January Plans & a lookback on 2020
I know this is a little overdue and I usually post my monthly posts at the start of the month, but I have been taking an extended break over the festive period and enjoyed it so much I decided to extend it a little bit longer. That and I fractured my foot so I have been in quite a bit of pain.
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Well January, here you are. 2020 couldn't have gone quick enough if you ask me, but now we are back in lockdown and it has me wondering how the rest of the year might pan out. Regardless we will still be taking the dogs out for there long walks whether that's down to the beach or up to the park. We wont be going to places that are busy which is why I am so grateful that we live in an area with plenty of greenspaces around.
Plans for January
To be honest we have very little planned for this month. What I do have in my diary so far this month is:
Elliot's 9th Birthday.
I honestly get upset at how quickly the boys grow, I can't believe Elliot is almost 9 already. Nearly double figures! I am only 33 and feel like its going by so fast. Elliot is our Youngest and has asked for the usual for his birthday. Robots, Lego and a pizza and carrot tea party. He has had a thing for carrot sticks ever since he was little and that is what he wants for his birthday meal.
Home Education - We took a little break from schooling over the festive season.
January I usually sit down and come up with a plan for the term ahead and work out what we will be learning about. We tend to stick with school terms and loosely work alongside the school curriculum. The boys also choose a topic that they would like to learn about.
Adam is continuing his GCSEs with College and excitingly will be starting two new courses in the next few weeks, GCSE History and Btec Business. Unfortunately he has to do them remotely right now like a lot of other children but he is looking forward to seeing his friends at college again soon. Fingers crossed this will all be over with soon and the boys can get back to there clubs.
We are also doing cookery lessons with the boys and have done this since we started Home Educating. This month is Casseroles, pies and warm desserts. I think cooking skills is something the boys should have and they will be ready when they decided to move on from home. All three want to go onto university for there career choices, so I think if they can cook they will be fine.
This month I am mainly taking it extra slow and resting my foot. I went grocery shopping and ended up hitting my foot hard, stubbing my toe and fracturing it and my foot in the process. I have a bone condition that can cause breaks and dislocations easier than the average person. So this month I am doing things with my foot up and a cup of tea in my hand!
We watched Cobra Kai season 3 in one day.... Now I wish we didn't because now we have to wait probably a full year before we get season 4! It was just as awesome as season 1&2 but I think Season 2 has been the better of the trilogy so far.
We are having a huge clear out at the end of the month, I like to have a clear out a few times a year and declutter some of the books for them library and some of the toys that are longer played with.
In touch with Nature
I have been keeping a nature journal and I think I will continue this for the year and see how nature changes throughout the seasons. So far it has been the usual garden birds, the odd stoat and squirrel but once I can get out and about with my camera I am quite looking forward to it. I have big plans this year for nature based adventures, I can't say too much about yet but I am excited!
Making Plans for the garden
We have bee discussing plans for the garden and this year we would love to have a pond built, we are also going to be making some mini ponds with tubs as shown on Countryfile and have those dotted around. I really want to continue growing some of our own food and if I am honest I really enjoy getting stuck in with the gardening. We have decided to have a designated wildflower garden and we are thinking about beehives. Previously I wouldn't have even considered it as I always thought I was allergic to Bees, turns out it's just wasps I am allergic to. (I carry an EpiPen for allergies)
Getting out and about
Well I think everyone knows the answer to this one. No attractions are open and we are not allowed to go far, so we have no plans for this, this month. However we will be continuing with local walks when I can manage in the meantime Craig and the boys have been taking the dogs out everyday. We are quite lucky in that we can walk to a number of parks and beaches. We are a 5 minute car drive to places like Herrington park and Penshaw Monument. Our local park Barnes park, seems to be getting busier and busier as this lockdown goes on, so the dogs have been going down the beach for a long walk with Craig and the Boys. I cant wait until I can get out again.
A look back on 2020
I know a few people I have spoken to have said nothing good has come from 2020 but were still alive, right? Even little things can be seen as an achievement especially in the year 2020.
For us :
We took on the chance to raise some butterflies last year and it was really interesting. The boys wrote down changes every day and then we eventually let them go in Rainton meadows. We are going to do this again this year.
We had Lockdown Birthdays, this was a new experience all over. We just made the most out of what we could do and did that. Usually we have a day out and a nice meal but that wasn't possible. Instead we played games, played with new toys, watched a movie with treats and cooked the boys chosen meals.
We got fit with Joe Wicks.
The boys were actually in school at the start of 2020. When we moved back to Sunderland we all decided to give school another chance after Home educating for almost 2 years previously. The boys were just getting settled when Lockdown started in March. Adam and Toby had only been in there new school for 2 weeks.
We started our days with a bit of fitness with Joe wicks and we all got involved and had loads of fun. We eventually moved on to Zumba and we continued with our karate lessons at home instead.
We rediscovered the North East.
Places we had forgotten about and places we didn't know about. We made use of what we had right on our own doorstep. I enjoyed it actually and we walked in some new places. Even when restrictions were lifted we choose to stay in the UK and make use of the North East. So many fab places to go.
We tackled the Wildlife Trusts 30 reserves in 30 days.
As long time members of Durham Wildlife Trust we did this to raise awareness.
We did manage to do 20 something but not all of them for various reasons such as, some were not accessible, Adam ended up injured and badly breaking his arm and life just got in the way. I think we might give this another go this year.
London Zoo Press Trip
As Conservationists we were really excited when London Zoo asked us if we would like to visit to see what precautions they had in place for social distancing. We had a fantastic day and spend half the day in the zoo and the other half sight seeing. The only issue we faced was the heat. It was so hot and uncomfortable.
One of the best things we did was spend full days at the beach. I Love being at the beach and near the ocean. There's just something about sitting around in your bikini with the sand between your toes. We know of a few beaches that are absolutely stunning and no one ever goes to. So we took advantage of this and stayed at the beach all day, we played games, made sandcastles, swam in the sea, studied jellyfish and watched Dolphins whilst we ate our picnic. This we will 100% doing again and again and again.
We slowed down.
This was something totally new to us because we are always busy doing something, whether its business wise or planning our next hike or trip. We found ourselves not being allowed to travel which made us slow down and just relax. It was lovely to just relax and take each day as it came.
We had quite a few days out throughout the Summer but again we choose to do pretty much all local attractions, and the furthest we went was Blackpool, however this was just us passing through after a day in the Dales. Again, we really enjoyed our mini adventures.
Resolutions for 2021
This year I have decided to not make any resolutions. I don't feel like making any. This year is already so unknow and we can't plan anything for months yet.
I have however made a few personal goals I want to try and stick too.
* Relax when I need too
* Stress less
* Read more
* Meditate daily
* Continue with healthier choices
* Believe in myself
That is about it! I hope your January has had a pretty good start and fingers crossed for a better year for everyone.
Check out these other posts.
Things to do in the North East
11 of our favourite winter walks