Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Buddies ~ daffodils

***In September 2011 6 families got together and started Buddies Home School. Each week we meet in each other's home and follow a simple rhythm: movement and music, craft/ baking, snack time, free play and story time. Each part of the session is led by a different family. We are sharing this week's session with you here...***

Today was a 'crying day' at Buddies. Pretty much all of the kids cried for one reason or another. We couldn't figure out what was going on with everyone, but we stuck to our rhythm and limped through the morning. It was still nice, it always is, but there was pretty much always someone in tears.

We sang some new songs to begin with. We started practising 2 songs in Irish for our St Patrick's Day celebration in a few weeksand to herald spring we sang 'Five Fat Peas...'

and because we were feeling pretty sad we also sang 'If You're Happy and You Know It', which evolved into a really good fun song with lots of improvised verses:
If you're poorly and you know it say Achoo...
If you're grumpy and you know it stamp your feet...
If you're sad and you know it cry boo hoo...
If you're tired and you know it go to sleep...

It ended in giggles :-)

We moved on to our craft (accompanied by more tears...)

Zoe prepared this craft for us but couldn't be there herself as little H was under the weather...

We painted cut out egg cartons (on the wrong side of course...whilst crying of course...) then we mummies realised we'd gone wrong and quickly painted the inside of the cup bits while the kids moved on to sticking their colour paper stems...

and petals of bright yellow crepe paper on top. We let the egg cup bits dry to stick on just before home time. We had a snack and cleared up then the kids went for a play and a bit of a cry.

It seems only one person did the sensible thing...

We read this story...
If you have never read it it is a must, it completely captures the essence of being a mother to young kids :-)

We finished up the session with our goodbye song and some tears and then bundled our tired, sobby kiddies into cars.

What an odd, crying day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


...a new word I have invented, sort of like meandering...but all weekend long...
lazy mornings (image from Song of Spring)

I find that on a Saturday morning it takes the kids a few hours to get started. They come periodically after breakfast asking if they can watch telly. I just smile and say no and they wander off. Finally, after an hour or so of wandering around the house, play beings.

Sometimes a few words of guidance, an observation sparks them off: 'Oh the kitchen looks like a shop when it's that way round...' and the game began. Coins and purses found, a tiny chest of drawers for a till. Lots of wonderful planning and negotiation of who was who and what they had to do and say, and then, let's do it all again!

and then the shop became a train and I was the granny (knitting of course) and they had to speed between me and the shops...I lived in paradise don't you know!

After lunch they moved outdoors to the sand kitchen

and created amazing jungles and pies.

This guy has been sitting at the bottom of our garden for 2 days now. It's so amazing to have a resident bird of prey, Andy and I are not very good bird spotters and we just can't decide if he is a sparrowhawk or a merlin (anyone care to enlighten us?)

More play again indoors. This is an agent's den (this game was sparked by the bird book somehow).

On Saturday afternoon the cowboys abandoned their circle of covered wagons to go to a birthday party. They came home absolutely filthy, absolutely exhausted and absolutely happy. It was a great party!
Sunday began as it does most Sundays with some Lego play:
a 'Zoow'
Then we had some spies coming to do some work...

they needed rubber gloves and evidence bags and dark clothing:-)

Joa did lots of play dough
and spent the rest of the weekend trying to break himself. He cut his lip and bumped a bump he already had on his head poor man!
But he also really enjoyed playing with Sally, Benny's doll.

Perhaps he will be getting one for his 2nd Birthday in June?

I also had a little time to work on some custom order dolls,
including this wee 16 inch doll. I have stopped posting all the dolls I make but you can see them all here:

We ended our weekend with huge portions of apple crumble and cream and an impromptu adventure over the fields, through the woods and along the beach.(image from Song of Spring)

Ah the bliss of weekendering :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Andy

Yesterday was Andy's birthday and we celebrated as we always do with thoughtfulness, joy and simplicity. Home made cards

The children were so excited to give him the cards and gifts that they had made. Benny did the whole squeaking out what was in the gift before Andy even had a chance to unwrap it, it was very sweet.

