Sunday, 27 January 2008

I haven't posted in about a week. I've a funny old week, I have struggled in coping with Lily's behaviour and with Patch the puppy, I have not coped well with either of them. To the point that if I have not turned things around with Patch and Lily when they are together, within a month, then I going to have to find Patch a home. It really saddens me that I have reached this decision, as I had made a promise to my self, that come hell or high water, that yet another pet would not come in to our home and then have to be given away for one reason or another. It seems to have been this way for the last 16yrs and it used to devastate me every time we had to See them go. But in my infinite wisdom I thought that now I was living on my own with Lily, that no one would be able to decide that the pet had to go .... not sure this is making sense. But anyway I feel really down that I have come to this decision.

Patch is fine with me, sometimes puppy boisterous, nothing out the norm, but when Lily is in the house and the same room, it's another story. He just won't leave her alone, jumping up , pulling at her clothes, tries to grab her feet as she is walking, if she is sitting he is jumping on her all the time. Lily won't take control and I think Patch has realised this and is therefore taking control of Lily. Hope this makes sense. And to be quite honest I've had enough of all the shenanigans, it had me in tears several times over the last week. I have had a chat with Lily about and we are going to try and find a puppy training class , some where in the County Durham area, so if any one knows of a local puppy class, feel free to post a comment and let me know.

I'm not sure if my coping skills where so low with the stress of life in general, I 'm sure the fact of how well I'm coping / not coping has a huge impact on Lily and her behaviour or if I'm stressed weather I'm just less tolerant. Who knows!

Any way It is Lily's birthday today, she is 7yr. Wow where has the time gone. Lily had her birthday party yesterday, she had a trampolining party, there was her self and 11 of her friends there. the age range was from 19 months to 11yrs, so very interesting the mix of ages but all got on really well and seemed to really enjoy it. My son Ben is 15yr really enjoyed him self playing David Bailey ( or in his words, Jimmy Olsen, the photographer out of superman) and taking photos of every one. Lily received some amazing gifts from her friends, Window art, a red shaped heart bag and barbie accessories set, a jewelry box in the shape of a chair and pouffe, a child's guitar. joke book and another bag, a selection of craft things and one of her Friends made her a plant with flowers in it made out of some kind of felt, all the presents were amazing. Lily has had a fabulous weekend.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

The kids unplugged project this week was toothpicks. and when I told Lily, she became very excited and said she knew exactly what she wanted to for it. Lily had decided that she wanted to make a star mobile. We drew a shape of a star on paper as a guide, then she filled the star with glue, then laid the cocktail sticks one by one in the shape , then left it to dry. We haven't quite finished yet as she wants to peel the paper off and then paint it. Then she wants to hang it in her bedroom. Lily doesn't very often come up with ideas of what she would like to do, but she was really enthused with this. It also tied in nicely with her routine visit to the dentist, which is on Tuesday. So we ended up having little chats about dental hygiene and the uses of a tooth pick. I really must get my self along to Claire's and look for my camera cable, every one's blogs look so nice when you can see the photo's of what people have achieved. So impressive.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Ok I feel that today's blog is a challenge, as in I don't really know what to say.

We have had quite an interesting week this week. Firstly on Monday Lily and I met up with five other local home educating families, in a place called Action Replay, which is a huge soft play area suitable for children of all ages, mainly birth to 12yrs. Not sure that I know many 12 yrs that frequent a big soft play area, but most 2 - 7yr that I know love these kind of places. Lily loves meeting up with her friends here and running of energy and steam and supposedly the parents can chat to each other, if they are not too busy running after their tearaway toddlers. I think we all crave for adult conversation from time to time and sometimes we can manage decent chats between bouts of running after toddlers.

Tuesday turned out to be a loooong busy day, I had an appointment for 10.30 and in order for me to attend it I needed to have Lily in Durham by 9.30, where she was going to be looked after by my ex partner, it's about a 15 - 20 min drive from where I live, then came back for my appointment which was for 50 Min's, then had to go back to Durham to pick Lily up. But while we were there we had our preview session for Lily's photograph that she had took last week, we were there for about 45 Min's and had to select our favourite picture out of 40 photos, this was not an easy task believe me ...... money allowing I would have bought several of the photos. But Lily has truely enjoyed this Christmas gift experience. I can't remember if I mentioned it last week, but the photo portrait sitting was done by Venture

Later that evening Lily and I met up with our friends Claire and Hermione and we went off to Durham,. We had bought tickets to see Wototo, an African Children's Gospel choir, which in it self suggests a slight religious overtone. For which I was ok about. I try not to be too judgemental, as living quite an alternative life style my self, I believe that anyone should be allowed to follow any path they choose as long as it does not harm anyone else.

