Monday, 25 June 2012

Walk To Freedom

This Swedish family and others like them are raising awareness and challenging a system that, denies families the basic right to  home educate, they are doing this by walking the 200 km "Walk to Freedom."

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Seven Days :: Snapshot Blessings

On Monday we should have been here Eureka but it was closed, so we tried here Jodrell Bank but the arboretum and kids play area was shut due to drainage work, so instead we made our way here Brockhole and a great time was had by all:

Lovely Views.

A Monkey Puzzle Tree.

Fun on the adventure playgound.

Follow the leader.

Enjoying the curly wurly slide.

We walked down to the lake and sat on the jetty.

We admired the flowers in the beautiful gardens...

... and walked past the terrace to meet Dad in the cafe.

On the way home I picked up a bargain in one of the local outdoor wear shops, a packable, lightweight yet breathable waterproof for me, for £19.00, it should have been £35.00.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Pip was at Debbies so Benedict continued with our desk work on Maths, Narration, Copy Work and Illustration, Independent Reading and on line Maths from the Carol Vorderman site.  He also attended his swimming lesson on Tuesday and Cubs on Wednesday.

On Thursday we had Pip's Fairy Party.  As you may know Pip's birthday is on the 23rd December and it can be pure overload celebrating a birthday and Christmas within days of each other.  We don't go overboard with gifts, but even so it can be daunting.  Pip has also been very aware of the concept of parties this year, so it seemed only fair to arrange a mid year celebration.  On mid summer eve she left out her fairy next to the castle in Benedict's room and woke to find a special gift:

This lovely book tells the story of Katie Morag always wondering when her birthday will be next as she celebrates a year of birthdays with her family and friends.  My Mum and Dad also made a special effort to be with us and their gift to Pip was some lovely fairy wings and a magic wand, so sweet and so thoughtful:

We had Fairy Cakes, of course!

Crispy Garlic Wedges with mixed salad, feta cheese and tuna mayo.

Like Father, Like Daughter.

All finished and ready to serve.

Tucking In.

Pip enjoying a cuddle with Nanna.

Sara and Grandad enjoying a chat.

I have nearly finished our end of year home report, thankfully it has been less stressful this year, since I have been working on it throughout the course of the year.  Benedict is making good progress in all areas but Maths still is the weaker subject.  He definitely benefits by using the maths manipulatives and the Montessori Stamp Game came in very useful this week:


 We've also had a break through in telling the time and quite rightly so, he is very chuffed with this new found skill.

It is good to see the two of them have moments of pure genius and this is what transpired when they were left to their own devices one afternoon earlier in the week:

Back View.

Front View.
Yes, Benedict is riding the motorbike he had when he was two and is providing a rickshaw service for Pip in the trailer tot!

  Sadly, this is the only use the trailer has had in over a year.  Combined health issues and disability makes it near on impossible for Dave or I to be involved with "normal everday things" that, so many folks take for granted.  Despite our limitations we do try to provide fun activities for the kids and if I'm ever in doubt of this, I only need look back over this blog as proof that we are doing OK.

On Friday via live stream on the internet, we watched the Olympic Torch Relay pass through our area.  The weather was absolutely appalling with gale force winds and torrential rain.  Despite that, the British spirit was not thwarted as everyone was determined to make the best of it.  We also visited our friends in Shap.  They had been blessed with good weather and had been involved in a midsummer camp, not far from here with other home edders.

Today we braved the winds and made a trip to the library and a toy shop for Benedict to spend some of his birthday money.  He bought a play mobile mini turret and knights.  For Pip I treated her to a tap - a - shape set, complete with cork board, mini hammer, wooden shapes and pins.  As I suspected it proved to be a hit.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Building and Birthday-ing

Two posts are long overdue, one is the result of the banging and crashing that occured back in April, which then resulted in a special event a week ago:

Delivery Time.

Digging Trenches.

Building Walls.

Preparation work before laying the concrete floor.

First fit exterior brickwork complete.

Piecing together a very large 3-D puzzle.

Looking Good.

Knocking down the lounge wall!

Laying the side patio.

Conservatory guys on their last day.

Dave the brickie providing musical entertainment on a tea break.

Sharing a joke!  These guys were just lovely to have around.

Our friend Martin plastering the interior.

Waiting for the plaster to dry.

Dave enjoyed putting his mark on the project, a pale grey finish.

Finally finished.  Our neighbour did the joinery and floor and a couple of other guys did the electrics and heating (rad to follow).  Here we are celebrating a very special birthday boy on his ninth year round the sun.

The party was held two days before his actual birthday which was on Monday.  Would you believe it I took no photos that day, I was just too worn out from all the party prep! 

Now that the dining room is off the lounge, our front room is now solely a play room/ learning zone.  It makes the end of the day tidy up so much easier and most importantly is no longer a tripping hazard for Dave.  A win-win situation for sure!

Friday, 15 June 2012


We spent the morning with Kathryn and Steve in their new home, they are now official home owners.  Kath cooked a lovely lunch of garlic wedges, mixed salad, meat and cheese platter and a luscious Victoria sponge.

Yep, a woman's work is never done!

Opening birthday presents in the lounge.

Pip eating at her own special table.

Yummy cakes and a view from the dining area leading off from the kitchen.

Luscious and light and filled with buttercream and blackcurrant conserve.

Main Bedroom.

Spare bedroom, currently full of Kathryn's stuff!


The house truly is lovely and is a far cry from mine and Dave's first house, which had less than desirable carpets and all of our furniture was cast offs from family and friends!!  Happy Days!!

Since the kids were full of cake and energy we popped in at the Dock Museum.  We had a quick look at the exhibits whilst waiting for Dave's mum to arrive.  Bless her she was a real sport, abandoning her fish pie making for an impromptu visit with us all:

Pip smelling the roses.

Pip climbing on a sandstone structure representing part of the Abbey which, sadly was part of the disolution of the monestaries ordered by Henry VIII in the Sixteenth Century.  Many buildings in the area are made of this particular red rock.
(DH note: Permo-Triasic sandstone)

Burning off energy in the playground.

Mum and I having a five minute catch up.

Soon it was time to make another set of goodbyes and hit the road home.  True to form Pip's eyes closed once on the open road, we had an hour and half journey ahead of us at the wrong time of day!  Hmm, what to do? 

Twenty minutes into our journey we stopped off here for the kids and they were not the only one's letting off steam:

Haverthwaite Railway saved the day!
(DH note: the driver is DH's former science and maths teacher!)

There was plenty to see and do as the kids got to try out the newly made chidren's playground:

An all round success!

We arrived home just in time for an easy tea of beans and toast.  A question though:  How come the house looked like a bomb site within twenty minutes of arriving home?  Yep, a parents work is never done!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Making It Count Tuesdays - Jazzing Up An End Of Year Folder

My very clever friend Sarah not only has found a free photo editing resource but came up with the fab idea of really personalising her kiddos end of year reports.  So I decided to borrow her idea and clicked on the link to picmonkey and this is what will grace the front cover of our home ed report for 2012:

I also decided to make a collage representing some of our activities throughout the year:

I think it's safe to say I love picmonkey!

Thanks Sarah for a fab idea x