I say this every month but.... Can you believe it is August already? I feel like this year is just flying by. I am so ready for Autumn already. July has been and gone in a flash, literally with all the thunder and lightning the UK has seen this month and although it has caused flooding in parts of the UK, it has been a big relief for me and it cleared the air. Cant stand stuffy weather.
What's been happening?
July has actually been a really busy month for us, I feel like we have not stopped. We have had quite a lot of blog work come in for over the summer and we have worked on some amazing opportunities.
Check out what we did in July
*Visited Redcar and Saltburn for more research on our Ambassadorship and a post. We have so many more plans for this. You can read the post HERE
*STACK Seaburn invited us along to check out what makes the venue so family (and dog) friendly, we had a great time. You can read the post HERE
*Planet circus invited us along to watch the show. (It was fantastic!)
*For my birthday we headed to Wynyard hall and gardens.
*We checked out the brand new café Bennelli's in the Winter Gardens
*North East Land , Sea and Air Museum invited us along for a tour. You can read the post HERE
*NE1 invited us along to check out the fantastic Summer In The City You can read the post HERE
We also took a much needed break and headed to one of our favourite parks close to our house. Doxford Park. It is such a lovely place to just lose yourself for a few hours. I love sitting in the Secret Garden and watching the boys play hide and seek. Read the post HERE
During July we also got involved with Christmas in July, I feel like once it hits July I start thinking about Christmas and I have even started my plans for the best Christmas yet. Once the boys went up to bed Craig and I had been watching a Christmas movie every night. That's 31 cheesy feel good festive movies! I loved it. I probably wont stop watching them to be honest. There are so many more we haven't seen. (Netflix have an amazing selection at the minute)
What a month July was!
We have a fun filled week ahead of us, we are taking part in Everyone Active's Campaign to get people moving more. We have a an activity for the full 7 days, I am really looking forward to it. We will be swimming, playing tennis, badminton, squash, basketball, joining in with the Sunday cook along, and I am also going to be checking out the app. We are also visiting the brand new space camp in Roker. All of which you can read about on the blog or follow us on our socials to keep up to date. I think we will pop down and visit the Flying Scotsman that is currently at rest in Locomotion, we were invited along on opening day before the public to take a closer look and get some photos but we couldn't make it unfortunately.
After the busy few weeks, we then have a few weeks of relaxing as Toby has minor foot surgery planned and will be out of action for a few weeks needing to rest. This will give me a chance to get my blog schedule sorted, plan for the coming months and it will give us the excuse to do some of the more relaxed things we enjoy as a family such as arts & crafts, baking, playing board games and lots more. I can also get our new home ed schedule sorted, although we don't strictly follow a schedule or curriculum, this just gives me a way to keep on track of what we have done and what we have to do.
The boys have had a great month, Adam & Toby started RAF Cadets and they are really enjoying it, right now they are learning about the different ranks and have found out about all the opportunities available with them. Adam has just sorted out his volunteering for his Duke of Edinburgh Award and it looks like he will be doing it at the Maritime Museum in Sunderland, which is fantastic and will give him some fantastic opportunities in woodwork, painting and more. Toby has minor foot surgery coming up in August so he has been out on his mountain bike quite a lot as he will need 3 weeks rest after his surgery and then will need the second foot doing too, after the first one has healed. Fortunately we can now visit family, so if we need to pop out and do some blog work, we can leave Toby with his Auntie. Elliot has really been getting into his den building and has created some major showstoppers. Currently, as I type this, it is raining so he has turned the living room into his den for the day, with chairs and blankets, he even has a little sitting area set up! We are hoping to have Elliot back into his Scout group soon, but it is off over the summer holidays and they are short of volunteers, so fingers crossed it wont be much longer for him as he really misses getting involved.
As I have previously mentioned, we don't really stick with the generic school terms, however throughout July the boys have had a bit of a break from learning, with just the occasional Reading, Maths & English session. Once term starts again Adam will be entering college for his final year doing his GCSEs and knows exactly what he wants to do once he leaves. We have always supported our boys in the decisions they make and we are looking forward to seeing how things turn out for all of them. Adam is really interested in engineering, agriculture and mechanics, so he has his heart set on specific courses. Toby and Elliot have a few years to go yet before setting things in stone, but Toby is really keen on working as a vet or Zoo Keeper in reptiles and Elliot has wanted to be a Doctor since he could talk. The one thing I would hate for them is to be stuck in a job that they hate, which is one of the reasons we support the choices they make.
