Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Along the Way

As we drove to Stoke-on-Trent, we went through a number of little villages or towns. There was one in particular that we decided to go back and visit. The last day that mom was here we did just that. First we went out for breakfast. I enjoy going out for breakfast and that is not something we do often. I wanted my mom to have an English Cooked Breakfast for the cultural experience. She had fish and chips, pasty, and so we added cooked breakfast to the list.

After that we drove to Bakewell. This is a large car park there. I liked that so I didn't have to worry about finding a parking space.

The first place we stopped was a sweet shop. Shelves and shelves of sweets. All different kinds many things I have never heard of. Miss K bought two lollies. 

We wandered through the town. Stopping at the Visitors Centre where Miss K picked up a children's guide of animals to look for in the town. We did about half of that.

Bakewell is famous for the Bakewell Pudding. It seems that three shops sell the original Bakewell Pudding which is a jam pastry with egg and almond filling. I probably should have bought one. There are Bakewell Tarts sold in the supermarket but they are not the same.

We wandered to the church and enjoyed looking around. The church was open so we could go inside.

Miss K is looking at the baptism font.

We then went to the Bakewell Old House Museum. It is an old Tudor House that is a museum. There were a number of interesting things there from various time periods. Again I have to say that I think museums and various other places really make it a place that children enjoy visiting from the dress-up clothing to the doll house or just the explore or search and find sheets. Miss K had three pages just in Bakewell.

We walked down the hill from the museum, past the church and back into the town. This row of houses just seems to be what you think you should see in an English village.

We enjoyed pausing and looking at the ducks and geese in the river.

Miss K and I together.

My mom said the visit was just what she would think an English town would look like. I think we were able to show her bits of our life, the area where we live, and even London. It was a great trip. We miss her.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pancakes are Real

Today Miss K had a story in her reading comprehension book and one of the questions was about what is make-believe from the story. Here is Miss K's question and answer.

I tried to tell her that was wrong. I told her that mothers do make pancakes. I erased it for her to correct it. I told her that trees don't wear hats. She decided to mark both A and C. I guess I should make pancakes but really that is grandma's special treat.

It was requested while she was here. Thanks to Grandpa scanning the recipe and sending it to us we were able to enjoy Grandma's pancakes. The recipe comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook that is about 50 years old.

Here is Miss K ready to enjoy the chocolate chip pancakes. We had them twice while Grandma was here.

Maybe some day I will make pancakes to so that she knows that is it real that mothers make pancakes. I even have Grandma's recipe in my recipe notebook.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

London for a Day

When you think of visiting England one of the things that you think of it London. We debated about where do we take mom/grandma for one special outing. We were debating between the Lake District and London. The Lake District is beautiful with hills to hike and beauty all around plus it has been two years since we were there. London, well that is all the famous sights that everyone knows and loves. In the end we decided to take the train to London for the day.

We took a relatively early train. There is a direct train that has just a few stops and in about two hours you are in London.

Seeing the telephone booths as we came up from the Underground, we just had to get a photo.

We started our day at Trafalgar Square. Here is one of the lions at the base of Nelson's Column. (History lesson coming son and we will meet Nelson and understand this a bit more.)

From Trafalgar Square you can look and see Big Ben. If you are in London, you need to see Big Ben.

We introduced my mom to Pret. We first discovered Pret when we lived in Taiwan and visited Hong Kong. Then we enjoyed it when we lived in Hong Kong. J liked it so much he had it again for dinner.

We started walking towards Big Ben/Westminster Abbey.

We toured Westminster Abbey. There is so much in there to see. I am thankful for my homeschool teaching as I am a bit more knowledgable of the people buried there or the memorials.

Miss K did a children's page and then received a chocolate coin at the end.

We then began walking towards Buckingham Palace. We had gotten tickets for a tour of the State Rooms. This is open for a few months in the summer. We had time until the tour so we walked around the front of Buckingham Palace.

Miss K was excited to see the Palace and where the Queen lives.

My mom and I did get a few photos of us together. I am so glad that she was able to come and visit us.

This is the back of the Palace. We couldn't take photos inside. My mom was smart and bought a guide book so she has all the photo there. There was a special display as Queen Elizabeth is now the longest reigning monarch. That was a series of photos of her life. We walked through the different rooms. I enjoyed the portrait gallery and seeing two Benjamin West paintings. To think that we used to drive past the meeting house where he went each week on our way to Target and then to be in London looking at paintings he did.

We walked through the ballroom which was set up for a state dinner. There were displays which showed all the work that went into a state dinner. We wash our dishes the same as Buckingham Palace -- by hand. Of course, they have dishes from Queen Victoria's time and we just have some dishes from Ikea.

The tour is definitely worth it. Since then I have talked to people that didn't know you could tour it. I am glad that we did it. We had a late in the day tour and it was nice as we didn't feel that it was crowded.

I enjoyed walking through the gift shop and seeing all the things that you could buy. I bought a "Royal Maid" and "Royal Chef".

