Summer time

As we are sadly at the end of our lovely summer break I wanted to quickly share a few photos with you all.

Rich found this cool chestnut carving on one of the walks through Grin Low and Buxton country park.

We also visited Poole’s cavern during our visit and got to see some amazing natural formations.

Sam & Emily got to enjoy a bit of Dino golf with Rich while I had my last couple of days at work.

Taking full advantage of my absence, Rich also bought them Nerf guns… Eeep.

Sam & Emily started learning a bit of crochet and spent a good few hours doing a pretty amazing job of making their first granny squares.

Emily grew two lovely sunflowers… these did so much better for not being in our garden, as it was hard for the slugs to find them 2 floors up!

The kids have also been super helpful and even made us all a lovely pasta salad for lunch one day.

We’ve played a number of board and card games, Catan, Star munchkin, Gubs, Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Risk etc.

We also got to visit Liz & Myfanwy which was so lovely πŸ™‚

And on the way back from Wales we stopped into the Royal Mint too.

Then to finish a lovely summer we all spent the day at Lyme park. It was great to be able to visit the house again and spend a few hours wandering round the beautiful grounds and park land.

Easter break

We have been really enjoying our two week break at home, the sun has shone most of the time (though we did also have some snow and hail just to keep us on our toes) and it has been lovely spending time together.

We managed a couple of tasty barbecues with Rich perfecting his barbecued corn on the cob and us all enjoying toasting marshmallows over the hot coals.

During the Easter weekend we enjoyed getting out our Easter decorations and making some new ones by painting empty egg shells. For our Easter dinner we had Sam to thank for our very tasty apple crumble πŸ™‚

Emily & Sam hunted the house looking for the cunning clues left by the Easter bunny quiz master (aka Rich)

Much chocolate was found by the pair (thanks Nanny & Grandad for the tasty chocolate bunnies which they both loved).

During the colder weather we did need to wrap up a little warmer…

Just kidding – this is Emily dressed up in 50 different pieces of clothing (including a dinosaur tail) for one of her Brownie Challenges.

I got to join some of the Brownie leaders for a zoom cocktail (after all the Brownies were ready for bed) which was really good fun. We each had a huge selection of bottles which we had to mix up to make lots of different cocktails – this is the before photo, thankfully Rich never took an after photo!

We’ve loved seeing all the spring flowers popping up in some of our favourite places. This is a photo from our recent trip to Hare Hill where we got to spot all sorts of different blooms.

Rich also found some new ways to navigate around the park…

We’ve enjoyed a couple more family board game sessions. This is our newest game Catan Seafarers which you can set up in all sorts of different ways.

Today we also finally managed to cure all the infections and win at Pandemic! It has taken about 4 different sessions before we managed it though!

Now the holiday is over it’s time to start getting our house ready for a bit of building work… first step is to pack up the girl πŸ™‚

Christmas time

Christmas here at Tea Towers has been a little different this year – we have still managed to do a lot of our home Christmas traditions but because we’ve been unable to see friends and family this year we really wanted to share our photos with you all and let you know that we are missing you x.

To kick off the Christmas break a trip to the Krispy Kreme doughnut factory was a must to get hold of their seasonal doughnuts… these didn’t stay around for long!

Sam has been quite active in the kitchen this holiday making himself and Emily their Saturday evening meal each week.

Emily has enjoyed doing some of her Christmas Brownies activities, including making smores before having a camp out in Sam’s room and also taking part in an online Brownies Christingle service.

Sam & Emily very much enjoyed trying to work out who was attempting to ruin Christmas in the online Theatre production from Wrongsemble (

Much baking of gingerbread took place this year, not only did we make our own gingerbread house, but Sam & Emily also decorated a gingerbread caravan from their grandparents this year.

Our street was very lucky to have a visit from a brass trio who very kindly came out on a cold wet evening to play carols as they weren’t able to do their usual concert this year.

This is Christmas morning before the present unwrapping began… it took a lot of restraining to get this photograph taken before they were allowed to start πŸ™‚

Rich is clearly delighted with his present of corn on the cob skewers and I am also very excited in this photo with my ‘Wooloo’ Pokemon toy.

We all really enjoyed eating our traditional turkey dinner, mmmm pigs in blankets πŸ™‚

The weather has just turned quite Christmasy over the last few days in Sale, we’ve had two days of morning snow and the kids have had a great time having snowball fights and building a large number of snow people.

We really hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas, that you are all safe and well and that one day soon we’ll get to see you x

Cake & Birthdays

After a lovely Summer break at home we’ve been busy getting back to school and celebrating two exciting Birthdays.

Sam started at his new high school in September and has really been enjoying getting himself there and back and being more independent. He is also happy to be with a good few local friends and has lots of nice teachers as well. Emily is up to year 4 now and has settled back in fine after the long lock down break. She is very happy to be back with her friends who she really missed and seems to be really enjoying her time in class.

