Friday, 23 October 2009

A Nature Detective Poem by Milly:

Milly found out what it was like to be a poet. We went out to the woods with friends the other day and searched for adjectives... All about leaves. We then wrote a concrete poem about them using the words we collected... Here is Milly's FIRST ever poem... Written all by her self... Can you tell I'm so proud:

Green and
Brown leaf
blew across
a field. I saw
it. I looked
on my nature board. I
said it was a

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Yes... A tree that says 'Oooo!'

Hettie making 'Dust Angel'... Well, what else are you to do with it!

And to continue with Science...

Yes, it has featured quite heavily over the past couple of months. In particular Fungi!

Both the girlies are members of the Nature Detectives which sends a weekly email with a challenge to complete... Always an outdoor activity which is great as I always consider it Milly's PE lesson! With science, literature, art and maths thrown in for good measure. Hettie is dropped off at Playgroup (sounds cruel as I type that... she does LOVE it though... I say, convincing myself) and Milly and I meet up with friends at our local woods to execute the challenge of the week.

All the children have their clipboards and pencils ready... it's always great to see them so excited and eager. I sometimes forget that we are all there learning.

The night before, I print out the worksheets for the challenge which go into Milly's clipboard and we set off. Most recently it's been about Fungi of course being that time of year. Hettie was out of sorts that particular day but it didn't stop us having some mouldy fun at home. Hettie was sleeping for most of the day on the settee so we took advantage of that and had some one on one time together (in between mopping vomit and talking about what makes us sick and all the other things that go with puking!)

We decided to grow some mould of our own and using the worksheets we found three pots with lids and Milly found three different things she would like to grow mould on! Cheese, Bread and a slice of Banana with the skin still on. She wrote out her predictions and the different locations where she wanted to grow the mould (airing cupboard and on top of radiator) and how many days it may take for the mould to grow etc. We discussed fungi in some detail and then did a bit of art, slicing the bottom off a mushroom and putting it on a piece of paper with a glass over the top of it! After a couple of days it produced a beautiful spore print. During the day Milly played in the garden for sometime making lots of 'muddy' things and digging stuff up! Later that day she wrote a book on line (a little help from me)... this was fantastic and was interrupted by poor Hets having a vom! Milly soldiered on though and completed it and had great delight in printing it all off. The link try it it's really fun!

Milly stayed on the PC for sometime after that using the Mouse Studio programme to create a birthday card for a friend. Then a random question flew my way as I was cuddling Hettie "How does our skin heal when it has been cut, Mummy?" So out came the Body book (with the scary picture on the front) and we looked at lots of pictures of horrible skin conditions and we talked about how it heals... we also googled it.

Milly also helped me write my book 'Nanny doesn't have a Garden'... Soon to be published whenever I have time to complete it and persuade Aunty Bren to illustrate it!

It was a lovely day and of course she too spent parts of the day looking after Hettie with me. She fetched towels and cleaning things and all that whilst covering her nose and mouth trying not to puke herself... Now that's dedication!

A tonne of stuff and more...

Hard to know where to start when it has been soooo long since we last updated the blog! The journey so far has taken us from embracing the autonomous route to tentatively trying the structured route to just throwing it all up in the air and doing buggar all... which of course takes back to the autonomous place again! It's both exhausting and rewarding at the same time and I have since discovered how following an organic path often leads on to a structured feel anyway.

One occasion (one of many I must add) comes to mind; Milly has developed an interest in Bones of the human body. We have a one foot tall model of a Skeleton, 'Mr Bones' to you and me. He was given to the girlies by Nanny and Grandad. We are learning a bone a day (or when either of us remember). It was a passing suggestion made by me which was taken up by Milly very eagerly. Milly will often remind me (usually when I am upto armpits in preparing breakfast/lunch/tea) or I will (usually when she is engrossed in Diego-'Spanish Lessons, Mum!) Either way it is always met with GREAT enthusiasm and if it's a bone that I don't know the name of (and there are a few new ones there I am sure) Milly jumps up and gets the reference book from the book shelf. It's a huge book and there is (for a child) a gruesome picture of a skeleton partially covered in muscle and flesh! She can't bear to look at the front cover but will still get it... eager or what!

