Bring on the summer

What a fabulous week so far – the sun has been shining almost non-stop. Makes our days so much better 🙂

Monday morning felt we were a little slow to get going – blaming it on a busy weekend! Girls both did some mathletics and science GP for Poppy and Biology (Enzymes) for Skye. Went for a lovely dog walk – Poppy on her bike and Skye kept me company and we practiced our french 🙂 After lunch, later than i had anticipated, we went to Merrys. Girls were having fun playing with the rabbits and each other so we just left them to it whilst we chatted and admired Merrys dragons and sorted through the photo/memo holders the girls made at the end of last year to see which ones would be fit for sale.

So a cup of tea later i took the dancing girls dancing, Poppy chose to stay with Maddy and Amelie playing with rabbits 🙂 Stayed for another cup of tea when i dropped them off and then home. Tea and a walk together – Skye rescued a rather large frog from the pavement and put it in the pond round the corner. Passing others that were not quite so lucky 😦

For some reason the girls have decided that making a small fire in the garden is a good idea!! Think it has something to do with the fire in the roundhouse at flag fen. I don’t have a problem with it though, they are sensible girls and have even taken a cup of water out with them in case it ‘gets out of control’ lol!! They have found a large flat rock, collected moss and set fire to it, even made a spit over the top and roasted some courgettes! Completely inedible but fun 🙂

Tuesday morning I was very organised and prepared two evenings worth of dinners, vegetable and lentil curry and spicy chickpea thingy 🙂 The girls did more French both are really enjoying conversational French at the moment and it’s really important to me that they have a good knowledge of a second language so we are learning together 🙂 Another lovely walk in the gorgeous sunshine before lunch then off to creative writing. Today was about memory triggers, be it a sight, sound, smell. All the children went out into the garden to collect something that reminded them of something. Skye picked a basil leaf and Poppy a primrose. They were then encouraged to write a short poem about their object. Poppy was scribbling away but Skye’s creativity took a while to get going but she got there in the end and wrote a beautiful poem 🙂

My Flower by Poppy

My flower is nice
My flower is lovely
My flower reminds me of
Lots of things like
Summer days, garden centres, sweet shops, yum yum!

I love my flower, it smells so nice.

Basil the Basil by Skye

In the garden, playing with my sister
The smell of basil fills up my nose

I go into the house, my mum is cooking
The smell of basil fills up my nose

Going on holiday
Basil comes with us
The smell of basil fills up my nose.

I love basil. Its smells of home.

Left all the girls to have a play in the garden and on the Wii whilst Melanie and I had chance to chat and crochet 🙂 Had a lovely afternoon and have arranged a proper play date for Skye and Poppy with S & S 🙂

Home for tea and more fire making in the garden. Whilst i cleared away Wayne and Poppy walked Skye to Scouts (judo night) and Poppy came back with a little squeaking frog 🙂 very cute. It really was squeaking, a bit like a dog toy!

Wednesday we did more french and some geography which was looking at building a road through a forest in Ireland, arguments for and against so that was quite interesting. They worked through one of the activities to create an ideal habitat, selecting suitable trees, animals and insects.

Went for a lovely long walk, stopping off at my aunties for a cup of tea 🙂 We were telling the girls about my nan’s dog, Tiny, about how he used to know 10 minutes before my auntie arrived to pick up my nan that she was on her way. And his love of chocolate, but it had to be cadbury’s and yes I know you shouldn’t give a dog chocolate but Tiny lived a very long, happy and healthy life, just like my nan. I do miss my nan 😦

Back home, had lunch then the girls went outside to do more firelighting then sat beside it reading Greek Myths and Legends together whilst i mowed the lawn 🙂 We all wrote some poetry, including me 🙂 Skye did mathletics and Poppy did some sketching, entitled Laying Nude, a nude lady laying down (inspired by Picasso’s standing nude)!

Wayne arrived home, had tea, girls went outside again before it got too dark then jumped in the bath, Wayne walked Skipper and I blogged and downloaded photos 🙂

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Flag Fen

Sunday was unplanned but my mum mentioned that Flag Fen, a bronze age centre, was holding an open day so off we went. Were surprised but thrilled to bump into the beans so had great company on a great day out. The weather was somewhat cooler in the open fenland than at home and I was thankful that I had decided to pack coats! However as the day wore on, the sun shone. Was lovely to watch the Soay sheep and two gorgeous lambs leaping and bounding about, having escaped their enclosure!

We had a good stroll round, we listened to a fab story inside a smoky roundhouse – I’d love a roundhouse in my garden 🙂 The girls made clay pots and lavender bags. Some of the reenactors were brilliant, full of information – have to say the men seemed to be mostly asleep (except for the wood splitter)! The reason being there was little in the way of hunting and labouring to do so sleep seemed the only option! One of the most amazing things seen today was the ‘knotting’ lady who showed us a jumper made from nettles! They dry out nettle stalks, bash them until they are soft, then they are spun and used as yarn!

Had a bit of photo fun with our shadows on the bridge (pics to follow!)

Enjoyed a well earned cup of tea for the adults and ice creams for the kids at the end of a great day 🙂

Science Festival

Backtrack a couple of days;

Thursday the girls spent the day at mum and dads, apparently did lots of french, reading and mathletics. Poppy made more fimo dragons 🙂

Friday maths with Wayne working on fractions, geography, french, reading and mathletics.

