Our Unschooled Week #66

I've got all behind again, so am writing this retrospectively.  Luckily I have lots (and lots) of photos to remind me of what we got up to!  Photo-heavy post coming up...

So it was my Mummy's 80th birthday, with the party on the Saturday and her actual birthday on the Sunday.  She had masses of presents and cards to open - and bouquets of flowers everywhere!

After a leisurely breakfast, we headed up to Hitchin Lavender where we had lunch in the barn before exploring the lavender in the rain.

Never one to resist a snail, Tatiana made lots of friends in the soggy field.

The lavender was lovely, and we were able to cut plenty to come home - lavender bags this Christmas?

Also a big fan of tractors, Tatiana loved this one.

Back at Nanny's, the girls donned their party dressses for an impromptu photo shoot before dinner.

My nephew and sister-in-law came round for dinner and we had a delicious roast before Nanny opened yet more presents and the kids played pass the parcel and some other party games.

On Monday we met friends at the local playground, where we saw dogs, squirrels, and dragged sticks (and logs) through the patch of woodland behind.

After lunch, we picked up my friend Paul from the station and headed to Legoland for a few hours (the joy of a Merlin pass!)

The Reef is the girls' new love, where you make a brightly coloured fish and then let it loose in the coral reef.  Lara loves to chase them around and feed them before making more.

Sophia making the most of a character photo opportunity, as always!

And then on the rocking pirate ship with Daddy and Uncle Paul.

Lara is desperate to have a huge playroom where she can build a huge city like this LEGO Friends one.  Steve's going to be busy...

And Tatia on the helicopters in Duiplo Valley with Uncle Paul.

It's such a nightmare to get out of Legoland at the end of the day at the moment, so we stopped in the car park for a picnic before driving home.  Not the most interesting of views, but everyone was tired and hungry so it was a necessity.

After such a long day and late night on the Monday, we spent most of Tuesday at home, with the girls giving Paul a tour of their recent toy acquisitions, and Lara's Transformers Rescue Bots wall and shelf.  Here's one of her photos of her beloved wall:

Lara's new transforming Heatwave she has been desperate for arrived too, so she was delighted with that.

In the afternoon we headed to the girls favourite giant dolls house, IKEA, to play and have dinner.

The drawing boards are always a hit, and Tatiana created a caterpillar, while Lara drew out the characters from her dolls house, the Nuggets and their crazy antics.

The next day we were ready for a day out again, so went to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Arundel where the giant LEGO animals were now fully installed.

We did some pond dipping and Paul managed to find a newt for Lara, following her year-long quest to find one!  Delighted isn't even it!

Sophia and Tatiana unearthed bloodworms and watersnails, as well as plenty of speeding water boatmen.

After lunch, we went out on the boats for a tour round the reed beds where we saw masses of fish amongst other critters.  No kingfisher though, alas.

Plenty of ducks with the males still showing their neutral plumage during the moult.  A visit to the playground before heading home to go out to dinner.

On Thursday we started the day at a special summer holiday after school club, complete with bouncy castle, which Sophia and Tatiana had a few goes on before making some crafts.  After lunch we drove over to the river at Brockenhurst for a paddle and play.

Then we drove into the New Forest to a great place for building dens and space to have a barbecue.

While the food was cooking, Lara created this brilliant race track to play in, a space of dirt cleared for a track, complete with little pine cone cars.  The cars even had little pine needle passengers and drivers.  Just amazing.  Who says kids need expensive toys or tech?!

Those crazy kids soon headed off into the forest and found a brilliant tree across the stream to balance their way over - very Dirty Dancing!

The den was coming on well with Steve taking charge of covering it up with appropriate tree camouflage as it arrived.

On the way home, we made a brief stop at Bolderwood to see if we could spot any deer and managed to find a large herd just a few feet away.  Magical.

Friday was a quite day.  We cooked a big breakfast, then I waved Paul off at the train station, then spent the rest of the day playing and hanging out.

Just as well as we then spent much of Saturday at A&E in Chichester, having the remainder of some ticks being pulled out of Sophia and Tatiana - yuck!  The product of our New Forest visit, apparently the epicentre of ticks this summer!

A great week altogether - apart from the ticks anyway!!