Friday, 29 April 2011

N meeting the dolphins

 We are back! (and very tired). I feel its going to take a few days to get into the correct sleeping pattern and feeling normal (well normal for us anyway). Of course we took tons of photos (I personally took 418!!), but while I have a good sort through them all I thought I would post these from our trip to Discovery Cove. All six of us took part in the Dolphin Experience, here is N......
I think she was in the water probably 10 minutes watching everyone else and then she decided she was feeling brave enough to touch the dolphin, which was brilliant. Eventually she plucked up enough courage to let the dolphin pull her along through the water. I was very proud, as she only had a small amount of time to conquer her fears or her opportunity would be lost, but she did it!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Poetry and Easter Baskets

Over the last few days N has been revsiting a poetry book she used to read A LOT a couple of years ago - The Usborne Book Of Poems For Young Children. Here she is, reading a couple of her favourites from the book.

After seeing Michael Rosen on Saturday at the Literary Festival, we were slightly disappointed that none of his poems are in the book. We decided we would order one of his books from the library when we return from our holiday. ( and as N seems to like Spike Milligan so much, perhaps I should order one of his too.)

This evening we were making the Easter Baskets for N's party tomorrow afternoon. We used templates from

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The problem with pre-holiday food

Okay, we all know what its like. If you're going on holiday in the next few days, you really don't want to be buying food that may get chucked away because you haven't had chance to eat it before you leave. Therefore it seems sensible to use up food you already have in your fridge / freezer / cupboards. Unfortunately this can only mean one thing, bizarre cobbled together dinners. It's fairly safe for Hubby and N as there is always something in the freezer thats edible, but its normally covered in breadcrumbs, batter or pastry so that rules it out for moi.

For example my dinner this evening consisted of;
  • gluten free pasta twirls
  • half a tin of plum tomatoes
  • quarter of a tin of peach slices
  • a handful of frozen peas
all chucked together in a frying pan and mixed together. There is only one thing more frightening than that and its the thought of what I am going to cook myself tomorrow night. (I'm guessing something that involves the rest of the peaches and plum tomatoes).

Monday, 4 April 2011

busy with boxed games

This evening we have mostly been..... playing boxed games!
 Secret Code (the poundstretcher version of Mastermind)
 Dalmation Dominoes
and Sequence! I love it that as N get older she can really understand the strategy of games.

Mothers Day

I had a really beautiful Mothers Day thanks to my lovely Hubby and Daughter! I couldn't resist posting this picture of N with her Nanny. While I was preparing dinner for us all, N took Nanny into the 'New' homeschool room to show her everything, her coin collection, the masks she has made, and here she is showing her Nanny some of the precious stones that her sister brought her back from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

More Crafting - mini sleeping bag, necklace and smoothie!!

After the excitement of the Literary Festival, N came home and wanted to 'make stuff'. "I want to sew a sleeping bag for the small cat teddy I have" she said. Now I have mentioned on this blog before that the item in our home that causes me the most stress is the Sewing Machine (that noise from the psycho movie plays in my head every time its out). At the moment its not working. I didn't want to say no when she was so keen so she hand sewed it instead....
 Seriously though, I have to do something about the sewing machine. We are now on our third one (never paying more than £30) (which is probably the problem). I am hoping that we have enough money left over from our trip to Orlando to buy a NEW one when we get home!

After she had finished the sleeping bag, she wanted to make her first smoothie. She looked through some recipes and found one she fancied doing, off we went to Lidl for some stawberries..... they had sold out so we got raspberries instead! N chopped a banana and put it in the blender jug with 75g of raspberries..
 250ml of natural yoghurt and some honey, I can't remember how much now but it looks like 2 teaspoons from here..
 She whizzed it up together and hey presto!
 We started making this necklace a few days ago but it has taken soooooooo long to dry. The instructions from a childrens crafting magazine tell you to use a bottle top to make this pendant, we didn't have one spare so I thought lets use a really small cookie cutter on greaseproof paper (hence the reason its taken ages to dry!!) Anyway, here is what we started with - cutter, greaseproof paper, elastic band and straw.
 and some of those small bead sequins
 we put the cutter on the greaseproof paper and wrapped the elastic band around the outside to hold it in place. We put the straw in the place that we wanted the hole for the necklace to be and held it there (you need a few hands to make this) Then we layered pva glue, beads, pva glue, beads, pva glue, beads etc etc
 After what seems like ages, you pull the beads from the cutter and voila :)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

N meets someone she admires

We were off early this morning into Oxford as we had tickets for the launch of the Oxford Literary Festival. Four children's laureates were there to talk to us all about their inspirations and what its like being a laureate. Obviously the main draw for us was that Jacqueline Wilson would be there, who is one of N's most favourite writers. Also there were Anne Fine, Michael Rosen and Anthony Browne.

 I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of them (so did N!) but I particularly liked something that Michael Rosen mentioned about a study that has been carried out worldwide for 20 years and the results showed that living and growing up in a home surrounded by books, regardless of your wealth or social status, had a significantly measurable benefit compared to those who had not. Jacqueline Wilson was championing the benefits of reading aloud to your children, the sharing of a story, which she feels is being lost in family lives.
 Here is N getting one of her JW books - Lola Rose signed by Jacqueline Wilson
N really pleased that she had not only been in the same room as JW but also got her autograph. Priceless.

three days in pictures...

 Ralph has a lesson for us all... when you really love something (i.e yellow ball) never let it go!!
 N baking....
 Ginger biscuits
 Pepper with her humourous greeeting card pose
 Fractions with equivalency cubes and unifix cubes
paper plate weaving
Our life has been taken over by the monster that is Nintendo 3DS, (although I have to admit it is much better than the DS Lite!)