Thursday, 26 May 2011

new family member lol

A few weeks ago, hubby took time off work and we set about moving the pond from the left-hand side of the garden to the right-hand side. At the time I thought the same thing that you're probably thinking right now... what a waste of time and effort, not to mention the money... but it is sooo much better now. There is more room as you step out of the door, the fish are not in full sun and the patio area seems sooo much bigger AND I get another veggie plot, although kids want it to be for herbs since it is so near the kitchen; so all in all it was well worth all the digging around in the mud ;o)

Here's a little something that we found during the transition... he's been put in the new pond but we haven't seen him since but I'm not overly worried as I had no idea that he was living in the old one!

The boys having a well earned rest.

The plastic covering waiting to be filled and then cut to size.

I haven't got any pics of the completed pond yet but I'll get some as soon as the rain stops :o)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Horse Riding Fun

Our home ed group recently went horseriding at a local riding school. It was great fun and the staff were very friendly. We all had a great time despite the heavens opening up at one point. The horses took it all in their stride. At the end we were all given vouchers for money off future lessons; now we just have to fit it into our busy schedules ;o)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Catch up Time

Just noticed that I haven't posted during April at all; this was mainly due to lots going on so I had very little time to be on the computer or to take any photos.

My youngest has been diligently working towards taking her ICT exam which is coming up next month (yikes!). My son has been making lots of money, well a little bit of money, doing programming and my eldest has been gearing up towards moving out.

As a family, we've been getting the caravan ready for outings (we are a little behind this year for lots of reasons, too many to go into), redesigning the garden on paper and then putting it all into practice over hubby's holidays from work and finally we've got a new puppy, well she's 9 months old but still a handful when she's full of beans in a morning.
We decided that we didn't want to be a dog free family when sadly Molly had to return to the RSPCA for further training to sort out her demons. Hopefully she will live with a trainer fulltime or with a family with lots of experience of dealing with a nervous dog.

Lots of photos to come but as usual just haven't got the time right now to do them :o)

Barrel Roof Science :o)

This is an experiment from Super Charged Science. It's in the Forces section and apparently a Barrel Roof can hold up to 400 times it's own weight!
We printed off the template and my youngest followed the video and did all the mountain and valley folds and we ended up with a tunnel shaped piece of paper, it certainly didn't look strong enough to hold anything let alone 400 times it's own weight but we carried on.

We then had to balance two pencils on the top so that the paper had something to balance on.

We then stopped and put a place mat underneath the tunnel to stop any sliding on the work surface and the pencils back on top and then another place mat on top of that. We were amazed that it could hold so much.

Then we started to place the paper on top. Unfortunatly we didn't get to 400 sheets, I think we made it to 60 and then the whole thing collapsed in a heap. Even so we were still impressed that our little tunnel had done so well.

If you go to the first photo you'll notice that not all 'legs' were touching the work surface, I think this was the problem. It was such a simple experiment to do and we had fun; it was a great one for us to start with because my daughter has done lots of origami before so didn't feel out of her depth with it.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cooking Days

Above is how my chicken arrives in my kitchen, as a huge pack for £19.99. It usually contains anywhere between 16 and 20 chicken fillets depending on their weight. Out of this I make a variety of dishes to freeze and spread out throughout the month. Out of this box I made chicken curry, chicken escaloppes x 3meals, chicken glazed with honey and mustard and chicken cordon bleu plus the chicken pieces for lunches all of which can be found in the Fix Freeze Feast Cook Book. Chicken pieces dredged in eggs and then flour and oven baked for half an hour or so until cooked, then throw in freezer so that I have something handy for a quick and easy lunch; delicious in a buttie with lettuce and mayo. Below are the sauces ready for the freezer, the dark ones are BBQ, yellow one is curry sauce, then red sauce used for lasagne, pasta, or spanish rice, or basically any recipe calling for a red sauce. These all get thrown into the freezer ready to be used when needed; if I'm organised I will get them out the night before but usually I'm making a mad dash across the garden to get it out the freezer last minute. If this does happen (and it does alot) I just whizz it in the microwave for a few minutes and ta da! A slightly blurred photo of uncooked chicken pieces, dredged in flour, eggs and then bread crumbs and frozen, ready to bag up and put in freezer until needed. I like to have plenty of these on hand as everyone enjoys them and they are so quick to do. After I'd cleared away we had delicious bacon butties for lunch, yummy! We also bought a huge packet of bacon, 4 gammon steaks, 4 turkey steaks, 4 beef steaks, and two lots of sticky ribs all of which were on offer so the freezer is well and truly stocked up for this month.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

More I.T. work or is it ???

Above my youngest has edited photos of most of her animals for the front of her latest lapbook and below we have a dilema over where we should file this piece of work because it is obviously I.T., but then again is it Religious Education being about St. David or is it English, or maybe we should do three copies and put one in each folder? ;o)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Manga Art

After a trip to the library my youngest has borrowed this art book. I'm not thrilled with Manga Art as I find some of the drawings can be suggestive to say the least, you only have to take a look at the cover of this book to see that but once inside it does teach how to draw bodies and faces properly, as long as you're selective about the drawings that you practice with then I think you'll be alright.

After practising for a while my youngest chose quite a sweet picture to copy.

The same picture coloured in using her new pens bought for her birthday especially for Manga Art, they do have a name but I can't remember it off the top of my head ;o)

A Manga face typically has small features with huge eyes as in my daughter's drawing below.
She also got me a slow cooker recipe book, mmm I wonder what she's trying to say....