Early on in the term we went off to explore the Yorkshire sculpture park and had a great time there. This was obviously my favourite sculpture… made me feel a little thirst though.

Richard quite enjoyed these ones and couldn’t resist framing his face.

For Emily’s Birthday we went to a local bowling alley which we had completely to ourselves for most of the time. It was good to be out but strange to be there by ourselves and having to wear our masks.

Emily wanted a Kirby Birthday cake so this is what Rich and I managed to come up with.

For Sam’s Birthday trip we headed out to the Dino Golf and had a great time together there (thankfully not getting too wet!).

I managed to convince Sam that this chocolate box type cake would be better than the very tricky hat space ship that he wanted doing from the game Mario Odyssey… it turned out very tasty πŸ™‚

Last quick photo – Emily with the Autumn bouquet that she gathered for her daddy.

Summer at home

The Felton family have been enjoying our Summer break from school by catching up with a few local friends and doing a few lovely days out locally together.

Sam in his year 6 leavers hoodie.

Sam got to go into school for the last half term and had his last day in Primary with a small group of his class mates. He really loved getting to see more of his friends at the end of school picnic and hopefully he’ll be able to continue to see some of the lovely friends he has made over the 8 years he has been with them.

Our superhero alter egos head off to the shops.

We’ve been out more over this Summer and have also had to visit a few shops to get in all the school supplies we need. Now I just need to spend a good few hours sewing in all the name labels!

Locally we are very lucky to have some beautiful parks and access to nice quiet walks like getting to wander down past the canal. Sam has enjoyed getting to sail his wooden boat that he finished making over lock down.

Almost too big now for both of them in there!

The kids have been really pleased to get to play in the local parks again now they have reopened. When we have been past and if it isn’t too busy they have loved climbing about on all the equipment again.

Tired, sweaty and proud.

All our hours doing Karate in our dining room during lockdown paid off as we got to go in for our grading and we all managed to pass and move up a grade. Sam & Emily are proud owners of new green belts and I’m still just about staying a grade ahead of them with my new blue belt πŸ™‚

First Warhammer model complete.

Sam has discovered a new hobby, he has just started painting the very intricate Warhammer models. He took a good few hours very carefully painting this first model and is deservedly very proud of it.

Dunham Massey

We are also very lucky that we have so many beautiful National Trust properties to explore close to our home.

Tatton Park

We have started trying to visit one each week and have had some great adventures in all sorts of places.

Windswept at Lyme

Though we have mostly been lucky with the weather we have had a few exciting sudden changes…

Wet through in minutes while exploring Lyme

Good thing we are proper Northerners now and always bring our waterproofs!

Yum! Ice creams at Quarry Bank Mill

And when the weather is sunny we have made sure that we sample all the ice cream on offer!

Tea Towers in lock down

We wanted to share some photos of what we have been getting up to during our time in lockdown. With Rich working from home and me needing to go into work on a rota to help look after some of the children of key workers, we’ve been pretty busy, but have managed to find a little time to get up to all sorts of things as a family.

Rich proudly showing the depth of his digging

One of our first projects was to relocate our wildlife pond, much digging was done.

Sam working hard

Pond successfully relocated

Pond residents settling in nicely πŸ™‚

Sam & Emily have both been busy with trying to earn extra Scouting and Brownie badges. We borrowed this impressive tent from a neighbour so that Sam could join in with his Scouting group’s camp from home.

Sam enjoying the immense tent
Sam enjoying his online scouting meeting

Sam also had to cook his own dinner and slept out by himself overnight.

Sam has also managed to earn his first two Scouting badges – one for Martial arts and an International badge too, as he also took part in an online Scouting international event. He is currently working towards his Naturalist badge and has plans to earn a few more as well.

Sam & Emily doing the clap for carers on St. Georges day

Emily has managed to earn one of her Brownie badges too – an Aviation badge.

Bottle rocket just before I got covered with vinegar…

It took three different attempts to get our bottle rocket off the ground but we did manage it in the end!

Emily has been working hard on getting her Archaeology badge and soon will be starting her Space badge!

Proud Emily showing off her new badge

Emily also got sent her Blue Peter badge for a letter she had sent into the show a couple of months ago with a picture she had done of our guinea pigs.

School at home

School is still happening, just about! We’ve been getting lots of work through from Sam & Emily’s school to complete at home and both Sam & Emily have been really good about working through it all each day (though they refuse to wear their school uniform to be at home!) Being at home has meant that we’ve been able to make a few bits more fun – Emily got to do a news report on our pet guinea pigs as well as building a model of a Roman Baths with Sam using Minecraft.

We have been spending quite a bit of time playing badminton in the garden as the weather here has been perfect for it recently.

