Friday, 14 November 2014


I've been horse riding regularly now for about 6 months. My lessons are high in cardio and strength training. I've got pretty strong and lost quite a lot of weight. I've gone down from a size 18 to a size 12-14 depending on the shop which is what I was pre-babies. I've still got about a stone and a half to lose before I will be happy.

I've decided to try some of these 10 minute work out videos and 20 minute yoga sessions. I don't have a lot of time. I am learning the hard way to manage my time, with two children, lol! It's hard. 

I tried some yoga this morning but that got hideously interrupted by small people not-leaving-me-the-hell-alone!
Just now, I tried a 10 minute abs workout, I did about 5 minutes of it before it was interrupted...again *grits teeth and tries to smile*.

I've been meaning to get up earlier than the children each day to read the bible and have some time alone. I think this is going to be the best time to exercise, a little before they wake up and a little once they are in bed.

Yoga was good though, Charles started to copy me and we did it together. I might find a parent and kids yoga video for us to do together.

Moving on to updates, Ellizabeth is now walking quite well. She can almost walk across the room, but she is still quite wobbly. We won't be buying her shoes for a while but it is lovely to see her progressing. She is such a clever little baby.

I had a keyworker-parent meeting about Charlesy today. He is doing really well and making friends. His keyworker is lovely and had lots of great things to say about him. She was telling me all about what she is doing next with him so we can work together on subjects.

Monday, 13 October 2014


After feeling inadequate and generally a bit rubbish about all our "blah blah of the week" plans going out of the window I decided to simplify things. I just sat down with Charles and asked him what he wanted to do. He just said "I want to read a book by myself, like a big boy."

I am always child led, I always go at his pace, never faster but sometimes I wonder if I should hold him back, because sometimes he just wants to sit and down worksheets all day, and I think it is a little too much for him. I mean come on, he's 2 years old, he's nearly 3, but he is still such a little person really.

What do you do when your 2 year old wants to learn to read? He's been asking for months, and the more he gains in understanding and speaking ability (he talks really well, and a lot) the more he wants to do it.

I chatted to my friend Miri ( ) about it. She has this super power of listening, she is just amazing at letting me talk an issue out and come to my own answer. I've always prayed for a friend like her. Thanks God! :)

If Charles wants to do phonics, then we'll do phonics. He wants to learn to read a book by himself. I will facilitate that. It is my job, as his Mama, and as his teacher to do that for him.

I have invested in some Jolly Phonics material and made some flash cards. He is pretty good at some letters already and we even had a go at blending some words together. He was able to do some which was pretty surprising and really cool.

So the plan now? Jolly Phonics and our own mini curriculum set around that. Including some pretty cool baking and craft ideas. We are going to try and keep our themes, just ditching the theme table idea. Theme table and a 9 month old baby who can stand + cats...stupid idea.

I have another post in the making about adoption, and adding to our family.

Watch this space. x

Monday, 6 October 2014

First week

We have obviously been planning to home educate for a while but this is the first week we have properly sat down and done things together that are educational as well as fun.

Charles spent the morning at Pre-School. He goes to a great place, it has a small number of children and they are very play orientated. They are a lovely bunch of people, and I happen to be on the committee also! I had to go and see my pony in that awful weather we had, and luckily I have a wonderful husband who picked up the poo for me and got very wet in the process! Thank you Phill!

After I picked Charles up from pre-school we headed home for some quiet afternoon activities.
I started by showing Charles our weekly themes, and telling him briefly about our monthly theme of autumn. Since it is really for me to plan things and he is only 2 (and three quarters!) I didn’t go into too much detail.

