View From My House

View From My House

Monday, June 29, 2009

Still sick, Pj party and art

Above: Raven's art, rainbows and monsters.
Below is Monika's 'rainbow'.

Labyrinth's monsters.Following two are Kai's psychotic army dudes.

Below is Dante's fish and rainbow:

PJ Party! Actually, this is quite normal with the exception of Monika who sleeps in mum and dads bed still (AP). The children don't like the idea of having to sleep separately, and who can blame them, that's how they all started, with cuddles from mummy and daddy.
Individual photos of each modelling their new sets of PJs! Raven is a monster (he's monster obsessed lately), followed by Monika in her cat paw sleep set, Labyrinth in fashionable punky pink, and Kai and Dante chose the same PJs, it was two in one set, this is the army set, the other is red with black skulls.

Nearly recovered from our nasty 'flu. No, not the wiglet 'flu, just the nasty one that's doing the traps at the moment. We got the new pj's for them and they were all so excited, roughly all cost about the same, less than $20, but it all adds up when there are 5. Monika got some new skirts too, she seems to be outgrowing everything and all her trousers are either too little or too wide around the waist (Raven had this problem too, inheriting from Kai who was very fat, while I'd never say Raven's been fat, he was definately wider around the waist than Monika. So while I'd love to save money and be eco-friendly with hand-me-downs, its isn't all that practical.

We also had a pizza night, and have been loving the new movie we have (not yet released in Australia, just the US) of Coraline. Seriously, Monika has never had the time of day for any movie, sure she watches In the Night Garden or Dora/Diego she wont sit still long enough to watch anything else. She is only 22 months, of course, and each were different at this age, Raven loved TV as a toddler, and Labyrinth was soothed by RAGE when she was a wee 2 month old. But Monika is very different. However, Coraline has most certainly changed this. Its a longish movie, but she sits completely enthralled by it over and over again, we've only had it since Friday and she's watched it with the same enchantment every day plus twice today. I don't know what it is that is so fascinating to her but there you go. All of the other children love it too, hence why it keeps getting turned back on. They first watched in Saturday with their pizza.

Raven has been suffering, and they are concerned enough at the hospital to be bringing forward tests and so forth, so he has to go for the bloods and stool samples again on Monday so the test results will be ready by his next appointment. He has some kind of autoimmune disease, (probably coeliacs - though we could all be wrong and it could be more serious... whatever he has I have and everything points at Coeliac's Disease, really. Taking into account the changes I've had since going GF.)

Other than that, I've been reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman chapter by chapter to them, immersing them with singing and reading picture books to them everyday, doing random maths and they've done some art. We've gardened, cooked, done chores, and recovered from our illness. Why is it our holidays seem to be when we're all sick???

We also invested in a Swiss Diamond fry pan with lid (on sale at Habitat right now the Swiss Diamonds are well worth it) and a George Foreman griddle/grill to avoid using dangerous fry pans - we had a sunbeam banquet fry pan that had non-stick which just lifted off, nasty. We'll get a wok if it doesn't work out for stirfries, but a real one, seasoned. We are determined to eat healthily and that includes our cookware. We've long since came to the conclusion its worth saving up and spending the extra money on something that doesn't need throwing out every six months. They really do pay themselves back, in countless ways, like less waste (good for ol' mother earth), financially eventually, and of course, our overall health!

Reseaching lots at the moment and we might be able to move along faster in our attempt to become hippies living naturally off the farm and building our own home. YAY!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We're all sick with that cursed flu

So here's some photos, above, Raven in a Basket, below Monika with Labryinth's Red Panda.
Labyrinth and Monika together.
Dante and Kai together. Ironically I tried catching Raven and Monika in that basket together but she'd gotten herself out by the time I'd gotten that camera!
Besides the 'flu, there are other health concerns. One day at a time.... with luck next time the post will be full of wonderful things.
Oh, we did go to a homeschool community activity, which was paper craft, science (such as mobius strips) and paper making. Lots of fun, and lots of socialising!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Drawing and Monsters

Wow, what a week! We've barely stopped to catch our breath... My mother needed some emotional support this week, after all she's done for me its but all I could do. Labyrinth and Andrew have had psychiatrist appointments, we've done antique shopping and visited the new pet shop in New Norfolk twice, but there won't be another visit. Here is but a few drawings that the children have been up to, and a few of the lessons we did. The next two are Labyrinth's art work, and while we are on the subject of Labyrinth, she suprised me, I asked her a few multiplication/division questions, she got them all right! I don't think she's behind that much at all really. Once the concept of a thing is understood by Labyinth, its just there in her brain, until clicking she just can't do it. Oh, for the lack of formal maths learning we do, it is an amazing testament to natural learning! As you can see her drawing and colouring in are advancing too.
The next four pictures were drawn by Dante, followed by some of his writing. This is true, I tried my hardest to get them writing at the beginning of the year, it was a struggle, they just didn't want to... so I didn't push, now that we've started again it's af if we were doing formal writing lessons all that time. Oh, its wonderful to see them enjoy what they do. The writing is his experience of buddy camp.

This is young Raven's lesson, he wants to learn all things scary, so I've given him work that bends to this theme. Oh, a young goth in the making! Or EMO!

Above and below two are Kai's work. He had hardly put pen to paper without being asked, but he's definately improving even if he hasn't been too interested. (He's main interests are computer games, which he easily plays with the ability of the average adult. He can do stuff I can't do and find things in his army games that Andrew hasn't found, for example).

Next is Monika's work. She does stuff on paper sometimes too! The only issue I have is once drawn she'll rip it to pieces, so its the rare one I get to keep. It's sometimes too late to stop her, she's quick! She speaks well for her age, and I suspect she would be toilet trained by now if it weren't for winter. She can name most things on her body, knows when she wants to go and complains when she has gone. She has done a wee or two on the toilet too, and a poo in Raven's potty once.
The rest belong to Raven. I love how he seems to capture emotions. He draws many monsters.

The last one here shows he is distinguishing between male and female now in his drawings. He deliberately used more eyes on the third and second last as they were monsters (all of them have sharp teeth, some have claws, noticable fangs. The first is sea creatures, the second is of dinosaurs. He loves dinosaurs, particularly T-Rex because he's a RAAA dinosaur. He's requested a T-Rex and art materials for his birthday, which is coming up early next month, he'll be 4.
Monika is even getting into scary. She requests me to read the 'scary' books, such as Sipping Spiders through a Straw and Where the Wild Things Are, Meg and Mog books etc. Then again, if she's not drawing she's got a book in hand. She occasionally gets out her babies - she loves her red panda beany bear and her upsy daisy wooden doll. She also has an upsy daisy soft doll but she just throws her down if you try getting her to play. Her prefered method of play is wrestles and running around or dancing. She'll also dig in the garden rather than use the play equipment but she does love swings/slides. She's a good climber too. Oh, and she loves having nail polish on. To my dismay, their child carer put her in face paint and painted her toe and finger nails one day, and now she loves it. Such a girly girl. We never had one of those before!
Thats it for now. I am going to check on my seedlings tomorrow, we've been watering them but I'm still so worried about them!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden of Earthly I wish....part 9

Our little seedlings have grown up and are more than ready to head into the big garden... above on stakes are the snow peas and pea plant experiment. In front are the kale/cauliflower/bok choy.

Kai is pointing out the pea plant experiment, completely his idea and nuturing right from the start. We didn't really think it would grow (it was a seed found in a bale of pea straw hay!) but it was a great learning experience for him!

Of course, this is only a tiny beginning. I'm hoping I won't need to buy much fresh veges at least, but ideally I'd like to be growing all my own veges, fruit and nuts eventually. Its so hellishly expensive to buy decent nuts and real yummy veges, and this is an attempt at starting a new sustainable lifestyle, one that can benefit the children's minds as well as thier bellies *).

Today we did some cooking, we cooked buckwheat pancakes for brunch. Andrew didn't like them but the children ate them up and I liked them too. Later it was Quinoa/amaranth pasta (orgran) with spagetti sauce. The children watched Life in Cold Blood Dragons of the Dry yesterday and have been doing so much art. I'll be dedicating a whole post to just that in the next day or so! Q.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Camping they'll go... and while the cats away...

While the big two have been at Buddy Camp and living it up, the younger three have been doing some nice quality stuff with mum and dad. Like antique/second hand shopping, lunch and play at McDonalds, doing collages, watching new movies, and making a new safe recipe of Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies with mum. (Its a step by step recipe if your interested). The cookies are smaller but really, really yummo. Maybe a touch drier but still melt in your mouth.
Tending our little garden doesn't change. Here is Kai's Pea Plant experiment (obviously a success!)

Below our seedlings are just about ready for planting, but I'm so scared they'll die out in the cold.
Snow peas are looking like they need some stakes so they'll need to be planted ASAP.

Bananna Plant is doing well.
Our resident Picasso/Monika I mean, drawing anywhere and everywhere she possibly can. Way, way advanced. She could care less about toys, but drawing and books she can't get enough of:

Oh dear she's cute! She either bringing me books to read her all the time, or she's off making her beautiful art around the house somewhere, anywhere... She also loves to sing and dance, which is taken care of by Justine Clarke, and singing and dancing together, or singing the ones with movements like "I'm a little tea pot" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "Peter Rabbit" you get the idea! Oh, and its not a case of playing in the yard with ride on trikes/play equipment (why waste the money - she never uses them anyway), she'd rather dig in the dirt with her spade.
The other's were well looked after, doing art, playing games, having a ball but missing their older siblings. I tried keeping them busier than usual. They also had a holiday from chores so they could enjoy it more. While its been lovely having the break, I miss them dearly. It's quiet without them.