Wednesday, 22 October 2014


I'm loving being back writing the blog. OK so it's only the second day, but the hardest thing I find is the blog title. Sometimes it's obvious, if we've been somewhere or done something specific. On the days that have lots of random bits, what to do hmmm. I will ponder. 

Today J has read quite a lot, he read the book Fangs - Assignment royal rescue, realising it was written by the same author as the Scream Street books, which he's read previously. He's also read Asterix the Gladiator. 

Plus he's currently working his way through Rave Master manga series. Today he finished volume 5, and started volume 6. 

He's also been on Scratch  to make sprites of a red panda and S. He did a scratch workshop this summer. It's the first time he has been back to it for some time. 

S has been playing Sims 3, and there has been more discussions on Videos, Youtube, and Sims 4. Editing, presentation, planning, structure vs freestyle. We've also put VideoFX Music Maker Video on her tablet to try out as a video editor. She's had great fun trying it out, with all the special effects, starting and stopping etc. 

Now we are looking for a good app to use for photos, for her android tablet. She would like special effects, stickers, borders, and preferably free. If anybody has any recommendations? 

TV wise we all enjoyed The Great British Sewing Bee last night, particularly as one of the 'Hairy Bikers' was on it. Plus S watched The Next Step this evening. I'm quite getting into it too! What's going to happen, will they make it to regionals.....

I've made a chorizo/veg/bean soup/stew thing. A bit like this hairy bikers recipe. Plus I added extras, so mine also has some carrot, swede, and cannelini, and haricot beans in it.

S has also typed up an animal rescue scenario using Open office Writer, a few how do I spell, along the way. I can see the language she is using is naturally evolving and becoming more varied.  She's also been writing away in her new pug note book. She loves notebooks.

J and I headed to the nearest large supermarket, to get some food, making up for not managing to finish the online shop yesterday. Plus he wanted to spend some of his birthday money on a Pokemon tin they sell there. He was pleased with the extra cards he got, and has juggled his playing deck around. Tonight J and hubby have headed to an event at a local game shop to play Pokemon with others. At this one they play the card game and DS games, so he's taken both. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Mainly Home, Home Educating Day

Soooooo much to catch up with. I'm never sure that is actually possible. Once that day, or the week has gone, it seems increasingly difficult to re capture what we've been up to. 

It's been months since I last wrote a blog entry, during that time we've had several birthdays, an operation, holidays to Cornwall, and Wales. Some interests are still ongoing, some have changed focus within ongoing interests, and some brand new things in the mix! 

So may as well just start with today, the day after J's birthday, he's now 11 !

He had ideas of things he wanted to do today, one was make a Minecraft red panda skin. 
J loves red pandas, one of his favourite animals, for his birthday at his request he adopted a red panda through the WWF. We had to do it through the US as the UK doesn't offer red panda adoption. I'm not quite sure why they offer different options?! J also got a cuddly red panda. So this is where the idea for a red panda skin came from.

This morning, J has been inputting Pokemon card codes online. He received and bought with birthday money, Pokemon cards for playing in 'real' life. In these packs you receive a code to gain cards in the Pokemon trading card game. online. J's interest in Pokemon has been around for a number of years now, and he had been playing the trading card game online for a while, and then recently within the past month or so he became interested in playing in real life. He started with buying a basic deck, and now has the addition of some more desirable cards through extra purchases. He's also started going to a couple of 'real' life meet ups to play the game too, which he's enjoyed. 

Meanwhile, S has enjoyed some Sims playing, and we've had several conversations and information finding, whether it's worth buying Sims 4. What are the pros and cons over the Sims 3 she already plays? 

Today was always going to be a home day, a recuperating day, S felt unwell on Sat afternoon, and J on Sun evening, and it's carried on as an underlying thing. Probably something viral, headachey, fatigue, slight sore throat. Generally a bit, not quite right. Myself and hubby have felt it to. Plus after the excitement of birthday yesterday too, and a weather of wind and rain. We were glad to be tucked up inside. 

Over the next couple of weeks there are quite a few TV programmes that we have a note of to watch to fit in with our interests. 

S is still enjoying The next step, a teenage drama about dancing. On every Wed at 5.30pm. Plus she wants to watch Great British sewing bee, a celebrity version, which starts tonight. Both tie in nicely with her current interests. S is currently enjoying watching The Apprentice too. Lots to talk about there... Including the woman who suggested they would win by looking nice with short skirts and make up. You need a strategy says S !

