Sunday, 23 December 2012

Last minute table decorations, rag-rugging, Christmas 'stocking' decorating, the Christmas tree, and other December activities

Just time for some last-minute making of table decorations.

During a quick trip to the local park this morning we - er - "borrow" some holly, leylandii and ivy.

Using a potato as a base (instead of florist's foam) the potato is wrapped in foil. The kids use a barbecue skewer to make holes before poking in the greenery.

Some garden wire and bows made of leftover ribbon give it a more professional look.

While scrabbling around in the loft I re-discovered some rag-rugging attempts.

This week the kids have started their own rag rugs. These will probably end up in the loft after Christmas, but perhaps one day they'll be finished.

In the afternoon the kids decide to decorate small hessian onion bags with felt and ribbon shapes to make Christmas 'stockings'.

And yesterday we celebrated ds1's 14th birthday. No photos allowed on here (by his request. Where did my little boy go? ;)

In the past week or two...

Dd decides to make a cat tile to go with our others that reappeared during our pre-Christmas tidy up.

We sow cress, mustard, broccoli and alfalfa sprouting.

The Christmas tree gets decorated

Ds1 makes this year's Christmas cake. Now marzipanned, but still to be iced.

The kids open some discounted body parts (models)

Intestine-man causes some problems, but eventually we jam in all his internal organs and shut them in with his ribs. (No doubt at some time in the near future his ribs will give way and fire his guts across the room).

More microscopy

And at the beginning of December, a Christmas fencing team competition

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

9.30 pm, 18th December

Watching Wartime Farm while making 'modern art' transfer scenes and reading Michelle Paver.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Now that the madness of term-time has passed...

...the kids are rediscovering the lounge for activities other than tv and IGCSE homework.

Tv off, heater on, dog snoring, and ds2 starts a Michelle Paver book from the Ancient Chronicles series. It's only 2 or 3 years since he was given the books (!)

Looking forward to more quiet days...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Smoothies and other recent activities

Today, somewhen in between watching Supermarket Sweep ( boy did that bring back memories!) and Jamie's (probably not) 15 minute meals on TV the idea suddenly came to us to make smoothies. So we hauled out the 3-yr old frozen raspberries from the bottom of the freezer and bought yoghurt from our favourite corner shop.

Lots of sugar later, plus addition of some very pippy blackberries (this year's), a glug of milk and a couple of unripe bananas, and we had something resembling a spontaneous smoothy. Not quite Jamie's 15 minute meal, but good enough.

Meanwhile other things have been going on. We (sis and I) cleaned the bird table and seed holders and tried to mend the table  roof with a bit of brush fence and a staple gun. It's been months and months since we last fed them, so it may take more than a wonky new roof and dried mealworms to tempt them back from the neighbours' gardens.

Ds1 has now finished all his archaeology for the year. His last mission was a geophysical survey of a local park in sub- zero temperatures. I guess he's still keen. The group leader said he was 'welcome back anytime', which could be because there aren't many adult volunteers willing to freeze their wotsits off in a field for no apparent recompense.

There could, however, be an alternative reason. The leader did comment:
 'I've taught some very uninterested undergrads and it's a pleasure to find someone keen and who asks sensible questions'
( a small SMUG HOME EDUCATOR MOTHER moment to add to the collection).

Over the past few eeks dd has spent a little more time on her bat lapbook. I did say to her that simply printing out photos from Google was all very well, but how about actually doing some of the bat information content of the lapbook? We arrived at something I'd like to call a compromise. Some might call it a mother's too knackered to argue solution.

The boys have started Conquer Maths (have I mentioned that before?) All seems to be going smoothly. Ds2 discovered that there is a very good reason why you should do the different sections in order when he unexpectedly encountered algebra in the geometry section.

Ds1 is still plodding through IGCSE Geography and Chemistry. The former is proving the most difficult of the two due to his general 'dyslexic' tendencies. We are encountering difficulties that I had not foreseen and that seem, so far, impossible to work around. I'll be writing a separate post about this in the near future.

Spurned on by me browsing USB microscopes and wondering if we can afford them, dh got out our microscope.  He'd neglected to inform me he'd fixed the light on it 18 months ago (I'd been waiting all that time, not daring to nag about yet another thing that needed 'fixing'.) Anyhow, he found a way to fix the web cam to the microscope so we could get a picture on the pc. It needs to be refined, but it looks cool :)

Dd has received a package from her new penfriend in Israel. The package contained lots of sweets which was dd's idea of a perfect delivery! We're yet to receive a package from the recipients of our last worldwide culture swap ( a mini winter swap) but hopefully it will arrive soon.

And now, onwards to Christmas!
(Our first sprinkling of snow, last week)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Civil War reenactment

The last session of our monthly home ed group saw The Marquess of Winchester's Regiment come along to talk a little about the English Civil War and show their weapons and uniform.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Never knew how much pleasure could be got from...

...making paper snowflakes.


Dd and I have made about twenty today, either from printer paper or magazine pages.
If, like me, you haven't made them since you were six, then Google for instructions.

Go on. You know you want to :)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

On the 5th day of Christmas my fri-idge contents were


Five sad tomatoes

Four milk-crusted shelves

Three liquid cucumbers

Two furry veg trays

And a tin of month-old dream to-o-o-opping

[It's so toxic in our kitchen, even the dog glows.]

10:18 Thursday. Learning about...


(At the Natural History Museum)