Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Here's $50 for the powder room....."

This line is from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' which was what we did this afternoon, not sadly, have Breakfast at Tiffany's, though I would have been more than up for that! But watch the film with the girls. After reading a book about famous artists with the girls this afternoon, we got talking about the 50's/60's and I just thought the film would be a good idea. The book we read was an Usbourne book and was really interesting, the girls were excited to learn more about the famous 'Scream' picture and also about Matisse's 'snail' picture. Think it may have even inspired some art this week. After talking about Andy Warhol's 'Campbell Soup' prints I started thinking about the 50's and think I might do some kind of project on it with the girls, it was the era Barbie was born and also their grandparents were born then too. Could be interesting. The girls are very interested in fashion too and we had a book all about Chanel fashion out recently from the library, in it mentioned Breakfast at Tiffany's and the iconic little black dress so think this could tie in lots of things. Maybe worth a trip to Snibston fashion museum too.
Meanwhile the boys even played together today! Nicely. With no fights. A miracle really. We took Bailey to buy some new trainers for sports, which also went very well. Bailey dislikes shoe shopping and clothes shopping and well.... all shopping really! When we got back in it was time for Ruben's bed and storytime. He gets up so very early that he really needs to be asleep by 7.30 at the latest, or he is an emotional wreck the next day. We have been reading a book about the adventures of Odysseus, which we are both enjoying. He picked a book out of the library on Friday that has information and craft activities to do with Ancient Greece so think we could be making a start on that this week too. Tomorrow we are off to the park to meet up with friends, but first we have to take the car into the garage and have the exhaust fixed, which I'm dreading! Hate car stuff.....

Monday, 27 June 2011

I'm OK...........

Today has been a huffy puffy, hot and panicky day! Slept awful due to a mixture of heat, horrendous hayfever and Pippi's horrendous hayfever! Everytime I fell asleep she came up to say how rotten she felt. I know how she feels. Hayfever is pretty miserable, like being allergic to summer. She eventually fell asleep at 2 am, thankfully she's one of very few fortunate people that can manage on very little sleep. She definitley didn't inherit that from me! No windows can be opened during the evenings as that's when the pollen is at it's most vengeful. Not the best start to a morning.
Then my friend rang to ask about arrangements for the girls singing concert on Friday, we both realised we were very disorganised for it, which became even more apparent half an hour later when our venue was cancelled. Two girls were peering at me very intently and panicking that all their hard work would be wasted, the whole time I was on the phone! Thankfully, new venue was found, new leaflets printed and peace, harmony and organisation was restored. Phew. The girls song "I'm OK" felt very apt at their last practice today. Then home again, littlest pet shop hide and seek. Which was lovely until they were left in the sun and began to melt, ooops! Daddy Bear managed to buy some littlest pet shop houses at the carboot yesterday, so glad I haven't bought much of the range full price as we have got it so cheap from carboot's and they love playing it together. The girls and I got our yoga mats out and did some yoga in the garden but then the rain came. It was only a shower and didn't last long but I ended up doing my yog on the wii fit whilst the children had an ice lolly to cool down. Pippi has managed to read two books today-Heidi which she got for 50p at the boot sale yesterday & The Diary of Anne Frank, which I bought for 50p at the boot sale. Love second hand books! I have a feeling we will be touching on Anne Frank again with our trip to the Eden Camp next week.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Why the name change?

You might be wondering why I've changed the name of the blog or you might not really care either way or have even noticed! But I have. When I first started writing this blog I couldn't think of a good name and a friend of mine used to text me and ask what we had been doing at the Barras school of excellence sometimes and I thought it was quite funny so thats how we got our name. Not sure others saw the humour in it though and not sure it fits us as well anymore so.... That's why I've tweaked it just a little.
Off now to eat enchiladas cooked my delicious hubby!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Magna (again!)

Yesterday we met up with friends for our second viist of the year to Magna. This time I also printed off some worksheets for the kids to do, they were quite easy and they had one to do in each pavillion:- Air, Water, Earth and Fire. I hoped that it might make them notice some things that they hadn't noticed last time.
Bailey and Ruben playing in the Winds of Change section

Time for the girls to have a turn, they said it was like a turbo hairdryer!
I think maybe the Earth pavillion is their favourite though, as we always seem to be in this section for the longest time. There is a big sandpit to play in and the explosion area, where you have to hit the explode button and wait for all the rocks to fall out. Then you have to try and put them in a wheel barrow and move them round to the rock sorter conveyor belt and then it all begins again! Hours of fun.
I like these photo's of the boys playing together, albeit silently.

