Category Archives: IT

A Gaggle of Groups

Thursday was Tots and Nots.  Bit late getting going in the morning, but SB managed to get a piano pratice in before we left just a little late. Once we got there SB was straight into Philosophy Club – apparently this week it was about the difference beteen hearing and listening. Me and BB sat and made a cardboard cutout digger  that Gina had provided the materials for. Sat and read with BB, played with Megablocks and playdough, had snacks, some playing etc., SB did a poem activity with Katy and some of the other kids. Recorders all round with Gina. Had intended to leave early enough to get home for a bit for SB to do a bit more preperation for her presentation for the next days HE group. But she wanted to do French as well so we ende up staying on for that.

Went straight onto gym via Pets a Home for cat food and Monster nibbles. Had the traditional ‘whats the best deal on catfood this time ‘  activity since they always seem to have a couple of  brands or another on a BOGOF or somesuch. This time, one of ou preferred brands was on a BOGOF that menat that buying multiple small packets was cheaper than buying a big sack. So me and SB pondered those for a bit.

Then we looked at fish, ahhh-ed over hamsters and other small furry things, found suitable treats/nibbles for Monster, put BB off from trying to buy uneccessary rabbit tat. Off to drop SB at gym and then me and SB headed off into town for a little bit of shopping (went into Millets for boot laces, BB came out with a fluffy fleece jacket….)  Sainsburys and then to the playground.

They are extending the gym, and the upstairs viewing balcony is mostly closed off. So me and BB have stopped staying at gym and watching SB as there isn’t much space. But it will soon be too dark to be going to the park and things so not sure what we will do if they haven’t reopened it soon.

Home for a boring dinner of pasta (not organised enough in the mornign to have anything else) and me and SB sat and sorted out final things for her presentation – some photos for a slideshow and questions for a quiz she wanted to do.

Viking and Saxon History

Another HE group, in another town. They have been doing monthly history session, where any kids that want to present something on the theme of the session. They started earlier in the year, but last month was the first one we got to and this was the first one that we have presented at. SB was inspired by a Making Viking Bread’ article in the latest issue of the Young Archgeologists Club magazine, so we used that as the focus. Though we couldn’t find the magazine last weeend and had to look up a recipe on the web.

H made the bread and butter with the girls last weekend. So we took that.  We took photos which SB wanted to display whilst she talked about how she made the bread.


She did very well at explaining what she did I thought, thought had to be reminded to speak up enough so people could hear. After that her and BB did a True or False quiz with soem questions relating to the food viking ate. BB was being the ‘glamorous assistant’ and showing the answers.


Though it was a bit of a comedy moment really as they hadn’t practised this. SB had coloured coded the True and False cards for BB green and purple, but BB didn’t quite have the hang of it :-)

We handed round the bread and butter which all went down well :-)

Other presentations included a Story and soup,  models of viking longhouses, about the battle of Hastings, the tale of Beowulf.

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After the presentations was lunch and playing outside/chatting before hometime.

Home for a bit of playing and pottering about. They both got into a good Bob the Builder lego game so I left to quietly too it.

Then it was off out to BB’s football skills session and home to get dinner ready,  followed by a bit of flopping in the sitting room. Me and SB did a bit of her Meccano remote controled car before bedtime.

Tune in next month for the next thrilling instalment of ‘Daddybean does Blogging’


A couple of weeks ago, Stringbean did some animation stuff with some other HE children at another families house.

One of the things they did was some Lego animation. We have the raw images here, but they were burnt on CD with a MAC and Windows can’t read them , and I’ve not got round to installing utility to read them, so that we could convert them into a movie

But the host family have and  here are the results:

Getting on with it

Which is pretty much what the kids did today.

Up, a bit of screen time (Pingu and Magic school bus) before getting dressed so we could go across the road to buy bread, milk and marg to have breakie with a bit of Hama beading on the side.  After breakfast SB went off without the smallest reminder and did some maths (subtracting things like £6.13 – £4.85) and piano practise – though had to be reminded a bit how to borrow when subtracting. BB moslty played with the Geomags – she is really into them at the mo, we finally need to get some more I think. That and random 3 yo games with random objects, checked on the mushrooms in the mushroom kit – does;’t like to eat them, but fascinated by growing them.

Then SB started on some more Hama-beading, with BB also doing a bit. Whilst all this was going i was assisting in various ways, and being domestic – washing up, and cleaning out the fridge, cooking chickpeas etc. Sb then moved onto finishing off her T shirt that she was decorating for Amelie (late birthday present) . finished off the design on the front. Decided to write on the back – i wrote it down on paper for her, she spaced it out ok and then finished it off by writing Birthbag instead of birthday ! :-) – it was funny, but I tried not to laugh as she was really upset by it. Helen laughed even more when she got home which didn’t go down well. Will try to rescue it – it hasn’t been ironed to fix it yet. Helen was trying to convinve SB that Ams wouldn’t mind, SB not convinced. all the morning passed without too many arguments
They both went off and did some bits on the Starfall website until lunch was ready.

