Saturday, December 17, 2005


O's Party with his friends was shared with a couple girls from his class, the party was held at the London Butterfly House and it was delightful being in there with so many children, fluttering butterflies and the awe of it all. lots of fun was had!


for o & j's b'day we had some friends around Sunday afternoon, had a really nice time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Noisiest Birthday Boy in the Park

For the month of December the boys have a brilliant Advent Calandar quilt made by their fabulous G'ma, for every day there is a little house that holds a little gift inside. On the 4th there is just one gift for the birthday boy. What mother would buy their own child a VOICE DISTORTER!!?! So on this day we took our Christie for a run in Richmond Park and our Birthday boy took his very very loud voice changer - its 9am there are alot of park users excercising and there is this little boy wandering along making big big noises through this little device. Very funny!


Little O's class went for a school trip to the local fire station. We drive past it everyday on our way home and there isn't a day now that he doesn't loudly remind us of his recent visit!

Cub Scout Weekend

Did you know that part of the Cub Scout Uniform is a hanky? - just in case he has a bloody nose!?! So, tonight before going to Cubs we had to frantically look for a hanky - to no avail - I hope he still gets full points for his team on the uniform inspection!

The weekend away camping was very exciting - only a few days before he had been allowed to move up from being a Beaver to becoming a Cub of the Comanchees. This was his first weekend away without his family and lets just say he didn't seem to notice! He was full of the confidence of a fresh 8 year old. Brilliant!


3 weeks ago S celebrated his birthday with a rock climbing party, shared with his friend. They had along about 12 of their friends for an afternoon of hanging around the walls in west london.

he reached the top, his first real adrenaline rush - he's not so sure if he liked it...!

Plenty of butterflies in tummies as they were challenged to something new.

Then on the day of his birthday he got a motorbike!

and we went for a family dinner to pizza hut and to the games room for some healthy competition on the air hockey table! fun! We also met some friends for a Sunday Lunch at the pub with a chocolate cake to smile about!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Guy Fawkes Night 2005

Friday night we joined loads of our friends at a local school for a fireworks display. We had fun running around in the dark, eating hotdogs and watching the display. Saturday night we had Mum and Dads friends over and we climbed on the roof to watch fireworks, we lit our own mini bonfire and we had fun watching our £10 box of fireworks go up in sparks. Most fun was had playing with the hundreds of sparklers - making pretty patterns and trying to burn down our hedge.

Monday, November 07, 2005

As you do...

These two boys decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk in the park in the dark wearing tinted swimming goggles...

Sunday, November 06, 2005


4 weeks ago we bought a 3month old Boa Constrictor. 2 weeks later we lost it. 2 weeks after that we found it, sitting on top of the wooden train track!! What a surprise for Daddy, since we all thought Bruce had slithered out the window and was gone for good. We are very happy to have him back in his vivarium, watching him move from log, to branch to bonsai, feeding him baby mice and excercising him through our fingers.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Africa at the British Museum

Today Samuel went to the British Museum with his class and I went on my first "excursion" since I was at school. What fun! We stayed in the three basement rooms showing beautiful african artifacts. Samuel had to draw 2 things that he saw in each room, they especially liked drawing a tree of life made out of gun parts, very symbolic. We MUST go to the British Museum more!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


These young pirates joined a few young witches, a skeleton and other scary things to collect sweets from the neighbours. They were very happy to have collected the mostest sweets EVER.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Campers

