Monday, 14 September 2009

Still trying to sort out GCSEs

Phoned Trafford College today to see about getting R on a Matsh GCSE at their adult ed centre. We got invited to go straight out and do an assessment, but now the teacher has to try to find some funding. Bet that won't happen!
And also phoned Greenheys adult ed centre again, and left a message with the head of Manchester Adult Ed. Hoping to get them to allow R on - whatever their policy.
We have a meeting at Cedar Mount tomorrow, but probably won't go there. Too far away, and it is a school after all.
But hopefully, something will work out.
In the mean time, she starts English tomorrow!

Sunday, 13 September 2009


All I want to do is sort out the house. I cannot believe how much crap we have. Feeling guilty because every time the kids ask me to do something, I just say no, cuz all I want to do is sort out the house.
I have a lot of things to sort out. It is that time of year when all of the activities start up again. Gotta sort out C going to his music groups tomorrow, and try to get him signed up for keyboard lessons.
And have to see if I can get R on a Maths course somewhere. Guess I will phone the adult ed centre again and see if I can be pushy enough. And then we have an appointment on Tuesday to meet with a school and somebody from the LA who is trying to help. But I don't want her to go to a school. We want what we want on our terms. But I guess we will go to this meeting and see what they have to offer. It may help some other home edders, or flexischoolers.
Feeling kinda down. Would be happy for real life to stop for a bit. Then have the baby, and join back in in a few months. Don't want to have to deal with the real world.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

GCSEs and whatnot

R is hoping to do some GCSEs now that she is 15 and wants to go to college next year. We thought we would go along to one of the Adult Ed centres and sing her up. After all, S did a couple of courses with Adult Ed when she was under 16, so no big deal. Except that in the mean time, somebody somewhere came up with a policy that specifically excludes home educated kids from accessing their courses.

Under 16s who attend school can be allowed to go to Adult Ed classes in Manchester, but not home ed kids under 16s. This comes down to funding and who will pay for them. Luckily, Aquinas Adult Ed Centre in Stockport is a bit more compassionate to the needs of our kids. S did 3 GCSEs there 3-4 years ago, and they have let R sign up for her English. Unfortunately, they are only open on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the Psychology GCSE, which is offered on a Monday is already full. English, Maths and Sociology are all on a Tuesday at the same time so she had to choose one, and she choose English. And it is costing me £151.

I have been in touch with our LA, to try to sort something else out, and they seem to be taking this seriously, and are really trying to help find an alternative. They are looking at FE colleges, and flexischooling at a school, academy or even a private school. The problem is, of course, that she has a certain schedule already that she wants to maintain, (mostly to do with her Radio show, and Arts Award, and social life) as well as the fact that she wants to do these courses in one year, and if she joined in with a school now, she would be in Y11, so would have missed the first half of the syllabus.

I just think if they could let her access adult ed, that would be the easiest thing. Well, fingers crossed that we get something sorted soon, or else she will blame me for ruining her life. :-o Actually, that will happen anyway, so maybe I should just chill, and go knit something else...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

LA Contact

I have had a letter from Helen Shaw, who I guess is one of the new Learning Strategy Officers from Manchester who will be dealing with Home educators. The tone of the letter was ok, although she did use the word 'visit' and mention wanting to see evidence of the children's work. She said it would be 'lovely' to meet the children, if they were available. I get the feeling they are all trying really hard, and are open to home ed in its many forms, but haven't quite got the language.

Anyway, I was going to have a visit, to grill her on her training, educate her about autonomous ed, but in the end, I couldn't face it. I am just too tired and can't handle having to tidy the living room for somebody from the LA, even though the kids seemed into the idea of meeting her. So I sent a nice email, saying I would send a report, and she sent a nice email back saying fine. I have done the report, and now I just have to actually get to the Post Office. Phew!

I did it in quite an easy way, with lots of photos of the kids doing various activities. It has been loads of fun actually, because it has shown me that in spite of me feeling like I haven't done much with them lately, there is still lots that they have done. I am quite proud of the report, and will see if I can get it posted on here.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A trip to Leicester

Of course we did go to Leicester last week to stay with friends. That was a wonderful time. Pam took care of me very well, and M played with B, and C got to play some games, play Alfie's old electric guitar, and see Conner and Zeb.

