Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Crafting Wednesday

Wednesday is a special day in our is Crafting Day! Not that we do not craft on other days...we are big on crafting...but Crafting Wednesday is a special day!
Each wednesday has its own theme..following the Christian Year & the seasons (for example, last week we celebrated Michealmas.) This week was Pumpkin Week! We read Pumpkin Pumpkin & discussed the pumpkins we had planted in our garden. (some, sadly became dinner for 'Seed Watcher' E's name for the field mouse who lives in our garden, the others are coming along a treat, after being wrapped up in netting!)
I also wove a fairytale about two girls who grew a magic pumpkin, made from orange jewels!
We then decorated teeny pumpkins with stickers.
Our afternoon is always completed with a special meal..We set the table nicely, with this service & we have a special dessert that the girls help me to was Peach & Raspberry Triffle. Yum!
Well, it is time to put R to bed, daddy has just bathed the girls, & they are waiting ;)

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Our Curriculum

Here is our basic curriculum..

Number for us is all fun & games! We like to play a counting/jumping game with a large wooden dice. The girls throw the dice, the E counts the 'score' (with a little help from R!) then they both jump that amount of times. Lots of fun :)
We also have a Hundred Board. The girls have numbered counters, which E matches to the appropriate numbers on the board, & R pours onto the floor! I intend to use this board for skip counting at a later date.
Another fun manipulative, are our Geoboards. No formal instruction here, just lots of fun & creative exploration.
Last week we recieved two new maths manipulatives, which we havent tried yet. Cuisenaire Rods Read about Cuisenaire Rods Here.
Also we recieved Colour Tiles. They offer a wealth of activities to help learn pattern recognition, counting, place value, number facts, estimation, probability, geometry, and measurement.
We also use board games, dominos, beans etc etc. No workbook at the momment, just fun activities in real life.

For our book basket, we have some number stories..

Georges Store On The Seashore
One Hundred Hungry Ants
Math For All Seasons

Language Arts

E has her own Copywork Notebook, which is a treasured record of her developing writing skills. We begin each morning, by choosing a Sandpaper Letter, which E then traces with her finger. When she is happy with that, we move on to tracing in the salt box (which, as its name implies, is a box, filled with salt!) Then she can move on to copying the chosen letter (we call it 'sound') into her copywork notebook. She is required to copy 6 neat letters before we move on. Sometimes E illustrates her letter with pictures or stickers. Sometimes we glue a piece of string in the shape of the letter, or pasta, or crafty bits & bobs, you get the picture!
Throughout the day, we play 'I spy' & naming the sound that words begin with. We keep it fun!
We read LOTS of books. I have chosen Bob Books as our readers, but have only glanced at them, as yet.

Bible Study

A BIG part of our curriculum.
We use Leading Little Ones To God for our morning devotions. I would highly reccomend this book. It is beautifully written, each day expounding a truth about The Lord. we read snuggled up on the sofa, then pray & sing a hymn or Christian song.
For Bible study, we are working through the Bible, picking up on major stories & themes. We use the NIV (ours is pink!) & also the Day by Day Kids Bible.
I begin by asking E some questions about what we are about to read...then we read the scripture, & discuss it as necessary. A great tool I have found in teaching Bible is 1001 ways to introduce your child to the Bible. It has lots of songs, crafts, games & activities to help your child to remember & learn. a must-have!

An excellent 'method' or explaination of thorough Bible study can be found here atHeart Of Wisdom
this is a great site for maps, timlines & articles.
As well as our concordance, Bible atlas & dictionary, we find these books useful, too.

The kregel Pictoral Guide To The Story Of The Bible

The Kregel Pictoral Guide To The Bible

What the Bible Is All About For Young Explorers

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Our Homeschool

This was our first 'official' week of homeschooling! What a wonderful, wonderful week it has been. Here is a little bit all about our rhythms & routines.

Our Day


Everyone up
Nurse R
We all shower/wash & dress
Family devotions
Clear up from breakfast
My bible time/ Littlies watch a dvd.




Clear up from lunch
Read aloud time


R's nap time/ Quiet time for myself & E

Outdoor play/crafts

Tea time
Clear away tea


Story/ E often goes on the computer with her daddy.


our week tends to have a rhythm, too. Certain activities on certain days.

Monday R visits her granparents in the morning.
Tuesday Library day
Wednesday Tea & Crafts (I will write more about this, later)
Thursday E visits her grandparents in the afternoon.
Friday: Nature day! Our whole morning is taken up with nature study. Our favourite
day ;)


We have always had an interest in following the seasons...I intend to follow that more closely with our learning...more 'real life' if you will.

Here is a short, but interesting artice about rhythm from

Daily Rhythms


Having a daily rhythm does not mean following the clock. "Rhythm and human life cannot be separated. Plants, animals and human beings all reveal rhythmical qualities in form, movement and growth patterns. Humankind moves through life embraced by great, rhythmical "tides" - the cosmic pulling of the planets, nature's rhythms of day, night and seasons and the biological rhythm of heart and lungs." (Quote taken from Natural Childhood: The First Practical Holistic Guide for Parents of the Developing Child. We highly recommend this outstanding book for a deeper understanding of rhythm and a fully "Waldorf" childhood.

"Rhythm" is not the same as "Schedule"

It is important to understand that "rhythms" are not really like schedules and/or time tables... but more like the flow of the way the day begins, continues, closes, etc... If your rhythm at dinner is to set the table, light a candle, say a blessing and eat the meal, then if it's at 5:00 one night and then at 6:30 the next night because daddy is running late or the beans aren't cooked, but you still follow the pattern of setting the table, lighting the candle, saying the blessing and eating... then you DO have a rhythm.

It happens like the tide, in a more natural way as opposed to watching he clock and the race against time, which I feel causes unnecessary stress, pressure, and so forth. I think as a home schooling parent... THIS is one of the biggest issues of school for me. This lesson from 9:45 through 10:30 then break and go on to that lesson from 10:45 through lunch.... meanwhile, it seems that it breaks up JUST when the creative energy and/or inspiration begins to flow!!!

It is likely that you already have plenty of rhythms set in place and are just scared away by the term itself, or how it was presented to you... Just think of your daily chores, work, necessary things you do (brushing teeth, getting ready for bed, etc...) I am sure that with a bit of conscious observation, you'll discover many rhythms already set in place at your home!

Seasonal Rhythm

January brings the snow
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children's hands with posies.
Hot July brings cool showers,
Strawberries and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Fresh October brings a pheasant,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.

Benefits of Keeping the Rhythm

Sense of Security
Builds Confidence
Understand Boundaries
Balances Energies
Sufficient Rest
Strengthens the Will
Teaches Self Discipline
Seasonal Awareness
Understands Nature's Cycles
Understanding the Normalcy of Birth & Death

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Sidebar updated

I have recently updated all my links in the sidebar to the left. There are now lots & lots of links relevant to homeschoolers. It is particularly heavy on Bible & nature study links. Please email me with any useful links you may have, & I shall add them to my ever-growing list!