When we had gathered our first dozen bones I suggested that we start a list of them and she can do a tick-list everyday going over the bones she has already learnt to which I was swiftly put in my place by Milly then stating "No, I shall write out the names of the bones and stick them on to Mr Bones where the correct bones are, Mummy!" My jaw did drop as I mentally nudged myself thinking 'well, there it is... she's really starting learning to learn herself!' It was a really good feeling to see how she did that and how strong willed she was to do it too. She could have easily just gone along with it...

We are continuing to learn from Mr Bones... Hettie of course joins in and is learning how not to manoeuvre Mr Bones' leg joint too far in the wrong direction! An Osteopath in the making?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Milly's Hat Empire

Milly created four Leaf hats for all of us. Can you spot the fourth?

Where does the time go!

Just can't believe looking at the date on the last post... It was nearly a month ago that it looks like we did anything. I can assure you that we have been BUSY! And despite it being the summer hols I have been scratching around for spare time to just 'sit' and 'be' with the girlies.

Life, chores, play dates, appointments, weekends... they all just seem to 'get in the way' of what I thought I perceived home ed should be like. I am learning VERY quickly that it is just ALL THE TIME and there are days that are filled with questions about one particular subject and Milly role plays it out of her system so much that by the time I have found whatever it is via google or we have ploughed through the books she's worked it out for herself (and out of herself too)!

And there are the days of pure frustration when the day IS filled with chores and I fear that I am missing opportunities with them... Days when they just want to veg with a DVD or antagonise eachother or whine... oh Whiiiiiiinnnnneeeeee! Days when they just throw themselves around the garden with a tonne of energy and I still feel like I should take them on a fifteen mile playpark to playpark hike! I am SO glad for The Idle Parent book! http:// Well, now that Hettie is in her own room I may get to finish it :-) - Check out the Idle Parent manifesto... Had me in stitches!

When I'm not stressed by the moment I know it's all an incredible feit of endurance... Living with your OWN family... getting to REALLY know the children you have brought into your life and figuring things out between you. For example, I really believe that they are starting to get into sinc with my 'hormones'. I explain to them somedays just 'don't push Mummy today... Mummy's very irritable because...' It's truly important I let them know that we all have low or grumpy days... it's all about learning to live with people. Can you tell I had a bad moment today!

That was a rant wasn't it!

Over the hols she has had plenty of dates with her old school pals and meet ups with the home ed groups too... but yes, there are some things that I am starting to miss (and I am only being super sensitive at the moment because Hettie has decided that she is now happy in her "OWN bedroom thank you very much Mummy" - bottom lip comes out and starts to wobble) the regular network of Hettie's old toddler group (so it's probably just the fact that by baby is growing so fast too)... Getting a grip as I type.

Anyway, interesting recent topic and top questions from Milly are "Who were the first Mummy and Daddy?" and "Who lived before the Dinosaurs?" Well, all I can say is that Darwin is getting a good look in at the moment and a trip to the Library for the other part today... It really has stopped me in my tracks this time with the 'Just how deep does one go with (an almost) six year old?' Whilst the girlies were choosing some books I was looking for a book on 'creation'. My old RE lessons from school have left just memories of utter boredom and disbelief since I always felt strongly about Evolution. I think it stems from the weekends where Dad and his old mate (and sadly late), Pete would drag Sam and I to beaches 'fossil hunting'... Yes it was Sam who ALWAYS found the sharks teeth and belemnites! Still, I guess it tapped into us somehow! And look... some lovely pictures of Belemnites!http://http//

We found nothing really about how I can define to Milly other people's beliefs of 'where we come from'! She said yesterday that the earth and the moon were the first Mummy and Daddy and today it is Mother Nature (who she talks about quite often and with alot of affection!) and God! Hmmm. It's all work in progress really and that is from mine and Martin's point of view too as there doesn't seem to be a definitive explanation. We are all still learning about it all and when a child tries to rationalise the world around them you see how muddied, confused and complicated we as adults have made it!

