Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Camping success.

Last weekend we ventured out on our first camping trip as a familt of five. Armed with our new to us six man tent and a carfull of camping papaphernalia off we went to Milton Keynes.
Arrived at the campsite in the pouring rain and it didn't stop. John and I got soaked getting the tent up. Col and Marley arrived just as we were putting the last few guy rope on. I swear they were parked up somewhere watching us the get the thing up.
The place we stayed was called Grove Lock Marina. It was ideal, plenty of space for the kids to run, they allowed ball games and best of all there was a little shelter complete with fire, picnic table, chairs, wood and coal with a note saying help ourselves, which we did. Dad and Lynsey turned up later to their caravan.
We tried the contain the kids in the tent but in the end it was easier to suit and boot them in waterproofs and wellies and let them run off steam which they did for most the evening. The shelter and fire was a Godsend and we made the most of it. Cooking our tea of hotdogs and soup followed by hot chocolate and toasted marshmellows. Apart from me thinming I would squash Iz on the airbed and the air bed having a hole. We all slept well.





Bletchley Park was the plan for the next day. So Col and I managed to cook a cooked breakfast for everyone on two ringed stove. The weather seemed better, so we packed a picnic and off we went.
Bletchley was ok, but it was dull for the kids. Marley is really into war and there hardly anything that interested him. There was lots of reading but it didn't relate tot he children even though we told them the interesting bits. There wasn't a lot of sfuff to look at either. It was disappointing.





Friday, August 04, 2017

Take a breath

As much as I love the children being at home and me not working, the novelty is starting to wear off. I think it is the noise and the mess. We have never been a completely tidy house, but the toys scattered around at the moment. I have imposed a nightly tidy up before a film then bed.
Heading camping next week which will be a change of scenery. I do love them being at home and spending time with them, I just could do with a few mintues of peace.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Stanwick Lakes

On Sunday before we picked up the tent we visited Stanwick Lakes, near Kettering. It wasn't a place I had heard of before,but we would definitely be going again.
It start off with it is free, apart from the car park charge of £5.50, which is great. There is an enormous wooden play area, with a little stream running at the bottom of it, which had stepping stones. There is a water play bit, with pumps, puddles, pipes and dams. As well as that there is a small sand bit for younger children. There are also tunnel slides which if you go down you end up in a big puddle at the bottom.

Before we ventured into the playarea we took a short walk area the lakes. Blackberries were ready so the kids picked and eat them as we went. We came across some interesting scuptures as well as a some assult course. Even though there is a cafe we took a picnic and despite the rain, had it under a tree. Than had a go on the assult course which was a lottle big for my three. After we headed back to the play area and after a much need coffee and ice cream the kids dived in and splashed about until they were almost unrecognisable and covered in water, sand and mud. Taking spare clothes is a most, as are wellies for parents if you are not a fan of getting your feet wet.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Let the camping begin. Thank to Shpock

So the camping bug returns. John and I did it loads, but a few trips with a baby grumpy James out us off. Apart from in the garden or at other people houses.
However, I've been itching to get a tent and try and again.
This is what we have brought. Vango, Colorado 600. It is a monster. I managed to get it for £50 from Shpock seconded. We pick it up on Sunday, I'm hoping it is in good nick. So looking forward to our trip.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Rainy day

Rain and the cold has put playing in the paddling pool on hold so for something different to entertain the kids had a go at cake decorating.
I mixed a few different colours up. Minecraft colours for James and pink for Pen, gave them cutters, rolling pin and let them go.
These are the results.


They tasted great too.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer fun.