I unburdened myself on poor Pam, and didn't do any cooking or washing up, and came home feeling a bit better about things. I am still feeling ungainly, and tired, but not completely horrible, and I may be looking forward to this baby being born a bit more, rather than just looking forward to not being pregnant anymore.

Other than that, we had a picnic at Bradgate Park, where the deer come much closer to you than at Tatton Park, and the kids had a great time as well. There was a stream to play in, and a cliff to climb, and ice cream to be eaten. I had cake. Boy, did I have cake. Coudn't decide, so Pam and I shared a variety. Yummy!

An actual outing?!

We have been quite busy, but not particularly doing anything over the summer. Well, the kids have done summer school and workshops, but I have just been resting, and driving them around, or so it seems.

We did have a lovely day on Tuesday. Caroline posted on Madcow that she was heading off to Tatton Park, and would anybody like to join her? So we did. Took me a while, as I needed shower, and had to send C to buy peanut butter and hummus as we had nothing for a picnic. But off we went, and actually managed to find them in the throngs of summer holiday families. Maria was there too, who I haven't seen for ages.

It reminded me of all the fun we used to have when they were smaller, or at least when my older ones were smaller. They played in the trees, had ice cream, found huge sticks and logs that they wanted to bring home, lost shoes, found them again, went for a walk to see the deer, and just played. Nobody wanted to leave.

I just had C and M, which was great for them. Must get back in the habit of going out with them, as R will increasingly be doing her own thing. What a lovely day it was!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Home ed

Thought I would actually post something about our educational achievements. :-) We had a meeting with the LA last week, not our family, but lots of families talking over policy, but still it gets me thinking. We have been home educating for so long, that we just do what we do, and don't have to think about it anymore. But sometimes it does make me feel good to think about things, even if I am far to busy and important to write about them. :-)

Because things are so chaotic with the building work going on, and me being pregnant, and Al being away in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago, and S being away in Portugal, then Bristol, then Cheshire, and now Kent (Hesfes), I don't suppose things have been normal.

C and R have had several showcase performances. C did Youth Beat, playing the congas with the Singing group at the RNCM. The same show saw R performing with her musical theatre group for the second half of the show. It was really fabulous! I was thoroughly impressed. And it was nice because quite a few of R's friends came to see it as well, and one wants to join the group now!

They also had their Showcase performances with the Manchester Music Service, again at the RNCM - R last Monday with the Manchester Girls Choir, and C on Friday with the Soul Choir. Plus C and M's home ed drama group put on a little end of term show for us last Friday. The whole show was actually quite impressive. The kids all seemed to be really into it, and all clear and confident about what they were doing! Certainly a change from previous years. Impressive!

With the builders in the house, we went to stay with friends. First to Martine's , then to Jill's. While we were at Martine's we went to an ancient burial mound called Belas Knap. Didn't have the camera, so go to Martine's blog to see the photos. And please note the lovely turquoise summer top that M is wearing, which I crocheted from some Louisa Harding Nautical Cotton from Martine's local yarn shop in Shipston. What a lovely place!

We were at the Velodrome last week as well.
Here is R very happy to be wearing her helmut.

And then zooming away...

Here is M having a rest, watching somebody else zoom away, who I had just failed to get in the frame...And C zooming ever so cautiously behind another blur, which I think is his friend L.
It was rather frustrating to not be able to get any good photos. My camera does have an action photo option, but you cannot use the flash with it, so any indoor photos don't turn out. My options were focused darkness, or blurry twilight.

But I guess it was a good time. R complained that she didn't actually want to go, but then was pleased to have done the fastest lap. Of course, I contest that she ever said she didn't want to go again as I can't imagine me forcing her to go to something I actually have to pay for!

Today was singing, which I just remembered, I didn't pay for. (Must pay Jill.) It was quite good. It was the first time in a few months where I have had the energy to sing. I have been so anaemic and lethargic and breathless for the past couple of months, so it was good to be able to last the whole class. C and I have been singing a couple of songs rather a lot since then, not too well, I might add, but very energetically. :-) California Dreaming and another one which I don't know the name of but sounds like a civil rights spiritual. 'Ain't gonna let nobody turn me...'

But the big news is, tomorrow we may have a flushing loo. :-)

I guess that wasn't really about educational achievements, but fun stuff. Pity the whole world doesn't think they are synonymous.

