Friday, 30 April 2010

Home Ed Group

Yesterday we joined in with our local group that meets on a fortnightly basis.  The lass who runs the group is very organised and usually sends out a mailing listing proposed activities, yesterday's itinerary included:  decorating a bottle/jam jar to make a vase, planting seeds, a recorder lesson and learning circus skills.  Benedict decorated his bottle with the Moomin characters and Pip planted Livingstone Daisies as well as attempting to eat the soil!  It was Benedict's first attempt at learning the recorder and he did well, it's just up to me now to encourage him to practise before the next meeting.  He also had a go with a Diablo, it was a shame Sara was not with us as she could have taught some tricks to the kids.  The rest of the time was spent charging around the adjoining field playing frisbee and kicking a ball around.

After lunch Benedict planted seeds with Dad in the greenhouse and then visited his old school to borrow more books from their reading scheme.  Whilst he was out Sara sat with Pip at the table and the two of them had fun making swirls on the paper.  Tea time was soon upon us and Benedict helped chop the tomatoes waiting to be fried and Pip as ever was to be found on my back!

Benedict's photo of his efforts.

This morning we worked on subtraction skills using the Cuisinaire Rods, counted in two's and worked on the two times table - Benedict is still having difficulty remembering the answers for the tables but I know that at some point it will click.  This is what happened with his reading and now he is a voracious reader!  After this Benedict followed the guidance in the Usborne I Can Draw Series and drew a beautiful reindeer to add to his collection of a monkey and a bee.  He has also read several books of his own choosing including The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter.  As I write he is now resting in bed as I'm sure he is brewing an infection, again!

Edited To Add:  A phone call from the GP this afternnoon confirmed my suspicions, another kidney infection is brewing, so another course of anti-biotics, the second set this month.  Benedict as usual is very matter of fact about the whole thing, good job too, I suppose!

Pip's Indoor Picnic!

I was cooking tea the other night and Pip was rattling the kitchen gate and shouting.  In an effort to keep the peace and upon realising she might be hungry I made her Marmite and cheese sandwiches.  An impromptu indoor picnic was just what this gal needed:


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

We've Been...

... digging for dinosaurs, creating with Lego, reading, reading and more reading, cuisinairing, mask colouring, planting and watering and asking many questions too numerous to list and some for which I did not have the answer!  Daddy is a fount of knowledge so we always defer to him otherwise Yahoo makes a reasonable alternative!  Here are some pics from the past week:

Pip has two main areas of "learning" at the moment.  First up his her speech, she babbles loads and attempts to make words, mama, dada, rara (for sara), bir (bird), boo bear  and she loves singing the first bit of row, row the boat.  The second area is her physical development, not only can she  climb onto the window bottom, fire guard and play kitchen, she has now worked out how to get onto the dining room chairs.  Hmm, so all the stuff we normally pile into the the middle of the table will now have to find a permanent home elsewhere.  I'm seriously considering letting her loose in the garden all day and she can attempt to climb the trees instead of the furniture!  I thought our Sara was fearless but Pip wins the gold cup hands down!  Still, you cannot be cross with her, especially when she usually looks like this:

Oh to be a toddler, what fun! 


Friday, 23 April 2010

Dig For Victory!

Finally the Anderson Shelter and Model Garden is complete.  In typical engineering style, Dave and Benedict expertly reinforced the base and apparently it can withstand the weight of an adult, sigh!  It's been a looong time finishing and with hindsight I'm wondering if too long as Benedict was running out of steam towards the end.  Still I'll give him 10 out of 10 for perseverance in times of apathy and boredom!  I think the finished result is pretty good even if I say so myself.  The dig for victory campaign has also sparked  a discussion on self sufficiency and its relevance today.  As a result we've been watching old episodes of The Good Life as well as  The Edible Garden currently showing on BBC Two.  Both programmes are providing much food for thought in addition to that in the garden!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Enjoying the sunshine

Benedict's blood sugars are still unstable and this affects his concentration greatly.  Despite having ridiculously high readings throughout this morning he did manage to finish his reading book, worked on his two times table and ordering of numbers in multiple of two's, enjoyed drawing a beautiful firework picture and played a game of Monopoly with Dad. 

 It was good for the two of them to be together and work undisturbed!  Peace and quiet reigned as I took Pip to toddlers.  It was absolutely chaotic with toys, toddlers and parents; Pip thoroughly enjoyed herself and was not the least bit phased with all the noise.  The best part was the singing session at the end, loads of percussion instruments for the little ones and to accompany the singing was a guitar, keyboard and violin.  It was lovely for me too, as I met with mums I had not seen in ages, now we are no longer involved with the school run.

We are at Home Ed Group tomorrow and cheese making is on the menu, so hopefully there will be a picture post next time.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Cracking Cheese Gromit!!

 Dave, Benedict and Sara joined others from our local HE group for an afternoon all about cheese.  The event consisted of a video and demonstration about cheese making.  Afterwards there was an opportunity to sample various wares aswell as a welcome cup of tea and an ice cream in the adjacent cafe!!  The day was a great success and next week at the HE group the kids will be given the opportunity to make their own cheese.  Here are some pictures from the day:

Furniture Moving Again!!

