Saturday, 31 October 2009


Tonight we had a Hallelujah party. I always feel a bit mean about the children missing out on Halloween but it's not consistent with our beliefs to celebrate it. This year we decided to have a Hallelujah party where we praised God for Jesus, the light of the world. We made Pumpkin Soup (we had to read the book, of course) which we ate with crusty tiger bread and cheese for all the dairy types. Then, because our oven is broken atm, we feasted on refrigerator cake. We read scriptures about Jesus being the light of the world and talked about how tomorrow is All Saints Day, so we talked about missionaries and martyrs, particularly the need to remember to pray for those who are out there on the front line. Our dear friend Jennifer is currently working as a missionary in Thailand so we will think of her particularly tomorrow. After the meal and meditations the children carved pumpkins with crucifixes and 'joyful' faces. We played apple bobbing and marshmallow fishing and then roasted marshmallows. We ended the evening with hot chocolate all around. Yummy. It was a great evening and I'm sure the children will remember it and ask for another next year. I shall have to get thinking of some new games.

The thing that saddens me is that I'd love to do something similar at church but there is no will for it. In fact, I wonder how many children were at Halloween parties or out trick or treating. That fear may be totally unjust but most people think we're mean for telling the children that Santa isn't real so I wonder if they think we're just as odd for opting out of Halloween. I guess there might be conversation after coffee tomorrow and then we'll see.

Hallelujah to our risen Lord.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Christmas Consumerism

Well it's that time of year again. Apparently the Christmas decorations are already up in The Mall. Cue crowded shops, spending frenzy and overloaded credit cards. And why are we doing this? To celebrate the birth of a child in a dirty, smelly stable, who lived several years of his adult life with 'nowhere to lay his head', and ended it on a cross to pay for the all the hideous sins of humanity. Hmmm. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it?! If you feel like answering NO to this question, please check out the following links and think about doing Christmas another way this year. I can't say we'll be totally 'buy nothing' but we are seeking a simpler, more intentional celebration.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Hello again

Hello again. Sorry I haven't been blogging for a while but I've been rather overwhelmed for the last few months. All my boys are now a year older and a new baby is on the horizon. I am 12 weeks pregnant and am just coming to the end of a period of nausea and tiredness. I didn't quite expect that baby no. 4 would come quite so soon after no.3 but, having got over the surprise we are now delighted, although wondering how we will afford a bigger car and if we can move house should the baby be a girl. We are sure, however, that those details will merge into insignificance when we meet our little one; God knows what we need and has them in hand. I hope to get back to blogging more regularly soon, but for now I will leave you with our news and say goodnight.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Painting with Will

Had to share this pic of Will enjoying the washable canvas he received for his birthday. What a great gift idea; he had a lovely time experimenting with the brushes.



Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Summer 09 Photos

Will's Birthday

Well last Wednesday my little chap had his first birthday. It was a close call as to whether or not he'd be well enough to celebrate but in the end he was fairly chipper. I was so excited and was up until 3am on the morning of his birthday decorating the family room and wrapping presents. We bought him a Myriad stacking rainbow and a pushalong duck with flappy feet from Treeblocks. I also made him a lovely birthday crown, which he was not too impressed with having to wear, a family of knitted sheep, a felt cube and a bedtime bag. Later he received a new carset (horror of horrors it cost £105 - I nearly passed out from having to part with the cash but apparently we have buckle crunch and so a less expensive one would be dangerous) and a huge array of wonderful unique and handmade gifts from friends and family. We had a lovely party in the evening with friends from church; unfortunately our families live too far away to make it easy to attend such events. He loved the attention and had a super day, not at all phased by any of it.

I can't believe that a year has passed since he first entered our physical world. Of course he lived in our hearts long before that day, but it was so momentous meeting him in the flesh for the first time, especially when we had lived with the shadow of chromosomal abnormality in the preceeding months. When I think that we could have lost him if I'd had the amniocentesis, and he was perfectly healthy after all, not that we would have loved him less had he not been healthy. It's been a fantastic first year. I always worry that you won't have enough love for another child, yet somehow love seems to stretch to encompass the new bundle without thinning elsewhere. He is such a fantastic chap; he is funny and loving and adventurous and a little bit mischievous and I am soooooooooo proud of him. My darling boy.



Thursday, 6 August 2009

Catching Up

Haven't posted for ages but just a quick note to let you know that we are all alive and well, or wellish at least; William has a throat infection atm. He's being very brave bless him although we are all rather stir crazy at having to stay indoors. If it's not the weather it's a poorly child. Mind, he's not really been ill at all since he's been born so it's a rarity for him to be so under the weather. It's his birthday next week. My wee little one will be 1. I can't believe it. I have been crafting apace to make him some lovely gifts, as well as a weeny Myriad order you understand.

We haven't done much since my last post, although we attended Keswick Convention and got rather wet camping in the rain. It was brilliant, though, and really got us back on track with our Christian lives after sliding a bit recently.