Monday, 25 May 2009

M has been busy

M is definitely a doer. She wants to be doing something all the time. I have gotten a bit of my energy back, and have started some things with her, but I think she expects me to play catch-up and make all the things we have missed out on! I reckon one project a day is good enough, and any others she can do on her own, or con somebody else into!

I got a craft book from the library, and she wants to do everything in it. We have managed to make some chocolate and vanilla shortbread swirls. Of, course it did take us 2 days to get around to it because we were so busy doing other things. And I promised her we would get them made on Friday, which she reminded me of at 9:30 pm! We had just sat down with R and C to watch Tommy, because I believe 70's rock opera to be an important part of their musical education. At least I got to watch the 2nd half, with a nice cup of tea and a shortbread swirl. :-)

She is also doing some experiments with her dad. Water density, semi permeable membranes, etc. Eggs play a significant part in these.

And using her creativity to dress up like a Pokemon she has made up for a Pokemon birthday party. She was Achoo, a snot Pokemon who has Sneeze Attack, Snot Attack, and bogey Attack. The costume was easy, green Tshirt, big sister''s green tights, and green facepaint. :-)
C made a giant red R and we pinned it to his shirt so he was on Team Rocket, and then he wore a purple beanie cap as a wig, so he would look like he had purple hair. And the party was great!

We also managed to finally plant out a hanging basket.

And C's potatoes are doing really well, except for the aphids. He is mostly consumed with making plans for his birthday soon. He turns 13 soon, and is just a little bit excited. :-)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Crafty stuff

I found myself at Hobbycraft recently. I really could spend a lot of money in there! But I stuck to my list (almost). I got some Origami paper and some cheap acrylic in colours for R, C and me to do some amigurumi.

I had planned on organizing some Origami activities, but as soon as the kids saw the paper, they got started. The thing I am most impressed with is C can now make the Crane from memory. It takes me ages to make the crane! Plus M and I have been trying to make these Sumo shapes, which you are supposed to be able to use for a game. You put two sumos on an upturned cardboard box, and bounce the box by tapping on it, until one of the Sumos falls over or out. Unfortunately, the Sumos that M and I made didn't have heads. C's did, but we still can't figure out where we went wrong.

Of course, all of this origami also means that I am having to shift cranes and boxes, and flowers and flapping birds, from the sofa and the floor all the time! And I am not really complaining about all the money I spent on origami paper just so people could sit or stand on it! Ok, so I am.

R has nearly finished a wonderful Amigurumi pig - she just has to add the eyes and then I will get a photo up. We also got some black furry eyelash yarn so she could do the coal creatures from Spirited Away. I am trying to do a little teddy, but keep getting distracted by knitting for the baby instead. :-) And C has a Ninja Turtle he wants to start. I got the greens he needs from Hobbycraft, so all he needs is time and motivation now. But he has been distracted by lots of good books from the library, including one on drawing Manga Martial Arts.

It does rather seem that we are doing all sorts of Japanese stuff. Perhaps I should call it a unit study. :-)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Actually doing things!

I am actually beginning to feel less sick and bit better, so am obviously wearing myself out trying to do everything that I haven't been able to do recently. :-)

I took M to the Portland Basin Museum yesterday. I have known about that place for years and always thought, 'We'll have to go there someday.' Yesterday I finally made it, thanks to another home edder organizing a Victorian School Day there. It was FAB!

There was a woman who dressed up and acted like a school teacher, and the kids all had to line up and have their hands and hair and boots checked. And they had to sit up at attention and write on a slate, etc. M loved it.

Here they are saying their prayers....

And here are M and J, who appears to have had enough of school after 15 minutes! :-)

Then there was lots of dressing up in Victorian clothes...

And playing in the shops that the museum have set up like a Victorian street. Here is the grocer's...

And the pub...

And the chippy...

And a house...

Then there was a lot more dressing up in 1920's style clothes in other parts of the museum. I think M wants me to make her a flapper outfit now. I don't know how long I will be able to convince her that I know everything if she insists I follow through on this demand...

It was a lovely day. And we really enjoyed having time together, which she rarely gets, being the youngest. We even went crazy and had sandwiches in the cafe. :-)

In fact, she loved it so much, that I bought her a slate from the gift shop, and have had to play Victorian School Ma'am ever since. I don't think she has ever done as much writing as she has done on that slate in the past couple of days!

And last night, I had to giver her another lesson, and when I tried to end the game by saying the mill whistle had blown and she had to get to work, she took me at my word and did some carding and spinning. Well, I say spinning... but we were using a drop spindle, and there was a lot of 'Can you reattach this for me?

