A slightly late Weekly Wrap Up, I spent yesterday mostly laying around and catching up on a few episodes of Arrow while Nibsy spent some time with his Grandma and Grandad. We arrived back in Derby late Thursday evening after spending an awesome week in Scotland with our friends. We really packed in a lot of fun things during that week as well. I have to say that we are so unbelievably lucky in our friendships, whenever we need to be in Scotland we have people there who open their homes to us, feed us, give us somewhere to sleep and generally take amazing care of us. We couldn’t ask for better friends.

Friday:

We arrived in Gourock late Thursday afternoon to stay with our friends A and W. On Friday we had plans to meet with some friends at Glasgow Green, A and I and the kids actually made it all the way to Glasgow before it began pouring with rain and we had to change our plans to a soft play centre. It was one of the mummy’s birthdays on Saturday so we took along a homemade cake, cards and gifts and surprised her with a mini celebration. The staff at the soft play centre were kind enough to let us blow out the candles and eat the cake while we were there.

scotland_cake

The children had a great time together scaling the massive play frame and burned off a lot of energy, soft plays really are very useful during the wet winter months and Scotland really does see more than it’s fair share of rain.

Saturday:

scotland_messychurch

On Saturday afternoon A took us to Messy Church in Greenock, the neighbouring town. Messy Church runs fortnightly and is a free group where they run themed crafts and share dinner together. This weeks theme was biblical mountains. Nibsy made an edible mountain from frosting and an ice cream cone, a prayer hand and a prayer pot. Matt and I are not religious but Nibsy is currently interested in the idea of God and how the world was created so this was a good activity for him.

Sunday:

This was a pretty low key day for us. We spent the morning with A and then packed up our things at lunch time and headed off to Helensburgh to stay with our friends M and A for a few days.

Monday:

I don’t want to say too much about Monday because I have a whole post planned about it but one word…crochet!

Tuesday:

scotland_helensburgh

We had a whole day in Helensburgh with our friends with nothing planned so we went where the mood took us. The children all had some pocket money burning a hole in their pockets so our first stop was an old fashioned sweet shop where they all purchased some penny sweets…I haven’t seen penny sweets in so long, I didn’t think you could get them anymore. I was quite impressed that Nibsy only picked 20p worth of sweeties, he could certainly have had more. Afterwards we headed to a local park that we visited last year while we were living in Glasgow. This park is fabulous because it is right next to a rocky beach so while some of the children scaled climbing frames and pirate ships others explored the rock pools.

The views from Helensburgh are just stunning, I’m afraid that my photos just don’t do them justice. On Monday evening our friends looked after Nibsy for us and packed us off out for a meal. We enjoyed a fabulous curry and then walked along the water front. You can see a shot of the view at night above, I wish I had my DSLR with me then because the lights were amazing.

Wednesday:

Prior to us knowing about our trip to Scotland our old home education group had planned a trip to Stirling Castle. Luckily we were able to book places on the trip and join them all for a fabulous day out.

scotland_stirling

We visited Stirling back last year but only had a chance to look around half of it. The castle is quite big and 4 year old attention spans are not the longest so we were excited to have the chance to see more. Also, as this was an educational trip we were given free entry with our group. We met at 11am and by the time a few late comers had arrived we were just in time to enjoy a picnic in the gardens. The children ended up spending more time reenacting old battles with stick swords and scaling tall trees than eating. After lunch we all split up to explore different sections of the castle, as we had previously seen the buildings we decided to walk along the battlements where we saw yet more stunning views. You have to hand it to Scotland, it has amazing landscapes.

The end of the week:

We traveled back to Derby on Thursday afternoon. Nibsy has turned out to an exceptional traveller, it is very rare that he moans or groans about the time it takes us to get somewhere. Before long journeys I often pop in to a pound shop and stock up on paper and felt pens, this time I also picked up a set of dominoes to play with…

scotland_dominoes

…we have to pass the time some how. Thank goodness for pound shops.

The last few days have been some much needed down time. We love visiting Scotland and seeing all our friends but we are on the go pretty much all the time we are there and sort of collapse in a heap when we get home. Nibsy has lately been showing a lot of interest in writing and sums so his down time now includes a lot of story writing and adding up of numbers. He wrote this story on Friday and I mean he wrote it all, he sounded out the words and wrote them down as he believed they should be spelled…

scotland_writing

"William see a cat. Numpty played outside."

I should point out that Numpty is the name of my mums pet cat who Nibsy absolutely adores.