Anyway, enough for now.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

Cornwall and Home Ed Madness

We had a fantastic holiday in Cornwall last week courtesy of The Sun (spit) newspaper. Instead of £409 our lovely caravan cost £215 for the whole week. We had a fab time exploring parts of that wonderful county we had never before ventured into. I finally got to go to St Michael's Mount and we had a lovely day on the beach with the gorgeous Claire and her family who were co-incidentally staying nearby. We had one day of rain but otherwise glorious sunshine. The day of rain we spent at the National Seal Centre at Gweek thinking it would be undercover for much of the day. Not so; we got very wet but had a brilliant time anyway and ds1 actually got to feed the seals himself. Our National Trust membership came into its own, and the Seal Centre was the only day out where we had to pay; we went to the aforementioned Mount, Keynance Cove, Glendurgan Gardens, Cornish Mines and Engines, Trerice, Godolphin and, on our journey home, Castle Drogo. It was all rather lovely and none of us wanted to come home. I will post pics later; you will see that my darling babe loves sand almost as much as compost. The nappies, I assure you, were horrific.

Since we got back it's been home ed madness. We've been out practically every day for horse-riding, bowling and park visits. Tomorrow we're going to an art workshop at a rather lovely stately home so I am rather looking forward to that. Busy, busy, busy. But fun. Glad to be back to bloggin' land, anyway, especially now Jackie's begun her fab Miss Read blog. I shall have to get back to reading fiction; I am such a non-fiction addict that I forget how much I actually enjoy fiction until I pick up a book and begin to read. And I do love Miss Read.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 27 May 2009




Thursday, 21 May 2009



Monday, 18 May 2009

Book Sharing Monday

Today-we-read-The-Magical-Garden-of-Claude-Monet-by-Lawrence-Anholt.--It-is-a-very-special-book-for-us-because-we-had-the enormous-good-fortune-to-visit-Monet's-garden-this-time-last-year-and-my-then-two-year-old-fell-completely-in-love-with-Monet's-paintings-and-with-this-book.--It-is-about-a-little-girl-called-Julie-and-her-dog-Louie-who-visit-Monet-in-his-garden-with-Julie's-artist-mother.--It's-a-splendid-magical-book.--I-recommend-all-the-Anholt-artists-but-this-is-definitely-our-favourite.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009








Book Sharing Monday



Monday, 27 April 2009

Book Sharing Monday
Mrs Gimble's cat would love to prowl, but has only three legs. Mrs Gimble's brother, Cyril, travels, but he is thinking of stopping because his head is cold. When Cyril visits Mrs Gimble, he picks up the cat instead of his hat - which keeps his head warm and allows the cat to travel. Very-topical-for-us-as-we-have-a-three-legged-cat-called-Bramble.--Space-bar-is-dead-so-not-much-info-today-sorry!!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Book Sharing Monday

I saw this on another blog and had to participate since, as most of you know, I am a total book fiend. Today our book was Eddie's Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland. A friend bought it for my Eddie from a library discard sale and it has turned out to be a wonderful book, worth far more than the few pennies she paid for it. It is about a little boy called Eddie who wants a garden and so he, his mum and his baby sister, Lily, go about growing plants and vegetables in their back garden. On the way they learn about pests and how to control them (slug hunting at midnight) and what plants need to grow. It's a lovely book and my ds2 particularly enjoyed it.

If my camera had any charge....

If my camera had any charge, today I would have taken pictures of...

My house: even after a massive cleaning and decluttering weekend, the boys have managed to spread Lego throughout it's entirety again. Sigh.

My lettuces: they are coming along so nicely and I can't resist pulling off a few leaves and having a munch now and again.

My little boy sat chewing straw on the smallholding whilst I was weeding; with his sunhat on he looked like a proper country bumpkin.

The same little boy during and after his mud eating session.

That littlie again, asleep under a blackcurrant bush in the sunshine; not quite a gooseberry bush....

The smallholding; it's looking so good now. Wendy and Emma have worked tremendously hard, and I suppose I've helped a little.

Ds1 and his chum dam building in Wendy's brook.

Ds2 actually picking up a fork and digging.

The chickens because they look so beautiful at this time of year, their glossy feathers sparkling with sunlight.

The wonderful flowering cherry in Wendy's neighbour's garden.

...and lots more I expect. But unfortunately my camera has no charge, so you will just have to imagine.

Jo x

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Busy busy

Well I had some time off today when a very dear friend took the boys to the park for a couple of hours. Yes I even let my littlie go. I would have missed him terribly except that I was far too busy making habitable ds1's bedroom. Imagine wading through a sea of Lego and dog-eared Beanos, strewn with random articles of crockery (which are not really allowed in the bedroom I might add). That's how it was this morning. NOW it is an oasis of calm and orderliness. Three binbags full of clothes and toys no longer required have been despatched to the charity shop (or at least are waiting to be despatched in the back of the car) and several items have disappeared via Freecycle. Yesterday I gave the same treatment to ds2's bedroom, and with some shelves I managed to liberate, we now have a very organised home ed section in our family room. Overloaded of course (I do have a tendency to buy and buy and buy books) but organised nevertheless. I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel for my badly in need of tlc home. I mean I would love it to look like something out of Country Living, but with three small boys and a distinct lack of funds for home furnishings, that is not going to happen. But at least it is a little cleaner in a couple of corners. Long may it last.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter!!!!

