Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas past

When I was little one of the best bits of Christmas was seeing the huge (there was three of us) pile of presents that Father Christmas had left us. We also had a huge stocking or in our case pillow case which had PJs, slippers, books and our new Christmas day clothes in.
Morning was normally an early start with my more excitable sister waking us up with a cry of "Santa been" Sometimes I would wake up briefly in the night and feel the weight of the stocking on my toes then snuggle back to sleep knowing he had been.  One year much to my sisters horror I slept until 9.00 and she had to wait down stairs with the gifts not allowed to open them untill I emerged.
Around 4ish Col wold wake, yellow, go to Mum and Dads room only to be sent back to bed. Half an hour later she would try again with the same results by 5.30 Mum and dad would have given up on trying to sleep and say that she can open her stocking. At this point Katie and I would get up (no heating in our house so never go out of bed too soon) and we would all go into their bed and squish in. Pillowcases would soon be unwrapped. Dad would let mum out one of his gifts. Mum would then get up and lit the fire and put the oven on. We would probably be sent back to bed for a bit.
Downstairs we would have to wait for everyone to go in together Mum and dad already in the room. As a grown up I not understand that this was too see our faces when we saw all the presents. They were always bundled high and all three would be m8xed up together so you had to find yours.
We would all out them different. Col would rip the paper off, cast aside the gift and go straight to the next. I would take my time and look at each thinges. I always be the last one to finish. The advantage of this being that the other would look on enviously however, if there was a gift where the others got the same Col would past me the presents and say what was inside until Mum yelled at her to stop.
At lunch family would visit (as we got older we took in turns visiting) and Mum would feed us the proper Christmas dinner. Then it was more presents, this time family once. As I got older this became my favourite part. It was nice seeing people unwrap gift from you. From quite young we alway brought mum and dad a present. One year we was allowed to buy Dads on our own in Woollies. 
Then tea would be cold meat and salad the best bit being the seafood platter. After that board games until late.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas it nearly here

The kids are now off school and a mixture of chaos and illness has entered the house. Poor Penny missed her school pantof and play due to tummy bug and her dreadful cough. Izzy now has it and my clothes has a constant slimy trail along them.
The kids are bouncing off the walls, but luckily they are eager to help around the house. They all like dusting, hoovering and baking.

We have an activity advent calender, everyday a different Christmas craft or activity, though if I'm feeling a little lazy I do pop a sweet in. So far we have vi sited reindeer, Father Christmas,  made a Christmas cake and decorated it, made gingerbread men, did a treasure hunt, saw the light switch on, grew crystal Christmas tree, made fudge, made and painted tree decorations and door hangers. Still a few things to go. Including making reindeer food, hot chocolate gifts and the all important gingerbread house.

They say thing come in threes. Well our heating has gone just when the snow hit, the washing machine packed up, then we has problems with Currys replacing the new one which arrived damaged. The car is also playing up and I never know if it will start or if it will have heating. Brrrrr

Thursday, December 07, 2017


Sometimes my children seem to speak a different language and it some working out what they are on about.

Was asking Penny about her day and she said she had been "singing to the Grandmas. Grandma there, Grandma there (pointing) Grandma there, in the nut place" etc. Couldn't work it out. Turns out she had visited Chestnut Street care home and sang.

It is minecraft jargon, @ps, command blocks, super speed potions etc

Random gippering with the odd word thrown in. Even harder when she is upset and crying to work it out.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Proud of Penny

Penny got star of the week last week. I know that by the end of the year every child will get it for something, but is it is absolutely fab that she has got it. She received for reading and phonics. It is amazing how quickly she has progressed since September. She is now spelling and reading basic words. One of her favourite games at the moment is to play teacher, so she must be enjoying school.

In other news James has his first wobbly tooth. With the amount of apples he is eating at the moment it will soon be out.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Cbeebies Panto Fun.

We are not in a Christmassy mood, thanks to a trip to see Cbeebies Panto. I was lucky enough to get tickets from the lottery draw. 376,000 people applied for tickets. So we were thrilled to get to see it last Saturday.

It was an early start as we gphad to travel to Leicester. We also had to wear our party dress and Christmas jumpers. Only mishap was we forgot the kids coat and had to buy Penny.a new one. We thought we were looking at a morning of queuing, but thankful they were well organised and we waited only 40mins before we were issused with ticket and seat numbers. After that we wandered around the Snow Queen themed activites that Cbeebies had put on. 

