Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Summer Wish

My youngest rarely asks for anything. He gets drowned out by his older rambunctious, attention-grabbing brother. He flies through life under the radar, happily playing by himself  and neither tattle-tailing or aggressively seeking the limelight. I look at him sometimes and hate that this is how things are. I was also the 2nd child and remember how it feels when you are that age and somewhat left to your own devices.  I don't mean that the 2nd child is neglected in any way, they just don't have the same bright spotlight shone on them all the time and so learn to be a little more self reliant.
Last week Danny had a school trip to a local garden and he loved it. He's asked me several times since, and made me promise, that we'll go back to visit there this summer as a family. In true Daniel style, he hasn't asked me to take him, he's asked if we can enjoy the day as a family
What a great little fella he is.

Daniel on his school trip

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Great Outdoors

Boy Scouts has probably been one of the best things we've ever done. It's hard work (Craig is committee chair and I'm communications chair), but it means we get to spend a lot of time together as a family, usually outside.

I see Facebook posts come across my feed sometimes about the horrendous lives of youth today, spending all their time indoors playing videos games and being lazy and not knowing where a carrot comes from,  but I don't think that's necessarily true. My kids and my friends' kids are always outside, messing about in the woods, making dens, playing Nerf wars or hanging on the monkey bars. I think kids want to be outside, some of them just don't get that opportunity.

So we've had a few weeks of outdoorsy stuff; soccer, zoo trips, horse riding, fishing and hiking. I have also finally got round to banning electronics Monday-Thursday since school work has ramped up so much.The school work and testing is far far too much for elementary school children.  Teachers and parents alike say it - so who is making these terrible decisions to test the hell out of these kids? Whoever they are, they are destroying our young people's creativity and fun. Okay, off my soap box.

Here's to a summer filled with more of these types of things.....

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ormskirk Grammar School Memories

An old secondary (high) school friend sent me a Facebook friend request last week, the first friend to reach out, actually.  I HATED high school and never kept in contact with anyone after I left in 1985 aged 16. I went to college and made fantastic friends there and of course I'm in the USA now.

I did wonder about some of the girls at Ormskirk Grammar School as they were such good fun, but I had no idea how to find them since they were probably married and had new surnames.  Enter my old mate, Shelly, who sent the request. Shelly had a baby while she was at school and named him Jack - one of the reasons I loved the name and chose it for my son.  Friending Shelly has quickly spiraled into befriending many of the others, which has been really great.

The reason I hated the school, which was supposedly the best, was because I started in the top class and 5 years later was in the bottom class.  You might say that was my fault, that I was a terrible student. But my later college career would suggest otherwise. The reason I bombed from the top of the pile to the bottom in 5 short years was the appalling teachers and their total lack of interest in students. They were snobby, cruel, and so horrible we found it funny and had nicknames for them all. Their teaching strategy was "if you don't understand the subject, sit at the back and keep quiet".
As I said, vile, appalling teachers.

The school was recently demolished, which gives me no sadness at all.  But I do feel nostalgic and miss these girls. I miss my old self too. I'd give a million dollars to go back and enjoy this first photo all over again, just for 10 minutes.

Me (2nd from left). We were watching a school rugby match and convinced a local reporter to take our picture.
One of the lads is giving the middle finger! Something English boys never did in the 80s! Very strange. 
End of year party with chocolate cake
I'm back middle/right. Shelly is on the left (my right). 

Peg Bags

I made these as Christmas presents for people and forgot to post about it. I love oil cloth!
And I wish I had a clothes line outside. There is nothing better than fresh bed sheets dried on a line in the sunshine...