Locally grown food and new recipes

We are getting tired of the same meals. We also want to improve our diet through eating less processed meat so yesterday Mama sat with the girls and they selected some new recipes to try.

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This was the recipe for part of tonight’s meal. We needed to buy some accompanying veg and as I had promised the girls we would go fruit picking before the end of the Summer we headed to Craigie’s Farm near Kirkliston to kill two birds with one stone.

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Strawberries and raspberries were in abundance so we got straight to work and picked a few punnets worth. Moo was in her element as she is now tall enough to reach and pick the dangling strawberries.

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We also picked some runner beans for our dinner. We actually went home with about 6 times as many beans as we needed due to Beanster’s ‘efficient’ method of picking being to pull the whole branch off.

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After all that work we needed some food and a play in the farm play park.

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True to form Beanster made a wee friend and whilst playing they discussed pocket money and budgeting. Moo decided to play My Little Pony.

Later we made Lego vehicles and tested how well they worked down different slopes.

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Beanster went to see a friend and we learned about galaxies and how astronauts go to the toilet in space.

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And how did our new dinner recipe taste…

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…’bsolutely yuck,’ apparently! Oh well, you win some, you lose some and on this occasion it was an absolute fail.

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Often the best teachers are… children!

There are many advantages to home education but one of the great things is your children get to mix with people of all ages. They are not confined to a classroom with 30 children of the same age. Through observing and mimicking older children, younger ones develop necessary life skills. Older children develop patience and empathy from being around younger ones. I have witnessed children teaching each other a lot over the last two days and all whilst playing together.

There is a park near us which has painted roads on the concrete and proper road signs. This is an ideal place for children to learn about road safety. It is a popular place for children to take their bikes and scooters to and now that Moo can ride her scooter better we headed there on Wednesday. We took cousin H with us.

At first the girls all scooted about to their hearts content.

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After a while Beanster began to teach H and Moo how to brake properly on a scooter. It was lovely to watch. Beanster herself took a long time to master this so she knew just how difficult it is. Throughout the time we were there she kept reshowing cousin H how to do it.

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When we go out we carry drawing pads and pens with us. After lunch the girls decided to get them out.

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Moo has enjoyed watching her older sister and cousin drawing in their pads and it has helped give her the confidence to draw independently and describe what she has drawn.

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At Thursday’s home ed club she sat amongst the older girls at a table and drew with them. She sat and watched them as they drew and she diligently tried to copy what one of them was doing.

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Beanster also sat with the girls and she was inspired to practise writing because her big friend P started to write a story. Another friend checked her spelling for her.

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A lovely interaction today between Beanster and Moo happened over Hama Beads. Beanster has decided she is going to have a stall where she sells some of her handmade products. At the moment she is making Hama pendants which she will make into necklaces. Moo has wanted to make some Hama products herself to join in this venture. Moo was about to give up on her doggie pot stand when Beanster encouraged her to carry on. With a bit of a hand and some kind words from her big sis Moo finished her dog and was, quite rightly, very proud of herself.

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So, never underestimate children. They often make the best teachers.

Indoor fun

We usually spend most of our days out and about but the girls have asked for a couple of days inside. The weather was apparently not to their liking.

Our girls love playing imaginary games and do so daily. First they played ‘Campsite Teddies’. This involved turning their bedroom into a campsite with their bunk bed acting as the tent sleeping area. The rest of the room was divided into different sections for cooking, clothes storage, seating and entertainment. Moo was put in charge of taking care of all teddies and dolls as Beanster erected the ‘tent’.

After a while all curtains were closed and torches went on so that Beanster could read to the teddies before ‘bedtime’.

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Moo got out the craft box next. She is not yet 3 and a half but she confidently combines different materials to make all sorts of interesting things. Today she made a wand and a collage face. Meanwhile Beanster serenaded us with made up songs and created her own drum kit from tubs, the furniture and a set of chopsticks.

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A large part of the day was spent building things from Lego. We love our big Lego bag which holds all of our bits. It may not be organised but the girls love to rummage around in it and let ideas come to them as they spot interesting pieces.

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Moo collected all the horses and dogs and enjoyed making them jump and play in a field she then built.

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Beanster made a burger kitchen.

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I made an Arctic exploration vehicle.

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The girls then made a swimming pool, spa and tennis court.

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The rest of the day involved turning the living room into a theme park (who knew the table and chairs would make an effective ferris wheel), playing vets, drawing, visiting Granny and Grandpa and playing with the neighbours.

Later I popped up to the allotment to gather some sunflowers from our plot. I thought I may leave them out tomorrow with some art materials to see if they inspire the girls to draw/paint/create. We will see what happens.