Saturday, 18 August 2007


We belong to our local Junior Rangers group...& we had a visit from Barn Owl Bill who brought along some owls for us to learn about. Here is a pic of E & I with a European Eagle Owl & Bill.
We had such a great time...Bill was so very knowledgeable & we had fun too :)

European Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)


Very large owl with prominent ear tufts and vivid orange eyes. Very variable throughout range. Nominate race; buff-brown upper-parts, heavily marked with black, greyish (grayish) facial disk. Under-parts paler buff-brown with black streaks, and fine brown barring on belly, white throat. Becomes paler as you move eastwards in the northern parts of the range up to western Siberia, then progressively darker to Pacific coast. Birds becomes paler from north to south in Asia Minor and Middle East. Size decreases East to West, and North to South.


60-75cm, 1500-4200g


From Europe across Russia to Pacific, South to Iran, Pakistan across to China and Korea.


Mainly remote rocky areas, river valleys, ravines, quarries etc. also open forest, Taiga, steppe and semi desert.


Mainly mammals from shrews up to foxes and young deer. Also a wide range of birds, reptiles and amphibians.


Usually begins breeding in late winter. 1-4 eggs are laid on a shelter cliff ledge, in a crevice or a sheltered depression on the ground. The eggs are incubated for about 35 days. The young leave the nest by about 5 weeks and can normally fly within a further 3 weeks. They become independent by about 24 weeks old.


A deep resonant "ooh-hu" with emphasis on the first syllable.


Not globally threatened, although rare or uncommon through most of its range. Becoming very scarce in parts of Europe.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Our Feathered Friend

We had a very special experience today...
The girls & I were sitting snuggled on the sofa, reading, when Boomer our dog came dashing in. E shouted 'he has my butterfly' so i jumped up, shooed him out, dreading what he had done. But the dark little shape E had seen was a baby sparrow! Now, all day long we had heard tweeting...I had been searching around outside for a bird, or nest. When in fact she ws inside our home all along! (We think our cat brought her in this morning)
She is slightly injured on her left side, & is currently resting in a shoebox. We are going to try letting her go again in the morning (tried earlier, but she could not fly...& we have several neighbourhood cats, as well as our own) if she still cannot fly, we shall be taking her to the vet!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Education Otherwise...

Something very close to my heart, but something i never dared to mention in this blog, is my desire to Homeschool my girls. Well....hubby has said yes! Praise God! This is such a wonderful thing for us....& something that God placed in my heart. I am sooooooooooo very happy!
We will officially start in september, but, of course, education in the home is something that happens all the time...whether planned or not!
Too happy to type about it! LOL!

More Butterflies...

Well, the butterfly who wouldnt fly had quite an adventure...After keeping him for a while, this is what happened. E put out both butterflies on flowers in our garden to have their daily 'outdoor time' when she came back, he was missing. We hunted high & low, but could not find him. Three days later, we found him..floating in water (We have a little trough, sunk into the ground for the girls to sail boats in, etc) There he was, just floating. I suggested we could bury him in the garden, but as i picked him out of the water, he started to wriggle! E tended him, allowing his wings to dry out in the hot sunshine. That afternoon, he flew up into our blossom tree, drank from the blossoms for a good while, & then flew away into the sunshine! What a happy tale.
As for the butterfly with the deformed wing...she is still here with us...after all this time :)

Monday, 28 May 2007

Our New Pet

Well, all of our butterflies hatched, apart from one, which appeared to be a late developer! We observed them for a day or two, then came the momment to set them free. Off they all went, apart from one, which was born with a slightly crumpled wing. The poor thing cannot fly. So...we have ourselves a new pet! LOL! She (E says she is surely a girl) is brought fresh flowers daily & is fed sugar water, plus she has daily walks in the garden, where E pops her on the flowers so she can drink the nectar. Quite the life!
When the last butterfly was born, for some unknown reason, she would not leave, either! Despite being taken out to a beautiful local meadow, she would not leave...untill this morning. Both butterlies were enjoying the daily treat of sunning themselves in the garden. e came into the house, & when she got back out to them, only our damaged wing friend remained. I do hope late bloomer has finally taken to the wing...& not some pesky bird decided to make her breakfast...who knows?
E took it very well...she does seem to deal with the reality of the natural world in a non-sentimental way.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Comfrey Salve

Our comfrey is growing very nicely in a big pot on the stone steps leading down to our garden. I have picked some leaves to make some Comfrey salve.
As I write, the leaves are Macerating in Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ready to make the salve. To begin with I plan to make plain Comfrey salve, then, later in the year when my Calendula plants flower, I will be making a salve from Comfrey, Lavender & Calendula.
Comfey is very healing (it is known as 'Knitbone') & the salve will be useful to keep in the first aid kit for scrapes & small cuts. Deeper cuts & puncture wounds should not be treated with comfrey-it is so very healing that it could cause the surface of the wound to close over too quickley, possibley trapping infection inside. Tincture of Echinacea is useful to have around to first apply to injuries for it's antibacrerial qualities.
Here are the recipies...

Macerating Herbs:

Either fresh or dried herbs can be macerated (dried being more potent) I wilted my Comfrey leaves in the oven with the oven light on overnight.
Pack them into a jar, cover with your oil of choice (I am using Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Make sure there are no trapped air bubbles.
Leave on a sunny window sill for 2-6 weeks, shaking the jar daily.

Comfrey salve

This makes a small amount (great for those little lip balm pots)

1 oz Beeswax
2 3/4 oz macerated comfey oil

Simpley heat the oil & beeswax in a double boiler, very gentley.
When melted together, pour into sterilised pots.

Comfery, Lavender & Calendula Balm

2 cups olive oil
1 ounce (about two tablespoons) fresh comfrey leaves*
1 ounce (about two tablespoons) fresh lavender flowers*
1 ounce (about two tablespoons) fresh calendula flowers*
1/2 cup beeswax
*or 1/2 ounce dried

Put the olive oil and the herbs in the top of a double boiler. Gently cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently—little bubbles around the edges of the oil are okay; bubbling throughout the mixture means it's too hot. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the herbs; discard the herbs and set the oil aside. Melt the beeswax in the top of the double boiler. When the beeswax is melted, add the strained oil and stir until completely blended. Pour the mixture into jars or salve tins. When it is cool, label and date it. The salve lasts about a year, more if it's kept refrigerated.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Improving One's Health

For about the last month or so, I have been taking supplements, & using herbs to improve my immune system. Since the birth of R, who is now 20 months old, I have been repeatedly suffering with coughs, colds, ear, throat & chest infections.

I began with a general multi-vitamin, plus a vitamin B complex (good for boosting energy & balancing the mood) I then added as a short-term course, Vit C & zinc, plus an echinacea tincture, to really strengthen my poor immune system. E came down with a cold 5 days ago, so i increased my vit C to 2000mg per day. R then came down with a weak version of the cold (she is nursing...that helps a lot!) & I still dont have it! Praise God! I will continue with the increased Vit C, till the threat of cold has passed(!) then return to my daily 500mg.

I intend to do more research on boosting the immune system & treating ailments with herbs & supplements, as time permits.

Making Lemon Barley water

E & R have both come down with colds, to one degree or another. Hence, my kitchen has turned into a prodution line for Lemon Barley water. It is wonderfully soothing, &, of course, full of Vitamin C.

