Sunday, 29 May 2016

Botanical Gardens Sheffield

Following on from our walk at Wyming Brook this week and the conversations which followed after the teenage strops stopped we are trying to make a conscious effort to get the children out of the house. Ruben in particular finds it hard to step away from the pc gaming/you tube when we are in the house so we decided to just get them out of the house rather than complaining about it. I can see it stresses him out when we are at home even though he has an unlimited amount of time to play online, at least from early morning until around 9pm, we do insist on him being off the pc for at least an hour before bed. He finds it hard to be in the house and not online and is always just biding his time before he gets back online.

Its very hard as no one really wants to go anywhere much these days, unless there is food on offer! We dropped the girls in town for the afternoon and took Ruben out for lunch followed by a walk around Botanical Gardens, one of our all time favourite places-we've been coming here since before all our babies were born, and it was the first place we brought newborn Bailey. Its very pretty and actually quite serene to say its in the middle of a very busy road, housing estate and university housing.

Here is a silly selfie of the 3 of us!

Why do boys always pull silly faces for photo's?

Ruben's laugh cracked me up here..its such an infectious laugh!

I can't believe how tall Ruben is growing, at this rate he is easily going to overtake 6ft 1" Bailey. He complained his shoes were hurting whilst we were out and it turns out his feet have grown another full size in only 8 weeks-he's now the same show size as me at a 7!!! His legs seem to be endless..

He's doing that awkward boy photo in this picture!

We had a walk in the huge Victorian greenhouse and as always spent most of our time discussing the cactus plants and how different they all are:

We love this Australian flower that we think looks like a dinosaur head:

We had ice creams before heading back home. I picked the girls up a bit later from the tram stop and we all sat in the garden, Loki missed the girls too and looks like he is listening to all their news in this photo, utterly captivated:

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wyming brook Sheffield

After a few days of rest and patiently waiting for my voice to come back, we were all a bit cabin fever-y. Comic cons can be really long weekends and whilst its nice to recover its also nice to get outdoors and in the sunshine. My voice took several days-nearly a week!- to come back and both myself and Piper have felt pretty rubbish all week. Germs courtesy of Bailey via college-will be glad when he breaks up for the summer!

But I made a picnic and literally dragged three children away from smartphones and laptops-they must have flat finger tip pads by now surely?!- to beautiful Wyming Brook where we haven't visited in a few years. The first section of the walk is right by the water/waterfalls its quite noisy and you have to watch where you are stepping as its really rocky/muddy. Its quite a workout!

It was Loki's first walk somewhere like this and being the fluff monster that he is, he didn't enjoy it at all. We had been thinking of getting him clipped shorter for summer anyway and after this walk we made our mind up that he definitely needs to lose his coat at least for the summer. He spent the whole walk trying to get small twigs out of his fluff whilst actually succeeding in getting way more in his fur.

Cordelia had a big teenage strop, which caused a falling out and as well as Piper and I suffering with our sore throats/cough/cold we both had bad hayfever. So whilst the scenery was absolutely stunning-couldn't fault it at all, our moods not so much. Still, such is life when parenting teenagers!

Piper carrying Loki across the stepping stones:

The beautiful scenery:

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Manchester Film & Comic Con

If you are a regular reader you will know that hubby and I run our own business which has slowly evolved over the years and now we sell hand printed mugs online and at comic cons. We love doing the comic cons and meeting lots of new people and quite a few of the same people too haha! Its always fun to talk to cosplayers and other stall holders, I really love talking to people, I'd say talking is up there with one of my favourite hobbies tbh! 

Sadly I started feeling a bit rubbish the day before con as we were setting up the stall and had a really sore throat Saturday morning, by the late afternoon my voice had pretty much gone :( I still had a fab weekend and met lots of interesting people despite being unable to do more than whisper all day on Sunday! Cordelia came with us on the Saturday in cosplay as a character called Nanaba from Attack on Titan. She managed to meet up with a friend from a previous comic con earlier in the year (who also coincidentally is home ed too!) so she had a great day hanging out and having her photo taken. 

Here she is in full costume, I didn't manage to get a photo of her but thankfully a photographer took this one of her for me. She is currently working on a new cosplay for some up and coming comic cons.

She has been testing them out and came downstairs in Titan Eren make-up (again from Attack on Titan)

and then again later in make up for her Mettaton cosplay (from a game called Undertale):

She got a lot of love online for her Mettaton cosplay make-up so think that is what she has chosen to make next.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Meeting Andy Biersack/making dreams come true for a BVB fan!

