York Part 1-The National Railway Museum

We finally decided to break our January hibernation and have a field trip! Since starting this blog back in 2010 I haven't done a single post on York because we haven't been in years. So I'm breaking it up into two parts otherwise I wouldn't be able to put all the photos in!
 
From Bailey being round 2 years old we visited York A LOT. Mainly due to the lure of the National Railway Museum. He was obsessed with trains from being two years old till around about 6 years old so he loved it there. I visited on the train with him when Piper was only 6 weeks old to see Thomas the Tank Engine, in fact since Bailey was only 5 when I had Ruben all the younger three made trips here as babies, its almost a right of passage haha! I think at one point Hubby and I would have been able to walk around this museum backwards, blindfolded and in our sleep. So its taken me a while to face coming back to it again-felt a bit sad coming without Bailey for the first time but I'm slowly getting used to that now he is at college.
 
The younger three, clearly had forgotten how many of their young years have been spent here and looked upon the museum with fresh eyes so I tried that too.
 
Suddenly the Japanese Bullet Train was relevant to Piper's project on Japan and before I could move they were all sat inside talking  "selfies". Reassuring Hubby and I that today was not going to see us dragging around 3 bored children around museums today. They actually loved it!
 
 
Inside the bullet train:


These photos are for Piper as she wants to learn to write some Japanese and maybe even speak it too:
 

They all found their ages on the seat numbers

 
This was a rather shiny and vintage looking train called the Duchess of Hamilton from 1938, wish I'd gotten a photo from the front as she was very Art Deco!


They enjoyed the Flying Scotsman exhibition and Cordelia even found time to do an East Coast Route wall jigsaw:


She got a very cool comment from a staff member on her war paint too, which I'm pretty sure made her day, or at least was a break from all the stares! Goths on a field trip   ;-)

 
The Pullman train was very much like a modern train but the video inside was funny!
 
Below was a postal train, there was a really old black and white film playing which showed how the post was sorted whilst the train was moving and also how they dropped off the post sacks at each station, was really interesting actually.


I love all the old Station signs and I have so many photos of the children in front of this clock that I couldn't resist taking a photo of it. This was one of their favourite parts of the museum because it is where they keep the trains of Royalty which are just spectacular!
 
 
A great morning spent here-I'd highly recommend a trip to the National Railway Museum.


Mardy Bums, Cells, Japan & Maths

Mardy Bum is a bit of a Yorkshire saying-Arctic Monkeys even wrote a song about it!- and so when we had a much needed escape from hibernation after the snow fall into Sheffield City Centre, we noticed this bench:
 

We must have passed it lots of times but only just noticed it today. And since our youngest son has been a little bit of a "Mardy Bum" of late it felt very fitting...
 
We have been doing a bit more formal work whilst the weather has been cold, normally I dread doing anything that actually involves written work-it isn't always welcome, its gone very well. Piper has been finding out about all the different islands that make up Japan and writing in her project book. She has even printed off maps! Cordelia has been working on Plant and Animal Cells as part of her Human Anatomy Project, we watched a few videos on Brainpop but she has mainly been usisng a GCSE Biology book, so far so good. Ruben has been playing lots of YuGiOh, especially since he started going to a new gaming group, which he is loving. He has also been doing lots of Math work, mainly fractions. I asked my home ed friends on fb what games they would recommend and they all came up with some fab ideas for homemade games as well as lots of things on Amazon. As yet I haven't bought anything and using something we have ourselves seems like a much better idea to start with and then I can see how we get on. Some of the games look very expensive and some look way too young for Ruben, I think its something the girls could do with doing too as its something that we haven't covered in a long time=it nevers hurts to refresh yourself with old information.
 
So far we have used mealtimes as a good example since its rare all 6 of us eat the same meal, i.e what fraction of us is having chicken? We've also used it with buns i.e. if I eat 5 of these 12 buns what fraction would be left, what fraction would I have eaten? And lego pieces, what fraction of the lego pieces on the table red? green? blue? Sometimes you need a point in the right direction, even when it might be right in front of your face and totally obvious to another person. I have always struggled at seeing wood for trees....
 
Amongst al of that Ruben decided  to build himself a tin foil Pok√©mon army for no reason other than they all looked good in tinfoil, can't really argue with that..



Cordelia is working on her painting of things that aren't horses with this dragon in watercolours and ink:


Busier and more productive January so far than I had anticipated.

Playing in the snow & sledging

 
The first snow of 2015! So far, we have already had more than last year. Ruben wasted no time this morning going out to build a snowman, in fact he built two!
 


They looked very funny later on when they started melting-like two snowmen doing garden yoga!
Some photos from around the garden: The Minehut we painted last summer, looks pretty in the snow


Ruben helped Hubby clear the drive, just in case we needed to get the car out for any reason. Was hard work but meant none of us was cold!




Then we decided to give sledging another try, you may/may not remember my post on sledging from two years ago in January T'is Snow Joke? Sledging usually ends badly for our children....
 

But, and this may be due to the fact they are getting older?! there were no tears or tantrums!!! Photo of hubby and the youngest two above (older two decided to stay indoors on the wifi...)
 


Hubby and I even had a go. I love how everything looks SO pretty in the snow. Felt like we could, nearly (I did say nearly) be in the Alps (I wish!)
 



