Friday, December 28, 2007

Well Christmas came and went. Christmas day was nice if very tiring. My usually up late kids were waking me at 7.30!! They did relent and then give me till 8 though. Bear in mind they hadn't gone to sleep till nearly 2am!
We came down and they opened their pressies. An assortment of DS games, books, dvd's etc. J has not put my DS down since he loves Pokemon Pearl.
My Mum and Dad popped in for a brew and some cake and we all said Merry Christmas to my sister and family on the webcam.
After our veggie meal there was lots of TV viewing as is customary!! R came round to see the kids from 3pm onwards but it didn't spoil my day.
On boxing day R took the kids to his sister in laws where they saw some other family members. He has just recently took them to see his family so they are getting a bit familiar with them. All this after 14 years!! He mentioned the other day he'd like to take the older 2 girls to Spain some time in the spring. His Mum has an apartment there. I am just relieved he doesn't want to take the younger 2 as that requires too much trust. At least I trust A and D to look after themselves/each other.
So on boxing day I had a couple of hours of me time, very nice.

Now it is all back to normal! I went food shopping and the shops were not too busy. Hurrah!
I popped in to say hello to a friend yesterday and took the kids. A stayed here transforming her bedroom and putting her dismantled bed back up. I think D is planning to do the same today.
While at my friends house D managed to link her DS up and get extra fruit for our animal Crossing. If you play the game you will understand how exciting that is lol.

We are all getting ready for the arrival of my sister and family at the weekend. Good times ahead indeed.
Before then I am reading this book so then I can lend it to my sis. Must plod on with that then.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A right 'ole festive humbug!

Erm, that's me.
This season does not in any way make me feel jolly. I do not understand the mass hysteria and gluttony that takes over people. Why must they stack trolleys full of excess food? The shops are shut for 2 days! Just 2! Surely a loaf of bread and some extra potatoes is enough to keep people going.
D and I hit the mall at 9 this morning as my money only went in today. At that time it was busy enough but not heaving as it would have been later on. I got a few items to tide us over. I haven't really got anything special for Christmas day other than a quorn roast. On the way home we bumped into our neighbour who gave us a lovely tin of organic shortbread. Yummmm!

We have been slightly festive in that we have made Christmas cookies and the kids had fun decorating them yesterday. We have also made a cake and iced that today. Having little money means we bake more so the kids never really feel like they are going without. They don't have an excess of presents either but have about 5 each which means my house doesn't get needlessly cluttered lol!
Christmas tv has been good but tomorrow I think I am only looking forward to Dr Who.
The children's Dad has invited himself to our meal as he paid the £2 for the quorn roast. I plan on escaping to my bedroom for a bit. I hope the kids have a good time.

Merry Christmas everyone xxxxxx Joy and blessings to you xxx

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I wonder if my ticker will show how many days to the next Christmas on boxing day ........ Must change it then lol.

Well we are preparing for Christmas. I made my first ever vegan Christmas cake. I made some mini ones too, to try them and they are very nice indeed. The girls have been shopping for presents. I haven't done much shopping but I may nip and do some on Friday. I will probably have to get our food on Monday as that is when I get my money.

Yesterday was our last trampolining of the year. I even got to have a go. I thought we were having to get the bus but my ex dropped the car off at the last minute. I have been managing okay without his car. I borrow my Mum's in the evening or we get the bus/tram. Each trip out either costs £6 for the bus or £3.50 for the tram. It's a matter of budgeting for that. I haven't been to the allotment for a couple of weeks, but I need some wood to make some more raised beds first. That will be my new year project.

We had our home-ed Christmas party. It went fine but was a bit too busy for my liking. I think 50 max would have done but there were more than that. J coped okay because he enjoyed the card making table. We also had badge making and a talent show. The older girls did some parachute games with the younger ones. I have decided I don't feel up to having my annual open house - mainly cos my house is open all year anyway!
Today is the last official activity. We have a home-ed meeting and M's last swimming lesson. We really do have nothing on then. Oh except A who has a few babysitting shifts booked.

More recent stuff, M and D got their dance exam results yesterday. M got commended and highly commended and D got Highly commended and also honours in her tap and national. They have both moved up classes now and the list of things I need to buy is increasing. They need new leotards and tap shoes with double taps. I am going to sit down and make a long list of stuff I need to plan for and do some financial planning, especially as my electric has gone up to £69 a month! It should however be a bit cheaper now my washing machine has packed in. It is a good job my Mum lives at the top of the road as I am nipping there daily with laundry. I'm sure she will get fed up of that pretty soon though! I could always try washing everything by hand in the bath. My neighbour does that. Maybe I could turn it into a home-ed project .... life before useful machinery.......