After lunch I sat down for a ‘five minutes peace’ cuppa and to write an email in my role as Merry’s tech support ;-). BB wanted to do a craft kit she found floating about – making bugs out of pom poms or some such. I said I’d do it once i’d had my tea, but then SB said she would help, so they went off to the kitchen to do it. Not sure how much BB did and how much SB, but they were both happy when I went in to see how they were doing so left them too until they stopped.

They both did some skating about for a bit at some point, so maybe that was now, then Sb helped me start to cook dinner – cutting up the Paneer and onion until H came home.

They played a Dinosaur ludo game – Sb didn’t like getting sent back it seems. Before long it was Ballet, more cooking, home from ballet, playing in the garden, feeding birds, Swimming, home to eat the curry that H finished off  – a treat of cookies that SB bought from the shop (with her own money)  when we got home. Bb to bed, while Sb and h played a game I think. Then I weeded the fruit bed, then time for coffee, chocolate and the last episode of Heroes Series 2 (a bit odd as it was cut very short by the writers strike.

and I’ve even blogged ! :-)

I’ve still got to blog my photo meme day from Friday, maybe tomorrow?

Return of the absent blogger?

Problem I have is that it just seems rather boring – but I did bold things :-)
Morning started with Sb doing some of the music theory book she started the other day with Helen . BB got me to help her with the Ikea wooden construction toy thing making a helicopter. Then they both moved on to the polyhedrons for a – BB wanted a house for lizard and then some general playing about with things. We sorted out books for returning to the library and then had breakfast, SB catching up on a few of the library books, chased them up trying to speed up the getting dressed and sorted procedure which can take forever left to their own devices.

Off to the library in the rain and wind, BB pleased to be using her umbrella to keep her dry. Storytime, selecting new books, home again in the rain via the shops for lunch supplies.

Home, SB settled down with a Rainbow Fairies book, which she knocked of in the hour or so before lunch. I drank coffee and read books with BB and did boring household tasks. After lunch they both did a bit of stuff on various websites, SB piano practised and then entered some kind of educational limbo where she spent 2 – 21/2 hours doing maths and handwriting that should have taken a lot lot less, so we didn’t really get onto anything else much before it was time to cook dinner.

After dinner, I rapidly chased BB up to bed. In one of her Jekyll and Hyde moments, one minute she was sitting happily eating dinner, next minute she was being some sort of annoying mad dervish, out to annoy SB in as many ways as possible. When she chased after SB waving a pair of scissors a swift intervention and imposition of bedtime was deemed appropriate.

SB watched a Roar episode, and then we did the Roman city jigsaw whilst awaiting Helen’s too late return from work.

Roman City Jigsaw

So she had late bedtime. Tonights excuse for coming down when she should really have been asleep was that she wasn’t warm enough (gloss over that it’s been much colder than tonight before) – told her to wear her fleecy bunny suit.

DS camp?

I wasn’t there for very long, but DSing was a prominent feature of camp. It didn’t impede playing, cooperativeness or socialisation for those worrying about it – as it was prominently as social event! [other similar photos from others on flickr]
DS again!

DS enclave
We very greatfully received our ds from the monkey house a while back – and SB has made champion efforts with nintendogs and less so with shamu. i have tried out the animal crossing to see if she would get much from it. hmm to whether she could reallly play it without me yet, but she might get it for her birthday. However, in the 3 week tryout, I have obviously become an expert – so gave E a tutorial – rofl! Mind you, teaching E suggested that although SB can read fine, she would find ‘the point’ a bit too obtuse too [mind you, not sure if she would care?].

What other games are out there that are a bit animal crossingy but perhaps a bit more obvious in what you are supposed to actually DO! Any advice greatfully received! Something that they can wifi at camp perhaps as well?? theres a zoo tycoon ds – and I know Monster apparently likes whatever game console thingy he plays it on – would that be a good option?

First Fire

Of the year, though a couple of evenings it would have been nice. As yet not had heating on except the occasional visitor – ie little Nanny!

Today wasn’t as planned, as I anticipated going to Flag Fen. however, both irls having a lot of fun together all morning playing imaginative games upstairs, so decided to let live. Of couse they couldn’t do the same at all pm! SB and BB read Merry’s catalogues, and ticked pretty much everything in it. Hmm! SB quite clued up that she will get v little of what ticked, so I pointed out, that she should tick her MOST favourites only else we will just choose – thats fine apparently.