Sam starting to get used to using his racket
Finding the clues

On Easter Sunday Rich set up a egg hunt that had the kids running round the house and garden solving clues to get their treats while I got to work on the very tasty roast lamb.

Gathering their Easter stash
Easter bunnies near the Brook

On our Easter walk we got to admire all the beautiful blossom on the trees as well as spotting two scooter riding bunnies.

Emily fighting the baddies with the Ring fit

Our Ring Fit computer game has been a great way to keep exercising while at home – we’ve all been playing it each week and it really works all your muscles.

Zoom Karate at home

We’ve also been able to continue our Karate lessons over Zoom with our Sensei. We’ve managed so far not to break anything in the dinning room (though Sam has bashed his arm and I managed to do an elbow strike into one of our dinning room chairs…) and none of the neighbours have complained yet about all the kiai-ing.

Emily with her lovely decoupage rainbow

We have decorated the windows with various rainbows including a beautiful rainbow dream catcher that my lovely sister Liz made.

Playing Pandemic

We’ve also been having our own go at curing a virus outbreak by playing the Pandemic board game with the kids… No luck so far but we’ll keep trying πŸ™‚

Guinea pig cuddles

Much love to you all from all of us at Tea Towers, hope you are all safe and well, we can’t wait to see you all as soon as we can x

Family camp – bee style

Last weekend Sam and Rich got to enjoy the excitement of Cubs family camp – two nights and 2 and a half days of Bee related fun.

Sam’s group co-operating to complete a tricky challenge.

Creating their own art work and sculpture.

Meeting local twitchers on their scavenger hunt.

Time for a little relaxing axe throwing…

Enjoying the great outdoors.

And finally time to get snuggled up tight as a bee in a rug πŸ™‚

While all that was happening I had this little bundle of mischief to keep an eye on…

French adventures

We have finally dusted off the family passports and used them to travel a little further afield than we usually manage.

On our way – first time in the channel tunnel for me and the kids!

Rich was brave enough to take on driving abroad for our trip, but I helped a little with some extra car signage…

Our holiday destination was a place called La Croix Du Vieux Pont in Northern France near Amiens. We stayed in a static mobile home which was a tiny bit more comfortable than a tent but still it had everything we needed for our stay.

Our humble French home

On our first trip out we explored the nearby Soissons where we found the beautiful ruins of the Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes.

Sam helps the remains of the Abbey to stay standing

The next day we came out to climb General Mangin’s observation tower in the forest of Domaniale de Retz – this was a reconstruction of the original tower used in WW1 to help halt the German advance.

General Mangin’s tower peeping out from the forest

We enjoyed reading all about the tower as well as finding out about the wildlife in the surrounding forest.

Dodging raindrops from the top of the tower

After a damp day in the forest (and much use of the hair dryer on wet shoes) we headed off for a day enjoying the delights of Paris.

Underneath a famous landmark… any guesses?

We queued for quite some time and managed to get tickets to travel up this iconic tower.

Loving the view from the second level.

Sam and Emily were so excited to be able to come up the tower and couldn’t believe how small the rest of Paris looked from up at this level. We had a beautiful sunny day to enjoy the view in.

The Arc de Triomphe – seemed bigger than I remember it…

Before beginning the long drive home on Friday we had one last adventure, this time to the mostly renovated and very beautiful ChΓ’teau de Pierrefonds.

Lots to see in this slightly crazy castle including lots of impressive beasts and monsters in all sorts of nooks around the castle.

Light show & projected images in the basement of the castle

We’ve made it home after our lovely holiday, we are slightly more confident at ordering croissants and ‘glace’ and have slightly weary legs and also have lots of great memories.

Book day 2019

It’s that time of year again, the time of year when my two decide what crazy costume idea they would like me to try and make.

Emily decided she wanted to go dressed as “Norman the Slug with the silly shell”.

She has been almost hopping everywhere with excitement about this costume and was so very pleased to get to wear it finally today. Not sure that her teachers were best pleased with having to help her into and out of it a number of times as having a giant doughnut strapped to your back makes it impossible to sit in a chair/wear a coat/walk around a class room…

Sam decided to be the disobedient dragon ‘Toothless’ from the “How to train your Dragon” series of books which he is reading at the moment. Unlike the film, the ‘Toothless’ from the stories is a green dragon with no teeth. With the help of some plastic milk bottles and plenty of paper mache and paint, I came up with a dragon hat (which I tried to make look like the descriptions in the books) to go with some dragon wings attached to his top.

Snow day

This week Tea Towers was deep in snow and so most of our local schools were closed.

Time to get on warm coats and pokemon hats and get out in the snow.

Extra socks were needed to cope with cold toes.

Though short of carrots Sam still managed to complete his snowman’s features with a handy apple.

After warming up from snowman building we popped over to a friend’s house for a quick snow battle in their garden.

Sam taking revenge for a vicious snowball head shot.

Emily ready to take on everyone.