30 days of Autumn checklist

Do you like Autumn?

We’re just over halfway through our third season of the year, Autumn. The weather is changing, turning cooler and becoming wet and windy. Mornings are often misty and the days are becoming shorter. The trees are losing their leaves and falling to the ground.

There are many reasons to love Autumn, without the obvious of snuggling under a duvet on wet days and drinking hot chocolate but we get to wear our wooly jumpers and warm boots. In fact i have just bought a lovely pair of Ugg shoes that are lined with fur, perfect for Autumn. The children love to put on their rain coats and Wellington boots and go out into the rain to splash in puddles, Autumn rain is ideal for this as it’s not too cold and they enjoy all the splashing.

Here is our 30 days of Autumn checklist

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As you can see we have already managed to tick a few off all ready. Last week we went hunting for caches locally, you can read about it here and the other weekend we went on a bicycle ride along the seafront with the boys and they climbed a tree.

 

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If you want to join in with us on our Autumn bucket list, download your checklist here autumn checklist

Forest Holidays want to compile a list for there customers 30 different forest experiences to enjoy at this time of year. To make the list as fun and diverse as possible they have asked ten bloggers from different specialisms to provide three different autumnal ideas of things to do in the forest and outdoors that relate to their niche. We have been invites along to share our three top froest ideas. They will be compiling our suggestions into a ‘30 Days of Autumn’ inspiration list that will be hosted on the Forest Holidays blog Forestipedia,

Keep an eye out next week when we will be sharing our 3 ideas :-)

 

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Urban Geocaching..Our first hunt

What is Geocaching I hear you ask?

Well it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using GPS co-ordinates to find the location of the cache (container). Only there is no real treasure at the end to find, but instead a container and inside you will find a log which you place your name and date you found it on and place it back in exactly the same place that you found it.

I had seen plenty of pictures on instagram and twitter of other people on their geocaching outings to the middle of nowhere, stunning locations or pretty little picnics areas but as we live on the outskirts of London, I thought I would have a look online and see if there was any little hides near where we live. I was expecting to travel a few miles out, further into Essex but was shocked to find that there are hundreds of geocaches hidden in and around London.

I signed up with Geocaching online and put in my postcode, up popped a few pages of cache locations, with one particularly on out doorstep!

I asked the boys if they wanted to go out on a treasure hunt, they were quickly running to the front door with shoes in hand. We got our bikes and with phone in hand, a pen and a few little snacks off we went on our first Geocache hunt.

The first one that was just a few hundred metres away from us, we couldn’t find! We searched and searched, we decoded the special hint that was given and even cheated by looking at some of the pictures that others had uploaded but still no luck. It was hidden on some green in the middle of a road, so it wasn’t very safe. I didn’t want the boys to run off and search as I was a bit worried that the youngest one would wonder into the road, so we gave up.

We went on to the next one on our list. I was using the Geocaching app on my phone and it shows all the local caches on a map, so easy to follow.

The next one was a disappointment too! Sadly after searching on quiet green area for 20 minutes we couldn’t find the homemade cache that was hidden there. The only thing we came away with was wet feet! The grass was over grown and it was obviously a local dog walkers paradise as it was full of mess. The children were having fun running around and searching for it, I sat down on the bench for a short while whilst the boys ran around on the pavement. I got out my phone and searched for the next cache.

Searching around

Searching around

The next one was in a park, so off we went….would this one be a disappointment too?

The park was quite big and from the clue that was given it said it was on a bench, as we entered the park and looked around we saw lots of benches…eeek! We followed the GPS to the coordinates given and was soon ontop of a metal bench, lucky for us no one was having a rest on it :-) We knew that it was a metallic micro containing only a logsheet so we got searching. It wasn’t long before Joseph was shouting out that he had found something that was stuck underneath the bench, he pulled it off and we all sat down to open it.

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The Cahche

The Cahche

The boys were so excited as wrote our name on the log sheet

“Is that all!???” Joseph said

“Yes! That’s what we have been searching for”

“Great! Can we look for more please?”

I was so glad that the disappointment of not finding the first two hadn’t put them off.

It was getting late and we had to get home for tea so I said that there was one more that we could search for on the way home, but not before having a little play first

The last cache was hidden by our local church, as soon as we arrived the boys beagan searching the church grounds. The clue was ‘It must be a sign’ so they looked around all the signs but didn’t find anything.

