Friday, 7 June 2013

I need to read this again if I wobble...

It was a funny day today.  We had a delivery coming from Ikea - the shelf set we bought a few months ago worked so well, we ordered another one to try to bring order to the study.  Therefore I needed to spend most of the day sorting things out of the study so that we can get the shelf unit into it once assembled... and then filled of course.  Consequently the kitchen table is now buried under study stuff & there has been no space anywhere for the boys to 'do anything much' - except of course watch TV, draw pictures, play on the computer, pore over photos, tell each other stories, do a bit of baking, read books, make masks, and play games in the garden (and that's just the bits I noticed)!

It's something I have really appreciated about this 'term' - we've had so many interruptions to the rhythms & patterns we had been in, but in each of those interruptions, every single time I have just been easily able to spot the blessings of unstructured time.  We do usually like a little bit of structure - it works for all of us; but I am now so chilled about days without structure when needed - they are still so rich, just in different ways.

So I thought I'd share some of today's lovely little highlights (in between moving books, boxes etc)...  While the boys were watching 'Absolute Genius' (about Brunel), there was quite a bit of footage of the Clifton suspension bridge, and I was able to tell them about an ancestor of ours on my father's side who tried to kill herself in the late 1800s by jumping off the bridge, but her crinoline skirts opened up like a parachute and she floated harmlessly down to the mudflats and was rescued.  They were happy to hear that she seemed to cheer up afterwards, and lived to be an old lady.  She had a poem written about her and even has her own page on Wikipedia... The boys were enjoying the TV programme as it was, but even more so after they realised we have family links to the bridge, and such a great story too!

I also uncovered our wedding album, & had a lovely few minutes looking through it with the boys.  They loved looking at all the family twenty years ago & working out who everyone was.  There is such strength in knowing you're part of a big, supportive structure like a family - it was lovely to be able to share that with our boys today.

This afternoon I realised it was teatime and I hadn't prepared anything, being preoccupied with the study contents.  So I hastily grabbed some home-made hidden-veg sauce from the freezer and we all made our own pizzas.  We didn't have any mozzarella cheese handy, but we're all perfectly happy with cheddar - and they worked a treat.  Eldest's 'boomerang' pizza turned out particularly large, but he was happy to eat every last crumb, so no problems there! 

 top left to bottom right: Youngest, Middle (heart-shaped), Eldest, Mummy

 Afterwards we enjoyed the chocolate brownies that I had made with Youngest as a distraction from something the older two were doing earlier that was leaving him out.  Whenever one of the boys gets left out of a game I always find baking is a very acceptable consolation!

Oh, and of course we had the camera trap photos to explore.  There was quite a mystery attached to last night's photos.  The camera trap is triggered by motion, via a PIR sensor, so every time anything goes past, it is set to go off & take a quick succession of 3 pictures.  Well last night we know it was working, because first we had several lovely shots of our resident fox - and then there was a gap of an hour before another photo was taken.  Nothing unusual there - there are often gaps between creatures passing by.  However, when we checked the next photo, which seemed to have no visitor in the frame (it happens occasionally that the photo is taken a split second too late), a large number of the peanuts that we had sprinkled on the ground had mysteriously disappeared!  What a puzzle: we were baffled by how something managed to take the peanuts without triggering the camera trap.  A mouse was suggested as the culprit, but we know mice do trigger the sensor as we have a few photos of mice (well, photos of their eyeshine, anyway - they're too tiny to make out otherwise).


this is where the peanuts disappeared...

 and a visitor in daylight today... muntjac deer!

in fact not just one, but two!

Finally, as promised, I managed to take photos of Middle's fabulous lapbook that he completed the other day.  We used a combination of the excellent Homeschool share volcanoes lapbook templates (Middle loves the ready-printed ones), and some that we made ourselves. He is rightly proud of his work, as am I, so I'm glad to be able to share it here...

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