite a while now, Ruben and Piper are also big fans. She loved it and I think she literally used all of her voice and so by Tuesday morning had nothing left. She hasn't felt well since but I think she would argue it was totally worth it!

Ruben has been busy deciding on a Halloween costume and so he has been busy with papier mache this week. He's not the best at getting his hands dirty I have to say, I think in an ideal world he'd rather someone else do it for him, I think being the youngest of 4 means he is a little bit more indulged than the older three and would quite happily have me doing everything for him. But I did point out that he is going to be 12 in a matter of weeks and I'm sure he could manage to rip some paper and put it in glue! Its funny how sometimes he can be so mature and then other times he almost retreats into being a baby-at least with me. I think its definitely an "I am the youngest" kind of trait. I really can't believe he is going to be 12 in a few weeks time.

Piper has been doing lots of sewing this week and has even started writing, she's been inspired by a lack of fan fiction in her favourite anime so has decided to write it herself. She showed me some of her writing last night and even though I know barely anything about the anime program I thought her writing was really good. She is much happier typing on a keyboard than she is writing with a pen/pencil. She has been doing lots of drawing recently and using the creative colouring in book she bought herself a few weeks ago. She finds colouring in very relaxing. She made a really cute bow out of some felt, which she wore out to Chesterfield today. We've been and bought two big packs of felt from the Range today, their felt packs are so reasonable at £2 a pack and so I imagine we will have some different coloured bows coming soon. She set herself an Etsy shop up and has listed a few of her handmade/sewn items. Really proud of her. On Tuesday we had a trip to the cinema just her and I to see Suffragette, I studied the Suffragettes during my History A Level and its something I've chatted about with Piper quite a lot. She is such a big feminist and we often call her our "justice warror", she really enjoyed the film and so did I, I love Carey Mulligan and Anne-Marie Duff but was a bit disappointed that Meryl Streep was hardly in it at all despite playing Emmaline Pankhurst. Today Piper tried to find some books on the Suffragettes in the library but we couldn't find any, so am going to do a bit of research for her and see if I can find any good ones. Whilst we were out today she bought Bibby the cat a Halloween outfit! Here he is modelling it (somewhat unhappily me thinks!)

Whilst Piper and I were in the cinema hubby took Ruben to a crazy golf course in Sheffield, he's wanted to do it for quite a while now but he was pretty disappointed with it and it was very expensive! It was nice that they had some father/son bonding time though. 

Ruben has been reading this week, he's got some Goosebumps books out of the library today-for some reason he's been really interested in them and also the film which we are planning on watching. 

He's been enjoying the new Doctor Who series and its lovely to sit and watch it together on a Saturday night. He spends so much of his time online now skyping with friends, although since Bailey bought himself a new 3DS last week with his wages, they've spent a lot of time playing Pokemon together-which is really sweet. The age gap means they don't usually spend that much time together, especially with Bailey being at college and working part-time-so its been lovely to see them sat together playing Pokemon. It was Bailey's love of Pokemon that got Ruben into it too, many years ago.

Cordelia has been drawing lots, as usual, and also decorating the house in preparation for Halloween. They get more excited about it than Christmas! So far we have several pumpkin paper lanterns around the room, green & black paper chains and a a garland of Mexican death masks. We really need to get the box out of the garage loft, there's more decorations in there too including last years haunted house.

Anime drawing Cordelia did this week: 

She's also been practising her special effects make up:

I think that is pretty much us all caught up :)

Friday, 2 October 2015

October-the spooky month...

I think really I should have an advent-style calendar for October, because my children get more excited about Halloween than ever every year! Actually that's a good idea, I need to Pinterest that-I'm sure someone will have done one of those! Ruben and I decided last night that we can nearly start watching our favourite Christmas films now its October and also decided to give the Elf on the Shelf thing a go this December-lots of potential craft there for me to be getting on with...

We have had a quiet few home days, apart from a trip to the library which was more to return books than get any more out, second trip to the library in a week suggests it really is Autumn. Finding it harder to find books the girls are actually interested in reading but they did read this book from Chesterfield library:

Both girls read it in under 2 hours and both really enjoyed it, I'm going to put it up on our LGBT book page and their both going to write me a review for it.

I got this lovely book out and had a go at making a Tarte Au Citron, it was really yummy but I forgot to take any photos!

I did get this photo of all the lemons I had to squeeze though:

And it was thoroughly enjoyed by hubby, Cordelia and myself whilst we watched the Great British Bake Off semi-final.

Today after a mammoth house clean/bedding wash/cooker clean and prepping for a roast chicken dinner (so lucky Hubby and I share all the chores, I'd never manage all by myself with 6 of us to cook and clean for, plus the children do at least one chore each a day like emptying the dishwasher or hoovering, there is always so much to do) we headed out to Poolsbrook Country park for a lovely sunshine walk. The weather has been lush this week, my fb timeline reminding me we were on a beach in Llandudno this day last year, you can see that post here: Llandudno October 2014 and five years ago we did a mammoth walk up Kinder Scout Waterfall which you can read about here: Kinder Scout Waterfall Walk 2010. Really want to do that walk again but the children are very reluctant..

Beautiful blue skies today, we even saw a heron flying over the water, although its come out very small in the photo, it was much bigger in real life:

Ruben thought it was a headless swan at first! But turns out to have just been under the water:

Ruben looks SO long in this photo, his clothes fit him really they do-they are actually Bailey's old clothes!!-aged 14! He's so tall..

Making use of the outside exercise equipment, Cordelia was thrilled with me taking her photo:

Meanwhile Ruben didn't mind, he loves the exercise equipment!

Couldn't resist the colour's so had to take this photo. Love Autumn so much.

Back home we sat in the garden chatting about height and hubby got the tape measure out so we could see what height we all were. Ruben is 5ft 2", Cordelia 5ft 4", Piper 5ft 3" (bone of contention that Cordelia is already taller!) and Bailey 6ft 1".

Piper is feeling a bit unwell today with a sore throat, hopefully it will pass and she will feel better soon as we have a busy weekend and it'll be a bit rubbish for her to feel poorly.

Elsewhere there has been Terraria for Ruben-he's spending a lot of time on this game of late, skyping with his friends SD and J. Wii, the new nunchuck has made a big difference! The girls have been planning costumes for Halloween and lots of plans for decorations.