Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Poorly Week

Big Girl has had a bug this week,so we've been a lot more sofa based this week.
I was realising that learning doesn't stop with sickness though, no excuse with not being well enough to go to school! We have been reading a few social history books from the library, when she's been awake. DVDs of   different aspects of farming, how its changed since the second world war,  filled more sofa time for her.

Before she was poorly she decided housework was fun, and vacuuming was what she wanted to do.

Flower has wanted to do 'something' without Princess, but we've been at a loss of what- neither of them have wanted to go to the different activities we've been regulars at, and its a bit hard to find something for someone who doesn't want to do things.Anyway, we found an activity group for her to try that Princess is too old for, and went this week. She had a great time, so looks to be on the calendar for a few more weeks at least.

Pancake Day had Flower taking the lead, helping make the batter, pouring it in the pan and then letting Daddy do the hot bit.

We went to our usual home ed group, but planned to leave early. Though, with the snow coming down quick, so did everyone else. Too many germs for much playing out in it this time. A bit of guacamole making went down well, even with a birds eye chilli in it!

I managed to finish writing an article I've had in mind for a while, that may even get published if I'm lucky- fingers crossed.

 We've been putting together a few different historical eras, so we finally have the homemade timeline that's been in my head for a few weeks. Princess has been rather interested in World War Two and Victorian times, but doing 1 cm per decade means the Ancient Egyptians are half way across the kitchen, despite starting at the front wall of the house!

DH had a night out wild camping with friends ( they use hammocks rather than tents, that sort of thing), which was the first time he's gone since Rainbow has been with us. Sounds good fun, and Princess can't wait for warmer weather when she and Daddy can wild camp together. I'm happy we coped just fine without DH (that wasn't a given!).
Since he got back I got a little time with a rough idea and one of DHs old t-shirts, and a few hours later Rainbow has some new trousers. It almost worked as I hoped- I cut out the back pieces back to front so the old logo on the front just adds a little colour to the bum, instead of being legible across his backside. Ah well, its a good start, and there's another T-shirt in the ragbag to try another time.

So, this week has been pretty quiet really.
Half term approaches, so we'll be avoiding the crowds and just joining in a couple of the extra activities on.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Busy, Really

I was talking to a friend the other day, and didn't think much had happened this week. However, I think I was in a bit of an exhausted haze and unable to think clearly (in my defense, I had to head to bed when we got home, and later went back to bed for 12 hours!).

We've had some of the usual  free play. It seems to involve more and more writing these days, from both of them. Daren't mention it though, I don't think they've noticed!

The K'nex has been rediscovered. And Rainbow is very interested in anything he can grab- we're officially evolving our baby safety with a baby who can lunge an amazing distance.

 Princess designs I think.

The girls love being read to. 
We got a set of 'I Wonder Why....' books from the Book People. They've not wanted to read them for about 5 months, but they are suddenly utterly fascinating. I really enjoy how the girls find things in their own time, and their own pace.

For once I can't see anything wrong with my wrapping!
 Its lovely Rainbow will go to sleep on my back, and let me concentrate on the girls, or get on with something else. Reaching to turn on the sewing machine does usually disturb him though, sadly.
Great Grandma cuddles
Great Grandma is doing really well, and quite sprightly in her own home. Rainbow is getting a bit heavy for her, but they both seem to enjoy each other.

The girls had a fab day in a local play gym, with friends. I learned yet again, the noise of these places can really wear me out, especially after 3 or 4 hours. It was great chatting with friends though, and a lot warmer than the park.
We fit in a visit to Eureka this week. Our timing wasn't great- school groups 'take over' a lot during the morning, (especially when visiting with littlies) but next time we'll go about 2.30 pm- its lovely having the place almost to yourself, as the school kids all leave about then.

First sit in a high chair out, and first slurping of apple

 The dungarees I've been making are finally finished! I had a lot of pressure to get them completed yesterday, but despite the rush Princess is pretty happy with them. There are a few bits I wish I'd done differently, and I'm happy I've learned a lot about how to do various parts. I still get a bit confused with final construction of different aspects, but I'm getting there.I'm a bit frustrated at the poppers and fastenings I can get locally, I'm going to have to investigate online bits as these are letting down the finished item- the girls are struggling with the poppers I've used on both these and the trousers for Flower.
 I haven't another project ready to go, so its a trip to Fabworks tomorrow so the girls can choose fabrics for some dresses they want next. I'll be looking out for some fleece to do hoodies, as I have a pattern coming soon. Another bonus to sewing class is reduced price patterns from one of the main brands, so I'm looking forward to them.

