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Showing posts from April, 2013

I just wish that he didn't feel different

When I wrote this I was sitting in Big Boy's classroom whilst he and his Sister were at their School's first Film night. Other than the PTA mums, I was the only parent there, all of the other parents dropped their Children off and practically ran for freedom for a couple of hours on a Friday night.

I have to stay as due to Big Boy's Diabetes he has to have someone here who can recognise the signs of his Hypo's and Hypers (Top Ender is taking care of that one for me, as she is in the hall watching the film too) and someone who can treat them, and as much as I love our School's PTA I can't really ask them to take responsibility for Big Boy's injections.

And this is how it is going to be for most of Big Boy's childhood.

Already he feels different to his friends because he can't go to other peoples houses for dinner.

Already he feels different as he has to step out of class in order to have a blood test and injection before he eats his lunch.

Already h…

Lunches (W/C 27/04)

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I don't think I mentioned yesterday that I've put the whole family on a diet for the next six weeks. Well, I say diet it's more of a healthy eating thing which has the added benefit of Daddy and I losing weight... if we stick to the plan that is. For the most part I'll be eating a Chicken Salad for lunch, but the Children will be eating the following.

Saturday - Leftovers
Todays lunch is a mixture of a lot of different leftovers, from the last couple of days lunches and evening meals. Big Boy has helped me make a menu so that everyone can order what they like from the leftovers.

Sunday - Bacon and Cheese Pastry Wraps
Whilst I'd like our Sandwich today to be something along the lines of a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich (it would be great right? We could add bacon and it would be heaven!) I've got Daddy to make Bacon and Cheese Pastry wraps.

Monday - Sandwich Sushi
I've gone with Sandwich Sushi today, because I really need to use the cream cheese u…

Meal Plans (W/C 27/04)

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I'm currently drinking Pomegranate and Soda Water and accidentally eating more Pringles than I should. Still it means that I'm not hungry whilst making up this weeks meal plan!

Saturday - Fish Fingers and Mash
We've had a lot of Fish over the last few weeks, but we haven't had Fish Fingers so I thought we'd have them today. Serving them with peas and fruit for pudding.

Sunday - Sausages
Ooh what's that? Not a roast?! Top Ender and I are hanging around at Church for a bit today as we're having a munch and mingle after the Service and we didn't think it fair to Daddy and BB to be waiting on us. So they are going to have Sausages and Tops and I will eat at Church and have a sandwich if we need anything more when we get in.

Monday - Meatless Monday - Aubergine and Lentil Curry
Dinner is quick tonight as I have a meeting this evening, so I've gone back to something that Daddy and I have had before and that I can cook in the slow cooker so that it is kind…

Starlight Express The UK Tour

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Top Ender and I are just back from the Theatre seeing a performance of Starlight Express. I was hoping that this high energy show would give Top Ender a life long love of the Theatre and of Performing, just like it had me when I was younger (not too much older than she is now) and although I won't know if that has worked for many months and years, I do know that she loved the show (and so did I!).


When you see someone on roller skates flip over as in the photograph above, you just know that there are injuries a plenty amongst the cast but as Top Ender came to realise in the course of the show sometimes you have to take risks. I think that without even meaning to, the cast taught Tops a life lesson, but then again what do I know? Maybe Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber knew all those years ago that this show would teach little girls and boys all across the world not only that the theatre is exciting, or even if you believe in yourself you will succeed but that sometimes need to take risks an…

The Tomato Based Rosti Topped Fish Pie

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For dinner this week, we had Fish Pie. I love fish pie and so do the children but Daddy isn't so keen. The problem is that fish pie is easy and tasty to make and I didn't want to stop making it... So I waited until Daddy was going to sleep and decided to ask him some questions about why he didn't like fish pie. Daddy didn't give me much information, mostly due to him being sleepy, but he did say he doesn't like vegetables in the fish mix and he was pretty sure he didn't like the white sauce the fish was normally in. So I decided to use a tomato based sauce.
And dinner was brilliant.


