Friday, 26 February 2010

a few great websites

Kinda postinf this so I don't forget about the, kinda posting to share :)

SAve our bees campaign (free seeds when you join)

What on earth (species spotting)

Biodiversity is life

Ispot nature sharing

Opal (open air laboratories)

Enjoy :)

Home Education in the UK is a politicianstool to distract the populations from governements failures

Yesterday the "mother" of Khyra Ishaq was concicted of manslaughter. Ed Balls responded with the following statement:

Regarding the verdicts in the Khyra Ishaq case, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls said:

What happened to Khyra Ishaq and the other children involved in this case was tragic and will shock and appal everyone who reads or hears about her terrible death. It is very hard for any of us to understand how adults could do this to children in their care.

There are clearly serious questions to be answered about what local services and professionals were doing in the months before this tragedy took place. As the trial has shown, it is now clear that concerns about these children were not acted upon effectively and it is right that a Serious Case Review has been carried out.

The Local Safeguarding Children Board will report shortly - I expect it to publish a full and detailed Serious Case Review (SCR) executive summary that is clear about what happened and what action is being taken as a result. The Government has already taken decisive action to intervene in Birmingham’s children's services, following Ofsted's judgement in December 2008 that their services were inadequate in terms of safeguarding. If we think there is more to do, we will.

The trial has demonstrated, and statements today from the police confirm, that home education was a factor in this case. It shows why we do need a system in place to make sure that when children are home educated or removed from school, they not only get a good education but are safe. That is why I asked Graham Badman to review home education and home educated children’s safety and welfare.

I am now taking forward Graham Badman’s recommendations that every local authority should have access to any home educating family and that all home educating parents must register with the local authority. We will do all we can to ensure the safety of children, in Birmingham and elsewhere, including using statutory powers where it is right to do so.

I have bolded the parts of the statement I think are very important to us(and all other home educating familiesin the UK).

The first one is:
The trial has demonstrated, and statements today from the police confirm, that home education was a factor in this case.

First of all for home education to be a factor a child has to be home educated. There is no indications what so ever that Khyra was in fact home educated. Khyra's "mother" was smart and she played the system point. I can throw a sicky and not be ill, whilst this example is no way in the same league, the idea is the same. My absense from work would have nothing to do with being ill but everything to do with playing the system.

There where plenty of oppertunities to help Khyra just have a look at this timeline provided by the BBC.

or what about Brandon Muir? just read this article or this one or just to be clear a point to point by the beeb.

Then there is Tiffany Wright read about her tragic story here, here and here.

Then there is obviously Baby P, I am assuming you know all about his tragic story since it got so much press but in case you don't read this, this and this.

Here is a list compiled by No 2 abuse it lists 33! children

What is so striking about all these cases is that Social failures, Sorry I mean social services had plenty of oppertunities to help, plenty. but due to I am sure a huge number of factors didn't. *I* don't care about their reasons they failed BIG time.

Yet balls has the balls to pull the home education line together with a girl who suffered more than any of us can ever imagine. Instead of having the balls to admit the government and so called social services are failing children up and down the country.
Balls has the balls to spread resources even thinner by adding in yet another "system" that will cost an enormous amount of money. A system that will most likely be understaffed and undertrained from the get go. a system that in all probability wil not be maintained by subsequent governements because of the high cost low ROI.
I mean they have so many systes started an dnot finished, or badly finished or going so far over budget its insane. Not to mention all the mistakes that get made troughout the various departments when a new system is put in place.

And then there is the other factor of "ownership"
Lets take a dog right you go buy a dog from that moment the dog is your responsibility, you have to train him, care for him and when you abuse him the rspca take him away.
Lets take a child, you give birth to him, you care for him, but thats where it ends educations becomes the responsibility of the government, apparantly this is where they get part time ownership. How is that ok? how is it that the government thinks it has the right to make desicions about your child when the can't even protect the ones that are in their care?

Now if you are unaware of what is going on with HE in the UK Ed Balls wants he'ers to register (expected annoying but doable) he also want the right to have access to our homes (erm don't think so!) and he thinks it is perfectly ok for one of his puppets to have access to our children ALONE! (hell no way not on this planet!!) obviously since all his puppets have proven to be so competant and trustworthy I should be absolutely fine with this ha!

