"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Monday, 31 March 2008

Another link to help me put everything into perspective.

Just found this link on Warts and all, I have read a lot on the joyfully rejoicing site I had forgotten this .So appropriate based on the struggle I have been having recently.....

This part,

My insatiable hunger for knowledge about Jacob’s challenges was replaced with the ultimate reinforcement that our present unschooling life was most definitely the right path for us. It was time to put the research down and continue with life…with unschooling, as unschooling IS life. And yet we now had a new understanding, compassion and empathy for those gifts that make Jacob so wonderfully unique.

helped me to see that my need for answers is not wrong, I am not trying to label her, to make excuses for her, I am trying to get answers to understand her better.

Edited to add this
Just another article to help .

Earache,drawing dogs and Mohicans,quite a mixed day....

Emily did indeed come down with something, she spent last night with a severe earache and headache,she is so congested and I think her sinuses are blocked.She went to bed at 7.30 but only slept fitfully for an hour then woke and was very unhappy and in pain,she came down with Al again at 9pm but only lasted a short while then I took her back up.It was so difficult for her to get to sleep as she couldn't breathe well, and she was still awake at 11 when Al came up, she then proceeded to have both of us laughing out loud as she chatted ten to the dozen about a variety of things. It was nearly 12 before she was finally able to settle and we all managed to get to sleep.

She woke relatively early and wouldn't go back to sleep so we got up and she watched TV and I plodded around doing bit's and browsing online.It was hard to get motivated but eventually we started off looking through a file of her drawings she had put together ages ago and she decided to sort them out and redo it so we managed to sort out the masses of pictures we have pegged up over the doorway from the kitchen.It was interesting to see how her drawings had moved on .Milly then pottered, playing,went outside on her swing, listened to a story CD etc while I did a few jobs interspersed with playing on the PC,I was really lazy today.

She then requested that we draw our ideal dog and we drew and chatted for quite some time about a variety of subjects, including making up a story about the dogs we were drawing.

As I was getting tea ready she came down and informed me she was a Mohican and could I make her an arrow.Obviously I jumped at the chance and made an arrowhead from card and tin foil while she went out and found a suitable stick, then Al took over to attach the arrow head to the stick and the two of them,now renamed taharquo (Al) and Laharquo(Milly) went off on an adventure coming back for the ceremonial supper with Maharquo(me)by this time we had all been equipped with ceremonial Mohican jewellery and Emily had a fur collar that was in fact the skin of a lion she had slayed......

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Feeling lighter

I have had a busy but enjoyable day today.

Emily seems to be coming down with something again and has not been feeling well all day and is hot to touch but is feeling cold and shivery. She has gone to bed with two water bottles as she said she needed to warm up and wouldn't settle.Alan will take them out once she goes off to sleep so she doesn't over heat.

I have worked through the doubts of the last few days and feel confident again about our approach with Emily's education.

I thought back to the little girl who came out of school and the change in her today is like night and day.In all the information I have read about home schooling and unschooling in particular it seems that allowing children to read at their own pace,without pressure and when they are ready whatever age that may be enables a child who has difficulty to find their own way.

I feel lighter and have been much more relaxed since I confronted the fears I was having.

A new day dawns...

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.

You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.

Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.

All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

I would say this is quite accurate.
Looking inward can be a scary place to look at times but by confronting my issues, I grow and move forward.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Almost forgot Flat Stanley is looking for a new host family.He was due to go off to Lanzarote this week but he was forgotten.....

So if any one fancies hosting him for a while please let me know in the next couple of days .If I don't hear anything I will go on the Flat Stanley list.

He really is no trouble at all,in fact the perfect house guest who pretty much keeps to himself :-))

Plumbing problems,playmobile and sweet sixteen.

I woke at 5 am wanting to go to the loo but was unable to drag myself out of bed.Al got up at 6am to walk Beauty and as it meant I could just roll out of bed his side instead of doing the downward shuffle from my side (Emily sleeps on a mattress on my side)I decided to go then. I heard the wind and rain and remembered that he had got soaked yesterday morning so I decided to go down and make him a hot cuppa and some porridge to come back to.Don't know what came over me cos I like my bed ;-)

We were supposed to go to a farm with a group of friends and plant some tree's today.The weather was not ideal and Emily who had been keen to go when we discussed it a couple of days ago was less so this morning but we had said we would go and I had got stuff ready so decided we should go, just had to let the builder in to finish a small job in the bathroom and we could be off.Problem was he was held up and wouldn't be here before we were due to set off at 9.30, so we got directions from the friend I was going to follow, with the intention of going a little later and waited for the buider.1.30pm and he arrived.Problem was he didn't have the right tool to do the job so it would have to wait till Monday pm if he could re-jig his schedule.I have not had too much experience with the building trade but the few times our paths have crossed it has not been uneventful......

