Thursday, 29 October 2009

Trees, grass, sticks and things!

Today has been a lovely day.We have all been out together as a family,something we haven't done in a while! Not having had a car large enough for us all to fit in for a couple of months has made it very hard for us all to get out together. Today we all ventured out together in our new car and it was wonderful.Yes it is hard work taking 6 children out together, yes it is hard finding outings that will keep them all happy from the 18 month old to the 11 year old. But today we all had such a nice time it reminded me of how wonderful it can be to all be out together. We went out to country park not far from us. We took a simple pic-nic, which always seems to add to the sense of adventure! We were lucky with the weather and had a gorgeous sunny day which was exceptionally mild for the time of year.

It always delights me to see how much fun the children derive from such simple things as a pile of sticks and some long grass. Den building remains a firm favourite with all our children. The place we stop in the park has a great area of woodland for den building. There are several dens under construction , all started by various groups of children and then added to by future visitors over time. Today our little construction workers collected lots of dry grass and were working on thatching projects!

After the exertions of den building there was time for some bouncing and swinging on a favourite tree, with more exploring of logs and trees by our smallest adventurer and his doggy partner in crime!

The fresh air, freedom and sunshine really did seem to bring out the best in everyone and it was lovely to watch the older children playing with such gentleness and love with the smaller children and watching those closer in age getting on so well and sharing such happy moments together!

It is days like today that highlight for me all that is wonderful about having a large family!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A splash of Autumn sunshine.

So today was finally a gorgeous sunny Autumn day. As soon as I saw the blue skies this morning I knew we would go out and make the most of the sunshine. Overflowing Dad was on a mission today to go and sort us out a new car (after our old one blew up just a mile from Disney Land Paris in the summer...but that is another story!!) That left me alone with 5 children(one went with overflowing Dad) this afternoon, so it was just as well it was sunny!

The funny thing with the older children is that they always moan at the suggestion of going out in the fresh air, but they always have a great time once we get out! Today was no different. I had the usual moans to contend with as I attempted to locate 5 matching pairs of wellies in vaguely suitable sizes for the children! Eventually they were all booted up and overflowing mum, 5 children and the dog headed out into the afternoon sun! We are really lucky where we live as we have lots of nice places to explore within walking distance. In the past we have been guilty of not making the most of these lovely local spots , but more recently we have all been enjoying them more regularly and developing a greater appreciation for what we have on our doorstep. So this afternoon we went to the local Dyke. This is just 5 minutes walk from our house, and there is a lovely walk around the dyke, and the lots of lovely woodland to walk through and explore

The sunshine was gorgeous glinting off the water as walked along the path by the dyke and we were soon all feeling much cheerier! We paused to look at the lovely water and were rewarded by discovering two swans right by the edge which our youngest son loved as he thought they were very exciting "quack quacks"!

We then veered off the path and up into the woodland which the children love to explore. The floor was carpeted with gorgeous Autumnal coloured leaves which the youngest loved heaping into piles and kicking. There was lots of time for tree climbing and a spot of den building, always a favourite activity with all the children

It is always lovely to see the simple pleasure they all get from clambering about in trees without a care in the world!

They all had such fun, and it was totally free and we all got some fresh air and sunshine - it reminded me why I loved takingthem all to the woods.The dog of course was also in her element sniffing around the trees and playing with the children.She has so much energy and is such fun - we are so glad we added her to our family!

I had actually remembered to take my camera too, which was great! I love photography, and love takingpictures of the children especially , but I often get so caught up in the actually business of life I forget to take photos, which is a shame. I ogt to capture some nice shots of the children which I am sure I will be glad for in years to come!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Frilly ghosts and challenging toddlers!

Today is another dull day outside but the mood in the overflowing house has been fairly good! Lovely Overflowing Dad let me have a lie in today, and I even got coffee and toast in bed! I have managed to catch up on some boring, yet necessary household chores, so am feeling more in control of things again!
All the children seem to be settling into half term and have actually spent a lot of time playing quite nicely together in various groupings!
Little O , our super cute 3 year old drew me lots of lovely pictures this morning - they all basically featured lots of circles of various shapes as she just loves the letter "O" as it is the start of her name! She then posted them all under my bedroom door for me whilst I was having my lie in! She can be so sweet.
This afternoon we have been making Halloween ghosts out of paper doilys. This was a super simple activity that just involved using a bit of stuffing in the centre of the doily and then securing with a pipe cleaner to make a ghost shape before drawing on a face. Our eldest daughter thought they didn't really look too convincing, but the younger ones loved them!

We then decorated some plain white paper tablecloths with supposedly spooky pictures, although little O insisted on drawing flowers and rainbows , much to our older children's annoyance!
I did try and time our craft session for when our 18 month old "destructor boy" was napping, but he woke up before the end and so got to join in drawing on the tablecloths with felt pens which he thought was great!

Sometimes it is hard though trying to do things with the older ones with a small destructive toddler under foot (or climbing on the table as is his latest thing!) I think I am suffering a bit from "toddler fatigue" at the moment. Sometimes I look at our adorable little 18 month old and I feel that little tinge of sadness that he will be our last. Other times , when he is tearing the house apart every time I blink, I feel I am really ready to be done with toddlers! Our oldest is 11 1/2 and with the 6 of them all roughly 2 years apart I feel as if I have had a toddler around forever...and I must admit to secretly looking forward to getting passed that stair gate and book ripping phase at last - yet I know when we have no more toddlers in the house I will miss all their cute funny little ways so much!

Monday, 26 October 2009

A Grey Day - with a splash of orange!

Today is really grey and dull. My absolute worst sort of day! And it seems that the mood in the overflowing house seemed to match the weather - dull and grey!

Still we have kept busy and attempts to kick off half term with sort of sense of order and fun!

This morning we managed to get tickets (just!) for the cheap cinema showing of Ice Age 3 . With so many little cinema goers we often wait to see films at the cheap showings ...... that way we get to see the film for slightly less than the cost of an average family holiday! I must admit I wasn't really in a cinema mood, but the film was actually quite good. Little O actually managed to sit still for pretty much most of it although did have her hands over her ears and her eyes closed for a lot of it - cinema is still quite a new experience to her!

We got home to find overflowing Dad in the midst of the traditional school holiday painting of the hall walls.One day we will give in and stop painting them magnolia and just paint them mucky brown with orange splatters then all the small hand prints and smears will be indistinguishable.

This afternoon presented a choice between some serious laundry or painting pumpkin decorations ...... needless to say the pumpkins won. We borrowed an idea from the wonderful MadHouse and improvised a bit to suit some of my older creative participants! Surprisingly it all turned out rather well and with minimal mess and even a fair degree of co-operation. Very simple really - paper plates painted orange, with shapes cut out of black paper for faces!

The good news is I had lots of room on the washing line for them to dry as I had opted out of the laundry!

Later I will hang them around the dining room and tomorrow we are making paper doily ghosts to go with them!
Poor Bella , our recently added 8 month old puppy, looked on quite bemused by all the afternoons activity , so after I tidied up she got her walk round the hill and it struck me how dark it was already getting at 4pm. I hate the dark evenings. I am going to try to come up with lots of nice things to do with all the children after school such as baking and craft projects to make up for the dark, but I still cant wait for the spring....(which reminds me I MUST finish planting my bulbs!)