"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...

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Keep on trekkin.....

Emily had riding lessons a couple of years ago.She enjoyed going for a while then decided to have a break from it.The stables then stopped doing lessons due to insurance costs.She never mentioned going again.

 Until a couple of weeks ago.
Luckily we knew of friends who had found a  farm offering lessons and heard good things about it from them.I rang and spoke to Sarah (riding instructor).I was keen to get a "feel" for her teaching style.We had a long conversation and I felt we were on the same page :-)

I got the impression Sarah was used to having parents far more interested in the children riding as quickly as possible and expecting her to push them hard. She was quick to point out that she would take things at Emily's pace.

My expectations for the lessons were that Emily should enjoy them and move on at her own pace.I believe that if it is something Emily really wants to do she will be motivated enough and would not need pushing. 

Sarah suggested Emily might like to join them for a trek first as a more informal introduction.
We went last Saturday. Emily was paired with a young girl called Emily,who would hold a lead rein and a horse called Shelly:-)She rode off with the biggest grin on her face....

She was buzzing when they got back in.She had helped unsaddle and feed Shelly and she liked Emily who was a lovely girl with a very gentle personality.Sarah was very pleased with her ability and made Emily feel so good about herself.
We decided we could fit in another trek before going on holiday and went today.She had another great time and was on the same horse and Emily lead her again.
We have decided that a trek and a lesson each month would be a good combination because she really loves been out on the land around Ennerdale.

It is not the cheapest of activities at £21 an hour but worth so much more to see her enthusiasm.There will be juggling to do and savings to be made so we can go a couple of times a month.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Things going swimmingly.....

My morning started slightly earlier than planned when I was woken by Alan at ten past seven.He was in full bike gear(moped)helmet and all! He had lost his bike keys and wondered if I knew where they were!!! I was unable to help and he disappeared to try and find them.I got up a little later to find a note letting me know he had had to get the bus and would be late home.

When I told Milly she went to check out his pockets and found the key within minutes in his bike jacket.We rang him to ask if he wanted us to pick him up from work and to let him know she had found them.He was baffled and said he had looked in those pockets four times!

We had a chilled out morning.
Emily has been telling stories about ghosts recently.When I saw The ghost whisper advertised on TV last week I asked her if she wanted to watch it.She fell in love with the stories and we sent for the DVDs.We have all enjoyed watching them and the second series arrived so she watched a few episodes this morning.I watched for a while then I pottered about doing jobs and got things packed up for our outing.

We left around 12.30 to meet the home ed group for a swim session.Milly got in the pool about 1.15 and got out again at 3.45!Apart from a quick pit stop for some chips she was in the water the whole time.They had a great time.The wave machine and a big slide adding to the fun.

Back home to walk Beauty and then she went to watch TV while I prepped tea.Al arrived home and I then had a big dip in energy and had to collapse on the sofa after tea.I got a second wind around 9.30 and washed the pots whilst Alan and Emily sat at the dining table and read up on looking after baby dragons:-)

Milly is looking forward to horse riding at the farm tomorrow afternoon when she goes for a trek.Whilst we are out Alan is going to help bring a piano from a friends house .It is not in perfect condition and has some issues even when tuned .It will do for now though and if Emily decides in the future to become more serious about playing we will look out for one that is in better shape.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Books we have been enjoying....

This has been one of the loveliest books I have read for quite some time!

And the two that follow on were pretty good too.

Milly is really into Dragons and has had this since Christmas.

She requested this one.A friend at home ed group had it and she fell in love with it.It arrived today.

Some time ago I bought this one

 and left it lying around for her to find.I thought the lovely cover and style inside would interest her.It didn't ....and has sat on the shelves since.However we have talked and done some investigations around Egyptians and I thought I would try again with this book.

She loves it and Cleopatra has now been rescued from the shelves to be checked out as well.

It's the little things:-)

I have too much time on my hands!!
I take great joy in decorating the meals Emily has tomato sauce with:-)
She loves it.Each time it is a different design...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Lighter mornings and lighter me :-)

The lighter mornings are making it much easier to get up earlier.
It feels good.
The long dark days are behind us and it seems natural to be settling into a different rhythm.

Alan has taken a few days off to work in the garden.We plan this time off each year so we can try to get ahead with all the maintenance jobs. The idea is to get it done in one go and then  it doesn't eat into each weekend as the season goes on.He has been cleaning out the sheds,putting out the garden furniture,cleaning it down and painting a wood protector on.Painting trellis and fencing.There are shrubs to be pruned and general tidying to be done.Ideas for any major changes in the garden are being planned and the veg plot is getting prepped ready for me to try again to produce something!To be fair to myself .... the pest,blight and weather in both years have played a big part in the lack of produce produced ;-)

Alan and Emily have been going on some long walks.They did over 7 miles last Monday and they had planned an 8 mile walk today but it was tougher terrain up hills so they cut it short at 41/2 miles.Lots more walks planned now the weather is improving.Alan is going to come home from work and they are going to take a picnic tea and head off up the fells.I look forward to the day I am able to join them.

