Thursday, August 31, 2006
So off we went to techniquest today. If you want a sneek peek watch the loop below. You get to see all the pics if you click HERE, or if you just want the highlights, click the link :) The pictures say it all really. Brilliant place! Even the little one has a lovely time - highly recommended. There is even a 'Starlab'; an air-flow dome with a 'solar system' film and night sky display. We all really enjoyed that. We came home with gooey putty, a solar-system kit, twisty mobile, bath confetti and other such goodies from the gift shop. Jake is into the buying pens phase I noticed!
For a little slideshow click HERE :
If you're wondering about Joel's shiner - Jacob's bottom landed on his head when they were on the trampoline at D's the other night (housegroup BBQ) - on which, I might add, I managed to still do a somersault! Although I didn't quite land on my feet. I couldn't get the height like I used to in my teens :( I love it though - so addictive!
The kids are all getting a bit past it now, so we think we will abandon the Liverpool plans for tommorrow ( :( ) and save that for a 'parental leave' day. I know the boys will be disappointed, but I don't think the little ones will last another full-on full day of activities. So, the plan is to give them a choice; we either split up and I take the bigguns swimming whilst P. takes the teenies for another morning at Funsters (Phoebe is asking to go again and C. enjoyed it so much), or we all go back to Funsters for another longer session. Either choice is OK and would mean a quieter afternoon at home putting together 'stuff' that also needs to get done - like assembling the never-ending plants project (which is going in a scrapbook I've decided, as there is too much of it for a lapbook) and the new solar-system kit maybe - plus there is always Hama to be done! It also means the babies could have a much needed afternoon rest :-) That might count for Daddy too, as even he seems to getting a bit past it! Mind you, when he is about the kids do go a bit overboard on the "I want Daddy to do it" stakes - especially E, which means he is pretty non-stop with them - poor man. The older ones seem to gravitate more towards me for some reason (maybe because the little ones are hanging on to Paul!), which is OK by me, I quite enjoy their company these days. :-)
...and there! We’ve had a fantastic couple of days. No pics ‘cause I keep forgetting to take my camera - must remember it tomorrow!
Yesterday was predominantly errands, but the girls left town with a ring each (silver and gemstone @ £3 a piece) for the older two and a pretty wooden necklace for Belle. Plus P. got her winter boots. I decided against trainers for her as she is such a jeans and floaty skirts girl (I know that is extremes, but that’s her), so boots should fare her well - and she is almost big enough footed to wear a pair of hand-me-downs that are waiting in the garage for her. The boys left with a new piece of Hot-Wheels kit : a ramp that hooks over the door to make a steep drop - battery free and great fun :) and Joel also got his ‘tennis shoes’ he was after like his brother. Only it turns out he needs to boost them a little with insoles as they are a teeny bit on the big side. Also went to the library and did the usual book exchange. Boo has finished her reading mission and Joel has almost - just a couple of chapters of this last book to go. I need to read lots to Phoebe in the next few days and Jake has to plough through two more books, so he picked cartoony type ones to make it easy on himself - although as of today I’m not even sure he’s started one! They also took out 3 videos and 2 talking books (Holes and the Lion Boy) which Jake wanted and I figure that if he’s not going to read good literature of his own free will, he might be more enthused if he listens to more, so I’m happy with that idea :)
Today was a busy, busy day - and broke the bank a bit too! Firstly to ‘Funsters’ this morning, which was great fun. The older kids always have a ball there. Caleb really got into it after about 40 minutes or so and was climbing up and down the mini-frame in the toddler bit. Els was more hesitant. She is not fantastic with heights - not fearful as such, just very cautious and likes to hold on to something, but she is also seemingly quite uncomfortable in confined spaces and this was a bit of a hindrance to her climbing through some of the gaps, but she had fun all the same and grew in confidence when she saw that Caleb could do stuff!
Then on to Pizza Hut for lunch, which was is a rare treat that is always a hit - especially the ice-cream factory afters! Joel was in heaven, with all the cherry tomatoes he could eat and cheese & tomato pizza in unlimited supply :) Jake likewise - Pizza and salad being his favourite foods, whilst Caleb & Ellie tucked into the garlic bread and ice-cream too! Not the healthiest of diets today, but for holidays who cares ;-)
After that on to bowling. I won the first game - yup - managed to get two strikes and a spare consecutively, which bumped my score up some and I only beat P. by one point, but bearing in mind his last points were scored by Ellie and Caleb I guess it’s fair to say he won really! We ended up playing two games, although I think by half way through the second game we had all had enough - except for perhaps Jake, who was loving it! Caleb had a ball (excuse the pun!) and was in his element. You should have seen him trying to push the ball down the runner and watching it go down the lane - and then clapping himself - SO cute! Really wished I’d had a camera with me at that point :( Towards the end he lost the plot though as he was over tired, having only napped for about 20 minutes when we walked from Funsters to PH.
