Saturday, 14 April 2012

A trip to London : Tate Modern

First of all I feel I must start with a general catch-up. Only two posts in the last two months.
This is down to the fact that:
N has been permanently tied to the laptop and only leaves it to go play out with her friends who are on Easter break!
I don't have a car at the moment and this has restricted our whereabouts.
We have been decorating again....

 Eating chocolate....
 N has been on two activity days with Autism Family Support which she thoroughly enjoyed; a games day at The Mish and ten pin bowling at the Kassam stadium (where she unfortunately left her bag on the bus but we won't go into that). Hubby and I spent 6 weeks agonising over the completion of N's disability living allowance form - filling that beast out was draining.
We lost one of our guinea pigs:(
We've had some great weather so we have been pottering about in the garden and trying to make the most of it. Me wearing shorts in March?? fabby.

Today we were off to London. Hubby had an interview for Cricket Without Boundaries....
 This is his nervous look. He's hoping to go to Botswana next year for two weeks to coach cricket and raise HIV and Aids awareness.
We dropped him off here........
 and went along to the Tate Modern....   ta daaaaaaa
 we saw a picasso
 and the less exciting Richard Wentworth (sorry to any of Richard's fans but seriously it's two chairs stacked with two balls hanging off them)
 I was super excited to see the Damien Hirst exhibit. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside as I was informed when I got caught taking a few. So here are a three I managed to download from the internet......

 Lovely, and something I am so glad N and I experienced.

Not to be forgotten is the slide that plays violin sounds as you go down. 
 After Hubby had finished his interview we met up for some well earned food....
 After seeing 500 people with M&M shop bags we couldn't resist taking a look, if only for the photo opportunities alone. Lets face it - we can't afford to buy anything in there.
 Our trip home - yes you can sit next to Daddy, you've asked me 3 questions a minute all day and my brain needs a rest! Cue N doing the platform announcements for the whole journey Baker Street to Hillingdon.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Our first March post

I can't believe how quickly the time is passing, although I do feel like I am always saying that so I should be used to it by now. Still I haven't found the time to post since Pancake Day!

We feel like we have been really busy......

most of N's time during the day has been spent tidying and re-arranging her room. Here is how it looks at the moment - super tidy bookshelf....
 N - very proud of her tidy room
 super tidy surfaces - every thing is strategically placed....
 N has also been spending hours reading, at the moment she likes Louise Rennison
 and Marailyn Kaye.  N does most of her reading to herself but we decided to make a concious effort to share a book together, which mainly consists of N reading it aloud to me - she does let me have a go sometimes! Anyway I have really enjoyed it. It is definitely something I have missed now N is such an independent reader. So far in the last 2 weeks we have read
The Worst Thing About My Sister by Jacqueline Wilson
Better Late Than Never (Gifted Series) by Marilyn Kaye
 at the moment we are reading The Raspberry Rules by Karen McCombie.

N had a particularly emotional few days last week, and she was feeling very sad about having Aspergers. Bless her she really is remarkable how she has just accepted it all but it must be hard having already lived almost 10 years before finding out you have the syndrome. Anyway I decided to cheer her up by going to watch.....
The Muppets at the cinema. It has been out a long time now so I felt fairly comfortable that it wouldn't be too busy for her. Anyway she loved it and we were both giggling in the cinema. N kept checking to make sure I wasn't crying at the sad bits!
We have also started to decorate the kitchen - which has got as far as N painting the contents of a tester pot on the wall! We really must finish it off, lets face it, it can't possibly take long to paint such a small room!
 After Maths and English this morning we decided to play cards. I left N to set the game up and came back in the room to be greeted with this......
 "We are playing a game with every single one, Mum" she said!! We didn't get through them all before lunch, but these were my new favourite. N had bought them for 99p from the clearance shelf in Waterstones the last time we went to the Ashmolean Museum, and we hadn't had a chance to play with them yet. They are a must for any Jacqueline Wilson fan!
We have been trying to use this......
 three times a day. It's the brush that the occupational therapist gave us to help with N's Sensory Processing Disorder. We have to brush it down her arms and do pressure massages on her head, shoulders, elbows and wrists. I've had to set an alarm on my ipod to remind me to do it, morning, afternoon and evening, but hopefully it will help her.
Lastly, this is Ralph's new haircut for the warmer weather.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day (a little early for us)

E came over to join us last night and the 3 'youngsters' made pancakes together. We were considering calling up the Guiness Book Of Records to witness how many people could make pancakes in the worlds smallest kitchen, but figured they would be busy.

 There was some expert flipping.....
and eating....
they all had fun, and it was a really lovely moment I won't forget and joking about my small kitchen aside - it was really special to see it filled up with family.

The Maths, The Witch, and The Soda Bread

N's performance on Friday of the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was great, (despite screaming hysterics on Friday morning that she couldn't possibly do it!) and I managed to watch it without crying!!

We started off our week yesterday as we mean to go on with cookery and maths.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall had inspired me with his ever so simple soda bread. I thought it would be perfect for N as she loves making and eating bread, but waiting for the dough to rise needs so much forward planning. This recipe really is so simple for children to do all on their own.

It looked beautiful when it came out of the oven. All you need is;

500g plain flour
1 and a half teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
400ml yoghurt

stir it all together and bake for 30 minutes.

However M was the only person who actually liked the bread, it was a bit too stodgy for N and Hubby. I vow to make a gluten free version to see what its like!

While the bread was cooling we started to learn about Mean, Median, Mode and Range. I found some good worksheets at;

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Ebay, Pepper and Drama

I'm still not keeping up with my blogging, I am struggling to find the time. N has been sorting out more things to sell on Ebay, (seriously who knew she had so much stuff).