I heard somewhere someone say that "the children in this world simply disappear"... In other words, they grow up and just become adults and I find that really sad. I recently observed the girlies with their pals the other day playing in the woods, watching them 'create' their own 'home/space' in the area where they were... A log for a table, a listing tree for a doorway... they knew that space over there was the 'kitchen', over there was the lounge etc... I had a complete flashback to when we did exactly that as children ourselves and I allowed myself to surrender to that state of mind of innocence again and just enjoy being there at that very moment and just 'being'... why can't it always be that simple!

Well, needless to say that Milly has learned that there are more ways to view the same thing... This could take sometime... I'm still lovin' it and Milly is too!

Half midnight and half alseep... starting to rant and blah blah blah!


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Iceberg adventure... In pictures

Hettie using the telephone from the 'Wendy House' to try to pick up the 'iceberg' which was rapidly melting. She learnt how very cold the ice made the water hence the reluctance to use her hands!

Milly getting hands on with the 'iceberg' and is quite amazed how quickly the ice melts. Another lesson for another day... Global Warming!

Blood from a stone!

I find, pleasingly, that most days are peppered with many, many random questions and even more pleasingly I am finding that I don't know the answers to many of them.

So here starts the opportunities to aid/assist/guide or whatever but also to just allow Milly the opportunity to explore the different ways she can find out!

Oddly, most questions are fired at me usually during the times when we can't access the Internet or even the bookshelf (which is ever increasing and creaking with the weight of reference books)... And some at times when I am in the middle of making the tea, and yes there is more than half of me that just wants to drop tools and go and find out and the rest wants to get tea on the table before we all start getting ratty from low blood-sugar levels! So at those times I do my best to answer the question and fully engage with her too whilst preventing a curdling nightmare (multi-tasking-domestic-goddess that I am). It's just nicely getting to the point now that Milly helps out with the tea and we can chat about other things while we are chopping or mixing rather than reminding her that eggshell and onion skins aren't really very nice to eat!

So just the other day Milly asked "Why did the Ice Age melt?" (it's all linked with the Movie and not, alas, with any reference to David Hempleman-Adams or Sir Ranulph Fiennes and their incredible feats of endurance across the ice)! There was very little precise information about this when I Googled it so her question is one of those 'open' ones we have where she refers back to it quite often and we discuss possible answers to it. With interesting outcomes and possibilities.

It lead on to a discussion on Icebergs of which we found loads about on You Tube. As we looked at the incredible images of collapsing icebergs the size of sky-scrapers and effervescing seas, I found that Milly was not glued to the screen at all... in fact I found myself encouraging her back to the screen with exaggerated "Ooooh... Wow look at THIS... it's Amazing!" And "I've NEVER seen anything like this... Look at this with me?" I did this about five times and really felt like I was trying to get blood from a stone to try to get her to engage with it... with me... with it... Oh it's all so interesting and very confusing at times. Hettie was enthralled by it and whilst Milly came back to the PC to look she just acknowledged with an "Hmmm" and "Uh huh".

I felt a little dis-heartened but felt that she must have just gleaned from the images what she wanted and that that was enough for her... So I suggested that we make our own iceberg... she was delighted with this. So into the freezer went the lunch box full of water and the following day we 'launched' it into the baby bath full of blue water (food colouring, to make it look a bit like the sea). First we chatted about whether it may float or sink, they both felt how heavy it was and this was getting quite exciting. They agreed with each other that it would float. It went in and with delight the the 'iceberg' floated but only just.

Most of the ice was under the water and a small fraction of it was showing (just the uneven part on the top - It was quite realistic actually). An excited discussion ensued about how and why only the little bit at the top was showing... I said that some icebergs were bigger than our neighbours house (that we can see from the garden). We looked at the house and I asked Milly if that house was an iceberg how much of it would be showing and how much would be under the water? She said that only a bit of the roof would be showing.. and you know that within scale I reckon she was pretty much spot on and that is another lesson for another day... FRACTIONS! I love this constant edge-on learning! It feels raw and totally organic! About the only organic thing we can afford these days! Hee hee!

Another lesson for all of us: 'Show me and I will always remember'.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Constant learning... for me too!

Before I post about the brilliant holiday we had, I want to quickly add something about a discovery I made!

