Sunday, October 26, 2014

GORILLAS, EARWIGS, AND DISTINCTIONS…

Thursday:
I woke to the pitter patter of rain dancing on the windows and immediately gained that ‘one of those days again’ feeling.   Although I quite enjoy walking in the rain, and none of us here are immune to a bit of fun puddle jumping, the wet stuff falling does make the morning chores a little less enjoyable and the poor goats often look really fed up as they peer out of their abode and realise it will be a day indoors again – they don’t ‘do’ rain.
Ho hum.
The chores were completed and it was time to head off out in the car to do the morning college run.  We then continued on to town and went to the library – colouring in was done, pencil sharpening was learnt (Taisia), and books were read.  We chose a selection of both non-fiction and fiction to bring home with us, then went for a stroll around.
Tiverton recently acquired Beverley.
Photo courtesy of www.middevonstar.co.uk
The life-sized gorilla statue certainly adds a bit of colourful interest to the town, and is often the cause of much discussion.  I love watching the children interact with her, touching and stroking her bright paintwork, studying her facial features, and comparing their size to her.  Today Taisia asked about where Gorillas lived and what sort of food they ate.  She said that Gorillas were massive!  I asked about baby gorillas – were they massive too?  Taisia said that the baby ones grow up to be Gorillas.  I said we would look on the internet to find pictures of so she could see that even the babies are still gorillas – just much smaller versions.    It made me think about a her perception of size and the way she links it to an animal.
Once home we wrote our our five postcards to send off on their postcrossingadventures, then snuggled on the sofa to watch a documentary on bugs.  Callum was particularly taken by the Earwig section and wanted to do a bit more research so we followed it up with a bit of googling.
I went to pick up Chelsea and she was literally walking on cloud nine.  She was late leaving college and said she had had to stay behind to talk to her Psychology tutor.  It turns out that Chelsea had gained a distinction for her first Psychology essay!  Of course she was thrilled.  Not only that, but Chelsea had also received a distinction for her first English Literacy essay that same day.  What an achievement!  Chelsea was home-educated for 11 years since the age of 7.  She has never sat any examinations or written essays in any formal manner.  To receive distinctions for her first attempts took her by surprise and she is a very happy girl – I’m a very proud mama – not surprised – but very proud.
At 8pm I settled down with Twitter for hashtag #homeedhour, whilst Taisia sat next to me on the sofa working through an alphabet workbook. If you have a twitter account, type that into the search and it will come up with chatterings between home-edders.  Home-Ed hour is a weekly happening, each Thursday between 8 and 9pm UK time.  It often turns into #homeednight as we don’t know when to stop nattering.   All those with an interest in home-education are very welcome to join in.
Friday:
After dropping Chelsea off at college, we went for a walk along Tiverton Canal.  It was touch and go with the weather.  Rain showers were frequent, but we managed to dodge them in the main and stayed pretty much dry.  We armed ourselves with a couple of loaves of brown bread for the ducks.  Boy oh boy, did they appreciate our offerings?!  I’ve never quite seen a feeding frenzy like it – this picture shows not even half of the ducks that came over for food.  The noise was incredible.
duck frenzy
We walked…
wandering
admired the amazing autumnal colours…
colour
and noted the peacefulness and tranquility that the quietness conveyed…
bridge
Saturday:
My Saturday was at risk of being a total washout.
At 4am I was awake with a heavily beating headache and a definite feeling of nausea.  I had fallen victim to migraine once more.  Try as I might I couldn’t sleep and the migraine continued to attack with force.  We had planned on going out to buy Amara her first pair of shoes today but that didn’t look possible, each step I took was accompanied by dizziness and the feeling I should stay close to the toilet – just in case.
Amara is very close to walking unaided.  She spends much of her days practicing for such – taking steps to the table from the sofa and back again, an accomplishment of around 8 to 10 steps each time.  She is determined to succeed.  No amount of trips and falls and bumps and bruises will stutter her will to conquer this developmental stage.  It is rather inspirational to witness.  Try, try, try again.
I dosed up on medication and tried to lie down with eyes closed as much as is possible with children in my care.  After what seemed like many many hours of agony, the pain started to subside and I wondered if a dose of fresh air might aide my recovery – so we hit the city.  Our shopping trip was a success – we found a pair of shoes that fitted!  No mean feat when you have a little lady determined to thwart your efforts of shoe trying.  Amara tends to scrunch her foot up into a tight ball when you try to place anything on her feet, making it impossible to get anything to fit.  We had wanted to buy a pair of shoes and a pair of boots plus wellie bobs  for her, but we gave up after just the shoes were found.   What an ordeal!
Baby’s first pair of shoes though – such a milestone. *sigh*
I was a very happy mama when I spied this through a QS store window…
case
It is perfect.  Exactly what I was looking for to hold all of our world explorer study series that I’m currently putting together.
In the evening, whilst eating takeaway pizza, we put together a meal plan:
Sunday – Pork Roast, vegetables and yorkshire puds.
Monday – Pea and Mint Soup, with home-baked bread.  We base it on this recipe, adding cream instead of yoghurt.
Tuesday – Bacon Grill with Cauliflower Cheese and salad.
Wednesday -Lentil and Vegetable Soup with home-baked bread.  We tend to throw in whatever vegetables we have to hand, and add in barley.  We base it loosely on this recipe.
Thursday – Meatballs with roasted vegetables.
Friday – Party time.  Not only will we be celebrating Halloween in a spooky fun fashion, we shall also be celebrating Taisia’s 4th Birthday.  4?! FOUR?!
Sunday:
Again, nothing much to report other than an exploding head – or so it felt.  Another migraine hit me hard and again I had to work hard to suppress the nausea.  Fortunately Lee was at home and only too happy to take on childcare duties.  He took Callum and Taisia out for a walk whilst I slept with Amara.  They strolled along our beautiful surrounding lanes, admiring the views, searching for berries, and looking out for signs of wildlife.
together
free
I love the fact that we can walk out of our door and the children can immediately find freedom within their surroundings.  It’s exactly the childhood I envisaged them having when we embarked upon the dream finding mission.
Next week is half-term for Chelsea so I feel as if I have a week off from playing taxi-driver.  Will be nice not to be dictated to again for a while regarding the time we have to leave the house.  Relaxing routine here we come…

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