Monday, May 31, 2004

Fantastically Funny Family Quotes!

Here are a few funny quotes from our tea-table conversation tonight. I hope you enjoy them.

We were discussing Proverbs 18v10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe." Any of you who are familiar with children's choruses might know the tune that goes with that verse, and my children all do, but Jacob, when asked to complete the verse quoted "The righteous run into to it and they say wooooo!"- we laughed!!

During the same discussion Joel was asked; "What makes you worried or scared?" (dad)
Joel - "nights."
Dad - "knights in armour, or nights when you turn out the light?"
Joel - "Yes!"
We giggled!

Boo decided to sing the alphabet song..."A B C D H E Y, lemon lemon squeezy, lemon lemon, I " ....yes, well - a bit more work to do there then!! Oh, the mind of a 3 year old!

Then of course there's my quote of the week;
"Don't look at me with that insolent voice!"

And at the tea-table again tonight - on the hunt for more fab quotes;
"Have you done any peauxfas this week?" - which of course should be fauxpas!

Family meals are such fun - mostly!!

After tea the girls decided to play 'Boggle' - a little hard for them, but hey...!

Boo (3)and Fubs (2) playing Boggle

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Reptile Day!

Just a quickie as we have a house guest for the next few day - an old friend. We went to Stapely Water Gardens again today, but this time to the paying side as they were have a 'reptile' rescue day and had snakes and spiders etc.. on show. The boys were both unperterbed and held a baby Boa. Thought you'd like to see the pics.

Joel and baby Boa

Jacob with Baby boa

tarantula - did you realise that if you stroke one you could break it's very fragile legs, but that they can re-generate their legs when they 'shed' their skin!

red legged millipede

mantacape (?) beetle

female scorpion

praying mantis - fabulous creature!

If you want to see some more nice pics click here

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The baby's moved out!

Having decided at Jon & Jans that sleeping through the night was a good idea, we decided that it was time she moved into the girls room and into a cot (she was in a baby hammock) - they grow up too fast :( But it does mean we can have our room back in the evening without worrying about disturbing her (which we sometimes did tapping away til the early hours on the PC). :)

The link is to one similar to what we have (the blue one), but ours was from - which apears to be unavailable at the mo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Schooling in the Yard!

Today we tried it for the first time - it went OK, although Jacob strangely chose to work inside for the best part - funny child!!
The smalls just had fun playing when they got back from their morning at 'Seedlings' with my friend.
I love these sunny house stays so much tidier, the mess and the noise stay so much more outside, the children stay happier (on the whole!) and I have more energy - why is that?
Pics for your pleasure!

If only there were grass...

school in the yard

Mummy Phoebe - the Tiny Tears had to have a hat too!

just because...!

Monday, May 24, 2004

School in the Yard

Not much to blog today, only that we bought a family picnic bench and a kiddy picnic bench (you know - the sort like you see in the parks), so from now on we can have school outside in the sunshine! :) Oh, the priviledge of home-schooling. While other children are closeted in a classroom under fluorescent lighting, mine can be in the garden (such as is) in God's natural light (so much better for their eyes) and enjoying the beauty of bird-song and trees, creepy crawlies and other such distractions - and hopefully getting some work done too!! At least I can use the threat of 'inside' as a motivator!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sunday Afternoon Stroll

After church, a sandwich lunch, a splash in the paddling pool and a change of clothes Mum and I decided to take the children for a walk and leave Daddy at home, doing what he likes to do best on a Sunday afternoon - 'veg'!! We spent about three hours just bimbling. First we fed the ducks, who simply weren't hungry, and watched the swans with their signets,

Signets (can you see three?)

then we wandered down to the 'beach' by the weir and played for ages. A friendly dog begged for a game of 'throw-the-stick-in-the-river' with the boys which they enjoyed - all of them!

Granny & Boo

The Friendly Dog (Jim)

Phoebe (Fubs)

We then went back to the park to play with Jacob's 'hover-disc' (great fun) and go on the swings (Ellie's first time!).

Elisheva - first time swinger!

The children had a fabulous time together and it was great just to be 'out' with little time restraint and everyone happy. It was all brought to a sad ending when Abbie scraped her knee badly climbing onto the slide and made it bleed - a lot. I noticed later that Phoebe had done so too :( I think a phone-call to the council might be needed there. They have just re-opened the park after closing it to replace all the grass around the rubber matting with black paving (now where's the logic there?), but have done nothing to improve the safety or maintainence of the equipment!! Hmmn!

Swimming Achievements.