There were people dressed up in strange and odd costumes. Penny was a little shy to begin with, it was all a little too different for her. We did a treasure hunt and collected letters to win a prize of a swashbuckler set. A quick stop of popcorn, lunch and a coffee for me and Col, then we made crowns and headed outside. Outside was a snow storm, which my lot loved. We all had a go at ice skating for the first time. Starting very carefully using the penguins to balance. Marley quickly skating off, having no fear of tumbling down. James and Penny also ditched the penguin to have a go on their own. It was loved by all of them. They had a go in the circus hut, juggling, hoops, spinning plates and diablos.

Then it was back to the theatre for the show. It was great. We saw lots of our favourite characters, including Mr. Tumble and silly Cook and Lime. We were taught a song and the actions and joined in during the preformance. The kids loved it. We are all hoping to spot ourselves on telly when it is shown at Christmas. 

Afterwards we braved going to a Vietnamese restaurant. The kids got to eat with chopstic,s with Penny thought was great. She has taken some to show her teacher. 
It was a great day. All of the children behaved fantastically. We are really proud of them. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

October Half Term

So much for a quiet week, chilling out.
We have been to Wheelgate park for a Halloween treat, rides and play. Followed by bowling with Grandma Janet. James won. We have made halloween pumpkins. Visited Holly and Beth for a play. Been to Whisby nature walk and picnic with Marley and Col. Penny has been horse riding and James has been experimenting.
Busy busy.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Gluten Free, lactose Free, Chocolate brownies.

As chocolate brownies go these are one of the best recipies I've tried, normal and gluten free. These are my go to treat for Penny and I often pop one in my handbag for her if we are out and I think there won't be a sweet option for her.

100g Chocolate. I just a dark lactose free one.
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
50g Gluten Free Self Rasing Flour.

Melt 75g of the chocolate and leave to cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until it has double in volume and pale looking.
Fold the cooled chocolate into egg/sugar mix.
Sieve in flour and choco powder and fold in.
Put into a lined and greased tin.
Bake 180 for 20mins.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

WOW. We got tickets for the Cbeebies Panto.

2 days ago I got an Email stating that we hadn't been unsuccessful in getting tickets of the Cbeeies panto production. Not really suprising as masses of families apply. This year was the first time we have entered the draw for ourselves, normally we enter on behalf of my sister and have no luck.
However, last night I get another Email saying we have won 5 tickets, yay go us.
The panto is at Leicester and is the Snow Queen, right up Penny's street. The only sticking point is what to do about Izzy. The show states that it is recommended for over 4s, due to mild peril. Also, it is a long day of hanging about. You have to queue to get a wristband because you are no guaranteed a seat in the theatre. Then you have to queue to get a seat as you are not issued with a seat number. No sure it will be a fun filled day for Iz.
So excited.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

4 reason why I hate toy advent calenders.

I love, love LOVE the run up to Christmas. The lights, the sparkle, the gorgeous smells and being able to wear boots.

One thing I absolutely hate is the toy advent calender. The chocolates are bad enough. Last year we left it too late to get a dairy free advent calender for Penny (not made that mistake this year, one is already tucked away) so we improvised, using a paper picture one and giving her some Haibo every morning. Was this good enough, no, no and no. We had tears and tantrums until one morning I hid it until she sorted herself out. James on the other day lived and breathed for that tiny, chocolately goodie. Every morning instead of bursting in our room with kisses and a cuddle it was 'can I have my advent calender'. Grrrr

Which bring me to toy advent calenders and why I hate them.

1. It is just greed, greed, greed. I'm sure the same thing was said about chocolate one when they first cames out, but compare £1 chocolate to £20. It a huge different especially with three little darlings to buy for.

2. The toys are crap. The lego ones consists of a few brick that you have to guess ehat they vaguely look like. You know you will be sweeping them up with the wrapping paper come boxing day.

3. Once again, greed. My lot get enough stuff at Christmas. Yes, they get presents from Santa, Grannies, cousins and next door (they are super lucky). They also get parties, Santa trips, panto trips, Christmas days out.

4. They are everywhere, at some point my kids will twig (especially now James can read) what they are and ask for one. I will put my foot down.