We had a good long play setting up a playmobile wonderland on the landing and then both had baths and washed hairs,this will be so much easier when the new shower is finally installed!!I made lunch and then as Emily decided she would go up to lay on the bed and listen to a story tape I took the opportunity and attempted to sew a new cover for Beauty's bed from an old duvet cover I had bought from the charity shop and cut up .I bought a tiny sewing machine from Home Bargains as part of Emily's Xmas presents,her and my mum have used it successfully to make a bandanna.I spent an hour today trying to get the bloody thing to stitch.After the initial shock of the thing setting off(I am not nor ever have been a sewer and my experience in school when we had to do sewing was that I made a felt teddy by hand as I was terrified of the machines after seeing my friend get her finger trapped in the needle one lesson)I decided if it would just stitch instead of breaking off I could quite get into making skirts for myself for the summer.I think I may be searching on Freecycle....

Emily was at her best friends for tea and I went out to get my hair cut.Milly arrived home as we were eating our tea.Last night as he had been putting her to bed Alan had been talking to her about a song he liked, Love Hurts by Jim Capaldi, you tube came into it's own again and a family boogie followed, we also put on one of my favourite songs that reminds me of my teenage years and a crush I had on a very unsuitable but highly gorgeous boy, Itchycoo park by the small faces.I love how music can take you back to another time so quickly and for a few moments I was 16 again.......


Looks easy but this dog's life is anything but..

Got to lay here in this boiling hot sun.

Keep track of where my people are.
Oh there she is.

Ok where has she gone now????

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A day to celebrate.

The plumber didn't arrive yesterday, he was called out to an emergency.In a way I was glad, I felt terrible yesterday , I had a migraine type headache that had lingered for two days and was worn out and very emotional.Luckily Emily and my nephew were taken out by a very good friend for a few hours so I was able to finish reading The sensitive child. I should perhaps have gone to bed but I was expecting the plumber to turn up any time from the "emergency" as it was they turned up at 3.30 just to see what equipment to bring the next day.

Today started early, Emily woke at 6.30 coughing and decided she couldn't get back to sleep so got up at 7.15, I got dressed and followed her down, she hates being downstairs on her own too long first thing for some reason.The plumber did arrive today and we spent most of the day in the dining room. I re read one of the Roman Mysteries books while she did some sun catchers( she had a bird one and started to do it just in black,I asked if she was going to add some colour and she said no,I bit my tongue because I thought she would spoil it and thought it should be done with colour but as usual there was a reason, this was going to be a crow to go with the crow fairy she had done yesterday,glad I kept my mouth shut as it would have totally spoilt it for her) and painted and made a bookmark for a friend and did some mazes I had printed off for her.She was happy to do the things I suggested as I read to her and we chatted and had a great morning.Around about 11.00 she got up and started to get some things out for a snack and looking at the clock she said I may as well get my lunch now and proceeded(with very little help) to make two toasted cheese sandwiches, her speciality, and 4 biscuits.We did discuss the possibility of adding some cucumber to balance things out a tad and she agreed but that didn't eventually make it to the plate.She kept asking for my help but then managed to actually do what it was she had asked for help with anyway.She has always been scared of using a knife as the first time she used one a long time ago she nipped her finger and it put her off completely.But cutting her sandwich is giving her confidence and it is so great to see.As she sat down I asked if she would mind if I took a photo for my blog(she has been adamant about various things not being blogged or photographed as they are private)she said of course and even posed for me ;-))

This is her creation, eat a custard cream and a chocolate digestive at the same time .MMMMMM yummy.

After lunch and a bit more reading I had to get on with a few things and so she asked to watch TV.She decided to go in the living room and came through a little while later for the box of fabric we have as she had moved the sofas and made herself a fishing boat.Looks a little bored with fishing....

She then asked me to make her a sari from a long silky piece of material but wouldn't let me take a photo of that.

We have had a good day and she has been in a great mood.But more importantly (and probably has some bearing on her mood)I have been a better mummy.

I have been very low since the holiday.I have been overwhelmed by Emily's needs and reading the Sensitive Child has given me a great insight into what things are like for Emily and why she act's as she does. We all want the best for our child and reading about what it feels like for her to deal with the normal day to day things just made me feel sad.It's obviously not a great shock to me I have been very well aware of how she reacts to life but somehow it seemed final,real.I suppose you always hold on to the hope that it will get easier or that as she grows she will gain confidence and I am sure that will be the case but it isn't going to happen without a lot of love and patience and help with strategies to cope.Once again I have been doubting my ability to provide what she needs.

Over the last few weeks things have changed and as she has been ill she has obviously been doing less and choosing to watch a lot of TV.Now I had thought I had got past any issue with TV time but that was because she was not watching much and was happy to find something else to do.I have found myself wavering and wanting to impose restrictions.I have resisted but it has caused all sorts of internal wranglings. I read a post on an unschooling blog today that reminded me that unschooling is not unparenting and that if I do find it is affecting Emily in a detrimental way(at the moment it is not affecting her just me!!)then we can do something about it by discussing things and find a way that works for us.I had lost track again and forgot that we need to do whats right for us not what works for others.I am constantly amazed at the fact that just as I am dealing with a dilemma a link in a blog sends me to just the right place to get the answer.I am also amazed at how easy it is for me to loose focus and forget the things I was so sure of before.

