Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Out of the mouths of babes

Pip:  " Sh, mum we are having a hideout"

Me:  " Why is that then?"

Pip:  " 'cos we don't want dad to bath us!"

Me:  " Well you had better go on and hide then!!"

I think it is safe to say that Little Miss PJ is slowly on the mend!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Art :: Easter Preparations :: Sickness

Benedict and Pip enjoyed their art lesson on Friday:

Benedict's Shield.
Sir Philippa.
On Saturday, Benedict and I made a start on the Easter Gardens.  I've been wanting to make one of these for the past few years but I've always left it too late.  Thanks to my lovely friend Eva, I managed to glean the necessary information and armed with a picture from my pinterest board, we made a start:

Preparing the base.
Adding the wheat kernels.
Waiting to germinate ~ we still need to make the three crosses to stand at the back and to hopefully make a quick trip to the beach, for our stone at the front of the tomb.  I'm not sure if there'll be any grasses come Easter Sunday, but since Eastertide spans a whole forty days until Penetecost, I'm hopeful something will appear in that time!
Dave was extra busy in the workshop last week making this lovely gift for Pip and Ben (made using a side from one of the packing cases used to deliver workshop machinery!):

His drawing of the Baltic which is an engine he is working on using a CAD design package.  He takes the computer to the coffee shop near Pip's pre-school and works there when she is in her sessions.
They have had enormous fun.  Benedict has invented new designs and Pip has been busy writing her name and other letters.
Dave and I had an interesting date night on Thursday, we braved high winds and a severe weather warning to travel fifty minutes to this place:

Cheerful flower display.
We went to see this nice guy who effectively told us there was no treatment available, neuro protective drugs are not a big money spinner it seems!  We have yet to receive our bill, gulp!!  On the way home we stopped off at a motorway services and treated ourselves to this:

Two decaff lattes and a chelsea bun for Dave.
Still Smiling...
... just!
Pip became unwell late on Friday evening ~ high temperature, headache, flu aching and vomiting.  Homeopathic Belladonna dealt with the temperature and hallucinations and Nux Vomica finally sorted the sickness, late last night.  All we have to deal with now is the  conjuctivitis and loss of appetite!  Despite feeling so unwell she was desperate to make her Easter Garden, so in a five minute spell of being able to sit upright, she made a start:

I also made her a play tray with some of the left over wheat kernels and it provided a suitable distraction for ten minutes:

So here we are at the beginning of Holy Week, today is a much needed cleaning day, there are a few craft based activities I'm hoping we'll manage during the week  and of course the beautiful services at church.  The sun is currently shining and there are howling winds, a good drying day for sure!
Be Blessed x 


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

From Theory To Practise

This past week Benedict has been working on the human body as part of his science topic; he has looked at the internal workings as well as the foodstuffs needed for healthy growth.  He enjoyed designing his own food pyramid containing some of his favourite foods and thankfully it was a well balanced display, all those "lectures" on healthy eating seem to have paid off!

He was so inspired by last week's study that off his own bat, he worked on a menu plan of some of his favourite meals.  He announced that he would be using some of them when Kathryn has her baby, since he has designs on commandeering her kitchen!  I was then able to use this work as a platform for yesterday's study, which was grading the food groups within each recipe and decide was it a really a healthy choice.

Today he answered the following questions:

1. Name two types of nutrients that we eat that can give us energy.

2. Explain why we need to eat foods containing proteins.

3. Give two reasons why it is important to eat some foods containing fat.

4. Give two reasons why it is important not to eat too much fat.

5. We are often told to eat five helpings of fruits and vegetables each day.   Explain why these foods are necessary. 

He then had responsibility for choosing the lunch menu and making any necessary adaptations to ensure it was a healthier choice so:

Chicken, Leek and Asparagus Pie served with Julienne Carrots, followed by  Peanut Butter Booster Bars were on the menu.

The pie recipe called for a flaky pastry which is high in fat, so we traded this for a simple shortcrust using olive oil based margarine; it also recommended a cream based sauce so we used flour and chicken stock to make our tasty base.

The booster bars contained gluten free oats, cornflakes, mixed fruit, honey, sugar, butter and peanut butter.  The sugar and honey content was reduced and we did keep the butter, figuring that only a small amount would be eaten in one sitting!  The recipe made 18 bars, so there is plenty to share in the next day or so.

Without further ado her is the (young)man of the moment:

Ready for the pan.
Pie Filling.
Waiting for the topping.
Mixing the booster bar mix.
Smiley Pie!
Waiting for the oven.
"Quit snapping Mum, I'm hungry!"

Monday, 18 March 2013

St Patrick

With a bit of last minute organising, we actually managed to celebrate this feast day, my Nanna would have been proud since it is through her that I own my Irish heritage.

