I am a little later than usual with my weekly round up of joyful moments from this last week – mainly because it has been such a busy and fantastic weekend I haven’t really had much time to sit and collect my thoughts. This week overall has been an incredibly hard one for me and in time I will go into more depth on that, but for now I am more than grateful that it ended on such a high, so many lovely moments shared together. We have enjoyed the kids sports day, football and a beach adventure!

The highlight this weekend (aside from our victory over Sweeden to qualify us for the Semi’s – how mint!) most certainly was our family expedition through the caves on Saturday evening. Kitted out in wetsuits, our little family joined my sisters family and our parents up at Thornwick Bay and together had a whole lot of fun swimming in the sea. We were seen climbing through the caves and “cliff jumping”, and It was a whole lot of fun/a rather epic moment!

Grateful For 

The beach makes me so happy, so to have the opportunity on Saturday to get into my wetsuit was a joyful moment I felt grateful to have. We went in the evening at low tide so the waters were calm and blue and the evening sun looked and felt lush. I felt truly grateful for Summer, for brave kids that were up for the adventure and for fun times with some of our family.

This week I have also been grateful for mum friends at school that get me and took time to chat about life! I am also very grateful for sisters and having a fab time on Thursday with 2 of them carbooting and ice cream eating. It was such a lovely day out and I am once again grateful to live close by them and the coast – so much more spontaneity in life as a result!

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting into my wetsuit after 2 years (too long) and loved it! Last year we never really took the opportunity to go caving and really missed the fun we have together up in the caves! I also succeeded at doing a tonne of laundry thanks to the glorious weather and succeeded at hitting up the car boot sale and finding some mega deals.

Found Beauty In 

A boat full of kids eagerly floating through the caves with us. My kids playing with Russian dolls whilst sat in their England tops watching the world cup! And, seeing the little kiddies at sports day running their little socks off – so cute!

I also found great joy and beauty in the continuously sunny days we’ve had, the beautiful coastline in the evening sun and seeing the Puffins line the cliffs!

This gorgeous weather has brought so many wonderful moments and I am feeling so happy that we are having a proper Summer – long may it continue.

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For years I have scrolled through my Facebook feed and loved the efforts of parents and kids in creating spectacular, ingenious and just lovely costumes for World Book Day. From comic books to classics, one off faves and  quirky childhood favourites, kids everywhere were living the dream and I couldn’t wait until my kids were in school and we could embrace this wonderful idea too.

Then this year we finally got a chance to. Megan briefly wanted to be Cinderella but then never really swayed from being a rabbit from Peter Rabbit, and Ethan was set on being The Gruffalo… No the big skeleton from Funny Bones…no Sam I am..No green ham…no Aliens love underpants…definitely a skeleton..Okay the robber from cops and robbers! It was far from the fun easy adventure I had anticipated as we enjoy so many great books and my son is evidently as indecisive as me. In the end he settled on a Cops and Robbers (Grabber Dan to be precise), and we had a few last minute costume makes, and then Megan was a gorgeous Lily Rabbit. I just loved that moment they saw themselves for the first time in character – so exciting!

And then me with my bright ideas suggested in our PTA meeting a few weeks back that we dress up too and share some stories with the classes in school which was embraced well, and subsequently evolved into me sharing one to the whole school in an assembly – Score..nooottt!

I rocked up to school dressed as Peg Polka dot from “The Troll” complete with frying pan and plastic fish and had great fun reading to reception whilst the other mum’s tackled the other classes. Then the school gathered in the hall where I shared (in my dressing gown) one of our faves “Zagazoo” in Assembly to hall of eager kids and teachers.

I do love to perform, it makes me happy. I am a little eccentric at times, and wish I dare be more so sometimes, But I do feel comfortable being a character and acting, and to do this for my kids school is a moment I will remember for a long time. Not just that but that moment in the morning when they looked in the mirror and saw themselves in character! It was so precious and it felt so good to be silly with them and embrace this opportunity of being a school mum on the PTA on world book day. Its was so much fun and so many giggles.

