Saturday, 29 September 2018

Making Progress ...

... and a month's worth of catching up!

Dave has spent the last few weeks liaising with the conveyancing teams linked to the sale of our current home and the purchase of the new one.  This has involved numerous emails, humongous form filling and telephone calls.  I am very glad that he has undertaken this job because for sure it would have tipped me over the edge!  Apparently moving house is one of THE most stressful things you can do, with divorce running as an equal.  I think we will both be very glad once we are moved in to our new home and a sense of "normality" is returned.

Despite the moving chaos we have successfully stuck to our home school lessons and have just completed week four in our home school year.  Little Miss PJ might grumble and groan on and off but on the whole we complete most if not all the items on our subject list.  On Wednesday AJ arrives and she stays with us until we drop her back on Friday afternoon.  Her presence here provides a good dose of healthy competition for Pip and so our home school days run a little easier from Wednesday onward.  Since the girls work really hard in the mornings working pretty much non stop with a twenty minute break in between, this means we are in a position to enjoy a trip out in the afternoons or for the girls to work on Lego creations or a Minecraft World.

We have even managed a few celebrations this past month.  On the 20th Pip celebrated her First Confession and First Holy Communion.  It was quite a special day and we enjoyed a treat lunch courtesy of Uncle Bryan; even Fr Philip was able to join in the fun.  Exactly a week later on the 27th, Dave celebrated his birthday.  We enjoyed a blustery picnic lunch on the big day followed by a fish and chip lunch on the following day.

Today I spent the afternoon planning our lessons for last week and have enjoyed a day that has not involved sorting through a few remaining items that we will not be taking with us.  I have lost count of the number of black bin bags that have gone to the charity shop or an almost equal number of those taken for recycling.  We have also listed items on "Freegle" and well over twenty items have been collected from our home, including a canvas wardrobe, an almost new spare bed, didymos slings, car roof bars and all manner of other things!  We are however on the home straight with a potential moving day looming on the horizon, we are waiting on one teensy  piece of paper and then we are good to go :-)

It has been good to pop by and I'm hoping that once things settle down I will be back to a more "normal" blogging schedule :-)

Home School Days

 Sunny morning lessons

 Strong as paper science experiment

Strong as paper pyramids

Recreation Times

A well deserved hot chocolate treat at the Midland Hotel.  We will miss this place and I'm sure we will still visit but our challenge will be to find an alternative venue nearer our new home.

 Crochet calm, much needed for sure!

Both girls had fun making their own version of Lego Transformers.

A Special Little Visitor

 How did this little fella get to be so big?!

He does a pretty good commando crawl :-)

Celebration:  Pip First Holy Communion Meal

Celebration:  A Birthday Picnic


Saturday, 18 August 2018


Well, I think I spoke too soon regarding my recovery and it is only now that I am beginning to make some progress.  It has been a very tortuous journey and would not wish it on anyone!  I have actually managed to have three consecutive pain free days which is an absolute first, but today has been pretty rubbish.  Still, when I have the not great days, I know that the Candida is putting up a fight and is dying-off, which means that all my hard effort is working, although it doesn't feel like it at the time :-)

As a result of my being so poorly and then Dave having a relapse we were forced to look at our family situation and make some drastic changes.  With help from family, we are in the processes of moving house to a bungalow just outside of Garstang, our favourite place to be.  It has been a totally crazy time but in amongst it all, we have witnessed God's guiding hand throughout the whole process, from the caravan being sold, to someone stepping in and sorting the garden, to a neighbour helping clear and sort the loft room.  Within three weeks of the house going on the market, we had a buyer, which in turn enabled us to make an offer on the bungalow.

The bungalow is really lovely.  It has been recently decorated throughout and has just been fitted with a brand new kitchen.  It has a lounge/dining room, bedroom and toilet with shower downstairs.  Upstairs are two really good sized bedrooms with a family bathroom.  Outside there is a very manageable garden with a converted garage that is currently being used as a games room, but will be ideal as a home school area and craft room.  There is even room at the back of the garden for Dave to have a workshop :-)

The neighbours are lovely and are very involved in the local Catholic church.  Not only is the church building fully accessible for wheelchair users but the community itself is a very lively and caring parish.  We are hoping to be in the new place by the end of September/ beginning of October providing their are no hiccups!  The person buying our house is currently living at home with his parents and the  bungalow is empty, as the previous owners have moved on, so in reality it is a very "short chain."

