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….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging, about everyday happenings that bring us joy, since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Thank you….

  • Merlinda Little The riddles game reminds me of that Tom Hanks film called Da Vinci Code! Its so awesome and sadly I am not very good with... 25 Feb
  • Louisa Your code wheels sound like great fun. My daughter is also fond of riddles and is always testing me with them. I enjoy the thought... 24 Feb
  • Craft Mother Absolutely. It ticks so many boxes but, most importantly, captures their imagination and creativity. Hope your son enjoys it in the future. 24 Feb
  • Craft Mother Never easy, but worth the effort. I need to keep reminding myself. 24 Feb
  • Christy I love the idea of riddle solving and hidden messages. Creative and gets them thinking! I'll definitely be using this when my son is older.... 24 Feb
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Sticky

Slice of Life

Additional

(snowdrops from above)

It’s been a week of added extras. Little extras. Nothing major. Nothing bad. All planned ahead. Some we’ve chosen and some imposed by others, but never the less, embraced. When something breaks you out of your routine, it can go one of two ways.  You can either welcome it with a smile or dig your heels in deep. I try the former.

To start with, youngest was offered a day away from school, attending a course at one of our local universities. Only one of his classmates was going. No teachers. He was excited, but also apprehensive of something new. Butterflies the night before, but he hopped off happily when the time came. Probably the best part was having this new experience more than the course itself. Opening his 10 year old eyes to the possibility of going to university.

We also had a next steps meeting for Eldest at school. I’m pretty sure that most of this could have been accomplished by a questionnaire, but a few interesting points came out of it, so maybe it was worth missing an hour at work.

Everything is focused on her exams this summer. She seems upbeat and keen to do well. Even accepting going in to school over the Easter holidays for extra classes that are being laid on.

I’ve bought the Corbett Maths revision cards to give her additional help. She already has two other online practise sites, but this one supplies the equivalent to flash cards, that she can carry around with her. They seem a good way to tackle the subject in bite size revision portions. I hadn’t realised they link to online practise questions (and answers and videos).  She’s started using them and finds them really helpful.

I love adding an activity for them all to do after school. Something that they probably wouldn’t do at school. Used to be art or crafting mostly when they were younger, giving them the chance to paint something of their choice rather than the focus of the art class at school.

One of my favourite activities is riddle solving. I pin riddles to the fridge for them to find, but it’s logic puzzles I love the most. I dug out one of my well thumbed code books from when I was their age and my old code wheel fell out.

After showing them how it could be used, I set up a series of clues. One clue leading to the next clue until they found their prize. The clues were written in code and the code changed in the middle of the trail, to keep them on their toes. I know they would have learnt it otherwise. They worked as a team to decipher the message.

They loved it and asked for more. Hope to get time this weekend to help them make their own code wheels so they can send messages between themselves. I’m also going to start showing them ways to crack simple codes, without a wheel next.

On the same theme, youngest and I had fun creating secret messages using lemon juice. This was fun, and I want to try some of the alternatives to lemon juice, with him.

The best kind of additional at this time of year is when you plant seeds (read old seeds) and more than three come up. That is my kind of additional. Won’t be long until after school activities will include helping me in the garden.

Hope you have a good weekend. Joining in with Jocelyn’s #wotw. What word sums up your week?

The Reading Residence

Space

There really could be only one word for this week – “space”. Although, for the record, “gloves” came pretty close, as I’m knitting my second pair of the week.

But space wins. The children have been on half term break this week. Of course it rained. For the first half, at any rate. By the time they had exhausted their usual non-screen pastimes such as drawing, reading and torturing each other, they started perfecting their “at a loose end” look. So I reeled off a list of ideas, until one of them sprang on my suggestion of jigsaw puzzles.

Now, I imagined they’d go for a quick 100 piece jigsaw. One that could be done in one sitting, allowing them even more time to work on the “I’ve nothing to do and why is it still raining?” look. No. I was wrong. 1000 pieces. Then another child joined in, bringing out a 500 piece puzzle. Before I knew it, I lost my kitchen table under a sea of little bits of coloured cardboard that could not be touched by anyone else and had a tendency to jump over the table edges, as if on a mission to experience the wild and break free from the herd.

The 500 piece jigsaw took two days, but was quickly replaced by another 1000 piece jigsaw. The table was now covered with 2000 pieces. How they are not muddling up puzzles, I do not know. I cannot vacuum in case I permanently lose pieces and this jigsaw situation never ends.

We’ve been eating our meals on our laps. Three or four days. I’ve lost count. If only I had extended the table before they began. I’ve started to help. In a desperate attempt to eat at the table tonight. (Also because I cannot resist a puzzle) Continue reading

Restore

It’s been very tempting to head back down my burrow again, this week. Cold weather. Demands on my time. Too long a to-do list. To counteract the urge, I’ve given myself time to be creative and be outside. It’s worked.

Over the weekend, I made my Cleo dress (for non-dressmakers, such as my husband, yes, some dress patterns have names. It’s not me being quirky – this time).

While I sewed, jobs around the house were put on hold. Meals were simple affairs such as pizzas, with extra toppings, thrown in the oven. I was able to start and finish the project in next to no time. Within 24 hours. A satisfying feeling.

Next up, I knitted a pair of gloves from the left over purple yarn. When I started, these were meant to be for me. Not for long. Once my youngest tried on the first finished glove, that was it. He wore it for the rest of the day. They were referred to as his gloves before I knew it and he paid keen interest to when the other one would be finished. So finished I did. A surprisingly big hit with him, as he actually wears them to school.

I’ll have to make some more for me.

Creating something that goes straight into daily use is good for my soul. My new Cleo dress has been worn a few times. Sometimes when I make something, it takes a while for me to feel comfortable wearing it. Not with the Cleo. I could live in it from the start.

It was also fun to use my creativity to set up a themed American diner evening this week. In the short time I had to set it up, I had fun and I know the children enjoyed it too. A good reminder for me that it doesn’t take much to turn the ordinary into something memorable.

Not that I’ve been the only creative one. The children’s music practise is much easier on the ears now a days. I’m grateful for them sticking to it for all these years. Honestly, listening to them play recognizable pieces as they work towards their grades is a real pleasure.

For all you parents out there, listening to plink, plank, plonks and screech, screech at the early stages of musical instrument learning – hold on in there. There is a glorious light at the end of the tunnel, that is worth waiting for.

Getting outside has also helped me fight the urge to burrow.

Wednesday we woke to a thin layer of snow. Not enough to cover the garden. More as a lacey offering. We’ve escaped the snow this winter, compared to the rest of the country, so this made a pleasant change. After dropping youngest off at school, I took my camera out into the garden.

As I wandered around the winter neglected garden, I became aware of something small fluttering in the trees beside me. Took me a few minutes before I could make out a tiny goldcrest, scutterling around and around the closely packed branches of our holly tree. It had a totally different perspective of the tree to me. It saw corridors where it could fly and hop. I saw a tree. I couldn’t help watching its progress. Giving me a fresh perspective.

This week has been restorative. In simple ways. It would have been easy to disappear back into my winter burrow again, but I’ve had a few wonderful moments to restore my soul that make me glad I didn’t.

Joining in with #wotw with the word “Restore”. What word sums up your week?

The Reading Residence
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