End of April

Over the weekend the girls have been to various areas of Grid Club. Both love the art bit and have used it to make collages. Poppy asked if they could make a proper collage, but as it was getting late, suggested that we find the materials to use and I would cut them up whilst they were in bed ready for the morning.

Monday 26/04
What did we do?? Canโ€™t really remember โ€“ oh yes, girls got on with making their own collage. Spent a while on Grid Club doing various activities. Left the house at 11.30 ish to get to Merryโ€™s for lunch. The girls had a lovely time, making up role play games about World War II, dogs and playing Wink the Murderer (which I remember playing as a child). Merry to Fran, Skye and Josie dancing whilst I stayed at home with the rest so they could continue their game.

Arrived home shortly before Wayne, tea, tv and bed.

Tuesday we visited the Garden of Surprises at Burghley – blogged separately ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday 28/04
For some reason Poppy was keen to make playdoh (I think they had instructions on making it on Grid Club), so we did ๐Ÿ™‚ Sculpted various shapes and objects, including this duckโ€ฆ

After a conversation with Max on Monday, I decided to visit the BBC Bitesize website to work through some maths with the girls, started with Angles. Ran through types of angles and discussed the basic rules. Skye had previously covered some of this at school and was fairly competent, but Poppy had not used a protractor before and was quite happy that she had learnt something new today. They worked through the online activities together which they quite enjoyed.

After their hard work, we had some lunch then went to the park before going to Tesco. Home, tea, tv and bed.

Thursday 29/04
Work day for me but Wayne had today off as we had made tentative arrangements for him to visit B and R to go on a Home Ed dog walk. However on speaking to her the night before, all the other dog walkers had dropped out and she was not feeling 100% herself so we abandoned that plan. Unfortunately, the girls were desperately excited at the prospect of dog walking so after some mental maths exercises in the morning; they borrowed our friendsโ€™ dog Star and went to Ferry Meadows. Only one drawback, our very clean and tidy car is now covered in dog hair!!

Wayne, Skye and Poppy had a lovely time building a den in the woods, playing at the park and Star enjoyed the attention.

Arrived home from work to a pizza and salad tea โ€“ had a lovely catch up with the girls, hearing all about their dog walking and den making. Had a snuggle up on the sofa with them before taking them to Nana and Papaโ€™s for a sleepover.

Friday 30/04
Skye and Poppy took Merlyn for a walk, then bought him back to Nana and Papaโ€™s for a play in the garden. Very jealous as they had a โ€˜sitโ€™ in Merlynโ€™s owners gorgeous, beautiful yellow VW camper!

Took a trip to Woodgreen, then visited one of Mumโ€™s friends on the way home.

When Wayne and I arrived at Mumโ€™s for tea, Skye was quite upset saying that she really didnโ€™t want to go to Freestyle dance anymore ๐Ÿ˜ฆ She had mentioned to me last week that she didnโ€™t want to carry on but at the time I suggested that she carry on until the end of term, but it was clear that wasnโ€™t going to happen. Wayne took her to Musical Theatre and on the way home had a chat with her and it transpired that not only is she finding it quite a challenge and not enjoyable and that there were two girls there that made her feel uncomfortable ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Mum ran Poppy and I home and I quickly got on with packing for our camping trip tomorrow. Still looking forward to it, despite the rain that is forecast over the whole of the Bank holiday โ€“ typical!

Garden of Surprises

Had a visit from a friend first thing, whilst the girls got on with some reading and played together happily.

Arranged with Merry and Michelle to go to Burghleyโ€™s Garden of Surprises โ€“ had a fantastic day. On arrival, the girls found the red deer that roam freely around the car park area and were very surprised to be able to pet them whilst they were happily shading themselves under some trees. Merry, Michelle and I set up our picnic and we all filled up our tummies before visiting the gardens. We started by visiting the Sculpture garden which had many weird and wonderful pieces of art, from gigantic white roses made out of plastic bags to a gramophone in a tree โ€“ bizarre but rather interesting.

