Tuesday, 22 November 2011

RUSH, RUSH, RUSH

Hi all

Had a busy day today which didn't start great as both Callum and I woke up already tired! Don't know why, but there you are.

Anyway, after a couple of cups of tea this morning, we did some cooking; butternut squash, apple and chilli soup with a butternut squash, black olive and cheese bread! Have decided that any veggie food Callum wants to have with me, we can cook together, so today was our first combined cooking effort. Thanks to our Pampered Chef chopper, Callum was able to easily chop up the olives and fresh rosemary and with the help of his kid friendly knife he tackled the apples. He also did a great job of mixing up the bread mixture. It wasn't technically a proper bread as it was made with self raising flour, but it turned out beautiful and smelled gorgeous when it came out of the oven. The dried chilli flakes came out of the jar in a bit of a rush, so we think the soup might be a bit on the hot side. More later. Should have taken photos, but forgot as we were in a hurry. Will try and post future cooking adventures.

Then brunch of dippy eggs and toast for him and left over savoury millet for me before walking to trampolining lesson where he threw himself around like a good 'un. Practiced lots of combi moves and learnt a new routine.

No time to stop as it was straight off to Rochester Guildhall Museum for a home ed workshop on the River Medway organised by the lovely Debs. Jeremy, the 'teacher', was fab as usual and had plenty of items for the kids to look at and get a feel off, so very interactive. AND!!!! Callum answered a question! Yes, he actually put up his hand and answered. He often knows the answers, but is too shy to put up his hand let alone answer. Was quite odd actually as I was talking to Lorraine and heard this voice next to me, but it didn't register for a couple of seconds that it was him. It was definitely a 'can't be; yes it is' moment. Got given a copy of the book that the museum has printed and Callum has already decided that it's the next one he'll read after Sir Gadabout.


Link above for a downloadable copy.

Back home and we had a much needed cup of tea, before reheating the soup and having that with the bread for tea. Actually, although rather spicy, it was really good and Callum loved it, so he's definitely a spice lover!

Then he was back onto Roblox and I monged in front of telly. He's now in his room with a ham sandwich and green olives watching cartoons.

Quiet day tomorrow!
Cya

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hi all

Spent the weekend pottering about.

Callum and I managed to get 4 trees planted (2 beechnut, a cherry and an acer) plus level off a load of soil and planted bulbs in the darkish, not really much use for anything else, corner of the garden. Am hoping they will all come up; daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops. We also had a tidy up as we'd left tools out, buckets, black sacks, pots and general other gubbings lying about. Callum loved that bit as he got to spend a lot of time using the wheelbarrow to move things around.

He spent time on Roblox again!! Has had over 1,000 visitors to his game and he's well chuffed.

Sunday we did the usual trip to the farm shop, which weirdly Callum looks forward to. Think the black cat they have is a bit of a draw as it's very friendly. Plus they have geese, goats and horses there. Noticed that they will soon be getting their Christmas trees in, so will be down to get one of those as soon as they come in. It's Callum's job to choose the tree.

Today, popped up market to get some winter plants for the courtyard to bring in a bit of colour. Promptly ended up digging up some bulbs in the pot that the cyclamen was supposed to be going into. Typical, always forget I've planted some in there. So, planted the plants and popped the bulbs back in around them. (Note: not the bulbs we planted yesterday).

Then this afternoon we went off to the cinema. The Adventures of Tin Tin. Been promising I'd take him ever since we saw the advert for it months ago. He started reading Tin Tin after he'd finished the Asterix books and rather liked them, so thought the film would be good to see. Wasn't entirely sure if I'd enjoy it, but actually it was brilliant. We both loved it and Callum laughed a lot!!! It was very well done, had lots of action and was often very funny. Didn't feel like we'd been in there for as long as we had, so all good stuff.

Was pretty foggy when we left the cinema and it was very foggy this morning when we got up, so we ended the day as it started.

Busy day tomorrow; trampolining and a home ed workshop.

Cya

Friday, 18 November 2011

WEEKS COME, WEEKS GO!

Hi all,

Haven't done daily blogs this week as we've been a bit same old, same old.

Monday was our dog's, Draco, 10th birthday and Callum wanted to stay at home and treat the dog. We did go up to the market and bought a massive new dog bed. Looks like a huge duvet with bones on it. Didn't realise it was so big until we got it home; it takes up almost half the space we have on the floor, but then our rooms aren't that big. Draco, however, loved it. Sprawled himself across it and didn't move for pretty much the rest of the day, even going upstairs at bedtime with the boys, sniffing his old bed and coming straight back downstairs to sleep all night on the new one. Think that was a good choice then. Added to the bed he had the usual dog biscuits and a pig's ear.

Tuesday we went off to Splashes with Lorraine and Amy. Met up with my daughter Terri and another home edder, Dawn, and her boy, Stewart. Kids had fab time in pool, but because there were lessons going on the wave machine only went on once. Us girls had great time drinking cuppas and having a chat...and a very funny chat it was too. Snigger! They'll know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, I had osteopath and spent the rest of the time pottering about the house doing housework and getting Callum to write out his Xmas card list. Also syphoned off apple wine, set up the damson vodka and made some gf flapjacks. Have decided to write out a month of menus for me, so I can instantly see what I need to prep and buy. Turning veggie has been fab, but if I'm not careful it will get very repetitive due to time and indecision, so a menu will make it easier.

Thursday, Carol and Lauren popped round after trampolining which was lovely. More tea, more talk and the kids spent their time on the computer.

And today was ice skating. Dawn's (different Dawn) twins had their birthday party there too, so it was a mixture of normal meet and a little party. Callum was thrilled with his party bag, even though he didn't want to join in the pass the parcel game. So thank you Dawn and thanks to Lorraine again for being taxi. That's twice this week!

As to Callum; what's he been doing I hear you ask. Well, he's been busy designing and tweaking games on Roblox for most of the week, although he has stopped to write out some cards, help me in the kitchen and do some maths. He was dead chuffed yesterday as his game managed to get onto the top of the 2nd page of most played games and he's had over 1000 visits. One very happy little man and when one person complained about it being a bit basic, he replied very politely, putting across a very valid point and, as the person hasn't responded, I think he shut him up. I did give him some praise for that as he didn't lose his temper or get upset.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, will be in the garden doing some more digging and planting some trees and bulbs. I'll get him helping with that which will, hopefully, drag him away from the computer for a bit. But then he doesn't mind helping out in the garden anyway.

Cya

Friday, 11 November 2011

WHERE DID THAT WEEK GO?

Hi all, how are we all. I'm a lot better today, thank goodness! Phew!

Had a bit of trouble getting Callum out of bed this morning, which panicked me a bit as I was hoping he hadn't gone down with anything, but no, he was just feeling a bit lazy.

Off to a friend's today for a bit of a chat and a play. Managed to whip together some cornflake and chocolate cakes decorated with hundreds and thousands last night, so took them along for the kids to eat. Decided to try the bus route today as it takes us closer to her house and it was a lot more straightforward, but traffic was awful this morning, so took longer than we had hoped, but got there eventually.

Had lovely afternoon. Kids played well and there is always a lot of really cool and unusual things around that I end up by going "ooooo that looks good" over.