Jacob got his 25 & 50m distance badges at swimming today. He did both on his back, but I was proud of him! My children are making a habit of making me proud these last few days - best be careful! AND Jacob made me a really sweet card today with a gorgeous petal inside it from one of the flowers in our garden, which is shaped like a heart. Sweetie - this is a rare thing for him to do. I must be doing something right just now!!?

petal card.

Other than that just a nice day with the babes playing outside in the sunshine again. Phoebe was desperate to see some animals today - a whole day without was just too hard for her! But unfortunately she was also desperately tired, so I'm afraid her nap was priority today. Maybe we can go feed the ducks tomorrow. That's as near to animals as you get around here! :(

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Viking Village Pics.

Thanks for advice on where to host pics!
Here are some of the Viking Village - for education fun!!
I'll post others up later of other things.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Staying with Friends.

Like I said, we went to stay with Jon & Jan for a few days and we had a wonderful time - Thanks J&J!! The children played beautifully together for the most part and they even did some sleeping too - thanks to Jan's clever idea of NOT putting them ALL the children in together!! :) (Here's a pic of my four eldest. Jan's girls slept in a similar fashion on their parent's b/room floor.)

sleepy heads!
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We managed to amalgamate our schooling so my boys don't have any catch-up to do which is FAB plus I think the children really enjoyed seeing that other children have to 'do school' too. Jacob worked the best he has in ages - big incentives to play maybe!!

Entering into the spirit of Jon & Jan's home.
Posted by Hello

The first afternoon we went for a walk down the lane (rather 'track') to feed the ducks, and to take a walk in a friends little planted wood - big enough to be exciting for the children and quite an achievement with one field - I'll let Jan explain about that if she chooses. On the way we admired a fair few highland cattle which my 3yo wouldn't believe me were cows! Then we fed 'Fred' the horse on the way back up the track. Jacob was really captured by this lovely horse and Abbie, who just a week ago wouldn't go anywhere near a horse, was happily patting and feeding him. It was lovely to see my children so thrilled by their surroundings. My 2yo Phoebe was unfortunately asleep when we went for our stroll, but I think she felt she was spending her whole time on an enormous farm. She kept going to the top room of the house, sitting on the window ledge and saying - "cows, cows, mooo... sheep... horse...!" - Bless! :)

highland calf!
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highland cows
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We also witnessed the arrival and construction of J&J's 'summer-house' (no!) AND we spent some of our time trying to construct a new wooden climbing frame (flat backed and mammoth and sadly not finished in time!!) - both of which we are hoping to go back and play with & in in August. Perhaps I might get to meet some of you other mud-puddlers then?!
All in all a great couple of days and how lovely to be able to descend with a family of 7 upon a friend and not feel at all in-the-way. I don't think there are too many people would be up for that one, but hey...what fantastic friends I have! :)

And then to top things off... On the way home we got off the train at Manchester Piccadilly to change trains (pram, rucksack, 2 suitcases, various odd bags and 5 children - quite a cufuffle!!) and a man came over to me saying, "Are all those children yours love?"
I was expecting some usual comment like 'you must be mad!', or 'you've got your hands full haven't you?' - you know the sort of thing, but NO! He said, "They're a real credit to you. Spotless [not quite what I was seeing, but...] and so well behaved. They are real credit to you. Well done Love!"
I thanked him wholeheartedly and thanked God for His encouragement to me. I so often doubt that I am doing a good job and it's so fabulous when someone completely strange to me tells me that I'm not. The Bible says we say we don't often realise when we speak to angels... Well that man was my angel of encouragement today! I am so proud of my family! :)

Monday, May 17, 2004

Splashing around!

Today was spent mostly in the garden - of course with such gorgeous weather. I felt so mean making the kids do school this morning, but hey - they can't have the whole summer off!! But the paddling pool was a big incentive to get work finished before the sun went in and for once it worked!! :) I did let them out for little 'tasters' throughout the morning, but I wanted their work finished before they got really wet! Boo spent most of the day (when she got home from playgroup) sat in the pool, even before the sun had really warmed it up much. I hope she doesn't catch a chill from it, but she wasn't even shivering, or in the least bit bothered by its coldness.
Isn't just lovely to see the sun after the cold winter months. I just love the freshness of the dawning summer and the sense of 'relief' I always feel that warm weather is just around the corner - for a few weeks at least!! And to get my sheets out on the line - I simply love the smell of fresh line-dried sheets - "hmmm" :)

Well we are off to Jon & Jan's tomorrow, so I might blog from there, or I might just blog when I get home and let her blog while we're there - after-all it's her house we're invading. She's very brave...with our family it really is an invasion!!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Educational Sunday

Yeah I know I'm posting a day late, but it's easier to separate the days.

