Tag Archives: family

Half term

We have had a good half term break, and done lots of things that I would like to blog separately, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, so I will just put them all here in one place.  On Friday 15th, we had a second go at the ice and water play.  We froze sparkles in the coloured ice cubes and watched them melt, freed a plastic seal which we had frozen in a cup of water a while back and forgotten about, and added a fishing net and fish from the bath toys collection.  It was a lot of fun, and we will be doing it again, I’m sure.

Saturday 16th was a busy day with Dramabuds, haircuts, choir practice and housework.  On Sunday 17th, after church we went to the Thomas Day at the Kent and East Sussex Railway.  It was a day of ups and downs, though overall a great success.  We arrived and the children were very happy to see Thomas.  Then they were very disappointed that the train we were booked on was being pulled by a different engine.  Once we got over that, they really enjoyed the train ride and were all keen to come again another day.  It was all going so well until Tiddler got his little finger trapped in the train door as we were about to get out, and it took daddy a very long 5 seconds to undo the door.  He was checked out in the first aid tent and thankfully it was not broken, but looked very nasty which distressed him as much as the pain, I think.  So while the big three watched a magic show, in which Rabbit was picked to go up to the front and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, daddy and I took turns to try to cheer Tiddler up.  Having another look at Thomas helped a bit, a go on a roundabout nearly worked but then he cried and they had to stop the ride to let him off, but in the end a packet of Smarties just about saved the day.  The big three had a couple of goes on the roundabout, then watched a Thomas video while waiting for a platform ride on Thomas.  All four children really enjoyed that, so the day ended well, and I’m sure we’ll be going again before too long, but we’ll be keeping Tiddler well away from the door.

After all that, Monday was a much needed quiet day at home, and the children enjoyed plenty of play time and computer time, while I caught up on washing and housework.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the big three went to a Dramabuds holiday camp, finishing with a brilliant show, as always.  Tiddler had a Dramabuds session on Tuesday afternoon as well.  We also enjoyed lots of visits from family on those three days.  My aunt came on Tuesday morning, with my cousin and her very new baby, which was lovely.  Then in the afternoon, daddy’s cousin came with his son for a sleepover.  All the children had a good time, and played really well together, so we are hoping they will come again soon, as it was such a success!  On Thursday, it was Grandpa’s birthday so he came for the show and stayed for lunch.  Granny F came for the show as well, but had to leave shortly afterwards.  Just as she was leaving, Granny B arrived, and the children were pleased it was a two granny day, even though they weren’t there at the same time!

On Friday, the big boys had their violin lessons, and then Granny F took Monkey and Rabbit shopping for birthday presents, and Supergirl looked after Owl and Tiddler while I did the birthday party food shopping.  In the afternooon, all four children had a wonderful time with our very good friend and occasional childminder, while Supergirl and I made cakes.  Suburban dad came home from work early to cook an amazing Middle Eastern meal for a family who had bid for it in the auction of promises at our church fair.  He made enough for us too and some more friends (Tiddler’s godparents) came and ate with us.

Saturday, was party preparation day, with several last minute shopping trips for all the things we had forgotten, and lots of cakes to ice, as well as Dramabuds and choir as usual.  And on Sunday, after church, it was time for the party.  It was a joint party for Monkey, Rabbit and another friend from church, and there were over 30 children, but also plenty of helpful adults so it went very smoothly and the children had a lot of fun.  And a lot of cake.

Today was Monkey’s birthday, and he spent most of the day playing with his new Lego, taking a short break in the afternoon to play with his Hornby set.  We also had piano lessons, followed by lunch at Pizza Express, and a very enjoyable family evening with Granny F, and daddy’s aunt and uncle who called in to deliver presents, and ended up staying for supper, cake and bedtime stories.  It was a good day.

Friday round up – 10th August 2012

Saturday and Sunday

We spent the weekend at my parents’ house, which is always good but was even better as my brother was there for the middle weekend of his fortnight in the UK (he lives in Australia.)  We had seen him on Monday evening last week, but it was good to spend some more time together, and the children had lots of fun with him.  We enjoyed the peace and quiet of a weekend in the countryside and away from our to-do lists after such a busy and disrupted few weeks.  There was a Latin lesson, a lot of playing with Lego and reading stories, an afternoon playing out on the green with a friend who lives in the village and plenty of watching the Olympics.


Back to reality and living in our house while the kitchen work was being finished… It had already taken three weeks and seemed like it would go on forever, but the end was in sight.  It was hard work being in the house with the children, so we went out as much as we could.  On Monday I took them to the pub, which Suburban Dad found rather amusing.  Every Monday in the summer holidays they have children’s craft mornings, and it was a great place to hang out.  The younger three played in the sandpit while Owl read a book from cover to cover, giving me time to have a peaceful cup of coffee, then they all had a go at some of the crafts once the crowds around the tables had diminished.  We had lunch there (having no kitchen is expensive) and then walked back via the park, stopping for a while in the playground, then getting soaked in a downpour on the way home.

Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tuesday we had lunch at the deli across the road (we love it) and then walked to the library and spent a long time there reading while Tiddler slept in the buggy.  On Wednesday we went to the local church cafe for lunch (cheaper) and filled in time at the charity shop buying books, then sat outside the Art Gallery with the owner and her son reading the books in the sunshine.  When we went home half way through the afternoon the work was finished, which was a big relief.  We did some work on our Olympic project which we haven’t really been able to do much of with all the disruption, and Owl in particular was very interested.