She did education city whilst BB and I played with the lego and read books. SB then joined in, but her and BB were in a #not quite matching mode, so we all went outside to let off steam. SB and BB harvested all the pears [about 12 - should count!] apples and beans. Racing around duly done!

IMG_0168 Under gardener - picking beans

SB then did some piano practice – very nicely. she particularly enjoys the piano. After that, we played at being housemaids, and beeswaxed the wood panelling on the stairs. Well, SB helped put it on, but removing was a bit like hard graft, so I did that – looks better for it though.


Much general play – mostly with the castle, then watched really wild show downloaded whilst eating cinnamon toasts – mmm lovely! SB and I looked at a maps book [briefly!] before we went to bake cakes – banana choc and cinnamon loaf. Hasn’t risen as much as normal, so no doubt missed something or other out. tastes fine though! SB drooled over the fimo we bought from Merry – particularly the translucent orange one for doing pumpkins!

Hmm, just been looking at earthships [thanks Dani and Gill] . What a fantastic idea. Up for that really – and so much better in a village/community setting. Anyway, back to blogging

ermm. oh, yes, we then watched some mama mirabelle, BB got her numberjacks fix, SB and I had a very long cuddle and snuggle, I read apple tree farm books to BB, Sb practiced ballet moves. Oh, and nearly forgot, she did some violin practice too. in the end I had to be fairly insistent that we finish it, as she had done half an hour, and was getting stressed out by accidentally playing 2 strings at once occasionally. I am wondering if she is too much of a perfectionist for the violin?
After tea, we played continuo. A rather great thinking game, and SB won! She has read me some magic tree house, and is now reading a felicity wishes book in bed.


Don’t Forget The Bacon !

No, we  haven’t suddenly turned carnivorous, this has been Butterbean’s saying of the week, they got it from the eponymously named book that we had from the library recently. So she has been running around shouting this a lot :-)

Last couple of days they have been staying at my Mum and Dads, while I attacked a bit more of the arched window. Thursday they went to Mount Fitchet Castle, which was rather drier than when we were there last year.

Friday I think they just pottered about at their house. SB never had the chance for this at BB’s age, as they were all to far away. They do both enjoy going to stay there.
Rest of week, Tuesday is library day, so much reading of old books before we go. Made masks at Storytime:

sb monkey mask

Then home to read the new stash of books:

lots of library  books

followed by a  bit of tandem Starfalling:

they heart starfall

After lunch, and bit of playing in the garden, Maths and Getty Dubay and then time to get going for swimming lesson, with a short play at the park in between.

Wednesday, umm….  There was some Maths and Getty Dubay, and Education city and maybe some other computery things in the morning, we did something else as well, which eludes me right now – I read something to SB. Afternoon seems to have disappeared. More reading though:

weird reading position

- Helen was back home from work by then. Until I took SB out for her Rainbows boat trip. She had a good time, hooked up with another girl there, R and they were getting on like a house on fire according to her mum who had gone on the boat as well. They had a bit more of a run around while we chatted until SB hit her head on a wall :roll: :roll: and we left wailing…. We will hopefully arrange a playdate soon. While we were out BB and Helen made another Chocolate Spread Cake:

IMG_9271look at my licky fingersyummy choc spread cake

A couple of snippets from Monday:

BB helped make scrambled egg:

cracking cooking

They made this construction from chairs in the kitchen. It is apparently some sort of cot/bed/desk/sofa thing, with built in drinks thing for the baby:


I’ll get told off again…….

…if i don’t blog ;-) But I do have photos as well in mitigation.

So today, SB has read loads. Usborne Book of Ledgends before breakfast (Hercules I think), as  well as a bit of Little hippo DVD (in German) which is one BB’s favourites  -she can get it playing now, and select an episode sometimes. And if the folder of downloaded kiddy programs is open she can pick one of those and start that, though she hasn’t worked out how to make it full screen yet (“bigger! bigger!”). She is scarily competent at working the mouse for a not yet 3 yo. Thats’ what having an elder sister does I think.

We had a good sort out of the playroom, clearing up all sorts of detritus from the floor, under and behind sofas etc. SB did a great job at vacuuming it. I rather like the room when not carpeted with crap, just wish we could keep the table even sort of clearish for more than 3 seconds.


Put away  more  clothes in the girls room.  I think that all their clothes that are washed and dried are now put away, a rare event indeed. SB tidied the floor again and made beds as she is on tidy room hit at the moment, then I vacuumed it for her. Did the bathroom as well while I was at it. 3 rooms, that’s plenty for one day .