All in all, a very successful day. I feel worthy of parenthood, for a brief while at least, and I slept well.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

What is normal?

I have been feeling really crap with morning sickness at all times of the night and day, which means I have been doing very little with the kids, other than taking them to various activities, and playing games. Which is enough sometimes. But I am 16 weeks now, and I think the sickness is beginning to wear off, in spite of me being sick while we were in Cyprus, and twice since we got home in the wee hours of Thursday morning. I have had some tomato and mozzarella salad for breakfast today, which I have been craving for weeks, and seems to do me good. :-)

Anyway, I keep thinking I want to get back to normal. But what the hell is 'normal'? While we were in Cyprus they stayed with Martine and did all sorts of fun things there, which are on her blog. So now, I have all of these ideas of things I want to do with M and C, and they just get pushed to the back because even when I am feeling energetic there are so many activities that we are always on the go. Next week we have regular activities, plus the dentist, plus the osteopath, plus the house being surveyed, plus and art workshop for M, plus a Victorian School Day at the museum in Ashton, so it is going to be a busy week. And I won't have time for the craft activities, or reading, or other things that I would like to do, and I will still be exhausted.

Oh well, if I have the energy, I will get back to doing some knitting and crocheting for the baby, which at the moment looks like this.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Baby stuff, Brownies, Biology and Backgammon

I am beginning to feel that the end of morning sickness may be in sight. I have had a couple of not being sick days in a row, and actually managed to cook yesterday. And had the energy to play a few games of draughts and backgammon. It was nice to play games, and go shopping with R for tea and to cook together, as I haven't had the energy to do anything. I feel terrible that I have been ignoring them all, and guilty that Al has had to do all the washing, shopping, cooking, etc., around the house for weeks. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, I will get to that phase where I can be excited and have fun with preparations, and knitting lots of little things.

M had a wonderful Easter weekend. She went away on her first Brownie camp from Friday to Monday! She came back saying she had the BEST TIME!!!! And there were lots of others who like High School Musical, too!!!! It is funny watching her, as my youngest, growing up so suddenly. She is nearly 10, getting independent, filling out in a prepubescent kind of way, and here I am, going to go through it all again with another baby!

R has also decided that she does want to do more structured stuff, and has had out the GCSE books. She has got Al to sit with her and do Maths in the evening, and I think she is feeling both stupid and proud. She wants to be better at Maths, and sometimes puts herself down, but she is working at it now and seeing some progress, which makes her feel good. I hope. It is nice to be able to watch yourself improve at things. She has mentioned that she wants me to do Biology with her, but for now, we are settling for lots of backgammon. :-)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Outings Galore

So we have had a few outings, especially with my mother visiting from the States. We didn't go out that much while she was here, as her health isn't as good as it has been in the past. And most of those we did go on, required lots of sitting on benches. :-(

First, we took C and M to the Ness Botanical Gardens. They were having a special event with the Save Our Bees campaign, and I was quite impressed with all that was put on for the families. C and M did a honey comparison taste, and a nature trail quiz, and the bee waggle dance, and did pictures for a mural, and planted some bulbs and plants that are flowering in the green house! It was fantastic!

Naturally, I forgot to take my camera. And believe me, if you had seen C do the waggle dance, you would be terribly sad that I didn't get that on film!

We also had a quick trip to Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens. That is one of my mother's favourite places to see when she comes for a visit. Unfortunately, all of the lovely tulips weren't up yet. But she did get some family photos, which is what she really wanted.
However, this is my favourite photo. M had run off to explore, so no surprises there. And I was sitting up on a bench with my mother as she can't manage the steps, but the others all went for a walk around the lovely gardens. S would probably want me to point out that R is standing on a step there. She isn't really that much taller than S! This is something they talk about all the time, who is tallest, or who will be tallest, or who should be tallest. I am very sympathetic. I just point out that none of them have caught up with me yet.

We had a nice, but expensive day at the Blue Planet Aquarium as well. R loved the reptiles and amphibians. M loved stroking the Rays, and C seemed to enjoy everything. Although we were all impressed with the sharks.

We haven't been doing much else as I haven't been feeling very well. Rather surprisingly, I am pregnant again. I am feeling very sick with it, so although we are doing our usual activities, I am not really organising anything extra. Except for the trip to the Velodrome we did last week. And an Art workshop. And Al and I going to Cypres in a couple of weeks to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. Except for the exceptions!

