Owls Group: Feed The Birds for Christmas, St. Anne’s Park, Raheny

Today we joined the OWLS nature group again in St. Anne’s Park for feed the birds this Christmas Event.   Same group where we did the Tree Climbing and Games event.  It was  essentially rubbing peanut butter on pine cones and rolling them in seeds and putting them on string.  Then they could take them home or hang them on the trees in the park – we opt’d for the second which was great as for some reason, I didn’t think it bring a bag or little tub to put the gooey sticky stuff in when done.

 

We met up with friends who also brought their kids to the park that day for the event too – when the boys were not playing soccer they were getting their hands dirty with the peanut butter mixture or climbing a tree.

We’ll keep an eye out for upcoming events as the kids really enjoy them with the OWLS group.

 

Owls Group: Tree Climbing in St. Anne’s Park, Raheny

A few families met up and attended the Tree Climbing meet up with the OWLS group in St Anne’s Park Raheny on Sunday.

I had a few mild heart attach as the kids got up too high for my liking. At one point a three year old was so high, her dad had to get her.  But not a bother on her – very brave girl.

A few games were played. 

Lots of fun for the kids.  We even played a mini match of football of dad & lad vs eachother.

After we ended up at Deer Park Howth for a few drinks and bite to eat.

It was a great day out and I wish they had move events like this at St Anne’s and Deer Park. A lot of their events are in Donabate and South Dublin parks – which are just a but too far to attend frequently.  

Tis’ the day to cut down our Christmas Tree

Every December, buying our Christmas tree is a major event in our house.  Okay when I think about it more, it is ME which makes it a bigger deal than it and I love the memories it brings for me and the kids.  As a child, we never cut down our tress – we just bought  one from the local seller and brought it home and put it up.  I have no cozy memories of tree farms  and I want that for my little ones.

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Our first year in Dublin, we set out on an adventure to cut down our own tree and ended up at Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm. and it was brilliant.  The tree was lovely and I want a good experience again this year with a bit more atmosphere.  You can’t beat a real tree which we pick out, cut down and enjoy in our home.  Plus a real, freshly-cut tree looks and smells great.

Only this year we willtry a different tree farm in the Wicklow Mountains – Wicklow Way Tree Farm in Roundstone.  Their  website looks great, clearly a full campaign was put in place.  If for some reason we could not find it, there are several in Wicklow so I’m sure it would be fine.

While it seems far, the drive from our house was just over 1 hour so not bad at all and we were into the mountains.  There was a bit of snow the night before and much more expected Sunday along with the fact that Nils is heading to the US for a week, we took advantage of this one day we had to get the tree in the mountains.

Once we reached Roundstone it was very easy to find our way – these blue signs lead us right to the farm.

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The farm was lovely – the staff was very friendly and informative and the instructions were clear.  Tag the tree, flag down a guy in blue and then relax and warm up while they cut down.  We parked the car and got out wellies on as the ground was very mucky and wet.  It wasn’t even 5 minutes before the kids noticed the white fluffy snow which fell last night and they were off and going crazy in it.

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We walked a while trying to find the right tree… kids played with the snow while I keep searching for the right one.  A few measurements and we found one that we all liked.

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After Soren watched the man cut down our tree, we had complimentary hot chocolate and minced pies & treats while we waited for our tree to be brought down from the field and a net put around it.

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Overall the experience was great – we’d highly recommend this tree farm to anyone who is looking to go pick out your own tree.  The cost was very reasonable too at £8. a foot, you can choose how much you want to spend.

Only problem is that our tree this year is a bit taller than before so I don’t have enough lights to cover it so tomorrow, we’ll go buy more led bright lights to add to it.

Will post a photo when completed with loads of new glass ornaments.

And the final decorated tree.

Glasnevin Cemetery Halloween Mid-Term Tales Tour

Today we met up with friends to take the Children’s Mid-Term Tales Tour of the Glasnevin Cemetery.  Glasnevin Cemetery hosted a one-of-a kind Halloween tour for children aged 6 – 12, running  The tour will be given by the Ace of Spades, who will terrifically terrify you with tales of gruesome truths and funny folklore. Are you curious to discover how the legend of the headless horse man came to pass or perhaps you’d like to hear the story of the unfortunate Vincent brothers and the cursed ‘Black Aggie’ statue?   The tour guys Alan and Warren very amusing!