Lemon Barley Water

3 Pints of water

3 Lemons (Pref. Organic, unwaxed)

3oz Pearl Barley

3oz Castor Sugar

Gently heat the water & sugar, stirring untill sugar disolves. Peel the lemons, taking care not to have any pith on the rind. Juice the lemons. Add the rind & the barley to the heated sugar water mix. Simmer for 30 minutes. Leave to cool & stir in the lemon juice. Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 May 2007

God Is Good....

The next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember . . . .
NOAH was a drunk.
ABRAHAM was too old.
ISAAC was a daydreamer.
JACOB was a liar.
JOSEPH was abused.
MOSES had a stuttering problem.
GIDEON was afraid.
SAMSON had long hair and was a womanizer.
RAHAB was a prostitute.
JEREMIAH and TIMOTHY were too young.
DAVID had an affair and was a murderer.
ELIJAH was suicidal.
ISAIAH preached naked.
JONAH ran from God.
NAOMI was a widow.
JOB went bankrupt.
JOHN the Baptist ate bugs.
PETER denied Christ.
The DISCIPLES fell asleep while praying.
MARTHA worried about everything.
The SAMARITAN WOMAN was divorced...more than once!
ZACCHEUS was too small.
PAUL was too religious.
TIMOTHY had an ulcer
No more excuses now.
God's waiting to use your full potential.

More Herbs!

We have done more planting today! Angelica, Liquorice & Comfrey. Plus repotting some Sunflowers, Tomatoes, & Lavender.
Here is a great article from Red Moon Herbs about the healing properties of Comfrey:

Comfrey: Learning to Love Her
by Corinna Wood

When I first met her, we were on no uncertain terms: comfrey was not my friend.
I was in college, my first year, and one thing I was determined to have was a garden. This was The Evergreen State College, in Washington State, the dawn of my granola years. I biked down to the community garden and found my personal plot. It was buried in a sea of comfrey.
I didn't know what comfrey was at the time. All I knew was that it wasn't corn, and was not tomatoes. And it was in the way. But whatever I tried to pull out simply broke off. I finally sat back to wipe the sweat off, and looked around. This weed was all over the garden!
The garden coordinator laughed. "Careful where you toss that stuff," she said. "You're looking at a new patch of comfrey wherever it hits the ground." It turned out that someone a few years ago had the bright idea of tilling through the comfrey patch, and then proceeded on to till through the rest of the garden. Within three seasons, comfrey had sprung up across the entire acre.
Like a mythical monster, the smallest bit of comfrey root can sprout a whole new plant. It's the plant that keeps on giving. You can chop comfrey to the ground and it will come back, enough to be harvested three or four times a year. But excuse me, did I say harvest?
They say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and it was in trying to get rid of comfrey that I learned to appreciate it. Comfrey's Latin name is Symphytum officinale, and symphytum actually means to join or unite--in essence, to heal. Whether it's cuts, burns, scars, wrinkles, or even broken bones (comfrey is aka "knitbone"), the same properties that enable comfrey to regrow a whole new plant from a bit of root can also help the body heal from some of the most devastating injuries. Internally, comfrey also supports the respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems.
During my college years, a family living nearby befriended me, and they helped me come to appreciate comfrey. I was especially impressed the time I witnessed the dad, Todd, using comfrey to speed the healing when he broke his foot.
His doctor put Todd's foot in a removable cast and told him to come back in six weeks to check on how the healing was progressing.
For years, their whole family had been drinking herbal infusions--strong, medicinal teas. Comfrey had been an old favorites for coughs, but this was their first opportunity to try it out for broken bones.
That night, Todd put a cup of the dried leaf in a quart-size canning jar, filled the jar with boiling water, and put a lid on it. In the morning, he strained out the plant material and packed it on his foot as a poultice. He drank the liquid over the day, either reheated or at room temperature, sometimes sweetened with honey.
Todd did this every day for two weeks, and he was amazed how quickly the pain and swelling decreased. In fact, he called in to see the doctor a month early. After a prolonged argument with the receptionist, he finally managed to get an appointment the following week. When the doctor took new x-rays, he was amazed to discover that the bone had fully mended. He said he had never before seen such a quick recovery. Rather than credit it to comfrey, the doctor insisted that it could only be called a miracle.
In Europe, for generations, comfrey was one of the plants that almost everyone kept right outside their doorstep, and this revered medicine plant followed us to the new world. More of a domesticated plant than a weed, comfrey has been long been an essential part of the traditional herbal medicine chest to treat a wide array of ailments.
That's how it earned the other part of its name, officinale. Until recently, comfrey was an official medicine, one of a handful of the most respected medicine plants that merited "officinale" in their Latin names. Those fond of manicured lawns might recognize another member of the royal dispensary, dandelion (Taraxicum officinale).
Making your own Comfrey Oil 1. Harvest the comfrey leaves in the afternoon, after the sun has dried off the morning dew. Wet plant materials will make moldy oils, so it is best to wait at least 36 hours after the last rain before harvesting.2. In a warm, dry, well-ventilated place (such as an attic, an oven with a pilot light, or even your car!), wilt the whole fresh leaves for 12 hours or until the edges are crispy. 3. Stuff your jar completely full of the whole wilted leaves, leaving a little headroom. Add olive oil until the jar is full to the brim. 4. Tightly seal the jar. Label it with the plant name and date harvested. Put it in a dish on the counter (herbal oils always leak). 5. Tend it a few times a week by poking the plant material down to release air bubbles and topping it off so the level of the oil is above the level of the leaves. 6. After six weeks, strain out the plant material, and your infused oil is ready to use!
Today, most doctors don't just discount comfrey, they warn against using it. Comfrey has been declared unsafe by the FDA for internal use. If comfrey has been used for centuries, why is it now considered toxic and too dangerous to be used medicinally?
The FDA's declaration was based on a study in which the pyrrolizidine alkaloids were extracted from the roots of comfrey and injected in large doses into rats. Researchers found that this caused pre-cancerous liver changes in the rats, which somehow became translated as "comfrey causes cancer."
Now, injecting oneself with a drug made in a lab from the roots is very different than drinking a cup of tea. Many herbalists have called this study into question for several reasons: (1) It makes a big difference when one compound is isolated from the rest of the constituents that make up the chemistry and magic of the plant. (2) One would have to drink dozens if not hundreds of cups of comfrey to consume the amount of alkaloids each rat was given. (3) Humans and rats don't necessarily respond to alkaloids the same way, and there have been no clinical studies done with humans.
In fact, as herbalists Mary L. Wulff-Tilford and Gregory L. Tilford state, "In thousands of years of use by millions of people, only two reports of hepatotoxicity (liver cell toxicity) have been documented in humans." And in both these cases, poor nutrition, pre-existing illness, and use of liver-toxic drugs were contributing factors.
Nevertheless, this article focuses primarily on using comfrey externally. Of course, the safety issues only apply to taking comfrey internally; for many ailments comfrey can be used externally instead. In addition, the leaves, which have much lower concentrations of these alkaloids, can be used instead of the roots.
One way to get the benefits of comfrey for external use is by making comfrey oil (see sidebar). This oil and the salve made from it (by melting in beeswax for a firmer consistency), is soothing and moisturizing. Comfrey oil and salve are used for people with dry skin, chapped lips, excema, cuts, scrapes, and burns (in the later stages, after the initial hot sensation has subsided). I use comfrey salve every time after I bathe--as a moisturizer, it nourishes the skin and prevents wrinkles.
I got a call a few weeks ago from an elderly woman who was suffering so badly from eczema that the skin on her hands was cracking open. She had used a variety of creams and lotions that doctors had prescribed over the years, all to no avail. After using comfrey salve for just two days, not only was the pain gone, but also the skin had actually closed over her knuckles.
Comfrey is so effective as a wound-healer that one actually has to be careful using it. If only the tissues close to the surface are in contact with the comfrey, it can actually cause the skin to close over, trapping infection inside. For deep wounds, a plant such as Plantain (Plantago lanceolata or P. major) would be more appropriate (see Corinna's "Plantain: First Aid in Your Backyard" article).
Comfrey also has specific uses for women, and many of my women friends swear by it. During pregnancy, comfrey oil is a favorite for belly massage, promoting elasticity and preventing stretch marks. Many new moms rely on comfrey salve for diaper rash and for quick relief and speedy healing from sore and cracked nipples (apply after breastfeeding, and wipe the area gently before the next feeding). And comfrey oil makes an excellent vaginal lubricant, helping both to moisturize and strengthen the vaginal tissues without any added fragrances or preservatives. However, oil degrades condoms, so with condoms only water-based lubricants should be used.
Over the years, as I came to appreciate comfrey's many virtues, I asked her to be my friend after all. Now comfrey is one of my favorites that I keep in the kitchen garden close at hand. Comfrey doesn't ask for much special attention--this prolific plant will grow almost anywhere, but it is happiest in rich, moist soil in full sun to partial shade. And it will behave itself if left alone--as long as the roots are left undisturbed, comfrey will stay in its place.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Catching Up & Butterflies!