But tell me why is it that, even when you blow over £100 in one day on your kids, they still whine about the one thing you said “no” to - namely a ride on the motorbike game/Postman Pat van in the bowling alley arcade? A little infuriating…!
Tomorrow we’ve decided we will go to Wrexham - provided it doesn’t look to be the only scorcher of the week - to Techniquest. And then on Friday I think we will go to Liverpool instead of Manchester. There just seems to be more to do there - or at least the website is easier to navigate and see what attractions there are, plus, I’ve always wanted to take a look at the city centre and so has Jake (especially good news for him I think, as Liverpool is his ‘team’). It’s looking increasilngly likely that the beach is not going to happen. I’m so thankful for that Sunday School outing to Llandudno - it might be our only chance again this year :( Maybe next year we will have a car and it’ll all be a lot simpler…(we can dream!)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This morning was spent mooching around and despite plans for a lie in, I was awake at 5am - the time I sometimes go to bed!! I never normally go to bed the right side of midnight and last night I was asleep by 11.30 - so I awoke with the larks and way before the kids! I did some reading of ‘The Explosive Child’ (thanks Carol :-) ) - which is hardly early morning reading, but has me thoroughly hooked! When the kids did get up they took themselves off downstairs as per usual and left Paul & I undisturbed. I’ve read nearly half the book already! I never get a chance like that usually ( . . At breakfast time I called a family conference and we all sat together to eat - that but NEVER happens here! We made a list between us of all the things we would like to do, see, eat and achieve this week. That was really nice. Then Paul & I sat and organized those ideas into something relatively doable and our schedule for the week looks a bit like this;
Today - Cinema & McD’s with the big four -
Tomorrow - Library, shoes for girls, Barony park (mostly for boys and their skateboards), girly shopping with the girls for necklaces and such like, make opticians appointment for JA, ?feed the ducks, and various ‘other’ bits in town (like buy a pressie for our newest family member).
Wednesday - Funsters (soft play place), Pizza Hut & Bowling!
Thursday - Techniquest (Wrexham)
Friday - Manchester (Man U museum & Manchester Museum) OR Beach (West Kirby)
Saturday - shopping, gardening, general sorting out & a night out for our anniversary for Paul and me.
Sunday - business as usual!!
I got to do stuff with my eldest four today that I can only do when Daddy is at home to be with the babies and it was really lovely. ‘Cars’ was a really fun film - predictable story line, but fun all the same and the Cinema is always fun (albeit way too expensive!). That coupled with the McD’s and the kids were in seventh heaven! It was so good to spend such a relaxed afternoon with them and despite carting raincoats around with us all day we managed to avoid the littered heavy downpours entirely. I just hope tomorrow turns out equally successful. I suspect a day running errands around town is not too exciting for any of us, but it has to be done, so we may as well get it out of the way for the week and try to make the best of it by interspersing it with ‘fun stuff’.
I’m off to bed now, or else I shall have no energy to give the kids my full tomorrow. I’ve had to spend the evening working on our church ‘Welcome Pack’ - which of course I put together months back and no-one acted on, so now it’s out of date (a little) and they want it updated and ready for Sept 10th when our church goes to two services. It’s pants - I didn’t want to really spend any unnecessary time on here this week, but hey - life must go on - even if I AM on holiday!! Sometimes I really do wish we could afford to actually GO away and then people really would have no choice but to wait!
Monday, August 28, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
This afternoon was filled with more cleaning and hoovering (trying to get around the house at least once a week atm). I can keep up with it fairly well when I'm not schooling - why is that I wonder? It does prove to me though that I can do the house-wife and mother thing, it's just adding in the 'teacher' bit that throws the balance a little! Good thing is though that if I take a week off every 3/4 this year the house should not get that bad that a quick blitz won't sort it in that week off. I can keep on top of the day-to-day muddle & keep the kitchen clean. It's the deep cleaning everywhere else that's a trouble - or any kind of general cleaning for that matter!!
