Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Plants by Post

Boykin's Beaver group did some fundraising with a seed catalogue. I ordered 3 tomato plants and they arrived today :0) They came in a little clear plastic box in a cardboard sleeve. The tiny plants weren't even in pots or anything. I was wondering how you could send a plant by post. I think I expected parcel post or interflora but they came with the usual postman and the letters.
Anyway, they're all planted up now in the living room window. I picked them because they are 'hundreds & thousands' which means we should get lots of incy wincy fruits :0) Can't wait!
3" high baby toms :0)
Other than that, we've had, in retrospect, a busy day. Maths first, then looking at the pictures in Miss Rumphius  before trying to paint lupins. The leaves proved quite tricky... for me at least but I think they enjoyed it. Boykin certainly enjoyed painting his hands all over yellow to be some Dr Who monster of his own making :0)
Then they watched an old Magic Key video while I made lunch, which became part of an ongoing Dora game they've been playing all week which has totally buried my dining room floor and is now starting to annoy me because of the state of the floor. I WANT to vac up. I do, I do!!!
They did manage to clear a space just big enough to fit in Boykin's new book Kraken Attack which The Girl read to him while I washed up. It's a lovely book and right up his street. It opens out into a 3D scene and has little paper characters and paper spaceships to act in it. (Thanks Mum). They spent an hour this afternoon listening to Torchwood  on Radio 4 whle filling in a Postman Pat sticker-type workbook and scratching a giraffe (see below) ;0). Then we had unexpected visitors which involved cups of tea, rabbits on leads and playing Dr Who. After that it was time for swimming, watching Hook, reading stories, supper and bed.

P.S. So glad I decided to add the link to the tomato plants, I've just seen what they're supposed to look like when they're grown. Think I might have to move them outside after all......

Tasty Tuesday Lunch

The Boy has football club at the local infant school on Tuesdays but apparently today's lunch by The Girl wasn't in anyway connected to this :0)

Lovely football sarnies adapted from The Girl's favourite cookbook:0) The boot is filled with tuna, sliced spring onion and sweetcorn all mixed up with mayonnaise, topped off with baby spinach leaves. The trick is to scoop out the bread so that your filling fits inside and doesn't dribble all down the sides like mine did. Bootlace holes are made out of sliced black olives with red pepper laces. Boot studs are halved olives too.
She filled the ball for The Boykin with cheese - has to be Red Leicester or he won't eat it - and the same salad-y bits as the boots plus cucumber. The Girl had lots of fun making them and we all hd fun eating them - even if  mine was a wee bit messy (rolling eyes).

Before lunch we actually got some other stuff done. Boykin did half a page of French and started his new maths workbook. He's on Yr 1b and very excited by it :0) The Girl read about 3 chapters of her latest library book and finished the maths page she started yesterday. They both did some Mega English - Boykin was working on consonant cluster word endings and The Girl was learning about comparative and superlative adjectives. Then they decided to give me a lovely concert which was a great excuse to leave the washing up til later ;0)
The Compere
The Star

The day also involved making pirate hats.....

....and trying to retrieve rabbits from under bushes. There are no photos for that and there was very nearly no bush!

Today's workbooks were....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tasty Tuesday week 3

The Girl's still cooking and loving it :)
Today we had Chinese stir-fry - her first veggie meal. It was delicious. The egg part is made into an omelette first and chopped up to go into the veg and rice. We were particularly impressed by the addition of soy sauce to the egg mix. So much so that there wasn't nearly as much egg in the stir-fry as there should've been ;)

The instructions in her new cook book said to cook the rice as it said on the packet. After a brief 'discussion' I convinced her to cook it the way my SIL, H, told me :-

Put rice in a saucepan.
Cover to twice the depth in COLD water.
Put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil.
Immediately switch of the gas (I reckon  if you're cooking electric it's probably better to move it to a different ring)
Leave the lid on the pan. DO NOT take it off!!
Leave for about 20 minutes (or as long as it takes a smallish person to chop veg and stir fry it)
Take the lid off the pan and - voila! Beautiful unsquidgy, fluffy rice :0)
So much better than the pans of mush I used to produce that needed rinsing about 5 times in boiling water to be edible.