The good Lord has also sorted my job situation!  One of our Little Flowers' Friends will be stopping with us during term time, from Wednesday til Friday whilst her mum teaches at a local primary school.  Pip and Anna get along really well and they are both looking forward to homeschooling together on a regular basis.  Rita will set the work for Anna and it will just be a case of overseeeing and helping with any difficulties.

These past few months have been pretty horrendous and it has taken its toll on the kids, most noteably Ben.  In order to alleviate any further stress, he has been stopping with Shein (a lady who normally has them both on a Wednesday) each week from a Monday to Thursday.  Shein is really great at keeping him busy and getting him out of the house.  Ben does not cope well with change and to have a house move suddenly appear from nowhere has really unnerved him.  He is slowly coming round to the idea, but still it is not easy for him.

I have managed with help to take Pip to various summer activities and she has been out of the house most days these past weeks.  She has attended her usual Mad Science sessions, followed by a week at Heron Corn Mill with felting, pin hole photography, nature art and den building.  This past week she has been at the University sports centre every day and has a brilliant time.  She has swum every day, had several goes on the huge climbing wall, played cricket, football, dodge ball. squash, short tennis and badminton.  God also answered a prayer in this regard and it was one that I hadn't even said!  On Pip's first day she met a lovely girl called Eva who also happens to wear hearing aids!!  They just clicked and had a lovely week together.  I met her mum on Thursday as she was waiting to give us her telephone number as I was also going to give her ours!  Eva will be at sports camp next week and then after that we can arrange meet up times on a weekend.  They also live not far from our new home!

Well I guess that is me, finally caught up!  If you could pray for continued improvements regarding my health, that the house sale will go smoothly and that Ben's anxieties regarding the move are eased it would be much appreciated.  I will keep you posted as we go along.

With love, San xx 

Friday, 29 June 2018

Finally Recovering :-)

Since my last post which seems aeons ago, I was struck down with a nasty bacterial infection.  The cause was a Klebsiella bacteria that normally resides in the gut, but decided in my case to go walk about :-(  It took three courses of antibiotics to get it under control and then ten days later I was back at the emergency GP with similar symptoms.  In fairness to her she thought that the original bacteria had not completely cleared, since it is known as a super bug and is antibiotic resistant, so I left with another course of heavy duty antibiotics.  Little did we know that in fact my symptoms were due to a rampant systemic candida/yeast infection and it was only when I spoke with another GP that we were able to pinpoint the cause.  At that point I had already begun an anti candida diet and had just started a different set of herbal anti bacterial tinctures.  Within 24 hours the tinctures were doing their job and I had a horrendous herxheimer (candida die off) reaction: nausea, weakness, hypoglycaemia and a heart rate that was utterly bonkers!  Still the side effects proved that I was on the right track and that knowledge alone kept me going. My body has been clearing the candida infection but there were still a few issues earlier this week, so I decided to take a pharmalogical oral anti-fungal and the last remaining issues are slowly resolving, yay!

The kids have done an amazing job helping around the home but even they began to crumble when I wasn't improving, so Pip stopped with some home school friends for a while and Ben had a weekend with Sara, Tom and Oliver.  Sadly he missed five weeks of college as I was unable to get him there and Dave is no longer able to drive.  The college were really understanding and because he was up to speed with all his work, he only had a few loose ends to tie up.  Thankfully I was able to get him into college last Thursday.

We have had other local friends that have either taken the kids for a day or have ferried me to the GP surgery, several have seen me really sick and at a very low point.  One weekend the pain was so bad that I only slept four hours out of the 48.  Looking back the most frightening moments were when I was in a really dark place but literally by the grace of God, He pulled me through.  I couldn't think straight to pray but I found some amazing praise and worship music on YouTube and just listening to the words and humming along kept me sane.

I am so grateful that I am on the right side of recovery and being so sick certainly focuses your mind on being extremely appreciative of even the smallest things!  With that in mind I will leave you with some happy pictures from the past few weeks:
 My Birthday

 I had a reprieve on my birthday and was actually well enough to enjoy the day.  Ben made a lovely birthday breakfast and we also spent the day with Mary whilst Kath was at work.

Uncle Ben making himself useful :-)

Ben's Birthday

 Fr L not only came to visit Ben but he also brought the sacrament of the sick for me, for which I was truly grateful.

 Ben's T-Shirt reads:  I never got my acceptance letter from Hogwarts, so I'm leaving the shire to become a Jedi!

Poppy Cat
 Who needs a conventional cat bowl when you can drink from a bucket instead :-)

Thanks for reading and I hope to pop by soon xx 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

An End of Week Round Up

We met with our homeschool friends on Tuesday and the girls worked on a replica of an Egyptian necklace.

