Sunday, 8 November 2015

Thanks for the memories; Barbara Joan Stubbs 27-11-27 - 8-11-15

I literally don't know what to say.

I've lost two grandparents in one year.

2015 sucks.

My maternal grandmother died in the night. She was suffering, with kidney and liver failure, and she was in pain.

I can't write a huge eulogy right now as my brain is just fried.

See you soon Nannie.
Love you always.

Emma x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

It still sucks.

I've made a point of not watching anything with people dying in since January. It just felt too raw to watch an actor portray something I was actually feeling when I was still hurting so deeply. I've been feeling mediocre for a while instead of feeling like I was falling apart so I figured I was probably fine.

We watched a film tonight where a guy was dying, and everyone got the chance to say goodbye. It turns out that shit is just still too raw. He's been gone nearly 7 months and that shit is still just too real. I still wake up and I don't realise he's gone, like I've spent the night in a world where he's still there to hear about my day, or to comment on how beautiful my daughter's red hair is. And then it hits me like a fucking freight train. Every single damn day. Then I hear my kids, and my husband, and the analgesia that is the joy of my life numbs my heartache.

Does it get easier? Will I wake up one day and not ache for him? Not wish his 90 years was longer? Will I ever not wish I had spent more time with him? Will I ever not regret that I didn't listen to my Dad 3 years ago, and spend more time with him?! Will I ever let go?

Does this shit ever stop hurting?

I guess not.

I bet it'll hurt forever and that's ok, because it shows how much I fucking love that man, and how much I miss him every single second of every single day.

I love you big guy, the robin to my batman.


Emma x

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Comeback Post

Drum roll please......

I'm BACK! 

I've had a long period of writer's block and I just haven't wanted to share all the little details of my life with all of you. 

I've been planning a comeback post for a while now, to show you what we've been doing recently and I've finally got it together. 

August is when all the school kids, and their parents are about. As home educators who like to go to popular places on a Wednesday lunchtime (in term time, this is a super quiet time to go to places like the park!) we aren't fans of the only month of the year where when we do this, we are surrounded by school children and I can't let Ellizabeth run around and try out her toddler skills, in case that 12 year old kid bashes into her and kills her. Gah! Roll on September! That being said, a dear friend pointed out that there are loads of super cool educational things on in August, and we get to use those too. 

Charles and I have been jumping in with our home school curriculum. We both wanted to get started during this month, when we hibernate a little, so we are ready for starting in September. 

Charles isn't due to start school until September 2016, but he doesn't need formally educating until the term after he terms 5 which is April 2017.  

We decided to home educate when he was identified as having a "Higher Learning Potential" which is just a posh way of saying he has a high IQ. None of our local schools have provision for a gifted and talented program until senior school so we've decided to home educated him for primary school, and let him decide what he wants to do for senior school. 

A few people have spoken about how this is a bad choice for Charles, they are wrong of course, Charles is writing his own name without help, learning to read, and learning to tell the time. He's 3.5 years old. he's over 18 months ahead in his learning. The schools have all said they don't have anything in place for a child who has the educational needs that Charles does. Ellizabeth is following suit with the same attributes, but learns differently and has different interests so it's all a new learning curve with her! She's interested in learning letters, numbers and colours right now, she loves watching her brother and copying what he says. "A" and "8, 9, 10!" are her favourites :) 

The children are socialising 2-3 times a week with children of their own ages, as well as other ages spanning from 0-12 years old. We do various activities, like Forest School, outdoor meet ups and sports. They also socialise daily with adults, which is just as important. 

Remember home education opposers that in life you don't spend your time with only people who were born 6 months either side of you. Education for us is about preparing for life, not the next exam. 

This is a decision we aren't going to be swayed on, and we appreciate the support we get, those of your who keep your opinions to yourselves and those of you who agree to disagree. I won't tell you lot how to raise your kids, as long as you don't tell me how to raise mine. I'm doing a great job, so there's really no need for negativity. *Puts own trumpet down again..* :D 

Here are some pictures of what we've been getting up to over the last week. We are currently learning and recognising numbers and letters, learning about Space, Ethiopia and practising life skills like cooking and sewing.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Blog Challenge Post 3!

