Saturday, 31 January 2009

Tax Nightmare

Okay so I haven't earned any money this year, BUT I still have to fill in a self assessment tax form. And because I'm so useless (plus the fact that I have a six month old who never sleeps) I am doing it now, with hours to spare. Guess what? I can't log on. This is very annoying, especially because the helpline is experiencing unusually high levels of demand. Oh dear. Please pray/send positive vibes in the direction of my tax dealings; I sooooo don't want to owe the nasty tax people £100.

On a more positive note, I have given up the battle to not wean Will for another couple of weeks (he is now 24 weeks) and he has today happily munched upon banana and toast. I would have loved to wait until 26 weeks but he was screaming at us every mealtime and giving him a banana/slice of toast today resulted in one very happy baby. Now I'm just waiting for all the questions as to why we aren't pureeing/spoon-feeding. Oh the joys of being 'different'.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Monday, 26 January 2009

8 Random Things about me
I was tagged by Mam and I don't quite know how to tag people but I will find out. Here are my 8 random things.
  1. I love chintz. Everybody else hates it but I just adore anything flowery and girly. Sad but true.
  2. My favourite storybook is Anne of Green Gables. I wish I was Anne and for many years used to dye my hair red because I wanted to be her so badly. Even sader than no. 1 I think.
  3. When I was a little girl I used to holiday on my aunt and uncle's farm in Lincolnshire and I wanted to be a farmer's wife when I grew up.
  4. I love Steiner Waldorf education. I am currently devouring every book I can on the subject.
  5. I went to see A Winters Tale in London last year and ended up sat next to the gorgeous Kathy Burke.
  6. I love the Queen. Please don't shoot me down.
  7. My favourite food at the moment is guacamole.
  8. I am currently knitting a woollen nappy wrap.

I am sorry I couldn't think of anything more interesting.

I am tagging





I don't really know anyone else; sorry.

1. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.5. For the recipients, leave a comment for the person who tagged you, so they can go and read your answers.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Well, I haven't managed to upload any pics yet but I just wanted to announce my return to the land of blogging and share news of my lovely trip to London. We had a fab time. We went to The Tower of London, The Charles Dickens House Museum, The Museum of London and The London Transport Museum. We also saw the changing of the guards (very fabulous; never seen it before) and spent lots of time feeding the wildlife in St James' Park. As for our own dietary needs; we spent alot of time in Pizza Hut exchanging half price meal vouchers. We also found a fab Thai vegan restaurant which had a buffet deal for £6.50 per head. We are now well and truly stoney broke but it was well worth it.

I couldn't say that I enjoyed any one thing more than anything else, except to say that the Museum of London is fabulous and very un-touristy (also free which is always good). My boys liked the Transport Museum the best and had a fabulous time playing on Tube train simulators and pretending to drive London buses. The highlight for me, though, was son no. 1's affinity with the wildlife in St James' Park. He had the squirrels climbing on his lap and arms taking peanuts from him; of course, we had to go and feed them everyday and I am sure that this will now become a London tradition. It was lovely to see and he now says that he wants to be a zookeeper. To be honest it's a good job he doesn't want to be a historian as he was totally freaked by the actress in Roman dress who was roleplaying in the Museum of London; he thought she was a ghost or something, he was so convinced that she was a real Roman. Lol.

Glad to be back; pics to follow.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

An idea from Jackie

blog readability test

Oh dear, hope I've not alienated a load of people with my waffling.



Well, thanks to some birthday money, Travelodge's £9 room offer and restaurant vouchers found through t'internet, we're off to London for 5 days tomorrow. Hence I won't be posting for a while. I've become kind of addicted to blogging so I shall really miss you guys. I'm sure I'll have lots to say when I return though.
Have a happy few days

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Just thought I'd randomly post a picture of my newly made apple chutney. It's very spicy and tasty and is the first chutney I've ever made. It's sad but I feel so satisfied with it. I'm even more pleased with the lovely labels I made on t' 'puter as we say ooop North. Of course, it would be eminently more impressive if I could keep the house tidy. Sigh. Off to bury my head in some patchwork.


Some Progress

Well we are making some educational progress at last. Why now I hear you ask? Well, the long awaited Lego club magazine came today and was used as a springboard for some educational activities. We read the 'Power Miners' story for our literacy, including some very challenging vocab I might add, and used a few choice words for our minimal approach to copywork. Then, we completed our Friday challenge from The Woodland Trust and decorated our dining room window with snowflakes and paper snowmen. And to top it all off we made a gnome boot keeper from a dolly peg and some felt; the latter task even included sewing. I explained the Maths questions and ds answered whilst I wrote the answers. It was all very peaceful and lovely. Even ds2 got involved with the snowflake crafts to earn his Snowman sticker. I feel quite overwhelmed. I am going to find the magazine now and plan some stuff for tomorrow. A curriculum based on a Lego magazine. Hmmmm, now there's an idea for you.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Digging Mark Two

Had another lovely couple of hours digging at Sunnyside acre today. Thank you Wendy. Ds1 aged 7 even had a go, entirely of his own volition. I am hoping that this will continue to improve and we will make a farmer of him yet. Tomorrow the dentist. Eek.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Red ceiling day

Today we did science. I didn't intend to do science but that's how it turned out. We started by making bread, then ('cos of the yeast reacting with sugar etc) they wanted to make a volcano and play with the model heart they got for Christmas. Cue disaster. Both would be much more realistic with a bit of red food colouring I thought. Hmmm,... maybe not such a good idea. It would have been alright if mother hadn't been so impatient and decided to give the volcano a bit of a shake to speed up the reaction between the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar (with red food colouring of course). The result was an explosion of massive proportions (well quite big anyway) and red food colouring all over my previously white ceiling. We all screamed and fell about laughing on the floor. Even daddy was impressed with my prowess with explosives. Haven't told him he'll have to paint the ceiling yet, though. Lol!!

