Monday, 30 November 2015

Ruben turns 12

Twelve years ago this gorgeous boy arrived into our home (literally-he was born at home haha) and has been making us laugh ever since. He is such a loveable, energetic, intelligent, kind and funny boy and we love the bones of him. 

Today we've had a very chilled out day at home. We were all up at 7am to watch him unwrap presents and he's been playing on his highly anticipated WiiU ever since!




It's the first birthday bar hubbys and mine we've been home for this year since we went to Cornwall for Cordelia's birthday and Paris for Bailey's. It was lovely to just play on the WiiU and bake his cake. Bailey had college but we all had breakfast together- bacon bagels at Ruben's request. The girls, despite being made up with cold have played lots of Mario Kart and Super Smash with him and Cordelia took this photo of them together:


How most of the day has been spent:


I did have to talk him out of a chicken cake?!?!? No idea where that came from! And instead he opted for the Team Fortress 2 Medic cake, had to replace real strawberries for haribo ones as he doesn't like fruit!




He's had a lovely day. He chose fajitas for tea and we've had cake for dessert whilst watching I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!


I've even put the Christmas tree up but not quite feeling festive just yet. Maybe it will come later?


Friday, 27 November 2015

Nottingham Video Game Arcade, Ruben's birthday

Since we had our first visit here in July this year Ruben has been wanting to return with his dad and big brother. We knew Bailey would especially enjoy since he is studying game design at college. As its only open Friday-Sunday we had a trip for Ruben's birthday a bit early, which meant Bailey could come too. It was lovely to have a family day out with all six of us, pretty rare these days, I have to say. I was up early and manged to fit in my Pilates class first-its making such a big difference to my back pain combined with the acupuncture and also I'm feeling so much happier in myself. Wish I'd done it ages ago now.

We managed to get parked in the NCP near the NVA which was good as they have a special deal with them and means the parking cost only £4.50 instead of £18! As it was nearly lunch time when we arrived we headed for lunch, which was Ruben's choice of Macdonalds-possibly the busiest Mcds ever!! But meant that by the time we arrived at the NVA we were all ready to play video games! The staff as usual were really friendly and helpful and it was pretty quiet so we got to play on everything.


First up was the mission control game, which mainly Bailey won us all at!


I lost all five of them in this room for quite a bit too!


Ruben and I showed the girls and Hubby how to play this game which they thought was brilliant. You use household items like a toothbrush to block the projected cars which are controlled by xbox controllers. It's great fun


Ruben has excitedly been awaiting his new WiiU for his birthday, so appreciated another opportunity to practice on this one with Super Mario Maker-a game which he has asked for. We have always been a huge fan of Nintendo consoles in this house.


Quite a lot of things have been moved around in the NVA and Ruben was excited to try this new rodeo bull style game. He lasted 45 seconds which was pretty good! I declined a turn...


The games are much easier to play now and there is a lot more space since the move around, I thought a lot more opportunity to play more games than last time we visited. Piper loved the mario kart cycling!


Cordelia had a go with the snowboard and thought it very funny!


I like this room, it had huge comfy beanbags and a screen that changed and played very chilled out music. Ruben is stood in front of the screen..


They all played lots of games together in all of the rooms, so there was lots of going up and down the big staircase! Piper was hooked on a game called Polybridge, which is now on her Christmas list. You have a budget and have to build a bridge across a river, its really intricate and quite addictive. We all ended up having a go at it. Hubby had a fantastic time reliving all his childhood favourite games including the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga, he kept disappearing off for ages and found more and more games he used to play! Ruben and I loved the Avengers arcade game and it turns out I'm pretty good at "button-mashing" as Piper calls it and won everyone on that game!


The Minecraft room is now on the top floor and is even bigger than on a previous visit. All four children wanted to play on Minecraft, even though no one really plays it at home anymore. They were the only four playing on it and I got to have a much needed rest on the big comfy sofas. They played for the whole hour and had such a laugh playing Hunger Game's mini games!



