Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sausage Popovers

Today N cooked dinner - Sausage Popovers (to me they were toad in the hole - to the recipe book from the library they were Sausage Popovers) whatever they are they looked and smelled delicious.
' This batter looks like dog sick mum' Nice thanks for that N!!
The finished result.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Painting Police

Pepper and Ralph keep a very watchful eye on hubby's decorating

Fridge Cake

After lunch N made Fridge Cake - a recipe from a cookery book we have from the library at the moment. We adapted it slightly - i.e swapped all the fruit for totally naughty ingredients...well ingredients we had in the cupboard anyway!
Slicing the marshmallows (the Lidl equivalent of rice crispies and digestives have already been weighed out)
melting the chocolate, butter and golden syrup

throw it all in together
and this is what you get. It looks so lovely its probably a good idea its not gluten free, I mean I have already eaten those 20 gluten free cupcakes I made last week.
The part for the vacuum cleaner fitted perfectly and our carpets sighed with relief when I got it working. This evening I shampooed the hall carpet with the carpet washer and what came out was a thick muddy sludge and dog hair mix. Nice.
I think we can all learn a lesson from this. If you come to my house and drop food - don't pick it up and eat it!

Decoration Station

Sunday afternoon we had a meeting in a local church hall about the Steiner 'Free School' some other Home Ed mums are trying to set up. There were quite a few local 'Anti's' there who really don't want the school to be set up at all, they were quite agressive and rude. I left the meeting feeling totally anxious inside. When I got home I found the house empty as Hubby and N were already walking the dogs for me and they had washed my car. Lovely, that cheered me up!
Hubby has the decorating bug at the moment and high plans for decorating 4 areas of the house (on a shoestring). Anything to make it look a bit tidier. For example; we have lived here nearly 4 years, when we moved in the towel rail in the bathroom was broken - it's still there - broken. When you think about it that's quite embarrassing we have never bothered to sort it out.
The carpets at the moment are really bad even by my standards, you see we bought a new vacuum cleaner about 2 months ago and whilst emptying it I managed to throw away the inner filter so it was unusable (why do I keep doing these things) mind you for 2 weeks I didn't know what was wrong with it. Hubby had to tell me there was a large part missing! I think the part has finally arrived this morning although I haven't opened the parcel yet.
We decided to tackle the overflowing bookshelf in N's room by putting a spare shelf we had in the garage up in her room. "That's going to be shelf only for Jacqueline Wilson books" she said.
As it was a Monday N was looking after 2 more of my friends guinea pigs, boys this time. You can see her photos at
N has had a relaxing morning so far, when I came back from walking the dogs at 9.00am she was reading the new JW book we picked up from the library yesterday, then she wandered down stairs practiced her piano playing and then back upstairs for the next instalment of JW!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

embroidery is the new cool

N made a stuffed felt heart broach for a birthday present for her auntie.
On Friday N decided to have a try at some embroidery.... Here is her first attempt,
Here is her second.....
Here is her third, (which is now in her Dad's office pin board)
On Sunday we went to the Forest Of Dean and N spent hours at Grandma's on her fourth piece..

Today, Sunday, her fifth piece was a cross stitch butterfly....

Which was made in to a coaster! Beautiful

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Jitterbug & Jive and Bookclub

We were up early today to get to Banbury for the WWII Jitterbug & Jive workshop, which was great. The workshop leader stayed in character as a 1940's lady the whole time. N really enjoyed it.

Here is a photo of the children learning the beginning of the dance steps. I didn't take any photos of the final dance as I got roped in with some of the other mums to do the dance myself!

After piano we had the first session of the book club at our house, which I think went really well! We ate biscuits and cake and chatted about Peter and The Starcatchers (and that was just the adults ha ha) The book for next month was picked out of a hat; Little House On The Prairie...... watch this space.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

too busy to blog (well nearly!)

Where do I start?... ahh yes Friday was Funtime, our monthly HE meet up in Carterton, its great N gets to meet up with all her friends.
Saturday, into town, the library and shopping - you may have seen N's bargain on her blog. Claires Access 10 things for £10. she actually got £81 worth of stuff that had been reduced to £36 in the sales, and she paid £10. It was shocking at the till - the assistant reached for her calculator to work out how much she had to take off to get £36 down to £10? I told her nicely in the end to put her out of her misery.
Sunday, we took the dogs for a long walk and came home and washed all the floors together while we waited for Hubby to come home from work. We finished Peter & The Starcatchers ready for book club this Thursday.
Monday, after N had done her work she looked after my friends guinea pigs for an hour - handling them, and grooming them......

Okay I had a cuddle too!!!!

Here they all are together! In the evening she registered for an online book challenge. Whats in a name 4, which she will include in her blog She found a book she hadn't read on her bookcase which fitted into the category and read the whole thing that night!
Tuesday, after N had done her work she had a friend over to play and then off to gymnastics. I decided to take down the bedroom curtains and wash and iron them - it must be the antibiotics I'm taking for the sinusitis having a strange cleaning effect on me. After all its not something I would normally do!
This afternoon we took Ralph for his first trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, as we have annual tickets we can just pop in for an hour to walk the dogs, which is really nice. Pepper is always fascinated by the penguins and jumps up to watch them. Ralph couldn't reach - poor little thing. We came home to piano practice, cooking dinner and baking this evening.........

We were baking ready for our busy day tomorrow....walking the dogs early, driving to Banbury for the Jitterbug and Jive workshop at the Museum (hopefully I can take some photos), driving home for a piano lesson and then the first meeting of the book club is at our house straight after. We needed some cakes and biscuits to pass around for that!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

'N does dinner' is the new Thursday

N cooked dinner for her and her dad today from her Annabel Karmel You Can Cook book. This is how the afternoon went.....
We don't have a chef's mallet so she improvised with a rolling pin on the chicken breasts.

