Thursday, 16 March 2017

Pip's Practical Pinterest Board

At some point in the week we follow the guidelines set out in the book, " A Patchwork Prayer Book". The author Janet Lynch-Watson makes a beautiful statement:

"Life is like a patchwork each day made with different scraps, some funny, some sad.  Your prayers stitch the patches together."

Today's prompt was "seeing" and being grateful for the gift of sight.  The first task was to choose an activity and Pip chose pictures that made her happy.  She found the whole process very satisfying, there is just something therapeutic about scissors and glue :-).

The project then sparked an interest in learning "copperplate" writing and with a little help from a book I was able to show her how I learned this type of text many moons ago.  Something just clicked and she was away happily writing :-). Funny how some of the best homeschool days involve those rabbit trails ;-)


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Still Here

We have kept up to date with homeschooling despite my being unwell these past weeks, hence my absence here.  I have however found an app for my phone that will allow me to post including pictures, so here's hoping it actually works!

Benedict and Pip have been working on a shared project based upon our local area.  Their task last week was to take lots of pictures during a field trip and then format a power point presentation encouraging folk to visit the area for their holidays.  They went one step further and with Dave's help worked on an animation of our visit earlier in the week :-)

Pip having fun digging in the sand on our field trip, our first beach visit of the year.

And here is our animation of our trip to the seaside 

We have also been busy prepping the garden for the upcoming season and have seedlings growing in a mini greenhouse in the hallway :-). The courgettes have taken off so they are placed outside during the day and brought in at night.  Once the ground warms up thoroughly and the chance of frost has dissipated they will be planted out into a more permanent position alongside all the other veggies.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Meet Poppy

After eight years of being without a feline friend, we relented and this sweet gal came to live with us on the weekend.  Poppy has wasted no time in settling in well and she is a constant source of amusement and fun, just what we all needed:-)

 All photo credits go to Dave :-)

Friday, 10 February 2017

Round Up

I am actually managing to upload a post before the end of the week :-)  In the good old days I used to post on an almost daily basis but at the moment a weekly post is about my limit.  It has been another busy week:

On Monday Benedict had his first ever sleepover.  He stopped with Connie and co and she very kindly took both him and her son Sam to a woodturning group in our home town in Cumbria. Connie was a superstar as the diabetes did not play fair that day and Benedict's blood sugars were rebounding all over the place, whacky highs with crashing lows, one of which occured in the middle of the night!  Thankfully he woke up and was able to treat the hypo himself and then settle back to sleep.  

 Catching up over a cup of coffee on the Tuesday morning.

 Benedict giving himself insulin, he holds that pump just like a gaming keypad!

 A little bit of "steam up" for Dave :-)

Montessori Maths

 A fun hands on way of reinforcing place value.  Pip works really well with hands on activities and she gleaned the information much quicker than using a stand alone text book.  She is making steady progress with her maths and has almost finished Singapore 2A.  She was showing some weakness in place value but this hands on task soon sorted that problem ;-)  We are dovetailing with Galore Park maths especially for the topic on money which is based on the UK currency.

On Wednesday I made my way "back home" to the Bernadine sisters at Hyning and stepped foot into the icon studio.  It has been a year since I graced these walls but I am remembered with love and welcomed:

The prayer that we always say before beginning to paint.  We paint in silence save for the background accompaniment of some classical music and the occasional request for "help" regarding a painting connundrum.  I did not have time to stop and paint but I did catch up with Sr Stella and attended the midday prayers in the chapel.  I have recovered my painting paraphernalia from the caravan and will joining the group once more on a Wednesday afternoon :-)

Another Aestlight Shawl

 I hand dyed the yarn and as soon as it was dry the garment was cast on, knitted and cast off within the week.  I am currently working on Benedict's socks and already have my next project in mind.  I can see that if I don't have something on the needles I will suffer from withdrawal symptoms!

Random Stuff

 Pip has worked really hard on her science topic this week and enjoyed placing the food items into the relevant groups.

 Benedict had fun using up the left over mincemeat and making mince pies.  There is an online food course run by Jamie Oliver and you can gain a recognised qualification at the end.  We are currently investigating the possibility of Benedict taking part because he has a real skill in the kitchen.

 On a cold dreary day when I thought the cupboard was bare I still managed to rustle up a feast, lentil bolognese, gluten free spaghetti and baked apples for dessert.

A well deserved computer break with some online friends who blog over at pyjama school  their mum Sarah has set up Christian Home Ed (CHED) minecraft.  The kids have really enjoyed making some new friends and it is good to see them working together as a team.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sunday Snippets

The days and weeks seem to be whizzing by, February already, eep!  I have been bitten by the knitting bug hence my absence from here :-)  I have finished the first sock for my February socks and they are a mahoosive size seven and intended for Benedict.  He is a very knit worthy young fellow and is long overdue some yarn love from his mum.  The brown aestlight shawl is off the needles and waiting to be blocked and I have started shawl number six with another of my hand dyed by me yarns!

The kids have been busy with meet ups, home school work and helping around the home.  Pip stayed with friends in Liverpool last week for three days, she stopped with homeschool friends ( we holidayed with them last year in Walsingham) and had a fab time.  Benedict is going on his very first sleep over with another home school family tomorrow and will also be attending his first ever woodturning class, needless to say he is super excited :-)

Here are some pictures of our days this past week:

Benedetto's Restaurant


 Benedict has been responsible for some rather tasty treats from the kitchen this past week.  Not only does he make delicious food he is "epic" when it comes to the post food prep and post meal clean up.  That boy is "King Cuisine" :-)

Junior Science ~ Our Bodies

Did you know that an adult intestine is 10 metres long?  