For Home Ed I will be creating the schedule for the rest of year, we tend to learn about what the boys are interested in and I think we will most definitely be doing some ocean topics, Anglo Saxons, continuing with our English literature studies (we are doing The Railway Children at the moment) learning about artists, cookery, piano lessons and so much more. I just love the freedom we have with the learning and really focus on interests. One of things we have been looking into is Religious Studies, I firmly believe they should be taught about all religions and not just the few they do in a school setting. Come Autumn we are going to be looking at harvest, which I am really excited about and plan on visiting a local church for further studies on harvest. Check out our Instagram page as I will be posting our home ed journey on there.
What's been happening in the garden and what's to come
So over July and more so to the end of July we have seen so many goodies ready to harvest.
We pulled our potatoes and got loads, the raspberries have started to appear, we have loads of strawberries, runner beans, sugar snap peas, courgettes, the rhubarb is starting to shoot up now, the corn is massive but still has a good while to go yet. I love how much we have managed to grow in just a short space of time. Our garden is not the biggest since we moved back to Sunderland, we have been here nearly 2 years now and left an 800 acre farm to be closer to ill family members and now live in an old large Victorian house, with a small garden. When we moved in the garden was boring, plain and just not nice to be in but we spent lockdown trying to make it nice with some paint, planters and hanging baskets and its a nice little spot of wildlife heaven now.
I am looking forward to creating some autumnal themed bird houses and feeders ready for the cold weather, we have a family of wood pigeons, black birds and a robin that come into the garden a few times a day and we love to make them feel welcome. We even had a tiny dormouse seek shelter from the horrendous rain in the potato plants, the mouse then left once the weather dried up and has not been back since. We have so many butterflies and moths that visit us too, it is amazing to see. One of the things we have been doing is keeping a record of bees that visit us and over the space of a month we have seen so many different species it has just blown us away. We have yet to see one single wasp, is this a good thing or a bad thing? I am actually allergic to wasps and carry an epi pen for stings, but not seeing them makes me worry they are declining at a rapid rate or they are waiting until September before they strike and try to murder us.
For August our garden plans are minimal because we are busy with blog work and family life, it will be a case of keeping on top of what we already have and see what happens by the end of the month.
Craig & I
Not much has changed, July saw my 34th birthday appear, I usually get a bit miserable at the thought of being yet another year older, but this time it didn't really bother me. Maybe I am getting old! We visited Wynyard Hall & Gardens for my birthday which was lovely as we hadn't been for quite a while. It was so warm and sticky so we tried to find shade for a while. Craig cooked me my favourite meal, and the boys went for their induction at RAF. I was happy enough with this. We don't tend to celebrate our birthdays massively and prefer to go all out at Christmas instead with experiences and treats. We are heading to Chester Zoo in September as a birthday treat for all of us. Craig & I have been heading out for an hour on our own once a week, just walking along the beach or grabbing a hot chocolate. It is nice to get some us time now and then, we do have time on a night once all the boys are in bed but it is nice to get out once in a while.
For August, I am still going to be meditating and doing self care when I feel like I need to, I am planning a month of positivity, less stress or even better no stress and just enjoying slowing down for the month, as I sometimes feel like I never stop. I really want to start my walking goals again and get out walking every single day. Previously I was walking everyday and getting between 15/20k steps a day. I feel like these last few months I have just been lazy and not got out as much as I should have.
Movies coming out in August for the kiddies
Paw Patrol 9th
Josee, the Tiger & the Fish 11th
(October seems to be a better month for kids movies)
For the adults
Candyman is released 27th (I'm not sure if I will see it, the trailer made it look rubbish)
Dates for the diary
1st Lammas Day
2nd Bank Holiday/ Alice in wonderland was first published on this day in 1865
8th International Cat Day
11th Enid Blyton's Birthday
15th Wizard of Oz first premiered in 1939(I can not believe how old this movie is)
19th World Photography Day
27th Mary Poppins first premiered 1964
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