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We went through a little door in the wall that reminded me of the Secret Garden and beyond the wall was a family of carved wooden bears โ€“ the girls spent a while feeding them with their giant bowls and spoons and making a โ€˜denโ€™ in the forest.

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We found, what I can only describe as a grassy crater in the ground which was circled with sculptures that I thought looked like bobbins and Poppy thought looked like hives. The adults had a rest and the girls spent the next half an hour rolling down the hill, making a human chain. It was so lovely to seem them all interacting with one another so well.

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Moving on, we then made our way to the Garden of Surprises which was amazing. Jets and fountains of water, streams, mazes, sculptures, funny mirrors โ€“ hours of fun! All got very wet and really just had an amazing time.

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As we were leaving I had a message from my cousin cancelling drums, to be honest we were all a little tired and I really wanted nothing more than a nice cup of tea. Merry kindly invited us back to hers on the way home where we had a lovely cup of tea then I took the girl’s home. After tea, Wayne took Skye to Scouts, on the way home he and Pops went to the park for a bit.

Picked up Skye, exhausted, so she went straight to bed!

Week ending 23 April

Have quite enjoyed this week – mainly due to the lovely weather so been outside a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

Saw Merry, Max and the girls on Monday – first time in a long time – our girls have missed the puddle chicks and were very pleased to spend some time with them again. The afternoon was spent bouncing on the trampoline, playing dodgeball, ds-ing and generally catching up.

Took Skye, Fran and Josie dancing and Poppy and I sat and chatted about everything and nothing.

Tuesday morning we got on with some GP History – now onto the Stone Age – the girls completed the exercises together with lots of discussion. We have agreed that they would choose and complete two activities from a list of about four or five at the end of each chapter. They had to write a story about how they think Stone Age Man discovered fire. Both girls decided to take a humorous side to this task and wrote a Stone Age diary entry.

Skye’s character, Ugg, wrote;

Ugg made spark when Ugg was sharpening weapon. Ugg felt very scared and clever. Ugg tried again and made fire, the fire caught the handle of Uggs axe, made big flame. Ugg ran away because Ugg thought Ugg would catch fire!

and Poppy’s character Uog wrote;

Uog made big axe to kill big animal. When Uog rub stone Uog saw spark. Spark look pretty. Uog did it again and Uog clothes caught alight. So Uog ran to pond and jump in.

Whilst they were busy giggling and creating their stories, I prepared dinner and got on with some other mundane chores.

Had a lovely walk round the village to the farm shop – stopped off at the newly opened park!

In the afternoon we had a visit from Michelle and Chloe, a little later than planned as there was someone in more need of a visit than us today so I didn’t mind. I think the girls were a little nervous about having Chloe over but once she was here they all seemed to get along very nicely – playing with Violet (the hamster) and then off out into the garden on the trampoline. Unfortunately playtime was cut short as Michelle had to dash off to the beans for dinner. Loved the time they were here though and looking forward to our forthcoming camping weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Wayne was out all evening so the after dropping Skye at Scouts, Poppy and I went food shopping – very dull.

Picked Skye up and was a little cross that her patrol (about 6 of them all aged 11 – 12) were sent out, unaccompanied, to the village church to collect grave stone rubbings. It’s not the fact that they were out and about, its more the fact that we, the parents, were not informed that they would be doing so. Skye doesn’t go out on her own, or with friends for that matter, and I was a little upset that the Scout leaders just assumed that would be ok without letting us know. Not sure whether I will mention it as I don’t want Skye to feel embarrassed.