3 Snacks or Drinks I'm Obsessed With!

1) Sweet chilli tortilla wraps with caramelised onion houmous! I literally cannot get enough of this. I could eat it every day, several times over. Ellizabeth could too! 

2) Fruit infused water. I love putting fruit in my big bottle of water to make it taste like fruity water. My body doesn't like fruit squash with aspartame in and I don't like to drink too much fruit juice. 

3) Hoisin crispy duck pancakes. I've been obsessed with this since I first tried it when I was 10 years old. Best food in the world. Give it to me daily, at every meal. Nom. 

What do you love to eat?! 

Just a shout out to my wonderful friend Louise, who gave birth to her beautiful daughter Kitty Ella this morning. Love you soul sister! 

Mama x

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Blog Challenge Post 2

Top 3 Funniest/Most Awkward Moments

1) Recently I tried to get on to the Facebook account of the pen name I used to blog and write when I was in sixth form. I accidentally put the wrong email address in and completely unknowingly hacked someone else's Facebook account....OOPS!

2) When I was almost due to give birth to Charles in 2011, my cat Kizzy brought me the sort of gift that only a cat child can bring, a dead pigeon. She started plucking it on my bedroom floor. I rang my husband at work and asked him "Hypothetically speaking, if our cat brought my a huge dead pigeon and started plucking it all over our bedroom floor, what would I need to do..." I've never heard him laugh so much in my entire life. 

3) When I told another mother at my son's preschool that we were home educating and she looked so disgusted she looked like she was going to be sick. I actually laughed out loud, right to her face. There was no denying that I was laughing at her face. I still chuckle at it now. 

What are you funniest moments? 

Mama x 

Letter for Grandad

Dear Grandad,
It's been four months since you left us. I still can't believe it. I still expect to hear your voice, to see your shoes by Dad's front door, to see your smile and your twinkly eyes.
I know you aren't ever very far away, I know you are always with me. It's not just my faith that tells me this. Everytime I see a robin I know you are visiting me. You always turn up when I am feeling at my worst, when I am missing you most.  When I had nightmares every night for weeks after you died, when I woke up sweating and crying, you came and visited me, sent me a beautiful dream and comforted me. You told me you were fine now, and that I had to get on with my life. It's been hard and for a while I just wanted to live for you. I managed to overcome it and start to move on.

Then recently I woke up crying, I had woken from such a vivid dream and I felt like you had just walked out the room. You visited me again, and told me that you did visit me as a robin, and you were always with me. You visited me every day, you watched us everyday, and you were with me always.

We miss you, Charles and I. You are still so loved, and still so missed. Charles and I talk about you almost everyday, about how special you were to us, and how much we love you. We are both still so sad, sometimes my sweet three year old son, our darling Charles, just stops and looks sad. A tear will fall down his cheek. I'll know what's wrong, of course I know, I'm his Mama. He'll say to me "I miss Grandad Seaside. I miss our Grandad. I'm still so sad about Grandad." I'll tell him how I know, and I understand because I miss our Grandad too, and I am still so sad about losing you Big Guy. You left a hole that no one will ever fill, but you left me with a lesson.
'Cherish the time you have left with the rest of your grandparents'

I am doing my best. I am trying hard. I love you, and I miss you. 

Yours always, 

Emma x

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Blog Challenge! Day 1!

To get us back in the swing of blogging again, I am attempting a blogger challenge.

