Sunday, 27 January 2013

26/365 Football In The Snow

With no more sign of snow on the way, the boys made the most of the snow we had left, to play football!!

Football Fun In The Snow

25/365 Just A Little Snack!

Kaide was eating a huge Ham Baguette for his tea, he only turned away for a second and it had disappeared, we only had to look at Tyrus to know where it was!

I have stolen my brothers Baguette!

24/365 Snow Fun In The Dark

 Kaide, Lochlan and Neva were still having fun in the snow, unfortunately it was 9pm and definitely past their bedtime.
I Dont Want To Go To Bed, Snow Is Fun!

23/365 Lochlan Helping!

Today Lochlan decided to help around the house, it is such a rare occurrence we had to catch it on camera!


OK thats 7 minutes, have I finished!

Colchester Zoo Review

When we were challenged by MoneySupermarket and Tots 100 to find Britains Best Day Out , I knew exactly where this would lead us...

Ever since I have been a small child I have adored Colchester Zoo, living not far from it, as a child, we used to drive past the entrance quite often and you could always spot the elephants peaking out!!

As an adult, I still have a fondness for the place, and when we were given the opportunity to visit with the children I was almost as excited as they were.

I can honestly say,it is one of the few places that can actually cater for all six children aged one to teen, which is a pretty big deal to us!

We are not a family for busy crowds, so tend to avoid outdoor attractions during the busier summer months, we like nothing better than wrapping up warm in the winter and visiting places, so the end of the Christmas holidays was a perfect time for us to visit.

The Zoo is open from 9.30am every day except Christmas Day and closes at dusk, giving you plenty of time to explore. The prices until 15th February are £12.99 per adult and £8.50 per child, which I think is great value for an entire day, if you book your tickets prior to going they are even cheaper.

Six children, six different ages, here is what they had to say about Colchester Zoo...

Tyrus (age 1 interpreted by mummy) "The zoo was so cool, it had loads of great animals for me to stare at and try to touch"
I just want to stroke the lizard!

I could just sneak out of the pram and have a ride on the elephant, no-one would notice!

This being pushed around, looking at animals is so cool!


















Throughout the entire day, Tyrus had one little sleep, he was so amazed by everything, he  spent the entire time giggling and pointing, a great day out for young children as there is so much to look at and keep them entertained.

Eowyn (age 4) "The Zoo was gorgeous, there were lots of animals to see and lots of things to play on, I found some rocks to dance on, but you don't want to kneel in the mud to stroke the goats, or you get really muddy knees!"


Ooh Pink, my favourite colour, I wonder if one would like to live in my garden!
















haha his long tongue is tickling my hand!

His trunk is like a hoover!



















Oh a Rock, I just love to Dance on Rocks!







This is a funny ladder, it keeps moving!



























Eowyn had an amazing day, she loved seeing all of the animals and interacting with the giraffes and elephants, she was one of the youngest to feed them and she was very proud of herself. She loves to climb and dance and there were plenty of opportunities for her to do this, although she is only four, having four older siblings means that she is quite outgoing for her age and extremely competitive, every task or challenge they were trying, she insisted on joining in too.

I can run as fast as all of you!




Kaide (age 7) "This Zoo is awesome! The animals are well good and the animal olympic boards are brilliant"


I can jump as far as a Kangaroo!














Come on keep hanging only 990 to beat the high score!








Kaide is a very lively 7 year old and all of the activities kept him amused, he is very sporty so showed a great interest in the Olympic themed boards around the zoo.

Neva (age 9) " I LOVED Colchester Zoo, my favourite animals are the Penguins, they are so funny, one of them always stood at the window as you came in to see them. I had great fun taking photos of the animals, and compiling a chart about all of the animals I saw."


Just turn this way a bit Macaws so i can get your best side

What score shall I give them ?





























Don't look now but a Sealion is heading straight for us!!

Neva had a fantastic day, she is completely animal mad and would have been happy just to spend the day looking at the animals, taking photos and writing about them in her notebook. She has wanted to work with animals since she started school and has watched numerous episodes of Zoo Days that was filmed there.

Lochlan (age 12) " It was a fab day out, I loved the baby goats that tried to eat my coat and challenging my brothers and sisters to the activities around the Zoo. "


Who Is The Strongest of Us All!

The largest Egg EVER!

Get Off My Back You Three!


