We all want to watch the new David Attenborough series, Life Story, which starts this week too, on Thur. 

Also wildlife related, Autumnwatch starts next week. Next Tuesday at 8pm on BBC 2, to be precise. We love Autumnwatch in this house. oh and Springwatch too, but it's not that time of year yet. 

Plus we've all enjoyed the first two episodes of Cat Watch on iplayer, and still have the third to watch. It's set around my home town, and J and S recognise places too, somehow this makes it more watchable for us, as it's familiar. 

Yes, we do things other than watch TV! However TV tends to be be put on to watch something specific, with thought. Often we actually catch things later on iplayer at our convenience. Normally rainy days, or days we're feeling below par. 

Despite saying it would be a home day, we also fitted in a trip to the local library to pick up books ordered in for S about gerbils. She'd like a couple of gerbils as pets. Both J and S ended up picking up some extra books too. S was very pleased to find some more Secret Kingdom books. She's enjoyed reading this series lately. 
S's new books
J's new books

J and I have chatted Pokemon cards, strategy, decks, and choices of cards. Plus which cards/packs he would like to purchase to improve his deck. We've searched online availability and prices. J and I listed his skylanders on a local facebook selling page. If they don't sell on facebook, we will put them on ebay. If anybody is interested in buying them he would like £50. J embracing the idea of selling old things, to purchase new things. Letting things go.

S and I have chatted design a friend dolls and searched Argos and ebay, again looking at prices and availability. 

J wanted to make a smoothie to have with his lunch, his first time using our new Nutribullet. He loved what he made. He has ideas for different combinations. S and I discussed whether she would like to make one at some point. S has a limited fruit and veg she will eat, and doesn't like the texture of smoothies much. She decided on making a citrus combination and then freezing it into a lolly. She thinks she may prefer it that way. We will give it a go, Limes are now on my shopping list!

J mentioned nutrients in the smoothie, and we ended up discussing potassium, and calcium and J mentioned the periodic table. The periodic table has been floating around in our learning for the last couple of weeks. 

S and I discussed YouTube videos, and improving videos. We watched different videos, not for content but for construction. We also watched early videos and latest videos of iHasCupQuake, one of S's favourite YouTubers to see how they had changed over time. 
We are now looking into different video editing apps/software that S can use with her tablet, as there are certain things she wants to be able to do. 

We had a great day, lots of excitement, fun, chats, information finding. It was a good, mainly home, home educating day.The down sides being that I didn't get my on line food shop finished, or reply to all the emails/messages I wanted to, or book the film festival. I constantly feel like I need more hours in a day. For now that will have to be called Tomorrow, lets see what I get done then! 

I also realised.....It's good to be back, I love writing. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Expect The Unexpected

As the title suggests, today didn't go as expected, and I'm trying to embrace expecting the unexpected. However I don't do well with change!

So everything this morning was 'normal', everything absolutely fine. J read some more of his young samurai book, he's now on the third one, The Way of The Dragon. S had a lie in till nearly 9am, guess she needed that sleep. The children played Minecraft for a bit. While I got ready for heading to gymnastics in Horsham.

We travelled there, listening to radio on the way. 

On getting out the car, J says I've got a tummy ache, but he thought he just needed the loo. So S headed up to get ready for gym. Meanwhile J came out feeling worse, hot, and looking an unhealthy colour!  S had now gone into gym. 

So after helping J, in which time he was sick, I then had to get S out of gym, much to her annoyance, until she realised why! To head home again! 

The journey home was uneventful, no more sickness, but J just looked exhausted.

He has spent the rest of the afternoon, on the sofa watching TV, looking tired, and a bit of a headache. He's been hungry and eaten really well. 

I'm sure it's not a sickness bug. Possibly he got travel sick, as it was hot on the journey today? I may order an extra set of bands just in case, as they've worked really well for S. Possibly migraine? Or just some sort of virus? 

It was only a week ago that he felt unwell before, with headache and mild fever. 

I've cancelled tomorrows plans, which were horse riding and a park meet up. J is just going to need today to rest and recuperate. 