Another thing that has added to doubting my approach has been how I have dealt with Emily's learning difficulties.Well meaning family members have been asking when her assessment for dyslexia is taking place and a Friend of my sisters ( a special needs teacher with a great knowledge of dyslexia) had expressed her concern and had suggested that we should not waste any time getting her help.
My feeling has been that I needed to rebuild Emily's confidence and that having dyspraxia she has probably suffered from having to learn too early and the pressure that put on her.We have been given a ream of exercises to do that would help her dyspraxia but she resisted doing them and it was making things stressful so I took her lead and have just allowed her to go at her own pace.I have seen significant improvement in her willingness to give things a go, writing when she wants to and not bothering if a word is wrong ,sounding out words and a self awareness about when a word does not "look" right.Asking us to spell the same word over and over again until one day she just "knows" it.picking up a book and reading ten words, a page , however much she wants to.No pressure going at her own pace.I am not a teacher and have no real knowledge of dyslexia and how best to help her.Her next appointment with the paediatrician is coming up in a couple of weeks and it will be over a year since she set the wheels in motion to have her assessed(she was still at school)I think I should still have the assessment just so that we know what we are dealing with but what we do afterwards I am not too sure about.Should I just carry on how we are going or should some more definite help be given? I feel I have done what is right for Emily but have been constantly churning up inside to think I could be making such a huge mistake.

I think I have got into a cycle of thinking too much about the things she can't do or has difficulty with , there are so many things I know she would love to be able to do but when we attempt them and she can't do them she gets so disheartened.Today I saw the look of pride in her face when she made her lunch and I could of cried. When I got home from shopping she decided to make us all a cup of tea and even picked up the just boiled heavy kettle to fill the cups, her confidence in her ability is high.I need to celebrate where she is improving and growing and try to put things into perspective more.What does it matter if we can't play scrabble or do hamma beads,we will carry on doing the easy jigsaws and enjoy completing them,we can walk instead of biking and roller skates look bloody dangerous to me ;-))

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Dein Ergebnis:: 6 - the Questioner

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose CY - your Enneagram type is SIX (aka "The Loyalist").

"I am affectionate and skeptical"

Questioners are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be direct and clear.
  • Listen to me carefully.
  • Don't judge me for my anxiety.
  • Work things through with me.
  • Reassure me that everything is OK between us.
  • Laugh and make jokes with me.
  • Gently push me toward new experiences.
  • Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a SIX

  • being committed and faithful to family and friends
  • being responsible and hardworking
  • being compassionate toward others
  • having intellect and wit
  • being a nonconformist
  • confronting danger bravely
  • being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a SIX

  • the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
  • procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
  • fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
  • exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
  • wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
  • being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

SIXes as Children Often

  • are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
  • are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
  • form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
  • look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
  • are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

SIXes as Parents

  • are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
  • are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
  • worry more than most that their children will get hurt
  • sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
Harper SanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test?
so S P R E A D I T ! tell everyone!!! (use Quick-Paste below)

you wanna know MORE?
so check out, what Wikipedia says about your type...

...even more you'll find in Google

or do you prefer to

You are not completely happy with the result?!
You chose CY

Would you rather have chosen:

  • AY (EIGHT)
  • BY (FOUR)
  • CX (TWO)
  • CZ (ONE)

  • Link: The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test written by felk on OkCupid Kostenloses Online Dating, home of the The Dating Typ Test
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    Monday, 24 March 2008

    Snuggles in the snow.

    SNOW!!!!! couldn't resist going out each time there was a flurry....

    Who does she take after?????

    Snuggles in the snow....

    It has tried hard but sadly no snow has lasted.
    Alan had to go out on his scooter today before work tomorrow to ensure the battery wasn't dead and as I couldn't really be bothered to go out he went shopping for the bit's I needed to make a pudding as my contribution to the meal we were going to have this evening over at my sisters.He then got back and had to take the car for a run, yesterday he washed the car and as he was cleaning it he had the radio on,when Emily and I got in to go off to our friends the car was dead!!! The RAC man arrived at the same time as our friends who had decided to come and visit us as we were unable to get to them :-))The battery had died due to the radio being on and the cold weather so he had to run the car for 40 Min's yesterday and went for a drive today to ensure it stayed charged.

    I had a parcel from Amazon when we returned from Holiday, some books for Emily and The highly sensitive child for me to read. I started it last night.Last year I found a link for the website and took the checklist test and was aware Emily came out as a highly sensitive child.After a post by Michelle over at To the manor born I decided to get the book. I thought I understood what the term Highly sensitive meant but reading the book is fleshing out exactly what it means. I hope that by the time I have finished the book I will have an even better understanding and will have a whole new set of coping strategies to help Emily through the things she finds difficult.

