"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...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

What a day....

We went off to the cinema this morning to Watch WallE.Bit of a shock to the system to be up and out at 9.00 as the film was showing at the ungodly hour of 10.00!!
Milly had been saying last night she wasn't wanting to go and I had said that I thought she would enjoy it when we got there.Anyhow I half expected her to refuse to go this morning,luckily she didn't and we really enjoyed the film.I cried!!

She didn't want to go to home ed group afterwards though:-( I am finding her refusal to go places really hard to take.I know the group is mainly boys and that she really isn't always keen to join in the war games!!She isn't the type to go and just join in and you don't always get "invited" into a game. She refuses to travel to another group to see if we can find more girls to play with.She doesn't want to join any other clubs or groups and I think I would find it easier to accept if I felt she was really happy.She has a couple of good girl friends and we try to see them regularly but I know she would love to see them more, that would be easy for us but they have different schedules!!I suppose from her point of view it isn't more friends she needs but more time with the friends she has.It's an old problem that keeps reoccurring, usually when I am feeling S**t.

To top the day off I have just got back from picking Alan up from accident and emergency.

Emily and I had been in a shower to wash hair and I came down to make a cuppa and realised Alan was late.Just as I began to rack my fuddled brain if he had told me he was on late call tonight the phone went,Alan asked if I could get in the car and bring the camera,he was just on the outskirts of the village.At first I thought he had seen something spectacular he wanted to show Emily and I and to have a photo(silly woman!!!!)He went on to say he had come off his scooter, he was OK but needed to take photos. We jumped in the car and headed off to find him.As he had been coming up the hill into the village a tractor had pulled out of a field,Alan had had to put his brakes on to go round the front and because there was mud on the road he skidded and flipped over and ended up in the hedge!! Luckily a guy who lives in the village was coming up after him and he and the farmer helped him up.It was the guy from the village that suggested taking photo's of the mud on the road and the fact there were no signs warning motorists.

The farmer had said he would get a truck to move the bike for us.When we got there Al was a little shaken but upright although he was hurting all over and particularly his left ankle and wrist.Emily was great,very concerned for him but not upset and kept really calm.After discussing things a while we talked about calling the police so we would have the incident logged.At that point the farmer came with his truck.Alan explained about the police coming and he went off again and said to ring him later.Any how one hour later Emily and I were still sat in our car, in between two police cars with flashing lights,while statements were taken and an ambulance turned up for Al.The machine to clean the road arrived alongside the farmer to pick up the bike.It was a busy place!!Alan then went of to A&E to be checked over,he didn't want us to follow him and have to sit around waiting so we dashed into town to get some chips, Milly was starving and I couldn't face cooking.On the way into town Milly looked at the clock and asked if we would be back in by 6 so she could watch the Simpsons, as it was supposed to be a Halloween special(her and Alan watch it together every night) I had to laugh ;-)

We picked him up around 7.30 ,he is in a lot of pain but luckily just a sprain to his ankle and wrist with bruising along his side, which I am sure will be very colourful tomorrow. He has been fed and in a nice warm bath and nurse Emily has taken him to bed.

Tomorrow we will asses the damage and decide where we go from here.He got the scooter because we couldn't afford to run two cars, but he had an accident last year on black ice and now this.I know accidents can happen in cars, but I don't really want to test out the saying "third time lucky".

Monday, 20 October 2008

An anotomy vibe.

Had a mixed day today.I have been under the weather and had spent two days in bed over the weekend with a horrendous migraine.I got up at nine this morning feeling terrible and pottered around. Milly woke at eleven( she was in bed by 10 last night so she was obviously in need of extra sleep) and things didn't really get off to a good start cos she was feeling under the weather too:-(

Any how we plodded on.I was very cranky and finding it really hard to give as much as I would normally.She is so sensitive and picks up on my moodiness as being angry and this then makes her unhappy.Didn't make me feel too good either,I do hate being in that frame of mind. At least she feels able to tell me how it affects her and when she pulled me up about it we had a chat and then a giggle and things were a little better in the late afternoon.

