Friday, 25 April 2014

In which we mostly go to the park...

Warmer weather + friends in the street off school for Easter = lots of time just playing in the garden/street/park :)

We took one of their neighbour friends along to a home ed meet up in the park...

Later on at home we played with the Photoseed Minecraft app with some of our photos :)

Moppet had lots of fun (and made LOTS of mess!) with the water beads, which we haven't had out in a while but one of the boys came across...

...and she and Squidge snuggled up to watch some films.

Another day another park, and we met up with some home ed/Minecraft friends who we've only known online up til now, which was lovely and lots of fun :)

Moppet was excited to discover she could now climb up the bigger slide ladder on her own so she spent most of her time doing circuits of that :) Squidge loved catching her at the bottom!

Sprout was pleased to see that this swing had been fixed so they all had a few goes :)

We've had a house/garden full of neighbour kids playing all week, the K'nex has made a few appearances...

...cardboard boxes have become TVs, robots, picture frames, swords and Lego discos...

...and there's been running, jumping, cycling, go karting, sandpit digging, and tower building, not to mention Minecrafting, Terraria-ing, Skyping, own-rules Monopoly-ing and, of course, Lego.

Sprout agreed it would be a good idea to get a new Guinea pig friend for his remaining Guinea pig, Sapphire, so we found someone who had a girl to rehome and went to see her. On the way Sprout asked me about ECGs, and we also chatted about how, if we did take the new guinea pig home, we were going to accustom the two guinea pigs to each other and hopefully have them be friends.
On another car journey another day, he noticed some large farm fields that had big trees in the middle, and we chatted about how they could still grow crops, and the functions of trees and hedges remaining on farms in terms of biodiversity and the reduction in landslips and soil erosion. He wondered about the age of the trees and whether they'd been planted by the farmers or were there before the farms, and we chatted about the farm we've been to a few times near Market Drayton where the farmer's father had actively planted hundreds of trees around for environmental reasons. I told him about tree rings too and the things they can show, and when we got home I showed him this picture which he thought was pretty amazing (I can't find the original source for the picture but if anyone knows just let me know and I'll credit it)...

After a couple of days in adjoining homes, we introduced Sapphire and Emerald the guinea pigs. We'd looked up how to go about it and what to expect. There was an hour or so of scuffling around, sniffing each other's bums, and stopping for snacks, all while Sprout kept a close eye on them, and then they snuggled up together and went to sleep. Not as traumatic as I'd prepared myself for

Squidge and I picked up some bargain veg the other night (spent about £2 on a bag of carrots, a bag of parsnips, a turnip, 6 leeks and half a kilo of mushrooms) and did a bit of a batch cook with it together. We made...
- a variation on this mushroom and leek pilaf but with good old bog standard smart price rice
- a much smaller version of this spiced turnip and chickpeas
- a variation on this carrot, parsnip and cauliflower curry but without almonds and with stock instead of yoghurt because I didn't have any
- some broccoli and parsnip soup (fry onion, boil veg with a few herbs, blend!)
- leek and broccoli pasta bake (I realised I had no cheese and precious little milk, so improvised with some dairylea triangles. Cook 500g pasta, fry a chopped leek, par boil a chopped head of broccoli, mix all together in an oven dish with six or so dairylea triangles and a splash of milk and a bit of salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese, and bake on gasmark 6 until the cheese is melted.)
- potato, leek and carrot bake. Pretty much made the same as the pasta bake, but with some fried onions in too.
We used up some fruit we'd frozen that was left over from one of his Weekend Box recipes too and made a crumble, and did last week's Weekend Box recipe too which was 'Cauliflower Burgers', which turned out to actually be pancakes but were surprisingly good :)

I had a bit more insight into how Sprout's reading/spelling/grammar is burgeoning (see here for a bit more info on how he's learnt to read without ever being taught) when I thought he asked me to send him the word 'addition', which I then did, and he told me no, edition, the one with an 'e'. That he made that distinction was a cool thing to see :)

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