 Measuring using Dad's old metre rule from his civils days with the railway :-)

 Mum's intestine started in the conservatory ...

 ... through the lounge ...

 ... down the hallway and up the stairs and ...

 ... landing in Pip's bedroom.  Blimey no wonder I have stomach ache!

Our next lesson was demonstrating "peristalsis" and the proof that you can actually eat whilst standing on your head :-)

It has been a very loong time since I did one of these!  Pip thought it hilarious :-)  The last shot albeit red faced is me eating a rice cake, lol!

Our last practical experiment for the day was to make a plastic lung and the Usborne 1000 science experiments book was a great help:

Left to right, deflated and inflated.

A Dad and Son Day

On Thursday Pip was away staying with friends for a few days and I attended an away day at Rydal Hall, so it was the lads in charge :-)  A surprise trip to Benedict's favourite eating place was planned:

 Benedict's favourite.

 Dave's lunch.

Yarn Tales

 Summer Stripes, kool aid dyed yarn, aestlight shawl. 

I guess you could say, "that's a wrap!"  I really must pop by on a regular basis thus sparing you dear reader from an epic photo fest!

Be Blessed xx



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Woolly Wednesday

Knitting has been a welcome distraction from the pain and it feels good to have my knitting mojo well and truly in gear ;-)

 February socks in the making.
I decided to let the yarn speak for itself and so these are knit in a simple stocking stitch.  The wool is from West Yorkshire Spinners and is their "signature" 4 ply consisting of 75% wool (of which 35% is Bluefaced Leicester) and 25% Nylon.  Ideally you always need a bit of nylon in a sock yarn as it helps with wearability and durability.

An "Aestlight Shawl" by Gudrun Johnston.  This was knit using a Falkland Island Wool and hand dyed using koolaid!  The shawl is currently awaiting blocking and stretching :-)

Another Aestlight Shawl on my kneedles, this yarn is a brown with a hint of purple colourway.  By the time I have finished this I will have knit five of these shawls!!  The pattern is well written with lots of different stitches and techniques to sustain interest.  I would definitely recommend this shawl pattern to a newbie shawl knitter :-)

I have had another foray into yarn dyeing and so my latest attempt is currently drying in the bathroom.  Once it is dry I will try and remember to take a photograph :-)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saturday Snippets

We actually managed to make church today! This is a big deal at our end since we have not attended in months due to continued ill health. It was just lovely to be in the presence of The Lord and I had a bonus by also attending confession, the best form of therapy and totally free :-)

It has been a mixed week in the school room with bursts of activity followed by periods of independent learning when I had been up all night due to sickness and needing to rest the next day.  I have rallied in between so two outings were accomplished much to Pip's relief!!  That girl just hates being home bound and can climb the walls both literally and metaphorically if she is cooped up two days in a row ;-)

Knitting has been my go to therapy and I am currently tackling one of my goals which is to make handmade gifts throughout the year for birthdays and Christmas where possible.  I also have an additional challenge of 12 pairs of handmade socks in a year, so it will be interesting to see how I fair.

Here are our pictures of the week:

 I made my own home made deoderant and it not only turned out surprisingly well it works well too!  It is a combination of coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch and organic essential lemon oil.  My mix is not an anti-perspirant but I don't have any real issues in that department.  However I have since learned that Zinc Oxide is a natural antiperspirant and so I might consider adding it to the next batch.

 Pip enjoyed using the felted Rosary that I made and we prayed one of the joyful mysteries together.

Pyjama home school before breakfast and yes that is the correct time!  That was the morning of my being up all night quite unwell.  I sat in the rocking chair with a hot water bottle and my knitting.  Pip was quite surprised to see me up and about at such a time!

 My January socks, one pair down eleven more to go :-)

 Sour cherry, cacao and almond bites.  The cherries contain anti inflammatory properties and the combination of the three ingredients are also supposed to help with insomnia aswell as pain, I can report that they and the Potters' Herbal sleep remedy did the job.

 Pip totally bemused by an old fashioned type writer, " You actually put paper in the top and it doesn't send emails?!!"

 Lovely gifts from friends!  Pip grabbed the camera and took this fuzzy picture to show Chanda that she loves her cat!  We love the napkins Dorina and the books what a lovely gift to cheer on a dreary January day :-)

 #womensmarch #pinkhat

Women and men marched on Washington today sporting pink hats in the shape of a cat's head;  there were also similar marches in London. Even Cate Blanchett was spied wearing such a tifter in a similar march in NYC on Thursday.  They were marching against Donald Trump and his so called "values."

Here in the Madness Abode there have been no pink hats but pink slippers instead!  Standing in solidarity with those marching against hatred and division today.  These slippers are quite poignant; they were bought by a dear family friend whose wife died at the start of last year.  Aunty Maureen loved butterflies :-)  She had a generous heart and would always reach out to others in need and I know that she would be appalled at the state of our world.  How can one man who has displayed such appalling behavious be in charge of and represent a nation?
Renegade knitters unite!