Friday, 5 December 2008

Pink stew

This is my lovely lentil hotpot - one of my favourite winter dishes, so warming. I put beetroot in this one (as you can probably tell from the gorgeous colour!), but its basically fried onion & garlic, then lentils, chopped tomatoes, loads of veg and some stock. I even managed to sneak some kale into this (which A usually refuses to eat). Very nourishing - and delicious too!
We also baked a chocolate cake, just to balance things up a bit ;o)

We had a great day Monday, did loads of fun stuff, including finally getting round to looking at the learn_Italian CD-ROM someone gave me ages ago. We discovered that the book is missing, which was a bit disappointing, but we had a great time playing word games on the children's disc. I think we'll pick up a lot of words quite quickly, but may need another resource for developing sentences and phrases (Nonno perhaps).
We've also been working on our craft Christmas project, making little presents for various friends and family members. We'll need to get them finished and posted soon!

Another project we completed was the 'quiz box' (see below). A had designed a detailed set of intructions for this a little while ago, so we set to work and created it. Then we spent a while drawing up quizzes for each other - I did one on the human body, A did one on the solar system - using books from A's bookshelf. I think she did better than me on the quizzes in the end!
The box seems a bit pointless to me (as a boring adult!), I didn't say that to A of course! But the action of putting in the tick or cross, rather than just saying 'right' or 'wrong' makes the whole thing much more interesting for A, which sums up her visual/physical approach to most things.

The thing I was most impressed with was the set of instructions. This is one of the many wonderful artistic and creative designs A comes up with when in bed at night. It has just hit me this week how she is such a 'night time' person (a bit like me really). Up until now I had been regularly returning to the concern that 'A needs more sleep', and trying to encourage her to get settled and lights out (or dimmed at least) by a certain time each night. The reality is she is getting as much sleep as she needs - she's not tired or grumpy during the day - so I don't know why I'm so obsessed with this idea. It occured to me that what I'm actually doing is trying to limit her most creative moments. So what we've decided is that she will usually go to bed at about 9, but after that its up to her what she does (until I go to bed when all the lights go out, but she's always asleep by then anyway). I pointed out that if she stays awake very late all the time she will feel the effects during the day, especially if its a day we have to get up early and have a lot on, but she'll work that out herself anyway. It feels right to be allowing her a bit more autonomy, she's growing up really fast, and responds well to more responsibility.
We've been continuing the maths and English workbooks, and A has just completed the Smelly_Spelling one, she was very proud of herself, and I think she's more than ready for the next level up. I ordered some more as they seem to be going down well with A, and they are also very reasonably priced! I'm still just using workbooks for these two subjects, we've got more than enough resources to cover whatever else she's interested in learning.
A busy weekend ahead now - A has a friend sleeping over tonight, then the two of them have drama tomorrow morning, and then A is off to Nonna and Nonno's to be taken to see the Pantomime at Eden_Court and stay with them the night. Not sure what I'm doing with my night off, we've been looking for something exciting going on but will probably end up at the pub, then in front of a DVD. Sounds exciting enough for me - maybe I'm getting old!!

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