Just One Of Those Days

It is a low news day today thus far! The not so famous five are all at present tinkering on their screens. The noise is a little loud! So I just told them to quieten down. Aaah, that’s better.

Lunch was a charcuterie with mozzarella, olives, and salad, accompanied by lashings of black current juice. Daddy is now mowing the lawn. It’s another hot and sunny day here in ‘The Shires’.

The girls are going on about playing chess later. Perhaps after Dadda has a sunbathe and daddy has finished his lawn.

A low news day for sure. Oh! I finally got around to changing the bedding. So, all clean and fresh. I just have to figure out how to persuade Remus not to treat our bed as his! I have pushed the bedroom door shut. That will stop him for now but it’s just a matter of time before one of the children walk in there and leave the door open! This said, he is at present residing in the spare room. I don’t blame him really. He’s just looking for a bit of peace and quiet. And that’s really, really hard to find in our house!

Slow braised silverside of beef for dinner tonight. Yes you’ve got it, with all the trimmings! Yummy! Thanks for reading.

A Lot Can Happen in an Hour

Have you ever tried to blow up one of those long modelling balloons? I have lost my voice and my head is aching, I actually feel quite sick. All I wanted to do was lie in the sun and improve my suntan!

We had finished a lunch of ham, potato and mayonnaise on sourdough with a pickle on the side. After which the children seemed content with raiding the recycle bag and making spaceships in the kitchen. In the garden I lay for what might have been 30 minutes. Daddy had just opened his parcel that had just arrived this morning! Within it lay his new set of hair clippers.

The children all came outside with bubble wands! My oh my, Amritsar’s bubble creating has vastly improved since last year. Even Caleb seems to have suddenly ‘got it’! 10 minutes of bubbles and screamies, they then give up on that and decide to build a house on the lawn with the cushions from the outdoor sofas.

Daddy walks outside with hair looking as if Tara has hacked at it with the scissors as she did to her siblings 6 months or so ago! ‘Can you help me out here’ Daddy asks me’! I turn over to tan my back a little. ‘Okay’ I reply ‘in a bit, I’m still sunbathing’. He returns inside.

Thor comes out screaming ‘blow up my balloon Dadda’, holding up a modelling balloon that had been hidden at the back of the cupboard these last 12 months! They are Completely impossible to blow up! I try to help however, almost haemorrhaging as I do so. I remember the entertainer ‘Mr Muddles’ from the children’s party last year and try to stretch the orange coloured balloon as I blow. I surprised myself! The long balloon is now inflated and Thor is a very happy chap. Caleb now hands me a green one. I take a breath, my head hurts, I blow. Slowly it expands – then POP! Caleb screams.

Daddy comes back out, his hair looking somewhat improved. Only some length now on the very back. His hair is looking a little like a ‘mullet’ at this point. Hmmmm. ‘I’ll help you with the back momentarily’ I say.

I look back up, there are 5 modelling balloons of various colours being waved at me. They are all screaming.

Daddy tries to shape Thor’s first, orange balloon into a sabre / cutlass. Thor screams ‘I don’t want that, undo it’. Daddy can’t.

My head is still pumping, I’m a bit short of breath. Caleb shouts something and we all look at him. He stares at Thor’s orange balloon that is now lying on the table. It explodes with a very loud bang. We all look at him and then each other. ‘Caleb’ I say ‘you really have homed in on your ability for breaking things’ I can’t keep a straight face at this point. ‘It seems that You just have to look at a thing now and it explodes!’ We all laughed and laughed and laughed.

Anyhow, moving on. I have just helped Daddy with his ‘mullet’ in the upstairs bathroom. Now looking much improved!

So much can happen in an hour, can’t it? Gotta go, Aaliyah is now screaming at high decibel.

The Friday Movie Matinee

As Tara vacuum cleans beneath the sofa cushions, I notice just how much white hair our rapscallion hounds shed! Definitely ‘shed loads’! I never see any of the black hairs though! Tara surprises me constantly. Mind you she ended up making farty raspberry sounds with the ‘Dyson’ just after this picture was taken! She is now giggling lots. It was hard to write this without using the word ‘Hoover’! I have to smile.

