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Archive : January 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
2009 memory book and a break
With my new found hobby, I've decided to create a 2009 digital scrapbook. At the end of the year I'll print it all out and bind it together to make a (hopefully!) lovely memory book. I'm working on the cover at the moment but here's the January page (it looks MUCH better in full size - you can see the textures more clearly):
It's quite a nice, relaxing thing to do really :)
Saying that, I've decided to take some time away from the website (yes, really this time!). I've been working on it a lot recently - Montessori materials, general homeschool stuff and, of course, the blog and I'm quite tired. The start to the new year hasn't been terrific what with colds, shower, hot water and central heating breakdowns combined with general family grouchiness and I want to take a break from the computer and focus on other things for a bit.
Homeschool-wise, we really only use Montessori things as "support" materials these days - it's been a long time since we used it completely. I wouldn't say we unschool (I could NEVER be that brave!) but we have brief "table time" every day where Rosie uses National Curriculum workbooks for English, maths and science together with national curriculum interactive websites and that's it. That sounds like we don't do a lot of homeschool work but nothing could be further from the truth - it's just that she achieves more when she's not doing table time! The sheer amount of reading, computer work, craft projects and mini books she makes is staggering - I just like having the NC stuff to fall back on and to provide the LEA with something they're going to want to see. Actually, I've learned over the years that if you combine NC stuff with things like lapbooks and homemade models (like our volcano we did a while ago) and art projects the LEA are VERY happy. It's just we keep the NC work to a minimum. Ahem. So, I want to plow on with the basics so that we can complete the books in good time and finish this school year fairly early - we can never do formal homeschool work past about ... oooo! .... May. Beyond that, we unschool.
I also want to spend plenty of time doing nice things with hubby and the kids - walks, day trips and so on. Tim and I particularly need a few "date nights" (hehe!) as we've both been a bit grouchy lately and need to re-connect. Nothing major, just a touch of the old winter blues kicking in I think.
Finally, I'm getting in the mood for some early spring cleaning - the house feels too wintery and in need of some freshening up.
So, I shall be back soon, in the meantime be good little boys and girls ;)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
New hobby I think!
I've discovered digital scrapbooking - oooo! how addictive! Here is my first attempt - very simple but not bad for a first go!
I'm thinking of making up Rosie's homeschool portfolio for the year like this - make a change from boring pages! :)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Penguins in Peril!
I made a game! I'm thinking of adding some more of these to my homeschool materials pages. It's VERY basic and I made it quickly so there might be errors (gulp!) but let me know what you think :)
Monday, January 26, 2009
After many months absence, I've decided to put the blog comments back on .... will see how it goes. Last time, I got put off having them by a nutter so be warned, any deliberately, unnecessarily nasty comments will be immediately removed ..... so don't waste your time if you're thinking about it lol.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Our walk today - photo heavy!
The sun came out today (finally, FINALLY!!) so we grabbed our coats and headed off to Hengistbury Head to walk along the beach. We actually had a bit of a debate deciding where to go today - we thought down by the River Stour but that would have been too flooded and muddy after the recent rain, Poole Park we went to the other day. So, in the end, we settled on our old favourite :)
It was actually totally beautiful there, not too cold at all (April didn't need her hat and mittens really!), sunny and gloriously fresh. I just love the sound of the sea so much - very relaxing after last nights unpleasantness. Anyway, here are some pics and a short vid so you too can enjoy the sound :)
On the way down to the beach from the carpark
Rosie with Trumpton hand and me getting blinded by the sun
Tim off in the distance - the waves that broke over these rocks got perilously close to him!
Looking (very zoomed in!) over to Bournemouth
Tim scrambled up the side of the start of the cliff to take this.
.... and then a bit later on I took this one of him while he was up there. It doesn't look very high because I zoomed in on him, but it is pretty steep.
You can JUST make out the "polar bear" at the Needles on the Isle of Wight - top left, above Rosie's head!
