Seasons of Joy Weekly Journal

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

I love being a homeschooling mummy.  It is particularly a privilege to watch my teens figure out their strengths and weaknesses, and then blossom when given enough time to explore their interests.  But there are moments of wistfulness too.  I think probably caused by watching my elder twin becoming an incredible artist.  She improves every week and it is a truly beautiful process.  And I kind of want to join in.  In fact, I think I might need to carve out time in my incredibly busy day to make, fiddle and create.


We are trying out a three weeks on one week off in school; three weeks being as long as our steam runs when we follow our very full schedule.  I figure we generally get such a large amount done in a week, we can probably afford to take the fourth week as a break.  But the one week off will not actually be off.  Oh no!  Y’know that whole thing about a change being as good as a break?  Well, this is what we are intending to do.  For one week in every four we will be exploring all those ‘non school’ learning opportunities, and for me this will be a week of using my hands to create.  Whether it be soap, natural products, making items to help make our cottage feel even more homey or even making clothes, I will working alongside my children to create, rather than to use up.  And I can’t wait!

A few weeks ago I began a few pinterest boards to give me ideas.  Feel free to follow along 🙂


Fashion Parade

A short while ago we were taking some clothes to the local charity shop and saw another one across the road from it which was having a shutting down sale, with everything priced at £1 or less.  Gary sent me off, on my own, with £10 to have some fun!  I am so blessed by a man who fully understands me 🙂

I spent every single pound, mainly on clothes for the girls, dvds for Gary and T and a basket for myself.  When we got home we had the obligatory fashion show to find out what fitted and what didn’t.  So much fun and almost everything was a hit!  We bought a gorgeous fairy nighty for A, and two tops for B:


Two tops for C, a vest and a cardigan for L:


A bag each for the girls:


And my basket with the men’s dvds in:


How blessed were we?!  I think I shall be turning the basket into a gift making basket, to hold all my supplies:)

Wibbly Wobbly Jogging

Is jogging really good for one’s health?  I had to ask myself this a thousand times before 5am came around on Monday morning.  I mean, did I really want to wobble my way around a very public village park, all in the quest of good health?  More to the point, would said wobbling cause good health, or would I end up flat on my back from my heart complaining under the extra pressure?

Hisilicon Balong

It was with a tentative first step that I began my jogging journey.  The jogging, actually, was surprisingly easy.  Well, not easy, but easier than I thought it would be.  There were, however, two issues which I was less than enamoured by.  The first was my eldest twin sprinting past me then stopping and cheering me on by clapping her hands (!!!)  I mean if I wanted the whole world and his wife to know I was jogging, I would have announced it on my blog….(ahem).  The second issue was my see-through trousers.  I have decided I do not like Lycra.  It is not a good look on my over insulated body.  I particular don’t like cheap (ie see-through) Lycra.  I tied a black polo neck top around my waist, making sure it covered the rather large expanse which is my bottom but I was still very aware of the whole look being, really, not a good one.  Clearly I need looser, thicker jogging trousers because the very thought of going out in my see-through ones again was terrifying enough to stop me jogging anymore this week.  But I managed once and once is one more time than I managed the week before, or, in deed, the week before that…in fact it is more than I have managed in the last decade or so.

Gift Making

I am currently making some knitting kits for my little ones for Christmas.  I went through my material stack yesterday and found two old skirts I thought might make cute bags:

knitting bags 1

Here they are with their bottoms sewn up (they need an iron but you get an idea):

knitting bag 2

knitting bag 3

After I iron them, I need to make a decision about fastenings and whether to have a handle or not, but I’m fairly happy so far 🙂

My dear friend Leizel, who runs her own very successful Etsy shop selling the most gorgeous crochet items for newborns, has offered to send me all her left over balls of wool to pop in their bags.  Thank you so much Leizel – the girls will LOVE them!

Hope Chests

Seasons of Joy 6

I’m still reading through the above book.  It is so rare for me not whiz through a book, but this one is so full of goodness, I want to treasure the moments I spend reading it.  I have got so many ideas from it for my four girls and can’t wait to start working on their very own ‘Hope Chests’

Well, that’s it for this week.  I hope you all are having a lovely weekend.  I am off to tidy my bedroom which very well may have been hit by some sort of explosion last week 😉


  1. I find that being creative is a stress reliever in many ways but then when the unfinished projects hang around it becomes a bit stressful. I love the skirts to turn into bags.