Cheers H. Top tip :)

The Girl's review of this book so far, which is entirely her own is "It's worth the money. I like how it shows you pictures of the ingredients before you put them in so you know you've got the right stuff"

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Home Ed day in photos

Merry at  A Patch of Puddles is hosting a blog  carnival of Home Ed days in photos. I thought it might be fun to join in :) So here goes.....

Toss-the-teddy maths - Boykin working out the answer to an equation before he 'throws' the answer back with his teddy. We do MEP maths and this is a regular activity in Yr 1 - although they suggest using a soft ball......

 The Girl does her own maths quietly behind him
 Now he's learning all about the number 10
 The Girl learns her 6x table singing along to musical times tables tape. It worked. She knows them now. (And yes, I did mean a cassette tape - that probably comes under history these days, doesn't it?)

Collage making for our FIAR book Miss Rumphius was interrupted by the postman delivering a storage box for Boykin's Storybox magazine.
We decided to look at jungles/rainforests for Miss Rumphius which prompted Boykin to get out the Tiger notebook we made when we won a DnG giveaway :) He also got Wee Gillis (another FIAR book) out to read again in and amongst this but I failed to take a photo.

Back to the collages whilst listening to me read a chapter of The Silver Chair

Drawing Miss Rumphius

Miss Rumphius by Boykin
Miss Rumphius

The Girl's collage complete with her Miss Rumphius drawing

Rowing a boat with Sporticus
A quick visit to LazyTown
Then it's time for kitchen jobs while I make lunch

Siding cutlery

Siding crockery

After lunch there's just time for a bit of music...
Youtube karaoke followed by...

...a cornet lesson and Little Einsteins on TV

Back home, Boykin builds with meccano while...

.....The Girl and friend enjoy more karaoke before Brownies.
The wee boy helps me make tea, chats about Doctor Who LOTS and then gets ready for Beavers

Listening to bedtime stories
At Beavers he planted cress and brought it home so that he can keep a seed experiment growing record (nice timing for Miss Rumphius). At Brownies, The Girl learnt how to play touch rugby with a member of the local rugby team.
Then it's all home for supper and stories and bed :) Tonight's stories were another chapter of The Silver Chair, Aliens Stole my Dog, Pollyannna and today's poem from Read Me Out Loud.
I've really enjoyed trying to do a whole day's post in photo's. It helped me to realise just how much we get done even when we seem to be doing very little. Of course, the photo's don't show the conversations and the franticness of trying-to-get-somewhere-on-time-for-once cos Boykin refuses to put his shoes on and The Girl is halfway through a song and hasn't got her cornet together yet...... But it was a pretty good day for us and the kids were interested in the idea of having a full day in photo's. Maybe this is something to do again :D

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tasty Tuesday

The Girl has been cooking again :0)
Tonight we had salmon lollipops with cat and mouse baked potatoes followed by banana, strawberry and raspberry smoothie. More yumminess :)

The Girl's recipes (adapted from Annabel's Kitchen: My First Cookbook cos we never have the right ingredients and improvise lots)

Salmon Lollipops
2 pieces of salmon fillet skinned and cut into cubes
2 1/2 fl oz fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons treacle (not golden syrup)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
8 bamboo skewers soaked in water for as long as it takes to make glaze :)

1. Put orange juice, vineagar, soy auce and treacle into a pan and bring to a fast boil for about 3 minutes until it goes syrupy and rduces a little.
2. Pour the glaze into a shallow dish and let it cool.
3. Meantime, pre-heat the grill on a medium heat.
4. Put the salmon cubes onto the skewers and dip into the glaze until they are covered all over.
5. Cover a baking tray in foil, place the salmon lollipops on the tray and grill for 5 mins or so.
6. Turn then over and glaze again. Cook for a nother dew minutes until cooked through and allow to cool slightly before eating. (Treacle glaze is very hot)

