Boring Lunchboxes?

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Thinking about Summer?

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Having a Family Movie Night?

Why not take a look at what we've been reviewing and what we thought?

Don't know what to cook?

Why not take a look at what we've been eating?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What We Are Eating this Week (W/C 1st Aug)

Top Ender and Daddy are off on their Father Daughter Camping trip in a couple of days time, leaving Big Boy and I at home. BB was a little upset, because he now likes camping (Yeah, thanks Beavers) but as I explained to him, it is tradition that Top Ender and Daddy go away together and he and Daddy will develop their own summer tradition soon. In the mean time he and I have a very important tradition to carry on... the lets just spend a week in our PJ's!

Our New Tent

Saturday - Pork Loins with Apple Sauce

Daddy has firm favourite foods, Curry would come top of his list, then probably a Roast and then in a very close third the Pork Loins with Apple Sauce and Cheese. So that's what we're having tonight because it is honestly a very lovely meal.

Sunday - Chicken Kiev's

I quite like a Chicken Kiev, it's a mix of soft delicate chicken and crunchy coating and if you cook them so they don't explode in the oven you also get a lovely cream sauce... I don't think I've ever managed to not make a Chicken Kiev explode.

Monday To Thursday - Whatever!

Whilst the Cat's away the mice will play. In this example, BB and I are the Mice and we're having a sneaky week which will be a combination of Take Out, Microwave Meals and snacks whilst wearing nothing but PJ's.

Well until BB makes me walk with him to Burger King, then I'll get dressed as even Burger King has standards!

Really, we're going to eat pretty simply. Big Boy and I have simple tastes if we're honest and we both like simple foods that are quick to prepare and more importantly for me and him taste great. We figure what we should do is as follows.

Monday - Beef Casserole with Dumplings

BB and I love a good casserole. We love that you can take lovely vegetables, cube them add some meat and then just cook gently in the oven for a few hours. The whole house smells divine, the hunks of bread with butter make you salivate until just as you're about to die of anticipation the casserole is ready and you can sit down to eat.

I'm suddenly starving.

Tuesday - Tex Mex

BB really loves Tex Mex. Oh wait, I've confused BB and me again. A mix of Onion Rings (BB loves them), Nachos, Chicken Wings, Loaded Potato Skins and a few other pieces and BB and I will be having a feast in front of the TV watching some kind of movie that BB and I have picked out on Netflix.

Wednesday - Hot Dog Toasties

BB and I are having Burger King for lunch (it's easier to walk to Burger King that it is to McDonalds from our house) and we're going to have something simple for our evening meal, which in this case works out at as Hot Dog Toasties.

Thursday - Beef Wellington. Or Lobster. Or Take Out.

Top Ender and Daddy are due back at some point during this evening and so BB and I are going to have an early meal together and it's going to be something really cool. I really fancy Beef Wellington, but I think BB might turn his nose up at it, I love eating Lobster, but again I worry that BB would hate it because he's like that and lastly it could be take out because well, who doesn't love a take away?

Friday - Stir Fry

It has been ages since I have had a home made Stir-Fry and so I thought a Prawn Stir-Fry with plenty of vegetables and noodles and maybe a scattering of sesame seeds would do just the trick for this Friday night meal to welcome Top Ender and Daddy home.

BB will be less than impressed with the Prawns, although he will eat them, so I may do him so extra treats to persuade him that this is a good meal! I'm thinking Prawn Crackers and a promise of pudding!

What are you eating this coming week?
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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Monster Crafting with Bostik!

I'm still pretty sure that every Craft blog post I start mentions how uncrafty I am. So, I apologise for once again starting like that again. With that in mind, I also need to apologise for having got really far behind with my Bostik Blogger Crafting. I think, it's because I'm not crafty that I fear using the craft items and so I leave them in a pile (after scrawling the month they are on the box) and eventually get round to them...

So here's June.

Bostik June Box

The theme for the month was Monsters, which didn't give me much to go on. However, Big Boy has been after a new book mark after deciding he really loves my Alligator/Crocodile book mark.

Alligator/Crocodile book mark

So I decided to make him a bookmark.

Monster Corner BookMarks

I used an old paper folding technique (that sounds clever doesn't it) to make a corner bookmark, using two different pieces of paper that were in the craft box, a sort of lizzardy reptile skin in red and a shades of brown spotty one in yellow.

