Well- firstly computer playing up and dying slowly- making photos hard to find and upload- so I've been putting off updating. Of course the more you put it off the more overwhelmingly large it gets and turns into a BIG job......
Anyway highlights of the last two months..... Cub Camp with a Flintstone theme including lots of leopard skin costumes and box car racing. We won the flag for the most welcoming camp within the district too. Extremely hard work, sending kids here and there, but they had a great time- and thats what it is all about.
Another holiday- this time to Lincolnshire and the Beach! Cue very happy children who have dug/swam/ flew kites/ paddled/ate ice cream-everything a summer holiday should be. We had loosely planned an educational itinerary to some castles/places but time got nearer and I thought- No! we need down time this time!
Anyway 'educationally' we have been quite low key- working on some basics in a laid back manner. Letters and numbers for TP- he has made the leap of blending CVC- so we are going soo gently- keeping it an exciting achievement rather than a push, push situation. FI has been persisting her way through a Dick King-Smith and has now acknowldeged it is a little too tricky for her- so we will step back a little. However she is making good inroads into multiplication and her time telling is as good as mine. She has been spontaneously writing little stories- which is lovely to see. SJ thrives on his number work- particularly liking those he can see applied to life- so money, measuring, mulitplication where it is dressed as real life- so working out amounts required etc. Reading wise he can read what he wishes and is starting to do more spontaneous choosing himself. They all love listening to stories- I could spend all day just doing this! We have been working our way through some of the Enid Blytons- the R mysterys with Barney and Miranda, The Naughtiest Girl for FI, Charlie Bone and Sam Silver for SJ and Jack Stalwart for TP. I say they all get some individually however I consistently find SJ quietly crawling round the door- whenever one of the others is having 'their' story- to sneakily listen. I say sneakily as FI really takes offence sometimes at the invasion of 'her' time.... More crafting- especially loom bands have hit, but cross stitch and crochet- very basic but FI is working on an ice cream coloured baby/doll blanket and making a very nice job of it! Lots of iPad- minecraft and survival craft and dragon city- TPs numbers are improving rapidly attributed to this! Baking and cooking, badge work for cubs/beavers and brownies- tis amazing what you can get them to do under this guise. A family wedding- which took up a huge amount of time- with weekly dress fittings for the disasterously long tale of the dresses- Ok in end but very time consuming when everyone has to traispse into the City and amuse two boys in a bridal boutique for long periods (times that Ipads rule!!) whilst FI was having her dress altered (multiple times!)
Anyway will try to do another post later on the family update- cos times are a changing.....
Having managed to persuade wider family to do something different this year instead of a holiday camp type holiday- we booked a large farmhouse in mid Wales, with a plan to cook x 2 nights each per couple and a group Barbecue. This worked really well and I would hope to do it again next year. The hot tub was very special- especially being out at 630 in the morning- silence as the sun rose....magical!
We were there for the end of a rainy spell as it turned into nicer weather- hence the Elan resevoir was spectacularly overflowing- very vertigo inducing!
We visited CAT- which we hadn't been to for a number of years- and were mildly disappointed- frankly looking really run down these days- most of the investigative stuff that we looked forward to the children being able to do was not working....get the impression they are more interested in the conference side of things now....
However we also visited Dolancothi Gold Mines (NT) which was a gem! Very interesting and brought alive by a fabulous guide- definately take the Roman route out.....We all enjoyed panning for gold (plenty of the fools stuff!), dressing up....
Another memorable visit was to the Red Kite feeding station at Rhiador - very spectacular! Plus a lovely walk up the (steep) hillside to the viewpoint and their trout pools- the boys loved messing around on a shale slope. But the best day was spending a whole day by a mountain stream, with a picnic and paddling/ damming/ playing/ water pistols (and bad sunburn for Mummy)...
Great holiday then back to severe reality and a job interview.......
Very spectacular place and a lovely day out with family- although some of the little extras made it add up a little. Awesome workmanship- the care taken for 'just' a utilities building- stained glass windows, enamelling, ironwork, an ornate pond and a huge front door and porch.
