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On Saturday the children had music school and I was working in the morning. J decided to opt out of ensemble and do NaNoWriMo instead - I think we need to slim down on options next term as M is doing singing he'd prefer not to do and J says he finds the ensemble too noisy and disorganised so would rather not do that. It seems silly to pay for them to do things they aren't enjoying, especially now that they've given it a fair go. L and K are still keen to do everything, so it will also mean that first M and then J get an hour with Bob (and A) which could be quite useful if we think about how to make the most of it. The boys are all signed up for Holiday Orchestra now too, and all doing Gamelan (J advanced and M beginner) so music isn't going to be lacking ;) Sunday was fine and warm (considering) for the Remembrance parade, which I think Bob has talked about already. All the children wore an extra jumper underneath their uniform and were then fine without coats :) Monday was a morning of normals, with lots of fractions. I realised, after some miscommunications, that M really had not done fractions before (when we worked through some bits on Friday he got very distressed but it wasn't clear that it was fractions completely which were the problem rather than just those exercises!) so we went worksheet crazy and printed off lots of useful maths stuff to give him a crash course ;) He's now just about caught up with J, although still rather shaky when we change types of sum - once he's in the groove it works, then we switch to a slightly different problem and it all comes crashing down again :? Soo, it's been a whole week of fractions, really - even K and L have started on them as they were interested in what we were doing :) And A just enjoyed all the sharing out practicals :mrgreen: In the afternoon one of my old schoolfriends (also L's godmother) came to stay, shortly followed by another old schoolfriend (aso J's godmother) who lives locally and just popped in for a cup of tea after picking up her boys from school. The children all pootled, while we chatted and ate cake :) until it was time to whizz L off to gymnastics, then a quick tea for K before Beavers and a rather more protracted tea for the rest of us, with much chatting and catching up - oh and lots of stories for A, ever appreciative of a new story reader ;) On Tuesday morning we made the most of our guest head>, with more stories and games, then got back to normals, with extra music practice since violin was cancelled. Gymnastics took up most of the afternoon and evening. Wednesday was a HE group trip to Denny Abbey, which was fab. Sadly, I forgot the camera and we ended up in a group not with camera-toting friends, but the children completed pictures of the abbey buildings, made stained glass windows, decorated manuscripts and shaped and patterned clay tiles, so we have plenty to show for the day all the same :) Before the last session had finished Gina took A and S off to Baby Music, along with E who was not feeling too good and we arranged to meet up again back at our house so that we could swap children back! Nearly didn't make it, as the car kept cutting out and becoming more and more unhappy about starting again, then when we did poor E was really not very well and ended up borrowing a bowl and a hot Pudsey bear to get her safely home :( In the evening J and M had Cubs, where they handed in their 20ps earned (for charity) over the last couple of weeks by doing jobs at home, got certificates to show they had attended the parade on Sunday and had a talk from members of the Armed Forces. There was a quiz, with prizes taken from a box of 24 hour rations - J came home with a block of oatmeal! Thursday should have been a nice long catch-up Tots, with added Philosophy Club, but the car definitely had other plans and head> stranded us near a roundabout less than halfway there :( I phoned Bob and he came out from work in his (little) car so I could take the keys and three children to Tots and leave him with two and the car to sort out breakdown services etc. It seemed most helpful to leave A with Bob, as she didn't have Philosophy, and then J volunteered to stay and help look after her as he says the others like it more than he does and he wanted to get some NaNoWriMo done (he then left all his work in the car and so couldn't get any done at all *sigh* but apparently did such a good job of amusing A that Bob was able to get some work done, so I guess I can't complain too much really!). As we were leaving a police car was pulling up. . . Even with a working car it was not all plain sailing, as the traffic was so bad it took us twice as long as usual to get into town and we ended up arriving an hour later than we had hoped and almost half an hour after the first philosophy session should have started. The day could have been saved, as it happened, because one of the church stewards was in and had already let a couple of Tots mums in, but since Gina and others who had come by car did not know this they had waited outside in the car park while the Tots mums wandered around inside the hall wondering where we all were - a bit of a comedy of errors really! Anyway, things had been more or less resolved by the time we got there and philosophy was underway so my three rushed downstairs to join in while I had a much need cup of tea and a quiet sob in the kitchen! Both Philosophy sessions ran slightly short, to make up time, so we still finished at the usual time, but somehow the hall seemed extra noisy and disorganised and everything just wasn't quite right, for no apparent reason. Lots of worrying and politics type stuff going on about forthcoming local HE group planning meeting/AGM didn't help with general unhappy feeling, I think, and nor did my having arrived so late that we hadn't got properly set up. We did some French, nonetheless, including colouring some flags and then playing a colours guessing game, and M had a bit of a piano lesson. Recorders didn't happen though, as S was tired and grumpy and Gina had other things to do later which really required him to sleep. Head> in the end gina went home and we just packed away and walked to the library to meet up with the w-ss. On the way I realised that we haven't yet had a chance to [head>] do the touristy bits of the city for M - we really should try! - so we did some potted history. At the library the children all played very cooperatively on one computer (they had to as we only had one library card between us with which to sign in!) and then made friends with a slightly older boy who showed them how to get internet on the information point computer by going via google (oops! but a useful piece of info, I guess!) once their allotted pc time was up. Emily and I had a nice unhurried chat :) Got home to A, who was very pleased to see me! J had had a good day avoiding work *sigh* and Bob had managed to get some work done, despite having forgotten to bring his laptop home *sigh* so not too bad all round really. Baths and early nights for all children. Yet another early night for me - I just don't seem to be able to shake off a general under-the-weather-ness I've had for weeks now :( Today's plans, given that we are carless, the children are currently enthusiastic about libraries and our local(ish) library has finally been reopened had been to do normals and then walk into town to the farmers' market, the library and maybe the museum. Torrential rain has scuppered that :( Lots of music practice was easy, but normals somewhat harder as all still in car which is still at garage. More fractions worksheets therefore printed off ;) Then a fairly riotous game happened, which I think I'd rather not know all about :shock: and lunch, followed by letting the children loose with a new science kit. Of course they went straight to the water experiments so now it's nearly as wet inside the house as outside. . .