Monday, 31 October 2011

Snapshot Blessings and Soul Cakes

Last week was quiet, it was half term break in these parts so I declared our home school recess too.  Truth be told, Benedict's diabetes was causing problems, I'd trapped a nerve in my back and was very tired indeed.  Here are our snapshot blessings of the week:

Kids in the kitchen.

The hob happily singing.

 Cheese grating.

 Pip decided that, somethings are just too good to miss!!

 Fun with friends.

Farmyard cuteness.

Saturday morning sunrise.

Later on Saturday we had a visit from Kath and Steve, as always the kids love their visits.  Steve is really great in keeping the kids entertained and both him and Benedict had a great time pumpkin carving:

Whilst tea was cooking and to counteract cabin fever blues, since it had been raining all day, the kids both big and small watched Madagascar:

On Sunday evening I made some soul cakes and I used the recipe from this site:

I also found this you tube video, where the song pertaining to these cakes is sung:

I first heard this back in 2009 when a documentary was aired about the making of his new CD "Winter Songs".  He originates from the North East of England, so we saw him revisiting his roots, recording with the band in Italy and the live presentation in Durham Cathedral.  It was a very entertaining and moving portrayal of songs old and new.

Today was our first day back at the desk.  Despite a brief moment of reluctance, Benedict soon settled into the rhythm.  We worked on our spellings for the week, fractions in diagram and word format, scripture memory and our new literature read "The Kitchen Knight" by Margaret Hodges.  Benedict is responding well to this curriculum and as always I'm amazed by how much he does remember.  We finished the morning by him working on our narration piece for the day and the accompanied art work.

Whilst he was visiting Tamsin for art therapy, Pip and I pottered around the house and bagged up the soul cakes.  I promised the children they could dress up... we don't do scary in this house so Benedict was a pirate and Pip a flower fairy, complete with her "Ballet Tippers!".

I made over fifty soul cakes and each parcel contained two, so we had quite a lot of visitors between 6-7:30pm.

Peace and quiet reigns in the house save from the ticking of the clock... I'm on late duty with Benedict as his cannula came out before bed and I need to make sure the system is working, before I retire.  So, I'll bid good night and leave you with our lantern face for this year:

Happy Halloween!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Snapshot Blessings

Benedict "invested" at Cubs.

 "No paparazzi, mama!"

Pumpkin pie courtesy of Martha.

 Our first trip to the seaside... what on earth did we do all Summer?!

 Happy as a sand boy.

 Pondering the various approaches to trench digging!

 Poignant... gentle weaning.  Pip hasn't nursed for several days now, so when she asked, I replied that boo times have finished now.  She took it in good grace and we hugged, which was lovely.  I'm glad daddy caught this moment on camera, it will always have a special place in my heart.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Today we...

... finished our narration of St Patrick.  We have put all our work so far in main lesson book format and it is coming along beautifully.  I can  appreciate how such pieces of work become family treasures for years to come.

Benedict worked independently on his maths sheets - we used a number grid and linked puzzle from super teacher worksheets.  The one hundred number grid used to be a dread for B as he had trouble tracking but today something just "clicked" and he was tracking up, down, forwards and backwards!  A big hooray, for my boy and confirmation that I must be doing something right.

We made the most of the sunshine this afternoon and visited our local nature reserve.  Benedict and I had a walk together whilst Pip napped and Dave snapped pictures using the knew camera!  I had the small digital in my bag and took a picture of a plant which looked very similar to mistletoe.  Not sure if it is but this led Benedict to comment on the Celts interactive game, where you could not let the mistletoe fall on the ground!  He remembered that fact when I did not, he has a good memory that boy, should stand him in good stead as the years roll on.

No pics with this post as Dave is not around to prompt on the long winded and complex shenanigans of re-sizing... once bitten twice shy in that department!!  Hoping to upload with tomorrow's end of week round up.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Lessons Learned

Mum - Blogger has a limit on photo uploads and unless you re-size your photos before publishing, you will exceed your limit and be unable to publish further pictures, including editing your header!

Benedict - Is perfectly capable of working independently, given the right circumstances... trouble is I haven't quite worked out the correct mathematical formula for such a thing to occur on a regular basis!  Never mind here is his snap shot of the morning:

Independent work:

Spelling list and ordering words in dictionary format - list incorporates words in their contracted form.

Coloured yesterday's picture of Victoricus and completed the linked narrative writing.

wrote out this week's scripture memory Matthew 1v23

Read a chapter from "Five have a mystery to solve".

Maths - finished yesterday's corrections on fractions and then worked on a series of division word problems.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Under Construction.

Tinkering around with this part of cyber space!  Not sure if I like the grey and blogger playing silly fools with uploading a new header!  At this point in time not sure if a change is as good as  rest!!  Will just have to let problem float into the ether and re-try tomorrow.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Make and Cake

 Food, friendship and fun.

 The round house front view.

 The round house side view.

 View from across the lake.

 Rushing Waters.


 View across the bridge.

 Blowing in the breeze.


 Workshop in progress.


