Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding day

We've had a very very lazy day watching the wedding on the telly. Freddie, Jarvis and Betsy played, leaving us more or less alone to enjoy the dresses, carriages, uniforms and pomp!

Rob and Betsy popped to the shop on the bike to buy some provisions for the street party.

Meg had a sleep just as we were thinking of heading to the party. So we hung around for a while. I eventually woke her up, and as we were getting ready to go it started to thunder and rain. Humph.

Finally after the rain stopped and the kids had tea, Betsy and Freddie and I went along. It was more or less over but we got to chat to some neighbours and the kids scooted around with some other little ones.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A day of sharp things

The big kids came with me to my dentists appointment this morning. I haven't been since I was about 6 months pregnant with Meg (whoops). The dentist was lovely and happy for the kids to watch. When I was finished Betsy wanted to have her teeth checked, so she sat on my lap and the dentist used her mirror to count Betsy's teeth. Yay! Her first check up. Freddie declined. Oh well, maybe next time.

This afternoon Betsy had her preschool booster jabs. She was so brave. To celebrate no more jabs till 11+ we bought a Dora the Explorer magazine and a big bag of Smarties.

While we were out Freddie did some man jobs - sawing in the garden while Rob fitted the roof box.

When we got back he washed the car.

Meg is teething, adding to our day of sharp things of a dentist pokey thing (what is it called?), syringe needle, a saw, a drill (for the roof box fitting), and shiny new top teeth.

Hope we have a day of soft things tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Work in progress Wednesday

My first one! I have 2 WIP.

I'm about a 3rd of the way through a Shalom cardigan. I'm really hoping to get it finished by the time the NM Big Camp in mid May.

I'm about half way through a massive attic24 granny stripe blanket. This will take the rest of the year!

A stroll to the chalk pit

We've had a lovely couple of days here. Yesterday it got cold again - well, not cold but it felt freezing after the hot weather of the last couple of weeks. The kids played at Jarvis's, the last day before he goes to school full time. Freddie will be bereft.

I made an enormous ragu with the leftover roast beef, enough for 6 meals! I froze 4, and we'll have 2 later in the week with rice. I almost prefer that to the original roast *yum*.

In the afternoon we went to the garden centre. I picked up some seed potatoes half price. It's late to put them in but I'm sure they'll be fine.

In the cafe I took advantage of the others going to the little soft play area to think about Freddie. He's regularly complaining of boredom, and is really going to miss having Jarvis to play with most days.

I made a list of the things that he likes the best:

I checked it with him and he had nothing to add. So I somehow want to work his favourite things in to our every day, whilst thinking about Meg's naps and Betsy's wants. Hmm. I'm going to spend some time mulling this over. I joined a couple of unschooling lists (alwayslearning and unschoolingbasics) to help me. I feel like we're in a transition to something closer to unschooling, but am increasingly feeling that I could do with some serious deschooling! Again, will be mulling this over.

Betsy hung out with me for a while, making me a nice cup of tea.

Today was our home ed co-op day. We went to Joelle's in the morning for a play with Archie. They had a ball in the garden with the hose.

At the co-op about half the families were away (3 were moving house, something of a coincidence). We decided to leave the planned stuff and play outside instead.

Meg had a little al fresco boob.

We played some parachute games.

Then we took a walk to the chalk pit, just a short way down a lane.

It was fab. The kids climbed up a 'cliff' (according to Freddie)

and they found a big mountain of the chalk to scramble up.

We took a big chunk home with us.

Meg (teething, poor love) was out of sorts and really tired by the end, thank goodness for wraps!

We'd left Rob at home to get on with some jobs. He put up skirting boards, hoovered everywhere and took my pea seedlings to the allotment on the bike.
Here they are planted up with foraged pea sticks.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Magnets and bluebells

More sunshine today. Rob and Freddie went to the allotment for some weeding and watering. Later we popped round to Jarvis's. Tor had picked up a supercool toy at the car boot yesterday. It';s called geomag, and it's lots of little magnetic sticks, and metal balls. You can make all sorts of shapes and structures with them.

Freddie made this - a machine invention:

The boys both delighted in breaking it up once it was finished!

After lunch we left Rob to listen to the football and do some jobs around the house, and went to the Ashridge Estate to meet up with mum and Chris.

Betsy fell asleep on the way, and stayed asleep for ages.

Luckily we parked here so could play in the woods but be near the car if she woke.