On Wednesday, Dave and I went to visit Sara, Tom and Oliver.  Sara and I had fun choosing books for Ollie, and at the tender age of seven weeks he has his very own library ticket ;-)

On Thursday, in between a hair appointment for me, we completed all our home school tasks and I visited Uncle Bry as usual in the evening.

Saturday meant Wildlife Watchers for Pip and an extra chance for me to be in the loft room.  So far this week I have managed to make four bags and four lavender baboushka dolls.  When it is too hot for the loft room, I take my handsewing or crochet outside and enjoy working in the fresh air.  In the afternoon we had a visit from Kath and Mary which was lovely.  Pip had fun hanging out with her niece which meant nattering time for me and Kath ;-)

Today the kids and I sat outside to pray the rosary whilst Dave rested inside.  Warm weather is great if you do not have MS, so he has spent the day seeking either shade or being indoors.  He will just about to acclimatise to the heat and then the temperatures will drop!  I don't think this current warm spell will last.

All in all it has been another good week, with plenty of variety and lots of things accomplished.

 Oliver and Grandpa ~ Ollie looking a bit phased, he had just had a big feed and was definitely tired!

 Filling out nicely ;-)

 Library books for our youngest bookworm!

Monday, 30 April 2018

A Productive Day

Funny how blue skies and sunshine can spur you on :-)  We managed all the items on our to-do list which I think is the first time ever!  In no particular order:

We managed a weekly home blessing hour a la Fly Lady, surfaces dusted with a swiffer brush, floors cleaned, mirrors wiped and the bathroom given a once over.

Pip mowed the lawns and Benedict undertook all the meal prep for the day, vegetable and chicken soup for lunch and lasagne for tea.

Ben helped with the recycling.

Pip completed all her home school lessons:  Singapore maths, spellings, times tables practice, read aloud and adding another floor to her Egyptian house.

Three loads of laundry were washed, aired and put away.

I made banana muffins and a start on another project bag for the craft stall.

Ben has been working on an Age of Empires scenario with an Egyptian theme.  He has undertaken all sorts of research for this project and has worked really hard.

Tomorrow we are home schooling with friends and I'm looking forward to a quieter day!


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sunday Snippets

We finished the death mask on Friday and for a post lunch treat Pip made the date balls for afternoon tea:

 Dave is has found a way of attaching the mask to a wall and so the first artefact for the "Around the House Museum" will duly be installed :-)

On Saturday I spent the whole of the day in the loft working on items for the craft stall.  I also managed to make a handmade gift for an upcoming birthday and it was quite satisfying to see the completed project.  I have come to accept that making handmade items for sale will in my opinion never sustain a living wage.  However this form of work not only enables me to work to my own timetable, thus allowing for my own health needs it also means I can be at home to support my family.  Somethings in life such as flexibilty really are priceless.

On Friday the diabetes specialist nurse arrived at our home minus the all important laptop!  This meant that she was unable to make a fully qualified decision regarding Benedict's diabetes care and I was quietly apoplectic!  As a result some cursory changes were made and she is returning on Wednesday to undertake a full download of the sensor and pump information.  His diabetic readings are quite worrying, yesterday he had multiple hypos throughout the day and he was having a quiet day at home!  If he had been active there would have been a reason, but when these blips occur for no apparent reason it is quite baffling :-(

We missed church again this weekend, my health is just not  up to it at the moment.  By the time I have ferried Ben to college, taught Pip, attempted to keep on top of the house and undertake additional work hours, I'm worn out by the time Sunday rolls around.  We did have a lovely visit from long standing friends in the afternoon.  All the kids played together really well and Debbie and I had a quiet time knitting and chatting.  And before we know it, Monday rolls around once more!  All we need is some decent weather ;-)

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Hands On History: Ancient Egypt

We decided to join in with a friend on a history unit study, so when we met on Tuesday the girls worked on a death mask of Tutankhamun:

 We also managed to paint the outer part of the headress which has now been glued in place, complete with crazy beard!  Pictures to follow tomorrow :-)

We found some really great short videos aimed at KS2 pupils including one about the types of food eaten by the ancient egyptians.  I remembered a really useful youtube and website called Pepper And Pine  And thanks to this site we made a really yummy meal for our tea:

Spicy Chicken,
 Lentil, onion, garlic and sultana stuffed cabbage leaves
 Baked potato ( not authentic I know) for some carb.

We had hoped to make the date balls for dessert but we were late returning home from college and food shopping.  However we are home based tomorrow so they are on the home school to do list :-)