Monday, 18 July 2016

Crochet :: Permaculture :: Food Intolerances

We have actually had sunshine and blazing heat today!!  Time seems to be whizzing past and this is the first time I've had chance to pop on here to say, "Hello!"

Our home school learning journey is progressing well and we will continue during the summer, interspersed with summer camp activities for both kids.

I've had fun working on a long forgotten project:

 A stripey crochet blanket.

 Double crochet stitch and treble crochet stitch.

 The main section was made using left over yarn from previous projects.  The edging consists of wool purchased from a charity shop last Thursday.  The colours are lovely but I had forgotten that somewhere along the line I have become a "yarn snob" and working with pure acrylic wool is awful!

I have also been busy reading.  The Moneyless Man was not only informative but a very honest and enjoyable read.  Mark Boyle offered a no holds barred account of his year living without money; he bartered, skip (dumpster) dived and even managed to thumb a lift to his parents' family home in Ireland in time for Christmas.  He began the journey providing a free meal for several hundred people and closed the project with a one day festival.  Not only does the book challenge us to look at different ways of doing things, it also reminds us that true value and worth cannot be solely ascribed to a monetary value.  There are some things in life that you cannot quantify, one of which is the work done in the home, either by one parent or both.  Running a home and the caring and educating of children is a formidable task, if each individual task were undertaken by another person, the weekly cost would run into several hundred pounds!

 I am still reading "Radical Contentment" and so I will hopefully offer a commentary once it is finished.

In addition to the usual daily round I am working on an initial permaculture design for the running of the home, the home school programme and how to proceed with my obligation for "working" an additional 16 hours per week.  Using permaculture principles is a positive way of addressing what is going on with the reminder that, "the problem is the solution!"  As in all things nothing is ever set in stone and so the design is re-evaluated and adapted time and time again.  My first design looked great on paper but it became apparent that it was not sustainable on a long term basis!  Not when it meant that in a 24 hour period that 23 of those hours were assigned a task and accounted for!!  Eight of those hours did include sleep, I hasten to add!

 Looby Macnamara is a well known permaculture tutor.  This book is packed full of information and questions for self reflection.

Pip had a blood test over a week ago and we received the results on Friday.  She tested positive for IG(g) antibodies for gluten, dairy, soya, peanuts and egg.  We are no strangers to avoiding gluten but the latest results means a whole lot more label reading and checking the ingredients when out and about:

 Waiting for a gluten free fish and chip supper early last week, I'm hoping that this place will continue to be an option for us :-)

Hope whatever you are doing that life is treating you kindly x 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Little Flowers Tea

We had our first ever Little Flowers Tea on Sunday.  Despite the weather forecast predicting rain, the sun shone and a lovely time was had by all.  The food was in three courses interspersed with quizzes and games.

 Saints bunting made by the girls and mums.

 Three of the flowers.

 Gluten free scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

 Table decorations, flower posy, paper tea cups and spoons holding a scented rose and three rose candy melts as party favours.

 A small selection of food :-)

The girls worked really hard, they made beautiful hanging rose baubles, bunting and mini saint pictures as well as serving the sit down tea to their guests, over twenty in all.  The tea was declared a success by one and all x 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Ribchester Romans

We have had another busy home school week.  The kids are working on a joint unit The Romans.  I know that Benedict has looked at this period before but there is always something new to explore.

 Pip had fun finding common place names and seeing their Roman counterpart, Gloucester was Glevum but London had kept its Roman heritage.

 Tombstone Carving.

 Domestic bowls and flagons.

 Locks and bolts.

 Pottery fragments including some Samian pottery from Gaul.

 Animal bones.

 Roman Cobbler.

The museum grounds are also home to a full time archaeological dig which involves students from the University of Central Lancashire.  We were given a tour of the site and also had the opportunity to chat with one of the professors in charge of the dig:

 That little black splodge in the middle of the sieve is in fact a Roman barley grain!

 All samples are placed in this "washing machine."   The silt and clay soil sinks to the bottom and the finds are caught in a very fine sieve.

 Samples hung out to dry.

 Fragments of animal bone and a Roman nail.

We concluded our trip with a visit to the church next door:

 A prayer tree, Pip and I placed a leaf for Daddy :-)

We made it to the car just before the heavens opened!  

A successful day :-)


Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Gratitude List

I cannot lie.  The outcome of the EU Referendum has left me reeling.  I voted Remain even though there are parts of the EU that I do not agree with such as the unnecessary waste within the goverment departments and the pressure on faith schools to promote certain practises that are not in line with church teaching.  This is contrary to the original ethos of the EU which was to promote a moral and stabilising force in addition to supporting peace, solidarity, subsidiarity and to improve living and working conditions throughout the member states.  Over the years there has been too much emphasis on economics and so the original vision has been diluted over time.  These concerns however pale into insignificance when it comes to the reality of our current situation within the UK.  Our country is in a crisis, the political parties that are meant to govern are feuding amongst themselves, Scotland quite rightly is now calling upon another referendum to divorce itself from the UK as they voted overwhelmingly to remain and even London wants to remain part of the EU.  We have also witnessed the worst of society which culminated in the death of Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen who was murdered at the end of her surgery and since Friday there have been physical and verbal assaults against anyone not deemed "British."  The far right "Britain First" neo nazi party have called for the repatriation of all foreigners and quite rightly so many folk are frightened indeed.  In short I am ashamed to say that I am British.

