Monday, 29 October 2012

Home School Fun

I never thought I'd be writing that title!!  Thanks to a lovely chat with my friend Eva followed by an even lengthier and much appreciated email, we were done with formal academics by lunchtime.  Both the kids and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  No scowling, shouting or frustration, just a calm gettting on with our activities.  For the first time ever we had a circle time and since big sister Sara was on a mid term break from college she joined in.  We said our morning offering:

Father in Heaven I give you this day,
All that I think and do and say,
I give you the good times as well as the bad,
The times when I'm happy, the times when I'm sad,
Fill me with grace and make me strong,
With you at my side, I can't go wrong.

We marched around the room counting and clapping in twos and played Pip's favourite action song "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands!".  I'm waiting on further information from Live Ed so we only worked on our Maths, English and Handwriting.  Pip also likes to "work" alongside Benedict so I photocopy some "fun sheets" for her and she matches shapes, colour and counts until she's had enough.  She has just learnt to write her own name so is quite happy to sign her work accordingly.

I made best use of Sara being at home and when Pip was finished with her desk time the two of them made tonight's evening meal ~ Shepherd's Pie.  A good old standby and one that can cope with slow cooking, since we would be out in the afternoon.

After lunch we dropped Dad off to have lunch with Fr L and then the rest of us made our way to Myerscough College Library so that Sara could print some pictures for her recent landscaping assignment and then hand it in to the Horticultural Department next door.

No Manual Mode Monday photos this week as these were taken on my phone!  I remember reading somewhere that the best camera you have is the one with you at the time, if that makes sense.  So here are the shots from the visit:

 Sara organising her work.
Pip's choice Female Football and Hen Keeping!  Mine Practical Photography!
They did a great job and keeping fairly quiet.
The rows of books, lighting, red carpet and the smell transported me back to my student days.
Busy Reading.
A bit blurred but I like the expression on her face.
Once we'd finished in the library and handed in the assignment, we made our way to the restaurant for take out hot drinks.  I was also able to snap some of Sara's work that has pride of place in such a prominent area:

This last image was a wildflower border and during the summer months was a riot of colour, it gave Sara quite a headache in the planning and design, not least because it would be seen by staff, visitors and students as they go about their day.
This last image is one taken at Shalom Prayers this evening.  My friend Sallie led a visual meditation and this image spoke so powerfully to me:
I Have Seen The Lord
Where the mist rises from the sea,
Where the waves creep upon the shore,
Where the wrack lifts upon the strand,
I have seen the Lord.
Where the sun awakens day,
Where the road winds on its way,
Where the fields are sweet with hay,
I have seen the Lord.
Where the stars shine in the sky,
Where the streets so peaceful lie,
Where the darkness is so nigh,
I have seen the Lord.
The Lord is here,
The Lord is there,
The Lord is everywhere.
The Lord is high,
The Lord is low,
The Lord is on the path I go.
" Tides and Seasons ~ David Adam"
Thinking and praying for all those on the East Coast of America in particular my dear friends Eva and Dorina Louise.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Gratitude * Sunday

I'm joining in with Taryn for remembering the thankful moments during this past week:

An unexpected visit from a friend and a colourful autumn bouquet of flowers.

A lovely day with our home ed friends.  S made a warming selection of soups and after lunch the kids played for ages whilst the grown ups downstairs had peace and quiet, with knitting time for the ladies and computer drawing design time for the Dad!

Warming foods from the kitchen : soups, homemade vegetable base pizza, quiche, shepherd's pie and roast chicken with all the veg.

A successful cleaning day yesterday ~ thanks to everyone working together as a team the whole house is spick and span.

For the wonders of technology in particular Skype and a lovely friend who graciously gave of her time and listened to my worries about our own home school journey.  Eva if you are reading this ~ should we ever actually manage to meet in person I owe you a pot of your favourite tea and a slice of some yummy cake!

