Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Longest Blogpost Ever...

So a reality of keeping this blog of memories for the children has occurred to me over the past few weeks: The more things we do together, the more photos we take. The more photos there are, and the less time we have due to being even busier together than normal, the less time there is to actually put stuff on here.
So... three weeks or so after last blogging, here comes a mammoth post with looooads of photos (and if you're not someone who lives in this house and you read all the way to the end I'll be very surprised haha :D)

Gruff took Squidge and Moppet to Central Forest Park in a rare moment of them both being willing to be away from me while I did a huge tidy up at home. Squidge spotted this plane...


...and they both played on the playground.





Squidge is feeling massively artistic at the moment, and I downloaded him a few apps I thought he'd enjoy, including Graffito...


...and he's been playing more on The Sandbox, sometimes completely the missions and sometimes making pictures with the elements :)


The first home ed group we ever went to, some five years or so ago now, held it's last session at the hall it's always been in, with a view to having meet ups out and about instead. The kids loved catching up with everyone and running round outside with some gliders they'd brought along...



...and Sprout went round taking photos of all the plants in the outside area at the hall as he said he'd miss seeing them.



Back at home, Squidge played peekaboo with Moppet through the car window for a while.


Gruff had a few days off work for us to do some work on the house, plus we'd intended to have some chill out and do nothing days, but it didn't really work out like that! We had a trip to Cadbury World, as ever since the last time the boys have been asking to take Gruff. They played together in the car...


...and then a lot of the time I took Squidge round while Gruff was with Moppet and Sprout, as Squidge doesn't like, at the moment, loud noises, dark rooms, or different smells, so while Sprout and Moppet looked at most of the things on offer, I took a shorter route with Squidge.
Here he's watching how Creme Eggs, chocolate buttons and Roses are made...


...having a chocolately snack waiting for the others...


...and sharing his chocolate with Moppet once she came through.


They all became Freddo Faces...


...wrote their names in chocolate :)


...and danced on the interactive Dairy Milk game :)


Outside, Moppet loved going on all the ride-ons...


...as did the other two actually, made even better by eating liquid chocolate at the same time.


We discovered an air hockey table we hadn't noticed before...


...and Sprout took some photos...




Sadly the playground was shut due to rain (apparently perfectly ordinary precipitation is a health and safety risk these days), so they ran around and jumped in puddles for a bit instead.





Far from relaxing the next day, we needed to go and pick up Gruff's new (to us) van from Rotherham, so while we were over that way we went to Magna, thinking it was a hands on science place aimed at children, similar to Snibston or Conkers. Unfortunately it was more a homage to creepy old steel works...




...and Squidge, especially, was terrified, so after managing to get to a few of the hands on bits...







...we headed out to the playground, where they had far more fun :)







Despite the wind and rain, they even agreed to turn the water park back on for us, and this was declared the best bit of the whole day :)



Later on at home, the boys played with the neighbours and took lots more photos...



...and more again at Gentleshaw the next day. Sprout's really enjoying taking photos of spiderwebs at the moment.


After we'd taken some broccoli, peppers and carrots for Toto and the other capuchin monkeys, we headed to the playground with friends...




...and had ice lollies on the way out. Things got slightly stressful at a couple of points, as Squidge wanted things we hadn't got enough money on us for, but mostly we managed to rearrange things to suit everyone, plus I've got some better ideas on how to plan for next time!


After Gentleshaw we drove to see the kids' grandparents, and both boys took some more photos in the garden...










Sprout dug out some of the toys from when he was younger, and found new and interesting things to do with them :)


Later on, we took the seeds out of a huge fircone that had grown on a tiny little conifer, and they took them onto the balcony and raced them to the ground :)


Back at home, Squidge found his scales and was seeing how much things weighed...


...while Moppet was building with some Duplo.


More scooting in the street for Squidge... 


...while Sprout put together some K'nex that we were very lucky to be gifted from the closing home ed group.


Our Queen ant arrived in the post, along with a variety of ant foods for once the colony has grown.



We played with some shiny paper which Moppet loved...


...and Squidge made knight's armour from it :)


One of Moppet's current favourite games is playing peekaboo with her doll behind hew play silk, it makes her laugh a lot :)


Sprout drew this, ot's a cat looking up out of a hoover, following a funny photo he saw where the angle made it look like a cat was inside a hoover :)


Another day another home ed group (by the way, other people do go to these things it's just I only put pictures of my own kids on here haha)...


...and when we got back Squidge donned his safety mask and helped Gruff knock down our old coal shed and pantry...


...while Sprout learnt how to play Solitaire.


For the first, and so far only, time, Moppet showed an interest in the TV. She watched cBeebies for about a minute and a half and then wandered off to play. 


Later on she was thoroughly worn out :)


We met up with friends at Gladstone Pottery again, and we put this world map together...