Several cuppas and a good chat later we popped into Tescos to pick up some basics chocolate to replenish the cooking cupboard and picked up a couple of other bits at the same time. Then home by bus, which was a lot quicker on the way home. Thank you Liz for lovely afternoon.

Callum just managed to make another cuppa when we got in while I sorted out the mincemeat before dad got in and he went off to help walk the dog. Draco has been acting up the past few days by not getting out of the car, so today was an experiment. Low and behold, because Callum was there, he jumped out and went for a good run around - I think Callum is going to have to go out with him from now on; silly dog.

Then back on the computer he went to tweak a game he is making on Roblox and is now on his DS watching telly with dad.

Don't know what he's up to tomorrow as I'm out with friends, but hoping to go to a memorial service at the local memorial monument on Sunday morning.

So that's it, another week over, has gone particularly quick this week, but not sure why and another weekend looms.

Have a good one folks.
Cya

Thursday, 10 November 2011

UG!

Well, not a lot to say today except yuck!!!

Woke this morning at 7am with headache and feeling incredibly sick and dizzy, so went back to bed in hope I'd feel better. Woke again at 9.30 feeling like I'd done 10 rounds in a boxing ring, so cup of tea, cold flannel and back to bed. Callum was fabulous and stayed upstairs playing on his DS to keep me company.

I woke up at 11.30am, still feeling incredibly sick and heady. So a little something to eat, tablets and more tea and stayed laying in dark room.

Finally started to feel more human about 2pm, although neck still hurt and still feel dizzy. Managed to make the mincemeat with Callum weighing everything out, chopping what was needed and mixing it all up, while I just sat and read out instructions. The smell of dried fruit and citrus was definitely uplifting.

Callum has been basically been on computer or making me cuppas, bless him, while I attempt to walk about doing a bit of work without falling over. Hope I'm ok tomorrow. Just a migraine I know, but I hate them. Come from nowhere and nearly always take 24hrs to recover from.

UG!!

Cya

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

HEADS FEEL LIGHTER

Good evening all you lovely people. How are we all? We are having a fab week this week, although I do feel a bit guilty saying that as I'm sure half of it is because we've taken the pressure off of education for doing other stuff instead.

This morning we had a lovely natter about dreams, trouble sleeping and some solutions. Then off to the kitchen to make pancakes. Whilst leaving the batter to settle, the washing got sorted out and then back in the kitchen for a cookery lesson. Didn't have any plain flour, so used self raising so the pancakes where more spongy (bit like a scotch pancake), but they were still scrummy. Callum had the traditional lemon juice and sugar and I had cherry plum jam and yogurt!

Whilst eating, we had another chat about different uses of pancakes and how if you add water instead of milk, you can a tortilla wrap type flatbread.

Then back into the kitchen to sort out the baking bit of the larder and to check off all the ingredients we needed to buy for making mincemeat. So lots of weighing and ticking off and list writing. Then off to have haircuts and some shopping on the way home.

We cancelled our last appointment due to lack of cash, so both our hair was a little longer than it usually is, hence our heads feeling a lot lighter afterwards.

Popped into Cats Protection League shop afterwards and found a noughts and crosses wooden game for 50p and a green jumper for me for £1.75. Then Aldi for a good nose round and some shopping including the ingredients for tomorrow.

Back home around about 2.30pm, where we had a cup of instant Chai Tea (found in Aldi) and Callum back to computer. Me back in kitchen to make sweet potato and lentil curry and a chestnut stuffed cabbage for some dinners for me.

He is now doing some word puzzles and playing noughts and crosses and I'm on here catching up.

So, all in all, a good day!

Hope yours was as good.

Cya

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

Hi all

Been a quiet couple of days to be honest. Were supposed to be going to a home ed meet in Maidstone on Monday, but both myself and Callum woke up a bit snuffly and didn't feel like going out. Instead we decided to plan Christmas. Callum helps me with the cooking preparations and we got down our box of presents and cards to see what we needed to get. I tend to buy bits and pieces throughout the year if something grabs me and its in a sale and they all go into a big box for birthday and Christmas presents.

We discovered that we didn't need any cards as we'd got them all in the January sales, so Callum has decided to try and write out a card a day as he hates doing them. He needs to make a list first though, so we'll do that by the end of the week.

We finished packing and cataloging the Halloween stuff and that went upstairs to the attic.

We then did pop up the town as its Draco's (our black labrador) birthday next Monday and the pet market stall is on Mondays. We bought a couple of treats and looked at a new bed for him as his is getting a bit tatty and flat!

Today we cleared out the under stairs cupboard. It is supposed to be the overflow kitchen cupboard with all the seasonal/birthday crockery, trays, etc, but it does tend to get used as a dumping cupboard. So, it was pull everything out, clear out the rubbish, tidy up the posters and papers and repack the boxes. Took off and on most of the day, but we now have lots of room and everything is pretty easy to get at. Callum got easily distracted by the posters and the art stuff and all the bits and pieces, which probably accounted for most of the time, but it got done!

Then off to trampolining where he was definitely put through his paces for 1/2 hr. He worked extremely hard and has nearly nailed another thing off his list which he's really pleased about. Oh, on the subject of achieving things, we heard yesterday that he has passed his Bronze Arts Award! Yay! I have written about this during previous posts and although relatively easy, making sure it was written up how they wanted it and covering everything they asked was pretty hard, plus doing or attending workshops is a big issue for Callum, so the fact that he managed it at all means I'm really pleased for him.

Whilst out we popped to the library to see if they had the next book from the one he has just finished, but sadly they didn't. Then off to charity shop to drop off some bits found in the cupboard and, of course, we couldn't resist having a look round. I managed to pick up a skirt and a jacket that came to the grand total of £3 and Callum took a liking to a Christmas mug for 20p! Then card shop for birthday cards and paper, then home, we also have his Uncle's birthday and a friend's daughter's birthday this weekend.

Since then, he's been back on his game, but he is now doing some maths and some word puzzles while I'm on here. Going to start limiting his time on computer otherwise he is and has been on it all day!

So that's it; busy, but at home and its been rather enjoyable. Tomorrow we need to check ingredients for mincemeat as want to make that on Thursday. He loves making the mincemeat as its really easy and a case of chucking everything into a big pan. Then, of course, we get the first smell of Christmas with all the dried fruit, spices and a touch of Brandy.....yum!

Cya

Monday, 7 November 2011

WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABDUCTED!!!

Hi all

No we are not dead, we have not moved or been abducted by aliens, we’ve just been busy! Well, I’ve been very busy and Callum has just been busy! And we have had a temporary addition to the family in the shape of my daughter’s Chihuahua/Jack Russell cross Merlin. Sweet little dog, very bouncy and likes lots of love and attention..aaah!

So apologises in advance for this being so long!

Last week of October is always busy for me, even with Callum’s help as we have a Halloween party to organise. I adore Halloween; it’s my favourite festival of the year. I love the excuse to dress up and be silly and to do crazy stuff with food and games. I’ve been doing kids parties since my daughter, now 23, was 8 and they have got more elaborate as the years have gone past. I’m actually glad I have limited money as I’d be one of those that would go completely over the top.

So, what does Callum think of it all. Well, he thinks it’s a lot of fun too and as he’s got older he enjoys the ‘over the topness’ of it all. He’s been a great helper this year too as he’s come up with his own ideas and helped to develop the games and helped with the decoration of the house.

