Suddenly the summer party arrives! earlier this year as we wanted to have FrB at it, so it is partly a goodbye party for her. We had the perfect weather weekend, and lots of local and not so local home educators come to it. There were a few noteable people missing, and FrB as well as the rest of us wish we had some kind of magic portal/flue network so they could have dropped by. FrB was dressed up as yoshi, BB as steve, me as princess peach, and not sure about SB, but she was v proud of her pink hair.

anyway, lovely friends, perfect weather, 2 paddling pools, gorgeous food, what more could I want :) The kids had fun in the water, and in the end there was a huge water fight with DH and J vs the kids. lots of laughter, an amazing amount of water! other than that, conversation, friendship and happiness. Thanks all :)

clearly, photos to be found only on Flickr!

The next day, after we had waved goodbye to people, we had only the energy to chill in the garden, so I got out the hama beads and we made names for our bedroom doors. What with chatting and being distracted, that did take the whole of the rest of the day!! beautiful weather tho :)

 

Only 3 weeks till FrB goes home! We are starting to arrange things for after she has gone, and it feels quite weird. Weird because she clearly wants us to stop still once she has gone, but also to not be thinking about what she would like, would suit her, or sometimes because I am thinking of what she would like, and clearly she will be gone! I wonder if her french family felt like this when SB was about to come home! I am expecting they are in a state of high excitement about seeing her again, and hearing how her year went :) . I am glad she is starting back with scouts camp, and she is definitely having that sinking feeling about leaving friends behind here!

this week, a lot of time has been spent preparing for the party – costume making, baking, tidying etc. There has been some booksy stuff – not as much history as i had hoped, as i had hoped we would have finished tudors by now!- i think I had set us a bit much of a challenge! Latin, biology and some maths. lots of crafting – particularly loom bands!

Tuesday I was off work, and got to enjoy seeing the girls do science with a few other homeed people, and also enjoy a natter about exams with some parents. SB is contemplating some iGCSE next year, and it seems a very big step! [more on that later] . They made their own calorimeters and burnt a variety of nuts. SB could remember this bit of her biology, so there is hope for exams :) .

Weds we went into London, left relatively early – later than planned because FrB really has lost the knack of getting up in the morning! She really wanted to go to the V and A museum, out of all the London ones. we decided FrB really needed to see Buckingham palace before she left, and we got there to catch the changing of the guards – crowds were enormous! We walked down to Hyde Park Corner and the war memorial there before walking through Hyde park to the albert memorial. It was v v hot! so we had an icecream break en route ;) and we also followed the info on the great exhibition. BB and I cut off to the V and A as she was hot and bothered, and were joined in the cool shortly by DH and the big girls. we looked at statues and then went to the cafe for lunch. paddling cheered all the girls up as they must have been very hot. we looked around much of the v and a until bb had a slump, and we all went actoss the the national history to go in the cool entrance hall, and to eat cake! actually another cool drink was very lovely, it was very hot! In the museum we looked at the pleisiosaurs and the bugs before moving on… Our next stop was westminster! so we looked at big ben, and walked across the bridge to the London Eye for our spin around :) . it was definitley worth it, we got a really good view over London, and our little cabin wasn’t full. BB thought it was really ‘just conservatories spinning on a wheel’, which I thought was a great quote! Whilst up in the sky, they noticed the great park, so BB and FrB played on that before we walked to Giraffe for dinner. The meal was lovely. FrB was mournful that the little boys on the next table had lots of plastic giraffes, so I spoke the waiter, and each girl got to have a plastic giraffe each :) . by the end of the meal, the sun was setting, so it took a fair bit of cajoling to get the girls all back to the station and home. An exhausting but wonderful day :) . Unfortunately we have lost the card from the camera, but we do have a few photos on our phones

I had an early start at work, and the big girls had their musical recital, which I hope they repeat for FrB’s parents when they come. The videos sound good, and it is lovely that they have worked on this together for the last 6 months. They then went on to the last glass art of the year, this one with a mosaic theme. I think the glass art classes run by J are fabulous, and they had done a wonderful job. J also was fab in getting them in the kiln and returning them at our party, so that FrB can take them home. FrB is such a charming girl, that she luckilly has people wanting to be lovely to her :) . After art there was a teen get together, another chance to meet with friends.

