Challenge: One Picture, One Thousand Words Week 6

To find out about the challenge click here.

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Due to the clock change I like most people am a little out of sorts due to one hour less sleep etc, so unfortunately I won’t be able to do much typing today for the challenge but I will do a little.

The shepherd stood by the bottom of the field imparting the trust he had in his border collies to round up his precious flock. Shouting out commands the shepherd managed to get his collies to get the sheep into a sort of circle. Now he used his authority to command the collies to drive the sheep toward him.

A job not many young ones seem today to cherish but this old man loved the challenge to train collies to round up his flock, to be able to care for his flock and to be out in the fresh air all day.

Now the flock was nearby the shepherd issued the command for the collies to drive the flock into his barn to be kept safe during the night. Once he was sure the locks on the barn were all secure he walked to his home and into the kitchen to find his wife dishing up their dinner, whereupon the collies lined up to grab any scrapes and tidbits they would get after their hard day working.

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Soap Nuts

We have begun using soap nuts for our laundry. For those who have never heard of them (about a fortnight ago I hadn’t either), they are a natural well nut/ berry type thing that grows in India (I don’t know if other countries do grow them but I’ve only heard of India), that when placed in 30 degrees Celsius water gives off Saponins (a natural surfactant), which produces a mild cleaning. To use in a washing machine, you put (depending on load) an average of about 3 shells (though they generally are split in half so 6 half shells) into a muslin type bag that is normally supplied with them (just like getting a ball to pour liquid detergent into is often supplied with the bottle it comes in) and put in with your laundry. Nothing else is required. Honest. We did a load of laundry that contained a pair of trousers Bambi had accidentally peed with just the soap nuts and they came out soft and smelling fresh, no urine smell at all. Bambi suffered with eczema when he was a baby and has flare-ups now and then and soap nuts are supposedly brilliant for those with eczema and allergies as they are a natural product, so that is an added bonus to using them.

The reasons we only used the soap nuts on their own were 1) to test out how good they were 2) you do not need fabric softener as soap nuts also have a natural softener in them and 3) although you can use essential oils if you wish a particular smell we didn’t have any the first time using the soap nuts. I ordered some essential oils online and so I did a laundry load yesterday of bed linen and used about 5 drops of lavender essential oil (would only have used 4 but Bambi was helping me pour bottle so ended up with 5) directly onto pillow case and the load came out with a lovely subtle lavender smell. Please note though it is advised not to put essential oils on materials as it may stain, but as this was an older pillowcase I didn’t mind but when I checked the pillowcase there was no stains.

The only problem we have found is keeping track of how many times the soap nuts have been used, as they can be re-used. One set of 3 shells will do 2 or 3 laundry load (depending on again size of load/ how soiled load is), and as I live with my parents, they may use them for a load and I may not know about it, therefore run the risk of using them too many times and not getting the Saponins out of them. Solution: create a tracker to well keep track of them! So that’s what I did, and am making it available to you too! I’ve designed it to be re-usable, so print it off and laminate it, then use a dry-erase marker to mark off. I’ve done the font colour in a traffic light system to help with alerting you to when the soap nuts need to be changed, because as I previously said they can be used 2 or 3 times depending on load.

Leave your comments to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and downloading.

Soap nuts

Preview of soap nuts tracker

 

Click here to download

Note: You are free download as many copies as you like but please do not use for commercial gain.

Challenge: One Picture, One Thousand Words Week 5

To find out about the challenge click here.

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The mother rushed around packing various things into the backpack that they would likely need, mentally checking off a huge list consisting in part of baby wipes: check, snacks: check, drinks: check, favourite toys and books: check, spare clothes for each of the children: check and lunch for all the family: check. The thought had crossed her mind on more than one occasion to just put the house on wheels rather than take half the possessions out of it and try and squeeze them into the backpack.
In between pushing the backpack to it’s holding limits, the mother was checking the kids were getting themselves ready by periodically calling out questions such as “Have you brushed your teeth yet?” and “Have you put your shoes on?”. It amazed her that each time she went out with the kids she had to go through calling out the list to help them get ready.

Eventually she had everything in the backpack and the kids were ready, so she and her husband were ready to take the kids on the train trip. Although she could drive and had a car she often preferred to use public transport to save having to park, to help the environment and teach the kids how to use transport so that if they ever needed to they would have experience of how to use it on their own. If they took the train they opted for the park and ride system as the nearest train station was a bit away from their home to walk to with 3 kids. Therefore the children were use to getting in the car to go to the train station but as their mother drove past the turning for the station, the eldest immediately wished to correct his mother.

“Mum you’ve made a mistake. You went past the turning for the train station.”
“No darling,” she replied “we are going to a different train station today, one you have never been to before.”

A half hour later they arrived at this different train station and the children were in awe. It was a steam train they would be riding on just for fun, not for a particular destination which was all the children were use to in regards to train travel.

