Monday, 4 January 2016

Here We Are - 2016

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still - Chinese Proverb

It's been a while..... 

It's the start of 2016 and I'm back (for now!)

Lots I could go back and catch up on... if I could remember! Some things have changed, like we've moved house and are in a new home, that happened just at the end of last year. I may do a round up of 2015, places we visited and both children's interests, as much for me, as a record. It always feels positive to think of what has been done, when some days don't flow as well but overall it all feels good.

So today was a first day back in 'routine', as much as hubby was back at work, a slightly different commute, leaving later and home earlier. Part of the reason for moving so positive, it does make a difference. Hopefully it will continue to make a cumulative difference to us all, in terms of fatigue levels, and quality time spent together.

Today we have ventured to the local library, to check it out, we like libraries! We picked up a book we'd ordered in for J while we were there. It was the next Skulduggery Pleasant in the series, which J has been reading. He's also currently reading two other series he got as presents for Christmas. He's read The Hunger Games, and now wants to watch the movie, to see how it compares before he reads the second in the series.So he's currently working his way through Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak series. I think he's on book 3 currently.

Once home the children (randomly!) decided to do a blindfolded taste test. We each got to pick a food(s) for the others to try. J tried us with raw broccoli, S tried us with dried apricots and coconut milk, and I picked cashew butter on cracker, and some raw fudge - chocoIate flavour, brought a while back as part of becoming more healthy but not actually trying yet! 

J loved the raw fudge and decided to try the other flavours, his favourite was Goji. S tried the vanilla flavour. S found she preferred  broccoli raw, and liked the cashew butter. 

S is currently reading her way through Malory Towers, we read a couple of chapters of book 2 - Second Form at Malory Towers to finish it off, and she's made a start on book 3. 

Having watched Tim Peake blast off a few weeks back, we all (finally!) watched episode 1 of Royal Institution Christmas Lecture. Which are all about how to survive in space. Joining up with some chemistry elements to appeal to J, and biology elements which appealed to S.

Tonight I made Feelgood Flapjacks, although I fiddled with the recipe. I did half butter and half coconut oil, used cashew butter instead of peanut butter, added 30ml of orange juice instead of water, omitted the raisins, and added walnuts. Ok I fiddled quite a lot with the recipe!

Hubby and I like them, but S doesn't think they're sweet enough for her! "They aren't flapjacks" Which I agree they aren't like flapjacks I've made before, more a nutritious oat bar! 

Whilst we were doing that J was having a game of Magic the Gathering (MTG) cards with hubby. 

J also played a League of Legends game today, and S tried to play the Sims but had trouble accessing her account. 

Nearly forgot that J is enjoying the new series of cards that are in the Bear Yoyos, although he didn't quite finish his collection of animals from the last series. 

I've also tried to do more unpacking from the house move, not quite all settled in yet. Keeping an eye on ebay and facebook selling pages for extra pieces of furniture that would be useful. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Two Week Catch Up

Somehow two weeks went by......

I know you've heard that from me before. I love blogging, but life gets hectic, and I drop it in favour of 'real life' or my sanity! 

I was doing daily 30 days wild blog posts but that stopped too.... If I'm honest I'm not sure if we've managed to do something wild quite everyday, but it has made us more focused and aware.

So the past two weeks has seen a home ed trip to Airhop, kindly organised by friends who blog here. Great fun, bouncetastic, and sweaty!

For Open Farm Sunday we headed to Carolines Dairy. We watched milking, saw cows (not surprising really!) and ate ice cream. We also saw a great collection of local fossils, saw sheep shearing, and saw a blackbird nest with babies through a telescope. 

J and S have done a pony morning at the riding school. Three hours of helping out, and a riding lesson. They were due to do it with friends but they were ill unfortunately. They brushed and plaited, swept, and mucked out, and rode bare back. They also enjoyed seeing the swallows coming in and out the stables, where they have nests.