We read from this book and with what can only be described as providence, I was able to cobble together these napkins:

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you happy hours
that stay with you all year the long.
We ate lamb stew with crusty herb dumplings and colcannon and no St Paddy's day would be complete without a glass of the brown stuff!

Table set and waiting.
Lamb Stew and Colcannon.
Good Ol' Guinness!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Catching Up

It is 1am and it is raining and I'm currently on insulin pump suspension duty.  Benedict has had yet another awful hypo and despite treating him with apple juice, his blood sugars are still dangerously low.  Makes a change from them running dangerously high which they have done the past two mornings, cue sick bowl and ketone test monitor!  In fact since my last post, I've been lucky if I've had three full nights of sleep!  Never a dull moment round here!

Thanks be to God and homeopathic medicine, I think I am at last turning a corner in my own health.  The flu symptoms lingered longer than I would have liked, but hardly surprising since sleep has eluded me these past few weeks!  First it was Pip with the norovirus and then Benedict got sick and since then the diabetes has been totally whacky.

The middle of the night duties have afforded me plenty of quiet reading and pondering time and this has been a much needed balm fro my soul.  I'm currently reading this book:

I filched the picture from amazon but the quality is not great, so just to clarify the book is titled "Landmarks, an ignatian journey" by Margaret Silf.  I've read up to chapter two and it is essentially a modern day interpretation of the spiritual exercises as laid down by St Ignatius.  I ordered this book from the library late last week and  it is interesting to learn that our new Holy Father is a Jesuit and so he'll be more than familiar with this type of personal prayer journey! 
The learning zone has been very quiet these past few weeks; I have had not the wit, enthusiasm or energy to undertake such a task, so Benedict kept himself amused with reading and more reading.  Trying to find books that would interest and challenge him is becoming increasingly difficult.  Some of the material on the library shelves even I would not wish to read!  Our choices for this week are as follows:
The Machine Gunners ~ Robert Westall
The Kingdom By The Sea ~ Robert Westall
The Mystery Of The Spiteful Letters ~ Enid Blyton
Boudica, The Secrets Of The Druids ~ Caroline Corby
Sparrow, The True Story of Joan of Arc ~ Michael Morpurgo
Twist of Gold ~ Michael Morpurgo
Not Bad For A Bad Lad ~ Michael Morpurgo
Benedict has already finished the Machine Gunners, which as the title suggests  is based on the conflicts of the Second World War.  At first glance the book seemed reasonably "harmless" but there was quite a disturbing account of the main character finding a dead pilot in the woods, interestingly enough however I think this part of the story "went over Benedict's head" and he did not realise the full ramifications of what he had read.  So there's a lesson for me here and that is to either use the books as a read aloud platform or for me to read them first and vet accordingly.
We actually managed a trip to see Kathryn on Thursday, she was looking well and cooked a lovely lunch for us all.  "Midge" is also doing well but the little tinker is lying in a very awkward breach position and so a c-section is on the cards.  We should know within the next week or so, the date for delivery.
Pip continues to enjoy her time at pre-school and forest school.  She has made some lovely friends and enjoys contributing to all aspects of learning wether it be in group discussions, free playtime or problem solving. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Pip is only there until lunchtime so Dave takes his computer work and sits in the local tea rooms!  I think he enjoys the peace and quiet ... oh and also the cake!
Well, I'm off to make a warming cup of tea, so I'll leave you with some random pictures of these past few weeks:
Painting the inside of the daffodills for St David's Day.  We had potato and leek soup and Welsh Cakes for tea that day.

Benedict's God Father came for supper and the two of them had fun playing with jigsaw book.
We have found a lovely art teacher, who visits on a Friday after lunch.  She is a friend of Kamila, who is our friend in the Czech Republic.  Erika is Slovac and is an accomplished textile and mixed media artist.
Working on the planning stage of his shield design.
A spotty shield for Pip!
A coconut and lime cake for Mother's Day lovingly hancrafted by Benedict.
Eau des Jardins
Kathryn bought me this perfume and a miniature size bottle of beauty balm and hand cream.  Sara and Pip were absolute stars and cleaned the whole of the top floor and tidied the downstairs.  I also spent the afternoon with my friend Debbie, knitting and chatting.  She bought me a bunch of daffodills and we all enjoyed eating the cake and drinking tea.
My quiet place!  Yes it is the greenhouse!  Despite the temperatures barely hovering above freezing I was cozy and snug with my hot water bottle and blanket.  My intention was to pray and I did but I also benefited from a much needed "cat-nap"  Our now deceased cat Holly was not daft, she could often be found snoozing in between the pots and plants.