Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I haven't been blogging properly the last few weeks. I didn't feel like it, we were too busy, and after that, I was too tired ;) and too hermitty ;).

We've been doing so much, the last year. And the last couple of months our 'schedule' with outdoory things became busier and busier. Luckily with quiet weekends and quiet evenings, but still: pretty busy for a family that loves staying at home too....

So, Boaz started being not very well two weeks ago (!). He's still not 100% but getting better. Levi and Adam we feverish for a couple of days....

But for my record and to start 2011 sort of organised ;), I'll give a short resume of the last four weeks :)

-helping out at friend's house twice
-attending the carol singing at our church
-a lovely festive crafting meeting at a friend's house
-a visit to -missing all of our HE Christmas parties and ball from Jobs work :(
-Job's parents came over for a 10 day visit
-Christmas party at our church (still don't get the Santa thing!)
-bowling and laser gaming in Torquay with friends
-Job's brother's flight was cancelled due to the snow, so we missed him.
-Job's birthday.
-crib service at our church. There were more people that don't ever come to church than people that I know :(
-sorting out hamma beads at a friends house :P for three hours...
-even we had snow!

-the fox came and took and ate our chickens and cockerel :(((
-a lot of staying at home time the last two weeks. The boys loved watching their favorite movies, playing video games, reading, playing with the lego and playmobil....and spending time with their grandparents.
-levi's first knitting attempt ;)
-my first 'learn something new every day' poster

A visit to Bygones in Torquay. I liked itThe boys didn't really...
This is what it looked like, the photo was taken by Julia, click on her name to see more photo's!

A visit to Killerton. Again, I liked it; the boys 50/50: outside was ok, inside not.
Again, a photo by Julia, click on her name to see the rest of her post. Funny that the window in the Bear hut was made by a Dutchman!

And now Job is making oliebollen, a Dutch tradition for Newyears eve (funny, in Dutch it's called Oldyears eve ;)).

 Have a good one, everyone, as they say here! :))

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teach less math in school.

In 1929, the superintendent of schools in Ithaca, New York, sent out a challenge to his colleagues in other cities. "What," he asked, "can we drop from the elementary school curriculum?" He complained that over the years new subjects were continuously being added and nothing was being subtracted, with the result that the school day was packed with too many subjects and there was little time to reflect seriously on anything. This was back in the days when people believed that children shouldn't have to spend all of their time at school work--that they needed some time to play, to do chores at home, and to be with their families--so there was reason back then to believe that whenever something new is added to the curriculum something else should be dropped.

One of the recipients of this challenge was L. P. Benezet, superintendent of schools in Manchester, New Hampshire, who responded with this outrageous proposal: We should drop arithmetic! Benezet went on to argue that the time spent on arithmetic in the early grades was wasted effort, or worse. In fact, he wrote: "For some years I had noted that the effect of the early introduction of arithmetic had been to dull and almost chloroform the child's reasoning facilities." All that drill, he claimed, had divorced the whole realm of numbers and arithmetic, in the children's minds, from common sense, with the result that they could do the calculations as taught to them, but didn't understand what they were doing and couldn't apply the calculations to real life problems. He believed that if arithmetic were not taught until later on--preferably not until seventh grade--the kids would learn it with far less effort and greater understanding.

Read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Enjoy 3yo Jonathan conducting with passion!
He made me smile.
Thanks mum, for sending me this :)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Unexpected visit

In Holland, on the 5th of December, this man (Sinterklaas) comes to (almost) every house in the country.

With his horse and helpers

To bring presents and sweets

We didn't think he'd come to England.

We weren't prepared..... 

But this morning, someone was at the door, and delivered this:

Thank you so much Helma & Co. for all the (funny) presents!

You guys made our day! :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

This is what happens.....

....when your child likes Shaun the Sheep, Sonic and Mario and is working on a Christmas stable ;)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Nikki's fudgey fridge nibbles

It's cold outside (not as cold as here (-25!!). And we are home, for a change (on Wednesdays).

So I'm making one of Nikki's recipes. She's got some really good chocolaty recipes! It's a shame she doesn't have a blog ;)

Fudgey fridge nibbles

100g butter

100g sugar

20g cocoa powder

1 egg

1 small packet rich tea biscuits (crushed)

50g raisins & coconut

Melt together the butter, sugar and cocoa, but do not boil.

Add the egg and stir until thick.

Add the crushed biscuits, raisins and coconut and mix well.

Press into a greased tray / dish and leave to set in the fridge.

Cut into squares before it hardens.

The 50g of raisins & coconut can be any ratio, sometimes i just add 50g of raisins, other times I use 25g of raisins, and 25g  of coconut.  (up to you)

We've also got some yummy hot chocolate from Whittard of Chelsea. They also have it in Holland! This one is 'Aztec chilli with added cinnamon'.

So, I don't mind being inside and 'enjoying' the cold weather! ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

week 47

I like summarizing my weeks. When you think you've had quite an ordinary week, it turns out you've actually done quite a lot. And that something new is learned every day....