Piper pressing the explosion button and her friend waiting for the rocks to fall.
Cordelia in her herd hat!
This time we also maanged to watch the 'Big Melt' show. We missed it last time and whilst we were waiting for our friends to arrive earlier, we could hear it from the car park. Its very, very loud. When they were much smaller it used to really scare them, its strange that they are fine with it now. Except Pippi, who does not enjoy loud noises at all and spent the whole time buried in my side with her fingers in her ears. It is amazing to hear though as you stand on the bridge walkway, you can feel the vibrations throught your entire body. My dad was a forger in the steel industry and its was very much an important industry for South Yorkshire. Steel is what Sheffield is famous for (as well as Jarvis Cocker and the Arctic Monkeys!) and most families have some connection to it. My parents met whilst working in a steel factory in the 70's, my mum in the office and my dad as a forger. He had many accidents at work including a piece of metal flying into his knee once and also in his eye, so he was very lucky not to lose his sight. My friend and I talked about what a shame it was that we import steel now and how if we were prepared to pay a little more for thingsinstead of importing, then unemployment wouldn't be so high. The smell of steel always reminds me of my dad, when he used to come in from his shifts he used to smell really strong of warm steel and I always remember how his hands were full of dirt too!
I liked how they projected pictures on to part of the furnace. Click here to watch the youtube video of the Big Melt show.

It was like watching indoor fireworks. I wonder how much it costs to actually run the elcetric furnace? Especially with rising electricity prices? It must be why it is only shown every hour between 11-4.



We were all a bit shattered after, it is a very big place to work around. Outisde it had been raining heavily and the kids were really disappointed not to get chance to play in the playground. We said maybe you can have 5 minutes as it was starting to rain again and then my youngest three children decided running through Aqua-Tek would be a great idea!


They were drenched! And Ruben slipped and fell over which abruptly ended the running around. No spare change of clothes or towels either, what a bad mum I am! Back in the car and the heating on Ruben fell asleep! Home for cheese on toast and pyjama's to warm everyone up. The weather did not spoil our fun.

Playing with friends

We've had a busy week this week, On Wednesday we went to a local musuem and park with friends. We arrived and went into the musuem first, which was lovely and quiet, well it was, until we got in there! The kids all went a bit hyper and we thought it best to move to the big playground so they could burn off some of their energy! It was nice to catch up with friends, feel like we haven't been doing all that much recently. It seems to come in peaks of busy periods and slow periods.
Love this photot of all the kids together laughing and squashing on the slide together!
Climbing up to the slide!

Bubs had to sit on his coat as the slide was a little wet but that just made him swish down the slide even faster!
Time for some team work in the sandpit!

They all had a different job to do whilst they were in there and worked together as a team to get the sand from one place to the next place. A lovely afternoon after what started as a bit of a rubbish-y day, sometimes bresh air can solve all problems!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tuesday builds!

For some reason this week, it seems to be a summer thing? The children have been very busy building with both K'Nex and Lego. In fact, the living room floor seems to have disappeared into a carpet of the stuff! The weather has been really hit and miss too, yesterday the girls had singing. They are getting both very excited and nervous in anticipation of the concert next week. There is a real feeling of something exciting going on in the group and all of the girls seem giddy about it. We did manage a play outside whilst the sun was out yesterday and even managed a bbq for tea. We harvested our first potatoes today too and they were delicious! All our veg is growing so well and even the caterpillar we found on the cauliflower leaves has changed into his pupa! Cordelia was so excited when it happened that I think the whole street probably know about it too. Today we have had friends around after they finished at school, which has been lovely, we don't see them as much as we like and it was really good for Ruben to have some 'boy time' with not a Barbie in sight!! His reading is going really well too and we have now moved up to level 4 of the ORT books. He is really enjoying our daily reading sessions too. Tonight we have started reading "The Adventures of Odysseus" at bedtime. I'm going to look for some things on Greek Gods and Godessess' for him tomorrow as they have really struck a chord with him and I;d like to go with it. Tomorrow we are off to meet friends at the park and generally burn off some energy, hope the weather stays dry!

Bailey is a teenager!

Despite offers of a party, Bailey chose to have his best friend over for the weekend and a few very close family  and friends pop in on his birthday. It felt a little boring to hubby and me but that was what he wanted to do! Hubby and I made the cake together, which was quite fun actually! I let him decorate it as he knew far better than me where to position Lego figures! I was in charge of making and colouring the icing. Here is a little picture, will put some more detailed ones on later.
We made lots of pizzas for everyone to eat and Bailey came in and out of his room to talk to family, eat pizza, eat cake, open cards. He is at the age now where he tends to get money rather than presents  and was very grateful for everything he did get. I think he would have happily stayed in his room all day to play XBOX if we had let him though!!! Gone are the days of tea parties with Thomas and Transformers, which is a shame. But he had a lovely day and repeatedly asked how old I felt!!! I'm so proud of Bailey, he is such a lovely boy, he's clever, kind, polite and funny. He has the loudest of laughs and is a real practical joker! We're very lucky to have him.

