Bennett Update

I know we’ve been quiet about Ben specific posts, but with his permission we’ve been asked to share a bit of an update for friends near & far.

Ben’s now 14 and this term has begun to attend some GCSE classes at a local college. (College in the UK starts at 16, but this program lets home educated kids start at 13 for some subjects – last year Ben attended their art & design class.) He’ll attend part time this year and next for his GCSEs (like a high school equivalent.) Once those are completed he’s applying to another college that offers a special program in game technology & art. We’ve toured that campus and learned a bit about the technology they have to work with students with visual impairments, which only increased Ben’s excitement. He’s working at home on coding more so he’ll be ready once he turns 16 and can attend full time at the two year game program.

We’re in a city so Ben is able to catch public transport down to both campuses in city center. He had a few sessions of cane training to help him practice in an urban area and find out some of the ways the city is set up for visual impairments, like special ridged pavements and crosswalk notifications. We also wanted to ensure he could handle the challenges that may pop up while riding the bus solo, like delays or missed stops. While we suspected for years, it was confirmed that Ben will not ever be able to legally drive so being in a country with wonderful public transportation is something we do not take for granted. Many adults here never drive, so it’s not unusual and there are a variety of alternatives for people to get around or handle things like deliveries. It gives Ben an independence comparable to his peers, vs. being stateside where he would have fewer resources to navigate life without the ability to drive. Continue reading “Bennett Update”

Surprise Muffins (With Vegan Version)

When I was a child my parents gave us the Betty Crocker kids’ cookbook, which I loved and adored and wish I still had. We now bake muffins in bulk for our family, but I wanted to see if I could find the old “surprise” muffin recipe online for when the kids want to bake up just one dozen:

1 egg OR 1 T ground flaxseed and 3 T water (mix and set aside)
1/2 cup milk OR other liquid (almond milk, orange juice, etc)
1/4 cup canola oil (rapeseed in the UK, or any healthy oil)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (do 1/2 cup wholewheat at least)
1/2 cup sugar (can do less, but I have a sweet tooth)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup jelly (US jelly, not UK) OR 1/2 cup fruit (grated apple, blueberries, one mashed banana)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees (200 C, gas mark 6)
Grease medium sized 12 muffin capacity pan (or use muffin pan liners, silicon)
Beat egg and stir in milk and oil
Add remaining ingredients (except jelly) and stir until flour is moistened. The batter will be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups till 1/2 full
Add 1 teaspoon of jelly
Add additional batter till cup is 2/3 full
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

If you are doing fruit instead of jelly mix it in gently, then fill muffin cups as usual.

Guess What??

webOne year ago when we had the chance to visit England for Ben’s wish trip we did not in our wildest dreams imagine what would come next…

We’ve moved to England!!

Kit’s working in the city of Nottingham (for his same company in Denton) and we’ve got a great house. We’re connecting with some neat home educator groups and making friends and we are so unbelievably excited to share this adventure as a family – and to share it with you! We’ll be posting photos and videos here to keep in touch with friends and family as we’re exploring our new home.

Though we will miss Denton and our loved ones here SO MUCH, and it does feel like our hearts are being stretched between two places. Hopefully they’ll be able to come visit (hint, hint, y’all!)