Saturday, December 15, 2007


A home-ed Dad asked the older kids if they wanted to help him install a nativity village at the city's cathedral. So the past week or so, many days have been spent there, painting, creating and helping out.
We all went yesterday (except D who is a bit poorly). J and M spent 3 hours in the cathedral and helped P(the artist) collect grass for the stables. One of the loveliest bits was listening to Chetham's school of music's rehearsals for their carol concert, complete with live music. All for free. We had a lovely day. The pictures are not fab quality but it reflects the nativity anyway.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


A week ago I took A for an audition at a local(ish!) theatre to join their performing arts academy. She said she didn't think she did well and forgot her lines but the guy there told her he thought she had done very well and they know auditions are hard.
Today they rang offering her a place. Yippppeeee!
Now I have to work out the money side as I don't know yet how much it costs but I won't let that stand in our way!!
Wow, it is December and I have not blogged!!!!!!!

We have been busy as usual. I managed with my Mum's help to paint my kitchen. Before it was a dirty magnolia, now it is crisp white (because it's cheap!!). Next week I am painting my lovely boxroom lilac!

The girls have been doing their usual drama/dance/guides etc.
Last Monday A went to a medical lecture with the guide group. It was all about gasses and she found it really interesting. I would have gone but it was my one free night/day so I didn't want to go out. I actually find it very hard to motivate myself to go out once it goes dark. I just want to stay warm indoors instead. D didn't go as she was in a - for want of a better word - reclusive or one could say creative stage. She stayed in her room, drawing, creating and sewing for days. She is struggling with A's companionship a A has fallen into an evening pattern of sitting on the computer/talking on the phone for hours each evening. Of course this is boring for D but I kindly explained sometimes we have to learn to like our own company. She does get company of others in the day and dancing in the week. She has also started up at guides again. This week they did Christmas crafts and made candles so so far she is enjoying it.

Last Friday was the big drama group production. The girls were there all day but all enjoyed it. M is so shy though so it was a big thing for me to see her on a stage. She doesn't have much confidence so I am hoping the drama will help with that!
Drama is now finished for the year.
Amazingly before the year is out though, we still have a last brownies/guides session, dance classes, 2 trampolining classes, Home-ed Christmas party (120 people!!!), singing session, swimming lessons (must re-book by 14th!) and a home-ed social meet to which as it is cold and wintry I am taking a big pan of soup to share!!

My older girls have spent the last 2 days here helping an artist (home-ed Dad) construct a model of Bethlehem village for a nativity display. They have been painting and plastering and having lots of fun. I am going there next Thursday to take some photos of the finished result (or if I have the energy I will do it on Wednesday as there is a Christmas sing-along we might attend!!) which I will then blog.

The rain is not stopping here so yet again A and I will be soaked whilst doing the papers. I'd like to say I will wait till it stops but having grown up here I know when the day starts very grey and rainy it usually sticks in for all the daylight hours. I just have to resign myself to getting VERY VERY wet!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harry Potter Puppet Pals

We love this and watch it very often!

I have been having a big sort out of the house. Consequently there are 8 bin bags in the hall for the charity shop so I am hoping to find one that collects. I won't ring them till I have done my kitchen cupboards as I reckon I can get another half a bag from that too! It will look good when I finish but the bit that is taking time is my paperwork and 2 boxes of miscellaneous small bits, play money, marbles etc. I also have plans within the next month to paint my kitchen and bedroom. I think I am doing the kitchen next week. I have decided to just paint it white because it is cheap and when it gets mucky easy to just paint one wall, the one near the bin usually needs that the most.

A and D have been busy with rehearsing their play they are performing next Friday at a local theatre with the home-ed drama group. They have another rehearsal on Monday then the event next week. I am trying to make M a mole mask this weekend for her play (performed first at the same place) and sort out something for A who is a Lion/Human! It will be in a proper theatre so I hope they enjoy it.

M has been doing lots of magic tricks, her favourite thing at the mo. Especially as I found all the bits for her kit though I think she has mislaid the cards again.
J's favourite thing is gaming on Pokemon and playing chess. I played my first ever game with him last night which I won with a bit of help from him (my 5 yr old!!!) explaining how to castle and why. He loves chess and I heard him telling a home-ed Dad yesterday how that was his favourite thing!