Both children have had medical appointments. S with a pediatrician to check about her headaches. He thinks they are migraines, he gave us the general advice about controlling them. Get enough rest, keep stress down, make sure keep hydrated, and eat. He has given S an anti emetic she can take when she gets to the nausea state, to try and stop getting to sickness. Recently we've managed to stop them getting that far by treating as soon as a headache starts and S has more self awareness with that too now. She is going to be referred to a dietician as well to try a diet that can cut migraines in some people. Eliminating a variety of foods, and seeing if the headaches go. She also got measured. At 10½ she is now 130cm tall, and weighs 28kg. 

J had an appointment with a podiatrist. He has flat feet, which originally were asymptomatic, but following a growth spurt they were causing knee and hip pain and looked worse. So J now has some orthotics to wear, and some stretches to do, for hamstrings and calf muscles. 

Both children have new trainers too! That growing thing that children do! 

J is a size 5 atm, but we brought a 6 to accomodate his insoles. 

S ended up with trainers from Clarks, as she didn't want pink! They were the only place that had a pair she liked and luckily in her size! She measured as a 1½ F. She also now needs new wellies, flip flops and riding boots. Her feet seemed to grow a whole size overnight!

We've also been to Southwater Country Park and Priory Park

S has been baking, she made Best Ever Brownies for Hubby's work Bake Off Competition. She came 2nd and won herself a box of Ferrero Rocher. Most other entrants were adults so she did really well. She's also helped making Pizzas and  Lemon Drizzle Cake.

In amongst the out and abouts. There has been bike riding, hula hooping, cuddling guinea pigs, library, gardening, reading, game playing, gymnastics, Sims 3, Minecraft, Youtube, Japanese learning, Pheonix reading.  

We've been watching Dvds, Jimmy's Farm , and Countryfile: Adam's Farm, and on iplayer Japan : Earth's enchanted Islands

S and I are reading Chocolate Box Girls: Marshmallow Skye together. J is enjoying made up stories from hubby. 

J is Minecrafting, and has really progressed with his redstone knowledge.

That's all I can remember for now!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

30 Days Wild 2015 - Day 6

So this is for yesterday, I seem to be a day behind myself in writing the blog!

So Day 6 of 30 Days Wild..... Conveniently in the post this morning, the children's Wildlife Trusts - Wildlife Watch magazine arrived. We're members of the Wildlife Trust. 

J found a Nature's pallet sheet inside, and headed straight out into the garden to spot things. The idea to 'search for wild objects that match the colours' 

Monitors and photos obviously  changes how we all see these colours. Plus J has Colour Blindness or Colour Vision Deficiency, as it's being called now. It's not a 'true' blindness, as he can see colour, it just looks different to him.

It's also not routinely tested for. If you'd like some more information, I've found these two websites useful, and they have online tests. Colour Blindness Awareness and Color Vision Testing

Due to the genetics, we knew J always had a chance of being colour blind, as my dad is. It isn't obvious in every day life, he manages very well, we just notice it occasionally. For instance when he coloured in a Robin, he gave it a green chest, as to him it looked red. So he sees colour differently. 

So this is what we found in the garden to match to the colour pallet sheet, we got most of them. 
Orange Calendula

Borage - Blue/Purple

Blue Nigella

Light Pink Thyme Flowers

After researching what type of poppy this is, I believe it's probably Papaver Somniferum. Which is the Opium Poppy! I've learnt something new today. I grow them for ornamental purposes! They're a very pretty pink colour. 

Bee on Clover in Grass - Brown/Orange/Green

Friday, 5 June 2015

30 Days Wild 2015 - Day 5

It was a beautiful evening for a Bracklesham beach walk at low tide, with the sun setting too.

The low tide was a proper low one, so the fossil beds were exposed. 

Fossil beds

Fossil beds

Bracklesham Beach Fossil Beds

We searched for fossil teeth, and were successful. Amazing what you can find in a half hour walk!