This year, we did a Macbeth themed party (well it does have murder, ghosts and witches in it, so why not?). We decorated the front room with a hanging witch, a cauldron with prizes in, silhouettes of trees and the tree shields that would be used for a later game. We also had a sound activated black cat and broomstick.


The dining room was the medieval mansion with spider webbing, rats and insects plus a ghost to represent Banquo. The table was laid out in black and silver with mice, spiders and bugs on.



Food was medieval themed with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, chicken legs, cold meat, bread and cheese with dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit and (un-medieval) cupcakes.

Games were played in an order to represent a slightly shorter version of the story and included:
Meeting the Witches – items in jars of birdseed, shake to reveal items and tick off list.
Pass the Crown – Card crown with bag attached. Pass round and pick out parcels in order when music stops. Whoever is King Duncan will wear the crown first.
Murder of King Duncan – Chocolate shaped heart filled with chopped red jelly. Throw a skull on the dice, put on knight’s gloves, helmet, and colours and eat with knife and fork.
Murder of Banquo – Silhouette of Banquo with heart. Blindfold and use dagger to stab nearest.
Witches Spell – ‘Cauldron’ (covered with black bags) of cooked spaghetti containing various spell ingredients. Dive in and pick out stuff. Food stuffs and other items to represent the ingredients.
Moving Trees - Hold cut out tree shields and daggers. Move around and when music stops stand as still as possible. To make it a little harder the moving broomstick was set off and they had to avoid that too.
Finally;
Bobbing for Apples - Containing a cut out head of Macbeth apple. As many apples in 30 seconds avoiding the ‘head’



The party went well and there was a least one “yuck” moment when Amy was the first to cut into the chocolate heart to discover the red jelly oozing out. Face was a picture, bless her.

It was nice to see that the kids had done a bit of research too so that they knew the story and where the games were heading, in fact they got quite argumentative as to who should be wearing the crown and who was dead and who wasn’t.

We had a nice steady stream of ‘trick or treaters’ at the door from about 5pm till about 7.30pm and all the cakes went and we were left dishing out sweets.



The next few days were spent deconstructing the house back to normal and then trying to relax in between going out and about. Tuesday my friend Linda popped round with her daughter Danielle; which was nice as I haven’t seen her for ages and it was lovely to have someone to talk to whilst I packed everything away in boxes.

Wednesday was Mad Science in Sittingbourne with home ed group. Thanks to Lorraine and Amy for driving us there. Acids and Alkalines this time. Callum didn’t go down and try it all out as 1) he was wary and 2) we’d already down this at home, he still enjoyed it though.

Friday was Ice Skating; again with Lorraine and Amy, Callum didn’t ice skate, but sat reading his book and then having a quick game on his DS with one of the other boys. I wonder if it’s worth us going, but he does enjoy it and I think it’s good to get him out in a group, even if he doesn’t join in, to get used to the noise and the people. He does like going as I asked him, so we shall continue, one day he may actually go off and skate.

Saturday was Riverside Country Park for Scarecrow making. We took along some old clothes and used other bits and pieces to make a face and hair and then stuffed it all with straw. We decided to take it home and sew it all together as using the string and/or staples didn’t seem to be working that well. Cappuccino and hot chocolate in café afterwards while we waited for dad to pick us up. Callum has named the scarecrow George. Just need a couple of broom handles now and he can go in the garden next Spring to protect our crops.


Then up to the Great Lines in the evening for the Firework display. We had to take Merlin the dog as our dog was freaking out and Merlin was being a bit of a pest with him. Luckily he wasn’t bothered at all by the noise and ended up falling asleep inside my jacket at one point!

Yesterday, Terri returned from America so we looked at all her photos, got given lots of pressies and then she and Merlin and all her bags went off home.

It’s been very quiet here today.

Cya

Saturday, 22 October 2011

WOAH THERE!

Whoops, missed another day. Hey ho.

Yesterday we did go swimming and on a bit of an adventure at the same time. We had all intentions of going to Larkfield Leisure Centre with Lorraine and her two children, Amy and Connor. They picked us up at 10.30am and we drove through lovely sunshine to the Centre, only to be told that we'd only have 50 more minutes in the leisure pool before they shut it. Obviously they weren't on half term timetable. Soooo....Lorraine drove us all the way back to Rainham and we went to Splashes instead. Thank you for being taxi AGAIN Lorraine.

Actually it turned out pretty well as Splashes was on half term times and they had the fountains, slide and pipes all working and the wave machine went on at least 3 times whilst we were there. Kids had chips for lunch, as did I (I can't eat anything else there and shouldn't really eat the chips either as they are done in the same fat as the nuggets, but I seem to be ok). Lorraine was nice and healthy with a tuna mayo baguette...hehe - it was rather a large baguette.

Had a good chat while the kids were swimming and playing around and then home. Am feeling a little pious as its chip night in our house on Fridays, but I forgo them for a cheese gluten free roll and salad. *smug me* Callum on the other hand had a fish finger sandwich with chips!!! Well, you're only young once.

Today we've pottered about really. Me painting a cauldron and trying to turn a pair of gardening gloves into knights' gauntlets (not easy when you haven't really got a lot to work with). Callum was on computer designing new games in Roblox.

However, we, or rather he, had a bit of excitement this afternoon. Veolia, the waste company that Phil works for, was having an open day and we went along late in the afternoon just before it finished. We managed to squeeze in the tour and found out where our waste gets taken and what they do with it and then had a go at a competition with regard to spotting hazards in pictures.



Then he was shown around the Scarabs (the vehicles that clean the streets if you didn't know). He was allowed in them and Phil showed him how they all worked.




Now the exciting bit: The little scarab was switched on and he was showed how it all worked, the thing was that the handbrake was on (or at least it should have been) and Callum put his foot on the accelerator only to shoot forward a good 4ft before banging on the brake! Dad had a bit of a panic as did I, but Callum absolutely loved it and couldn't stop laughing. At least I know he'll be able to do an emergency stop when he comes to doing driving lessons.

Apparently it wasn't the first time in the day that the handbrake hadn't worked. Luckily it was an adult previously and all I can say is I'm glad it was our Callum and not someone else's kid. Must admit I've never seen Phil move so fast and he would have been able to stop it if Callum hadn't already had the sense and quick reflexes to do it first. Well done C.

The Runaway Scarab



Anyway, after all that excitement, it was back home for dinner and Merlin - love the baby dragon by the way.

Cya

Thursday, 20 October 2011

HALLOWEEN IS COMING AGAIN! YAY

Hello everybody peeps.

Been a bit distracted by preps for Halloween party so have missed a day. Callum's input has been fab, he's really starting to get into it and when I've been stuck, he's come up with a plan.

Past few days have been lots of odds and sods really; mainly sorting out of workbooks, puzzle books and sticker books and going through all the arts and crafts stuff we have. I tend to buy bits as and when I see them 'just in case' and so end up with bulging drawers full of stickers, crayons, felt tips, pipe cleaners, rubber stamps, sticky shapes, etc, etc. Most have been sitting about for quite a while, so we decided to go through it all and shift stuff we are not going to use and get rid of dried up paint and pens. Made a huge difference and now have space in the drawers...wooo hooo!