More reading, she is very keen on  the My little Treasury of Stories and Rhymes  that she got from the library the other day. She spent an hour or so, before and over lunch reading it. By this point BB had decided to have  napped, so it was all rather peaceful.

After lunch is was bit of maths – measuring from Singapore 2A, so pretty simple stuff really. A bit of Getty and Dubay, then they both went off into the garden to play for a bit whilst I started on dinner. Playing seemed to involve most jumping in the paddling pool, getting wet, and then running around like loons shouting ‘I’m bare , I’m bare”  Had to make an impromptu run up to the potato farm for potatoes for dinner, where they managed to get a free apple each, by dint of being  cute really I think..


Dinner made  and in oven, SB had a go at some secret/magic writing, as H had brought home some Tincture of iodine which we had needed. Basically, write/paint of the paper with lemon juice, dip it in water with a bit of TOI in. Paper goes a darkish blue colour due to the starch. THE bit where the juice was stays lighter so you can read it, as there is a different chemical reaction between the acid in the juice and the TOI solution.

BB had been playing and pottering, but noticed she’d put on more Little Hippo :-) This took us pretty much up to dinner time really.

After bath, (H was home by now) there was playing with the wooden train track, with the customary wailing from both children :roll: , a bit more Little Hippo. A bit of Education City (apparently i hadn’t let her earlier….???) and then bed. EVen BB who had napped for an hour was asleep by 9.

Started watching Regenesis last night, watched another tonight, quite enjoying them. Makes a change from the normal ‘policy’ type things. Though it is a  bit like a microbiological Numb3rs when they launch of into an explanation of some aspect. Been also flipping between Eureka, which is enjoyable and lighthearted – reminds me a bit of Northern Exposure with it’s collection of slightly kooky characters, and Space Above and Beyond, which is mildly diverting, but a bit rubbish overall really. It’s getting  bit repetitive now. It has an excellent collection of corny lines though, which is fun :-)

so a quiet day in

i was going to go to the inland waterways festival, as that looked fun, but it was hot, and BB needs a bit more attention. SO we stayed in, and tried to get a working pattern that incorporates 2-ness.The girls watched some edutainment DVD’d whilst i napped – chris’ll know what! [edits to add - gorillas, and also read why are people different]

When I got up, SB migrated to the ‘puter to do jump ahead, which she enjoys, and I read and cuddled BB, hoping some one 2 one would set the tone for a happy day ahead – rofl.

BB and SB both wanted to make ice lollies, so we managed to find enough bits to do that, and I also got SB to make up a tray of ice colours [paint mixed in water]. bemused, she did it, and all went in the freezer.

Since it was a nice day, I got out the cheap tent that i had got from the tesco sale a while back, and BB and I put it up. She was very impressed with it, and happily pottered inside doing some happy maize, whilst i went between her and SB trouble shooting.


SB joined her, and they were playing so happily that i took the opportunity of digging up some potatoes. Got very stung by the nettles, and fingers still twitching a bit from that. obviously when I was at very grubbiest there was a wail about tent ownership, so we all read books together taking turns. mostly apple tree farm for BB, and stories from around the world for SB.

Decided that it was obviously lunchtime! SB and BB agreed on Muzzy German as an acceptable compromise on video, and watched the complete second level while I made home grown spuds, beans and carrots with sausages for them, and chris and i home grown spuds, beans aubergines and onion fritatta for us. yummy. SB ate hers whilst finishing watching the programme.


Both had had a mood boost at this point, and SB did some more jump ahead and BB pottered in the tent. the paints were frozen, and both girls liked the idea of cool painting in the sun, so we did that very pleasantly and co-operatively – hooray.

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the girls then had some sweetie letters [from little nanny] that then kept them engaged for ages longer as they had made games out of them, families of colours, letters and then shops. I fed our fish, BB cycled and then SB read me the why were the pyramids built. She then harvested loads of beans and tomatoes, which I must do something with once this blog written.


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I cooked a bean [surprise!] pea, sweetcorn and lentil curry for tea, with an additional home grown aubergine and paneer curry for us – yummy. The girls watched a magic school bus episode while i did this, as CHris showering, and it seemed they might settle- they did.

BB fell asleep after tea, SB watched tots tv, read some magic tree house, and is now in bed – maybe asleep?

chris has spent all day hard at work cleaning the big arch window and getting some of the paint off it. it needs new putty and repainting with linseed based paint. will hopefully be then watertight. some bricks also need the lime mortar repointed – we know someone for advice there ;¬)

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Me and Stringbean have been trying to play with ?Scratch, but Butterbean has been trying to ‘help’, so we’ve abandoned it for now, we will try it again by ourselves.

If you haven’t come across it yet, It’s basically a drag and drop programming language for doing creating interactive stories, animations, games etc. Looks fun.