Sunday, 25 January 2015


First Benedict and now Pip, so we have had broken nights since the early hours of Friday morning.  Typically the diabetes has been very whacky and in addition to waking as a result of the kids waking, I have also had to set my phone alarm on a two hourly rotation to make sure I keep the diabetes in check.

  Benedict was able to be up on the sofa for part of the day but Pip has slept in our bed since the small hours.  Our homeopath was on hand to dole out remedy guidelines and I set up camp in the bedroom and worked quietly whilst she slept:

 In between boughts of fever and sickness, Pip was quite settled as long as I was nearby and in a funny way I accomplished a fair bit of work sat in that chair!

Hoping and praying for a fairly quiet night!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Conquering Ourselves

It has been a really tough week and therefore it has been easier to check in on others rather than visiting here.  I know my mum-in-law has missed my ramblings, so much so that she telephoned earlier this week to check in that all was OK, secretly suspecting that it probably wasn't!!  So here I am turning up and highlighting some of the better bits about our week:

Eva's parcel arrived earlier in the week and was a definite highlight of our day, thank you Eva, Peter and Co!
The kids received fabric bins which were immediately put into use beside their beds, the Hershey's Kisses were rationed with afternoon teas, the pretty pincushion is in my sewing space and the inspirational calendar will provide encouraging food for thought each month as we turn the page.  In fact January's thought is part of the title of this post:

 Handmade Card.

Cute and Practical.

 It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Cheeky Miss Pip.

From The Kitchen ~ the slo cooker has been pressed into action this week, making breakfasts, lunches and dinner.  We cook overnight oatmeal which is great and I also found a berry cobbler recipe on Pinterest,which I tweaked according to what was in our cupboard:

Mixed berries and bramley apple topped with almond flour, oats, butter and a sprinkling of maple syrup.  Once it was done, I toasted some almonds for extra crunch, so yay for instant breakfasts!

Weather ~ we have had a fairly consistent cold snap with accompanying sleet, frost and ice.  Pip has been hoping for real snow but in its absence made do with ice this morning:

Craft and Gardening ~ Pip received loads of craft style presents for her birthday and Christmas, so today we worked on the decorate your own craft bag from big sister Kathryn.  She also made a trip to Homebase with her dad and sweet talked him into a planting kit, I guess she's trying to get a jump start on the garden!

 They should grow quite nicely up the trellis on the side of the garage.

The compost was gently shaken to loosen the particles, the seeds were added and the lid replaced.  The pot now sits on my kitchen windowsill.

One sweet "Pip" and a whole heap of stars and flowers!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Gifts From The Heart And From Friends

We decided to try a new New Year's tradition which is popular in some of the Slovac countries and that is to pick a Saint for the year.  One's goal is then to learn as much as possible about that person and emulate some of their virtues.  In addition to this I also thought it would be a good idea to claim a fruit of the spirit and work on that facet of faith.  So here is our list for 2015:

Dave:  Saint Peter The Apostle, "Lord, you know everything and you know that I love you."  Pray for the Holy Father and The Vatican.

The gift of joy.

Me:  Saint Catherine of Genoa, "Dear Children I ask you to pray every day for the souls in Purgatory.  In this way you will acquire intercessors who will be able to help you in life."  Pray for The Holy Souls.

The gift of peace. 

Pip:  Saint Mechtilde, "All those who love my gifts in others will receive the same merit and glory as those to whom I have granted those gifts (Jesus)"  Pray for the underpriviledged.

The gift of mildness.

Benedict:  Saint Francis of Assisi, "I know Jesus poor and crucified and that is enough for me."  Pray that Jesus be loved.

The gift of goodness.

When I received my gift I instantly thought of the scripture passage, 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." 
Matthew 5 v 9.

And then I thought, "God really does have a sense of humour!" because there are plenty of opportunities for daily peace brokering in this family!!  Not between Dave and I per se but between Benedict and Pip.  They are at a time in their lives where the age gap and gender difference seems to be playing a significant role.  I wonder too if Pip being at school and Benedict being at home is also contributing to these difficulties, since they no longer have any common ground.  So one of my tasks is to find and work on shared items with them both.

Peace in The Heart and Soul

In these days of strife and turmoil and perplexity,
We all need peace, the peace that heals the mind-
the peace that brings the inward calm of quiet thoughts,
the precious balm - that comes to us from worlds we cannot see.

In these days of deep unrest we need to seek a place-
where at times we can find a sanctuary-
discovering the joy that springs from good and quiet and lovely things,
and learn the secrets of tranquility.

Patience Strong

My friend a non-Catholic Christian finds peace in our cathedral church.  There is no drum kit or happy clappy music, not that I am against any of these!  The church being what it is, is very quiet and reverential and the biggest blessing of all is the living presence of Jesus in the eucharist.  That peace truly is palpable and to sit in the silence, heavy with the prayer of the faithful is balm for a weary soul.

Peace can be found in other places too ~ on a hill side, a walk through the forest and even by the roaring of the sea!  Dave finds his peace in the workshop, he becomes so absorbed in the making of the tiniest springs and levers that time stands still ~ mindfulness mediation at work.

I used to think that knitting or crochet was my peace but my time at Hyning and painting an icon changed all that.  It was then that I truly understood the peace that world cannot give.

It is good to get away from noise,
From chaos and from din,
To seek in solitude and peace
The beauty that's within.

To go into a quiet wood,
And breathe its loveliness,
To contemplate in silence
Those things which calm and bless.

The mysteries of the universe,
The wisdom of the sage,
Take some old and lovely thought
From a bygone age
And meditate upon the good
The honest and the true
This calms the mind and you will find
A blessing comes to you.

Kathleen Gillum

Carrie over at the the parenting passageway also has the word peace for her year and will be writing a series of post on that subject.  She also wrote an excellent article on the difficulties of being eleven

On this day of the three kings we also received a beautiful package from Dorina and family.  We were treated to yummy New York coffee and tea, knitted goodies and wonderful reading material.  Thank you so much dear friend!

Apologies for the blurry images, the photgrapher was having a whoopsie daisy day!

 Beautifully wrapped packages.


 Needing a little help.

 Totally Pleased!

 Another Happy Reader!  Pip's second book was about a pilgrim girl and both books are by her bed as the current bedtime reading!

 A lovely rainbow purple cowl for me which will be just right for my time in the icon studio, it gets mighty chilly in there, even with a roaring wood burner!

 A snow man birthday card for Pip from Chanda and some really sweet pink fingerless mittens.

Peace to you x 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

First Beach Visit Of The Year

Pip and I wrapped up warm and braved a very icy wind yesterday to spend some time in the much needed outdoors.  We stopped on the way to our favourite seaside toy shop for a bucket and spade and then it was all systems go!

 Sand Angel.

 Sand Surfing.

 Mummy Longlegs!

 Silly Selfie.

 "That tomato, carrot, pepper and chilli soup sure is hot mum!"

The soup really was a welcome warmer as it was bitterly cold.  We also ate cranberry and cheese mini pasties followed by a yummy spanish hot chocolate.

After our lunch at the seaside we made our way to the library for a read and warm up and to borrow some books.  Libraries are often an underused resource and so I am making a concerted effort to take both Benedict and Pip on a more regular basis. 

 One of my winter goals for this year is to read more fiction as I tend to have a stack of information books on the go but they are not terribly restful before bed! I have recently read two lovely children's books during the course of this Christmas season, so with a bit of luck I'll manage a review before too long!