Sunday, 28 March 2010

It has been a busy morning already and the clocks have just gone forward one hour. I don't think this has made much difference to us, though. Last night Hubby spent the night in the caravan with the two eldest children. This gave me the chance to sleep in Honor's bed and not be disturbed quite as much by the baby. She woke at 3.30am and began to fuss, but I wouldn't feed her and laid her back down in her cot. She was very angry, but it helped to be able to go into another room while she settles back down. I fell asleep again and the next thing I knew it was 7.45 (really 8.45) and the others were coming in from the caravan. I could hear the baby but she wasn't crying. She was chatting to herself and playing. So I don't know how long she had been awake. It was good not to have been disturbed though.

Today is Palm Sunday. We went to church last night but Honor had to go again this morning to assist her Brownie pack. I now have the Easter decorations up over the fireplace. It's very jolly and will help make the place look nice for Hope's first birthday tea which is on Friday.

Hope and I played with the bricks, this morning. She is very tired and has just gone back to bed for a nap before we go to the in-laws for dinner.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Flowers and Rainbows.

It is raining again and while the children catch up with their Kumon studies I've a chance to blog about our visit to the village church's flower festival this afternoon.

Here is Henry admiring some of the fabulous displays.

And here is Honor-May admiring a chocolate brownie!

After our look around the church we had a nice walk back through the woods. This week, I think has been a pleasant mix of sunshine and showers....

............ just look at what we found as we came out of the otherside of the woods! (No pot of gold, though!)

We have a little trailer caravan in our garden and the kids and Hubby are planning to camp out in it tonight. (That is, if they are good, of course!)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

It's raining.

Yes it is raining. But looking on the bright side, I won't have to go out and water the seeds.

Hope, just like my other two children when they were babies, gets bored easily and is often unimpressed with real toys.

So give her a grapefruit and a net full of lemons and she'll have a whale of a time for at least, er, 15 minutes!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The garden

It has been rather a nice week weather-wise and I've managed to get out into the garden a bit while the baby napped. I was concerned that the broad beans had not yet appeared underneath those little polytunnels so I dug around there to see what was going on. No sign at all of any ever being planted so I suspect the mice may have got them.

These are some that I started off on the windowsill. I shall need to hurry up and get some more... I love broad beans.

So this is how the garden is looking now. Hopefully, in a few months, it will be transformed!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The last few days.

The pictures are from the last couple of days. On Sunday afternoon, we went on a lovely walk across the vally near our house. The kids had fun climbing trees.

Today I planned a 'capacity' lesson for Honor-May. She has been keeping me informed as to what the current maths topics are in school and I do my best to organise some activities to support her understanding of the subject. I know that she finds it difficult to work out on a measuring jug what the unmarked increments of measure are. So we started with a written diagram. She knew how to identify the 100's no problem. She could also work out which lines read as 50, but then struggled a little with 25 and 75ml. Once we had done this, she could easily measure out the amounts of liquid that I had prepared earlier!

I used food colouring in the water to a) make the activity prettier! and b) make it easier to read.
Then she matched up the correct labels to the containers of liquid.

This would have been fun only she was dying to get it over with so she could go and help her Dad with a bonfire at the bottom of the garden.

Yesterday, after school, my Mum took the older two to see Alice in Wonderland at the cinema.
I'm told it is very, very good!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Whizz, bang, pop!

Last week Honor-May bought a chemistry set. The kids have been dying to try it out. I think I said that as soon as she got it home she had it out in her bedroom and had pretty much mixed up the ingredients. So I promised I'd sort out a place to keep this stuff in the study and help them with the experiments. Well, I found myself a little challenged this morning to go through any serious lessons with them but allowed them to do their own kind of free play with a variety of ingredients from the kitchen. Hubby quickly pointed out that they'd be better doing this outdoors. I knew there was a good reason for putting up the gazebo - it makes an ideal science lab! So, here they are having a great time mixing up bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, lemon juice, gelatine crystals and food colouring! Meanwhile Hubby tried to get the microscope working. It's not ideal. In hindsight, we would have been better off investing in a decent microscope and then providing all the other bits and pieces separately. Not sure where you can get things like litmus paper cheaply and easily, though.

I'm looking through some websites now that have good ideas for home experiments that we can do next time. Here is one website I like:

Saturday, 20 March 2010

It ain't heavy....

