Monday, 22 June 2015

Raptor Evolution and Roundabout Revolution

We started the week watching this little guy having a bath in the water that had collected on the old doors that cover the sand pit.


Moppet wanted to try out a dance class so I took her to a ballet and tap class to try it out, but it was a bit too teachy and not enough dancey for her, so she's trying out a street dance class later in the week.

Sprout was installing some software on one of his hard drives and we were looking at available space, and he wanted to know how many gigabytes are in a terabyte so we looked it up.


He got his new Osper card which he was excited about as he can now check on an app how much money he has and keep track.


Daddy and Moppet time :)


Gruff took them to Victoria park while I did some jobs, then I went to meet them for a play.





Next day was home ed park day which was nice and sunny. Squidge and Moppet played lots of make believe games, including taking turns to fight a dragon :)






Sprout stayed at home with Gruff and played some Saints Row IV and later some Goat Simulator.


Moppet and Squidge played out with a friend...


...while Sprout and Gruff played a Hearthstone-style game that Sprout invented using a pack of Birds of Prey Country Trumps and a pack of Hot Wheels Top Trumps :)


Sprout wanted to know more about navigation in brown rats, so we looked it up...


...then he wanted to know about the evolution of peregrine falcons, so we looked that up too.


Then he wanted to tell me about hunter birds and show me what they look like.





Squidge and Gruff played some hot wheels top trumps.


They all made some paper hands with things they like about home ed, to get taken to the Senedd to oppose new and dangerous home ed guidelines.


Squidge and Sprout did some blanket wrestling.


Moppet picked some flowers in the garden and watched bees and checked on the tadpoles...


...and played in the sandpit...


...then we all had an outdoor lunch in the sun :)


And the cat took up residence in Moppet's castle for sunbathing purposes.


Gruff and Moppet and her various toys watched some videos together.


Squidge and Sprout and I made Hook-a-Ducks for the charity event Sprout wanted to do.


They all collaborated to build a den.


Moppet brushed my hair. A lot.


The boys helped Gruff work on his van while I took Moppet to try out a street dance class.


And she had an early night :)


We all went to Waterworld the next day for the whole afternoon, it was so much fun :) Afterwards Gruff took Moppet and Squidge home as Sprout and I had tickets to see Romeo and Juliet at the Regent Theatre.
He noticed this on the way and wanted to take a photo.



We went to Zest bistro for a drink as we were early...


...then ended up in McDonalds as he was hungry too and the bistro only sold steak!


He told me about the newest Zelda game, lots about the Binding of Isaac series and the stories it is based on, and also about the seven stages of grief.


He also noticed the amazing ceiling in the theatre!


The performance was amazing, Mercutio especially, and Sprout's favourite character was Romeo. We left at the interval as he was really tired, but he's sworn me to secrecy on the ending and wants to watch the film this weekend.
The sun was setting as we came out, so we went over to Westport Lake and watched it for a little while, and chatted about geese and swans.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Peregrine Chicks and Sculpture Pics

We went back to the BT building in Hanley to have another try at seeing the peregrine falcons, and this time we were successful! Sprout was *extremely* excited! He took some photos of them, and Squidge took some photos of other stuff :) 







The falcon is well camouflaged here, I only knew he was there as I saw him land. He's at the bottom right of the central window.


Squidge has been playing lots of modded minecraft and Technic, and asking me more and more what things say and how to spell and type things. 


Moppet 'read' herself this story.


Falcon watchers at work :)


I worked most of Saturday but managed to get in a bit of time out of the house with each of them. Squidge and I went for a drive/sing/epic dance (in his words), and pulled lots of funny faces, made fart sounds, and went and bought a minifig.


Moppet wanted to go and get a comic, so she put her Elsa costume on and off we went. She was very independent, telling me that she can walk on her own, and finding the comics. She scanned it through the till too :) Then she did what she assures me was an Elsa walk (it involved lots of wiggling) back to the van. She told me lots of times how much she was liking it, and I realised that although she is always with me, unless I need to do a job out of the house, we've rarely had any one on one time together like I do with the boys, so we're going to start.