Our first world book day was easily a success and I found it a wonderful thing for me to share this with the kids too. I think it was good for them to see me in their school life and me them. To be in Megan’s class and see her grinning “that’s my mum” was certainly a lovely thing. To hear their class mates laughing their heads off and thinking I’m a rather cool mum (I hope ha) was just great for us all, and we left school on such a high… they had loved being dressed up and sharing their books with their friends. They had appreciated differences in likes and dislikes and had loved the chance to have a day celebrating the wonderful world of books and stories. A day to exercise imagination and passion, and an ordinary moment of childhood we embraced wholeheartedly – roll on next year!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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Now the kids are back in school it seems like absolutely ages since we had a proper family day out – a good old adventure in the fresh air and beautiful scenes of Yorkshire. With several busy weekends rushing around here and there with parties and celebrations  (amongst other things), I have been craving a day where we can just get out and clear the cobwebs, have a nice walk, chats and enjoy being out in nature together. I love to see the kids outdoors exploring, running around, collecting sticks and finding bugs and dens in the bushes. They seem to just light up as they discover all kinds of things that are interesting and beautiful to them, and its just lovely! I think that it is these day to day outings I miss the most with Ethan and Megan both being in school now, so when Yorkshire water sent us over one of their highly sought after picnic bags and info on their walking “hot spots” for days out we couldn’t wait for a gorgeous family adventure, and finally we did! And my most favourite thing about it – it’s all Free and can be enjoyed by all….

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Yorkshire water have a “leisure” website (here) where you can easily access information, maps and activities to do around their reservoirs throughout Yorkshire. As half term is here and can quickly become pricey I think this is a fantastic activity to do with kids whether you are in North, East, South or like us, West Yorkshire (or even on the boarder and want to venture over to Gods own county). Their walking packs can be downloaded on the website and are easily indicated as to the level of difficulty depending on whether you fancy a good hike or gentle stroll with prams and scooters! For us with little kids and a pram in tow we chose an easy route and started off small. This took us near Meltham/Slaithwaite area to “Blackmoorfoot” reservoir, the walk was only short – just over a mile, but perfect for us all and easy going. It was absolutely beautiful with clear skies and Autumn clearly all around us in nature.

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I know my kids could have easily done one of the 4 milers but our reason was that we just wanted a chilled day and use the pram as oppose to a carrier. Despite the walk being short, we still spent a good couple of hours there walking, picnicking, collecting sticks and autumn leaves and finding various plants and bugs! Ethan and Megan loved the little bridges and we all enjoyed the surrounding woodlands as much as the lovely views of both the reservoir and rolling hills. The kids loved their picnic, paddling in safe spots and calling to the ducks!

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It was all so beautiful and peaceful and we had a really great time exploring and walking. I love our family walks and I think there are so many reasons to love “Yorkshire Water” for a great family day out, both for this half term or any weekend:

1. Its Free!!! (and fun…free and fun = the perfect combo)

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2. They Provide printable activity packs – on the website scroll down to the walking section and find the sub header of “Activities for children”. Here you can select the relevant ages of your kids and down load an activity to take with you with colouring pages, spot the difference, things to find in nature and things to make either out or when you return.

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3. You can enjoy a picnic in gorgeous scenery, and who doesn’t love a good picnic?! We loved using our official Yorkshire water picnic set, but grab a bag and some snacks and make a day of it!

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4. They are Pram friendly – well some are, some are not. Next time we will probably use the wrap and carry Alice so we can step it up a few levels, but the level one walk which states is suitable for prams was just that. It was really easy going, some mud as expected, but our bugaboo handled it totally fine and Alice was asleep for the most part.

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5. You can do more than just have a walk – loads more to be honest. You can fish, cycle and if you are loaded and have horse…horse ride (though if you’re reading a thrifty post I’m guessing you’re not)!!