We have just ventured past lunch and we have a time of relative calm. I made chapatti (flat breads) for lunch. Not to eat with curry, but fill with ham, salad and mayonnaise. I rolled out 12 as thinly as humanly possible and layered 5 between sheets of tin foil for freezing and griddled the 7 for us to eat now. Doing this makes easy work of homemade chapattis at a later date. Caleb has come on in leaps and bounds! Not that long ago, his eating a lunch roll of meat and salad was an extremely messy affair. Today he coped admirably with the roll and no one spilt their tumbler of orange squash! Result!

The usual screams were had this morning when the schools daily worksheets arrived via daddy’s printer. We managed to get some of the work done, but their focus was short lived. However, Amritsar and Tara wrote wonderful stories about their favourite teddy’s having adventures. It’s funny to see in their relatively limited field of knowledge, how they shape their stories. You know, Christmas, Santa, a party, the shops and so on.

A movie matinee in Daddy and Dadda’s room shortly on the larger screen. It will keep them focused for a couple of hours. I found a bag of corn kernels in the cupboard, so homemade popcorn to be had if they are all good.

We were supposed to video call with a friend, Ameena this morning, but she did not call sadly. Maybe another day. She helped me with baby Thor when I lived in Bangkok back in 2014. We remained friendly over these few years. Mind you, she keeps asking when the family are coming to visit her in Thailand! Oh brother, the thought of our not so famous five running amuck in an aeroplane! It really doesn’t bare thinking about! A few years to wait until they are a bit less crazy!

Okay, got to go and choose a movie. Perhaps an update later in the day.

A Lūʻau in the Living Room (or Not)

A great idea was hatched in my mind this morning with having read fellow blogger Anna Dusseau’s homeschooling blog. One of her suggestions was themed rooms. If you can’t go away on holiday, bring the holiday to you! It seemed like a great idea. I remembered having purchased inflatable pineapples and palm trees a plenty, various birthday gifts for the children over the years. Please take note! Inflatables make perfect gifts for children as they are both fun and inexpensive.

Okay, you might remember that Caleb has always had a unique ability to break things! Big things, small things, plastic things and pretty much any things! Well, I just remembered where all of the inflatables are! Sadly with Caleb’s compulsion to bite holes in stuff, we are sadly only left with a single palm tree and a crocodile. So much for decking out the living room. Though, unbeknownst to me, Thor and Aaliyah made a small tropical island for the crocodile when I wasn’t looking! Ham and pineapple on the menu for the Lū’au. It might take you a moment to decipher what pictures are us playing games and which ones are the real thing!

The Dog House For Remus

Remus has been sent to the dog house! Not only has he continued to sneak off upstairs and lay on the bed in the spare room, but today saw him leave half of his lunchtime kibble and sneak back into the kitchen and gobble up all of daddy’s lunch! Daddy was on a phone call to our friend Carole and the crew and I had just finished ours. I was out of the room no more than 2 minutes. Damn that dog.

Today’s photo of Remus (with Tara) was taken exactly one year ago today! How time flies. Do you ever do that! Roll your camera feed back 12 months and see what you were up to back then? As well as this photo, I also found a bunch of footage of our crew playing in the garden that very same day, one year ago today! There was enough to cobble together a short video. Remembering back, Caleb had his broken arm and the day looked as gloriously sunny as the day we have today!

Homeschool Rules #1: 101

That dratted rainbow has showed up again! Oh well, that aside, I would like to thank Anna Dussesu, a real life homeschooler for her tips and ideas to keep the children occupied whilst learning from home! I have also heard through the grapevine that there might be a podcast arriving soon! I’m definitely looking forward to that. Thank you Anna. I will of course talk about that when it happens!

Her 101 ideas was published on 30th March, so I think we have a little catch up on our hands, don’t we? However. It is as long as it is wide at present!

Some worked for us, though given our younger age group, a few didn’t, so we worked through ‘playing pirates’, ‘pasta maths’ before we ate the pasta for lunch and then onto ‘put on a play’! Well Tara already had her favourite pirate costume on! And they are still playing ‘walk the plank’ in the living room as I write this post in the kitchen!

