June 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
A new painting at last. Not that I’ve stopped painting recently or anything, not at all! There’s a growing pile of painted papers waiting for me to do something with in the spare moments that aren’t happening right now! This is a pretty tiny canvas really but it’s sweet. Bear and I painted it last Wednesday at the Home Educators group that we go along to. Bean and Bear both did canvases of their own too, but this one was specifically for me to draw on. I’m glad I got a chance to do it! It will be heading over to Monkey Mei Tai this week, to be part of her giveaway in support for Help for Heroes, along with a £20 voucher towards a custom piece of art!
June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
I bought a couple of spray bottles the other day. The boys were excited – Bean had seen what we had planned and couldn’t wait! Today I filled them with a chalk paint mix (cornflour, food colouring and water) and let the boys loose in the garden.
We chose the bike shed to paint. It’s a great blank canvas (I’m thinking of painting it with black chalkboard paint – even Steve didn’t think it was a bad idea!) and they loved it. Bean has really got to grips (literally) with spray bottles and water guns. This time last year he was squirting himself in the face with water guns as he was stronger with his thumbs than with his fingers, but he’s stronger now and able to operate the spray triggers with his hand the right way round. He LOVED it.
Bear isn’t strong enough yet. No matter how often I tried to show him he needed to turn the bottle round to point away from him, he kept turning it to face him because that was how he was able to hold it. Thankfully he though it was pretty hilarious to squirt himself in the face with green chalk paint! Hilarious enough to do it over and over again, making Bean laugh and copy him too.
They painted the bike shed, they painted their playhouse, they painted themselves, they painted the climbing frame, they painted a giant woodlouse, they painted the floor, they tried their best to paint the wind.
Play was temporarily halted when my alarm went off reminding me that Bear had a heuristic play session at the Montessori Preschool – Steve was occupied in an interview so I scooped both boys up and headed off to the preschool (even forgetting to shut the back door in my haste! whoops) to find that we were an hour and a half early. Oh well! Might as well get some treats from the shop while we were over that way so we had a snack when we got home. Followed by more spray painting which turned into a water fight as I refilled the bottles with water. Perfect weather for squirting each other with water, breezy and fairly warm! We were dry in no time. Well, Bean and I were: Bear stepped into a giant puddle left by the overnight rains and finally had to have his trousers changed. He’d have stayed in his painted trousers until bedtime otherwise – I’d long since given up trying to keep him clean!
June 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
We did some big messy art today, outside in the gorgeous sunshine (and strong winds!). It’s so lovely to be able to go outside to paint! Here’s what we got up to, painting inspired by Jupiter’s storms.
Today’s unschooling subject was Art!
Yeah yeah… ok… who am I kidding… we pretty much just had a blast 🙂 Half an hour of utter paint mayhem, followed by a cold paddling pool wash, followed by more playing in the dustbowl that the digging patch has become. And at some point one or the other of the boys managed to get paint on the backs of my arms and back. I wonder who that could possibly have been. Bean pointed at Bear. Bear didn’t say otherwise….
We’d originally started off while Bean was rustling around in the dustbowl “making storms”. We started chatting about Jupiter, about how there was a really big storm on Jupiter which had been going on for hundreds of years. I suggested maybe we could get the paints out and paint a big storm, like on Jupiter. We went indoors for a bit and looked at…
View original post 378 more words
June 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Oh what a glorious day! Here is our way of delaying the boys’ demands to watch more TV. I’d seen this idea floating around, of making holes in a bottle and using it as a paddling pool toy so I got Steve to drill holes in one for me. And it was the only toy we needed! Bear couldn’t cope with Bean’s exuberance to begin with so they had to take turns in the pool (Bear seems to have some issues with water which we’re dealing with slowly) but it wasn’t very long before they had figured out a way of playing together to make them both laugh.
