Friday, November 21, 2008

In Brief...

  • Jake's fish died today :( Freckles was pretty old, but seeing as he lived in a greenish tank most of his life and was only fed when one of the kids thought of it, it's surprising he has survived the 3+ years that he has.
  • We played Poleconomy (the very basic version) and thoroughly enjoyed that together.
  • We finished off the chapter on Venus in our Astronomy project and learnt a bit about radar.
  • Paul said "no" to Glasgow (more on that another time).
  • Natty is trying to talk - it's too cute!
  • I won the kids a Wii (and some nice extras) for Christmas on Ebay (ouch again!)
  • oh - and I love Googlemail more and more everyday - it just keeps getting prettier!
  • Night!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We had our interview this morning and are going out for a meal tonight with the leadership of the church. I will blog more on return home home, but we have a time card for our internet access and I need to get some shut eye. I am still not fully recovered from tummy bug earlier in the week. Anyhow, after the interview, we looked at a house (v. nice) and had lunch, then took a drive out to Loch Lomond. We arrived on the banks just as the sun was setting and it was BEAUTIFUL :) Pics to follow, but I left the camera in the car and it's too cold to go out and get it! That said, it is so far a suprisingly mild weekend weather-wise so far and on the most part I have been walking around in just my hoody.

We are still not sure if this right for us yet, so we need to talk and pray more, but the weekend is not over yet :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Joel's New Story

Can't be bothered to blog properly - need to pack for our trip to Glasgow tomorrow. But J2 wrote a story today and I think it's worth sharing, so check it out HERE
I've uploaded the unedited version. I've marked it now and he need to go over it again, but I was not unduly impressed with his first attempt. His errors are ones I would expect of a 10yo and to correct everything first time would be quite advanced, as it is mainly commas and repeated words that need sorting out. Word count 665 words - so not bad on that either :) See what you think!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's educational activities included the making of this;

Jake wrote the play as part of his GP English and they have spent the weekend learning it. It took about 8 shoots to get it right though! The synch'ing is not quite right because I had to convert it to MP4, otherwise it was a massive file, and the synchronisation got lost in translation!!

Ellie wrote this today too :) Free hand and with only a little help to find middle sounds of cat and pit. She really is getting it and was so pleased with herself (as was I of course) to be able to actually write real words :)

Girly Room Re-Vamp

Thought you all might like to see the end result :)

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tetonic Plates & Beeston Castle!

The car (sorry 'big-blue-bus') is fantastic - runs like a dream and, although not the fastest machine on four wheels, it gets all of us where we need to go - all together - and we are really loving that! It was the first year that we have all been able to arrive at the college firework display as a family, other than on foot, and have the luxury of cruising home again, rather than dragging cold, tired kids a mile or so up the road - BLISS :-)

No sooner did we get it though and folks could find a usefulness for it! Tomorrow P is ferrying a heap of people down to 'The Stand' at the NEC in Birmingham for the day. That's OK though, it's good to be able to share a blessing :-)

This week in Geography we were looking at Tectonic plates and as part of that discussed 'divergent' and 'convergent' plate boundaries (which according to the new GP SYRWTL Geography Bk 1 - we Brit's call something different ; constructive and destructive according to it, but whatever - the lesson is the same! ) and as a product of our lesson we produced a 'model' of how divergent/constructive boundaries spill molten lava (magma) onto the sea floor. The magma was represented by melted butter, which spilled out and ran down to cut rivers from the flour and then later hardened to form a new surface. The kids loved it and it did look good!

Today, most of the children and I went over the the Playgroup Autumn Fayre this morning. I always feel it is a shame these events are not better supported by the mums. The playgroup staff work really hard to provide a nice play environment for our children, and good clean toys, but it all cost money and the fayre is to help pay for those little extras that make it special. Sadly though not many mums came and I reckon they made more money through the high-school kids at break-time than through the mums (the playgroup is held in the grounds of the local high-school and we use the main hall for the fayre) :(
When I got home, P was back from his church meeting and the boys, who had stayed home together, were beginning to fight again. I just couldn't face another day of peace-keeping while P was out doing 'stuff' (shopping, getting wood from Focus for JA's DT project, checking the car before the journey tomorrow, etc...), and for once P took sympathy (yeah!) and we quickly decided to go out for the afternoon. It was such a gorgeous day it seemed a shame to waste it. But it was already nearly 12pm and we knew by the time we had swallowed lunch there would not be really much 'day' left, so we opted to do something that some, but not all the kids had done before; not too far away and not too expensive for a couple of hours activities. Beeston Castle it was to be then, despite J2's protests about having been there before and that it was "BORING!" to do the same thing twice...(sigh)!

Just as we arrived it rained a little and we wondered about changing plan and going to the candle workshop instead, just around the corner, but P is not one who likes to change plans and today I am glad we didn't. As you will see from the pictures, the rain was really nothing :-)
Actually J2 had a great time (not that he would admit it at all when I asked him later of course) and he and JA had a good excuse for fighting with sticks and stones!! Tell me though if you see the irony that we noticed; it seemed better to us that the boys play fought at a castle, pretending to kill each other in some quite graphic ways, than it did to have the screaming at each other at home and fighting with nothing but voices! There is something just so horrid about 'real' fighting, even if the play fighting was actually more malicious - why is that?

