Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Gratitude List

I cannot lie.  The outcome of the EU Referendum has left me reeling.  I voted Remain even though there are parts of the EU that I do not agree with such as the unnecessary waste within the goverment departments and the pressure on faith schools to promote certain practises that are not in line with church teaching.  This is contrary to the original ethos of the EU which was to promote a moral and stabilising force in addition to supporting peace, solidarity, subsidiarity and to improve living and working conditions throughout the member states.  Over the years there has been too much emphasis on economics and so the original vision has been diluted over time.  These concerns however pale into insignificance when it comes to the reality of our current situation within the UK.  Our country is in a crisis, the political parties that are meant to govern are feuding amongst themselves, Scotland quite rightly is now calling upon another referendum to divorce itself from the UK as they voted overwhelmingly to remain and even London wants to remain part of the EU.  We have also witnessed the worst of society which culminated in the death of Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen who was murdered at the end of her surgery and since Friday there have been physical and verbal assaults against anyone not deemed "British."  The far right "Britain First" neo nazi party have called for the repatriation of all foreigners and quite rightly so many folk are frightened indeed.  In short I am ashamed to say that I am British.

As a Christian I know that God calls me to reach out to those in need, to love my neighbour, help the oppressed and in short be that good samaritan.  When all was falling around me on Friday He graced me with a passage from scripture during my quiet time in adoration:

 God is good!

So without further ado here is my list of thanks this week:

Glastonbury is on i-player, it's the nearest I'll get to ever being there :-)

Pip finished another set of Singapore Maths books so we will be consolidating what we have learned and then moving up to level two at some point during the week.

I managed to get both kids to mass today, now THAT IS NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE!  Pip and I attended St Joseph's this morning which included children's church.  Benedict and I went to the Cathedral this evening, I cannot remember the last time him and I were on our own!

I've got back into the swim of things quite literally which has included an extra swim and pool physio lesson before the usual Wednesday swim meeting.  That extra half hour session really made a difference to not only my swimming but also the pain in my back, right shoulder and knees.

Carrying on with the exercise theme I have even hopped back on the exercise bike, 12 km travelled each night after tea.  I use this time to catch up with you tube subscriptions and so I don't feel bad about screen viewing during this time.

Dave has been having reflexology sessions at Slynedales and we have noticed a small improvement in his walking ability as each session and week goes by.  He also finally had his first session with a neuro physio on Wednesday.  She is working on strengthening his leg muscles but as we suspected his upper body strength is really good, he uses his arms to really pull himself up the stairs.

Whilst Dave was in his physio session, Pip and I walked to the Royal Voluntary Service cafe for an ice cream:

 " Cheese, mummy!"

On our walk back we also spotted this interesting landing place:

The helicopter landing pad!  It was only after I had taken the picture that I had noticed the sign that said, " no unauthorised personnel" oops!

We were treated to really gorgeous weather on Thursday and spent the day with some home ed friends at Holker Hall.  The kids had the play area to themselves leaving the parents to chat and drink tea!

 Butternut soup and gluten free bread.

 A discussion about which ice creams to choose, it is a very serious business making the right choice!

 Gorgeous blooms!

Pip learning to play the harmonica.  We have been treated to its melodious tones at six in the morning!

Looking at these pictures has really lifted my spirits, so a timely reminder to keep looking for the joy ;-)


Monday, 20 June 2016

Waldorf Wanderings

The day began with the usual routine of maths followed by an activity of your choice and Pip chose to work on Scratch computer coding.  She worked well with Dave whilst I was being prodded and needled at my acupuncture session!

After a quick outside recess and an apple snack, Pip and I settled down to another main lesson fable entitled "The Wind and The Sun."  We read the story from the Waldorf Teachers Website and once more Aunty Mable came up trumps!

The Windy Day.

We both enjoyed watching the programme and then we discussed the moral behind the story. Pip did a great job explaining that the wind seemed to be quite proud and boastful and the sun was soft and gentle.  The sun won the challenge and so the lesson learned was first impressions can be deceptive and that nobody likes a boastful person!

We had rain first thing this morning but by late morning the wind had successfully blown the clouds away and so a windsock craft was the order of the day!  I found a really useful idea that also linked in with pre first communion preparation and so it was a win-win situation all round.

 Sharing is caring ~ we share with others just like Jesus shares His love with us and Himself in the Eucharist.

 A waving wind sock.

 Paper fronds fluttering in the breeze.

It was then time for another weather story, this time it was, "Katie Morag and The Tiresome Ted."  Since the stories are actually based around the Isle of Coll in the Outer Hebrides, there are plenty of geography links dotted around the internet. So whilst I was gathering resources, Pip went on a rabbit trial of her own:

 Working Hard.

 Pirate Pip, complete with the latest fashion accessory that every self respecting pirate needs ... a telescope attached to your hat!  No more last minute hunting around for that lost telescope!

Two fun filled Monday's in a row, totally pleased :-) 


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Midsummer Fairies

It was Pip's fairy day today.  As always her best buddy from school and her younger sister attended as did two other recent friends, one from Brownies and the other from Mad Science.  It was three hours of crafting, outside games and eating a yummy picnic lunch:

 Twinkle left a Shrinkles Fairy Bead Set and a box of make your own Brilliant Hair Bands.

 Pip received two extra treats a fairy figurine from B and a fairy princess book from DM.

 Decorate your own fairy cakes activity.

 Plenty of icing and assorted sprinkles :-)

Whilst I was making lunch the kids went outside and played a variety of Sports Day activities:

 Egg and Spoon Race.

 The sack race which I am sure is now banned in schools due to health and safety reasons!

 They had a whole heap of fun jumping up and down!

 Toss the bean bag into the ring.

 The three legged race.

After lunch the kids finished their shrinkles bracelets and then just had time to work on their flower garland headbands.  Two little friends stayed on for a little while longer which meant that C and I could have a chat and well deserved cup of tea :-)

 Three little flower fairies and two of them not wanting to go home!

Monday, 13 June 2016


Our day began with the fable "The crow and the pitcher."  I used the guidelines provided by the Waldorf Teachers' website as a starting point for our discussion and the re-telling of the story.  It was interesting to see Pip reach her own conclusion about the importance of water and the message behind the fable.  She had great fun re-enacting her own version of the story and learning about Archimedes principle of displacement.

 Water in the glass.

 Add the stones and the water level rises, clever old crow!

 Water Play.

Pip's interpretation of the lesson and the story.

 A water colour and pencil drawing of "The Crow and The Pitcher."

Whilst we were working hard the heavens opened and the rain came tipping down!  It bounced off the driveway, dirt spattered on the front door and the back garden lawn was awash!  

 The front drive.

 The back garden lawn and conservatory steps.

 Water for washing up.

Water for cooking lunch.

She also enjoyed watching two episodes of the long standing children's programme, " Come Outside" with Aunty Mable and Pippin the dog.  Sara used to watch this programme when she was five and she'll be twenty seven this year!  Pip's alter ego is Pippin the dog :-)

Come Outside ~ Water.

Come Outside ~ A Rainy Day.

Pip also helped make celery and sweet potato soup for lunch, followed by Singapore Maths and subtraction and addition number cards.  Her well earned reward was some time on the computer playing Minecraft.


Saturday, 11 June 2016


 The birthday table.

 One simple cake.

 Gathering and Singing.

 Can you see a theme for this year?  Plenty of hands on activities during the forthcoming days :-)

Making a start.

Happy Birthday Benedict :-)