Sunday, 24 April 2016

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung and we have been out and about lots of places. It's left us all a bit tired...but we like being out and about too...! and we like our peace and space to explore our own interests... and sleep (that's me!) Balance, that fine line to walk..

So in past 2 weeks (as it's been that long again!) 

We have been to home ed football twice, and been to bounce on a friend's trampoline afterwards..

Visited my parents for a lovely lunch and potter in their garden

To Owlbeech woods for a play and walk

J has been to a football match with his grandad

S has had a gym comp. First comp with her new partner. 

J has new glasses, which he's finding more comfortable and is pretty much wearing them all day now as he prefers it. The optician said he was borderline for needing to wear all the time, so he could if he found it clearer.

I've played wii games with both J and S on separate occasions...

S has been to Maypole dancing and this time J came along too, to hang out and play in the sunshine afterwards. 

We've had a walk at Leith Hill, and went up the tower, and S's friend came over for a couple of hours afterwards.

J has played Minecraft with his dad, and has played lots of different games online, skyping with his friends daily. 

We've had family Star Wars: The Force Awakens  film watching night..which was lovely.

S has been doing her regular gym, and after a 4 hour session this morning is currently out cycling with hubby. Her choice..She loves being active and she's so fit !

S and I both have new phones, S's had completely died back in Feb, and mine started with horizontal scrolling lines and unable to unlock or answer phone calls!

At home S has had an interest in France after reading Amercan Girl book - Grace  and is interested in visiting a patisserie, ideally in France but she will settle for more local! She's been learning a bit of French using Duolingo. She also looked up about the French revolution. Going to try (and find the time!) and do a separate post and put the links in it.

S is reading Geek Girl..

S has baked biscuits.

J has been drawing and reading..he's currently re reading books from his shelf. He has got through these though. A couple of books from the 'creepy' theme.. plus some Alex Rider, graphic novels, and a Hunger Games info book. 

J decided he wanted to learn some German, so has been using Duolingo. We liked this too!

We've been listening to the Music From The Films Of Tim Burton CD in the car on journeys.

We've watched a few episodes of Masterchef... on iplayer. We like that programme.

Two week summary, and it seems like we've done loads...I also know this is just the main parts. It doesn't even touch on all the ups and downs, questions and curiosity, tears and frustrations that also went on!

Monday, 11 April 2016

A Week Later...

So a round up of the last week...

S has been to a Maypole group which she really enjoyed, and got to hang out with her friends for a bit.

J had a great outing with his friend, whos mum kindly invited J along to EGX Rezzed which he enjoyed immensely and had a fab time.

We've been to visit friends who blog here and much to S's delight her friend is now home ed again. We've known them for several years.. when we both lived in different places. S had great fun on their trampoline, and the girls did lots of jumping, bouncing and gymnastics! A common interest of theirs. While J played on the WiiU. Another great day out.

We had our family meeting, put some more dates in the calendar, and discussed trampolines amongst other things.

A sunny Sunday afternoon, and we had a family afternoon gardening, and measured and spirit leveled to see where a trampoline could go! Only a 10ft max will fit on the part it would need to go...

J has continued to draw, and a variety of 'creepy' books came in at the library.

J has played Minecraft with his dad, which he enjoys doing.

He's also been making Minecraft skins, and after years of using Skindex has signed up so he can share skins he's made. He has no idea why he never did it before, or why he suddenly decided to do it today.... Mystery...

He's used Photoshop to make a card...

S has read Accidental Superstar which she really enjoyed and wanted to read the sequel... except it's not published yet. So we've been looking at alternatives similar.

Accidental superstar has a song theme, and S has been writing lots..and lots..and lots of songs, a great way of expressing feelings. She's also had her head in the dictionary and thesaurus, as you do....expanding her vocab for her songs....Just love her self motivated home eddingness..! She's also been watching more Lost and Found on iplayer involving more singing and guitar playing..which leads onto.

S has been looking into guitars, and has found one she would like to buy....In preparation for it won't arrive and you will be able to play like a pro...she watched some you tube to get an idea of what is 'actually' involved.

And in the mean time she's been playing her recorder for the first time in years...working on rhythm and notes.

S has written a pen pal letter....she's played around with maths rods. She's been to her regular gym sessions where they're preparing for a competition soon.

We got Wild Garlic in our Riverford box, a first taste for all of us. S enjoyed some raw, and we all ate it as pesto on pasta. S minus parmesan and lemon juice as she's still not eating those because of her migraine reducing low amine diet. 