Looking spookily like her Uncle Gavin in this pic!
Erm... who turned the lights out? Check out the nasty sore bit under her nose from the recent cold - poor child!
Doggy prints :)
There was tonnes of cuttlefish about.
Finally, some beach graffiti. Aaaaaah! ;)
Oh, and here's the vid.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Got Twitter in the sidebar now so Twitter away ... if you want. I'd say, make the most of it 'cause I tend to "go off" things pretty quick *laughs*.
Feeling a bit crabby today - a result of last night's overdose of vodka and a ... well, not sure what to call it ... "mini-domestic" I guess. It started with something Rosie did (y'know, usual "kids playing up when they're supposed to be going to bed" malarkey) and ended up with a somewhat heated discussion between me and Tim and the facing of some rather ugly truths on my part. The result of which is that today I'm feeling sensitive and withdrawn and weary.
Funny though, I always get a bit "dragged down" around the time of the dark moon (which it is now) - weird! To that end, here is the last section of a poem that I found and loved. Whole thing here.
Tribute to the Dark Moon
On this ink-lit night,
I will wear her face.
The black reflection
that mocks my longings.
I will not fear the unknown.
I will listen to the darkness.
The truth its only guise.
Might take a couple days blog break - need to get out for a bloody walk really, the rubbish weather and lack of fresh air are making me go stir-crazy *laughs* (had you not noticed?!)
Right, on with the day! Don't forget to Twitter ;)
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This, that and a bit of the other
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the evenings getting lighter? I know this is supposed to happen, but it still seems remarkably early in the year! I took this yesterday at well after 4.00 and it quite surprised me just HOW light it still was!
Today has been ....erm..... tedious! Sunday's are never my favourite day of the week but today has been worse than usual - very slow and lethargic. I think it was made worse by the fact that we had kind of loosely decided to go for a walk today but then it turned out rainy. Actually, it started out just gloomy so we thought we might go to Hengistbury Head but instead of walking all round, just go on the pebbly beach and collect shells. Alas, the "gloomy" weather turned into drizzly weather and then the drizzly weather turned into full on rain *grumbles*.
So, we flopped about and amused ourselves in silly little ways. Tim and I made a chilli in the slow cooker for dinner tonight (he has a "thing" at church - not sure what - this evening so slow cooker food is good). Rosie has spent a vast amount of time reading today and wrote a story in Word on the computer. April started this (but never finished putting the flags on):
.... and then decided she wanted to paint fircones green:
Btw, remember what I was saying the other day about my hair not being as dark as the sidebar pic? Well, it's actually slightly darker than April's - see what I mean! Who says the camera never lies?!
I've been sorting out some work for Rosie - stuff on decimals. Now, here's a weirdy thing, she absolutely "gets" fractions but decimals - even when I try and show her that they are essentially the same thing - *sigh*, it's painful! She just don't get it. So we're going right back to the bare bones with them and taking it VERY slowly. I made her up a little worksheet to show tenths:
Maths with Rosie is deeply difficult and requires a huge amount of repetition. The other day, she was rounding numbers to 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000. There was a chart in her book that she had to fill in by rounding several numbers to the nearest 10, 100 etc. She filled in the first 2 lines perfectly on her own and then, inexplicably, "forgot" how to do it! What the ....?!!! How can that happen? She was genuinely baffled (and, frankly, so was I). So, I have to sit there and go over it again before she can finish the exercise - it's really slow going. I think it's fair to say that this child will excel in other areas - English, no problem - Science, piece of cake - Maths, let's move along here please, nothing to see.
Did have a bit of an amusing discovery today - I was checking my blog stats and some people were coming from a post by another blogger. She is American and made a comment along the lines of "does anyone else find themselves reading the blog (mine) in a British accent". *Laughs out loud* I never thought I sounded particularly "British" in my blog but obviously I do! Tim says maybe it's because I say "crikey" sometimes - do I? I didn't realise!
