Phew - I'm Back In The Loop!

17:57 Karen 2 Comments

After a very busy few days I am now back to normal, or as normal as I could possibly be!

LSNED - September 29th

I am up to date with posting my LSNED journal and my learning for today is how much I have enjoyed making it. It was a spur of the moment decision to sign up for the project and I had grave doubts whether I would manage to fit in making a page every day or if I would give up on it like I have on many journals I have started but I am thrilled to have finished it and am contemplating doing the Journal Your Christmas project this year. If I can organise myself to get pages made up in advance, journal onto index cards and keep it small and simple I think that, even over the Christmas period, I may well be able to complete this project.

What have I learnt today:-

Jackie and I work brilliantly together as a team.

I can complete a project if I put my mind to it and make it achievable.

I am a complete control freak - I completed a quiz, in a magazine, over breakfast this morning and I ticked all TEN boxes which were there to indicate if you are a control freak! So now it is official.

A couple of hours at home without Gracia and David can be utilised to do a bit of crafting, chat with friends and quickly whip round the downstairs so that it looks like I have done a bit of housework!

Finally, you may have been wondering what this is at the top of my blog. Well, this Sunday I am going to abseil down Colchester Town Hall in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Am I scared - you bet I am, am I going to do it - I sure am because I have over £100 in sponsorship hanging on it so I can put on an extra pair of pants (just in case) and jolly well do it!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. Unexpected teaching in the afternoon can be a bonus when working with someone who is on the same wavelength as you and makes team teaching so much fun.

2. Working in KS2 in the afternoon instead of KS1 means an extra 15 minutes lunch break.

3. I have cleared up my scrapping mess in the dining room, sorted out the lounge (or what is left of it) and if I spend 10 minutes on the bathroom then all my jobs, other than
printing out half a dozen invoices for David, are done.



Oh My Word - Can It Get Any Busier?

18:34 Karen 0 Comments

I sometimes wonder how I can let things get so manic and then have to conclude that because I am so disorganised and take on so much perhaps I like it that way. This week has been so completely manic that I have not been able to upload the last 4 days of
LSNED until today. I have utterly loved this project and am sad that I couldn't post on the relevant days but at least I got my pages done and have now uploaded them.

So I will use my pages to tell the story of my past week.

On Wednesday, I
re learnt that I really should have gone to bed earlier than 11:45 on Tuesday night, especially after the late cake baking night on Monday!

On Thursday I learnt that if I keep a bag packed with a couple of page kits and a basic tool kit I can go for a couple of hours scrapping at Eileen's without too much bother with packing stuff before I go.

On Friday I learnt that my doll Freckles, who I took into school for a 'Show Your Old Toys' session was an extremely popular visitor.

On Saturday I learnt that the
Wyverstone Crop is the place to be on the last Saturday of the month and there are no better bunch of girls to spend it with.

On Sunday I learnt that teaching Sunday School in the morning and going to the Back to Church Sunday service in the evening helps you to re-evaluate your

And yesterday I learnt that because I spent so much time out at the weekend (including going to a party Saturday night and not going to bed until nearly 1.00am) I was so busy that I forgot to take any photographs. Instead I typed up an
itinerary of my day and put that on my page!

So what have I learnt today:-

I am still really tired from all excesses of the weekend and so can only conclude that I am getting old :)

Positive praise is so much better than nagging the children.

On a sunny day you can't beat being on playground duty and chatting to the children, hearing them laugh and watching most of them play nicely.

BUT my big learning for today surprised even me, it was how grateful I felt when David said that he would run Gracia and her friend to their theatre group this evening. I usually take them and this involves a 30 minute round trip and then I usually have to get our meal when I get back. Today I got the meal while David was out and was able to update a little more of my blog.

Leaving you with 2
los I made at Wyverstone on Saturday. Both were made using sketches and the first one was part of a challange to use a page kit that Janice and Lorraine had put together. How spooky that I had gone to Tesco's on Saturday morning and bought a pack of felt flowers and butterflies that went beautifully with the kit.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. There are not many jobs where you are paid to watch children laughing and having fun - I am glad that I have one of them.