After church today (Sunday) and a quick sandwich lunch (that took best part of two hours!!) we bustled up to Reaseheath College for their open day. It was 3pm by the time we arrived so we only had a couple of hours to explore. Sadly we had missed most of the 'displays' by then but there were a few interesting things to see. The best bit that we all enjoyed was the 'Viking village'.I think this is probably the first bit of 'history' Jacob and Joel have really tasted. It was fantastically done in a few square feet of grassy woodland. They had: weaponry (swords, chain-mail, round shields,etc . ; food (mostly already consumed and apparently very tasty, but the remains looked very un-appetizing - pea & ham soup) and displays so you could see how food was stored & preserved (like butter wrapped in spinach leaves and dried prunes); a grinding stone which Phoebe was fascinated by and looked like she had rolled in flour after she had finished playing with it!; 'husband-man' and 'wifen-man' (which apparently originally meant 'farmer' and 'weaver' respectively) and a 'lord'. There had been a battle earlier, which we missed :( The 'wounded' warrior was sleeping, so the boys thought he was dead!! One of the guys gave us quite a schpeal, mostly over the boys heads really, but I was able to remember a good portion of it to relay back to them at a more understandable level later on (and much later again I hope). I really wished I'd had a dictaphone hidden in my pocket!!
I took some great pics - but still no web server, so you'll have to wait patiently for those I'm afraid :(

Can anyone recommend somewhere to host my pictures - for free preferably

Friday, May 14, 2004

I love the Library!!

During this morning 'Mums Bible Study' at my home my hubby took the boys up to the skateboard park to play on the ramps - something they've been nagging for for days, bless them. Jacob came home and gleefully informed me that he had mastered the highest ramp! I'm just glad it's their Dad who takes them -I'm not sure I could bear to watch!!
After Lunch Abbie and I went out together to the library (and to buy her a new pair of Doodles). We had a lovely couple of hours together (just her, me and the baby) and she was the perfect angel. She picked out some beautiful books to read and some good choices for her younger sister too. I pretty much left her in charge of 'girls books' while I had a hunt for books for the boys. I found a fabulous book of 'cross-sections' (no, not anything gruesome) - all sorts of things from ancient castles, to trains, boats and then of parts of the human body. It shows all the intricate workings in the most fascinating way and even has little pictures of sailors on the loo (although quite decent)! The boys were captivated and so was Daddy! I can see me hunting it down for the book shelf as a permanent. I also thought I'd try some Origami as a bit of fun with the children, so I got a book to show me how. I'll keep you posted with that one and if I can ever get my website up and running again I'll post some pics! When it came to leaving the library we filled 3 carrier bags full of books - should keep us going for a little while! I think the librarian was a little amused. Abbie was great - she handed over her library card and books like such a big girl. Then, as the lady handed them back to her, packed them one by one, ever-so carefully into her bag. She makes me so proud sometimes. :)
Sadly when we got home she was so tired with all the effort she had put in that she spent most of the rest of the evening being stroppy and tearful - ho-humm!
Tomorrow I'm going to buy her a new bike (from a charity shop) that looks almost new and is going for £15 - I hope I can get in before anyone else beats me to it. Boo is tall enough to need a bike the same size as her 5yo brother and this one is lovely and pink - she'll love it.
Well that's my day. Sorry I've not posted for a couple days. I'll try to be less patchy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Blue Tattoos...!

I couldn't think of a title for today!!

I've had lots of comments about my word tree, so if any of you want me to send it to you as an attachment (it's a Word file) then shout WITH your email address and I'll be happy to oblige!

Today has! A usual schooly day, but I tried to involve my smaller ones a little more today. Boo (that's Abbie's nickname) was fabulous and impressed me with what she could do and how much she was willing to put in. I've got 'write 'n' wipe' books for her and Phoebe which is great for re-use, but oh, sooo messy! By the time Beef (that's Phoebe) was finished she looked like she (and her clothing I might add) had been given an elaborate blue tattoo!!:) The girls were then fed noodles for lunch and when Phoebe put her hands in them...they too turned blue - yummy!! Not quite relishing the thought of my entire home becoming decorated with blue ink the girls duly found themselves having a lengthy midday bath. This confused Boo somewhat as she followed it up with a request for stories and prayers - bless!! Anyway my now clean girls are presently napping peacefully...aaah!

Joel (5yo) had a bit of a reluctant day today, but we plodded through slowly. Four new leaves were added to the tree!

