Monday, 30 March 2015

The Kindness Of Kids

We have still been working on thinking about others and blessing folks where we can; however the last few days of the 40 Acts series have been more difficult to implement and I didn't manage any last week due to the icon workshop.  Benedict and Pip have taken the challenges to heart and so I thought I'd post some of their independent efforts here:

 A pop up cafe.

 Only a Lego mad kid could work out his own unique way of apologising and the really cool thing is that the pieces were all interlocking :-)

 A chocolate treat for Mother's Day on Laetare Sunday, which marked the midway point in Lent.  I cannot believe we are now in Holy Week.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Icon Workshop

Just over a week ago I spent a precious three days in the icon studio and was blessed in so many ways:

 Peter helping Brenda with her icon.

 Sr Mary Stella working on her icon in the far corner.

 Peter demonstrating how to work with gold leaf on Jan's icon.

 My St Michael almost finished.  I have to paint in his staff and add more definition to his hair. 

 I am very pleased with him and my progress as he is only the second icon I have completed.  Since I was unable to attend the first two days of the course, I did not guild the background or the halo of my image, instead I used another perfectly acceptable method of floating the paint on to the board, thus adding depth and definition.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Beatrix Potter

We have had another round of very busy days, so I thought I would start with today's main event and hopefully I will add the others at some point!

We kept our trip out a secret and only told the kids once we were on our way.  Sara and Tom had arranged to meet us in Kendal and it was here that we deposited Benedict.  They had lunch and then spent the afternoon at Games Workshop painting figures and watching other kids play role playing board games.  Benedict met another few lads his own age and they had a great time chatting about various interests.

Whilst the three of them were occupied we took the opportunity to take Pip to the Beatrix Potter Museum in the lake district.  The last time we were here Pip was only this big  She enjoyed following the trail but I definitely think there was something magical about taking her when she was a lot smaller.  Regardless we did actually manage a trip out of the house, other than visiting people's houses and that was certainly an achievement!

 "Hey, mum I'm taller than Peter now!"

 Straight from the oven gluten free seeded rolls and a yummy cream of tomato and sweet potato soup.

 Decaff lattes, one chocolate brownie and one berry and almond slice, both gluten free.

 Filling in the first box on the quiz.

 Peter Rabbit and a cheeky robin.

 Neat Writing.

 A blurry picture of Dave deftly hiding his walking stick ... "I don't need a walking aid!"  Who is he trying to con?!

 Gorgeous colour on a very wet, dark and windy day.

 Pip watching Mrs Tiggywinkle hanging the washing to dry.

 The old lady herself.

 Looks like Peter is receiving a scolding from his mother!

 Peter's nemesis, Mr MacGregor!

We had an extra passenger in our car on the way home, a very large Peter Rabbit!  I wonder what Mary Grace will think of him when she next visits!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A Big Ol' Catch Up!

We did not fall off the face of the earth :-)  These past few weeks were more crazy than usual and by the end of each day I was too tired to log on line.  

Kathryn started a new job just over two weeks ago and her training has necessitated a trip across the border to the big city an hour's drive north from here, so we looked after MG whilst she was at work.

 Playing with the jigsaws before bed ~ I did have to referree one or two minor spats!!

 Helping Grandad with the laundry!

Pip is finally back at school for morning's only.  Her health is slowly improving but her return has not been without some difficulties.  Every morning for the past two weeks she has been very upset and angry about having to go to school.  I know that when she started school we always knew the time might come where she would want to be at home. 

 In an ideal world I would remove her from school and teach her at home but we don't live in an ideal world.  Our house is stretched to the limit with health difficulties and other needs and I know that we would struggle to meet her need for social interaction and getting out each day.  Still it is quite distressing to see her in such a state.  I have a meeting with her teacher next week and will be raising our concerns including the dreaded "star of the week" rewards programme, the link is not for Pip's school but the premise is just the same. 