Finally a week later I'm starting to feel a lot better health wise.... lots less pain, and a bit less coughing. First day in forever I've not needed pain relief for chest pain..and my energy is returning....3 weeks after flu

I've been on a roll today getting things sorted..emails all over the place and researching new mobiles for S and I. S has been without since she dropped and broke it but could really do with one for this weekend. Mine has slowly been disintegrating in's had a factory re set, and very limited on it's functions just texts/phone/emails... but each day it needs more restarts or battery removing to be able to unlock it as it freezes.... and today I had colourful scrolling lines down the screen... very pretty....but not really useful.

Monday, 4 April 2016

What Direction Are We Heading

Beginning of April, and no writing on the blog for ages.... 3 months in fact! Feeling all inspired today to keep a record of what we are up to again. 

I'm not going to do a massive catch up of past 3 months.. but things of note.. S is in a new Acro partnership and had a weekend training at Lilleshall as a result. Great experience. She's also been to a Mandala workshop. S had her first chocolate free Easter!
J has been regularly going to watch football with his grandad, which he's enjoying, and he has been to an away match. J is now a vegetarian, and has tried out new foods. 
Both children went to a Jaws n Claws workshop, and also went to a home ed Japan day.
We've all had flu.... which wiped us out for about 2 weeks.

As a result of the flu recently, we've been in the house a lot. We all had at least 4 days of fevers, and spent days in bed..! Since the flu and fevers went, I've had one sided chest pain and I believe (self diagnosis!) that I have pleurisy.. I've not been to drs.. as it can be viral and probably (hopefully) is as it's after flu. I'm hoping it runs it course and goes soon...Just trying plenty of good nutrition, water, rest and painkillers!

For a while now, we've been having weekly family meetings, as a specific time to share, chat and plan. We're also making sure specific 1 on 1 time, and family time is written in the diary. With busyness and without planning we often found that we weren't fitting in as much as we'd have liked. So far it's working well..

I tell you this, as we had the family meeting yesterday.. and we've planned April...everybody seems to feel a sense of satisfaction from it. To know things that we are doing, and have an actual time written in to do them. After the flu, and having not done a lot except recover we discussed home ed and what J and S want from that too. So they both came up with different areas to explore. 

So that's what we did this morning..explored further and discussed around what they'd like to cover. It took us all over the place..on a journey of discovery!

So J had a theme of 'creepy' initially involving art work.
He did a brain dump with links (kind of like a mind map)

So we've got some books on order at the library, and a CD and we've identified films that tie in. Which identified a Tim Burton theme...and Johnny Depp..and Helena Bonham Carter. Which linked into S interest in Harry Potter. As obviously Helena Bonham Carter played Bellatrix!..Plus Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton have a son the same age as J, even born in the same month! Also the music from some of the Tim Burton films has links with S interests too, as S recognised various tracks that have been used as music for Acro routines....

Here are a couple of links we've looked at today.. 

Tim Burton links  this link opened up the idea of German Expressionism

J has done a variety of drawings. He started with exploring smudging effect Not sure it shows up as well in photos.

Then went on to drawing without the smudging, and what seemed a more chibi effect.

J has watched on you tube and discussed Five nights at Freddys game a lot previously. So he explored how much that was and decided to spend some of his money on it. Which he played this pm

J and I have had lots of chats about different directions the interest could go even further, vampires, zombies. Classic books - Bram Stokers Dracula, ghosts. Sweeny Todd!

Amazing how far we traveled around from the word 'creepy'.and wondering what directions and how far this interest will reach?!

J spent some of the afternoon playing, and skyping with friends. 

So onto S who wanted to continue with ongoing interests... Mandalas, baking, gymnastics..
S has made a gymnastics poster, and continues to choose to work on her stretching, she's very self motivated. She has moves she wants to be able to do in the future. 

She spent time using the compass, to make various mandala templates. Then started filling one in. 

We went off on a slight tangent, not exactly mandalas and circles.. but spirals and patterns and watched 3 episodes of the fabulous Vi Hart. 1st episode linked to below. 

S also planned out the baking she wants to do. Trying out more classics...starting with carrot cake. So she's planned out, found recipe, written shopping list for missing ingredients etc..Involving measuring cake tins, and an impromptu discussion on diameter/radius/circumference...
She did watch lots of episodes of Junior Bake off when she had flu...!

She's also found a new TV programme, Lost & Found which features characters from The Next Step she used to enjoy. Lost and Found is about a music studio. 
Inspired she's written two songs this afternoon....

S is also currently into playing Bloons Monkey City game on her tablet.

After chatting with hubby at dinner about Fibonacci, J and S looked at various flowers and plants in the house to see what patterns they could see. When the petals fell off my tulips, S declared them too pretty to throw away and so got her flower press out....

Today has been incredibly productive, expanded further out, and joined areas together... Learning through living...

It was a good day to start blogging again, with lots to write.. 

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