Thursday, 22 September 2011

No time to blog - playing on google+

No time to meaningfully blog today as in between teaching polygons and the human body and addition and blending phonics, playing with the one year old, cleaning house, making dinner, going shopping, helping other child with technology homework - I will be playing on Google+ and newly discovered :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Gallery: My Guilty Pleasure

Notice there are a few brownies gone from the once overflowing plate - it wasn't the 5 kids who ate them!

If you are a blogger why not join in with The Gallery

Money money money ....

I was reading about the campaign to get financial education into the National Curriculum this morning headed up by Moneysaving Expert Martin Lewis. One of my goals for my children home edded and schooled is to make them financially savvy - we are teaching them the value of money and the dangers of using credit (and then paradoxically explain to our 13 year old that she will need to borrow huge amount to go to University but that's for another day!)
Both myself and my husband cut up our credit cards two years ago and have not used a penny of credit since - we are paying back our debts and will be doing so for a good while yet. We have a budget for everything - we sell things we don't want any more and use the money to buy the next thing we want/need  in this way we always look for what we call "old money" before use "new money".
Don't get the wrong impression - we have made money in the past by moving house lots of times but as the housing market took a downturn we lost money and we are paying the price in our lifestyle now.
If we get financial education on the  school curriculum we will produce a generation of children who can't have the wool pulled over their eyes by the banks - they will learn to manage money before they get their hands on it in any real quantity and that can only be for the  benefit of society.
Sign the e-petition here or visit

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It's a memory thing

I love this idea - at  items are being tagged with QR codes - so if you are selling something on ebay you can tag it with a QR code -(a simple printable tag which can be read by android or iphone (you've probably seen these tags on print adverts in magazines etc) This means the buyer of your item can go to the Tales of things website and find out about the history of the item. This really is the start of the "internet of things "

Monday, 19 September 2011

What to make from an old book - altered art!

I've been experimenting with altered art in particular altered books - it was a fab morning.
I took  a battered old book and started to use the pages as a journal - in the inner front cover I doodled and wrote one of my favourite sayings "when one door closes... another door opens!" then using some old magazines cut and stuck little pictures and doodles - I warn you doing this activity makes you feel about five again but so much fun.

The front and back of the book  I recovered using pages from Country Living Magazine but leaving the old spine exposed for a shabby chic look

Inside  I made cut outs with pictures stuck behind and little collages

A work in progress only four pages so far  - give it a try !

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Save the Children Petition

I've broken the silence of Silent Sunday to join in with the parent bloggers who want to draw attention to the Save the Children campaign to prevent children dying because there aren't enough trained  health workers to adminster vaccinations

My health professional of note was my midwife Jane who looked after me during all five of my pregnancies - she was always reassuring and went the extra mile popping up on to the ward after I had my babies to say hello to the new arrival. Community midwives are rushed off their feet these days but Jane was the utimate professional

Sign the petition here

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Friday, 16 September 2011

Go the go ahead for new home education group for North KIrklees

Have just got a lovely room organised for the new Home ed group I am establishing in Cleckheaton West Yorkshire - hope this is the start of a long lasting a fun group - will keep details posted via the blog - email for further details

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Video blogging or should I say vlogging - here we come!

We got ourselves some webcams today so we have been playing around with them (because you can do that kind of thing when you are home educating!) - setting up led to a good half hour talking about light and its properties when Olivia realised that pulling the curtains closed made a difference to the picture on the camera..... After about 15 mins trying to set them up (as baby George thought it was hilarious to pull the webcam off the top of the laptop everytime I got it in just the right position)  - here's me and Liv trying it out ...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Neighbourhood Watch !!

Is the concept of being a good neighbour dead and buried in Britain 2011?
There is about as much chance of me becoming the Pope as there is David Camerons big society becoming a reality if the experience on  my road is anything to go by. Last night there was a knock at my door - it was a Police Community Support Officer who had been summoned by the "Man with a Van" to have a word with us because we had asked politely for them not to block us in.  After an inital questioning she quickly came to the realisation that we had one car and one driver in our house - me .The neighbours have three cars a big van and a motorbike !!  and that we had indeed done nothing more than ask politely more than once.She went on to suggest that I didn't use my drive but parked on the road - when I said  I thought it might antagonise the neighbour she said - "f you were there first then it's tough!" She also said the PCSO would come and ask him to move if he blocked me in but we were not to ask - as asking again could mean they could accuse us of harrassing them over parking !!!
I was brought up to believe that neighbours should look out for each other and strive to create a harmonious place to live - is our society so broken we can't even listen to each other without a lady in uniform arriving on the doorstep?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Neighbour from hell!

"Can you put your van on your drive please - you are making it difficult for me to get out" I ask the neighbour, smiling...
"No" he replies folding his arms determinedly
"I've paid my road tax I can park where I like"
"But your drive is empty - you don't need to park on the road"  I point out politely
"I'm parking here and there is nothing you can do about it !" his tone becomes more shrill
"You should change your driving because I'm not changing where I'm parking"
He stomps into his house and stands staring at me from behind the kitchen blind.

Is this the Big Society ?!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 may they rest in peace

The finally unveiled memorial to the victims of 9/11 is beautiful in its simplicity. Ten years before 9/11 I stood on the viewing platform of one of the twin towers and the view over New York was unforgettable. Ten years later I watched in horror as the attacks unfolded whilst my three year old daughter played in the garden. My much loved grandmother had passed away just ten days before. I share the sadness of the families and pray that they find comfort today.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

To carpet or not to carpet - that is the question?

