A show, a birthday and some vegetables

This morning we were heading to the Edinburgh Festival with the girls to see one of our favourite singers, Nick Cope. He writes fabulous songs for children and he is funny too. If you have never heard of him you should do a quick google/youtube search. Our ultimate favourite song is ‘The baby’s done a poo’.

Here we are waiting at the front of the queue to get in.

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In our seats right at the front.

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The man himself.

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Beanster was a bit afraid that she was going to have to get up on stage.

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Moo was a bit sleepy.

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Audience participation (Beanster didn’t get up on the stage)

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He was absolutely brilliant and we bought one of his CDs at the end to add to our collection.

We then went and got a bit of lunch and had it sitting on giant pillows in a park.

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Beanster wanted her photo taken on top of a wall.

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And then we had a play before heading back to the car.

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It was granny’s birthday so we headed to her house to give her presents…

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and cake….

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Moo chose the cake and candles and was very happy when she got her slice.

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Later on the girls played in the garden.

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Back at home they opened up their own cafe and ice cream parlour and Beanster wrote the menu.

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Beanster and Mama headed out to the Library after tea to log Beanster’s last book for her Summer Reading Challenge. She will miss the award ceremony as we are away on holiday but when she gets back she has to go to the Library to receive her medal and certificate. Whilst Beanster was away Moo played in our Fairy Garden and made tea for an imaginary Auntie Alice.

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For an hour or so before bed Moo and I headed to the allotment to attend to some of our veg and Beanster and Mama went to check out a possible venue for her birthday party in a few weeks. Moo was very excited to see that we have got some corn cobs growing. This is the furthest we have ever got when growing corn on the cob. Scotland is usually too wet for us to have any success, maybe this is our year to taste one!

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We also have spaghetti squash, pumpkins, butternut squash, courgettes (on the verge of becoming marrows), cabbage, onions, beetroot, cauliflowers, kale and potatoes growing nicely too. There are other things in too but they haven’t come on much yet.

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Oh, Beanster gave the local venue a thumbs up so now party planning begins…….

Party time

It was packing up time today and time to head home via cousin H’s birthday party.

First of all there was time for some drumming.

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And dishes needed washed so they could be packed away.

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At cousin H’s house there were plenty tapirs (her favourite animal).

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Plus a fabulous cake, well done Mummy J.

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Lots to eat and drink.

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And the girls played and played.

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We hardly saw Beanster as she was away playing dens and making pretend ice cream in the shop she set up with some other children. Moo enjoyed being their customer although she did need it explained to her that she wasn’t getting real ice cream!

Back at home the girls made their own birthday party for Beanster’s doll Isobel. She even made her own gift tag for the presents, but did manage to write her own name backwards on it. Isobel was very clever though and worked out who the present was from.

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A bath before bed was much needed as the weekend meant the girls were clarty! They are now in bed and sleeping in preparation for another fun filled day.

Summer Reading Challenge

Moo started a Lightning McQueen jigsaw this morning but she started to get into difficulties so Beanster came along to give a helping hand. They were very pleased with themselves when it was completed.

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We all headed out to the Library after breakfast so Beanster could get new books to complete her Summer Reading Challenge. She chose to go wearing odd shoes.

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She has now read 5 of the 6 books needed. She can’t read independently yet, but listening to lengthy stories or short novels and discussing them counts towards the challenge when you can’t yet read. Today she earned some stickers and a wristband for getting to book number 5 when she handed her record over for checking.

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Moo took a seat out for herself and looked at some books.

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Afterwards Beanster and Mama listened to some music being played by the Reed Band whilst Moo and I went to the local bakers to buy us all some lunch.

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On the way back Moo admired some hanging decorations and had a go on the swings.

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A bit of food perked the girls up enough to do some urban gymnastics.

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Listening to the Reed Band and also to  Mama playing the piano inspired Beanster to play her own music in the afternoon.

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In the evening the girls were full of nonsense, running around everywhere and playing all of the games. Beanster took herself back to the 80’s and wanted filmed jogging to help people to get fit.

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Tomorrow we are heading out camping so the rest of the evening was spent tetris packing. It was pitch black by the time we have finished.

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Wonder what wonders await us on the campsite?

A busy weekend

We have had a very busy weekend with lots of variety and fun. We thought we would condense the highlights into one (rather large) blog post.

Saturday

I was at an outdoor education training session with Mike Brady and Jess from Under the Trees learning about tracks and trails. It was fabulous. Some of the best bits included practising tree identification and learning which leaves were edible, being taught how to identify which creatures had been around from looking at their poo/food remains, investigating different types of insects by looking under log piles/shaking trees and bushes onto a white sheet and looking for evidence of animal homes.

Whilst I was at training the girls and Mama were going to their friend M’s birthday party. This was being held at the same time as her street’s annual garden party. Before going, Moo did some playing whilst Beanster earned a Maths Seeds certificate for 2D shape work and counting and recognising numbers and words up to 8.

Then it was time to get all dressed up. They were raring to go.

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The party fun included a BBQ, sumo suits, art and crafts and an egg drop. The egg drop involved designing packaging to go around an egg which was then dropped from a high height. If the egg survived intact then a small prize was won. Unfortunately Beanster’s did not survive but she had fun making the packaging. She said she thought it failed because she didn’t include enough sellotape in her design. Here is a photo of how long the drop was. Wow! It is a wonder anyone’s survived.

