Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Southborne Beach

We had a surprise weekend of sun and decided to make a dash for the sea. As per usual we took way to long getting organised, well actually it was too much lounging about in bed and then the debates of who was to come with us that took the time. Millie wanted to see a play her friends were performing that evening and we didn't want to be back in time to see that so she ended up staying with Lottie. It was just us and the boys in the end which was weird but nice. We went down to Southborne as it's near Robin and Gill's house and we thought it would be lovely to see them as well, they are always good company and Rob loves hear about Robin's latest antics.

When we eventually made it through the traffic we found it beautifully sunny and not all that crowded, it had all the stuff we needed and also a little sand, ok it's not a welsh beach and I am known for my fussiness where beaches are concerned but for that day it was just the ticket. Luke had protested on the way that he didn't want to go to the beach but within minutes of getting on the sand had found his trunks and was in the water laughing and demanding his body board. He spent the whole time just busy building sand castles and playing in the sea it was lovely to see him so content.

Sammy just loves to be outside and took to the sand straight away thankfully he didn't try to eat it this time as he did when we were in Devon. He wasn't so sure about the sea Rob took him in and tried to get his feet wet but he just clamoured up him to get away. It was an idyllic time I even had time to read some of my book in peace.

We went to Robin and Gill's after and they kindly did a BBQ for us and we spent a lovely time chatting and catching up on life which was a great way to end the day. I think these unexpected days out are the best they're like a surprise holiday when you should have been taking a trip to the dump and sorting the washing!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Summer Time

Been ages since I've written anything so I thought I'd give you a quick catch up on what we've been up to.

We've managed a couple of camping weekends in the New Forest both of which we had good enough weather, not to hot and not to cold, Sammy loved the freedom of being outside all the time. Also both times we went with friends so he enjoyed all the attention of having so many people around. He also enjoyed his first bike rides, which I also appreciated as Daddy did the hard work and it was a lovely break for me, as you can see wasn't to hard for him either!

We also had a Birthday since I last posted, Sammy was two in June, it's quite shocking how fast the time has gone by, he doesn't seem two at all he's still such a baby, which we love it's like having a child that grows in elephant years assuming that the bigger the animal the longer it takes to grow up unlike dogs who do seven to our one.

He has come on in alot of ways he now eats most of the food we eat with only a bit of chopping up, he will even feed himself somethings with things like pasta, which he can stab with a fork. His standing up has improved he still doesn't walk but we are waiting for some Pedro boots so hopefully it won't take long once we get those. His signing has come on leaps and bounds he knows so many now it's lovely to see him communicating independently. As I'm sitting here he is tackling a whole apple he's almost down to the core I'll have to rescue it soon before he eats it all.

Other news is that Lottie has finished all her exams and will be having her prize giving assembly this evening and that will be it for the Kings School. It was a stressful time she really hates exams, ever since she was little she hated them even if it said test on the paper! I'm so glad that the course she has chosen is a continual assessment one so she won't have to do the end of year exams again, unless of course we have to retake the ones she just did, lets hope not!!

The summer has been a wash out literally, it's been so depressing the kids haven't spent anywhere near enough time outside. We are off to 28:18 soon so I hope the weather cheers up I really don't need to have a crawling Sammy in the mud.

I'll try and be a bit more reliable with the postings in future it's so hard to remember all that has happened.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Poor little man has been really poorly the last few days, I think it was supposed to be a virus which he would get over in a couple of days but we are on day five now and he is covered in spots. At least now he's spotty he doesn't seem to have such a high temperature and has started eating again. I find is so strange that one chromosome can make such a difference to so many things it always takes so long for him to recover from every little illness and there doesn't seem to be anything that we can do to make him more hardy.

