Word of the Week: Experiences


This week has been a week full of experiences.

I went with the eldest two Littlesheeps to see The BFG.

We saw Behemoth from Robot Wars.


This was at the Dunstable Downs Kite Festival where we also saw lots of different kites being flown and kite acrobatic displays, several para-gliders and watched the gliders being towed up and landing.

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Then came the biggest experiences of the week for the middle two Littlesheeps.

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Middle Littlesheep had his sailing course – he’d done some sailing with Cubs and with Grandpa (who is a sailing instructor) last summer and decided then that he wanted to do it this year so Grandpa duly took him to the lake for a week for the RYA Level 1 & 2 course which he successfully completed. Apparently he did spend the week sailing but the only photo I was sent was him in the water practicing capsizing!

Littlest Littlesheep’s long awaited two afternoons snowboarding course… This was an interesting holiday activity to arrive at and came about because I was trying to suggest things he could try – as his brothers had tennis and sailing to do… climbing, trampolining, cycling, archaeology… the list was getting more and more random until I said snowboarding and he was hooked on the idea! I think he found it harder than he imagined but seemed to enjoy himself and definitely wants to go again so for a child who doesn’t often get enthused about any ‘extra-curricular’ activities it was obviously a hit.

We saw lots of rainbows driving home from a tennis tournament along the M6 – it was almost like we were chasing the rainbow all the way home.

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We also did new trainers and school shoes for three of the four… that was a fairly painless experience as for once I didn’t leave it to the last minute so there was plenty of choice and no queue!

It’s going to be a week to remember of the holidays and potentially a tough one to beat!

What’s your Word of the Week?

The Reading Residence

Word of the Week: Adventures


This week has been week one of the school holidays and we’ve been planning our adventures – the list from the boys isn’t particularly adventurous but it is fun to have time without the bind of school timetables and activities. This week was a bit odd as we still had ballet (Miss Littlesheep), tennis squads (Biggest Littlesheep) and swimming lesson (Littlest Littlesheep) so with that time table and Biggest taking part in two tennis tournaments there wasn’t much week for adventuring.

This was also the week we pretended to own a dog – my mum did a London-Paris cycle ride (very proud of her on her adventures) and when my dad went out to join her for a mini-break in Paris we looked after their dog so we had lots of dog outings.


We bought a fire pit, had a fire and made smores…

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We caught some Pokemon (and some like this little beastie got away)…

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The middle two signed up for the summer library reading challenge (and Little Miss got a card for the mini challenge).


and we had a day out at Worcester Country Park (the phone ran out of battery from Pokemon-hunting so no photos of the park) but it was a great day out meeting up with NCT volunteers from Worcestershire to campaign to save their children’s centres before milkshakes and toasted teacakes in the cafe, a play in the park and a walk in the woods.

Summer Holiday Plans

So here we are at the start of the school holidays!

For the first time ever I’ve got to juggle work with the long summer holidays – luckily I only do 9 hours a week and my employer is very flexible so I’ve worked out a timetable with a mix of time in the office, working from home and annual leave.

Biggest Littlesheep will be spending part of it playing tennis (naturally!), Middle Littlesheep is doing a sailing course (hopefully getting his RYA level 1), Littlest Littlesheep is going to go snowboarding and Miss Littlesheep wants a sleepover at grandma’s with her girly cousins.

I asked the children what they wanted to do and here’s a list (including some of the things that featured in the ‘Things we want to do this year’) of things we might do this summer…

  • watch the Harry Potter movies
  • watch Star Wars films
  • watch Minions Movie seen 24.8.16
  • watch Angry Birds Movie seen by Bigglest Littlesheep 21.8.16
  • watch Despicable Me films
  • watch The BFG seen 30.7.16
  • hunt Pokemon done every day so far…
  • do some cooking
  • have a waterfight
  • play on Wii
  • play on DS
  • play on computer
  • play tennis done 21.8.16
  • icebucket challenge
  • have a fire fire pit bought 24.7.16 first fire had 27.7.16
  • go cycling done on holiday 18.8.16
  • go swimming done on holiday 18.8.16
  • go the Wimbledon museum
  • find the BFG dream jars in London
  • go to Legoland Windsor
  • go to Drayton Manor
  • do science experiments
  • complete craft / science kits
  • go to the seaside
  • go the zoo
  • do a Where’s Wally jigsaw completed 22.8.16
  • go on a steam train

We have a holiday booked with my parents and all my siblings and their children so that should be a filled week too – wonder if we can tick of any of the above with them? Sadly the holiday cottage we ended up with isn’t near the sea so we’ll have to try that one somewhere else.

I’ll also sign the younger three up to the library summer reading scheme – I’ve suggested that they look for recipe books and science books to tick off some of the things above… I fancy going to Roald Dahl Museum as we haven’t been there and the Stick Man Trail at Salcey Forest should be good if the weather stays nice… There is also Brick Wonders exhibition at Herbert Art Gallery visited 10.8.16 which they might like.

What are your summer holiday plans?




Word of the Week: Try

I’ve never joined in this linky before but I’ve just seen it on Twitter so I thought I’d give it a go.
tryMy word for the week is ‘try‘ – it seems quite apt for the first time I’m attempting to join in with this linky and it’s also appropriate for this blog which is about trying to record my journey as I try to work on future goals.
Trying is important in our house – whilst I hope that my children will be good at what they want to do they all know that so long as they try their best I will be proud of them for giving it a go. If they don’t win the competition or get the highest grade in an exam or whatever  then its OK so long as they tried their best. I also provided this as reassurance  to a Year 6 child last week who was disappointed about his SATs results and worried about what his mum was going to say – Nobody can be asked to do more than trying their hardest.
I also tell my children that if something doesn’t go their way then they shouldn’t give up but keep on trying and you never know what will happen next time. So with this in mind I made the decision to try again and stand in the election to become a NCT trustee – voting emails start going out today (although the final results aren’t known until October which seems an age away). If you are a NCT member – please take the time to read the candidate information when you get your email and use your vote (hopefully for me!).
The Reading Residence

When I Grow Up…

I saw this video on the CBeebies facebook page:

and it showed in a really thought provoking way about the way our children’s thoughts about career paths open to them start so early on in their lives.

I had three boys before having a daughter and I think as Little Miss grows up there will be no chance of her feeling that choices are not open to her because she is a girl because she wants to do everything they do – even if she is currently obsessed by pink, fairies and ballet and wanting to be a princess when she grows up!

Also, having had three boys first I think it is also important to recognise that boys can be whatever they want to be too and have similar issues surrounding job stereotypes. I’m sure if you asked the children to draw a ballet dancer, a nurse or a hairdresser you’d find that statistics of gender in the illustrations would be reversed.

So when your children talk about what they want to be when they grow up make sure that they know that whatever they want to do they can!



The EU Referendum

So today is the EU referendum and I’m not going to break with tradition of keeping my voting preferences to myself but I thought I’d share what the little Littlesheeps think!

First of all the youngest of the boys was most concerned that the vote is in the middle of the Euros and what happens if we vote to leave do we get thrown out of the football?

The eldest said don’t be stupid and vote out because I want to be able to play tennis in Spain…

Then there was the hot debate at the dinner table this evening about why children don’t get to vote – because adults are going to die sooner than children and therefore they should be able to make the decision as it will affect them more.

So I’m not telling you how I’d vote but my three boys are all firmly in the remain camp – lets hope they aren’t disappointed tomorrow morning!