Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weekly Round Up

Think I'll just stop beating myself up over not posting very often, and just accept things tend to be weekly at the moment!

Samuel is still doing well with his business studies. Roarke got him the book by Richard Branson, about how he went into business, and I've been amazed at Samuel's perseverance in reading; he doesn't read many books as they tend to have to be comic style, and about star wars, doctor who etc. So to have him pick this up - and read it willingly - has been brilliant. Its part of the "Quick Reads" scheme and has certainly done the job for him.

We have have a very determined entrepreneur on our hands!

He decided to start with something simple: the old lemonade stand. He researched the receipe via the internet, wrote down the ingredients, went onto the sainsbury site to cost them. Then worked out the sums necessary to end up with a cost price per cup, then decided what profit margin he wanted.

When I pointed out to him that he'd just voluntarily spent 25 minutes on "maths" he was amazed!

He's designed how his stall will look, and is now just waiting for the chance to try out the recipe. He went to sainsburys to buy the ingredients, and impressed a couple standing nearby with his behaviour, standing there with his list and working out the best priced product (naturally we explained this was an HE project, and wasn't HE wonderful!)

This is really positive, especially as he is writing it all up as he goes along, in a special book he's using for the project. Also, last week we had a very negative experience, relating to an aspect of his aspergers that hadn't (until then) been an issue. We are still trying to get our heads around it; not least because it really higlights how "different" he is, which we are finding upsetting.

Not something to share here really, as its too public.

Likewise, life here for us in extremely tough at the moment, in our current living arrangements, but again not something for such a public arena. Just to say that things are tough.

We're continuing to build back up our family love affair with cooking, which I am very pleased about. At our old house the kitchen really was quite the hub of the house, and all the family got involved and interested in cooking. We spent a lot of effort into explaining the science of cooking, as well as teaching the lads about nutrition - way before we were home educating!

We've made the decision to switch to free range meat. We follow a general policy of trying to buy produce that is as local as possible, and have always bought free range eggs. But it dawned on me, after watching an episode of the River Garden Cottage Treatment, that our whole attitude to meat needed an overhaul as we hadn't been including it in our efforts to improve our eating - both for the sake of our health, and for the sake of the environment.

The first free range chicken we bought, we simply roasted it (my old favourite of putting a whole lemon, cut, and some fresh rosemary and thyme inside the carcass). The boys all truly noticed a difference in the taste. We then had a talk about battery farmed animals, and chickens in particular (the boys know the difference it makes in the eggs already), and about respecting animals. Our general family ethos is that if we wouldn't be prepared to kill it, and if we don't respect the animal enough to put time and effort into preparing/cooking it properly, then we shouldn't eat it. Although I'm very much a meat eater, Roarke isn't, and we've tried to be honest and open with the boys about those differences and encourage them to have the freedom to chose for themselves whether or not to eat meat.

The boys also understood the difference about the cost of organic and/or free range meat. However, they saw that the quality and taste of the chicken was so superior that I was able to use it to make a fantastic stock - which tasted good enough on its own - which we used to make a vegetable and chicken soup. Joshua had bowls of it over the two days after we made it!

I'm now itching more than ever for us to have a place of our own again, as our kitchen was designed by us, as a cook's kitchen, and I find it harder to cook in Mum's kitchen.

Jonathan is now 10 weeks old - amazing! He's doing well, though for the past 36 hrs he seems to be unwell - "not himself" - and we aren't sure of the cause. It's got us both a bit unsettled, as it was around this age that we had a menengitis (sp?!) scare with William, spending 3 horribly frightening days in hospital, whilst they ran tests and did lumber punches etc, trying to identify the virus that was making him very ill... they never did give us the name, but said it was part of the same virus family, just "not as deadly"..

Oops, that's my cue to go; he's just woken up and is not happy about it!


Emma said...

All sounds good there Ann, but I hope Jonathan isn't coming down with anything.
Time flies though doesn't it? I can't believe he's 10 weeks already! F is now 14 weeks and full of character - he loves to blow raspberries and coos and giggles all the time.
When are you off to Disney?
Take care. x

IndigoShirl said...

Glad to see you've changed your meat choices. The difference is astounding. We've been organic in both meat and veggies for years. Our tendency is to eat less meat but enjoy what we do eat.

Gosh, I can't believe Jonathan is 10 weeks old! Wish him better from us...:0)

Best of luck with finding your own place soon.

BWs, Shirl