27 November 2009

A new river (Nozy's Nature Pictures)

This was a dried up river that Nozy helped restore at work.

See more reflections at Weekend Reflections
See more scenery at Scenic Sunday
See more watery pictures at Watery Wednesday

Mr Gourd Head

Inspired by Toys my children ACTUALLY play with at My Bilingual Boys, we've been making Mr Gourd Heads using the body parts from Sunnyboy's Mr Potato Head toys. He was easily able to make holes in the hard skin of the gourd using a screwdriver, and enjoyed giving it different faces and accessories.

Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.

English Home Educators Under Threat

'This is why these proposals are such a matter of concern, and a place where a strong, principled stand of non-compliance surely needs to be taken. There are many many thousands of home educators in this country. If they can stand together, and simply refuse to comply with this further example of state colonisation of the private sphere, then it won’t have a hope of succeeding.'

English Home Educators Under Threat:
Time for a Stand of Principled Non-compliance?
by Dr Richard House TM36 Sept/Oct 2009 (PDF file)

A new petition

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to uphold that parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child, to not undermine parents legitimately fulfilling their fundamental duties, and to assume that the best interests of their child is the basic concern of parents unless there is specific evidence to the contrary.

In particular, the government should ensure :-
• No right of access to the family home without evidence of a crime
• No right to interview a child alone without evidence of risk of serious harm
• No CRB checks or registration for parents to look after their own children, or to informally look after those of their friends, family etc
• No licensing / registration / assessment / monitoring of methods by which parents fulfil their duties without evidence that they are failing to do so, and with specific recognition that education “otherwise” than at school is a perfectly legal option to fulfil their duty regarding education
• No undermining of parents as being in the best position to determine how to meet their child’s needs, according to their age, ability, aptitude, and any special needs they may have
• Greater focus on applying existing resources and procedures to cases of children known to be at risk, rather than dilution of these resources by routinely monitoring whole sections of the community
• Compliance with the fundamental presumption of innocence unless there is specific evidence to the contrary

25 November 2009

The menu

Corner View is hosted by Spain Daily and we are invited to post pictures telling the stories of our different lives and cultures. This week's theme is 'menu del día'. Our favourite seat at our favourite cafe is under the menu. It's also next to the speakers and Sunnyboy loves the Brazilian music that's played, perhaps because of the many hours that we spent at the cafe when he was a baby. He even learnt to climb stairs there (we live in a ground floor flat so don't have any stairs at home). We've made friends with the staff and other regulars, and the cafe owner (a lovely Brazilian woman) always gives Sunnyboy a present on his birthday and for Christmas.

Corner Views from around the world:

Wordless Wednesday

24 November 2009

A rubbish dump

Every so often our Housing Co-op hires a skip to take stuff to the tip and inevitably there'll be a pile of rubbish waiting to be taken away between skips so we end up with a mini rubbish dump behind the Co-op's meeting room. It looks untidy but the children love it.

September 2009

See other people's worlds at My World Tuesday
See more outdoor pictures at Outdoor Wednesday
See more Make-Do Mondays at My Practically Perfect Life

23 November 2009

19 November 2009

Sunrise (Nozy's Nature Pictures)

You Capture is a weekly photo challenge at I Should Be Folding Laundry. This week's challenge is Sunrise/Sunset.

Sunrise over a man-made lake that Nozy helped to build on his boss's land, and then photographed.

See more skies at Skywatch Friday
See more reflections at Weekend Reflections
See more scenery at Scenic Sunday
See more watery pictures at Watery Wednesday
See more Golden at Thursday Challenge

18 November 2009

Cell phone madness

Corner View is hosted by Spain Daily and we are invited to post pictures telling the stories of our different lives and cultures. This week's theme is 'Cell phone madness'. The challenge was to take a random picture of whatever you see when someone calls you, and then post 5 of them.

It didn't ring.

Well it wasn't switched on so that would explain why. Despite what I wrote earlier this week, in my Inspirational Monday post about modern technology, I am yet to be inspired by mobile phones. I do send texts now and then, and occasionally make a call but other than that it's not switched on unless I'm expecting a call which is very, very rare because normally I tell people to phone our land line instead. It's a pay-as-you-go phone and I topped it up with £20 when Sunnyboy was a newborn. I still have £4 credit left on it from then.

Corner Views from around the world:

Wordless Wednesday

Our local deli

June 2009

See more window and door pictures at Window Views... and doors too!
See more colourful pictures at Color Carnival

17 November 2009

The Winter Lights

On Saturday we went to watch the Winter Lights being switched on in 'Sunnyboy's Road'. This event was part of a new project to decorate the entire length of the road during the dark winter nights.
First we gathered in the local Deaf Centre for refreshments and music.

Sunnyboy had a great time dancing to the brass band.

Then we all went outside to watch the lights being switched on.

The lights are not especially spectacular but they do brighten up the road and the plan is for more decorations to be added each year. Our road is a vibrant, multicultural and thriving area of our city with a strong sense of community and diverse shops and businesses, most of which are independent traders. We're looking forward to seeing the many festive window displays which will be ready for the Winter Fair at the beginning of December.

See other people's worlds at My World Tuesday
See more outdoor pictures at Outdoor Wednesday

16 November 2009

Chatting with Canana

Today I am inspired by modern technology. One of my reasons for starting a blog (one of several reasons) was to let family and friends know what we've been up to. So I'm delighted that Sunnyboy's grandma in Canada reads this blog. It's lovely to know that she's able to see Sunnyboy growing up even from so far away. (Sorry I haven't posted any Today's Flowers recently Canana. I know you also enjoy seeing the flowers here in the UK but there aren't many in our garden at this time of year!) Even more lovely was that yesterday evening Nozy set up his webcam so that Sunnyboy and Canana could see each other and talk for the first time. How amazing to be three thousand miles away and to be able to wave and chat to each other! I hope that Sunnyboy and Canana will be able to chat together again. For now here are some short videos of Sunnyboy that Nozy took recently.

