View From My House

View From My House

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dragons: Myth or Real?

Is this myth or real?
This is the question posed to my children today. We watched the mockumentary entitled The Last Dragon a.k.a Dragon's World: A Fantasy Made Real. It fell so well into learning about myth and legend, and when Andrew discovered it, it definately made its way into our learning environment.
Done so well, my children very nearly believed it was true, the eldest two were skeptical originally, which is good. However it even made me really wish it was true. How wonderfully made! Find the wiki here and the official site here which includes a lot of learning and thinking information.

While the sun has shined, we've been very busy in our garden, which unfortunately meant I didn't get any photos yet - but as soon as I don't have dirt all over my hands/grass through my hair/and the sun is still shining I'll get pics up. I'm really pleased about how we are progressing! We've got real gardens with real plants growing, some of them are th*s big!

Every time I tell the children a mythological story, I get them to retell it in some way. I'll have to get some examples up about that too. Unfortunately so much has been happening and I haven't been keeping up to it on here! Really attempting to do well at Uni has something to do with it, that is changing though. I'm getting real serious and am putting Uni off next year to concentrate on writing a novel/children's books/poetry.

The children are coming along very nicely, and there is a the official THEAC (Tassie Home Schooling) picnic coming up on the weekend too. With any luck we will get there, but Andrew doesn't sound enthused about it, unfortunately.

Raven is a smarty pants, he can write really well, he is beginning to read, but oh so lazy. It's unfortunate. He wrote for me "A Bug" today and wouldn't write any more. The big three are slowly working through their writing workbooks, we have a routine now - chores/maths/writing/english/computing/typing/reading lessons daily as a standard, plus we have myth lessons. Although we've taken off the last couple of days to work outside and the children have been helping or playing, as they will.

I hope there may be some readers still out there! Q.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A tale of two Birthday Cakes and some Mythical Creatures

Here we have the two birthday cakes. What a story! Lets start by saying, there was a party the day before her birthday at Tolosa St Reserve. We'd invited alot of people, and surprising many said "yes". This is awesome, but it meant that I had to make two cakes to make sure there would be enough. I was also making Fairies in A Meadow too, so initially I was going to make 20 chocolate fairies which had colour (see above pic). Well, I spent one and a half days (which I didn't really have) to make those. Each time I made two, one broke coming out of the mould. I also had an enthusiastic Monika who wanted to eat them straight away. So with the problems I was enduring I made the decision just to have enough for the cake, and to do plain chocolate for the Fairies in A Meadow. Well, I had enough coloured ones to do a fantastic birthday cake, having them all standing in a circle supported by their wings. Monika got into these a few times as everyone was curious and wanting to look and they didn't keep her away! Anyways, I'd saved enough to do the cake and have plenty of plain to do the Fairies in A Meadow. Then on the day of the party I FORGOT both cakes (both Gluten Free and Dairy Free by the way, and the white choc was sweet williams that is GF and Dairy Free, so I had made up a couple especially for the party in case there was a child who needed that). So... that meant she had two cakes for her birthday instead. Below is a Bratz Pixie cake. This was meant to be with Nan and Pop when we visited them at home so she could get her presents from them. Before we got out the door that day, she'd got in and eaten or bitten into all but these two left on the cake. The others were spares of the Fairies in A Meadow. So Above?Below is the result of two days of cooking. Not quite what I was hoping for... but at least the birthday girl enjoyed herself, right?
Below is just before the final eating of the cake (she's grabbed a fairie and started plowing in before blowing out the candles, its has melted a bit onto her face).
Here's a better picture. Look at that mischievous GLEE in her face. HaHa Mum, I GOT IT!
Here is the boys at Nan's place, it was cute so I'm sharing it.
Here she just blew out the candles with the cake at Nans, she was so fast I couldn't actually catch the glow of the flames...
So this is her second go at blowing out the candles!
Getting into her present bag at Nans. This is cute little story. She's a great cleaner upper, (why else would we keep such a cheeky lass around?) Nan's got a toy bucket, and she knows she has to put toys away when its time to pack up. As a gift, Nan had given her a toy with wheels and since a large majority of toys have wheels in the bucket she immediately took the toy from her pressie bag and put it over in the toy bucket.
Nanny has now taken a little something from us. Every time she gives the birthday child a gift she now gives a little gift to the others. Here they are enjoying little lolly bags she gave to them.

We gave Monika a COOL SCHOOL, similar to the DACS (digital art creativity studio) from Fisher Price. She loves it in short bursts. It takes the place of a keyboard for use in a PC, in fact it has a little keyboard, and a place to do 'writing' etc. She also got a Dora CD expansion pack for it, and a Littlest Pet Shop, way too young of course, but she wants to play so bad when the others do, so why not? She's over shoving every little thing into her goblet, so there is no danger there. As per our family tradition, she gave each of her siblings LPS toy each too, with the exception of Kai again, who got a Bee Beany Bear, which he was wrapt in again.

The Party: Here is the Dragon Pinyata, that Andrew put so much effort into making and it was the highlight of the BBQ party! So cute isn't it? Its paper mache and plaster of paris.
And here is the Pin the Tail on the Dragon game:
Here is naughty Monika trying her best not to be caught on camera.
Here is the costumes, theme: Mythical Creatures (I took photos of all the dressed up children, but I won't be posting them here without permission): In descending order, Kai is a Marine Orc, Dante a Swamp Monster, Labyrinth the MerFairy, Raven is a Tengu (Japanese Shape Changer - in this case he is a Raven), and Monika, the Fairy Princess. Monika and Labyrinth have new wings from the fairy shop. Beautiful aren't they? They can do anything to them, sleep in them wear them in the car, trample mud into them and they'll come up good as new with a wash in the washing machine. Great, aren't they?

The Mythical Creatures of course is an extension of the learning we've all been doing. We have not moved on from Greek Myth yet, we are amazed at how much there is to learn, that and it is on top of their other lessons, and sometimes we jsut don't get time to do it. That's all for now, Q.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Belated Birthday Blog

Firstly: Our Spring Garden. Well this is us weeding it and finding out after our very wet winter what survived. Well, we got ourselves a few cauliflowers and a bean stalk or two still OK, and our blackberry cane is going strong. Very pleased actually, chuffed that we have some hardly plants going, the cauliflower/blackberries are fantasticly hardy. YAY.

My very naughty princess above, after shes been into the gluten free flour, which happens on the occasions the older children leave the kitchen door open (frequently) or on the odd occasion we forget to (like when she's been asleep). OK we are all guilty, but at this stage there is no stopping her from getting into EVERYTHING... just a case of trying our best. But isn't she cute?

Well, it should be the birthday girl first, but blogger won't let me change the photos around without much screwing around so its this way. As I've mentioned in previous birthday posts before, our family birthday tradition is the birthday child gives a small gift to the her (in this case) siblings. So, considering the cute but cheap (in the big toy sales) small interactive animals were about, Monika got a baby duckie (fur real).

Ahhh, the birthday girl. Here is a littlest pet shop interactive toy $2 at Toy World. Makes her very happy, and it doesn't burn a huge hole in our pocket, since we're trying to be frugalish. On the other hand here are her new DSI accessories. These were quite well priced, all under $20, its the DSI that hurt. But we've made the decision to have these little hand held games machines for the older ones during the time we may or may not have electricity (or limited) while we build our new house. It can be recharged off the car battery as we drive!

Obviously this was the After above, and the During below, lovely blogger.

Below we have a wrapt Kai with his gift, a Wall.e PS2 game, he and Dante have played the demo that was free to absolute death, and when we saw this for $10 we thought - Christmas! Then we realised we didn't have a gift for him from Labyrinth, so guess what, he got this to his utter joy. So happy all round there.

Here's Monika with her duckie in a box, she's still not used to the whole notion of birthdays yet.
The best photo of Dante and his Trike, which is from the makers of Fur Real, only labeled differently. Kota and his dinosaur pals, he got the Trike...
while little brother Raven got the T-Rex. Considering that Labyrinth's birthday was late last month, these are still favourites with the children, all of the above presents, I think we chose well. I admit we get it wrong, I'm sick of buying toys which are forgotten in a week or less. These are not worth having! I spent alot of money on the Little People, which got a fair amount of use with the three biggest, but neither Raven nor Monika use them, they might use Duplo/Lego, but it's the rare toy they actually play with. Monika is a bookie kind of girl, puzzles and mischief is her prefered play activity, whilst poor Raven is just too sickly to really enjoy play. When he is up to it, he'd rather play silly buggers, racing around the house, now spring has come along, he's actually enjoying a little time in the dirt outside, and a bounce on the trampoline. Monika is actually fitter than he is, he has the energy of the couch potato many days out of a week.
I must apologise for the long gap between posts. Life has caught up with me and after recovering from my broken arm, I've had a few weeks of assignments, the last of which is due on Friday. After I finished my last one last Wednesday, I've been frantically organising Monika's 2nd birthday party, and had my first breather yesterday for the first time since Labyrinth's birthday. YAY the birthday season is no over, the beautiful weather is making me feel much better and I have been getting out into the garden a little (really must get those seedlings in tomorrow at the latest). I also have a great need to catch up here! So, I'll be doing my best to put up Monika's party, and a big catch up on thier school work very soon, but we're about to lose internet until Friday, so I'll do my best to get as much up today as possible! I've also have my assignment and getting a few last minute online things done. Til later then. Q.