Fossil Ray Dental Plate

Fossil Shark Tooth

A total of 3 sharks teeth, and a ray dental plate.

Collection of Fossil Teeth

J and S ran, and splashed. 

A lovely family outdoor evening.

We are fortunate to live near such a beautiful place. Here's a link if you'd like to read more about the fossils in Bracklesham

30 Days Wild 2015 - Day 4

I completely ran out of time to blog our 30 Days Wild yesterday, for Day 4, so catching up this morning! However we didn't forget to get outside. A kind of semi planned day. We seem to have just decided spontaneously each day what we're going to do as our 'Wild thing', but at least it's focused us a bit. Plus I think it's made us a bit more observant and tuned into our surroundings!

The planned part was a trip to a park to meet with friends. We were outside for several hours. There was playing on play equipment, playing with balls, and bubbles. Roller blading, and running around and playing on the grass areas. 

So we've all been outside in natural surroundings.

There were some interesting cloud patterns. 

After the park we headed to Horsham. Where J found some wildlife. This little creature was on a bush in a car park. We're not exactly sure what it is? It looks a bit similar to a shield bug....From researching I think it may be a Shield Bug or Forest Bug nymph? Any identification help gratefully received.

We also found lots of ladybird larvae on and around wooden benches in the play park. 
Ladybird Larvae

Ladybird larvae

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Mary Rose and Action Stations

Yesterday we had a busy day. First was riding. J got to ride the scaredy horse, which wasn't the best day for it as it was very windy. So the horse kept trying to avoid going past the rattling 'scary' doors!  It was interesting and J had to learn how to handle it. 
Scaredy Horse!

Next onto Portsmouth Park and Ride, which I've found is the best way to travel to our destination. £3 to park and for the bus trip for me and both children. Plus the bus goes far quicker than me driving in, as there are bus lanes. 

Destination today was Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. J was going for a couple of games of laser quest in Action Stations, kindly organised by a home edder.

We had about an hour before the laser quest started so we headed to the Mary Rose. We chose to visit the Mary Rose, as it weaves in with both J's recent interest in Tudors, which started with a Shakespeare Minecraft competition! and all of our interests in The Secrets of Bones TV series, which had a section about the longbow archers on the Mary Rose. So it linked in with current events in our home education.  I find it better to tie education together in this way. We spent about half an hour in the museum, seeing what we wanted to see. There would be plenty more to visit again at a different time if we wanted. I've learnt that it's better to go to museums with no expectations of time we will be in there or what we will cover. J and S saw all they wanted in that time. Including skeletons of both the bowman and the dog, 'Hatch'. 

So then we headed to Action Stations. S didn't want to play laser quest, and so she climbed instead. 

After laser quest we spent a bit longer in Action Stations while the children explored some of the activities. Sonar, helicopter flying simulation, gun shooting, and a moving climbing wall. 

Once back home I was so glad I'd had the foresight to make dinner the day before, so it only needed popping in the oven!

Lots more besides has been going on, just tricky to remember and blog about!

J has been interested in the new game Splatoon. Which lead to him drawing one of the Inkling characters. We don't currently have a WiiU, so he won't be able to play the game. 
Inkling from Splatoon

He's been in a playing Minecraft, watching Youtube, drawing phase this week. 

S has been playing lots of imaginary games, and writing stories. She also helped me make sausage rolls. She's watched The Next Step and H2O a couple of her favourite TV programmes. 

30 Days Wild - Day 3

A fab day weather wise where we are in the UK. Warm sunshine, a complete contrast to yesterday! When we were wrapped in jackets from the strong wind and rain!

So today with an idea from S's favourite TV programme - The Next Step. which is dance related not nature. However in it one of the dancers has been looking for a four leaf clover. 

So S and with the help of J, have been searching for a four leaf clover, both in our garden and on a nearby green area. They didn't find any this time, but enjoyed the search.