Please move over and STOP EATING THE PRAM!



Lochlan had a great day out too, he is usually the hardest of the six to keep occupied all day, if it was just a place with animals he would have soon got disinterested, but the fact that there were various tasks and play areas to amuse them, and that they could feed the elephants and giraffes and stroke the baby goats, made the experience much more enriching, which kept his enthusiasm all day.

Xene (age 14) " I enjoyed the Zoo, because it was great to see how my little baby brother reacted with all of the different animals, and I got to race against lochlan and beat him!"


I beat you AGAIN Lochi!

Just hanging around waiting for you to catch up!

Xene is getting to the age that spending the day out with the family is something of a chore, however she actually enjoyed herself immensely showing Tyrus all of the animals and having a slightly competitive streak against her 12 year old brother!

We took a picnic with us, but there are various different food outlets dotted throughout the zoo, ranging from a BBQ terrace, Pizza Lodge and Coffee Shops through to Ice Cream Parlours and Hot Dog Stands, all of them looked very clean and tidy and had a large selection of meals available at reasonable prices.
Our Day Trip out was a complete success, I would recommend it to anyone with children of any age, we have two cameras full of Animal photos, but in this review I wanted to show you what else was on offer as well as over 280 species of stunning animals. They offer over 50 animals feeds, talks and encounters per day, even if you are the only person to turn up it will still take place. There are various areas that you can walk through and be VERY close to the animals, much to the baby's glee!
The Giraffe and Elephant encounters were breathtaking and it was very well organised, everyone who wanted to feed them got a turn and it didn't feel rushed.

It really is a full day out, so I recommend that you arrive as early as you can and stay for the entire day, the children thought it was really cool when it went dark and the lights all came on, so they could continue playing on the adventure playground!

We shall definitely be returning to Colchester Zoo in the not too distant future.



Wednesday, 23 January 2013

22/365 Egg and Soldiers!

Today Tyrus was allowed to eat his Dippy Egg and soldiers without any assistance, this was the result...

Can't beat fresh bright yellow eggs!
It took me twenty minutes in the bath to get the yellow yolk off of his hands, the wonders of free range chickens and their eggs.

21/365 Tyrus In The Snow

The first time that Tyrus has been old enough to stand in the snow!


Where have My Feet gone ?

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

20/365 Fritton Woods In The Snow

We still had some poorly children, so Asa took Lochlan, Neva and kaide to the woods for some sledging fun!


Lochlan pulling Neva and Kaide on the sledge

Sunday, 20 January 2013

19/365 A Trip To The Roman Fort

Today Asa took Neva and Kaide to the Roman Fort in the village, (as they were the only two well enough!)they had great fun sledging although with the wind it was -10, they came home looking rather cold!!

Where has the Roman Fort gone ?

Friday, 18 January 2013

18/365 At last We Get Some Snow!

Last night before we went to bed, the snow actually started to settle, today we woke up to find a blanket of Snow and the journey to school was far too dangerous, although most of them are still ill, they did manage a little snow time!

Snow At Last!

17/365 Fifth Child Down!

Today Lochlan got the dreaded bug, we knew he wasn't well because he spent most of the day asleep instead of on the 3DS or computer!

Sleepy Boy!



Wednesday, 16 January 2013

16/365 Will It Snow Here ?

Nearly every place in the UK has had at least a covering of snow, we have had -8 degrees but no snow yet, Eowyn has become an expert at checking the weather forecast!

There may be snow in the East tonight Daddy!

15/365 Tyrus finally strokes Moonstone!

Today Tyrus actually plucked up the courage to stroke our house rabbit Moonstone as you can see he is very pleased with himself!

I Did It, I stroked the Rabbit!




TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Monday, 14 January 2013

14/365 A Third One Down!

As predicted Eowyn was the latest victim to this horrible bug, Neva and Kaide are still not well, so it has been a nice warm duvet day with four today!

I'm too tired to stay awake!

Team Skylanders





As you will probably be aware Lochlan, Neva and Kaide are slightly Skylander obsessive, all three of them entered the Tots 100 competition to become a member of Team Skylander Giants for 2013, and Kaide was chosen as one of the twelve. When told,  he spent the entire day jumping around like a kangaroo, with THE biggest smile on his face. Neva and Lochlan were very gracious in their defeat and congratulated Kaide and offered to help him test out the Skylanders Giants too!