Friday, January 23, 2009
The company Tim works for (along with just about EVERY other company in the world at the moment I'd imagine) have been having "financial discussions". I can't name his company because those involved in the discussion are sworn to secrecy but I guess I can't help knowing about them because I don't see how Tim could avoid me finding out!. Tim is lucky, he (and all the other staff there as far as I'm aware) still have jobs and that is how it looks like staying if things continue as they are.
I know that they (Tim's bosses) are probably wracking their brains trying to think of ways to drum up more trade in a period where there isn't much trade to be had and I kind of got thinking - obviously, I have a vested interest what with wanting Tim to keep his job - not that I have ANY intention of actually going to his boss with this - waaaay too scary - so it's probably a waste of time but there you go *shrugs*.
In this day and age a company's website is hugely important. If I am searching for a particular product that I want to buy, I go online, do a Google search, find some companies that sell what it is I'm looking for and then COMPARE them. I look at prices, delivery charges, customer testimonials AND website layout. Yes, really. If I look at a website (however "big" the company may be), and it looks like crap then I don't want to buy from them. If their website hasn't been set up to deal with different screen resolutions and half the text "falls off" the page when I'm trying to read it and I have to keep horizontal scrolling across the page, it irritates me. If there are too many different colours on one page, it drives me bats. It's horrible trying to read a load of text that's been set over a patterned background. Too many different fonts, ill-laid out tables, wobbly menu bars, excruciatingly tedious navigation are ALL BAD!
Unfortunately, the website of Tim's workplace falls into many of these categories. What's even worse is when you compare theirs with that of one of their biggest rivals - well ...erm... there is no comparison - the other place wins hands down. It looks more professional, they include all the elements that I'd look for in a good company website, it's easy to navigate and "tidy" looking.
Tim's works website looks like it was thrown together on Geocities Pagebuilder, it's THAT bad. I don't know who did it but I hope to god they didn't pay someone 'cause they were ripped off if that's the case. It looks cheap :(
Now, I'm not an expert at website construction and I'm not a business (hence the reason my website is a little colourful, because it CAN be hehe!) but, hell, even I could do their website better! Yes, even with my limited abilities, I could construct them a website that looked more professional thus more appealing to potential customers and thus more (hopefully!) of a money spinner.
Let's hope that someone plucks up the courage to tell whoever was responsible for it that it is, in fact, pants. They want to try and increase business - that's one of of trying to do it.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Both the kids have colds - April more so the poor, snotty little thing - so at the moment I'm on nurse duty and running round with tissues, Vicks and zinc cream for sore noses :( I have a slightly worrying tickly throat so I guess I'm up next for the lurgy. Curses!
Still, despite the illness, Rosie managed an admirable amount of school work today - English (silent letters), maths (place value up to 1,000,000), science (healthy eating) and history (lapbook - Middle Ages - castles). She then went off and did some Club Penguin:
April made some Richard Scarry finger puppets with Tim (no photo, sorry, but they were very cute!) Then, she dragged her trainset from her bedroom to the lounge and played with that for pretty much the rest of the day (inbetween sneezing vast amounts of green):
Oh, I thought our seasonal table looked rather lovely today - I got the candlesticks from my mum-in-law for Christmas and I absolutely love them :)
April talked a bit about school today and asked to see the photos on their website, so I showed her. She is still very keen and seems genuinely excited about going which I'm rather relieved about. I'm coming round to the idea now and am honestly beginning to see the good points - more time to work with Rosie (who seriously needs the help more), more time for ME! (hehe!) and, in 5 or 6 years time, no more teaching for me!! Freedom! HA!
As it is, come September, even with Rosie still about, I shall have more spare time (on my own!) because she'll still be doing stuff like trampoline. Aaaah!
