Mountains and Christmas and toy cars with doors that open

For the story so far click here 🙂

Wednesday 18 December

Jude has started drawing a cartoon strip.  It’s really good, she’s great at cartoons.  I really like the way she does people’s fingers and curly hair.  So far she’s drawn seven pictures.  I wonder what she’ll name her characters.  Naming characters is one of my favourite parts of writing stories.  I like to have a lot of characters when I write a story, just so I can name them all.

I sewed buttons onto my dress today.  It buttons down the back, and I sewed press studs to button it up, and blue buttons to decorate it.  And now my dress is finished!  I tried it on and it fits perfectly.  I love it!  And it’s ready in time for me to wear it for Christmas.

I also made some mermaids to live on the rocks next to my lighthouse.  I’m really pleased with them.  I made them out of some slinky shiny fabric I had in my sewing box.  I drew faces on them in felt tip and sewed long pink hair onto their heads. They look beautiful and they love playing in the water next to the lighthouse.

Thursday 19 December

Jude found the lip balm this morning and she’s really cross about it.  She won’t stop going on about it, as if I did it on purpose, which I didn’t!  I just wanted to see how far it would unwind to.  How could I have known that once it had unwound it wouldn’t wind back in? And I didn’t mean for it to break off either.  It was an accident.  She’s very angry.  She says I shouldn’t touch her stuff.

We have been making Christmas decorations out of paper and cardboard tubes and beads and glitter!  I also knitted a lot of my pig, but he’s still not finished.  He may have to be a belated Christmas present.

We read some more of These Happy Golden Years which is perfect to read in December because it is winter in the story.Tomorrow is the Christmas holidays!!!

Sunday 22 December

We are on holiday in Wales!  It’s brilliant here.  We came on the train and then we caught a bus which drove us through these winding roads over huge hills and valleys to this town and then we had to find the key to the cottage!  I really expected the bus to fall off the winding roads and slide down the side of the hills, but it didn’t.

It’s great here.  Jude and me have a room and Mum and Dad have a room, and downstairs there is an electric fire and a kitchen and a sofa.

We brought our stockings with us.  I’m a bit worried that Father Christmas won’t be able to find us because we’re in the wrong house, but Mum says he knows where we are.

Monday 23 December

There are some lovely shops in town, Mum has bought some books for us to learn Welsh when we get home.  There’s a Welsh-English dictionary, a book of phrases and a book of Welsh fairy tales.  We also went in the second hand shops and the junk shops, and I have started a collection of toy cars.  I have bought fourteen little cars, my favourite one is a little red Mini with doors that open and close.Tuesday 24 December

It’s Christmas Eve!  I’m so excited!  Today we went for a walk up the mountain, it was raining a bit so we wore our raincoats.  It was a long way up, so we didn’t go all the way. I think we got to the bottom of the mountain and then it was time to go home.  But the views were magical and we even saw a natural spring!

Tomorrow is Christmas!  We have never been away from home on Christmas before, it’s really fun!  We’ve left mince pies out for Father Christmas and carrots for his reindeer, because they will all be hungry.

Thursday 26 December

Yesterday was brilliant!  Father Christmas did find us, and he brought us lots of lovely presents! He brought me a T shirt with a green motorbike on it, and some veggie bears which are fruity sweet jellies!  He ate one of the mince pies we left out for him, and took the carrots we left out for all the reindeer.

We had roast potatoes and carrots and beans and sosmix toad-in-the-hole.  For a long time I thought toad-in-the-hole had something to do with Toad of Toad Hall from The Wind In The Willows, but it doesn’t.  I don’t know why they call it toad in the hole though.

We had crackers and party hats and mince pies too.  I had apple pie because I don’t like mince pie.  I try to like it every year, because it’s so Christmassy, but I never do.  I won a little rubber dinosaur in my cracker!