Well, i really got behind! LOL!
Our computer went down, the weekend of my last post, then a lot of things have been happening here.

Anyhow, garden wise, we have been busy busy busy!
E has helped me to plant out our peas, garlic, red onions, carrots (2 varieties) sweetcorn, various salad leaves & lots of strawberries. We also have lots of herbs growing...peppermint, spearmint, orange mint (to attract the butterfies) parsley, sage, rosemary (no thyme! LOL!) regular mint, melissa, camomile. And then the flowers! We have four o'clocks in pots, sweetpeas & echinacea where sown yesterday, & a general butterfly arracting mix was sown a few days ago.

Now, any particular reason for the butterfly mix????? Well, we have purchased a butterfly 'growing' kit! It came with a little 'house' for them, plus a feeding pipette & a certificate to send of for our caterpillars....which have arrived today & are sitting downstairs waiting for E to come home from pre-school. Can you sense my excitement!!!!????

Here is a good article from the NWF with ideas to attract butterflies to your garden:
Attracting Butterflies
Brightly colored butterflies can be a welcome addition to your Backyard Wildlife Habitat landscape. To attract the greatest number of butterflies and have them as residents in your yard you will need to have plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. They need a place to lay eggs, food plants for the larva (caterpillar), a place to form a chrysalis, and nectar sources for the adult.
Most adult butterflies live 10-20 days. Some, however, are believed to live no longer than three or four days, while others, such as overwintering monarchs, may live six months.
More than 700 species of butterflies are found in North America. Very few are agricultural pests. Adult butterflies range in size from the half-inch pigmy blue found in southern California to the giant female Queen Alexandra's birdwing of New Guinea, which measures about 10 inches from wing tip to wing tip. Butterfly tarsi or "feet" possess a sense similar to taste. Contact with sweet liquids such as nectar causes the proboscis to uncoil. Millions of shinglelike, overlapping scales give butterfly wings their color and patterns. Metallic, irridescent hues come from faceted scales that refract light; solid colors are from pigmented scales. During the time from hatching to pupating (forming the pupa or chrysalis), the caterpillar may increase its body size more than 30,000 times. The chrysalises or pupae of many common gossamer wings - a group of butterflies which includes the blues, hairstreaks and elfins - are capable of producing weak sounds. By flexing and rubbing together body segment membranes, sounds are generated that may frighten off small predators and parasites.
Plants That Attract Butterflies
Adults searching for nectar are attracted to:
red, yellow, orange, pink, or purple blossoms
flat-topped or clustered flowers
short flower tubes
Short flower tubes allow the butterflies to reach the nectar with their proboscis. Nectar-producing plants should be grown in open, sunny areas, as adults of most species rarely feed on plants in the shade.
Many caterpillars are picky eaters. They rely on only one or two species of plants. The caterpillar of the giant swallowtail butterfly in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states feeds on just two native plant foods - northern prickly ash and hop tree. Others, such as the red-spotted purple, will feed on a variety of deciduous trees.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Behind on our blog!

I am getting behind with our blog!
I have a few things to post...hopefully i will get the chance to catch up this weekend.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Let Everything That Hath Breath Praise The Lord!

This is going to be our memory verse for this week.
It is from Psalm 150 v6
I love this verse. it is so uplifting, & reminds me to keep my eyes on the strength of The Lord, as opposed to my own weakness & shortcomings.
We do a lot of memory work. Below follows the system we use to keep our scriptures that we are learning/have learned in order.
It is taken from

Scripture Memory System
The instructions below outline an easy-to-use system to help your family members develop the habit of memorizing and remembering Scripture. By spending just five or ten minutes a day, you and your children can learn and retain hundreds of verses.
First, a word about memorizing, or recitation. The Charlotte Mason method of Recitation is not cumbersome, yet works amazingly well. The method is simply this: once or twice each day read aloud the verse or passage you are memorizing. As the words become familiar, the family members should join in saying the parts they know. Continue the one or two readings a day until all family members can recite the Scripture together with confidence.
It doesn’t matter how long the passage is. In fact, your family should memorize longer passages regularly. Simply once or twice each day read the entire passage through until everyone can recite it together. Don’t worry about how many days it takes for everyone to memorize the selected Scripture. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is not a race; it’s a lifelong habit.
Read what others are saying about this Scripture Memory System.
The System
Step One: Get an index card box and forty-one tabbed dividers that fit inside it. It doesn’t matter if the dividers have letters on them; you can flip them over and use the other side for labeling.
Step Two: Label the dividers as follows and place them in the box in this order:
1 divider — Daily
1 divider — Odd
1 divider — Even
7 dividers — Days of the Week (Sunday, Monday, etc.)
31 dividers — Numbered 1-31
Step Three: Copy onto index cards (or slips of paper) any verses your family already knows. Record both the reference and the text of the passage. If you don’t know any yet, don’t worry — you will very soon. Place the verses you already know behind the numbered dividers, distributing them evenly.
Next write cards or papers for verses you want to memorize. (See our Verses List if you would like some suggestions.) Put one verse card or paper behind the Daily divider; this will be the passage you’ll work on memorizing first. Then stack the rest of the verses to be learned in front of the Daily divider to learn at a later time. At the beginning, you won’t have any verses in the Odd and Even or Days of the Week slots. Don’t worry, they’ll fill in; see the next two steps.
Step Four: Each day you will say together the verses behind four dividers:
Odd or Even
Day of the Week
Date of the Month
So if today is Tuesday, the 3rd, you will say the verses behind Daily, Odd (because 3 is an odd number), Tuesday, and 3. The next day (Wednesday, the 4th), you will say the verses behind Daily, Even, Wednesday, and 4. Keep in mind that only the verse behind Daily is a new one that you are memorizing; all the others are just review.
Step Five: As you master the verses behind the Daily divider, advance that card and move the replaced verses farther back in the box. So when you have memorized a Daily, move it behind either the Odd or Even divider. Move the verse that was in that Odd or Even slot back to a Day of the Week slot. And move the verse it replaces in the Day of the Week slot back behind a numbered divider. You can then put a new verse or passage to memorize behind the Daily divider and you’re ready to go again.
In this way, you will review a new verse every day, then graduate to every other day, once a week, and finally, once a month. Use the system every day of the month and you will review all the verses you know every month of the year! Of course, not all months have thirty-one days; the verses behind 31 will be reviewed seven months out of the year. We recommend putting verses that you know quite well behind that number since it gets reviewed less frequently.
When you have advanced enough verse cards that you have one placed behind each numbered divider, start at 1 again and add another card to each. Soon you’ll have several cards behind each numbered divider. And eventually, you’ll have memorized so many verses that you’ll have enough cards to expand to two boxes! What a wonderful milestone that will be!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Spring Reading Thing!