As a result of this picture, I spent the afternoon reorganising the toys in an attempt to make this home environment Pip proof!!

The Big Garden Tidy Up!

Following on from the previous post, I decided to take the bull by the horns and tackle the garden!  With hindsight I ought to have taken a before shot but instead a narrative will do!  The borders were dug over, weeds pulled, lawn mowed and  edged, seeds and bulbs planted, garden shed organised and swept and wood debris burned!  Sara in all fairness did come out part way through and helped me shift the bags of seed potatoes and she assumed responsibility of building and tending the mini bonfire.

Chocolate stuffed bananas on the camp fire!


Benedict and Sara enjoying the fruits of their labours!

Since these pictures were taken more seeds have been planted in the indoor mini greenhouse, a trio of pinks have been placed in front of one of the apple trees, cyclamen bulbs scattered under the corden of apple/pear trees and the onion sets are nestled nicely in one of the raised beds.  Apart from continuous planting, the decking needs painting as does the wooden outdoor furniture, so we have a rolling programme of garden work to occupy us all throughout  the Summer!

Monday, 12 April 2010

End of Week Round Up

We've been blessed with quite good weather and so the sandpit has been retrieved from the back of the shed.  It now has pride of place on the lawn which  needs a good haircut since Spring has arrived!  The garden is a love/hate relationship with me... I love looking at gardens, reading about them and watching gardening programmes, but when it comes to doing the doing, I see it as a chore rather than a relaxing hobby!  Still we have been blessed with a good sized plot of land and with soaring food prices etc I'm determined once again to do my bit for stewardship of God's good Earth.  With this in mind I think there might be hope for me yet as last night  I watched a brilliant programme entitled  "The Edible Garden" fronted by Alys Fowler, one of the presenters from Gardener's World.  Her task last year was to be as self sufficient as possible yet also to have a garden that looked as good as it tasted.  One of the principles she followed was that of Permaculture, so i've begun googling around for ideas!

It was also the Feast of Divine Mercy today and Benedict and I attended our local Cathedral Church for prayers, adoration and confession.  It was such a comfort to be in the presence of the Lord and to receive healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  A beautiful end to a lovely week, Praise God!

Special visitors - Aunty Maureen giving Pip a cuddle...


... and so does Uncle Bryan!

Benedict hasn't forgotten how to ride his trike!

More Soil Mechanics studies. Do we have a potential MICE* here? 

(*Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers - dad is only an AMICE - Associate MICE)


Thursday, 8 April 2010

Practical Living

My Grandad always said that, "fingers were invented before forks!" but in an effort to keep up with the family and increase one's chances of taking tea with the Queen, look what this little princess has been up to:

Just waiting for an invite any day now!!!

Practical Skills

My Grandad always said that, "fingers were invented before forks!"
but in an effort to keep up with the family and increase one's chances
of taking tea with the Queen, look what this little princess has been up

 Just waiting for an invite any day now!!!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A Budding Jamie Oliver!

Benedict loves helping in the kitchen and is a very competent sous-chef!  On today's lunchtime menu there was: Asparagus and ham quiche, new potatoes and mixed vegetables.  This was followed by fruit for the grown ups and tasty jam tarts for Benedict and Pip.  There was only enough left over pastry to make two tarts as you will see from the photos a certain little lady got very messy!!  Here are the photos of our kitchen fest:

"Hmm, this looks interesting"

"Here goes!"

"Not bad, I'll just have another taste to make sure..."

I think we can safely say that, Pip approves of her brother's culinary expertise! 

Monday, 5 April 2010

Another Bookworm in the Making!!

Pip's favourite place is to sandwich herself between the armchair and the bookcase.  Here she is attempting to read our Diocesan Directory!! 

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Been A While

We've been on an Easter break in these parts and have slowed down with formal learning and instead got on with daily living.  The house was desperate for a major clean and the downstairs rooms were finally tackled once the hallway had been stripped of wallpaper(thanks Dad, you're a STAR) and then replastered.

We've kept up with the local Home Ed groups and they are proving to be a source of encouragement and friendship.  At the last meet Benedict and the other children made chocolate Easter nests and dyed and decorated hard boiled eggs.  We've also visited Grandparents and Aunty Maureen and Uncle Bryan, as promised Aunty Mo made leek and potato soup, baked spuds and salad and Benedict's all time favourite jelly and ice cream!

Here are some pics of the past two weeks:

Steady progress on the Anderson Shelter Model and Garden.

Aunty Maureen and Uncle Bryan.

Miss Philippa J looking very grown up with bunches!

A Happy Chap with his Jelly and Ice Cream!


Starting to paint our Solar System mobile, which includes Pluto which is no longer classified as a planet!  Still that little guy is needed to balance out the other planets, so we'll have to fudge round that one, ahem!!

Dry felting with wool.


Helping Grandad N strip the walls and tidy the mess away.

Helping your baby sister build with the stacking cups.

Waiting in excitement to knock the tower down!


Having the patience to rebuild again and again and again!!

Thank goodness for digital cameras...  capturing the minutiae of everyday life and providing a  long lasting store of memories.