Wednesday, 21 October 2009

So, what's been happening??

What a busy few days, I get so busy and then by the end of the day I snuggle down in my bed and think "Oh, bum I didn't do my blog, I know I'll do it tomorrow" and then the next day I get to the computer and as the mouse has AGAIN died and is in the bin,
I asked to borrow Charlotte's but she is using it and so I can't get on the computer until she's finished with the mouse....and then it's time for bed. So I have pinched it from her room while she is at school, so don't tell her !!!


So what's been happening ?? I hear you say ...

Well with Jim, I spoke to his head of year who is plainly in denial about Jim having ADHD and doesn't want to deal with him, She said that "The ASD Department will offer him 1 hour a week for a chat to see if he can discuss how to improve his learning, what goals he can set for himself and so on...."

The Core Learning department " Won't put him in their group as he is too intelligent and they feel he will find it too easy and get bored," apparently they work at level 2 (what ever that is!)..

SO, I said "Did you speak to the SENCO Department for me or shall I speak to them?"
She said "Oh no, I didn't speak to them, I didn't think of that" Yes, Exactly!!!!
So the next day She phoned me back and said......wait for it.......

"Apparently, as Jim has a diagnosis of ADHD from a professional consultant the SENCO Department have suggested that he have a doodle pad or a stress ball or toy to aid in his concentration, he needs to sit at the front of the class, he needs to have clear guidelines for good and bad behaviour and positive reinforcement when he does well, all the teachers need to be notified as to his condition so they can monitor his behaviours with his condition in mind"

I calmly said "Yes, that's right" ....and then poked my tongue out at her down the phone...

Talk about teach you Grandma to suck eggs!!!

She sounded as though she had been told how to deal with Jim as he has a problem and is not just being naughty..
Way to go SENCO lady...

However, we are not out of the woods yet, I still need to see if this works and it's not just words. But it is a start...

So I will make an appointment to see the SENCO Lady anyway so I can monitor their progress....Phew....At last!

So, what else....

We have had a busy weekend in the garden, I enlisted the help of some unwilling volunteers to help hack the garden to bits, here is Charlotte doing an impression of Chuck Norris on some unsuspecting weeds that wouldn't go in the wheelie bin quietly and in an orderly fashion...




Now here is a bramble bush thing, the one which Charlotte is attacking, before...





And there it is ....Gone...




This is the bramble, well most of it as we had to cut some of it off to be able to pull it out, it must be about 10 foot long..



Here is an old work boot I pinched off some workmen a few years ago,

(a long story, maybe another day) but I planted some of my pretty flowers in it.





Here are the other flowers, some just in pots or a basket but the rest are in "Mr Potter". It makes the doorstep look much brighter..


Also, one very over grown veggie patch....before..




And after....








And now for something completely different, here is Jim watching TV last night while eating popcorn, I must have about four or five photos of Jim with headbands on over the years and it doesn't seem to bother him. If the biggest bully in the school came round he'd still not take it off !!!









And finally..............


This is Sam's DT project for school that he had three weeks to do and decided to start it last night!! It had to be in today....can you hear me sigh....

So Charlotte and I helped him make this castle, Charlotte made the draw bridge and I made the portcullis... Sam did lots of glueing, we did LOTS as well, but don't tell his teacher though...

Sam had such a job saying portcullis, it was everything from "cork pulliss" to"court pullis" and the best one was "pork Cutlis" ... He did try..

Oh, the joys of children.....

Friday, 16 October 2009

Thank goodness it's Friday

Ahh, the end of a busy week, I seem to have coasted from one day to the other, not really touching the sides this week, not really achieving much but being very busy all the same.
I have talked to the school about Jim and they are really dragging their heels about what to do with him. I have been looking up the "code of practice " for children with special educational needs and it appears that as Jim has a diagnosis of a mental illness the school is obliged to help him or they will be in breach of the "disability discrimination act 1995" ( always wanted to quote something important like that !! ) where it states he has "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities." This includes having the ability to sit and learn in class.
I can see this is going to be a long fight... Firstly because I'm not particularly brave, so I will muster up every ounce of courage I have to ask them very nicely and quietly and politely to teach my son without discrimination or I will just have to burn the school down..( just kidding !!)
After taking some welcome advice from my good friend Philip, my first stop will be to the SENCO lady at the school and then if I have no luck with her I'll have to take it to the Headteacher and see what happens. Ohh I'm so brave now!!!


So, what else have I been up to this week, well I managed finally to get some tarpaulins for the rabbits hutches as the weather is getting quite autumnal now, and while I was there I got one for the Wendy house too.


So here are the bunnies with their covers which when layed out cover the whole hutch and I layed a plank across the front to stop the wind whistling around their trossachs. They are held in place by a ladder on each of the roofs so it doesn't blow away.


I bought one for the Wendy house too and I know it doesn't look pretty but I don't think a drop of rain will get in now. I don't want all the hay to get wet, so I have also tied it down so it won't blow away, the tarpaulin not the hay....







