Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Stitch

Yesterday Stitch turned 7. 

It's hard to believe that already we are at the end of May and not only is he another year older, but we are also almost half way through 2014!

This year has been a rather quiet birthday for him, with 5 of his siblings away on Energi Camp (Taz wasn't going, but it ended up that he was able to at the last minute, thanks to someone's generosity).

He wanted to open his presents in the morning, rather than wait for Daddy to come home ... waiting is not his forte!

He was pretty pleased with what he got and he has some money to get what he didn't!

For the rest of the day the little boys just pottered about, played on screens, fired Nerf guns at each other and later on watched an Iceage film!

About mid afternoon Paul contacted me to tell me about a place nearby where I could try out Open-Water swimming ~ and they had an event on last night. Thankfully it also looked like a nice place to take the boys, so that's what we did. We went to Dearnford Lake. I did a bit of a swim (more on that in another post), the boys watched me and then went to play in the rather nice playground for a bit.

We then went into the lovely cafe there and had something to eat & a hot-chocolate. 

The hot-chocolate was DELICIOUS and the food was also VERY lovely. It wasn't the cheapest I've ever eaten, but it really was good!

We all decided it was a lovely place and intend to go back there, do a walk around the lake and play some more another time - perhaps when Paul's parents visit.

We got home quite late and the boys crashed :D

Today's plan was to go to Delamere Forest and do some bug-hunting and bike-riding, but the weather thought otherwise and was wet and cold for the most part, such that Stitch decided the bugs wouldn't be out to play and he didn't really want to go because it was too cold. 

It had always been our plan to have Pizza for tea tonight (his birthday choice) so instead we went to Pizza Hut and bought a video to watch when we got home (Justin and the Knights of Valour). 

All in all I think he still has had a nice birthday (I hope so anyway) and we will try to do forest trip sometime soon...

More Snapshots of School

I feel that somehow it's important to keep a record of our time right now.

My big ones are getting so big that the future seems to loom large ahead of them


And my little ones are growing so fast before my eyes that I know 'little' is not a word I will be able to use much longer!

Today Stitch turned 7

And in two weeks DD turns 9

It doesn't seem like yesterday I was writing these posts...

 yet here we are two years on!

DD has gone off to camp for a week with the bigger ones and I am left home with the eldest of all and youngest two. 

It's a little quiet round here and I wonder how I ever considered life to be so difficult with just two!

So I've been taking lots of pictures of 'ordinary' stuff ~ just because most of the time life is pretty ordinary!

On Monday I kept a 'diary of the day' as I went along... here it is, a full and complete picture of that day but without any more photos..!

Lilo... Blog, Reading, Typing, Kitchen Maths, ETC, AAS (All About Spelling) ~ struggling with spellings still. Bible Study (1 Samuel 21) Goliath sword (with DD & Stitch).

DD... Sumdog, reading famous five, maths, Explode The Code (online), Reasoning, AAS ~ 23/24 today. Gym @ 5.30-8.30pm

Stitch... Sumdog, reading (naff Disney book), ETC, Handwriting, Ingenious (you choose), Drawing (which he is pretty serious about atm)

TP... Just Write, gym report, handwriting, spelling practice, kitchen science

Minnie... Reasoning, Jayne ayre Lit study, cooked a roast, Hung washing out

Chip... Ed City, blocks, played outside on bike, had a few strops, Starfall nursery rhymes, played with kitchen and cooked for us!

Running & bike races in lunch break.

Me… Nit picking (sigh) and hairdos, AAS with L, DD & Stitch, rescue roast from Minne, carve and serve dinner. Try on wetsuit (saga), more nit picking. Hung out with girls in my room for a bit, chatting and chilling :D, sort out Chip strops,

Stitch to swimming - took Chip to watch (he spent a lot of time jumping under the water just like Bugs used to). Crocheted 2 flowers for TP’s blanket. Sol Good boy (he fell asleep in car on way home).

Wrote CG blog post and fiddled about on photography forums. Edited Sunday's ‘Hope for Justice’ walk pictures and posted blog about it. Bed @2am. Had a good comment from a photographer I admire :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Art Journal ~ Picasso 'Blue Period'

Today's project page was on Picasso's blue period.

Stitch (almost 7

DD (almost 9)

Lilo (10)

TP (12)

Minnie (13)

Taz (15)


Thank-you again Kathy!

For the lesson go here;

A Day in the Life...