This week was half term holidays, on Wednesday I took the boys camping in the New Forest with 3 other mums and their kids (total 8 kids). Thursday we went for a walk in a pretty part of the forest, where we oooohed and aaaaahed at the prettiness of Autumn and the fabulous mushrooms. We came across a Posse of Pigs, very cute and not at all big and scary like Australian wild pigs (the two Aussie mums didn't know this and were alarmed, warning everyone to keep away!) The pigs are allowed into the forest in Autumn to eat the acorns so the horses don't eat too many and get sore tummies, we also saw deer. The kids LOVED it all. They spent alot of time back at camp being by far the loudest most active kids around and rode their bikes like maniacs. We BBQ'd for breakfast lunch and dinner and ate our fair share of meat... All this activity did not wear them out.
Friday we donned our "wet shoes" and started a walk that took us through marsh, up a big hill of dying Heather, along Moors through a pine forest, down the ridge to a Ford, where the kids semi-stripped and got sprayed by the cars driving through the water, they also petted the baby donkey, wipped the horses to stop them eating our picnic lunch, swung from the swing and had a thoroughly good time. We dryed them off - well tried to, crossed the the road and viola! A Sand Pit - a massive sand dune in the middle of nowhere. So, wet clothes and sand go really nicely together - they rolled all the way down this huge dune, played and rolled and played some more. Christie (our dog) also had ALOT of fun running down the big hill, tumbling, bouncing, playing and rolling and playing. Then all tired, we were about half way...we followed the ridge past red with white spot mushrooms, pink, brown, bright yellow, orange, purple, black brown and beige mushrooms buy the shed load - I have never seen SO many mushrooms and toadstools as I did this weekend. Then we went down from the ridge and back to the river and found a Faerie Dell !!!! I had also NEVER seen a real faerie dell, there were all these teeny tiny little houses everywhere, with little knick nacks, those faeires had gone to a real effort and there were LOADS of them!! it was amazing. O claims he saw a real faerie, but I'm not so sure since they are really really shy. Anyway, the kids decided that this gorgeous little part of the river was the place to get out of control with the splishing and splashing and they just jumped right on in, fully clothed. Luckily this is the warmest end of October I've ever known... a few of us nearly lost our boots in the bog too! All VERY exciting, especially with pants down trying to do a wee...So then we walked back along the edge of the lane to our camp "Red Shoot". These children had just walked a staggering 10 miles!!! Thats like 16km!!!!!! So I have awarded O The Little Trooper Award (attached). I was so so impressed by how well he did, he was out the front with Christie and I the whole time - being the little trooper! Well, you would've thought they'd sit down for a rest, but nup, straight onto the bikes and doing massive skids towards our camp. In fact, in the morning they were skidding on the wet grass, and I was in the kombi, tidying up when BAAANG. I though "what the *%£! was that, must have been hit by a rolling car". Nope, it was my Samuel skidding out of control - brakes not working - straight into the van!?! Being the big strong brave boy that he is, he was OK, thank goodness.
So today, we pottered and packed up camp. Then I took the boys to a Reptiles and Raptors park. We saw the Reptile show and can I just say that I am A LITTLE BIT glad that S lost the Boa Constrictor that we bought a couple of weeks ago...those things get frikken massive! He loved the reptile park tho and thought he wanted a Bird Eating Tarantula instead of a sneaky escape artist snake - no chance. We have decided that Chameleons are less likely to escape and are pretty cool too...
So we rolled into our street singing "you are my sunshine" at the top of our lungs, with a heaving, muddy, wet, smelling of wood smoke van full of camping stuff and J was out partying with his friends - thanks Peff! ;) Its prolly a good thing he was out, because I went on a cleaning rampage and its all washed and packed for our next adventure!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Crunching and Lunching

We've been back at school now for 5 weeks! Its flown - O has started reception class and is finishing at 12pm. This means that I only get to work 1.5hours per day- not complaining! It is busy being a lovely crunching Autumn right now and because I finish early it means O & I have special lunches everyday - often with his little friends over. Recently we met for a picnic in Kew Gardens. The children were collecting conkers, throwing leaves and taking rude photos of each other...

Conkers are the big brown shiny chestnuts that children collect. A month ago I witnessed the rape of a Horse Chestnut tree in the park that had conkers that were not yet dropping and the impatient children had sticks and were beating the poor tree to knock the conkers down. The tree was left with torn branches and no leaves, let alone conkers! Now the conkers have all fallen and the children are happily playing with them - this is where they drill a hole, thread string through and then hit each others conkers and the last conker in one peice is the winner.

See the pics of O & his girlfriends enjoying the Autumn!

Monday, September 12, 2005


I have finally relented to the football mania that this country rams down the throats of anyone who ever sees any media - that includes my little boys. This past Saturday was the first, of what I feel is going to be many, 9am mornings at the rec watching parents sip tea watching their children run around after a ball. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get them out the door for a 9am start and wondered why on earth isn't it that easy from Monday to Friday? As parents we aren't that into football, its not our nations sport - we prefer to lose at Rugby and the boys arrived in there regular clothes, they were the only ones out of the 100 + kids that were there, and they felt a little out of place. But with some parental pressure they both finally joined in with their respective age groups for the 1 1/2 hours. If I handed out pressure for them to join in - it was nothing compared to the pressure I was then getting to buy the "kit". I didn't hear another sentance without the word "kit" thrown in for the next 3 hours. I relented and we tripped to the sport shop - football shoes £20+ each, football shorts for a 7year old £15 each!...£80 flipping quid later they were "kitted" out. Happy as pigs in mud, this was fantastic - they pranced and preened for the entire Saturday on, shoes off, shoes on, shoes off, socks folded this way, socks folded that way - how do you fold those bloody great long socks anyway? I am telling you, every day I am asked if today is the day they get to go and play football again...I have a feeling its going to be money well spent, oh, hang on I haven't paid the club registration fees yet! Rain, snow or shine, those boys are going to be fully kitted out and chasing that ball around EVERY Saturday morning.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

