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I live on the gorgeous Dorset/Hampshire border in the UK. I'm married to Tim and we have 2 daughters, a cat (Floyd) and various woodlice, snails and minnows! I'm a nature-adoring, yoga-ing, baking, walking, music-loving, crafting bookworm and future crazy cat lady.
Me, Tim, April, Rosie and Billy and Floyd-the-cat :)
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DO NOT link directly to pictures on my website! This is bandwidth theft and I CAN trace you.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Looking foward to Christmas and further on
Warning: Post generously peppered with exclamation marks! (see?)
It's going to be weird, this year, not going anywhere and having visitors here instead! Nice though, nice to be able to crack open the bubbly and not have to worry about driving. Christmas is also good for the telly. Am I the only person on the planet who becomes feverishly excited, in a slightly sad way, by the arrival of the Christmas Radio Times? Surely not!
However, it's after Christmas that I'm really looking forward to, telly-wise anyway. Of course, I'm talking about the return of Sherlock on the BBC! There has been a much too long a gap in between the end of series 3 and the beginning of this one, a gap which has been largely filled (even a little bit by me) with "how did he not die" speculation.
My speculation was just that though, a sort of mulled-over during breakfast type thing. My speculation did not reach the quite alarming heights of some - entire websites set up to discuss it! Of course, I did see these things and in seeing them couldn't help but notice the rather ...um.... obsessive nature of some of the fans. It really is quite scary. There was also another facet to it - websites set up by people who, apparently, hate Mr Cumberbatch and Mr Freeman because, according to them, they are "rude and unappreciative" of their fans and say nasty things about/to them.
Well, maybe they do but hey! hang on a second here, if you were out and about conducting your business and some wild-eyed person came up and rammed a camera in your face and demanded that you join them in a photo, YOU'D get a bit pissed off too! Thing is, what a lot of these over-the-top fans don't seem to remember is, they are HUMAN, they are going to have days where they just don't want to be hassled and they want to be alone. That doesn't mean that they don't appreciate their fans! Even on a personal level, I have days where I'm perfectly sociable and happy to chat online or by phone or go and see people and be out and about. Then I have days where I wish the rest of the world would quit the planet! Difference with me is that I have a choice, I can get time alone if I want, they can't. Imagine that and then ask yourself if it's really surprising that they get arsed-off sometimes?
Course, this applies to all celebrities, not just the Sherlock guys ... just I was talking about Sherlock you see? :)
Anyhoo, I'm not one of the screaming hoards that follows them around the place and generally making a twit of myself and *cringe* calling myself a Cumberbitch (eeerrrrkkk!! Why?! Why?! It's so demeaning!) I probably fit into this description by Cumberbatch himself (taken from an interview in The Independent here):
“But what I love about the show is that there are lots of people who weren’t outside the hotel today equally excited to see it and are just waiting for it as a quality piece of television."
Talking of which, what wasn't a piece of quality BC television (and I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority thinking this and will probably be shot down in flames by the screaming Cumbertwits) was his appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show. During this he read the lyrics to R Kelly's Genius. I'm not putting the video here but go ahead, Google it, and see if you can watch without cringing (as I did), curling your toes (as I did) or thinking (Oi! Cumberbatch! No!) as I did. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against his pleasing baritone voice just ......why?! No need!
Naaa, he should have done a Mike Myers (as in So, I married an Axe Murderer) and rolled out some beat poetry - now that WOULD have been funny and a bit cool (and totally non-toe-curling).
I laugh myself silly everytime I watch this, Mr Myers performing "The Woman" poem in aforementioned axe murderer film (now that would be a good poem for BC! "woman! wo-man! wooooooman!" hahaha!):
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Sunday, December 01, 2013
We have been a bit snuggly here, getting ready for Christmas and winter :)
There have been advent calendars to begin opening (and Christmas carols for Tim to play for the church services!)
Much blockplay, making little homes for all manner of toy animals
Making winter wreaths from paper plates to replace our autumn ones
....and winter candle jar!
Speaking of candles, my favourite Yankee candles arrived in the most gorgeous winter/festive fragrances. Adore the Snowflake Cookie and Merry Marshmallow ones!
We went on a family walk into our little town centre last night to watch the turning of the lights. There were stalls and singing and so on. unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the ceiling of lights we now have in our pedestrian area but it was beautiful!
Finally, we replaced our autumn seasonal table with the winter one. I always love the winter table and how it looks kind of bear and then, gradually, as we get closer to Christmas, little sparkly corners begin to appear :)
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
It is time
For about 6 months I have been pondering this website indeed, I've even been pondering whether or not to even continue it! I started blogging when Rosie was nearly 9 and I was in the final stages of pregnancy with April. Now April is exactly the same age - 8 going on 9 and I feel I've gone full circle, that I've blogged everything there is to blog about our home education experience and written (and given away/sold) as many materials as I care to do. In truth, the joy of having a website about home education has gone.