I cheated slightly and used some of the new Aunt Bessie's mini rustic Rosti's instead of making my own Rosti toppings. I've no doubt that I'll be making it again, although I'm going to see if I can sneak in some vegetables into the tomato sauce.

Just in case someone somewhere wants to know what I did.

Ingredients
1 leek finely chopped
1tsp of butter
1tsp Olive O…

The Affirmation Station

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Daily Affirmations. They can help you physically and emotionally, they can help you pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you're needing a bit of love or a kick in the pants. Do you think that they work?

I was at my Sisters house yesterday and I couldn't help but notice a rather large display of post it notes on the side of the Kitchen cupboard. I could see that everything was in her handwriting, but I couldn't work out what they were or why there were four rows (I thought one for each of her daughters) and I didn't want to read them in case they were personal. So I asked her about it.


Kitty (that's my sister) told me it was her affirmation station (actually that's what I said as I know bigger words than she does thanks to a misspent youth of reading the dictionary) and that she put up quotes that she found inspirational when she was having a down moment. Then she would spend a few moments reading each quote and realising that she might be feeling a littl…

Tuesdays At The Castle

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Top Ender is rather like me and loves to curl up with a good book. Occasionally we end up with new books being sent in the post and I'll ask Top Ender to read them. Unlike me Top Ender likes a specific kind of fiction and if something doesn't appear to be in the genre of choice (Fairytale type stories) then she'll huff and puff about it... I had to convince her to give Tuesday at the Castle a go, even though it's fairly obviously slap bang in the middle of her genre of choice!


It did take Top Ender a while to get into the story. I'm not sure why, maybe the lure of her Tablet with 100's of books at her finger tips was too great, or maybe as she said, it was because she didn't realise that this was a fairytale type story but eventually she realised that holding a proper book in her hands was a good thing and read and read and read.

And read some more.

In fact she didn't stop reading the book, I swear it went everywhere with us and I even had to say to her…

Lunches (W/C 20/04)

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We're looking forward to lunches this week, as I've promised a few special treats for Top Ender and Big Boy, although if my disaster with the Pizza Muffins last week are anything to go by maybe I shouldn't have promised!

Saturday - Cheese Toasties
We love cheese toasties and they are an easy lunch to have on a Saturday. I'm going to add a bit of Onion and Tomato to the sandwiches so that they count as a portion of veg, but I'm going to need to make sure to remind everyone that the filling is HOT.

Sunday - Cheese Steak Rolls
I really liked the Cheese Steak Rolls that we had a few weeks back and so I've decided that we're going to have them again today. Daddy won't mind as long as I use good cheese and give him a good size serving. The children won't have as much onion and mushroom as Daddy and I as they don't like it, but there will be plenty of fresh fruit available as pudding.


Monday - Chicken Wraps
I'm pretty sure that this is the lunch th…

Pizza Muffins - Top Ender's Friday Lunch

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Yesterday we should have had Pizza Muffins for lunch, but I forgot to make them on Wednesday and I didn't get up early enough to make them before School... so I moved them to today and boy am I glad that I did!


If you feel like making Pizza Muffins then here is the recipe and method and remember they taste DELICIOUS and they make the kitchen smell divine!

Ingredients
128g Self Raising Flour
128g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
2tsp Dried Oregano
2tsp Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to season

Pizza Flavourings
130g Grated Cheese
200g Pineapple Chunks
6 Cherry Tomatoes
4 Rindless Bacon Strips

Wet Mix
100ml Vegetable Oil
200ml Milk
2 Eggs

Method
Mix the dry ingredients together and the ingredients for the Pizza flavouring, (I've gone with a"Hawaiian" theme as Top Ender loves a Hawaiian pizza and hopefully Big Boy won't notice the pineapple). Season well with Salt and Pepper.


Mix the wet ingredients together.

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir well. Make sure that …

Menu Plans (W/C 20/04)

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BURP! I'm sorry about that, I've got terrible indigestion from dinner this evening but despite that I know that meal planning whilst I'm fully fed is the best way for me to choose meals which everyone will like for the next week.

