Monday 28 February 2011

Mama Made Monday - Roman Centurion

Ethan has a world history fortnight starting today. So every spare moment during half term was spent making a centurion outfir for him. Fortunately I had all the material. The tunic was made from curtain lining material, the over-tunic from some of that Per Una material I was given ages ago, plus some material I picked up from freecycle, and the red velvet was also from freecycle. Finished off with a button from my Nan's button stash I inherited. Oh, and we borrowed the leg armour from a neighbour! He had to wear a t-shirt and shorts underneath to try to combat the cold, and as I helped him into it all this morning, his first comment was "there are no pins in it are there?" As he had got caught with the pins a few times previously as we were trying it out for size!
I'm pleased with how it turned out, but hope no-one looks at it in detail!! Made all the better for being made from scraps!

Friday 25 February 2011

Making the most of time

Half term is a time for home for these home birds of mine. It is lovely to see Luke reading, despite his love of writing, he doesn't really do much in the way of reading, but has enjoyed reading the autobiography of Steve Martin. Of course, there has been lego played with too.
We've had friends over for a meal, who brought these gorgeous flowers with them that they had hand-tied themselves.

I had to include this picture, Sophie knew there was some ice-cream in the freezer, and had the most cheekiest look on her face!
We did venture out on the warm, dry day of Thursday. Picking up a friends little girl, and romping through the woods, as well as feeding animals at a childrens farm.
There have been many moments of just sheer enjoyment. Sitting with Sophie whilst she did doodle after doodle on the mega-sketcher. Drawing a picture of a water slide for fish to go down!
Tidying rooms, Alec was relieved that I helped him with his room, as it had got to the state where you just didn't know where to start. Late nights, watching films together. And to top it off, a sleep-over tonight for Luke and his friends, with the other boys going up the road to a friends for pizza and a film.
I love the natural pace that school holidays bring.

Monday 21 February 2011

Dancing the night away

An evening of dancing to Within Temptation. Ethan has a real flair for dancing, and is becoming more comfortable with letting people see him dance. He has a bit of a Mick Jagger look going on here! Alec, in full flight!
Sophie having a go at singing along
A bit of choreography..
And a wonderful pose.
Ethan has said he would like dance lessons, and was very impressed with a dance competition that was on telly the other night (I forget the name of it). Isn't it wonderful how each has such a unique personality, and such varied talents.

Saturday 19 February 2011

The Guild

I have just had the most wonderful night out last night. Where would you go on your first solo trip out at night since the birth of your child 2 and a half years ago? Well, if you are me, and were given a spinning wheel for Christmas, it is logical to go to the local Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, isn't it?!

What a friendly bunch of people, and a wonderful source of knowledge too. Some were spinners of 30 years plus, others had specialities in hedgerow dying, or felting. There was a wonderful jacket that someone had wet felted for themselves, and they had a challenge the other month to spin milk protein fibre. I learned how to card the wool, ply the wool, and look at the improvement in my spinning, the brown and white yarn on the left is prior to the meeting, and the cream on the right of the bobbin is what I did under the watchful eye of a guild member. I can see this being a wonderful source of inspiration, and am looking forward to the lots more practice with my own wheel and wool, as well as more meetings in the future.

Friday 11 February 2011

365 project

This evening the kitchen was taken over by tripod, camera, t-shirt and joss stick. Why? Stuart has taken on the 365 project challenge. To take a picture each day and post it on their forum. There were many comments by Stuart along the lines of "I don't know what I am doing!" or "this is harder than it looks". And after lots of changes in lighting, shutter speed, position of lighting, and many, many pictures, Stuart disappeared upstairs to see what he had got.
This is the end result. Not bad at all!

Chinese New Year

Late I know, but I felt I ought to put them here to prove to myself that I do do things with the children so in those dark days that catch me out every now and again, I can remind myself to stop being so full of doom and gloom!

So, last Friday we were joined by a lad from up the road who staying for a sleepover whilst his parents went out. We started with a chinese take away, and then quickly moved on to some crafts. Ethan helped make some chinese lanterns.
We all had a go at writing our names in Chinese.
We made model firecrackers which then ended up being pretend dynamite!
And we played a game with chopsticks,where the had to pick up fluffy balls and put them into a bowl. It reminded us of that scene from Kung-Fu Panda, where the Panda and master were chasing a dumpling around a bowl!

Alec became quite an expert by the end of it!
Unfortuntely that was it. The little boy was suddenly violently sick, and ended up going back home, and my plans for joining in with the celebrations in Birmingham on the Sunday fell flat due to severe lack of enthusiasm from the boys. Well, no-one can say I didn't try!

Saturday 5 February 2011

"No, Sosie do!"

How many times do I hear this in the course of a day? Sophie is displaying a fiercely independent streak which needs the patience of a saint to honour sometimes, whilst we wait, desperate for the toilet, whilst she unlocks the front door, or she has to make the cup of tea or coffee for Mummy and Daddy.

Her grasp of english is expanding at an amazing rate, and gives us a glimpse into her thinking. Some of the things she comes out with have us in stitches! Things such as
"Oh, where mom gom?" ie Oh where's Mum gone?
"I dow nooooo" I don't know
"titul" tickle
"eggy" egg! In fact the other day, we went to see if the chickens had decided to lay an egg, and there weren't any, so Sophie with arm actions and everything declared "no eggy, oh what an awful day!"
And one for all the breastfeeders to relate to... "me titul mummies feeee" I tickle mummies breast!

Friday 4 February 2011

A new leaf

Something is changing, very slowly, barely perceptible, but changing none the less. Is it the promise of spring that is doing this? Inspiration from some new books, which are making so much sense to me? I'm not sure, but I think it is a combination of things. New life is emerging from the ground, and it reminds me that another growing season is starting, a new season, an opportunity for wonderful things to happen.

Over the last few years I have got into bad habits with the computer, spending much too much time on here. It has not all been wasteful, I have been inspired by so many, learned many new things, made wonderful friendships which would be foolish to lose. But, time is ticking on, I need to spend much more time with the family, create more nourishing meals, really cherish their childhoods and give them the roots they need for when they get older.
I am being hauled out of the rut I have got myself into, and I am loving it! Not sure how I have fitted in so much time on the computer! A veg box each week inspires me to create new, wholesome meals, the warming days (there have been a few) have lured me back down to the allotment, Sophie who is constantly investigating new things, and needing a playmate giving me no option but to surrender to her play. The boys, Ethan, who it is all too easy to forget he is only 6 years old, who really does need more time with his parents, Alec who has various health issues that need attention daily, Luke with the concerns of a nearly adolescent. And not forgetting Stuart who works so hard to keep the family comfortable.
As spring breaks forth, I can feel the sap rising in all of us, to make the most of each day.
This was made even clearer to us with the recent news of Stuart's brother being hit by a car. He has suffered broken ribs and pelvis, and a punctured lung. We all wish him a very speedy recovery.