Katrina over at Callapider Days is running a Spring reading challenge. The challenge runs from March 21st through to June 21st. This has been just the push i need to wade through the stacks of books I have, & prioritise my reading. Wonderful!




I will update later with more of the childrens books

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

This Is My Father's World

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

Romans 1:20

The world around us is astonishing. Looking up at the stars on a clear night...the beautiful colours splashed across the sky as the sun rises...the fragility of the brave snowdrop that peeps through the frozen earth.

I am enjoying nature study so much..& I really hope for my children that they keep their love for it too. By studying the creation, it tells me so much about the One who created it. The greatest artist, ever. I love to be walking in the woods, or having the time to look closely at a flower I may have come across....I feel overwhelmed by the love of God. My own creator.

My favourite hymn;

This Is My Father's World

This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: the battle is not done;
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one.

Treasure Baskets

I thought i would post an article on treasure baskets for babies & toddlers, as my children love these. I have been 'updating' Baby R's basket today...

Treasure Baskets and Heuristic Play
written by Elaine Lambe
You may have heard the term 'heuristic play' but not been sure what it was all about - Elaine Lambe of gives us an explanation
What do you buy for your second child for their first Christmas? There are only so many rattles / bead frame / pop up toys they need and we already had a good selection from when our eldest was a baby! I remembered that when my eldest started nursery on my return to work he really enjoyed playing with ‘treasure baskets’, so for Christmas we made our younger son one of these.Heuristic play is the term used to describe play for babies, infants and toddlers that actively encourages exploration by using and developing their senses. The concept was developed over 30 years ago by Elinor Goldshmied, a child psychologist, from her work watching children and the way they gained knowledge of the world around them. Treasure baskets are collections of objects should appeal to all the senses and are usually made of natural materials. Children will enjoy exploring the objects to see how they taste, how they feel, how they smell, how they sound and what they look like. Heuristic play helps children to learn for themselves and make choices.During the activity the children should explore by themselves, without interference. The adult’s role is to be close to the children as a support, to collect the items, to set out the activity and to observe the children whilst playing. The children can develop their manipulative skills, imagination, solve problems, sequence, anticipate and rearrange objects. There is no right or wrong way for the children to explore the materials. The activity also promotes the development of concentration skills, through the exploration of interesting objects.Every treasure basket is unique to its creator but its purpose is the same. The best treasure baskets are organic – growing over time when new items are spotted to add – older children can also help select items for their baskets.Our treasure basket is actually a large hat box which is leather like on the outside and has a suede type finish inside (I wanted something with a lid!) however traditionally the items are placed in a low sided basket. The treasure basket should be filled with approximately 60 different objects.Some ideas for items that can be included are:
Natural objects: fir cones, pebbles, shells, feathers, corks, pumice stone, loofah, conkers, natural sponge, avocado pear stones
Wooden objects: clothes peg, small bowl, curtain rings, wooden nail brush, wooden egg cup, spoons , wooden bowl, honey dipper, wooden egg, pastry brush, shaving brush, small baskets, paint brush, rolling pin, cotton reels, wood off-cuts
Metal objects: length of metal chain, spoons, tin lids, garlic crusher, metal beaker, brass curtain rings, bunch of keys, metal bowl, tea strainer, whisk, empty tin, bells
Leather, textile, rubber, or fur objects: coloured ribbons, velvet powder puff, piece of leather, flannel, woollen ball, leather purse, rubber gloves, small soft toy, small flannel, rubber ball, tennis ball, fur fabric, small raffia mat, leather glasses case
Paper / cardboard objects: notebook, greaseproof paper, egg boxes, sturdy cardboard tubes, the circles from inside sticky tape,
Other objects: small jar and lid, plug and chain, hair rollers, toothbrush, scent bags, bone shoe horn, ceramic bowl and anything else that takes your child’s interest!
It is important to ensure that all materials are safe and age appropriate - remember not to include small objects for babies and there may be some items which you would need to remove for older children (for example, chains which they might swing and hit others with). Heuristic play is safe if the objects have been checked for any obvious hazards and the adult is sitting close enough to observe when there is an imminent threat (and can move the child's hand or take an object from them). Only choose items you are comfortable with your child exploring. Children should be observed during the activity, by observing adults will be able to remove the materials as soon as the children begin to lose interest and notice popular items, which can trigger ideas for additions to the basket. Watching the children can also show skills which can be incorporated into their other play. As with all toys it is important that children do not have unlimited access to these materials as they then become bored of the items and will not discover anything new. For more informationThe Little Book of Treasure Baskets: Little Books with Big Ideas, by Anne Roberts and Sally FeatherstoneInfants at Play, by Elinor Goldschmied

Sad News

Our frogspawn appear to have died :(
We are experiencing a very cold snap, after a mild winter, so perhaps that was the cause. E seems to have taken it very well...I was really upset! LOL!
We managed to get our new fruit bushes planted out today, so, at least that is another job done!


The Day God Spilled The Paint...

The photo was taken by Barbara Mathews May 14, 2005. It shows the east side of the Carrizo plain, in the Temblor Range, about 50 miles west of Bakersfield, California.

Please see the discussion in the comments below :)


Monday, 19 March 2007

Missing Frogspawn!

Some of our frogspwan is missing! As they recently developed their tales, I am hoping they have now turned into tadpoles & are enjoying swimming around their home :) The younger frogspawn are now just begining to grow their tails, so they also appear to be doing well...we are looking forward to having lots of Froggy freinds soon ;)
I went into town this morning to buy a feather duster for Baby R, as she is most impatient waiting for her turn to dust ;) Whilst passing the Pound Shop, I noticed they had lots of plant in the, in we went. I purchased a Blackcurrant bush & a Raspberry bush! E will be thrilled when she finds out. (she is at pre-school)
Here are some links with information for caring for


Sunday, 18 March 2007

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day!

How blessed am I to be a mother. My prayers this morning where full of thanks for my two blessings. I also have a third child awaiting me, with Lord Jesus.

God has changed me so much, with the arrival of my two, & continues to change me. Mothering is a constant task, nurturing, guiding, training. Here is a great article from the Above Rubies site, to encourage us mothers...


