Category Archives: cute

See How They Grow

We were given this little cooker when we live in Leeds. By neighbours over the road, whose daughter (then about 8 I guess ) said she didn’t need it anymore and would Elinor like it. It looks a bit sad now, but it was much love in it’s day :-) Have been keeping it around until I took a photo with Stringbean with it now. Guess no excuse for not getting rid of it now ….

Stringbean, 18 months, August 2002

Stringbean, 18 months, August 2002

Stringbean, 12 1/12 yr, August 2013

Stringbean, 12 1/12 yr, August 2013

BB Busking

BB Busking, originally uploaded by Scrumbledelicious.

Shopping, Pizza , Shopping

Started the day with a bit of online shopping, new waterproofs for SB,  socks, mitts etc. some waterproof walking boots for SB as an alternative for her to wellies (managed to pick up some Clarks shoes for her on sale for £15 last week, so was goign to get some other boots for her with the saved money, and got the boots for £15 as well, bargain :-) ) some shoes for me and other bits and bobs.

Got an phone call later from the second place, their order system had had some kid of fit and missed out sizes on some things and mixed up others (a pair of 36″ waist boots anyone)  :-)

Managed to get children breakfasted and dressed in 45 minutes, and SB managed a bit of piano preactice, so we got out in time to get into City 1 for a Home Ed group trip to a Pizza Express restaurant. They talked a little about the pizza making process, (for some reason I was a bit disappointed to find they don’t make the dough and tomato sauce on site – I doubt making a big batch in a factory is much different to making a big bacth in the kitchen, nor is it likley to be any different in any other big pizza chain), showed us how to make the dough into a base – SB was pretty good at that.


Then we got to make up pizzas which they then took and cooked. They had a system of numbered hats so they could number the returned pizza boxes. It mostly worked, though a couple were mixed up. Had a little look rouind the kitchen area (pretty small as they basically just make up the pizzas in there)  - 4 minutes to cook a pizza in their ovens.


Kids seemed to find the big walkin fridge and freezer most interesting.

Then it was back to collect the pizzas. Not sure there was a massive educational value to the trip (making pizzas isn’t exactly something new to them) but I guess they got to see behind the scenes a bit and  have a bit of fun with their friends. And it was free (a bit of a promo for them I guess), so we got free pizza for lunch :-) Then headed off into town for a bit of real, in a proper shop, shopping

Ambled down the road a found a bench to munch pizza on. They are apparently looking cheerful :-) 


Finally found SB a new hat that she liked (another bargain as it turned out when we paid that it was much reduced as was aold stock from a couple of years ago) Though it was an adult hat, that only just fitted SB, so maybe that’s why it didn’t sell. But BB a fleece like the one I got SB last weekin a different pattern it’s just a fleece really, but for some reason it seems especially nice according to SB (BTW, any YHA members you get 10% off in Millets). BB doesn’t get that many clothes bought for her as we have so many from SB,  so when she gets something she gets so excited about it. I finally found some slipper-boot things that I liked, and we looked at various gloves, but none where waht SB wanted.

Went through the market and found gloves (she wanted some thin alternatives to her thick gloves) as did BB – fit her perfectly, which is unusal for a littlie like her (more excitement). A quick hit on M&S, and then it was time for a coffee break (SB had spied a Costa, and she knows they do nice cakes…) I’d said we could have a snack in a cafe if they were good whilst going round the shops. Quite surprsingly !! they were on the whole (a bit restless in M&S), probably becuase we were on the hunt for particular things, and tried not to faff around too much. And I had the buggy, which I can stick BB in.

A pop into Lakeland  on the way back to the carpark, where a bit tired children meant I wasn’ tempted to buy anything unnecessary (it’s an odd mix really I think of decent quality kitchen stuff, and all sorts of useless tat and gadgets).

As an aside, wondering what is the best rolling pin. I used to have a marble ones, which was good, though heavy and coould be too heavy for rolling somethings, but the weiht meant it rolled things out without a lot of effort.Have been using one we bought for SB to use and it’s really not big enough and is hard work rolling out things, I’ve bought a plain simple cyclindrical wooden one for now, but I’m tempted by one of the silicone ones like the Sil-Pin. The kids one is cute :-)

Just about got back to the carpek before it rolled into the next hour, and toolted home.

