The peanuts are supposedly for the Jay who sometimes comes by but in reality the squirrel think its his. Then we have a mealworm feeder which is firmly in the hold of the Magpies. They have learned how to eat from it hummingbird style and the Songthrushes are now they only ones who manage to get in there before the big birds come in. I had my suspicion that there was a finch about but never seen anybody only the niger seed got less and less. It was very exciting to see the pretty bird suddenly flutter in and have a good pick at the seeds.
Otherwise the garden still looks sad and brown but the bulbs have started to grow and show their green tips. After last weeks gales we fixed the roof on the garden shed and collected the garden chairs from the heap they've been thrown in and the lid of the recycling bin has miraculously turned up again too.
From the kitchen: Chocolate brownies were the highlight I think the Monkeys would say. They are made from milk chocolate therefore they are as pale as they are. Very nice they are. Monday: Pork chops with potatoes and peaches with custard and short bread for desert. Tuesday: Pasta as it was only Little Monkey and me. Wednesday: Dough balls and Griesschmarrn, which is an Austrian thing. It came out of a packet that Grandpa has included in one of his care parcels. I didn't feel up to cook more, it was only Little Monkey and me again. Thursday: Daddy Monkey and I went out for dinner to the Groucho Grill for steak. Yum! Friday: Chicken schnitzel, rice, carrots and salad. It has to be noted that Little Monkey ate very well this past week without demanding pasta every day, he also ate his vegetables.
In the learning room: Still practising simple additions and subtractions. Also introduced the concept of different currencies and what is good value for money. We also learned about units of measurement, weight, temperature, volume and length. We had good fun with the brownie recipe as this is an American book and used completely different units to the ones we looked at, which were all metric. Makes a lot more sense, metric, but then I grew up with that. I have to confess though that I have developed a certain liking of inches, pints and miles. In English we spent some time with verbs and nouns and how to find them in a longer text passage. The biggest challenge this week are still the Umlauts and the article of German nouns and there has been a lot of eye rolling about the maleness of tables, chairs and the like. In art we researched Georgia O'Keeffe and Big Monkey made a big painting of an anemone in the style of O'Keeffe which turned out very well. Big Monkey's saxophone lessons have started as well again this week.
We've been creating: Several layouts with photos I had printed in Autumn last year and a layout with this year's favourite Christmas cards. I've signed up for a postcard swap Alphabetica. Each month I have to create two cards for two letters of the alphabet. I started with B and now trying to think of something for A. I got the paints, inks and crayons out and had good fun getting messy. At one point my hands looked like I had tried to chop them off. That lovely red acrylic ink is indeed permanent, it took a while to get off.
Big Monkey has started drawing a family who fell down a gap in the mountain and ended up in a valley where they all live happily and with friends. She created a proper back story for each character and has now started to draw bags filled with things for the girl who is the centre of the story.
Around the house: We've taken all the Christmas decorations down, chopped up the tree and put it out for the recycling men to take away. There was a bit of a communication issue as Daddy Monkey just chucked the pieces on the pavement while the should have been in the bag. But luckily our bin men are very good and took the tree parts away anyway. We fixed a new letter box and a brush thing at the bottom of the door to keep the draught out and that works fabulous. I fear the postman doesn't agree though. The letterbox is really hard going now and he has to struggle to get the mail through. On the plus side we always hear it when it arrives as it makes such a racket. Everybody's favourite draught measurement, however, is the dinosaur leg magnet that Daddy Monkey has stuck over the lock on the french doors in the kitchen to stop the cold air blowing at his back when he sits there for his meal.
Favourite things: It's not too long until Little Monkey's fourth birthday so I thought he might want to have a look at the Playmobil catalogue and choose something. Yes, yes, I should know better, he wanted everything. From the biggest castle to the remote control airplane and everything Police/Fire/Ambulance related. At first. But then he spotted the recycling dust cart and this is what he settled on. He took the brochure into the bath, into bed and read it with his torch. He was so excited he woke several times in the night (not my favourite thing at all). In the morning he came in and asked, "What do we do today? Is is my birthday or somethin'?" That had me umming and awwing.
Big Monkeys favourite thing this week was her trip to Germany with Daddy on Wednesday which included a visit to the thermal spa.
Date night with Daddy Monkey was dinner and Mission Impossible 3 which both were very enjoyable.