For anyone who has yet to experience this gaming phenomenon, it has a portal that connects to your gaming platform and various figures that can be placed on the portal that gets transported into the game and you play as that character. It is an amazing concept and all of the children have embraced it quite spectacularly!



The game arrived for the X Box 360 with the new portal, game and Cynder Series 2, Jet Vac and a large Giant called Tree Rex

I asked Kaide what he thought of the game, and his word was AWESOME!

Being only aged seven I was slightly concerned that it would be too difficult for him, we have had games in the past which he has become extremely frustrated with becuase he was unable to keep up with his brother, however the Skylander Giants game has different settings of difficulty, so Kaide plays on the easy level and Lochlan and Neva set it to medium, which they all think is a great improvement from the first game.

They all love the new Giants Characters, Kaide's favourite is Bouncer, which he asked Father Christmas for, Neva's is Swarm and Lochlan's Hot Head.

Now that they have all given the game a thorough testing they have been looking at the other Skylander characters available and would like to purchase Zook series 2, Popfizz and Flashwing.
They love the look of the legendary packs and Lochlan already has the triple Canon pack on his birthday list or when he has saved enough pocket money (whichever happens first!!)

The adventure case and figure storage holder have also been mentioned.

The fabulous thing about this game is the fact that you can constantly add to it and increase the game play, the figures are reasonably priced and are achievable to purchase with pocket money.
If you have a young gamer that is looking for an achievable challenge, then Skylander Giants is definitely a great choice.






Tots100 Index

13/365 Another One Bites The Dust!

Today is the turn of Kaide to have the dreaded bug, I think Eowyn will be next!!


My turn to be ill!

Posted late because I was still dealing with poorly children after midnight!!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

12/365 Helping Out A Little Sister

Today Eowyn was trying to play a Bratz game on the Playstation 2 and got very frustrated, so big brother Kaide stepped in to give her a hand.

I found him Eowyn!

Friday, 11 January 2013

11/365 First Poorly Girl of The Year!

As always after school holidays, back into the joys of illness!!
Neva woke up today with a bad headache and a high temperature, when I informed school, she was the third person from her class to phone in today!!

All snuggled up on the sofa with her teddy Polar

Thursday, 10 January 2013

10/365 An Early Night for the Chickens

It has been a very foggy and icy day today, when we returned home from school, the chickens were already making their way to bed!

Goodnight Chickens!


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

9/365 I have learnt to climb on a chair!!

Today Tyrus has been perfecting the art of climbing on chairs, which is a great skill needed when trying to help yourself to your siblings dinner!!


More Potato wedges, don't mind if I do!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

8/365 Busy Little Bee

Today the four big ones returned to school and Eowyn went back to preschool, she had a lovely time and came home with lots of paintings...

Mummy I have just as much green paint on my top as my paper!!



TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Ravensburger Puzzle Club - The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey 1000 piece Panorama

The entire family is Lord of The Rings and Hobbit crazy, so when they heard that the next puzzle from the Ravensburger Puzzle Club may be Hobbit related they were VERY excited.

The puzzle arrived just before the release of the film, and I was keen to get it reviewed before the entire country went Hobbit hyper, however, it wasn't that easy...


I began putting the outside edge together (how I always begin a puzzle) and quickly realised that it would not fit in the puzzle store, it is a panoramic shot, meaning long and narrow, that's OK I just put it together on the kitchen table!

After completing the outside edge I began working on the distinct colours, the scroll pattern around the edge and then Gandalfs Sword and Galadriels face.

After that it became much more challenging, and I really started to struggle, the evenings passed and I found myself still doing the jigsaw on Christmas Eve, much to my husbands disbelief, I could see him shaking his head and uttering about needing the table for Christmas Dinner!!

The hardest part was the large amount of similar coloured pieces that were needed to complete the puzzle, they all looked black, but if you looked at them from a different angle, some were in fact dark purple, others dark grey.
Eventually on Christmas Morning, two hours before everyone arrived for dinner I completed the puzzle, hooray.

It is an amazing puzzle and I enjoyed doing it immensely, although if you are short of time, then please leave it until you have a little longer, but Christmas 2012 will be remembered for Mandi and her crazy puzzle obsession!!

As usual the standard is excellent and I am sure the older children will be redoing this very shortly.