Saturday - Cheesy Pork Chops
For our Saturday meals, I always think of the meal as being a treat because it's something we eat whilst watching Doctor Who and it's normally something a little more Take Away like. Tonight we're having Hassleback potatoes (which I'll throw in the oven before I take my Mum back home) with Cheesy Pork Chops.

Sunday - Roast Chicken
I think that the Sunday Roast is one of the best meals of the week, mainly because I don't cook it but also because it's the one meal that we have every week and the one meal that we never change. Roast Chicken, potatoes, vegetables, gravy and yorkshire puddings. Yummy yummy yum.

Monday - Home Made McDonalds (Chicken Nuggets and Chips)
We're at the hospital this mo…

The Magic Of The Theatre

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Many years ago, before I knew who I truly was I went to the Theatre with my School. I remember sitting in the Auditorium looking around at the space and thinking it wasn't that magical. I don't remember that I was sitting with any of my School chums, although if they ever read this they might tell me different, but as I said in a comment over on Pippa World I forget a lot of things. And then the show started. That show was Starlight Express.

Suddenly I wanted to sing, and dance and skate and bring excitement and joy to other people. I wanted to let others know the feelings I got when seeing something as magical and transforming as a West End Stage Show.


It formed me. It made me know that even though I have absolutely no rhythm or sense of balance (I fall over walking on a flat path) I wanted to share the magic that is the theatre, the magic that is acting, the magic that is performing.

Next Thursday I'm taking Top Ender to Milton Keynes Theatre to see the touring productio…

Disney's Shake It Up CD review

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When I was younger my two youngest Aunts would often let me join in their games. Some of the times I remember best would be where they would teach me a dance routine to a song. I can't remember if I was any good or not, but judging from my inability to dance now I'm going to say I wasn't. Top Ender and Big Boy love playing the same sorts of games, and Top Ender will often make a dance routine up to music she hears on the TV, or thanks to her love of Shake It Up she'll learn a dance routine that she has watched multiple times. So when we were sent the Disney's Shake It Up I <3 Dance (get it I "heart" Dance) CD Tops was over the moon.

Having played the music whilst we were doing some homework, I was shocked to realise I recognised none of the tracks. I thought I was more hip than that. Top Ender however happily sung away and has since created several dances to her favourite tracks and I've learnt the lyrics... to the best of my knowledge anyway.


Big …

Lego City Undercover

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I'm not sure how he does it, but Big Boy knows about new games coming out before Daddy and I (I have a sneaky suspicion he has a subscription to a gamers magazine) and has been going on for what seems like months about how we need to get a Wii U so that he can have the new Lego game "Lego City Undercover" as we won't let him have a Nintendo 3DS (it's his birthday soon capiche?!). He even went as far as "building" his own Wii U at School, although I'm not sure the TA knew quite what he was on about.

And then a box arrived.

I had a sneaking suspicion about what was inside and so let the Children open it later that evening and Big Boy was delighted with what he pulled out. Inside the box was a letter from Nintendo, which Big Boy has put on his pinboard (he wants to work for them when he's older). Not only had they sent us a Wii U with a copy of Nintendo Land, but they had sent us a not out in the shops yet Lego City Undercover game for the Wii U, a…

Popcorn Fish

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I knew it. I knew that Popcorn Fish would be a success with the family and when we ate it on Tuesday night, the Children's and Daddy's second helpings confirmed it. As it was so successful I thought I'd add it to my growing collection of fish recipes, here on the blog.


Ingredients
2 Fillets of Fish. (We had Saithe)
2 tbsp Flour

For the batter
180g Plain Flour (Doves Farm Mix)
200ml Milk
1 egg (I used Orgran no egg)
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
1/2 tsp Salt

Method
Mix the batter ingredients together until they are well mixed, it will look quite thick but that is good as it holds together better.  You may find you need to add more milk to get it to a consistency that is right for you and as this recipe is gluten free, if you change it to "normal" flour, you might find that you need less milk.

