A Teeny, Tiny BBQ

The first one of the year! BBQ that is...

The general plan for today was that we were going to go to Lyme, have lunch, play crazy golf and generally do the tourist thing.  But the best laid plans and all that - we didn't quite make it. 

Instead we wandered down to the co op and bought a mini BBQ and some burgers, ribs, salad etc and then wandered back home again, via the cafĂ© to have a quick cuppa with a friend.  I also bought the makings for a roast dinner just in case the weather changed - see how good at planning I am!!! ;)

Jack lit the BBQ (I can't believe how small it was!) and I rushed around like a mental old hag trying to cover up all the rabbits as the smoke poured from the little bitty box!

After trying to poison us all by BBQing ribs that were supposed to be defrosted first, I left Jack to sort out all things BBQ whilst I pottered around to make salads etc.  There's a reason why men BBQ, woman are too darned stressed out, trying to keep everything running smoothly, to think straight!

The kids both seemed to enjoy the food and the cat even tried to get in on a little meaty action!  Not overtly of course, stealth is more her style!

Note how she lays lazily in the shed, and then when you're not expecting it she's almost at your food!

Not that she stands much chance of getting grub away from these two!  Well, they *are* growing lads!

Why do people...

... follow blogs invisibly?

Not that I care who is reading or it wouldn't be in the public domain but I find it rather weird that people want to hide the fact that they are following and /or reading.

Perhaps it's because people are shy or uncertain. If this is the case, don't be shy, I don't bite.  I may be a bit too honest for some people's tastes but I really don't bite...

So a little message to my very many 'hidden' readers... "HELLO!!" :o)

General Mish Mash

Today has been a day of general mish mash.  No one thing stands out as an achievement or something learned, just a general day of seemingly doing nothing very much.  So why do I feel shattered???

I woke as usual at some stupid time around six, walked the dog, fed him and the cats etc and finally settled down with a cuppa and my computer - big mistake and a habit I really need to get out of!

I looked out into the garden and decided something had to be done so set about tidying it up, moving the rabbit cages to their winter places (near the house for those torrential  rainy days when  a quick dash out to feed and water and collection for an indoor hugging session is all you want to do).  I have to admit it was a job well done and looks so much better now.  The turf Jack and I laid 2 weekends ago has taken nicely and is very green and lush making it a pleasant outlook from the lounge/playroom windows.  I'm so proud of Jack, he worked really hard to get that done and I'm sure he could have still done it if he was at school, but really question whether he would have wanted to give up his Saturday afternoon to help his Mum lay turf in the garden.

The boys both helped me walk the garden rubbish down to the tip - one of those times when a car would have been great but hey we don't have one so no sense in wishing...  Luckily it's not a long walk, lol!

Jack spent much of his afternoon reading Eragon.  He's read it all once but we saw the boxed set of hard-backed books in the Works for only £9.99 and I thought I'd treat him.  He does love to read, must take after his mum! ;)

Max has been playing on x box games.  I so wish he'd get fed up of them like so many of my HE acquaintances children seem to do, but no he's as stuck into them now as he was when we first started to HE so no change there then.

I went inside and started weeding out all the broken and damaged toys.  One of the hardest things about childminding is that the mindees seem to have no, or very little, respect for the toys, books and other equipment.    My requests of "Please don;t swing on that gate, you'll hurt yourself/break it" or " please pick up the toys you've just thrown on the floor" are often met with a firm "NO" or "I don't want to".  I must have thrown away hundreds of pounds of damaged or broken toys etc already this year and it's really beginning to get to me, especially as my own children have never behaved in this way.  :'(

I've now read all 5 books in the Twilight series and am quite sad to have finished.  Edward, Jacob, Bella and co. became a part of my life for a month or so and whilst I do not think the books are particularly well written, I did enjoy reading them on the whole.  Not sure what to read now as nothing seems quite 'right'.  I'm sure something will turn up that will captivate my imagination though. :)

I'm kinda wishing we had a bigger house right now, this place is getting awfully small with all the childminding stuff in it as well as our own.  Actually childminding stuff is beginning to take over!  I really do not want to move though as we have so many great friends locally, the area is fabulous for kids to grow up in, the people are so very friendly and kind, and we have built good lives for ourselves.  Of course my business is here too and whilst I could pick that up and move it anywhere it would mean starting again to some extent.  Not something I really want to do.  I'm sure the answer is out there somewhere and in time it will present itself just as this house did when we needed it most.  Maybe I just need to keep decluttering...

Prioritising... or maybe Fitting in... or even Tangents... who knows?

I suppose one of the drawbacks of having a nicely successful business is that it takes lots of time to keep it  successful...  I've learned to prioritise!!  I've given up trying to be all things to all people and put myself and my family first. As a result, my table is sometimes cluttered (ok more often than not), there can almost always be found a very fine layer of dust if you search hard enough - thank goodness I don't have friends or family who run their fingers along the tops of picture frames - and my grass is usually slightly longer than is deemed 'tidy'.

BUT, I'm spending more quality time with the boys, the dog is getting walked regularly, both by me and by the children, the house is somewhat tidier, I've more time for my friends, more time for cooking proper meals and more time to relax.  I'm not trying to be something that I really am not. 

I've de-cluttered, both my house and my personal life, and I'm feeling much better for it.  The boys can find things they want far more easily and I have discovered that HE bumbles along much the same way if I have a room full of overflowing bookshelves or one bookshelf with the things we actually really need on it.  It's quite strange that all these things/stuff/people/routines etc that I thought we needed so badly haven't been missed in the slightest.   Of course the best thing about de-cluttering is that there is now space for the good things :)

Now I've got time to hear myself actually think I've been thinking a lot about home ed and where we fit in.  The simple answer to that is sadly that we (or at least I) do not.  We are not structured home eddors, or un-schoolers or autonomous HEors.  We are all those things and none of them. We are us.  For some reason as we enter our sixth year as a family who do not use school, I have finally realised that it's ok to be who I am and for the boys to be who they are and it really doesn't matter at all if we do not tick boxes or fit into a Home Ed 'type' or group or friendship ring. At least it doesn't matter to us.  

As Dr Seuss said:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”**

As my very bright and switched on son Jack would say:  We are unique - just like everybody else. ;)  

** Thank you to 'A'  for that quote.  Every time I see it I smile because I can see the truth in it. :)