12 Day Blog Challenge Day 1
Why do you blog? Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I started blogging about 6 years ago when I was at university. I was in an emotionally destructive relationship that was all consuming. I literally gave my life up, all my hobbies, all my friends. For some reason it seemed like it was worth it. I started blogging privately, it was essentially a creative writing piece where I wrote about the life I longed for, the life I wished I had. This after I got the hell out of said relationship and while my mental health was in tatters. In 2010 after a year of serious hard work to get myself back on track, a childhood friend and I realised that we'd been crazy for each other for quite some time, and 11 months later we got married, with our son, Charles following less than 3 months later. I was living the life I had longed for, all that time. I had a husband who was my best friend, who emotionally nurtured me and raised me up. I had a beautiful son who I quickly realised was the reason to keep going when my somewhat temperamental demons threatened my mental health again. I clawed my way back to a sound mind with lots of love and support and a bit of Prozac! 
Life has got in the way of blogging since I became a mother, I've been back to it on and off and always dreamed of it being a online baby book but it just hasn't happened like that. Especially since our daughter Ellizabeth joined us in 2014, there has literally been no time to sit and write. When I was unhappy, I wrote a lot. Now I'm happy, so I don't write so much. It's a bit sad really. 

I'm starting blogging again because I want to document my life, in a raw, real and honest way. We've chosen to parent our children in a certain way, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Sometimes, like tonight when it takes 1,5 hours for them both to fall asleep, I question myself and doubt myself. But tomorrow, I'll be reminded why natural parenting is the right thing for us, and why I love it so much. Parenting is a rollercoaster, it's up and down. It's not perfect, my mission in life is to be 'good enough'. 

Five Random Facts About Me!
  1. Before I started dating my husband, I had big plans to qualify as a nurse and travel round America. I wanted to nurse in every state. They have big tax breaks for UK trained nurses. I also planned to have a family through a sperm donor while I was out there. I even had names picked out, Barnaby Martin and Bryany-Rae. 
  2. I really want to adopt from Haiti. Ever since I was 15, I've felt a total calling to adopt internationally, ever time I see posts from an orphanage over there the call gets stronger. I don't know if God has this in His plan for our family. Currently adoptions from Haiti to the UK are banned (there was an earthquake in 2010, and everything, of course, went tits up!) and there no plans to recede this ban anytime soon. I am hoping that by the time I am 30, (lower age limit for Haitian adoptions) that the ban will have been lifted, and God's plan will be made clear. 
  3. I volunteered in Kenya when I was 17. I met a little girl called Manhawana (pronounced Men-How-Ah) and she changed my life. I knew from that moment that I was meant to be a adoptive mother, some day. 
  4. I've known my husband since I was 6 years old. Our families went to church together, and it was truly God's work how we ended up going to the same church, becoming friends and then falling in love. 
  5. My biggest ambition in life is to own a farm, and have the ability to be self sufficient. 

Mama x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Lent to Easter Home Ed Blogging - Day 1

This is the time of day where I can wind down a little, especially when Phill is home. I can come upstairs and plan the next day's activities before I am tired, and while the children are happy to sit and have some tv time or play with Phill (or nap as Ellizabeth is doing now!).

I like to have rhythm to our days as we all know what to expect and it generally goes with what Charles and Ellizabeth like to do anyway. 

Today we started by getting out some toys that are really good for fine motor skills. We have the bead maze and the train set from Ikea, both are great for this. The three of us sat together talking about the colour of the beads, and their shapes and Charles made up a story about his train, and where it was going. These two toys are wooden, and lovely and £15 for the two of them! 

Next we had snack time, we had a lovely banana, chocolate, peanut butter, soy smoothie each. Yum! 

After snack time we sat and read some books, luckily as it is Saturday, Phill is home so we all sat together, the four of us and read several stories. 

After some stories Charles and Ellizabeth had some free play time while we sorted out some lunch and prepared some afternoon activities. 

I made puffy paint! 

We had a quick walk together, to do some colouring spotting. We saw a grey tree, orange bricks, a blue car, a yellow house and a brown fence. It was fun! 

Charles wanted to forgo doing number work, so we moved onto some arts and crafts using the puffy paint I'd made earlier.