As we took our main holiday at Easter, we are staying much closer to home during the holidays.
Today we tried some of the free things which are in Sleaford. First we ventured to the National craft and design centre. Every Tuesday they have a family workshop based on dressing up. This week it is millinery. Penny (James was ill) was able to design and created her own hat, she based it on pink (see below).
Then we had lunch followed by a trip to the library to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. The children have to read 6 books over Summer, along the way they get smelly stickers and at the end a medal. We also found out that esch morning the library does junk modelling, which we will try and get to next week. Then we headed to the park for a play. All in all a very good day. Looking forward to next week.
Pennys hat, but not her jacket, they had dressing up clothes.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sleepy Penny

The heat got a little too much for Penny and she fell asleep during her story. Busy day school, park then a walk and ice cream followed by a splash about inthe pool.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day 2 Legoland

After a great nights sleep and feeling refreshed by a fantastic buffet breakfast, and with Izzy with us, we headed back to Legoland for day 2.
The idea today was to chill out do the splash play bits, the models and the shows. Which is more or less what we did.
After the Star Wars Lego models which were very impressive. We headed straight away (a few miss started invovling missing shoes, and new pants) to splash play as we though people would do that at the end of the day. It was great, swimsuits on all three loved the smaller water area, even Izzy braved putting her foot on a spout. We headed up to the larger, splashier site. It was too much for Iz, my fault as we got caught in the bucket that tips water everywhere, I shielded her with me body but she stil, go splashed. John took her back to the little one. Penny and James braved the small green side but the others were too big. It was too splashy for them. Children were fighting water cannon in their faces so we left and went back down.
We saw a puppet show about Cinderella which Penny and Izzy enjoyed. Despite it being a Saturday the fairytale bit was quiet and we went on the duplo train and a fairytale boat ride, balloon ride, hot air ride and the horses, all of which Izzy was allowed on. We also had a play on the play area and an ice cream to cool down. Izzy was getting tired so she had a nap and we looked around all the lego models, which were very impressive and what .i think Legoland is all about. We watched a Heartlake show again. James wanted to go on Ninjago again, so we headed back. Again, as it was getting late there was hardly any queues. James was bouncing ul and down in the queue he was so excited. The last ride we visited was the spider spin carts, which I didn't like.
Again we had another fab day. I'm please we booked 2 days. I don't think you can do it in 1 day and I would have been disappointed in the things we managed to see. The hotel was fantastic, right near the aiport, so we could watch the planes.
It was helpful that my kids were a delight to take out. We left happy, tired and with lego to build.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything was awesome.

Have had a fab few days at Legoland. Wasn't too sure what to expect as I hate queues, people, paying for expensive food, the normal stuff you get with theme parks. But I/we loved it. LOVED IT.
We arrived for 10am, and walked in as we had paid tickets. We went go straight on the rapids, which was my favourite. We headed straight to Ninjago rides as that was what James wanted to do most. Straight onto the Destiny Bounty, followed by a short wait to get onto the important Ninjago ride. This is a cart on a track which moves onto 3d area where you zap bad guys by waving your arms around like crazy. It was OK but I missed quite a bit as it scared Penny and she hid.
Also high up on James list was Nexo knights, by this time it was starting to get a bit busy, but was waited about 20min for each ride there. Again Penny wasn't keen but she kept going on them like a trooper.
After a picnic lunch, we headed to the Pharaoh rides, which John enjoyed the shooting one. I definitely didn't like the bouncing beetle thing.
By this time it was getting on and the bus trips were starting to head home, yay. The place quieted down and the next series of ride we walked straight on. Penny was beginning to get tried but she perked up on the horses. Missed out on the balloons due to a loo stop, but caught the end of a Heartlake show which she said was really good.
The submarine ride was a suprise, as I was expect lego fish not a whole aquarium which sharks. Lego city provided the last few ride which was Pennys favourite. The car driving. She was so pleased to get her licence. I even purchased a fake licence with her and James picture on it. She went on it three time, trying out different colour cars, apparently blue is the best to drive. She even wanted to drive home.
We also had a go on the fire engiune ride. It puffed me out pumping to move the engine then and so James could out out the fire.
We didn't get out of the car park before both were alseep in  the car.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Legoland here we come.