Pepper has been feeling unwell, but Ralph has been on-hand to make her feel better......
N is at a drama workshop in Oxford - Put On A Play In A Week - The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, we are very excited about seeing the play on Friday.

Next week is about:

Knuckling down into our maths work as N will have to take a SAT, before starting school, if she is given a place.
Reading (N is still reading about 3 novels a week!)
French (the secondary school 'tour guide' did ask N how much French she knew, as they are expected to be able to count and make minimal conversation before they start!)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Going To School

N has decided that she would like to go to the local secondary school in September, when she would be entering year 7. We went along to the school this week to have a look around.

N really enjoyed the tour, her favourite parts were; the canteen!, the new music block and of course the library. We have filled out the application form and just need to wait and see now if she will get a place as we have missed the first round of applications.

It will be such a major change for us all, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.........(fingers crossed for a happy ending!)

first wish completed & M moves in.....

I haven't posted recently, we have been so busy.

N decided she wanted to buy herself a double bed, and set about sorting out mountains of things in her room that could be sold on Ebay in order to pay for it. The last 10 days we have been drowing in a sea of parcels to send off, yes we made the mistake of listing 70 items all at once. It seems like a good idea at the time until all the listings finish on the same day and need sending off!

All of this means that N was the first person to complete a wish on the wishing wall.

M (N's 20 year old brother) has moved in with us this week and we are all really excited about it, M & Hubby have worked really hard to get all of his belongings squeezed into a VERY small bedroom, but it does help that he is super tidy!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

First post of the year (shame on me)

I can't believe that I haven't sat down to write a post since mid-December. It is true that Christmas rushes by as a blur of parties and merriment.

N has a new blog at

Early January we decided to create a Wishing Wall (inspired by the pinterest at Winding Circle). Each of us (moi, hubby, M and his girlfriend E, L and N) wrote down our wishes for 2012. Things we would like to do, achieve, see or experience. Once a wish has been completed then the wish is taken from the wall. I wonder how many will still be there in December!

We have been to Egypt on holiday for 11 days of (in theory) sunshine! N had a great time at the water park going down all of the slides, she didn't quite achieve her goal of going down all 32 in one day though! N took 6 books on holiday with her and by the 4th day had read them all! I had taken Harry Potter and the Philosphers Stone with me, (I had bought it from a charity shop ages ago for N, but she always refused to read it as she was too scared) anyway I managed to convince N to read it once I had finished it and she loved it so much she read it in a day. N is now a converted Harry Potter fan, so we settled down together as a family and watched the film this evening.

Tomorrow is the official start of us 'getting back into the swing' of things. N is off to an Olympic Games workshop at The Ashmolean in Oxford, which should be really good and had me scouring the shelves in the homeschool room....."I'm sure I bought a couple of Olympic Games books from a charity shop years ago".....If only I was as organised as Hubby, it would all be alphabetised!

Speaking of organisation, this is the state of the homeschool room after 6 weeks of parties and holidays. Oh dear a little too much seating and not enough workspace me thinks.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Crafting

This week N has painted some christmas decorations

 made drinks coasters for christmas day by cutting out circles from old christmas cards
 and laminating them
she has been colouring christmas pictures, listening to christmas songs, playing the piano, watching christmas movies and playing with friends.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas Decorations, Bourton Lights and Grandma's Birthday

It's the beginning of December and that can only mean one thing - time to put up the Christmas decorations. Hubby had kindly kept the day free of work so that we could put them all up together.

 The tree is my favourite part.
 The dogs were very good about all of the change happening in the house and the excitement. I am not sure what they made of the singing santa!

In the evening we drove to Bourton On The Water for the switching on of their Christmas lights. It was very magical, much better than the Witney switch on. They had people dressed in period costume, owls from Birdland and even a snow machine.
 The christmas tree is stood in the water, there was a real ooooh factor when the lights came on.
 Today was grandma's birthday and she came to visit for lunch, afterwards Grandma and N played cards while Pepper and Ralph made sure nobody cheated.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Sledging, Ice Slides and Xmas Lights

Yesterday morning we went along to Xscape (indoor snow slopes) in Milton Keynes, after the initial stress of getting up early, realising I had forgotten my wellies, turning around and coming back to pick them up, finding our way there (putting all my faith in hubby's sat nav), finding a helmet that actually fitted each of us, (we must both have extra large heads), we had a really fun time.

The first couple of goes down the slope on the little plastic sledges were a bit scary, I seemed to be picking up top speed, and screaming louder than the kids.The travelator to get you up the slope seemed even more dangerous, especially when you had to get off it at the top, but we managed the session without any breakages! The ice slides seemed much safer, wedging yourself in a huge rubber ring before being pushed down the ice slide.

N wants to go back for her birthday she enjoyed it so much.

 Last night we walked into Witney for the Xmas Light Switch On, there were literally hundreds of people wedged into the market square. N was very annoyed that moments before David Cameron came on stage to switch on the lights - someone with a child on their shoulders pushed in front of her and she couldn't see a thing. She made sure she moaned about it loud enough for them to be totally aware of her disapppointment!
 Never mind, there were reindeer
 an ice sculpture,
an Elvis impersonator with a gospel choir singing slightly Bollywood, Caledonian bagpipe players and lots of lights.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Making Chutney at Cogges

We met up at Cogges today for a chutney making session over a campfire!

The children set about collecting and chopping wood for the fire, lighting the fire, peeling and chopping the vegetables and.....
 making spice bags - N donated hers to the chutney

 Each child had a jar of chutney to take home
the end of life for N's spice bag!!

We all had a lovely day, considering we are near the end of November the weather was very kind, and we agreed that the Outdoor Learning sessions at Cogges had been one of the highlights of 2011 and we hope we will be given the opportunity for something similar in 2012.