I suppose in a house of alternative education  there was always a chance that the children were going to be alternative in some way or another. That is definitely the case for our two daughters! Since the age of around 10/11 Cordelia has always wanted to be more goth/emo and that has also filtered into her love of music. Both girls have such fantastic music taste, they are rarely without headphones at any time and I was the same as a teenager. How wonderful to have a soundtrack to your everyday by plugging in your headphones-no matter that mum has been shouting for 5 whole minutes that tea is ready or that she has to come upstairs to get you making you jump because you don't hear her come in the room-I'm sometimes at bit jealous at the opportunity to block everything out with the sounds of great music.

Cordelia has been into a band called Black Veil Brides for several years now, you might remember photos of her on the blog in recent years with her "war paint" on. She always got lots of looks, not always in the friendliest way either but thankfully couldn't give two hoots what anyone thinks of her, a quality I greatly admire in her. She has always been happy with who she is in that moment. Back in March I saw that the lead singer of BVB was doing a solo tour as Andy Black and coming to Sheffield's The Leadmill so I had to book her tickets.

She spent quite a while drawing a picture of him (well I say a while but I mean half an afternoon!) she drew him using her Spectrum Noir markers that she got for her birthday. I think it came out really well....

I'm a bit rubbish at going out at night I have to admit, I am such a homebody! And I always get a bit nervous before going to gigs but it was such a lovely atmosphere. Here is a before "selfie" (I look SO tired and it was only 7.30pm)

It wasn't that busy inside and we were lucky to get really close to the front of the stage and watch the support band Creeper. Cordelia looks way to grown up in this photo...

Look how close we were! 

Cordelia was desperate to wait outside for him, and despite the rain I said we could wait for a little while. First I said half an hour, then an hour, then an hour and a half... he finally came out at 12.15am!

Cordelia got to meet all of the band Creeper who had photos with her and were so friendly and chatted to the girls that were still left standing. There were around 30 when we first started and there ended up being less than 10 by the time he came out. His manager was a bit grumpy saying no photos but Andy was lovely when he came out and Cordelia got to chat to him for a few minutes, he said he picture was brilliant and happily signed it for her, he also used her pen to sign another girls's poster but not before he asked Cordelia if it was okay. I don't think anyone will ever be able to use that pen again ever. I managed to get this photo of him signing her picture.

She was SOOOOO happy that she literally cried all the way home. I feel so happy for her that she has had the experience of meeting one of her favourite musicians and that he was so nice and friendly. She is, and to be honest always has been, so determined to do things and she has an ability of making things happen because she really puts herself out there. I really admire that about her and I'm so pleased that a part of my job is facilitating these things happening. Definitely a memory for both of us that will last a long time!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Positive Moments from this week 8/5/16

Positive moments from this week:

The sun came out-hurrah!

The children left the house to walk over 3 miles in the previously mentioned sunshine and enjoyed it! They all looked a bit "pink" afterwards as there ghostly pale skin reacted to the outside world/fresh air/sunshine/lack of wifi

New friends were made by Ruben and Cordelia-lovely to see/hear

Piper did some excellent upcycling with a denim waistcoat from the charity shop as well as other smaller sewing projects and another go with the resin-still coming out stretchy though instead of hard?! Must google it when I have a chance.

Had one on 2:1 time with all three of them this week, Ruben at mini golf/mcdonalds on Tuesday. Piper at Meadowhall yesterday and Cordelia in town today. Rare.

For at least 20 minutes today all four children sat in the garden with us, without being requested too and we laughed and chatted and all played with the puppy. Talked about a family holiday together later in the year-all 6 of us!! Would really love that :))
Only managed to get 3 of them in the photo :(( but Cordelia did take a lovely selfie with me today :D

The henna was finally put to some use, by Cordelia on her hand:

Played a new family game! Artificium, it's not too long thankfully but interesting. The peeps even did some television-worthy poses when I took some photo's ;)

Did I say the sunshine? I'm saying it again because its been so lovely :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, KAWS Exhibit

We successfully managed to get all three of the children/teenagers out of the house and into the sunshine. Good job we didn't tell them it was going to involve anything more than just "wandering" around the sculpture park haha!

I had seen some of the Kaws sculptures on instagram so was pretty intrigued by them. They gained mixed opinions from all of us, I thought they were pretty cool actually if a little bizarre. We walked right up to the Long Gallery on the top of the hill, which is something we haven't done for years. We even had a picnic on our way up.

