Friday, January 11, 2013

52 weeks, 52 books

Oh look, I'm back...temporarily because I have to say, I am completely enjoying not being quite so wrapped with this fixation of square technology. I have, however, jumped back on today to talk briefly about our new year challenge.
This year, alongside our Pollyanna jar (I'll explain that another time), our family is undertaking a 52 weeks, 52 books challenge.
I've given each child a note book and we'll be creating a blog space, to document the 52 books that they read over the next year. Television has never played huge parts in our daily life (it is there, don't get me wrong, but it's not on on a daily basis), but I am trying to gently guide my boys in particular, away from their obsession with Beano annuals and back to the beauty and joy of reading novels.

Both my husband and I are avid readers, I was the desperation of an ex-boyfriend in my teen years, who laughed at my categorisation of my books with the Dewey decimal system (okay...that was theraputic letting you all know that!), I worked in a library as a teen and, much like yarn, I am content to sit for hours and stroke books or smell them (I refuse to own a kindle on this very guise, although I know that my days of denial are probably decreasing as the quantity of books one can take on holiday on a kindle far surpasses the need for smell once my suncream has blown up all over my books in my suitcase!) I am also well known for burning food as I'm engrossed in a chapter or falling asleep with a book on my face! So for both of us, books play a huge part in our family life and we have been reading to our children since the day they were born and still do read to all of them from a family reader as often as time allows.

I'm hoping that the blog will become inspiration for other parents who may have children at the same or similar ages, to find books that my children have read and reviewed in their own words. I know that the ages that my three are at, 8 (with a reading age of probably nearer 11), 10 (again, probably more like a 13 year old) and 12 (who was reading teen books at around 8), the contextual level for the challenge of the read are sometimes far apart.

This is no brag of their ability to read, merely that they found reading early and quickly moved - apart from my middle one, who hated reading from an early age, but loved being read to, and worried both of us. A proof in the largest of puddings that there is no need to fight with a youngling who is obviously confident and able in other things...just read to them, read to them, read to them and eventually one day they will pick up something and never stop reading from that point. The day his teacher told me his reading age, I fell off my chair and berated myself from doubting his own knowledge of what he needed to do, when. BUT, I digress!

However, confident and able readers that read above their age are not always at an advantage and, I return to my original wish for their blog, and that is that others may find inspiration for suitable books, with both context and level of interest for children who may well be avid readers, or even for those to whom reading is not yet wanting and where there maybe things to spark interest.

I will attach the link to this blog later in the week once I manage to get some blogspace for their words.
Thanks for reading ;-)

Here is the link to our new 52 books, 52 weeks challenge

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


This seems somewhat of an odd end to the year post this year.
Partly because it's already the new year and partly because I don't have many photos of Christmas or the last few weeks to choose from so it'll be all words, and partly because I feel in somewhat of a limbo and fug at the moment.

I'm not going to make resolutions again this year as it sets me up to fail by about January 2nd, however I am going to come up with some things I'd really like to 'improve' on or 'better myself' with or new things I'd like to learn.

This was meant to be a big year this year, I turned 40 back in march and had so many big, big plans, but somehow, life had other ideas for me and many of those plans didn't materialise and more plans came out from the shadows and deviated me from my path.

It's funny, because the longer I live, the more I believe that your path is already set for you and, however hard you may try to change it, we are preset to live a life that is designed for us. That's not to say that we can't better things or change them slightly, but ultimately the BIG things that matter, are probably already pre chosen when we arrive on the earth.

I suppose many of the reasons why I feel this way is the fact that this was the year that I walked away from my dream and ended up back teaching, and oddly feel that this is the place I am meant to be. I have had dreams and even nightmares about leaving midwifery, there are times when I feel that I may have made a truly big mistake, but then other times when I know that what I'm doing now is the right decision for all of us as a family and that I feel safe and comfortable doing it. I've tried to leave do something else, but seem to stumble right back into it each time.

Another reason is that despite trying for 4 years now, we just can't get pregnant! Weird isn't it! There is no rhyme or reason as to why, after we lost our fourth child back in 2008 and successfully having three healthy children that there should be problems, but...well, life has other plans. I'm now 40, 41 this year and feel that my time has come to an end now to be a parent to a newborn. There is a bizarre nagging at me in the back of my head that says that maybe there is another child there somewhere, but not a biological one and deep down, I ALWAYS knew I would have two boys and a girl, ever since I was about 12!

So, where am I now on the evening of the 1st day of 2013. Hmmm, well, I'd like to lose a little weight this year and do a bit more exercise (I say that every year). I'd like to learn to woodburn (pyrography is it's real name), I'd like to qualify as a Montessori teacher, but then...actually, I'd like to take what I've learned back into mainstream education. I don't want to open my own nursery like I thought I would. I am enjoying working with the little ones, but if we're having a post of me being honest, I want to be back with the older ones - reception - year three, that's my place. I'm going to sing every week with Rock choir. I'm going to sing my bloody heart out ! I'm going to truly love life.

But before we get to do any of that, I want to get my house back to normal. If there is one thing that has been rammed home to me harder than anything this year, is that I am a creature who likes to be organised and know where I am with things. I like to be able to carry out a plan and I don't like change or limbo! That's not to say, as those of you who have been with me the longest know, that I can't do spontaneity or live out of a suitcase for a short period, heck, I've lived in a caravan for a month, in a bed and breakfast for six, out of a suitcase in a house in the woods, nearly ended up in Japan, but arrived in Connecticut, have considered living in Singapore, Australia, and Cape Town, but I am a creature of comfort and like to have a game plan that follows through.

I think these last couple of months have made me realise that I like endings, I like closure and I don't like loose ends. Living in one room with a mess in the others hasn't endeared itself to me at all! I don't like sitting around waiting for things to come to me. I don't like people passing the buck and not just being honest. I am a bit crap with waiting too!

So, I may take a break from the blog for a while too as I feel I want to find myself a bit more in 2013. I want to discover who I am, close some loose ends and find the beauty around me again, which seems to be lacking a bit at the moment. Maybe I need less rain and more camera?

So I'm wishing all of you who read this blog a wonderful New year. Hang around, I will be back at some point, I think.