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In the evening Mama and I were at a wedding reception for one of Mama’s work colleagues. The bride was very beautiful, the groom very handsome, the cake gorgeous and yummy and the burrito buffet fabulous. The girls slept over at Grandma and Grandad’s. This was Moo’s first independent sleepover. She did brilliantly. Well done Moo.

Sunday.

Mama, Beanster and Moo headed out to Craigie Farm for breakfast. I had a headache so didn’t go. They had some food then got up to nonsense in the park with cousin H, who was also there. Moo enjoyed playing on the bouncers and the tractor and Beanster headed for the chute and basket swing.

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Afterwards we headed to an LGBT celebration in Edinburgh and thankfully my head was feeling better.

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Moo got stuck right into some rainbow cake as Beanster drew a picture for the LGBT family wall.

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The girls then had a go of the lucky dip and won socks, a toy snake and some Lego cards.

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Whilst Beanster headed to the craft area to decorate a tote bag and make a flying unicorn, a ball and to get a temporary unicorn tattoo, Moo and Mama listened to the music and took selfies.

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After a bit of dancing the girls had some lunch and Mama chatted to someone she had not seen in about 20 years.

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We played some games, Beanster got some glitter face paint and posed in front of the love ball.

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On the way out we just had to stop by the photo booth for some photos. Moo was not for dressing up but Beanster enjoyed choosing her accessories and posing for the camera.

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Beanster declared it to be one of the best afternoons ever and dictated her response for the feedback wall.

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We were not quite ready to go home so we headed to a park we had never visited before, Victoria Park. It is certainly one we will go back to. The girls had a fun hour and I saw a chute I had never seen before, the roller chute.

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We headed home, had tea then Mama taught Beanster how to rewire a plug.

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The girls refilled the bird feeders and played in the garden until bedtime.

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Another colourful, rainbow filled weekend in the lives of Beanster and Moo!

Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve

Today we spent at Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve at Loch Leven, Fife. What a fabulous time the girls had.

First of all Beanster had her last Summer swimming week lesson and Holly, her instructor, said she did really well. Beanster has been trying hard to improve her breathing technique and breastroke legs. Today she managed to take 3 breaths whilst swimming before needing to grab onto Holly which was a great achievement. She and her pal R were also complimented on how great they were today at listening to instructions.

Back in the car we headed up the motorway to Loch Leven and the nature reserve. We needed some food so first of all we had a spot of lunch whilst admiring this fabulous view:

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As we ate we also watched the birds on the big screen live feed which was in front of us. Both girls also coloured in some pictures of birds, insects and wildflowers and Moo stuck hers onto the wildflower and bumblebee meadow wall.

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We spoke to a lovely RSPB volunteer and hired some Explorer backpacks and set out on our adventure.

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First of all we stopped to watch the birds at the feeding stations through an observation fence. Beanster used the identification book which was in her backpack to identify a Marsh Tit.

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Also in the backpacks were bug viewfinders and we began to learn how to use these. Both girls caught coloured flies in theirs, but we need further practise using them and being patient, as they gave up on using them soon after. Apparently it was taking too long to find interesting bugs!

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We found an area with den building opportunities so the girls added some sticks to improve a den that was already there.

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Next we headed to the natural play area to improve our gross motor skills and coordination. There were lots of wooden pieces to climb over and ropes to pull yourself up. Moo particularly liked going through the tunnels and down the hill then climbing the hill to go through the tunnels again. Beanster made herself an obstacle course and Moo had a snack and was the audience for Beanster as she ran. Afterwards we listened to crickets in the grass and Beanster found one really quickly.

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We next headed to the leafy loop walk where the girls found a seating area and put on a circus show.

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We found a bug hotel and then used it as a reference to build our own one in an area designated for this. The girls worked really well as a team to build a lovely bug hotel.

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We found a wind turbine and although we have seen these often as we go along the motorway both girls were fascinated by this one. Possibly because they saw it up close and were able to stand underneath. Beanster made up her own ‘turbine dance’ which she performed as she listened to the rhythmic hum of the blades as they went round.

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We had a quick look in the ponds but it was getting late so we decided to leave pond dipping til next time. Moo declared the pondweed to be yucky but it didn’t stop her investigating it with a stick!

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Identifying wildflowers from a book and music

This morning we went for a walk around Beecraigs and used a book Granny had brought to help us identify some wildflowers.

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We identified Yellow Birds Foot Trefoil, Vetch, Rosebay Willowherb, Spear Thistle, Ragwort, Stinging Nettle, Common Hogweed, Foxglove and Buttercup amongst others.

We had a stop at the park for a play.

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We followed a woodland path which took us to some trees and a wall, ideal for practising drumming outdoors.

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The weather wasn’t so nice today as yesterday, but the weather never stops us.

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We had lunch at Granny and Grandpa’s before Grandpa headed out to watch a bowling match. 

Back at home more music was practised by Beanster. She chose to accompany Frank Turner on the harmonica as he sang ‘ I still believe’.

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We started to create a transfer picture of a Roman Gladiator battle scene.

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And the girls began a dig to find replica Roman artefacts.

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Another busy, fun, educational day.