Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sickness in the House

Unfortunately Cora is not well at the moment. I think it's just a cold, but it's a bad one - the sort where you have muscle aches and headaches and feel rubbish. She barely moved yesterday. Today she's much better but still ill. I slept in this morning because I was woken by her several times last night - they were watching a film when I got up and I found this note:

How could I resist giving her what she wanted?
We had plans for today but we've had to reschedule. Nevermind. I just hope the other two don't get it because we have plans for next week too.

Last weekend we took advantage of Codonas offer of half price wristbands through the October holidays. You only get 4 hours in the theme park, but we also got entrance to Smuggler's Cove soft play from 11am and access to the dodgems from this time as well. Plus you get a round of mini golf, a pass for the XD Theatre, and a go on 'Vertigo' - the aerial assault course! Not bad for £6.49 a person.

The kids had a fantastic time and my brother met us there too.

Spot Uncle Benjamyn and the kids!

View of Aberdeen

Aberdeen Beach

Daddy and Maia on the Apple coaster

Calvin excited to go on the ride

Daddy and Maia on the coaster

Excited girl waiting for the Crazy Train rollercoaster - she loved it and spent the whole time with her arms up and screaming with joy!

A round of golf

Just missed...

Girls rule!

The boys were a hole behind us

Daddy and Uncle Benjamyn

Best air hockey ever - Pacman Smash

Playing the 2p games

Please sir, can I have some more?

In Smugglers Cove Role Play Street, she made supper

Cora the Vet

Fixing the kitty

Calvin the Chef making pizza

Cheesy smile and a cheesy pizza ;) Handsome boy!

Sorry to flood you with pictures but I just wanted to share.. we had a great day and made some good memories! Here's a few pictures Aaron took as well, proof that I was actually there with them!

Cora on Vertigo

The whole family

Calvin and I on Vertigo

He's getting braver!
So for those of you local, I'd recommend taking advantage of this offer if you can. It's a good deal. Codonas had a few niggles (such as a huge queue to get our wristband, due to a problem with the machine - no communication from employees and no solution offered, as well as things like the ferris wheel only having about 4 cars open so people had to queue despite most of it being empty). But still, for the money, it's a good day out.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Smugglers Cove

Today we went to Smugglers Cove at the beach in Aberdeen. I haven't been there since the soft play was redone, and we really loved it! The kids had so much fun in the Role Play Street, and the play area.

Role Play Street

Supermarket shopping with his puppy from the Vet!

Getting a trolley

Making ice creams in the pizzeria

Putting her puppy in the shopping basket!
If you're local, I'd really recommend taking your kids here. It was probably the best soft play we've been to, simply because of the street! The kids spent over half of the time here, watching films in the cinema, making pizza and ice creams in the restaurant, healing animals in the vets, and shopping in the supermarket. When we left Maia even put every single bit of 'shopping' she had been carrying around back exactly on the shelf it came from!

In other news, I just received my new camera today. It was a cheap bridge one but gets good reviews so I'm looking forward to trying it out tomorrow outside. So far it hasn't taken great pictures in low light but I don't expect that from a cheap camera. Watch this space!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Boy's Brigade

Today was the annual dedication of Boy's Brigade to their sponsor church. We went along and attended the service then Calvin and the other boys (and girls of Girl's Brigade) did some marching. Calvin really enjoys it, and the longer time goes on the more I appreciate it too. They teach the boys discipline and respect. When they're practising marching, if they step out of line they have to drop and do 5 push ups. Some people may think this is harsh and too militant but Calvin actually loves it!

Here's my handsome boy.

Junior Section
And here they are marching up the road.

Marching smartly!
Cora gave up Girl's Brigade years ago for Brownies, but she hasn't gone to Brownies for 6 months now and she's actually considering going to Girl's Brigade. It'll be interesting if she does.

See the Boy's Brigade website for more info.

Home page?