    Fairy fever has taken over, Milly has been listening to The Midnight Fairy by Jacqueline Wilson.We found the book in a charity shop in Alnwick and when we got home she asked Al to get the story tape again from the library for the third time, so she has been listening during the day and we have also been reading the book at bedtime,she knows parts of it word for word!! She has spent a great deal of time drawing and cutting out fairy's and told us a lovely story about the animal fairy, she used beautiful language and great descriptive words.We had hung the fairy's above her bed and this morning she wanted to refine some of them so I took them down only to find large parts of the paintwork coming away with the white tack, bit of a pain, we decided to put them back up around the wooden surround for the loft hatch in the dining room save Dad any more touching up job's!!!

    Beauty has come back from her stay in Kennels with no apparent problems and has slotted back in to life here very well, thankfully... Here is a lovely picture Milly took of her before we went away, a picture she looked at many times whilst we were away.....

    We went over to my sisters this afternoon for a lovely tea, My mum and Dad where there.My nephew who is nearly 12 has become a young man seemingly overnight and now is very much into teenager mode!!!!Still loves a big cuddle and kiss from his Auntie, just so long as it is not in front of his mates ;-))

    A friend who looked after both children when they were younger is taking Emily and my nephew out to Keswick tomorrow, it would have been a great time for me to have some time to myself however bad planning means I will have a plumber in fixing the shower(only been broke 4 years!!!) and a few other plumbing jobs.Still it will be good to have a shower again,I like a long hot bath some nights but a quick shower on a morning is much easier,in time,in a financial sense,and an ecological sense,every little helps.

    Sunday, 23 March 2008

    Happy Easter

    Hello again, nice to be home, how soon we slip back into old routines;-)

    The picture above is the view from Bamburgh Castle on Sunday last week.A glorious sunny day,although very windy and cold we had a great walk around and marvelled at the courage of the surfers!!!

    We travelled over on the Saturday and broke the journey by stopping off at The Roman Museum near Vindolanda.Milly is interested in the Romans but obviously not in a museum setting!!! Went round it at break neck speed stopping briefly to get a closer look at the one or two things that interested her.She is most definitely a whole picture kind of gal and doesn't need to investigate the minutia....I am making a joke but it did irritate me at the time and I had to take lot's of deep breaths and stop making comparisons and accept that she just isn't into a museum setting.It is no real surprise, she has always raced around places, Aquariums,Zoo's whatever, that is her way.

    The caravan was lovely and warm and clean and the site provided Alan and Emily with lot's of area's to explore.We have been to the site a few times but have not had the time or weather to go adventuring but on this occasion most day's were bright and dry.They found a rocky outcrop Emily named Pets Peak and we had to salute every time we passed in the car. We spent the first night with me and Em in the double and Al in the single room but then we decided to move the mattresses into the living room on a night and watched a DVD and then all snuggled down to sleep.

    Sunday afternoon saw us at Bamburgh Castle.Milly enjoyed the outside even though she said she was scared of heights but the interior was another whistle stop tour,except the gift shop obviously!!!

    Monday we went to Seahouses.We had hoped to go on a boat trip but alas the weather was very much against us.It was still a great afternoon out and a lovely fish and chip lunch rounded things off nicely....

    On a cold but bright Tuesday we visited Beamish outdoor Museum and after a shaky start(Milly tired and not really interested and wanting to go back to the caravan) we got into it and had a great time.Each section had a guide in costume and some of them told great stories about life in the 1800's and that made all the difference.We especially enjoyed the mining village.Amongst other things we went down a mine shaft,we only went a couple of hundred yards down but had to bend over double down a dark cold tunnel which was dripping water and then when we got to the "coal face" I was able to sit on a seat near the guide and Emily was able to sit on my knee, Alan had to hunch down, the guy had been a miner for 21 years and he was a great guide and told us about his time in the mines.I had to control my feeling of claustrophobia and was glad to get back out,Emily enjoyed it and would have quite gladly stayed down longer..We also spent a lot of time in the school, sitting at the desks and Emily enjoyed looking at the posters they had up which included a detailed drawing of the scabies mite,obviously of great importance as her best friend had recently had them.We travelled around the site on a tram, a bus, and had a ride on a steam engine.
    These pictures were all taken in the farm area.

    Flat Stanley had come away with us and this horse took quite a liking to him.

    This is not a very good shot but this pig loved having it's ears rubbed and barked like a dog!!!I do love pigs I think I could enjoy raising some one day...

    Milly took this one.

    Milly found things really hard and missed her pets and home dreadfully,she mentioned it time and time again from the minute we set off from home and we were understanding and caring and listened to her express how she felt and tried to take her mind off things.After 4 day's I am afraid I lost the ability to empathise.We got back from the day out and all she could do was moan and go on and on about how soon we would be going home, I tried to take her mind of it and asked her to play a game with us but she wasn't interested in any of the things I had taken.I explained that we understood and we wanted her to be able to tell us how she felt but that she was being selfish in her attitude and was making our break away very unpleasant by moaning all the time. I regretted it the minute the words were out of my mouth, what good was it going to do to make her feel guilty? I was so fed up and at the end of my tether.We talked it through and I think the reason she was finding things even harder than on other holidays was because she was still very much under the weather and hadn't really had time to shake off the bug she had before coming away. We had kept our outings short so as not to overtire her but today had been a full day due to the travelling.Knowing the likely cause didn't make it any easier to bear.....

