Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Mosque trip, horses & lego

Today we had a home ed visit booked to visit a Mosque in Sheffield. Its quite an iconic building in Sheffield and we have drove past it lots of times, we missed the last trip there so I was pleased when this one came! Hubby managed to pop out with us as it was his last full day of work before going part-time and the visit was only an hour long.

We arrived on time but unfortunately not everyone turned up so we were quite a small group, which was great for us as that's how we prefer things.

Inside the Mosque I didn't actually take any photo's as it didn't seem appropriate and has it happened we had a bit of a nightmare moment when we were in the prayer room. Bailey has had a rough week since his four teeth were taken out and hasn't been feeling his best, bless him and he'd had some painkillers after breakfast. BUT it was quite warm in there and a little dark, plus the yellow lines on the carpet meant he had had a severe migraine attack. Hubby turned around to see him just about to faint, he had gone completely blind and was in a bit of a tangle. Was a very scary couple of minutes I can tell you. Hubby took him outside and got him some water. He was so pale, he was practically white. I stayed with the younger three and we finished our tour, even though my heart wasn't really in it at this point as I was worried about Bailey but as only a few of us had turned up it didn't seem right to rush out of there. I can't remember much but here is what I can remember:

  • The Mosque faces South East towards Mecca
  • Everyone stands shoulder to shoulder in the Mosque to show they are all equal
  • Muslims pray five times a day
  • Mecca was the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad and a site of the revelation of the Quran
  • The Quran is the central religious text of Islam
  • All able Muslims have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime and its called Hajj
The Mosque in Sheffield cost £4.5 million to build and was completed in 2006 but work is still continuing. There is a beautiful chandelier that has just been installed in a second prayer room which the children loved and Ruben remembered that it held 200 lightbulbs and Cordelia that it cost £45000 but that it would have cost £180000 if bought in the UK. It was shipped from China. It was HUGE!

Back home and Bailey had some lunch and plenty to drink before having a 2 hour nap! Obviously he needed it and felt and looked much better when he got up again. Meanwhile I took Cordelia off to her second horse riding lesson, she had a different instructor this time but worked just as hard. Her left leg is still a bit wobbly-so I'm expecting a growth spurt soon according to her instructor. She was working on her balance and gallop today.

Helping to put the saddle away-it was heavy!

Back home and the girls set to work building their new Lord of the Rings Lego Attack on Weathertop-they used their own pocket money to buy but we managed to get it at a bargain £30!

Another Frodo and golden ring

Monday, 29 April 2013

On the Cusp of Great Things......

Today was a little bit of a sad day for the girls-their last singing class. They have been going for just over two years now and its been a lot of fun for them, its done wonders for their confidence-more Piper's really as she is quite shy. They have loved their teacher and are really going to miss her lots but the girls have grown up lots in the last 2 1/2 years, which is to be expected really! Their changing, their thoughts, interests, ideas and attitudes are all coming in huge waves-its all new to them and to us and its such an important job we have ahead of us as parents. I've said before that each of my children require different parenting styles as they are all so different-that's four different parenting techniques!- and its important, so, so important that we guide them well through the next few years of hormones and changes. So far I think its going well, the children are happy and confident in themselves which I think has a lot to do with being home educated, now more than ever do I appreciate the advantages of home educating. They have this freedom to be who they want without  judgement from peers. They are lucky enough to have many home educated friends who are equally supportive and non-judgemental. There is no trying to "fit in" with everyone else in your school, their free to please themselves, wear whatever they want, listen to whatever music appeals to them, talk to people they want to talk to, NOT talk to people they don't want to. I can't believe how important this all is now I think about it-I suppose we shall see how this effects them in later life but I really can't imagine the effect of not having the pressure at school in the teen years will have on them. When I took the older three children out of school these were not things I thought about too much-it was over 5 years ago now and those things seemed so far off in the distance. Now we are approaching them faster than ever and its suddenly made me aware of how important the next 5 years are going to be in their lives, how the experiences they will have will shape them and their future and it seems we made the best decision all those years ago because I can't imagine how our life would have been if we hadn't. I'm not sure I would want to either.

I'm so in awe of how the children are approaching their teen years and coming into their own identities, I'm so happy that they can talk to us so openly about anything that's on their minds, ask us questions and that their life is so happy. They have parents that not only love them all so much but love each other so much and are best friends. Tomorrow marks a huge day for us-its hubby's last full day of full-time work. After tomorrow he will work part-time hours around our home ed life whilst we both work to grow our business. I'm so excited and so emotional because its something we have talked about for such a long time and I really can't believe its actually here and happening. I feel so lucky to be able to spend every day with my best friend, no more work nights away, long working hours, work stress! More family days out, more time chilling out together, home educating our children together-it all feels too good to be true and like its happening to some one else. I'm so excited about the future and all the things that we have to look forwards too!


