Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Surviving school holidays

The kids have gone back to school today and while it is lovely and peaceful, I have to admit these past two weeks haven't been as bad as I recall school holidays being in the past few years. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the gorgeous sunny days we've had and maybe also that the kids are always keen to get in with the chickens.

Not that any of this explains why they have been playing nicely together more than they usually do. As an example, yesterday it took until 5pm before they had their first argument/fight. 5pm! Though I must admit, they resolved it quickly after I asked which of them wanted sandwiches for dinner instead of fish and chips.

But, back to the chickens. Getting chickens has been on our to-do list for some time and now we have finally done it. We planned to get four, so of course when we went to the local market and saw the beautiful bantam with her five chicks, we couldn't possibly not have them, or separate them. Then, because they're tiny, especially the five chicks, who probably won't lay until the end of the year, and tiny eggs even then, we had to get more. Bryden went off to get two browns and brought 3 home and then last week a friend was looking for a new home for her chicken who has been lonely in a small suburban backyard. So, we have ten chickens. Henrietta, Cluck, Blackie, Whitey, Violet, Sprinkles, Jemima, Charlotte, Cherry and Madame Houdini.

In other school holiday news, we did a fair bit of baking, with the date scones and Hamish's chocolate chocolate chip cookies being the highlights (yes, I meant to type 'chocolate' twice). We also had a few playdates, though mostly we stayed home. Claudia was super tired for most of last school term and it was lovely to see the kind and gentle version of her rear itself after a few days. Not that the new grumpy version of her wasn't to be seen: just less often.

I've been teaching her to sew and as well as it being something that excites her, it seems to help her calm down at times. I got this book, and it's been great, with all the projects having been tested on children as young as five. And she's definitely capable (except at threading the needle and tying knots). Mostly, she's been making coasters, which are just two squares sewn together with both good sides of fabric showing. Once her sewing becomes straighter, she might make a skirt for one of her dolls.

Because she thought she wasn't doing 'real' sewing (ie not using my sewing machine), I even decided to start a hand-sewing project for myself. I chose this (the first picture). I know it will take me years to complete, but already I'm loving it. Mostly because I'm using scraps from projects I've made for people over the last few years and it makes me smile to remember those individual projects.


Anonymous said...

I survived too - haha - it does seem to get easier as they get older. Chickens are the best!

Anonymous said...

We are halfway through ours - this is our first, with our eldest in pre-school this year. We're trying the 'spend time at home' thing but my boys are at each other within minutes of waking. Glad to hear it gets easier!
Love the sound of your chickens. We are hoping to get chickens in Spring, but first to construct a suitable pen.

Tiggy Johnson said...

Glad you survived too Gabrielle. Now I just need eggs.

therhythmmethod: The first few are definitely the hardest, especially as the kids don't quite understand why their routine has changed. Perhaps too it's because you get better at bribery over the years. Good luck for the rest of the week :)
Yes, build that pen: the chickens are lovely. I took a chair out and sat with them for half an hour yesterday (will take a book next time).

Anonymous said...

It's so lovely to hear about your family, Tiggy. And glad you made it out the other side of school holidays relatively unscathed.
My mum's a quilter, she made me a quilt of heart patches for my 18th - all the material either came from a previous project that had gone to someone we loved, or was a piece of material donated by friends or family. I thought it was a great idea - I'm sure you'll treasure that quilt for years to come once it's done!

Tiggy Johnson said...

Thanks Sam. Your quilt sounds lovely. You're a lucky girl. And i think I'll treasure mine for the years it takes to make it as well :)