Regretted staying up until 2.30am last night watching comic relief! Up early on Saturday to put together a picnic then onto our local science festival. Had a lovely walk to the city centre by the river in the sunshine 🙂 We started off at the biology building although it was v busy the girls had lots of fun doing a heart and lung quiz, using a resuscitation doll, learning about healthy eating but the highlight was dissecting owl pellets though they did say it smelled disgusting! 🙂

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We found a bench in the sunshine to eat our picnic then went on to the Guild Hall where we met up with some friends. The girls had fun on the forensics stand, looking for evidence among a box containing soil and a skeleton. Skye found a piece of evidence and got to photograph and bag it! 🙂

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A swift move to the zoology museum and girls enjoyed the quizzes and activities.

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Home to get ready for a lovely evening at my aunt and uncles 50th Wedding Anniversary party 🙂

not Latinetc

5100713374_15a1d378ef_b Latinetc has unfortunately come to the end of its time but there is hope we can maintain something from the things we have learned, good and bad and rebuild it into something new. In an attempt to keep things together and as ‘normal’ as possible, especially for the children, we enjoyed a relaxed day at our house! 🙂 The children had a fantastic time in each others company, playing on the wii, board games, trampolining. There was latin for those working through minimus and we had hoped to get science out too but we didn’t find the right opportunity to break up any games or socialising between the children! Had a walk to the park to run of some energy whilst Merry stayed behind to lay out fimo for those that wanted to have a play. Poppy made a fab dragon, as did Helen, prompted by the one merry had mocked up 🙂

Everyone left in dribs and drabs until it was just us and two of the beans who finished fimo-ing and went on their way.

Was a very lovely day but sad to say goodbye to latinetc.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

In our quest to try out a vegan diet, decided that we would definitely miss cake, well the baking part anyway – we do a lot of that 🙂 The girls found this recipe on the internet which is very easy to put together and quite yummy so thought I would blog it for future reference. Also like that it is in cups 🙂

Vegan Chocolate Cake

1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together then add

1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cider vinegar

Mix and pour into tin. Bake at gas 4 for approx 20-30 mins.

There is a topping for the cake which we haven’t tried but would be good for special occasions!

1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

If anyone else has any other good tried and tested vegan recipes, cakes or otherwise would be most welcome 🙂

Historyetc – Museum of Classical Archaeology

5100713374_15a1d378ef_b I can’t believe we made a picnic, drove into the city, parked (for free) all by 9.20am ready for a visit to the Museum of Classical Archaeology. We had a fantastic day – Ellie our guide was brilliant, enthusiastic, informative, knowledgeable and held the attention of all the children and adults for the duration. She told numerous Greek myths and legends as well as factual elements. Even got them looking at the masculinity of Zeus’ bottom!

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Towards the end of the session we had a go at sketching. It was our first visit to this museum despite regularly visiting the cities numerous other museums and will definitely make a point of returning both as a group and even on our own.

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We found a bench outside within the university grounds and were soon very kindly offered one of the lecture rooms to eat our lunch – normally food and drink is not allowed in lecture rooms apparently so the curator was very brave to let a group of 2-12 year olds take their picnics in!! The girls, nor I had ever been into a university lecture room before so it was quite exciting! 🙂

After we had finished our lunch and brushed away the crumbs we took a five minute walk to watch a University Wind Orchestra concert which was excellent. Another first for myself and the girls, we had never been to watch an orchestra before and didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as we did. Very impressed with the seating plan 😉

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Ended a fabulous afternoon back at the beans for tea and chat. Kids had a good couple of hours to play which they enjoyed.

Artetc – Architecture #4 – Perspective

Had a lot planned in for today but before getting stuck in, took a moment to have a rummage through the fabulous art box Merry has put together for our artetc days 🙂 Everything we could ever need is there, watercolours, drawing pencil, erasers, scissors, rulers, pastels, felts, just everything 🙂

So anyway, to start the girls aim was to draw a simple house with simple perspective elements to it. The example we chose was not drawn entirely to perspective and was good to see the girls identify what was not right about it. Some even struggled to draw it incorrectly 🙂 and some couldn’t draw it incorrectly because it wasn’t right! 😉

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Moving on we looked at the vanishing point and recreated this drawing courtesy of art projects for kids 🙂 I love that website and all its links to other arty crafty ones 🙂

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After lunch and a bit of play time, we came to the final project – I had found a found a street scene with telegraph poles and trees, focusing on both two point perspective and vanishing point but thought after all their hard work this might prove a little challenging so we simplified it a little and drew a terrace street/office block instead. Although Merry and I had to have a quick brainstorm session to remember how to do it but between us we managed to explain it enough so they could come up with some very different designs.

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There are of course the obvious, sometimes deliberate mistakes in our drawings but on the whole they all did a great job and threw themselves into this tricky project with very pleasing results.

We made plans for future artetc days, googling examples of perspective drawings and have lots of ideas, I also dug out the architects plans for our house build so they could get an idea of how they work.

Another productive day with all the girls being pleased with their final drawings 🙂

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