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sudbury Museum of Childhood

We've visited Sudbury musuem of Childhood before but its been around 2 years so it was nice to go back, or so I thought! It caused a lot of confusion when we got there because I failed to book our educational visit a week in advance. There were four children and myself with a home educators card. I completely understand the need to book an educational visit if a) your a school group or b) your expecting a private tour but we were neither of those things. I don't usually plan visits a week in advance nor do I plan a curriculum with trips realted to what we are learning about, that's just not how we roll! Home education for us is about seeing and doing and living in the world around us, follow the children's interests and passions and some occasional strewing of things we think they might be interested in. I been a member of National Trust for several years with different memberships but found the home educators discount membership of £36 a year to suit us best as we don't usually visit in school holidays or weekends as we like to visit on quieter days. But if it means we are going to have to book a week in advance I'm not sure this membership is for us. I'm quite disappointed really and thinking of complaining, I asked HE friends on facebook if this had happened to them before and apparently its just us!

Moving on....

We still had a good day looking at lots of old toys and spotting a few of our favourites mixed in too.

Cordelia would have loved to ride in this when she was a baby...or even now actually if she'd fit...

The girls had quite a few of these Sindy items a while back before she was bumped for Monster High-wonder if there will be a cabinet like this of Monster High dolls when my grandchildren are born??

Ruben thought this doorway looked exciting..

Hmmm, think I should have switched my flash off! The boys enjoyed looking at the Star Wars, Dr Who and E.T. toys in this cabinet

We think this dragon looks like Smaug....

Looking for toys they recognise in this cabinet. We found lots of toys Bailey had when he was little like Bob the Builder.

Playing with marionette puppets

Ruben really loved this story board, it had lots of magnetic pictuires that you placed on a plain board and made stories. The girls had a go too and created a story with trees from Lord of the Rings and a wizard named Gandalf, of course!

I really like this collage of a Rabbit made up from magazine pictures, it looks like Piper's soft toy rabbit Mop.

Cordelia really loved this toy cow which originally made noises and could really be milked!

Bailey and Ruben found some Brio track to build, ahh that brought back lots of memories from Bailey being small. From the ages of 2 years to 6 years he built a brio track everyday to play with, hubby and I are also excellent track builders thanks to the 4 years of intense Thomas the Tank Engine days!

There is a lovely playground outside, which seems very popular because there were more people outside than in the whole museum!

After a play and a picnic lunch the children wanted to play a game of chess on the lawn, four games later and nearly an hour passed! People kept stopping and saying how good it was that they all knew how to play. We taught them on holiday in France in 2009 with a Lord of the Rings chess set! If only we had known that LOTR would become such a huge part of our lives back then... Was very, very relaxing, am thinking of buying them a garden chess set for the summer.

We had a lovely walk around the gardens, I loved how these trees had been planted, from every angle they were in rows-diagonally, vertically and horizontal-very cool.

A sloth Ruben, very rare spotted in the wild.....

And a gothic princess in a tree too :)

We had a walk around the churchyard and Ruben spotted this outside the entrance to the church. Piper told him it was for scraping your boots on.

We actually enjoyed reading the names of the graves but it was sad seeing how young some children were when they died. Lots of interesting names though

We had a quick walk through the village before hubby picked us up and we spotted this in a garden. The house was called "Stocks Cottage". 

Back home and hubby and the girls decided on a game of Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. Hubby had picked it up from a carboot for £2! The girls won....no shock really!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Emotional Teeth & Catrine DeMew

It's been an emotional kind of day, Bailey had two of four teeth removed this morning at the dentist. Neither of us were looking forward to it and I really wasn't sure how he'd deal with it-he has a very low pain threshold (so did I pre-childbirth!). But as always with my children he surprised me by being very brave. It was hard to sit there and watch when his hands were shaking, I so wanted to jump up and hold his hand! I literally had to sit on my hands to stop myself I felt so useless. He looked so faint when he got out of the chair and his mouth was a bit bloody-he looked like he'd been in a fight! He recovered himself a bit by the time we got home and I fussed around him lots, cleaning his mouth up. We'd bought him a new Xbox game at the weekend to take his mind of today so he had a play on that for a bit. I made him a bagel and scrambled egg for lunch and he had some painkillers as his jaw was hurting a bit understandably. This afternoon he's felt much better and eaten his tea with no problems. He says its weird having two of his teeth missing though :( back at the dentist first thing again tomorrow for the other two out-he wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible, then he has two weeks before his brace is fitted. I'm so proud of my big (taller than me now) boy!

The rest of the day has been spent mainly in the garden-the sun was out yay! Cordelia and I had a quick trip out to get the new Monster High doll she'd ordered from Asda "Catrine DeMew". I'm hoping to have my hair that colour by the end of the week hehe! She's uber cool, Cordelia says she doesn't have friends because. "The city is her friend" ooh la la! Tres chic.

The girls and Ruben were very excited to get their own pedometers in the post this morning. I've been trying to do 10,000 steps a day with mine and the children were so intrigued that I bought them all a cheap one each so we can see how many they do each day. So far Ruben is winning...