We have a holiday booked at the end of the month.We are going to spend 4 nights in a yurt :-)
As Emily dislikes travelling too far we have decided to stay close to home and will only be in the car for an hour or so.We are looking forward to spending time exploring the wonderful scenery around Ambleside.
We are all so excited and can't wait.

I spent ages researching camping last year and we were within striking distance of purchasing a tent.Alan was not as keen as me and so we kept putting off the decision until he had time to think long and hard.

It seems the time just wasn't right to take that step because we then had to decide between a new bed and a tent and the bed won:-)

Whilst keen to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle Alan was really not keen on what he saw as the "faff" that goes along with pitching and striking (possibly needing to dry) a tent. We decided to try "Yurting"  first and see how we get on before deciding whether to take a leap into full on camping :-)

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely day at the farm with the home ed group.It was a bit drizzly but that didn't deter them at all.For four hours Milly and the children were out climbing the hill into the woods,running,splashing,swinging,quick bite to eat and out again for more climbing, more running and the obligatory (in Emily's case) getting wet ;-)
Mums were able to sit in the conservatory and some knitted and crafted whilst they chatted :-)

Home, a quick break and then off within the hour to pick up Emily to come for a sleepover.An opportunity for Milly to play with Emily's brother while I managed more tea and chatting :-) Home again for tea. We then made play dough together (well Emily and I did while Milly sprinkled flour and covered herself whilst sitting on the island unit) Then Emily made buns,quite the expert at fairy cakes:-) A shower for Milly while they were in the oven and then cakes were iced. Sat down around 9 to watch Van Helsing together.

After many, many, months of not wanting to do any classes or activities Emily has asked to go horse riding again and we have a session booked on Saturday.She has also said she would go along to drama classes that Emily attends when the new term starts after Easter, so I am looking into that as well.
On Sunday we are walking a mile for comic relief.My Mum and Dad are joining us, so we are going to have lunch at theirs before going to the walk.Might try and fit in a trip to the cinema to see Alice in Wonderland in 3d whilst we are in town.

In other news.....So far (6 months) I have lost a total of two stones with weightwatchers:-)
Although losing weight is great, my prime reason is to get healthier.I am limited enough in what I can do and extra weight was not helping me be the best I can be.I am aware of the messages I give Emily about weight and dieting so I discussed my motivations with her before I started meetings.My goal was to be able to eat healthily and to get fitter so I would be able to join her in more physical activities .She hears the word diet and  negative aspects about not being "allowed" certain foods from others but I make sure we talk more about a healthy lifestyle and that I can eat anything I want but I am making choices and why. I like the plan because nothing is forbidden I can have what I like so long as I work it into the points allowance.
The time was right and I was in a good place emotionally (comfort eating when low was my big downfall) and it has been relatively simple (although still challenging ) to change my eating habits.

One stone left to lose then I will be at goal and can then go to meetings free.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Its been a while!

Hello again :-) Been a while!
I have had a virus,well not me personally, this machine was hijacked!!
Luckily I took out extra cover when we bought it and was able to get help and a nice guy talked me through the process for eliminating the pesky thing.I have AVG free security and he advised Malwarebytes (also free) as extra cover and once downloaded that did a full scan and cleared all infections.
That was time consuming but easy.Then as the system needed to be reset (have no idea of technical terms at all ) I had to spend far too much of my life transferring all the info from this PC onto Emily's laptop. 
Neither of the dongles we use have great storage capabilities so it was a long process to swap info from here bit by bit!
It took most of last Sunday while Alan and Emily were out for the day.

Anyhow that done I rang again and was talked through what to do to set up again. I then spent even more time downloading all the applications we had on before it was invaded!

I intend to invest in an external source to store info on, cos I never want to go through that tedious process of transferring files again.
I could have used the laptop to blog but to be honest I just didn't feel very motivated to write.
Too many things to try to recall from the time I have been absent so here are a few pics I had on my phone of things we have been up to.We have been making the most of the good weather and longer days,taking every oppotunity to get out there and enjoy it!

A family walk on the beach.


Milly was telling us a Story and we found this carnation that had been washed up which led to a fabulous tale of flower faeries :-)

A sleepover with Tom,where fifties style make up was applied.
Here is a before.

And here is the after!!How grown up does she look!!

A days play with a little pal, a walk in the sunshine ,to play in the river, and explore the woods.

Another day another walk,this time with a homemade magical Shaman spirit summoning stick!

Setting the scene for a visit from my sister and her Husband.
Crusty bread and chicken stew,simple fayre made special with candles and good company.

Another walk on the beach.The same beach but different light,I never tire of this place.
Milly in full flow telling me a story as we walk.

In the last picture Milly is teaching a reluctant Beauty how to fetch a stick from the water.She loves to fetch sticks but has never been sure about those waves :-)
Milly got very wet as she went in further and further to entice Beauty in slowly. Beauty went in deeper than she has ever dared to before:-))