I have a feeling that the weather is trying to lead us into a false sense of security by being all nice to us and sunny and soon it's going to turn and be all windy and wet and flippin' miserable.

And finally I spotted this daddy long legs outside on the wall when I got home from school today, Charlotte said "that's disgusting"..... so that's her official comment on the biggest proper daddy long legs I have ever seen..



Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A Busy Week

I know I haven't blogged in a while so I thought it was about time. I've been busy and have had a lot to deal with lately so here's an update..

Most of my efforts this week have been focused on Jim. He's been having trouble at school what with kids picking on him and the teachers not getting the fact he has a problem.. It's funny you know because I've printed off a schools guide for children with ADHD and it clearly sets out strategies for teachers to use in the classroom for children with ADHD, it says also it could benefit the other children as well. Jim has a real problem in class as well as at home and it requires the patience of a saint to deal with him sometimes. There is never a saint around when you want one either...
Generally the conversations with the teachers go like this...
"Jim just doesn't appear to listen, he always seems distracted"
"Yes, he has ADHD"

"Jim never hands in his homework on time and he looses it so often"
"yes, he has ADHD"

"Jim never has his pencil case and calculator, he said he lost it"
"yes, he has ADHD"

"He can never sit still, he is always on the go, he can't sit like everyone else"
"yes, he has ADHD"
"Jim has silly behavior and doesn't know when to stop"
"yes, he has ADHD"
"Jim did well today, he handed in his homework"
"Oh no, I don't know what can be wrong with him then"....

So I'm going to make an appointment with his teachers and show them the guide I found, It shows all the problems children have and that teachers need to recognise they have a problem and then help them . So wish me luck...

Today I have also been in town and bought myself a coat, everyone at home has a nice winter coat so I thought I'd better get one as my old duffel coat makes me look like Paddington bear after a few too many marmalade sandwiches.. Katie has a nice selection of coats and a so many shoes she could put Emelda Marcos to shame...



As the weather has been a tad nippy in the morning and also at night, the rabbits have needed extra bedding. My friend Mick and his wife Alva occasionally get a bale of hay for their rabbits from a local farm and they get one for me too. It would be a bit tricky on the bus anyway...

So we broke up the bale and split it into bags to make it easier when cleaning out the rabbits. We had 17 bags no less and today the same friend gave us four very full bags of shredded paper from the local furniture recycle shop. Our little Wendy house is full to the rafters with bedding for our bunnies this year..
Well, almost full anyway...


And finally, I have been watching the trees dropping their leaves and as the weather has been quite dry there are lots of leaves to crunch through on the way to school.
Before...


And after....



Katie is hiding behind the tree, but I think the pink and purple back pack give you away Katie!!




So, that's been whats happening this week...















Thursday, 8 October 2009

Trees

The lovely trees are changing so rapidly now, in the evening the last of the sun makes them glow like they are on fire with colour, they are so lovely. Soon they will be bare and will just look like they have no life left in them, but they are just sleeping until spring...


August...

September...

October...


Nearly bedtime...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

What would we do without...

For the last two days our heating system has been broken, no matter how many times I thumped it and asked "why, oh why?" to the big button on the airing cupboard wall, the heating would not come on..

I phoned the council the next morning, Why do these things happen when the council offices are shut?.. The lady kindly informed me that they could not get anyone out to me until this morning. So we have had to boil kettles of water to wash ourselves and wash up and fortunately the weather has not been too cold so it has not been too much of a hardship..

But it got me thinking as to what would we do without. Not what could we do without,
but what would we do if we didn't have something..?

Like TV, ....OK, we could read, play games, go for a walk, play cards, sewing, knitting anyone...??

Like the Internet,....This would be hard, but instead we could write letters to each other, go to the library to look things up, again play games with each other instead of on-line, meet up with our friends instead of in chat rooms??

Like a fridge/freezer,....So we would have to buy things little and often, use food that is in season, plan ahead meals instead of taking something out of the freezer that is already made, probably healthier too.

Like a car,....Now I can speak from experience on this one and pretty much you are stuffed if you don't have a car in this world, if you want to go to town, that's fine, go by bus, if you want to go to the next town, that's fine go by train, but what if you want to go to town and buy something that you can't carry, say a bag of compost or a pack of wood? I know, I've tried and it's really hard, what about going on holiday, even just in England, with children you are really stuffed..!!

Like heating in our homes, ....you could put extra clothes on and not wander round our homes in a t-shirt and bare feet in November complaining that it's cold today..Common sense really..

Like a flushing toilet,.... Need I even elaborate on this one?? we would be in deep...trouble.

Like hot and cold running water,.... Now we can all live without instant hot water, we could boil it ourselves, a little inconvenient granted, but not out of the question. But water itself, clean water at that, we would perish very quickly, we are so fortunate to live in a country that has the technology and resources to purify our water and yet we let it drain away with out a thought.

Sorry, getting a bit serious now,

Like electricity,....That would be really hard, as most of the developed world now needs electricity to function, think if hospitals didn't have any, workplaces, schools, trains, traffic lights, your freezer for a day, just booking an appointment at the doctors is nigh on impossible when the computers are down..