This week, our letter is a (the ah sound not the ay sound). We sang a phonics song about ants. It goes like this; “Ants are on my arm, Ants are on my arm, Ah Ah, Ants are on my arm.” We made up actions where the ants were crawling up our arms, and we shouted the “Ah!” as loud as we could! It was great fun.  We looked at a big picture of the letter a and then found it on our alphabet poster. We traced it with our fingers and then we read a book about a little boy called “a”. He finds all sorts of things on his journey that begin with the “ah” sound. We put it on our theme table so we could remember the “ah” sound together. We then got out some tissue paper and glue sticks and stuck “autumn leaves” onto our big letter a. It was great fun and Charles really liked choosing the colours, and telling me where to place the tissue paper! He likes to be bossy! J

Once we had finished our “big a” we put in on the wall with some of our other artwork and moved on. We had talked about the number zero at breakfast time, and played a little game called “the zero game”. Maria Montessori talks about it in her handbook. I explained to Charles, that the number zero means nothing. If you have zero cakes, you have no cakes. Easy concept? NO!
The Zero Game is a great game for little people. I asked Charles to give me zero kisses. Of course, he runs up to me and kisses me. I say thank you, and remind him that I asked for ZERO kisses and zero means none. After another two turns, he got the hang of it and when I pretended to get upset because he wasn’t kissing me he said “But Mama, you asked for zero kisses! Zero kisses means no kisses!”  We also did the same later with slices of cake from his play kitchen. He knew straight away that when I had taken all the slices away, that he had zero slices. It was great fun to see him catching on so quickly.

We practised writing zeros together a few times, which was easy and fun because Charles can draw a circle really well. He just elongated it to make it an oval!

We then looked at a picture book together about autumn. It is called “Autumn” and it is by Gerda Miller. It has beautiful illustrations and Charles even noticed that two little boys were making a leaf fire, without a grown up! What a sensible son I have! J We decided that making a kite would be on our list of things to do this month, and we would take it flying together, with Daddy and Ellizabeth of course. J

We then took some leaves and twigs we had collected last week, on our nature walk and placed them on our nature table along with some leftover tissue paper leaves and our leaf shape sponges (I bought them for painting later this week…watch this space!). I let Charles arrange them himself, and he took great delight in re-arranging them so they were in the right place for him.

Charles then looked at our workbooks. We have several great ones, but he chose one that had animals in. We talked about the “ah” sound again, and wrote over some of the a’s together. I then did my own on a piece of paper, and he copied. He loves writing letters, and I was super pleased with how well he did this “a”. He often wants me to help him hold the pen, so it was great that he is confident in writing this letter by himself. I think that his pre-school teachers may have something to do with his new found confidence. They really are a great bunch of people.

I have included some pictures of our little “home school corner” as Charles calls it. Enjoy!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Autumn Term

We are starting our first proper home educating year. Charles is 2 years 9 months and has been going to pre-school for about a month. He's settled in amazingly, and is starting to interact with the other children which is fabulous, of course. 
However, it doesn't lessen our resolve to home educate. Pre-School is play based, and that is really all he needs right now. We are going to continue the play based education until he is ready to move on, and even then I really feel against any "sit down and learn this" type of education. 

I am working on a term at a time, and as we've started in October, we have three months of fun to plan. 

We are focusing on Charles' interests, as we are free to do with home education. He currently really loves counting, and learning letters. We likes to sing, and paint as well as craft. He is interested in shapes, animals and transport vehicles. We are going to encompass all these things into a curriculum for them. Our first week is almost planned! 

We have a main theme per month, for example, October's main theme is Autumn. We then have 4-5 weekly themes under that, depending on how many weeks are in the month. Our October themes are Autumn, Hedgehogs, Squirrels and Hibernation. We have a letter of the week to learn about, an animal of the week to learn about, a number of the week and a shape of the week. We will also practise skills such as cooking, pencil control and cutting. We have several crafts and cooking activities to do each week and are planning a day trip that ties in with our theme, once a month. This month we are going to Brownsea Island, in Dorset to try and spot a Red Squirrel. 

I have various curricula to work from including the one by Miri Flower, shown on her blog,, and several written curricula such as The Big Workbook - Pre-school and The Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills - Grade Pre-school. We also have an aray of workbooks from Collins Education, Leap Ahead and First Time Learning. 