Cut the fish into bite size pieces and put into a bowl.

Add two tablespoons of flour to the bowl the fish is in, and mix to coat the fish pieces.

Slowly drop p…

The Giant To Do List of 2013 - Part Two

Back in January I posted a long list of things that I wanted to do in our home, a giant to do list. I was breaking it down into quarters because it's easier to manage and because a lot of what we want to do is Seasonal. Well, now it's time for my 2nd list of the year and here it is. The first 12 items are pulled from my last list as they didn't get done in the first quarter (apart from the Swagbucks one), but hopefully with the weather warming up (PLEASE!) I'll be able to get to them in this quarter.

1) Paint the hallway to remove the stains BB left.
2) Fix the skirting board in the hall.
3) Weed the driveway at the side of the house.
4) Make an attempt at clearing the back garden.
5) Sort out Top Ender's bedroom.
6) Clear out the Garage.
7) Clear out the loft.
8) Teach myself the guitar (I'm getting better, but need the time to practice).
9) Find a way of buying a new (to us) car.
10) Wash all the curtains.
11) Line Big Boy's curtains.
12) Hit my swagbucks

Back to School Lunches (W/C 13/04)

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Another week of packed lunches as the Children are back to School on Monday, this is good as it means as long as I remember to keep my camera charged there will be lots more pictures on our Facebook page of ideas for lunches.

Saturday - Scrabble Ham Sandwiches
It's National Scrabble day so today we're having Scrabble Sandwiches, which basically means sandwiches cut into cubes and if we have enough time we'll write different letters on top. If we don't have time then we'll just pretend and give ourselves triple letter scores.

Sunday - Hot Turkey, Provolone Cheese, Red Onion, Tomato, Pesto Mayonnaise on a Toasted Torta Roll aka The Costco Sandwich
Last week Daddy found this sandwich in Costco and asked if we could have it for lunch on Sunday at home. So we're having it today! I just hope that the local deli stocks Provolone Cheese as I don't think the local supermarkets do.

Monday - Veggie Cous Cous
Top Ender pointed out the other day, if we have Meatless Mon…

Evening Meals (W/C 13/04)

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I can't believe how quickly the weeks are going by at the moment, it seems that as quickly as I blink that another week has passed. On one hand I don't mind this, because it will soon be my birthday and Summer but on the other hand I'm terrified as it means that soon it will be Big Boy's birthday and then end of Summer when he'll be starting Year One.

Saturday - BBQ Chicken Burgers
We had the BBQ Chicken Burgers a few weeks back and I discovered that not only did you only need half a Chicken breast per person, but also that it was DELICIOUS! So we're having it again. I'll serve it with Salad and Wedges.

Sunday - Roast Chicken
I love the way that Daddy has taken over cooking the Sunday Roast. Even when I was home last week watching General Conference he still carried on this new tradition. Now I just need to teach him how to carve the Chicken and we'll be away!

Monday - Meatless Monday Soup and Toasties
Last week we had Jacket Potatoes, which was great a…

The Mammoth Garden Project

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Have you ever started a mammoth project and then realised near the end that you should have taken a photograph at the start so you could see just how much you had done? That was basically my day on Monday.

Monday I decided that I wanted to tackle my back garden. The plan was just to remove some of the weeds from in front of the kitchen window, to make sure that the view from my kitchen was not obscured and also to start getting my garden ready for the Summer, when hopefully we're going to be using it a lot more... well if Spring and Summer ever arrive that is!

I spent the day cutting back trailing thorny vines. Pulling up grass that was as tall as I was. Carrying bricks from the wall that is collapsing to the driveway. Shovelling up spadefuls of mud and dust and pieces of wood and stones and everything else that somehow collected in one corner of the "patio".

I found bugs, more bugs and yet more bugs and a tiny toad hiding waiting for me to say Hello.