Out of the car they filed, well filed implies orderly so instead we’d have to say out of the car the kids scrambled and took to running up to the platform to look at the steam train close up. In their young minds they imagined this steam train to be Thomas the Tank Engine and were happy to be getting to board this magnificent train.

Once on board they loved the noises of this classic style of train. The children decided to look out the window and observe which things along the tracks were black after their parents explained that because it was a steam train, the soot turns anything that it touches black.

Lunchtime came round while aboard the train and the mother thanked herself for remembering to pack the baby wipes so the kids could clean up to have their lunch.

The day was a success as the children had renewed their love of trains and seen them for an amazing mode of transport. Their parents were also delighted that it sparked in the children a desire to learn about trains and transport. Once they got back to the train station, they were happy to visit the gift shop and buy books on trains and transport for their children.

Shapes for Pre-schoolers!

I mentioned in this post that I planned to bring out a printable pack for pre-schoolers on shapes. I plan to also bring out one on 3-D shapes to, so check back for it.

This pack contains a few things including shapes that have dotted lines along the edge for kiddies to cut out, to colour by shapes (with thick lines to help them colour in the lines), to a Who Am I? Quiz. I hope you have fun, and remember even if how you plan to use it doesn’t go right, as long as the kids are having fun I am sure they will learn something.

Bambi had fun cutting out the shapes then finding the correct one to match the examples. Cinderella gave up using her plastic scissors to cut out shapes and just ripped the paper to get out the shape, but later came to me for a bit of help to cut the shapes after watching her big brother have help from me to cut his shapes.

Let me know how you get on with this pack. I hope as I said to do a 3-D shapes pack but also other packs on different things for preschoolers such as some animals. If I do bring out more, would you return to my blog for more packs? Let me know if you would return for more packs.

I plan to hopefully upgrade my WordPress account someday, (meaning the URL of my blog would change) so if you would want more packs I’d recommend if you’re a WordPress user to follow my blog, and then you’ll be able to easily find my blog. If you are not a WordPress user you can follow my blog with emails- you will get an email every time I post a new blog- just click the little icon on the right hand side of the page that is for following by email. That way even if I do upgrade you will still get easy access to my blog and the packs I offer.

Leave your comments below and thanks for taking the time to download.

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Above is the front page of the pack, for all of the printable pack:

Click here to download

Challenge: One Picture, One Thousand Words Week 4

To find out about the challenge click here.

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Before starting the challenge this week I thought I’d share why I chose this picture and story. Bambi’s other granny and granddad got a Collie puppy this week and Bambi excitedly told me all about it. Cinderella was apparently less enthusiastic than her big brother at meeting the puppy – she was drawing on paper on the floor when the puppy decided to walk on to her picture and sit down, so she wasn’t amused. In honour then of my nephew and niece I’m writing about the breed of dog that Bambi and Cinderella have at their home – a Labrador. Now to the challenge:

After reassuring her child it was okay, she put the blindfold over his eyes and tied it tight enough not to fall off but not so tight she’d injure him. She then checked his car seatbelt was securely fastened, as his anticipation over the impending surprise grew. Safety checks were then done quietly on her daughter’s car seat so as not to wake her up from her nap. With her husband locking up, she got in the front passenger seat of their car and waited for him to arrive to drive to the destination they had been planning to go to.

With each minute that passed along the journey the boy’s excitement made his words turn into squeaks, with his mum having to remind him to talk in a low voice so his sister wouldn’t wake up. In the boy’s mind an eternity passed on this journey, so he kept asking if they were there yet, to which his parents replied nearly. The car stopped and the question was raised again but his parents explained that the traffic lights had just gone red so they would have to wait for it to be green to go again. Forever in this excited boy’s mind passed by as he awaited his surprise, and once again the car stopped but to his delight the answer he had been waiting for was given. They had arrived.

A car door was opened and shut, then he heard his door open and felt his mum lean over him to undo his seatbelt. He reached up and behind his head to untie the blindfold but his mum gently took his hands and told him to wait until she had got him out the car and walked him to the surprise and then she’d take it off for him. Meanwhile he heard his dad getting out of his seat and going to undo the straps of the carseat his little sister as stealthily as he could. After having accidentally woke their son up once when he was a baby and seeing how his wife responded, he always now took care to keep a sleeping baby asleep.

Taking a firm grip of her sons hand she led him out the car and walked slowly with him up a path and then he heard a doorbell ring. A lady’s voiced welcomed them to her home and then his mum guided him down a myriad of corridors. A door was opened and they all went into this room and his mum told him to kneel down and she would take off his blindfold. With his eyes blinking to adjust to the light he saw a metal playpen full of puppies. Unable to utter a word he looked back at his parents with a huge smile and awe struck expression. His dad placed the car seat gently on the floor, and came down beside his son on the floor and told him he was allowed to chose one to take home. Still unable to utter a word he stuttered out “Really?” to which both parents replied “Yes”. The lady asked him if he would like to get in the playpen to chose, so his dad lifted him over the playpen frame so he could crouch down among the little puppies that now engulfed him. There was 2 chocolate ones and 4 golden ones, but after initial curiosity wore off the puppies wandered off.