I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps, as I said, because I feel I've written everything I can on it and I've nothing new to offer. Perhaps there are other, darker reasons concerning other home educators and their attitudes (copying, failing to give credit, living through my - and other bloggers - lives instead of creating their own). Who knows. All I know is that I'm ready to move on.
Originally I considered getting rid altogether but this website has been here a long time and that would have been sad. Instead I've decided to focus on other things - yes, the odd home ed mention here and there but also crafting, books, cooking, frugal/eco living, life, love, marriage .... :)
My kids are growing and that has had the lovely side effect of freeing up lots more time to do the things I love and enjoy and to focus more on Tim and myself. These days (compared with early home ed days) the house no longer looks like a trashed pre-school room - it stays (gasp!) relatively tidy! Do I miss the kids being little? Yes, of course but I'm also sane enough to know that them getting older has it's huge advantages to and Tim and I have no desire to keep churning out babies! Oh yes, we considered it a couple or so years back and then rejected it - our little family is perfect as it is. Besides, more kiddies means less time for us to share together and we happen to think our relationship is extremely important!
So, I'm going to start this new-look website with a little round up post very soon. Where we are, what we're doing, how we live, what we love/hate and so on. I MAY change the look of the website with new graphics and so on ... I don't know yet! :)
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
A friend on Facebook asked for my Christmas cake recipe and I remembered that I'd actually made a pdf of it years ago so here it is! I dug around in some old files and found it :)
While I was looking for the cake recipe I also happened across another file I did about getting the home ready for Christmas in a quick time. Now, frankly, I really need this! I usually follow the Flylady system in the run up to Christmas but this year I've been so sidetracked with other stuff (including making materials to go in my shop) that I just... lost track! So, in case anyone else would like it, here it is:
I am struggling a little this year. I'm nearly a month late making the aforementioned Christmas cake (will be doing it this weekend) and I've barely scraped the surface of starting to get Christmas presents brought and ready (although this isn't being helped by having a hugely difficult time actually getting people's present lists off them!) I've had to write a "to do" list (for the first time in I don't know how long) so that I can actually remind myself what needs to be done and cross stuff off as I go along.
Tim and I have made the decision to stay home for Christmas this year, for the first time ever, instead of making our usual trip on Boxing day to visit relatives. This is due to a number of reasons but does include some family issues (not us, other people in the family) and things are a tad awkward this year. Also Tim has worked incredibly hard this year and it would just be nice for him to totally chill out over the festive period and have a drinkie etc without having to worry about driving anywhere. So, we'll be extending invitation to family members to pop over here on Boxing day instead!
As far as homeschool stuff is concerned well, I think it's fair to say we've pretty much stopped any formal work until the new year now (excluding art/craft of course!) I'm putting together some wintery ideas for January and we'll start our winter folder then.
The shop is coming along .... slowly! There are 3 new winter themed files there now (2 maths, 1 English) and I hope to add more over the next week or 2. I will get the shop open before Christmas but there won't be a huge amount there until the new year when I have more time. At some point I really will have to put aside the homeschool work, including file making, altogether and concentrate on my home and family and Christmas!
Oh... and not forgetting the fact that it's April's and Tim's birthdays right at the beginning of December too......!
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Friday, November 15, 2013
You cannot please all of the people all of the time!
Hi lovelies! Ok, I shall jump straight in. I made the decision to not make any more seasonal guides. I'm SO sorry to those people who were downloading and using them but, to be blunt, those people were in the minority. I get a lot of website visitors both new and old and the ratio of visitors to downloads made it very obvious to me that I was wasting my time.
As I originally said, these were just scribbled notes that I made to plan out some seasonal work for the kids. I kind of thought it would be nice to share my links and ideas with my blog readers however, to do that, I had to tidy them up and make the prettier to download. In other words, they involved a fair amount of work and I simply cannot justify the time spent putting them together for the very tiny amount of people that were using them. I'm a housewife, wife, mum and homeschooler, I value my spare time a great deal and I will only do things if they are worth it!
That said, we ARE still homeschooling seasonally and I AM still making little printables and so on for April to use. Again, I generally just make the printable and don't bother adding covers and so on. It's a little extra work to add the covers so I'm going to do that and then set up my shop page again with all-new seasonal printables!
