Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Operation Sleep Deprivation

Jude is on Day 2 of Operation Sleep Deprivation - still awake at nearly midnight for the second night running. I can't concentrate on a coherent blog post while she is awake, and I am way too tired by the time she finally goes to sleep at the moment, so I will update properly when she gets back into a normal sleep pattern. For now, I'm going to snuggle with my small girl and hope that a dark room and a cosy bed will work its magic (on me, if not her!).

Monday, 21 April 2014

Bank Holidaying

We had a leisurely Bank Holiday Monday morning, with a bit of gentle colouring before breakfast. 

Nannie and Abbie dropped in for a lovely visit.

After lunch we went to Littledown Park for our regular fortnightly group, Just Play. We saw a heron in the lake, and Jude tried a spot of gymnastics!

After dinner there was just time for a little wrestling with Luke before bed.

Easter Day

We don't celebrate Easter in our home, but obviously our families are still Christians or of no belief, so Easter Weekend is quite a big deal. My dad provided a massive Easter lunch of turkey and all the trimmings, followed by a hard-boiled egg hunt for the girls who were very excited to find his hand-painted eggs!

In all, they received a pretty good haul for Jewish children who don't eat chocolate! They also got Easter masks from Auntie Nicki, but chose for her to hold on to them so that they could make them at her house.

In the afternoon, we visited Great-Nannie for her birthday, and took her some home-made cards and white chocolate truffles.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Fun Day

We went to a Family Fun Day today. As is often the case when we all try to leave the house at the same time, the event was winding down by the time we got there, but nevertheless, we still found some fun things to do, and caught a bus back to our car park, as the event was rather further away than we had anticipated! Part of the reason we were so late is that we stopped off at a reptile and fish shop that Grace has been longing to go to for a while.

There was a TARDIS in the High Street, which obviously needed some small girls to pose in front of it!

At the Fun Day there was pond dipping (sort of), taxidermy, lino print badge making and playing...

This evening, we headed out to the New Forest for a barbecue with Auntie Nicki, Uncle Dave and Dave's parents and kids.

New Forest Ponies

Friday, 18 April 2014

Passover Seder and It's Wake!

Yesterday, we held our Passover Seder, which was on the wrong day, because we have held a Seder since before we converted, and always used to invite our Youth Discussion Group - which was held on a Thursday. Consequently, we have always held our Seder on the Thursday in Pesach, even though the group are now grown up, married, and about to have children themselves!

I cooked for 17 people (we ended up with 11) from 10am until 5.30pm, with just a twenty minute break, and I am wrecked today, so this may not be the most coherent post. However, the big news is: we are HAPPY with our Haggadah (liturgy)! This year's edition was the 8th edition we have written, so this is a major achievement. It was lovely to have other Home Ed families attending, and there were so many questions and a fabulous laid back atmosphere - it was exactly how we hoped it would be. 

Today, we pretty much just existed! A dinner party plus liturgy for 11 people is quite an undertaking; when you add in a pretty late and disturbed night, while we were thrilled with the Seder, it was totally exhausting. Jude fell out of bed last night, and then wet the bed, and was completely disorientated on both occasions. She didn't wake up this morning until 11.30am and spent most of the day in a daze. Grace (of course) loved the Seder, and having so many friends over, and the general mayhem of it all, and spent the day feeling both tired and fed up that everyone had gone home! 

They both got some fun out of the bed blocks we brought downstairs to try and raise one of the tables last night.

We had a quick game of dominoes

and Grace completed a hand puppet she had been working on for a while. She was also proud to point out that she is wearing a beautiful upcycled dress made by Nannie, out of one of Auntie Nicki's old dresses.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Two days

We found ourselves at a bit of a loss yesterday for something to do; it was a stressful day - lots of little niggles which had us all sniping at each other, despite the beautiful weather. Eventually, the girls and I headed out to a garden centre in Wimborne, where they had a small play area, and some animals to make friends with. Grace really enjoyed seeing the farm animals up close(ish).

Pigs in the sunshine

Bertie the Goat
She also conquered the fireman's pole! She has been desperate to go down it by herself for about a year now, but has always decided against it at the last minute. Yesterday was the day! I probably could have convinced her to do it sooner, but I'm really glad I didn't push her; she was so proud of herself for having done it.

I have barely seen Grace today; she has been taking advantage of the Easter holidays and playing with her friend across the road a lot, and this evening, Auntie Nicki took her out for a cycle ride. Jude helped me cook for our Passover Seder tomorrow, and pottered about in the garden and living room. Every now and then she picks up a toy that Grace never played with, and spends hours with it, reminding me why I don't get rid of things!

Playing over the road
Toys Grace never played with!

Charoset cooking

Snacks in the garden

Monday, 14 April 2014

Nature Walk and Passover

We headed out this morning for an HE meet at Avon Heath Country Park. It's a great park with some really well thought out play equipment, but also some fantastic other "attractions" - a wildlife pond, a sand lizard enclosure and a fantastic wooded area for den building.

We were very lucky to catch all the endangered sand lizards awake in the enclosure this morning and to be there just as a Ranger arrived to feed them. He was delighted to explain all about them, and managed to catch a female who was shedding her skin, so Grace is thrilled to have a piece of lizard skin to put in her "treasure jar"!

Grace, Ranger and lizard

Lizard skin

Male and female lizard basking on a log

After a little play, we went on a nature trail, which was a circular route of about a mile. Jude managed to walk pretty much the entire trail by herself, facilitated by Grace getting lots of support and encouragement from one of the lovely teenagers, which meant that I could amble at Jude's pace (not that I can go much faster than Jude these days!).

The kids had to show their treasures to the Rangers when we completed the trail, and they all got a certificate, then we had a wonderful picnic lunch in the sunshine.

When we got home, Luke was in full Passover cleaning mode - the house is now spotless. We had a final meal of pizza before giving up wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt for 8 days! We did the ritual of searching for the last of the chamatz (leaven) this evening, just before it got dark. In theory, that task is supposed to be done the evening before Pesach, but we couldn't work out why you would give yourselves an extra day of not eating grains, so we went for tonight instead. Grace really enjoyed looking out for 3 stars in the sky, to make sure we weren't too late starting.

Searching for chamatz with a
candle,feather and wooden spoon!

Burning the last of the chamatz