Tag Archives: countrykids

Harvest time, mumof2

Harvest Time

 Harvest time, mumof2Harvest Time

Harvest time is such a busy time in the year whether you know it’s harvest time or not. In the UK, the kids have gone back to school and someone somewhere has a countdown to Christmas saying 17 Fridays left.

I grew up in a country where they harvest all year round and so there isn’t much of a celebration of all the hard work that has gone into growing crops. In fact, when we lived in London I still hadn’t heard of harvest festivals and so moving to the countryside has taught me a thing or 2 even thought I grew up in a farming community.

There are a couple of parts that are my favourite. Our village school asks the children to decorate a shoe box that has a connection to harvesting crops and pop some food items in. They are then later taken to our little church where the children sing and give their boxes as part of the celebration.

I know we usually have to give fresh food produce (well there are a few tutt tutts when there are tinned or other goodies) but I like to have a look with the boys and find items that have been harvested and in some cases gone through a production line. The reason being, is that I want the boys to understand that in most cases, something has been harvested before it became the flour or the cocoa powder. This year’s favourite was honey,


 Harvest Boxes

I didn’t think to take a photo until we had got to school but the boys chose 2 very different harvest boxes which took us 3 days to make (mainly for the paint to dry). The one is a tractor which has it’s goodies stored under the bonnet and the other is a crop sprayer.

 The children did so well at the Havrest Festival service and they were all so proud of their creations – it was just lovely to see.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

top trumps, mumof2, countrykids

Top Trumps with a difference!

top trumps, mumof2, countrykids

Top Trumps with a difference

Top Trumps is a usually a card game. If you haven’t played it before, it is a card game where each card has a set of information on it. Like speed, humour, courage, distance, age etc.

The one player chooses a category, e.g. speed and the person with the highest speed wins all the cards in that round. They then choose the next category on the next round of cards  and so the rounds continue, until one person ends up with either all the cards or if you choose to end the game early, the player with the most cards wins.

The reason I chose to show humour and courage is that each set of Top Trumps differs depending on the pack. We had one with Planes (the movie) and Cars (the movie) which we had been playing and so you didn’t have to have the fastest car or plane to win a round.

Now that I have explained how Top Trumps works in a nutshell…here’s were we played it with a difference.

Top Trumps with REAL planes! Yep! I reckon it was quite a good move even if I say so myself! We often pop in to IWM Duxford as it’s not too far from us. The boys really haven’t understood the concept that it’s not a normal airport yet either and take it for granted that there are Hurricanes and Spitfires and all sorts that fly about there.

They love going into the hangar that has a Concorde in it as it has loads of inside games and we rarely go into the smaller hangars but this time we did. Our 6 year old’s reading has come along so well that he can read most things and this is where the Top Trumps idea came into play.

We each chose a plane and then looked at the information card displayed in front of the plane. The first person chose a category and the other 2 had to locate it on their real plane’s info card and so the REAL Top Trumps game began as we went around the hangar.

Initially some people thought it was a bit weird that there was a shriek of delight out of nowhere, but a couple of them caught on that there was a game going on and slowly their smiles of intrigue showed. We probably should have asked if they wanted to play!

It was a great way of the boys learning about the planes and keeping their attention long enough to hang about and have a nosey around the aircraft.

So, the next time you are out and about and there is a lot of reading to do, I can recommend seeing if it’s possible to play Top Trumps for real!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

cycling, mumof2, magic moments, countrykids

Cycling : New birthday bike

cycling, mumof2, magic moments, countrykidsCycling through Thetford Forest

Cycling is something that just happens in our family. We’re lucky enough to live in a quiet village and have loads of fields surrounding us.

We started both our boys off on the 3 wheeler scooters where you have to lean to turn.  They were then upgraded to a balance bike at age 18 months or so and both of them just loved it.

For their 3rd birthday, they were given a ‘proper’ bike and with only 30 mins of ‘active help’ they were off on their own. No side wheels, no stabilisers. Just a helmut and a high vis jacket.

The bikes admittedly, have been used for more than one owner. We have high pressure washed and changed stickers, along with new lights etc.

The one thing we have felt is that our youngest son deserved a brand new bike for his 6th birthday. Not a hand me down. There are some things that just need to be new sometimes. So, we took him down to our local bike shop and he chose his very own bigger bike…WITH gears!

We also planned to collect it early, as we had my father-in-law over for a visit and wanted him to be part of the collection excitement too.

The very next day, we headed over to Thetford Forsest and had a super day climbing in the trees and then a lovely relaxed time cycling around the forest. Not only did he have to get use to 5 more gears than he had on his old bike, but brakes with his hands as his old bike had pedal brakes.

He did really well and a 5 mile ride on a brand new bike that was slightly on the big side was a walk in the park.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

nature at it's best, mumof2

Nature at it’s best!

Nature at it's best, mumof2

Nature at it’s best!

Nature at it’s best is very often all the time! Except when you are stuck in a hurricane, tornado etc etc. The watching of those is amazing but not being in the middle.