The reason for the clear out; we have craft stuff to do for the party and we really needed to know what we had and what we needed to get. By Wednesday we had decided on the first two games and needed to make sure the 1st one worked ok, so we assembled the jars (not giving too much away) and gave it a go. Success rate was about 95%, one object just would not budge, so we (well, Callum actually) spent the next hour (yes, I did say an hour) testing different weights/amount of filling until he managed to get the success rate to as near 100% as he could without compromising the ease/difficulty of the rest of the game. Thanks Callum, I really didn't have the patience and was ready to change the whole thing, so I'm really grateful for his effort.

The 2nd game involved making a crown complete with inner fabric cap (duel purpose) and again I required some assistance...well modelling really.

Today we've completed the list of games. After much discussion the finer points have been agreed on and a draft 'plan of action' has been written. Hard work this party planning stuff, but good fun.

So seven games sorted (well decided on), food agreed and decorations planned and bought. Now its just finishing off making stuff that needs doing, food to be ordered and baking to be done. Nearly ready!

Tomorrow we are having a break and going swimming.

Cya

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

WATCH THE CREDITS, IT'S NORMALLY WORTH IT!!

Good late afternoon to you all. Am looking out of window onto a beautiful sunny evening with the light bouncing off the top of the trees and their leaves..they look almost golden.

Today did not start well. Actually the night was pretty crap as my dog decided to have a funny and wouldn't settle all night..up and down the stairs, whining, back and forth through the house also whining. Got up and let him in the garden, but no, he just sat there looking at the stars!!! Spent from about 2am to 2.30am making a fuss of him as he wouldn't settle and wanted to sit by me. Then it rained and kept me awake! Needless to say I was a little weary this morning, so we had a very late start.

Plans for morning were washing up, washing, hoovering and a tidy. Callum helped out as much as he could moving furniture and carrying the clean washing upstairs, but rest of time he was on computer.

This afternoon, as I'd promised, we went off to the cinema. Saw Johnny English Reborn. Was nice and quiet, not even a quarter full and Tuesday's is cheapy day at £5 a ticket. As Callum has a CEA card I only have to buy his ticket and I go for free, so definitely worth going. Popcorn, Fanta and a cup of tea for me (how civilised) and the best seats just in front of the barrier. Film was hilarious and Callum cackled and screeched his way through it; love listening to him laugh although he does get very loud, hehe. We stayed until the end of the credits as usual and were the only two in the cinema to see the 'take away' sketch, which was brilliant. So if you haven't seen the movie and plan to, wait until the credits before leaving.

Then it was off to The Range to pick up some black and gold card, cupcake cases and a hanging basket inner which will become our cauldron. Met our neighbour at the till and he offered us a lift home, which we gratefully accepted.

Back home and its been a cup of tea, dinner and he's had a quick go on the Wii. Is now upstairs watching his telly (probably the same programme as partner is watching in the other room).

Tomorrow is crafting day.

Cya

Monday, 17 October 2011

Hi all, still glorious down here in the South, but the wind is definitely picking up and we are getting frosty mornings. Winter is coming!

Callum and I have decided to step back from our traditional take on home ed for the next couple of weeks as I've tons to do (read my other blog IS IT ME? for details). We have come to an agreement that he will help me with as many of the 'jobs' as possible and he can stop maths, literacy and science until after Halloween.

So today he measured out 2lb of green tomatoes for me, washed them and set them aside. He then went through all the other tomatoes we'd either picked ourselves or been given and sorted the green from the red or near ripe and took out the mush ones.

Then he washed and destalked all the ripe cherry tomatoes we had in the fridge and passed them to me for chopping in half. These were put in a roasting tin with a bit of chopped onion and 3/4 chopped green pepper (both found lurking in the fridge). We then added some olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and a dash of Balsamic vinegar. Then out came the box of herbs and spices. I got him to smell the tomatoes, then smell the herbs and decide which ones he thought went well with the smell. We ended up with basil and oregano!!!! He didn't peak at the labels either, he just went by smell. I sent him outside to smell a couple of herbs we have growing and asked what he thought would be any good, if any, he came back with....marjoram!!! The boys got a nose for flavour. We added all those, or rather he did, roasted it all in the oven for 20mins, allowed to cool and retasted and then whizzed up in food processor, reheated and added a swirl of cream. Lunch made and eaten with fresh gluten free rolls....yummy!

The 2lb of green tomatoes measured out earlier were whizzed up with 4 oranges and with some water cooked until soft, then a bag of sugar added and with the occasionally stir (both of us) was turned into Green Tomato and Orange Marmalade.

So measuring, preserving and soup making done! Plus tea making and wiping up after the washing up.

Then shopping with big sis, Terri and myself this afternoon to buy Halloween stuff for party. He helped carry some of the bags home and then made us a cuppa.

I think he's done well today. No computer all day! Go Callum.

Cya

Thursday, 13 October 2011

THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING CHOCOLATE CAKE

Good afternoon my lovely people. How are we all this fine and sunny day? We are good; having a lovely chilled morning (doing M&L still though) and a family visit this afternoon.

But, what did we do yesterday? Well, we had a social day. A visit to some old friends who we haven't seen in ages due to one thing or another. Had a bit of a lazy morning getting stuff together and left around 11.30 for a drive to Bromley, Keston actually. Took us about 45mins so a rather nice run.

We took up some veggie food, jar of home made plum chutney, a bag of apples (isn't like we are short of them) and some of Phil's home made beer. Ann provided additional food such as bread, cheese dough balls, cola cooked ham, popcorn chicken (all home made and gluten free), sauces, etc, plus bottles of gluten free beer which Ann and myself could drink. Put together there was a wonderful spread that fed 4 adults and 5 children. Ann's food being gorgeous as always.

Now to the reason of the title. Ann had made chocolate cakes, three tiered little piles of chocolate gooeyness layered with chocolate ganache....yummy! Callum had one of these little creations on his plate and was just staring at it. The rest of us, knowing it was impossible to eat without splitting the layers, had divided it into 2 smaller pieces. Callum followed suit splitting his into 2 smaller cakes, but continued to stare at it. We all carried on talking, but when we turned back there was only 1 layer left on his plate. No-one had seen him move, but the puffed cheeks and smiley eyes gave it away. He'd stuffed the whole piece in his mouth and had now realised that although it fit, he couldn't actually move it around to chew it. The expression on his face and the speed at which he'd done it had us in fits. Unfortunately that caused another problem for Callum as now he was trying to dissolve the cake in his mouth so he could swallow it and not laugh at the same time. He managed it without choking himself only to do exactly the same thing with the other half of cake. Boy is he a quick mover, but obviously not a fast learner! Although you could argue that he was retesting his findings to find out how accurate they were, haha.

The boys then went off to play and the adults plus little Johnathan retired to the living room for a sit down and a coffee (us adults not Johnathan of course). William joined us a little later and they happily played with the Lego; William building rather fab robots and Johnathan playing with the animals.

We left after about another hour and drove home. Callum had had fun being with the older boys on the computer and we had had a lovely catch up chat. Ann and her husband Roarke were the first people I met after taking Callum out of school and Ann was always the one I turned to when I needed support. We don't see anywhere near as much of them as we used to or as much as we'd like, but then times move on and we are both so busy in different ways it's just nice that every now and then we make the time to catch up...long may it continue.

Thanks to Ann, Roarke and her boys for making us welcome as usual.