I am supposed to be doing papers today so am not very impressed it is raining. In the nearly 3 years we have been doing them we have rarely had to do it in the rain but I think today may be one of those days.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I think I'll just blog about yesterday as it was very busy and my mind doesn't seem able to stretch back beyond that.
I was up very early (for me) as I had to drop M at a friend's house for 8.45. My friend was taking her into Manchester with some other home-ed kids to the Royal Exchange theatre to do a behind the scenes tour and workshop. By taking her in it meant I didn't have to squash on the tram at rush hour.
The older girls were doing the same workshop in the afternoon so they came into Manchester with me at 11. We wanted to get under 16 bus passes but we couldn't find a passport photo booth anywhere. The one at Woolworths didn't work. I think I will try and print something off and post the applications instead.
My friend from Blackpool was travelling into Manchester yesterday for a meeting so I met up with her and we went to the Art Gallery cafe for a brew and a natter. That was very nice! J, bless him sat there patiently while I chatted which I later thanked him for.
We headed the girls off to the theatre for their workshop. They were travelling back home on the bus with friends so we could do our own thing. J, M and I had a quick wander around the Christmas market but to me it mostly looked like lots of beer houses and sausage stalls so we didn't stay long. J was also freaked out by the singing moose's head on a stall. LOL!!!

I collected the girls later from their friends house and brought 2 extra back here. The older ones all ate and complimented my curry, WOW! I then took M and her friend to brownies, did our tetrapak recycling and headed home.

When I had all kids back later on I was showing them centile charts for height. A then measured all the kids and I plotted them on the chart and worked out their predicted adult height.
Basically all mine are at the top end of the chart on height. I was explaining how these charts are not that accurate but it was fun seeing what height they might grow to . J's was 6ft 2 1/2. M's was 5ft9, D's 5ft 9 1/2 and A was 5ft7. I actually expect them to be taller than that as they just keep shooting up!!! We also spent a lot a lot of time using an online converter to convert cm to ft and inches. A then rang her friend who was also looking at the charts. I last heard them discussing weight charts!

The last thing I did last night was watch J play on his PS2 Incredibles game. I had a quick go on it but my attempts were very amateur compared to his. He is VERY good. So is M apparently.
Oh and I also watched M do some magic tricks. She loves doing them so is getting this for Christmas.

More later xxx

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I had a friend and her children come and visit on Monday so that totalled 8. Then on Tuesday a different friend and assorted children came round and that was 11. Tee hee, mostly a house full which makes quiet moments rare but happiness plentiful.

D sat her 4 dance exams over the weekend and seemed to enjoy doing them. She took her bronze tap which since she has never done the lower grades and only started that in April, I think she has picked it up very quickly. I think M's exams may be this weekend. She only has 2. Then it will be time to replace the shoes and leotards as they have grown ... again.
In fact whilst ordering the girls some jeans they are both now too big for most kids clothes so I had to order women's jeans. D is only 11 but the height of a 14 year old with VERY long legs, so the adult length is fine for her. I don't mind buying them as they mostly wear jeans and have 2 pairs each and being adult sizes should last a while - I hope!

Last night I took D, her friend and my Mum to watch Falstaff opera at the Lowry. I got free tickets which would have cost £35 each!!!! It was fun except when a grumpy old man turned to D and R, pointed to them and said "shut up"!!!! How rude. They weren't even talking but may have rustled a sweet wrapper. I didn't find this out till after the show which was a good job for that man I say. I hate disrespectful adults. Children are people too and should be spoken to with kindness and respect IMO. Pity he didn't realise that.

The older two walked the mile and a half to the local baths at 9am this morning to meet their friends for swimming. Not bad seeing though they had kept me awake til 2am!!!! They didn't make it back but have de-camped at a friend's house where they want me to collect them when I can get hold of a car. The younger two are playing noisily and happily with geo-mags.
I am about to attempt operation kids bedroom armed with binbags in a mo. Must take my allergy spray as that kind of thing always sets me off sneezing.

Learning all the time (High Quality 2)

This beautiful video makes me smile and well up at the same time. It is how childhood should be. It was first posted here : Thanks Georgie.
Enjoy ;-)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Did you see his face light up when he spotted the wild boars??? Gosh I LOVE that man!!!
Yes I am of course talking about Simon King. Do you know he has no qualifications but got where he is because of a passion for what he does, truly inspires me that does.