We have carpet upstairs and wooden floors downstairs and with 5 kids and a chocolate labrador that is not a happy combination - so today on impulse I have taken up the landing carpet as a precursor to getting new (the Dh may not be best pleased as he feels stained carpet is better than no carpet) . George had a fab time wielding the hammer and Olivia had an impromptu lesson  on materials : we found - wood, metal, tiles, paint, paper and a ton of dust - What's in dust then Mum?" she asks and off we go down another winding path to learning.....
So the question now is -  to carpet or not to carpet - the floorboards are already sanded and looking rather shabby chic - guess another rug needs making.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Had a severe case of tense pencil sharpening this morning

Had a severe case of tense pencil sharpening this morning - it‘s a throw back from when I was a primary class teacher and had to speed sharpen hundreds of coloured pencils before school!
By contrast we had a lovely relaxed first day back to home ed yesterday :)

Monday, 5 September 2011

When your child tries to swim in the bath ....

She was trying out swimming in the bath
"Mum - there isn't enough water" she grumbled
New swimsuit, armbands and swimming lessons were purchased
She stood on the side of the pool
Looking so excited she could burst!
"At last - I get to go in the biggest bath in the world!" she declared
I'm looking forward to retreating to the viewing area to watch her splashing
"Come on Mum" said the instructor
"Mummys come in the water too - go and get your costume!"

It was the best fun I've had in years!
Like taming an octopus and trying to teach it to go in a direction it has no intention of going!

I say teach your children to swim parents
before they decide to jump in !


Sunday, 4 September 2011

It might have been money saving BUT .... rug hooking is hell!

I've been a knitter for years even running a small business supplying my own designs to  baby shops and I've done patchwork quilts and machine embroidery but earlier this year I decided it was time to get back to basics.  Our house has wooden floors downstairs and we needed rugs. A relative supplied me with a box of old rug making tools that used to belong to my great grandfather who apparently was a big rug maker. I found loads of info online about  the different ways rugs were made in the from proddy rugs in the UK to rugs woven around the spokes of a wagon wheel in the USA. I couldn't source a wagon wheel !! but we found a peg loom on ebay so easy to use Olivia and I had a rug made in no time at all.
I went to University in the USA in Kansas and my friends houses were full of hooked rugs I watched a video of one being made on Youtube and thought this looked easy!!
 After hours of searching for the special hook  which I finally located on Etsy I was donated a piece of hessian from my crafting mum  so I confidently sketched out my design, cut up my hubbies old t shirts (as I wanted my rug to use recyled fabric) and set to work......

The hessian is smelly and gave me an allergy - streaming eyes and sneezing for hours........
The hooking with t shirt fabric makes your hands hurt and takes forever...
Making rugs like this might have been money saving but it is the least fun I have ever had making something ... no wonder the rugs were passed down from generation to generatiion and vintage ones are worth a small fortune
Here's the rug so far - I  will finish it one day !

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Number two is starting High School

 High School is looming for child number two - I swore when I was a teenager that I'd never number my children and I also swore I'd never go through a list of half uttered children's names before calling a child by the correct one like my mum did - but I admit  am guilty on both charges but I also swore I'd never want more than two children and now I have five!

 Sometimes in the middle of all the baby chaos and home school stuff my beautiful older girls fight to get a look in  - one came past rubbing the sleep from her eyes this morning moaning "blogging or home school -  Why don't you just put the kettle on mother!"

 So by way of mother's revenge and much to their embarrassment I'm going to post their picture on my blog and wish number two good luck for her first day at high school and number one a brilliant year.

 Two in school - two at home school and a baby  certainly makes for a different September!

Blog now in Mumsnet Blogger Network

Five Kids is now in the Mumsnet blogging network - what with that and being a Mumsnet Tsarina - we're all Mumsnetted up !!

I'm one year old and I'm awake so you will be too!

I don't care that it's 6.30 a.m and everyone in the house wants to sleep
Sleep is for the weak and I want to play
I'll wake you by any means necessary - even the hair pull manoeuvre isn't off  bounds
So what if even the dog looks annoyed at being woken at this early hour!

I want my books and my toys and I want a person to play with
No you can't just put the kettle on before we begin
because I have the utlimate weapon
a scream so loud it will wake the whole street if mum delays play!

I'll play ever so quietly for an hour or so and then I'll want toast
and just when the others want breakfast and tea
I'll roll on the floor crying because I'M tired and I want to go back to bed

We love Saturday mornings in our house!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Ever wanted to lay down on the grass and do roly polys?

Our summer garden makeover (well part of the garden anyway!) is officially finished - new fence in place, scrubland style lawn stripped and replaced with new turf - it looks so lovely I feel the urge to lay down and roly poly all the way across whenever I look out the window! All the kids, my DH and the parents in law helped with the project so we feel very pleased with our efforts - now there is just the small matter of keeping a one year boy and a lively chocolate labrador off the grass for a month whilst the roots take hold !
 Isn't also  true to that when you make one part look presentable in either home or garden all the scruffy bits remaining suddenly look even worse !

Gran gives the ground a good water !

Finest Yorkshire Turf!

Just like laying carpet !

Looking lovely !