M is gearing up for her first Brownie camp this weekend. She cannot wait, and has Granma to thank for the £60 to send her. £60 is a lot compared to what I pay for Scout camp, but then again, I have to say I am looking forward to a peaceful weekend. So maybe it is worth it. :-) I will get to sleep a lot, and hopefully have people bring me food when I need it. Although I can't really stomach much these days. I am looking forward to the middle bit, where I will feel all blossomy and earth motherish, and I will get lots of knitting done. Unless I am too old to feel that way this time round. :-)

That is all for now. But I am thinking smugly of those friends who have not bothered to reply to my invitation to read my blog. Ha! They don't know I am having a baby yet!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Jorvik Viking Festival

We have been doing re-enactment with Regia Anglorum for a few years now. We are usually Anglo-Saxon, although our local group is mixed Viking and Anglo-Saxon. We all have names and personalities that we are supposed to act out, and we do shows where the public come to learn about history, while we are having fun playing dress up. :-)

The past week was the Jorvik Viking Festival at York, which is the major event for us for the year. We completely missed it last year. No time, no money, no motivation. :-( So made an effort this year. And it was nice to go, and to be reminded of why it is fun. It is shame that we just get out of the habit of doing things we like, and then forget about them!

This is one of the few family things that we do, although S doesn't anymore. Not since she pierced her nose and dyed her hair purple when she was about 13 or 14. R usually does it with us. She works on the embroidery stall, or looks after My Lady's children, or helps with feeding and watering the warriors. :-) She often fetches a good price at the slave market as well. But this past weekend, she was away with the Explorer Scouts, climbing Helm Crag and Saddle Seat in the Lake District. She was sad to miss Jorvik, but from the sound of it, she had fun as well. They were hiking and climbing and using ice hooks to get through the icy bits. So she does have quite a few bruises, and says her legs are so sore that she nearly didn't go to trampolining tonight! But she can't wait for the next one.

C and M were left to come to York with us. I had to spend most of last week making C a new kit because he has grown so much. Luckily, M gets her sister's hand-me-downs and they just all moved up a size in shoes. If we go back for Easter at York, Al will have to make R some new turn shoes, and she may need a new dress and wimple, and M will want a new dress and socks. She is getting C's old cloak, so C will need a new cloak, and so will R as she has outgrown her mantle. We have some lovely light turquoise linen to make Al a feasting tunic....and that is about it. So lots of sewing coming up.

In the mean time, we can talk about the fun we had at Jorvik 2009. The kids get so much from it. I spent most of the day with them in the Guild Hall doing the LHE (Living History Exhibit). By the way, our names are as follows;
Al is Algar, (Anglo Saxon)
C is Cynric ( Anglo Saxon and pronounced kunrik)
I am Yrsa (Viking, or Anglo Norse, and pronounced Ursa)
M is Magda (Viking)
R is Katla (Viking)
S used to be Gudrun.
We say that our family history is as follows. I was an Anglo Norse slave that was bought by Lord Aelfric and given to his loyal man Algar as a wife. That is how we explain the AS/Viking mixed family. Of course, inter marriage was very common as that is how new peoples have always been integrated into British History.

Some of the things we do.....

We work the quern stone, to make flour,

Magda and Cynric learned to do Combat Braiding. Here they are with new friend Wolfwyn.

We also do a lot of things like naalbinding or weaving (warp-weighted loom which you can see in the background in the photos above, or tablet) or finger-braiding.

There were also a couple of scenes re-enacted in the Guild Hall. There was a slave market, where Algar and Cynric were in charge of the slaves, one of which was Magda!
Here is Cynric with the slave merchant, a slave being sold, and a member of the public's back.

Here is Magda with her new owner, Hildegard the Leech (healer.)

and practising her new found skills,

And here is Cynric presenting a 'dowry' to the priests on behalf of a woman being presented for the nunnery. Yes, you needed more than mere vocation in those days.

Much of the day was spent fighting and battling too. Algar was a bit worn out at the end of the day.
And his throat was horse from all of the shouting.