The children were good the dancing and drumming were good, all very talented young children ages from 9 to 13. But in my humble opinion there was not enough singing, dancing or drumming or enough information of the plight of these youngsters, who were all orphans. All their parents died of aids or aids related illnesses, or the children had been rescued from being child soldiers. These children come from Uganda.

These children were encouraged during the performance to talk about God, Gods plan for them, his love for them, how he choose to rescue them and give them new parents and one child even said that 'If he has a problem, then all he had to do was to pick up the phone and God would answer and sort his problem out for him.' Lily later asked me if it was true, if there was a god and if he could answer the phone. During the show they repeatedly asked for money / donations to help fund their trip and the Wototo villagers, which initially was ok, but when it exceeded more than three or four times, it became rather uncomfortable for me. I did really enjoy the singing and the children and Lily really enjoyed the experience. Which is one of the good things about home education, being able to show that there are many other, views, religions and cultures out there, which are not always what we believe in, but that other people do. But does not necessarily make one right and the other wrong. It's about alternative life styles and choices and being strong enough not to judge other people for what they believe is right for them. Oh dear I think I have waffled on a bit here and not sure if I have made any sense. May be my friends links on her site will make more sense.

Monday, 14 January 2008

This is the first time that we have actively taken part in the weekly project, so please bear with us, while we plod on in our merry way, and see what you all get up to.

Lily and I decided to do some baking during the week.

Anyway there were plenty of pastry scraps left over and we just started messing around with it, a bit like playdough in away. Which brought me to thinking about a blog that I read often and the suggested topic for this week is sculptures, Lily and I ended up doing a mini version of Stonehenge and a one of a dog eating from a bowl, we later put them in the oven on a very low temp to dry out and harden. Unfortunately I can't take pictures to upload on to my computer as my camera is flat and the charger is at a friends house, hiding somewhere :-) Any way Lily and I had a whale of a time doing this. When we had finished playing with the dough, Lily asked if I could find her some pictures of Stonehenge for her to have a look at. This one with the sunset seems to be our favourite, but there were generally some very awe inspiring pictures of Stonehenge.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

I decided to visit my parents today, the visit went fairly well, no real hitches .... that is until I was coming home and got stopped by the Police. I was totally guilty and I hold my hands up. I got stopped for not wearing my seat belt :-( I was in the wrong and totally accept that. I ended up with a fixed penalty of £30 which I have to pay within 28 days, I'm just so pleased that there were no points added to my licence. 2 1/2 years ago I had 3 points put on my licence for speeding, I was dashing over to a friends house who was pregnant at the time and I was doing 34 miles an hour in a 30 zone and I got caught by a speed camera. Needless to say I learn my lessons the hard way.
For a special friend

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Oh I'll get my moan over quick today. I really really fancied a bacon sandwich for my dinner tonight, but it's been more hassle than it was worth ...... I'd put the bacon on to cook, but Patch was up to something that he shouldn't have been and I burnt the bacon ever so slightly, but the smoke alarm has been going off intermittently ever since. Currently sitting with the back door open as I type.* deep sigh*

I acquired a new and lovely bookcase last night, courtesy of freecycle. And as I was up very early this morning, I decided that I would but all of Lily's books on the bookcase and try and sort out her room (bed), make it less cluttered in the hope that she will find it more appealing to sleep in. She has already stated that she is going to sleep in there come Monday. Fingers crossed. we have co-slept for most of her life apart from a brief spell earlier last year, but when we moved in here in October she took to my bed again. I've been patient about it, but would quite like to have my bed back to myself now. She is seven in a couple of weeks, so I don't think I'm being too unreasonable about it.

I took myself of to Durham late this morning in order to buy a new spring loaded cake tin, in an earnest attempt to start preparing for Lily's Party. She is going to have a trampolining party and we can have up to 12 guests, So Lily is busy getting a list of friends names together . The list changes frequently apart from 3 and they are always at the top, starting with her self, then H and M, after that it changes frequently, I can feel a headache and a challenge coming on :-) I'm so pleased that it only happens once a year.

Also while I was in Durham, I decided that I would buy all the cards I would need, and it just astounds me the price of cards, We have a busy week coming up ...... it starts with my mum's birthday, then my mum and dad's wedding anniversary, close friend's husbands' birthday, lily's birthday and my birthday all in the same week. I ended up buying 6 cards , but at least I'm prepared. :-)

The biggest news so far this week is....... wait for it ...... the TV has been banned. The licence was due for renewal and I have decided that in my infinite wisdom that in the short term we will try and do with out the TV. Don't know how well we will cope, so watch this space. Lily could easily be addicted to the TV and I'm afraid I use it as company on a night, The voices in the background while I'm typing at the PC, makes me feel as if there are others in the house, and you don't get the same effect with music. Although I love all kinds of music, it's just not the same as someone chatting.