We are off to Legoland on Friday. James has been perate to go for years but we put it off because Penny was too small for the rides, then we have Iz and have the same problem.
Luckly, Kate lives not too far away and she is having Iz, meaning we might get around everything a bit easier.
I managed to find a offer, two day in the park and a hotel for £200. Which mean on the Saturday Iz can join us and we can do the other stuff which she can access.
I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bunk bed are up

All three kids wanted to share a room and as Iz is a bit older we decided bunk bed were essential. So a major upheaval has happened in our house hold. Blue single bed is now my anti snoring bed, the cot is heading out, Iz is in the toddler bed in the big room, James is on the top bunk and Penny bottom.
So far James and Penny are loving it. However, Iz hasn't taken to the move. The little rebel won't stay in bed she is either raiding Penny or heading downstairs armed with teddies and her drink. If told itnis bedtime she gives us a firm "no.". She doesn't say many word but no is a large part of her vocab. 10 o clock she finally is settling. I seem to remember the other two being the same when they moved on fro  the cot. Hopefully it will settle down soon,

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New car

At last after over 2 week I have a new (to me) car. Not too sure of it yet. I need to have a play with it. It seems huge, it has 7 seats so I can seperate the kids or John is they are playing up. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Where is Daddy?

Izzie favourite thing it say is Where's Daddy gone?  And answering there is. Sometime she mixes it up with James or teddy. If you ask her what for dinner it is normally cheese which she gets out of the fridge for you.

Penny is 4. Yay

After nearly a year of wait she has finally made it to 4.

We organised a party for the afternoon. The excitment got a bit too much for her and 10min before the party she conked out.
But soon got into the swing of things once people arrived. Pressie first, followed by making crowns. Then luckly enough the sun was out so a play in the garden. Followed by pass the parcel, hunt the eggs and musical statues.
It was the most relaxed party I have done there were 4 friend from school, Beth and 2 siblings James ages.
We got her a Sylvanian family boat, hula hoop, Jess outfit and flying fairy. She also recieved horse riding lesson, horse dancing barbie, post office and fuzzy felt, aqua beads and colour bag, glimmies, fairy, dogs and play dough and lego. She was very lucky.


Cowgirl Penny

For Pennys 4th birthday Grandma got her a horse riding lesson. She absolutely loved it and wants to go again. She was able to kick and get the horse to trot, had a go at standing up and down and held the reins correctly.

Think we might have started a very expensive hobby.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Allotment fun

Half term, hurrah.
Term for fun and frolics in the sun. A weeks of no arguing, yelling, no facebooking, just family fun.

Yay right it lasted 2 days. 2 DAYS!!

Then the yelling start (me) and the arguing (the kids). But hay ho. We are makinb the most of the sun and enjoying the allotment.

We all (apart from John) enjoy being there. The kids like the access to the water and mud. I enjoy all kf it, even the digging. Especially this time of year when thing are really starting to grow.

James has learnt to ride hus bike without stabilisers and as promised has upgraded he toddler bike to a big boys one which he can ride but not stop.

I've put a deposit on a new to me car. A 7 seater yay.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter eggs

Penny won an Easter colouring competition and received an chocolate egg. Yay.
Penny's masterpiece.

However, she can't have chocolate, so forward planning me got a dairy free one and stashed it away until she picked it her prize. The one she won has a butterfly on it, when I tried to swap it with her, her bottom lip started to wobble. "But I love blutterbies." Then she ask if I could break it and take James' milk out and put her milk in. When I explained we can't she started to get sad again. So hopefully I made a solution. It isn't great but it might work. This is my attempt at a butterfly egg.
Fingers crossed


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Screwy up face

Izzy does this screwy up face thing. She closes her eyes realy tight and screws up her face, then you have to do it. Which makes her get the giggles. Repeat. She does it while she eats and when she is in your arms having a bottle. She is a snuggly, giggly little thing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easter Celebration

James and Penny had their Easter celebration show today. It was the first time I have seen Penny perform as I was working at the Christmas play. They were both great. James had the vital role of the sound effect of a kiss in the sound effect role of Judas. Penny's class did songs and the story of Little Red Riding Hood. They also sang the Spring Chicken song. Great stuff. They seem to have both settled in beautifully. I'm sp proud of them.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Happy Mothers Day

I have had a lovely Mothers day. The children each got me a card and inside some seeds which they have choosen. Penny pink ones, James edible cornflowers and Iz sunflowers. I also got a book, flash, a is it tea you are looking for mug and James made me a sticker chart and if I get all my stickers I got some peace and quiet.
Lovely stuff.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A productive day.

