Friday, 31 October 2014

'Let Whatever You Do Today Be Enough'

Today there was chance for a play in the park with friends. In the end we didn't go, a combination of factors, including one child that didn't want to go. Ultimately the right decision as there was still too much to fit in one day as it was. 

I really don't feel prepared for Halloween, I had ideas of making Halloween themed food, decorations, but I can't see that happening with the time available now. I permanently feel like I'm trying to squeeze so much stuff, activities,visits, into a box, and when I push something in, something else pokes out somewhere else. It's easier to visualise in my head than to describe in words. 

So this morning, we squeezed in a food delivery, and I caught up on messages/diary organising. Plus a chat to my mum about our day in Brighton on Saturday. 

J decided he wanted to make Pokemon inspired bracelets like he did about a year ago now. So we found our supplies we had left in the cupboard. He's been looking at what extra beads and elastic he needs to make more bracelets. To make a visit to Beads Unlimited on Sat

S made her citrus mixture in the nutribullet to turn into ice lollies. Her idea from a few blog posts ago. S doesn't eat a great range of fruit and veg, and she doesn't like smoothies on there own, so she thought she'd try it as ice lollies. It contained, lemon, lime, orange, and satsuma. So they are now in the freezer. She decided to leave them unsweetened, and it was quite a sharp mixture. We will have to see what she thinks when she comes to eating them. 

S has gym on a Thur, and we headed off a little early as both S and J wanted to fit in a trip to Horsham library, they have a larger collection of Manga books. J came away with some new books, and S was dissapointed to not find some more Secret Kingdom books. Now on my list to look and see what other books the library stocks and order them in to our local library for S. Such a great service.

Once S was dropped at gym, J and I headed to visit friends, who blog here at  Our Education Otherwise Diary. We both had a lovely time, a cuppa and a chat for me, wii and xbox playing for J. I think it helped J to get something from the time too, rather than just waiting for his sister!

With the remaining time waiting, he read Adventure Time - Sugary Shorts

Finally home, all tired, off to bed ready for the next day. Well kind of, as I said earlier I'm not really ready. For a start I've forgotten to get something for Halloween tea.... 

To get to sleep I had to let that all go, and so the title of todays blog post 'Let Whatever You Do Today Be Enough'

Wet Wednesday

In total contrast to the beginning of the week, we woke to rain, and it continued pretty much all day. Luckily we had no plans to be out and about today, except to buy pumpkins. 

We headed into the local village, where we found some good sized pumpkins for carving in the Coop. 

Back home and the pumpkin preparation began, scooping out the insides took quite some time! S turned it into a game by naming her pumpkin, and pretending it was undergoing an operation!

The pumpkins stayed on the table, and J and S would do a bit, and then have a break, but they had both finished by the end of the day. Plus hubby managed to fit in the time to do one too. 
Here are the finished pumpkins unlit, which doesn't show them off fully. I'll take a lit photo on Halloween. So we have a volcano, a scary face two sided pumpkin, and Gengar the Pokemon. Can you guess who did which? 

We all watched the third and final episode of Cat Watch on iplayer.  Then whilst looking on iplayer to Jake's delight he found the second episode of Nature's Miracle Orphans, which we'd missed over the summer. So he watched it. S watched the next episode of The Next Step, her regular 5.30pm Wednesday viewing. 

S is still really enjoying the Secret Kingdom Books, and her reading speed has increased, as she's getting through the books quicker. She's also been looking at the website. Today she has finished Starlight Adventure.

In the evening, J and hubby went to a game store for their Pokemon event, card game and DS playing. J enjoys going. It's a weekly event. 

While S and I stayed home. S wrote a blog entry for her blog. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Horse Riding Friends

We woke to another lovely sunny day, which was great as J and S had a horse riding lesson this morning, and their friend was coming too. 

They had a great time riding. A short walk outside enjoying the sunshine and then into the school.

After riding, their friend H and her mum (from Educating Hannah) came to our house for a play and a cuppa. We had a lovely time, I chatted, and the children played. Plus we took a walk to the beach, where the tide was going out. 

In other news I have been scattier than normal today. I lost, well mislaid my keys twice today. I can't remember the last time I did that! Honestly!

Slindon Woods

Monday was such a beautiful warm, sunny, day that our planned stay at home day didn't seem the best choice. Seize the day, and the weather. So I had the idea we could go and see the Slindon pumpkin display, as we've never been before and I thought J and S might like it. Slindon woods is also somewhere I've been meaning to visit, so I found a National Trust shortish circular walk, 3km, that took in the pumpkins. Even though it is National Trust, it is free to park at the small car park on Park Lane, and free to walk around the wood. 

On the way there I remembered why I don't go out during half term unless absolutely necessary, a sunny day, first weekday of the holidays, equals lots of traffic. Already committed and on our way, I took several deep breaths, and repeated to myself, we will arrive eventually! Which we did, and we were lucky to get the last space in the car park, although you are able to park on the side of the road if that happens. 

We had a fab walk, with lots to see, and it was beautiful particularly at this time of year. I do Love Autumn. The colours, the woodsmoke, the feel of it. 

We saw various fungi.

? Fly Agaric

Plus there were lots of tree climbing, running, and playing in the Autumn leaves. J and S would love to come here again with friends. 

Plus lots of collecting and spotting
? Parasitic wasp/Ichneumon wasp
Sweet Chestnut Case
Once the walk came into  Slindon village, we stopped off to look at the pumpkins. It was very busy, but a great display.