I have also mentioned that the family advent calender won't happen this year as it is too much for three children. This is a fabric one, most of the time it contains things like, make gingerbread men or house, make reindeer food, make cards, decorate the tree, party games, visit to Santa. Stuff we do anyway, sometimes there maybe a lolly in there or a chocolate. We alternate it sometimes with the children. It worked last year but though it would be too much this year with three of them. James was disappointed and saud the best thing was making the gingerbread house. So looks like we are doing that again.
Beaver are doing a reverse advent calender, ever session we take a some food and near Christmas it gets given the food bank. I like this idea, except I keep forgetting yo take stuff in.

Gluten free, dairy free Apple blackberry crumble.

Penny tummy seems to be playing up. So we have tigthened up the gluten free diet to compensate for the few times she does have gluten at school. She is also lactose intolerant.
As James had picked a bag of apples at Stick Grandmas house, I spend time this afternoon making an apple and blackberry crumble.

I never have much success in crumbles where the crumble cooks on top of the fruit, so in my recipe you cook the crumble on a baking tray, it goes more biscuity than crumble.

Apple and blackberry crumble.


120g gluten free plain flour
120g dairy free butter
60g brown sugar
60g caster sugar

Crumble the flour and butter until it looks like breadcrumbs (this can be tricky as I used dairy free marg and it was very soft, so some of it went into doughy lumps. Don't worry it will be fine). Mix in the sugars. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10mins at 180. Take out and break down the bigger lumps with a fork. Bake for a further 5mins or until brown.

Cup apples into slices, place in the pan with 5tbsp water, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/2tsp nutmeg and 2tbsp lemon juice.
Cook gently until soft, add blackberrys.
Drain the liquid, place the fruit in a dish and add about 3tbsp of the liquid.
Put the crumble onto.
Place in the over for 20mins or until liquid is bubbling.

I would freeze the crumble made up. You can freeze the cooked fruit. The crumble topping will keep for about a week in an air tight container.

PS the picture is only a small dish, only a few of us like it so I tend to make a small one for us and Stick Grandma, then make one up later in the week.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our little girl is 2.

Happy birthday to our youngest, Izzy.

You are such a sweetie. Easy going, happy, contented little thing.
You coming running to me, when I've finished work with the biggest hug, smile and kiss.
If I go out of the door to a different room for 5mins, when I come back you great me like you have seen me in ages.
You play happily on your own and with your big brother and sister.
When we pick James and Penny up to school you run to them, like a slow mo love scene in a film, eending in a gigantic hug and kiss, especially from James.
You are into everything, drawers, climbing.
You copy Penny like a hero worshipper, you are very luck that most of the time Penny will play with you and is happy to drag you around with her.
I love listening to you and Penny talk in the mornings, even though you have limited speech, Penny seems to know exactly what you are saying and responds back, both chatting away.
You are starting to comft people when they are sad. You pass Dolly to Penny when she is upset and stroke people gently.
You can count up to 10 impressing everyone around you and say please and thank you.
You find new things fascinating, whether it is a spider, fly, leave, stone, broken car wheel or the bin. You say a soft "wow" and investigate.
You are my darling and I love you more than ever, I'm looking forward to watching you explore the world around you, growing and learning and finding your way.

Happy birthday.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Parents Evening (between the lines)

Parents evening tonight, all was good, no problem. Here are a few things that was said and I have read between the lines.

Takes her role as one of the older one very seriously and help run the class. (Bossy).

Has recently widened her friendship group. (Fallen out with her firend and has had to rethink who she plays with).

Her confidence had increased. (She has got louder).


Is eager to finish his work. (Rushes and can make mistakes).

Increase in confidence. (Louder).

Likes to share his ideas and always thinks he is right. (Thinks he is always right whatever anyone else says, even when proof is in front of him).

Thankfully these are only minor things and both children are doing well, settled in nicely and are happy. James is enjoying lessons and sharing his ideas and show enthusiasm. He reading is coming along nicely. Penny is bubbly, confident, she listens well and responds appropriately.  She is doing well with her phonics and numbers. 

Both John and I are very please and proud of both of them. They are doing brilliantly.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Wrinkly fingers

Izzy has just had her bath. Getting out she was very insisted that her toes hurt.
Had a look couldn't see anything. Then her Dinger (finger) hurts. Then the other finger. She kept looking at it saying it hurts and ow.
Finally I figured it out, she was distressed at the fact her fingers had gone winkly from the bath. She had just gone down to Daddy to show him her fingers.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Cornwall. A grown ups holiday.