Matthew 28:6 (New International Version)
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.

The boys got up to a treasure hunt this morning. Daddy had organised it in the wee hours so we were still a little sleepy but they were very excited. A trail of eggs filled with goodies led to their chocolate eggs and Easter gifts. They each had a bag filled with the following:

Chocolate pebbles to remind them of the stone that was rolled away

Chocolate coins to remind us of the price Jesus paid for our sins

An empty egg with 'He is risen' written on a slip of paper inside.

An egg filled with jelly beans and a copy of the jelly bean prayer.

Other gifts included: 2 finger puppets for Ed, a Lego bag made out of Daddy's old jeans for G and a first attempt at a Waldorf style dolly for Will.

We are now going to read an Easter story together, take Jesus out of the Lego tomb and head off to church for early Communion.

God bless you all.


Saturday, 11 April 2009

Good Friday

Because I couldn't bear the thought of three yelling children at a cross vigil in the town centre we went to Evesham yesterday, where a special weekend was being organised by the Northumbria Christian community. It was awesome. We didn't do very much, but we prayed the stations of the cross and had some meditative time out in the abbey. I really love the reflectiveness of their approach to God. I have decided to start using the Northumbrian prayer offices as part of my devotional time, and perhaps for family devotions as well. You can find out more about the Northumbrian community on their website.
If you go on the downloads section you can listen to some lovely celtic worship songs.
Thinking that we might try to get our Sun(spit) holiday in Berwick upon Tweed now and visit some of the ancient celtic worship sites.

Kool aid dyeing
Since FairClaire told me about undyed wool in a local farm shop I've been itching to buy some and dye my own garments/skeins. I'm interested in natural dyeing but a little daunted at the prospect. Kool Aid dyeing is very intriguing though, and it doesn't seem too complicated either. Watch this space.

Lots more Easter blog posts coming soon.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


This year one of my resolutions was to build more, rhythm and joy into our lives. We have tried to do this by being 'present' in the moment and trying to celebrate the every day. We've also started to take note of some festivals that we consider important. Today we celebrated Passover. We are not Jews but we are Christians, and the Passover story is an important part of our heritage. It reminds us that however enslaved we are by satan in whatever terrible situations, our God is a deliverer and a redeemer. So we had a huge cleanup in anticipation of friends joining us, and then we ate our Passover meal, complete with Sedar plate and Haggadah service. It was wonderful; I think the kids were a bit bored in places but overall we all thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think the experience will be repeated again next year, unless of course our Saviour returns....

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


I gave DS1 his Home Ed ideas book today. He was thrilled and immediately got to work on writing down some ideas. The main one was to do a project on Lego history. So we all came upstairs into our bedroom (where the computer with internet access is) so that he could do some research. I brought card, glue, sequins and pens for DS2, planning to make an Easter garland to hang up as part of our Easter decorations. That was about an hour ago. And where are they now. Off,... playing. To be fair, DS1 is building something to do with the Easter story in Lego for the season table. DS2 is making a mess. I have made eggs, crosses and flowers for our garland which I really enjoyed. WHY can't they join in????? It is sooooo difficult. I know boys don't like doing crafts so much as girls, but I wish they would last longer than 10 minutes. As for the internet research, he printed out one picture and then watched this, which is very funny.
Hoping for a better afternoon.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Palm Sunday

I love Palm Sunday and the build up to Easter. Almost as much as I love Christmas, in fact. Maybe more, actually. Anyway, last night we made a fab Palm cross from The Children's Year book, although with paper cockerel and sun due to time and energy constraints. We managed not to eat all the sweets and raisins and strung some of them on to the branches. There were even a few left in a basket to hand out as treats at church, along with some paper palm branches ds2 and I made this morning. It was wonderful. Of course, the response at church is that people think we're completely bonkers but never mind.

Tonight we went to a Palm Sunday celebration service in Worcester and heard Robin Oake speak about the death of his son and the need for forgiveness. It was awesome; I totally admire that family. It makes me feel terrible that earlier in the day I got upset about someone being a little derisive about our Palm Sunday treats. He told a brilliant joke which brings it home wonderfully:

What is a custard Christian?

One that gets upset about little trifles.

Lol. Definitely me. Something to pray about and work on with the Lord's help methinks.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Recent Stuff

Historic Dockyard at Chatham

Spring at Sissinghurst on our recent trip to Kent.

Growing stuff.

Lyme Park.

Jodrell Bank.

Knitted legwarmers by Mummy.