What a peculiar journey we are on Sammy is such a puzzle yet he's also completely delightful. In some ways not having any idea what the future holds can be a positive it means that there are less expectations and we are free to make the most of what comes along. It's a good lesson to learn and we need to help the others know that the same applies to them, Lottie is soon to start her GCSE's and she feels the pressure to achieve certain grades, she has tried so hard with her revision what more can we ask of her, whatever happens we will have to help her to be positive about the future and to approach it with courage and excitement.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Down on the Farm

Had a gorgeous day out at Finkley Down Farm the other day it was a perfect sunny day with just enough breeze to make it pleasant. I tagged along with the Kings School Infants who where having a trip it meant that I got to spend time with my friends as well. Sammy loved it so much he was signing excitedly at all the animals although still didn't get him to sign goat, I think they made him a little nervous they were very nibbley and rambunctious with big horns! He got to stroke a mouse, it was very cute and tiny yet he was really gentle. He also got to feed a lamb with a bottle and was even brave enough to let a calf eat from his hand.

He had a great time in their play area with all the ride on toys, there were loads of little tractors and pull along things, thankfully it was lovely and grassy so he was able to crawl about without getting to grubby. At one point he had a lovely chat with the chickens he could get right up close to them in their run I'm not sure that they understood what he was saying maybe they just thought he was doing a chicken impression. We had to make up a sign for peacock they had quite a few really flashy ones about, he loved them and really wanted to touch but I wasn't sure they were very friendly they were far to snooty!

After picnic lunch which he was to excited to eat they played on the swings, slides and sandpit, Sammy had lots of would be Mummies that wanted to help with him I even got a bit of a rest for a while. He was so exhausted by the end of the day that he was asleep before I managed to get out of the car park, I will definitely be going back again soon hopefully with some of the others who were all sad that they hadn't been able to go. It was a wonderful learning opportunity, a chance to make what he's seen in books and tele real.

He's really coming on with his communication lately, when I was doing some matching with him the other day he was looking at a picture of a baby that he had already signed and he seemed to be examining it closely then he looked up and did the sign for sad, I was so amazed that he was making a comment like that, the baby was actually sleeping with his face down which is quite often what Sammy will do if he is sad, he just puts his face down on the carpet. I was quite impressed it shows that he is really thinking about what he is seeing and able to communicate it!

Monday, 13 April 2009

A special day in the Forest

What a wonderful day today the sun shone and it was beautiful and warm. We took a lovely jaunt out in our new car to the New Forest, it's a really smooth drive with the added fun of music on demand we had a great time playing some of the kids worship songs and a few other things even when we hit traffic which I suppose was inevitable on a bank holiday it was still alot of fun! Millie didn't even complain and felt fine the whole time.

We fuelled up at the tesco one stop and headed off to find our usual picnic spot, unfortunately it seemed that everyone else had the same thought and got to it earlier than us so we had to keep going til we found a new spot which worked just as well, lots of trees and the usual forest stuff. Later we had trouble again trying to park at Aldridge Hill but as it turned out it was a bonus because we discovered a lovely spot on our walk from where we had to park in the end. The kids had their wellies so they had a great time running in and out of the stream and getting stuck in the mud at one point Luke lost both his wellies in the mud and Millie had to rescue them, I think the socks are beyond rescue unfortunately though! Sammy had great fun sitting on the side throwing in stones he missed most of the time but that didn't seem to dampen his enthusiasm. Millie and Luke were kept busy supplying more stones for him to throw sometimes a hazardous business as he didn't want to stop for them to get out of the way!

We finished off the day with fish and chips at Lymington, the seagulls there are way to adventurous one nearly landed on my head the kids thought they were great fun and would have preferred to feed them all their dinner but they had to settle for a few tit bits in the end, we probably shouldn't have given them any but it was so tempting. It was a lovely day in the end I hadn't been keen to start with as I was tired from Sammy being up in the night and having a horrid cold but I'm so glad that Rob was insistent about it. It was worth it and the fresh air and sun were a real tonic.

Oh yes I nearly forgot it was also a special day because we are eighteen years married today what better way to celebrate! Still loving you Rob!

