mardi 28 avril 2009

Annual Turn Off Week Blog challenge...How it went here

Kapla Tower

What a great turn off week we had, ok, we were lucky, as we went to London from Thursday onwards, so that helped us turn off ...

Tower Bridge in sight!

Marie Kate, who celebrated her 5th birthday the 22nd did really well, never watched television nor did she play on the Wii. She played heaps outside, and she helped tidy up our garden ( note: she hasn't watched tv since coming back Monday lunch-time..yippee) I'd give her a straight A.

Marie-Kate opening some presents

Alexis watched a little tv in London, but it was in English and we need as much English input as possible, in really enjoyed "Horrible Histories". He probably watched in all, abot 1 hour over the whole week of tv. Before leaving for London he helped more in the kitchen, read more and had more imaginative fun. Alexis has started to read books all on his own which is a great leap forward.
Shelling peas, this is more fun than the TV!

Gabrielle watched the same amount of tv as Alexis and thats all... no wii, no dvd's. Gaby drew a lot and read A Picture of Dorian Gray and a couple of J. Wilson's books (her favourite author).

I didn't do as well as them, I didn't manage to keep to 15 minutes per day of internet, but for a good reason, I had to surf a little to organise our visit to London. I probably used the computer 1 hour per day from Monday till Wednesday. No tv, no videos. I have started to prepare our vegatable garden and I read lots of books with the children. The children have helped me cook a lot more.
A glimpse of a bit of our garden from kitchen window

Alain hasn't used the computer (work not included) and he watched on program on the tv (45 minutes). Bravo Alain. He used to be quite a tv add

Unfortunately our teenagers sucummed to temptation, Oliver couldn't stop playing with his toys (psp, ipod) and the tv, too! He deserves the worse mark of the class. he did play chess once and beat me, argghhh..

Charlotte, watched less tv, but listened to lots of music and hung out with her friends ( which is great).

Charlotte peddling hard at the Sciene Museum

It's Thursday, today, and the children and their friends have been playing outside most of the day, the weather's glorious at long last.

I'm really happy to have participated in this years Annual Turn Off Week and I think we are ready to give up the tv completely.

dimanche 19 avril 2009

brocante/carboot/flea markets and laundromats

We didn't buy anything in Le Beausset, the thing we liked were way over-priced

however, this laundromat was so beautiful with its Wisteria in flower, I just had to take a photo

Annual Turn Off Week Blog challenge

Over on Unplug Your Kids, they are hosting "Turn Off Week" between the 20th and 26th of April.

We have decided to go a long with this challenge, despite the fact they we are going to London on Thursday.

We aim not switch on the television at all, apart from on Wednesday evening to watch House (can't miss that).

The children have agreed to watch just one television programme a day (assuming there's something good to watch!). They hardly watch tv.

Our eldest, Oliver has agreed that he will only use his ipod touch and/or psp 1 hour a day (that would be an amazing feat for him).

Charlotte promises to limit her radio one time to 2 hours per day ( it's normally always on when she's in her room.

And finally, the most difficult, I shall limit myself to 15 minutes a day to read blogs and mail....this one will be difficult!

Youpi Volcano Charlotte Cake

Alexis made a Volcano sponge finger Charlotte for lunch ( prepared last night), he's been waiting to eat it ever since.....
Mixing pears, mascarpone and creme fraîche
almost ready for an overnight stay in our fridge

It lacks a volcano's allure, but it was eaten as quick as a flash

School's Out and Unplugged Science Volcano's and Sound

Youpi, May 2009

Friday was the last day of school for two weeks. We've been pretty busy with end of term meetings and outings, and now we have to prepare Marie-Kate's 5th birthday and a trip to London.
We did manage to do this weeks unplugged project, thanks to Alexis's monthly magazine "Youpi". This months theme was Volcano's.

Marie-Kate carried on this experiment because it was safe and easy. She made a volcano using some flour and soda.

She made the crater with her finger

The gas from the soda pushed the flour and the soda up and out of the crater, making it overflow like in a real eruption. Once the soda (magma)had lost its gas, the lava flowed down around the sides of her volcano.

