Sunday, 30 November 2014

This Week

It has been a busier week than usual, hence my absence from this space but here is a run through of the goings on at number twenty two:

Pip ~ on the whole she seems to be at peace about going to school; she has a really great friendship base and enjoys all aspects of her day.

However when she is very tired or unwell as was the case this past weekend, it is harder for her to manage the intensity of school and so on these days we find the "middle way" and go off in search of nature. So on Monday we had a lovely time together at Leighton Moss:

 A very cheeky Robin came to say "Hello" and was inches away from my feet but by the time I could locate the camera it had perched itself on the branch instead!

 Chatting to the ducks.

 Happy that we had almost reached our destination!

Whislt in the hide there was a great flurry of excitement as a Bittern had been spotted in amongst the reed beds.  We didn't see it but we did spot a Marsh Harrier instead!

 Colouring pictures in the education room.

 A lovely day and a great tonic for us both.

Benedict ~ We have had some real whacky diabetic readings of late, but don't ask me how we have managed it but his last three monthly blood averages were still within target range.  So for long term management that is good but the daily management of his medical needs is very exhausting and by the end of the week I am wiped.

We are still keeping on track with the curriculum but I have also been helping out where possible so that Dave can go off and chill out in the workshop or have rest time during the day.  Our viking craft this week has been a Jarls helmet:

 Early stages of the paper mache process and a shot of Dave's hand!  I will try and remember to take a photo of the completed craft.

He has however enjoyed some good contact time with friends this past week and was also able to take part in a community fund raiser with scouts.  Hooray!

San's Sweat Shop! ~ is slowly coming along.  I finally finished another batch of Japanese knot bags and I am glad because right now I am sick of making them!  To curb the frustration with the repetitive process I have been listening to some really great simple living podcasts and watching you tube videos!

In between the "work" crafting, I have been knitting for St Nicholas Day and I also made an Advent gift for Kath and Mary Grace, which required a whole heap of into the small hours crafting.  Photo's should be uploaded in the next day or so when I have had chance to upload them from the camera.

Christmas and Birthday Preparations ~ Christmas cooking  this year will be shared family affair.  I have been asked to make an old favourite, cashew and sage stuffing nut roast and mince pies.  Kath is organising the veg and sausages wrapped in bacon and my dad is making his famous baked ham and plum sauce.  There will also be cheese and biscuits and dessert for later in the day.  Boxing Day is usually all girls together with a trip to the beach and a warm up in costa, so we might just manage to pull it off again this year.

Pip's party will be on her birthday and hopefully will be a Christmas craft party and pizza lunch.  I have aimed for two hours and she only wants three friends from school, so it should work out OK.

Well that is me caught up!  1st December tomorrow!  I have the last part of my journey course on Tuesday which is icon painting at Hyning Monastery, there are three birthdays this week of family members and friends, Pip has a rainbow day camp at a "Winter Wonderland" and it is St Nicholas Day too.  Lots going on but all good.

Be Blessed San x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Crochet Therapy

After an epic fail of a neurology appointment, which necessitated setting the alarm for 6am and being out of the door by 7:30, followed by a stressful motorway drive in the pouring rain, I came home and for the first time ever really needed to craft.

  I have been following this clever lass  for some time now, I love her happy colourful place and she very kindly shares tutorials for free.  After three attempts I had mastered the triple layered flower  and very quickly moved on to the cosy striped blanketThe blanket is part of an autumn crochet along but I am not following her pattern entirely and have switched up the design ever so slightly.  Either way there is definitely something very soothing about working with a crochet hook and yarn; who'd a thought it, I am a #crochetaddict!!

 Joining in with Nicole over at Frontier Dreams

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

 We were greeted by a roaring log fire and Christmas Decorations!

 The promised treat a fruit juice and a packet of handmade crisps.

 A ride on the old fashioned roundabout...

 ... whilst I stopped to admire the blooms.

Then it was time for the main event!  We walked through the gate and crossed the road...

... and down the lane ...

 ... passed the river...

 ... and the funghi

 We admired the allotments and ...

 ... swished in the leaves.

 Nearly there!

 Destination Forest School! 

 This was Pip's treat at the end of a very tiring week. 
On the whole I believe that she enjoys school but they do push them hard and that is when she begins to wobble with the pressure, hence this visit to "Forest School."  She definitely misses getting out and about, so health permitting I am hoping to take her on a few more adventures before the turning of the year.

On our way home we sang the preschool song:

We are walking back to pre school,

We are walking back to pre school,

It's not far!  It's not far!

 We tried playing pooh sticks but I had not stopped and oberved the course of the river and the sticks floated away from us instead of under the bridge and out the other side, doh!

 Pip found a stick and played musical railings.

