Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The rest of the month in pictures

What with making presents every night, I haven't made time to blog much this month. We have done some cool stuff though, so here are a few highlights in photos.

We were lucky enough to get lots of snow when we visited Rob's parents before Christmas. We went on a steam train too, with sherry, mince pies, Father Christmas and presents.

I made Meg's stocking (she was too little for one last year).

I did some embroidery for the first time. I like it!

Freddie loved his Skylanders present so so much.
Meg was ill just after Christmas, and needed lots of cuddles.

I am looking forward to non-Christmas crafting now. I have balled the yarn from my first ever shawl club. It's the Easyknits Sushi-Shawl-Along Club. A delicious knitted rectangle of hand dyed yarn arrived. You ball it, then knit the shawl pattern it comes with. It's way easier than balling a skein, I always get tangled up with skeins. Can't wait to cast on!

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Today was the nativity and Christmas party with our home ed group.

For the first time, I invited my family along. They are pretty good at keeping their reservations to themselves about our decision to home ed, but I am aware that they all have concerns.

So I was feeling nervous about today - I was opening up our group to, hmm not quite judgement, but I felt I was making myself vulnerable.

Especially as the group hadn't rehearsed all that much, and that we were taking a very informal approach to it all!

Our nativity was based on a childrens book that told the story from some animals perspective. Iit was very sweet. Each family took the part of an animal family. The Fieldings were lambs. Freddie didn't want to take part, so it was just Betsy and me.

I made her costume from a white vest, with cotton wool balls sewn all over it. It looked great over a black top and leggings. No photos of her outfit for some reason, but here she is before the vest went on.

After that the kids did Jingle Bells on handbells. Then the recorder group (including me) did Silent Night and Away In a Manger.

We played more music as a mixed ensemble - flute, violin, french horn, guitar and harmonica (me!).

Sujoya played the most beautiful piece of music on the harp, watched closely by Freddie and danced along with by Isabel. It was the most magical moment of the afternoon.

Meg fell asleep on mum, and we ate delicious food brought by all the families.

Joelle dressed up as a christmas cracker, and the kids has some party games.

Rob overheard mum saying to Chris that the other home ed families were pretty normal. I'm hoping we allayed some of her fears today!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tea experiment, and a magical evening

We dug out our kitchen science kit, and Freddie decided to try the tea experiment.

He made a cup of tea, and left it to go cold. Then he poured it into three glasses.

Here they are, all the same colour.

He poured lemon juice into the first glass, and washing up liquid into the second glass. The first glass changed colour and became paler, the second glass became darker.

Freddie tested all three glasses with indicator paper. The first went red for acid, the second when blue for alkaline, and the third stayed the same colour, for neutral.

We didn't have much indicator paper so will buy some more, and test lots more liquids to see what they are.

We went to Waddesdon this evening, to their magical winter wonderland. The house was lit up, with a dozen Christmas trees lined up outside.

The grounds were lit up with fairy lights in the trees, it was so beautiful.

We walked along the reindeer trail, with willow reindeer and more lovely lights.

The stables were rammed with people. Part of it had turned into a winter snow scene. There were stilt walkers, a juggler, a choir. Lots of food - popcorn, hotdogs, candy floss, mulled wine. Betsy found it all a bit overwhelming, so we didn't hang around (and no photos unfortunately).

We walked back up to the top of the hill. I went for some hot chocolate, and the kids went on the big swing in the dark. Lovely!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

An invention, and some towers

I was inside the house, pottering about. Freddie was outside, in the freezing cold. Then he came running in, excited about his new invention.

He'd made a watering machine. He filled up a plastic milk bottle from the recycling basket, and poured it down the guttering pipe left over from Rob's repair in October.

The water was directed to the plants. Brilliant!

After this he came , it was so cold. We got the bricks out.

Freddie made a patterned tower.

Betsy made a tower too.

Freddie made a road and car park.

You see the sofa here? You won't be seeing it again. A new one is coming.....yay!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

At long last, my finished kaleidoscope quilt

Well, I started in June. I intended to give it to mum for her retirement present at the end of July. And then I stalled.

I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago, so I could finish it for mum's birthday. And I did it - only just! It was off the sewing machine and into the washing machine at midnight, so I could give it to her in the morning.

It has some major issues with the binding, so much so that I think I'll rebind it at some point. But on the whole I'm really pleased with it. More to the point, so is mum.

Forest school again, and it's freezing!

Brrrrrrrr, cold today. We wrapped up warm, and went to the woods for a home ed group. Luckily mum came over and looked after Meg, so it was just me and the big kids.

We made wooden hammers. The kids found whittling pretty difficult, so they left me too it *sigh*. The handles are made from willow, the heads from some sort of hard wood (Abbie did say, but I've forgotten).

They are excellent hammers, they function as they should!

Freddie tended the fire again, but it didn't stay in so long this time. Never mind, he enjoyed clearing the embers with his new tool.

Betsy used hers to knock a tent peg through little pieces of elder wood, and we made a necklace from them.

Freddie found a, well, we're not too sure. A baby worm? A caterpillar? A maggot?

Betsy made piles of leaves and twigs into pretend bonfires.

The poor girl was freezing by the end. next time I'll give her an extra layer and bring a blanket.

They played an elaborate game of spiders and flies. Freddie was king of the spiders. I'm not sure what the rules were.

The sun was low on the sky as we headed home to nanny, meg and a nice cup of tea.