On Monday I had an check up appointment with the chiropractor. It has been a big big help for my back problems to consult him. I would recommend this to anyone with back problems. We had the kids checked several months ago too. He did a little bit of treatment with Adam and Boaz, which has helped them too.
The rest of the day I did some cleaning and sorting out. The boys have been playing most of the time. And Boaz went to Beavers!

Tuesday was our usual day at our friend's house. As it's becoming a regular thing, Boaz seemed to need something else to do there, so that's something to be aware of. Levi feels more and more at home and Adam still adores the kittens.

On Wednesday we had a (home eduation) Home Meet at a friend's house. The kids had a great time playing and watching How to train your dragon. The boys wanted me to stay with them to watch the movie (yeah!) but I got to talk to my HE friends as well.

On Thursday we went for a swim with three other HE families.

On Friday we were at home.

On Saturday we went to Exeter as a family and Levi watched his first movie in the Cinema! We went to the kids am in Vue Cinema. This time we watched Toy Story 3 for only 95p per person.

On Sunday we went to church and I went to Sunday Kidz with the kids. 

The other things we've done this week:

We've been making play doh! Check out this recipe (sorry, it's in Dutch. But google 'make play doh' and I'm sure you'll find a recipe that you'll be happy with). I aldo added some scented oils, as an extra.

I've been reading Jip and Janneke this week to Boaz and Levi. I read it to Adam when he was younger. But Boaz didn't really enjoy being read to as much as Adam did, so I've skipped Jip and Janneke with him. Making up for that now, as they both enjoy it very much!

Read from my 30 year old book!

The boys (and Job) have been building with their Mindstorms nxt. This time they have been working on the crocodile. Now they will have to program it.

We've finished Fred's table. Fred is Adam's Hermann's tortoise!

And I'd like to introduce an other member of the (hen's) family as well. We don't have a name for him yet, but he is very handsome! We hope to get some chicks in 2011!!

Adam has been listening to the Junior B├Ętacanon a lot lately. It's a Dutch series of cd's about different science subjects (Einstein, Newton, computers, the importance of hygiene, about Pavlov, DNA and much more). Frank Groothof introduces all the subjects in a funny way. My friend P. always has some good advice on (audio) books. Thank you (again)! :) The Luisterwijs website has more interesting (sorry again, in Dutch) titles, check them out here.

And Adam got mail! A very sweet person, that has already sent me a parcel, not long ago, found something to make Adam happy with. Thank you, C.! Adam was very surprised and happy with the magazines! :)

I've been writing to our sponsor child. We sponsor her through Compassion (or this link for the uk, or the usa ;)). It's a great way to do something for childeren that need support. And being able to keep in touch with them through writing letters can build a special relationship between the child and the sponsor.

We've been a bit crafty as well, this week. I've been making some sort of wall display. Still building it up, but this is how it looks like now. About the 'general' things that happen during a certain month. I 'stole' the idea from Julia, my artsy craftsy HE neigbour :). Mine is less artsy craftsy, but that's me :). And it still works *lol*. Working on 'learn something new every day' in December. The basic is on the wall. Now we have to find something special for every day of the month.

We've also been watching Curious George

and Fantastic mr. Fox.

A lot of movies lately, but we all enjoy doing that together :).

Boaz asked me this week (and gave me his answer directly after the question): "Why did God want all the people on this earth? I think he felt lonely..."
He has been thinking lately, obviously :)

That was it, really. We've been talking of course, about a lot of different subjects, and we've been laughing together. We've also been a little bit grumpy, on some of the days. But that's life.

Still counting our blessings. Many many blessings! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 46

Again a busy week.

On Monday, we went to see Julia, baby Taisia and the rest of the family. I'm the lovely friend with 3 sons (obviously) ;)))). It had been ages since we visited them, but/and/so it was good to see them again and catch up!
Boaz went to Beavers. He wasn't really eager to go, but once he got there, he was happy. Tomorrow, Job will go with him (he wasn't at home last Monday), because Boaz feels more comfortable with Job there. He says he doesn't understand  everything they say.

On Tuesday we went to a friends house. We go there every week if  possible. They've got two kittens, so Adam is on the floor most of the time, playing with them for hours. The other boys have fun playing with her boys.

On Wednesday, we had a meeting with the Christian homeschoolers. We went for a walk (and three playgrounds) and cake and hot chocolate afterwards. We're not very keen walkers (the boys and I), so it was really good to be outside for a long time, playing and chatting. I didn't take pictures, but Devon in Autumn is just gorgeous! It's such a pleasure to drive for almost an hour and enjoy the scenery!
We borrowed all three Lord of the Rings movies and have watched them (several times ;)) last week. Some parts fast forward, but hey ho!

This is the start of the movie. The most peaceful part of the movie ;). It doesn't have the original music, but it's a nice intro.