As I've said today is a bit quieter and later we have his sister, Terri, coming round. I will probably be in the kitchen making more chutney and Phil is upstairs redoing the bathroom shower doors and putting in a shelf. Callum has been reading the local paper and getting outraged at the new bus shelter that has now been completed in Chatham along with no guard rails, no litter bins, no toilets, no crossings and mobility access problems. Well, looks like the Council has done it again..why do they bother if they aren't going to do it properly!

Cya

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

FRIENDS, CAKE AND A PILE OF BROWN LEAVES

Good evening peoples.

Lovely day today; warm, sunny, but the leaves are all crispy and brown and red and gorgeous. Adore Autumn big time.

Did a quick tidy round and a quick maths and literacy session this morning, then it was a visit from Jo Daniels and her lovely baby Sophia. I should explain, if I haven't already, that Jo was one of Callum's Infant School teachers and he adored her. She was a fabulous teacher (still is) and really helped him out a lot and was very supportive. When we pulled him from school, she came along and did maths lessons with him until she got a promotion and had to give up due to being overloaded with work like all teachers are..bless her. Now she is a mummy and little Sophia is 8 months old. Gorgeous little thing and a very happy little lady.

Was lovely to see her and Callum loves the fact that we still meet up occasionally and catch up. Always a good excuse to bake cakes and sit and drink coffee. It was all timed to perfection as well as they were meeting up with friends for swimming at the same time as Callum had a trampolining lesson, so we had a lift to the Centre and an extended chat.

His lesson went well. He worked quite hard, but I don't think he was pushed enough today, although he didn't seem to be that bothered. Practicing 1/2 twist to back drop with last minute roll to front drop (those that do trampolining will know what I mean, but hope that explanation is enough for those who don't to be able to picture what he was up to). He also ran through his routine again which he is still managing to remember, so well done Callum.

Then a trip to the High Street (with me not being able to resist a pile of brown leaves to kick through...Callum rolling his eyes at me...huh!) to check out Halloween decs in the pound store (got some pretty good stuff and the goblets I'm after are in there which means it will work out cheaper than Wilkos). A visit to Smiths to try and find Teacher's Resource book I'm after, but as its an old one I was out of luck and they couldn't order it. Have found it on Amazon though, so might have to get it through them. Last, but not least, Nisa for wine vinegar for chutney making. Both fancied choccy at this point and they were doing 3 little bars of Dairy Milk (various flavours) at 3 for £1, so guess what we bought. Me being greedy (and hungry) couldn't wait until I got home, so I ate mine on the way...tut tut, but it was rather yummy!

Back home it was computer, dinner, bath and now he's relaxing in front of telly with his dad. Off out to visit friends tomorrow, so hopefully it will be another lovely day.

Cya

Monday, 10 October 2011

Hi all

For goodness sake I'm a day behind again (if you include Saturday and Sunday as one blog). Must get organised again. Haha.

So, here we go...weekend!

Saturday we went apple picking at Gore Farm with Phil, Linda, Tony, Danielle, Mellissa and Ruby. Colin and Lily went off to horse riding and met up with us afterwards in the cafe. We rent a tree for £30 per year, which between 3 families isn't that much, and we get to pick all the apples off of that tree. If the crop is a little low (as it was this year) they have other trees from which we can make up the loss. The photo below is just our share of the apples picked.



Whilst we had a good old chin wag around the table at the cafe drinking tea and eating cake, the kids went off and saw the animals and did a bit of investigating. The girls also picked strawberries, but Callum stayed with us, not because he didn't want to pick strawberries, we just didn't have the money to buy any that he picked and I didn't want him just going off and eating them all.

He went off and fed the donkeys (his favourite animal) where one particularly noisy one didn't like it when he fed the others. Very vocal animal (the one below).



The afternoon he spent back on the computer, so I was glad we'd managed to get out and about.

Sunday was very lazy, partly because I'd been out the night before and just fancied doing nothing all day and partly because Phil was busy doing stuff in the kitchen. So Callum spent the day occupying himself (may I add, not all of it on the computer!).

So, today! Phil is off all week this week and that normally interferes with our home schooling, but I'm determined to get at least maths and literacy done. So at about 9.45am this morning I woke Callum up with a cuppa and while Phil was sorting out the dog and what he was going to do for the day, we sat in bed and did his worksheets.

Then up we got, Phil going into the bathroom to put radiator on the wall and redo pipework running to it, we started the BBC website's typing course....dancemat style. Callum was really nervous, but he did it and got very good with his 'home' keys. I think him learning to type properly will be a big benefit to him and he sees me touch typing all the time and sees how quick it can be. Talking of which, I did a speed test on Google and came out as 54 words per minute. Bit slower than I was when at work, but glad I'm still above 50. Need to practice more!

This afternoon was baking and cooking for me while Callum helped his dad refill the heating system and check the boiler was working ok. All good stuff.

So, am now up to date again. Yay!

Cya

Friday, 7 October 2011

WHOOPS, MISSED A DAY

Hiya

Whoops sorry missed out yesterday. My fault, I went out!! Well, I went to a friend's house for cuppas and a chat, but I still class it as out.

So, what did we get up to yesterday? Well we had a day at home for starters, which is normally a good thing as we can attempt to catch up on some work.

Well, maths and literacy got done and then we were attempting to get science sorted. I say attempting, as I was having the day from hell and everything was going wrong! This, in turn, had an effect on Callum, so he was, how shall we say this, disgruntled and moody and doing a lot of faffing about.

We decided to have a sort out of documents on the computer and discovered one we'd forgotten to print off about acids and alkalines (the one where we tested the pH values of various household items, so that was a bit of a bonus find. Callum filled in a Testing Understanding worksheet writing in the first section and then using the computer to produce a bar chart and answer a couple of questions in the second section. Then another Testing Understanding worksheet with regard to cells where again he wrote out the first section and used the computer to name parts of a cell and compare the differences between animal and plant cells.

We had a sort through the science folder and decided to leave the other worksheets for another day. Folder beginning to look pretty good actually. Well done mate! It sounds like a fair bit, but it took us most of the day and it really should have only taken the morning, but hey ho, that's how it goes sometimes.

We also had to write up the 'showing' workshop that we did with Terri, his sister, on Tuesday and email it off to the moderator for the Arts Award. Had an email back saying that it had been received, looked good and that now we had completed the required parts to be put forward for assessment in November. Phew, kinda glad that over to be honest.

Today, we were picked up by a lady who is considering home education, after my talk a couple of weeks ago, and taken up to Ice Skating so she could meet others and ask questions. Strangely we didn't have to pay to get in (did last time), and we had cuppas bought for us and a portion of chips bought for Callum by her friend who is also considering home ed. So rather a cheap morning which is a good thing this month as we are skint!!! Callum ended up playing DS with another boy on/off throughout the morning too, which was nice.

This afternoon we looked at an onion cell through the microscope, trawled ebay for science equipment and generally chilled out.

Tomorrow is apple picking at Gore Farm.

Been a funny week, some parts productive and some parts not and both our moods have been up and down. Am hoping a couple of days of fresh air and a fresh week will improve our mindsets.

Anyway, cya

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

YAWN!