2. I have done all the work I am going to do for David today and look forward to an evening with just the two of chilling in front of the t.v.

3. I am pleased I made up the remaining pages for my
LSNED book at Wyverstone on Saturday so even though I have been busy all I had to do each day was print out a photo to stick in and write the journalling strips.



OK - fess up - Who has been shortening my days.

22:02 Karen 0 Comments

On Sunday I lost my internet connection right in the middle of updating my blog - all had seemed fine until I tried to upload some photos! I took the cables out and put them back a gazillion times. I turned off my computer and rebooted it another gazillion times but to no avail. After an hour long phone call to Netgear and a 30 minute phone call to Tiscali we ascertained that the router was in full working order and the line was in full working order and so I deduced that it must be something between the line and the router - the filter. Off to PC World I trundled to buy a new filter and viola - the blessed thing worked so after 4 hours of messing about I discovered that it is sometimes the little things that make all the difference!

Learn Something New Every Day - September 20th

Who has been shortening my days? Monday and today have been manic! I am always busy on a Monday as my Rainbow pack meets from 4:30 to 5:45. Yesterday I had it easy though because Sheena organised the meeting and I am so grateful. She made the girls lovely little booklets to stick pictures in and helped them to identify trees in readiness for our ramble next Monday. I then whizzed off to get Gracia from her b/fs house and on our return she started to make a cake for his birthday. I had anticipated that this would take some time but we both underestimated how long it would take. Consequently it was nearly 11:30 by the time we both went to bed!

Also David is off work this week and I don't know why I was surprised when I returned home yesterday to find my lounge wall missing and another
acro jack in the lounge - we now have 3 holding up the ceiling! This always happens - whenever he has some time off work or I leave him to go and visit my parents, something drastic happens to the house! All in the name of progress he assures me.

Today, I made an inroad into the pile of invoices I promised I would do at the weekend but after faffing about with the pc for so long to get it back onto the Internet had lost any enthusiasm I had to do them!

Over the past two days I have learnt:-

Simple things bring the most pleasure - the girls at Rainbows absolutely loved playing with bubbles at the end of the meeting.

Not to put off doing jobs that you don't want to do - those invoices will still be waiting to be done when you next return to your desk.

elaborate birthday cakes during the evening is not a good idea unless you start at a reasonable time and not at 8.00pm.

There are times when you have to ignore the diminishing size of the lounge and the increasing number of acro jacks in it and look to the future when the cottage will be finished.

Learn Something New Every Day - September 21st

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Every wall David tears down is one step closer to the final result.

2. Lovely, home made, vegetable soup and crusty bread for tea and enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

3. Only 4 more sleeps until
Wyverstone crop.



While The Boy's Away The Girls Will Play!

08:08 Karen 0 Comments

Learn Something New Every Day - Sept 18th

Still missing that boy of mine but making the most of it! Both Gracia and I have taken advantage of his absence to do things that might be frowned upon if he were here. Don't get me wrong, he is not a control freak or a dictator in our house but the girls in our home, when left to their own devices, are much messier than he would like!

So what did we get up to yesterday? Nothing too bad but over the weekend Gracia has been allowed to see her b/f more than she would normally do on a weekend. Only because David thinks I run her around too much. We differ on this point as we live on an infrequent bus route and I see it as our choice to live where we do. Given the choice Gracia would live much closer to the town and her friends - I sometimes think she would move in with Hannah, given half the chance!

We both went shopping at ASDA and had macaroni cheese and chips for lunch there, not very healthy but the only hot vegetarian option available. We came home to put the shopping away and look what we saw coming up the hill to our house - aren't they the most beautiful cows ever? I believe they are a breed that the farmer imported from Switzerland.

We then went into town for an hours mooching before she met up with said b/f after he had finished his new Saturday job and they disappeared off to do their own thing. I went into the local fabric shop for some lace for this LO which I had planned to do earlier. I used a sketch - not something I usually do but it came together so quickly I think I will use sketches from the net more often.