the trouble with boys

school started this week, big move into juniors for S and O starts reception class - all very grown up. today after school we took Basti and Elliot to the playground and they were climbing the spider web, playing on the swings and whistfully watching the icecream van. Its a sunny, blue sky afternoon warm and delicious. I was training our mad dog and looked over to see Elliot screaming and running to the bench where I had been sitting. I ran over and tried to calm him - something that I am becoming accustomed to with this boy.
Incident 1: the first time he came camping with us we went riding in the forest (Unbekownst to me had just learnt to ride his bike), he came off his bike hitting the gravel hard as his bike death wobbled down the hill. Hours of screaming I wondered if he'd broken his arm, turned out he was petrified of grazes - we took him home that afternoon - age 5.
Incident 2: he was over at our house and he was running onto the deck, his foot slipped off the edge and he slammed his head into a metal chair, splitting open his eyebrown. Blood spurting everywhere, with 4 other horrified children I had to make another dreaded call to his mother and a trip to the hospital - age 6.
Incident 3: Today, age 7, Elliot was playing with the boys, he was provoked, he responded with force and then trying to escape the inevitable he was pushed while climbing over the railing. He landed flat on his face and broke both his arms!!!!!! Arrrgh - he lay on the bench bawling and wailing for his mummy. She came and we both thought it was just grazing on his face and arm(which he really doesn't like), his Mum took him to the Dr and then to 2 hospitals. Poor little Elliot, his 2nd day of school - he can't write, he can't eat, he can't go to the loo....oh I feel so so so badly for him. AND, I feel like I am jinxed looking after him, he has had too many accidents while in my care - In future I promise to be very careful and watchful and closely supervise Elliot.

I wanted this Blog to be funny renditions involving the children - there is just nothing funny about this incident. Boys play full on and as the mothers of the two boys involved said: boys will be boys, but why, oh why, do they get hurt in the process?

Monday, September 05, 2005

where to start

welcome to our family blog - where any one of us can let you know what we are, who we are, where we are what we doing & being - new adventures of the rhodes family. but its mainly for S and O to let you know whats going on for them to keep you in touch with their extraordinary lives.

This past weekend was a great one, S woke up with 2 vampire bites on his neck. We went to the local Fayre and were on a ride when a suspicious character was seen to be hanging around (see closely at picture). We decided he needed to get out the knife he bought camping last week and whittle a wooden stake to destroy the vampire. We went for a walk in Sheen Common, where we got lost and lost our dog but we found a perfect wooden stick. Sunday afternoon was spent whittling in the shade in the garden and then last night the stake was kept under his pillow. The vampire returned and was destroyed - thank goodness for that!

O says: is it for real?
I say: look at the pictures and decide for yourself

mad dog n mad cops

today was interesting - we had the burn boys over and decided the best way to get tired out, slowed down and get more wood to whittle was to go for a walk, with christie our mad dog. we were walking through the forest, busy shooting at trees n stuff with the sling shot and the cap guns - and I noticed christie wasn't around at about the same time I noticed cars slowing down. we started calling our mad dog and at about the same time I noticed a herd of nervous deer in the forest. she returned to us with adrenaline pumping at about the same time I noticed a cop car was slowly making its way off the road. i quickly made my way around a fence and called for the children to hurry up, too late they only started running when they noticed the cop car making its way towards them through the forest. yes officer these 5 children are mine, yes, I'm not from this country, yes, I own the dog. no, I didn't know she was causing mayhem and splitting herds of deer and almost causing car pile ups. yes, i'm thankful its not going to court and i'm thankful you didn't shoot her and i don't have to pay anything. yes, i'll keep her on a lead...and you can trust me, you don't have to go and watch us all walk away from that inconspicuous hiding place behind the shrubbery!

an incident like that can only be followed by a good feed of mini chocolate coated donuts.