Other stuff - Jacob has been promoted a lane at swim club tonight. At last, and not without a little nudge from me to the coach. I've been puzzled as to why he hasn't been leveled up before. He's faster than all the other kids in his lane (50m in 50 secs average speed in all strokes) and has a good distance record too, but for some reason the guy didn't seem to want to promote him. I think it's because he is under 10. Anyway - he's up now and that's a good thing because J was beginning to loose motivation (seeing his hard work unrewarded) and wanting to give up. He said he did enjoy it in the end tonight, despite not wanting to go this evening, but this has given him new drive - and I think the extra challenge is a good thing for him. He needs a challenge to rise to or else he will happily coast and acheive very little, whereas I think he has real potential to be a competitive swimmer, so I really don't want to see him give this up too easily.
That'll do tonight. I need an early night - and 12.30 is early for me! It's been nearer 3am most mornings this week!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
For those who know our extended family - my SIL Ruth had her baby yesterday. Tobias David - Welcome to the world :-)
For those who don’t know. Tobias is a very special baby. My sil had a term+ still birth almost exactly 3 years ago (and that following repeated late-ish miscarriages). Chloe should have been between Melody (my other SIL’s 3rd daughter) and Ellie - they would have been a gang of 3yo girls - and it still hurts to think that when we are all together.
So as you can all imagine Toby is very precious to us all - not least to R&G . I’ve yet to speak to R - must do that tomorrow. I need to see some pictures NOW :-)
And for those who are counting - Tobias is the 12th living grandchild to M&D Hampton! (If I do the same ratio as they have now, which is 1:3, I will have 18 grandchildren - so I dread to think what the real figures might work out to!!)
It’s been a mad few days actually, but today has got to be a highlight. Some weeks ago I had decided, at Boo’s suggestion, to organise a home-ed sports day in our local park and today was the day. We had 7 families represented - which amounted to 20 children, a teenager and two babies, plus I roped in another couple of teenagers from church to help out (one of whom is HE too). It was really great fun, Sadly I was too busy blowing my whistle and organising games and races to take any piccies, but I might be able to scrounge some from other folks who did take some.
We started out with team races - relay, dressing up race (Eric (12) dressed as a princess was cool!), obstacles race, space-hopper race, sack race. I had others planned but that took best part of an hour already, so then we had a quick drink-break before one of the dads took over for a while. I didn’t know he was coming, but apparently he was a professional rugby player. He brought over loads of ‘kit’ and looked very pro’ indeed. He had all the children listening and attending as he did about another hour of Athletics (which is essentially what it was) with them, followed by a mini-footy match and some hoop tossing for the smaller ones & girls. Anyway, all I knew about this dad was what I have already said and I kept calling over to see if he was OK with all the kids. He assured me he was, so I chatted a bit with the mums. When I got home and was telling P. all about the day I told him about this dad. He naturally asked his name - which was Jason Robinson! I know nothing about rugby, but yes he was THE Jason Robinson who scored the only try for England in the Rugby World Cup - apparently!! WOW! How silly do I feel for ‘checking up on him’ now!! But also -WOW - what an opportunity for the kids :) Jacob seemed to have no idea how fab this all was until I compared it to playing football with Wayne Rooney, or Beckham - then he got it!!
Another great thing; my box-o-books for Schofield and Sims came today. They look really ace :) Joel should be able to work through those at a comfortable pace and they will gradually become more stretching as he progresses. As there is no Year differentiation (just KS2 on the books) he can just travel through until he gets to the end and he has 3 years to do it in. It also means I shall hopefully only need to top-up for Boo next year (saving me significant cost), but I did also already get her a few bits to keep her going, hopefully most of the way up to and through Yr2, so that I can concentrate my funds of Phoebe more next year. I made a compromise on the workbooks/teaching text front in the end. I plummeted for mostly workbooks, but with a photocopyable resource that requires more input from me as well - and this could possibly turn out to be the best £10 I ever spent I think :) It’s really brilliant and there are 54 units of work in the pack!
Just waiting now for my parcel from Peter (Halfmoon) too - with maths (My Pals this year - I decided to switch from Primary Maths because J & A need more hands-on, slower paced maths I think), art and a few science bits for A & P.
I have a these to sell now too;
Home Instructors guides for Singapore Primary Maths 2A & 2B - £15 + postage (or make me an offer) - used but in good condition - no marks.
On another note - I have been tagged (thanks Merry), but it’s already midnight, so I’m going to do this really quick and as I don’t read much that should be quite easy!