Do I sound like I can't wait to get rid of April? No way! I shall miss her to bits (she's highly entertaining) but I'm also sane enough to realise that I have 2 COMPLETELY different children and she really, really needs to be in that sort of environment more than Rosie. Rosie needs one-on-one attention, April needs group activities and stuff. What's good for one is not always good for the other. If we get the place at our preferred school (fingers crossed!) then we're thinking of putting her back in the nursery for 1 term, just to get her used to the routine again. Let's see what happens :)
Monday, January 19, 2009
10 out of 10 for trying
Handy Guide to Modern Science:
1. If it's green or it wiggles, it's biology.
2. If it stinks, it's chemistry.
3. If it doesn't work, it's physics.
Today, Rosie attempted to make cup/string telephones only she didn't have any cups so she used string and some empty toilet roll tubes with the ends sealed up. Unfortunately it didn't work because the string kept popping out whenever we tried to pull it tight to talk so this afternoon Tim is going on a mission for paper cups so that we can make some proper ones. Whilst Rosie and Tim were attempting to seal the tube up and make it work, I was attempting to explain about soundwaves and stuff. I fear no-one was listening to me! *grumble, grumble*
Will report later when we've got the proper cups and had another go and maybe Rosie will listen to my lovely explanation then. Still, I have to admit that when I was at school the practical was ALWAYS more fun than the theory behind it so I don't blame her *grins*.
Edit: Well, we got the cups and did the phone thing properly and it worked! The kids had a spot of bother grasping the fact that they had to hold the "phone" so that the string was taut and straight but other than that it was fab :) Sorry 'bout crap photos!
"press 1 to enquire about updating your telecommunications service ......"
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Mini books, fractions and scarey faces
Yesterday afternoon I was at a loose end so decided to dig out some of my new Lush stuff and have a bit of a pampering session. The new stuff included a rather yukky looking green face mask which smelled very strongly of mint (in fact, it smelled like toothpaste!) Anyway, I slapped the gunge all over my face and stuck a load of "Marilyn" (chamomile, blonding, prewash conditioner) on my hair and chilled out for a bit (well, as much as you can whilst being overpowered with the stink of mint!) Tim was supposed to be going to the shops but said he'd hang around until I'd finished just in case anyone came round! Actually, that would be just my luck - someone would turn up while I looked like a swamp monster and when that happens you can GUARANTEE it would be the ONE person you'd least like to see you like that! *grins*. Anyway, the end result was very lovely - hair is definately blonder (more of this and I'll get my hair to that nice "summer highlighted" stage that I like so much) - contrary to what you might think, my natural hair colour isn't as dark as the pic in the sidebar makes it look - and face is .... well....face-like - smoother I guess :)
I've also been making the kids some mini-books for drawing/writing in. I got this idea from another blog (must try and remember which one!) and thought it was lovely. I made a stack of them using printable scrapbook paper for the covers and ordinary, white printer paper inside and then I just sewed them together. I'm just going to stick them on the shelf so they can grab one whenever they want to do a story or something - they look very cute :)
Hmm.... in a blog post AGES ago, I mentioned my bent middle fingers - you can definately see what I mean here!
Also been sorting out some fraction maths work for Rosie. We did some fraction stuff at the end of last term and I wanted to carry on with it before she forgot everything so I dug out the Big Book of Math (Elementary) and did a lesson on reducing fractions. Phew, taxed my poor old brain trying to remember it all - fractions never were my strong point! Nightmare.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Last day of Tim's holiday today .... holiday? what holiday? We seem to have spent ALL of it trying to sort things out and get things mended. Yesterday (finally!) we got our car back, and it cost us precisely no pounds whatsoever (bargain!) This meant that we had a little spare cash because Tim had put money aside in case of expensive repairs, so, we went to Lush! We've not been there for AAAAGES so it was gorgeous to go stock up on some of my favourite stuff - their "The Blonde" shampoo is absolutely brilliant for bringing out all the natural reddy-gold highlights in my hair. We came back with allsorts - for all of us - smellies for me and Tim (and my shampoo of course!), bubble bath slices and shower jelly (yes, it really is the consistency of the sort of muck you used to eat at kids parties!) for Rosie and April.
