Monday, 27 June 2011

Fruit picking

On a rare dry June afternoon we went fruit picking with some other home-ed families. Afterwards some of us went to a very quiet and beautiful playing field by the Teign Estuary to eat our picnics and strawberries.
Victoria very kindly let me use some of her photos.

Pinky is missing and other photos

Maisie has a pink zhu-zhu pet called Pinky and we can’t find it so Maisie decided to make some missing posters and tape them to the wall outside.

Other photos are Kirsty at the stables, Maisie making a sandwich blind folded at Rainbows, Maisie with her friend Lucy, Maisie drawing on the whiteboard and a photo of the card the Rainbows made to send to Prince William and Kate Middleton.

13 Activities..……………. so far

A brief update on what Paul and Cameron have done so far.
1. Field Archery

2. Cameron spending half a shift (6 hours) with Paul at his work

3. DIY jobs around the house, still on-going (I like this one)

4. Badminton

Tent testing

It’s been almost 7 years since we’ve been camping (the tent was in my in-laws loft while we were in Cyprus) so we thought we’d better see what condition it’s in before we go camping again. The perfect opportunity arose when we were looking after our friends boys while they were making a flying trip to Holland to sort out their house. They have a nice big garden that our tent would fit in easily and fortunately it was surprisingly easy to put up again after all these years. The girls loved it and wanted to sleep there, even though we weren’t prepared for sleeping out. So Paul slept out with the girls and I stayed inside with the boys. Kirsty woke at 1am feeling cold so in trooped the campers, Maisie was still half asleep and walked straight into the French doors, she was still so sleepy that she didn’t even notice.

Norman Feast

After a few hiccups we managed to have our Norman Feast. The girls dressed up while the boys carried swords (my old highland dancing swords) and shields made from dustbin lids. When we arrived Fraser announced that he was Saxon and not a Norman. We had medieval food (with a bit of modern thrown in for good luck), music and costumes. Some of the children drew their own version of the Bayeux tapestry while others rehearsed their medieval play. It was a good day and we even had a bit of “Normans got talent”.

Centre Parcs

For Christmas 2010 Paul’s parents booked a holiday for all of us to go to Sherwood Forest Centre Parcs in May 2011. We arrived slightly later than Harry and Mary to find them already in the hot tub so it was a quick rummage to find the swimming stuff and into the hot tub. After dinner we went down and collected our fleet of bikes (we had brought Paul and Maisie’s with us as they have a trail-gator attached).
On our first night there Fraser and I were woken at 4am by a very noisy duck sitting on the roof of our villa. No amount of shooing (not shooting) and trying to entice it down with bread crumbs would move it.

We crammed in a lot of activities (and that was me cutting back) from archery to falconry and paddle-boarding to name a few. Harry and Mary were great and fitted in with what the children were doing.

It was a great holiday and we all really enjoyed it, it just went by too quickly.

Jake’s Confirmation

We’d only been living in Cyprus for about 4 months when the Fielding’s moved in across the road. They had 3 children, Jake who is about 18 months older than Cameron and twins Frank & Florence who are 4 months younger than Fraser & Kirsty. The children (and the parents) have been firm friends ever since even when they lived in Nepal and we didn’t see them for about 2 years.

While living in Cyprus Cameron invited Jake to his Sunday School and in Jake’s words from the order of service
“ I grew up knowing about Christianity. But when I moved to Cyprus and a friend brought me to church I started to understand what Jesus had done for me. My faith began to affect my day to day life and help me cope. Confirmation to me means to show that I am a Christian, who has strengthened his relationship with God, learned more about Him. And now I know I am always with God
This year Jake decided to get confirmed in the Church of England that stands in the grounds of his school and asked Cameron to be his sponsor (1). This was a great honour for Cameron and he said yes straight away, even though he was anxious about what he had to do and didn’t relish the idea of wearing a tie (first time since his first day of school before he was home educated). Cameron said his youth leader at church had previously said to him it’s easier to journey in faith with someone else.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up!”
Ecclesiastes 4 v 9-10

We all had a wonderful day.

(1) At confirmation you may be asked if you would like a sponsor to stand with you as a symbol of their journeying with you in faith.

Mum's visit

At the end of April we had a long anticipated visit of about 2 weeks by my Mum. The day after she arrived was beautiful and sunny so we decided to make the most of it and go out especially since it had been like winter back home for Mum and Dad. We went to Dartington Hall for a walk round the gardens then finished it off with hot chocolate and cake.
The second day of Mum’s holiday (if you can call it a holiday) was the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Maisie decided to wear her dress up wedding dress and wanted to arrange a Royal Wedding afternoon tea. Everyone was banished from the dining room while Maisie, with a little assistance from me, arranged the Royal Wedding tea. Paul woke up from his nightshift just in time for the tea but missed the wedding ……..hmm not sure if this was a coincidence.

We also managed to fit in some shopping with the occasional ice-cream and coconut ice pit stop.

Spring walk

Here are some photos of our walks in April.

Canonteign Falls

Towards the end of April we had a home-ed outing to Canonteign Falls. It states that it is the highest waterfall in England but in fact Cautley Spout (Yorkshire) is the highest in England. The UK’s highest is Eas a' Chual Aluinn near Kylesku, Scotland. I never knew this until I posted this blog and I’ve been to Kylesku a few times as we had friends who used to live there.

Tale of our new table

A few months ago we had some lovely friends from church come over for lunch. There was 4 of them and 6 of us and we managed as we always did round our smallish table and as usual we sighed how we’d really like a bigger table. Much to our surprise our guests said they had a big table that was a bit too big for their dining room and did we want to swap. Of course we would but did they really mean it. Anyway after that day Paul and I said we wouldn’t mention it to them in case they’d offered without really thinking about it. Next couple of times in church our friends reminded us of the swap so a date was arranged. Paul brought home this lovely 6 seater table with matching padded chairs and we gave them a scruffy table with not matching and not padded chairs. I felt delighted and awful at the same time, did they realise how scruffy our table was. Even other friends commented “Wow they swapped this table for yours”. I relayed this information to them and their reply was they wanted to bless our family with this table and they have. More space for our family meals, home-educating, entertaining, etc. I thank God for the Ballinger’s and our table.

English Civil War re-enactment day

Eeek it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so much for at least once a month.
Way back at the beginning of April there was a Civil War re-enactment day in Exeter. It was nice to have something that the boys could really join in with, handling pistols, marching in formation and ending with sword fights. They also learnt about the daily life in the time of the Stuarts.

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