Thursday, 10 January 2008

Well we did stay at home today and had a day of just messing together. Firstly we got the day underway with some Horizon maths, which seemed to go down fairly well, Lily then still wanted to do more math work, but asked if she could do on the computer. I managed to find a web link that a friend had once mentioned to me previously. Lily really enjoyed it today. She once had a go at this on a friends computer and to be honest Lily struggled with it, But today there were no problems, she had to sort out a group of numbers, place them in to circles one for odd numbers and one for even numbers. We also found another game, where the object is to find the line of symmetry, again Lily seemed to grasp this quite quickly today and we also touched on the symbols of less than, more than numbers < >
All in all Lily really enjoyed her maths today.

We did decide to do some baking today, not very adventurous, but Lily decided that she would quite like to some Vege sausage rolls. we don't do sausage rolls as a rule, I don't like them and Lily can't have ordinary rolls as most of them are made some derivative of pork and Lily has a pork intolerance, but since we had some vege sausages in that's what we did. Lily loves them.

Anyway there were plenty of pastry scraps left over and we just started messing around with it, a bit like playdough in away. Which brought me to thinking about a blog that I read often and the suggested topic for this week is sculptures, Lily and I ended up doing a mini version of Stonehenge and a one of a dog eating from a bowl, we later put them in the oven on a very low temp to dry out and harden. Unfortunately I can't take pictures to upload on to my computer as my camera is flat and the charger is at a friends house, hiding somewhere :-) Any way Lily and I had a whale of a time doing this. When we had finished playing with the dough, Lily asked if I could find her some pictures of Stonehenge for her to have a look at. This one with the sunset seems to be our favourite, but there were generally some very awe inspiring pictures of Stonehenge.

Tonight I 've invited a friends mum round for dinner and apart from Christmas day, it is the first time that someone has come round of an evening for a meal, I plan to do stuffed mushrooms to start with, stuffed with baby braised leeks and garlic with breadcrumbs topped with goats cheese, followed by homemade chicken Kiev, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots followed by home made chocolate mouse made with pureed avocado, and bananas and cocoa powder, all mixed together and topped with cacoa nips, I know it doesn't sound very appetising but believe me the mouse is delicious.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

I'm struggling in a big way at the moment with Lily and a huge lack of patience. Lily is seven at the end of the month, and usually she goes to bed at 7pm, has a bit of a story and listens to relaxing music, (her long standing favourite is Juliana with skyfire, so very relaxing) and then she is usually asleep by 7.30 / 8pm but for some unknown reason the past 2 nights it has been after 10pm when she has finally gone to sleep. Which hasn't gone down very well with me... unfortunately for Lily.The pattern of the previous 2 nights has been ..... bed normal time followed by endless trips up and down the stairs, it was starting to do my head in, but I tried to be patient ........ but not tonight on her second trip down the stairs I blew my stack, big style and consequently she hasn't been back down since .... must check that she is ok. mmmm still awake at 8.30pm. Wonder what would be a normal expectation for a seven yr to be in bed and a sleep .... ideas anyone.

Consequently we slept in today, we needed to be out of the house by 8.30 but didn't wake till 8am, so we didn't get out until 9am.

It was our first visit of the year to Nature's World, Which is in Middlesborough. My parents live in Redcar and they asked us over for lunch after Nature's World, but because it would otherwise mean patch being in his cage for a very long time, it was decided that we would set of very early and take Patch to my parents house, while we went to Nature's world. Which was good for Patch as my mum and dad took him out for a long walk which they all enjoyed.

Lily and I went of to Nature's world where we meet up with other Home Educating families and generally good fun is had by all. This week there was no organised craft activity, which there usually is, but instead there were lots of boxed board games, Lego, k'nex and play dough activities. All the kids were so excited to see each other that they organised there own games and didn't want much interruption from the adults. It's lovely seeing everyone get on with each other, it is very rare to hear any bickering, fighting ( other than being part of the game), crying etc. It is just so nice being in a relaxed friendly environment and being able to chat to similar like minded people of varying backgrounds.

On more of a mundane note, there has been some interludes of maths ( Horizen), reading by Lily, currently using oxford learning tree, but will try other things like the old Janet and John's, which are making a bit of a come back and lots of playing with Christmas toys.