As a Christian I know that God calls me to reach out to those in need, to love my neighbour, help the oppressed and in short be that good samaritan.  When all was falling around me on Friday He graced me with a passage from scripture during my quiet time in adoration:

 God is good!

So without further ado here is my list of thanks this week:

Glastonbury is on i-player, it's the nearest I'll get to ever being there :-)

Pip finished another set of Singapore Maths books so we will be consolidating what we have learned and then moving up to level two at some point during the week.

I managed to get both kids to mass today, now THAT IS NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE!  Pip and I attended St Joseph's this morning which included children's church.  Benedict and I went to the Cathedral this evening, I cannot remember the last time him and I were on our own!

I've got back into the swim of things quite literally which has included an extra swim and pool physio lesson before the usual Wednesday swim meeting.  That extra half hour session really made a difference to not only my swimming but also the pain in my back, right shoulder and knees.

Carrying on with the exercise theme I have even hopped back on the exercise bike, 12 km travelled each night after tea.  I use this time to catch up with you tube subscriptions and so I don't feel bad about screen viewing during this time.

Dave has been having reflexology sessions at Slynedales and we have noticed a small improvement in his walking ability as each session and week goes by.  He also finally had his first session with a neuro physio on Wednesday.  She is working on strengthening his leg muscles but as we suspected his upper body strength is really good, he uses his arms to really pull himself up the stairs.

Whilst Dave was in his physio session, Pip and I walked to the Royal Voluntary Service cafe for an ice cream:

 " Cheese, mummy!"

On our walk back we also spotted this interesting landing place:

The helicopter landing pad!  It was only after I had taken the picture that I had noticed the sign that said, " no unauthorised personnel" oops!

We were treated to really gorgeous weather on Thursday and spent the day with some home ed friends at Holker Hall.  The kids had the play area to themselves leaving the parents to chat and drink tea!

 Butternut soup and gluten free bread.

 A discussion about which ice creams to choose, it is a very serious business making the right choice!

 Gorgeous blooms!

Pip learning to play the harmonica.  We have been treated to its melodious tones at six in the morning!

Looking at these pictures has really lifted my spirits, so a timely reminder to keep looking for the joy ;-)


Monday, 20 June 2016

Waldorf Wanderings

The day began with the usual routine of maths followed by an activity of your choice and Pip chose to work on Scratch computer coding.  She worked well with Dave whilst I was being prodded and needled at my acupuncture session!

After a quick outside recess and an apple snack, Pip and I settled down to another main lesson fable entitled "The Wind and The Sun."  We read the story from the Waldorf Teachers Website and once more Aunty Mable came up trumps!

The Windy Day.

We both enjoyed watching the programme and then we discussed the moral behind the story. Pip did a great job explaining that the wind seemed to be quite proud and boastful and the sun was soft and gentle.  The sun won the challenge and so the lesson learned was first impressions can be deceptive and that nobody likes a boastful person!

We had rain first thing this morning but by late morning the wind had successfully blown the clouds away and so a windsock craft was the order of the day!  I found a really useful idea that also linked in with pre first communion preparation and so it was a win-win situation all round.

 Sharing is caring ~ we share with others just like Jesus shares His love with us and Himself in the Eucharist.

 A waving wind sock.

 Paper fronds fluttering in the breeze.

It was then time for another weather story, this time it was, "Katie Morag and The Tiresome Ted."  Since the stories are actually based around the Isle of Coll in the Outer Hebrides, there are plenty of geography links dotted around the internet. So whilst I was gathering resources, Pip went on a rabbit trial of her own:

 Working Hard.

 Pirate Pip, complete with the latest fashion accessory that every self respecting pirate needs ... a telescope attached to your hat!  No more last minute hunting around for that lost telescope!

Two fun filled Monday's in a row, totally pleased :-) 


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Midsummer Fairies

It was Pip's fairy day today.  As always her best buddy from school and her younger sister attended as did two other recent friends, one from Brownies and the other from Mad Science.  It was three hours of crafting, outside games and eating a yummy picnic lunch:

 Twinkle left a Shrinkles Fairy Bead Set and a box of make your own Brilliant Hair Bands.

 Pip received two extra treats a fairy figurine from B and a fairy princess book from DM.

 Decorate your own fairy cakes activity.

 Plenty of icing and assorted sprinkles :-)

Whilst I was making lunch the kids went outside and played a variety of Sports Day activities:

 Egg and Spoon Race.

 The sack race which I am sure is now banned in schools due to health and safety reasons!

 They had a whole heap of fun jumping up and down!

 Toss the bean bag into the ring.

 The three legged race.

After lunch the kids finished their shrinkles bracelets and then just had time to work on their flower garland headbands.  Two little friends stayed on for a little while longer which meant that C and I could have a chat and well deserved cup of tea :-)

 Three little flower fairies and two of them not wanting to go home!