Every now and then around the blog-o-sphere, people whose blogs I read do 'a day in the life' post.  So, as we are now nearing the end of this academic year already, I thought I would do one before we wind our activities down too much, or the sun starts shining more and we simply move everything outside (and become seriously slack) as we are apt to do!

So here goes... a dull, rainy day in the life of Frog Academy...

About 7am the small boys wake up and play. They head downstairs about 8am and have their breakfast ~ just cereals or toast usually ~ and they make Chip's too. I am not a morning person so they have learnt to be fairly self-feeding... they could wait for me, but they usually choose not to!

I come down about 9ish (or a bit before if I've not gone to bed too late), put the washing machine on and make myself my morning smoothie. Chip scrounges a bit, and has a second breakfast!


At this point most of the younger children are getting on with something and some of the more able-to-get-out-of-bed older ones are too. As my children get older I am less strict about start times, as I consider they should be allowed more freedom to shape their own day ~ so long as they do what they are supposed to do by the end of it (which mostly they do). For the younger ones I still consider them to be 'in training' for good habits and they are simply less able to manage their own time wisely.

This particular day Chip has succeeded in persuading Lilo to play with him for a bit before school started, and she has built a Happy Street village in the lounge. This means that Chip happily plays for a a while...

until he gets bored and comes to see what we we're all doing...

By then it's almost 11am ~ snack & break time. I know he's STILL in his PJ's, but getting dressed is often not his favourite thing and it's really not worth the battle until he's ready. 

Over snack break Chip goes back to the Happy Street, this time joined by TP as a playmate, and decides that PJ's are best worn on his head!

After snack, Chip attempts a rather challenging (too busy) puzzle, so while trying to help him, I simultaneously work with Stitch, DD and Lilo, doing Bible Study. Stitch follows Bible Study with some time on Explode the Code (online) and I do All About Spelling with DD and Lilo, whilst still trying to help Chip with the puzzle. I think Taz is doing some maths and TP is trying to do a science experiment about 'inclined planes' (or rather trying to avoid doing it and dithering about a fair bit). Chip sheds a few tears over the puzzle (because he hates being helped), but eventually he gets there.

This particular day is Monday, which means DD has gymnastics in the evening, so Minnie cooks lunch.

Today is meatballs and pasta, with Swedish gravy ~ easy and delicious!

I forgot to take a picture of it all dished up nicely, but this is Dad's or Jake's portion of meatballs saved for when they come home later.

During lunch-break DD listens to his music & plays on the Wii for a bit, as he is out tonight and doesn't really get any other down time,

and Stitch plays with the Happy Street...

while Minnie and Taz clear up the fall-out in the kitchen, which is their job on a Monday ~ fortunately, as Minnie is a messy cook!

I spend my lunch break catching up on a few emails and printing out a new literacy study for both Minnie and Taz. Taz has just completed 'Dracula' and is now going to do two short ones on Abraham Lincoln and Atilla the Hun to get him up to the end of term, but Minnie has decided to take on a second 'big one' (she's currently also doing a similar study on Pride & Prejudice)...

About 2.30pm we regroup for a group session of Geography. Everyone except Stitch and Chip do Geography, so Stitch goes in the study and works with Kudo (an animation Windows app). I hear a few shouts of frustration, but leave him to his own devices and he gets past it. Chip stands and watches him for a bit then goes back to Happy Street!

Geography today is about the EU and some interesting discussions ensue about the 'ideals' of EU policy and the reality of how they actually effect people. They all have big opinions! I like that :D

By the time we are done it's about 3.45pm. Daddy walks in minutes later :D

Stitch grabs his swim bag & me my crochet bag (to keep myself busy while Stitch swims), DD throws on his gym stuff & makes himself a boxed tea, Chip is helped to throw on some clothes because he now has the motivation of a ride in the car, and by 4.30 we are heading out to activities! Thank goodness for older teens to babysit those left behind ~ and while we're out they also have chores to get done.

By the time we get back from swimming it's tea-time (crumpets tonight for TP).

and bedtime for the youngest ones. DD won't be home from gym until 9 though, so there's still that pick-up to do, but by then even the big girls are on their way up to bed. 
I head into the study then to upload all these photos and catch up on the outside world!! Paul opens up the laptop and starts working on something he needs to do for church this week, Taz has turned he telly on, or gone upstairs to call his girlfriend (in Scotland) and Jake, who is home by now of course, is studying on his computer ~ or playing on Facebook...

And that's it ~ that's how we roll - on a Monday! Laid out like this it all sounds so calm, organized and relaxed, but if you were a fly on the wall of our reality, you would of course know otherwise ;-)