Seasons of Joy: Autumn

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

Inside my home…

I have wanted a large blackboard in our kitchen ever since I spied a huge one at our friends’ new home.  Thing is, I had no money to buy one or to buy the supplies to make one.  Soooo, I had the challenge of making one from anything we had lying about the house.

Do you remember the schedule I made for my younger girls when they were very, very little?

Routine board hanging in their bedroom

Well, they have outgrown this now and instead of making a new one I decided I would paint the inside with our old black board paint, turn it on its side and hang it in the kitchen.  Not huge but big enough to write notes, menus etc on and I think goes fairly well with the kitchen.  I do love to make something which costs nothing 🙂




I am thankful for…

My mum, who is my biggest cheer leader, my constant support and my best friend (along with Gary, Nik, Caroline…)

I am creating….

A sewing kit for my littlest daughter:


I will be posting how I made it and what she learnt in her very first week of sewing.
I am listening to…

One of my favorite things…

Seeing my teens hanging out with one another.  Right now, they are up at the park skate boarding together as Thomas teaches Lillie how to do some tricks:


I am missing…

My kitty cats.  Thomas found some photos he took of them over the week before their death.  It might be time to start looking for some new kitties.

I am singing…

We all live in a yellow submarine…with the whole family joining in….so much fun


Not to mention a little bit of dancing:


I am praying about…

Our youth group.  We are covering prayer this term and have plans for song writing, art collages, skits and lots of prayer.  I am praying God will give me courage to talk about this part of my life (prayer) which I am unusually private about.

Giving thanks…

For my teens.  I have appreciated them so much this week.  They are all so kind and thoughtful, reassuring and loving.  Not just to me but to each other also.  Charlotte has been put on some ultra strong anti-inflammatories by the GP for her knees and told to rest up this week.  This, of course, she was very willing to do 😉  But what has been so lovely to see is all four of her siblings absorbing her chores into their own so that she can fully rest.

Thinking deeply….

I’m thinking about forgiveness, and what it looks and feels like.  At what point is forgiveness complete?  God says you should forgive until you have forgiven.  It is not a one off thing.  I don’t know that I can answer my own questions, but I do know that as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, bitterness will have no part to play in my life.  And I mean literally on Jesus.  When I feel sucked in by my own feelings and I actually determine to focus on God, those feelings, which are self placating at best and evil at worst, disappear.

Establishing rhythm….

I have significantly simplified our homeschool this year by separating it out into four sections (Morning meeting/ maths/ self-directed learning/ Writing (older ones English IGCSE)  Oh my goodness!  It is so simple, so easy and so perfect for this time in my life 🙂

Turning pages….


My book arrived!!  Unfortunately as I had very publicly written on my blog last week that I had bought it for someone else to give it to me for my birthday, those someones confiscated it from me!  Turns out I’m not allowed it until my actual birthday 🙁

Captured moment…

Brother and sister working together:


I am laughing at…

I keep taking journey’s down memory lane and watching old ‘Friends’  episodes.  This had me in near hysterics:

The English School System

I was asked yesterday to do a quick outline of the educational system in Britain.  These are usual ages exams are taken in the school system.  Obviously as home schoolers we have a bit more flexibility.

Age 16

GCSEs are taken.  These are known as level 2 exams.  If a child is more practical there are other options which are level two but without the exams and are more hands on.  In school a teen may take from six GCSEs upwards.  I believe the average is 8.  They are currently marked grades A*, A, B, C etc but are soon to be changed to 1, 2, 3 etc

My children will be doing the equivalent of seven GCSEs which will include Level 2 BTECS, as well as Music equivalents in Grades (Grade 5 is equivalent to level two qualification).  Instead of taking all seven at 16 my guys will be taking them spread over three years. (one at 14, Two at 15, Three at 16 plus one BTEC taken over two years (14-16)

Age 18

At 18 teens tend to take their Level 3 courses.  These include Level 3 BTECS, ALevels, Diplomas.  These are traditionally taken at sixth form in a school or at a college.  These generally award the student UCAS points which they will need to obtain a place at University

Thomas intends to take three A Levels at College in Physics, Chemistry and Maths with a view to getting into university to study Engineering.

Lillie will hopefully do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design at the local art university.  It is not typical that universities offer courses for the 16-18 age group, but this particular university is a small one which only offers art degrees.  If Lillie does well in her Art and Design diploma she will have automatic acceptance onto their Art and Design Degree, should she wish to pursue her studies further.

Charlotte wants to work with disadvantaged teens.  She plans to take English Language A level and English literature A level, as well as one or two A levels from Philosophy, Sociology, Music and Psychology (she is unsure at the moment).  She is unsure which degree to do, but is thinking either of doing one focused on Worship Music or one focused on Youth Work.


Once a student has finished a level three qualification they have the choice to continue on to a Level 4 diploma, degree, an apprenticeship or go out to work.  After a degree the student may continue on to do a Masters and then a PHD.

Hope that helps my American readers understand a bit more.  As you can see, my children are not advanced in any way, shape or form.  They are just where they should be 🙂


  1. “Cel-e-SCREECH-bration-time….” I laugh every time I watch that show; it’s one of the few that I will re-watch once in a while when I need some silliness.
    I remember that routines board you made! I love how you re-made it. And I love your fridge – you can’t get lovely rounded ones like that here for less than about 5 thousand dollars. I miss the one like that I had from the fifties which finally died a few years back.
    What are you including in the little sewing kit?

  2. I have to giggle at the chalkboard — I JUST bought a large one yesterday for our dining room wall. (except mine will not be for a menu) Love yours!

    I do hope that you will enjoy the Slow Lane book. If you are interested, we will be going through it as a small online email type group- (no pressure), but a heart felt invitation to join us. We will be taking it all in slowly at a pace that we set together.

    I hope that you have a lovely weekend. Teens are so much fun 🙂

  3. I love the chalk board and I love when I find things to recycle in my home. This week we found several nice quality bushes that were buried in vines in a wild part of the back yard. I am moving them to the front yard where they can be enjoyed and improve our curb appeal.
    Blessings, Dawn

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