Tuesday, 9 September 2014

You know you're doing something right when...

One of your loads of washing, on a busy catch up day, is ENTIRELY made up of dressing up costumes!

It goes all quiet so you have a nose around to see what they're all up to and EVERYONE has their nose in a book, even the baby.

You buy a particular work book (on request) and it's devoured in a couple of days.

They'd rather play tea-parties with the downstairs girls than watch tv.

When they DO want to watch tv, they're clamouring for classic Star Trek.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

I went down to the allotment today at about 4.00pm, just me and Hoofie - it was warm, sunny and blissfully quiet, just what I needed after a fun but extremely full on day of a return to full table time, Middle East essays, craft projects, a library trip and three extra children - phew!

It certainly seems to be getting warmer again, I wondered if it would - when the last of August is yucky then often we have a bit of a St Martin's summer, so fingers crossed...

We're looking to bound into the history of our town and local area now, that should be fun.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Welcome to Autumn!

I do love autumn, my favourite season. Plenty to harvest, not too cold yet but a relief from the heat and humidity of summer, and still some sun and warmth. Perfect.

Nice day today. Exasperating at times but still full of the good stuff. Breakfast was its normal smorgasbord of porridge, toast, cereal and books - we also discussed and wrote the menu and shopping list.

After breakfast I took Fluff, Petal, Dot and Hoofie and we did the weekly food shop while Roo and Wig did their table time and Papacrow helped them with their study on the middle east that we are finishing up from August. I got back, dropped of the kids and headed straight back to the supermarket as I had discovered, on getting to the till, that I had left my purse at home. *Sigh.*

I will say that Sainsburys were exemplary - they couldn't have been kinder and didn't make me feel silly or naughty or anything! Petal had fun spending some of her birthday money on some very delectable fluffy bunny slippers, new princess wand (her old one has bitten the dust) and a toy phone.

Lunch is always pleasant just after shopping! Papacrow went up to get some more words in on his latest project, Roo settled down to Conquer Maths, there was Magic and reading and Dot, Petal and Hoofie played with tea sets and real tea! Well, Jasmine loose-leaf, so herbal infusion really, but they had fun. Saurus went off to his college enrolment day and then to his friend's house for a sleepover.

It was too windy and chilly for our planned Home Ed meet up on the beach so that was cancelled and instead we saddled up and went to the allotment where the sun came out and we were surprisingly productive! We picked a few more raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, courgettes (green and yellow) and butternut squash. We un-netted the peas and got string up for them instead, weeding as we went, and even picked a few pea pods - most of which got popped and scoffed down then and there - delicious! We tied up the french beans and picked LOTS - there are so many, hurrah! Still loads to come off when they get a big bigger and some still flowering. The corn is looking great, as are the parsnips, and the strawberries are flowering again - not just one or two but quite a lot of the bed! We'll see how that goes, I still have to sort out the runners which are heading into the squash which itself is running into the strawberry bed as they are next door to each other, so there's a bit of a West Side Story dance off going on at the moment. We had a nice chat with the C from the allotment next door, and she gave us some runner beans to try - apparently they are vastly superior to shop ones (which none of us like) so we'll see!

Home again for free time - they mostly descended on screens while Papacrow and I cooked and tidied with Hoofie's help. Dinner was pasta bake which included allotment beans and corgette, followed by left over birthday cake. Then baths, lots of stories, Wig and Hoofie built a lovely train track and after everyone else - including Hoofie - were all in bed (by 8.30pm, not bad going at all) Roo and I settled down to the new series of Only Connect. Wonderful!

Yesterday, it is worth noting, Petal had her birthday party with about twenty odd little friends and associated parents - much fun was had by all :D

Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Book Log

Not much reading here this month as you can see - partly because I fixed my tablet so it would link up to our wifi again so I had blog and twitter access during the day again, and partly because I was beavering away finishing writing my third book! Also there were a couple of new to me books that I started but couldn't get on with and abandoned.

