Sunday, 29 November 2009

Gardenmama does it again!

There's a great giveaway going on over here at GardenMama's blog. :) Go and take a peek!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Liz over at Honour and Inspiration has written a great post about the new Children, Schools and Families Bill. If you haven't already please read and consider signing the petition. This is so very important.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Our Weekend

We've had a very busy and very fun weekend. No pictures but i thought i'd share anyway.

On Saturday we woke to Phoebe's questions "Is it morning yet? Can we go to Jack's now?"! We got ready and headed over to see Sarah, Adam, Jack and Eleanor. We said a quick hello before Russ, Adam, Phoebe and Jack left for 'Dad's group' at the local Children's Centre. This left Sarah and I, and our babies, to chill out at theirs. We did lots of talking and I even got some knitting done!

After what seemed like about 40 minutes (but was actually a couple of hours!) they came back and we heard all about what they had been up to, like playing Bingo. The children were pretty excited still. We had a lovely lunch together before we all got ready and set off for town.

In town we headed straight for 'Made by Artisans', a craft fair held in Beckets Chapel at the Cathedral, as my friend 'MummyBear' had a stall there. Her art is beautiful and you can look at it by clicking here. It was lovely to catch up with her a bit - hopefully we'll chat more at this week's Natural Parenting Club. I bought a box with recipe cards from her, and some hair clips and a bird house which looks just like a fairy house from other stall holders. I also saw lots of things there which i knew i could make myself if i only had the time. *sigh* All the while Phoebe and Jack were with the daddys running round outside and having fun.

We made an obligatory stop at costa for seasonal beverages (which i really *must* stop doing!) before heading back towards the cars.

Back home Phoebe went to bed fairly soon with a quick dinner and Russ and I were a bit more indulgent and treated ourselves to pizza and 'The Dark Knight'. We never normally watch films and this felt like a real 'Saturday Night' for the first time in ages. All the while Ezra slept peacefully on my chest.

We had a really great day - thank you Sarah and Adam for suggesting it and being such great company. We'd love to do more things together as families and feel really lucky to have such wonderful friends. :)

Sunday - i blogged and looked affter our babe. Russ was a tidying God!!! Enough said!

Blog Title

I'm in the process of fiddling around with the blog. The title didn't seem apt anymore with Ezra now here too so we are now 'Roots and Wings'. You can still find us at the same address - just our title and blog header will be different. :) More changes to come soon to the sidebar too.

A few random photos

Phoebe helps with dinner prep

Phoebe's picture of a carousel

Ezra gets a cuddle from his big sister... don't worry, he had been smiling up until this point and was rescued right after.

Phoebe's autumn crown

Meeting Rocco

Last weekend we finally managed to make the jouney over to Thatcham to meet our nephew for the very first time. We stayed overnight with Auntie Nicola and Uncle John and spent lots of time talking and playing. Phoebe sadly wasn't well but did a really good job of coping with it and was almost her usual happy self. It took a while to discover she was actually poorly as she was so chirpy and excited still. Anyway, she is fine now and it was lovely to finally meet Rocco.

Nicola shares a story with Rocco and Phoebe

Phoebe gives Rocco a present.

Ezra and his mama

Phoebe and Daddy dancing

Ezra with Auntie Nicola

Auntie Nicola helps Phoebe with a sticker book

Daddy with Rocco and Phoebe

Grandma and Grandpa come over - thank you for the lovely clothes!

Cousins - Ezra and Rocco - born about a day and a half apart!

Nicola has fun building towers with Phoebe.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon. xx

Lynsey and Andy

On our way to Auntie Nicola and Uncle John's house we stopped over at Nana and Grandad's and Aunty Lynsey and Uncle Andy came over. They had just signed contracts on their house. Yay! So its all very exciting and they will move in just before christmas. Great news!

Thoughts for the day

Just musing on the implications for the new proposed Children, School and Families Bill on Home Educating families. It may sound like a good idea in theory (well, not to us) but the ramifications are potentially huge. People are largely unaware of the effect it could have and don't understand the fuss. I think, why change a process that already works. This is going to threaten our chance of providing a truly autonomous education for our children. I don't want to have to entertain an inspector in my home for eight hours! If anything is going to put a stop to spontaneous learning it is that. I also wonder how they will 'assess' my children - what form will it take? I'm certainly against any kind of tests or anything that will undermine their belief in themselves and their own ability. As an unschooling family we will not be using 'lesson plans' as such and although i have no problem sharing my journal and the children's pictures, models, photos etc I do not want to be pushed into formal schooling to appease some jobsworth... and i will not do that. I also will not consent to my children being left alone with someone who i do not know at all. Why does the state have to interfere with everything? They are in the process of destroying something really beautiful - children's freedom to learn joyfully through following their passions! At the moment i feel like taking a stand of non compliance, but in reality I am a peaceful person and do not like confrontation. If this goes ahead i will have to find a creative way of doing what i need to do and protecting my family.

If you have no idea what i'm talking about information can be found here.

To get all of that negativity out of my system I need to counter it with something positive. So here are a few quotes from the wonderful John Holt. Something to think about on this rainy Sunday afternoon.

"Of course, a child may not know what he may need to know in ten years (who does?), but he knows, and much better than anyone else, what he wants and needs to know right now, what his mind is ready and hungry for. If we help him, or just allow him, to learn that, he will remember it, use it, build on it. If we try to make him learn something else, that we think is more important, the chances are that he won't learn it, or will learn very little of it, that he will soon forget most of what he learned, and what is worst of all, will before long lose most of his appetite for learning anything."

"Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them"

"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense ... School is not a place that gives much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking and learning."

"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is. "

"What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent - in the broadest and best sense, intelligent- is not having access to more and more learning places, resources, and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgement, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of people around them."

"We who believe that children want to learn about the world, are good at it, and can be trusted to do it with very little adult coercion or interference, are probably no more than one percent of the population, if that. And we are not likely to become the majority in my lifetime. This doesn't trouble me much anymore, as long as this minority keeps on growing. My work is to help it grow. "

The Toothbrush Trio

Last week we went to visit Sarah, Jack and Eleanor for the afternoon. We shared a yummy lunch and played. Jack had brought his drum kit downstairs but as Ezra was sleeping and there wasn't really room (too many toys out already) we suggested it be played back in his room. Apparently the train set was out there so there was nothing for it... the bathroom band was formed, which we soon dubbed 'The Toothbrush Trio'! Toothbrushes were even used to make music as the correct beaters were mysteriously absent. Great fun and i couldn't resist sneaking up to take a couple of pics.

We had a great day. Thank you for having us. x

My Baby is growing!

Green Parent Weekend

Here are our pictures (finally) of the green parent weekend. There weren't many good ones, but then i think we were all too busy having fun! Richard's photos (On Charlie's Blog) are much better. Photography is his hobby and he takes great photos. :)

Anyway, the weekend was full of talking, sharing, smiling, playing, and knitting! We met some really lovely families and hope to see them again next year!

Just seen that Sarah (Arwen_tiw) has just posted her pictures of the weekend too. :)