Last week, I was able to escape for a few days away to Cornwall with Mum, Katie and Rod. Despite feeling incredibly guilty at leaving the kids, we had a really good few days away. Bit of worrying start as my car was playing up so we had to have a swap about. Mum and I drove to Katie Wednesday evening to break up the journey. We arrived by Thursday afternoon and  headed straight to the Eden Project to make the most of their free returns ticket. After a wonder round we headed to find the pub we were stopping at. It was tucked away in a quiet village down some pretty hairy one track roads. The apartment was lovely.
Rod had pre-booked a meal at Rick Stein seafood restaurant. The meal was lovely, super expensive, but so nice. It was somewhere I would never have gone to and absolute extravagant treat. Mum and I shared a huge seafood platter with razor clams, oysters, mussels, a whole lobster and crab, scallops and all sorts of yummy seafood.
The next day we visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan. I enjoyed here more than The Eden Project. The vegetable gardens were stunning and the talk with the garden was really interesting. We also visited Mevagissey on a search for rock for the kids. We had a look at the sea and a trip to the pub. That evening we eat at the Kings Arms where we were staying. I enjoyed the pie and mash there as much as the Rick Stein meal, it was lush.
A lazy morning, the next morning followed by more Eden project and that evening a Beer festival. I stuck to cider, mango begining one of the nicest. As we couldn't get a taxi back to the pub we decided to brave the rain, dark and incredibly narrow road and walk back. We ventured of track down a brideway, squeching through mud, puddles and goodness knows what else. Thankfully, the landlady of the pub happened to drive past and offered us a lift.
Another lazy morning, mainly due hangovers, followed by packing up ready to go home. We had a bit of lunch at a pub near Bath and headed home. Had a really nice time.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

DIY painting nightmare. (Don't buy Homebase Home of colour paint)

Our house is painted Almond white throughout, it has been since we moved in 5 years age. However, in each room there is a child height dark smears, sticky hand prints and marks where battering toys on the wall is a fun activity. Time for a freshen up and a change of colour.
As I'm pretty ropey at DIY I thought I would start in the bathroom, which contains a green bath suit, so it need all the help it can get. I decided not to venture to far from the Almond white so headed to grey. I thought I could bling it up with a glitter mirror and yellow accessories. I picked Homebases, home of colour paint in Dove grey, thinking it was a bit cheaper, how different could paint be?
From there it starts to go down hill.
The colour instead of a slight grey is quite dark making the small room look even smaller. The paint is absolutely crap, crapity, crap crap. When it is painted on instead of staying on the walls it moves around and comes off. I started sing a brush because there are lots of nooks and cranies but changed to a roller. The rollor was a slight improvment but I ended up with more on me than the walls. Changed to a paint pad which is better but the paint just seems to not want to stick or dry. The edges and corners which I did with a brush are completely a different shade compared to the rest of the walls. Considering I'm going over Almond white paint I thought it woukd only take 2 coats, I'm currently on my third and I can still see white peeking through. It is driving me up the walls.

Lesson learnt, don't buy cheap paint. Especially, Homebase, Home of colour.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Idiot child.

I think the youngest maybe a bit of a special Ed. She is currently going through phase of shoving stuff up her nose. Today it was sweetcorn, it had me in a panic before John  managed to get her to blow it out. Despite being told no she is still going at it.
They other two didn't do this. I'm having to check her nose most days as I think she has stuffed something up there. Peas and sweetcorn are also off the menu for a while until she stops.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Today Iz and I visited Dad. He has just had a hip op and can't get out. So we went to entertain, though Iz entertained more than me. She charmed him with her "pleases" and impressed him with her count up to 6. She isn't overly chatty with other people but today she was top form.
However, she did let it slip in Pizza Hut by crying and running round, however a balloon soon sorted it out. She hasn't let go of the balloon until bedtime.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Per Chriatmas clear out.

Much to the childrens dismay, we are attempting a clear out before the Father Christmas arrives.
The though of getting rid of anything has already sent Penny into tears. James is asking how much we can sell stuff for and can he keep the money and can he sell his sisters stuff (at least he wasn't trying to sell his sisters). Izzy hasn't a clue. So you can bet it will be her stuff with get the chop.
I've already make a start by passing a few larger baby toys to a friend with year old twins. The wooden train set was going but when we brought it down this happened.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Izzy is starting to play nicely and entertainer herself a bit more. Here she is looking after doll, she feeds it, pops it to bed with a blanket and teddy. When it crys she gives it a cuddle and a dummy. She just needs to stop carrying it round by the foot.