 I sang "The Holly and The Ivy" and Pip covered her ears!!  I didn't think my singing was that bad :-)

 As usual Miss Full of Beans, ran on ahead, passed the local primary school buildings and waited here for her ancient mum to catch up!

 Time to take a left turn and head down the main street and who should we meet?

 Kris coming out of her house!!  This really made our day!  We caught up on the preschool news and promised to let her know next time we were in the area.

 We walked down to the Institute and the pre school gardens.

 Looking very neat and tidy, unlike our garden!

 One final run about before heading home.

Pip and I had a lovely time together and I am glad that I was able to fulfill my promise to her at the end of a very tiring week.

If you want to read about a family that are really getting out and about then take a look here  I must admit it is mildly funny as this was a "pipe dream" of mine two years ago before Pip started school!  Sadly our combined lack of health really prevented this from happening, but I am pleased that this family are making a go of things and I will enjoy reading about their exploits along the way.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Friend Day

Today we met with another HE mum and her son.  We have been meeting regularly since the beginning of the year and a good friendship has blossomed for us all.  We attended a home ed meet organised by the Local Education Authority and it was a chance to meet new people and ask questions if necessary.  I actually had a chat with our named support worker and she was very sympathetic of Benedict's medical and learning needs.  It was good to have someone to talk to and she was able to confirm that Benedict would be able to attend Myerscough College at fifteen to study for external exams.  I think it will do him good to have some much needed independence by then and a chance for someone other than ourselves to shoulder some of the educational support and medical care.

After the meeting we visited Frankie and Benny's, our local New York Style Diner!  As always the food was very good and very reasonably priced.

 Look who is masquerading as the statue of liberty!

A walk along the shore helped aid digestion followed by a play in one of the play park dotted along the promenade.  It was a good day and despite the grey and cold it was lovely to be outside the home.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Walking the Labyrinth ~ A Path of Peace

Last night I attended the second part of The Journey Course and this time the event was held at a local carmelite retreat centre.

This was my second attempt at walking a labyrinth and it was certainly a more sedate experience compared to last time!  The theme for the evening was peace in our hearts and peace in the world and it was a fitting end to rememberance day here in the UK.  We listened to passages of scripture and a letter written by a soldier from the trenches at Christmas time.  He recounted a beautiful moment when the ceasefire was announced for Christmas day and how the soldiers were together in no mans land, singing and laughing.  For a brief moment peace reigned in those trenches.

Aside from the ususal labyrinth path there were four focal points where at any time you could pause and reflect as the need arose:

 The Labyrinth ~ we walked accompanied by the haunting music of Schindler's List.

 The first focal point ~ the mud in the trenches but out of the sorrow and suffering came hope which is represented by the blue.

 Second focus ~ an autumn scene yet in amidst the decay there is the promise of a springtime represented by the green backdrop.

 Third focus ~ Love, do we share or do we lock parts of our heart behind a wrought iron cage?

 Final focus ~ Christ, the forgiving victim and His blood which has been shed for all.

Such a beautiful evening and as always God spoke to me in those moments of silence, especially when I was beginning to worry about actually getting to the centre and then back out again!  As long as I was focused on putting one foot in front of the other and following the path intentionally I was fine, but as soon as my eyes wandered and I surveyed the whole scene, my anxiety levels rose as I could not visualise the way forward, a metaphor for my life for sure :-) 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

MG Visit :: Sara 25th Birthday :: Martinmas

We had Mary Grace to stay over the weekend.  Kathryn had to work on the Saturday morning, so she dropped MG off on Friday night and then returned after finishing work.  It is quite tiring these days looking after a toddler ... I must be getting old :-)

 One very tired Ergo wearing Grandma ~ I had been up twice in the night!

On Sunday we all travelled to Grange for Sara's 25th birthday.  Tom's mum had made a lovely lunch of soups, salad and cheese.  We brought cakes and scones for dessert.

 Mixed winter salad with nuts and apricots and cheese.

 Mixed vegetable soup.

 MG, Kathryn and Sara wearing part of her birthday present from us, a snuggly black hat.

 The view from the lounge window!

 A yummy gluten free chocolate cake.

 Poppy the cat asleep in Mum W's knitting basket!

Today has been an at home day.  Pip should have been in school but after having got dressed and sorted for the day, she broke down and cried about how difficult school is, that it is work all the time, that she never gets a star in star assembly and basically sobbed for over half an hour.  So we made an executive decision to keep her at home.  She played with the coloured blocks and after lunch made her Martinmas Lantern:


 Lantern Making.

 Finished Lantern.

 Lit Lantern.

I also managed to make the kids a Martinmas gift of warm hats and I also bought them some much needed winter pyjamas!