Tomorrow I think we are going to have a bit of chilled out bonding day at home. Might have a look at doing some baking / cooking together. :-)

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Well it's been a bit of an interesting day today, took me a while to get motivated. I'm not sleeping particularly well lately and feel like I have bags under my eyes the size of suitcases and it is taking me a while to pull round.

Lily received a lovely gift of a good friend for christmas, it was a Venture portrait photography sitting, so today was the planned day to have the photograph session. Lily really enjoyed the session, dancing, running, jumping and generally prancing around for a hour, had me exhausted just watching. Lily had decided to take along two outfits to change in to, one being her christmas day dress and one being a witches out fit that she had for halloween. The gentleman who took the photographs was very good with Lily, making her laugh, pull different face etc Our preview session is next Tuesday, the man took 106 pics and said that they would put a selection of 30 to 40 pics for me to choose one from ..... think that will be tricky, choosing one photo out of all of them, but I do look forward to seeing them all.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Picked Lily up today at 5pm, ready to take to her Badger sett, which she does on a Monday night. Lily loves going here, meeting with other people, having tuck money to be able to spend on appropriate food stuffs. But on our way to Badgers, Lily pleaded with me to leave her by herself tonight and after an earlier disscussion in the day , I agreed to leave the building once she was settled.

So my next problem, What to do with my self for a hour in Spennymoor, not a lot of choice believe me. Anyway I took my self of to Asda and had a wander round. In the end I was rather self indulgent ..... I bought my self some flowers. I love flowers, but I can count on one hand how many times I have bought them for my self in the last few years, and I'm sad to realise that I have only done it two or three times. I think nothing of buying them for other people and have done on a very regular basis. I seem to have a problem in justyfing the expense for my self, any I saw some beautiful red and yellow Tulips and was drawn to them, but it took me a while to convince myself to buy them, but they are now sitting in an over sized vase on my mantle, looking very nice.

Poppies are in my opinion the most beautiful flower of all, so fragile.

And this is ( if I have done it right ) one of my favourite scenes, and it is a field near where I live, some where between Coxhoe and Sedgefield in county Durham.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Quiet day around here today. Lily went of to Marlene's late yesterday afternoon and is there till mid-afternoon tomorrow.

So there is lots and lots of quiet to do some thinking about life, the people in our lives and the things that we do to each other, the pain we cause, expectations that we have of one another, whether they are realistic expectations or not. I have been desperately unhappy of late, having depression, but during this bout I have hurt some people badly on an emotional level. For which I deeply regret and am hugely sorry for.

A while back I posted on a blog that I felt angry about something, I have come to realise that it was possibly not anger but disappointment and because I could not express my self clearly it projected it self as anger. I've learnt a very very difficult lesson this week and it has come with a huge huge price tag and has left me reeling. I have realised that when you set out to look for help and answers that very often the help and answers are not where you had hoped / or expected to get them .... leading to the disappointments and that in the majority of events one should look to the self for the answers . Looking to friends and family for help and answers, especially those who you have deepest respect and love for is just a recipe for huge disappointment and angst, feelings of being let down by those closest to you, which places an untold amount of strain on any friendship / relationship . I need to look to myself to find the answers and stop the progression of destruction.

On a brighter note today has been really beautiful in respect of the weather, so much so that Patch I took our selves of for a 2 hour walk around Hardwick Hall, I have always really liked this place, but even more so at the moment. The amount of people who stopped and chatted to me was amazing, for me, almost spiritual in some respects. People generally seemed a lot happier to be out and about on a lovely day. One elderly couple stopped me and chatted for about 20 Min's, telling where they lived, and about coming to Hardwick when the were young children and telling me lots of the history. This is apparently the family vault, and when the elderly gentleman was a teenager the vault used to be regularly vandalised and broken into for the lead caskets. What an eery thought.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Snow has fallen all around me .....

We seem to be developing a bit of a regular luxury round here at the moment ..... and that is being able to stay in bed till nearly 8am. I knew the weather had been rough during the night, as it disturbed me. So the first thing we did when we we got out of bed was to look out side..... and their was glorious white crunchy snow all around.

No sooner had we got down stairs and Lily asked if we could get dressed and go out in the snow, so being the old fogey that I am after a bit of debating I relented ... well we don't get snow that often.

Quick search in the out-house to retrieve the sledge, once again donned our coats, scarfs, hats and gloves and with Patch in tow of we went to Hardwick Hall. It was fabulous seeing this beautiful place covered in snow. We found a nice little area that has a little hill and Lily was happy sledging there for ages, I call this area Rapunzel's Tower.