Wednesday morning had to wake the girls at 8.40am as we were looking after my friend’s 18 month old little boy. J was very pleased to have three new playmates for the next couple of hours. We had a lovely little walk to the brook to see the ducklings – we counted 13 in all – 5 in one family and 8 in another – very cute! ๐Ÿ™‚ Poppy read about 8 books to J, played with cars, trucks and ‘nee naws’. Had a lovely time with J and he was sad to see us go ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Arrived home just before lunch so the girls went out into the garden whilst I prepared something to eat. After lunch we went back to the park which backs onto the school the girls used to attend and they gave hugs and chatted to their old school friends through the fence! I took my book and sat in the beautiful sunshine whilst the girls played happily for well over an hour. Decided it was probably time to go home and get some work done! Poppy spent some time on Education City whilst Skye and I worked through more of the GP English book – chosing to talk through the exercises rather than do a load of writing. I think we actually achieved more doing it this way and probably had more fun ๐Ÿ™‚ They swapped over and Skye used EC whilst Pops went through the same exercises in the GP English book.

J’s brother H popped round after school to invite the girls over to play and me for a coffee with S, so we did that for an hour which was nice.

Had tea ready for when Wayne arrived home and once we had cleared away, we went for another walk (i love this weather) ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls showed Wayne the ducklings and then the new park. Stayed for about an hour then headed home to grab the girls overnight things and work for tomorrow, jumped in the car and dropped them at Mum and Dad’s for the night.

I blogged, not sure what Wayne did, tv then bed ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday the girls did more GP History and Mum took them with her shopping – got themselves some more Littlest Pet Shop figures – I think we are up to about 70 now!! After work, had tea at Mum and Dad’s which was lovely. Girls played with LPS for a while before bed.

Friday unfortunately Wayne had to work so the girls spent the day with Nanny, did more GP History and more LPS playing. Went for a walk and spent a while at the park. Skye had dancing in the evening and we took Poppy to get some new shoes ready for our holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

Henry Moore Foundation visit

Wayne and the girls met up with Michelle and Chloe and spent the day at the Henry Moore Foundation.

Blogging this visit mostly with photos, including anything that I can recall the girls told me about the sculptures…

All his sculptures were scaled down and created in plaster, then a full size model would be made out of polystyrene. After which the real thing would be created from plaster, wood, stone or bronze.

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These are bones, vertebrae.

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More bones…

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This sculpture, believe it or not, is a number “2”

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…evident when shown at this angle…

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This sculpture’s focus is on the holes which are lined up perfectly.

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This one is based on a Roman statue, with its limbs missing

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Poppy really likes this one

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Henry Moore’s workshops were set among fields of sheep and he loved working in this environment and that is why sheep still continue to graze on the fields amongst his work.

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They all had a lovely day and were blessed with sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to a routine

Finally, this week we have been able to get back to our routine – I am back to working my usual two days.

Wayne has been sorting out the garage, getting rid of bits of wood and rubbish that we seems to have found its way there and we can now walk into it, open cupboards, get bikes and scooters out without starting a domino effect from one end of it to the other!! The girls took advantage by getting on with their own diy ๐Ÿ™‚

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With the lovely weather at the weekend we have been able to start sorting out our garden which is in desperate need of something! Skye and Poppy ‘rescued’ ladybirds and made a ladybird village, including a ‘special needs’ department for injured ladybirds;

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Ladybird village

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Was a little horrified though to find out that they had emptied and used one of my newly planted seed trays!

We have recently ordered the GP Junior History books and although the first one (maybe even two) are a bit young for Skye, she has expressed an interest in working through them with Poppy. So far this week we have covered the first two chapters. Worked very quickly through the chapter on timelines including archaeology and completed all the exercises. Next was dinosaurs, again working through and completing the exercises finishing off making their own dinosaur out of clay and a clay pot.

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Making a clay pot

Poppy’s finished clay pot…

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Skye’s finished clay pot…

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Poppy’s pterodactyl

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Skye’s Brachiosaurus

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Had a bit of a panic on this week, our PC is doing some odd things and am a little worried that I have over 2000 photos on it that have not been backed up anywhere so have been fairly busy downloading onto Flickr! Almost there – need to put them onto a disc as a back up back up then I can delete and free up some space which might help things!

