Film & fun

The girls and I have had a fun couple of days. Yesterday we went to any into film showing of Zootopia at that Odeon. It was in their newly refurbished screen and we were very impressed by the new reclining chairs.

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Afterwards we went to meet grandma for some lunch before popping to the shops and heading home via the library. Turned out that Moo had a very long overdue book which meant her account was frozen so after taking a few books out on Beanster’s card we headed home to hunt for the long overdue book and 3 not quite so overdue ones. After a full family effort all were found!
Today we headed off to Little World of Play with grandma, grandad and cousin H.  On the way we popped into the library to return the long lost book so Moo has a functioning library card again! 

Everyone had a lovely time at Little World of Play. Beanster made a friend, Moo managed go off to play without needing me to go with her and cousin H wants to go back. 

We came home via Aldi and Dobbies. Beanster was much impressed by the lights. Moo’s fear of moving/dancing stuffed animals continues but is definitely improving as she just kept a cautious distance and said “let’s go now”, as opposed to terrified screaming!

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After tea they both made cards for 2 of their friends’ birthdays. Moo took great care with sticking and with her “writing” and drawing inside. Beanster also took her time deciding what she wanted to do and choosing materials and colours. She also told me what she wanted to write in each card and asked me to write it on the wee white board for her to copy. 

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Moo has been developing a cold over the course of the day so was a bit of an emotional mess by the end of the day. Hopefully a good sleep will help. 

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Manic Monday

Today the girls were on fire with their enthusiasm for learning and life in general. From the minute they woke they wanted to work together and help each other. They used their imaginations in a range of creatively complex games then they decided they were going to get out the model robot pieces and the Geomags. This was all before breakfast and dressing!

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The robot pieces were one of my best buys on Ebay. The pieces make about 8 robots and manipulating the pieces does wonders for building up little finger muscles. Moo can’t quite manipulate all of the pieces yet, but she certainly designs some fabulous wee models. 

The girls loved building towers today with the Geomags and working out how to make them stable.

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Later Beanster made a boat with a sail from a plastic box and included an improvised pillow and blanket.

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As the girls were working away I made some French Onion soup. I came through to find Beanster was drawing a bathroom.

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By lunchtime we were heading out to Hopetoun Garden Centre to buy some compost for our bulbs but we also enjoyed looking at the sculptures and the fairy glade.  

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Later we headed to Callender House in Falkirk to meet new friends E, O and H, to show them inside the house and to have a run around in the grounds. 

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We ended the day with a swimming lesson for Beanster. She was very proud of the fact that she almost got the whole way up the pool on her back. Great effort Beanster.

Life is busy

We have been so busy we have not had a chance to blog. Finally got some time to create a wee taster of some of things we have been up to and places we have visited over the last couple of weeks.

Almondvalley Heritage Centre (Mill Farm)

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A great place to learn about life in West Lothian in the past and to have lots of fun. It has a great mix of historical and outdoor learning opportunites, animals and park equipment to play and climb on.  We stayed until closing and the girls had the best time.

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Frankie and Benny’s 

The girls love to eat out and Beanster chose F & B’s for a treat. 

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Edinburgh- Diwali celebrations and National Gallery of Scotland 

To end our work on Diwali we visited the celebrations in Edinburgh. As we arrived early we went to the gallery first to look at some of our favourite paintings.  Beanster loved the ballet scenes and Moo the paintings with animals. After we headed to the Diwali celebrations. Beanster made up her own dance at one point, a sort of break dance meets robotic Bollywood.

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Halloween

Halloween is a big deal in this household as it is one of Beanster’s favourite times of the year.  We decorate the garden and living room window, play games and are open to guisers whom get a treat for ‘doing a turn’. This year we invited cousin H over too and we all went out guisin. The girls sang songs and told ‘jokes’ and came back with a bag load of sweets. We also celebrated Halloween at Townhill too.

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Making a terrarium

Beanster asked to recreate the water cycle via a terrarium so we constructed one. It is working well. New plants have even started to grow inside it. 

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Bird Cafe and garden feeders

We finally got round to hanging our feeders outside and we refilled our bird cafe feeders too. 

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Art appreciation 

Both Moo and Beanster are into art in a BIG way just now. Here are some activities we have done and we also watched a graffiti artist create one of his works. 

