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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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A different kind of tomato #OreoCookieQuest

If you have followed me on Instagram for a while, you might remember my optimistic son bringing back a science experiment, last summer. The class had planted tomato seeds and made sure they had the basics: water, food and light. At the end of the experiment, they proudly brought their plants home.

While the rest of his classmates labelled their precious seedlings as “tomato”, my son, decided to call his plant “Oreo”, because we grow enough tomatoes and he fancied growing Oreos instead. As I said, he was optimistic.

At the end of the summer, Oreo plant had produced a good crop, but there was not a single biscuit among the basket of red, juicy tomatoes. My darling son faced up to the fact that the name was not enough, and wandered off munching on a tomato.

This year

Now, he has totally bought into the idea of healthy eating, which tomatoes fit into perfectly, but there is still room in his day for a biscuit treat or two, so he tells me. His quest to secure a source of his favourite biscuits, Oreos, is ongoing. He came to me for advice. Of course, if he’d gone to his father, he would probably have been taken to the shops to buy a pack.

Instead he came to me. I can never resist the chance of a bit of fun.

At the moment, we are doing a lot of code cracking and logic games. With this in mind, I decided to suggest a brain exercising quest to find a source of Oreos. He thought this sounded good.

As is the way in our household, no-one wants to be left out, so his sisters wanted in on the quest too. That’s good. At the moment they could all do with something to distract them from other matters.

Everyone dug deep and joined in with spirit. They seized on the idea of dressing up for the quest. Cloaks, beards and furry leg warmers. What kind of a quest would it have been otherwise? Venturing out into the snow to retrieve the scroll from the bare branches of our fig tree. Plenty of laughter that would not have been amiss if you happened to pass a Hobbit’s hole when dwarves were being entertained.

(Thank you to both teens who joined in and humoured their 10 year old brother so wonderfully.)

The quest began. It involved solving puzzles, based on science, maths and general knowledge, making it a brilliant STEM activity. It really kept them entertained.

The first clue was a list of chemical elements. They translated this list into the chemical symbols (Oxygen = o, Nitrogen=n, etc) which spelt out the next clue – “on the shelves in kitchen cupboards“. With a swish of cloaks, they found their first word among the bowls and egg cups.

Then on to the next clue, involving missing words in film titles – “How to find stars at night time?” Beards floated as they spun off to the telescope for the next clue.

Third clue involved matching colours of birds to names and multiplying the numbers beside them, to find letters to rearrange. This may have been the most convoluted of my clues, but they figured it out. Along with the fourth one which used my code wheel.

Final part was to put the four retrieved words together – garment, vintage, rotate, dehydrated. Bit stumped by this one until I suggested a Thesaurus. The penny dropped. They retrieved their prize, a small bowl of Oreos, from the drum of the old tumble dryer. Well, they weren’t likely to look there, were they?

We had fun. At the end of a tough week, the children let their hair down, donned cloaks and beards, and enjoyed a quest and adventure together. I think they deserved their prize.

Although, truth be told, the youngest is still optimistic that he might find another source of his favourite Oreo biscuits soon. You never know. With a last swish of his cloak and a packet of tomato seeds in his pocket, he disappeared, to plan his next quest. He made quite a sight with his slightly crumpled wizard hat set on top of his head, as he disappeared over the snow clad hill. Accompanied, on either side, by two cloaked figures.

Did you know Oreo is celebrating The Great Oreo Cookie Quest, which seems like another fun, and interactive way, to win great prizes? Oreo fans also have the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex through an on-pack promotion.

This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

P.S. Thank you for your comments last week. You have no idea how much they meant to me.  I’ve added a Blue the hound update to my last post.

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