Charles' is on the left and Ellizabeth's is on the right. 

After the puffy paint it was time to go and visit my grandparents, while we were there Charles was practising some counting of blocks. So after saying he didn't want to do any number work today, he did some of his own accord which made me laugh a little! 

Once we were home Charles got out his letter stencils and asked me to help him write his name. He practised twice with the stencils and then had a go on his own. He did a great job and I'm so proud of him! :) 

Top: with stencils
Bottom: without stencils!

After the stencils we decided to learn about hail, we'd been caught out in some when we were leaving Nannie and Grandad's and Charles wanted to know how the rain became "ice rain". We have a book about weather, so we had a read about hail, and Phill and Charles looked at wind and how much it rains in different places in the world as well. 

They are now having some tv time while I blog and Phill sorts out some tea for us all. 

I have a rough timetable that we try and follow, and I also have a curriculum set out that covers the Early Years Foundation Stage. Ellizabeth gets included in that, so she also does activities that she can do and thrive with. 

That's all for now, 

Have a great night! 

Emma x



So we have decided to "try to not buy takeaways or convenience foods" for lent and saving the money we might have spent. Hopefully we'll eat healthier and save money at the same time. 

I've also decided to blog our home education activities for lent. Every day until Easter Sunday. Hopefully I will be in the habit of blogging by then! 

Stay tuned and later on today I will do our day's diary. 

Emma x

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Our Parenting Style...

I've been asked by quite a few friends over my time as a mum what we do in regards to certain parenting subjects so I thought I'd write a blog post about our ways. I have included links to certain things.

Pregnancy & Labour
When I was pregnant with my first child, Charles I was super careful about everything I ate and drank. I didn't lift anything heavy and I rested a lot. I took pre-natal vitamins religiously. I wrote a colour coded birth plan. When I was pregnant with Ellizabeth, my second child, I was a lot less pedantic. I drank a tiny bit of alcohol on a special occasion, I had pate on toast once and I ate brie a few times too. I took folic acid for the first 12 weeks and ate a really good balanced diet. My birth plan was short and sweet, "delay cord clamping as long as possible, let me deliver in the pool, and do not under any circumstances give my baby formula, pump it from me, or call XXX and use their stash of donor milk as previously agreed"

If we have anymore children in this way I will take more time out for myself to focus on my unborn child and I will plan a home pool birth with delayed cord clamping and of course, 2 years + of breastfeeding. :-D

I will also drink my placenta in a smoothie and encapsulate the rest.

We strongly believe in the "fourth trimester" theory.

Fourth trimester -

My newborns are rarely cuddled by other people. Letting anyone but my husband (or other children) cuddle my newborn makes me edgy for the first 6 weeks or more. I assert my authority and priviledge wherever I go. I AM THE MAMA! 

I breastfeed, as you all know. The first few weeks are spent breastfeeding a lot. I breastfeed on demand, I do not record my baby's feeds, I do not time them. I just let baby feed, whenever and wherever they want to. Sometimes baby goes in the sling and feeds for an hour or more, other times they are in my arms and feed for five minutes. Whatever baby asks for, baby gets.
Explaining why breastfed babies behave the way they do, and that your baby is normal -

I do not like formula or the companies that make formula. The companies are full of shit to be quite honest and the use clever marketing to make you think they are ok. I don't tend to preach about my feeling about formula but I would never give it to my children. If I ever adopt a baby, I will take drugs to induce lactation. If I couldn't breastfeed I'd use donor milk, hire a wet nurse or ask a relative to re lactate for me. If I had to use formula, I'd use goat milk formula as it is more easily digested by the human body. I do not get into conversations about breastfeeding vs formula. I do not judge if you use formula. As long as you've made an informed and educated choice, I have no problem. :-)

Reasons to not use formula -

Goat milk -

We don't put our newborns in a pram. Not at all. Nope, not even for five minutes. They are carried in arms or in a stretchy wrap.
Reasons to carry your baby -

We room share and bed share, or co sleep. If done safely it is better for your child's emotional wellbeing than sleeping in a cot, crib or moses basket.

