Creating memories at Hoburne Park and beyond

This week you’ll find our full review of Hoburne Park over at Boo, Roo & Tigger Too. Like any great family break we ended up with too many photos which meant so much to us.

So you’ll find those which show off Hoburne Park and its surroundings at their best on Sarah’s site. I wanted to share some of my other favourites as I’m loving seeing my water babies thrive this summer.

At the end of May my three got their first memorable experience of an outdoor pool thanks to Aunty Leigh-Anne’s 40th. It’s taken all my energy to stop them getting hold of my phone to request a further invitation. The chance to spend four consecutive days swimming outdoors definitely ticked their wishlist.Fun at Hoburne Park Fun at Hoburne Park Fun at Hoburne ParkThe bond between my three siblings constantly astounds me. I love the bond between my twins but this summer has definitely shown the strength of the older sister. There’s rarely a moment when the boys are in the role of dominant coupling, instead I get the chance to spend more time with one of the boys.Fun at Hoburne ParkThis was the first outing of the summer for our body boards. The boys don’t seem as fond of the sea this summer- their tastes are obviously getting more refined – they’re no longer lapping up salt water and wolfing down the sand. They are all thriving in the moments they can keep their mouths closed and gaining confidence on their boards.Boardboarding in ChristchurchThe chance to go crabbing at Mudeford also saw the confidence of the children grow. They’ve been going crabbing locally with daddy recently so the chance to show off their handling skills was not to be missed. Crabbing at Mudeford Crabbing at MudefordAnd as for me, I got to practice my photography skills. Well, maybe practice using the camera rather than skills. And Mudeford gave me every opportunity with so many boats! boats Boats at MudefordOur time in Christchurch also kicked started me adding videos to our You Tube channel again, and this video shows our weekend break in a bit more detail:

Living Arrows 23/52

This week was an odd one.
At the beginning of the year hubby and I decided that he would take each child away for a week solo.
It’s a really odd thing.
Spending time with a child is a rarity once you have more than one.

And it seems even more so when you have twins.
It would appear there is an inbuilt human response that twins should never be separated.
And yet, I remain absolute that children are individuals. 
Regardless of ‘twin’ status. Siblings will need to be considered in a family environment.

And me and him fortunately agreed, it would (and will) do our children the world of good to have some one-to-one time with a parent.
It helps with trying to figure out half-terms, when my parents can help and I don’t need to use up my scarce annual leave. (That’s not requesting the sympathy vote, I work compressed hours so do get a day with them).

In February, Mr J and CM went to home to Todmorden.
Over Easter we all went back.
And this half term, with our Tod friends also away, Mr J and E treated themselves to a holiday (more of that to follow).

So, this week, Tuesday was our ‘Yes’ day. With CM & B.
CM & B were besties up until B started Reception, so much so that I worried about E. It now seems that B’s confidence (no doubt gained from his bestie) is his downfall.
But fortunately this week has offered some restoration of this relationship. A friendship remains in tact.
Phew.Living Arrows And so,we arrived home after our ‘yes’ day. Fortunately, our ‘yes’ day included acceptance that chores needed to be fulfilled. And so walking the dogs was a compromise.

As long at they got to spend time on the beach.

It wasn’t much of a compromise.Rhoose Point Living Arrows Siblings Rhoose Point Living Arrows
Living Arrows

Bye Bye Milk Teeth

Another milestone is upon us. The first of the milk teeth has fallen.
It has the sharp intake of breath.
One of my boys, my babies, has lost his first milk tooth.Losing your first tooth - bye bye milk teethAnd of course he couldn’t be prouder.
As I hold back tears.
It’s ok.
He really isn’t old enough yet.
His first milk tooth didn’t fall out of its own accord.
For I am a mum of boys.

He went out on his scooter the other month, and scooted towards the beach he scoots towards most days.
But this was the day he’d stumble and catch his tooth on the handlebar.
And we’d have a rushed trip to the dentist.
And it would be ok, he could wobble it when it was less tender and it would fall out.

Then they’d be the phone call.
That (somehow) he had collided with a child on lunch break at school.
And it looked painful. His tooth.
Coincidentally, he’d had a check up booked for the dentist that afternoon.
Of course it was the other front tooth.

And so it came to be.

Two wobbly front tooth.

Until this.
The head contact had won the race.A cheeky letter from a five year-old to the tooth fairy - bye bye milk teethThe best bit about these siblings?
A big sister to show you the way!

A trip to the cinema for The Great Race

Last weekend I was ever so grateful to Sarah from Boo, Roo & Tigger Too for the opportunity to take my children to the cinema to see Thomas The Tank’s ‘The Great Race’.
It may have been a little out of age range for my 7 yo, and bordering for my 5 yo’s, but I think we all enjoyed it. Especially as it was for my trip to the cinema with my children.
Depending on who’s watching it I would guess depends on what message is heard. Given the introduction on engines from across the globe, there was definitely a feel that ‘The Great Race’ focuses on diversity – perhaps that everyone’s different, has different skills, has a different heritage, and has different aspirations.Thomas the Tank - The Great RaceAnd I do love to sit through media focused on children to find these messages.
Although I didn’t quite expect to (nearly) scream out loud as I wonder if engines will fall into the sea, or collide.
Fortunately my children still hold their emotion a little less vocally, and were just captivated by the engines and their exploits.Thomas the Tank - The Great RaceMy trip to the cinema did get me thinking other thoughts- obviously when can we go again? (The children saw the Angry Birds Movie advertised and I was quite taken with one about pets).
Despite being gifted the tickets I still managed to spend £8 on a bottle of water, bag of popcorn and bag of Smarties. And I also bought myself a coffee from Costa. 
If I had paid for my tickets I think it would have been around £16.
Fortunately we choose an out-of-town cinema where our parking is free if we use the cinema on the complex.