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The grounds had just been cut down and the hedges trimmed so it was easy to look around but it was looking like it may well be disappointment again, but as we was closing the gate to leave we noticed one more sign to look on. The road sign. Sure enough there it was hidden, crammed behind the sign up against the railing. This was bigger box than the last one so we left a little gift inside it.

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I think we had rather a successful day of geocaching and we are looking forward to finding more caches, maybe the next time we get the map out and look for some further out in the countryside.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
 

To me dearest little one….. First day at Nursery

My sweet little Oliver

Oh my have you grown! It only seems like yesterday that i heard your first little scream as you entered this world. You was so tiny and so precious.

From the first glance, I was smitten with you! Everyone adored you, your brothers constantly wanting to hold and cuddle you and we couldn’t get enough of you. You’re still treated like the baby, your big brothers still do everything for you. You only have to look at us with those big blue eyes with a sad look on your face and we are quickly picking you up and cudling you.

There was a handful of times that you put the fright into us with you struggling with your breath because of the reflux, but you was a very strong boy and fought it. It was scary watching you fit and so upsetting to see you being sick after every feed. You stayed small for months, not putting much weight on. I had to stop feeding you myself as you just brought it all back up straight away, but once diagnosed and you was on medication, things started to get a bit better.

You began to smile more and giggle, oh that giggle…

As you got older, we watched with awe at everything you did. Your older brothers dote on you, I’m surprised you learnt to do things for yourself as they do everything for you.

We watched with pride at your first crawl on the floor, your first step around the furniture and listened to your first word.

You’re three years old now and today you start nursery in school. You are so excited.

You may only be a young three, having a late July birthday but you are definitely ready to start nursery.

You have a hunger to learn.

Since your older brothers have started school you have waited patiently for the big day to arrive. Every weekday  morning since the beginning of September you have watched your brothers get ready for school and you turn to me and ask “Am i going to school today?”

I can’t wait to see your little face as you enter the Nursery.

I want to see what the first thing you will go to, I am guessing that you will walk over to the sand tray first. I am sure that there won’t be one activity in that Nursery that you won’t try on your first day.

This morning every thing is ready for you, Your uniform laid out on the sofa ready to put on, Your bag is packed with a change of clothes for those little accidents that may occur and your ‘about me’ booklet is all filled out.

I am really excited for you, I just can’t believe how fast the first three years of your life has gone!

Where has the time gone when you used to lay in my arms and snuggle into my shoulder for hours. Everyone used to say that i would have a needy baby if i kept holding you but I daren’t put you down for the fear of you choking.

You haven’t turned out to be needy at all, in fact you are very independant. You like to dress your self, even choosing the clothes that you want to wear for the day. You feed yourself (although you make a huge mess on the floor) You won’t let your brothers choose things for you either, it’s way or non at all!

We was talking about Nursery the other day and you told me that you won’t like your teachers, but I know for definite that you are going to adore them. We have learnt your teachers names together, and although you know all three you struggle with one name as it is quite long. I’m sure though by the end of the week you will be able to pronounce it correctly.

I’m hoping that you behave in school, no screaming, no snatching and No fighting! This may be the way that you play with your big brothers but not with other children. You have promised that you will be good and i am sure that you will, you like to please people and make them happy and if you know that the teachers will be happy with your good behaviiour you will carry it on.

I look at you and still see my tiny helpless baby, you may still be small but you are far from being a baby. I am so proud of you.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy my darling.

Love always

Mummy xxxxxxx

 

 

Why?

Why? Why? Why?……

This seems to be the favoured question that Oliver is using at the moment, He asks Why? to everything.

I am quite sure that he knows that is really starting to grate on me as he is saying more and more, he even walks away from me laughing after saying it. I can totally understand if he was just being curious and wanting to learn about new things and how they work but he answers with why to a lot of things like;

It’s dinner time…..Why?

Eat your breakfast…..Why?

Hold my hand……Why?

Pick up your toys…..Why?

It’s time for bed…..Why?

Play nicely with your big brother…..Why?

Stop fighting…..Why?

Come and have a wash…..Why?

 

This was one of the conversations we had the other day

Oliver: Mum, where are we going?

Me: I’m taking you to Liz’s house

Oliver: Why?

Me: Because Mummy has to go to work and you have to go to Liz’s house whilst I am there

Oliver: Why?

Me: Mummy works for an extra little bit of money

Oliver: Why?

