Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Message For Eva

Blogger is playing silly beggars and will not let me post a comment on your blog!

  Loved the Rainbow Days post and congratulations on the blog awards!

Wishing you a good weekend

San xx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Seven Days

Hmm, so blogger has decided that we all have to use the new updated editor, no democracy in this part of cyber space!  Ah well, it is free service so I shouldn't complain too much.

Another seven days has passed and we've had stress, sadness and continued sickness at this end, but have managed to still keep up with bits of home school and other activities.

Face painting fun.

Flower Girl.

Edible Science.

Yep that is green coloured cake mix!

Sedimentary Cupcakes!

The original edible science recipe called for crushed biscuits dyed with food colouring and sandwiched together using a "mud" of butter and syrup.  Not good with a diabetic kid thrown into the mix so I decided to make our usual low sugar cake mix and then colour with green, red and yellow food colouring.  Each layer contained chocolate chips representing fossilised animals.  I must admit the colour combo looked ghastly so we topped each cake with a little buttercream and a few chocolate chips for good measure!

A cross section... in culinary terms it was a spectacular failure!!  I think I either overbeat the mix when adding the colouring or added to much xantham gum, sometimes gluten free flour can be quite tricky... well that's my excuse anyway.  However in geological terms it really did resemble a rock strata, so yay for that!

Friday was our once a month forest school meet.  I woke that morning and truly did not want to go as I felt so unwell, but the look on the kids faces when greeted with that news was pitiful, so armed with a heat pack and painkillers we made the journey.  I'm so glad that Dave does the driving on the days out for if it was solely down to me, we wouldn't venture beyond our backdoor!

At the visitor centre.

Pip waiting whilst the adults ponder the sudden downpour and hailstones raging outside.  In short typical British weather!

Den building an absolute must given the very changeable weather.

Making wood necklaces using Elder bark. 

Prior to this shot Pip had been a scamp and charged past the tree boundary!  This girl is amazingly fast on her feet and her ancient mother sadly is not. This is not the first time I've called on her Guardian Angel to intervene, especially since she was some way ahead of me and to the right of us both was a very large lake!  She did eventually stop and was very remorseful, I however vacillated between relief and anger, so I was very glad when the craft activity appeared.

Whittling sticks ready for marshmallow toasting.

On Saturday Benedict attended a day cub camp and for the first time ever it was without either Dave or me shadowing him, hurrah!  He was in a "nag free zone!" and Dave and I trawled through months of paperwork and other boring yet necessary activities.

Free Time Fun.

Playing Capture The Flag.

On the way home to bed.

Creative Chaos.

Not wishing to miss out on the fun, Sara and Pip spent some time creating this colourful display using fabric crayons.  The design was fixed using an old sheet to protect the art work and then ironed.  The fabric was an old white pillowcase which I think will be turned into a toy sack by running a casing around the top and then a drawcord through the channel.

We are still in the process of final fixing re the building work and Dave has patiently trawled through several hundred photgraphs to bring you a very small snapshot of the work involved.  I've limited him to a two part blog post containing no more than ten photgraphs per post!  Wouldn't want to bore you rigid!!

We've made some solid progress in the homeschool department.  We've begun our narration on the book "Leif the Lucky" and Benedict drew a lovely opening picture for our work.  He worked hard with Shein this morning and after lunch he chose a lesson to complete from his workbook "Responsibilities For Boys."  The chosen lesson involved making a chore chart and so we first of all brainstormed the types of jobs done throughout the house and then narrowed it down to five easily achievable tasks on a daily basis, with one weekly chore to be completed on a weekend.  He had fun decorating his work with mini drawings, so all in all a good day.

We had hoped to visit the National Railway Museum at York with friends tomorrow but my health is not up for that, so instead we'll visit them at their house.  We all get on really well and S has offered to make a warming leek and potato soup, goodness knows it is needed in this cold wintery like weather.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

This Week

I've woken in pain, worked through the day in pain and collapsed into bed after tea in pain.  I have fibromyalgia and have lived with this debilitating condition for twenty years.  I haven't had a flare this bad for ages so it is taking some getting used to this time.  Hopefully the combo of meds, heat and acupuncture should calm things down in time.