Hi all

Today was one of those days where being home educated worked wonders. I woke up at 5am this morning and could not get back to sleep, so spent the next 2.5hrs drinking tea, eating a bowl of cereal and watching TV progs I'd recorded for just such an occasion (although I was intending them to be the other end of the day). 7.30am arrived and I was expecting Callum up and about, so went off to do a morning cuppa for us both...he didn't appear. Ok, no worries, I sorted out the kitchen, sorted washing and cleared up the recycling, fed the dog, but still no Callum! 9.30am I decided I needed to check he was ok, he was, he was fast asleep! Typical, I wake early and he sleeps in, never mind.

He woke up about 15mins later in a right mood and complaining of a headache. Hmmm, avoid for a few mins I think. Admittedly I was beginning to flag by this point.

10am and after my bath and him getting dressed, he says that he's knackered! He's knackered? Pah!

"Do I have to do anything this morning?"
"Well, maths and literacy would be good, but we do have Mad Science trip this afternoon."
He pulls a face and flops on the sofa.
"You're not in the mood are you?" I say
"No! I'm tired and I want to go on the computer."

By this point, I'm really not in the mood either, I just fancy pottering about.

"Sod it then."
"Really?"
"Yep, I'm tired too and we do have all day tomorrow and we did stuff all day yesterday, so let's have the rest of the morning off?"
"Yay!" He perks up immediately and runs to the computer.
"Hang on! Get your stuff ready first!"
"Ok"

He decides to have brunch as its almost 11am by now, so scrambled egg, baked beans and toast, which he happily munches his way through.

12.15pm we are picked up by Lorraine and Amy and head off to Sittingbourne for Mad Science. We get a bit lost, but manage to find it after asking directions, and are only about 10mins late (we weren't the only ones).

Science show was fab...carbon dioxide (dry ice) today with lots of experiments on the fun of it all. They even got to taste it in water and had it blown (in gas form) over them like in a scary movie. And we got to keep the cups (they colour change)! Which reminds me, we still have Amy's cup I think. Whoops!

Back home and Lorraine and I have a couple of cuppas and Amy and Callum play in the garden for a while. No sooner have they gone and he's back on computer, but he was off again by 6pm tonight. Does this mean the game is losing its appeal or did he just fancy having a break...no, he'd got another headache so decided to go upstairs and chill in his room for a bit. Can now hear him giggling away watching TV.

As to me, I've just printed off all the science sheets we need to do and I'm going to flake out in front of the TV later. Hope I have a better night's kip.

Cya

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hi all,

Quite a productive day today. Mainly to do with Callum's Art Award, but did have fun too.

We started off with the normal maths/literacy with no strops today as he found it really easy!! His words not mine. We had a discussion about fractions into percentages (me having to wrack my brains to remember how to convert one to the other, but remembered eventually - bad me!) which, of course, led onto infinite numbers like 0.3333333 or 0.66666666 and the use of the word recurring or the symbol for infinity. Then it was writing up his workshops to include in his Award. We weren't entirely sure if the bird house making would count, but we wrote it up anyway and then the kite making one from last week. This one we did think we could include as there was designing and colouring involved. We included photographs and sent them off, only to have an email back saying exactly what we thought. We tweaked the kite making one a little bit more to include why Callum had designed his kite the way he had and were given the thumbs up! Yay.

This afternoon was his workshop to demonstrate something to someone else. Callum decided to do mosaic coasters and show it to his sister. We had to do step by step instructions and Callum had to work with his sister showing her what to do, then she had to give a brief description on how he did and he will have to do a quick write up of how he thought it went. Am hoping it will be fine as we are now running out of time. The moderation date is 4th November!!

Anyway, below is how they got on.








Terri rather enjoyed herself and has come up with loads of different projects that she now wants to do using broken tiles, mirrors, glass, plates, etc and Callum really enjoyed showing something he could do and being able to do something with his sister.

On top of that I made nectarine chutney out of a glut of nectarines Phil brought home at the weekend and managed to tidy up the dining room table and the computer table of all its junk. Would have been a bit difficult to do the coasters if I hadn't! haha.

Anyway, short and sweet today as its a bit late.

Cya

Monday, 3 October 2011

A FUNNY START TO THE WEEK

Hi all

Well Monday is here and, although sunny, it was a little cooler. Was nice to have nothing planned, no time to keep to and be able to just plod at our own pace. So what did we do?

Well, Callum got up at 8am and made me a cuppa; announcing that he was going to go onto the computer until 9.30am and then do his maths/literacy so that he would be ready to start at 10am! Hmmmm, time management covered there I think. So I drank my cuppa, washed up, put washing on, prepped my dinner in the slow cooker and made a 2nd cuppa. Was ready to sit down with him by 9.45am by which time he'd finished his maths sheets and was beginning to have a paddy about his literacy. Spelling words with 'sh' in them today and opposites also with 'sh' in. Now, to you and me, the clue is in the question...all answers will have the 'sh' sound in them somewhere, but to Callum that was a stupid idea and the answers were stupid, ie, the opposite of 'open' is 'closed' and a picture containing a pile of bottles, tins, bags, etc was 'garbage'. I tried to point out the words had to have 'sh' in them and he got the right hump saying the book was stupid and wrong!
"Ok, now let's calm down here and think logically...the question involves the sound 'sh', what other words can you think of for garbage that contain 'sh'?"
"Crap" says Callum "or trash".
"Good, trash would be good" says I.
"It's not trash as it doesn't fit, it says -----sh! This is a stupid book."
"Ok, so on Tuesday night we put out the...what?"
"Garbage"
"Alright, you're watching a programme and it isn't very good. We say that programme was....what?"
"Crap"
Hmmm, I'm not getting anywhere here am I? I look at him, he looks at me, pencil posed to be launched across the room. He spots the hammer which his dad hasn't put away (grrrrrr) and picks it up. Luckily he decides to hit the book with it!
"Ok, now put the hammer down and think."
"......."
"Oh, rubbish, this is rubbish!"
"Yes Callum....rubbish is correct."
"But rubbish is American!"
"No garbage and trash is American, rubbish is English"
"Oh this is stupid!"
We decide to have a break and he goes off upstairs to go to the toilet and pick up a toy. On his return, he calmly picks up the book, spells the word rubbish, looks at me and says "the opposite of open is shut", writes it down and then hands me the work.
"You didn't mark last Wednesday's work, can you mark that too!"
I raise my eyes to the ceiling. One minute a meltdown was on its way and then we are as calm as anything as if nothing has happened. Oh well at least he got it eventually.

Next was science and we went back over cells and discussed specialised cells. He done very well on the revision side and was fine with the specialised bit until we looked at sperm.
"Yuck" says he.
"What?" says I.
"They can swim!"
"Yes. Why do you think that is?"
"That's yucky. I was fine until they said they can swim."
"Soooooo why do you think they can swim?"
"Because they have a long way to go to find the egg!"
"Yes, well done. We'll be covering that next time."
"Yuck, do we have to?"
"Yes we do"
"Oh. Are we done now?"
"Yes"
"Good"
And off he goes, but before he totally disappears we end up talking about fire and fire hydrants and fire safety and double glazed windows and how to escape a house and whether or not we should have a fire extinguisher and why fire extinguishers in buildings are in corridors.....strange how conversations start and end up.

This afternoon we popped into Rochester to try and get the mosaic kits that he wants to show Terri for his 'how to' workshop for his Arts Award. No luck, so we go to Dockside to The Range, but still no luck. Coffee and cake is needed and then home. Lovely afternoon out, but not very successful. He did manage to get a book from the 2nd hand book shop on Missiles and Rockets though, so he was happy.

