Tuesday 30 November 2010

Here's one for you!

Sat around the dinner table the other night, and for the umpteenth time I had asked Luke to stop playing with the candles! But we then started looking and thinking about the flame, and the candles, and what exactly was happening there.

Multiple theories abounded, from the wax acting as an inhibitor, slowing the burning of the wick down, allowing it to burn completely, to something within the wax acting as a fuel, because when it is melted it will allow a piece of burnt wood (ie a spent match) to catch light really quickly, and once the wax is gone, it no longer burns. However wax will not burn by itself, so cannot be a fuel. Where does the wax go?

I don't think we came to any conclusions, but could see and understand the other points of view. Ethan could not understand why we were so concerned about the candle and flame, and kept coming to tell us to stop (the meal had long ended, and it was Stuart, Mum, Luke and I who were still sat in the candlelight debating).

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any other theories, or could actually shed some light on this (sorry for the pun, couldn't be helped!) And as for candle-lit dinners, they are wonderful!

Monday 29 November 2010

Mama Made Monday -Bit of a catch up post!

I eventually completed the dress for Sophie which had been bought in kit form for Christmas last year. Unfortunately she has decided she doesn't like tights or dresses at the moment. I'm hoping this phase will pass before she outgrows the dress! I decided I wanted a little distraction from Christmas present making, so started making snowflakes! I eventually want to string them together with ribbon to make downward hanging garlands.

Some of the baskets awaiting filling.
A sneaky peek at the season swap I am making
The guitar strap for Alec, nearly completed the crocheting, just need to felt it then.
A book mark for a secret santa I am involved with.
And a dishcloth for Mum, not for Christmas or anything, but as she commented on my dishcloths the other day, I thought I could make one for her too.
I like this time of year, snuggling down with a ball of wool, and creating, whilst it freezes and throws all kinds of inclement weather at us.
Hope you are all keeping warm, and finding things to occupy your time too.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Snowy weather activites?

What do you do when you discover it has snowed overnight? Put on warm clothes, race outside and play in the snow? Not if your in this household!

Luke has spent the last couple of evenings making a gun out of paper, via instructions on you tube! So, he finished it off, and then demonstrated it. Paper bullets flying out under the power of his breath. He then discovered instructions to build a basic gun that fires elastic bands, rather effective too!
Sophie did venture outside, and discovered "Balls! Snow.....balls"

To be fair, the boys did eventually go outside, just before lunch, and have only just come in, just before tea. So I can't complain too much!

Thursday 25 November 2010


The distinct lack of photos over the past couple of weeks has been as my camera has been "out of order". It would not focus on anything, so we eventually found the receipt, only to find the warrantee had expired the previous week, even though it had stopped working before that! Yes, it took 2 weeks to find a receipt, there really was that much paperwork to troll through!

So with an assurance from Panasonic that they would honour the warrantee, I got ready to parcel it up to send off to them. It was then that I saw a button I had never seen before, it said "focus", so I pressed it, and hey presto! my camera worked again! I am so glad I discovered this before I sent it off, and avoided an embarrasing phonecall telling me I was "stupid"! I just have to phone them up now and declare myself stupid!!

So I can now go and photograph all the things I have been busy making recently. As well as taking photos of those moments that really are wonderful in their ordinariness. I have missed having my camera.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Ponderings of the future

Picking up that leaflet about Forest school training has sparked off a whole load of things for me. A realisation that in just over 18 months time Sophie will be starting school, tied in with the fact she is my last baby. And that I should then start thinking about employment of some kind. But I have been out of the work place for 9 years (12 years by the time Sophie starts school) so I will not be up to date with any social work issues (not that I think I would return to it anyway). But what to do? Should I start training now, so that I am employable when the time comes? Should I just enjoy these precious months with my youngest, and last baby? What could I turn my hand to? What is feasible with four children, house and allotment to look after?

I dream of running a craft shop/fairtrade shop and tea room, serving local and fairtrade produce, but do I have enough of a business head, or the energy? I like the idea of an etsy shop (or the like), but not sure if I have the talent. Would I be tolerant enough to deal with other peoples children in forest school? Should I wait for a breastfeeding support worker job to come up? Gaaah! I haven't had to face this before. So many paths lie before me, and I am hopeless at making decisions!

