Thursday, 22 June 2017

Our Super Scientist.

12th - 16th June 2017

Alex entered the science fair at school. I thought it would be fun for him and every entry got a certificate just for entering.

Alex decided to do a static electricity experiment. He used a balloon to see if he could make different materials move with or without static. He loved the part where he got to rub the balloon on his hair and then watched with excitement as different materials moved. Obviously some materials didn't, and that's what made the experiment fun. With the help of Uncle Josh he made a dragon made out of different materials for demonstration purposes at school.

Alex did an amazing job at school to demonstrate the experiment and tell the other staff and children what he had found out. His confidence with speaking has really grown now he has a voice. His teacher said that he did a great jo with explaining the experiment to everyone.
In the celebration assembly last Friday (16th) the certificates were handed out for all of the entries in the science fair. He was very happy to stand up and receive his certificate. He was totally shocked when they announced the prize winners as he didn't know there were prizes.
Alex got 1st place.
He won an amazing prize which he has loved playing with. He won a science lab. He has really taken a liking to science and enjoys doing tests and experiments to see what happens.
We are so very proud of him with everything that he does. His determination to succeed in life is fantastic. He never gives up and always has a go no matter how difficult the task may be.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Something for Mummy


Often as a parent, you are too busy running around trying to keep on top of day to day life, such as school runs, endless list of chores etc that it is so easy to forget about someone important - YOURSELF.
This has been me so recently I decided to do something for me that I had been meaning to do for the past few years and that is get some new glasses. Now I'm sure some of you are thinking things like, "How is that a treat?" but believe me for me they are.
Ive been recently suffering with headaches so went for an eye check up and like I thought was the case, my prescription had changed and new glasses were in order. I wanted something a little different and a bit more brave than sticking to plain black. I tried on several pairs before settling on the ones I liked. They took some getting used to but now I like them and I am happy that I left my comfort zone and tried something for me that was different. What do you think?

Chickenpox Finally Arrived.

Back in May I took Alex to a routine doctors appointment for his eczema, and I mentioned the couple of spots I had noticed on his neck, but the doctor said they were probably either heat spots or connected to his eczema, however on the following morning (Saturday) I noticed a few more spots had appeared. Convinced that they looked like chickenpox, and as the doctors was not open I took him to the pharmacy and asked there. Again I was told that it could be heat related and that unless more appear etc then  it wasn't chickenpox. So I just had to wait and see. When Alex woke the next morning (Sunday) he was covered all over his body with spots and I instantly knew that my suspicions were correct and my little man had indeed got chickenpox. He was extremely itchy but coped very well. I was told by several friends that when their kids had had it that they were quite poorly with it, so I hoped that Alex wouldn't suffer, and luckily he didn't. He coped extremely well and was still a happy chap, despite being uncomfortable and itchy.  The spots that were the worst for him were  those that were on his feet, hands and face.

Thanks to another friends advice, we were able to get him what we call the miracle mousse. It is called PoxClin and is especially for children with chickenpox. It was amazing stuff and although it was a little pricey (£10.99) it was so worth it.

Alex was such a brave trooper and as a child who loves school, he was disappointed and upset that he wasn't allowed in, however as soon as he had the ok from the doctor, he was keen to go back, even if it was for the last 3 days of term before the half term break. I'm so glad that he had it now and got it out of the way. We had been wondering when he would get it as he always seemed to dodge it, however not so lucky this time. He handled it very well and got lots of snuggles and film days with mummy and he made me so proud, as he had asked for school work too so he didn't fall behind. He had a smile on his face the majority of the time despite all he was going through.
It was an emotional couple of weeks.

Love him
Happy, crazy boy despite everything.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Living With Depression

On May 20th 2017 Mark put the following status on his facebook page:

I was pleased that he did this status as its been something he wanted to do for a while. What I am about to say about it all may or may not shock you but I find it incredibly hard sometimes to have the dark cloud, big dog, or whatever its known as to you existing in my home and family. I find it tough going trying to explain to a little boy why daddy is now not coming out with us or why daddy is sad and upset and wants to be on his own. It tears me up inside when I see Mark deflated and feeling like a failure. I hate to see him beat himself up and not been able to make it right.
Alex is such a smart, loving child, who always tries to put a smile back on Marks face if its a down day, but watching this both fills me with pride at what a beautifully caring boy he is but also it breaks my heart to see Mark so low.
Alot of stigma is placed on depression and what it can entail but without coming across as harsh , for me I feel that people forget that it can take over and even sometimes destroy families. There have been days where its been a battle to get Mark to function etc, and these days are hard. It can be a very lonely place for all as individuals whether you are the sufferer or the family member.  I'm not trying to detract from how hard life is for Mark, as I have experienced some depression myself (post natal ) and that was so hard for me, especially when most days I didn't want to leave the house, but even after going through it myself I often find living it day in day out can be draining and sometimes I feel like shutting the door and locking out the world.
I am grateful for the family and close friends who are there not only for Mark but also for me and Alex. Without them, sometimes I think I would have given up.
I am so very thankful for the good days that we do get and the fun and adventure we have on these days, and I am extremely hopeful that the future holds more good days and less bad. Depression will NOT win and will NOT destroy our family. We are fighters and we have a support network around us that we know we can turn to and we thank you.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Gruffalo Spotting in Cannack Chase - 1st May 2017

