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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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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Not Too Spicy For Dad

For the story so far click here 🙂

Tuesday 12 November

We read to the end of chapter six of Wuthering Heights.  It’s a great story, everyone is very mysterious and dramatic.  I think Heathcliff is a bit scary, although you can’t blame him for getting cross with Mr Lockwood, he’s a very annoying character, I would get cross with him if I was Heathcliff.  Nelly is my favourite character so far.

We have been writing out our reports for Operation Independence in our best handwriting.  A whole week of shopping and planning and cooking takes a long time to write out neatly.

In the afternoon we made salt dough plaques to hang on our bedroom doors. Salt dough is a bit like clay, so I pretended I was a sculptor. We made our names and decorated the edges with forks.

Wednesday 13 November

We did Batik today!  We made our own dye by picking mint leaves from the garden and boiling them in water.  Then we melted red and yellow wax crayons in a pot over some hot water, the same way you melt chocolate.  We painted leaves onto a tea towel with wax, and then we let that go cold and used our mint dye to dye the tea towel green! Once that is dry you are supposed to remove the wax with an iron, but we haven’t done that yet.

In the afternoon we went to Nanny’s house and did cookery!  Jude made samosas and I made spicy garlic mushrooms fried in batter.  Sadly I don’t like them, they taste too spicy. I will feed them to Dad, because he likes things like that.

Thursday 14 November

Jude wrote a newspaper report for English today, which is one of her favourite things to do because one day she wants to be a reporter, like Lois Lane.

Mum said I should write an essay describing what happened on our trip to the Robin Hood Pageant.  I used a lot of adjectives.  Luckily I had written about it in my diary, which helped me remember the details.

Later on Mum made a still life for us to draw using a fruit bowl and things.  She showed us how to hold a pencil differently to the way you do when you are writing words and numbers.  You hold it gently so that you don’t press hard.

We read some more Wuthering Heights today, I feel sorry for Heathcliff, he is so lovely when he is little. Nelly is still one of my favourite characters, I don’t like the Lintons at all.continues tomorrow 🙂

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