Baked potatoes were cooked first then scooped out. Use the innards to make mash potato as normal and add chopped chives and grated cheese. Put the mixture back into the skins and cover with more grated cheese. Grill until brown. Use cloves, olives, soft cheese, raisins, red peppers, in fact, anything you like to make them into any animal you fancy :)

Fruit Smoothie
serves 2
2 bananas, cut into chunks
2 oz raspberries
2 oz strawberries
1 150g pot raspberry yoghurt
a couple of squirts of Sweet Freedom natural sweetener for sweet toothed people (or any sweetener you like - it was just what we had in our cupboard)

Put the fruit and yoghurt in a liquidiser and whizz.
Pour into glasses and add sweetener to individual taste.

The Girl's verdict - Delicious! The best meal I've ever eaten :)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Morning Maths

Today was one of those days the kids really like when the MEP lesson plan gives them a chance to play with toys :) Actually, the lesson plans are designed for classroom use so they actually recommend using children. Fortunately, I don't have 9 or 18 children (imagine all the washing! Eek!) so we used action figures and dinosaurs instead :0)

Year 1, lesson 73 - making 9. And yes, he's in his pyjamas :0)

 Year 2, lesson 121 - dividing 18 and writing equations.
Year 1, lesson 74, q. 3 - using dinosaurs to work out the logic problem. In the book it's eggs on plates, dinosaurs, pots and number cards made it easier - and more fun - to solve. Each side ofthe triangle must add up to 9 without repeating any of the numbers.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Dinner by The Girl

The Girl has been asking for a long time to do a project her older brother did when he was HE. She wants to plan a weeks meals, shop for them and cook them. As preparation for this, she's decided to make one meal a week until she gets a bit more used to cooking :) Today was her first attempt :)

Lasagne - she made the meat sauce in the slow cooker this morning. I got her to make twice as much as necessary so that we can freeze some for another day. The bechamel sauce she made later, while Boykin was at Football training. She was very pleased because it didn't go lumpy at all :) Both me and the Girl had seconds AND there's leftovers for tomorrow. Yummy!

This was followed by banana ice-cream. A really simple recipe from Annabel's Kitchen: My First Cookbook which really just consists of freezing bananas and then whizzing them up. A completely dairy and sugar free recipe :) Boykin wasn't impressed, he said it tasted like banana porridge - which he doesn't like. We enjoyed it though, especially with a drop of chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands.....oh, bang goes the sugar-free pudding then ;)

It's great she's enthusiastic about cooking....I just wish she was equally as keen to wash up. Ho-hum!

The Girl's Lasagne Recipe
Meat sauce
1lb minced beef
1 onion whizzed up
1 stick celery finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
a little water (about half the empty tomato tin)
a little olive oil for frying
fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil and gently fry onion, celery, carrot and garlic until onion is soft. Put in slow cooker.
2. Brown mince in same pan. Put in slow cooker.
3. Put tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs and a little water in pan. Sprinkle with pepper. Bring to boil. Pour over other ingredients in slow cooker and stir.
4. Cook on medium for about 5 hours.
5. Preheat oven to gas mark 6.

Bechamel sauce
1pt milk
2oz butter
2oz plain flour
freshly ground black pepper

Parmesan Cheese grated

1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Add plain flour.
3. Add milk a bit at a time, stirring well to avoid lumps.
4. When the sauce has thickened, add nutmeg and black pepper.

Put a layer of meat sauce in a lasgne dish. Cover with lasagne sheets. Add a layer of bechamel sauce - about a third of what's in saucepan. Add another layer of meat sauce - use it all up. Then another layer of lasagne sheets. Then add the rest of the bechamel sauce and sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes until golden brown.

We ate it with a green leaf salad :)