Family moments

We’ve had some very hot weather this week. It amuses me how the British can’t seem to deal with heatwaves or snow; anything other than rain is outside of our comfort zone.

On Monday we packed up a picnic lunch and headed for the public paddling pool in a nearby town. I dipped my legs in and felt very envious of the children playing in the nice cool water!

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I’ve been searching for a better way of carting around supplies for a day out whilst babywearing and discovered that granny trolleys are perfect! There’s plenty of room for baby gear, picnic stuff and swimming things, and I can also use it for carrying shopping back home.

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My mum invited us to stay for lunch after piano lessons on Tuesday so that the children could play in the paddling pool in her garden.

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Tabitha took this photo on Wednesday after we got back from karate. It was Colin’s day off so he drove us there. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that he passed his driving test last week! He has had a few lessons but mostly just lots and lots of practice with me over the last year or so. It’s great having another driver as he can now do things like nip out to the shops or even just fetch the car from the car park.

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It rained most of the day on Thursday. Tabitha re-discovered her Wii dancing game and even Aaron joined in. He is a fantastic dancer but refuses to take lessons!

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Esther was appointed the judge, a job which she clearly took very seriously.

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While I was pregnant I cleared out one of our lofts, and today I decided to make a start on the second. I found a crinkly fabric baby book which Esther will enjoy now that she is starting to tolerate spending time on her tummy. I have to be careful where I put her down now as she shuffles quite a distance on her back!

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We nipped out to Lidl as we had run out of bin bags and I spotted a pull-the-tab phonics book which I thought Tabitha would enjoy. Aaron very sweetly helped her to read it while I was busy making lunch. Her blending is coming along well and she can now read lots of cvc words with a bit of prompting.

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I leave you with big sis and little sis playing together.

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A trip to the capital

Colin’s agency job finished on Monday so we took the opportunity to go up to London for a few days to visit his grandparents, whom we haven’t seen for a year and a half. We loaded up the car and set off early Tuesday morning, stopping to visit my Granny in Yeovil on the way.

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The Travelodge where we were staying had nine floors and a brilliant view. Once we had unpacked our stuff and set up Esther’s hammock, we went over to Great-Nanny and Grandad’s house for the evening.

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On Wednesday, after Nanny cooked us a fried breakfast, we took the overground and underground trains to London Zoo.

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There was a petting area where Tabitha enjoyed feeding and stroking the donkeys, alpacas, llamas and goats.

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It didn’t take long for Aaron to find water and get soaking wet!

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There were several walk-through areas where we could get up really close to monkeys, birds, spiders and other animals.

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This pelican had the letters “AAR” on his ring, which we decided must be short for Aaron.

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Tabitha loved the butterfly house and Aaron was amazed by the huge Atlas moths which were as big as his head.

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Watching the penguins swimming through the glass was great fun. They almost seemed to play with the children.

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Aaron was very excited about seeing the Komodo Dragon. He has been interested in them since we used Komodo Maths a few years ago and has watched lots of videos about them.

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Colin found the aquarium very interesting.

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One of my favourite animals we saw were the giraffes.

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On the way back we walked through Regent’s Park. According to Colin’s phone, we walked 22 km in total that day! Aaron and Tabitha did amazingly well but we were all rather exhausted by the time we got back to Nanny and Grandad’s house for a late dinner.

On Thursday we drove across London to go and visit Colin’s aunt, uncle and cousins. They took us to Brooklands museum where we saw cars, bikes, planes, buses and more. We went on Concorde which was very interesting, and Colin pointed out the engine part that his Grandad made.

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Afterwards we went back to their house for dinner, where Tabitha had a wonderful time with the two cats, five dogs and collecting eggs from the henhouse.

We spent Friday morning with Great-Nanny and Grandad again. It has been really lovely for the children to get to know them better, as they’ve only met them a few times. We set off around midday and finally got home just before 9 pm, after lots of stops and traffic queues!

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Photo overload!

The problem with not blogging for ages is that I end up with loads of photos to share! July has been a busy month with lots of family gatherings and outings.

We had a great morning with the home-ed group at RHS Rosemoor, doing a workshop on photosynthesis and food chains. Aaron and Tabitha already understood these concepts pretty well thanks to the Magic School Bus!

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We had a big family gathering with two of Colin’s siblings and their families and his uncle, aunt and one of his cousins. It was a miserable rainy day (like most of this month) but after a lovely meal we went for a stroll down to the beach. Colin and Aaron seem to be genetically programmed to enter any nearby water and got completely soaked. Tabitha was more cautious but got her legs wet. Good thing I was expecting it and packed spare sets of clothes!

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We met up with one of my mum’s cousins who was on holiday from Ireland. Afterwards we were browsing through the book section and Aaron found a great activity book. He read it to us on the car journey home and wanted to do some of the activities straight away, so we looked at our fingerprints and played with a non-Newtonian fluid.

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Colin was forced to take some time off work before his redundancy so that they didn’t have to pay him extra for his holidays, but it was nice to have him around more. He spent a few days working really hard at making an amazing wooden sword and scabbard for the children.

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Last week the home-ed group met at Tapeley Park for a permaculture workshop. We tasted unusual plants, made insect hotels, picked flowers to arrange into bouquets and the children ate lots of berries!

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There have been three birthdays in the extended family recently so there have been several family gatherings. Tabitha, as the most willing and responsible cousin, often gets the job of holding her baby cousin on rides. The children also had a lovely time at another cousin’s party at Atlantis Adventure Park. Afterwards we stayed on with Nanny to explore the maze and play crazy golf.

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My parents are having their house renovated so we’ve had a few days out with my mum to help her escape the chaos! One day we took a picnic lunch out to RHS Rosemoor. The children took their walkie talkies so we split up and had fun trying to find each other. Then mum sat with her knitting and I sat with my crochet while the children played. (My mum made Tabitha’s dress, isn’t it lovely?)

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We’ve also enjoyed a walk to Velator pond, planted some flower seeds at the allotment, been on a bike ride to the park and visited the beach.

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Colin is now redundant so the next few weeks are rather uncertain. He’s had a couple of job interviews already but hasn’t heard back yet, and I have an interview for a part-time job next week. We are trusting that the Lord will provide for all our needs. On the positive side, the children have really enjoyed taking it in turns to go out and spend some one-on-one time with him, and hopefully we’ll be able to fit in a few family outings too.