We had a wander around the gallery-it's only small really- used the toilets and the children decided ice creams were in order as a reward for them leaving the house!!

Piper liked this Kaws sculpture the most-probably because its pink!


I liked this one!

Ruben looks ridiculously loooong in this photo...

Three lesser spotted pesky hobbits! They are nearly all the same size now, how did that happen?

I really loved this, it looked like ice. Look at those blue skies!

This was setting off on the walk with a very excited puppy..

More of Kaws sculptures...

I thought they looked a bit like Mickey Mouse? But the kids thought that was very funny and told me about the skull/crossbones and then I got it....still think it looks like Disney characters though

After the Long Gallery, we decided to walk the entire loop, something we used to do all the time when they were all much smaller. I'm sure at one point I even had the pram when we first started coming here. As you get to the top of the hill there are some lovely views and we sat and watched the wind blowing the grass across the fields for quite a bit, it was quite therapeutic, it looked like the sea :-)

The bluebells in the woods looked stunning though:

We we all trying to use our smartphones/cameras to get good pictures hence Cordelia's hand in this photo!

Ruben, Cordelia and Loki being silly!

The steps back down, think there are 71 and part of an exhibit by David Nash (I think?) We even saw some home ed friends on our walk back! Was nice to catch up with them as its been a while.

We stopped for a drink and just to enjoy the sunshine for a bit longer before heading home. 

Here are some of our previous visits to the sculpture park:

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The weekend, saying goodbye to the Lego..

A weekend of sorting through, clearing out books no longer read, making room for new books, putting some old favourites away for future grandchildren?!

After hubby and I had a trip alone to Ikea yesterday (and a lovely cooked breakfast in the cafe!) We had a talk about a new bed for Ruben to give him more space for a larger desk/pc area. We came home with a new office chair for him, new desk for Cordelia (she had a table in her room before so the desk seems smaller but much tidier and looks better with her black bedroom theme) new plates and glasses. Then we started sorting through Ruben's room, which was a good bit of a distraction from some online unpleasantness. He decided to take out the Lego collection along with two ikea cube storage units. The Lego collection is actually a family collective and began when Bailey, now only a month away from being 18-eeek, was 4/5 years old. Hubby put it in huge plastic tubs and Bailey decided to get as many of the mini figures out as he could find to make a display in his room. Now it's all away in storage awaiting for future grandchildren? ! We can't possibly sell it as it means too much. I feel really quite sad about it but I'm trying to picture my future grandchildren getting excited seeing their "parents" old toys and that gives me quite a nice, warm feeling. Of course there maybe no grandchildren and I'm fine with that too! Then it can be upto the children what they want to do with it.

The house always feels better when we've had a sort out, we do accumulate a lot of things.

We sat and watched X-Men Days of Future Past last night after home cooked-and rather delicious-chicken birianyi followed by a Saturday treat of Krispy Kremes, a family favourite.

This morning was an early start, Hubby and Bailey off to the car boot. Whilst Loki, who is used to hubby's company in a morning, woke Ruben and I up with his barking. It's funny as I'd read a really great blog post last week about a home schooled dog and it really struck a chord with me. Loki has hardly been left much at all in the four months we've had him. He is fussed, loved, cuddled and has someone to play with pretty much all the time. He doesn't even like it if we are in another room without him so it's understandable that he gets upset when he knows we are upstairs. On Friday when we were all out at the cinema watching Civil War he was left for 4 1/2 hours by himself, he didn't make any mess and was SO excited to see us. Ruben did go back to bed to bed for a bit and I got to enjoy a cup of tea in peace and quiet.

Hubby and I took Loki for a big walk this morning then he and Ruben played on the WiiU. Piper has started with hayfever this week and was feeling a bit rubbish despite an antihistamine but she had plans with her friend so put a brave face on. We dropped her off with her friend for a few hours, whilst I did some sewing, Ruben finished his Yoshi's Woolly World which he was really pleased about.

Cordelia has been drawing new designs for her Etsy shop and also practising with her new watercolours. This is what she painted:

I love it.

I had a really good morning in the kitchen making a sugar free granola and these delicious sugar free glo bars. I'm looking forward to eating sugar free again next week after a few treats this weekend. 

Sunday has finished up with homemade pizzas, sugar free pasta sauce packed with veg and wholewheat flour so not feeling too guilty ;)