Friday, 26 February 2010

The passing years

Hermione grew another year older this week.

I pause and stare. Not always easy to do in the midst of the excitement. The party isn't over yet. There are more celebrations to come.

She's no longer a little seedling. Her roots are growing deeper. I like to think they're stronger too. Laying down solid foundations. Foundations that will support her in whatever choices she makes in this world.

Happy birthday baby!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Plants, stools, wax and biomes

We've been doing a bit of work on plants these last few days and I'm absolutely loving this photosynthesis song.

A friend who is very into wild flowers and is well tuned into the natural world was assuring me that spring (when it finally arrives) will be really dramatic this year. After being held back so much longer than usual the plant life will just burst forth! Not sure when it will happen though - we're covered in snow again here.

You know I told you not so long back that as a treat my mum arranged for my sister and I to be able to go to a health spa/gym for a month? Well, I think I've made a big mistake. I've taken the children. I'm not sure how they are going to re adapt to the council pool at the end of the month. I think they now view a poolside jacuzzi, loungers and drinks by the pool to be an essential part of the swimming experience.

My new bedroom has just gone from being fab, to ever more fab - thanks to my sisters ability to spot a beautiful bargain in a second hand junk store from about quarter of a mile away. I now have a bed end stool. That's probably not the proper name for it, but whatever it is, I'm loving it.

I'm still spending a fair amount of time looking at Montessori style resources at the moment. The Montessori method seems really adaptable to what both Hermione and Miles want right now. The materials are really flexible and they can both dip in and out as they please, at their own level. I'm getting lots of ideas from this website which I've linked at her page on biomes - something which I hope to tackle soon.

Ever wondered if melted wax mixes with water? No, of course it doesn't! What happens if you fill a saucer with melted wax, stick a ready made candle in it and then plunge the whole thing in a bucket of cold water? The melted wax rises and sets, sticking to the candle, to produce something like this below. If you try this then wear thick rubber gloves. The wax is hot!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Craig and I went to a friends house for dinner this evening. When we returned home I discovered my little sis had restyled my room! I think I mentioned some time ago that she was coming to stay, and that I was going to ask her to do something with my room as it was basically a space with a bed and that's it - no character or anything.

Well, imagine my delight to come home to this!

My room has gone from being bland and sparse to luxurious and inviting. She painted the huge picture above my bed especially for me. It's a mixture of acrylics and water paints on wood. I love it.

New bedding, accessories - even a fluffy new robe on the bed! A beautiful pink orchid - one of my favourite flowers, the works!

Just look at the little box of chocolates on my pillow!

My window has had the designer treatment too with layers of voile and floor length curtains.

So many beautiful things to admire, arranged with care.

A beautiful stand to display my treasured wash jug.

Wow, I'm so excited - and it's not entirely finished yet! She's also going to help me to sort out some smaller pictures and frames and also revamp an old stool I found in the attic.

I feel so special. I've got a proper bedroom as opposed to a blue box. There has been so much to do here to create a warm and welcoming home (we bought our home, essentially pulled it down and rebuilt it). I've never gotten around to doing anything with my own bedroom. It seemed less important than any other room in the house but now it's great.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pancake races

We headed on out to a local market town to watch the pancake races today.

Great sport!

Monday, 15 February 2010

I am so pleased..

...that Craig chose not to make such an icky gesture on Valentines day!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Ups and downs

It's been a wee while since I've blogged and that's unusual for me. I've been suffering from dreadful insomnia which has left me feeling really wiped out. I've also had a nasty blow to the head (over exuberant playing with the children in the garden whilst deliriously tired) which left me vomiting and rather concussed for a while. Generally too much *stuff* going on. Lots of silent screams and not so silent moans.

So what's been happening?

Hermione and I went to a ceilidh with friends and it was fab! I think I did one too many dashing white sergeants and am still feeling rather stiff days on, but it was jolly good fun at the time.

Here is a picture of a rather odd dance which required rapid movements from being on your feet, to on your knees and generally all over. I sat that one out!

My sister Helen has arrived and it's great to have her around. Today we all hung out at the Cathedral together for a while. We all really enjoyed it. The children are becoming comfortable and intrigued there which is great as it's so vast we could go dozens of times and still see something new every time.

We set out our spring nature table. It's a minimal kind of affair right now but
I suspect it will grow over coming weeks as we discover and gather more things to adorn it with.

This evening we said goodbye to Willie, nana's very elderly cat. She died in nana's arms. It's been a difficult week, just not quite knowing how her final hours and minutes would unfold. An anxious time. Thankfully she drifted in the arms of one who knew her best and I dare say loved her deeper than any.

I have felt uplifted at times this week by the sun streaking through the windows. Not just fleeting flickers - strong, long rays, full of warmth. About time!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Waking bulbs

Miles and I pulled on our boots and went for a walk with our Steiner friends today. It was grey and wet but we sang as we went, and were sang to too by a lovely little robin.

The children rang sleigh bells on long coloured ribbons and sang, 'wake up little bulbs, wake up little bulbs, spring time's nearly here..'

Are the bulbs in your neighbourhood awake yet?

We rolled beeswax candles whilst chatting about Imbolc and Candlemass. I love the smell of natural beeswax. Miles loves it too, so much so I had to try hard to convince him it's not edible!

Despite the unusually chilly (and ongoing??) winter this year, the earth is certainly stirring. The signs of new life may still be small but they're coming thick and fast!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I'm lovin'..

These really cute pencils that Hermione bought for Miles. I've been taping big pieces of lining paper to the floor and he's had good fun drawing lots of volcanoes.

I'm lovin' those dinky little toes too even if his big sister does think it's time he had his nail varnish touched up!

I'm lovin' this amazing site where you can download lots of audio books for free. We're currently listening to a couple of chapters of E Nesbit's Story of the Treasure Seekers each night. It's great - I feel like I've gone back to my childhood as I'm so unaccustomed these days to being read to. Quite a novelty.

I'm lovin' how darned useful YouTube is as an educational tool. I know I'm always raving about this one, but no matter what the topic, (today we were looking leading food crops in the world), there's almost always a quirky clip on YouTube about it.

I'm lovin' being busy and looking to the future, whilst making sure I allocate time right now for friends and folks who nurture me.

Lots to look forward to on the home ed community front. I'm meeting with a good friend soon to discuss our regular Book Club with a view to a bit of an overhaul and introduction of repetition and rhythm.

We have also become involved with a project funded by the British Library called Campaign Make an Impact. Very exciting stuff. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the children. I'll update you on this one when I know what the group decide to campaign for.

A home ed friend has received a donation of lots of varied musical instruments and there is talk of setting up a local home ed musical instrument library. I'm going to put my name down for the glockenspiel first *grin*.

Last but certainly not least, I'm lovin' the the kindness and generosity of Nana who has given me a months worth of pampering to look forward to at this very place. Even looking at the picture is making me feel more relaxed *grin*.

Monday, 1 February 2010