Precious Moments {November 5th to 11th}

Welcome to my favourite post of the week!  The one where I pop down all the special moments our family has had over the last seven days.  After a not very productive last week, I was determined to keep us all busy this week.  And busy we were!

Last Friday we finished off the day with our mother and child conferences to get us all on the same page for the coming week.  The children came to me with their plan and we discussed, altered and tweaked until we came up with something we could all agree on 😉  I love this one to one time with each child.  They can last up to an hour and it gives me another small window into the way each thinks about themselves, their goals for the future and how they intend to reach for those goals.  I can’t think why I didn’t do these meetings sooner <3

On Saturday, Lillie had her first art lesson at the local arts university.  This is a free initiative they run for 13-16 year olds to have the opportunity to be taught by actual artists who are specialists in their field.  In addition they take the students up to London to the art galleries, and also hold an exhibition of their art at the end of the year.  This week, Lillie learnt about taking a self-portrait in the photography studio, and helped to create some Tony Cragg inspired sculpture:


All the students were then asked to choose a small area of the sculpture and paint it.  This is Lillie’s snap-chat photo of it, so it is not very, very clear:


Lil has never done any kind of abstract art so I think she found it hard to know what the teacher was looking for.  I decided to do a small artist study on Tony Cragg with her on Monday evening just to complement her Saturday session and to give us some time one to one together.  Our resulting piece of art is inspired by Cragg’s ‘Britain Seen From the North‘.  We called ours ‘Brexit: No longer a United Kingdom?’:


Charlotte felt a bit lost Saturday morning as her brother works at the local bakery and now her twin was doing an art class for four hours.  I had been thinking about what I could do with her and we have decided that whilst her siblings are busy with their various activities, she and I will go out for a coffee, do a bit of charity shopping and spend some time at the local library (which is like her idea of Heaven!) and maybe toss about some new ideas for writing.  Hopefully spending some quality time together will help prevent her feeling like she is missing out at all 😀

Sunday we all sat down for a chat about where we are heading as a family.  Gary and I had decided that we would love for Sunday to be a simple family day, maybe watching a dvd or going for a walk or perhaps even playing board games together.  I knew I would have to think up some pay off for my son who, being the only boy in the house during the week, feels the need to be with his friends more than he would if he perhaps had a brother.  I jigged around the chores they traditionally do on a Saturday (these are their paid chores they do in order to earn enough money for their clothes, savings for uni and to pay for their chosen activity), so that they were able to do them scattered throughout Friday, in between 1-2-1 with their younger sisters and our parent/student conference.  This would then free up Saturday afternoon and evening to meet up with friends.  We also encouraged them to feel free to use our downstairs Saturday evening if they wished to invite friends over for a dvd or just to hang out (Gary and I can go to our bedroom and have a second date night 😉  )  Therefore Saturday would be all about their friends whilst Sunday would be all about our family.  Voila!  Everyone was happy 🙂  Oh, and Gary volunteered to be taxi on the Saturday if necessary.  How great is he?


Sunday was also the little one’s seventh day stuck in the house (due to a nasty case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease) and they were definitely getting a bit of cabin fever and were very restless, so we set up lots of creative stations with a very imaginative glass of water with ice cubes in polymer clay being created by B5 (can you see the blue water under the white ice cubes?):


B5 also painted (or started to paint….she is perfectionist extraordinaire!) a forest scene:


Whilst A8 painted a beautiful ocean scene:


We were all pleased when Monday came and they had officially had the disease for the ten days it took for it not to be infectious anymore 🙂

Also, on Sunday, Charlotte had a try out to become a regular on the youth worship team.  She will now be regularly scheduled in as a singer on the rota, beginning after Christmas.

