Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Quiet

It is nearly nine in the evening and the house is enveloped in silence.  There are no pictures to share as I haven't taken any.  I think Dave is having an MS relapse which is not good, from his point as the person experiencing the daily struggles and from my view of having to watch him struggle and being powerless to do anything.  We have a neuro appointment scheduled for next Tuesday.

We have spent the last two weekends with Kath and Mary Grace.  The first so that she could work a weekend shift at work and the second so that she could visit some friends for a pizza supper and chat.  It was lovely to see them both, but the packing, unpacking and attempting to run things at this end has left me overwhelmed and exhausted.  I don't manage very well when I have to step outside "my box."

Depsite struggling with health issues and keeping up with the sewing work, we are still on task with the home school work.  It has been a blessing not having to "think or plan."  I check the schedule, dig out the work and we get on with it.  At long last, we have a system in place that works alongside the whackiness of our life!

I have a respite day tomorrow with a friend and since Dave is unwell, Sara and Tom are visiting, to help with the kids and make sure Dave is OK.  There visit will be such a blessing, as I have had this day planned since the beginning of the summer and it is a much needed chance for some quiet and peace.

You Tube videos have been a welcome distraction and The Art Assigment is just brilliant and definitely well worth watching.

My knitting and a hot milk are calling, love San x 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Finding Our Feet

After the chaos of the previous few weeks we are finally settling in to some kind of routine.  Our daily round is in part governed by Pip's comings and goings for school but we still have a good five hours each day to fit in home school activities and craft/business work for me.  It is a case of so far so good!

  Benedict would have begun secondary education this September and with this in mind, I decided it was time to ditch the unschooling which was not working and to follow a school based curriculum.  The course is specifically geared towards home educators so it is not jam packed full of activities, thus allowing us freedom to meet other folks, attend the fortnightly group if the mood strikes and to follow rabbit trails if a subject grabs our attention and we want to delve further.

We are currently on week three of a thirty six week course. Benedict has made good progress with the English, History and Science but the prescribed Maths course is a non starter!  Benedict was diagnosed with dyscalulia during the summer and as a result we are following a hands on approach to maths, using puzzles and games to reinforce learning.  For the first time ever he is enjoying number work :-)

Our history topic is Vikings (his favourite!), in addition to written work, he depicted a stone painting for art and is currently working on a viking chest.  Woa betide anyone who lifted the lid of the chest without permission form the chief!

In science we are looking at classification and to reinforce our learning we made a yeast balloon!  Sadly the balloon did not inflate as well as we had hoped, but I think this was down to the fact that the rubber material was quite rigid.







 

In English we have been looking at parts of speech and Benedict had fun making up silly sentences using various cards:
 






 "Time to check your bloods Benedict!"
 
 
 Pip is working really hard at school and although she is happy to leave the house in the morning by the time we collect her at the end of the day she is shattered and very grumpy.  In addition to her time spent in school she also has weekly spellings, some literacy/numeracy homework and daily reading.  She also enjoys out of school activities, namely rainbows on a monday, swimming on a tuesday and ballet/tap on a saturday morning for an hour and a half.  Quite a lot going on I know, but I am reluctant to drop down on the out of school activities as she really does enjoy them.  She will be ready for her half term break at the end of this month!

I have been busy in the loft room.  Pip's head teacher has commissioned five medium sized japanese knot bags!  She took the bag that I made her to London a few weeks ago and had so many compliments that she ordered five for Christmas presents!  I also had a lovely chat with a family member over the weekend and she gave me the much needed  push, to think about my client base for the shop and finalise the website. So hopefully things should be live by the weekend.
 
We helped Dave's mum and dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.  The reception was in the original venue all those years ago.  Mum had displayed pictures from the wedding but in between sorting out the kids and chatting I did not take many pictures.  
 






 The smaller cakes were yummy gluten free mini carrot cakes and they were delicious!

So that's me caught up!  Hoping to blog more regularly from here on! x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Emma and Sister Morgan

It has been five years since Emma came home for a visit and waiting for her to make it through arrivals seemed like an age.  When she appeared I gave her the biggest hug ever, I did not want to let go!

 I sent this picture to Kath on her phone ~ she was shopping in Tesco when it came through and Mary Grace was trying to kiss the phone!



 Em and Sr Morgan who hails from Colarado.



 Meeting properly for the first time!  The last time Em saw Pip was when she was four months old.



We had an interesting journey home, Dave and I were both tired so several wrong turns were made :-)


 Still hugging, I could not believe she was "home"



 Saying Grace and serving salad and baked potatoes at 10pm!



Em and Sr Morgan stayed in the caravan.  The last time Em stopped it was in the folding camper and she mentioned this upon arrival, to which I replied that they had been upgraded and it was four star accomodation these days!


 Snapping away, again ...



 ... and again.  Photography and video editing is part of Em's work at The Home Of The Mother TV Studios.


After the wedding they spent a day in Pip's school sharing about The Home with the Key Stage 2 kids (7-11 years).  The kids asked some really good questions and it looks as if the school will partner with The Home's school in Equador.  Em shared a really sweet story over tea that night about a spanish boy having started at the school and  knowing very little English.  When they realised this was the case they spoke to him in Spanish and his face lit up!  After that they acted a translator for him when he was partaking in class discussion about their visit :-)

The week sped by really quickly and before too long, habits were washed and ironed, bags packed and passports/tickets checked.  The checking of passports is a long standing joke for the last time Em visited when Benedict was Pip's age he hid her passport as he did not want het to go!!  I had completely forgotten about that story.


