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Maya and Alfie were home from school a few days this week – during this time I let them watch a film called ‘Turbo Snail’, about a snail who wishes to race…
Sometimes a small thing like a film can inspire bigger things….and while Alfie played happily with racing cars for hours, Maya spent those hours building the race track (with an added moment here and there to wave the start flag for Alfie’s cars…)…

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Really – Maya’s creativity never ceases to amaze me! :)

Building Stonehenge

We continued our third english lesson with a quick check up on stone age vocabulary, with the use of Playmobil…

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…before going on to look at images of ‘stone henge’ . We talked about why we thought stone henge was built, whether it was a gathering place or a place of spiritual connection, or perhaps a place where people could see the movement of the moon or the sun, and we looked at different types of stone ‘circles’.
We then tried to create our own ‘stone henge’ using clay – and exploring english words to describe the feel of the clay at the same time…

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Here are the completed works of art – I just love them!

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…and we won’t forget the mammoth and the horse that were also made…

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The book ‘Noune – Child Of Prehistory’, has proved an excellent book to read to my own children (though the english may be too difficult for the other kids…)..

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…and we rounded off our family film night, with a showing of ‘The Croods’ – not exactly an ‘authentic’ stone age film (!), but fun just the same! ;)

All the plums we have on our tree, led me to a wonderful recipe I made a couple of years a go – Plum and Almond Clafoutis – originally from Limousin, in France. The dish’s name comes from Occitan and means ‘to fill up’.

Ingredients ;
60g butter
500g plums (halved & stoned)
100g sugar
2 eggs separated
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
120ml double cream
50g chocolate chips
1 tbsp ground almond
Icing sugar to dust
1 cake tin (about 23 cm)

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1) Turn the oven on to gas mark 4 / 180 C.
2) Rub butter around cake tin, and then melt rest in pan. When it bubbles, add half the sugar and the plums. Let bubble (but not boil)….

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….before tipping them in to the cake tin.
3) Whisk egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until fluffy…

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4) Fold in the flour, vanilla essence and almonds….

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5) In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form ‘peaks’..

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6) …fold them in to the almond batter mix….

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7) Add the cream, and then pour this over the plums…

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8) Scatter the chocolate chips over the top….

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…and pop tin in to the oven for around 30 minutes.
9) The batter will puff up in the heat, and it will turn a golden brown…

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10) …leave to cool for ten minutes and dust with icing sugar..

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….and EAT!
SO delicious – especially with cream! ;)

Voting Time

It’s voting time here in Sweden. And just as we did four years a go, we again, had our own family vote…

Having talked about the different parties, and the most likely prime ministers..

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Each and every family member made up their own party..

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The ‘Outside Party’ (Maya offering at least 3.5 hours of outside play per day plus help with more chores at home), the ‘U Party’ (Leon offering the cat a chance to sleep inside the kitchen and not just the laundry room at night, and a chance to ban the keeping of insects and animals for observation), the ‘Alfie Party’ (offering more Saturday sweeties and more computer game time), the ‘Nabbi Party’ (Ted offering the chance to eat plums and buy watermelon), the ‘Wire Party’ (Richard offering homemade apple sauce on pancakes and more forest walks), and the ‘Mamma Party’ (myself offering a ban on being out of bed before 7am, and a regular weekly family film night with popcorn).
And then the voting began….

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The results:
Alfie Party ; 1
Mamma Party ; 2
Nabbi Party ; 1
Outside Party ; 1
U Party ; 2
Wire Party ; 0
It was a joint win – a collaboration between the ‘Mamma Party’ and the ‘U Party’!
Of course, every voting day should end with a democracy cake…

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:)

Harvest Time!

Time to harvest our goods – carrots, potatoes, gourds, beetroots, tomatoes, lettuce and plums…

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The apples and pears are not quite ready – they’ll have to wait – but yesterday we enjoyed our first carrots and potatoes for dinner! :)

Radiant Red!

I’ve noticed that Ted’s still a little unsure about his colours – I’m not sure if he’s mixing colour names and languages, but, although he has a better idea now, I decided to try to make it a little more concrete…starting with the colour red….
Every day we read a (swedish) book, appropriately named ‘Nicholas’ Red Day’…

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…a charming book about a little boy who discovers how the colour red can make people happy…

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Nicholas discovered that his favourite fruit was red (strawberries), that red roses smelt wonderful, and that the red traffic light means ‘Stop’, among other things.

Ted and I went for a walk spotting red things – cars, buses, signposts, berries on trees, and a red traffic light. We stopped, and we didn’t cross till the light turned green. We went to the shop and chose red things for lunch – strawberries, red currants, cherry tomatoes and red peppers…

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A little later we made a red collage – red paint, red glue, and lots of red items to choose from…

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During the week we picked red plums (yes, ours are really more red than purple!)…

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..we made red rose petal play dough…

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….we played with red stones in a red tray with red containers….

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…and the small boys had a red bath too ! ;)
I think we’ve got red covered! :)

I’m sneakily trying to pop in a little of everything in to our english lessons – perhaps this is my secret home education ploy? ;)

We started with cups of tea, and talked about the importance of communication through language – pointing out, of course, that learning to speak and understand another language, particularly english, was also important in this case. In order to put this in to practise, we played a simple game of charades – each child was given 3 minutes to draw something that s/he was thinking – while the other children had to guess. Of course, the child drawing was not allowed to use language at all – and all the guessing had to be done in english…

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This was a lot of fun – and there was a lot of laughter!
I likened this lack of language to when there were cave men – how did they communicate? And of course, they partly communicated by the pictures carved and painted in their caves..
I wanted them to ‘imagine’ how it would be to draw in a cave, so we taped paper under the table and drew our ‘rock paintings’ looking upwards…

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Using our fingers we then mixed some special powdered paint, made to look as if it were various colours of elements from the ground…

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…and using various postcards for inspiration…

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…we (finger) painted our pictures….

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Our last part of the lesson was for the kids to go out and make tools, which may have been used in stone age times….

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The boys got on to this straight away, but interestingly, the girls fixed up a transport system with baskets to carry sticks for tools….although the tools never actually got made! ;)

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Of course, I insisted that there was english being spoken the entire time…. :)

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