One lucky little guy!

Last weekend took a surprising turn of events! Whilst I was visiting my Gran’s house with the kids, my daughter and son had been playing outside in her garden when they came racing in, shouting “There’s a hedgehog in the garden!” Now to say they were excited is an understatement, but there was also an edge of panic to their voices. It became clear as to why, when we went outside and saw exactly where the hedgehog was – down a rather deep hole in Gran’s garden! The poor little guy must have fallen down and got completely stuck!

My daughter was very worried bless her and went to go and get her Grandad (or Popsy) as we call him to help! He donned some of his welding gloves (“I am not getting those spikes near my hands!”) and tried to get the hedgehog out from the hole.

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It took several attempts before he managed to grab him and pull him out to safety. He was looking very dusty and was pretty wobbly on his feet. I wasn’t terribly hopeful that he was okay. We gave him some water which he drunk so quickly! It made us wonder exactly how long the little guy had been stuck down there for! It was strange as he wasn’t fearful of us at all – think he was just very grateful to be out of his tight squeeze!

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Once we knew that he was okay and that he had drunk plenty, we set him free down in Popsy’s allotment. The kids were so happy that they had played a part in rescuing the hedgehog and were chuffed to see him walking happily around back in the wild!

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A very strange end to our weekend but a lovely experience for the kids to see a hedgehog so close up and help to put him back where he belongs!

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A special moment captured!

Firstly, sorry I haven’t been around a great deal recently…… I am still here but just very busy as we are well into our school summer holidays and although I love the holidays, I feel like I have zero amount of free time right now! I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays too. Let me know what you have all been up to!

I wanted to share with you this picture I took the other day when I took the kids (including my two year old nephew) to the beach. My son loves skimming stones and uses every available opportunity to practise and perfect his technique! My nephew always tries to copy him and my son always tries to help him out and teach him how to skim. I watched them the other day and was struck by how lovely it was, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture. I think it captures a truly special moment between them!

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I genuinely believe that childhood should be about simple pleasures like this. I try to create memories for the kids which are more about special moments rather than expensive toys and presents. I hope that these moments will stay with the kids as they grow, and remain special to each of them. I know that they are certainly some of my most precious memories!

 

A jump for joy!

Recently my little boy has been pretty poorly with a horrible tummy bug. It meant that we were stuck in the house for several days and we were all beginning to get a little cabin fever! He is much better now and wanted to go out to the beach as quick as he could! He grabbed his favourite diggers and off we went! He was so happy that he was able to move and get out in the fresh air again. They raced those diggers up and down the sand, over and over again with sheer delight!

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Even his big sister was ecstatic at being able to play with her little brother again!

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Our first Kite Festival!

As a family on a budget I am always on the look out for ways to entertain the kids and spend some quality time together for little or no money. We spend lots of time outside going for walks and to the beach and I am so thankful for where we live!

The other day I saw a Facebook post advertising a free kite festival in a nearby coastal town. I wasn’t sure about it at first as I have never been to a kite festival and wondered whether it would have enough to hold my kids attention for long. I decided to go for it though as it was completely free, sounded fun and the weather looked good for the day (always a bonus when it is an outdoor event on the beach)! I took my five year old son, eight year old daughter and seven year old niece (plus my youngest sister for some adult company)!

We travelled there on our local train and my wonderful gran had given us some money to treat ourselves to chips for lunch so we bought our chip lunch and headed quickly to the beach!

The kites were amazing! So many different kinds and something for all ages. The kids (and myself) were all completely enthralled by these beautiful kites flying in the sky. It is one of the quietest and most peaceful meals I have eaten in a long time! (Hey, maybe I should set up a few kites in the garden?……) They sat there watching the kites for a while before deciding to play on the sand. Next we headed to the bouncy castle, where for a small charge the kids could play on for as long as they liked! I was impressed with this – usually you pay a small fortune only to be told five minutes later that the time is up! This gave me and my sister some much needed time to sit and catch up whilst the kids were happily playing. Spending time with my youngest sister is very precious at the moment as she is hoping to head off to university in September – a university which is right at the other end of the country! I am going to miss her terribly – as are my kiddies!

 

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After we had spent a few hours at the festival we caught the sea ferry back home to our village which was quite honestly a perfect end to a very lovely day. The kids had a lot of fun and are already asking to go to the festival next year – I think that means that they enjoyed it!

 

To the Sea!

It was finally warm and sunny enough to head to the beach last weekend and spend an afternoon there (rather than a quick ten minutes blowing out the cobwebs in the sea breeze gales). We were so excited at the prospect of a sunny beach afternoon!