Well, this week, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing nature at it’s best!

nature at it's best, mumof2

Tree art from bits and bobs including a frame!

We pottered about Hatfield Forest today and foraged for some bits and bobs to make our natural art picture with frame. Our oldest son chose an Autumnal theme, probably because there were a few leaves on the ground and it was easier to go that route with sticks.

den building, mumof2, nature at it's best

A lovely den we discovered

We went between the red and orange routes around the forest and came upon this super den! We had just been building our own but this one caught the boys attention.

Nature at it's best, mumof2

The boys had more fun climbing on this log pile house! I don’t think they even thought of looking for the Gruffalo or even a snake! But they had a whale of a time climbing all over it. In fact they had given up on their own den building as this log castle was for the taking.

More importantly, they’ve had good ol fashioned outdoor fun! The weather hasn’t been what it was, but that hasn’t stopped us. We even went for a cycle around Thetford Forest and it was just so beautiful!

nature at it's best, mumof2

In fact it was so relaxing, that our youngest son decided he was going to park off and have a rest (as you do…in a forest on the side of a cycle track!)

We had just picked up his birthday bike  little early so that he could enjoy being out and about. Whilst he didn’t have to work as hard as with his old bike, the amount of times we had to stop to sort his gears out and get starting again probably mentally finished him lol!

What are you favourite bits of nature?
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

skateboarding, mumof2

Learning the art of skateboarding

skateboarding, mumof2

Skateboarding – it looks so easy doesn’t it?

Our eldest son decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to learn the art of skateboarding. He had seen the pro’s make it look so easy on the tv and he decided that it looked fun too. I mean how hard can it be to propel yourself at such speeds with what appears to be little or not effort?

I was happy for him to get one on the basis that he can do it when his dad is about. We originally started off with pushing him along to get the feel of the balance and the steering. Whilst it’s like a scooter…it’s not.  I could see myself being the engine and pushing him around the entire village, whilst looking after our other son whizzing about on his scooter and our 2 dogs.

We also haven’t pushed him to do it (except when he is getting frustrated and we are on the opposite end of the village to our house and he either carries it home himself or valiantly continues skateboarding home!) The boys are given an option of scooters or bikes if we are heading out and then every now and then, our eldest son asks if he can take his skateboard out.

skateboarding, mumof2

We’re really lucky in that our little village doesn’t have any through traffic and is set in the shape of a square. So, most of the time you can take up the whole road in the knowledge that the majority of people coming through it are coming or going from home. We also generally tend to have the boys in high vis vests and believe me, these have come in handy on more than one occasion.  Generally, folks tend to slow right down if they see them.

Last weekend, with a break in the sudden onslaught of rain and wind, we took the opportunity to get some fresh air and he asked if he could go skateboarding. There are a couple of gentle slopes where you can use gravity to do most of the work. He is able to gently push himself along and it’s a slow process to build up speed from his own leg pushes, but he does really well on the hills. He’s learnt the art of jumping off and running to avoid a fall now and can turn left and right and go around the corners.

It will be great when he has the power to full speed along and not have to concentrate too much on all the aspects of skateboarding and enjoy the view. What is lovely is that he is enjoying it at his own pace.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

handle with care, mumof2

Handle with care

handle with care, mumof2

Handle with care!

Our boys seem to have fallen in love with their travel pillows and insist on sleeping with them. I found our youngest one fast asleep with his gazillion toys and his handle with care pillow and it made me stop and think.

We’ve been really busy with loads of outdoor activities and adventures this summer. In fact, that is no change from any standard weekend and whilst I am thinking of it, a standard school week too!

The boys have been at a tennis camp this week, with the youngest going for 45 mins in the morning and the oldest for 3 hours in the afternoon (yes…3 hours and apparently that is still not enough according to him!)

Our youngest son has insisted on staying on to watch the older children for their 3 hours and then afterwards we have had a run around our local heath and flown kites. He is really good at sending his own kite to the skies and then casually lying down on the ground to watch it whilst he is flying it.

But, in all of the action, he has had a cough for a few weeks. Not one that keeps him awake at night but when he does cough it hasn’t sounded brilliant (what cough does!) So, I decided to get it checked out as he had had enough time to get rid of it. I also knew that the doc would listen and say it’s all clear when I know that it really isn’t.

We went to tennis and straight from there to the Docs and sure enough, we were told his chest was clear (surprise surprise as it wasn’t our usual Dr who knows our boys so well) but I had also mentioned that I was concerned about his ears.

Sure enough, the doc  checked one out and it was fine but the other ear was red. Very red. I asked our youngest if his ear was sore at all and he said ‘No’. So we thanked the Doc and went to get the antibiotics.