On the way to Lush we decided to stop off at Poole Park because the kids wanted to feed the ducks (and the enormous great, honking Canada geese!) Large mistake - it was FREEZING! Even April was visibly shivering and she doesn't normally seem to notice the cold. Then there was a bit of a comedy moment when I let go of the empty plastic bag from the bread and had to go chasing it across the grass - it kept moving in the wind every time I reached it! It was lucky I had my boots on because the grass was swamp-like .....
Tim's back at work tomorrow - for ONE day and then he's off again for 4 days and then back to work normally from next Thursday. It's nice to have him around but I shall be glad to get back into our normal routine because we can't seem to get into a good homeschool groove with him about!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Oh my goodness!
A while back I did a typing speed test and got 82 wpm with a couple of mistakes, which I thought was pretty amazing.
I did it again today, just for fun .....
.....and no mistakes, so out of their ranking of 1915701 who've taken the test, I'm currently ranked 76674th (lol) ......here's the screenshot.
Am I showing off? Flipping right I am *laughs*!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tied up some loose ends
Well, today we had the "boiler man" come round and fix our hot water problem - the shower kinda ... erm.. fixed itself (we're not sure what was wrong with it or even if there WAS anything wrong with it!).
The car - dad-in-law looked at it and found that the cable was fine as was the clip that attached it into the clutch pedal - it had just come out of the "hole". Why? He found the old, mangled, broken clip still inside! This means that the garage who "repaired" the clutch last time, tried to ram the new cable clip in the hole and not bothered to remove the old clip!!! This means they MUST have known it would go again ..... Tim is making noises about going back there for a refund. They must be a bit mad, in this day and age, you'd think they'd be grateful of the custom, not do a rubbish job and lose a customer! UNbelievable. Anyway, hopefully have our car back VERY soon :)
Homeschool-wise, we finally got started back properly today. Rosie did some grammar and then worked with her human body box for a bit, studying food groups. She also did some maths - we're using the Senari software and worksheets (the demo software is actually fine for learning and a bit of practice everyday) We're doing some basic review at the mo because it's been a while since she did any maths so she did addition with 3 addends using the stamp game.
Check out those totally messy stamps! Honestly! ;)
April enjoyed a new activity today - counting with number cards and coloured beads:
Oh, there was a bit of this going on to (not in anyway homeschooley!) - Mario Golf!
Oooo! and we found out that the home ed group, in February, has some guy coming with a load of birds of prey! Rosie is VERY excited!
PS - Edited to add - something else we did today which I completely forgot to mention, was do some planting. We got this rather neat terracotta pot for Christmas which has lots of little "windows" and you can grow different herbs in it. So, we've got it planted with mint, parsley, chives, oregano and basil. We also planted 2 little pots - one with cornflowers and the other with godetia. We covered all our pots with cling-film to create mini greenhouses to help the seeds germinate. I've been hoping to get some plantlife in our homeschool area for ages so, with a big box of cress we already have growing, hopefully we soon will :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Woohoo! It's done!
I've finished my timeline of life! This has taken MONTHS because, apart from the heading words and information cards, it was all done by hand as opposed to just printing off the computer. I had to do a heck of a lot of cutting, sticking and laminating. I started it but then put it away for a bit because I felt a bit overwhelmed!
Anyway, it's extremely simplified and doesn't look much like the "proper" Montessori version (see Moteaco!) but it does the job. I did an unlaminated version with the pictures glued on - it ended up being enormous and taking up nearly the whole length of the room - this is loosely taped together so that it can be folded back and forth for easy storage. There are also blank, laminated pieces so that Rosie can build her own timeline and these are separate to allow her to work on one section at a time (it's a lot to learn!). There are also a set of laminated pictures and labels and information cards for each period.
