Adventure Wonderland

Today the boys and I had a good day at Adventure Wonderland near Bournemouth with some of Daniel’s pre-school friends.  It was our first trip to the park but not our last as we will be returning there in a few week’s time for a birthday party.

We had a great day at the park which is essentially a mini theme park for young children.  We used Tesco Clubcard tokens to pay for our admission and this made it a really affordable day out.  Had we not done this, however, it would have cost over £30 for the three of us to get in.

The boys loved the rides around the park.  Daniel bravely went onto the Runaway Train by himself and also really enjoyed the Battle Boats.  He also went on the inflatable slide (Dragon’s Drop) numerous times!  There were a few rides that Josh was either too small or too young to go on but there was plenty that he was able to do.  The park was not at all busy even though the weather was lovely so we hardly had to queue at all.

As well as a host of rides, play areas and a maze outside, there was also an indoor soft play area.  We didn’t venture in to this as the weather was so lovely but I heard great things about it.

Adventure Wonderland is situated right next to Bournemouth Airport so another bonus was the fact we got to watch lots of planes and helicopters which the boys loved.  We’re already looking forward to our next visit there in a few weeks.

Balmer Lawn

This afternoon I gave the boys a choice of various activities that they might like to do.  The option that they chose was to go ‘fishing’ in the river at Balmer Lawn, just outside Brockenhurst.  We have driven past Balmer Lawn on many occasions and often felt quite envious of the people enjoying a paddle in the shallow river on a hot day.  During the holiday season it often gets very busy here and so I was looking forward to the opportunity to visit during term time.

The boys really enjoyed having a paddle in the river and trying to catch sticks that they threw in with their fishing nets.  They also loved watching the cows that were grazing nearby and who then crossed the river beside us.  It was a lovely space to spend a peaceful afternoon and we will be looking for more opportunities to visit when it’s not too busy in future.

Iced Biscuits

Last week we trialled some iced biscuits made using different sized cookie cutters.  We used the same vanilla biscuit recipe we used for our 3D cookie Christmas tree which is as follows:

300g unsalted butter

300g caster sugar

2 small eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

600g of plain flour, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add the beaten eggs, vanilla and salt and mix well.  Gradually add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Bring together into a dough, divide into 2 balls, wrap and chill for 1 hour.

3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 3-4mm.  Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use.  Arrange cookies on lined baking trays.

4. Bake the cookies on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until firm and golden.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

We then used ready to roll icing cut with a slightly smaller cookie cutter and stuck it on top with a thin layer of apricot jam.  We also decorated some of the biscuits with silver balls.

We are thinking of making these biscuits for Daniel’s pre-school teachers at the end of the year but next time I will halve the recipe and concentrate on making the smaller biscuits which I think looked most effective.

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Father’s Day Cards

This year’s Father’s Day cards for Chris, Grandad and Gramp involved cut-outs of the children’s hands upon which Daniel wrote a reason why he loved them. Daniel then drew a portrait of the recipient for the front of the card.

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Questions about Daddy

As it’s Father’s Day, here are Daniel’s answers to the Questions about Daddy that I asked him recently.

1. What makes Daddy happy?

Tickling.

2. How does Daddy make you laugh?

By blowing raspberries.

3. What was Daddy like as a child?

Little.

4. How old is Daddy?

31.

5. How tall is Daddy?

Really tall.

6. What is Daddy’s favourite thing to do?

Show football matches and rugby matches.

7. What does Daddy do when you’re not around?

Search (for me and Josh).

8. What is Daddy really good at?

Football and rugby because he can tackle me and Joshy.

9. What is Daddy not very good at?

Tennis.

10. What is Daddy’s favourite food?

Rice.

11. What do you and Daddy do together?

Play the Football Game with Joshy.

12. Where is Daddy’s favourite place to go?

Work.

13. What does Daddy like most about Mummy?

Chatting to her in the car.

14. What does Daddy do for a job?

Work in his office at the church.

15. How are you and Daddy the same?

Because we’ve got the same hair.

16. How are you and Daddy different?

Because we don’t wear the same clothes and haven’t got the same socks.

17. How do you know Daddy loves you?

Because he plays with me all the time.

18. What makes Daddy sad?

When we do something wrong.

19. What makes you proud of Daddy?

Because he wins loads of football matches.

The end of a busy week/Ever changing times!

This week has been so busy and we have fitted a lot in but I’ve barely had time to blog about it.  With increasing amounts of work, I think this could increasingly be the case, but I’ll try and keep you updated as much as possible.

On Tuesday evening the boys went with Chris on the youth group cycle ride to Hythe.  There they enjoyed playing football and eating chips whilst watching the boats go by.

On Wednesday evening Chris and I went to a meeting for parents of the children starting Reception in September at the school Daniel will be going to.  We found out which class he will be in and which of his friends will be joining him there.  Daniel is very excited about starting school.  He was keen to know whether there is a water table for him to play at and where the register is kept.  Daniel is yet to visit his new school but has a series of taster sessions coming up, starting on Monday!

On Thursday the boys and I went to Paulton’s Park with Phil, Liz and Rachel (my brother and his family).  We had a fantastic day there in the sunshine and Rachel loved her first trip to Peppa Pig World.  Afterwards we enjoyed a wonderful meal at The Mortimer Arms, not far from Paulton’s Park and will definitely visit again when we’ve been to Paulton’s.  Sadly it was our opportunity to say goodbye to Phil, Liz and Rachel before they depart for central Asia on Tuesday.

On Friday Joshua had his first trip to the dentist as we all went for our checkup.  He was a very good boy and all the books we had got out from the library about visiting the dentist helped to ease him into this new situation.  When it came to choosing a sticker at the end, Joshua did not want a Thomas or Cars one but instead went for a Disney Princess one.

Today we went to the All Saints festival at our parish church.  We spent a good three hours there – having a go at some of the competitions and browsing some of the stalls.  The festival was a huge success and it was clear how much work everyone had put into it.  It was my first visit to All Saints but it really is a lovely little church.

This afternoon I have been running a jewellery workshop as part of a friend’s hen party.  This was great fun although I was very nervous.  The girls made some gorgeous bits of jewellery based on some of the examples I took with me.

Alongside all of this, I have been doing various bits of work, potty training Josh and generally spinning lots of different plates!

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Fun on the Farm

Yesterday the boys and I went to a Fun on the Farm session at Little Owls.  I really love these opportunities to get out and about in the countryside and make the most of the area where we live.  Yesterday was especially lovely as the weather was so glorious and we enjoyed spotting baby foals in the Forest on the way there and back.

The Little Owls session was focused on what farm animals eat and we started by matching up animals with their feed on a sheet to go into the boys’  scrapbooks.  Around the farm we got a chance to feed many of the farm animals including the pigs and the goats.  There was also a junk modelling activity where the boys made a tractor out of boxes and milk bottle tops.  We then headed outside again for an excellent bee game.  The children were split into four teams and had to take it into turns to run with a sponge to a flower made out of a washing up bowl.  They soaked up as much water (representing nectar) as they could with their sponge and took it back to squeeze into a beaker at their team hive.

The boys really enjoyed the session as usual and I was impressed by how much Daniel and Josh could both remember when telling Chris about what they had done.

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