If you have not been drinking, smoking or taking drugs and are not so tired that you are drowsy you are safe to co sleep. This goes for Dad's too. My husband is not allowed to sleep with us if he has had an alcoholic drink just before bed. He has to sleep in the bunk beds. Can you tell we don't drink much? ;-)

Here is an article we like about co sleeping -

Obviously the points about abuse do not apply to us but the others remain. My children sleep a lot better when they are together in the bed, even if my husband and I are not in the bed. Charles and Ellizabeth love to snuggle up to each other, they even hold hands and cuddle in their sleep.

We have used dummies but limit use of them for getting to sleep only when they've been particularly sucky. We do not let them have a dummy past the age of 6 months to protect their teeth and speech development.

We also use cloth nappies from the start. Here are some links for you -

Older Babies

We still carry and breastfeed and cosleep, and cloth bum!

My only real point in this one is weaning. We do not use purees. I have never pureed a single meal and don't intend to start now. Personally I think it is a blooming waste of time and baby food jars/packets are full of God knows what. No thank you not for my babies.

I literally just cook for my husband and I, and once they are past 6 months I let them steal food from my plate and put it in their mouths. Once they are regularly stealing food at every meal, they get their own in a highchair/floor seat, facing us, so we can eat as a family.

Then, I again just plonk food on their tray, the same as it is on my plate and let them try it.

You cannot do a mixture of baby led weaning and traditional or puree weaning. You are not doing baby led weaning if you aren't doing it completely. If you use purees and finger foods, then that is what it is. It is still not baby led weaning.

When using purees the baby has to learn to swallow the food, and them learn to chew, which is great until they hit a lump of food...what next?! Choking hazard!

Do you swallow your food before you chew it? No? Me neither!

I chew food before I swallow it, which is what baby led weaning teaches your baby to do.

If you are having soup, or yoghurt then load the spoon for baby and let them take it from you. It's messy, but it's natural. Children who learn to eat in this way as less likely to choke as they are doing it all at their own pace. Hence the term BABY LED!

Here is some information about baby led weaning -

Now, let's all learn together the difference between GAGGING and CHOKING.

Gagging - They make a coughing sound. The food has gone to the back of their MOUTH and they are making that sound as they toss it to the front with their tongue. This is natural, normal and good! If they didn't gag, they'd see? Gagging is a reflex that is stimulated at the back of the tongue.

Choking - If a baby is choking, their wind pipe will be blocked, so they will not be able to make a noise. There will be no coughing, because coughing takes air. If the wind pipe is blocked, there will be no air.
Here is an article that shows you what choking is like and what to do if your child is choking.

We don't use babywalkers or jumperoos or things as we feel they are unsafe.

(babywalkers could knock over items and hurt baby and jumperoos are not ergonomic aka knee to knee so not advised for more than 10 minutes at a time, so what's the point?!)

We also do not leave our children to cry. No cry it out, and no controlled crying. My personal, and very strong feelings are that is neglectful. Below are some articles supporting my beliefs


I do not wean from the breast onto formula or cows milk. What is the point exactly? Follow on milks were invented so formula companies could advertise them as they are not allowed to advertise first infant milks. It's a gimic stick with breastfeeding or infant formula until 1 year and then use full fat cows milk, or an alternative milk if that is your choice.

If my toddler needs a drink of milk, and I am not around or do not have any breast milk expressed then they have goat, soy, oat or hemp milk. Occasionally they will have cows milk.

I keep my toddler in soft soled shoes until they are two years old. The arch of the foot does not develop until a child is two years old. A hard sole shoes does not give your child's foot enough wiggle room to grow and flex like it needs to before the arch is developed. A soft soled shoe however does.