I went to gym expecting it may be S that wouldn't be able to join in fully because of her elbow which she hurt on Sat. Instead she was fine, and it was J that out of nowhere couldn't do it, suddenly feeling ill.  It just shows you that anything can happen, and things can change so quickly. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Marwell Fun in The Sun

Today saw a change of plan, S should have been at gymnastics today, but she had pain around her elbow, from I think over extending/jolting it putting her arm down when trying to do a free cartwheel yesterday. As it was less than 24 hours since she did it, and it was stiff and sore. She had today off as another 4 hour gym session wouldn't have helped. 

S wasn't very happy, and when she's not able to do as much, you realise how much time she normally spend upside down in handstands, and cartwheels! 

J was due to go to Oryx Club at Marwell today. So rather than S and I be cooped up and frustrated at home, we all went to Marwell where S could at least walk around, and be distracted by the animals. 

It was a beautiful blue sky, and sunny day, and we had a lovely day out. J really enjoyed the Oryx club. 

Both J and S took pocket money with them to spend on the tombola, S was lucky enough to win a cuddly snow leopard. 

Snow leopard, and S met one of the new dinosaurs that had appeared around the zoo. We spotted quite a few. 

Hubby with J and S in the bird enclosure.

We all loved the coati grass mound. Great idea

The good news is that after several icings today, and gently moving it, S's arm seems a lot better. It's mainly painful on full extension now. Although I have a feeling it will be a bit stiffer again in the morning. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Beautiful Day

What a beautiful day, full of blue sky and sunshine in both the weather, and our moods. A positive, happy day.

First off, Minecraft playing for both J and S. While I sorted, and organised, ready for us heading out. 

Then we headed Portsmouth way to meet up with our friends from Journey Unique before our current regular activity course at Fort Purbrook.

We all had a fab time, playing at home, playing on the seafront, and grass areas. Plus yummy lemon cake. 

Onward to Fort Purbrook, and down into the tunnels today. Apparently enjoyable but not as good as previous activities. J came out saying it was awesome, but on further chatting, he'd found it difficult to follow the speed, and balancing people in front of him and people behind, so people didn't get split from the continuous line. 

Afterwards we walked to see the horses in a nearby field, and admired the fantastic view you get. 

Home to a delivery waiting propped against the front door. New books, mainly for S to link in with her current sewing, clothes, fashion interest. 

A quick look at the books, and then  before we left Fort Purbrook, plans had been exchanged to meet up on Minecraft servers. So computers on, Minecraft playing commenced, and skyping between friends. 

Only interrupted to pick up hubby from the train station, it's the Friday ritual, so he gets an evening off cycling, and we get to see him sooner. 

This evening we all want to catch up with last nights Masterchef. No one can be bothered to cook, and it feels like a lovely heading for summer sunny evening. 

On evenings like this I question, do I really want to move. It's so quiet, the back door is open, and I can hear bird song, and the chickens chatting. We live in a beautiful place.....

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Plans Cancelled Again

J woke up this morning not feeling full well. We were due to see friends today and our plans had already been cancelled several times previously. I was sad to cancel again unless it was really, properly, absolutely necessary. After a bit of time to wake up, have a bit of breakfast, it was clear that J was feeling unwell, rather than just a bit meh about doing something, with a headache, mild fever, and looking tired. So cancel again I had to. 

So today has been a slower paced day at home. Everyone appears to be in need of a battery re charge, and injection of health. 

J has played Minecraft, on the same survival map. Also he's snuggled up and watched some TV too, he saw a Chris Packham programme advertised, which he caught up on iplayer Nature's Weirdest Events . On watching  it J was convinced he'd watched it before, when I checked, it had been shown previously. He still watched the whole episode though, as he still found it interesting. S, and I joined in for bits, drifting in and out of watching. 

J has also played a bit of Pokemon ShowdownHe's also watched various Youtube Minecraft vids today. Plus he's read some of his Young Samurai book, which he's finding good.

S has played with her dolls, hairstyling today, wash, cuts, and colour. 

She's also currently enjoying  The Next Step on BBC iplayer, lots of dancing, with flips, and leaps. She's watched all the episodes so far, and re watching her favourite episodes. It's a reality type drama, and it has a mix of characters, dynamics, and a clique girl group which has sparked off various conversations. 