“Your daughter is rather wild and free, isn’t she?” folks would say to my mother with raised eyebrows. Yes, that was me! As a young girl, I would finish my jobs around the house and leap and bound over the fields, waving my arms in the air and yelling at the top of my lungs, “I’m free! I’m free!” No one could be within two feet of me or I would feel confined! Why did people make cars when you could sit on the back of a truck with the wind blowing through your hair? Extra clothes? Hindrances! There was a time when only one garment hung in my wardrobe!

I had an overdeveloped urge to be free. Nobody in their right mind could imagine me married, let alone having children! My father always said that if I ever said “Yes” to a man, there would be a major earthquake or war would break out! Well, - I was living in Israel when I eventually said “Yes” and the Gulf War broke out the next day! Guess what else? I am now happily married with seven beautiful children - and what’s more, I am mothering free!

But I am not the only one with a drive to be set free! Creation itself groans and labors with birth pangs. It yearns to be set free from the slavery of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.1

That’s not all. I too have heard groaning. It’s the cry of mothers, grooooaaaaning like the groans that rise from fields of slavery. But this slavery is not due to color, tribe, religion or race. It’s from bad attitudes that enslave the heart. For as a women thinks, so she is! We need to leave the negative fields of slavery behind and revolt in the name of Jesus! The status quo crowd can yell all they like, “You’re a little wifey without any lifey!”

The truth is…
1. You are not a member of the status quo crowd!
2. You are a nurturer! If we try to become or do what we are not, we are going against natural rules and we enter into anarchy or bondage mothering! Freedom Mothering is releasing and freeing, for it follows God’s divine decree. God counsels us to love our husband and children, to be obedient to our husband, to be keepers of our homes and be good and kind.2 Not that hard. But oh how many emotional hours are spent wishing away what we are told to do. In Job 38:2 God cries out, “Who is this who darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” We must not allow our puny humanistic attitude to darken God’s counsel.
3. You are born for the job! You are distinctively individual, yet woven and created from birth to bear and nurture children of promise, whose individual destinies can impact the world.

Before you can step into freedom, you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop talking to your friends about how hard your life is. Stop having pity parties. The Bible says that the truth will set you free!3

Are you ready for the truth? Are you ready to take the chains off?

Freedom mothering is not getting out of mothering – it’s getting into it!

It’s getting free from the bondages that hinder motherhood.

“What should mothers be free from?” I asked unsuspecting mothers, fathers and children who walked along my path over the last several weeks. As you read their responses, your hand too might pop up in agreement too.

Free from Chaos
The collective plea from all was to be free from chaos! Chaos is the opposite of order. I believe we cannot be truly free, unless we have our lives in order!

Free from Whining Children
Mothers want freedom from whining, crying, bratty children! Let’s all raise our hands for this one! We cannot have order unless we have order with our children! I love to let my children play hard. They blow off billows of steam outside playing knights, cowboys, daredevils and cooking in the mud etc. but when they come in around suppertime, they come into “Twilight Time” - dim lights, candles, soft music and a peaceful atmosphere. This really helps to melt and mellow the wild ones and cut down on bratty behavior. Try it! Of course, any fighting or excessive yelling needs discipline. Just do it with love.

Free from Toy Box Blues
Is there any order to this mess? ‘Stuff’ does not have order! It clutters our life. We can’t see, think straight, or even make decisions because we have too much ‘stuff’! Luke 9.25 says “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.” Ladies, we might not be losing our souls, but we are losing our minds trying to gain stuff and then keep it somewhere!

My sisters and I have recently coined another motto for our lives: “We are running after children – not stuff!” A lot of us run after things that do not make for peace and freedom mothering. It is better to concentrate on keeping our children in order rather than stuff. Let it go and be free! Things do not make you rich! Children do! Children do not need another toy - they need you! Excess toys create fights, chaos and mess. I hate them!

My children gave all their extra toys and stuff away. I then procured a dining room cabinet and gave each child their own drawer in which to keep their toys and precious possessions. They each look after their drawer and love to give the extra away when it overflows. And I don’t have to look at an ugly toy box!

Free from Excess Laundry
Laundry! Frown no more. It is fun when you limit the amount of clothes you own. In our family, for the sake of peace, space and efficiency we have one tub per child. Anything that overflows the tub we give away, otherwise we end up standing on clothes. With nine people in our two-roomed cabin and living on the land with no sown grass, let me tell you, we have mud! But I do not exceed two loads of laundry a day. I do one load in the morning when I wake and turn on the knob for the second load as I jump into bed at night. The beautiful hum helps me go sleep. The washing machine is not my enemy but my friend.

Free from Fear of Others
Don’t take too much stock of what people think of you. Don’t be ruled by what the Joneses think. Be ruled by what Jesus thinks. It’s okay to enjoy mothering the way you want to! Climb out of the mold of what other mothers look like. Be yourself, for crying out loud, and God will be happy too! He does not want to love ‘dear Peggy Sue’ twice over. He loves ‘dear Peggy Sue’ and ‘weird Mary Lou’, just the way He made them!

Free from Discouragement
When we feel alone or blue, we too easily rush to the phone or nearest book, person or place - anywhere but God himself. It is much easier to look at a magazine than to take the time to find out what God wants for you and your children! Instead, cry out, “God, encourage me. Call forth the greatness in my children and me - everything you made us to become - the dreams, visions and soul yearnings.” His words will feed and fill you! Praise Him and watch your prison doors burst open!

Free from Yelling and Divorce
This was an answer that many of the children gave to me. We yell when we are out of control. Let’s bring our lives and homes into order and let’s have no more divorce. Divorce is rampant but we would be blind to think that it is just from husbands. Many women try to divorce themselves from spending time with their children, rather than embracing them. Where is the mother’s heart that cries out, “Give me children, or else I die?”4 Now we often hear, “Take them from me, anywhere, just take them else I die!” “Anywhere” could be - excess daycare, television, movies, other people, anything other than deal with our blessings in front of us!

Why do we have to sacrifice our children for our dreams? Who knows? Maybe they will carry them on! King David’s dream to build God a house extended to the next generation!5 We need to have long-sighted vision, rather than short-sighted vision where our dreams end with us. God thinks generationally, not only individually. Pass on your vision.

Psalm 45.16 says, “Your sons will take the place of your fathers, you will make them princes throughout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations, therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.” Wow! When a woman matures from having an ‘all about me, daddy’s daughter mentality’ into the place of mothering the next generation, she makes an impact on the world! She perpetuates her memory through the generations. Mothering becomes her greatness and glory! Live for something greater than yourself and find your feet on the way to freedom!

God threw me a whammy the other day while reading about one of the most wicked women in the Bible. There once lived a mother called Athaliah (Queen Jezebel’s daughter), who killed all the royal sons, including her own, so she could be the queen!6 For the next week, this story faced me everywhere I went or every time I opened the Bible. “What are you trying to tell me, God?” I cried. “I mean, what mother in her right mind would sacrifice her children, just to have the limelight?” Then it hit me – whammo! We sacrifice our children in order to fulfill our careers, our missions, our visions, and our limelight! It is rampant even in the Christian world. Do we have the same spirit as Athaliah? May God show us the areas where we have been needlessly sacrificing our children in order to take the stage! It is time to gird ourselves like Samuel, fill our horn with oil, break the bound vision where our dreams end with us, and anoint the new order, the new generation!7

Our true source of freedom is Christ! He calls us to jump on the freedom train and ride out our life in freedom! The whistle is blowing – who is riding with me?