We also looked at insects though a magnifying glass. Well, the dead bumblebee we found on the windowsill at least. I am hoping that this persuades them not to freak out quite so much when they see insects! Sorry I have to go as all of them are now screaming and shouting at Daddy in the living room! Daddy has just told them that he is not playing anymore in a rather loud voice! I have to laugh… They all really, really like to play up for Daddy! I have just been in and threatened the ‘who wants their iPad tomorrow’ routine. They have all stopped shouting at Daddy! Off to bed now. Nite nite.

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

A Monday night in our house is very often a curry night! I won’t reiterate my ‘one sauce, several curries’ recipe, but I will say that I do not use anymore that a teaspoon or two of oil! I don’t over chilli, just enough to warm and harmonise my spice pallet!

Daddy and Dadda’s dinner tonight was a tender lamb curry (Rogan Josh), a large king prawn tikka masala, a very flavoursome dal, chapatti, poppadum and samosa. A real pleasure on the palate. Neither too hot, acrid or oily, which I have real issue with at many Indian take aways here in the UK. Never any heartburn with one of Dadda’s curries!

You really should come over for one of Dadda’s ‘Indian Curry Nights’ sometime! Now what’s the Hindu for ‘good appetite’?

The Queen of Bloody Sheba

It’s been 4 days now since Remus took up residence on Daddy and Dadda’s bed. As you may remember, the dogs enjoy the living room sofa, but the bed is out of bounds.

The bedding does need changing, especially now I guess. But I have turned a blind eye to Remus these last days. Perhaps we all need a rest or a change of scenery, so I have just let him chill upstairs. Gracie is as usual, my permanent shadow. But I am kind of missing Remus’s participation and his general annoyance! He just lays there, engulfed in bliss.

He’s barely been outside to do his ablutions! I really have to shout up at him at midday for his dinnertime call! It is really odd! He’s usually winding me up with his whining an hour of two before I give in to serving his bowlful of kibble.

Mind you, things are set to change tomorrow as I really am going to change those sheets and start a new regiment to keep the bedroom door closed at all times. But I’ll leave him there for now, laying on our bed like ‘The Queen of bloody Sheba’! (Please do excuse the language. It is purely there for dramatic effect!)

The Pop Band!

I have just been told that Tara wants to sing and play electric guitar. Amritsar wants to be the drummer, Thor keyboard, Aaliyah on the steel drum and Caleb on the maracas!

Maybe one day – hey! We all need to dream, don’t we?

French Onion Soup

It’s so easy to make and a great way of using up a glut of onions. Mind you, grilling cheese on the top with croutons can get a bit messy, so my take is to just serve the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side. The old Breville sandwich maker died a few years ago, so I returned to the traditional way of constructing the sandwich in a dry frying pan. Bread, butter side down. Add your grated cheddar, bread butter side up. Turn with a spatula and brown on the other side, now butter side down! I hope that made sense.

I won’t list ingredients, but thinly slice several large onions and sauté in a little oil until browned and soft. Dissolve three or four beef stock cubes (I favour Knorr) in about a pint and a half of boiling water and add to your pot. Depending on your caramelisation, add a small splash of gravy browning. Salt and pepper to taste and a further 10 minutes of simmering. I always add two or three teaspoons of marmite to mine – completely optional!

John has been asking for this French classic for a couple of days now! Lunchtime bliss. The children love soup also, but only because we introduced it into their menu early on. They can be so fickle can’t they? Bon appetite.

Time Out to Read

I have not actually read a book in ages. I suppose I am so used to reading what I write in the edit, the perpetual re-read actually puts me off a bit! Is that daft? I love that word ‘daft’ it’s a bit like the word ‘drat’, seldom used nowadays! ‘ That dratted man’, just has a certain ring to it. Why not think of a sentence that you could use it in? Drat or indeed dratted, maybe time for a reintroduction, don’t you agree?

