Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A summer catchup ...

50th anniversary cake
We've had a very good summer, fun and, at times, non-stop.  August especially seemed a month full of "happenings".  There was a very special lunch time event at Hambleton Hall along the banks of Rutland Water celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of Paul's parents.  Words cannot describe how delicious the meal was.  Without wanting to sound like a snob, "normal" food will never seem as appealing after witnessing the combinations of flavours carefully put together in the menu we had that day.  Even the fish and chips that the children had was superior to the chippy with the accompanying peas being surved in a tiny little copper saucepan which was a big hit around the whole dining table! Presentation and friendliness of the staff made everything so relaxing and enjoyable.  Gushing over - but you get the message, it was truly a memorable occasion.
Ben with his little copper saucepan!
A week later, my sister's annual family get together was just as fabulous and great fun.  It's lovely to all get together for a long natter, lots of grub, lots of fun games and to see how the children have all grown and developed in their personalities over the year.

Earlier in the month we took a trip to Yorkshire for another family do - a garden barbeque. Lots more catching up and an all round fab relaxing day. 

Katie had friends to stay from Wales and Skye - a couple of noisy nights where Paul and I decided to camp outside rather than wait for them to all go to bed!  The second night they fell asleep on the sofa at about 4am, so a wise move on our part don't you think?  Busy days too with me being a bit of a taxi driver.  Lots of shopping, lots of chitter-chatter, lots of pizza eating (and bbq as I recall - the weather was very kind).
The Girls
One of the biggest days in August for us as a family was Thursday, 25th.  Katie, along with her home ed friend, at the ripe old age of 14, had taken her GCSE maths foundation earlier in the year.  It was a tense time waiting for the results (for me, more than her I think).  Throughout our HE time, maths has always been a bit of a problem for Katie.  Not that she was incapable of doing it, just she couldn't see the need.  We'd finished the KS3 maths course in a year (as had Ben) and so from September last year until her exam we concentrated on the foundation course.  It was touch and go, especially when we hit algebra!  Say that word to her now and she'll raise her eyebrows!  I couldn't fathom it out at her age either, although in the end she was able to, but having worked alongside her learning it all I got very into it - loving it actually - which would naturally drive Katie up the wall!  Anyway, the exam came and went, with much "do you think this was the right answer" popping up several times afterwards.  Then 9 a.m. on the 25th August I got the "ping" on on phone saying the result was through.  I had to keep checking it (and zooming in) to make sure but she'd passed.  She was extremely happy, I was in tears through happiness and relief!  We'd heard over the years of successes in exams from HE children, now we have added to that stat.  She'd worked hard and solid through those months (but not without some hassle and arguments I have to say), but she knew as time grew closer that the result was important for her future and she worked as hard as she could.  One under her belt and now working on GCSE English with a science and hopefully art to follow.  Way to go Katie!

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