    Onto Alnwick Gardens on the Wednesday after a look around Alnwick and a nice pub lunch.We go each time we visit the area and it never disappoints.The Tree house was great fun and we have vowed to go back in the summer to see the gardens in full bloom as we have only ever been in spring or autumn.

    It was hard to deal with Emily's negativity and it was not the easiest or most relaxing break we have ever had but all in all we had a good time.We were lucky with the weather and it only rained on the journey there and back or overnight. Although Emily's homesickness was quite extreme now she is home she has forgotten all that and has been saying she wished she was back in Northumberland in the caravan, as it is snowing over that side!!!!

    Thursday, 13 March 2008

    A caravan awaits us...

    This may be the last post before we go off on Saturday morning, so just to let you know in case you were wondering why I have gone quiet.

    I am in the middle of packing and washing up and I can't be bothered to do either so decided to blog instead;-)

    I am usually so far ahead with the packing when we go away that things have been lying on the spare bed for weeks before we need them.Something has changed and now I just think ,It's OK it will all come together and get thrown in bags the day before.Alan does the ironing and has got on top of that, everything we need will be ready, so job done!!!Well nearly, I have to get the food and things organised and the games books DVDs, pens and paper,etc etc etc, that is what I am supposed to be doing now.

    Emily doesn't want to go away, this is not news to us, we have been here before,she is really not good with change and hates leaving her animals and familiar territory.Last night she was crying,over tired and emotional but she wanted to cancel and stay at home, hates long car journeys,isn't interested in any of the places we have planned to go to, so, in for some fun!!!Based on past experience it could be a couple of days before she is settled, I hope it happens a little quicker this time as we are only away 4 nights!!

    Nothing much going on today, helped out at the food coop and then Emily went to my sisters for a bit more sewing and I went into town to get chicken carcass's and turkey necks from the butchers, Not some delicacy I am cooking up for my new healthy eating:-))) Beauty is fed on a raw food and bone diet and this was her monthly shopping.

    Maybe pop in tomorrow night but if not see you next week. xx

    Wednesday, 12 March 2008

    How ironic .....

    You Are Flip Flops

    You are laid back and very friendly.

    Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

    Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

    It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

    You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

    You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

    You should live: By the beach

    You should work: At a casual up and coming company

    Had to smile at this.Sunny disposition after yesterday LOL.

    However I would say that it is generally true and my sunnier side is coming back ;-)
    Might need a good nights sleep and a day without a whirling dervish (Emily's ears are badly blocked and she is so tired she is hyper and can't sit still, she is knocking into things and bouncing off anything in site and is loud and squealing a lot, I am sympathetic and understand her balance is off but it gets a little wearing after a while.
    Alan is putting her to bed at present and hopefully she will have a lie in tomorrow as she has been waking at six and not being able to go back to sleep due to coughing.My morning routine has been disrupted and I am hoping it dosen't become a regular thing and she gets back to her normal waking time soon. Quiet morning blog reading sets me up for the day.....

    Tuesday, 11 March 2008

    Feeling blue

    Milly has been slightly better today,but has developed a rather interesting rash on her legs.She is so washed out and very weak so has spent time snuggled in our bed listening to story tapes and drawing.She has been more mobile today and I am hoping she will have a more restful night tonight,last night I was pushed to the end of the bed, battered by flailing arms and had incredibly loud snoring right in my ear, as it seemed impossible for her to spend any time away from my body and if ever I managed to move she soon clamped herself next to me again,bless :-)

    I started this morning in a very low mood,I hate hormones:-(
    I had begun to enjoy feeling happy.The thing I hate most is the sudden dip in self esteem( not necessarily just down to hormones but exacerbated by them), it is as if a plug has been pulled ,one minute your feeling OK about yourself, seem to have a handle on life,accept you are not every one's cup of tea and you can't please all the people all the time, next minute you are incapable of going outside in case you bump into someone and god forbid you may have talk to them and anyway why would anyone want to talk to you, what have you got to say that is in any way interesting, funny whatever.Every thing gets blown out of proportion and suddenly the fact that someone hasn't answered an email is because you must have done something wrong to upset them rather than the simple fact they are probably busy.

    So it was in this frame of mind that I had to steele myself to go to my monthly meditation with three friends. We have been together a long time and know all about each other,we don't see each other often outside our monthly meditations but we have long personal and spiritual conversations and I know they don't judge me but still in my head I had a battle as to whether to go or not.Do they really like me or are they just putting up with me ,feeling sorry for me? I know this snapshot into my thinking process is perhaps familiar to some and to others who may not have these doubts it will seem ludicrous.

    I decided to go and am so glad I did. Within seconds I felt welcomed and accepted, they really are a special bunch of women.We talked and had a lovely relaxing meditation about opening your heart and loving yourself, how apt, almost like it was meant to be!!!! I got the top up I needed and have managed to pull myself back from the pit of doom ;-))

    I have also been to see my homeopath and had a good chat with her so am sorted with remedies to see me through this dip.I don't actually feel depressed,I just have no fight in me at the moment.It will return it always does and the meditation today helped,I just have to work on changing the negative thinking and putting some positives in there to counteract them.I wish I had a better opinion of myself and my ability's,I wish I could see what others say they see in me but even at the best of times I am a mass of self doubts and am easily crushed.

