We were lucky enough last weekend to house sit for some friends of ours who live a little bit out of the city into the country. It was a fun filled couple of days. They have a small army of baby chicks, chickens, guinea pigs and a seemingly absent cat (we think it was insulted by the dog and so took off for the weekend). The kids were in their element looking after the animals. I think they probably gave them a little bit too much care if you know what i mean 🙂
It was a beautiful evening and so we sat in the garden for our pizza supper while the dog drove himself mad staring at the guinea pigs!
The kids headed out onto the trampoline. We have a tramp in our garden but the sunshine never hits it the way it did out in the country. It was too gorgeous not to take some shots of and also really lovely to see my bigger kids just being kids and enjoying the outdoors.
Good for the soul.
Our weekends are getting more and more jam packed with stuff. Two of our girls have ‘activities’ on the weekend and they are rather incoveniently on the same day but one in the morning and one the afternoon. It doesn’t give us a lot of opportunity for spontaneity on a saturday! I also often work Friday night so it is always a bit of a challenge to try and catch up on my missed sleep.
Any time we can take to get everyone together and out for a bit of family time we try to take. Its often hindered by the weather though and recently the weather has been a bit undecided. We go from blazing sunshine to winds and rain all in the space of a few hours. It is hard to plan to do anything. So recently we grabbed the opportunity, when we had about 40 minutes in between commitments, the sun came out and so we darted out to the park. Its a local one that we have been to so many times but it us usually quite quiet which we like. The kids got on with some hide and seek games, they played with the dog, ran around and did back flips!
One of those occasions when having a big bunch of kids pays off because they all play together and reasonably well! Miracles do happen.
The OH and i got to sit and soak up a bit of sunshine for a few minutes before resuming the craziness of the day.
Doesn’t happen very often eh..
The trees are starting to look amazing aren’t they? Its that time of year when they really start to break out of those winter duds. With the lighter evenings as well it feels like there is a slow shift in the pace of our evenings. In the winter it can feel like tea comes soon after the end of school. But with the lighter, sometimes sunnier evenings it feels like there is loads of time before we need to start to thinking about evening routines and bedtimes. It feels nice to let those things go now. More like they way the spanish do it, although sadly without the siesta!!
One of the kids favourite things to do is to climb. Having a hardened outdoor, cliff climber as a Dad was probably always going to effect that! If there is a tree around then there will be one or all of my kids and my husband will be up it with me left holding the coats and the dog at the bottom!
A great place to climb trees is a local park, which has some grand, old trees with low, swinging branches that have probably had centuries of kids hauling themselves up onto them, scraping their knees and getting grubby. 🙂
Its lovely when the sun puts in an appearance through the leaves as well. This was one of those times when i didn’t have my DSLR with me, I have used this park many times for portrait sessions, it lends itself beautifully to family shots as there are so many places for a family to interact and play together. So it was out with the iphone and whilst the images might not have the pin tight sharpness of my DSLR they are still as valuable. “the best camera is the one you have with you” (chase Jarvis 2010)
I am chuffed to have been nominated for a BIBS aware again this year. Thats Brilliance in Blogging. I have been nominated in the ‘photography’ category and if you would like to go and vote for me to get into the finals then please follow this link. I am just incredibly honoured that there are folk that took the time to nominate me. thank you xx
During the half term we went to North Yorkshire for a family get away. We had been wondering what to plan for my dad’s birthday. It was a big decade one and we knew he wouldnt be keen on having a big ‘do’ so we started hatching a plan on what to do. I did a couple of evenings surfing t’internet looking for ideas about location, what to do, where to stay..i went from city breaks (but hey…we have small kids so discarded pretty quickly) to big barn conversations all in one with a huge swimming pool in the middle (booked) or large beautifully converted farm houses for large numbers of people. I had fun looking at different places and it seemed that the main issue we were going to come up against was the fact that in the february half term everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing!!
We eventually found somewhere and whilst it had beautiful cottages the biggest thing for my kids was the pool. It had a small, private pool and the kids adored it and where able to swim two or three times a day. For them it was total bliss. It was a real eye-opener for me as well as for a long time i haven’t enjoyed swimming at all. I have pretty much avoided getting anywhere near water unless i was needed in the adult to kid ratio! I know, not great..but ten years of paddling in the shallowest of swimming pools, with the wind howling round me hasn’t really lent itself to a joyful relationship…
But with my youngest being looked after, as she came down with a bit of a cold whilst we were there, meant that i could go into the pool with my older kids who can all swim reasonably well. In this lovely environment without having to worry about a toddler running across a slippery pool side and giving themselves a head injury..i had a bit of an epipheny.
Its not that i dont like swimming…im just not massively keen on swimming with toddlers, I find the stress of it and having to be in a constant state of ‘ready to jump as they might fall in and drown!” was draining and i had convinced myself that i actually didnt like swimming itself!
The kids and I had a blast, so cool seeing how great they can all swim and trying to get the furthest underwater. Even managed a few lengths of front crawl..its been such a long time. I was actually sad that i didnt get to go in on the last morning before we left as i was packing!
Maybe my view is changing with the times eh?
Last weekend the OH and a few
crazy friends of his set out for a weekend in Scotland to climb a couple of mountains if they could. It was forecast to be an awful weekend with hail, rain and high winds. Just the sort of weather you want to go climbing a mountain in…not.
Well not in my case but he cam back buzzing and full of how amazing it all was. The pictures they were sending back just made me feel cold to look at them! But i knew the OH was prepared. A large portion of his degree was outdoor education and i sometimes forget until he goes away like this and the crampons, ice-axes, and ropes appear from the loft. He was also travelling to Scotland on Burns night and although i think they might have thought it was fun to go and have a dance at the hotel cedilah. It ended up with them getting a take-away and falling asleep from the tiredness from all that activity!
Here are some of the pics from the weekend..these are obviously not mine and are the work of our friend Will. Who had the quick mindedness to snap some shots as it seems that my OH didn’t take a single one. tsk tsk 🙂
Those of us left back at the ranch so to speak were also being blessed with a weekend of crazy weather and we spent a lot of saturday and sunday dodging the hail and the rain. On Sunday afternoon in a bid for some outdoor time, myself and the other ‘scottish widow’ decided to head out to a park and play a quick game of rounders. Which was going well until as we arrived the biggest black cloud showed up and we got pelted with hail for 30 seconds or more.
I think the kids thought we were crazy when we just told them to hide under a tree! My youngest was pleading with me ‘i want to go home!’
But we chivvied them along and found a large fallen tree to play on, which of course was now very slippery!
But we did eventually get our game of rounders and the kids could burn off some steam. Once the game had started thoughts of going home seemed to leave their minds and they got stuck into the game. It wasn’t a long game but we had achieved a little outdoors and whilst it wasnt the trek up the side of a scottish mountain in the snow that their Dad’s were doing. It felt like a lot of a victory to us two mums and our, between us, eight kids!!