Kids where much more a of a pain at home (why is the default seemingly into argue about something, even when there is no need?). SB found a white board lurking, so wanted to draw on that, I didn’t feel like going and finding any suitable pens, but SB went and found some, so theyns  drew cats and things and argued over pens (plenty of them) cloths (how often do you need the cloth?)  and who knows waht else. I sat a read a few random books to them when I got fed up with it and had revived myself a bit with tea. But before we knew it it was time to head off for SB’sswimming lesson.

Out, back, Helen was home from work , chips for tea, watched Merlin, children in bed.


Growing up?


Dead Spirit


SB being a ‘Dead Spirit’, lacks a certain cuteness compared to last years Witch and the Angellina Ballerina Firefly from a couple of years ago.

The mask has a heart you can squeeze which squirts blood over the face :roll:



BB was cute though as a ‘Little Ghost’ :-)




This morning SB faffed about quite a bit, whilst doing some maths, handwriting and some of the Wizard Whimstaff spelling book she seems to be enjoying at the moment. Various phonecalls and people came and went dropping off  the repaired Yaris and collecting the hired A Class (slightly bemused that the vagaries of insurance company contract arrnagements meant  that the car was reapired 40 miles away and the hire car came from 70 miles away, but there you go). The A class was a nice enough drive, though seemed to be a lot of body roll. But the Yaris was much the better buy for the requirements we had. So H can rest easy there :-)

After lunch we sorted out the Halloween outfits, carved Pumpkins, walked to the chemists, made the well loved here, Pumpkin and Toasted Sweetcorn Soup for dinner, and waited for H to come home. She had abit of a long and slow journey home, so once she was in it was pretty much straight out the door for Trick or Treating. A bit nippy, not so many Pumpkins out as last year (maybe ‘cos half term and holidays?), but some people make a real effort, and round here, everyone seems to repect the ‘only call at houses with Pumpkins’ thing annad it’s all good natured.

One house had some wonderfully carved Pumpkins:


IMG_3252 IMG_3254 IMG_3253 


We were pretty cold by the time we got back, so nice hot bowls of soup were welcome, prised childrens hands off of bags of sweets and packed them off to bed. Tired parenst of course still haven’t gone to bed yet ;-)

A sofa too far….

Were out over at the Deep Enders this morning. BB fell asleep on the way back. I took her out of the car, she seemed to ha ve woken up, she walked indoors, but could only get as far as the hallway in front of the door to the playroom :-) Ah, bless

Couldn't make the sofa....

It’s a Chris catch up post

Never seem to have the energy to get a blog out of my head to the ‘puter by the time I settle down of an evening.

Friday, a bit of Milkshake/CBeebies TV before breakie. Over breakie BB got me to help her make a ‘man’ with some wooden sticks. Then they have made cars (well SB’s was a trike) using their K’nex – Sb made one mostly herself following the plan in the booklet, I helped BB with her Kids K’nex – hers of course had to have eyes – she likes her creations to have eyes. SB’s car used the friction motor unit which is very good – the cars is quite speedy and goes a long way – good to have a nice long wooden floored hallway.

K'Nex Bug Eyed Car K'Nex Trike

SB has done some Getty and Dubay handwriting, some Webland and reading and an online page of Exeter maths, I finally found the missing Singapore “B maths book – hiding underneath some other books. They went outside to run a around for a bit, and feed fish and birds – rather cold and windy – though sunny. In between times they have played with the wooden train track, that has been out on the playroom floor for the last few days (it has managed to move from one end of the room to the other whilst staying in the same layout) BB kept asking SB to play, but then wouldn’t let her have any trains :roll: – SB – “she wants me to play but only lets me have the turntable…”

This afternoon we cycled (it’s not far) up to the farm shop for veg, cold and windy. I did suggest the tandem, but SB wanted to take her bike. She was fed up with a headwind on the way home though – she’s learnt that lesson now though. Home to warming hot chocs and cups of tea. Watched a couple of episodes of Pods Mission – about food chains and temperature sitting on the hard drive. One of them had some character is wearing a space suit or something speaking in a funny voice saying they needed to go to the loo – BB thought this very funny and wanted to rewatch it a number of times. Me and SB read chapter of SOTW – on medieval India, looked at the gloe to find India, and where the Byzantine Empire has been. She then coloured a SOTW picture of a Roman soldier – complete with blood on his sword – he’d been in a battle and hadn’t cleaned it yet.

