Edinburgh Book Festival

We have had a VERY busy Summer so much so we have forgotten to blog! Oops. We are going to try to get back to it as it really is a very good way for us to keep a record of what we get up to.

Today we headed out in the rain to the Edinburgh Book Festival. We had tickets to see Harriet Muncaster, the author of the hugely popular Isadora Moon Vampire-Fairy books.

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Harriet was brilliant. She read some excerpts from her books and taught the children to draw some of her characters.

Here are the girls drawing one of the characters and Moo’s version. She was probably the youngest there but she sat and diligently tried to copy what Harriet did.

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Harriet explained the journey she took to becoming a famous author and illustrator and then asked the audience for suggestions to help her make a new character. Beanster suggested she should draw the character with long, curly hair. Here is a photo of Harriet drawing Beanster’s suggestion.

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Harriet has always liked to make little models. She brought along one of her favourites. We loved it too. Well done Harriet.

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After the event we went outside to jump in puddles and have a look in some shops before heading home to dry off.

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All choked up

Beanster has been all choked up and running a temperature the last few days so has not been able to do much. Mama became doctor to the ailing one whilst I took Moo out and about on Saturday.

We always love a trip to Hopetoun Garden Centre. It is not a garden centre to a young child. It is a place where you can observe and listen to wildlife, see works of art, run about, hide amongst the trees and nooks and crannies and you may just encounter a fairy or two.

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Afterwards we went shopping to get Beanster a present to cheer her up. Moo chose well.

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We paid a wee visit to Granny and Grandpa before coming home to check on how our Spring flowers were doing now that the snow has gone.

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A wee delivery had come which will help the girls with their reading, but at the moment Moo enjoyed pulling the pups apart and combining different colours.

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We also enjoyed playing a couple of games and making up stories with these story cards.

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Beanster was feeling up to starting her minecraft lego.

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Later the girls and Mama had an early night as all were now feeling the effects of the cold so i took part in Earth Hour and tidied by candlelight.

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The candles had been made by the girls during our last powercut so i decided to make a few more to replace them.

Hopefully everyone will be back to full health soon as neither girl enjoys sitting for long and they are already bored of the bugs.

Harry Potter and STEM club

One of the great things about Home Ed is the freedom to sit in your pyjamas, eating your breakfast, as you have your favourite books read to you and on Monday that is just what we did. Moo chose a book about Amelia Earhart written for children and Beanster wanted more of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read. She is currently loving acting out her favourite bits of the book which usually feature herself as Hermione Granger. We love looking at the pictures in the illustrated hardbacks. Beanster has been particularly excited about getting to the one below and learning all about the diary of Tom Riddle.

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After some more of the novel Beanster did some of her own reading practise using the Teach your Monster to Read app whilst Moo had her Amelia Earhart book. Later there were some mysterious Hogwarts riddles and potion recipes made…

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before we headed out to STEM club (dressed up in witch costume in Beanster’s case!). Today we were learning about acids and alkalis, testing the ph of different types of water and how to record our results.

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After club the girls like to go into the garden with their friends to play and to explore. They let their imaginations go wild as they invent intricate games, learn to share, to take turns and resolve arguments. Moo set up her own little house whilst Beanster played witches and wizards with the boys.

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Before swimming lesson we looked for signs of Spring at Granny and Grandpa’s.

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Afterwards Beanster was very excited to get home and show Mama her latest findings in Minecraft. I am clueless on all things Minecraft so it all goes over my head!

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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. 😁

Advent fayre, torchlight procession and Frozen all round

Every year our town holds an advent fayre and torchlight procession on the last Saturday in November and the Christmas lights are officially switched on. This year was a pretty cold affair so we needed to wrap up warm before we headed out. Here are the highlights: 

Beanster and Moo wanted to visit Mrs Claus so Beanster wrote a thank you note to give to her because Mrs Claus always gives a present. 

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We looked at the window displays before looking at the stalls.  

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The girls had a go on the rides.  Moo has not previously been a fan but she enjoyed herself today. 

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We had a break for lunch and Beanster looked at clothing patterns in one of our shops.

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Later we headed out to the torchlight procession. The procession goes up and down the High Street then stops at the Cross for speeches, carol singing and the Christmas tree lights are switched on. 

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On Sunday we headed out to the cinema to see the new Frozen film with cousin H and uncle G. The girls dressed for the occasion.

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We enjoyed the film and also building the Olaf Lego set we were given as a free gift. Beanster did well following the instructions, mostly managing it herself.

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Other activities this weekend included an ice cube melting experiment  (to be finished tomorrow), painting and sticking.

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Giving, brains & busy 

Beanster gets £2 pocket money every week which she gets in 20p pieces. She has 3 jars; a give, a spend and a save. The only condition is that she has to put something in each jar but how much is up to her. She’s been good at saving up for things she wants and has managed two £10 saves. She dips into the spend every so often but she’s not been sure what to do with her give money. She’d saved up £10 so we talked about the different things she could do. She decided that she’d like to buy a present for a kid who might not get a Christmas present so i contacted the local Women’s Aid group to see if they had any kids who would like a present. They got back saying that would be lovely so on Tuesday Beanster went to choose the gift based on the info we had about the child and what they liked. We’re going to arrange to deliver it soon. We’re so proud of her saving her money and thinking about who she could help

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Tuesday also involved a trip in to Edinburgh University for Beanster to help out with another Wee Science study at the psychology dept. This one involved getting hooked up to an eeg machine so they could look at her brain patterns whilst she played a game designed to look at decision making. Beanster was a little unsure to begin with largely because the researcher was a man as the previous ones have been women. She sat well to get the wires attached and then concentrated and sat for the longest i think she’s ever managed!

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The instructions for the game were pretty complicated so i wasn’t sure she’d be able to do it but she persevered even when she had to repeat the practice round. She got a pack of Frozen Top Trumps cards as a prize. The whole thing took about an hour and a half and Moo was amazing whilst we waited for Beanster. Both of them got a bar of chocolate for doing so well. 
Wednesday began with lots of playing including pretend swimming for Moo which apparently requires this outfit. Note too small swim nappy over the trousers. She’s totally crazy this one!

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It was also the first week of Beanster’s new knitting class with some other home ed kids. Her friend M was there too so she was happy to stay by herself whilst Moo and I went for cake with M’s mum. Beanster had a great time and made felt balls for the end of her knitting needles. She’s excited to go back next week. Ater that it was ballet for Beanster (in her jammas for fun week), and soft play for Moo. 
Moo has been protesting bed this week so we decided to let her stay up until she asked to go to bed or fell asleep. We said we had things to do though so couldn’t keep playing with her. She was very good and pretty much entertained herself whilst we ate, worked and knitted. 

This was her at 10pm before embarking on a collage 

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She finally sparked out at 23.21 

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It’s been a busy couple of days