 Alex is a big fan of the Gruffalo and he wanted to go Gruffalo hunting. I had heard about the Gruffalo Spotter App that the Forestry Commission had done for the ipad so we downloaded it and then checked the Forestry website to find our nearest Gruffalo trail. We discovered that there was one at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. It was only about a 30-45 minutes drive from our home so we packed the car and off we went...

Once we had arrived at Cannock Chase Forest we headed for the trail. We turned on the Gruffalo Spotter app and got ready to begin.

The idea of the app is to bring the characters from the story to life. On the trail we needed to look for clues which lead to footprint signs. At these signs is where the magic of the app happens. You point your device at the footprints and watch as the Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo come to life right in front of you on the screen.

We had great fun hunting for the clues and finding each of the characters. Despite the drizzly weather, we still enjoyed it and Alex thoroughly enjoyed watching the characters come to life when we found the footprints for each of the characters.

                           Who is it?


One thing that I thought was great on the trail was that if you hadn't got the app to do the magical bringing the characters to life , then you could still find the characters as they had cut outs of them near the footprints.
 Here is Fox.
After we followed all the clues, and found Mouse, Fox, Owl and Snake, we only had the Gruffalo to find and Alex was so excited to find him.

Again there is a giant wooden Gruffalo for those without the app, but to be honest even those with the app were all having pictures with the Gruffalo - I mean you just have to, after all its not everyday you meet the Gruffalo.

What a magical thing for children to see and for the characters to come to life on the screen right before their eyes and have the photos from the app as memories of when they met them.
We all enjoyed the trail and had a lot of fun doing it.

After the trail we had lunch and then back into the forest for more fun and adventures. We had great fun jumping and splashing in puddles, building dens, finding where the fairies lived, and just having a great time as a family creating memories.

 After all the fun in the forest Alex spent some time on the playground doing the obstacle course over and over. He had a great time and was so confident to try all the challenges by himself. We then ended the day with ice cream.

We had a great family day out

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Marks Mission Reunion - April 29th 2017

Elder & Sister Crowther (Marks Mission President and his wife) with us.
Mark served his mission for the church about 17 years ago. He was in the Ireland/Dublin mission. He served in the following areas:
  • Belfast
  • Dublin City Centre
  • Bray
  • Coleraine
  • Cork
  • Antrim
(Hopefully I've spelt them correctly)
He served from January 1999 to January 2001

The mission is now known as the Ireland/Scotland mission.
 We travelled down to Leicester for a reunion with his mission peers and it was lovely to get to meet his mission president and his wife. Mark often refers to them as his mission parents so it was great to finally put faces to names.
It was also quite interesting hearing stories about Mark from some of his mission peers and getting a little bit more insight into his mission. I didn't know Mark back then as when he returned with honour at the age of 22, I was a 16 year old probably causing my parents a little bit of stress. lol and living in a completely different stake.
There were a few people there that I knew from back in the day but then again in the church they do say that its a small world and to be honest, its very rare yo go to an event in the church and don't know somebody.
Mark really enjoyed seeing everyone again, even the ones he didn't really get on with on his mission. Its amazing what growing up and having families does to you.
It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Our Holiday in Wales - 7th -14th April 2017

We had a lovely week away in sunny Wales. We were lucky enough that we were able to hire out a lovely caravan from friends. We went to Presthaven Sands, in Prestatyn. I wanted to share a few highlights from our week;
Alex thoroughly enjoyed himself,. He loved exploring the sand dunes and having adventures hunting for bears etc.

Alex loved meeting the Seaside squad and joining in all the fun and games that they did. The seaside squad are:
  • Bradley Bear
  • Rory the Tiger.
  • Anxious the Elephant
  • Greedy the Gorilla
  • Polly the Lifeguard
  • DJ Ned
On the Sunday whilst we were away we attended Church in Rhyl. Alex found the welsh church sign fascinating and when we went inside he was listening out for anybody speaking welsh - No one did unfortunately, but the members were lovely and welcoming.

We had a lovely time vising the Seaquarium in Rhyl and doing the Easter hunt that was on. Alex loves the creatures in the sea so was in his element at the seaquarium. I love to see his happy face whilst he is learning about things he is interested in.

Our week was a much needed break and we made some wonderful memories that we will remember for a long time to come. We were so blessed to have such a lovely week and enjoyed spending some quality time together.