The promise of a new week ahead with definite home school plans and a bit of fun in between.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Manual Mode Monday 2/52

Joining in with Sarah for another photography exercise:

F5.6  1/20 ISO 400
I followed a "trick" from another blog in engaging the child in a conversation and snap away.  I preset the camera and then used the back screen rather than the view finder, certainly less intimidating for the person being photographed!  It worked!  Pip who is normally " camera shy" quite happily told me a story of what she was drawing and amongst all the pics taken this is my favourite.
Later that day I had thought about tinkering with the photo in Adobe Lightroom 4 which I downloaded on a 30 day trial ... well I spent over an hour tinkering and then gave up and went to bed!  I figured that shadows under her eyes (due to fighting a cold) and the tell tale signs of tea around her mouth were par for the course around here!!  I haven't totally given up on Lightroom but in the grand scheme of things I'd much rather be knitting than, photo editing.
Here are the other shots taken during that time:
Thanks Sarah for the Monday challenge and of course your pic of Posy Pie is as always adorable ... you should hire out your photography services for sure!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Yarn Along :: Organising :: Life Skills

I'm joining Ginny and others for the weekly yarn along.  Pip's cardigan is finished minus the buttons, they'll be sewn on later today.  There was plenty of leftover purple wool so I'm knitting myself this hat.  I love the art deco inspiration and the contrast in colours on the original pattern.

I'm reading this book:
Whoops!  Wonky photograph but I can't be bothered to edit!
I've found some renewed enthusiasm for photography.  I'm currently working my way through a 31 day crash course in DSLR's and at the same time road testing Adobe Lightroom 4 on a 30 day trial.  Both are challenging for the little grey cells, especially lightroom ... it can take weeks of constant use to accomplish even the basics!
On the organisation front, I tidied the links on my side bar as the whole place had become a disorganised mess and  I've given myself a strict talking to regarding the homeschooling. I spent the morning bookmarking interactive sites for Benedict during the forthcoming weeks, as I would like him to develop the knack of independent study for part of the day.  I also had the wobbles (yet again!) regarding Pip and school but keep coming back to home being the best place, with outside activities thrown in as she gets older.  So right now I'm at peace with the whole thing ... however I can't guarantee it will remain that way! 
Benedict worked with Shein this morning.  He's built up a good rapport with her and he's making steady progress in his maths.  She also has the added bonus of a cat called Oz that comes and sits on his knee and Cartoon Network as a reward once he's finished for the morning!  Once home he made the lunch, washed, dried and put away the pots.  He also tidied his room, emptied the tumble drier and loaded the machine with another wash.  These are valuable life skills and he'll also have the added bonus of earning another badge for cubs.

Sorting and Folding.
"What on earth are these? Girly underwear?  Yuck!"
"I'd much rather fold these, my own pants!"
"Watch out! Watch out! There's a snakey sock about!!"

Monday, 15 October 2012

Manual Mode Monday

I'm joining in with Sarah this week as she shares her enthusiasm for all things photographic.  It was just the tonic I needed as today has been another "black cloud" episode, gotta be the hormones, as in all honesty the kids have been great and for that I'm thankful.

I am very lucky to have a talented photographer husband so he walked me through some of the settings but at the end of the day it was me that took the shot (courtesy of a tripod and the remote control!)

F 5.6, 1/6, ISO 400,
This image was taken late on in the evening so I opted for monochrome as it is the most forgiving re "camera noise".  The aperture was the lowest that this lens would go but Dave has ordered a converter for one of his old lenses that should enable the aperture to drop to 1.8 when necessary.
Thanks Sarah for lifting my spirits and challenging me to actually pick up the camera and play with the settings.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Twenty Four Years

Not so old that he can't leave a love message that also teaches a law of Physics at the same time:

The condensation was in fact on the exterior side of the windows, thus highlighting the lack of heat loss in the new build and the chance to gabble to Benedict about condensation and the dew point.

Happy Anniversary Dear Heart ... and if any of you have done the Maths, then yes, Em and Kath were two when we married, *ahem*

We had an anniversary meal on Tuesday night and Sara our youngest of the big girls very kindly babysat.  The kids (all three of them!) had a great evening sharing some chocolate goodies and watching Toy Story 2.


Actually dressed up for a change!

A well deserved treat, sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Yarn Along

I've been busy with the knitting.  The cardigan for Pip is almost finished.  The Milo for my friend's baby is complete and I also had fun knitting this hat for Pip with left over wool:

It was actually freezing first thing, but not so cold that a hat was needed!

I think it's safe to say that she loves the hat!

The pattern is from Ravelry and is the " Norwegian Star Earflap Hat" by Tiennie. 

 It's been a long time since I tackled an intarsia design since I often lack the patience with following the charts.  Thankfully the design was only spread over fifteen rows, so I figured even me with my "need it done now!" attitude I  could cope. 

