Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Ends of November

Its been a busy week in the Barras household, a week that has seen us go from 4 to 6 to 8 children and back down to 4 again. We had a birthday party and are now on a two day countdown to Ruben's 10th Birthday. I keep reminding him, as I do every year, that he should have arrived on the 19th! He told me on Monday "But mum I wanted to be born on the 30th so can we just leave it at that?" Fair enough! I think I may be in some sort of denial as having all four children in double digits in two days time is quite scary for me. When Ruben was born Bailey was 5, Piper 2 and Cordelia 1 and even though it does feel like 10 years ago it doesn't at the same time?! Its also strange to think that 7 years ago we made the decision to home educate and I was gathering lots of information and tentatively telling family and friends our plans to remove the eldest three from school after Christmas. That means our 7th year home educating anniversary in January to look forward too. In 18 days time my eldest daughter is also going to be a teenager, making two official teenagers in the house, I always get a little emotional towards the end of the year and am feeling it even more so this year.

We have spent much of the week planning for Ruben's Minecraft party, I've spent a lot of time reading blogs about Minecraft party ideas and Hubby has spent most of the week making some fantastic party game ideas. The girls are helping me with party food so its all covered and we have a very excited boy on our hands. He has had a haircut this week-much shorter than his normal haircuts but still longer than he initially wanted. We popped into the village craft shop for some party bits and pieces and found these fab mini animal projects. Ruben chose a Lion. All the pieces come in a small egg and then you just peel the foam pieces and stick it all together, he thought it was brilliant.

The girls had two of their best friends over to sleep on Monday, they haven't seen each other since August so there was a lot of catching up to do! They stayed for most of Tuesday too so there were lots of Monster High/LPS/Animal Jam games going off in between watching Mean Girls and drinking hot chocolates. Ruben's friend D popped over to see us on Tuesday, he has just gotten into Minecraft so Ruben was able to give him some help and tips on the game and we got to discussing the differences between the Xbox and PC games. Bailey passed me one of his gaming magazines to read an interesting article about Minecraft and its educational values. I'm really beginning to see the educational value for Ruben as his reading skills have come on so quickly and I think that's why he is now wanting to be on the game so often. He has built the most amazing rollercoaster track this week, and was explaining to me how the redstone makes the cart speed up because of the energy. This lead to us talking about the periodic table and watching the periodic table song on YouTube-amazing the places conversation can take you. we also ended up watching the Lowry song and spotting some of the paintings we had seen there when we visited last month. At the peak point on Tuesday we reached 8 home educated children in the house and it was still pretty quiet! Was eerily quiet when Ruben's friends went and hubby took the girls to drop their friends off and it was just 2 children in the house again!

Bailey has been concentrating on his game board this week, he has been re painting some of his scenery ready to go on the board. As well as doing his Maths and English work, he was supposed to go in to college on Tuesday evening to do a controlled English assignment but we have put it off a bit longer to give him some much needed time to work on some of his writing skills. He has also built his brother a really lovely present this week for his birthday!

Yesterday was my goddaughters 10th birthday, her and Ruben were due on the same day, she had a Vampire party so Cordelia and Ruben dressed up and had a fantastic time. Ruben literally didn't sit still the entire party, he just kept dancing and wasn't fazed that he was the only boy there in a sea of Vampire girls! Piper decided not to come, she really isn't one for parties. Hubby did their face paints and we managed to pull some things together quickly for their costumes, I think they look super scary...

This morning we spent at least an hour being educated on Minecraft music videos for Ruben's party by Bailey and the girls. I am amazed at the effort some of the people have gone to with their videos and some of the songs are just brilliant! I'd much rather listen to that than the actual Minecraft music which drives me crazy, I know lots of friends think its relaxing but I can't stand it. Lots of time spent making more things for the party (no wonder I am dreaming about Minecraft so much at the moment!) before we all, yes even Bailey, headed out to Meadowhall for the last bits of our Christmas shopping. We had tea out too which was a nice change as its quite a rare treat. The shops weren't too busy and the children enjoyed looking in the Lego shop. We are so organised for Christmas this year which is a great feeling, I have even managed to decorate the plain Christmas stockings I bought for the children two Christmasses ago! I'm hoping to have a crafty December without the stress of Christmas shopping and am setting myself a challenge to blog daily throughout December.....we'll see if that actually happens...

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