I got a workout tha…

Easy Salmon Rice

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What do you do when you have two pieces of Salmon and four mouths to feed? Normally, I'd just make sure that I have four pieces of Salmon but I thought I'd try something different after reading an article where a Mother fed her family of six (two adults, four children) on two breasts of Chicken. So I came up with this Easy Salmon Rice which fed us (two adults, two children) nicely.

Ingredients
Rice (3 portions) and equivalent amount of water
Courgette (1 chopped finely)
Red Onion (1/2 finely diced)
Salmon Fillets (2)
Olive Oil

Chilli Sauce Mixture Ingredients
3tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
1tsp Fish Sauce
1tsp Tomato Paste
1tsp Soy Sauce
Dash of Lemon Juice

Method
Put the oven on to Gas mark 5.

Cut a large piece of tinfoil (enough to make a loose parcel around the fish) and grease it a little with the olive oil (to stop the fish sticking to the tin foil) place the Salmon fillets skin side down on the foil.

Mix together the Chilli fish sauce mixture and cover the fish in the sauce. …

Ice Ice Baby - Wordless Wednesday

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Now it is slightly warmer than it has been, I think it's okay to show some pictures of beautiful ice I've seen without feeling I'm cursing us Brits into yet more cold, ice and snow in April.




Feel free to link up and remember that I love comments and tweets!



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Hake Fish Stew

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Last week we ended up not eating our Creamy Hake Bake, as we didn't get back until late from our trip to the Science Museum, so we ate it the Hake on the Saturday night whilst watching Doctor Who. As I'm normally with my Mum on a Saturday taking her shopping, Daddy has to cook dinner but this Hake Fish Stew was so simple he had no objections to creating the recipe with me in a few minutes and then cooking it and working out any problems himself.


Ingredients
One Onion finely diced
One can of Heinz Five Beanz
One Can of Chopped Tomatoes
5 small/medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
Olive Oil
Four fillets of Hake (or any other fish you have or fancy)

Method
Gently fry the onions in a glug of Olive Oil in a medium sized Saucepan until they are translucent.

Add the potatoes and fry for two or three minutes, stirring to make sure that all sides of the potatoes are heated.

Add the cans of Beanz and Tomatoes and simmer for twenty minutes.

Around ten minutes into the simmer heat a griddle …

Lunches for the week (W/C 06/04)

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Here are our plans for lunches for this week. As always, they are served with a couple of servings of fruit, some dairy and normally plenty of water or squash and a little pudding treat of a biscuit or similar.

Saturday - Cheese Sandwich
As I don't go shopping until a Saturday afternoon, it seems pointless having the "special" sandwich on a Saturday as I have to go and buy the ingredients separate to my main shop. So I'm moving it to a Sunday, which means if I get indigestion then I can suffer it at Church instead of in a Supermarket.

Sunday - Gourmet Sausage Sandwich
Today our sandwich is inspired by the Gourmet Sausages you can buy in various Butchers and Supermarkets where the sausages aren't just your standard pork, but have apple or cherries or peak or something else in them. I'm teaming our Sausages (I don't know what they are just yet as I've probably left it too late to get special ones from our butchers with fruit in and no gluten, so they…

Second Week of Half Term Evening Meals (W/C 6/04)

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We had a great time on half term this last week, the children and I love being in each others company and luckily for us the weather whilst wasn't exactly warm it wasn't bad and so we've made the most of hanging around the house, trips to the local park and that sort of thing.

Saturday - Beef Stir Fry
I love a Stir Fry and whilst the children are more of the persuasion that a stir fry should have more noodles and less vegetables, they do eat it. Mainly because I keep serving it and I figure that they'll either go hungry or learn to like it! Tonight we're having it with Beef, which I'll season with Chinese Five Spice and Soy Sauce.