    1. Hi Beth! Yes, unfinished products are the bane of my life. It took me fourteen years to finish one patchwork! I’ve got a few months to finish these though…

  2. Fab fashion shoot! I love how home-ed is a constant balancing act, always making little adjustments as our families’ needs change and we become ever more in tune with our own needs, too (which in turn means we have more to give…). And what a fab idea to convert the pretty skirts into bags! Have a lovely weekend, Claire. 🙂

    1. I love the fact we can play around as well. Learning happens all the time so I’m not too worried if we are not hands down busy all the time 🙂 The children are thrilled to have every forth week off!

  3. Love the charity shop purchases 😀 we went this week and came away with lots of “new” books! I recognise your friend Leizels business and I think she might be my friends with my friend! Small world!

  4. Oh! I had a hope chest and I loved it dearly. I filled it with all kinds of lovely stuff for my married years. I would love to start that for my Anne. She is similar in her desire to make a comfortable home. Looks like you had some great finds at the charity shop.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. The book has given us lots of lovely ideas! My friend didn’t call it a hope chest but she did save stuff for later in life. I wouldn’t have thought of doing anything like that for me so I am pleased I get to do it for my daughters.

  5. Let us all know how that three weeks on, one week “off”(yet not off) goes. Had some southern friends work with this method. I’ve also heard some do 6 on, one off, and another who did 9 wks on and 3 weeks off. I’ve always toyed with the idea of this kind of method but never tried it out, so please do post on it. I love that your week “off” is actually creative learning. We all need to keep teens super busy so this sounds like a great plan!

    1. I’m looking forward to it! I have been making a note about how long each term it takes for everyone to tire and need a break (three weeks) and how long in the holidays it takes for everyone to be needing school (one week) I guess I have nothing to lose by trying it and it might work very well 🙂 I’ll certainly let you know (and I will reply to your email today promise! It was such a treat to receive it 🙂

  6. Another great week for your family. I always get “jealous” (well, not really, maybe wishfull?) when I read your stories, we’re not so eventfull LOL

    I might take a look at your ideas for a few weeks of schoolwork and a creation week. We don’t do enough of that here, and I would love to do that, and do that with them. But first, the next few weeks we’re focusing on the tests my oldest has to take in June to pass elementary years. Gotta love the rules … not!

    1. I think I only want the creation week for me 🙂 I need some time away sometimes from the hard work of school just to sit and create and I’m hoping this will do it!

  7. Well done on the jogging! A suggestion on the lycra bottom covering that I’ve been trying: I whipped up some shorts and wore them over the leggings. It’s not glamorous, but they are wildly colourful and I figure they do the job and they’re fun.

    I want to read every single one of those books you showed, too.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I thought of you when I was trying on a skirt (black sports skirt which would have covered bottom if only I could get it past the hips!!). I need to find some jogging trousers which are not see through, I think 🙂

  8. One of my absolute favorite purses when my kids were little was made from one of Princess’ outgrown shorts (like when she was an infant) that I could then attach to a larger bag that was operating as my diaper bag at the time. It was the most awesome purse ever. So, in memory of that awesome purse I vote for a strap or handle.

    1. I’ve asked L13 to make some material covered wire handles, which she has kindly agreed to, so the bags will definitely have a handle!

  9. This is a great post, Claire, but I must say, we would look like twins jogging together. We’d be AbFab! You are too funny.
    The purses are lovely. What a cute idea. It makes me wish I had saved a couple of the girls’ skirts, if not for purses, then for tote bags or something.
    I love the fashion show. What cute clothing to be found at your charity shop. I haven’t found one here that I like. I can’t believe you found so much for so little.
    I hope your week is off to a great start. Hugs, my friend.

    1. Lol!! Oh how I wish we lived on the same continent! You could be my jogging buddy and even if we only laughed rather than jogged, we’d still burn off lots of calories 😉

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