Be great to have a computer room this size at home! We stayed until closing and Ruben is already desperate to go back again. We found out whilst we were having a coffee in the Toast bar that Bailey has been accepted for one of the three Universities he has applied for!!!! Great news, we are all so proud of him and it just shows that qualifications aren't everything because he definitely doesn't have all the GCSE's required having been home educated for 7 years. He is waiting to hear back from his other two choices as they require portfolio's but since his UCAS application has only been in for 5 days its a really good start. College have also put his name forward for work experience with a Games Design company, only him and one other student have been approached so again he is thrilled. One day we could be at the NVA playing on a game Bailey has designed :D

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bring Me The Horizon

Finally took Cordelia to see her first live gig, her and Piper have loved Bring Me The Horizon for such a long time and we had a total nightmare getting the tickets a few months ago. Pier doesn't enjoy live music however, she gets quite anxious in big crowds so I took Cordelia. Thankfully, they weren't playing too far from us. We bought our tops from their Sheffield store all ready to be total fan girls!

I felt a bit old stood in the queue with all these young, cool kids but I actually loved it. I'm so glad that her first gig was to such a cool band, its my genre of music too. Hubby and I always said the children will have such diverse music tastes because we have too and they have always been surrounded by lots of different music genres. I love that the band are from the same city as us too! Sheffield is a bit of a hot spot for cool bands..

#selfiebeforethegig

One of Cordelia's favourite songs, the lyrics on the back of her shirt.


I took a few photos but mainly I just enjoyed listening to the live music. The support bands were really good too. We stood quite close to the back as neither of us was up for moshing haha. 



#gigselfie

Cordelia thought it was so cool that she had met the Lead Singer Oli back in August at the comic and had his signature and also his wife's. These two photo's have pride of place in each of the girl's bedrooms!



We didn't get home until midnight as we had some sneaky fries from the Macdonalds drive through. Cordelia thought it was so exciting going for a drive-through at 11.30 at night. We had such a fun night and I'll always remember it. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Birmingham MCM Comic Con November 2015

Another day another Comic Con! This time in Birmingham, Hubby took Cordelia and the boys to this con back in March whilst Piper and I were with my mother in law at a different exhibit in the NEC. They had such a great day and really wanted to go again. It was huge, by the far the biggest one we have ever been too, and Hubby said even bigger than when he went in March which just shows how much more popular comic cons are getting here in the UK. We are way behind the U.S. and don't attract nearly as many celebrities as the American cons. 

Cordelia has been working on her Attack on Titan Eren Jaeger cosplay for months, hubby has helped her out with the 3dmg gear (the silver boxes!) which will mean nothing to those of you who haven't watched Attack on Titan. She looked amazing, I'm so proud of her, she's so determined when she starts a project and likes it to be as close to the real thing as possible. She got SO many compliments it was like walking around with a celebrity! She was even featured in Monday night's Birmingham Mail! Along with several other cosplays the link is here! if you want to read it.



Piper finally got an opportunity to wear her beautiful Angelic Pretty (Lolita brand!) skirt and got lots of admiration on her whole outfit, she looked beautiful. We took Cordelia's friend with us too and he and Ruben had a great time chatting Pokemon!


We even caught a glimpse of Liv Tyler! The queue to see her was huge and unfortunately Cordelia didn't get round to finishing the picture of her she was doing. As it was going to cost £45 to have it signed we really wanted something more personal than just a photo so we decided to leave it. She is stunningly beautiful in real-life, with the most gorgeous hair. 


We spotted a slenderman!


Piper was beyond excited to find Gloomy Bear on one of the Japanese stalls. I had never heard of him but Piper was thrilled. He was a bit pricey but apparently worth every penny, Cordelia and I got a sneaky picture with him whilst Piper was in the toilets.


Here's Piper in full Lolita with Gloomy Bear, looking very grown up :)


The girls were so excited to see so many Japanese stalls and Cordelia came home with Eren and Levi (AOT) plushies. Ruben found a huge Pokemon stall selling just the Pokemon he has been looking for for ages-Flygon! He was thrilled.

It was a bit of an expensive day-big comic cons always are! But we had such a great time and met some lovely people, the costumes as always were amazing, here are a few pictures:





Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mersey Con 2015

Life has been so busy of late that I have again, gotten behind on my blogging. We've done some great things just in the last week so I'm going to attempt to catch up.