After Alan had gone to his Tai chi class we decided to have a game of Anatomix.It's a board game where you answer multiple choice anatomical questions to get pieces of a jigsaw. We hadn't played it for some time and on the few occasions we had played in the past Emily had always wanted to be a partner to someone so I was pleasantly surprised that she said she would play.I gave her the option of not having to answer questions but she said she would answer questions for her pieces,I did say that we could change the rules any time,if she felt flustered(she usually hates to play games where she is under any pressure to answer questions or with timers or anything like that)She answered all her questions and her sources of anatomical knowledge tickled me,one answer she remembered from a Miss Wizz story,one was from a programme we had seen on TV and another was from another story we had read ,the name of which escapes me at this moment!.On one of the multiple choice questions about what the back of our body is called, she said "oh that is easy because a sharks dorsal fin is on it's back". She also remembered quite a few answers from the previous times we have played.Needless to say she got all her pieces first and beat me.I didn't let her win although there were a few questionable calls as to where the needle pointed on the spinner;-)

The other thing I think worth mentioning was that she read all the questions herself with a little help for some of the medical terminology.She would say that she can't read ,so that may still be a lack of confidence. Knowing the patterns Emily has shown over the years in her development, from crawling,walking,cutting up food,basically any steps she has made,I would be more inclined to believe that it is just not easy enough for her yet,she just does not read as quickly as she would like to. That is probably why she still prefers to be read to or to listen to a tape or CD.Since we took her out of school we have never asked her to read, she has on occasion offered but generally we have read to her and for her when asked.She has had no "practice" at so many of the words she was reading tonight.What she has had is a great exposure to words by being read to "a lot" and listening to story tapes "a lot".Talking ,watching TV all ways in which words in context and in a way that interests her are abundant.I truly believe that when she feels ready to read a book she will just take off and "do" it.

When we had finished the game I reminded her of the website we had been on last night where we got to do virtual Knee surgery.Over the months since she has been off school there have been so many times I would mention doing something I knew would be of interest to her and she would say no.I have found if I leave a screen on the computer open or actually go on it myself while she is in the room with me,she will generaly show interest and get involved so I did that last night and we were on for ages.Tonight she was keen to go back on and she choose to read about dissecting a cows eyeball( I have to say I was quite glad that the video footage wouldn't play on here) and she checked out the pictures of hip surgery but didn't have time to do the operation as she wanted to watch a documentary on channel 4 she had seen advertised the night before,about animals in the womb.

In need of a giggle?This might do the trick....

Sunday, 19 October 2008

In the pink

Mum take a picture for your blog.Couldn't resist as she is not always keen to go on here!!Like a little hamster with her mouthful of sugarsnap peas.....

Oh this is sooo comfy....

Oh ok I will share it seen as though it is yours....

Found this here

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Audrey!


You are an Audrey -- "I am at peace"

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure

  • * I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this

  • * Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit

  • * Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally

  • * Ask me questions to help me get clear

  • * Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery

  • * Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings

  • * I like a good discussion but not a confrontation

  • * Let me know you like what I've done or said

  • * Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life

What I Like About Being an Audrey

  • * being nonjudgmental and accepting

  • * caring for and being concerned about others

  • * being able to relax and have a good time

  • * knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around

  • * my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator

  • * my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now

  • * being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being an Audrey

  • * being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive

  • * being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline

  • * being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally

  • * being confused about what I really want

  • * caring too much about what others will think of me

  • * not being listened to or taken seriously

Audreys as Children Often

  • * feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant

  • * tune out a lot, especially when others argue

  • * are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

Audreys as Parents

  • * are supportive, kind, and warm

  • * are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Music and bouncing

We have a keyboard that Alan bought from a guy at work for a very reasonable price.He set about learning to play and got books etc and spent time on an evening getting to know the keyboard.He has never played a musical instrument and came to a place where he needed some help,as yet we have not managed to find someone nearby that he can go to for lessons.

Emily has never been really interested in playing it to make music but has used it to "play" along with some of the tracks on the system.When we got it the idea was that if it was available and she found it interesting it was a way for her to "play" with music.

