Monday, March 01, 2010

Kitchens, gardens and Church

Today was a bit of a kitchen day! I started the day by mixing up a Master Recipe batch from my Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes book. Next I put some chilli in the slow cooker. After that I made a batch of gluten free oat & raisen cookies. Finally this evening I made a self-saucing gluten free chocolate pudding! Yum!

In and around this we enjoyed a visit from Grace and the boys who we hadn't seen for ages, which was nice.

Our home ed group is registered with the Organic for Schools project and I'm hoping to encourage little groups of families across our area to get involved. Some of us here in Bromley are going to meet together regularly to "do" gardening. This is tying in nicely with the Potatoes for Schools project. We start chitting the potatoes tomorrow then in two weeks time we can get together and plant them up. The kids can then nurture and grow them over the following months. This year they have a weather chart to go with it so we have given William the job of writing up the weather every evening for that day.

In January I was inspired by the story of the Strauss family from Gloucestershire who only put one dustbin a year out for landfill. They had explained that it wasn't just about reusing and recycling - it was about changing your buying habits. If you would buy something usually that came in packaging that couldn't be recycled, look to buy a version that was packaged in something that could be recycled.

Since taking that on board, and since getting hold of a compost bin again (thanks to my best friend Freecycle!) we have gone from two and a half sacks a week (for a family of six, including nappies - yeah I know, but that's my one big sin, we use disposable nappies), to today only putting out one sack plus one pedal bin liner's worth. I'm really chuffed!

Some of this has been down to using the Recycle Now website where you can put in your postcode and find out where you can recycle different things, as well as checking what your council collects from the kerbside.

Of course, this would be a lot better if it wasn't for the fact that having now started collecting lots of different things ready to be taken to our nearest recycling centre, our car is off the road! Last Sunday Roarke had to go up to A&E because his foot had ballooned and started to turn purple. I dropped him at the hospital, took Jonathan to his Nan's, took the others to church, left church and came home to drop the older three boys off, got back in the car to go and collect Roarke (who by then had left and got a bus over to my Mum's to wait for us) - and the car wouldn't start!

My brother ended up coming to the rescue to bring Jonathan and Roarke home and our car has been off the road ever since - nine days now. The mechanic has gone over it, spending three days on it - no idea. Everything he has tried that could/should be the fault, hasn't been. He even drained the tank and put new fuel in, just in case we'd had dodgy fuel in. Nope. Nothing. Nadda.

I'm not a happy bunny and I am clinging to the fact that God has A Plan...

We've spent a fortune on bus fares, even allowing for having prepay oyster cards (and the boys having their oyster cards with free travel) and it has made some things really complicated. This Sunday was the hardest, with our friend Chris kindly taking Samuel to church for 8am as he was serving in Sunday School, I then got the bus to get there for the first service at 9.30am and Roarke came on the bus with the others for the second service at 11.30am!

It really brings home how busy and complex our lives are when you have to preplan everything around the bus time tables!

I've had my first go at serving on the catering team for church and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to do more now! I'm really happy at how we are all finding the chance to slot into serving at church. Jonathan is happy in creche, William loving ROCK and everyone is always commenting on how lovely the two of them are. Samuel helps in ROCK (Sunday School) every four weeks for both services, handling the multi media. He is now hoping to start going along for the Baseline Band practice so that he gets a chance to have a go on the drums, and then staying for the worship band practice in order to learn how to handle the multi media in the main church - a HUGE undertaking because our multi media is awesome. Josh is looking at deciding to start serving at Baseline helping to set up. He's done it once and now needs to make a decision if he is willing and able to commit. Roarke is in the drama team, taking part in drama now most weeks at church. He also takes a turn once every four weeks in creche. I'm on the funding team and now the catering team.

It feels SO GOOD to be in a church where there is space and room for us all to individually find our way and I am grateful on a daily basis to be here.

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