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 🙂
Last quick photo – Emily with the Autumn bouquet that she gathered for her daddy.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
We are also very lucky that we have so many beautiful National Trust properties to explore close to our home.
We have started trying to visit one each week and have had some great adventures in all sorts of places.
Though we have mostly been lucky with the weather we have had a few exciting sudden changes…
Good thing we are proper Northerners now and always bring our waterproofs!
And when the weather is sunny we have made sure that we sample all the ice cream on offer!
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.
One of our first projects was to relocate our wildlife pond, much digging was done.
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 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.
Emily has managed to earn one of her Brownie badges too – an Aviation badge.
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!
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 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.
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.
On our Easter walk we got to admire all the beautiful blossom on the trees as well as spotting two scooter riding bunnies.
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.
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.
We have decorated the windows with various rainbows including a beautiful rainbow dream catcher that my lovely sister Liz made.
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 🙂
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
We have finally dusted off the family passports and used them to travel a little further afield than we usually manage.
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.
On our first trip out we explored the nearby Soissons where we found the beautiful ruins of the Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes.
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.
We enjoyed reading all about the tower as well as finding out about the wildlife in the surrounding forest.
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.
We queued for quite some time and managed to get tickets to travel up this iconic tower.
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.
Before beginning the long drive home on Friday we had one last adventure, this time to the mostly renovated and very beautiful Château 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.
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.
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.
The last month has flown by here in Tea Towers (to be honest so has all of 2018…) but I thought I would quickly share some of our festive photos from the last month…
Emily took part in her last school Christmas performance – “Christmas with the Aliens”, we’ve enjoyed hearing her singing all the songs leading up to it and in this photo she is standing along side another girl next to the Christmas tree on stage.
Sam joined his school choir in performing at our local Walkden gardens as well as at a local Residential home – “feliz navidad!”
We really enjoyed decorating the tree (and Emily) when Nanny & Granddad came to visit.
Much building of Christmas Lego also took place.
We managed to get our Gingerbread house baked and assembled without any collapsing walls this year
Many lovely presents were opened on Christmas day – thanks to everyone & Christmas thank yous to come soon!
Sam & Emily tried their first Karate sparring competition today and I’m so proud of how they both did. Emily took on a much more confident fighter and even though she got a little more bashed than she is used to she kept going, even managing a beautiful head kick.
Sam sparred with the older section and got a Bronze medal in his small group of 3 fighters. He tried really hard to keep up using plenty of techniques and trying to follow all the instructions being fired at him.
I loved seeing them both give it a go – was great fun and a great way to support our fantastic Karate club.