    Tommorow is another day and it will be a better than today xx

    Monday, 10 March 2008

    The case of the disapearing fruit???

    Milly dosen't like Melon that isn't orange flesh or pears....

    In her case it sometimes pay's to offer them up and see what happens :-)

    Saturday, 8 March 2008

    Wish it were true!!!!

    You Are Rouge Red

    Of all the reds, you are the most energetic and vibrant.

    You never need to recharge, and in fact, you often recharge others.

    Gutsy and brave, you've never let your fears stop you from doing anything.

    You figure that life is all about experiences, and you'll always take that leap of faith.

    Not too sure about the never needing to recharge and recharging others!!!! My battery has been running on flat for quite some time :-)))

    Milly is poorly today, she started with flu like symptoms and we had no sleep last night just lots of moaning and groaning from a sleepy and very hot little bod....
    Today has been lot's of TV and story tapes and reading.I think we will both be asleep very early,she resists sleep and won't nap even when she is running a temperature and obviously knackered.Fingers crossed for a better night and some improvement tomorrow.

    Blog awards(finally)

    I was very kindly awarded these awards quite some time ago by Colleen at the new unschooler and Stacie at Learning as we go.Due to my complete technical incompetence I was unable to get the awards onto here!! But finally after attempting various things and then forgetting about them for some time, I did it :-) The only problem is I can't quite remember exactly what I did, I think I right clicked on the image and saved as....
    I have to pass each award on to ten other blogs and would like to pass them both on together to the following ten blogs.I originally found all these blogs through links on other blogs and have continued to visit regularly and have been helped immensely reading their stories.

    Michelle at To the Manor Born
    I started to read this blog when we took Emily out of school and was hooked.I saw so many similarities between our two children,the most obvious one was that her daughter is an only child and it was so important for me to see how it could work with an only child.She writes honestly ,with humour and great detail.She has been incredibly supportive and gave me my first comment to welcome me when I started off.I hope one day to meet outside of blogland!!

    Grit at Grits Day
    I laugh so much at grits day,I absolutely love her humour and style.
    She has serious moments,she writes so well.I am intrigued and want to know so much more about her.I go back each day to follow the life of a home edding mum of triplets.

    Dani and Allie at Green House by the sea.
    This is another blog I started reading in the early days.I got so many tips on great books to read and have discovered the wonderful Roman mysteries series from them,Emily got so much from those books in our early days at home.It was so good to read in such detail what an autonomous education could look like.

    Gill at sometimes it's peaceful.
    A blog with subsections!!each one of them interesting.I have followed this blog since my early days at home as well.Autonomous education of teens at one end of the scale and tots at the other and how that works had me hooked.I have learnt a lot from reading over the year about trust and acceptance.

    Heather at Embracing the strange.
    Heather has two small children and I found her by a link from another blog.We are going through a similar journey and I am enjoying reading about her efforts to parent peacefully and unschool.

    Merry at Patch of Puddles.
    I think this could have been one of the first blogs I read.Home educating 4 children, running a business and all the info on her site for me to go through.As with all the other families I have met through their Blogs I became attached and love to follow them.

    Lucy at By other means
    As I have done with most of these Blogs I started reading and then went back through archive material.Got loads of ideas and loved the pictures of their gorgeous place and also the yummy food and although I am not a vegetarian or vegan they could tempt me!!

    Arun at The parenting pit.
    He has provided me with so much material to mull over.He writes with great humour and gave me a great article for Alan to read from a male perspective.

    Nikki at Happily home edding.
    Lot's of great links and ideas of things to do.Another only child so again a blog I was very interested in to calm my irrational fear about Home edding an only child.

    Emily at Golden Daemons.
    She has enjoyed doing her blog and although it has tailed off a little at present, I am sure there is more to come.

    Others I would have given would have been Laura at wistful wanderlust and Sally at Happy at home, but they have already been awarded and I wanted to spread the love around a little:))

    To save me time there are already links to all of these on my sidebar if anyone fancies a read.

    Friday, 7 March 2008

    House work what's that?

    We had an early start today, we had to be up and out by 10.00!! Now I am always up early and Emily is usually up by 9 at the very latest but somehow psychologically getting ready and out by that time is a rush.How in gods name did we ever managed to be out of the house for 8.15? Well in truth there was always a lot of tension and a lot of nagging and all in all was not a pleasurable experience getting ready for school.

    So although it involved getting clothes on earlier than we normally do today, we were relaxed and landed at the vets at the appointed time to get Beauty her Kennel cough vaccine.Thankfully there were no other dogs in the waiting room for her to lunge at. I tend to pick 10.30 as it is a really quiet time.She has her problems but she was very good, she is so lovely with people and the young lady vet gave her a good cuddle before proceeding to shove a plunger up her nose and squirt the vaccine up!!! She then gave her another big cuddle and off we went.

