Precious Memories

This week has been a funny old week with me recovering (really well) from the surgery but sleeping waaaay more hours than I think I have ever slept in my life!  I had decided on a couple of weeks of light school which worked for all of about 5 minutes and then we had attitudes brought about by boredom.  It isn’t that the children aren’t able to occupy themselves, it is just that they really need something juicy to get their teeth into and a little direction.  It is the reason I can’t ever see us doing full-time unschooling no matter how much it appeals.  Some how when the children are given unlimited free time they develop the attitude that time is their own, to use as they please.  This was tricky because when I then asked them to lay the table or wash up (chores they regularly do without a murmur of complaint) I got a little back chat which is not really something I have ever needed to deal with before.  So Gary and I called a family meeting.  It was interesting though to see just how much the children hated there being an atmosphere in the house.  Having grown up in a house where I felt like I walked on eggshells the entire time I work really hard to ensure problems are solved before they become big. I could see during our family chat that they felt very much the same way as me and really wanted guidance from both Gary and I to help them solve the weird attitudes which had crept in.  Family meetings are the bedrock of our family relationships.  We don’t have them often but we do have them when needed and they are a fabulous way to bring everyone together again on the same path, so to speak, and heading towards the same goals.

Apart from this attitude check we have been jogging along nicely (metaphorically speaking, of course, I haven’t actually jogged anywhere).

For us the Christmas season begins with our church’s Christmas charity fair, which the children’s choir sing at each year:

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We also keep our eyes open for small gifts for the stocking or for friends and family.  This year I bought five little crocheted Christmas pudding into which a chocolate is placed.  These will be perfect as yearly stocking gifts:

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We have also ordered the family Christmas pajamas.  Apart from Gary and T we went with Minnie Mouse ones this year in a lovely red and cream.  The children will get these on Christmas eve for our yearly pajama party with The Muppet’s Christmas Carol:

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The girls friend, K, had an inset day at school on Monday and invited L and C to spend the day with her playing schools.  She lent them a uniform each and gave them their time-table for the day.  She was their teacher and her mum, my long-suffering friend, Lorna, was head teacher.  She prepared a full day of lessons and had a whole system of rewards and punishments for the two of them!  Here they are before the day began:

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There was a small part of me that was concerned they might come home begging to go to school, but on arrival home they both ran up to me, dramatically holding their hand to their head and exclaimed they were so glad to be home schooled and that they would never ever go to school!  The reason?  They were required to sit for almost the entire day in increments of over half an hour.  They categorically stated they could manage ten minutes but half an hour?!  It was a travesty in their books!  I just laughed and didn’t remind them that they sat for at least 30 minutes each day doing maths!

K’s brother came to stay for the day with T.  Very sensibly (in my humble opinion), they decided against ‘doing school’ for the day and chose instead to play badminton, racket ball, walk the hour back to our house and play Mine Craft against each other for the rest of the afternoon:

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The little ones and I have been completing their Mr Men school, hoping to finish all the activities in time for the new year.  This week they sewed their own Mr Men:

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Ever since the Scarlet Fever B3 has succumbed to every infection under the sun.  This time it was a tummy upset.  She was delighted to be allowed to share my bed for a couple of nights so I could do puking duty with her and not disturb Gary who slept on the sofa (and needed to be up at 5am for work).  Needless to say I was less than delighted, vomit being one of my least favourite body fluids to work with!  Here she is snuggled up in our bed, bowl to the side:

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L12 has been very focused on her loom band craze at the moment, whilst I have been doing my best not to allow it to drive me craz-y.  Loom bands get every where.  Everywhere.  And if I hear the plea of loom band poverty once more I might very well have to empty the contents of my vacuum cleaner on the floor and tell L to go at it, because I am certain we could open a loom band shop on the bands my vacuum picks up!  That said, I’m kind of proud at her sticking power.  Not the sticking power required to tidy away her loom bands off the floor – she doesn’t have that type of sticking power.  No, it’s her ability to watch and follow a YouTube video and make all manner of loom band creations, including Christmas presents and Christmas tree decorations:

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Whilst her sister tends the carpet and scatters (loom bands all over the floor), C12 has been focusing all her efforts on her new novella.  It is a murder mystery and it has been an interesting process to watch!  Now lest you all gasp in disapproval over a young girl writing a murder mystery at age 12 I need to hold my hands up and say it is all my fault.  At the beginning of this year we began to buy Murder She Wrote videos for the older children to watch in their screen time if they chose to.  These are fairly tame, old-fashioned murder mysteries and the children had fun working out who the murderer was and why.  I like to think of it as an easy critical thinking class (yes, I do know I’m stretching it here…)  After we finished series 10 we decided to move onto our next series.  I have read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Agatha Christie’s mysteries and look forward to introducing them to the children at some point.  Anyway our next dvd series has been Poirot.  This has been particularly fun because Poirot, the little Belgium detective, always gathers the suspects into a room before he reveals who the murderer is and why.  At this point we stop the dvd and all give our opinions.  For a family who enjoys Cluedo, this is just so much fun.  Again the dvds are tame without any explicit blood and gore, however it is these videos which have inspired C to write her novella and I have to say it is very good.  I have promised to post it when (if) she finishes it.  She has not only planned it all out on a huge sheet of paper using spider diagrams, she has also kept a scrap-book of ideas and research which she even sellotaped some bicarb into and labelled it arsenic!

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I really hope she becomes a novelist some day because she needs somewhere to explore all her wonderful creativity!

My son has been on a reading fest over the past week or so, finishing up the Red Wall series as well as ploughing his way Les Miserables.  I couldn’t say he is loving the book but he wants to read it before seeing the musical theater version and the film version.  He has also been playing Mine Craft.  Of course.  I shall leave you with a lovely photo of B3 snuggled up to her big brother:

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging friends in America and a happy weekend to everyone else!

23 comments

  1. I am glad you are doing well from your surgery!! I also wanted to let you know that I loooooved your Native American post-with ancestors from three different tribes, I was NOT offended and that you did a wonderful job. So much of our history has ben lost, I am glad that you tried it. Kudos, and as far as pronunciation, when I was in England (especially Hereford) those poor folks had an awful time with my Texas/Southern accent–all you can do is try. And you do a wonderful job of it. Tonyia

  2. I smiled at the school story because a couple of weeks ago we were coming back to our house about the time the schoolbus was dropping off in our neighborhood, and Rose says to me, “I could never go to school! I wouldn’t want to walk all the way up our hill every day!” (because the schoolbus lets off at the bottom of the driveway) It’s the little things 😀

    1. Lol! They were also mildly horrified to have been given home work which needed to be done by Wednesday. They had me write a tongue in cheek note about the dog eating it!

  3. I can’t believe how grown-up all your kids are looking – clearly the summer was full of growth spurts for your gang!
    Glad that you’re recovering well so far. Sometimes sleep works better than meds to get you back on your feet, doesn’t it?!
    P.S. In our house, all loom bands would be eaten by insane dogs as they fell.

  4. I LOVE Agatha Christie, both the books and the film versions, so I look forward to reading the nascent novella!

    It’s interesting about the bad attitudes; I notice something similar with the boys I nanny. They’re lovely, sweet, helpful boys – until I allow them to use my laptop or watch TV. And then it is nigh impossible to drag them away or even get them to look at me while I ask them something. So strange, and a bit worrying.

  5. I’m glad to read your recovering nicely from your surgery. Boredom can be a problem of unschooling – I don’t have much patience with bored children, and there’s always lots of housework for them to do – so the children have learned that it’s in their best interest to find something to keep them occupied rather than mope around in front of me 🙂 Thanks for the “Happy Thanksgiving” – and a happy weekend to you!

    1. I take pretty much the same stance. I don’t like attitude of any kind and this is where we came unstuck this week. It seems to have resolved now though!

  6. Love this post. It is good to hear you are doing well.
    I love the story about the girls’ day at “school.” I agree. Their picture is just beautiful. They are growing into lovely young ladies. It is nice to see Mr. Men and the Littles. They are the sweetest! Home school is the best!!! Your pajamas are just great. Can’t wait to see the picture this year. Poor B. I hope she is feeling better. L’s is doing fantastic on her projects. She has really worked hard. I do understand about the bands. UGGG. I hope you do publish C’s work so we all can read it. Just the part I see looks interesting. Murder She Wrote is a great show. (Did you ever see Rosemary and Thyme? We liked it, too.) Love the last picture of T and B. Too cute.

    We had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family. Happy weekend to you, too!

    1. I’m so glad you had a good Thanksgiving. Yes, we too have enjoyed Rosemary and Thyme although the children haven’t watched it yet. Hope you had a great weekend. xx

  7. It is sauce a joy to read your blog. So inspiring. I wish you to recover fast and have wounderful happy Christmas season

  8. We’ve been watching Nero Wolfe episodes, which are about the same level of mystery as Murder She Wrote, so if you get through Poirot, check out those. Plus, they’re a nice peek into American life in the 30s-60s, which is the time when the books were written.
    I’ve noticed the attitude problem as well when I try to do a light school day. This past week Batman had minor surgery and so I let them mostly play as I cleaned, and they got called to help clean from time to time and the attitude I got for that…. You’d think I asked them to clean the whole house.

      1. My boys and injuries…. Here’s how that goes, later in the same day of his surgery Jeff came home and said, “Why is our son who is supposed to be taking it easy riding around on a scooter?” I think it’s more tiring for me than him when he’s supposed to be resting because the boy doesn’t.

  9. I too so enjoy reading your precious memory posts – I hope B3 is feeling much better, and glad you have recovered from your surgery. I look forward to reading C’s novella (love that scrapbook!), and am giggling at the thought of you dumping out the contents of your vacuum 🙂 I am so impressed that family meetings nip attitude in the bud – I may be a few years late on that! I officially have 2 hormonal teens – was hoping it would be longer for L – and the mood swings around here leave me baffled!

    1. I have three. Fortunately we all talk about it a lot, and they are now managing their feelings a bit better. But when it first started it came out like a bolt from the blue!

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