Any plans for this week have long since been abandoned! As mentioned in my previous post, Monday was very low-key as the boys (and I) were pretty tired after our busy weekend in York. I kind of thought they might be ready to get back into the swing of things on Tuesday, but that thought completely went out of the window as soon as they woke up, when they looked outside and saw SNOW!!! It wasn't a huge amount, but it was more than we had had so far this winter, and definitely enough for snowballs etc so after breakfast we all togged up and went outside for a walk with some lovely neighbouring friends.
Plenty of snowballs were made and great fun was had - Youngest thoroughly enjoyed "accidentally" slipping over repeatedly! As we came off the road and started crossing fields we spotted a trail of drops of blood. We speculated that maybe a local dog-walker had a nosebleed, but we hadn't gone much further when we saw a patch of ground where there had clearly been a scuffle between a predator and its prey. We had been spotting lots of wildlife tracks in the snow, including pheasant, woodpigeon, squirrel, plus fox-prints and those of a rabbit - we think the latter were the most likely culprits. It would be nice to think that the blood spots were from an injured but escaping bunny, although it is quite possible that the blood was left by the fox carrying off its freshly killed breakfast. Retrospectively it sounds quite gruesome, but at the time were were engrossed and fascinated, feeling like proper nature detectives! When I got home I could have kicked myself for not retracing our footsteps, taking photos (we were too engrossed in the trail at the time) and clarifying the likely series of events - but we were distracted by some very friendly inhabitants of the field next to where the atttack evidence was found...
I can tell you, a country walk while it's snowing is one of my absolutely favourite things to do! The last part of the walk was the slowest as we stumbled across a field that usually provides very little challenge but in the snow was quite daunting: we could not find our usual path between grassy patches and huge clods of earth, so we ended up clambering over and through seriously lumpy ground that frequently gave way a little unnervingly beneath our feet. It was certainly a challenge, and as we knew we were close to home, it was a fun adventure. Of course, one of the essential best bits about a winter walk is getting home to peel off soggy outer clothing and warm our noses, toes and fingers while drinking comforting mugs of hot chocolate!
Over lunch the snow disappeared quite quickly, which was good as the boys' friends were due to come and play. No chance of any "work" getting done, but it certainly made for a fun day!
There was no chance of getting much done yesterday either, as we had our monthly trip to the local soft play centre - a great time for the children to run off some energy while the mums chatted and occasionally helped the kids to navigate the intricacies of their disputes! We have such a great Home Ed community here - really lovely people who we all love to hang out with!
I didn't expect to get much done today either, as the boys have swimming lessons on Thursdays, and the whole rigmarole (getting up, fed and ready, driving there, parking, getting changed, swimming, getting dry and dressed and home again) usually takes over the majority of the morning. However, I was woken to the joyful calls of "It's snowing again, Mummy!". I checked online to see how the weather was predicted to develop, and found several people in our locality commenting that the roads were gridlocked as the gritting lorry that went along the road last night seemed to have run out of grit, leaving the road untreated. Several others reported dreadful traffic with local journeys taking hours, and the snow continued until after 10am (the time we usually leave for the pool), so the decision was made: we were staying home.
Well! What a busy unplanned morning we have had! Having had a "fun in the snow" day on Tuesday, the boys weren't interested in going out to play, so warm and cosy we stayed indoors, while the boys did some MathsWhizz (Todo math for Youngest) and handwriting, followed by making some chocolate muffins with Youngest (I LOVED how the delicious baking smells filled our cosy home while the snow was blowing about outside).
Then we opened our new packet of air-drying clay to make some little gnomes and toadstool houses out of empty jam jars (now they have been left to dry for the next day or so before we can paint and varnish them)...
Youngest's Gnome Home
Middle's Gnome Home
they don't look like much, but they will be gnomes, honestly!
Over lunch we watched the Veggie Tales version of "Jonah" (I had been reminded of it yesterday but we ran out of time to watch it before bed), and then the boys all read some books (The Other Kitten; My Brother's Famous Bottom; Titanic and Star Wars) and Eldest sketched a toucan before they finally turned on their computer games, leaving me to catch up with my blog.
It's funny how our days can turn out so very differently to what was planned - but I see the plans I made as being there to help guide us if needed, rather than creating dictatorial "shoulds" to slavishly follow - and so the flexibility of what we do is a total blessing. I am intrigued to know how tomorrow is going to look, but I don't think I'm even going to bother looking at the planner until it's over - and then just for fun to compare how I thought the week might look with how it actually turned out!