VIVAT REX! VIVAT WILLIAM REX ANGLORUM! or DEATH TO THE FRANKEN. He killed as many Normans as he could, but they won in the end. Bloody Normans!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A day in Bristol

Last Wednesday, I took S down to Bristol University where she has a conditional offer. The Politics Department was having an open day for those with offers. I was really rather impressed with the department, and S seemed excited. She is usually so self-contained, so it was nice to see her get a little bit excited. She reckons she can see herself there. :-) So can I actually, and I can see myself visiting as well. :-)

The campus is lovely, lots of old buildings, and a few new ones for services like the library and the sports complex and the the sciences. It did have a rather lovely feel, very nice. Perhaps a little too nice for me, as I did feel a bit shabby, but a good environment for S - serious, liberal, and middle class!

The nice bit was actually getting to spend the day with her. We never seem to spend any time together, which has been true for years I guess. But we had a long drive down to Bristol, and lots of time to talk in the car, about the world, and her courses and exams, which was how I imagined our relationship would be. Usually, it is just, "Will you be here for tea?" and "See you Sunday" as she is often going to see friends. I am glad that she is growing up, and is so capable, and so independent. She hasn't, in fact, needed me for anything for 4-5 years now. She has just gotten on with her life. But there is also a little twinge of sadness as I sometimes wonder if I have let her down. She seems so capable, she could do with an equally capable mother, instead of a lazy ole hippy.

She is so different from the other 3 children, probably more like I was as a young adult. She doesn't give anything away, and I am never quite sure if what I am doing is right or wrong. The others will tell me, no holding back, when I have screwed up, but they also go to great lengths to make me feel better on a bad day. I get lots of hugs, whether I want them or not. :-) S just gets on with things, and seems to expect everybody else to do the same.

And now, she is getting ready to go out into the world on her own really. I know she can take care of herself, I know she will work hard, and eat properly, and study, as she is very good at managing her time, and money, and schedule. She is almost too responsible. I hope she has fun too. I hope she makes some lifelong friends, and finds the direction in her life that is right for her. And I hope she comes back once in a while to tell us all about it. Because I am really going to miss her.

Deary me, she hasn't even decided where she is going yet, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, and I am already getting overly sentimental.

Friday, 13 February 2009

a good day and a bad day

Today I have been in a foul mood. Tried really hard this morning to organize lots of stuff, and it all went pear shaped, so I ended up in a foul mood. R and C are out now at Scouts, so I am trying to remind myself that I am not always crap. grrrrrrr

Go look here to see a good day. Which was a year and a half ago....

click on the home school link

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Saturday morning....

and I am looking back over the week to see if we really have done anything. I am sitting here in my dressing gown, so I feel very lazy, but actually I think we have done a lot.

Monday, of course, was lovely and snowy, so I played in the snow for a bit with C and M, and then went to Bruntwood park to meet up with some other home edders to go sledging! What fun. Should get out to parks more often. I know we used to all the time with S and R, but have gotten out of the habit as they grew up.

Tuesday, I already wrote about, it was all about M, or so it seemed, and she wants to keep in that way. And there was a pub quiz night for me, Al, and S. :-) And squash for C and R.

Wednesday, quiet for me. I needed to recover a bit from all of the driving around I am doing. But the evening was all about driving around. R to RNCM on the bus, picking her up at 8 pm, dropping her off at Explorer Scouts in Didsbury, driving to Sale to see C's friend P-J whose birthday it was. C had crocheted him a bookmark as he reads a lot. I can't find the photo of it anywhere. :-( Then back to Didsbury to pick up R and home for 10 pm.

Thursday was busy too. We missed swimming, but made it to French in the afternoon. Then home to cook tea at 3 in the afternoon. R and I cooked together which was nice. We have been doing that a lot more recently and I hope we can keep it up. We have to eat by about 4.30 on a Thursday because we head out at 5. C and R and I go to Hulme, where C plays with his friend O, and R and I go to Knit by the Sea knitting group with O's mum. Then at about 6.15 we head off, drop C at his percussion group at RNCM, take R to choir practice at the Zion, and I go back to knit for another hour or so, go pick up C for 8 pm, head home, and get to stay there for 40 minutes or so before having to go out and pick up R for 9 pm. Then home for a drink. :-)

Friday, also busy, drama at the Lowry in the morning for C and M. Jill picks them up and takes them. Then I had to join them today, as after drama, the older group were doing their presentations for their bronze Arts Award. R did hers on Stephen Fry. Apparently he is her Arts Hero! I think she was a bit nervous, but afterwards she said it went quite well, and she had some positive feedback. Of course, the most important thing was her hair, newly dyed red, looked fabulous!