Following on from this morning post. I dug and tidied the allotment for 40mins. Quite enjoyed it. I have cleaned the nasty, scummy grime in the washing machine and dishwasher. Cleaned the floor and baked chocolate cakes.

We have stopped Izzy bottle at night. She justs it to help her sleep, like a dummy. The last 2 nights we have given her milk before bed and nap. This is in the hope she starts to self soothe, as we are getting up to her twice a night and she is having more milk to settle, then she is leaking through her nappy.
The first night she wouldn't settle so I stayed in her room to comfort her, took ages. She would cry if I left her. Last night, she chuntered to herself and was a little grizzly but slept without me in the room. For her nap today she has gone striaight to sleep. Fingers crossed for tonight.

Spring

This morning I'm off, for the first time since Oct, to the allotment. Last year I did so well and loved it. It was my sanctuary. This year i seem to have no inclination to do anything, whether it is sewing, making cakes or the allotment. I seem to have become reluctant to leave the house. I'm having to force myself to change. So it starts on this beautiful Spring morning. Hopefully I will improve.

Friday, March 03, 2017

The big birthday bash

Last Sunday was James birthday party. He decided he wanted a party in the hall.  Luckly, one of his friends had a birthday the day before so we were able to do a joint one.
I managed cakes and party games and the other mum the hot food. It went well, apart from musical chairs which was a bit rubbish as the stero wasn't very loud.
We had pass the parel, hunt the gems and bashed a darth vader pinata.
Lots of people came including Hol, Beth, Charlie and Marley. Plus all his school friends.
However, it was a lot of hard work and I'm working on Penny to have a Princess tea party at home.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, February 20, 2017

James is 6

Today is James birthday. 6 years old. 
This morning we were awoken by a very excitable 6 year old and Penny. We bounced (not me) down stairs to open prezzies. A crystal growing kit, anklyozord (which was a nightmare to find), bouncing T rex thing that turns into a charger and from Penny, a Star Wars Masher and a activity book. He said they were the best presents ever, so alls good.

We had Star Wars birthday cake for breakfast and opened all his cards. He got quite a bit of money. He offered it to me saying it was for a day out (cat grandma gave him money for a day at Wheelgate). He was thrilled when we said he could go to the toy shop and choose a toy, the rest will go in his bank. 
It was school today, first day back after half term. He ran in, very excited to show off his badges and tell them what he go and share his sweets out. 

Sunday is his party, a joint one with Ruth. I think I'm about sorted apart from doing the cakes. Will be relived when they are finished. 



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Some of my favourite pictures.


I have many favourite photos, but these are one that make me smile. They were take a while ago now. 


 Penny, not long after I have Izzy. She is breastfeeding dolly.


This one somes up the organised chaos of bedtime. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Fab parents evening

Over this last week we have had parents evening for Penny and James.
As expected they are both thriving in their school. Apart from the odd moments of "I don't want to go." They both go in happy and come out tired but smiling.
 Pennys teacher say she listens and sits well and is starting the read in a group and have imput. She plays nicely and gets on well with her friends. Considering she is only in there two morning she is doing well.

James was called one of the high flyers. He listen and takes everything in and when he does his work he adds in lots of little details. He reading and writing is coming along. He just needs to realise that it is ok to make mistakes as he can get upset if he think he has done something wrong.

We are really proud of them both.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Wow.

I'm feeling slightly smug this evening. It doesn't happen very often, but after tryjng out a new recipe of chicken and rice noodle soup, everyone ate it all. No moans, no "I don't like that and no poking it about. They even asked for more.


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Passing the time

Since Christmas I have only had one day back at work. While I'm enjoying the time off I thought I would make the most of it by Spring cleaning the house and spend some quality time with Penny and Izzy.

However, I find playing with Penny quite boring after a while. Role play really isn't my thing. I'm more at home with James building and making stuff, but Penny has little interest in that and like it when I play dress up or Princesses, which is OK for about 20minutes. So we had started cooking and bird watching, play group and hoovering to past the day.

