Monday, 25 January 2010

A Montessori Moment?...

... and ten minutes peace and quiet for mum!  I added the question mark as I'm sure true Montessori followers would find a flaw in this picture, but as I understand the concept, it is allowing children to learn through practical doing.  So here we have a photograph of Pip eating and sorting raisins into a small container.  She was absorbed in the activity for a good ten minutes!  As you can see from the shot it is still dark, yep we were up before the birds!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Random Pictures From This Week

On our way to feed the ducks at Uni.  It took us forever to get togged up with warm wet weather clothing  but we were determined to get some much needed fresh air.  When we arrived at our destination the pond was deserted but within what seemed like a nano second hordes of birds appeared from out of nowhere!  It felt like we were in the middle of a Hitchcock film! Benedict quickly beat a hasty retreat to one of the nearby out buildings leaving me and Pip to fend off the hungry hordes.  It was a good job she was in the Ergo otherwise she would've been petrified!  The Geese as usual were very aggressive and in the end I just threw the bread at them whole slices and all!!

Big sister Kath being a good sport and allowing Benedict to wrap her in both his and Pip's clothing!  She visited along with my parents and we were at last able  to hand out the Christmas presents from us and also receive those from Nanna and Grandad H!  It was a lovely visit although it makes us realise how much we miss our families.  It's ironic that we moved to where we are as a result of Dave's work and uni and yet now we have no job to tie us!!  Having said that the housing market is a mess and Benedict's school is excellent with supporting him,so as usual we are trying to bloom where we have been planted!

Benedict's Christmas present from Nanna and Grandad H, a nautically themed quilt made by Nanna.  We all have a handmade bed cover by this talented gal!

Nutritious and comforting Breakfast Bars, recipe posted over on The Kitchen Angel blog, so go take a peek!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Food Waste Friday And A Weekly Round Up

First off the food waste... no picture to post since no waste!!  Am I feeling smug?  Heck no, since our shopping bill was astronomical.  Gluten free foods and diabetic control = big money.  Need to sort out my act and menu plan and shop accordingly, so am hoping that next week I'll have my finances more controlled.

Benedict has actually made it into school every afternoon this week and today he has attended all day.  Dave took a packed lunch across at 12pm and carb counted his food and bolused in insulin.  We seem to have had steadier control these past few days which now means that we might continue with pump therapy.  At the moment we are taking each day at a time and have the back up pen injection system to hand should we need it.  Bed times are still very much an issue but we are confident that, if Benedict is more active in the day at school then at some point he'll be more tired at bedtime!  That's our hope as the rest of us sure are tired at bedtime!  A lot of folk have been praying for us and for that we are extremely grateful.

Will sign off as I've tea to prep before Pip wakes and Benedict comes home.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Food Waste Friday... A Day Late!!

In effort for better stewardship and possible eco warrior brownie points,I have made a greater concerted effort at the start of this year, to use up food throughout the week and photo evidence my failings to do so!!  Here is our family of five foodwaste for this past week:

One small ball of pastry dough left over from mince pie making!  I know, if I'd had my head screwed on at the time of baking I could've squeezed an extra mince tart out of this little guy!  Suffice to say a house full of visitors and hungry mouths meant partial brain shut down for me, ah well!!

Diabetes Is ...

... PANTS!!!

Been a really trying week and Benedict's blood glucose swings and intolerable behaviour shows no signs of slowing down.  To make matters worse I trapped a nerve in my neck and was laid low with pain, dizziness and horrendous nausea :-(  A combination of anti inflammatories and Dave's version of structural osteopathy seems to have done the trick, thank God!  So here are some recent pics to hopefully cheer:

Pip asleep in the didy wrap on my back!

" Hmm... I've made a bit of a mess with the laundry haven't I mum?"

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Happy Birthday Grandad!

Some special pictures just for you!

Bring Me Sunshine...

A rare moment... Pip sitting still!!

An apple a day...

You and Nanna on the bike.

You and Nanna in the car!

Hope to see you both very soon, love and hugs Dave, San, Sara, Benedict and Pip xxxx

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A Hiatus In The Ponderings...

