Tag Archives: holiday club

Happy Holidays!

We’ve made it!

We almost literally limped to the end of term, but we made it, not withstanding the challenges of mock exams, shingles and Lyme disease. Homework was completed (and handed in), sports day was competed in (and won) and the last day was enjoyed in all the glory of own clothes and an early finish to the day.

We might only be a week in, but already G and M have been busy. We’ve squeezed in a couple of films they wanted to watch, the beach has been enjoyed with G’s godfather and his family visiting from Canada and they’ve kicked off this week by volunteering at our Church’s holiday club for primary-age children during the day as well as taking part in the evening’s youth club for teens.

And there are plans for the weeks ahead: G is spending a week volunteering at their Stagecoach’s summer school, a visit to London to see the musical of their choice thanks to London theatre’s Kids Week and even some fundraising for the fantastic Over The Wall which they’ve planned themselves (more details of that to follow). We don’t have a “big” summer holiday planned having been to Berlin during May half-term, but instead have decided to enjoy our local area as well as the occasional overnight visit to somewhere a little further afield in the UK.

One thing’s for certain, it’s looking to be a busy, fantastic and very happy summer holidays and I hope yours are too!

And so the holidays begin

We’re nearing the end of the first week of the summer holidays and what a busy week it has been:

G has been taking part in the Explore week arranged by her new secondary school, which allows the current Year 6s and 7s to meet each other, build some new friendships and orientate themselves around the school. 20140523_000817She has had lots of fun learning more about CSI techniques, photography and archery, with pottery, media and innovation and a Mini-Olympics still to come. I suspect G would be hard pressed to name her favourite, but the cookery session got a huge thumbs up from me. I had warned her in advance that, as I had no idea what they would be cooking, it would most probably be a case of preparing the food, but not being able to taste it herself. However, the amazing staff had made note of her allergies and provided gluten-free flour and a dairy-free alternative to the margarine for the cupcakes as well as gluten-free pasta for the pasta sauce they made. I needn’t have worried and couldn’t have asked for anything more.

cache_2460432896Whilst G has been engrossed in the numerous activities at school, M has been equally busy at the week-long holiday club organised by our church. Every year for the last 20+ years. around 250 children from our community have attended this holiday club, which is supported and run by our church. They take part in a whole range of activities from puppet-making to electronics, go out on a day trip and are entertained daily with songs and skits based cleverly on a set of themed Bible stories. M and G have been attending the club for a few years and M couldn’t wait to go along again this year. It’s been a different year for him with G choosing to do something else, but he’s loved every moment so far and can’t wait for the rest of the week.

Mike has had the week off work to support M and be one of the very many volunteers helping lead the groups and look after the children at the holiday club. Having survived the day’s activities, it has been a case of coming home for a quick tea before heading off with G to be a leader at the church’s youth club equivalent of the daytime holiday club, which runs every evening of this week. So far, he has splashed in the open air pool, had a cake built from raw ingredients on his head and indulged in a lengthy water fight. As for me, well, it’s been business as usual and after doing the “school-run” with G each morning, I’ve headed into my office to do a full day’s work. My evenings have been a little quieter than normal as once dinner is out of the way for us all it’s been just M and me to enjoy some time together before bed. All in all, a great start to the rest of our summer.

To ID or not to ID

With our holiday fast approaching, I’ve been considering whether M needs some form of medical ID to carry on him.  The concept isn’t a new one to me as I’ve had a Medic Alert bracelet for years for my T1D and regularly make sure the information held on file for me is up-to-date.  I’ve not previously felt it necessary to have such a band for M, but with his diagnosis of EGID and an increasing number of medicines and allergies to consider, I finally bit the bullet and decided to investigate what was on the market.  Part of the impetus to my search was seeing one of M’s school friends sporting one at our recent local music festival for his T1D and realising that this would be hugely important for those occasions when M is out and about without me or Mike on hand to explain.


Whilst my Medic Alert bracelet works well for me, the biggest problem would inevitably be the amount of information needed for M and I felt that it just wouldn’t accommodate it all.  I needed something that would appeal enough to M for him to be willing to wear it all the time as well as having enough room for me to note his name, DOB, emergency contacts, EGID, 12 medicines and 8 food allergies.  No small feat, but – and I doubt this will come as much of a surprise – there is something out there that does all this with ease.

20140803_200524The wonderful ID Band company has a range I couldn’t fail to be impressed by.  From bracelets to necklaces, sports bands to medical bags and the all important kids range, plus a whole host of “spares”, some of which you wouldn’t have even thought of until the moment you need them, there is pretty much everything you could conceivably want.  As well as the more traditional metal panels that you can get engraved with the exact wording you want, they also offer the product I was looking for – a wristband containing a card ID that you can personalise as necessary and the whole band is completely waterproof.  Cautious as ever, I browsed the site to check there was nothing better available, but kept coming back to this one band in particular.  The card ID was big enough to take all of M’s details, I could buy extra cards for when things change and the sizing was ideal for M’s small wrists.  Even better I could get it in green camo, just the thing to appeal to my small boy.

20140803_200443I placed the order on a Thursday afternoon, with my fingers crossed that it would arrive in time for our holiday and to my astonishment, the parcel dropped through our door the very next day.  I filled the information out and presented it to M, hoping that he would be keen to give it a whirl and not reject it out of sight.  I needn’t have worried – M was desperate to try it on straight away and has been more than happy to wear to his holiday club this week.  Once again, a massive double thumbs up from both children (well G wanted one too to state her allergies) and a hearty recommendation from this very satisfied Mum.

Delicious date and ginger cake

I hadn’t been planning on yet another bake, but I remembered at the last minute that the children needed cake for the following afternoon at their holiday club.  Once again I needed to work with whatever was hiding in the cupboards and although G was keen for me to make my chocolate cake, I wanted to head in a new direction.  We’ve only just finished the frozen chocolate cupcakes leftover from our fundraising at the end of May, so I relished the idea of something different.  I’d recently bought a packet of dates and decided to investigate a date and ginger concoction instead.

SAM_1364I couldn’t find a good allergy-friendly recipe to use, but settled on this recipe and adapted it to make it M-friendly.  These days I try to find recipes that have not only already done some of the work for me, be they gluten-free, vegan or otherwise allergy-friendly, but that also look relatively easy to bake.  Fortunately, given my ever-growing experience in the kitchen, I was able to work out my substitutes fairly quickly and, once the children were in bed, started in the kitchen.  My biggest challenge to date then faced me.  My electronic scales had given up the ghost – I’m guessing the repeated falling out of the cupboard really hadn’t helped – and I had to revert to using my Nigella cups for measuring the ingredients instead.  I’ve never baked using just cup measurements before as I usually convert them into grams and millilitres, but needs must and all, so I rolled up my sleeves and got on with it.

20140728_223632I needn’t have worried as the final cake was delicious, though perhaps a little overdone from 5 minutes too long in the oven.  The ginger was a bit strong, though M insists that won’t hinder him eating the cake.  G is less sure, but is happy to eat it in small pieces and certainly didn’t refuse the slice offered to her for holiday club.