Snowdrops!

There were whoops of joy from the kids yesterday as they spied the first snowdrops in the garden…

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Spring is on it’s way..

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…inside as well as out…

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Alfie collected some interesting pieces on our last nature walk..

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I’m still leaving up our white ‘snow’ cloth, and our winter elf though, just in case the snow makes a come back…

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I’m off to London for a few days with the eldest two…I wonder if Spring will have sprung on our return? 😉

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Maya’s Crushed Ice Drinks

Well it may not be Halloween – but if a gingerbread house can be made for Spring (see two posts previous) then a Halloween drink can be made in February!
Maya wanted to made this crushed ice Halloween candy corn drink from a book..

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So she prepared ordinary ice cubes, orange juice ice cubes and cranberry juice ice cubes – and when they were frozen, had great fun crushing them in a plastic bag with a hammer..!
Then she spooned the crushed ice in layers in to the glasses…

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And they were ready to eat/drink!
Delicious!

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Thank you Maya! 🙂

Another Family Nature Walk!

Again the snow has melted (will it be for good this time?!), and we enjoyed a family walk at Skutan, a local nature reserve..

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The icy lake was of interest to everyone (and it wasn’t long before someone’s foot went in! 🙂 ), and the soft seeds from the rushes proved a lot of fun too…

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Neither Leon nor Maya can go long without climbing something…

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….and fire is always intriguing….

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Maya found a wood box to hide herself in (of course!)…

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…and we all enjoyed a picnic lunch…

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..before making our way back home via the flowing stream…

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(In typical Maya fashion she always has to find the trickiest way to get to places… 😉 ) ….

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Another fantastic nature walk! 🙂

A Spring Gingerbread Cottage!

At Christmas time we bought a gingerbread house kit, but with the ski-ing trip we just didn’t get round to making it… the kids were disappointed, so we decided to make a ‘Spring cottage’ instead!

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Leon and Maya started by spreading the grass (green icing) and the soil (melted chocolate) for the garden, while Alfie started off by made a bird from marzipan….

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I think this was my favourite part of the year so far.. !! They all worked together, sharing ideas and really enjoying themselves…

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..even the little one joined in..!

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I was a very happy mama when I left my family for a scout meeting yesterday evening – it feels pretty good when you know your 3 year old, 6 year old, 9 year old and 12 year old can do a self directed activity together happily! 🙂
And the end result?

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A close up?

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Not to forget the vegetable patch…

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…and of course Alfie’s bird sitting on the chimney….

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I love it! 🙂

Our Week : 15th – 21st February

This week we thought Spring might be arriving…

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..and so we made the most of the garden…

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….until the snow came back… 😉

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This week was a week of made up games.. (here Leon used a combination of ‘Risk’ pieces and ‘Monopoly’ pieces to create his own game..)….

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It was a week for making a ‘sock monkey’…

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A week for tropical fruit tasting…(here are just a couple..)….

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I love this picture – Maya thought the passion fruit was sour! 😉 We tasted mangoes, passion fruit, sharon fruit and dragon fruit. The verdict? Mangoes were the overwhelming favourite!
This was a magical week for scouts…

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Ted dressed up as a ‘pirate’…

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…with wings…

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…and continues to play ‘homes’..

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..and Maya made a zoo for Teddy..

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…where he enjoyed reading books to all the animals…

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It’s also been a week of friends (always friends) and a week of school trips for each school child. Now we’re looking forward to a week off school – and a little trip to London! 🙂

Car Week

This week it’s been all about cars….
Making a town for our toy cars….

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with a place to park a car for each member of the family (thank you Alfie!)….

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We made pictures using car stickers…

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The transport stickers were then used in a colour sorting activity….

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…which then incorporated the toy cars and the ‘village’…

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We’ve been driving cars through the ‘snow’ (shaving foam)…

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…and then putting them through the ‘car wash’ (water)…

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We’ve been painting with cars….

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Making cars from junk…

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We’ve been driving cars in play parks…

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(Alfie was lucky enough to drive electric cars at an indoor play place ‘Kaatach’ )
Collecting car number plates….

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Reading about cars….

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…and Maya and I even tried making ‘car’ snacks….