Marinating the chicken......

Roasting the peppers.......

making the dressing.......

putting it all together......

The finished result!
I thought it was very impressive to look at and they told me it was delicious. Apparently the chicken was really good. It puts my cooking to shame, I don't do anything that posh!
She made tropical fruit salad for desert (which I could eat), I had seconds three times but they were small bowls, honest!
Wonderful, well done N, you can cook every Thursday!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

goals for this year

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I wanted us all to jot down the things we wanted to do/learn/achieve this year and the places we wanted to visit.

Trips we already have organised: Banbury Museum Jitterbug & Jive, Bodleian Library Printing Workshop, WWII Secrets and Spies trip, holiday to Florida

Places we would like to go this year but need to organise!: Cirencester Museum, Science Museum, Alton Towers, Cotswold Forest School day, Horse Trust Sanctuary, day trips to Southsea & Boscombe, camping holiday

Activities we would like to do / do more of this year: Make something from the sewing books N got for xmas, learn how to knit again and keep practicing, make something with the lino printing kit we have, use the waffle dust we have to marble a 3d item, get better at using the sewing machine, cross stitch, make a guinea pig run with Dad for the garden, make a bird box, weekly cooking, make more jewellery, use the french knitting kits we have, keep updating the timeline

It will be interesting to see how much of this list we have got through by the end of the year (I will be checking!!) Of course with home education I don't think you really can plan ahead too much. Its okay to have a rough idea of the things we would like to do, but trips are kindly organised by people that are simply great, you couldn't have planned that. Maybe we will watch something on the television or read about something that will inspire us into a new project, that is the part of it I love, being able to follow your interests at that precise moment and as children are growing all the time physically and emotionally, their interests change as well.

last day of the animal care course

Today was the last day of the animal care course at HEroes, it was quite sad really to be saying goodbye to everyone. I know N can't wait to go back and do the course again, she enjoyed it so much!
In the morning they baked some animal treats, liver ones for the dog and raisin ones for the goat! N took along her 3 guinea pigs to show everyone, they survived the experience pretty well! It was a bit of a last minute rush as she only decided she wanted to take them at 9.00am this morning.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

FOD, Rainforests, Style Boutique and Sinuses

Hey peoples, just a quick catch up of what we have been up to;

Sunday we drove down to the Forest Of Dean to see my mum, we haven't seen her since Christmas day so that was nice. She wanted to come out with us to walk the dogs and unfortunately fell over while we were out, I think a stone got caught under her walking frame. It was very scary, luckily she didn't break anything but there was a lot of blood!

Monday Pepper was off to the local pet shop to be washed and pampered (next time Ralph is going too!)

We sat down and did some more of our rainforest project, (I bravely said it would be finished by the end of the month!!) N's friend called early afternoon for a sponaneous play date, which was lovely, N had lots of fun. Her friend has puppies at the moment, so obviously N came home wanting one!! My sinuses are playing up and one side of my face is VERY painful! Hopefully my Sinutab is going to clear it up a.s.a.p. I seem to be addicted to Style Boutique (xmas present from Hubby & N ) on the DS, now I know why N can play on it for hours and not get bored!

Tuesday Well its almost lunchtime and N has been up in her room reading for a couple of hours. Her hunger will bring her downstairs eventually! We have gymnastics this afternoon and a list of stuff to get through before then! I have been inspired by reading some other home educators blogs about setting out goals for what the children want to do in the next 12 months, trips already booked and one hoping to be arranged; I think we will discuss this over lunch as a family and see what our lists are!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

quick paint before bed and shopping trip today

N decided last night that she wanted to do some painting at 8pm!! I suggested a cloud and some rain for the rainforest wall, as we need to go full speed ahead with that project now we are into the new year.
This morning we popped into town and N spent some of her Xmas money on things for her guinea pigs - see her blog

I think the pink hideout was a hit straightaway.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Finally some pictures of xmas day and new years eve

Christmas day in the Forest of Dean.......

New years eve......

Pepper and Ralph wondering when we will stop having parties.......

Walking down the park after midnight to set off some lanterns......

Hubbys birthday and our crystal experiment unveiled

Everyone was together again for Hubby's birthday, which was lovely and the last time for a while as they are back to college / uni next week. It's great seeing them so much over Christmas and new year.

We wait until his birthday to say that our seasonal festivities are truly over (the last party for a while!), and of course the decorations need to come down the next day. (which also equals cleaning all the grot which has settled over the last 5 weeks!)

Today we decided to unveil the 'crystal growing' experiment. Now we are not experts (which is clear from the photos) but it doesn't look anything like the picture on the front of the box, which begs the question, are the photos on the box tempting you to buy actually taken of a crystal grown from this kit?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Xmas & New Year Catch-Up

It feels like xmas and new year has been one long party!! All of the 'people' photos have been taken with the SLR and not downloaded yet but here are some to be getting along with.....
Everyone had loads of great presents, and we have been playing loads of games. N had two cookery books for xmas and treated us to scrambled eggs for breakfast most days!
Pepper had her first birthday......
Yes she looks happy about the hat doesn't she! I think this cuddle cheered her up......
Here's another classic cuddle Pepper and Ralph style........

Once into the new year we have to slink back into some sort of routine, which I suppose in way we are all glad to do. N actually said she had been missing doing some work. (smile). Aside from the piles of Jacqueline Wilson books, N has read Anthony & Cleopatra and Romeo & Juliet adaptions for kids already this week!

Today she wanted to try another recipe from her new cookery books, and she made this lebkuchen from the Germany section of the Usborne Childrens World Cookery book. They seemed tricky to make, mainly because they are just different to the 'UK' kind of biscuit.
Apparently they taste good!