Friday, 28 August 2015

Tea By The Sea and Other Stories

Pip completed her second swim intensive for the summer and the challenge was deep water confidence, she did very well and swims like a fish :-)  I have also set myself a challenge and that is to overcome my lack of confidence in the water and so I begin an improvers' class next Wednesday!

Pip has been ploughing through the read, write inc phonics books and has now finished set two and is moving on to the third set.  She also completed an assessment for Singapore Maths.  The test consisted of twenty questions incorporating a variety of mathematical concepts, number bonds, addition, subtraction, word puzzles, shape, size and sequencing.  The test was split into two parts with a significant rest break in between.

 The level of difficulty increased as the test progressed.

 Funny stories with Quentin Blake style illustrations.

Whilst Benedict was at the gym with Shein this morning, Pip enjoyed some quiet time with me and chose an interesting set of stories for her quiet time:

A real family favourite!
As a reward for all their efforts ( Ben sat his math assessment when he came home) we decided to buy fish and chips for tea and eat them at the seaside:
 Making the most of the sunshine.

 Tastes much better in the fresh air and a bonus for the parents no washing up!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Roasted Chick Peas :: Visitors :: Retinal Scan

I saw this recipe on Frugal Queen 

Really simple and tasty roasted chick peas ~ drain and rinse a can of chick peas, place in a bowl and add a glug of olive oil, a good helping of black pepper, a sprinkling of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of medium strength curry powder.  Great as an addition to a salad meal but these would make an alternative healthy snack option to crisps.

Kathryn and Mary Grace visited for the day and as always their visit was a welcome change from the usual house related chores:

 Get ready now ...

... and blow!

Benedict overcame his nerves and went for his retinal scan today.  He is very wary of new procedures and quite rightly so, since he has had all manner of unwelcome tests as a result of the diabetes.  This test will now be performed yearly so that any changes in his eyes can be identified and acted upon:

 "Mum!  Not snapping again!"

 He did a great job keeping still, let's hope that the results are good.  I think they should be since his bloods although not always within target range have been reasonably stable.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Well Rested

Dave and I were away from Friday to Sunday of last week, our first time without children in over twelve years!  Benedict stopped with Sara and Tom and Pip stayed with some friends and their kids.

The reason for the jaunt was an early birthday treat for Dave, who'll be 50 on the 27th September.  Initially I had hoped to take him to Paris (ever the blue sky thinker!) but a jolt with reality brought me back to earth!  We decided on a visit to a steam railway, anything train related and he is one happy chappy.  

Here are the highlights from our stay:

 Our view from the upstairs lounge.

 Quietly Knitting.

 Wider view of the lounge/kitchen area.

 Dave's secret weapon for eradicating the horse fly,(of which there were a fair few since we were staying on a working farm) was a A Henry Vacuum Cleaner  the blighters bit and drew blood but thankfully we did not suffer any horrendous infections!

 If you have ever seen the original "Karate Kid" film then you will know what I am doing!

On Saturday we visited the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, the last time we were here, Pip was but a toddler! We had a lovely time watching the engines and sharing some cake and a hot chocolate and I was pleased to capture these images for Dave:

 The weekend was also a no cook weekend for me, hooray!!  I bought a reduced price Indian takeaway from Tesco for the Friday evening at the knock down price of £5.00!  The meal for Saturday evening was ready made cheese and bacon baked potatoes with a large bowl of salad, we even stretched to a glass of wine with our meal!

We are now back to the grindstone and I am currently repainting some of the chipped paintwork in the downstairs hallway which being a main thoroughfare takes a real battering!  The door frames have been stripped down to almost bare wood and have been sanded, ready for undercoating and glossing tomorrow.  The small entryway/porch was painted last week and so I don't feel to ashamed now when visitors pop by.

I have also downloaded a year eight curriculum for Benedict encompassing history, geography and science.  He's chosen his own ICT project and in case you are wondering where does the maths and english fit in, they'll be rumbling along quietly in the background :-)  Living with and attempting to support a kid with special educational needs has not only taught me to think on my feet, but to also think outside the box.  His core subjects of history, geography, ICT and science can be "taught" in a very practical way with little to no writing, which is great for a kid with dyspraxia! Let's see if I can get beyond the first week without either him or me having an epic meltdown :-)

Friday, 7 August 2015


"Judge not, that ye be not judged"

Matthew 7v1

I heard her long before I saw her, remonstrating to her four year old about not moving quickly enough.  The rain that had once begun as a few drops settled as a steady drizzle.  It was not the only water that flowed as the child's wailing reverberated in the pedestrian area.  Passers by skirted around her as the tirade continued and my heart felt heavy; a mixture of sympathy for the mother, empathy for the child and embarrassment for myself at witnessing such a scene.

A few steps farther and I encountered a group of locals ordering burgers from a trailer, complaining about some dispute with a friend, a lack of money and in true British fashion the state of the weather!  By now they were soaked to the skin and I narrowly missed being splattered by the dog in their midst.  My heart at this point was closed and I was about to pass judgement on them all; the mother for causing such a scene and the group for being in my way.

No sooner had these thoughts entered my head, I remembered the heated words spoken to my children that very morning, the shouting, the put downs and the hurtful words.  Making a scene in public might not be socially acceptable but at least "what you see is what you get."  It is all too easy to portray an outward persona of respectability and then once the doors are shut behave differently.

I thank God that such exchanges within our home are not a frequent occurrence and for the most part we work together as best we can.  The children understand the value of teamwork and know deep down they are loved and appreciated.  When there is discord neither adult nor child are afraid to admit their mistakes.  "Sorry" is such a small word with a great deal of meaning and with that too comes the willingness to forgive another their wrong doing, not just once, not just seven times but over and over.  Jesus challenges us to turn the other cheek but not without the assurance of His strength.  After all how could those affected by heinous crimes find the grace to love their enemy and move on from the past?

I am a "work in progress" a useful Face Book status if ever there was one!  I am eternally grateful that God is not done with me yet, that His mercies are new every morning and that little by little, He is teaching me to be a better person.

Pray ~ Thank you Lord for taking my sins upon yourself and nailing them to the cross at Calvary.  Thank you that I am able to seek forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation and that you always welcome me with open arms and a loving heart.  Thank you for so much love.

Act ~ If you are struggling with forgiveness share your heart with your pastor, spiritual advisor or close friend.

Write out the pain and anger and then burn or tear the paper into tiny pieces.

Remember that forgiveness is an act of the will and is a daily commitment done with God's grace.

Above all you are not alone x 

Sorry not to have been in this space lately but God is calling me to write and so I am writing every day.  It is as yet unclear whether I will attempt to submit my work to a catholic periodical, share it here or amalgamate my ramblings into a book :-)  So for now I am showing up at the appointed time and being faithful to His call.

I have continued to take pictures of the kids and will share these in an end of week round up this weekend.

Thanks for reading x