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Today we made this lovely collage at church, I've been trying to make church more accessible to the children so while the service was going on this morning I had the children colour in a mixture of trophies, rosettes, medals, number ones and stars. They all wrote their names on them to show that although Jesus was the one who won the victory he did it to save them. I painted the background in a black and white check to symbolise the winning flag, it all looked really effective and the children really seemed to enjoy it.

I love the creativity of God it's one of my favorite characteristics probably because it's one of the things that make me feel most alive I get so much enjoyment out of creating something new or finding some way to express myself creatively. I really feel that it's a good way to learn about who God is by looking at His creation and that the act of creativity also teaches us so much about Him, His patience, attention to detail, His love for us, His extravagance, His joy and many more things.

I have been so moved today because life can be so hard sometimes and trying to live it the way we should seems impossible but today I am reminded that in Him all things are possible and also that it's not me but Christ that sets me free it is such a relief! I hope that I will remember everyday and not just at Easter.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

First Steps Almost

What an exciting day, I was amazed that Sammy just got up this morning and decided to that he could walk with the push along walker. Up to now he has always refused on the grounds that it moves way to fast and is obviously a health hazard but for some reason this morning it was suddenly easy. It is a wonderful step literally in the right direction I'm hopeful that we may have him walking by his second birthday that would be way ahead of where I thought it would be.

Also this week he's using his signing more and more and obviously understanding so much of what is said to him and around him. He really seems to like squirrels after seeing one on 'Something Special' so we took him, Millie and Luke for a walk on Sunday afternoon to see if we could find one in the woods. Typically when you want to see one there were none in sight but he did get very good at the tree sign, two days later I was telling a friend about this and when I looked at him he was watching me and signing tree. He is even signing a couple of signs together now if you count signing to songs it's so sweet to see him but unfortunately I can't sing, sign and film all at once so you will have to take my word for it.

I'm really encouraged at the moment he seems to be coming on so well the fact that he doesn't speak isn't so worrying because I'm sure he will get round to it and it's obvious that he wants to communicate. If every journey starts with one small step then today I think we started on our way to somewhere wonderful!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Peg apron

As promised here is a picture of my peg apron it is so practical and I'm really pleased with it. As you can see it fits all which is essential with a houseful it means that anyone can hang washing. It's not as beautiful as the one my Gran made but it's lovely and bright and I did do some decorative blanket stitch round the pocket openings. Rob suggested that I make some more and sell them to raise money for Millie's trip it might be a good idea and if no one wants them I can always give them away as presents, once you have tried one I think you will always want one, I don't know why you don't see them in the shops!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Pick and Mix

Sammy is really getting the hang of signing these days, we have been singing and signing a song called 'I dig my garden' and it has a sign for planting seeds and growing. While the portage worker was here he actually did both signs like he'd been doing it for ages she was so amazed, he also did a puzzle she brought without any mistakes first time, what a star! He doesn't often perform for the right people so it's always satisfying when he does it's good to have a witness it stops you thinking you are imagining things.

We are reaping the consequences of Millie's sleepless weekend away, she doesn't cope well with a lack of sleep her personality takes a detour into contrariness and weeping not her usual self at all. It means we will be on egg shells for a few days I think I should make her a T-shirt with the slogan 'Fragile, handle with care' on it til she catches up with her sleep and we have our smiley Millie back.

I read the most wonderful book yesterday it's called the Miraculous journey of Edward Tulane it was so good I read it in two sittings which is good for me I'm the sort of reader that likes to take in every word so I tend to read at the sort of pace you would read aloud. It's a children's book and I can't wait to read it to Millie and Luke when we have finished the Penderwicks. Hopefully it will teach them something about appreciation of the people that love them and about loving others.

