I've Done it Again!

I’ve let almost a full month go by without a blog on what we’ve been up to. Ok-where to start? I left off at about the 6th-so this is what we’ve done since, and though I should break it down-I’m not going to!

Most of the first full week of the month we just did the usual stuff and getting back into the routine of groups. We also attended the HE group in the next-town. The kids do seem to enjoy it there. On Saturday the 10th we went to the lake down the road to see if it was frozen. Quite a bit of it was-I think it’s the 1st time we’ve actually seen it frozen. I was trying to explain to my two how dangerous ice can be when a couple of boys went on it. Someone called the police, which I was glad about. I think seeing the police come to get the boys off the ice has put a definite impression on my two that it’s a really bad idea to go on the ice.

On the 11th we went to my cousins for the 1st time in ages. Katelyn was turning 5 on the Monday so Lorraine had a quick family party-as they were packing the apartment up for the move to new accommodation the next week. They’ve rented a house about 15 minutes away from where they were. The kids had fun and played well together. I think Hazel was getting a bit overwhelmed when it was time to go. She can only handle so much madness indoors.

Monday, the 12th, started the month in earnest. All the kids’ classes were on now and so were mine. I’m still taking Spanish & Geology; I’m determined to see them through the three terms.

On Tuesday the kids and I went to Intech, a hands on science centre for a lecture. We joined it a couple of years ago-but Michael got so annoyed that so many of the exhibits were in need of repair. But one of the moms gets tickets for a few of the lectures, so I decided the kids and I would join again for a year and go to as many of the lectures as we could. The first one was on Light and Sound Waves-which my two enjoyed. Not tons of information is really learned-but it peaks their interest, which I guess is the main point of it all.

Wednesday and Thursday were usual days. They did some work, had recorder, Badgers & Brownies. Did I mention Hazel has joined? She was offered a place and so we checked it out in December. She said it looked much better than Rainbows and that she’d give it a try. Her 1st night was Thursday-and she was ok, though looked a tad overwhelmed by the end of the 1st night. She likes to know what is happening and why-so once she gets the routine down-I think she’ll really enjoy it. Time-wise it works out well as it’s on the same night as Badgers, but starts 15 minutes before Badgers, and ends 15 minutes after. Making the drop-off/pick-up routine uncomplicated.

We went into Abingdon to the Farmers market on the Friday. While there we made our first trip to the library there. Our local libraries will soon run out of things for Hazel to read! Not really-but it’s nice to have a whole other counties worth of books at our disposal. We live in a great area-we are basically on the border of 4 counties, and one town that has its own system. So within 20 minutes of the house we have libraries from 4 different counties that we can use. Should be handy in the future.

Saturdays are now started with two dance classes. Hazel has joined the Grade 1 class for ballet. Well-that’s what it was supposed to be. Hazel had assumed it was to be for ballet and tap-but the teacher had only put her down for the ballet class. Hazel is still doing her Friday ballet and tap class-and this was just to help move her along in ballet. When I explained this to her-she was not having it-she wanted to do the tap and ballet-so I told her to ask the teacher. Sure enough she said if Hazel wanted to give it a go, fine with her. (Just have to say-I’m so proud she feels confident enough to approach and discuss her classes with her teachers.) So when they were done with those portions on the first Saturday I asked the teacher how she did-she said ‘Marvellous! Can she stay for modern?’ So-she now has a full dance class every Saturday morning. It was obvious that she was on par with the girls for ballet, that she needs to catch up a tad in tap, and will be on par for modern before the summer term has ended. Forgot to mention-Hazel now really understands what a ‘distinction’ means. We had glossed it over-but when she realized she was only one of five in the school to get one, and when it was posted for all to see-the full impact of what it meant hit home.

Hazel had her embroidery class on the 17th which she seemed to enjoy-as it really was doing some actual embroidery. They coloured some fabric and started a flower design. Hazel told me that though it may not look like they did much-what they did do was hard and it took a lot of time to use the fabric pencils to colour the piece of cloth in to make it look like real grass. I think this will be right up her alley-she loves learning a new skill, especially if it challenges her.

