A brief spattering

We had a little bit of snow, not much at all, enough to create much excitement!

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It’s the fastest I’ve ever managed to get the little lady out of bed! She spent ages in the garden playing with the snow before school.  The little man is not so keen but got carried away by his sisters enthusiasm.

The school run was a trauma, the council don’t grit the road leading to school and its rather steep in places.  We had icy conditions with cars sliding and traffic backed up rather fast.  It was my day for traffic management, so I left my car at the top of the hill and walked down with the smalls. I was pleased I did! Ours is only a small school but everyone drops off in 20 minutes, its usually a well oiled machine but ungritted roads are a bit of a nightmare. A little bit of snow causes so much havoc in the UK but I still love it to bits!

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We had to pause to take a picture of the snowdrops, it’s become rather a tradition, the first flowers poking their head out after the dullness of December, it’s the hope of new life they bring.  We stop, huddled together and proclaim over them every year.  Beautiful.

I hope you are staying warm and safe and enjoying the snow (or your own weather) wherever you are!!

Messing about on the river!

It’s the final week for the Mark Warner Holidays Active Families Challenge. I have been really really really looking forward to this one. No REALLY!!

This week we have been getting active by

Enjoy a splash about -active family in the water

I’d thought about swimming but our local pool won’t allow cameras, which makes perfect sense really. With the current weather, puddle jumping would have been ideal; but what I really really really wanted to do, yes REALLY, was Canadian Canoeing!!

We are very lucky where we live, it’s no distance at all to the Kennet and Avon Canal, miles and miles of tow path to walk and cycle, rich in wild life, many lovely pubs to visit. it’s beautiful and tranquil.  There is a canal museum at Dundas Aqueduct, which along with a rather good Bistro/Cafe called The Angelfish and a very friendly and helpful Boat and Bicycle hire company, which makes for a splendid day out for all ages.

The four of us hired a canoe (£10 for the first hour)  for a bit of a splash about on the river.

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These canoes happily take three adults or two adults and two children, we all had a paddle each, although some of us were more effective with these than others (allegedly).

canal 001Yes, that is a rare photo of yours truly!

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So that is it, what a fun month May has been! I’ve really enjoyed joining in with the #MWactive challenge. We have been out and about with friends, having fun as a family, enjoying spring time what ever the weather! And none of it cost the earth either!

Check out the tag #mwactive on twitter (@kailexness) to catch up on what has been going on this month, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

Thank you very much to Mark Warner Holidays and to Propellernet for selecting us to take part, I’m really looking forward to a trip to London to visit Profeet! So very exciting!

You know it’s summer when….

The trampoline goes up!

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I. Can. Jump. Hiiiiiiiiggggghhhhheestttt!!!!

Confounding weather….

We had such a busy weekend. It was the school craft sale! I’ve been madly crocheting away at things to sell since February for last Saturday and I sold a few things, which was more than I expected! Sunday was a wash out here, Mr.K managed to rig up a tent to carry on sanding down the rusting heap MGB roadster outside and the little man decided he needed to have his scooter put down to two wheels.

So, by the time my daughter had finished with Gardening Club this evening we all NEEDED to get a blast of spring air and to put in to play our ‘Home Sports Evening’ plan for the Mark Warner Holidays Active Family Challenge!!!

This week is

Week 3 (20th – 26th May)

Get sporty – active family healthy competition!

We had a brief conference about this one. We are (so far) a football free family, I appreciate that might change as the little man gets bigger but Mr.K is totally a petrol head. GP, Moto GP, two or four wheels, he doesn’t seem to care, as long as it’s charging around a circuit and there is (apparently) some skill involved, he’s happy…  I’m happy to keep it like that, so football was out. My daughter would have adored Go Carting, I remember what a speed freak she was on the pedal tractors last year. I’m not sure my nerves could take it!

I asked the small people “What would you like to do for a ‘home sports day?'” and they answered “LETS GO TO THE PARK!” Which is actually a pretty standard answer in this house.

So we went to the park…

There were five of us in the end, the little lady’s best friend and Mummy came too.

They scooted all the way there, the little lady was fastest. She is quite thoughtfully fearless when it comes to speed and has a great sense of balance. Unlike her brother who is cautious and has very little balance (and even less thought so I’m thrilled he is cautious!)Scooting on only two wheels was a first for the little lady’s friend, she did really well testing her balance and getting a feel for it.