It's been quite a busy day I managed to cut out an apron for holding pegs, I had a beautiful one that my Gran made with embroidery on it but somehow it's lost, I'm hopeful it will turn up but in the meantime I'm making my own. It's more modern but just as practical and I'm sure just like Grans the kids will laugh at me when I wear it. I don't know why, it's so much better than those silly ones you hang on the line and have to keep fighting washing to get at, admittedly it's not the height of fashion but the fact my Gran made it and used it gave me pleasure while I hung out the washing. I'm not sure this one will have the same effect but it is really cheerful, a bright red with multi coloured dots on. When it's done I'll take a picture and put it on here.

Luke is reading to me at the moment, a book about pets, his reading it coming on great he wants to read everything including the book I'm reading to him he tries to read along which can be a bit distracting at times but it is lovely to have one that can do that and wants to. That reminds me better go and read some more of the Penderwicks need to find out how the 'save daddy plan' is going to work out!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Playtime and parting

Sammy and I went to Farnham today it was a lovely relaxed day with lots of lovely people and children to chat and play with. We had a lovely time playing on the water bed in the sensory room it was so warm with changing lights and revolving pictures being projected on the wall. It was a special time rolling around together with lots of cuddles and tickles, he is such a lovely little boy full of kisses and giggles.

He also had a fun time in the playhouse with a couple of older boys, they were so sweet with him he loved playing boo out of the window and seemed to think that the pretend pizza was in need of a wash in the sink. He also had great fun in the tunnel always a winner with him today he played with a couple of girls crawling in and out together. I have noticed quite a change in the way he is playing he is much more interactive with other children now, he watches and copies what they are doing. He also was signing to one of them today she didn't understand him but he was trying to communicate which is great!

The speech therapy time was hard work Sammy just wouldn't sit still he wanted to climb on the bean bags and explore. He did do some lovely signing and responded well when she asked him to feed the lion an ice-cream (plastic of course).

He really loves his cuddly toys we often play with our teddies he particularly loves Mummies Teddy, a panda that Rob brought me a while ago. I think he loves it because it's mine, so cute, his little face is a picture when I cuddle it and then he instantly wants a go to.

Millie is off on a youth weekend with church it's been coming for a while and we have done nervous, excited, stressed, excited and more excited. She went last year and texted or phoned every two hours, hopefully she will feel more settled this time she certainly seems more up for it this time and it's alot closer so I think that will help, although I am secretly hoping that I still get lots of texts, I think I'm as bad as her. We will miss her noise about the house she is always so chirpy. It's amazing with so many children how one missing changes the whole feel of things. I can't imagine how it will be when they start leaving home it's going to take some adjusting to, in the mean time I'm going to make the most of it and hope that I can survive the lack of sleep and damaged eardrums!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Fun at the park

I thought it might be a good idea to be able to put a face to the name Samuel so here are a couple of photos I took at the park today. He loved going on the swing and really would have liked to play football with the others but mean old Mummy wouldn't let him crawl around in the mud. They all had fun taking him down the slide and playing on the climbing frame. It was so good to get out in the fresh air it really lifts your spirits to see the sky it seems like I've spent so much time indoors lately without really achieving alot. I have managed to get Sammy started on some sound cards and also made him a family book which he thinks is great fun.

We went to a school fair earlier and managed to pick up a few new touchy feely books and also had a cuddle with some rabbits which was lovely he really liked them although he seemed really excited about their cages and the doors opening and shutting.

I must get on and get his bedroom finished we still have him sleeping in with us and the early mornings are getting a bit much, maybe if it was completely quiet and darker he would sleep longer. I want to be able to put the lovely quilts that he had from hospital and from my lovely friend when he was born, up on the wall it will look so colourful and bright!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Being a parent

How good would it be if we could jump ahead a few years and see if what we are doing 'now' works? I'm feeling completely overwhelmed today by the tightrope that we have to walk as parents on one side there's the friendly lunches and pally chats on the other there is "whatever" and "don't tell me what to do!" The investment we make into their lives is motivated purely out of love for them, the restrictions that we make are only for their safety. I know we can't prevent or predict every bad thing that may happen to them but it is built into us that we do all we can, is it fear? Or the lioness protection instinct that does it? Or is it love?