Here are some examples of soft soled shoes, often called pre-walkers -

Extended rear facing carseats. I agree with this totally. The only reason we didn't do it is because we couldn't afford it. The cheapest seats are around £130 and it was just not in our price range.
Reasons to rear face -
Cheapest rear facing seat on the market in the UK -

Preschool and Older
I can't take you much further than this point as my eldest is only 3 years old.

I didn't rush potty training, it just happened on it's own. Charles is now confidently using the potty, with no accidents. I've not done a thing. I just let him do his own thing, and he's dry and clean now, day and night.

We are home educating. Charles attends preschool twice a week for the morning to give me time with his little sister. He does no formal learning there. Ellizabeth probably won't go at all. It is not compulsory to send your child anywhere, to preschool or primary school or secondary school. It is however compulsory to educate your child from the term after he or she turns five years old. For my children, whose birthdays are in January, they must be educated from the end of April in the year they turn five years old (2017 and 2019, if you were interested!). We follow a preschool curriculum, and will follow the national curriculum in English, Maths and Science. The rest of their subjects we will encourage but let them lead. They will learn History, but they can choose the era, etc. We already attend several home education groups, so there is plenty of socialisation.

School is an opt in service. It is not compulsory, education is. If you would like our reasons for home educating, please comment and I will do my best to answer your polite queries.

Our children continue to share a bed with us until they choose to move into their own bed.

That is all I can think of to tell you about our parenting.

I've been honest, I hope I've not hurt anyone's feelings. I always say the only person who can put guilt on you, is yourself.

I hope you enjoyed reading my essay and the links provided.

Happy educated and informed parenting! Happy Baby = Happy Mama! :-)

Emma x

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I'm not talking right now..

I've always had a lot to say. I've always been a communicator, I like to talk. My husband always says that he knows there is something wrong when I'm not talking.

I'm not talking right now. I just can't. I'm not texting you, I'm not messaging you on Facebook, and I am not calling anyone but my Dad.

I just can't.

My heart is broken, it's in millions of little pieces and I'm lying to you when I am saying I am doing ok, that I'm fine. That laughter, those smiles, all lies.

I was blessed by God to have my grandfather in my life. He was an angel, made of pure gold, and I honestly don't know how I will ever get along without him.

I picked up the phone today, and I nearly rang him. I wanted to ask him a question about growing carrots. I completely forgot he was dead.

He's dead. Actually gone from my life. I'll never hear him say I love you again. I'll never hear him chuckle, or say "cheerio" as he leaves, ever again.

It's breaking my heart.

So don't expect me to call, don't expect a text. I won't be emailing you or messaging you on Facebook.

But it doesn't mean I need you any less. I need you to talk to me, I need you to ask me to tell you about him, about our time together. Just because I can't get the words out on my own, doesn't mean you can't coax them out.

I miss my Grandad, but I am grateful he passed on his infinite knowledge to my Dad. He answered the carrot question. If I grow it them in 100% manure, they won't grow as well as in a mix of top soil and manure. Lol. :)

Sunday, 25 January 2015

My grandfather, My friend.

 Bryan Leopold Curtis
29th August 1924 - 25th January 2015
Father, Grandfather, Friend.

Dear Grandad,

I know you won't think I am silly where you are, writing you a letter. I know that you know everything I feel and want to say, and even if I could say it to you that I wouldn't need to. You were one of the smartest guys I've ever known, so of course you know.

The last 10 days have been precious. I've got to spend some special time with you, holding your hand, combing your hair and telling you how I feel.

On the first day you were at the end of life unit, we chatted, didn't we? We talked about the children and how Ellizabeth has your mum's red hair. We talked about Charles and how clever he is, how he makes us both laugh. You told me you loved me, and kissed my hand. I managed to swallow the lump in my throat and tell you I loved you too, so so much. I kissed your cheek, and your head and just breathed you in. You've always smelt lovely. Sounds strange, but it's true.