Monday was the first day we had done school and a certain young eight year old had huge struggles to concentrate for longer than 15 seconds on anything.  It was very frustrating for both her and me but we managed to get some work done focusing mainly on her Endangered Tiger Project, creating a loo roll tiger and doing some more work on her Endangered Animals Scrapbook:


In this second picture she is writing one of the articles for her magazine entitled The Tiger Times:


Lillie did some lovely art from her Spring-Time Splendor course:


I think this will be going up in her little sisters’ room 🙂

Tuesdays are a peculiar day here, because Thomas is off at college, Gary is at home from work, Charlotte and Lillie go to the local primary school to help run their morning assembly and Lillie has a friend over to do art.  We got the usual phonics and maths done as well as a bit more of A8’s endangered animal project.

In September we had sponsored a tiger named Kamrita for A8.  Unfortunately, just recently, she had died of old age, a fact which upset A8 enormously 🙁   As part of her magazine she wrote a little bit about her, finishing her first page, which we stuck into her scrap book.  The magazine article was a nice memorial to Kamrita.  We have since heard from the WWF and our money is now going to support three tigers in a different area.  We will be focusing on them soon.

The girls did another mixed media art project, from Alisha Gratehouse’s ‘You are a Masterpiece‘ Course:


I really liked this project and have bought myself a couple of canvases so I can try my hand at it also.  Y’know, one day when I have some of that allusive time 😉  I thought the girls’ work was just beautiful:


As Daddy was off, we took B5 to the local charity shop to try on some trainers which we had seen at the weekend.  They were too small but we ended up finding a hoodie for both younger girls for £1.50 each.  They looked practically new, and the girls were ecstatic!


The picture on the left was of A8 playing dress up with her blanket and some ribbon.  I thought she looked so beautiful I had to capture it 🙂

Wednesday, we were back to normal school with Lillie working on her impressionism art project, focusing on Seurat and pointillism:


Charlotte made grand strides in her preparation for a Victorian Christmas, working on invitations:


Both girls finished their second assignment for their English Language IGCSE and sent it off for marking.  They are really enjoying the course run by Catherine Mooney and seem to be doing fairly well so far.

It was all about the Chemistry for Thomas as he watched another dvd from the very excellent Chemistry 101 video set (review coming up next week).  He is also plowing his way through the next chapter in his Chemistry IGCSE on organic chemistry, which he hopes to have finished by Friday.  In the absence of any interesting photos of Thomas (he has literally been at the table writing all day) I captured him in a playful moment with his little sisters:


A8 is currently designing a Tiger poster for a competition which she would like to enter.  The prize is a cute family of knitted tigers, which I know she would love to win.  The tiger on her poster is a collage of cut up photographs of tigers.  Even the stripes are made up of the strips of real tigers (and the eyes, nose, mouth and ears – all from different wild tigers).  Hopefully we will have it sent off by Friday:


Thursday, I began reading chapter two of National Geographic’s Mission: Tiger Rescue! Book which we had given A for her 8th birthday.  We are slowly making our way through it, doing some of the suggested activities as we go along.  I have ordered a couple of plain T-shirts which we will make a design to go on to increase the awareness that tigers are endangered animals.  We began chatting about the design this week, and hopefully we will create the design and using a t-shirt transfer, iron on the designs to our t-shirt.  Fun, fun, fun!

The littles also watched the following video on Tigers:


And A8 wrote about her poster for the entrance to the competition:

Thomas carried out his experiments into acids and bases, checking various chemicals found around the house, making his own indicator out of red cabbage:


Lillie wrote a blog post about autumn and did some more work on her Seurat picture:


She was going a bit nutso by the end of the day wandering round with a huge grin on her face declaring to all that she had been creating all day and was hyper.  This was followed by a rather creepy laugh……


Charlotte made a playlist for her Victorian Christmas and finished off chapter four of her short novel.  She does a heap of other writing.  In fact this girl is either reading or writing.  She has finished Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mocking Bird (for the umpteenth time), Dating with Integrity, Do Science and the Bible Conflict? and started Vanity Fair (all in just this week!) as well as plugging away at War and Peace and many, many pleasure books (Fault in our Stars, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Deathly Hallows, How to Make a Living with Your Writing…..).  She often reads into the night.  Loooong into the night.  And is often the first up in the morning.  She just loves to read 🙂


We’ve also been making getting out in the fresh air each day a priority and walk for about an hour each day before school, sometimes heading for the park, and sometimes the pond, other times the nearby woodland:




I took a sneaky picture of the pond so that I could compare it to past years:


Ahhh, autumn!