How to fold a corner bookmark left to right row by row!

After folding the paper, I stuck on embellishments using Sticki Dots. I'd drawn some eyes and cut out some pointy teeth and stuck in a foam tongue, making sure that they were stuck to the front and not the back, so they could still be used to mark a page.

Inside a bookmark

BB loved them, his favourite was the red (as it is his favourite colour) but it inspired him to make his own monster and so after rummaging in the craft boxes he found a cone, some tissue paper, some fluffy pom pom things and made this!

BB's Bird Beak and Eyes Mask

It is a little freaky, I think it's the eyes that do it, but it's also totally adorable because behind the mask is my very adorable son.

The box of craft items was provided to free of charge by Bostik as part of the Tots100/Bostik Craft Bloggers Club.
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Monday, 27 July 2015

Making School Based Activities Holiday Fun! - What You Want To Read

A few days ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were to read a blog post written by me, what would they like it to be about? This is one of the posts, based on those suggestions.

Making School Based Activities Holiday Fun!

If my children are anything like me, then by the time they go back to School in September they are going to have forgotten almost EVERYTHING they have ever learnt. I think this is why that for as long as I can remember, I've tried to incorporate the children's learning into everyday activities for the children to participate in. I figure that the if the children are being given little reminders on a daily basis that just maybe they won't forget what they are being taught!

During the Summer we want to do things which are fun though, right? Getting our Children to practising their handwriting and Maths skills is probably the last thing on our mind and rightly so. Summer is a time to relax, a time to kick back and forget about School work... but remembering that several of my Teacher friends have said that the first half term back to School they have to reteach all the basics to the Children maybe it doesn't hurt to do a little practising during the summer!

The are several easy ways to practice writing based skills.

Summer Writing Based Activities

Climbing on Monkey Bars. Seriously! Apparently, playing on Monkey bars helps children to develop strengths in their hands which allows children great pen control. So, go to the park, play on the monkey bars and see better handwriting!

Writing a Shopping List. When writing has purpose I find that children are more willing to participate and asking them to write a shopping list for you so that you don't forget certain items when you are out is a great start. Just remember to check that you did actually ask them to write twenty chocolate cakes, a set of Lego and that new cereal they've been after.

Sending Postcards. If you're away on holiday, purchase a few postcards and get the children to write them for various friends and relatives. It's a perfect chance to get them to practice without realising that what you're doing is getting them to practice.

Keeping a Journal. You can make this a Summer thing, or a lifetime thing. Asking the Children to write a few sentences or paragraphs each day will help them to not only remember a time in their lives where they had no responsibilities but will also remind them in the future of times when they loved spending time with their family!

Don't forget that Reading is an important skill to practice during the Summer Break too.

Summer Reading Based Activities

Reading doesn't have to just be books from the library, although do sign up to the local Library reading programme, it is always amazing fun and the Children love the certificate you get at the end. Don't forget that you can get the children to read comics, websites, cookbooks and even newspapers!

One thing that we did last summer, that we will do again this year is to pick a few books that we can read together. For the most part I got to read the books, but both Top Ender and Big Boy got to read pages, or chapters (depending on their mood!) too. This was a brilliant way for us to share reading together, remember if a child sees that you read they are more likely to imitate!

Research.The next time they ask you a question, ask them to look the answer up on the internet or in a book. It counts as reading and it stops you having to explain the same thing twenty times over, or in my case admit that actually I don't know the answer to that. Learning together is also a great way of showing that asking questions and finding out the answers is something that happens no matter your age.

The last skills are probably my favourite, Maths skills, and again there are hundreds of ways to keep up practising in the Summer. Here are a few of my favourites.

Summer Maths Based Activities

Telling the Time. BB is going through a phase at the moment, where he constantly wants to know what the time is, at what time things are happening and how long things have happened for. Telling the time is an important skill, and practising telling the time, working out five minutes from now or working out when a specific TV show is on is a great way to do some Maths without sitting down to do 100 equations.

Make a Cake. One of Top Ender's favourite homework assignments was when she was asked to measure items around the home using a tape measure or a ruler, weighing scales and a measuring jug. Top Ender decided to make a Maths Cake and it was a genius idea and one which I'm sure you'll love to copy. Weighing out and measuring the ingredients as well as making sure the oven is the right heat and the cake is cooked for the right amount of time is great maths practice and yummy to boot!