Benny and Joa gave him the tea light holders that they had painted at Buddies a few weeks ago.

Rebe gave him a felt folder to keep all his packets of seeds in.

I gave him a very stylish hat that he had been hankering after, and my mum gave him this lovely shirt.
We mooched around at home in the morning while Rebe was at school and then went to the garden centre to pick some seeds and have a coffee.

For dinner we had a proper birthday tea with little sausages and pizza, chocolate fish and

carob brownie and ice cream.

He had a very happy day and I hope that he will have a very happy year :-)

chocolate fish tutorial

One of Andy's great loves is fishing and so most presents we make for him are either fishing or gardening related ...he also loves chocolate, so Rebe and I dreamed up a way of combining the two... Chocolate fish!

On greaseproof paper (baking parchment) draw out simple fish shapes.

melt a large bar and a half of white chocolate in a bain marie.

carefully spoon the chocolate into the shapes on the paper, keeping within the lines as best you can.

Put one end of a length of string (about a foot long) where the mouth of your fish would be and put a plop more melted chocolate on top to seal it.

now for the hard part....
get your helpers to break up chocolate buttons into halves and quarters...without eating them all!!!
Smarties for eyes and pieces of buttons for scales. Make sure that they don't press them too hard into the chocolate! Then put away up high (out of reach) for a night until they have set.

When the fish are completely set carefully peal them from the parchment and tie the other end of their line to a small twig. I displayed ours in a jug weighted with a bag of lentils to stop them from toppling over.

I can't tell you how much these were loved! We played and played with them, shrieking with glee at having caught one, nibbling pieces and then catching another from under the table.

We will definitely be making them again :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buddies ~ Birthdays

***In September 2011 6 families got together and started Buddies Home School. Each week we meet in each other's home and follow a simple rhythm: movement and music, craft/ baking, snack time, free play and story time. Each part of the session is led by a different family. We are sharing this week's session with you here...***

Today is little S' first Birthday! It is also O's birthday tomorrow so we decided to have a Birthday themed Buddies today.

We did some lovely party circle games for music and movement: 5 Little Speckled Frogs, Ring o' Roses, Hockey Cockey and of course we had to do the Sleeping Bunnies again...

For our craft we made birthday cards. We had thought of making mud cakes out in the garden but the weather was too grotty (even for me) to make everyone go outside. So we raided our craft box and made these sweet little cards instead.

It never ceases to amaze me how much pleasure children get from the mere act of cutting paper and sticking.

They sat beautifully and calmly at the table working away on their creations.

We actually ended up having to hurry them on so we could have our snack.

As this was our first Buddies Birthday we had the pleasure today of inventing our birthday tradition (Annika!!). We wanted to keep it simple and calm. We also have lots and lots of over lap Birthdays (kids who have birthday's in the same week) and we really wanted to be able to celebrate them all. So we decided that the Birthday child would wear our special Buddies Birthday Crown (or keep taking it on and off in little S' case lol) and we would light the appropriate number of candles in a ring and sing Happy Birthday for that child.

We could then pass the crown and the ring on to the next child who would also be sung to.

(isn't this just the most beautiful picture ~ and little girl!!)

We also wanted to share a cake together. We also thought it a good idea that the birthday child's mummy bring the cake and that it be kept very simple. It was a lovely little birthday celebration for 2 very special little (or should that be big?) girls.

We tried to do a bit of planning for the up coming weeks during the kid's free play time. But we had a full house of kids (who had just had a slice of cake and no fresh air) and it got too noisy and rowdy so we cut our planning time and gathered to read the story.

This is the story Flo brought for us. She was aorried that it wasn't going to work. She was worried that the book was too small and that the story was too calm for the high spirits of the group. But when she started to tell it to us (the story itself is in French so she just told it in her own words) a magic settled over the kids.

It is a story about a little baby in her mummy's tummy who just didn't want to come out. All of her family try to persuade her to come out but she refuses only coming out in the end to get a kiss from her daddy (and rest of the family). It was really nice to end our birthday celebreations with a story about birth.
Happy Birthday S and Happy Birthday O :-)