- One homeschool book you have enjoyed;
- One resource you would not be without;
- One resource you wish you had never bought;
Then probably the CGP stuff - nothing wrong with it, just didn’t really fit with our style of school and the maths was just ‘more maths’ when we had it for Jacob, although I do think it helped him a bit at the time.
- One resource you enjoyed last year;
- One resource you will be using next year;
- One resource you would like to buy:
- One resource you wish existed;
- One Homeschooling catalogue you enjoy reading;
- One homeschooling website you use regularly;
- Tag five H-edders
And I’ll trot round to see who else hasn’t been tagged yet and tag you! But not tonight. Failing that - “I tag You” - let me know if you’ve caught the tag (or is that “tig”) !?!
That’s all for tonight. I’ve got Joel’s Best friend D staying tomorrow night and then family arriving on Thursday, so my 11 yo 2nd cousin will be sleeping here for the 3 night following. I need to get the house straight tomorrow and I’m exhausted from all that exercise today! Still it’s good for me - I hope it makes a dint in my weight-scales!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Anyway - ought to go and actually DO some of that thinking now!!
UP FOR SALE:
All CGP BOOKS
KS1 Science - Study Book & Question Book (Yrs 1 & 2) - £6
KS2 History - Study Book and Workout Bk One (for Yr3) - £6
(please note that ONE page of the Egypt section of the workout book is completed - sadly in pen :( The rest is untouched)
KS2 Geography - Study Book & Workout Bk One (for Yr3) - £7
Year Three Maths - Classbook 3A & 3B plus Yr3 Maths Workout -
Life here has a distinctly holiday feel to it - namely kids running around wildly making too much noise a lot of the time. The boys can occupy themselves well enough when they put their minds to it and they do at times - especially if that time is allowed to include copious amounts of PS2 time. The current craze being Tony Hawks Pro-skater 4 which they are incredibly and scarily good at! The only real alternatives in their minds being TV or PC time (far too many square screens in this house for my liking). When they get a flat “no” to any or all of the above then out come the better toys (after a few “what can we do then...?” type complaints); Knex, mini-skateboards, footballs, hot-wheels & cars, Beyblades and these really fast tyre things (can’t remember their name)., playmobil, soldiers - you name it they have it. But of course they have nothing to play with, or nothing that is any fun!! What is it about electronic toys that makes them so attractive to boys (big and small ones) and mind-numbing! It seems to tune them out of all possibility that fun might be had in other ways.
OK - anti PS rant over. :) It does have it’s pro’s I know (that’s why we have one), but I struggle to find them sometimes.
Other than too much SASS (staring at square screens) time, there has some other stuff happening, namely a mass Hama craze – especially on Joel’s part, but Jacob has produced some lovely bits too. Looking forward to an order from Merry. I want to have a go at some of the Hama sewing patterns myself, so I’ve order that pattern book. Jake has done a few more drawings of various types of cars, including some cartoony ‘wacky races’ type ones. Phoebe has spent some time on Reader Rabbit nursery and on Ed’ City. She loves both. I’ve paid for Abbie on Ed City too, but she doesn’t seem that taken with it (rrrr). I should have paid for Ellie or Joel first - they are more into it. Ho-hum! I was planning to sign Els up this week, but it turns out it’s going to be a shorter one than I had hoped, so she might have to wait :(
Today is the first of our churches 2 day holiday club (shorter than usual for a reason), so the four oldest are packing off to that at 1.45pm courtesy of a friend with a car! I shall then aim to get the babies to bed for a 2hr nap and then to sit and orgo-plan for next term. I need to go through all my resources (and I have many) and work out exactly what I do already have that I can use, especially for Joel, what is missing and what I’d like to add in. Also I’d like to see if there is anything I can sell on that I am not likely to use , but being a terrible curriculum collector I doubt that I will be able to part with anything in reality - just in case I have a child who it would work for!! I think I might try to work out some kind of rough schedule for the term/year as well. I want to see if I can make it more workable (not that my last attempt was that bad actually) than ever before - and incorporate more ‘fun’ and ‘free-range’ activities (albeit guided ones). If I get all that done in two hours (who am I trying to kid!) then there’s some floors could use a hoover too.
OK - so that’s the kids gone now. I’m off to do what I have planned or else I shall fritter away two hours on here! I'll blog if I get chance later. I’ve got the children all to myself until well after bedtime tonight. Paul is busy with church stuff all evening tonight and tomorrow - sigh! I struggle with tired, after-club kids at bedtime. Put that together with ratty, teething baby and it’s not a recipe for much fun, but I’ll see what I can do to make as peaceful as poss’ and then come and blog to off-load I expect ;-)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I thought both were brilliant!