Evening is Scouts for C, where R is a young leader, so I take them together. Then back to fetch C when Scouts is finished. R stays for Guides. Last night I brought C and his friend other C back here for a play and some venison sausages, then out at 9.30 to drop C home, and pick up R and Rh, drop Rh home and then come home for a drink! (do you see a pattern developing here?)

And that brings us to today. Today, the older girls are both working. S at the deli, from 10 to 7 because idiot boss sacked somebody without thinking. She also is picking up a shift tomorrow for same reason. Oh well, at least she gets paid. And R is volunteering for Oxfam. She doesn't get paid, but she does enjoy it, and comes home happy. :-)

Sorry that this is a bit like a long list, but I do need to remind myself that we actually do do stuff. I have been down over the winter, and now with a bit of snow and sunshine, I seem to be coming out of it. But I need to remind myself of all of the fun stuff we do, and how the kids are growing, and learning, and that I do things other than knit and crochet.

Speaking of which, R is knitting a bag for felting at the moment. There are no babies around to crochet for, so she is making something for herself. :-)

And that is all, as we have to go pack to go to Leicester for the weekend.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A Busy day for M

Today is a good day to start a blog about what the kids are doing because yesterday was a particularly busy day for M. She was sleeping in our room, so when Al and I woke up she did as well. It is nice when that happens sometimes as we usually lay in bed and listen to Big Toe Books on Radio 7. That is on from 7 am to 8 am on weekdays, and there are loads of stories being told in bits. A nice way to break in the day, if you have to break it in that early.

We lay there listening, and doing hidden picture puzzles, and Sudoku with C who decided to join us. Now, I often get up before the kids, and have an hour or so to myself before really beginning the day. But if we start off the day together, M thinks the whole day is going to be all about doing things with her. Which would be nice if I were not getting older and more tired by the day. :-)

We did however, manage rather a lot. After breakfast we were going through some things crafty and decided to dye some of the yarn that Martine got us for Christmas. M choose her colours, red, purple and pink, and we used all of the dye doing two hanks.

I don't think it turned out the way she wanted, as she still expected it to look like it did as she put the dye on, but after it was rinsed, she got excited again.

It is currently hanging around drying. But I have a few other projects on the go, so I don't know when we are going to get around to making anything with it.

Later on we did some Roman stuff. M and C were watching a schools program about the Romans and Celts, and M was quite taken with it. She decided to do a project on the Romans. This has been going on for about 3 weeks so far. She has a few books from the library as well as several that I had on the shelves just waiting for somebody to take an interest. :-)

She is writing her project using Microsoft Publisher, so she is learning some IT as well. Most of what she is writing is just being copied from the books, but as she talks about it later, I know she is retaining a lot of info.

Anyway, she had been telling them about it at Brownies, so she wanted to share it with them at Brownies last night. To prepare for this, she had made a little Roman man. I don't know where the idea came from, but she made this little man using scrunched up newspaper, and tin foil, and painted him. He is a rather delicate man. ;-)

So yesterday we made him a tunic, cloak and sandals. M did quite a bit of sewing.

And C added some crochet as he made belt for his tunic using real wool.

And the I crocheted him some sandals, as I wasn't quite prepared to get out the leather working stuff for a tin foil man whose pink skin was already flaking off. :-)

Then M got dressed up as well. She just used one of C's old Anglo Saxon tunics, and an old bit of wool I have been saving to make her a Viking cloak. Plus she is wearing the Roman bulla, or good luck charm, that she made out of baked clay stuff. And here they are.

Apparently she enjoyed Brownies, but there wasn't enough time for everybody to colour in the mosaic pictures she took for them. So that is something to look forward to. :-)

We also managed to fit in a trip to the osteopath for M. She isn't having any problems, just getting her checked out because of all of her bumps and tumbles. There was also a trip to the doctor's for me, as my ear has been bothering me for ages. Apparently I have glue ear, and at the age of 41, may need grommets! No comment.

Not another blog

Well, I have been struggling to think of interesting things to write on my other blog, so obviously the thing to do is to start another one! Actually, I find that I want to write more about the family and what the kids are doing, and our home educating journey, but I don't want that to be open to the public. So I am starting this as a way to keep in touch with far away friends.

But first things first. I am going to go play with the settings and try to make it all pretty. :-)