Friday, 31 July 2009

For Grandma's birthday...

...M picked out these roses, a present from Uncle J...

...and while the rain held off we went for a morning trip to Walton Gardens...

...for ice creams...

..and playing....

...and a trip on the road train...

... before going back to Gma's for birthday cake!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Harry Potter Day

In a fit of braver J and I took M and 4 friends to Manchester for the day to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the Imax.

It was fab (the start was in 3D as an added bonus).

We survived disrupted bus routes, (why do idiots try to run the raising bollards in the city centre? It only ends badly for them!) and over crowded rush hour trains (how do you manage to 'lose' 2 carriages off the 17.37 to Lime Street???)

ANd we all enjoyed it. :)

At Trentham Gardens...

...with Auntie Gill and cousin Elizabeth. We had planned to meet up at WaterWorld in Stoke, but Swine Flu concerns led us looking for an alternative venue. I found Trentham on the web, and it looked great. I hadn't been since a Mission Rally in ?1987?, and I couldn't remember there being lots to do there, but the website looked good and we went for it.

It turned out to be fab - there has been a massive redevelopment in the last 5 years. There are beautiful gardes, and lovely cafe, several mazes and a great adventure playground.

Lizzie did a great job entertaining Ben!

The biggest hit was the barefoot walk. No shoes - path that takes you through the wood,s over different textured surfaces; sand, pebbles, woodchip etc. And best of all - the sticky mud!

Ben wasn't too impressed at first, but he did go back in for a second go!

Thinking about it with my teacher hat on (sorry, I know it's the hols, but the teacher hat NEVER goes away) - you could do a great Bear Hunt here! (you can't go over it, you can't go under it, you have to go through it! Squelch, squerch, squelch, squerch etc)

I was really impressed by Ben's rope climbing - when has he learned to do that?
Megs wasn't so hot at the climbing - but the swinging was just great.

Ice creams at the end of the day before the hugs and goodbyes and promises to meet up again soon

Monday, 27 July 2009

Now you see it... you don't!

M's new shorter hair do!

Our biking adventure to Tatton Park.... that B has cracked riding on two wheels we can start taking the bikes out again - something we haven't been able to do since he outgrew a bike seat. After a fair amount of aggro A got 3 bikes onto the rack, with M's smaller bike inside the boot (hurray for estates!)

After a small mishap taking the bikes off the car - (A is well known for his heavy handedness and managed to snap a key in the chain lock - fortunately he is also pretty good at fudging fixes for this sort of thing and managed to turn the remnants of the key) - we set off to ride from the Knutsford gate.

It was blissful riding through the woods - there were the muddy stretches that challenged the kids - but they both did fantastically well to keep going. It was quiet, and just so beautiful, especially after the drizzle cleared to leave us in dappled sunshine.

B is just so proud of his new bike - though he was a bit concerned when the wheels got muddy. I assured him that as it is a mountain bike it likes to go off road and get dirty :)

By the time we reached the playground the sun was out in force, and a charge around the swings etc left us in need of the cafe and cold drinks.

Then we headed back to the car along the road - passing a 3 stags on the way, sat under a tree for shade.

While A sorted the bikes back onto the car I had time to play with his camera...

...and had a jolly time capturing how the kids look at the end of another school year...

... M had has her hair tied back most of the time now, and has got even more freckles than ever, including new ones on her forehead...

... and B is losing his rounded features, he's looked so much older these last couple of months...

...and finally one of my 3 loved ones - doing what they love best - having cuddles (you will probably notice that A has lost a front crown yet again ... i think his dentist is fighting a losing battle there :( )

Friday, 24 July 2009

West Side Story

Last nights trip to the Lowry - a few dodgy moments - but the dancing was just FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Farewell to Primary School

July 22nd 2009 - M's last day at Fairfield Junior School

In signed shirts with friend C.

Monday, 20 July 2009

B on his BIG bike...

... his birthday present from Nana and Garandad - just look at him go!

He hardly ever falls off now :)

Monday, 13 July 2009

Shakespeare Sleepover

M's birthday treat - a trip to Stratford to see the schools production of A Comedy of Errors. The girls had to stay over night, as we had to be in the car by 7am to be in time for the morning performance.
We strolled across Bancroft Gardens.... ...past the fantastic mural on the building site that the new RST will one day emerge from...
...and the girls admired the fountain on the way to the Courtyard Theatre.
The performance was great. As a schools production the seats were all only £10 (£5 for children!) - so we had a great view from the 3rd row of the stalls. I was surprised that the players were all from the current ensemble, and the first rate cast gave their all in a production full of music, movement and (obviously) comedy. It was just perfect for the children and well appreciated by the adults too. Afterwards we loitered outside to mug actors for autographs.
Lunch was a picnic by the river, then in the afternoon the sun came out. We wandered through the shops, and visited the Birthplace. It's years since I last went, and while the actual building, hasn't changed at all, the accompanying exhibition had been recently updated, and was really excellent. The girls were fascinated by it all.

All in all, a great birthday trip.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The 3 birthdays...

B had a joint party this year with his friend K from church, who is a year younger than him. Their party was followed by little B's 4th birthday party.

This excellent arrangement meant we could split the cost of a bouncy castle 3 ways, and led to over 5 hours of hot bouncing children!

B's cake was a chocolate castle, with ice cream cone turrets....

... while K's cake was just enormous!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

8 years old....

...and one happy looking birthday boy! Sadly there was school all day - but the evening was free for the opening night of Ice Age 3!