Friday DH did some sorting out for his dad’s funeral, and it was house sort central! we were party ready!

 

We were all abit sad and moochy as Grandad had died, as although a relief from his illness, you are then free to grieve for the person that was. Grand was a life and soul person, always wanting to be in on the action, and full of love for his grandchildren. SO we decided to put some colour back in the world and did some tie dyeing. we used dylon cold dyes, and made patterns on white t’s and pj’s. some lovely designs. DH was with his mother that day providing support and practicality, but BB was v emotionally wobbly, and clearly SB and FrB needed something undemanding and crafty so they could think [or not] and do without pressure. When I can, I will add photos!

Sunday we had planned to go to festival of history. had some discussion about going ahead, but we did, as the girls had been looking forwards to it. [i can't quite call it history live! ]. we planned to leave bright and early and arrive for the start, but frb overslept and was exceptionally slow getting up. however, we had a fab long, shattering day there! we walked around the ww2 encampments by the entrance and went to watch the last battle of the cousins war – something we had just finished with in our history journal. there are traders, so we wandered through the stalls on the way to see BZents put on their horatio show. FrB was really happy to be called up to active service – her line being ‘el bango’ as a spanish ship! BB did the army assault course and we saw the victorian circus [which was good]. Next i had hoped to see the roman army, but the girls were more distracted by the gladiators, so we saw them mock battling and pretend blood spurting out. the jousting is always good to see and we were not disappointed. BB and I stayed to watch the taking of a canadian fort that had been overrun by americans by the redcoats. it was really good, with some nifty pyrotechnics, and for once i had not a clue of the history myself! Dh took the big 2 back to the shop bits and then on to the final D Day battle and the final parade. BB was too hot by then, so we hid in a patch of shade and had a snuggle. We talked to a nice chatty american lady, who thought i was BB’s grandmother – sob!! and when it was over, I bought a stool for kentwell, which hopefully will keep my comfortable :)

It was a fab day, and FrB was impressed by the amount of it, and the difference to anything she had been too, and wished we had gone both days. Oh well! maybe photos will be added!

 

Dh father passed away last night peacefully following a gradual decline from February. He was a characterful man, who made the most of life to get beyond adversity. My blog isn’t talking to flickr or computer, so all my lovely pics of John will have to wait. I am glad he had a gentle passing, and he is free of pain and the distress of no longer being the man he was.

 

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following kentwell the girls did quite a bookish week. They got back into the swing of things quite happily. we had a really great history all day workshop – this time about the civil war – I am determined we will get that far in history!! :D Botany happened again on Tuesday, and this week it was looking round a lovely private garden. When we get back to gardening, there are lots of ideas there! Unfortunately I was pretty unwell tues and weds, so no weds4ed as didn’t want to pass on any lurgies. On thurs after music lessons the family went to visit DH parents, and cheer up grandad. He is back home, but not so well any more, and unable to get about like he used to. I think friday was orienteering :)

the next week I think we had as outings rollerskating with home ed friends and came back with 2 more children! E and R for a sleepover until the weds. They all had a great time, loombanding, just dancing, karaoke, wii, playing hide and seek, crafting with hama beads etc. Lovely :) . we inflicted little shop of horrors musical on them…  on weds we did have weds4ed, and we made dentistrometers with sugar solution, and were all surprised that almonds were not as dense as sugar sprinkles ;) . some of the carefully done density columns were very beautiful. again, photos resolutely on flickr! also some music, and decorating biscuits [more sugar!] as well as a mathsy/thinking game. music lessons and all the clubs were still on, but this was the last ballet week and guides week.  Last ever for FrB and she has started to realise her time here is nearly over, and get homesick a bit!! we did get some rabbits though :) so lots of fun there. DH and the girls went to visit their grandparents.