The timeline was so huge that there was no way I could include the whole thing in a picture so I made a little vid - you'll see how long it was at the end! Then there are a couple of photos of the other bits that go with it.
Oh, and here's April playing with the picture cards which she adored - she spent a LONG time doing stuff like getting the woolly mammoth to eat the coral!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I've turned into Charlie Brown
This is precisely how I'm feeling right now!
Tim's holiday is NOT turning out how we planned. In fact, we've decided not to have plans on future holidays because those plans are so obviously not going to happen.
Last week we had the car hoo-haa (the car is actually still on the drive.....) and the weather was arctic (the sea at Sandbanks, not far from us, froze over) so that put paid to any thoughts of going anywhere or doing much. So we thought, "not to worry, we've got a whole other week and the weather will be warmer". Erm.... yes, warmer but also chucking it down with rain and, intermittently howling a gale. On top of this, we're having problems with the house. Just before Christmas our hot water system decided to pack up so we had no hot water. Just after Christmas it mysteriously started working again. Then, a few days later, it stopped working again. Now, on top of that, the bloody shower has malfunctioned!! Can you see where Charlie Brown fits into all this now?
Soooo, tomorrow, we have to wait in for the repair person - "Oh please! don't send the Polish people who did our bathroom in the first place!" I have nothing against Polish people but these particular workmen don't speak hardly any English and are VERY difficult to communicate with. If they get sent round then I an see us hiring Tim's Polish friend from work to come translate for us because I cannot IMAGINE trying to explain our hot water/shower problems to them *groans at thought*.
Anyway, all that aside I've been putting the final touches to some homeschool stuff for this term (hopefully getting started again in the next few days but let's not be too optimistic the way things are going eh?! *laughs*) Sorted out some grammar work for Rosie - some of my own creations plus these cards.
I've also been working on the Timeline of Life material for her (or at least my version of, which is much simplified!) but I'll save that until it's finished and then take piccies.
For April I made this little game:
These were some gorgeous photographs of snowflakes that were in our newspaper recently. I thought they'd make a great visual discrimination game for April so I photocopied and laminated them and that was that! She loves it and it's very appropriate for this time of year *smiles*.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Here's a new visitor to our garden! Today we saw a pair of goldcrests and we've not seen them before so it was very exciting. We had no idea what they were and only identified them after zooming in on the photos I took. What's particularly lovely is that these are classified as an "Amber" species meaning that they are slightly in decline so it's very nice to see them indeed!
They are the TINIEST little things and hop around madly all over the place so it was very difficult to get any good pics, but here are my best efforts (check out that bright yellow stripe on the head!)
Love this last one - look at the HUGE eye!
Friday, January 09, 2009
One down, one to go
It's just occured to me that we're at the end of Tim's first week of holiday and we really haven't done a lot! Ok, granted, holidays are supposed to be for relaxing but it's also nice to ... erm... do "stuff". Next week we're planning some walks and whatnot so hopefully we'll be getting a bit more active! Anyway, the first part of this week was taken up with trying to decide what to do about the car and it now seems like we may end up keeping and repairing the Citroen after all. It's going over to Tim's parents sometime in the next couple of days and his dad is going to give it the once over (he used to be in the AA) and decide whether to put a new clutch cable in, put a new clutch in or dump it (not literally dump it!) Tim went out and started it yesterday and it went like a dream - the engine is still very good so it would seem a shame to right it off just yet (oh, and of course, it still has several months worth of MOT and Tax on it!) So that's that.
We went out and did our bits and pieces this afternoon. Stopped off at Tim's work and picked up his wages and then went to Tesco and did the shopping. Nothing exciting there! Oh, I did get stingy eyes. About half way round the shop I developed stingy eyes and I've still got them - I think my mascara might be on the blink (ha! ha!) and I need a new one. Hmmmm.
