what we’re enjoying this week 19


Well thank you to our friends for the idea of Robin finger painting. We used the idea to decorate some Christmas wrapping paper.


One little boy took the finger painting a bit further…

Some of our Christmas moments…

Wrapped presents waiting under the tree on Christmas Eve..

Finally opening stockings…they had been eagerly waiting from 4.45am!

Father Christmas understands my obsession with egg cups..

Rafael’s first Christmas present…

When I asked Matt to buy a Christmas present for Rafael earlier in the week, he came back with a Tommee Tippee cup! So I took great pleasure in choosing this gorgeous rabbit instead. The only thing I don’t like about this rabbit is that I didn’t make it myself! Maybe one day. He shall be named Rafi Rabbit I think.

We enjoyed simplicity this year. I have previously gone a bit bonkers with the present buying and later regretted it. The kids enjoy ripping off the paper of yet another gift more than what’s inside it, and everyone goes a bit crazy. It’s hard to change a habit but I really didn’t want all the stuff this year. They don’t want or wait for much generally (I’m not suggesting that’s a good thing!) and I wanted their Christmas presents to be few and treasured. I was really pleased that the few things they received were things they really wanted and are enjoying. We got it spot on. Zachary’s stocking had a wooden cube that you can change into robots and other shapes. It has kept him busy for ages, it’s a clever little thing.




Much needed socks! My that girl is fussy about her socks.

She is delighted to now be the proud owner of a recorder and periodically excuses herself from our company to enjoy it..

Joseph enjoyed using his new whisk. He has been asking to bake a lemon cake for as long as he’s been alive. Really. So we baked one quite spontaneously. He spotted the lemons in the fruit bowl so I couldn’t refuse him. The lemon drizzle cake recipe is from this beautiful book I received for my birthday in April. I’m embarrassed to say it’s the first thing I’ve baked from it, but we have been quite busy this year. It’s a beautiful book; the sort you want to take to bed with you and stroke (You don’t do that?)

When I showed Joseph the recipe, he wasn’t overwhelmed with enthusiasm. The appearance isn’t the sort that springs to mind when a child thinks of cake. But we know it’s lovely don’t we. I forgot to photograph the finished article but we did bake it, we really did. I don’t think Joseph has tasted it yet. I think that boy really does care more for the baking than the cake itself.

I’ve enjoyed a little of my Christmas presents…a set of four Taproot magazines I really wanted to sample, and some watercolours of my own…which the kids are helping me to use!

We had a fairly quiet Christmas week with much needed rest and not so much fuss. Some visits from family and a couple of friends have brightened our spirits and we are looking forward to a bit more this weekend.

Hope your Christmas has been a merry one.



what we’re enjoying this week 18

Somebody in particular had a very exciting weekend!

Such a full day with a trip to the museum and pizza restaurant. I just managed to keep this one awake in time for some cake…

Some favourite moments of this week…

My Shepherds…celebrating Christmas with other home ed families….

Making Christmas cards…

This was the result of Joseph’s unsupervised baking….a pretty edible, quite nice loaf of ‘bread’…It was so impressive we had it with our soup for lunch. We ignored the little bits of chocolate icing in it.

A couple of evenings with a hot toddy…

Discovering HorseWorld

A great play room with dressing up at Horseworld…

So, don’t mind if I do…

Lots of play and outdoors….leads to daytime napping in the car…means a late night for everyone….

And a sleepy pyjama morning…

We are ready for Christmas. The fridge is full, the carols are playing, the tree is decorated. Matt will have some time off work and we are ready to hibernate. I hope I will knit and read a smelly old book. We will watch some nice films…The Snowman is a favourite at the moment. I tried to have a candlelit bath late this afternoon and inevitably all the kids joined me, one by one. Uninevitably, we ended up watching The Snowman in the bath…! Maybe we will make that a tradition.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas… 



what we’re enjoying this week 17

Is this getting a little boring? More playgrounds, sandpits, crafting, playing… I just felt I needed to ask the question out loud. Blogging has so far been about more than sharing our story with anyone who wants to read it. It helps me process and think and, well, it refreshes me. I’d like more time to blog but more weeks than not, I just have time for this end-of-the-week summary. And I just realised I didn’t actually publish last week’s post – It was still sitting there as a draft. Oh how your week must have been empty without it! 

This week, I wrote a calendar for the kids….mostly for Keziah who likes to know what the plan for the day/week/year ahead is! Having said that, if someone else was in control, so would I! I wrote on the Saturday morning slot…’Mummy writing time’. Keziah read it out to Zachary, adding ‘she means go to Starbucks, Zachary!’ Hmph. 

The calendar was one of those moments of enlightenment….very simple but making a huge difference; to her anyway. A bit like the family menu. Less complaints and attempted negotiations when they know what’s coming.