We are going to be creating a theme table display each month, that will slightly change each week. It will display Charles' artwork, books showing our weekly themes, things we have collected on our outings and anything he has achieved. 

I look forward to sharing our journey with you, starting Monday! 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Baby Bunnies & Chickens

I had to tell my dear friend, Miri today that one of the babies her rabbit had, is not going to live. It was very hard, and I prayed about it as soon as I realised I had to tell my very  sweet and gentle friend this sad news.
God gave me the strength to tell her, but oh, it was hard. He is what they call a peanut. Which means he is not genetically viable and will not live much longer than 2 weeks. He doesn't have the growth tissue to grow properly, so Phillip and I are going over later to....ahem....send him to the big burrow in the sky. On the plus side, the other two bunnies are super healthy. Miri is keeping one, the chunky fat one and we are taking the other. We've decided he or she looks like they will have a name beginning with F, so he or she will be Florence/Florrie or Freddie.

We are *hopefully* expecting a litter of bunnies ourselves. On Saturday and Sunday we bred our two dutch rabbits, Shelley and George. It was very interesting to watch, especially as George was still getting the hang of what he had to do. He missed the mark a few times, and was trying it on Shelley's head. It was a bit amusing really! We hope that the litter will be born around the end of October, and thus ready to leave Shelley in the week leading up to Christmas.
George and Shelley

In other news, we are thinking of getting a pair of hens! Phillip saw them advertised on Facebook, and we are working out how we can house them in our garden. It's very exciting! Good chicken names anyone? Some names I like are Gertie, Daisy, Hilda, Freya, Tessie, Polly and Julia. :)

We are off to church this afternoon after going for a meal with Phill's parents to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday and my father in law's birthday on Wednesday. 

Not much has happened over this week, but I hope next week will bring a few more exciting adventures, and not so many sad ones. 

Emma x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It was like coming home...

Today we decided to try a new church.

We've been searching for something multi-cultural for a while, as we have hope to adopt internationally and trans-racially in the future we wanted to immerse ourselves in other cultures so our children view a diverse society as normal and right.

I've been searching on Google for over a year, trying key words such as "multicultural" and "diverse" but came up empty each time. A week ago I suddenly had the idea to try "international" instead.

Best thing I ever Googled in my life.

Bournemouth International Church.

We emailed the Pastor, Joshua Han and found they had a group on Facebook. I joined and we took the leap of faith and went today.

When we arrived, we were all a little nervous but headed towards the church anyway. When we got to the door, we met some people going in. I asked if we were in the right place for the Bournemouth International Church and we told that we were. Hallelujah!

We went in and sat down and were immediately greeted by one of the Elders, Osimar. He introduced his family to us. We then met Joshua and lots of other people too. (Forgive me, there were so many faces and names and I am deaf so it was hard to hear what a lot of people said!).

When the food was ready, we all went into another room and had lunch together. It was a lovely Punjabi curry with rice. It was so warm and spicy, and slowly got spicier. It had several levels of heat, it was amazing. It was the first time I'd eaten curry on a Sunday!

We then met John, another of the Elders and a few other people who joined our table.

After we'd eaten we headed into the church, and about 30 minutes later the service started.

Another of the Elders, Derek was leading the service and invited any visitors up to the front to introduce themselves. I was really nervous, as was Charles. Bess and Phillip just took it in their stride! We were given a gift of some chocolate after we were applauded by everyone. It was beautiful.

After we sat down the congregation were invited to welcome each other and greet each other. I was hugged and kissed by so many people! It was amazing. It was like I'd been away from home for many years, and I was being welcomed back by my family. It was like coming home. I was nearly moved to tears. I felt very loved, and very special. God was most certainly in that room, He was telling me, "This is where you belong, This is where you need to be.". I felt whole.

