Like many before me , I have realised my children enjoy art activities more when they are using real resources as it encourages thinking , planning and good execution.
So with Halloween coming up we thought we would look at acrylics on canvas for bright and bold, and with a stencil element. Bb choose a pumpkin as she loves carving them, and sb chose a Mexican sugar skull pattern ( going from pink girl into goth phase!)
First we painted the backgrounds – bb’s being a proper picture and sb going for a v interesting red with some black dragged look.
We then took some time to design and cut out stencils. Bb having a leaf and pumpkin face pattern – easiest to cut with a craft knife. Sb decided to keep the lines and discard the rest ( must be a special word for this kind if stencil??)
We held our stencils down and used black over the top. Everyone was pleased with their results.

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I was working the mornings of the weekend and on call the rest, but luckily got to have quite a bit of time at home.
DH is in full DIY mode, turning bb’s bathroom acting as bedroom into a true bedroom. This weekend was clearing out the shower ( it will get a blog post!)
Whilst at work sb was doing bookish things and some music Prac and bb skyping her cousin ( with scintillating conversation apparently) and concurrent playing roblox with lots of laughter.
When I returned I did Latin one day with sb- we have slowed down and it is being a back burner! I did bb’s comprehension and spelling with her as she won’t do it with Dh. Both girls had a piano lesson.
The rest of the weekend was spent crafting. We did our lovely Halloween art. Mine didn’t work as I had hoped :( but useful to discuss thro with girls why I wasn’t happy and what I had learned from this. Bb did an acrilyc picture of a horse. After a lot of redraws and frustration that could only happily draw the head and neck, she decided to hide the rest of the horse behind a tree :) . One v happy daughter! The second also v happy as took 90 mins to henna her hands. Looked v good! She thinks we should take henna to Xmas camp, so will do that.
Otherwise we played games, survive and bananagrams – in English with bb and in French with sb- which gave me brain freeze!!

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Only sb in here ( and she did some English and art since I took the pic and a piano lesson with me – taking to 35]. She has worked hard this week. Bb’s has got lost, but she also has had a good week. She has partic enjoyed doing the science kits with DH from the wizards apprentice, and has been less worried about English! we bought a couple of different science workbooks for her, as she likes doing things like that with minimal writing. Mostly she is learning through reading, experimenting and talking rather than formal work. We take things at her pace.



Getting exciting!

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I am feeling the need to do something out and abouty, so we went to the Biology Day. The sun was shining, we left DH at home to DIY and journeyed into the city. for once I parked fairly centrally to make life easier! We found the venue with ease and started looking about. BB was feeling a bit fragile about crowds and loud noises, so not completely ideal, but we are pushing the envelope! we started with the quieter areas = racing breeding woodlice, then making dna spirals and finally looking at mitochondria. BB found the crime scene too noisy, so we retired to the cafe for a rehydrate and re-energise! We then moved onto dissect an owl pellet and a chicken wing before going to the microscope room, where we were the only people so had a lot of attention. we guessed hairs from different animals and looked at lots of water beasties as well. Overall we enjoyed it, though SB is a bit ‘too old’ for it now – argh to my child getting older! bittersweet to see her moving on!!

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Afterwards we went for a treat lunch at frankie and bennies, and whilst SB and I finished and chatted, BB took advantage of the larger area to skateboard, which she has now found she has some confidence in.

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The next day we did a bit of baking – well SB did for the village bakeoff! and decorating her cake. It was a bit hectic as we had planned to go to a historical fair for buying kit, but with the bakeoff challenge, and classical civ skype tutorial, and wanting to also spend time with BB it didn’t happen! However, BB and I had fun recreating assault courses in the garden. The when SB was ready, she and I walked to the village apple day and submitted her cake for the bake off. It didn’t win, but lots of people told her how delicious it was, so she was very happy with that :) . we also had a peel off for the longest continuous apple peel [172 cm for me ;) ] bobbed for apples and pressed some apple juice drink. SB had her face painted and made a toffee apple. Very parochial but very chilled and lovely

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On our return, BB and I decorated another of our tiles. All mine are glazed now, but SB and BB have one each left to do.

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Bb was slightly demotivated this week but sb has been committed to working. Hope it is going in!



so, we had fun this week juggling things all over the place! Monday DH took the girls to his mum’s. as winter is drawing in, trying to see more of her as losing john is a huge gap. the girls did home ed and enjoyed her tv package!! [as well as seeing nanna of course] . tuesday was a staying in day [mostly] doing bookish things.

weds was a weds4ed day.

we had a great time doing the modroc degas with kfish, and they worked really well. SB enjoyed the music consort work and then did really well with TB with maths. she was a quite relieved when I said TB was pleased with her, as she was a bit worried that hadn’t got a high percent – think she said 68 – but she was def within the pass on a GCSE paper, and she is planning to do it next year, so think on course there!

Science was quicker and simpler than last year. thought i would go with an autumnal theme and look at the different chorophyls and also other colourants within the leaves. we had yellow, variagated, red and green leaves and used acetone for some and isopropranolol for others and it worked beautifully.


thurs was an out day, with french and clarinet lessons for SB, and multisports for both of them. so lots of out and about and socialisation. Friday also with conservation group. SB decided to take some of her gcse subjects with her as she was feeling the need to do a bit more on them – good for her!

SB has been thinking a bit about the future, and liking her psychology book. she says she wants a job where she makes a difference and helps people. she doesn’t fancy medicine as that is a mugs game ;) and has decided not for nursing either. SHe and bb had quite a chat about how to choose a job where you arent on call. BB is quite keen to be a zookeeper in the future in her ideal world. SO psychology seemed to SB to be something where she was helping people with controllable hours! [not a bad plan] she still has police/MI5 as a backup!! or baker :) . BB has been moving on with her piano as the big thing recently, which is lovely as she is no longer having such stress over it, and actually turning pages in the book and trying new things! very happy. otherwise she is being slightly more emotionally wobbly than normal. do hormones switch on at 10 then? [she is a titch, so hopefully some more growing to do!] . She getting a science kit in the post from the electronic wizards apprenticeship as she is an expansionist phase! she always likes science, and we were looking for something handson that she would enjoy. with gcse starting, a lot of focus is on SB, but actually BB needs a fair bit, as she is still missing the companionship and play with FrB now she has left, and SB is so teen. unfortunately young engineers hasn’t restarted after the summer, so we need to find something BB-ish to keep her interest.

Bb def into a routine! Sb is certainly working hard. We are aiming for 30 rather than 35 in a good week and trying to keep a core 20 as these gcse and prep for lessons and clarinet exams take time. Proud of them both



hip hip hooray! my cousin martin is visitng from the states with his daughter O :) we last saw them 2 years ago, when O was a few weeks old, and just before martin emigrated to the states. His then wife J is american. unfortunately the marriage didn’t last when she was back home, so Martin is doing his best to be there for O whilst working his socks off so he can stay in the states. We were all v v happy to see him and O. Also lovely to see aunty and uncle M so happy as well. we stayed at the premier inn not too far away. SO here are some happy family photos :)

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the kids walked around the nearbye park for a break. On sunday, after a quick drop in, we went to the national coal mining museum. intially mum, dad, m and e were going to come, but circumstances changed, and instead we were lucky enough to meet up with the SOTP crew. we went for an underground tour, which was really good. it is a previous working mine, and 140m below ground and takes us through some history of mining. no photos tho, as anything with a battery is contraband. def well worth a visit!

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