Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's OK - I've got it covered!

In the middle of the night, James woke up screaming and it took a long time to calm him down (us too!) In the morning he said that polar bears were coming to eat him.  Although we tried to reassure him, he kept mentioning it all day, so at bedtime we made up a special magic anti-bear spray and he dilligently went around the house spraying every nook and cranny.  I think I can safely say we are polar bear proof tonight!

Off for a few days to a family wedding.  Back next week xx

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Sharing Monday (xvii)

Since we came back from our trip to Wigtown, I have been slightly obsessed with vintage children's books. I use the word 'vintage' with some caution here, because in fact I seem to be trying to recreate my childhood library, so maybe classic in the never outdated sense is a better sentiment.  Anyway, I have been stalking vintage classic ladybird books on ebay and won a job lot of 95 for £35.  So many wonderful books arrived, but slightly disappointed that the 1960s Cinderella was not in the pile. If, however, you scroll down to my birthday post you will see that my daughter is totally in tune with her mama and was straight on to that same auction site where she came up with the most thoughful of presents. 
So, this week we are sharing a charming rhyming story - Bunny's First Birthday - story and illustrations by Mrs Angusine .J Macgregor with verses by W Perring. First published in 1950 it is a simple and lovely tale of the birthday party given for baby bunny's first birthday.  All the farmyard babies are invited and excited preparations begin.  They arrive at the Bunnies' house where a magnificent feast awaits them.

When the babies saw the banquet
And the cake, they were amazed.
Stood enchanted in the doorway
Open mouthed and gazed and gazed.

A charming gentle story to end the day with. Find out about more tales at Book Sharing Monday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Birthday

Mine this time! I have had a truly wonderful day.  It started last night when Kenneth came home from University for the weekend.  James misses him so much and just loves it when he is home.  We spent the evening playing Animal Dominoes - James's latest charity shop acquisition.

And so today....Lots of lovely presents all so thoughtfully chosen.


then a grand buffet lunch at our excellent local Chinese restaurant with all the family,

and back home for some birthday cupcakes. Lemon drizzle today :)

Finishing off with another game of animal dominoes!  A perfect birthday.

Time out.

Hello there! I have been sufferring from an eye infection this week, so I have not really felt like squinting at a screen.  It was my 'camera' eye too, so taking photographs was not really top of my list.  Which was a shame, actually, because my darling husband gave me a much wanted zoomier lens (55 - 200) for my camera as a birthday gift. Never mind, I am feeling much better and hopefully the weather will clear up next week, and I will amaze you all with my artful close ups.  We are heading off to a family wedding down in England later in the week, so that will give me lots of photo opportunities too.
Anyway, despite spending a lot of time with hot compresses on my eye, we managed to keep going.
Here are some of the things we got up to.

Wheel painting with trains and cars.

Watching the sparrow cafe.

Going for a very cold and dreich walk in Polkemmet Country Park.

Making coconut cupcakes for Kristine to take to work for a Children in Need fundraiser.

And a wee run to Crieff at the end of the week.  It was too rainy there to take photographs, so I snapped this one of Stirling Castle from the car on the way back.  John was driving though. 

Shadow Shot Sunday - Apple

A sliced apple in a bowl made a nice shadow in the morning light.  See more shadows from around the world with Tracy at Shadow Shot Sunday.

Skywatch - Monotone.

Well - what can I say here. It has rained all week, so skies have been mostly grey with a few charcoal smudges here and there.  Hope you have had a sunnier week.  Check out more skies of all shades at Skywatch Friday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - another frosty morning

Frosty shadows on a savoy cabbage in my garden on Monday morning.  See more frosty pictures on my gardening blog, and check out sunnier shadows at Shadow Shot Sunday with Tracy and friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Skywatch - The roof.

Our local butcher's shop is being re-roofed.  James and I were grocery shopping on Monday and stopped to watch the crane swinging the new roof trusses over our heads!

Luckily I had my camera in my shopping bag. Well - doesn't everyone?  Visit Skywatch Friday to see who else does.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

James is 3!!

James was 3 years old Tuesday.  We had a really lovely day.  He loved his new red tricycle with pedals!

A whole book about trucks and cars and things that go - this is his favourite page right now.

Gran and Papa gave him this wonderful digger - definitely the present of the year.

A very happy boy on his birthday.

Big sister Kristine gave him lots of crafty things and they spent a fun afternoon painting and glueing - each other as well as the paper.  Not sure really who this present was for:)

Birthday boy - still sporting his green smiley face "tattoo" gets ready for blowing out his candles.  He's waited a whole year to do that.

