Friday, 30 November 2012

Catching Up

I've been quiet in this space, it's either been a case of too tired, can't be bothered or too busy!  I need to get this done as from tomorrow it's day one of the December Photo Project and I'm hoping that I'll manage to shoot a daily pic between then and Christmas Day. So without further ado here is the happenings from this past week:

On Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ The King~  the last Sunday in Ordinary Time and a special day honouring Jesus.  A feast day can only mean one thing, time to party, so after church we gathered some supplies and a buffet lunch followed by a cheat's trifle was enjoyed by all.  Whilst the kids were making Crown Cakes, Dave and I visited our friends to collect wood and we also popped into the newly furbished Wolf House Gallery.  It was a treat looking around the barn shop and I snapped these pics using my handy phone:

The welcome sign on the cafe wall.

"Here's looking at you-whoo-whoo!"
Handmade Decorations.
Ballerina Doll in a Fairy Cup.
Jolly Robins.
Artist in Residence.
From the outside looking in.
On Monday we caught up with some household chores and school work followed by lunch time mass and then a trip here to meet with some other home educating families.  Sometimes you have to "put out into the deep" as Peter would say  and that is just what I did!  I posted a message on our local yahoo group suggesting a meet and six families turned up.  I'm hoping we can manage to meet on a fortnightly basis, with one meet at a soft play area and the other at a local community centre for a cooking and craft activity.
On Tuesday we attended early morning mass followed by errands.   What a difference it has made being up and out the door by half past eight.  Once home we blew off the cobwebs from our "Things we see in church" lap book and both kids had a great time cutting and gluing.
On Wednesday we had left the house by eight, dropped Pip off at Debs' house and made our way onto the motorway for a ten thirty appointment at Leeds.  This is our second visit and it was not without troubles!  This time instead of lashing rain we had tyre problems and arrived at our destination with two minutes to spare!! I so hate being late!  The appointment went well but there has only been a slight improvment in the HbA1C and so it is down to me to troubleshoot carb ratios with each meal  and aim for a tighter control alround. Not easy.  Despite the minor hiccups I put the time to good use and worked on some mindless knitting:
In car picnic eating and my knitting is in the dash board!

One of these days we'll actually get to visit Kirkstall Abbey.
On the way home we stopped off at the motorway services and found ourselves in Costa:

Benedict had fun with festive menu!

On Thursday we met our home ed friends from the north and after lunch took the kids on a ramble with the promise of a hot chocolate and cake half way round.  Once again I took these pictures using my phone camera and I'm very pleased with results, it beats lugging a DSLR when you are also toting a rucksack and kids!

Taking a breather.
Sunshine and Shadow.
Mini hot chocs for the kids and herb teas for S and me, all courtesy of the Wolf House!
Sunset over the bay.
By the time we arrived back at the car park it was five o'clock and pitch black!  I can tell you we collapsed into bed exhausted that night! 
 I would love to say that we all slept soundly but Dave and I were on diabetic duty.  Despite having had excellent control all day, Benedict ran dangerously high during the late evening and throughout the night.  When I googled "exercise and high blood sugars" I found the reason why and although it was helpful to know why it had happened, it was the last thing I needed having been on my feet for best part of the day.  Needless to say we have had a quiet day today.
So first of December tomorrow, where did the time go?  Time to dig out our Christmas teapot, mugs and other advent decorations and for me to keep up with the frantic knitting!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Yarn Along

I'm joining Ginny this week for the usual knitting and reading share along:

The dark grey knitting is another Liesl and the green behind is a jumper in the making, you can just see the pattern on the table.  I'm making the zipper necked version.  The two big balls of wool are for a quick knit project!  So in all I have four projects on the go at once which is totally unheard of for me!!

The book is on loan from a friend and is written by Pastor Johann Christoph Arnold. He is a senior pastor from one of the Bruderhof Communities.  The back of the book offers a summary of what is written inside:

" Why Children Matter offers biblical wisdom and common sense advice on how to hold a family together and raise children with character."

It also comes with endorsements from four fairly prominent Catholics: Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York, Alice Von Hildebrand Ph.D, Benedict J Groeschel CFR and Sr Carol Keehan President of The Catholic Health Association.

  The chapters are short in length but challenges the reader  to examine how and why we do things as parents and how we can improve our relationships with our family and through them the wider community.