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And yes, we watched ‘Cars’ (the film), and tonight, can I tempt them to watch ‘Chitty chitty bang bang’? 😉

Looking For Spring

Yesterday Alfie, Ted and I went looking for the Spring…

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Well, we found that the ice on the lake was melting..

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And we found we could have a snack in the warmth of the sun without gloves on…

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I do believe we found a some birch buds…

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..and Alfie thinks a snake might just have woken from hibernation and popped out of this hole…

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…and we had a great time playing with the shadows…!

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But Spring? I’m not sure.
Despite the sound of the birds, we didn’t even find one Spring flower shoot, and we still had to move around to keep warm..!

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I think it might be a while before we see any real signs of Spring! 😉

Our Week : 8th – 14th February

This week we have watched the snow melt, we have enjoyed a theatre production about love, and tried and tested frozen yoghurt…

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Maya and I caught a free piano concert in the library (wonderful!)…

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and we watched a little of the winter olympics….

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We’ve been glad to have the man of the house at home again..

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..for whom Leon made lunch as a names day treat..

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Leon has had three days of official home study, and has been working hard..

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He’s been spending a lot of time practising a duet with his friend Erik…

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…and is continuing to give Maya piano lessons (she can now play the Harry Potter theme tune with one hand)…

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Alfie made alphabet cookies (I love that he made all his siblings names first – here are Leon’s letters..)…

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Maya got out the face paints and did Alfie and Ted….

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…and Alfie did Maya (who is supposed to be a lion but looks pretty scary to me!)…

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Alfie enjoyed his Christmas present, the wooden marble run..

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I love this picture – he’s weighing in his hands which marble is heaviest, and which will thus go faster….

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Maya made a beaded lizard key ring..

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And of course, a week couldn’t go by without making the cosiest den ever..!

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We’ve had lots of snacks inside! Maya is, without doubt, the best den builder ever! 😉
Maya and Alfie watched an episode of ‘melodi festivalen’ (a swedish eurovision song contest), gave each song a point, and added the points up to see who won…

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Ted helped make a heart shaped cake…

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…which Ted, Alfie and Maya decorated…

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Maya drew a beautiful picture of a Valentines love boat (drawn in the den!)….

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…and Teddy painted a pink airport!

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Leon made a heart shaped kladd-kaka (sticky chocolate cake)…

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Teddy’s discovered the joy of playing with Lilly…

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…a new favourite board game ‘Tummy Ache’ (though he prefers to collect the insects in the food rather than avoid them)…

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….and the brilliance of using real empty spice containers when playing house – what glorious smells…..!

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And of course, we had our annual Valentines dinner! Heart shaped pancakes (big and small), strawberry ice-cream with heart shaped sprinkles, and beautiful red strawberries…

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Of course, the best bit had to be the cards Maya made for each of us, telling us how much she loved us…..

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🙂
If I’m honest with you it’s been a tough week. We’ve had problems with one of our children being bullied at school – of course we’ve had meetings with the teachers, and we’re hoping it’s sorted now, but it takes up a lot of energy, causes sleepless nights and fills us with sadness. Such is life. Schools in Sweden are pretty good, but nothing is ever perfect….
Let’s pray things will now be better! 🙂

An Early Spring?

The snow is quickly melting, and we’ve had plus C degrees. My husband says he’s never seen it like this before in February in Sweden, that it’s sure to snow again, and of course we won’t get an early Spring! 😉
The chickens seem happy…

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Our snowman, just like in the book, has almost completely melted…

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The snow den has faded away – leaving what Maya describes as a fitting heart shape in the entrance…

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…and our snow horse looks a little worse for wear…

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And look! Shoots! Little green shoots!

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An early Spring might just be possible! Let’s hope so! 😉

Valentines Play-Dough

We made some valentines play dough, just for the fun of it, in colours of light pink, dark pink, purple and green (actually this was supposed to be violet but because of the yellow oil things didn’t quite work out that way! 😉 )….

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We added plastic eyes, cut up pink and purple straws, heart shaped sequins and heart shaped cutters…

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Three different kids did it three different ways..
Ted’s..

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Alfie’s…

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Lilly’s…

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This recipe included 1dl of oil – it was wonderfully soft and squishy, but I think it was a little too much oil and left an oily residue on everything afterwards! I think a table spoon would have been enough – but I like to experiment – and I stand by alum as the best recipe we’ve used so far! 🙂