...and, as always, played with the toilet monster :)


Back at home I made pirate pie, inspired by a photo of this Instructables version that someone posted on Facebook. We sort of used this Quorn pie recipe, but without the wine or the egg as we didn't have any. It was still good :) (There's no gravy sea either, as neither Sprout nor Squidge like runny stuff invading their dinners, but we called it a beached pirate pie so it's ok ;) )


In an unprecedented move, the boys pooled their pocket money to buy Disney Infinity, and have since spent much time playing on it.


Sprout and I had an afternoon out together, and he chose the arcade...


On another visit to their grandparents' house, Sprout played Simpsons chess with his grandpa... 


...while Squidge watched his new favourite programme, Magi-Nation.


Back home, Squidge dug out the stickle bricks and built various vehicles including this plane...


...then they all played outside for a while.


We met up with home ed friends at Stafford Castle, and all three of them spent lots of time making pictures in the gravel: One person...


... one "demon eye, infinity sign, piece of elastic, and squid"...


...and one Moppet helping collect piles of gravel.


Squidge donned his knight costume I made a couple of years ago (my dress, cut into square zig zags at the bottom, with a crest on the front cut from laminate floor underlay and attached to the tunic with hot glue. There's a king's cloak and a crown and helmet to match and I can't remember for the life of me whether I posted instructions on here or not.)...


...and put himself in the stocks!


This was Sprout's favourite helmet, that he said looked like it was 'for a birdman'...



...and he managed to put hand/arm armour on and lift it, which he was quite proud of as it was very heavy. He liked the horse armour too, once he found out what it was!


Squidge did this brass rubbing of a longbowman.


Once home, Squidge restarted his Kreo Bumblebee set he'd had for his birthday...



...while I made tea, and popped this little origami Pikachu that I'd seen on Pinterest on the plate for Finn as he loves Pikachu :)


After a week of wailing and gnashing of teeth (me not the kids), I finally finished Sprouts SCP173 costume so he could enter the cosplay competition at Eurogamer, with almost a day to spare.


We took some giant balloons to their grandparents' house, and played lots of games with them (it's always really good to have the space to play there that we just don't have here!).



Once home, Sprout designed his ideal sandwich, which I then made for him before he left for Eurogamer.


Squidge did some more arts and crafts...


...and Moppet joined in, and insisted that I took her photo with her artwork :)



Gruff and Sprout set off for London, and Squidge missed them *a lot*.



He wanted to go on a train too, so we took an impromptu trip to Stone...


...where they danced in the cafe (this was so funny and sweet :D )...


...and Moppet kept stopping for a rest, good job we didn't have a train to catch or anything, oh wait...


Down in London, Sprout declared the hotel bed enormous :D The first thing he did on reaching the hotel room was to make them both a cup of tea. Love that boy :)


He decided he didn't want to do the cosplay in the end, but really enjoyed the expo, trying out the PS4 and lots of unreleased games, including Skylanders SWAP ForceTearaway, Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Doctor Kvorak, Duel of Champions, Carmageddon, Cloudbuilt, Xenolith, and Prison Architect, and Gruff bought him the full version of Puppeteer (an utterly beautiful game!) which he's been excitedly playing the demo of at home. They also played Anima which we've now put onto the iPads as it was so good. 


A Facebook friend sent me this photo of a watermelon pirate ship, and both Sprout and Squidge loved the idea, so I got a watermelon, some BBQ skewers, some little pirate flags (as I couldn't find the ones I made for the pirate pies in all the current kitchen chaos!), some Chantennay carrots, and some grapes. 
I cut the melon in half, and sliced a bit off the bottom to stabilise it, then they scooped balls of melon out for cannonballs, used an apple corer to make cannon hatches in the side and put the carrots in, then scooped the melon out of the other half and cut it into sails which I helped them put on the skewers. They added their own extra touches, including a tiny grape pirate lifeboat, crows nests out of cupcake cases that had come with the flags, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-esque wings from more of the wooden skewers :)



In non-photo'd news this month, Sprout has been really interested in blood and the cells within it, so I found him some fun apps and we've chatted about it too, plus I've got a couple of fun ideas to do this week. 
We also had a great conversation the other day about the earth's layers, as he wondered why the hot, liquid outer core of the earth didn't melt the earth's crust, so we looked at some models of the earth online to get an idea of scale, talked about the thickness of the earth's crust, the depth of the deepest mines, and man's curiosity over history of journeying to the centre of the earth; he decided that he'd like to design a robot to dig that far so it could send back info, and said it would have to be heat and pressure resistant, and not made out of metal due to the magnetism of the earth's core. He also suggested that it would have to have an inbuilt self-renewing power supply due to the length and duration of the journey. He suggested that pressure would increase as the robot dug, and that the robot would have a generator that converted the pressure into power.

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