## Monday, 28 February 2011

### Tidy up

I've just had a little tidy up of the links in my sidebar. Some of my well-loved blog sites have changed, moved or given up completely.
The Sarah Sellers site has been replaced by Tranquil, Peaceful, Calm but is by the same author. I have also added a link to her Wise Little Owls homeschool site which has excellent ideas, links and resources for education.
The link to my daughter Honor's blog is still there, even though she hasn't done anything on it for 9 months! But she says she wants to get it going again so we shall see.

## Sunday, 27 February 2011

### And the rest of the week.

A bit of outdoor practical maths practice for Honor. Here she is describing the directions for getting from point X to point Y. It is an end of Key Stage 2 maths skill as is calculating the area of a composite shape. We tried this out on our patio which was perfect. Our patio is composed of a large rectangle measuring 12 x 7 slabs and a smaller square measuring 4 x 4 slabs. Then we added the two areas together to find the total area.

We had some messy fun washing the cars...
... and then we went to Church where I sat worrying about and praying for the future for our children. The Gospel message was, coincidentally (that always happens!), 'don't worry'!
So then we went to see my friend Lisa's new house. It's great. And then she took us out for a meal.

We had a lovely time.
Until someone (me) mentioned the Government and Dave's promises to support marriage, the family and people who work for a living. Ha! Oh well.
Overall, a great week and it is back to school tomorrow.

## Thursday, 24 February 2011

### Thursday

Today, Honor and I were very brave and tried out a crochet workshop at the library. We were both on exactly the same level... complete beginners and it was a lovely experience to be learning something new alongside my daughter. We both found it very difficult. Fortunately, the volunteer teacher Celia was extremely patient and as the group was very small, we got plenty of help and by the end of the session we had made a little bracelet. About half way through, Honor got frustrated and wanted to give up, but we encouraged each other through it and were pleased with what we achieved.

I'm slightly distracted now as Hubby is watching the Wedding Crashers on TV. But I intend to do more crochet in the future!

### Wednesday

Wednesday was the day of the science fair. I picked this outing because years ago, when I was a science coordinator in a real school, I attended one of these and was blown away! Well. I thought it was pretty exciting. So I thought this would be good for the kids to visit this half term. Now. They did seem to enjoy it. Especially the hands-on activities. We could not get them out of the 'mad materials' room where they had fun making playdough, gloop and slime.
But the shows were, for me, a big disappointment. I've seen some very entertaining science shows for the kids in the past. The Science Centre at Herstmonceux, Hastings know how to do them. And the ones I had seen here before years ago were very good too. But the presenters didn't seem able to relate to young children and the rooms were hugely ovecrowded even though people kept getting up and walking out and no whizz bang special effects. No. I was very disappointed by this years' fair.
The kids did have fun. But they could have done it at home with a packet of cornflower and some alka seltzers for less than half the price. Oooohhh. I'm a harsh critic, aren't I?

## Tuesday, 22 February 2011

### The jazz and whistle.

Hubby was reading my blog last night. He remembered that Henry bought the train whistle a few years back on one of those Santa special steam train rides. As there was absolutely nuffink on the telly, again, we were listening to jazz on R3. There was a rather annoying tune being played which sounded exactly like one of the kids blowing on the whistle over and over and over again. Reminds me of the Fast Show.

### Day 2

No pictures as I forgot to charge up my phone. What a shame. There would have been some good ones. Honor had a whale of a time on a day out with the Brownies. They went on a train to Canterbury and visited Build-a-bear, Pizza Hut and Canterbury Cathedral. She came home tired but not stroppy which was unusual.
So that left me with the other 2 children and no car. My Mum came over and took us to the local museum. Henry was brilliant. He went round with the curator and chatted with her about the exhibits. She let him try on a World War 2 helmet and type something on a very old typewriter. As we had recently watched the Christopher Eccleston series of Dr Who, he typed 'Are you my Mummy?' which is what a young child in a WW2 episode did after he had been turned into a creature with a gas mask face! Then we were shown a room where they had old style telephones and a switchboard. Hope really liked holding the phone and pretending to talk to her Nana. Unfortunately, when it came to putting the phone back, she didn't take it too well and had one of her hyperventilation attacks. The curator was busy chatting to my Mum and Henry about gunpowder while I stood in the middle of the room holding Hope upside down, blowing hard into her face! No-one batted an eyelid. Then she found her voice and screamed until we got her home and put her to bed for her afternoon nap. Phew!
Tomorrow, we are going to a science fair. I must remember to take my phone.

## Monday, 21 February 2011

### Half term - day one.

By the time I had had my bath and got dressed this morning, the kids were already out in the garden and were busy making fairy houses. Hope couldn't wait to join them and run around with Henry chasing the ball...

and playing with the stones.
Henry found this train whistle lying at the bottom of the garden. Not sure where that came from.
When they tired of making fairy houses, they set about making a river! (And I cried one!!!) Never mind.
Tomorrow Honor is going on a Brownie outing to Build-a-bear and Pizza Hut. I don't know what the rest of us will do. I won't have a car as it has to go into the garage again. It's been playing up for a while but no-one seems able to figure out what is wrong with it. I think it's wanting some groovy new seat covers and a bloomin' good clean. I've been looking on the internet for nice seat covers but there's not much out there to my taste. I wonder if they are difficult to make?

## Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Yesterday I made some reusable tumble drier sheets. I liked this job because it was so easy to do. I borrowed the idea from a site called Homemade Mamas.
I got an old towel, cut it into strips and left them soaking overnight in a bowl of diluted fabric softener. Then, this morning, I took out a couple of them, squeezed them out a bit and popped them in the drier with my laundry. When the drying has finished the towelling sheets go back into the bowl for next time.
Another project I've started is to make an outdoor playpen for little Hope.
I got a load of cheap decking tiles and painted them white. Then I've enclosed the area with trellis. It isn't all fixed so we can move them when we want to. But it is ok for her to play outside while I'm nearby sorting washing or busy in the kitchen. She got into this bowl of water that was meant for washing her hands with her boots on.
And then she sat down in it!

## Sunday, 13 February 2011

### Secret plans.

Just getting prepared for the forthcoming half term holiday. The kids want to spend more time playing outside. Okay, okay. I want the kids to spend more time playing outside. Well, it's good for them!
They are really into spycraft at the moment. They got some cool spy handbooks and spykits for Christmas and I said I'd help them turn their shed (which is in an awful mess at the mo) into a really cool HQ. So when they came home from school on Friday they got their books out and got busy planning their new headquarters.
Especially Henry. They want CCTV and everything. Not sure about that but I think we can stretch to a swivel office chair, walkie talkies and a homemade alarm.
This was our Friday night supper. I borrowed the lentil recipe from Waldorf Mama. It's basically green lentils (I used tinned) and some finely chopped chard simmered for about 15 mins in a little water and sea salt. Very yummy. I also made some cheese scones with a pinch of cayenne pepper in the recipe to go with. Simple. HM asked if it could be our regular Friday night supper.