We’ve had more Christmas preparations this week. My extremely clever 5 year old boy made this…

Now then. Yes, I could have sat with him one-to-one and showed him how to sew a button on properly, but really…well, I couldn’t. I was trying to help both Keziah and Zachary cut, sew and stuff their denim hearts, while trying to convince Joseph that I really couldn’t help him knit a big blanket right now and instead settle for ‘being a Witch’ (his favourite role play game at the moment). While trying to drink -and enjoy- a hot coffee (not choosing my moments well here). And I think everyone was whining. Oh, my ears! Rafi was having a nap but I had the feeling that wasn’t going to last much longer. The stress levels were a little high! I’ve decided I spend far too much of my life in a state of fight-or-flight. So I’m making more effort to do things I enjoy, like read and knit (Have I said this before? I have a sense of de-ja vu). I’ve been up early every morning this week. Rafi wakes me early to feed, but rather than trying to doze off again with him, I’m accepting it as a positive opportunity to start the day early and start the day well…and it’s a good thing. When the older kids wake, they’ve more often found me up, showered, dressed and knitting in my bedroom armchair (with a hot cup of tea; heaven). Yes, that’s how I like life to be. .

I’m getting there with the doll I’m making. I will show you it when I’ve finished…unless it looks as ridiculous as the last one, in which case I might not!

Monday was as close to a perfect day as they come. We went out pretty soon in the morning and had a great day at Puxton Park. It’s good to get out for the day on a Monday, I’ve decided. There was lots of the usual outdoor fun to be had…

After a LONG wait for any teeth to fall out, they started falling a couple of months ago (thank the Good Lord it was Keziah’s tooth that fell out first!) and now, we have both of them with Wobblies. (By the way, I LOVE the tooth fairy thing!) I’ll wobble yours if you wobble mine….

And can you just notice the matching head warmers, please. Knitted by my fair hand. No one else on the planet will have knitted their children such headwarmers with this wool. So, if you see three children wearing these, you know it’s us!

Then the kids played for ages in the cafe play area while Rafi slept in the pram and I smugly read my book…for about 45 minutes. Lush.

Anyway, back to the sewing.

We made the denim hearts and stars for the Christmas tree at Matt’s workplace, which we had been invited to come and decorate (fools!)

So that was Tuesday’s adventure. Matt had booked us in when there were no clients in the office. Words were said on the car journey, explaining about the office workplace and people working quietly. It was fine and I think we brought some sparkle to the office…certainly we brought sparkle to Matt’s day.

And this week, Keziah and Zachary had their first Ice Skating experience. Oh so much excitement about this! They had a great time. There are now apparently aids to help young skaters, unlike my day when you just had to shuffle round the edge, holding on for dear life. I haven’t moved on much from this point so Matt took them. He’s a good skater (Unlikely, I know!)



So, I stayed home with the younger two and let Joseph do this….

So I could do this…


I’ll leave you now. Celebrations are about to begin for a very special girl who is 7 this weekend. Simple, small celebrations, but Oh we are excited! 

what we’re enjoying this week 16


This year, I’m unusually organised with present buying for Christmas. I wanted December to be full of Advent. Getting ready. Making, singing, story telling. So that’s a little of what we’ve been up to this week.

The Autumn table has thankfully made its exit, making room for the Advent table….


And our much loved and much played with Nativity Scene…

I am very attached to this Nativity set. It was bought for Keziah’s birthday by one of her Godmothers and, shortly after she turned three, she started playing with the little characters. It was her first role play and she seemed to leap off a diving board into a new phase of development and has barely stopped playing with little people and dolls since. She has loved its return this week. The peoples’ paint is very chipped….they have been well loved! Some of the stories made up with the characters of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the Shepherds and Kings are delightfully hilarious. At least they usually have their ‘proper names’ now. They spent their first couple of years with names inspired by CBeebies programmes (the family shame!)

We have enjoyed opening advent calendars but I have to confess to, so far, failing miserably to read the appropriate Bible story, it’s sitting there looking very pretty. I promise myself it will be read this week.

We’ve enjoyed walking and sticks..

And baking nothing very Christmassy….My Dad used to make these for us, but I must thank my friend Gillian for reminding me they exist! Mars Bar crispy buns. They are delicious. Lush. The ‘Rich Man’s’ chocolate crispy bun. Forget the cooking chocolate or even Dairy Milk. Mars Bars are where it’s at. 

It’s quite difficult not to eat 20 in one sitting. Be warned.

Speaking of food, I tried to spice up the family menu last weekend. I made Tacos; with Quorn mince, guacamole, cheese, roasted peppers, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, soured cream, salsa. You know, all those things kids love (what was I thinking?!). I fully expected it to go down like a lead balloon. And it did. But Matt and I enjoyed it 🙂

And Rafi! I think he had his in a wrap to make it easier to hold. No salsa!

So we are, I’d say, almost fully in the Christmas Spirit, and our hands are busy…


I cut up an old pair of jeans for these. Thank you Karen for the idea!

And I am still loving reading my first ‘smelly old book’.

Wishing you all a good week.