 First attempt at felting.

 The finished result.

 My dear friend Bea proudly holding her finished creation.

I arrived home shortly after five and was greeted to delicious smells wafting from the kitchen... the moussaka I'd made a lunchtime was heated through and ready to serve.  Some of us had gluten free pasta with our meal, the conversation was lively as we shared about our day.  Sara and Pip had a girls afternoon by the seaside and then into town for lunch.  Dave and Benedict pottered around at home.

As usual we had the teatime craziness... it is a regular occurance in our household, I'm sorry to say!  So here are some pics documenting today's madness:

 Spaghetti slurping!



Friday, 14 October 2011

Narration Work

First thing Benedict worked on a comprehension sheet question and answer, followed by three digit place value and writing numbers in their expanded form.  After a short break we read from "The life of St Patrick", Benedict then narrated the first four pages back to me and this is what he remembered:

As a young boy Patrick was kept captive by some bad Pirates.

The Pirates took him and sold him as a slave to a sheep farmer, where he tended the flocks in the mountains.

All alone Patrick turned to God and said a hundred prayers each day.  The fire of God filled him and was the warmth in his body.

One night he was told in a dream that he would return to his country and that a ship was waiting for him.

Patrick walked over two hundred miles and God guided his way.

He came to the harbour and was going to board the ship when the captain screamed, " Don't get any ideas into your head boy!"

Patrick prayed and the sailors changed their minds, "Come aboard and we'll take you as you are."

They sailed for three days until they reached the island of Gaul.

The food ran out and the captain said to Patrick, " What have you to say for yourself Christian?  Pray for us!  We are hungry!"

Patrick answered, " Turn to the Lord and trust  for with Him their is abundance."  At that moment a herd of wild pigs rushed in front of them!  They had food everyday and gave thanks to God.

One night Satan attacked Patrick and he called out to Elijah.  When the sun rose, God's power flooded Patrick and delivered him.

Whilst we were working at home Pip and Dave made a trip to our local play park, where she...

... swung.

 Went round and round.

Contemplated escaping but thought better of it since Dad was watching!

After lunch I attended my first one to one Pilates session.  I am able to hold the moves correctly but am totally inflexible all along my spine... I knew I should have continued with those gym lessons when I was a kid!  There is however hope for me yet, so I've come home with a set of exercises and a promise to my instructor to spend the required 15 minutes each day doing something for me and my health.

Once home it was changeover time and Benedict and Pip went for a play date with Ollie and Bela.  Since my back was even more sore as a result of stretching, I made myself a hot drink and put my feet up for an hour, before making tea.  Friday is a fish day and a regular family fall back meal is kedgeree made with wholegrain brown rice, onion, tuna, hard boiled egg and mayo.  Gluten free crackers were on the side:

Pip enjoying her tea, photograph courtesy of her very talented Daddy!

Tomorrow, I'm off to my once a month respite session called "Make and Cake".  I will be taking along my current project on the needles which is  another pair of wool socks and will enjoy a gluten free afternoon tea.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Night School

This is us at nine o'clock this evening:

 One very haggard looking mummy and one bright eyed and bushy tailed boy!

 Our Narration story for this week.

It has been a challenging week in this crazy household, I've had a flare up of the Fybromyalgia and constant pain has been my unwelcome companion.  Added to this I had a particularly bad reaction to some prescribed homeopathic medicine and all in all not a good combination.  Hence my looking so haggard in the photograph, ah well.

After much prayer, pondering, prayer and going round in circles, I decided to use the bones of this curriculum:

Although there are many aspects of a Waldorf curriculum which I enjoy, Benedict does not share the same enthusiasm.  I have a hard enough time getting him to sit at the table on most days, so I went right back to basics and looked at his strengths.  Benedict is first and foremost a reader, from novels, advertisements, the broadsheet newspapers to the back of the cereal packet!  This curriculum gathers the aspects of a Charlotte Mason inspired philosophy with the thread of Orthodoxy running throughout.  We are not an orthodox family but the the beautiful reading material encompassing faith, literature, history and geography, seemed the most workable for us at this difficult time in our lives.  We are still awaiting some of our book order but have made a tentative start on the week one programme.

I have also found this site to be of great value and comfort to me this week:

I have listened at night when struggling with pain and during quiet times of knitting.  I am slowly working my way through the podcasts and would whole heartedly recommend this site to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

Dave and Sara very kindly took Benedict and Pip to the skate park to make good use of the weather and prevent total cabin fever melt down!  Here are some pictures of the afternoon:

"Wait for me!"



This last picture was taken during late morning food preparation.  I was cutting the squash for our lunch and this is what lay before me as the golden vegetable was cut in half:

How lovely is that?  Hmm, wondering if God is trying to remind me that He is truly with me through all my trials, a pictorial reminder from above!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saturday Afternoon Craziness.

Trying out the new camera, so here are some snaps of the day:

 All is serene at number twenty two.

 Concentrating Hard.

 The fun begins!

 High Fives.

 Down Low.

 "Missed Me!"

Saturday smiles all round.