I also pondered today. Uh-oh! Y'know, life can be intensely frustrating sometimes and you think "there is just NO point in carrying on with xxxxxxx (fill in as appropriate)" because it's not getting anywhere/it's making me angry/it's making me sad (delete as appropriate). Really though, you've got to carry on with xxxxxxx or whatever because why bother existing otherwise - we all need challenges to keep us going and we all need (yes really!) to have to deal with shit sometimes to keep us on our toes.
Is any of this making sense? Thought not.
Off for dinner now - bye-bye!
Friday, January 09, 2009
*Laughs out loud*
I had to blog this. I was just reading through the other post I've done and April wandered in and looked at the pic of the robin.
April: that's a bit blurry mummy!
Me: daddy took it - maybe he's not very good at taking photos heehee!
April: no, I don't think he's been made very good.
April: a long time ago all the people got dead and new ones got made.
April: and daddy didn't get made very good.
Me: Oh, I see! (not actually seeing at all)
That explains a lot! *laughs and laughs and laughs*!
Friday, January 09, 2009
Baby, it's cold outside
It SO is, isn't it?! I honestly don't believe it's been this freezing for YEARS - we've had a real spate of mild winters recently so this is a bit of a shock to the system! Yesterday, it was a bit warmer but today we're back to arctic conditions again with a very heavy frost this morning.
I've been faithfully feeding the birds through all this and putting water out for them in our little bird bath. Yesterday, Tim got a quick snap of a robin having a splash around - it looks like the water is frozen but that was the water from the previous day! So although it got warmer yesterday, it clearly wasn't enough to melt the ice! I just tipped the fresh water on top! Sorry, bit blurred but I think Tim was trying to do it quick before the thing scarpered!
Today, I put water in the birdbath and some more in an old biscuit tin lid a bit further up the garden. I went indoors and about 5 minutes later, looked outside and it was already freezing up!
Yesterday, in celebration of a slightly warmer day and (if I'm honest!) because we're heartily sick of fruit cake, I made a raspberry and fresh cream sponge - ooooo! yum! It really did make a nice change after all the rich Christmas food. I've also been steadily working through getting the homeschool stuff sorted. I'm going to start easing Rosie back into work on Monday and I want to have everything ready for then. April's already been asking for work!
We're off out in the chilliness this afternoon - got to go to Tim's work to collect his wages (he's officially on holiday but doesn't go back to work until a week Saturday and we still need money!) and then we're going to "big-Tesco-near-hospital" as it's commonly referred to round here. Need a whole bunch of general food shopping and some other bits and pieces beside, iincluding laminating pouches - I told you I was busy with homeschool stuff!
Right, off now to brave getting dressed - got the heating on full blast and I'm still shivering - roll on spring!
Monday, January 05, 2009
Tim took the mickey out of me for being excited about going shopping this morning but I just don't care! I had a lovely time browsing my favourite shop and choosing some nice new stuff to spend my Christmas pounds on :) Came home with a new skirt, new pair of jeans and a (very) cute, lightweight fleece jacket - all gorgeous.
While I was shopping, Tim took the kids in Waterstones because Rosie wanted to buy the last remaining Harry Potter books that she didn't have. She spent her saved pocket money and, my god, she nearly drove us batty with this! Before we left for the shops, she put her money on the dining table and I told her to give it to Tim to look after. Anyway, we left, got part the way up the road and Tim says "have you got Rosie's money?" ... "er...no, I thought you had it". Nope. So, back home we go, I go indoors while they stay in the car and I start hunting for the money EVERYWHERE. No joy. Starting to panic slightly, I go back outside and tell Tim I can't find it so he comes in and hunts and he has no luck either. Anyway, then Tim went out and asked Rosie if she knows where it might be ........ "oh, I've got it here" she says. So, she'd sat there and listened to us going frantic over the "missing" money and not thought to tell us before that she had it all along!