While Betsy was sleeping Freddie collected lots of firewood to make a fire to go up into space.

Meg toodled about on the blanket, eating twigs and grabbing the camera.

Mum and Chris arrived, bringing Freda. Freddie took Freda for a walk in the woods (with mum holding a secondary lead *just*in*case* Freda bolted.

Eventually we woke Betsy up so we could go in search of ice cream. We found some bluebells too, in full flower slightly early as the weather has been so warm.

It was a lovely afternoon.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Day

A busy one here today. Rob took Freddie and Betsy to the playground while I prepared the roast beef plus trimmings for lunch with my family. I love beef but am still learning how to cook a joint, and today (for me) it was overdone. Oh well. The yorkshire puddings rocked!

We made crumble with the first few stalks of rhubarb from the allotment. It's the first thing we've eaten off it this year.

Nan brought us some beautiful roses. Mum brought excellent sausages from the food fair, and toblerones.

F and B spent the afternoon playing with the water snake and persuaded Rob to get the paddling pool out. Most of us ended up playing catch with them, throwing the ball into the pool.

I think I'll do a few more rows on my Shalom cardigan this evening. I did some last night and it's slowly coming on.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Another unseasonably hot day

What another glorious day. The weather is more like June than April. Today we went to Waddesdon, a National Trust property nearby. The house is fairytale-beautiful.

The grounds and gardens are wonderful too. There is a woodland playground built on a hillside, with different areas as you go down the hill.

Betsy now likes to climb up the big kids slide and only needs a little help at the top. She is seen here modelling her new home made giraffe dress *woohoo!*

A particular plant was setting seed today. The air was thick with fluffy white floating seeds. You can see them here next to Freddie:

Then we got the land train back up the hill to the gardens behind the house. We found a tree to sit under for our picnic, and met up with some friends. I managed to get a smiley pic of Rob - he normally pulls odd faces at the camera.

By now we were all getting a bit hot and bothered, so the easter egg trail was something to get through as quickly as possible! The kids moaned, we ran low on water. It drives me crazy when something 'fun' is anything but. Once we'd completed the questions and picked up the eggs we went home to the cool and some telly.

Rob went up to the allotment to earth up the potatoes and water the seedlings. The kids played with the water snake again (it's a big hit here). I mooched about online - I've decided I'd like to knit a small shawl, after seeing some on Natural Mamas and Ravelry. I bought a pattern and some very special looking merino/silk blend sock yarn. Pics when it arrives.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday

What a glorious sunny day it was today. Crazy that it's April and we're sweltering in the sun.

This morning I popped to town to get food for Sunday's roast. I got a huge topside of beef. I really hope I don't stuff it up, it cost a fortune. Freddie and Betsy played at Jarvis's.

After lunch we had a family trip to the allotment. I was so happy to see the carrot seeds poking up through the soil. Betsy and I weeded the carrots, Freddie dug for treasure, Rob weeded the onions, and Meg ate grass. Now Rob is off for 11 whole days at least one of us will pop down each day to do a bit of planting, earthing up potatoes, weeding or watering.

It was so hot when we got home that I got this really cool hose toy out that Joelle had given me earlier in the week. You plug the hose in and it sprays out of the snake in lots of tiny jets of water. Freddie and Betsy LOVED it! They stripped off and spent ages running around getting wet. Even Meg liked it though she ended up shivering!

In the evening I made a dress for Betsy. I'm delighted - I have a big stash of fabric, pattern books and sewing magazines and it's about time I started to use them!

Hopefully Betsy will want to wear it and I'll get an action pic tomorrow.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Soft play on a sunny day

Yes, yes, another gap! Must try harder etc etc.

Freddie was chomping at the bit as always to go and see Jarvis. And as always I set 10am as the earliest time to go next door. Today he came racing back in tears as Jarvis had gone to Whizz Kids. Oh no! We had no plans this morning so we quickly get dressed, do a lightening strike tidy up and jump in the car.

At this point I was seriously questioning my sanity - a soft play centre in the school holidays? Crazy idea. But it was blissfully empty, everyone else outside enjoying the sunshine presumably.

So the big kids have a brilliant time racing around climbing, bouncing and sliding. Meg has fun in the tinys bit and we find a sit in toy for her amusement.

In the afternoon we went round to Amy and Daisy's for a play (F and B) and a cuppa (me and Bev). It was the first chance I'd had for Meg to wear the hat I made for her on Tuesday evening. It's a bit big, but I call that growing room :-)