The Children’s Garden by Matthew Appleby

A while ago, I was sent The Children’s Garden a book filled with inspiration for things to make and do with children the garden. It’s written by Matthew Appleby, a former primary school teacher and author of The Allotment Planner. An aesthetically pleasing hardback, full of beautiful and helpfully instructive images, it’s a real pleasure to own and lovely book for the kids to flick through to see if anything appeals if they’re at a loose end. The book presents 52 family projects, themed and ordered by season, ranging from dead-easy, (nighttime snail watch with a torch, anyone?) to reasonably…

Eight reasons we’re looking forward to The Good Life …

Laurence was the first to spot The Good Life Experience. “If there’s any festival I want to go to, it’s that,” he mused, “but we probably can’t this year because of the baby.” I looked at the calendar. The 16th-18th September would make Delilah almost nine weeks when we went. Could we really do a festival with a baby that young? Then again, Talitha was six weeks when we took her to a festival. We just didn’t camp. The most stressful part of that experience was that I wasn’t used to breastfeeding in public – not an issue now. We…

Newborn shoot with Annie Crossman Photography

Four weeks before Delilah was born, we had a maternity shoot with Annie Crossman, a Bristol photographer and friend. It was a fantastic way to celebrate this third pregnancy and to focus as a family on the excitement of welcoming a new baby into our lives. Actually, our first family shoot with Annie was last year, when we mistakenly thought our family was complete with two children. Now, it’s impossible to imagine our family without our third child, Delilah. Annie came to our home to do a newborn photo shoot with us when Delilah was just one week old. What…

First month with Delilah

It’s crazy to think Delilah has been here four weeks already. A month. A month with three children. A month as a family of five. It’s strange to think that a tiny person who mainly sleeps, feeds and excretes has taken up so much space in our lives. Talitha and Ophelia are besotted with her. I wondered if their interest in her would wane but it hasn’t and, thinking about it, it never did between them either. They continue to be in love with each other, always wanting to know where the other is and what the other is doing.…

Valley Fest 2016 – Our first festival as a family of five

The weekend of September 2nd to 4th, we’ll be donning our wellies and heading to beautiful Chew Valley in Somerset for Delilah’s first festival, Valley Fest. We won’t be camping since she’ll only be six weeks old but the valley is in such easy reach of Bristol that getting there and back each day will be just fine. I’d love to wake up to a view of the Chew Valley lake, though, so that may be a plan for another year. We are, of course, looking forward to the music and a look at the lineup confirms there’ll be plenty…

This Homeschooling Life – What July looked like

OK, so this update is a little overdue but since the big educational centrepiece of the month was the appearance of the girls’ new baby sister, I reckon I’m allowed to be late. I’m hoping to soon write about all my big reflections from our first year of “officially” home educating. Talitha has a pretty even split of friends who go to school and who are home educated so she’s well accustomed to telling people that she’s “homeschooled” (“home educated” is too long to say, she tells me). She’s also excited about being in “Year 1” though it doesn’t really…

George Bedroom Makeover Challenge

The girls’ bedroom has changed a lot in the last few months. For a start, we decided to swap their room with the guest room which was slightly more spacious. We’ve also introduced a wardrobe (discovered by the side of the road – score!) and ditched their old chest of drawers for an easier-to-open to chest from the diningroom. All in all, it’s improved their room’s functionality but I do feel like an aesthetic makeover is due at some point. With their input, I’ve put together a mood board of what their dream bedroom might include, using items from the…