Friday, September 15, 2017

8 reason why I think my son is addicted to minecraft.

James over the holiday has become obsessed with the blocky world of minecraft.

1. It is the first thing he asks for in the morning and when he get out of school.

2. When he isn't minecrafting he is on You Tube watching Stampy's world.

3. If the conversation isn't minecraft related, then it isn't worth the effort to talk.

4. Stroppyness and moods happens if we take the tablet away.

5. Toy are beginning to feed to be neglected.

6. Minecraft birthday party is already planned, along with minecraft cake. He birthday is in February.

7. He laughs insanely and has an evil glint, when he kills poor little animals running around his world.

8. My lovely little boy is turning into a rather rude, unhelpful creature. Time to nip it in the bud.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Treacle Gingerbread Loaf Recipe

Dark, sweet, spicy cake. Delicious with a cup of tea.

Very quick and easy to do, it also ideal as I don't have to buy anything special and all the stuff is in the cupboard. I did make this with Izzy, but probably won't in future as it using masses of black treacle and everything including Iz got a bit sticky.

This is ideal for Penny, she is lactose intolerance, is has no butter in it and can use her special milk.

Treacle Gingerbread Loaf.

185g Plain flour
110g Self Rasing Flour
1 tbsp Ginger
3 tsp mixed spice
250g black treacle (or normal treacle/syrup)
185ml milk
80ml olive oil (I use sunflower)
2 eggs

Mixed all dry ingredient in a large bowl. Mix all the wet ingredient in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. The mixture is quite a sloppy mix. Place into a well greesed and papered loaf tin.
Bake at 180 for 40 minutes, after 40 mintues stick a knife in the middle if it comes out sticky bake for another 10 mintues until the knife comes out clean.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Bargain Dress

Found this beautiful dress on a local bidding facebook page. I love it. Only cost me £3 and it still had the tags on.
Only problem is I sent a pic of it to my sister who then informs me she has exzctly the same one. Typical.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

70th birthday cake, part 2

This morning I iced the cake in fondant. I think the half marg, half butter worked. The buttercream crumb coat had harden nicely and the cake seemed much more stable than the last few I have made. The findant went on smoothly. I alway have a job transfering the iced cake to the board without leaving fingerprints and dents.

I was going to cut out some music notes but as time wasn't on my side, I painted some on. I was also hoping I could make the guitar stand up but it broke. Just a 70 to plonk on the top when I get to Dads and some candles and it will be done.

Friday, September 08, 2017

70th Birthday cake. Part 1.

Dad is 70 on Saturday so to celebrate I've made him a birthday cake. I alway find it tricky as to what to put on a mans cake, but this time I have an idea which hopefully will be quite simple to do.

Part 1 Make the cake.

Iz and I set to make a basic Victoria sponge.
It true bake off style the first one when wrong and we have to start over. With Iz helping chaos ensued and she caused more work tidying up, but she enjoyed mixing and licking.

2. Making decorations.

So I'm going with a music theme as Dad plays the guitar. I printed out a few outlines of guitars and cut it into parts to cut round. I'm doing this with the hope it will dry for tomorrow and I can assemble it. I have also done a few in case I break them. 

3. Crumb coating.

So once the cake is sandwiched with Strawberry jam and buttercream a layer of buttercream is spread on the top and sides. This is where I go wrong. As I tend to use Penny lactose free marg my buttercream often ends up to soft and sloppy and the cake slides under the fondant as it doesn't harden. This time I have made it half butter and half marg and will leave it to set over night before I icing it.

That's about all I can do today. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Allotment goodies

While the kids have been off school the allotment has been abandoned. However, the other day we when down and rooted through the weeds and found a huge haul of goodies. The freezer is now full of runner beans, which the kids don't like.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

5 Things I'm going to do this school year.....

1. Empty their book bags out each evening and bin the rubbish and actually read the letters.

2. Organise school wear the night before, including schools, so the mad scramble to find missing items does not happen.

3. Sent consent forms back the next day and write the dates on the calender, rather than serching through the dump drawer.

