Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gym & NBW

DD had a Regional Assessment day for Gymnastics last Sunday. He did REALLY well and came away with a Silver (Merit) which means he averaged between 80-90% over the 6 pieces of apparatus. I'm so proud of all his hard work! We should find out individual piece scores too, but he has a couple of days off now :D

And tomorrow we have a 12th birthday in the house!

This week we are having a Non-Book Week (NBW) so I can get some marking done (I've only done Minnie so far ~ that took me a solid day!!) and because the chids were desperate too!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Little Chip fun!

Just a little clip from our family mealtime ~ and yes, it is often like this!!

Chip 'accidentally' discovered the spoon-flipping thing, but didn't stop at that!

 And then of course others had to join in the fun...

A little Art Update and A Birthday...

Our Jim Dine 'mixed media' art came out well :D 
We didn't follow the instructions to the letter, but the results are pleasing.

Minnie and Taz chose to do a different piece of work, so Minnie's is acrylics and Taz's is gouache. 
Both are lovely I think :D

Left to right; Stitch (6), Minnie (13), Taz (15).

Top to bottom;
Lilo (10), DD (8) & TP (almost 12)

Here's some other bits of art that I don't think I've documented either 
~ these hearts were TP's work with wax-relief the week before last... 

...and these Lego Starwars people are just something Taz did in his spare time :D

And this week - on Monday - I became the mother of three teenagers!
I can remember when I thought about these teenage years and they seemed so far away. BUT, in just 15 months from now, Jake will be officially an adult and TP will be a entering her teens too! It hardly seems possible.

The difference 2 years makes ~ from young girl, to young woman really :-(

She started the day opening presents and cards on my bed with lots of on-lookers (as is our family tradition). She had put this watch on her wish-list at Christmas (which was when I bought it, and put it aside), but had forgotten all about it, so when she saw it she was thrilled :D ...

And she had her heart set on this dress from Joe Browns since it went in the sales after Christmas ~ she was super happy to have it on at last :D

Along with '13' in this house comes Facebook, and all the privileges of more internet freedom. It's scary for sure, that our children our so publically 'out there' these days, but I have to accept that this is the age they are maturing in and they need to learn to be savvy and wise within it. I figure at home, with me is the best place for them to do that ~ under my watchful eye (and I am watchful) and guiding hand. I have had to make sure I keep up with it all for the sake of my children, and I am glad that I have done that mostly ahead of them. Jake is now at a point where he knows more about some internet related things than I do, but in MOSTLY I am still a step ahead of him ;-) May it always be so (or at least may I always keep up!). So, the morning (and a good portion of the day tbh) was spent setting her up on Facebook, finding her friends, posting and tagging pictures, etc... ~ you know the deal :D

Usually Minnie cooks lunch on a Monday, but being as it was her birthday she didn't, and as she had another ballet show in the evening she wasn't even going to get her 'chosen tea' (another family tradition), so I asked her if she fancied pancakes for lunch! She was very pleased with that idea, so we had savoury pancakes (garlic chicken, rocket, cheese, tomatoes ~ you choose the filling), followed by sweet ones (chocolate sauce, Nutella, golden syrup...). It made everyone happy ~ including me! :D

Early evening she set off for her final ballet show of the year ~ excited, happy, sad (that it was all going to over very soon)...

Once Paul arrived home with her at almost 9.30 he then decided she could sit and watch Les Miserables with him (and Jake & Taz), so she didn't get to bed until gone midnight!

All-in-all she says she had a lovely birthday and we crowned the occasion with a delicious Chinese take-away yesterday for her special meal (her choice instead of a party this year, as it cost almost as much!)

Happy Birthday Minnie ~ Love you SOOO much!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A little bit of this and that...

This week has been decidedly uneventful, which is actually a good thing :D

Usual Thursday things really...
Caught our Zoology lapbook up to date with where we are in the textbook, and stuck everything in place.
Minnie got her top brace fitted in the afternoon, so by the evening her teeth were beginning to ache - poor thing.

I swam ~ I'm back up to my 130 lengths more easily now and working on my technique a little. Trying to better my time. Managed 1hr 25 tonight :D
I spent the rest of the evening watching a few more crochet tutorials and downloading some patterns to try. 

The usual things; Chatterbox (toddler group) and then home to catch up on a bit of work (and do some more crochet!)
I spent the evening crocheting my first real 'thing' ~ & made Minnie a slouch hat. 

So here's a shot of Minnie with new braces and new hat!

The usual craziness in the morning of gym for Lilo and DD, & Ballet for Minnie. It's her ballet school's biannual show on the 9th and 10th, so they are all rehearsals and excitement atm :D. However Paul does all the taxiing, so I just laid in for a bit!
I crocheted some more (yeah, kind of enjoying it :D) and spent some time on the PC in the afternoon, doing some prep for Sunday morning.
The kids generally played well together most of the day, so it was quite a peaceful day - for me anyway!