Saturday we had a table with our new business venture at Mersey Con in Liverpool, we woke to snow and high winds unfortunately! Thankfully it was only a dusting and we managed to get there just fine, passing over the M62 (Which is the highest motorway in England) which looked very scenic with its snow covered peaks. I got a few pictures but there not great due to being out of the car window at 70mph!



Cordelia had dressed in her Toy Bonnie from Five Nights at Freddy's cosplay and made friends within about 10 minutes of being there so we didn't see much of her all day, except for food pit stops! Piper was my very glamorous assistant for the day and our new stall selling handmade things went down really well. She did unfortunately have a panic attack at one point but considering how busy it was I'm so proud of how she dealt with it all. She was such a big help.  


Cordelia as Toy Bonny!


I talked her into the cosplay competition-she's normally too nervous to enter-but so glad she braved up because she came second! She was thrilled. She won a Star Wars Angry Birds Plushy and a big bag of candy floss.


Ruben was a bit bored as he didn't get dressed up but he was helpful on the stall and Hubby and I both took him around to see things, they had a great Lego display on including the Home Alone house and the Titanic.



We had a really fun day but it was pretty tiring, we got home just after 7pm and were all a bit shattered. Cordelia was still on a Cosplay-high!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Hormones, nearly-birthdays and home ed life in Novemeber

We've had a mostly home week, mainly due to the fact we will be out at two different comic cons his weekend (so expect some photo heavy posts ahead..) We popped into town on Tuesday for me to buy a new dress and Cordelia to buy contacts for her costume...I know she is supposed to be 16 but I'm not going into battle over it. Pick your battles with daughters...really... Piper had an opticians appointment as she has been having lots of headaches which we suspect is eye strain..another sore point-too much iphone time! She needs a stronger prescription so we will pick them up next week whilst Cordelia and Ruben are having their eye tests done, they couldn't fit everyone in on the same day. Probably for the best as it used to take over two hours when all four children were in for tests.

Its been a week of lots of hormones, I always find November a tricky month with Ruben, he gets so excited about this birthday on the 30th and then there is the build up to Christmas that it all gets a bit much. Add on to that the obvious hormones that he is dealing with and its all a bit of a roller coaster ride. If he had been born on his due date his birthday would have been yesterday!

The girls have been getting along brilliantly this week though, they have spent so much time together and even now I can here them laughing in Piper's room. The downsides of them getting along so well is that it does make Ruben feel a bit lonely, well that and the sheer about of noise they make when together-deafening. Ruben is hardly seeing any of his real life friends now, which doesn't actually bother him anymore since he has several friends on skype who he plays with daily now. I do get a bit fed up with all the fallouts and drama caused by online games I have to admit and Skype is starting to feel like a dirty word in this house for me. I know it has so many benefits but I feel like 75% of my year has been sorting out Skype arguments/fallouts/misunderstandings and its quite infuriating.

I'd very much like to unplug everyone from the internet some days and miss the home ed days of playing board games and curling up on the sofa to watch a documentary together. Still I always try and enjoy the next stage we are at, we have been watching "I'm a celebrity" with Ruben as he is a big fan of Ant and Dec. We only watched it because there was a rumor that Karl Pilkington was going to be in there and Ruben has been very much enjoying his series on Sky One. I can see Ruben being like Karl when he grows up-he can be quite a grump! I haven't watched I'm a celebrity for years but have to admit to finding it quite funny this year and Ruben thinks its very funny. I have booked us a little break for Piper's birthday and we are very much looking forward to that as life is incredibly busy at the moment with this being our busiest season for business. Being self-employed at this time of year is incredibly pressured and busy but seem to just be managing..

I finally gave in on Monday and booked an acupuncture appointment for my back, it has been really taking its toll on me for the last few months and I'm in constant pain. Whilst it hasn't taken away all the pain, it has left me feeling lighter and much happier. Today I went to my first pilates class, which should really help in the long run but its brought all the pain back right now, unfortunately.