*Operation You is the home of Inspirational Monday. You can get more inspiration there and are invited to stop by and post your links of inspiration.

Autumn Beauty

I ♥ Faces is a photography site focused on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. This week’s photo challenge theme is 'Autumn Beauty'.

Babywearing, walking and a bit about shoes

I've been passionate about babywearing since reading The Continuum Concept by Jean Leidloff when I was pregnant and from four days old (when we first left the house; to do some charity shopping and go for an all-day vegetarian breakfast with Nozy) Sunnyboy was carried in slings and baby-carriers.

He was walking independently at 11 months and by 15 months he was ready to be walking out and about in the streets (farther than the corner shop or to visit neighbours) and got his first pair of shoes. Prior to that, outside in the garden or at the park, he went barefoot (or wore soft slippers or just socks) and still does for most of the year, but for walking in the streets and for the winter he needed some shoes. Out of curiosity at 13 months I had taken him to get his feet measured at Clarks. I'd already done quite a bit of research on shoes for babies and told the assistant that I was interested in getting his feet measured but probably wouldn't buy any shoes for another few weeks. She obviously thought I was a bit daft and informed me that he needed shoes "to help him walk and help his feet grow". That statement, and the research I'd done, convinced me that I wouldn't be trusting the shoe industry to give me advice on children's footwear. I decided he was still too young to need shoes so didn't buy any until he was nearly 15 months.

Then at 15 months, with his new shoes and shopping bag, Sunnyboy started walking as far as he wanted to to different places locally and over the next few months he began walking to work and other places regularly, while for other journeys and long distances we continued to use slings. We were still babywearing on a daily basis until Sunnyboy was over 2 years old and then gradually he needed carrying less often, and eventually was walking more places than he was carried.

December 2007

Now at 3 1/4 years Sunnyboy is getting so big he unlocks the door and switches off the light before we leave the house, and he can walk for miles (I don't drive so we walk everywhere or occasionally take the bus). I always take the hip sling out with me still but Sunnyboy rarely needs a carry much more than about once a week, and then only for a short while. When he was a young baby I loved that babywearing meant Sunnyboy had constant human contact and was able to feel my warmth, breathing and heartbeat (preventing him from being scared or over-stimulated by the noises and activity in the environment around him), and that by being carried he was always there at eye-level during everyday interactions and conversations and was able to see the world from an adults height. I've realised that another important benefit of babywearing was that from birth Sunnyboy also experienced walking through the movement of his mother, and walking long distances is now both natural and enjoyable for him.

November 2009

He still takes off his shoes as often as he can and is happiest barefoot.

See more Monday Memories at Planet M Files

13 November 2009

Mist (Nozy's Nature Pictures)

See more scenery at Scenic Sunday

Come Into the Light

'Keep it true, keep it simple and watch your joy grow.'
Lucinda Drayton

*The inspiration for Conscious Friday comes from Se'Lah at Necessary Room.

Sunnyboy's charity shop finds

One of the reasons I've always loved charity shopping is that I never know what treasures I'll find and now I also enjoy seeing what treasures Sunnyboy finds. Last week at the charity shop where we work Sunnyboy bought a Star Wars plaster moulding and painting set for £1 and the next day asked Nozy to help him make the models.

The day after that the models were dry and Sunnyboy painted them. Here are Sunnyboy's completed models of Yoda, R2-D2, Darth Vader and C-3PO, which he was very pleased with.

Later in the week we were charity shopping and Sunnyboy found this little floral ornament for 45p (not sure who was pricing bric-a-brac that day but Sunnyboy thought it was a bargain). It now has pride of place on top of our television.

This week all Sunnyboy bought was a 10p Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but he's looking out for a Green Goblin as he's currently fascinated by Spider-Man (he already has a charity shop Spider-Man toy). I think some webbing and the ability to crawl on walls and ceilings are also on his wishlist.

"Mama do turtles live in ponds and catch fish in nets?"

See more We Made It! projects at The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman
See more secondhand treasures at 2nd Time Around Tuesday
See more thrifty finds at Thrifty Thursday
See more Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom


A reflection of the sky on a boat trip last week.

See more skies at Skywatch Friday
See more reflections at Weekend Reflections

12 November 2009

Frugal Family Fun

One of my favourite blogs has been nominated for the Best Thrifty Homeschooler Award. I would highly recommend visiting Frugal Family Fun Blog if you have young children and are interested in strategies for saving money or ideas for activities and having fun on a budget. Valerie from Frugal Family Fun Blog is the mother of two young children and passionate about sharing her imaginative and resourceful ideas for nurturing her children's creativity. Lots of the activities featured are either very low-cost or absolutely free. We've been inspired by many of the activities posted on Frugal Family Fun Blog, one of which was Dandelion Bouquets.

Vote for Frugal Family Fun Blog as Best Thrifty Homeschooler 2009.

11 November 2009

Favourite Dish

Corner View is hosted by Spain Daily and we are invited to post pictures telling the stories of our different lives and cultures. This week's theme is 'Favourite Dish'. Ours is not a dish as such (it's served in a cardboard tub) but it's been Sunnyboy's favourite for the last couple of weeks, since he discovered this wonderful sweet stall outside the cinema upstairs at our local shopping centre.

Corner Views from around the world:

See more colourful pictures at Color Carnival