We had a great day playing games and watching Snow White which was on television. We also went for a walk on the mountain, which was beautiful.  When we got back we had missed the beginning of The Great Escape, but we watched the rest of it, it’s such an exciting film.

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And that brings us to the end of December and therefore the end of Chapter 3  but don’t go far, Jude and the other one will be back soon to start a happy new home-schooling year in Chapter 4: January 😀

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Wales, holiday, Christmas, vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, home school, home education, Cader Idris, mountains, vegan Christmas dinner, children, family

The biggest jar I have ever seen

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 13 December

Today we did more digging in the garden, which is a lot of hard work, but it is fun to be outside for science.

For lunch we had peanut butter and yeast extract on toast.  We’d got a giant jar of yeast extract from Daily Bread which is the biggest jar I have ever seen.

We watched the antiques programme where they have to look around a market and buy things and then hope they are worth a lot of money to win.  I don’t like it as much as the one where they look inside your house and sell your old things, but it is still very interesting.

After lunch we worked on our projects.  I finished a piece of my pig, which is one side, from the nose to the bottom, with two legs on it.There was something odd about it, and so I showed it to Mum and we worked out that I had accidentally knitted one of the legs on the wrong side of the knitting, so that one leg is in the right place, and the other leg is sticking out of his back. So I will have to start again from the beginning. But at least now I understand what it is meant to look like.

Monday 16 December

We had a needlework day today, because this is our last week before Christmas so we are going to spend the week doing arts and crafts.  I have been knitting my pig because I’d like to give him to Nan for Christmas.  I would have possibly finished him by now if only I hadn’t gotten mixed up with the pattern and knitted one of the legs on the wrong side.

Jude was sewing a cross-stitch for Grandad which has a Christmas tree with yellow baubles and red tinsel, and it will be in a frame.

For dinner we made home-made oven chips with beans, and Linda McCartney sausages!  I cleaned the muddy potatoes, Jude sliced them and cut off the bruises, and Mum showed us how to drizzle a tiny bit of oil all over the chips in the mixing bowl and turn them over to make them evenly covered, and then we put them in the oven.  We cooked the sausages under the grill with some sliced in half tomatoes.

Jude hasn’t found the lip balm, so that’s lucky.

Tuesday 17 December

We made rocky islands out of paper and card!  It’s brilliant!  We took a piece of cardboard, and then we made rocks out of screwed up pieces of newspaper, and a lighthouse out of a cardboard kitchen roll tube!  Once it was all glued down we painted blue and white waves around the rocks and painted the rocks grey.  The lighthouses we painted red and white striped.  I would love to live in a lighthouse.

In the afternoon I sewed my dress and Jude made scones.  Mum says my dress is nearly finished.  All we have to do next is put the buttons on and then it’s done.  I can’t believe it.  I can’t wait to wear it!

We finished reading Wuthering Heights! It’s one of the best books I ever read.  It’s so tragic dramatic, all the characters are interesting and I care about them all, even the ones I don’t like.

We have to write essays about the book and hand them in after Christmas.  My essay is about comparing the different houses in the story, and who lives in them, and what they are like.  Jude is writing an essay about how much the characters hate each other, and why.

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Chapter 3 continues next Monday!  Have a good week 😀

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Fruitcake, flapjacks and papier-mâché dinosaurs

Click here for the story so far 🙂

Thursday 5 December

Jude made a fruitcake and flapjacks! I don’t know which I like best, because fruitcake is so sweet and juicy but flapjacks are golden and crunchy.

While Jude was baking I worked on my dress. Mum helped me to sew on the sewing machine and press the seams with an iron. We have a really old sewing machine which used to belong to our great aunt who was a seamstress.

I think being a seamstress would be a great job because I like sewing, and it would mean you could make all your own clothes! People used to make all their own clothes, that’s what they do in Little House on the Prairie.

Friday 6 December

In the morning we went to the shops, we got the food shopping for the week, and visited Button Boutique to look at needlework supplies. I bought some buttons for my collection: I got a pink one shaped like a flower and a green one with a sheep painted on it. They are fun things to get with your pocket money because they are only a few pence each. We also got chips from the chip shop afterwards!