All the recent mad sprouting of dandelions have now resulted in lots and lots of dandelion clocks, the race was on to see who could get the most seeds in the air at once! The little lady’s friend won that one…

Then we had, who could balance longest, can we balance better as a team, who can jump highest. Who can push the round-about fastest, who climbs the climbing wall quickest.

Then we had who can whinge the loudest about coming home again…. But that’s just fine because it means they had a good time.

Watch out for the tweets about our activities on twitter (@kailexness) using the tag #mwactive, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

So next week we ‘Enjoy a splash about ’ with some watery activity…

I must admit, I can wait!

Splish Splash Splosh!

Round and round at rounders!

I should have kept quiet about the good weather last week! Silly me…

However, we are British and as a friend of mine often says “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.”

Week 2 (13th – 19th May) of the Mark Warner Holidays Active Families challenge.

Active playtime – active family playing lively games and perhaps learning a new skill.

We had a bit of a change to the #mwactive schedule this week, caught me a little of guard because I’d rallied the troops and asked some fabulous friends to join us at our local recreation ground for a picnic and some fun.  The 3 families made two great teams and we had an amazing time teaching the small people how to play Rounders! It was certainly lively!

Firstly, we did a warm up, critical when you are being so active. Our team physio instructed us on how to avoid Achilles and ham string strains with some stretching exercises (I hope I got that right!)

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Then Mr.K explained how the game was played, what the wellies (bases) were for and how you ran to the next base before the ball got back to you.

Then we got stuck in…

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Everybody runs!

Watch out for the tweets about our activities on twitter (@kailexness) using the tag #mwactive, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

So next week we ‘Get Sporty’ with some healthy competition.

I have to add my thanks to some great friends who got soaked through with the drizzly rain, Thanks Everyone!

Going for a spin!

Greetings!

Spring has bust out all over hasn’t it! Perfect timing too, as the lovely people at Mark Warner Holidays have asked my family and I to take part in an Activity Challenge.

Each week, they have suggested a theme for us to spend an hour being active together. This week the theme was ‘Go for a Spin’.

We have many ways of spinning here, the little lady wiggles an amazing hoola hoop and is proud of her two wheel scootering prowess, the little man spins a mean fast bowl on wii bowling, its always good to prize the control out of his hand!

As they both had new bicycles for Christmas, and the hints of ‘going around the block’ have been getting really loud since the sunshine came out, it seem the perfect solution! After a brief discussion to map out a route, shorts were put on and legs shaved (only mine though!) and we were off!

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The little lady is a bit of a speed freak… I wonder where she gets that from *innocent face*

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The little man needed a little more pedal power.

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A brief discussion on which was is right… ‘Turn Right!’

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Stabilizers are a hindrance on rutted tracks, too much rear wheel spin meant a little push was necessary!

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But they both refuse to have them taken off, we are working on that.

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We caught up with the little lady to see the ducks and canada geese on the reservoir.

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The little man took a topple into some nettles, he was very brave whist daddy applied an emergency dock leaf.  It’s kind of a rite of passage for childhood, isn’t it… I fell in nettles at Goodrich Castle when I was about 8, do you remember where you fell in nettles? I bet you do….

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And then we were off again!

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With a little more push power for the way home.

2013 027With a well earned treat at the end!

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We had such great fun! So that was week one. Here is what is coming up over May with the Mark Warner Active Family Blogger Challenge.

Week 1 (6th – 12 May)

Go for a spin – active family on wheels (cycling, skating etc.)

Week 2 (13th – 19th May)

Go green – active family in the park (running, ball games etc.)

Week 3 (20th – 26th May)

Enjoy a splash about -active family in the water (swimming, watersports etc.)

Week 4 (27th May – 2nd June)

Get sporty – active family healthy competitions (football, home sports day etc.)

I’ll be tweeting the activities we take part in on twitter (@kailexness) using the tag #mwactive, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

BUT!Don’t go yet! I’d love you to let me know in the comments what you have been doing recently to get active, or any idea for the future posts on the themes suggested.

It’s spring at last! Lets get out there and get our hearts racing!

Little Boxes… Days 2 & 3

Where does the time go when you are having fun!