Your friend, Vangi.

Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA

Howard and Evangeline are blessed with seven children – 11 years to 1 year.

1) Romans 8:21-22
2) Titus 2:4-5
3) John 8:32
4) Genesis 30:1
5) Genesis Chapters 28 and 29; 2 Chronicles Chapters 6 and 7
6) 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 23:1-15
7) 1 Samuel 16:1-15

Lesser Calendine

Yesterday, E & Baby R went out for a walk in the woods with Daddy & our dog. They had a fine time & E brought a flower back for me. She looked it up in the field guide when she got home (& found it, all by herself!) & we found it to be a 'Lesser Celandine' She then helped me to press it, so it can go into my nature notebook.

Lesser celandine

Scientific classification
R. ficaria
Binomial name
Ranunculus ficariaL.
Lesser celandine, (Ranunculus ficaria, syn. Ficaria grandiflora Robert Ficaria verna Huds.) is a low-growing, hairless perennial plant, with fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves.
According to Gilbert White, a diarist writing around 1800 in the Hampshire village of Selborne, the plants came out on February 21st, but it is more commonly reported to flower from March until May, and is sometimes called the "spring messenger" as a consequence. The flowers are yellow, turning white as they age. Ranunculus ficaria exists in both diploid (2n=16) and tetraploid (2n=32) forms which are very similar in appearance. However, the tetraploid type prefer more shady locations and frequently develops bulbils at the base of the stalk. These two variants are sometimes referred to as distinct sub-species,R. ficaria ficaria and R. ficaria bulbifer respectively. The plant is found throughout Europe and west Asia and is now introduced in North America. It prefers bare, damp ground and in the UK it is often a persistent garden weed.
The plant used to be known as Pilewort, as it was used to treat haemorrhoids. Supposedly the knobbly tubers of the plant resemble piles, and according to the Doctrine of signatures this resemblance suggests that pilewort could be used to cure piles. The German vernacular Scharbockskraut (Scurvywort) derives from the use of the early leaves, which are high in vitamin C, against scurvy.

Lesser celandine flower
The poet William Wordsworth was very fond of the flower and it inspired him to write three poems including the following from his ode to the celandine:
I have seen thee, high and low,
Thirty years or more, and yet
T'was a face I did not know.
Upon Wordsworth's death it was proposed that a celandine be carved on his memorial plaque inside the church of Saint Oswald at Grasmere, but unfortunately the Greater celandine Chelidonium majus was mistakenly used.
In many parts of the northern United States and Canada, lesser celandine is invasive.

Friday, 16 March 2007

In the Pond...

...our frogspawn have tails ;)

Sunrise: 6.21
Sunset: 18.15

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

On Being A Godly Wife.....

I recently read a wonderful post on Camilla Andersson's Blog
It is a series of points gathered from the book-
Created to be his helpmeet by Debi Pearl

Here is the post....


Refuse to miss a day of Bible Reading
Do not read in front of your husband – keep it private so that you don’t appear more spiritual.
Pray before reading your Bible, “Open my eyes, Lord.”
Teach the Word to your children
Make a commitment to prayer.
Make a habit of prayer.
Acknowledge any sin God reveals to you and confess it to the Lord.
Pray for your husband.
Pray for your children.
Seek to know your God-given role as a wife and mother.
Find books, sermons on CD or DVD and study and meditate on God’s Word and the teachings that apply to the most important things in your life: being a wife and mother!
Keep a song of praise in your heart at all times.
Keep a prayer in your mind at all times.
“Lord, be with me at work at this moment and let me be a testimony.”
“Lord, give me the energy to joyfully do my job for just five more minutes.”
“Lord, thank you for the home you have provided me.”
“Lord, thank you for this hot running water.”
“Lord, thank you for a husband and children. Help me to be the wife and mother You want me to be.”
“Lord, bless my child and help her to grow to be a strong Christian.”
“Lord, bless my husband wherever he is at this moment.”
“Lord, I am so angry right now, I’m just going to tell you about it.”
“Lord, I am so hurt right now, I’m just going to tell you about it.”
Study and know your husband.
Be a servant to your husband.
Let me get that! (water, keys, coat, shoes, seconds at dinner, ketchup, dessert, the remote, a snack, a tool, etc.)
Keep his clothes clean and put away so that they are easy to find.
Keep his “area” neat (favorite chair, desk, his side of the bed, his toiletries)
Follow his leadership at the slightest opportunity (where to eat out, how to handle a home situation, whether or not to go somewhere, whether or not to buy something, what to watch on TV, how to fix something, etc.)
Readily accept his advice for any situation and acknowledge that it is good advice, and thank him for it.
Don’t be contentious or resistant to him in your spirit.
Don’t embarrass your husband (your speech, appearance, behavior, neglect of your family or home)
Prepare for his arrival each day (make sure his first perception of the house is that it is clean—even if it’s only the entry way and the area where he sits to relax, have a smile on your face, freshen your hair, clothes, or make-up, have the children clean and occupied, and have a smile on your face.)
Never belittle him or make cutting remarks of any kind, even in jest.
Speak a sincere word of praise or appreciation whenever possible:
“I don’t understand how you can fix a car like that. I’m completely clueless.”
“Thank you for fixing that. I’m so fortunate to have a husband who can do that.”
“Absolutely you made the right decision.”
“You are absolutely right.”
“You couldn’t have handled that (work situation, etc.) better.
“That was very smart.”
“That was totally the right thing to do.”
Meet his gaze showing your love and acceptance of him—do not avert your eyes to show your hurt or disapproval and to punish him.
Respond readily to his physical affection.
Do not be stiff when receiving a hug or a kiss.
Do not resist sexual advances: Pray instead. God will provide the grace.
Offer a warm hug, a warm smile, and an unexpected kiss of approval and appreciation.
Do not be financially independent. Let him control the finances.
Even if you have always controlled and balanced the checkbook, start checking with him on budget amounts and spending decisions. Immediately concede to his input of any kind.
Look for every opportunity to praise his wise financial decisions.
Do not spend his money foolishly—make sure he never has to worry about how his wife will spend his money.
Check with him on any purchase that is not a necessity.
Do not argue or resist his financial decisions, even if you know they are bad ones. Pray instead. (Your silence and support is actually more powerful of an influence—try it and you will see!)
Remember that whatever decision your husband makes, it is God’s will for you. Your resistance and interference will actually cause more problems.
Do not take matters into your own hands. Defer to your husband’s decisions whenever possible.
Do not be your husband’s conscience.
Do not nag. Ever. It is never a life or death matter.
Show loyalty to him at all times.
Never seek counsel outside of him without his approval.
Encourage and wholeheartedly support any idea or goal he shares with you.
Listen with your eyes, your ears, and be aware of your body language. It doesn’t matter how busy you are. He cannot talk forever. Stop and listen and show him he is important to you and that you support him.
Share his excitement over anything.
Laugh at his jokes
Look at him with admiration when he is around his peers to inspire their respect. (It is your job from the Lord to reverence him and to make him look good at all times.)
Always seek to make him look successful.
Spend the time and effort needed on your appearance because it shows you reverence your husband.
Dress to please your husband.
Dress modestly so he does not worry that you may be trying to attract other men.
Remember what your husband likes:
Cook his favorite meals.
Keep his favorite snacks handy.
Keep his favorite beverages handy.
Keep his remote handy and the batteries working.
Wear clothing you know he likes on you.
Wear your hair the way you know he likes.
Wear a perfume you know he likes.
Care for your clothes and his clothes. Eliminate unused clothes.
Create order in his environment (one step at a time is fine)
Organize the bathroom cabinets
Organize his socks and underwear and keep it that way.
Make a permanent and tidy place for his pocket stuff (wallet, keys, change, receipts, screws, batteries, business cards).
Keep track of his “stuff” however you can
Keep the home free of clutter
Train your children to be neat, clean and organized
Keep a meek and quiet spirit
Do not speak in anger
Stop a backbiting tongue by silence (Proverbs 26:20)
Ask your husband your spiritual questions.
Expect nothing from him (put all your expectation for fulfillment on the Lord, especially in moments where you feel empty or alone)
Do not have the “marriage is teamwork and you’re not pulling your share” attitude. YOU commit 100% to your husband, regardless of how you think he is performing (you will only answer to God in the end for the kind of wife you were to your husband).
Learn to prioritize (quick prayers often clear up moments or days of confusion).
Organize one drawer, shelf, or area a day until your home has a place for everything and everything in its place—then keep it there.
Train the children so that they make him proud.
Train the children to love him and respect him.
Never say a bad word about your husband to your children. Don’t even suggest in any way to them that he is not the “dad” he should be.
Do not try to solve any of his problems without his consent.
Overlook his faults.
Overlook his little mistakes.
Overlook his big mistakes.
Forgive any offense that hurts you as quickly as you can (urgent prayer will take care of this—pray until you feel your anger subside and your pleasure in your husband return. At first this may take a few days. After a while, you will cut it to a few hours. With continued practice, you will be able to forgive, with prayer and God’s help, within a few minutes to a few seconds)
Remember DAILY back to the beginning of your relationship and all the things that attracted you to him. Recall the smiles you had for him them and smile them all again.
Stop for one minute and thank the Lord for your husband.
Pray for God to bless your husband as the leader of your home and as the provider for your family.
Have joy.
Be lighthearted and create a lighthearted mood in your home.
Make him proud of his home, his wife, and his children.
Make sure that he would be proud to invite his boss to dinner.
Ask him for advice whenever you can, and always take it seriously—and tell him what good advice it is.
When he tells you about his work, tell him how good he is at his job, in his position, and praise his strengths at work (his leadership, his diligence, his honesty, his integrity).
Try to make all your words positive.
Never talk bad about his friends or coworkers. Do not affirm when he talks bad about someone. You can nod sympathetically, but do not verbally agree.
Do not be negative.
Keep your speech clean and pretty—becoming to a lovely wife with a sweet spirit.
Do not correct him. Especially in front of others. Let it go unless your life is on the line.
Do not criticize him about anything. Not even about a shirt, how his hair looks, how he spends his time, what he spent his money on, or…anything.
Pray for God’s strength and grace whenever—WHENEVER—you feel tired, angry, or that you just can’t do it. Even if it means praying 2,000 times a day. All you have to say is one word, “HELP!” He will.
Pray for God to reveal to you the opportunity to do something on this list whenever possible.