We all thoroughly enjoyed the first normal day in our own house for a month, and after a quiet morning doing our Olympic project (me and Owl) and playing (the others) we had a good time with our friends who came over for lunch and stayed till after supper (always a pleasure with their three well-behaved helpful children!)  I loved cooking on my new induction hob (thank you John Lewis sale) and found the new layout of the kitchen such an improvement that it was a positive pleasure to let Monkey come in and help me to make pudding (his own creation, called Yummy Delight – I believe there’s a blog post to follow…)  It was never fun cooking in there before, but now I am going to train up the young chefs till I’m out of a job.


I spent the day at the Rosemary Conley Roadshow in Essex, which was a lot of fun, and the children had a wonderful day at the beach with daddy.  When they collected me, I was impressed at how sandy and muddy, lolly-juice-sticky and happy they were.  The bag of rice cakes and fruit I had sent with them was untouched, and the lolly they were finishing and dripping all over the car was their third one – definitely a daddy day.  We arrived home in time to order a delicious Thai meal for supper and share it with my mum, dad and brother who had come down for the evening (my brother is leaving on Sunday.)  It was lovely to be able to sit out in the garden at the end of a beautiful sunny day, and good to relax after such a busy week.

Where to start?

The last couple of weeks have been so busy that I have been struggling to process any of it enough to write about it here.  I am now sitting on the sofa watching the football, and almost falling asleep, but I really want to write something.  I have no idea where to start, but I thought I would just jump right in and see how it goes.  It may not be the most coherent post ever…

Half term went very fast, with the long weekend at Granny and Grandpa’s house, extended because daddy was working nearby on the Wednesday, a spy-themed afternoon at a local home-ed group on the Thursday and a couple of reasonably quiet days at home catching up on the washing – we must have done other things as well, but I can’t remember much.  We didn’t make it to Dramabuds or football on Saturday, but Owl went to choir and Monkey and Rabbit went to ballet, where there was a guest appearance by Angelina Ballerina herself (which was a little bewildering to say the least).

After some frantic unpacking and repacking we went back to Granny’s house again, visiting RHS Wisley on the way.  We spent three days at Granny’s while Suburban Dad was away at a conference.  We got quite a lot of work done, had our new friend over to play again, played stuck-in-the-mud, grandmother’s footsteps and Lego, Lego, Lego…  We arrived home late on Wednesday night, and I spent Thursday at home with my four and an extra two-year old while my friend had a hospital appointment.  The boys got some work done, the children all played nicely and the small visitor built a very tall Duplo tower and was extremely proud of himself.

This weekend we have had a wonderful time at a family wedding, and we were extremely lucky to be able to stay with friends of the bride and groom for two nights – accommodation for the 6 of us is very hard to come by.  The wedding was lovely, the bride was beautiful; Rabbit was a flower girl and she was beautiful too, and very good.  We went to the reception and had a very enjoyable evening catching up with all the family, and I remember saying many times, we will stay as long as the children are good.  At about half past ten, we thought it was probably time to go back as our hosts had already left!  The following day we returned to the reception venue which was at a farm and they were having an open day.  We spent some more time with the family, and had a lovely and unexpected afternoon of learning and fun.

Highlights of the farm day:

  • watching the sheep shearing
  • looking at the puppies, ferrets and chickens
  • seeing live bees and buying honey (Monkey was very interested in this)
  • making bread and eating it (Rabbit particularly enjoyed this)
  • watching a working blacksmith (who allowed Owl to have a go)
  • chatting to a man making a fence
  • seeing some people making baskets
  • playing with farm toys
  • colouring lots of pictures (Tiddler)
  • collecting wool, feathers, straw, flowers and grasses and using them to decorate sticks

Finally we left the farm rather late in the day, and we had to stop at a service station for supper.  As we set off for home at 7pm, the car broke down, so we ended up making use of the facilities for a further two hours while waiting for the AA.  It could have been worse, I suppose.  If you have to break down, a safe place with toilets, coffee and a play area is ideal!  In the end we were towed home which rounded off the children’s weekend perfectly.

Another thing I have forgotten to blog about is our painted lady caterpillars which arrived about ten days ago.  It has been fascinating to see how quickly they grow, and the children are loving it.  I’m wishing I’d been organised enough to take photos of them at different stages because they have changed a lot already.  Well, it is such a popular activity that I expect we’ll be doing it again next year, so perhaps we’ll do some better recording then.  For now, we are just enjoying observing them.

In the last couple of days, we have done a fair bit of Maths, a little Geography and History and some drawing and writing about our weekend, and this afternoon we went to the local Ecology Centre with another home educating family.  We did pond dipping and bug hunting, and explored the sensory garden (we may have eaten rather a lot of the mint and chives), before an urgent need for the toilet forced us to repair to the pub across the road.  I am sorry for the disturbance we caused with our seven children aged 2 to 8, and I’m not sure the six pounds we spent on a pot of tea and two packets of crisps was quite enough to compensate but that was more or less all the money we had with us!  We then walked home to meet Granny who was taking Monkey on the train to London.   They are spending the night at the flat with Grandpa and going to the National Gallery tomorrow.  (Note to self: get Monkey to blog his Gallery visit when he comes home!)