This is the original music. Wow. Even nicer when you can see the instruments that play the music.

On Thursday we went swimming in 'our' pool. Good choice to get a pass! All three boys love it.

On Friday we went to see a friend and her son. An other friend with animals :)). And a drive over Dartmoor. From our end to her end. Stunning. We are so lucky! Check out this link for beautiful Dartmoor in Autumn pics!

This weekend, we've been working in the garden, painting Fred's table, playing videogames, going to church and Sunday Kidz, relaxing, crafty, running several errands....the weekend stuff. We've also contacted an Estate Agent, the first step in trying to sell our house.

And tonight, we have celebrated our first year in the UK! I had picked an American Diner for a restaurant, because I knew the boys would really enjoy that. We went to Casey's diner in Paignton. Especially Adam enjoyed his gigantic burger!
On the way back, we went along Paignton and Torquay sea front. I know the picture (taken in the car) doesn't really show it, but it looked really lovely, the lights at the sea front, the hills and the houses....This picture is better :)

See you next week, what are your plans?
Whatever it is, enjoy the good things in life!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guess how much I love you, mum?

After I had picked Boaz up from Beavers, he asked me: Do you know how much I love you, mum?

"From here to the sky, and then to the moon and the stars. Then to God and back."

Do you know that feeling, when your child says something to you that really touches you and almost makes you cry?

Well, that's what happened to me last Monday :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Busy week & house for sale?

We've had a busy, but good week.

Monday: a visit with our local HE group to Cockington, a very old village nearby. Adam was (again) intrigued by the glass blowing. We should go back in spring or summer!
Boaz went to the local Scout group in the evening. He actually really liked it. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but he is very determined to go again.

Tuesday: a visit to friends was cancelled, so I got time to do some cleaning. Job was working from home and I love that. So just a nice day at home. And I managed to buy a swim suit. They don't sell them anywhere here, this time of the year. Luckily I remembered that a local swimming pool had them in spring. I was lucky, they had some my size!!

Wednesday: bowling with the Christian HE group. Long drive, but the boys had fun in the Arcade area there. And afterwards at the house of one of the C-HE-families.

Thurday: getting our pass for (an other) local simming pool (with sauna/steam cabin/soft play area/bowling). There are more local HE families joining, so looking foward to swim regularly! The swimming pool is on a holiday park and it's very quiet during day time. Lucky us!

Friday: a visit from friends. We all had a good afternoon.

Saturday: talking, talking, talking about our house (in Holland). The people that were renting it, will be leaving on the 1st of December. Our plan was to find new people that would like to rent it. But we've (almost 100%) decided to try and sell it. We don't know what we'll be doing after August 2012 (when Job's contract will end), stay here (more work to do --> extension of the contract, move back to Holland, an other country, ..... So many options!

Sooo......if you know people who'd like to buy our house, let us know! :)

Anyway, back to Saturday. The boys had a great evening at the earlier mentioned friends from Friday, while Job and I had a date together (and talk more!). We needed that! In a few weeks, the grown up friends will have a night out and their kids will be at our house. I thought that would be a great way of helping each other. And the kids love  it as well.... 

Sunday: Remembrance day (actually on the 11th, but the remembrance in the village was today). The boys didn't really get it, and it was pouring rain, so we were happy to be home again. Then Job made an enclosure for one of our new 'pets'. I'll show Fred later, together with an other animal, yet to be named.....

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

New life!

The last few weeks I've been waiting for some new arrivals :)

And now they're all there! Yeah!

A HE friend from Holland got her precious daughter. They had to travel far, but look at this beautiful girl! :))

Then Caroline with the twins.....

Car 37 weeks pregnant

 Caroline's and Chris' twins, Stan and Evi (they arrived two days after I had left the country! ;()

After that Julia's (my 'neighbour' fellow homeschooler) baby girl arrived, Taisia.

And finally, I became an auntie again. My 'little' brother became father of Filip! Unfortunately, I don't live in our 'motherland' nor does he. So we'll have to wait for an opportunity to meet them.

It's somehow a relief for me, that everything is fine with the moms and the babies! It's such a special, but also delicate thing, having babies or traveling far for them. It does worry me a little bit, especially when people are special for me....

Anyway, I'm very happy!
And I've got to share some latest additions to our family, but I'll do that next time...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Rockpooling at Goodrington Beach

Yesterday we went to Goodrington Beach, that looks like this in summer, when we don't go there ;) and looks like this after and before the summer :)

We went with the local Natural History (homeschool) group. It's amazing to have groups like this here. And very fortunate for me, because I don't do this easily on my own (with the boys). Adam loved being here/outside. He even went in the sea with his clothes.

Lots more things were found, a gigantic crab, sea stars, hermit crabs, a fish....

We also went to the Seashore Centre, where the kids could watch a movie about the local sea life and watch the feeding of the creatures in the tanks.

After the kids got soaken and very cold, we went home, brought some friends, chocolate (milk) and had a good after party!