The Spring cleaning was going well, but instead of having the whole house beautiful and tidy I only seem to get one room sorted at a time. Currently it is the downstairs toilet. The children only have to walk into a room and within seconds it is cluttered with clothes ( why can't they keep their clothes on?) Toys, cushions, the funiture moves round different places, parts of lego makes, drawings or things Izzy can choke on stack on the windowstill. It is like living with poltergeists. As soon as James gets in from school you can follow a trail of him. Shoes off at the door, book bag on the kitchen unit, coat near the living room door. Not to meantion Pennys complete inability to flush the chain at the moment, she was fine but seems to have relasped. Izzy, not on to be left out has discovered cupboards and stuff in cupboard, namely the baking one with flour and sugar.

Still it keep me busy.



This is my first selfie. Penny was insisting that we wear witches hats. "You have to be a witch to drink coffee and red juice."

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Easy sweetcorn and pea fritters.

As work is drying up I'm having to rein in the food budget a bit, this way we can still do nice things with the kids.

Yesterday, Penny and I made a lunch of sweetcorn fritters. Quick easy and cheap. I thought I would share the recipe.

1 can of sweetcorn
Handful of frozen peas
100g plain flour (we use Self rasing gluten free flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
150ml milk (lactose free for Penny)
Salt, pepper anything else the flavour

Drain the sweetcorn, discard the juice.
Mix the flour and baking powder in a big bowel.
Add the egg and milk and mix until smooth.
Add the sweetcorn and pea and mix.
Oil a frying pan. When hot spoon a blob of the mixture into the pan and turn when brown. Easy. The whole thing should have taken 10mins but I had Penny helping so it took much longer.
You can freeze the cooked fritters, add chilli, or paprika, pepper, carrots anything left over.
We eat them just with a bit of tomato sauce for Penny and sweet chilli sauce for me. Then had them as a side with the gammon for tea.
Definitely one to do again. I think they cost about 60p to make and I made 10.

Monday, January 30, 2017

January blues and bugs.

We haven't had the best start to 2017. James has already had a week off school due to, what we think was, flu. He has today off again due to a dodgy tummy and Penny is off because we think she is now coming down with flu. Luckily, Izzy (touch wood) has been bug free, but she has had some back teeth through do is a bit grizzly.

Izzy has become quite attached to a blanket teddy thing. Today she wouldn't settle without it. It might become another dolly, who I'm terrified we may lose at some point.

At the beginning of the month we were invited to a wedding of John's step brother. It was beautiful.

Prep is underway for organising James' birthday party. Invites are already to go out. Katie is face painting and I'm incharge of fun and games. What possible could go wrong?
Pic of James in the snow. We had a small flurry one morning. I've never seen James get dressed so quickly when we said he could go out in it. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy New Year

This is a long over due post. Sorry.

Christmas 2016 was an outstanding success. Father Christmas arrived armed with zords, dogs, robots, and trains much to the children delight. I also got treated to 2 lovely dresses, some much need make up and a much need weekend away to Chester for the whole family.
Christmas Eve mum, Austin, Katie and Rod visited. Cue presents and cat bingo. Katie and Rod stopped over, luckily for then Father Christmas was on the ball and had a special stocking for them Christmas morning.

James woke in the night needed the toliet he chevked Santa had been (he had) then checked Santa had left something for Penny ( he had) then when back too bed. I'm  not sure I could have slept like that. They go up about 5.30 and arrived in our bed armed with their stockings. Once we knew Katie and Rod were awake we opened all the presents from downstairs. Izzy missed all the action and got up about 8.30. She didn't really get opening presents but was quite happy playing with bits.

Christmas dinner we had in the lion with Dad, Janet and Paul. It was nice and the kids behaved. James spent most of his time on his smart watch figuring it out and Penny took her ears gloves (muffs) which was her favourite present.

The afternoon consisted of more presents and more food. The children when to bed at normal time so it was nice to play a few games.

Boxing day we mooched in the morning then when to Johns dads for more presents and food. Then the day after we visited Kerry and had more presents and food. It was nice that Christmas lasted more than just one day and that we didn't feel obliged to rush round and visit everyone at once.

Looking forward to 2017. X