After dinner, while Helen put BB to bed I sat down with SB to read to her – i was reading Fairytale News – but I kept stopping and dozing off so she gave up and read it herself :-)

Other bits of the week:

BB has had a couple of half day sessions at a local playgroup. She seems to be enjoying it – she especially likes the trikes that she gets to ride outside. First time we stayed for about 30 minutes, and then she was happy for me to go – though when i picked her up she said she had cried a few times – though she seemed to have done plenty as well, so I don’t imagine it was anything major. Second time she was not letting me go anywhere at first, but we sat playing, and after about 20-30 minutes she was happy for us to leave her. Seemed fine while we were away.

We’ve told her it’s ‘her group’, as we think she feels she misses out a bit with SB going to Rainbows, ballet, swimming etc. So she is pleased to have her own group to go to. They get given a playgroup t-shirt, which BB is very pleased with as now she has special shirt like Sb has for Rainbows – she had fun posing with it once we got home, and went to bed in Thursday and wore it most of Friday as well.

Showing off my new playgroup top Showing off my new playgroup top Showing off my new playgroup top Showing off my new playgroup top Showing off my new playgroup top

Other Thursday things, – having to get BB to playgroup for 9 am means we are up and at it nice and early. Was funny going to playgroup as it coincided with the school run for the local primary school so we wandered down the road pretending to join in – kids causing havoc madly scootering down the road.. SB glad we don’t have to up and down the road this time of the day every day.

On way home went into bakers. Most of them in their know that we home educate, but someone had obviously missed it, as they asked SB about not being in school, this wandered into a conversation about home ed, primarily about how we do it – tried to explain how we approach it, but i suspect that most people never really grasp it as we have the whole school model so ingrained  that it’s hard to imagine anything else. Back home (it’s so quiet when only one of them is in the house) helped SB do one of the reduced Science Museum kits – the magnetic calendar:

Magnetic Calendar Kit

Carefully does it. Almost there
One tiny bit was missing, but not crucial, and i can make one if necessary – doesn’t seem worth contacting the makers. I think these Science Museum kits are good value as they do seem to do what they say on the tin, unlike some others.

Much fiddling and general playing about with magnets afterwards. Then it chucked it down with rain, so SB put on her waterproofs and went out to have a splash in the puddles:

Rain is fun :-) Splash !

Then it was time to get BB – luckily the rain had mostly stopped by then.

in the afternoon, Sb spent ages making a birthday card:

Birthday card - outsideBirthday Card - inside

Me and BB wrapped the pressie, she put a few a stickers on the wrapping:

Just a few stickers here then.

Posted these, then not sure what happened after that. There was some piano practice at some point.
On the topic of Science kits, we did a very cheap from Yellow Moon Horrible Science heart kit on Tuesday – which wasn’t so successful, though entertaining . It had round tubes which go into square holes so leaked a lot of ‘blood’ , and it has small valves, which unfortunately once they got wet stuck open due to the surface tension, so the blood didn’t really circulate.

Best bit was when SB first squeezed it and we had jets of blood squirting out all over the place.

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SB is reading loads at the moment -forever has her nose in a  book. Been polishing off various Rainbow Fairy books lately from the library, and some other things about Unicorns, or magical ponies or some such. In the library at story time on Tuesday she was complimented by one of the other Mums on her reading (she’d been sitting reading something out the other week) – said she thought she must have been about 8.

Saturday morning – Nice and sunny, but I guess cold day, must get something done in the garden this weekend – no snow :-(

Miserable monday

was somewhat hit by emotional and crap viral unwellness, feeling v sick and dizzy, stuffed up, and bleurgy. SO I didn’t go into work, and for once didn’t feel guilty [i am good at guilt] because i feel i have nothing left to give in botheredness, its already attributed. I read another lucie chat book to both girls, SB read to me about dinosaurs. they all then cycled off on a playdate and i collapsed in heap on sofa with duvet and tablets.

