Wednesday, 30 December 2015

autumn and winter in fast forward

The last 4 months of the year have soared by in a bit of a blur. What with starting a new job, Aniah starting a new school and various other goings on, the blog has taken rather a back seat. That's not to say I've slowed down on taking photographs. Here are just a selection from the past few months to give a little insight into what we've been up to.

Aniah had very mixed feelings going to her new school in September. She was excited to be in the same class as a friend from church, but sad not to be seeing her old friends. She has settled in really well and has made a few more friends since. She continues to try hard, and got a good report from her teacher at parents evening.

Zak began attending a new nursery on a Thursday and Friday (the days I work). He's always been a bit of a home boy and is convinced that he doesn't want to go in every day but then really has a super time once he's there. All his teachers love him and praise him for being such a kind, helpful boy.
He also tries to be helpful at home too... Here he is trying to empty a box of cereal into a storage container which promptly overflowed and went all over the floor. big woops.

 In September, I felt overwhelmed with sadness after reading about the Syrian refugee crisis and decided I wanted to do something to help. I organised a local drop off point which attracted a lot of support and we ended up with a van full of donations which I took to a central collection point where I was stunned to see just how generous people had been. I was glad to be able to do something small to help when quite often I feel so powerless to do anything.

Bennie continues to be the cutie monkey of the family. He's always up to one mischief or another and over the last few months has really started picking up more and more language. He's become a bit of a parrot repeating most words you say to him. He loves to play with the cars, dinosaurs and push around the little doll in a pushchair. He was a bit obsessed by some simple sock puppets we made and would walk around the house wearing them for ages. 

Zak and Bennie both love to help with the cooking. I remember how stressed my mum used to get about us kids coming into the kitchen growing up (I can totally understand why now), but I really love how eager they both are to help with the stirring and chopping.

Messy play continues to be a big part of my play time with the kids. Although for some reason I haven't been able to fit it in quite as much the past few months. Zak loved experimenting with the cornflour goo...
 Another thing Zak has loved doing into the late summer was helping Daddy with the play house. I was amazed how much trust Gareth put in Zak to help him with the power tools. Zak would help him with the electric hand saw and he'd fetch him nails and tools when asked. Beautiful memories being made here.

A sad day was had when Zak's best friend Joshie moved away... He often asks when he can see his buddy and whenever possible Martha and I will meet up so they can play.

I love it when the kids really co-operate with each other in their play. Quite often they are at each others throats and arguing about one thing or another. But here it was so lovely to see them both totall immersed in an outdoor activity.

 Zak was so tender with this little worm he found.

 In October, our (not so little) boy turned 4. Instead of a party this year we took him to Thorpe Park for a family day out. A wonderful time was had by all. He was delighted with his bike birthday prezzie too.

We've hit a few national trust places, always a lovely experience exploring nature and feeling a bit more cultured.

The kids totally exhausted after a busy day-

 Then along came Christmas - perhaps a little too early this year for some. .Our decs went up in November this year. And no, no regrets! I love Christmas!!

Our little babies were a space man visiting Jesus and Joseph. Zak was rather put out that he had to have a beard and was on the verge of tears the whole way through. Poor sausage.

Then the Church nativity where the kids played an angel and a little drummer boy.

 Then there was the works christmas do. A lovely time was had - I danced the whole night and even saw some old collegues from the last job I had.

Christmas festivities will need to be on another blog... but needless to say, it's been busy but lots of fun,

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

In Summmerrrr - Part 1

I both love and dread the summer holidays. I was super tired at the end of the last teaching term and was ready to be at home with the kiddies. However, the prospect of the holidays also brings with it the realisation that -
1. You have got 3 boisterous children 24/7 to entertain,
2. For most of it you are alone.
3. British weather is bad. This summer holiday was no exeption to that rule.

So, here we have a fly through some of the holiday 'fun'. I use that word with hesitation these were moments when I was feeling sane and not trying to lock myself away in a cupboard to get away from the squabbling.

As a matter of habbit, I tried to include some sort structured/educational activity in the day. Aniah got sent home a 'busy book' to fill in over the holidays, so I thought it would be nice for Zak to have one to use too. We use the books to do writing, drawing, mark making, counting etc.

As Bennie is far too young for that sort of thing, we did lots of language development, sensory and physical development activities.

He loves animals, so we looked at the toys and tried making all the noises for each before singing ' Old Macdonnald'

Here A nad Z are making 10 fat sausages for their saucepans before we sang our number song 

We then went on to sing 5 currant buns after making them out of the play dough.

Followed by a number hunt. Zak wrote numbers 1-10, while I tried getting Aniah to focus on 11-20. They then cut them all up and hid them around the house for each other to find.

Here they are doing a bit of still life painting. I love art, and I am delighted that both of them are so keen on drawing and painting too. Aniah has already decided she wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Zak playing with the playdough hairdresser set while Aniah actuallt tries cutting his hair - thankfully they are plastic!

Bennie loves scribbling on anything he can put his hands on. He quite enjoyed mark making in the coco powder, except when he tasted it and realised it was not a good flavour!

I was fortunate enough to stumble accross a pathway not far from our house recently. On one of the few sunny days, we took ourselves on a little adventure in the woods. Then it opened up into this beautiful place -

Sensory play for Bennie -

Now I took a whole bunch of other photos with these boxes. And I could probably write another whole post about the fun they had in these over the course of about 5 days. It's amazing what fun can be had with a simple box. They got turned into superhero dens, beds, toy shops, weird sculptures, ships and many more weird and wonderful things!

This one is my favourite - 


And while my back was turned ....

What I like to call 'magic paint' - "look kids, watch as it dissappears in front of your very eyes!" ... no mess, very easy, free, and entertains for hours.

One morning, Zak strode into the kitchen with a massive grin on his face - "look mummy I'm daddy"

One day, the kids managed to write all the numbers from 1-100 (after about 20, I wrote them all in highlighter pen first!)

And I'll finish with this one. Now that Bennie is so much bigger and heavier, I can't really carry him in the baby carrier for very long, so I've taken to putting him next to me as we get dinner ready. He's a great 'helper'!!!!

These photos constitute about 2 weeks worth of holiday fun. So methinks I will try and find some more time to finish the rest!