We made papier mâché dinosaurs this afternoon! They are tyranosaurus rexes and they are brilliant. We have to wait for them to dry before we can paint them, so they are in the porch right now.

Vegan book for children making papier mache dinosaurs in home school

Tuesday 10 December

We had a history test today. All morning we did revision by reading over our history exercise books, and then in the afternoon we had a test.

Mum made the test. She wrote three pages of questions about the things we studied so far this year in history, and we had to answer them. It was quite fun because I like quizzes, but I couldn’t remember some things.

I got sixty percent of my questions right, which Mum said is a B- grade! Jude got seventy four percent of hers right, so she got a B+.

Vegan book for children

Also we finished Little Town on the Prairie today. Our new morning reading book will be These Happy Golden Years (which is the next book in the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder).

I painted my papier mâché dinosaur browny-purple with greeny-grey stripes. Jude’s is dark green and yellow, and Mum’s is yellowy-green with red eyes and blue spots all over his back. We should make other kinds of dinosaurs, stegosaurus and diplodocus and tricerotops.

I think my favourite type of dinosaur is the diplodocus, but I also like the other kinds too. I really like The Land Before Time films, my favourite character in that is Spike, But I don’t know what sort of dinosaur he is.

While I was playing after dinner I found Jude’s lip balm, which is strawberry flavoured. If you twist the bottom the lip balm comes out, like a glue stick. So I was just twisting it to see how far it would come out, and it must have come to the end because it got stuck. So I started twisting it in the other direction, but it wouldn’t go back in. And then it broke off, so I hid it under her chest of drawers.

Wednesday 11 December

It was really sunny but also chilly riding our bikes to the swimming pool, we wore gloves and hats and scarves. My bike is metallic purple, so is Jude’s, and Mum’s is golden.

In the afternoon I did decimals and fractions and adding and subtracting in maths. Jude did mental arithmetic.

We did quiet reading after maths. I’m reading a book called Refugee by Benjamin Zephaniah, Mum says she wants to read it after me, and Jude is still reading Emma.

For cookery we made nut-stuffed mushrooms! They were delicious and quite fancy. They would be great for a tea party. Mushrooms are not like other vegetables, they are special, because they are fungus.

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Chapter 3 continues next Monday 🙂

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Getting ready for the Christmas Bazaar

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 29 November

In history we studied more about Boudicca and her battles with the Romans.  She sounds brilliant.  I like that she had long red hair.

This afternoon we made treats for the Christmas bazaar! I made chocolate hazelnuts and fudge, while Jude made chocolate oaty treats and peppermint fondants.  Fondant is great because you can do anything with it.  You can dip it in chocolate or stick leaves to it, or make it shaped like mice, or turn it pink with beetroot juice.  The fudge was so nice I wanted to eat it all.

I am really looking forward to the bazaar because it’s so much fun. There is always a raffle and a bric-a-brac stall and a stall where you can buy knitted tree decorations and a games stall and a lucky dip where you close your eyes and pick a prize.

They also have a mystery jars stall which has lots of glass jars wrapped in Christmas paper and you pay fifty pence to buy a jar without knowing what’s in it!  Sometimes the jar will have cotton wool in it, or sweets or toys or buttons or jam or anything.  Once I got a jar full of mint imperials, which I wasn’t too keen on at first, but after I ate some I really started to like them. They also sometimes have a game where you have to name a teddy bear, which is how Jude won those bears we drew in art.

Find out what Jude and her sister got up to in December – Chapter 3 coming soon 🙂

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Steerforth, Traddles and the Warrior Queen

For the story so far click here 🙂

In history we are studying Boudicca who was a Celtic queen.  Celtic women were equal to Celtic men, so when her husband, the Iceni King, died she became the leader of their people.