We have now been home edding Milly officially for about 6 weeks now. Seemingly she is 'un-schooling' herself quite naturally and it is leaving a path of some quite interesting findings. Just the other night we started a 'sticker chart' for when Milly reads a book to either one of us, she gets a sticker... you know the story of incentive/encouragement/coersion... It's really just since Hettie has had one to encourage her to use the toilet to do poo's and not to do them in her knickers! Well, yes thank you... it seems to be working well for her. Hee hee!

Anyway, back to Mills. It was her idea to have the sticker chart so we went with it! She now see's it as a race against Hettie but I have told her that Hettie can't do them every day... and this lead onto a very brief but succinct 'we can't ALL do poo's everyday, Milly. Some of us have to wait. She didn't want to go any further with this discussion so we carried on with the story!

So Milly started and as she was reading I found myself beginning to 'study' her and listen too, of course. When she came to a word that she had difficulty with I suggested gently that she 'sound it out' which she did. It's interesting to note how contradictory the English language is. I became aware Milly's struggle with some words and found myself saying things like 'look at the word Milly... Look at it, darling'. Although Milly is well practiced at looking at the picture first to give her a clue as to what is happening in the story, she can usually figure it out and very cleverly describe it quite accurately and get most of the words right! I then purposefully added 'well where is the 'T' in that word, Darling. Sound it out again!' She wasn't looking at the page and was drifting (or so I thought) into a day dream! The word she was struggling with was 'Never'. I didn't ask her to look at the page this time I just watched her. After a few moments I said 'Look again, Milly'. But before I could complete what I was going to ask her she sshhhed me (quite rightly too) and said 'Hang on Mummy I'm trying to think of the word... eerrrrrrm it looks like it reminds me of the word 'Love'...' Looking again she said... 'Never'!

So a big lesson for me: Learn to 'Shut Up'! Yes, shut up and listen and let her drift because that is when she is working things out for HERSELF!

It reminded me of a passage from John Holt's 'Why Children Fail' when he talked of how he observed children in a class and what their 'habits' were when they were being taught and how some of us can be aware of when we are learning and how some don't!

It may be the case that she will always be a 'drifty, dreamy' kind of learner and I know from my own experience that that is not something catered for in some schools? She's already thinking of things 'outside' of what she is currently doing. And this is what we want to give her... the opportunity to develop and have comfort in her own style of learning.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

There has been a brief interlude!

Please bear with me while we settle back from being away with the family in the beautiful and remote Bourgogne region of France! The washing pile is still snarling at me and I am fraught with anxieties regarding keeping things 'going' in the diary for the girlies! I'd make a crap PA!

To be honest it's all just the big come-down from the wonderful holiday we had and me drying out from the amazing wines and rather yummy lagers which were sampled quite regularly through out the day! All done with incredible sophistication and responsibly too. I guess it's what happens at the 40 end of your thirties and with gorgeous babies under our wings. Hector enjoyed sipping the odd wine or lager and I was somewhat relieved that my two snubbed the offer from Aunty Sam and added "Yuk... Beer IS DISGUSTING! I guess it's all to come when they are teenagers eh!

I will ear mark an evening to get on line to fill you all in with the many activities we've done since the last post. We've had some lovely discussions and have done some research in areas that Milly has expressed interest. It's all in my head at the moment so providing that stays intact... I will be uploading it all on here shortly!


Friday, 5 June 2009

Bumble-Bees and Beaches

On Tuesday morning we found out "what bees eat". Well, I was pretty sure it was pollen but you know when you start doubting yourself and you think you are really quite dim and that you should know the answer...? No? I guess I'm alone on that one then! Hee hee.

Anyway, we looked on-line to investigate this burning question to discover not only that they did eat pollen and nectar but they were also related to Hornets and they (the Hornets) eat smaller insects as well as plant-produce! It lead onto a clip on You Tube of 30 Hornets slaughtering a 10 thousand strong colony of bees! They are quite formidable insects but the Bees really put up a fight. We halted the clip quite prematurely as it was becoming somewhat barbaric. And that was all before breakfast! We printed off a factsheet too... It has a great picture of a Bee on it!

After brecks the girlies made clay models of Bees which they have since painted and they used reference books with Bee pictures in them as a guide.

