Thursday, 27 November 2008

Anyone for ice cream?

D was in the mood for drawing on Monday night and he came up with this. Not so easy to see from this picture, but the shading, especially on the green ice cream is superb. He drew the picture with pencil and then used pastels to colour. Considering he is colour blind, I think he has done really well.

Tuesday the boys did some more maths. They seem to have the bug for it at the moment, and I'm not complaining. J even asked if I would print some off so he could do it in the park waiting for D on Wednesday.

However, Wednesdays plans were changed. Spanish was cancelled as the teacher was ill. This meant both the boys did maths at home and some work on simple machines. This included looking at a bicycle as it is made up of many simple machines put together. I wonder if what they learned today, will make it easier for them to put together the bike they've taken apart!

D also did some experiments on the tearing direction of paper. I am sure I've done it before, but I know he won't forget it now as he has done it on his own.

As I had done enough stew to last two days, D didn't do his tagine on Monday, we are looking forward to having it for dinner today. I will show you what it looks like and tell you if it tastes as good as it smells.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Start of a busy week

As we are going to be decorating next month, the boys are going to try and fit as much as possible into this week. Today went so smoothly they deserved their time on the play station this afternoon.

D had a go at ironing. He has done a little before, but this was the first time he had actually ironed clothes. I will never say no to help with the ironing. Maybe in a couple of years, they both can do their own clothes.Afterwards, D went through his Spanish and J read through the rest of his information sheets from MEND.

This was followed by some maths. They have even asked for some more tomorrow and as always, I am happy to oblige. The photo above and below is the snow globe J did. We bought them last week from Hobbycraft for them to put in their own photos.

Both boys chose which ones they wanted, and we printed them off. Using the template provided, they cut the photos to size and put them inside the aperture.

J chose one of Tugger and of himself ready to absail from the tree.

Daniel chose Tugger sleeping with Nipper to go on the other side. If you look closely, you can see the hairs on Nippers legs.

Ice Hockey

Last night we went for the first time to watch Copthorne Sheffield Scimitars play Milton Keynes. We have never been to an ice hockey match before, so we weren't sure what to expect.

We bought a programme which gave us a few clues. At least we now knew there were three periods of 20 minutes.
This photo is from the warm up. During the match, the players moved too fast for the photos to be in focus.
Sheffield lost 5 -2, though it could have been a lot worse. They didn't score until the last period. It hasn't stopped the boys wanting to go again. We are going to be looking out for some more special rate tickets.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Fish Cakes

Since the boys have been watching Little Dorrit on BBC1, they have been calling me Tattycoram. Well, tonight Tatty had the night off. J cooked dinner.

He made salmon fishcakes with roast potatoes and baked beans. We enjoyed them, and so did the cats.

Can't wait until Monday, Tatty is getting another night off as D is doing Moroccan Style Tagine.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Not the week we planned at all

We had so many plans for this week. After the boys had been ill we thought we were back in the swing of things this week, but the boys have given the lurgy back to me.

We got to Spanish on Wednesday for D and it was a beautiful morning for J and I in the park. J made himself a net for catching fish out of a long piece of thin branch and netting he found lying under the trees. He has yet to test it.

In Spanish, D did more about birthdays and the date. It seemed quite a mouthful as he was telling us what day and date it was in Spanish.

Thursday, I was too ill to go swimming, so it was a quiet day at home. D got the guinea pigs cleaned out and gave them plenty of hay in preparation for the cold snap we are due over the next couple of days.

Today has been the only day that has gone anything like what we intended.

The boys had ice skating today so we went to the library first. J had another Bear Gryls book to pick up.

D spotted someone selling hot chestnuts. They have seen the pictures on old films of men selling chestnuts from their braziers and I had told them how I used to get them when we visited the British museum when I was a little girl. On a cold windy morning like today, these hot chestnuts were very welcome. We also had a visit to Hobbycraft and the boys have picked up a snow globe each. They have a space to put photos in, so now the next project is to choose and print some photos to go in.

While we were at ice skating, they were advertising some special rate tickets to watch the ice hockey. As the boys have said they wanted to go, we booked tickets today and are going to see a match on Sunday. This will be a first for me too, and we are all looking forward to it.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

I am a proud mum

Both the boys have been up and down this week, not helped by J developing an ear infection. This has meant we haven't done much and have tried to stay indoors as much as we could.

We missed MEND on Tuesday, but D went to Spanish on Wednesday.