We made our way back to the train station and got dinner in the station before our train home. It was a long day but I am glad that we were able to show mom/grandma bits of London.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015


I know we have been there before, and another time, and once in the winter. I guess we need to go in the spring. It is one of my son's favourite cities and so we had to take mom/grandma there.

We took the train as that is really the easiest way to get to York, just one stop and then it is York, if we get a direct train. The York train station is in the city that you can easily walk from there.

We started our day by walking to Micklegate Bar which is one of the four main medieval gateways. It is impressive to see and walk through.

Then we walked along the city walls. It is an easy way to get some history and see bits of the city.

We enjoyed being about to show mom/grandma the city that we enjoy visiting.

My mom wanted to see a castle. I think this is the first castle that we took her to see.  There really isn't much of it remaining but considering it was built in 1068.

You can walk around the top of the castle. You can see both the city and inside the castle. I might just get over my dislike of heights.

Here is the view from the top of the castle of the York Minster.

The flowers are so beautiful. I don't think photos can really capture the beauty that we see around us but it is the best that we can do.

We wandered through the Shambles. The kids and I were excited to find an art store and bought some paint for our Greek Urns we are working on.

We made it to the York Minster. This was completed in 1472.

We wandered through. Miss K enjoyed our Explorer backpack with all kids of things inside. J was happy to see and draw some of what he saw in his new sketch book.

We then wandered back to the train station, ate a Cornish Pasty and then took the train home. It was a fun day out and fun to show mom/grandma a city we love to visit.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015


Stoke-on-Trent has been on my list of places to visit. Stoke-on-Trent is the pottery town. There are factories to tour, museums, and shops. It is about 1.5 hours away. I was going to go at Christmas time but then we got snow and there was no way I was driving through the hills to get there. My mom's visit seemed like the perfect time to visit. So it was a girls day out.

We started our day at Wedgwood. Wedgwood recently opened a new museum and store. Normally you need to pay to tour the museum but since we went on Heritage Open Days we got in free.  

We toured the museum and saw various pieces. This is a typical piece that you think of when you think of Wedgwood. 

It was interesting to see some of the samples and how they made them to see what it would look like. There really is some science involved in this process.

Here are some plates hanging on the wall, various Wedgwood plates.

Miss K is able to read and as we were entering the Museum she saw on the map that there was a children's play area. She spent the whole walk through the museum looking for the children's play area. Finally, we found it. Out in the front where some big "bowls, plates, and teapot" made from branches.

She had fun running and playing in the children's play area.

Wedgwood does offer factory tours but it would have been a two hour wait until the next tour and we had other places that we wanted to go to while we were there. We went to some shops. I found a butter box (my Lurpak fits in there perfectly), salt & pepper shakers, a turkey plate and a sugar and creamer with a few other dishes.

There are numerous shops, museums, and factories that can be toured. I did discover that most of the factory tours require that you book in advance.

We had an enjoyable day.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets - TOS Review

Some days I do not feel like a super teacher. Some days I sit with my coffee and wonder how I will make the day interesting. Some days I wish I had some worksheets to give the kids to supplement what we are learning but just do not have the time to create a worksheet. Super Teacher Worksheets to the rescue! I was excited to have the opportunity to review Super Teacher Worksheets. I was given an individual membership for this review.

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

Super Teacher Worksheets is a website with worksheets on numerous subjects. Some of the subjects include:
  • Math
  • Reading and Writing
  • Phonics and Early Literacy
  • Handwriting
  • Grammar
  • Spelling Lists
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Holidays
  • Puzzles & Brain Teasers
  • Teacher Helpers
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Worksheet Generator Tools
Within each category there are numerous worksheets that can be printed. I think most of these worksheets are good for pre-K to middle school through some of the maps can be used with all ages. The website is easy to use. Find the category of worksheet you want and then look at the options. You can view the worksheet then save it to your file cabinet to print it. You print the worksheets directly from the website so you don't have to download and then print. Each worksheet includes an answer key, which will print when the worksheet is printed. I did try to remember to just print the worksheet as the worksheets I used with Miss K I do not need the answer key. The answer key is nice for some of the more difficult worksheets.

Super Teacher Worksheets did rescue my days by adding some variety to the learning, giving easy worksheets for me to give, and providing additional practice. There is so much that Super Teacher Worksheets can help with.

Some of the worksheets that we used were skip counting. I have been working on skip counting with Miss K so it was nice to have some worksheets for her to practice. I have used counting by twos and counting by fives. We have used some of the time worksheets.

As we prepare our memory work for this year, I have been working to put worksheets that reinforce the learning. I have used the butterfly life cycle, frog life cycle, and the solar system. I was impressed with the science worksheets and thankful to find those in one place.

Geography is a subject that we enjoy learning. I have used the Europe map and also the United Kingdom map. Both of those will be a super resource as we work on learning about Europe and the United Kingdom.

There is also a worksheet generator. I used this for creating some math worksheets just for Miss K. It was so easy to just enter the range of numbers for the addends, how many problems and then you have a worksheet.

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

I will also add that Super Teacher Worksheets is very fast to send the password when you forget it.

An individual membership to Super Teacher Worksheets is just $19.95 for a year.

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

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