Allotment diary #2

Well this growing your own stuff is terribly slow! Nothing has sprouted except for the red onions – which actually look as though they are going to throw themselves out of the ground! ๐Ÿ™‚ There are a few sprouty bit here an there but I think they are weeds! Gardening not my forte so will leave them be until I have an expert on hand to advise!

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Gave everything some water so with the lovely sunshine and a drink they should be happy to start growing!!?? We hope ๐Ÿ™‚

Where were we….

…oops, I seemed to have neglected blogging for the past few weeks but they went something like this…

Skye took part in the Scouts swimming gala. We were very proud of her efforts – she was surprisingly fast, coming second in her heat against two boys and a girl. Not bad for never having any formal swimming lessons – I taught both Skye and Poppy to swim when they were very young ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a very long night. We arrived at 6pm and did not leave until 9.20pm!

Spent a lovely Sunday at West Stow. We were the first to arrive but were joined soon after by Michelle, Chloe, Beccy and Ruby. The lovely lady on reception directed us to an exhibition area showing a short film about the village before meeting up for a tour by one of the resident archeaologists who was very knowledgeable and informative. She held the attention of adults and children alike and was happy to answer any questions. Whilst on our tour we were joined by Tim, Big and Small and then later by Jax and baby.

Skye Poppy and Chloe at West Stow 7 Mar 10

Once the tour was complete, we all headed to the sunny picnic area to have lunch. The children played happily together in the wooded area whilst the adults chatted. We have felt we have made new friends today.

After lunch was over we headed off to the museum – the children were happy to roam around finding things that interested them and share their findings with others.

Finally we made our way to the fantastic well equipped play area. The children had a great time and left us adults to do more chatting ๐Ÿ™‚ Some hour or two later, the cold getting the better of us, decided it would be a good time to round up our respective families and head off home.

Poppy and Skye at West Stow

A fantastic day was had by all – it was lovely to see everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

On Monday Merry and co came over to spend the day with us – repeated the milk/food colouring which went well. After watching the fat disperse the colouring, they had a little play making some lovely swirly patterns before dashing off to continue with their game and some trampolining thrown in!

Merry left with her girls and Skye for dancing. Poppy and I made tea for when Wayne and Skye returned home.

Dinner, tv then bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday the weather was lovely so began the morning with some trampolining and the rest of the day was spent doing a mix of normals – maths, literacy, reading, times tables, reading. Skye had a drum lesson, we all went to gym and then Skye had Scouts.

Girls spent the day with my Mum on Thursday – dog walking, reading and baking.

Not sure about Friday – I think they worked on mental maths questions from GP book with Wayne amongst other things.

Friday evening Mum and Dad came round to look after the girls and Wayne and I went to friends for dinner.

Saturday got up bright and early and set off for the Cambridge Science Festival. Headed for the Guild Hall where the girls learnt about forensics, built a bridge with 2p coins, tested their lung capacity and put on glasses which had been adapted to show what vision would be like for people suffering from eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts.

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Also had an opportunity to ‘cuddle a crayfish’ – they loved this and found it quite fascinating!

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Cuddle a Crayfish at Cambridge Science Festival

Found a bench near the market square to have our picnic lunch and bumped into two sets of friends.

Within one of the museums we found an area where the girls could get creative making a ‘tumor’ our of foam shapes and shooting foam discs into a papier-mache heart, lung, liver and bone to get their name on the score board! Both girls won an apple for their efforts!

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Finished off in the Museum of Zoology, definitely the girls favourite! Spent a long time looking round, bumped into Beccy and Ruby and Poppy made herself a dragonfly. Also joined the Young Zoologists Club that is run by the museum.

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Friends came round for dinner in the evening which was lovely and we had great fun playing Just Dance on the wii – exhausting! Ordered our own copy within minutes of them leaving!

They left Sunday morning and we popped over to Wayne’s Mum’s to drop off her Mothers day gift. I received a beautiful heart to hang and Skye had painted a lovely dinner plate and made some truffles at Scouts.

