Friday, 29 April 2016

Positive moments from this week 29/4/16

We've had a really lovely week, topped today with a trip to the cinema (second visit in a week for some of us!) to see the new Civil War Captain America film. It was brilliant and we all enjoyed it.

Ruben has spent the week playing lots of Team Fortress 2 with friends, he's used pocket money to buy extras in the game, which has made him rather happy but I really can't agree with. It's his money though but I hate the idea of him being ripped off. For the money he's spent on the game he could have bought REAL items but hey ho. He's lost another tooth this week which woke him up at 5 am and luckily he didn't swallow it! He's decided today to try some new foods, which I've been trying to get him to do for ages! Finally he's fed up of eating such a small range of meals-hurrah!

Piper has been helping me with a new design for the business, hoping it will do okay and then she can earn herself some extra pocket money. I'd like them to take part in the business and think it's a great experience and better than the paper round I had at their age! She's been drawing lots, reading ghost stories and keeping up with her IXL maths too as well as playing Sims on the laptop. She did a little experiment with some of my chia seeds after I told her about a man who swallowed some dry and then followed it with lots of water, she put some in a cup filled with water and first they grew little "tails" and yesterday we noticed green sprouts/shoots coming off them. After doing some online reading she wants to have a go at growing some on a dish and getting them to sprout.

Cordelia loved Zootropolis on Wednesday and has spent time drawing and looking at other characters from the film. She wants to do a cosplay of one of the main characters Nick. Another cosplay project-it's endless! Much of the week has been spent drawing and she's still selling art on her Etsy shop. She's been reading a lot and playing Sims on the Xbox.

The weather has been so cold, the heating has hardly been off-hand to believe it's May so soon with all the snow flurries we've had this week.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Zootropolis and the library

The weather has been pretty strange this week-we've had beautiful bouts of blue skies and sunshine one minute and then hail and snow the next. Yesterday we managed to get out of the house for a bit to the library, I left in sunglasses and came back running to the front door in the snow!

Monday was a home day after two days out over the weekend, Ruben for his card club and the girls for different reasons spent two days in town too, mainly shopping and also a cosplay meet up. They need at least one home day after two days on the trot out!

It's hard to get the girls reading again, they feel like they've read "everything" in all the libraries which is obviously not true but they don't devour books in the same way they used to. And I can't get Ruben interested in much at all but I did talk him into a couple of science books and a coding book. Unless I get them out though they will just sit in the cupboard until we go back again *sigh*, so I'll have to remember and get them out with him.

This is what Cordelia chose: 


Piper's choice:


Following on from her love of Agatha Christie she has started reading more detective style novels.

We've had great fun playing with our puppy Loki who makes us laugh with his antics on a daily basis. Here he is playing with a cardboard cellotape roll!


Last night we talked about a big family holiday to celebrate the girl's 16th and 18th birthdays and Hubby's 40th, its not until 2018 but its quite a big year of birthdays and it would be nice to do something big, we'll need to save up quite a bit first but I do love a plan! Bailey would love to come too but it depends what happens with his work placement year and university. Lots of ifs buts and maybes. Its inspired the kids to think about what they'd like to see and do and Ruben says if its worth it he will get on a plane. Which is huge for him as he's got a real fear of aeroplanes and since none of our children have been on one it will be a bit of a nervous time.

After Ruben came off line last night we sat and watched a Channel 4 documentary on the Nepal Earthquake which was really sad, Ruben watched a bit but decided it was too sad for him so it was just Hubby and I left watching. When he came back downstairs we settled for Monsters University on Netflix instead, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be to be honest.

Today I took Cordelia and Ruben to see Zootropolis whilst Hubby took Piper around the charity shops. She loves vintage shopping! The film was really good, very funny in parts and with a really nice message. The heating in the cinema was broken unfortunately so it was pretty cold in there, far too cold for me. I did get a free cup of tea which helped warm me up slightly and Cordelia pinched my coat to drape over her-this from the girl who left the house in a cropped vest top, despite my "it snowed yesterday!" she only took a very thin hoodie. You don't want to say I told you so but jeez sometimes I really do! She sat across the aisle from Ruben and I but since there were only a handful of people in the cinema it didn't really matter!

