Sunday, 30 December 2012

Looking Back at 2012

As 2012 is drawing to a close, I wanted to have a look back and see what we had done this year.

As is generally the way, January is always a quiet start to the year. Christmas is over and I always feel sad about that but we quickly got back into the swing of things finishing off with a weekend in Wales to see our lovely friends, which in turn saw the start of the most horrendous year for them, which thankfully, the end is in sight.

February arrived and we were busy with school, work, rainbows, trampoling and half term. We had a day out at half term with S and K and all the children and the time just flew by.

March was a whirl of play dates, birthday parties and mothers day. The clocks changed too which always maker me feel summer is on its way!
The end of the month saw the first of a number of parties as Megan and a couple of friends all have birthdays at the same time.

Megan turned 7 on the 1st and as it fell on a Sunday we went to Legoland with Megan and four of her friends. She had an amazing time, we all did and it somewhere we decided to go for Bens birthday later in the year too.
We were planning a camping trip to Wales with friends at whit so we were all getting excited for that.
Ben started playgroup this month and it was a big moment for both of us. He settled really well and likes playing with the sand, water, and outside.
Megan left rainbows and joined Brownies.
Both Megan and Ben getting so grown up!

May was a busy month. At the start of May, Mr W and I went to Silverstone.
This was my present to Mr W vast October for his 40th. It had taken a bit of planning and arranging as to where the children would stay and thankfully my sister offered to have them.
We went early on the Sunday morning and in the afternoon, Mr W had a passenger ride around the circuit in a super car! It was amazing and as he is a big F1 fan, something he had wanted to do for a long time.
We stayed the night in a lovely hotel, went out for a nice meal and went back to Silverstone the following day for a tour, which was really good. I don't watch f1 as much now, but before children I would often sit and watch races all Sunday, so I really enjoyed seeming behind the scenes.
My mum, sister and I also went for afternoon tea, which was a belated pressie for my mum last year. That was amazing. Sitting in a lovely posh hotel, chatting without being interrupted, and enjoying gorgeous little sandwiches and cakes. Bliss!
More birthday parties and packing for camping rounded off the month.

The 1st saw us at Wellybobs farm park with my sister and brother in law, using a groupon voucher that we nearly forgot about. This was a lovely day out, even though the weather was rubbish.
The day after we went camping with our friends in Wales. We had a brilliant holiday even though the weather was mixed and really wet and windy towards the end. We even got on the beach twice, once in the sun and once in the rain! The only downside was coming back to the tents on the last day, in lashing rain and wind to find out friends tent had partially blown down. We made a quick decision to pack up and go then instead of the following morning. By the time we had finished it was pitch black and I was wetter that if I had thrown myself in the sea. We left just before midnight and got back about 4am! But even so, it was still a fantastic holiday.

July was busy with Megan finishing key stage 1 at school and my nephew, Jacks 8th birthday. We went to the play factor e which was great fun, if I bit expensive. A word of warning though, DO NOT go on the red slide if you are wearing leggings. My sister got a big friction burn on her finger from coming down and I came down with Ben on my knee, and I am not kidding we took off on all of the bumps! Far too fast!
The summer holidays started with park visits and art clubs.

August saw us off on holiday to Devon again. We had a lovely time, very lucky with the weather, got on the beach a few times, visited a theme park, went on a boat trip and saw dolphins! We swam in the pool, went walking in the woods, played on the wooden play area, rode bikes, completed the letter box challenge. We met up with friends for a day out on the beach at Looe. We had cream teas and battered chips. And we learnt how to crab! In fact, I think that was Mr Ws best part of the holiday!
The rest of August was taken up with trips to the park with friends and family, bike and scooter rides and a trip to Redhouse Farm and the Maize Maze at the end of the month with Suzanne and Kate for Bens birthday.

Ben was 3 on the 1st and we took another family trip to Legoland which he was so pleased with. He had an amazing time and I was so pleased he loved his birthday treat.
We went to Alton Towers with our Sun tickets.
And I finally started blogging!
School and playgroup started again and Megan started in year 3.

More birthday parties this month and Ben got invited to his first party, independent of close friends. Megan had friends round for a play and tea and went back for teas. Lots of dressing up, giggling and make up!
Half term arrived and we visited MOSI with Suzanne and Kate.
This month saw the first anniversary of my nan passing away so we went to visit the crematorium and take her some flowers. Halloween arrived, along with the rain but it didn't dampen our fun!

We won a photography sitting so early one Sunday we took all the children for a photo shoot. The results were amazing but I will save that for another post.
Bonfire night arrived. We went to Darrens mums for a bit of a party.
Ben loved the fireworks and sat outside to watch them all. Megan stayed in to look after Grace, who didn't like the loud bangs.
November saw us beginning to get ready for Christmas. We wrote letters to Father Christmas.