 On the last day the two of them cooked potato corquettes and cheese/tuna omelettes for lunch.  We then made our way along the motorway to Ladywell Shrine where we were meeting some friends and the Sisters were also being collected by a family known to them in the Manchester area.  They would be taking the mega bus from Manchester to London the following morning, in order to attend mass at Westminster Cathedral and then fly out from Stansted later in the day:






 Canon Benedict Ruscillo was Fr Luiz' Uncle and he in turn is Benedict Luiz' God Father!  We chose the name Benedict as it is Hebrew for God's Blessing and Luiz as a second name was intentional, but we laughed when we also realised that he had been named after another priest too!



 Shrine to Padre Pio.





Our dear friends Aunty Maureen and Uncle Bryan.  They cheered our spirits when we had to say goodbye, which was the hardest thing ever and plenty of tears were shed.  As a treat they took us out for tea at a local pub near to their home and then we all attended evening mass at The Cathedral.  By then peace had been restored to my soul and I was able to give thanks for the many graces and blessings we had received that week.

God is good!
 

Friday, 19 September 2014

More Wedding Day Pictures

Here is a photo collection of random shots taken throughout the day.


 Early morning and if you look closely you can see Emma taking the photgraph!



 Kathryn drove through a McDonalds' Drive thru wearing her big hair!



 Smiley Mary Grace ~ she was great throughout the whole day.



 Em and Kath together.



 A funny picture of me and a chance to show Eva my dress, as requested!



Random pictures from The Midland Hotel and the scrumptious afternoon tea, for those who ate it!!

 Heather my Sister-in-Law and resident photgrapher.  She has a website over here.  You can also see some shots of the big day on her blog here


 We managed to "persuade" him into a pair of smart trousers and a shirt!!  No mean feat :-)




 A selection of cakes and pastries.



 Sandwiches ~ egg mayo, smoke salmon, cheese and cucumber and ham.

Next up, Emma and Sister Morgan's visit.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Mr and Mrs

It has been a week since the wedding.  I had hoped to post sooner but things were crazier than usual in these parts!  The service was really lovely and the bride looked beautiful and yes being her mum I am biased!

 Wedding hair do


 Back View


 Wedding Bouquet


 The Happy Couple


 Receiving a horse shoe from my cousins


 Bridesmaid Pip


These are the pictures that really capture the special moments of the day because sadly it was downhill from this moment onwards!  Not only was the cake not delivered to the venue but Sara became very unwell and was unable to enjoy the afternoon tea at The Midland Hotel.  In fact she was so poorly that the out of hours deputising service dispatched an ambulance and a canula line was inserted into the vein in her right arm and two drugs administered, one anti sickness and the other low dose morphine.  Once in hospital the doctor in A&E ran a series of blood tests and administered two consecutive IV drips.  We finally left hospital at 2am, Sara came home with me and Tom travelled back to stay with his parents!!  Despite looking very grey and drawn, Sara managed a lovely smile and said, "I have had a lovely day mum, I'm married and that is all that counts!"

I finally managed to contact the cake lady at 8am the day after and needless to say she was dreading my call :-(  Aparantly she had marked the date in her diary for the 10th October and the cake had not even been iced as she thought she had another month to finish the work! So in between finishing orders for this week, she worked until the early hours to finish Sara and Tom's cake and we had a cutting of the cake ceremony with his family at their home on Sunday:












We had a wonderful family get together.  Tom made some yummy scones including a gluten free version and they were topped with Dave's home made damson jam.  Time sped quite quickly and before we new it, Sara announced that it was half past six and would we like to stay for supper.  We all pitched in with the food prep and enjoyed a butternut squash, spinach, mushroom and pine nut bake, topped with parmesan cheese and chilli flakes, this was served with garlic potatoes and salad.  Dessert was juicy ripe strawberries and cream.

I held it together for the wedding and for our visitors Emma and Sr Morgan (i'll post about their visit tomorrow) but needless to say it has taken its toll and both mine and Dave's health has not been good since the weekend.  We are however making a concerted effort to get to bed early and so I will sign off for now.

Love to those of you reading this and I will catch up with you soon x 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny and co for this week's yarn alongI am knitting some sleeves for a shrug style cardigan to contrast with my dress for the wedding.







  I finally managed to find a dress to only realise that the original waterfall style cardigan would not work because of the change in colours!  I also knew that I would not have time to knit a cardi from scratch so my dear friend Debs, knit the fronts and back, which meant I only had to tackle the sleeves.  Good job too as since the middle of last week I have been poorly with a virus.

The Borrowers is our read aloud and narration book for the first part of this new school term.  We are slowly easing back in to a new school year and  are taking things easy by introducing new topics in a gentle manner.  I would rather we started slow and steady than going crazy and losing momentum half way through!

Benedict did a great job with his narration and worked incredibly hard with his copywork which is not easy for someone with dyspraxia and dyslexia :-)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Helping

Having read about Eva's first day  I pressed the kids into action and gave them plenty of helping jobs around the home.  There is definitely truth in that old saying, "the devil makes work for idle hands" and since Dad and I were sick of their constant bickering keeping them busy provided a much needed outlet for their energy.

Sara and I have been working on painting the front of the house so Benedict and Pip helped scrape off the peeling paintwork:






Benedict also mowed the back lawns and gathered up the apples and pears that had fallen from the trees.  After swimming Pip helped with folding the laundry:









I have just come in from outside painting and am now working my way through youtube links and learning sites, for Benedict and I start school next week when Pip returns on Monday.  He officially enters secondary education and so there is an interesting learning curve ahead for both of us.  Wish me luck!