Only one golden puppy remained in his lap and curled up and started to shut it’s eyes to go to sleep. The lady then reminded him that he can chose any puppy he wants but it seemed as if that puppy wants him. He looked up at where the others had gone to and then down at the one in his lap and thought out loud “If this puppy won’t leave me, then I won’t leave it”. The young boy then looked up at his parents smiling at him, and his mum asked him what he wanted to call the puppy. His reply was very insightful for a young boy “How can I name my puppy if I don’t know if it is a puppy boy or a puppy girl?”. All eyes turned expectantly to the lady who informed them it was a puppy girl. Looking back down at his puppy he said “Bella. I think Bella is a good name”, he then looked to his parents to see approving nods.
A week later they all returned to collect the puppy, and the young boy was filled with happiness watching his puppy grow and would often sit on the grass with Bella on a sunny day cuddled up together enjoying each other’s company.

Challenge: One Picture, One Thousand Words Week 3

To find out about the challenge click here.

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The young girl wandered about the meadows enjoying the fresh air in her lungs. She stooped down to pick up a flower and smell it’s aroma. She continued to walk aimlessly around the meadows with youthful joy. Being awestruck at butterflies resting on some buddleia shrubs sporadically spaced throughout the edges of the meadow. Being timid near flowers where pollen was being collected by bees. Looking high up in the sky as birds dived and soared in the air.

She skipped about enjoying the autumn air with her backpack her mother had filled with goodies for her to enjoy on her journey. She noticed a lone tree and took solace from the midday sun. Rummaging through the backpack she found a bottle of juice, sandwiches, an apple and a packet of crisps. A small blanket and a novel were also packed by her mother, so the young girl decided to have a picnic under the lone bare tree. The blanket was laid down under the tree and she sat down to her picnic. After finishing her small picnic she shook the crumbs off the blanket.

For the rest of the afternoon the young girl lay on the blanket, content to enjoy the warmth of the sun though under the shade of the tree and reading the novel her mother had provided.

I’m still here

In view of the fact I’ve blogged before about fearing that this blog won’t stick, just thought I’d say I haven’t abandoned this blog. I will be back for my next challenge, but as regard other posts, I’m working “behind the scenes” on them. For example, spoiler alert!: I plan to make available to you a printable pack for preschoolers that I’m going to be using with Bambi and Cinderella. I plan to do another review on a product I’ve been using. There are a few more blog ideas I’m working on, so just bear with me please. It can take some time to put all this information together, and as regards the printable pack, I don’t want to post it until 1) I’ve finished it (got a few more pages to finish off) 2) I’ve “test driven” it to make sure there is no issues that I can find with it.

Challenge: One Picture, One Thousand Words Week 2

To find out about the challenge click here.

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Sitting by the fire in living room she enjoyed the warmth of the indoors. She gazed outside at the snow falling on the trees, turning the brown bare limbs into white statues. Her eyes caught the white boots her mother had bought her and she wondered what it would be like to try them on. Tentatively she put her right foot in the right boot then her left foot into the left boot and tied the laces so tight her blood supply was almost threatened to not getting to her toes, but she dare not risk the boots coming off. She got up to walk in them and found herself struggling to keep herself upright and doing a penguin wobble to the right when putting her right foot forward, and another penguin wobble to the left when putting her left foot forward.

On the way to the front door she stopped at the coat rack and put on her coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Inhaling deeply as she stepped outside and closing the door behind her she anxiously looked forward to what she was about to embark upon. Coming upon the snow laden fence, she climbed over it to the thick ice pond behind it. The boots finally stopped penguin wobbling as the steel blade gripped into the ice, yes the ice-skating boots were home. Pushing out on her right foot then left forming v’s on the ice floor, she began ice-skating, sticking to the outer edges of the pond she went full round the pond, back to where she began gradually gaining enough confidence to go to the middle of the pond. After a few times going round and round the middle of the pond, she decided she would try one foot on the ice only. After mastering that she started experimenting with some of the basic moves she had observed on television professional figure skaters doing. The professionals do so elegantly and gracefully yet she could not seem to do so, spending more time on the ice from falling than on the ice by skating.

When she could no longer stand the cold freezing her bones, she penguin wobbled back to her home to get out her soaking clothes into warm, dry clothes. Once in the clothing that was dry, not soaked she went back to the living room that she had been in to gaze back out at the snow laden trees and ice pond that had become her ice rink.