 Since the New Year Pip has obsessed about why she hasn't had the star of the week as she works hard, completes all her home work and tries her best each day.  She has become demoralised and her confidence has been shattered and I think this is one of the reasons for her unhappiness.  I am all for genuine praise for kids but I do not agree with this motivational carrot. Needless to say these past few weeks have been more tiring than usual and I am at a loss as to how to help her.

Benedict has also had some whacky blood sugars and as always the diabetes keeps me on my toes.  My sanity saver has been the icon painting at Hyning and I will be in the workshop for three days next week as part of the intermediate course led by Peter Murphy 

 Homework!  Prepping the St Michael icon for the course next week.

We have done a pretty good job at keeping up with our 40 Acts challenges and so here is a rundown of the past week:

 Love Letters, either on paper or by text.

 Blessing a stranger ~ I bought the chocolates whilst shopping on Monday.  I had the opportunity to bless the cashier with them as she was looking worried and so I stepped out of my comfort zone and handed them over.  She was thrilled and shared with me that she was worried about an up and coming house move, so that nudge from God was spot on!!

Sending some treats to some green parent mums who needed cheering up.

 Thursday's challenge was to think of the marginalised and I am grateful that we were able to make a subscription to this organisation, who in turn will bless a prisoner in need.

The 40 Acts project has given me a focus outside of myself and the immediate family and this has helped enormously during those difficult moments.

It is Mother's Day here in the UK tomorrow.  Debbie and the boys are visiting so the kids and I have a different afternoon treat planned from our usual chocolate twirl bars!

Thanks for popping by :-)

Friday, 27 February 2015

#40 Acts ~ Tick Tock

I was too tired to post yesterday's challenge here on the blog but I did upload my picture and the enclosed commentary on the facebook and instagram page:


Bang on time!  Punctuality could be my middle name and I get totally stressed if I am running late.  Today's post got me thinking about how easy it is for some to manage time keeping and for others it is an all round nightmare.

The post mentioned that habitual lateness can sometimes mean an inability to put others needs before your own but it can also mean that a person has a recognised disability such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.  So the next time you are hanging around waiting at a bus stop or feeling a lemon all alone at a restaurant table, spare a thought for those trying to make sense of the chaos inside their head.

As a result of my posting on FB a lady left a comment stating that as a result of reading my post she had decided to be more charitable towards some of her friends that are consistently late when meeting.  So my post had done its job in encouraging others to think of other possibilities beside an uncaring or selfish attitude.

  Benedict himself has all three of these difficulties and I witness daily how these impact not only on everyday life but also on his management of the diabetes.  Whereas most kids his age with diabetes are off doing their own thing, Benedict needs constant monitoring over and above the norm. He often forgets to check his bloods or give himself insulin and working out the maths behind each morsel of food is a major headache.

All of these conditions are hidden and it is only when a very able child is falling further and further behind does it become apparent that other factors are at play.  Knowing what I do know has helped me work out the best way forward for him and following set curriculums with copious amounts of writing and notetaking are a non starter.  We are working with a home made package of mainly practical work with the odd work book thrown in!  It is a case of mother and son working together, looking at the problems and trying to find the solutions.  It is not an easy journey but it is certainly an interesting one!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Farm Visit

Here are the pictures from our farm visit last week, which I had intended to post on Sunday but was too tired.

 Feeding the goats.

 Holding a silky bantam...

 ... and stroking a very large rabbit!

 A roaming emu.

 Feeding a hungry horse.

 A mummy sheep and her newly delivered lamb.

 Colouring before lunch.

A great day out!

The theme for today over at 40 Acts was generosity.  I am still pondering a way of blessing another person with one of my possessions and since I have just recently had a massive clear out, the charity shop option was not an option today!  If you are interested in today's challenge then click on here


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

#40Acts ~ Thankyou

Today's challenge was to say thankyou either verbally or written, so I decided to send this card to my brother-in-law and his partner:

They have been a great support over the years and this card says it all!  #40Acts  #sayingthanks