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We first ate our lunch at the Whitworth Pub where the kids had their faces painted and then we headed off for a quick look at the decorated pumpkins at the Botanic Gardens.

With their faces painted and costumes on – we set out for the tour with Alan and Warren.

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It was really fun and the cemetery is really nice –  after being here for 3 years, it was our first time.   It’s a very peaceful, beautiful place and next time we’re at the Botanic Gardens for a walk through, we’ll pop over here being so close it’s a must.

 

Camping – 1st time for the kids

Now that the kids are in Beavers and Cubs and I’m hoping as an Assistant in the Beavers group, we decided to join the group for an overnight camp out.

I didn’t take many photos but as Nils was dropping us off, we did get this photo of the three budgies going in.

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It was a great time had by all.  It involved an orienteering mission, games, camp fire for the Cubs, sleeping in tents (boys in one and girls in another).  I suspected a few upset kids going to sleep without their parents and in my case without me, but not a tear.   It did take them a bit longer to get to bed, I think the Cub boys were up until 12:45 am or later.
I had my own single person tent which was fine – though if I ever do it again, as i’m sure we will, I need to invest in a proper sleeping mat – perhaps a self-inflating one.  A single foam yoga type mat is just not soft enough.  The seeping bag I had was perfect!  Loads of space, cool yet warm.

While I have been camping many times over the years with friends in New Hampshire, which was really side of the road, Kangamangus Highway camping where it was a booze fest, loads of fun and we would have to put our food in the coolers in the trees to be sure we didn’t attract bears.  Those we we have never camped as a family so it was extra special and fun.   Hopefully we can convince Nils to join us if we make it a “glamping” trip in a cabin??

But the worst part is the One HUNDRED THOUSAND MIDGET BITES ON SOREN’S HEADand Maebh’s face!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pancakes The Enchanted Forest Pannenkoekenhuis Het Betoverde Bos

Our kids love a good Pannenkoekenhuis when we are in The Netherlands.  In fact, they have one favorite one in a cute village called Esch.  It’s the Pancakes The Enchanted Forest or Pannenkoekenhuis ‘Het Betoverde Bos’t.  It’s not far from Pake & Beppe’s house and it’s yummy and loads for the kids.

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Inside seating

On Soren’s last day of football camp, we took him here for pancakes to celebrate his hard week – football and 100% Dutch kids so language was tricky!  Though he loved it!

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Pirate Pancake

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Princess Pancake

Inside is quite pretty – a small play area for kids, a trail inside where you find letters and butterflies hidden to decode a secrete message and the shop which you can buy cheap plastic made in China toys for your tokens which you earn based on what you buy.   They tend to get 10 silver coins so end up with a frisbee, sword or skipping rope.  Each time it differs and each time within 24 hours, the item is broken.  But it’s all fun and they love it so why not.

Outside is a great open terrace and a play area with a giant bouncy pillow, swings, a tunnel and two in the ground trampolines so loads for the kids to do while us parents enjoy our beer in the sun – harassed by wasps in the summer.

While Maebh did cartwheels on the pillow, Soren did flips on the trampoline – giving me a near heart attack.

The only one problem we have here is that they never take foreign credit cards and there is no bank machine nearby so remember bring cash!!

I have more photos from a past trip – will see what I can find and post here.

I swear this is the best business idea around – easy to make pancakes which all kids love! And if we are ever living in Hollands, I am sure birthday parties at the pancake house are very popular!

Fall in Ireland = Blackberry picking

Back home in New England it’s a big tradition to visit farms, go apple picking, pumpkin picking and leaf peeping and eat all things pumpkin spice in the autumn. It’s the season I miss most!! 

Here, sadly, we might spy a colourful tree and  I freak out. There is this ONE tree near the Dart station which I point out each time I drive by on the way home.   f I remember, I’ll take a photo of this poor one tree.  Weather permitting, we’re going to pop over to the Botanic Gardens next weekend – hopefully some nice leaves will be on the trees/ground.

Soren was at soccer practice, Maebh and I set off behind Deer Park and picked some blackberries.

For some reason, all the lovely bushes along Howth Celtic were crushed down by a bulldozer – not sure why but I must ask Michael next home game.

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Sadly all these bushes were toppled and crushed.

I have no idea what to make with them so they are in the freezer until we decide what to do – probably a crumble.