I have been thinking about nature stuff recently. I adore all things natural and want to broaden my knowledge so spend time collecting and ID'ing. I was very pleased when we attended a Make A Difference day event a week or so ago. There were 4 trees with leaves to identify and I got them all correct. I know they weren't especially difficult ones but I was happy none the less!
My kids like certain events that are run outdoors but I want to find ways of letting kids do activities that are really fun for them. Unless nature is your passion, seed collecting and coppicing etc. can be hard work and boring. So I am digging out my woodcraft book and Earthways to see if I can come up with some fun ideas. A bit of browsing the web will be fun too. I would do that for a living really. Getting kids playing/creating outdoors. All kids like to play but my sister did a giant art attack of a fox with autumn twigs and leaves and I think that would appeal to lots of kid. Gives me stuff to ponder anyway which is always good.

My niece has finally gone home. My sis and family popped up to collect her and they stayed for a couple of nights. The girls - my 2, their cousin, D's friend and E's friend all headed into Manchester on Saturday then came back here so their room was full for the night. 5 in one room. Unfortunately that night D vomited all over her bed (YEUCCCCH!) at half 3 so I was shifting kids around, clearing vomit, spraying vinegar, lighting incense and cursing. I think D was super tired after having been away for 2 days then staying up late here. I also think she had over indulged on Halloween and all this resulted in her being sick then sleeping for most of the next 30 hours. She bounced back and was well for her last stage class on Monday though. Her exam is on Saturday and I am working so will arrange a lift for her there.

A went off to Blackpool to see her friend on Monday. She is coming back today. Meanwhile today, D went swimming and is at her friend's house now. M has gone to see Angelina Ballerina Ballet with my friend for a treat so it is just J and me for a bit. He is waiting for his Dad as when they collect A from the station they are popping into a games shop ever hunting for bargain games for him. That is his highlight to the day.

I have felt groggy the past 3 days. I suffered from my severe dog allergy on Monday and spent quite a bit of time in bed. I have then had headaches for the past 2 nights/mornings which is not pleasant. It is only made bearable by my 4-head which I would be lost without. I recommend it if you suffer from headaches. Often that is all I need to knock it on the head!!! without taking ibuprofen. It is good stuff.

Well a quiet moment means I should probably tackle last nights pots and laundry! It's all fun here!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Maths club on Monday, the kids did some (a very teeny amount) of work using a number line. Mine didn't take part but I was fine with that. Maths taught in that way on paper sat at a desk is NOT the best way my kids learn. I had mainly gone to collect spare keys for that place from the caretaker. I didn't make it to the allotment as a friend popped round to visit in the afternoon. She helped me sort the top drawer of my filing cabinet out. Only the jam packed bottom one to go. I really need 2 days in to do some sorting but I think Sunday is the only free day next week. By that I mean tomorrow. But we may pop into family choir? or not! Whilst I enjoy singing I'm not sure my girls do. The woman who did our family choir yesterday runs an adult only one on a Wednesday that I would quite like to try. Other than that I shall carry on singing in my kitchen instead!

After trampolining on Tuesday (A nor D went) I left the 2 younger ones at my friends for the afternoon. Rick had put D on a train to Blackpool to stay with a home-ed family and her friend there whilst I was at trampolining. She had gone by the time I got home. I then took the big 2 (one of them being my niece) to have their hair done. Needless to say the 2 teen girls loved this and spent a lot of time photographing themselves and posing! No change there then lol.

On Halloween we had our home-ed social meet in the afternoon then headed to a hall we hired and had a small party. We had made a banner for it and took food to share. Was good fun. A then went babysitting whilst the younger 2 went trick or treating round at my friends. I have never seen so many kids out dressed up as I did on that night. We only got 2 groups here so I handed them some chocolate eyeballs - as you do.
Note to self, buy pumpkin a week in advance next year so can get a big one for 99p instead of a small one for £2!!!!

Thursday spent all day with M at hospital having suspicious bruising on her legs checked out with blood tests and trauma. Was okay in the end as everything came back clear. HARD DAY.

On Friday at Drama my niece presented the play she had spent hours writing. It has been accepted for the kids to perform so she is very happy. She deserves it as it is a good script, I think she is very talented. She goes home tomorrow and it will seem a big empty space when she is gone. I hope she will be back before too long but her family must have missed her too!