Fun in the snow with NO tears hurrah!

Learning as we Go!

Still mainly hibernating our way through January, we have hardly put any diesel in the car this week which indicates how little we've actually been out! It's been really cold and we seem to have settled into a home groove. Doing art, watching documentaries, playing games, lego, baking cakes, reading books, talking and planning trips for warmer days!

Cordelia drew this lovely horse picture, I think she must draw close to 30 horses a week at the moment!


Piper has been back to sewing projects, this time hair bows out of gingham fabric and some of her lace stash, she then hot glued them on to hair clips:



Cordelia had a bit of a baking disaster with a chocolate and vanilla cake so she went with what she is extraordinarily good at and made millionaires shortbread instead! It was very well received by us!



Piper raided my patterns and found one she liked so we went to the market and bought some basic fabric for her to have a go with. She spent ages cutting out all the fabric pieces and organising them:



She did a great job with the bodice but really struggled with the skirt and so as yet it remains unfinished....doesn't help that I am rubbish at patterns and can't offer much in the way of guidance. I'm just kind of learning it with her but that's a bit like all of home ed for us-learning as we go!


Tuesday talks

Today Piper finished off the bookcase-well I say Piper I mean hubby waxed it for her and then moved it upstairs to her room. It looks lovely. I'm a bit jealous I love the pink colour of Antoinette.



Elsewhere, Bailey is home this week due to the college tutors having a week off to mark work, seems a bit silly giving they have only been back a week.....but who am I to argue.....

Ruben and I sat and looked at more volcano resources, finding out about the most active volcano on Hawaii "Mauna Loa", finding out what the Earth's mantle was and where the "ring of fire" was and why it was called that. Was really fascinating stuff. We printed off a periodic table and stuck it in his project book, then we looked at the chemicals that most rocks are made up of and Ruben wrote them down in his book and we looked for them on the table. He knew quite a few from his Minecraft t-shirt!

Cordelia decided to give a Barbie Shelley a bit of a make over, into Jinx from Black Veil Brides of course...who else?


But when she wasn't doing that she drew this:


Making the most of having his big brother at home Ruben has played hours of Yu-Gi-Oh cards with Ruben who has a new collection thanks to one of Bailey's friends having a clear out and selling them on to us. A huge new collection to look through.

The girls and I managed to squeeze in an episode on GA-which is becoming great for biology, thanks to an episode we learnt that you can have two uterus's and a baby in each one. News to me. It is feeding right into Cordelia's interest of human anatomy at the moment.

Piper was super excited to have her new pettiskirt arrive in the post, she has bought it from Etsy and is very impressed with the floofyiness of it, according to her if it can stand alone on the floor it is superior quality.

Hubby has made pizza for tea so all is good with the world ;)

Monday Painting, pony club & volcanoes

Today was all about decorating, Bailey's room needed painting so hubby and I got on with that whilst he was at college. Meaning that by the time he got home everything was painted and all his furniture back in place including the all important tv/xbox. #teamwork

Meanwhile elsewhere in the house....Ruben had a pc day, playing Minecraft and watching Dan & Phil videos. In between playing Sims on the xbox, watching Teen Titans and playing secret spies with his nerf guns. 

Cordelia played xbox and did some digital art. 

Piper got started on painting a bookcase reclaimed from Bailey's room ready to go in her room:


I am a big fan of Annie Sloane paints, their easy to work with, don't smell and nearly every piece of furniture in our house is painted in one of her colours, or colours I've mixed myself from her paint. So it's nice to see Piper starting her own Annie Sloan projects!

  
Cordelia had Pony Club where she got to groom some very wet and muddy ponies. She loves it and it's great practice for when she has her own ponies!

Hubby, Ruben and I watched the second part in our volcano program "into the volcano" http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04yfk0x/kate-humble-into-the-volcano-episode-2

Was some amazing footage in this episode.

The weekend

Yesterday was spent in the company of friends who we hadn't seen yet this year! The boys had a great catch up and so did the parents. Lovely start to the weekend.

A very quiet and chilled Saturday, before we left for a trip into Chesterfield Ruben decided he wanted to try and freeze his plastic dinosaur. Fortunately he found my little pampered chef ramekins because he didn't ask and just covered the dinosaur in water and stuck it in the freezer. Had to explain that ordinary glass would have shattered in the freezer, so lesson learnt there!

However it was good science working out the process of freezing the water and he kept putting it back in to freeze more as he could still see bubbles moving under the ice.



A trip into town to the main library, saw Piper get a lot of seeing books out. She is trying very hard to begin making her own things and hubby found her this great book:


So far she's just reading along to the instructions but we will probably have a go at some point this week. Was nice to get out in the fresh air for a bit. Back home and we had a girly snuggle whilst we watched GA.

Sunday saw some of us being a bit lazy, watching TV, playing on PCs and Xbox whilst I made sugar free granola (not as bad as it sounds!) and soup for Monday and also this rather yummy Nutella cheesecake to take over to our friends for lunch:


A lovely afternoon with old friends, who surprised us with a beautiful book of our vow renewal photos. Lots of which we hadn't seen before, was incredibly thoughtful and I felt a bit teary. The children all played (yes played!) so nicely with the younger ones. 

Loving chilled January weekends