Sprout and I had already agreed (on our car breakdown night) that we'd go for a cheeseburger next time, so we did that. On the way the conversation went from Falcons to national birds to pigeons to Rome to the Roman Empire to the Colloseum to gladiators to Sparta to video games to the Colloseum again to lions to elephants to feet to DNA to orangutans to grapes to bananas to goldfish to dinosaurs to common ancestors to time periods between prehistoric eras and now to pyramids to Egyptians to cleopatra to Romans again  to time periods again to mental arithmetic and how people do and see it to what 220-23 is to what 203-23 is to what ((295/3)+25000)/1000000000 is *mathsface* Pause... then videos to his YouTube channel to more Falcons to cooking videos to nerf day to ninjago to money saving plans to ...I've forgotten. It was a fun half hour though, I love chatting with him so much :)


After Squidge took the photo of the hand sculpture above ("The hand of recycling"), I showed him the Stoke sculpture trail website and asked if he fancied it and he was really keen, so Sunday morning we went out together early, Canon in hand, and whizzed round them one by one before I went out to work.


We found most of them (missed a couple because of traffic and then he'd had enough by the time we got to "Golden" so we didn't bother parking up to see it properly we headed home and uploaded all the photos instead :) ) He liked the idea of editing them and getting them printed out onto a poster, so I showed him how to use Instagram and he edited them all on there. Voila! :) (We included the Jumbo storage elephant, some street art that he liked, and then bottom right the photographer himself :) The bird at the top right wasn't on the trail, but he remembered it and we went to it.)


Later on, Gruff and Moppet washed the van and then he played some minecraft with each of the boys. Squidge asked to make scones so he, Moppet and I did that too.


I found some peregrine falcon webcams for Sprout, and then his grandpa told me there was a chick on Countryfile so I found that on iplayer for him too. 


While the boys played Crazy Craft together on Technic, Moppet and I had a garden picnic, and rescued this bee that was drowning in a bowl of water that was out for the birds. 


We took Sprout to meet up with a friend to play laser tag, he absolutely loved it :)



Back at home Moopet snuggled with Gruff to watch some TV and Sprout and Squidge played Crazy Craft on Technic together.



More Technic for the boys the next day, and Moppet made some play doh surprise eggs with moshi monsters, kinder egg middles, and dough. Later we made flapjacks together.



Sprout and I worked on his charity event a bit, checking licences and stall plans and organising the competitions he'd thought of. We needed to pop to their grandparents' house for some things we needed for it, and we all had a play while we were there. They all played some hide and seek and some bat and ball with their grandma, and Squidge and I played some Squidge-rules chess.


Sprout and I went for an evening out together, he chose Burger King as he wanted to get the other toy in the current series so he could do a video of it. We also watched some 5am at Freddy's videos and laughed lots :) He chatted to me about how he'd had enough of his diy.org Lego camp now, and his plans to buy some old ninjago sets he's interested in.


The next morning he got up wanting to know what a group of guinea pigs was called, and enjoyed this thread discussing better ideas :)


While he reinstalled and played Garry's Mod, and Squidge watched some minecraft videos and built helicopter blades and mini guns out of EZ-Fort, Moppet and I built dens and watched Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi.


Squidge and Moppet played a very long make believe game of going on holiday, including the plane, hotel and restaurant. Afterwards Squudge built a Nether house on minecraft which he came and told me he was very proud of himself for, and Moopet played doctors with her doll and applied lots of plasters :) Then she was worn out :)


The three of them played a robot battle game together which was lovely, they tend to play in twos so watching all of them play together was ace :)


Sprout found this dog puppet up the loft when we were looking for something else, and spent a couple of hours trying to perfect its movements.


Squidge put on a dubstep soundtrack on his iPad to accompany his robot battle arena.


Moppet and Sprout played with a photo morph app and laughed *a lot* :)






Squidge played a lot all week on a minecraft skin design app, he really enjoyed working on each concept and then uploading them into his actual game and playing as them. He then gave me a list of minecraft mods he wanted installing, including Youtuber Blocks, Mob Blocks, Mob Fusion and Elemental Creepers, so I installed them all and he played on that.


Sprout and I had a game of Birds of Prey Country Trumps, at which he thoroughly kicked my arse :)



While Moppey watched Doc McStuffins and Sprout played on some new minecraft mods, Squidge and I played mech battle arena with top trump game mechanics :) Moppet joined in afterwards.