I am working a shift tonight and have been doing dance runs on the bus and am feeling a wee bit tired so may sneak half an hour rest this afternoon - after a bit of housework.
Must blog more but teens have discovered msn again and I can't get on here!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just so I remember ....

Next weeks schedule:
Monday : Maths club, allotment, dance class
Tuesday : Trampolining, play date, girls haircuts, Brownies.
Wednesday : AP, swimming lesson, Halloween
Thursday : Swimming, yoga/pilates
Friday : Drama, family choir, papers, guides.
Need to fit in a pizza night and one last shopping trip with my niece (Thursday morning/ Tuesday night?).
Yeah I'm sure we can squeeze that in somewhere .......

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I have noticed from blogging is how much we actually go out and do! Rarely a quiet day but we enjoy them when we get them.
Yesterday I called our day of culture.
We just had the best day. We drove to Hebden and had lunch there next to the river to the sound of a buskers tin whistle.
Then we headed on to Howarth where we saw the Bronte parsonage and visited ye olde sweet shop. The kids especially liked that bit!
Their best memory was us all pushing the car in Hebden to jump start it as it has a dodgy battery.
Mine had to be driving over the moors with the sun shining and us singing "Wuthering Heights" loudly.
We topped the day off by going to watch the RSC perform Comedy of Errors at the Lowry. It was soooo funny and fantastic to watch. And I was sat next to a hunky actor who we chatted to.
A brilliant day indeed....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On Friday our home-ed drama group had a trip to the Bradford Media museum. We all went on a coach for the first time together. The teens were singing at the back, the boys playing in the middle and parents sat scattered throughout. It was a fun day.
We spent about 4 hours there and there was lots to see and do.

We still have my niece with us and I think she is enjoying herself. With another teen in the house you certainly notice the constant music and singing but I sing along too. If you can't beat them.....
They spend time learning the dances from High School Musical then they get my sis on webcam and get her to watch. I should try and film it, see if I can blog it.

On Sunday I got to go round the Mind Body Spirit exhibition in Manchester. It was very interesting. I enjoyed watching a guy doing a brain gym with the audience he had. Movements that work both sides of the brain. I'd be interested in finding out more about him.

Yesterday a friend from Bristol popped round. I haven't seen her in 6 years so we had a lovely time chatting. She had never met J and I hadn't met her 2 year old. Her son is 13 and nearly 6 foot ...and I thought my girls were tall lol.

We do have plans for this week, including a home-ed french club so I shall blog those if and when they happen.
But for now, hurrah the sun is shining....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It is non stop activity and fun and madness here as usual. Many songs (mostly high school musical 2) are to be heard bellowing out of different rooms. This is not a brilliant house for an introvert but I manage to get a bit of quiet if I need it. I just have to pick my time. 7pm seems a good one right now lol.
On Monday we headed to see Flushed Away for free at a local cinema as part of NSFW. I love the fact as home-educators we can just book for our family and turn up. If I was organised I could see one film a day but I only book films we will all sit through and ones that are local.
We enjoyed the film, it really was very funny. A friend turned up after half an hour as they had got stuck in traffic. We got a few looks from the 3 small school groups that came but hey they probably wonder who we are, why there are so few kids with us, of mixed ages and without uniform. Maybe we should hand out leaflets rofl.....

Yesterday my 2 eldest headed to a private girls school to sit their LAMDA exam. They said it went well and had a nice time waiting in a private office with their friends. Another thing to put in their files then. They get the results in the next 6 weeks. Neither of them appear to get nervous almost to the point of being blase about the exam but I really don't mind. I think they gained as much from the process as the end result anyway.

Today my eldest is 14.
She has had a good day (I think). My niece has made her a cheesecake which at 9.15pm we haven't touched yet! I am awaiting their return from a big shopping centre that I am happy not to have had to trawl round. They are good fun to be with though - they make me laugh.
Today at our home-ed meet up they were filming their own version of the Oprah show in between blaring music and dancing. High energy stuff. They should sleep well tonight then!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I have to actually look at my calendar to remember what we have done.

On Wednesday we had our monthly green team meet up. We did some coppicing and others did some planting and weeding of our flower bed. I will take my camera next time so I can post photos. M had her swimming lesson straight after that but first we had to drop all 40 tools back to the industrial estate. When I got there I had to cart them all into the office as the main guy wasn't there. I felt I had done a big work out that day.