Kept three children well occupied for a few hours- very interested in the miniature train and remote control boats. Spent time watching a man on a wood lathe making apples! Did some child crafts- Morris men sticks and sashes
And (for me) the highlight - a trip into the underground reservoir. So spectacular- fantastic careful brickwork-true workmanship. Amazing to think that was built to be filled with water! And had awesome acoustics- TP hooted and it passed around almost each arch being slowly magnified.
All they wanted for Easter was an egg hunt in the garden- and despite the fact that we are all upside down and the weather conspired against us- we managed to get a brief window of (near) sunshine in which to do it! Family time, sharing goodies, baking together (well -melting chocolate!!) and then a family meal- followed by Daddy taking them away for a night in a tent with Uncle T (whilst Mummy went to work the next day) meant the day was a total success on all fronts (excepting Daddy being at work most of the day- but thats life!)
Then moving onto St Georges Day... 'Twas FIs last parade as a Beaver- so we persuaded her to go in blue rather than in brown- and this was the end result ( I suspected this- so increased the persuasion!!)- she was sooo proud. SJ is just visible (to me) in the background as a cub. Lovely weather and just managed to get FI back in time for her beloved ballet lesson.
And the news that she had got a Distinction for Grade 1- well done sausage- so proud of you!
Well- after all the broken bones- including my mother- who has broken her leg and walked on it for three weeks!! I fancied a quiet bit of normalcy...
Nanny took the children to Clumber Park and found a birds of prey display. Apparently barn owls are really soft! Daddy has been away to hone his climbing skills and they have been back to the climbing centre- they have discovered the auto belay - apparently great fun.
Quite low key on the 'work' front for the kids- working on letter recognition for TP- his number skills are getting quite good. FIs reading coming on quite nicely now and she has been doing column addition. SJ has moved forwards to fractions and percentages.
On the house front we have had a couple of agents around and have been madly working on decluttering/ polishing and re homing....the idea of leaving the area feels like it is coming a lot closer- partly scary, partly exciting. And trying to motivate self to write assignment....
A wonderful weekend of activities with a lovely group of home ed families. The great thing with HE things like this is that you can just turn up and not know anyone- yet within an hour the kids are happy and firm friends with a new crowd! We did actually know one family which was nice but FI made a lovely new friend whom she was inseparable for the whole weekend.
We were in little lodges for each family and had all our meals in the canteen (a whole weekend off cooking!) -very school meals but lots of fresh fruit and veg.
We did Rafting ( I managed to fall in- right at the start!), Survivor (fire lighting and shelter building), The Trapeze, Rifle shooting, Giant Swing, the Challenge course and Abseiling
TP immensely proud of his 'hit' - what he didnt realise that the kind RAF dad behind him had popped a quick one in- as he had seen how despondent he was getting at missing (didn't really help that he was insisting at targetting the next door target!!!)
FI almost atop the Trapeeze- complete with wrist in splint!
Nice wind down on the way home with a stayover in Derbyshire and then a lovely day out at Lyme Park (NT)- great playground!
Anyway Futura splint in place and then I realise that in two days we are off to Centre Parcs for a swimming and cycling holiday and then the following week on a HE activity holiday...... Arghhh
Let's just say either a) we risk assessed carefully and took each moment as it arose and were led by her comfort OR b) we are irresponsible parents ?? Oops the info leaflet really said no swimming or cycling??
Anyway we had a lovely time- lots of swimming and cycling, family stories and games. We introduced the children to Carcassonne- which they picked up quickly and enjoyed, as well as Cadoo and Labyrinth. A couple of family DVDs saved for the week. Duck feeding and a trip to Rufford Park- always a favourite!
And a Beaver project in progress- looking for signs of spring for her Explore badge and then turned into a PowerPoint presentation towards her IT badge. She has a term left and is going all out for gaining all of the interest badges possible in Beavers!