I would love to see balls have the balls to own up the the failures of this pathetic government instead of blaming a minority in the UK.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

a day full of goodies

We recieved/bought all of this today:

This was Euan's to he is determined to grow a sunflower that reaches the roof.

Sunflower seeds

Last week I ordered this from the RSPB. you can ring them up to pay the 2 pound fee instead of mucking around with cheques.

RSPB Wildlife Action Awards

This page
gives more detail of the system. basically there are 3 stars, bronze silver and gold. For each star you need to complete 6 activities (18 total). you need to send in some evidence that you have completed you star and they send you a certificate.

RSPB Wildlife Action Awards
The book has 4 sections.

RSPB Wildlife Action Awards

finding out what's there, helping wildlife, being environmentally friendly and spreading the word. only the first 3 sections count towards your stars

stories from nature

Found this in one of the charity shops today5 very cute books in a box

inside in one of the nature story book

I love the drawings colourfull and not to cartoony

spuds from the potato council

This is our potato kit from the potato council it has 6 spuds,2 varieties

potato council pack

Included in the kit where also 2 growing bags stickers for the bags. growing charts and stickers Also included are instructions on growing spuds.

potato council weather chart

the spudcouncil also send us a weatherchart.

W using his nappy to hold his sword (spoon lol!)

Willow discovered a much better use for his nappy, he is now using it to hold his sword (a wooden spoon lol!)

potatoe stamping

We used up a few old spuds and turned them into stamps

playing with water and beans

and an old ovendish filled with water and beans makes the best toy add a spoon and an empty container and it keeps kids busy for hours

Euan writing dog

Euan wanted to rainbow write dog above is the result :)

Hope you had a great day too!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Our weekend

It was a busy weekend We moved the chicken run sorted the compost out and replanted a dozen or so plants
planted willow sticks and the twins did a lot of marching trough the garden

Thecompost heap was the best though
checkingit out

We obviously found lots of worms. Euan checked asmany as he could determined if they where a brother or a sister or a daddy or a mummy he even found some grandparents.

big worm
a wormy closeup

grossed out twins

The twins where pretty grossed out by it all but at the same time very facinated

moving themsomemore
Once caught Euan determined where they should go back in one of the big heaps of in the small bucket for the indoor wormery

first visitor on the birdtable
We also build a birdtable its just over 2 meters tall so the cats can't get to it. its alsofarenough away from any buildings or fences so they don't attempt to jump on it. It was made from this scaffoldingpole that was left by the previous owner and the bottom of a broken washingbasket.
Our first visitor was a starling. the picture was taken trough the kitchen window as I didn't want to scare him of.

Monday sky
We had somepretty cool clouds over the weekend bt mondays where the best

Monday sky
More clouds on my flickrpage.

Mum was allowed home or a few days today after having had a pretty crap weekfullof transusions and antbiotics due to a fever she developed.
She's glad to be home even if its only for a short while.

Monday, 15 February 2010

We spend the day in the garden yesterday. 2 fencepanels had come down during the winter they needed burning, as did the bedding from yolko. Not knowing what was wrong with her I didn't just want to chuck it on the compost heap.

First ladybird of the year

We found the first ladybird of the year, which I thought was rather early, not?
I pulled up a bunch of plants that need moving. They are in buckets until next weekend. We'll be moving the run for the chickens replanting the plants I pulled up. I am in the process of shoveling 3 1 ton bags of compost to a new location so I can plant a border there in a few weeks time using some of the compost.


We've been enjoing the eggs now that the chickens have started laying. Ofcourse we only have 2 layers left now. James & I haven't discussed what to do now. Wether we borrow an incubator and turn it into a learning process or wether we get a few ex-bats or.... well so many choices so we'll see.

Whilst Euan and James were building up the bonfire Euan went into the coop where yolko met her end and grabbed a bunch of the feathers that had fallen of. He looked very seriously tucked them into the middle of the heap without saying anything. Then later when the fire was going he looked at me and said again very seriously "that fire is all we have left of yolko now mummy, the rest has gone to the spirits". We sat and hugged for a little while before he went of again to put more wood on the fire.


With the cold weather sticking around I'm still making curly kale a coupleof times a week such comfort food.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Yolko has gone to chook heaven :(

She suddenly stopped eating and was obviously in pain, so hubby helped her to the other side.
Tomorrow morning though comes the really hard bit breaking the news to the kids,especially Euan....