4. Aim to leave 5 minutes early so arrive to school and a calm manner rather then running thought the gates and throwing them in to school,

5. To make use of the time qhile they are in school and now sit drinking coffee, while on facebook and watching This Morning.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Back to School

After 6 weeks of Summer fun, the kids are heading back to school. Penny is starting reception and James is heading into Year 2.
Penny has been excited about school all Summer, mostly because she gets to have her lunch there and to see Ruth. James, not so much. Penny went straight in holding hand with her friend without so much as a look back. James, however was teary and clingly, so was pushed in by me. It feels mean, but if I had fussed it would only have made him worse. He is normally fine within 5 mins but even though I know this it does stop me thinming about how he is getting on for most of the day.
Both Iz and I will miss them both. Roll on October Hols.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Bingley Music Live 2017

Fantastic weekend. Only just unloaded the car. Here are a few pics from the weekend. The theme was blue.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My first festival

For year I've been asked if I would like to go and see bands but that sort of thing never really took my fancy. However, Vic and Hol asked if I would like to go to Bingley festival as my birthday present and I jumped at the chance, not necessarily because I'm into music, but because it is chance to get away for a few days and have a girly time.
Should be good as there as actually bands on who I have heard of and even know I song or two. The line up included the Manics, Feeder, Wombats, Badly drawn boy and Kaiser Chiefs.
I jusy need to sort out what I need to pack. I don't pack light and need lots of stuff as you never know what the weather is going to be like and I like my comforts.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Big Whoops. Naked Facebook pics.

Got out the shower and Penny wanted me to take a picture of her in her new party dress and shoes on a horse. No problems. She then wanted to show Grandma her dress but as Grandma lives away we decided to post it on line. Isn't the internet great?

However, what I didn't realise until I had downloaded it to facebook and wanted to add a comment, was that there was me fully starkers reflected in the mirror. Delate Delate. I'm hoping I was quick enough.

Here is the photoshopped version.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Gloworm festival

Ages ago I order tickets for the Gloworm childrens festival at Clumber Park. We loved it. We managed to get day tickets for £40 for the family and once inside most things including fairground rides, workshops and activites were free. We had a slow start getting into the festival, it was a bit disorganised but once in it was great.
We headed off to the outdoors area where James tried out his caving skills. He was wasn't keen on it, but stuck it out. We had a go at football, holding chicks and mice made a den and a bug house. After that and befor lunch we headed for the rides. These were a great hit with my three. They were only little ones but ideal and no queues. Even Izzy had a go. This was followed by lunch while listening to some bands. Afterwards we had a wonder and the kids went on 2 soft play buses, donkeys, and giant play equipment. Then we dashed over to the dizo zone and saw a real T-Rex with his owner. James even got to strike him, though he did roar at him and knock him off his bale. I managed to see a bit of The Chuckle Brothers who were fab and entertaining. Then more rides until home time.
The place didn't seem very big when we first arrived but we barely saw any of it, not that it mattered. There were planty of well tended, clean toliets which was also good.
Needless to say we will be definitely going back next year, maybe with the view to camping ang staying the weekend, as there are bands on in the evening.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Warwick castle (camping part 2).

After a goodnights sleep we set off to Warwick castle. It was great the kids loved it. It is quite pricey so 2 for 1 vouchers are a must and the car park is a trek from the castle and cost £6.
Apart from that we really enjoyed it. There was lots to do and the weather was good for us.
We headed to the Princess story time bit first, which you have to book. It was ok. There was a bit of story with a mystery which the children had to solve to help the Princess get her Prince. Next we headed to the civil war jousting. It was difficult for the children to see as we arrived just as it started and the place was heaving. We all ended up with kids on our shoulders. Again it was really good the actors got the kids excited and yelling for Lancaster or York depending what side you were sitting. It had fighting, sword play and horses and if you listened to the story it was quite informative. Just as that finished the Horrid Histories play started, this I loved. It was two actors telling the history of Warwick Castle. It was funny for both the children and grown up with songs, silliness and slapstick. Loved it. Then we had a look at the birds which Iz liked. We also saw the trebuchet in action, followed by the birds of prey.

Then a tril to the shop for Princess dress, tiaras, swords, bows and arrows and shields. Pocket money spend there was time for them to sword fight for a bit. Then round the castle. I wish I could have spend a little most time in here. I love history but the kids only have a limited patience and why be inside looking at paintings when you could be outside fighting with your new toys. Penny was funny, she was wearing her Princess dress pretending that it was her castle showing me around.
Then while Dad had a break we climbed the towers. Gosh there was some steps. Penny had to strip the Princess dress off as she couldn't climb in it. The views were impressive. 
Finally, we did the horrid histories maze which was a good ending to a very tiring but brillent day.

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.