On a different topic, I must have mentioned my 'new-to me' magimix...
Its fabulous. 

celeriac, red cabbage, leek and carrot coleslaw

Chocolate mousse (don't be silly, that didn't last long enough to photograph!)

bread crumbs for fish fingers, so I'm told

homemade mushroom pate on sourdough rye bread
I don't use the Magimix for bread, I'm fine mixing that by hand, but homemade mushroom pate (link goes to the recipe mine is roughly based on- I use cream instead of cottage cheese) is amazing- I've only had supermarket version before, and this is much better. Princess has also met blades of mace- she's not seen that spice before, and she did a great job grinding the little bit needed for this. I don't use it often, and forgot how aromatic it is.
The girls are enjoying  helping with the magimix, and it means they can do a little more- they aren't so keen on grating (I'm a rubbish person to learn to use a grater with, I usually cut myself so they are understandably rather wary).

We are expecting a death in the family- One of the fish isn't looking so well.
I'm a little surprised it survived the night, but it is still swimming a bit. No idea what is wrong with it, but we've had in depth conversations about death in preparation. It was a bit intense yesterday!
We also had a blast of 'home edding'- the interested questions.... It happens that way sometimes, a couple of days of playing and wham! Two hours of complex and detailed questions. So, we now know a lot more about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, that some people were (and are) treated differently just because of skin colour (Princess remembering Amelia King, who wasn't initially allowed to join the land army in WW2 in this country because of her skin colour- thats on the  Wartime Farm programmes), which continued for DH into swastikas (ancient and modern), Nazis, Germans being on the other side in both first and second World Wars, Prince Philip being Greek,and woolly mammoth hair (30 cm long on top, up to 90 cm long elsewhere).

Phew, I'm exhausted just trying to write it down. Looking at it, this isn't even a week, its only 5 days. I think we have actually been rather busy!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Makings and Doings

hmmph. I've finally got the photos and I am Not Happy. This post is going to be much more a list and rather less loads of photos.
We've been busy having fun though, just not recording it!
The girls and I made some chocolate. Not just melting chocolate, but melting cocoa butter, adding cocoa, maple syrup or (whispers) 'sugar'. A friend gave us the inner bits from an advent calendar which has been a good size for a mould, but that sadly has broken beyond use so it might be worth investing in some.
melting cocoa butter....but not keen on the photo!

We've had a month off refined sugar, which has been going well enough that we're continuing. We have days when we will have it, like a birthday tea party, but generally sugar is off the menu. This helps make eating out unattractive- actually facing cakes and processed food is a bit too challenging for us without careful planning. Our favourite cafe is out of bounds as we can't resist Nancy's amazing baking. However, it should help with other costs- I bought a second hand magimix last week, and Rainbows next carseat means we spent up last week!
The magimix has already been put to good use- whizzing up mushroom pate (I never knew it could taste sooo good!), meringues (for the birthday tea) and, now we have the ingredients, coleslaw in hopefully a fraction of the time will be back on the menu.
The carseat is something I'm reserving judgment on just yet. Its a bit of an adjustment to get used to the idea that an impact pad is safer than a 5-point harness, so a 9 kg baby is safer with an ordinary seatbelt fastener rather than a special harness. I've contacted the manufacturer (Kiddy) for further information, as we've been sold this without an instruction book and it looks a little big for Rainbow, but we need something as his head is sticking out the end of the infant carseat.

I've been having fun with my sewing class. I don't need to say much, as we do have photos of Flower's trousers:

I had to beg to have them back to take to sewing class when finished, so I'm happy. Two charity shop shirts and a few hours time put to good use. I feel I need more practice doing trouser flies, and I really should practice with a zip, but that is what sewing class is for. Dungarees for Princess are work in progress. Hmm, pencil cases might be good practice. I feel another visit to Fabworks coming on!

we had some snow, I love how it built up on the washing line

He can sit up in his grown up high chair for a few minutes, if not too tired.

Weaving, by me and Princess. A first attempt with the round frame turned into a coaster for Susan The Midwife

He loves supported bouncing

Pastel artwork- not mine

Lots of paper cutting, tidying , Princess is particularly enjoying vacuuming at the moment. We also have something new in the form of Reading Eggs. I've just about made up my mind what I think of it, so sponsored blogpost with code to extend the free trial  to follow. If you are just embarking and would like the code please drop me a line and I'll find it for you :)