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.
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.
Much Lego planning and technical wizardry has been in action in Tea Towers recently. Rich had decided Emily needed her own night light for her room and so decided to build it for her himself.
This being Rich involved an Arduino board with some (not his most elegant) code to make the 3 neo pixels (lights to the rest of us) flicker in slightly different ways to try to simulate the glow from inside the house, the water flowing on one side and the lava glimmering on the other.
Ta dah! Possibly the coolest night light around if you are a huge fan of Minecraft like Emily and Sam both are. In fact they are both so delighted about this new night light that they have agreed to a weekly rota to take turns with it.
I’m slightly worried about putting Emily/Sam to bed with a night light that has a zombie wielding an spade on top, however at least the Enderman round the side of the house is holding out a block with a flower on top.
We are all delighted that the Summer holidays are finally here and our days have been pretty packed so far with meeting up with local friends, fish sitting for friends on holiday, working on the local library Summer reading challenge and a few other busy things.
We joined the Sale Wombles helping to litter pick in our local play park with lots of other enthusiastic helpers. Sam and Emily were really excited by the chance to help clear up by using the litter pickers and did a fantastic job.
Sam & Emily had a good explore around the National Coal Mining Museum with Emily getting to go underground 140 metres to find out more about what mining was like.
We’ve also spent a day exploring the lovely Beeston Castle with friends.
Sam and Emily got to have a try learning some basic sword fighting moves to become apprentice knights. We then had a trek up to the top and into the main keep and when we had recovered (we’re not used to going up hills in lovely flat Sale) we blew bubbles from the top.
Sam and Emily have been super excited about World book day this year, over the past week I’ve been putting together their costumes and they couldn’t wait to put them on this morning.
Sam and I have recently started reading the first Harry Potter book together which he is loving and so it was unsurprising that he wanted to dress as Harry. His costume was quite easy to put together with the help of the lovely internet…
Felt tie – http://onesweetappetite.com/2016/03/felt-harry-potter-ties-house-flags/
School robes – https://www.fairfieldworld.com/2015/07/easy-olyfun-harry-potter-costume/
Now Emily had other ideas when it came to how to choose her World book day costume… she decided to choose the outfit she liked best and say that the book containing that character was her favourite. So she asked to be Lettice the rabbit from the well known title “Lettice – the Birthday party”.
Unfortunately no online help avaliable for this one so I had to come up with a sparkly petal skirt, sequined top (though first attempt to simply glue glitter to the first top using watered down white glue ended up with a unbendable top that would no longer stretch over Emily’s head…), tiara attached to bunny ears and then a pom pom tail at the back.
She loved it and has been in character all evening 🙂
Over the summer holidays Rich got hold of some exciting tickets for us to attend an iTV sports day on the film set of Coronation Street.
We got to pretend to be sporting stars in our own Team GB t-shirts – don’t we all look fine with our groovy matching headbands?
Sam meet a real olympian – Bianca Walkden who won a bronze medal in the Woman’s Taekwondo.
We all had a try at the different sports avaliable, Emily really got into the table tennis (see that look of fierce concentration on her face) and Sam did a great job on the climbing walls. Rich got to do some badminton with Sam and before leaving we all did some hula hooping!