Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thank you all

What can I say?
I've been blown away by everyone's comments.
It's taken me ages to read them all, and they all touched me so much.
I read them out loud to Steve but I found that hard, because some of them touched me and made me feel weepy, and also because I was a bit embarassed reading out loud nice stuff about myself.
Thank you to everyone who left comments, and also to all the people who emailed me. I had as many emails as comments. I couldn't begin to reply to them all so I thought it would be best to write a general thank you message here instead.
I'm not sure yet where I'm going with the blog. I can see that you lot aren't going to let me get away with not blogging. My sister Jenny, and my friend Davy threatened to campaign outside my house with placards! I might hold out long enough to see that. Steve even threatened to protest naked in the streets, which would definitely be worth a laugh. Then I could come on and blog all about it. I may continue with this blog. I may start a new one with passwords. I'm not quite sure yet.
I've really missed blogging this week. So many things have happened and I've found myself reaching for the camera to take a photo for the blog. Then I've felt quite sad.
Anyway, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who left comments. I've certainly felt loved and special, and touched. Some of the comments were from people I've never met, people whom I've never even heard of, people which I haven't seen for many years, and people that I see all the time. And also, as I said, thanks to the people who sent emails as well. I've certainly discovered who my friends are that's for sure!
Anyway, I'm rambling now so I better go and compose myself.
But thanks, again.
Thanks so much.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Our lastest pics from January 07

I had a lot of photos to upload today and there were so many that I could put on the blog! Here are the best of the bunch...

Firstly, here is the photos of the fig and almond raw vegan tolls which I made. They were so simple. Basically whizz up a bunch of almonds and dried figs, add a tiny bit of water if needed and then roll them into some dessicated co-conut and chill in the fridge. They took seconds to make, the kids loved them, and they were so healthy I could let them eat as many as they wanted. Voila!

Last week I finally finished sorting through all the letters I have received from E in the last 2 years. They were kept in a paper bag, but it got ripped, and then Luke kindly opened every letter and separated them from their envelopes. There were 78 letters in total, 4 polaroid photos, loads of gift cards, a little angel and E's gold cross pendant which he gave me. He has had it since he was a child. Steve bought me a nice box to keep them all organised in, and I've numbered the back of them in case Luke ever gets hold of them again. So now they are in date order. It was amazing looking through them to see how much I had read and completely forgotten about. I received another letter from E this morning saying "there were only 78 letters? I thought I'd written nearer 2000!" He he.

Here is a photo of Jude making another one of her papier mache cats. This was taken yesterday.

As well as this one of Luke who was so proud of his playdoh tractor creation that he asked me to take a photo. This was simple to create as well. Take one 3 year old, 6 tubs of play-dough, one tractor trailer and a thomas the tank engine carriage. Bind all the ingredients together (not the 3 year old - he does the binding) and then you have a simple but effective master piece, worthy of a photo.

Before the Christmas holidays Jude did this little project as part of her home education. She has been reading a lot of history books lately so she decided to create this fold open history project. She basically created fold open flaps containing information about her favourite stories from history. The one in the photo is about The Battle of Hastings, and you can see king Harold made from pipe cleaners, tissue paper and a fluffy pink pom pom, at the side of the story. The other pages are about Hieroglyphics, The Two Margaret's, Anansi the Spider, and Leizu & the silkworm.

This afternoon Luke played with Sam's old collection of animals and dinosaurs, which he loves. I had wanted to sit and do something crafty with him, possibly a bit of painting or something. So we decided to make a little jungle scene for his animals to play in. I cut out a big box and stuck tissue paper for sky and grass onto it. Then Jude, Luke and myself set about turning it into a jungle. Luke stuck a few flowers on, a few fish in the pond, and made his own huge fluffy cloud before losing interest and asking us "is it ready yet? is it ready yet?" every 30 seconds. We may add bits and pieces to the finished scene at times. But it looks pretty good,
don't you think?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Temporarily raw vegans?

Well, what's been happening here then? Hmm, let me think. I've done some tidying. Then I did do a bit of tidying. Then I picked up some bits here and there and returned them to their rightful places. Then I tidied a bit. I think we own too much stuff.

Yesterday we took a trip to the Asian Supermarket in Belfast and I stocked up on lots of nuts, herbs, seeds and various dried fruits. The kids love going there because it's like walking into another world, a new culture in a foreign land. Luke kept asking me what things were, and I kept answering "I'm not sure what that is honey". I managed to spend £45 there and then stopped at Sainsburys for loads of fruit and veg.

We've been eating a raw vegan diet for this last while. I'm on a mission to improve the health of my family. Have been on it a while, but keep side tracking every now and then. The benefits of eating raw foods are amazing (apparently - haven't been doing it long enough yet to comment personaly). Anyway, with the help of my rejuvenate book I've learnt how to make some cracking, life enhancing salad dressings, that even Steve likes! We have been eating the most amazing salads. Even the kids have been stuffing them down. And this evening after our double cabbage & apple salad (which was delicious despite how it sounds) I made a desert which is healthy enough to feed the kids for breakfast. And it was a hit so I took a photo which I'll load onto the blog tomorrow. I made little cakes from nothing but almonds, figs and a bit of dried coconut. Jude came back for seconds so she will be in the toilet all day tomorrow! Ha.