Sunday - Roast Chicken
I'm at home this week as it's General Conference and we can, thanks to the wonders of Modern Technology, watch this from any PC via the Internet. So I might be cooking Dinner, but as Daddy is fabulous at cooking Gluten Free and Egg Free Yorkshire Puddings now, I'll still probably get him to do it. An…

Easy White Fish Curry

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Over the last week or so I've got a little muddled with what I'm supposed to be cooking when, and so when last night I read on my meal plan I was supposed to be cooking an easy Fish Stew, which we'd eaten last week (instead of the Creamy Hake Bake) I could have thrown a tantrum, instead I threw together a quick easy Fish Curry for Daddy and I. I didn't even go to Fish is the Dish to see if they had a recipe, just made one up myself. *Proud Face*

I had two fillets of Hake and two of Cod, so I quickly pan fried the Hake which along with some Mash Potato and green beans was served to Top Ender and Big Boy. The only issue I have with pan frying Hake is that it sticks to the pan, this is good if you want to remove the skin easily, but rather annoying if you don't want the fish flesh to stick to the pan. I didn't take a picture of the Hake and Mash for the children, but it looked pretty good and as they ate it without asking questions I'm thinking that the indoct…

Zufari - Chessington World of Adventures

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I've posted before about a family day out to Chessington World of Adventures, which was roughly a year ago, and the children have wanted to go back ever since, but when the new Zufari ride started to be advertised, the childrenall of us wanted to go back and we got our chance earlier this week, thanks to being asked to attend the launch of the LEGO Chima Challenge.

This blog post is about the Zufari ride though, as people who haven't yet been on it don't know what to expect. Hopefully, I don't give everything away as the excitement of the unknown always makes it more thrilling but enough so that those who want to know if it is suitable for their children can decide.

There are plenty of warnings about who is and who isn't allowed on the ride, all all riders/researchers must be a minimum of 1.1 meters tall to ride and if they are under 1.3 meters they have to have an adult aged 16 or over with them. There can be a long queuing time, when we first went to go on the r…

LEGO Chima Challenge

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Big Boy loves our local LEGO store. Every time we go to the shopping centre it's the one shop that he wants to visit; as he loves to see what he saving up for hasn't sold out or to find out if he finally has enough money to buy something he's had his eye on. When Lego Legends of Chima was released, he was excited as he loves the idea of anthropomorphic animals, especially ones that are interested in keeping the balance of good  in their world as he believes that everyone has a Hero inside of them. It was without hesitation that when we were asked to attend the launch of the Lego Chima Challenge that I accepted, even though we knew that Big Boy at four was never going to reach the finals.


The Challenge was launched at Chessington World Of Adventures, (and you can read about the new Zufari ride in my other blog post) for people visiting over the Easter Holidays and Big Boy and Top Ender loved playing with the different challenges, although as expected they aren't going t…

The Moon Ain't Made of Cheese - Big Boy Giggles

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Big Boy was rather taken with the extraordinary views that the Hubble Telescope offered of our galaxy during the 3D IMAX screening at the Science Museum, despite being sad that all the planets orbited the Sun, but not "any daughters".


During the film Big Boy turned to Daddy and whispered

"Did God make the stars?"
"Yes" replied Daddy
"Did God make the Earth?" asked Big Boy
"Yes" replied Daddy
"He didn't make the Moon though." said Big Boy
"Why not?" asked Daddy
"The Moon is made of Rock and anyone could make that!" answered Big Boy

I think Big Boy might have been playing a little too much Minecraft!



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A Good Friday Visit to the Science Museum

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Despite having been to the Science Museum in London as a family at least twice in the last year, during our visit on Good Friday we somehow found ourselves in an exhibit that we'd never seen before and learning something new about aviation. We'd been invited down by the Science Museum, (who had offered us Explorer Tickets for our visit so that we could experience a film in the IMAX cinema, a ride in Legend of Apollo in the Force Field 4D theatre and a ride in the Red Arrows 3D exhibit) and as we had already planned for a family visit during the Easter break we were excited to visit these attractions.

We started our visit to the Science Museum as we always tend to start days out, with a trip to a Cafe. We love the Energy Cafe for the great selection of foods they have and despite it always being busy we were able to find a table and plan where we wanted to visit on this trip. We headed off into the Museum, we all have our favourite parts and we had decided that we wanted to vis…