Fireworks picture for pal M

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Lascaux cave paintings 

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Tape resist monet 

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Frida Kahlo 

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Paul Klee

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Michelangelo 

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Random 

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Graffiti artist 

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Music

We have started to buy better musical instruments and this week a glockenspiel and xylophone arrived. The girls have been enjoying experimenting with them.

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Fireworks night 

We went to a fireworks display with the girls’ friend M and her parents and had a brilliant time.  

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Five Sister’s Zoo

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Grandpa came on a trip to the zoo with us and we especially enjoyed watching the leaf cutter ants, the rescued circus lions (looking healthy and happy) and the wolves.  

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The Scottish Deer Centre 

The girls are all about animals just now and Beanster asked to go and to the deer centre to feed them and learn more about them. Granny came this time. One of the great things about home ed is the girls get to see their grandparents often instead of just little bits of time around school and homework.  

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Writing

Beanster has taken to writing this last week or so and is wanting to copy letters and words. 

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A trip out on the bus

The car is in the garage today after i had an altercation with a pillar last month. So after I’d dropped it off this morning we decided to take a trip on the bus to the gyle. Beanster and Moo both love a bus but we usually only use the bus if we’re in Edinburgh as buses round here tend to go via everywhere so not great if you’re in a hurry. I decided to gamble on the traveline Scotland website being right about where the bus stopped, since the first bus website wasn’t willing to furnish me with that information, and headed out to walk to the bus stop. It would probably have taken me 15 minutes so i allowed half an hour since 2 year olds don’t walk fast and our particular 5 year old likes to make full use of her imagination. We made it to the bus stop on good time

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which was lucky as the bus was either 5 minutes early or 25 mins late. Judging by the speed the driver drove the rest of the way I’m going with late!

We won’t talk about the ridiculous price first bus charge for a ticket (£6.90 for an adult return for 30 mins each way).

We bought vitamins and hair detangle spray and met grandma for lunch before a wander round M&S who have gone Paddington crazy for Xmas. 

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We nearly missed the bus back after a toilet trip was required 2 minutes before the bus we’d been waiting 20 mins for arrived but we made it. 

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Clearly it was a tiring day for Moo but after a snooze on the bus

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she managed the 1.5 mile walk home after we’d got off the bus on the high street to pick up toothpaste. Can’t think the last time we used the buggy. She’s not quick but she gets there. 

Food from around the world 

Over the last week we have tried making and eating food from different countries around the world. Here is a brief look at some foods we have tried.

MEXICO

Vegetable enchiladas, refried beans, rice, guacamole, soured cream

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ENGLAND

The classic roast dinner.

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Afternoon tea 

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SWEDEN

Meatballs 

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Swedish pancakes 

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ITALY

Pasta 

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INDIA

Barfi 

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Curry, rice, naan 

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JAPAN

Sushi 

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CHINA

Chow mein 

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SCOTLAND

Broth (well, i had this and yummy it was too).

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Stepping back in time to the 17th and 18th century 

On Monday i headed out with the girls and granny to Culross in Fife. This picturesque village with its cobbled streets is the most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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We were planning a visit to Culross Palace, but first we had a rather wet play in the park. 

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We headed on into the palace using our National Trust membership cards and the girls were given a free quiz sheet to do as we went round. Beanster enjoyed listening to the clues so she could work out the locations of hidden chickens and then writing the letter found beside them. The letters eventually spelled out a word connected to the palace. Moo gave it a good go too. 

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We meandered through the rooms looking at all the furniture and objects and talking about how life then compared to now. The girls found the commodes pretty fascinating and lots of toilet discussion soon took place. The part of the palace they spent most time in was the garden. It seemed to go on forever,  going higher and higher and there were lots of hidden nooks and crannies. As you are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace rooms in case the flash damages the artifacts then most of our photographing took place outside. 

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Beanster and i enjoyed discussing all the things we saw around as. She was especially interested in the twisted plant stems we saw in the flower tunnel.  

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We almost missed the orchard which would have been a real shame as we wouldn’t have seen the Scots Dumpy hens. 

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Back inside the palace we came across the dressing up room.  We had a lot of fun dressing up in period clothing and dancing to music of the time which i played via youtube on my phone. At one point we were even watched by tourists. 

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We finished our visit around the palace by making some tissue flowers and having a look in the bakehouse and kitchen. 

Granny wanted a cup of tea so she kindly treated us all to cake and a drink before we headed back to her house to play.

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Later on the girls made models of Culross Palace: 

Beanster’s 

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Moo’s 

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