I've had a terrible pain in my lungs all afternoon and evening. It's getting worse and moving round to the back of my lungs. It hurts when I breath deeply, when I slouch, or when I bend from one side to the other. Basically, it hurts when I move or breath. I haven't done anything strenuous. Maybe its all the toxins coming out. Going cold turkey from junk food might be taking its toll on me.

It's time for bed. I could ramble on all night. But I won't.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Weird things about me

I got tagged by Deb to tell you weird stuff!

Six weird things about me: THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. When a baby is in the womb, before it's eyes open, there is a special blood vessel which runs to the back of the retina to supply the developing eye with blood. After this is done the vessel disintigrates. But mine is still there. According to my optician I'm one in a billion! (I always knew I was special!)

2. I can't breath through my nose and was offered a nose job to fix it.

3. When I'm stressed out I clean the house. And I chuck things out till I feel better.

4. I could not silently burgle the upstairs of a house during the night because my knees creak so loudly when climbing the stairs that all the residents would wake up and find me!

5. I suffer from Claustophobia.

6. I count things. All the time. Fence posts, window panes, drawers, tiles, street lamps, people. My brain has to count things in 2's, 3's, 5's, diagonally, in lines, my brain needs to see the pattern in things. It's always worse when I'm pregnant and drives me insane. I have to catch myself doing it and make myself stop. I can tell you the pattern of drawers in my bedroom, how there are 14 of them and which ways they can be counted. I can also tell that the blinds in my bedroom have 14 slats, 7 on each side, which is nice because it goes with the drawers. LOL. I'm serious. It's strange because I'm not at all mathematically minded.

People I’m tagging (is there anyone left who hasn't already been tagged?)

I think everyone else has done it so I can't come up with 6. Sorry.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


This evening I have been planning my routine and Jude's home education for the next term. I'm trying to be organised, get up earlier, achieve more. I was looking for some scriptures about mothers and wives to inspire me and add colour to my planner. I came across some inspiring quotes about mothers. I wanted to post some of them so that they can inspire other mothers too. I don't pretend to be any of the mothers talked about below, but I'd like to aspire to be.

"Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character."- Hosea Ballou

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."- Abraham Lincoln

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."- Abraham Lincoln

"The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom."- Henry Ward Beecher

"In all my efforts to learn to read, my mother shared fully my ambition and sympathized with me and aided me in every way she could. If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother."- Booker T. Washington

"The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother."- Napoleon Bonaparte

"The mother, more than any other, affects the moral and spiritual part of the children’s character. She is their constant companion and teacher in formative years. The child is ever imitating and assimilating the mother’s nature. It is only in after life that men gaze backward and behold how a mother’s hand and heart of love molded their young lives and shaped their destiny."- E.W. Caswell

"Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love."- Stevie Wonder

"The noblest calling in the world is that of mother. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece or who can write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose immortal souls will be exerting an influence throughout the ages long after painting shall have faded, and books and statues shall have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give."- David O. McKay

When she speaks, her words are wise, And kindness is the rule for everything she says. Proverbs 31:26

If there are any Christian mothers reading this who would like musical inspiration I can highly recommend the two new cd's that I got for my birthday. They are by Serene and Pearl and are two cd's of songs about motherhood and the blessing of children from God. They are beautiful, peaceful songs that inspire, soothe and encourage mothers and wives. They are really helping me to get through the day when the kids are fighting, or sulking, or the house is a tip.

Rejuvenate Your Life - Salt

With some of my birthday money I treated myself to a book called Rejuvenate Your Life, Recipes for Energy bu Serene Allison. This woman writes all about the benefits of eating a raw, vegan diet. Some of the stuff I've read so far has been amazing. Over the last few years I've been studying a lot about diet, healthy eating etc, and have begun sprouting and growing wheat grass, as well as milling and making my own bread. Every time I read a new book about food I come away horrified by the things that we eat every day, that is quite literally killing us. Today I read about salt.

Everyone knows that too much salt is bad for them. But what I didn't know was that using table salt is like filling your body with poison. The book reads

"Table salt is highly refined and toxic to our system. It has been stripped of every valuable mineral. One horrific part of its refining process is heating the salt to well above 2000 degrees. To render the salt free flowing, they add anti-caking agents that turn the salt purple. Your white table salt is actually purple, but of course bleached for the consumer with a nice touch of a few other chemicals".

Yuck, that is something that I definitely don't want in my system, and certainly don't want to give to my children. A lot of people use sea salt instead, but this too can be misleading.

"Sea salt that is naturally derived is full of necessary minerals and rich in savour. It is necessary for your body and makes everything taste superb. The king of all sea salt is Celtic Salt, which is the most pure and potent. ... It is traditionally hand harvested, unrefined, with no heating, no additives and no preservatives. Good sea salt should be slightly grayish. Beware of cheap sea salts that are glistening white and contain anti-caking agents".

