November had to be cruisy after the insanity of October, plus we usually start winding down about now anyway. We stayed home a lot.
One of the things about not learning in an institution is accepting that the stuff taught and learned in institutions isn't the grand authority on all that's worth learning. I know this, but sometimes I don't really know it. Like on her day, 11yo said she wanted to get her nails done.
My immediate response was "pick something educational".
I'm not sure why mouths sometimes just randomly fire off before engaging the logic part first as not only would it make a lot of things so much easier, it would probably also make the world a better place in general. 11yo has spent a couple of years studying makeup artistry, nails were part of that, so we would learn how nails got done professionally. Also, I got her to research the nail places at the shopping centre we were going to in order to get some idea of prices. As it turned out none of them had prices on their websites (which is really annoying) so we had to do actual legwork.
This month, we started sliding back into normal. Seeing as most grocery stores have now stopped providing single-use plastic bags, we've ended up with a lot more cardboard boxes which get put to good use:
Here after watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 he's made a cardboard version of the Infinity Gauntlet complete with the little stone things on top.
The month kicked off with 9yo deciding to make his own "card game" after ages of playing Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh. After quick playtests with me and 11yo, 11yo decided to help make even more "cards". I use the term loosely bcause the "cards" were all A4-sized.
The game was fairly simple and entertaining, and after playing a couple of times 9yo decided that he probably needed more "good" cards as it didn't take very long for me to die despite the lives and death prevention things that had been added in the iteration with 11yo.
Early in December we realised we hadn't been swimming for a while. After a hefty argument (JJ prefers swimming in fresh water, the bigs and I strongly prefer the beach and 8yo doesn't care as long as it's swimmable) we hit up Serpentine Falls with a friend and their kids.
The first thing we noticed was that the blackberry bushes had been cleared out and when we got there the top carpark closer to the falls was closed, though there were some cars in there (either ignoring the fact the gate was supposed to be shut or perhaps they were in there before it had been shut).
The kids wanted to go trick or treating for Halloween, so we ended up doing some quick Halloween research and reading and decided that the proper way to do things was not to do the commercialised going around begging for candy but to give the neighbours candy. However we had no time to prepare for that and 10yo's birthday was kind of vaguely in the vicinity so we decided to do a "spooky themed" birthday party instead.
10yo did up a master list comprising of other lists, and lists for food shopping and various party supplies. JJ took care of the food as he usually does and Nanna and I split shifted picking up party supplies over a couple of weeks.
One of the things 10yo had wanted was a banner so she and 8yo worked on making one up:
8yo kicked off the month by discovering that bubble bath mixed with water is a much more effective bubble mix than detergent mixed with water, and that pipe cleaners are easily repurposed into bubble wands.
I'm not sure whether he made that discovery on his own or was assisted or led by 10yo.
July and August were a bit of a blur as some not fantastic events occurred which monopolised my thought processes. We got reacquainted with death when my last two cats died within two weeks of each other (the one before had died Christmas last year and we had also lost a guinea pig recently). There were some extended family dramas which didn't involve us directly which fortunately resolved before getting down and dirty with the legal system became necessary rather than advisable. Sprat was up for the semester break which is always great and the kids and I had lots of interesting conversations. Unfortunately I can't remember any of them.
Really nothing much happened this month, mostly because I did something to my neck which had me pretty much out of action for a couple of weeks and I spent most of it in bed, and then took it extremely easy for the rest of the month. Unlike Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the types of plays written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes and Aristophanes (all of which the kids kind of know about and have a very passing interest in thanks to Horrible Histories) were not so interesting for children (and to be perfectly honest not doing too much for me either). 12yo has been reading our Manga Shakespeare collection again though, mostly Midsummer Night's Dream which is a favourite of mine.
May was a pretty cruisy month for a variety of reasons. Initially, we were recovering from an April that managed to be both crazy (but not nearly the same level insanity as the end of the year usually is) and relaxing. Then everyone took turns being sick. We're all good now.