 I was unsure of my gauge and so decided to ere on the side of caution and knit on smaller needles, using the adult pattern as my guide.  The hat is a little bit big, but I would rather it was this way round than too small.  It'll be like her pixie hat that I made when she was six months old and she was still wearing it at two!!

On my needles at the moment is a pink square as part of a yarn bombing cause and with the left over wool from the Milo, I'm hoping to knit a hat or bootees.

My reading material is this book:

The Birth Partner: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Woman Through Childbirth

It's interesting reading the book as a non pregnant woman, for a start I no longer cringe at the stages of labour part, since for once it won't be me actually doing the hard work.  I am however very mindful of my role as a birth partner and no doubt as the due date draws nearer, I will be more than a little apprehensive.  Still, I have another six months to get my head around it all, so all is calm for the time being!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Farm Fun

We made the most of the sunshine on Sunday and took a trip to this place.  The kids had an active fun packed afternoon and the aged parents enjoyed the peace!

Playing on the go-karts.
"Hey Benedict, it's not Brands Hatch!"
The goats were desperate to escape, I wonder if one of them was called Geraldine?!
Benedict loved the climbing wall and ...
... Pip enjoyed the swing.
They both enjoyed the bouncy castle.
The tractors were our last port of call before the journey home.
Farmer Ben.
The Farm House.
Ingleborough ... fond memories for Dave as he spent a week here in his second year at Uni on a residential field trip.
As you will have seen from the photos we were treated to glorious weather, the warmth and the sun was a much needed boost to moral. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

For Dorina Louise

Well I hunted high and low on ravelry and could not find the original scource for the sock pattern so have typed it out for you:

For Babies Aged 6 weeks - 3 months

You'll need a left over ball of sock yarn and a set of 2.5mm double pointed needles.

Cast on 40 sts and divide these over three needles 10/20/10
For the cuff: k2, p2 for 40 rounds.

Heel:  Knit the stitches of needle 1 onto needle 3.  These 20 sts will form the heel side of the sock.  Purl one row.
Needle 1: slip 1, k1 all along the row.
Needle 2: slip 1st stitch purlwise, purl the entire row.
Work these two needle an additional 8 times, so in total 18 rows are knitted.

To turn the heel:

1. K11, ssk, k1, turn
2. slip 1 purlwise, P3, P2tog, P1, turn
3. slip 1, K4, ssk, K1, turn
4. slip 1 purlwise, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
5. slip 1, K6, ssk, K1, turn
6. slip 1 purlwise, P7, P2tog, P1, turn,
7. slip 1, K8, ssk, K1, turn
8. slip 1 purlwise, P9, P2tog, P1, turn
9. slip 1, K9, ssk, turn
10. slip 1 purlwise, P8, P2tog,turn

There are 10sts left on the needle.  Knit these 10 and pick up along both sides of the heel flap 13 stitches.

Needle 2 is knit in ribbing, starting p2,k2.
Divide the 36 sts equally over needle 1 and needle 3.

Foot Shaping:
Needle 1 : Knit until 3sts before the end, K2tog, K1
Needle 2 : Ribbing P2, K2
Needle 3 : K1, ssk, Knit until the end.

Repeat these needles a further seven times until you have 40 sts in total divided over three needles.  Continue to knit needle 1 and needle 3 and rib needle 2 until the foot has a reached a length of 3 inches/7.5 cms.

Toe Shaping:

Needle 1 : Knit until 3sts before the end, K2tog, K1
Needle 2 : K1, ssk, Knit until 3sts before the end, K2tog, K1
Needle 3 : K1, ssk, Knit until the end.

Repeat these decreases an additional four times.  Cut a length of wool from the ball, thread a darning needle and weave the needle through sts, pull the thread through.  To fasten off stitch through the toe of the sock on the reverse side and knot to secure your stitching.

Happy Knitting Dear Friend xoxo

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Meet the newest addition

Edd April 20th 2013. 
The miracle of life and this time it won't be me doing the labouring!  Instead it will be our lovely daughter Kathryn, I however have been drafted in as birth partner, *gulp*.  I only know how to do things from the labouring woman's perspective so on my reading list are a few doula books.  I've also earmarked a film about Ina May Gaskin and The Farm, courtesy of you tube.