I think we must have been there nearly hour and half walking around the grounds and sledging. I'm amazed at how many people will stop and chat to you, when out walking their dogs, very friendly, it's quite nice really. While we were their we looked at all the different foot prints in the snow, it was quite easy to differentiate webbed feet and non- webbed feet birds. We looked at other foot prints, humans, dogs, horses etc , all in all fun was had by all. Lily wanted to continue to play out in the snow when we got home, building a rather small snowman, Eventually came in with soaking wet gloves and hands and very cold.

It continued to snow through out the day, quite heavily at times, Had an email saying that we could have something of free cycle, we had to travel to Ferryhill and with all the snow driving became quite hazardous, the car skidded at one point, we were going down a bank, heading towards a T-junction, which lead to the main road of the village. So I had to stop ... well you can imagine what happened, we skidded and the car ended up in the opposite direction, fortunately there were no other cars at this point. Phew. Decided that once we got home I was staying in for the rest of the day.

Lily completed the purse that she started yesterday, she is very chuffed to have completed it, along with the fact that she did most of it her self. She wants to start the bag tomorrow. :-)

We read more of 'Sophie is Seven' by Dick King Smith, Lily is starting to really enjoy this book and has also decide that tomorrow she is going to find her pastels and pad and draw some of the animals out of the story .... watch this space. Must put on my to do list ... to find my camera charger, so that I can uploaded on to the PC.... but it is misplaced in a friends house and may never be seen again ... only joking Claire :-)

On the down side to today though is , Lily became unwell with a sore throat and cough and lost her voice shortly after Christmas and has been slowly getting better, but seems to have taken a slight turn for the worse this afternoon. Her cough seems to be getting worse again along with a hoarseness of her voice. She was very disappointed on Sunday gone 30Th of Dec as she had to miss a pantomime that her Badger group were going to and it looks like she is going to miss her friend Will' s birthday party on Saturday coming, she is very upset :-( . We are really missing our friends, it seems to affect me the most, when we don't see our friends. Ho hum, part of life I suppose.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

We 've had quite a good day today in this household.

Firstly my parents and sister came to visit and it went much better than I thought it would. I took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and declared that Lily received far to many christmas presents this year, namely from my sister. My sister is in her 4o's and is now unable to have children, she is single and lives with my parents. But in her infinite wisdom, ( largely due to the fact that she can't have kids,) she thinks that Lily should be allowed to have absolutely anything that she asks for, which does not lend it self to a very nice respectful child at the moment. I therefore declared that for the next christmas they are only allowed to buy 1 or 2 presents and if they feel that they have not spent sufficent on Lily, I have suggested that they put any other money into a bank account that can be acssessed by my self to help fund educational trips that may / will crop up through the year for Lily. Lily is home educated and frequently goes out on trips to varoius educational places, for which there is often a cost. I feel that instead of an excess of un- nessesary toys their money would be more wisely spent on things that Lily actually needs and hopefully I won't end up with a disrepectful, spoilt child. Well that's my theory and astoundingly my parents agree.

secondly I joined Durham Freecycle yesterday and have successfully found new homes for the 3 wheeled urban detour buggy and fire guard that we had just taking up space. My 2 children are 15 1/2 and almost 7, there are definitely no more babies coming in to this house, so it was time to give the buggy etc away. I'm going to look out other stuff that I can recycle on to others. It's a good feeling being able to pass on things that are still useable.

Thirdly Lily and I had a fairly structured day in an unstructured kind of way. Lily received some lovely craft activities for Christmas, one bing a felt bag and puse set that you sew together your self, Lily wanted to start on the purse today, so she did with so assisstance from me, as this is the first proper sewing thing she has attempted. We managed to sew on the flowers, beads and buttons and part way around the purse, then Lily decided to have a break from iy, hopefully we will finish it of tomorrow. We also have the matching bag to do as well. We also started on another craft activity today which is a bit trckier, it involves making princessess out of pom-poms. not my cup of tea but lily seems to like it.

We have also started a Dick King-Smith book today 'Sophie is Seven', Lily seems to like this, so will let you know how we get on with it.

It got to 2.45 pm this afternoon and I decided that we would all benefit from a bit of fresh air. So Lily and I donned our fleeces, coats, wellies and walking boots. put Patch on his lead and bundled oursleves in to the car and went to Hardwick Hall. Lily took some bread to feed the ducks, Patch was let off his lead for a good run around, and we thoroughly enjoyed our walk. we left at 4pm when it was starting to turn cold and a little dull. It was a very beautiful walk.
A very beautiful place to be, something for everyone to look at.

All in all Lily and I have had a very good day.