Thursday, August 01, 2013

Update, update, read all about it....

Ok, so no massive news to tell, just a chat about every day goings on here in Devon.

The weather has been beautiful today, in stark contrast to the dull and blustery scenes we have witnessed over the past few.

This week has really been all about planning and 'working'.  I've been putting together a few ideas for projects for the children - Victorian Britain and Ancient Egypt for the older ones (although their list of want-to-do's is ever growing so there will be more), and ABC, Colours, and the Hungry Caterpillar book style ones for Taisia.  She has recently started picking up books and attempting to identify the letters in the wording so I think we are ready for a bit of alphabet recognition.  Colours she is well on the way with although she does tend to sometimes get them mixed up so I've been trying to put together some useful and fun ideas for her.

I shall of course be sharing these on the Classroom Free resources page for anyone else to use should they wish to do so, I envisage them to ready (giving myself plenty of time so I don't feel the pressure of days gone by), in a week or so.  I'll post here and on the FB page when uploaded.

Talking of Classroom Free, I sent out the first email newsletter to signed up members today.  Wahey!  It only took me around three hours to sort everything out although it doesn't look as though even five minutes was spent on it!  For those that don't wish to have me spamming their inboxes, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email.  For those that are going to continue allowing me to enter their little worlds via their emails, I promise that September's newsletter will be much more informative and useful with less drivel.

So, what else has our week entailed?

Well, remember moody broody Clarabelle chook?  I ordered her in some (hopefully) fertile eggs as we don't have the services of our own cockerel as yet.  They arrived and were allowed to settle after their postage ordeal before popping them under her on Tuesday.  She is very happy to sit on them which is beautiful to see - the way she makes sure they are 'just right', nudging them with her beak ever so gently as she positions them as she wants.  I'm just hoping she sits on them long enough to get us to approximate hatching date (of August 20th) otherwise we will have to fire up the incubator again and I really don't want to do that if I can help it, nature is far better at dealing with such things than a machine and human intervention ever could be.

We have been keeping up with our evening walks.  They have become quite a family tradition now and it's rather lovely.  Because of our quiet location the dog can be let of the lead whilst walking on the lanes, and that frees us up for an uninterrupted natter as we admire our surroundings.  Our springer spaniel, like oh so many others I have heard about over the years, will not walk sensibly on the lead.  We have tried various harnesses and headcollars, we have tried numerous (I mean LOADS) of differing techniques, but none have ever worked.  Honestly, it's like battling with a Tasmanian Devil when trying to get her to walk calmly.  She leaps up and jumps around, bounces like a galloping horse on the spot, spins and turns, tries to walk between legs, she really does just want to run free.

Off the lead is a different story.  She won't venture further than say 10-15 ft ahead without turning around and running back to me.  Her recall has never failed us yet (she will be 7 years old this year).  For the past few walks with her I've been trying something new, getting her to walk at my side off lead.  Where we were previously this could never be done,  we were right on a main road and even the most well trained animals can behave so unpredictably.  I would never have chanced it.  Here though, in the countryside of quietness, I can have her walking totally by my side without a lead.  It's astounding, like she is a different dog.

Oh dear, sorry to go on but it is a huge thing for me not to have felt like I've done 10 rounds in a boxing ring followed by a marathon run when I return from walking the dog!

I shall shut up now and share some photos...


I just love how the conversation flows as we are walking.  When this one was taken, Tiegan was at my side.  She too had her camera and we were talking about different angles and various shots.  This led on to talking about how when I was growing up, photography was a whole different ball game, and how cameras then had films that had to be bought and then you had to pay to have them processed and developed.  There was the fiddly fitting of the film cartridge, the attaching of the film to the 'teeth' and the wind on wheel that you had to remember to use after each shot.  We talked about how each film used to have a set amount of exposures, 24 or 36 if I remember correctly, and how it was often (for the average family photographer) pot luck as to what sort of pictures get returned to you in the package through the post (or collected at the store).  Very often the lighting conditions wouldn't be right and that treasured memory of a once in a lifetime holiday or experience would be tarnished due to being too dark to see or too over-exposed.  There were often times when heads were half cut off or something weird was going on in the background.  Unlike today when you can check on the digital screen and have a good idea of what the photo will turn out like, you didn't have that luxury.  If you retook the photo back then you were wasting one of your precious number, now you can retake 10 or more times, choose the best and delete the rest.  Tiegan was listening to all of this with great astonishment as she clutched her Fuji Finepix Digital camera in her hand and thought how easy it was to use in comparison.  She asked many questions.  I said that some people still preferred to use the cameras which needed films as they enjoyed the processing side of things or the effects they could achieve with them.  We agreed we should check out some of the older style cameras and find out more. 

