Friday, March 18, 2016

Cycling and nature walks

March is bringing some nicer weather with it. It is good to see more daylight hours return to our days. The feeling of gloom is wearing off and we are spending more time outdoors taking the kids walking and letting them play around the garden. We have also started sorting our garden out and the house continues to come along beautifully! 

Last year Bella and Marc were so unused to going for a walk that they would both scream and sit on the floor, at age 5 and 7 and demand to be carried or refuse to move. I remember this happening with Caden and Miles when they were toddlers and I dealt with it then, they are so used to walking and cycling everywhere that this is long gone. 

So we had to start from the beginning with Bella and Marc, they clearly had never been taken out on family walks in nature before and had no patience for it or enjoyment of the environment. 

Now... things have improved, I am delighted to say. No longer do we as parents have to endure the screaming, literally the entire walk round which is often an hour. We have gone out on walks with friends, which keeps them interested and builds up their strength and endurance and we have gone walking frequently. The kids all know that we don't carry them, they are all big enough to walk and climb and make the most of being outdoors. 

It has to be said though that on this particular walk, the mud was so thick that Caden lost his welly in the mud, it was sucked off his foot! He stood in his sock in the mud and started wailing! I lent him one of my socks and I did the walk half sockless instead! In all, it was a nice walk, though we got pelted with rain and hail half way round as well which the kids dealt with! It was sunny when we set off out! 

Jan gives our very big puppy a cuddle! They have grown so much! This one is called Stinker! 

Bella having fun on the walk 

Something about walking gets the questions coming from them. We have more opportunity to talk about nature and biology, the weather and anything else that they can think of. 

The kids all went to a friend's birthday party. I am making some good friends in this area now finally and the kids are becoming great friends with their children. Star Wars is very much the game of the moment right now. 

It was a cupcake party so the kids all had a great tim making and eating their cakes. 

Miles still sticks his tongue out with effort and concentration haha!

 Lighting the candles!

Jan has got all the kid's bikes out now it is getting warmer and we are clearing the outside of the farm. He serviced them all and greased up the chains and tested them. 

Caden has been zooming around the farm tracks on his bike and I have ordered them all new helmets and some knee pads for Caden (his silver bike is a shade too big so the knee pads will hopefully give him a bit of confidence). 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February 2016

The kids got some Star Wars costumes from their Dad this month and there have been innumerable light saber battles all over the house. Here is a sith, photo bombing a picture of our movie room! 

Caden wrote an impromptu thank you note on behalf of himself and Miles to his friend Megan in England for his heart photo frame with a photo of her and Arthur in. They both treasure their photos and keep them next to their beds in their rooms. 

Did I already post about this one? I can't remember, Bella and Caden woke me up one morning with a list of countries they want to visit. I hope that Africa is less volatile by the time they decide to make their way right through the heart of it. But the love of maps and geography is coming along nicely :) 

Caden and Bella's art class is going well. This week they made silver foil art. They are both really loving it. Caden said he wants to start his own business making foil, fish pictures for people's bathrooms. He already offered to sell his Dad a hundred at a good price so that his Dad can sell them on to his friends for a profit! Nice business model  haha! 

Bella in the back of the car with hers! 

The boys have been getting along much better. There were lots of inevitable clashes last year but Jan and I have been working on creating happy bonds between the kids and it is working. Caden and Bella are very close and Marc and Miles are best buddies now! 

They have had dinner with friends and our friends base is improving in France now so we hope that they can make these friendships strong and lasting. 

Cheeky Miles! He has really improved a lot over the last year. He is very happy and settled!

Our newest addition to the farm! Caden and I watched him arrive, the calves loved it! They all crowded around him as he walked off down the field in search of the laydeez!

At their art class, Caden made a two headed dragon! 

Bella made a tiger model! 

This is Evie's horse (their friend who attends the class with them - Evie, not the horse). 

Caden's attempts at sketching faces is really coming along... 

Caden's painting. 

Bella's robot. 

One day we saw this interesting shadow on the wall so Caden and I put some paper against the wall and drew the outline of the shadow onto the paper. 

Caden started drawing a city into the space that was created by the line. He is seeing creative opportunities in his environment.

I finally got their playstation working and they have been playing Disney Infinity. They all took turns. 

Caden teaches Marc how to play. 

We are making plans for the future for camping holidays and our wedding later this year which the kids are really excited about. 

Reichstag Bundestag

When we visited Berlin in 2016 on our first interrailing trip, I had learned that visits to the Reischtag dome were possible and had planne...