Happy Knitting and Reading to my fellow yarn along friends and Happy Thanksgiving to those on the other side of the pond!!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Prisons Week

The Prisons Week Prayer: Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen

It was a privilege and a humbling experience to watch this week's "Songs of  Praise." As a result of watching I found my way to  this site  and the proposed prayer itinerary for each day. We each walk a pilgrim journey and  my life could have been very different had I not been raised in such a loving and faith filled family. It is quite a sobering thought to read that  boys whose Father's are serving time in prison are  themselves likely to choose such a path of destruction. If only they knew of a Father in Heaven who loves them dearly, whose love and mercy is never ending and  "What a friend we have in Jesus."

" ... for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to me.

"Lord when did we see You hungry and feed You or thirsty and give You a drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison and come to you?"

And the Lord replied, " Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, You did it to me."

Monday, 12 November 2012

A Productive Day

Thanks be to God and a nudge from my Angel, I was actually up before everyone else!  What a difference it made to the tone of the day and I certainly relished the peace and quiet as I went about the breakfast prep.  We even managed to have our read aloud time whilst folk were still sitting at the table!

Our circle time this morning also incorporated some "Brain Gym" exercises.  I'd learnt about this mode of awakening the brain when I had re-turned to teacher training when Pip was nine months old.  This was  before being called home to teach my own in an unpaid capacity!  I watched the exercises via you tube and we all had fun drawing shapes in the air, wiggling our ears and writing/drawing with our non dominant hand.

We made good progress with our maths and literacy and there has been plenty of down time for the kids to organise there own activities or as Pip calls them, "Activias!"  I even managed further time in the loft and the first of my handmade gifts is nearly finished.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall saved the day and with the help of this book:

we had drop scones for breakfast, curried fish pie with leeks and greens for lunch, followed by apple turnovers and custard for dessert.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Gratitude Sunday and Martinmas

So grateful that the decorating is finished!  Also giving thanks for:

Flowers from friends, an impromptu gathering around the dinner table and plenty of food to share.

The "flowers" are actually ornamental cabbage!

For a two days of sunshine, warming the heart and lifting the spirits.

For gluten free bread and pizza making using a  Polish potato bread recipe ~ it turned out good.

A quiet prayer time with Dave, whilst Sara, Benedict and Pip attended church parade on Rememberance Sunday.

Regular sewing time during this week.  Whilst Sara and Dave held the fort downstairs with childcare and kitchen duty, I was in the loft room and the result thus far is a corduroy dress for me, with another ready to go and some Christmas/ Birthday gifting from this book:

Making steady progress with the Christmas knitting too.  With a bit of luck and hard work, I think most of the gifts this year will be handmade.  Great for the planet and our budget!
For painting time and a Martinmas Lantern glowing peacefully in our prayer corner:
If you look closely you'll see her tongue sticking out!  She was concentrating hard!
I had a go too.  It was a welcome antidote to an otherwise very challenging day!
Sara did a fab job cutting out the pentagon shapes and then gluing it all together.
Thanks to Taryn for reminding me to stop and give thanks.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Manual Mode Monday 4/52

Joining in with Sarah, albeit uploaded a day late!  I took advantage of Pip being occupied with the tessellation shapes and maths manipulatives:

F5.3, 250, ISO 1600
I also made use of Pip sitting near the window and I love the way the light is reflected in her hair. I think I was lucky with this shot as a higher ISO setting has the downside trade off re camera "noise."  I just wasn't thinking straight and could've captured the same effect by altering my shutter speed instead, as in all things it's a learning curve.  At least I'm operating in manual mode pretty much all of the time and I'm no longer troubled by fiddling around with the camera settings and observing the different effects.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Gratitude * Sunday

I'm joining in with Taryn and friends and offering thanks for the past week:

For a lovely afternoon with my Sara, Benedict and Pip.  We were treated to glorious sunshine and a peace.

For the safety of my friends, Eva and Dorrina, prayers were truly answered that night.

For the kind soul who left me this note:

and for Dave who had left this in the car:

no need for road side assistance and one happy mama able to make her journey home in safety.

For the Lord speaking to me most powerfully through a picture, God is good!

For All Hallows Eve and for Sara baking and pumpkin carving with Benedict and Pip.  For being able to share our "soul cakes" with some intrepid travellers as they braved the winds and rain.

For a lunchtime date with our lovely daughter Kath and the chance to gently pat a teeny tiny baby bump!

For Dave making good progress with the lounge decorating.  We are nearing the end, I'll be so glad to have everything back in its place!

For making good progress with the Christmas knitting and at the same time making good use of some stashed yarn.  I have the list in my head for if I commit to paper I might just panic at the enormity of it all!

For playtime with Pip:

and for her singing, "Here we go round the mouldy bush all on a Sunday morning!"  Priceless!
Have a blessed week.
San x