Back to the walk...

Taisia asked for this one to be taken with her 'bro'...


I don't think I shall ever tire of this beauty.  I know I shall enjoy watching the change of seasons from this spot just up the lane from our house...




Kids love climbing gates don't they?



Callum is turning into quite the poser :)


As always, hug stop offs are demanded...


And Joseph finally let me take a photo of him to share...


Taisia said to Chelsea "Let's sit and chat"...


and she found a tractor to love...



I just love love love this photo below.  It beautifully sums up what childhood is all about for me....


Love the freedom...


Love the closeness of the siblings relationships...



Love the views (yes more views)...



Love my little nature child...


and her wish to view gaze for ages...


 

and Callum too...


Each of our walks are finished with hot buttered toast and jam for supper.  Simple but blissful.

Can you see why I am so content with my lot?

And then on top of all this wonderfulness, I get added love and surprises.  My gorgeous hardworking husband (this is him if you don't already know...)


who sacrifices so much in order to work long hours and provide his family with a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Well he came home from work this evening with these beautiful flowers...


and grapes, he knows I'm loving grapes at the moment.  Yesterday it was a gift of chocolate.

I'm a lucky girl.

In other news I had a wonderfully fantastic long distance cuppa with a gorgeous friend.  We talked on the phone for absolutely ages and it was a real joy to hear her voice and share my day with her.   We have also had a flurry of butterflies descend upon us.  It appears that they have rather taken a shine to the lilac bushes we have here and we have enjoyed watching them frolic around us, dancing in the sunshine as they flutter and play.  This inspired the younger ones to make their own frolicking butterflies.  At first it was thought it was a good idea to draw, colour, and cut out a butterfly shape before attaching it to a piece of cotton string.  Then it could be dangled from the attic balcony and blown gentle about in the breeze. That kept Taisia amused for, oh, all of 20 seconds.  Then she wanted them to be free!  Paper butterfly after paper butterfly were 'released' from our balcony and set sail for freedom.  Fortunately they all just fluttered merrily down to the ground and decorated our patio ready for collection later on...


(That table was cleared about 20 minutes previous to this picture being taken)




This was repeated two days in a row - Molly and Mabel and the ducks wondered what on earth was going on.

There has also been biscuit baking and cake making going on...


Hama Beading...



Computer time with Daddy...


(This picture was taken just after Taisia and I had shared a bath, hence Taisia's soggy haired look). 

and eyeshadow palette painting - clearly we don't need expensive art materials in this house, I shall just throw them all out!


So I think that's just about it and you are all caught up with much of the goings on.  I'm looking forward to the next two weeks as husband has taken a holiday from work and celebratory days are abound (my birthday, our wedding anniversary and husband's birthday all within 5 days of each other).  Fun :)

Just a quickie reminder to enter the Classroom Free book giveaway if you wish to be in with a chance of winning the John Holt book 'Learning All the Time'.  Details can be found on this blog posting here...

Book Giveaway

7 comments:

  1. absolutely beautiful. what a wonderful life you have. thanks for sharing, and loving the pictures. gorgeous kids too. so much love!
    claire (supermans head)

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  2. some lovely photos!!! another lovely week. xx

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  3. Thanks x I enjoyed reading about your day x

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  4. Wow, where you live looks so similar to where my mum and stepdad live, and I've often thought it would be a beautiful place for children to grow up. I moved there when I was 16 which was a bit trickier (no transport, no friends around) but now I appreciate the beauty all over again when I visit. Your children are having a wonderful childhood :)

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  5. Where you live is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing about your beautiful family. Your children are so lucky to grow up with such freedom and in such a lovely environment.

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  6. Just catching up (where does the time go!) How'd your broody get on? We have one here who is currently sitting on 4 runner duck eggs (which will be *interesting* ;) )

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  7. Adorable children, lovely farm, breathtaking views, and a close knit family...couldn't ask for anything more could you? We live on a farm but we don't have as nearly the lovely views you have. I enjoyed seeing your pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    I also want to invite you to link-up with the Let's Homeschool High School September Blog Hop. The theme this month just happens to be "Back to School"!

    http://letshomeschoolhighschool.com/blog/2013/09/03/homeschool-high-school-september-blog-hop/#.Uip51saURCa

    Best wishes this year.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie
    Let's Homeschool High School Team Member

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