Me: Because adults have to work so they can have money in the bank

Oliver: Why?

Me: Because I need to pay for all the clubs that you boys attend, holidays and our bills

Oliver: But Daddy works!

Me: Yes, but Mummy wants to work too!

Oliver: Why?

Me: Because Oliver, Just Because!

Most of the conversations go like this, where after a while i just answer with, Just Because!

Do you have similar conversations with your little ones?

 

 

Great Fires of London! Fireman Sam’s Ocean Rescue DVD Experience

ACTION STATIONS! NEW FIREMAN SAM DVD ‘OCEAN RESCUE’ OUT NOW
Great fires of Pontypandy! Fireman Sam and his brave firefighter friends are back – this time tackling disasters out at sea in a series of Ocean Rescue missions. Catch the ever-dependable Sam and co in this series of water-themed rescues and see if he can save the people of Pontypandy from a variety of nautical nightmares.
We was invited along to The Tower Brdige in London for an exclusive screeening of Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue, but best of all was how we was going to arrive at the Tower Bridge!
We made our way to the Embankment, along the Thames, where we was going to go on an exhilerating RIB boat ride down the Thames. The boys were really excited as these boats go really fast. As we waited for the RIB boat to turn up, the boys were put into their life jackets. Oliver couldn’t ride on the RIB as he weighs under 2 stone, so as we waved the boys off on their exciting trip down the Thames we rushed off to catch the train to meet them there.
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The boys were certainly arriving in style at The Tower Bridge, pretending to be on their very own rescue mission out on the water, just like Fireman Sam. Speeding down the River Thames with the wind in their hair, rushing to the Tower Bridge.
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Upon arrival they were greeted by Firman Sam himself.
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It wasn’t long before we was all sitting down with a drink and some popcorn watching the movie, all eyes were glued to the screen…even the adults!
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I knew that my eldest would enjoy the RIB boat ride but I wasn’t sure that he would want to sit down and watch Fireman Sam, but I was amazed at how the movie kept his attention as much as it did with the younger children. With lots of action and fun scenes even I sat down and watched the clips. There are many people in Pontypandy for Sam and Ben to rescue but it always seem to be bad boy Norman who gets into the most trouble.
After watching a few clips we was treated to some lovely refreshments, which certainly did fill a gap. There was lovely marshmallows on a stick covered in soft pink icing, fruit kebabs, crisps, shaped sandwiches and pitta bread with dips. We certainly was treated like heros.
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Fireman Sam even made special appearances after the Movie had finished, he spent time with all the children and adults posing for photographs and joking around with them.
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We all had a lovely day at The Tower Bridge watching the new DVD, we even brought a copy home to watch again and again.
Why don’t you join Fireman Sam for the grand opening of Pontypandy’s Ocean Rescue Centre! New coastguard Ben works alongside the Rescue Team to keep everyone safe with heroics on the high seas. Mike takes on the choppy waters alone as he attempts to set up some fireworks, but they accidentally all go off at once! Meanwhile, Norman and Mandy row out to sea in search of a rare turtle – but it’s not long before they are lost, and the waves keep getting bigger. Will Fireman Sam be able to find them before disaster strikes?
RRP: £12.99   Running time:  65 mins  Stockists: Available online at www.amazon.co.uk and in all good retailers nationwide                                  
To find out more about Fireman Sam visit the website http://www.firemansam.com.
We was invited along to the event for the purpose of this post.

Time! Is there enough?

Sometimes I wish time would just stand still 

For those precious moments in life that you want to last forever

Or if I could pinch those moments from life and put them in a jar so that I could watch them when ever I wanted to.
Moments that are not captured on camera. We can capture a smile on camera or a laugh on a video but you can’t spend your life with your eyes behind gadgets. Most of the time precious moments happen when we last expect it.
Like the times when my 3 year old holds me so tight and tells me he’s giving me a squeeze. That won’t last forever, he’ll grow up and soon forget to give his mum his squeezes.
Like the moment my 7 year old told me that he loves me so much, I’m the best mum ever just because I cooked him his favourite dinner
Like the moment when my 12 year old looked at me with love, kissed me and told me he loved me, just because he wanted to!
These moments are getting shorter. As they grow they become less and less.
I wish time would stand still, long enough to enjoy the moment.
It used to be a snuggle on the sofa in front of the TV,  now is a quick peck on the cheek as they run off up the stairs to play in their bedroom.
Is there enough time in the day to fit love and life into?!
I tell my children everyday I love them, I give them a cuddle and try and make time in our busy lives for all of us to sit down together and enjoy each others company.  It’s not easy with fitting school,  work,  clubs and social life into but its worth it. It has to be done.
Life is a rush.
I often find my self saying “where has the time gone? ” my boys are growing up too quickly
Tick tock, tick tock!
Time is going by so fast
I just want it to stop for a few minutes a day so I can breathe and take it all in.
The other day as we was walking through a busy underground tube station in central London at rush hour, my Joseph said to me “Why is everyone in a rush?  Why do they have to push part us “