I think for now, I will make the most of my time at home with my little ones, as they do grow so quickly. I trust that the right path will make itself known to me, when the time comes.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Fun telling stories

Alec, Ethan, Sophie and I all went to a story-telling workshop today. It was run by the Friends of Bishops Wood. About 1/2 an hours drive away, but so worth the journey. A handful of people there, all listening to different stories, recounting stories, looking at what composes a story, lots of pointers for when Ethan requests a made up story at bed time, something I struggle with when my brain as switched off! We also ventured outside to find inspiration from the natural world, using leaves as frogs, acorn cups for a monkey, and sweet-chestnut husks as a garden.

We had a wonderful time, Ethan wants to go back for every monthly event they put on! Certainly we will return there, hopefully for the family forest school experience in February. We also found out about a festival in Shropshire in the summer, full of story-telling.

The boys came away with leaflets about forest school, to give to their respective schools, and I picked up a leaflet about forest school training, a path that might suit me on the near future.

Monday 8 November 2010

Life is good

Lots of things I am wanting to remember at the moment.

The time when Sophie banged her head, and was trying to kiss her own head better, how she asks for a "Feeeeee" for milk. Her counting, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9. Her colours are always red! How she makes our hearts melt every single day.

Ethan wanting to learn to knit, realising that Nanny learned from her Mum, I learned from Nanny, now Ethan wants to learn from me, so that he can teach his own children. How he is thinking of Christmas presents he can make with his knitting, and how proud he was that he managed 4 rows after school all by himself. The picture I wish I had taken with him sat by Nanny's side learning so quickly how to do a knit row.

Alec saying how he never wants to grow up. He likes life as it is now, but actually preferred being 8!

Luke wanting to pause life too, thinking that right now everything is good. I must agree with him, life is good at the moment, and I am grateful.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Poorly eyes

Alec was sent home from school yesterday as he was complaining of his eye itching. Typical! He has had an eye that has looked really sore all half-term but wasn't bothering him in the slightest, so we let it be, hoping it would sort itself out. But as soon as he returns to school, with it actually looking better (due to magic mummy milk!) it starts to bother him. And school won't let him back unless it is being treated with drops (I don't think Mummy milk qualifies for that :( )

Anyway, once home he is feeling much better, so I get an afternoon with a bit of extra time for him, which I love! We delivered pumpkin soup to his grandparents, then returned home to play with non-Newtonian fluids (aka cornflour and water.)

I could play with this stuff for hours! As could Alec and Sophie!

And then a spot of baking. Cheese scones.
I do love it when they are "poorly"

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Half-term and Halloween

So, recently I have noticed that alot of my posts have not really included much about the children. Probably as they were at school! Well, I thought I would show you what we had been up to over half term. You have already seen our trip to Slimbridge. This is what the rest of the week looked like.

Playing with cardboard boxes...
Lots of lego building...
Drum practice...
Making pictures with domino run pieces
Making domino runs
Castle building
Candle making
Candle-lit music filled evenings, that were enjoyed by all never wanting to forget them
Pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie from our own homegrown pumpkin.
WarHammer and sewing, can you actually see the dining table?
Glass lantern making
Pumpkin carving
And alot of excitement about "Halloween on the Green". Our communal halloween party.

So there we have it. Proof that the children are still around, having a whale of a time, chilling out, doing there own thing, and requesting not to go out anywhere!

Monday 1 November 2010

(Grand) Mama Made Monday

Ok, bit of a cheat, I know, but I just had to show some of the things that Stuart's Mum makes. She made this cardigan for Sophie in a day! She uses the most wonderful colours, and makes the patterns up as she goes along. She does use some fair isle patterns from books, but will get a whole load and put them all together in one garment. She really is inspirational. I have asked her to try to teach me fair isle knitting, but I am very slow.
She has started to do bigger jumpers too, and I felt very honoured when she made one for me in the summer, which you can see here.
She has recently fractured her ankle, so is having to take things easy, but the one thing she can carry on doing is knitting. How many jumpers do you reckon she can knit in the next 6 weeks? :)