Oh dear. Lack of energy and inclination is going to reduce the first half of Feb to what i can remember from Brightkite and Facebook updates. 😆 I shall have to download my camera too and see what i find on there.
February started with the launch of a new website for the business, known as JollyDollies and selling all our doll stuff in one place. We’ve been trying to include the kids in this type of development as much as possible and explain to the why we might choose to add a new website and how we might manage it. They are all very passionate about the business in their own ways and love to see it growing. Lately we’ve been discussing university with Fran, who is beginning to think of what she might choose to do with her life. One thing we’ve talked about is how they might responsibly get themselves through that without too much debt and if working for us for a year might help towards that.
We also spent an awful lot of time re-ordering our books and making spaces, putting subjects back together and putting away books that are too easy for some and too hard for the others. The net effect of that has been the rediscovery of lots of books and much reading of things that had been forgotten.
There has been lots of family tv documentary watching and conversational ed as described below. Science is a particular favourite at the moment, with history a close second (worth downloading David Dimbleby’s Seven Ages of Britain from iPlayer).
We had two playdates with Poppy & Skye and also with Chloe and Michelle; neither day saw my children at their best thanks to lack of sleep and general slight downbeatness but both days were successful overall. I think my children are suffering from a temporary lack of confidence at coping with swift emotional changes and volatile temperaments. At least, one of them is and it filters downwards through the ranks 🙄 However, the day with Chloe was particularly successful, especially when let loose of a stack of discontinued craft kits. Chloe worked her patient magic through them all and they all concentrated very hard; Fran in particular did a lovely fish sculpture and painted it much more thoughtfully than her natural tendencies usually allow for!
The big three girls all did their own version of learning about Egypt. I particularly wanted them to practise some skills that i felt would be useful to them, rather than doing a pretty, crafty, touchy feely project so having helped them dig out some books, i encouraged them to look through those and find some themes, words ad topics that relate to Ancient Egypt and write them down. Then the tried to work out which of the who, what, why, where, when and how questions they could answer for each and decided what they were going to write about. Fran and Amelie excelled at that while Maddy panicked slightly so instead was set on a task of googling for images that would help them all to do a project, being fed words by the others. Given she knows lots about Egypt, she managed that very well.
Amelie didn’t want to do written work but did spend several days dipping energetically in and out of the books and telling us all facts, looking over shoulders at images and generally being fairly astute. Fran chose to do several small topics and after a bit of a tussle over what is just copying out and what is actually using info to write your own overview, she got on well. So she worked on putting together 7 short overview paragraphs, pretending she had to get 10 marks for each, while Maddy focused on the pyramids, the Pharaohs and Mummmies while using books for inspiration and information.
They’ve nearly finished and although it hasn’t been a flashy “look what we did” type of project, it has all learned something and all practised some good skills for project work.
Fran and Amelie have had rather a hard time at gym; Fran has been injured (knee) and off form, leading to a severe loss of confidence in herself and anxiety about her own abilities. Luckily both coaches realised quite how hard a time she was giving herself and have been very reassuring which has helped and i’ve spent a good bit of time with her talking about having a positive attitude, relaxation techniques and the difference that putting on a smile, throwing your shoulders back and pretending it is a show and it just has to work can make. And a combination of the two lots of approach seemed to make a big difference to her; she had much better days on Wednesday and Thursday and is now reasonably close to the two moves she is desperate to get, a “baby giant” and a backwards walkover on the beam.
Amelie had a bit of a run in with another little girl and fell off the bars once too, causing tears. She is doing really well and has not only got her baby giant but also most of the bar moves she needs and a kick over on floor, which she has been desperate for. She is adoring having a routine to music. She is a bit of a fragile little thing at the moment though, not quite the confident little Miss she projects or we assume she is. She’s decided to give up a couple of groups, partly because she is too shy or uncomfortable to act and sing in public (although she does both just fine) and mostly because one of the groups is fairly boisterous and she can’t quite handle the badly behaved kids, or getting clonked repeatedly by a little boy. She is a very thin skinned child and i daresay she is misreading the situation but the older two say the group is quite disruptive too and i think Amelie just isn’t ready for it yet.
Quote of the month from Fran was “I spelt it right because i got all the right letters, i just wrote them in the wrong order.” 😆
Story of the month from Maddy was her telling the little two a story about an elephant who turned out to be gay. She was in the back of the car at the time and Max and i were in hysterics. It was such a funny story but the twist was slightly more than we were expecting!
Maddy is having a fabulous time at TKD and a slightly less fabulous time at rugby but we are working on ironing that out. It is tough being the only girl – she is caught between two camps a bit i think.
It was Maddy’s birthday but i’ll blog that separately.
Max and i had a busy time at the Spring Fair for 2 days while the kids had a lovely game and fun filled couple of days with my parents. We took on a few new bits (and several £1000’s worth of crafty stuff such as paints, palettes and pads for a new site) and some of the new bits have arrived already. Looking forward to finally stocking John Crane toys, Pintoy and their other lines after failing to get round to doing so for years 🙂
All of the girls are working hard on music; Fran is now the proud owner of a new cello, handed down from one of her cello-ing heroes, Anna. She is also loving piano and working hard at that, Amelie is enjoying violin, Maddy is coming on fast at flute and Josie has had several violin lessons and is really happy to be doing it. Granny worked wonders with Amelie on her festival piece, which was great.
We hosted Latinetc, with added Zoe, for the people who could make it, allowing Amelie and Fran to keep an appointment at gym and still do most of the stuff in the session. They all really enjoyed feeding yeast with sugar and seeing it produce carbon dioxide, which the proved by feeding it through lime water and testing with a lighted match. A fab experiment – thanks Helen 🙂
Amelie is fixated by the Fairy Books still while Fran is reading Carrie’s War and The Raven Queen and Maddy is immersed in a Merlin book which she loves.
Josie is doing maths up to 10 and reading the first Peter and Jane books, plus spelling out words. She’s done more maths than she realises i think 🙂
Amelie has been learning multiplication and Maddy has been doing negative numbers and more multiplication and is whizzing through her book. Fran is busy finishing chapters all over the place in her GP books – History ones, English ones and Science ones.
Lots of discussion about babies and birth etc Not so good at answering those questions just now as don’t have any clear cut answers for what will happen.
Long discussion with Fran on way home from lovely night with Portico after a lovely time at Fishes party on various things including hormones, government and political process and Sharia Law and how law varies fairly, or unfairly, around the world. Talked lots about either following the laws of the country or choosing not to go there, or having premade plans for what you will do if you choose to go somewhere where the law of the land will not protect you. Discussed why people might go to a place that would not necessarily take care of you.