The delicious spotty journalling spot was made by the lovely SJ and can be purchased from HERE. Save your pennies to buy these lovely little bits of gorgeousness I just love them and they have so many uses. I have even used them as flowers on los.

Now, this is the bit where I fess up to doing what I wouldn't normally do - look at this mess.

I usually tidy up every evening or at the worst in the morning because I craft on the dining room table and we use it every day! But as it was only me for tea and a pizza can be eaten just as easily from a tray in front of X-Factor as at the dining room table, I left it. Boy do I regret it today as I now have all this mess to clear up. Yes that is my cutting mat and yes I do only have about a 6in square of space left to work on. Perhaps, this is why I am enjoying my little 6 x 4 album - it fits into the available space usually left on my cutting mat once I have hauled every possible item of stash out onto the table! Also there is the debris from the page I made on Friday too - I really am so not looking forward to clearing up this little lot, it stretches the whole length of the table, spills out onto the blanket box and then onto the floor. I knew it was getting bad when I finally had to finish my page on the work surface in the kitchen as it was the only available space large enough to take a 12 x 12!

What did I learn yesterday:_

I really must tidy up as I go along as it stresses me to work in such an untidy state.

Love the unexpected - coming round the corner and chancing upon those beautiful cows.

I can enjoy my own company a lot more than I thought I could.

I have put off finishing David's invoices for too long (my big job for today - 72 of them).

Learn Something New Every Day - September 19th

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. In about 30 minutes I will have reclaimed the dining room table from the ever increasing pile of crafting requisites!

2. The prospect of taking Kiera down to the woods for a long walk at lunchtime takes the edge of the time it will take to tackle the huge pile of invoices on my desk.

3. Egg on toast for Sunday breakfast - that may have to wait until I have found the dining room table!

Note - I also learnt today that when the internet crashes it can take you nearly 4 hours (1 of those on the phone to Netgear) to get back online!



Apologies for the length of this entry!

07:31 Karen 2 Comments

Sincere apologies for not blogging - no not really sometimes I have time to blog, sometimes I don't and sometimes I just want to spend my time doing other things than computery stuff.

I have kept up with the daily pages for LSNED and a pleased with most of my pages and the pair of pages I am not too keen on I am going to rectify today. As this is such a lovely project I want to be pleased with all the pages. Saying that, I made 4 pages in advance on Thursday and was really delighted with one design, then after I had added the photo I doodled around the edge - a big mistake as it changed the page from being plain and simple to messy - so me, being me, pulled the whole lot apart and made the pages again, without the doodling! (Thank you Eileen for the loan of your Martha Stewart punches - lush)

So what have I done/learnt over the past few days?

Children can make you double up with laughter, even when they don't mean to. I wish I could share the story but ethically I cannot.

Each time Gracia's B/F comes round I get a warm and fuzzy feeling just watching how the interact with each other, the fun, laughter and immense affection there is in their relationship.

When I said to Gracia "I have realised that Daddy and I have been together for over 25 years - how boring is that?" She replied "It's not boring to love someone for that long, it's an achievement" adding with a giggle "Especially if that person is Daddy!" I realised that no it isn't boring and our relationship is, in fact, far from boring. Note I am not sure who she was implying was the person who had made this miraculous achievement - me for putting up with David or him for putting up with me.

On Thursday, I went over to Eileen's to do a bit of cutting and sticking even though I knew I wanted to get the housework done and many other jobs. I had a short meeting after work and it would have been so easy to say I couldn't make over to Eileen's but I am so glad I did as spending time with friends, doing something you enjoy is priceless and so good for the soul. The jobs that needed doing still got done and I didn't resent spending time doing them as I had already had a lovely couple of hours to reflect back on!

Sorry, this is a long post - the penalty of not blogging for a couple of days!

Yesterday, David went off for his annual weekend away with the boys. I thought I was looking forward to a weekend of just me and Gracia but I am missing him already and really looking forward to his return.

Yesterday I went into W H Smiths to pick up a copy of SI as my scrapping friend Elaine had said that I had won the Reader's Gallery prize and she was right :) Not 1 but 2 los - Fun and Games and I Make Stuff!