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Fun with paint

Our girls love to paint. One likes to sedately paint one picture whilst the other goes at it with full on energy and creates up to 10 works of art in one go! Today was no different. I decided to do balloon painting with them and it was no surprise that the eldest attacked it like a thing possessed whilst the youngest gave up after a few minutes and opted for using a paintbrush up at the table instead.

Here we are at the start. Moo gently squirting close to the paper and Beanster squeezing it all over from a high height.

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Beanster dabbed and rubbed the balloons all around. Moo gave up at this point.

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Moo went up to the table to do a less frantic painting.

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Although she did end up painting her hand.

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The girls also made some hama bead creations today for a stall they are planning on running.

Beanster made pendants for necklaces

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and Moo made a multicoloured teddy bear pot stand.

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We also harvested some potatoes from the sacks in our back garden and decided we would turn them into potato salad later in the week.

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In amongst playing with shopkins and My Little Pony and performing a ballet show for their dolls Moo also got out the ocarina and surprised herself at being able to play three different notes. Maybe the acrylic paintes fingernails helped!

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Our week in summary

We have had a lot of fun over the last week with lots of learning opportunities. Here are the highlights.

Ceramic painting in South Queensferry. The girls painted a plate, coaster, caterpillar and fairy. The plate and coaster were a gift for Mama.

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Chalk and charcoal drawing. We have drawn with chalk before but this was our first time trying charcoal. Think it is fair to say it was not a hit with either girl.

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Some construction activities. Duplo is always a hit and this week the girls made a fairground. We have ordered a STEM playground challenge kit so we are looking forward to that arriving and having fun with it. We played with more Duplo at friend H’s house. Beanster made a bathroom and Moo a train and livingroom with a dungeon!

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Science is always a big hit. At HE club the girls showed their friends how to do paper chromatography and we did experiments to try and float grapes. We discovered we could float grapes if we saturated the water with salt. Of course other things were later added to make a potion!

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We also looked at surface tension this week. We worked out how to float a standing bug made from card then how to make it float for longer. Adding goose fat under the feet made them waterproof so our bug stayed afloat for longer. We also did an experiment using milk, washing up liquid and food colouring. The food colouring made a thin surface covering on top of the water which we then broke the surface tension of by using washing up liquid on a cotton bud.

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Beanster had her latest HE artbook arrive which she needed to put an entry in before sending it off to the next child. This week’s theme was Space so we got busy with paint, glitter, pencils and stickers. We think next week Beanster will get her own artbook back full of pictures made by the other children in her group. Exciting. Moo got involved too and made her own wee space picture. Later we went outside and carried on the fun outdoors.

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Minecraft, minecraft, minecraft. Beanster LOVES minecraft. She now knows more about it than me, but to be fair, that wouldn’t be hard!

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This morning Moo set our calendar. The weather dial seems to be forever set at either cloudy or snow. Oh how we want it to go to sunny…..

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Snow!

We had a lot of snow that led to no work for us grownups for a week so lots of fun was had!

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There was science:

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Snow volcanoes

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There was art:

Salt art

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Snow painting

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Moo drew her family

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There was baking:

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Stories:

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And of course lots of fun in the snow:

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Snow monster

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Helping

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Trip to the park

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And mummy and the girls created an amazing snow, ice & light art installation in the front garden which attracted lots of attention from passers by

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A festive summary

So….we have been absent for a long time. We have been so busy throughout December and the beginning of January that we kind of forgot about our blog. Here is a summary of the last month or so, mainly in photo form. We aim to get back in the swing of things now the festive season is over.

Beanster, Granny and I went to the theatre

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We made a family of snowmen

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We visited the Chinese lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo then made our own silk paintings

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We did some fun Science

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Decorated our house. Beanster designed our window display.

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Played with our small world winter things.

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Had afternoon tea, story and dancing with Santa

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Built and painted…

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…read stories and did puzzles.

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Went on the Big Wheel when we went to the winter wonderland.

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We built and decorated an edible house

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There were parties with friends and fun family gatherings and presents galore to unwrap. December was exciting and busy but so far in January we have …

…played board games

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Observed butterflies and handled snakes and tarantulas

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Been to the museum

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Learned some more about technology playing Animal Crossing and with our new spider (thanks Vic and Jacinta)

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Built a snowman and sledged down a hill (on our one day of snow)

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Made a collage together…

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And started to learn how to sew (Beanster’s top, Moo below)

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We have even eaten space food and declared it to be ‘yum.’

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We have played, written thank you letters, bounced on trampolines, been swimming and fed the ducks (peas and bird food), amongst other things .

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Yeah, I suspect January is going to be just as busy as December. 😁