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Ladybirds, ladybirds fly away home....

Now I don't usually leave my garden baskets up throughout winter but this year I had a good reason for it. When I was taking them down to compost the dead plants and give them a wash out I found a crowd of ladybirds hibernating underneath, yes really, they were all huddled together keeping warm.
I was amazed by this because I'd always thought that they just died off after laying eggs and then new ones were born in the spring.

Here's the first group:

and here's the second group:

I thought they might have gone by now but they're still there so I've put the baskets back up even though they are unsightly; ladybirds are too precious to let die as they do such a good job in my garden :o)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Education Round Up

Well... I seem to have misplaced the 'Cultures around the World' lapbook, hence no photos yet but it must be here somewhere so I'll hunt it down and then get some up as soon as possible.

We've moved on from Algebra on MEP maths, infact we've moved on from MEP altogether. Youngest was struggling with Algebra so we went back to Conquer Maths and she's flying through it. I also enjoy the freedom it gives me (to do the ironing) whilst she's listening to the tutor :o)

Youngest has finished researching all she wants to know about the Elizabethans for now so we're going to move on to more recent history, say the 20th century I think.

Science was dithering a little, we either did alot all in one go or nothing for ages but not anymore, oh no, now we do Super charged Science!
I'm really enjoying it as it is so easy to do, just watch a video, read a bit and do the experiments and have a quiz at the end to check understanding. I think youngest is enjoying it even though she isn't a science person, and my son keeps watching the videos too and I feel sure that he'll join in when we get to the harder stuff :o)

So that's it for our round up I think. We obviously do many more things but these are the ones that have changed so far this year, no doubt there will be more ;o)

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Getting ready for Spring!

I really wish I had a photo of the huge hole in the wall but I wasn't in when it was taken down, and when I came home and saw it you could say I was in too much of a shock to bother with photos.
The only proof I have that the french doors are new are the curtains, as you can see they are too short for the french doors and we didn't get the blinds ordered in time before hubby cracked on with it.
This was home ed in action as hubby taught himself all he needed to know to do it; now I'm just waiting on the blinds* to finish it off.
Molly certainly likes it as you can see and I can't wait to get out into the garden and start planting and weeding again and get some nature study back into our home ed life as that's really been curtailed with the horrid winter we've had.

*company we ordered blinds from has gone out of business and having a job getting our money back so new blinds will just have to wait a while longer, sigh!*

Monday, 28 February 2011

Just had to post...

We'd just got back from our weekly shopping trip when our neighbours daughter popped round with these lovely flowers for me. Her mum had bought too many and wondered whether I'd like some, isn't that thoughtful?

Just ignore the clay bits and pieces for now, they are our attempt at vases and are just drying out before we paint them, they should be about ready now but I don't think we'll get many flowers in them, mine is the wonky one on the right :o(

Still catching up!

Aww, my children are so thoughtful. This lovely box of choccies was given to me from one of them to say 'thank you' for taking them to the hospital and keeping them company on the numerous appointments; something that I see as part of my job anyway but it is so lovely to know that I'm appreciated :o)

And now down to some 'schoolwork'. Youngest is working her way through this text book (she hopes to do an exam in it) and after a rather boring start (lots of reading) she's gotten onto the good bits, which is a little reading and lots of practical things to do on the computer.

This photo shows some print outs she did both showing different headings and how to make them stand out on a black and white printer - something she hadn't considered before because she's been using a coloured one at home. You can just about make out the heading at the top of the sheet but it's not very clear, I blame the photographer, tut! tut!

Granny kindly donated lots of wool and I mean lots. I'm not sure where we're going to put it all but youngest is putting it to good use by crotcheting a scarf.

Friday, 18 February 2011

New beginnings

This post is just a quickie to say that I haven't forgotten about posting, just being a little busy but such a lot has been happening around here over the last few months that I can't possibly get all the news into one post anyway but no doubt over time I'll get up to date with it. As for the title, well, I just feel as if it is new beginnings but more on that another day :o)
Below is the lovely basket of bulbs that we had delivered as a 'thank you' gift from my inlaws. The intention is that they can go in the garden and flower year after year.
Gingerbread people made by my daughter to take to her Tuesday night group. This is a group of like minded young women who discuss the past weeks service, what they thought to it, what they got out of it etc and have lots of laughs and love along the way (and lots of food too).

Below is Molly, we found her sleeping here after we'd stripped the beds and left the piles ready for washing, she obviously found them very comfy!

More biscuits made by my youngest, only these were for a neighbour who was feeling poorly at the time.

Below is a photo of the family's Christmas present off my daughter. She made them herself and designed the packets and everything. They tasted scrumptious, mine had maltesers and M&M's (my favourite chocolate) in a melted bar of chocolate, my mouth is watering just thinking about all that chocolate.

We've also had two birthdays in the family this month so this has meant more chocolate in the form of lovely cakes but I'm not sure whether photographs were taken but they taste yummy all the same!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year!

It's all over for another year and I feel quite sad. I don't feel that we all got out of the period what we could or should have because we were all ill at one point or another :o(
The tree is down and the decorations have gone away, the house has been vacummed and re-vacummed, the pressies have all found a home and the house is ready for another year. Plans have been made and holidays booked, school work has been sorted out and gotten ready for a new year so everything's ready to welcome 2011 and all that it holds into our life.