Like a home,.... without shelter we would not last long, OK, during summer we might be OK, but only the strongest of us, the old, the young and those who are ill would not last long. We need to be protected from the elements or we would die.

Like food,.... now this is something we totally take for granted, we throw away so much food that probably each household could feed another person all year with just what we throw away. We shop like the shops will have nothing on the shelves tomorrow, and then top up in the week..
But if needed a person could last some weeks without food, so long as they had water.

There are so many things, you could add like a cozy bed, a cooker, a tumble dryer, a washing machine I could go on, but you get my drift..

We are so, so fortunate to have all of these things and some of them at the touch of a button, but the most important of all the resources we fritter away like they are unlimited, never ending and yet this world is only so big, and has only so much natural resources that one day we are going to run out.

And on that uplifting note I will end my ramblings for the day, how I got from the heating being kaput to the the death of the natural world I don't know, I apologize and will write something cheery tomorrow, I'm going to lay down now, in a darkened room.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Banana Bread

I made some Banana Bread today with Charlotte's help, she whisked and I chucked things in the bowl, What a team !!
I had it in mind to do some Banana Bread the other day but didn't have time until today.

So here it is, and just to let you know this was 3pm this afternoon, it took and hour to cook and by 5pm it was all gone..


That's the trouble with food in this house, everyone keeps eating it..


Friday, 2 October 2009

There's a frog in me kitchen, what am I gonna do?

Yesterday evening I was saying goodbye to my friend Mick and Alva, they had come to collect their ironing, I waved them off and came back inside to find a frog in the kitchen....I know, I have no idea either, it was just ... there!!!
so here it is..



I don't know why but strange things happen in our house, like frogs turn up at tea time...


I did a little tidying up in the garden today, just a bit of sweeping up and pulled a few finished tomato plants up, I collected the last of the tomatoes. Things in the garden have been a bit half hearted this year, I seem to have been so busy here, there and everywhere, I shall endeavour to do better next year. So here are the last of the tomatoes...


And finally, do you want to know what really truly makes children happy???

I think back to my childhood and I remember sunny days, camping holidays, playing in hay barns, ice-cream by the sea front.. and it's none of these...

It's upgrading your TV package to included the kids channels !!!!!!

That's it.... £10 a month and my children have never hugged me and kissed me so hard in all their lives.. So now they can watch Disney Channel, Nickelodeon,Cartoon Network and all the other toon channels to their hearts content....

Simple, why didn't I think of it before...????

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Lately i've been...

Lately I have been very busy, apart from the mundane, washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah, I have had poorly children, been to Sams school assembly and been to my neighbours evening wedding reception, Charlotte and I went and we walked up Knebworth lane in the pitch black and nearly died....you could not see your hand in front of your face and you couldn't tell if your eyes were open or shut. Charlotte had to use the light on her phone to show us the way. Then she was mucking about doing shadow anacondas rather than concentrate on not falling down a ditch, we could have died...!!


I have been gallivanting round Costa's and garden centers with Mum, Auntie Hazel and Anne. Auntie Hazel bought me some lovely flowers to put in my garden, which I might add is looking decidedly shabby lately.. another thing for the "must do" list...also I have got some bulbs to plant for the spring so they should look very pretty.




Today I have been to town and wanted to pick up some gloves and socks for when it is abit colder, with the children they always loose their gloves and scarves, so I have had to replenish our stocks today.

Jim's not keen on the idea of having string going round the back of his coat anymore to keep him from loosing his gloves, can't think why??..

Charlotte and I have had the same hat, gloves and scarves for years but the others have had to replace them every year. So here is the bundle I bought today, and as
no-one will were slippers but me and Katie, I bought cosy socks for indoors this time.

There does look alot but it is times five...





There is a puzzle there too and some plum scented candles, I love candles, so we have decided to have at least one evening a week where we don't watch TV, go on the computer or have on any unnecessary lights in order to keep the electric bill down abit, maybe we'll keep the landing light on only for safety's sake. We can play board games, cards and do puzzles with our candles burning and eat popcorn, like it's camping but indoors. Still that's the plan anyway and then early to bed. I like that bit...

Oh yes and I've done some cooking and made some food for the freezer so I don't have to rush in the week, I made these cheesy square things which didn't make It as far as the freezer before everyone ate them, and I made a Sheppard's-pie pie which went down very well indeed.




Sorry it's a bit squiffy...









And bread pudding which I didn't have enough brown sugar so I used white and not enough sultans so I used dessicated coconut instead. It was very nice, a cross between a badly made bread pudding and a flap jack... The little squares are left over puff pastry and apple puree which tasted lovely and I think, If I remember rightly I only ate one.. Jim however said they were lovely...

This is my Sheppard's-pie pie, it started of life as a Cornish pasty. I made two and then Charlotte ate them, so I made a Sheppard's-pie pie instead..


And finally when we went out yesterday to the garden center our friend Anne had on these rose tinted sunglasses where she can magically see autumn all year round. So here is a tree picture just for you, with or without your glasses...