Much playing went on, and when they returned we had a violin practice. BB played katanimo and then then the ikea building things with screwdrivers etc- think it was bjgga or somesuch nonsense. SB made some shapes with polyhedrons – she was seeing how many she could do and we talked about their names. She found the theory made easy book one very easy, and enjoyed racing through until I said enough!
SB then has her ballet and swimming run. Very proud of her for doing all the swimming today, as she has been very worried. BB and i watched bob the builder, did bob the builder jigsaws and played mother and baby games. on SB’s return we read radius and the king of angleland all together, with BB doing actions with papo people- cute! SB then had a thought about angles.

lots of bedtime stories, but she is still frightened of aliens.


I am just not so good at this time of year. I get grumpy for no apparent reason, decided that I am crap at everything I do [well, even crapper than I normally rate myself] and just fid it hard to shift. Thinking about whether those lights actually work, whether i should get one – what a lot of money! and whether it is because I am actually just crap. This time of year is a big reflection time, so will be putting up something home-eddy at some point! [not a surprise announcement of schooling!]

This week may have gone more sadly/badly because of the death of my godfather, but I have been crap and morose at work as well as home, and it just isn’t on. Work is not a place that accepts [or should accept] anything less than as near perfection as manageable, so feeling that let things down there a bit too.

SO at home, chris and the girls done lots of shopping trips as far as I can see! we had that lovely day at Michelles, and SB also has had a lovely playdate with Rainbows R. oh, the girls had a midweek swim, which they both enjoyed too.

I was at home thurs, but not sure what we did at all, apart from Chris took the girls shopping. SB did some maths, something on the web, we watched some downloads?? Nope, no idea – should have blogged! oh, a lot of playing with the castle! Oh, and the lego. Bit of a little house on the prairie revival as well.

Today both girls have spent a fair bit of time on the computer – poisson rouge and starfall for BB with a bit of rainforest maths, and education city and rainforest maths for SB. SB and I read the fall of the romans in story of the world, and then some more about atilla the hun in raiders and invaders – and discussed why both books might have what might be ‘key facts’ different. The some looking at their internet links – which were poor. luckilly Sarah blogged, so we snitched some of her roman links instead. might look up the usborne ones- must be some quicklinks on their site.

Starfall Education city - maths

SB did some running and sports with Chris in the garden – new trainer/running shoes from la redoute which she isn’t sure whether she likes. BB and I have had lots of snuggles and silly play. SB took herself to the piano to do some practice – asked me to help when her new piece has made her move her hands – cue much panic! do I play the note they’ve written or the finger number? both dear, you have to move your fingers – aargh.

i had set up some pots of glue, assorted bits to stick on and some pringles tubes in the kitchen for them to fiddle with. SO they did that for a bit. SB got glue all over a new dress, despite me begging her to take it off and minor scene about that with me stumping off into garden – just as she spills it everywhere.


SB and BB rather nicely playing together – BB is doing match and sort with lego with SB! Dinner ready. off I shoot.


Back again. SB fancies watching robin hood, so we will do that. Chris has downloaded torchwood as we have run out of regenesis. Enjoying that too. they do like filming the girls bottom in tight jeans! That isn’t exactly the bit I watch for though!

Time and Motion.

Where does it go?  the time that is. OK i know I’m an expert at frittering it away, but I find it somewhat annoying when I’m not and it still goes and disappears on me. I think I need to do a  time and motion study to see where it has all gone during the day.

BTW, H pinched most of the piccies for her post below, So I’ll refer you there for illustration :-)

As soon as H was off to work, girls watched a couple of Numberjacks episodes – BB is a real addict for these at the moment. Then it was into the bath to clean up from the camping weekend – They’d been out for the count when we got back Sunday night.  Then it was off to the shop for bread and milk and home for breakfast.

After breakie the girls made cards for their cousin E’s birthday (a day late  – ooops…). We couldn’t find any colored card, so made a another trip out to the (relatively recently opened and quite useful) stationery shop for supplies. BB insisted we needed glitter, so we bought some probably expensive glitter from there as well.

Home for productive card making. SB had plan to make a Dorothy from the Wiggles from instructions in one of the kiddie magazines around here. She did really well, I showed her how to trace using some greaseproof paper and give her a bit of help with that and some cutting out. Other than that she sat  and did it all herself – spending ages working on it – basically the rest of the morning. Did some  lovely and careful small writing in it and addressed the envelope nicely as well. BB had fun with the glitter :-). and then spent ages organising things out of the camping food box. She is very much into organising and sorting things out at the moment.