I've been up virtually every night trouble-shooting Benedict's blood sugars and either correcting the highs or suspending the pump to avert the crashing lows.

I've sat in the dreaded children's outpatients followed by an appointment with the diabetes team.  The consultant spent best part of an hour staring blankly at the computer screen with Benedict's pump therapy downloads in front of him.  When a mother complained to the nurse on duty that she had to get back to work and her son should be seen, he walked out of the consultation room, without even as much as a goodbye!

I spent the following morning of the consultation ringing the paediatric clinic at Leeds hospital organising a referral for Benedict to see Dr Fiona Mary Campbell, consultant diabetologist.  Dr Campbell travels extensively lecturing to professionals and parent groups, she has been involved with a pump therapy steering comittee as part of and also works with this organisation too  Leeds is about an hour and half drive from our home but the trip will be worth it to get some proper medical support for Benedict.

I've nursed one older daughter with a worrying medical problem and supported another via telephone as she encounters her own health crisis.  Prayers for both Kath and Sara would be gratefully appreciated.

We've made endless cups of tea and coffee for the bricklayers and glaziers, all with copious amounts of sugar... good job none of them have diabetes!  In spite of their interesting beverage habits they are making good progress and the exterior building works should be finished by the weekend.  Dave has taken copious photographs at the different stages, so once they've been whittled down, I'll bore you with a building post!

I encountered a mouse in the garden shed, eek!  It had chewed its way through a bag of bird seed which had been left uncovered, all unbeknown to me so when I lifted the bag the seed was everwhere!  Couldn't leave the shed in such a state, after all it would be an open house invite for a family of mice to move in, so shed clearing was the order of the day... not great when you are already in pain.  Still that's one job out of the way until next Spring.

I actually managed to organise some science work for Benedict including a fun, messy experiment.  DH did followed it through in practice, drawing on his geology training.  The activities went well and there was only a modicum of moaning when it came to writing things down.

So here are some snap shots of our past week:

A keen young gardener.

Benedict getting his gloves dirty!

Our first meal of the year outside.

Making the volcano.

Having fun watching it fizz.

Tracking the lava flow and exhibiting the volcanic changes which occur over time and through repeated eruptions.

Making a  geological study.


It's 3am and I'm on hypo prevention duty so I'll wander upstairs to check Mr B and then make myself another cup of this delicious tea:

Dragonfly Rooibos Earl Grey 40 bags

Monday, 9 April 2012

Seven days :: Snapshot Blessings :: Easter Fun

Happy Easter ... Hallelujah, He Is Risen!

We finally have a new laptop so normal blogging service should resume!  I'm joining in with Jacqui and here are our snap shot blessings from the past seven days:

Pip making faces with Jen.

Pip with J.

Swinging High.

Sharing a hug with a lovely friend.

The photographic proof of a crazy afternoon with three boys!  Mum if you're  reading this I actually managed to keep my cool!!

Crazy Dude mini greenhouse building.

Seed Sowing.

Sara endured horrendous sea sickness bringing these home from the Outer Hebrides!

Making Chocolate Easter Nests.

Easter Sunday lunch and sharing a joke with Uncle Bernard.

Easter Nests.

Opening Easter presents from Uncle Bernard, books for Benedict and craft items for Pip.

Pasche Egg Rolling.

Easter Bread for Afternoon Tea.

Cowboy Grandad.

Pip sharing a story with Uncle Bernard.

Phew!  We really did have a busy week no wonder I'm more tired than ususal today! 

We are caravan moving tomorrow, Dave's milling machine arrives on Wednesday and the builders move in on Thursday!  It's going to be an interesting few weeks!!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Blog Award

 Dorrina sent me this award.  This is the third time I've been kindly recognised in such a way, both Eva and Shirley Ann recommended me for similar awards but due to health hassles I never did get round to following it through.  The rules of acceptance are to link to back to the original awarder, post the link picture on the blog and award five nominees who have a blog following of less than 200. 

Since  my friends linked above have already recieved this award then my nominees are as follows:

   Sarah  writes with such honesty about authentic parenting, the joys and the woes as she works with her husband Martin in raising four gorgeous, loving, spirit filled girls.  Her place is always a hive of business whether it be nature walks, cake making or crafting.  She is one of my friends from the Green Parent forum and has supported me countless times through prayer and loving words.

