Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Rainforest Centre

Today we went to the rain forest centre in Newbury. It was amazing and we had a great tour from a lady about all the edible things. From coffee and vanilla to insects, rodents, birds and even turtles!

The fish were incredible, so big!

My favourite part was the Sloth.

We learned about the symbiotic relationship between agouti and the brazil nut tree (google it, it's cool) and how over hunting is causing problems. 

We learned a little about climate and the four different layers of the rainforest, as well as animal adaptations that allow them to live there. 

It's a great centre, with a wide range of work sheets to keep little ones interested. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. 

The children's favourite bird was a curacao called 'Luigi'

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Giving Project

We sold our house recently, and as well as using some of the money to purchase our next property, we wanted to give some away.

Not only that, but we wanted to train Cosmo and Lychee in giving too, by modelling, but also letting them have a go. They've been recieving pocket money on and off for a few years and Cosmo regularly gave a few coins to homeless people. After prayer, we decided to take the money, split it four ways, and give each member of the family a "giving fund" with the only rule being that you must give it away before the end of the year. 

I had images of smiling children who were going to think this was so much fun.

I was wrong. 

Both children felt completely overwhelmed and the conversation ended with them saying they wouldn't do it. 

Over the next few days it came out that they felt it was too much money, and that they were concerned about giving it away "to the wrong person". 

After much reassurance they have finally accepted that it isn't a test, and there is no right or wrong. We also encouraged them to split it into a monthly or even weekly target to give, rather than worrying about the whole amount. 

I have to admit I did flinch when Cosmo wanted to give £40 to a homeless man, but to his credit, my husband didn't. He went and withdrew the cash so he could do it. 

Everything in me wanted to say "that money would be better used by a charity that supports homeless people" but part of having assured him that there are no mistakes and he is completely in charge, I'm glad I restrained myself from coercing him into making a different decision. 

Training involves trust. 

And maybe education so that he can make informed decisions later; though he may still not make the same choices that I would. 

I'm glad we're doing the project and my children are learning to be generous young. 

We are also using YNAB to track our progress and at the end it will be great to look through and see where all the money went.