The service continued with some singing and then the children were asked to go into Sunday School. Charles needed a nappy change, so we nipped off for that and then joined the group of children who were similar in age to him. He was a little excited by it all, and didn't want to sit and do craft. I think he was a bit overwhelmed by all the love in the place and needed to blow off steam. He did the craft though, listened to a bible story and sang some songs.

Then one of the Mums came in and we sung happy birthday to her daughter Lindy. We all had some cake, and chatted to each other about Frozen and our children. Motiwe (Lindy's mum) and I got talking and hit it off. I hope I've found a friend in her, she seems like a really lovely person.

Just after that, Phill and Bess came into the room with everyone else and we had tea and coffee. It was lovely to chat to everyone a little more and have a cup of tea! These days I rarely get a *hot* drink, it's usually luke warm by the time I can sit and drink it!

Charles was having a ball playing with some of the boys. It was beautiful.

We are just amazed by all the love and hospitality shown to us and can't wait to go back next week.

Emma x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Welcome to the Hallway

Hello and welcome to the hallway. I'm going to *try* and stay committed to this blog, but I've not done so well before.
Allow me to introduce myself. 

I'm Emma, I'm nearly 24 (in 10 days...!) and I am married to this really amazing man, whom I've known since I was 5 years old. He's called Phillip, and he's just starting a degree in Construction Management. We married in October 2011, in our families' church and became a family in January 2012, when our son Charles was born. I had a hard pregnancy, suffering from peri-natal depression followed by a long, hard, posterior labour. I breastfed Charles until he was 18 months old, and we co slept until he was 10 months old. I still carry him in a sling from time to time, but he mostly prefers to walk now. 
In April 2013, I found out I was pregnant again, after just two months of trying. We were overjoyed. Three months later we found out we were expecting a daughter. We cried for so many different reasons. I had suffered severely from Hypermesis Gravidarium but recovered quickly after fluids in hospital and medication. At 22 weeks pregnant, I developed "SPD" or symphysis pubis dysfunction. My ligaments had relaxed too much and my pelvic joints had widened too far. I ended up on crutches and in a wheelchair for the rest of my pregnancy. This time, however, I kept my mental health in check and triumphed over my temporary disability. 
In Jan 2014, 6 days after her due date, our daughter Ellizabeth was born. After a week long pre-labour, we had a short active labour of 4 hours and 20 minutes, with only 8 minutes of pushing. It was a perfect, natural childbirth with only Entonox, and TENS for pain relief. It was the proudest 4 hours and 20 minutes of my life. 
I am breastfeeding Ellizabeth, or Bess has she's often known and we co slept from day one. She's just moved into her bedside cot at nearly 9 months old, because we keep waking her up when we roll over! She loves being in a sling, especially on me and has just recently taken her first steps. 
We plan to home educate our children.  Don't worry, they both already have friends, a lot of them, whom we socialise with on a regular basis. I support teachers, but not the system in which they teach. I like the national curriculum but not the time scale they have to complete it in. I also feel children start school too early. We follow a Montessori style education system at home. 
We are passionate about adoption. We are passionate about Africa. It won't surprise you now you've read that, that we plan to internationally, trans-racially adopt. Our choice is Ethiopia, so a lot of time over the next few years will be spent immersing ourselves in Ethiopian culture and learning Amharic. 
I am a keen horse rider, and currently train at Flanders Farm Training Centre, under the expert guidance of some amazing instructors, most specifically Natalie Lascelles. She's an amazing teacher, role model and just all round super person. 
Saved until last, as the best always is, I am a big 'ole Jesus lover. I am a Christian, I don't really have a denomination but I was raised as an Anglican. We are starting to attend a multicultural international church as of tomorrow, so watch this space! I love Jesus, I love His teachings of love and peace. I love His miracles, and I still am in awe that He actually died for ME (and everyone else of course...). 

I can't wait to blog again with our journey as a family. In the meantime, until the Lord opens the next door, remember to praise him in the hallway!

Emma x