Sunday, 13 November 2016

Catching up - Part 1

My new favourite photo of the Podlings, taken by Lake Garda on our recent holiday to Italy

Remember me? I can't believe such a long time has passed since I last blogged. Four months! It breaks my heart that there is a four month gap in the family record that is Podheim, but I fear that if I try to catch up before I start blogging again then the enterprise will be doomed to failure. I miss my blog. Life has been very busy this year, which is inevitable with four children. Juggling the needs of four children across a ten year age gap whilst simultaneously trying to keep the house from descending into chaos can leave one with very little free time for blogging! They say that you should make time for the things that matter though, and keeping a record of the memories we make as a family matters to me. I may need to consider a different way of blogging to fit in with this busier time in my life, but I need to keep the blog going in some form. Not least because, one day my life won't be nearly so busy and I would be sorry not to have this record to look back on and remind me of the good times we had when they were young.

So, what has happened since mid-July? Although I have not been recording them, we have been making plenty of memories. Tom embarked on a new chapter in his life at the end of July as he left primary school. We are so proud of our handsome young man, who has blown me away with his perseverance and pragmatism during his (not always happy) years at primary school. Life is not always easy for Tom and yet he overcame so many challenges at school and came out of a very tough year smiling. He makes me proud, this wonderful boy, to be his mother.

Tom in his school leavers' assembly

Emma turned seven on the last day of school, the first time her birthday has ever fallen outside the summer holidays. She was not impressed at having to go to school on her birthday! 

My sister had her second baby, a little boy they have called Ethan, the day before Emma's birthday and we managed to get down and meet him when he was only a few days old. We all enjoyed soaking up his newborn sweetness and getting to see my sister and her family again after far too long.

My newest nephew, baby Ethan

We started the summer holidays with a trip up to Lake District and a visit to Wray Castle and Lake Windermere. I took a great many lovely photos on this visit that I hope I will find time to share on the blog. It was a wonderful day and one that I remember with great fondness.

In August we had a short weekend break to Sussex with Mark's mum and dad. As ever, we packed a lot into our time away and managed to fit in visits to Wakehurst Place, Beech Hurst Park, Worthing Beach, Pevensey Castle and Battle Abbey.

We took our main family holiday at the end of August. For the first time we went away for a fortnight instead of our usual week. This was probably just as well since we began the holiday with a trip to accident and emergency with Alex, who split his head open by riding his bike into a wall at the motorway services on the way up to Northumberland. It took a few days to get over the shock of that one and it is worthy of a post in its own right! The rest of the holiday was considerably more enjoyable and I would like to be able to share more photos from it at some point if I can find the time. We had a lovely time.

A sunset picnic beneath the ruins of  Edlingham Castle

September was all about back to school, with new challenges for the Podlings. Lily began her last year of primary school and Emma started her first year of juniors. Tom started high school, a big step for him as the school we felt was the best fit for Tom (and his siblings in due course) was not chosen by any of his former classmates. Starting high school is daunting enough, without starting it on your own! Tom has adjusted to his new school far better than we had hoped. I have been so impressed with how well he has coped with the change. His new school has been wonderful with him and he is finally getting the extra help and support he needs and deserves. It has been a big change, but a very positive one and Tom has matured remarkably since he started there in September. We are so proud of how well he has handled it all. He continues to amaze and astound me with each new challenge. 

This is turning into a rather long post; it is getting late and I am rather unwell at the moment. I very much wanted to update the blog today, so I will post this as part one of the update and I will try to post part two later in the week, which will hopefully bring us up to date. I will leave you with this lovely picture of the Podlings I took on one of woodland walks. Sometimes, they just co-operate for photos (and often they don't)!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Pretty Little Lady

Emma looked so adorable all dressed up for her friend's birthday party that I couldn't resist taking a few photos before she left. Love her to bits!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Off to the School Disco

If only they could get along like this all the time!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Lily's Den

The Podlings' school have just started holding 'parent workshops' where parents get to go into school for an afternoon and help their child's class with a project. It is a lovely idea and gives parents a chance to see their children interacting with their teacher and classmates in a way that the usual run of concerts and sports days just doesn't. Lily's class were building pyramid shelters for their parent workshop. Lily was working in a group of three and when we showed up we were shown their plan, complete with measurements. Between us (three children, another mum and dad and myself) we built this very sturdy den and had a lot of fun doing it.

Lily was over the moon the following week when she won 'rock, paper, scissors' with her team members and thereby the opportunity to keep the den. She excitedly bounded out of school telling me that we get to bring the den home. Getting it home, on the other hand, proved more of a challenge! In the end, we got Alex out of the pram and the girls walked with him whilst I pushed the pram home with the den over the top of it. I got some funny looks walking home I can tell you! I wish I had thought to take a photo. The den is now living in the back garden much to the delight of Alex! I have since trimmed off a lot of the plastic as I didn't want my little people suffocating in it!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Star of the Week

Enjoying an after school snack with Barney

My sweet little Emma was her class Star of the Week this week and got to spend another week with the class teddy, Barney Bear. He had a busy week, accompanying us on a trip to the park, meeting cousins at a family barbecue, building a den, reading stories and cuddling a very happy little girl each night. On his last night with us we had a little farewell tea party to celebrate our little star of the week and to say goodbye to Barney. It was a sad little girl who had to take Barney back to school this morning.

Bike riding with a special passenger

Den building

Emma dressed at Belle and reading to Barney.

A farewell tea party for Barney. Emma looks sad because she doesn't want Barney to go

Bedtime cuddles

A last cuddle before taking Barney back to school

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Father's Day

A daddy four times over!

Three generations. The Podlings with their father and grandfather

The Father's Day cake that Lily made for her Daddy

Monday, 6 June 2016

Buttercups at Biddulph Grange

A pleasant Sunday afternoon walk through Biddulph Grange Country Park with Mark's parents. We stopped for tea, biscuits and cake by the lake before carrying on through the buttercup meadows. A picture perfect afternoon.