First Wednesday of the month = WedEd, where it was especially nice to find that it was pretty much a full house 🙂
One side effect of this was a slow start as much chatting happened, but we still fitted in Chemistry, Maths, a few games (mostly Munchkin, I believe) and the first stage of setting up Shakespeare lapbooks, including a quick run-through of key events in Shakespeare’s life, as well as few other bits and pieces around the edges. No choir yet meant that we could stay a little longer than we usually can in term time, so we were late home for a very quick tea!

Thursday started early, so that we could drive to Leyton for a Geography workshop called Restless Earth. Since it was aimed at GCSE level this was just for the boys. They had to work as part of a team, each taking on a different role and using their skills and knowledge to make plans and draw maps to help deal with disaster scenarios involving earthquakes such as that in Japan in 2011. Apparently it was good, useful, interesting and worth the early start and fairly long journey – you can’t ask for much more 😉 While they were busy the girls and I wandered along the High Road investigating the shops. A bought herself a new scooter, since she is now too big for her Mini Micro but doesn’t like L’s scooter at all. This one has two wheels at the back so is more stable than a simple two-wheeled one, although not as easy to use as the mini micro. Hopefully it’ll keep her happy for a bit but not be so good that she continues to delay learning to ride a bike – she’s still adamant at the moment that she doesn’t want to! If all else fails, we may tackle this when we next go to Centerparcs and have safe roads to start her on again.
We got back in good time for some work to happen, A to get to gym and the rest of us to grab dinner, instruments and music and head out to band, scooping A up on the way. H’s teacher says he’s doing well on baritone – having heard him practising from time to time I was glad this is making a difference 🙂 J was asked to stay and play tuba in the senior band from now on, since they are desperate for more bass and are hoping to train him up in time for competitions next year 🙂

Friday was a relaxed day, with a list of suggested HE tasks on the board for everyone to work through at their own pace, with breaks when they felt they needed them. If that system works then we’ll use it for all our at-home days. If not then we’ll rethink. As ever HE is a work in progress! H went swimming again in the evening, and managed to join in with the club training session, which apparently is quiet enough on Fridays that he should usually be able to join in – an unexpected bonus 😀

Music school hasn’t started yet and K has been feeling distinctly short of time with his friend A, so when A’s mum offered to bring Z here to play with our A and take K away to play with her A it made all four of them very happy. K went off to play computer games and enjoy bonding with his friend again after six months away, while Z and A helped me do some cooking ready for the Beans’ party in the afternoon. We left J and H to sleep in, then H helped a bit, worked a bit and mooched a bit while J got the laptop as sorted as he could for the Sunday service. K was returned to us and Z collected in good time for collecting L from gym, but getting everybody else ready proved more difficult, as costumes were donned, discarded and altered (the party theme was Rebels). Finally everyone was happy, the food and drink contributions were safely in the car and we were off, via the gym, to the Beans’.

The weather was not as good as it might have been, so only the hardiest souls were swimming, but there was still plenty of fun to be had, playing games, chatting, eating and (re)connecting with friends. We stayed rather later than we should have done, really, given that J still had laptop things to finish (songs needed adding which weren’t sent until early Sunday morning!) – he ended up having to get up early to do it before the service, which was a struggle for a tired teen! It was a lovely evening, though, and worth a bit of tiredness the next day – thank you to all concerned and especially to the Beans 🙂

Today J managed to get up for church but I left the others to sleep, as they were dead to the world. Just as we were about to leave, A appeared, very keen to come along so she could see her friends, so we waited for her to grab some breakfast and throw on some clothes. Fortunately we were still early enough for J to iron out some last-minute issues – although were were still a few hiccups, mostly due to miscommunications. All good learning experiences, but stressful for him at the time.
We got home to find H mowing the lawn, a task which he says he enjoys a lot and would like to take on regularly while he’s here 🙂 A wanted to do some baking so we started some bread off and H came to help with that too. We made an enriched dough, for which he did most of the kneading, then rolled it up with cinnamon, butter and sugar to make cinnamon swirls – almost like Chelsea buns, but a little less sticky. While it was proving A and H stoned and chopped some plums then picked some apples from the garden to stew with them. H went off to research some more for his Shakespeare project and A and I made crumble, then L asked to cook too so she made a sosmix/falafel mix plait, which turned out very nicely. We had a high tea whilst watching a programme about what’s under the ground in Britain (secret fuel lines, the Underground, machines building the new Cross rail, supports for the Firth bridges, a canal tunnel through the Pennines, a water-powered electricity storage facility and more, it seems 😉 ) and then the girls went to bed while the boys all enjoyed a little free time on laptops.

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  1. The “what is under the ground?” question is interesting. I read something once that even though people own their houses, they don’t own the ground under it. Only a very small amount. This allows all sorts of things to be tunnelled beneath.

    We were sorry to not be able to make the party this year. Haven’t done at all at gatherings in 2015!

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