In fact there has been quite a lot of Hama-ing going on around here. Joel has really got into it and spent ages yesterday making the 'rocket' from the space set. The day before he made the astronaut. I've said I'm going to make some kind of mural with it to put in their space-themed bedroom. I want them to have a go at making the different planets too - maybe even to scale. Anyone fancy making some patterns for them? I think maybe come September we might start the 'Exploring Creation with Astronomy@ book I bought a couple of years ago and spend as long as it takes working through that for science this year. Together with the 'Space' lapbook project I bought, we should be able to learn heaps and have lot of fun with it too :-)
Phoebe has also been busy and although she predominantly does random beads on a 'frame' she did actually use a clear frame over a pattern and make the 'red heart in a star' one from last years christmas set. She gave it away to Helen today - bless her :-)
Abbie made a rather pretty heart - semi random, semi-planned and it looks pretty. (pic another day)
Other than masses of beads on my dining table there has been a fair amount of 'other stuff' happening too. Ellie, Phoebe and Boo have spent some time on educationcity today and yesterday. Phoebe loves it and is pretty switched on once she learns to listen to what it is asking. Ellie LOVES the singing on the nursery level - although it gets a little tedious for me. I'd like to see a few more 'games' there for her age. Abbie quite enjoyed some of it, but was frustrated at one game where she had to click on the girls/boys names. She couldn't read them fast enough and as she lacks that photograhic memory she was trying to read them from scratch every time they popped up (instead of remembering what she had only just read a few seconds ago). But I think that will be good practice for her if she can past the frustration. I signed up Phoebe and Abbie for the year and once I had done that the other kid's 'free-trial' disappeared - pants - I'd hoped they would stay free for a bit, but alas! Anyway, I shall sign them up one at a time (one a fortnight probably) because I simply can't afford all five (excluding caleb for now!) at once, but I do think it is an excellent site.
What else..? Joel has decided to do a bug-study! This has involved capturing two spiders and a number of woodlice in small plastic tubs and repeatedly removing the lids to take a look! I've said we could do it properly, but he doesn't seem to really want to do that, so I'll just let him have fun with it and see what he learns - most likely that bugs can't survive long in small plastic tubs without much of a food supply!!
Jacob has decided (and I quote)
"school holidays are all about watching TV and playing on the playstation - and going in holiday, which we aren't, so that doesn't count!"
So - I guess that means lots of fresh air and playing out with friends is out of the question then - sigh !!
On Sunday mornings the girls have now decided they have to do the whole 'dressing up' thing really well. So, not only do their wear their Sunday best clothes, but now I have to paint their fingernails (sparkly lilac), adorn them with necklaces and bracelets and apply pretty tattoos! They look gorgeous, but I didn't think I was in for teenage girls in the house for another 6 years yet!!
Abbie has also decided she wants to learn how to plait hair, so that's a must for tommorrow. Might have a go at shoe-laces too!
Today and yesterday I have been clearing out the study to make it inhabitable my P's M&D this weekend - it was a tip! It still looks too cluttered for my liking really, but it's getting there. Sometime I need to get to the rest of the house too though, so it might just have to suffice for now. They have abed and a little floor space and they are only here two nights, so that should be OK.
We have had various 'educational' discussions too, but I always forget to make a note of them and then I've forgotten by the time I come to blogging.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Despite advising Jake to cover up a few times, he refused to (he's 9 - I decided if he didn't want to take my advise he might have to learn the hard way - this once!) and hence he is nicely toasted, but suprisingly uncomplaining about it! Sadly I am toasted to - not deliberatly, but through my own careless forgetfulness to cream myself - sigh!
Speed boat ride - Brilliant fun :)
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The pictures below just about say it all - suffice to say we had a wonderful time - as we always do when we get together. The kids leave with a longing to live in the country....wouldn't that be lovely! I leave with a renewed sense of friendship and what that really means :) Good to see Jax and Co. again too :)
(Yes, Phoebe is in all of all of them - she seems to have that nack!)
Star by Jacob
Face (Catie) by Joel
Flower and heart by Catie
Butterfly by me!
The Ninja fight between the talking chimney, it's owner and the ninja bady!
This is the loop of the rest of the photos - too many to post one by one, I've just put a few other 'moments' here too :)