He also came to me with this page of sums that he had done by himself…

scotland_sums

I am really impressed with his ability to add up numbers. We haven’t done any structured work on addition at all, in fact he has only recently mastered counting all the way to 20 without getting all confused in the teen numbers so to see him come up with this is just awesome.

What have you all been doing this week?

This post is linked with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

It’s been a month since we left Worcestershire for Derbyshire (via Glasgow and Stevenage) so it’s been a month since the Nana and Grandad have seen Nibsy and they were obviously very keen to rectify this situation because they drove up to Derby to see us yesterday.

We decided beforehand that we would pack a picnic and visit Wollaton Hall. It’s becoming a bit of a Passey family tradition to visit the hall whenever Nana and Grandad come to Derby. It’s the perfect day out because the hall itself has been transformed in to a museum which is fabulous to browse on a rainy day and the extensive grounds are beautiful to wander around when the weather is good.

Despite great weather all week we woke up yesterday morning to grey skies and an awful lot of rain. Typical British weather. We figured we’d head to the museum and see how the weather was once we finished looking around. When we were there last the hall was running a "superhero trail" where the children answered several questions about different exhibits and then collected a badge at the end as a prize. Nibsy was very excited to take the trail again and I spent a good deal of time telling him that the trail was a limited time thing and wouldn’t be running any longer. Wrong. £1 later Nibsy was armed with pencil and questions and raring to go.

We spent an hour browsing the different animals, birds, skeletons and paintings on display.

wollaton_birds

Nibsy remember being scared of the Giraffe the first time we were there 2 years ago but was very proud that he has now overcome his fear. I can’t blame him really, I never realised quite how tall a Giraffe really is.

By the time we finished the trail, collected Nibsy’s prize and visited the gift shop the rain had stopped and we were able to head outside and explore the grounds a little.

wollaton_bow

Nana and Grandad bought Nibsy a new bow and arrow set. Grandad spent a while teaching Nibsy how to use it correctly, I think he might need a bit more practice though.

Since we last visited a new play park had been built and of course Nibsy was very keen to try it out. I have to say Nibsy loved the park and so did I. The equipment was all built out of wood, there was something for every age of child and the planners had obviously put a lot of thought in to the layout of the area. Unfortunately the big kids slide was closed off due to some maintenance work but Nibsy was happy to explore everything else it had to offer.

wollaton_swing

All in all we had a fab day. If you’re in the Derbyshire/Nottingham area I highly recommend you pay a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

For the first time in a while we’ve actually spent more then 7 days in one place. It actually feels quite odd, I think we’ve got used to bouncing around between various destinations.

On Monday we joined the same home education group that we met last week at Attenborough, this time we gathered at a park in Nottingham. We’ve never visited this particular park before and it was really lovely, lots of trees to climb, monuments to explore and bushes to play Hide and Seek in.

arboretum_leaves

I frankly can’t think of many things better than playing in the Autumn Leaves and Nibsy seems to agree with me. I am that adult who wanders through the park and kicks to huge piles of fallen leaves.

arboretum_colours

Look at those gorgeous colours. I debated taking my DSLR with me to the park but decided not to, I’m a little gutted I made that decision now because my phone camera really didn’t capture how vibrant the colours were.

arboretumpond_will

While on our way to meet the group we strolled past this duck pond, Nibsy continues to have a love affair with ducks and was a little upset that we didn’t have anything to feed them, he apologised to them though and I think we have been forgiven.

We’ve been enjoying more sunshine this week and are determined to make the most of it, winter is long enough so we’ve been outside sucking up as many rays as possible by hanging out at the local park or sitting and playing outside in the garden.

oneplace_diary

One morning Nibsy decided he wanted to work on his diary at the table outside and who was I to argue. He’s coming along really well with his reading, writing and spelling, with some help he is beginning to sound out and spell simple words when filling in his diary. He is having some trouble gripping his pens and pencils correctly and that’s making his handwriting unsteady so I’m looking in to buying some pen grips which will hopefully help him along.

oneplace_lego

This rather exciting pack of Lego arrived in the post yesterday. It’s a sample pack for Lego’s StoryStarter sets and it came complete with ideas on how to create stories with the parts we received. I’m very excited to get this out and have a go with Nibsy, I think he’s going to love it!

All in all it’s been a bit of a quiet week, we’ve mostly pottered around the place and done our own things, sometimes it’s nice to do that. It’s probably a good job that we’ve had such a quiet week because the next few are set to be busy with another trip to Scotland – this time for an entire week. Excited!

What have you been up to this week? Any fun plans for the next one?

This post is linked with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.