We returned home - gave the kids their second hot-dog tea of the week (the other one being of slightly better quality at the firework party) and sat them down to watch Miracle of 34th Street. That done most of the them headed off to bed. I was supposed to be at dance tonight but couldn't muster a lift, so didn't go, but JA went out to 'The Club With No Name' and J2 and I watched X factor together while Paul settled the others. Once JA was home again and in bed we ordered a curry (first in ages) and started to watch King Kong on TV, but then noticed how long it was. I was already bored and came to blog (although it's taken me two attempts as the network crashed on the Lappy - sigh) and Paul went to bed!

Monday, November 03, 2008

And so on...

Well, of all things I had to do yesterday, I did manage most of them - quite an achievement! I did finish sorting the PM house, but didn't get to listing anything yet. I'm still hoping I might find a few more bits! I did sell the Previa (only £150, but better than nothing and better still because the guy was planning to try and fix it for his sister. I was somehow glad it wasn't going to be scrapped - dunno why!. I did clean the kitchen floor. I didn't blog or read round, but have done a bit of that tonight instead. We did all go for a drive after tea in the new bus - to the 24hr Tesco in Crewe to buy milk (just an excuse) with the kids in their pj's! It really is a bus, or a beast, depending on how you look at it, and it's really fab! Body work is really nice inside and out and nothing is falling apart. The boot is enormous (bigger than the Previa because it has more height) + the roof rack is pretty massive too :) Seats are not adjustable at all (except the driver's, which is mega adjustable in about 5 different ways), which is a bit of a draw-back, but never-the-less they are comfortable enough, forcing you to sit in an upright, but well supported position.

Mid-way through the day my tumble dryer packed up, putting an abrupt stop to my Saturday 'plough-through-a-mountain-of-washing' routine! :(#

Today, after church, P added the rails to the new arrangement in the girls' room and I spent the entire rest of day sorting through E's clothes! I have wittled out two boxes full for storage (one winter one summer), one crate full for a friend and a bag for another friend. She is still left with two 80cm rails FULL, a drawer of summer things, an undies & tights drawer and a nightware drawer! Something tells me she had/s too many clothes! The older girls have one rail, two shelves and a drawer each (A has two drawers). Am I being excessive in keeping so much? It's just that the girls just seem to have loads of clothes, but it all seems quite necessary - cardigans, trousers, shorts, cut-offs, skirts, dresses, long-sleeve tops, t-shirts, blouses, etc..! The boys clothese are so much simpler and they only have a rail and a basket each, plus underwear drawer and pj's drawer (trofast).

Now on to tackle finishing off N & JA's room, which is really just a tidying matter now my Mum has departed with all her bags (she brings soooo many bags!!). And then onto J2 & C's room, where I am trying to create a little extra space, but also store some of the toys that I am fed up of seeing in my lounge. Hmmm - it could prove tougher than I am hoping it will!

Guess what... it's now
gone 1.30am again, and I never did do my pile of marking! So I am going to have to get up early enough to do it before school when the kids need their books to work in and will want to know how they did! I am too tired now though, so I need to be organised and awake in the morning - neither of which are how I would best describe myself in the mornings ever, especially after a series of hard-graft days & late nights!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Nothing & Something to Say...

A pretty uneventful day. Paul bought the bus and says it looks good. I'll see for myself tomorrow afternoon when he gets home (via Ikea to pick up boxes). I cut E's hair into a quaint little bob. She is the only one of my girls that can carry that and it emphasises her pure blondeness, which I love :) She looks really cute and it makes her hair seem thicker too (it really is very thin and fine).

All the kids did a bit of 'homework' ; JA and J2 did Spanish. A finished her guinea pig poster, P finished her Greece review sheet, All did spellings, JA also wrote a short play (it must be short, it didn't take him very long!). Tomorrow I need to do some marking and they all, except J2, have a bit more work to do (see yesterday).

When they were done they all headed off to the Light Party (our churches 'alternative Halloween' event) which they all thoroughly enjoyed :) JA was there as a helper - supposedly!!

While they were out, and N & C were napping, I made a start of sorting out the Playmobil house for selling. I ended up with all but one window box restocked with flowers, which, considering the number I pick up off the floor all the time, is remarkable. I would have thought we would have lost more to the hoover than we have. Quite a few bits do seem to be missing or partly broken though, which is a real shame as it significantly reduce what we can get for it :( The Grande Mansions do not go on Ebay now for even a third of what we paid for it originally, even if they are in almost immaculate condition - which ours is not. Ours would be better described as 'well played with condition' - even though in reality it hasn't been that much. :( I must admit I will be sad to see it go, but the girls don't seem too bothered and it is simply too big to store for the next generation. Ah well, this is my first real initiation into departing with toys - toys and books are almost impossible to part with in my eyes, but I'm going to have to get used to it I think. I will be doing a lot more of it as the years go by.

Tomorrow I have to; prepare Sunday School, finish off sorting the pm house before the smalls wreck it even more (it's stood in the middle of my lounge atm), to list it, the mesh drums/stands and a couple of baby toys on Ebay, to get the girls sorted for ballet, to clean the kitchen floor (it's not nice!), sort out the sale of the Previa (Ebay also), blog at some point and catch up with those I haven't 'visited' in cyberspace lately, play with our new bus!, put away the shopping when P's done it, and cram as much else into one day as I possibly can - it's my last chance - school on Monday!