When we were looking for the Bees in the books we found out lots about many other species too, particularly wasps (there are SO many different ones) and their killing and eating habits. We also looked at and discussed Lion Ants. They make conical hides and wait for prey to fall in... great!

Before lunch the girlies put on a show for me in the garden. They took it in turns for one to sing whilst the other danced with ribbons on sticks. It was all done to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star... Milly made up her own words and much of them related to the Bees we were studying all morning.

Hettie was given a lovely Peter Rabbit floor Jigsaw puzzle for her Birthday and they set too with this. There was an unusual amount of co-operation from Milly though at one point when they had completed it, she really did want her own space to do her own (much smaller with fiddly bits) Jigsaw puzzle. I think Hettie is learning to allow Milly some space.

As they were doing puzzles I was preparing a small picnic to take to the beach at Mersea. I told them when I had finished and it was a great surprise for them... and it was a complete privilege too as I really think hard of Martin at times like this. He's stuck in an office and we're sitting on a beach, the sun is hot and there are only a handful of bods on the beach... A real sigh! Martin would love the calmness as did the girlies as they ate most of their lunch in silence. A nice time for processing all they have done that morning.

After our nibbles, we wandered further towards the water to do some 'treasure digging' in the sand! I asked them to hunt for different coloured stones. Milly asked "how do we know which direction the wind is blowing?" We did the wet-finger-above-our-head-method... "that direction, Milly" pointing towards the beach huts! Well... there wasn't a weather vain nearby!

We had a lovely afternoon at the beach and this continued at home when Milly's pal from school came round for tea. There was no awkwardness as I had anticipated and they played as though they had spent the day together... fabulous.

In the evening, Milly and I read a page each of one of her books.

The day was peppered with moments of art but for the most, she was 'at play'... and exceedingly happy.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Bloggs and my intentions

Just a very brief posting to purely remind myself to GET TO BED EARLIER!

We have had an incredible week so far and I have been documenting it... On paper with the intention to post it here. I will get round to updating our blogg and certainly before we go away.

It has been mostly a very mellow home this week with one exception (well probably a few more to be honest) of Hettie choking on a penny and, thankfully, swallowing it! Poor girlie... So now commences the search for the penny when she has spent a rather-large-one herself... eye watering stuff you know! Milly did get very upset about it at the time but all is well now... just have to wait for the 'goods' to turn up now!

Milly maybe really lucky and see the penny again herself when the Tooth Fairy visits. Yes, she has her first wobbly tooth! Alot of excitement here I tell you.

On the good news side of things, Milly has been sleeping so much better and as Martin put it "she doesn't have her little worries anymore". I hope that's the case anyway because whatever it is, she is a happier little girlie all round.

Letter went off to school on Wednesday so we are hoping at least to receive some acknowledgment from Mr Young and confirmation of Milly's de-registration.

I AM going to bed now... Missed my swim tonight so will be aiming to belt out some lengths next week!


Monday, 1 June 2009

Dreams and Times Tables

On waking this morning... the first morning of 'Officially' No School... I opened my bleary eyes recalling the dream I had. I had already had an unsettled night going over in my head what I would say to the Head Teacher, Mr Young about Milly's absence from school. My stomach was churning with the of emotions and concerns for Milly's pals who all seem a bit upset but also because we had a BBQ in the evening after Hettie's birthday party on Sunday and alot of very good chilled beer was consumed. Nonetheless, my dream... moving on: I called Mr Young a told him that Milly is now being Home Educated to which he replied (IN MY DREAM) "well, she won't learn as much as the others do in one week of school" to which my reply was (and I WAS very nice when I did reply) "You're right. We will just be taking longer to cover what she wants to learn, so it's ok..." At this point Hettie and I were woken by a seemingly well-slept and Mellow-Milly asking Hettie if she'd like to come to her room and play and "morning Mummy kiss kiss cuddle." Hmmmmm lovely!

