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 day in town eating!

After gymnastics the girls and I headed into town as we needed Velcro to fix Beanster’s shoes and winter leggings for Beanster. Yo sushi also had an offer on and as Beanster loves yo sushi it was too good a chance to miss. 

We parked the car at the park and ride and got the tram in. After we’d picked up what we needed we headed for sushi. Moo had never had it before and tucked in with gusto.

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Beanster loves watching the people in the kitchen and taking her food off the conveyor belt.

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After that we went to hotel chocolat for hot chocolate. The girls had theirs with a straw and I had chilli hot chocolate with chocolate whipped cream. 

We’re now having a play in the gardens before getting the tram to swimming. 

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…….

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!

My day out with Lyall &Katherine

Guest post by Beanster! Dictated by Beanster & typed by Mama. 
I went on a train to Edinburgh with Lyall & Katherine. 

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When we were there we went for sushi. I had salmon sushi and noodles. 

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Then we went to look at some art at the art gallery. 

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Next to the art gallery we saw some huge bubbles. A man with bubble sticks was making them. 

After the bubbles we went for ice cream and then we sat down and ate the ice cream.

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And then I rolled down the hill and runned down the hill. 

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Then we went to check if the big wheel was ok to go on but it was too expensive. Then we walked a very long way down a very big hill and I went to the charity shops. I bought a purse and a mouse and a dress and a necklace and an Elsa book. Then we walked up the very big hill again. Lyall and Katherine carried me up the hill.

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I stopped for a break at a cafe to have a croissant. 

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When we got to the art gallery again I had a shot of the bubbles. 

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And then we went to the train station and then got on the train and then we did some colouring. That was it all that I did with Lyall and Katherine. It was a fablius day.

Wonderwoman Munro and the Ironman

Today we headed out to support our friend Helen Munro doing a triathlon event in Edinburgh. We took the train in, both girls love the train.

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We had a walk down to a grassy area near Holywood Palace to cheer Helen on as she ran the last part of her race. Beanster did some Parkour outside the Scottish Parliament on our way.

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The girls decorated some placards and blew recorders and whistles to encourage Helen and the other competitors on.
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As this part of the race was about an hour and 45 mins long the girls entertained themselves in between cheering Helen as she looped passed us several times. They ran about pretending to be birds, used Lego men and wikkistix in a complex cafe game, chatted, played tig and generally had fun.

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Moo fell asleep in the sling as Helen was crossing the finishing line. Beanster did a great job cheering competitors as they finished.

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After congratulating and saying goodbye to Helen, Mama took the girls over to a wildflower meadow to practise flower identification. Moo correctly identified Buttercup, Daisy and Sticky Willie amongst others and learned what a Poppy and Cornflower looked like.

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We finished our trip to Edinburgh with a bite to eat at a restaurant. Both Beanster and Moo polished off a 3 course meal. Hungry girls.
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However, the day was not complete without a stop off at our local park.

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Fun with friends

We’ve had a very busy day today. 

Moo was helping the researchers at the wee science lab with an experiment about pronouns. She was totally hypnotised by the size of the tv screen which meant she was the still-est participant they’ve had apparently.

After that we met Beanster’s friend M and her mum J for lunch on the meadows, a big play for the girls & a trip to Edinburgh castle on the historic Scotland membership. Memberships to places are one of our main home ed resources and we use the Historic Scotland one a lot

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Outside Grandad’s old office
Cannon photos are a right of passage for Scottish kids I think
She didn’t want to sit on the cannon
A complicated game of queens and princesses involving multiple crowning ceremonies and formal introductions