Carly  another Green Parent gal is commited to sustainable living and she can often be found in the veg patch, tending to an ever increasing menagerie, chasing after her two lovely boys or catching five minutes peace with a knitting needles in hand.  She has a great love for God which is captured in her words and images.

Lorna  I found this gal via the self-sufficientish web site and like Carly she too is commited as far as possible to going against the flow with make do and mend, sustainable living, beautiful crafting including some great activites with her her two littlies and all against a backdrop of varying health issues.  She has a positive spirit and I always find encouragment to "carry on fighting" when I read her blog. 

Susie  If you ever want a happy place to visit then stop off here!  Hannah's smile is truly infectious and no matter what kind of day I've had, visiting Susie and her lovely little girl always makes me smile.

Hannah  Last but by no means least visit this talented gal if you're looking for craft ideas, sumptious baking and musings on life and motherhood.  Until recently she was a home schooling mama and is now lovingly supporting her young son in his decision to try school.  So if you're also  looking for home ed related links you'll find them in her archives.

So that's me done!  I've had fun putting this together, so thanks Dorrina for including me in your list.

PS If you want to see how those handknits looked on baby Posy then check Sarah out here and you'll see her gorgeous daughter wearing them very well indeed:

Blessings to you on Palm Sunday.

Long Overdue

We've had another full on busy week, so by the end of the day I'm often too tired to post.  We've met with our new HE friends twice now, we made a first visit to them and then they called to play on Friday.  They live in a village north of us and it's a do-able half hour drive straight up the motorway:

The Orange House.

Cars and Lego Play.

Kitchen Play

S with Pip


On Monday of this week Benedict attended the HE sports lesson at Bolton Arena.  He had a fab time and it's interesting to see how his confidence has grown in these past weeks as he's encountered new folks.  Whilst he and Dave were out of the house, I caught up on much needed paperwork.  Sara very kindly took Pip out for the day.  They ran errands in town and then took a train to Morecambe where they had lunch at Frankie and Benny's, played in the sea and the sand and then took a bus ride home.  They were both shattered after their day trip, Pip slept like a log that night!

On Tuesday Pip was with Debbie and Sara treated Benedict to a trip to town and lunch out.  Dave and I managed to attend midweek mass followed by a coffee and gluten free treat at Beetham Garden Centre.  (Note from DH - oh for the ability to go for a walk with a flask of coffee - now our health confines us to road accessible places!!) We sat outside and enjoyed the warm sunshine.  After tea I helped Sara with her packing as she was travelling way up North the following day.

On Wednesday Sara began her epic trip to North Uist (*) and Jacqui and John's Croft.  Despite the best laid plans of mice and men Virgin Trains let her down at the start of her journey.  Her train was cancelled due to overhead wire problems and the next train out was forty minutes later.  This had a domino effect and as a result she missed her connecting bus and ferry to Stornoway that night!  It was a megga stressful day  trying to sort out alternatives including a flight but in the end it made to find her a hotel for the night and resume her travel plans the following day.  She landed safely on Thursday and rang on Friday to say that, she'd been digging a trench and been on a bike ride.  All good stuff!

(*DH note -  See Comments, for some reason, we mistakenly had the island to the south, Jacqui and John are on Lewis!)

On Thursday we visited a long standing friend.  Rondie and I have known each other since college days, she's the only person I've kept in contact with since my youth and we'll have known each other 29 years this year!  It was lovely to see her and the new home which is a bungalow.  They moved in the summer of last year and despite being only twenty minutes down the road it was the first time we had met since last year, sigh!

View from the back.

Always Smiling

On Friday we had our visit from our HE friends and despite the drop in temperature we played in the garden all afternoon.  Benedict and C get on like a house on fire.  Pip and A are still trying to get the measure of each other and it's quite comical watching them interact!  I think they'll establish a good friendship through time and maturity.

Where's the sun gone?!

Our very own Flower Pot Ben!

In all it's been a good week but I'm glad to say that Holy Week should be lot quieter and I'm hoping to catch up on some desk work with Benedict in preparation for his First Holy Communion.