Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Not-so-boring Routine

We're fully into our "normal" routine now (if there is such a thing as normal).  That said, we didn't make it to to craft club yesterday:  I just couldn't get the boys all ready in time. Well... I probably could have, if I'd reverted to the Sergeant Major alter-ego of our school days, hustling them and barking orders to get them all up, dressed, fed & ready in time.  But the truth is, I really don't like the shouty version of me - I'm trying to lay her to rest!  And anyhow the boys are usually up and ready in time, so I guess there must have been a reason for their lethargy yesterday morning - most likely how cold it was outside (I found it hard to leave my duvet too!)  Once we were all up, there was the usual MathsWhizz for the older two while I played a Maths game with Youngest.  This time we played Bus Stop, helping him to master counting skills, spotting the patterns of dots on a dice, counting on spaces as he moved around the board, recognising the plus and minus symbols etc - and he got Mummy to himself, which always goes down well!

After that it was time to pop to the local shops for a few bits, so we got wellied-up, hats & ski-gloves on etc, and off we went.  There's something about snow that just transforms a normal 'boring' walk; they loved it (again).  Once home again, it was Youngest's turn to do some baking: gorgeous choc chip cookies...


 ...and then we got the paints out to do some snowy paintings inspired by our wintry walk.  We started with these Easy winter landscape instructions, that I had bookmarked a few days ago, and added a few extra bits of our own, using strips of cardboard to make the trunks & branches, and lastly adding falling snow by dipping paintbrushes in watered-down paint, and tapping the paintbrushes - another tip found on the Deep Space Sparkle website.

Mummy's snowy landscape

Eldest's snowy landscape (using a brush to paint the trees, not cardboard strips)

Middle's snowy landscape

 Youngest's snowy landscape
(he wasn't inspired by the snowmen, so he painted a red snail with a scarf instead.)

After that Eldest was still in full arty mode, so took himself off to do some sketching...

"Winter at Night"

"Robert the Owl"

Today we had a bit of reading with Youngest while Eldest and Middle were on Reading Eggs. Eldest was pleased to find a book to read on there today about three hedgehogs.  He's also very happy that he's collected 58 out of  214 printable animal collecting cards on the program.  Middle's favourite at the moment is the 'Quote Quest' part... well, anything that looks like a game is a winner for him!  After that we had another wintry walk, this time round our local park, to feed the ducks and geese (with peas out of the freezer - bread is really not good food for them when it's this cold).


Then we came home for the obligatory mugs of hot chocolate, while watching recorded episodes of "Got to Dance" (Sky) - because the boys love it, and it shows a great cross-section of different dance styles - followed by "Winterwatch" (currently showing on BBC2 each evening this week) which I had recorded last night.  There was a sad bit where a baby seal died (or was about to), but the boys coped OK - they're getting more used to the harsher side of wildlife documentaries, I think.  They loved the shot where the humpback whale breached behind the guys on the boat, who were all looking the wrong way.

At home we have our own mini-version of Winterwatch too... we were hoping for some visitors to find our new nesting box, and this morning we had our first one (as far as we know).  He had a good look round, and we even got some video footage, although unfortunately it picked up my calling one of the boys (by name) to have a look, so I can't post it here.  I can show you a couple of stills though...  it's very exciting!  It is too soon for them to be making a nest and getting broody, but still, it's nice to know that they've found it!

So we may be back into our "routine", but it's anything but boring.  We're having lots of fun - long may it continue!

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