I'd recommend this magazine to anyone, it's really super for children aged 5 to 8 years old. All my children have this magazine and loved it when they were younger. If anyone wants to swap some of our Youpi's for some something similar in English, that would be great.

Experiment N°2 Sound Waves

bowl covered with sandwich wrap

Alexis and Gabrielle decided to experiment with sound after watching a science programme for kids on Arte.

Scatter some rice over the top

Turn the music up ( Bryan Adams)

The noise makes the air vibrate, the noise is transmitted through the air, to the plastic. The plastic vibrates and the rice dances. The children loved this one.

mercredi 8 avril 2009

Decluttering: Day One

Still can't decide if to start with the boys room or the art corner.

For the next two weeks I'm going to declutter our house for spring, we've accumalated far too many things over the years that no long serve a purpose or never have!

Sunday morning, Alain and I started decluttering the garage. We managed to get a quarter of it cleared, we've never managed to fit a car in it, it's pretty hard to fit a person in there, well that was before we started. We took two car loads of junk to the tip, four sack loads for charity and a pile of things for friends and neighbours. There's at least 300 books to go through now in there, I am an hoarder when it comes to these, however, space is restricted and I need to find good homes for them.
I have lots of skis to give away too, we prefer cross-country skiing so our alpin skis are now surplus to requirements.
I'll add some before, during and after photos later.

mardi 7 avril 2009

Unplugged Project: Words

The children aren't usually short of words, but they are this week. The weather is unpredictable which elicits their hot tempers and irritability.... We're counting down the days until school breaks up for two weeks. Tomorrow is Wednesday, hence no school, so just 5 days to go ( Easter Monday, no school and no work).

Gabrielle decided like Alexis to do an Easter themed unplugged "word" project. Gabrielle, wrote a poem around her chocolate egg. Sorry, it's written in French, if you can't read it well on the photo, she wrote:

Les oeufs de Pâques?
Les cloches les emmenent.
Mais pas qu'eux!
Des poules, des lapins et bien plus sont bien cachés dans le jardin.

Alexis made a flyer to remind everyone (hmm, no need here) that we will holding our annual Easter Egg Hunt in our garden, Sunday. He thought of some different words that make him think of Easter and wrote them around and inside his egg (I said they were short of words...) .
(Weather permitting)

Six little words that Alexis loves

I bought some pastels for the children today, it was the first time they've tried them out, their pictures smudged a bit.

L'Orge and The Autoportrait

Gabrielle aged 8 in CM1
Gabrielle's loves writing poetry. Here's one of her acrostic poems (this one's from school).

The idea was to use her name and write about herself, however, she didn't, she was the only one in her class that didn't, instead, she was inspired by her Papa (he's not such an Ogre..she was probably grumpy with her at the time)

Gourmand comme un troll

Arrachant les dents

Brisant les os

Râlant pour son dîner

Important pour lui :

Estomac rempli

Le ventre rebondi

Le cerveau ratatiné

Et enfin il s'endort

mercredi 1 avril 2009

Unplugged Project: Books

For this week's unplugged project, Marie-Kate decided to make a bookmark, she's really into cats at the moment and she likes playing with her beads so this is what she came up with ( with a little help)

First she threaded a few beads on some string.
Then with some stickers and some glitter pens she decorated her bookmark.

She managed to punch a hole for her beads to be attached.

Now she can find her page quickly

Marie-Kate's favourite books up until now are:-

Little Red Riding Hood ( In English or French, with a many adaptations of this classic at home)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears ( in English)

Badjelly the Witch by Spike Milligan

and finally any

Winnie the Witch book by Valerie Thomas


I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman

and not forgotting

Wher the Wild Ones Are ( a familly favorite)

I could go on......

Alexis didn't make a bookmark but he wanted to show his new favourite book character, Tashi ( written by an Australian author), so far he's read the first 5 books in the series and he's hooked. In France, children learn to read when they are 6, Alexis began in September to read in French, although he has been reading in English a bit longer than that.

He likes Tashi so much he painted him onto a tee-shirt that he did a couple of weeks ago.