We all snuggled up on the sofa and caught up on last weeks Masterchef, we're thoroughly enjoying it, who will win. We have our favourites, how about you? 

S has also styled my hair while we watched, lots and lots of plaits, and then plaits were plaited. She loves styling my hair, and I love it to, I find it so relaxing. 

Of course the other awaited event happened today, the sewing machine arrived today, much to S delight. Fantastic service, from ordering to delivery was actually less than 24 hours. It's a John Lewis special edition Teal colour JL110SE . It's all set up, which took a while. Lets say we learnt together! Bobbin winding, threading etc... learning from our mistakes along the way, ..but we got there. S has tried out some sewing on scrap bits of material. She has big plans, she's so creative and ambitious. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Sewing Machine excitement

On Mondays J and S have regular home ed gymnastics in Horsham. It seems to have been spoardic the past month with bank holidays, and another still to come. 

Before heading off there was more Roman Mysteries watching for S, who is now on the last disc. She's really enjoyed it. 

J played Minecraft, using a survival map, after making a new skin, he attempted to survive on the island. It's like being on Kensuke's Island he said... 

On the car journey to Horsham, it was a completely different vibe today, J and S didn't want a story cd on, but radio for some music while we travelled. First we listened to our local radio, and then we lost the reception for that, so they searched for new stations, and we ended up on Radio 1, which played a whole load of different music than we're used to! The children sang and danced along for the whole journey, it was a happy vibe journey, once we'd got over the intial who's sitting where in the car disagreement before we set off! I wanted to be a passenger and the children wouldn't let me, can you believe it! No not really, just kidding! 

While I remember, S has been wearing travel wrist bands in child size,  for the last few longer car journeys, and they're working great. Anybody who has a travel sick child I'd recommend trying them. 

Then into gymnastics, which was the first home ed session since S started in the Acro squad. She had a great time, she gets to do the different apparatus in this session, plus see her friends, and J still wants to come too, and enjoys it. 

J came out after the session very tired, and looked a bit pale, so he didn't want to stay and play at the park for long. So a compromise was met as S did want to play. A short play later, we headed for the car. I realised I hadn't eaten so a quick bite to eat in the car before the drive home, where  we sat watching a squirrel. While the kids drank slush puppy. 

Home via John Lewis to look at sewing machines, I don't think I've updated, but S sold her items on ebay, making  a little over £100. This meaning that she had enough money for the sewing machine she had seen. They had some in store, so S could have a proper look at them, but they unfortunately didn't have the colour S wanted. They had red and purple, which looked great, I'm sure the other colours will look great too. She did buy a sewing starter kit while in there, with pins/scissors/unpicker and various other bits and pieces. The customer service in there was great, taking time to check stock, and chat to S about what she was going to make. The lady seemed genuinely interested and seemed almost pleased is the only way I can describe it, that a young girl wanted to buy herself a sewing machine. 

Once home, S helped order the sewing machine, and as she's super excited and has enough money she opted to pay for next day delivery, rather than the 'can take up to 5 days' free delivery. Here is what she's eagerly awaiting to arrive tomorrow! Sewing Machine

She's also been looking at things to sew. She found these how to tutorials to make a scrappy gathered skirt, and lettuce edged skirt . (We found these two on this great site - Sewset.) The bonus of both these is she can try out her machine and use fabric and old t shirts etc.. rather than buying fabric initially, and also doesn't need a formal pattern for them.  

It's lovely to see her so enthusiastic. 

S also went out to play with local friends, making the most of the late afternoon sun. 

J just needed to chill out this afternoon, and has developed a headache this evening. Hopefully whatever is causing it will pass soon. 

This evening there has been regular viewing of Great British Menu, which we all enjoy watching.

The third of the garden that was grass seeded, is sprouting now, and I'm looking forward to it developing into a proper lawn. The other section is half dug over, so also getting ready for seeding. While I love grass I still fancy something different?! Currently the 'path' down the centre is undug, and I'm thinking a sunflower archway/tunnel over the path would/could look lovely. I'm thinking similar in style to the  sunflower house idea I posted in an earlier blog post. Although as it's not really for us, and I don't think it would be everyone's idea of lovely I may have to reign myself in on this occasion, and stick to simple and easy! We just need to get the house/garden presentable for putting on the market at some point.....  to be continued....