I also did some planning today so that I can get the boys down to work a bit more quickly on a morning. I am still struggling massively with ds2 who is a total fidget bot and won't really do anything constructive for more than a few minutes at a time, which would be okay but ds1 is not really a very good independent worker - he only needs a minute where you're not focussing on him 100% and he is drawing Star Wars illustrations in his workbook, rather than completing the task set. And if I leave ds2 to his own devices I get something which would give even Kim and Aggie nightmares. What to do. I keep threatening nursery but I couldn't really do it to him. I can imagine that we'd be up at the school every evening with him in heaps of trouble just for being 'exhuberant'. It would totally squash him as it did ds1 and I just can't face that - not even for a tidy house. Any tips on child training gratefully received, as long as they don't involve school of course.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Epiphany Undone

Well I don't know whether it was tiredness, awkwardness or the fact that Wills had his affectionately titled jibby jabbies today, but my beautiful crescendo to the Christmas season collapsed in a heap at the bottom of the Christmas tree along with my hypo children. We did manage to spend some craft time making wise men to accompany our nativity. We sang We Three Kings (the silly AND not so silly versions both) and we had a special family meal, topped off with King cake. But all this was punctuated by major silliness, fighting and Mummy shouting. I am trying not to be too hard on myself, or too disappointed. I worry, though, that what they will remember about today is my shrieking at ds2 (3) for playing rugby with some baby bottles waiting by the door to be Freecycled, or our brief discussion at the dinner table that we too need to seek Christ, not on camels or following stars, but in our hearts. I get it wrong so many times. Thank goodness for grace and the promise of sanctification.

I am very sad to see Christmas end; it is my most favourite time of the year. Even ds1, a sensitive soul, aged 7, said today: I will miss Christmas; it's such a joyful time Mummy, I wish it didn't have to end. Of course life has to be punctuated with sorrow, or even mundanity, but keeping that joy alive, bringing it into our every day life is, to me, what home schooling is all about. I just need to try to do it in his strength and not mine.



Monday, 5 January 2009


Today I was digging compost with my lovely friend Wendy at her smallholding. It had snowed and the fresh air, crisp blue skies and hard work was pure balm for the soul. My children, however, got rather wet playing snowball fights and then complained that they were cold and wanted to return indoors. I really want to make outdoor types of these boys. I walk them alot but obviously not enough. They need toughening up. It's a good job Wendy's invited us back every Monday to work on her smallholding. I can't wait. Not sure the boys feel the same though. Oh well....

Epiphay tomorrow. Cue special dinner with Kings cake, reading Baboushka and abridged version of Twelfth Night, Kings arriving at the nativity and taking down the decorations whilst watching our last Christmas movie of the season, not sure what yet. I will miss Christmas but there are the delights of spring to look forward to,... and lots of digging.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Christmas Photos


We are finally getting somewhere with sorting the house out, though it's still pretty sty-ish upstairs (not much tidying / cleaning has happened in the last five months - can't think why) . Despite being busy with tidying, i've also managed to learn to crochet recently, and have stated on a blanket for my bedroom in pretty pastel shades. I also made some jam yesterday from leftover Christmas cranberries; my first ever home made jam!!!!! I am feeling very Ma Walton-ish. Lol! Found a lovely haberdashery on our local market so am very happy with myself. Of course, the bubble will burst tomorrow with the start of the new HE term. Eek!!!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Christmas and New Year

Happy New Year everyone. Our Christmas was fine. It was not of my own choosing, being at a relative's house, but was nevertheless very enjoyable and I was most grateful for a spot of relaxation while someone else did the cooking. The boys received rather less presents than in previous years but still seemed to have too much. We attended a different church than usual with being away, and although I missed wishing my dearest friends 'Merry Christmas' I was blessed by the minister's illustration of a 'real' Christmas tree, which consisted of two planks of wood set into a bucket in the shape of a cross, decorated with blood red tinsel and a precious gift nailed to it. It was very profound and made me very aware that we were celebrating the birth of a baby destined to die; it directed my thoughts to that hill on Calvary and made me all the more grateful for Christmas.

Today is New Year's Day. We had a late brunch of veggie sausages, beans, fried tomatoes and bread and butter. Not very healthy but just what we needed after staying up 'til midnight with friends last night. We then dusted off our wellies and headed to Crome Park in Pershore for a spot of walking. It was beautiful, being adorned with a frosting of silver. The lake was mostly frozen over and the boys enjoyed throwing stones and sticks onto the surface and seeing how far they could skim them. Hot chocolate and shortbread in the cafe afterwards were a welcome treat.

I've been reading other people's blogs about their aims and resolutions for next year, which has got me pondering. And pondering has left me with the following conclusions:

  1. I want to be more organised, particularly in the way of home management. Last year we went out to so many home ed meetings that the housework totally went by the wayside and we are now reaping the consequences of a terribly untidy house.

  2. I want my life to be more home based, although I am rather worried about the cost to the boys in terms of lack of socialisation.

  3. I want to focus our education on the rhythm of the year, the seasons, festivals and church calendar. I've ordered this book from Amazon to help me .

  4. I want to improve G's handwriting and grammar by giving him purposeful reasons to write.

  5. I want to try to improve both boys' obedience (not great at present) in a gentle encouraging manner.

  6. I'd like ds2 to begin to engage in more sitting at the table activities.

  7. I want to be more consistent in my Bble and prayer times.

  8. I want to sew, knit, crochet, embroider and papercraft more.

I'm sure I'll think of more but for now I have a very cranky 5 month old to feed.