Sunday, 29 April 2012


As I've posted before, we LOVE Readeez.

Well Lychee may not be reading fluently yet, but she is definitely making progress, and today, thanks to Readeez, she sang her first recognisable song without just joining in 'laa-ing' over what someone else was singing. 

The chosen song was... a Readee!! One of our absolute favourites that Cosmo has been singing for weeks. I was just walking past the school room when I heard as clear as a bell the bridge from JET PACK.  

'I got my J E T P A C K (not very clear, but recognisable tune, followed by  a perfect 'With me, with me, with me'. 

So proud.

Here's the song if you want to here it:

Monday, 23 April 2012

Child led learning

At some point, I suppose, I'm going to have to start teaching my children something that is dictated by a syllabus, rather than their whims, if they are ever going to pass exams.

That said, my children are very small, and it's a long way off, so I might just bury my head in the sand a little longer and allow them to lead the educational way.

It's easy enough to do when you have a four year old who loves to read by himself, enjoys problem solving games and wants you to explain how a volcano works. It's harder to do when you have a willful 18 month old who is determined to use a potty.

Cosmo wasn't potty trained until he was nearly four, but one day he just decided he was ready, we had no accidents and that was that. He never looked back. The problem is, Lychee saw this and now thinks she'd like to have a go to. In fact she has been keen to have a go since february, but I made her wait until half term. I felt like having my husband home (he's a teacher) for three and a bit weeks would give me time to stay at home and get her trained, whilst we took turns to go out for things like groceries.

The theory was good, the problem is that despite wanting to use a potty, Lychee isn't really verbal enough to tell us when she wants to use a potty. The result is that whilst we are at home, with no pants on, she will wander around occasionally pottering over to use the potty, give herself a clap, then get on with her day. All well and good, but we can't leave the house.

Once she puts pants on, she can't get them off and can't find a way to communicate to us that she wants them off. The result is usually that she will sit on the potty to wet her pants, but at a friends house (despite the potty being in the middle of the room) she felt like it was okay to sit down and pee anywhere - thankfully with five children of their own, they were very understanding friends!

In situations like this I want to give up. It's stupid. She can't even talk or pull her pants down. She is too young to potty train. But she really wants to.

That's when I have to remember 'baby steps'.

When I wanted to organise my life I took on FLYlady's mantra of 'baby steps', meaning that bit by bit I would get organised, without beating myself up over what isn't done, but just regularly introducing new habits until everything was done.

Instead of being frustrated that I have to put Lychee back in a nappy to go to the shops, I should be grateful that we now use about 70% less diapers than we used to (that's a huge financial saving right there), and that she is learning to use the potty and preferring that to feeling wet. It's a small step towards potty training, that may still be several months away, but we are closer than we were.

She might not be trained over night, and I'm sure we'll have more accidents than we did with Cosmo, but she'll definitely be trained earlier (I've got two more years to make that target) which will in the end save us a lot of money, but more importantly it isn't a battle. This isn't something I have to fight her on. She wants to do it.

In fact, I even caught her trying to empty the potty herself today. She spilled it on the tiles (thank goodness not the carpet!) and by the time I went to get a nappy to clean it with she was already there with a tea towel trying to pat it dry.

They grow up so fast!

Monday, 2 April 2012

GAPS friendly Easter Cookies

Courtney over at Women Living Well has a tradition of making Easter Cookies with her children. Personally I would call them meringues, but semantics aside, these are a great way to teach your children about the Easter story. 

Unfortunately we are on the GAPS diet and these cookies contain a whole cup of sugar. 

So I set to work and I have created the GAPS friendly version. The recipe is almost identical, but you have to be a little more careful with things like ensuring the egg whites are at room temperature (they will not whip up properly with honey if they are cold). 

So here it is:

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. white/ distilled vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 180c (don't forget this step!!)
Place pecans inside a sandwich bag and let children smash them up with a rolling pin. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Romans soldiersRead John 19:1-3.

Let each child taste a small amount of the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
let the children taste a little honey and then add 2/3 cup to the mixing bowl. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. This works really well with my version of the recipe, as initially the mixture will be brown (due to the honey) but will eventually turn white when it's ready. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts and then dollop blobs of it onto a lined baking sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laidRead Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealedRead Matt. 27:65-66.
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the Oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealedRead John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9.
Well, Courtney says to do this over night and on Easter morning, and I think I probably will next year. This year I wanted to do it prior to Easter to check it works. It did. It worked brilliantly. I will definitely be adding this to our family traditions to do at this time of year. 

The photos are from her blog, because they are much prettier than mine.