Ruben and I in the cinema:

Friday, 22 April 2016

Positive moments from this week

Going to try this once a week on a Friday, gather up all our positive moments from the week. Since we are very autonomous and only follow the children's interests rather than a structured approach, I feel like we are more just "living" our life our way than anything else.

A week of no car has meant a week at home for us.

Piper:

Had a week including brace tightening, sewing, drawing, thinking about college potentially, hanging out with Cordelia A LOT and IXL. We had a great talk in the coffee shop just her, hubby & I about Japan, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and the great San Francisco fire. All very spontaneous which is what we love most about home ed. I love this piece of Art she has done inspired by her love of Melanie Martinez :


Cordelia:

Spends much of her days drawing, she painted this with her new watercolours:


And has been busy starting another new cosplay build-using one of my old yoga mats!


She cut the shapes out, did a PVA glue wash and strengthened them underneath with cardboard. Then began a paper mache over the top.


Rare to get a photo of Ruben these days but he has been helping me plant sunflowers in pots, playing with Loki lots, playing Pokemon cards, skyping with friends and playing lots of Team Fortress 2. He downloaded a new game on Steam this week which he's been playing called Stardew valley. He's been doing lots of Pixel Art including making a really cool picture with all of us as Pokemon sprites. We've framed it and put it in our Geek Gallery/downstairs bathroom :)

Here's a photo of Loki looking super poof-as the kids say- after his bath this morning:


I've done loads of walking in the sunshine to escape the cabin fever of being indoors! Lots of gardening, planting veg and even finished my sewing project! It's a top and skirt, I bought the pattern and material last month at the hobbycraft and sewing show at the NEC. I'm so pleased with how it's come out even though there are lots of little flaws.


Whilst I've been sewing hubby has been busy making this humungous sword!!
It's for a new joint cosplay we are planning later in the year. Something else I need to start sewing is our costumes! Hubby is in charge of the props as you can see ;)

And that's our week in positives :D

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

*Catch up Post* Edinburgh, Piper turns 15 and the Royal Yacht

Back in December we booked a couple of nights away in Edinburgh for a pre-Christmas break and also to celebrate Piper's 15th birthday. We have visited Edinburgh Christmas fair several times now and it always makes us feel so Christmassy :D We booked an apartment which was only 10 minutes walk into the city centre which was perfect-no need to worry about parking!

It looks so beautiful when it is lit up with the Christmas lights and the big wheel. Ruben and I had great fun in the Christmas tree maze and we managed to get all the clues right to win some chocolate at the end!



I booked tickets (although they were free) for the Virgin Money Street Light Show which was really amazing. A live choir sang whilst the arches were lit up in turn, it was really quite emotional and made me cry! Thankfully it was raining by this point so no one could see my tears!







With his golden coin prize for completing all the clues in the Christmas tree maze




Piper wanted to spend the day walking around Edinburgh and shopping for her birthday so that is what we did. It is a great city centre for shopping, a mix of high street and lots of independent shops too. She bought lots of clothes! I didn't get chance to bake her a cake so she chose a really nice chocolate cake and we had a Sainsbury's curry for tea(a family favourite), its the simple things in life!






On the last day we visited The Queen's Private Yacht "Britannia" which is moored at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh. It was so huge! I've never been on a yacht before and I can't believe how spacious it was, It was really nicely decorated with lots of personal touches from the Royal Family and you can see they had some really fabulous family holidays aboard it, it felt a bit nosey to be honest as its all quite personal but great to see a totally different side to the family. They have such a vast collection of items from all over the world too!











We had coffee and milkshakes on board the top floor, which was very posh and we all felt a bit awkward as it was full of well-to-do having soup lunches and speaking in hushed tones so we didn't stay too long. It was definitely an experience though and the views were really cool, except on one side where you could see right into Debenhams cafe haha!


This snowman was brilliant though-entirely made of chocolate too! The chef on board had made it. The waitress told us they came in one morning and it's hand had fell off so they had to make a new one!