God gave us a free will, a choice to choose to love Him or not, it seems that same choice doesn't apply when it comes to our children even when they should be old enough to know better and when they lash out against us we still love them and stress over how to guide them in a way that will keep them safe without infringing on their liberty. I wish that we could swap shoes for just a day, so that they can know that we are not the enemy, that we don't want to make them an image of ourselves, that we want to see them become happy and fulfilled, living the exciting and full lives that were planned out for them by a loving and amazing Father. Yes, we want to stay a part of their lives but we only want to observe and enjoy where they go, not do the driving. We hope that they grow up to respect the choices we make and to remember that we are human like them. I certainly do with mine, each of us reflect the diversity of our God and to be tied to family by love that doesn't expect conformity but revels in uniqueness is a wonderful blessing!

On days like this when I feel lost when I don't know how it's going to turn out, when I'm scared that I could loose them emotionally, that they will hide from me what they are really thinking because it will hurt me, I have to remember that although they are my flesh and blood and I love them passionately they are more important to the one who planned them before He created the earth, that He who started a good work in them will complete it. Thank God that we are not in this alone, what a lesson in so many things is being a parent. Do you think that could be part of the plan?

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Sick,Lemonade and Dressing up.

It's been a really tough week Sammy hasn't recovered since last Sunday when he started being sick. Poor little man hasn't eaten properly all week, he seems to be able to survive on fromage frais, a few quavers and breastmilk, which was in short supply but now seems to have responded to demand. One of the high lights was on Tuesday eve when he decided to sick and poo simultaneously! He hates me holding a bowl in front of him so I was fighting to catch sick when I noticed there was a warm wet feeling running down my leg. The poo, if you could call it that had escaped and was making a run for it. I had to call Rob for help I wrapped the pooey end in a towel and promptly took him for a bath. Poor little lad he managed to poo his way through four pairs of jammies the next day. It always causes alot of screaming and flapping when it happens and various people either run for air freshener or cover.

While he's been ill all he wanted to do was watch Mr Tumble, a programme on TV for children with special needs where they can learn to sign. I have learnt a great deal from it and normally Mr Tumble is one of my favorites but after several days (that seem like weeks!!!) I'm beginning to imagine rather sudden and violent ends for him. I did regain my enthusiasm momentarily when Sammy did the sign for squirrel yesterday it's always so exciting when he does a new one, not that he will always do it again it's a case of been there got the T-shirt sometimes.

He has learnt a new trick which he has repeated lots this morning, when I thought he was finally well again, he can blow his trumpet that the speech therapist gave him Yea!! He was so pleased with himself lets hope he remembers how to tomorrow.

Lottie has just come in from work complaining about the cold, that girl is always cold! Although apparently she's not so cold that she can't go out in it again to buy lemonade from down the road, she needs supplies to be able to do her French course work, it must be made from French lemons or something! It's quite scary how the time goes by she will be off to college this year and she's been talking about dresses for her leavers do. I'm not sure whether I will be called upon to make it or not yet, strangely Rob seems to think that it would be nice if I did. Maybe he does have a sentimental side!

As I sit quietly writing this I can hear Millie and Luke playing dressing up, Millie is swanning around in a old floaty dress of mine, it's only her voice I can hear I think she is the one with the creative ideas! Sisters can be so much fun he loves it when she gives him the time it all gets very dramatic and theatrical. I can imagine the waving arms from here as I listen to her talking in a French accent, when did my children become so continental?