The next day, I spent 6 hours with you. The longest I've ever spent away from Ellizabeth, you knew this and you were worried about me. You know how I hate to be away from my children, you know how I am devoted to them. You told me that I shouldn't spend so much time with you, that I should be with my beautiful babies. You told me you loved them, and you told me you loved me. I had to leave the room I was sobbing so hard. I love you so damn much, and the thought of losing you became too much to bear.

You became sleepier and sleepier and when I saw you yesterday you didn't seem to know I was there. I kissed you goodbye and breathed you in again. I told you to be good, always our little joke. I made a joke to my aunt and uncle, that I knew you were cheeky after a glass of wine, and that you'd flirt with the nurses. You were always a bit cheeky after a glass of red wine. You made me laugh.

It was just too hard to see you in pain yesterday. I had never seen you even look sad before. It broke my heart. You've always been so strong, and to see you suffer and struggle was so heart breaking. I love you, and I have been praying that God would relieve you, call you home because I didn't want you to suffer any more.

I've been thinking lots about our 24 years together. My first memory of you is when I was 2. I got a plastic tool kit for Christmas and I was really happy because I had a saw like you. I knew you used to be a joiner. I was so pleased that I could be a joiner too, that I could be like you. I wanted so much to be like you.

My next clear memory of you was when I was 3. We went on holiday to Cornwall, Dad, Mum, you and me. We walked on the beach, and you held my hand. You swung me round. It was after Nanny left you, I remember making you smile.

I remember you and Josie, your partner, taking me and her grandson Lee to Adventure Wonderland in Hurn when I was about 6. You rode some of the rides with me and pretended they made you feel sick. Did they really make you feel sick? It certainly made me laugh either way. You always did know how to make me smile.

I remember staying with you for the weekend when I was 7. Mum and Dad went to Paris for the weekend and I begged them to let me stay at your house. You bought me loads of colouring books and pencils. I made a door sign that said "keep out" on the bedroom I was sleeping in. I remember telling you it was for monsters, not for you.

I remember playing with your Newton's Cradle. I remember tangling it up one day and being terrified you'd be cross. You weren't. You just untangled it and told me not to be so rough next time.

I remember you always kept colouring pencils and paper in your middle drawer in your display cabinet. I remember going to it without asking you, and you keeping me in line, reminding me to be polite and ask first. You were always kind, never harsh.

I remember you slipping me £2 coins when you thought my Dad wasn't looking. You always told me to spend it on something nice, or keep it for another day. I think I always spent it on sweets at G&T's.

I remember always recognising your handwriting, and you always writing "Lots of love, Grandad (Bry)" and I always teased you, saying how I recognised your handwriting and that I didn't need you to write Bry!

I remember telling you I was pregnant with my son. You were actually really happy. I was worried you'd be cross. You really liked Phillip when you met him, and you were super proud when we got married. You were really chuffed when you found out I was having a boy and you told me you like the name Charles.

I remember you coming round when he was just four days old, because you couldn't wait to have a look at him. Your first great grandchild. You said he was beautiful, and you said I'd done a good job. You were really happy when I told you I was breastfeeding. You said you were proud of me.

I remember you holding him for the first time. You said he was so tiny, you were worried you'd drop him. I took a photo. I wanted to cherish the moment and I do.

When I told you I was expecting again, you were really happy. It was a girl, a daughter. You were over the moon. She has red hair, like your Mum did. You were so happy and so pleased there was another red head in the family. I hope she doesn't go dark, like I did. I hope she stays "Rose Red". You told me how beautiful you thought she was. I agreed, are we both biased? I don't think so. Her smile lights up the world, doesn't it? Maybe she gets it from you, I think you had that effect on the world too. You made it better just by being in it.

You were, you are the most special person ever. You were handsome and funny and so smart. I was proud to call you my grandfather. I love you, and I always will love you. I miss you, and I always will miss you.

See you later Grandad (Bry).

All my love, always and forever,

Emma x

January plans

We aren't planning much for the last week of January.

On Monday, we are heading over to Kingston Lacy to meet with some other home educating families. It will be our first big meet that has lots of older children.

