Monday, 29 February 2016


We've had a couple of ace visits to TVAP and to Mohawk this month.  The first TVAP group had lots of Chinese New Year activities.  The kids made a stir fry each, chopping the vegetables and cooking it in a wok.  Delicious!

There were some good craft/art activities too - Betsy spent ages colouring in a huge Chinese dragon, and the kids made dragons on sticks with long crepe paper streamer tails.

The next meet up at TVAP had light and reflection as a theme.  Meg made a periscope from cartons and mirrors.

Mohawk had two sessions this month, which was a bonus.  Fred did archery, and the kids did the usual playing and exploring.  The girls spent quite a while in the music garden.

We went back to Mead Open Farm (in half term!  Against my better judgement, Betsy was very keen to go).  It was very busy, especially in the play barn, but the kids had a good time anyway.

Betsy made a video for her youtube channel (edited by Rob).

The kids missed two weeks of swimming and parkour.  One week the car was in the garage, the next we were visiting friends in Wales.  They're still really enjoying parkour though, and we went swimming in Aylesbury one day to make up for their missed sessions.  All three of them have really developed their skills in the water.

I took the kids to Wales for 3 days.  We last visited in September, and it was lovely to be back. Our friends live in such a beautiful spot, on top of a hill looking down into a valley.  We took a walk along the track into the next field, where the owners are building a cob house from mud and straw.  It's absolutely amazing.

I took this for Rob - a massive woodpile!  He'd love something like this.

On the way back we stopped at the slate mine and found some fossils.

The next day we were lucky enough to go on a hmone ed session at the Centre For Alternative Technology, looking at the water cycle and how water is used at the centre.

It was a gorgeous frosty morning.  We walked up to the huge disused slate mine, and the reservoir where most of their water comes from.  As we walked down the hill, we were told about the ways the water is used, and how it is filtered to make it good enough to drink.

At the bottom, after the water has powered the cliff railway, it's cleaned in reed beds and goes into the river.

Fred found some catkins.  We brought some home, and a couple of pruned branches that we found.  I've put them on the nature tray in some water, to see if they'll open.

Sitting on a wind turbine.
When we weren't out in the countryside, the kids were doing stencilling, watching films with popcorn, playing on the swing in the kitchen, having a blast with colour changing lights and music, and generally having a lovely time.

We went to mum's at the weekend, for Jessica's birthday.  She's a leap year baby, so this year is special!

At home, there's been quite a lot of craft and baking.  Meg helped make a chocolate and banana cake, and made some brownies with only a little help from me.

All three helped make pancakes, and this year they finally listened to me when I said they taste better with toppings!  Betsy liked syrup, and Nutella, Fred liked syrup, and Meg liked Nutella.  I feel like I'm getting somewhere!

The girls made me a surprise Valentines Day cake with help from Rob (it was a Sunday and I was working).  It was so sweet, they were very excited about it.

There were some excellent home made Valentines Day cards too.

Betsy and Meg have been busy on the crafting front this month.  I gave them the Crafty Crocodiles catalogue and they chose loads of resources.  I couldn't buy them all, but I did get a big box of goodies.

We opened some of the Weekend Boxes I've had languishing in a pile.  By happy coincidence one of them had Chinese New Year activities in!

Another place featuring art has been Meg's face.  This has happened a few times this month:

It's lovely to have slightly longer days now, we've really noticed the change in season is upon us. Warmer sun, snowdrops, catkins.  Bring it on!

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