Alphabet Photography Project | Q is for…


Q is forWe made some quill pens a few weeks ago after finding lots of beautiful large duck feathers by Ladybower Reservoir in Sheffield. We haven’t done much writing with them but they are quite good fun to get out once in a while and experiment with. They also make quite good photo props when you need to find something beginning with the letter Q!

Linking up with Podcast and the Alphabet Photography Project.



Meal Planning Monday 1st September 2014

OMG, it is September! Seriously, this year has flown by!

But even more amazing is that I am still meal planning! I never thought I’d manage it for this long but it has been so useful that I am well and truly hooked now. It has made a huge difference to us all.. the  kids are eating better and it has really helped us budget and save money.

Straight on to this weeks plan then:

Monday – Macaroni Cheese, garlic bread

Tuesday – Jacket Potato, chilli beans, cheese

Wednesday – Satay, noodles

Thursday – Chilli Beans, rice

Friday – Quorn Korma

Saturday – Taco’s

Sunday – Meadow Pie


Project 356 (2014) Week 35

Week 35#236.. We’ve been promising the kids we’d take them out on bikes all summer and today we finally managed it. We went to Nonsuch Park and despite not cycling for a while both Thomas and Jasmine managed it straight away! Ben did really well on the balance bike too so we really need to get the pedals back on and get him started soon.

#237.. We braved the EcoLocal Environmental Fair today, despite the very heavy rain. The fair was pretty quiet but we still managed to have a great time. The kids made mini scarecrows on the Community Allotment stall and we bought a Venus Fly Trap!

#238.. We had friends round today and it rained again so we stayed indoors. By about 3oClock cabin fever was setting in so I printed off some colouring sheets and we sat down and did some colouring. It calmed everyone down nicely!

#239.. Back at a local nature reserve with our home education group today. We collected some berries to use in  recipes but mostly the kids played. They also found some chalk and did some sums on the wooden play area!

#240.. There was a breeze in the air today so we went to Morden Park and flew our kites.

#241.. A fairly quiet day at home and the kids did a mosiac each. They really enjoy doing these and once finished I think they look great.

#242.. I am going to start teaching Jasmine and Thomas to play the recorder over the next week or so. We only had 2 recorders – both bought at the Church Fair – so I decided to buy myself one and it arrived today. I can’t wait to get started now!
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Alphabet Photography Project | P is for…


P is forEvery year we go to the local Pick Your Own Farm in September or October and carefully select a pumpkin to bring home. Well, I say “a” pumpkin, but really we get several because the kids want one each to carve and I love pumpkin soup so I get one just for cooking too. I love looking out over the field of pumpkins and squash… Autumn food at its best.

Linking up with Podcast and the Alphabet Photography Project

Meal Planning Monday 25th August 2014

So I guess this is the last Monday meal plan of the summer.. or was that last week?! It has been so wet and miserable here today I reckon summer has said it’s goodbyes already!

Food wise, well a BBQ was suggested as a possibility for this week until we checked the weather! It will be indoor meals only, and being the last week of the month it has to be budget meals too..

Here is this weeks plan:

Monday – Spaghetti Carbonara, garlic bread

Tuesday – Pizza

Wednesday – Home made soup, crusty bread

Thursday – Pasta Crumble

Friday - Egg Fried Rice

Saturday – Either scrambled eggs and wedges or dippy eggs and toast

Sunday – Sausage rolls, mash, veg



Our Home Education Week | Back in Business

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about our home education hasn’t it. I think I managed three weeks before I failed – no, I have just checked and it was actually five weeks. I am going to blame the summer! The summer of playing and catching up with friends got in the way!

But the nights are drawing in and the weather has definitely turned cooler.. summer seems to be on its way out. And with that the kids have been showing signs of needing more structure to the days. Well that or they’ve just had enough day trips and play dates for a while! Whatever the reason we seem to have turned a corner and they actually asked for some work to do this week. We still managed to fit in a couple of days out and some outdoor adventures, but we mixed it up with some sit down at the table work too.

On Monday we went to Eastbourne to visit Granny and Grandad. We were quite late arriving because a) we were late leaving our house, and b) there was an accident on the motorway that closed the road and we were stationary for about 15/20 minutes. Apart from that the day was fairly uneventful. We went to the sea front to see the burnt down pier and we went shopping and bought some (more) loom bands.

On Tuesday I spent a large portion of the day preparing scavenger hunt cards for our home education group meet up on Wednesday. The kids did some colouring and played with Lego.

