Wednesday, 26 May 2010

sunshine, tadpoles and newts

After spending the whole day outside, the kids got very hot, I got the umbrella and rug out and they all gathered together to read. I took LOADS of pictures as I love it when I can get shots of all four together.

Boo was being a bird on a perch.

Playing football with Daddy in the front garden.
Even though she was stropping with me, Kiki managed to look angelic in this photo :o)
And then the weather changed and we are back in jackets and wellies :o(
Today we went pond dipping with friends.

All the boys together.
The children were all so involved and happy. We stayed by the pond for ages with only the younger lot nagging for food.
I loved how excited they got when they found something and how the others all came running to have a look.
Touching the creatures.
Kiki loved holding the fat tadpoles.
Ooooh oooooh oooooh we've found a newt!
The girls named him Charlie.

Champ caught one...
three newts!
Kiki was very excited to catch some pond weed :o)

Some little baked bugs for the bug gardens.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Garden camping

I downloaded the pictures from our garden camping last night but just didn't have the energy to write anything. I am disappointed at how few photos I actually took, I think that it was because I was tired, happy tired though, and just didn't think to take pictures.
So anyway, on Thursday evening, Hubby decided to have a braai (barbecue). We had a mini heatwave and after our cold spell we were determined to make the most of it. British weather is so strange, one week you are all wearing coats and gloves and the next it is 27 oC and the kids are in swimming costumes in the garden. I do feel lucky that we home educate and can make the most of the good weather when we have it.
Right, so back to the Thursday night, we had planned on going camping somewhere but couldn't make up our minds where to go or when. The kids and I REALLY wanted to put up the tent again so we decided to put it up in the garden. hee hee I know that it isn't as glamorous as going camping somewhere different but it does have it's perks: private showers and toilets, all the duvets and quilts that we can find, on site fridge and freezer and electrical hookup if required.
While Hubby, was cooking on the fire the children and I got the tenting stuff out. Obviously we couldn't put up the tent without Hubby's help but we managed the ground sheet.
After much huffing and puffing we finally got the tent up. I do think that when it comes to putting up the tent, Hubby needs a little more alcohol to help with his sense of humour and I need a little less to stop giggling when it didn't go quite right :oD but we managed it. We then took about 2 hours to blow up the stupid mattresses - we soooo need those sponge ones instead! and then preceded to load up the tent with sleeping bags, duvets, pillows and quilts. The kids were so excited!!!! It was about 9.30pm when they all got into bed and after a Dr Suess story they all drifted off to sleep - they had no other option really as it was getting dark and we hadn't charged the camping lights and we couldn't find batteries for the torch hee hee I think that it was a good job that we had a practice run in the garden.
The next morning we were up bright and early. Once the sun hits the tent, it warms up rapidly and makes you want to get out.
The kids went off to collect firewood and they cooked bacon for breakfast.

Bacon rolls. I love this picture, seeing the boys just grab their rolls and sit anywhere to eat whereas the girls wanted to lay out the picnic blanket and be a bit more civilised.
It was even warm enough to get out the water slide. The children have been bugging me to get this slide out for months! Even when they were still wearing their jerseys, if there was sun then they thought it was a good time for the water slide :o) So they were happy bunnies to see it again.
The grass was very long which made it hard to pull the slide taut and make it very fast, but they seemed content regardless.
I bought this slide for only a couple of pounds at the end of summer one year and it has been so successful that I am really kicking myself that I didn't buy more. Even just to find somewhere where I could get a large sheet of material would be good as then all their friends could come round and play. I will have to look into that......
Also. as we don't have a hose and the children need water to slide, Hubby or I usually stand at the top of the slide with either the watering can or the old baby bath filled with water.
The children had a blast!

We spent the days outside content just being together in the sunshine.
Champ in his swimming costume and wellies looking at insects :o)
Hubby had an end of season rugby do on the Friday night so the children and I were on our own. They were tired from the having a late night previously, so I knew that bedtime would be reasonably early. The five of us piled into the tent just after 6pm and realised that we should really keep the insect screens zipped up during the day, especially late afternoon as the tent was full of insects. Grabbing the nets we set out ejecting or squashing them.
All the kids had a long story, Googs was asleep almost instantly, Kiki on the other hand was not!!!! She was exhausted and being stubborn. Eventually, I took her back into the house and she finished her screaming and then decided that she did want to come back into the tent and got into her bed and promptly fell fast asleep!!!!
The older two and I then took the opportunity to play some card games. Champ wanted to wait up until it was dark enough to use his telescope but fell asleep long before that could happen.
Once they were all asleep I got into bed with the now charged camping lamp, got my crocheting out and then the bulb in the lamp blew "sigh" so I had an early night.

The children always fall asleep while the tent is still hot so I wait until sundown to put them back into their sleeping bags and duvets.
Saturday! The kids had a birthday party to attend that afternoon and I actually went to the gym!!!! The morning was spent outside though.
Kiki showing off a summer outfit that we found in the cupboard. It used to be Boo's but she never got the opportunity to wear it.

Boo wanted pigtails for the party which meant little sis did too. This is the last pic from Saturday.
Sunday. We were told that the grass was going to be cut. The girls and I were going to church in the morning and the boys had a rugby match, well Champ did. So we were all up at 7am taking down the tent. It is now Monday and I am still washing everything :o)
The kids played with various things. Here they are playing with the rocks that they had made.

We really did have a wonderful time back garden camping :o)