Tuesday, 30 April 2013


LG was at playgroup this morning so the boys and I got back to our routine of swimming on Tuesdays.  LB1 did 20 lengths today!  LB2 is working on improving his stroke and we have been practising swimming underwater.  I bought some new goggles for LG after her last ones broke and have been borrowing them myself and trying to improve my own swimming (I have to keep up you know!)

It was another nice day so there was more chalk work on the drive outside.  LB1 brought his blocks outside and was helping LB2 learning his times tables.  Yeh for summer :)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Back to Life

By Thursday we were pretty much back to normal and picking up where we left off.  As it happened the weather wasn’t bad at all so we took the opportunity to walk to playgroup, go to the park, run around a bit with friends, scoot and even start digging over our front garden (well it was Friday afternoon – LG and I dug while the boys complained a bit!)  We’re hoping to get some turf put down soon so we will have a bit more space to play in and some space for plants – very exciting.

So today we went to the garden centre:

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We recapped a bit on the work we did at Gibside about habitats, we read the labels on the plants to understand what conditions they needed to thrive.  Did some maths working out whether the turf at the garden centre was cheaper than the turf at B&Q.  Then we came home and did some out side writing with colourful chalks on our drive.  Unfortunately it rained before I could take a picture!

Then lastly we got inventive.  I don’t want to give you too many clues as we will explain properly when it is all finished – but it involved papier mache and it looks like this:

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Funeral

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My boys and my girl were little superstars.  Exceptionally well behaved, thoughtful and brought a smile to everyone’s face – which is just as he would have wished it x

Monday, 22 April 2013

Catching Up

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Writing and numbers and maths, oh my!  Our first day of normality for a while.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Trip Out and Lots of Fun

Well after Uncle Ralph’s death last week there has been a lot to organise.  His widow, Great Aunty Mary, has needed my help organising and planning the funeral and sorting out all the paperwork.  On Monday the children came with me to visit her so that I could meet with the funeral director and make arrangements.  They were, it has to be said, complete superstars.  They took their colouring and drawing books and quietly occupied themselves for over 2 hours.  We then went off to grandma’s house and I returned to talk to Aunty Mary for a bit longer.

The rest of the week was very similar.  It wasn’t intentional but there was so much to do.  On Wednesday afternoon we went shopping for smart outfits for the funeral and on Thursday the children went back to Grandma’s for a double sleepover while I sorted out more paperwork.

Tuesday was our only day of official Home Ed as we joined in with a trip to Gibside with lots of other home ed children for a talk on wildlife habitats.  It was windy but not too cold and everyone had an excellent time.  So good in fact we didn’t leave until 5pm – having arrived at 10.30 that morning!

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Heading off to the pond.

Pond dipping.

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Rolling down the roly-poly hill.

Things are almost sorted now.  The funeral is on Tuesday and I have to sit with Aunty Mary on Wednesday for a doctors appointment but then things should return to normal.  I think we are all looking forward to that.  It has been a very emotional couple of weeks.  Still the children have loved having the extra time with their grandparents.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Sad Time

The 2nd week of the Easter holidays was supposed to be a time to meet up with friends and have some fun.  We did manage some of that:

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(LB1 is playing hide and seek by the way – not sinking into despair!)  We managed a trip to the park and a day at our house with lots of friends.

But there was also some sad news.  You might remember we had been to visit my great uncle in hospital just before Easter.  He was very ill and had been unable to eat whilst in hospital so was not getting any better.  On Sunday I was told that he didn’t have long left to live and was going down hill rapidly and I went to the hospital alone to visit him.  He seemed tired but alert and very happy to see me.  He had no children of his own so we have always been close.  Even then I felt hopeful that perhaps his diagnosis was wrong.

Then on Wednesday I had another phone call to say that the end could be very soon and if I would like to see him I should go quickly.  With the support of a very kind and lovely friend I was able to go and sit with him for the day, and then my parents-in-law stepped in the next day while he fought through pneumonia and seizures.  He died on Friday 12th of April just before I got to the hospital that morning.  He was with his wife and my aunt so thankfully not alone.

As you can imagine the children’s education to rather a back seat during this week.  It has been a strange time for all of us.  It has been very hard and emotional for me to watch someone I cared for suffer so much.  And it has been hard and confusing for the children to understand what was happening, particularly as I was so upset.

Here are some pictures of Great Uncle Ralph.  Rest in peace.

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Holding LB1 the day after he was born in June 2005.


His 80th birthday in 2007 at the party we threw him.


Reading to LG on her 2nd birthday in 2010.

There were lots of other lovely times but sadly I never seemed to have hands to spare to take photographs.  You will be much missed.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Easter Holidays

By the Thursday before Easter we were all ready for a break.  Most of us had a bit of a bug so we used it as an excuse to rest.  Chocolate was yummy and my lovely boys even gave Daddy and me some of their chocolate as a surprise!  So very kind – even more so as it was unprompted!

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We had another swimming week starting on Easter Monday where all three children came on brilliantly and worked very hard.  They all got their Stage 2 badges (though to be fair the standard varied a lot!)  LB1 got his 100m badge and LB2 got his 25m badge.  We now have quite a collection (and I must think of some way of displaying them when I have a moment).  We also fitted in an important trip to the opticians and the dentist – that’s what holidays are for aren’t they?

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Oh yes and LB2 needs glasses.  He chose a very fetching Spiderman pair and we are waiting for them to arrive.