Saturday, 29 October 2011


Today was our annual Christmas cake making day. we all meet up with my siblings, at my parents house and we spend the morning weighing dried fruit, cracking eggs, zesting fruit and chopping cherries!! I am so pleased that this tradition has flowed in to my children's lives and they get to enjoy the fun of making this special cake. Now instead of one GIANT cake.... we have several smaller cakes being made and then after several weeks, we get the fun of putting on the marzipan and icing and decorating our cake!!

squeezing the lemons and oranges!
The tradition stirring and wishing that everyone has to do before the cake is cooked!
Kenzie's turn, although he felt quite self conscious about it all!
My turn!

After a morning of baking, I took the boys home for lunch and the Aunties Georgia and Heather came to play! We had an afternoon of Halloween fun planed! We started by making lanterns for our lantern walk this evening!

Kenzie's lantern
Heather working very hard on hers!
So happy with how they turned out!
But the fun didn't end there!! We then went to the Allotment and harvested our Pumpkins ready to bring home and carve!
Home grown are the best I say! Apparently they smell better than shop ones!? Not very big this year as we put them in the ground late, but lovely and Orange!

Carrying home our harvest!

Let the carving commence!! so much mess  but so much fun! All with a few Pumpkins, a sharp knife and a spoon!

Look how proud he is!

 Brendan's pumpkin is being sick apparently lol!

Then it was time to go on our Lantern walk! We had a few problems keeping the lanterns lit due to the breeze blowing them out. But we did have a lovely time walking around the village together in the dark!!

A lovely day with family and enjoying fun activities with the children! More to come tomorrow as we are off for a ride on the Halloween Express steam train! All dressed up and spooky!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Today myself and another childminding friend took our children to somewhere that I have not been to since I was a child. Tring natural history museum!
I was looking through the Internet a couple of weeks ago for fun things to do over half term and noticed they were doing Apple pressing today! I know my boys love this and thought the others would.... so off we went. Judy, myself and 11 small people between us!

First we chopped the apples!

Crushed the apples in a very mean looking chopper! Everyone had lots of fun taking it in turns to make it work!

Then we poured it all in to a press!

Folded the lining bag down!

Replaced the lid!

Then came the turning of the press handle! Brendan said he would wait till the end and turn it when it was getting harder to do, as he said he was one of the older ones. That was very thoughtful I thought!

Look at all that juice!!!  A much quicker process than the juicing we did at home with a blender and piece of cloth the other week!

Yummy! The tasting! worth all the hard work!

Brendan and Kenzie wanted to use the apple corer, peeler and slicer! Something I have on my "To get" list!

Kenzies apple was a bit small. So it got cored and sliced.... just not peeled lol!

Then we went in to see all the animals. I was a bit worried about how I was going to explain that they were dead and stuffed.... but only one child asked and was fine with the truth. Why do I worry about these things?

Not really my favourite display but the boys seemed to like it!

Kenzie grabbed some paper and a pencil and started to draw lots of the animals that he liked! It was lovely to watch and I could see he was really looking at their shapes and details!

Brendan LOVED this place! He found birds that sparked his memory and he started to tell me all about the displays they did to attract female birds! The noises that some birds can copy and where some of them lived!
His Aspi sponge brain really is something of a marvel!

This is some where I can see us visiting rather a lot. Today was VERY busy due to the school holidays but we are going to try it at the weekend.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


With Halloween just around the corner we decided we would start our Halloween themed fun!
This year the boys are more in to the Witches and Wizards side of Halloween as we have been reading my Aunts books which are very much based around magic and spells! 
The first book is called "The Elder Brothers and the Padstow crystals" and we are currently reading the second book, "The Elder Brothers and the Dragons Portal"

We went to the £1 shop today to stock up on some decorations and props for our Wizards den we are setting up. 

While I decorated the Playroom, Brendan made a Pocket Glob. This is something in the story that can transport you from one place to another. We covered golf balls in blue acrilic paint and tomorrow the boys will paint land on to them with green paint.

Kenzie helped to set up all our bottles, ready to make our potions in!

I lay out a mixture of ingredients that I thought they would enjoy using to make interesting potions

Off they went! They loved it. My little students in their potion making class!

Then I introduced Bi-carb of soda and Vinegar! Brendan guessed what might happen and he loved mixing the two and making foam!

Look at their excited faces!! So sweet!

So many things to mix.... where do we start!

 Bubbly overflow!

Bottles and bottles of newly mixed potions!

The boys lay out their potions on the table by the Cauldrens.... after I had hot glue gunned the lids on. 
Would not want any spillages!
I don't know about the children... but I am really looking forward to playing with this over the next week! 

We have lots of fun things planed. We are going to finish making the Pocket Globes, write a spell book, dress up, visit the local caves for a special afternoon of Whitchcraft, where they get to do ghost busting and learn to fly broom sticks. It sounds great!! I hope to take them on a Lantern walk in the hills next Saturday and then trick or treating round the village on Monday! 
Oh and not forgetting, picking and carving our Pumpkins from the allotment! 


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