Over the last week she has been listening to The Amber spyglass and Then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.While listening to the Cd's she has spent a lot of time at the dining room table writing and drawing. In this area is the keyboard and over the last few days she has been tinkering with the keys "making" music.
She loves to play me her tunes and I can almost see the cogs turning in her mind and the connections that are being made as she listens to the notes and then puts them together in her tune. She has said she wants lessons as she feels so at home on the piano.I don't think at this time lessons are what she needs.I think there is a danger with lessons that she could engage for a while and then because of the repetition and difficulty with coordination she would give up and see it as a failure to be able to play, perhaps never to go near the keyboard again.I do wish I knew someone who could "Play" with her and not feel they had to "teach" her because I know she would get something out of that,if it was taken at her pace and in a very informal way.
That's the request out there,let's see what the universe provides;-))

Her guitar which is also in that area gets picked up,strummed for how ever long it holds her interest and is then put back until the next time.I see Emily's learning as a series of building blocks, little parts that come together over time, be it weeks months or years, to build her knowledge of that subject, to whatever extent she wants to take it.

Music has been playing a bigger part in our days, she has also expressed a wish to get a set of drums(an interest brought on by her friend E who plays)Bongo drums have also been mentioned a few times.

Milly has not been getting as much exercise as she used to and although she does go walking with Al and Beauty sometimes for well over an hour she doesn't want to go every day.She is also wanting to be at home and generally less active.Since we have lifted restrictions on food (I have not made a big announcement to Emily, but have just been saying yes to her requests for food)she has been eating enormous amounts and has put on weight.It is a combination of going through a growth spurt,hormonal changes, lack of exercise and the initial binging on chocolate and crisps.I was racking my brains in an attempt to provide a way for her to get some exercise without using coercion, in a way I knew she would enjoy.I remembered the mini trampoline we had and I brought that down near to the CD player and within minutes with no prompting from me she was bouncing away while listening.It is out all day and she is on and off all the time.

Over the last week or so I have found the initial binging on chocolate etc has eased.Although she is still eating more than I would choose for her.
On Sunday I was preparing Toad in the hole and had taken a bag of sugar snap peas out of the fridge,I heard Emily exclaim OHHHH and looked around to see her picking a handful of peas up to munch on with the same look of enjoyment as she would a chocolate bar.She did the same when the shopping came and asked for a large piece of cucumber to be cut off and she ate it while we all unpacked.She doesn't like a lot of vegetables but really likes the ones she does eat .When the opportunity arises we have talked a fair bit about food and how certain things can affect you, not in a concerted effort to get her to stop but to give her the information to make an informed choice.I have continued to buy chocolate,crisps,sweets every week and stock the drawer up if we run out as often as I can within budget.I make snacks up with assortments of the things I know she likes and include sweets,chocs etc with fruit and nut's and seed's.I have found my attitude is gradually changing,after the initial period of adjustment and panic at letting go of control I feel calmer and much more trusting.It feels good :-)

This afternoon I went out to do a little training with Beauty and throw her ball around,I left Emily at the computer watching something on BBCi.I was only out ten minutes or so and expected to come back in and see her still sitting there watching but she had paused the programme and was writing a story,she actually never went back to the computer as she ended up going on to something else. It struck me that way back when we let go of TV restrictions we were scared that she would not do anything else if given the choice,how wrong we were.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

My little storyteller....

All this time uploading pictures and tonight for the first time I found the upload another picture facility (smacks forehead!!!) How much easier it will be when I am putting numerous pictures on....

Milly woke up this morning and the first words out of her mouth were "I had a really good idea for a story in the night" She has so many notebooks on the go with different characters/story's, it really is a passion.I am amazed at some of the lines she comes out with.As always she is not open to suggestions and is working her way through in her own way.By actually writing it and reading it out she is finding out how to put a tale together,what works and sounds right and just over the last couple of day's punctuation has crept in to her writing.

Today was home ed group day but Milly was not feeling 100% so we stayed home.We just took it easy and had a really lovely day.
We played together on and off throughout the day,in the game we were rescuing our Daemons from Bolvanger and I also got in depth instructions on Daemon care as apparently my Daemon Chimung is feeling very unloved and neglected and has been telling Pan(Emily's daemon) how sad he is.Must try harder;-)

Alongside playing we have been reading the third part in the Percy jackson series.Great fun and lot's of greek mythology which Emily is enjoying.She has remembered a lot of the gods from the Roman Mysteries, and is enjoying telling me the Roman names.