... diabetes management has got in the way, big time!  Not sure when normal service will resume as we are fire fighting at this end.  If you can offer a prayer for Benedict, thanks.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Obey With A Cheerful Heart

I only have to think of the joy that surrounds Em and the other Sisters of The Home of the Mother as they follow God's direction in their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  It's a joy that comes from deep within, it cannot be bottled and if it could it would be, its market value would be priceless.  They answer their call to Him daily and it is His loving will that sustains them.  Does this mean that such guidance is only available to those in religious life?  Not a jot!  Such guidance and direction is available to all and He meets us where we are  on our journey.  For some this might mean sitting in silence so that He can be heard  in the gentle whisper on the breeze.  For others, myself included we  "listen" in the writings of others and through the written word we find our message for the day.

At the start of this New Year I have been prompted to review our spending habits  not that they  were excessive! and in doing so do my bit in stewardship of God's earth and for others less fortunate.  As a result I've signed up to the Yahoo group The Compact and will not be buying anything new for these next 12 months (permitted exceptions aside).  I will make an even greater effort to reduce, reuse and recycle and where possible become a teeny bit more self sufficient in the food department.  As far as possible I will document an honest appraisal of my efforts including the times I will no doubt fall off the wagon!

I shall leave you with an excerpt from an article entitled " Say yes to your heart"  by Lara Phegan found in  the January edition of Woman Alive:

"Every day and in every area of our lives we have a choice to make - to live in fear or to let ourselves fly.  Our gifts, our purpose and our heart are constantly calling to us.  It's up to us whether we heed the call.  There are things you were created to do.  There are things you would love to do.  There are things your heart is prompting you to do.  Are you listening?  Are you saying "yes"?



Saturday, 9 January 2010

Seek Simplicity

Great as long as it does not mean ditching the straightening irons!!  Mind you my hair would be a lot simpler if I wore a head covering like my daughter Em, she does not have to worry about bad hair days.   On to a more thoughtful note here are some web sites to get you thinking:

In an earlier post I have made a commitment this year to make Christmas/Birthday presents or if unable to do so, buy from Goodwill/Charity Shops and Ebay.  As far as possible I will by our clothes in the same way apart from underwear and shoes, so no doubt there will be further posting on this subject as the year rolls on.

Keep Warm, San x

Friday, 8 January 2010

A Friday Foray And A Fabulous Freebie!

Our treat for the day was not only our Abel & Cole order neatly stacked on the snow behind our car (thanks guys) but this seasonal cookery feast completely free of charge:

After lunch Benedict and Sara their way into town.  This was a first for both of them as Sara has never had sole responsibility for Benedict so far away from home.  They had french fries as their edible treat since we could easily work out the carb content and then write down the bolus instructions for Sara to follow.  This has been the first time she has given him insulin via the pump and she was a star!  They had a lovely time wandering around the market.  They bought aran wool for me to make Pip some house slippers and Benedict especially loved the pet shop!  I think his biggest treat though was the bus ride home!!

The wanderers venture forth!

Dave also made his way into town and then onto Booths and he snapped this picture on his travels:

An icy river and buildings by the quay.

Whilst Pip napped I was able to use some of the veg from our delivery and make  a mixed veg pie with a message on the top:

The recipe for this and the fruit loaf made by Dave earlier today are posted on The Kitchen Angel.

Grow Gracefully

If you are wanting to do that, then can I recommend a beautiful and gentle publication that uplifts the soul, mind and body?  It is called:

Grace... To help us to live.

It can be purchased in many individual health food shops or on line at:

In the editor's own words:

" Grace is a quarterly magazine devoted to Nature's Way, to help us to live.  Positive thinking; spiritual refreshment; healing by natural methods and to give expression to thoughts which the Publisher believes will contribute to social and spiritual development."


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Clearing The Clutter And Felted Frenzy!

At last all the Christmas Decorations are down but boy does the house look grimey!  The winter sun although glorious and uplifting, has this uncanny knack of highlighting every streak on the windows.  There was nothing for it but to don the marigolds, fill a bucket with sudsy water and get cleaning!!  Since chaos reigned in every room I decided to work from the front door backwards,so the porch was tackled first, followed by the hall, dining room, kitchen and finally the lounge.  I managed to take shots of two of the areas, these will serve as a reminder to me that, my house can occasionally look as "neat as a new pin!"

The Hallway.

The Dining Room.

Last but not least these fuzzy creations were finally completed and shrunk in the washing machine!  On purpose of course!  They are still a little bit big for my little pixie but given time they will fit perfectly!


And The Thought For Today Is...

