Friday, 14 November 2008

The Tardis Car

We spent the morning outdoors with other home ed friends (one of whom is majorly pregnant, so I had visions of us acting as midwives down in the woods!). The kids came back filthy, which I like to think is a sign of having had a good time. However, it did make me look at the state of our car when we got home and realise that it really does need a clear out and a clean (inside).

Once the boys had been ferried off to their music session at a local Montessori school and dd1 was happily occupied with a friend upstairs I set about taking some of the clutter out of the car.

Hmmm....It's not good. In fact it's so bad, I have to list the items in order to shame myself that the car wont get this bad again. This is a list of the initial bag of items I have exumated from the car (there is more to come). I'm just wondering how all this fitted into the car (plus 5 people and a dog). Perhaps we've acquired a people-carrier version of the tardis?:

2 chip wrappers (and some left over chips - from today)

A bottle of ketchup (almost finished)

A bottle of brown sauce (very sticky)

two bottles of tap water

a pack of chewing gum

a pair of gardening gloves

two branches (no, not twigs or sticks - huge branches that were jammed across the front passenger seat)

Lots of tissues

A cardboard cloud that belongs to a pop-up Kipper book.

Two packs of sparklers (these are at least 2 years old, though they haven't been on the dashboard qute that long)

A toy car

An empty cassette case of 'driving music'

A slice of cork with a cup hook screwed into it

Two empty coke cups

A child's umbrella

A pair of muddy wellies

Two coats, a mac, a small vest, some pants and a bag of assorted spare clothes, mostly muddy.

An empty box for slides (we don't do slide photography anymore)

A car aerial (not from our car)

A book of local places to go

A spiral-bound road map, torn and muddy

A cassette of 'The Waterboys'

A bus ticket

Empty coke can

A white plastic strip for covering wiring

A tin of sweets (those expensive ones that they sell in motorway service stations)

Three felt-tip pens (mostly with lids missing) and 3 pencils

A dalek-shaped cookie cutter

A ticket to an ice disco (dated 12 December 2007) that we've never been to

A shop display leaflet that dd1 took off one of the display bikes in Halfords

Two black straws

Some unchewed lumps of chewing gum

A Charlie and Lola colouring pack

Two hankies (filthy)

A cassette of 'The Clash'

A felt-tip pen lid

A tescos receipt for Pringles and diesel

3 green shiny foil bottle tops

A box of nappy sacks

A parking ticket from October (stuck to the dashboard)

A discount voucher for ready brek (we don't eat it)

Two empty smartie tubes

A Micromeg purified water cartridge (huge and empty - came from the scrapstore)

A white pump thing with an arrow and 'flow' written on it (plus some weird tubes coming out of it)

A large scratch card (not the winning one obviously otherwise I would have paid for someone else to be clearing the car out)

A crayfish claw

An empty pack that once contained glowsticks

A rubber dart from a toy gun

A cardboard tube from the centre of a cone of machine wool

A birthday candle

A business card for dh

A tesco carrier

A pair of old glasses that are no longer worn

A pair of yellow sunglasses
A plastic boy on a plastic skateboard

A business card from a restaurant I've never heard of

A piece of card from a cigarette pack (we don't smoke)

A price tag from a batman toy (not ours)

A padlock that we don't have a key for

Another cork

A red plastic ball

Lego (assorted items including the head and arms from a Lego skeleton)

A clothes peg

A parking ticket for November

A piece of netting attached to 'missiles'

Some red straw-like things attached to attaching things

A plastic coin

3 pennies and a 20p piece

A small blob of bluetack

3 hazelnuts picked up from the pavement

A piece of flint

A long purple strap, used sometimes as a dog lead

An envelope for collecting pumpkin seeds

If this is representative of my life (or the state of my brain) I think I should be worried!
I sometimes wonder what my car would look like if I didn't have kids, or if I didn't home educate...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Vampires, silly nails and umbrellas on fire...

On Friday the kids spent most of the time at Sailing club making decorations for the party on the following evening. We hung lots of black paper bats in the windows and used 'sticky pad' stampers (created from scrap from our local scrapstore) to print halloween designs on banners. The children also helped make ghost meringues.

Ds2 decided on a sort of vampire theme. This was probably prompted by the sale of halloween items in Tescos - they only had capes, hats and teeth left - which made the choice fairly easy!
I spent about an hour on the Friday afternoon helping dd1 make a 'wolf' mask with cardboard and brown felt. Of course, she then decided she didn't want to be a wolf. In fact she didn't want to dress up at all!
Still despite this hiccup, we turned up at the Halloween party having made a little bit of effort. The cheap face paints from Tescos were handy for drawing spider webs on faces and other creepy things and the black nail polish was - er - interesting. I'd forgotten all about it until I got to work yesterday evening and saw that my fingernails were still black! One of the girls at work had dyed her hair red and I asked her whether she had done it for halloween. 'Er no' she said,'I just fancied a change'. Oops. Sometimes it's better if I keep my mouth shut.
Then I lashed myself into the traditional frenzy of pumpkin carving. There are some fantastic patterns you can download off the internet - last year we managed a fantastic scooby doo design - but this year I stuck to something fairly simple. I think the spider is still very effective, don't you?
The bonfire was initially a bit of a wash-out as we'd had heavy rain all afternoon and evening. Eventually it took light and as you can see, it managed quite a blaze.
Nice flames.
Dd1's umbrella isn't really on fire...honest

And then today at Sailing Club we lit the last remnants of the unburnt wood. Here's ds2 cooking - sorry - burning marshmallows with a very long stick (the fire was scorching!). We had to tie Jack up as he's not always the brightest hound when it comes to warm things. Having seen him stick his head in the oven on more than one occasion to get nearer the
warmth, I didn't trust him near a bonfire!
The rest of the day was taken up with book making. I have a fantastic book with lots of ideas for different sorts of books to make (origami ones, ones in the shape of a house etc). I'm not sure the kids were that enthusiastic as all my bunch were tired from too many late nights and early mornings, but hopefully it will trigger some thoughts and they might come back to it again.
As for home ed in general, we haven't really settled down into any more structure, apart from our weekly trips to the sailing club. We have started on 'The Story of The World' again and have picked up where we left off with 'Vikings'. I've promised the kids we will soon move on to Samurai and Knights. And yesterday we finally posted the letter that ds1 has written to his Australian penpal. I think we started it in September! These things take time...
And away from our little lives, in the news today: the USA now has a black president.