On our way home from Wayne’s Mum’s, we saw a beautiful rainbow which inspired Skye to make a mini lapbook about rainbows;

Skye's 'Rainbow' lapbook

Skye's 'Rainbow' lapbook

Skye's 'Rainbow' lapbook

Poppy chose to do a lapbook about Puppies and spent a long time researching;

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook - Training

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook - Anatomy

Poppy wrote a lovely poem about Merlyn – she also wrote a copy out for Merlyn’s owners and they loved it so much they have framed it and put in on display in their house!

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook - Poppy's poem about Merlyn

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook - meanings of tails

Poppy's 'Puppies' lapbook - Food list

If either of our girls, especially Pops, does not get a job working with dogs or other animals I will be amazed!

Leading up to St Patrick’s Day, the girls did lots of research to produce a fantastic lapbook. Also made some beautiful felt ‘shamrock’ brooches and potato cakes for St Patrick’s Day lunch!

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St Patricks Day Lapbook

A few days after our visit to the Zoology Museum, a package for each of the girls arrived containing pencil, ruler, eraser and sharpener, a newsletter and information leaflet about the museum. The newsletter was full of interesting facts, focusing on Antarctic animals which has inspired the girls to work on a new lapbook on Antarctic Animals.

Antarctic Animals lapbook cover

Antarctic Animals lapbook

Origami penguin family

What else…

I have been working almost every day for the past 3 weeks and consequently been neglecting my home schooling duties ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The girls have been fairly good at keeping things going whilst spending extra days with Nanny and Nana. Although not doing as much as I would like! The weather has been good so they have had lots of walks – which is great – can’t beat fresh air ๐Ÿ™‚

I did manage to take a couple of days off and we had a lovely two days in London. Did lots and lots and lots of walking. Visited the usual places of interest; Natural History Museum and Science Museum – made a mistake of arriving mid afternoon and spent about 2 hours on one floor and didn’t get time to see much of it at all! Will have to revisit soon to look at all the other bits we missed!

Thermal Imaging at the Science Museum
Thermal Imaging at the Science Museum

Took the girls to see many of the sights – Buckingham Palace where we saw the changing of the guards. This was by far the highlight of their visit. The flag was up so she was in residence and we were discussing what the Queen might be doing…peeking out the window and wishing that people were not staring at her house! Having a cup of tea and a biscuit. Watching tat on television!!!

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Meeting the Cavalry…

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Walked over Tower Bridge and round the edge of the Tower of London, past HMS Belfast, Downing Street, through Regents Park and got caught in the rain! Through Westminster, past Big Ben and the London Eye. Visited one of my favourite parts of London – Covent Garden – always seems so vibrant – love the Apple Market and street entertainers, consequently spent 2 hours here! Extra surprise thrown in – we bumped into Matt from Dancing on Ice in Boots and he shook the girls hands. They were totally starstruck!

One of the many street entertainers….

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Easter Weekend – Good Friday, had lunch with Wayne’s Mum and then went to the cinema to see Alice in Wonderland – loved it! Poppy said it was the best film she has seen – well one of her favourites! The girls had made a lovely chocolate Easter Cake which was delicious and made decorations for their Easter Tree. The Easter bunny hid lots of little eggs and the girls had fun hunting for them on Easter morning. Easter Monday, Mum and Dad called in an stayed for dinner which was nice.

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Wayne and the girls have been to Woodgreen to look at the dogs – I got a text at working telling me that they had chosen one and were bringing him home – they were joking thankfully, not quite ready for a dog!

This is Bubba – the one they wanted ๐Ÿ™‚ Have to admit he is cute – although he looks a little grumpy!
Bubba the dog the girls wanted to bring home from Woodgreen!

As well as all of the above, there has been lots of reading, English and Maths from Galore Park and CGP. Still need them to work on their times tables but we are testing them regularly. Usually whilst out walking or in the car!

Phew!!