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6. It can be tailored to your families needs. We chose an easy route like I say so that we could have a casual walk and use the pram, but it made me excited that if the kids were older or you have a pack of boisterous kids then a level 4 walk with rougher terrain and higher gradients in the direction of Howath or Meltham would be a great challenge and adventure for them. Again activity packs can be used appropriately for various ages of your kids.

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7. They are safe – you can’t really get lost and the walks are very straight forward. Provided you stick to the tracks, obey resouvior rules and follow the routes its a good safe day out for all!

I love a good family day out of fun and adventure and I think that from being a stay at home mum I have probably taken for granted that we could have daily adventures like this when ever we wanted, where as now we are limited to Saturdays and half terms. So if you are like me and are craving some fresh air for your kids, or just want a great day out for FREE this half term then take a look at Yorkshire Waters Leisure site and get yourselves to a place where your kids can have some exploring and adventures whilst finding our about all kinds of wildlife too. We discussed how lovely it would be to visit a different reservoir every month for a walk and discover new places together whilst seeing nature in the changing seasons, because lets face it (in their words) there’s no excuse for staying indoors when you’ve got the amazing Yorkshire landscape on your doorstep!

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Hearty Life (4)

 

#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots
Nature Mum Blog
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August has very much been about Family and I couldn’t have asked for more from Summer. If I had one word to sum up our month I would most definitely opt for “family”; with our wonderful holiday in Cornwall, our recent ‘family fun weekend’ with Nathans family and now me and the kids enjoying some last minute adventures on the coast at my Parents. Family is great and I have loved the Summer holidays for giving us so much time and lush weather to spend time together as a family on many adventures and having a great time with our families. I couln’t not include a family pic from our holiday, taken at the lost gardens of helegan and a reminder of the first holiday with Alice, the craziness that family holidays now are and another imperfect picture with only Nath looking at the camera and me wondering why on earth Ethan is trying to elbow me? Either way this is our normal, unpredictable, adorable family life and it was taken whilst we were loving the time we had together.

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The rest of these pictures were taken on Sunday in our “sunday best” after church whilst at Nathans Parents house for the Bank Holiday weekend. I really love how clean and lovely the kids always are on a sunday, and as church is such a key part of our family life I like to look back on Sundays and remember that amid the chaos, random outtakes and moments where I have no idea what is going on, that there actually were some moments of peace, there was unity and at least one day a week where we were all clean, I had time for hair and make up and we looked pretty good!

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I love sunday’s more when spent with family and I love to sit in church and see my family all around me, it makes my heart happy and sums up what life is all about really. I say this because I am mindful that as we enter September, we enter my least favourite month, and a month where we reflect a lot on Poppy and her anniversaries. Its a hard time of year in our family and will now be mixed in with saying goodbye to both Ethan and Megan as they begin school again. And so, when I have moments of sheer joy with family and remember how great it is when we are all together, I want to capture it and feed the hope I have that this and these momentes we work so hard for, can be our forever.

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This bank holiday weekend was another 4 days of family time and family fun. More moments of tresuring family as we celebrated Grandma Smiths birthday and had a jam packed weekend which included water slides, a bouncey castle, pottery painting, playing games, outings and singing together some British anthems! I laughed so much, enjoyed chatting with my inlaws, felt exhausted and felt blessed for our little family as an extension to something wonderful.

And now as the fun continues with my family (minus daddy) with trips to the beach, making mud pies with cousins and lots of ice creams, I am grateful to August for more Sunshine, more family laughs and fun and more bonds created for my kids with their cousins. I love these carefree days together, the routines we have fallen into and seeing how much better the kids have beome at cooperating for me. I love August for giving us so much time together so we could make lots of memories as a family and with our family.

In just one week our schedule be back to school runs, sorting uniforms and me having far less kiddie convos during the day. Whilst I look forward to the initial quiet and rest, the increased freedom, a tidy home, time for me occasionally whilst Alice sleeps…I know it will be short lived and I will miss my little buddies a lot. But for now we will enjoy together the last few days of summer, of freedom and of fun.

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The Me and Mine Project
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