Friday, 14 December 2012


I don't know if jealousy would be the ideal term or not - I'll set the picture and let you decide.

Sunday evening once the others were tucked in bed, Rose came and asked if she could talk to me. She asked me if she was intelligent - I said yes and covered some of the things she had learnt as an example. She then said a couple of the children in her Primary class at church were boasting about being in the top math set and school and how they were already learning algebra and the others weren't. I explained that we had done algebra but not called it that - we call it guess, I even ran through a few examples of what we had done. (2x + 3 =7 so guess what x is). She seemed happier after that and asked if we could do some more algebra in the morning. Gladly I said yes and she went off to bed.

This is a massive breakthrough for us as Rose is the writer but reluctant with math, while Sunflower is a math whizz but a reluctant writer. Rose has been happily doing extra math all week so that she doesn't "feel" behind - she even decorated the front of her algebra book with smiley faces (maths has never had smiley faces before).

I'm not sure if I should call it jealousy, pride or peer pressure - but either way I'm seriously tempted to talk to Sunflowers primary friends and get them to boast of their writing skills : )

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Modern Christmas Cake

I don't know about you, but Christmas cake is one of my weaknesses. Each year we make one together and I thought I would share this amazing recipe with you. This cake is so yummy that last year everyone ate the cake we'd made (well before Christmas I might add) and I ended up making three more of these just so we'd end up with one on Christmas day.

This year my cake is hidden safely away and I'm not telling anyone where it is  - I learn from my mistakes : )

To make a 1/2 lb cake you will need 
1,255g dried fruit - I use a mix of figs, apricots, cranberries, prunes, sultanas and candied orange peel (chop the bigger fruits up)
180ml grape juice concentrate (I buy this from Wilkinsons - it's in he homebrew section)
225g butter
2 tsp lemon zest
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
350g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt

Put all the fruit in a large bowl and add the grape juice concentrate - cover and leave to soak overnight.
Cream the butter then beat in the lemon zest and marmalade. 
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Sift the dry ingredients together then mix a spoonful of the fruit and a spoonful of the flour mix into the creamed mixture alternatively.
Double line a baking tin and carefully spoon the cake mix in. Once done wrap the outside of the baking tin in a double layer of greaseproof paper.
Bake in a preheated oven at gas 2 (150 centigrade) for 3-3 1/2 hours.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and spoon 2 tbsp of grape concentrate over the top and immediately wrap in foil (this will trap the heat, create steam and make your cake nice and moist.) When its cold remove from the tin and re-wrap in foil, store in an airtight container (ideally for 3 weeks)

I don't add sugar to this recipe as the grape concentrate is a sugar substitute. If you can't get hold of it you can always soak the fruit in some orange juice and use 195g of brown sugar and cream it into the butter.

Enjoy : )

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Kids teaching Kids

I love when the girls share their knowledge with each other - it reinforces what they already know and develops strong bonds between them.

This week I observed Rose explaining the decimal checker board to Sunflower (used for long multiplication),

Tulip working on sight words with Rose (please excuse my badly drawn flies but they wanted to splat flies and I didn't have time to print any out)

and Sunflower working on numbers with Rose.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The blur that was November

I can't believe November is over - so much has happened and I seem to have lost time : )

One of the best highlights was Sunflower turning 8. Not only did they manage to have a great birthday party but she chose to be Baptised.

We spent ages sewing her dress

and wrote a great acrostic poem for the occasion.

                     Baptism is making a promise
                     All times, all things, all places
                     Promising to stand as a witness
                     To keep all his commandments
                      I promise to comfort those in need
                     Stand up for the truth and right
                     My way of showing, my love to God

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