Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gnarly Knives

Can you spot Oscar's knife?

We are doing lots of odd jobs around the house and the knife racks have finally been put up! - Yay.

Home Ed under threat

Please sign our urgent petition to keep Home Education free from Government Control.  The Government in the UK (& EU) wants to take away the right for parents to be responsibile for their childrens education.  They have proposed that Home Educators apply for a license to Home Educate - every year! That government officials will be able to come into our home and interview the children without a parent being there.  That a inspection will be done annually and we would be then given permission to Home Educate - it's crazy and we must not let this become law!!

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*Don't let them win like this!* It takes a couple of minutes to sign the

This isn't just about whether no 10 takes notice or not, it's a tool to
raise awareness, get media attention and give confidence to those MPs
prepared to make a stand on this. If we don't take it seriously and make a
little effort, then why would they?

You stand to lose far more than a couple of minutes of your time if the
legislation gets through - the most likely outcome is that it is going to be
agreed in the "wash up", as a quick deal between the parties once the
general election is called. If we don't send a really clear signal not to do
this, we've got no chance! There isn't much time left to influence the MPs,
and this is such a quick and simple way to "say no". The wording of the
petition is just about basic civil liberties, so even friends and family who
don't know anything about HE should feel able to sign.

*If the PM ignores it*, then that's just the action of one person - what
matters more is the action of the rest of us. Others *will* listen, and this
petition is a useful tool in getting our voices heard. There are 645 other
MPs, only about 350 of which are labour. Many MPs will be reluctant to rush
through a Bill that is controversial on the grounds of civil rights and the
role of the state in the family. We're fast gaining ground with the
Conservatives, Lib Dems, and even some of the Labour ones.

The Petition to Parliament has put this firmly on the agenda for MPs, and we
need to follow through with a hugely successful on-line petition. We know
that 20,000 is the point at which petitions are taken seriously - that's
less than the number being home educated! Please sign, including your
children, and help spread the word.

Thanks for taking time to read this!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christy's Christmas

"Ooh, a present for me? - Smells nice..."
"Feels good too - lucky me!"
What a happy boy

The quiet Christmas of 2009


Oscar helped assemble it.

A baby sling

Pretty happy to finally have some new threads

He wanted nothing but a 'big' present...

Oscar slept in! Till around 8.30. So it was a very civilized gift opening. Oscar and Samuel got a trampoline! Jeff got lots of clothes and I got some things for baby. Followed by our favourite breakfast of Salmon Benedict. Then a big walk in Richmond Park - where Oscar fell through the ice on a pond and had to walk a long way home, very cold! Then we had a friend over for a meal of Guinea Fowl and Roasted ham - yum! Then I fell asleep on the coach to all the boys jammin' on their guitars. Bliss.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jeffs 40th

Zorro breaking out the moves in the ballroom.

Jeffrey turned the big Four Zero on the 4th December (he shares this birthdate with Oscar). We rented a Manor House in Dorset - a beautiful county on the South Coast, approx 3hrs from home. 20 people all together - it was fab! Oscar had tonnes of fun too.

Right of Passage - to the other side of the world!

In October Samuel chose to head to Australia for 3 months to stay with his Grandparents in Sydney. What a brave little man! He's had a great time and we look forward to his return. For his farewell he chose to have a Sushi feast at a local restaurant - the pictures say it all! Wasabi dares - fun fun!

Sammy the Sailor

Sam did a 6 weeks sailing course over the late summer - he is now grade 4 with the Royal Yacht Association. He loves it! and I love that it's only 20 minutes away from home!

Protesting for Home Education

Here the boys are at The Not Back To School Picnic in September.

The government in the UK wants to regulate Home Education and have proposed plans for a new compulsory register for home-educating families and for local authorities to have the right to enter the families' homes to ensure they are providing a quality education. Pretty heavy there has been plenty of protesting this year and it looks like it's working.

Froggy Frolics

Every other day we walk Christy in the forest nearby and Richmond Park. It's been so nice watching the change of seasons. Here we are enjoying the last of Autumn.

Here we found a frog near the den we have been building. We LOVE frogs!
Pretty cool den hey?

Snowy Solstice

Today we went and collected our Holly and Ivy to deck our halls...we managed to find a few Holly trees laden with berries! The pond where Christy usually swims was frozen over and Oscar was having fun being an ice breaker - until his little toes started to go numb, after which we decided today is a '3 sock day'.

We finished off our wreath and decorated the Fire place, we fed a little robin that was hopping around amongst the ice looking for worms.
This afternoon we picked up our friends, Poppy, Ellie and Maya and drove through delightful floppy flakes in Richmond Park. We met some other families and walked through the forest - Oscar was leaving little piles of seeds and dried grubs for the birds on all the stumps. We ate delicious cranberry and white chocolate cookies, drank hot tea/ chocolate and lit our lamps. Sadly it was a bit wet for ours, so we only tested out the yellow one.