Church (fabulous service) and then home for a game of Seafarers of Catan ~ Episode 6 (Cloth for Catan). These games usually take all afternoon, and this was no exception :D Paul won (again ~ how does he do it?!?), but we did chase him down hard near the end and it was a close call between him and Jake. 
Then the older kids were off out straight after tea to youth groups, while I put the littlies to bed and settled down to an evening of 'Call the Midwife' and 'Mr Selfridge' ~ my Sunday evening fix (crochet in my lap) :D

A new week, but I always find it tough to get up on a Monday morning! Only this morning Chip was up bright and early needing the loo, so I got up to sort him out & then of course he climbed back into bed with me and chatted and fidgeted like all good 3 year olds do ;-) . So, I crocheted a little bit - just to start the day on the right foot and all! ...

Here's my progress in a week... I feel I'm beginning to see how it all works now, and that really helps :D

DD & Minnie are back up to Lesson 3 of All About Spelling (Level 4) now. We're going a bit slower this time, but I am very glad we are repeating. It is proving very worthwhile and, surprisingly, not at all boring!

Minnie cooked a fabulous Macaroni Cheese for lunch, with garlic bread and salad ~ yum, but somehow the afternoon just ran away and consequently Geography never happened this week, not that I was met with any resistance about that from the chids!

'Igniting Your Writing' seemed to go really well today. The lesson was on 'Megawatt writing' ~ adding impact and intensity. I wasn't really sure how well they would all do with this, but was really pleased with what they wrote. TP especially produced a piece of writing better, I think, than anything she has previously written to date :D She said she really enjoyed writing it, which is also a first! She doesn't hate writing at all, but she doesn't love it either - usually. 

The sun came out briefly in the late morning and it actually felt warm for half an hour or so, so Stitch and Chip took themselves outside to play with some little plastic eggs ~ hiding and finding them. I joined them and hid the eggs to make it more fun for them both - and took some pictures of course!

Later the girls went outside on their roller skates for a bit too, before the rain started again. It was good to hear them playing outside. They don't choose to much over the winter months unless there's snow on the ground! And to be fair, we have had endless rain this winter!

I took TP, Lilo and DD swimming in the afternoon (my lesson with them) and worked them hard! Their swimming has dramatically improved since I have been taking them and I now actually feel confident that they could get themselves out of trouble should they need to, or at least keep from drowning long enough to shout for help! Lilo especially has really strengthened all her strokes and gone from a sinker (swimming almost vertically) to having much cleaner, more proficient strokes and a good position in the water. It's good doing this with them. We all enjoy it :D. 

After Paul picked them up I continued on with my swim, but I really find it hard, when I have already been in the pool most of an hour, to then swim for another hour and a half. The pool is so crowded on a Tuesday - it's a constant weaving in and out of kids and slow swimmers. There's no lane at that time (only one that's used for lessons) so hacking up and down is not at all easy. I also struggle with hydration (due to length of time in the water) and I think the pool puts some kind of air-freshener around intermittently  (somehow) that I find takes my breath away. I don't do well with fragrant sprays (deodorant/airfresheners...), they stick in my throat and I feel like I can't breathe - which is not most conducive to swimming long distance! I just can't wait for the outside pool to be open again so I can just breathe fresh air and there is always an available lane for serious swimmers...roll on spring! Anyway,  for all those reasons, I only swam for just about an hour and didn't even bother counting, but I did try to concentrate on my technique a little more.

In the evening, I prepared my Communal Global blog post, pottled on FB for a bit, downloaded yet more crochet patterns (TP wants a belt and Minnie want a headband) and then sat on the sofa and crocheted another African flower (btw I know these are stitched together incorrectly - I've undone them now and will do them again when I have a few more). TP also has her eye on this as a blanket...

Another early start because Chip wet his bed :( , but today I climbed back under the covers and fell asleep again! It's been a pretty mundane kind of day really.

In Art we began a piece of Valentine's art, looking at the work of Jim Dine ~ who uses hearts a lot. We'll finish it next week, because it requires 'rubber cement', which I don't have. I've ordered some, but I've no idea what it is! Hoping for a nice rewarding piece of mixed media artwork at the end though. Pictures next week :D

And tonight Paul has just announced to me that he has taken tomorrow off work and is taking me out for lunch at one of our favourite little cafes in town ~ how awesome is that! :D An early Valentine's, before we hit birthday season!


Chip (wearing a hoody with a kangaroo pocket) - "I can't find my pockets!"
Minnie - "It's here Chip. It's called a kangaroo pocket and you can put both hands in it. Do you know what a kangaroo is?"
Chip - "No, what is it?"
Minnie - "It's an animal that lives in Australia that jumps really high and has a special pocket on it's tummy where it keeps it's baby safe."
Me - "It's a marsupial Chip. Animals with pockets on their tummies for their babies, are called marsupials."
Chip - "I like 'supials' ~ I like MY supials!!"

Jake was home on Tuesday. It's his study day, but he was intending to spend the day job hunting. So, I think as most teenagers are apt to do, he didn't emerge from his bedroom until late morning, had things he needed to do at home, had a shower, had some lunch and didn't even get to a point of being vaguely ready to leave the house until some time after 1.30pm! He had originally intended to go into one local town (Crewe) in the morning and the other (Nantwich) in the afternoon, but now he only had the afternoon left, so he could only go into Nantwich. We had a brief conversation about not using time wisely and he declared that he was 'adamant' about going into Crewe anyway, so it didn't really matter that he hadn't! I was slightly confused ... until I realised he meant the exact opposite and did in fact mean that he wasn't that fussed! He's so funny how he does that :D.