Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Gloucester

We are back at the same spot as last year.  Dave's brother Andy came to spend the weekend with us and it has become a family tradition that we have a cook out on the first night.  Uncle Andy cooked the bacon on the primus stove and I cooked the sausages and onions on the stove in the kitchen:


 Testing the selfie mode on the new mirrorless camera, an early birthday present for me :-)

















 I believe the food was quite tasty, sadly I was not able to eat any of it as I have had a flare with stomach issues and have been struggling with constant nausea since arriving.  Ginger cordial has saved the day :-)

Jet Age Museum

 










 Ben was really fascinated with this talk.  He had watched a documentary regarding the Falklands War and the Vulcan bombers were significant in the whole affair.  There was also a bookstand in the main hall and Uncle Andrew managed to find a book capturing the tale of "Vulcan 607" an epic story of the most remarkable air attack since the Second World War.















Gloucester Quays Centre and Uncle Mike



Uncle Andrew had promised Pip a skateboard and so we duly set off to the Quays shopping centre.


 Can you tell she is happy?!!  She has not stopped riding it since yesterday :-)


 Dave testing an art filter on the camera whilst I grabbed ten minutes quiet time in a shop!


 Pip photo bombing and Dave explaining to Andy which button to press!


 Another early birthday present, a fab moving and shooting tank for Ben from Uncle A :-)


 Knitting time for me at Uncle Mike's.


 Lunch is served.


 An epic curry and an even better ...


... home made custard and crumble, with home grown rhubarb picked this morning.


Pip telling a tale.

We are off to the Gloucester regiment museum and Hubble Bubble cafe today, so no doubt more pictures to follow. 



Monday, 10 April 2017

Independent Learning

It is Spring break around these parts.  Most of the schools are already on vacation but the Catholic schools dont break up for another week.  I have found to my cost that taking a formal break doesn't work in our family so we reduce the workload and concentrate on just maths, english and reading.  This means there is plenty of time for projects and other activities.

Pip found a series of how to draw Youtube videos and with pencil and paper in hand and the pause button at the ready she has produced some really good artwork:







Benedict has also been trawling through How to Sites and Youtube videos on building your own gaming website.  It is a good job that he has Dave to talk to because it is all quite literally over my head!  

Dave has been well enough these past few days to make into the workshop and so steady progress is being made on the engine.

I am on a steep learning curve associated with content writing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and other hoops one has to jump through to maintain a decent Google ranking!  It took me three hours to write a short introduction for the website yesterday!!  Trying to "get all my ducks in a row" was a challenge.    Still I succeeded in writing the post and then uploading the same content to MailChimp so that those on the emailing list could also be informed.  My introduction is here 



Saturday, 1 April 2017

Words and Pictures

There used to be a primary schools programme of that title name and it was the highlight of my week.  When the big TV was wheeled out of a cabinet and we were all assembled in the hall it signified a half hour respite from desk work :-) Sorry for my absence here the weeks seem to have flown by, April already?  Crazy!

Words

This year I was determined not to have a word of the year since the last few years have been more than challenging and definitely reflected my given word!  Last year's word was "Trust" and within days of that being chosen I was rushed into hospital!  The previous year was "Hope" and trying to remain hopeful when everything else seems to be crashing around you is very difficult :-)

This year's word came to me whilst washing up and would not let go and so "Possibilities" became the word for 2017.  Within a few weeks I was offered a position using my writing skills as an editor and writer for our local diocesan newspaper.  Instead of leaping right in I commited my answer to prayer and realised that despite this "fitting" my word it was not doable since the work was unpaid.  I felt at peace about my decision and realised that whatever I do needs to provide in some small way financially for myself and the family.

Fast forward a few weeks and a friend from prayer group approached me about a job opportunity!  As of last week I am now content writer and social media manager for this website. In addition her late husband's second book will be launched in October of this year and so I will also have additional responsibilities at this time including the organisation of  two launch date workshops!  I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity and please God other similar work will follow as and when needed.

Despite my absence here we have continued to take pictures and rumble along with our usual daily activities of keeping body and soul together, housekeeping and homeschooling.  This week has seen slightly more activity than usual though, the kids both big and small gathered here for Mother's day last Sunday and on Thursday we had a field trip with some friends to Speke Hall 

Mother's Day Gathering

One camera, one tripod and a remote control proves to be very handy when taking a group shot!  The only difficulty is getting everyone looking in the right direction ...



 ... and not being silly in the background! 



 The teenage boys that I know seem to be a law unto themselves!!



 I made two soups:  Tomato, Carrot and Chilli and Celery and Sweet Potato.  Sara and Tom made Rice Krispie nests and Kathryn brought a Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Bakewell Tarts.  I also made a Paleo Orange and Nut Cake.


 Kathryn being "mum" and cutting into the paleo cake.



 Cannot believe that this little miss will be four in just over a week, eep!!


Speke Hall


 There were clouds and a slight drizzle on Thursday but died down just as we reached the picnic table :-)


 Benedict smiling as I was just about to hand him a sandwich!  He was having another hypo and food was needed immediately.



 Rosie sharing a story with Pip who was definitely out of sorts and unbeknown to us brewing a virus that day :-(


 This lovely gal is always smiling and nothing phases her, good job too with four kids eight and under!  Little did we know by the end of the day that one of the kids would require a visit to the emergency room!


 Simeon in camo gear and a mud splattered face for extra authenticity.


 Baby Damien cuteness overload.


 The entrance to the hall.


 We had temporarily lost the kids in the "underpass" but they eventually came back round again.  Pip had also managed to slip in the mud and I had forgot to pack spare clothes!!  We are just not used to going out on field trips, not so long ago I used to be super organised!


 The blue room which was given as a wedding present to one of the ladies of the house.


 By the time we had finished looking around the downstairs, my two had scarpered outside with Kara!  Stately homes are just not their thing, give them a museum with hands on activities and they are fine but wandering around old rooms "is boring."  However, Rosey loves learning about history and since she is familiar with Speke Hall, she became my guide for the day and we had a whole heap of fun.  We followed the kids trail and found the spy hole, the priest's hole and the toilet which was at the end of a very long corridor and up and down several stairs, hence the need for a chamber pot under the bed!


 Happy not Horrible Histories!


 The cafe beckons for cake and tea followed by:


 The Childwell Giant Trail
John Middleton was a 16th century giant who lived locally and is remembered by this trail.  You can read more here













 When you stood next to this small building, the giant began to snore!









The end of the trial then signified the start of a woodland adventure play area which was greatly loved.  Sadly Rosey toppled off the platform for the zip wire and cut her right brow :-(  Thankfully we had the big portable trailer so Rosey and Simeon  who was very tired at this point were transported back to the car. It was all good in the end and with a clean up and some steri strips she was soon sorted.  All in all we had a really lovely day.

The latter part of the week has necessitated immune boosting herbs, remedies and a warm air humidifier, good job I did not give it away!  That virus that Pip was brewing took hold yesterday and late last night she was in the throes of a really nasty croup attack.  She eventually resettled around 2am so I did manage to get some sleep, of sorts :-)

Happy Weekend!