Spudtastic Times at The national Forest Adventure Farm

boysand forks

The boys and I have found a new favourite place … and it’s literally on our doorstep !! We were invited during the summer to try out the National Forest Adventure Farm  in Burton on Trent  … so off we went totally unsure of what to expect !! It was brilliant … the boys adored the indoor play area with its abundance of slides  and ball pit and nets and …and … well lets just say we could easily have lost them in there for hours and they wouldn’t have blinked an eye !!

We then went outside   and played on tractors , petted the baby animals … ooohed and aaaahed at the calves and the piglets …. milked the cow … raced  the go karts … played on the assault course … looked longingly at the super soakers ….. !!! So much to do  …

We moved on and discovered the scarecrows … !! We MADE a scarecrow or two .. joining in with the world record breaking attempt for the most scarecrows !!! We are now world record holders … amazing !!!

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scarecrows

We then went on to the Maize Maze where we promptly got lost for an age … finally reaching the exit after an hour in the sunshine !! At times I thought we’d be lost for ever !!!  Such alot of fun !!

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We packed so much into one day we couldn’t wait to go back …. and so we did .. last month when we were invited to go potato picking !!! By now the Maize maze had shut for the winter months ready for replanting for next summer but that didn’t hold us back … after playing on everything again , seeing all the animals again , watching the pig racing ( yes really ) …

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playing Frisbee Golf ( Yes … really !)  and going on the barrel stampede we headed  over to the potato field where we had loads of fun harvesting our own spuds !! The boys got all farmerific on me and wielded their pitchforks with aplomb … I was a very proud Mum that day !!

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With bags of spuds in hands and sweat on our brows … we headed back to the go karts and played a little more !!!!

We have had two fantastic days out courtesy of the National Forest Adventure Farm  … and I know you and yours will too if you give it a try !!! We love it so much we are going back again  in a few weeks for the Pumpkin harvest and the Hallowe’en Half Term Spooktacular …. and I simply can’t wait for the Special Christmas Events in the pipeline !!!

We have landed on our feet finding this gem on our doorstep … Go try it out !!  We’ll probably be there ….

Where did I go ?

I must apologise for being MIA these past few weeks/months … The boys and I have had a whirlwind of a summer and to make the most of it I decided to take a little summer blogging break too !! We had a mad time these school holidays with lots of day trips , park visits and journeys here there and everywhere ! I’ll tell you more about them later …. But now my boys are all back at school and I am patiently waiting to start a new job !! Yes I’ve only gone and got me a new job … !! Hurrah ! 

So for now I must sign off and go sort my house out after it’s 6 weeks of abuse …

I’ll be back very soon to tell you lots of tales about Mummy’s Blue Eyed Boys xx  Stick with me folks ….

Pentax Digital Camera

Our fantastical Summer Fete

I spend alot of my waking hours thinking about what I can do to help others … I don’t know why .. I just do ! So when the idea of a Community Summer fete to raise money for two very deserving charities popped into my head a few months ago I decided to go for it !

After months of planning , heartache , headaches , excitement and downright good fun our Summer fete became a reality on Saturday and boy was it “fun” !!  We were raising money for a charity called DBA UK … DBA ( Diamond Blackfan Anaemia) is a very rare blood disorder where patients fail to reproduce red blood cells . My friend Laura and her little 2 year old daughter both suffer from this condition . Laura is sympton free however little Isabelle has to have monthly blood transfusions along with lots of other treatment to enable her to live a happy healthy life . I chose Isabelle as my inspiration … to go through so much and still smile strongly , live wildly and be happy every day … amazing little thing ! I am also running the Great North Run for Isabelle and all the other DBA patients out there !!

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This is Laura , Isabelle & Meghan

 The other project we were raising money for is The Boulton Lane Community Garden project  … I live in one of the more deprived areas in Derby city  and what we are aiming to do is creat a Community garden for use by all . This project requires a large amount of funding  and the summer fete was my way of giving a helping hand to something that so many will benefit from. Something that will open the doors and get the community working together , resting together and building hope ! I can’t wait for it to begin … My family will alongside so many others reap so much from what we sow !

Saturday morning .. I overslept !! Great start to the day … I then had to get Billy over the other side of Derby for his Archery lesson , pick up one of the stall holders from another part of Derby and get back to be there to help all my volunteers set up and get sorted !!! It was manic !!! I don’t think I stopped moving all day – great for the waistline as I also forgot to eat !!! Not even a sausage from Mike’s BBQ !!!

I am pleased to say the fete was a resounding success …. busy busy busy … It was never quiet , there was never a lull , the tombola sold out in an hour , the raffle just kept getting better , the name of the cow was guessed , the number of lollies in a jar after much deliberation was won … the cake was weighed and is probably now demolished ! The strawberries and cream flew out the door , the BBQ ran out of food , the tea ladies just kept on pouring .. and still the people came !!!! I cannot put into words how proud I felt … watching members of our community stream through the doors of our little church hall and spill out into the garden … laughter rang through the air and voices were merrily chatting away !!

DBA

That’s me .. manning the raffle !!!

Frankie & Chris selling Betty's Eggs !

Frankie & Chris selling Betty’s Eggs !

Jumping Clay & Loom band workshop

Jumping Clay & Loom band workshop

In the garden

In the garden

Inside the hall

Inside the hall

I’m actually crying as I tell you all about this ! It was  amazing ! We raised over £800 meaning the charity and the garden project get just over £400 each ! I am truly blessed to be part of this community … and I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people around me ! Without them none of this could have happened !! Thank you thank you thank you !!!!

Right …. Onto the Christmas Fair … here we go again …..