And it’s supposed to be just as glorious tomorrow! I don’t think we’ll be going much farther than the back garden again tomorrow 🙂
June 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
Monday afternoons, Bean goes to Preschool. Bear usually fights sleep until he’s gone, so Steve and I have taken to going for a walk together with Bear wrapped up snoozing. We’ve missed a few Monday walks recently, and it shows. We’ve been struggling with connecting with each other, and I’m sure as a direct result of that we’re both struggling to maintain connections with the boys, and the boys are struggling to maintain their equilibrium – and we’re seeing this in their behaviour. Bean is bouncing off the walls permanently, forgetting to eat (partly my fault, I’m not reminding him (or myself for that matter)), using up every last reserve of energy and completely crashing late afternoon. Bear has discovered spitting, headbutting, kissing with teeth (generally aimed at my nose – REALLY not funny as funny as it sounds) and has becoming seriously jealous of Bean having cuddles with me. To the point of attacking him when I’m trying to put them to bed together.
Today, we finally had opportunity to go for a Monday walk again and we really really needed it. We’ve just not been talking to each other. I’ve not really known where Steve’s head is at regarding life and jobs and church, and he’s not really understood how I’m feeling about life and family and my desire for more children. So to talk, to be able to listen, to be able to formulate coherent sentences without a child demanding for you to listen halfway through the thought, is a real rarity. I think it says something about how busy we are with life generally (and how difficult the boys are to get to sleep in the evenings at the moment) that we’re having to have “dates” in order to be able to talk and connect. Up until recently we were able to maintain that connection throughout the week, being able to talk here and there, keep each other up to date with how we’ve been feeling, but when life piles on the pressure it’s easy to forget to talk, and once you forget to talk and be open, it just gets harder and harder to know where to start.
So we talked.
Steve talked about jobs, about church life, about what God’s talking to him about at the moment. About what he feels he should do, and why. He talked about the things that he’s been talking about with others the past few weeks. Things like Christian maturity, and how we’d make things work if he was away during the week, about serving the Church, about leadership. I talked about wanting more children. The want for more children physically hurts at the moment. To some extent I really don’t care where Steve’s job takes him, as long as he gets a job, so that we can try for another baby. If it means he’s working away five days a week, serving the church the other two days, and I manage as a single mum who has a husband two nights a week – so be it, if that’s what it takes. Of course it’s not really like that – but I can’t deny that sometimes the longing for a baby is that intense.
By the time we were heading back home (having walked past the icecream van and deciding we didn’t fancy an icecream, walking past the avenue where Steve’s favourite coffee shop was, walking past the other coffee shop we thought we’d head up to, and deciding that actually we didn’t need to ‘”go” anywhere to chat, that we were actually really enjoying just walking together) we’d realised what we needed to do.
In order to let God’s glory and power be made known, you have to give Him space to work. If you hold on to your life and never release control of it over to God, you’ll never really give God the chance to show you just how amazing He is. We’ve learnt a lot over the past ten or eleven months. The first few months, it was learning that we are worth something. Then, it was learning that Husband isn’t the Provider for our family, it’s God. Then, it was patience. Now, it’s learning that in order to see God work fully in our lives, we have to give over full control to Him: we need to be in full submission to His headship over our lives and situations.
SO. If we believe that God is in control, if we believe that God’s timing is perfect, if we believe that God knows the plans He has for us, and that they are plans to prosper us and not to harm us, then we need to stop trying to fix things in our own strength. It’s in our weakness that God’s power is made perfect, it’s when we allow God into the struggles in our lives that His love and grace and strength is made known most powerfully.
The employment option open at the moment could involve Steve potentially being away from home five days a week. How would we make that work, with me unschooling our boys and also hopefully being pregnant (bearing in mind my track record for pregnancy sickness is pretty bad)?
The answer is, we wouldn’t. We need to trust that if this is the right way forward, then God knows what we’ll be getting into. We need to be in full submission to Him, trusting that His plans are not to crush us or break us, but to build us up and grow us and encourage us. We need to give ourselves fully, not holding back, not trying to retain control, but being mature enough to make decisions, to be trustworthy in what we do, to make the effort. And in that, we need to trust that God will do as He has always promised us. That He knows the plans He has for us, and that those plans are Good plans.