Ask Real World Maths Questions. The Children love going shopping, especially if I give them a few pounds to spend and then let them loose to spend it. With a plethora of discount stores not too far from our home they know that they can get several things to see amuse themselves with, but of course they have to work out themselves the prices of various items and how this eats into their budget... it's a perfect way of getting them to answer real Maths Questions.

Use Maps. The quickest way to work out the distance between two places is to measure right? Well, then get the children to become familiar with maps and whilst they are at it, let them see if they can work out a quicker route to the local shops, park or even your holiday destination. Despite the rather amazing invention of Sat Navs, map skills are always a much needed skill and I think they always will be!

Don't forget that board games that make use of a dice, dot to dots (where you have to join up numbers), colour by numbers, card games and even Bingo are also great ways to practice Maths Skills when you're pretending that all you're doing is having fun with the family.

And lastly just 30 minutes a day is all that is needed to keep everything ticking over nicely, so it's not like keeping up School work is going to take over the Summer!
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Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Fourth Week Of July

I swear this last week has flown by, mainly because as well as all the normal activities the children and I have scheduled into our week, we've also had tonnes of other activities to attend too. I love the saying if you need something doing ask someone busy (or however it goes) because this week it has seemed a little like that for me and the children!

The Fourth Week Of July

The weekend was good, we were busy with playing with our new Tent, listening to the music coming from a local Fete and generally doing the things we do at the weekend, shopping, visiting my Mum, being together as a family. Top Ender even managed to squeeze in a birthday party for a classmate who will be going to a different School this coming September.

Daddy and Top Ender Playing with the Tent

We also managed to squeeze in a gala viewing of Inside Out, eat a lovely Roast dinner and I'm sure there was a walk along the way somewhere.

Then the week started.

Monday, the Children and I went about our day. The children went to School and then we returned in the afternoon to go to Top Ender's Leavers Assembly.

I was ready to cry before it happened, and then whilst watching the video that the staff had put together I got quite emotional and had to wipe away a tear or two. The thing is, it wasn't even watching the pictures of my daughter that made me emotional. It was seeing how her classmates and she had grown and just thinking about how they weren't going to be those little children anymore.

Top Ender at her Leaver's Assembly

After the assembly, we had an ice-cream social with the staff and parents and students. It was great fun, just sitting together and socialising. BB thought that it was wicked and decided that Ice-Cream for his evening meal would be a good monthly treat. I disagree!

Tuesday was the Children's Sports Day.

Top Ender and Big Boy ready for Sports Day

Sports Day at our School is competitive racing, but it's not sprints and hurdles and the like, it's more assault courses and skipping and those sort of things. The whole School is split into four house groups, (Red, Yellow, Green and Blue) and for Sports Day, the children sit in their house teams and then with the points from the races added to the number of Beads each house has accumulated through the School year the winner of the cup is announced.

This year it was RED HOUSE!


Red Team Sports Day Winners

Sorry, I got a bit carried away.

Wednesday was our last day of School. The Children happily went off, with Top Ender wearing her pink gingham dress that she had purchased to wear to School for one day partly because she is sad that the School Uniform changes next year (to Black jumpers and Pink and Lime and White Polo Shirts and Summer dresses of Pink and Green) and partly because who wouldn't want to wear a pink dress to School?!

Top Ender and Big Boy on the last day of School

The end of School was so sad. I managed not to cry saying goodbye to Big Boy's current teacher and TA's because I'll see them again and regularly for the next four years I'm sure, but watching the Year Six students say goodbye to each other nearly had me in tears. Especially when one of Top Ender's friends had a long hug with me whilst having a long sob over the end of the era.

Luckily we got home to my "treat" for the Children which stopped us being tearful and the best bit was I got to have a go too!

Crepe Paper Summer Door

We had a chat that night over our Chinese Take Away about what we wanted to do for our first two days of Summer. Last year we dyed Top Ender's hair, but until Top Ender has been to the Summer School programme for her new School, we figured we'd better play it safe!

The last two days of the week, we spent just having a good giggle together at home.

What have you been up to?
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