    Back home to start some housework.This place is a mess,everywhere needed hoovering,dusting,windows washing,glass doors cleaning, washing hanging on the airer, ironing putting away after a week of sitting on the spare bed,lobby walls washing to remove mud splatters from dirty dog, beds making, bathrooms cleaning, won't even think about Emily's room.So where to start? Well actually no where as it was far more important to help paint plaster fairies:))

    As well as painting Milly went on Ed city for a while,then she put on a story CD and did some bead necklaces that ended up too short so became a head dress type thing!!She also used up a whole pack of chewing gum to see how big a ball she could make and it is at present sitting on a plastic plate until she feels like chewing again,how delightful!!

    A major thing for her today was that she managed to cut neatly around a figure she had drawn.When she came out of school she wouldn't use scissors and when she did I tried to show her the right way to hold the scissors as she held them in a very strange upside down way,I soon stopped when I realised it just inhibited her using them at all and over the year she has found her own way and today managed to do something that most of us take for granted.

    This afternoon we met her best friend off the school bus and she went to hers for tea.

    While she was away I sent some emails and went on to the early years web ring and met a few families, one of the blogs(can't remember which one now) mentioned about using some Tesco club cards to get into attractions .I had not thought of this, so I whizzed over to the club card website and saved £40.00 on entrance fee's for our holidays so a big thank you goes to whoever it was:)

    Milly has come home I have had a bath washed my hair and as I am doing this she is listening to another story CD and being very productive making bit's and pieces for some Terabithians she has in tow!!!

    Thursday, 6 March 2008


    I have to be quick tonight it is later than I normally sit down to post and I still have to wash up and a few other bits before going to bed,I'm a little tired tonight.

    We have just watched Billy Elliot.Alan and I have seen it about five times but it was the first time for Emily.
    Lot's of swear words, some of which she has heard at school and some of which she didn't even know where swear words!! I adore the film and I could watch the last sequence time and time again and cry each time.

    Food coop today, so we went over for a while to help out, but the other two children who come with their Mum had to go early and it isn't quite the same for Milly on her own so we came home after we had packed all the bags up and she watched the end of a DVD she had started this morning. Then onto lunch before dropping Milly off at my sisters for their Thurs get together which seems to be turning into sewing time.Milly has progressed from just using the foot pedal on the machine to guiding through the material herself and today made a bed ,sheet and pillow for Pan her daemon,Scruffy dog may also be able to share it as it is big enough:)

    I nipped into town to try and get Milly some walking boots and trekking sandals but they didn't have any her size(annoyingly she is an in between size at present 3 is too small and a 4 is too big in some styles) so we will head of on a trip to Keswick where there are numerous outdoor activities shops.Whilst I was in town I got the ingredients for a hand balm I had read about on Raising the next Generation.I am going to try to make some up and then might try some of the other ideas in a book that was recommended,Simple solutions for less toxic living by A Berthold-Bond.

    I have lingered too long and must get off as My eyes are closing and if it wasn't for spellcheck(thank god it's working again) this would look as if it was written in a foreign language.
    Good night and god bless:)))

    Wednesday, 5 March 2008

    Blogging thoughts....

    I was thinking today of when I first started this blog.
    I had read so many and the idea to do my own had immense appeal when Emily suggested we should start one.I had no clue at all how to set it up but spent ages learning,to be honest it was quite exciting to be learning something new,yes my life is that sad that setting up a blog is exciting:-)

    I knew nothing about blog safety apart from the very basics and didn't find too much info when I did a quick search on google.I decided against using nick names, mainly because I am so absent minded I knew I would use our real names without realising anyway.

    I also didn't think about whether there was any kind of blog etiquette and whether I should ask people before I put a link to their blog on, that only just crossed my mind the other week.If there is an unwritten rule and I have broken it I do apologise!!

    Over the last month or so I have stopped reading as many blogs about unschooling,mainly because I now feel more confident with what we are doing and don't feel the need for the validation I got from reading about other unschooling families.I have a small group of blogs I visit regularly and they give me all I need,some of them aren't following an autonomous route but they are families I met early on in my blog reading and for various reasons I have become attached to them,not in a scary stalker type way you understand:-)

    I do wonder how long I will keep this up for.I have got used to sitting here most evenings thinking things through and recording our days.I enjoy sharing what we do and don't see reason to stop any time soon.I have enjoyed "meeting" other families through their blogs and have thoroughly enjoyed having people drop by and comment on here.

    All in all this has been a wonderful tool to work through any issues I have had and it has been a great way to record our journey from school to freedom.I am looking forward to writing about what our "education" looks like in the coming months.As the year has gone on I have realised that just as the school system of one size fits all does not work, neither does one method of home education.You must do what feels right for you and yours.

    Tuesday, 4 March 2008

    Reading by the fire

    What a beautiful day it was today.We were at home this morning and I had intended to go into town to get a few bits, it was just too nice to be inside so as I was making breakfast I asked Milly if she would like to light a fire in the chimenea and sit outside and read and she jumped at the idea.