So… Its been raining a bit eh? That’s why there were only 2 “out day” boxes….

Day 2

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In case you can’t see, the picture is a teddy with a sore paw.

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Inside the box they found a hospital set of equipment, bandages, plasters, medicine spoons and a medicine syringe and the new Doc McStuffins DVD from disney. (This isn’t a review, I bought that because they love it!)

We had a large piece of cardboard which we drew the inside of the hospital on and the teddies all got put to bed and nursed back to health.

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With the 2 hour video and teddies breaking limbs and falling ill all over the place, this game lasted all day!

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It’s still raining but hey ho off we go! In this box they found a rubber duckie!

A local garden centre has a large lake, in the lake are huge carp, hence the box picture, we didn’t see any because they will be deep in the warmer water… But the ducks were really keen to see us!!

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A little too keen for my Sons liking as the nibbled his fingers!

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Gotta go now as the Day 4 trip needs to happen!!

Little Boxes… Day One

It’s here! The much looked forward to half term, time to relax and enjoy my small people whilst chasing around like an idiot! Half term is exhausting! How to teachers do it? I think the answer to that is training and preparation, so with that in mind and no training what so ever, preparation is my key to sanity.

My plan, now cunningly put into action, was to make 5 boxes, one for each day of the holiday with an activity/trip inside the box.

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Each box has a clue on the outside and the type of weather they can be opened in, the forecast today was snow, definitely a indoor kinda day, until it’s lying on the ground in a pristine blanket.

So, once they were fed, dressed and we had done a 10 minute tidy up and vacuum they chose a box.

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I think the beloved daughter swayed her brothers choice, she’s the crafter, the one who likes to stick and make but they both agreed, which is always a blessing.  This is what they found in the box.

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Hole punches and an origami set.

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So we punched and folded and had fun with paper for a few hours.

 

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Whilst it rained, then snowed outside…

After lunch they watched Cbeebies programs they hadn’t seen for months as they are now both at school, with such relish! Then they stuck and punched a little more and we made hedgehogs from bread dough.

 

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I’m really thrilled that today was such a huge success! Roll on box number 2!

Little Boxes of wonderment…

What happened to holidays being a restful time to recuperate? I suppose most of them are but Christmas? No… Not a chance. I’ve been especially worried just recently by my daughters lack of bounce. She was hit by a nasty cough just before the end of term and all over the holidays had one bug after another, a burst eardrum and sickness. We had to cancel a couple of days out and yet with the tide of excitement that Christmas and New Year brings there was no respite. Returning to school after the holiday she looked pale and exhausted. She’s not the only one, a lot of her class mates look lacking in their usual exuberance, it was one of those holidays where the activities and excitement along with illness just didn’t give them the chance to recover.

It’s three and a half weeks to half term and I’m wishing the time away, I want them home in the warm, recovering, taking it easy, getting the bounce back! So I’ve been thinking (it doesn’t always hurt *chuckles*) I need to come up with a plan to keep them occupied, yet not go too mad on the running around bit. February isn’t known for its marvelous weather so with that in mind I’m thinking pajama and duvet days, movies and popcorn. That of course, will last 2 hours *rolls eyes* so my strategy needs to provide them with interest each day for the 5 days Daddy is working.

So here it is…

I’m going to get 5 boxes, each with a theme on the wrapping outside and a picture of the weather, we ought to have a bit of fresh air on a good day! I shall let them pick which box they want to do each day and in the box will be a selection of activities. A film, a craft, building castles out of furniture and blankets, a toy suggestion or similar. In the good weather box we could go duck feeding or bike riding etc… You get the picture right?

I can’t help wondering if my control freakery has gone into overdrive with this plan, (there is a chance of course I wont carry it through) I do know it’s lessening the worry I have for her knowing I have a plan forming. That must be a good thing!

I’ll try and keep you updated on progress.

 

 

Blown Away by Geocaching!

Bit windy today! It certainly was on top of Cold Kitchen Hill in Wiltshire. Today, after a 1 year and 7 day break, we went geocaching again.

 

It was a long slog up to the top of the hill but the view was incredible!

And thankfully we found the cache, the smalls get despondent if we don’t!

and then we found another one on the way back to the car.

Lovely spot. We will return with fishing nets!!

If you’d like to know how to start geocaching visit the groundspeak website and get out there!!