A mixed bag

I feel like writing this post to remind me of all the good things we did this week as I was so irritated today I could happily have ridden my bike off in to the sunset when we were at Halden Forest today.   Not a peaceful day for me, but a good one for everyone else I think.  I’m not sure how that happens really as if one of them is in a bad mood it seems to affect everyone but when it’s just me they all seem totally oblivious which gets me even more irrate of course.  Hmmm.

Happily though today was unusual as I have had some lovely days this week – in fact some near perfect ones where I feel I’ve achieved things that have made me feel good (a good playing experience with another quartet and nice friends and lots of organising both the house and home ed thingies) and the boys have also had some really special, relaxed times.

I do end up chivying them off the screen every now and then but they’re pretty good about it anyway.  Oscar can tend to spend rather a lot of time  watching lots of Youtube videos of other people doing creative Warhammer projects and I always want to ask why he doesn’t do them himself rather than watch them but then we’re all guilty of that in different ways (as I know from spending hours looking at other people doing amazing crafty things with their children on their blogs).  He has done a lot of painting his figures, tending his bonsai trees and he and Lucas have been playing lots of Dungeons and Dragons. Lucas has been reading a lot and playing with Anton.  They’ve also seen a lot of friends and Anton has seen lots of M too.

This has also involved lots of nerf gun battles and they built a barracade out of cardboard with this amazing kit I had bought for the holidays.  It contains a couple of plastic saws that are totally safe but cut through the cardboard really well so the kids can use them.  It also contains clips and hinges that mean they can easily build things out of cardboard themselves.  It was such fun.

With the aid of their little helpers (!) the older boys turned this cardboard


in to this barricade


and Anton built this kitchen



They worked at it for ages…


I was even more excited then they were!  It always makes for more fun all round if they can tell I’m properly enjoying myself.  For instance I don’t like playing dinosaurs much but I will happily create scenery for Anton to play dinosaurs with which makes his game more fun and I don’t like playing nerf guns but I can make a barracade with the best of them.  And I absolutely love seeing them have such fun together.  I only have to remind myself that they won’t be wanting to have pillow fights for ever and I find myself grabbing a pillow and having a great fight like we did the other day.

I also treated us to some beeswax modelling wax this holiday.  I have looked at it for years and not been able to justify the money (all £7.50 of it) but wish I’d bought it ages ago.  Anton doesn’t like Fimo because of the smell but this beeswax is perfect.  It smells lovely and feels so nice to work with.


You have to warm it first and I found tucking it inside my clothes was the best way but kept finding bits of it in my waistband later!  Lucas made the Easter chick, Anton made the green transformer in a house and I made a bunny (I find the best way to stop myself interfering in their work is to do my own)


but they highlight for me was seeing Anton make this.



He needed only minimal help and stuck with it for ages.  The wonderful thing about beeswax is that you can warm it again and remould it when you want.

On my holiday list of a few fun things to do this week was also make some bath paints.  I was surprised though that on the first day they didn’t catch on like they did last time.  Lucas put graffiti on the wall and that was it


Oh well.  You can’t win them all.  Please note, the bath paints do explain the colour of the water.  Anton’s dinosaurs have been taking pride of place in the bath all week though.  They are definitely flavour of the month.

Anton did find a use for the bath paints tonight though as Oscar had come off his bike today and sustained various injuries:


Anton didn’t want to be outdone so he painted “blood” all over his legs.


Oscar and Joth had been doing the RED trail at Halden Forest today (This is a 6 mile technical, fast and flowing trail with tight corners and lively descents to test your reflexes. Only for experienced riders with appropriate bikes and protective equipment.)  Joth is coming to terms with the fact that Oscar has more stamina than him these days.  It’s hitting him hard but I think Joth does really well to do it at all particularly with the amount of exercise he doesn’t get chance to do.  There’s always some bugger that overtakes you though, usually running with their bike slung over their shoulder, and with more grey hair than you have.

Lucas came with me to do the 1.5 mile easy trail but with the duff bike, Dante on the front and Anton on the tailgator on the back I was still pathetically challenged by it.  Still it was fun.


Anton went off by himself round the training tracks.


And Dante potters about



We all had a drink together at the end.


and then we came home for an important lesson in division.  The learning never stops.


After baths we ate hot cross buns in front of  “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2” which was actually rather funny and turned out to be a good choice for a family film.   There was one mock scary horror moment which scared Anton though and he’s not usually scared so I do hope it won’t bother him for long.

Sadly, although I wanted to dwell on the better things this week I have to record that Oscar’s rat died last night.  Oscar was pretty shocked when he found her and we put her in a shoe box and Oscar and I dug a grave in the garden.  I lit a candle on the earth and Lucas, Oscar and I just got tearful there together for a bit.  We’ve had lots of tears and cuddles.  He hasn’t said much about how he’s feeling but has been happy to be cuddled and this morning when he was still tearful I tentatively tried to voice a few of my thoughts to see if any resonated with him.  He nodded a lot when I talked about regrets and how whenever I’ve lost someone or some pet I’ve always wished I could have one more day with them just to do all the things I wish I’d done and said before they died.  I think there will be quite a lot of guilt in there because I’ve had to nag all the way through to make sure they were cleaned out, fed and taken out of their cage.  They were due a clean out and I can only hope that we didn’t speed her death along by any action, or non action on our part.   I find having caged animals such a worry.  I feel so guilty about their little lives being at our mercy.  I thought these rats made wonderful pets though.  So gentle and undemanding and yet intelligent and curious and she stayed on you when you got her out of her cage.  She has taught Oscar valuable lessons with her little life.

Lucas’s rat is still here of course and she must be missing her sister terribly.  It feels awful.


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