 ... forgive and forget!!  Hmm, I could attempt to write a discourse on Peter's conversation with Our Lord but instead I've decided to ponder on a possible sub text hidden within today's message.  The person we often find hard to forgive is ourselves!!  If you are anything like me I could spend considerable time revisiting past mistakes and believe me there are many!!  Yet God The Father has forgiven us through the death and resurrection of Jesus His Son.  Every possible sin that  could ever be made was nailed to that tree at Calvary, so with this in mind cut yourself some slack and be truly thankful for His loving kindness and mercy!  I read somewhere (but can't remember where!):




Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Shine In The Light Of God's Love

This has been a difficult message for me and I've spent most of the day pondering its meaning.  I have no problem seeing the light of The Lord in others and immediately several people spring to mind; they seem to exude God's love in all they do and are not afraid to "walk the walk and talk the talk".  I have also heard of others who in responding to God's call have sold up and relied on providence as they undertake a Mission for God.  Then there are those through real hardship and suffering have turned back to God and in doing so are most definitely His hands and feet.  I'm thinking in particular of the men and women involved in The Cenaclo Communities throughout the world.  These wonderful people have really been in the gutter either through drugs or other substance abuse, they truly know what it is like to be in need.  I've often thought that it is only when the chips are down do we finally let Him in and it is then that miracles do occur.

So what does this message mean for me a wife and mother?  Through circumstances I am often home based so there is no chance of me evangelising to the outside world with a sandwich board and soap box!  Yet, I am still called to be that beacon of light in my daily living... to bring God's love into each and every situation I encounter.  This means trying not to lose my cool when Benedict is jumping over the furniture as a result of multiple daily hypo's.  I need to look at him through God's eyes and in doing so see a little boy with a chronic condition that affects every fibre of his being.  Somewhere behind that mania is the Benedict I truly know, the helpful caring happy chap, who adores his baby sister and loves nothing more than drawing trains/tractors and building unusual ships with lego.  When I do this I am more able to respond favourably to the situation and as a result any niggles are ironed over quickly.

 "If I can speak in the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional,spiritual devotion such as inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"  1 Corinthians 13v1.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Count Your Blessings

I think I'm being given the opportunity to grow a little in character and virtue this month... I say a little as in the things of the Lord I am a slow learner!  He is very patient with me and is not the least hassled by having to explain things over and over again!!

So today's action on the poster is counting one's blessings and even before my feet had really hit the floor this morning, I was being taught a lesson.  Dave's Mum, Dad and Uncle Bernard were due to visit today, it was our version of Christmas Mark 2 since they were sick on the day itself.  Not even the trill of the phone downstairs alerted me to anything untoward as I was roused from slumber, but once up and about it became apparent they would not be visiting.  A combination of Dad being unwell and another snow fall scuppered our plans.  Hmmm, so what do I do with the mountain of cooked vegetables awaiting me in the kitchen, enough to feed a small army?  Sit and moan?  Shout and yell?  Nope, I need to remember today's exhortation so in the spirit of the instructions here is my take on the day...

1.  We lurve our veg in this family, so plenty for lunch and joy of joys enough leftover for a meal tomorrow.  I will only need to make a cheese sauce and voila a potato and veg bake.  No real cooking involved so a kitchen free day, yay!!

2.  No school for Benedict as our road is treacherous and the one way system into town has shut down.  No problem we've been part home edding this past term so there is already work on hand.  Benedict completed his alloted work sheets this morning and after lunch he built mini snowmen in the garden, watched the Muppet's Wizard of Oz and made a Nativity scene with modelling beeswax.

3. Pip has cut three teeth this week, one at the front and two at the side.  She now has a total of 8 teeth!  We now also have peace and better sleep at night, thank you God!

4. What a clever husband I have!  Thanks to him I am no longer experiencing painful electric shocks at the slightest touch.  It became so bad I was having to earth myself with metal keys before touching anything.  I'm sure if I'd been hooked up to the National Grid I could've saved us money with the electricity generated!!  Jokes aside it was becoming wearing.  Apparently it is the combination of extremely cold weather and central heating that is the cause, so at Dave's suggestion I have been walking barefoot on our wooden floors since this afternoon and no further shocks!!  My feet have acclimatised to the temperature change and they now no longer feel cold!

5.  Thankful for a well heated home, a goodly supply of wood and a log fire raging in the lounge.

6.  Benedict actually settled really well at bedtime this evening... thanks for your prayers Beatrice!

7.  I have nearly finished Pip's wool slippers and should hopefully be able to felt them in the machine tomorrow!

Here are a selection of pics from today:

Nursing a baby and teaching a child!

 In The Bleak Midwinter...