Monday, 2 March 2009

Highs and Lows

Yesterday we sat having Sunday lunch which is always a loud, greedy affair, I was dishing up apple crumble and said to Sammy "Would you like custard and crumble?" I didn't really expect an answer but I talk constantly to him anyway when I looked at him he was excitedly signing his Mr Tumble sign I was confused as to why he would be signing that in the middle of dinner til I realised that's what he thought I'd asked "Would you like custard and Mr Tumble?" No wonder he looked so happy.

On the other side by teatime he was a different child, like all children he went from seemingly well to being sick in a matter of moments. He really hates me holding a bowl in front of him I have the impression that he thinks it's the bowls fault, so it's a balancing act between comforting and catching sick, really there should be some qualification for being a Mum it would certainly be worth more than the surfing course I heard of that is the equivalent of two A levels!

It's amazing the lengths everyone goes to when he's poorly to help, Millie was lovely, and cheerfully made Sausage Pasta for tea and now Lottie is galloping round the lounge being a horse, neighing and letting Luke ride it's very realistic, Sammy loves it. He really does unite us in a way that's a real blessing, How good is our God!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Sammy's busy day

We went to Disability challengers today it's a lovely place with softplay and a sensory room it's also where Sammy goes to have his speech theropy session. He loved the attention as usual but as yet there really is no speech involved unless you count signing which he does when he feels like it. It was good to catch up with some of his little friends that also have DS, it was so funny one of the little girls who insists on calling him 'baby' was trying to drag him up the softplay slope when actually he weighs more than her, she's four but so tiny and Sam is quite a chunky little man. We did manage it up to the top of the slide a few times and all three of us had to sit together to come down a big pile of arms and legs going 'weeeee'!
Sammy hasn't managed to achieve his homework from before Christmas yet, blowing a trumpet, he puts it to his lips and makes an impressive toot noise but refuses to learn to blow. I'm not sure what it's really supposed to help with but at this rate he will never be in a brass band!
The task today was to match a picture of a ball and a picture of a book he loved looking at the the pictures he even pointed to the right picture once but I don't think he had much of a clue. He really loved the miniture chair and bed she brought out for him to put a teddy in/on but he prefered to hold the teddy and squeeze his sizeable bottom into the bed and then sat on the chair and refused to move he played for ages like that, I think I need to get him a little chair and make a shoe box bed for his teddy!
At the moment I'm watching him flirt with Millie's friend, kissing her with open mouthed wet kisses, he really is so full of love!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

New Beginnings

I'm sitting here listening to Rob and Sammy making a right racket shouting at and waving pyjamas at each other and singing the Little Green Frog song. It's at this time of the evening when things get a little wild when everyone is home and chilling out after their various busy days.

I went to the hospital for a hearing appointment for our youngest Sammy he has Downs Syndrome and wears two hearing aids, the appointment today was a bit of a waste of time, they just asked how he was getting on with his aids and suggested I talk alot to him, I'm not sure what they think I do but the poor lad hardly gets any peace the ammount of stimulation he gets, what with reading books, signing DVD's, In the night garden and Mr Tumble and my constant babbling and singing, plus you then have to mulitiply that by 5 more when everyone else is home.

Lottie has just started singing in French and Millie wants to share her homework with everyone, how I'm supposed to have any sensible thoughts while all this is going on I don't know, but I suppose it is a start I think that next time I'll pick a more quite time.

A good thing that happened today is I made contact with another woman who homeschools and has a child with Downs, we spoke on the phone and I think we will have loads in common, it was really encouraging to talk with her as I think we are in a very small minority of christian homeschoolers with a DS child. Hopefully I will get to meet her soon if I can navigate the M3 to Woking. Navigation is not one of my strong points I don't seem to have be born with any sense of direction it's quite a worry for my lovely husband, who I think fears one of these days I'll be so lost I'll not ever find my way home. Maybe a sat nav would be a good investment.

I need to give Sammy a booby now and get him settled for the night so I'll finish here for now, hopefully I'll get the hang of this better in time and I will be able to express some of the blessed feelings I have when I think of these gorgeous people I have in my life. Until then Bye