Grace was 1 on the 2nd December. We celebrated by going to a play centre which all of the children enjoyed.
Christmas preparations were in full swing and everyone was getting excited.
At school and playgroup, Christmas plays and parties happening.
We had a trip on the Santa special.
And most importantly we had a lovely Christmas filled with family, food and good fun.

So this year has been another busy and eventful one. I really don't know where the time goes!

I am just ending with the pictures off our calendar. We make one every year and have kept them all.

2013 is just round the corner and I'm sure it will bring plenty of fun, excitement and happiness.
And if 2012 has been a rubbish year for you, then 2013 will hopefully be better.

Happy 2013!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas day was fantastic. Megan and Ben had a brilliant day.
Megan loves her tablet and is currently listening to one direction.
Ben loves his ds and hasn't put it down all day except to eat and when when I prised it out of his hands when he fell asleep at 10pm.
We spent the day at home, at auntie sues and uncle Daves and nana and grandads.
The children were all well and truly spoilt by all the family and of course Father Christmas!
We had a gorgeous lunch of roast turkey, roast beef, roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yorkshire puddings, little sausages and gravy. Gorgeous.
A brilliant family day.

Christmas Eve

For the last few years on Christmas eve we have been out for tea. We try to go to the Mersey Farm as it is close by and good a good choice on the menu.
We went at 6pm so we can get home and leave out our goodies for Father Christmas and Rudolf. We had a lovely meal with family and friends. Megan was a star, as usual, and Ben wasn't too badly behaved considering he is 3 and was tired! He spent quite a bit of time playing lego on my phone!
The food was nice, company was good and everyone had a lovely time.

Christmas is here!

Santa Special

On Sunday, we went on the Santa Special from Bury. This is a Christmas tradition which we have done with my sister since Megan Jack were small.

It is a really magical experience. The station is decked out with millions of lights and twinkling fibre optic Christmas trees. The platform is all lit up too and this year there was a reindeer stable which looked lovely.
On the train Father Christmas visits all the children to give them a gift, along with his elves and fairies. A brass band comes through the train playing carols for us to join in with.
The grown ups aren't left out either, they get a mince pie and small bottle of sherry!
A truly magical experience that I hope we will continue year after year.

Christmas Meal with Friends

On Friday 21st the children finished school for Christmas. What better way to celebrate that going out with our friends.

This is a Christmas tradition that we have had since our oldest were born.
So for the last eight years we have been going with various numbers for children.
The first year it was just Suzanne, Kate and me with our three oldest, Megan, O and J. A couple of years later, Suzannes son, C and Kates daughter, A, joined the fun. Quickly followed the year after by Ben and finally, the year after by Suzannes daughter, M!
So now there are 10 of us for our Christmas get together, which always results in lots of laughter, fun and a few tears, usually by the younger members!
We had a great time although the place we were at, where we have been for a number of years, really let themselves down with a number of things, which I won't go into now as we have been offered another full meal for the ten of us and a full refund of this. However, if that doesn't go well, watch this space! I am hoping this was a one off as it usually provides very good service and we all enjoy it as there and there is a soft play area for the children to let off some steam and this year was the first time that the little ones were old enough to go by in themselves, (with us watching from the table,) which gave us mummies and opportunity to talk for five minutes uninterrupted, which is unheard of!

So Christmas is officially here!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Learning Resources Answer Buzzer Review

We were sent Answer Buzzers from Learning Resources to review.
You can visit their site here.
They arrived at just the right time as we had just opened a box of crackers that had a family quiz in and Megan wanted to play it.

These buzzers come in four different sounds. There is a 'boing', ' ding', 'ding dong', and a 'honk honk'.

The idea is that you can use them for any game to liven it up or for quiz games.

We used them to play the quiz and they were great fun. It was good for every player to have their own buzzer so you can tell who knows the answer first.

The different sounds make the game much more fun, rather than everyone shouting out at the same time!

You could also use the buzzers to play other board games as they could easily be incorporated into the game.

These will be brilliant over Christmas as it is a time that we all play lots of games, especially quiz games.

If you want to liven up a quiz game I would definitely recommend these buzzers.

A word of warning though, young members of the family, (Ben), could get very annoying with these buzzers!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Bens Christmas Sing Along

Yesterday Ben had a Christmas sing along at playgroup. It was the first time we had seen him doing a 'play' and he was brilliant. Before hand he told me he wasn't going to do it but when the big moment came he rose to the occasion magnificently!

They all sang 5 Christmas songs, sitting on the steps in church. They jingled the bells along to jingle bells, some children even got carried away and did a spot of dancing!

Ben did an impromptu solo verse of jingle bells when he was given his bells!

A very proud mummy moment.

Here is my big boy just after his show.