On Tuesday, we are going to build our own calendar to hang on the wall. We've been talking about the weather, and the seasons. Charles enjoys looking out the window each morning and describing the weather to me before we get ready for the day. It helps us choose our clothes for the day.

On Wednesday, Charles may go to preschool. If he doesn't we'll have a chat about winter and maybe do some winter themed crafts. If the weather is nice we will see if my Nanny wants to come to the park with us in the afternoon.

On Thursday, we are planning a family trip to Ikea. Yay! Charles enjoys trying all the sofas and beds and playing with the toys. Mama and Daddy like to dream shop new furniture, fabrics and gadgets. *smile*

On Friday we probably won't do very much. It might be a lazy day, or we might take a trip to the library and read some books that we don't have a home.

Moving on;

Charles has been asking for some time for pocket money. He sees a toy or a magazine that he would like to buy and asks us for money to get it. We nearly always say no, mainly because we can't afford it but also because we both feel really strongly about him earning the money to buy things he wants, even from this early age.

I told him, that if he did 4 jobs for me around the house each day I could pay him. My rate is 4p per day. Today he was very keen to do jobs for me, and was pestering me most of the morning for chores to do. *smile* Let's see how long he keeps it up. Today he swept the floor in the kitchen, checked on the outside animals, picked up dirty laundry and put it in the hamper and tidied up his toys. So he got his 4p. I have left it out for him, so he'll get it in the morning when he comes down. I can't wait to see his face.

He also was pretty cool today when it came to potty training. He was in pants most of the morning and early afternoon and only had one sort of accident. We even went for a walk to the shop (1.5 hrs!). He sat down on the potty when we got back from our walk, and in his haste forgot to pull his pants and trousers down. Bless his heart. *smile*. He did a really good job though! We are going to try him again tomorrow in pants and see how he does. I think we are really heading towards being potty ready now! I am so excited for him!

Ellizabeth is saying a few words now, Mama, Dada, Dars (Charles), Dog, Cat, "What's that", Hiya, Bye Bye, Get, and That. I think there are a few more but I cannot remember them just now.
She's also learnt to high five. It is very sweet.

I saw my Grandad today. It was very hard. He is not really here anymore, and they are raising his morphine to make him sleepier. It is hard to talk about without being very sad and crying. I love him very much, and will miss him terribly when he is gone. I am thanking God for this precious time we've had with him. Time to say goodbye, times to treasure. He has told me he loves me, and my children. He has heard me say that I love him. It warms my heart to have these special memories and to know that my grandfather loves me, and he loves my darling children. Thanks be to God.

I had better sign off now, I've blogged more than I thought I would and it is now very late!

Emma xx

Friday, 23 January 2015

Getting back on track.

Hi all,

Charles (3) and I have been talking recently about getting back on track with our home schooling adventures. We have, of course, been having lots of adventures but none that we really wanted to blog about.

We were all poorly over Christmas and New Year, and then both children had their birthdays and then we've had some family issues. Unfortunately my paternal grandfather is coming to the end of his life after being poorly for a few months. I've been visiting him as much as I can, daily in fact. The children have missed the time with me, which has been hard. Phillip has been stepping up even more (he's already a super hands on Dad) and doing some home schooling with Charles.

We've been keeping Charles off pre-school this week as I have just needed to be with him. He's a really sensitive soul and has been very attentive. We've done lots of things just the two of us to make up for me being cranky and sad.

Our friends over at have this great Around the World curriculum that we are going to use some bits of. That is the great thing about home education, we can learn about the countries we want to learn about, when we want to learn about them.

We are learning about a country each month, so watch this space.

Charles is doing really well with his numbers and letters. He is very keen to learn to read and tell the time. He has a tendency to sit down with a workbook and rush through it. So we are trying to do lots of other things that he is interested in so he doesn't just zoom through our pre school curriculum books!

I will pop another post up in a moment with our plans for this month. :)