Friday, 28 February 2014

Star Gazing, Birthdays and Lazing

Moppet and I found a new use this week for our cake pop mould and some Xmas baubles...


Squidge and I had an evening out together. Went we went outside he noticed a really bright star and wanted to know what it was, so we used the Night Sky 2 app and found out it was Capella, which is actually made up of two large stars and two small red dwarves, and is over 42 light years away. We talked about what light years are and he thought that was pretty amazing!


Once we were out we had a drink and played some games...


...and a game of slaps which he thinks is hilarious :D


This week Sprout turned 8! (Excuse the background mess, that's our art 'cupboard' while we replace our kitchen cupboards!)


He and Moppet had a joint party at Amerton Farm, where they both blew out their candles...


...the boys made each other into a double soft play sandwich...


...and there was lots of lovely time with friends on the bouncy castles, go karts and fussball :)


Once home, I cooked the birthday dinner that Sprout had requested: Beef, with smoked cod (that he'd chosen from the fish counter himself after discussion with the fishmonger) and pepperoni pizza. Oh and some chippy chips on the side because it turned out I've filled the freezers so full with our big batch cook that I can't get to the chips. Like, at all. 


After dinner I took each of the boys out, Sprout to spend some birthday money, and Squidge to go and pay him lots of attention as with all the focus on the other two for the day he was getting a bit tearful. Sprout and I drove to the toy shop and chatted about Stephen Hawking's theories of the possibility of time travel, and whether you'd ever be able to travel back in time or only forward. Conversation then led to the Big Bang, whether it was actually an explosion, then abiogenesis, evolution, and then... Lego :) 
Squidge and I went out and had an ice cream and he cheered up, and on the way back he saw the same star as the other night (Capella), and also Jupiter which is quite close in the sky. When we got home he told the other kids in the street about it and they told him about the Big Dipper :)

We all slept late the next morning including this snuggly pair :)


We did some face painting...



Following Sprout's interest the previous night in the details of the concepts of the creation of the universe and the development of larger organisms, we watched some videos illustrating the Big Bang and also the evolution of life from single to multi cellular organisms, then Sprout and Gruff had an afternoon swimming, so I took Squidge to Central Forest Park. He had a look at the street art wall first of all (he always likes looking to see how it's changed), then had a bit of a scoot...


...played on the playground...


...and then randomly grew giant ears and went bird watching :D He thought it very funny to use the binoculars (which Sprout really kindly lent him as he knew he was a bit sad) backwards and make his hand look really far away :D


Meanwhile Moppet was playing lots with her Peppa Pig Weebles, and doing lots of drawing including these ink stamps which she's loving doing.


Sprout has spent lots of time building the Lego sets he got from lovely family and friends for his birthday...


...and when he's not been doing that he's been moonlighting as a Tshirt ninja :)


The next day saw more body art, with Moppet bringing me her new felt tips and telling me what she wanted drawing on her...


...and Squidge wanted to be a robot (face by me, arms his own work :) )


The first issue of the new History Revealed magazine that we have a trial subscription to came yesterday, and then today the new BBC Focus Science and Technology turned up too, so lots that Sprout wanted to read with me, starting this morning with Tutenkhamun, Apollo 1, the Japanese soldier that didn't believe the war was over, and ten of the worst decisions in history. While we read, Squidge documented the moments in photos :)


We had a chilled out day at home for Gruff's birthday...


...Moppet took some photos...





...we played with lots of minions and some tiny hats we had off our innocent smoothies last winter...


...and all three kids helped Gruff blow out the candles on the carrot cake that Squidge made him :)


Squidge and Moppet pulled faces in the kitchen while I found some ingredients for Squidge...


...then he made a jus for the first time using our home grown raspberries from last summer and a recipe from his Weekend Box...


...as part of a banana split. He improvised a bit and turned it into a monster with mini marshmallows and glitter sprinkles :)


The boys have played a lot of games together this week, mainly LBP2 and Lego Marvel Superheroes. Sprout stopped halfway through this morning to quiz me on some arithmetic! I love how without anyone ever having given him a maths lesson or introduced 'maths' as some kind of discrete, separate-from-the-world entity that he needs to learn, he discovers and experiments and thinks through the concepts in ways and at times relevant to him. 


Squidge had decided on a couple of afternoons this week that he wanted some time to just chill out on his own (which is quite unusual for him, his preference tends to be with other people), so he's been snuggling up and watching videos of his favourite games.


Moppet insisted that we expand the previous day's leg art...


We visited the kids' grandpa for a short while, and afterwards spent the afternoon at a friend's house for their birthday. When we got home it's was feeling almost summery, and the boys played out in the street with their friends well into the evening, and then we did some stargazing. 


Once they came in they were helping Moppet use Squidge's Flicker scooter, then while the younger two went to bed Sprout worked on a map he'd been making for our Minecraft LAN days.


We had a morning in with Gruff with lots of running round and singing and tickling...


...then a couple of hours at the park with friends...



...then on the way back to the car Squidge wanted to do the nature hunt out of his Weekend box, and we found a worm and chatted about that for a bit and then did some rubbings of leaves and tree bark.


Back at home we played some Minecraft, and watched some Dreamworks shorts on Netflix with some popcorn while Moppet had a sleep. 


We've got a much needed day in tomorrow, then another busy few days, so I'm going to sign off now and chill with the three of them while Sprout tries to learn to blow bubbles with gum :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

International Sweets/Candy Mission: Thailand

A little browse on Amazon brought us to the koala cuteness from Thailand that is Koala's March :)


How could we not try some?? They took a couple of weeks to get here, but arrived this morning...




The taste testers assembled quickly...




And the verdicts?

Sprout: "Pretty good. I like quite a lot of stuff about it."
Squidge: "I don't like. It's got chocolate in it."
Moppet: "Like. Yes."

So a thumbs up for Thai biscuits! They also led to a conversation about Moppet's name, which is from Thailand, and what it means, and then from there the meanings and origins of the boys' names :)

And up on the wall it goes...

Mr Men Cookbook: Week 5 Mr Greedy's Grub

This week in Squidge's Mr Men Cookbook mission it's Mr Greedy's Grub, aka corned beef hash...


He chopped three potatoes into small-ish chunks, then asked me to slice the onion so he could push the rings out.



He then layered them into the pan with a bit of salt and pepper, and half covered them in some water before lighting the cooker to bring it to a boil. We turned it down and he chopped a tin of corned beef and asked what animal beef came from and if it ever comes from other animals. 
Once the potato and onion were cooked I drained a bit of excess water off and Squidge asked me to stir the corned beef in.

It made lunch for me and all three of them, and although Sprout wasn't keen on it (he asked to try it but he doesn't currently like mixed food) Moppet absolutely loved it. 


Next week, the one thing anyone who had this cookbook as a child seems to remember: Mr Muddle's Melting Moments!