Strange day.
Cya

Sunday, 2 October 2011

THE WEEKEND PART 2

Hiya again, Part Two here:

Saturday was Riverside again, seem to be spending a lot of time there lately, for bird house making. Callum D came with us again. The boys made wooden bird houses completely from scratch. Well the wood was cut out for them, but they had to nail it all together themselves. Both Callums did really well; only making a couple of mistakes each where nails went into ‘space’ instead of through the wood. It was quite noisy and my Callum had forgotten to take his ear defenders with him; typical! However, as he was making so much noise himself with the banging he coped remarkably well. They all discovered that doing the nailing on the floor instead of a fold up table made it more stable and less noisy!







I'm rather proud of Callum's performance as he has never done woodwork before and has always run a mile when Dad has got the electric drill out. Well done mate!

Afterwards they had a run around outside in the play area for about an hour after eating ice creams first as it was so hot! Then farm shop, drop off Callum D and home. Callum and Phil then put up the bird box + the other box that I'd bought last year and the bee box I'd got for my birthday way back in May. Let's hope that next year we will have birds nesting and more bees buzzing.

Today, we chilled out in the morning and then popped back to Callum D's house to drop off his brother, Shane's, birthday present and card. We didn't stop for the party, just a little while to watch Shane open his presents and say hello. Back home we've been attempting to make plans for Halloween.

Anyway, that's it, both parts now done and I'm off to find myself something to eat. Callum is eating roast dinner, but I'm not in the mood for that as its too hot and I'm not hungry.

Cyas later.

THE WEEKEND PART 1

Hiya

Busy weekend again! Sunshine has been blazing and we were up to 28 degrees.

Friday we were in London for the day visiting my friend Dennis. Terri came with us, so was like a little family day out. Caught high speed train as Callum prefers it and that means I prefer it as there is less hassle. Went all the way to St Pancras this time. Met Dennis there and walked (we did a lot of walking that day) to Hyde Park via various smaller parks, a Starbucks and the back of Oxford Street. Went that way to see where I used to work (30 years ago now) and IT ISN’T THERE ANYMORE!!! There is now some multi-coloured monstrosity instead, but it was nice to see that some things hadn’t changed. The occult bookshop was still there, although a bit more modern than it was then, Denmark St is still full of music shops and Soho Square was still full of people (although not quite the same type of people, haha). Callum enjoyed seeing all the places that I used to haunt, but said it was far too busy for him and Terri didn’t think she’d be able to work there either.

We also visited the Animals at War Memorial which was nice to see. Callum was pleased that they had their own memorial and that their work had been recognised.



That's Dennis in the background with Callum and Terri to the fore.

Hyde Park was lovely and we sat by The Serpentine for a while eating; me a banana and Callum a raspberry muffin. The geese and swans came right up to us trying to steal food, but didn’t succeed.

Then another walk to Waitrose to get some lunch; prices in the café were extortionate – they wanted £13.50 for a portion of fish and chips and the queue was huge and the organisation was confusing. At Waitrose I spent just under the same price and got lunch for two of us including salads, fruit, drinks and a sausage roll! Walked back to the park and sat on the opposite side of the Serpentine to eat. Callum sat by the lake again and watched the ducks. He looked rather lonely and I had to explain to Dennis that he wasn’t; he likes his own company and he LOVES water, so sitting by the lake watching the ducks was probably his idea of heaven.

Another walk and Terri and Callum rented a pedalo to go off into the lake, while Dennis and I had a chat. Wanted to get photo, but camera was playing up and by the time I got it sorted they were way out into the distance.

Then off to an exhibition and a sit down by Princess Diana’s Memorial Fountain. Terri had a paddle, but Callum didn’t want to take his socks and shoes off, so he just walked around with her - was nice to see them off having a chat together.

Didn’t realise that it was 5.40pm by this point and thought it was best to get on home. Caught a tube back to St Pancras which, amazingly, Callum didn’t bat an eyelid at, although he did walk down some steps rather than use the escalator which was a bit of a long one. Got the 6.55pm train back home and popped to kebab shop for Callum’s tea as it was now 7.10pm. Collapsed on sofa with a cuppa, both exhausted, but after having a brilliant day (I had blisters from all the walking); Callum said he’d had a fab time and didn’t even mind all the walking – result! Terri continued to Rainham to meet up with her dad as they were heading off to Devon!!

Well that's Part One done. Better get on with Part 2.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

WILDWOOD HOME EDUCATION TRIP


Hi all

Early start for us this morning, well 7.45am anyway which is hardly an early start, but early enough for us!

Up and dressed, lunch boxes packed, breakfast eaten, flask of tea made and then off to Wildwood with Lorraine and Amy and some other home ed families.

An excellent, but busy day. Glorious sunshine throughout, but as there was lots of trees (clues in the name really) plenty of shade when needed.

We all met up outside and then ventured in for a quick cuppa before meeting up with Laura our ranger for the day.

First up was a brief tour around the park itself visiting a few animals on the way in a bit more detail.

First up the Fallow Deer:


Next up were the Konik wild horses:

Then Eagle Owl, Red Fox and Wolves:


The wolves were brilliant. Two females, both hand reared (there were others too, but these came up close to the fence when Laura went in, so we could get a close up view). One was particularly 'cute' if that is a word you can describe a wolf with, as she loved having a bit of a fuss through the fence and rolled over onto her back just as our dog, Draco, would do.

Next it was onto the Red Squirrels, past the elusive otters and back to the start.

We then met Gimli the owl who was lovely but very nervous with all of us standing around staring at her. Callum was a little bit shy in going forward, so I had to manoeuvre him into a position where he could see. I went and sat down as my hip was starting to hurt, but he stayed and listened to what was being said.

After lunch and a play in the play area, it was off to meet the bison. They were huge and we were told that, surprisingly, they can run at 40mpm! Wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of those. They did look lovely and warm with their shaggy hair though.


All in all it was a very good day - thanks Chrissie for organising and thanks Lorraine for driving us there. Would like to have seen a lot more of the park, so I think we will have to do another visit without being in a group, just to wander around at our own pace. There were lots that we didn't get chance to see. Must have been a good day as Amy and Callum fell asleep in the car on the way home. hehe

Anyway, cya

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A CHILLED OUT DAY

Hiya

Today Callum had a chilled out day! I had a friend round this morning for tea and a catch up chat. Haven't seen her for ages properly, so thanks Michelle for popping round.

Callum did do his maths and literacy sheets though and he did two lots as he didn't do them yesterday. Didn't like to mention that he wouldn't be able to do them tomorrow as we are out on a home ed trip, so theoretically he should have done 3 lots, hehe. I was just very pleased that he'd made sure he'd caught up.

He spent most of the rest of the day on the computer playing, you've guessed it, Command and Conquer, Generals! I'm amazed that the fascination for this game has lasted as long as it has, but then it is very Dune like and he's loved that game for years!

Off for the family shop tonight. We went along for a change as there were a couple of items that I desperately needed and didn't want to write a huge list. So Phil went off doing the normal everyday bits and I went off looking for the gluten free bits and the extras I wanted to flavour the veggie food I'm now cooking. Callum flipped between the two of us, ensuring he got a few goodies put in the trolley (he was pushing it); some for packed lunch tomorrow and some for just whenever. Back home and it was dinner, shower and a little chat about tomorrow's trip. He's a little apprehensive, as he always is, but he knows in his heart he will be fine.