On Wednesday we went back to Devonshire Avenue Nature Reserve, this time with the HE Group. Most of the kids took part in the scavenger hunt but Jasmine spent the afternoon catching grasshoppers instead!

WednesdayThursday morning saw us at Twins Club and the kids played outside. In the afternoon we went to Nonsuch Park on scooters.

On Friday we went to a Wacky Warehouse to meet up with some family. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins and all three of them ventured above the ground floor! This may not be much to some people but for Jasmine and Ben this shows a huge jump in confidence. When we got home they all needed some down time so I gave them some sheets I’d printed off about Superheroes (our current project) and they coloured in the front cover for their project book and Jasmine and Thomas completed a wordsearch each.

On Saturday we spent a lot of time in the garden. Gordon and I tidied up the shed and the kids played with toys they haven’t seen for a while as they’ve been buried under other toys! Jasmine and Thomas also both made their first loom bracelet using the loom. While we’ve been making them on pencils for a while I bought a loom this week and so we are learning to use that now.

And today.. we went back to Nonsuch Park this afternoon but took bikes this time. Since Jasmine and Thomas learnt to ride a few months ago we have only taken them out a couple of times so this trip was much overdue. I was slightly nervous that they’d both have forgotten how to ride but after a couple of false starts they did amazingly well! Ben’s confidence has rocketed too. He has previously insisted on riding a balance bike that is far to small for him but today he went on Thomas’ old one with the pedals removed. He did so well we are going to put the pedals back on some time this week (weather dependent) and then we’ll have all three on two wheels!



Project 365 (2014) Week 34

Week 34#229.. This week started much the same as last week ended. We had a quiet day at home and the kids got started on their “Superhero” project books.

#230.. We went to Eastbourne to see Granny and Grandad and we took a quick trip down to the sea front to see what had happened to the pier. It is so sad to see it all destroyed but it looks like they are started the restoration work already so that was great to see.

#231.. Another day at home. I can’t really remember what the kids got up to because I spent a large portion of the day – and evening – making these “Nature Trail/Hunt” cards for our Home Education Group meet up the following day!

#232.. So after I spent so long yesterday making the Nature Hunt cards Jasmine decided not to do the trail at all but to sit under a tree collecting grasshoppers instead! She caught five in the space of about 20 minutes! Luckily the rest of the group enjoyed the trail so my time wasn’t wasted after all!

#233.. A wonderful afternoon spent with some lovely friends. We took scooters to Nonsuch Park and had a brilliant time. The smiling faces say it all really don’t they!

#234.. So yes we are loom crazy in our house! We started a few months ago and the collection has been growing and growing but until this week we’ve just been making simple bands on pencils. This week though I finally bought a loom and I have been making all sorts of bracelets and charms. So this morning I decided to organise the bands… Don’t they look good all sorted and tidy!

#235.. The kids have been desperate to have a go on the loom but I wasn’t sure they’d manage it. I showed both Jasmine and Thomas how to make a simple single bracelet this afternoon and they both managed it. I love the look of concentration on Thomas’ face.

Scooting in the park

Yesterday I braved something I have put off for far too long and I took the kids out to a local park with their scooters by myself – well with a friend but without Gordon. While I have no problems taking them out for walks, adding wheels to the equation usually fills me with dread! Last time I tried it over a year ago I ended up carrying the scooters after all three kids gave up once they’d fallen off several times each, and I swore I’d never do it again!

In the last few weeks though they have all moved from their 3-wheeled Micro (style) scooters to 2-wheeled versions and they appear to be much better using these new ones, even Ben who never really got the hang of his 3-wheeler. So when a friend suggested going out to a local park perfect for scooting I decided to give it a go. The kids were over the moon!

We went to Nonsuch Park, a local historic public park and one we’ve been to a few times but never really explored fully. Luckily our friends know the park well and took us on a lovely route round, through woodland and on great scooting paths.

Nonsuch 1

Once in the woodland there was lots to explore and we didn’t go more than a few metres before the scooters were abandoned on the path and the kids were running up banks, climbing trees or peering in holes. Jasmine found spiders, ants, crickets and woodlice so she was happy!

Nonsuch 2 Nonsuch 3As we left the woodland we came to a meadow full of tall grass and the chirping of crickets and grasshoppers. The scooters were abandoned again as the kids ran into the grass to hide, roll, run, and catch more insects!

Nonsuch 4We were out for a couple of hours and I didn’t have to carry any scooter! The kids had a really great time, nobody complained about being tired and I am pleased to report I would probably do it again!

I think this photo sums up the afternoon perfectly…

Nonsuch 5

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall