Friday, 28 October 2011

We are waving goodbye...

to our snuffles thank God; It's been almost three weeks of illness as each one of us came down with a virus one after another....and of course, as I have no family around me, if one of us is too ill to go out we all have to stay at home.  However, it did enable me to catch up with the washing and dusting, OK I was lying about the dusting - and we spent lots of time just talking, reading and cuddling which was really nice!

Spending so much time at home did fill me with inspiration to improve our learning/dining/crafting space so in between mopping brows, dishing out medicine, mopping up yukky stuff and sleepless nights I managed to change around the whole downstairs space [although I'm still putting stuff away!] and my bedroom and I must say they are working out fabulously.  I love my new's turning in to a real calm space that I can retreat to to sooth my tattered soul whenever necessary ;)

Some learning has still been going on though with English, Math Whizz, madressah, reading, talking etc however, I did want to give a special mention with regard to the 'Great Debate' we had at Sprites English session.  The debate went really well and the children did wonderfully; pushing themselves to present when they found it really difficult and, at times, emotional. We analysed general perfomances afterwards and the children have been asked to write a reflective document on their perfomance as homework, which will identify areas for improvement and offer solutions, which we will follow up with more debate(s) inshaAllah.  If you get the chance I would encourage you to organise a debating group/society as it's a wonderful training ground for dawah work, interviews etc and really gives the children a confidence boost. 

Well apart from all that we have been making robots [or hacking, as my sons tell me] from bits of old toys, correx and staggering amounts of hot glue; Lego managed to cut himself twice on the spinning disk he put on his model LOL.  Sprite's robot didn't make it to the photo stage as it was 'injured' in battle.  Sprite also made a fab pastry for a meat pie - yum. We have also been painting still life as well as the walls and making lots of containers for our new classroom from tin cans. Daisy has been sewing using a kit my sister gave her a while back and as the holes were pre-drilled she found it really easy to sew [once she got the hang of a running stitch] and it did wonders for her confidence mashaAllah. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Banquets and Businesses

This week has seen a business idea of Lego's come to fruition mashaAllah; he has been setting up his eBay account to sell his creations, opened a bank account (he needs to get paid of course) and has designed his 'company' logo, prepared a budget and a profit and loss statement, designed compliment slips and packaging. He needs to photograph his creations so has also designed a 'light box' for the purpose.  I was very impressed mashaAllah and he took the time to explain it all to me and 'prove', through examples, that his idea would work.  As a result I decided to invest a little into his idea to start his business off inshaAllah. A budding entrepreneur indeed, mashaAllah.

The kids have also decided that they want to hold their Historical Banquet at our house in October mashaAllah.  As it all go out of hand before they have been told to keep numbers down and are being very sensible mashaAllah.  They are going to need some guidance as this is their first time organising a 'do' and they are getting a little side tracked and need to set a list of priorities. Their first priority is to get the invitations out asap as each guest will be given a character that they need to dress up as and present a very short precis about on the day.  I though this was a fantastic idea and have already purchased the tooth and face blacking for my character [can you guess who I'm going to be? LOL].

The mums also thought it would be a great idea to hand out the invitations in the style of Funeral Biscuits [just to maintain the historical theme!] which were used in Victorian times to bid people to attend funerals; specially prepared biscuits, wrapped in paper and sealed with wax, the banquet details on the front and a biscuit and information about the original form of the biscuit inside. They sound like great fun to make, we have found a recipe and are looking forward to helping with this one!  Here's a picture of original wrapper displayed at the Pitt River Museum at the University of Oxford.

Everyone is going to bring a dish but the boys want to cook a sample of different foods for varying era's for people to try and are researching and organising historical games inshaAllah.  I'm quite looking forward to it all but dreading the cleaning up!

This seemed to be a week or revisits so we ended up at Watermead Park [again], feeding the ducks and strolling mashaAllah.

And at the Abbey Park Pumping Station [again], here's a picture of part of the pumps:

And we had a day of building marble runs on Saturday at a friends house, here's one they manage to perfect after running various tests with different size marbles, inclines etc....meanwhile I had a nice chat and a cup of coffee with me mate!

Autumn has returned with a vengeance and has left us all with the sniffles but poor Crush had it worse with a very high temperature and hallucinations where all the cloth/material came to life in the house...he was so scared, poor thing, and I find it quite difficult as it reminds me of when my father was in intensive care, he was  complaining that the people in the beds opposite had been partying all night and were cutting off Jesus' legs LOL [yes, we can laugh about it now but at the time...!].  He was begging me to take him home and it was really difficult convincing him that he was in the best place!

Lego is learning all about racism in Amercia as part of his study of Holes, we were worried that they would find it difficult but they are doing very well mashaAllah.  I was a bit concerned about how the English lesson I teach on a Saturday is going and that Sprite wasn't taking it seriously but this week he did me proud.  We read our book and did looked at debating.  We did an off the cuff debate and the kids enjoyed it much more than I anticipated and they have been 'debating' everything every since!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Paddling pools and Autumn leaves

Can you believe the weather this past week?  Well, we thought that with such a special gift from Allah ta'Ala we should be grateful and get out to enjoy it...and enjoy it we did LOL.  So the first thing we did was to get distracted by a friend and 'dragged' out to the country park with a hastily made picnic lunch.  It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast; apart from paddling in the lake we also took a barbecue and the 'big boys' cooked us up some sausages to accompany our lunch.

The strangest sight for me this week was getting out the paddling pool for the kids whilst sweeping up Autumn leaves from the patio - how weird! 

Soooo we spent the next few days up until yesterday enjoying the sun and the garden [the kids] and getting loads of washing done [me] and we even had friends to stay over for the weekend.  The children also spent some time making a bug and insect hotel thang out of a had a 'play' space for every common garden bug you could think of to come inshaAllah.

We have also spent a great deal of time on cars in the last broke down and is now 'resting' on the  driveway until hubby can get round to reviving it but alhamdulillah we had just bought another car [as hubby quite skillfully had an idea that the old one was going to die LOL] but the suspension arm broke on that yesterday so we had that to sort out too!  I'm wishing we didn't have to rely on the car so much :0(

It's been great but we had to crack on with the education today, so it's been Maths and English as usual and we did a teleclass with Supercharged Science on Sound and Sonic Vibrations and each of the children made one of these harmonicas that use wind speed and resonance to make a buzzing sound.  They quite enjoyed the activity and all decorated their harmonica appropriately...the first picture is of the harmnoica and the video shows the harmonica in action.....

Oh and, alhamdulillah, Lego had his plaster off yesterday and it looks like it's healing wonderfully and we are hoping that he will be discharged by the plastic surgeon on Friday...yay!