Ruben also got his Pokemon cap in the post this morning and its not left his head since!

Piper, Cordelia and Ruben have spent ages playing on the trampoline, running around with the dog and generally running around the garden whilst I had the huge task of cutting the grass! Another reason we moved into this house was because of the lovely big garden-or at least it will be lovely when we've had a few more days cutting back and reclaiming the garden from overgrown plants and bushes!! It's been lovely to watch the children running around and playing together in the garden I'm SO pleased that Spring has finally arrived!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Film Mondays

We've had a bit of a lazy Monday today, much needed by all of us. Last night Hubby and I watched the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Emily Blunt (brilliant film BTW) after it finished Netflix recommended Young Victoria. As we recently had a trip to Kensington Palace and really enjoyed finding out about Queen Victoria I thought Piper would enjoy watching it. So I put it on and Cordelia and Ruben came and watched it too it was a really good film and I'm a big fan of Emily Blunt, I thought she portrayed Queen Victoria well but Piper noticed several parts that were exaggerated-she's a really big fan of Queen Victoria. It made for a really good chat about dramatising films and history though. 

There was lunch and a quick trip to play outside and then we sat and watched a favourite of mine, I'm a big fan of Anne Hathaway too! There were lots of laughs during this film and as there were elves in it everyone was happy-loose link to LOTR!!

After liking the snake Heston in the film Ruben went and drew some pictures and created his own book:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sutton Scarsdale Hall

We've had a pretty non stop weekend this weekend, and two whole days of sunshine and mild weather! We have spent a lot of the weekend mooching round the car boot sales locally, which is something we all enjoy doing to be honest. Bailey had his first work experience this weekend with running a stall himself, the girls and Ruben all took it in turns helping too and all four were given a percentage of the profit. Both hubby and I think its important for our children to be able to appreciate money and I'd love it if they could all have their own businesses rather than working for other people. This weekend was hopefully the first step towards that, I will do a blog post in more detail on this in the future I think.

Anyway besides that we did some gardening too, which was nice. The children really want to get some things planted but we're not quite ready for that yet, hopefully will be soon though. Our garden in this house is much bigger and requires quite a bit of TLC.

Bailey had his Warhammer group on Sunday and so we took the opportunity to have a drive up to Sutton Scarsdale Hall. We haven't been up for ages but I've seen it everytime we have driven on the motorway recently, its sits on the hill above the M1 opposite Bolsover Castle and not far from Hardwick Hall so its in pretty good company! Sadly though Sutton Scarsdale did not fair too well and is now just an empty shell, you can see that it used to be such an impressive house and less than 100 years ago the Arkwright family would have been living here.

Richard Arkwright made his money during the Industrial Revoloution and we visited some of his mills in 2010  Matlock Mills and Masson Mills. I had forgotten about the connection, the small town just near Sutton Scarsdale is called Arkwright Town too. Arkwright also bought estate from Florence Nightingale's father, which we found interesting since she is in our family tree! Small world...

This would have been the back of the house but as it would have been the seen on the approach to the house it was given a beautiful façade too.

A little sad to think what a magnificent home it once was.

You can still see some of the beautiful baroque decoration in this room.

This is how it would have looked in 1919

And now....behind bars you can just see a glimmer of how it once was.

The front of the house is really quite impressive and it must have been so imposing at the time with its sweeping drive.

Ruben shouted me over to see the views! You can just see Bolsover Castle on the hill.

Ruben found a great tree to hide in.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Boy and a stick.....

Because really what else do boys need? My youngest boy is at his most happiest on a walk in the great outdoors with the excitement of a new found stick!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

3D Jigsaws, High Winds & Walks

Today didn't exactly go to plan, we were booked on a home ed trip to the synagogue but it was cancelled last minute. It was a shame but I was so tired today I was a bit relieved! Rubens BFF invited him over to play so hubby dropped him off whilst the girls and I dusted off the sewing machine. Bailey decided to tackle this 3D jigsaw of Camelot that hubby picked up from the car boot at the weekend. Little did we know it would be a several day project! I'd like to say he enjoyed it? But that could be a lie...,,,

The girls meanwhile decided to make some monster high bedding, they picked out material from our scrap basket and set to work measuring the dolls. We made a template from paper and pinned it on to the material before cutting out. The sewing machines were playing up a bit so we had a break for lunch and then took Tallulah for a walk. It's been really windy here in Sheffield and as we walked our usual route we noticed theses trees that had been uprooted-there was gusts of around 60-70 mph so not surprising up on the hills.

A quick play in the playground for the girls just showing your never too old to be silly! My second trip to this playground this week!

Back home, a quick cup of tea and we tidied up the sewing to finish another day and went to pick Ruben up. He'd a poke-tastic day and was shattered!

Bailey didn't finish the jigsaw, by the time we got home he'd given up for the day & gone on his Xbox!