Bad Kid

Funny name for a title I know! Still bear with me .... On Saturday my firstborn turned 13 years old. All week I felt emotional thinking about it and couldn't help thinking back to when he was born, the emotions I felt being pregnant and circumstances that were happening at the time. When I met my husband, I was 16 and I just *knew* that he was *the one*. I left home at 16, I didn't have a good relationship with my mum, although its improved since, and my dad had a new family. I have always been very mature for my age and my mum used to tell me that I'd wanted to be a mummy since I was about two years old. Bailey was born on the 18th of June 1998 when I was 17 years nad 9 months old. I was a teen mum. I cringe about those words because I don't feel that they represent me at all. When  you say "teen mum" people have you all summed up, well don't because I'm not! He was the only one of my children to be born in the hospital and probably the reason the other three weren born at home. After only 6 hours of labour, my beauitful perfect son was born weighing 6 lbs and 15 ozs. I can still recall the feeling of seeing his face for the first time and the surge of love that came with it. Sadly, the forced removal of my placenta in theatre afterwards meant I missed the first hour of his life, most of which he spent with his eyes wide open staring at everyone. The staff were rubbish and left me on my bed after having an epidural, by myself, not being able to move and a newborn son who was hungry. My first experiences of breastfeeding were not exactly what they should have been. Despite the very disappointing support for breastfeeding I stuck with it and fed him for nearly 10 months. Which is not a long time in comparison to other breastfeeders but I am proud of it. I feel as though I have been writing this blog post in my head for over a week now and the title is from a Lady Gaga song, the song strikes me every time I hear it. I wasn't particluary a bad kid actually, I never smoked, did drugs, never got into trouble with the police but still was meant to feel that by having a baby so young I had done something wrong, that I was a "Bad Kid" I feel like I have had a lot to prove as a young parent, not just to others but also to myself and the more I thought about it this last week the more I've realised how proud I am of my little family. My husband is my best friend and I have a marriage that I am truly proud of, my children have the stability that I didn't have as a child and are such happy little people. I'm not sure if I feel better for finally having gotten this written down or not yet? I don't regret the things that have happened because I believe that they have happened for a reason and they have shaped the person that I am today.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Bailey's birthday picnic

After much baking yesterday we set off to meet friends this morning at the park, the clouds were very grey and there was no sunshine but we hoped for some! As we approached the park the kids got very excited when they saw the workout area and jumped straight on for a go!




Its a wonder they had much energy left for the playground after that to be honest. But they did and after eating some of yesterday's yummy treats off they ran to play with home ed friends. There were 7 home ed families today which was very nice and we couldn't help but think how our older children would not be running around and being silly, playing together if they were in school as it would not been seen 'as cool'. I'm so glad my children aren't in school any more and are free to be themselves without fear of being ridiculed. I was a very happy mummy today watching my free range children running around and exploring.
Bailey with his 'too cool for school' friend

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this photo of my beautiful son at 12 years and 363 days old. I am going to be so teary on Saturday, just talking and thinking about it makes me want to cry.
Ruben found a stick (just for a change!) and decided to make some music with it.

Ruben being a statue
Bailey and his friend trying to get on the little swings!
love this photo of Bailey, Ruben, and Pippi,
And love this one even more!
And before we left, a quick chance to run across the stepping stones
A lovely day which wasn't even spoilt by the rain shower! One of the many, many days I'm so glad that I home educate my children :-)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Dragon cake Tuesdays

So today we have been busy doing lots of things, the weather has been lovely too which was lovely! Bailey built a wooden dragon from a set hubby got for him from the car boot, it was brand new and only cost £1. He spent quite a while following the instructions and did it in a rather impressive sixty minutes.

 Bailey took this final picture when he's finished, its going next to the Eagle he made last time in the family room. Well done Bailey!
 On Saturday Bailey will turn 13 (tries not to well up as she writes this) and he's really not fussed about doing anything or having any kind of party other than his best friend from when he was at school over for the weekend and a BBQ for lunch. I won't lie, I'm a bit disappointed that he didn't want balloons, banners, baby pictures etc up but I understand. He has never been one for much fuss. So I have arranged to have a picnic with some of our home ed friends tomorrow at a nearby park. He seems OK with this. So today we did some baking ready for tomorrow.
Piper made chocolate crunch
 My favourite!
 Cordelia and Ruben made chocolate marble cake (best bit ever is licking the spoon, obviously)
 Yummy!
And I made some Cola cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Book.
Hopefully the sun will be out tomorrow and we can have a lovely time with our friends.
Last night hubby and I sat for hours building Lego minifigures so we can design some sort of Lego cake for him. Not sure exactly what yet but nearly a 100 mini figures later we could barely feel our fingers any more! Seriously have you tried putting their arms and hands back in? I was surprised when I woke up that all my fingers didn't still have indentations in them! Here is the line up of the gang so far, sorry its blurry, I was incapable of good photography by the end of it!