Jacob was doing really well to begin today, but then about 10 mins from the end of his maths he lost it and those last ten minutes of work took him more than an hour! Bear in mind that this wasn't solid working because he took 'breaks' that he wasn't supposed to (that is he got down and played when I wasn't looking!). I was a tad cross. He knows the wrap - that once the work is done he gets to play - officially - and he gets rewards for working well and snacks and longer times to play, etc... but no, he'd rather 'steal' time and hence misses out on his bonuses! It's such a shame that in two whole years of schooling he hasn't grasped that there are so many perks to be had from home-school, if he'd just 'get-on' for the little while that is required of him! Ho-hum!! Bang the same old drum!!

And then in the middle of everything a lady turned up from the council to assess our rent allowance. We were expecting her tomorrow (our mistake), so I didn't have anything ready for her and Paul was out. We were in the middle of school and the house looked like a bomb-site (nothing unusual about that though!). I had to try and run around looking for bits of financial information that were buried under the piles of paper rubble that is our desk and much to no avail (we were planning on sorting it out today ready for tomorrow)! In the end I turned on the computer and accessed our Money files there, as I knew they would be reasonably up-to-date. What a life-save the PC can be sometimes!! Fortunately she was really nice and patient, but I felt she really didn't go away with any more information than she came with!! Of course the children had taken major advantage of my being occupied elsewhere and caused even more havoc than was already reigning before the lady came!!

Top all that with the fact that I feel like I might be brewing a throat infection and that Paul has been out for most of the day (he was fortunately around to help with noodles and bath episode)... I am TIRED - and it's only 4.30pm!

Oh! I forgot to add - the baby has been really restless all afternoon too. We had Spag-Bol' last night - a kiddy fav! - but we think Ellie (baby) might have some intolerance to fatty foods. If I ate mince in pregnancy I always felt REALLY sick. If I ate it when she was first born she would scream the whole of the next day. Now it still seems to affect her even at almost 6 months old, both in my milk and her own food. She also seems to get 'upset' by foods with high milk content (like fromage frais), and I think that's to do with the high fat content of f/c milk. Anyone any ideas on that one?

Oh well, what was I saying about sleeping girls?... - they're awake again!!:(
Aaah, but Paul's home...:)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Making Progress!!

I think maybe one of these days I might just manage to get through without having to nag my 7yo through his work....but when?!!

Other than that it's been a nice day;
Jacob (7yo) has gone a up a level in his swimming lessons, about which we are both pleased.
The sun has shone for the best part and we managed to clean out the guinea-pig - a job the children seem to always strangely enjoy!
My 2yo (Phoebe) hung around Daddy all day (poor Daddy), but sadly had three potty-training accidents :(
My 3yo (Abigail) showed off how much learning she is absorbing from being around school - she apparently knows several of her letters (especially A for Abbie) and is beginning to recognise her numbers too. :)
My 5yo (Joel) astounded me by reeling of about 20 sight words with no hesitation! :) We have made a 'winter' tree that we add a leaf to for each sight word he learns, so that it becomes a 'summer' tree as his reading blossoms (the leaves each have a word written on them so he can continue to see them) - it's a fabulous visual display of how much he is learning - for both of us!!

So all in all a happy day, but some how I still feel a bit flat - maybe because of the remnants of the cold (it seems to have gone quite fast) and a headache lingering around.

I've been playing with the new blog templates tonight. There's one I really like, but if I use it I loose all my past comments and I can't seem to customise it as I'd like. The HTML is a little more cryptic it appears and I can't find all the tags, so I've reverted to this one for now, but you might find things change again if I can master it!

Friday, May 07, 2004


Colds - don't you just hate them! I've got one and I'm feeling rough! Three out of five of the kids have too - Oh, it's a happy household - and maybe that's why Jacob was having such trouble concentrating this week?!Anyway - at least the baby is well - for now!
Not much to tell from the last couple of days, so I won't bore you - or myself... I think we're all too 'under-the-weather' to be doing much - sob, sob, sob!! Can't even motivate myself to get the washing put away, or the mountains yet to be done washed... and the desk is covered with piles of paper that need to be sorted... and the school 'stuff' needs going through too... and, and, and..., but me thinks I'm feeling too sorry for myself!! :(

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A Day Off for Me!!

Wa-hay! I had a day off from schooling today curtesy of a doctors appointment at 10am, so hubby took over school with lots of detailed instructions. He did a good job, although why is it that men never seem to fuss over the intricusies (?spell), like making sure my cac-handed lefty (I'm a lefty too - so that's not meant as a put down to lefties) holds his pencil correctly and tips his page to prevent him holding his hand above his paper. So when I came home and immediatly corrected this I was not welcomed by my son - "Mummy is a bossy boots!!" - He hates not being able to hold his pencil and paper the way he wants to, but I think it's important he learn correctly now to help him in the future. Handwritting is one of my bug-bears I think!!