This is the part where the ‘handle with care’ made me think. Ear infections are pretty sore and so we have been playing tennis, cycling, bouncing, discovering and he hasn’t complained once of his cough nor his ear. He has a super high pain threshold and of course doesn’t want to miss out on anything, yet he clearly must have been feeling under the weather.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Simple Fun with Kites

Kite Festival, Mumof2, simple fun

If you have been keeping an eye on my blog, one of my main mottos is Simple Fun! I love it when our boys find enjoyment or learn something when it doesn’t cost the earth, doesn’t require complicated gadgets and well, they have good ol’ simple fun!

In case you missed those posts :

So, today is no exception. Our local Rotary Club puts on a kite festival every year and we are heading that way today. The boys just love it and what is so great is that the kids (or adults) can take their own kites along and fly them in the field next door, or they have various sections where spectators can take part.

Funny enough, they have a ‘kite war’ event where the object is that 2 kites go up against each other and whoever cuts the other person’s line, wins the war. It inspired the boys (and us) as something different to do when we fly our own kites at home. Now, I think the entertainment value in this is to watch either the supportive husband or I, do the 100m dash across a field of nettles to retrieve the free kite lol!

This year, they are raising money for  http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org which is a charity close to many people’s hearts. So whilst we are having simple fun enjoying the kite displays, it is raising money for a super cause!

So, best I hurry up before the boys leave without me!



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Spring, mumof2, silent sunday

Spring has finally sprung


Spring is in the air and this household is definitely enjoying its benefits!!! It’s been a bit of a dramatic winter, weatherwise, and whilst we didn’t have any snow this time around, the vast quantities of rain certainly made up for the lack thereof.

2 Springs ago we had water shortages and farmers were desparately trying to get their crops growing with many a track looking like this…


Yes…I didn’t think the tractor could have made it through that section very easily looking at the depth of the track. Only for this Spring to still be looking like someone was telling fibs..


and to add 4 hail storms, some very sleety snow and lightening bolts added in the mix!

The boys have had loads of fun in the puddles and the streams (don’t get me wrong!) but I think they are ready for some dry land fun. It’s hard to play on our local green when your feet are just squelching in the mud and your wellies are being sucked off your feet as you try to walk. It’s fun in the beginning but they are a bit over that fun now.

They have been loving spotting the bulbs coming up and we are slowing (very slowly) learning that a daffodil is NOT, I repeat NOT, a daisy or a buttercup.


The willow by one of our village ponds is looking splendid as the sun catches it and the fields of bright yellow are thankfully appearing.


So, there’s a lot to look forward to these Easter school holidays and fingers crossed…the sunshine hangs around a bit longer.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

chickens, country kids, mumof2

Definition of a chicken

chickens, country kids, mumof2, definition of a chicken

Definition of a chicken (according to Oxford Dictionaries ) is :

Noun : A domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat
Mass noun :
Meat from a chicken as in roast chicken OR
informal A game in which the first person to lose their nerve and withdraw from a dangerous situation is the loser: he was killed by a car after he lay in the road playing chicken

AdjectiveCowardly: I was too chicken to go to court

Verb : Withdraw from or fail in something through lack of nerve: the referee chickened out of giving a penalty

And there are a host of chicken-related phrases that they have too…

The above chickens are the ones that are at our local village school and they provide a variety of entertainment and opportunities for discussion on our walk home or on the weekends when it is our turn to tend to them.

The lastest discussion is what caused me to go and find the definition of a chicken. The boys were chatting about food and we somehow got to the part where ( I generalise in my food ingredients here) sausages are made from pigs, hamburgers are made from cows and chicken is made from chickens. (Brave subject with a 7 & 5 year old!)

The youngest declares that we do not eat chickens! So the eldest pipes up, very officially, that we do and went through the what is made from which animal part of the discussion again-  by which time we were home.

I haven’t yet seen the side effects of the conversation, nor has it cropped up again. So for the moment, I sigh with relief and carry on cooking the sausages, chicken etc.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

throwing stones

Throwing Stones


Throwing Stones, countrykids, mumof2, mum of 2

Throwing Stones

Throwing Stones…we are forever telling children to NOT THROW STONES! In shouty voices I rather suspect. But is is all bad ?

Well, yes it is dangerous and it can injur someone or an animal (especially if a catapult is used and I am highly against catty’s as we call them in our house). Our children must learn there is a right way and wrong way to do something and have that internal monitor within themselves to figure out which is which.

cycling_freedom_2_mumof2So, when the rain finally stopped and the boys and I took the girls (aka our dogs) for a lovely long walk, the boys spotted the ‘safe spot’ for throwing stones. They know the check that there is enough space between them and that nobody is coming past and there are no animals that they can see in the field.

The hunt for their ‘perfect throwing stone’ begins and they can be there for ages trying to beat each other as to who threw the furthest or highest (note the cycle helmuts stay on haha!). Interestingly enough, there is no fighting as to who won as they are too busy looking for the next stone!

throwing_stones_2_mumof2Watching the sense of freedom along with building the skillsof throwing accurately is lovely to watch, but knowing that the boys are learning other life skills, like dealing with danger or figuring out whether something is safe to do or not for themselves is an even better skill that they are learning.

So, back to my original question : Throwing stones – is it all that bad?


  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall