Looking Back on our Week

This week has been a funny ol’ week in so many ways.  The weekend started with us discovering bees had taken up residence in our chimney.  It was the hottest day of the year and we were advised to smoke them out with a fire and that it could take up to three hours!

Ribbet collage bees

  1. I’m not that keen on either heights or bees so it fell to Gary to be hero of the moment and go and investigate.  I did have fun dressing him up in enough clothes to ensure he wouldn’t be stung and felt my idea of him wearing the children’s science goggles was class!  He was a little hot to say the least but only got stung once, so I guess it was worth it!
  2. There he is climbing to the top of our roof
  3. Giving us a wave
  4. The arrow shows the lead flashing lifted up and was where the bees were entering from.  This meant the bee’s nest wasn’t actually in our chimney and so the smoky fire was superfluous to requirement!  We were quite pleased that we didn’t need to burn it for 3 hours, as the house would have been roasting.

I had a wobbly moment over the weekend, and whilst I recovered fairly quickly and was ready to start our week on Monday, there seemed to be an air of lethargy about our house, the reasons for which were not clear.

Whether it was the heat and the resulting lack of sleep, or waning interest in their school work, everything seemed to be forced  and require much hard work on everyone’s part.  Even the younger two have not been themselves, with A5 tearful at times (which is really unusual).  Tuesday was so bad that, after I had taken C11 to her singing lesson  (which she usually loves but this time really struggled to concentrate at) we had a family meeting at which we reached the unanimous decision to take the day off school!  We were just not in the mood.  Now, lest you think this happens regularly, it really doesn’t.  But it was needed.

Wednesday we re-entered the home schooling world, whilst not enthusiastically, certainly with a little more vim and vigour than the day before, thanks to an early night for everybody and much napping from B3.  The little ones have enjoyed their bug project:

Ribbet collage friday 2

  1. Dressing up in their bug outfits continues to be a huge hit, and A5 is always happy to help B3
  2. We did some threading which A5 did particularly well and B3 did to the best of her ability.
  3. B3 was incredibly proud of her efforts and rightly so!
  4. A5 has also enjoyed doing some painting by numbers and fairly accurately painted a lovely butterfly which she has persuaded Gary to hang on her bedroom wall

Ribbet collage me

  1. A5 and I have been working our way through her bug sticker book, as well as watching some of Eric Carle books on DVD.  These DVDs have been well worth having as A5 is often heard asking what a fire fly is or what a real live cricket looks like.  We then turn to our bug encyclopaedia and try to find an answer to her question.
  2. B3 has thoroughly enjoyed searching for bugs and we now have more worms than we know what to do with.  Gary went out one night when the little were in bed and let out a variety of frogs and insects back into the wild, I am sure to be caught once more, another day!
  3. A5 is particularly good at finding special places to hunt and is old enough and strong enough to be able to lift stones, pots and turf so she and A3 can look underneath.
  4. T12 is training the little ones in the art of washing and drying up.  Each lunch time this is a familiar sight in the kitchen whilst I am giving the girls extra maths lessons.

And the older ones are coming along nicely with their plague projects and learning about microbes:

Ribbet collage friday 3

  1. T is trying out some filming in our well-lit dining room to see if this would improve the lighting issues on his film.  He has also been researching other possibilities such as home-made tin can lighting (which I think sound so cool!) or the possibility of filming outside.
  2. T’s two main goals with this film are to improve the lighting and the sound.  We had said we would help him financially with one of those things but the other he had to seek an inexpensive or free option for.  He asked us to buy some microphones.  Here he is with C11 trying them out.  In fact all five children spent hours ‘trying them out’ and by the end of the day I was rather wishing he had chosen a lamp of some sort instead of the very noisy microphones!
  3. L11 researching on her new computer and enjoying every moment!
  4. All the children are loving our microbe study and it has been a good choice to have everyone learning together.  I have designed it to be so hands on that even the littlest can find stuff to do.  We only do about half an hour a day but I have found that we get lots done without the younger one’s attentions wandering

Rather unusually we had no activities Thursday night and so Gary felt a surprise family film night might be just what the doctor ordered.  So with that in mind he stopped at the video store on the way home to pick up a film and some goodies to munch on and surprised the children with it all on his return:


Ribbet collagefilm

By the end of the week, all was hunky dory again in Claire and Gary land, and everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief:

Ribbet collage friday 1

  1. Gary and I always have a laugh together, but I was literally on the floor here!  Gary has a reputation for collecting hats a bit like Imelda Marcos collected shoes, and whilst he hasn’t quite broken the one thousand barrier yet he is getting closer all the time.  So when he announced to me he needed (yet) another hat, I protested to the fullest of my ability.  He proceeded to use all of his charms to persuade me that this new hat was absolutely essential to his continued health.  Basically he had seen a doctor about a mole on the side of his face and whilst there was nothing to worry about the doctor had advised him to wear a wide-brimmed hat any time he was working outside.  Well, I couldn’t very well argue against that could I?  So I tried to come up with some creative ways he could use the hats he already owned to ‘make’ one wide-brimmed hat.  This was my effort.  Fetching, don’t you think?  He didn’t agree, funnily enough, and has since bought himself a proper wide-brimmed hat.
  2. My little girl happily playing with her little girl.
  3. My two older girls thoroughly enjoying the privilege of being twins
  4. And Gary blowing me kisses, trying to butter me up for said hat.  Yes, he’ll try anything!

And whilst I posted some yesterday, I just can’t get enough of these two gorgeous girls worshipping God with their dance:

Ribbet collagedance1


Ribbet collagedance2

That’s it for this week, we’ve got a fun week coming up next week with a bank holiday Monday, a trip to the beach and some friends coming round.  Hopefully it will be an easier week!

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  1. Despite said lethargy, your family always amazes me in your energetic pursuits – whether for bugs, gardens, or hats! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! (Did I read somewhere that you are now getting sleep at night? That’s wonderful!)

  2. You have had an eventful week with things, but it worked ok in the end. The pictures were lovely and the ones of Abigail and Rebecca dancing was really gorgeous. I really hope you have a really enjoyable Bank holiday, Take care. xxxxx

  3. I have drug my feet on getting a microphone for the kids despite knowing said kids would love it for just that reason.

    When the kids were much younger, like three or so, I used to take endless pictures of the kids walking holding hands together. They don’t do that anymore, but it used to tickle me pink to see it.

    1. We went to the beach today and the twins were walking hand in hand. And yesterday I caught T and L hugging! I just love the closeness that home school encourages between siblings!

  4. Oh, the day off. They make me feel so guilty, but there really is value in an occasional “shake it up and chill out day.” I’m glad yours helped everyone perk up just a little bit!

    1. Thank you Dana. Yes, it’s difficult not to feel somewhat guilty, but I think probably sometimes one just has to draw a line under a day instead of banging one’s head against the proverbial brick wall!

  5. Thanks for sharing your posts this week. I didn’t have a chance to comment, but your posts spoke to me. I have found doubts at times too. Your family is wonderful and you are doing very worthwhile work.
    blessings, Dawn

  6. I just love all the pictures! My husband has a bunch of hats too…We were chased out of our school room by a hornet yesterday! I am glad you did not have a bee nest in the chimney…that would give me nightmares!!!!

    1. I hate hornets! When we were on holiday as children, my brother and I disturbed a hornets nest and they chased him (not me thank goodness) all through the house!
      So long as the bees nest is outside and not inside I will be happy. The idea of a load of bees swarming down our chimney is not a good thought at all!

  7. What a treat to see so many pictures of your lovely family. I love how close your children are to each other. I love that they hug and laugh so much…look at all the smiles! We once had trouble with squirrels taking up residence in our attic walls. It was quite an experience getting rid of them.

    1. It is one of my greatest pleasure in life, watching my children grow up as friends. I am so glad it comes through in the photos.

  8. I always have to do a double take when I see you in photos – at first glance I think it’s L or C! Looks like the mikes went down well. That reminds me – my C(10) emailed T via you a while back but now I can’t find any trace of the email – weird! I will get her to write another!

    1. Laughing at your comment about me looking like my twins. I’m 40 this year, so I enjoy any comment which alludes to my youth rather than my aging!!
      I checked my emails and my spam – I didn’t receive anything from your address. Feel free to try again!

  9. Sometimes a day off is just what we all need! Although it looks like you all accomplished a lot this week! I must to agree with you. Those little ones are gorgeous! So are the rest of your crew! Have a great day at the beach! Wish I was going with you!

  10. Gary’s hat-collecting sounds similar to my husband’s coat-collecting! Boys will be boys. 🙂 Your day off sounds like what all of you needed at that time. We aren’t in the most productive mode these days either.

    1. I think you’ve been very productive with all your experiments!
      Giggled at the coat collecting. Gary also collects coat, and shoes, and……

  11. Every picture just puts a smile on my face. Well, except the one of Gary walking on the roof. It makes my knees weak. Seriously.

    P.S. If Gary would like more “things” to collect, I will deliver them myself!

    1. Yes, I agree re. Gary on the roof! I’m not a fan of heights at all (or bees for that matter!)
      I’ll let you know when we need a delivery!

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