The 18th started with a morning visit to Oxford. Their music teacher told us about the  Holywell Music Room in Oxford and how they put on concerts on Sunday mornings. Holywell Music Room is the oldest concert hall in Europe, and well worth the visit. There was a concert featuring the The Flautadors, a recorder ensemble.

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We all enjoyed the music-and Michael especially enjoyed the last piece-the Pink Panther theme music. After the concert we visited a few book stores, and we actually walked down the main shopping street-something I normally avoid, but as it was Sunday and not so busy, we had a wander round. Finally found Hazel a lovely dress coat, so worth the visit. We also found a tiny cafe tucked away in a corner-and had a decent lunch.

Most of the following week had been spent on all the usuals. We’ve also been feeding the birds more in the garden and at the lake. The ground is quite hard, and the lake was still frozen. We’ve also made sure they had water. It has been fun seeing the new birds coming to the garden for the extra food-I even had a wren on the patio for the first time.

Kieran and Michael had eye appointments on the Thursday. The kids and I walked into the main town along the canal-it was a bit muddy, but was fun to have a wander in to town-it’s been ages since we’ve walked in. Paid the customary visit to the library to get some new books for the kids.

At the opticians we found out that they had gotten Michael’s prescription wrong in July-no wonder his new glasses were making him feel worse. He had the glasses fixed for free, and they extended a 2 for 1 offer on glasses they normally don’t do in the sale-so he felt better about that. Kieran may need to see an eye doctor-but we’ll wait for a follow-up exam in July before going down that route. It may just be he is still growing, but it looks like his right eye might be slightly weaker than the left. He is rather thrilled with the thought that he may have to wear a patch-just hope he feels like that if it comes down to it.

Last Friday they went to an indoor play area for a HE meet-up. They seemed to have a good time. There were a couple of new moms who are thinking about HE’ing their little ones in the future, and there was another new family who have just decided to take their kids out of school. It is always interesting to hear why people have come to this decision.

After the dance classes on Saturday we headed to town. Michael needed to get his glasses done and I wanted to get Hazel’s Brownie uniform as she was going on her first outing with the group during the week. I know she didn’t need it till her promise ceremony-but thought she’d like it for the outing. I still don’t like the idea of the ‘promise’-I think in a secular country, children should not have to make a promise to a god. They say they don’t discriminate-but obviously they do as you can’t be a Brownies unless you make that promise to ‘love my God’. We are just going to treat it as words-and as its ‘my god’, not ‘the God’, I guess it won’t be the worlds worst affront. Anyway-we had a wander round and bought some sandwiches and ate near the lock.

On Saturdays the kids have continued to watch the Victorian Farm Series. They are really enjoying it-so are we for that matter. I think it helps them understand all the instruments from museums a bit better when they actually see someone using them.

We chose Sunday to do the Big Garden Birdwatch for the RSPB. Not the best of mornings to do it as it had rained most of the night, and was still a bit drizzly in the morning. Still, we had a good variety for the day, though not as many as previous years. We know the count can be higher, as we generally get quite a few on most days. An example would be, on the Saturday we noted over ten Starlings, we saw only one on Sunday.

Michael and Kieran worked on a few science experiments over the weekend.

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Kieran really enjoys them, and wants to start a journal book for experiments. Now-Hazel and I have had some ‘discussions’ over how her book journal should be organized-so I’m not going to have those problems with Kieran. We are going to come up with a format-and it’ll be on loose paper-not a spiral notebook. This way it won’t matter what order different experiments are done in or written up. Hazel wouldn’t write a new book down if it wasn’t in the same series as the book on the previous page. Silly, I know-but took a few ‘discussions’ to come to an agreement. (We colour coded what ink to use for the different series on the index page.)

This evening will be spent in front of the fire watching the latest addition of Lark Rise to Candleford. The fire is an essential while watching a period piece!  I was so excited to see another season had started. And Michael thinks I’m hard to please!

Sketch Tuesday: The kids did two more assignments this month. Something you wear on your hands, and something that goes fast.

Dress gloves

Plaster

A hare

Tornado

Now–do you get why Kieran’s writing on the ‘Tornado’ drawing is tilted?  He said it was because the tornado was knocking it down!

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