When we arrived I set up my place with the beach bag, toys, towels etc and my much longed for book! The kids straight away shook off their shoes and socks and literally ran……….. they ran and ran and did not pause until they reached the sea. I took a quick snap of them racing to the water and as I did it got me thinking…. When did I lose that sheer excitement of just splashing in the water? As a kid all I wanted was for mum to say we could go in the sea on our holiday beach days, as a mum now, all I wanted was a few minutes of peace and quiet on the sand. (Don’t get me wrong I love playing with my kids on the beach but getting into the water doesn’t hold as much appeal any-more)! The sea is kind of Daddy territory! I watched them for a little while then took off my shoes and headed over to them. What followed was a water splash battle which ended up with us all pretty drenched but incredibly happy! The joy on their faces was so cool to see. It reminded me that kids get such pleasure from the things that we probably don’t see as being huge or important, but are probably the things that form the best type of memories for them……

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The voice of the sea speaks to the soul – Kate Chopin.

 

A Woodland afternoon!

Last weekend the beautiful sun had finally started to shine (hooray!) and me and the hubby wanted to take the kids out for a cheap afternoon somewhere. I had seen a free local Woodland  open day advertised in my facebook feed so we decided to head over there and spend the afternoon exploring the woods!

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When we arrived we were greeted by a very enthusiastic man from the Woodland trust who immediately dragged lined us up for the guided wood walk. (To say he was quick is an understatement – our wellies had barely touched the ground)! This did feel a little strange as we regularly go for woodland walks, so to be guided around felt odd! We did learn quite a bit though and the kids loved listening to the different birdsong. There was a man from the RSPB who helped the kids identify between the different songs. The children were also given guides for them to keep which helped them identify different creatures and different woodland trees.

After the walk we browsed the stalls, which included home – made jam and honey for sale, bat boxes, cakes and cookies (we spent a few pennies here!), kids lucky dip, pick a stick and face painting! Everything was really reasonably priced. The admission was free so you could spend as much or as little as you liked. My daughter wanted her face painted (my son is never too keen on this so decided against it this time). She chose to have a fox painted (keeping in with the woodland theme!) much to the lovely face painting lady’s horror. She said she had never done a fox before – we think she did an amazing job! My daughter loved it and got lots of comments afterwards!

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There was also a stall giving away free wooden bird boxes. I was so impressed! It’s not often in this day that you get something so lovely for free! You could choose to have a ready made one or one that needed building. We chose a bird box that needed building – Daddy was very eager to help the kids build it at home!

The kids loved helping Daddy make the bird box and it was a lovely activity to encourage them to work together. They are going to paint it together soon too, when we have the right type of paint so that it will last and look pretty longer!

We had a fantastic Sunday afternoon and I will certainly be looking out for the next one!

Trampoline Chalking!

This idea came up on my Facebook news feed a few days ago and I thought it was a super idea! We have all done the whole chalking on the footpath thing as kids and have probably done it with our own little ones so I thought this was a brilliant new take on it! All you need is some kids chalks, the trampoline and some imagination!

Let the kids free with the chalk, draw and colour to their hearts content on the trampoline base and the next lot of rain will wash the artwork away! Such a simple idea but we loved it!

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The kids loved the freedom of being able to chalk on such a large area of space. I loved seeing how they worked together to create what effectively became a pretty cool mural! We will definitely be repeating this activity! A lovely way to create a piece of group art!

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Cheerio bird feeder!

We love making bird feeders for the garden birds and this week my daughter decided to make another feeder using cheerios and pipe cleaners. We have made these type of feeders for the last few years as they are very simple and use her favourite cereal! My daughter loves making them as she is a huge animal lover (she’s wanted to be a vet since 4 years of age)! She loves that she is able to help the birds at the same time as getting a little crafty! Being able to watch the birds feed after is a huge bonus for her!

To make your bird feeder you will need – cereal loops, pipe cleaners and wool / thread to hang.

Begin by bending your pipe cleaner into the shape you would like your feeder to be. My daughter chose to make two heart shapes, but you could do anything! Don’t tie or knot the ends yet so that you can thread the hoops on.

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Then gently start threading the cereal hoops onto the pipe cleaners. This is a wonderful activity to help encourage the little ones fine motor skills and hand eye co – ordination!

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Keep threading the cereal hoops until the pipe cleaners are full – just leave a tiny space at the end so that you can twist the pipe cleaner to secure it together.

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Next attach your second heart to the other like this –

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Then tie some thread / wool to the top so that you can hang it up in the garden!

My daughter chose to hang her feeder on a tree where she can watch the birds feed from our home.

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We love our home made bird feeders and think they look very cute hanging in our garden!