Linking up with Kris here


    1. Lillie has a LOT of patience. She just loves to create and never gets bored. I’ve never tried to paint using pointilism but I’m not sure I’d manage it either 🙂
      I can’t comment on your blog anymore – I just wanted you to know I had tried 🙂

  1. You all did so much this week. What a fantastic time you all had. I love all of your ideas and plans. What a blessing you are to your children and husband.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I love all the artistic projects that went on this week in your house – and that tiger poster that A* made is incredible! I’ll be astounded if she doesn’t win.

    1. Thanks Erin. The tiger poster turned out better than we thought possible, although if you look closely it does look a bit creepy – its head just doesn’t look like it belongs on his body 🙂
      I really hope she wins because she has her heart set on those cuddly lil tigers!

  3. You really were busy, despite illness in the house! My favorite photos are the last few outdoors ones…so beautiful!

  4. Gosh, so much to comment on! I love the way you talk to your children about your family’s direction and make changes to suit their development and needs. It’s respectful and loving, and I hope to emulate it 🙂 Charlotte’s special time with you and Thomas’s time for friends, both really small things but really big things at the same time.

    I also really enjoyed the picture of B crouching on the table to paint her picture – very enterprising!

    Please pass along to Lillie’s art friend that her t-shirt is excellent – if I’ve guessed rightly, it says “I’m not weird, I’m limited edition”. Fabulous!

    And A’s tiger poster is fabulous, I’d love to see a close-up photo of it to see the details better.

    What a lovely family you all are.

  5. I love reading about your week and all that you and your family are doing. You inspire me! That’s wonderful about Charlotte making the youth worship team. Megan is singing for our youth worship team, too. Was it Charlotte or Lillie who did gymnastics? It seems that our teen girls have several common interests. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kris 🙂 It is Lillie. She mainly trampolines now but loves to use her body in any kind of exercise. Her twin could be more different. Trying to get her out for the walk in the morning is a feat all of its own 😉

      1. Yes, she likes it. We’re just waiting to get her first assignment back & if she gets on with the arrangement we were thinking of adding in English Lit. Are L & C doing that? I’m not sure when Cordie will do the exam – she’s only year 8 at the mo but if she feels ready it might be good to get one exam ticked off! Would be fun to bump into you at an exam. 😊

      2. I’m encouraging them to wait a year for the literature, mainly because they cost such a lot and I have three taking various IGCSEs next summer. I think it may bankrupt us!

  6. Hope your younger girls are feeling much better now. I still remember how miserable my oldest was with hand foot and mouth – and it was over 20 years ago! A Victorian Christmas sounds wonderful. My oldest daughter will still be in England at Christmas and is very much hoping for a white Christmas (they are a bit hard to come by her in the Southern hemisphere). She’s hoping snow will help banish homesickness!

    1. They are all better now, thank you. We would love for it to be a white Christmas, especially for our Victorian Christmas – it would make it a bit more authentic as we went through a mini ice age during the Victorian age. I shall pray for snow for your daughter 🙂

  7. As I read about your family, I couldn’t help but feel as if we could be friends were geography in our favor. 🙂 Your big, busy, artistic, creative, animal-loving, book-loving family is similar to mine.

    I certainly am rooting for your darling A8 to win her contest–her poster is marvelous!

    1. I love this comment! It is lovely how the internet brings together like-minded people who, even if they do not meet in ‘real life’ can enjoy each other’s company from afar 🙂
      And thank you for rooting for A, she’d be so happy if she won!

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