Home Education wise, in between all the hormones- we have been back on IXL, Cordelia has been building her cosplay for Sunday. It is a pretty big costume build and she is very excited (read loud, very loud!) Piper has been reading books on haunted houses in Britain, drawing and planning her lolita outfit for the weekend.Ruben finished all the Zelda books he bought in London and has re-read them all again too! :) He has finally finished his hama bead picture which worked much better after buying new peg boards. He created a pixel art background for them to go on too. 



Cordelia has again earnt herself money through drawing commissions and has also produced this beautiful Arwen picture which we are hoping will be signed by Liv Tyler on Sunday as she is a special guest.



Cordelia finally got the haircut she has been after for ages and I gave in, after years of persuading, and she now has black hair too! Piper is currently a very pretty shade of pinks and lilacs. The girls couldn't be any further away in their preference for colours really, they are very individual. Even Ruben is asking for dyed hair now *sigh* but I'm not giving into that one just yet...



By the end of the month we will have a 12, 13 and 14 year old as well as a 17 year old. Which is a bit scary. Only one more year and we will have four teenagers, gulp. That sounds more scary.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Camden Market, The British Museum, Covent Garden, Leicester Square & Piccadilly Circus!

Last weekend we had a very early start to head into London for the day, I was surprised to find we had not visited since March this year! We wanted to visit Camden Market which is somewhere none of us, even hubby and he's been to London quite a few times more than us in his previous job!-have been to. We knew the girls would particularly enjoy it, they both love clothes and anime.

We managed to get there and parked before 10am, hubby drove us down in just under 3 hours and we managed to get free parking again! We parked between Camden and the area near the British Museum so we wouldn't have as far to walk. Or at least this is always the idea and then we get to London and always walk way longer than we plan. There is just so much to see and it is always such a fascinating place! Bailey even came with us for the day which was lovely.






We thought Camden was really cool, although it was so busy! We knew it would be but not as much as it was. So many foriegn tourists speaking French, Spanish and I overheard several American and Australian accents. It was too busy for Bailey and he really didn't like the crowds. We did see some cool shops though and Cordelia's friend had told us to visit Cyberdog. We managed to find it thanks to Google maps but it was a bit of a bonkers place to be honest, it was like going into a rave. Something which I have never done by the way, since my late teens were spent being a mum and not going out to clubs! I definitely couldn't work in that shop, I would have daily migraines and I bet the music never leaves you it is so loud! I sound really old I know... the outside was cool though and it was definitely an experience....




Cordelia was excited to find a shop selling lots of Attack on Titan merch, she bought herself a t-shirt and then Piper found an Alpacasso shop! She bought herself a small one and then we later found another one selling the huge ones! They are quite cute.



The horse tunnels were really different and we even spotted a stall of an artist who was across from us at Sheffield Comic Con, he was a really nice guy and I'm glad to see he is doing well with his new business venture.



We managed to grab some lunch on the go and headed towards the British Museum. We spent a lot of time in the Egypt area and talked to Ruben about the Rosetta stone and the mummies. Piper used to be completely fascinated by ancient Egypt and her and Ruben had a really sweet moment sat in front of some hieroglyphics whilst she explained it to him. She told him how she learnt to draw her own name in hieroglyphics too.






We had a coffee outside and sat and watched the world go by for a while. Then we headed down to Forbidden Planet, which is always high on our list of shops to visit! Ruben bought three Zelda anime books and the girls and Bailey saw lots of things but didn't buy anything. Then we headed to Covent Garden, unfortunately we missed the Christmas lights going on by a few days which was a shame!We did see the big tree all set up and I got a photo of it but its not the same without the lights on. We popped into Tokyo Toys for more Anime-lots of things going on Christmas lists here :)



Then we headed to Leicester Square and sat and had tea, which was a picnic from Tesco. Even though it was dark and after 5pm it was still really busy with lots of people. There was a guy blowing huge bubbles in Piccadilly circus and the girls and Ruben thought he was brilliant. We headed back to the car and I drove home in just under 3 hours. We must have done quite a few miles because on Monday I felt like I'd been walking on my ankle bones the previous day!