The pumpkins they had left were either smaller or larger than we wanted for carving, so we just purchased two for cooking instead. A Crown Prince Squash, and a spaghetti squash. The children carried them on the last bit of the walk back to the car park.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sleepy Sunday

The clocks went back an hour here in the UK. In years gone past, with J an early riser, he would become an even earlier riser for a while until his body adjusted. This year is the first year it hasn't happened. The alarm woke me at 7, when J got up too, and then we had to wake S in order to get to gym. Everyone obviously needed that extra sleep. Including the sleepy kitten!

As it was darker this morning, I used my Lumie bodyclock alarm for the first time in ages. I've had it years now, at least 10 years. It's still going strong with a couple of bulb changes along the way. It really does wake me up calmly, gradually, just like a sunrise. 

S and I had our drive to Horsham, I love this drive, it's normally quiet on the roads, and we get to chat. Often we spot things along the way. This morning was pheasants, lots of pheasants, in pairs or groups, and one that escaped my wheels, thankfully by running back into the hedge, instead of carrying further into the road. 

So, off to find out about pheasants. Why so many around now? We drive this route a lot, and every Autumn there are more pheasants around, I'd never made the connection before! After looking for information, I must admit I've ended up more confused, with more questions than answers for the moment. More research is required! So far we've discovered they're not a native species to the UK, most sources say they arrived in Roman times, but some say Saxon times. 

I believe, from what I've read, there are more around at this time of year, as the pheasant shooting season starts on the 1st October. When millions of pheasants are released into the countryside, for shooting. I found this blog post about Pheasants by Mark Avery which was enlightening. It also raised more questions for me though. Where are these pheasants raised that are released? Presumably not all pheasants are shot, some survive, do they breed naturally in the wild too?

Learning all the time, including me. 

While at gym I managed to get a good internet connection, which was great as I could spend the time usefully. I've finally booked us into a couple of the Into Film festival screenings. It's great that we are acknowledged as home educators, and can book into these screenings for free. I also caught up on messages, and organising November dates. It's shaping up nicely. 

Home to hubby and J, animals all cleaned out and fresh for the week ahead, stairway painted with it's first coat of paint, and a roast in the oven. Lovely. Plus it felt like we have moved forward a little this week with some painting done. We need to keep making progress, week by week. Our house needs to go on the market, we want to move to make our life more workable. 

J has been looking at the new Phantom Forces Pokemon cards that are due to be released in November, there is a list of what is going to be available, and each cards stats. PokeBeach

While we were out, J did some drawing, it's a picture for Stampy. It's still to be completed and coloured in. 

S has read some more of Secret Kingdom - Puppy Fun, she's nearly finished it now. 

TV wise, it's that time of year when we naturally end up watching more TV, and that works great for J anyway who is a very visual learner. Todays viewing has been Dr. Who, Countryfile and Strictly Come Dancing. Eclectic viewing! 

Those are the edited highlights of today.

Going With The Flow

I've slipped again, I missed Fridays entry. So it's going to be a combined entry. Friday was one of those days where everything didn't seem to flow smoothly. Thankfully I was in a slow mood, so it didn't bother me and I managed to let it all flow through the twists and turns I wasn't expecting.

We took a trip into the local village for a Nurse appointment for me, but it had been cancelled, and we'd not got the message. Never mind. Another day.

While we there we picked up a lime each for J and S they wanted it for smoothies/ice lollies. Also while in Boots, S spotted a small bun ring, that she wants to try for gym. So we bought the ring, some pins, plus a bigger ring, that is poppered to be able to do rolls too. S loves trying out hair styles on me too. Doing hair does not com naturally to me, more practise is required. 

At home, we gave hair styles a go. This was a loose bun, with the bigger ring in S's hair.

J has now finished all the Rave Master books from the library, up to Vol 8. Unfortunately the library doesn't seem to stock any more from this series. 

We watched various programmes on iplayer, S caught up on The Apprentice, and we all watched Life Story. Which we all really enjoyed, although real life there were natural consequences, and obviously a life story also includes death too. The circle of life. We can't wait for next weeks. 

Saturday I had a good few hours to myself. Time to rest and relax. In which time I had a lovely peaceful bath, read my book, and did some gardening. 

Meanwhile J and S headed off to Horsham on the train with hubby. S had gym, and we tried out a bun with the new bun ring. It stayed in all session. J went to play Pokemon card games. He's enjoying playing with his deck, and he's managed to customise it a bit more with extra card purchases. 

Home for viewing of Strictly, never before have we been interested in watching until this series. No idea why this time is different. J and S were too tired for Dr. Who this evening so that will be caught up on iplayer tomorrow I'm sure. 

I've got a feeling there was alot more to those two days, but hey ho, I've forgotten the finer details. 

Blink of An Eye Thursday

Well the 14 hour day today disappeared in a blink of an eye. Shorter entry today, and no photos! I prefer entries with photos I must try and remember.  

After a busy week, the house looked very lived in, a whizz round, tidy and sort, x 3 pairs of hands is so much quicker than 1x. As we worked out 30mins for us all, would have taken me an hour an a half alone. Everyone picked what they wanted to do, music on. Go.  Life skills sorted. 

We had friends over for the first time today, and had a lovely morning. I'm never sure how the dynamics will work, with new people and a different mixture of ages/sexes. It all flowed well. Sylvanians played with. The new Video app from yesterday played with. Colouring, drawing. Chickens.

Followed straight on to Horsham for gym, where J and I had planned to go to the library for more manga books, but with continuous rain and grey skies. We stayed put. J read his current Rave Master book and played Pokemon on the DS. I read too, my current book is,  What I talk about when I talk about running, by Haruki Murakami. I'm enjoying it so far, but I find it does jump around quite a lot. 
Thursday gone in a blink of an eye.