Pancakes, Kinetics, Dinosaurs

We’ve had one of those fun, busy weeks with an activity almost everyday. Monday was our at home day-the kids and we all did plenty of work. They did all their practice work and then later we did plenty of new things for both of them. They also worked on their Sketches for the week-which I loved. And I tried to get some Spanish done.

Tuesday was ‘Pancake Day’ and we decided as it was not raining we’d go to the pancake races in town after we did our morning work. Every year the town has a race where relay teams run through the market square while flipping pancakes. Then they throw some pancakes from the church tower to children from the churches’ pre-school. We went last year and it was drizzly out, and not the best of races in my opinion. But the kids had a different take on it, so off we went again this year.

While waiting for the race to begin we saw their ballet teacher who told me she was envious that I could bring my kids to the races. She has really been impressed and interested in the fact we HE the kids, and thinks it has far more ‘family’ benefits than traditional school.

The race was actually much better this year-they had 12 teams competing, and some of them were very quick with some really good high pancake flips. When we went to see the pancakes being tossed from the roof, I was thinking what a shame it was I was the only one there with children over 5. When all of a sudden one of the HE moms with 2 boys about 9/10 yrs old came along. I really do feel bad that so many kids are stuck inside all day. You would think that an event like this was more geared towards children, not for over 100 adults and about 25 toddlers!

Last year we didn’t know the pancakes from the church roof would only be for the few select children, so the kids were a bit upset. This year, there were fewer children, so Kieran could catch one. He was very good-the first one he got he gave to a smaller girl who really wanted one. Then he managed to get one more, which he shared with Hazel. After our dinner we all had pancakes for desert- very delicious.

Wednesday was blogged below-I saw Riverdance!!! Enough said.

Thursday we drove out to the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock were they have an exhibit of Russian kinetic sculptures called the Sharmanka Travelling Circus. There was a make and take set up for the HE group, and it was all very good. The adults were just as taken with the sculptures as the kids were. I hadn’t been to the museum before, but will definitely go back. It is just outside the gates of Blenheim Palace, but we hadn’t been in the village before. The kids and I didn’t go through the rest of the museum as we went back to one of the other families homes.

We have known the family for awhile, but hadn’t been over as it is a fairly long drive, so while we were in the neighbourhood we took advantage of the invite. She has two lovely girls and a little boy who’s just 3 and he’s a proper little boy now! Hazel & Kieran and the girls have always got on-so they were very thrilled to go over. Another little girl my two really like was invited to go along as well-so they had a great few hours. The mom’s chatted away and the kids all played. My two were really taken with all the pets-especially the hens. Hazel couldn’t believe she got to help make a ‘stew’ for chickens. We couldn’t stay very long as the kids had their make-up recorder class in the late afternoon. Boy-was Kieran not happy about that! I promised him I’d invite us back soon. Hopefully next time we can all go for a walk-they live in the middle of the countryside-just heavenly!

Today was another trip out to Oxford-back to the Natural History Museum. One of the HE moms organized a trip with a talk about dinosaurs. My two did the trail first and then the talk. Hazel had fun walking around with two of the girls and one of the other moms, and I did the trail with Kieran. The man who gave the talk was very entertaining. I think he enjoyed himself as much as we did.

At one point he had Kieran and 3 of the girls pretending to be Triceratops who were defending their baby from a T-Rex, played by another girl. I thought it was a great way to demonstrate how they would probably protect their young.  They did an excellent job as the photo proves–you can’t even see that there is a little boy between the four bigger kids.

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Every now and again one of my two show me how much ‘Britishness’ they have. It was Kieran’s turn today. He had decided to bring his little dinosaurs, who came in their own lunch box from Fr. Christmas, to the museum today. He brought them in to show me-and so we can count them. I like to know exactly how many things they are bringing before we leave-this way I know what I have to keep an eye out for. Anyway-he put them all back in their box and as he was walking out of my bedroom he said to me: “they’re all happy chappies now that they’re back in their box.” ‘Happy chappies’-far too British! And really-where do they get these things from?

After the museum, the kids and I drove over to Blenheim Palace for a picnic lunch. I needed to buy our family ticket today so we could take advantage of the year membership for the price of a one-day admission ticket. The kids and I went to the pleasure gardens and had our sandwiches there. Then they led me round the maze. While in the maze we bumped into a woman and her little boy of no more than 2 years of age-she was really lost. Hazel said she’d show us the way out-and she did. The mom was relieved-as she had been walking in circles and was heading in the wrong direction when we met her. The little guy wasn’t very happy.

We then had a wander round the butterfly garden and then they had a play in the adventure playground while I read my 3rd instalment of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Too bad I forgot my coat-or else we could have all stayed a bit longer. Home for a rest before Hazel had to go to ballet.

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