So, even sea salt has been bleached and anti-caked. Did you know that salt should be grey? I didn't. I'll definitely think twice before adding salt to anything now. And I'm going to buy my family some Celtic Salt, as one of the many major changes I will be making to our diet this year. More about that another time...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Red Plate

In this edition of Above Rubies there was an article about encouraging our children. People wrote in with different ideas that they use to encourage their kids. One of the suggestions was the New Zealand tradition of the Red Dinner Plate. They have a special red dinner plate which only comes out once or twice a week to mark a point of achievement with one of the children. When the family comes to the dinner table they see the red plate in someones setting and get excited as to why that person has the red plate. Then at dinner time the parents say why that child has been given the red plate, and everyone talks about their achievement and encourages them. It can be given for anything that has involved some level of achievement and effort. Perhaps for overcoming a fear, winning an award, showing kindness to another etc. Well, after reading that article I liked the idea. Of course the plate does not have to be red, it just has to be special. But then I accidentally ended up in the Marks and Spencer Christmas sale (I was supposed to be in the cinema but Luke got bored so we wandered round the shops for a bit). There in the sale section was a huge pile of plain red plates, reduced to £1 each! Well, I had to buy one. I felt a bit daft buying just one dinner plate, LOL.

This week the plate has been set at the table twice. All three children like the idea and they always discuss whether anyone will get the red plate tonight. Firstly Sam was given the red plate. This week his school report was sent home (I will talk about that in a minute), and over the holidays he has been offering (!!!) to help me with housework. Yes, I'm gobsmacked too! But every day he has been asking "Mummy, is there anything I can do to help?" That is something that definitely needs public recognition! Then last night Luke got the red plate, for overcoming his fear of hair washing. He was so scared of bath times that he became hysterical. It was horrible. I suggested showers to him and over a period of two weeks he has gone from being hysterical and shaking with fear in the shower, to asking for a shower every morning. (Santa put a bottle of cherry smelling Chicken Little shampoo in his stocking which has been a real motivator!) So we gave him the red plate to recognise his braveness and mark his overcoming.

I must mention Sam's first term school report. They are given two grades, A - D for achievement (A being the highest), and 1 to 4 for effort (1 being the most effort), and there are also some exam results in percentages.

Art & Design B+, 1
Drama A, 93%, 1
English, talking & listening A, Reading B, Writing B, exam 64%, effort 1
French 87%, 1
Geography A, 98%, 1
History A, 91%, 2
Home Economics B+, 73%, 1
Information Technology B, 1
Maths B, 2
Music 70%, 1
PE C, 2
RE A, 1
Science A, 90%, 1
Technology 76%, 1

Some of those results are very good aren't they? He was quite pleased with most of it. Every subject had a full A4 paged report with comments from the teacher. The staff seem to put a lot of effort into producing it every term. I was particularly amused at the RE teachers comment that if he struggles with spelling he should do all his homework on the computer to avail of the spellcheck facilities! LOL.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Ear Appointment

Finally, after many months of waiting, I went today to see the specialist about my hearing problem. He was apologetic about my referral going astray, but I guess it was more the fault of Royal Mail than of him. First of all I had a hearing test which was normal. However, the whooshing pulsatile tinnitus was very mild in my right ear today so it wasn't the best day to see him. On the days when it is very bad I can hardly hear the TV. But it's always the way when you go to the doctors eh? I explained all my symptoms to him. Told him that I start getting light headed and feel like fainting if I lie on my tummy or stretch above my head, and also told him that 3 people (Steve, Jude and Hannah) were able to hear the sound in my right ear by listening with their ear against mine. At this point he got rather excited. Apparently he has only come across that 3 times in his career (and he wasn't a young man). I did explain to him that the whooshing sounds in my ear were not bad today but he had a listen anyway and seemed rather disappointed at not being able to hear anything. I explained that sometimes it can be very loud for maybe two weeks, and then quiet for two weeks. I offered to take his phone number and I'd call him next time it was audible, if he was that keen to hear it, LOL.

Anyway, I tried my best to express that this sound really was audible to others at times and it wasn't in my imagination. Thankfully he believed me, even though it is very rare, and said I had explained my symptoms perfectly and they all fitted (fitted what? I'm not sure).

So then he told me that as we age we get a thickening of the arteries and this can cause noises in the ear. Um, yes, so I turn 30 and all of a sudden I'm old?! But then, considering my age it was rather unusual. Thank goodness for that. So he told me he was referring me for either an MRI scan or a CAT scan of my head and neck. Then he preceded to tell me that it's very rare indeed (just as the noises being audible to others is) but there is a slight possibility that there is an abnormality in the arteries of my neck and head, or possibly a tumour in the eardrum. Nice. But don't worry, he said, because it's very rare... but if others have heard the noise, well, we better be sure. So there you go. I wonder how long I will wait for the MRI/CT scan, and what that will entail. Hopefully the scan appointment will be on a day when the whooshing sounds are bad! lol.