 101 uses for a badminton racket!

God's Glory, a radiant sunset, another fitting end to a blessed day!


If you've got this far and think I've had a sublime day maybe I should include an out take or two...  Sara very kindly put part of our meal for lunch in the freezer yesterday and ten minutes before lunch I was defrosting it in the microwave, in between shouting and gesticulating!  She was very charitable with me and did not complain, needless  to say I ate a big piece of humble pie!!  Like I say I'm slowly learning!


Monday, 4 January 2010

Take Joy In The Gift Of Today

This is the first item in a long list of ways to bless your day, taken from a poster with the same name.  It was left behind by our daughter Em when she heeded God's call and entered Religious Life.  I counted the entries and there are twenty four, one for each remaining day in January... well sort of!

Finding joy earlier on in the day seemed reasonably easy but as the day drew to a close and Benedict's behaviour deteriorated, trying to remain joyful in all circumstances seemed nigh high impossible!

If we really think about it, each day truly is a gift... this new day that faces us has never been lived before and we are being given the opportunity to unwrap it and savour the contents.  We can only do this however if we attempt to slow down, quit rushing and as far as possible BE truly present in the moment.   

So next time you are chasing your tail, put the kettle on, brew a cup of your favourite beverage and sit and BE.

Sunday, 3 January 2010


NOTE TO SELF:  If I wish to remain in the black and retain my sanity on no account take a hyper diabetic boy shopping.

Benedict promised he was going to be calm and quiet.  Our only task was to purchase some much needed shoes for Pip; some decent sturdy shoes as she has been walking confidently for over two months.  Calm?  Quiet?  No Way!!  Upon entering the shop he pretended to be an over enthusiastic pup and I spent most of the time attempting to reign him in whilst encouraging Pip to make a move in her nice new shoes!!  Once we were confident she could actually walk in them I beat a hasty retreat, leaving Dad to pick up the tab!!  It was only as we were loading the car with shopping and kids I casually asked the cost of the shoes and promptly needed resuscitation upon hearing the answer!!

So what do you do with a very expensive pair of baby's first shoes in order to get value for money?  Since taking her on a daily route march is totally out of the question, I shall display them on her dresser as a reminder of our interesting day.  No doubt they will be a lively conversation piece as the years roll on!

Before you dive for the polish Dad they really are meant to look worn and scuffed!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year

A day late I know... but better late than never!!  It has been a mixed week with moments of quiet, reading and crafting followed by three consecutive days of busyness/mayhem!  My friend Emily visited on Tuesday with her two littlies, Maya and Orli.  It has been some weeks since we last met as she had been in Israel celebrating Hanukkah and we of course have had Christmas.  It was good to catch up and boy has Orli grown!  She is now four months old and a lovely sweet babe.

Hot on their visit was a fun filled afternoon with Jen, Mark, Catherine and Amy.  Shortly after their arrival the Dads were packed off to Brewsters with the bigger kids.  It's a win-win situation, the kids get to charge around and the Dads drink coffee and read the newspaper look after the kids, ahem!  Peace and quiet for us mums at home?  Not quite as Pip kept us on our toes, our current game is stop her from tearing the wallpaper.  With all the up and down activity it beats the step machine at the gym hands down!!

Capturing the mood!

Cleaning peanut butter off Catherine's new boots!!  She just had to stand in an upturned PB rice cake courtesy of Pip!  Ah well!!

As usual Benedict's blood sugars have been totally up and down and as I write he is currently still awake, it is now 11:20 pm and has just had a bad hypo.  Ironic really since he ran extremely high earlier in the evening and we had to bolus a corrective dose to bring him down!!  In the rare glimmer of almost normality he has managed to put his building skills to use and with help from Dad made a working wind up clock:

 Arranging the cogs and gears.

The finished result... pretty impressive.  Thanks Nanna and Grandad N.

New Years Eve was a fairly sedate affair; the big people scoffed nuts and watched an Agatha Christie Poirot with the ever talented David Sutchet.  We went to bed far too late and were woken by the dawn chorus, as usual.  Thank goodness for the match sticks in the house, invaluable for propping open bleary eyes!

Our last gathering for the week occurred away from home and on New Years Day we visited our friends just to the North of us some 18 miles down the road.  We missed seeing Zoe completely as she was napping but Benedict and Heather played very well together and anarchy only reigned for the last ten minutes of the visit!!

Aaargh, me hearties!

The sunset sky on our return journey home, a fitting end to a lovely day.