After lunch we washed our hairs.For the first time in my life I have nits:-(
Milly's friend has shared again with us.I found the Nitty gritty comb, we are using that and it seems to be doing the trick.

We decided as it was a nice day it was a shame to sit in and waste the sunshine we lit a fire in the chimenea and read The worst children's jobs in history. Emily really loves this and also Kings and Queens,they are funny and the information is in bite size chunks with quirky illustrations.They have age 5-7 recommended but she loves them and we have read them several times.

I put a chicken in the slow cooker this morning so that when we came home from group it would be easy to cook tea with minimal washing up.I had intended just to do some baked potato's and peas but as we didn't go out and I was at home this afternoon I ended up doing roasties, yorkshires, roast parsnip and carrots,cauliflower cheese and gravy. The kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it with all the pots!! After tea I decided the pots would wait and went through to watch stictly come dancing 2 and then Emily came through to ask me to join the two of them outside, they had lit the chimenea again and we sat under a clear sky while Emily told us ghost stories.What a lovely way to finish the day.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Emily's learning style.

I found this over at Our homeschooling approach

Some kids are happy to learn by doing. These are the ones for whom “practise makes perfect”. Some might call them kinesthetic learners. Others learn differently, developing a blueprint for even kinesthetic skills internally before trying things out. Their learning is no better or worse or more efficient or less; it’s just harder to see and therefore harder for parents to believe in.

I used to worry that my daughter would never learn that practise makes perfect, since I never see her stick with something that is hard. But you know what? She learns just fine anyway. It’s just that her “practise” is internal, where I can’t see her struggling with it. I just have to believe it’s happening and it is!

I remember when Emily was younger and I watched her playing with a shape sorter,you know the square ones with different shaped holes and lots of different shapes inside,she had a go at fitting the shapes with no success and then decided not to do it any longer.She didn't get frustrated, it was simply as if she knew she couldn't do it and didn't need to waste her time on it and she put it to one side and went on to something else.

We always had a load of toys out on the floor for us to play with and now and again I would introduce it into our play but she would ignore it. One day she went over to it and put the shapes in quickly, with very little effort.She was pleased with herself and her new found ability at that moment but rarely felt the need to give it another go, it was as if that process had been learnt and she just moved on to something else.Over the years this pattern has repeated itself so many times in so many ways.I don't see her working things out or persisting when something is hard.She jumps from one stage to another with no apparent learning curve.

Autonomous education suits Emily just fine,she is in charge and she knows what she needs and where she needs to be.The things she does and the way she does them may not always make sense to me and I have to be honest and say I would dearly love some external evidence of a process at times,however based on the evidence over the last 9 1/2 years I trust that she will learn all she needs to know in her own inimitable way

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Changing seasons,positive thoughts.

Here we are on a very wild and rainy Saturday:-( I am in the middle of preparing pork chops in a cider sauce for tea,Alan is ironing while watching rugby and Emily is upstairs with her friend E,and the rain is hammering at the windows.

This morning as I looked outside at the garden I realised I just didn't feel ready for the colder weather.I felt low,I really love the sun,I really need the sun and the summer has been so rainy and cold,I haven't spent enough time outside.We haven't eaten outside as much as we would normally do.So many days we haven't been able to lay in the hammock and read on an evening,we haven't been able to sit in our tepee and light the campfire to toast marshmallows.So many things that didn't need the sun just dry weather.I was feeling really down.Then I began to think about what Autumn has to offer.

I have always liked the changing seasons and Autumn has always been one of my favourite times.The early Autumn with the subtle change in light and slight nip in the air.I enjoy putting the garden to bed for the winter,tidying the borders and veg plot. I look forward to crisp evenings in the garden around the chimenea with hot drinks and biscuits,walks on the beach snuggled up in layers, then home for hot chocolate,and the smell of the roast cooking.I love the dark afternoon's snuggled up reading or watching a movie.I love the sound of the rain on the sunroom skylights while we are all cosy and warm inside.So much to look forward to.

Here is a picture Emily took last winter.We live in such a beautiful place with this only a short car journey away.

Maybe things aren't quite so bad after all,and maybe next year will be the one with the heatwave ;-)