While in there I noticed these really cute stickers - fortunately I looked at the correct price and not the money off price (lesson learnt here) and still thought that they were an absolute bargain. I now have to come up with a use for them!

I also spent the afternoon cutting and sticking to finish a lo I started last Saturday.

I love the gorgeous sunny days we are having at the moment when everything looks so shiny and bright.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. Some may say a reason to be cheerful is that they have eventually got to the end of this blog post :)

2. David will be home in about 36 hours (and counting).

3. The day ahead is going to be filled with quality time spent with Gracia and quality time spent alone - I can't wait xxxxxx

Hope you have a lovely day.



Karen - You worry too much!

07:36 Karen 0 Comments

Learn Something New Every Day - Sept 14th

Learn Something New Everyday - September 15th

Things to remember from yesterday :-

I worry about silly things, even though Gracia is 16. Yesterday was the first day she had a 'late' into college. As the local bus is not too local and buses are very infrequent I worried that she would miss it and would have to wait a couple of hours for the next or, as would likely be the case, I would have to dash off to get her to college! So I asked her to text me when she was on the bus - for goodness sake Karen she is 16 and perfectly capable of walking to the bus stop in time and catching a bus. So I waited anxiously for the text which should have come at about 10:05. I then got three texts in quick succession. Unfortunately, it was the wrong bus company for her to use her bus pass :(

So the moral of the story is 'Karen you worry too much'.

Also yesterday, I learnt that I can't watch all 150 children when I am out on playground duty and if some are being mean to a little girl, as bad as it is, it is not my fault that I did not catch it in time to stop it as I cannot be in every place on the playground by myself! (OK moaning over).

Gracia has an obsession with buying clothes from e-bay at the moment - in fact her opening words to me this morning were "Oh mummy - could you pay for something from e-bay for me?" I don't mind as she buys some absolute bargains - a Top Shop skirt (still with the labels on) for 99p! The downside of this is that as she is a size 6, more often than not they need altering to fit her so I am altering her purchases almost on a daily basis at the moment.

If I ask David will willingly go and get Gracia from her CO2 practice, thus saving me having to pitch out at 10.00 on an evening when I am really tied.

Also - it is important to make sure that David has left his house keys when he has taken my car to pick up Gracia. It is pointless planning an early night when you don't have a key to lock the front door and therefore have to wait up for David and Gracia to return anyway, before you can go to bed.

And what have I learnt today?

What I am really pleased to have learnt today is about Humpty Dumpty. This was in fact a large canon which was mounted on a church in Colchester during the English Civil War. Details here.

That actually, a couple of hours at home on my own is rather nice.

Playing 'playground' games with the children in the afternoon can be a bit hair raising when the boys play rough!

When David plans to go away for the weekend I should plan for an ironing marathon of all that he needs before he goes.

Learn Something New Every Day - September 16th (an early entry!)

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I am beginning to appreciate the evenings I now seem to have to myself - I can do as I please for a couple of hours.

2. I am going to Eileen's tomorrow for a couple of hours scrapping after work.

3. Now Gracia has managed to catch the bus ok I have one less thing to worry about.



Commutative - what a lovely word.

20:23 Karen 1 Comments

Sunday 13th - Learn Something New Everyday

Today I have learnt a new word - commutative. During the maths lesson the children were being taught to multiply by repeated addition and how to change multiplication number sentences around. 'In mathematics, commutativity is the property that changing the order of something does not change the end result.

I wrote it down on my hand so as not to forget it as I was so delighted with my new word!

So in addition to learning a new word what else have I learnt today:-

I can squeeze in a bit of surfing between doing the invoices.

The girls in my Rainbow pack absolutely loved playing board games this evening, I thought this would be an activity they would find boring but they really had fun.

I will be home at 6:30 in teenage language translates into actually arriving home at 8:20 (after three phone calls extending the time).

It is heart warming, when David is home before me, to have this little girl racing to the gate to meet me.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I am not too old to learn something new.

2. After 25 years together David and I still find something to laugh at every day (usually something I have done)!

3. We all had such fun playing board games at Rainbows today.