On th way home we called at Durham, its a place we have wanted to visit for ages but just never had an opportunity. It was dusk as we arrived so everything was closing up, the castle and cathedral looked so pretty all lit up and we managed to sit in the cathedral and listen to a Christmas Carol rehearsal which was wonderful.






Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Cordelia turns 14

This weekend we had the pleasure of celebrating our youngest daughter Cordelia's 14th birthday. I want to say how?? How is she 14 already but at the same time I want to say how is she ONLY 14??! She seems so much more grown up than that; at least most of the time!

This year she wanted art materials for her birthday and after lots of research settled on Spectrum Noir pens. I managed to get them on offer so she got three packs of 24 pens, it should give her plenty of colours to work with. There were watercolours, chocolates and a few pieces of clothing in there too including a super cool skeleton hoodie from her siblings.

She had requested a Walking Dead birthday cake as she is a huge fan, it's the first time I've made a cake neatly only to make it look as messy, gritty and bloody as possible after! She thought it was perfect and was very happy :D

We headed to Pizza Hut for lunch at the birthday girls request. We rarely eat out much as a family of 6 as it's so expensive and we don't all like the same foods either but we had a really lovely lunch. A nice change. We called at Hobbycraft for more art supplies with birthday money and via Asda for ice cream!

A lovely afternoon of drawing with her big sister and some binge watching of Gossip Girl with me before we sang Happy Birthday and watched The Great Gatsby- a favourite in our house. A really chilled day.

Sunday we headed out into town and whilst Ruben went along to his card club Cordelia and I headed off clothes shopping. We had a great time and she picked out some lovely pieces. We had lunch in the Peace Gardens with the sun shining-loving that Spring is finally here.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A tentative Hello...

SO it's been a while since I've blogged. It's the first time I've had such a big break from blogging, I needed it and feel much better for stepping back for a while but I do miss writing and I know how fast all of these days are going so I love to record them.

I recently received some really lovely messages through my Instagram account about how my blog had inspired several families to home educate-such a wonderful, heart-warming thing to hear! It made me realise how much I miss writing about our "alternative education".

So what has been happening here at Four Pesky Hobbits since my last post? I suppose the biggest news is a very happy and welcome addition to our family in the shape of our puppy Loki. He is a Lhasa Apso and literally a ball of cuddly fluff who resembles a teddy bear. Here he is in all his fluffiness:


We even managed to get a photo of all of us together earlier in the year:




He has been such a fun addition to our house, we still miss our dog Tallulah who passed away last year and Loki has helped fill the paw shaped hole she left behind. He is so much fun and every morning is like Christmas with him excitedly awaiting the arrival of each of us in turn to bounce all over and lick. No-one gets up at the same time so that passes his entire morning on! We have gone on more walks and spent so much time together fussing over him, talking about him and playing silly games with him. It's honestly one of the best things we've done. We all share this huge bond and its lovely to argue who he loves the most! He even has his own Instagram account which the girls and I keep updated whenever he does something cute-which is ALL THE TIME!

The other big news is that Bailey got into all 3 of his university choices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Not that we expected him not to but considering he only had 2 of the 5 GCSE's he needed for college to then get into all 3 of his choices is just brilliant. We are so proud of him and so happy that he will get to go and study what he wants.

Other than that we have just been continuing with life, everyone is growing so much, Cordelia turns 14 tomorrow-how???? Ruben's voice is breaking and he seems to have lost loads of teeth the past two weeks, he has grown so, so tall. His legs seem endless.. Piper has been doing so well with her sewing, story writing and just generally being a stand-up comedian within the house. Our business has grown and is doing really well, we have done lots of stalls at different comic cons around the country and have lots booked for the rest of the year too. Cordelia even had her own stall at an Anime comic con earlier this month selling her art prints. We were so proud of her, she did so well, made herself some money, new friends and received lots of wonderful compliments. A great boost for her and a fab experience.

So that's where we at right now. I might post some of the things we have been up to in some catch up posts over the next few days but right now I'm off to finish tea and make a start on a Walking Dead birthday cake for tomorrow! ;D