What a great resource for Christian Wives.

English Weather!

Well, today began as the perfect spring skies, warm gentle breezes...wonderful! So, after taking E to Pre-school, Baby R & I set off to the Garden Centre to pick up some supplies. We had lots of fun mooching around (Baby R particularly enjoyed the fountains & the ornamental animals) I found a sweet little gardening set for the children to includes a pair of gardening gloves (for E, too big for Baby R) a tiny trowel & a tiny fork, plus a kneeling pad (very useful for Mummy!)
By lunchtime we had driving rain & winds...E was very disapointed. Ahh well, I have managed to do some decluttering! Hurray! Hopefully tomorrow will stay fine.


Sunday, 11 March 2007

Our Cherry Tree

E, Baby R & I all got out into the garden this afternoon. We planted our Cherry tree in a huge ceramic pot, in a favourable position. The type of cherry (Stella) has a semi-dwarf rootstock, so combined with being grown in a container, it should not get too big.
We also planted some carrots (thumbelina) which are wonderful for children, being small, sweet & round! Looking forwards to harvesting those:) We also managed to plant a couple of dwarf sunflowers in tiny pots to have outside the children's playhouse, but then ran out of compost. Ah well! We had lots of muddy fun ;)
We checked on our frogspawn...still appears to be fine. Then it was time to get washed up for dinner. We are currently reading a book called 'The Frog's Diary' which is making for enlightening is written over the course of a year, from the veiwpoint of a frog keeping his own diary of events. The children love it, even Baby R :)


Bible Reading

27And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.
28And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
30And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
Mattew 9:27-30

This was my Bible reading from last night. I intend to give it some more serious prayer & thought today. I am thanking God for this has come in a very timely fashion. We all have our trials. I struggle, because I *know* that God *can* do anything He should choose. I struggle with will He *want* to do it....IYSWIM?
So, along side with this scripture, I plan to study Daniel 3...the amazing faith of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego, when they were required by Nebuchadnezzar to worship a golden idol.

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Daniel 3:16-17

Off to church this morning, then hopefully out in the garden planting our Cherry tree & Sunflowers this afternoon :)

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Observing Nature

E & I went out into the garden, whilst baby R & daddy napped :)
Earlier in the day we had bought a Cherry tree, & we needed to soak the roots before it could be planted. E went straight over to check on her frogspawn. (We have an established water feature in an old, half barrel) E was extremely excited & began to jump up & down, 'They are growing, they are growing!' She observed that the perfectly spherical black dot in the centre of the jelly had begun to change shape, ever so slightly, into a 'bottom-heavy oval'
Now, I was just as excited that our frogspawn is doing well, but most exciting was the fact that my daughter is *learning from her own observations*
Why is this important to me? Well, it shows me that she is really observing the world around her..taking notice. Information that we learn ourselves, as opposed to being taught, is the information we will retain for a lifetime.
After observing the frogspawn, she wandered off & found another ladybird, which promptly flew off her hand, straight into the pond. Quickley, E rescued it, & was able to see it 'playing dead' (a ladybird's protections from it's predators) ~We had a smashing hour out in the garden today, enjoying God's amazing creation.
Hopefully tomorrow we will get fine weather so we can plant our Cherry Tree & also some sunflowers.

Sunrise: 06.35
Sunset: 18.03

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Today has been a mild, changable day that began with bright sunshine & ended with heavy rain.
The girls & I spent part of the morning in the garden. E found a ladybird, which, courtesy of an old adapted sweets container, became her best friend for a good few hours :)
Able to observe her new friend properly, she discovered that ladybirds have 6 legs & that the bright red 'wings' are infact wing covers, for the actual wings tucked neatly away inside.
We didnt get any planting done today, as i had hoped, but then, there's always tomorrow ;)

Sunset: 17.59