Sunday, November 29, 2015

End of Part 1

well, my spanish daughter! we had a fab time, and hope you come back to visit. We will miss you x x x


England - week 16 [bonfire night and goodbyes]

It is suddenly such a shock to think of SPD going home. She has become one of the family. we love her company, her laughing, her passion for awful chick flicks and will miss all that. the craziness between her and BB - mostly laughter and shrieking, but occassionally this boils over! SB will miss her company and friendship. It has been a really lovely exchange :) . We did have some trepidation, due to a number of wider not-on-the-blog life things, but we neednt have been worried. Thankyou SPD for being a lovely daughter.
So, the last week :( .  This is going to be a long blog! I took a weeks leave as well to spend altogether. we started out with with a day of home ed. SPD wanted to finish her history project book, which she very nearly did. I printed off loads of photos for her to stick in, though I am not sure she will, as she would need to do this at home. SB really needs to get stuck into exam work for her iGCSE as well. We did the classic 'home educators at the kitchen table'
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It was SPD's last judo and ballet lessons. I think that she enjoyed judo most, but certainly she has lunged into our life and given these things a good shot. I didn't get any photos of them at ballet lessons or judo, as there were no open sessions whilst SPD was here, but I did make them pose for a judoka shot at home :)
Oh tuesday was  a lovely day as we went on a jaunt to London :) . SPD wanted to go to the science museum, so that was our first place to go. We meandered all round the first floor and then the flight floor [so we could see grandad's air traffic controls] . Favourite bits were different for everyone. I think I like the age of steam best! We had planned to eat at a lebanese restaurant for lunch, but for some crazy reason SPD decided to become a fruitarian for the last week. [this really wasnt well thought out!] so a bit of a kerfuffle later, and we ate in the expensive science museum restaurant with her buying 2 fruit pots from the cafe.
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we then made our way to the next doors natural history museum, ostensibly to have a photo taken by dippy, as SPD has one of her dad there too. However, we got sucked in by the earth sciences, and SB shew SPD all the sections that would be useful for geog igcse, and then wished she had visited before hers! BB really loved it, but then her ankles and legs started to be really painful. i think its because she is growing, but if she walks or runs much at the moment she gets really painful ankles and legs :( , so in the end we whizzed to the main hall and sat and waited for the others whilst i gave her a painkiller.
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we had thought we would do a night twirl on the London Eye, but unfortunately it started to rain heavily. So, instead we went to a really lovely Italian restaurant, and persuaded SPD that she needed some protein in her diet, and eggs were in - so it became OK to have an omelette - phew. we were all pretty tired by then!
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it was a very busy week, being SPD's last! on wednesday we had a weds4ed. always lovely. we were investigating the alkali metals. we started off with v small bits of sodium, but it is quite variable when it reacts. we did it fairly safely. proved the gas was hydrogen. great fun! V happy that Merry could join us with her youngest 2 as well, as nice to have such a houseful. SB did an art group, B did maths, K did shakespeare. E did bells, which we really enjoyed too.
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we kept E overrnight as well, so the girls made a film night of it and watched v silly chick flicks :) [SPD loves silly chick flicks]. This was because we had arranged a goodbye SPD/bonfire night party :) . SPD certainly has been well loved by our family and within our circle of friends. So all those that could started arriving in the afternoon to evening. the kids all laughed, joked, played games whilst waiting for it to get dark enough for fireworks. Although there was a light drizzle, the fireworks were still fab and much enjoyed, and the guy burnt well too :) . then we all had a warming pot luck dinner. Much happiness all round.
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the following day SB and SpD went on a final shopping trip to get bits and pieces for her friends. She finished off sewing the bags to put her gifts in, and I made loads of tablet [scottish fudge] for her to give as gifts as well. I also made most of her Kentwell bodice so that will fit nicely. I am going to add the wool layer, DH will do the eyelet, and then SPD will make and attach the skirt so that she can come to Kentwell next year.  The wool and bodice is her Xmas pressie from us :)
and then that was it. we had got to the end of the English half exchange, and SPD was waved goodbye. Goodbye my Spanish Daughter. We loved having you here.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

England - week 15 [halloween]

you may have spotted that SpD hasnt gone home after 3 months! when she arrived her mum asked whether it would be a problem if she had nearer 4 months, and clearly it isnt. so we said fine :) and what a happy choice that is as we are loving having her live with us as she is a really lovely person with a great laugh. This, though, is her penultimate week with us. Time seems to have gone so quickly!
So this week SB was at cadets camp until Saturday, and didn't want SpD to get all lonely, so invited her friend E to come and stay on Monday and Tuesday and to visit a Halloween themed eveing thing on the Monday evening with deependers H and TB older kids - so quite a group. Apparently it was initially v scarey, but the ideas started repeating, so got less so. it is the first year they have run it, so it might get scarier in the future!
it was good to chat with NE when she came to pick E up as well :) the 2 girls had lots of giggling and watching real rubbish on the tv!
weds my mum and dad brought up my niece and nephew to stay for the rest of their half term :) I love having a houseful! as M is in his gcse year, we devoted mornings to homework and afternoons to craft, baking and just messing about :) . we had a lot of fun!
we also played board games, particularly with Mum and Dad
on the saturday, dad had a real desire for a steam train ride, so i looked around, found one that was only about an hour a way, and loaded everyone into the car - thank goodness for the galaxy as we all fitted! obvs dad worried about my driving, what was my speed blah blah, and telling me which lanes i would need to be in - do love him, i have lived here for 10 years! [we are v alike] and we got there way early! I was a little disheartened when i got there to see that things seem to have got grubby and unloved looking, and mum and i were worried that dad was disappointed. we were even more worried when they said that the steam train was limping in, and we might need to have a diesel! luckilly they were wrong. and once we got onto the train, the day got brighter, and all was well :) the kids loved being in a 'harry potter carriage' i had sweets and bought drinks :) lovely. lunch at the cafe also lovely with the sun shining. phew!
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this is a really long blog post. i am tempted to divide it up. unfortunately OCD dictates that since I have done all the previous weeks 'as one' I need to do this one like that as well. we are nearly there! just halloween to go :)
So when we got back from the train trip, SB was there back from cadet camp and utterly exhausted! we got ready to go out trick or treating in the village [well, treating!] and so the girls all got costumed. M has decided he is too old really, and I think if SpD hadnt been here, SB wouldnt have gone either. However, we went round, and were really impressed with some of the village displays. the kids got buckets of sweets and the weather was good :) . on our return, DH had dinner ready and made a spooky dining room :)
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the big 3 then stayed up and watched scary films in the playroom [we could hear constant shreiking!] whilst we watched something less scary with the younger 2!
i did an all american diner brekkie the following morning - help yourself to pancakes with various toppings, sauted potatoes [from the leftover jackets] baked beans, veggie sausage and a spinach fritata. very yummy indeed! a bit of games playing, and then mum and dad took the kids home. A lovely half term :)