As I laid there listening to them chattering and playing I texted Martin and I don't mind sharing the content with you (well, my Homeopath got to see it too!): "...Actually lost alot of sleep last night as the whole home ed thing is now SO real I'm actually feeling quite sick. I dreamt of telling Mr Young, not a positive response from him but good come-back from me. The support from different angles will start to be sought now as I am sensing a little 'floundering' from my corner! Will Hettie allow me time with Milly, will Hettie's needs be met too... It's all about more juggling and being organised and I'm actually now quite scared but excited... It's all a process we will all be going through and helping each other with. It's a real test for me, of my patience and commitment to their learning and of course parenting! Biggest job I've ever had! XX"

But you know how last thing at night and first thing in the morning things are just magnified. As the morning progressed I noticed so many positive things that would have gone by-the-by on a 'normal' day! The whole house was be-calmed and chores still got done, Milly had time with me and so did Hettie. It just seemed to tick-over beautifully.

I thought I would tentatively attempt a little routine by suggesting that the first thing Milly does in the morning is dig out a work book (you know the Gold Stars ones with phonic, maths etc) to do a couple of pages each morning. To which she very calmly suggested back to me that she would "...just grab these art books and do come copying if that's ok, Mummy!" Well, that was just fine. And she made a beautiful Lion Badge before breakfast and there was NO demand for telly either. Hettie was happy to draw her own thing and try to felt-tip in the art books but Milly soon (very grown-up-like) told her not to!

We all went to Dawn's this morning and whilst I was in the toilet with Hettie (dealing with her bottom issues and NOT mine thank you very much - hence the trip to Dawn's) when I overheard Dawn ask Milly if she was happy that she doesn't go to school and if she misses it and how will she learn now that she's at home. I winced a bit but then heard Milly's reply "...I love being at home and not school and I don't miss it and I can learn by hanging upside down..." the toilet was then flushed but I got the idea that she is happy.

Milly and Hettie created a person today in the garden using hoolie-hoops, bean bags and other outdoor play things, they had a space hopper race, Milly did her Music homework and getting mighty good at notation reading, she was asking SO many questions today about random things and the first of the day was "what do bees eat?" and "what does antagonise mean?" and it went on through out the day at various points and I quickly realised that what brilliant opportunities both the girlies have in learning to 'find out' for themselves. Mum bought them a fantastic children's dictionary and thesaurus (more for the older child but is brilliant for any age I would say) which is incredibly detailed with some pictures and diagrams too. We have yet to set up the PC in the lounge so reference books like these are invaluable.

We had a nice relaxed story today together, some more books from Mum (another great resource centre from Maldon hee hee) about Puzzle Castle and Puzzle Island with searching for characters and doing the puzzles through out the story (hmmm title kind of gives it away).

Milly had Music class in the afternoon which she enjoyed and saw her pals too.

This evening we were out in the garden doing our ten times tables (a very gentle introduction anyway). It wasn't planned I just thought on the hoof whilst we were watering. I tend to count in seconds the amount of time I water the plants, say the pots, they are 5 seconds, tomatoes and other fruit, veggies and herbs 8 or 10 depending on how dry it's been and 10 for the courgettes. We all counted to 10 per plant and Milly kept tally of how many courgette plants there are too. There are 12 and we counted 10 seconds for each. That's 120 seconds in total we counted this evening on the courgettes. This may be a good learning method for number bonds? Well, that's what I would like to think... I maybe wrong but then that would be another good lesson for the girlies to learn... Mummy is NOT always right (I'm never gonna live that one down am I ;-)).

We rounded the night off with our usual story together. Milly and I then read a page each of a library book (only way she will read to me) and she drew some more pages of her book "Chiply the Chick". It features Charlie and Lola and is all her own doing. She has the makings of a JK Rowling I tell you. I'm planning my retirement already... ;-) hee hee.

Off to bed myself now... well after on-line food shop. Sweeter dreams for me as Mr Young just does'nt do it for me (he is a very nice man though!).


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Responses, Reassurances and Raisins

Well, I should have put money on my old mate Tina being the first to add to this... and I am never let down by Tina and her ever-present confidence boosts and verbal pats on the back... LOVE you bud!

What a glorious day today though. Still air and warm sunshine... not oppressive as in previous summer days (as they go)!

We started our morning for the first time with a real element of relaxation (poor Martin having to endure the hideous commute)... I was sure that someone had secreted a Whale Song track in to our house as the energy was SO different!