With a half term dawning, I can’t help but add up what it might cost.
We’re so fortunate that the coastline which surrounds us offers free entertainment.

But the weather’s meant to turn on Tuesday.

And the children have high hopes of entertainment- of soft play, eating out, the cinema.

And even though we’re not going ‘on holiday’, I can’t help but think as the costs add up, maybe we’re not far off. 
Half term set to cost working parents over £400


Having fun with the Johnson’s

Ok, so I never thought a game with the children could be this much fun.

160 years after its launch, one of the longest surviving games in the world is back, and in 24 great new special edition packs from Go For It Games.

A format of Happy Families / Go Fish cards, designed with clever illustrations and facts to provide added interest is a part of this celebration.

These new versions of Happy Families are available at an RRP of £6.99 and focus on the different stages and moments in life, divided into groups like “The Happy Family at Christmas”.

Each of these 24 new Happy Families packs are already personalised to a family name. So there’s a Happy Smith Families, Happy Jones Families and so on. If you have an unusual name then please bear in mind that these fab new Happy Families games make great gifts for fun-loving families with more common surnames. Giving “Happy Smith Families” to a family named Smith really goes down well.Go Fish for Johnson'sAs ‘Go Fish’, The Johnson’s had the children hiding their cards in various places around the room as soon as they realised their foible in laying them out in easy sight.

It all started calmly enough.Go Fish for Johnson'sAnd there was much excitement for the five year-old’s when they recognised the letters which make up their surname.Go Fish for Johnson'sAnd I was really impressed with the fun facts which made up the different colour-ways. Go Fish for Johnson'sMost of all I loved the passion it brought out in my children.

I loved how excited they got.

I loved how they quickly picked up the colour combinations- or using numbers when the colour-ways were too close to call.

I loved how much they enjoyed (ridiculously enjoyed) giving the instruction ‘Go Fish’. Go Fish for Johnson'sThat they are of the age where being competitive is ok.

But not always getting it makes humour creep in.

I loved that their compassion for sharing cards sometimes gets the better of their competitive side.

But still, regardless they love to win.Go Fish for Johnson'sThe opportunity to introduce my children to a card game was one which held a place in my inner child. The competitive yet one who appreciated intellect one.

The fact they grasped it, enjoyed playing rounds with mummy, and were more excited to play a game solo.

Just makes mummy so proud.

A family game, a sibling game- much fun, much laughter, much hysteria unfolds.

Definitely. The chance to see the best in people.

I loved the chance to rediscover a card game I had forgotten.

This time in our name.

And maybe, it’s also available in yours?

To see which names are available, check out the Happy Families card game range.
These special edition Happy Families range are priced at £6.99 per pack but with the code JOHNSON10 you can get a 10% discount until the 24th December 2017.

Disclosure: We received ‘Go Fish for Johnson’s’ for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are our own.

Living Arrows 21/52

This week’s Living Arrows post is one of the random places you decide to pull out your camera. But Saturday was a first for me, I took my children to the cinema.

They’re not deprived! They’ve been to the cinema lots, as treats- with grandma and grampy, with friends, and for parties. But never with me.

I’ll be honest, once someone took them and the ‘first’ had happened, I didn’t feel the motivation. The attention span of my 5 year old’s doesn’t fill me with confidence.

And I sort out don’t mind that, I’d rather they loved to play rather than sit still for long(ish) periods of time. But still, the cinema holds so many wonderful memories for me, there is still the pull of the big screen.

And life plays its course, thanks to the lovely Sarah from Boo, Roo & Tigger Too I was able to take the three of them.

And it was wonderful. I needed this time out with my children.

And their smiles.

The lovely face of CM Living Arrows

The cheeky face of B Living Arrows

The naughty face of E Living Arrows
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Living Arrows 19/52

My Living Arrows for this week really does go back to when our little people were just a dream in our eyes.
My 30th birthday, when I was less than 12 weeks pregnant, and we were on a cruise down the Nile.
It seems such a great way to celebrate turning 30 when we booked it, but getting to the 12 week figure was so important to us, and the sweltering temperatures of August in Egypt were too much even for me.
And with all of this, we were on a tight budget. For my 30th Mr J gave me a scarab charm, and as it seems to this day, it was not what he had imagined.

This week an email landed in my inbox ’30th birthday present’.
And the next day it arrived.
And this is what is does:

Living Arrows Ernie

Living Arrows CM

Living Arrows Burt

I had forgotten what wasn’t.

I had held onto what was.

My favourite photos of our trip.

The times of smiles and not hauled up in our cabin rehydrating and napping.

Of my scarab.

Thank you Mr J. xxx
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Living Arrows 17/52

Last weekend I finally managed to attend a photography workshop. Hosted by the wonderful Sara-Jayne from Keep Up With The Jones Family, this was a long time in the waiting for me.

Every now and again I’ll feel confident enough to try different aspects of operating on manual on my DSLR but I always revert back to automatic.

At the workshop everything came together, even so, I thought it was going to take me some time to use my camera on manual for photographs of the little people. Moving targets felt so much more challenging than beautiful flowers and food. But with everything Sara-Jayne has instilled we popped to the beach after school on Monday, and I now have some favourite photos, taken in manual- Go Me (thank you Sara-Jayne!!).

Photography Aberthaw Beach with children

Photography Aberthaw Beach with children Photography Aberthaw Beach with children

Living Arrows