I'm not long back from Mass tonight. So far the new routine of going on a Saturday night is going well. It is nice and quiet (and short!) and Honor and Henry, being the only kids, get a nice little dose of attention and have so far been asked to do the Offertory Procession every week. I have, however, found myself battling with a well-meaning white haired lady as we go to collect the rather heavy decanter of wine who is always extremely concerned that my Honor will drop it! I reassure her that it will be fine and then pray heavily as we make our way down the aisle! They are getting better at it, but I think this lady's fussing makes Honor more nervous than she needs to be. Oh well. Henry enjoys having something to do, but, by golly, he was a terrible fidget tonight. I need to look up some strategies to keep them engaged.

The Gospel tonight was very apt for everyone (especially women?) The old 'you who is without sin cast the first stone' story. There I go. Being very 'judgmental' about women. Probably because I cannot think of a time when I get together with the girls when we don't say "oh, you know what so-n-so is doing..." I think women are very hard on each other. And I think the men do it rather a lot too.
I'm not going to give a sermon here. This post is merely about my little mind questioning the natural and the supernatural. It certainly seems that it is a natural part of humanity to judge others. Last night Hubby and I watched the very harrowing, yet compelling film 'The Magdalene Sisters'. It seemed unbelievable to us that these young women were judged and punished in such an appalling way... in the name of Jesus. How natural it was for us to condemn the cruelty of these nuns in the Irish laundries and the behaviour of the trusted clergy who abused vulnerable young women.

I'm becoming wary that this is turning into some massive theological essay. Oh, why not, I do this every now and then, anyway! It just seems to go like that, that these things all crop up at the same time - like you are meant to take notice? So. There was this film. Then there was the Gospel and in the newsletter was a notice about the forthcoming Papal visit to the UK. It invited us to sign a petition in favour because, apparently a secular group has been petitioning against it and had received 20,000 signatures. Well. When I got home I did a wee bit of research. It turns out that the group were actually campaigning for the Catholic Church to pay for the visit rather than it coming out of our taxes. I'm not saying if this is right or wrong. I did sign the petition in favour of Pope Benedict's visit. I then read through some of the comments. One person had answered the question I had been pondering... that apparently our Government finances visits from all kind of world/religious ambassadors and therefore the Pope's visit deserves the same respect. All I am saying is, it is difficult to make fair judgements when we are not in possession of the full facts. Only God is and that is why John reminds us to leave it to him.

On a much lighter note, James Bond has just started on TV. And I hope God will agree (of course he does!) that Daniel Craig is a very very cool 007!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Yesterday I had a bit of time to make these little cubby hole curtains for the kitchen from my new 'wobble stripe' material. They are very cheerful. (Just like me!!!)

The children decorated biscuits again, from the rest of the kit I bought last week, but I did add some extra colours this time. (Natural, of course) . There is so much stuff you can buy now for this kind of thing compared to when we were young.
This morning, as I shopped in Morrissons, I bumped into the ambulance lady who respond to our emergency the other week. It was nice to go and thank her and to explain the outcome of it all. She is in the St John's Ambulance. I used to belong to that when I was young and Honor has expressed an interest in it too. So I shall be looking into that for her.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Nah. Not an hommage to Steve Irwin. I am, of course, referring to St Patrick's Day. Everyone knows that today is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland and, according to Facebook, they also seem to know that it is Hubby's birthday! So we have fun celebrating both. For the children, I told them the story of St Patrick and how it is believed that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Then I told them that they were hiding in our garden! They were sent outside to find eleven snakes that I had hidden earlier. A couple of them I had found amoung the kids toys but most of them were rather crudely made from things like socks, scarves, skipping ropes and plasticine.

This is just an old sock stuffed with tissue, tied to a scarf. The kids didn't mind, though. They had great fun!

Henry's sword is also homemade. Daddy made it for him the other day from the junk modelling box.

This is Honor's snake. It is called 'Beauty'!!!!

And this one is called 'Emerald'.

This one is well camouflaged. (Read in Aussie accent!) Careful, it could give you a nasty nip, the little blighter!
After the snake hunt they did some other related colouring and handwriting activities that I found on the 'Catholic Icing' website. They enjoyed this online colouring page.
As I said, it is Hubby's birthday. His employers sent him a bottle of champagne. They also sent me this lovely flower arrangement last week after hearing about our little scare with baby Hope. How thoughtful. Bet there aren't many bosses that would do that.

These are the flowers I got for Mother's Day....

along with this Cath Kidston tablecloth which arrived in the post today. I love Cath Kidston stuff. The picture above this one is of her 'wobble stripe' fabric. That also arrived today. I bought it to put in the kitchen. It's so colourful. I had a look round some other fabric shops to try and find something similar, but cheaper, but couldn't find anything so I went for it.