On Thursday the girls went swimming and then we went to Urmston. I returned a faulty clothes airer then we went to a local park. We were told there were lots of fly agarics there and we found them. It is amazing that most people must just miss them and walk past. Even my kids who tolerate my nature madness like finding fungus.

We then headed into Manchester and collected my niece who had travelled up on the train. She is here for 2 weeks and this morning they were all sat round the table doing maths at 9am!! I'm afraid my brain was still a bit foggy to help them out at that time. The only bit of maths I seem to like is working out patterns. I groan at everything else.
It is very lively with another teen here, I like it! I have asked if they will all help us blitz the house this week. I may even get my bedroom painted, that would be good!

Today I traipsed round shops while the girls were at drama looking for kids shoes. I didn't find any though so will have to keep looking. We also managed to do all 3 paper rounds. I roped in D and her friend to do the big 210 one which took us just under an hour.

I am going to slob and watch some telly now. I am part way through my consultation draft but I do too many typos at this time of night so will crack on this weekend.
I had a go at someone on a blog today (not in a nasty way, honest!) and that has helped clear my head and for some reason made me more positive about it all.
It will all work out okay I believe .... but I just don't know how ... yet ;o)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I copied this from the EO list

The Department of Work and Pensions is currently consulting on proposals to get parents off benefit. From next year you would not be entitled to Income Support when your youngest child is 12 but would have to look for work and receive Jobseekers Allowance. From 2010 the age lowers to 7. This effectively makes it diificult to home-ed if you are a lone parent not earning a wage.

EO Campaign site has put together a few links on this

The walkthrough( second link ) includes 2 sample responses. We hope to upload more.

This is what it says on LATEST page

Tuesday 9th October
Department Of Work & Consultation On Changing The Benefits System The DWP is currently running a consultation about the best ways to get parents off benefits. The proposals will particularly affect Lone Parents on Income Support and also parents of disabled and SEN children. The consultation ends on October 31st.

EO Government Policy Group and EO Disability Group will both be making a full official response to this consultation on behalf of Education Otherwise.

However as we have seen with other Government consultations, officials have to sit up and take notice of home educators if a sufficient number of us also respond individually.

Unfortunately there isn't an online interactive form where you can just type in your answers as thousands of us did with the Guidelines Consultation, so we have written a Walkthrough. [ on the campaign site this is a hyperlink ]

If you have any difficulties responding to this consultation please send feedback to:

Roger Pugh
Department for Work and Pensions,
Consultation Coordinator, Room 2A,
Britannia House,
2 Ferensway,
Hull HU2 8NF 01482 609571

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On Monday a friend offered to have my 2 youngest while I sat with the girls at their last LAMDA class. M and J were very happy playing with her 2 and it was weird going off without them!

I offered to pick up my friends 2 children and take them to LAMDA. Poor said friend J has (we think) got whooping cough for the third time!! She seemed quite poorly with it and had spent the previous night coughing all night. She and her kids only had it 4 years ago so I am amazed she has contracted it. Her homeopath mentioned that she was seeing quite a few cases in vaccinated people. Could the bacteria mutate so the vaccine is no longer effective? Does this mean we could effectively catch it many times in the future.

It has been 6 weeks since Jude has coughed nightly. Some nights are better than others but we are all well otherwise!

Anyway, after the drama class I headed to our allotment with all 4 children. We managed to lay a central woodchip path with me digging it out to create soil for the raised beds. I am chuffed with what I have achieved and have only been 3 times. The kids did more forraging and brought me this tray of delights.

I have frozen many of the raspberrries (the girls counted 177!! lol) and am baking the rest with some apples and making a crumble. But that'll be tomorrow's project as I haven't got on top of the washing up yet and it's 8pm already!

Today we have done leaflet delivering to earn some pocket money, slightly tedious but we don't have a choice as it is sprung on us by our newspaper network and the leaflets have to be done separate from the papers. We probably will only get about £4 for doing that. Which as it takes nearly an hour is not a huge amount but the exercise is very beneficial!!

I did some reading reflex with Molly. I can't say she enjoys it as she spends time yawning and saying her arm hurts etc. I didn't bother with Jude as he said he didn't want a reading lesson. I didn't ask Molly but just called her downstairs. I reckon if I gave her a choice she'd say she was very happy just playing with Jude on the PS2 game they borrowed from the library.