Oh, and while all this was going on, Tim was a bit naughty but I won't dwell on that eh? *grins*.
So, my clothes shopping is done but we still have a big purchase to make soon. A new car. Well, a new/old car iyswim? This is SUCH a drag because a) we're on a very limited budget and b) Tim knows nothing about cars so we always have to try and find someone who's available to go with him so he doesn't end up buying a total crock ...... hey-ho. Our budget also means we end up with totally boring old farts of cars - at this moment in time it's a toss up between these 2:
An R Reg Honda Civic 1.5I
Or this .... an S Reg Vauxhall Astra CD Estate
Good grief, I can barely contain my excitement. Personally, I prefer the Astra - the Honda is too tedious for words. Still, both are in pretty good condition and both have looooong MOT's on them which is very important to us.
Oh, and what's happened to our Citroen? It's STILL sat on the drive and STILL has a busted clutch cable. Meanwhile the tax and MOT are slowly ticking away - total, bloody waste of time doing either of them really wasn't it? Grrrr!
Right, off now to tidy up a bit. Bye for now!
Monday, January 05, 2009
I'm going clothes shopping this afternoon! I'm going clothes shopping!!! What can I say? I'm beyond excited - it's been SUCH a long time since I did anything meaningful in a clothes shop *big smile*
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Sewing, school stuff and sweet treats
Christmas is well and truly over - we put the decorations away today and gave the living room a bit of a clean up so that's that.
I've been starting to put together our home ed things for the new term. Sticking with a (pretty much) Montessori basis but, rather than putting all the materials out, I'm just getting a few out that we need at the time. Science is usually the worst culprit for creating LOADS of materials all over the place so I've decided to concentrate on one area of science a term. For the spring term we're doing human biology and I've created a "human body topic box" containing books, worksheets, 3 part cards and so on. We're also going to finish up the life size, "lift-the-flap", body part activity that we started waaaay back at the beginning of the school year so I've got that taped to the wall in our homeschool area. So far, poor old virtual Rosie just has a brain, face and heart!
I've also been sewing. I brought a dress ages on on Ebay which I hated the style of but fell in love with the material (dark purple, velvety soft fine cord). I always figured I could make it into something wearable and now I have - a simple, a-line skirt (looks gorgeous with my knee high boots). Will post piccy of the completed article when I get one but here are a couple during the making of :) The second one shows the material - I just luuuurve purple!
Finally, I got this book for christmas:
If you love cooking (baking in particular) and you still get a (slightly guilty) pleasure out of those old-fashioned kids books (the jolly, smashing, chalet school, "oh rather!" type), as I do, then you'll ADORE this. Today, I treated my everso deserving family to the first treat I've made from this book- Red Kitchen Jam Tarts. Tim and I were both very nervous having been subjected to rock hard, usually burnt homemade jam tarts as kids. We were incredibly surprised though - this recipe produces light, crumbly, sweet totally YUMMY tarts. Will post recipe tomorrow.
Right, that's it for today - out shopping tomorrow to spend my Christmas money - heaven! :)
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Well, hellooo 2009!
Do ya like the colourful new blog background? I thought it was time to get rid of the Christmas things!
We had a VERY quiet new years eve really. We ditched "normal" dinner and went for finger food (lovely spring rolls and things) which we nibbled on through out the night and, of course, the obligatory "bubbly". We ended up watching The Most Annoying People of 2008 ALL evening I'm ashamed to say. It wasn't intentional, we just kinda got sucked in! I JUST about managed to stay awake until midnight, had kissy-kissy with Tim (heehee!) and then crashed out. We all overslept this morning which is MOST unusual for me!
Was going to post a recipe today as we're having slow-cooker beef in red wine for dinner but Tim has said he wants to post it on his blog. I'm going to let him because I do believe he hasn't blogged since November - shameful! So, if you want the recipe for that, you'll have to hop over there.
See archive index for other posts