Why is it also that my 7 year old just cannot seem to concentrate on the task in hand - even with good incentives. Today he took almost 2 hours to complete what have taken him less than 1 hour (20 minutes for five sums and it wasn't that he couldn't do the maths because with Daddy watching over him he could do 10 in about a minute!) ... too much daydreaming. Aaah well...

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A Few Minutes Peace!!

Well today I yet again have a bunch of VERY tired children, especially the boys, who yesterday spent the day at Oulten Park watching the British Superbike Championships - birthday treat!! Myself and the girls (and my Mum) went to Stapely Water Gardens to look at the flowers and the fish - very relaxing, at least if it weren't for the mile long queues of traffic at every turn!! Jacob has also managed to break a cold and so school today was just a little (tum-te-dee) slow. Joel was fortunate enough for it to not be a school day for him (he goes to a playgroupy type thing on a Tuesday with his sisters and my friend), so at least I only had to chivvy along one child.

Elisheva seems to be over the worst of her cold now and has slept most of the day - seems like she's catching up on lost sleep (from so much coughing - bless her), but she's just woken up (or been woken probably) - so much for a moments peace!!

Well, half hour later, baby fed, tea in the oven, girls amusing baby, boys amusing each other ...!

I haven't mentioned Friday....So...

On Friday evening we had Paul's 'End of Year Bash' for college - a dressy affair and I had no dress to wear, so off I went to the charity shops and picked myself up a lovely black dress for £5!! But I - strangely for me (for reason's which will become apparent) couldn't resist the alluring bookshelves. I managed to spend an additional £12 on books - all for the children - but I picked up some bargains including: the most fabulous hard-back edition of 'Cider with Rosie' with original photograhs taken by the author and some beautiful paintings (probably worth all of the £12 in itself :) ), Jungle Book and the Just So Stories & The Second Jungle Book, three of the Enid Blyton Mysteries in a 'bumper book', The Animals of Farthing Wood, Harry the Dirty Dog (which I remember reading in school!), Floss, I could go on...and on..., but suffice to say - I was chuffed!! To get such 'classics' at 50p a piece, or less, pleases me greatly! I also managed to add to my ever growing 'Ladybird' library (I like the readers, but the 'Ladybird Classics' is my main collection item) because these seem to be written at just the write level for my son's interest and concentration levels at the moment. And then I hit upon this book called "The Little Giant" about Isambard Brunel (born in our home town of Portsmouth and a place the children know well), published by Anglia Young Books - it's great! Both a reader AND a history book and just right for year 3! I've sent for a catalogue of their books - and am hopeful!

It's so strange to find myself scouring the bookshelves of charity shops for my children - something I never planned to do really. For myself I don't really enjoy reading, but I am hoping to re-discover the joy of books (something well and truelly knocked out of me by boring school reading schemes!), by reading them with and to my children. I also need to seriously work on my fluency of reading, because I find myself making silly errors when I read to the boys. Being FORCED to read for the sake of my children is proving to be a mutually educating experience!

Another joy of home-schooling discovered. Another pleasure in life being re-discovered!! Praise God. Perhaps when I'm set to reading more I might find it easier and more pleasurable to read my Bible too!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Sunny Days!

Oh I love the sunshine and weekends and birthdays and all the preparations and... It's been a busy but enjoyable day, save for baby being a bit poorly and restless (well otherwise things might be too perfect!!)

Tommorrow is Jacob (my eldest's) 7th birthday - WOW! Where did those 7 years go? And I was reminising whilst wrapping pressies that this time those 7 years ago I was in full swing of my 23 hour labour - and that at the end I thought little of it. Maybe I should follow Sarah's example and post up my birth stories on the web as all five of my children have been born at home and they're good stories! Anyway...So probably no post tommorrow, but Monday the 'Dads and lads' are off to Oulten Park to watch the British Superbikes Championship (not really my thing :( ) as Jake's treat/party and My Mum and I are taking the girls for a hopefully peaceful walk around Stapely Water gardens and to see the fish!!

I'm still working on the pics, but it's a server problem apparently that should be fixed in a few days, so maybe I'll be able to post some nice fishy pics up - or if Paul takes the camera they'll be motorbike pics!!

By the way Merry - and others- the blog design I downloaded was from blogskins, but I just don't know how to transfer it to my blog, or for that matter how to back up this design before I fiddle any more!
Speak Monday.