But the Romans didn’t believe women could own property, so they tried to overthrow her by attacking her, her daughters and the village they lived in.  So she got very angry and she rampaged the country collecting people to help take back the land which belonged to the Celts.  The Romans were really bad and tried to fight her army but the warrior queen was too sneaky for them.

After lessons Jude wrote in her diary. Jude has a diary with a padlock on it, which she got for Christmas.  It has stickers and stamp pens which make love hearts and exclamation marks. I have seen it and it’s really tidy, she writes in different coloured pens and her writing is much neater than mine.  And she’s really good at eking out her stickers. I can’t help sticking stickers nearly as soon as I get them.

Wednesday 27 November

After breakfast and chores we each read a chapter of Little Town on the Prairie out loud and then we had English and read chapter six of David Copperfield together.  Mum set us homework to read chapter seven and answer an essay question by next Wednesday.

We had cereal for lunch today.  Jude got the free gift from the box, which was a plastic football player. He came with stickers which you could use to make his uniform stripey and decorated.  Jude took the stickers and used them to decorate a toy car instead.  It’s very good, it looks all ready for a demolition derby.

For needlework we are making cross-stitch tapestries!  They will be beautiful when we’re finished. They’re so delicate and complicated. They take a really long time to stitch.

The salt dough ornaments we made last week are ready to paint now so we painted them red and yellow and blue and green.  I tried to write Merry Christmas on one, but it was too small, so I wrote Xmas instead.  The holes we made for the strings are a little bit small, but we can make them bigger with a needle.  When the paint is dry we can varnish them with pva glue.

Thursday 28 November

I have read Chapter Seven now, it’s all about David being at boarding school and the friends he makes. He has two friends, Steerforth and Traddles, which is lucky because the teachers are horrible to him.  At the end of the chapter Mr Peggotty and Ham come to visit David, and they meet Steerforth.

I don’t think I have ever written an essay before, and I thought it was spelled S.A.. Mum said that lots of people think it’s spelled S.A. when they first hear the word, and that a school friend of her’s wrote “S.A.s” in big letters on the front of her exercise book in the first year of secondary school.

Mum says an essay has to have an introduction, a middle and a conclusion.  The beginning is where you say what it is that you are planning to prove in the essay, the middle is where you explain why your point is true, and use quotes to prove it.  The conclusion is where you explain that you have now proven your point.

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The end of November concludes Chapter Two tomorrow 🙂

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Find the White Horse and other stories

For the story so far click here 🙂

For cookery we made party food! We made a big bakewell tart and twelve miniature ones, sosmix rolls and a big sponge cake.  Mum helped us make pastry for the bakewell tarts and for the sosmix rolls, and I put the jam in the bottom of the bakewell tarts, Jude made the cake mixture and poured it into the tins.

We put it all in the oven to bake and while it was cooking we cleaned up the kitchen and washed up the bowls and spoons and things.

We went to bed early so we could read our books. I have already read thirty-seven pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but there are still hundreds of pages left, so I know I won’t finish it before it has to go back to the library.  It’s a great story! Hermione likes knitting just like me.  Except she does magic knitting.  She has a magic cat with one red eye and one green eye, who is really grumpy.  I would like it if the story was all just happy, but sadly there are some scary characters too.

Thursday 21 November

This morning we read some more David Copperfield, it is such a good story we just wanted to keep going.  We took it in turns to read it out loud.  Poor David keeps getting in trouble with Mr Murdstone and his horrible sister who has taken over the house.  At the end of the chapter we read today, chapter four, Peggotty is whispering to him through the keyhole of his bedroom door, where he has been locked, and she tells him he is going to be sent away the next day to school.  It’s so sad because the three of them were so happy before Mr and Miss Murdstone arrived.

This afternoon we made salt dough Christmas tree decorations!  Salt dough is excellent. We made round ball ornaments and rolled the dough out and cut shapes like bells and circles and little people.  Then we made holes in them so that once they are baked we can thread strings through and hang them on the tree.