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

and another week has gone!

I remember when time seemed to be longer than it really was. where summers lasted for months, and birthday parties never ended. where a few weeks felt like several months. And now A day feels like a minute a month like a week and the years fly by so quickly I can't believe it!

So mum got the call last wednesday late afternoon. she had to be in the hospital at 10 the next day. Thursday was a day full of tests blood tests scans bone punctures, and Fridaymorning at 8 o'clock they inserted the line for the chemo. Everything went ok for her till sunday which was a horrible day, and monday to. Tuesday was slightly better and today she said she was allmost back to normal. Bloodtest are being done daily and so far she hasn't had a dip yet (where the white blood cell counts goes below 1). Once the dip has been and gone she's allowed home for a few days. On sunday she is have a rituximap session (putting it like that almost makes it sound like something fun) and after that the whole cyce starts again exactly the same and after that she'll have a 7 day chemo. when that one is finished the transplant will start. Its all been going better than expected which is good!

Thursday was an interesting day. My hoover broke (I've had it for a month!) my washingmachines seal looked ike it had gone trough a shredder and needed to be replced, I found a puddle in the bathroom (leaking toilet) and one in the kitchen(burst pipe) and to top it of the boiler gave up. Yay for british gas home care! My boiler works again and the parts to fi the leaks have arrived and they will be fixed tomorrow. the seal for the washingmachine is currently being held hostage by Royal mail so I hope they'll give that up soon! and the hoover is also happy again!.

We spent some time in the park on tuesday:

Euan making himself dizzy

Euan made himself dizzy on this thing ( I have no idea what you are supposed to cal it??

Thomas calling Willow

Thomas shouted for Willow ad declared he was goint to buy biscuits

Willow walking up the hill

At which point Willow started marching

Willow walking up the hill

Called me & Euan and told us to "qick qick buy bikits"

Willow walking up the hill
After which he continued his march up the hill :)

This morning after we returned from the market I had a little parcel from America waiting for me. It only took a week to get here

Monk made by Rick from Syrendell

A Little Plum village monk made for me by Rick from Syrendell
, they have an ETSY shop here. I'm well chuffed with him!
All my emails got answered so quickly, even on Sundays!, it was a pleasure to buy from them.

Tonight I had to give up our comfy (but looking at this pic rather dirty) sofa to my poorly 5 year old who instisted he would be awake long enough to see daddy arrive home. Daddy has been in York for the past few days and won't be bac until 10-10.30. Euan managed to stay awake until 7.30 lol!

Euan waiting for daddy on the sofa

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Today instead of having a quiet lunch after the busy wednesday market we've just been to, I spend my time in the rain trying to figure out why one of our chooks has gone lame. No bumblefoot or scaly leg mites, no frost here so can't be frostbit, no bruises or swelling or anything to indicate what is wrong. Her colour is good, tail nice and perky upright and she is very keen to walk. Put up an amazing struggle when I caught her.
Right now she is in coop 2 our "just in case coop" happily eating a drinking and generally happy she's no longer soaking wet in a puddle in the rain.
She was fine when I left for the market this morning , that and the fact that she wants to walk make me hopefull.

yolko eating

Monday, 1 February 2010

Poor Thomas...

spring last year he had a traumatic amputation of the thumb on his left hand (thats hospital speech for he got his thumb in the door and it now looks like minced meat) tonight he got two little fingers in the airing cupcoard door. thankfully not as bad as his thumb, which they had to piece back together again, but pretty bad still. He's got two big bandages on his fingers and because its his ring and middle finger, he's finding it a lot harder to use that hand. with is thumb he just used the mouse of his hand not the thumb. The bandage is in the way a bit so he is constantly reminded of his fingers and he keeps crying.
I'm exhausted after all that so updating the links will have to wait I'm afraid

weather unit study links

weather projects WE took inspiration from these pages when doing our projects
home school learning lots of links
easy fun school again lots of links
Weather wiz kids
weather lapbook from hearts and trees

I have more ad wil hopefully update this post this evening

First Barometer results

I was rather surprised to see changes in the waterlevel just before I went to bed last night. I wasn't sure what to expect when we started this experiment so it was nice to see things working.
I marked the change and took a picture, did the same again this morning

Last night
barometer level change 1
This morning
barometer level change 2

Pretty cool huh?


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