Saturday, 1 April 2017

Words and Pictures

There used to be a primary schools programme of that title name and it was the highlight of my week.  When the big TV was wheeled out of a cabinet and we were all assembled in the hall it signified a half hour respite from desk work :-) Sorry for my absence here the weeks seem to have flown by, April already?  Crazy!


This year I was determined not to have a word of the year since the last few years have been more than challenging and definitely reflected my given word!  Last year's word was "Trust" and within days of that being chosen I was rushed into hospital!  The previous year was "Hope" and trying to remain hopeful when everything else seems to be crashing around you is very difficult :-)

This year's word came to me whilst washing up and would not let go and so "Possibilities" became the word for 2017.  Within a few weeks I was offered a position using my writing skills as an editor and writer for our local diocesan newspaper.  Instead of leaping right in I commited my answer to prayer and realised that despite this "fitting" my word it was not doable since the work was unpaid.  I felt at peace about my decision and realised that whatever I do needs to provide in some small way financially for myself and the family.

Fast forward a few weeks and a friend from prayer group approached me about a job opportunity!  As of last week I am now content writer and social media manager for this website. In addition her late husband's second book will be launched in October of this year and so I will also have additional responsibilities at this time including the organisation of  two launch date workshops!  I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity and please God other similar work will follow as and when needed.

Despite my absence here we have continued to take pictures and rumble along with our usual daily activities of keeping body and soul together, housekeeping and homeschooling.  This week has seen slightly more activity than usual though, the kids both big and small gathered here for Mother's day last Sunday and on Thursday we had a field trip with some friends to Speke Hall 

Mother's Day Gathering

One camera, one tripod and a remote control proves to be very handy when taking a group shot!  The only difficulty is getting everyone looking in the right direction ...

 ... and not being silly in the background! 

 The teenage boys that I know seem to be a law unto themselves!!

 I made two soups:  Tomato, Carrot and Chilli and Celery and Sweet Potato.  Sara and Tom made Rice Krispie nests and Kathryn brought a Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Bakewell Tarts.  I also made a Paleo Orange and Nut Cake.

 Kathryn being "mum" and cutting into the paleo cake.

 Cannot believe that this little miss will be four in just over a week, eep!!

Speke Hall

 There were clouds and a slight drizzle on Thursday but died down just as we reached the picnic table :-)

 Benedict smiling as I was just about to hand him a sandwich!  He was having another hypo and food was needed immediately.

 Rosie sharing a story with Pip who was definitely out of sorts and unbeknown to us brewing a virus that day :-(

 This lovely gal is always smiling and nothing phases her, good job too with four kids eight and under!  Little did we know by the end of the day that one of the kids would require a visit to the emergency room!

 Simeon in camo gear and a mud splattered face for extra authenticity.

 Baby Damien cuteness overload.

 The entrance to the hall.

 We had temporarily lost the kids in the "underpass" but they eventually came back round again.  Pip had also managed to slip in the mud and I had forgot to pack spare clothes!!  We are just not used to going out on field trips, not so long ago I used to be super organised!

 The blue room which was given as a wedding present to one of the ladies of the house.

 By the time we had finished looking around the downstairs, my two had scarpered outside with Kara!  Stately homes are just not their thing, give them a museum with hands on activities and they are fine but wandering around old rooms "is boring."  However, Rosey loves learning about history and since she is familiar with Speke Hall, she became my guide for the day and we had a whole heap of fun.  We followed the kids trail and found the spy hole, the priest's hole and the toilet which was at the end of a very long corridor and up and down several stairs, hence the need for a chamber pot under the bed!

 Happy not Horrible Histories!

 The cafe beckons for cake and tea followed by:

 The Childwell Giant Trail
John Middleton was a 16th century giant who lived locally and is remembered by this trail.  You can read more here

 When you stood next to this small building, the giant began to snore!

The end of the trial then signified the start of a woodland adventure play area which was greatly loved.  Sadly Rosey toppled off the platform for the zip wire and cut her right brow :-(  Thankfully we had the big portable trailer so Rosey and Simeon  who was very tired at this point were transported back to the car. It was all good in the end and with a clean up and some steri strips she was soon sorted.  All in all we had a really lovely day.

The latter part of the week has necessitated immune boosting herbs, remedies and a warm air humidifier, good job I did not give it away!  That virus that Pip was brewing took hold yesterday and late last night she was in the throes of a really nasty croup attack.  She eventually resettled around 2am so I did manage to get some sleep, of sorts :-)

Happy Weekend! 


  1. How exciting about your new job! I love the family photos, especially the first one where nobody is looking at the camera.

    1. Thanks :-). Yes funnily enough the most natural shots are often the best!

  2. Happy Mother's Day! We did not celebrate it because we are going to do it when Germany and the USA celebrate it. The giant's trail is funny. Does it have a historical connection? Was the Blue Room very blue? In the picture I only see light blue wallpaper. Imagine to get a room for a wedding present. I hope you will all be healthy soon.

    Time for bed!

    1. I think the trail is a bit of fun for the kids. The room was really blue including all the furniture and chinaware. As usual I am struggling with chronic pain and Dave's legs don't work properly but between the two of us we make a good team :-). I am sorry that I cannot get down to London to see you all :-( xx

    2. Hi Eva, Dave here. San didn't realse that there was a historical connection. There was a picture of the giant, have added a link.

    3. Hello Dave, thanks so much for the link. Does he have a large grave? His coffin should indicate his true size :). Has the grave ever been opened? The website did not say so.

    4. Hello Eva, the information surrounding John Middleton seems that, although no measurements have been taken in recent times, it was well known from several sources that he was very tall. So much so, that the Guiness Book of Records seems to have accounted for him. This link might give you a little more. Sometimes, strong word of mouth passed on information is as good as, or even better than, a formally recorded account. After all, where would our Faith be if we lived solely on what was written down!

    5. Thanks for the link. I will take a look.

  3. San,

    Congratulations on your paid writing work! That is wonderful news indeed.

    I love all the photos, especially the first three. I was so excited to see you'd gone to Speke Hall. I remember going there many, many years ago with my family, and then later on with Andy before we were married. I always think of Speke Hall as 'the place where the lady threw her baby out the window.' A sad story, but a beautiful stately home to visit. The priest hole also caught my imagination.

    I hope Pip and Rosey are feeling better!

    1. Family photos are fun for sure!! Thank you for our good wishes regarding the job, goodness knows it has been a constant background worry these past four years!

      When I read the comment about Mary Norris throwing her baby out of the window I was speechless! Legend has it that she haunts the house!! I am seeing today and so your recent podcasts will be keeping me company ❤️❤️

  4. Oh no, poor Pip and poor other little girl who ended up injured!
    Speke Hall is gorgeous! I went there with my mum as part of the cruise last August- I didn't do the Giant's trail as Mum was getting tired. Your family photos are funny! Ha ha, you tried!
    The cakes sound good.
    Lovely to see you posting Sandra- I've missed it!

  5. OOh, and well done on the job! That is fantastic!

  6. Hello San :) It's fun to see you taking the group pics with you in them. I always enjoy taking these sorts of photos . . and seeing the expressions that come out in the sequence :) I agree that time has gone by much too fast. It's April and Mary Grace is four!? How is either possible!? Your Mother's Day meal sounds incredibly delicious as did the cafe visit. Speke Hall certainly sounds interesting! I hope Pip is feeling better today. I really feel that all of you have settled into a good rhythm, even if it gets bumpy at times. You and Dave are such wonderful parents and your teamwork makes me smile. Congratulations on the job. It's so great :) xoxo


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