Finally here is a photo of our beautiful Pup Pip that we look after lots even though she lives at my Mum's.
Aint she sweet!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ooooh the highlight of my week was watching Kate Rusby at the Lowry on Friday night.

I had been on her website that morning and was alarmed to see she had cancelled gigs on Wed and Thurs as she had lost her voice. I spoke to someone at the Lowry and they said "as far as they know" she was going to be on that night. Turns out she was and it was great. She was struggling a bit near the end and coughing, poor woman but it was good stuff. 1400 people watching and singing some bits! I treated myself to a KateRusby t-shirt - a very happy bunny was I!

I went to the show alone. I bought a ticket for me and some people including family think it is sad or weird to go out alone but I honestly like it. I would equally like company but only if you liked her already would you spend the £19 on a ticket and no-one I know would do that. I did spot my friend and her husband down in the stalls so chatted to them briefly afterwards. But the guy on my door is a volunteer I haven't seen for some months and we get on well so I spent the interval with him. Then another woman came over that I sat with at the training so we were all chatting together.

I had cancelled my shifts recently due to wondering if I wanted to carry on there. I do enjoy it but it is so much effort to organise the kids and childcare before I come out. Last night as A was at guides, D walked the younger 2 down to my Mum's where they watched movies for the 2 hours I was out. This is a rare thing though and not something I am happy with on a regular basis. It all went well anyway and I had a great time and it helped me decide I do still want to carry on there as it is some sort of a social life at least rofl!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We had an extremely busy day on Monday. I dropped the older 2 for their LAMDA drama class for 10 am at a community centre. They have one maybe two more of these classes before they take the exam on October 16th. I have to get them to a private girls school where they will sit it lol. A is doing Anne Frank. She knows the story but someone gave her the dvd and she doesn't want to watch it. I don't blame her. I cried just listening to her doing the dialogue. I wish she could have done the railway children instead but she is fine with it.

Whilst the older 2 were doing drama I left the younger two there with my friends and I nipped off to buy food for our lunch. We had lunch there than had our monthly session of family choir. Only A joined in but there were quite a few families there so we made a good noise.

A and D were delighted that one family in particular was there as their Dad is Japanese, so they were chatting with the 7 year old and asking about Japanese pronunciation. The little girl wrote their names in Japanese for them. I couldn't get them away when it was time to go!!

It took ages for people to leave and I was a little stressed as I was planning on going to the allotment and was running out of time but as key holder I had to wait for the building to clear. Then the caretaker turned up so I finally got away.

We wanted to go to our allotment plot as someone told me it had been cleared. Hurray! It has a few ground weeds but is quite good. So we spent an hour there on Monday. I marked out the plot and 3 small beds and started digging out the path to provide top soil for the beds. The kids loved it there. About 1/3rd is allotment, the rest, orchard and wild space so they played around. They found a huge old apple tree laden with apples. So in the hour they were there they picked about 60 and the are eaters - cox's I think. So we won't have to buy organic apples for weeks. They have since been devouring them daily and juicing them!!

We headed back there yesterday and the kids all helped carting woodchip to our plot for the path. We made a pile of it too as last time we missed out on the woodchip as anyone can take it. It is amazing how much we have achieved in such a short time. The girls found a lovely big log that they placed at the back. They want to carve their names into it. We are also going to put a bench there and a (willow?) screen behind it to stop the weeds encroaching. A wants a pond so I said we have an old cat litter tray we can bury into the ground. Just have to look at what to put in it now. I plan on us having one day a week there, whenever it is dry enough. It was actually too hot yesterday. But of course as I forgot to bring the laundry in last night it has since rained and looks set to be a grey one today. Oh well we are off to a home-ed group meet and there will be cameras there for the kids to do filming. They love that kind of thing and are very creative.

I need to go and buy cat food now as I have run out and one of the cats is not very happy lol!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Should any one group represent us home-educators?
I have been asking myself that a lot recently.
Whilst I love our community like any community it has it's share of mixed up individuals who sometimes happen to be running the groups/sites that represent us. Is having a body to fight our cause necessary?

I loved EO. I was so happy to find a national group I thought I could belong to. I have been a member for 12 years but don't feel so strongly about it anymore. I wonder if in part because I feel stronger about myself and my abilities so need the group less.

My friend makes her own home-ed truancy sweep cards and puts the web address for HEAS on it rather than EO. I think the good thing about this is that it has the title of Home Education Advisory Service which at least sounds official and mentions the words home education.