Then Jude worked with Mum going through her mental arithmetic test, and I did a beat the clock maths test in my room at my desk.  I had to clear my clothes off my chair first because I keep forgetting to put them away – I always think I’ll wear them again tomorrow so hanging them seems a waste of time but the next day I choose something different and eventually I’ve got nowhere to sit.

I finished reading my book I Want Doesn’t Get!

I really enjoyed it, it’s different to other books I’ve read. It’s all about this boy called Julian, who lives with his sisters, and doesn’t know where his mum has gone. I liked it because it had lots of little details about what Julian thinks about what’s happening, a lot of the pages had little notations at the bottom of each page, explaining words and phrases.

Tuesday 26 November

This morning we went swimming and I swam a whole width without touching the floor! Jude swam a whole length without stopping!

We went to the library and I chose some books to read since I finished I Want Doesn’t Get on Thursday, and I had to return the Harry Potter book because it was due back at the library. I don’t mind taking a break from it, it’s really long.

I borrowed a book called Find The White Horse by Dick King Smith which is about two dogs and a cat and a pigeon who get lost from their homes and have to try to find their way back.  It’s called Find The White Horse because one of the dogs lived in a house on a hill with a chalk horse carved into it, so he knows where he’s heading, and the other animals just want to come too.

I also got a book about toads and a book about witches. Jude got some more fox books and Mum got some history books.

continues tomorrow 🙂

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Portraits and Gingerbread

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 15 November

I am making a dress!  I’ve got a whole lot of blue fabric and a pattern to follow.  The first thing you have to do is cut out all the pieces of paper, pin them onto your fabric and cut around them.  That’s what I did today. Next time I will sew the seams with the sewing machine.

While I was doing that, Jude made an apple crumble. I love apple crumble, I love the crunchy top and the soft fruit.  We had it after dinner with custard which Mum made.

I also had a times tables test today, and I scored nine out of twelve!  Then we made drawings of Dmitri, which was wonderful because he’s so handsome.  He’s black and white mostly, but I coloured in his brown eyes, his blue collar and his pink tongue.

In the evening we got dressed up and sat on the settee in a pose for Mum to paint us. I love being painted, I wore a scarf and a purple dress, and Jude wore her stripey top and Mum’s beautiful orange dress. It’s like being in the time of Robin Hood when they had to paint pictures of each other because they hadn’t invented the camera yet.

It’s not finished yet, Mum says it will take several sittings for her to do the whole painting. So far she has painted us all in lines, and started to colour us in, but there aren’t any details yet.

Monday 18 November

This morning for English I wrote a letter in formal language, and Jude wrote poetry. I like writing letters, it makes me feel like I’m in a story, because I imagine all kinds of mystery and adventure could be started by a letter. Jude has a book which is entirely written in letters, it’s called P.S. Longer Letter Later. That’s a great title because all the words begin with L, which is alliteration.

After lunch Mum and I worked on sewing the bodice of my dress, which was really complicated! I’m so afraid I’ll sew it wrong, there’s lots of pieces to sew together and none of them look like pieces of a dress.

While I was sewing Jude made two gingerbread cakes!  We had some after dinner and it is delicious!  I love gingerbread cake, it’s so sticky! I like that it’s soft inside and crispy like toffee on the outside.

Wednesday 20 November

Today in science we tested our rainwater for pollution and acid rain.  We had these special pieces of paper, called “Universal indicator paper” which you dip in the water and then it changes colour depending on the pH levels.  This is all to do with Hydrogen ions, and how many there are in the water.  Too many mean it is acidic and too few make it basic. Ordinary water should be somewhere in the middle, which is called neutral.So, if the rain water was basic, the test papers would turn blue or purple, and if the rain water was acid the papers would turn red or pink or orange.  If water is neutral, the papers turn green!  And that’s what happened.  We did the test several times because it’s fun.

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continues tomorrow 🙂

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