I answered “They’re rushing to get home,  maybe to their families or friends”
“I don’t think rushing will get them home any quicker ” he answered. He’s right. How many times do you see someone rushing part you in a car or by foot, only to see them a few moments later just a little further down the road at a traffic light or bus stop.

Don’t rush your life away. Take it slow and breathe. Remember what we have here and now.
Yesterday a compliment was given to me about my eldest son, if only I could have held time, made it stop. So I could have taken it in, thought about it and just sat smiling for a little longer.
We have a memory jar at home in our living room, that we add in our written memories. On New Years Eve we all sit down and pen up that jar, reading it each others memories and we reminisce the good times. We talk about them, laugh and sometimes cry. But that jar can’t possibly hold all of our memories. For this we rely on our heart and brain.
Each night I kiss my children goodnight,  each morning I cuddle them tightly and every day I ask them how there day has been. Because I know that one day they will not be there at night nor in the morning and it won’t be me that they are rushing home to be with. So I’m holding on to my time now, here and now!

Experiencing a new culture #newthings

It’s our last week of being involved with CSMA Newthings bloggers challenge. We have really enjoyed trying out new things as a family especially our trip into London to visit film locations of Harry Potter. Spending time together and enjoying each others company has been a big part of this challenge. As my boys grow up I have noticed that they are doing more and more individually and as Jak is now 12 he has been enjoying his new-found independence and going out with his friends instead of wanting to spend his spare time with us. So having set days where we get to spend time together and enjoy experiencing new things has been a delight. This week challenge was to experience a new culture, although i would have loved to embark on a once in a life time trip to India to teach the children about their culture  it just wasn’t possible so we brought India to our little livingroom in Greater London instead. We visited a restaurant where we ordered some food from the counter to take away. The aroma coming from the shop was tantalizing and was definitely exciting our senses. My tummy was rumbling at the sight of all the lovely colourful food to choose from. We ordered Naan Bread, chappatis, tandoori roti and chicken curry, Joseph chose them all. I like to invite the children into choosing their food as they then seem to be more enthusiastic in wanting to taste it. We watched the chef cook make up the naan from the dough bread and then he placed it into a cylindrical clay oven, called a Tandoor. DSC_0195 Once we arrived the boys draped some material over their shoulders just like the Indian dress. We researched on the internet about traditional clothing and found out that it varies from region to region depending on ethnicity, geography, climate and cultural traditions. A sarong is a traditional garment in India for men and a sari for women.The material used is colourful and can be patterned.

While the boys were waiting for their food they did a puzzle of a traditional hindu family eating their dinner, it was this picture that we tried to reenact in our own living room.

 

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I served up our food on a tray and placed it on the floor, using our fingers we used the naan and chappatis to dip into the chicken curry. The boys loved it and soon all of the food was gone!

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Once we was full up we watched an indian music video on Youtube, the boys danced around the living room just like they were on the video. Indian songs mostly come from Indian films .

After a few minutes of dancing we all sat down and I attempted at doing some Henna on the boys feet. Henna is a paste made out of crushed leaves and twigs of a henna plant. When the paste has been applied to skin and left for a few hours, it leaves an orange stain on it (which fades away after 7 days). Mehndi is a long-standing tradition stemming from ancient cultures and is originally used on the palms of the hands. Henna serves as a symbol of good luck, health and sensuality.

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We didn’t cover the foot as the boys have school, so we only tried a little tattoo. It was quite easy to use but the boys found it ticklish and wouldn’t sit still lol.

We really enjoyed finding finding about a new culture, the children especially enjoyed the hennna tattoo. They now have something to show their friends of our cultural night in.

Have you tried a new culture this week?

Thank you to CSMA for inviting us along on the NewThings challenge, I hope you have all enjoyed reading about all the new things that we as a family have had fun doing.

FAMILY