They are now onto months of the year, days of the week and birthdays. He had a little bit of homework to catch up, but he did this on Thursday. He will go over it all again at the beginning of next week as a reminder.

Though J was still not feeling well on Thursday, he wasn't going to miss MEND as it was the last one and they were having a food tasting session. This meant we had to do some cooking on Thursday morning following the MEND friendly recipes we had received. This is a walnut and apricot loaf that J made. It also contains apple. We should have used the zest and juice of an orange, but they had all been eaten, so we substituted apple juice. This went down really well and we are going to make it again for us.

D made this plum crumble. We all agreed we would like to have more topping. It was a normal crumble mix but had oats added. Instead of sugar, honey was drizzled on the fruit. We enjoyed this too.

D made these vegetarian sausages. These tasted a lot better than we had expected, though I think they would be a lot better served with the tomato sauce suggested. We will try these again and see. The sausages were made using breadcrumbs, oatmeal, mustard powder, thyme, parsley and an egg yoke. After shaping they were dipped in the egg white and flour before being fried. Very simple and quick to prepare.

J made these sweet potato wedges. They tasted lovely and definitely a must.
As this was the last session, J was measured and we had a lovely surprise when we compared them to the starting measurements. He has grown 1.5cms(mum not happy as he is now 1 inch shorter than me!), lost 7cms around his waist, and lost 3.2kgs in weight. After his hard work, J is now at a safe weight and I am so proud of his hard work and determination in achieving this. I am now hoping that he will keep up the hard work and maintain a safe weight into adulthood.
All the children were given a graduation certificate and also a certificate which listed what the other participants thought of them. This was definitely a good boost to personal esteem that these children sometimes need. The instructor very kindly gave certificates to D too. He wasn't enrolled on the scheme, but as I had no one to leave him with, he attended the sessions and partook in all the activities. His hard work and support had also been recognised.
We are going shopping on Monday to buy J a little treat as a reward and to show how pleased I am with what he has achieved.
Details of the MEND can be found on their website,
Apart from the library and reading, there hasn't been much more going on here this week, but we do know, that the end of next week is going to be busy. Hope everyone will be feeling up to it.

Monday, 10 November 2008

A lesson in biology

I think we are going to have a relatively relaxing week if we can. Both the boys are still under the weather and J is really lacking in energy and feels weak when he is trying to do anything. Didn't even complain when it came to bedtime.

We acquired a kitten last week and we were expecting a girl, so when she arrived she was duly named Bella. Apparently a friends neighbour got her, and then didn't want her any more, so up the motorway she came to live with us. During last week I had a few doubts that Bella was a she, but this wasn't confirmed until "she" was sat with me yesterday afternoon.

I told D that Bella was more a Billy than a Bella and he asked the inevitable question, "how do you know?" Hence the biology lesson. Now both the boys have a very clear idea about the difference between boy and girl cats. This morning, we had a renaming ceremony.

J has decided he would like to be a firefighter, so over the weekend he looked at the requirements necessary. He has decided to keep up a fitness routine, work on maths and English, particularly his writing. It is great how much they will do when the motivation is there.

D thought he would like to do be a firefighter too, so this morning both the boys did some maths. D has decided he likes the three column addition and would like some more. It took a bit of time to explain that when he was trying to work sums out, it was acceptable to write the workings out on the paper. He seemed really surprised.

This afternoon we went and had a game of badminton. This had been postponed from Thursday, so I didn't want to change it again. J particularly was exhausted this evening. There was a mix up with the court when we got there, so we are very happy to have receive a voucher for a free court for our next game.

This evening D came and sat with me on my bed whilst I was doing my knitting. He did some more on his cross stitch cushion. Tomorrow I will get a photo to show how much progress he has made.

Tomorrow there are some animals to clean and a session of MEND. This is basically our last working session as Thursday is the farewell party. It will be interesting to see what we will discuss.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Under the weather

This week the boys seem to have caught the cold I have had, so everyone is a bit under the weather.

We did some maths at the beginning of the week and D did his Spanish homework but missed his lesson yesterday as he wasn't up to it.

Tuesday the boys went swimming then this was followed by MEND, where they had another swimming session. The second hour was just a revision of all they had learned over the last couple of months. Unfortunately, they will be missing today's session at the supermarket.

D has kept up with his skipping, but we have had to rearrange the game of badminton we were going to have today. We were going to do this as it has been too wet for walking in the woods.

Apart from going to the library, we haven't done much else this week, though both boys have done a little stitching. Hopefully with a couple of days rest, we should be back into the swing of things next week.