 

http://www.justgiving.com/jujurunsagain  (If you wanted to donate ….:) !!! )

 

Run or Dye (trying) !!

 

ROD- pink image

Well you guys all know I’m one of life’s triers … I love to put myself out there and prove people wrong about their perceptions of me !! I also like to do stuff that makes other people go “Wow ! Maybe I can do that too …”  so without a second thought to it I have signed up to run in the Nottingham Run or Dye event … ! I did a colour run a few months ago and absolutely blummin’ loved it .. so this was an opportunity I was not going to miss !!

For those of you not in the know  Run or Dye is a 5k run, walk , dance , crawl ( I will possibly be part of the latter) where you get showered with a rainbow of colour as you pass each kilometre  .. turning you into your own walking , talking , laughing technicolour canvas !! Literally becoming the rainbow … Run or Dye is the UK’s most colourful run … with no less than 5 colour stations en route  plus the mad , wild colour release at the finish line !!!

run or dye throw

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait !!! I have already booked my place alongside my friend Nikki – a complete running novice and recovering from major surgery !!! See it really is for EVERYONE .. and family friendly too … Children Under 6 run FREE !!

If you’d like to book a place .. go to Run or Dye and get filling in the form …. as a little incentive why not use the code BLUEEYEDBOYS to get yourself a little discount !!! I’m so good to you guys :) !!

See you at the start line … let me know if you’re coming ! It’s going to be a BLAST !!!!

run or dye header

Redundant Mum

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A couple of weeks ago I was solemnly requested to attend a meeting to discuss my role in my place of work . I duly attended the meeting to be informed in a rather smug ( in my opinion) way that my role was to be made redundant .. MY ROLE .. not me … ! That was made most clear on several occasions …. However as follows in this situation , without a role I was in fact redundant ! So after a few hiccups and consultations and with a great big ball of “so what?” in my tummy I happily walked out of my place of work on Wednesday afternoon … never to return !

I say happy as to be honest I had not been in love with the job for quite some time… I’d worked there for almost 5 years and had quite frankly found the majority of my working hours there tedious , tiresome and completely against everything I ever wanted in a job . That said , whilst the children were small it served a great purpose enabling me to stay in work and be flexible around my husbands job and the kids nursery and then schooling !

So my “payout” isn’t huge but it will see us through the summer if we budget wisely meaning I can spend an entire summer with my 3 boys … an entire summer ! For the first time in 7 years !!!  I am so looking forward to that I’m almost in tears … They will drive me potty  and there will be ructions … but I’ll be here .. at home .. where I belong !!!

I will miss my colleagues , that’s to be expected … I will miss seeing my Mum every day ( we worked in the same place) … But I will not miss that job .. I will not miss that management structure .. and for the first time I will not miss my boys …  Being redundant isn’t ideal and I will need to find a job but for now I’m happy being Mum … messy , stroppy , tired , harrassed , smiley and happy Mummy !!!

Reduntant Mum ? Nope … happy Mum … bring on OUR SUMMER !!!!

What ? No Tea ?

tea

I am not a coffee fan … I may partake in a hazelnut latte every once in a while but thats as far as coffee goes for me …. Tea however … that’s like my life blood ( along with a  crisp chilled sauvignon blanc of course) ! So when the doctor told me I had to steer clear of caffeine from now on ( although allowing me my morning cuppa … phew) I felt like she’d just chopped my arm off … I could have cried !!! So I’m heading out on a mission now to find the best caffeine free alternatives … I do like a cup of green tea of an afternoon so perhaps I need to train myself to drink more of that ….

This is a scary quest for me … I’m going to become one of those women who orders a pot of hot water in a coffee shop and surreptisiously plonks my own bag in the cup without anyone seeing … I’ll be the freak who brandishes her own box of bags as she enters her friends homes  … I don’t want to be the beardy weirdy herbal tea evangelist …  I just want a good cuppa char !!!

I’m trying to imagine life without my tanin stained DCFC mug filled to the brim with thick dark tea with a dash of milk … the mug that is refilled time and time again throughout the day to sate my addiction to the good stuff !!! It’s just simply not cricket banning my brew …  So join me on this intrepid adventure into a caffeine free life !!!

What will they ban me from next … I dread to think …..

The Hive – Gill Hornby : Book Review

hive1

Ever stood in the school playground and looked around and seen all the different groups of people … some you avoid like the plague , some you chat away to , some you just nod at with a friendly but wary hello and others who believe themselves to be the elite of the elite and look down on you like a tiny speck of disgusting dust on their otherwise pristeen life ( seemingly ) ! This is a scene played out in school playgrounds across the nation daily … and Gill Hornby has captured this phenomenon perfectly in “The Hive” .
I found this book eerily reminiscent of my school ground experience .. and I’ve been standing in primary school playgrounds for the last 10 years with another 4 years to go …. !!!  The characters were bought to life brilliantly with the reader being able to identify themselves amongst this group of diverse individuals … I’m a bit of a Georgie / Heather/ Rachel I reckon … headstrong & nonchalant, yet affable … and sometimes just wanting to fit in !!
The characters of Bea & Melissa were cleverly worked around each others so the reader could see the outcome but not quite understand how it was going to happen . Yet , the strikingly familiar routine of the bee’s picking their new queen was played out fantastically … and we could all see the circle of life within the bee community and within Bea’s community !!
All in all a very well written book , with perhaps a few disjointed moments which left the reader wondering where that chunk of school life had gone … not that different to the twists and turns of life to be fair !!! I often wonder where that chunk of time disappeared to … but in the main a thoroughly enjoyable read and a novel any school mum should get stuck into !!
Better run … I have a summer fete to organise ………………