Monday, 31 May 2010

A "bitty" week

Last week was "bitty" with Paul's dayshifts on Sat, Mon and Wed bringing a disjointed feel to the week. However we still managed to get a lot done with bike rides, post office playing, gardening, golf, glass painting, shrinkles, hama beads, computer club and reading.
Paul's car was out of action so he had the family car for work and on Wednesday we took the bus to get to our home-ed meeting. An army of Ants invaded the house, we tried everything from ant bait to vinegar and finally the last resort PRAYER . . . it worked. We still see the odd ant every other day but that's it, they've moved outside. I have to ask myself why was prayer the last resort, we sometimes make things difficult for ourselves by not turning to God in prayer first and He's not just there for the big things He cares about every detail of our life.....how great is our God!
This was also our "screen free week of the month" but I have to confess I was probably on the PC more than I should have been. With no TV the children decided to make a post office in the spare room and sent letters to each other. Cameron being the organiser/postmaster sold them stamps i.e. charged them for taking their letters to the various bedrooms.
Fraser took to using our old digital camera, mostly taking pic's of the family but also many strange things around the house. It takes some short video clips so he set it up to video him doing a high energy 30 second trampoline session complete with flips and Mario jumps.



Here is a small selection of Fraser's photos and video clips.

Luigi from Super Mario



Monday, 24 May 2010

Here comes Summer

Even if it is only for a few days.



these were taken at 7 O'clock in the evening



time for sandals

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Atmosphere, Art, Archaeology, Adventure and ANTS!

This week we've been looking at the different layers of the atmosphere, positive and negative space in pictures, archaeology and having an adventure at Compton Castle (see Mirjams blog she has better photos) and Woodlands amongst many other things.
Studying the different layers of atmosphere brought back memories of plotting tephigrams when I worked for the Met Office. I wasn't sure I'd remember how to plot them so went hunting on the internet, if anyone is interested here is the link. Paul says he still uses tephigrams every day at work, but of course they're all computer generated now. Also this week I decided to start Maisie with "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons". I've had the book for ages and never used it, I've even been tempted to sell it. We'll see how it goes, so far Maisie seems keen.
On Friday Cameron had an impression taken for his new brace, this time it's going to be a twin block and he's due to get it in about 2 weeks.
On a completely different note we have ants visiting our home at the moment and they have taken a liking to my sunflower seedlings grrrrrr. I didn't think they'd eat them, but sure enough when I researched it on the internet it's not an uncommon problem.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Mermaid's Purse

Yesterday we attended the Dart Valley Natural History Home-ed group to search for "Mermaids purses" - Skate and Ray eggcases on Goodrington beach. It was a cold and wet day feeling more like March than May. John??? from the Shark Trust came along to show us some examples and explained a bit about the eggcases, unfortunately we didn't find any but it was still a good day catching up with friends. I didn't take any photos (too cold) but I did take some of us having hot chocolate when we got home.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Visit from my Mum and Aunt

At the end of April my Mum and Aunt came to stay for a week. Mum had been planning to come for a few months but it was a last minute decision for my Aunt. We were out practically every day visiting Becky Falls, Greenway (holiday home of Agatha Christie), The Otter Sanctuary & Butterfly farm and Longleat. I think Longleat was the highlight of their holiday, it’s so big we didn’t have time to go in the house (save that for next time). The girls had a go at holding snakes and tarantulas, the boys weren’t so keen. My Aunt’s flight home was cancelled due to the volcanic ash from Eyjafjallaj√∂kull in Iceland but she managed to get home the next day.

Woodlands Adventure Park

The weather has been lovely this month (April) with no rain so far, but the water butt is empty so I’ve had to use the hose to water my plants.
We decided to introduce our home-ed friends from Holland to the delights of Woodlands, which seemed to be a great success

Gardening

The children and I have become really keen on gardening, as I’ve mentioned before we have a paving slab back garden so we’re growing everything in containers. The books Patio Produce by Paul Peacock and Window-box allotment by Penelope Bennett have really inspired me. Gardening for me is really enjoyable and relaxing, we have woops of delight when another seedling emerges from the compost. It’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out as I’ve never grown anything before except bedding plants in a tub and the odd houseplant.

Otter Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm

One of our home-ed trips this month was to the Otter Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm (otters are my favourite animal). I thought “Ring of Bright Water” was going to be one of my favourite films until Mij was killed, why did they have to put that in the film?

Back Garden

During the Easter break we relaxed a bit from the formal home educating and spent most of the time painting the back garden walls. I’m trying to give it a Mediterranean courtyard look, making it a nice place to spend time. Last year when we bought the house the back garden was crawling, and I REALLY mean crawling, with maggots. I couldn’t let the children outside it was horrible, lots of power hosing and boiling water did the trick and so far they’ve never come back.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Great Spotted Woodpecker

There are plenty of birds in the gardens surrounding us, but not in ours (unless you count seagulls), I don’t think they’re attracted to paving slabs (we have no grass in the back garden) and noisy children on a trampoline.
I enjoy going to Stover Country Park and watching the birds while walking round the lake. This time we saw a great spotted woodpecker, I’d never seen a woodpecker before so this was very exciting for me and the children, I even think Paul enjoyed seeing it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

March 2010

Fraser was enrolled in Cubs this month and we all managed to go along a see it, he really enjoys cubs. We went up to see Paul’s parents in Crieff for a week, fortunately we had great weather and managed to get outdoors every day.
With plenty of lying snow around a sledging trip to Gleneagles was a must. Unfortunately the top layer was an ice sheet and Fraser, yep you guessed it, came off the sledge and scraped his stomach as his jumper rode up.
Next was a day trip to the Beatrix Potter Centre in Dunkeld, where she used to holiday as a small child.

Back home and Cameron’s Lego Imperial Flagship arrived. He’d saved up his birthday, Christmas and pocket money to buy it. He started building it one evening and woke before 6am the next morning to finish it, I can’t remember the last time Cameron woke up that early of his own accord.
I’m thinking of putting a Lego creations page on this blog (if I can) so the children can post pictures of their lasted inventions.
We started planting some of our seeds, we planted a sunflower seed each and wait to see whose will grow the tallest.

Surprise visit

During the February half term we had a lovely surprise visit from friends from Cyprus (now living in Germany). They were the children’s best friends in Cyprus but it’s been 2 and half years since we’ve seen them. A great couple of days was had by all.
Our potato kit arrived from the “potato council", this got us in the mood for planting other things.

February 2010

Our evening “read a loud” book has been Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, as a result of this most of the games in the house revolve around pirates and ships. Cameron’s Lego creations all seem to have a nautical theme and Paul and Cameron watched Empire of the Sea (a BBC history of the British Navy). To round it off Paul, Cameron and I watched Master and Commander starring Russell Crow.

We’re finishing off our Rabbie Burns study and the children are planning their own study next. Cameron wants to do cats, Fraser is interested in Warner Bros (particularly Looney Tunes) and Kirsty plans to do horses.

The last couple of days Fraser has been really engrossed in building his meccano and “Build a Stunt Buggy”, which is great as he’s never really settled to do something by himself before, unless it involved computers or video games which are limited through the week.

The home-ed groups have been quite busy since the start of the year. We’ve met quite a few new families, all really nice, we’re so blessed. One family have just moved from Holland to a village very near us, their 3 boys have similar interests to our boys which is great.
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