Well, that is the title I had in my head to start with after the events of Monday evening, but now I'm not so sure! Monday evening saw the kitchen flooded by the dishwasher. I was putting Will to bed, Tom was out in his radio shack and David was getting himself ready for bed and Rob was out. Jonathan was on hand to witness the flood of water and had the sense to switch the machine off before telling me. It is amazing how much mess such a relatively small amount of water can make!! We mopped and used towels until it was clear. We investigated the filter and the drain hole. Checked the pipe outside for blockages and talked about how it all worked. We pulled out the machine which inevitably resulted in more water and then discovered the waste pipe had become disconnected, hence the flood. It was one of those natural educating moments....electricity and water. Questions were asked and answered by the children. Brilliant. We had fun. We laughed. We worked as a team. We made jokes and they learned!!! Fabulous.
And then yesterday we had another disaster. Some van driver passed us at a ridiculous speed down a narrow country lane, hitting our wing mirror with such force that it smashed our drivers window. Glass everywhere. We were all in the car, on the way to the woods for a picnic. All very shaked and upset. But another learning moment. While Rob exchanged details with the man, we talked about speed, force, insurance and other such things you would expect following a collision of that nature. That disaster wasn't much fun, and will continue not to be for some weeks I would imagine.
No, that isn't a grammatical error in my title! (Although I am sure you will find plenty in the postings as I type so quickly and with only 5 fingers in total that punctuation and spelling sometimes go astray!!)
I have recently been reading an excellent book entitled 'Finding your own North Star' by Martha Beck, as recommended to me by my good friend, Liz.
In it she talks about your Everyone...you know when you are having a bad day and you say that everyone thinks I'm fat/stupid/ugly or whatever and it stops you from being happy about yourself? It basically refers to the people in your life and how to work out which ones are good for you and which ones make you feel bad, by asking yourself a series of questions. Well, I think we all naturally know who they are and tend to avoid those who are not 'for' your cause, ie not helping you find your North Star.
I think that I have pretty much figured out these things already and have generally lived my life accordingly...with greater strength as years have passed by. But what if one of those people on the no no list is someone that you cannot avoid? She does cover that, but I am struggling with the logistics of the reply on moral grounds. So where does that leave me? Well, having had a week of HE camp where pretty much all the people there were telling us how great the boys were etc and then judging by some recent comments from people to my blog, I have been feeling pretty good about the way things are going for us.
This could be a good time to encourage those people who read but don't leave comments, to leave one when they stop by ...even a smiley face would be cool, as they go a long way to keeping us minorities motivated!!
So why is it, that all it takes, is one 'Everyone' to rear their heads and say discouraging things, to knock you off balance?
I'm trying to put a positive spin on it because in some ways it is like a red rag to a bull, and makes us all more determined to prove that our way is the right way. At least for us.
And to prove a point I will tell you about today. Well, some of it.
Rob took the bigger boys off to the woods this morning, with the intention of building a den. Something along the lines of the one they made at Pengraig. William and I were left at home as we both are a little poorly to be up for the damp and cold in the woods today. We stayed home and watched Bob the builder on his Cowboy holiday (actually a lovely 'film'), an episode of The Waltons and The sound of music, inter spaced with reading and puzzles.
The men came back at about 3pm with some photos of their fabulous construction (why do the photos never do them justice?) and you'd expect them to all flop and be idle for the rest of the day. But no! Tom had a vague idea of building a Radio shack in the back garden, so at 4 this afternoon, off out went Tom, Jonathan and Rob to build it!!! As a team, yet it is to be solely for Tom's use. How many people can boast that their sons age 12 and 14 can work together in that way twice in one day? And the second time not for his own gain...on Jonathan's part anyway.
Only because of HE does that happen in our house I think.
By the way, the Radio shack looks uncannily like a compost toilet....you never know!!!
The ducks having their first paddle!!! They grow so fast that I'm sure they have already grown since taking the pictures a few days ago.
Mummy Pekin/silkie with the 2 baby quail.
And a close up of one of the babies. So cute when they are starting to get feathers. Going to look just like its dad I think!One of the tadpoles that has made it to a froglet! Will went off to fetch his book that he made to show me!
Tom's old drum stove that he has made for scouts. He welded some legs on and cut two doors that you open to light the fire inside the drum. The idea is that you cook on the top of it, and there will be a little flue pipe as the outlet for the smoke eventually. The things that look like corks are the insulated handles to open and close the doors. So clever! Rob has made a pirate ship in the garden with a mast and sail, a flag pole and ships wheel. It is made out of an old crate and raised up on legs with a ladder and the boys love it! Unfortunately all the photos show just what a mess our garden is so I'm not sure I can post a picture...plus they don't really do it justice! Well, maybe this one isn't too bad....
That's all for now folks...the boys are off to the woods to build dens, and I need to get up and persuade Will that we are too poorly to go with them. Sore throats and runny noses should stay at home today I think, as the weather is pretty rotten. Rainy.
Pictures; THE den complete with reciprocal roof made by a wonderful man (Hi Paul!) with the help of the boys...Tom did most of the lashing I understand,washing in the stream and Jon joins the circus!!. There are so many pics of our week away....but which ones to include?
The boys had a great week...David was highly sociable, Jon just peaked too soon with his circus appearance on the second night!, Tom just went with the flow....
We did weaving, made glass jar lanterns, tin can lanterns, jimgle sticks, bird boxes, helped build a den, went on a bat walk and stayed up late EVERY night!!! Watched in awe at the fire juggling, hula hooping and diablo. Totally amazed at the children taking part. Where else could you do such a thing?
We made lots of friends whom I will endeavour to keep in touch with, if only in blogland until camp next year!
A fabulous place...so beautiful my heart ached to leave. I love Wales. Everything about it. The signs in a foreign language, the hills, the streams, the woods, the slow pace, the stone and slate cottages, the sing song voices and the feeling of freedom. I don't have the words to describe it all and do it justice. I'm just so glad we managed to pull it all off and get there!
Just thought I'd put a quick hello to you all. We're back. Very grubby and totally exhausted but home (although I wasn't really that pleased to be back funnily enough). We have 2 quail babies with their Pekin mummy outside in the sun, feathering up nicely, 4 ducks that have grown oh sooo much!, a William who is going round trying to play with everything he owns, and a David on the playstation playing Narnia. I will upload photos and tell you all about what we got up to in Wales later, but we still have bags to unpack, horses to ride and other people's blogs to catch up on!!! Catch you later!
A baby quail this morning, alive and well tucked under mummy just where she should be!!! 4 eggs to go.... And still nothing done towards going away yet!!!!! ooer We have 24 hours...no sweat. But the list of stuff to do here is as long as your arm before I even think of packing!!!!
We have been Home Educating for over 5 years, with a brief spell in school just recently for the younger two. The eldest is now an apprentice mechanic, attending college every few weeks. Home Education can be hard work and very challenging but is also fun and exciting.It has been a learning experience for us all. We remain autonomously educating and so each of the boys are developing their own interests and skills; with us providing as much assistance as we can or that they need. They are all learning life skills by experiencing life in all its guises. Through good times and bad. They learn team spirit and independence. They learn what they like and dislike, what they are good at and what makes them tick. This, we hope, will prepare them for life in our ever changing and demanding world. This is not a representation of ALL Home Educating families, but a brief glimpse at ours.