    We got a good blaze going,lot's of smoke as well as flame though!! we both smell like a bonfire:)

    I took a selection of books and we started with My story The trenches,then moved on to a book I got as a pack from the book people Usborne Puzzle adventuresWe spent hours working through the puzzle story and Milly surprised me with her enthusiasm for it and it took ages before she started to take the easy option and get extra clues to move on a page.We sat in the sun and warmed ourselves by the fire and eventually went in at lunch time as my Mum and Dad where due.

    Off to see my nephew for Mum Dad and Emily after lunch. I got the shopping list and Menu's done ready to go to Tesco after tea.Also managed to flick through a few blogs to see if anyone had posted ,obviously what else would I do with a few extra moments:)

    Monday, 3 March 2008

    Animal farm.

    We normally spend Mondays at home but had decided to get a yearly pass for a nearby small animal farm and today was as good a day as any to go and get it, so after some chuntering from Emily about wanting to stay at home we set off around 11.30 and had a fabulous time.

    Not sure if the message is getting through to her yet,there is a pattern of not wanting to go anywhere but then going and having a wonderful time, maybe in time it will sink in!!It is a little bit of a guessing game when she is actually making a decision based on something other than not wanting to brush hair and get dressed:)

    Here are a few pics,

    You may have to click on, Milly and dog as the sole inhabitants of the soft play area.

    We adore the meercats, so much character..

    Flat Stanley in front of a Raccoon cage.

    This fellow put on a spectacular show as we entered the park.Emily was desperate to find a feather.

    We had time in the soft play after spending time with the reptiles and small monkeys and were heading for lunch but saw that the tractor ride was heading off so got on the trailer and had a good but bumpy ride around the park and then a quick lunch before the Lemur feeding and talk,only us and a couple with a baby in a buggy there to listen.The young girl was very informative and stayed for some time giving us lots of info but lost Milly about 2/3 of the way in, as there were so few of us it seemed rude to walk away so we hovered until she ran out of steam and thanked her as she drew breath and then moved on to find Milly's favourite Lynx.We also managed to fit in the reptile talk and got to meet some snakes and a skink .Milly was really keen on the snakes.We will get a great deal from having a pass and as Milly's new career path is to be a zoo keeper(so she gets to stroke the animals) we will be regular visitors....

    Sunday, 2 March 2008

    Puppy's party, puppet theatre and lot's of books...

    When we got up yesterday we had a million and one jobs to do so were geared up to attempt as many as possible.

    Alan was going to be tied up all day with an outside task as the post holding up the gate at the side of the house had rotted and needed replacing.

    I was having breakfast with Ems and she asked if we could have a birthday party for her new puppy (another imaginary creation).I could have easily put the jobs first but decided to get in to the swing with her and we ended up creating a card,and then made a family tree using all the names she and her friend had come up with the night before,this took us ages but looked pretty good when we had finished.We also baked a cake and Emily made a present of a tug toy using material scraps and elastic bands.
    By then it was time for lunch and after that it was time for her and Dad to go into town on a hush hush mission!!Then to pick up a friend to come and watch Stardust with her.We had watched it the other day but her friend had never seen it and Emily was more than happy to watch again.
    In the evening we went to see a puppet show in the church hall in the next village it was superb and would highly recommend it if you get a chance to see them.

    Although Emily has been watching a lot of TV and DVDs this last week we have also read quite a few books.The funniest have been a trio of books by Roddy Doyle,strange but hilarious.
    Al and her have also read Dear max I had seen this over at Green House by the sea where it has to be said I have had a lot of leads for books that I think Emily will enjoy, so thanks to Dani and Allie.
    We read Katie meets the Impressionists this morning, and started to re read Mermaid magic for the fifth time. This then set off a mermaid game that lasted until we had to go to my sisters for lunch which was just fabulous, good food, good company and Emily got to see the Donkeys Strudel and Meg and some lambs in the barn. she also went to see the graves of my sisters two cats who she adored and said a prayer for them...
    We have also started but put on hold The golden compass The northern lights I think seeing the film so recently she knew the story and wasn't as interested so we will no doubt get back to it at some time.Another beautiful picture book we have enjoyed has been the Little mermaidWe got it from the local aquarium and the illustrations are delightful.
    Emily and Al have also re read Marley a funny ,poignant tale of a very boisterous dog and the affect on it's owners life.
    So quite a few books read and enjoyed.

    I have been back to this post so many times what is going on with blogger it is not saving the bloody thing, now I can't remember the scintillating end to this post...OK it was never scintillating but whatever it was I can't remember it!!!

    Do you think I have enough links in this post? LOL, I have come a long way since the first few weeks when I had no clue what to do.Is there an award for the most links in a post?
    I have been trying to remember the end but can't so this will have to suffice......
    What Your Favorite Color Purple Says About You:
    Intuitive --- Seeking --- Creative
    Kind --- Self-Sacrificing --- Growth Oriented
    Strong --- Very Wise --- Rare
    http://www.blogthings.com/whatdoesyourfavoritecolorsayaboutyouquiz/">What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You?<