Okay, I have been reading at my PC both yesterday and today! Yes, a book that I am planning on reviewing for a fellow tweeter! He is reciprocating for me by reading and reviewing ‘ Eighteen Moons’ on Amazon. His title is ‘The Clouds Still Hang’ and the author is Patrick C Notchtree. I will let you know how that goes? It is an engrossing read and at present he is giving it away for free on ‘Smashwords.com’.

Do you have a book on Amazon that you would like me to review? If so, a mutual swap of mobi files might work for both of us?

Anyhow, John was so impressed with me that he also picked up a Grisham novel from the bookshelves and is presently reading, oblivious to the world! All of the children are self entertaining today with their Fire 7’s.

Dinner time for them. Penne bolognese cooked earlier today, with Daddy and Dadda’s portion being converted into chilli con carne for tonight’s dinner! Yum.

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

Moules et Frits with garlic mayonnaise. Enough said really! Definitely on Dadda’s top ten list!

All quiet now. A slightly screamy bedtime manoeuvre. Aaliyah wandered down a little later, as she has done these last 4 nights or so! Just to affirm to daddy that they are the best of friends and that his iPad in in fact his and hers!

Remus has been hiding in Daddy and Dadda’s bedroom these last hours. It seemed odd to have Gracie alone doing the evening garden run tonight! She did a lot of nasal sniffing when she returned from doing her ablutions, as Remus normally does! I reckon that in his absence, she rather fancies herself as ‘Top Dog’! Well, for tonight at least – bless!!! Goodnight!

The Impromptu Party

Thank you to the Michigan Mama for her bucket list of yesterday! One of her items listed was ‘Dance Party’! And I figured, why not have an impromptu party. Some balloons in the cupboard and fancy dress in their bedrooms!

We have run out of bread, but I have raided the freezer and cupboards to come up with some last minute party food. ‘Hey Google’ all set. And do forgive my singing, I know it’s not the best!

Feeling A Little Like Groundhog Day!

We haven’t been pushing the homeschooling so much this week in respect to the Easter Holidays, but these last days have all seemed a little samey, haven’t they? I know, we are all in this together! However today, the use of the words ‘Groundhog Day’ just made it into our family vocabulary! I have avoided them thus far. But on the counter attack, I feel that we really must try to do something new each and every day to combat repetition!

With screen time dominating events indoors, the garden has been a well appreciated diversion. Very overcast weather today, though warm enough to allow for a couple of excursions like ‘The Teddy Bus’ on the terrace. We played a little music on the lawn earlier on the lithium battery powered Bluetooth amp/speaker (no flex). We often play 1960’s music for the children. It just seems a lot more innocent! Cass Elliot, Own Kind of Music – Respect! Anyhow, Tara had me in stitches running around with the mobile speaker trailing behind her, Caleb chasing after her desperately trying to catch her yelping with his well practiced, high pitched squeak. The speaker is like a suitcase really, wheels and an extendable handle. Sadly I was playing the music via my phone so taking a video was just not possible! Maybe I’ll ask Tara to do the same another day and I will use another device to record the event! Though perhaps that would be a little too staged!

On the subject of smiles, Daddy and Thor also raised a couple earlier! Daddy asked Amritsar and Thor to name 10 adverbs! A little beyond even Amritsar’s understanding at present. ‘But what is an adverb’ Amritsar implores!!! Thor pipes up ‘it’s the bits between the telly programs Amritsar’! Clever Thor.

Tara’s Totem

A totem (Ojibwe doodem) is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe.

This afternoon sees daddy giving the kitchen a lick of paint and Tara and Caleb creating a totem in the garden from the packaging of the new parasol for the table on the terrace that arrived this morning.

I am again basking in the sun with Remus and Gracie snuggled at my feet. Now they are snuggling together, pushing out my feet. Now I am no longer sun bathing,

Remus and Gracie are! I am standing up photographing them in my sunbathing place! I am now photographing Tara’s Totem!

Now Thor has arrived on his bicycle. I’ve pushed Remus and Gracie off and I am sunbathing once more! I do enjoy the sun!

What is Caleb wearing? Oh dear. And yes, we have just had the ‘suffocation’ talk!