I think I need to make this blog my home page, to remind me to write in it. I chronicle a lot of what we do on Facebook, but that isn't very accessible months or years down the line (ever tried searching for an old status? It's next to impossible because FB only shows you 'selected' stuff when you look back through your timeline). I've decided to have a break from Facebook for a while. I really dislike the dynamics there. It highlights things that wouldn't be highlighted in real life - like if you grow apart from a friend in real life, they just don't see you much anymore... on Facebook, they might delete or block you, and you might constantly be seeing him or her writing on a mutual friend's wall, always bringing it home to you that you are no longer close. I think it's a very artificial environment, and our social norms don't always seem to apply. People say things that they wouldn't in real life. That's always been the case online, but on Facebook we no longer have the excuse of anonymity. It's just that people are more brazen and less thoughtful when they're sitting behind a keyboard. It is what it is, I suppose. But I need to break from it, revive my efforts in real life friendships and relationships where people actually care about me!

So I will sum up our past week, for family and friends who are interested. (One of the things about having a family split across continents, is that someone somewhere is always missing out on your 'news'.)

Monday: A visit to the optician in the morning. He was 'bored' by us apparently, because we're all seeing so well! :) Cora had eye surgery to correct a bad squint when she was 3 or 4. He said she is unusual because not only is her vision in both eyes almost perfect (usually with a squint it causes one eye to be worse than the other), her eyes work perfectly in sync. Essentially, the surgeon did a fantastic job. I was very pleased to hear that! You'd never know now that she had such a squint when she was young.

You can really see the squint here if you look closely!

After that, I headed to visit my Dad in hospital. He had been admitted the night before and had sepsis again. I spent the night in Dundee so I could visit again the next day, and he was in High Dependency both days but seemed relatively okay, despite being so unwell. He's improving now, thank God.

Friday: All 3 kids got haircuts. Maia got her beautiful long blond hair cut! She's wanted it cut for well over a year. I was always reluctant, mainly because she's the baby! Cora had her hair cut by that age so I felt a bit hypocritical. She loves it!

Before (she's not naturally curly, it was in buns the night before!)

After.. *sob*

Handsome boy has been waiting ages for a hair cut!

Pretty girl got the layers chopped off from her old pixie cut
And as for the weekend... that'll have to be in a separate post, or it'll be far too long!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nature Deficit Disorder

I'm in the middle of reading this report from the National Trust. It's really interesting reading so far. I know despite being home educated, my kids still do get less outdoor time than I did as a child. I spent hours outside playing with the neighbours. TV only showed kid's programming for limited hours a day, and although we had a video player, the same videos over and over didn't always appeal. We do try and get out and explore a lot of our local nature resources. Perhaps I'm feeling it a bit more because it's winter. In summer I tend to kick them out with a picnic and tell them to explore for a few hours, this summer Maia may even be old enough to join them if they're staying in our little neighbourhood. She'd be thrilled to go with them I think!

The trend towards spending lots of time inside with screens - TV, computer, DS, tablet, phone - must have lots of effects for children (and adults of course!). The more time they're watching something like that, the less time they're active. Playing outside requires a lot more imagination than watching a TV show.

I'm going to go and finish reading the report now, but I know I'm going to make a concerted effort to give my kids more time outside and less screen time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some of Our Recent Adventures

I really want to write more here. I think I'm going to set myself a calendar reminder for once a week to make a blog post. The thing is, Facebook is a good log of what we do on a regular basis but it's nearly impossible to look back on. And if Facebook ever goes down, that content will go with it. Of course, the same is true here, but it's more likely that I would be able to switch the blog to another platform if Google were in trouble. I love to look back on what we've done over the months! Here are some pics I just sent to a friend:

Calvin making a snow angel

Cora made me breakfast in bed one morning for a surprise

Cora cooking stroganoff for supper


All I want for Christmas is my...

...2 front teeth!

Sweet note from Cora

Her beautiful new hairstyle

The kids with my Dad at his new nursing home

Maia and the almighty stick. She always has to find a good one when we go out!

Maia (3) chopped all the courgette (zucchini) and mushrooms for our supper the other night, all by herself!

With a castle she built by herself - Daddy has taught her well!

Excited for their train trip to Dundee. :)

All ready to go out for the day