Monday, October 13, 2014

Another Week Goes By ... a non-book week

We took a 'midway through half the term' break from our books as everyone had worked hard so far since summer and I thought we all deserved it. The weather seems to have suddenly turned far more wintery and it felt like a good week to snuggle in and play games, so we did!

Minnie did her usual cooking on Monday, but I set her the challenge of making Turkey Pasties. She did exceptionally well and they were really scrumptious. I did buy ready-made puff pastry (I can make shortcrust, but I've never attempted puff and it's so much easier this way), but she did everything else from scratch :D

TP spent some time one day customising her new tablet case and used an iron for the first time! Ironing is not something we do much of in this house, so not really a skill my children have been taught. That said, no-one taught me. I taught myself how to use an iron and developed my own methods for such times as I need them, so I guess they will too ;)

Some of the chids played Monopoly City a couple of times. On this occasion I believe TP won. 

There was a good deal of 'tablet' time ~ learning without a book, but on a tablet is still considered fun it seems ;) 

This is a new tablet, as our Hudl's charger point packed up in again (second Hudl) and I refused to let Tesco replace it again, instead insisting (with some force) on a refund and getting one! We now have an Asus Memopad HD7 (Ist generation) and it seems great so far. It was £20 cheaper than the Hudl and as far as I can tell is no different, except that it only runs on Android 4.2, rather than 4.4. This is not much of a problem atm, although it might become so in the future as apps continue to update, but only if Asus don't release a system update too.

On Thursday I took the children on the train to Liverpool. It was my intention to visit all sorts of places, but in the event it was a bit of a cold, wet day, so we headed to The World Museum and stayed there all day!! 

To be honest though, there was plenty to look at and learn at TWM, and every part was a 'must see' for at least one, but in most cases all of the chids. I find this kind of trip SO much easier now that most of them can read, as they are each able to glean as much from it as they wish, reading the bits that particularly interest them and each taking away different bits of new information :D

Chip was particularly keen to see the fish. I knew it was only a small aquarium, so I made him wait and he did really well to wait until after lunch. We explored the top 3 floors first; covering 'space and time', 'animals & dinosaurs' and 'ancient cultures'. I found the Egyptian section particularly fascinating, with plenty of real mummies to wonder at!

After lunch we took Chip to see the fish, and then he was very happy to continue on and see the rest, which included a large 'World Cultures' exhibition (with some weird and wonderful masks that worried Chip a little), and the 'Bugs & Snakes' section, which was Stitch's favourite part! 

By the time we had seen everything, it was 3.30pm and some of us (not all I might add) were ready to go home, but we all agreed that it was a very good idea to do days like this more often. The train only cost £26 for all of us (me + six chids). Admittedly, Joel is not a child fare for much longer, but I have a Family Railcard, so even with that added bit of fare, it'll still be an excellent value day out. They all pack up a lunch and carry their own bag (school style!) so there wasn't too much to lug around and the day literally only costs the train fare. This time I took the buggy to make the day easier on Chip, although I only really used it too and from the stations to speed us up a little and then I shut it away in a room at the museum and he walked around the whole thing. My plan is to go back to Liverpool again after Christmas, to visit some of the other places we would enjoy. It might even take another couple of trips to explore everything I had on my list of possibilities!! There is SO much to see and do there - a city steeped in history and with some truly stunning architecture that is art in itself! I myself would like to take a walking tour, just to learn more about some of the beautiful buildings.

One thing during the day that made me rather chuffed, was the fact that a couple of times different members of staff in the museum commented on what a lovely bunch of children they were ~ well mannered and well behaved :D. Comments like that always make me so proud of them. People might consider it brave to head on out alone to a big city with seven chids in tow, to spend the day in a Museum, but I just know they are going to behave well and have a nice day and so I don't worry. Often my only real struggle is getting Stitch to agree to come away! Indeed, on this occasion, as he so often does, he staged a sit-in and refused to come away. I ended up leaving him to stew for a bit - coming downstairs without him, retrieving the buggy and getting things out of the locker, whilst leaving TP on watch for him. He still didn't appear, so I went back up for him. I was none too happy. He saw me coming and started to come down. He was met with my displeasure and a two day screen ban! I am never quite sure what he hopes to achieve by these strops ~ I had even explained that the museum would close in an hour and we needed to go home for some tea ~ but he gets beyond logical reason and won't budge. I hope he grows out of it soon, as it does tend to make leaving anywhere rather traumatic and spoil things rather, if for no-one else but himself.

By the time we got back on the train he was back to his chirpy self and bent the ear of two young guys on the train to such an extent that they both looked exhausted by the time we all (including them) got off 40 minutes later!! I believe they will think twice before engaging in conversation with a chatty 7yr old boy again!

In other news...
DD came home from Gym tonight and announced he can now do 12 full circles on the 'mushroom'. He's been steadily adding 3 circles each time he goes recently. His 'level' requirement is 11 circles apparently, so he's really pleased with himself. He also tells me he can now do swings to handstand on the P' bars, but has been told he isn't ready to hold that handstand yet, so goes straight to dismount. Still, I've watched that move on YouTube and it looks pretty difficult to me, so to be able to do it at all impresses me! He's working on adding a back somersault to his floor routine and beginning to land that now. The next big things he needs to work on is Giants on Highbar and Handspring on the Vault. Giants he is not far off now, but vault is the thing he struggles with most I think. He has a county competition again at the end of November, so he is working hard in the hope of doing well in that :D


Michelle said...

I hadn't expected to like Liverpool but really did. Now I want to go back. We only did the docks area - walked from carpark through to maritime museum and back again. Love days out :-).

Caroline Hampton said...

You'll have to come and stay again and we can all go together on the train! That would be a bit of crazy fun😀

Michelle said...

It would :-)