A birthday and more holidays!

It seems every second post I make on this blog is about being on holidays. If you think about it, we are on permanent holidays because there doesn't seem to be anything we must do that causes us stress. Maybe that is why we don't really feel the need to go away on holidays very often. We don't need a break for our regular life, it is already awesome!
However, we are taking a break from formal lessons even though they don't know I am giving them learning activities most days. Yesterday, Lily created a treasure hunt game that had the other two monkeys to following a path of foot prints (meticulously cut out of paper by Lily) all around the house. At the end of the path there was a treasure chest full of play money. It was the cutest thing to watch all three working together to make their own fun out of such a simple idea. 
All three have also been playing in the mud and acting out MasterChef episodes with their creations. Oh ye they and make rather big messes and cause adult yelling for them to clean it up, but they are learning to keep the mess to a minimum. Cook clean! I need to tell them. Today they have used pencil shavings to colour the mud so it will be interesting to see what they have made at the end of the day!

This week we celebrated Zoe's 10th birthday. While I struggle at the thought of those last ten years passing so fast, Zoe is struggling with some lovely tween attitude. And by lovely, I mean not so much. This year instead of getting a gift for every year she has been here, we have moved to a more affordable idea. At ten they all receive the same as they do at Christmas - something to read, something to wear, something to play with and something to share. The latter is something Zoe is having a really hard time with at the moment so we chose a gift they could enjoy together. We don't mind them having toys that are just theirs, it is when this ownership causes endless fights that make us rethink buying toys at all! The gift is a disco ball that they can all use during their dance parties. Forgive the blurry photos of Zoe opening her pressies. It was so early and cold I nearly didn't get out of bed for it. Check out the Epic Five pic on the right. They all had a great day playing Minecraft together on Heath's server and eating junk food. Oh gosh I think there is still some of that cake left...

June has actually been quite a big month for us. Zoe had her biennial hip check and passed with flying colours. I was very relieved when the surgeon was told me he was happy with the way her hips are now developing. It seems her left femur is wider than her right which is not an issue, just interesting. You can just see in the X-ray above, a white part on the top of her left hip. That was where the bone graft was when she was 20month old and it all looks fine now. When we went to have our traditional pancakes after the hip check feast, the pancake shop was closed. So we went to Max Brenner's instead. I doubt that Zoe will ask for any kind of chocolate again for some time. My teeth actually hurt after eating a bite of their banana bread. It came with pouring chocolate and a stick that you use to paint the chocolate art works on the pieces of bread. Well, I assumed that is what it was for and we both had fun doing it but felt oh so sick afterward with the sugar overload.

Earlier this month we were invited to be a part of a homeschooling group tour at the Ipswich Art Gallery. I can't tell you how much I love that place. The tours and activities are always well thought out and so engaging. This time we took NannyO and were a part of The Drawing Machines exhibit.  If you have time before it finishes on the 10th of July, I highly recommend you check it out. There are a number of activities for all ages such as large scale spirograph (NannyO still has her artwork up in her room), wind up toys with paint brushes attached, a table with spinning discs of card, a few pendulum like machines but the children all had the most fun in the rice pendulum space. They loved filling and refilling the funnel and watching the rice flood out. Then they would sweep and gather the rice to do it all again. They were all really good at the sweeping part and a few other mothers agreed we needed to make sure they get more practice! I am thinking this might an activity I can do with mine at home. Perhaps I can colour the rice and maybe put some essential oil in it... I get back to you about that one!

Our lessons in term two have gone quite well. Henry is progressing in leaps and bound with his literacy and numeracy. Zoe was struggling with some more advanced mathematical concepts so we took a step back and she spent some time on easier things that give her confidence. She tells me sometimes she just needs to 'Cool my brain off a bit with easier stuff'. I don't mind. I suspect the main maths curriculum (Easy Learn maths workbooks) are a bit ahead of her year level. I also need to remind myself if she had been born just three days later, she would be in year four not year five. So I take it easy on her sometimes. I would much prefer her doing activities she enjoys with a good attitude than activities she in not fond of with a bad attitude. I have finally figured out that they learn nothing when they are cranky!

We were very lucky to be able to see the Spirit of Anzac exhibition this month. It was a fascinating if sometimes overwhelming exhibit about the wars Australia have been a part of, particularly WW1. The headphones and audio tour made it a very quiet exhibition with everyone just walking, looking and listening. Though Lily and Henry had to take off the headphones a few times because it was little too much for them to process. It has finished now in Brisbane but it is travelling Australia so if it is coming to a venue in your town, I highly recommend seeing it. Use the link above to book your tickets.

The Boy and Heath have been getting into their archery in the back yard recently. Heath has had to make a couple more trips to Bunnings to get more dowel to make yet more arrows. Somehow arrows just keep disappearing in our yard! Life is never quiet or dull at Casa Christenson and it is just the way we like it! 

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