BB couldn’t quite wait for lunch though :-) :

IMG_9752 IMG_9754

After lunch and a bit of running around and playing nosily SB did some maths while BB spent ages making patterns with the Cuisenaire rods. And then Helen came home, then after bit it was time for Ballet. While  SB out at Ballet, H and BB made some biscuits.

After ballet, SB did violin lesson with H whilst I got dinner. After dinner, with BB off to bed H and SB played some maths card games 

Tuesday was basically a reading day. After breakfast, rereading the library books before we took them back. Off (early for once) to the library for storytime – SB did a fruity wordsearch and made a fruity picture. Eventually prised them out of the library, home to finish off some of the camping Bourbon biscuits and read the new books before we had lunch. After lunch I chased them out of the kitchen whilst I tidied up a bit. SB was going to come back and do maths, but she settled down with books again on the sofa – spent about another 1 /1/2 hours solidly working her way through the books.

BB played happily for ages with the dolls house and the ‘people’  – she is very much into playing these sorts of games as well at the moment. Somehow the rest of the afternoon disappeared in maths, cooking tea etc. before going out to swimming lessons.

After lesson and dinner, whilst I was putting BB to bed (H still marooned at work) SB (unasked) emptied the dishwasher and put it all away, and washed up the plated and cutlery from dinner. So I let her stay up a bit longer and watch some TV. By the time she was settled in bed H was on her way home and it was time ti flop into our various heaps.

Finding things

Had my hospital appt about knee =bursitis . good.

Had a chat with SB about what to do today, so the plan was to do maths and writing quickly , some piano, baking, and experiment and paint her dinosaur. Not much then! We found the 2A workbook, and SB rampaged through the weights bit of that – nearly finished. Then did ‘S’ in getty and dubay B, and some extra writing while I got stuff ready for making banana loaf. She decided to do the writing inside a box – picture below – and had a wail as Daddy took a picture, and I collected beans with BB.

BB meanwhile had done her match and sort but us playing a rocket game, we counted down from ten, and then she had to go off and find the right numberjack. She also did some very careful painting, and put on a french song CD about animals for them both to listen to. we did a lot of jigsaws.
So we made up over banana and white choc drop loaf – an extra banana and it is truly squidgy and gorgeous. must make for Melrose. yummy. SB and BB mostly were able to share the task – today they have not been receptive to the aternate sibling receiving any attention – makes for fun. SB found the magimixer we have had for ages from brightminds and was having fun sorting it out.

learning to multitask!!

Following that SB did piano practice, and BB did some afterwards – more randomly! both felt tired, so watched some Muzzy german cd 1 while I made cheese on toast for their lunch to refresh the parts…


Following lunch I put out some options for SB – facepainting, science experiment, dinosaur to paint or ‘something else’. We did the bio clock – and no, we still haven’t made it work. I think SB thinks all experiments are doomed – its just like my Nuffield Physics course all over again.


SB chose to do some quick violin practice – she wants to finish the book, get a certificate and then learn some Christmas songs.


BB stayed asleep in my arms. SB also did a dancing show, the asked or face painting. I am not particularly skilled, but think this wasn’t bad.

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SB painted her dinosaur – but for some reason, although I was sitting next to her trimming green beans, I didn’t take any photos. We did test the yummy cake – very difficult to resist eating it all. BB woke up, and we all did some of SB’s mosaic picture.


BB-isms. She does like to say ‘fantastic’ a lot. Also, when I want a kiss, she always says I ‘have to say something’ whether or not I have said please. Oh, and I love her ‘how about that then?’
We finished the day with bath, tea and a general chasing fun around the upstairs, ending in fits of giggles. our usual bed routine of taking it in turn to read, but with BB snuggled up to without being a scamp. A good end, because at several times, I was looking at BB and SB who had wound each other up into a shrieking and wailing frenzy thinking I could perhaps be at work. But only a couple of times. Mostly, I would rather be at home.

Oh, and we found BB’s lost croc. But we seem to have lost my camp socks!