Surely when it comes to dealing with changes in government statutes/laws WRT home-education it IS good to have a group doing some work. Maybe if it was left to individuals most wouldn't bother. I know the recent consultation guidelines probably had enough of us responding but when some estimate that there are approx 50,000 home-educators the majority didn't bother doing anything.

My friend thinks we should make ourselves strong on a local level. Be-friending our MP's and LA's so they can work for us should any change be threatened on a national level.
It s difficult to know what it best.
The problem is that there isn't just one group trying to represent us nationally. People get fed up so start their own smaller group. But maybe that in itself is a good thing.
What are your opinions on this?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Blog

I am using this blog for our day to day stuff but have decided to have an invite only blog to process anything I don't want to put on here. It won't necessarily be home-ed linked.
For an invite e-mail me your login address to
I will grant access to those I know who also blog :0)

Friday, September 28, 2007

You can tell Autumn is here. I just want to curl up and drink lots of tea! I ordered some bio bulbs so at least if the sun isn't shining it feels like it in my house! I have had to have the heating on a couple of times but only when wearing a jumper doesn't take the edge off it.

So things I need to do:

Write that magazine article I am planning.

Paint the whole house before Christmas in order of : my bedroom, hall, kitchen, back room, front room, girls rooms, toilet room! Not much then!!

More ebay.

Go to the allotment and see if I can achieve anything there. At least the weed growth should start to be slowing now.

Sort out coats for everyone. Hmph, will probably mean a trip into Manchester.

This week we had maths club. There is only one left and I don't think mine will be continuing. Much as I like the teacher I think she is used to teaching older kids that you can hand out worksheets to. She tried explaining division and multiples verbally and then handed out the worksheets. Bearing in mind this is the under 10's group, a few just didn't get it. Molly's head was heading towards the table at one point. My favourite bit was that after an hour, the kids had had enough so got up and left. The teacher jollily informed me they had told her the class was finished. Can you imagine school pupils doing that?!!! Actually most home-ed kids I know wouldn't do that but this was a group of the more free range ones!!
On Thursday a few home-ed families did our annual fungus walk at the water park. Off the top of my head there were approx 7 families with about 23 children between us. It was very nice and relaxed. Some of us headed off round the lake at different times in a leisurely fashion. Our highlight was finding the fly agaric. I will try and upload the photo from my phone when I work out how to do it. Although this toadstool is apparently common it is still such a thrill to see it. All the kids were really excited about that.
Towards the end we found an apple tree with fruit on that we managed to get a few off. Course the lovely big ones were out of reach. Still, my Mum has given me a bag of rhubarb so I am going to stew them separately then I can make lots of crumbles or have the apple in my porridge. Yuuuum!

Today the girls had drama. They had a teacher doing some choreographed movement with them and she will continue it next week. M and J went back to their friends house afterwards whilst the older girls did some retail therapy. A and I got the papers done in the afternoon after a quick unusual lunch. Mine being a couple of small potatoes, lots of raw spinah and carrot, 1/2 a vegan hotdog and some butter beans in tomato sauce! I then had to nip and get some food for tea. All are fed now, I am very tired but I still have the supper/bed thing to do and A is off to guides!

Now for a small dilemma. M has been at her dance school for approx 18 months. She will take her grade 1 exam in November. But the woman who teaches her class is often harsh with words to the kids, telling them it's rubbish, not good enough etc. Apparently she had a go at M last week and she was crying. I have suggested to M we find another dance school but she doesn't want to. There is a chance after her exam she will move up and change teachers. D has never had this woman but being older may handle it better. M doesn't have brilliant self esteem/confidence and I don't see how this can help. I would have a word with the head of the school but it is her daughter who is the problem so it may just make it difficult for us instead. Oh what to do? Let M choose? Or suggest going back in a few years? Though she got upset about leaving. Any ideas?

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I am starting my blog afresh and hope to not upset anyone reading by doing so. I ummed and ahhed and thought should I carry on. I think if you don't blog you may not get why people do, but I like it and will continue. I thought maybe I should keep it unpersonal but that is not me and what would be the point then.
I have changed my name on it though in honour of Jane Austen lol and will only use the kids initials.
Thanks for sticking with me guys. Love ya xxxxx

Monday, September 24, 2007

Doctor Who- Mika happy Ending

are you ready.....