A wild game of jumping on the bed with Finlay was a fine end to the day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas has been delivered

I never buy any Christmas magazines until the December issue of Country Living arrives. I have subscribed for many years, and, although it is a fairly lightweight read nowadays, I love the images and some of the ideas. It is one of my little indulgences.
I have begun thinking a bit more about Christmas over the last few days. This is mainly due to Kristine - who has been sharing ideas and tutorials on her gorgeous blog. It doesn't take much to get me started though. Already the fruit is soaking in whisky to make a Dundee cake tomorrow - plans are being made for homemade decorations, food and gifts, and - this morning, Christmas Country Living arrived, so when I went shopping, a couple more magazines found their way into the trolley (along with some new coloured tree lights!)
I am now about to settle down with a cup of no-caff and a pancake and wallow in scenes of the perfect Christmas.
Can't get too Christmassy yet though - it is a certain boy's birthday next week, so cakes and candles and fun stuff to come.

Shadow Shot Sunday. Frost

Swirly frosty shadows on my car windscreen this morning.

It's springtime in Australia - visit Hey Harriet there for more shadows.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Strange fire creatures

Some of the back garden fireworks in our neighbourhood from last night. I love the way these pictures have turned out - each firework looks like a wondrous creature flying in the sky.

Friday evening in November

It seemed so warm and cosy this evening, as I looked around the house. I felt very contented just being there.

A few last minute chocolate chip cookies (quite well done) cooling beside my Autumn candle, lit for dinner.

James playing a game in front of the fire. Robbie the dog sneaking in hoping to find a space on the hearth rug.

One of my favourite views - the conservatory and kitchen all bright, glowing and inviting. Picture taken on the way back from shutting the hens up for the night.
I love November :)

Unschooling ambrosia

Today James didn't want any lunch but as John and I were eating ours, he came up to the table with one of the little pots of rice pudding that he likes. So - there we were chatting away when I noticed James looking at the pot and saying the names of all the family - Mum, Dad, Kristine etc. I asked him if he was reading the pot and he said he was. Then he began to point to each letter and ask me what it said. It took me a few seconds to realise that he really was asking me to tell him the letters! So, I did - that's a Bee - that's a mmm and that's esss. Then he made the cute sound that he always makes when chasing us with his toy snake!!
I so love this journey :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blue November Sky

The aluminium crown steeple of St Michael's Church in Linlithgow glints in the bright blue sky. After a week of fairly persistent and heavy rain here in Scotland, the sun came out for a brief while on Tuesday and cheered us up a bit.
This steeple was added to the church in 1964 and was the subject of much controversy for it's daring and avant garde design - supposed to echo the original steeple it fianlly replaced, and also represent the crown of thorns. The church sits next to Linlithgow Palace, built by James I and was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
Check out the worldwide skies at Skywatch Friday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Sharing Monday (xvii)

I posted the other day about our trip to Wigtown - Scotland's Book Town. Thirteen book shops in one street, and other booky things around the village. What a paradise!! Anyway - we returned from our holiday with a hefty stash each. This little lot belongs to James. He would have had much more - I found him sitting in front of a shelf in the Old Bank Bookshop with a large stack of Haynes car repair manuals beside him. "I'll just take these Mum" he said. Well, I managed to tempt him away to another shelf where he decided on the Great Little Railways instead. I wouldn't have minded, but his Father does have quite a few Haynes manuals already, going back several cars :) He does rather like the Picture Penguin - About a Motor Car. So do I - I think I may actually understand what some of those bits in a car engine are!

This week I am sharing a short poem from When We Were Very Young by A.A Milne, called Politeness. I thought about it today when we were out for lunch and the cashier kept trying to talk to James and he didn't want to talk to her. "Oh - are you shy? - Oh he's shy - Isn't he shy?" Well - he's not actually shy - he just doesn't happen to think he should perform to random strangers - grrrr.

If people ask me
I always tell them
"Quite well, thank you, I'm very glad to say"
If people ask me
I always answer
"Quite well, how are you today?"
I always answer,
I always tell them,
If they ask me

I wish

That they wouldn't.

Well - ok, James didn't exactly see this book and say "Can I have that one Mum?" We just happen to have the 3 other books in the same binding. It was a bit ironic that I found it in the Reading Lassies bookshop (currently for sale) ,which specialises in feminist and radical writing. Well - it gives us plenty of discussion material, about class discrimination, chauvinism and authoritative and remote parenting ;)

Share more books at Alex's blog -Canadian Home Learning