New to me
Tales of Ancient Egypt, Penguin
Picked this up at our home ed summer fair, really enjoyable, some new to me, usual high standard that I expect from this series.


Re-reads
The Wombles to the Rescue by Elizabeth Beresford

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
What can I say, we had a day where it rained ALL day so I had to start a Christie!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Autumn List Making

It's that time of year. August is coming to an end, we've a had a glorious week or two of carefree sleepovers and magic tournaments and lots and LOTS of movies and computers games galore, but now friends and relations are getting ready to get back to school and I'm itching to re-inspire with table time and go through every basket and buy lots of new pens, that sort of thing!

Saurus is off to his second year at college.

Roo is getting his maths and english up to GCSE level and deciding between school or college for next year. Or possibly even GCSEs at home, though I'm not sure that's the best idea. We'll see.

Wig is reading a lot which is great, and I want to gently get him back into regular writing, and maybe expanding that a bit more.

Fluff, Petal and Dot are all beginner, very beginner or tumbling on the cusp readers, and as well as keeping up with our daily diaries and work books (they do love a good work book, all of them) I'm loving what Elizabeth Foss has been writing about a picture book based curriculum, and I want to commit to reading a lot more picture books with them most days (I'm not counting story after bath time here), say four or five out of seven.

Sports - Petal and Dot will doing weekly ballet again, Petal a bit more in preparation for her first exam - exciting, she can't wait!

Fluff's football has moved from Saturday morning to Monday evening which is good (I'm hoping I can fit the weekly food shop round it, too.)

Tennis on a Thursday morning will be starting up soon too, Roo, Wig, Fluff and possibly Dot have all signed up for that, and of course there is the weekly karate, and I want to get swimming on the cheap Wednesday mid day slot more - maybe twice a month?

I also want to commit to getting out at least once every day, whether it be to a park or the allotment, and we'll be keeping to the weekly library trip too. I also need to make sure we're getting to the zoo two or three times each month to keep that annual membership being worth it.

We've mapped out monthly project up to December, and are looking forward to Autumn Watch (and Strictly! And Doctor Who has just started, hoorah!)

I also want to commit to a game of some sort - if not every day, then four or five days out of every seven, and a different one each time at that - we have plenty to choose from. Hive, Bang!, Magic, Munchkin, Settlers of Caitan, etc etc etc.

And some kind of music and art study most days - again, four or five out of seven is a realistic target. Even if it's just feltips and doodle books and a new to them classic album in the CD player!

Phew! Then there's the housework... We're pretty much moving to vaccing twice a week and Saurus, Roo and Wig handle that. Bathroom cleaning twice a week is really not quite enough now so I'm moving to three times, typically Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It might sound like overkill but this way it rarely takes me more than ten minutes and keeps looking nice all week round. Plus I can't stand damp towels, yuk!

So yes, schedule tweaking a plenty here in the nest - luckily I've love all that sort of thing, because it's one of those endless sort of endeavours, isn't it!

Book Them and They Will Come

Strewing. It really does work... Look!


Artfully laid out inciting good stuff...


I trap an unsuspecting child...


And she happily spent next half an hour (at least) thus -


Carefully sketching skulls!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A Very Petally Birthday To You All!


I'm glad to say she had a wonderful day!


Lots of exciting presents...


She liked everything...


And a good time was had by all, in fact!


There was the traditional car crash cake, aka as Elsa's Ice Castle..




Which thankfully she loved! She was thrilled to get some money to spend too, and we went off, just us two and she had a ball in Hobby Craft. Then we tottered across the car park to Pizza Hut and I treated her to lunch before we rolled home and she watched some of her new dvds (Riders of Burke) and we went to the park before Papacrow made burgers (her request for her birthday dinner) and watched - Frozen! of course!

So... Now she is seven. Gosh. Seven. And looking forward to ballet starting again in a few weeks. And of course, there is THE birthday party on Sunday.... I'll let you know all about it once I've survived it!

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