Category Archives: Kids

London for Kids by Emy – Museums

Disclaimer, E was asked what she wanted to share about London and she said LONDON FOR KIDS but she wants you to know that she’s a “strange child” (her words, not mine!) so take her advice with a grain of salt. 😀

Whenever I’m in London I like to go to museums. Some of my favorites are: the V&A (Victoria and Albert), the Natural History, the Science Museum, and the National Art Gallery.

The V&A has lots and lots of art to appeal to everyone. They have paintings from the medieval era, the renaissance, and Georgian miniatures. They also had lots of Roman and Greek statues. There was a hallway filled with ironwork, custom made banisters, window frames, and balconies.

The Natural History has lots of cool stuff, but if you have little kids who are a bit squeamish you shouldn’t take them. It’s full of stuffed animals, not the kind you can cuddle, it gave me nightmares.

The Science Museum has all kinds of hands on stuff for kids, sometimes they have new exhibit. In the basement they have a little kids play area.

(Heidi insert – the V&A, Natural History, and Science museums are all literally across the street from each other, but each one you could spend an entire day in separately. So good luck picking! Back to Emy…)

The National Art Gallery had some Van Gogh, that’s the most memorable part for me. Continue reading

London Day – Harry Potter Version

* Disclaimer, you need a second day in London to see the WB Studio Tour as it really is an all day thing. The studio is on the outskirts of London, you can take the underground out to Euston but then switch to the overground to get to Watford Junction (about 40 minutes from central London), then hop off and catch the shuttle bus (every 20 minutes, takes 15 minutes, does have a fee and I cannot remember if they take cards or you need cash.) Make a day for that if you’ve got any hardcore fans with you! They do have family tickets, which can save you a bit. The shop at the end of the tour is HUGE, and if you arrive early you can go in there to browse. You are given a set “tour” time that’s not flexible, but once you get past that initial bit then you are free to explore the rest, which is self guided, until they close. (They said they do have people stay for the entire day and they have to kick them out at closing.) Continue reading

Kids’ Activities in the UK

Because the kids aren’t in a traditional school, we can’t answer as to how most kids have extracurricular activities with school. C is starting at a new program and they told us that Tuesday is their extracurricular day… that kids can stay after for clubs for an hour to participate, which is not how it’s done stateside (with things like band or sports happening every day!) But there are community based activities like scouts, martial arts, dance, football clubs, park runs, etc. Within the home ed community there’s a TON happening – rock climbing, ice or roller skating, forest schools, National Trust hikes, cooking or art or science or robotics clubs – basically everything under the sun.

Some stuff our kids have done since we moved here, as typed by J:

– cooking club
– science fairs
– forest school
– ice skating
– National Trust meet ups
– drama for E
– roller skating for Mo
– D OF E FOR C
– park run
– boys brigade for J
– girl guides for MO AND E
– crochet club
– board game club
– ballet FOR O
– CLIMBING
– BORED FOR J

Okay, he quit now. 😀 O wants a turn

– windmill so fun funny…
– forest club
– scooter fun funny…

Mo says it’s the trips that she loves most as extracurricular activities – daytrips around the area to the abbeys, overnight trips to places like Dover, and the bigger trips to Paris or Athens.

Though admittedly, we’re an oddball bunch because we’re not attending a community public school. The kids are able to do activities during the standard school day (like field trips to watch them make pizza at a cafe in city centre, or touring the local fire station, or the chocolate factory up the road.) There are still weekly clubs and sports and such, but those are in the evenings or weekends.

2015 Wrap Up!

I know, we’ve been quiet around here on the blog – but that’s because life with our six little ones has NOT been quiet! Between home schooling and both parents’ work and growing kids with activities and therapies we’ve been juggling a lot. We’ve continued to receive postcards and notes from you and it’s been wonderful!

Last year Ben had some beautiful, huge wishes come true, so here’s a recap – each one of these deserves their own post and photos, which we hope to get up to share with you one of these days!

January: Kit took the older kids to watch the Harlem Globetrotters and Ben got to do the toss up – he was so tiny in comparison to those players, and he said it was fantastic! The next week Ben turned ten and requested shrimp alfredo and key lime pie for his birthday dinner. He’s our little foodie. Continue reading

The Impossible Wish

When writing up Ben’s wish list I tried to type exactly what he was saying. Some of his wishes I told him right off the bat we could do (the zoo, a bike shop, the Apple store) and others I told him NO WAY am I doing that (Antarctica, the Sahara.) Other wishes I knew weren’t realistic, despite how much I wished we could help make them happen – seeing the northern lights, or getting into the Food Network kitchens. (I actually told him the northern lights may be easier to see than the kitchens!) I tried looking into it and read that they don’t do tours and there’s not any way the public can just come peek into the their studios, which I told Ben. He was sad, and said maybe if we went to NYC someday that we could go by and see the outside of the studios? I wasn’t even sure where they are located (I knew the general area) but I told him maybe someday. Then I tried to redirect him to other wishes that I knew were more feasible.

This was all before Ben’s story began to be shared, and suddenly we were going to see the northern lights (I almost fell down when I got the call from Janet at WFAA telling us about that opportunity.) Dreams that I thought were not possible were happening – it was happening. But through all of these incredible adventures when Ben would comment on how much he loved this cooking show or that chef and wouldn’t it be nice if someday we could visit Food Network I would always remind him – Sweetie, I’m sorry but they don’t do tours.

Ben even began plotting how he could get onto the show Worst Cooks in America so he could visit. It became a family joke.

Continue reading

Ben eSights the Grand Canyon

When we were at the Grand Canyon we weren’t sure when the story would air with On the Road, and The Doctors show hadn’t aired yet that revealed Ben had an eSight.

Here’s Steve’s clip:

So we filmed Ben’s initial reaction to the Grand Canyon before trying on his new tool.

He could see the canyon, he talked about how the colors were pretty and it seemed big. I helped him get the eSight on and he began adjusting the settings and then he yelled, “It’s HUGE!!! There’s a river down there!” He kept gasping and saying wow and zooming in and I was just bawling.

Seeing the Grand Canyon was amazing regardless, but seeing his response once he could really see everything was stunning. Ben challenged the other kids to a game of I Spy which he thoroughly won because he now has super zoom capabilities that us mere mortals do not have. His siblings were grinning ear to ear hearing what their brother could now describe for them.

I will never, ever forget seeing Ben’s face when realized how much he could see.

Moose!

SO we’re in Alaska and we had just gotten back into our hotel room. The kids have taken off their shoes and are cuddled up in the bed watching cartoons before we head back out. Suddenly there’s a knock on the door and Blake, the NBC reporter, tells us there’s a moose right outside! The kids fly out the door – barefoot, no coats – in a mad dash to see a MOOSE! It’s freezing cold! We’re in Alaska!

I’m behind with a three year old who has completely stripped off her clothes because she’s three and they do stuff at that age. I bundle her up in two massive coats and try to catch up – we missed them, and came back in to get warm. Kit and our little ones eventually come back and I see most of our kids are being carried by the very, very kind news crew who realized our silly kids were barefoot. (They also gave our children their coats, which was super nice.)

The barefoot race succeeded, however! There was a moose, hanging out right there at Chena Hot Springs – almost as if it knew that Ben was hoping to see a moose and wanting to make sure that all his Alaska wishes came true.

Here’s the story that was shared, and since I didn’t catch up with them I’m so thankful the news crew was able to document the moose adventure!

NBC Anchorage story – including footage of the barefoot moose run!