Why am I selling rather than giving away? Simple:
a) In the past I've routinely had my free printables ripped off - people have taken them and shared them on other sites, taken them and sold them and taken them and passed them off as their own. I've had people post pictures on their blog of the printables in use and not even had the decency to credit where they came from. Charging, even a small amount, will help to reduce the amount of fraud. I cannot do anything about rude, unpleasant people who don't believe in giving credit but perhaps those same people won't feel inclined to pay for something! :)
b) In some small way I'll be contributing to our family income. This website is not free, it has to be paid for every month and, in charging for my printables I'll be able to help out a little.
That all said, I will occasionally do a little giveaway on my blog just because it's fun! :)
The shop is being set up now and will HOPEFULLY be open by mid-December but I cannot promise - I'm so busy at the moment with Christmas planning, April and Tim's birthdays coming up and other stuff.
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Monday, November 11, 2013
Oh dear, yet again nearly a whole month has gone by without a blog post. I have my reasons to be honest and I will do a post soon outlining them and what I'm thinking of doing.
In the meantime, here are a few pictures from recent times.
Batty fact families
Some completely random, spur of the moment stuff we did on the Ancient Greeks, specifically the Olympic Games
Pumpkin life cycle
Making a bat fact book
Scooping out pumpkin for Halloween
The finished spook
What we always do with our pumpkins once we're done with them - put them in the woody area at the bottom of our garden for the birds, mice, slugs, snails and any other little creatures to enjoy nibbling :)
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Monday, October 28, 2013
November 2013 Guide
Just a quick note to let you know that the November 2013 seasonal guide is now available to download! I have to confess that this was a little more quickly thrown together than usual because (in case you hadn't noticed!) I've been taking a little internet break. Due to this, I didn't start work on the guide until a day ago! The only real difference this month is that there a none of my own printables (apart from the copywork and science notebook pages).
The whole thing (predictably!) has a Bonfire Night theme and I hope you'll enjoy it! Look out mid-November for the December guide - the first of our winter issues!
On the subject of not blogging for ages, I've got LOADS of photos to share with you of things we've been doing and I'll try and get those up in the next day or two.
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Here, at last, is April's snail project! This started off with her just wanting to learn a bit more about snails but ended up with her learning a LOT more about snails (for example, the fact that snails actually quite like to drink a drop of beer, apparently they're attracted to the yeast in it - who knew?!) She planned, designed and built a snail playground and created an indoor snail home and researched all the things the snails need to live happily. She still has the snails, she absolutely loves them!
There is a little video of her snail playground at the end but here are some other pics :)
Collecting all the bits to build the playground
Daddy brought home a nice, shallow cardboard tray from work - just right for building! So here, April is planning out where everything is going to go following a plan she had already drawn (see video).
Snail having fun!
April's indoor snail home. Much research went into this - she wanted to create an absolutely ideal environment for them.
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
An update of sorts!
It occured to me that I still haven't done the post on April's snail project - that's up next I promise!
This post though is a bit of a mix ... a round up ... a mish mash of stuff... a what's been happening besides home ed post! Firstly, I've FINALLY updated my homemaking blog! yay! Now this website is running a bit more smoothly, I have more time for the homemaking blog so posting will be more regular now. Latest post is about the importance of routines and how they can be really easy and quick for anyone! Link in sidebar :)
So, what else?
Well, sadly, we said goodbye to our lovely bun-bun Jeff. We've no idea how old he was because we got him off someone else and they got him off someone else! I think it's fair to say he was getting on as we've had him for a good few years now. In the end he just went to sleep and didn't wake up - no real signs of being ill or anything. I think that's good in a way, at least it was peaceful but we were very sad.
Tim - still working all the hours under the sun AND taking on the odd bit of piano/music theory tutoring as well! Wow! this man works hard and I, for one, am so grateful to him! :)
April - now 8 years old, loves Brownies, drawing (her art is amazing!), keeps various pets (snails, woodlice and fish!) and is mind bogglingly good at maths. She reads everything and anything and creates wonderful stories. She also adores making funny litle comic strips in our paint programme!
Rosie - just celebrated (yesterday!) her 16th birthday! Ta-daaa! She's grown into a funny, creative, talented, kind young lady. She tries so hard at everything she does and usually succeeds! She does fabulously well with the horse riding/work and her artwork is stunning. Here are 2 of her dragons drawn in Colors 3d:
She is continuing in home ed past 16 in order to study privately for her BHS exams, study iGCSE English and maths and some other stuff she wants to do.
Happy, happy birthday darling girl!
Photo of Rosie I took yesterday and messed around with in the photo editing thing!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013
October 2013 Guide
Just a quick note to let you know that the October seasonal guide has been uploaded! Lots of lovely pumpkin and batty fun :) Hope you enjoy it!
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