Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Dear So and So - The #Ashburnham2015 Edition

Dear New Ground,

Wow, you sure know how to put on a great weekend away. Your planning and organisation is seamless and my family have had such an amazing time. Thanks so much, we really appreciate all you have done to make this happen.

I sure hope we still live here in 2017 when the next mass gathering of New Ground churches will be.

Very happy to be a member of one of your churches, Michelle

Monday, 31 August 2015

Family Fun at Alton Towers

Alton Towers is one of those iconic places that practically everyone in the UK has heard of. Being a born and bread Southerner it is not somewhere that I have visited much, in fact I've only been there just once about twenty years ago when I was the bravest I have ever been and I rode Nemesis and for someone who hates thrill rides, it was a big deal!

The memory of my husbands and my day out at Alton Towers in the 1990's was a positive one so when we realised we would be holidaying in the Midlands Alton Towers was one of the first places I contacted to see if our family could review the theme park. I often work with Legoland and have also worked with Thorpe Park, Shrek's Adventure and other Merlin attractions so I know they are a company that provides amazing days out and I can I trust them to provide a great experience.

I was shocked to see how much Alton Towers has grown in the last twenty years, of course there is still the world-renowned theme park but there are now also two hotels, a water splashlands, spa, extraordinary golf, treetop adventure and and enchanted village with lodges and luxurious treehouses to stay in. Our visit was to be just to the theme park which includes CBeebies Land.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Drayton Manor Theme Park - Fabulous even in the Belting Rain!

As this publishes it been just over a week since we were at Drayton Manor and what a great time we had despite the fact it pelted with rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon. As the rain came down, our smiles went on as we realised this would be enough to scare a load of people off home and the park would be our oyster to explore!

We had a lot of fun at Drayton Manor and it is somewhere my family would happily visit again. Whilst it has loads of rides and attractions, it still feels like a manageable theme park and had more of a family feel to it than the very big glossy ones. Both in the customers on site and also with the staff working there. it is easy to see why Drayton Manor has become the UK's favourite family them park over the last 65 years.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sometimes I dislike my kids...

I absolutely love this photo

I'm not sure you are supposed to be up-front and say that out loud but it is true and I'm always keen to be honest. You know - Mummy from the Heart and all that....

The first time I realised I didn't always like one of my kids I remember panicking and thinking perhaps there was something wrong with me. Maybe I was always supposed to feel complete love and adoration for them, maybe I should find their quirky ways endearing and not rage-inducing? But no, talking to other Mums I found out I was pretty normal. There will be days and times when you could happily give your kids away.

After spending four weeks of near 24 hour a day contact with all my kids I can readily tell you that there have been times I have been driven a little crazy. Three kids in a family is a difficult number I've come to realise, as there is often one of them feeling left out and that means the dreaded bickering. That, along with the following are a few of the times when I sadly dislike my kids -

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How To Help Your Teen Get On The Road

Driving Test from Shutterstock

Driving is a rite of passage for most teenagers and a key life skill to learn. It can be fraught if not handled properly and, of course, there’s a price tag attached. Each stage needs negotiating carefully and there are plenty of ways that a parent can guide a teen in the right direction. Heres how you can help:

Learning to drive
This usually takes the form of lessons from a reputable driving instructor interspersed with further sessions - perhaps with yourself supervising your offspring as they practise what they’ve been taught.

Finding a suitable driving instructor is important, so research carefully. Ask around for recommendations – feedback from others can be invaluable.

If you can, provide a good foundation before lessons begin. It’s possible to run through the basic operations of a car with your child before they begin with an instructor. Having this basic knowledge in the bag can save time when it comes to paid-for sessions and help them hit the ground running.

If you think you’d find it difficult to stay calm while your teenager wrestles with clutch control and roundabouts, then you’d be doing them no favours. It may be better to ask a responsible friend or relative to help out. A clam, experienced granddad can be worth his weight in gold.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Review: Blists Hill Victorian Town #CountryKids

Last week we had a family week away in Shropshire and this most unlikely destination became the base for an amazing family break. As this is an area of the country that we do not know at all I put a shout-out on Facebook to ask friends were they would recommend we should visit. The response was varied but one place kept coming up again and again. 'Go to Ironbridge Gorge' people kept suggesting and specifically Blists Hill Victorian Town which was described as 'amazing, the best museum ever and fabulous for kids'.

So with those recommendations ringing in our ears we headed there Sunday lunchtime for an afternoon of fun. Ironbridge Gorge is a collection of ten varied museums all set close together by the original Ironbridge. You can buy an annual pass which allows you/ the family to access all the museums as much as you like (for a year) and had we lived closer we would definitely have taken up this option as £68 for a family of 5 is great value.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

As a Christian what do I stand for?

Image Source

I had an amazing time at church this morning; I was really in need of a good dose of worship, Christian fellowship and sound bible teaching and I didn't leave disappointed. One of our Pastors has been on a sabbatical for the last 11 weeks and this morning he came back and started to share with us what God has been speaking to him about during his time away.

You could tell just by looking at him that he was glowing and had had an awesome time; he was literally bubbling over full of the Holy Spirit and it was infectious. I'm sure most of us went away feeling renewed and refreshed by his teaching about Christ being in each of us and that being our hope of glory.

There is no other answer, Christ is it. He is enough.
"...The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.."" Colossians 1:27 (Message)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Enjoy a Leisurely Meal at the Treacle Mine, Polegate, East Sussex

It was my birthday on Saturday and seeing as we were heading off on holiday at 6am I wasn't quite sure what we would end up doing that day or if we would have the energy to celebrate, so Friday night we headed out as a family to the newly refurbished Treacle Mine Whitbread Inn at Polegate, about half hour from our East Sussex Home.

Now let me tell you straight off in case you are tight for time or can't be bothered to read on.  If you are local then go and visit. It was busy and it didn't matter one bit, we had a fabulous meal and didn't feel rushed or crowded.

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