First discussions over the breakfast table for a long while mid-week as I'm normally steaming about getting bags, shoes, coats and toothbrushes ready etc. As I was sipping Red Bush Milly asked how we can kill flies... nice! Most savoury whilst eating. However, she said she would use something big and heavy which led onto talking about how the fly always flies off just as you are raising your weapon to end it's poo and sick filled life! We talked about the minute hairs on it's body and it's little wings which sense changes in air pressure and that's why they buzz orf! I showed the girlies the fly swat and told them they are better because the air goes through the holes and for some reason the flies leave escaping a tad too late leaving us with a yukky mess to clear up.

So after Milly and Hettie had finished cutting bananas for my breakfast (yes I was somewhat fuelled quite well today... feeling it now though!) we carried out an experiment... not about flies no... about dehydration. Hettie talked about raisins during breakfast and I saw the opportunity to chat about this... They thought about all the types of dried fruit there are (quite alot actually in fact most fruit can be dried these days. They already knew that raisins were once grapes at prunes plums so we decided to try to re-hydrate them and we shall see in the morning what they look like as they are currently steeping in a tumbler of water.

Bird activity in the garden is on the up at the moment with all the baby spider clusters, much to Milly's (certainly not Hettie's) delight, and little bugs and beasties about. Lots of great tits bouncing of the garden walls and the house and diving in and out of the strawberry patch and buddlea (sp.) We searched high an low for confirmation of what I saw today in the garden and since Milly is desperate for a picture of a nightingale, we called our twitcher extraordinaire... Grandad, who said I probably saw a Yellow Hammer (it was beautiful) and "Yes, I'll bring a picture of a Nightingale for Milly on Sunday".

For part of the day Milly was a ballet dancer, a pianist, an 'evil girl cashier' whose customers were only allowed to buy "one thing only in my shop, Mummy!" I did try to negotiate two things... and won! Hee hee! Hettie was another type of dancer and soon a very wet one too as she's just learning that one has to consider getting out of the leotard before saying "I want a wee wee, Mummy!"

The girlies spent the afternoon with Grandma, Nigel and Aunty Janet today and helped Nigel build the BBQ Chimenea thing (very large BBQ constructed against the stack of the chimney). Hettie was covered in chocolate and concrete and Milly... just chocolate. Where was mine! Hmmm, rice cake for me then.

Must off now, cake to bake as this afternoons one was a blinding disaster! I blame the square tin!


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Our deciding chat...

Since Milly arrived in our lives we've been living with the 'five year' count down to school... I have never been entirely secure or even remotely happy about this but just went along with it as one does! "It's the norm... it's considered a child's natural journey". This just didn't sit comfortably with us and we have since come to witness Milly's discomfort too. However, this brief introduction to our blogg (I have to get on with shopping on-line for the week before I flop on keyboard... SO busy and SO tired) will hopefully enlighten a few, explain to some and enrich many about our exciting (probably frightening) and undoubtedly educating journey!

Today we had an impromptue but lovely BBQ and saw the opportunity to discuss the topic of leaving school with Milly. Hettie was scoffing Pasta (she's not a Barbie-Girl... some relief in that I think ;-)) when Martin asked Milly if she was enjoying the half term hols... "Oh yes I do" and he asked "why is that, Mills?" and her answer was "because there is no school and I don't like school". "Do you miss your friends in the holiday, Milly? Pass the chilli sauce please!" to which she declared "No. no because I can think about them instead and I have Hettie to play with and Mummy can call their Mummies and make appointments for me to see my friends and for my friends to come to mine for tea and things so it's ok... I don't like school."

So there in the plainest and simplest english was our answer... So here we are... Letter to Mr Young at the ready (waiting to be dated) and me with computer fired up ready to do a tonne more research for resources and probably alot of other stuff which I never new (which reminds me, I have to look on ebay for a new tent for our French hols)... yes, camping for two weeks! And yes the weather HAS to be kind to us Pleeeeease!

Right, I'm off now...I'm going to do shop then ebay then downstairs for wine and chill and to absorb it all... ready and willing to take my girlies on this exciting journey which I for one don't really know where we're heading... but it's going to be FUN!