Anyway, we are out tomorrow, so might have something a little more interesting to write about.

Cya

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

AN UNEXPECTED STROLL

Hiya

Today was yet another glorious Autumn day, but it did start foggy. Love a bit of fog to walk in; like the idea of walking in a cloud.

We started a little early as we had to change our trampolining lesson to 9am as we were off to a party this afternoon. We arrived just as they were opening up, but our teacher was a little late as her lift to work didn't turn up, so she had to walk in a rush. Callum did really well again doing lots of moves that involved one move to a half or full twist and into another move, eg, front drop straight to half twist straight to front drop in opposite direction. He worked hard and enjoyed the last few minutes launching himself into the foam pit!

We'd taken his kite along with us as he fancied another session of flying it. Off we went to the lower part of the Great Lines, but there really wasn't enough breeze, so we wandered off to the upper part of the Lines in the hope that there would be more wind. Passed a couple of Community Officers on the way who just looked at us, said 'good morning' and walked on. Never ceases to amaze me that we are never asked why Callum isn't at school, but I'm not complaining.

Got to the top part of the Lines, but still no consistent breeze. But by this point we were talking about wildlife and pathways, both man-made and natural. I mentioned that the upper part of the Lines used to be all longer grass, but now they have only kept about half of it as there are birds that nest on the ground. Just as I said it one flew up which was quite cool. We then talked about the war memorial and Fort Amhurst. Callum spotted a train in the distance and wanted to know how it got from Chatham to Gillingham. I mentioned that it went under the Lines and he wanted to see where it went in, so we strolled right over the Lines almost to Chatham so he could see the entrance to the tunnel. Just as we got there a train appeared from underneath and went on its way to Chatham. We then walked back home dropping into the library to change some books. Both rather shattered to be honest, but it was a lovely unexpected stroll.

We dropped into Subway for some lunch and then it was home, drop off library books, pick up present and card, check dog and off we went again to catch bus back to Chatham and then onto Borstal. Popped into Arriva shop to pick up new timetables and D&A toys for an emergency pastel colouring pack just in case we can't get the mosaic kit before next Tuesday when we are supposed to be showing his sister something arty to go towards his Arts Award.

At the hall it was Lauren's 12th birthday party, so lots of running around, music, sweets, food, pass the parcel and general party noise of happy kids. Sun was glorious, so a lot of the time was spent outside. After much munching and singing happy birthday, gathering party bag and balloons and leftover biscuits we just managed to catch the bus home. He is now flaked out on the sofa going through his goodies and drinking a cuppa. I don't think he'll be doing much else today apart from the computer!

So, no maths, no literacy and no science today, just lots of fresh air, general chatter about geography and history and a nice social afternoon. I love home ed!!

Cya

Monday, 26 September 2011

THE WEEK BEGINS

Hi all

Just a brief one today. Monday morning arrived bright and sunny and at 9.30am for Callum!!!!! I decided to leave him to it this morning as we've been busy again over the weekend and had 2 early starts at the end of last week, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so late. Oh well, beauty of home ed is that there is no school run to do or school to get to, so lessons start when we are ready.

10am he was curled up on sofa wading through his daily maths and literacy sheets while I was checking post (which arrived early today) and making us a cuppa. A shriek of "yay" went up and I looked up from perusing The Book People's catalogue to find that he was excited because of a fraction sheet! Yes, I did say fractions. Strange boy. Apparently circles divided into sections and shaded is his favourite way of doing fractions. He remembers doing them before and really liked them, so am rather glad I've used them to start fractions all over again.

Next was Science - Physics this week and we are looking at Energy. So big discussion on fossil fuels verses renewable fuels; looking at different forms of energy; water shortage(?) and how we would be able to 'clean' sea water for use (again ?) and then he came up with an idea for a self charging fan! Home ed does tend to wander off topic, hence the water shortage discussion, but then we went round in a circle and came back onto it. Callum strongly thinks that we should be using solar panels, wind turbines and renewable sources of energy which is a good thing and he wants us to have solar panels on the house (have explained that its rather an expensive outlay and although I would love to do it, we just can't afford to at the moment).

Anyway back to the self charging fan. He came up with the idea that if a fan used rechargable batteries to work and you put a smaller fan in front of the larger fan, facing it, then there was no reason that, after the batteries initially being fully charged, that the big fan blowing air into the smaller fan, which would spin, would be able to recharge the batteries which powered the big fan which blew air into the smaller fan making it spin which would charge the batteries, etc, etc, etc (hope that makes sense). Good idea in principle, but we did discuss that we would need to check that the smaller fan would produce enough energy in the batteries to continuously 'fuel' the bigger fan. Might have to find some inventor/engineering home ed friends and see if we can build one. Anyway A+ for the idea definitely.

After lunch and some damson jam making we had a visit from Terri, his sister, and her dad, Dave. Dave came bearing gifts from America which, of course, went down a treat with Callum.

After that he decided he would go out with dad and Draco the dog when dad got home so he could fly his kite again. Nice, as it gave me a bit of empty house time. Back home and it was back on computer. He's still obsessed with Command and Conquer Generals!

So that's it for today.
Cya later

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A WEEKEND SPENT OUTDOORS

Hiya

Another busy weekend for us, but want to make the most of the September sunshine. Love this time of year! Days are normally sunny, but not too hot and being outside watching the leaves change colour and the air being fresh instead of humid is wonderful.

So...Saturday morning we took ourselves off to Capstone park to forage Sloes, Damsons and the last of the Elderberries. We took the dog with us, so he had a great run round. Breakfast was wild apples and blackberries picked along the way - yum!! Callum managed to find us another superb Sloe bush; lots of berries and not so overgrown so much easier to pick without getting thorns stuck in your fingers and as the bush was more open the sloes had had the sun on them more, so there were a lot of them.

Back, after a round walk, we stopped for a coffee and Callum undid his 'healthy' breakfast by having a huge piece of black forest cake (homemade by the people at the cafe). Must admit it did look good, haha.

The afternoon was spent with Phil setting up the Sloe Gin, Callum running about in the garden and then on the computer and me picking sunflower heads, removing seeds, shelling said seeds (easier than you think, but quite time consuming) and then dry frying sunflower and pumpkin seeds for use in topping salads etc. Must admit, Callum and myself did devour a few, so probably only one lunch salad topping left, haha.

Today, we picked up his best mate Callum D and headed off to Riverside for Kite Making. The boys had a fab time making their kites and really took their time making them look gorgeous.

Then outside we went to give them a go at flying. The weather was just perfect...sunny with enough wind to lift them into the air. Callum D was an expert and got his up first - well done. My Callum took a bit longer, but got the hang of it pretty soon afterwards.


Lots of people were flying their kites, so we moved into the other field and ended up being the only ones in there. Perfect for flying and they only managed to tangle them once. Well done boys!!!!




Back home this afternoon and Callum dived onto the computer again, while I destoned 3lb of Damsons ready for jam making tomorrow afternoon. Still have 3lb left so think I'll be buying some cheap vodka ready for Damson Vodka.

We are all knackered now after so much fresh air, so another night of monging in front of TV beckons.

Cya later