This last week has seen the last judo and weds4ed for FrB, so definitely a few sad moments getting friends skype etc addresses. We have quite got used to FrB living here, and it will definitely seem quite odd when she is gone! She is a really lovely girl, but also quite noisy, high maintenance for interaction/love/cuddles/attention so I think it is going to be a lot quieter. She and BB have mostly a great relationship, but are the 2 greatest arguers, as they do have quite similar personalities in many respects [hotly denied by both of them ;) ] . Quite a good start to the week from the booksy home-ed perspective, tho tailed off a bit towards the end of the week! BB and FrB did a lot of playing together with lego and with Sylvanians. there was wild place yesterday, rollerskating thursday and the usual music lessons. This was the last proper music lesson, but the girls have a duet they are playing next week – must video :) . Weds4ed was mostly loombanding, playing board games and just being friends altogether. we did make chocolate dipping sauce for a treat though, to go with fruit and biscuits :)

well, i guess that is as much of an update as I can remember :( . I will try and blog better, but there has been a lot going on!

 

FrB was lucky enough to have been given a wodge of money by her parents for when she was over here. She divided this into 6 months plus  shopping trip. She has mostly stuck to it. This weekend we did a shopping trip. We got in mid morning – which was something of a miracle! and said, go forth and shop!! to help things out, I did have to give BB and SB some spending money [not a matching amount tho! ] . SO as we walked down the road, we peered in various shops, and I realised we were going to have a problem. FrB wants to buy things at unrealisitcally low prices. Anyway, we went into some trendy crafty shops where there were lovely bags and purses etc, we went to a craft market [some spending] and the bigger market [ some spending] and a rash of clothes shops. Although the sale was on, FrB couldn’t find quite what she wanted, tho bought one lovely jumper. She was also disappointed that my under 14 make up rule of nail varnish and lipgloss only did apply to her. ah well!! I think she still enjoyed the shopping, even with more than half the money left. SB bought some books [surprise!] some v skinny jeans – she is a size 6 – and a very cheap top, so counted herself happy. BB bought lego, and bargainaceous stamp [of an A] necklace and a piece of quartz, and was also v happy. DH and i bought some cheese, but spent a LOT of money! towards the end of the day, DH and BB were shopped out. DH went to cafe nero, but BB kept with ne and the girls, eventually we split, and walked around lush – which she likes – and then sat waiting for all the shops to shut so we could go home. Lovely day out though on the whole :) A funny thing happened as we waited for the bus, I told the kids to shuffle up so i could sit down, and the whole row did, including adults! I did say thankyou :)

Sunday was a chilling day! we did some history project, and some Latin with the big girls, and then set up some wet and needle felting. SB is making a necklace, FrB a nessie scene, BB did a chick, and i used odds and ends to make a flower panel. They all looked rather nice :) . SB has been v keen to be a bit more dramatic with her hair, so as well as having a fringe cut in, she has now peroxided the lower 10cm or so of hair [the change is at shoulder length so it can be cut off if necessary] she is very pleased with it! We went out as a treat to the cinema as well. It was nearly completely empty!! I believe there was some football match or other on, which might have made the difference! We saw how to train your dragon 2, and all enjoyed it, even with the sad bit, it ends on a high note.

It has been quite a while since we had the pitter patter of rabbity feet in this house. We were all so sad when the last rabbits escaped that I put off getting replacements. However we have 2 cutie pie mini lop does bibitty bobbing now in the playroom getting used to the girls.

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Our children also deep in the loom bands craze! We bought the movable loom from our friends at craft merrily and loads of bands. The house resonates to you tube tutorials and the pluck of bands :)

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happy birthday sis, always thought of, but especially so on your birthday.

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